Monthly Archives: October 2022

Couple That Starved Dog Convicted Of Animal Cruelty: Dog Recovered And Is Ready For Her New Life

Brunswick, OH – Justice has been served for a dog named June who was starved to the brink of death earlier this year. According to the Brunswick Ohio Police, Michelle Varga and Cameron McMahon, June’s prior owners, were indicted and convicted of felony animal cruelty.

June was dropped off at Brunswick Animal Control on May 23 – staff was told that she was a stray, but it was one of her former owners who actually dropped her off.

According to the Medina County SPCA, June has completely recovered from the extreme neglect and she is learning to trust and “be a dog again” thanks to her foster mom, Alicia Hornbeck.

On October 31, the Brunswick Police said:

Keep living your best life June, you’ve earned it!!! ❤️

Injured And Immobile Bobcat Kitten Rescued From Phoenix Yard

Phoenix, AZ – When a Phoenix homeowner noticed a bobcat kitten in the backyard, it became clear that something was amiss. The resident’s dogs were barking at the kitten and rocks tossed lightly in her direction did nothing to prompt her to move.

According to Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, the kitten was picked up by “Rescuer Paul,” and taken to the Southwest Wildlife Clinic to be evaluated. The veterinary team could see that she had a swollen front paw – possibly the result of a snake bite or scorpion sting that got infected.

But the prognosis is good; the bobcat is expected to be back to herself following some rest, medication, and love.

Find the wildlife center on Facebook at this link.

City Bans Cruel Bull Running Event In Peru

Ayacucho, Peru – Animal welfare advocates are celebrating an announcement made on October 25. According to Animal Defenders International (ADI), officials in Ayacucho have banned a controversial bull run event.

ADI said:

Yesterday the Ministry of Culture declared that the Jala Toro, Pascua Toro and Velay Toro, are excluded from the Easter festivities, and that if they take place in the Huamanga Province, they will lose their status under the Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

The event involved the cruel mistreatment of animals and frequent injuries to people who crowded the streets as the bulls ran freely through the town. On more than one occasion, the traditional event was canceled because of these issues.

Animal welfare activists continue their fight to bring an end to these cruel events worldwide.

Deputies In Washington State Rescue Large Alligator Found Living In Shipping Container With A Man

Lakebay, Washington – Deputies in Pierce County encountered an unusual situation last week when they were called out to capture a nearly 7-foot-long alligator who was living in a shipping container with a man.

The sheriff’s office shared the strange situation via social media on Wednesday, explaining that the animal control agency had received a complaint alleging that someone was living on property in Lakebay with an alligator. The agency described the situation officers were met with, writing:

On 10-20-2022, animal control visited the property and saw the alligator which was being stored in a small tub inside of a shipping container. Also in the container was a very sick calf (baby cow) and a mattress for the 32 year old owner to sleep in the container with the animals.

Sgt Darren Moss Jr. PCSO Public Information Officer added:

“The back half was a little living room and mattress on ground where the man was sleeping and it was free access for the gator to come in and out of the tub next to the man.”

A day later, officers returned to the property with a search warrant in order to check on the calf and seize the alligator, dubbed Al by the authorities. But the calf, and the man, were gone. The department explains:

The calf and the owner were gone, but “Al” the alligator was still home.
Animal Control did the hard job of getting Al out of his tub and holding him down. A deputy assisted with taping the mouth closed (that’s a big NOPE).

The mission was a success. Al was transported to the Tacoma Humane Society where a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary met with them to take custody of the gator.

Friendly reminder for the curious, alligators are illegal to own in the state of Washington!

Zoo Mourns Unexpected Loss Of Baby Red Panda

Toronto, Canada – Staff at the Toronto Zoo is mourning the unexpected death of a baby red panda affectionately known as Baby Spice. The three-month-old cub was doing well on Saturday, but on Sunday morning, he was “vocalizing” and “extremely weak.”

The cub was rushed to the Wildlife Health Centre and administered fluids, antibiotics, and oxygen, but the supportive care was not enough to save his life. The zoo writes:

He was stable for a short period of time but then took a turn for the worse, at which point he stopped breathing and had no pulse. Resuscitation attempts were made but were unsuccessful.

At this point in time, the cause of the cub’s death remains unknown. His body will undergo a necropsy in order to determine what caused his rapid decline and death.

A naming contest was underway for the cub, but his caretakers referred to him as Dash. Dash’s Wildlife Care Keepers said:

“Dash brought us keepers so much joy. It was wonderful to see his mom, Paprika, become such an amazing mother and to see the bond develop between her and Dash. We enjoyed watching him grow and meet every milestone with gusto. Every daily weigh-in was the highlight of our day and we loved seeing his little “Yoda” face every time we opened the nestbox. To watch as he grew from a hesitant cub to a brave little boy will be one of our fondest memories. We are sad that our time with him was so short but we will cherish every moment we shared with him.”

The zoo said that red pandas have low survival rates with approximately 40 percent of cubs dying within one year of birth.

In an effort to protect vulnerable animals, the zoo administered covid vaccinations earlier this year.


Female Bear ‘Lethally Removed’ After Attacking Woman In Leavenworth

Leavenworth, WA – A female bear was “lethally removed” by wildlife officials after she attacked a woman in the picturesque town of Leavenworth, in central Washington. The woman let her dog out around 7 a.m. on Saturday morning when the black bear charged her outside a residence near Enchantment Park and Blackbird Island. The woman was able to get away from the bear after she punched the sow in the nose.

The bear had two nine-month-old cubs who were found and relocated to a PAWS wildlife rehabilitation facility.

The woman suffered significant, though non-life-threatening injuries and she is receiving care at a hospital in Wenatchee. In a release, Captain Mike Jewell said:

“We are extremely thankful that the victim is receiving medical care from this unfortunate encounter. Public safety is our priority; our officers and staff were quick to mobilize to locate the animal and secure the scene.”

Wildlife officials have offered tips to avoid being injured if you encounter a bear:

In general bears avoid people, but they’re naturally curious animals. If a bear walks toward you, identify yourself as a human by standing up, waving your hands above your head, and talking in a low voice. Back away, avoiding direct eye contact. Don’t run from a bear. WDFW recommends making noise and leashing pets while hiking. Be aware of your surroundings as to not accidentally startle a bear. While recreating, WDFW recommends carrying bear spray that is readily accessible and knowing how to use it.


Zoo Announces Unexpected Death Of Beloved Chimpanzee

Kansas City, MO – On Friday, the Kansas City Zoo announced the unexpected death of a beloved chimpanzee named Teetoo. According to a release from the zoo, Teetoo, 26, died on Thursday from acute cardiopulmonary arrest following a routine medical procedure. A necropsy revealed that Teetoo died from a blocked main artery to the brain.

Teetoo had been living at the zoo since 2003. She was a “magnificent mother” to her daughter, Gracie, who was born in 2018.

The zoo said:

Teetoo was intelligent and loved showing how smart she was with her training. She was a pro at “fishing” with sticks for tasty snacks and often showed the younger chimps how it is done. Teetoo will be dearly missed by all her Zoo family.

Earlier this month, a Western lowland gorilla named Curtis died at the same zoo. Curtis, 28, passed away from congestive heart failure on October 1.


Halloween Safety Tips For Your Pets


Halloween is fast approaching and while ghosts, ghouls, and candy treats might be enticing for humans, the holiday can pose some risks to our four-legged companions. With just a bit of planning and effort, your family can enjoy spooky festivities and keep your pets safe too.


Costumes can be fun, and they provide the opportunity to capture some adorable photos but ensure that your pet is not distraught by the outfit he/she is wearing. If your cat or dog seems stressed out in the costume, it is probably best to skip it completely; you might opt for a festive bandana instead. If the costume doesn’t upset your pet, just ensure that it fits well and that there is nothing on it that might get chewed off (posing a choking hazard). Keep a close eye on your pet to make sure that the extra clothing does not get tangled or caught on furniture or other items in the house or yard.


Goodies and Halloween seem to go hand-in-hand. Be sure to keep the sweet snacks safely out of your pet’s reach. Some candy can be deadly (especially if it is sugar-free and happens to have xylitol in it!!).


Decorating for Halloween is SO much fun! But you need to keep a close eye on pets (especially those curious felines) who might want to eat your decor. Things like small, plastic spiders can pose a choking hazard, and candles can be knocked over, causing an unintentional fire. If your pets are particularly enticed by decor, consider skipping real candles and plastic – opt instead for LED (fake) candles and paper/cardboard decorations.

Trick or Treaters

Greeting adorable trick-or-treaters at the door may be fun for humans, but terrifying for pets. If your cat(s) and/or dog(s) get stressed by knocks at the door, it is best to put them away before festively adorned visitors arrive. Find a safe spot in your home where your pets can relax with television or music on for distraction. If there is any chance that your pet might slip out of the house, ensure that they have a collar with ID tags (don’t forget microchips with current contact information) BEFORE Halloween arrives.

(All images via Pixabay)

Ryder, Carriage Horse Who Collapsed On NYC Street, Humanely Euthanized

On October 17, Equine Rescue Resource and The Sanctuary at Maple Hill Farms issued a joint news release announcing the death of Ryder, the carriage horse who drew national attention in August when he collapsed on the street in New York City. According to the sanctuary that took Ryder in, the horse was humanely euthanized recently “due to his medical conditions and age.”

Ryder collapsed on the street in NYC in Aug. 2022

Ian McKeever, Ryder’s owner and the driver on the day the horse collapsed, told responding police officers his horse was 13 years old when in actuality, he was 28 to 30 years of age. People who witnessed Ryder’s collapse were horrified to see McKeever repeatedly use his whip in an effort to get him up off of the street. It took an hour to finally get Ryder up on his feet.

Not long after the heartwrenching collapse, Ryder was retired and sent to a farm outside of New York City.

The release outlines the transfer of ownership and the care that Ryder received after leaving McKeever’s custodianship:

Ryder’s NEW OWNER immediately engaged a variety of veterinary professionals and subsequently brought him to the Cornell Equine Hospital (“Cornell”) for further evaluation and treatment where he spent many days. During his time at Cornell, Ryder was cared for by a team of veterinary professionals that have been consistently recognized as world-wide leaders in equine medicine and one of the best equine hospitals in the United States.

While at Cornell, Ryder was diagnosed with a variety of serious medical conditions that led to the decision to humanely euthanize him. “While Ryder is no longer with us, we find some comfort in knowing that Ryder’s NEW OWNER provided him the best possible care, utmost attention and long-needed love that he so deserved. Ryder’s NEW OWNER and many others involved are devastated by his loss,” the Sanctuary stated in the release.

Details about Ryder’s condition are not being released while the investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office continues.

Choosing The Day To Say Good-Bye Is Sometimes Impossible

Nobody who loves animals enjoys saying the final goodbye. In fact, it is this final heartwrenching moment that can push the most steadfast animal lover to say “I just can’t do this again.”

Sometimes our beloved companions pass away on their own. And sometimes we have to choose humane euthanasia because our pet’s quality of life has deteriorated so much that it really is the “right thing” to do. There are various resources for people who are trying to make the best decision they can. Things like a weighted list of questions that provide insight into quality of life issues. Or making a list of your pet’s favorite things to do and when most can no longer be enjoyed, deciding that it is time to say goodbye.

But what about the situations when things are not clear-cut? When the health of your pet is good, but for one reason or another, life for your pet and his/her family is HARD.

Our family is living in this nightmarish scenario right now, and we have been for quite some time. Our oldest German shepherd, Chesney, was inexplicably paralyzed four years ago. Her paralysis was sudden and completely unexpected. Though her veterinarian gently suggested euthanasia, we were not ready, so we worked with her and after several months, she regained some of her mobility. Suffice to say, the entire family was thrilled. She was never back to normal, and we jokingly described her walk as that of a drunken sailor, but she could get around on her own.

Fast forward to this year. Age is taking its toll on her, as it does for every senior animal. The mobility she regained four years ago has deteriorated greatly. At 12 years of age, she is tired. She can no longer feel when she has to poo…which means we are cleaning up messes almost daily. When she goes outside in the morning, she doesn’t make it to the yard before she starts to pee on the aggregate patio. Daily, I am cleaning off the patio with detergent and/or enzyme cleaner. Despite my best efforts, the stench of urine prevails. We have not had anyone come to visit at our house because we never know when she will have an accident – nothing says “great dinner party” like a fresh pile of dog poop in the house.

She cannot have ANY treats. For whatever reason, anything that is out of her normal diet creates explosive diarrhea. We have had moments this summer that would destroy most people. It is hard to even describe the messes that we have cleaned up. Because of Chesney’s limited mobility, we used to rely on treats to give her enrichment. Filled Kongs, different chew bones, things of that nature – but now we can’t. We can’t even give her pain medication because they also cause stomach problems. Though Chesney has no obvious signs of pain, she surely has aches and pains because of her age (I am 52 and I have aches and pains!). But we are unable to give her anything to address discomfort.

Chesney basically moves only when we help her move. She drinks when we hold the water dish for her. She goes out to the bathroom when we assist her. She mostly sleeps in one spot throughout the day. Her world is very small.

Now we are faced with the change of season. It is cold in the morning and the rain will soon be here. Eventually, it will be at or below freezing, and at that time, cleaning off the urine will be impossible. And at that time, it will no longer be possible to wash urine off of her body when she falls into it. We have laundry going constantly – washing her blankets and towels when they are soiled.

Our house is horrible for an old, disabled dog. The only access to the outside area in the back is through our kitchen. She lays on a huge blue tarp, with her therapeutic bed and blankets on top – in our kitchen.  The only access to the front yard is down steep stairs through the front door, or steep stairs through the garage.

After reading through the aforementioned issues, one might think “this is a no-brainer, it is time to put your dog down, she is clearly suffering and has no quality of life.” On paper, you would be correct.

But in person, it is not clear-cut. Three months ago I made the appointment to have the in-home veterinary service come to put Chesney down – but my gut screamed no and the appointment was canceled. Days later, Chesney went to the veterinarian for a urinary tract infection and the doctor commended us about how healthy she was. She said that she looked amazing for a dog who was 12 years of age and disabled. She commented on the lack of sores on her feet or body (from laying down all the time) and noted that her bloodwork was great. DAYS after she was going to be put down.

Chesney is healthy, but she is disabled.

And she is hopelessly devoted to our adult daughter. When our daughter is at work, Chesney basically does nothing but sleep – sometimes so deeply that you might think she is just going to peacefully pass away. But when our daughter comes home, life comes back into Chesney. She bounces (as much as she can) on her front feet, barks, grabs her toy, and her eyes light up. She is happy.

We are in a no-win situation. This is not an old dog suffering from cancer. This is not an old dog suffering from kidney or liver failure. This is not an old dog with a spleen that has ruptured. This is an old dog who is the equivalent of an old person who cannot get around well anymore, but who still enjoys being alive.

We don’t have the answer, and we don’t know what we will do in the next few weeks when the weather deteriorates. Daily we pray for the sign that will tell us what to do, but I am not hopeful that the answer will present itself. Many people who have been through this before (ourselves included) will tell you that “you’ll know, you will get the look and your pet will tell you,” but this is not the case (so far) with Chesney. We are patiently waiting for “the look.”

To everyone out there in the same situation, I feel your pain. This.Is.Hard.




Dog Reunited With Family Who Was Forced To Give Him Up When They Lost Their Home

Sacramento, CA – Last week, the staff at the Front Street Animal Shelter was able to capture a beautiful reunion between a dog and his person. The dog, Thor, had been given up months ago when his family lost their home.

The animal welfare agency explained the heartbreaking situation that brought Thor to their facility:

Denise faced an incredibly hard situation when her family lost their housing, and she had no option but to surrender their beloved dog. She spent months trying to find a safe and stable home and would check often to see if Thor had found a new family during that time.

During Thor’s stay at the shelter, he was adopted, and then returned twice because the homes were not the right fit. As luck would have it, he had just been returned the second time when his original family’s fate changed for the better.

The shelter explains:

With lots of perseverance and luck on her side, Denise and her family secured housing after months of uncertainty – and just days after Thor was returned for the second time. When Denise checked our website and saw Thor was back, she rushed in to get him.

The moment that Denise and Thor see each other for the first time in months was captured on video, and it is beautiful. Thor immediately rushed to Denise’s arms with a happily wagging tail.

The shelter said, “We couldn’t be happier than to see him head home to his family.” And it was apparent that Thor was thrilled to be going home too.

Sometimes things work out exactly the way they are supposed to. Welcome home Thor!

Find the Front Street Animal Shelter on Facebook here.

Deputies Rescue 100-lb Turtle Displaced In Hurricane Storm Surge

Ft. Myers, FL –  Last night, a displaced turtle got a helping hand from deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. According to the agency, the 100-lb turtle was discovered on the wrong side of a sea wall and it was unable to get back to the beach.

The deputies suspect that the storm surge from Hurricane Ian carried the turtle inland, trapping it on the wrong side of the sea wall.

Thanks to the deputies, the turtle is safely back at sea. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to patrol the areas impacted by the hurricane to keep everyone (even turtles) safe!

(Image via Orange County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page)

Firefighters Respond To Help Remove Horse Trapped In Mud For ‘Significant Amount Of Time’

Western Taney County, MO – A horse who was trapped in mud for a “significant amount of time,” was pulled free by firefighters with the Western Taney County Fire Protection District. The agency said that they responded to the Rockaway community on October 15 for a large animal rescue.

Before proceeding with the rescue effort, the responding firefighters reached out to a large animal veterinarian for assistance. After checking the horse, and providing sedation, the team went to work to secure the horse for removal from the mud.

A sling was secured around the horse and a rope system was utilized to pull the animal free. According to the agency, the horse was “left with the owner.” Sadly, comments posted to the department’s Facebook page on Monday morning indicate that the horse’s age, and the length of time he/she was trapped in the mud, resulted in the difficult decision for humane euthanasia.

Rest in peace.

Woman Forms ‘Immediate Bond’ With Dog Who Spent 1248 Days At Shelter

Georgetown, SC – A long-term shelter resident finally got her lucky break on Saturday, October 15. The dog, named Cami, had been at the only open-intake animal shelter for Georgetown County for an astonishing 1248 days.

After so much time, one might assume that all hope was lost. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for Cami. On Saturday, Mrs. Addie visited the Saint Francis Animal Center to meet the adoptable dogs.

And though Cami was not the dog that Mrs. Addie intended to meet, she WAS the dog who immediately formed a connection. The non-profit organization happily announced Cami’s adoption on Saturday, writing:

Cami , after being at the shelter for 1248 days was currently the longest resident.
BUT her shelter life ENDS TODAY!
💗 We are so thankful for people like Mrs.Addie who come to Saint Frances to meet our adoptable animals. She came in to meet another dog but when she met Cami, the bond was immediately there.

As the shelter happily stated, Cami is now off to her forever home, to live her best life with her new mom. Congratulations Cami!

Dog Who Famously Rode Metro Bus Alone Has Passed Away

Seattle, WA – A Labrador retriever mix named Eclipse, who rose to fame for her ability to take the city bus to the dog park all by herself, has passed away. The beloved pooch had over 123,000 Facebook fans, and on Friday, they learned that she had died in her sleep that morning.

Her owner, Jeff Young, had recently said that Eclipse had “cancerous tumors.”

King County Metro, which heads up Seattle’s public transportation, Tweeted:

Eclipse was a super sweet, world-famous, bus riding dog and true Seattle icon. You brought joy and happiness to everyone and showed us all that good dogs belong on the bus.

So how did this smart pup learn how to use the bus on her own? Eclipse and her human always took the same city bus to the dog park, but one day he was running late and she got impatient. According to Young, she ran off, boarded the bus that they had always used, and successfully got off at the dog park.

Fortunately, Young knew precisely where she had gone.

Eclipse mastered the bus system and became a regular, solo passenger. Area residents fell in love with her sweet personality, and King County let her have her very own bus pass.

The Seattle days will be a bit drearier now that Eclipse is gone. Rest in peace sweet girl.



Horse Returned To Owner After Running Away With Wild Mustangs 8 Years Ago

Eight years ago, Shane Adams’ horse, Mongo, ran away while he was on a camping trip in Utah. Mongo was 10 years old when the urge to run with wild horses took over, and he broke free from his tether to join a herd of mustangs that passed by during the night while Adams was sleeping in a tent.

Adams told the Washington Post that he tried to chase after his horse, and then drove around the area in what proved to be a fruitless search. For years, he refused to give up, he explained:

“Then I went back every weekend for three years to see if he was there. I reported him missing and tried every person I could to find him. But I never saw Mongo again.”

Fast forward to September 2022 – Mongo was discovered when the Bureau of Land Management found him at the Cedar Mountain Management Area. According to KUTV News, BLM managers noticed that one horse appeared to be trained, and then they discovered that he had been branded. Years earlier, Adams had reported the horse missing to the bureau and that enabled the agency to return Mongo to his rightful owner.

According to Adams, aside from being “a few hundred pounds” lighter, Mongo is the same, seemingly unchanged by his years with the wild herd. Adams said that the horse “acts like nothing ever happened.”

(Stock images via Pixabay)