The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University has received a $6 million gift from the Staff Foundation that will
fund animal health research with the creation of two new endowed professorships. The college has yet to name specific research
to be conducted with the funds, but Dean Michael Kotlikoff, VMD, PhD, has emphasized the school's commitment to advancing
canine genetic research. The school also recently received an anonymous gift dedicated to canine genomics research.
Senate Bill 2211, presented to the North Dakota Senate Agricultural Committee in January, seeks to make animal mistreatment—including
animal abuse and abandonment—a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class C felony for a second or subsequent offense
within five years. Animal cruelty would be a Class C felony on the first offense. The bill comes in the wake of the voter-defeated
Measure 5, which sought to make aggravated acts of animal cruelty against a cat, dog or horse a felony. Sen. Tim Flakoll,
R-Fargo, has partnered with North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care in support of the bill. Supporters hope there is a
better chance for passage since SB 2211 covers all animals and spells out specific exceptions including "usual and customary"
practices in production of agriculture, animal shows, rodeos and other practices.
According to a study released by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Vermont has the highest percentage of
pet owners. With a population of more than 600,000 people, Vermont sees 71 percent of residents owning at least one pet. Vermont
also has the highest rate of cat ownership at 50 percent. Dog ownership came in at 38 percent, not enough for top billing—that
went to Arkansas—but it was more than the national average of 37 percent. The survey can be found in the AVMA's current U.S.
Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook available at
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) High Desert District has postponed scheduled field trips, wild horse adoption and the
reopening of the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility in Rock Springs, Wyo., after approximately 30 percent to 40 percent
of its weanling wild horses were diagnosed with strangles during a routine veterinary checkup. According to a BLM release,
the bacterial infection causes fever, runny nose, swollen or enlarged lymph nodes and even abscesses in the neck and throatlatch.
The adoption events were postponed to reduce the stress on the wild horses while they are sick. The school tours, preview
day and wild horse adoption will be rescheduled for March 6-9. The Rock Springs facility has been closed since October for
horses to receive veterinary evaluation.