Short Leash! Episode #21 | Short Leash! by
Short Leash! Episode #21 by Real Pet Food


Did you know… there are currency detection dogs trained to detect large amounts of concealed US dollars and Euros? Drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs are pretty common and well-known, but the first counterfeit-sniffing dog of the Secret Service, Mike, went into the field in 1997. Apparently, there are also police canines trained to sniff out counterfeit-DVDs.

New Japanese robot dog sniffs out smelly feet. Do your feet smell bad? If you don’t dare to ask a friend, one Japanese startup might have the answer with a new robot dog that will sniff your feet and give you an honest answer — even fainting if the stink is especially strong. The 15-cm robot, equipped with an odor detection sensor for a nose, also sprays air freshener to resolve the situation.

Stray dogs using technology to keep the streets safe. ‘Smart vests’ developed in Thailand are aiming to help stray dogs and improve safety in communities. Equipped with a hidden video camera, the vest has sensors that are triggered when the dog barks and a live video of what the dog sees is then transmitted to mobile phones via an application. The creators are hoping the vest will help locals see street dogs in a positive light rather than regarding them as a nuisance.

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Acer goes dog. I’ve always known Acer to sell laptops and monitors, who knew that last year they acquired Pawbo, the company behind an eponymous “interactive wireless pet camera with treat dispensing and laser pointing capabilities? They’ve since unveiled 3 new products: iPuppyGo, an activity tracker which “keeps tabs on pets’ exercise levels, sleep patterns, mood index and health status”; WagTag, a GPS that includes sensors for “unusual barking behaviour”, temperatures and accidental impact; and Munch, a remote control treat-dispensing system.

FTC requires Mars to divest 12 veterinary clinics nationwide. Mars, Inc. recently completed its acquisition of VCA hospitals for $9.1 billion. The FTC filed a complaint that the acquisition would violate antitrust laws and substantially lessen competition for certain specialty and emergency veterinary services and likely lead to higher prices for pet owners and lower quality in the specialty and emergency veterinary services they receive. Mars has agreed to divest 12 veterinary clinics no later than 10 business days after the acquisition is complete to one of three buyers: National Veterinary Associates, Pathway Partners Vet Management Co. and PetVet Care Centers, the release states. and Deliv Expand same-day delivery to 23 states in the U.S. Customers located in 33 of Deliv’s markets can shop on and select the same day or scheduled delivery for anything from 50-pound bags of dog food to bulk containers of cat litter or even pet beds.

Ollie raises $12.6M in Series A funding. Ollie, a subscription-based pet food delivery company is announcing that it has raised a $12.6 million Series A funding. This brings the company's total funding to $17 million to date with a previous round of funding of $4.4 million co-led by Primary Ventures and Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Canaan and WME.

NIH awards $4.8M to Valley Fever Center for work on dog vaccine. The $4.8 million grant for research to speed development of a vaccine to combat Valley fever, the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness caused by Coccidioides spores found in soils of the Southwest. The research goal is to test and possibly license the vaccine in dogs to protect them from contracting Valley fever. If proved safe and effective in dogs, the next step probably would be evaluation and possible approval of a vaccine to prevent Valley fever in humans.

Dog Carrying Day in China -- Villager celebrate annual tradition by dressing dogs up and parading on a wooden throne. Every year the Miao people of Jiaobang village in the Guizhou province, worship a dog for saving its people. Legend has it that the first settlers in the area were saved from dying of thirst by a dog which led them to a water source in the area. A shaman leads the parade of people singing along to the beat of drums, throwing mud as part of a symbolic gesture to the god of peace, health, and prosperity. Villagers also gather in the streets to show gratitude to the dog and pray for a good harvest in the coming year.

Dogs are helping people stay clean and sober. For many people going through recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, their dogs are the last thing they’re able to take care of. Dogs Matter is an organization that places dogs who need a temporary home with foster families and provides resources to care for the pet until their owners are ready to take care of them. Knowing their dog is ok allows people to focus on their recovery and when they’re reunited dogs help teach them a valuable lesson – “Dogs stay present in the moment. That's important for people in recovery, we try to not worry about the future as much. And dogs don't let their past define them.”

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