Weekly News Roundup 5/17 to 5/23


Alleged dog-theft ring busted in Las Vegas

Criminal charges have been filed in Clark County, Nevada, against three people suspected of operating a dog-theft ring. Some of the 14 charges include burglary, theft with the assistance of a child, cruelty to animals, and ownership or possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The alleged canine theft scheme was committed between November 2016 and February 2018. According to the complaint, the suspects would falsely represent themselves as the owners of lost dogs, or would obtain dogs from owners looking to rehome their pet by promising to provide the dog with a loving and permanent home. Instead, the suspects would sell the stolen canines for profit. The suspects are also charged with the neglect of two dogs, with one suffering from untreated infections, malnourishment, and inappropriate living conditions. Animal advocates refer to the scheme as “flipping” and say it is prevalent in Clark County. . . . more

Cat TB cases in the UK linked to raw pet food diet

A luxury cat food designed for pedigree pets has triggered an outbreak of a deadly strain of tuberculosis that has infected 50 cats and at least two of their owners in the UK. Natural Instinct-brand wild venison cat food has been subjected to a nationwide recall by the company, which sold it to thousands of UK cat owners as a healthier alternative to mass-produced pet food. The recall follows research by veterinary scientists at Edinburgh University in Scotland who investigated why 50 cats in 30 homes around Britain had developed bovine tuberculosis. The link emerged after 6 cats suffering with clinical signs of TB were taken to separate practices in England. Further tests confirmed that they were all infected with Myobacterium bovis. The one common factor identified by the researchers was that all of the cats, which were kept exclusively indoors, had been fed Natural Instinct’s wild venison cat food. . . . more

Grumpy Cat’s owner is facing a major financial loss—There’s no insurance for pet influencers

Grumpy Cat leaves behind a beloved legacy and a profitable business. Feline celebrity Grumpy Cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, died last week due to complications from a urinary tract infection. The cat, who was seven years old, first rose to fame after a photo of her went viral on Reddit in 2012. In the intervening years, she has become one of the most recognizable animals in the world. As a result, she’s had marketing deals with companies such as Honey Nut Cheerios and Friskies cat food, and starred in a television film where she was voiced by actress Aubrey Plaza. Her likeness was emblazoned on hundreds of products sold through her online shop, and she was a popular figure at fan conventions. While her sourpuss appearance brought joy to millions of fans across the globe, her death will bring more than heartache for her owner, Tabatha Bundesen. It will also represent a major financial loss. . . . more

Dog sitter caught walking around naked, kissing boyfriend on puppy cam

A California pet sitter hired through embattled dog-walking app Wag was caught on a dog cam getting hot and heavy with her boyfriend and sitting naked in the client’s home, according to a report. The dogs’ owner, Rosie Brown, booked 26-year-old Casey Brengle through Wag—which, in New York City alone, has been accused of losing or killing at least eight dogs—to take care of her two puppies, Penny and Daisy, for five days while Brown headed out of town for her cousin’s wedding in Louisiana. The two agreed on a price of $315 and even discussed the dog cam (which doubles as a treat dispenser) on the kitchen counter. “She had 210 five-star reviews and I’m thinking, okay, this is great,” Brown said. But all that changed when Brown got an electronic alert from the dog camera on the day of the wedding. . . . more