Could Bird Flu Come To
US Via Imported Stray Dogs?

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Hello, Jeff - I think I need to reread this story. I cannot believe that we take dogs from shelters around the world, especially China? Who pays to ship the dogs to the US? ...and what about nonendemic diseases? Something is very wrong with this picture.
Don't we have dogs here in the US that are "over the limit" and going to be euthanized? I just found it astonishing that we would take dogs from China.
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at:
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health
From BB
Dear Dr. Doyle:
Considering your recent 5/6/05 posting on Jeff Rense,
should we be concerned about this latest story?
Your thoughts, good Doctor, would be appreciated.
Thank you!
Barbara Beutel
Here Boy! Heel! Please?
30 Strays Headed To NY Know Basic Words - In Mandarin
By Katie Thomas
Newsday Staff Writer
"Sit." "Stay." "Heel."
Blank stare.
The 30 Chinese dogs that arrived at Kennedy Airport Wednesday night en route to the North Shore Animal League shelter in Port Washington may present an added challenge to potential new owners -- they don't understand English.
"When we say 'sit' or 'come' to these new dogs, they truly don't understand what behavior is attached to that sound," said Imbi Kiiss, a dog trainer who traveled to Beijing to prepare the dogs for their trip and their new lives on Long Island.
The canines' journey from Beijing to New York began Monday, when they left their overcrowded shelter and boarded a plane bound for Amsterdam. After resting up in an airport pet hotel, they continued the trip Wednesday night, and arrived in New York shortly after 9 p.m.
The dogs -- including Pekingese, Dalmatians and Basset Hounds -- were brought to New York for a variety of reasons. Residents in the Chinese capital face strict rules on dog ownership -- including a prohibition on 40 breeds. As a result, the shelter now holds about twice the number of dogs and cats that it can comfortably accommodate. In stepped the Cape Cod, Mass.-based International Fund for Animal Welfare, which arranged for the dogs to be relocated to New York, where the North Shore Animal League will arrange for them to be adopted by local families.
North Shore Animal League workers say they've received about 100 calls about the dogs, about half of which were from people interested in adopting. Others called to praise or criticize the idea of bringing dogs from China for adoption here.
Although acclimating any dog to a new home can take time, these dogs may need some added patience, said Cindy Milburn, a senior policy adviser for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
"They've come from a very different environment," she said. "They're going to need a lot of special attention."
In order to prepare the animals for their new homes and to select the dogs whose temperaments would be best-suited to braving such a long trip, the animal welfare group twice sent Kiiss from her home in Cape Cod, Mass., to Beijing.
She said the dogs learned quickly. "Even when they don't know the commands, they understand facial expressions, they understand tone of voice."
She said the dogs recognize basic Mandarin words, but have not been formally trained in dog commands.. Kiiss did not teach them English because she wasn't sure what language the dogs' new owners would speak.
Still, she said she's confident they'll learn quickly. "A dog can learn many different languages," she said.
"I feel like I've gotten to know these dogs," Kiiss said, adding that she has closely tracked their journey around the world. "I feel like a mother hen."
Still, one in particular won her heart -- Ying Ying, a 2-year-old Pekingese she is planning to adopt.
Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.



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