Friendly bear cub killed because people fed and took selfies with him

Black Bear Killed by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Credit: Washington County Sheriff.

Black Bear Killed by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Credit: Washington County Sheriff.

A friendly black bear cub is dead because people fed and took selfies with the wild animal.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced they “lethally removed a black bear” that was hanging out next to a popular boat ramp in a park.

It all started last week when police discovered the bear cub had a good thing going near the Scoggins Valley Park: Free food.

State officials said in a news release when wildlife biologists got called out to investigate they discovered he was “eating trail mix, sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and other foodstuffs left next to the highway.”

They also found, “some individuals took ‘selfie’ photographs of themselves and the bear and posted them on social media.”

At first the local sheriff’s department tweeted they were trying to lure the bear back into the woods, and warned people to leave him alone.

But the next day officials killed the bear saying, “ODFW does not translocate bears that have been habituated to humans because these animals are much more likely to have dangerous interactions with humans in the future.”

People were furious when they heard the news and started commenting on the sheriff's department tweet. One person wrote, "Why did they have to kill him????!! Couldn’t they anesthetize him and relocate him? WTH?!!"

But officials said that wasn't an option. 

“This is a classic example of why we implore members of the public not to feed bears,” said Kurt Licence.

“While the individuals who put food out for this bear may have had good intentions bears should never, ever be fed. In addition to creating a threat to public safety, people can harm wild animals by feeding them “junk food” that potentially will make them sick.

“It’s never a good idea to feed wild animals,” said Licence, adding, “They are perfectly capable of fending for themselves, and it’s always better to leave them alone and enjoy them from a safe distance.”


So when you see the signs that say: “Don’t feed the bears,” don’t feed the bears. Don’t take selfies with them either. It could cost a bear their life. File this under “people suck.”

If you want to learn how not to get a bear killed by doing dumb things check out the “Living with Wildlife” section on the ODFW website.

RIP bear.
Watchdog Mary’s article also appeared in Grit Daily.


Swiped photo of rescued dog appears in product review

Original photo of Millie found in a dumpster taken by San Antonio Animal Care Services

Original photo of Millie found in a dumpster taken by San Antonio Animal Care Services

When Holly Dean, from Canyon Lake, Texas jumped on Facebook yesterday and started scrolling through her feed, a picture of a dog discovered in a garbage bin immediately caught her eye.

Facebook post on Petlab’s page

Facebook post on Petlab’s page

The post said, "I found Barney limping in a dumpster..." but Dean thought the photo of the yellow Lab looked just like "Millie the Dumpster Dog."

Millie’s sad story became quite well known back in 2016 after a pedestrian found the poor pooch in a San Antonio, Texas dumpster.

When officers from the city’s Animal Control Services department picked Millie up, she was dehydrated, neglected and near death. The shelter’s medical team raced to save her.

Click here to read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s story in Grit Daily.

Look closely, do you see an animal in need of help?

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Look closely at this picture. Do you see an animal in need of help?

Rescuers aren’t sure how many people might have zoomed past this stretch of the Northbound I-805 freeway in San Diego last month, but luckily, someone with a good set of eyes noticed there was a kitty perched on the retaining wall.

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

When officers from the San Diego Humane Society heard about this freeway feline they raced out to her rescue.

Officials say the one-year old crouching cat was a bit terrified, but offers were able to talk her off the ledge. They brought her back to the shelter and she was not microchipped, nor did anyone claim her.

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

Credit: San Diego Humane Society

The Humane Society named her Flo, and Watchdog Mary learned she was recently adopted.



Danger Warning: Foxtails can injure, even kill your pet

Noah, Credit: Sarah Lou McIntyre

Noah, Credit: Sarah Lou McIntyre

You know dogs, they love being outside, following their noses as they weave out of fields and grasses. But that eagerness could cause trouble if they rub a foxtail the wrong way.

What is a foxtail?

Foxtails grow as bunches of grass with little spiky seeds. According to the US Forest Service, foxtail grows almost everywhere across the country and in Canada.

The barbs on the weeds are what dog owners should be aware of; they can literally impale your dog. “The foxtail awn has a sharp, pointy end that allows it to easily penetrate the skin and other tissues, and microscopic barbs prevent it from backing its way out,” veterinarian Jennifer Coates said.

To read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Just Labs Magazine click here.

Can you find the ticks on this poppy seed muffin?

Picture credit: CDC

Picture credit: CDC

Well, this one will gross you out! Can you find the ticks on this poppy seed muffin? There are five of them.

These pictures are from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The federal agency posted them on its Facebook page this week to warn people these insects can be as tiny as a poppy seed.

So you need to look closely at your clothing after you've been out in the woods or walking in a field to find them. Experts say it’s important to realize how little the bloodsucking insects are.

TICKBORNE ILLNESSES

Ticks are known to spread more than a dozen debilitating, even deadly types of bacteria through their bites to animals and people.

The diseases linked to ticks range from Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to Tickborne relapsing fever, which certainly doesn’t sound good.

Check out this list the CDC published with a rundown of what tick-related illnesses have been identified in your neck of the woods.  And this guide shows you what ticks live where, and what do to if you get bitten.

HOW TO PREVENT TICK BITES

Now that summer is just around the corner, more people will be heading outside, and the ticks will be waiting.

The best way to keep the little buggers off you, the Feds say, is to: Check your clothing closely for ticks, shower soon after being outdoors and use insect repellent products. Here’s more information on preventing tick bites. 

SPOILER ALERT DID YOU FIND THE FIVE TICKS?

SPOILER ALERT: We looked and they are on the middle of the upper part of the muffin, together in a cluster, you can see their little legs.

Photo credit: CDC

Photo credit: CDC

Bet you feel like running out to the bakery now for poppy seed muffins?

 

 



More than 40 dogs seized in what police call an animal abuse investigation

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Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

Police discover what they describe as a large-scale animal abuse investigation in Aransas Pass, Texas.

It started when officers received complaints from the community about a local resident’s animals and ended with officers seizing more than 40 dogs from his property today.

In a news release police say they visited Richard Gonzales’ home about a year ago and warned him to care for his dogs. But when officers recently went back to his house they say they found the situation had gotten worse.

Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

“During that inspection, Gonzales had 42 dogs, most of which were living in deplorable conditions,” the news release said. “These conditions include soiled kennels, multiple dogs in undersized kennels, moldy food, dirty and non-consumable water or no water at all. Some of the dogs were also obviously suffering from medical conditions for which adequate care is not being provided.”

Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

Police later returned to the home with a warrant and seized the dogs, which appear to mostly be smaller sized yellow Lab mixes.

The news release says 42 arrest warrants were served on Gonzales for cruelty to non-livestock animals.

Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

Animal control officers say they will have a veterinarian examine, vaccinate, and treat dogs for any health issues, and petition to have the animals forfeited to the city so they can be adopted out or transferred to rescue groups.

Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

Credit: Aransas Pass Police Department

If you’d like more information, or want to help, contact the Aransas Pass Police Department.



Going commando to fight wildlife poaching

VETPAW

They’re highly trained soldiers. They’re fearless. They’ve fought overseas serving the United States. Now they’re fighting a new battle: To stop wildlife poaching.

These post 9/11 veterans are tackling the front lines in Africa. Their mission is to help save elephants and rhinos, some of which are critically engendered. They’re part of a group called VETPAW, Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife.

VETPAW started one night after U.S. Marine veteran Ryan Tate just happened to catch a documentary on television.

Click here to read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Grit Daily.

Woman drives dog 1300 miles home to find owner no longer wants her

blue new new.JPG

No one knows exactly how Blue, a pit bull mix pup, got from Florida to Michigan.

The pooch ended up at the Humane Society of Midland County in central Michigan in March. She was picked up as a stray and staffers were psyched to find she had a microchip. 

They called the phone number registered to the chip. A woman in Florida answered. She told them her dog had been missing for a week. She had no idea how Blue had traveled across the country, but she wanted her back.

Click here to read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in The Dodo.

Rescued baby cow loves to sleep in the dog bed

Carly Henry

Carly Henry

The 2-week-old calf was sick and starving. Confiscated during an animal neglect investigation, she needed a new home. 

When Carly Henry heard about her, she thought she sounded perfect. "I was ready to adopt her,” Henry told The Dodo. “I just really wanted a cow! I’ve heard people say that the love of a cow is the best thing ever.”

Henry runs Carly’s Critter Camp, an animal sanctuary outside of Austin, Texas. She has rescued all sorts of animals who live on her farm, but this calf, being so young, would require constant care. 

Click here to read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s story in The Dodo.

Shocked and surprised: What veterinarian finds in dog's stomach during surgery

Credit: Taryn Missildine

Credit: Taryn Missildine

A worried dog owner in Texas brought her pooch to the vet last week saying he was lethargic and vomiting.

So vets at the Westbridge Animal Hospital in Texarkana started examining the 20 pound dog. They suspected he may have eaten something that could be causing a blockage.

“They did x-rays and found a mass in his stomach,” Taryn Missildine, an employee at the animal hospital told Watchdog Mary. “He went into emergency surgery.”

And that’s when the medical staff starting pulling out not one, not two, not three, not even four—but 110 ponytail holders and other household objects from the Goldendoodle’s stomach.

Everyone in the operating room was shocked. They neatly laid out everything the dog had eaten on a table and Missildine snapped a photo. “Everyone was just in awe that all of that came out of such a small dog,” she said.

The pup is recovering quite well and at least now his owners know why all the ponytail holders in the household were disappearing.

Has your dog ever eaten something weird? Crazy? Or interesting? Email WatchdogMary.

Dog found walking with his blanket

Credit: Therese Gonzalez

Credit: Therese Gonzalez

When a call came in on April Fools’ Day about a big yellow Lab wandering around a Chicagoland area neighborhood it was no prank.

“Some lady had found this dog,” Susan Elliot, head of Waukegan Police Animal Control. “I said, ‘I’ll go grab this dog.’ I get over there and the lady is sitting outside with a ginormous dog. He probably weighs 100 pounds.”

As Elliot attempted to load the burly Lab into her car, the woman who found him called out to her.

“She was like, ‘Wait, wait, you have to take this, he was dragging this blanket with him,” Elliot said.

To read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article go to Just Labs magazine.

Using a pet sitting app? You should read this first...

Mooshu

Mooshu

When Colleen Nolan had to go out of town for a business trip last May the Atlanta resident worried who would watch her beloved dog, Mooshu.

The 12-year-old Japanese Chin could not see and needed extra care.

Nolan turned to the Rover app. She told Watchdog Mary she found a local dog sitter whose profile indicated they had experience caring for special need pooches.

Nolan and Mooshu

Nolan and Mooshu

When Nolan spoke to the caretaker, she said she gave her very specific instructions: Mooshu was not to leave her home. “He was blind. He knows how many steps there are in my house. He knew where his couch was,” Nolan said. “I had everything perfectly placed for him.”

Nolan had used the Rover app before and had good experiences, so she hoped for the best and left for her trip.

But while Nolan was traveling, she said she received a panicked sounding message from the sitter. “I got a text saying, ‘Emergency 911. Call ASAP.'”

Read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article at Grit Daily.

Wagamama: "Straws Suck" restaurant chain announces big changes

Credit: Wagamama

Credit: Wagamama

Big news from the restaurant chain with the name that is just fun to say: Wagamama.

The Asian fusion company eloquently declared that “straws suck,” and announced starting on Earth Day, it’s going to be the latest business to ditch plastic straws.

All Wagamama locations in the United States will only give out biodegradable paper straws for its juice drinks. All other beverages will be served sans straws.

Read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s story in GritDaily.

Does garlic repel fleas and ticks?

garlic.jpg

It’s supposed to repel vampires, but what about fleas and ticks? There’s a lot of lore (and holistic advice) online saying that giving your dog garlic can help keep nasty biting bugs at bay.

“There are plenty of people who still believe it can keep ticks and mosquitoes away,” said Caleb Backe, certified health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “The belief is that if you feed your dog enough garlic before bug season, the dog will begin to emit an odor that will repel bugs.”

But is there any science behind this?

Read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Just Labs magazine.

Lawmaker who filed bill to limit nonprofit vet care clinics got death threats

Hearing on bill, Credit: Texas House of Representatives public hearing feed

Hearing on bill, Credit: Texas House of Representatives public hearing feed

An emotional statehouse hearing over a controversial Texas bill, which calls to limit the kind of care nonprofit veterinarian clinics can provide, stretched into the night.

It opened with the lawmaker who filed the legislation, Representative Drew Springer, who is the chair for the House Agriculture Committee, saying he’s gotten death threats since proposing the bill. A state trooper stood in the room as the hearing progressed.

House bill 3806 calls to restrict the type of care nonprofit vet clinics, which usually offer low-cost services, can provide. Only extremely low income pet owners would be able to utilize the clinics, and nonprofit vets who offer services to people who aren’t indigent could face criminal penalties.

Springer said he filed the bill over concerns some nonprofit clinics are making a profit selling drugs online that they are able to buy at a discount, giving them an unfair advantage. He asked, “When do nonprofits compete against for profit businesses?”

More than a dozen people testified against the bill in front of the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, taking the podium and asking members to vote no, saying if it passes, dogs and cats will suffer.

“Animals have no voice to advocate for themselves, they rely on humans for relief,” veterinarian and executive director of Spay Neuter Assistance Program, Mary Kate Lawler, told the committee. “I’m about being a good veterinarian and doing good work for the animals, I’m not about undermining anyone.”

At times during hearing Springer would interrupt people testifying and argue. He asked Lawler, “What if Bill Gates came into a nonprofit clinic?” Angry comments erupted in the hearing room.

Lawler responded, “If that’s the only way Bill Gates would vaccinate his dog, I don’t care.” She later added, “But I’m going to face a class A misdemeanor because I didn’t ask Bill Gates if he makes money before I vaccinated his dog?”

Others veterinarians who work for nonprofit groups testified that Texas has a massive animal overpopulation problem, shelters are constantly full and overwhelmed, some they even called kill factories.

An attorney for Best Friends Animal Society told the committee if the bill passed it would set the state of Texas back decades.

Experts said even middle class families struggle to pay for routine vet care and depend on nonprofit clinics.

The head of Austin Pets Alive, veterinarian Ellen Jefferson, testified against the bill. She fears if the bill gets voted into law the rest of the state could become like an area in South Texas that’s so undeserved by low cost clinics the local shelter is flooded with unwanted and surrendered animals.

Jefferson said that shelter euthanizes so many dogs and cats it has a conveyor belt to move out all the bodies of the pets they kill each day. “By forcing pet owners to only use private practice vets you’ll see an increase of the number of animals who end up in shelters because people can’t afford the care,” she said.

Others said if the bill passed it will put more dogs at risk of not being tested and treated for heartworm, which if left untreated, will eventually kill a dog. Treating dogs for heartworm at a nonprofit clinic often saves pet owners at least a thousand dollars.

According to data from the American Heartworm Society, Texas has one of the highest rates of heartworm positive dogs in the United States. 

Some rescue groups, who depend on nonprofit vet clinics to care for their animals, testified the proposal would cripple their organizations financially and diminish the number of dogs and cats they can save. 

Austin resident Emily Vandermeer sat in the hearing room from 2 p.m. in the afternoon waiting to testify, and was finally called to the podium at 8:45 p.m.

Emily Vandermeer testifying, Credit: Texas House of Representatives public hearing feed

Emily Vandermeer testifying, Credit: Texas House of Representatives public hearing feed

She showed the committee before and after pictures of dogs a local rescue she volunteers for was able to save and rehab by using low cost clinics.

Before and after photos

“We have not turned away any dogs for health reasons,” Vandermeer said, “We are able to do this by stretching the dollars we raise and by using nonprofit services. It allows us to spread the dollars we have.”

No one at the hearing testified in favor of the bill.

Update, April 3rd: Austin media outlets are reporting the bill is dead. KVUE-TV says Springer decided not to take any action on it and The Austin Statesman is reporting “Bill to limit nonprofit vets stalls.”













Bill calls for limiting care nonprofit vet clinics can provide

This pup, Wilbur, received vet care at a nonprofit clinic in Texas

This pup, Wilbur, received vet care at a nonprofit clinic in Texas

Animal rescue groups and nonprofit vet clinics are barking up a storm over a bill proposed in Texas which they say puts dogs and cats at risk.

House bill 3806 wants to restrict the types of care nonprofit vet clinics, which usually offer low-cost services, can provide. 

The bill calls to limit clinics to only spaying, neutering and vaccinating animals.

That means an end to nonprofit vets offering services like microchipping, health exams, x-rays, heartworm testing and treatment, unless a pet owner can prove they are so financially burdened they receive state or federal assistance. 

One of the Lone Star State's largest nonprofit vet clinics, Emancipet, sent out an email Thursday asking people to speak out against the proposed legislation, saying:

If this bill passes, hundreds of thousands of Texas pets won’t get the care they need. That means suffering for those animals and heartbreak and gut-wrenching decisions for their families. We know from research and our own experience that over a million pet owners a year already have to give up their pets for financial reasons, most commonly that they cannot afford vet care. 

Experts say low to moderate income families, who don’t receive government assistance, struggle to pay for routine vet care and depend on nonprofit clinics.

And if the bill passes it will put more dogs at risk of not being tested and treated for heartworm, which if left untreated, will eventually kill a dog. According to data from the American Heartworm Society, Texas has one of the highest rates of heartworm positive dogs in the United States. 

Some rescue groups, who depend on nonprofit vet clinics to care for their animals, told Watchdog Mary the proposal would cripple their organizations financially and diminish the number of dogs and cats they can save. 

The bill was filed by state Representative Drew Springer who is the chair for the House Agriculture Committee.  Watchdog Mary contacted his office to ask for more information about the bill and what prompted him to file. 

There is a public hearing on the bill Monday, April 1st at 10:30am.

What do you think?

City workers rescue puppies from drainpipe

Credit Sandy Mendez

Credit Sandy Mendez

Cheers of joy erupted in Midlothian, Texas when city workers saved puppies who were stuck in a drainpipe for hours.

It all started one night last month when Sandy Mendez was out in the backyard with her three-month-old puppies, Chub and Snax.

All of a sudden they darted off in the dark. Mendez panicked. "I called out for them and I could hear barking," she told Watchdog Mary. "Then I saw the pipe and thought, 'No! They just could not be in there!'"

Unfortunately that's right where they were. "I looked and I was like, 'Oh my god, they're in there!' I called them and they would not come out. The puppies were crying. It was awful," Mendez said.

Click here to read the rest of Watchdog Mary’s article in Grit Daily.  

Rescuers race to save dog found with rubber band tied around muzzle

Photo credit:   BARCS   Animal Shelter

Photo credit: BARCS Animal Shelter

Horrified, heartbroken and worried. That’s likely the range of emotions animal control officers from Baltimore, Maryland felt when they made a shocking discovery last night.

The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) posted what happened in this gut wrenching story on the nonprofit group’s Facebook page.

Officers responded to a call about a little dog abandoned on a front stoop. When they arrived they got their first terrifying glimpse of Florie. She was walking slowly up the street, dragging a pink leash behind her. Her mouth was severely, and tragically injured. They knew they knew they had to act quickly to save her.

BARCS wrote, “The officer could see right away that something was terribly wrong with Florie. Her muzzle was infected, and she couldn't open her mouth. A resident in the neighborhood told the officer that poor Florie was abandoned the night before after being tied to a nearby gate.”

Officers raced Florie to an emergency clinic where they discovered a rubber band was wrapped, twice, around her mouth. It was embedded into her skin and actually severed parts of her muzzle. The clinic believes she was living like this for quite some time. 

BARCS committed to helping this pup and is asking for donations to help Florie, who may need multiple surgeries in the future and is at risk of losing her muzzle.

The rescue group’s Facebook page pledges they will do all they can for the dog.

“Sweet Florie, you deserve the world and more, and we promise you nothing short of that for the rest of your days. There are humans who will treat you as family, and keep your needs close to their heart. Once you are fully healed, we are going to find them for you. Thank you for trusting us in what will be a long journey.”

Florie was picked up in the 21229 zip code in Baltimore. If you have any information on who did this please contact the Baltimore Police.

Sadly, these cases of people putting constrictive materials around dogs’ muzzles keep happening. Just last month Watchdog Mary wrote about a pup saved in Indiana after someone taped his mouth shut and threw him off a bridge.

IN pup saved

And Watchdog Mary helped save this dog found running down a rural road with duct tape around his mouth.

mary palti.jpg

Seriously, sickos, this has got to stop. It’s disgusting.

Volunteer drove dog from Michigan to Florida and owner says, “I don’t want her anymore…”

Blue, Credit: Humane Society of Midland County

Blue, Credit: Humane Society of Midland County

All animal rescuers have some crazy stories to tell, but this one may be right up there at the very top of the nutty-meter.

A bully breed dog named Blue got picked up as a stray earlier this month in Midland County, Michigan.

When she arrived at the Humane Society of Midland County staffers checked her for a microchip and bingo one came up.

So they called the phone number registered to the chip. A woman in Florida answered, she told shelter employees the dog had been missing for a week, and she had no idea how she got to Michigan.

But the owner said she wanted the dog back. Shelter employees were so excited for an incredible reunion and posted on social media asking for a ride for Blue to the Sunshine State

“We got a ton of replies of people offering to help,” Logan Smith, an animal care technician with the Humane Society of Midland County, told Watchdog Mary. “The community totally stepped up it was amazing.”

Soon after one nice woman from Michigan took vacation time from work, packed up her stuff, Blue, his food, and headed South.

After making the nearly 1300 mile trek back to the owner’s home, she got a shocking surprise: The owner didn’t want Blue.

“She physically brought the dog to the owner’s home. From what I hear Blue was kind of excited to see her too,” said Smith. “Then the woman told her she didn’t want the dog anymore.”

Absolutely floored, the woman packed up her stuff, Blue, his food, and headed back to Michigan.

Word got out about the heartbreaking reunion on social media and as the woman drove North, applications to adopt Blue flooded into the humane society.

The woman arrived back at the shelter a couple days later. Two hours later Blue’s newly approved dad rushed over to pick her up.

Blue with her new dad, Credit: Humane Society of Midland County

Blue with her new dad, Credit: Humane Society of Midland County

And everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief. “Blue was excited, she is a very happy go lucky dog,” Smith said. “She fit right into another family here. It’s amazing she got a home, it’s what we are here for.”

 

 

Family members need help searching for Alabama tornado victims' missing dog

Winston is still missing after the tornado

Winston is still missing after the tornado

When devastating tornadoes tore through Alabama last week nearly two dozen people were killed, including Felicia Woodall, her finance, Ryan Pence, and three of their four dogs.

Felicia Woodall, Ryan Pence, and their dogs. Picture courtesy Amy Sanderson

Felicia Woodall, Ryan Pence, and their dogs. Picture courtesy Amy Sanderson

The couple lived on Lee Road 38 in Opelika. It’s an area news reports say was hit hardest by the storms.

Their family and friends are devastated, but they are holding out hope that one of the couple’s four dogs, Winston, is still alive.

“It would just be awesome to find something positive from the ruins and devastation,” family friend Amy Sanderson told Watchdog Mary. “If he is out there we want to find him!”

Family members don’t believe Winston, who is a Dachshund mix, was microchipped.

If anyone sees the dog they can call Sanderson at: 334-750-3036, or they can email: clpentzer@yahoo.com.

If anyone sees Winston they can call: 334-750-3036

If anyone sees Winston they can call: 334-750-3036