A high schooler from Minnesota is on a mission of providing mobility to animals with mobility challenges.
During her free time, Shaine Kilyun is building wheelchairs for animals in need. With no one to teach her, the 16-year-old relies on YouTube tutorials to perfect her technique. Her process and finished products become more refined as she makes more of these devices.
Each wheelchair is customized based on the animals’ specific needs. So far, Shaine has created customized mobility devices for dogs, cats, and, soon, a duck.
As she is self-taught, Shaine works on a trial-and-error basis. She has made wheelchairs for animals of all shapes and sizes—from a tiny Chihuahua to a huge Great Dane. She has also come up with a unique locomotion aid for a hedgehog!
As young as she is, Shaine is already doing fantastic work for these animals. The impact of her mission can’t be underestimated, especially because mobility can save animals from being euthanized. This young woman is literally saving lives, and she’s just getting started.
“I just love animals, and I wanted to make a difference somehow,” she told Fox 9. “I’ve saved a few lives, and I really hope to save more.”
Shaine has also launched Wheelies Dog and Cat Wheelchairs on Instagram to let the public know about her handmade and low-cost wheelchairs. Her main goal is to make these devices accessible, not to make a profit.
The teen charges only for the total cost of her materials, so her products are way more affordable than any of the mainstream wheelchairs you’d find on the market. On average, her wheelchairs cost only $300, while bigger companies offer similar devices for as high as $1,000.
Shaine hopes that the affordability of her creations will help pet owners provide their animals with a better quality of life. The teen has also been reaching out to shelters to see how she can help the animals there.
Before starting the build, Shaine needs to understand what the animal needs. Depending on their requirements, she provides front-support, full-support, and back-support models.
One of the recent recipients of Shaine’s custom wheelchairs was Scooter, a paraplegic dog who came here from Saudi Arabia via the Home For Life Sanctuary. The pup can’t use his legs, so he just drags his body forward, causing him to develop sores and lesions where his legs scrape the ground. This also puts him at risk of infection. Luckily, Shaine made him a special wheelchair.
Shaine shared photos of Scooter using his customized wheelchair on Instagram, and the pup was clearly loving it!
“This is absolutely INCREDIBLE!! I gave Scooter, who arrived from Saudi Arabia a special custom Wheelies wheelchair! It means the world to me,” she wrote.
Many people who have heard about Shaine’s mission for the animals are pitching in and helping raise funds for the teen so that she can continue her good work.
Lisa LaVerdiere, the founder and director of operations for Home for Life Sanctuary, said that the financial hardships caused by the pandemic have made it more difficult to raise money.
“It’s very hard to raise money in these times. So for her to make not one cart but two carts for us probably saved us close to $1,000,” LaVerdiere said.
She’s grateful to Shaine for the time and effort she has devoted into making these animals’ lives easier.
“A lot of people have reached out and donated, which is just incredible,” Shaine said.
If you want to help animals with special needs gain mobility, you can donate via Zelle to Wheeliesdogwheelchairs@gmail.com. Visit the Instagram page.
Thank you, Shaine, for this wonderful initiative! You can learn more about her project in the video below.
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(2/2) This verdict sends a strong message to traders and regional authorities alike, that laws exist that make this trade illegal. THANK YOU to Polres Kulon Progo Police and all those who have stood up against the cruel and dangerous dog meat industry! 🙏 https://t.co/NedmcukrH3
A woman in British Columbia, Canada, is thanking her lucky stars.
Earlier this month, a meteorite hurtling toward Earth crashed into Ruth Hamilton’s home.
Moments before the impact, she was awoken by her dog barking. The next thing she knew, there was a loud crash.
“And all of a sudden there was an explosion,” Hamilton told CTV News Vancouver. Hamilton then jumped out of bed, turned on the lights and went to inspect the commotion.
That’s when she noticed a fist-sized hole in her ceiling, right above where she had been fast asleep.
After calling 911, she looked around her bed, flipping over her pillow. Then she saw it; a smooth, angular chunk of black rock.
“I didn’t feel it,” Hamilton said. “It never touched me. I had debris on my face from the drywall, but not a single scratch.”
Police arrived on the scene, questioning Hamilton and a nearby construction crew, the latter of which told authorities they had seen a “bright ball in the sky,” before the impact.
A group of researchers from the University of Calgary and Western University inspected Hamilton’s home to look for more details about the space rock.
Later in the week, they opened their investigation to the rest of Golden, the town in British Columbia where Hamilton lives. The team eventually found a second rock weighing a little more than a pound in the northeast part of town.
“We’re trying to reconstruct what the path was through the sky as it arrived,” Phil McCausland, a geophysicist at Western University, said. “Because it’s scientifically even more valuable if we can reconstruct what the orbit was before it hit the Earth. It gives us an idea of where it came from.”
The research team is pleading with people in the area to come forward with any other pieces of evidence of a meteorite impact.
Hamilton loaned the meteorite that almost killed her to Western University to photograph, weigh, measure, and to potentially take a sample of it. She expects to get it back by Nov. 30.
Officials say that hundreds of meteorites strike the Earth’s surface every year. However, it’s rare for the space rocks to land in areas that are easily recoverable.
“The number one misconception is that they’re hot when they land,” Herd said, adding that they begin cooling some 10 to 15 miles up in the atmosphere. “Mrs. Hamilton’s bed didn’t catch fire.”
Experts say that the chances of a meteorite landing in your home are astronomical. Specifically, about 1 in 4 trillion.
When asked if she plans to buy a lottery ticket, she laughed, then replied:
“I won the lottery. I won it, I’m alive. I’m laughing about it. I feel pretty blessed.”
Last year, DxE activists gave the world’s largest pig killing company a taste of its own medicine. They went to the home of then Smithfield CEO Ken Sullivan and sprayed pig feces collected from a manure lagoon at a Smithfield factory farm. They drew attention to the company’s cruel confinement of pigs and the disturbing practice of spraying out farm waste onto neighboring communities. Apparently, Smithfield didn’t like it when it was done back to them and they had one activist, Raven Deerbrook, criminally charged.
But recently, Raven’s lawyer decided to subpoena former CEO Sullivan to make him take the stand in court. Soon after, the prosecution backed off. Once again, an animal abusing company has refused to defend its actions in court when DxE activists call on them to testify.
Yesterday, Raven’s charges were dropped and we’re celebrating this small victory in the long fight to revolutionize our legal and legislative systems for animals.
Today (Oct. 10, 2021) gorilla Ndume turns 40 and we are sending him birthday wishes and love. We are happy to report that recently he is forming close bonds with females Chewie and Mara in his family group at the Cincinnati Zoo. For us, this is a big bright spot in the many changes he faced by being moved from The Gorilla Foundation sanctuary to a zoo.
He has been deemed to be in good health by the team there which is great news to all of us who cared for him for close to 30 years.
We know he is well-loved by his caregivers at the Cincinnati Zoo, and we miss seeing, interacting and communicating with him every day.
We wish there could have been a way to create a natural family group for him here at the sanctuary with his human friends, familiar surroundings and greater autonomy too, but that proved impossible to arrange. He continues to receive excellent care, and we get to visit him twice per year to let him know we love and remember him.
The zoo said there’s no evidence the #gorillas can pass the virus back to humans & that visitors are too far from the gorillas to be infected. Keeping wild animals in captivity & in close quarters is a risk to public health. Help end the #wildlifetrade: https://t.co/rkCMcjV3MW
A swimmer who was stranded at sea for over 12 hours is alive today, thanks to a pod of dolphins who helped save his life.
Ruairí McSorley, 24, believed to be from Londonderry, Ireland, was rescued 4 kilometers from shore by Fenit Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) at 8:15 p.m. Given the condition he was found in, the group called it a “miracle” rescue.
McSorley was conscious but “hypothermic and exhausted” when found. He was wearing only a pair of swimming trunks when he was plucked out of the waters of Tralee Bay.Facebook
The swimmer told rescuers he had planned to swim out to Mucklaghmore Rock, 9 km out from where he set off at Castlegregory beach, where his clothes had been found. His abandoned belongings are what led to the search.
12 hours later, RNLI coxswain Finbarr O’Connell calculated where he could have ended up after analyzing tides in the area.
Fenit RNLI volunteer Jackie Murphy said it was a miracle how McSorley survived the ordeal and credited O’Connell with locating him at sea.
O’Connell said the man was surrounded by many dolphins when he was found. They were later identified as bottlenose dolphins living in Moray Firth in Scotland. Since 2019, the sea creatures have been seen off the Irish coast.
“Maybe they helped him in some way or another: who knows?” he said.
The Fenit RNLI and R118 coastguard performed an intensive search across Tralee Bay before finding McSorley.
Despite being the key to finding him, O’Connell refused to take all the credit, noting that the crew they have are “all excellent.”
“It’s good to get a positive result. Normally we go out, and it mightn’t be that positive. We are all just elated,” he said.
O’Connell added that the situation could have ended worse if McSorley was left there for 30 minutes longer. None of them—including the medics—could believe he survived it, but they’re relieved that he did.
McSorley has since been brought to the University of Hospital Kerry, where he is recovering.
“It is literally beyond us all (how he survived),” he said. “He was only wearing a pair of trunks. He had no wetsuit. Nothing. He must have been a good swimmer because he was just over two and a half miles (4km) from the beach.”
McSorley’s body temperature had also dropped to dangerously low levels. The swimmer said he went in around 8 a.m., and rescuers picked him up at 8:15.
“He did spend that amount of time in the water, and I don’t know how he did it,” O’Connell said. “It’s incredible, really.”
They first saw his head in the water and initially thought it was a seal. But then he put up his hand.Facebook
“The elation of seeing somebody floating alive in the water, rather than the other way, is so great,” O’Connell recalled. “We have had too many bad outcomes, so it was absolutely fantastic to pick him up.”
When asked how he had determined the trajectory of McSorley across Tralee Bay, O’Connell explained that they had been trained to handle scenarios like that.
They have a mannequin they throw in the water, which behaves like a person would in water. They leave it there and do an exercise for a few hours. Upon their return, they would see how far it has drifted. They pick it up and note in the chart the direction the tide is going. That’s the knowledge they applied during the rescue.
In light of this incident, Murphy advised swimmers to exercise caution when venturing into the water for a swim.
“Always please tell somebody what time you are due back and where you are going,” she said.
American Military dogs left behind in Kabul(Photo courtesy: @Gcracker3321) Photograph:( Twitter ) Aug 31, 2021, 02.19 PM (IST)
The United States Department of Defense has refuted accusations that the American military abandoned dozens of military service dogs in Kabul prior to the last pullout from Afghanistan.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby tweeted that “to correct erroneous reports, the US military did not leave any dogs in cages at Hamid Karzai International Airport, including the reported military working dogs. The photos circulating online were of animals under the care of the Kabul Small Animal Rescue, not dogs under our care,”. https://d-20680018101234407777.ampproject.net/2108192119000/frame.html
According to a spokesperson for the Defense Department, despite a continued difficult and dangerous retrograde mission, US personnel went to tremendous measures to help the Kabul Small Animal Rescue as much as they could.
Since 2020, Kabul Small Animal Rescue has been affiliated with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as a “veterinary clinic and non-profit organisation that has been aiding animals in Afghanistan.”
The photos of the imprisoned dogs had already sparked outrage on social media. The US government has been chastised by animal rights group “American Humane” for abandoning military contract working dogs in Kabul. The US decision was heavily panned on social media since the K-9 soldiers were left behind.
Thousands of animals globally are tortured, maimed and subjected to prolonged suffering for grisly videos that earn money for the world’s biggest social media platforms, YouTube, Facebook and TikTok, according to a year-long investigation.
The horrors include baby monkeys being buried alive or tormented; kittens being stepped on or set alight; people eating live animals and puppies and ducks being crushed to death by snakes.
In videos logged over just three months last year, it’s estimated that YouTube earned up to $12m (£8.8m) from the sharing of animal cruelty content, and the creators themselves earned nearly $15m (£11m).
The stream of videos depicting cruelty “on a monumental scale” – seen by billions of viewers – has prompted calls for social-media bosses to shut down rogue accounts and take responsibility for their content.
Between July last year and this month, a coalition of animal-welfare organisations working in Asia documented 5,480 links to videos containing animal cruelty on YouTube, Facebook and TikTok, posted as entertainment, but also earning money from hits and shares.
The investigators said these videos alone had had about 5.3 billion views, highlighting the scale of the problem.
Analysis of the data showed that producers of the videos can become almost “celebrity-like”, with some channels gathering millions of followers, according to the Asia For Animals Coalition.
Indonesia, the US, Australia, Cambodia, South Africa and South Korea featured highly as countries where cruelty content was made, the new study found.
The UK was the 14th-highest country or region for creation of cruelty content – which was mostly hunting-related but also the deliberate baiting of birds and squirrels for shooting – but was the third-highest country for cruelty content being uploaded.
A video from Thailand last year featured a chimp dressed up spraying disinfectant; another showed a puppy being crushed by a python so the filmmakers could stage a rescue, and a third recorded a dog being set on a live kitten – all on YouTube.
The report authors write: “We documented shocking footage of individual wild animals kept as pets and repeatedly abused on camera. Kittens and other young animals were set alight as the filmmakers laughed.
“Live burials, partial drownings, beatings and psychological torment were also documented.”
YouTube had the most cruelty videos, the investigators said, but Facebook has allowed encrypted groups and pages where unacceptable content can be shared undetected. On Facebook and YouTube, most cases were “obvious and intentional”, the report said.
Ticks put on a cat ‘to show how to remove them’
Birds, dogs and cats are most commonly abused, but some species used are classed as threatened, including pangolins, bears, gibbons, pythons and macaque monkeys.
Adverts are embedded in cruelty content, so companies and organisations were unwittingly profiting, including several animal-welfare and conservation groups – some of which have since taken action, the report notes.
Alan Knight, chief executive of International Animal Rescue, said: “It is inexcusable for social media companies to turn a blind eye to the sickening scenes of animal abuse posted on their platforms. It is their moral responsibility to crack down on content showing animals forced to suffer for entertainment and financial gain.
The UK was the third-highest country for cruelty content being uploaded
“There’s no doubt these media corporations have the power to remove these vile videos, and it’s reprehensible that they haven’t done so already.
“They feed the basest instincts of a depraved minority and must be denied a platform and an audience to stamp them out.”
The coalition is calling on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and other social media platforms to work with experts to develop “robust” monitoring systems to identify and remove cruel content without relying on viewers reporting it.
The organisations say that even trying to talk to bosses at the online platforms is difficult. Adam Parascandola, of Humane Society International, described the content as “deeply disturbing but largely overlooked”, saying: “The devastating data revealed by this only scratches the surface in exposing the shocking extent of cruelty promoted on social media.
“Now more than ever, it’s time for social media platforms to stop profiting from animal suffering and instead take action to end this devastating cruelty for clicks.”
In the past, the social-media channels have insisted they do not allow cruelty to be shown, and remove content breaching their guidelines.
But the report authors say they have seen videos remaining live despite being reported multiple times, or channels that were shut down starting up again under a different guise.
Nick Stewart, of World Animal Protection, said: “Exploitation of wildlife is happening on a monumental scale, impacting the welfare of billions of individual animals. We must call out companies that are complicit in this exploitation and urge them to take responsibility for a solution.”
A TikTok spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on the specifics as we have not seen the specific cases. However, as a general principle, our community guidelines make clear that we do not tolerate animal cruelty on our platform, and we take action when people violate these rules – up to and including permanently banning them from the platform. We use a combination of technology and human moderation to identify and remove content that breaches our community guidelines.”
Those guidelines ban “animal cruelty and gore”, as well as “dismembered, mutilated, charred or burned animal remains” and animal slaughter.
The Independent also asked Google, which owns YouTube and Facebook, to comment, but did not receive a response.
We’ve featured all sorts of stories about pet owners going to great lengths for their dogs, but I think this may be the most shocking one we’ve ever seen yet.
No one in their right mind would charge, let alone, come near a mama bear taking a stroll with her cubs, but that’s exactly what 17-year-old Hailey Morinico of Bradbury, California, did this Memorial Day weekend.
In a harrowing clip captured by their home’s security camera, a black bear and her two cubs are seen balancing on top of the low brick fence in the Morinicos’ home.
They were heading toward a fruit tree in the backyard when four dogs suddenly bolted out and barked loudly at the mammal.
The bear became upset and swiped at the largest of the dogs, touching the black dog’s nose while still perched atop the wall. Two bear cubs are seen behind her.
Then, out of nowhere, Hailey darted across the yard to save her own babies—her four dogs, who are now in danger of getting hurt.
Using both of her hands, the teen shoved the mama bear, and she disappeared over a wall into a neighbor’s yard. She poked her head back over for one last look before running off.YouTube
The teen said the only thing she had in mind at the time was to protect her dogs.
“I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a bear and it is taking my dog. It is lifting it up off the ground,’” she said. “In that split second, I decided to push the bear, like it was nothing, apparently.”
Hailey then scooped up one of her dogs while the others ran back to safety.
Luckily, none of them suffered any serious injuries; Hailey escaped with only a sprained finger and a scraped knee.
Although it’s the route she took, she wouldn’t advise anyone to follow her example.
“Do not push bears and do not get close to bears,” she said. “You do not want to get unlucky. I just happened to come out unscathed.”YouTube
KNBC Los Angeles identified the bear as a black bear, some of which have brown or tan coats. Human-bear encounters are rare in California, but these animals sometimes come out of their habitats and visit the foothill communities to forage food, particularly on garbage days.
Experts don’t recommend confronting any bears. But just in case you encounter one, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says you should stay away from them. If they don’t leave, get to a safe place and call 911.
“If you encounter a bear in your yard, chances are it will move on if there is nothing for the bear to forage. If there is enough distance between you and the bear, you can encourage the bear to leave by using noisemakers or blowing a whistle,” officials wrote.
Black bears are characterized by their small, narrow heads and small ears. Their coats can be of a tan, black, or brown color. Females can grow up to 200 pounds, and males can be a massive 350 pounds. Some giants even weigh more than 600 pounds.
The population of black bears in California has been on the rise over the last two decades. During the early 1980s, there were about 10,000 to 15,000 of them. Now, there are an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 of them in the city, and that’s a conservative estimate.
Bears are naturally good climbers who can easily scale a tree or block a wall, like in this case.
About half of California’s bears are found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and areas to the north and west. Only around 10% of the black bear population lives in central western and southwestern California.
They like to eat plants, insects, nuts, berries, and whatever else they see as edible.
Hailey is definitely one brave fur mom! Here’s the footage of her defending her beloved pets.
ABC’s Cats Indoors program supports simple solutions to keep pet cats and wild birds safe. Check out catio designs and other solutions below to see which is the best fit for you and your cat!
CATIO OPTIONS AND OTHER OUTDOOR ENCLOSURES
Want the best of outdoor access while keeping your cat safe at home? Outdoor enclosures – like a catio – can give your cat the chance to move around freely outside within a sheltered and safe space. Whether you and your cat prefer a perch, a patio, or the entire backyard, enclosures can be modified to suit all situations.
FENCE CONVERSION: Turn your existing fence into a cat-safe fence. These straightforward options modify existing structures to create an escape-proof kingdom for your cat to explore. To learn more, visit: Cat Fence-In, Oscillot, ProtectaPet, Purrfect Fence.
Many strategies exist to safely enjoy the outdoors with your cat, including comfortable restraints that keep you and your pet connected. These options are an excellent choice for joint adventures around town or exploring the neighborhood.
VISUAL ALERTS: Visual cues can alert wildlife to the presence of a cat and prevent harmful interactions. To learn more, visit: Birdsbesafe®.
MECHANICAL OBSTRUCTIONS: Devices that obstruct a cat’s ability to stalk, pounce, or grab prey may reduce impacts on birds and other wildlife. To learn more, visit: CatBib.
AUDIO ALERTS: Noise-emitting devices worn by your cat may reduce the opportunity for direct harm to wildlife. To learn more, visit: Digibell.
CATS INDOORS PLEDGE
Owned, free-roaming cats kill over 700 million birds in the U.S. each year. You can help reduce that number by keeping your pet cat safely indoors, on a leash, or within an outdoor enclosure. Get started by taking ABC’s Cat’s Indoors Pledge today.
Containing cats is an easy way to provide cats with healthy, safe lives while reducing needless bird and other wildlife deaths. If you’ve already taken our Cats Indoor Pledge, here are five more ways you can help:
Dogs could be heard barking from the rows of cages that lines the farm. On the other side of the yard, more exotic animals like civets, racoon dogs and minks were also locked up in tiny containers.
Men used a broom-shaped tool with two probes at the front to electrocute a dog with white fur, immediately sending it falling paralysed to the ground. It struggled to get up and its body twitched. The procedure was repeated several times to more of the dogs, pushing them against the cage before stunning them.
As the animals lay unconscious, they were placed on a stone platform, an apparent signal they were ready to be butchered. In other photos, dead animals were piled up on the ground, with their furs peeled from their bodies.
The bloodied remains of these animals were left on the ground. It is not clear how much protection the men who killed these animals were wearing, but it is clear from the images that there were no attempts to cover up the bloodied remains with anything. It is likely that they may just be left on the ground while more animals would be killed.
These are details from a fur farm investigation in China conducted by the Humane Society International (HSI), which is calling on the British government to ban import of furs following the publication of a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, suggesting wildlife farming could be a potential breeding ground for Covid-19.
It is hard to estimate the actual number of animals at the fur farm visited by HSI, but there appeared to be dozens if not hundreds kept at the site. According to HSI’s estimation, China is home to the largest fur producing industry worldwide, rearing 14 million foxes, 13.5 million raccoon dogs and 11.6 million mink in 2019.
Conservationists have been calling for a more complete ban on wildlife farming around the world, including China. “The WHO’s investigation of the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic was a hugely important step to zero in on the likely sources of the pandemic and the source of future zoonotic spillovers,” said Peter Li, China policy specialist at Humane Society International and associate professor of East Asian politics at the University of Houston-Downtown.
Stop The Illegal Wildlife Trade
We are working with conservation charities Space for Giants and Freeland to protect wildlife at risk from poachers due to the conservation funding crisis caused by Covid-19. Help is desperately needed to support wildlife rangers, local communities and law enforcement personnel to prevent wildlife crime. Donate to help Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade HERE
Experts from WHO found in their report wildlife farming played a crucial role in introducing the coronavirus to humans. While Chinese experts claimed that the report’s findings vindicate Beijing’s decision to ban trade of wild animals for human consumption, the WHO report found wildlife farms are still allowed to legally operate for the purpose of fulfilling demands from traditional Chinese medicine and fur trade.
“China’s wildlife operation has four other components that are still operating: farming for fur, for traditional Chinese medicine, for display and pets, and for laboratory use,” Prof Li told the Independent. “These four remaining operations are gigantic in scale, holding tens of millions of animals in crowded and intensive farms. This is a mode of production that is an ideal breeding ground for animal epidemics and potentially for zoonotic spillovers.”
Another loophole that Prof Li points out is the inclusion of 12 wild animals in China’s latest National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources, which allows these animals to be farmed and processed for food.
“[While] the Chinese government took one of the boldest steps by shutting down the wildlife breeding for the exotic food market, it can do more to shut down all remaining commercial wildlife operations,” he said.
In the report, WHO experts suggest further checks into farms as a possible source of the virus. They named minks and rabbits as animals that are at risk of becoming infected with Covid.
“The increasing number of animals shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 includes animals that are farmed in sufficient densities to allow potential for enzootic circulation,” the report said.
“High-density farming is common in many places across the world and includes many livestock species as well as farmed wildlife. There was a large network of domesticated wild animal farms, supplying farmed wildlife,” the report added.
The Independent’s Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign, which was launched last year, seeks an international effort to clamp down on poaching and the illegal trade of wild animals, which remains one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the future.
The Independent is working with conservation charities including Space for Giants and Freeland to protect wildlife at risk due to the conservation funding crisis caused by Covid-19. As China began some efforts to curb wildlife consumption in the country following the coronavirus outbreak, the Independent works with its partners to gain more insights about the impact of Beijing’s efforts.
(The Independent )
For Pei Su, the founder of ACTAsia, a nonprofit organisation that works to bring about sustainable social change in China, as some of the wild animals have been re-categorised as “livestock” in China, wildlife trade continues across the country, with many of these trading activities being conducted across different provinces in China.
“It doesn’t matter where the wildlife markets are or where the virus comes from, because the more pressing thing is that China still allows wildlife trade even though the coronavirus pandemic is still happening,” Ms Su told the Independent. “I think that’s where the next zoonotic disease spillover could happen.”
Prof Li pointed out that while there is growing willingness among some lawmakers in China to further restrict the remaining wildlife farming operations, there is still strong resistance from the wildlife business in China.
“The country’s national wildlife management agency is not motivated to shut down the operation, while China’s wildlife protection law, which has long been criticised as ‘a law for the management of wildlife resources’ is yet to be revised,” he said. “The law in its current shape supports wildlife farming. If this is not changed, the Chinese government is unlikely to impose more restrictions on wildlife farming.”
To both Prof Li and Ms Su, the international community should realise that wildlife farming isn’t just a problem in China, but a problem that has been recurring around the world. “Wildlife farming is an unsustainable practice but the whole world still thinks wildlife trade is acceptable,” Ms Su added.
Prof Li believes that while the whole world is asking China to close its massive wildlife animal farming and trade, they need to acknowledge and proactively address the same intensive animal farming of other species around the world. “The international community should encourage China to phase out all the remaining commercial wildlife farming operations,” he said.
“The way to do it’s not to vilify or demonise China, or place unfounded charges at its doorstep. It is time that the international community and all governments recognise the fact that the modern mode of animal exploitation is an ideal environment for the spread, cross infection and mutation of viruses.”
Prof Li says it’s important for the international community to stop politicizing a public health crisis and let scientists reduce zoonotic spillover in the future. “Let’s put short-term political gains of partisan politics behind, and let scientists remove future zoonotic spillovers,” he added.
A hunter in his late fifties was killed in Gabon when he was ambushed by an elephant and trampled to death.
The drama unfolded last week in Roungassa village, in the province of Ogooue Lolo, Gabon Media Time reported.
The website reported that the victim was a resident of the village and was “known to all.”
The remains of the man, whose identity has not been revealed, were found lying in the forest by members of the Central Brigade of the capital of Ogooué Lolo, residents told the website.
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This kind of hunting accident has been occurring more frequently in Gabon in recent months. More and more animals, especially elephants, are staying closer to the villages because of deforestation, which destroys the habitat and the trees whose fruits the animals feed on, the website reported.
Similar tragedies have been recorded in the provinces of Ngounié and Woleu-Ntem in recent months, according to the news website.
Gabon is home to a large colony of forest elephants, which can be dangerous when close to humans.
A similar incident took place in Northern Namibia on March 13, when a farmer was killed after being trampled on by an African savanna elephant. Abner Petrus, 46, lost his life after one of the animals attacked him from behind in Okatha-Kiikombo, a village in the Omusati region.
African forest elephants, which are smaller than the African savanna elephants, occupy most of the tropical forests in West and Central Africa, with the largest populations found in Gabon and the Republic of Congo.
Increased threats of poaching and loss of habitat have made Africa’s elephant more endangered, according to a report released in March by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Both the African forest elephant and the African savanna elephant are considered endangered.
The number of African forest elephants has fallen by more than 86 percent over a 31-year period, the report said, while the population of savanna elephants dropped by more than 60 percent over a 50-year period. The International Union for Conservation of Nature rates the global extinction risks to the world’s animals.
Africa currently has 415,000 elephants, counting the forest and savanna elephants together, according to the agency.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has predicted that the African elephant could be extinct by 2040, with poaching and human-wildlife conflict as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation the main threats to the survival of the species.Forest elephants are seen at Langoue Bai in the Ivindo national park, Gabon, on April 26, 2019. A man in his late fifties killed at a hunting party in Gabon after being ambushed and trampled upon by an elephant.Amaury Hauchard/Getty
RIP Harley a Sea Lion who died May 2021 after 23yrs performing tricks at Chessington zoo 💔
There is NO justification for Californian sea lions in zoos as they are not endangered & numbers are thriving in the wild. Please help end cruel sea lion shows by contacting @CWOA. pic.twitter.com/iYU9pp3nbE
Virtually every country in the world has a stray dog problem. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that there are over 200 million stray dogs worldwide.
But for Holland, it’s a different story. That’s because the country recently became the first nation with zero stray dogs.
Holland is making history, and fortunately, they didn’t do it by culling these animals. Instead, its government implemented an effective animal welfare program supported by legislators, public health officials, and animal advocates.Pixabay
The country has dealt with the stray dog dilemma for nearly 200 years—longer than almost any other country. But centuries ago, this wasn’t even a problem.
During the 1800s, dog ownership was a status symbol. Almost every household had at least one dog, if not more. But rabies broke out in Holland in the 1900s, leading thousands of citizens to abandon their canines.
They left them on the streets to fend for themselves out of fear of rabies. This event led to a drastic spike in the number of homeless pets in the country.
After more than 200 years, Dutch officials decided to tackle this issue.
Public health officials, legislators, and animal advocates gathered to come up with solutions to Holland’s growing stray dog population. And they had an ambitious goal—to bring it down to zero.
Their first step was implementing a sterilization program throughout the country. Homeless dogs were multiplying rapidly, and their procreation had to be controlled as soon as possible. Else, the number of strays will only continue to rise.
Within months, they spayed and neutered over 75% of Holland’s stray dogs. This significantly lessened the number of stray puppies being born.
Next, Holland’s officials enforced an animal welfare legislation. The new laws granted all animals, including stray dogs, the right to live a “quality” life.
And to encourage their citizens to take these new laws seriously, anyone who broke them will be subject to $16,000 fines and up to three years in prison. null
The legislation also put a tax hike on store-bought pets to promote pet adoption from shelters and rescues.
A domestic animal task force was also organized to enforce the new laws and ensure that there will always be help available to investigate reports of any individual breaking them. If necessary, the task force was also granted the right to remove any animal in a dangerous living situation.
Next, all strays went through a veterinary check-up where they were brought up to date on their vaccines. This is a necessary step in preventing the spread of contagious diseases such as rabies and parvovirus
Marianne Thieme, the Party for the Animals spokesperson, said:
“Animals — and our entire society — need the animal police. There is a direct link between violence against animals and violence against humans.”
Lastly, Dutch officials campaigned tirelessly across the country to promote pet adoption instead of pet shopping. Doing so decreased the popularity of puppy mills and dog breeders in Holland.
Now, when someone brings a rescued/adopted puppy home, they know they’ve contributed to the nationwide mission of bringing the number of Holland’s stray dogs down to zero. This made the citizens feel included in the fight against pet homelessness.
As of now, over 90% of Holland’s population live with happy and healthy dogs. Because of their cooperation, the entire country managed to save over a million neglected, abused, and homeless dogs.
Holland’s success in eradicating its stray dog population proves that great things can happen when an entire country works towards achieving a common goal. Hopefully, we see the U.S. and other nations follow suit.
New research studying the behavior of 9,000 dogs demonstrated that fearfulness, age, breed, the company of other members of the same species and the owner’s previous experience of dogs were all associated with dogs’ aggressive behavior towards humans. These findings can potentially provide important tools for understanding and preventing aggressive behavior.
Aggressive behavior in dogs can include growling, barking, snapping and biting. These gestures are part of normal canine communication, and they also occur in non-aggressive situations, such as during play. However, aggressive behavior can be excessive, making the dog a health threat to both humans and other animals.
The canine gene research group active at the University of Helsinki surveyed connections between aggressive behavior and several potential risk factors with the help of a dataset encompassing more than 9,000 dogs, a sample from a larger dataset from a behavioral survey dataset of nearly 14,000 dogs. The study investigated aggressiveness towards both dog owners and unfamiliar human beings. Dogs were classified as aggressive if they growled often and/or had attempted to snap at or bite a human at least occasionally in the situations described in the survey.
“Dogs’ fearfulness had a strong link to aggressive behavior, with fearful dogs many times more likely to behave aggressively. Moreover, older dogs were more likely to behave aggressively than younger ones. One of the potential reasons behind this can be pain caused by a disease. Impairment of the senses can contribute to making it more difficult to notice people approaching, and dogs’ responses to sudden situations can be aggressive.”
-Salla Mikkola, doctoral researcher University of Helsinki
Small dogs are more likely to behave aggressively than mid-sized and large dogs, but their aggressive behavior is not necessarily considered as threatening as that of large dogs. Consequently, their behavior is not addressed. In addition, the study found that male dogs were more aggressive than females. However, sterilization had no effect on aggressive behavior.
The first dogs of dog owners were more likely to behave aggressively compared to dogs whose owners had previous experience of dogs. The study also indicated that dogs that spend time in the company of other dogs behave less aggressively than dogs that live without other dogs in the household.
Significant differences in aggressive behavior between breeds
Differences in the aggressiveness of various dog breeds can point to a genetic cause.
“In our dataset, the Long-Haired Collie, Poodle (Toy, Miniature and Medium) and Miniature Schnauzer were the most aggressive breeds. Previous studies have shown fearfulness in Long-Haired Collies, while the other two breeds have been found to express aggressive behavior towards unfamiliar people. As expected, the popular breeds of Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever were at the other extreme. People who are considering getting a dog should familiarize themselves with the background and needs of the breed. As for breeders, they should also pay attention to the character of dam candidates, since both fearfulness and aggressive behavior are inherited.”
-Professor Hannes Lohi, University of Helsinki.
At-a-Glance Summary of Research Findings:
Factors Associated with Dog Aggressiveness towards Humans
-Older dogs encountering sudden moves/situations
-Dogs of first-time dog owners
-Solitary dogs: Dogs that have no other dogs in the household
-Most aggressive breeds: Long-Haired Collie, Poodle (Toy, Miniature and Medium) and Miniature Schnauzer breeds
Journal reference: Salla Mikkola, Milla Salonen, Jenni Puurunen, Emma Hakanen, Sini Sulkama, César Araujo, Hannes Lohi. Aggressive behaviour is affected by demographic, environmental and behavioural factors in purebred dogs. Scientific Reports, 2021; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-88793-5
When Byron and Melissa Thanarayen found their dogs at home with wet heads, they assumed the canines had simply made a mess at the water bowl. But when they checked their security footage, they got a surprise.
The video showed their senior toy Pomeranian, Chucky, walking along the edge of the backyard pool before he fell into the water. The 13-year-old dog immediately panicked, swimming to different sides of the pool as he tried desperately to escape.
Jessie spent over 30 minutes trying to save her big brother before she got a good grip and pulled him to safety. She even used her paw to move Chucky away from the edge of the pool.
The video then shows Chucky and Jessie happily running off into the sunny yard together after their stressful ordeal.
The Thanarayens are grateful for their heroic girl, knowing that Chucky might not have made it out of the pool alive without Jessie. They say their dogs have been trained to swim but they’re going to buy a pool cover to keep them safer in the future.
A pair of financial companies that were leasing dogs to Massachusetts pet owners will waive the remaining balances owed on dozens of animals, according to the Massachusetts attorney general.
Nevada based companies Credova Financial, LLC and Nextep Holdings, LLC will reportedly forgive $126,000 in balances and give full ownership to dog owners who took out a lease to buy their family pet. Leasing dogs is legal in some states, though Massachusetts, where Thursday’s case was settled, isn’t one of them. Those two companies also agreed to pay $50,000 to the state.
According to the AG’s office, some pet stores allow owners to take out leases to finance a dog, much the same way some people purchase cars. If a payment is missed, the dog can be repossessed. Such loans are said to often come with high finance charges.
In announcing the settlement, attorney General Maura Healey said dog ownership is a big investment for families, both financially and emotionally.
“When the dog is used as collateral in a lease, the end result can be expensive and heartbreaking,” Healey said.
Today, the New York Court of Appeals—one of the most influential state courts in the United States—agreed to hear the habeas corpus case of our elephant client Happy, an autonomous and cognitively complex nonhuman animal who has been imprisoned at the Bronx Zoo for over four decades. This marks the first time in history that the highest court of any English-speaking jurisdiction will hear a habeas corpus case brought on behalf of someone other than a human being.
In 2018, the Nonhuman Rights Project brought a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on Happy’s behalf, seeking recognition of her fundamental right to bodily liberty and transfer to an elephant sanctuary. Happy became the first elephant in the world to be granted a hearing to determine the lawfulness of her imprisonment. Following several days of hearings, the trial court “regrettably” denied Happy’s petition because of prior court decisions, which will now be examined for the first time by the Court of Appeals.
Happy’s case has been supported from the start by leading scientists, philosophers, habeas corpus scholars, legal experts, theologians, and the wider public throughout the country and the world. Having begun the fight for nonhuman rights in New York eight years ago, we are thrilled the Court of Appeals has recognized the urgent public importance of Happy’s case and hope she will soon become the first elephant and nonhuman animal in the US to have her right to bodily liberty judicially recognized.
To learn more about Happy and her court case, click here. To join the over one million people who’ve signed her Change.org petition, click here. To make a donation to help ensure the legal fight for elephant rights is as strong as it can be, now and until all elephants can live freely, click here.
This article is contributed by guest writer, Dawn C.
Everyone loves their pets, and no one ever wants to see them hurt, especially in a fire. So what can one do to protect their pet? The first thing is to make sure you have operational fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. This is not only to protect the pet but also the entire family. The other way to protect your pet is to train them. Socialization and proper training are some of the basic needs your pet requires. Here are the best tips on safety for pets.
About 50,000 pets get affected by fire every year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.Pets cause about 1000 house fires and those are reported cases. Most of these fires are caused by open flames such as candles, fireplaces, or stoves. Here are ways to keep your pets safe from fire or other hazards:
1. Don’t leave an unattended open flame
Pets are mostly nosy, and they don’t understand the risks that fire can cause. Dripped grease or fallen candles can end up becoming a tragic blaze, hence, avoid them when you have pets around. For pets like cats, an ignited candle can be a temptation. You can consider flameless candles.
2. Keep the fireplace secure
A stray spark from a fireplace may burn the entire house. A fireplace is a great place for pets and family to gather, but it’s best to avoid putting fabric items near a fireplace. You can also use a glass fireplace shield to keep the sparks in their place.
Pets can sometimes mistake an electronic cord for a chewing toy. The electric wires can be bound in various creative ways to secure and keep them from being visible. Beginning your pet’s training helps in teaching them good behavior, and not to tamper with cables in the house.
4. Know your pet’s hiding spots
This is essential, especially when you need to evacuate out of your home quickly. Pets mostly hide, especially if they sense danger. You can begin training your pet by crating it in advance to make it easier so that they don’t run when you try pulling them from their crate during any emergency.
5. Rehearse escape routes
Make sure your entire family knows the plan of where to go. If your pet is left behind, it may become exposed to many hazards or get trapped. The American Red Cross informs that it’s essential to decide where you’ll take your pet ahead of time. You can contact a veterinarian to get a list of favorite facilities and kennels. You can also ask for foster care or emergency shelter in a local animal shelter. You can also identify hotels or motels that accept pets.
Another way to ensure itssafety is beginning your pet’s training. It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, especially if it’s a new pet. When you take it step by step, you’ll find it far less hectic. Here are the guidelines on how to get started:
Begin with obedience –Before beginning your pet’s training, you can set a basic foundation. There should be positive reinforcement to lay a great foundation. The method involves giving a pet a reward to encourage it to behave the way you want.
Train your dog in self-control – This technique teaches your pet that nothing comes for free. It needs to earn things like attention, and food through being obedient.
Emergencies tend to happen at any time and can come in a ton of ways. While one may not be able to prevent them from happening, one can prepare their pet and themselves in advance. Training your pet is a way to prevent them from causing or engaging in any danger.
Mountain lion’s ‘unusual’ appearance in Texas national park sparks a mystery
Chacour KoopFri, April 30, 2021, 1:06 PM·1 min read
A mountain lion’s “unusual” appearance in a Texas national park has sparked a mystery: Where did it come from?
A mountain lion in and of itself isn’t rare in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. They’ll go just about anywhere mule deer — among the most common animals in the Far West Texas park — can be found.
But this particular mountain lion recently spotted on a trail camera was wearing a collar.
Why is that strange? The park says it hasn’t collared cats since the 1980s.
“This collared mountain lion must have drifted into the park from somewhere else,” the park posted on Facebook. “It’s unusual, but exciting to see this collared individual because it reflects the vast roving and range behaviors of mountain lions.”
A mountain lion, also known as a cougar or puma, requires a huge swath of habitat to survive, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Cubs remain with their mothers up to 26 months but usually separate earlier to find their own territory, the wildlife groups says.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html
Guadalupe Mountains National Park shared a photo of the mountain lion in hopes of finding out who collared the cat.
“Since this is not our cat, we wanted to share the image to help whoever is doing research, find and monitor their kitty,” the park posted. “We’ve reached out to local researchers to identify … the cat and its collar, with no luck.”
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard