Weekly News Roundup 8/24–8/30


New law bans leaving pets behind after evictions

On Thursday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “No Pet Left Behind” bill into law. The law requires marshals evicting tenants to make sure there is no animal inside before locking up the residence. State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) sponsored the measure after a Brooklyn family was locked out of their apartment while their two-year-old pit bull terrier rescue, Tori, was stuck in a crate. The evicted family was blocked from going back into the apartment. After two days, a judge issued a court order to allow the family to retrieve Tori, who was left without food or water. (don’t worry—Tori’s fine.)

Paris Aquarium provides shelter to evicted goldfish

Goldfish in Paris, France, are getting a second chance to just keep swimming, even after their owners kick them out of their tiny fish bowl homes. The Paris Aquarium has been taking in unwanted goldfish who can no longer live with their humans, no matter the reason. More than 600 goldfish have found sanctuary at the aquarium over the last two years, where they are well taken care of and enjoy much more space to swim around. All that extra room seems to do them good—those little goldfish grow much larger at the aquarium than any fish bowl could allow, sometimes between 8 and 12 inches.

Survey says: Kids prefer rats to dogs and cats

The rats are where it’s at according to a new survey from RightPet, an online pet products and services review site. RightPet surveyed more than 16,792 individuals from 113 nations and received 64,284 reviews on 32 types of pets and livestock. Perhaps one of the most surprising takeaways from the survey is the deep love today’s children have for pet . . . rats. Based on 5,150 reviews from 2,867 pet owners in 74 countries who were between the ages of 10 and 17 when they owned animals reported that pet rats gave them more satisfaction than any other type of pet, even more than cats or dogs. Unlike cats and dogs, age was negatively related to satisfaction with rats, meaning that young children found that, as they grew older, satisfaction in rats waned, especially once the owner passed the age of 17. For cats and dogs, satisfaction built as the owner became older.

Pet got an upset gut? Have them pop a poop pill

An Oakland, California, startup called AnimalBiome analyzes the levels of bacteria in the guts of cats and dogs to see if they’re out of whack. The company then offers the pets’ owners a “poop pill,” encapsulated fecal samples from animals with healthy guts, to rebalance the so-called microbiome. In healthy pets, as in humans, hundreds of types of bacteria—some good, some bad—perform an intricate dance that strikes a balance that generally keeps animals healthy by snaring and digesting nutrients from food. When one or a handful of bacteria start to dominate the digestive tract, the result is conditions such as chronic diarrhea or vomiting. AnimalBiome’s goal is to stop inflammation caused by those conditions that can lead to life-shortening diseases, such as cancer. The cost: Up to $300 for a package of tests and oral “gut-restoration supplements.” That’s a lot of money for something pets usually eat for free—only not in pill form.

Adopt a service dog who didn’t make it through training

A number of adoption agencies specialize in dogs chosen to work as service dogs but who, for various reasons, never made it all the way through their schooling. But we’re not necessarily talking about police dogs; many dogs are trained for services that have nothing to do with sniffing out drugs or tracking suspected criminals. For instance, there’s an adoption service run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for pups who did “not meet the TSA Canine Training Center criteria for government work.” The TSA has an adoption application, a set of home requirements, and they warn that some of these dogs may be, in most cases, “untrained and not housebroken.” And you would likely turn to this program only if you’re especially interested in breeds such as German shorthaired pointers and Belgian Malinois dogs, as only certain types of dogs are even tapped for this kind of training. This might not be a scenario that suits every household, the TSA warns, so apply with caution.

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