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Pet corner: Ah, this explains it. April 24-30 was World Week for Lab Animals. May 1-7 is national Be Kind to Animals Week. First let's hear from Jennifer Winston: "Approximately 11 million animals are forced to consume products (detergent, drain cleaner, et cetera) that were never intended for human consumption. These tests are not required and are not valid. That are done so companies like Procter & Gamble and Gillette can cover themselves in liability cases." She also finds an interesting flaw in the argument for biomedical research on animals. Ask the torturers why their work is valid, she says, and they answer that "animals are like us." Ask about the moral issue, whether it's okay, and they say, "Yes, because animals are not like us." Boycott. Protest. Liberate by force. Now let's check in with ARFF: Put ID on your pet, preferably on a collar. Spay or neuter your pet (duh). (Oh, by the way, award-winning pal Kina Baker has been fixed by her owners. Way to go, folks.) Do not abandon your pet(s) when you move (double-duh, but you'd be surprised). Never, ever, for any reason, under any conditions, leave a pet in a parked car. Period. Do not let your dog ride in the open bed of a pickup truck A each year some 100,000 canines are injured via this dumb practice. Do not keep your dog chained up. My friend Zap just got a new dog, a big black shepherd-chow mix with purple tongue and glowing brown eyes. The guy he got it from was about to dump it at the shelter. Zap says the dog, nearly a year old, has no idea how to behave because of a lack of interaction with humans. He's trying to change that.

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Greg Baker