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Strange But True News Items About Pets

Updated on January 1, 2017
Bob Bamberg profile image

With 30 years in the pet supply industry, Bob's newspaper column deals with animal health, nutrition, behavior, regulation, and advocacy.


I'm Not Making These Up!

I save interesting and amusing (and true) bits of news from the pet industry, which by themselves, aren’t enough for a column.

But collectively, they make for an interesting read. I was going through the archives and came upon this column from August, 2006

My cigar box full of odds (and I mean odds) and ends from the pet industry is full, so it's time to do another column of stuff that's weird but true.

I collect these from various trade publications I subscribe to.

In a "first in the nation" move, Illinois has prohibited drug dealers and violent criminals from possessing intact dogs.

The law also bans felons from owning vicious or dangerous dogs, and requires dogs owned by convicted felons to be micro-chipped.

The way laws are written seems to cover two extremes: from the point where the average person can't understand them to the point where they insult the intelligence of the average person.

It's head-shaking when laws state the obvious. For example, in a particularly insightful detail, the law also prohibits criminals from using dogs to attack law enforcement officers or to terrorize others.

Does that mean it's OK for law abiding citizens to use dogs to attack law enforcement officers and terrorize others?


At the other end of the scale, some Indiana prisoners are taking part in a pet-prison partnership program called Second Chance At Life.

The program pairs prisoners with retired racing greyhounds that would otherwise be euthanized.

The dogs spend about 10 weeks with the prisoners, who condition them and prepare them for adoption outside the prison.

The program, which is designed to save greyhounds and rehabilitate people in prisons, first started five years ago in Ohio.


I wonder if (name redacted), from Coral Springs, Florida watches The Crocodile Hunter?

He was walking his dogs one morning when he heard his 6 month old lab yelp. Running to the water up ahead, he saw his puppy's head in the jaws of a 6 foot alligator.

He jumped into the muddy water and beat the gator, to no avail, so he finally tugged the puppy free. The pup was treated for cuts and puncture wounds.

Have a look! This byooootiful gator was just minding his own business when he was set upon by the 6 month old carnivore! Crikey!

Health officials in Utah report that around 2,000 people a year suffer dog bites in that state.

Analysis of the data showed that children aged 1-9 make up the group most at-risk.

Those kids make up the high-risk group nationwide, as a matter of fact.

In Islip, NY a man trapped a neighbor's cat, took it to a shelter, and had it euthanized.

Since dogs must be licensed, there's a three day waiting period before a shelter can kill them.

Cats have no such rights, but they're considering a new law.

The man faces misdemeanor charges.

The East Carolina University (in North Carolina) Center for Survey Research released these crappy survey results:

47% of urban dog walkers, 49% in the burbs, and 59% in rural areas don't pick up waste left by their dogs.

Those lazy, inconsiderate, no-count 35 to 54 year olds were the least likely to pick up after Boomer, and men were less likely to scoop than women.

Because of the risks to water and health, North Carolina's environmental education office printed up postcards urging folks to scoop the poop.

Veterinary Pet Insurance did a survey in which 70% of 5,200 respondents said they'd pay any amount to save their pet's life. 17% said they'd pay up to $5,000, 10% would pay up to $1,000, and just 3% would pay up to $500.

Chow, a restaurant in New Haven, CT has Wednesday afternoon "yappy hour" when folks can bring their dogs, sit on the terrace and sip wine.

Back in June, Toronto's Historic St. Lawrence Market district hosted Woofstock 2006, a festival and pet-products show that drew 40,000.


Evansville, Indiana is considering an ordinance that would encourage pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered and micro-chipped.

Those who don't comply would pay a $100 annual license fee.

Those in compliance would pay $3 per year or $10 for life. What a deal. I'll take two, please.

Well, I'll start collecting my next batch of tidbits right away.

I've got 3 or 4 trades on my desk that I haven't read yet, and I'll get to them one of these days.

So those were some of the news items that weren't making headlines in the main stream media during the summer of 2006.

Isn't it amazing what you can find when you surf the pet industry?


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    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Yeah, the Gov. signed the bill in August, but it didn't take effect until yesterday. The cities and towns will come up with their own "Dangerous Dog" ordinances but won't be able to ban specific breeds.

      Like the saying goes: "Dog Bites Man" is not news, but "Pit Bull Bites Man" is. The law recognizes that any dog can inflict serious injury and focuses on owner responsibility, which should take some of the onus off of the dogs with the bad raps. Regards, Bob

    • Pages-By-Patty profile image

      Pages-By-Patty 4 years ago from Midwest

      And on a side note of current animal stories...just got notification that BSL is now illegal in your great state! Way to go, Massachusetts!

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Hi Patty, your brother-in-law and the family get a big salute for rescuing retired racers. What a great thing. Now that you mention it, I remember that being accepted into the prison program was a big thing. Hopefully some human goodness comes out of it. Regards, Bob

    • Pages-By-Patty profile image

      Pages-By-Patty 4 years ago from Midwest

      I follow Reburbished Pets of Southern Michigan and Animal Protection League in Anderson, IN. Both are amazing.

      My brother-in-law's family adopt retired racers and just recently got their 5th from a place in Ohio. The racers certainly have a devoted following.

      From what I've seen these prisoners don't take their care-taking lightly and being accepted into the program is considered the ultimate privilege. So, hopefully, there is true personal reform occurring that otherwise would never happen.

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Hi Patty, I saw a documentary on that prisoner program...or another one like it...a few years ago and it seems to work. I also saw a documentary about a similar program at a women's prison.

      I hope they extended, or have already extended, the program beyond greyhounds. Those dogs are already very socialized to humans and other dogs.

      I've known of a number of people who adopted retired racing greyhounds, and they seemed to fit right into the family. In 2010 a ballot question killed greyhound racing in Massachusetts, so the rescue opportunities dwindled here and it's no longer on one of the front burners.

      I wonder if the prison programs have any true value regarding the rehabilitation of the convicts. Thanks for commenting. Regards, Bob

    • Pages-By-Patty profile image

      Pages-By-Patty 4 years ago from Midwest

      Fun hub! I love the prisoners program and have followed the progress for quite a while. It really does wonders for the animals...who else has that much time to spend one-on-one with his cat or her dog? Wish more shelters would partner with facilities.