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Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Open dog policy perks up employees in workplace WA Economics of re-hiring drives the continued support of perks in the workplace. Like other companies squeezed in a sluggish economy, Owen Media banks on the appeal of unusual perks to keep valued employees and so the 'small Seattle public-relations firm serving the sluggish technology industry, still closes its office once a quarter for employee "fun days" and allows employees' dogs to roam the offices...'   [Seattle Times]

Pet owners protest quarantine laws HI Pet owners vented their frustration at public hearings about a law which imposes a 120 day quarantine on pets arriving in Oahu. Most of the crowd of 75 pet owners wanted to scrap the quarantine entirely because they consider it cruel, unnecessary and harmful to pets.

'Greg Ring, a nurse at Maui Memorial Medical Center, said the Oahu quarantine left his Australian shepherd with rashes, boils and hair loss, and ultimately killed him: 'He came in a healthy dog. He left a wreck...' Arriving animals are required to complete a 120-day confinement at the State Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa on Oahu to prevent the introduction of rabies to Hawaii, the only rabies-free state in the nation. .' [Honolulu Advertiser]

Jaws of life frees family pooch FL When Jerry Robidoux let his tiny dog, Jake (a chihuahua - miniture doberman mix), out for his daily duty the dog didn't return as expected and a long day of frustration began. Somehow Jake had managed to wiggle into a six-inch mud-clogged culvert not far from his home:

'Two sheriff's deputies could not free the dog. They next called animal control, which was unsuccessful in liberating Jake, and finally the fire department. Firefighters freed the dog at 10:30 p.m. "Everybody just cheered when he came out, even the police officers," Robidoux said. Jake was caked in mud. Robidoux also gave credit to neighbors Dave Reische, Gary Elkins Jr. and his son Josh Elkins, 14, among others, for helping to rescue the dog... ' [Palatka Daily News] (hmmm... whatever happened to leash laws which, if obeyed, would have prevented this costly debacle... and where is the dog doing his daily duty... ) Related: Dog returns home after seven month absence

New Jersey Breed specific legislation withers under opposition NJ Faced with stiff opposition from the American Kennel Club and numerous dog owner organizations, a breed specific bill introduced by Assemblyman John Burzichelli  has been taken off New Jersey's legislative agenda...

'A2906 would have required a special license for all "pit bulls," including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers and any dog determined to be a pit bull type. The legislation also provided for very strict provisions for keeping pit bulls, with violators being subject to fines of up to $1,000 per day...' [AKC.org]

Agriculture Dept on alert for potential animal disease outbreak Australia Because of the heightened threat of bio-terrorism, Australia's agriculture department has issued an alert for the possibility of a highly contagious animal disease outbreak:

'The country's chief vet, Dr Gardner Murray, has played down the threat of bio-terrorism, saying he simply wants all people involved in disease diagnosis, animal transport and farming to look out for anything unusual....' [ABC News.au] The advice likely also applies to allied countries involved in the war in Iraq.

From the Exploding Cigar: Scarf up the neckties: anti-germ warfare ties and scarves for sale We may not have antibacterial food powder yet, but thanks to the power of  web sales and some savy inventors you can snap up fashionable anti-terror devices for you and your pooch:

'Silk ties and scarves lined with medical filtration material that can protect your respiratory system during a chemical or biological attack. Independent tests prove that the anthrax ascots and smallpox scarves will filter particles better than the handkerchiefs and T-shirts that the Department of Homeland Security advises people to use to cover their mouths and noses when fleeing an attack... For more information or to order a scarf or necktie, log on to http://www.fbsclothing.com or call 216-332-0820 or 866-473-7233... [Plain Dealer]

Antibacterial powder for food (dog and human)  Canada 'Anti-bacterial powder could disinfect food: A tasteless powder of antibodies could be sprinkled on suspect food to destroy any dangerous bacteria, according to the researcher who has produced the powder...' The inventor, Dr. Hoon Sunwoo, produces the powder by innoculating chicken 'with small amounts of E. coli, salmonella and other common food pathogens.' He then extracts the powder from their eggs which contain a high concentration of antibodies (to the pathogens). 'The antibodies do not kill the pathogens, but instead disable them. The antibody proteins bind to the membranes of the microbes preventing them from binding to the body or replicating. They become harmless and are eventually excreted...'

The application of the antibacterial powder (as a spice) to human food may possibly provide a secondary defense against salmonella and e.coli. infection which sickens and kills an estimated 5,000 people in the U.S. each year... Animal testing of the compound has been successful and human testing may begin by next year... [NewScientist.com]