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Tag: france

Paris dog owners march for more off-leash space, and access to public transportation

parisdog

Paris, with all its pooch-welcoming restaurants, is generally considered a pretty dog-friendly city, but some think it could do more, particularly when it comes to park space and access to public transportation for canines.

At least 100 dogs and their humans marched outside the Louvre Saturday in a demonstration demanding more of both, the Associated Press reported.

Organizers of the canine-citizen march dubbed “My Dog, My City” estimate about 200,000 dogs live in Paris, but say that the city lacks the dog-friendly public spaces of places like New York, London, Montreal and Brussels.

According to the city’s website, two of Paris’ 20 sections have only one reserved public park space for dogs and both require leashes.

(Photo: Remy de la Mauviniere / Associated Press)

Dogs can detect prostate cancer, study says

A French study says dogs can sniff out signs of prostate cancer in human urine — a finding that could lead to better cancing-sensing technology, according to its lead author.

While some scientists have questioned similar reports of dogs with such diagnostic powers in recent years, French researcher Jean-Nicolas Cornu, who works at Hospital Tenon in Paris, said, “The dogs are certainly recognizing the odor of a molecule that is produced by cancer cells.”

Researchers don’t know what that molecule is,  according to U.S. News & World Report, but the study’s findings could prove useful in the detection of cancer, which often goes undetected until it is too late to treat.

Urine tests can turn up signs of prostate cancer, Cornu said, but miss some cases.

In the study, two researchers spent a year training a Belgian Malinois, a breed already used to detect drugs and bombs.

The dog was trained to differentiate between urine samples from men with prostate cancer and men without. Ultimately, researchers placed groups of five urine samples in front of the dog to see if it could identify the sole sample from a man with prostate cancer. The dog correctly classified 63 out of 66 specimens.

If the findings hold up in other studies, they’ll be “pretty impressive,” said urologist Dr. Anthony Y. Smith, who was to moderate a discussion on the findings Tuesday at the American Urological Association annual meeting in San Francisco.

Dogs from around the world headed to Haiti

Dogs from New York City and around the world are being sent to help in the search and recovery effort in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

The U.S. government is sending two, 72-man search and rescue teams with dogs to help dig out survivors, said Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Business Week reports.

French teams with “sniffer dogs” were seen boarding vans yesterday, headed to the airport on their way to Haiti. China dispatched a chartered plane containing multiple sniffer dogs and 10 tons of tents, food and medical equipment. A team from the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations left Moscow, also bound for Haiti, Discovery News reports.

Elsewhere, dogs were departing from Peru, Taiwan, Mexico and Britain, where a 64-member team, including dogs and handlers was en route.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has sent at least six dog-and-handler teams have been sent to Haiti.

“Our hearts go out to our neighbors in Haiti, and we’re honored to be able to help find survivors of this terrible tragedy,” NDSDF executive director Debra Tosch said. “This is the day that our teams have trained for; when the unthinkable happens, SDF Teams stand ready to respond, bringing hope and comfort to victims and their loved ones.”

French town offers hamster-themed hotel

hamsterhotelLooking for a romantic getaway abroad?

You, too can live like, not a king, but a hamster at a new hotel in the French town of Nantes, eating grain, running in a giant wheel, drinking out of a steel spout and sleeping in haystacks at the “Hamster Villa.”

All for only 99 euros ($148.10) a night.

“The hamster in the world of children is that little cuddly animal. Often, the adults who come here have wanted or did have hamsters when they were small,” said Yann Falquerho, who, along with Frederic Tabary, runs the company that operates the hotel.

Among the first guests were Maud and Sebastien, who told Reuters they saw the hotel as a place “to become a hamster, eat seeds, change our way of life…come out of our daily routine.”

(Photo via Reuters)

Former French president’s dog gets new home

chiracsumoFormer French President Jacques Chirac has found a new home for his Maltese terrier, Sumo, after the tiny dog attacked him for a third time.

In the most recent incident, Sumo is reported to have bitten Chirac in the stomach in their Paris apartment, the BBC reported.

Used to roaming the large gardens of the Elysee Palace, the tiny dog was treated for depression after Chirac retired and the family downsized to an apartment on the Quai Voltaire, according to Chirac’s wife, Bernadette.

In January, Chirac had to be hospitalized after the dog sank his teeth into an unnamed body part. In the latest attack, Sumo had been lying quietly at Mrs. Chirac’s feet but flew into a violent rage on the approach of her husband, leaping into the air and biting his stomach.

“I was very scared because there was blood. It’s terrible, the small teeth like that. He was going wild. He wanted to jump up and bite again,” said Mrs. Chirac, who made the final decision to send Sumo to a farm in the French countryside.

Dog-o-matic: The doggie washing machine

An entrepreneur in France has introduced the “Dog-o-Matic,” a laundromat-style machine that washes and dries a dog in about a half hour.

Romain Jarry, 31, says the device has been a hit in his home town of St. Max, and insists it’s neither cruel nor harmful to dogs, according to China Daily.

He charges about $20 for a small load, $33 for a medium-sized one, and $47 for super-sized.

“It doesn’t take long to wash the dog – usually a few minutes,” Jarry said. “The longest part is the drying. The dogs don’t seem to get bored. They just sit there and they come out clean. We are really hoping it will take off and that other places will start buying in the machines.”

Jarry said he hopes to make the machines available in England within the next year, but admits it may take time for people to get used to the idea.

Afraid we have to give this one — convenient as it might be — a big paws down.

Chirac attack: Mauled by his own Maltese

Former French president Jacques Chirac was rushed to the hospital this weekend after being bitten by his own dog — a “clinically depressed” Maltese.

The 76-year-old statesman was bitten by his dog Sumo, who has been being treated with anti-depressants.

Chirac who ruled France for 12 years until 2007, was taken to a hospital in Paris where he was treated as an outpatient and sent home.

“The dog went for him for no apparent reason,” Chirac’s wife, Bernadette, said. “My husband was bitten quite badly, but he is certain to make a full recovery over the coming weeks.’”

The pet, named after the Japanese form of wrestling, was a gift to the Chiracs from their grandson Martin, according to London’s Daily Mail.

European ban on dog fur takes effect

(Warning: This video contains graphic and disturbing images)

A total ban on dog and cat fur goes into effect tomorrow across Europe.

The ban, endorsed by European Union governments in 2007, prohibits trading in dog and cat fur in the 27 EU countries from the start of 2009. (Five countries have already unilaterally banned the trade – Italy, Denmark, France, Belgium and Greece.)

“The ban comes just in time as I understand there is something of a revival in fur in the fashion world,” said Struan Stevenson, who campaigned for the ban for nine years. “The onus is now on retailers and others to ensure that such demand doesn’t encourage unscrupulous fur dealers to search for ways to break the law.”

Stevenson said the ban would save the lives of millions of animals slaughtered every year in Asia – mostly in China – to serve a European market. But he warned it was now up to importers and retailers to stay vigilant against a “vile” trade in which cats and dogs are rounded up and often skinned alive.

Humane Society International first exposed the trade nearly a decade ago, revealing evidence of a thriving cat and dog fur market in many European countries including France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.

The proposed ban was supported by Heather Mills and her former husband Sir Paul McCartney. Mills collected more than 250,000 signatures in an on-line petition on her web page demanding an EU ban. More celebrity support came from Dennis Erdman, the director of television show “Sex And The City,” who persuaded Hollywood celebrities to write to the European Commission supporting a ban.

The ban follows similar legislation in America and Australia. China continues trading cat and dog fur.