Good News Blog


Wednesday, May. 14, 2008

How to rescue a bunny

TWO Pershore women are organising a special event for those interested in rabbits at the de Montfort Veterinary Hospital in Evesham at the weekend.

Bunny enthusiasts are invited to to along to the Merstow Green hospital between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday (May 17) when there will be a veterinary support team on hand to answer questions about keeping and looking after rabbits.

Diane Price and Charlotte Evans are keen to put across the message that rabbits can be much more than fluffy pets kept in a hutch at the end of the garden.

“They can be litter trained and make lovely house pets,” said Charlotte.

They are also keen to point out there are alternatives to buying rabbits from a pet shop.

“There are rescue centres full of rabbits all over the place, including several not far from Evesham,” she said.

“Taking on a rescue bunny can be such a satisfying experience – it’s great to be able to offer a new life to a timid older bunny and see him blossom.”

Friday, May. 9, 2008

Lost dog is reunited with family

A family’s concerns over their lost dog, Sonya, are now put to bed as she was found not far from where she escaped. She is currently resting at a veterinarian’s office until she can join her family in Thailand for a cheerful reunion.

Larry and Apollo Lavergne were planning to move to Thailand April 14. They scheduled an appointment with Animal Port Houston to pick up their animals and meet them at the airport the next day for their flight.

Animal Port Houston is an animal transit station located at Bush Intercontinental Airport, specializing in safe and gentle pet and animal shipping for local, domestic and international relocations.

“We were flying out April 15 and the night before, the kennel let the dogs out for a walk and to use the bathroom,” Larry Lavergne said.

“Our 9-year-old rat terrier mix, Sonya, is a fast runner and when she is in a new environment she tends to get scared and run. We warned Animal Port Houston about this when they picked the animals up that day.”

Sonya got loose from the handlers at the kennel but has since been found and is awaiting a reunion with her family who had to move to Thailand April 26.

The Lavergnes were notified late the night before their morning flight that one of their dogs had gotten loose, prompting them to delay the move in order to track her down.

“The next morning we went to Animal Port Houston to see what had happened. Then we made flyers and passed them out in case someone may have seen her running around. We received plenty of calls about sightings and thankfully she was found,” Larry said.

Wednesday, May. 7, 2008

Persistent poodle who saved baby’s life named to Animal Hall of Fame

Five family pets were honoured for their courage and loyalty on Monday, including a Saskatoon dog who is credited with saving the life of a newborn baby abandoned on a family’s back porch on a frigid February day.

The five pets — pooches hailing from Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan — were inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame in Toronto after they all performed acts that ultimately saved the life of a human being.

Peeka, a five-year-old Lhasa Apso poodle, began to whine and bark incessantly at the back door of the family home on the morning of Feb. 3, 2007. Peeka would not let up until owner Ed Anderson decided to look outside and see whether there was a reason for the animal’s outburst.

There on the back porch, in the –29 C weather, Anderson spotted a sleeping infant girl, wrapped in a towel and a comforter.

Anderson called police while his wife, a registered nurse, cared for the baby.

Police searched for the girl’s mother, who finally came forward two days later. The woman, just 18, had given birth at home after keeping her pregnancy a secret from her family by wearing loose clothing.

Scared and confused, the new mother bundled up the newborn and took the baby to the doorstep of a home in her neighbourhood where she thought the child would be safe. Outside the Andersons’ house, she saw that the light was on and could hear a dog barking.

She put the six-hour-old baby down but didn’t ring the doorbell, expecting that someone would find the infant soon.

The mother was not charged, and her baby was taken into the custody of the Saskatchewan Community Resources Department.

The other pets inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame include:

* Corey, a miniature schnauzer from North York, Ont., who dragged its owner, Jay Sobel, over to a neighbour’s yard while the two were on a walk in May 2007. The neighbour, 80-year-old Jack Turner, had fallen into his pool and was unable to get out, struggling under the weight of his wet, heavy clothing. Sobel pulled Turner from the chilly pool water and called an ambulance, and Turner was treated in hospital for hypothermia, as well as a mild heart attack. Now, whenever Corey walks by Turner’s house, Sobel says, the animal always checks whether Turner is OK.

* Freddie, a German shepherd from St. Catharines, Ont., who rescued its owner, Mike Hambling, after he fell through the ice near his cottage in Coldwater, Ont., last year. Hambling was trying in vain to pull himself out of the icy water and was starting to black out when he felt a strong tug at his wrist. Freddie’s leash was still wrapped around his arm, and Freddie pulled him out of the water and to safety.

* Maggie May, a weaten terrier from Winnipeg, who jumped on its owner’s chest and started licking her face frantically as she took a nap in November. Suann DeCourcey woke up and realized her carbon monoxide alarm was ringing, something she says she never would have heard if her dog hadn’t woken her up because she is deaf in one ear. DeCourcey and the dog escaped the house, which had filled with dangerously high levels of gas.

* Missy, a service dog from Hamilton, who was tasked with detecting her owner’s panic attacks and epileptic seizures. But last year, she started barking furiously at the side of her owner’s family friend, Barb Langley. Her barking alerted another friend to the fact that Langley was having a stroke. She was taken to hospital and credits her full recovery to the dog’s persistence.

A total of 138 animals have been inducted into Canada’s Animal Hall of Fame in the past 40 years — 114 dogs, 23 cats and a horse.

Fire crews rescue horse that fell into river

Fire officers rescued a horse which fell into the River Nene.

Firefighters spotted a horse trapped in a metre-and-a-half of water at the River Nene near the Rushden and Diamonds football ground in Irthlingborough (UK).

The horse had apparently fallen from a metre-high riverbank and was unable to climb up the steep side and get out.

John McClure, station manager for the east of the county, said: “Firefighters spotted the horse while returning from a training course and we got to the scene to try to coax it up the bank.

“But it was unable to make it by itself, and even when we managed to support it with ropes it still couldn’t make the climb.

“A few people who stopped off said they had noticed the horse over the weekend so it might have been there for a few days.

“Luckily, our Wellingborough crew have recently studied a course in animal husbandry at Moulton College, and they turned up along with a crew from Mereway who are trained in water rescues.”

The crews were able to calm the animal, secure him, and dug steps into the bank to help the animal find its footing, and with gentle persuasion the horse was able to climb up the bank about an hour after it was spotted.

The animal was back on firm ground by 4.30pm yesterday, before being taken to recover with an animal care specialist.

A witness said: “The poor thing looked frozen to death, but the crews did a fantastic job.”

Tuesday, May. 6, 2008

Train driver rescues injured terrier after spotting it on track

FOR most dogs it would have been the end of the line.
But a two-year-old terrier had a lucky escape when it was rescued from a section of track used by dozens of high-speed trains every day.

The dog was spotted by a kind-hearted train driver as it lay on the line near Meadowbank with an inch-long cut to the head.

The driver stopped his train and took the terrier on board during a training exercise.

He and a colleague took turns nursing it on a round-trip to Newcastle before handing it over to animal welfare inspectors on their return to Edinburgh.

The rescue on Thursday took place during testing for a new high-speed train due to be unveiled by rail company Cross Country Trains later this year.

Officials at the company said their staff had done “the honourable thing” by saving the animal.

A spokesman for Cross Country Trains said: “The driver noticed this dog on the line after departing from Craigentinny, although he originally thought it was just resting.

“However, after turning the train around at Waverley and heading back out of the city, he spotted it again and realised that it was injured.

“By stopping to pick the dog up, both the driver and his colleague saved it from suffering a horrific fate.

“Thankfully, the train they were in was on a training exercise and not carrying any passengers, so they were able to stop and carry it out of harm’s way.

“Once they noticed it was injured, they were determined to stop it from being hit by another train travelling at high speed. It was certainly the honourable thing to do.”

Animal welfare staff took the dog to their centre in Balerno to be treated for its head injuries.

John Toule, senior inspector with the Scottish SPCA, said: “It’s unlikely that it had been hit by another train before being found by the drivers, but it was obviously in pain and they decided to take it with them.

“It’s certainly very lucky that they did. Another train travelling at speed would certainly have hit this dog if it had not been picked up.

“Following treatment at our welfare centre, he appears to have recovered well from the ordeal and we have now taken him to a stray dogs home.”

Despite being classed as a stray, as it was not microchipped and did not have a collar, it is believed the dog had originally been a pet.

It was wearing a distinctive blue bandana that had a hole cut in it so that a leash could be attached and animal welfare officials are keen to track his owners.

They have also not ruled out the possibility that the dog could have been deliberately struck on the head and left to die on the tracks.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish SPCA said: “At present we don’t know how or why the dog came to be on the railway line. If there has been foul play we would wish to have the chance to prosecute those responsible or, if simply accidental, we would hope that he could be reunited with his owner.”

Monday, May. 5, 2008

Firefighters Rescue Blind Dog Trapped In Septic Tank

A Brighton (UK) family’s dog is safe after being rescued by firefighters from the Brighton Area Fire Department Monday.

Lieutenant Curt Ruf tells WHMI that a 12 year old St. Bernard apparently fell into a septic tank on Chilson Road, just south of Beck Road.

He says the dog was also blind but with some ingenuity from fire crews, they were able to rescue the dog.

Ruf says the only apparent injuries to the dog were some abrasions to its paws from trying to get out of the tank.

He says it’s undetermined how long the dog was in there since the hole was uncovered at around 7:30am and they didn’t get the call until after 10am.

Ruf says last they heard, the dog was taken to a family veterinarian and was doing well.

Wednesday, Apr. 2, 2008

Dog rescued from steep ravine

A dog got stuck in a steep canyon in Beverley Glen (USA) Wednesday, prompting a dramatic and dangerous helicopter rescue.

L.A. firefighters were called to the 1900 block of north Bel Air Road in Beverly Glen after the dog’s owner reported the animal was hurt and stuck some 200 feet down an embankment.

The dog was placed in a harness and then in the arms of a firefighter. A helicopter lifted the two to safety, swinging and spinning along the way.

It’s still not clear how the dog got stuck in the ravine in the first place.

Monday, Mar. 31, 2008

Dog comes to the rescue of baby kangaroo

A dog has rescued a tiny baby kangaroo, gently carrying it to safety in its mouth after the joey’s mother was killed by car.

Rex, the German short-haired pointer cross, was walking with his owner, Leonie Allan, near the Bells Beach in Torquay, on Australia’s south coast, when they passed a dead kangaroo.

The marsupials are often killed while crossing busy roads, so Mrs Allan thought nothing of it. But Rex sensed something and when Mrs Allan went outside later in the day, she saw the ten-year-old family pet pointing and went to investigate.

“I was worried he’d found a snake and called him back, but when he returned he dropped the joey at my feet,” Mrs Allan said.

“I was so surprised and delighted. Rex saved the day.”

The dog had found the four-month-old joey in the pouch of its dead mother and gently prised it out, carrying it back to his owner.

“He obviously sensed the baby roo was still alive in the pouch and somehow had gently grabbed it by the neck, gently retrieved it and brought it to me.”

The animals showed an instant fondness for each other, nuzzling and playing together, Mrs Allan said.

“The joey was snuggling up to him, jumping up to him and Rex was sniffing and licking him. It was quite cute.”

Most joeys whose mothers are killed by cars die in the same collision. Those who survive the impact are rarely able to fend for themselves outside the pouch and succumb soon after.

But the prospects of this kangaroo – named Rex junior after its saviour – are good. It will be hand-reared at a wildlife sanctuary until it is 18 months old, when it will be released into the wild.

Tehree Gordon, director of Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary, was amazed at the bond between the animals and said the fact Rex was so gentle with his younger namesake was proof that dogs – often criticised in Australia for killing native fauna – could live in harmony with local species if they were taught not to attack them.

“That Rex was so careful and knew to bring the baby to his owners, and that the joey was so relaxed and didn’t see Rex as a predator, is quite remarkable,” she said.

Thursday, Mar. 27, 2008

Dog Rescued from Icy Lake

A golden retriever was rescued from icy waters in upsate New York Wednesday. Tracey the dog fell through thin ice while walking with her owners. You can watch the rescue in today’s Netcast.

The video was shot by a news crew and it shows the rescuee team using a raft and ropes to reach the dog. It took them about thirty minutes to reach the dog and pull her to safety.

Our next piece of video takes us to Los Angeles where a series of explosions left three people hurt. It happened near the Los Angeles International Airport last night.

Authorities say an underground explosion blew several manhole covers right off the ground. Two firefighters and a witness were hurt but the extent of their injuries is not known.

The manhole covers sat over an underground electrical vault, but investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blast.

After week apart, dog and owner have happy reunion

There was a wagging tail and plenty of sloppy dog kisses at the Saskatoon airport Thursday, after Leya the Bichon-Shih Tzu cross was reunited with her 78-year-old owner.

Calgary airline technician Russell Humphreys was there to hand the dog to her eager owner. He rescued Leya, who was separated from her Saskatoon owner, Kay Gall, in Calgary. Gall’s car had rolled on Deerfoot Trail Monday. The two doggy passengers, Leya and Angel, fled the wrecked Volkswagon Westfalia, leaving their owner trapped in her seatbelt waiting for help. By the time Gall was freed, the dogs were nearly out of sight.

“They were way down in the field quite a ways. They were just scared I guess,” said Gall. “One of the guys that stopped to help me after the accident went down there to see if we could catch them. . . . He came back and said he couldn’t get them. So I wanted to go get them, but the ambulance came and once they got a hold of me they wouldn’t let me go.”

Gall, who suffered a bruised knee and elbow, was forced to leave the damaged vehicle and lost dogs behind, taking an overnight bus home to Saskatoon.

A day after the crash, Humphreys, a Westjet employee in Calgary, spotted one of the dogs in a fenced-off area while he was driving around the airport.

“She was just a little spot . . . light against the dark background,” said Humphrey, who caught the dog in 45 minutes, after recruiting five others to help with the capture. “She’s a fast little dog when she gets going . . . It was like the OK Corral.”

After the dog was reported to animal control in Calgary, a quick check for a licence showed the dog belongs to Gall.

She received a call from her daughter in Calgary, with both good and bad news: Angel was dead after being hit by a car, but Leya would be returning to Saskatoon on Thursday.

The expectant owner was at the gate at the Saskatoon Airport, waiting for the flight to arrive. She stood as the plane pulled up to the airport, smiling and murmuring she’d “wish they would hurry.”

Leya and Humphreys came down, making their way towards Gall, as she called her dog’s name over and over. Reunited, Gall picked up the dog, tail wagging and shaking behind the lenses of local media.

“So you’re the man that found her,” said Gall. “Thank you very much.”

Humphrey, who owns a Shih Tzu himself, said that he requested to come back with the dog, to meet the owner.

“I thought I might as well put an end to the story,” he said. “I’m a pet owner myself, so I understand what (Gall)’s going through. I don’t get to be in the limelight very much, so this is really nice.”

He said the dog put on a whole new front when reunited with Gall.

“She’s been scared all morning,” Humphrey said to Gall. “Now she’s really excited. She’s a whole new dog.”

Although Gall and Leya were reunited, the dog’s owner couldn’t help but mourn the loss of her other canine.

“It’s nice to know that I still have the one, but it’s heart breaking because we don’t have Angel anymore,” said Gall.

WestJet spokesperson, Gillian Bentley said using the story for promotional material is a “considerable” option.

“I think this fit right in with our caring campaign,” she said. “But we’ll most likely use it internally.”

As the media fray and onlookers departed, Gall was left standing with the pup. She said she plans on going for a walk with Leya when they get home, but Humphrey said the relieved dog will probably want a little break after such a long week.

“She’ll sleep like a baby tonight. That’s for sure,” he said.

Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2008

Detective Rescues Dog From Burning Home

A Metro police detective was on his way to work when he spotted a home on fire in north Nashville.

Detective Russell Thompson saw cars in the driveway of a burning home on 24th Avenue at about 9:45 a.m.

He was afraid someone was inside so kicked in the door. However, Thompson only found the family’s dog, Hallsey, which he carried outside to safety.

“I tried to tie him up in the back yard so he wouldn’t run around, but he kind of snapped at me, so I don’t know how grateful he was,” said Thompson.

No one was hurt in the fire, but the house was badly damaged.

Fisherman Rescues Injured Bobcat

A Brighton man’s love of nature may have helped save the life of a wild bobcat over the weekend.

Michael Marquez says he was on his way to Hartsel, Colo. to go fishing with a friend last Saturday morning when they came upon the large cat on the side of Highway 24.

Hartsel is located southwest of Denver in Park County.

As Marquez approached the bobcat, which was motionless but alive, they noticed it was lying next to a mouse that had been crushed –likely by a passing car. They assumed the bob cat had also been hit by a car or was perhaps sick.

The friend snapped several photographs as Marquez captured the cat in a fishing bag. They placed the animal in their vehicle and took it to a Division of Wildlife office in metro Denver. A game warden told Martquez that the cat was transported to Loveland for treatment.

FOX 31 has learned the animal will recover and be released back into the wild.

Marquez, a Colorado native, says he was motivated by his love of wildlife and would do anything to save an animal.

Monday, Mar. 24, 2008

9-year-old boy squeezes into cave to rescue calf

Seth Brawner doesn’t have a fear of confined spaces. At 9 years old, he doesn’t generally mind getting dirty. He spends a lot of time on his grandparents’ farm and likes adventure. But on the night of Feb. 28, while all these attributes came in handy, it was his love of animals that mattered most.

On that cold Thursday night, Seth rescued a calf from a cave on a farm near where his grandparents, Ron and Doris Konkle, raise horses.

Ron Konkle was helping search for a herd of cattle that had been chased by coyotes when Seth’s mother, Jessica Brawner, called to ask her father what was going on.

Ron Konkle responded that a calf was stuck in a cave on a neighbor’s property in Shelby Township. Volunteers were trying to dig an opening large enough for someone to climb in and free the animal.

Seth and his mother drove out to the cattle farm around 9 p.m. They crossed over electric fences and trekked through a wooded area to join the search party at the entrance to the cave. After assessing the situation, Seth volunteered to crawl into the small opening.

“His mom said, ‘Do you think Seth can fit down in there?'” Ron Konkle said, recalling the event. “I said, ‘As long as it’s a baby animal.'”

Konkle tied a harness around his grandson, gave him a hat equipped with a flashlight and assured him he wouldn’t let go of the rope. Seth had to lie on his side to squeeze in the cave. He could hear his family and neighbors the entire time and said he wasn’t nervous, just determined to find the calf.

“I just kept inching down,” he said. “They kind of told me stuff to do.”

Seth would crawl a few inches, look around and pause to listen for the calf. He said the scariest part was the slight drop near the entrance because no one knew quite how far it was. They also didn’t know how far back the cave went or where the calf had ended up.

The agile 9-year-old eventually made his way to a large room in the cave where he could stand up. He later told his grandmother it would “make a cool clubhouse.”

Seth heard the baby animal before he saw it.

“I saw the calf’s head, but I thought it was another hole because it was black,” he said.

After realizing his mission was nearing completion, Seth tied a rope around the calf and led it toward the entrance to the cave. He lifted it out to the waiting crowd, where the animal was quickly reunited with its mother.

“They kind of forgot about me for a minute when they saw the calf,” Seth said.

“When we pulled the calf out, he said, ‘Now pull me out,'” Ron Konkle said. “I think he was ready to come out.”

The rescued calf has long since returned to its pasture, blending in with the other frolicking members of the Angus heard. Seth has returned to his normal routine as a fourth-grader at Lydia Middleton Elementary School and is enjoying spring break this week. Though he hasn’t been in any more caves lately, the experience may prove valuable in the future if he pursues a career as an explorer.

“I told him he’s a genuine spelunker now,” Doris Konkle said.

Lost dog returned to owners after 7 years

When a DeLand couple got the call from an animal shelter about their lost dog, they were surprised to hear the pooch was still alive.

Their golden retriever disappeared seven years ago. Charlie is now 14-years-old.

The animal shelter in Daytona Beach traced a microchip implanted in Charlie to Tim Olson and his wife in DeLand. Officials say the dog was dropped at the shelter with no information about a week ago.

Olson says Charlie jumped a fence in 2001 and didn’t come home.

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008

Firefighters rescue dog from icy pond

Patti Dunbar says her 3-year-old black lab, Harley, has never been known to turn away treats and it shows. She just never thought it might put him in danger.

Dunbar said she was doing routine housework Wednesday afternoon when she saw two of her three canines exploring near the 60- by 80-foot pond at the back of her Whitmore Lake property.

Images of them submerged in the chilly water raced through her mind and she headed to the nearest door to order them away. But in just those few seconds, Harley – who is a bit overweight at 100 pounds – went through the thin layer of ice.

“You obviously don’t want them to drown and you don’t want to watch them drown either, so it was very scary,” said Dunbar, who immediately called neighbors to help.

A handful of residents from around her neighborhood just off of 7 Mile Road tried laying wooden planks to reach Harley, who while paddling to keep her head above water kept drifting farther from shore, Dunbar said.

Attaching her toys to long sticks in an effort to fetch her out also failed. After about 30 minutes, Dunbar, who is five months pregnant, considered jumping into the water herself, but called the Northfield Fire Department.

Donning special suits made for ice rescues, Lt. Abe Schneider and firefighter Scott Conklin went into the 17-foot-deep, man-made pond and pulled the weary canine to safety.

“She was paddling pretty hard and you could tell she was getting tired,” said Capt. Jay Keinecq , who was supervising the rescue. “If this were a person who had been in there that long they probably would’ve had a hard time. I think everybody lucked out.”

Harley was quickly comforted by a bevy of blankets and has shown no injuries or lasting effects from her 50-minute ordeal, a thankful Dunbar said by phone Thursday.

And she’s still loving her treats.

“She’ll always make sure she gets those, there’s no question about it,” Dunbar said.

Friday, Dec. 14, 2007

Hero rescue dog finds freezing pensioner

A rescue dog has been hailed a hero after finding an elderly woman who was close to death as she lay injured in freezing weather in south-west England.

77-year-old Pauline Muggleton fell and couldn’t get back up in thick undergrowth in Dorset while walking her pet dog Goldie on Saturday afternoon.

Her husband John called police when she didn’t return as night fell and the temperature dropped.

Border collie Charlie from Dorset Search Dogs spotted Goldie and led the search team to Mrs Muggleton in the early hours of Sunday.

Mr Muggleton, also 77 and a town councillor, says Goldie, a seven-year-old retriever-cross, is also a hero for staying by his wife’s side for hours.

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007

Man Whose Phone Call Reunited Woman With Dog Surfaces

It was a pretty big day in Mac Wilson’s life. He was on his way to tell his boss he didn’t want to work for him anymore. With such an important task at hand you might not think he’d have had time to notice a stray dog wandering aimlessly outside the window of his GO Train. But he not only saw him, he took note of him, taking out his cell phone and calling Toronto Animal Services about the morose and scared canine.

And that was the start of a minor miracle we first told you about last week. That dog, named Jagger, belonged to Karen Peterke. She’d lost her best friend after he was spooked by another pooch in a local park three weeks earlier. She tried everything to find him, including offering a $500 reward, and had almost given up hope.

And then Mac Wilson got onboard that train and passed an area around the Lake Shore, improbably spotting the animal in a place he knew he shouldn’t be. “You just think, do I go to work or do I go on an adventure to save a dog?” he remembers asking himself. “I just looked down, straight down pretty much and he was sitting right beside the grass just kind of curled up.”

His call to authorities led them to find the emaciated and thirsty pooch hiding in a hole along the Don River. They quickly returned him to Karen. But in all the excitement, the man who made that call simply disappeared, swallowed up in the anonymity of a Toronto crowd.

Karen was anxious to find him. And once CityNews aired this amazing story on Friday, she did. We received so many emails and calls about Jagger’s rescue, that one of them led us straight to Wilson. And we led him to Peterke. “If it wasn’t for you actually acting on seeing Jagger, he would not be home and who knows what would happen to him,” she told him, giving him a huge hug.

Wilson was modest in response. “It’s kind of just something that I think anyone would do, you know – saving a helpless dog, you know what I mean,” he shrugs.

The one guest Mac didn’t get to meet was Jagger himself – he remains in quarantine as a precaution while vets monitor his progress. But the hero eyed him through a closed door and pronounced him looking much better than when he’d seen him last. “You could just see in his eyes – like, he had those really sad eyes,” he notes. “But he’s looking really good now.”

So while he didn’t get a lick from man’s best friend, he did receive something almost as good – the $500 cheque Karen promised to her knight on shining GO Train. It came as a surprise to the Good Samaritan, but he gladly accepted it. After dealing with the city’s animal experts, he went in and resigned as planned. And that money will now come in handy.

But Wilson hasn’t heard the last of this story. Karen has promised to keep him updated on Jagger’s progress – a story that would have had a very different ending if not for a man on his way to quit, but who decided not to give up on something far more important.

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007

Unlikely Pair Rescued By Animal Lover

All a Tulsa woman wanted to do was find a home for an unlikely pair, but rescuing the unusual duo is proving difficult. News On 6 reporter Ashli Sims reports on the four-legged friends’ fate.

Picking its way to the top of the hill, a pygmy goat seems to be in its element. It’s far cry from suburban south Tulsa, where it was spotted just a few days ago.

“When I came home, my husband said ‘oh my gosh,’ there’s a goat walking down the street,'” said Genie Clemmer.

Clemmer says the goat had an unlikely buddy.

“It seemed like the goat would not move without the dog moving first. In addition, they were kind of entwined; they wrapped their necks around each other. They would lick each other. They were just adorable,” said Genie Clemmer.

Clemmer determined to find the two a home called the Tulsa animal shelter. However, she says no one would pick up the pair.

“And I said, ‘Well, what can I do?’ I said, ‘Do you just want me to let them go.’ And she said, ‘sure.’ And I was just very distraught at that point,” said Genie Clemmer.

“Generally, we only respond to emergency situations on the weekend. And the fact that it was a dog and a goat did not necessarily make it an emergency,” said Clark Miller with Tulsa Animal Welfare.

Clemmer thought she had a solution; someone claiming to be a rescuer came and took in both.

“She assured me that they were in a farm on Inola and being raised as pets. Yesterday at 3 o’clock I get a call telling me they just picked up a goat and a dog roaming through midtown Tulsa,” said Genie Clemmer.

This time, animal control did respond and so did Safari’s Sanctuary in Broken Arrow. The little goat has now found a new home with a family of other goats. But its puppy pal is still looking.

“I’m just trying frantically to find someone who will take her so they don’t put her down,” said Genie Clemmer.

The dog is described as a pit bull, but Clemmer claims she is timid and loveable.

Monday, Dec. 3, 2007

Gorillas snatched by poachers returned to wild

A five-year international row over the fate of a group of gorillas snatched from the wild by poachers has finally ended.

The four Western Lowland gorillas – a male and three females – were flown in separate wooden crates from Johannesburg to their native Cameroon.

It was the final chapter of a long-running battle by wildlife campaigners to prevent the gorillas spending the rest of their lives in a zoo.

The saga began in 2002 when they arrived at the Taiping Zoo, 150 miles north of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, having allegedly come from a captive breeding programme in Nigeria.

But it was quickly established that gorillas, then juveniles aged between 14 and 33 months, had been born in the wild, probably in Cameroon, and were almost certainly orphaned and smuggled to Nigeria after their families were slaughtered by bushmeat traders.

A campaign was launched to have the primates, who became known as the Taiping Four, returned to their homeland.

In 2004, they were seized by embarrassed Malaysian authorities and sent to the South African National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria on the basis that they had arrived in the country on a South African Airways flight.

It has taken until now to arrange for the gorillas, now aged between six and seven and each weighing more than 100 kilos, to be sent back to Cameroon.

They arrived safely and were then taken by truck on the three hour journey to the Limbe Wildlife Sanctuary in south-west of the country.

They will join 11 other gorillas already at the sanctuary where they are likely to spend the rest of their lives.

Christina Pretorious of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) which helped organise the campaign, said:

“Africa’s wildlife is disappearing from the earth right in front of our eyes. The return of the Taiping Four sends a clear message that Africa wildlife is worth fighting for and that international law must be upheld.”

There are believed to be fewer than 100,000 Western Lowland gorillas left in the wild. Their status was recently upgraded to critically endangered.

Gorillas numbers having plummeted throughout their range in the past decade by up to 80 per cent, largely as a result of human conflict and bushmeat hunting.

Meanwhile the Aspinall Foundation, the wildlife conservation charity, has announced the first ever birth from a reintroduced western gorilla in the Central African Republic of Gabon.

The parents of the baby, born in October, were wild born orphans Lekedi, 10, and Marco, 12.

Marco’s group consists of 14 individuals aged between eight and 12 and have been reintroduced since 2002. Mother and infant are both doing well.

Projects have been established in the Lefini Reserve of Congo-Brazzaville and in the Bateke Plateau National Park (BPNP) in Gabon to help the survival of endangered species including the great apes.

Damian Aspinall, Trustee of The Aspinall Foundation said: “We are very proud and excited at this news.

“In 2003 we introduced a younger group of seven gorillas, six of whom were captive born at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent in 2003 and have high expectation that this group will soon have offspring of its own.”

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007

Firefighters Rescue 250-Pound Pig from Swimming Pool

Brocoli is back in his mini-barn full of fresh hay. But over the weekend, he followed his owner Patricia Brown into the back yard pool area and took an unexpected dive.

“Pigs have terrible eyesight, he didn’t see the pool,” said Brown of Tracy.

She spent 45 minutes trying to raise the large animal out of the cold water with no luck.

“I had to call 911,” Brown said.

A Tracy police officer was the first to arrive and chuckle at Brown’s “porkly” problem.

Then firefighters came on scene and one jumped into the frigid water to push Brocoli out.

10 minutes later, Brocoli was free.

“I’m so grateful, Brocoli was too- he got a hot bath and some grapes,” Brown adds.

Brocoli is doing fine today and will be kept away from the pool.

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007

Sinking horse rescued

William Shakespeare wrote in his play “Cymbeline” the line ‘O for a horse with wings’.

But on Sunday, a Liberty, Texas horse named ‘Old Lady’ probably wished she had wings.

‘Old Lady’ who is 27-years-old, got out of her fenced area and into a neighbor’s septic tank.

The horse’s rear got stuck so firefighters were called to help her out.

The confined area kept them from bringing equipment in.

So they put a strap under the horse’s rear, and like a tug-o-war, they pulled ‘old lady’ out of the septic tank.

After resting for a few minutes the horse went and got a bath.

‘Old Lady’ was stuck in the septic tank for about 90 minutes.

Monday, Nov. 12, 2007

Dog’s Recovery Amazes Vets

Four months after motorists watched him being dragged behind a car, the terrier mix veterinarians nicknamed “Sparky” is ready to be adopted.

“His recovery has been nothing short of miraculous,” said Carolyn Baars with Atlanta Pet Rescue.

The people who found Sparky brought him to Atlanta Pet Rescue. Baar’s colleagues in turn rushed him to a local vet where doctors admitted they had never seen injuries quite so serious.

Sparky’s four paws were gone. He no longer had pads or nails on them. Nearly two thirds of his body was covered with deep road rash.

There was debate about putting him down, but even in excruciating pain the dog was wagging his tail and trying to lick his handlers.

They decided to do what they could by stitching up what they could and cleaning and bandaging everything else. They also put the dog on a host of antibiotics and used what they call a pain patch to continuously release heavy doses of pain medication.

The dog that so patiently sat still through all of that earned the name Sparky for what the vets and staff could only describe as a spark in his eyes that told them he wanted to live.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been four months. They had said he was going to need six to eight weeks to recover and even then some of his wounds might not heal. But look, he’s bounced back and is almost totally healed,” said Baars.

Baars is one of two members of Atlanta Pet Rescue who took Sparky home for 24-hour care during what she says can only be described as touch and go for the first several weeks. He is now ready to be adopted and there is a long list of families in Metro Atlanta who want him.

Initially, 24 people submitted applications to adopt Sparky. Staff at Atlanta Pet Rescue has narrowed the list down to twelve. Each will have one-on-one visits with Sparky to see how he interacts with them, their children and any other pets they may have.

They hope to announce Sparky’s new owners by next Tuesday.

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007

Mythic tortoise reappears in Vietnam

A giant tortoise, thought by many to be several hundred years old, surfaced yesterday at the Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Returned Sword), Ha Noi’s most prominent landmark, for around three hours from 10 am to 1 pm, attracting and perplexing passers-by as the animal is said to be keeper of a holy sword used to dispel the Chinese invaders in the 15th century.

After appearing near the surface, the tortoise then crawled on the tower in the middle of the lake in front of the Le Thai To-Hang Trong crossroads for ‘sunbath’.

The tortoise is some 1.5 meters long, has a width of 700 cm and two hollows on its shell.

It has come to the surface of the lake 76 times this year, the last time being on October 30, said tortoise expert Ha Dinh Duc, a professor at Ha Noi National University.

But the tortoise rarely both surfaces and sunbathes on the Thap Rua (Turtle Tower) as long as it did this time, Duc added.

Legend has it that the giant tortoise is the keeper of the Sword that King Le Loi used to fight China’s Ming dynasty invaders in the 15th century.

According to a hydrographical specialists and tortoise experts, climate change and environmental pollution could explain the fabled creatures more frequent ventures out of the water.

A happy ending to dog’s tale

IT’S like a scene from Mission: Impossible. For dogs.

Jasper, a 15-year-old Labrador cross, managed to open a set of French doors, tunnel under a fence, walk to the Metro station, get on a Metro and travel eight stops from Whitley Bay to Four Lane Ends before being picked up.

He was then taken to the Newcastle Cat and Dog shelter – from where he was rescued 13 years ago – and picked up by his relieved owner Kim Ashby, who had been desperately trying to find him.

Kim, 49, a catering manager, of Norham Road, Whitley Bay, said she was perplexed by the route her pet had taken as she never walks that way with him.

She said: “We were all very upset when he went missing. He is such a lovely dog.

“He has tried to escape before but we’ve always been able to find him. This time, though, we thought he had gone for good.”

Kim, who is married to Les, 47, a plasterer, and has two children, Thomas, 16, and Ashley, 22, said the dog must have escaped in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Kim, who also owns another dog, Dallas, eight, a Weimaraner, said: “I got up just after 5am and went down to see the dogs but Jasper had gone and the door was open.

“I went outside and saw that he had dug under the fence into next door’s garden so I went looking for him.

“I looked all over the normal routes we take together and he was nowhere to be seen. I didn’t even bother going to the Metro Station at Whitley Bay because we don’t go up there.

“I eventually phoned the Cat and Dog shelter and they told me they had him, but I couldn’t believe where he had been.”

Kim said: “Apparently a woman reported seeing a very friendly dog on the Metro and told the staff who got in contact with the dog warden, who brought him to the shelter.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to that woman for what she did. We are all very grateful.”

Sharon Newman, volunteer co-ordinator at the Newcastle Cat and Dog centre, said: “We are delighted they have been reunited. It’s funny that Jasper made his way back here after so long. Perhaps he just wanted to say hello.

“We would recommend any pet owner to have their pet micro-chipped.”

A spokesman for Nexus, who run the Metro, said: “We are pleased that the dog has been safely reunited with its owner and that the story has had a happy ending.”

Reunited: Lost dog mystery solved

Zeus, a purebred standard poodle, has been returned to his owners after a search that spanned Virginia and Michigan.

Zeus was found Oct. 20 by Virginia’s Chesterfield County Animal Control with damaged tags that officials originally thought said, “Bedford Township, Michigan.”

Animal control officials released the news to media in both Virginia and Michigan, plastering TV sets and newspapers in both states with Zeus’ smiling photo. The dog’s owner saw her pet in the news and called animal control.

Now Zeus is reunited with Stephanie Ducre of Chesterfield. The dog actually was from Redford Township, a Detroit suburb. Ducre’s brother lives there and gave the dog to his sister about eight months ago.

“The dog went missing about two weeks ago,” Stephanie’s daughter, Savannah, 15, said. “We were outside (with Zeus) and my brother turned his back for one second, and we turned back around and the dog was gone.”

After two weeks of calling, asking and looking around for their pet, the Virginia family is happy to have him back.

“We’re quite excited,” she said. “He’s been truly missed.”

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007

Duke the goose returned to pond

He’s back. Duke, the goose, that is.

Duke, aka Walter, Pineapple and Goosey, was returned sometime Wednesday to his home on a pond at Quail Ridge Ranch in Sonora.

Duke disappeared on Oct. 16 during an apparent daylight goosenapping.

“I just heard on my way home from work,” said Duke’s owner, Darren Holman with glee in his voice.

“Now we know, for sure, it was fowl play,” Holman said of Duke’s return.

The mystery of Duke’s disappearance was the subject of a Union Democrat story Oct. 29. Because Duke liked to walk on the road and crisscross between neighbors’ yards Holman speculated that someone probably believed Duke was neglected and in danger and decided to take him to a safer location.

Whoever took him did not know that Holman incubated Duke, and three other geese, four years ago and has raised and cared for him since.

When Duke went missing, the e-mail messages in the homeowners’ association accelerated speculating on what happened to him and what could be done to have him returned.

“This is a success story,” Holman said.

Duke seems to have been well cared for and well fed during his absence from his pond, Holman noted.

“He’s a little skittish,” Holman said, of Duke’s behavior, but Duke was back patrolling the expanse of lawn in front of the pond where he resides as well as walking along the road.

“It’s neat when it works out this way,” Holman exclaimed.

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007

Missing for 5 years, beloved pet set to return

A North Fort Myers man who lost his dog five years ago will be reunited with his beloved pet today.

Gary Thomas, 44, of North Fort Myers, is making the five-hour drive, with his son, Chance Reed, 12, to Lake City where they will meet Mindy Sue, their nearly 14-year-old Boston terrier.

The dog was found wandering around a state park in northern Georgia in early October. They identified Thomas as the owner through a microchip in the dog.

Phyllis Nixon, a volunteer with the Birmingham Boston Terrier Rescue in Alabama, is driving about 400 miles to return Mindy, who is blind and deaf, to her family.

“She’s doing real well, she’s real sweet, she’s a good traveler and healthy as a horse,” Nixon said.

Thomas believes the dog was stolen while he went fishing in Boca Grande in 2002. When he returned home the house had been broken into and the only thing missing was Mindy Sue.

“There was blood on a small window that was broken and the dog was gone,” Thomas said.

Thomas has owned the dog since she was about a year old. He bought her in Shelbyville, Ind. He had the microchip implanted in the dog after he moved to Florida.

The dog was about to be euthanized when the Birmingham Boston Terrier Rescue group from Alabama became involved.

The group arranged to have someone pull her from the shelter, found a foster home and worked out transportation to Birmingham, said Donna Farmer, president of the Birmingham Boston Terrier Rescue in Alabama. “This was done in 24 hours.”

She was then taken to a foster home in Decatur, Ala., where she stayed for about two weeks.

“Whoever had her took real good care of her,” Farmer said. “She seemed to be in good shape.”

The microchip was discovered after the dog was scanned at the foster home. The shelter, which originally had Mindy, either did not have a scanner or did not check for a chip.

Farmer can only guess how the dog got to north Georgia. She may have been sold to a family there by the person who took her from Thomas’ home.

A phone number on the chip for Lee County Animal Services had been disconnected. The microchip had to have been implanted prior to 2000 prior to the agency moving to a new location, said Ria Brown, Lee County Animal Services spokeswoman.

“We received both an e-mail and a phone call from the Birmingham Boston Terrier Rescue, asking for our help in locating the dog’s owner, Gary Thomas,” Brown said. “One of our officers, Carol McConnell, spoke to someone at the rescue which then led to the owner being contacted.”

To help correct the dog’s failing eyesight, Thomas, who is unemployed, plans do do some fundraising.

“I’m hoping to have a yard sale so that I can get some money to get her cataracts removed,” Thomas said.

Thomas’ family always celebrated the dog’s birthday in hopes she was alive.
Now, she’s coming back home where she will play with Girl, 12, a pitbull/mastiff mix.

“The volunteer bringing her back is like a guardian angel,” Thomas said. “They say she is very healthy and I can’t wait to see her.”

Friday, Oct. 26, 2007

Elk rescued from swimming pool

An elk cow that had become stuck in a pool in southern Sweden has been rescued. The animal was shot with a tranquilizer gun before being lifted out of the drained swimming pool. It was later reunited with its calf.

The animal wandered into the private pool in Oskarström, south-west Sweden, on Thursday. The pool was drained by emergency services, who then arranged for steps to be built to allow the elk to walk out of its own accord.

The elk was in no hurry to move, however, and on Friday morning was still standing on the pool bottom. Rescuers then decided to lift the animal out of the pool using a forklift truck and a sling.

Once out of the pool the house owner and police officers removed the harness.

“We initially held up a screen in front of the animal so that it wouldn’t jump back into the pool, but then she lay down on the grass right next to the pool,” said a reporter from news agency TT, who was at the scene.

After resting for an hour, the animal wandered into the neighbouring woodland and started to eat. Another elk then came and joined it. The second animal turned out to be the rescued beast’s calf.

“The elk in the pool had been heard making some kind of beckoning call, but the calf seems to have not dared approach due to all the commotion there has been,” TT’s reporter said.

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007

Our hero dogs saved us from blaze terror

A MOTHER and her student daughter who escaped a fire at their Bloomsbury home believe that they were saved by their two pet dogs.

Paula Questier told how her two-year-old Cairn Terriers Mitt and Kess alerted her and 17-year-old daughter Alexandra to a blaze on Saturday afternoon in Bloomsbury Mansions.

She said: “The dogs started barking at the window at around 2.30pm.

“I went over to have a look and saw smoke billowing from a downstairs window.

“If my dogs had not alerted us to the fire this could have been potentially life threatening – they really did save the day”.

The fire started in another flat.

Firefighters from Euston used sledgehammer to enter the property and tackle the blaze.

She said: “There are 59 flats in this block and the fire was on the first floor. If the fire had taken hold it could have spread to the rest of the building. hecked the fire alarm”.

Despite the intervention of Mitt and Kess, the Cairn Terrier dogs face eviction from their home.

A letter sent to Mrs Questier before the fire, ordered that the dogs be removed from the property due to alleged complaints of noise.

Mrs Questier is fighting the order.

Parrot Saves Man And Child From House Fire

A noisy parrot that likes to imitate sounds helped save a man and his son from a house fire by mocking a smoke alarm, the bird’s owner says.

Shannon Conwell, 33, said he and his 9-year-old son fell asleep on the couch while watching a movie. They awoke about 3 a.m. Friday to find their home on fire after hearing the family’s Amazon parrot, Peanut, imitating a fire alarm.

“He was really screaming his head off,” Conwell said.

The smoke alarm had activated, but it was the bird’s call that caught Conwell’s attention.

“I grabbed my son and my bird, and got out of the house,” he said.

The fire destroyed the home’s dining room, kitchen and bedroom, Muncie fire officials said. It remains under investigation.

Conwell said the fact that he and his son fell asleep on the couch helped save them. They may not have heard the alarm or the bird if they were asleep in their bedrooms.

Conwell said he runs an air conditioner and a breathing machine in his bedroom and they drown out a lot of noise around the house.

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