Saturday, September 26, 2009

DNA Test

An old friend I had the pleasure to work with at the Cochrane Humane Society in Alberta sent me an e-mail the other day to tell me that she has sent her dogs' DNA in to find out what kind of mutts they are. She had it done through a Canadian company, who AARCS, which stands for Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society, teamed up with as part of their fund raising.
That got me all excited, cause getting my girls DNA tested is on my mind since a couple of years. I am really curious to know what components Will is made out of, but I'll also get one done for Davie. She was sold as a purebred Aussie, but we always suspected a tad of border collie in her, and Mike and I teasingly call her the perfect Bossie.
What kept me so far from taking action is that each test is around a hundred bucks US, cause the only dog DNA testing company I knew about is in the States.
The Canadian company,, is considerably cheaper and they support rescue, so there are no more excuses.

I wonder if any of the NS rescue people could team up with the company also? I think it's a great idea. The Cochrane Humane Society, while I volunteered there, was connected with a pet identification company. It was mandatory for people who adopted a dog or cat to also purchase a tag that fits around the collar and a portion of the money was donated back to the society. I didn't like it, cause many adopters argued, rightfully so, that their indoor cats wouldn't wear a collar, or their dog would be microchipped, and were miffed that they had to dish out extra money for something they'd likely never use.
But I can see that many dog parents would get a test done to find out their dog's heritage. Then all our mutts could walk around with their own little designer dog label, now reserved only for the expensive and intentionally bred crosses. We'd have a Shusky, a Shlab or a Sheeler, a Labam or Catlab, or a Bossie or Borlab or Rolab or Berv.

I wonder if affordable and mainstreamed DNA testing might also open the door for lawsuits owners could file when their dog gets the legislative boot out of a province or county just because he has a square head and bulky body. Shouldn't the onus be on the lawmakers to DNA-proof that a dog indeed has pit bull genes, before they seize and euthanize? Not that I'm in favor of banning any breed, but it baffles me that "the law" gets away with going by looks only. Discriminating for looks instead of behavior is such a prejudice and racist thing to do and so typically human.

DNA testing is affordable, easy and supports rescue and I'll contact the company next week for two test kits. I'll let you all know if Will is indeed a "Border"line Nervy Tervy.

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