News about animals from this past week: Bomb Sniffing Dogs, Pets as blood donors, and dogs comforting victims of the Boston marathon bombings.
Bomb Sniffing Dogs
60 Minutes (CBS) aired a segment about bomb sniffing dogs on April 21st. 60 Minutes reported that apparently bomb sniffing dogs had swept around the Boston Marathon race area the morning before the race and then again shortly after the first runners crossed the finished line. But it’s suspected that the Boston Marathon bombs were placed well after the dogs swept through. Most of the information about these elite military dogs is classified. It is amazing just how highly trained these dogs are – they can parachute out of airplanes, they were used during the mission to capture Osama Bin Laden and they can sniff out bombs like the ones at the Boston Marathon. Upset that you missed this 60 Minutes segment? You can catch part of the script and some web extras on the 60 Minutes website.
Pet Blood Donors
The Associated Press recently reported on that some veterinarians are seeing an increase in the need for more pet blood donors. More than ever, people are willing to provide a better level of care for their pets. Many pets with anemia, as well as pets with other serious injuries, will require blood donations. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s veterinary teaching hospital had only 3 pet donors about 6 years ago, but now it’s grown to 22 pet donors. The donors are from their staff’s pet companions and from former clients.
Dogs Comfort Victims of Boston Marathon Bombings
ABC news reported that victims of the Boston Marathon bombing are finding comfort from a special group of dogs from the organization K9 Comfort Dogs. These service dogs are certified to go into hospitals, schools, nursing homes, jails and mental facilities. Several research studies suggest that interacting with therapy dogs will help lower cortisol, which is associated with stress, while elevating other body chemicals such as dopamine, associated with happiness.
The dogs from K9 Comfort have also been deployed out to Waco, TX after last week’s fertilizer explosion. To learn more about the K9 Comfort dogs and organization please click HERE to visit their website.Photo: Courtesy of The U.S. Army via Flickr (CC by 2.0)