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  1. The National Police Dog Foundation promotes education and awareness, and raises funds for the purchase, training, and ongoing veterinary care for active and retired police K-9s. In 1998 the National Police Dog Foundation (formally known as the Ventura Police Dog Foundation) began as a local group helping to fund the K-9 program for the City of Ventura, CA. This local volunteer group quickly learned that the lack of resources that exists on a local level, also exists on a national level and that many K-9 agencies simply do not have the funds they need for their K-9 programs. This lack of funds effects both the ability for the K-9 units to protect their communities and the quality of life and health of these K-9 heroes. So the Foundation expanded to assist law enforcement agencies across the country and today is known as the National Police Dog Foundation. Click here to learn more or click on the specific fund below. We hope you’ll join us in this effort by supporting this noble cause. The National Police Dog Foundation assists law enforcement agencies with funding to purchase the very best K-9s. Currently, many K-9s for police service work, are imported from Europe which is the origin of most working breeds. However, after many years of importing excellent bloodlines from Europe, the United States now has the ability to produce dogs of equal quality. One of the many benefits of dogs bred in America is that they do not have to travel the many hours necessary to come to the US, saving them the stress of these long flights. The two most common breeds of K-9s are German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. There are four main uses of police K-9s:— Sentry and Apprehension: These dogs are used to provide security in sensitive or controlled areas, and for locating and apprehension of a suspect — Search and Rescue (SAR): These dogs are used to locate suspects and missing people and objects — Detection OR Explosives: Dogs are used to detect illegal substances OR to detect explosives. Note it is either one or the other. — Arson: These dogs are used to detect if the possible cause of a fire was arson. The initial training of K-9s and related training equipment can be very expensive. Many many hours of hard work goes into training and preparing the K-9s for the many different scenarios they will face in active duty. The National Police Dog Foundation assists law enforcement agencies to ensure that the handlers and K-9s are receiving the very best training and equipment. Dogs used in law enforcement are trained to either be “single purpose” or “dual purpose.” Single purpose dogs are used primarily for backup, personal protection, and tracking. Dual purpose dogs do everything that single purpose dogs do and also detect either explosives or narcotics. The Active K-9 Medical Fund offers grants that assist Law Enforcement Agencies and Handlers with costs related to emergency medical expenses for active K-9s. The National Police Dog Foundation is committed to assisting law enforcement agencies with the ever-increasing medical care costs for K-9s, both during their years of service and retirement. Most law enforcement agencies do not have a budget for serious medical issues for the K-9s. The Foundation’s grants help keep the K-9s healthy and on-the-job, thereby reducing the long-term costs for the departments. The Foundation’s network of veterinarians, that includes some of the country’s most valued specialists in many varying areas of health care, give discounts to active and retired K-9s. The Retired K-9 Medical Fund offers grants that assist Law Enforcement Agencies and Handlers with costs related to emergency medical expenses for retired K-9s. Most K-9s after active service go home with their handlers to become household pets. The ongoing medical care for the retired K-9s can be very expensive. The National Police Dog Foundation commends these handlers for their dedication to the K-9s and is proud to assists in the costs of Medical Care for the retired K-9s. It important to provide medical care not only for active K-9 officers but also continued care for the dogs after they retire. Unfortunately, the K-9s do not receive a pension. The Foundation’s network of veterinarians, that includes some of the country’s most valued specialists in many varying areas of health care, give discounts to active and retired K-9s. In 2017 we launched our K-9 Health Insurance Fund, which was established from an initial donation by Petplan pet insurance. The fund is supported by designated gifts from the public to the National Police Dog Foundation and a $50 donation from Petplan for each new pet insurance policy booked by the public using the campaign code NPDF10 at https://nationalpolicedogfoundation.org/petplan/. Pet parents who use the code can also receive a 10% discount on their new policy. The purpose of the fund is to offer grants to law enforcement K-9 units, ensuring the continued well-being of the K-9s.
  2. Your dog received all his puppy vaccinations, but what's next? The topic of revaccinating pets has sparked debate and we go over what you should think about. There are times when our dogs need vaccinations as well as pills or injections to keep them at their healthy best. But what happens after they receive this puppy vaccinations? Your dog has received all his necessary puppy vaccinations. Then a year or so later, you receive a reminder from your veterinary clinic to book an appointment for your dog to receive booster shots. If you question if these revaccinations do more harm than good, you’re not alone. Just like in children, the topic of revaccinating pets has sparked debate. Allergic reactions to booster shots have occurred in pets, as in people. They can cause swelling at the point of injection as well as diarrhea or vomiting and other symptoms. In response, the American Animal Hospital Association revamped vaccination guidelines after research suggests that core vaccines provide more than a year of immunity. However, the rabies vaccine, often given every three years, is mandatory by law. What’s your alternative to booster shots? The titer test. This blood-drawn test measures the concentration of disease-fighting antibodies in the blood, an indicator of the protective immunity status for your dog. Discuss this option with your veterinarian. (For rabies, some states won’t allow this test instead of the vaccine. See rabies challengefund.com for information on research into rabies vaccinations frequency concerns.) The bottom line: Discuss your dog’s lifestyle, age and health with your veterinarian as well as the pros and cons of each of these vaccines. Simply skipping booster shots without weighing all the options with your veterinarian can put your dog at undue risk for preventable diseases like parvovirus, distemper and adenovirus. Check out this lifestyle-based vaccine calculator Not sure which puppy vaccines to get? Certainly discuss your dog’s health, travel and activities with your veterinarian. But to assist you even more, the American Animal Hospital Association created a nifty program called the lifestyle-based vaccine calculator. Just go to this link: aaha.org/guidelines/canine_vaccination_guidelines/vaccine_calculator.aspx, and respond to a series of questions about your dog’s age and lifestyle habits. Thumbnail: Photography ©Evgeny Sofrygin | Getty Images. Editor’s note: This article appeared in Puppies, a special issue from Dogster magazine. Look for Puppies on a newsstand near you!
  3. In 1938, the first year a population survey was conducted, only 29 whooping cranes remained in the wild. Three years later, only 16 were left. Hunting and reduction of their wetland habitat had vitiated the population and concerted efforts to salvage remnant birds did not being until the late 1960s. Today, there are over 400 birds, thanks in large part to innovative breeding programs. Though a plan that involved transferring whooping crane eggs to the nests of related sandhill cranes for fostering ultimately failed, captive rearing and reintroduction have established two wild populations in Florida, one of which has been taught to migrate to Wisconsin. Neither is self-sustaining. The only self-sustaining population migrates between Alberta, Canada, and Texas, U.S.
  4. There are fewer than 25,000 blue whales, the largest animals on the planet. Comprising several subspecies, blue whales are found in all of the world’s oceans save the Arctic. The current population is thought to have been reduced by up to 90% by whaling in the 20th century. Commercial hunting of the species was ultimately banned in 1966. The National Marine Fisheries Service of the U.S. spelled out a recovery plan in 1998. It stipulated the maintenance of photo databases of individual specimens and the collection of genetic and migration data in order to better understand the species, which remains at risk from ship collisions and entanglement in fishing nets.
  5. The luxurious waterproof coat that insulates sea otters from the chilly waters that they inhabit almost led to its extinction. A target of the commercial fur trade, the species was almost wiped out, with only some 2,000 of an estimated 300,000 left by 1911. That year, an international ban on commercial hunting was enacted. Though that ban, along with management and conservation measures taken in the wake of the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act, have helped populations recover to perhaps a third of their earlier numbers, they are highly vulnerable to both natural phenomena such as killer whale predation and to anthropogenic factors such as oil spills.
  6. Though it’s called a leopard—and certainly resembles a frosted version of those spotted habitués of more equatorial regions—the snow leopard is actually more closely related to the tiger, at least per genetic analysis. Probably fewer than 6,500 remain in the wild, though due to the remote mountainous terrain preferred by the species, and its elusive nature, data is hard to come by. The largest populations are in China and Mongolia, with significant populations in India and Kyrgyzstan as well. Its natural prey include blue sheep and ibex, but in some areas, it is heavily dependent on domestic animals. The farmers who depend upon the animals shoot the “problem” leopards. Poaching still constitutes a major threat to the species, as does overhunting of its natural prey species.
  7. Between 1996 and 2008, the population of Tasmanian devils dropped some 60% due a contagious cancer known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease. It continues to decimate populations of the species, which only occurs on the Australian island of Tasmania. There may only be 10,000 wild individuals remaining. Captive breeding of uninfected individuals has been instituted and efforts have been made to develop a vaccine for the cancer, which is thought to have stemmed from mutated cells from a single specimen.
  8. Depending on who you ask, there are either two species of gorilla, the eastern (Gorilla beringei) and western (Gorilla gorilla), or three subspecies, the eastern lowland, western lowland, and mountain gorillas. Regardless of who you ask, all gorillas are endangered. There are probably only around 220,000 left in the wild. Habitat encroachment and poaching for bushmeat, trophies, and magical talismans have led to substantial losses. Because their social structure is so complex and because they reproduce slowly—with females only giving birth once every four years at best—the removal of even a few individuals from a gorilla troop can catastrophically impact its ability to sustain itself.
  9. Since 1996, the amur leopard has been classified by the IUCN as Critically Endangered with less than 70 individuals thought to exist today. It is hunted and killed for its beautiful fur, its habitat is being destroyed for human settlement and agricultural practices. Amazing Facts About the Amur Leopard Amur leopards have thick white or cream fur with large, widely spaced black spots called “rosettes” covering the head, back, tail and legs. Fur length varies from summer (0.7–0.9 in) to winter (2.8 in). How long is an Amur leopards tail? Amur leopards have long bushy tails of 32–35 in (81–89 cm). The long length comes in handy during cold winters as they can wrap them around themselves for warmth. Where do Amur leopards live? Amur leopards, also known as Far East leopards, Manchurian leopards or Korean leopards, are found in the Russian Far East. Their range is small and confined to forests of a temperate region crossed by the Amur River, a natural boundary between China and Russia. They are the only leopard subspecies adapted to survive in both extreme snowy winter and hot summer climates. Where to Amur leopards rest? Amur leopards are nocturnal so sleep during the day in cool caves or sheltered spots. What do Amur leopards eat? Amur leopards are carnivores. They are opportunistic so are not fussy eaters, but prey consists mainly of roe and sika deer, hares, wild pigs and badgers. Although, when feeling brave, they have been known to eat young black bears. Food can be scarce, so if they have food left over, they may drag and hide the remains from other predators that might fancy a nibble. How are Amur leopards adapted to eating meat? Amur leopards have rough tongues covered in tiny hooks called denticles that are used to scrape meat off the bone of their prey. Are Amur leopards sociable? Amur leopards are highly territorial and live alone, only coming together to mate. How big is an Amur leopard’s territory? Individual Amur leopards can have territories of 19–116 square miles, which is the size of 56,144 football fields. Love1439 Share How fast can Amur leopards run? Like other leopards, Amur leopards are fast and nimble. They can run at speeds of up to 37 miles per hour and leap up to 19 ft (5.8 m) horizontally. Who would win in a race between an Amur leopard and Usain Bolt? In a race between Usain Bolt and an Amur leopard, there is no contest; Bolt would be left in the dust as he runs at up to 28 miles per hour. How may cubs do Amur leopards have? Female Amur leopards start reproducing at three to four years of age. A litter of between one and four cubs is born around 12 weeks after mating. Cubs are born with their eyes closed and only begin to open them seven or eight days after birth. How long do Amur leopard cubs stay with their mothers? Cubs stay with their mothers for up to two years before braving the wild alone. What is the biggest threat to Amur leopards? With less than 70 left in the wild, Amur leopards are on the brink of extinction. The main threats are poaching for their fur, hunting of prey species and habitat loss due to farming development, growth of cities and human induced forest fires. The small size of the population means inbreeding is also becoming a problem. Genetic diversity is low and as such individuals are at risk from abnormalities that can impact health, reproduction and survival. Do Amur leopards have predators? Amur leopards are predators, but prey choice overlaps with that of the tiger. A reduction in small prey availability, particularly in winter, puts Amur leopards at risk from tigers, who will prey on them to reduce competition for food. What is being done to help Amur leopards? There is still hope that Amur leopards can be saved from extinction. For example, effective conservation measures in a Russian National Park have resulted in the Amur leopard population almost doubling from 30 in 2007 to 57 in 2015. The Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (ALTA) was set up by Russian and western conservation organisations to conserve both the Amur leopard and Amur tiger. Working across Northeast Asia, ALTA aims to co-ordinate conservation efforts of all relevant parties. Initiatives include presence of anti-poaching teams, monitoring and tracking of populations, monitoring of fires and research into firefighting techniques, production of plans that ensure land development considers Amur leopard habitats, and increasing awareness and education.
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