The non-profit Best Friends Animal Society is honoring Delaware as the first “no-kill animal shelter state” in the U.S.
A “save rate” of at least 90 percent for dogs and cats going into shelters is required in order to earn that designation, CNN reports.
Best Friends recognized the Brandywine Valley SPCA for its leadership in the initiative.
Linda Torelli, marketing director of Brandywine Valley SPCA, said: “The Brandywine Valley SPCA has a live release rate of 95% for the more than 14,000 animals a year we intake.
“Within Delaware, we intake more than 60% of the animals entering shelters and more than four times the next largest shelter, so our policies have had a significant impact on the state becoming no-kill.”
A doggy play date in a North Carolina pond turned tragic after three pups died from toxic algae. Now, their owners say they hope their loss will educate fellow dog lovers about the dangerous blooms.
Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz took their beloved dogs Abby, Izzy and Harpo to a pond in Wilmington to cool off. But within 15 minutes of leaving the pond, Abby, a West Highland white terrier, began to have a seizure.
Martin rushed her to a veterinary hospital, with Izzy and Harpo right behind her. Upon their arrival, Izzy, also a Westie, started seizing, and both terriers rapidly declined. Then Harpo, her 6-year-old "doodle" mix therapy dog, began to seize and show signs of liver failure.
By midnight the next day, all three dogs had died, she said.
Izzy, Abby and Harpo died from the toxic algae. All three experienced liver failure, Martin said.
The culprit, Martin's veterinarian said, was poisoning from blue-green algae present in the pond where they played.
"What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives," Martin wrote in a Facebook post that has since been shared more than 15,000 times.
Martin told CNN she didn't notice the algae at first, but her veterinarian told her that what appeared to be debris from flowers were blooms of cyanobacteria.
She said she didn't see any signs warning of toxic algae near the pond, which sits next to a popular walking trail. It's her mission now, she says, to erect signs about toxic waters and warn pet owners about the blooms.
"I will not stop until I make positive change," she said. "I will not lose my dogs for nothing."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released three new Endangered Species Act (ESA) rules that substantially weaken protections for listed species.
“American Bird Conservancy supports a strong ESA,” said Mike Parr, President of American Bird Conservancy. “The Act has proved its ability to recover species, with birds such as Bald Eagle and Brown Pelican just a couple of the notable examples. It’s not in the best interest of wildlife – or the U.S. economy – to weaken the ESA.”
For example, the new rules add economic criteria to the listing process, making it more difficult to protect species on the basis of the best available science. “Just this decade, seven new populations of birds were listed under the ESA. If the decision-making process for these species allowed economic considerations, it is quite possible that some of them – such as the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red Knot, and Gunnison Sage-Grouse – would not have been granted ESA protection,” said Steve Holmer, ABC’s Vice President for Policy.
American Bird Conservancy strongly supports the existing science-based listing process and that economic considerations be addressed during the designation of critical habitat and development of mitigation requirements.
“Wildlife conservation provides billions of dollars in economic value to states and communities across the country,” said Holmer. “Birds and other wildlife are an essential part of our natural heritage and play key roles in maintaining healthy ecosystems. For all these reasons, we believe the existing listing process must be retained.”
Over the past decades, the ESA has worked effectively to recover populations of declining birds. According to a 2016 report published by ABC, 78 percent of mainland birds listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA have populations that are stable, increasing, or have recovered enough to be delisted. (See: The Endangered Species Act: A Record of Success.)
Scientists are working on a potential vaccine that would help those who are allergic to cats.
It’s called HypoCat, and it could be ready in three years, WIS-TV reports.
The vaccine is being developed by scientists in Switzerland. It would be given to cats to reduce the amount of a particular protein, the Fel d 1 allergen, that they secrete.
Fel d 1 is found in cat dander. About 10% of the Western population is allergic to the protein.
The scientists explained in a recent study report: “Currently, there is no efficient and safe therapy for cat allergy available. Allergic patients usually try to avoid cats or treat their allergy symptoms.”
In the study, the vaccine “vaccine was well tolerated and had no overt toxic effect.”
The researchers stated: “Both human subjects and animals could profit from this treatment because allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma, and become more tolerant of their cats, which therefore could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters.”
In a story written by Terry Nguyen she states, on Tinder, Avery Chuang developed a bad habit: She almost always swiped right on guys with a ridiculously adorable dog photo. It’s not a high standard to go by, the 25-year-old in Elk Grove, Calif., admitted, but it helped her find men who are dog owners like herself — presuming that, of course, the featured pup is theirs.
She encountered her fair share of dog-baiters on dating apps (which she no longer uses since they are “addictive and demoralizing”). Most men were upfront in conversation with Chuang, but a few did slip through the cracks until she pieced it together.
There was a guy Chuang found attractive and charming and normal — until he turned around and questioned her for probing about his dog. And there was another who profusely apologized for displaying a friendly corgi that wasn’t his (after she called him out) and then ghosted her.
Dogs, notably adorable photos of dogs, are a ubiquitous aspect of dating. They’re convenient icebreakers on apps and on first dates. They add a nugget of personality to a profile. On Apple’s App Store, Bumble features a photo of a bespectacled man cuddling a goldendoodle to insinuate how likable that is. There’s also Dig, a new dating app specifically for dog owners.
This cultural obsession with dogs on the apps has spiraled into another problem: Daters are posting photos of pups they don’t own, to attract matches. “Dogfishing” is not exactly a lie — the person did take a photo with that dog — but to some daters, it feels like a veiled form of deception. And things can get awkward fast when a date realizes that the pet in the profile solely exists as bait.
“That’s the main thing: Stop borrowing dogs,” said Erika Ettin, an online dating coach in Washington. She advises her clients to curate profiles representative of their actual life. “It’s just odd when you’re using someone else’s dog online, and it seems like you’re trying too hard."
The American Kennel Club, the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is celebrating 1 million dogs passing the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test.
The millionth dog to pass the test was a Bernese mountain dog named Fiona who is owned by Nora Pavone from Brooklyn, NY. Fiona attended instructor Kate Naito’s CGC classes at Brooklyn’s Doggie Academy as the initial step toward her future role as a grief therapy dog in nursing homes.
“We are very proud of Fiona and the other hundreds of thousands of dogs that have passed the CGC test,” said Mary Burch, director of the Canine Good Citizen Program. “Many of these dogs go on for additional training to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Started in 1989, AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and good manners for dogs. The 10-step test consists of basic commands and actions like accepting a friendly stranger, sitting, staying, coming when called, walking through a crowd, and behaving politely around other dogs, among others. All dogs who pass the test may receive a certificate from the AKC.
“A million CGC dogs is an amazing milestone. The program has done so much good, from helping dog owners teach their pet good manners to rehabilitating dogs that have had behavioral issues,” said Doug Ljungren, executive vice president of AKC Sports & Events. “CGC instructors can be justifiably proud of the great work they have done for dogs and their owners.”
The Canine Good Citizen Program has been adopted and utilized for many activities that require basic good citizen behavior. CGC training and titles are used as a prerequisite by therapy dog groups. Many service dog organizations start their dogs with CGC training, and shelter organizations are utilizing the “CGC Ready” program to demonstrate that their rescue dogs are good citizens.
Several dog daycare facilities train dogs for the test and 4-H clubs around the country have been using CGC as a beginning dog training program. Other countries (including Korea, India, England, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Canada and Finland) have developed CGC programs based on the AKC’s Program.
Legislative Resolutions endorsing the CGC program as a way of teaching responsible dog ownership and canine good manners have been passed in 48 states, and police and animal control agencies use the CGC program for dealing with dog problems in communities. In addition, some homeowner’s insurance companies encourage CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments, condos and businesses require that resident dogs pass the CGC test.
Alabama is instituting criminal penalties for anyone who misrepresents a pet as a service animal.
The legislation takes effect Sept. 1. It makes such representation a Class C misdemeanor that leads to a $100 fine and 100 hours of community service, Al.com reports.
Under Alabama law, only dogs and miniature horses can qualify as service animals. They have to be trained specifically to help people with disabilities — emotional support animals do not count.
The law allows for signs to be posted in public places with this wording: “Service animals are welcome. It is illegal for a person to misrepresent an animal in that person’s possession as a service animal.”
Alaska has been in the throes of an unprecedented heat wave this summer, and the heat stress is killing salmon in large numbers.
Scientists have observed die-offs of several varieties of Alaskan salmon, including sockeye, chum and pink salmon.
Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, director of the Yukon Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, told CNN she took a group of scientists on an expedition along Alaska's Koyokuk River at the end of July, after locals alerted her to salmon die-offs on the stream.
She and the other scientists counted 850 dead unspawned salmon on that expedition, although they estimated the total was likely four to 10 times larger.
They looked for signs of lesions, parasites and infections, but came up empty. Nearly all the salmon they found had "beautiful eggs still inside them," she said. Because the die-off coincided with the heat wave, they concluded that heat stress was the cause of the mass deaths.
Quinn-Davidson said she'd been working as a scientist for eight years and had "never heard of anything to this extent before."
"I'm not sure people expected how large a die-off we'd see on these rivers," she said.