Monthly Archives: August 2021

Fire Crew Rescues Distressed, 31-Year-Old Horse Stuck Between Rock And Fence

A distressed, 31-year-old horse was recently saved by a fire crew in Patterson, New York. The horse, named Dozer, fell on August 25, and became wedged between a rock and fence.

The Facebook page for Patterson Fire Department No. 1 recounted the rescue effort to save Dozer’s life:

Patterson’s heavy rescue, 22-6-1 arrived on scene and found a 31 year old male horse, named “Dozer”, in distress. He had apparently fallen and managed to get himself stuck between a rock and a fence line. At first, the crew attempted to assist the horse on getting up by shifting his position. It became apparent that additional equipment was going to be needed to help Dozer out since he had become too exhausted to get up on his own. 

According to the fire department, rescuers discussed their options and decided to use a paratech bipod system to raise Dozer – they said it took “a lot of sweat and effort” by the crew to get Dozer back up on his feet.

After receiving fluids and resting, Dozer was able to “trot away, unassisted.”

This is Patterson Fire Departments 4th horse rescue in the past several years, all with successful outcomes.

The Department  commended those involved in the rescue effort:

We would like to thank Putnam Lake Fire Department, New England Equine Practice, the Town of Patterson EMS, and the New York State Police for all their assistance as well as Paratech Fire & Rescue Equipment for such amazing equipment.

(Photos Courtesy of Andrew Akin via Facebook)

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“Tommie’s Law” (Virginia)

A dog who suffered a horrible and exceptionally cruel death has inspired change to animal cruelty law in Virginia. His name was Tommie and he died after being tied to a pole and set on fire in February 2019. The new law, dubbed “Tommie’s Law,” took effect on July 1 and its passage stiffens the penalty for animal cruelty crimes.

Sen. Bill DeSteph’s (R-Virginia Beach) legislation has increased the penalty for “cruelly or unnecessarily beating, maiming, mutilating, or killing a dog or cat,” to a felony. DeSteph said, “The crime matches the penalty. Not whether the dog lives or dies, the act of maliciously wounding or torturing a dog is the felony.”

It was five days before Tommie died from the widespread burns on his body – under the previous law, a felony animal cruelty charge could not be brought against an abuser until Tommie passed away. Tommie’s killer has been identified as 20-year-old Jyahshua Hill, who claims that he “snapped” after the pit bull bit his child.

Read more about Tommie’s passing at this link to the Pet Rescue Report.

Read more about the passage of the new law at this link to the Pet Rescue Report.

“Ponce’s Law” (Florida)

In 2017, Travis Archer beat his Labrador retriever puppy, Ponce, so savagely that Ponce died. The attack was so brutal that a law was enacted in the puppy’s name. While Ponce’s Law has helped strengthen punishments for animal abuse-related crimes, it has a weak spot which has allowed this monster to have the opportunity to own, and possibly abuse, a pet again.

In December 2020, a Florida court overturned Archer’s lifetime ban on pet ownership – claiming that the ban could not extend beyond the three years of his probation.

Animal Victory created a petition demanding Ponce’s Law to be revised to include a lifetime pet ownership ban for all convicted animal abusers.

Coyote Pup Rescued From San Francisco Bay

An officer with Animal Care & Control San Francisco managed to pluck a coyote pup out of San Francisco Bay this week. The animal welfare agency posted photos of the rescued pup to social media on Thursday, writing:

The cold coyote pup that went for a dip in the Bay is back with her family after being treated by our wonderful vet staff for hypothermia at Animal Care & Control. Fishing coyotes out of SF Bay in a net is a little unusual, but our Animal Control Officers take everything in stride. Officer Pone performed an amazing rescue from her borrowed boat!

As reported by San Francisco Gate, the pup was initially spotted in someone’s yard and animal control had been contacted because the pup appeared to be trapped. By the time the officer arrived to the area, another call came in that a coyote pup (believed to be the same pup) was stuck in the dock on Pier 39.

But when the officer approached the pup to help, he leaped into the water. With the help of a boat, the animal control officer was able to use a net to scoop the struggling pup out of the water.

According to KTVU News, “everyone fell in love” with the coyote, who was released after being dried off and warmed up.

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Shelter Praises Senior Dog Who Bit Off Snake Head To Save Volunteer

A Florida animal shelter is praising the efforts of a senior dog named Chuck, who recently bit off the head of a venomous snake to save a volunteer. The Panhandle Animal Welfare Society shared Chuck’s heroics in a Facebook post on Tuesday, explaining what happened:

Chuck is not a “player.” He’s a laid back 11-year-old. Toys are not his thing anymore. So we were surprised Sunday when he started “playing” with something in the yard. Surprise turned to panic when we quickly realized it was a venomous snake. He bit its head off to protect a volunteer, and it bit back while being swallowed.

Unfortunately, Chuck did not escape the encounter unscathed. The snake managed to bite the 11-year-old dog before being killed, and Chuck has been struggling ever since. The shelter writes:

It’s been touch and go. Two rounds of antivenin! He’s doing better, but doesn’t want to eat. One of our caring volunteers just brought a variety of home-cooked snacks as enticement.

The shelter issued a plea for help for the four-legged canine hero:

Antivenin is expensive. Add the pain medications and antibiotics, and the vet bill is nearing $3,000.
Chuck also needs to recover in a quiet, comfortable foster home.
Can you help with the vet bill?
Can you foster? If so, email A home without kids or other pets is preferred.

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Officials Hope That Dog Necropsy Will Provide Clue To Family’s Mysterious Death

Update: Officials have determined that the entire family, and presumably the dog, died from heatstroke.

Earlier this month, a mother, father, young child and family dog, were discovered deceased on a trail in the Sierra National Forest. The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office released details about the mysterious deaths on August 17:

The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office began a Search and Rescue operation after a family was reported missing Monday night August 16th at 11pm.
Search teams located the family’s vehicle near the Sierra National Forest gate leading to Hites Cove in the Jerseydale area. A short time later the family; John Gerrish, Ellen Chung, one year old daughter Miju and the family dog were located deceased near the Devil’s Gulch area in the Southfork of the Merced River drainage.

The authorities were able to rule out homicide as the cause of death, and initially turned their attention to the potential of a toxic substance in the area. There were fears that noxious gases may have been released from abandoned mines in the area, but investigators ruled that out.

Autopsies were performed on the family, but there were no clues found and now investigators are awaiting necropsy results from the family dog, Oksi, with the hope that the outcome will shed light on the tragic mystery.

The bodies have revealed no obvious signs of death and investigators did not find a suicide note. Mariposa County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kristie Mitchell told FOX News:

“Initially, yes, when we come across a family with no apparent cause of death, there’s no smoking gun, there’s no suicide note, there’s nothing like that, we have to consider all options. Now that we’re five days in, no, we’re no longer considering homicide as a cause of death.


“There’s toxicology that we’re waiting for from the autopsies themselves, and then also from the [necropsy for the dog].”

Officials are testing nearby water sources to see if toxic algae are present.

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Puppy Vaults Wall, Tumbles 30 Ft Down On The Other Side


An adventuresome pup got more than she bargained for after vaulting over a wall in Spokane, Washington. Eight-month-old Pebbles skirted death after her jump sent her 30 feet down near the Spokane River last Monday.

The City of Spokane Fire Department created a social media post about the rescue effort, writing:

This pup was saved by Special Ops companies on late morning of August 16th. It was struggling by the Spokane River near Huntington Park by below City Hall and received a helping rescue by firefighters.

And Pebbles’ owner, Raymond Ploski, added a few more details, while expressing gratitude to those who saved his puppy:

My 8 mos. old pup decided to vault a 3 ft wall to find a 30 ft drop on the other side! I thought she would be dead from such a fall. The Spokane FD were awesome – very responsive and funny as well.

It was the first time I’ve ever seen a hook & ladder in action. What an absolutely terrifying morning, a full day of x-rays, scans, and tests; and a very, very lucky ending. Pebbles survived without a scratch. Thank you, City of Spokane Fire Department and Pet Emergency Clinic!”

Great job Spokane Fire Department!

(Images provided by Spokane Fire Department via Facebook)

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Shelter Offers Reward After Taking In Emaciated Puppy Who Was Abandoned At Apartment Complex

Associated Humane Popcorn Park Shelter, in Newark, New Jersey, is offering a reward for information about an emaciated puppy who was abandoned outside of an apartment complex in Newark on August 19.

The animal welfare agency has announced the offering of a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for neglecting and abandoning the puppy, who has been dubbed Petunia.

In a release, the shelter explains what is known about the cruelty case:

“Animal Control for the city of Newark received the call at 3:51 p.m. to go out to the Grafton Avenue apartment complex to retrieve a puppy that was abandoned. The ACO spoke to a witness at the scene who stated that when she saw a car pull in, she assumed they were dumping trash but when they pulled away, there was a puppy tied to the fence. Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to get the license plate of the vehicle.”

The puppy was rushed to the shelter, where an exam revealed the extent of her injuries and pitiful state of health from being neglected:

“Our veterinarian estimates her to be approximately five months old and sadly, she weighs just 10 pounds.  She was covered in urine and feces, as well as blood.  Examination revealed her to be extremely dehydrated, so fluids were immediately administered.  Puncture wounds were discovered under scars that were crusted over which are likely the result of bites from another animal, and her teeth are in poor condition for such a young dog.  Her overall body condition is very poor but despite this, she has a strong appetite and is grateful for all the help that she’s receiving.”

Though Petunia has been subjected to unimaginable cruelty, she has maintained a sweet and loving disposition. The animal welfare agency writes:

“Petunia has been greeting staff members with kisses and craves to be held. She is probably the happiest, safest, and most cared for that she’s ever been, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that she has every chance at living a long, full, happy life in a wonderful home once she has recovered from the terrible treatment that she endured.”

If you have any information in this case, please contact our AHS Newark facility at 973-824-7080 or email:

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79-Year-Old Woman Attacked By Protective Mother Moose

A moose, believed to be protecting her calves, recently attacked a 79-year-old woman who was walking a dog outside of a home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The terrifying incident happened on August 13 – according to a release from Colorado Parks & Wildlife, the woman had seen the moose with two calves earlier in the day, but thought that the family had left the area.

The attack happened around 9 p.m. the same night after the woman, who was pet-sitting, took the dog outside on leash.  A witness stated that the moose was stomping on the elderly woman, who was injured badly enough that she had to be airlifted from the initial hospital that she had been taken to.

Area Wildlife Manager Matt Yamashita commented on the attack:

“The incident occurred in an area of quality moose habitat and it is known that the moose frequent this area year-round. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the woman. This incident was no fault of her own. Conflicts with moose can happen, even when you follow best practices for living in moose habitat.”

The cow believed to be responsible for the attack has been in the area for awhile; no previous signs of aggression had been reported. Wildlife officers attempted to locate the cow that was responsible for the attack, but gave up the search after failing to find the one that stomped on the woman.

Yamashita stated:

“This likely was an incident of a cow protecting her calves. Since Friday night we have been talking with the local residents to educate them about living in moose habitat, the potential dangers associated with interacting with moose and actions they can take to minimize the risk of conflict.”

(Stock image of moose and calf via Pixabay)

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Lion Sanctuary Lets Animals Observe Humans Who Are Captive In ‘Cages’

A lion sanctuary in South Africa has turned the tables on what might be expected for wildlife observation. Rather than watching captive animals in an enclosure, tourists visiting the GG Conservation sanctuary, in Harrismith, have the opportunity to climb into a plexiglass cage which allows the big cats to safely get up close and personal with their human visitors.

The website for GG Conservation explains the 45-minute experience:

Day visitors who only enter to do the cage are wholly dependent on weather, dates, staff & management availability. We cannot guarantee how the lions will react but will endeavour to ensure you have a fantastic experience. 

Priority is given to overnight guests as we can only use the cage once a day. Cage experience starts at approx 6:30 am- 7:15 am at this time of year. 


Our unique cage is dual purpose. 

1- As a ‘professional photography cage’ – there are small gated windows able to open up for longer range shots of the lions further away, ideal for professional photographers who don’t want fences/bars or plexiglass in their shots. 

2- As an ‘experience’ – the circular ‘breathing holes’ in the plexiglass are ideal for phone cameras for close up photos and videos as a personal and exhilarating experience of the lions in a completely unique way. 

These holes are totally safe and too small for a lion paw to get through. 

The magical experience not only provides guests with a once-in-a-lifetime lion encounter, but it also gives the lions “enrichment,” and helps raise funds for the non-profit sanctuary to continue caring for the 70+ big cats who are in their care.

Learn more about GG Conservation at this link.

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Dogs Euthanized And Man Faces 47 Animal Cruelty Charges After Dog-Fighting Organization Found

A Virginia man is facing 47 counts of animal cruelty following the discovery of a suspected dog-fighting operation in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. On August 13, the St. Mary’s County State Attorney’s Office issued a release about the arrest and charges.

“State’s Attorney Richard Fritz announces that on August 12, 2021, Damien Terrell Wilson was served a Criminal Information charging him with 47 counts of Animal Cruelty.”

According to the release, the suspected dog fighting arena was found on February 10, 2021. The release outlines what was found:

“Numerous items of paraphernalia associated with dog fighting were located. Eleven dogs were rescued. All eleven dogs underwent behavioral evaluations.”

Three of the dogs taken from the location were determined to be “so overtly aggressive,” that they had to be euthanized.

The suspect is scheduled for an initial appearance in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court on September 29.

(Booking photo via St. Mary’s County State Attorney’s Office)

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Efforts Underway To Find Owner Of Horse That Was Abandoned In California

Efforts are underway to find the owner of a horse who was abandoned in Riverside County, California, near the Ortega Highway, west of Lake Elsinore on Monday, August 9. The 5-to-7-year-old horse was in such poor condition that he had to be humanely euthanized.

According to NetPosseID, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services is working with officials at Animal Friends of the Valleys in checking to see if there have been any open neglect cases.

Riverside County Department of Animal Services reached out to the public for assistance:

Friends, we’re seeking any information anyone might have regarding an abandoned horse near the Ortega Highway. The horse was discovered along North Main Divide Road, less than a mile from the Ortega Highway. The abandonment likely occurred Monday (Aug. 9), possibly during the afternoon. We were alerted later Monday night by a Good Samaritan. We’re hoping someone might have dashcam video of a horse trailer/license plate being hauled in that area — or might know who owned this unique equine, a sorrel and white paint horse. The horse, a male, possibly between 5- to 7-years-old, was in horrible condition. His body score was a 1 or, simply put, severely neglected. We were forced to euthanize the animal due to its poor condition. We will be working with our counterparts at Animal Friends of the Valleys to check if its officers had any open neglect cases.

Anyone with information is asked to email the animal welfare agency at

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Dog Left In Hot Car Parked At Disney World While Owner Visited Theme Park

A small dog in Florida was saved from a miserable death from heat stroke thanks to an alert passerby, and the police. The dog, a Maltese, was left inside of a locked vehicle in a parking lot at Disney World. ABC Journalist Parker Branton Tweeted about the rescue effort on August 10:

“A Hollywood Studios park guest says she heard a bark coming from a car just before 5 Monday afternoon. ‘She looked right up into my eyes and said help.’ Looking around I saw an empty bowl and a parking receipt for 11:48 am!”

The good Samaritan, Jerry Dana French, was able to get the police to the vehicle, and the officer who removed the dog estimated that it had an hour or less to live.

The owner was eventually located inside of the theme park – as reported by People, police returned the dog to the owner, whose name was not released. Surprisingly, the person who left the dog inside of the vehicle did not get charged.

(Screenshot of dog via Twitter)

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New Jersey Police Department Adopts A German Shepherd From South Carolina Animal Shelter

A homeless German shepherd recently found a new home with a police department in New Jersey. His name is Sarge, and the Saint Francis Animal Shelter in Georgetown, South Carolina, was caring for him until the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office decided that Sarge was the dog meant to be with them.

On August 8, the South Carolina shelter let Facebook fans know that Sarge was off to bigger and better things, writing:

Adoption Update⭐️
Before and After pictures of Sarge show that he not only has a new family but he also has a new job!
Way to go Sarge🐾
Live your best life⭐️

The announcement was well received by fans of the animal shelter. One person wrote, “Wonderful news ! Congratulations Sarge🎈❤️🐶” and another, “He is one handsome fellow! Glad that he got the new job and a caring “family”! 🥰❣️”

Sarge posed with his new extended family at a recent event.

Best of luck Sarge!

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Seaplane Captain Calmly Talks To Huge Grizzly Who Walked Up To Tourists

The captain of a seaplane managed to keep a huge grizzly bear at bay with nothing more than his calm and reassuring voice. The tense encounter took place on August 4 at Alaska’s Katmai National Park; the bear walked in front of a group of tourists and one managed to stay grounded enough to pull out a phone and record the situation.

Cara Siciliano, who took the video footage, explained what she was thinking just before starting to record the encounter:

“Honestly, I am amazed I did not seem more scared. My first reaction was to look up at the sky and make sure I was good with God and to pray. And then I hit record on my phone.”

Her video captures the captain calmly talking to the bear, repeatedly saying “hey big boy,” as the massive bear strolls by. The captain’s soothing voice, and a lack of panic from the tourists, proved to be enough to keep the bear from charging at the people who were standing nearby.

The video was posted by user @mrsb111 to TikTok, and quickly went viral. Watch the incredible encounter in this YouTube link.

Of note: Experts recommend that people who encounter bears do exactly what this group of people did. Stay calm – don’t run or scream. 

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It’s A Boy! First Time Mom Welcomes Baby Giraffe

Betty Francis, a 10-year-old giraffe living at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, recently delivered a precious baby who has not yet been named. The Henry Doorly Zoo made the announcement on August 3, outlining the pertinent details for Facebook fans:

It’s a boy! Betty Francis, our 10-year-old female and first-time mother, gave birth to a calf this past Saturday, July 31, at 11:03 a.m. The calf was born after a 15-month gestation period and stood on its own about an hour after its arrival.
Betty and her calf—who will be named this fall at the Zoofari 2021—can be seen in the Syd and Betty Cate Giraffe Herd Rooms in a separate area before they are introduced to the rest of the herd in the coming weeks.

The zoo said that this is the first calf born since April 2019, and the fifth calf sired by 12-year-old Jawara. The zoo now has 10 reticulated giraffes, and stated that they all “serve as ambassadors for their endangered wild counterparts.”

The zoo provided stats about the number of reticulated giraffes who are in Africa, writing:

Currently, there are about 11,000 – 16,000 reticulated giraffe remaining in Africa. The Zoo supports the future of these animals by partnering with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the only non-governmental organization in the world that concentrates solely on wild giraffe conservation across Africa.

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