WBEZ | pets http://www.wbez.org/tags/pets Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Cloning your dog, for a mere $100,000 http://www.wbez.org/news/science/cloning-your-dog-mere-100000-113131 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Edmund D. Fountain for NPR.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res437020745" previewtitle="Ken (left) and Henry were created using DNA plucked from a skin cell of Melvin, the beloved pet of Paula and Phillip Dupont of Lafayette, La."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Ken (left) and Henry were created using DNA plucked from a skin cell of Melvin, the beloved pet of Paula and Phillip Dupont of Lafayette, La." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/02/dog-cloning-6_custom-6f263c0d9fd2457d3a5e935bee264e82862e196a-s700-c85.jpg" style="height: 438px; width: 600px;" title="Ken, left, and Henry were created using DNA plucked from a skin cell of Melvin, the beloved pet of Paula and Phillip Dupont of Lafayette, La. (Edmund D. Fountain/NPR)" /></div><div><p>It&#39;s a typical morning at the Dupont Veterinary Clinic in Lafayette, La. Dr. Phillip Dupont is caring for cats and dogs in the examining room while his wife, Paula, answers the phone and pet owners&#39; questions. Their two dogs are sleeping on the floor behind her desk.</p></div></div><p>&quot;That&#39;s Ken and Henry,&quot; Paula says, pointing to the slim, midsize dogs with floppy ears and long snouts. Both dogs are tan, gray and white, with similar markings. &quot;I put a red collar on Ken and a black collar on Henry so I can tell who&#39;s who.&quot;</p><p>Ken and Henry are genetically identical, though not exact replicas. They&#39;re&nbsp;<a href="https://www.genome.gov/25020028">clones</a>&nbsp;of the Duponts&#39; last dog, Melvin &mdash; created when scientists injected one of Melvin&#39;s skin cells, which contained all of his DNA, into a donor egg&nbsp;that had been emptied of its original DNA.</p><p>Ken and Henry are two of only about 600 dogs that have been cloned since scientists at&nbsp;<a href="http://en.sooam.com/index.html">Sooam Biotech</a>, a suburban company near Seoul, South Korea, developed the technology to create cloned canines.</p><p>The Duponts sat down with Shots to explain why they decided to clone Melvin.</p><div id="res437021019" previewtitle="Two years ago, Paula and Phillip Dupont paid $100,000 to have their mutt Melvin cloned by a laboratory in South Korea. They are so pleased with the results they may do it again."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Two years ago, Paula and Phillip Dupont paid $100,000 to have their mutt Melvin cloned by a laboratory in South Korea. They are so pleased with the results they may do it again." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/02/dog-cloning-7_custom-5bab74b5a7317030191cd7bef439449298781a77-s700-c85.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="Two years ago, Paula and Phillip Dupont paid $100,000 to have their mutt Melvin cloned by a laboratory in South Korea. They are so pleased with the results they may do it again. (Edmund D. Fountain/NPR)" /></div><div><p>&quot;He was different,&quot; says Phillip Dupont. &quot;Of all the dogs I had, he was completely different.&quot;</p></div></div><p>Melvin was supposed to be a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/catahoula-leopard-dog/">Catahoula leopard dog</a>, Louisiana&#39;s state dog (sometimes called a Catahoula hound). Turned out, Melvin was a mutt, probably part Catahoula and part Doberman.</p><p>&quot;I paid $50 for him,&quot; says Phillip. &quot;But I wasn&#39;t going to return it. I thought for a while I was going to put him to sleep.&quot; Then he changed his mind. &quot;Turned out to be the best dog I ever owned.&quot;</p><div id="res437022351" previewtitle="Phillip Dupont says losing his original dog Melvin (far right) was very hard, but Ken (far left) and Henry — two clones made from Melvin's skin cells — have helped a lot with the grief. The dogs' slightly different markings reflect differing environmental influences."><div><p>The Duponts have lots of stories about what made Melvin the best dog they ever owned, including the time Melvin found car keys Phillip had lost in the tall grass. The couple trusted the dog so much they let him babysit their grandson in the backyard all by himself.</p></div></div><p>&quot;He listened,&quot; says Phillip. &quot;You could talk to him and you swore he understood what you were talking about. It was weird.&quot;</p><p>So a couple of years ago, when Melvin was about 9 and starting to show his age, the Duponts turned to a lab in South Korea. Even though the process would cost them $100,000, the couple decided to do it. They&#39;d already spent that much on a Humvee, Phillip notes. &quot;So, what the heck?&quot;</p><p>He sent some of Melvin&#39;s skin cells off to the lab &mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/30/418642018/disgraced-scientist-clones-dogs-and-critics-question-his-intent?ft=nprml&amp;f=418642018" target="_blank">the only place in the world that is cloning dogs for pet owners.</a> The first cloned puppy soon died from distemper. The lab tried again, this time producing two healthy clones.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Subtle differences notwithstanding, Ken and Henry &quot;are so much like Melvin, it's unreal,&quot; says Phillip Dupont." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/02/dog-cloning-8_custom-bbb06494b77595b8e12eac326f931ca3b7b579f4-s700-c85.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 399px; width: 600px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Subtle differences notwithstanding, Ken and Henry &quot;are so much like Melvin, it's unreal,&quot; says Phillip Dupont. (Edmund D. Fountain/NPR)" /></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div id="res437021136" previewtitle="Subtle differences notwithstanding, Ken and Henry &quot;are so much like Melvin, it's unreal,&quot; says Phillip Dupont."><img alt="Phillip Dupont says losing his original dog Melvin (far right) was very hard, but Ken (far left) and Henry — two clones made from Melvin's skin cells — have helped a lot with the grief. The dogs' slightly different markings reflect differing environmental influences." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/02/three-dogs_custom-a62cbbcdf633a14da635fb24f8f4361dac7dec9d-s300-c85.jpg" style="height: 224px; width: 320px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Phillip Dupont says losing his original dog Melvin, far right, was very hard, but Ken, far left, and Henry — two clones made from Melvin's skin cells — have helped a lot with the grief. The dogs' slightly different markings reflect differing environmental influences. (Courtesy of Paula Dupont)" /><div data-crop-type="">For a while it was like having three Melvins.</div><div data-crop-type="">&nbsp;</div><div data-crop-type="">The personalities of the dogs, the Duponts say, are very similar. But less than two years later, Melvin&#39;s time came.</div></div><p>&quot;It was hard,&quot; says Phillip, choking back tears.</p><p>Having the clones &mdash; Ken and Henry &mdash; helped the couple cope with the loss.</p><p>&quot;They come running through the house and jump in your lap &mdash; a 75-pound dog sitting in your lap, watching TV.&quot; They still miss Melvin, they say, but having two more dogs so similar to him has helped &quot;quite a bit.&quot;</p><p>Most of the dogs cloned so far have been for grieving pet owners. Some have been for police agencies looking for special skills &mdash; bomb-sniffing, for example.</p><div id="res436911051" previewtitle="Cloning a canine requires that other dogs — donors and surrogates — undergo surgery. But the results are worth it, say the Duponts, playing here with Ken and Henry outside the couple's veterinary clinic in Louisiana."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Cloning a canine requires that other dogs — donors and surrogates — undergo surgery. But the results are worth it, say the Duponts, playing here with Ken and Henry outside the couple's veterinary clinic in Louisiana." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/02/dog-diptych_custom-e7b88b862f05e8126a848d139abb9c6fde1885cb-s700-c85.jpg" style="height: 209px; width: 600px;" title="Cloning a canine requires that other dogs — donors and surrogates — undergo surgery. But the results are worth it, say the Duponts, playing here with Ken and Henry outside the couple's veterinary clinic in Louisiana. (Edmund D. Fountain/NPR)" /></div><div><p>But not everyone thinks this idea is so great.</p></div></div><p>&quot;If you love dogs and you really want to have your companion animal cloned, you really do need to take very seriously the health and well-being of all the dogs that would be involved in this process,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.case.edu/med/bioethics/facultystaff/ixh14.htm">Insoo Hyun</a>, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University.</p><p>To clone a dog you need to use a lot of other dogs to serve as egg donors and surrogates, Hyun explains, and that means many dogs are undergoing surgical procedures. Most of the time the process doesn&#39;t work; many attempts are required to produce a single clone.</p><p>&quot;I think there are probably better ways to spend $100,000 if you really care about animals,&quot; Hyun says.</p><div id="res437319906" previewtitle="The Duponts expected only one puppy, but the lab in South Korea eventually got three viable embryos from the cloning process. The first puppy died right away from distemper, but Ken and Henry both seem healthy."><div><p>He also wonders about the health of Sooam&#39;s cloned puppies. Most cloned animals end up pretty sickly &mdash; all that for a dog that isn&#39;t even an exact replica of the original.</p></div></div><p>&quot;All cloning does is reproduce the genome of your original pet,&quot; Hyun explains.</p><p>&quot;But maybe the way your dog interacted with you &mdash; and even the way it looks &mdash; was also strongly environmentally influenced.&quot; You can never duplicate that kind of influence, Hyun says.</p><p>When pressed about how much the clones are really alike, the Duponts admit there are little differences, much as differences show up among identical twins. The white stripe on Henry&#39;s nose is a lot wider than Ken&#39;s, and Henry weighs a bit less. Ken is more of a loner. But that&#39;s about it for differences, the couple insists.</p><p>&quot;They&#39;re so much like Melvin it&#39;s unreal,&quot; Phillip Dupont says. So far, he adds, both clones seem perfectly healthy.</p><p>As far as whether other dogs suffered in creating theirs &mdash; the Duponts dismiss that notion, based on what they saw at the lab when they visited twice to pick up their clones.</p><p>&quot;Even though South Koreans eat dogs, they love their pets,&quot; Phillip says. &quot;They&#39;ve got rooms for these dogs to sleep in, with beds. They&#39;ve got technicians who sleep with the dogs. And [the dogs] are all well cared for.&quot;</p><img alt="The Duponts expected only one puppy, but the lab in South Korea eventually got three viable embryos from the cloning process. The first puppy died right away from distemper, but Ken and Henry both seem healthy." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/03/ken-henry-011_custom-269e87b55bd1978b42ec38bdd2585de494efa66e-s700-c85.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 213px; width: 320px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="The Duponts expected only one puppy, but the lab in South Korea eventually got three viable embryos from the cloning process. The first puppy died right away from distemper, but Ken and Henry both seem healthy. (Edmund D. Fountain/NPR)" /><p>He says the lab staff told him that after dogs have served as donors or surrogates, &quot;they&#39;re fixed up and go to new homes.&quot; (Sooam Biotech did not confirm or deny that assertion when NPR asked what happens to the dogs the company uses as donors and surrogates).</p><p>The Duponts also say they don&#39;t feel bad about spending so much money to create cloned dogs, when so many other dogs need homes.</p><p>There will always be strays on the road and too many dogs at the animal shelter, because irresponsible owners don&#39;t spay or neuter their pets, Paula says. In contrast, she says, families that clone their pets don&#39;t do it &quot;with the idea of producing 10 more. We&#39;re looking at having the one special dog again.&quot;</p><p>Or, in their case, two special dogs again, and maybe one more. The Duponts are already talking about cloning Melvin again &mdash; for their grandson.</p></div><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/30/428927516/cloning-your-dog-for-a-mere-100-000?ft=nprml&amp;f=428927516" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 15:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/science/cloning-your-dog-mere-100000-113131 Why Easter bunnies don't make the best pets http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/why-easter-bunnies-dont-make-best-pets-111819 <p><p>When my daughter started pleading on the phone, I was adamant: She could absolutely not bring home a bunny from the farm where she was staying.<br /><br />But 15 minutes later, I found myself saying, &ldquo;OK fine we&rsquo;ll keep them for a trial period.&rdquo;<br /><br />That was last August. Now every morning we wake up early to feed our little black and white furball named Binky. He gets to eat fresh, thoroughly washed organic greens long before we make our own eggs and coffee. We have a 50-pound box of Timothy hay on the porch, and we&rsquo;ve placed bunny litter boxes all over the house.</p><p>In short, my home has become bunnytown and I am its No. 1 public servant. Parents who are thinking of buying their kids a cuddly little bunny for Easter, might want to think twice.</p><p>&ldquo;Speaking personally I have a dog, a cat and three rabbits, and the rabbits are definitely the most high maintenance,&rdquo; says Marcia Coburn, president of the Red Door Animal Shelter in Rogers Park. &ldquo;They have to have hay, they have to have freedom to run around, yet you have to do bunny-proofing, just like child-proofing in your home. You have to protect your electrical cords because they will chew through them. You have to find an exotics veterinarian because they can&rsquo;t really be seen by a dog or a cat vet.&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /><br />I only became aware of these things after we got our bunny, and after I hopped on the many rabbit care websites. Here&rsquo;s what I learned:</p><ul><li>Rabbits are bad pets for small children.</li><li>Most don&rsquo;t like to be picked up.</li><li>Their bones break very easily.</li><li>If they are exposed to loud sounds, they can literally DIE of fright by having a heart attack.</li></ul><p>Oh and P.S., they also live for about 10 years. So we expect to be caring for them long after the the kids leave for college.<br /><br />That&rsquo;s just one of the reasons abandoned rabbits are expected to flood places like Red Door Animal Shelter in a few weeks.</p><p>&ldquo;The people who buy them at Easter end up saying, &lsquo;Well, what am I doing with this? This isn&rsquo;t what I thought it would be,&rsquo;&rdquo; Coburn said. &ldquo;And then they end up dumping them outside and Red Door ends up rescuing about 50 rabbits a year.&rdquo;</p><p>Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that annual pet rabbit sales numbers are unknown, it notes that rabbit breeders &ldquo;usually supply young small rabbits to satisfy customer demand and may see a seasonal increase in demand for rabbits at Easter. &ldquo;</p><p>According to the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals &ldquo;Thousands of ex-Easter bunnies are abandoned to shelters or into the wild each year when their novelty wears off.&rdquo;</p><p>Some groups have also pushed for a ban on rabbit and chick sales in the weeks leading up to Easter, and a few independent pet stores have voluntarily agreed to do so.&nbsp;</p><p>But for those who decide to buy and keep a rabbit, there&#39;s another another challenge: finding companions for them. Researchers say bunnies get angry and depressed when they&#39;re in single-rabbit homes. They need companions, but not just any companions. This is why experts recommend choosing a new bunny mate through--wait for it-- a series of speed dates at places like Red Door.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Most do best with a bunny of the opposite sex,&quot; explained Red Door Vice President Toni Greetis, &ldquo;but occasionally two boys will get along just fine. Still, we&rsquo;ll never introduce two girls because they&rsquo;re very territorial and can fight.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rabbies.jpg" style="height: 192px; width: 320px; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;" title="Binky and Queenie chowing down on some delicious organic greens" />Some rabbits need several dating sessions with numerous candidates. But Binky was lucky to fall in love with a dainty little black rabbit called Brooklyn on his first date.</p><p>We took them home, caged them separately and began a series of bonding sessions with a lot of peeing and mounting to establish dominance.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Rabbits will mount each other regardless of whether or not they are fixed in order to determine dominance,&rdquo; Greetis says. &ldquo;Sometimes it&rsquo;s the female who will mount the male, but what we are looking for is certain body language. Is the bunny that&rsquo;s on the bottom tolerating being mounted? That&rsquo;s a good sign.&rdquo;</p><p>If you want to know how our bonding sessions went, all you need to know is that the demure little rabbit that we used to call Brooklyn, is now named Queenie.</p><p>We&rsquo;ve had to get used to a lot of things, like having rabbit litter boxes around the house. We can&rsquo;t leave town without finding trained rabbit sitters.&nbsp; And we have accepted that our wood work, furniture and Oriental rugs are going to be full of chew marks.</p><p>For fun, sometimes we watch a series of videos by comedian Amy Sedaris on things like how to massage your bunny.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JnuxGLa2reg" width="560"></iframe></p><p>If this doesn&rsquo;t sound like a great time, you may want to stick with chocolate bunnies this Easter.</p><p>But us? At this point we wouldn&rsquo;t have it any other way.</p><p><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px;"><em>@monicaeng</em></a><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">&nbsp;</span><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Fri, 03 Apr 2015 09:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/why-easter-bunnies-dont-make-best-pets-111819 Dog days of summer http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/dog-days-summer-108500 <p><p>The days are sweltering and while you can cope by wearing linen or sucking down a frozen margarita at a sidewalk cafe, you have a best friend at home wearing a fur coat who has needs. And the needs are beyond heeding nature&rsquo;s call. Really, your friend has the greater urge to return to nature &hellip; to feel what it was like sprinting through forests with his canine crew all those thousands of years ago before he was angling to get a piece of your discarded caribou carcass at the fireside when you were busy grunting about how the Internet wasn&rsquo;t invented yet, or language, for that matter.</p><p>Thankfully humans have attempted to do right by their best friends via dog parks. And these may be the closest thing us Midwestern city and suburb-dwellers have to giving our furry friends what they so desire. Below is a survey of great places outside of Chicago to go to very literally <em>unleash</em> your city dog&rsquo;s inner country dog.</p><p>Take note: before you venture out to these dogtopias be sure your pets are up to date with all vaccinations and pay special attention to the permits/cost section. Some spots make it difficult to be spontaneous as there&rsquo;s no way to secure a permit on site. &nbsp;</p><p>I chose the following spots based on their size (bigger the better), relative accessibility to Chicago, geographic diversity (one for every direction) and the fact that they&rsquo;re off-leash (all but one). Know that there <em>are</em> additional off-leash areas and this is just a survey of a few. &nbsp;If you have other parks to recommend, please comment below! If you&rsquo;re inclined to be thorough, use our guidelines for the benefit of others (Name, Location, Size, Hours, Features, Permits/Cost, More information). &nbsp;</p><p>Also: if you&rsquo;re all like &ldquo;what about off-leash areas <em>in</em> Chicago?&rdquo; Well <a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/facilities/dog-friendly-areas/">the Chicago Park District site</a> has you covered. Below is all about adventuring&nbsp;<em>outside</em> the city limits. And if you don&#39;t have access to a car, all hope is not lost! Many rental companies do allow pets but there are <a href="http://www.tripswithpets.com/pet-travel-pet-friendly-car-rentals">guidelines</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><img class="alwaysThinglink" src="//cdn.thinglink.me/api/image/427237505402667008/1024/10/scaletowidth#tl-427237505402667008;626328886" width="620" /><script async charset="utf-8" src="//cdn.thinglink.me/jse/embed.js"></script></p><p><em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chicagopublicradio/sets/72157635187111769/">Click here</a> for more images of some of these parks.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe class="vine-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://vine.co/v/hWxlhHzEHZK/embed/simple" width="480"></iframe><script async src="//platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p><p><u><strong>WEST OF CHICAGO: DuPage County</strong></u></p><p><strong>NAME</strong>: <a href="http://www.dupageforest.com/Recreation/Activities_and_Facilities/Off-Leash_Dog_Area.aspx">East Branch Forest Preserve</a></p><p><strong>LOCATION</strong>: <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&amp;q=east+branch+forest+preserve&amp;fb=1&amp;gl=us&amp;hq=east+branch+forest+preserve&amp;hnear=0x880e2c3cd0f4cbed:0xafe0a6ad09c0c000,Chicago,+IL&amp;cid=0,0,296604937961359888&amp;ei=S2zxUd3kLqHOyAG7w4D4Aw&amp;ved=0CKwBEPwSMAs">Glen Ellyn Road, Glendale Heights, IL 60139</a></p><p><strong>SIZE</strong>: 60 acres</p><p><strong>HOURS</strong>: One hour after sunrise until one hour after sunset (Mondays it does not open until 9 am for maintenance.)</p><p><strong>FEATURES</strong>: There&rsquo;s little something for everyone here. Lots of water for the dogs (no swimming for humans), a tame, crushed gravel path you can take on with flip-flops as well as wilder options where boots would be better: off-roading field adventures on footpaths and in tall grass. There are benches for resting, too. But beware if you have a dog that has selective hearing when you call it back: there is no fence on this preserve. Best to bring dogs that don&rsquo;t have a tendency to take off and leave you out of sight. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>PERMITS / COST</strong>: While daily permits are available at $8 a day for DuPage County residents and $20 a day for non-residents, you have to secure them in advance either by filling out <a href="http://www.dupageforest.com/Recreation/Activities_and_Facilities/Off-Leash_Dog_Area.aspx">online forms</a> or visiting their Wheaton office. Annual permits run $40 for residents and $8 for each additional dog; $150 for non-residents and $25 for each additional dog. &nbsp;After September 1st, there&rsquo;s a price break through the end of December.</p><p><strong>For more information</strong>: Contact their Visitors Services: 630-933-7248, <a href="mailto:forest@dupageforest.org">forest@dupageforest.org</a> and check regulations <a href="http://www.dupageforest.com/Recreation/Activities_and_Facilities/Off-Leash_Dog_Area.aspx">here</a>.</p><p><iframe class="vine-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://vine.co/v/harWlY5uie0/embed/simple" width="480"></iframe><script async src="//platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p><p><u><strong>NORTH OF CHICAGO: Lake County</strong></u></p><p><strong>NAME</strong>: <a href="http://www.lcfpd.org/preserves/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.view&amp;object_id=27649&amp;type=P">Prairie Wolf Dog Exercise Area</a></p><p><strong>LOCATION</strong>: <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=s_d&amp;saddr=&amp;daddr=IL-43+S/S+Waukegan+Rd&amp;geocode=FdoDhAId_UXD-g&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=ls&amp;sll=42.202136,-87.851315&amp;sspn=0.02823,0.052228&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=42.204839,-87.864017&amp;spn=0.028229,0.052228&amp;z=15">Waukegan Road (Route 43) just North of Half Day Road (Route 22) in Lake Forest</a></p><p><strong>SIZE</strong>: 44 acres</p><p><strong>HOURS</strong>: Daily 6:30 am to 7 pm or sunset (whichever is later)</p><p><strong>FEATURES</strong>: Prairie Wolf is my dog&rsquo;s favorite place on earth (so far). It&rsquo;s fenced in but expansive enough that you don&rsquo;t even notice. There are additional enclosures within for training and small dogs as well as crushed gravel trails, mowed grass trails, footpaths, a decent bathroom, drinking fountains for dogs and humans, ample field space for ball or frisbee chasing and a swimming pond (for dogs). It&rsquo;s really well maintained, and I can attest it&rsquo;s magnificent in all seasons (see photo set for proof). &nbsp;</p><p><strong>PERMITS / COST</strong>: Spontaneity level high! Prairie Wolf has daily permits available right in the parking lot (cash or check accepted). It&rsquo;s $5 for Lake County residents and $10 for non-residents. Annual permit pricing: Lake County residents $44 for first dog, $18 each additional dog / Non-residents $120 for first dog, $56 each additional dog. (Psst: after September 1, <a href="http://www.lcfpd.org/preserves/index.cfm?fuseaction=preserves.viewActDetail&amp;object_id=130">fees are cheaper</a> for annual permits and last through December 31). Purchase annual or daily permits <a href="http://www.lcfpd.org/permits/index.cfm?fuseaction=permits.viewall">here</a>.</p><p><strong>For more information</strong>: Lake County preserves info <a href="http://www.lcfpd.org/preserves/index.cfm?fuseaction=preserves.viewActDetail&amp;object_id=130">here</a> or call &nbsp;847-367-6640.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Whalon%20Lake%20Dog%20Park%202.jpg" style="height: 319px; width: 480px;" title="Whalon Lake Dog Park entrance. (Photo courtesy of The Forest Preserve District of Will County)" /></div><p><u><strong>SOUTH OF CHICAGO: Will County</strong></u></p><p><strong>NAME</strong>: <a href="http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/preserves-trails/Whalon-Lake">Whalon Lake</a></p><p><strong>LOCATION</strong>: <a href="https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=200764017780999380465.0004939b99ba4f8d4131f&amp;msa=0&amp;iwloc=lyrftr:msid:200764017780999380465.0004939b99ba4f8d4131f,0004964ba97bee7356e30,41.717966,-88.102369,0,-16">Royce Road, West of Route 53/Bolingbrook Drive in Naperville</a></p><p><strong>HOURS</strong>: 6 a.m. - Sunset (April-October) 8 a.m. - Sunset (November-March)</p><p><strong>SIZE</strong>: 11.9 acres</p><p><strong>FEATURES</strong>: This park is great for dogs with a fetch fetish. Whalon features big, open grassy fields with a touch of brush and trees, so it&rsquo;s fairly easy to find the frisbee or tennis ball you&rsquo;re whipping around. For small dogs there&rsquo;s a 1.9 acre area they can roam free and feel safe from their bigger brethren. There&rsquo;s also a shaded structure with benches to take a breather as well as drinking water. Bring your own dog bowl though - there&rsquo;s no easily accessible water on the ground for your pooch. And there <em>is</em> a bathroom for you if you&rsquo;re hitting the water bottle hard.</p><p><strong>PERMITS / COST</strong>: You&rsquo;ve got to plan in advance - no permits are available on site but you can apply for permits at a few <a href="http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/preserves-trails/dog-parks">Will County towns and a pet store</a> as well as obtain forms online to mail in. Daily permits are $5 for both Will County residents and nonresidents but the annual fees vary. A Will County dog costs $40 per year, a non-Will County dog is $80. &nbsp;The pricing structure has some more complexity depending on the number of dogs, your age, and time of year - there are price cuts starting October 1. <a href="http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/preserves-trails/dog-parks">Visit this page</a> for full details.</p><p><strong>For more information</strong>: Permits and other county dog parks info <a href="http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/preserves-trails/dog-parks">here</a> or call (815) 727-8700.</p><div><a href="http://www.houzz.com/photos/4086759/5-of-America-s-Best-Dog-Parks---"><img border="0" height="359" src="http://st.houzz.com/simgs/b1a17c39019fe23c_8-2643/home-design.jpg" width="480" /></a></div><div style="color:#444;">&nbsp;</div><div style="color:#444;"><u><strong>SOUTHEAST OF CHICAGO: &nbsp;Lake County, Indiana</strong></u></div><p><strong>NAME</strong>: <a href="http://www.freedombarkpark.com/">Freedom Bark Park</a></p><p><strong>LOCATION</strong>: <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=17105+Cline+Avenue+in+Lowell,+Indiana&amp;daddr=17105+Cline+Ave,+Lowell,+IN+46356&amp;hnear=0x8811f90c16c16849:0x74e69a2dabf1f895,17105+Cline+Ave,+Lowell,+IN+46356&amp;gl=us&amp;t=h&amp;z=16">17105 Cline Avenue in Lowell, Indiana</a></p><p><strong>HOURS</strong>: Dawn to dusk</p><p><strong>SIZE</strong>: 5 acres</p><p><strong>FEATURES</strong>: This fenced-in field located on farmland offers a &ldquo;green&rdquo; experience with a solar water well and biodegradable materials like benches made from salvaged oak trees, recycled rubber mulch and biodegradable dog waste bags. &nbsp;There&rsquo;s a sand bunker for dogs devoted to digging, and a shelter and benches for relaxing protected from the elements while your pup sprints circles around the open field. Freedom Bark Park also has an enclosed three-quarter acre area for small dogs to schmooze. Drinking water is available for pets and owners.</p><p><strong>PERMITS / COST</strong>: There are no daily permits here as the park has a key entry.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.freedombarkpark.com/Forms.html">Year memberships</a> are $60 for residents of Lowell and $70 for non-residents. It&rsquo;s $5 for each additional dog after the first regardless of residence. &nbsp;Note: price break after July 1st - membership is half price for everyone until December 31st.</p><p><strong>For more information</strong>: Check <a href="http://www.freedombarkpark.com/">their website</a> or call the Park Department Office at (219) 696-1570.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>DAY TRIPS!</strong></u></p><p>Looking for a good excuse to get way out of the city, then try these trips: one to the Southern Wisconsin (near Lake Geneva) and the other along Michigan&rsquo;s lovely great lake&rsquo;s shore.</p><p><iframe class="vine-embed" frameborder="0" height="480" src="https://vine.co/v/hZwlmD0DQap/embed/simple" width="480"></iframe></p><p><u><strong>FAR NORTHWEST OF CHICAGO: Walworth County, Wisconsin</strong></u></p><p><strong>NAME</strong>: Town of Linn Nature Park <em>(apologies for the typo of &quot;Linn&quot; in the Vine above. No going back once you post.)</em></p><p><strong>LOCATION</strong>: <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=South+Lake+Shore+Drive+and+Maple+Ridge+Road,+Linn,+Wisconsin&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=0x8805f561373cbf29:0x727f3cd6e9c4b7b7,S+Lake+Shore+Dr+%26+Maple+Ridge+Rd,+Linn,+WI+53147&amp;gl=us&amp;ei=dwIMUpuaOOm2yAH0w4G4Dg&amp;ved=0CCwQ8gEwAA">On Maple Ridge Road just South of S. Lake Shore Drive, Linn, Wisconsin</a></p><p><strong>HOURS</strong>: No posted restrictions</p><p><strong>SIZE</strong>: 160 acres, 3.5 miles of mowed trails</p><p><strong>FEATURES</strong>: No fence here, but the miles of mowed prairie trails help keep your pup in sight. This part of Wisconsin is idyllically hilly having not been ironed out by glaciers, so sweet views abound and you&rsquo;ll get a nice calf workout on the gentle climbs. Birdwatchers - bring your binoculars: Henslow&rsquo;s Sparrows, Wood Ducks, Kildeer, Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks and more nest here. And if your canine fears equines or loves to roll in their you-know-what, keep an eye out as horses are known to trot and plop here, too. There are benches for resting and a few gurgling creeks if your dog needs to take a dip or sip. Bring your own poop-bags and a bottle of water for yourself. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>PERMITS / COST</strong>: Apparently free!</p><p><strong>For more information</strong>: Not much online, but you can read about the park&rsquo;s history and goals <a href="http://townoflinn.com/notices/CORP/TownofLinnCORP5.PDF">here</a>.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Grand%20Mere%20photo%20filckr%20J.%20Star.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 480px;" title="You can take the dog out of the dunes, but you can't take the dunes out of the dog. (Flickr/J. Star)" /></div><p><u><strong>FAR NORTHEAST OF CHICAGO: Berrien County, Michigan</strong></u></p><p><strong>NAME</strong>: <a href="http://www.michigan.org/property/grand-mere-state-park-dog-friendly/">Grand Mere State Park</a></p><p><strong>LOCATION</strong>: <a href="https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Grand+Mere+State+Park,+Stevensville,+MI&amp;hl=en&amp;ll=42.001792,-86.550035&amp;spn=0.052302,0.077162&amp;sll=41.833733,-87.731964&amp;sspn=0.839036,1.234589&amp;oq=grand+mere+state&amp;t=h&amp;hq=Grand+Mere+State+Park,+Stevensville,+MI&amp;z=14&amp;iwloc=A">Thornton Drive, Stevensville, MI 49127</a></p><p><strong>HOURS</strong>: &nbsp;8am - 10pm year</p><p><strong>SIZE</strong>: Two miles of beach and dunes along Lake Michigan</p><p><strong>FEATURES</strong>: Grand Mere is the Rolls Royce of dog parks, that is if your dog is into water and sand. But beware - on really hot days the scorching sand can burn your pooch&rsquo;s paws! The shoreline is a three-quarter mile walk from the parking lot area and you&rsquo;ll have to negotiate a sand dune to get there. Also of note: the official policy is that dogs need to be on a six-foot leash and under &ldquo;immediate care&rdquo; - meaning your hand has to be attached to the dog in the water or not. Should an officer see you disobeying the policy, you may be fined or issued a citation. It&rsquo;s BYOB (bring your own bag) so come with your dog doo supplies. There&rsquo;s additionally some shaded trails and inland lakes worth a stroll.</p><p><strong>PERMITS / COST</strong>: For all Michigan state parks - if your vehicle is not registered with the state it&rsquo;s $8.40 for day permit and $30.50 for the year. Permits can be obtained at the nearby <a href="http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=504&amp;type=SPRK">Warren Dunes State Park</a> on your way to Grand Mere. There&rsquo;s also a pet-friendly stretch of beach at Warren Dunes, too if you want a twofer.</p><p><strong>For more information</strong>: More parks information at <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10365_36576-308731--,00.html">Michigan&rsquo;s DNR site</a> or call (269) 426-4013.</p><p><br /><em>Jennifer Brandel is Senior Producer of Curious City + Interactive for WBEZ. Follow her<a href="https://twitter.com/JnnBrndl"> @JnnBrndel</a></em></p></p> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 17:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/dog-days-summer-108500 Chicago suburb bans non-traditional pets after inquiries about keeping peacocks and pigs http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-suburb-bans-non-traditional-pets-after-inquiries-about-keeping-peacocks-and-pigs-108311 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Banning peacocks.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="line-height: 1.15;">A northwestern Chicago suburb amended an ordinance to keep pigs, peacocks and similar animals out of their backyards.</span></p><p>The Arlington Heights village board rewrote their ban on poultry and livestock to include &ldquo;similar fowls&rdquo; and &ldquo;similar animals&rdquo;. The ordinance addresses recent inquires about keeping a pot-bellied pig and a peacock.</p><p>Mayor Thomas Hayes said the restriction is important in keeping the residential character of the neighborhood.</p><p>&ldquo;There might be problems with the animals escaping, causing a nuisance with surrounding residences or attracting other varmints or other animals that might be a nuisance as predators,&rdquo; Hayes said.</p><p>The board introduced the ban after residents asked to raise chickens in their backyards earlier this year.</p><p>Any residents who disregard the ban will have the animal impounded.</p><p><em>Lee Jian Chung is a WBEZ arts and culture intern. Follow him @jclee89.</em></p></p> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 17:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-suburb-bans-non-traditional-pets-after-inquiries-about-keeping-peacocks-and-pigs-108311 If Forced To Choose, Some Would Stick With Pets Before Spouses http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/if-forced-choose-some-would-stick-pets-spouses <p><p>If confronted with an "it's me or the dog" ultimatum, it looks like about 1 in 7 Americans would go with Fido.</p><p>At least that's what <a href="http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com/pdf/AP-Petside%20com%20October%20Pets%20Topline%20-%20GIVE%20UP.pdf" target="_blank">a national survey</a> done for the Associated Press <a href="http://www.petside.com/wellness/ap-petside_poll_are_we_giving_up_on_our_pets.php" target="_blank">and Petside.com</a> indicates.</p><p>When asked "just hypothetically, if you had to choose between a spouse or significant other, and your pet, which do you think you would choose?," of the 1,000 people surveyed:</p><p>— 84 percent said they would stick with their spouse or significant other.</p><p>— 14 percent chose the pet.</p><p>— 1 percent said they didn't know.</p><p>— 1 percent wouldn't answer (perhaps someone was listening?). Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1295978234?&gn=If+Forced+To+Choose%2C+Some+Would+Stick+With+Pets+Before+Spouses&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=pets,National+News,Culture,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=133210663&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110125&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=133210683,127602855,127602802,103943429,133207016,133206999,127612725,127602855,126932793,103943429,133205361,133205038,133205036,133205034,132783213,127602855,127602446,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Tue, 25 Jan 2011 11:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/if-forced-choose-some-would-stick-pets-spouses PAWS Chicago: Keeping the city's pets alive http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/paws-chicago-keeping-citys-pets-alive <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//puppies.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Christmas is little more than a week away and that means some folks will wake up to find a warm and fuzzy gift under the tree: A puppy or a kitten! Sounds adorable but how practical a gift is an animal? And what about all our furry friends who don&rsquo;t have a home for the holiday?</p><p>To find out how our city is managing animal control, &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; spoke to Paula Fasseas.&nbsp;Fasseas is the founder of the city&rsquo;s largest no-kill organization, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pawschicago.org/">PAWS Chicago</a>.</p><p>Since opening its doors in 1997, PAWS has reduced the number of homeless dogs and cats killed annually by more than 50 percent.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 15 Dec 2010 14:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/paws-chicago-keeping-citys-pets-alive PAWS Chicago founder on pets as presents http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/paws-chicago-founder-pets-presents <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//puppies.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Christmas is little more than a week away and that means some folks will wake up to find a warm and fuzzy gift under the tree: A puppy or a kitten! Sounds adorable but how practical a gift is an animal? And what about all our furry friends who don&rsquo;t have a home for the holiday?</p><p>To find out how our city is managing animal control, &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; spoke to Paula Fasseas.&nbsp;Fasseas is the founder of the city&rsquo;s largest no-kill organization, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pawschicago.org/">PAWS Chicago</a>.</p><p>Since opening its doors in 1997, PAWS has reduced the number of homeless dogs and cats killed annually by more than 50 percent.</p></p> Wed, 15 Dec 2010 14:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/paws-chicago-founder-pets-presents