Tag Archives | Pets

Freeze Dried Pets

We all know one or two people who love their pets more than their family and friends. Now they can preserve their pets forever, reports Live Science:

Mike McCullough never intended to start freeze-drying beloved pets for grieving owners. But more than a decade ago, a friend of a friend asked the Fort Loudon, Penn., taxidermist to save his beloved dog from the grave or cremation by preserving the animal instead. McCullough agreed.

Then he talked to a Wall Street Journal reporter about the process. It made the front page. Requests from bereaved owners started rolling in. Today, McCullough’s taxidermy shop, Mac’s Taxidermy, is one of a handful of places around the country that will preserve not only hunting trophies, but also the hunting dog.

“It’s a whole different game for us,” McCullough told LiveScience. “You have to be a counselor, you know what I mean? It’s tough.”…

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How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

catnapIs a microscopic, mind-altering parasite spread by cats responsible for car accidents, hoarding behaviors, and schizophrenia? Respected scientists are now saying that “crazy cat lady” disease is real and millions of people are infected. Shocker from Kathleen McAuliffe in the Atlantic:

Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?

The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosis — the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats’ litter boxes. Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death.

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San Francisco To Outlaw Pet Stores

sonia_real_puppy Kudos to San Francisco for its decision to crack down on an industry based on animal misery. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

San Francisco’s ever-active Animal Control and Welfare Commission has renewed its push for a pet sale ban in the city – only this time, it even covers goldfish. The idea is to put the squeeze on puppy and kitten mills that supply pet stores, and to discourage “impulse buys” of hamsters and other small pets that often wind up being dumped at shelters.

“Most fish in aquariums are either mass bred” under inhumane conditions “or taken from the wild,” commission member Philip Gerrie said. That leads to “devastation of tropical fish from places like Southeast Asia,” he said.

The proposed ban, which the commission just adopted after a year of study, was expanded to cover animal breeders as well as pet stores.
As you might expect, it has local merchants like Ocean Aquarium owner Justin Hau dumbfounded.

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Meet Kenny, An Inbred White Tiger (Photos)

KennyVia Prose Before Hos:

Kenny is a white tiger ‘selectively’ inbred while in captivity in the United States. As zoo’s and exotic pet stores have increased the demand for white tigers, breeders have attempted to recreate the ideal white tiger — large snout, blue eyes, white fur — through relying on a limited pool of captive white tigers.

The result? An astoundingly high rate of deformities and health issues. For example, Kenny is mentally retarded and has significant physical limitations.

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First Cloned Cat Turns Ten Years Old

Cat Clone AnniversaryIt feels like just yesterday that the first generation of cloned animals captured the headlines — now they are passing comfortably into old age (without any bizarre mutations, eyeballs spontaneously falling out, et cetera). Cloned pets turning ten is our generation’s Bob Dylan turning seventy. Via the Houston Chronicle:

Almost 10 years later CC, aka Copy Cat, is still in the College Station area. She has a mate, Smokey, and they live with their three offspring in a cat mansion built by Dr. Duane C. Kraemer, an A&M researcher who helped bring CC into the world.

CC and her family seem like perfectly normal cats, which disappoints many guests hoping to see something more exotic, said Kraemer’s wife, Shirley, the head cat wrangler.

A&M’s cat-cloning operation was an offshoot of the Missyplicity Project to clone a dog named Missy with funding help from a company that wanted to market pet cloning.

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Dog Eats Sleeping Owner’s Right Foot, Saving Him

dog-eating-toesAn inspiring case of everyday-life heroism, as an Oregon man awoke to find that his likely-gangrenous foot had been gnawed off and consumed by his pet dog — there have been reported similar cases in the past. Via the Huffington Post:

A diabetic Oregon man with no feeling in his feet woke up to find his dog had eaten part of his right foot, including three toes.

The man told emergency responders that he fell asleep on his couch and woke up to find pieces of his foot missing.

Roseburg veterinarian Alan Ross says that the dog may have been trying to rid his owner of dead tissue, and says he may have been attracted to the foot if it were infected or gangrenous.

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More Than Half Of America’s Pets Are Obese

Screen shot 2011-02-23 at 8.23.50 AMThe obesity epidemic is spreading from man to man’s best friend — in America at least. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) reports that:

Obesity continues to expand in both pets and people according to the latest pet obesity study. The fourth annual Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Study found approximately 53% of cats and 55% of dogs were overweight or obese. Preliminary data released from a nationwide collaboration with Banfield, the nation’s largest chain of veterinary clinics, reveals pet obesity continues to be a serious problem. APOP founder Dr. Ernie Ward remarks, “This year’s data suggests that our pets are getting fatter. We’re seeing a greater percentage of obese pets than ever before.”

32% of cats in the preliminary sample were classified as overweight by their veterinarian and 21.6% were observed to be clinically obese or greater than 30% of normal body weight.

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Escaped Boa Constrictor Runs Amok In Boston Subway System For A Month

mbta

The thing that every subway commuter fears most happened in Boston — a boa constrictor ran loose in the transit system for a month before being caught, after its owner “lost” it. How is it possible to misplace a boa constrictor on the subway? Via the experts on all matters snake-related, Business Insider:

For the past month, a 3-foot-long boa constrictor has been roaming the Boston subways.

Snake-owner Melisa Moorhouse lost her non-venomous boa, Penelope, on a Red Line train on the morning of Jan. 6. She notified police immediately, but they were unable to find the snake. It is legal to transport pets on the MBTA.

Last Thursday the snake was finally found. Red Line attendant Sharon Lynch, a snake owner herself, lured the animal into a box.

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