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Pet spending continues to be on the rise, topping out at over $60 billion in 2015. But the increase – up from $58 billion in 2014 – doesn’t come from veterinary care. Instead, pet owners are spending more money than ever on ancillary services, such as…
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Researchers Develop New Technology To Enhance Human and Dog Communication

A group of researchers at North Carolina State University are working to develop technologies that may help dogs and humans communicate more effectively. Dr. David Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science at North Carolina State University, says he and his team of researchers have created a special harness that can help humans and dogs understand each other. 

The harness uses sensors, and the signals are processed by an on-board computer and read by special software to interpret the data for humans. The harness also has speakers and vibrating motors to help humans send messages to their dogs. Researchers hope to use this technology to help train guide and other therapy dogs. 

“This platform is an amazing tool,” said Dr. Barbara Sherman, clinical professor of animal behavior at North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine and co-author of the research paper. “We’re excited about using it to improve the bond between dogs and their humans.” 

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New App Tracks Lost Pets with Neighbor’s Phones

A new company has built an app it says will change the way lost pets are located. The app, called Pawscout, uses a special tag that communicates with any cellphone using its mobile app in a 250-foot range. When “lost mode” is activated by the pet owner, the tag will send an alert to anyone with the app in the area. The app uses mesh networking to alert you to your pet’s location. 

Because of the way the device and app communicate with nearby phones, the app’s success will depend on whether or not it is adopted by pet owners. The company plans to partner with the ASPCA to help spread the word. 

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Missing Florida Dog Found In New Hampshire

A dog will be reunited with his owners after somehow making a 1,500-mile journey thanks to some good Samaritans – and a microchip. Cooper, a four-year-old bulldog, disappeared from his home in Naples, Florida in May. He was spotted on the street in Salem, New Hampshire in December, and taken to the Salem Animal Rescue League. There, he was scanned for a microchip, revealing his surprising origins. 

No one knows how Cooper ended up in New Hampshire, but Corie Bliss, an animal control officer in Salem, says it’s unlikely that he walked. One thing is certain: without a microchip, Cooper’s miraculous journey might have ended very differently. Cooper will be transported back to his home by Kindred Heart Transport, a charity that specializes in reuniting pets with their owners. 

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2 Washington St, Dover, NH 03820
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AVMA and CDC Work To Establish “Ebola Pets” Protocol

As the Ebola outbreak continues to spread across the globe, health officials are facing a new unknown about the virus: what to do with the pets of those infected? While protocols are in place for handling humans infected with Ebola, there are no such protocols for dealing with pets. In Spain, an infected patient’s dog was euthanized. In the US, a nurse who tested positive for Ebola’s dog is under quarantine.

“What’s challenging is that we don’t know a lot about how Ebola behaves in various species,” said Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “We do believe dogs can get Ebola … [but] they don’t get sick. The big question then is if they don’t get sick from the virus, are they capable of spreading the virus to people or other animals? These are questions that we just don’t have answers to.”

In the meantime, Dr. DeHaven says that the AMVA and the CDC are working to find the answers. “We’re working to create a specific protocol,” he said.

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FBI Now Considers Animal Cruelty a Top Tier Felony

The FBI is now classifying animal abuse as a “Group A” felony, giving it its own category along with homicide, arson and assault. Animal cruelty was previously classified by the FBI as “other,” along with less serious crimes. The new classification means that law enforcement will need to report incidents and arrests for animal cruelty related crimes.

In an interview with the Associated Press, president and CEO of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles and former prosecutor Madeline Bernstein said that the change “will help get better sentences, sway juries and make for better plea bargains.” She added that the category will help identify young offenders. “[A defendant might realize] if he gets help now, he won’t turn into Jeffrey Dahmer.”

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Most Popular Dog Breed: Labrador Retriever 

Once again the American Kennel Club has released its list of the most popular dog breeds, and the winner won’t be a surprise to anyone who spends time at the dog park.  Labrador Retrievers, known for their friendly, outgoing and athletic temperament, topped the list. Close behind the top dogs are German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. 

Here’s the full list: 

1) Labrador Retriever
2) German Shepherd
3) Golden Retriever
4) Beagle
5) Bulldog
6) Yorkshire Terrier
7) Boxer
8) Poodle
9) Rottweiler
10) Daschund 

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Veterinary Infographics

Here's the latest installment of Veterinary Marketing with VetNetwork in Two Minutes. Learn about veterinary infographics and find out how you can use free infographics for client education! 

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Dog Rescued After Falling Off 200-Foot Cliff

Michelle Simmons thought her dog had passed away after Gracie, a Labradoodle, fell off a cliff during a hiking trip. But during a memorial service for the dog held on the cliff, a hiker heard a familiar sound – a barking dog, coming from the bottom of the cliff.

The hikers called the Oregon Humane Society, who assembled a 10 person volunteer rescue team. After hiking to the cliff, a member was lowered down and found Gracie, scratched and bruised, but otherwise in good health.

Rene Pizzo, the leader of the Oregon Humane Society’s rescue group, says that Gracie was not on a leash. “We strongly urge dog owners to keep their pets on leash at all times in areas such as this,” she said. “Your dog’s leash can save your pet’s life.”

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Study Suggests Some Pet Food Has Misleading Packaging

A new study published in the Food Control journal found that many brands of pet food do not contain the types of meat they claim to on the packaging. Researches from Chapman University in Orange, Calif. tested 52 pet-food products and found that 20 were mislabeled, and 16 contained meat not indicated on the packaging.

The study found that pork was the most common meat found in the food but not the packaging. “Although regulations exist for pet foods, increase in international trade and globalization of the food supply have amplified the potential for food fraud to occur,” wrote Rosalle Helberg, the co-author of the study. It was not clear to researchers whether or not the mislabeling was intentional, or at which points in production it occurred.

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2 Washington St Dover, NH 03820
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Have them in circles
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