What is Your Pet Thinking?

California Man Arrested for Biting
 Pet Python Twice

The injured party was not who the police expected

A man in the Californian city of Sacramento has been accused of biting a pet snake, leaving the python seriously hurt, police say.

Police were called to the northern part of the city on Thursday evening expecting to respond to an assault.

While officers were speaking to David Senk, 54, found lying at the scene, a witness accused him of taking two bites out of the snake.

The python is recovering after being given emergency surgery.

It was turned over to the city's Animal Care Services after losing a few ribs.

"She's doing well," Gina Knepp, acting animal care services manager, told the Sacramento Bee. "We did surgery on her last night and I think we saved her life."

Mr Senk was arrested on suspicion of unlawfully maiming or mutilating a reptile.

While in jail, Mr Senk told local media that he had no memory of the incident and that he had a drinking problem.

"I did what?" Mr Senk said. "If you find the owner, tell him I'm real sorry. ... I'm willing to help pay for medical expenses."

No owner has come forward to claim the python from Sacramento's Animal Care Services.

Ms Knepp said before the surgery that the bites on the three-foot snake were large enough to expose the animal's liver.

Woman Punches Black Bear in the Nose
to Save Her Dog
Yereth Rosen - thestar.com

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—A 22-year-old Alaska woman says she punched a black bear in the face to save her small dog from being carried off and possibly eaten.

Juneau resident Brooke Collins said she hit the bear Sunday night to save the life of her dachshund, Fudge. She said she discovered the bear crouched down, clutching Fudge in its paws and biting the back of the dog's neck.

“It had her kind of like when they eat salmon,” Collins said Wednesday. “I was freaking out. I was screaming at it. My dog was screaming. I ran up to it . . . I just punched it right in the snout and it let go.”

Collins said her boyfriend then scared the bear away. “I think it was more startled than anything,” she said.

Collins, a hairdresser who has lived in Juneau most of her life, said she is accustomed to bears and knows how to take precautions around them.

She also knew about this particular bear before Sunday's attack because it has been hanging around the neighborhood.

In this case, however, Fudge darted out the door before anyone checked the vicinity, she said.

The dog, an older female, was not seriously hurt in the attack, but Collins said she is tending to the animal's wounds and keeping her inside for now. Collins said she is also taking other precautions with her second dog.

Black bears frequently roam the downtown section of Alaska's capital city, which rests against a steep mountain slope and is surrounded by a dense rain forest.

Bear encounters are on the rise this year, despite efforts by local residents to lock away garbage and remove items that might attract the animals, said Neil Barten, a Juneau-based biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

“This year, I think, is a lot worse than last year. I would attribute that to lack of a berry crop,” Barten said.

Production of berries around Juneau has been poor this summer, removing a key food source from the bears' diets.

“If they are not available, the bears look for other sources of food,” he said.

Bears and dogs sometimes snarl at each other, but actual attacks on dogs are unusual, he said.

Collins said her dog Fudge has chased bears but never been attacked before.

The black bear she punched returned Tuesday, she said, because it was a trash pick-up day.

Possible Sighting of Jack the Cat at JFK

The elusive Jack the cat—missing at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport for the past eight days—may have been sighted today for the first time.

A woman named Deborah Burke Andre posted the following on the “Jack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK” Facebook page: “I am an employee at JFK. Today I was driving by the long term parking lot when I spotted a cat that could have been this one. When I got out of my car to try and get a closer look, it ran towards the water edge.”

Jack’s network of over 12,000 Facebook supporters pounced on the tip and alerted American Airlines, which responded by saying they had expanded the search and would have an update soon.

The airline flew Karen Pascoe, Jack’s owner, back to New York from California this week to join the search for her pet. On Thursday, American Airlines acted on Pascoe’s suggestion and added a pet detective to the search.

Pascoe’s sister has been updating the Facebook page regularly and most recently wrote, “We’re all excited…please be patient, though. I’ll update as I find out ANY details at all…it’s frustrating for all of us, but Karen can’t talk to me and call for Jack at the same time.”

Jack has been missing since Pascoe was traveling from New York to California last Thursday. She dropped her two cats off in their kennels at baggage services and soon received a call from an American Airlines agent telling her that one of her cats was missing and they believed he was in the inbound baggage claim area.

The search came up empty and Jack has been missing ever since. Passionate supporters have vowed to renounce American Airlines unless the feline is found. The worried airline has been posting frequent updates on its Facebook.

“We understand that a cat is a beloved family member for so many, including many of our own employees, and we are doing our utmost to find Jack,” American Airlines wrote on its Facebook page Thursday night.

Toy Poodle Credited with West Jordan Fire Rescue
By bob mims - sltrib.com

A dog is being credited with helping rescue a 19-year-old man during a house fire early Friday morning.

West Jordan Fire Battalion Chief Reed Sharman said the fire was reported at 3:10 a.m. when a passer-by saw flames coming from the side of a home at 3172 W. 8565 South.

A mother and two children made it out of the house before firefighters arrived, but her 19-year-old son was still inside. Sharman said it was the family’s dog, a toy poodle named Ted, who led emergency responders to the man.

“Two of our paramedics, Don Chase and Erik Andersen, had gone inside to search the structure, and when they opened the door, there was the dog. When they went to grab the dog, though, he ran downstairs,” Sharman said.

“He stopped on a landing, looked back at our guys, waited for them to catch up and then ran down to the next landing,” Sharman said.

The dog waited again for the paramedics to approach, then ran over to a basement couch where the man was found asleep. By that time, smoke had begun to fill the house.

Chase and Anderson woke the man and took him and the dog outside. The man was treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation and released. The dog was uninjured — though “grumpy,” Sharman said.

Sharman said firefighters knocked down the flames within 10 minutes, but flames had gotten into the home’s ceiling and walls, causing an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 in damage.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, but Sharman said a leaking gas meter on the side of the home may have been a factor.

Harbor, Black And Tan Coonhound,
Named Living Dog With World's Longest Ears

Harbor, a black and tan coonhound, has earned recognition from Guinness World Records as the living dog with the world's longest ears.

The 8-year-old pooch has a left ear that measures 12.25 inches and a right ear that measures 13.5 inches, according to the 2012 edition of the record book, which will be released Sept. 15.

Harbor's enormous ears have earned him plenty of fans, according to his owner Jennifer Wert, of Boulder, Colo.

But they can also be a burden. When the purebred was a pup, he used to trip over them and tumble down the stairs, a Guinness press release notes.

Today, passersby often take pictures of Harbor's droopy ears or give them a friendly tug when he's out for a walk.

"Most days I forget how oddly long his ears are," said Wert. "He's a phenomenon in the world and he creates smiles wherever we go."

Stolen Dogs, Gunshots Raise Suspicion
of Dog-Fighting Ring in Western Maine
By Tony Reaves, Sun Journal

Avy, the dog stolen from Kyle Kilgore of West Paris.

WEST PARIS, Maine — Last month, Kyle Kilgore returned to his West Paris home after a few hours away to find one of his two dogs missing.

Avy, a 2½-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, had been tied up in the front yard of his West Paris home. Her lead appeared to have been severed with bolt cutters.

Avy sometimes got loose and ran to the neighbors’ house, but the neighbors hadn’t seen her. A week later, a woman in Hartford found Avy’s body dumped on her lawn, wrapped in a tarp.

“They put her in a bag, wrapped her in a tarp, zipped the tarp shut and wrapped the cable around her,” Kilgore said. Avy was still wearing her collar.

Eight dogs have been reported missing or stolen this year in Woodstock, Sumner, West Paris and Hartford, Animal Control Officer Ozzie Hart said Thursday. Hart said he believes it’s related to a dog-fighting ring.

Most of the missing dogs have been pit bulls, Hart said, although one was a yellow Lab.

Hart said Kilgore’s dog appeared to have been shot through the head and had suffered tearing on her ears, but the body was too decomposed to tell how she died.

In addition to the dog thefts, Hart said he had heard reports of dogs barking and gunshots at night off Old County Road in Woodstock. He said those sounds are consistent with dog-fighting activities.

On Thursday, two people in the area called Hart and said they had seen trucks driving by the power lines and had heard gunshots and dogs at night. The reports have increased lately, and residents are reporting noise as often as three nights a week.

Hart said he believed the stolen dogs were being used as “bait dogs,” nonaggressive dogs used to train fighting dogs. Bait dogs are used to teach aggression in fighting dogs and are often mauled or killed in the process.

Kilgore said he still hadn’t told his youngest son that Avy’s body was found. Kilgore said when he picks up his 3-year-old from day care, he wants to go out looking for his dog.

“He tells me, ‘We have to go look for Avy,’” Kilgore said. “She was basically one of the kids.”

Kilgore said he got her at eight weeks and raised her himself. She was well-socialized and got along well with his children. “If there were any problems, she was right there with them.”

As far as his son knows, Avy ran off. “It really sucks to try to explain something like this to your kid,” Kilgore said.

“It’s not anything I would want anyone else to go through, that’s for sure,” he said.

Hart said he had heard reports of missing dogs since January, but until finding Avy, he hadn’t seen a connection. In January, a man lost his dog when a small, dark-colored truck stopped and a man threw the dog into the truck and took off.

Months later in Canton, a couple left their dog in the car when going into The Big Apple store. When they left the store, the dog was gone. In another case, a dog was missing but the dog’s collar was left in the yard.

Robert Larrabee, animal control officer for Oxford Hills towns, including Paris and Oxford, said he hadn’t received any reports of stolen dogs in the area. He said the thefts seem to be occurring in West Paris, Woodstock, Sumner and Hartford.

“I’m still shocked,” Kilgore said. “I just don’t see how someone could do that. I couldn’t imagine just riding around and looking for other people’s dogs.”

“I hope they catch them before I catch them,” he said.

At this point, dog-fighting is a suspicion, Hart said.

He said anyone who has seen strange activity or knows of people involved in dog-fighting in the area can call him at 357-2818. He said people involved in dog-fighting are armed and could be dangerous.

Watch Those Whiskers:
They May Just Tell You What Your Pet is Thinking

You can’t read your pet’s mind, but you can watch for the signals he uses to show he’s happy, upset or just plain bored. AP / Jacquelyn Martin

Do you ever wonder what your pet is thinking? Dogs and cats communicate in a very specific way, and body language is part of it. Paying attention to how your pet is standing, the way his ears are, and how he’s looking at you, among other things, can help you understand how your dog or cat is feeling at that moment.

To help you better understand your pet’s communication, animal behaviorist Mary Burch of the American Kennel Club offers tips to decode your pet’s body language. Among them:


Ears. When your dog is relaxed and not stressed, his ears will be in the natural position. When he becomes alert and starts watching something closely, his ears will be raised and turned toward whatever is holding his attention. If your dog’s ears are pulled back so far they are plastered to the sides of his head, he is submissive or afraid.

Eyes. Relaxed dogs have relaxed eyes — they will stay their normal size and shape. When your dog becomes stressed or scared, his eyes appear smaller and are not as wide open. If a dog gives you a direct stare, this could be a threat.

Mouth. Dogs that are relaxed usually have their mouths closed or open just a bit. If your dog is afraid, his mouth will be closed with his lips pulled back at the corners. Aggressive dogs will often pull back their lips to show their teeth.


Ears. If your cat’s ears are pointed forward, this shows friendly interest and that the cat is attentive. Ears that are standing up and turned slightly back mean that the cat is not happy.

Eyes. Cats’ eyes can tell you what they are thinking. When their eyes are wide open and looking at you, it means the cat is listening to what you are saying — this is not to be confused with a cat that is giving you a hard stare, which means leave him alone. A happy cat may blink a lot or have eyes that look like slits.

Whiskers. The way a cat holds its whiskers can reveal a lot. Shy cats will have their whiskers flattened out to the side of their faces. A cat that is tense, excited, or ready to attack will have whiskers that are forward and stretched out. A content, comfortable cat will have its whiskers forward, but they seem relaxed and are not fanned out.

American Kennel Club

Is Your Dog-Walker Cheating You?
By Jill Rosen - The Baltimore Sun

With new device, people can check up on their dog-walker (VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

I've heard horror stories about dog-walkers. People who hired a dog walker to come in every day to walk their pup, only to find out that the person took the money daily, but never touched the dog. Or the one about the woman who returned home from work once to find that the pup waiting there for her belonged to someone else.

People who hire dog-walkers trust that they will actually show up, actually take their dogs out -- and keep them out and moving for the amount of time paid for.

But that doesn't always happen.

A company has invented a device that effectively allows people to check-up on their dog-walkers.

Pet Check Technology claims to be the first software designed to do this.

It's supposed to work like this. Dog walkers scan a bar-code when they arrive, with a mobile phone. Customers get an alert with the scan. GPS then tracks where the walker goes with the dog. A departure scan lets the customer know when the walk ends.

It's not clear how someone would know that a dog-walker is actually walking the dog, though, and not just arriving at a house, scanning the device, and then walking aroung the block themselves. I suppose you have to trust if they make the effort to get to your home for a scan, they'll actually take the dog out. But who knows....

The company is marking the technology dog walking companies, as something to offer clients.

"As a long-time owner of a successful dog walking company, I saw first-hand how much my clients love their dogs, so I wanted to ensure that they could be fully-confident in the dog walking that they were paying for," Pet Check Technology founder Doug Simon said in a statement.

The technology is only available in California right now.

Djokovic Brings Poodle to U.S.

Superstition! It's a big part of sports. Athletes of all stripes are superstitious. Maybe you're a pitcher who doesn't talk about a no-hitter during a no-hitter. Maybe you're a goalie who doesn't shave his beard or change his socks during the playoffs. Maybe you're Wade Boggs, and had so many superstitions that you seemed mentally ill. Or maybe you're Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, and you just want your best friend around when you play in the top tennis tournaments in the world.

Djokovic suffered a major bummer last month at Wimbledon when his poodle, Pierre, was denied entry to the UK by those dog-hating Brits. The tennis star had to play without his pooch by his side. Outrage! Luckily, now it's US Open time, and if there's one thing that's true about America, it's that we love our pets. That's probably why Djokovic was seen with Pierre last week in New Jersey, according to the New York Post. This is America, Jack. We're not about to tell the world's No. 1 tennis pro that he can't bring his companion animal with him across our borders. All dogs are welcome here! USA! USA!

Make Sure Your Pets are Vaccinated Against Rabies
By Chris J. Minnick - Lcsun-news.com

Getting your pet vaccinated against rabies is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your pets and your family from this serious and potentially deadly disease. A rabies vaccination is recommended for your pet every three years and in many cities and counties is required by law to have your pets vaccinated.

Last month, the Department of Health confirmed a cases of rabies in Portales when an unvaccinated pet dog from near Portales was attacked by an aggressive-acting skunk in early July, started showing signs of rabies last week and died at a veterinary hospital two days later.

A veterinarian suspected rabies and sent in diagnostic specimens that tested positive for rabies at the New Mexico Department of Health's Scientific Laboratory Division in Albuquerque. Family members, including several children, were exposed to the rabid dog's infectious saliva. Nine people have been identified who will need to receive rabies vaccine to prevent them from developing rabies. Another unvaccinated pet dog that was also bitten by the skunk will need to be destroyed.

Dr. Paul Ettestad, the Department of Health's public health veterinarian, said a skunk positive for rabies means that there are other skunks and potentially other wildlife in the area that also have rabies.

"Pet and horse owners need to protect their animals by having them up-to-date on their rabies vaccines. This will also help to protect their children and other family members from rabies if their horse, dog or cat tangles with a rabid animal," Ettestad said.

The following guidelines can help protect you and your family from rabies:

Keep pets on a leash at all times. Pets should be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations and wearing current license tags on their collar. If your cat or dog has been bitten or scratched, call your pet's veterinarian, even if the wound is superficial. Horses and other valuable livestock should be considered for rabies vaccination also, to protect them from wild rabid animals that may attack them.

Stay away from wild or unfamiliar animals. Do not attempt to feed, approach, or touch wild animals (alive or dead). Teach this important message to your children, and keep a close eye on your kids at all times.

If you see a sick or dead wild animal, or a wild animal acting abnormally in this area, report it to your local animal control authorities. Rabid animals may show no fear of people and may even seem friendly or become aggressive.

If you are bitten or scratched by a wild animal or a pet, The Department of Health recommends the following guidelines: Wash all wounds and contact areas thoroughly with soap and water; contact your physician immediately for evaluation (the Department of Health is available to physicians for consultation about rabies at (505) 827-0006); call the local animal control department to report the incident; provide them with an accurate description of the animal; try to keep the animal confined, but don't risk further injury if the animal is dangerous; keep children away from all animals involved in the incident

For more information about rabies visit the Department of Health website at http://nmhealth.org/ERD/HealthData/rabies.shtml.

Chris J. Minnick writes for the New Mexico Department of Health. Minnick can be reached at christopher.minnick@state.nm.us.

5 Rabbit Illnesses to Know
By Samantha Johnson - hobbyfarms.com

Ensure your farm’s pet rabbits lead healthy lives by recognizing the signs of these common diseases.

To keep your pet rabbits healthy, learn the signs and symptoms of common rabbit illnesses. Courtesy iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Thankfully, rabbits are generally happy, hardy and healthy animals. But even if all of your rabbits are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the moment, take some time to acquaint yourself with five illnesses that can affect your farm’s pet rabbits. Remember to always seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian with regard to medical ailments in rabbits; Rabbits USA magazine maintains a state-by-state list of rabbit-savvy veterinarians, or you can ask for recommendations from other rabbit owners in your area.

1. Pasteurella (Snuffles)
More commonly known as snuffles, pasteurella is generally characterized by the presence of nasal discharge, watery eyes, matted paws and sneezing. Caused by Pasturella multocida bacteria, this illness tends to manifest itself during or after stressful situations, so in addition to feeding rabbits a healthy diet and maintaining a clean rabbitry, prevention can include minimizing stress for your rabbits.

For affected individuals, treatment with antibiotics is sometimes recommended, though the efficacy is not guaranteed, as is often the case with chronic infections, where the bacteria have become entrenched in the rabbit’s bodily systems. More advanced forms of the disease might be treated with other medications or surgery. Snuffles can be easily transmitted from one rabbit to another; therefore, isolation of the infected rabbits is imperative to stop the spread of the illness.

2. Sore Hocks
Although most commonly seen in large or giant rabbit breeds, sore hocks can be problematic for any rabbit breed housed in less-than-sanitary conditions or kept in a hutch with a wire floor. Sore hocks is an infected ulceration of the foot pad, often caused by prolonged pressure of the rabbit’s feet against the cage floor. The problem can be prevented by providing floor mats, resting boards or nest boxes so that your rabbits have a comfortable place to rest. Additionally, toenails should be clipped short and hutches should be kept clean. Treatment for sore hocks can include antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications, but you can consult a veterinarian about the possible use of foot wraps, calamine lotion or ointments, such as Neosporin or Preparation H.

3. Ear Mites
If you find a crusty, scabby substance on the inside of your rabbit’s ears, this is ear canker and is caused by ear mites. Other symptoms can include head shaking and intense scratching; hair loss is also occasionally seen. Ivermectin is a common treatment option, so ask your veterinarian for advice regarding dosage and frequency of treatment. Mineral oil—a drop or two in each ear, once a month—is an option for preventing an infestation of ear mites. An underlying infection may often accompany ear-mite symptoms, so always consult your rabbit-savvy veterinarian about treatment.

4. Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a dangerous problem for rabbits, particularly those housed outdoors. Rabbits are extremely sensitive to elevated temperatures, and your outdoor rabbits will need ample protection in order to stay sufficiently cool during periods of hot weather. Protection from the sun, of course, is paramount, but so is continual access to fresh air and water . You can provide frozen water bottles for rabbits to lay next to and absorb the cold on hot days and a fan blowing near (but not directly on) your rabbits to help circulate cool, fresh air. By keeping your rabbits cool and comfortable, you’ll help prevent heat-induced illnesses. For a rabbit suffering from heat stroke, an immediate reduction in body temperature is necessary. Spray the rabbit with tepid water and immediately transport it to a veterinarian, who may need to treat the rabbit with IV fluids.

5. G.I. Stasis
Essentially a slowdown or stoppage of the digestive tract, gastrointestinal stasis is a dangerous and often fatal illness. Signs can include the failure to produce fecal droppings, a lack of appetite, failure to drink, a bloated abdomen and general listlessness. If your rabbit exhibits these symptoms, it should be immediately evaluated by a veterinarian. A range of treatment options for G.I. stasis includes surgery, oral fluids, free-choice hay, abdominal massage, and simethicone drops or tablets. The course of treatment will depend on whether an intestinal blockage is involved.

Prevention of G.I. stasis in your rabbits is ideal. Providing a diet high in fiber—including plenty of hay and a high-fiber pelleted feed—along with an unlimited supply of fresh water will go a log way to prevent this illness. Fresh greens can also be a beneficial addition to your rabbit’s diet, but introduce these slowly in order to avoid enteritis, an intestinal inflammation that causes diarrhea.

There are, of course, many other illnesses that can affect rabbits—mastitis, hutch burn, wry neck and coccidiosis, among others. It’s wise to acquaint yourself with the symptoms of a wide range of rabbit illnesses. By learning to recognize the symptoms of an unhealthy rabbit (lack of appetite, dull fur or fur loss, lethargy, increased respiration, teeth grinding, diarrhea, et cetera), you’ll be able to detect problems quickly and begin treatment immediately, giving your rabbits the best chance for recovery and a healthy, happy future.

About the Author: Samantha Johnson is the author of The Field Guide to Rabbits (Voyageur Press, 2008) and How to Raise Rabbits (Voyageur Press, 2009). She has been a rabbit enthusiast for nearly 20 years and resides in northern Wisconsin.

The Best Day Of Fishing Ever!
Thanks to Bob in BHC, AZ

I've heard of salmon jumping into boats but DEER?

Four were pulled from the icy waters of Stephens Passage, Alaska , by a group of locals on Tom Satre's 62-foot charter vessel. Four juvenile Sitka black-tailed deer swam directly toward the boat.

Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to circle the boat, looking
directly at the humans on board. Clearly, the bucks were distressed. With
help, the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals came willingly onto
the boat. Once onboard, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering.

Here the rescued bucks rest on the back of Tom Satre's boat, the Alaska
Quest. All four deer were transported to Taku Harbour . Once the group
reached the dock, the first buck that had been pulled from the water hopped
onto the dock, looked back, then leapt into the harbour, swam to shore, and
disappeared into the forest. After a bit of prodding and assistance from the
humans, two others followed suit, but one deer needed more help.

Here he is being transported by Tom Satre.

Tom, Anna and Tim Satre help the last of the "button" bucks to its feet.
They did not know how long the deer had been in the icy waters or if there had been others who did not survive. The good Samaritans (humans) describe their experience as "one of those defining moments in life." I'm sure it was for the deer, as well.

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