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Archive for December 4th, 2009

Inspectors say gas station dog must go

codyCody, the chocolate Labrador we showed you a video of last week — the one who jumps up and greets customers at the drive-through window of a Florida gas station — has been declared a health hazard and ordered to leave the premises.

The dog was featured last month in a St. Petersburg Times story, along with a heartwarming video of Cody in action that has been seen widely on the Internet.

Apparently state officials didn’t find it as heartwarming as everybody else.

Inspectors — from the health department according to some reports, agriculture department according to others — stopped by Karim Mansour’s BP station and convenience store in Clearwater and issued a warning. Unless the dog was removed, all of Mansour’s food products would be declared unfit for consumption, the St. Petersburg Times reported yesterday.

That most everything Mansour sells at his shop in Clearwater is packaged — bottled sodas, candy bars, chips and the like — didn’t matter to the Grinch-like bureacrats, who apparently feared the wholesome goodness of the store’s Slim Jims, Twinkies and Marlboros might be tainted by a deadly pet hair.

Mansour, who adopted 6-year-old Cody three years ago, accepted the warning and plans to start leaving his dog at home.

Most readers, judging from the comments the Times has received on the story, see the state’s crackdown on Mansour as a ridiculous case of overkill.

We couldn’t agree more. Once again, it appears, bureaucracy has prevailed, accomplishing its mission of  making the world a safer, far more boring, smile-free  place.

Krupa hoopla: Catholics irked by PETA ad

peta_joanna-krupaCatholics are cross with Joanna Krupa, the Playboy cover girl and “Dancing with the Stars” competitor whose latest ad for PETA features her wearing nothing but angel wings and a crucifix.

Krupa unveiled the new  “Be an Angel for Animals” PETA campaign at a protest this week outside Barkworks, a Los Angeles pet store that sells puppies.

The campaign, which urges people to adopt dogs rather than buy them, was quick to draw criticism from Catholic leaders.

“The fact is that cats and dogs are a lot safer in pet stores than they are in the hands of PETA employees,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement. “Moreover, pet stores don’t rip off Christian iconography and engage in cheap irreligious claims. PETA is a fraud.”

“It’s totally inappropriate,” said Deal Hudson, publisher of InsideCatholic.com. “It’s another instance of disrespect toward Christianity and another example of the kind of abuse that would never occur with any other major religion, because the outcry would be so immediate and so loud that the people behind it would immediately retreat.”

Krupa, herself a Catholic, responded that she’s just doing what the church should be doing — and by that, we’re pretty sure she meant fighting for defenseless animals as opposed to shedding clothing.

“As a practicing Catholic, I am shocked that the Catholic League is speaking out against my PETA ads, which I am very proud of,” the New York Daily News quoted her as saying.

“I’m doing what the Catholic Church should be doing, working to stop senseless suffering of animals, the most defenseless of god’s creation. I am a voice for innocent animals who are being neglected and dumped by the millions at shelters. In my heart I know that Jesus would never condone the suffering that results when dogs and cats are allowed to breed.”

Bulletproof vests that give dogs a voice

k9Picture this: A police dog chases a suspect into a dead-end alley and has him cornered against a wall. It’s a standoff. And then the dog says, “Drop your weapon and lay down on the ground.”

It’s a scenario that could come true in the year ahead. A Canadian company plans to start marketing a bulletproof vest for dogs that comes equipped with a wireless camera, speakers and a microphone — allowing the dog’s handler to see what the dog sees and issues commands.

The vest is made by K9 Storm in Winnipeg, Canada, a company that sells $5 million of custom dog armor a year for canines in Army, Navy, Marines, police departments in 13 countries and security firms worldwide.

“This will change the way dogs are managed in emergencies,” Glori Slater, vice president and co-founder of K9 Storm, said of the new vest, called “K9 Storm Intruder.” The vest relays sound and images over a distance of up to 300 yards.

Slater and her husband, Jim, a former dog handler for the Winnipeg Police Department, spent 11 years perfecting the vest, according to CNNMoney.com.

The Slaters say they have dozens of preorders for the Intruder, prices for which start at $20,000.