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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sniffing for Cancer

Another way to “Be Kind to Animals” is to give them a job, make them feel wanted, useful, and yes loved. Here’s a program at the University of Pennsylvania where they’re training dogs to sniff out ovarian cancer:

For years we’ve been reading anecdotal reports of dogs who have found tumors on their owners or the people around them. Now someone is finally doing something official with this ability.

Dogs are famously sniffing out drugs, explosives and contraband every day now so we know how sensitive their noses are. Researchers have also found that cancers put out a unique odor but don’t worry, people can’t smell it. Isn’t it only natural that dogs should also be employed to sniff out life-threatening diseases?

So the next time you visit a doctor don’t be alarmed if you see a dog sitting sentry at the doorway. It might be there for your health.

Be Kind to Animals Week

This week is National Be Kind to Animals Week so I thought I’d share some ways for you to participate. In this article people are helping members of the military by fostering their pets when they are called to action.

It has to be a heart-wrenching decision to make when a military member must either find a new home for the pet or turn it into a shelter when they are activated. I’m sure it’s hard enough to ponder the situation they themselves will be exposed to let alone the fate of their pets. Let’s help take some of the worry out of their lives by offering to foster their pets. That way they’ll still have their much-loved pet to come home to.

If you decide to foster pets for a military soldier be sure of the following things:

  •  Get an agreement outlining who will be footing the bills for the pet and giving you permission to treat the animal if necessary during their deployment
  •  Make sure you have the health records of the pet
  •  Understand what the owner’s wishes are in case of health problems
  •  Ask the owner about the pet’s preferences in food, toys, exercise and any idiosyncrasies
  •  Unfortunately you will also need to have an agreement about the disposition of the pet if the soldier doesn’t return (e.g. a friend or family member who might want the pet or a contract that gives you ownership of the pet) 

Fostering animals is always a rewarding pursuit. Helping our military is just one way to foster. Check with the military branches near you to see if they have any soldiers in need. It is possible that a group may already exist in your area and they would know of such a group.