Weekly News Roundup 2/8 to 2/14


Veterinary student who smuggled liquid heroin into US through puppies’ bellies sentenced to 6 years in prison

A veterinary student convicted of implanting heroin into the stomachs of puppies to smuggle drugs into the United States has been sentenced to six years in federal prison. Andres Elorez, 39, was arrested in Spain for crimes he committed more than a decade ago and was extradited to the US last year to face trial in federal court in the Eastern District of New York. Elorez, a Spanish national who went to veterinary school in Colombia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to import heroin. In court documents, he was described as “one of the best students in his class,” but prosecutors said his skills were used for “criminal purposes” with complete disregard for the dogs in his care. . . . more

Frozen cat covered in ice survives after veterinarians rally to thaw her

The polar vortex was raging in the Midwest last week, and temperatures had dropped below zero on the morning of January 31 in the city of Kalispell, Montana, near Glacier National Park. A cat named Fluffy—a northwest Montana native and typically confident outdoor cat—got into some trouble. Fluffy’s owners, who did not want to be named, found her covered in thick chunks of ice and snow near their northwest Montana home last week. They scooped her up and immediately drove her to the veterinarian, which is probably what saved her life. “She was frozen,” said Andrea Dutter, executive director of the Animal Clinic of Kalispell. It wasn’t a rock-solid kind of frozen. But her body temperature was below what the clinic’s thermometers could read—90 degrees. A cat’s normal internal body temperature is 101 degrees. . . . more

Pot smoker goes to toke, finds tiger

A man who snuck into an abandoned home in Houston, Texas, to smoke marijuana made a wild discovery—a fully grown tiger locked in a cage. Police found the 350-pound female tiger on Monday in deplorable conditions and inside a too-small cage on East Avenue J. The unidentified toker called authorities after making the trippy find. “They were trying to get into this house to smoke marijuana. We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger,” said police spokesperson Jason Adlerete. “They saw a tiger in this building, this vacant house that’s obviously been abandoned for some time.” Officials said the house was empty—except for several packages of meat found near the tiger. . . . more

It’s good to be king: Wire fox terrier wins Westminster Dog Show

A wire fox terrier named King has taken the crown at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. He’s the 15th wire fox terrier to win Best in Show. “You know, I love you all,” said Best in Show judge Peter Green as he stood in front of the finalists. “Every one of you.” Then Green, who spent years honing his own craft as a professional dog handler to terriers, raised his arm and pointed at the dog he apparently loved the most. “He’s best in show.” The seven-year-old King is “as good as it gets,” Green said, according to USA Today. “The head, the expression. Everything is really, really as good as it gets. And then the handler has him in perfect condition.” . . . more

Six southeast veterinary colleges band together

A group of veterinary colleges, spearheaded by the University of Florida (UF) College of Veterinary Medicine, has launched a consortium to collaborate, develop, and share best practices for veterinary education. The Southeast Veterinary Educational Consortium is in its beginning stages, but the veterinary colleges are eager to work together and share resources to improve the learning process, said Juan Samper, DVM, PhD, associate dean for academic and student affairs at the UF veterinary college. “As veterinarians, we are almost never or seldom taught how to teach, and it's something we only learn from feedback or trying to emulate some of the great teachers we had,” Samper said. “The profession is changing, and newer generations not only need but want to have a different way to learn. Memory is not a great way to deliver content. We cannot use the student’s brain as a hard drive. We want to make sure they use it as a processing center.” . . . more