NEWS & FEATURES
Have you heard the woofest mews?
Have you heard the woofest mews?
Our pets have the power to help us beat loneliness and social isolation.
This is the gist of a new report funded by Mars Petcare and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) that highlights the impact of companion animals on beating the loneliness crisis in humans.
The report offers a roadmap for advancing research and best practices that address how human-animal interaction can serve as an important solution to the growing epidemic of loneliness and social isolation.
“There is increasing evidence that pets can play an important role in helping people feel less lonely and more socially connected,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director, HABRI. “Together with the leadership of Mars Petcare and a group of other experts and stakeholders, HABRI will work to address the crisis of loneliness in our society with the power of the human-animal bond.”
Loneliness currently affects three in five Americans and 9 million people in the United Kingdom.ii Loneliness can be as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, making it a serious threat to public health.iii Mars Petcare and HABRI surveyed 2,000 people in the United States, finding that 85 percent of respondents believe interaction with companion animals can help reduce loneliness.iv
“We have a responsibility to take the scientific exploration further when evidence to date shows us that pets can be part of addressing such a significant societal issue,” commented Rena Crumplen, Global Vice President of Research and Development, Mars Petcare. “It’s important that we undertake rigorous studies to understand how companion animals may provide a benefit for those suffering from conditions associated with social isolation and loneliness.”
The new report brings forward the recommendations from the Summit on Social Isolation and Companion Animals, along with the continued work of a broad consortium of human health advocates, mental health practitioners, veterinarians and human-animal interaction researchers. -- MetroPets
Japanese painter Akie Nakata can turn rocks and stones into lifelike animals. Her stone paintings have featured dogs, cats, rabbits and other domesticated animals as well as wildlife creatures that all help breath life to rocks and stones as old as time.
It was in 2011 when she first found a pebble that she thought was shaped like a rabbit. She painted it and never looked back. Today, her menagerie of miniature stony and rocky animals are seen by thousands in Facebook and Instagram.
By always studying the natural shape of the stone, Akie decides what animal it would be then she paints the image with acrylic. Though still rock solid, her finished animals look anything but hard and cold especially after each have been painted with a pair of eyes that give individual character.
Demand for Akie's stone painting is high and many pieces “get adopted quickly as soon as a few minutes after posting,” she said.
Because she uses natural materials whose shapes dictate if she can use them as her canvas or not, Akie doesn't take custom orders because she can only work when the right stone comes to her. -- METROPETS
The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced that 516 out of 1,057 passed the Veterinarian Licensure Examination administered by the Board of Veterinary Medicine in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan De Oro, Cebu, Davao and Tuguegarao this August 2019.
The members of the Board of Veterinary Medicine who gave the licensure examination are Dr. Ma. Elizabeth D. Callanta, Chairman; Dr. Mariano LL. Jovellanos and Dr. Maximino M. Montenegro, Members.
The top placer was from the University of the Philippines Los Banos. Three other UPLB veterinary graduates made it to the Top 10 for this licensure test.
The successful examinees who garnered the 10 highest places in the August 2019 Veterinarian Licensure Examination are the following:
This month celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. But before men took their first small steps on the moon, some animals went ahead to explore the outer space, usually at the cost of their lives. Two of these pioneering animal astronauts were Laika and Felicette.
Laika was a stray mongrel in the streets of Moscow when she was recruited to ride the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957. It was a highly risky outer space journey that put very little hope for Laika's survival. She died from overheating and not because she was euthanized before she ran out of oxygen as earlier claimed by the Soviet government.
Six years later, the French government took 14 female cats to space. One of them was a black-and-white kitty named Félicette. All cats were implanted with electrodes onto their skulls to monitor their physical reactions to zero gravity and outer space environments. Only Félicette survived the flight.
Years later, Laika and Félicette were both honored with their own statues.
Laika's statue shows him standing on top of a rocket monument. It was erected in April 2008 near the military research facility in Moscow where Laika was trained for space flight. Laika was also immortalized by having her image at the Monument to the Conquerors of Space in Moscow.
Meanwhile, a successful crowdfunding has initiated design work for Félicette's statue. Fans of the “high-flying” cat commemorated her on postage stamps.
THIS book that features dogs' pictures taken before and after their grooming will make you question your own hairstyle.
Made by animal photographer Grace Chon, the images started as a photo series called Hairy. The photos captured the adorable transformations of dogs after being groomed and styled following Japanese hair salon trends.
Chon wrote: “These cuts are works of art – each haircut takes hours as the majority of the styling is all done with hand scissoring. All the dogs in the series were groomed by the incredibly talented groomers from Healthy Spot in Los Angeles, CA. Many of the groomers there specialize in this style of cut and have been trained by masters from Japan.”
Puppy Styled contains dog photos that went viral in 2016, Chon said. It took her four days of shooting with eight dog groomers and hundreds of hours in post production.
My latest book Puppy Styled: Japanese Dog Grooming, Before and After is available for preorder! The book is based on a series of images that went viral in 2016. Her book can be preordered here: https://tinyurl.com/PuppyStyledBook
Puppy Styled sells for $9.30 at Amazon. --- MetroPets
THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued Memorandum Circular No. 2019-019 which guarantees the rights of pets to ride with their owners any public transport such as buses, jeepneys, taxis and tricycles, among others.
This new ruling was lauded by pet lovers in the country, many of whom have complained in the past about difficult commute when public transport drivers won't accommodate their pets. The new ruling was in response to a public clamor from groups of pet owners/lovers who consistently appealed to the LTFRB to allow pets in public transport.
The LTFRB has resolved the matter by harmonizing its policies with the provisions enshrined in R.A. No. 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act, so that pets can now have access to public transport subject to the following conditions:
1. The animals are put inside carriers/cages and placed at designated animal compartment of the PUV, should there be other passengers inside the PUV.
2. If there are no other passengers, pets may be allowed to be carried by the owner as long as said animals are free from foul odor and that the owner maintains cleanliness and sanitation. Further, the possessor or pet owner shall be responsible for the damage that the pet may cause, including the cleaning and sanitation of the PUV, as may be necessary.
3. Safety, convenience and comfort of the passengers shall not in any way be sacrificed.
The pro-pet memorandum is already in effect since its issuance last April 15, 2019. -- MetroPets
IN Brazil, a recent drug bust operation revealed an unlikely "suspect". A brown dog who apparently belonged to one of the men rounded up by authorities obediently surrendered with his humans.
In the photo provided by Europics, the dog could be seen lying on the ground with the alleged members of a drug syndicate. To prove he is not hiding anything, the dog even lied on his back to show policemen his clean belly.
The report from NY Post said the dog barked throughout the commotion before deciding to join his owner and friends who were down on the ground. But because he was clearly a good boy, the brown dog was not arrested with the humans. Officers declared that doggie was not a drug user and should be rewarded instead with treats. -- MetroPets
IF there's a country that will invent an automatic dog toilet, it has to be Japan. Known for its high-tech toilets fitted with air dryers and bidets for different wash functions, Japan's expertise when it comes to washroom fixtures can now benefit dogs as well.
At the recent Intrapets show in Tokyo, Japan First Step Co., Ltd. showcased the Wan-wan Meister which the company claims to be the world's first fully-automated pet toilet. This flat-bed toilet features self-winding absorbent special sheets of paper, indicator lamps, a waste tray and sensors.
Designed for indoor use, particularly in small apartments or condominiums, the Wan-wan Meister automatically rolls away soiled sheets and brings forth fresh ones thanks to its built-in sensitivity sensors that controls the conveyor belt. The surface starts to move slowly five seconds after the dog has done its “business”. Movement will stop if the dog decides to hop back in to his toilet and will resume again once the sensor detects that the dog has moved away again.
Solid wastes get deposited inside a waste box at the end of the flat-bed, which can be easily washed.
The Wan-wan Meitser automatically cleans after pets so their toilet area stays tidy even when no one is home to immediately remove the soiled sheets.
The manufacturer sells the Wan-wan Meister for JP¥188,000 with three rolls of paper. Each roll is 30 meters long (45cm wide). Company chairman Hirotaka Tohara told MetroPets that a one-dog-household should use up one roll of Wan-wan Meister toilet paper in 10 days if their dog poops at least once and pees at least five times daily.
The Wan-wan Meister has casters or wheels for easy placement in different areas around the house. The color green model for mid-sized dog type is slightly bigger than the pink color model which is designed for small dogs.
Here's a video of how the product works.
The Wan-want Meister international patent is pending. But pet owners in Japan can already purchase this product. -- MetroPets
THE hotly contested issue of leaving pets, particularly dogs, alone in cars while their owners are away to do some errands might soon be resolved for good if only everyone drives a Tesla car.
The electric car maker has launched “Dog Mode”, a function which will allow the air conditioning to remain on while the car is locked and secured, creating a safer environment for pets. People outside looking in can even see a big monitor that shows the temperature inside the car, which should reassure them that there's no need to intervene and break the car's glass windows.
According to PETA, 15 minutes is all it takes for pets to suffer from heat stroke in a hot car. During summer, the lethal mistake of leaving pets locked up in hot cars can kill them even faster.
The creation of Dog Mode was a direct response by Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla, to a Twitter user who requested for such feature. The billionaire then quickly developed Dog Mode which, aside from showing the temperature inside the car, will also let passers-by read a message that the pets' owner will be back right away.
Other safety features includes an alert system that notifies Tesla owner when the car's battery drops below 20 percent while in Dog Mode and that they should return before the air conditioning dies.
As it is still in prototype phase, the Dog Mode is planned to be rolled out in select Tesla cars initially. Musk said Dog Mode will also have Cabin Overheat Protection, which come on automatically at high temps to ensure any babies or pets in the car are safe. -- MetroPets
STARBUCKS in China recently released an insanely cute transparent mug featuring a cat's paw inside that becomes visible when coffee or any liquid is poured into it.
The cat-paw mug literally became an overnight success as supplies were reportedly depleted in 24 hours and caused some customers to become catty with one another, even resulting in brawls among those who desperately wanted to take one home.
Here's how it looks when empty:
This is not the first time that Starbucks released a cat-inspired mug. In Korea and Taiwan, the company has previously sold similar cute coffee cups that attract cat and coffee lovers alike.
The latest Starbucks cat-paw mug retails for 199 yuan (around US$40). Starbucks said there will be more pieces to be sold through online shops like Taobao in the coming days to accommodate even customers outside China who want a cat-inspired mug from the global coffee shop. -- MetroPets
* Report sees pets as cure against loneliness crisis