The DogChannel Newswire (08-20-10)

Russia marks anniversary of space dogs flight; drug dog finds meth load in car; and other news.

Russia Marks 50th Anniversary of Space Dogs Flight
Russia is marking the 50th anniversary of the space flight of two mixed-breed dogs — Belka and Strelka — who became the first living creatures to circle the Earth and come back alive. The August 1960 mission helped test the equipment which was used to carry the first human, Yuri Gagarin, into space on April 12, 1961, The Associated Press reports.
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Airline: Puppies Might Have Been Ill Pre-Flight
Seven puppies that died after flying on an American Airlines flight earlier this month might have had health problems even before they got on the plane, an airline spokeswoman said Tuesday. Seventeen other dogs were also on the flight from Tulsa to O’Hare Airport, and American has received no reports that any suffered health problems, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Drug Dog Finds Meth Load in Car
Drug-sniffing dogs helped Border Patrol agents dig out more than 14 pounds of methamphetamine tucked into a car’s wheel wells on Interstate 5 in Southern California, authorities said Thursday. Agents stopped a car and became suspicious of the driver, who made inconsistent statements, and brought in a narcotics dog, who found 12 bundles of crystal meth, worth an estimated $250,000, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
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Vaccine Now Miracle Cure But It Buys Time
Less than a decade ago, a dog unfortunate enough to be bitten by a large western diamondback rattlesnake and injected with a full load of venom faced a grim fate. That dire consequence is no longer a certainty, thanks, advocates say, to a vaccine that appears to give dogs a leg up in combating the effects of venom from western diamondback rattlers and some of their closely related kin, the Houston Chronicle reports.
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