Weekly News Roundup 2/23–3/1



Dog food recalls continue over contamination fears

Two weeks after the J.M. Smucker Company announced a voluntary recall of shipments of Gravy Train and Kibbles ’n Bits over concerns about the presence of pentobarbital, treats from two more dog-food brands are being voluntarily recalled over fears of possible Salmonella and Listeria contamination. According to the FDA, a voluntary recall has been issued for TruPet’s “Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight” pet treats and Northwest Naturals’ chicken and salmon recipe dog food chubs. The FDA warned that contaminated food may have been distributed in Rhode Island, California, Washington, and three other states.

Deaf dog deemed unadoptable is now in training to become narcotics dog

When Ghost was a puppy, around three months old, he was found homeless in Florida. Deaf and deemed “unadoptable” because of perceived behavioral problems, Ghost was turned over to a shelter and scheduled to be euthanized. But K-9 handler and trainer Barb Davenport saw possibilities in Ghost that no one else did. Davenport, who has trained more than 450 rescued dogs to become narcotics dogs, arranged Ghost’s rescue and he’s currently in training as a narcotics-detection dog for the Washington State Department of Corrections.

Correction: Black Panther’s success has not led to an uptick in black cat adoptions

Reports on social media that the runaway success of Marvel’s blockbuster superhero film Black Panther has inspired an increase in the adoption of black cats appear to be exaggerated. While the idea that oft-stigmatized black cats are finally getting their due is heartwarming, a little digging by the website Gizmodo indicates that the unintended side effect of a hit movie about a superhero named after a big, black cat is mostly wishful thinking.

An inside look at Iditarod dog care

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is the most well-known sled dog race in the world. But the level of healthcare for canine athletes has risen to new heights since the first running in 1973. Elaborate prerace health screenings, systematic evaluations during the race, and proactive research studies have set the standard for the care of sled dogs. Mandatory prerace screening now includes blood testing, ECG recordings, and microchip implants, and during the race, up to half-a-dozen trail veterinarians leapfrog from checkpoint to checkpoint to make sure the dogs are competing at peak health.

Be like Babs and clone your dog

Turns out cloning your dog is a thing. Barbara Streisand did it, and if you have a ton of money lying around, you can do it too. A Texas-based company called ViaGen will clone your dog for $50,000 and your cat for $25,000. But first, you’ll have to send the company a tissue sample (usually four small pieces of shaved skin). The samples can be taken while the pet is still alive, but the company also provides instructions on how to take samples in a hurry from a pet who suddenly dies. Pro tip: put Fluffy’s samples in the fridge, not the freezer, while you get everything ready.

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