Dogs in the News: April 2021

Posted by Scott Tunstall

Similar to celebrities and political figures, pups often find themselves in the news. However, unlike their two-legged counterparts, canines usually grab headlines for all the right reasons. From shoplifting strays to helping hockey hounds, here’s a roundup of dogs in the news this month.

“Man-Hating, Children-Hating” Foster Chihuahua Goes Viral

“Back off or I will eat your finger!” Photo by Facebook.com/SecondChancePetAdoptionLeague

Normally, calling a tiny Chihuahua up for adoption a “haunted Victorian child in the body of a small dog that hates men and children'' would destroy any chances of the pup finding a forever home. However, that hasn’t been the case after a foster mom’s brutally honest Facebook post went viral.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Tyfanee Fortuna described in hilarious detail on her Facebook page the cons (and some pros) about fostering her 2-year-old Chihuahua, Prancer. “Every day we live in the grips of the demonic Chihuahua hellscape he has created in our home,” she wrote. “Prancer only likes women. Nothing else. He hates men more than women do, which says a lot. If you have a husband don’t bother applying, unless you hate him.”

Since the post caught fire, Fortuna and the Second Chance Pet Adoption League in Morris Plains, NJ, have been flooded with adoption requests for Prancer. Apparently, canines that are the spawn of the devil are all the rage in 2021. In all seriousness, Fortuna deserves credit for doing whatever it takes to find Prancer a loving family and home to call his own.

Shoplifting Stray Dog Gets Adopted

Best Friends Forever. Photo by Facebook.com/Duplin County Animal Services

Animal Control officers near Kenansville, NC, received a strange yet hilarious phone call last month after a local Dollar General Store reported a stray dog “stealing” a purple plush stuffed unicorn. This canine klepto allegedly raced into the store whenever a customer exited and proceeded to grab the same stuffed unicorn from the toy aisle.

Instead of a trip to the pokey, the furry miscreant was taken to the Duplin County Animal Services shelter by Samantha Lane, the officer who responded to the incident. Touched by the dog’s love of stuffed mythical creatures, Lane purchased the little unicorn to keep the larcenous Lab company at the shelter. The pup, named Sisu by the shelter’s staff, was recently adopted into a forever home ... along with his purple pal, of course.

French Bulldogs Named Second-Most Popular Breed in U.S.

“I’m kind of a big deal.” Photo by Unsplash/@talkingslipper

The American Kennel Club’s annual rankings of the most popular purebred dog breeds are out, and the French Bulldog is flying up the charts. Frenchies, as they’re more commonly known, are now the second-most popular breed, behind only Labrador Retrievers. French Bulldogs have been steadily climbing the rankings over the last 30 years after checking in at No. 82 in 1991.

Celebrity owners like Lady Gaga, who had her two Frenchies stolen then returned earlier this year, have helped the breed gain popularity. Nicole Denny, a professional dog handler, summed up why people are drawn to these pint-sized pooches: “They are snoring, farting little love machines.” Take that, Poodles and Beagles!

Istanbul’s Street Dogs Star in New Documentary

Citizen on patrol. Photo by Facebook.com/Straydocumentary

The hordes of stray dogs that freely roam the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, have been attracting the interest of foreign visitors since the 19th century. These canine celebrities are now the subjects of a documentary film called “Stray.” Filmmaker Elizabeth Lo set out to capture the unique relationship that exists between the four-legged residents and the city’s human populace. The movie follows a trio of furry stars as they weave through traffic, people-watch on corners, and nap under the sun.

Turkey’s “no-kill, no-capture” policy regarding stray animals has resulted in an estimated 400,000 to 600,000 stray dogs and cats wandering Istanbul’s streets. The origins of the city’s stray population date back to the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. Today, countless bowls of food and water are placed in homemade shelters by residents, an act that speaks to the special bond between humans and animals.

“People really see a dignity in the dogs, they see them as fellow citizens, as belonging to their streets and communities,” Lo says.

“Stray” is available to watch on multiple streaming platforms.

Nevada Foster Dogs Tie the Knot

Happily ever after... Photo by Facebook.com/NevadaHumaneSociety

It didn’t take place at a chapel on the Las Vegas Strip and it wasn’t officiated by an Elvis impersonator, but that didn’t stop a foster dog couple from exchanging wedding barks in Nevada. After developing a strong bond in the same foster home, Lightning Liam, a Border Collie mix, and his beloved English Bulldog bride, Oh-Da-Babay, were hitched at the Nevada Humane Society Carson City. Both pups came from situations of severe neglect, but now they can look forward to a blissful life of sharing treats and arguing over who ate the TV remote.

St. Louis Blues Team Pup Achieves Service Dog Status

Barclay is the real MVP. Photo by Facebook.com/StLouisBlues

After helping cheer on the St. Louis Blues to their first ever Stanley Cup Championship in 2019, team dog Barclay recently inked a new deal to join the hockey franchise full-time as a Duo Dogs Ambassador. Duo Dogs is a St. Louis-based organization that trains ambassador, assistance and facility dogs to aid those with emotional and physical challenges.

As a recent graduate of Duo Dogs, Barclay will make regular visits to local hospitals, help grade school children improve their reading skills as part of the Blues Bookworms Reading Program, and help calm anxious spectators during home games at the Enterprise Center. Barclay is the first pup ever to serve in this capacity with a professional sports team.

Retired Service Dogs to Receive Pensions in Poland

Not to be forgotten. Photo by Unsplash/@jasonjarr

Dogs that serve in Poland’s Police, Border Guard and Fire Service are often placed in high-risk situations in their efforts to save lives and fight crime. However, when these canine heroes are retired from active duty, they are given away with no monetary assistance to aid them in their advanced years. Thanks to new legislation proposed by the Interior Ministry, service dogs could be given official status, making them eligible for paid retirement benefits.

“More than one human life has been saved, more than one dangerous criminal caught thanks to the animals in service,” said Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski in February.

Retired service animals often require expensive medical treatment for ailments such as arthritis and strained hind leg joints. The law, which would affect 1,200 dogs, will be presented to parliament for approval later this year, where it’s expected to meet little to no resistance.

Dogs Used to Sniff Out Pythons in Florida Everglades

Burmese Python for a tennis ball is an even trade. Photo by MyFWC

A pair of highly trained dogs are helping biologists wrangle invasive pythons that have wreaked havoc on the Florida Everglades’ native animal population for the last two decades. Truman, a black Labrador, and Eleanor, a Speckled Point Setter, are members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Python Detector Dog Team Program. Once they track down a target, Eleanor and Truman alert their handlers before a biologist steps in to humanely extract the python from its camouflaged lair. As a reward, these crafty canines receive a “Good job!” pat on the head and a tennis ball.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted earlier this year to ban the owning and breeding of six types of pythons as well as other invasive reptile species. Eleanor and Truman have successfully located four pythons since they first began hunting back in December of 2020. The hope is that this dynamic duo will continue to aid the efforts to save millions of South Florida mammals, including raccoons, opossums and bobcats.

What is your favorite news story about dogs this month? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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