Thursday, July 10, 2008

Throwaway Cats

"Niko is a fine cat. He enthusiastically greets guests, meows appreciatively when he gets attention, adores playing chase the laser light. He is litter box tidy and helpfully tries to assist when his human companions read books and send e-mail. He has handsome golden eyes, soft gray fur and Russian Blue features.

Jack and Sue Majors adopted Niko in May at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region after seeing his photo online and then visiting him.

After all, they say, who wouldn't love this cat?

Apparently, not his former owner, who never bothered to search for him at the Humane Society when he strayed, according to shelter officials.

There are thousands of Nikos out there. They are sometimes called "throwaway cats."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Aggressive Breeds

"Attention, America, or at least all you state and local politicians who are banning or considering banning ownership of pit bulls, Rottweilers and other big, scary dogs: In the midst of your rush to pass breed specific legislation, a new study has shown that the most aggressive dog breed in the world is ...

Yes, the dachshund, the weiner dog, better known in some countries as the sausage dog.

This vicious beast, despite enjoying a good reputation, is at the very top of a list of 33 dog breeds that were rated for their aggression in a study that analyzed the behavior of thousands of dogs.

One in five dachshunds have bitten or tried to bite strangers; about one in five have attacked other dogs, and one in 12 have snapped at their owners, according to the study, which was reported in the London Telegraph."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Saving Strays In Naples

"Mia Mattsson-Mercer knows she can’t save them all, but she can try.

So several days a week, she dons her vest and boots, and grabs several pairs of protective gloves, then heads out in her SUV on missions to rescue stray dogs that roam the suburbs of Naples.

She’s rather busy.

There is no shortage of strays and, sadly, no shortage of those in the greatest need — the dying, sick and injured.

"I could lie around all day and read books … and eat bonbons, but this is my responsibility, my passion," said the tall, lean, Swedish-born volunteer with startling blue eyes.

In 1999, she started the non-profit foundation Animals without Limits to rescue and treat stray dogs in war-torn countries.

Those who no longer can afford to care for pets sometimes abandon them along the highways, she explains. Or children might torture dogs to allay their own suffering — something she saw often while working in war-stricken Bosnia and Herzegovina nearly a decade ago."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cloning Trakr

"Trakr, a dog that sniffed out survivors from under the rubble of the World Trade Centre after the September 11 terror attacks, may be cloned.

The German shepherd, who lives with his owner, James Symington, in Los Angeles, was picked by BioArts International, a Californian cloning firm, as the most "clone-worthy" canine in a competition offering an owner a free chance to replicate their pet.

Mr Symington said he and Trakr were among the first search and rescue teams to arrive at the New York site after the attacks, and were responsible for locating the last human survivor under about 30 feet of debris.

Now aged 15, the dog no longer has use of his back legs due to a degenerative neurological disorder."