Pets

Collin Parker

Has anyone checked on the huggers? As weeks of social distancing wear on, many are missing the comforts of a warm embrace — especially those who live alone. Touch has always been an essential emotional and physiological need. In its absence, more people are seeking out creative solutions. From self-massage and weighted blankets to pet fostering and adoption, those sheltering in place are finding new ways to connect with their bodies and their inner selves.

Diagram of a pet-related ethical dilemma.
Photo used with permission of Azim Sharif / MIT Media Lab

A self-driving car hurtles toward an individual and their dog. The car’s brake-lines are cut and the machine must decide — kill the person or the pet. What would you do? What if the dog were yours and the person were a stranger?

A picture of a dog standing in snow.
Poligraf Poligrafovich / Wikipedia

Temperatures are holding steady at freezing and below. So animal advocates and veterinary professionals are urging owners not to leave pets outside if they can avoid it.

A sign stating "Vote Here".
flickr.com/photos/zen

The State Board of Elections is investigating voter registration forms mailed to North Carolina residents by the political action group Americans for Prosperity

Peanut, world's ugliest dog
Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds

It's that time of year again when dogs with unusually large heads, hairless bodies and other oddities compete to be the World's Ugliest Dog. 

This year's winner? A 2-year-old mutt named Peanut, whose wild white and brown hair, bulging eyes and protruding teeth belie his sweet, energetic personality.

Although Peanut is healthy now, his owner, Holly Chandler of Greenville, NC, says he was seriously burned as a puppy, resulting in bald patches all over his body.

Chandler hopes Peanut's victory will help raise awareness about animal abuse.

Veterinarians are meeting in Asheville today to learn a quicker, more cost-effective way to neuter and spay pets. The Humane Alliance of Western North Carolina is hosting the conference. It operates a spay and neuter service in Buncombe County that sterilizes an average of 24,000 cats and dogs a year. The group can offer the procedure at a lower cost than full service clinics because it performs many at a time in an assembly line.