1st weekly news roundup – November 4th, 2022
Welcome to the first AFB Pet Club weekly news roundup! Each week we will compile a list of important animal related headlines which we think our readers will find interesting and useful. Sometimes the news is happy while other articles can pull on the heart strings. The AFB Pet Club is dedicated to improving the lives of pets and sharing important current events with our readers helps to ensure our mission is met. Enjoy!
The Animal Food Bank Pet Club’s blog has officially launched
To kick off our first ever weekly news roundup, we’d like to recognize the official launch of our AFB Pet Club blog!
The purpose of this blog is not only to provide our readers with quality information but it also gives interested businesses the opportunity to purchase advertising space on our website.
By doing this, you become a sponsor and 100% of your contributions go towards the AFB operation efforts.
So what does that mean? We spoke with founder Nicole Wilks about the launch.
“AFB Pet Club is meant to combine our Animal Food Bank blog and our Pet Club, providing quality pet related information, along with reader offers and deals,” she said.
“We recently polled our clients and 65.7 per cent of respondents said because of the services we provide, they didn’t have to choose between feeding themselves or their pets and 55.6 per cent of respondents said they didn’t have to surrender their pets.”
This year alone, the Animal Food Bank has helped feed more than 101,000 cats and over 50,000 dogs.
Contact us today to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
New study suggests that female dogs actually judge people
A recent study conducted by Kyoto University in Japan found that female dogs could be capable of judging people.
Have you ever gotten a ‘side-eye’ glance from your pooch that made you ask yourself “am I being judged right now?” Well if so, you’re not alone!
The recent study included an experiment with one person being able to open a container and another person who couldn’t.
The two subjects were given containers full of food. The person who could open the container was given more attention from female dogs than the person who couldn’t.
Interestingly enough, male dogs did not show a preference when faced with both people during the container task.
Hitomi Chijiiwa, the study’s leader spoke with Daily Mail UK, “Our findings show that dogs, especially female dogs, are able to identify human competence, which can influence their behaviour, particularly if food is involved.”
She went on to explain, “Future studies should investigate the potential sex differences among dogs in the way they evaluate humans.”
Past studies have found that other species including capuchin monkeys are also capable of making judgements, also known as ‘social evaluations.’
As dogs have become more domesticated through living with humans, their ability to understand our behaviours has strengthened, as well as being able to communicate with us.
Other studies have found that dogs prefer people who are kinder and more generous when it comes to food, but no information has been linked to their competency until now.
The study was published in Elsevier journal Behavioural Processes. The main focus was to see if dogs could make social evaluations on people through skill tests.
“It could be advantageous for social animals to evaluate others based on not only social traits such as cooperativeness, but also on nonsocial traits such as skillfulness or competence, for example in observational learning contexts,” wrote the authors.
The study included 30 dogs and two people.
The person who was able to open the container was the ‘competent’ actor. They were able to open it within two seconds.
The second actor was ‘incompetent’ because they were unable to open the container.
They repeated the actions with different containers, some with dog food and some with nothing.
Eventually after both actors attempted to open containers for 30 seconds, the dogs were given instructions to approach them.
Their interactions were caught on camera and analyzed.
Once the competent actor opened a container with food, the female pooches interacted with them for way longer than the male dogs.
Other studies have shown that female dogs are more likely to interact with people in general.
More research is needed to reveal more information about sex differences in canines.
Sex differences have been noted before in canines, such as how female dogs interact more with humans than males do.
“The present findings suggest that at least female dogs can evaluate people based on their competence in a motor task, an ability likely to be advantageous not only in social learning contexts but also when choosing partners in situations requiring cooperation.”
“A question for future research is whether evaluations of competence generalize to other motor tasks, or extend to traits such as reliability or knowledgeability.”
Lost dog rescued in Vancouver by group of good samaritans
A golden retriever from Vancouver was rescued on Monday after running through the city and ending up in the ocean.
According to an article from Vancouver is Awesome, the dog was first seen running near Mainland and Helmcken streets just after noon.
A woman with the Yaletown Business Improvement Association witnessed the pooch and tried to catch him along Davie Street.
The pup was quite spooked and wouldn’t slow down for anyone.
Brent Bagshaw also witnessed the dog and decided to try and help.
“I went upstairs to grab a pouch of dog treats and then started combing the streets,” he said.
Brent eventually ended up at the seawall and George Wainborn Park where he was told that the pooch was seen near David Lam Park.
“As I approached the dog with treats I could see yet another man doing the same,” he recalled. “The dog jogged towards the pier and then jumped into False Creek and started swimming.”
He witnessed a nearby Aquabus and tried to get them to pick up the dog.
“Soon there were three Aquabuses encircling the dog. The Aquabus skipper managed to grab the dog by its collar, but the dog slipped out of it,” said Bagshaw. ” A zodiac soon arrived on the scene, we thought it may have been the police but later learned it too was dispatched by Aquabus.”
Two men were able to save the pooch after receiving some dog bites. Luckily it was not serious.
“It’s more that the dog was scared and getting it out of the water was tricky.”
The BC SPCA is now working to reunite the pooch with its owner.
“He’s happy and healthy.”
Women’s prison welcomes dog program
Langley Animal Protection Services’ prison program connects incarcerated women with dogs, in an effort to provide them with training employment.
The program is taking place at the Fraser Valley Institution, a female federal prison located in Abbotsford.
According to a recent article from Abby News, the program called The Doghouse gives women the opportunity to learn about training, handling, grooming and other valuable skills.
“Working in The Doghouse program connected me to dogs who shared the same kind of brokenness I was feeling,” said one participant who finished the program and had since been released from prison.
“There was one shelter dog specifically who stayed with us for five months in the institution. He was high need, aggressive, and afraid. I could relate to him so deeply. I imagined that he was feeling displaced and afraid, and acting out because he had learned what was required for survival. As he was rehabilitated, so was I. We had lived parallel lives, and we shared our rehabilitation journey together.”
Another woman shared, “Being incarcerated means being displaced and removed from your context, your friends, and your family. Working at The Doghouse gave me a sense of accomplishment, consistency, and meaning that made everything else worth it.”
The women receive canine first aid certificates, professional dog training, level one and two kennel attendant training and groomers aide.
Alicia Santella has been managing the program for 16 years.
Before working at the Fraser Valley Institution, Alicia was at the Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women, managing a similar program.
The Doghouse is presented in partnership with LAPS and the Correctional Services of Canada.
Women who participate in the program receive vocational skills which give them a better chance of finding employment once they are released.
In addition, these women get to interact with dogs who are non-judgmental and loving creatures.
“The layer of judgment is removed in a relationship with dogs,” said Alicia. “They treat offenders as they are treated back. They do not look at the past – they look at how you are behaving today. It is empowering.”
In addition to this, the program is also a dog boarding service which invites the public to bring their dogs.
Interested people are screened before being able to access the services. If all goes well, their dogs are welcomed and taken into the prison grounds once instructions on care have been provided.
Program participants get plenty of one-on-one time with the dogs which are allowed to roam the fenced areas, play and hangout with staff.
People can bring their dogs on a fee-for-service basis which helps fund LAPS’ operations.
“We are able to provide amazing care to the dogs who come in. Most people hear about us via word-of-mouth. They have heard good things and are curious. A large percentage are very happy,” explained Alicia.
“Usually, if clients are dissatisfied, it is because their dog has had trouble adjusting to a boarding environment.”
Since the program’s inception in 2006, more than 150 women have participated and many have gotten industry employment after their release.
A unique aspect of the program is the ability for inmates to actually live with some of the dogs.
The women who are living in medium-security are living in cottages with up to six people.
Everyone gets their own bedroom while the kitchen and washroom is shared.
The pooches help alleviate stress and improve the quality of life for the inmates.
Got a story to share? Reach out to our writer Mimi Halpenny at firstname.lastname@example.org