The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : July 2018 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : July 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

How to Choose the Right Pet for a Family with Special Needs

Did you know that the presence of guinea pigs in a room can increase social behaviors in children with autism?

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia recently published a study demonstrating a significant measurable increase in talking, smiling, laughing, looking at faces, making tactile contact and social approaches when children with autism and their peers played with 2 guinea pigs in a classroom.

Sooner or later, most families of children with special needs begin to think about adopting a pet for therapeutic reasons.  Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to every type of pet.  Sometimes a pet is not logistically possible, but any pet has the potential to enrich family life.

Here are ten of the most popular pets for beginners, along with the pros and cons for each one.  If your family wants to adopt any type of pet, large or small, consider a rescue organization such as those listed on

To read more on this story, click here: How to Choose the Right Pet for a Family with Special Needs


Pet Owner Fights Off Two Coyotes Attacking His Dog

Greenfield, WI - Scott Schach, like many homeowners, had spied coyotes around his home a few times over the years. The dog-like predators can be jarring to see wandering around your yard, but they also tend to keep to themselves.

That’s not what happened this time, when Schach found himself locked in a battle with two coyotes who attacked his dog Princess on his own property in Greenfield, Wisc., The Journal Sentinel reported.

“At first, I didn’t even know that it was coyotes. I just heard the ruckus,” he told WISN.

Then he said he realized what was going on: Two coyotes had descended on his 90-pound German shepherd, Princess — and Princess was in trouble, the station reported.

Schach plunged right into the fray. He kicked and punched at the coyotes, but they were caught up in the frenzy and didn’t flinch. He tried something else.

“Somehow I got a hold of one of their tails, turned around (and) she bit my arm, got a hold of her leg and I just flung her, just gave her a fling, she bounced off my pickup truck, went up the front windshield into the night and that’s the last I saw of that one,” he told CBS 58.

Princess hadn’t been able to take both of them, but with only one left, she got the upper hand. Schach told WISN he turned to find Princess pinning the other coyote down as it whined and yipped at her. He told her to let it go.

“She let go and sat down, and the other one took off up the driveway, up the road,” he told the station.

That was the last he saw of either coyote. Police said the dog came away with no injuries and the fight only lasted about half-a-minute, the Journal-Sentinel reported.

“I was just scared. I was scared for her. I had a buddy of mine up in Greendale that lost a dog a couple of years ago to coyotes. And I was just worried about her being all bit up and such,” Schach told CBS 58.

Schach told WISN the bite he got during the scuffle didn’t actually break any skin, and that he comes out with a baseball bat these days just in case.

The Humane Society says coyotes have become used to humans because it is easy to find food around populated areas. But if you see “brazen” coyotes wandering fearlessly through your yard, you should take some precautions and encourage them to move along.

The best method is to haze them repeatedly, according to the Humane Society. That means yelling at them, chasing them away, throwing small rubber balls or cans at them, or spraying them with water. Eventually, they will learn they are not welcome in that area.



Saturday, July 28, 2018

Kids and Puppies, The Chasing the Nipping, the Jumping

You may as well get your coffee now, dredge up any cuss words you think you’ll want to call me and be prepared for the truth, because if you did not get it in the prior blog article on kids and dogs it will be explained again here but a little differently. If you got it, good for you!

Okay, so last time I talked about going over the rules of teaching your kids to respect a dog’s space and while I was referring to dogs that are adopted and older, this week I’d like to talk about kids and puppies. Puppies that nip, chase, and bite your little ones, until your little ones are screaming all the time and have become so petrified of the puppy that it makes you just want to pull your pull hair out!

Trainers get so many complaints over this problem and if you have not read my previous blog about teaching your children how to respect dogs, then please do so before moving forward here. 95% of the puppy’s actions are not the puppy’s fault, so take that newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not being more aware of what to expect and how to handle the two together. If you have any uncertainties about the training of a dog, set up classes and be ready to learn before the little love bug occupies space in your home. Maybe pre-puppy kindergarten class needs to be taught before puppy kindergarten! You know, similar to how the public school system analyzes your kid to see if he/she is ready to join the ranks of daily learning and torture! This way we can weed out the puppy parents that are not truly ready to have a puppy live with them.

So why did I go with 95% and not 100% of bad behavior being the puppy’s fault? Well, because due to bad breeding there are a percentage of mentally unstable pups who due to neurological problems can act out. And 95% is just my guess based on the amount of questions I deal with on a daily basis. 

To read more on this story, click here: Kids and Puppies, The Chasing the Nipping, the Jumping


Notorious Gangster Known as Nutzu the Pawnbroker, Used Lions and Bears to Intimidate Victims

Bucharest, Romania - A notorious gangster known as Nutzu the Pawnbroker has been indicted for heading a gang charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, blackmail and illegally possessing weapons, but the public seems to be more interested in his pets: four lions and two bears.

Press reports, not confirmed by authorities have claimed that Ion Balint - his real name - use the lions to intimidate rivals and victims.

When he rode away from prison on a black stallion in 2010, Balint played up that fearsome image.

"You said I fed men to the lions?" Balint can be heard saying on a tape heard by The Associated Press. "Why don't you come over and I'll give you some lions!"

Authorities won't speculate about why Balint kept lions and bears, as well as thoroughbred horses and canaries, at his high-walled and heavily guarded estate in the poorest part of Bucharest.

"Many untruths are being reported," Balint's son-in-law Marius Vlad told The Associated Press on Wednesday, referring to other rumors of a torture chamber.

Bystanders and relatives who gathered near the gates of the estate described Balint, 48, as a good neighbor and an animal lover, and said they weren't bothered by roaring lions.

"We can hear them every day but only when they're hungry or the female is in heat," said Gabriela Ionescu, 36, robed in a dressing gown and clutching her toddler daughter's hand. "They don't disturb us at all."

Authorities allege that Balint and his brother Vasile headed a criminal network which controlled much of the underworld activity in Bucharest, a city of 2 million. Some 400 police and detectives were involved in the investigation which led to the arrest last week of 67 suspects, including the Balint brothers.

In 2009, Balint was convicted of human trafficking, violence and pimping, and sentenced to 13 years in prison. That was reduced to six years but Balint was free after a year.

On Wednesday, the four lions and two bears were sedated, put in cages and removed Wednesday by environmental authorities and the Vier Pfoten animal welfare charity. The animals, which generally appeared in good condition, will be temporarily housed in a zoo and may be eventually relocated in South Africa, animal welfare officers said.

Mircea Pupaza, commissioner of the National Environment Guard, told The Associated Press that Balint had no documentation or health records for the animals, which he's kept illegally for 10 years. He could face a year in prison and a hefty fine for illegally keeping wild animals.

"The lions are a status symbol for him," said Livia Cimpoeru, a Vier Pfoten spokeswoman. She declined to speculate whether they had a more sinister purpose.

Lions sit in a cage on the estate of Ion Balint in Bucharest. The animal welfare charity Vier Pfoten removed four lions and two bears that were illegally kept on the estate.

A bear chews on the bars of a cage at the estate of Ion Balint. He was convicted in 2009 for human trafficking, violence and pimping and sentenced to 13 years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to six years, but Balint was freed after serving one year.

A sedated lioness is removed from the estate of Ion Balint. He had no documentation for the animals, which police say he's kept illegally for 10 years.

                                        A bear reaches out from a cage.


Dozens Of Lion Trophy Permits Issued To Hunters As Trump Rolls Back Import Hurdles

The federal government has issued more than three dozen permits allowing hunters to import lion trophies from two African nations since 2016, according to copies of the applications obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. 

The documents, obtained by the group Friends of Animals, provide insight into the often secretive permitting process to import threatened or endangered species killed abroad during luxury hunting trips. Thirty-three Americans were issued permits to import 38 lion trophies between 2016 and 2018, at least half of whom have donated to Republican lawmakers or are affiliated with the hunting lobby Safari Club International.

It’s unclear how many permit applications are currently before the agency or how many were issued in past years. In a statement, the Fish and Wildlife Service said that all permit applications are carefully reviewed and granted only if they meet several legal standards in accordance with international treaties and other requirements of the country in which the animal was hunted.

“Legal, well-regulated hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation,” the statement read.

To read more on this story, click here: Dozens Of Lion Trophy Permits Issued To Hunters As Trump Rolls Back Import Hurdles


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Loyal Golden Retriever Takes Rattlesnake Bite for Owner

The loyal pup risked his snout to protect his owner from being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Paula Godwin, from Anthem, Arizona, was on a hike Friday morning when she almost stepped on the dangerous viper, she wrote in a Facebook post.

But Todd swooped in and saved her, she said.

“He jumped right in front of my leg where I surely would have been bit,” she wrote.

Todd, who is less than a year old, tackled the rattlesnake but ended up getting bitten on the nose.

“This is what a hero looks like,” Godwin wrote, along with a picture of Todd’s enlarged nose. “Please say a little prayer for my sweet hero.”

Godwin started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $500 that she said will go to help other dog owners in the area with similarly brave pets pay for antivenom treatment.

On Sunday, Godwin wrote on Facebook  that Todd was doing well and healing.


A Dead Man Has Been Found Half Eaten by His Beloved Pet Dog

Pattaya, Thailand - A dead man has been found half eaten by his beloved pet dog – who chewed his master’s face “down to the skull.”

Glenn Pattinson, 62, was eaten by his hungry pet, Cujo, after he died at his home in Thailand up to ten days ago.

The 5-year-old dog, who shares his name with the rabid killer dog in Stephen King’s psychological horror film, “Cujo” had blood dripping from his mouth when he was found sitting by the Canadian man’s side.

Rescue workers were only alerted last Friday when neighbors began to complain about Cujo’s constant barking and became suspicious that he wasn’t being taken for a walk.

Paramedics who arrived found Pattinson’s face had been chewed down to his skull and his ribs were exposed from where his torso had been eaten.

After police arrived at the property, in the Sattahip district near Pattaya, officers posed for a bizarre picture, in which they pointed accusingly at the confused dog.

Resident Bell Suchin, 34, said: “The foreign man had lived here for about three years and he was friendly. He loved his dog, he took him for walks every night.

“He lived alone but he had a lot of different women visitors coming to the house. So I think he was happy, he always was happy when he was outside walking.”

Medics said that Pattinson had been taken to hospital two weeks ago and later discharged to return home.

They said that a number of diabetes-related tables were found in the room.

Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious.

Police Lt. Col. Pasawat Siripon Noppakun said: “Mr. Glenn Stanley Pattinson was found not wearing any clothes.

“He had been dead for between seven and 10 days. The male dog was by his side and did not have water for several days. There were no signs of fighting or the room being ransacked. We know that the dead man lived alone.


Why Releasing Your Pet Goldfish Into Your Local Stream or Lake is a Bad Idea

Goldfish may look small and cute in your home, but in the wild, it's a different story. Releasing them into your local stream or lake is a bad idea. Following is a transcript of the video.

Right now, Washington State is fighting of an invasion! The culprit? Goldfish.

Thousands of goldfish have infested the West Medical Lake and are crowding out the native fish population. How did this happen? The Department of Fish and Wildlife thinks a few irresponsible pet owners are to blame. And while the goldfish may have cost the owners a few dollars, this mess is going to cost the state an estimated $150,000 to try to remove these feral fish.

But this isn't the only place this is happening. Goldfish are invading lakes and streams worldwide, and it's our fault.

If you think you're doing the goldfish a favor by releasing it, you're not. Instead, you're setting the stage for an ecological disaster, which could threaten hundreds of other species. Turns out, goldfish are one of the world's worst invasive species.

Goldfish were first selectively bred in China 2,000 years ago for food. By the 14th century, goldfish had been promoted from our meals to our entertainment. It wasn't long before pet owners helped them spread across the world, eventually reaching North America by the 19th century.

They may look small and cute in your home, but in the wild, it's a different story. Given enough time and resources, these little orange monsters will grow into giants, reaching as much as 4 pounds (2 kg), about the size of an American football!

These big fish are also big eaters. Feeding on plants, insects, crustaceans, and other fish. But they're not just consuming what other fish rely on to survive, they're voracious feeding time actually kicks up mud and sediment which can lead to harmful algae blooms that choke the ecosystem.

If that's not enough, they also introduce foreign parasites and diseases that wreak havoc on the delicately-balanced ecosystems wherever they go. And they aren't content to stay in one place. Goldfish are a rapidly-reproducing fish and will migrate across multiple bodies of water. Case in point, when a few were dumped in a local Australian river in the early 2000s they eventually migrated to the Vasse River, where they're still a major problem today.

There are similar accounts of goldfish invasions in Epping Forest, London, Alberta, Canada, and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. In fact, invasive fish species accounted for over half of the total fish population in Lake Tahoe Basin. Besides causing fiscal and environmental disasters there are other reasons you should keep that goldfish in its tank.

Goldfish are smarter than you might think. They have a memory span of at least 3 months. They also can tell the difference between Stravinsky and Bach.

So, consider the wildlife, and think twice before tossing that goldfish away.


Monday, July 9, 2018

What Are The Best Birds For Apartment Living?

If there is one thing that birds are known for besides flight, it's the sounds of their calls and songs. While a bird's call may be music to the ears of its owner, not everyone will find it to be so pleasant -- and this can mean trouble for bird owners that live in apartments or condominiums. If you live in close proximity to your neighbors, a quieter bird species that do well in small spaces is for you. You are sure to find a species that will complement your home and lifestyle. Bear in mind that just because the bird is smaller doesn't mean that the care can be diminished. These birds deserve the same respect, the same care outlines and the same regard as their larger cousins. These are wonderful birds that need your time, attention and housekeeping just like the big guys do.

Parakeets (Budgies)
If you have your heart set on a hookbill, then a Parakeet or Budgie may be the way to go. Small and quiet, these little birds do well in cozier spaces and aren't loud enough to disturb most people. The trick to this is to find an enclosure or cage that is longer than it is high to give your budgie space to hop and fly. Round cages are out as well as cylindrical cages that are simply unsuitable.

If you have room for a larger cage, a Cockatiel may be the bird for you. While they may take up a little more room than some smaller species, their calls and chirps rarely reach levels that may be deemed bothersome by neighbors. Cockatiels are wonderful little birds with quieter voices than many of the larger hookbills. They have a lot of personality and their ability to whistle and actually learn to whistle along with music is amazing. This is one of the most popular birds available as they easily adapt to most situations as far as living accommodations are concerned and they do well with other birds.

To read more on this story, click here: What Are The Best Birds For Apartment Living?


The Former Laguna Beach and The Hills Star, Kristin Cavallari Has Irked Vegans and Animal Rights Activists

Kristin Cavallari’s not likely to win over the vegan community anytime soon.

The former Laguna Beach and The Hills star irked vegans and animal rights activists in May when she posted a photo of herself clutching her pet chicken, joking that her feathered friend was a “pet today, dinner tomorrow.”

Several commenters slammed Cavallari’s suggestion that she might eat the chicken, accusing her of practicing “animal cruelty” and having a “lack of empathy and compassion for other beings.”

Now, the reality star, whose new show, Very Cavallari, premiered Sunday night — is once again ruffling feathers by teasing vegans in a new Instagram post. The 31-year-old mom of three is pictured on her farm with a rather restless-looking goat in her arms.

“The vegans will say she’s trying to get away because of my chicken comment,” she joked in the photo’s caption, adding a laughing emoji.

Vegans, however, weren’t laughing.

“Wow, girl, you think that chicken comment of yours was funny?” fired back one commenter. “Please do some research on veganism and maybe you’ll understand why we don’t take your ‘animal jokes’ lightly.”

“The issue with this post is the flippant, arrogant, uneducated, ignorant, non-compassionate connotation behind the caption, a notion to make ‘fun’ of not only a VERY LARGE group of people — but to also make light of all the horrors that go into the meat industry,” another commenter explained. “It’s sickening. It’s so sad really.”

“I can’t believe how ignorant someone can be in 2018,” one critic wrote. “I thought she’d changed some since The Hills but she’s still totally vapid and rude. Vegans make up more of the population than she obviously knows about! It’s like making a joke about Muslims not eating pork or Jews not eating shellfish. Sorry, some people care about other living things not dying for your enjoyment. I’m unfollowing!”

“Wow, I totally looked up to you growing up and as a vegan this hurts,” a fan added. 

“What an uneducated, ignorant, and heartless thing to joke about,” another critic replied. “One day you’ll make the connection and realize how disgusting comments like this are — whether it’s in this life or the next.”

Other Cavallari fans thought the backlash was unwarranted.

“I personally thought the chicken statement was hilarious; it’s natural as we are carnivores,” read one comment. “Stop trying to change people and concentrate on yourselves and your own decisions. We don’t have to be over the top and preach everything we do, which is unfortunately the way a lot of people in society live these days. I’m a meat eater and couldn’t care less how much of the population eat meat, etc., and don’t force vegans to change their life choices, I think you all need to calm yourselves down and just live your life!”

“Meat. It goes a body good,” cracked another fan.

“I’m a vegan and I find this and the chicken post hilarious,” a supporter added. “Calm down, people. Trolling on Instagram only makes you look like a stereotype and ridiculous.”

Will the uproar cause Cavallari to lay off the vegan jokes? Or are people taking her captions far too seriously?


Sunday, July 8, 2018

How To Get Your Cat Out of a Tree

The process of getting a cat out of a tree can be complicated. There are many approaches to removing a cat from a tree. Some are simple, some are inadvisable and several involve a certain level of danger.

One important thing to keep in mind when you're wondering how to get a cat out of a tree is that your tree-borne cat will likely be frightened. No matter how wonderful your relationship typically is with kitty, she may display behaviors that are downright detrimental to her rescue once she is perched precariously upon a high branch . Essentially, your cat may fight against her rescue for fear of being dropped. This is why certain methods of cat retrieval may require you to wear protective gear.

Protective items such as goggles, helmets, thick gloves that run up to the elbow and padded clothing can all come in handy for protecting your skin during a rescue. Once you grab hold of your cat, he may dissolve into a hysterical frenzy and begin clawing you to pieces. This can present a real problem while you are also trying to balance on a ladder. For this reason alone, retrieving your cat by hand is a daring and dangerous option.

The days of cat owners calling the fire department to rescue their tree-trapped kitties have long since passed. This is particularly true if you live in a condensed urban environment. Firemen are typically too busy to be bothered with cat issues. If you live in a slow-paced suburban or rural environment, the fire department may feel more amenable to your cat's plight. For the most part, you'll be looking at hiring a tree-trimming service to retrieve your kitty if you feel you cannot accomplish the feat by any other means. Be aware that it will cost a reasonable fee for a tree-trimming company to come and rescue your cat. However, this is one of the safest and most reliable options, so it is well worth the price.

The easiest method for retrieving a cat from a tree calls for the aforementioned tree-trimming service. This is by far the best approach if your cat is very high up in that tree, but what happens when your cat has perched itself outside of normal tree-trimming business hours? This is when a cat owner needs to execute a little diligence and creativity.

Climbing up a ladder to reach your kitty is definitely not the safest option. Make sure you're wearing the protective gear that has been recommended earlier in this article. Some experts have suggested grasping your cat firmly by the scruff of the neck in order to avoid kitty's claws during your descent down the ladder. This may be difficult to accomplish when you're wearing thick gloves. You'll have to be strong and experienced using a ladder in order to employ this rescue method.

It's also possible to use a laundry basket rather than attempt to carry your cat by hand. Your cat may be willing to climb into the basket if it contains some of kitty's bedding or a little catnip. You can then carry her more safely down the ladder. This will work if you are very strong and your kitty is fairly light-weight.

An alternative suggestion involving a laundry basket is to tie a rope securely between the handles of the basket and toss the end of the rope over the branch upon which your cat rests. This, of course, will be difficult to accomplish if the branch is extremely high up. Once you've established this makeshift pulley system, you can fill the basket with kitty's favorite belongings, and then pull the basket back up to the branch. Hopefully kitty will want to enter the basket, after which you can safely lower it back to the ground.

It has also been suggested that coating your tree from top to bottom with strong scented foods will lure your cat down. You can also sprinkle dry cat or dog food upon the ground, or even pepper the area with soiled cat litter which will provide your kitty with a familiar smell. This is not the most attractive method for humans to apply, but the logic is decent enough. At the very worst, your front lawn will become a smorgasbord for every other creature in your neighborhood, and kitty still won't take the bait. Nevertheless, it's initially safer than attempting a retrieval by-hand.

Although this may be difficult for some cat lovers to accept, cats can often get themselves down from a tree. Felines are fairly adept at climbing, and most will come down on their own when they become hungry enough or tired of their adventure. When you consider the dangers involved when trying to rescue your pet yourself, exercising a little patience is a reasonable option before you attempt more drastic measures.


Cataracts in Dogs: Stages, Causes, Treatments, And More

A dog has a clear lens in its eyes to help him focus, similar to a camera. But much like humans, cataracts in dogs is serious and painful. A cataract usually isn’t painful, but it can impair vision and can eventually cause complete vision loss.

What is Cataracts in Dogs?
Cataracts in dogs are a disease that clouds the lens of the eye. Smaller cataracts in dogs typically do not impact vision as larger cataracts; however, all cataracts in dogs must be closely monitored to prevent blindness.

Cataract formation is typically caused by old age, disease (such as diabetes mellitus), and eye trauma. It appears as a murky, cloudy, grayish-blue color while some can also become red and irritated.

As the disease worsens, the eye lens can become completely opaque, causing total blindness.

Stages of Cataracts in Dogs
A cataract is an opacity in the eye lens that can range in size and severity. A very small (incipient cataract) does not typically impair vision.

Incipient cataracts is the very first stage of cataracts in dogs and caught early and treated by a veterinary ophthalmologist can lead to a good outcome for your dog.

Cataracts in dogs that are more opaque (immature cataract or also known as a “juvenile cataracts”) are more serious and typically cause blurred vision.

To read more on this story, click here: Cataracts in Dogs: Stages, Causes, Treatments, And More


Cataracts In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments

If you’ve noticed a change in your cat’s eye color or their vision seems impaired, you may suspect cataracts of being the cause. Cataracts are sometimes viewed as a condition that only affects the eyes of seniors, but this is not the case with cats. In fact, age is generally not the main factor when cats develop cataracts, and it’s more rare for cataracts to appear in cats than in dogs. You should always take your cat to the vet if you notice abnormalities when it comes to their eyes. Here’s what you should know about cataracts in cats.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts refer to cloudiness in one or both eyes that causes the lens to lose transparency. This can result in partial or complete opacity in the lens, preventing light from passing to the retina. Vision can be impaired or lost completely due to this process.

Cataracts are easy to confuse with nuclear sclerosis, a normal change in the eye color of older cats over seven years of age. This change can make the lens appear white, but doesn’t affect vision. If you notice a change in eye color that is concerning, your vet will be able to if it is nuclear sclerosis or cataracts.

To read more on this story, click here: Cataracts In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments


Did You Know That Goldfish Were One of the First Fish Species to Be Kept in Ponds by Humans

Did you know that the goldfish are one of the most common type of pets in the world? They were one of the first fish species to be kept in ponds by humans. By nature, goldfish are social creatures and prefer to live with other goldfish.

Many people think that goldfish are pets for someone who doesn't have much time for pet care. The lifespan of your goldfish depend upon how much care you provide goldfish.  If cared for properly your goldfish could live for many years!

Goldfish start off small, but grow to be quite large, sometimes even a foot long, if you take good care of them. First time goldfish keepers usually buy a small tank or bowl to house their goldfish, only to discover that they need to keep buying ever-larger replacement tanks. You should buy a large enough tank at the beginning. You should provide a 20 to 30 gallon tank for your fish. Then add at least 10 gallons to that volume for each additional goldfish you might add. They grow large, excrete a lot of waste and need room to swim in order to be happy!

Food:    Goldfish like a diet of flakes, pellets, wafers and sticks

Goldfish Facts:

Do goldfish have ears? They have internal ear bones called an otolith that can feel vibrations. Avoid tapping on the glass since it will stress or even kill them.

A goldfish can survive in an outdoor pond where water temperatures dip down below 40*F (5*C). Some ponds might even freeze over during the winter and the goldfish still survive through to the spring.


A Woman Rescues a Bee and Gives It a Lifeline

Inverness, Scottish Highlands - Humans and bees have a pretty symbiotic relationship: We steal their honey, and in return, they sting us sometimes. It works! There’s one woman who took this level of companionship even further, though, when she saw a bee in need and decided to give it a lifeline.

Fiona Presly, a library assistant from Inverness, Scottish Highlands, came across a wingless bee in her garden last spring, which became that way due to a virus that hampered its wing development. She decided to take care of it, and, grateful for the compassion, the bee ended up becoming very friendly towards her and actually outlived the typical bee lifespan.

As warm and fuzzy as this is, Presly warns in a recent Facebook post  that her experience was atypical, and that generally speaking, bees shouldn’t be kept as pets:

“My experience with Bee was somewhat unique as she was unable to fly. If you find a bumblebee and it has got caught out from cold or damp and is perhaps lacking in energy, help it by giving it some sugary water and a wee bit warmth. Once it has recovered send it on the way as it has a short life cycle and really needs to be outside to keep that cycle going. They are not meant to be pets. Plant some bee friendly flowers and have a place in your garden that isn’t quite as manicured and the bees, butterflies and others will love it.”


A Woman Found a Baby Raccoon and Took it Into Her Home: 21 People Were Exposed to Rabies

Fort Collins, Colorado  — A baby raccoon that tested positive for rabies in Weld County, Colorado came into contact with 21 people before being tested.

A woman found the raccoon on her property and took it into her home after it was abandoned by its mother, according to a news release.

The raccoon was frequently held and would climb and lick the exposed individuals, Weld County health communications supervisor Rachel Freeman said.

Everyone who was exposed has already begun post-exposure treatment, the release stated.

“It is very important that people not touch or go near wild animals," Mark Wallace, Weld County health department executive director, said.

How to prevent being exposed to rabies:
  • Don't touch, feed or handle wild animals and be cautious around stray dogs and cats.
  • Leave orphaned animals alone. Baby animals often appear to be orphaned when they are not. The parent animal may not return if people are too close.
  • If you find a wild animal that appears to be sick, injured, or orphaned, contact your local animal control or a local veterinary clinic.
  • Do not feed, touch or handle wild animals and be cautious of stray dogs and cats.
  • Have dogs, cats, horses and livestock vaccinated regularly by a licensed veterinarian.
  • Keep food inside. Feed pets inside and do not feed wild animals.
  • Spay or neuter your pets to reduce the number of stray animals.
If you think you have been exposed to rabies, contact your doctor immediately. Rabies is almost always fatal if left untreated, but medicine is available if treatment is started before symptoms appear, according to a news release.


A Lake in Washington State Has Been Overrun with Goldfish, and Are Having an Adverse Effect on the Native Trout

West Medical Lake, Washington - The West Medical Lake has been overrun with goldfish over the past few years, and now they're having an adverse effect on the native trout.

Washington Fish and Wildlife stock West Medical Lake with thousands of baby trout every year. Letting nature run its course and letting the fish grow. But sometimes they run into problems.

“This works really well until an undesirable species gets put in the lake and established,” said Randy Osborne, a Fisheries Biologist with Washington Fish and Wildlife.

Osborne says once these goldfish become established their population explodes. They take food sources and oxygen in the water, which directly impacts the trout.

Goldfish or Koi in West Medical Lake is not something new. Fish and wildlife have been battling this problem for more than two decades.

"If they get caught doing that and get prosecuted, they could be responsible for the restitution of fixing the problem that they created," added Osborne.

Fixing this problem won't be cheap. Fish and Wildlife said it will take $150,000 to rehab the entire lake. That's money most people don't have floating around. Fish and Wildlife Field Sergeant Mike Sprecher says sometimes pet owners think they're doing right by their fish by letting them go free. But the good deed is bad news for Mother Nature.

“The good deed of somebody here locally saying, 'Well I can't keep this anymore, I don't want to keep this anymore' and they let it go in the lake. I call it bucket biology," added Sprecher.

Fish and Wildlife tell KHQ they have submitted a proposal to the state with hopes to rehab the lake in October 2018.


Friday, July 6, 2018

‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan, Is Living The American Dream

The Mexico native said he crossed the border into the United States more than 20 years ago with just $100 and the desire to be the “greatest dog trainer in the world.”

“When I was 21 years old, on December 23rd I went to my mom again, ‘Mom, I’m leaving,’” Millan, 48, shared on Monday’s episode of “Red Table Talk.”

She wondered where he was going so close to the holiday and Millan responded, “I’m going to America … I have to go right now.”

“So my dad saved $100, he gave it to me. He put it in my sock and that’s all I had,” the famed animal trainer shared. “I took a bus. It took, like, two days to get there.”

Millan says things got scary when he finally reached the border and encountered people ready to take advantage of his desperation. He says there were people waiting to either kill him or sell him for organs. “Dead is more likely than jumping it,” he said of crossing the border. “It’s not a piece of cake. I’m respectful about it. I know I broke a boundary and a rule. But it was for a dream.”

After being apprehended on more than one occasion, Millan finally crossed the border and by chance met a guy who would lend a helping hand.

“The guy said to me, ‘I’ll charge you $100,’” Millan said. “That’s all I had. That’s a sign.” Millan said he trusted the man, who said he knew the path. The man was aware of all the potential obstacles, including when the border patrol changes.

“Finally, we cross and we get to the gas station. The guy says, ‘I’m going to get you a taxi. And the taxi is going to get you to San Diego.’” By this point, Millan was out of money. Fortunately, the stranger gave Millan a break and paid the taxi driver $20, keeping the remaining $80 as payment.

Once he arrived in Southern California, Millan immediately began searching for work. The reality-TV star says he found the Yellow Pages and called local kennels.

“I knew that I had to start at the bottom and cleaning kennels is not a problem. Those are the jobs, we immigrants we get,” he said.

But things didn’t last long at the bottom. He soon developed a dog-walking business in the Inglewood neighborhood of Los Angeles. He quickly developed a name for himself and the Los Angeles Times caught wind, which exploded his business.

And in 2009, he became a US citizen

He also credits Jada Pinkett Smith, whom he’s known for 28 years, with helping him along his journey. He told her one day that he wanted to have his own television show, but that his English was limited. So, as a kind gesture, Pinkett Smith sent a tutor his way.


Duke, The Golden Retriever That Became the Face of Bush’s Baked Beans Commercials Has Died

An Apopka golden retriever that became the face of Bush’s Baked Beans commercials died last week, the company confirmed Tuesday.

His real name was Sam, and he was one of several dogs that portrayed the loyal companion in more than 20 years of Bush’s commercials.

“The relationship between Jay and his beloved dog Duke is the embodiment of the BUSH’S brand,” the company wrote in a Facebook post. “While Sam has not worked with us in years, we are saddened by the news of his passing and are grateful to have had him depict Duke.”

“We continue to be overwhelmed by fan interest and their love of Duke,” the post said.

Meanwhile, a friend of the dog’s owner posted on Facebook that Sam had been battling an aggressive cancer and he had to be euthanized on Wednesday.

“He was a very special dog to all who ever knew or had the pleasure of meeting him,” David Odom wrote. “He is and will be missed.”


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Air Conditioned Houses for Dogs are Popping Up Outside of Restaurants and Stores Across the Country Thanks to a Company Called DogSpot

With much of the country already sweating through the dog days of summer, a new company is offering four-legged friends a much-needed place to cool down.

Air-conditioned houses for dogs are popping up outside of restaurants and stores across the country thanks to a company called DogSpot.

“It’s just so hot,” said DogSpot founder Chelsea Brownridge. “That’s a reason we’ve been expanding in places like California, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.”

DogSpot offers fully air-conditioned and ventilated mini-houses where dogs can stay while their owners eat a meal inside a restaurant or run a quick errand.

The service for dogs operates similarly to the way Uber works for humans. Dog owners use an app to reserve a nearby house for their furry friend up to 15 minutes in advance.

The owner can unlock the house via the app, and then also monitor their dog on the app through a webcam.

The fee is 30 cents per minute or a $19.99 monthly membership.

“The average stay is around 15 minutes,” said Brownridge. “Which is exactly what we designed it for, to be able to live an active life with your dog but allow the dog to be comfortable too."

Brownridge created DogSpot after her experience living with her rescue dog, Winston, in Brooklyn.

“He has a ton of energy so to get him out of the house on as many walks as possible was really important,” she said. “I started to realize how many times he couldn’t come with me outside because I’d just be going to a store or restaurant for a few minutes.”

She added, “There are all these things you do every day in a walkable city like New York where dogs aren’t allowed to go inside."

In cities not as walkable as New York, dogs may be left behind in cars by their owners.

It takes 10 minutes for the inside of a car, even with its windows left slightly open, to reach 102 degrees on an 85-degree day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). On a 70-degree day, the inside of a car can be as much as 20 degrees higher, proving dangerous for dogs, notes the ASPCA.

Some states and local governments have laws prohibiting leaving animals in cars in dangerous situations, like heat. Brownridge said she supports those laws amd wants to be "part of the solution."

"We want to make [DogSpot] the safest, cleanest, best-monitored space to give pet parents the comfort of knowing their dog is safe," Brownridge added.

Brownridge and her co-founder, Todd Schechter, said they worked to launch the company on nights and weekends while they both still had full-time jobs.

They placed prototypes throughout Brooklyn and soon had a membership of around 1,000 dog owners.

To address safety concerns, the DogSpot houses are only accessible to the owner of the dog currently using the house. There is also no anonymity, as DogSpot has each user's name, phone number, and credit card information on file.

The houses self-clean after each use via UV lights and are manually cleaned each day. In the winter, the houses activate a heated floor.

Two restaurants in Ferndale, Michigan, are among the first to use DogSpot houses as part of the company’s national expansion this month.

“The vast majority of the response has been great,” said Shane Hudson, marketing manager for Kramer Restaurant Group, who brought DogSpot to two of the group’s restaurants last week. “It’s going to take a little while for people to start using them, but we’ve had quite a response.”

“It reminds me of when Uber and Airbnb first arrived,” he added. “People’s first response is like, ‘What the heck are these things?’ but once people understand the technology and how it works, I do envision it will draw folks to our restaurants.”

DogSpot's founders say they have received letters of invitation from officials in cities like Orlando, Florida, and Kansas City, Missouri as well.

DogSpot plans to launch in Los Angeles, Boston, Washington D.C., as well as Orlando and Kansas City. DogSpots will also be available in Chattanooga, Southhampton, New York, Columbus, Ohio, and Charleston, South Carolina this year.

New features coming soon include the ability to play music for your dog inside the house and to talk to your pet if he or she needs comforting, DogSpot says.


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Tragically, Hyponatraemia Kills Thousands of Dogs Every Year: Family Wants to Warn Others of This Hidden Danger

A few weeks ago, Jen Walsh spent a day at the lake with her family.

As always, her two-year-old Schnauzer, Hanz, went along with them. And, as always, the family and the dog played together happily.

Jen would throw a stick or ball into the water, while Hanz would rush out, retrieve it and then bring it back.

They repeated this over and over. Each time, Hanz came back ready for more; a bundle of energy and joy.

After around an hour and a half, Hanz had been in and out of the lake more than twenty times to collect balls and sticks. He seemed content, but no one could have known the danger he was in.

Just a short while later, Jen realised something was wrong with her dog. The last time he returned from the lake, he didn’t shake off the water as he usually did.

Shortly afterwards, he slumped to the ground, looking “worn out”.

With the dog’s condition deteriorating quickly, the family decided to rush him to the vet. On the journey he worsened further, and Jen knew they had to do something if they were to keep him alive.

When Jennifer finally arrived at the vets, the dog was immediately hurried into care. Sadly, it was without success. The little Schnauzer had died.

Only after he had passed, did Jen learn what had happened to her best friend: He had suffered from water intoxication, also known as hyponatraemia.

Tragically, this kills thousands of dogs every year. It might not be very common, but it’s good to know what can happen and in what situations the risk is most extreme.

The condition is brought on by excessive fluid intake, which causes the body to lose sodium.

As a result, the body’s cells begin to fill with water and swell. If the cells in the brain swell, it can affect the central nervous system, which can be fatal.

It’s important to remember that dogs can’t always determine when they need to stop drinking. This can occur when they’re playing in the ocean, a pool or drinking from a water hose.

The first symptoms of water intoxication can be weakness, dizziness, loss of appetite or nausea and vomiting.

Symptoms of water intoxication can include:

Excessive licking
Loss of appetite
Bloated stomach
Widened pupils and a glazed look
In severe cases, difficulty breathing, cramps and loss of consciousness

Smaller dogs that are high energy and love to play in the water are at higher risk, because they can absorb a lot of fluid in relation to their body size.

It’s always important as an owner to keep an eye on your dog if they love playing in the water. Some dogs love to throw themselves into waves or completely submerge themselves, which puts them at added risk of taking in too much water.

What to do if it occurs
If you suspect your dog may be suffering from water intoxication, you should always contact a veterinarian directly.

The Walsh family didn’t know that Hanz was in danger, and will certainly regret what happened forevermore.

“This will never happen to us again, but I wish we had been warned of the possibility. It would have saved Hanz’ life. He was the best dog EVER,” Jen wrote on her Facebook page