Vol. 16, No. 20 – June 28 – July 11, 2023 – The Pet Page

Dual-County Pet Adoption Event

Ventura and Santa Barbara County, Calif: Ventura County Animal Services and Santa Barbara Animal Services are thrilled to announce a groundbreaking partnership aimed at finding loving homes for animals in need. In an unprecedented move, both organizations have joined forces to organize a fee-waived pet adoption event that will take place simultaneously across all five (5) shelters along the south coast. This occasion marks the first of its kind, showcasing the dedication and commitment of both organizations to the welfare of animals.

This fee-waived pet adoption event will take place on Saturday, July 1st, 2023, and applies to all animals over one (1) year of age. It is important to note that while there will be no adoption fee for these animals, there may be a nominal license fee depending on the city in which the adopter resides. This fee will help ensure that each adopted pet receives the appropriate licensing, vaccinations, and identification, in compliance with local regulations. All interested parties must participate in the full adoption process to ensure the best possible matches are made. All animals leave the shelter spayed or neuter, vaccinated, flea-treated, and microchipped. The collaboration between VCAS and SBCAS aims to ensure that every eligible individual or family can find their perfect companion without the financial burden of an adoption fee.

Both Ventura County Animal Services and Santa Barbara County Animal Services are renowned for their tireless efforts in animal welfare and have consistently strived to promote responsible pet ownership. This joint initiative serves as a testament to their shared vision of finding forever homes for as many animals as possible. By collaborating and pooling their resources, both organizations aim to maximize the impact of this event and make a significant difference in the lives of countless animals and their future families.

For more information about the pet adoption event, including adoption hours, adoption process, and shelter locations, please visit the websites of Ventura County Animal Services (www.vcas.us) and Santa Barbara Animal Services (www.sbcphd.org/animal-services).

• Dog bites more common on hot, hazy days

Cara Murez

When it’s hot and air pollution levels are high, dogs are more apt to bite, new research shows.

The findings, which need to be confirmed in further research, dovetail with links between human aggression and elevated heat and pollution levels.

Hot, polluted days have also been linked to increased aggression in rats, mice and some monkeys.

Just like their humans, dogs get cranky when temperatures and air pollution levels surge.

Heat and air pollution have previously been linked to human aggression. Now, researchers say it also appears that there are more dog bites on hot, polluted days.

More research is needed to confirm these findings, according to study author Tanujit Dey, of the department of surgery at the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, and colleagues.

For the new study, the investigators used dog bite data from 2009 to 2018 in eight U.S. cities: Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Chicago, Louisville, Los Angeles and New York City.

The data included more than 69,000 reported dog bites, an average of three per day over 10 years.

When the researchers compared this bite information with daily levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone, temperature, UV light and precipitation, they found that dog bites rose 11% on days with higher UV levels; 4% on higher temperature days; and 3% on days with increased ozone levels.

Dog bites decreased slightly, by 1%, on days with higher levels of rainfall. No changes were seen in dog bites on days with higher levels of PM2.5 air pollution.

These records did not include information about other factors that could have affected an individual dog’s risk of biting. This can include breed, sex, and whether the dog had been neutered or spayed. The data also didn’t include information about prior interactions between the dog and the bite victim, the researchers pointed out in a journal news release.

Hot, polluted days have also been linked to increased aggression in Rhesus monkeys, rats and mice in past research, the study authors noted.

Be aware that dogs may be more likely to bite on days when pollution levels and temperatures are high.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has more on preventing dog bites.

•LIFE By Christa Lesté-Lasserre

When 3D animated balls on a computer screen defy certain laws of physics, dogs act in a way that suggests they feel like their eyes are deceiving them.

Pet dogs stare for longer and their pupils widen if virtual balls start rolling on their own rather than being set in motion by a collision with another ball. This suggests that the animals are surprised that the balls didn’t move the way they had expected them to, says Christoph Völter at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna.

Human infants, starting at around 6 months old, and chimpanzees stare longer during these kinds of “violation of expectation” tests concerning their physical environments, he says.

Studies in humans have also shown that pupils dilate more in reaction to increased mental efforts, like calculating, or stronger emotions such as excitement or surprise – known as the psychosensory pupil response. And previous research in dogs has hinted that they dilate their pupils more when looking at angry human faces compared with happy human faces.

In one video, a ball rolls towards a second, stationary ball and then runs into it. The first ball stops and the second one starts moving – just as Newton’s laws of motion describe. In another video, however, the first ball rolls toward the second ball, but stops suddenly before reaching it. And then, the second ball suddenly starts rolling away by itself – contrary to basic physical principles.

Like human infants and chimpanzees, dogs fixed their eyes longer on the balls that didn’t move in a logical way, Völter says. Even more convincing, though, was the reaction in their pupils: they consistently viewed the “wrong” scenarios with more enlarged pupils, suggesting this was contrary to their expectations.

This doesn’t mean dogs necessarily understand physics, with its complex calculations, says Völter. But it does suggest that dogs have an implicit understanding of their physical environment.

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