Category Archives: Pet DNA

2015 Pet Holidays!

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Are you looking for pet holidays that recognize the special role that dogs, cats, and other pets play in our lives? You’ve come to the right place. This extensive calendar, updated throughout the year, features fun pet holidays as well as serious pet awareness days, weeks and months that focus attention on challenges in the pet world.

January

National Train Your Dog Month

Walk Your Pet Month.

Adopt a Rescued Bird Month.

Jan. 2, 2015: National Pet Travel Safety Day.

Jan. 14, 2015: National Dress Up Your Pet Day.

Jan. 22, 2015: National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day.

Jan. 24, 2015: Change a Pet’s Life Day.

Jan. 29, 2015: Seeing Eye Guide Dog Birthday.

February

Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. (Humane Society of the United States)

Pet Dental Health Month.

Responsible Pet Owners Month.

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month.

National Prevent a Litter Month.

Unchain a Dog Month.

Feb. 7-14, 2015: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week.

Feb. 16-17, 2015: Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show. Held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, this event is televised.

Feb. 14, 2015: Pet Theft Awareness Day.

Feb. 15-21, 2015: National Justice for Animals Week.

Feb. 20, 2015: Love Your Pet Day.

Feb. 22, 2015: Walking the Dog Day.

Feb. 23, 2015: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.

Feb. 24, 2015: World Spay Day. Annual campaign by the Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States; held the last Tuesday of February.

March

Poison Prevention Awareness Month.

Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month.

March 7, 2015: Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins. Called “The Last Great Race on Earth,” this grueling race travels along a path that alternates between two paths, changing in even and odd years. The race crosses two mountain ranges in conditions that range from 30 degrees above to 30 degrees below zero.

March 3, 2015: If Pets Had Thumbs Day.

March 1-7, 2015: Professional Pet Sitters Week.

March 5-8, 2015: Crufts. Held in Birmingham, England, this is the world’s largest dog show, featuring nearly 28,000 canines in its four days.

March 15-21, 2015: National Poison Prevention Week.

March 23: National Puppy Day.

April

National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This event is an effort by the American Red Cross to draw attention to the need to know specialized pet first aid.

Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. (ASCPA)

National Pet Month. (UK)

April 12-18, 2015: Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week.

April 11, 2015: National Pet Day.

April 18, 2015: Pet Owners Independence Day.

April 22, 2015: Earth Day.

Third week in April. Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week. An effort by the Humane Society of the United States.

Third week in April. National Pet ID Week.

April 26, 2015: National Kids and Pets Day.

April 25, 2015: World Veterinary Day. This event from the World Veterinary Association is always celebrated on the last Saturday in April.

April 25, 2015: Hairball Awareness Day.

May

National Pet Month (US)

Responsible Animal Guardian Month.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Pet Cancer Awareness and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research. (Also see November events.)

Chip Your Pet Month.

National Service Dog Eye Examination Month. The American College of Veterinary Optholmologists hosts this annual event when over 200 veterinary optholmologists donate their services to provide eye exams to service dogs in the US and Canada.

May 1: National Purebred Dog Day

May 4-10, 2015: American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week. This week-long event has been celebrated since 1915. Always the first full week of May.

May 3-9, 2015: National Pet Week. Always held the first full week of May by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

May 4-10, 2015:American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week . An initiative of the HSUS, this week is always scheduled to begin the Monday before Mother’s Day.

May 18-24, 2015: Dog Bite Prevention Week. This event by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) along with the United States Post Office (USPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) focuses attention on preventing dog bites.

June

Adopt-a-Cat Month®. From the American Humane Association.

Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. From the ASPCA.

National Pet Preparedness Month. This month, timed for the first month of hurricane season, urges people with pets to make preparations in case they should be hit by a disaster…and that includes making plans for what you would do with your dog in case of a hurricane, tornado, flood or other natural disaster.

June 4, 2015: Hug Your Cat Day.

First week in June. Pet Appreciation Week.

June 9, 2015: World Pet Memorial Day.

June 10-14, 2015: World Dog Show, Milan, Italy. This large show is hosted by a different county every year.

Mid-June: Animal Rights Awareness Week.

June 26, 2015: Take Your Dog to Work Day.

July

Dog House Repair Month.

July 4: Independence Day. This US holiday is no holiday for dogs; the sounds of fireworks causes many dogs to panic and run, resulting in many lost dogs every year.

July 15: National Pet Fire Safety Day. Sponsored by the The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), ADT Security Services and the American Kennel Club® (AKC).

July 21: National Craft for your Local Shelters Day.

July 31: National Mutt Day. Also see Dec. 2.

August

Aug. 1: DOGust Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs. The North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, declared August 1 as a birthday for all the shelter animals whose birthdays are unknown. Happy DOGust!!

Aug. 5: Work Like a Dog Day.

Aug. 2-8, 2015: International Assistance Dog Week.

Aug. 15: National Check the Chip Day. AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) joined together to create “Check the Chip Day.”

Aug. 15, 2015: International Homeless Animals’ Day®. From the International Society for Animal Rights.

Aug. 17: National Black Cat Appreciation Day.

Aug. 26: National Dog Day.

Aug. 30. National Holistic Pet Day.

September

National Disaster Preparedness Month. Led by FEMA’s Ready Campaign, Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council, this effort encourages individuals, families, businesses and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies. Visit Ready.gov and CitizenCorps.gov.

Second Sunday in September. National Pet Memorial Day. Established by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries (IAPC).

Last full week in September: National Dog Week.

Last full week in September. Deaf Pet Awareness Week. By Petfinder.com.

Sept. 13, 2015: Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day. A day dedicated to the issue of pet birth defects including information on identification, prevention and treatment. Sponsored by the MBJungle Foundation.

Sept. 23: Dogs in Politics Day (also known as Checkers Day). Recognizing the dogs of politicians.

Sept. 28: World Rabies Day. Sponsored by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control.

October

Adopt-A-Dog Month®. By American Humane Association.

Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month. By ASPCA.

National Animal Safety and Protection Month.

National Pet Wellness Month.

1st Week of October. National Walk Your Dog Week.

October 4: World Animal Day.

1st Full Week of October. Animal Welfare Week (AVMA)

Oct. 11-17, 2015: National Veterinary Technician Week. Sponsored by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America.

Oct. 16: National Feral Cat Day.

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Oct. 16: National Feral Cat Day.

Last Saturday in Oct.: National Pit Bull Awareness Day.

Oct. 28: Plush Animal Lovers Day. A day that most dogs will be happy to celebrate…as they unstuff them…

Oct. 29: National Cat Day.

Oct. 30: National Black Cat Day in the UK.

November

*MORE November holidays; observances

Adopt a Senior Dog Month. By ASPCA.

National Pet Awareness Month.

National Senior Pet Month.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) and the Animal Cancer Foundation. (Also see May events).

Pet Diabetes Month.

National Dog Show. Always broadcast in the US on Thanksgiving, this event is held at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania and is hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. Sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, the event features 2,000 dogs.

First full week of Nov: National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week. by The Humane Society of the United States.

Nov. 17: National Take a Hike Day.

Nov. 17: National Black Cat Day.

December

Dec. 2: National Mutt Day. Also see July 31.

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The Trend Towards Using Pet DNA For Crime Solving

Which of my followers love channels like Investigation Discovery or shows like Forensic Files? It’s one of my addictions! My family doesn’t like the fact that I love watching all of these because let’s face it , they can be depressing. But I find an alternative reason to watch. Watching the world evolve as quickly as it does is fascinating. And now there is more new technology to help society advance in resolving crime mysteries.

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The Veterinarian Forensic Lab at the University of California, has changed the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted worldwide.
The lab has been called the “CSI of the four-legged world,” and it is the nation’s first laboratory dedicated to animal DNA profiling. It’s accredited by the prestigious American Society of Crime Lab Directors because the VFL conducts animal-related forensic tests as rigorously as any lab dealing with human DNA.

Simply put, the VFL uses DNA from animals to help solve a variety of crimes — from burglary and animal abuse to sexual assault and murder. They analyze crime scene evidence that, decades ago, might have been overlooked by detectives. Today, investigators automatically collect any animal fur or hairs, feces, urine stains and tissue samples found at a crime scene. They also take mouth swabs from pets after they defend their owners against attackers.

The case that helped establish the lab came from New Hampton, Iowa, in 1999. A sexual assault victim was not able to pick her attacker out of a police lineup. But she remembered that, as she stood near the man’s truck to answer his request for directions, her dog had lifted his leg and urinated on one of the tires. Two days later, police found the truck, swabbed the tire and the lab (then the foremost test center for bloodtyping cattle) was able to place the suspect where he insisted he had never been — alongside the victim. That conviction convinced everyone of the need for a full-time animal DNA testing lab.

How fascinating is this? You have to admit, very fascinating . Another case, where The VFL played a significant role was a grisly triple homicide case out of Indiana. The suspect insisted he had not stood at the spot where three workmen had been shot execution style. But police found a shoe print left behind in a poop patty and scooped up the evidence for evaluation. The lab was able to genetically match the droppings to the property owner’s dog and to a pencil eraser-sized specimen taken from the suspect’s shoe. Bingo! The suspect was convicted and is serving life in prison.

Besides its work in the U.S., the VFL has worked criminal investigations in several countries including Japan, Ireland, Canada, Australia and Argentina. Scotland Yard approached the lab to help solve the stabbing death of a bouncer outside a pub. Drops of non-human blood had flummoxed the Brits.

The VFL did the testing and qwere able to match the blood on the sidewalk to the suspect’s dog, which had apparently had his ear nicked during the altercation.” It was the first time dog DNA was used in a U.K. trial.

The lab works lots of dog-on-human attack cases, many of them involving children. In fact, one such case was upgraded to homicide after the female victim was taken off life support and died. But the staff at VFL knows first hand that what humans do to animals can be just as vicious.

Law enforcement in Florida had their eye on a suspected serial animal abuser and sent items to the lab for testing. Police believed this man had started out torturing hamsters, graduated to shooting razor arrows at livestock and then began killing goats and llamas in hideous ways. The lab was able to link the suspect to the grisly crimes when they identified the blood on his shirt as being from a llama. After the arrest, the lead detective breathed a sigh of relief.

Law enforcement in Florida had their eye on a suspected serial animal abuser and sent items to the lab for testing. Police believed this man had started out torturing hamsters, graduated to shooting razor arrows at livestock and then began killing goats and llamas in hideous ways. The lab was able to link the suspect to the grisly crimes when they identified the blood on his shirt as being from a llama. After the arrest, the lead detective breathed a sigh of relief

All of us with pets have a special bond — a special way of communicating with our beloved animals. Now, thanks to the Veterinarian Forensic Lab, whether the animal is the victim, the perpetrator or simply a witness to a crime, they can communicate to the courts as well.

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