Spay the Bay
The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society has launched a new program, Spay the Bay, to reduce animal overpopulation by offering low-cost spay and neuter services to pet guardians.
“We believe that affordable access to spay and neuter services will make a significant difference in the number of stray dogs and cats surrendered to local shelters,” Jeffrey Zerwekh, executive director at Berkeley Humane, said in a press release. “Berkeley Humane is committed to making a greater impact on pet overpopulation in Berkeley and throughout the Bay Area.”
Requirements are that pets must be a dog or cat that needs spay or neuter services; the pet must be up to date on vaccinations and have proof of a current rabies vaccination; and the animal must be older than 3 months and younger than 5 years. Cats are $65 for neutering, $75 for spaying; dog neutering ranges from $150 to $225 depending on size; dog spaying is $200-$275 based on size.
The services are available immediately and by appointment only and will be performed at Berkeley Humane’s Veterinary Hospital, 2700 Ninth St., Berkeley. Learn more at www.SpayTheBay.org or call 510-845-7735, ext. 203.
Grant Helps Veterans
Bergin University of Canine Studies in Rohnert Park has received a $5,000 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and will use the funds for its Dogs Helping Veterans Program.
The Reeve Foundation awards grants to nonprofits working to improve the lives of people who live with paralysis as well as their families. The Bergin U program pairs students with veterans living independently who learn how to train their own dogs. The veterans then take the skills they learn to other students who train assistance dogs that will one day help disabled veterans.
The Kitsap Humane Society in Silverdale, Wash., has a novel way of trying to find forever homes for pups, The Dodo reported.
Volunteer Molly Clark takes one lucky shelter dog to the local Starbucks for a Puppuccino, apparently a small cup of whipped cream that’s on a secret menu. The hope is that the visiting treat-eating pooch will steal a customer’s heart and score a forever home. The dogs love the fun car ride and get a break from the shelter.
“The dogs love the shelter breaks, and they adore the Puppuccinos,” said Kimberly Cizek Allen, events and outreach assistant coordinator at Kitsap Humane.
In Fort Wayne, Ind., dogs had a chance to get wet and cool off in the Bob Arnold Northside Park swimming pool.
On one of the last days of summer, the local parks and rec department and animal care and control thought up the first Dippin’ Dogs swim event and let residents who had a pass to one of the Fort Wayne dog parks bring their furry friends to the public pool for a dip. About 50 dogs participated in three hour-long swim sessions right after the official pool season ended.
Speed Dating With Dogs
Shelters these days are getting super creative with their match making.
Open Arms Rescue of Valparaiso, Ind., for instance, decided to put 18 pups into a speed-dating event at its shelter and adoption center, according to the local newspaper. The up-close-and-personal meet-and-greet mimicked a similar one put on by rescue P.A.W.S. of Tinley Park, Ill. At Open Arms, people who wanted to adopt filled out a checklist of what they wanted in a dog, from size and breed to personality and energy level, and then kept score as they checked out the pooches. Chaperone volunteers assisted the dogs. Potential matches resulted in the humans following a formal adoption process.
I Do Not
Karishma Walla of Bangalore was in talks to marry a well-off suitor in New Delhi. But when the would-be groom nixed the idea of her bringing her companion pooch to the union, she ditched him, Buzzfeed reported.
In response to a text in which he asked her whether her fondness for dogs was a phase, the Gurgaon analyst said, “Having a dog is definitely not a temporary phase. I can’t abandon my dog for anyone.”
To which the spurned guy responded, “I’m sorry to say this, but please marry the dog in that case.”
Rio de Janeiro hosted the first Rio Dog Olympic Games this summer, inviting dogs of varying breeds, ages, sizes, and abilities to vie for medals.
Held at a private dog club in Brazil’s Olympic City, the event, NBC Bay Area reported, included agility, aquatic ball chasing, and aquatic jumping in the club’s swimming pool. Dogs of any skill or experience level could complete, because the primary purpose of the games was allowing people and pets to socialize while celebrating sports.
Arthritis On the Rise
Does your dog have a touch of arthritis?
It’s a common affliction these days. The number of dogs suffering from it has tripled, with veterinarians blaming a surge in obesity as the underlining cause.
Pet insurer Animal Friends released information that indicated an alarming rise since 2015 based on studying 20,000 pet health records. Research predicted it will worsen, because pet owners continue to overfeed pets, and the excess weight is an arthritis risk factor. Goldens, Labs, greyhounds, boxers, and Rotteweilers are among the breeds most likely to develop arthritis. The disease is also linked to old age.
Careful What You Say
Apparently, dogs can understand us. Sort of.
A new study in Science suggests what we say and how we say it to dogs make a big difference.
When dogs in the study heard praising words delivered enthusiastically, the reward centers in their brains were active, indicating pleasure. This wasn’t the case, however, when praising words were spoken neutrally or when meaningless words were said with expressive intonation, said Attila Andics, a neuroscientist and an author of the paper. Another researcher, Alexandra Horowitz, thinks it’s more like dogs can be trained to react to speech, though it is still unclear whether dogs actually understand words as humans do. They both agreed that the study added valuable clues to communication, with dogs able to understand associations better than assumed.
Understand the Issues
Pugs, bulldogs, French bulldogs—awww, they are so cute with their wrinkles, broad heads, squashed faces, and bug eyes.
But the British Veterinary Association wants pet owners to think twice about the health issues that face brachycephalic or short-muzzled dogs and warned that the popularity of such breeds had “increased animal suffering.” The PDSA, the Royal Veterinary College, the RSPCA, and the Kennel Club voiced similar concerns. The BBC reported more of these breeds have been surrendered or abandoned by owners for health reasons such as obstructed airways, difficulty in breathing, or problems seeing—conditions some owners were clueless about as a possible result of the smushed-face breed. Meanwhile, the RVC opened the UK’s first specialized clinic this summer to correct health problems faced by flat-faced dogs.