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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Best and Worst States for Pets
ALDF ranks animal protection laws in the U.S.
Two weeks ago I wrote about the efforts to strengthen animal cruelty laws in New York. In my research, I discovered that each year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) ranks the animal protection laws of every state in the United States. The ALDF's most recent report compares fourteen categories of animal protection laws, ranking states into a top, middle and bottom tier and highlighting the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Legally Reducing Dog Attacks
Britain proposes mandatory microchips and liability insurance
Earlier this month, the British government announced a proposal that would require people to buy microchips and liability insurance for their pups. With dog attack lawsuits on the rise, the British government hopes that microchips will help match dangerous dogs to the people responsible for them and that insurance will ensure that victims can be compensated. People who oppose the new proposal say...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
National Mutt Census
Mars Veterinary gathers data on American mixed breed pups
The recent popularity of canine DNA breed tests have given those with mixed breeds a chance to learn more about their pups’ backgrounds. There are an estimated 38 million mixed breed dogs in the United States, a large group of canines we know very little about.  This year, Mars Veterinary has launched the 2010 National Mutt Census to systematically collect the data dog lovers have been...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Smart Cameras
FujiFilm develops pet face detection software.
It’s not easy to take a picture of people, let alone fidgety pets. Recent face detection technology has attempted to make photography easier, taking a picture only when a person’s eyes are open and looking at the camera. Now FujiFilm has developed a new technology that includes animals on the face detection bandwagon. Their Finepix Z700 point-and-shoot camera features technology that waits until...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
In Memory of Oreo
Cruelty sparks a movement for justice
Last week, the unimaginable happened to a member of the dog agility community. Michelle witnessed her beloved dog get run over by an angry neighbor who showed no remorse. Now, animal lovers are rallying to support Michelle and find justice for Oreo, which is likely to be a long road. Laws have long been inadequate when it comes to penalizing animal abuse. In many states, animal cruelty is a mere...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
An Unrealistic Ideal?
Two “no-kill” shelters are shut down due to crowding and neglect.
In an ideal world, no-kill shelters are safe havens where homeless animals stay as long as it takes to find their forever homes. In reality, these places are often strained for resources, forcing many to turn away animals that may be hard to place. Last year, Julia Kamysz Lane wrote about the difficult dilemma of no-kill shelters. Recently, organizations that resist euthanasia have been in the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Banning Debarking
Mass. House approves a bill prohibiting a controversial surgery
Last week the Massachusetts’ House of Representatives approved a bill banning debarking surgeries by an overwhelming margin of 155-1. If approved by the Senate, the bill would make Massachusetts the first state to put such a law in place. HR 344 prohibits the devocalization of dogs and cats unless a licensed veterinarian deems the procedure medically necessary.  I realize that debarking, as with...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Avoiding Plastic
Making adjustments for the environment and our health
This year, my New Year’s resolution isn’t to get back into shape or qualify for agility nationals, although they’re two things I am trying to do. For 2010, I decided to keep it simple and reduce my dependence on plastic. Not only is it better for the environment, but as we’re increasingly finding, it’s better for our health, both human and canine. Avoiding plastic isn’t easy, as I wrote about...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Saving Fido
Most people would risk danger to rescue their pets.
After Hurricane Katrina, we learned about countless people who refused to leave their pets behind in pursuit of their own safety. As a result, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act was signed in 2006 to ensure that animals are included in local and state emergency plans. So it should come as no surprise that recent research found that 58 percent of people would put their...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Helping Dogs via Facebook
DogTime helps shelter pets through social networking games.
If you’re a member of the online community, Facebook, chances are you know someone (or perhaps yourself!) who plays games such as Farmville. While these diversions have become known largely as major procrastination tools, DogTime Media has found a way to combine social networking games with the ability to help homeless animals. Launched last year, DogTime’s apps, Save a Dog and Save a Cat, allow...

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