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Tag: london

Dog’s DNA leads to owner’s murder conviction

His own dog’s DNA helped convict a reputed gang member in south London of the murder of a 16-year-old.

Oluwaseyi Ogunyemi was killed in a “vicious” attack by a gang of youths who set upon him and his friends with their dogs. One of the dogs,  a Staffordshire bull terrier-bull mastiff cross called Tyson, brought Ogunyemi down as he tried to climb over a fence, after which the youth was stabbed six times by its owner Chrisdian Johnson.

Johnson was arrested as he fled the scene of the murder last April, bare-chested and covered in blood.

New DNA technology proved by a billion-to-one probability that some of the blood on Johnson came from his dog Tyson, who had been knifed during the fighting. The rest came from Ogunyemi.

Johnson was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Seyi’s 17-year-old friend Hurui Hiyabum, whom he stabbed nine times.

Scientists used DNA profiling to prove that samples collected during the investigation were a billion times more likely to come from two specific dogs involved in the attack than any other animals, the BBC reported.

Police  hailed the dog DNA technology, which had just been developed at the time of the murder, as a “hugely powerful investigative tool”.

The birds greatest hits

French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot creates works by drawing on the rhythms of daily life to produce sound in unexpected ways.

For his installation in The Curve in London, Boursier-Mougenot created a walk-though aviary for a flock of zebra finches, furnished with electric guitars and other musical instruments. As the birds go about their routine activities, perching on or feeding from the various pieces of equipment, they create a captivating, live soundscape.

The exhibit runs from Feb. 27 to May 23.

Dogfighting sees big surge in England

dogfightA new wave of dogfighting is sweeping England, resulting in a 12-fold increase in dogfights since 2004.

And most practitioners — about two of every three — are youths, the Royal SPCA says.

A BBC report quotes RSPCA officials as saying a ban on four breeds, including pit bulls, has done little to slow the spread of dogfighting, or dogs biting people, and that a change in the law is needed.

The new wave of dog fighting, known as “chain fighting” or “rolling,” involves fights held in inner city public parks, on private estates and even in apartment elevators where  ”young people, often gangs of young people … put two dogs in a lift at the top of the block of flats and will press the button and let the dogs fight until they get to the bottom,” the RPSCA’s Claire Robinson told BBC News. Read more »

Elle’s dog Bella follows in her model footsteps

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Elle Macpherson’s labradoodle is starring in a national advertising campaign as the face of Dogside.com, a dog fashion brand.

The brand boasts that five-year-old Bella is ideal for showing off its leads, coats, scarves and bowls for “today’s stylish urban dog.”

Macpherson, 46 – known as ”The Body” during her modeling days, known as a millionaire businesswoman now — has her own lingerie and cosmetics lines, and has often been photographed walking Bella near her Notting Hill home, according to London’s Daily Mail. Bella is being promoted as “The Dog’s Body.”

Macpherson is said to be receiving a  five-figure sum for her dog’s work.

Chihuahua survives 2 days with fork in brain

A 12-week-old Chihuahua named Smokey survived two days with a barbecue fork in his head.

Smokey was being fed some table scraps at a backyard barbecue in London, Kentucky, when the person scraping scraps into his dish used the fork to shoo away another dog. The handle broke, sending the prongs flying into the dog’s skull, said veterinarian Mark Smith.

Smokey immediately ran off into the woods, where he hid for two days. When Smokey finally returned home, he was alive, and the large fork was still stuck in his head.

He was rushed to the Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital where Dr. Smith, after taking X-rays, anesthetized Smokey, disinfected the area around the fork, and simply pulled it out.

Smokey is recovering. “His nerve endings around the eye still seem to be a little slow but I think that will heal over time, he really is a little miracle,” a second veterinarian said.

Dr. Smith ordered six weeks of bed rest for Smokey, most of which will be spent in a crate.

Vermont record falls to London barkers

A group of dogs in London set a new world record for the loudest collective bark.

The 30 dogs emitted a group bark of 115 decibels in Finsbury Park, breaking the record of 111 decibels set by 224 dogs in Vermont last year, according to the BBC.

A German shepherd dog called Daz Lightning set the loudest individual bark record at 108 decibels.

The Guinness World Records confirmed both new records.

The 30 dogs were given three chances to break the group bark record, succeeding on their final attempt.

Medal awarded to heroic dog sold at auction

 

A medal bestowed upon a one-time stray named Rip who helped find trapped survivors during the Blitz in London has been sold at auction.

The medal fetched a high bid of $35,700, made on behalf of an anonymous bidder.

Rip, a mutt, was awarded the Dickin Medal after helping find more than 100 victims of air raids.

The medal is named for Maria Dickin, the founder of the veterinary charity PDSA, and has been given since 1943 to animals that had shown “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty”.

Rip was left homeless after the Luftwaffe attacked East London, in 1940, and roamed the streets until an air raid warden named King befriended him.

Without any training, he became the service’s first sniffer dog, showing an instant talent for finding victims covered by rubble.

“Despite the dangers, he worked courageously through the crashing and explosions of the bombing raids, braved fire and smoke with apparent disdain, and was completely unfazed by the air-raid sirens that used to strike fear into the hearts of the population,” the Daily Mail reports. 

It was partly due to Rip’s performance, that authorities later decided to train dogs formally to trace casualties.

The city of rawhide chews

Here’s some art one can sink their teeth into, especially if they happen to be a dog.

Beijing artist Liu Wei has constructed a massive city entirely out of dog chews.

More photos of his work can be seen on the website of the Saatchi Gallery in London, where Liu is part of an exhibit opening this week.

The gallery website describes this work, “Love it! Bite It!” as a “parody of grotesque consumption,” a “utopian vision” (especially if you’re a dog) that “re-engineers the breadth of Western history — from the Coliseum to the Guggenheim — as carnivorous spectacle.”

Liu’s other sculptures include “Indigestion II,” a monumental poop that spans two meters. The website describes it as “a man-sized statement of rejection … both repulsive and compelling … leaving no detail to the imagination.” (On close inspection, half digested kernels can be spotted.)

The exhibit of works by Liu and other proteges of Charles Saatchi, known as the Young Chinese Artists, opens Thursday at Saatchi’s four-story gallery in London.

(Photo: A gallery assistant views Love It! Bite It!  Photo by Clara Molden, via Dog Art Today )

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