Monthly Archives: August 2022

Man Killed By Lion While Trying To Steal Rare White Cub From Zoo

Ghana – On Sunday, a man who scaled a 20-foot fence was fatally mauled by a lion at Ghana’s Accra Zoo. It is presumed that the middle-aged man may have been attempting to steal one of the rare white lion cubs inside of the enclosure, reports the New York Post.

A press release from the state’s forestry commission indicates that the man died from injuries sustained in the attack and that the lions inside of the enclosure did not escape.

Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu Bio explained why the attack happened, explaining:

“The lions have cubs so if you come too close they may feel you are trying to take away their babies.”

The rare, white lion cubs have been a popular attraction for visitors at the zoo.


Anger After Government Officials Killed Freya, A Walrus Who Was Popular With Tourists

Oslo, Norway – Earlier this month, government officials in Norway made the decision to “euthanize” a walrus who had endeared herself to tourists. Her name was Freya and she gained popularity in the Oslo Fjord thanks to her endearing antics with boats.

Freya weighed in over 1300 pounds and her daunting weight nearly sank boats that she would climb aboard for naps.

But Freya’s popularity led to her demise. Tourists refused to stay away from her and officials worried that someone would eventually get hurt. The one who paid with her life was Freya – she was shot and killed rather than relocated. Ironically, officials did not want to sedate her for transport because they were worried that she might get hurt.

The decision to kill the beloved walrus did not sit well with many people. Rune Aae, a University of South-Eastern Norway biologist commented on Freya’s demise in a public Facebook post:

“Freya had sooner or later gotten out of the Oslo Fjord, which all previous experience has shown, so killing her was, in my view, completely unnecessary, and another example of a trigger-happy gun management—for which Norway is already well known. Norway is the country that killed Freya after being around for over two years around the entire North Sea. What a shame!”

People who loved Freya have been raising funds for a statue to memorialize her; nearly $25,000 has been raised so far.

Though countless people are heartbroken that Freya is gone, the officials who decided that she had to be killed are standing by their decision – citing human safety as the driving force for “euthanizing” her.

Rest in peace Freya.

Police K9 Killed While Protecting Partner From Violent Felon

Charleston, W. VA – Over the weekend, a K9 with the Charleston, WV Police Department was fatally shot by a wanted man. On Sunday, the police department announced the death of K9 Axel, writing:

Our K9 officer “Axel”, gave his life protecting his handler and other CPD officers while apprehending an armed fleeing felon .. Thank You Axel for your dedicated service and this heroic act .. Prayers for his handler and all of our CPD family 🖤💙

Axel was working with his partner, Ptl. Josh Clendenin, when 50-year-old Samuel Paul Ranson shot the dog at close range. Charleston police officers returned fire, killing Ranson, a man with an active warrant for malicious wounding in a stabbing earlier this month.

Clendenin’s wife, Hanna, mournfully acknowledged Axel’s death in a touching social media post, writing in part:

Last night I got a phone call that made my heart fall out of my chest. Last night my husband’s K9 Partner was killed in the Line of Duty, saving the life of my husband and other Officers. I thank God that Josh is safe, and my children still have their father and I my husband, but my heart is shattered by the fact our Axel is gone. Each shift before my husband and Axel left for work I’d spend a few minutes with Axel and I’d always say to him, “Be a good boy. Mommy loves you, take care of Dad for me. Watch out for him and protect him.”

Flags were ordered to half-staff in the city of Charleston and Kanawha County. On Sunday, dozens of area police officers gathered to honor K-9 Axel with a touching procession as his body was transferred to Cooke Funeral Home and Crematoriums.

Rest in peace Axel.


Horribly Injured Puppy Was Euthanized After Being Abandoned In A Bag

Olean, NY – A puppy, discovered abandoned in a bag in Limestone, New York, on August 21 was so badly injured that he had to be humanely euthanized. According to the SPCA in Cattaraugus County, the injured puppy was found at 2165 US Rt 219 in Limestone, and troopers were notified because he was in such poor condition.

The animal welfare agency said that an exam revealed extensive injuries, including severe burns and infection across much of his body. He had a broken femur from being shot multiple times and was in kidney failure due to malnutrition. Humane euthanasia was recommended by the veterinarian due to the extensive injuries and immense pain that the puppy was in.

The agency is hoping that a member of the public will come forward with information about this puppy, and the cruelty case. The shelter writes:

If anyone has information regarding this puppy (male, approximately 3 months old) or may recognize him please contact the SPCA at 716-372-8492. 


Researchers Confirm That Dogs Shed Actual, Emotional Tears

Researchers have confirmed what many dog owners already knew…dogs shed emotional tears. The study flies in the face of former scientists who insisted that tears from a dog’s eyes were only to keep the tear-duct clean. And it is contradictory to the researchers who previously attempted to convince the world that dogs do not experience emotion.

Japanese researchers determined that dogs shed tears of joy when they were reunited with owners who had been away from them for five-to-seven hours. The study, conducted by academics with Azabu University and Jichi Medical, showed that dogs only “cried” when they were reunited with their owners…not with people who they knew, but who were not their guardians.

It is a study that I wish I could show one of my elementary school teachers…a man who told our class that dogs do not think and do not feel. I was a shy, introverted child, but his comment made me throw my hand in the air and speak out to let him know that he was absolutely WRONG. My family was raising a German shepherd Guide Dog puppy named Sparrow for Guide Dogs of the Blind and I KNEW that she not only had emotions but that she could think.

And she is the one dog in my life who cried hard enough when I was reunited with her after she retired from her guiding job that the tears rolled down her face. She had lived with a blind man in California for years…she retired when she was too old to perfectly execute her duties. My family picked her up at the airport and when she was reunited with us, tears quietly fell from her eyes.

My current dog is not much of a crier. He is more of a tail-thumping, shepherd talking, grab a shoe and joyously prance around the house when his family gets home type of dog. He wears his emotions on his, well paw?

But sweet Sparrow, she was a special girl with great intelligence and deep emotion. She was the dog that taught me everything that I needed to know about dogs. She was the dog who gave me the courage to speak out when my teacher tried to give bad information to my classmates.

And I am not alone – most of us know that our dogs have a wide range of emotions and they are intelligent. But thanks Japanese researchers, for confirming what we know.


Unexpected Reunion; Woman Gets Message That Her Stolen Dog Is Over 1000 Miles From Home

Kokomo, Indiana – In December 2019, a Florida woman’s dog disappeared from her backyard. Ines Figueroa searched everywhere for her pup, Grace, but she was nowhere to be found; Figueroa believes that Grace was stolen.

Figueroa never lost hope that she would see her pet again, but after years passed, the hope of a reunion faded.

That all changed in late July when Figueroa received an unexpected message from a shelter in Kokomo, Indiana. Shelter staff told Figueroa that someone dropped off a dog in front of the shelter and the scanned microchip information led them to her.

With the help of the Rescue Railroad group, Grace made the long trek from Indiana to Florida, where she was finally back in the arms of her rightful owner.

Grace’s story is an important reminder of the importance of microchips and keeping the contact information up to date. Welcome home Grace!


Microchip your animals! You never know what could happen! Grace was reported stolen in 2019 now shes back home! 😁🥰 #shelterworker #welcomeback #lostdogfound

♬ Carrying Your Love – David Morris

Homeless Family In Arizona Was Caring For 150 Dogs Who Have All Been Rescued

Surprise, Arizona – A staggering number of dogs was taken in by an Arizona rescue group that received a desperate plea for help from the transient community. Sky Sanctuary Rescue described the situation in an August 17 social media post, writing:

It’s not often that members of the transient community reach out begging for help but when this family ended up homeless, in the brutal heat of the desert with the 150 animals they were so desperately trying to keep alive in the Arizona monsoons, we knew we had to help.

Rescuers were met by an overwhelming scene. Dozens and dozens of dogs and puppies were houses in the midst of trash. The animal welfare agency said:

We’ve never experienced anything like that. Standing in the middle of the desert in 110 degrees with over a hundred vulnerable dogs staring back at us, jumping into our van to escape the heat… and knowing we could only help some of them.

Elli Smith, the rescue agency’s founder, told Fox 10 News:

“Surprisingly enough, you could see they did the best with what they had to really take care of the animals, especially living in these conditions,” Smith said. “I think that was their comfort…knowing they had their animals, so knowing after we left and took the animals that they were out there in the silence in the desert by themselves, it’s really sad.”

The animals not taken in by the sanctuary were removed by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office MASH Unit and all are receiving care.

You can make a donation to the rescue group at this link.

People interested in adopting or volunteering can apply here.

Police Respond To Zoo After Monkey Steals Cell Phone And Calls 911

Paso Robles, California – A mischievous monkey created a bit of excitement at a California zoo earlier this month when she got ahold of a phone and made an unexpected phone call. The capuchin monkey’s antics were discovered after the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from the Conservation Ambassadors Zoo on the night of August 13.

Responding officers questioned zoo staff and learned that nobody had called for help. But then the zoo employees put two and two together and realized that Route the monkey was to blame.

The authorities issued a rather humorous public announcement about the unusual call on their Facebook page, explaining what went down at the zoo:

No one there had placed the call.
Was someone trying to make us look like a monkey’s uncle?

Then they all realized… it must have been Route the Capuchin monkey.
Apparently, Route had picked up the zoo’s cell phone… which was in the zoo’s golf cart… which is used to travel around the zoo’s 40 acre site.
We’re told Capuchin monkeys are very inquisitive and will grab anything and everything and just start pushing buttons.

The zoo said:

Route made national news! While we wish it was for something a little more “conservation education” based, let this serve as an educational lesson that monkeys are NOT animals that should be kept as pets! They’re so inquisitive you never know what might happen!

(Images via Facebook/San Luis Obispo Police and Conservation Ambassadors)

Burned Dog ‘Riona’ Undergoes Important Surgery And Soaks Up ‘Heaps Of Love’

Memphis, TN – Riona, the dog who was doused in accelerant and set on fire in the Nutbush area in June, is continuing on her road to recovery from widespread burns. This week, she underwent an important surgical procedure to help her recuperate from the fourth-degree burns covering most of the left side of her body.

On Thursday, Riona had saline packets placed beneath the healthy portion of her skin. These packets will be slowly filled to expand the skin. The new portions of skin will then be used to cover the portions of Riona’s body that lost skin from the deep burns. Tails of Hope Dog Rescue, the organization that took Riona under its wing, let Facebook followers know that Riona’s surgery on Thursday went well.

As Riona continues to heal, she is being showered with love. Ginger Natoli, the rescue group’s founder, tells the Commercial Appeal:

“She’s getting lots and lots of attention from everywhere. She’s had gifts and toys come in from literally all over the world.”

Adding perhaps the most inspiring statement that anyone could hope for:

“Probably one of the worst things in the world that could’ve happened to a dog happened to her, and she’s forgetting. She’s happy.”

Quishon Brown, the man believed to have burned Riona, was arrested by the Memphis Police on July 12. His original $5,000 bond was revoked when he broke the conditions of the bond and Judge Louis Montesi then increased the bond to $150,000 after a recorded phone call, between a woman at his home and Brown, was played in General Sessions Court. On the recorded call, Brown said, “You can shoot people when they come on your property. You can shoot the reporter. Wait til I get out. I’m going to shoot them, and I’m going to tell them I’m going to shoot them.” Brown had two other dogs in his possession when he was arrested and they have been seized. With the help of Tails of Hope Dog Rescue, one dog is in a new home and the other is in a foster home.

Animal Victory is petitioning for Brown to receive the maximum punishment for all charges stemming from this appalling case of animal cruelty. You can learn more, and add your name, at this link to the petition.

Nine Wolves Escaped From Zoo After Enclosure Compromised With ‘Malicious Intent’

Vancouver, BC – On Tuesday, nine adult grey wolves escaped from the Greater Vancouver Zoo after someone compromised their enclosure with “malicious intent.” Most of the wolves remained on the property of the zoo and were captured, but two broke free and sparked a widespread search effort.

Tragically, one of the wolves was found dead by the side of a road in Aldergrove on Thursday morning. The wolf, three-year-old Chia, is believed to have been hit by a car. The remaining wolf on the run, a year-old female named Tempest, was found on Friday morning.

As reported by the Vancouver Sun, Tempest was returned to her pack at the zoo, and the facility will reopen to the public on Sunday.

Find the Greater Vancouver Zoo on Facebook at this link.


Man Ripped In Half By Elephant He Was Forcing To Work In Extreme Heat

Thailand – A man who was forcing his elephant to work in extreme heat was killed by the animal, who apparently lashed out because of the high temperature. According to sources, 32-year-old Supachai Wongfaed was sliced in half when his elephant, Pom Pam used his tusk to slash the man.

Wongfaed was making Pom Pam haul rubberwood as the thermometer climbed to near 90 degrees.

Duncan McNair, the CEO of the charity Save The Asian Elephants told Newsweek:

“[It] is yet another stark reminder that Asian elephants are and always remain wild animals that can attack and kill when they are abused or overly stressed by humans. They suffer deeply, psychologically as well as physically, when broken and forced into constant severe toil in logging and related activities.

The elephant was still standing over the body of the man who was killed when officials arrived. The animal had to be sedated in order for responders to access Wongfaed. According to reports, the elephant was transferred to the care of a rehabilitation facility.

(Stock images via Pixabay)

Neglected Animals Rescued From Deplorable Conditions In Dilapidated Trailer

Orchard Park, New York – Multiple animals have a new lease on life after being rescued from deplorable conditions in Orchard Park. According to the Orchard Park Police Department, earlier this month, officers who were responding to a trespass complaint found a makeshift trailer holding several animals in “deplorable” conditions.

In a release, the authorities described the conditions the animals had been suffering in:

There was no food or water present and the animals could not lie down due to the confined space. The animals were living in their own waste, and appeared emaciated. The animals were left unattended in the enclosed trailer in close to 90 degree weather.

Shawn Hirschbine, age 48, and his girlfriend Deanna Huff, age 62, showed up at the property and attempted to take possession of the animals. After refusing commands from the officers, Shawn Hirschbine began “physically resisting officers,” and he was taken into custody.

The officers reached out to the Erie County SPCA for help and the agency assisted in relocating the animals and getting them veterinary care.

The police department release outlines the charges that Hirschbine and Huff are facing.

Shawn Hirschbine was arrested and charged with:
Trespass Penal Law 140.05
Obstruction of Governmental Administration 2nd; Penal Law 195.05
Resisting Arrest; Penal Law 205.30
Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree; Penal Law 145.00-03
Confinement of a companion animal in extreme heat; Agriculture and Markets 353D
Neglect of an Animal; Agriculture and Markets 356
Failure to Provide Sustenance for Animals; Agriculture and Markets 353

Deanna Huff was arrested and charged with:
Confinement of a companion animal in extreme heat; Agriculture and Markets 353D
Neglect of an Animal; Agriculture and Markets 356

Both defendants were released on appearance tickets with a future court date of August 25th, 2022 at 5 p.m.

Adopted Shelter Dog Is Starring In Hit Movie, ‘Prey’

A dog named Coco went from a homeless shelter dog to superstardom. Coco was adopted from Georgia’s Fulton Animal Services facility and now she plays Sarii in Prey, the latest movie in the Predator series.

Fulton County Animal Services is proud of the four-legged canine actress who came from humble beginnings. On August 11, the shelter said:

Fulton County Animal Services was thrilled to find out that one of our former residents has hit the bigtime. Coco, who came into our care at the beginning of 2021, is the breakout star of one of this Summer’s biggest movie hits, Prey.

Explaining how she went from a bit role in the summer movie to being one of the film’s stars:

Coco who has no film training and was adopted by her family specifically for this project, plays Sarii. She was originally meant to have a small role however her popularity among test audiences encouraged director Dan Trachtenberg to include more of Coco in the film.

Coco’s “joyful and playful personality” has won over her costars and endeared her to everyone involved in the movie, even though actress Amber Midthunder described Coco “…as a little bit of a hot mess — but in a sweet way.”

The shelter said:

We are SO delighted that Coco found the life she has, and is now shining a light on the potential of shelter dogs and what they are capable of when given a chance.

You can watch Coco on Prey, which is now streaming on Hulu.

(Screenshot of Coco at the shelter and in her role on Prey via 20th Century Studios)

Texas Man Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Punching And Kicking His Dog

San Antonio, Texas – A Texas man caught on video abusing his dog in 2019 has been sentenced to 25 years in prison; one of the longest sentences ever recorded in Texas for an animal cruelty case.

A good Samaritan captured the abuse of a Rottweiler named Buddy on video and that video led to the lengthy prison sentence handed down to 56-year-old Frank Javier Fonseca.

Stock image of a Rottweiler/Not Buddy

The damning video evidence showed Fonseca punching and kicking Buddy; Fonseca also hit his young dog with a piece of wood and choked him. Amazingly Buddy survived the abuse and he has since been adopted by a new family.

According to a news release from Animal Care Services, Fonseca’s prior felony convictions, including drug possession and crimes of retaliation, allowed for a heavier sentence.

Husky Puppy Rescued From Car Parked At Vegas Casino Has Been Adopted

Las Vegas, Nevada – A husky puppy who beat the odds, surviving hours inside of a car parked in the scorching Vegas heat, has recovered and is now living with a new family. Her name is Dutchess and she was pulled through a parked vehicle’s sunroof on July 20 after security officers at the Bellagio Casino discovered her suffering inside of a Mercedes while the outside temperature registered 113 degrees.

Not only had the puppy been left inside of the car, but her owner, 50-year-old Raul Carbajal, had taped her mouth shut and left her while he went inside the air-conditioned casino to gamble.

Carbajal was arrested and Dutchess was sent for emergency veterinary care. Fast forward to this week – Dutchess found a home. On Wednesday, the Animal Foundation made the joyous announcement on social media, writing:

An adorable puppy rescued from a hot car with her mouth taped shut at a Las Vegas Strip hotel and casino has found a new home! We’re thrilled to announce that Dutchess has been ADOPTED! We’re so happy for her.


Before Dutchess found her forever home, she got a visit from the LVMPD officer who helped save her. Officer Rybacki stopped by the shelter to reunite with the pup one last time.
Dutchess found the perfect forever family. She enjoys going for walks, playing with her new toys, and spending time with her new dog sibling, Tobey.

Carbajal is facing a felony charge for willful, malicious torture of an animal, and Animal Victory is petitioning for him to receive the maximum sentence. Read our petition at this link.


Shelter’s Ageless Commitment To Companionship Partners Cat With Elderly Man Refused By Others

Johnson County, Indiana – An older gentleman recently found a cat to love after being turned away by multiple shelters in Indiana. The man was looking for an adult cat to adopt because he knew that he would not outlive a kitten.

But his common sense approach toward adoption was not good enough for most of the shelters that he visited. Fortunately, the Humane Society of Johnson County was willing to work with him to find a perfect match.

On August 9, the animal welfare agency recounted what happened, explaining the man’s introduction to a cat named Rosie, and what they needed from him to make an adoption happen:

We advised that we would just need to know his plan for Rosie if something happened, he had a plan ♥️ fast forward a week and he called us and asked if Rosie was still available. She was!! He said I tried to go to other shelters and they said no. 

They said:

We are ageless in our pursuit of companionship, oh how we would hate to turn away this love match ♥️ His joy is immeasurable.