Dog Custody in Divorce

Animal Blawg

Nancy Rogowski

            When married couples divorce, who gets to keep the dog?  Under the law, dogs are considered to be personal property, and no matter how loved dogs are, they are not treated like children under the law.  Many judges do not want to get involved in pet disputes. The family pet sometimes becomes a powerless victim of the breakup.  Recently, courts have been ruling dog custody at other forms than property.  In the New York Post on December 4, 2013 there was an article about a pair of divorcing women about to fight it out in court over a miniature dachshund named Joey.  It will be New York’s first matrimonial pet-custody case.  The attorney for one of the women, Sherri Donovan said, “It recognizes the special place of pets in our families.”  JoeyStanding.JPG

Manhattan Justice Matthew Cooper opines in his ruling granting the women oral arguments.  According to…

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Beauty of the Bees

Living With Insects Blog

Problems with honey bee pollinators has increased interest in native pollinators. Pollinators are a guild which is a group of not-necessarily-related insects that share a lifestyle but may differ greatly in taxonomy. Many people who want to study pollinators lack the taxonomic expertise to correctly identify them. The USGS is trying to facilitate studies by producing series of high quality pictorial guides.

One of the scientists, Sam Droege, uses macrophotography, computer stacking software and post processing to produce high quality insect images. His work has been featured on FlickrBlog which is worth checking out. The USGS also has a YouTube video featuring Sam Droege giving tips on photographing insects including inexpensive devices for lighting.

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Beware the Straw Man

The Science Dog

Many animal shelters regularly use standardized tests to assess the behavior of dogs and to determine adoption suitability. However, while the use of these tests has become ubiquitous, there is a distinct lack of research demonstrating their reliability or validity. In other words, while testing a dog’s degree of friendliness, aggression and fear prior to adoption makes intuitive sense and feels like a good idea, we do not actually know whether or not it actually works. This is an important question to raise (and I am by no means the first to be raising it), because when these tests are administered as a method for predicting a dog’s future behavior, the dog’s performance on the test often determines whether or not he has a future.


My previous blog,  “This test you keep using…..” reviewed a study that examined the predictive value of a single subtest of a standard behavior test, the fake hand as a test for food aggression (1).  That paper’s results…

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What is your opinion on zoos?


Answer by Rory Young:

Painted Wolves. African Wild Dogs. Cape Hunting Dogs. Lycaons.

These are the different names that one of my favorite animals is known by.

Lycaon pictus

Following them when they were hunting in Northern Botswana were some of the most thrilling experiences of my life. They can run up to eighty kilometers in a day and will run an animal down over ten kilometers without breaking their pace. The animal is singled out and the pack will run right by other animals so focused are they on their intended quarry.

We would race along, trying to keep up with them. The end though was often hard to watch and hear as they will literally tear an animal to pieces. Still, it is very quick, especially compared to other large predators. I have watched lions slowly eat a buffalo from the rear while it is alive.


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Be Wary Animal Lovers

Fight for Rhinos

Tourism is helping save wildlife. That’s what we’re told. If this is true, where you spend your next holiday could be the most important decision you make, the world is counting on you.

Cuddling baby lions sound endearing? As cute and cuddly as they seem , you might as well shoot them. This is the first part of the circle of “life” for lions in canned hunts. The cubs are used to entice you there, and ultimately to use your money to help fund the whole operation You feed them, hold and coddle them, sometimes even bottle feed. But ask yourself “Where’s mom?”  (For more on canned hunts, see: Shooting Fish in a Barrel)

lion cubs in cageElephant rides? Not unless you enjoy knowing they are beaten, starved and tortured in order to “train” them to comply. What about the sweet baby elephants rolling on the beach, splashing in the waves? Surely…

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