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CSI: My Cat

Some acts of scientific creativity deserve recognition. After finding her dead cat, a Virginia woman named Marylin Christian had a number one suspect: her neighbor?s dog, a German Shepard mix named Lucky. According to the linkurl:Washington Post;http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/08/AR2006010801330_pf.html, the woman, armed with memories of TV crime shows, asked Lucky?s owners for samples of saliva and fur. They obliged. Her county vet concluded that Lucky?s fur matc

By | January 11, 2006

Some acts of scientific creativity deserve recognition. After finding her dead cat, a Virginia woman named Marylin Christian had a number one suspect: her neighbor?s dog, a German Shepard mix named Lucky. According to the linkurl:Washington Post;http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/08/AR2006010801330_pf.html, the woman, armed with memories of TV crime shows, asked Lucky?s owners for samples of saliva and fur. They obliged. Her county vet concluded that Lucky?s fur matched that found at the crime scene. And a California DNA lab that analyzed the evidence for $500 concluded that Lucky had, in fact, played a pivotal role in the cat?s death. However, officials said that, even with DNA evidence, they couldn?t find the dog guilty as charged. The reason? No witnesses. If the dog had been found guilty, it would have been declared dangerous by the county, requiring his owners to take out at least $50,000 in liability insurance, lock the dog inside and keep it in a muzzle during walks. Instead, they?ve been fined $116 when the dog was caught running loose, 10 days after Christian?s cat died. The lab Christian used, the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California at Davis, reportedly carries the largest animal DNA database worldwide, and contains a forensic branch to solve crimes. The forensic lab?s interim director, Beth Wictum, estimates that half of the clients are pet owners, some of whom investigating a neighboring animal?s role in a beloved pet?s death. "All I want is to protect my family," Christian told the Post, sitting with one of her remaining cats, Yo Mama. Even if Christian was not successful in her investigation, she deserves kudos for her efforts. Who says only scientists can do science?
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