The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Russia Has Offered to Send an Alsatian Puppy to France in a Gesture of Solidarity After a Police Dog Was Killed During a Raid

Russia has offered to send an Alsatian puppy to France in a gesture of solidarity after a police dog was killed during a raid on jihadists linked to the Paris attacks.

Russia's interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said he had written to his French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve offering to send a puppy named Dobrynya to replace Diesel, a Belgian Shepherd killed in a huge raid north of Paris last Wednesday.

Kolokoltsev said that as "a sign of solidarity with the people and police of France," he was offering the puppy, which "will be able to occupy the place in service of the police dog Diesel killed during a special operation to neutralise terrorists."

The dog is named after a hero of Russian folk legend, Dobrynya Nikitch, famed for his strength, goodness and courage, he added.

Dobrynya is two months old and lives at a police dog centre in the Moscow region, Channel One television reported. He will have to undergo medical checks and quarantine before going to France.

Two dog-handlers from Moscow police's special forces also posed with their dogs and signs with the hashtag "Je Suis Diesel" on the service's Instagram account.

"Our four-legged friends also serve the police, protecting society from terrorist threats," the Moscow police service said.

The hashtag #JeSuisChien (I am a dog) trended on Twitter after French police announced that seven-year-old Diesel died in the raid targeting Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the November 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

Three people died during the massive operation at the apartment in Saint-Denis north of Paris -- Abaaoud, his cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen, and a suicide bomber who has yet to be identified.

Seven people arrested during the raid were freed on Saturday.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

An Animal Rights Group is Suing to Get a Chimpanzee Out of an Amusement Park Where She is Given Cigarettes

An animal rights group is suing to get a chimpanzee named Candy out of an amusement park where, it says, she smokes cigarettes and is given soft drinks instead of water.
Candy is isolated in an inadequate cage at the Baton Rouge park, and should be moved to a sanctuary, according to the federal suit filed in Baton Rouge on Tuesday by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

"Defendants have for decades allowed members of the general public to throw items into Candy's cage, including lit cigarettes that Candy smokes. Just as with humans, cigarette smoking is very harmful for chimpanzees," and letting her smoke violates the Endangered Species Act, the suit states.

The lawsuit is the first filed under a new federal rule that requires captive chimps get the same protection as wild chimps, said Carter Dillard, the group's attorney. That rule, which was made public in June and took effect Sept. 14, changes captive chimps' classification from threatened to endangered, the same classification as wild chimpanzees.

Jennifer Treadway-Morris, attorney for park owner Sam Haynes, said she had not had time to read the lawsuit. However, she said, government agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cannot make rules retroactive.

She also cited a letter from a veterinarian stating that an attempt to retire Candy to the Baton Rouge Zoo failed.

"She was returned because she couldn't adjust and couldn't assimilate," Treadway-Morris said. "It seems that if they want her to have company, she doesn't want it."

The animal rights group said it went to court for Cathy Breaux, 62, and Holly Reynolds, 96, who have campaigned for decades to get Candy moved from the Dixie Landin' park and its predecessor.

"Cathy and Holly remain upset, distressed and concerned that Candy is isolated throughout the day, deprived of companionship with other chimpanzees, and insufficiently stimulated in her empty cage," the lawsuit states.

It said the women have seen visitors throw lit cigarettes into Candy's cage for the chimp to smoke.

City animal control officials cited the park in 2012 for not providing water for Candy, according to the suit.

"Defendants provide Candy exclusively with Coca-Cola instead, claiming that Candy does not like water. However, Candy has readily accepted and drunk water offered to her by visiting experts. Water, not Coca-Cola, is an essential requirement for chimpanzees," according to the suit.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Did You Know That These Hybrid Animals Are Still in Existence?

Hybrid is defined as “the offspring of two animals or plants of different breeds, varieties, species, or genera, especially as produced through human manipulation for specific genetic characteristics.” Take a look at some of these animals that still exist today.


The animal made famous by Napoleon Dynamite is actually real. Ligers are the offspring of male lions and female tigers. While there are legends of Ligers prowling the wilds, they currently only exist in captivity, where they are deliberately bred.
There is a myth that Ligers never stop growing their entire lives, which is untrue. They just grow to freakish sizes in their normal growth window. Ligers are the largest cat in the world. Hercules, the biggest individual Liger, weighed 922 pounds.


When a male tiger and a female lion mate, the tigon is the result. It used to be believed that tigons were smaller than their parent species, but they can grow just as large. They are, however, smaller than ligers.

Both ligers and tigons are capable of producing their own offspring, leading to confusingly-named hybrids such as titigons and liligers.


A Zebroid is a cross between a zebra and any other equine. Zebroids have been around for a long time – they were even mentioned in some of Darwin’s writings. They tend to be male and to have the physiology of the non-zebra parent, with zebra stripes adorning parts of their body. Zebroids are more wild than domestic, are hard to tame, and are more aggressive than horses.


Coyotes are very genetically close to red and eastern wolves, with whom they diverged only about 150-300,000 years ago. Interbreeding between them is not only possible, but becoming more common as wolf populations rebound. Coyotes are not, however, very compatible with gray wolves, which have about 1-2 million years of genetic estrangement separating them. Some hybrids do exist, though they are rare

There are a number of different coywolf hybrids, and their populations dot North America. Generally, they are larger than coyotes but smaller than wolves, and share behavioral characteristics of both species.

Grolar Bear

Grolar bears, also called “pizzly bears” by the less charitable, are a cross between polar and brown bears. Their natural ranges rarely, if ever, overlap, and most grolar bears live in zoos. However, there have been a handful of confirmed sightings in the wild. In 2006, an Alaskan hunter shot one.

They look pretty much like an even split between polar and grizzly bears. Behaviorally, they are closer to polar bears than to browns.

Savannah Cat

This uncommon but awesome breed of housecat is a cross between a domestic cat and a Serval, a kind of wild cat that lives in Africa. They are exceptionally large and behave remarkably like dogs, following their owners around the house, wagging their tails to express pleasure, and even playing catch. Savannahs also do not fear water, and will invite themselves into the shower with you. Unfortunately, they are extremely expensive.


When a male false killer whale and a female bottlenose dolphin love each other very much, they produce a wolphin. “Wolphin” is a portmanteau of “whale” and “dolphin,” which is misleading. False killer whales are actually not a whale, and are in the same family as dolphins.

Nevertheless, they are extremely rare. They are occasionally spotted in the wild, and there is currently only one individual in captivity.


Beefalo are crosses between buffalo and cows. They’ve been around since the 1800s, when they were called “cattalo.” Beefalo are heartier than cattle, and do less ecological damage to the prairies they graze on. However, beefalo breeding has led to conservation problems for wild bison. It is now estimated that only four total herds still exist that are not polluted by cow genes.


Hinnies are basically reverse mules. A mule is a product of a male donkey and a female horse, and a hinny is a product of a male horse and a female donkey. Their heads look like horse heads, and they are slightly smaller than mules. They’re also much less common.


Narwhals and Belugas are the only two members of the monodontidae family of whales, so it should be no surprise that they are able to crossbreed. However, they are extraordinarily rare. Sightings have been increasing in the Northern Atlantic recently, which some researchers consider a warning sign of climate change.


Camas did not exist until 1998. Some mad scientist at the Camel Reproduction Centre in Dubai decided to cross a male dromedary camel with a female lama via artificial insemination, and out popped the first Cama. The intention was to breed them to produce fur that could be clipped and sold, and to serve as a pack animal. To date, only five have ever been produced.


The dzo (male) and dzomo (female) are hybrids between domestic cows and wild yaks. They exist mostly in Tibet and Mongolia, where they are prized for their high yield of meat and milk. They are larger and stronger than both cows and yaks, and are used as beasts of burden.

The lines can blur – it is believed that most yaks and cows in the region now carry at least some of the other’s genetic imprint.


If a male leopard is intrepid enough to mate with a female lion, a Leopon is the result. It’s almost impossible for this combination to occur in the wild, and every known Leopon has been the product of breeding in captivity. Leopons appear to have the head and mane of a lion, and the body of a leopard.


Goats and sheep appear to be very similar, but they are more different than you might suspect. Natural hybrids between the two animals are typically stillborn, and if they aren’t, occur extremely rarely. An animal called a “sheep-goat chimera” has also been produced by artificially combining goat and sheep embryos.


A Jaglion is the offspring of a male jaguar and a female lion, and are very rare. The two pictured above were the result of a close friendship between a jaguar named Diablo and a lioness named Lola, who were bosom buddies at Ontario’s Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary. They’re named Jahzara (left) and Tsunami (right).


The Mulard is a cross between a mallard and a muscovy duck. The muscovy duck is native to South and Central America, and is easily recognized by its bright red Darth Maul face. Mulards are bred for food, and are unable to produce offspring of their own


The żubroń is a cross between a domestic cow and a European bison (also called a “wisent”). They are, in many ways, superior to the domestic cow, as they are stronger and more resistant to disease. They were thought to be a possible replacement for cattle, but now only exist in one small herd in the Bialowieski National Park in Poland.

Blacktip Shark Hybrid

Until recently, there were no known hybrid shark species. But the Australian black-tip shark is mating with the common black-tip, and are regularly spotted on the Eastern Australian coast. Opinion is divided about exactly why they have begun to hybridize.


Facial Recognition Technology Now Being Used to Track Lost Pets

Los Angeles, California - Facial recognition technology used by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies is now being used to track lost pets.

A new app can now help pet owners search through a smart phone or computer. John Polimeno, CEO of the app Finding Rover, said people can upload a photo of a lost or found dog along with some key information. Then a database will conduct a facial recognition to help find the animal's location or its owner.

The app uses similar technology used for human facial recognition and pinpoints certain characteristics on the animal's face.

Polimeno partnered with the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles and VCA Animal Hospitals to unveil the free app.

In a couple of weeks, the Finding Rover app will also include cats in its service.


A Rare Pygmy Hippo Calf Was Born at the San Diego Zoo

A rare pygmy hippo calf was born at the San Diego Zoo on Wednesday—the first surviving hippo birth at the zoo in over a decade.

The little hippo weighs about 12 pounds and was born to its mother, Francesca.

The significant birth adds to the world's smallest species of hippo which is currently on the endangered species list. There are approximately 2,000 pygmy hippos left in the world, according to the San Diego Zoo.

"Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the mission of San Diego Zoo Global," the zoo said in a press release.

As of now the sex and name of the calf is unknown. Francesca and her baby will be alone in a private barn until the calf is ready to swim in the larger pool on exhibit, the zoo said.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Poughkeepsie Police Department is Adding a New Member to Its K9 Team: A Pit Bull, Named Kiah

The Poughkeepsie Police Department (located approximately 85 miles outside of New York City) is adding a new member to its K9 team – a dog named Kiah.

But what makes this canine so special is the breed. While must dogs that join the police force are German shepherds and Belgian malinois to chase suspects and sniff out drugs, or beagles and bloodhounds to track scents, this police department decided to welcome a pit bull to the team.

Kiah (pronounced KY’-uh) will be used to sniff out drugs and find missing people. It is reported that she is also an ambassador for her breed and police.

“The breed isn’t important,” Brad Croft, a dog trainer for law enforcement agencies and the military, told The AP.  “It’s what’s inside of the dog that’s important.”

Croft rescued the dog from a Texas animal shelter after her previous owner was arrested for animal cruelty. In partnership with Croft’s company San Antonio-based Universal K9, an Austin animal shelter and Animal Farm Foundation, a sanctuary in New York, Kiah was provided to the police department free of charge (often K9-trained dogs can cost up to $15,000.)

Croft told the AP he often looks for dogs in shelter to train for police departments and chose Kiah after a staff member “recognized something special in the dog.”

The dog’s human partner is Officer Justin Bruzgul, who told the AP, “She wants to work. She’s high-energy. Affectionate. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

While often pit bulls get bad raps, they are also known to be very sweet, loyal and eager to please. George Carlson, the Ulster County sheriff’s deputy who trained Kiah in Stone Ridge, N.Y. told the outlet he believes she is the only pit bull on the East Cost working for a police department and is a sweetheart. He added,  “Dogs are individuals. They have their own personalities, just like people.”


Friday, November 13, 2015

Coolridge Animal Hospital: Bring Your Fur Baby to Take a Picture with Santa – December 12

Guess who's coming back to town for a visit? That's right! Santa

When: Saturday December 12th
Time: 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Where: Coolridge Animal Hospital
6801 Old Branch Ave

Camp Springs, Maryland

Cost: $7.00 donation which will go to our " It takes a village" fund, to help those pets in need of medical services.

You will receive a framed photo of Santa and your fur baby, and Santa is bringing goodies for all!

Santa has asked that all the fur babies write to Santa via Facebook or by email, and let Santa know if you have been naughty or nice this year, and what your little heart desires from Santa.

The best Dear Santa Letter will receive a special gift from Santa!

Website: Coolridge Animal Hospital

Coolridge Animal Hospital
6801 Old Branch Ave
Camp Springs, Maryland
(301) 449-1610

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