Cats & Dogs
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1993:
The older men who get the most emotional benefit
from keeping pets are those who have the least free time, the most
difficulties in personal relationships, and the most financial trouble,
according to a newly published study by Ohio State University psy-
chology professor Sara Staats––whereas the women who derive the
most satisfaction from pets are those with the most free time and
the most satisfactory relationships with other people. Staats’ data
came from a survey of 250 people over age 50. The findings appar-
ently reflect the role of pet as family member for women, contrast-
ed with the role of pet as surrogate for family among many men.
As the American Kennel Club discusses tightening reg-
istration procedures to discourage speculative breeding, the two-
year-old Continental Kennel Club courts breeders who may be
pushed out––and those who never qualified for AKC registry in the
first place. Billing itself as “The all-breed, hassle-free kennel club
designed with the breeder in mind,” the CKC “recognizes over 400
breeds,” contrasted with the 137 breeds for which the AKC has
accepted standards, “and has a miscellaneous section which allows
the breeder to develop new breeds.” This allows almost anyone to
register almost anything, but in case it isn’t easy enough, the regis-
tration procedure requires only the signatures of the registrant and
two witnesses to affirm that the dog is purebred, plus the $5.00 reg-
istration fee. There is no litter registration––the breeder just gives
forms to whoever buys the puppies, to be mailed in at the buyer’s
convenience. Claims CKC literature, “Most authorities,” none of
whom are cited, “agree that modern dogs derived their ancestry
through the wolf, the jackal, the fox, and the coyote. Today’s dog
is entirely a product of man’s making through the crossing of these
various lines and selective breeding.” Wolves, jackals, foxes, and
coyotes do share common ancestors with domestic dogs, but foxes
are genetically unable to hybridizing with any of the others.
The SmithKline Beecham pharmaceutical empire and
private investors have put $6 million into founding International
Canine Genetics, a canine semen bank located in Malvern,
Pennsylvania. They hope that increasingly tough dog show compe-
tition, consumer interest in quality dogs, and pressure to halt back-
yard and puppy mill breeding will create a demand for artificial
insemination among serious breeders, comparable to the demand
among cattle breeders; just a handful of selected bulls now service
virtually the whole North American dairy herd. Artificial insemina-
tion significantly extends the length of time a top stud may be used
in breeding, thereby removing the owner’s incentive to breed as
often as possible while the stud is at prime.
Two new guides list hotels and motels that accept travel-
ers with pets: Touring With Towser, with listings for 2,200 inde-
pendents and 10 chains, $3 c/o Quaker Professional Services, 585
Hawthorne Court, Galesburg, IL 61401; and Pets-R-Permitted,
with 3,000 listings, $11 c/o POB 3930, Torrance, CA 90510-
3930. The American Hotel and Motel Association reports that 56%
of its 10,000 members now accept dogs and cats.
The Red Acre Hearing Dog Center in Stow,
Massachusetts, reportedly closed June 1 due to financial problems.
Red Acre was the only facility in the U.S. that trained pound dogs
to assist the hearing-impaired.
The U.S. government on May 29 auctioned the Long
Island Pet Cemetery to new owners, who are reopening it as the
Regency Forest Pet Memorial Cemetery and building a monument
to the countless animals whose remains were improperly disposed
of by the previous owners, Samuel J. Strauss, 72, and his son
Alan, 37. Both are now serving prison terms for fraud, while fac-
ing civil suits from more than 2,000 bereaved pet keepers.
The Pet’s Rest Cemetery & Crematory in Colma,
California, recently began billing the owners of pets buried more
than 20 years ago for rent to cover the next 20 years. According to
Knight-Ridder syndicate reporter Jeff Gottleib, in one recent case
the billing was two years late if indeed it was for the time period
specified; the cemetery could produce no written contract with the
bereaved specifying that the plot had been rented rather than sold;
and the headstone for the dog in question couldn’t be found.
Assassin Christian Didier, 49, who shot former Vichy
police chief Rene Bousquet, 84, on June 8 in Paris, France, said
he was able to perform the killing because Bousquet’s German
shepherd ran away instead of defending him––either terrified at the
mere sight of a handgun, or, like many shepherds, demonstrating
keen appreciation of human character. Bousquet was awaiting trial
for deporting more than 76,000 Jews to Nazi Germany during
World War II, only 2,500 of whom survived. Many of the victims
were children, whose deportation the Nazis had not solicited.
Russell Warren, 33, and his black boxer, Missie,
were struck June 1 by a hit-and-run driver near Bournemouth,
England. As Warren lay on the pavement with multiple fractures,
Missie, less seriously injured, picked herself up, ran more than a
mile, and brought back help.
Karen Lee-Glidden, 44, of Gulliver, Michigan,
screamed for help the night of April 6 when three men tried to
abduct her. Paka, her two-year-old Malamute cross, “came flying
out of the woods and grabbed the guy (who was holding her) by the
right arm,” she recalled later. “The guy hollered, ‘Let’s get out of
here.'” The three men fled in their truck with Paka in hot pursuit.