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Archive for January 15th, 2009

Mickey Rourke appears in new PETA ad

Mickey Rourke, who thanked his dogs while accepting his Golden Globe award for his role in “The Wrestler,” has teamed up with PETA to encourage spaying and neutering.

Rourke, who owns seven dogs, appears in the ad with one of his Chihuahua’s, Jaws.

In the ad, Mickey and Jaws urge people to have “the cojones to fix your dog. When dogs get knocked up, puppies get put down because there aren’t enough homes for them.”

The ad is part of PETA’s ABC campaign (Animal Birth Control), aimed at knocking out animal overpopulation.

America wants a mutt in the White House

A poll conducted for Petside.com and the Associated Press shows that pet owners favor a mutt in the White House.

By more than a 2-1 margin, pet owners say the Obamas should choose a mutt for their first dog over a purebred. The poll showed people who don’t have pets don’t really care either way.

The survey, conducted by GfK, also found more than half of pet owners and 43 percent of all Americans said it was important to them that the Obamas adopt their dog from an animal shelter.

Obama said over the weekend that his family had narrowed their choice down to two breeds: a Labradoodle (a cross between a poodle and a Labrador) and a Portuguese water dog, the kind owned by Sen. Edward Kennedy. (Although the Labradoodle is frequently called a “hybrid,” there’s really no difference between that and a mutt, other than the price tag.)

Democrats felt more strongly about a mutt in the White House than Republicans. Among all Democrats, 38 percent say the dog should be a mutt, compared with 32 percent of all Republicans. Republicans were more likely to say they don’t care about the question, 42 percent, than Democrats, 33 percent.

Among those quoted in an Associated Press story about the survey was Baltimore resident and miniature pinscher owner Pat Schoff, 55, who pointed out that, all in all, what breed a dog is doesn’t really matter.

“I guess in all reality, a dog’s a dog,” she said.

Live dogs used in trauma surgery class

The University of Michigan is coming under fire for a class in which doctors practice their emergency surgical procedures on live, otherwise healthy dogs.

The procedures so badly damage the animals — some of which are procured from animals shelters — that they must be euthanized — the Detroit Free Press reports.

According to the Free Press, one of the dogs used in the test was Koda, a male malamute that was surrendered at an animal shelter. Instead of being adopted, Koda was sold to R&R Research of Howard City, which resold it to the university for its Advanced Trauma Life Support class.

The University of Miichigan uses simulators for doctors in other courses, but Dr. Richard Burney, who directs the Advanced Trauma Life Support class, insists the dogs are the most realistic training tool and that the training will help save human lives. The dogs are anesthetized during before surgery.

“This is a fair and proper use of animals,” he said. “If you come … with a gunshot wound, without adequate training, you become the animal that is being learned upon.”

The University of Michigan course is one of 15 in the country — and the only one in Michigan — that uses animals, according to a survey from the animal welfare group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The group is to file a complaint today with the U.S. Department of Agriculture against Burney.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found in a survey of 198 Advanced Trauma Life Support courses nationwide that more than 90% use human cadavers or simulator dummies. The remaining courses use dogs, goats or pigs to teach these skills.