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53 Rescue Dogs Survived a Plane Crach and Now Can Be Adopted

According to NPR:

A plane flying from New Orleans to Wisconsin crashed Tuesday morning just outside Milwaukee. In it were 53 rescue dogs.

The twin engine turboprop airplane crashed onto the green of the Western Lakes Golf Club in Pewaukee, Wis., just west of the city. It was a "catastrophic" landing that severed the plane's wings, Matthew Haerter, assistant chief at Lake Country Fire and Rescue, said at a press conference Tuesday.

"They came to rest several hundred feet after where they originally tried to place the aircraft," he said.

All three people and 53 dogs on the plane survived, though the three people and some pups suffered minor injuries. Staff veterinarians sent 21 of the dogs to Humane Animal Welfare Society for further treatment, and the rest to other shelters in the area, according to The Washington Post.

Maggie Tate-Techtmann, a director for the Humane Animal Welfare Society, said at the press conference that all the dogs will be available for adoption in the coming days as soon as they are ready.

"It's just a lot of comforting them and caring for them," Tate-Techtmann said. "Every animal is different just like we are so we are all going to react a little bit differently, but between our behavioral care as well as our medical care, I'm very confident we can make all of them comfortable."

Read the full account and see how you can help here.

 


Dogs Can Smell Your Stress, Study Finds

As any dog owner will attest, dogs can seem eerily attuned to human behavior. When humans yell or pick a fight, dogs often respond with anger and fear. Similarly, people with sedentary lifestyle may have seemingly sedentary pets: a 2021 study found a correlation between dog obesity and human obesity.

Now, a new study sheds light on the peculiar ways that dogs seem to be able to pick up on human vibes. Specifically, researchers found that when you are stressed, your body produces a distinct odor — and our canine friends can smell it. Read the rest from Matthew Rozsa.


The Secret to Cat Longevity Revealed

A fascinating article from Atlas Obscura reveals some secrets of cat longevity.

Jake Perry is a cat man. Standing about 5-foot-7 and often clad in workman’s clothes, the 85-year-old Austin, Texas, plumber is also a father and husband. But anyone who’s met Perry will tell you—first and foremost, he’s a cat man.

Perry’s cats broke the Guinness World Record for oldest cat. Twice, actually: The first record, from 1998, was for a part Sphynx, part Devon Rex named Granpa Rexs Allen who made it to age 34; the second, from 2005, is for a mixed tabby named Creme Puff who lived to age 38. Since the 1980s, Perry has adopted and re-homed hundreds of cats, at his peak raising four dozen at once, showcasing the best and brightest in cat shows. According to Perry, it’s not just Granpa and Creme Puff who had unusually long lives: About a third of his cats, he says, lived to be at least 30 years old—about twice the average feline life span.

Jerry told me about his own cats, and what he believed were the keys to their unbelievably long lives.

First, there was their daily diet: on top of dry commercial cat food, a home-cooked breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, broccoli, coffee with cream, and—every two days—about an eyedropper full of red wine to “circulate the arteries.” Then there was his effort to ensure the cats were sufficiently stimulated: a garage he’d converted into a home movie theater, with a working reel-to-reel projector and actual movie theater seats, where Perry screens nature documentaries exclusively for the cats (with previews, he added). Last, and perhaps most important, he swore that love and close, personal relationships helped his cats live longer. Perry adored his cats so much, he remembered each of their birthdays. (Bill Clinton was invited to Granpa’s 34th; the president sent a card with his regrets.)

The average life expectancy of pet cats in general increased from 11 years in 2002 to 12 years in 2012, according to records from Banfield Pet Hospital, a chain of more than 900 veterinary hospitals. Some of that change is associated with more people getting their pets spayed and neutered, says Lefebvre.

Neutering and the lowered testosterone levels that result from it have also been linked to increased life span in some species of birds, and even humans. (Some scientists believe that lower testosterone levels are the key reason women live longer than men.)

Of course, neutering can only increase cat longevity by so much. More than nine out of every 10 house cats in the United States are neutered, reports the ASPCA, and only a small portion of cats make it anywhere close to age 30. Using a human life span equivalency formula on the Cornell Feline Health Center’s website, 30 cat years translates to about 133 human years. By those measures, if 34-year-old Granpa were an actual human grandpa, he would have passed away at 149. Creme Puff, for the record, kept chugging until human-age 165. Surely, there must be something else at work here. 

 

 


Dogs cry tears of joy when reunited with their owners, study says

The human-dog relationship is unique among animals: having co-evolved for so long, most dog owners will attest to the uncanny ability that their canines have when it comes to reading and responding to emotions. But a new study suggests that the dog-human connection is so profound that our dogs actually cry for us, or with us. 

Takefumi Kikusui, PhD, DVM, a professor at Azabu University and corresponding author on the study, told Salon by email, a "dog's teary eyes can facilitate human caregiving behavior to dog —. and this enhances the bond." The study indicates that "dogs' emotions are expressed in a similar way to human emotions" and that this "helps humans understand canine emotions."

Renee Alsarraf, a veterinarian and author of "Sit, Stay, Heal: What Dogs Can Teach Us About Living Well," told Salon by email that the study is a "good start" in terms of illuminating the phenomenon that many veterinarians and pet parents suspected — that dogs can "cry."

Read the rest from Matthew Rozsa.


Inside The Beagle Rescue

Many of us are aware of a massive rescue of 4,000 beagles who were bred for scientific experiments - a crime in itself but the treatment of these poor animals is especially criminal. The Washington Post researched the entire rescue operation. I cried while reading throughout this article. Here is an excerpt -

Profit, pain and puppies: Inside the rescue of nearly 4,000 beagles

How dogs being bred for research at Envigo became the target of the largest animal welfare seizure in the Humane Society’s history

 

CUMBERLAND, Va. — The first beagle out that day had brown eyes and a chunk missing from his left ear. His tail was a nub. It went from tan to white, then disappeared, maybe bitten off in a fight or caught in a cage door.

The 1-year-old had never been given a name — just an identification code, ‘CMG CKA,’ tattooed in blue-green on the flap of his left ear. Like the thousands of other beagles bred for research at Envigo, a sprawling complex tucked deep in rural Virginia, he’d spent his entire life in a cage surrounded by the relentless barking of other dogs.

Now, on a Thursday in late July, that was about to change.

Uno, as he was immediately dubbed by his rescuers, and 3,775 other beagles were being sprung from their misery in an unprecedented animal welfare seizure.

After years of alarm from animal rights advocates and state legislators, after U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors found maggot-infested kibble, 300 dead puppies and injured beagles being euthanized, after an undercover investigation by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and after a lawsuit filed against Envigo by the Justice Department, the Indianapolis-based company had reached a settlement with the federal government. It agreed to shut down the Virginia breeding operation — admitting no wrongdoing and receiving no punishment or fines — rather than make what the CEO of its parent company called “the required investments to improve the facility.”

In July, U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon approved the surrender of Envigo’s beagles to the Humane Society of the United States, giving the nonprofit group just weeks to organize the biggest rescue in its 67-year history. “There’s been nothing, ever, like this. Just the sheer volume of dogs, or really, any animal,” said Kitty Block, the Humane Society’s president and chief executive.

What followed was two months of beagle mania, as people across the country showered the Humane Society with $2.2 million in donations and clamored to adopt the dogs. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took in a beagle. So did the governor of New Jersey and the chief meteorologist at a Virginia news station. But the beagle emancipation was cloaked in secrecy. Almost no one was allowed to see the dogs leave Envigo.

Here is a link to the full story.


The Most Pet Friendly Cities

With National Homeless Animals Day approaching and over 90.5 million U.S. pet-owning households having spent $123.6 billion last year on their animal companions, the personal finance website WalletHub today released an in-depth report on 2022’s Most Pet-Friendly Cities, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

In order to determine where Americans’ animal companions can enjoy the best quality of life without breaking the bank, WalletHub compared the creature-friendliness of the 100 largest cities across 23 key metrics. The data set ranges from minimum pet-care provider rate per visit to pet businesses per capita to walkability.
 

Most Pet-Friendly Cities Least Pet-Friendly Cities
1. Scottsdale, AZ 91. Fresno, CA
2. Tampa, FL 92. Fremont, CA
3. Portland, OR 93. Chandler, AZ
4. St. Louis, MO 94. Chula Vista, CA
5. Cincinnati, OH 95. Detroit, MI
6. St. Petersburg, FL 96. Chicago, IL
7. Lexington-Fayette, KY 97. New York, NY
8. Las Vegas, NV 98. Honolulu, HI
9. Colorado Springs, CO 99. Baltimore, MD
10. Raleigh, NC 100. Santa Ana, CA

 
Key Stats

  • Columbus, Ohio, has the lowest average veterinary care costs (annual exam), $38.42, which is 2.5 times lower than in Plano, Texas, the city with the highest at $97.65. 
     
  • Miami has the most veterinarians (per square root of the population), 0.3446, which is 90.7 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest at 0.0038.  
     
  • Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana, have the lowest monthly dog-insurance premium, $39.75, which is 2.5 times lower than in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, the cities with the highest at $97.46.  
     
  • Reno, Nevada, has the most pet businesses (per square root of the population), 0.4791, which is 9.4 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest at 0.0509.


To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit: 
https://wallethub.com/edu/most-pet-friendly-cities/5562




Do Dogs Return the Favor After Strangers Feed Them?

A new study reveals that dogs don't tend to offer food back to humans when given the chance.  Check out this article from Smithsonian Magazine:

We show our love to our canine pets with treats and train them with goodies as motivation. However close the bond is between humans and dogs, though, food sharing may just be a one-way street: Dogs don’t seem to pay back the hand that feeds them.

That lack of reciprocated food sharing in dogs is the key finding of a study published today in PLOS One by dog researcher Jim McGetrick and his team. The comparative psychologist at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria found that in lab experiments, dogs who received treats by humans pushing a button didn’t then return the favor by pushing the same button so humans gained a treat in kind.

Previous studies have observed that dogs repay other generous dogs with food tit-for-tat, and take the initiative to rescue distressed humans from entrapment. McGetrick says his study is the first to look at reciprocity between humans and dogs. His team wondered whether fed dogs would reward food to beneficent humans.

To probe this question, the researchers trained 37 pet dogs to press a button for food from a dispenser. These dogs came from over ten different breeds and mixes, with diverse idiosyncrasies to match. Some dogs were gentle, laying their paws delicately on the button and nibbling their reward. Other dogs mauled the button and chewed on the box that enclosed it. One dog only pressed the button with its hind leg. “The personalities definitely varied hugely,” says McGetrick.

Once each dog associated the button with food, the button was placed in an adjacent room with a human stranger inside. The dog would remain in a different room with the food dispenser. A wire mesh fence separated the two rooms—through which the dog could observe the human controlling the coveted button. A helpful human would press the button and the dog would receive food. An unhelpful human would steel his or her heart against the dog’s pleading eyes—unbeknownst to the dog, the volunteer usually felt terrible—and press a decoy button that didn’t release any food from the dispenser.

“When they were with the unhelpful human, it surprised me how big of a deal it was for them when they didn't get food in a situation where they expected to get food,” says McGetrick. These dogs whined and made a fuss. “It could look effectively like throwing a tantrum.”

The researchers then reversed the situations. The working button was transferred to the room with the dog, and the food dispenser—with chocolate candy replacing the kibble—was relocated to the human’s room. This time, the dogs weren’t nearly so eager to press the button in their room when the food ended up with the human next door. Moreover, when it came to reciprocating the helpful human who had previously fed the dog via the button or the unhelpful one who had refused, the dogs didn’t seem to distinguish between the two. The dogs pushed the button equally for both groups.

Moreover, after each button-pressing experiment, the dogs and humans had the chance to interact in the flesh. The dogs didn’t seem to hold the volunteers’ unhelpfulness against them. They approached the volunteers equally, whether the humans had been helpful or not.

“[The result] could indicate that dogs might not necessarily … relate to something like gratitude,” says McGetrick. Or, “they don't necessarily strongly regard or consider others in their actions” in an attentionally blind kind of way, he adds. But “I would highlight that this was a very specific experimental context.”

Dog Watching Treat Dispenser
A dog waits for a human to press the button and give it a treat. Lisa Poncet, the University of Caen Normandy
 

The findings don’t necessarily rule out reciprocity by dogs with humans, says McGetrick. The experimental outcome could be specific to the conditions that the researchers used, such as the dogs’ unfamiliarity with the humans. Perhaps the dogs would be more helpful in kind to their original owners. Or, button-pushing was too much of a mental leap for the dogs to associate with returning the favor. He suspects that the dogs may go by a more straightforward rule: push the button only when the dispenser is in their room. More likely, he speculates, dogs simply don’t see themselves as food providers to humans.

More research is needed to rule out all the possibilities that could explain why the dogs didn’t reciprocate with food, says Angie Johnston, a psychology researcher at Boston College who didn’t participate in the research. A good starting point would be to look at dogs who have received more training, such as military and service dogs. If even trained dogs don’t keep score, it would imply dogs in general are hopeless at tracking this information. But if they reciprocate, then training might make all the difference, allowing any canine to pay more attention to the humans they work with.

“Knowing about the dog-human interaction is important for things like training service dogs and assistance dogs,” says Johnston. “Anytime we know more about the human-dog connection and where it came from and how it evolved, that can inform our training processes with those populations.”