Past Picks

Past Picks of the Litter - 1996

December 30-January 5

Columbia Animal Hospital

I've had the opportunity to view numerous veterinary practice web pages over the years and feel that I have to give the creativity award to Dr. David Tayman's Columbia Animal Hospital. Located in Columbia, Maryland, it's "Pet's Health" theme is highly original, informative, and entertaining, everything a good website should be.

December 23-29

Bear Den

This time of year, cold weather is on many people's minds. When I think of cold, I think of bears, who get to take it easy and hibernate throughout the winter. To learn just about everything you would ever want to know about hibernation and bears, visit the Bear Den. This multi-award winning site features detailed information on 8 different kinds of bears, a kids area called the Cub Den, a Photo Gallery, and much more. Webmaster Don Middleton provides a wealth of online knowledge about the Ursidae family, which you can experience while hopefully keeping yourself warm.

December 16-22


Veterinarian and Webmaster, Dr. Adrian Smith and his wife, Karina, live in Oslo, Norway, and have compiled the NORINA Database over a period of many years. NORINA (A Norwegian Inventory of Audiovisuals) consists of information on over 3000 computer programs, laser discs, films, slide series, 3-D models and classroom charts, that can be used as alternatives or supplements to the use of animals in teaching, at all levels from K-12 to university. This database is easily searched and should prove useful to students and teachers alike.

December 9-15

Cat Tales

Webmaster Mike Wyche's website, Cat Tales has been a work in progress for quite some time. Cat Tales is located in Spokane, Washington, and is a nonprofit zoological park dedicated to the preservation of endangered felines. They also operate a training center, and the website offers a plethora of pictures, links, and FAQ's about large feline species. Cat Tale's mission includes education, rescue, and research. You can also "adopt" one of the animals in order to support its annual care. Good job!

December 2-8

Dinosauria On-Line millions of others, I watched "Jurassic Park" on television again. While that was a great movie, you might want to check out the real thing at the Dinosauria On-Line website. Webmaster Jeff Poling has assembled a great dinosaur science resource, appropriate for experts and amateurs, with numerous paleontological references and images.

November 25-December 1

Kaplan's Turkey on the Web

In America, it's that time of year again and surfing the turkey sites is made all that much easier by going to Kaplan's Turkey on the Web. A previous "Cool Site of the Day", I think you'll find just about all the tidbits about Thanksgiving and Turkey you'd ever want to know. Have a good holiday!

November 18-25

Mississippi State University Bulldogs

When an event that has only happened twice in my lifetime occurs, I simply cannot let it go unheralded. The Mississippi State University Football Bulldogs stood toe-to-toe on National Television with the Univeristy of Alabama Crimson Tide this past weekend and came out on the winning end, 17-16. I understand the goalposts are still missing :-)

(Okay, so I bleed Maroon....did I mention that the MSU Basketball team went to the Final Four this year? :-) Just in case everyone isn't sharing in my alumnus enthusiasm, here are bonus "pick of the litter" links to the Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine, the Bulldog's Home Page, and the Elephant Manager's Association.

November 11-17

AVMA's Care for Pets

This is definitely one of the most informative and attractive veterinary sites to grace the World Wide Web. The Care for Pets site is a project created by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Over 180 pages deep, this site covers the spectrum of veterinary medicine and animal health, with pet health news, pet loss information, what you need to know when buying a pet, animal safety, pet stories, how to select a veterinarian, veterinary career information, and a "Kid's Korner". The pages are very well laid out and a pleasure to surf. I'm sure you will enjoy this one.

November 4-10


This week marks the 47th Annual Meeting of AALAS, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. AALAS is dedicated to advancing and disseminating knowledge about the responsible care and use of laboratory animals for the benefit of human and animal health. AALAS's Alpha server is the latest in a long history of electronic communications for this organization and serves as a source of information exchange about the field. Available there are numerous reference and contact sources and for members, there is the new AALAS Careerline, listing job opportunities, course outlines for laboratory animal technicians, newsletters, and articles from the journals Laboratory Animal Science and Contemporary Topics.

October 28-November 3

Interactive Frog Dissection Tutorial

Having just returned from a recent meeting on Animal Alternatives in the Netherlands, I thought this might be a good week to highlight one of the classic web sites known as the Interactive Frog Dissection Tutorial, located at University of Virginia. Designed for use in high school biology programs, this program can function as a supplement or an alternative to the use of real frogs in teaching dissection and anatomy. When I was that age, I preferred working with the real thing. However, some people learn in different ways, so check it out for yourself. I'm sure the frogs would appreciate it. :-)

October 21-27

All the Virology Servers on the WWW

All the Virology Servers on the WWW is pretty well summed up by its title. This invaluable resource, put together by webmaster David Sander of the Garry Lab at Tulane University, serves both the scientific community and the general public, providing information and insights to agents that are important to both human and animal health and disease. Here you will find microscopic and macromolecular images, notes, diagrams, even videos of many viral organisms + a comprehensive set of links to all relevant and related websites on this topic, including labs, techniques, taxonomic and genomic data, and more. I would be surprised if you did not find useful information at this site. Well worth your next click.

October 14-20


On the Internet, the world becomes a smaller place. The same is true in real life, with increasing contact between cultures and people. Much attention has been focused in the media on the Ebola virus, an infectious agent transmissible between monkeys and humans. However, as you'll see on the Outbreak web page, this is only one of many emerging diseases that we should be concerned about. Maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers, Outbreak is truly one of the more ambitious and important sites you will find on the Web.

October 7-13

Chin Net

Chin Net, covers the World Wide Web of pet chinchillas in great detail, offering pointers on everything from pet chin sites on the Net to book lists, directories for organizations, cage designs, genetics, FAQ's, and lots of pictures. The real enthusiast will want to join the ChinMail Mailing List or follow along on the Usenet newsgroup, alt.chinchilla.

September 30-October 6

The Dogpatch

I guess webmaster Mary Jo Sminkey is just going to have to add one more entry to her growing list of accolades :-) Her website, The Dogpatch, is a brilliantly designed and informative set of pages encompassing numerous canine topics, including the Doghouse, the Sheltie page, the Dog Obedience and Training Page, the Dog Agility page, the Frisbee Dog page, and much, much, more. I'm sure you will surf this site for hours.

September 23-29

USDA Animal Care

The 30th anniversary of the Animal Welfare Act was recently recognized. The AWA is administered by the Animal Care branch of the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. A great deal of information may be found at this site, including a variety of reports, lists, fact sheets, press releases, regulations, pending legislation, a Missing and Found Animals Page, and the Horse Protection Home Page. Webmaster Jerry DePoyster has done an excellent job of assembling these materials for easy and efficient retrieval.

September 16-22

Zoological Society of San Diego

The Zoological Society of San Diego website serves as the electronic home for the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and the Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species. Known the world over, more than 4.5 million people visit these resources each year. Until you can plan your trip, check out the website and see hippos, gorillas, chimpanzees, pandas, polar bears, and other species in natural habitat settings.

September 9-15


SCIVAC is the Societŕ Culturale Italiana Veterinari per Animali da Compagnia, a non-profit association of companion animal practice veterinarians. SCIVAC originated in Milan, Italy and has 5,500 members. The SCIVAC website is very well designed and easy to navigate, with sections on continuing education, specialties, upcoming congresses and seminars, and more. They also sponsor a veterinary professional mailing list called Vetlink.

September 2-8

The Guinea Pig Hutch

A site sure to catch the eye of guinea pig fanciers and pet owners is The Guinea Pig Hutch. Webmaster Todd Medley has assembled a superbly designed collection of information, health and care tips, bedding information, related links, and guinea pig photographs. Anyone interested in cavies would do well to check out this site.

August 26-September 1


One of the more well designed and informative sites to come around on the web may be found at WWW.Woofs. This is a non-profit corporation devoted to the care of (as you might guess) our canine companions. Among the numerous things to see are sections on Adoption, Health Care, Nutrition, Training, News, Images, a Celebrity Dog Owners Column, and a Chat Line. I found it to be an entertaining site and I'm sure you will, too.

August 19-25


And I thought I had some links :-) .... Check out the (many) pages of BIOSIS. This non-profit organization supports the growth, communication, and use of biological knowledge for the common good. They have accumulated the world's largest collection of abstracts and bibliographic references to biological and medical literature. Two essential online indexes they've produced include the Resources for Biologists page and Taxonomy and Nomenclature page. There's a lot get your mouse finger warmed up.

August 12-18

James Herriot Home Page

Heather Mazzaccaro has created a tribute website to popular veterinarian/author James Herriot, who wrote the classic All Creatures Great and Small and many other wonderful stories, certainly a huge inspiration for many young veterinarians.

August 5-11

Australian Environment On-Line

As the Olympic torch passes from Atlanta to our friends in Sydney, many may want to virtually explore the land down under at the Australian Environment On-Line web site managed by ERIN, the Environmental Resources Information Network, located in the Federal Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories. Read about Endangered Species, the Diversity of Australian Fauna, and much, much more. G'day, mates!

July 29-August 4

Marine Biological Laboratory

Always a great web resource, the newly redesigned home for the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is better than ever. The Aquatic Resources section is attractively designed with easy to follow tables and graphics. The Marine Biological Laboratory is a non-profit institution devoted to research and education in basic biology. Scientists and students throughout the world come to the MBL to conduct research, teach, and study. Other resources at this site include the MBL courses and programs, as well as information on fellowships and scholarships.

July 22-28

AVMA - American Veterinary Medical Association

This week marks the 133rd Annual Meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Association in Louisville, Kentucky. The AVMA has approximately 56,000 members engaged in a variety of professional activities. The membership represents over 80 percent of the active veterinarians in the United States. The objective of the Association is to advance the science and art of veterinary medicine, including its relationship to public health, biological science, and agriculture. The Association provides a forum for the discussion of issues of importance to the veterinary profession, and for the development of official positions. The Association is the authorized voice for the profession in presenting its views to government, academia, agriculture, pet owners, the media, and other concerned publics. (Big Hint...keep your eye on this site as it develops on the Web.)

July 15-21

CLIVE - Computer Aided Learning in Veterinary Education

The Computer Aided Learning in Veterinary Education home page, CLIVE for short, provides training materials from the 6 UK veterinary schools. Many excellent examples of these collaborative efforts may be found, including software modules on anesthesia, pathology, ophthalmology, cytology, diagnostic imaging and more. These pioneers bring us one step closer to a virtual veterinary university.

July 8-14

Not Just Cows

Longtime net wizard and librarian, Wilfred ("Call me Bill") Drew, is the author of the popular, award-winning Not Just Cows document and website. Recently renovated, bigger and better than ever, here you will find just about every library, gopher, BBS, website, database, electronic journal, or discussion group dealing with the subject of Agriculture. Clearly an inspiration for this site and one you should check out right away!

July 1-7


One of my favorite spots on the Net resides at the University of California-Riverside and is called InfoMine. Just as it claims, InfoMine is a comprehensive biological, agricultural, and medical Internet resource collection. You can search by subject, keyword, or title and all references are annotated. A great alternative to the larger search engines if these topics are what you are looking for. Highly recommended!

June 24-30

Infinite Wildlife Resources Network

Well, it's that time of year....everyone usually takes a break during the summer....another way of saying "I've gone fishing". If sport fishing is your way to relax, you might want to check out Infinite Wildlife Resources Network web page.....state by state listings of all the good spots. Here's hoping you find the big one that didn't get away. :-)

June 17-23

AAHA HealthyPet - the American Animal Hospital Association

New to the World Wide Web, but outstanding nonetheless, is the HealthyPet site created by the American Animal Hospital Association. AAHA is an international association of more than 12,000 veterinarians who treat companion animals and is well known for its standards for hospitals and pet health care. Their website has a Veterinary Hospital Locator, newsletter, pet care tips and library, and even a kid's coloring page. I think you'll like this one as much as I do.

June 10-16

National Wildlife Health Center

One outstanding and helpful site at the U.S. Department of Interior's National Biological Service is the National Wildlife Health Center. There you will find information on wildlife diseases and mortality reports, diagnostics, and helpful links to publications, meetings, and training opportunities. Also, learn more about WHIP, the Wildlife Health Information Partnership, and the WildlifeHealth Group Mailing List.

June 3-9

SeaWorld/Busch Gardens

My 8 year-old niece, Madeline, and 10 year-old nephew, Mark, visited me this weekend, and their vote for this week's pick of the litter is the SeaWorld/Busch Gardens Animal Information Database. Come to think of it, they get my vote, too. This site is rich in information, both quick and detailed, on a wide variety of animal species. The site is useful for teachers and kids will get a kick out of the many images and, of course, Shamu! Well worth your visit, online, or better yet, in real life.

May 28-June 2

The Virtual Pet Cemetery

Memorial Day is a good time to remember all the loved ones we may have lost, including our pets. Dozens of people have left heartfelt eulogies to their furry friends at LavaMind's multiple award-winning Virtual Pet Cemetery.

May 21-May 27


If French is your native tongue, then you'll really enjoy visiting the Vétonet web site. Webmaster Dr. Fabrice Jaffre' has created what I would best describe as the French equivalent of NetVet, with organizations, veterinary schools, laboratories, mailing lists, French animal sites, and much more. Even if you don't read French, the site is well organized and easy to navigate. Well worth your visit. Bienvenue !

May 14-May 20

Dachshunds on the Worldwide Web and Golden Dox

Okay....I'll admit it.... I .... (ahem...really my wife) has two dachshunds, Hompo and Mojo, thus the genesis of the "Pick of the Litter" Wiener Dog Logo. They bark a lot, but otherwise, they're really good dogs and I could recommend them for almost any family. Two of the dachshund sites you'll encounter on the Net include the comprehensive Dachshunds on the Worldwide Web & Golden Dox, home page for the Dachshund Mailing List. These two will lead you to all the other worthy dachshund sites on the Wiener Wide Web.
(I suppose my cats will want equal billing now. :-)

May 6-May 13

FutureScan's I Want to be a Veterinarian

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be involved in the veterinary profession? Check out the I Want to be a Veterinarian site from FutureScan. One of a series of career descriptions, this site provides information about the profession and what veterinary practitioners do every day. You can read about the personal experiences of veterinarians and there's also a page to submit questions.

April 29-May 5

World Wide Raccoon Web

Seeing one of these little guys this weekend reminded me of webmaster and the worlds' #1 raccoon fan, Seth Morabito's World Wide Raccoon Web. Here you'll find stories, bibliographies, images, book reviews, even an interactive chat bulletin board, all dedicated to Procyon lotor. This crafty creature gets the full web treatment and no doubt, if there's any raccoon information you wanted, you'll find it here.

April 22-28


These days, there are *lot* of pet sites on the World Wide Web. One which warrants distinction above and beyond the normal accolades, is AcmePet. You're likely to find just the information you're looking for, from puppies to pot-bellied pigs, and everything in between. Make sure you have the latest version of NetScape or Internet Explorer to take advantage of their Java and Multimedia pages. The Chat Areas are very popular and they have a Cool Pet Site of the Day, too. Very much worth your next click.

April 15-21


The HerpMed website serves up much of what there is to know about the medical aspects of herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians). Webmaster Steve Grenard's pages describe how substances from herps may be used for medical purposes, why some herps dangerous to humans, and why some humans are dangerous to herps. Snakebite information, conservation resources, and many animal-related links await your next click.

April 8-14

Mark Varner's Home Page

Don't judge a website just by the name. Just follow the link to webmaster Mark Varner's Home Page, and you will find one of the more complete set of Dairy Cow links on the WWW. Mark also manages one of the largest, if not the largest, animal-related Internet mailing lists Dairy-L. Of course one of the hottest topics around today is Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or "Mad Cow Disease". Again, Mark's links are comprehensive. Another Varner special is the National Dairy Database....and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Settle in for a nice long visit.

April 1-7

Washington University Mad Scientist Network

A great resource right here in my own backyard is Washington University's Mad Scientist Network, where you can ask questions on just about any area of science (animal and non-animal), and get an answer from an expert in that field. The Mad Scientist Network is part of S-SEN, the St. Louis Science Education Network. It is also a branch of the Young Scientist Program and is completely staffed and run by graduate and medical students at Washington University and Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Missouri.

March 26-31

Mississippi State University Bulldogs

Time out for a little March Madness and to show some obvious bias for my alma mater, Mississippi State University, whose Basketball BULLDOGS reached their first ever FINAL 4 Basketball Tournament. While you're there, be sure to visit the Home Page for the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Congratulations to all the coaches and players on a fine basketball season!

March 18-25

Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing

Many people have probably never heard of the 3 R's. A visit to the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing will enlighten you about that and more. CAAT's programs include laboratory research, education, information, and validation of animal alternative methodologies in product development and safety testing. They publish a couple of interesting newsletters and provide links to other useful resources.

March 11-17

Rat and Mouse Club of America

Those who are interested in pet rats and mice should check out the website of the Rat and Mouse Club of America. Webmaster Brian Lee has done a fine job of assembling a variety of information on the Club and its services and activities. There's a newsletter, Show information, loads of rat and mouse web links, and much more.

March 4-10

PathIT Pathology Online

If you want to visit a site that is useful for both veterinarians and pathologists, then check out PathIT Pathology Online. Webmaster (and veterinarian) Dr. Anil Dhiri pushes the bleeding edge of Web technology, with features such as server push, javascript, and Netscape frames, all in a content-rich site, filled with pathology news, links, directories, and more.

February 26-March 3

Primate Gallery Archive

One of the treasures of the Internet is the Primate Gallery Archive, in Seattle, Washington. Webmaster Tim Knight is responsible for putting together images and sounds of many, if not all, of a wide variety of primate species. You will also find references on taxonomy, identification, and natural history, as well as a healthy supply of other primate links. Be prepared to be entertained for hours.

February 19-February 25

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

The webmasters at APHIS, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, have been working overtime lately. You can easily spend an entire afternoon (I did :-) perusing the many veterinary and animal components that make up this organization. To take in a bit at a time, go on one of several guided tours that show how APHIS protects American agriculture.

February 12-February 18

Department of Poultry Science (Texas A&M University)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If your web questions concern poultry, search no further, as one of the key information resources may be found at the Department of Poultry Science at Texas A&M University. Webmaster Greg Martin and others have written several Departmental pages, as well as the WWW Virtual Library for Poultry Science.

February 5-February 11

ProMED - Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases

This week's pick is not so much about how great a website looks as it functions. One of the most important and fastest growing mailing lists on the Internet is ProMED, which stands for the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases. Sponsored by the Federation of American Scientists, ProMED represents a global system for early detection and timely response to disease outbreaks, both human and animal. At their website, you'll find archives of the ProMED list, in addition to lists that cover Emerging Disease Reports (ProMED-EDR), and Animal and Zoonotic Diseases (ProMED-AHEAD). Dr. Stephen Morse of the Rockefeller University chairs the ProMED Steering Committee.

January 29-February 4

PotBellied Pig Information & Resource Center

What started as a simple list just a short time ago, has developed rapidly into a fine web page. The PotBellied Pig Information & Resource Center tells you everything you want to know about these friendly pets, including their origin, health, and the latest "fads". Also useful are the other potbelly pointers and archives of the potbellied pig listserver. Webmaster Scott Graham and his pet pig Dweezil will be glad you stopped by. (recently appears to be MIA...maybe it will resurface one day.)

January 22-28

Veterinary Medicine Libraries

Before anyone ever heard of the Web, libraries and librarians were key resources for information storage and retrieval. Guess what? They still are. Hard-working library staff at each veterinary college are among the best resources to consult when searching for veterinary medical information. Webmaster Ken Ladd at the University of Saskatchewan has done a fine job in collecting all the names, addresses, and pointers in his page dedicated to Veterinary Medicine Libraries.

January 15-21

Cat Fanciers' Home Page

No doubt about it....if you are looking for information on cats, the Cat Fanciers' Home Page is the place to go. Webmasters Marie Lamb and Orca Starbuck have compiled a large quantity of information on cat breeds, diseases, organizations, breeders, shows, and other related items. My own cat, Elvis, gives his highest recommendation. :-)

January 8-14

Beef Homepage

The National Cattlemen's Association logs in with a fine web effort called Beef Homepage. Practically every aspect of beef cows are covered here, including market reports, surveys, reports, mailing lists, cow pictures and clip art, and a generous set of links to other cow sites, all done in an attractive format. I suggest you moooove it on over there. :-)

January 1-7


What can I say? I've got a natural affinity for zoos. :-) The best place to start when you're looking for zoo information around the world is the ZooNet Webserver. Many links as expected and a treasure trove of pictures of everything you might (or might not) want to see in the wild.

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