Thursday begins with a great rabbit story, and gets even better

December 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

By Larry Lanius II for USA TodayHey everyone, it’s bunny time!  I’m going to give you an article summary that sounds like it’s straight from The National Enquirer, but it’s true.

A rabbit inspired an abused woman to seek help, which then led to the rabbit being cured of cancer.   I didn’t make this up. Even I’m not that imaginative.  A tip of the hat to loyal reader Mary Mary for this one.  The bunny story comes to us from USA Today.

In November, Joy Gioia, head of the St. Louis chapter of the House Rabbit Society, which takes in and re-homes some of the growing number of pet rabbits landing in animal shelters, got a heartbreaking call. It was from a woman who’d been abused by her husband for a very long time and had finally screwed up her courage in October to flee … with nothing but her rabbit.  She’d lived on the streets for a time, she told Gioia, making do with handouts. When food was scarce, she made sure there was enough for the dark-furred bunny she had named Ruby Angel because the white mark on her nose resembled an angel.

[…]The rabbit was saved not just from more abuse, but from cancer. When Ruby was spayed two weeks ago, as is the practice when HRS accepts rabbits, she was found to have uterine cancer. The cancer had not yet spread, so Ruby has a future.

Recovering with four-legged friends requires less pain medication: Although this feels intuitively true, data now backs it up.   Specifically looking at joint replacement surgery patients, the study says that patients  with pets needed up to 50% less pain medication then those who didn’t.

“Evidence suggests that animal-assisted therapy (AAT) can have a positive effect on a patient’s psychosocial, emotional and physical well being,” said Julia Havey, RN, study presenter and senior systems analyst, Department of Medical Center Information Systems, Loyola University Health System (LUHS). “These data further support these benefits and build the case for expanding the use of pet therapy in recovery.”

You can read the rest of the article here at ScienceDaily.

Indiana looks to control puppy mills: If you live in Indiana and run a commercial dog brokerage operation, starting New Year’s Day you’ll have to register with the state board of animal health and pay the state $1,000 a year.  The threshold for brokers: 500 dogs or puppies sold annually.  For breeders: it’s 20 unspayed females who are at least a year old, and the fee will depend on the number of dogs (after 20, presumably).  One important note from the article:

The law doesn’t affect animal shelters, rescue operations, hobby breeders, and anyone who breeds at least 75 percent of their dogs for sporting, service or law enforcement and military purposes.

Common sense advice on handling pets around people at the holidays: A valuable annual reminder from The Other End of the Leash.  It never hurts to keep in mind some of these guidelines before the aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews and assorted cousins descend upon you, or when you head across the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house (hint: dog sitters can be worth their weight in gold).

The best newspaper lede of the week: “So you think you know about dogs?  Sorry, you do not”.  That’s the beginning of a column from the Denver Post that made me laugh out loud and think.  The message behind the humor is sobering, which makes it even more effective. …

I’ll be back Monday if not sooner. Got a good link? In the comments to share.

Image: Ruby Angel, from USA Today.…

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