Episode 4 - Microchips, dogs for dementia, puppy contracts and more
In the fourth episode of The Dog News Show the hot topic is microchipping. Debbie and Julie discuss the story of the California Bichon Frise who was missing for six years and who was finally reunited with her owner thanks to her microchip. But where was she for those six years? Why wasn't her microchip scanned in all that time? How do we make sure that our dogs are actually scanned? Should dogs be scanned every time they visit the veterinarian? What do you think is the answer?
Meanwhile, in the UK the dog world went crazy in expectation of an announcement that the microchipping of dogs was about to be made mandatory. However when the announcement finally came on Monday morning, it was not as definitive had been both hoped and feared, depending on your viewpoint. You can read Defra's statement in full on Beverley Cuddy's Cold Wet Nose blog, and if you have an opinion on microchipping, do contact Defra and have your say. Do we need more legislation? Find out more about the legal situation at the Dog Law website, run by Trevor Cooper.
The latest form of assistance dog being proposed is Guide Dogs for the mind to help guide dementia sufferers through the day. The dogs will be trained to respond to sound cues and will remind their owner to eat, wash or take medication. But Debbie and Julie have some concerns about this project - how will the dogs' welfare be ensured? Who will oversee the dogs' work and what will happen when a person is deemed unable to look after their dog any more?
Many dogs are sold or rehomed with a contract in place, but what does a puppy contract really mean, and how legally enforceable is it? The RSPCA recently brought out their version of a puppy contract, but does it include all the detail necessary? If you're a breeder or you rehome dogs, what does your contract include? Have you had cause to act upon in it a dog's interest? Have you ever signed a puppy contract and then regretted it?
An incredibly sad story surfaced in America recently where a rescue dog who had not long been adopted, attacked the baby who lived in the family home, and the baby very sadly died of his injuries. Without commenting on this particular tragic case, how do we make sure the rescues sufficiently assess dogs before they are rehomed? How do rescues check that potential adopted represent themselves accurately, and what's the safest way to introduce a new rescue dog into a household? A newspaper report can be seen here, but please be aware this is a distressing story.
April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and the ASPCA has some suggestions for ways to get involved and help prevent cruelty. Some of the suggestions include keeping a close eye on your neighbours' animals, but is it right to spy on people? Is it better to befriend people and help them improve the care they give their pets?
And finally in Schmaltz Corner, to send you off with a smile and a warmed heart, we have the story of Lisa Hulber who rescued Effie, a dog with health and behavioural problems. In an unexpected turn, Effie saved Lisa's life by detecting cancer even though doctors missed it. To find out about the amazing work of cancer detection dogs and dogs who assist their owners with a variety of medical conditions, visit the Medical Detection Dogs site.