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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Three Genes Behind the Canine Coat
Scientists identify the genetic variants that influence dog hair.
From the Puli’s cords to the Poodle’s curls, the canine’s array of coats makes them one of the most diverse species in the world. Until now, little was known about the genetics behind their fur. Recently, a team of researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) studied 1,000 dogs representing 80 breeds and identified three genetic variants that account for all dog hair types...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
iPhone Amber Alert for Lost Pets
New app creates a wireless community for bringing missing animals home.
Lately several people I know from the local agility community have had a beloved pet go missing. Fortunately all of the lost pups were found quickly, but it’s a heartbreaking experience, even if just for a few hours. For years standard protocol has been to call local animal shelters and post flyers around the neighborhood. More recently, technology has allowed us to cast a larger net by sending...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Boy or Girl?
Study finds that men and women differ on the perfect dog.
In the world of dog sports, I’ve often heard people say that men work better with female dogs and women work better with male dogs. That statement has yet to be proven, but a study by Monash University has begun to research how gender effects how we choose our furry friends.  According to their study of 877 Australian dog lovers, women prefer male dogs and vice versa. Researchers also found that...
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...

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