Maggie the dog made honorary primary school teacher
From the BBC
A dog has become so successful in helping children to read, that she has become an honorary member of staff at a school in the British West Midlands.
The idea of getting pupils to read to dogs in order to improve their literacy (the pupils that is) was first tried out in the UK five years ago, but Maggie, a 10-year-old Shih Tzu, has become so successful that she now has her own staff badge at Earls High school in Halesowen.
Phil Mackie went along to meet Maggie, and Grace, another Shih Tzu, who is training to take over when Maggie retires.
Teaching Assistant Toni Gregory spoke on behalf of the two literary pups.
However, Maggie won’t start work until after she shares a bacon sandwich with the schools librarian.
Here’s another story about a dog. This time it’s a Silky Terrier. And this dog is a bit of a hero. It saved it’s owner from one of the world’s most deadliest snakes. An Australian brown snake. Follow @AnimalXTV
World’s first IVF puppies born to surrogate mother dog
By Helen Briggs
World’s first surrogate puppy
The world’s first “test tube” puppies have been born after years of attempts, say scientists in the US.
The in-vitro fertilisation success paves the way for conserving endangered breeds and could help in the fight against human and animal diseases, say researchers at Cornell University.
The seven beagle and cross-bred beagle-spaniel puppies were born to a surrogate mother.
They were from the same litter but have three sets of parents.
Frozen embryos were implanted in a female dog using techniques similar to those used in human fertility clinics.
Problems with freezing embryos have caused difficulties in the past, but the group say they have perfected this and other techniques.
Lead researcher Dr Alex Travis, from Cornell’s college of veterinary medicine, said: “We have seven normal happy healthy puppies.”
He added: “Since the mid-1970s, people have been trying to do this in a dog and have been unsuccessful.
“Now we can use this technique to conserve the genetics of endangered species.”
The researchers say IVF is a powerful tool to help endangered species of dog such as the African wild dog.
It could also be used in the study of inherited human and dog diseases.
Dogs share many similar diseases with humans – almost twice as many as for any other species.
Dr Travis said the work was an important milestone.
“In vitro fertilisation is a really powerful tool to help preserve endangered species of dog,” he told the BBC.
“IVF is also important for the health of our pets because it opens up the possibility that we could identify certain genes that cause disease and then fix those.”
The puppies were born in the summer.
Their existence was kept secret until the findings were formally announced to the scientific world this week.
They have reportedly been named Ivy, Cannon, Beaker, Buddy, Nelly, Red and Green, and all but one has gone to a new home.
The research, published in the journal PLoS One, has been described as a “major step forward” in medicine.
Prof David Argyle, head of the school of veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh, which was not part of the study, said the new techniques would help understanding of inherited diseases in both dogs and people.
“Importantly, it is becoming apparent that dogs and humans share many common biology, diseases and syndromes, and it is likely that these new techniques could have significant benefit for the study of human diseases as well as canine diseases,” he added.
Saved as puppies from being fur coats or captive prey for trophy hunters, wolves Timber and Aurora were raised to be in wildlife films and now face homelessness. Please contribute so they can keep having a safe life and playing roles in educational media.
Conservationist, environmentalist and filmmaker Matthew Todd is striving to save these two timber wolves.
These wolves are in trouble and need your help immediately please!
We have always loved nature and supported environmental causes. We have even made wildlife films to share our views and hopefully inspire others. But we realized it was not enough. We wanted to take direct action. In this case we adopted two wolf pups that were heading for certain death. They were being bred to be fur coats or prey for canned trophy hunting farms (places tourists pay to kill wildlife in enclosed areas) in Saskatchewan. We decided to raise the pups in captivity in the best natural way possible and to socialize them just enough to get used to being around humans. We are happy they are still alive and healthy but it has been at great sacrifice…
We first got female pup Aurora and a year later male pup Timber. From the beginning it has been difficult: enclosures, cages, insurance, veterinarians, keepers and food costs. We have forsaken our social life as have had to live in isolated places where people are not disturbed by our having wolves, we had to move a few times (including a huge government approved enclosure) and there is endless bureaucracy dealing with tightening government regulations. Now, after 7 hard years the wolves are losing their present home and we are determined to make sure they do not end up homeless.
We need to raise us much money as possible immediately to ensure these wolves have a safe home to live out their lives. The funds will be used for housing, insurance, veterinarians, food, travel, and plans for long term care.
Please HELP wolves Timber and Aurora secure a well deserved home! We will do everything in our power to promote the wolves in the media as a symbol for all wildlife. By your helping to save them now will allow them to be in more films in future and continue to educate people of all ages to cherish and respect nature. We need support to keep them from homelessness…
Please help Matt. Here’s a link to his fund raising page