Imagine a brand new airport terminal that features a swimming pool, private suites with flat screen TV’s, around the clock medical care and a spa with massage services.
Sorry, it’s not for you. It’s for dogs, and other animals.
The $65 million terminal at New York’s Kennedy Airport is scheduled to open later this month, a 178,000-square-foot facility called the ARK that will help process animals arriving and departing on international flights — dogs, cats, birds, horses and even cattle.
That’s right, cattle could soon be receiving far more luxurious travel services while we humans continue to be treated more and more like cattle when we choose to travel by air.
The facility will hold newly arriving animals from outside the country, and those being quarantined and, for those in need of additional services, the premises will include a pet resort, veterinarians and groomers.
The ARK sits on 14.5 acres of land in a cargo area near the runways. It replaces Vetport, a facility that opened in 1951 and had a less than pristine reputation.
The new facility is billed by developer Racebrook Capital as the “world’s only privately owned animal terminal and USDA-approved, full-service, 24-hour, airport quarantine facility for import and export of horses, pets, birds and livestock.”
Company owner John Cuticelli says he expects about 5,000 horses, 10,000 small pets like dogs and cats, and hundreds of thousands of birds to come through the facility each year.
The company has signed a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, according to the New York Post, which was recently given a tour of the new facility.
The Ark features a large animal departure lounge offering stalls, food and water for horses, individual climate-controlled units for horses, equipped with bedding and natural light, a veterinary hospital offering general and emergency care, a Paradise 4 Paws pet resort featuring a bone-shaped dog pool and a jungle gym for cats, and grooming, training and massage therapy.
“Right now, animals can wait four or five hours on the tarmac or in the cargo facility because there is no other way to process them,” Cuticelli said. “The ARK will be focused on the safe and humane transportation of animals.”
Posted by John Woestendiek January 3rd, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air travel, airport, animals, arriving, birds, cattle, departing, dogs, holding, horses, international, jfk, john cuticelli, kennedy, livestock, long island, new york, pet, pets, processing, quarantine, racebrook capital, resort, swimming pool, terminal, the ark, veterinary
Despite all the fears I’d managed to come up with beforehand, we got in, we got out, we got microchipped (well, he did), and all with relative ease.
I’d worried, because of where he comes from — a dog farm in South Korea where dogs were raised for their meat — whether he would go in willingly. Would he react poorly to being poked and probed? Would he revert to the skittish and fearful dog he was when I got him nearly a month ago, or be the more sociable creature he has become when he met the veterinary staff?
And, given I’ve been warned not to pick him up, how would he react when lifted to the exam table?
Based on how he did, I can conclude he is in good health, he is continuing to become more social, and I worry too much.
The purpose of our visit was to have his microchip installed, and get a basic check-up. I’m still not certain — if he ever got out of the house without me — whether he’d hang around or take off on a perpetual squirrel hunting quest.
I adopted Jinjja from the Watauga Humane Society last month. I was advised to give him a couple of weeks just to get used to his new surroundings, and to not try to lift or move him around for a while.
It took two weeks to get him to jump in the back of my Jeep, but once he mastered that, I scheduled a visit with a vet.
Much as I liked Ace’s vet, I opted to go to a new one, and sidestep the painful memories of Ace being put down last year.
I’d been to Mt. Tabor Animal Hospital with a friend’s dogs and was impressed. On top of that, it’s right down the street from where I live now, and has separate entrances and lobbies for dog people and cat people.
I haven’t a clue on how Jinjja is with cats yet, but from afar they seem to drive him almost as bonkers as squirrels do.
Jinjja was a little excited in the waiting room, especially when he heard other dogs in the background. Once in the exam room, he immediately peed, then held off until the vet came in to present a healthy-sized poop.
He was friendly to both the vet tech and the vet, but both thought it best, given his background, to muzzle him while his temperature was taken (he didn’t like that at all) and when his microchip was inserted.
That was another thing I had worried about. Might being muzzled stress him out more, make him regress? But, once we got it on, it had the opposite effect, calming him at least for a while.
After weighing in at nearly 50 pounds, and posting a normal temperature, Jinjja met the vet, Jenny Bolden.
I’d requested a female veterinarian, because Jinjja seems less skittish around, and quicker to make friends with, that gender.
They hit if off and, with the push of a button, the vet sent the platform Jinjja was standing on rising into the air. (So much for my worry about lifting him.)
We decided to hold off on a heartworm test until his next visit, he was up on all the important vaccinations.
Dr. Bolden agreed with my opinion that, judging from his teeth, he looked a little older than just one, the age listed for him at the shelter. She guessed he could be as old as three, but pointed out that the less than pristine condition of his teeth could also be a result of whatever he was fed or foraged on while in captivity.
We also talked about his weight. He is stockier than the average Jindo, but my suspicion is that he has some chow in him, and that accounts for the bulkier torso he carries on his relatively spindly legs.
She suggested his ideal weight might be about five pounds lighter.
Dr. Bolden asked a lot of questions — always a good sign in a vet — about his background, the campaign to save dogs in Korean farms. And she patiently answered mine.
We remuzzled Jinjja for insertion of the microchip. During that process, which didn’t seem too bothersome to him, I squirmed much more than he did.
By the time we got home, he was exhausted and I was covered in shed hair, something he hasn’t seemed to do to excess. I guess stress can accelerate the hair shedding process.
Once I assured myself it wasn’t mine, I decided not to worry about it.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 19th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, check up, dog, dogs, farm dog, first vet trip, humane society international, jenny bolden, jindo, jinjja, korea, korean, meat trade, microchip, mount tabor animal hospital, muzzles, pets, rescue, vet, veterinarian, veterinary, watauga humane society
They’re being called the first identical twin dogs in history, which isn’t really true.
They’re being called the first “confirmed” or “recorded” identical twin dogs in history, which technically isn’t true either.
Not to be too nitpicky, and not to rain on anyone’s parade, but the first confirmed twin canine was born in 2005, created by man in a laboratory, with help from a few jolts of electricity.
He was an Afghan hound, named Snuppy. And his twin was the donor dog, whose extracted cells he emerged from. Thousands of identical twins have been born since then. They are called clones.
So to be annoyingly accurate, we must call the Irish Wolfhound brothers born in South Africa earlier this year the first confirmed and recorded identical twin dogs that aren’t clones.
They were delivered by Kurt de Cramer, a veterinarian in South Africa’s Rant en Dal Animal Hospital in Mogale City, who, during a Caesarean section, was surprised to find two puppies in the same placenta.
“When I realizd that the puppies were of the same gender and that they had very similar markings, I also immediately suspected that they might be identical twins having originated from the splitting of an embryo,” de Cramer. told the BBC.
The significance of that is that — though dogs from the same litter often look alike — it has never been documented before.
de Cramer called upon colleagues to help confirm the finding. The team, including Carolynne Joone of James Cook University in Townsville, Australia and Johan Nöthling of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, obtained blood samples when the twins were two weeks old.
Those tests, and subsequent ones on tissues six months later, showed their DNA to be identical,
Their findings were published in the journal Reproduction in Domestic Animals.
While it is the first case of its type to be recorded in scientific literature, the birth of identical twin dogs may not be all that rare.
Pups in a litter often look similar. DNA tests are not routinely performed. And because mother dogs generally eat (or if you prefer, clean up) the placenta after birth, evidence of two dogs sharing a placenta doesn’t linger.
Twins can be either monozygotic (identical), meaning they develop from the same zygote (or egg cell), which is fertilized by the same sperm cell; or they can be dizygotic (fraternal), meaning they develop from two different egg cells, each fertilized by separate sperm cells.
Twinning in mammals is uncommon, occurring regularly only in humans and armadillos. While it has been reported in horses and pigs before, both twins rarely survive.
Today the twin dogs, called Cullen and Romulus, are doing well. They were slightly smaller than normal at birth, but by six weeks of age they had reached a similar size to the other pups in their litter.
Cute as they are, Cullen and Romulus are not really trailblazers. Most likely, many identical twin dogs have been born over the years — the natural way — and gone undetected.
For sure, hundreds more have been born in recent years the grossly unnatural way.
So, sorry about that nature, but when it comes to the “first” identical twin dogs — at least according to the written record, and the “scientific literature” — technology beat you to the punch.
(Photos: Kurt de Cramer, via BBC)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 2nd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breeding, caesarian, clone, cloned, clones, cloning, cullen, dna, dog, dogs, first, identical, identical twin dogs, identical twins, irish wolfhounds, kurt de cramer, litters, monozygotic, pets, placenta, recorded, romulus, science, shared, south africa, technology, twin dogs, twins, veterinarian, veterinary
When a veterinarian told a California dog owner that his suspicions were accurate, and his pet had indeed ingested methamphetamine, the owner turned down further treatment for the 10-year-old Chihuahua and left with his dog.
Given the dog, named Jack Sparrow, was in danger of dying, the vet contacted animal control, and the dog was seized from his owner to get the treatment he needed.
Police in Fontana said in a press release that Isaiah Nathaniel Sais walked into the Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center in Upland on July 5.
A urine test confirmed that to be the case, but when vets informed Sais of that, and of the treatment needed, he walked out with his dog.
Because doctors had observed Jack suffering from convulsions and seizures and felt Jack’s life was in jeopardy, they called Fontana Animal Services, which sent officers to the home of Sais.
They seized the dog from the owner after observing he was still convulsing and living in neglectful conditions.
“There was the smell of urine in his fur and his nails were over-grown,” Jaime Simmons, of Fontana Animal Services, told KTLA.
Officers suspected Jack may have been kept indoors for months.
Jack was taken back to the vet’s office, where he continues to recover, and is expected to be transferred into a temporary foster home in the next few days.
The case was immediately submitted to the San Bernardino Animal Cruelty Task Force and an arrest warrant issued for the owner.
Sais was being held at the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino on a felony animal cruelty charge.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 12th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, california, chihuahua, dog, dogs, drugs, fontana, Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center, jack sparrow, meth, methamphetamine, neglect, pets, veterinarian, veterinary
He was a well-traveled dog who loved the road more than anything, except maybe you and me.
He was a survivor of Baltimore’s less tender side who was picked up as a stray, placed in a city shelter, found a home with some writer guy and went on to become a therapy dog and minor celebrity.
He was the subject of a five-part newspaper series examining his roots, a book (unpublished and unfinished), the inspiration for this website, and my reason for being.
And now the hardest words I’ve ever written: Ace is dead.
Last week, he was frolicking in the woods. This week, he slowed down to a state near lethargy and showed little interest in eating, and in the past two days he began swelling up — mostly in the belly region.
Having recovered from his recent bladder surgery, he was the same dog he always was — until Monday night when he came inside showing no interest in his nightly treat.
The vet’s diagnosis was congestive heart failure and possible tumors — hemangiosarcoma.
Blood was not getting to his liver, and fluids were pooling up inside.
Based on Ace’s age (nearly 12, a good 90 in human years for a dog of his size), based on the poor outlook in either case, or the even worse outlook in the case of both, and based on his apparent discomfort, the vet recommended putting him down.
When I asked for some time to think about it, the vet said that wasn’t a good idea. When I asked to take Ace home and bring him back today, he said that wasn’t a good idea, either.
So we took an hour before the deed was to be done. We started walking. It started raining. It was taking all of his effort to keep up with me, and I (being a fellow member of the congestive heart failure club) walk pretty darn slow.
We stopped at a Domino’s and sat on the pavement under an overhang. I bought him a small cheese pizza — his favorite food. He took two bites, but only because I insisted.
We stopped in the rain on the way back. I briefly debated whether I was doing the right thing. I held his head in my hands, rested my head on his and looked into his eyes. I could still see the love in them, but not the joy.
Back at the vet, on the floor with his head in my lap, the vet administered a sedative. Ace was soon snoring. Once the lethal injection was administered, his heartbeat slowed within minutes and then, around 6 p.m. Thursday, stopped.
I’ll get his ashes in a week or so, and I’ll spread them in Black Walnut Bottoms, the trail in Bethania he loved.
Having written a lot about dogs and death, I thought I’d be better prepared for this. But I’m a wreck.
In answer to one of the questions asked a lot over the years, no — a resounding NO! — he will not be cloned. Having written a book on dog cloning, people ask that of me. Clearly, they never read the book.
In 2011, Ace and I set off on a trip duplicating the route John Steinbeck took in “Travels with Charley.”
It ended up lasting a year, and covering 27,000 miles. I think I speak for both of us when I say it was the time of our lives.
“Travels with Ace” didn’t interest any publishers, but it will hang around on the Internet — at least until my time comes.
I still need to finish the last chapter, but I can promise you this:
In the book, Ace won’t die.
(Photos: Top, Ace at Salvation Mountain in California; Ace at the Bandera County Courier in Texas; Ace and John (photo by Brendan Finnerty); Ace with a bust of John Steinbeck in Monterey, California)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 20th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace is dead, animals, baltimore, baltimore sun, barcs, dead, death, died, dies, dog, dogs, goodbye, heart failure, hemangiosarcoma, inspiration, lethal injection, muse, obit, obituary, ohmidog!, pets, put down, stray, therapy dog, travels with ace, tumors, veterinary
A new medication that claims to soothe dogs who are frightened by loud noises, such as fireworks and thunderstorms, will be available to veterinarians in the U.S. within a week — in plenty of time to help make the 4th of July less traumatic.
Sileo (not a very serious sounding name, is it?) comes in a gel form and is the first prescription medicine for treating anxiety over loud noises in canines– a widespread problem that leads to property destruction, running away and life-threatening injuries.
Its U.S. maker, Zoetis of Florham Park, New Jersey, says Sileo (pronounced SILL-lee-oh) works by blocking norepinephrine, a brain chemical similar to adrenaline that pumps up anxiety.
It is applied to a dog’s gums via a pre-filled, needle-less syringe.
Zoetis says the medication will give owners of the estimated third of the 70 million dogs in the U.S. who have problems with loud noises an alternative to human anti-anxiety pills, like Xanax, that sedate dogs for many hours.
Sileo takes effect within 30 minutes to an hour.
The pre-filled applicator costs $30, and contains enough for two doses for a dog of 80 to 100 pounds, four doses for a 40-pound dog, or six doses for a small dog.
Dogs can be re-dosed every two hours, up to five times during each noise event, Zoetis said in a press release.
Zoetis has exclusive rights to distribute Sileo in the U.S. under an agreement with the medication’s developer, Orion Corp. of Finland.
In testing on 182 pet beagles conducted on New Year’s Eve, 75 percent of their owners rated its effect good or excellent. Side effects were rare and minor, the company says.
(Photo: Provided by Zoetis)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 17th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 4th of July, animals, anxiety, behavior, canine, dog, dogs, drugs, fear, fireworks, first, fourth of july, gel, july 4, loud, medication, medicine, new years, noise, noises, pets, prescription, sileo, syringe, thunderstorms, veterinarian, veterinary, zoetis
A Chihuaua mix named Daisy is running as she has never run before — thanks to some blade-like prosthetics.
Abandoned on the streets of Los Angeles when she was two months old, Daisy had congenital deformation of her elbows, right shoulder, and back hips, making it difficult for her to walk, and impossible for her to run.
She was set to be euthanized at a local shelter when A Home 4Ever Rescue pulled her out.
For years, she used a a set of wheels to move around, but that put too much pressure on her spine. She has been using the blades, designed by Animal Ortho Care in Chantilly, Virginia, since August.
(Photo: From Daisy’s Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 25th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: a home 4ever, animal ortho care, animals, blades, chihuahua, daisy, disabilities, dog, dogs, los angeles, mix, pets, prosthetics, run, running, veterinary