The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : May 2015 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : May 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Atlanta Falcon Player, Prince Shembo Who 'Kicked Ex-Girlfriend's Dog to Death' Claims He Was Acting in Self-Defense

The lawyer for the waived Atlanta Falcons player who was arrested for aggravated animal cruelty after his ex-girlfriend's dog died from blunt force trauma said the 250lb player was defending himself.

Prince Shembo turned himself in on Friday after Gwinnett County police obtained a felony warrant for the who 'kicked ex-girlfriend's tiny Yorkie to death' claims he was acting in self-defense player's arrest earlier in the day after Denicia Williams, 20, called police on April 19.

His attorney, Jerry Froelich, said the linebacker was bit in the hand by Williams' dog, a Yorkie named Dior, when he was putting it in a cage and he kicked the defenseless animal as a reflex. 

Froelich told reporters outside of Gwinnett County jail his client was crying after what happened, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

He said: “He got bit and he made a mistake and kicked the dog.

It's a small dog and unfortunately that's what happened.

He didn't mean to kill the dog.

You see the size of it. When you're a small dog, it doesn't take much with the size [Shembo] is.”

He's disappointed. It's devastating to him. When I first met him he was in tears.”

Dior suffered numerous injuries - including a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, head trauma and a hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries - but Froelich would not comment about the number of times the dog was kicked.

The Falcons acted swiftly after the warrant was announced and waived the young linebacker.

The organization said: “We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo.

We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this.

Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo.”

Another former Falcons player, quarterback Michael Vick, ended up serving time in federal prison for his involvement in an organized dog-fighting ring when he was a member of the team. 

Shembo's attorney speculated that was the reason the team cut him so quickly.
Froelich said: “With the history that's gone on in this town...

The Falcons were in a little bit different position than most teams.

If you were someplace else, I don't know.”
Vick returned to the NFL after serving his time and played for the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets.

Before the arrest, Williams said she had taken Dior to Shembo's apartment on April 15 and that after she left the dog alone with the 23-year-old player, she came back and the animal was unresponsive.

She took the dog to an animal hospital, where he died a short time later.
Shembo told her the next day he had kicked the dog and she broke up with him.
He is 6-foot-2 and weighs 254 pounds, according to the Falcons' website.

The aggravated cruelty charge carries a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum sentence of five years, as well as a fine of up to $15,000.

The body of the dog underwent a necropsy at the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

The results on the deceased dog came in on May 28 and investigators revealed 'Dior had significant internal injuries and the cause of death was blunt force trauma'.

Gwinnett County police said they obtained the warrant for Shembo 'because of the inconsistencies of the suspect's account of what happened and the results of the necropsy'.

The second-year player was investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting a Saint Mary's College freshman in his dorm room in 2010 while he was playing linebacker for Notre Dame.

The alleged victim killed herself ten days later by overdosing on antidepressants and Shembo was never charged,

The fourth-round pick said after the draft: “Pretty much it was an unfortunate event.

My name was pretty much cleared.

It's behind me now. I just want to focus on playing football for the Atlanta Falcons.”

Shembo recorded 59 tackles in 16 games for the Falcons last season.


With Outdoor Activity Season in Full Swing: Insects Can Carry Nasty Diseases

Bugs bite. And when they do, they can make us miserable, itchy, bumpy – and, occasionally, very sick.

With outdoor activity season in full swing, here's what you need to know.

Insects can carry nasty diseases.

Most people who get a few mosquito or tick bites will not get sick. But some mosquitoes and ticks can carry bacteria and viruses that cause serious human illnesses – and some of those illnesses have recently become more common in the United States.

Take West Nile Virus. That mosquito-borne illness came to the United States in 1999. Since then, more than 17,000 cases have been reported, says the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While typical symptoms include headaches, joint pains and rashes, a few people have serious neurologic symptoms and some die.

A newer threat: chikungunya, another viral disease spread by mosquitoes. In 2014, nearly 2,500 cases were reported on the U.S. mainland, mostly among people bitten while travelling. But 11 people were infected by mosquitoes in Florida. While chikungunya rarely kills, it can cause severe joint pain that lasts for months.

Then there's Lyme disease, caused by a bacteria spread by ticks. The CDC has been tracking that disease since 1991, and says there are about 30,000 reported cases each year, but that the real number is likely ten times bigger.

Your risk depends largely on where you live (or travel).

About 96% of confirmed Lyme cases occur in just 13 states, clustered in the Northeast and Midwest, CDC says.

And the mosquitoes that carry chikungunya are tropical species, meaning only southern areas need to watch for local outbreaks, says Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida. The fact that people in the United States spend so much time inside, with air conditioning and screened windows, may help prevent big outbreaks, he says.

Mosquitoes that can carry West Nile do live throughout the United States. But local conditions determine where epidemics catch fire, Day says. For example, a 2012 outbreak near Dallas was spurred by drought – which caused virus-carrying mosquitoes and birds to cluster around scarce water sources. Another outbreak in Arizona was linked to un-drained swimming pools in foreclosed houses abandoned during the recession, he says.

Some people get bit more than others.

It's true: mosquitoes and ticks find some people especially attractive. Scientists disagree on the reasons.

Day says he is convinced it's mostly about carbon dioxide: mosquitoes and ticks find their victims by detecting it and some of us produce more than others. That includes heavier people, pregnant women and exercisers. "The amount of carbon dioxide you produce depends on your metabolic rate," he says.
But Uli Bernier, a research chemist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says he has seen evidence that other factors are at work over many years of exposing people to mosquitoes in his Gainesville, Fla., lab. He's seen different mosquitoes zero in on different people. He's also found that some people (himself included) seem to become more attractive to mosquitoes over time.

What you eat and drink may matter, Day and Bernier agree. Alcohol, in particular, seems to attract mosquitoes, they say. At least one study also suggested smokers were at higher risk – but probably because they spend so much time smoking outside, Day says.

Several repellents work well.

CDC says you want one that includes DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or a chemical called IR3535.

While DEET products have long been thought the most effective, recent tests by Consumer Reports gave the edge to picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.

"It was really a surprise," and should be good news to people uneasy with the possible side effects of DEET, says the magazine's senior health and food editor, Sue Byrne.

DEET has been linked with seizures and other serious side effects, mostly in people who swallowed it or applied heavy concentrations.

When used as directed, it's safe, Bernier says: "It's been around 63 years and has a remarkable safety record."

Other strategies can help.

Wear long sleeves, pants, closed shoes and socks for a walk in the woods. You also can also spray a repellent called permethrin on clothing and gear. And check yourself for ticks when you go inside.

For an evening on your patio, try this: sit next to a fan running at high speed. Consumer Reports found that helped repel mosquitoes, and Day says it makes sense: "Mosquitoes do not have an ability to fly in wind conditions much more than 1 mile an hour."

Here's what doesn't work.

Consumer Reports gave thumbs down to:

"Natural" repellent sprays made with plant oils, such as citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary

Wrist bands containing citronella or geraniol oil

Citronella candles

The American Academy of Pediatrics adds these to the ineffective list:
  • Garlic
  • Vitamin B1 supplements
  • Bug zappers (they may actually attract insects)
  • Ultrasonic devices

Pig Named ‘Pig’ on the Loose from a Farm in Detroit

Fridays are for farm animals. For the second week in a row, a police department in metro Detroit has rounded up a farm animal - this time it's a big pig!

The pig, named Pig, had somehow gotten loose and was on the run.

The Shelby Township Police Department got the call Thursday to a report of a pig running loose near 24 Mile and Wolf Drive (sweet irony!). The responding officers arrived, wrangled Pig and eventually got him into the cop car!

That was apparently the easy part. He left a huge mess in the backseat of the cruiser, because, you know, he's a pig! That's what they do! You'd probably be this happy looking too if you left that mess for someone else to clean up!

The good news is that the owner of the pig picked it up from the station and even cleaned out the police car.

The calls started coming into central dispatch at about 7:00 p.m. Thursday. A pig had escaped from her pen on 24 Mile Road.

The humor was not lost on Deputy Chief Mark Coil.

"I've heard them all," he said. "Pigs and pigs, pigs capturing bacon, what's for dinner.

"Shelby Township has that 'Ark-feel' - we seem to have animals at large of all types and varieties."

A dog pole was used to direct the pig into the police car where it made a mess.
It became a biohazard relatively quickly," Coil said. "Luckily for the department and the officers the owner volunteered and cleaned the car for us."

"I just want to say thanks to the Shelby Township police for getting the pig and not writing me a ticket for having poop in the car," said owner Brian Davis.

Davis said he plans on bringing coffee and doughnuts to the officers who helped return his prized pet.


Real Looking Toy Tiger Generates 911 Call in Camas, Washington

The sight of a stuffed tiger, a very large stuffed tiger — lashed to the top of an SUV cruising around a southwest Washington lake was enough to generate a 911 call from someone who apparently thought it was real.

The Columbian newspaper of Vancouver reports that Connor Zuvich says he was by Lacamas Lake in Camas on Monday with some friends when a truck came by and dumped some trash and the giant tiger.

Zuvich tied it to the top of his vehicle, then he and his friends started cruising around the lake in the enhanced SUV.

Officer Henry Scott was sent to investigate the tiger 911 call, described by Camas police as an "animal problem."

The 19-year-old Zuvich says he and the officer traded jokes and photos, then parted ways. Other drivers also got the joke, honking and giving him a thumbs-up sign.

As Zuvich says, "The thing looked really realistic."


Cat-Scratch Disease: A Bacterial Infection Spread by Cats

Cat-scratch disease (CSD) is a bacterial infection spread by cats. The disease spreads when an infected cat licks a person's open wound, or bites or scratches a person hard enough to break the surface of the skin. 

About three to 14 days after the skin is broken, a mild infection can occur at the site of the scratch or bite. The infected area may appear swollen and red with round, raised lesions and can have pus. The infection can feel warm or painful. 

A person with CSD may also have a fever, headache, poor appetite, and exhaustion. Later, the person's lymph nodes closest to the original scratch or bite can become swollen, tender, or painful.

A person with Cat Scratch Disease. The lymph node nearest to the location of the scratch is swollen.

Wash cat bites and scratches well with soap and running water. Do not allow cats to lick your wounds. Contact your doctor if you develop any symptoms of cat-scratch disease or infection.

CSD is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae. About 40% of cats carry B. henselae at some time in their lives, although most cats with this infection show NO signs of illness. Kittens younger than 1 year are more likely to have B. henselae infection and to spread the germ to people. Kittens are also more likely to scratch and bite while they play and learn how to attack prey.

How cats and people become infected

Cats can get infected with B. henselae from flea bites and flea dirt (droppings) getting into their wounds. By scratching and biting at the fleas, cats pick up the infected flea dirt under their nails and between their teeth. Cats can also become infected by fighting with other cats that are infected. The germ spreads to people when infected cats bite or scratch a person hard enough to break their skin. The germ can also spread when infected cats lick at wounds or scabs that you may have.

Serious but rare complications:


Although rare, CSD can cause people to have serious complications. CSD can affect the brain, eyes, heart, or other internal organs. These rare complications, which may require intensive treatment, are more likely to occur in children younger than 5 years and people with weakened immune systems.


Most cats with B. henselae infection show NO signs of illness, but on rare occasions this disease can cause inflammation of the heart—making cats very sick with labored breathing. B. henselae infection may also develop in the mouth, urinary system, or eyes. Your veterinarian may find that some of your cat's other organs may be inflamed.



  • Wash cat bites and scratches right away with soap and running water.
  • Wash your hands with soap and running water after playing with your cat, especially if you live with young children or people with weakened immune systems.
  • Since cats less than one year of age are more likely to have CSD and spread it to people, persons with a weakened immune system should adopt cats older than one year of age.
Do not:
  • Play rough with your pets because they may scratch and bite.
  • Allow cats to lick your open wounds.
  • Pet or touch stray or feral cats.


Control fleas:

  • Keep your cat's nails trimmed.
  • Apply a flea product (topical or oral medication) approved by your veterinarian once a month.
  • BEWARE: Over-the-counter flea products may not be safe for cats. Check with your veterinarian before applying ANY flea product to make sure it is safe for your cat and your family.
  • Check for fleas by using a flea comb on your cat to inspect for flea dirt.
  • Control fleas in your home by
  • Vacuuming frequently
  • Contacting a pest-control agent if necessary
  • Protect your cat's health

Schedule routine veterinary health check-ups.

Keep cats indoors to:
  • Decrease their contact with fleas
  • Prevent them from fighting with stray or potentially infected animals
Available Tests and Treatments:


Talk to your doctor about testing and treatments for CSD. People are only tested for CSD when the disease is severe and the doctor suspects CSD based on the patient's symptoms. CSD is typically not treated in otherwise healthy people.


Talk to your veterinarian about testing and treatments for your cat. Your veterinarian can tell you whether your cat requires testing or treatment.


A Woman Says She Went Blind in One Eye After Her Cat Licked Her

A doctor says Janese Walters lost her sight due to "cat scratch disease", caused by the Bartonella henselae bacteria.

A woman has told how she went blind in one eye after her cat licked her.

Janese Toledo says she woke up one morning and couldn't see out of her left eye.

Now, after a month of visiting the doctor, she has finally been given an explanation for her loss of sight - her cat.

A doctor says Ms. Walters' blindness was caused by a condition called "cat scratch disease", which occurs when a feline passes on a bacteria, either through its saliva or fur.

Reliving her nightmare, Ms. Walters, from Toledo, Ohio, told local news channel WTOL: “I woke up one day and I couldn’t see out of my left eye.
“I looked in the mirror and I thought I had pink eye or something.”
Cat scratch disease is caused by the Bartonella henselae bacteria, which is carried by roughly 40% of felines.

The majority of infected animals do not show symptoms, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Dr. Kris Brickman, of the University of Toledo's College of Medicine and Life Sciences, told the media outlet cat scratch disease can affect a person's eyesight.

In addition, it can “cause some liver problems and can get into the spinal fluids and create meningitis.”


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Atlanta Falcons, Prince Shembo Was Charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals in Connection with the Death of His Girlfriend’s Yorkie

Flowery Branch, GA - The Atlanta Falcons have waived linebacker Prince Shembo in light of the charges filed against him by authorities in Gwinnett County, GA, this afternoon.

"We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo. We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo," the team said in a statement released late Friday afternoon.

Gwinnett County Police said they received a call on Sunday, April 19 from 20-year-old Denicia Williams, who said her ex-boyfriend, the 23-year-old Shembo, had killed her dog. The initial police report said Williams and the dog, named Dior, went to Shembo's Buford apartment home on April 15. At some point during their stay, she says she left Shembo and the dog unattended. When she later found the dog, he was unresponsive. Shortly after taking the dog to Duluth Animal Hospital for treatment, the report said, the dog died.

A day later, according to the report, Williams and Shembo were talking about the incident on the phone discussing the incident. During the call, she says, Shembo made comments to her about kicking the dog. At that point, she says, she ended the relationship.

The body of the dog was taken to the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter for a necropsy, which occurred on April 21. Following the necropsy, tissue samples were sent to the University of Georgia for further testing. "Based on the necropsy and tissue samples there was a lot of extensive injuries on the inside of the dog," Cpl. Michele Pihera said.

The lead investigator conducted telephone interviews with Shembo while awaiting the test results. Those results were completed Thursday, May 28. The dog had significant internal injuries, and the cause of death was ruled as "blunt force trauma." Because of the inconsistencies of Shembo's account of what happened and the results of the necropsy, a warrant was obtained for Shembo on Friday, May 29.

Shembo was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals in connection with Dior's death.

Details of the warrant say the dog had a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, extensive bruising/hemorrhage in muscles in front leg and shoulders, head trauma, hemorrhage and edema in lungs, hemorrhage between the esophagus and trachea and hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries.

On Friday, the lead investigator contacted the Falcons to inform them of the warrant, leading to their action later in the day.

Denicia Williams and Dior went everywhere together, according to her father. She even took the dog to work on modeling jobs. Her father said as soon as she learned Shembo was charged with killing her dog, she broke up with him.

"I got attached to him (Dior)," Gary Williams said. "And to be honest with you, I cried when he passed."

Williams said he never liked his daughter's boyfriend because he seemed jealous of her dog. Williams said Shembo felt second to her dog. "He showed this jealousy of a little five-pound puppy," he said. "A 260-pound man. What kind of man would be jealous of a puppy?"

Shembo turned himself in to the Gwinnett County Jail Friday night with his mother and attorney by his side. Attorney Jerry Froelich said what happened to the dog was an accident. "He was putting the dog in a cage and the dog bit him on his hand," Froelich said. "He reflexed and kicked the dog."

Froelich said Shembo agreed to pay a $15,000 bond and he was released from jail Friday night. He said he wasn't surprised the Falcon cut his client given their history with Michael Vick and his dog-fighting scandal.

At the NFL Scouting Combine in February 2014, Shembo said he was the Notre Dame football player at the center of an investigation into sexual assault allegations made by a former student at Saint Mary's College, Lizzy Seeberg.

In September 2010, Seeberg said that a Notre Dame football player had attacked her in a dorm room. Nineteen-year-old Seeberg committed suicide 10 days later. The name of the player who allegedly had been the attacker had never been made public until Shembo came forward both to NFL team executives and to the media at the 2014 Combine.

"I have nothing to hide," Shembo said at the time. "I'm still here, so I know I didn't do anything. I tell them exactly what happened."

Gwinnett County is about 15 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. 


Prospects Improve For Pit Bull Whose Mouth Was Taped Shut

Caitlin is a 15-month-old pit bull found in North Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday morning with her mouth taped shut.

The tape, which may have been there for as long as two days before Caitlin was discovered, was so tight that it cut off circulation to the dog's tongue. It wasn't clear at first whether she would live.

Dr. Lucy Fuller, veterinarian for the Charleston Animal Society, which assumed Caitlin's care, said in a statement on Thursday that the dog's condition was "critical, and her prognosis is guarded."

On Friday, Caitlin's prospects seemed better, Charleston Animal Society spokeswoman Kay Hyman told The Huffington Post.

"She is still really swollen, but she's walking. ... She was eating small portions of food," Hyman said. "Today, I feel much more at ease."


Amazing Photographs of a Male Giraffe Who Has Survived in the Wild for the Past Five Years Despite Suffering a Broken Neck

These are the amazing photographs of a male giraffe who has survived in the wild for the past five years despite suffering a broken neck in a fight with a rival over a female mate.

The animal was spotted in the Serengeti national park by wildlife photographer Mark Drysdale who was on safari.

The guide told stunned visitors that the animal suffered the horrific injuries while fighting with another male to impress nearby female giraffes.

Normally, animals with such extensive injuries in the wild die due to the absence of medical treatment, or are eaten by predators.

But, this giraffe has thrived despite its wonky, zig-zag neck. 

The Masai giraffe is the tallest animal in the world and can grow to some 19 feet.

Mr. Drysdale, who has been photographing animals professionally for the past eight years said: 'I have never seen anything like it!

"But the other animals treated it as if it were completely normal and the giraffe seemed to be quite happy."

In giraffe fights, the animals stand side-by-side and push each other to prove who is the strongest and invariably wins the affection of the female. 

Mr Drysdale continued: "While I was guiding clients in the Serengeti we were introduced to this giraffe by one of the local guides, who has known the animal for five years.

The animal had broken its neck while fighting five to six years earlier and had remained in the area - where there are no conservation centers or vets. -

I found it strange, and it was the first time I had seen such a deformity but he seemed to be in good health.

.Although males generally take food from higher up trees than females by stretching to their full length, this guy was unable to do that.

He just ate at the lower levels where there was more than enough food available!"

The Masai giraffe, pictured, broke his neck about five years ago in a fight with a fellow male giraffe.

Male giraffes often fight with each other in order to win the affections of nearby females.

The giraffe, was no longer able to get food from the highest tree branches due to his deformity.

He has thrived over the past five years despite suffering its life-changing injury in Tanzania.
Normally giraffes suffering similar injuries in the wild die soon afterwards, or are eaten by lions.

But the wonky giraffe, pictured rear, seems to live quite happily in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.


After Spending Months Indoors to Keep Warm, 100-Year-Old Tortoise is Finally Able to Have His Day in the Sun

The 100-year-old, 450-pound Galapagos tortoise at the Toledo Zoo was moved from the Ziems Conservatory to his new home with an enviable view at the rear of the formal gardens.

But his neighbors, the gorillas, might be a tad on the noisy side at times.

No matter: Emerson has a “mud wallow” area where he can go when he needs to relax or cool down, said R. Andrew Odum, the Assistant Director of Animal Programs and Curator of Herpetology at the zoo.

The big move started early on Tuesday, when Emerson was lured from his winter home in the conservatory with a carrot by Hannah Gerritsen, a herpetology keeper — who let him have an occasional nibble so he’d move forward a few inches at a time.

Once he was coaxed outdoors into the warm sun, Emerson was lifted onto a makeshift dolly by four men.

“He is not light,” one of the men said.

As they wheeled Emerson, he used his front left foot like a paddle, as if helping to propel himself. Before reaching his destination, he had to be adjusted several times.

It seemed as if he might have preferred to walk. But zoo officials might still be out there if they had let him do that. He doesn’t move swiftly, to say the least.

His new enclosure is blocked off from the public by a low fence of wooden posts and rope, over which visitors can easily see him.

A zoo employee will be at the Galapagos Garden to make sure that no visitors climb the rope and slip through the fence. The bodyguard can explain what Emerson is up to, Odum said.

After being in his new space for just moments, Emerson had drawn a crowd.

Willah Hoeleze watched with 9-year-old friends, Elin Fields, Anna Ellingson and Maddie Heben.

Willah guessed that Emerson weighs “900 trillion pounds,” then settled on a more reasonable 1 million pounds.

“I think he’s really cool and slow,” she said.

The girls agreed that their favorite thing about Emerson is his neck.

“I like how it stretches out,” Elin said.

They were most impressed with his age, though.

“He’s older than Nana,” Elin noted.