Weekly News Roundup 5/24 to 5/30


Healthy dog euthanized so she could be buried with her owner

Emma, a healthy shih tzu mix, was euthanized to fulfill her late owner’s dying wish that the dog be cremated and laid to rest with her. Emma arrived at the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter in Chesterfield, Virginia, on March 8 after her owner’s death, where she stayed for two weeks. During that time, the shelter was in contact with the executor of the dead woman’s estate trying to keep the dog alive. “We did suggest they could sign the dog over on numerous occasions, because she’s a dog we could easily find a home for and rehome,” said Carrie Jones, manager of Chesterfield County Animal Shelter. On March 22, the executor of the owner’s estate came to the shelter to get the dog, and again the shelter offered to have the dog signed over and be adopted out. The executor declined. Emma was then taken to a local veterinarian, euthanized, and taken to a pet cremation center. . . . more

Frantic trucker reunited with cat copilot after posting photo to online “trucker cat” forum

A frantic truck driver named Nick has been reunited with his beloved cat companion after a fellow traveler saw his plea for help on Reddit. Nick had been on his way past Elgin, Illinois, when he noticed that one of his truck mirrors was in need of repair. Since repair shop mechanics said that they were unable to fix the mirror until the following morning, he prepared to spend his evening watching movies with his cat, Waylon. In addition to the fearless feline being an ideal travel buddy, Waylon has also helped Nick cope with the emotional difficulties of being a veteran. “I’m not gonna go into detail, but long story short, I don’t do well in crowds or when I’m totally alone. Waylon kept me grounded. He kept me sane,” wrote Nick. “And most of all, he kept me safe.” So when Nick suddenly noticed that Waylon was missing from his truck, he began to panic. . . . more

You can now get a bachelor’s degree in dog training

Luna the springer spaniel is learning to sniff out a troublesome golf course fungus in return for a tennis ball while helping her handler fetch a new breed of bachelor’s degree. The four-year program in “canine training and management” officially launches this fall at the State University of New York at Cobleskill amid a surge in demand for specially trained dogs to detect security threats and assist veterans. While several institutions hand out training certificates and at least one small private college, Bergin University of Canine Studies in Penngrove, California, awards a bachelor’s in dog handling, the program at Cobleskill is more ambitious in its scope. “I do believe this is the first of its kind of this caliber of degree” at a major university, said Nick Hof, chairman of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. . . . more

Dolphins’ happiness living in captivity at marine animal park probed as tourist attraction considers sea pen

The question of whether dolphins can be happy living in captivity is about to be tested in New South Wales, Australia. A world-leading scientist is in Coffs Harbor for an Australian-first study into the welfare of five dolphins at tourist attraction Dolphin Marine Conservation Park. Animal behavior expert Isabella Clegg, PhD, MPS, is conducting her research as part of a feasibility study looking at the possibility of transferring the animals from their pools to a sea-pen sanctuary in the local harbor. Clegg’s study will help provide a snapshot of the dolphins’ current lives in the tourist attraction’s pools to compare with future studies if the dolphins are relocated. The research will involve assessing the dolphins’ individual personalities and their behavior with each other as well as with humans to gauge how they might react when moved to a sea pen. . . . more