In this week’s edition of Dogs! In the News! No more retail selling of pets in Miami! Anti-vaxxers fear autism… in dogs!? An art exhibit for you and your pooch. And why are dogs so darn friendly? Scroll down to find out!
Victory! Cracking Down on Pet Retailing in Miami
Miami is putting the last two pet stores in the city on notice that they’re going to have to change their business models… or close up shop. Last week city commissioners voted to ban the sale of dogs and cats from “substandard breeding facilities” like puppy mills and other mass breeders. The city council voted four-to-one for the new ordinance after listening to a big group of animal rights activists and pet shop owners. So far more than 50 Florida cities and 200 municipalities nationwide have passed similar laws.
It’s okay for stores to sell rescued animals from shelters like Miami Dade Animal Services (see above.) For more on this story check out the Miami Herald. Urban Doggers, when was the last time you saw dogs or cats sold from a pet store?
Pet-Sitting Brouhaha in New York City
A long-ignored law is getting in the way of freelance pet-sitters in New York City. The New York Post reports:
According to long-established but little-noticed regulations of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, anyone offering petsitting for pay must be licensed to board animals, and do so in a permitted kennel. Running such a kennel out of a home is not allowed in the city. Though on the books for years, the rules have lingered mostly in obscurity and are heeded by New Yorkers about as much as don’t-walk signs are. Summonses for breaking the petsitting rules are rarely issued, according to the health department, and unlawful at-home dog-sitting businesses are not typically investigated unless a complaint is filed.
This affects people who bring animals into their homes for pet-sitting. It does not affect going to a client’s home to pet-sit or dog walking. The enforcement of this law is particularly nettlesome for people who use gig economy apps like Rover or Care.
Medical News: Anti-Vaxxers and Dogs
Okay. This is a story I think is particularly stupid. It appears some folks in Brooklyn are refusing to get their dogs vaccinated because they are afraid it will cause autism in their pooches.
I am a bit sensitive when it comes to vaccinating your dog. There is probably a 50/50 chance that vaccinations may have caused a serious illness in our dog, Bodhi. I’ve read the research on his disease and admit the jury is still out on the topic. But despite my reservations about vaccines, I still believe it’s very important to have your dog inoculated against a variety of diseases. If there’s a medically proven reason not vaccinate, by all means don’t. But otherwise protect your dogs from rabies, parvo, and all the rest. But to prevent autism in dogs? That’s ridiculous.
PS. It’s AGAINST THE LAW to not get a rabies shot for your dog in NYC. Consider that.
Art Goes to the Dogs!
Art lovers and dog lovers in New York City have something in common this weekend. The first edition of dOGUMENTA is taking place at Brookfield Place in the Financial District starting on Friday. Time Out New York reports the gallery is:
… is mounting an art exhibition tailored for canine connoisseurs … The work in the show will be hung at a low viewing height appropriate for man’s best friend, while the objects themselves will be relegated to the color spectrum that dogs can see (combinations of yellow and blues, but not reds or greens). Also hours for the show (which begins at 8am and ends at 8pm) include a closure from 1–4pm to “‘paws’ at midday to avoid the heat!” dOGUMENTA’s name is a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of dOCUMENTA, the famed international art festival that takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany (this year’s edition also featured a branch in Athens, Greece).
Canine Friendliness? It’s Genetic!
Here’s the very latest in Urban Dog’s series of scientific studies that simply confirm what dog owners already know: dogs are genetically predisposed to be… FRIENDLY! Science Magazine reports:
A group of scientists from Princeton, Oregon State University and other institutions combined behavioral and genetic studies of 16 dogs and eight captive, socialized wolves to pin down changes in two genes on a region of one chromosome that were associated with hyperfriendliness in dogs. The two genes, GTF2I and GTF2IRD1, are also associated with Williams-Beuren syndrome in humans, said Bridgett M. vonHoldt, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University and an author of the study. Humans with this developmental delay, caused by mutations in a region of genes, show a variety of symptoms that include intense and indiscriminate sociability. (Italics mine.) Even the most socialized, friendly wolf is cold company compared with a Labrador retriever in full face-licking mode.
For a deeper dive into this, visit Science Magazine. So, Urban Doggers, is your dog naturally friendly?
The Tail: Dog Raids Fridge!
At the tail end of this week’s edition of Dogs! In the News!, check out the moves of this resourceful felon!