Thursday Wag 2/3

Photo/Courtesy HSUS

Another puppy mill bust, this time in Tennessee. The Humane Society of the United States reports they removed nearly 100 dogs - mostly Yorkies, Chihuahuas and other lap dog breeds living in filthy, crowded - and freezing - conditions on Wednesday.

Zippity Do Da Tiny Pet Kennel in Lewisburg,Tennessee advertised itself as a kennel that raised "healthy" pets on its website. What investigators found were 97 dogs who were unrecognizable under the thick, matted fur, many with abcesses, some missing paws. Sheriff's deputies accompanied the animal welfare staff on the scene. It is not yet known if the operator has been charged with cruelty.

PETA people are baring all, yet again, to protest animal cruelty. A PETA member will stand on the corner of Market and N. Ninth at noon Thursday wearing only "scars" from "beatings" PETA alleges that circus animals endure. The protest comes with the arrival of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus to Philadelphia.

Is there anyone more anti-PETA than Sarah Palin? We don't know, but the former vice presidential candidate was out to prove her big game hunting mettle addressing a crowd of Safari Club International members in Las Vegas. According to an upcoming Newsweek piece via Huffington Post, Palin told the crowd she and her family love to eat organic - "we just have to shoot it first." Then she claimed to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to "prove" that it's an inhospitable place for animals and better used for oil drilling. Environmentalists beg to differ, calling the refuge, which is home to dozens of species of mammals, fish and plants, the most important denning region for polar bears. Past Safari Club bills itself as a advocate for hunters' rights and "conservation." The only animal news we found on its website promoted new hunting seasons for exotic animals and a congratulatory press release about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowing hunters to bring back 20 elephant "trophies" from Africa this year. Past Safara Club speakers have included former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. New bit of Paliniana: Sarah and husband Todd named their son Trig after a gun trigger. How quaint.

They might not be able to cure cancer, but dogs can sniff it out - and that might mean the difference between life and death. A new study found cancer-sniffing dogs were as good as a test in determining cases of colorectal cancer.

The study, published in a gastrointestinal medical journal, used a Labrador retriever, specially trained in scent detection of cancer and a handler cooperated in the tests. As the study summary puts it: "The dog first smelled a standard breath sample from a patient with CRC, then smelled each sample station and sat down in front of the station in which a cancer scent was detected."