Weekly News Roundup 6/15–6/21


A dog who survives a botched euthanasia wakes up abandoned and blind

A blue heeler mix named Valor was found staggering around a Texas road, mostly blind and in need of help. How he ended up alone and confused is even more heartbreaking. The animal control officer who picked up the confused three-year-old dog and the veterinarian who examined Valor after he was found believe the canine was the victim of a botched euthanasia attempt. It’s probable that Valor was accidentally given the wrong dose of the lethal drug and then discarded with the other animals put down at the same time. While he may have seemed dead, Valor’s will to live was strong. He likely came to after the mishap, now with damaged vision, and started seeking out a second chance. After he was picked up by animal control, he was taken to a rural shelter that reached out to Cuz i Matter Animal Rescue in Pflugerville, Texas, for help. Luckily, Valor’s story has a happy ending.

Ruh-roh! Guess which dog is America’s favorite on-screen pet?

Scooby Doo has been named America’s all-time favorite on-screen pet, according to new research. Since first gracing our screens back in 1969, Scooby Doo has been entertaining families for years and beat out other family favorites such as Snoopy and Lassie to be named America’s favorite on-screen pet. The results were unearthed in a study which explored 2,000 Americans’ deep love of pets and showed dogs dominating the top 30 spots for favorite on-screen pets of all time. Other classic dogs from the screen who made the top 30 include Toto from The Wizard of Oz and Beethoven, the big Saint Bernard from the Beethoven movies, according to the study. Nearly half of respondents said their love for a TV or movie pet influenced their choice of the pets they own now.

Auburn Vet Camp introduces students to veterinary medicine

The Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine is offering hands-on summer camps to middle- and high-school students to give them an idea of what a career in veterinary medicine entails. Conducted by students, faculty, and staff of the college, Vet Camp takes students into classrooms, laboratories, and clinical facilities to give them a glimpse of veterinary studies and the animal health industry as a whole. Kimberley Moyers and Trey McElroy, both third-year veterinary students at Auburn, are Vet Camp’s student directors, and oversee the more than 20 second- and third-year veterinary students who work with campers. “Vet Camp is a week of hands-on education where we show the students as many aspects of veterinary medicine as possible,” said McElroy. “We incorporate learning with many fun-filled activities. We want to immerse them in the medical side, along with showing the many other aspects of the veterinary field.”

Are smarter animals bigger troublemakers?

Ever encounter a raccoon raiding the trash in your neighborhood, seen a rat scurrying through the subway, or tried to shoo away birds from your picnic? Have you ever wondered what makes these animals so good at living in suburbs and cities, and whether these same traits also make them such a nuisance? For example, crows’ memories allow them to predict and capitalize on sources of food, such as trash collection routines, but their memories can also bring them into conflict with humans when the birds strew trash on the street or congregate in agricultural fields or on buildings. Researchers at the University of Wyoming examined the potential role of animal intelligence in different types of human-wildlife conflict, including wildlife killing livestock, stealing food, damaging property, colliding with vehicles, transmitting diseases, and even killing humans. The researchers looked at cognitive abilities such as learning, innovative problem solving, memory, and behavioral flexibility. “Animals that innovate novel ways to solve problems in their environment could drive a type of arms race with humans, where animals and humans work continuously to outsmart one another,” one of the researchers said.

Updated online tool helps estimate the cost of earning a DVM degree

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has updated and enhanced its Cost Comparison Tool (CCT) for 2018. Introduced in 2016, the web-based CCT helps applicants and students more precisely estimate the cost of earning a DVM degree, according to the AAVMC. Updates now allow users to research schools and use interactive filters to compare data related to tuition, projected cost of living, and the cost of financing one’s education. The tool still features information on all 30 US veterinary schools, but now includes 13 international members, up from 11. Five-year international programs are designated, and calculations have been adjusted for the differential. The tool demonstrates three levels of cost: tuition, tuition and living expenses, and total cost of attendance.