The American Kennel Club (AKC®) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 AKC Trick Dog Competition. The overall winners were Paula Jarabin and her All-American dog, “Rosie,” from Santa Barbara, CA. In their routine, “The Honky Tonk Café Talent Show,” Rosie demonstrated the tricks needed to win a talent show.
The 5th annual event was open to Elite Performers, AKC’s highest level of trick dogs. Juniors were also permitted to enter at any level as long as their dogs had a Trick Dog title. The AKC Trick Dog competition has continued to grow steadily, with this year having more than 200 competitors and 68 breeds from 40 states and Canada that were judged by three judges.
“The 2023 winning performances were such a delight to watch,” said Mary Burch, AKC Family Dog Director. “Rosie’s routine included advanced tricks with her handler at a distance. Rosie’s eagerness to work demonstrates the exceptional bond that can result from training. AKC is so proud of the AKC Elite Performer Trick Dogs and their dedicated, skilled handlers.”
The two finalists in the competition were Elizabeth Berthold and her Russell Terrier, Cricket, from East Patchogue, NY, and April Paulman and her Bulldog, Mindy, from Shelbyville, IN.
To see the winning dog and finalists’ videos go to Talkinpets.com news section.
Winner “Rosie” handled by Paula Jarabin
Finalist “Cricket” handled by Elizabeth Berthold
Finalist “Mindy” handled by April Paulman
To learn more about teaching your dog to do tricks, see:
Ten lemurs, four macaques, two llamas, two coatis, three emus and an ostrich have made remarkable recoveries and living their best lives at Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, after being removed from a now-shuttered zoo and a holding facility in Puerto Rico where they were confined in overcrowded, barren spaces without appropriate care. Black Beauty Ranch, the Humane Society of the United States’ animal sanctuary, has been successfully rehabilitating the animals and providing medical treatment, nutrition and access to grass, trees, sunlight, fresh air and enrichment. Now out of their required quarantine periods, the animals have been released into their larger habitats on the 1,400-acre property and are thriving.
- Last week the lemurs—including two juveniles named Sprout and Fern—moved into their new lush one-acre, open top habitat where they immediately leaped from tree to tree, finally able to climb high and see the sky above.
- Macaques El, Hopper, Max and Robin, once confined in rusty, cramped cages and huddled together out of fear, are now exploring leaves and branches for the first time and bellyflopping into pools of water.
- Llamas Abbot and Costello are free of their formerly filthy matted coats and have bonded with sheep and goats in a two-acre pasture.
- Reptar the ostrich has a new friend—a bighorn sheep named Lilly. They lie together during the morning sunrise. The feathers Reptar once pulled out from stress are slowly growing back.
- Emus Blue, Delta and Echo, who arrived severely underweight and listless, are gaining weight and strength and slowly being introduced into new pastures.
- Coatis Booth and Sweets who lived in a bleak flat enclosure, are now enjoying a larger habitat where they can explore their natural climbing skills for the first time. Sweets arrived with a sparse and patchy coat and a seriously injured tail that had not been treated and was so painful he had been chewing the tip off. The staff was barely able to recognize that he was a white-nosed coati. With proper medical treatment for his tail and skin, he now has a dark, thick coat.
Sue Tygielski, senior director of Black Beauty Ranch, said: “When these animals arrived at our sanctuary, we knew they would require extensive care and rehabilitation. We could immediately see signs of poor physical health, excessive fear and abnormal behavior. In addition to most of the animals being severely underweight, many of their coats were thin and patchy and some had untreated medical issues. They all suffered from lack of proper nutrition and living in a stressful environment. It is remarkable how well they all responded to medication, a nutritious diet, sunlight, plenty of space to express their natural behaviors, appropriate habitats in size and complexity, and the freedom to graze, explore and feel lush grass under them. Now, their coats and feathers look full and fluffy, they are at healthy weights, they are more relaxed, and they curiously explore their habitats indicating that they are flourishing emotionally and physically. These animals were part of a massive removal operation in May 2023 following the closure of Puerto Rico’s only zoo, the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo in Mayagüez. The HSUS and several other organizations removed nearly 700 animals from the zoo and a nearby holding facility, Centro de Detención en Cambalache, which houses exotic species who are prohibited, confiscated or willingly surrendered on the island. HSUS experts spent a week on the ground there, working on care, evaluations and travel preparations for the animals who were then transported to their new homes across the U.S., including at Black Beauty Ranch. According to Adam Parascandola, vice president of the animal rescue team for the HSUS: “The zoo had fallen on hard times from hurricanes, economic woes, COVID and damaged infrastructure, alleged underfunding and reported complaints against them. The animals who we took in at Black Beauty Ranch and all of the others removed from these facilities now have a new lease on life.”
The global pet diabetes care market is likely to hit $2.03 billion this year, up from $1.86 billion in 2022, according to a new report.
And the market is projected to reach $2.78 billion by 2027, indicating a compound annual growth rate of 8.25%.
The findings come from a report called “Pet Diabetes Care Global Market Report 2023” from Research and Markets.
“In the ever-evolving landscape of pet health, the pet diabetes care market stands out as a unique challenge and opportunity for senior executives,” the market research company stated in a press release.
“The increase in pet-related diseases, a surge in pet adoptions, and rapid advancements in specialized pet care create a dynamic market that promises both potential growth and significant competition.”
BELOIT, Wis. (AP) — People go to Noodles & Company to save a buck, not to have one interrupt their meal. But that's what happened in Beloit, Wisconsin, on Tuesday when a deer came crashing through the restaurant's window.
Surveillance footage shows a deer charging into the crowded restaurant around lunchtime, prompting diners to scatter. The animal then explored the dining area and kitchen before exiting out a back door opened by an employee, Noodles & Company spokesperson Stephanie Jerome told The Associated Press.
No one was harmed in the incident, and the location has since reopened after a deep clean, Jerome said. The restaurant offered a "2 Buck Mac & Cheese" special on Wednesday to commemorate the incident.
Fargo, ND – A man in Fargo is accused of a despicable act of cruelty that left an innocent kitten dead and a woman battered. Fargo police have identified Carlos Perez as the man responsible for the torturous death of a kitten and the terrorization and abuse of a woman on September 3, 2023.
The accusations against Perez are damning and the details are disturbing and difficult to comprehend. Records reveal that the violence began because Perez was angry that the woman was at work later than expected.
His anger resulted in Perez slapping the woman’s face and attempting to lock her in a closet. What Perez did to the victim’s kitten is unconscionable.
Valley News Live recounts the horrifying details:
The woman said Perez became upset when she didn’t come home at a time that he deemed appropriate, and he took a picture holding her cat on the burner of a stove. According to court documents, Perez took the same kitten into the bathroom and hit it over the head with a speaker. The kitten started to have a seizure, so he tried to choke it, according to the victim’s statements. She told officers that when Perez wasn’t able to kill the kitten, he burned the kitten’s paw with a lighter and placed it in the microwave, eventually killing it.
The victim told the authorities that Perez threw the kitten in a dumpster and warned her that it would “happen to her next.” According to the victim, Perez has assaulted her before. She told the authorities that one incident involved her being punched in the face and the other included an injury requiring stitches after she was slashed with a knife.
Perez was arrested and charged with felony counts of aggravated assault, terrorizing, and animal cruelty, as well as two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and one misdemeanor count of interference with an emergency call.
If you are appalled by Carlos Perez’s actions on September 3, please add your name to the petition today at www.animalvictory.org . This man is dangerous and must be punished for his crimes. Perez needs to be behind bars for as long as legally possible!
We the undersigned demand that Carlos Perez be held accountable for his violent behavior, resulting in injuries to a woman, and the death of an innocent kitten. We want this man to receive the maximum punishment allowable by law for each and every charge. If people who commit animal cruelty crimes are not punished, they are likely to re-offend. This petition acts as our collective endorsement for the maximum penalty allowed by law.
More than 12,500 cats – along with, based on our analysis of figures released by the USDA, almost 45,000 dogs and over 131,500 rabbits – are used in experiments in the United States every year, with many suffering and dying in cruel, unreliable tests. Even when cats (and other animals) survive an experiment, they are often killed and discarded if they are considered no longer useful to the laboratory, when they could instead be released for adoption into loving homes.
Over 4,700 cats are used in experiments known to cause pain, and some are purposely performed without pain relieving drugs. Cats may be selected for experiments because they are easy to handle and house, are inexpensive and easy to acquire. Hundreds of cats are held in laboratories but not used in experiments and even these cats may be killed if they are deemed “surplus” to the laboratory.
Now, the Companion Animal Release from Experiments [CARE] Act, championed by Californian Congressmen Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and Ken Calvert (CA-41), could ensure that cats, as well as dogs and rabbits, are put up for adoption rather than killed when no longer wanted for experiments in laboratories that receive taxpayer funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Bill was reintroduced to the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year and is currently open for lawmakers to add their names to it in support, to make legislative progress more likely.
Monica Engebretson, Cruelty Free International’s North America Head of Public Affairs, said, “The CARE Act has the potential to save hundreds of animals who are all unique individuals with personalities and a desire to live. This bill builds on what fifteen states have done by ensuring that laboratories that receive tax dollars allow survivors to be adopted into loving homes no matter what state they are in. We applaud Representatives Cárdenas and Calvert for introducing this compassionate legislation.”
People can help to advance the CARE Act by contacting their Representative and asking them to become a cosponsor of the bill to #SendSurvivorsHome. Representatives can be contacted at bit.ly/CAREAct23.
A new paper published in Frontiers of Veterinary Science revealed a concerning finding: Less than 40% of dogs in the longitudinal Golden Retriever Lifetime Study were on preventive heartworm medications at baseline. This is a troubling discovery, as heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that is preventable in dogs.
This study, funded by Morris Animal Foundation and conducted by researchers at Lincoln Memorial University, investigated what factors predict heartworm preventive medication use in the golden retrievers in the Study cohort. The team unearthed critical factors associated with a reduced likelihood of dogs being on heartworm prevention, including dogs in the highest quartile of height, sexually intact dogs and dogs receiving supplements. Conversely, dogs receiving other vaccines or diagnosed with an infectious disease or an ear, nose, or throat health condition during their health checkups in the last year were likelier to receive heartworm preventives.
Dr. Lauren Wisnieski, Associate Professor of Public Health and Research at Lincoln Memorial University and the study’s principal investigator, emphasized the scarcity of studies examining the prevalence of prophylactic use in dogs. She said this recent project is especially crucial as climate change has extended mosquito season in certain states, making year-round vigilance imperative.
Heartworm larvae are deposited onto a dog’s or cat’s skin during a mosquito bite, where they undergo maturation, sometimes for several months. Despite advances in understanding heartworm disease, including improved diagnostic tests and safer, more effective treatments, heartworm disease remains a significant health threat for pets in all 50 states.
Heartworms can grow to a foot long and cause lasting damage to the heart, lungs and other organs. While treatment is possible, it can be financially costly for the owners and often means a long recovery, if successful, for the pet.
“This data can help inform how veterinarians talk to clients,” Wisnieski said. “It can also help identify populations that have risks of nonadherence. Prevention is a cheaper alternative to the financial burden of treating heartworm disease later.”
Wisnieski said now that she and her team have preliminary data, they will work on broadening their research scope. This expansion will encompass diverse dog breeds, those given supplements, the impact of cost on preventive use and the effect of the human-animal bond.
The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for all dogs, is excited to announce that the Canine Flyball CanAm Classic will premiere on Sunday November 5th, 2023 at 3p.m. ET on ESPN2.
The nation’s largest Flyball tournament was hosted by the North American Flyball Association (NAFA) and brought the top Flyball teams from around the country and Canada together in head-to-head competition, which took place on October 20th-October 22nd, 2023, at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN.
“We are excited to share the largest Flyball tournament in the country with ESPN viewers,” said AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. “This is a chance for viewers to dive into this high-energy sport, and watch dogs and their owners doing what they love.”
Don’t miss this ultimate canine relay race that features teams of four dogs and handlers racing in multiple heats. To watch the event, tune in on November 5th at 3p.m. ET on ESPN2, the ESPN app, or check your local ESPN2 channel listings for more information. The broadcast is hosted by sportscaster Carolyn Manno, Flyball analyst Ashley Hilliker, and sideline reporter Kelly O’Donnell.
For more details on the Canine Flyball CanAm Classic, visit https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/sports/watch-flyball-canam-classic/.
The American Kennel Club (AKC®), a not-for-profit organization, the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is excited to announce its list of the most popular dog names of 2023.
“Choosing a name is a very personal and meaningful decision for dog owners, as dogs are an integral part of our families,” said AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. “People take great care in naming their pet and it’s fun to see if the name fits the dog’s personality.”
According to AKC registration statistics and Canine Partners enrollments, Luna and Max once again lead the pack as the most popular girl’s and boy’s names of 2023, respectively. Climbing the list this year for boy’s names is Charlie, which took the number two spot from Milo. Maggie rose this year to number four from number eight in 2022. Bookending the list at the bottom for girls was Stormy and Yoda for boys.
The top 10 names for 2023 were:
Forever Feed Technologies (FFT) and JR Automation (JRA) are pleased to announce a definitive agreement to design and build on-farm controlled environment feed mills for large-scale dairy and beef cattle producers. With this partnership, FFT and JRA will design and deliver custom automated systems that maximize the productivity and effectiveness of Forever Feed's water and carbon emission reduction technology, improving both farm operations and meeting a growing demand for sustainably produced high-quality animal feed.
Forever Feed Technology selected JR Automation based on their problem-solving, partnership-focused approach and advanced automation expertise, spanning multiple industries, and supported by over 2,000 highly skilled employees with manufacturing facilities world-wide.
"Speaking as both a dairy producer and co-founder of Forever Feed, partnering with JR Automation gives me the confidence that the Forever Feed Mill solution will be able to produce an uninterrupted daily supply of fresh nutritious feed for our animals, and will be robust enough to economically scale on our farm, and many others like us, who each feed thousands of dairy and beef cattle," said Jack de Jong, Chairman of Forever Feed Technologies.
With this partnership, JR Automation provides Forever Feed Technology with a unique single-source solution for complete integration of FFT technology and data information, providing greater speed, flexibility, and efficiencies; giving agricultural leaders around the world a solid and profitable path to reducing water use and greenhouse emissions.
"We have built a strong relationship with Forever Feed and look forward to delivering an integrated solution that advances the productivity and sustainability of the dairy and beef cattle sector through the FFT Feed Mill," said Dave DeGraaf, CEO of JR Automation.
"Farmers and ranchers around the world are faced with the increasingly difficult dilemma of feeding their animals with water-saving and carbon reducing technology," said Steve Lindsley, CEO of Forever Feed Technologies. "Working side by side with JRA allows FFT to rapidly deploy our systems here in the U.S. and prepares us to deliver our patent pending climate-tech solutions around the world."
The agreement with JR Automation includes building the first production ready FFT Feed Mill on the River Ranch Dairy in Hanford, CA in 2024.
A Maryland man has died after receiving the world's second genetically-modified pig-heart transplant, the University of Maryland Medical Center said Tuesday.
Lawrence Faucette, 58, was a U.S. Navy veteran from Frederick, Maryland. He was dying from heart failure and ineligible for a traditional heart transplant when UMMC doctors offered the highly experimental surgery.
Faucetete told WJZ that his decision to participate in the experimental surgery was rooted in his love for his family.
"I will fight tooth and nail for every breath I can take so I can stay with them longer, but realistically this is still an early-stage learning process and I have to be ready to accept any outcome we end up with," he said.
"We mourn the loss of Mr. Faucette, a remarkable patient, scientist, Navy veteran, and family man who just wanted a little more time to spend with his loving wife, sons, and family," Bartley Griffith, the Cardiothoracic surgeon who performed the transplant on Faucette said.
Faucette received the transplant on September 20, meaning he survived for nearly six weeks after the procedure.
Earlier this month, UMMC said Faucette was working hard to recover from the surgery, doing physical therapy, and working on regaining his ability to walk.
"Mr. Faucette had made significant progress after his surgery, engaging in physical therapy, spending time with family members, and playing cards with his wife, Ann. In recent days, his heart began to show initial signs of rejection – the most significant challenge with traditional transplants involving human organs as well," UMMC said. "Despite the medical team's greatest efforts, Mr. Faucette ultimately succumbed on October 30."
UMMC surgeons performed the world's first transplant of a heart from a genetically altered pig into another dying man last year.
Lessons from that first experiment led to changes before this second try, including better virus testing.
As we mark Canine Cancer Awareness Month in November, a newly launched website, Hemangio.com, is set to revolutionize the way pet owners approach and understand hemangiosarcoma, a prevalent and aggressive form of cancer in dogs. Backed by the Canine Cancer Foundation, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to canine cancer research, this online platform aims to empower pet owners with knowledge, resources, and support when faced with a hemangiosarcoma diagnosis.
Hemangiosarcoma is a formidable challenge, affecting a significant number of dogs, often with dire consequences. Through Hemangio.com, pet owners will find a wealth of valuable information, including articles, clinical studies, videos, and clinical trials, all focused on hemangiosarcoma. The goal is to provide clarity and hope, even in the face of such a daunting disease.
Key features of Hemangio.com include:
· Comprehensive Information: Hemangio.com offers an extensive collection of articles, studies, and videos. These resources aim to provide a deeper understanding of hemangiosarcoma, its origins, characteristics, and the latest research and treatments available.
· Clinical Trials Database: A valuable database of clinical trials for hemangiosarcoma is available for pet owners seeking innovative treatments for their furry family members. This resource highlights potential opportunities for participating in groundbreaking studies.
· Pet Owner Resources: Hemangio.com provides guidance on how pet owners can navigate the challenging journey of a hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. This includes detailed information, support networks, financial aid resources, and a dedicated patient navigator service.
· Collaboration Opportunities: Hemangio.com encourages collaboration with veterinary professionals, offering a section specifically for their informational needs. This section includes articles, studies, videos, and clinical trials tailored to veterinarians.
“Launching Hemangio.com was a deeply personal endeavor. My own beloved dog's battle with hemangiosarcoma inspired me to create a platform that would provide pet owners with the knowledge, resources, and support needed to navigate the challenging journey of this disease,” said Jason Redlus, Founder of Canine Cancer Foundation. “We want to turn the tide against hemangiosarcoma by supporting research and offering hope, information, and a sense of community. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against this formidable adversary.”
Hemangio.com aspires to not only inform and educate but to create a community of support and hope for pet owners facing the challenges of hemangiosarcoma. The website’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate through its wealth of resources, providing a one-stop platform for all things related to hemangiosarcoma in dogs. The Canine Cancer Foundation, Inc. is proud to present Hemangio.com to the world, dedicated to improving the lives of dogs and their loving owners. Visit Hemangio.com to discover its invaluable resources and join a community of individuals determined to make a difference in the fight against hemangiosarcoma.
New Michigan State University research details how the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive forest pest native to Asia, is jeopardizing the entire U.S. and Canadian native range of black ash trees. The finding is particularly troubling because the trees are of cultural importance to Indigenous and First Nations groups.
Research results were published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The effort was co-led by Nathan Siegert, forest entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, and Deborah McCullough, professor in the MSU departments of Entomology and Forestry. The USDA Forest Service provided funding for the project.
Additional authors include:
- Thomas Luther, GIS analyst with the USDA Forest Service.
- Susan Crocker, research forester with the USDA Forest Service.
- Les Benedict, assistant director of the Environment Division with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.
- Kelly Church, fifth-generation black ash basket maker with the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Tribe.
- John Banks, retired director of natural resources with the Penobscot Nation.
EAB was first discovered in southeast Michigan and southern Ontario in 2002. Since then, researchers say it has become the most devastating forest insect to invade North America. McCullough is one of the world’s foremost experts on the pest and has studied its effects on ash forests for more than two decades.
“Adult beetles nibble on ash leaves but cause little damage. Larval feeding beneath the bark, however, is the real problem,” she said. “This invader pest has already killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in the U.S. and Canada, which is a problem ecologically and economically, of course. But black ash is unique. It usually grows in swampy or boggy forests, where few other trees can survive. It is also a highly valued cultural resource for many Indigenous tribes in the eastern U.S. and Canada that have used black ash trees for generations for basket making and other purposes.”
Female EAB beetles lay eggs on the bark of ash trees during the summer. Eggs hatch within two weeks and the larvae — the immature grub-like stage — burrow through the bark. Larvae feed in tunnels called galleries on the inner bark, damaging the ability of the tree to transport nutrients and water. Large limbs, and eventually the entire tree, die. Black ash is more vulnerable to EAB than any other ash species in North America or Asia. Studies at MSU have shown beetles strongly prefer to feed and lay eggs on black ash compared with other ash species, and black ash trees die at lower larval densities than other ash trees of the same size.
Scientists have found that dead or dying black ash trees rarely produce viable stump or root sprouts, and endemic EAB populations and competition from other trees renders the survival potential of black ash saplings and seedlings in the region questionable.
For this project, researchers used EAB distribution and spread in the U.S. and Canada from 2002 to 2020 to predict future expansion. Two different scenarios were modeled: one that assumed EAB would continue to spread at the same rate observed from 2002 to 2020, and another factoring in management that would reduce annual spread by half.
As of 2020, EAB had invaded nearly 60% of the native range of black ash, spreading at roughly 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) per year. Based on projected expansion, McCullough and her colleagues estimate that more than 75% of black ash basal area — used by scientists to describe the density and size of trees in a given area — will be lost across 87% of the species’ range by 2035 under both scenarios. By 2040, EAB will likely have killed all or nearly all overstory black ash across its native range.
For the Indigenous groups that use black ash for traditional basket making, tremendous urgency is needed to address the problem. To gain a greater understanding of the possible cultural effects, researchers identified Indigenous groups located within the black ash’s range and used U.S. census data to quantify Native populations in the affected area. They found that 98% of the Indigenous people in the black ash native range will experience the loss of at least 75% of basal area by 2035.
“Black ash basket making traditions have been practiced since before this country existed,” said Church, a nationally renowned basket maker. “Educating the public about EAB and the potential for invasive pests like this, as well as collecting seed from live black ash and other native ash species, and replanting a variety of native trees, will be needed to help ensure we have healthy trees for future generations.”
Current methods to combat the dispersal of the insect have been largely unsuccessful, but McCullough said there is hope. Effective insecticides that are injected into the base of trees are available and can protect trees from EAB for three years. These injections can be coupled with girdling — killing the tree without felling it. Girdled trees act as traps in that they attract EAB adults to the treated trees, ideally reducing the growth of the EAB population in the area.
Public outreach efforts have led to fewer people transporting firewood, McCullough said, but EAB will continue to spread due to mature female beetles who can fly substantial distances. Biological control releases — native parasitoids from Asia distributed in areas of North America — have occurred in numerous locations, but the acceptance of this practice varies across cultures and the efficacy has been tenuous.
Indigenous groups are employing a strategy to protect harvested black ash logs from EAB, other insects and decay by submerging them in water. The characteristics required for basket making are retained with this practice. “Black ash is extremely vulnerable to EAB, more so than any other ash species,” McCullough said. “Our results show that over the next 20 to 25 years, the invasion will encompass virtually the entire native range of black ash in North America. It’s going to take a collaborative effort among scientists, Indigenous experts and resource managers to preserve black ash resources as best we can.”
Vetigenics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company advancing antibody-based therapies for pets, announces that the first canine patient with stage 4 oral melanoma has received his first dose of Vetigenics' fully canine anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody (VGS-001) following standard of care radiation therapy.
The anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody is derived from Vetigenics' proprietary fully canine single chain variable fragment phage display library, created by Vetigenics co-founder Don Siegel, PhD, MD. It is being combined with focal radiation therapy in a protocol that aims to take advantage of the immunogenic effects of radiation combined with the immune-activating effects of the antibody. This combination has shown success in mouse models and in human cancer patients and sees Vetigenics well-positioned to bring veterinary cancer immunotherapies in line with human approaches.
The trial is fully funded by the National Cancer Institute and is being performed at North Carolina State Veterinary Hospital (principal investigator: Michael Nolan, DVM, PhD, DACVR) and University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center (principal investigator: Jeffrey Bryan, DVM, PhD, DACVIM). It aims to determine the tolerability and effect of the anti-CTLA4 antibody on the patient's immune response and whether it can control primary and metastatic disease.
A second clinical trial has recently opened that will determine the effects of Vetigenics' second fully canine checkpoint inhibitor, anti-canine PD1 (VGS-002), in dogs with urothelial carcinoma (bladder cancer). This trial is being conducted in partnership with Ethos Veterinary Health and is funded by a grant from the V Foundation and the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. Vetigenics is providing VGS-002 for the study, which aims to determine tolerability and pharmacodynamic effects as well as identify correlative biomarkers of clinical response in pet dogs with urothelial carcinoma.
Dogs participating in this study will be evaluated and receive treatment at Colorado Animal Specialty & Emergency in Boulder, Colorado (principal investigator: Annie Galloway, DVM, MS, DACVIM), or Veterinary Specialty Hospital – North County in San Marcos, California (principal investigator: Chris Thomson, DVM, DACVS).
"These therapies have the potential to transform the way veterinary oncologists treat cancer and the outcomes of their cancer patients. Vetigenics' monoclonal antibodies offer new hope for families dealing with their pet's diagnosis and treatment," said Vetigenics co-founder Nicola Mason, BVetMed, PhD, DACVIM, MRCVS. "The principal researchers at each site are second to none in their field, and I'm honored to be working together with such esteemed colleagues to make a difference for our canine companions."
"We are thrilled that we've been able to advance these products into pet dogs in a focused, efficient, and cost-effective manner," said Adriann Sax, president, CEO and co-founder of Vetigenics. "By maintaining our dedication to the mission and collaborating closely with the veterinary cancer community and National Cancer Institute, we've reached two key milestones in bringing these novel therapies into the canine cancer clinic."
Despite “news” to the contrary, Matthew Perry’s Friends co-star, Lisa Kudrow, is not taking in his orphaned dog. As reported by People, it is not because Kudrow doesn’t want to help, it is because Perry did not have a dog at the time of his sudden passing.
The confusion about Perry having a dog may have stemmed from a Doodle mix named Alfred who he owned with his ex-fiancée Molly Hurwitz. The couple split in 2021 and Hurwitz kept their pooch, posting photos of the dog to her Instagram account. Just last month she wrote:
“Alfred is three. He is very annoying a lot of the time, but he is truly the most loving potato. He entered my life during some dark depression, and he helped get me far away from that.”
Perry’s unexpected death on Saturday rocked his fans and those who knew and loved him. Perry struggled with addiction for years, but he was finally living a life free from drugs and alcohol, and many who knew him said that he was happy, and in a good place.
The medical examiner has completed the autopsy, but the results have not been released yet.
Asheboro, NC – On October 25, a polar bear named Payton died unexpectedly during a transfer from the North Carolina Zoo to the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky. According to a release from the North Carolina Zoo, Payton was being transferred to the Louisville Zoo as part of a polar bear breeding partnership. According to the release, Payton was accompanied by an experienced care team that performed regular checks during the journey. When they were less than two hours away from the North Carolina Zoo, the team found Payton non-responsive. Payton was immediately transferred to a large animal veterinarian who confirmed that he had passed away.
Payton’s body was transferred back to the North Carolina Zoo for a necropsy to help determine his cause of death. According to Dr. Jb Minter, the Zoo’s Director of Animal Health, “The necropsy indicated some evidence of cardiac disease, a tumor on his adrenal gland as well as some moderate osteoarthritis in keeping with his advanced age. Tissue samples will be sent to outside laboratories for further testing to help determine the cause of his death.”
Polar bear keeper Melissa Vindigni reminisced about the bear who had been at the zoo since January 2021,
“He was the best boy bear. His trust was worth the effort to earn and it was a privilege and honor to have earned that. He loved training and interacting with his keepers and vet techs and his trust in us really shined with his willingness to work with us on his own health care. I learned so much from him and I was blessed to work with him. I will never forget the things he taught me.”
Zoo staff is devastated by Payton’s death and grief counselors have been called to the site to assist. Rest in peace Payton.
Arcadia, CA – On Tuesday morning, a top racehorse dropped dead during a training run at Santa Anita Park. Practical Move, the Santa Anita Derby winner, was returning from a morning gallop, and suffered an “apparent cardiac event.”
Though the horse was promptly attended to by veterinary staff, he could not be saved. His rider was not injured in the fall. Just three days ago, Geaux Rocket Ride suffered a “career-ending” injury to his front leg while training at Santa Anita. On Monday morning, his owner Tweeted an update following the horse’s surgery:
“Rocket is having an unexpected response to the surgery and isn’t recovering as we hoped. He appears to be in no pain and is eating. Our boy is still fighting hard so we will keep fighting for him. Under Dr. (Ryan) Carpenter’s recommendation, he is moving to another facility better equipped to handle his post-op recovery.”
The Santa Anita Track has faced harsh criticism for the number of catastrophic horse injuries that have happened there. Track officials claim that Santa Anita is the safest track in North America. Last year, 12 horses died at the track, and a staggering 42 horses died there in 2019.
Farm Sanctuary is proud to announce that its strong financial health and ongoing accountability and transparency has earned a Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator. This rating designates Farm Sanctuary as an official “Give with Confidence” charity, indicating that our organization is using its donations effectively based on Charity Navigator’s criteria. Charity Navigator is America’s largest and most-utilized independent charity evaluator. Since 2001, the organization has been an unbiased and trusted source of information for more than 11 million donors annually.
Charity Navigator analyzes nonprofit performance based on four key indicators, referred to as beacons. Currently, nonprofits can earn scores for the Impact & Results, Accountability & Finance, Culture & Community, and Leadership & Adaptability beacons. “We are delighted to provide Farm Sanctuary with third-party accreditation that validates their operational excellence,” said Michael Thatcher, President and CEO of Charity Navigator. “The Four-Star Rating is the highest possible rating an organization can achieve. We are eager to see the good work that Farm Sanctuary is able to accomplish in the years ahead.”
“Our Four-Star Charity Navigator rating is very gratifying, and it demonstrates that our supporters can trust our commitment to good governance and financial health,” said Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur. “We hope that this will introduce our work to new supporters who share our concerns about the disastrous effects of industrial animal agriculture and who want to invest in our rescue, education, and advocacy efforts to benefit animals, people, and the planet.” Farm Sanctuary’s annual Adopt a Turkey campaign, currently in its 37th year, recently kicked off amid a reemergence of deadly bird flu that has already killed millions of turkeys on industrial farms across the country. Farm Sanctuary’s rating and other information about charitable giving are available free of charge on charitynavigator.org.
Glacier Bay, Alaska – This month, a humpback whale “hog-tied” in a crab pot and ropes was rescued by wildlife officials in Alaska. According to the National Park Service, the report about a whale who “was trailing two buoys, making unusual sounds and having trouble moving freely,” was received on October 10.
By the time the whale’s predicament was discovered, several days had passed and it was clear that time was of the essence to save its life. The rescuers had insight about the day the whale got tangled, and the specifics of what it was tangled in because they were able to make contact with the owner of the gear.
According to the release, the whale was carrying a 300-pound crab pot with 450 feet of heavy-duty line causing its body to curve.
Dr. Fred Sharpe, a highly skilled whale disentanglement expert from the Alaska Whale Foundation, flew to the area and joined the rescue team as they set out to free the whale from the ropes.
With the help of drones and a seaplane, the whale was spotted near Pleasant Island. The release recounted situation:
The whale still had limited mobility and was swimming in clockwise circles. It was making 7-9 minute dives and was at the surface for only about 30 seconds. The footage from the drone soon revealed why. The whale had a loop of line through its mouth that led to a large, heavy glob of tangled lines at its tail. In effect, the whale was hog-tied, its body bent sharply to the side as it swam in a predictable clockwise circle each time it came up.
Using an inflatable boat, the team carefully approached the whale and used a specially designed knife mounted on a very long pole to cut the ropes. The situation was said to be “challenging.”
It took all day to free the whale from the ropes and pot, but finally, the team was met with success. The park service writes:
The whale’s life was no longer threatened by the entanglement and it was free to move! In fact, after the team made the last cut, the whale disappeared, which the team took as a good sign that it was no longer hampered by the lines and could rapidly swim away.
With the help of photos, experts later identified the whale as SEAK-5490, a 3-4-year-old juvenile whale.
If you see a stranded, injured, entangled or dead marine mammal in Alaska, immediately call the statewide 24-hour stranding hotline at 877-925-7773 or call the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF channel 16.
A scientific analysis published in Veterinary and Comparative Oncology using Golden Retriever Lifetime Study data notes a potential correlation between canine sterilization and hemangiosarcoma development. This startling finding has been previously suggested by experts but still is poorly understood.
The authors note that the likelihood of diagnosing hemangiosarcoma appears consistently low across all sexes and neutering statuses until about eight years of age. Beyond this point, intact and neutered male dogs face a similar risk of contracting the disease. Interestingly, the probability of diagnosis for intact females consistently remains lower than any other sex/neutering status. Meanwhile, the likelihood of diagnosis in spayed females increases.
Hemangiosarcoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study cohort. It is a particularly deadly cancer, with roughly 90% of dogs dead within one year of diagnosis. Few dogs survive longer than two years, even with aggressive therapy.
Dr. Alison Hillman, a researcher involved in the study and a Senior Epidemiology Consultant at Ausvet, emphasized the need for further exploration into the potential correlation between canine cancer and sterilization, urging the inclusion of more data from older dogs. Furthermore, she added that continued analysis honing in on the link between hemangiosarcoma and sterilization will provide more insight into potential causative factors.
“This information may also be of value in the context of translational research, as hemangiosarcoma is rare in humans and thus difficult to study,” Hillman said. “Lessons learned through research in dogs may inform prioritization of investigations in humans, given the similarity between dogs and humans regarding the clinical and pathological features of this tumor, and the relative similarity in genetics between the two species as compared to, for example, mice and humans.”
“Thanks to the availability of data from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study through Morris Animal Foundation’s Data Commons, analyses like these are possible,” said Kathy Tietje, the Foundation’s Chief Program Officer, who was also involved in the project.
“This analysis serves as a fundamental research tool, with potential for further use by other scientists to generate hypotheses and design their own studies,” she added. “It also underscores the immense value of the Study’s resources for scientists actively engaged in this field.”
After receiving rehabilitation for several weeks at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, three sea turtles have been successfully released this week, following the release of another turtle earlier this month.
Sparkler was released at Fred Howard Park. Toast and Loaf were released by University of Florida Marine Animal Rescue biologists in Homosassa.
Sparkler is a juvenile, green sea turtle who was found floating offshore of Hudson on July 4. Sparkler had a severe fibropapilloma tumor on their left front flipper and minor tumors on both eyes. Those tumors were successfully removed surgically. The tumor on the left front flipper ended up weighing 0.77 pounds. Once Sparkler’s surgical sites healed, they were cleared for release by CMA staff veterinarian and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Loaf is a juvenile, Kemp’s ridley turtle who was accidentally caught by a fisherman in Spring Hill in Hernando County on Aug. 3. Radiographs at intake showed Loaf had ingested two fish hooks and both were deep in the esophagus. Due to the location of these hooks, surgery was needed to successfully remove them. Once Loaf’s surgical site healed, Loaf was cleared for release by CMA staff veterinarian and FWC.
Toast is a large, juvenile, green sea turtle who was found out of habitat in a wooded area in Dixie County on Oct. 9, possibly relocated due to Hurricane Idalia. Toast had no obvious external injuries or abnormalities and was in good body condition. All diagnostics showed that Toast was otherwise healthy and was cleared for release by CMA staff veterinarian and FWC.
In addition, earlier this month Rye, a juvenile Kemp’s ridley, was also released at Fred Howard Park, close to where they were found in the Spring Hill, Florida area.