Weekly News Roundup 1/19 – 1/25/18


Black cats are bad luck . . . for Facebook users

A cat rescue shelter in England is overrun with black cats nobody wants to adopt, but not for the reasons you might expect. Christine Byka, founder and director of the Moggery (a name inspired by “moggie,” English slang for an unpedigreed cat), says her homeless cats aren’t being rejected by prospective owners because they’re associated with bad luck, superstition, or witchcraft. People don’t want them because black cats look bad in selfies.

Service dog scammers could be out $250

The Washington state Legislature is considering a bill that would fine people up to $250 for falsely claiming their dog is a service animal. The bill aims to crack down on people who take advantages of rules that give special privileges to disabled people who need the help of legitimate service animals. And that includes allowing miniature horses in restaurants.

New app could be a game changer

The Merck Vet Manual App digitally enhances all of the information in The Merck Veterinary Manual, making it available anytime, anywhere, according to Merck. Accessible on multiple handheld devices, the app provides guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders and diseases in companion, exotic, laboratory, and food animals. The app offers thousands of topics written by more than 400 veterinary experts, enhanced by photos, illustrations, and videos, plus clinical calculators, reference guides, and table. Best of all, that info lives on the device, so it doesn’t use data, and once installed, doesn’t require an internet connection.

Good Samaritan laws protect pet first responders

At least three states have enacted laws protecting first responders who provide emergency veterinary services to pets but are not veterinarians, according to the AVMA Division of State Advocacy, and other states are considering similar legislation. In Ohio, for example, first responders as well as any veterinarian who consults with them during the emergency have immunity from civil liability, criminal prosecution, or professional disciplinary action.


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