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Blog: JoAnna Lou
When 2 Becomes 255
A Michigan man hoards his multiplying Chihuahuas through life and death.
Three weeks ago, Michigan police discovered hundreds of Chihuahuas living in a house covered in urine and feces with garbage piled up to the ceiling. The operation quickly turned into a multi-day rescue that uncovered 105 Chihuahuas, and even more shocking, 150 dogs in freezers who had passed away. The man who lived in the house, Kenneth Lang, Jr., is now in psychiatric care. Criminal charges are...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Tax Break for Pets
Rep. McCotter introduces HAPPY to encourage responsible pet care.
Earlier this month, Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter introduced HR3501, a bill more commonly referred to as HAPPY, the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years Act. The new bill proposes a change to U.S. Tax Code that would allow pet care up to $3,500 to be tax deductable. Qualifying expenses include veterinary care, but won’t include the cost to acquire a new pet. The deduction is...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Fighting for a Rightful Piece of the Trust
Animal welfare organizations contest how Leona Helmsley’s estate has been allocated.
This week, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Maddie’s Fund, filed a petition arguing that Leona Helmsley’s trustees disregarded her wishes to use her multibillion-dollar estate to help dogs. In February, a judge ruled in the trustees’ favor, allowing them to have sole discretionary power to decide which charities would...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Surf’s Up
Canines ride the waves in San Diego for a good cause.
After writing last week about pet friendly cities, I started reading more about San Diego’s Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. The annual event invites both humane and canine surfers to Del Mar’s dog beach to raise money for the Helen Woodward Animal Center and to promote responsible pet ownership. The participants raise money for homeless animals based on the number of waves they catch in 30 minutes. The...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Top Cities for Dogs
MSNBC publishes their list of pet-friendly destinations.
I’m always on the hunt for dog-friendly destinations. This week MSNBC published their Top 10 Pet Friendly Cities of 2009, giving me many new trip ideas. I was excited to see that my own hometown of New York made the list, mandating a staycation perhaps! New York was joined by San Diego, Chicago, Seattle, Alexandria, Portland, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles and Boston. These cities were...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
The Familiar Sounds of Barking
Study finds that we’re born with a natural ability to understand dogs.
An important part of being a dog lover is learning to understand canine body language. Personally, I attribute my knowledge to my pups, a perfect teaching team. But it turns out that we may be born understanding more than we think.  A new study published in the July issue of Developmental Psychology found that 6-month-old babies could match the sound of an aggressive bark with a picture of an...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Replicating Superstar Working Dogs
Korean Customs Service clones drug-sniffing canines.
The Korean Customs Service has long bred and trained their own drug sniffing canines to work at airports throughout the country, but it has proved to be a costly endeavor. Typically only 10-15 percent of puppies even pass the behavior test just to qualify to begin training. Of those dogs, only 30 percent graduate from the program, an investment of over $40,000 per pup, an expensive operation that...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Neutering Dogs with Shoes
ZAPP sells footwear on eBay to help strays in Mexico.
I’m never one to miss a shoe sale and recently I discovered footwear bargains that help out a great cause. In San Felipe, Mexico, 92 percent of the area’s animals live on the street. For years, euthanasia by electrocution has been the method of choice to control the overwhelming population of 15,000-20,000 stray dogs. Realizing that euthanasia would not solve the root of the overpopulation...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Animal Health Is A Booming Business
Pharmaceutical companies vie for a piece of the growing animal health industry.
For years animal health was a mere afterthought to pharmaceutical companies. Now with slowing growth in the human health field, and the proliferation of generic drugs, these companies are looking to animal health to diversify. The sector’s predictable cash flow, high margins and brand loyalty have made animal health a much more stable business than human pharmaceuticals.  Merck and Pfizer’s...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
A New Kind of Service Dog
Puppies Behind Bars trains canines for veterans with Port Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The Wall Street Journal isn’t exactly my go-to place for dog news, but while reading the financial newspaper this month, I discovered an amazing program. Puppies Behind Bars has been working with prison inmates to raise guide dogs since 1997. Three years ago they launched Dog Tags, a program that provides service dogs to injured veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The trained dogs...

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