The more we intrude on what was their domain, the more likely we are to have run-ins of the unpleasant variety with wildlife — even inside the safety of our homes.
In the past two weeks, two homeowners say wild cats entered their homes in pursuit of their pets — a mountain lion in San Mateo County, Calif., and a bobcat Plano, Texas.
In the California case, the mountain lion snatched a woman’s dog at night as she, her child and the pet slept in her bed.
Both intrusions were seen as uncommonly bold for the species, and both have served to renew local and regional debates on how best to handle the kinds of predators that, despite development, can still show up in suburban and rural areas.
Some, like the bobcat-encountering woman above, say get rid of them entirely — as in wipe them off the planet, or at least our ritzy suburb. Others favor trapping, tranquilizing, killing, relocating, or poisoning (which can be problematic for dogs, too). Some might favor taking a look at whatever more reasonable steps could lead to a more peaceful alliance.
We’d note at at the outset that, in both cases outlined here, the homeowners had left doors opened — so perhaps for people living in areas where such animals are sometimes sighted, shutting the damn door might be a good and sound first step.
That would have prevented what was a real life nightmare for Vickie Fought, of Pescadero, Calif. She and her daughter awoke to see their dog, a 15-pound Portuguese Podengo sleeping at the foot of the bed they shared, snatched and taken away by what has since been confirmed was a mountain lion.
About 3 a.m., the woman awoke in her home to hear the dog, named Lenore, barking. She glimpsed the shadow of an animal walking through her bedroom, according to NBC
Fought got out of bed and used a flashlight to look for her dog, but saw only large wet paw prints at the entrance of her bedroom.
Officers from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office collected a drop of blood found on the floor, which was taken to a wildlife forensics laboratory in Sacramento that same day.
Testing showed Monday that the blood included DNA from a mountain lion, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Capt. Patrick Foy of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the small dog was apparently what the mountain lion was after. Foy said it was the first case he’d heard of a mountain lion walking into a home.
“This person had left the door open, so the animal got in. That problem is fixed,” he added. “They’re not sleeping with the door open anymore.”
Earlier this week, in the suburbs of Dallas, a woman watched as a bobcat chased her miniature pinschers through an open door and into her house.
Plano resident Pat McDonald says she heard a scream and turned to see her female dog, Precious, running in the door. Behind the little dog, she says, was a bobcat. “He came right in,” she said.
McDonald says the large cat raced through her home and jumped on top of a six foot tall display cabinet. It ran back out, but not before biting the dog on the neck. Precious is expected to recover, according to CBS in Dallas.
Officials say it was the first instance they recall of bobcat entering someone’s home.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 28th, 2017 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, attacks, california, coexisting, dog, dogs, domain, doors, home, inside, killing, min pin, miniature pinscher, open, owners, pescadero, pets, plano, podengo, predators, relocating, safety, small dogs, solutions, territory, texas, trapping, wildlife
Like the subjects of his namesake’s paintings, Picasso the dog has a face that seems to exist on separate planes.
The lower half of his snout lines up just perfectly under his hopeful brown eyes, but the upper half, due to a facial deformity, veers drastically to the right, making his drooping nose look like it’s about to slide off.
Picasso, due to his lopsided appearance, was put on the euthanize list.
Last month, an Oregon rescue group pulled Picasso and Pablo from the shelter in hopes of finding them homes.
And not long after the first photo of Picasso hit the Internet, he became a celebrity of viral proportions.
Since their Feb. 11 arrival, Picasso and his brother, 10-month-old pit bull-terrier mixes, have become the stars of the rescue’s social media feeds — and hundreds of people have inquired about adopting them in the last few days.
The rescue is insisting that, because of their bond, they be adopted as a pair.
For now, the brothers are staying with several other dogs in a communal living-style cabin operated by Luvable Dog Rescue.
The rescue says that, while they’re accepting applications, they’re still working to address Picasso’s medical needs, including removing a tooth that’s digging into gums.
That’s not going to alter his unusual appearance, but judging from the response his lopsided mug has received, that’s not going to matter.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 6th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, appearance, california, crooked, deformed, deformity, dog, dogs, eugene, facebook pinterest, luvable dog rescue, oregon, pets, photos, picasso, picasso the dog, porterville, porterville animal shelter, rescue, shelter, snout, social media, twitter, viral
Video stores and libraries aren’t the only places where you’ll find “night drops.”
Some animal shelters have them, too — areas where dogs and cats in need of homes can be dropped off after hours, anonymously, and under the cover of night.
A few weeks ago, a veterinary technician who was the first to arrive for work at the Animal Friends of the Valleys shelter in Riverside County, California, found two boxers — one pink, one brown, both nearly hairless.
Both of the dogs, who were abandoned without a note identifying their previous owner, had a skin condition called demodex mange.
“I felt so badly for Artie and Asia when I first saw them,” said Jennifer Glover, a vet tech for the shelter in Wildomar. “But I was encouraged by the fact that we would be able to start helping them.”
“They were very sweet when they arrived but they were depressed,” Glover added. “Within just one day of having someone care for them here, they were so much happier and more outgoing.”
The skin condition is a treatable one.
The dogs have been responding well to treatment and both have been sent on to Last Chance at Life Rescue to be put up for adoption, according to People.com.
Asia, the pink one is believed to be about 10 months old, and Artie about 2 years old.
On top of the skin condition, caused by mites, Asia has a heart murmur, and Artie has some eye issues, but they otherwise seem healthy and playful.
“I assure you they were both unsettled with being dumped but they know very quickly that the staff at Animal Friends of the Valleys and the volunteers at LCAL are their ‘friends,’ and there to help them,” said Lisa Hamilton, founder and president of Last Chance At Life. “They are with us until we find their perfect home.”
Hamilton says people have already inquired about adopting the pair, and that anyone interested should contact them through the organization’s website.
(Photos: Last Chance at Life Rescue)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 28th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandon, abandoned, adopt, adoption, animal friends of the valleys, animals, artie, asia, boxers, california, demodex mange, dog, dogs, hairless, last chance of life rescue, mange, night drops, pets, pink, pink dog, rescues, riverside county, shelters, skin, skin condition, surrender, wildomar
Mike Zaremba says he has had three packages stolen from the front porch of his home in Riverside, Calif.
On Tuesday, with help from his Great Dane and a handful of other dogs, he got some revenge.
After a birthday party for his one-year-old dog, Zaremba scooped all the poop seven canine guests had left in the yard, packed it neatly into a white priority mail box and left it on his front porch.
As he suspected, the thief (or at least a thief) struck again, and Zaremba’s security cam recorded him making off with the box on a bicycle, CBS in Los Angeles reported.
“At first I really felt violated even though I knew what was inside the package, I was still like, he stole from me!” Zaremba said.
Zaremba said a friend gave him the idea.
He laid out his plan beforehand on his Facebook page:
“I’m expecting some packages from USPS and UPS… but there have been a lot of package thefts lately. So tomorrow I’m going to package up a box full of dog [poop] and leave it on my front porch. I’m going to have a camera rolling so if I catch the thief I can turn the footage into the news,” he wrote Tuesday.
Riverside police eventually tracked down the alleged taker of the purloined poop, whose name is Daniel Aldama. He no longer had the package by then.
“He dropped it as soon as he found out. He didn’t want nothing to do with it and kept on riding,” Ronel Newton of the Riverside Police Department said.
(Photo: Mike Zaremba’s Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 9th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, box of poop, california, cam, camera, christmas, deliveries, delivery, dog poop, dogs, feces, great dane, holidays, mail, mike zaremba, package, packages, pets, poop, porch, riverside, security, shit, stolen, theft
Maybe it was some kind of turkey sixth sense that led Leon to leave wherever he was and hit the streets of Ventura County, California, when November rolled around.
Because we all know — and possibly turkeys do too — what day is coming up.
Leon was found wandering the streets earlier this month and taken to the local animal shelter. A Stockton-based rescue, Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary, pulled him from there, wanting to make sure he didn’t end up on someone’s Thanksgiving dinner table.
Sanctuary manager Christine Morrissey said it quickly became apparent that Leon expected something more than a turkey’s life. He loves to be picked up and carried, petted and kissed, and have his belly rubbed.
“He just took to people immediately,” she told THV11.
Morrissey said she doesn’t know if Leon escaped from a farm where he was being raised for slaughter, or if he was someone’s pet.
But, she noted, “He certainly is the age of a turkey that would be slaughtered for Thanksgiving dinner.”
Turkeys have more complex emotions than most people think, she said, but Leon seems one of a kind.
“For an animal to immediately trust us and want companionship, that is, definitely I would say, an unusual trait,” she said.
Morrissey is working on teaching him some tricks, trying to figure out how to get a leash or harness on him, and even contemplating whether he has the potential to become a therapy turkey.
Likely, he will end up alongside some cranberries on Thanksgiving — but not as an entree. They seem to be his favorite treat.
(Photo from Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 17th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: affectionate, animals, belly rubs, california, dinner, dogs, harvest home animal sanctuary, leon, like a dog, pets, sanctuary, shelter, stockton, stray, thanksgiving, turkey, ventura county, wandering
When singer-songwriter MadLyn filmed her latest music video she chose Salvation Mountain as the setting — a location that’s near the top of my list when it comes to American places of quirky and unnatural beauty.
And she brought her dog, Lucy, along to serve as the video’s co-star.
Salvation Mountain, built of trash, straw, adobe and and thousands of gallons of vibrantly colored paint, was one man’s tribute to his faith in God, and even though I’m not religious, I was fortunate enough to drop by and meet him twice (the mountain’s creator, not The Creator) when he was alive.
Once, for a magazine story, and once during my Travels with Ace, I spent some time with Leonard Knight — an admittedly reclusive and obsessive sort who let nothing stop him in his quest to fashion a mountain where there was none. Knight died in 2014 at age 82.
Salvation Mountain pops up like a colorful hallucination in the otherwise bleak, almost lunar, desert terrain around Niland, California.
MadLyn went there in July with her director/father and a cinematographer to film a video for her song “Will You Take Me Home” and she did all the things that people do in music videos — prance, skip, sing, twirl, look pensive, wear multiple outfits and toss her curly locks about.
In one scene, MadLyn was to stand in front of the mountain and hold her little dog as a camera-equipped drone zoomed in on them and passed overhead.
Lucy didn’t like that. She jumped out of MadLyn’s arms and took off.
Lucy had gone all day with no leash (she was playing the role of a stray), but when the drone approached for a close-up she “starts freaking out and jumps out of my arms and runs out into the desert,” MadLyn recounted.
As the sun went down, MadLyn, her father and the cinematographer searched for hours, on foot and by car, enlisting the help of Slab City’s other denizens, but Lucy could not be found and was not responding to their calls.
Because the cinematographer needed to get back to his family, they drove back to Los Angeles, a three and a half hour trip.
The next day, a Saturday, MadLyn called animal shelters located near Niland, printed up flyers, checked with the company Lucy’s microchip is registered with and sent out pleas on Facebook.
Then she and her father headed back to Niland to search some more for Lucy.
Sadly, and a bit ironicallly, what had happened in real life was exactly the opposite of what director Fred Fuster had in mind for the video.
While the song’s lyrics seemingly pertain to man-woman love, Fuster (being a father) envisioned a different, more innocent, interpretation of his daughter’s song.
“As director I insisted on having that story line — where this woman who has a hard time finding love meets this dog at Salvation Mountain and I guess falls in love,” he said.
But instead of finding a dog, Madlyn, in real life, lost one.
She later took her mother’s name, Madlyn, to honor her.
She has been active in raising money to fight breast cancer. Last year, she released the song, “I Call Her Mom,” with 100 percent of all digital sales going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
No strangers to loss and dealing with dark times, Fuster and his daughter pulled into Salvation Mountain after nightfall to look for Lucy and seek out people who might have seen her.
They went a gathering spot in Slab City called The Range, where an open mic night was being held, and showed Lucy’s picture around.
One man told Fuster that it was unlikely a small dog like Lucy — given all the hawks and coyotes in the area — was still alive after 24 hours.
That’s when Fuster sat down and began to pray.
When he opened his eyes and looked down, there was Lucy.
After a tearful reunion, Fuster and MadLyn put Lucy in the car and gave her some water. The 18-pound dog drank 24 ounces, MadLyn says.
MadLyn, as you can see in the video at the end of this post, clearly considers what happened a miracle.
“Lucy was missing in the desert of Salvation Mountain for 24 hours completely by herself, and through the grace of God alone, she came back,” she wrote in an email to ohmidog!
She says the video is “dedicated to all shelter and foster animals looking for a loving home.”
I have a feeling Leonard Knight would like this story.
I know I do.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 20th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, california, dedication, dog, dogs, faith, filming, fred fuster, god, leonard knight, lost, lucy, madlyn, miracle, miracle dog, music, music video, niland, pets, rescue, salvation mountain, shelter, singer, songwriter, will you take me home
Nearly 50 deaf dogs evacuated from a shelter threatened by a raging wildfire north of Los Angeles have gotten a warm welcome at a state prison.
The owners of Deaf Dog Rescue of America decided to evacuate the animals from their Santa Clarita kennel Sunday night as the Sand fire started moving closer to the property.
“We knew if we had an issue in the middle of the night, we would be here alone with 45 dogs to load up,” Lisa Tipton posted on the rescue’s Facebook page.
Deaf Dog Rescue takes in deaf dogs from across the country, trains them and places them in new homes. It also provides assistance to new deaf dog owners who need training advice.
The rescue was debating where it might take the dogs when the state prison in Lancaster — where Lisa’s husband, Mark, operates a dog training program called Karma Rescue — offered all 50 of them shelter.
“We arrived to find the man-cages ready for the dogs,” Lisa Tipton said, with “food, water, beds, and igloos.”
The hospitality didn’t end there, NBC 4 in Los Angeles reported.
“The inmates had handled breakfast beautifully. They were getting the dogs out for exercise and cleaning their runs…
“I have never, ever seen anyone clean up dog poop with such glee.”
Even the dogs that aren’t always comfortable around strangers were coping well, Lisa Tipton added.
“To see incarcerated men of all races working so beautifully together to help others is a really amazing experience,” she said. “If they had turned us away, with 97 degree [heat], we would’ve had dead dogs in the trailer.”
She said the dogs will probably remain in the prison through the end of the week as efforts to contain the fire continue.
(Photos: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 28th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, california, deaf, deaf dogs, deaf dogs rescue of america, dogs, evacuate, evacuation, evacuees, fire, inmates, lancaster, pets, prison, prisoners, prisons, rescue, sand fire, shelter, state prison, wildfire