Are your genes making you hungry?

Lily is a three-year-old female border collie/Lab mix who would love a home with no cats but she does love other dogs.

Lily is a three-year-old female border collie/Lab mix who would love a home with no cats but she does love other dogs.

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Watson here and I’ve been catching up on food research. My mom is always amazed by how much I love food. Who doesn’t love snacks and treats? I decided to find out exactly why I’m such a chow hound.

Did you know that in the U.S. and other wealthy countries that 34 to 59 percent of dogs are overweight? That means a lot of health problems for porky pets. Here’s the part that made me sad: Black Labs, chocolate Labs and golden retrievers are more prone to obesity than other breeds.

Science to the rescue! Researchers recruited Labrador retrievers to be part of a DNA study to find out what causes the “Lab” appetite. How funny is that? Labs in the labs. A group of 33 dogs were weighed, drool samples were collected and the DNA was sequenced.

Amazingly, in Labs one gene variant stood out from the rest: pro-opiomelanocortin, or POMC. POMC had been shown in other studies to affect appetite and feelings of fullness.

They found out that each dog could have one copy of the POMC variant, two copies or none. The more copies, the fatter the dogs, so more is not better. Because all dogs are relatives, Labrador retrievers have a great deal of genetic material in common with other breeds.

These findings are relevant to humans, too. In the future, obesity might become a thing of the past.

In the meantime, my mom watches how many treats I get and makes sure I get healthy food. So, it’s my genes making me hungry; fortunately, I don’t have to fit into my jeans.

XOXO, Watson


Baxter is a spunky two-year-old Aussie mix. He is friendly to dogs and people. His greatest wish is to be with someone who will spend time with him. Baxter can and will jump fences in search of his people. He has lots of energy for playing; come meet this sweet boy.


Vendors for Bark in the Park on May 18; please call 775-423-7500 for details.

Folks to register for the AmazonSmile program; the details are below, and we receive funds every month from your purchases.

Walking buddies for our fabulous canine guests. Do you have two legs and need exercise? We are looking for folks who would love to walk, lose weight and do a good deed at the same time. Call 775-423-7500 for details.


Fallon Speedway for their generous donation. A Four Paw salute to you!

High Sierra Locksmiths for replacing our locks and keys so promptly. All tails are wagging for you!

Fallon Glass & Signs for the beautiful signs that were delivered so rapidly. A loud bark to you!


CAPS will be at Walmart on March 2 with the Kissin’ Booth and a puckered-up pooch. Come by and smooch our pooch. We have hoodies, shirts and hats. Be sure to check out our merchandise after you’ve hugged our pup.


February Pet Holiday: Responsible Pet Owners Month.

To register in the AmazonSmile program, a website operated by Amazon. Customers enjoy same selection of products, low prices and shopping features as on The only difference is that, when you shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate .5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization selected by you.

Flower Tree Nursery will again be raffling a tree on March 15, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets.


CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, Nev. 89407. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kathleen Williams-Miller is a CAPS volunteer. Contact me,


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