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Talkin' Pets News

June 3, 2023

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jasmine the Dog Trainer

Producer - Devin Leech

Network Producer - Ben Boquist

Social Media - Bob Page

Morris Animal Foundation announced it is funding 10 new fellowship studies, with two of the studies funded by longtime donor Sally R. McIntosh. The studies will focus on a variety of topics, including deadly infections in dogs, immune response disorders in horses and amphibian conservation. The awards provide critical support to promising young veterinary scientists.

“Our Fellowship Training program is one of the most impactful investments we can make for animal health research,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Chief Program Officer at Morris Animal Foundation. “We are delighted to be able to support these highly qualified candidates at this critical juncture in their careers."

The projects are slated to begin this year. Grant recipients and their projects include:

Dr. Moreno Passos Barbosa's and Dr. Isidoro-Ayza's studies are specifically funded by Sally R. McIntosh. McIntosh wanted to provide fellowship funding to support applicants from historically marginalized groups interested in studying dog and wildlife health, stating that she hopes to make "a tiny dent" in diversifying the animal health research community. McIntosh made her first gift to Morris Animal Foundation to advance greyhound health research in 2009 and since then, has expanded her support into other areas of animal health research, including wildlife health.


A special, four-legged friend was among the thousands of graduates receiving a diploma at the commencement ceremony for New Jersey’s Seton Hall University.

Justin, a 6-year-old service dog for graduating student Grace Mariani, wagged his tail as he walked across the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark on May 22, a video from the university’s Twitter page showed.

The labrador-golden retriever mix wore a blue mortar board and matching Class of 2023 bandana as he sniffed the diploma Seton Hall president Joseph E. Nyre presented him, the video showed.

The crowd of families and graduates loudly cheered as Justin grabbed the diploma with his mouth while accompanying Mariani, who crossed the stage in a motorized wheelchair.

Justin is Mariani’s second service dog from Canine Companions, according to Jeanine Konopelski, the nonprofit’s vice president of marketing and advocacy.

“When Grace was matched with Canine Companions service dog Justin, she said her dream was to go away to college and become a teacher,” Konopelski said in an email to CNN.

“She shared that with Justin by her side, she has the best chance for a successful, independent life,” Konopelski said.

Justin has learned over 45 tasks to help Mariani become more independent, according to Konopelski.

Mariani graduated with a bachelor of science degree in education and plans to teach elementary and special education, CNN affiliate WCBS-TV reported.


University Products, a frontrunner in animal health innovation, recently brought attention to the economic challenges associated with thin cows, particularly those suffering from anaplasmosis, and the dangers posed by Cattle Fever Ticks (CFT) in the beef industry. The company encourages farmers to prioritize body condition scoring (BCS), along with anaplasmosis vaccination, to support cattle health initiatives that optimize productivity and minimize economic losses.

The importance of BCS as a crucial tool for assessing the physical condition of cows during the most demanding period of gestation cannot be overstated, particularly in winter. Thin cows can have difficulty rebreeding, are more susceptible to diseases such as anaplasmosis, and are expensive additions to a herd. Early corrective measures can prevent a wide array of health issues and improve the overall well-being of the herd.

But defining "thinness" is not always easy. The University of Guelph found that even trained evaluators have difficulty determining accurate body condition scores in winter. The ideal BCS for mature cows at calving is 2.5, while first-calf heifers should have a score of 3.0. All females should have a score of 2.5, 30 days before the start of the breeding season. Dr. Donald Luther of University Products also emphasized the importance of BCS: "Body condition scoring is a cost-effective and accurate method to assess the health of your cows. Proper BCS management not only promotes the welfare of the animals but also contributes to the economic success of the farm."

University Products recommends a comprehensive approach to herd health, which includes the services of a livestock nutrition expert to balance rations and ensure cattle receive adequate levels of energy, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Maintaining proper body condition during pregnancy supports the immune systems of both the dam and calf, improving the overall health of the herd. And of course, vaccination helps protect the entire herd from the ongoing tick-borne anaplasmosis endemic.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service recently emphasized the importance of addressing Cattle Fever Ticks, which serve as vectors for bovine babesiosis and anaplasmosis. The Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program, launched in 1906, has confined CFT to a permanent quarantine zone running from Brownsville to Del Rio, Texas, along the Mexican border. Mounted tick patrols (tick riders) help collect and treat stray animals that wander in from Mexico and work alongside partners at the Texas Animal Health Commission. The program systematically detects, treats, and eradicates tick infestations, while other CFT populations are found in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Unfortunately, while these diseases can and continue to be mitigated, they still continue to plague the cattle industry.

University Products is committed to developing a wide spectrum of modern solutions for the challenges facing the cattle industry, including groundbreaking research into vaccines for bovine babesiosis and theileriosis. The company's focus on proactive management strategies, such as BCS, addressing the threat of CFT, and combining both with innovative vaccine research and products, aims to create a healthier and more sustainable future for the cattle industry.


"The ElleVet Project" announces the return of its summer veterinary mobile relief tour providing much-needed FREE veterinary care and supplies to the pets of the unhoused and low-income communities throughout the United States beginning June 5, 2023 and continuing throughout the year. Since the pandemic, pet ownership has grown, and veterinary care has become increasingly difficult to find in vulnerable communities. 

The summer mobile relief tour will travel throughout California, Washington and Montana making more than 30 stops to treat thousands of thousands of pets with services that range from vaccines, flea and tick preventatives, deworming, general checkups, along with emergency surgeries and provide donated pet supplies to owners.  "Pet ownership within the unhoused and low-income communities provides mental and physical health benefits to their owners - especially women safety benefits," says Amanda Howland, co-founder of The ElleVet Project.  "By treating the pets, we are helping the owners in numerous ways."

Adds co-founder and CEO Christian Kjaer, "Pets are an anchor for someone living in these vulnerable communities. When you speak with people experiencing hard times about their pets, it's incredibly helpful to break down conversation barriers and give them extra comfort knowing their pet is being given proper medical services."  According to Reverend Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission, "About 93 percent of the people disintegrated by homelessness have no connection whatsoever to family, so having a pet means everything to people devastated by homelessness. It was overwhelming to see the amount of people with their pets come to The ElleVet Project's 'ElleVan' to get their pets taken care of."  "If you are a woman on the streets," Reverend Bales continues, "you have no chance of escaping the threat of rape and women are owning pets for their protection."

According to many of those who have received free veterinary care via The ElleVet Project, the peace of mind knowing their furry family member is getting proper and much-needed medical assistance is immeasurable.  Unhoused resident Jenny, owner of Sis says: "People try to come into my tent Sis would throw them in the river. Knowing she is getting a physical and her shots for free is a great comfort to me."   According to unhoused resident Jonathan: "I only have so much money to live off and for a vet to treat Gaucho, it would have taken me 10 months to save up. ElleVet's services gave us a great gift by treating him."  "People don't have money or transportation to get their dog medical help," explains unhoused resident Ellie. "To get Ranger treated for free is unbelievable, what a blessing."

Collaborating with local city officials and municipalities, the project hosts a rotating team of compassionate and professional veterinarians to provide 100 percent free veterinary care.  The ElleVet Project travels throughout the country treating thousands of pets in unhoused, low-income communities and areas stricken by natural disasters in a 32-foot RV dubbed the "ElleVan."    The complete schedule of summer dates and locations is available on the nonprofit's website Donations towards vaccines, medical supplies, and emergency surgeries can also be accepted on the website.  Every donation goes towards funding the charity's mission of reaching as many vulnerable and voiceless animals as possible. For more information on the Project, go to or on social media at @Ellevetproject onFacebook, Instagram andYouTube. ++++++++++++++++++++++++

Lymphoma is a common cancer in dogs, but unlike human studies, which have associated the disease with environmental toxins, little is known about how it originates in dogs. A new Morris Animal Foundation-funded study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is focused on looking for links between toxins in the environment and the development of lymphoma in dogs as a step toward early detection and prevention.

The team, led by Dr. Lauren Trepanier, Professor of Internal Medicine and Assistant Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, will analyze blood and urine samples from 60 Golden Retriever Lifetime Study participants diagnosed with lymphoma. These dogs will be compared to a control group of 60 age- and sex-matched healthy dogs from the same study.

“Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is an invaluable resource,” Trepanier said. “These data allow us to look at the chemical exposures not only at the time of diagnosis, but a year prior to diagnosis to see whether there is early DNA damage that can be seen in the blood in association with chemical exposures. This might help us screen high-risk animals or understand the impacts the chemical exposures have on dogs.”

Trepanier added there is enough available data to suggest that people should avoid using herbicides on their lawns as some have been associated with bladder cancer and lymphoma. As the study progresses, she hopes to shed more light on risk factors for canine lymphoma to help dog owners minimize exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.

"Through the identification of potential modifiable risk factors for lymphoma in dogs, we hope to make substantial progress in preventing and treating this devastating disease,” Trepanier said.


Over the Memorial Day weekend, a beloved mother swan was killed by a group of teenage friends who took her body home to be cooked and eaten by their friends and family. For more than a decade, the residents of Manlius NY had enjoyed watching Faye and her devoted companion, Manny, at Manlius Swan Pond.

But the tranquil existence of this magnificent bird was tragically cut short when a heart-wrenching incident unfolded. Three teenagers unlawfully trespassed into the fenced boundaries of the Manlius Swan pond, cruelly ending Faye’s life and callously abducting her four precious offspring.

Thanks to tips reported to the local authorities, the three teenagers accused of the abhorrent crime were identified and charged. The authorities have identified 18-year-old Eman Hussan as a participant in Faye’s killing. Two other teens, ages 16 and 17, were also arrested and charged; because of their age, their names were not publicly released.

The authorities were able to track down Manny and Faye’s offspring; two of the cygnets were found at Shop City Plaza and two were found at a Syracuse residence. It is unclear what the teens planned to do with the baby swans.

For the next four weeks, a biologist will be caring for the orphaned babies, and Manny, Faye’s faithful mate, will be removed from the pond he called home because officials fear that he will become combative now that his lifelong companion is gone.

The teens involved in this disgusting act of cruelty have tried to claim that they thought Faye, a large, regal swan, was a duck, and that they were “hunting.” It is impossible to comprehend that they would break into a fenced enclosure, in the middle of the night, and hold down and behead a nesting swan, with a claim of “hunting.” The authorities are not buying their story.


A rabid beaver attacked a man swimming in the Connecticut River in Massachusetts between Hatfield and Hadley on Sunday evening, sending him to the hospital with injuries to his arm and chest, The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports.

The man, who has since been released from the hospital, was attacked on the Hadley side and then taken to the Hatfield bank by friends so an ambulance could reach him.

Hatfield Board of Health Chairman Robert Osley “said he had been told that the beaver went after the swimmer three times, and was still latched onto his arm when his friend helped him out onto the beach. He declined to say how the beaver was killed,” the newspaper reported.

A sample from the beaver tested positive for rabies this week. A state wildlife biologist told the paper beaver bites are rare in his experience. More shark attacks, more alligator attacks and now Beavers what’s next your Goldfish!


Deep cleaning is underway at several Honolulu airport gates after bed bugs were reported.

State Transportation Director Ed Sniffen said his agency got reports of the bugs in one of the E Gates in Terminal 2 on Monday.

That prompted HDOT staff to clean the area and remove items they thought had attracted the bugs.

But on Tuesday, a Southwest manager contacted HDOT with a sample of the bed bugs. Sniffen says Transportation Department staff responded again and began deep cleaning, pulling carpet and spraying pest control in gates E5, 6 and 7.

Those gates were also closed Wednesday night for additional pest control measures.

The state said additional cleaning will continue over the next three weeks to prevent problems.

Southwest airlines replied to HNN’s request for comment to say they work to maintain a clean facility and defer to HDOT on this specific matter. Flight operations have not been impacted.


A staggering number of racehorse deaths has prompted Churchill Downs to move the upcoming spring meet to a new location. As reported by WLKY News, the venue change reflects the seriousness of the situation; 12 horses died in a 30-day period at the track.

Races scheduled to take place have been canceled and will not be rescheduled, and as of June 10, the races will move to Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky.

In a release, Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Bill Carstanjen commented on the horse deaths:

“What has happened at our track is deeply upsetting and absolutely unacceptable. We need to take more time to conduct a top-to-bottom review of all of the details and circumstances so that we can further strengthen our surface, safety and integrity protocols.”

Prior to the May 6 running of the Kentucky Derby, seven horses died from racing or training injuries at Churchill Downs. A complete list of the racehorses who died in the time leading up to the Kentucky Derby and through today:

  • April 27, Wild on Ice, “injured, euthanized”
  • April 29, Code of Kings, “flipped multiple times (in paddock), broke neck”
  • April 29, Parents Pride, “collapsed and died”
  • May 2, Take Charge Briana, “fell; euthanized”
  • May 2, Chasing Artie, “collapsed and died”
  • May 6, Chloe’s Dream, “went wrong; fractured knee”
  • May 6, Freezing Point, “went wrong; multiple fractures”
  • May 13, Bosque Redondo, “injured, vanned off, euthanized”
  • May 14, Rio Moon, “Leg fracture; euthanized on track”
  • May 20, Swanson Lake, “injured, vanned off, euthanized”
  • May 26, Lost in Limbo, “injured, vanned off, euthanized”
  • May 27, Kimberly Dream, “Ligament rupture to the front leg, euthanized”


One of south-east South Australia's biggest dairy producers is feeding his cows chocolate and lollies to improve their milk production while also reducing waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill. James Mann runs more than 4,000 head of cattle at Wye, south-east of Mount Gambier.

Rather than feeding his cows sugar for energy, as some dairy farmers do, he is feeding them the rejects from Mondelez's confectionery factories in Melbourne. He says the cows like it, and they do not seem to have a preference for any particular type of chocolate or lollies.

"Whatever Cadbury is making and don't quite make the grade, our cows are pretty happy to see it — blocks of chocolate, snakes, Cherry Ripes, nougat, honeycomb — anything that Cadbury makes the cows get to have a chew on it," he says.

Some of the chocolate and lollies look similar to what humans would eat, while some are in giant blocks and yet more again are crushed up or in their component parts. Mr Mann, who is also the chair of Dairy Australia, used to feed his cattle pure sugar, but price fluctuations made it difficult to contain costs. The chocolate and lollies are mixed with the cattle's other feed. They also eat grass. He says cows need sugar and oil in their diet, and chocolate has both.

"It's all around maximising cows' performance," Mr Mann says.

While Mondelez did not reply to a request for comment, Mr Mann says he believes the chocolate and lollies would have otherwise gone to the dump. "It's part of recycling," he says. "I'm not certain what happened to it before, but I guess at one stage it would have gone to landfill.

"It must be better to get another use out of it when it ends up as food that people can't eat, so from that point of view it's good."

Stop Food Waste Australia chief operating officer Mark Barthel says food waste would ideally be prevented altogether in factories but food going to animals is the next best thing.

"Sending food that would otherwise go to landfill and that is suitable for feeding animals to farmers and growers to use as animal feed is perfectly legitimate and far better than all of our food going to landfill," he says.

And, yes, Mr Mann has heard the joke that his farm is where chocolate milk comes from. "We've always had a bit of: 'We'll handle the chocolate milk out of this dairy, I'm hoping someone's handling the strawberry milk from another dairy,'" Mr Mann says.

The milk does not taste significantly different and is mixed with milk from hundreds of other dairy farms when it is processed. In a twist, though, the milk from Mr Mann's farm actually does go into cartons of Farmers Union and Pura flavoured milks made at Bega's factory in Adelaide.


Read 43 times Last modified on Friday, 02 June 2023 23:56
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