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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Developing Superior Noses
UPenn to find out what makes up a superstar sniffer dog
Working canines use their amazing noses to help us do everything from finding explosives to detecting cancer. Raising and training these dogs takes a lot of time and money, so people are always looking for ways to increase the likelihood of successful dogs. In Korea, the Customs Service started cloning star drug detection dogs due to their costly breeding program. Only 10-15 percent of puppies...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Pets Poisoned in New York
Four dogs died in a two-day span after walking in the park
My Sheltie, Nemo, is always on the hunt for a snack, so I’m always worried that he’ll eat something bad. I take all sorts of precautions, like checking hotel room floors for abandoned medication and watching Nemo like a hawk when we’re on walks. But it’s impossible to see everything that goes into his mouth. When I lived in Manhattan, I was always worried about rat poison left to control the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
New Regulations for Pet Stores
N.Y. signs a law protecting doggies in the window
The journey began almost ten years ago in Long Island, N.Y. with a story that’s sadly all too common. When Lorianne LaMarca-Pegano visited a pet store in 2003, she fell in love with a Brussels Griffon that she brought home and named Charlemagne. Within six months, the poor pup was diagnosed with parasites, a corneal ulcer, and eventually kidney disease, high blood pressure, and a heart murmur. By...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
N.Y. Hero Named K-9 of the Year
SAR dog ignores his handler in order to save a missing man
A New York police dog was named K-9 of the Year on Saturday by the Suffolk County SPCA. Last week, Chase, a 4-year old German Shepherd, located a missing Long Island man after unfruitful efforts by human rescuers. Jerome Nadler, a 76-year old doctor and Vietnam War veteran, disappeared on Labor Day after going fly-fishing. Rescuers used divers, off-road vehicles, and a helicopter in an...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dog Parking at Ikea
The trendy home store creates a hangout area for pets
Since I spend so much time at work during the week, I like to take my dogs shopping on the weekends, when it makes sense. They love meeting new people, so it’s fun for them to come along. Stores also make great places to socialize friendly puppies after they’re housebroken. Now that most American families have a pet, companies are starting to realize the importance of being pet friendly. I’ve...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Post-Katrina Overpopulation Problem
New Orleans is still struggling to recover from the destruction
Hurricane Issac's recent flooding and destruction brought back painful memories of Katrina. Thankfully, this time changes were implemented to keep families and pets together. Animals were brought to a local church (and then to a shelter up North when the church flooded) to ride out Issac until they could be reunited with their families. The new rescue programs aren't perfect, but they're a big...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Custody Over Abandoned Pup
Hiker wants dog back after leaving her behind to die
Earlier this month, Scott and Amanda Washburn were in Colorado hiking 13,500 feet above sea level when they found an injured German Shepherd. They tried to coax the poor pup out of the nook she was in, but her paws were completely raw and she was too weak to move. Unfortunately the injured dog weighed 100 pounds and was too heavy to carry down the mountain. So the Washburns used their first aid...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Studying Canine and Human Genomes
New article sheds light on dogs in health research.
Earlier this month, genetics researcher Elaine Ostrander published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine to highlight the strides scientists are making in human disease research thanks to their work with canines. The best part is that dogs are also benefiting in the process. Scientists have sequenced both the human and canine genomes, which makes it possible to compare genes between...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Fulfilling a Canine Bucket List
Boy seeks treats for his dying service dog
When eleven-year old Cole Hein found out that his Jack Russell Terrier had only weeks to live, he created the “Lick It List,” a canine bucket list to honor his pup Bingo. For five years, Bingo has been taking care of Cole, who has a medical condition that can stop his breathing. The thirteen-year old dog is trained to alert adults if the boy needs CPR. In the first six months the two were...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dangerous Snack Bags
Penn. pup suffocates from a potato chip bag
It’s well known that plastic bags pose a suffocation risk for both children and pets. Most packaging carries a warning as a reminder. However, I never considered that snack bags could also be dangerous.  Last month a Pennsylvania family came home to a heartbreaking scene. The Elwoods knew something was wrong when their 4-year old Pit Bull didn’t greet them at the door. Amid trash scattered...

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