Sunday, January 31, 2010

Even The Comedians And Entertainers Come Out To Help The Dogs

A group of comedians and entertainers came out to help the local shelters in Las Vegas with a fundraiser called Funny Bones that was held at the Palms Casino Resort.

What a great thing to do for the local shelters: Golden Retriever Rescue Southern Nevada, the Las Vegas Basset Rescue and the Las Vegas Weimaraner Club & Rescue.
There was Sammy Shore, Bobby Slatton and George Wallace and featured Rich Little, Louie Anderson, Lance Burton, Vinnie Favorito, Frankie Scinta, Jeff Hobson, Rick Faugno, Manny Olivera, Pam Matteson, Kathleen Dunbar, Pete Barbutti and Music of The Tommy Deering Duo.

Well, We like to Thank all the people that help put this together to help our buddies be save while they wait for a new home.

Read the article here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

USA Network & Westminster Brings Everyone's Best Friend Back to Madison Square Garden

Best in Show to be Crowned at 134th WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW Presented by Pedigree®, Live on USA Network February 15 and 16 at 8/7c

MSNBC's Tamron Hall Replaces Mario Lopez as Co-Host

USA Network announced today that MSNBC's Tamron Hall will replace Mario Lopez as the co-host of the 134th WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW, presented by Pedigree. Hall will be co-hosting the event with David Frei in his 21st consecutive year with the show. Also joining the team again this year will be NBC Sports' Tiffany Simons as a sideline reporter. On Monday, February 15, USA will air the first hour of the show at 8pm and will then switch over to CNBC for the 9-11pm ET/PT portion of the broadcast. On Tuesday, February 16, USA will air all three hours, including the crowning of the 2010 Best in Show, from 8-11pm ET/PT.

Lopez, who is stepping down, explains, "It saddens me to say I will not be able to co-host this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show, due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts. I wish Tamron, David and all the dogs the best of luck. I will be cheering you all on from LA."

"I've been a dog lover my entire life," says Hall. "I currently have two furry 'best friends' in my family, and I can't wait for the show. I'm honored to be given the opportunity to join this team."

Hall anchors MSNBC Live weekday mornings and co-anchors weekday afternoons from 3-4pm ET. Hall can also be seen on NBC News as a fill-in correspondent and newsreader for "The Today Show" and "Weekend Today." In addition, Hall served as co-host of a 2009 "Dateline" series titled "You Might Be Rich." Prior to joining MSNBC in July 2007, Hall spent 10 years at WFLD in Chicago, where she held a number of positions including general assignment reporter, consumer reporter, and most recently, host of the three-hour "Fox News in the Morning" program. She also anchored the weekday mornings and served as a noon anchor. While at WFLD, Hall covered several breaking news stories including one of Amtrak's most devastating accidents in Illinois, and she secured a one-on-one interview with then-Sen. Barack Obama shortly before he announced his run for the presidency. Hall was nominated for an Emmy for her consumer report segment, "The Bottom Line," which she launched in 1999. Before joining WFLD, Hall spent four years as a general assignment reporter at KTVT in Dallas. She began her broadcasting career at KBTX in Bryan, Texas, as a general assignment reporter.

This year also introduces three newly recognized breeds to the main event. The Irish Red and White Setter joins the Sporting Group; the Norwegian Buhund and the Pyrenean Shepherd debut in the Herding Group. Despite its name, the Irish Red and White Setter is a distinct breed, not just a different colored version of the Irish Setter. Bred primarily for the field, they are strong, powerful and athletic, with a keen and intelligent attitude. Once the cherished companion of Vikings, the Norwegian Buhund is a versatile farm dog from Norway that herds livestock, guards property and has been used for hunting game. The Pyrenean Shepherd is also known by its French name, Berger des Pyrenees, but fanciers of the breed in America often shorten his name to "Pyr shep."

Entries for the 2010 show totals 2,500 dogs, representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and at least eight foreign countries. The largest entries hail from California (251) and New York (224).

The highest breed entered this year came from the Australian Shepherds with 44; other large entries include Rhodesian Ridgebacks (43), Labrador Retrievers (42), Golden Retrievers (40), Pugs (36), French Bulldogs (36) and German Shorthaired Pointers (36).

There are also 120 entries in Junior Showmanship, where young handlers ages 9-18 compete based only on their handling abilities with their dogs.

This year's Best in Show will be judged by Mr. Elliott Weiss of Eagle, Idaho. He heads a panel of 41 judges from 18 states.

The Westminster Kennel Club is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. Established in 1877, Westminster's influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all breed, benched dog show held every year at New York's Madison Square Garden. The show is America's second longest continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby. For additional information, log on to

USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in over 98.5 million U.S. homes. A division of NBC Universal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, acquired television series and entertainment events. The award-winning USA website is located at Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

Nutro Donates To Haiti Disaster Efforts

The Nutro Company Makes Donation to Search Dog Foundation in Response to Haiti Disaster Efforts

$50,000 Donation Builds on Existing Relationship

As search and rescue teams return home from Haiti this week, The Nutro Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, today announced a $50,000 donation to the Search Dog Foundation (SDF). SDF is a California-based organization that deployed six canine disaster search teams to assist in the search and rescue operations in Haiti. SDF's search team efforts have been the most successful deployment in the organization's 14 year history with a total of 10 individuals discovered and pulled out alive from the debris.

"We have all seen the tragic images from Haiti, interspersed with moments of hope when survivors were pulled from the wreckage," stated David Ansell, President of The Nutro Company. "For over ten years, we have supported the Search Dog Foundation and have watched their teams work tirelessly to save the lives of people in the midst of a disaster. We are honored to be able to support their mission."

Today's donation builds on the exclusive three-year partnership between the SDF and NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® dog food. The NATURAL CHOICE® brand is the official dog food sponsor of the SDF and since 2008, The Nutro Company has made significant monetary and in-kind donations to the organization. The relationship stretches back to 1998, when The Nutro Company began providing vouchers for NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® dog food.

"We are grateful to The Nutro Company and the NATURAL CHOICE® brand for their continued support of the Search Dog Foundation," stated David Kaplan, President of Search Dog USA. "Our dogs perform miracles in extremely difficult circumstances, and the assistance we get from The Nutro Company – including the actual food we feed our dogs on the ground – help them do that."

SDF is a non-profit based in Ojai, CA that produces canine disaster search teams trained to find victims buried alive after events such as the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina and now the earthquake in Haiti. The teams who participate in the relief efforts are instrumental in rescuing numerous individuals from the rubble of collapsed structures. Anyone interested in contributing to the Search Dog Foundation can visit their website at

In total, the various business segments of Mars, Incorporated have donated $475,000 to the disaster relief and recovery efforts in Haiti, in both monetary and in-kind contributions. In addition, The Nutro Company will be matching associate donations to SDF 100 percent. Additional aid is planned as on-going needs develop.

About The Nutro Company

The Nutro Company is a leading manufacturer of natural pet food products sold exclusively at pet specialty stores. The company has been making "The World's Best Pet Food" for more than 80 years and is dedicated to quality, excellence and innovation in dog and cat nutrition offering healthful formulas for every pet's life stage, activity level and size. The Nutro Company's family of brands includes MAX®, NATURAL CHOICE® and ULTRA™ dog and cat food brands in addition to the GREENIES® brands, which include the #1 vet recommended pet specialty dental chews* and PILL POCKETS® treats. For more information, please visit and

*among veterinarians that recommend dental chews for at home oral care

About Search Dog Foundation

The Search Dog Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen America's emergency response network by producing the most highly-trained canine-firefighter disaster search teams in the nation. SDF recruits rescued dogs and partners them with firefighters, providing the canines and the training at no cost to their departments. SDF receives no government funding and relies solely on support from individuals, private foundations and companies to produce these highly-skilled teams.

Since its founding in 1996, SDF has rescued hundreds of dogs, many on the brink of euthanasia. They have trained 105 Search Teams, 72 of which are currently active. SDF Teams have been deployed to 66 disasters including the World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina and state and local emergencies such as earthquakes, mudslides, building collapses, train derailments and missing person searches. Eight of SDF's teams are members of CA-TF2 and are ready at all times for immediate deployment overseas when called upon by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

Maureen Dempsey
Nutro Products

Erin Burg Edelman, on behalf of Nutro Products

®/™ Trademarks © The Nutro Company 2010

It's Sad When Shelters Gets Too Over Whelmed

A Shelter called Pitstop Puppy’s Inc in Wheatfield, NY has become another failed animal shelter that started off as trying to do the right thing for the animals. Well trying to run her shelter that got out of hand Joelle R. Kott who owns the Pitstop Puppy’s Inc has now been arrested for animal cruelty charges.

The Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies said: Joelle R. Kott home was in deplorable conditions where 24 dogs were found.

Brandy Scrufari the Niagara County SPCA Board President said: there was no heat in the shelter, where the temperature inside was documented at 30 degrees. In addition, he said no food or water appeared to be available for the animals at either the home or at the business.

Yes this is sad to read when we know that Joelle R. Kott most likely started out with a big heart to help try and save these dogs, but know it has come to the point the she is now being charge with animal cruelty. I can only ask why didn't she ask for help and not try and hide the fact that these dogs were in harms way.

Read the article by Neale Gulley and Mark Scheer here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Will China Ban Eating Dogs & Cats?

There is a proposal going on to stop serving dogs or cats on the menu that is receiving support from one side and opposition from the other side.

Well it has been a long time tradition in China, Korea had nine thousand tons of dog are served at about sixty five hundred restaurants across their country annually.

China is looking into to drafting a law which would make it punishable under a cruelty to animal law that comes with a fine and jail.

I don't know about you but there is no way I'm eating one of my dogs.

Read the article by Zhou Zhou here.

Who Was The Most Popular Dog

American Kennel Club Announces Most Popular Dogs

-- Labrador Retriever Remains America’s Most Popular Dog as
German Shepherd Makes A Move For The Top Spot --

-- Breeds That Help Keep Us Safe Dominate the Top 5 --

For the 19th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular purebred dog in America, but could this be the last year for the Lab’s reign?

According to American Kennel Club® (AKC) 2009 registration statistics released today during a press conference at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, the German Shepherd Dog overtook the Yorkshire Terrier last year and is now ranked second most popular in the nation for the first time in more than three decades.

An American favorite since the time of Rin Tin Tin, the German Shepherd Dog became the number one breed of the 1920s, but then slipped in popularity until after World War II.

"Labs have been America’s top dog for nearly two decades due to their loyal and gentle nature," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "But the German Shepherd Dog has gained ground recently, quite possibly due to the increased attention they receive for their security efforts at home and abroad. Hailed as the world’s leading police, guard and military dog, this energetic and fun-loving breed is a loyal family pet, ideal companion and dependable K-9 partner when duty calls."

2009 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

1. Labrador Retriever

2. German Shepherd Dog

3. Yorkshire Terrier

4. Golden Retriever

5. Beagle

6. Boxer

7. Bulldog

8. Dachshund

9. Poodle

10. Shih Tzu

The German Shepherd Dog isn’t the only breed Americans will spot at the airport or train terminal when they travel – Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Beagles work throughout the country to keep the homeland safe. These breeds are used by law enforcement military and homeland security personnel for a variety of tasks ranging from border patrol, bomb and narcotics detection, to searching for missing persons and tracking down fugitives.

These four breeds were developed for various forms of hunting or herding, but the traits that made them so effective at these jobs, such as strong scenting ability of the Beagle, the eager-to-please attitude of the Golden Retriever and Labrador, and the bold nature of the German Shepherd, make them effective in their careers today.

"Despite advances in security technology, the canine and its unique abilities remain a valued resource for the military and law enforcement agencies that work to keep us safe," said Peterson. "The loyalty, intelligence and hardworking nature which make these breeds desirable as K-9 partners in the field also contribute to their status as valuable companions in the hearts of dog owners around the nation."

Top trends in 50 large cities in the U.S. include:

* The ever-popular Lab is slowly losing ground in some towns – more U.S. cities featured a breed other than the Labrador Retriever in its top spot this year than in 2008. The breeds responsible for ousting the 19 year national favorite? The German Shepherd ranked first in Columbus, Detroit, Honolulu, Memphis, Miami Providence and West Palm Beach; the Yorkshire Terrier triumphed in Oakland, Tampa, NYC, and Philadelphia; the Bulldog rose to the top in L.A.; and the Bull Terrier was a favorite in Newark, NJ.
* The Bulldog is a favorite in California, perhaps due to celeb owners such as Adam Sandler, Kelly Osborne and John Legend. The breed reached the top spot in Los Angeles, the only city where it currently reigns as number one. The wrinkled pooch nearly reached the top in San Diego as well, coming in at the 2nd spot.
* South Florida loves its German Shepherd Dog. The breed ranks first in West Palm Beach as well as Miami, where it has held the top spot since 2002, the first year the American Kennel Club started tracking city registration statistics.
* Providence is the only U.S. city where the Labrador Retriever does not factor into the Top 5. Despite ranking second in 2008, the breed dropped off the list, making room for the German Shepherd in first place, along with the Yorkshire Terrier, Golden Retriever, Boxer and Poodle.
* Unusual breeds on local top five lists include the Bull Terrier (1st in Newark), the Mastiff (4th in Des Moines), the Miniature Pinscher and Shetland Sheepdog (3rd and 5th, respectively, in Richmond) and the Chihuahua (3rd in Honolulu).

Some of the most notable recent trends in the past decade include:

* The most popular pets with the biggest increase in rankings over the last decade included the Bulldog (from 21st to 7th); French Bulldog (from 73rd to 24th); Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (from 58th to 25th) and the making the largest leap the Havanese (from 92nd to 32nd).
* Working K-9 breeds favored by law enforcement and the military have shown modest gains as pets including the Belgian Malinois (from 95th to 81st), the Border Collie (from 71st to 52nd) Bloodhound (from 51st to 43rd), and the Doberman Pinscher which served heroically with the U.S. Military during WWII (from 23rd to 15th).
* A trend toward easy-to-groom breeds is seen with the rise of the Mastiff (from 39th to 27th) and the Rhodesian Ridgeback (from 56th to 48th) as well as the decline of higher maintenance breeds such as the corded breeds the Komondor (from 132nd to 154th) and the Puli (from 123rd to 149th) and on the Irish Terrier (from 108th to 132nd) and Sealyham Terrier (from 138th to 157th) which require hand-stripping.
* Among rare breeds on the decline are the Curly-Coated Retriever (from 114th to 142nd), the Sussex Spaniel (from 135th to 159th) and the Irish Water Spaniel (from 130th to 150th).
* Even before the Obama family selected the Portuguese Water Dog it was on the rise in popularity ranked 80th a decade ago to 60th currently. However, it did make a jump from 64th a year ago when all the interest in this mid-sized, hypoallergenic breed began.

Dog lovers can see and learn more about all of their favorite breeds on Saturday, February 6, 2010, when the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship – where the country’s top dogs compete for $225,000 in prize money and the title of "National Champion" – airs on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel, 8-11 p.m. (ET/PT). You can also catch the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence honorees, which include the Golden Retriever "Robin" in the Law Enforcement category.

Click here to find out where your favorite breed ranks in the nation and major U.S. cities.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blood Drive For Dogs

There will be a blood drive for dogs being held by the American Red Cross and the Rocky Mountain blood bank for dogs in Idaho Falls on Wednesday the 27th.

So if you are in the area and would like to help please stop by with your dog.

Read the article by Steven Pope here.

Did You Ever See The Dancing Dog

Even The Dogs Are Getting Laid Off

The San Diego Police department has decided to lay off twelve K-9 dogs to help cut their budget. I guess times are getting bad when you have to let a K-9 dog go.

Read the article here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Buddy Gets Over 100,000 Signed Petitions For His Death

Do you remember the German shepherd that was dragged to death in Colorado Springs? Well Gary Sherman has been trying to get all the signatures he can by the twenty-seventh of January when Steven Romero goes to court for killing Buddy.

Gary’s Facebook page : Demand Justice for Buddy has received over the one hundred thousand signatures on the Care2 petition site that he wanted to get before the court date.

Read the article by Annette Espinoza here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Where The Worst Dog Bites? Houston, TX

Houston, TX has ranked number one for the most dog bites to their mail carriers in the nation. I would has to say that walking up to someone’s door and not knowing if there is a dog or not just waiting to bite you is not too safe. So now they will start fining the dog owners and charge them for medical or suffering expenses.

Read the article by Mayra Moreno here.

Also a Prayer goes out to a little five year old boy named Drake Talley who was attacked by four dogs today in Montgomery County, TX.

So please keep your dog on a leash or in a confined area, you just never know no matter how well your dog is trained.

Friday, January 22, 2010

An Abandoned Dog Who Became A Rescue Dog

The other day I took my one dog for his shoots and there was an adoption going on. I met a guy who had just picked out his new dog. I was amazed out the features of this dog and if it was really a show dog just waiting for his right owner.What a beautiful dog he was.

Well when I came upon this article about a border collie mix dog named Rowdy that nobody wanted and the San Francisco Society had even giving up on, has become a rescue dog, I had to share it with you.

Now if this isn’t amazing I don’t know, but as I have been saying is that you never know what kind of special dog you might get when you adopt a dog from a shelter. Its people like Margaret Blair who owns Twin Cedars K9 who seen something in Rowdy that others didn’t see. Because of Margaret rescue of Rowdy, he is now able to rescue a person from all the training and love that was giving to him when nobody thought he was good enough.

A Special Thanks goes out to all those who have adopted a pet from a shelter.

Read the article by Michael Kay here.

Heartbreaking Animal Abuse In York, PA


I have no words after seeing this cruel act that was done to this poor dog.

Read the article here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It Was Called: Operation Bite Back

The Animal Planet Investigations will be showing a show called Dog Fighting Exposed on January 25th it will show how an undercover investigation that went on for some fourteen months featuring Sgt. Michael Gabrielson who worked undercover to help expose these lowlifes in the world of dog fighting.

I can only say that it must have been a real hard job to sit there and watch these poor dogs being used in the dog fights. Knowing that you just want to grab the dogs and run after you have seen the brutal fights these dogs go though.

Well Michael’s job paid off after all the people that were arrested for dog fighting.

Read the article by Kelli Wynn here.

New Orleans Police Officer Charged With Animal Cruelty

Photo by nola

A New Orleans police officer from LaPlace named Nikia Adams has been charged with one count of felony of animal cruelty and one misdemeanor of animal cruelty for having her Labrador retriever die from being malnourished.

The LaPlace veterinarian Dr. Phillip Thiac said: he found absolutely no food content in the dog's body.

How do you not feed your dog and allow the poor thing to starve to death. Nikia's other dog was even malnourished; hopefully someone will adopt the poor dog and give him a real home.

Read the article by Joy Hirdes here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

National Geographic Channel Series DogTown

‘DogTown,’ the National Geographic Channel Series, Enters Fourth Season

Heartwarming story of Shaggy runs this Friday

The cold of winter has settled in and fans of the popular National Geographic Channel series “DogTown” couldn’t be happier. Frigid weather signals a new season of the popular program that chronicles the work of the staff at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary as they work with abused, abandoned dogs, many of them in poor health.

This Friday’s episode features the story of Shaggy, a mixed-breed dog found living in the wild near Grand Canyon National Park, who most probably has never socialized with humans.

Animal behaviorist Sherry Woodard, who has wowed “DogTown” audiences with her ability to work wonders with under-socialized dogs, takes Shaggy under her wing to help him begin to trust and interact with humans.

Shaggy has become one of the 400-plus canine residents of the sanctuary, the nation’s largest facility for companion animals. But the main goal at the sanctuary for each of the four-footed residents is to find them a home as soon as possible. But the clock is ticking. If Sherry can’t gain the trust of the mixed breed, Shaggy may never find a home.

In other parts of this Friday’s episode, Dr. Mike Dix, head veterinarian at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, tries to treat Reggie, an Elkhound-mix with a mysterious and disfiguring skin condition. Dr. Mike must determine the cause of the disease, or Reggie may never recover. Also, Dr. Mike and his wife, Elissa Jones, ask John Garcia for help with their dog Penny, a sweet but overly energetic beagle mix, whose mischievous behavior has gotten out of control. If John Garcia can’t teach Penny how to behave, the dog may wreak havoc in the couple’s cheerful home.

Other upcoming episodes of DogTown:

THE ROAD HOME - Friday, Jan. 29, at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Shy dogs are often among the first to be euthanized in shelters because they are difficult to adopt, but not at Dogtown, a no-kill facility. Little Girl, a Catahoula leopard dog mix, is given a second chance and learns to overcome her fears with help from John Garcia, in hopes that she will be adopted. Later we will follow a morbidly obese Chihuahua, Tuli, with a tiny head and a pineapple-size body, who must lose weight to become healthy enough for adoption. Finally, we meet Shockey, a terrier mix who is full of energy and excitement that makes her hard to control. See how Dogtown manager Michelle Besmehn works to help Shockey listen to commands and overcome her stubbornness.

CLOSE CALLS - Friday, Feb. 5, at 10 p.m. ET/PT
The economic crisis has forced countless families to give up their beloved animals. In this episode, we will meet Lucille, a shar-pei mix, who was left behind when her family’s home was foreclosed. She was in poor health and in need of surgery when she arrived at DogTown; after the surgery, Lucille developed severe seizures. Then travel with “DogTown” to the Animal Rescue League of El Paso (ARL), a no-kill shelter that depends on the nonstop energy of founder Loretta Hyde. Loretta hopes Sherry Woodard can help her rehabilitate unadoptable dogs to make room for more animals. In only one week, Sherry must help Loretta come up with a solution for ARL’s burgeoning dog population and work with Loretta on some of her tougher cases.

Other episodes this season will include a sick Catahoula mix who faces a life-threatening illness as the DogTown medical staff races against time to find her a cure. We will also meet a shepherd mix who is taught to dance in order to curb his aggressive behavior toward other dogs. And finally, join the Dogtown staff on a large mass breeder rescue mission in Missouri that saves nearly 200 dogs.

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit, membership organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets. The society's leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah, headquarters, the country's largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the support of a grassroots network of members and community partners across the nation. In 2009, Best Friends celebrates its 25th anniversary “A better world through kindness to animals”

For more information:

John Polis
Best Friends Animal Society

Barbara Williamson
Best Friends Animal Society

Woman On Vacation Charged With Animal Cruelty In Florida

A woman named Christine Hogle from Palm Bay, FL. has found herself with seventeen charges of animal cruelty when the local police found her pets left alone in her house. This is what happens when you rely on others to take care of your pets.

Steve Shytle of the Palm Bay Police Department said: It was bad. There was feces everywhere ... when you opened the door you could smell it around the corner.

Officer Chris Richards said: The conditions inside this home are absolutely disgusting, It is the worst I've seen.

Another sad story about the pets that had to try and live without nothing.

Read the article by J.D. Gallop here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Researchers Track Dog's Genome

Dog genome researchers track paw prints of selective breeding

Genes are being tested for roles in most conspicuous variations among dogs

From the Dachshund's stubby legs to the Shar-Pei's wrinkly skin, breeding for certain characteristics has left its mark on the dog genome. Researchers have identified 155 regions on the canine genome that appear to have been influenced by selective breeding.

With more than 400 distinct breeds, dogs come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, fur-styles, and temperaments. The curly-haired toy poodle, small enough to sit in a teacup, barely looks or acts like the smooth-coated Great Dane tall enough to peer like a periscope out of a car's sunroof. Not so apparent are breed differences in how the dogs' bodies function and their susceptibility to various diseases.

Although domestication of dogs began over 14,000 years ago, according to Dr. Joshua Akey, University of Washington (UW) assistant professor of genome sciences, the spectacular diversity among breeds is thought to have originated during the past few centuries through intense artificial selection of and strict breeding for desired characteristics. Akey is the lead author of the effort to map canine genome regions that show signs of recent selection and that contain genes that are prime candidates for further investigation. Those genes are being examined for their possible roles in the most conspicuous variations among dog breeds: size, coat color and texture, behavior, physiology, and skeleton structure.

The researchers performed the largest genome-wide scan to date for targets of selection in purebred dogs. The genomes came from 275 unrelated dogs representing 10 breeds that were very unlike each other. The breeds were: Beagle, Border Collie, Brittany, Dachshund, German Shepherd, Greyhound, Jack Russell Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Shar-Pei, and Standard Poodle.

The study was conducted, the researchers said, because the canine genome, the product of centuries of strong selection, contains many important lessons about the genetic architecture of physical and behavioral variations and the mechanisms of rapid, short-term evolution. The findings, the researchers said, "provide a detailed glimpse into the genetic legacy of centuries of breeding practices."

Their results were published Jan. 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, in the article "Tracking footprints of artificial selection in the dog genome."

The researchers catalogued more than 21,000 tiny variations in the genome. In investigating the relationships among the 10 breeds, they found that, genetically, the German Shepherd, Shar-Pei, Beagle, and Greyhound were especially distinct.

Their list of most differentiated regions of the dog genome included five genes already linked to hallmark traits of certain breeds: one for small size, one for short limbs like those in Dachshunds and other stubby-legged dogs, and three for coats.

In calculating the overlap of the signatures marking selection in the genome, the researchers found that approximately 66 percent occurred in only one or two breeds. They noted it was likely that these genome regions contain genes that confer qualities that distinguish a breed, such as skin wrinkling in the Shar-Pei. In contrast, signatures of selection found in five or more breeds tended to sort the dogs into classes, and include, for example, a gene that governs the miniature size of breeds in the toy group.

A gene associated with dwarfism in mice, the study reports, appears to mediate variations in dog breed size and weight. Small-size breeds, like Dachshund, Beagle, Jack Russell Terrier, and Brittany have enormous differentiation in this gene, compared to larger-size breeds. Another region of peak differentiation in the dog genome, in an area thought to regulate muscle cell formation in embryos, seems to separate the German Shepherd, Jack Russell Terrier, Border Collie and Greyhound from the Dachshund, Beagle, Brittany, and Shar-Pei.

The 155 regions of the genome that appear to have been influenced by selective breeding contain 1,630 known or predicted protein-coding genes. The researchers tried to obtain a broad overview of the molecular functions of these genes. The were surprised to discover that genes involved in immunity and defense were overrepresented in the 155 regions, a phenomenon also discovered in genome analysis of selection in natural populations. Natural and artificial selection were not expected to act on similar classes of genes, the researchers noted, but immune-related genes may be frequent targets of selection because of their critical role in defending against ever-changing infections.

The researchers honed in on a particular genome region in the Shar-Pei. Many of these dogs have excessive wrinkles, but some are smooth. The degree of skin folding correlates with levels of certain molecules whose production may be governed by a gene in this region. Rare mutations in this same gene also cause severe skin wrinkling in people. Tiny genetic variations in this gene seemed linked to whether a Shar-Pei would be smooth or wrinkled, and a rare genetic mutation was found in the Shar-Pei but not in other dogs.

The researchers explained, that, despite the many insights emerging from their data, there were several limitations to their study and in interpreting the findings. They pointed out that a pattern of variation that is unusual to the dog genome at large doesn't prove that specific genome region is under selection.

A major impetus behind studying dog genomics, the researchers pointed out, is its potential to advance knowledge about the genetic basis of human form variations and of differences in disease susceptibility among people. In many cases, the researchers said, it may be easier to locate the genetic targets of selection in dogs, and then map these to related regions in the human genome. Scientists are intrigued by the possibility that recent selection may have affected genome regions common to both human and dog lineages.

"This research has shown that artificial selection in dogs has acted on many of the same genes as natural selection in humans, and that many of these genes are regulators of gene activity," said Dr. Irene Eckstrand, who oversees evolution grants at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health. "The statistical and computational approaches used in this study will be of great value in deciphering the organization of human genetic variation, and in identifying the genetic basis of human characteristics."

The researchers also said that a better understanding of artificial selection in dogs may reveal the molecular mechanisms of rapid, short-term evolution. Future work, they hope, may uncover the gene activities responsible for shaping the incredible diversity among the world's dogs.


In addition to Akey, the researchers on the study were Alison L. Ruhe, Aaron Wong, and Mark W. Neff of the Center for Veterinary Genetics at the University of California, Davis; and Dayna T. Akey, Caitlin F. Connelly, Jennifer Madeoy, and Thomas J. Nicholas, all of the UW Department of Genome Sciences. Neff is also affiliated with the Center for Canine Health and Performance, Translational Genomics Institute, Phoenix, and the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The project was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and a Sloan Fellowship in Computational Biology.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

UK’s PetAir Charges L2,000 To Fly Beckham's Dog

Photo by Trevor Adams/ Matrix

Could you only imagine paying that much money to fly your dog, well this dog who is a British Bulldog that Victoria Beckham gave to her husband David.
So this lucky dog gets to fly first class living the life of luxury, not bad for a puppy. I bet there are a lot of dogs out there that would love to be in his paws right now.

Read the article by Tom Latchem here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This Year’s Puppy Bowl VI - Don’t Miss It

Don’t forget to watch this year’s Puppy Bowl on the Animal Planet Channel on February 7th.

This year’s players are:
Camomile – Mix Boxer
Ducan – Beagle
Eenu – Golden Retriver
Fava – Cattle Dog Mix
Jake – Chihuahhua/ Pug- aka Chug
Jersey Boy – Maltese/ Yorkie Mix
Sage – Labrador Mix
Sir Winston – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Tanka – Collie Mix
Yums – French Bulldog

Here’s a video of last year’s Puppy Bowl.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Puppy Love Biscuits Free @ FidoDogTreats Teams With Student Entrepreneurs With Autism

Beginning in mid-January, online pet-supply retailer is including dog treats baked by students with autism with all customer orders -- free of charge. “Puppy Love” biscuits are hand-made by a small class of students with special needs at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, MI. Debra Lloyd, a special education teacher in the Birmingham Public Schools, started the program for her students in early 2009 as a way to assist with their vocational training.

We are very pleased that recognizes the achievements of these students. What started as a way to develop their individual talents has turned into an actual student-run business,” said Lloyd as she explained her non-profit program. The biscuits were first sold at Premier Pet Supply in Beverly Hills, MI. “The Puppy Love program really assists the students in gaining real world work experience while developing a sense of self-achievement.” The students learn valuable lessons in money-management and accounting while reinvesting all profits from the venture into additional supplies and materials. The dog treats, which come in both a peanut-butter and beef variety, are being shipped in 4oz “Puppy Love” packages. is purchasing the treats directly from the student centered business and is, in turn, sending them to customers on a complimentary basis.

Community involvement is an essential part of the company’s mission, according to co-founder L. Hope Hesano. “Giving back to the community has been an essential part of our business plan since the company’s inception” said Hesano. “It is very exciting to be able to share the achievements of these students with our customers around the country at no cost to them.” Hesano went on to add that, “(w)e are optimistic that our support of these students will assist in the long-term continuation of this rewarding school program.”

With facilities in Huntington Woods and Jackson, MI, is an industry leader in the online sale of natural, organic, and holistic dog treats, dog chews, and dog biscuits. also provides original, informative articles related to the pet health, welfare, and nutrition. Additionally, a veterinarian directory and bake-at-home dog treat recipes are provided to website visitors. To find out more please visit

Philip C. Curtis

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Merrick Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats Health Alert

FDA Health Alert for Merrick Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats Packaged and Distributed by Merrick Pet Care
Products may be contaminated with Salmonella

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Merrick Beef Filet Squares for dogs distributed by Merrick Pet Care with a package date of “Best By 111911” because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The product was distributed nationwide through retail stores and Internet sales.

Although no illnesses associated with these products have been reported, the FDA is advising consumers in possession of these products not to handle or feed them to their pets.

In December 2009, the FDA conducted routine testing of Merrick Beef Filet Squares and detected a positive finding for Salmonella. A follow-up inspection found deficiencies in the packaging and manufacturing processes.

Salmonella can affect both humans and animals. People handling dry pet treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the treats or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella may experience some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Although rare, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart), arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their health care provider immediately.

Pets with Salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may experience only a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed any of the affected product or is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The affected Merrick Beef Filet Squares were packaged in a 10-ounce green, red and tan re-sealable plastic bag. The “best by” date is imprinted on the top portion of the bag, which is torn off when the bag is opened. The FDA recommends that consumers who are unable to determine the “best by” date discontinue use of the product.

Consumers can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food and pet treat products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in their area. Please see for additional information.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays 2009 Pet Adoption Drive Almost Hits 1.4 Million

Nearly 1.4 Million Orphaned Animals Were Adopted in Just Three Months Through the Iams Home 4 the Holidays 2009 Pet Adoption Drive

Hilary Swank, Helen Woodward Animal Center and more than 3,500 animal organizations work together to promote pet adoption and reduce pet homelessness.

Mason, OH (PRWEB) January 14, 2010 -- After setting its most aggressive pet adoption goal to-date -Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH) announced today that 1,363,638 animals were adopted through the global program. Between Oct. 1, 2009 and Jan. 4, 2010, more than 3,500 animal organizations and IH4TH ambassador, two-time Academy Award®-winning actress Hilary Swank, were a powerful combination in the massive effort to help reduce pet homelessness.

"I'm proud to be part of such an amazing cause and I hope the many families who adopted through the IH4TH program will experience the same unconditional love and fulfillment my dogs Karoo and Rumi give me every day," said Swank. "I hope our success inspires everyone to get involved and continue to help eradicate pet homelessness because there are millions of animals who still need our help and we all have the ability to help make a difference."
Since 1999, with the support of participating animal organizations from 17 countries,
IH4TH continues to be one of the world's largest and most successful pet adoption programs. The following animals were adopted this year:

* 729,357 dogs
* 588,265 cats
* 46,016 other animals (including rabbits, reptiles, horses, birds and more)

"Every year I continue to be inspired by the outpouring of love and commitment I see as millions of people experience the joy of pet adoption," said Mike Arms, founder of IH4TH and president of Helen Woodward Animal Center. "Not only has IH4TH made a tremendous impact on pets, we've improved the lives of people who work tirelessly with animal organizations around the world to help homeless animals every day."
To ensure adoptions are successful for pet parents and their new 4-legged family members, everyone who adopted through the program received an Iams adoption kit and DVD loaded with important information about nutrition, training and proper care.

"All of us at Iams are committed to helping orphaned pets and we'll continue to aggressively work with participating animal organizations to make sure they have the tools and support they need so that more animals find loving homes," according to Dan Rajczak, senior vice president - Global Snacks and Pet Care.
The 2010 program will kick-off on Oct.1, however there are plenty of ways to get involved now. To learn more about how to make a difference in the life of an orphaned pet, including finding participating shelters, volunteering or making a donation to support animal organizations and pets awaiting new homes, visit

About Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH)
As one of the most successful pet adoption programs in the world, IH4TH partners with thousands of animal organizations dedicated to finding forever homes for orphaned pets. Founded by Helen Woodward Animal Center and supported by Iams, IH4TH began in 1999 with just 14 participating animal shelters in San Diego County. Since it began 11 years ago, IH4TH - along with more than 3,500 pet adoption centers - has helped 4.6 million families experience the joy of pet adoption, including nearly 1.4 million pet adoptions from this past year alone. For more information, please visit or follow us at or

About Helen Woodward Animal Center
Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where "people help animals and animals help people." Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the Center provides services for more than 57,000 people and thousands of animals annually. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the international Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive and the Animal Center Education Services program, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world.

About P&G Pet Care
For more than 60 years, P&G Pet Care (NYSE:PG), the maker of Iams and Eukanuba, has enhanced the well-being of dogs and cats by providing world-class quality foods and pet care products. To learn more about Eukanuba® and Iams® Dog & Cat Foods or general pet care and nutrition information, call the Iams Consumer Care Center at (800) 446-3075. You can also visit us on the Web at or

About Procter & Gamble
Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Gain®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Actonel®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, Braun® and Fusion®. The P&G community includes approximately 135,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide. Please visit for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

The Pet Community To Meet At The First Ever Pet Bloggers Conference

Pet Bloggers to Meet Nose-to-Nose at Inaugural BlogPaws Conference, April 9 & 10, 2010

Pet bloggers, pet writers and companies serving the pet market will meet for education and networking at BlogPaws, the industry's first-ever pet bloggers conference.

Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) January 14, 2010 -- For the first time ever, pet bloggers, pet writers and companies serving the pet market will meet for networking, education and fun at BlogPaws™ 2010, the industry’s inaugural pet bloggers conference April 9 & 10, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.

BlogPaws 2010 ( will draw together more than 300 pet bloggers and online pet enthusiasts for the event featuring dynamic keynotes, panel discussions, educational breakout sessions and social events. At the end of the conference, a generous portion of the BlogPaws 2010 proceeds will be donated to two animal rescues or shelters, chosen from nominations made by attendees.

Event sessions will cover topics pet bloggers have been asking for - like search engine optimization, social media strategies, advertising, product reviews, book publishing, business blogging and more.

The pet community in the blogosphere is large and growing, full of passionate bloggers who treasure their pets and have expressed the desire to meet face-to-face with each other and with brands, something no one has yet offered them.

The founders of BlogPaws are successful pet bloggers, social media experts and career marketers, committed to this untapped niche. Caroline Golon writes the popular animal rescue fundraising blog, and Yvonne DiVita and Tom Collins write and manage the sponsored pet blog, The three met at a blog conference and recognized this unmet need in the online pet community. After talking with their fellow pet bloggers, they decided to create the Blogpaws 2010 conference.

“Pet bloggers are among the most vocal and enthusiastic people on the Web today and the value of meeting face to face with one’s online network is priceless,” says Golon. “As digitally-driven as we’ve all become, there is still no substitute for live interaction.”

DiVita agrees. “Clearly, there’s a pent up demand for an event like this,” she said. “The response from the blogger community and pet brands has been incredible. We’re looking forward to a terrific event.”

BlogPaws 2010 will provide pet products companies with relevant insight into today’s digital marketing and the opportunity to network with an online community of pet owners who are passionate about the products they use and the people with whom they connect.

“The event offers value for a variety of types of bloggers and businesses,” says Collins. “Whether you’re blogging for fun, profit or on behalf of a company, BlogPaws will provide new insights and new networks to start conversations with. It truly has something for everyone involved in the online pet community.”

Event Details
What: BlogPaws 2010, a first-of-its-kind pet bloggers conference
When: April 9 & 10, 2010
Where: The pet-friendly Westin Hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio
For More Information:

About BlogPaws
BlogPaws is an online resource to help pet bloggers and enthusiasts connect digitally, build their online presence, enhance their social networks and give back to the community. The First ever pet bloggers conference, BlogPaws 2010, will be held on April 9 & 10, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio. To learn more, please visit:

Follow us on Twitter at: or find our Facebook fan page, BlogPaws at

Inbreeding Pedigrees - Industry Has Independent Inquiry Report

Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding

After a ten month long inquiry, Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS called for a non-statutory Advisory Council on Dog Breeding, changes in the law including a requirement for all puppies to be micro-chipped prior to sale, and an up-graded Accredited Breeder Scheme.

Speaking in London today, Prof Bateson (of Cambridge University and President of the Zoological Society of London) said:

“Many breeders exercise high standards of welfare, but negligent management on puppy farms is a major welfare issue as is inbreeding in pure-bred dogs. Fashions for extreme conformations are also a cause of welfare problems.”

Professor Bateson also called for a system to collect data from veterinary practices in order to generate robust prevalence data breed by breed; and for the veterinary profession as a whole to support enforcement authorities, help educate the public, and lead a shift towards a preventative approach to dog health.

The Report concludes that dog-breeding raises a number of serious concerns about the welfare of dogs. Key recommendations include:

• The creation of an independent non-statutory Council to develop breeding strategies which address issues of inherited disease, extreme conformation and inbreeding.
• Changes in the law including requirements for the compulsory micro-chipping of all puppies and a duty of care on all breeders to have regard to the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring of a mating.
• The need for a robust Accredited Breeder Scheme setting out requirements with regard to pre-mating health tests, purchasers being able to view a puppy with its mother, all puppies micro-chipped before sale etc.
• An urgent need for the creation of a computer-based system for the collection of anonymised diagnoses from veterinary surgeries in order to provide prevalence data for each breed.
• New regulations to replace the now out-dated breeding and sales of dogs legislation, and much better enforcement of good welfare on licensed dog breeding premises.
• A new publicity and education campaign, delivered by all key dog and welfare organisations working together, to encourage a major improvement in how the public go about buying dogs.

Notes for Editors

The Inquiry received 135 written responses to the invitation to submit evidence. Subsequently Prof Bateson and his associate, Heather Peck, interviewed 50 people including dog breeders and representatives of animal charities.

The full report may be down-loaded from

The Independent Inquiry was funded by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust and supported by Defra.

The Advisory Group was made up as follows:
Chairman: Professor Sir Patrick Bateson MA PhD ScD FRS
Members: Professor William Amos BA PhD,
Andrew Ash BVet Med, MRCVS,
Dr Brian Catchpole BVetMed PhD MRCVS ,
Dr Bruce M Cattanach BSc PhD DSc FRS ,
Professor Sheila Crispin PhD FRCVS,
Professor Ian McConnell BVMS MA PhD MRCVS,
Dr Roger Mugford PhD,
Professor Christine Nicol MA DPhil,
Secretary: Mrs Heather Peck BSc FCIPD

The Report represents the views of Professor Bateson and has been subject to peer review by eminent scientists in relevant disciplines. Neither of the funding bodies nor Defra had any hand in the drafting of the Report.

For further information please contact:

Heather Peck, Secretary to the Inquiry. 07876 681954

Kennel Club Press Office 020 7518 1008/ 07800 937070

Dogs Trust Press Office 020 7 837 0006/ 07768 616280

Summary of Professor Bateson’s recommendations

1. Best scientific research and advice should be available to breeders

2. Prospective dog owners should be advised on:
A. What constitutes good welfare in dogs
B. How to identify the correct dog breed for their circumstances
C. How to find a reliable dog breeder

3. A non-statutory Independent Advisory Council on Dog Breeding should be established

4. The chairman and members of this should be appointed under the Nolan Principles

5. Creation of a computer- based system for the collection of anonymous diagnoses from vets in order to provide statistically significant prevalence data for each breed

6. Those drafting Breed Standards should avoid the selection for extreme morphologies and should refer to the guidance from the Advisory Council where possible

7. Upgrades to the Accredited Breeder scheme should be made (with a written standard to inspect this against) guaranteeing:
A. That all pre-mating tests for inherited disease are undertaken for both parents and that no mating should take place if the tests indicate that this would be inadvisable
B. That any prospective puppy purchaser is able to view a litter with the breeding bitch
C. That every puppy is identified by microchip prior to sale
D. That all pre-sale tests on the puppy that are appropriate to the breed have been carried out
E. That all breeders have a duty of care to all parent dog and litters with regard to health and welfare
F. The Accredited Breeder Scheme should be UKAS accredited

8. ALL puppies should be microchipped before they are sold

9. Local Authorities should address requirements of the duty of care in the AWA 2006 when inspecting breeding premises for licenses

10. A statutory Code of Practice on the breeding of dogs should be established under the AWA 2006

11. Regs under the AWA should be made to replace existing Breeding and Sales of Dogs Acts

12. The BVA should compile and have available to LA’s a list of Vets willing to carry out inspections of licensed breeding premises

13. A public awareness and education campaign should be designed to change public behaviour when buying a dog

14. Working with the profession as a whole, the RCVS and the BVA should lead a shift in emphasis towards preventative veterinary medicine rather than simply focus on the correction of the problems after they have occurred

15. Regulations should be made under the AWA 2006 in order to:
A. Create an obligation to any person breeding dog to have regard to the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring of the mating
B. Require that any body laying down breed standards must have regard to the health and welfare of the dogs and the need to avoid breed specific health problems. The body could thus be regarded as exercising a power of a public nature and this is susceptible to judicial review

16. Once a robust and audited accreditation scheme is available the buying public should be pointed with confidence towards the accredited breeders

17. A meeting of the relevant parties to bring all recommendations from the APGAW and RSPCA reports together should be embraced

18. The Dangerous Dogs Act should be amended to apply to all dogs that have been shown to be dangerous rather than to specified breeds and should address the problem of dogs being bred and reared specifically as weapons for fighting

19. Dog shows are a powerful and effective lever for change and should be applied to achieve welfare improvements

See the Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding
by Patrick Bateson here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thank Your Vet Names Arlington, Texas Dr. Kirk Weicht The Winner

Texas Veterinarian Named 'Best Vet' in America

Dr. Kirk Weicht Wins Nationwide Thank Your Vet for a Healthy Pet(R) Contest, Sponsored by Morris Animal Foundation, Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. and BowTie Inc.

According to Gina DeGennaro of Arlington, Texas, Dr. Kirk Weicht of Brown Trail Animal Hospital is truly the heartbeat of his clinic, and he goes above and beyond for his clients. In recognition of Weicht's work, DeGennaro submitted an essay to the third annual Thank Your Vet for a Healthy Pet® contest, and Weicht was chosen as the 2009 West regional and National winner. The nationwide essay contest, conducted by Morris Animal Foundation, allows clients to honor outstanding veterinarians for their dedication to helping animals and strengthening the human–animal bond. A complete list of nominees and the winners' profiles are posted at

Of the award, Weicht said, "I am rewarded every day just being able to serve as a veterinarian. When I am able to make a difference or impact a client it is especially enjoyable. For someone to take the time to express this in writing is thoughtful, and I feel extremely honored."

Hundreds of pet owners throughout the country submitted nominations. The contest is co-sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition and Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy and Veterinary Practice News magazines, published by BowTie, Inc.

Weicht realized at an early age that his calling in life was to be a veterinarian. He followed his lifelong calling when he graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University. His family currently has four cats and a dog, all of which were rescued animals. According to Weicht, the two most special animals in his life were a Great Dane named Rocky, which he had while in veterinary school, and his current Great Dane, Lyle.

"The most rewarding aspect of being a veterinarian has also been the most challenging," said Weicht. "This would be in the area of advancing technology. In my opinion, the level of patient care is directly attributable to a veterinarian's dedication to keeping abreast of advances in veterinary medicine."

Weicht was one of five regional winners. The others include:

* Kristin Quisenberry, DVM, of Hidden Valley Animal Clinic in McMurray, Pa., for the Northeast
* Patrick Hourigan, DVM, of Richmond Veterinary Clinic in Richmond, Ill., for the Midwest
* J. Robert Yack, DVM, of Jackson Creek Veterinary Clinic in Jackson, Calif., for the West
* Amara Estrada, DVM, of the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla., for the Southeast

"Morris Animal Foundation is excited to honor these outstanding veterinarians because they help us provide a healthier tomorrow for animals," said Patricia N. Olson, DVM, PhD, president/CEO of Morris Animal Foundation.

All of the winners will be honored in front of their peers at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, January 16, 2010.

About Morris Animal Foundation

Media Contact:

Tina M. Martinez, 800.243.2345

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

USDA Approves Therapeutic Melanoma Vaccine for Dogs

Vical Announces Licensee's Approval of ONCEPT(TM) Therapeutic Melanoma Vaccine for Dogs

Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq:VICL) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted the company's licensee Merial Limited, the animal health subsidiary of sanofi-aventis, full licensure for its ONCEPT(TM) canine melanoma vaccine, a therapeutic DNA vaccine designed to aid in extending survival of dogs with oral melanoma. Merial plans to launch the product at the North American Veterinary Conference (Orlando, January 16 - 20).

"The approval of ONCEPT(TM) is a milestone in the cancer vaccine field and a significant advancement for our DNA delivery technology platform," said Vijay B. Samant, Vical's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Therapeutic vaccines -- the holy grail of vaccinology -- are delivered after disease onset to impede disease progress for the patient's benefit. ONCEPT(TM) is to our knowledge the only therapeutic vaccine approved, and we believe this achievement is a major step toward the initial approvals of therapeutic vaccines for humans. We also believe that regulatory acceptance of ONCEPT(TM) bodes well for similar product candidates such as our Allovectin-7(R) DNA-based immunotherapeutic for patients with metastatic melanoma. ONCEPT(TM) uses a xenogeneic approach and Allovectin-7(R) uses an allogeneic approach, both employing the immune system's self/non-self recognition ability to drive a potent immune response against melanoma. Through our independent and partnered programs, we are advancing well toward additional approvals of DNA-based products."


The ONCEPT(TM) canine melanoma vaccine contains a gene encoding human tyrosinase, an enzyme associated with skin pigmentation. The tyrosinase produced from the human DNA used in this vaccine is similar to canine tyrosinase and has been shown to stimulate an immune response against canine melanoma cells producing tyrosinase. The use of DNA from a noncanine species causes production of tyrosinase that is considered foreign by the canine immune system (thereby stimulating a potent immune response), yet is similar enough to canine tyrosinase that the dog's immune response will target canine melanoma cells.

ONCEPT(TM) significantly extends survival time following primary tumor removal. Dogs with stage II or III malignant melanoma typically have survival times of less than six months when treated with surgery alone. In a controlled study, dogs vaccinated with ONCEPT(TM) following surgery had significantly better survival times than unvaccinated dogs (p<0.0001). Median survival time could not be determined for vaccinated dogs, since more than 50% of the treated dogs were still surviving at the time of publication of the study.

About Canine Melanoma

Melanoma is a common type of cancer in dogs and is the most common malignant tumor of the dog's mouth and can also occur in the nail and footpad. Canine oral melanoma may affect any breed and is a highly aggressive cancer. Normal treatment for canine oral melanoma includes surgery and/or radiation, but even after successful local treatment, the melanoma frequently spreads throughout the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, lungs and kidneys, and is often resistant to chemotherapy.

About Vical

Vical researches and develops biopharmaceutical products based on its patented DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Potential applications of the company's DNA delivery technology include DNA vaccines for infectious diseases or cancer, in which the expressed protein is an immunogen; cancer immunotherapeutics, in which the expressed protein is an immune system stimulant; and cardiovascular therapies, in which the expressed protein is an angiogenic growth factor. The company is developing certain infectious disease vaccines and cancer therapeutics internally. In addition, the company collaborates with major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies that give it access to complementary technologies or greater resources. These strategic partnerships provide the company with mutually beneficial opportunities to expand its product pipeline and address significant unmet medical needs. Additional information on Vical is available at

This press release contains forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements include statements about Merial's ONCEPT(TM) canine melanoma therapeutic DNA vaccine, Vical's Allovectin-7(R) DNA-based human immunotherapeutic for metastatic melanoma, Vical's DNA delivery platform technology and its current and potential applications, as well as the company's focus, collaborative partners, and product candidates. Risks and uncertainties include whether Merial will successfully market ONCEPT(TM), and if so, to what extent; whether market success for ONCEPT(TM) will encourage development of other cancer vaccines and similar products; whether Vical's Allovectin-7(R) or any other product candidates under development by Vical or its collaborative partners, will be shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials or receive any regulatory approvals; the timing, nature and cost of clinical trials; whether Vical or its collaborative partners will seek or gain approval to market any product candidates; whether Vical or its collaborative partners will succeed in marketing any product candidates; and additional risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent the company's judgment as of the date of this release. The company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

ONCEPT is a trademark of Merial.

Allovectin-7 is a registered trademark of Vical Incorporated.

CONTACT: Vical Incorporated
Alan R. Engbring
(858) 646-1127

Monday, January 11, 2010

Canidae Pet Food Offers 4 Veterinary Medicine Scholarships

CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods to Award $10,000 in Veterinary Medicine Scholarships in 2010

In an effort to assist veterinary students from the United States and Canada with the increasing cost of a degree in veterinary medicine, CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods will offer four scholarships in 2010 to first and second year graduate students.
CANIDAE Pet Foods, Inc. (, a manufacturer of all natural holistic pet foods that are fed and recommended by thousands of certified breeders and rescue organizations throughout North America, is eager to support those who have chosen to pursue a career path and life dedicated to the health and welfare of our beloved companion animals. In accordance with its commitment to promote Responsible Pet Ownership, CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods will award four individual $2,500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Scholarships in 2010.

"One of our most important goals at CANIDAE is to raise awareness of the responsibilities of pet ownership which includes making sure that pets receive proper veterinary care," said Jason Castillo, Controller for CANIDAE. "To compliment this effort we established veterinary scholarships in 2008 and offered them again in 2009. Going into our third year of doing so, we are excited to help another group of four deserving students follow their dream of helping animals."

A strong history of academic achievement and dedication to the well-being of animals are among the criteria that will determine which four applicants receive the CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods Scholarship. Applicants' essays on Responsible Pet Ownership will also be a deciding factor. Students will be asked to write about the same issues that are a concern to CANIDAE, including the core components of the CANIDAE "RPO" Mission:

Training and exercise
Planned breeding
Spaying and neutering
Supporting reputable breeders and rescue groups
Proper veterinarian care
Healthy nutrition

The CANIDAE Veterinary Scholarships are open to full-time first and second year graduate students who are currently enrolled in a doctorate of veterinary medicine program at an approved college of veterinary medicine within the United States or Canada.

To maintain impartiality and confidentiality, a selection committee comprised of educators chosen by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. of Nashville, Tennessee, will evaluate the applications and select the winners.

For detailed application criteria and requirements, please visit The application period is January 15 through April 15, 2010. Winners of the scholarships will be announced on the CANIDAE website approximately 60 days after the close of the application period. Applicants will be notified on or about June 16, 2010.

About CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods

Founded out of love for pets and animals, CANIDAE Pet Food, Inc. manufactures and distributes a complete line of healthy meat-based, holistic, all natural dog food, cat food, and gourmet pet treats sold worldwide through independent pet food retailers including over 7,000 locations throughout the United States and Canada. For the most recent information about CANIDAE and its line of healthy pet products, visit

About Responsible Pet Ownership

In accordance with its philosophy of promoting Responsible Pet Ownership through proper nutrition and care, CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods is the title sponsor of the Responsible Pet Ownership blog which provides helpful tips and advice for caring pet owners. This daily RPO blog exists as a free service to all pet owners, offering articles from a range of professional pet authors on topics such as natural nutrition, training and exercise, veterinarian care, planned breeding, spaying and neutering, and supporting reputable breeders and rescue groups. Pet owners can subscribe to these informative daily articles at

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Help Save The Puppies From Being Kill In New Mexico

Photo by Norm Dettlaff

An animal shelter named Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley will be killing fifty puppies out of the one hundred and seventy four they have in their shelter come Monday. With the over population in the shelter it comes down to Beth Vesco-Mock who is the director on Monday to decide which one of these little dogs will died.

That is so sad to read about these poor little guys are going to be killed because there is no room for them.

Beth Vesco-Mock said: It's horrendous, while checking on an adoption event at Petco in Las Cruces. I woke up this morning worrying about the puppies. It's a horrible power to have, It weighs on me every day. Obviously, what is going on in this community for the last 20 years is not working. There were 285,000 animals brought into that shelter, that’s more than the population in Do-a Ana County and we've killed over 211,000.

Did I just read that right, they have killed how many dogs? That comes out to about eleven hundred a year or eighty plus a month. Now that is heart breaking to read about that and you tell me there is no other shelter in this country that would take some of these puppies. When you really look at it, all those puppies mills and home owner's that are out to make a buck is the reason that they are so over populated us with all these dogs.

If you would like to adopt one of these puppies before they are killed you can call 575-382-0018 or you can check out their site @

Read the article by Ashley Meeks here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dog Killers Need To Pay

As a pet owner how do you leave your dog with her puppies out in the cold to die? That’s what Anthony Murphy from Spartanburg, SC did when his pit bull along with her five puppies died from being in the freezing cold and not having any food.

How sad is that to just let your dogs die like that and now Anthony will be having a lot of charges filed again him for his cruel act he did to these dogs.

Read the article here.

Down in Mississippi you have an animal controller named Alonzo Esco who has been fired for what is being said that he killed over one hundred dogs and cats and dumped them in a creek in Canton, Miss.

How low is that for a guy who is supposed to be protecting these animals to just shoot these animals.
This is the worst part of the article.

Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest said: It's unbelievable someone could do something like that to these animals. This is worse than Michael Vick. The most Esco likely would face is multiple counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, which is punishable by up to six months in jail.

Are you for real to say that this lowlife might only get six months in jail for what he did. I would say that a guy who was being paid to protect these animals and did a cruel crime like this should be hit so hard of the head with the book by the judge because he failed to even be a human in life.

Read the article by Nicklaus Lovelady here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Special Dog Lover


It’s not too often when you read about a kind neighbor that goes out of his way to help their neighbor’s dog. You can just see the love that Chuck Close from High Point, NC had for Shanna Rivers and her dog Cypress.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Two Different Video’s Of A Dogs Life

Watch CBS News Videos Online

The first video is about a dog who help save his friends life when a cougar tried to attack a child and the other video is about a little dog being abused for no reason by a lowlife named Chris Grant.

I wonder if the little Pomeranian Chihuahua would risk his little life to help protect this lowlife from a cougar if it came down to it after being abused by him, probably not.
That’s why we treat our buddies the best we can to let them know that we care about them because one day you never know there could be a day like little Austin Forman had when his dog saved his life. So please treat your dog as your best friend and they will treat you back the same.

View more news videos at:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Texas Animal Shelter Hit With Outbreak

The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter has been hit with a Distemper outbreak which caused the director Cheryl Schnider to make a hard chose when they had to euthanize the twenty four dogs that were in the shelter.

The director of the animal shelter Cheryl Schnider said: The bad thing about distemper is that its easily spreadable, the good thing is that the virus is easily killed just by routine sanitation. The problem is we really don't know where the outbreak originated, whether it was with just a few dogs or with others because some dogs show very minimal symptoms and they could have had it and gotten over it and we would have never known.

It's sad when something like this happens and all the poor dogs had to be killed.

Read the article by Blair Shiff here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Puppy Only Wanted Some Love

You know times are getting bad when an animal shelter that has been around close to twenty five years said that they are unable to take in anymore dogs. The Keysborough Animal Shelter in Australia has been overwhelmed with so many dogs being dumped off that no turn away policy has been changed.

Then you have the dog snatchers over in Fort Wayne, ID who went for the money dogs, when they took an Italian Greyhound, A Chiweenie and an English Bulldog. So you wonder why someone would do this when there are so many dogs just sitting in the shelters. You would be surprised to know that there are many of these expensive dogs just waiting to find a home.

Well it looks like the Humane Society has done it again when they got the endorsement of forty five pet stores in the Chicago area to stop selling puppies in their stores.

Now, how great is that to help put a stop to some of these puppy mills. This brings the new total up to four hundred and fifty stores that pledged to be puppy free.

It all the same when you think about it: people go out and buy a puppy to fill some need not realizing all the work that’s it take to raise a dog, but then after a while they want to sit it on the shelf. Owning a pet is a lot of work that involves a lot of love and time to care for them.

I was reading that Nicola Roberts was given two pugs as a Christmas gift and wouldn’t let them out of her site until she got too drunk at a New Years bash. I’m not saying anything was wrong because her BF was there to take care of the dogs, but to some people they are just a show piece and not a dog.

So who is really the one that has to suffer: It's the dog that you brought saying I will take care of it. Then to make an excuse that you just dump your dog off to some shelter without a care. These animals are supposed to be for life and not just a show piece that you can disregard when you feel fit. You wouldn’t want your parents just dumping you in the street one day. Saying you’re on your own and hopefully someone will adopt you before they put you to sleep. Yes that’s the cold fact of a dog’s life…..

A Special Thanks goes out to all those who work in the Animal Shelters

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Paralyzed Dog In Need Of A Wheelchair

If anybody knows who might have a wheelchair for a fifty pound plus dog, a woman named Brenda Moss from Millersville, Tenn. is looking for one for her dog Sadie.

Sadie is a ten year old dog who is paralyzed and is unable to use her back legs, so if anybody could help out the poor dog they would be grateful.

Read the article here.

Was Anybody Really Taken Care Of The Animals

They were supposed to be taking care of the animals in the shelter, not abusing them. So now that the executive director of the Birmingham, AL animal welfare group known as TEARS has been fired, hopefully these animals will now have a chance to a new life.

So here is the fired director saying she is worried that the dogs will be euthanized, when you have to wonder why it got to the point it is now. You don’t have possible charges of animal cruelty hanging over your head if you didn’t do something wrong.

A governance consultant named Allison Black said: All of the agencies agreed from the onset that none of the animals would be euthanized. The veterinarians are taking some of the sickest dogs, and I believe a cat to their private clinics for treatment. The veterinarians are working for free and they are treating the animals like gold.

My question is why did it take so long before anybody took some action to put a stop to the abuse. You tell me that none of the employees said anything. How could you work there and not say something if you were a real animal lover and witnessed the abuse going on.

Read the article by Sherrel Stewart here.