Monthly Archives: February 2022

Burned Cat, Boots, Back With Owner In An Amazing And Unlikely Reunion

Against all odds, a cat named Boots has been reunited with his owner. The orange tabby was badly burned in the devastating fires that swept through Boulder County, Colorado, late last year, and after he was found, he was taken to the Humane Society of Boulder County for care.

As Boots healed, his features became more identifiable and the shelter reached out to the public in an effort to find his owner.

Last week, the shelter let Facebook followers know that Boots’ owner had been found, sharing the amazing details:

“Boots” is now home, safe and warm, where he belongs. This brave guy actually went missing a year before the fire, and his guardian searched far and wide for her beloved boy to no avail. When she saw photos as he recovered here at HSBV, and his signature orange and white markings became more identifiable, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She was overwhelmed to realize it was her long-lost companion, and Boots was overjoyed to see her tonight!”

As reported by CBS Denver, Boots’ owner, Jules Lieb, had adopted the cat four years ago, and last year he disappeared in the midst of a huge snowstorm. Lieb feared her beloved cat was gone forever.

It was Boots’ “striking green eyes,” that initially led Lieb to believe that the cat on the news was hers. After several visits to the shelter to interact with the cat, she knew that the burned cat was indeed her Boots. She told the news agency, “I can’t believe he’s back.”

Welcome home Boots!!

Find the Facebook page for the Humane Society of Boulder County here.



Feisty Sea Lion Tackled Trooper Attempting To Apprehend Him

A feisty sea lion defiantly resisted “arrest” last Thursday. Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife were called out to a residence in Warren after a resident found a sea lion sunbathing on their trailer.

The Oregon State Police recounted the unusual call for assistance, and the sea lion’s cantankerous behavior when attempts were made to get him into a cage:

“Recruit Trooper Davey attempted to get the Sea Lion to go peacefully into a cage for transport. The sea lion, not seeing the love in Recruit Davey’s eyes, might have tackled her to the ground before entering the cage.”

Assuring Facebook fans that Trooper Davey survived the altercation unscathed:

“Don’t worry, Recruit Davey’s bounced right back up with no hard feelings to complete the mission of getting the Sea Lion successfully released back into the Columbia River unharmed.”

The authorities took advantage of the story to try and recruit future troopers, writing:

“Being an Oregon State Police Trooper looks very different than most people think. Do you have what it takes to #BeATrooper? OSP is currently accepting Recruit Trooper applications
until May 26, 2021.”

Interested? Learn more about the recruitment process at this link.

Family Dog’s Death Harsh Reminder About The Danger Of Chip Bags

A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, family is hoping to spread the word about the dangers of chip bags after the death of their dog, Scout, who suffocated in a potato chip bag that had been left out overnight.

The chocolate Labrador retriever’s owner, Brian Best, tells WTAE News, “We never thought twice about leaving a bag of potato chips out.” The accidental oversight resulted in Scout suffocating because the bag got stuck on his head during the night. Best woke up to find the pup motionless, he tells the news agency, “He was laying on the ground motionless. He’s stuck in a potato chip bag.”

Brian’s wife, Holly, described her dismay, saying:

“I was more concerned about him choking on a dog treat or a rawhide but not in a million years did I think a chip bag.”

Dogs dying after getting their head stuck in chip bags is more common than most people think. In 2019, a Labrador retriever mix named Cadee died after getting into a chip bag when her family wasn’t around. The dog’s heartbroken owner found out how common it is after doing some research. She said:

I did some research and found this is not a freak accident and happens more often that we know which is why we are sharing our story. As she was going in for the crumbs she was inhaling thus creating a suction and the bag becomes impossible to remove. 3-5 pet suffocation’s get reported every week and 42% of those occur while the owner is in the next room. It only takes about 3 minutes for their oxygen to drop to fatal levels. 90% of the incidents reported the owner had never heard of this until it happened to them (us included).

Suffocation via chip bags is so common that there is a website created to help create awareness. On the website, there is an entire page full of photos to remember the pets who did not survive.

Find the website, and learn more, here.

(Images via Pixabay)

Rescues Hope ‘Dog’ Viewers Heed Warnings About One Of The Stars Of The Show

If you are a social media user and follow animal-related content, you have undoubtedly seen multiple rescue agencies that have been warning people about expected fallout from the newly released Channing Tatum movie, “Dog.”

Dog savvy people know what often happens after a blockbuster movie that features a dog…a deluge of people buy or adopt the breed of the dog star, and then later dump them at a shelter or with a rescue group when things don’t work out like it did in the movie.

The warning about Dog especially needs to be heeded because the star is a Belgian Malinois…a breed that is notoriously hard to handle. Belgian Malinois are known to be intelligent, high-drive, athletic, and INTENSE. They are a breed that should not be owned by the inexperienced…or by people who just want a couch-potato companion.

Last week, Xanadu Animal Sanctuary posted a public service announcement about the breed, writing in part:

People are going to see this film and many will want their own Belgian Malinois. This is not going to end well for this breed.
A highly trained Malinois is a work of art. So is Michelangelo’s statue of David but I don’t necessarily want it in my living room.
This breed can be amazing in the right hands but they require a lot of everything.


They are highly energetic and super smart-which is hard to manage as a puppy and young adult if you can’t devote the time and patience to training.
If you are still determined to get one. You can stem the inevitable tidal wave of Malinois that will be surrendered to the shelters by contacting your local shelter or a local Malinois rescue.
DO NOT get a Malinois from the guy down the street. Don’t help backyard breeders line their pockets. Purebred doesn’t equal good breeding.
From the bottom of my heart, for the love of all dogs, those of us who rescue see what’s coming and we bear the burden of choices people make on a whim regarding a breed they know little about.

Go enjoy DOG, but leave it there…an enjoyable outing, not your inspiration to add a Belgian Malinois to your life.

Watch the trailer below.



California Lawmaker Introduces Formal Bill Of Rights For Cats And Dogs

A Dog and Cat Bill of Rights has been introduced by a California lawmaker who wants to see pets live “happier, healthier lives.” Assembly Bill 1881 was introduced by Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) on February 11.

Santiago, a pet owner, said:

“As an owner of two dogs myself, I am proud to author the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights to help our furry friends live happier, healthier lives. Our dogs and cats deserve to be loved, and cared for, and the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights will help inform potential adopters of the care needed to create a healthy environment for their adopted pets.”

The proposed bill states:

This bill would enact the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights, and would require every public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or rescue group to post a copy of the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights. The bill would impose a civil penalty for failure to post the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights, as specified. The bill would make legislative findings and declarations in support of the Dog and Cat Bill of Rights. By imposing new duties on local public officials, the bill would create a state-mandated local program.

The bill, which is sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation, an advocacy group, recognizes cats and dogs as sentient beings:

(a) Dogs and cats have the right to be respected as sentient beings that experience complex feelings that are common among living animals while being unique to each individual animal.

And outlines their various rights, including:

(a) Dogs and cats have the right to be free from exploitation, cruelty, neglect, and abuse.
(b) Dogs and cats have the right to a life of comfort, free of fear and anxiety.
(c) Dogs and cats have the right to daily mental stimulation and appropriate exercise.
(d) Dogs and cats have the right to nutritious food, sanitary water, and shelter in an appropriate and safe environment.
(e) Dogs and cats have the right to preventive and therapeutic health care.
(f) Dogs and cats have the right to be properly identified through tags, microchips, or other humane means.
(g) Dogs and cats have the right to be spayed and neutered to prevent unwanted litters.
You can read the full bill at this link.

Elderly Dog, Abandoned On Rural Property, Determined To Be Dog That Woman Lost More Than A Decade Ago

An elderly dog, who was abandoned on a rural property outside of Stockton, California, on February 10, has been reunited with her owner thanks to a microchip. The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office shared the amazing story with Facebook followers on Friday.

The authorities explain that after being picked up by animal control, the dog was scanned for a microchip, and it came back with information indicating that the dog’s name was Zoey, and she had been reported missing back in 2010…12 years ago.

Amazingly, the dog owner’s contact information still had a working phone number. The sheriff’s office writes:

We met the owner Michelle in Rio Vista, where she and Zoey reunited after 12 years apart!

In a video, Michelle explains that Zoey and her sister had been adopted from a shelter when they were just six-month-old puppies. One day Michelle went to the store for about 20 minutes, and when she returned, Zoey was gone.

Zoey was gone for so long that the microchip company had listed her as “deceased.”

But Zoey is alive and she is now at home with her rightful owner.

A poignant reminder of the importance of microchips, and current information. Welcome home Zoey.

Pet Funeral Home Turns ‘Pets Into Plants’ With Eco-Friendly Disposal Method

A unique, Colombian pet funeral home is using a unique, eco-friendly method of disposal to turn pet remains into plants.

The Pleia home breaks down pet remains with microorganisms…the dirt that is created is then used to grow plants. But before the process begins, the funeral home takes an imprint of the pet’s paw for the grieving owners. They are then given a plant that is surrounded by the soil from their dearly departed pet.

The “pet soil” is also used to fertilize a grove of trees.

Fans of the process view this as a sort of “reincarnation” showing that life goes on, even after death.

Watch the Inside Edition video below.


DNA Results Reveal ‘Mystery Animal’s’ True Identity

The DNA results are in and team “coyote” wins the prize for determining the true identity of a so-called “mystery” animal that was rescued in January by a kind-hearted woman in Pennsylvania. Christina Eyth rescued the coyote after she saw him outside in the cold – she initially thought that the animal was her neighbor’s dog, but realized that wasn’t the case when she got closer.

The rescued coyote was taken to Wildlife Works Inc., for care and while there, a DNA sample was obtained to determine if it was a dog or a coyote. Until the results came back, the wildlife rehab facility was treating the ailing animal, who was malnourished and suffering from a skin condition.

Before the DNA results came back, and before the treatment was complete, the coyote made his great escape – busting out of a cage, and through a window, never to be seen again.

The escape led most people to the conclusion that the “mystery animal” was indeed a wild animal – a coyote to be exact. And this week, when the DNA results came back, those suspicions were confirmed. Wildlife Works updated curious Facebook followers as soon as the results were received, writing:

Wildlife Works-Mount Pleasant

The results are in! Our “mystery animal” DNA sample came back, 100% coyote!
Thank you again to everyone who has supported us and followed this story. We are so thankful!



Dog Slipped From Collar During Hike, Survived Freezing Temps And Predators And Traveled 50 Miles Away

A dog named Harlow recently embarked on a long journey after he slipped his collar while on a hike with his family at Castaic Lake in California. The dog’s family feared that their pet was gone forever after he disappeared, but the resilient pooch survived and was found 50 miles away in a woman’s yard in Kern County.

Earlier this month, the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control recounted what is known of Harlow’s amazing journey. The agency said:

In the early morning, 20 degree weather, a dog wandered into the backyard of a property off 190th Street East and B8, on the border of Kern County. Lucky for the resident the dog was friendly and lucky for the dog so was the human.

The woman searched her neighborhood for the stray dog’s owner, but she came up empty-handed. After taking the dog to the Lancaster Animal Care Center, staff discovered that the dog had a microchip, learning that his name was Harlow and his owner lived in Moorpark – which is quite far from Lancaster.

Shelter staff called the phone number registered to the chip and it rang through to a fire station in Simi Valley. The person who answered the phone told the animal control officer that the man she was looking for was a captain at the station, but he was in a class. Another call led the officer to Ashley, the captain’s wife. The agency wrote:

Ashley told her that they were hiking around Castaic Lake when Harlow slipped his collar and ran off and they thought they would never see him again.
Ashley was very emotional with her heart racing said she would pack her kids into the car and be here as fast as she could.

Harlow waited for his family’s arrival in an office where he had a “bird’s eye view” of the front door. The shelter writes, “every time someone would come by he would check to see if it was his people.”

Describing the joyful reaction from dog and humans when the family arrived:

Before too long Harlow jumped up and started crying and whining loudly, as in walked Ashley! Harlow’s people had arrived! Harlow’s little boy started crying, “my doggie, my doggie I love my doggie!”

The agency commented on Harlow’s remarkable journey:

We may never know how Harlow traveled more than 50 miles through mountains, predators and sub-freezing weather. There was a lot of luck for Harlow and his people and the kindness of strangers.

Harlow’s story shows the importance of microchips, and keeping owner contact information up-to-date!



Shelter Reaches Out To Public To Find Owner Of Cat Burned In Wildfire

An animal shelter in Colorado reached out to the public last week in an effort to locate the owner of a severely burned cat who managed to survive the devastating wildfires that started in late December, destroying huge areas of Boulder County.

In a Facebook post, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley explained that the cat suffered serious injuries in the Marshall Fire that ravaged the area. The animal welfare agency said:

This sweet orange tabby arrived at HSBV, suffering from severe burns after the Marshall Fire. After a few visits with our partners at local emergency veterinary clinics, he was transferred to us for specialized treatments and extended care.
His face and paws were extremely burned, and our compassionate veterinary team quickly began treating him for the burns, cleaning his wounds and ensuring his pain is well-managed.

The shelter believed that they knew who the injured cat belonged to, but as the cat continued to heal, and his features became more identifiable, the family determined that he was not their missing cat. The agency said that they have run into brick walls as they continue to search for his owners, writing:

We have cross-checked the lost cat reports, spoken to many hopeful guardians, and have unfortunately not yet been able to find his family.

Requesting help from the public:

Now, we need your help! Do you know someone who is missing a neutered male, approximately 8-year-old orange tabby from the fire-affected area who has not filed a lost animal report with us? Help us reunite this sweet boy with his family!

If you recognize this cat, or simply want to follow his story, you can find the Humane Society of Boulder Valley at this link to Facebook.


National study to examine children’s roles as perpetrators or reporters of animal abuse

By Phil Arkow

The first national study to examine children’s roles as perpetrators or reporters of animal abuse has been published. Family court judges are looking at how animal abuse affects their cases. And Canadian law now defines threatening, hurting, or killing pets as family violence. All this and more are in your February LINK-Letter about animal abuse’s Links to human violence. Click here to read about:



–   Juvenile & family court judges urged to consider impact of animal abuse

–   Study examines children as perpetrators or reporters of animal abuse

–   National survey in Norway Links child, animal and domestic abuse



–   Domestic violence training course for police includes animal abuse as risk factor

–   Animal Welfare Institute expands library of state manuals for survivors & advocates

–   Canadian divorce law includes threats to pets in definition of family violence

–   RedRover seeking Community Outreach Coordinator

–   BestyBnB Links Kansas City survivors with foster pet caregivers



–   Linked crimes impact an “animal harm spectrum” in a “patchwork of patchworks” of enforcement

–   List of specialized animal cruelty prosecution and enforcement units grows


SOCIAL WORK and The Link

–   Two Veterinary Social Work positions will intervene in Link situations



–  ALDF project promotes collaborative veterinary response to animal cruelty investigations



–  Bill would finally ban bestiality in Washington, D.C.



–  Study examines women’s proclivity for committing animal abuse



–   Webinar offers CEUs for BARK abuser diversion program



–  New Link coalition organized in Kansas City

–  WANTED: Link news from around the globe!



–   Link cited as way to improve European animal welfare enforcement

–   National Link Coalition cited in domestic violence awareness article



As the 2022 legislative sessions get under way, we’re watching 87 bills that have already been introduced in state legislatures and Congress.



–   West Virginia father charged with child neglect and animal cruelty

–   Dentist charged with murdering wife while on African hunting safari

–   Kentucky man with criminal history charged with burning dog

–   Houston man suspected in carjacking, robbery, stabbing K-9, and killing his father

–   Florida man accused of online blackmail, child pornography and bestiality

–   New Jersey child pornography investigation leads to animal cruelty charges


plus 14 TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES where you can learn more about how animal abuse is a sentinel indicator and predictor of human violence.


Please share the issue with your colleagues and send me your news and names of any associates who would also like to receive The LINK-Letter. Thanks for helping us to make a difference in protecting vulnerable people, animals and communities.


Phil Arkow, Coordinator

The National LINK Coalition –

The National Resource Center on The LINK between Animal Abuse and Human Violence

16 Grasshopper Drive

Etowah, NC 28729



Zoo Announces Death Of Beloved ‘Ambassador’ Bear, Ranger

Los Angeles, California – On Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens announced the passing of Ranger, a beloved “ambassador” bear who had resided at the zoo since 1997. The cub was taken after being orphaned as a cub in Minnesota. The zoo explained why Ranger was never released back into the wild:

While it is never an ideal situation to take animals out of their natural environment, this was the best-case scenario for Ranger, as he had become accustomed to human interaction at a very young age, which would have inhibited his re-introduction to the wild.

Everyone loved Ranger’s “sweet, proud, and relaxed personality,” and because of his amiable demeanor, he broke fear barriers and built connections that promoted awareness of and coexistence with local wildlife.

In a statement, Beth Schaefer, director of animal programs at the Los Angeles Zoo, said:

“Ranger touched the lives of every animal keeper, volunteer, and docent who worked with him over the last 25 years.”

Describing how the beloved bear came to be an ambassador at the zoo:

“Part of the reason why zoos exist is to help create a strong connection to the wildlife that lives around us, and Ranger was the best ambassador for his species in that way. When you would walk around Tiger Plaza, it was impossible to not see groups of people of all ages stopping to observe Ranger basking in the warm sun, eating berries, or just lounging in his habitat. The L.A. Zoo will not be the same without him.”

As reported by NBC Los Angeles, Ranger was euthanized because of declining health.

Police Arrest Woman Believed To Be Responsible For Beating A Small Dog

On February 4, police in Fulton County, Georgia, arrested a woman believed to be responsible for beating a small, white dog. The beating, which was captured on Ring video at the Landing Square Apartments on December 16, showed a woman viciously beating the dog with a shoe, before picking it up and walking away.

After an investigation, the authorities arrested Dwanisha Rayniece Hitches on a charge of animal cruelty; she was booked into the Fulton County Jail.

There is currently no information about the fate of the dog who was beaten.

Original article about this situation can be found here.

Severely Injured Cat, Abandoned In Carrier At Rest Stop, Rescued And Receiving Care

In late January, a severely injured cat was abandoned in a pet carrier that was left at a rest stop in New Canaan, Connecticut. The tuxedo cat was discovered by police officers and the New Canaan Animal Control was called in to assist.

Because of his injuries, the cat was transported to a veterinarian who determined that the cat had two broken legs and traumatic injuries to his eye. The Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk (PAWS) was contacted for help, and the cat, dubbed Highway, was taken into their care.

On February 2, the animal welfare agency updated Facebook fans about Highway’s injuries, writing:

Great news! Highway has undergone a successful eye removal. He tolerated the surgery well and is now recovering and resting comfortably.

According to the surgeon, Highway’s injured eye was likely the result of prior abuse and it was believed to have caused him tremendous pain. Fortunately, the eye removal surgery has eliminated that pain, and now Highway can heal. PAWS said:

The next step is to consult with surgeons on how to repair his two broken front legs, again caused by suspected abuse. Highway is one of the lucky ones. He is away from his abuser(s) and is now surrounded by love and care from the staff/volunteers at PAWS. We’ll keep you posted on his many steps to his recovery.

Eventually, Highway will be adopted out, but at this point in time, the animal welfare agency is not accepting applications. Anyone interested in helping the agency financially can go to and click the DONATE button!


No Charges For Man Who Put Arm Into Tiger’s Enclosure At Zoo

The 26-year-old man who stuck his arm into a tiger’s enclosure at Florida’s Naples Zoo in late December will not be facing any charges. River Rosenquist was working with a third-party cleaning crew when he put his arm into an enclosure where Eko, a rare Malaysian tiger, was being held.

The eight-year-old tiger grabbed hold of Rosenquist’s arm and the man suffered severe injuries. Eko was shot and killed by a deputy who was called out to the scene.

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, expressed disappointment that Rosenquist won’t be held accountable for his actions, saying in a statement:

“I am frustrated and even angered that there is no existing criminal law that applies in this tragic situation that resulted in the untimely death of a rare and endangered tiger.”

On February 4, the sheriff’s office said:

We understand that so many people were expecting and even demanding criminal charges be filed against Mr. Rosenquist. Our enforcement authority and our nation’s justice system operate within laws set forth by our legislative bodies. When incidents occur that no one ever imagined or could anticipate happening and are not governed or covered by law, the course of action is to work with the applicable legislative bodies that can enact such law. That is what we are doing.

Find the original story about this tragic situation here.



Falling Buzzard Alert As Temperature Plunges In Kentucky

On Friday afternoon, the Lexington-Fayette Animal Care And Control issued a rather strange alert to the public amidst frigid temperatures that have settled into Kentucky. The animal welfare agency writes:

In Florida they have falling lizard alerts when it gets cold, but here in KENTUCKY we have a…
Falling BUZZARD Alert!

Yes, Florida residents have to watch out for lizards falling from trees when the temperature goes down, and in Kentucky, it is buzzards falling from the sky. The agency explains:

We’ve had multiple calls on buzzards falling out of trees. The storm caused their wings to be iced over, preventing them from flying. A few were found stuck in the ice!

Area residents commented that they had witnessed the strange phenomena as well:

So far, the agency has rescued 35 buzzards who were in need of a little “defrosting.” People commenting on the Facebook post have expressed gratitude for the animal control officers’ help:

Fortunately, all of the birds weathered the storm. The agency said:

Once warmed up at our facility, they were released back into the wild. Buzzards are so important to the environment and we’re happy to do our part to protect them!