InterContinental Hotels ditch sample sized plastic toiletry bottles

IHG.jpg

Credit: InterContinental Hotel Group

If you stay at an InterContinental Hotel there will be no more stuffing those little plastic shampoos in your suitcase. The chain says your loss is a win for the environment.

The company just announced its dumping those sample-sized plastic bathroom bottles. Instead, housekeeping will be stocking rooms with bulk-sized amenities.

Making this change will save the environment from 200 million plastic miniatures a year used in InterContinental hotel rooms across the world. The brand includes Kimpton, Hualuxe, Crowne Plaza, Voco, Indigo, Even, Avid, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

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

Meth head gators?

Credit: Pexels, Flickr, Alligator

Credit: Pexels, Flickr, Alligator

You know the warning: Don’t flush drugs down the toilet.

Health officials, environmental activists, and municipal water workers know the results of dumping dope, prescriptions, and meds in the john. Residual amounts end up in local lakes and rivers, harming wildlife.

So, if you’re thinking, "What’s a few stoned fish, mammals and birds?"

One U.S. police department just raised a new red flag about drug dumping: It could lead to meth head gators. Surely, something we’d all want to avoid.

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

Shelter volunteers warn: Be on the lookout for dogs dumped in recycling bins

Credit: William Rudnicky

Credit: William Rudnicky

It’s case police in Corpus Christi, Texas are trying to crack: Who is dumping dogs and puppies in recycling bins all over the city? The number of bins and dogs found keeps growing.

Watchdog Mary reported about this situation yesterday when the count of dogs found was just over a dozen, now it’s nearly two dozen. More animals were found today.

Since last week residents and officers have found 23 mother dogs and puppies left in five different recycling bins in different parts of the city. All the totes were zip tied shut with chicken wire.

On Friday, William Rudnicky found one of the bins next to a dumpster behind a movie theater where he works. “I saw the crate. It had a tarp over it and chicken wire,” he told Watchdog Mary.

Rudnicky and one of his coworkers pulled up the covering and were shocked to find six dogs in the tote, a mother dog and five pups. “We cut the top off because they were cram packed in there. Feces everywhere, they were covered from head to toe,” he said.

He fed the dogs, gave them water and called animal control officers who picked the animals up.

Shelter volunteers want people in the area to be on the lookout for these bins so any dogs inside can be saved as soon as possible. They don’t want them suffering in the heat, or getting out and hit by a car.

If you see dogs left in recycling bins call Corpus Christi Police or Animal Care Services immediately.

A Facebook page used to help dogs in need at the city’s shelter reports that the dogs are all being saved by FurEver United Rescue.

Officials are now investigating this as a case of animal cruelty. If you have any information on who dumped the dogs Corpus Christi investigators want to hear from you.

The city’s Animal Care Services is consistently overloaded with dogs in need and does euthanize for space reasons. The shelter works with in and out-of- state rescue groups. If you’re interested in helping to rescue, foster or adopt a dog, you should also contact the agency.

 

Police looking for suspects after 15 dogs discovered zip tied in recycle bins

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Corpus Christi Animal Care Services is investigating a disturbing discovery: Mother dogs and puppies left inside carriers zip tied shut with chicken wire.

Police were called to a local hospital over the weekend and found a recycling bin with dogs inside.

Investigators say, “There was soiled newspaper, water bowls, and old dog food at the bottom of the totes. On the side someone had written ‘Found on the street, give them a good home thanks!’"

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Then officers responded to another call at a local movie theater and found six adult dogs in a bin covered by a tarp with the same note: "Found on the street, give them a good home thanks!"

Police say they brought a total of eight adult Chihuahua mixes and seven puppies to Animal Care Services. Officials are now investigating this as a case of animal cruelty. If you have any information on who dumped the dogs Corpus Christi investigators want to hear from you.

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

Credit: Focus on Forever Facebook Page

A Facebook page used to help dogs in need at the city’s shelter reports that the dogs were all saved by FurEver United Rescue.

Corpus Christi Animal Care Services is consistently overloaded with dogs in need and does euthanize for space reasons. The shelter works with in and out-of- state rescue groups. If you’re interested in helping to rescue, foster or adopt a dog, you should also contact the agency.

 

Sweet dog has been waiting 3 years in shelter for a family

Photo credit: Rona Distenfeld

Photo credit: Rona Distenfeld

All Chubbs wants is a family.

For more than three years, the hound mix has lived in an animal shelter, waiting for an adopter to choose him.

In March 2016, when Chubbs was just 1 year old, he ended up at Austin Pets Alive!(APA) in Texas. 

“Chubbs has been at APA longer than any other dog,” Rona Distenfeld, one of Chubbs’ trainers, told The Dodo. 

Chubbs is now 4 years old and has spent most of his young adult life in a kennel.

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

An ailment that can cripple your pet is on the rise

Dog with arthritis in elbows

Dog with arthritis in elbows

It’s crippling. It’s heartbreaking and it’s affecting more and more pets: Arthritis.

new report out this week reveals that the number of dogs and cats diagnosed with osteoarthritis has more than doubled in the last decade.

WHAT IS OSTEOARTHRITIS?

Osteoarthritis is when an animal’s joint tissue becomes inflamed and damaged. It’s mostly found in the elbows, knees, and hips. Tragically it gets worse over time. If left untreated the disease makes it very painful for pets to walk.

The report, from Banfield Pet Hospital, found the disease has increased by 84% in the last ten years. It’s much more prevalent in dogs than cats. And though it can strike at any age, it’s usually worse in older pets.

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

Firefighters race to bring water to dogs on balcony in heat

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

Firefighters in San Antonio raced to respond to a call about two dogs left outside on an apartment balcony in the scorching Texas heat on Sunday.  

When Kimberly Bohl saw a post about the dogs on Facebook she reported it to the city via 311.

Since the dogs’ location was close to her home she drove over to see what was going on. “I was very worried about them because it was so hot,” Bohl told Watchdog Mary. “When I checked the temperature on my phone it said ‘heat index 106 degrees.’”

When she arrived she saw police and animal control officers at the building investigating. Then the fire department pulled up.

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

“From what I could tell it looked like they decided to leave water, and not take the dogs. Both dogs were alert, but in my opinion panting really heavy,” Bohl said.   

The head of San Antonio Animal Control Services, (ACS), Heber Lefgren emailed Watchdog Mary saying, “ACS did make a visit to this location and it is still being investigated. The owner was not home at the time of our initial visit, however ACS was able to request and receive assistance from PD (police) and Fire who helped us check on the dogs' well being by utilizing a ladder truck.”  

Lefgren said the dogs’ water bowl was knocked over so the fire department gave them a refill. The owner was not home when emergency crews arrived but Lefgren said ACS followed up and is now issuing citations.

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

Credit: Kimberly Bohl

“There were basic violations observed (such as no shelter, shade, and a water bowl that had been knocked over), but the two dogs were in healthy condition.  Because the dogs were not in an exigent situation, we were unable to seize the dogs.  However, we continue to work the case and the owner to ensure that the minimum standards of care are provided,” Lefgren said.

After watching the entire situation Bohl has a message for pet owners who leave their animals outside in the heat, “Don’t do it. If you truly love your doggie, they can become very ill or die,” she said.

 

 

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.