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a dog’s best friend

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world’s ugliest dog

The group became a little larger over the course of about 15 years, with various animal-loving, tattooed bikers in the New York area joining the conversation. One member, Angel Nieves, a 47-year-old retired city police detective, grew up in the projects on West 125th Street and remembered taking in strays from the streets as a boy, as did many of his cohorts. He owns a tiny, white bichon frisé named Cris.Having run in crowds where animal abuse was rampant, often involving pit bull fights, the men volunteered at shelters and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Toward Animals, and they tried to solve cases of missing or abused animals that other organizations had neither the time nor the resources to address.

Next month, the bikers will begin a program in the city’s public schools to educate children about being kind to all animals, even the less attractive breeds. They will be accompanied by Elwood, a small, hairless Chihuahua mix judged in an annual California contest to be the World’s Ugliest Dog.

New York Times


Written by aterrier

August 25, 2008 at 12:13 am

Posted in ethics, pit bull

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Cloned dogs

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Snuppy, whose name stands for Seoul National University puppy, was made from a cell taken from the ear of a three-year-old male Afghan hound.Scientists took the genetic material from the ear cell and placed it into an empty egg cell. This egg was then stimulated to start dividing and develop into an embryo.

Once growing, it was transferred to Snuppy’s surrogate mother, a yellow labrador. The Afghan pup was born by caesarean section after a full 60 days of pregnancy.
Cloning dogs is notoriously difficult
Although many other animals have been successfully cloned, dogs are notoriously difficult: the South Korean team only obtained three pregnancies from more than 1,000 embryo transfers into 123 recipients.

Of these, one miscarried and one died soon after birth; only Snuppy remains.

The hairy puppy, like other cloned animals, is generating a flurry of interest around the world.

Some people are concerned about the ethical implications of this research.

“Canine cloning runs contrary to the Kennel Club’s objective ‘To promote in every way the general improvement of dogs’,” Phil Buckley, spokesman for the Kennel Club told the BBC News website. “Cloning cannot be used to make improvements because the technique simply produces genetic replicas of existing dogs.

“Also, will these cloned dogs end up being used in the laboratory? That opens a whole new can of worms.”

BBC report

Bernann McKunney, from California, will pay a South Korean firm £75,000 if the attempts to clone her dead dog Booger are successful. It would be the world’s first commercially cloned dog.  Booger saved Miss McKunney’s life when he fought off another dog which had attacked her and bitten off her arm. Before he died 18 months ago she had his ear tissue preserved at an American biotech company in the hope that one day she could replicate him. The firm carrying out the cloning, RNL Bio, has successfully cloned an afghan hound in research.

It has already extracted cells from Booger’s ear, inserted the genetic material from them into egg cells from a donor dog, and implanted the fertilised cells into eight “surrogate” bitches. This means Miss McKunney could end up with more than one copycat dog. A spokesman for the Seoulbased company said it was confident of success, but that Miss McKunney would only pay after she has received her new pet.

Its chief executive, Ra Jeong-Chan, added: “There are many people who want to clone their pet dogs in Western countries – even at this high price.”

Daily Mail UK Feb 2008

Booger the pit bull terrier

Written by aterrier

July 3, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Posted in science

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