Weekly News Roundup 11/30–12/06


China cracking down on pet walkers

A major city in China is cracking down on pet dogs by banning dog walking during the day and prohibiting many larger breeds after a publicized fight between a dog owner and a bystander. The new rules in Hangzhou, in eastern China, were adopted after a dog owner was filmed pushing and shoving a woman who had kicked his dog. Before the fight, surveillance footage showed a young boy hiding behind her as the dog circled them without a leash. The harsh restrictions on dogs hark back to antipet rules in earlier decades of Communist rule and reflect continuing tensions over the place of dogs in Chinese society. In addition to a dog-walking ban from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., officials vowed to confiscate or kill dogs who were not properly licensed and fine their owners up to $1,400 dollars. The city has also banned 34 “vicious” large breeds, including Tibetan mastiffs, German shephard dogs, Great Danes, Chinese rural dogs, and some mixed breeds.

Study: Women sleep better with a dog in their bed

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but a new study says the animals are better companions for women at bedtime. Researchers at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, have found that women sleep better when they sleep next to dogs than when they sleep next to people. A study published this month says dogs disrupt women’s sleep less often than human partners, and provide more comfort and security. Of nearly 1,000 women living in the US who were asked about their sleeping habits, 55% shared the bed with at least one dog, 31% slept with at least one cat, and 57% slept next to a human partner. The findings indicate that cats and humans are equally disruptive to women’s sleep, while dogs are least likely to wake them in the middle of the night. Cats in the bed also provided fewer feelings of comfort and security than both humans and dogs.

Tired of cleaning up dog poop, apartment manager uses DNA testing to track down the perps

An apartment complex in Duluth, Minnesota, where residents haven’t been picking up after their pets has begun using DNA testing to identify the feces so they can track down the offending owners. Property manager Peggy Walsh says the average dog produces 276 pounds of poop every year, and with more than one-third of the complex’s residents being dog owners, that’s a lot of poop on the ground. “Everyone knows . . . it’s their responsibility to pick up their [dog’s] waste,” Walsh said, calling the situation both a safety issue and an environmental issue. So, Walsh implemented a new policy: A portion of all dog poop left on the ground is sent to a Tennessee-based company called Poo Prints that does DNA testing on pet poop. Ware said DNA testing was an easy way to identify and fine pet owners who didn’t pick up without involving all the residents “and creating a problem that was bigger than just the pile [of poop] that was there.”

Oregon veterinarian arrested for allegedly threatening employee with handgun

An Oregon-based veterinarian is facing charges of coercion and menacing for allegedly pointing a handgun at an employee in the parking lot of his practice, as well as for sending threatening text messages to a former employee. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office says the incidents happened last September and October. Police arrested Keith Richard Bartholomew, DVM, on October 31. During his arrest, officers confiscated several firearms, which they say was in violation of a restraining order. Bartholomew was released on $12,500 bail. In September, Bartholomew was also accused of rehoming a four-month-old American pit bull terrier without the owner’s knowledge after agreeing to euthanize the animal.

Survey respondents still needed for chronic heart failure study

Researchers at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine are still looking for pet owners who have cared for a dog or cat with chronic heart failure (CHF) sometime during the past 10 years, and who would be willing to participate in a new survey of owner experiences caring for dogs and cats with CHF. Wendy Ware, DVM, MS, DACVIM, a professor in the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Biomedical Sciences and point person on the survey, says they’ve decided to keep the survey link open through January 2019 and are asking AAHA members to encourage clients who meet these criteria to take the survey. Ware hopes their research can make a difference for pet owners dealing with CHF: “We believe that by learning more about people’s experiences and perspectives on a deeper level, we can help improve the management for heart failure patients, as well as better support owners who are caring for a dog or cat with CHF,” Ware said. Find out more about the study and how to enroll here.