Top 11 Pet News Stories of 2017

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If you’re like me, you blinked and the year flew by! And boy, were there some pet stories this year that made our heads spin, our eyes tear up and even our ears steam with aggravation. Here are our top news stories from 2017.

Two British military dogs are scheduled to be euthanized next week

1. SAS Andy McNabb Joins British Handlers To Save Military Dogs From Death. We loved that former Special Agent Sergeant Andy McNabb started a campaign to help British work dogs who were about to be euthanized because British military officials deemed them ‘unhomable.’ He started a campaign and brought international attention to the plights of Dazz, Kevin and Driver, and the three heroes were saved! [Photo: British Military)

A dog is released to his family months after he'd been held in a county shelter

2. Falsely Accused Dog Released From Custody, Was 1 Day Away From Euthanization. Another story about people coming together to save an innocent dog from certain death, was one of our favorites, when falsely accused Hank the pit bull was rescued from euthanasia the day before his death order. A judge finally agreed to look at evidence that said he was innocent, and Hank got to go home! [Photo:Justyna Tomtas/Chronicle]

Woman bikes with 70-pound dog to save him from fire in California

3. California Woman Flees Fires Carrying 70-Pound Dog in a Bag.The California wildfires devastated huge parts of California, and humans and their pets were forced to evacuate from homes with nothing but the clothes (or fur) on their backs. This was the story of a pet mama who refused to leave without her dog, and inspired us all as she carried him in a duffel bag to safety. [Photo: Natasha Wallace/GoFundMe]


A new report by the Animal Legal Defense Fund has ranked states based on their laws and the punishments for breaking them.

4. Report: Best And Worst US States For Animal Protection Laws. The Animal League Defense Fund released their annual report for who fared best (and worst!) in animal protection laws. Illinois was the top-rated state with the best protection for animals, while Kentucky dragged the bottom for the ninth year in a row as the state with the worst animal protection laws.

5. Dog Escapes Shelter To Find Woman Who Gave Him Bacon Treats. This was one of our favorites! A sweet shelter pup broke out of the shelter he was in to find the shelter worker who had treated him so kindly and given him bacon treats. Volunteer Abbey Boyd and ‘Ted’ the German Shepherd/Akita mix were meant to be and Abbey ended up adopting the escape artist! [Photo: Abbey Boyd]

Three puppies were found in the rubble from the earthquakes in Italy.

6. 3 Puppies Rescued From Avalanche Bring Hope To Rescue Workers [Video]. A tragic avalanche in Italy left many dead, but a tear-jerker story came about when rescue workers found three precious little Abruzzo Sheepdogs safe after being buried in the rubble.

Do you feel like you and your dog have a special connection? If you're empathetic, a new study claims that you may be right.

7. Study: Empathetic People Are Better Able To Read Dog Expressions. This study gave proof to the belief that empathetic people are able to ‘read’ dog expressions, thus confirming the bond between humans and people is indeed stronger in some than in others. (But I wonder about anyone who doesn’t love pets or babies!) [Photo:Steve Baker/flickr]

The Washington State Supreme Court rules that a previous decision must be reviewed in the case of a school district that banned a service dog.

8. Washington Supreme Court Rules in Favor Of Girl and Her Service Dog. This story covered a girl and her service dog, who was not allowed to accompany her to school until her parents sued the district and a judge ruled in favor of the girl and her dog Wonder. It was a victory for those covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act everywhere.[Photo: Molly Riley/AP]

A new amendment to a health code in San Francisco now bans pet stores within the city from selling dogs or cats.

9. New San Francisco Law: Pet Stores Can Only Sell Rescue Pets. In a historic move, San Francisco mandated that pet stores could only sell rescue pets, inciting discontent from several, including the American Kennel Club. It was actually a bit of foresight as later in the year, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that made that law for all of California.[Photo: WSilver/Flickr]


Colorado, Montana and South Dakota are the top states with healthiest pets.

10. Pet Owners Turn To Medical Marijuana To Treat Their Pets. As more and more pet owners are looking for ‘natural’ treatments to cure what ails their pets, cannabinoid-based products (CBD) and medical marijuana became hot remedies. Veterinarians are still not in agreement about the efficacy and safety, but it’s a hot commodity in the pet product industry. [Manoela Padilha/flickr]

Early pet exposure may fight allergies and obesity in children

11. Study: Early Exposure To Pets May Reduce Childhood Allergies and Obesity. Research from Canada suggested that early exposure to pets in children led to increases in good bacteria in the children’s guts. It also claimed that the exposure could reduce childhood allergies and obesity rates. [Photo: Mike Liu/flickr]