I always find information from various blogs and animal-related newsletters that grabs my interest.

I always find information from various blogs and animal-related newsletters that grabs my interest. These articles focus on pets in a variety of ways. They may inform about things we need to know or tell of remarkable accomplishments by our pets. These are just a few.
PetCo and PetSmart both recently announced that they will no longer be stocking and selling dog and cat treats made in China. Since 2007 the U.S. Food and Drug

Administration has received almost 5,000 reports of pets becoming ill, including 1,000 deaths attributed to eating Chinese made chicken jerky treats. Other treats implicated are duck, sweet potato, and chicken or duck jerky wrapped around dried fruits. FDA investigators thus far have been unable to prove a connection yet but the apparent cause has gotten everyone’s attention.

PetCo has been gradually switching their stock over to American-made offerings for several years. Jim Myers, PetCo CEO said, “We know the FDA hasn’t yet identified a direct cause for the reported illnesses, but we decided the uncertainty of the situation outweighs the lack of actual proof.” PetSmart says their plan is to have all Chinese made treats off their shelves by March 2015. For those of you who want to be sure your pets are not eating potentially toxic treats, there is a serious unresolved issue. It is very difficult to determine from reading labels where the products are actually made. Even for those made in the USA, it is not clear whether the ingredients have come from China. Most products have an 800 number to call for questions.

In Australia a German Wirehaired Pointer mix named Rex, made it his mission to rescue a baby kangaroo. The mother of the “Joey” perished after being struck by a car. She was seen lying by the side of the road when Rex was on his morning walk. After he returned home, Rex disappeared for a while, and returned gently carrying the baby in his mouth, and dropped it at his owner’s feet. The “Joey” was snuggling up to Rex while the dog sniffed and licked him. There is an adorable photo showing them together. Since baby Kangaroos need to stay in the pouch and nurse for around 8 months, this one went to a wildlife sanctuary to be raised and eventually released back into the wild.

Minnesota made animal rights history when they recently passed legislation that mandates that dogs and cats used in research must be put up for adoption when research is over, instead of being euthanized. They are the first state to enact this type of law that says that taxpayer-funded research facilities must place healthy dogs and cats up for adoption with registered nonprofit animal rescues when they are no longer needed for research. Previously in Minnesota and elsewhere in our country it was standard operating procedure for most labs to euthanize the animal.

College students at BYU are engaged in animal rescue and adoption in an unusual and controversial way. In 2012, Jenna Miller, a senior at the school started a student-run business called Puppies For Rent. Her goal was to make it possible for persons unable to own a pet to experience the joy that comes along with owning a puppy by spending some time with one on an hourly basis for a fee of $15 per hour. Sometimes they become a sort of “therapy pet” for students during stressful exam times. Another objective is to find adoptive homes for the dogs. Some people use the service to “try out” owning a puppy. The business has been successful and has spread to other college campuses. The student managers say that they have never had any problem with mistreatment of the pups. The pups have come from area families or rescues who have unexpected and unwanted litters. So far, all have found permanent homes. Potential homes are carefully evaluated before adoption and an educational component enhances the adoptive process. This program has met with some criticism and objections from animal welfare advocates. They are concerned that their irregular routine is detrimental to pups during this crucial developmental stage.