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Dogs & Cats in the News Archive

Looking for current resources to use in your Mutt-i-grees lessons? Dogs & Cats in the News provides a compilation of news stories featuring dogs and cats that may inspire students to put empathy into action.

It's Official: The Nose Knows!

On February 19, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that search alerts made by drug sniffing dogs will be upheld. The ruling made it relatively simple for police to search vehicles after a trained police dog alerts to the smell of narcotics. The decision in the closely watched case reversed a Florida Supreme Court decision that had made it tougher to admit evidence discovered by drug dogs. Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the unanimous court, said searches generally would be upheld if “a bona fide organization has certified a dog after testing his reliability in a controlled setting,” or if “the dog has recently and successfully completed a training program that evaluated his proficiency in locating drugs. Read more:

How's Fido Feeling? It's Written All Over His Face

Think you can read your dog like a book? According to a recent study published in Behavioural Processes, you may be right! For the study, fifty volunteers were shown photos of the face of a dog as the animal experienced a range of emotions (such as happiness in response to being praised). Overall, the volunteers were very successful in being able to accurately identify what the dog was feeling. Even people who had little previous experience with dogs scored well on this task, implying that this ability may be innate rather than learned. Read more:

One Good Turn Deserves Another: Teen Excited to Meet the Dog She Helped Sponsor

Recently, a photo of a dog, Xena, caught the attention of a teen named Emily. After reading the story of this Mutt-i-gree®, whom North Shore Animal League America had rescued, Emily fell in love with her. Animal League America was also providing treatment to Xena for a life-threatening congenital condition through its Sponsor Program. Emily, who had begun working on her Bat Mitzvah project, wanted to contribute to the animal’s care as the “good deed” that her project required. After two surgeries and continued special care through the program, Xena was adopted. Emily was not so quick to forget the dog. She yearned to meet her in person, and, as luck would have it, Xena’s new place to live was close to home. The teen was able to get her wish! Read more:

Mutt-i-grees® in High School Musical Steal the Show

Paisley and Bruiser, two foster care shelter dogs, have been guest starring in a high school musical production of Legally Blonde in Bakersfield, CA. The show called for two canines, and while it would have been easier to simply include pets that belonged to members of the cast, these caring teens decided that they wanted to send a message to the audience: Despite what some might incorrectly think, shelter dogs make wonderful, lovable pets. Even more importantly, the students wanted to save the animals’ lives by spreading the word that the two Mutt-i-grees were in need of loving homes. Read more:

Who Let the Dogs In? The Doctor, That's Who

A small but growing number of hospitals are beginning to allow pets to visit patients, right along with the rest of the family, so long as certain requirements such as clearance by a veterinarian are met. Research has been done on potential risks associated with the visits. The findings? The benefits to the patients, including reduced stress, far outweigh any risk. Anecdotal evidence from pet owners is in no short supply, either. Read more: