Pet Ownership at Highest Level in Two Decades
The new American Pet Product Association survey reveals some fascinating news about pet ownership. Of particular interest to us:
- Pet ownership is at its highest level in two decades, with 72.9 million households owning at least one pet (40% of these homes have multiple pets).
- Dog owners spent $364 on average to buy their pet, more than three times what they spent in 2008. This increase is mostly laid at the paws of the "rising cost of pure breed dogs." Strangely, there is no mention of skyrocketing "adoption fees," but maybe they didn't count these as purchases?
- The good news is that we can keep pets alive and well much, much longer than before, the bad news is that it's pretty easy to break the bank at the vet: the cost of caring for our animals rose by another $1.2 billion last year.
- Not surprisingly, more people are starting to get health insurance for their pets.
- We've got fewer fatties among our pet ranks. This is great news: your dog or cat's joints and cardiovascular system thank you!
- More people are treating their pets like family members: this means more people bringing their pets to family visits and even buying gifts for their pets.
- More people (dog owners, anyway) are buying training devices or services for their pets, too ("devices" includes treats, by the way)!
For the Last Time: Military Dogs Don't Have Titanium Grills
An article last week in The Daily starting with the line:
Their razor-sharp teeth are made from titanium...
Really caught fire in people's imaginations. Suddenly, it seemed like everybody I knew was talking about dogs with mouths like this...
Frankly, setting the record straight for people who should know better is getting rather exhausting, so I'll just let these guys do it for me:
Indeed, the command’s requirements for dog teeth don’t seem to account for the circumstances that would lead to grille enhancements. “All four canine teeth must be present and must not be weakened by notching, enamel hyperplasia or abnormal, excessive wear,” it reads.
In other words, if for some reason you see a SEAL dog with light glistening from its titanium teeth, your proper reaction is pity for the creature. “It’s a detriment, not a help,” Franklin says. On the other hand, if you’re coming into close contact with the jaws of a SEAL’s dog, you’re in for a lot of trouble from his very deadly master.
And there you have it!
Kill a bovine-tuberculosis spreading badger, and we'll burn your family!
What's the natural reaction from animal rights fanatics when presented with a complicated, emotionally-charged livestock issue? If you guessed "Threaten the reporter's family with death by combustion," you win the door prize!
The issue in question is the culling of badgers, critters that carry bovine tuberculosis, a nasty disease that can be spread to cattle and humans, and cost farmers the lives of tens of thousands of cattle each year.
Farmers generally support a cull, while conservationists and animal rightists do not (though they may support vaccination programs for badgers); studies on the effectiveness of a badger cull vary wildly, each side trumpeting the research that supports their view. See: complicated issues -- not that that's stopping the animal extremists from viewing it in pristine 16th-century black-and-white.
Now, this sort of mindset is not uncommon from animal rightists; it is to be expected, in fact. But in this case, it is also sadly ironic, as the man presenting this story was bound by the BBC to report it in an unbiased manner that didn't even promote culling badgers! But hey, don't let that get in your way -- apparently, merely uttering the words "badger cull" is now a capital crime in the world of animal rights extremism!