Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

How did the elephant get its trunk?

Scientists have set out to unravel the mystery of how the elephant got its trunk and why the leopard gained its spots by creating a “genome zoo”.

Scientists are to study how elephants got their trunk

African elephant: Scientists are to study how elephants got their trunk. Photo: AP

The scheme relies on DNA sequencing technology so new that it will only become available in the next two years and will attempt to map the genomes of 10,000 species of vertebrates.

The ”Genome 10K” project will involve gathering thousands of animal specimens from zoos, museums and university collections around the world and unravelling all their DNA blueprints, or genomes. It is hoped that by doing so, scientists will be able to tell how vertebrates evolved from a single marine organism into the species alive today.

The idea was first suggested in April 2009 at a three-day meeting of scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Professor Sydney Brenner, from the Salk Institute in San Diego, California, one of the project’s leaders, said: ”The most challenging intellectual problem in biology for this century will be the reconstruction of our biological past so we can understand how complex organisms such as ourselves evolved.

”Genomes contain information from the past – they are molecular fossils – and having sequences from vertebrates will be an essential source of rich information.”

Advances in the technology of sequencing – working out the repeating chemical patterns of DNA that form the genetic code – are needed before work on such a large scale becomes feasible.

But systems that will allow the scientists to embark on the project are under development and may be available within a year or two.

The researchers hope to be able to sequence an entire genome in under a week at a cost of less than $1,000 (£600).

David Haussler of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and one of the project’s architects, said: “No one has every really known how the elephant got its trunk, or how the leopard got its spots. This project will lay the foundation for work that will answer those questions and many others.

“Differences in the DNA that makes up the genomes of the animals we find today hold the key to the great biological events of the past, such as the development of the four-chambered heart and the magnificent architecture of the wings, fins and arms, each adapted to its special purpose.”

Dr Haussler also hopes that it will help explain how man evolved from his animal ancestors.

“We can understand the function of elements in the human genome by seeing what parts of the genome have changed and what parts have not changed in humans and other animals.”

Dr Scott Baker, from Oregon State University in the US, who edits the Journal of Heredity, is coordinating efforts to assemble DNA samples from all known species of whales, dolphins and porpoises.

”We are adding a new species every year or two, and there is some disagreement about how many actual species of these marine mammals there are. But to date, more than 90 species have been identified and officially recognized that will require tissue or DNA samples,” he said.

By Chris Irvine
Published: 7:00AM GMT 05 Nov 2009

Posted:  Just One More Pet

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gone to the dogs: LA church starts pet service – ‘Canines at Covenant’

LOS ANGELES — When the Rev. Tom Eggebeen took over as interim pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church three years ago, he looked around and knew it needed a jump start.

Most of his worshippers, though devoted, were in their 60s, attendance had bottomed out and the once-vibrant church was fading as a community touchstone in its bustling neighborhood.

So Eggebeen came up with a hair-raising idea: He would turn God’s house into a doghouse by offering a 30-minute service complete with individual doggie beds, canine prayers and an offering of dog treats. He hopes it will reinvigorate the church’s connection with the community, provide solace to elderly members and, possibly, attract new worshippers who are as crazy about God as they are about their four-legged friends.

Religion Today Dogs In Church

Bob Hedges, right, sits with his dog Chester, during Sunday services at at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles Nov. 1, 2009. The 30-minute worship, complete with individual doggie beds, canine prayers and a tray of dog treats for the offering, is intended to reinvigorate the church’s community outreach while attracting new members who are as crazy about God as they are about their four-legged friends.

– Richard Vogel /AP Photo – CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOSLA Church Putting Pets In Pews Video

Before the first Canines at Covenant service last Sunday, Eggebeen said many Christians love their pets as much as human family members and grieve just as deeply when they suffer – but churches have been slow to recognize that love as the work of God.

“The Bible says of God only two things in terms of an ‘is’: That God is light and God is love. And wherever there’s love, there’s God in some fashion,” said Eggebeen, himself a dog lover. “And when we love a dog and a dog loves us, that’s a part of God and God is a part of that. So we honor that.”

The weekly dog service at Covenant Presbyterian is part of a growing trend among churches nationwide to address the spirituality of pets and the deeply felt bonds that owners form with their animals.

Traditionally, conventional Christians believe that only humans have redeemable souls, said Laura Hobgood-Oster, a religion professor at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

But a growing number of congregations from Massachusetts to Texas to California are challenging that assertion with regular pet blessings and, increasingly, pet-centric services, said Hobgood-Oster, who studies the role of animals in Christian tradition.

She recently did a survey that found more than 500 blessings for animals at churches nationwide and has heard of a half-dozen congregations holding worship services like Eggebeen’s, including one in a Boston suburb called Woof ‘n Worship.

“It’s the changing family structure, where pets are really central and religious communities are starting to recognize that people need various kinds of rituals that include their pets,” she said. “More and more people in mainline Christianity are considering them to have some kind of soul.”

The pooches who showed up at Covenant Presbyterian on Sunday didn’t seem very interested in dogma.

Animals big and small, from pit bulls to miniature Dachshunds to bichon frises, piled into the church’s chapel to worship in an area specially outfitted for canine comfort with doggie beds, water bowls and a pile of irresistible biscuits in an offering bowl. There were a lot of humans too – about 30 – and three-quarters of them were new faces.

The service started amid a riot of tail-sniffing, barking, whining and playful roughhousing.

But as Eggebeen stepped to the front and the piano struck up the hymn “GoD and DoG,” one by one the pooches lay down, chins on paws, and listened. Eggebeen took prayer requests for Mr. Boobie (healing of the knees) and Hunter (had a stroke) and then called out the names of beloved pets past and present (Quiche, Tiger, Timmy, Baby Angel and Spunky) before launching into the Lord’s Prayer.

At the offering, ushers stepped over tangled leashes and yawning canines to collect donations and hand out doggie treats shaped like miniature bones in a rainbow of colors.

Donna Lee Merz, a Presbyterian pastor at another Southern California church, stopped in with Gracie, her 14-month-old long-haired miniature Dachshund. The puppy with ears soft as silk was overcome by the other dogs and wriggled across the floor on her belly, quivering with excitement. She finally calmed down when Merz held her in her lap.

“She knew it was a safe place and a good place to be, a place to be loved,” Merz said, gently petting Gracie after the service. “I’ll be back.”

Emma Sczesniak came to Covenant for the first time, lured by the promise that she could worship with her black Lab, Midnight, and her wire-haired Dachshund-terrier mix, Marley.

Marley sat on her lap during the service, while Midnight checked out the other big dogs and sat patiently waiting for his biscuit. Sczesniak said the dog-friendly service came at the perfect time for her: she’s been thinking about getting back to church, but wasn’t sure how or where to go.

“I don’t have any kids, so my pets have always been my children, so it does mean a lot,” she said of the dog-inclusive service. “I haven’t been to church in a long time and this may push me into it. I’m getting older and I’ve been thinking about those things again.”

But Midnight, Marley, Gracie and the other pups probably had something more important on their minds as Eggebeen intoned his benediction and the service drew to a close: Just where could they find more of those delicious treats?

For Eggebeen, the night was a spiritual success – and the rest is out of his hands.

“It’s important for a church like us just to do good things. The results, we’ll just have to see,” he said. “Ultimately, that belongs to God.”

By GILLIAN FLACCUS – Associated Press Writer

AP VIDEO: Gone to the dogs: LA church starts pet service

Posted:  Just One More Pet


God and Dog

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Adopt Just One More Pet and Save a Life!! – Sharing a Great Pet Adoption Pet Story!!

dalmation, parrot and other pets

Sharing a Great Pet Adoption Pet Story!!

Our friends, Al and Andrea, in Corpus Christi moved there with 3 cats.  Over the past five years, one… Maggie, has passed on and gone to kitty heaven.  But during that time, they have  rescued a black pug that had some health issues, a Black Ker (maybe) out of a litter of abandoned puppies and an orphaned Chihuahua.  This was quite a feat for my friend, Andrea, who was basically afraid ‘or at least leery’ of dogs  before they adopted their first one, Buddy, at Al’s urging. Then ‘she’ adopted the next two, Beau and Princess.

Then about 10-days ago they ran across, almost over, a kitten.  The Calico kitty who looks like one of their older cats, Peaches, was running across the highway when they found her.   They did more than their due diligence to find the kitten’s owners but she is now one of the family and has been named Kit Kat… along with Peaches and Bart makes three.

3 kitties and 3 doggies… a nice family now that the kids are grown!

If you are an animal lover 4 to 6 pets, throw in a bird, fish or pocket pet, perhaps making even 7 or 8 are a fun and manageable number for a couple or a responsible family teaching their kids the values and joy of taking care of another living creature and overall responsibility (under supervision). If you aren’t, it probably seems like a nightmare… but then you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog.

Adopt Just One More Pet and Save a Life!!

Posted:  Just One More Pet

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Massachussetts Town Puts Limits on Cat Ownership

Cat Collage

A Massachusetts town has made it illegal to own more than three cats without getting a special license. Voters at a town meeting in Dudley added language to a town bylaw on Monday night that makes it illegal to own more than three cats without a $50 residential kennel license.

DUDLEY Massachusetts has made it illegal to own more than three cats without getting a $50 residential kennel license. Voters at a town meeting in Dudley added language to a town bylaw on Monday night in response to a neighborhood feud over the 15 cats owned by Mary Ellen Richards.

The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports that ‘one’ neighbor claimed the cats have ruined his yard.  (When you get complaints from only one person… the problem is usually the complainer!!)

Richards has put her home up for sale and says she plans to move to a “more cat-friendly community.”

Dudley is about 60 miles southwest of Boston.

This is not a good thing at a time when the kennels, shelters and rescues are over-flowing with animals of all types!!

This is just another example of taking the easy way out, punishing everyone (especially the cats/pets) and avoiding responsibility and leadership by making another restrictive law to punish everyone (or the people they choose to apply it to) instead of addressing the issue at hand, which is what leadership is all about and what our country is lacking!  Plus they add just another fee to their coffers and people’s lives that would go a long way toward cat food for hungry pets.

Generally 15 cats is too many… but 3 is too little for a true pet lover who is rescuing, fostering and keeping animals from being euthanized!!  And in today’s tough times, every incident must be looked at on an individual basis.  JOMP believes that this should be the rule everywhere!!

Animal and Pet Owner advocates and organizations everywhere should be advocating to remove the restrictions on pets and move back to a case by case basis, only if there are health or abuse violations, or at least put pressure on all counties, cities, municipalities, communities and homeowner’s associations to up the amount of pets allowed to be owned or taken care of in their community on a per person basis to at least 4 to 6 before requiring a license and to stop certain communities for restricting their residents to 1 or 2.

In Orange Country CA a lady, living in a senior community, who had one dog and one cat promised her friend that if anything happened to her, she would take her pets… also one dog and one cat, because she had no relatives to take them.  Over the next year the community changed their rules to only allowing one pet; both old ladies had to hide their cats, restricting their social interactions.  And when the second elderly woman died, the “community” would not make an accepting for the surviving friend to take her friends elderly dog.  The woman hired a attorney, using up a good part of her funds to fight the community and still lost.  She had to sell her home (at a loss in this market) and move to a rental to keep her promise and save the lives of her friend’s two pets).  This should never happen!  I know of other stories where pets have been put to sleep because a friend in a senior or restricted community could not rescue them and there were not takers quick enough to rescue them from the shelter.  (All shelters and rescues should have a no kill policy… otherwise they are neither a shelter nor a rescue!!).

These kinds of rules and laws allow officials to be cowardly, enforcement agents to be overwhelmed, pet owners to be dishonest and creates enough fear or monetary distress for those that follow unfair rules to cause more pets to be euthanized.  The woman in this case is now moving, but the residents of this town are stuck with the law and fee.

If you have the means, the room and the love in your heart, every American should be allowed to adopt or rescue just one or two more pets.  If everyone adopted just one more pet the situation in our shelters would improve greatly… helping the local governments where they live and helping us move to doing the right thing by all pets and animals.  As Dr. Laura says… Now go do the right thing!!

Call Dudley Massachusetts and tell them to revoke this law and start working in your area, and nationally to have similar restrictions relaxed or removed!!! We are becoming a country of restrictions instead of a land of freedoms!

Ask Marion/JOMP

Source:  AOL news

Posted:  Just One More Pet


Tell Gaston Co NC Anima Control NO to Gas, etc – Same in Michigan!!

Florida’s Idea of Cat Population Control

PetSmart to Hold National Adoption Event

Judge Rules:  NYC Must Create More Animal Shelters

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

Adopt Just One More Pet… MV Shelter Reduces Cat and Kitten Adoption Fees …

Where there is a will…

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California: Protest Governor’s Plan to Cut Shelter Funding!

Chinese City’s “One Dog” Policy Has Residents Howling

Humane Society list of pet financial aid-related organizations


And here we thought Chicago’s attempt to pass a five-dog limit was controversial!

Adopt Just One More…MV Temporarily Reduced Adoption Fees

Community Cats in the Spotlight

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Change Number of Pet Restrictive Laws. Ordinances and Rules, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, Stop Euthenization, Uncategorized, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , | 1 Comment