The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Coast Guard Rescues an 800 Pound Pregnant Manatee: She Will Be Temporarily Housed at SeaWorld

A complex rescue effort involving a Coast Guard plane is helping return a pregnant manatee to the wild. The 800-pound marine mammal was rescued in September off the coast of Massachusetts.

Less than a month later, veterinarians gave the go-ahead to make the journey from a base in Groton, Connecticut back to Florida, where the manatee is beginning the next phase of her recovery, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud. 

The manatee – named Washburn for the island where she was rescued – returned to the Sunshine State after a 1,300-mile flight aboard a Coast Guard transport plane.

Escorted by police, a slow procession moved through the streets of Orlando to her temporary new home at SeaWorld.

There, a crane hoisted Washburn into a private rehab tank. You could almost see the relief as she hit the water.

The once anonymous manatee became a summer celebrity. She was spotted bobbing in the choppy waters off Cape Cod in late August. Conservationists with the International Fund for Animal Welfare sprang into action, capturing Washburn three weeks later, and taking her to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. 

When Washburn arrived there, it became clear that this rescue operation was even more important than first thought. Veterinarians discovered this manatee was a mom-to-be.

“It’s not only one manatee but it’s two so the stakes are pretty high,” said Dr. Jen Flower, a veterinarian at Mystic Aquarium.

Manatees, also known as “sea cows,” can weigh over 3,000 pounds, eating a diet comprised mainly of sea grass. The animals, native to Florida, spent nearly 50 years on the endangered species list, but the population is recovering. 

Sea World veterinarian Lara Croft accompanied Washburn on the flight south. She said just saving one has proven to be worth the extraordinary effort.

“We did have one orphan calf that was hand-reared, returned to the wild and she gave birth to nine calves,” Croft said. “And who knows how many calves that those calves had. One manatee can have a huge effect on the population.”

Now that Washburn is back home in Florida, the staff at SeaWorld is working hard to prepare her return to the wild, where she’s expected to give birth in about four to six months. SeaWorld has released 17 manatees back into the wild thus far.


Beautiful Breathtaking Pictures of Owls Photographer Sasi Smith

The photographer Sasi Smith, captured these owls in all of their splendor and the pictures are breathtaking. The birds are magnificently expressive and photographed in their natural environment.

Owls are somewhat difficult to photograph since they are nocturnal, mysterious and have a spectacular camouflage. So when we saw these adorable Owl photographs, we couldn’t help but share them with you guys.

Below are pictures of Sasi’s most adorable owls.


Mother's Milk from the Marsupials Known as Tasmanian Devils Could Help the Global Fight Against Increasingly Deadly "Superbugs"

Mother's milk from the marsupials known as Tasmanian devils could help the global fight against increasingly deadly "superbugs" which resist antibiotics, Australian researchers said Tuesday.

Superbugs are bacteria which cannot be treated by current antibiotics and other drugs, with a recent British study saying they could kill up to 10 million people globally by 2050.

Scientists at the University of Sydney found that peptides in the marsupial's milk killed resistant bacteria, including methicillin-resistant golden staph bacteria and enterococcus that is resistant to the powerful antibiotic vancomycin.

The researchers turned to marsupials like the devil -- which carry their young in a pouch after birth to complete their development -- because of their biology.

The underdeveloped young have an immature immune system when they are born, yet survive growth in their mother's bacteria-filled pouch.

"We think this has led to an expansion of these peptides in marsupials," University of Sydney PhD candidate Emma Peel, who worked on the research published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, told AFP.

"Marsupials have more peptides than other mammals. In the devil we found six, whereas humans have only one of this type of peptide.

"Other research in other marsupials has shown that tammar wallabies have eight of these peptides and opossums have 12," said Peel, adding that studies into koala's milk had now started.

The scientists artificially created the antimicrobial peptides, called cathelicidins, after extracting the sequence from the devil's genome, and found they "killed the resistant bacteria... and other bacteria".

They are hopeful marsupial peptides could eventually be used to develop new antibiotics for humans to aid the battle against superbugs.

"One of the most difficult things in today's world is to try and find new antibiotics for drug-resistant strains of bacteria," the research manager of the university's Australasian Wildlife Genomics Group, Carolyn Hogg, told AFP.

"Most of the other previous antibiotics have come from plants, moulds and other work that's been around for close to a 100 years, so it's time to start looking elsewhere."

World Health Organisation director-general Margaret Chan warned last month some scientists were describing the impact of superbugs as a "slow-motion tsunami" and the situation was "bad and getting worse".

Graphic on how a compound carried by the Tasmanian devil could help in the human struggle against drug resistant supberbugs ©John Saeki, Laurence Chu (AFP)

World Health Organization director-general Margaret Chan warned in September that some scientists were describing the impact of superbugs as a 'slow-motion tsunami' and the situation was 'bad and getting worse' ©Fabrice Coffrini (AFP/File)


Meet Daniel, An Emotional Support Animal

This is Daniel. He is no ordinary duck. Daniel is an emotional support animal, AKA a pet who has been prescribed by a mental health specialist as providing necessary comfort for their human’s psychological disorders. An emotional support animal needs to come with a license, but once they do you can take the pet on a flight without being charged a pet fee and can live in an apartment that doesn’t otherwise allow pets.

Usually, emotional support animals come in the form of dogs or cats, which makes Daniel very special. Author Mark Essig spotted him on a flight from Charlotte to Asheville, North Carolina, and couldn’t resist posting some photos of him, because he is so darn cute. Look at his shoes! And his Captain America diaper!

Essig told BuzzFeed that Daniel is a 4-year-old Indian Runner, and his owner bought him at a yard sale (which seems like a whole other story, if only ducks could talk!?) Also, Indian Runner ducks technically can’t fly, but Daniel’s here to prove that ~anything is possible~ when you believe, and get the proper certification etc. 

He said his owner kissed Daniel’s beak on the flight several times, but also held it down when he quacked too much because, you know, other passengers might have been trying to watch the inflight movie or something.

According to the National Service Registry, any "domesticated animal" can qualify as an emotional support animal. If you want to potentially make your little buddy an emotional support animal, you’ll need a letter from a licensed mental health specialist stating that you have an emotional or mental disability, and then register the animal HERE.


When Anthropologist and Animal Lover Gordon Krantz Died in 2002, He Made Plans to Have His Body Donated to the Smithsonian

When anthropologist and animal lover Gordon S. “Grover” Krantz died in 2002, he made plans to have his body donated to the Smithsonian.  But he had one stipulation:  the remains of his beloved Irish Wolfhounds must remain with him.  So when his body went on display in 2009, his dog Clyde appeared alongside him.“I’ve been a teacher all my life and I think I might as well be a teacher after I’m dead, so why don’t I just give you my body,” Krantz told Smithsonian anthropologist David Hunt.  “But there’s one catch: You have to keep my dogs with me.”

Though the Washington resident was recognized as a Sasquatch researcher, everyone who knew him understood the great fondness he had for his dogs.  He did not have a funeral following his death from cancer at age 70, rather, his remains were sent to a body farm to have tissue removed, and then onto the museum. His and Clyde’s bones were arranged to replicate a photo that had been taken many years earlier in an exhibit called “Written in Bone.”“Wow… you had really [an] impossible last wish,” said his wife, Diane Horton.  “And it’s been granted.”Though Krantz and Clyde’s bones were only on display for two years, they were marveled over by thousands of visitors.


A Reward Totaling $20,000 is Being Offered for Information Leading to the Arrest of Poacher Responsible for Killing a Federally Protected Gray Wolf

A reward totaling $20,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of a poacher responsible for killing a federally protected gray wolf in south-central Oregon.

OR-28, a 3-year-old female wolf that recently had her first pup, was found dead Oct. 6 in Fremont-Winema National Forest near Summer Lake, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

It's a violation of the federal Endangered Species Act to kill a gray wolf in the western two-thirds of Oregon, punishable by a fine up to $100,000, one year in jail or both.

The incident is being investigated by the Oregon State Police and USFWS. The wolf’s carcass is at the National Forensics Laboratory for a necropsy.

“The illegal killing of wolf OR-28 is heartbreaking," said Amaroq Weiss, west coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity. "She was a pioneering animal that was one of the first wolves to make it from northeastern to western Oregon as wolves reestablish territory in lands these majestic animals historically called home.

"OR-28 was also a first-time mother, who leaves behind her mate and single pup to fend for themselves."

The reward, for information leading to the capture of the poacher, comprises $5,000 from USFWS, $10,00 from the Center for Biological Diversity and $5,000 from the Humane Society.

At least five wolves were poached or died under mysterious circumstances in Oregon in 2015 — including OR-22, OR-34, OR-31 and two wolves known as the Sled Springs pair. Around 10 known wolves have been poached in Oregon since 2007.

"We only knew about most of them because the animals had radio collars," said Steve Pedery, conservation director for the environmental group Oregon Wild. "The reward is nice, but the state's track record of actually prosecuting wolf poaching cases is pretty abysmal. I have some hope that USFWS' involvement will mean the prosecution is taken more seriously."

Anyone with information about this case can call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (503) 682-6131 or Oregon State Police Tip Line at (800) 452-7888. Callers may remain anonymous.

Wolves are protected under the federal ESA in the western two-thirds of Oregon, but were delisted in the eastern third of Oregon. All wolves were removed from the Oregon Endangered Species Act last November.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

40 Dogs Killed by Wolves During Wisconsin Bear Hunt; Experts Puzzled

Wisconsin bear hunters achieved a typically high success rate during a monthlong season that concluded last week, but experts are still trying to determine why a record number of hunting dogs were killed in the process.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, at least 40 dogs were preyed upon by wolves during a hunt that allowed the use of dogs to pursue and tree black bears.

That’s nearly double the previous record of 23 hunting dog deaths, in a phenomenon that might be attributed to a growing wolf population in the Badger State.

“We don’t have much to go on except speculation,” said Dave MacFarland, carnivore specialist with the state Department of Natural Resources. “[But] everybody can agree that we hope we don’t see a repeat of what we saw this year.”

To read more on this story, click here: 40 Dogs Killed by Wolves During Wisconsin Bear Hunt; Experts Puzzled


Washington, DC - Meet Russet, a Handsome Senior Looking for His Forever Home: Please Contact My Foster Mom to Visit Me

Oh hello! My name is Russet and I am a older dog looking for a calm and easy going home. As you can see from my picture, I LOVE to eat! I've been told I am a bit on the hefty side and am currently on a diet (NOOOOOOO!) to try to slim down a bit. I came to WHS/WARL when some nice lady brought me to shelter after finding me hanging out downtown. I am a pretty easy going dude and would rather snuggle up with my new family than go on a long hike. That sounds exhausting! I wouldn't mind having a brother or sister, as long as they let me do my own thing. I am a wise old man and would love to find a special family to call my own. I'm only 7, so I still have a long life to live and would love to spend it with YOU! Please email my foster momma to meet me -

To learn more about Russet, click HERE!

Animal ID:33613871 
Species: Dog 
Age: 7 years 19 days 
Sex: Male 
Color: Brown/White 
Declawed: No 
Site:  Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League

If you have room in your heart and home, please contact

Remember the Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League has other animals available for adoption!

Please share Russet with friends, family and co-workers!