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New Wolf Pups at Oakland Zoo

Gray wolves Siskiyou and Sequoia, residents of the Oakland Zoo’s new California Trail, recently parented a litter of four pups, according to a recent news release.

The two adults came to the zoo in April 2018 and staff had high hopes the pair would bond and have pups to form a pack. Siskiyou, 6, the female, delivered on May 13, and she is a first-time mother. She and her mate, Sequoia, had created five dens in their 2-acre habitat.

Zoo officials believe the pups will probably remain hidden on the den for a few weeks, likely venturing out sometime in mid to late June.

The adults were bon in captivity and were moved to the zoo through a partnership with the California Wolf Center. The pack will remain at the zoo.


Good News at SFACC

San Francisco Animal Care and Control is undertaking a historic preservation and remodeling project to create a new municipal animal shelter at 1419 Bryant St.

Genevieve Herreria, chair of Friends of SFACC, noted the project is occurring as ACC celebrates its 30th year. “This is a huge turning point for the city’s public animal shelter, which has provided all of San Francisco’s official animal emergency and wildlife response, cruelty investigations and animal welfare law enforcement, and animal rehabilitation and adoption services out of a crumbling and seismically unstable 1930s-era warehouse for the last 30 years,” Herreria said.


FAAS ED Honored

John L. Lipp of Alameda, executive director of the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, will receive the Shanti Project’s 2019 Dede Wilsey Champion of the Human-Animal Bond Award.

Lipp, the former executive director of Pets Are Wonderful Support, will be honored at PAW’s 32nd Anniversary Gala, Petchitecture, on Thu., June 6, at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel.

PAWS is now a Shanti program, the result of the merger of PAWS and the Shanti Project, which Lipp was instrumental in orchestrating.

“Getting the Champion of the Human-Animal Bond Award is humbling and an incredible honor,” Lipp said. “Built on a simple premise, PAWS helps people heal and thrive. PAWS keeps families together.”


Friend to Pit Bulls

Jason Flatt is on a mission to end the stigma against pit bulls, according to a recent K9Kait report on an Atlanta television station.

Flatt launched Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue to combat the stereotypical notion that pitties are aggressive, mean, and ferocious. He also has been rescuing pit bulls one dog a time.

“We take on the worst of the worst. That’s what forlorn means. The thrown away, the discarded ones. We take on severe medical cases, dog fighting, neglect. And we try to turn them around,” Flatt said.

He’s trying to raise $2.5 million dollars to build a state-of-the-art facility so every dog he takes in has its own space. So far, he has raised $250,000 and he’s planning to give half of that to spay and neuter animals in Paulding County.

“They encourage me to go on. Everyday I wake up and I see these dogs, and I’m just like, they had no idea how bad it was for them,” Flatt said about pitties. “They just know it’s really good now.”


CBD Dog Study

CBD might help dogs with seizures, according to a recent Science Daily article.

Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, characterized cannabidiol as “promising and exciting” for potentially treating dogs with epilepsy.

McGrath led a pilot study with 16 pet dogs to determine how CBD affected seizure frequency and found 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had fewer seizures. Nine dogs were treated with CBD oil derived from a hemp plant for 12 weeks; seven dogs in a control group received a placebo.

The research occurred in 2016 and 2017. Results were published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Idiopathic epilepsy affects up to 5.7 percent of the pet dog population worldwide, making it the most common canine neurologic condition. All of the study dogs stayed on standard anticonvulsant drugs.

“It’s really exciting that perhaps we can start looking at CBD in the future as an alternative to existing anticonvulsive drugs,” McGrath said.


Sixth Sense

Domestic dogs may perceive the Earth’s magnetic fields and respond to variations in geomagnetism, Psychology Today reported recently.

Researchers looked at when dogs marked their home territory by urinating or defecating and learned the dogs tended to align their bodies roughly along the north-south magnetic axis at such times. During unstable magnetic field conditions, however, the directional preference disappeared. The research didn’t indicate whether the dogs were unconsciously influenced by the magnetic fields or whether they perceived something they could process and respond to.

A recent report published by a team of researchers headed by Sabine Martini of the Department of General Zoology at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany, seems to indicate dogs are consciously aware of magnetic fields and the magnetic fields can be used to train dogs to respond.


Potty Habits

There apparently are reasons, some scientific, for your dog’s odd potty behavior, USA Today reports.

Some dogs trample down the grass for a more comfortable spot to squat and poop — no sticks, tall grass, weeds to get in the way. Some dogs, according to a study in Frontiers in Zoology, align their bodies along the Earth’s north-south magnetic fields when they defecate, so a north-south route may encourage sooner pottying.

Dogs sniffing everything are on high alert, using smell to determine friend, foe, or romantic interest. Some dogs like to mark their spot to establish or claim territories.


Home Improvements

Pet parents are spending more on places in their homes to accommodate their dogs, Forbes reported.

At the 2019 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, cabinet company Wellborn had a large booth display geared toward pet features, a trend catching on with other manufacturers who are bent on turning laundry rooms and other parts of the home into multifunctional pet centers with gear storage areas, dog showers, built-in dog bowls, grooming islands, power outlets, drawer dividers, pull-out shelves, and built-in doghouses.

Kohler has gotten into the animal act with handheld shower and drain and hooks in finishes that can match the rest of the décor of the home. Home builders are also accommodating client requests for feeding stations, and sleeping areas, along with mud rooms equipped with wet/dry vacuums and traditional dog doors.

Research from Rover, the Seattle-based pet sitting and dog walking company, indicated 60 percent of U.S. households have dogs, and spending on all pets totaled a whopping $72.1 billion in 2018.


Screen Pals

A Plano, Texas, movie theater, K9 Cinema, lets people bring their dogs to theater, according to FOX 2, KTVU.

And that’s not all: The movie ticket — $5 for dogs, $9 for kids, and $12.50 for adults — comes with all the wine the human adult movie-watcher can drink. The theater, which opened in 2018, has comfy sofas for lounging and serves dog treats but doesn’t show new releases. Instead, it has themed nights such as “karaoke margarita night” or “bring your dog to church night.”

There are a few rules: You have to clean up after your pet, and your fur ball has to be up to date on all their shots with paperwork to prove it.

“I wanted to do something that made me happy for once instead of just chasing money and create something that made myself and others happy,” said K9 Cinemas founder Eric Lankford.


Intentional Harm

A Queens, N.Y., property owner took matters into his own hands to stop dogs from urinating on his sidewalk tree beds, according to ABC New.

The person intentionally hid hazards — push-pins or thumb tacks in shredded car tires — in three planters in front of his building, the pins apparently aimed at deterring dogs from using the bed. The idea was that if the dog stepped on the pin, it would injure the trespasser’s paw. One dog allegedly was injured by the deterrent.

Such sidewalk tree beds legally are off limits to dogs. Apparently, the property owner previously had used nefarious means to keep dogs away, with one neighboring claiming broken shards of glass had been distributed in the bed with intention to harm.

Local police are investigating the incidents. The area is right across the street from a new dog park.


Unfortunate Names

According to The New York Times, Chinese law enforcement officials in the eastern province of Anhui arrested an animal breeder for sharing on social media his names for two of his ill-behaved dogs, “City Officer” and “Traffic Warden.”

He was taken into custody for dispersing “insulting information on law enforcement officers” on the platform WeChat and was to be detained for 10 days. News outlets showed screenshots of the man’s posts, which featured tales about the daily antics of the cane corsos he bred — and saddled with the unflattering names.

Known as chengguan, “city officers” are unarmed urban management officials who maintain order and enforce local laws in public spaces and have developed reputations as bullies. Many on social media said they considered the jailing unwarranted but agreed the dog names were unfortunate. Some pet owners wondered if they could also get in trouble for their pets’ name. One popular name, baozi, or steamed bun, doubles as an insulting nickname for the country’s leader, Xi Jinping. Using it in online jokes has led to arrests.

Above: Siskiyou and Sequoia are new parents.

Main article photo by: Photo by Steven Gotz