Weekly News Roundup 9/20 to 9/26

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Washington woman finds lost dog after quitting job to search for 57 days

When her beloved border collie, Katie, went missing, a Seattle woman spent 57 days searching for the dog—even quitting her job—before finally finding her. Carole King, her husband, and Katie were visiting the Flathead Valley in Montana over the summer when, on July 20, Katie went missing from their hotel room. The couple immediately began searching for the dog: combing the hotel grounds, posting at least 500 missing dog flyers, and spreading word of Katie’s missing status on social media. After searching for two weeks, King and her husband ordered two game cameras and cage traps. After 37 days, King's husband returned to Seattle, while she quit her job as a mail carrier to continue searching for Katie. . . . more

Tuition transparency back up for discussion

Almost one-fifth of veterinary graduates in 2018 accrued a quarter-million dollars or more worth of educational debt. And that doesn’t include any debt they may have accumulated during their undergraduate studies. Overall, mean educational debt accumulated during veterinary school was $152,358 for all respondents of the AVMA Senior Survey in 2018, which includes those without debt. Mean educational debt among the 82.7% of respondents who had debt was $183,014 in 2018, an increase of 9.8% compared with $166,714 for 2017 graduates who had debt. Notably, the percentage of respondents who reported educational debt greater than or equal to $250,000 increased from approximately 13% in 2017 to nearly 19% in 2018. . . . more

Webkinz prepares to kill off dormant pets starting next week

Launched in 2005, Webkinz was one of the first children’s toys to bridge the physical and digital world. The stuffed animals were sold with codes that allowed you to bring your pet to life and care for it in the cartoon-style Webkinz World online. The half-physical, half-virtual pets lined the shelves at Target and Limited Too retail stores for years, providing a safe, online space for kids to play and learn. But nearly 15 years after launch, many of those virtual pets may have only days left to live. Ganz, the company that owns the Webkinz brand, has announced that it will permanently delete all archived, inactive accounts on October 1, 2019. If you’ve left your account inactive for more than a year and don’t log in by September 30th, your pet will be deleted forever. . . . more

AVMF donates $10,000 to assist veterinarians in Hurricane Dorian recovery

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) has donated $10,000 to assist recovery from Hurricane Dorian. The AVMF board of directors approved the donation to greatergood.org, a national nonprofit benefitting people, pets, and the planet. Greatergood.org is working with partners on the ground in the Bahamas to deliver emergency supplies, transport, and medical care to animals and humans in areas affected by Dorian. The AVMF, which serves as the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association, has been actively assisting in storm relief in the past year, donating $10,000 to the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association after major flooding in mid-March, $20,000 to the Florida Veterinary Medical Association Foundation after Hurricane Michael in 2018, and $10,000 to the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation after Hurricane Florence, also in 2018. . . . more

Veterinarians object to human surgeons operating on homeless dogs in Georgia

A charity meant to help homeless dogs in Atlanta, Georgia, is voluntarily closing down after criticism by some that it was doing more harm than good. Surgeons for Strays performed operations on rescue animals for free—using medical doctors who volunteered in their spare time. From the state’s perspective, the charity wasn’t doing anything illegal. But local veterinarians say the practice is exposing a loophole in state law they want to close. Doctors with Surgeons for Strays have operated on 86 animals, and they say there’s never been a problem with any of the animals. But after what they were doing started getting publicity, veterinarians pushed back, saying while they might be in it for the right reasons, what they were doing was wrong. . . . more