Weekly News Roundup 1/11 to 1/17


First dog food made of insects goes on sale in UK

The United Kingdom’s first dog food made from insects—which, according to its manufacturers, could help reduce the environmental damage caused by the massive volumes of meat routinely fed to dogs and cats—goes on sale this week. Globally, pets consume about 20% of the world’s meat and fish, a number set to rise with the trend of consumers feeding them human-grade meat. Pet food is also estimated to be responsible for a quarter of the environmental impacts of meat production in terms of use of land, water, fossil fuels, phosphates and pesticides. Insects comprise a relatively high 40% of the protein in the new product. The insects are dried and ground with oats, potatoes, and “natural botanicals.” The current version comes in the form of dried pellets, although the manufacturer says it hopes to launch a wet version later in the year. . . . more

New dog museum unleashed in New York

The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog opens February 8 in midtown Manhattan, returning to New York after three decades on the outskirts of St. Louis. The collection boasts portraits of royal and presidential pets, artifacts that trace canine history as far back as an estimated 30-million-year-old fossil, and devices that “match” visitors’ faces with dog breeds and let people try their hand at basic dog training with a virtual puppy. While there won’t be actual dogs (except for special occasions), the museum hopes to give visitors “an understanding of the history of dogs [and] how they came to be in such different variety,” said Executive Director Alan Fausel, a longtime art curator and appraiser seen on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow. About 150 pieces from the kennel club’s extensive, mostly donated collection are on view at the museum, which also has a library area for perusing some of the club’s 15,000 books. . . . more

Prehistoric dogs the size of grizzly bears lived 16 million years ago and hunted in the same way as modern-day foxes

The largest dog to ever live was the size of a grizzly bear and hunted in the same way as a modern-day fox, scientists have found. Epicyon haydeni lived 16 million years ago and researchers have found he is related to the very first species of dog, known as Hesperocyon gregarius. Both of these canines pounced on prey in the same way that species such as foxes and coyotes do today, CT scans revealed. They discovered this by carefully analyzing the skulls of a group of mammals known as carnivorans, which includes modern-day foxes, wolves, cougars, and leopards. . . . more

Two Silicon Valley cats share their own apartment

A Silicon Valley dad unable to house his 18-year-old daughter’s cats decided there was really only one thing to do: Find the cats their own apartment. Cats Louise and Tina have been living in a $1,500-per-month studio apartment complete with Apple TV in San Jose, California, since July. The apartment is also furnished with a couch and a cat tree. Troy Good pays the rent, which is actually a good deal considering most comparable places in the neighborhood go for nearly $2,000 per month. The cats belong to his daughter, Victoria Amith. She was unable to take them to her school dorm at Azusa Pacific University, outside Los Angeles, when she became a freshman. Good said he couldn’t keep the cats either, because they didn’t get along with his girlfriend’s dog. . . . more

Alabama veterinary student arrested at rodeo, accused of selling rescued horses to slaughterhouses

A Tuskegee University veterinary student accused of promising to love and care for rehomed horses and instead selling them to slaughterhouses was arrested at a weekend rodeo in Blount County, Alabama. Fallon Danielle Blackwood, 24, was taken into custody by deputies on a 13-count indictment charging her with bringing into the state property obtained by false pretense elsewhere. The indictment was issued in October 2018 and marked the second state to bring charges against the woman. She was also arrested last April and charged as a fugitive from justice based on an outstanding North Carolina warrant on similar charges. . . . more