Canine News from Near and Far, March 2007


New Laws Protect Dogs

Two new laws affecting pet owners went into effect at the start of 2007. 

As of January 1, it’s illegal to tie a dog to a stationary object for more than three hours in a 24-hour period. Owners who need to tie up their pets can still use cable runs set up between two objects and trolley systems. Also, pinch collars and choke chains are still legal – though ethically dubious – ways to restrain dogs. Violating this law can result in six months of jail time and a hefty $1,000 fine.

The second new law addresses the issue of pets being left in cars. Lawmakers have made it illegal to leave animals unattended in a motor vehicle “under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water.” The law even allows animal control officers to break into a car to rescue a pet in immediate danger. The fine for first-time violators is $100, increasing to $500 and six months of jail time for subsequent violations.

Both laws are considered misdemeanors. 


Clinic Faces Animal Testing Charge

Cleveland’s Lerner Research Institute is facing scrutiny from the federal Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the death of a dog used in a sales training session. The dog was induced with a brain aneurysm and was then used to demonstrate a medical device. 

According to the clinic, the dog was under anesthesia during the procedure. However, the aneurysm caused severe damage and the animal was euthanized as a result. 

The law permits the use of animals for medical device demonstrations. There was no comment by the FDA regarding possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act in the Lerner case or any penalties the clinic could face. 

According to the USDA, 49,898 dogs were used for research last year nationwide.

Family Dog foils Robbery

A local dog named Buffy protected her owner from a robber and was wounded in action. 

At his Oakland home, 44-year-old Will Bartley was robbed at gunpoint one January evening. Without being prompted, Buffy, a 100-pound German shepherd, lunged for the intruder. “My dog saw what was happening and bolted forward… she sensed it somehow,” Bartley said. Two shots were fired and one hit Buffy in the leg. 

The gunman fled, and Buffy was taken to Bay Area Veterinary Specialists in San Leandro. Amazingly, doctors were able to save her leg. “I’m just happy she’s okay,” Bartley said, “and I’m going to spend the rest of my life thanking her.”

New Weight Loss Drug for Dogs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first prescription drug for managing obesity in dogs. 

Slentrol was developed to “reduce appetite and fat absorption to produce weight loss.” A veterinarian determines if the medication is advisable, based on a dog’s weight and general health. The dose is gradually adjusted as the animal loses weight. When the dog reaches its goal weight, medication is stopped and the veterinarian and dog owner agree on an optimal level of food intake and physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.

Overweight pets are at a higher risk of developing a number of serious health problems, like diabetes and joint problems. 

AKC’s Top Ten Breeds of 2006

America’s most popular dog is once again the Labrador Retriever, according to The American Kennel Club (AKC) top 10 list for 2006. The breed has been considered America’s top dog for the past sixteen years. 

Surprisingly, the Yorkshire Terrier bested other large breeds for the number two spot. The popularity of smaller breeds has increased steadily over the last decade. According to AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson, “Not since the Boston terrier hit the top nearly 70 years ago has a small breed worked its way to such a high spot on the list.”

Here is the complete list: 


  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. Yorkshire Terrier
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Beagle
  6. Dachshund
  7. Boxer
  8. Poodle
  9. Shih Tzu
  10. Miniature Schnauzer



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