Good News Blog


Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2009

Horror Show Miracle Dog Happy, Healthy, Finds Home

Gideon is a white German shepherd dog. Animal Control Officers found her in November 2008 near a trash bin in Santa Ana.

He’d been hit by a car. Hit and dragged. On his left side an 18 inch swath of skin was stripped off, muscles and bones exposed.

The wound was a couple of days old; maggots lived in the wound…

And yet he was kind to people. When approached he would wag his tail and look happy.

The pet rescue group “Coastal German Shepherd Rescue” rushed him to Matthew Wheaton, a veterinarian, where he was described as “something from a horror show”; his wounds were that bad.

He received plasma transfusions, pain medications, table sugar packed to his wound to encourage the granulation of new tissue. He was doing so well, fighting so hard, they named him Gideon, meaning “strength”.

After a local newspaper ran a story on Gideon financial aid started to come in a steady drip.

“We would go to the P.O. box and find 75 envelopes with checks inside.

Some were for as little as seven dollars, some included touching notes and stories of their own pets.

We raised more than $12,000, every dollar that was needed to pay for Gideon’s care.”
— Tiffany Norton, co-founder “Coastal German Shepherd Rescue”

Although many offered to adopt Gideon, none followed through.

None but Bob and Marilyn Collier of Yorba Linda. Over the months of Gideon’s stay at the vet they visited regularly, checking in to see how things were going.

Gideon’s wound has now been closed through a pedicle grafting procedure and the once thin 49 pound dog weighs a healthy 75 pounds.

He’s very happy to live with the Colliers who had to move quite a bit of stuff around in their house as one thing hasn’t changed; Gideon’s ever-wagging happy tale.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009

Volunteers Dig Half Mile Long Path: Horses Rescued

In December 2008 snowmobiler Logan Jack in British Columbia, Canada, happened upon two abandoned horses; the 3 year old mare Belle and the 14 year old gelding Sundance.

His sister Toni was able to confirm the horses were in dire need of help.

The horses ranked a 2 on the Henneke body condition scale, and suffered from frostbite and lice.

Once notified the SPCA launched a rescue mission, one made exceedingly difficult by the horses being snowed in in such a remote location.

Spearheaded by Dave Jeck a core group of about 10 volunteers came forward to dig a 1 kilometer (ca. half a mile) long path through 2 meter (six foot) deep snow.

“The residents and members of the snowmobile club of McBride have been amazing.

The horses have life in them. They’re sure happy to see us.

They’re spunky, they’re thin, but they’re eating and drinking.”
— Lana Jeck

The community of McBride rallied around the rescuers.

The gas station collected coupons to cover the fuel expenses; a sled shop accepted donations.

After almost a week of digging with temperatures plunging as far down as -30C (-22F) the volunteers finally reached the horses.

“They are definitely hundreds of pounds underweight, but they are in stable condition at this point.

One of the horses had rain scald or frostbite on it. The other one had most of its tail missing, probably due to lice.

They’re definitely in a sad-looking state, but we feel comfortable that now they are in the type of recuperation facility that they need. So it does feel really good all around.”
— Kent Kokoska, senior animal protection officer, SPCA, British Columbia

The rescue became national Canadian news.

This week the SPCA has denied the owner’s request to have the horses returned.

“We are recommending charges of animal cruelty against the owner of the horses under both the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

The animals are receiving excellent on-going care in their foster homes and a number of people have offered to provide a permanent home for them.”
— Shawn Eccles, chief animal protection officer, SPCA, British Columbia

The Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, which applies only in British Columbia, and the Criminal Code of Canada both carry a maximum fine of $5000, up to six months in jail and a possible prohibition on owning animals.

Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009

Loving Family Rescues Abandoned Dog

A couple of weeks ago Autumn Austin, 16, saw a Jeep Liberty come down the road, stop almost in front of her house only to see the driver throw out a little dog.

With expected temperatures as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit for that night, this was no night for a small dog to be out. Autumn called the dog towards her.

Dirty and a little bit shaken he came right to her.

“I thought it was weird, because I thought it was one of my friends (driving toward her).

I just felt really upset. I couldn’t believe someone could do that. … With the economy the way it is, people are stressing. Maybe they couldn’t afford to take care of her.

She’s a really sweet dog. It was the grace of God she was found.”
— Autumn Austin

They took the the dog, now named Gracie for God’s grace, to All Saints Animal Hospital.

The staff said the white and gray Shi Tzu was probably around 7 to 8 years old and had been well cared for.

Mom contacted a long time friend, Sherry Branch, who would travel to adopt Gracie.

“I’ve been looking for two years for a little dog.

That little dog is going to be so loved. She’s already loved. So she’ll be even more loved.”
— Sherry Branch, Gracie’s new owner

Well cared for and clearly without any health issues, the veterinarian thinks Gracie has become a victim of the economy.

Pet owners should be aware that help with vaccinations and pet food is available throughout many areas.

“My suggestion to anyone, if it is just a matter of dog food, contact the Humane Society.

Sometimes circumstances do happen. Call us, call different agencies. If there’s anything we can do to help you keep your pet, we can help.

By all means, if you absolutely cannot keep your animal, you cannot find a friend to take it, please take it to the county shelter. Giving the pet to the shelter means it has a chance to be adopted. Leaving it out to fend for itself opens a former pet up to all sorts of dangers, including starvation and being hit by a car.

— Linda Monteith, director of Humane Society, Blue Ridge

The rescue of Gracie was a family and friend affair: Autumn, Autumn’s mother Angela, Nan Price Adamson who fostered Gracie, and Sherry.

Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008

Dog & Doc’s Sudden Miracle Reunion

But the rubble bloke and his girlfriend were just coming back from a short holiday when they received a phone call from the kennel: Bailey, his beloved lab/rottweiler blend, had escaped from The Pink Poodle Farm.

The search and spend the next 10 days looking for Bailey. In the Salinas region where Bailey was on the loose and was very possible that he would end up being eaten by a mountain lion.

Thursday Bailey showed up again. Where she’s beennobody knows but people have seen her as far as Prunedale to Boronda.

Meanwhile both to bloke has met a lot of caring people.

Among them “dog Angel” Darla Smith. X’s; she helps find most canines.

It was at 5 PM on Thanksgiving that he was hanging up a few more flyers, feeling very discouraged. That is for cell phone rang: Bailey was back.

As suddenly as she has disappeared as suddenly she reappeared. She had walked into the office with her tail between her legs and a very guilty look on her face.

When bloke ran into the office baby was so disoriented from being undernourished she didn’t recognize we watch all stop until he said her name; then she became very excited.

Students Help Nurse Rescued Horses Back To Good Health

Late this summer 18 horses have been rescued by the Finger Lakes Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York.

The rescued horses needed a lot of help and intensive care and the organization asked help from faculty and the students from the Alfred State College’s veterinary and agricultural technology programs. They gladly obliged.

The students fed the horses. Veterinarians and regulators listed what the problems were with the rescued horses.

Although some horses were placed in foster care the blog of the group, 72 horses, stayed at the facility

The students and faculty of the Alfred State College have spent the entire fall semester nursing the animals back to good health.

Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008

IVF Pregnancy for Elephant Might Save Species

Hopes are mounting that a species fighting against extinction might be saved.

In Taiwan a 26 year old elephant has become pregnant after having received IVF treatment.

Phang Sao receives special care from the vets in the Mae Sa elephant camp to avoid a miscarriage.

”We will take care of Phang Sao extensively until she is due to deliver her baby, which will be around August or September of next year.

We feed her as much as she wants and we look after her health, giving her our best care

Elephants are pregnant for a 22 months. Phang Sao is expected to give birth August or September 2009.

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008

Parrot Saves Girl’s Life With Warning

Meagan was babysitting 2 year old Hannah this Friday and at one point had to use the bathroom.

“While I was in the bathroom, Willie (the parrot) started screaming like I’d never heard him scream before and he started flapping his wings.

Then he started saying ‘mama baby’ over and over and over again until I came out and looked at Hannah and Hannah’s face was turning blue because she was choking on her pop tart.

If (Willie) wouldn’t have warned me, I probably wouldn’t have come out of the bathroom in time because she was already turning blue, her lips were blue and everything.”
— Meagan, babysitter

Meagan was able to successfully perform the Heimlich maneuver on Hannah. The combined actions of Willie and Meagan saved her life.

“If anything happened to her, I don’t know what I would do.

I’m very grateful for the both of them because they both saved her.”
— Samantha Kuusk, Hannah’s mother

Willie normally says some semi-rude words and things like ‘I love you’, ‘mama’ and ‘step up’.

Willie is a quaker parrot, illegal to keep as pets in most US states.

Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008

Lost Parrot Helping Patients to Speak Returned

Jo-Jo was lost from her home in White Castle after Gustav damaged his cage.

Apart from being a rare and expensive African Grey Parrot, Jo-Jo is also a “medical” parrot. Kathy Hendrick, a speech therapist and her owner, taught her two languages and Jo-Jo used that skill to hep stroke patients to learn how to speak again.

Jo-Jo is 5 years old and speaks both English and Spanish.

Neighbors spotted Jo-Jo a few blocks away. Volunteers tried to capture her but to no avail. Kathy was called and tried to lure Jo-Jo with another parrot, her brother, but that too didn’t work. Nor was she able to get any professional help.

“And I’ll tell you what; LSU didn’t help me, fire department wouldn’t help me, animal control wouldn’t help me, police department, my neighbors wouldn’t help me, but these precious people came out of their homes for nothing to help me.

My patients would sure miss him, so would I.”
Kahty Hendrick

Finally a man dressed in an orange vest returned her her bird but before she could take down his name he was gone already

Monday, Jul. 21, 2008

Rescued Eagle Chicks Getting ‘Feisty’

Two bald eagle chicks that were rescued from Lake Oahe are said to be growing and getting “feisty.”

Pierre veterinarian Virginia Trexler-Myren is caring for the eaglets for now.

Wildlife officials rescued them when the rising level of the lake threatened to flood the nest. It was build in a dead tree standing in the lake near Akaska in northern South Dakota.

The adult eagles had abandoned the nest, possibly because of the disturbance from boaters who had found it.

Veterinarian Trexler-Myren says the chicks will go next to a large wildlife center and hopefully be released later into the wild.

Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2008

Firefighters rescue injured horse

On Tuesday firefighters came to the rescue of an injured horse found near the fire line of the Soda Complex, burning on the Mendocino National Forest near Lake Pillsbury.

At around 8 a.m. Tuesday, firefighters working on the western and southwestern edge of the Mill Fire came across an injured horse as crews were constructing containment line and preparing for a backfire operation, according to Forest Service spokesperson Marc Peeble.

Firefighters assessed the injured horse and found that he sustained injuries to his front legs and abrasions, said Peebles. The horse also appeared to be very dehydrated, weak and may have been in this condition for several days.

Peebles said they suspect that the horse may have been spooked and ran off during the initial lightening storm several weeks ago.

Incident Commander Dave Fiorella of Southern California Incident Management No. 3 ordered his Management Team to find a local veterinarian and for firefighters to prepare for a rescue mission, Peebles said. Dr Sherry Cronin D.V.M. of Covelo was flown by helicopter into the area to assess the horse’s condition prior to rescue.

The horse got some special tender loving care from his firefighter friends, who fed the horse apples from their fire line sack lunches and gave him water to help him recover, according to Peebles.

After a couple of hours, the horse began to show signs of improvement, Peebles said, and Dr. Cronin determined the horse’s injuries were minor enough that firefighters could walk him to a ranch a few miles away.

Peebles said the firefighters on the line affectionately dubbed the horse “Mr. Ed.”

Officials offered a special thanks to the Mendocino County Animal Shelter for helping to locate Dr Cronin and a temporary shelter location.

Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2008

Hero dog saves owner from snake

A dog has been hailed a hero after saving its owner from a deadly snake that attacked her in her home.

Rodica Sterescu’s pet, Maria, saw off the 1.8m (6ft) snake that slithered into her house while she watched TV.

‘I’d probably be dead if it wasn’t for her,’ said Ms Sterescu, from Slatina.

Hero Dog Saves Family From Fire

Fire ripped through a home in the 1700 block of Northwest 14th Avenue early Monday, and the family pet saved the day, literally.

Junior, a 14-month-old shih tzu mix, started barking and wouldn’t stop when flames erupted in the home where his owner, Madelous Davilmar and six others live. The smoke detectors were going off, but they didn’t wake up Davilmar.

“Junior’s a quiet dog and he started making a lot of noise,” Davilmar said.

The barking woke him up. And he found the house filled with smoke.

Davilmar rushed through the house, trying to awaken his relatives, some of whom were visiting from Orlando.

Everyone had made it out safely.

Investigators have deemed the fire suspicious. Davilmar said he’s just thankful everyone is alive, thanks to Junior.

“He’s a hero. I will definitely treat him better now,” Davilmar said.

Miracle terrier survives in eight-inch underground pipe

A dog survived an incredible seven days trapped inside an eight-inch underground pipe after running away during a walk.

Amazingly, Timmy the Terrier was rescued in almost perfect health from the narrow pipe.

The pet had gone missing after running off to chase rabbits during a walk near his home in Cheshire on 4 July.

Mrs Whittle and her husband Mark frantically searched fields surrounding their home in Whitchurch Road, Combermere, Cheshire, but for seven days there was no sign of Timmy.

After seven days, The couple decided to use their other dog Meg in the search and she led them to a sewerage pipe next to a riverbed.

Mr Whittle said: ‘Angie was sure she could hear Timmy inside, so we phoned a friend who is an ex-fireman and he came down with us to try and get him out.

‘Along with the farmer whose land it was, we managed to dig down 10ft and found the 8in wide steel pipe.

‘It was only when we cut the pipe that we realised the sound had travelled and Timmy was actually about 20m or 30m away from where we thought he was.’

After five hours of trying unsuccessfully to rescue the dog, the couple called in the RSPCA and the Fire and Rescue Service.

RSPCA officer Claire Davis said: ‘I assessed the scene and verified there was really an animal in the pipe and soon afterwards a fire crew arrived.

‘They started work at 10.15pm and Timmy was finally pulled out unhurt by one of the firefighters at about 1.30am.’

Timmy was immediately treated by an emergency vet for a slight eye infection, but was otherwise unharmed by his ordeal.

Mr Whittle added: ‘It was my birthday on Friday July 11 – the day we got him out of the tunnel – and getting Timmy back was the best birthday present I could hope for.’

Beagle lost for five years found 1,350 km away

Rocco, a beagle who strayed from a New York City yard five years ago, has been found 1,350 kilometres away in Georgia and reunited with his owners.

Randy Durrence, the supervisor at the Liberty County Animal Control in Hinseville, Georgia, told the New York Post that someone dropped off the pooch on July 5.

A microchip embedded under Rocco’s skin helped trace him to Jorge and Cristina Villacis, his family in Queens.

The couple’s daughter, Natalie, who was five years old when Rocco disappeared, was ecstatic.

Durrence says the shelter reunites many families with their pets, but “it’s unheard of” after so many years.

Monday, Jul. 14, 2008

Firefighters rescue injured heron

A crowd of several dozen people cheered firefighters yesterday after they rescued an injured heron from a sycamore tree in Cherokee Park.

Several people had called 911 during the morning to report that the bird, a black-crowned night-heron, had become tangled on a piece of line near a bridge on Scenic Loop over Beargrass Creek.

The heron had injured its right wing and lost a few feathers, but it was conscious when it was taken away by Eileen and John Wicker of Raptor Rehab of Kentucky.

Nate Paulson and Capt. Kent McCauley of Louisville Fire & Rescue climbed a ladder to reach the heron, then carried it down just before noon. The bird appeared to have been caught on a piece of kite string or fishing line, and it was unclear how long it had been there.

“At the very least, it has a dislocated shoulder,” Eileen Wicker said.

The Wickers gave the bird fluid before putting it in a cage in the back of their van. It was the second one they had rescued the same day; another found off Eastern Parkway.

The Wickers were taking the herons to a woman who has worked at the Louisville Zoo and said she would nurse them back to health.

Black-crowned night-herons are common in the St. Joseph neighborhood and in other parts of the metro area. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, they have a wingspan of about 45 inches and produce a loud, harsh squawk.

Dogs rescued from blaze

Firefighters rescued 15 dogs from flames that ripped through a workshop at a dog grooming parlour in Chorley.
The blaze started in a microwave at a workshop at All Breeds grooming parlour on Bolton Road, Chorley, at around 8am on Friday.

The owner of the dog parlour was unavailable to speak about the ordeal but neighbours said they saw fire engines arrive at the address.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The fire started in a microwave and almost spread in the inside of a workshop.

“The dogs had to be taken to safety but were not injured.”

In an unrelated incident, the inside of a disused restaurant on Bolton Road in Anderton, near Chorley, was destroyed in a fire at 8.07pm on Friday (July 11).

Fire crews were equipped with breathing apparatus and used three jets, two ventilation units as well as a triple extension ladder and thermal imaging camera to deal with the blaze.

There were reports that people had been inside the former restaurant at the time of the fire, although no one is said to have been injured.

Lovebird swans reunited on water

It was a scene that could have come straight from any screen classic – a loving couple reunited after being forced to spend 10 days apart.

But the stars of this romantic tale were a pair of Shropshire swans which had to be separated after the cob suffered devastating injuries in a dog attack.

The pair had lived happily together on the pools in Court Street in Madeley, Telford, for seven years until the male was attacked by a loose dog on July 4.

He sustained severe injuries to his left wing and had to be rescued in an operation including firefighters using their rescue boat and RSPCA officers.

He was given emergency treatment by a vet before being nursed back to health at Much Wenlock’s Cuan House wildlife rescue centre.

After making a full recovery, the swan was released back to his devoted partner, who was waiting on the water, today by animal collection officer Elaine Williams.

Tuesday, Jul. 8, 2008

Miracle horse finds better home

Miracle, a mare that was shot five or six times in the head and survived, now has a loving home.

Doña Ana County Animal Control supervisor Curtis Childress said Miracle has been adopted by her foster caretakers.

“… The foster family that is caring for her has actually agreed to keep her,” Childress said.

Investigators originally thought Miracle had been shot three times before wandering in the desert for two days prior to ending up June 9 at a house near Radium Springs. A woman called authorities after finding the horse at her doorstep.

Childress said Miracle’s adoptive family requested they not be identified.

The mare will stay with the family during her recovery and then will be sent to a facility where she will be put to to pasture, Childress said.

He added that the horse’s prognosis is good and she is doing well.

Brian Drake, 36, of the 7400 block of Doña Ana Road, has been arrested in connection with the shooting and faces one count of extreme cruelty to animals, a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison.

Two surgeries were successful in removing two bullets but a third remains lodged. Another follow-up is scheduled next month to see if the body will eject the bullet naturally. Due to the bullet’s location, removal by surgical methods would be risky, Childress said.

Monday, Jul. 7, 2008

Tortoise returned after 2 1/2 weeks on the lam

A 60-pound tortoise that escaped from a family‘s garage last month is back home after a 2 1/2-week adventure that took him through three northwestern Indiana towns.

The couple had earlier called Highland and Hammond police, but Munster officers knew all about the missing reptile, which had turned up at a gas station not long after his escape.

Fourteen-year-old Kylie Hirchak said Tank, who escaped when someone left open a garage door, is like a member of the family. He‘s one of two tortoises the family owns.

Her 12-year-old sister, Kelsie, had feared that Tank fell into a ditch or that someone put him in a pond and he drowned.

Friday, Jun. 13, 2008

Disabled Puppy Rescued

A disabled puppy got a new lease on life after an attack.

Stitch, who is 9 months old, was set to be put down by his owner after an attack by another dog left him brain damaged and unable to see or walk straight.

Word of the Maryland puppy’s future some how made it on to the Internet and a good Samaritan in New Jersey flew down to pick up the puppy and then flew him to the Tri-County Humane Society in Boca Raton.

The organization said they are optimistic that with the right care and attention Stich will be OK and could be availabe for adoption in a few months.

Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2008

Whale rescue team removes rope from humpback calf

A team of rescuers successfully removed a 150-foot length of rope that was tangled around the tail of a humpback whale calf.

A spokeswoman for the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies says the calf was first spotted early Sunday afternoon by a whale watching vessel.

The center’s disentangledment team immediately deployed and reached the whale at about 3:30 p.m., 26 miles east of Boston.

The team determined that the rope was wrapped around the fluke, or tail, with 70 to 80 feet of rope trailing, and that it needed to be removed because of its position, the nature of the calf’s wounds and the age of the whale.

The team used a grappling hook and buoy to remove the line while the calf and its mother swam at high speeds and with quick changes in direction.

Monday, Jun. 9, 2008

Rescue underway for 100 stranded whales

A rescue mission is taking place in Madagascar to save more than 100 whales stranded on the north of the island.

About 30 of the mammals have already died.

The stranding took place near an area where a major oil company, Exxon Mobil, was carrying out seismic surveys.

The company has denied any link between its operation and the stranding, but has halted its surveying program for the time being.

Rescued cat returns the favor

Joey was a stray cat with asthma when Vanessa Hill rescued him from a colony of feral cats two years ago.

In early April, Hill says, Joey returned the favor by repeatedly waking her when she lost consciousness in a life-threatening ordeal with a blood infection that would hospitalize her for more than a month.

“He saved my life,” Hill said. “I love him to death.”

Felicia Cross, founder-president of Forgotten Cats, the nonprofit program that traps, neuters and releases cats living in feral colonies, gave Joey the title of Forgotten Cats Hero. Hill, a retired operating room technician, is a volunteer with the group.

She was caring for about 600 cats a month that the group trapped, then neutered or spayed. Most are returned to their colonies but Joey, then about 6 months old, was affectionate. It’s a sign he had lived with people, Cross said, “like many throwaway cats we find.”

His asthma didn’t deter Hill, who is also asthmatic. “He has his own little inhaler with a little mask and, once, he had to spend a couple of days in the hospital because his attack was so bad,” she said.

Cross said, “I think Joey knows Vanessa saved his life when he was a kitten. “He saw that she was in distress and kept resuscitating her. I think it’s a real miracle.”

In early April, Hill, 49, said she felt worn out, but blamed it on her asthma, which forced her into disability retirement and hospitalized her the month before. “I started sleeping a lot, although I didn’t notice that I was at the time,” she said.

Hill said it became an effort to feed Joey and her other rescue cats — Beans, Angel, Chief and Angus. But that day, Hill felt too weak get up and kept falling asleep.

“Joey kept jumping up on the bed trying to wake me up,” she said. “He kept standing on my stomach and it hurt real bad — that’s what made me get up.”

But Hill didn’t get far.

“I had to sit at the side of the bed for half an hour before I could even stand up,” Hill recalled. She made it to a kitchen chair.

“I went to feed the cat then call the doctor,” Hill said, but, “I went out like a light.”

The next thing Hill remembered, “I came to with him (Joey) nudging me to wake up.” The other pets were “just peeking around the corner at me, but Joey, he was the one who was just staying with me there, lying on the floor with me, nudging me.

“I still couldn’t get up so I had to scoot along the kitchen floor back to my bedroom to the phone and Joey scooted along with me.”

It was a struggle for Hill to get to the phone: “I started at 10 in the morning and got to the phone about 7 that night,” she said.

Hill called her sister, Cheryl Lewis, 51, who lived around the corner, and her uncle, Ernie Willitt, who lived next door. They found out that her ordeal had lasted not one day, but two.

“When I got to Vanessa’s, I noticed at least two newspapers there, so I knew she was out for at least two days,” Lewis said.

Lewis and Willitt took Hill to Christiana Hospital. She was admitted in critical condition, they said.

As Hill was treated with antibiotics and underwent tests, she said doctors told her she had a severe staph infection in her blood, “the kind that attacks the valves of your heart … and can kill you.”

Her kidneys were failing, she said, “and my blood pressure was like 80 over 50 and it was dropping; that’s why I was passing out.”

Later, she said, doctors found the infection had affected her heart.

Hill spent four weeks in at Christiana Care Health System’s Riverside Transitional Care in Wilmington.

Lewis said she has heard of dog heroics and rescues. “But you don’t hear about cats doing this kind of thing,” she said. And while Lewis is more a dog-lover, she said, “Joey’s something special.”

And the hero cat?

“Joey’s good,” Hill said. “My uncle brought him some turkey and I got him some treats. He loves treats — and he earned plenty of them.”

Zoo artificially fertilises rhino egg

An Australian zoo on Friday said it had artificially fertilised a rhinoceros egg in a breakthrough that could be used in the future to ensure the critically endangered animal’s survival.

Biologists succeeded in fertilising the egg of a female black rhinoceros with sperm from a male after several failed attempts. The procedure was carried out at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in the New South Wales town of Dubbo, about 300 kilometres (186 miles) west of Sydney, with the help of experts from Berlin’s Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Biologist Tamara Keeley said despite the team’s success, the technology to implant the egg into a female to carry it for the 14-month gestation period did not yet exist. Instead, any viable embryos created would be preserved in liquid nitrogen until the technology to carry out rhino in-vitro fertilisation catches up. “This embryo, we’re hoping, will continue to develop and if it develops enough, we’ll actually freeze it and keep it frozen until we’ve developed the technology that we need to transfer it back into a rhino and possibly produce a rhino calf,” Keeley told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Scientists said the breakthrough could keep genetic diversity alive in the animals, of which only 3,725 survive in the wild, and help assisted reproduction in other rhino species.

Thursday, Jun. 5, 2008

Stolen Puppy Returned Due to News Story

Good news, the puppy stolen from Pets Discount a few days ago has been returned to the store.

Employees said the dog was returned because of the attention from a story we aired on KGMB9.

A friend reportedly threatened to turn the thieves into police if they did not return the dog. Management says it got a call Sunday asking what would happen if they brought the pup back.

“I just told them all we need is the puppy, we don’t want to press charges if we get the puppy. We don’t want to know who brought it back,” said Kip Koshei.

Employees said about two hours later the puppy was found sitting in the store’s show case. They said the puppy appears to be okay and it already has a new owner and will be heading to its new home Monday.

Monday, Jun. 2, 2008

Firefighters lauded for deer rescue

The rescue squad in Nashua, New Hampshire, is being recognized for saving a deer from a tight situation.

Nashua Fire Rescue freed the small doe on Memorial Day from a fence around a cemetery using a metal-cutting saw that it usually uses to extricate people from car wrecks. The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is saying thank you by giving Fire Rescue its “Compassionate Fire Department Award.”

The deer made it most of the way through a six-inch opening in the fence around Woodlawn Cemetery, but got its pelvis stuck. Fire Rescue put a blanket over the animal before cutting part of the fence. The deer – which apparently had only scrapes and bruises – promptly took off.

Saturday, May. 31, 2008

Dog Back from the Dead Reunited With Owners

A dog that was assumed to be dead was reunited recently with its overjoyed owners after an absence of three years.Salisbury District Council Dog Warden Mrs Sam Stuchfield was called to Salisbury Police Station recently to collect a stray dog.

The dog, a terrier type bitch had been handed in at the Police station, when Sam scanned the dog using her AVID Mini-Tracker II, a microchip was discovered.

On ringing the microchip data-base, Sam was stunned to hear that the Terrier had been reported missing three years ago and was assumed to be dead.

The overjoyed owners from the village of Landford in Wiltshire were contacted and they rushed to Hillcrest Kennels near Salisbury to collect their long lost dog.

The Terrier had been found in the Great Wishford area of Salisbury approximately 18 miles from Landford where she had disappeared in 2005.

Had she been stolen or had she been ‘found’ and not reported to the authorities, unless anybody can ever shed light on this, it will remain a mystery?

Thursday, May. 29, 2008

Group rescues 200th retired racing greyhound

Established October 2005, the organization is based in Port Clinton and has an affiliation in Cincinnati.

The 200th rescue is a male dog that raced under the name Fasttrack Alonzo; Fast Al to his friends. Fast Al is a 75-pound, 4-year-old brindle. Brindle is a pattern of dark stripes on a brown background.

Alonzo spent his entire racing career at Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha, Wis. His first racing victory was in September of 2005 and his last was in December of 2008. In between there were 25 more wins, including the Dairyland Sprint Championship on Sept. 4, 2006. Ironically the 200th Greyhound was not a loser, but a winner.

Wisconsin is one of several states where the NCGC finds dogs needing rescue. Others come from Kansas, Alabama and Florida. When they arrive in Northwest Ohio, the dogs get a bath, medical and dental treatment, an identification chip and lots of attention.

They are welcomed to foster homes, where they join families that can include other dogs as well as cats, children and other small animals. In their foster homes, the greyhounds learn how to behave; things like how to go up and down steps, keep their noses off the table and play.

Growing up in kennel cages, they already are “potty trained” and seem to have little trouble transferring that behavior to a home environment.

The NGCG will return to Port Clinton’s annual Walleye Festival in June.

Stolen dog returned after more than four years

A vet despaired of seeing her dog again after the black labrador was stolen from her home.
But now four-and-a-half years later Midge has been returned to her owner.

Christine Howe, senior partner at Howe and Starns in Uckfield, had let Midge out into the garden in Blackboys .

But when she called her in, the dog had gone.

She put up posters everywhere, logged onto lost pet websites and informed police before embarking on a fruitless search of her own.

She said: ‘After six months I’d given up hope.’

Then last week she received a telephone call to say Midge had been handed into a vet’s practice near Horley in West Sussex.

Owner and dog have now been re-united and Midge is none the worse for wear, ‘except for the fact she is very fat, deaf and a bit arthritic’.

Christine told the Express: ‘Fortunately Midge had been microchipped and my name, practice telephone number and mobile number were logged on the database.

‘It was easy to get hold of me.’

It is thought Midge may have been stolen for breeding.

Christine said: ‘I was told two girls took her into the vets on some odd pretext.

‘The first thing the vet did was scan her for a microchip as we all do when we receive a lost animal.’

She had acquired another black labrador in the meantime.

‘The new dog is very jealous,’ Christine said.

‘I am going to have to work at making sure they get on.

‘I just could not believe it when she was returned to me.’

Friday, May. 16, 2008

Network helps stranded marine mammals

Gushes of “oohs” and “aahs” came unsynchronized amid clapping and laughter from the youthful crowd at Ocean Adventure Park’s El Capitan Theater in the Subic Bay Freeport on April 19.

A disciplined pod of five dolphins and a false killer whale had just performed choreographed numbers set to music at the park’s lagoon near Subic’s rainforests – proof that the creatures not only throbbed with life but are also capable of thinking.

What they possess are “grace, agility, power and intelligence,” said Dr. Lemnuel Aragones, a marine zoologist of the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (UP-IESM) and one of the park’s two consultants.

This was not all about amusement, though.

Janet Rodriguez, the program host, assumed the teacher’s role and made sure the message of conservation reached her audience. Planet Earth, especially its oceans, seas and rivers, must be protected from pollution so creatures like whales, sharks, dolphins and fish can live and sustain the web of life underwater, she said.

One person’s act of throwing garbage into the right places can help water bodies stay clean, Rodriguez said.

Those at risk need help as well, she said as she called in “Fin” and “Sam.” Injured when found by local fishermen, the two dolphins were nursed back to health at the park’s rescue center.

Fin, a rough-toothed dolphin, was entangled in a fishing net in nearby Morong town in Bataan, on March 20, 2006. He has not been returned to sea because of his affection for caregivers. His name was taken from the phrase “fishing pen,” which a Visayan caregiver pronounced as “fishing fin,” said Aragones.

Sam, a spotted dolphin, was trapped in a pen with two of his companions already dying in Samal town, also in Bataan, on Sept. 14, 2004. With no more social group to rely on, Sam was brought by veterinarians to the park.

Fin, 15, and Sam, 5, are helped out daily by caregiver-trainer Carlo Magno.

Aragones said he had “no issue” about some marine mammals being kept in captivity.

“They are valuable for education and conservation,” he said, in reaction to past protests by animal rights activists.

He took a great liking for animals while spending his younger years in Africa where his father, an economist, served his stint in the United Nations.

Working with fishermen in researches on sea cows (dugong) in northern Palawan and on marine mammals around Calauit Island in Busuanga were the tipping points in his decision to help in marine conservation.

Fin and Sam have so far survived on the nurturing of the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network (PMMSN). Aragones said the group was the first of its kind in the country.

Initiated in 2004 by Aragones and the Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium (SBME), which operates the park, the PMMSN was created under an agreement with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, UP-IESM and the Wild Life in Need.

It has responded to 19 stranding cases since then. Aside from Fin and Sam, two other dolphins have been returned to the sea.

According to the PMMSN, the Philippines is home to 28 confirmed marine mammal species. “The cetacean species range from the more common spinner dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins and melon headed whales to the rarer sightings of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, dwarf sperm whales and humpback whales,” it said.

The country is “also home to the rare dugong, a species of sirenian (marine, herbivorous mammals) that lives along the seagrass-rich coastlines of Palawan,” the group said.

Helping stranded marine mammals is necessary in a country surrounded by water, the PMMSN said. Stranding happens “when a marine mammal that is sick, injured, starving, lost or dead is brought to the shore or to shallow waters by the winds or the waves.”

The sick or injured try to reach the shore or shallow waters, mainly to get air. “Their injuries may also have been caused by human activities, such as pollution of ocean habitats, noise pollution underwater and excessive boat traffic,” the PMMSN said.

Using the personnel, facilities and rescue center of the park, the network has provided training to 150 agriculture and fishery officials and fishermen in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon.

The training “aims to develop first responders among people living near the coasts,” Aragones said. “It is on them that the success of recovery and rescue of marine mammals rest.”

Some of the trainees stand out for their “thoroughgoing commitment.” Aragones praised BFAR-Cagayan Valley director Jovita Ayson and Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza, who sent their personnel to train following at least four incidents of stranding in their areas since 2007.

“Support largely comes from the corporate social responsibility program of SBME,” said Aragones, who trained under cetacean specialist Stephen Leatherwood of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. “It is unfortunate that government is not putting enough investments in efforts to institutionalizing the stranding network,” he said.

Aragones said this was happening although Republic Act No. 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act) had been in effect since 2001. That law, he said, designated the BFAR as protector of aquatic animals and the DENR as protector of sea turtles and dugong.

At the rescue center, SBME’s veterinarian, Dr. Mariel Buccat-Flores, and veterinarian care specialist, Francis Maniago, provide medical help. The staff members contribute time to take care of the stranded animals.
The park has a quarantine area, soft pool, medical laboratory, two more veterinarians and a medical technologist.

Inside Good News Blog