July 19 Your morning wag

Once feared, they are now hailed. We're talking about the dogs of Pompeii. Thanks to efforts of the Italian government, the stray dogs who populate the famous ruins are now being cared for and finding new homes, including with Americans. The New York Times has the story. (Photo to left: International Herald Tribune)

Closer to home, the Animal Coalition of Delaware County announces a new blog for pet lovers. The blog features health and training tips, product reviews (most recently a look at the array of litter boxes on the market) and success stories about adopted animals.

M.J. Cohen, the Lehigh County breeder and American Kennel Club judge busted by the state last month for running an unlicensed kennel, pleaded guilty to four counts of dog law violations. Unlawful to operate kennel without license, failure to have proper dog licenses, failure to have rabies vaccinations and failure to keep kennel in sanitary and humane condition. Cohen, of Coopersburg, was found with 60 dogs on his property. Under state law anyone with more than 25 dogs must have a kennel license. Cohen, a Great Dane breeder, now does.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for beating and killing 18 Canada geese and wild ducks in Mount Laurel, N.J.

A large number of dead geese and ducks were discovered on July 11 in the parking lot of a shopping center and in an adjacent retention basin. Many had traumatic injuries, including gunshots to the head that appeared to have been intentionally inflicted. Some birds appeared to have been beaten. The incident came after Mount Laurel rounded up and gassed to death 133 geese deemed a nuisance, despite local protests and HSUS's attempt to assist the community with a humane program to control their numbers.

HSUS is continuing its quest to pressure the nation's food and restaurant industry to use cage free eggs. Last month, the group took its message to a meeting of Krispy Kreme shareholders meeting in Winston-Salem.

The HSUS recently purchased stock in the company as part of its efforts encouraging Krispy Kreme to move away from egg suppliers that confine hens in cages—barren enclosures so tiny, the birds can’t even spread their wings—as many other food companies have done. Krispy Kreme has said that it may purchase some cage-free eggs starting in 2012, but it has not developed a firm plan for doing so. Major companies such as Burger King, Starbucks, Subway, Sara Lee and Hellman's have converted to cage free eggs or are in the process of doing so.

A way to spay without putting your pet under the knife? A University of Pennsylvania veterinary school professor has been awarded a grant to continue his research into non-surgical sterilization of dogs and cats. Ralph Meyer, assistant professor of Developmental Biology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, has been awarded a Michelson Grant in Reproductive Biology. The roughly $570,000 grant, awarded by Found Animals, allows Meyer to continue his research over the next three years to develop a non-surgical sterilant/technology for use in both male and female cats and dogs.

“It is well known that over-population in our shelters is a problem that often ends with euthanizing dogs and cats that need homes," said Meyer. "It is my hope...to find a non-surgical, safe and effective sterilization method for animals that is cost-effective and widely available to help put a stop to our pet over-population problem."

How much is that doggie in the window? How about zero, product discontinued? In many cities there are no more dogs (or cats) for sale. In a movement aimed at promoting animal adoption and curbing puppy (and kitty) mills, city councils across the country are crafting ordinances to ban pet sales. In February, West Hollywood, Calif., joined Albuquerque, N.M., and South Lake Tahoe, Calif., which have also banned pet sales. Other cities in Florida, New Mexico, Missouri and elsewhere are considering similar bans on the sale of dogs and cats. Next up, San Francisco where residents are debating a proposal that would go further and ban the sale of hamsters and guinea pigs too. What about Philadelphia? We have no idea if the subject is even under discussion. At last count, according to Department of Agriculture records, there were five pet stores selling dogs in Philadelphia.

The federal Department of Transportation has a warning for people with short-snouted dogs: think twice before shipping your dog by plane. The agency said short-snouted dogs accounted for more than half of all dog deaths in airplanes' cargo holds in the last five years. More from USAToday.