In Afghanistan, a bomb exploded in the midst of a crowd of villagers gathered to watch a dog fight. Ten people were killed, including 8 civilians and two policemen. at least a dozen more were injured. An AFP reporter described a horrendous scene in which there were also dead dogs and barking dogs tied to telephone poles. Dog fighting has been banned in Afghanistan but is still popular in southern villages. There was no claim of responsibility but the Taliban has carried out similar attacks in the past.
K9s and handlers are being trained to search stadiums in London to protect visitors who will attend the 2012 Olympics. For the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian government is seeking 100 Belgian Shepherds from Europe and the United States to be trained as explosives and drug detecting dogs. After those games, the canines will serve to protect the president and foreign diplomats. It’s part of an effort to make Rio safer for tourists.
In Minnesota, the House has voted to toughen a state law against harming or killing police K9s, search and rescue dogs, correctional facility K9s or arson investigation dogs. Current penalties call for prison time; the new bill enacts a fine of up to $5,000 and restitution costs of up to $25,000.
In China, Shanghai becomes yet another city in that nation to impose a one-dog per family rule. Dogs bigger than 3 feet will be banned from the city centre and so-called “attack dogs”, including bulldogs, will be banned completely. Dog ownership has become a strong trend in China recently, where current rules limit couples to one child per family.
Shanghai is a city of 20-million. Authorities say rabies is spreading; there is too much barking, too much canine waste, and too many people being bitten.
In Marco Island, Florida, an 11-year-old Doberman pincher was rescued from a canal by dolphins. Turbo was unable to scale a ladder to get out of the canal, and would have died if the dolphins had not splashed loudly, alerting humans to his distress.
On March 5, Lance McKay will attempt to win his fifth Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Teams of 12 to 16 dogs and a musher will travel more than one thousand miles over jagged mountains, frozen rivers, and dense forest. The race starts near Anchorage and crosses the state to Nome on the coast. It commemorates 1925 epidemic when brave mushers and their dogs raced against time to bring diphtheria antitoxin to desperately ill gold miners and fishermen.
A five-month-old Jack-a-doodle named JD has been purchased by the staff of The Fields care home in Low Etherley, County Durham, England, to serve as a therapy dog for the elderly patients. JD is a cross between a Jack Russell and a poodle. He was purchased with money donated to the home by former resident Joan Dobinson, who lived at the home for several years and died last September. The manager says JD has settled in to his new job, which includes lying on laps, watching television with residents, and going for walks.