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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Finding Cell Phones
Dogs sniff out smuggled goods in prison
Dogs have been trained to detect cancer, bed bugs, and even illegal DVDs. There really is no limit to how our pups can help us. Now canines are being trained to search prisons for smuggled cell phones. Prisons ban cell phones because inmates can use them to plot escape plans, harass victims or document security procedures. Jail officials have always searched prison cells for phones, but they’ve...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Canine Lifeguards
Italian pups train to rescue humans in troubled waters
After vacationing abroad recently, I’ve been jealous of the abundance of parks and beaches in Europe that allow dogs.  But in Italy, not all of the beach dogs are just lounging in the sun all day, some are also helping to keep the ocean safe. These working pups are graduates of the Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs in Civitavecchia. Currently 300 dogs have been certified through the three-year...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Mapping the Gut
New research seeks to understand the stomach
My dog, Nemo, is an expert at getting into the garbage and eating treasures off the street.  Fortunately, to date,  Nemo’s dietary habits have been fairly innocuous, but eating bad food can easily lead to more serious conditions, like gastrointestinal infections. Until now identifying canine gastrointestinal disease was difficult because scientists could only culture a small percentage of the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Baseball Breed Ban
Petco Park event bans German Shepherds and other breeds
As a dog lover and a baseball fan, I always look forward to the New York Mets’ Bark in the Park every summer. At the annual event, canine fans are invited to CitiField to watch the game alongside their humans. “Dog days” have become popular promotions at baseball stadiums around the country and, as you can imagine, the Padres’ Petco Park is one of them. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dogs as Children
Having kids changes the way we see our pets
Does having kids change the way we see our pets? A new study presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting this month found that people with human offspring are less likely to consider their pets children. The research conducted by a professor at Indiana University South Bend found that even people who used to think of their pets as kids often re-evaluate the relationship...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Restaurant Etiquette
Ensure that your pup will be invited back
Last year I wrote about my love of dining out with my pups. Fortunately in New York, most restaurants with outdoor seating allow dogs, so finding one is as easy as taking a walk around the neighborhood. Even if I don’t have my canine crew with me, I like to support pet friendly establishments. Recently, I discovered a website dedicated to dog friendly reviews, PetFriendlyRestaurants.com.  ...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Hotel for Dogs
Jimmy’s Place cares for hospitalized seniors’ pets
One of the best things about our pets is that we can count of them to love us no matter what, in sickness and in health. Fortunately if anything were to happen to me, I have family and friends nearby to take care of my dogs. However, many elderly dog guardians may not have a social network to lean on when they have to go to the hospital.   Now seniors in Osceola County, Florida can rest assured...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Operation Pit
ASPCA offers free pit bull vasectomies
In my area, shelters are filled with Pit Bulls and Pit-mixes. The breed makes up a large percentage of the 50,000 homeless pets that enter New York City shelters each year. Sometimes it feels like all 50,000 homeless pets that enter New York City shelters each year are Pits.    To help reduce the number of homeless Pit Bulls in New York, the ASPCA recently launched a new initiative called...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dogs Scream for Ice Cream
Canine ice cream truck debuts in London
Each year the British consume an average of 50 ice creams per person, according to Boomerang Pets Party spokesperson, Sally Bezant. With 10.5 million dogs in the United Kingdom, that’s a lot of pups missing out on the cool summer treat.   Not anymore. Now London canines have K99, their own ice cream truck with flavors like Dog Eat Hog World (a gammon and chicken sorbet topped with biscuit) and...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Inadvertent Toxin, UPDATE
Human hormone treatments have a negative effect on pets
[Editor's Note, 7/30/10: The Food and Drug Administration has published a warning urging that children and pets not be exposed to Evamist, a hormone spray used to treat hot flashes in menopausal women.]   Most pet lovers are careful about keeping medicine bottles locked away in a cabinet, far from the reach of little ones. But this may not be enough to guard your pups against the effects of some...

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