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Chimps Do Not Make Good Pets!!

Video: Adorable Baby Chimpanzee Makes Himself Dizzy

Milou, a young rescued chimpanzee, now lives at the IDA Africa, Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Centre in Cameroon. Apparently, while the other chimp youngsters climb trees, Milou does this!

Milou at IDA-Africa sanctuary playing on his own while the other chimps climb in the trees. CHIMPANZEES DO NOT MAKE GOOD PETS AT ALL! Milou’s mother was killed for the illegal bushmeat trade and he was going to be sold as a pet. Chimps will always become too strong and playful to keep in a house as they get older.

The clips and pictures from IDA Africa, Sanaga Yong in Cameroon. I volunteered there in 2011. It was an incredible experience. Chimpanzees are amazing animals. They are unbelievably intelligent.

To learn more or make a donation please go to http://www.ida-africa.org/

Chimpanzees Don’t Make Good Pets

Chimpanzee and monkey infants are irresistibly cute, and it might seem that raising one would be just like raising a human child. As infants, chimpanzees are affectionate, needy, and a delight to interact with. But chimpanzees grow up fast, and their unique intelligence makes it difficult to keep them stimulated and satisfied in a human environment. By age 5 they are stronger than most human adults. They become destructive and resentful of discipline. They can, and will, bite. Chimpanzee owners have lost fingers and suffered severe facial damage.

Reality Bites
Infant chimpanzees normally receive 24-hour attention from their mothers. Chimpanzee mothers will sleep with one hand on their child so contact is constant. No human can approach this level of caretaking. There are other problems: constant messes, demanding feeding schedule and the natural need chimpanzees have for mental stimulation. Bear in mind, captive primates can live 50- 60 years.

Chimpanzee owners often don’t travel because they can’t find suitable caretakers for their pets. Furthermore, chimpanzees are likely to rebel when owners come home late from work or have irregular schedules. Space is another obstacle. Homes are not large enough to keep these active animals happy.

While infant chimps can be diapered, once puberty hits most chimps resist diapers and clothing. Additionally, chimpanzees can make a mess that will daunt even the most practiced housekeeper. Imagine a toddler having the strength to move tables, pull down curtains and climb to anything put out of reach. It is impossible to train chimps to behave totally like humans.

Nonhuman primates are used frequently in medical research because they are susceptible to many of the same diseases as humans such as herpes, viral hepatitis, and measles. These diseases can be transferred easily from them to us and vice versa.

Aggression is a natural aspect of chimpanzee behavior and it is not uncommon for chimps to bite each other in the wild. However much a misguided chimp owner continues to love his or her "child," the chimpanzee will be too dangerous to keep as part of the family. Many owners, to delay the inevitable day that the chimp will have to be removed from the house, will pull the chimp’s teeth, put on shock collars — even remove thumbs in the mistaken notion that this will make it impossible for the chimp to climb the drapes.

Giving Them Up
The day will come when despite all best efforts the chimpanzee must go. The owners often feel betrayed by the animals that they raised and devoted so much attention to. Sadly, they cannot be sent back to Africa. Most zoos will not take ex-pets because human-reared chimpanzees do not know chimp etiquette and tend not to fit into established groups. Tragically, many pet chimps end up in medical research laboratories. Because owners are asked not to visit the chimps — so as not to disturb them in their "new-found happiness" — the former chimp owners never realize the horrendous conditions to which they have condemned their friend.

Legality
Many states, counties, cities and towns have laws banning the ownership of non-human primates.

Take Action!
Please ask your Senator to support the Captive Primate Safety Act. It will prohibit interstate and foreign commerce in primates as pets.To find your senator’s contact information, go to http://www.usa.gov


WANT TO RAISE A CHIMP? THINK AGAIN.

Chimpanzees are meant to live in the wild, not in our homes. Those that have been taken from the forest and their mothers belong in a sanctuary or a high quality zoo. Like human children, ape children learn in a social context, by watching and imitating adults. Chimps that grow up apart from a normal group fail to learn the nuances of chimp etiquette, and are likely to behave abnormally. As adults, chimpanzees have at least five times the strength of humans – too much for any pet owner to manage! Zoos usually refuse to accept pets because they tend not to fit into established groups. Historically, many pet chimps ended up in medical research laboratories. Today they are likely to end up in a roadside zoo.


Addtional Resources

Opinion by Jane Goodall, "Loving Chimps to Death"

Center for Great Apes (provides permanent sanctuary in a safe and enriching environment for orangutans and chimpanzees in need of long-term life care.)

National Geographic News: The Perils of Keeping Monkeys as Pets -  "If you try to keep them as pets you’re creating a mentally disturbed animal in 99.9 percent of the cases."

November 2, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, Animal Rescues, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Olinguito: ‘An Overlooked’ Mammal Carnivore is a Major Discovery

olinguito_new_mammal

BBC:  Scientists in the US have discovered a new animal living in the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador.

It has been named olinguito and is the first new species of carnivore to be identified in the Western hemisphere in 35 years.

It has taken more than a decade to identify the mammal, a discovery that scientists say is incredibly rare in the 21st Century.

The credit goes to a team from the Smithsonian Institution.

The trail began when zoologist Kristofer Helgen uncovered some bones and animal skins in storage at a museum in Chicago.

"It stopped me in my tracks," he told BBC News. "The skins were a rich red color and when I looked at the skulls I didn’t recognize the anatomy. It was different to any similar animal I’d seen, and right away I thought it could be a species new to science."

Meet the olinguito and the man who discovered the new mammal species

Dr Helgen is curator of mammals at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, which houses the largest mammal collection in the world.

More than 600,000 specimens are flat-packed in trays to save space, their bones picked clean by specially bred beetles and stored in boxes alongside their skins.

The olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina)

  • Smallest member of the animal family that includes raccoons
  • Measures 14 inches in length (35cm), has a tail of 13-17 inches and weighs 2lb (900g)
  • Males and females of the Bassaricyon neblina species are similar in size
  • Eats fruit mainly, but also consumes insects and nectar
  • Solitary and nocturnal animals that spend their time in trees
  • Female olinguitos raise a single baby at a time
  • Found only in cloud forests of northern Andes in Ecuador and Colombia, at high elevations

Source: Smithsonian Institution

Many were collected more than a century ago and were often mislabeled or not properly identified. But recent advances in technology have enabled scientists to extract DNA from even the oldest remains.

The 35cm-long (14in) olinguito is the latest addition to the animal family that includes raccoons. By comparing DNA samples with the other five known species, Dr. Helgen was able to confirm his discovery.

"It’s hard for me to explain how excited I am," he says.

"The olinguito is a carnivore – that group of mammals that includes cats, dogs and bears and their relatives. Many of us believed that list was complete, but this is a new carnivore – the first to be found on the American continent for more than three decades."

Dr. Helgen has used such mammal collections to identify many other new species, including the world’s biggest bat and the world’s smallest bandicoot. But he says the olinguito is his most significant discovery. Its scientific name is Bassaricyon neblina. The last carnivore to be identified in the Americas was the Colombian Weasel.

But even after identifying the olinguito, a crucial question remained: could they be living in the wild?

"We used clues from the specimens about where they might have come from and to predict what kind of forest we might find them in – and we found it!"

MAP

The olinguito is now known to inhabit a number of protected areas from Central Colombia to western Ecuador. Although it is a carnivore, it eats mainly fruit, comes out at night and lives by itself, producing just one baby at a time.

And scientists now believe an olinguito was exhibited in several zoos in the US between 1967 and 1976. Its keepers mistook it for an olinga – a close relative – and could not understand why it would not breed. It was sent to a number of different zoos but died without being properly identified.

Olinguito Washington’s National Zoo had an olinguito in the 1960s but never identified it as a separate species

"The vast majority of the discoveries of new species are made in museum collections," says Chris Norris, of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in Connecticut and president of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.

"Often people working 70 years ago or more had different ideas of what constituted a new species – maybe they didn’t recognize things that we would as being distinct, or they might not have had access to technologies, such as being able to extract and sequence DNA."

But there is no central museum database and scientists have little idea of what each collection contains. Many organizations are now putting their inventories online, and Dr Norris says that will make research faster and more accessible.

Another challenge is keeping specimens in good condition. Many are hundreds of years old and are prone to moth and insect infestations.

The oldest surviving collection was assembled in the 17th Century by John Tradescant. Its most famous specimen is a dodo that is now on display at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in the UK.

Continue reading the main story

"But not all of it," says Dr Norris. "There’s just the head and a foot left because everything else got eaten.

"It’s a cautionary tale for anyone working on museum collections today. You get to do exciting science but you have to take care of them or they won’t be there for people to use in the future.

"Our economy is in the middle of a rough period and spending on museums sometimes seems difficult to justify when you look for example at some of the more shiny or spectacular scientific tools that are out there. But it’s important to think of these things, not as rather bizarre collections of dried skins and pickled bats in jars and drawers full of snails, but as a research tool in the same way that you might think of a new telescope or a Large Hadron Collider."

Scientists have catalogued only a fraction of the planet’s lifeforms. New species of insects, parasitic worms, bacteria and viruses are discovered on a regular basis, but new mammals are rare.

"This reminds us that the world is not yet explored and the age of discovery is far from over," says Dr Helgen. "The olinguito makes us think – what else is out there?"

Three other new species in 2013

Tailorbird

Cambodian tailorbird, Orthotomus chaktomuk, found in Phnom Penh (above)

A new, smaller-skulled species of the Hero Shrew called Scutisorex thori

A dinosaur named Nasutoceratops titusi, which means big-nose, horn-face

August 16, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories | , , , , | 2 Comments

Chinese poaching of rare mammal exposed by boating accident

Pangolin

Pangolins are long, lizard-like land mammals covered with scales, which make them look like pine cones when they roll themselves up for protection. (Jefri Tarigan / Associated Press / March 1, 2013)

By Barbara Demick – April 16, 2013, 7:22 a.m. – Los Angeles Times

A boating accident off the Philippines coast has exposed Chinese poaching of a protected species of scaly anteater, or pangolin, prized in traditional medicine.

A 500-ton Chinese fishing vessel, the Min Long Yu, crashed into a coral reef April 8. When the boat was inspected, authorities found more than 2,000 butchered pangolins rolled up and packed into 400 boxes. It is one of the largest hauls of the species, which is subject to an international trade ban.

Pangolins are long, lizard-like land mammals covered with scales, which make them look like pine cones when they roll themselves up for protection.

The meat of this strange animal is considered a delicacy in southern China, while the scales are thought to have medicinal properties to treat asthma and cancer and to induce lactation in new mothers.

Filipino authorities are holding 12 Chinese members of the ship’s crew on charges of poaching and attempted bribery, and they face further charges of damaging the coral reef, which is in a UNESCO-protected marine sanctuary, Tubbataha Reef. Earlier this year, a U.S. Navy ship got stuck on a coral reef in the same marine park and had to be dismantled.

The incident seems likely to add another element of contention between China and the Philippines, already in dispute over sovereignty of fishing waters.

"It is bad enough that these Chinese have illegally entered our seas, navigated without boat papers and crashed recklessly into a national marine park and World Heritage Site," Jose Maria Lorenzo Tan, the chief executive of World Wildlife Fund-Philippines, said in a statement. "However, it is simply deplorable that they appear to be posing as fishermen to trade in illegal wildlife.’ "

The environmental group said it wasn’t sure yet whether the pangolins came from Malaysia or the Philippines.

April 18, 2013 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Scientist Tied to Global Warning Being Investigated for ‘Scientific Misconduct’

JUNEAU, Alaska (The Blaze/AP) — A federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article. Newser has more:

Charles Monnett is being investigated for unspecified “integrity issues” apparently linked to his report that polar bears could face an increased threat of death if they’re forced to swim farther as Arctic ice recedes.

Monnett, an Anchorage-based scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, or BOEMRE, was told July 18 that he was being put on leave, pending results of an investigation into “integrity issues.” But he has not yet been informed by the inspector general’s office of specific charges or questions related to the scientific integrity of his work, said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

(Related: New study of NASA data may debunk global warming predictions)

On Thursday, Ruch‘s watchdog group plans to file a complaint with the agency on Monnett’s behalf, asserting that Obama administration officials have “actively persecuted” him in violation of policy intended to protect scientists from political interference.

Monnett, who has coordinated much of the agency’s research on Arctic wildlife and ecology, has duties that include managing about $50 million worth of studies, according to the complaint, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press.

The complaint seeks Monnett’s reinstatement along with a public apology from the agency and inspector general. It also seeks to have the investigation dropped or to have the charges specified and the matter carried out in accordance with policy. The complaint also says that investigators took Monnett’s computer hard drive, notebooks and other unspecified items from him, which have not been returned.

A BOEMRE spokeswoman declined to comment on an “ongoing internal investigation.” Ruch said BOEMRE has barred Monnett from talking to reporters.

Documents provided by Ruch’s group indicate questioning by investigators has centered on observations that Monnett and fellow researcher Jeffrey Gleason made in 2004, while conducting an aerial survey of bowhead whales, of four dead polar bears floating in the water after a storm. They detailed their observations in an article published two years later in the journal Polar Biology; presentations also were given at scientific gatherings.

In the peer-reviewed article, the researchers said they were reporting, to the best of their knowledge, the first observations of polar bears floating dead offshore and presumed drowned while apparently swimming long distances in open water. Polar bears are considered strong swimmers, they wrote, but long-distance swims may exact a greater metabolic toll than standing or walking on ice in better weather.

They said their observations suggested the bears drowned in rough seas and high winds and “suggest that drowning-related deaths of polar bears may increase in the future if the observed trend of regression of pack ice and/or longer open water periods continues.”

The article and presentations drew national attention and helped make the polar bear something of a poster child for the global warming movement. Al Gore’s mention of the polar bear in his documentary on climate change, “An Inconvenient Truth,” came up during investigators’ questioning of Gleason in January.

In May 2008, the U.S. classified the polar bear as a threatened species, the first with its survival at risk due to globalpolarswim warming.

According to a transcript, investigator Eric May asked Gleason his thoughts on Gore referencing the dead polar bears. Gleason said none of the polar bear papers he has written or co-authored has said “anything really” about global warming.

“It’s something along the lines of the changing environment in the Arctic,” he said. Gleason said others put their own spin on research or observations.

The complaint alleges Gleason and Monnett were harassed by agency officials and received negative comments from them after the article was published. Gleason eventually took another Interior Department job; he didn‘t respond to an email and a BOEMRE spokeswoman said he wouldn’t be available for comment.

Ruch also claimed the investigation is being done by criminal investigators with no scientific background, even though the case is an administrative matter.

Source:  The Blaze

July 29, 2011 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

World’s sixth mass extinction may be underway: study

World's sixth mass extinction may be underway: studyAFP/File – This file photo shows a colobus monkey kissing his newly born sibling. In the last five centuries, at …

by Richard Ingham and Laurent Banguet Fri Mar 4, 12:58 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – Mankind may have unleashed the sixth known mass extinction in Earth’s history, according to a paper released by the science journal Nature.

Over the past 540 million years, five mega-wipeouts of species have occurred through naturally-induced events.

But the new threat is man-made, inflicted by habitation loss, over-hunting, over-fishing, the spread of germs and viruses and introduced species, and by climate change caused by fossil-fuel greenhouse gases, says the study.

Evidence from fossils suggests that in the "Big Five" extinctions, at least 75 percent of all animal specieswere destroyed.

Palaeobiologists at the University of California at Berkeley looked at the state of biodiversity today, using the world’s mammal species as a barometer.

Until mankind’s big expansion some 500 years ago, mammal extinctions were very rare: on average, just two species died out every million years.

But in the last five centuries, at least 80 out of 5,570 mammal species have bitten the dust, providing a clear warning of the peril to biodiversity.

"It looks like modern extinction rates resemble mass extinction rates, even after setting a high bar for defining ‘mass extinction," said researcher Anthony Barnosky.

This picture is supported by the outlook for mammals in the "critically endangered" and "currently threatened" categories of the Red List of biodiversity compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

On the assumption that these species are wiped out and biodiversity loss continues unchecked, "the sixth mass extinction could arrive within as little as three to 22 centuries," said Barnosky.

Compared with nearly all the previous extinctions this would be fast-track.

Four of the "Big Five" events unfolded on scales estimated at hundreds of thousands to millions of years, inflicted in the main by naturally-caused global warming or cooling.

The most abrupt extinction came at the end of the Cretaceous, some 65 million years ago when a comet or asteroid slammed into the Yucatan peninsula, in modern-day Mexico, causing firestorms whose dust cooled the planet.

An estimated 76 percent of species were killed, including the dinosaurs.

The authors admitted to weaknesses in the study. They acknowledged that the fossil record is far from complete, that mammals provide an imperfect benchmark of Earth’s biodiversity and further work is needed to confirm their suspicions.

But they described their estimates as conservative and warned a large-scale extinction would have an impact on a timescale beyond human imagining.

"Recovery of biodiversity will not occur on any timeframe meaningful to people," said the study.

"Evolution of new species typically takes at least hundreds of thousands of years, and recovery from mass extinction episodes probably occurs on timescales encompassing millions of years."

Even so, they stressed, there is room for hope.

"So far, only one to two percent of all species have gone gone extinct in the groups we can look at clearly, so by those numbers, it looks like we are not far down the road to extinction. We still have a lot of Earth’s biota to save," Barnosky said.

Even so, "it’s very important to devote resources and legislation toward species conservation if we don’t want to be the species whose activity caused a mass extinction."

Asked for an independent comment, French biologist Gilles Boeuf, president of the Museum of Natural History in Paris, said the question of a new extinction was first raised in 2002.

So far, scientists have identified 1.9 million species, and between 16,000 and 18,000 new ones, essentially microscopic, are documented each year.

"At this rate, it will take us a thousand years to record all of Earth’s biodiversity, which is probably between 15 and 30 million species" said Boeuf.

"But at the rate things are going, by the end of this century, we may well have wiped out half of them, especially in tropical forests and coral reefs."

March 5, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, animals, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cloner’s Ark: Ten Notable Cloned Animals

 

Researchers in Dubai made news this week by announcing the arrival of the world’s first cloned camel, a singular achievement in a region where top racing camels are prized.

Iran followed two days later with the birth of the country’s first cloned goat, though many other cloned goats have been born elsewhere.

Most cloned mammals now lead regular lives, but as recently as 10 years ago they often died young of lung malformations, a problem that appears to have been largely overcome. Healthy cloned dogs and cats are the most recent significant achievements.

Many researchers are getting closer and closer to human cloning by trying to clone monkeys.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, all attempts at cloning monkeys from adult donor cells have failed, with one researcher deeming the resulting embryos “a gallery of horrors.” (Splitting newly formed regular monkey embryos does work, but that can be seen as just inducing natural twins.)

The following is a list of significant animal species cloned from adult cells, in chronological order — plus one that’s even more remarkable.

Frog: The first amphibians cloned from adult cells were made in 1962 by John Gurdon, a British biologist at Cambridge University. His experiments showed that cloning adults was theoretically possible (clones made from embryonic cells had been created a decade earlier).

But his tadpoles didn’t survive to full adulthood, and it wasn’t until years later that he was able to get cloned frogs that lived full lives.

Carp: Way back in 1963, a Chinese researcher named Tong Dizhou apparently created the world’s first cloned fish when he transferred the genetic material from an adult male Asian carp into a carp egg, which developed and was born normally, and even sired children.

But since his work took place behind the “Bamboo Curtain” at the height of the Cold War, Tong’s achievements went unheralded in the West. He died in 1979.

Sheep: The famous Dolly was born on July 5, 1996, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the first known mammal of any species to be cloned from an adult donor. She was the only one of 277 cloned embryos to survive.

She quickly became a media sensation, yet went on to live a short but quiet life, bearing six lambs naturally. Cloned cattle, genetically similar to sheep, followed within the next year.

In February 2003, suffering from a virus-borne form of lung cancer common among sheep, Dolly was put to sleep. Some experts wondered whether she was already “old” at birth, due to her genes coming from an adult animal, but her creators disputed that.

Goat: The world’s first cloned goat was born on June 16, 2000, the result of work by scientists at Northwest University of Agriculture and Forestry Science and Technology in Xi’an, China. Unfortunately, the kid, nicknamed “Yuanyuan,” died after a day and a half from lung defects.

On June 22, 2000, another cloned goat was born in the same facility. Named “Yangyang,” she lived at least six years and had kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.

Housecat: CC, or Copy Cat, the world’s first cloned domestic cat, was born Dec. 22, 2001 on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Though she was the clone of a calico, her surrogate mother was a tabby, and CC’s coloring was a mixture of the two.

She currently lives in the household of one the scientists who worked to create her and has had naturally conceived kittens of her own.

White-tailed deer: The same Texas A&M team responsible for CC the cloned cat also created the world’s first cloned deer, which was born on May 23, 2003. Dubbed “Dewey,” he was cloned from a dead buck. Three years later, he became the father of female triplets, who were conceived the old-fashioned way.

Horse: Five days after Dewey, the world’s first cloned horse was born in Italy. A female named “Prometea” — presumably after Prometheus, the god who gave man fire in Greek mythology — news reports from the time indicate she was healthy.

Dog: Snuppy, an Afghan hound born April 24, 2005, was the world’s first cloned dog. He was created by a team led by Korean genetics researcher Hwang Woo-suk, who also claimed to have cloned human stem cells, later found to be untrue; Snuppy was the sole part of Hwang’s work that was untainted.

Snuppy has since fathered 10 puppies through artificial insemination of two cloned female dogs.

Pyrenean ibex: The world’s first extinct mammal to be “resurrected” was a subspecies of the more widespread Spanish ibex, or mountain goat. The last known Pyrenean ibex was found dead in early 2000, but tissue samples that had been taken when it was alive led to a joint Spanish-French cloning program.

After hundreds of failed attempts, a live Pyrenean ibex was born in January 2009, for the first time in more than a decade. The surrogate mother was a domestic goat. But the achievement was short-lived; the kid died 9 minutes after birth due to malformed lungs.

Camel: Injaz, the world’s first cloned camel, was born April 8, 2009 in Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates. Her name means “achievement” in Arabic, and she likely won’t be the last cloned camel, as camel racing is very popular in the Gulf states and certain animals are prized.

However, Injaz won’t ever get to know her older “twin” — the donor animal was slaughtered for its meat in 2005.

And last but far from least:

Fatherless mouse: Japanese researchers went beyond cloning in 2004 to create the world’s first fatherless mammal.

The mouse, nicknamed Kaguya, was born in 2004 and was a “parthenote” — she literally had two mommies. Genetic material from two mouse eggs was modified and combined so that one “fertilized” the other.

Kaguya has almost certainly died of old age since, but bore at least one litter of naturally conceived pups.

Source:  Fox News

Posted:  Just One More Pet

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why We Foster…

adopted-ar-2Soleil – Recently, my wife and I drove out of state for a brief gathering of extended family. Our plan was to leave home Friday morning and to be back by Saturday afternoon. Our latest shelter rescue ‘foster dog’, Soleil, stayed at our house and two of our neighbors, who love Soleil and have helped us before, were looking after her.

We took our own dog, Abby, who was a shelter rescue a little over one year ago, to a nearby kennel where she has stayed before, both overnight and a couple of times for daycare while we were having the roof of our home replaced. Abby has come a long way in the past year, but she is still, and may always be, a very fearful dog. Obedience and desensitization training have done wonders, but the best thing that we have been able to do for Abby, and probably for ourselves also, is to welcome foster dogs into our home. In a short time, the fosters have really helped Abby to come out of her shell and we think that she enjoys being a “big sis.” We love being able to watch Abby playing with other dogs and just having the opportunity to be carefree. While in the company of dogs, we know that Abby is no longer thinking about everything else in the world that frightens her. While she is highly intelligent, because of her fear issues we do consider Abby to be a “special needs” dog and it has been too much to ask of a dog-sitter to manage with her at home, especially with periodic fosters to care for as well. We were resistant of taking Abby to a kennel for the first several months after we brought her home from the shelter. We did not want Abby to think that she was back in a shelter. At first if we had to go out of town, we either limited ourselves to day trips in good weather when Abby could stay in our backyard; or we took Abby with us if we could find dog-friendly accommodations; or we just did not go at all. But once we began taking Abby to the kennel (which was at first done by making short visits, then staying for a few hours, eventually for a whole day, and then overnight), Abby seemed fine with the concept. We are fortunate to have a kennel in our neighborhood, which is normally very convenient. The kennel owner is familiar with Abby’s history and makes sure that she gets careful attention and also does not encounter any “bully” dogs.

On the day of our planned trip, we dropped Abby off at the kennel around 9:00 AM and hit the road. We arrived at our destination around 1:30 PM. At 3:00 PM, the owner of the kennel called my cell phone (our emergency contact number). We instantly knew that something was wrong. I pictured in my mind an attack by another dog at the kennel. We did not expect that what had actually happened could have been even worse. Without much detail, the kennel owner told us that Abby had gotten away from them. At that time, we assumed that Abby had slipped her collar (which we had checked before dropping her off). The kennel owner went on to tell us that he did find Abby, and at our house! My wife and I were both surprised and proud of our girl. But the kennel owner could not get close enough to Abby and she ran from him. The kennel owner asked if we could think of any tricks or lures that would help him to calm Abby so that he could get a leash on her. At that moment, Abby had disappeared and was running scared through the neighborhood–through speeding traffic is what we were picturing in our minds. We were totally helpless and 250 miles away! As calmly as I could, I told him that I had just one idea. I called our neighbors and asked them take our foster, Soleil, out on a leash and walk her near our house. I also asked them leave the doors to our house and gate to our backyard open, hoping that Abby might just come in on her own and possibly even get into her crate, which is her “safe place.” We called on other neighbors to join in the search. We were doing our best to coordinate remotely by cell phone (with less than ideal service on rural highways). We started getting reports of Abby sightings further and further from our house. By this time, my wife and I were already heading for home, but we were still four hours away! We called some of our co-workers and friends who know Abby and asked for their help (of course our co-workers would not have left work early on a Friday afternoon, definitely not). Our hope was that the assembled “posse” could move Abby back towards the house, without driving her further away. We tried to direct some of the searchers to the routes that we typically walk with Abby. Within a few hours, things were looking grim. No one had seen Abby in quite a while. My wife and I were still helpless and hours from home. The search party began to tire and dissolve. Many had plans for the evening and some had to return to work (not that anyone had left work of course). A few friends were already making plans to rearrange their schedules for Saturday to help search and hang posters. One friend even filed a report for us with our city’s animal services. This person, who happens to be an expert in canine behavior, also told us that she really felt that Abby would find her way home again. We were grateful and knew that everyone had done all that they could. Soleil probably had the longest walk of her young life. Our neighbors told us that she was very energetic and helped to keep them energized. They eventually brought Soleil home for water and food and to let her rest in her crate. We told them to leave our front door and gate open. Another neighbor stood in her yard and watched for Abby until my wife and I finally made it home at 7:00 PM.

The owner of the kennel met us at our house and told us more about what had happened. He was clearly distraught and felt that we needed to hear everything from him personally. Abby was in an outside run at the kennel. She scaled a 6-foot block wall and chain link fence, walked across the roof of the building to a part fairly low to the ground, and jumped down into a service alley. She then started running full-out. One of the kennel workers, who did not know Abby, said “that dog is headed home.” Sure enough, the kennel owner found Abby on our front porch minutes later. When he approached Abby, she ran up our street, around the corner and the kennel owner found her at the house directly behind ours. He tried to corner her again and she ran back following the same path to our house. This time when he approached Abby, she ran up our street and back in the direction of the kennel. This is the point when others had reported seeing her. The kennel owner confirmed for us that Abby was in fact wearing her collar and tags, which was reaffirmed by a neighbor who had spotted Abby earlier in the day. This was somewhat of a relief, as well as the fact that Abby does have a microchip. The kennel owner told us that he had already placed an ad in the local weekend newspaper and was having reward posters printed to post in the neighborhood.

My wife and I were anxious to start our own search and we were quickly losing daylight. We knew that my wife would have a good chance of approaching Abby if we could find her, but Soleil was going to be my best lure. We left one of the doors of my car open in the driveway, having heard that might encourage a loose dog to jump in thinking that she could “go for a ride.” Our neighbor continued to stand watch from her yard. Finally on foot ourselves, and armed with leashes and dog treats, my wife went in one direction and Soleil and I headed off in another. We asked every person that we encountered if they had seen a dog of Abby’s description. Several people told us that they had not seen her, but that someone else had asked them earlier in the day. We were very proud of and thankful for the initial search party. They did a wonderful job, and on only a moment’s notice. My wife, Soleil and I canvassed a grid of several streets and alleyways. Soleil and I also worked our way into a nearby, large wooded park in our neighborhood where we have taken the dogs before. As all daylight was lost, so were our hopes. Then, my wife found some people who thought that they had seen Abby deeper in the wooded park than Soleil and I had gone earlier. Soleil and I joined my wife back at the park and began searching the trails with flashlights and calling for Abby. An expedition which would definitely have been terrifying to Abby if she were to have seen or heard it. Soleil’s part-beagle nose was working overtime. I wish that we could know if she ever actually hit on Abby’s scent. After a few more hours, we were losing hope of finding Abby in the night. If she was in the park, we prayed for her to stay there, where it would be relatively safe from traffic. Of course we could not be certain that Abby was ever even in the park at all.

We returned home and carefully searched the house and the yard to see if Abby had made her way back. Unfortunately, she had not. We began making reward posters, sending emails and pictures of Abby to everyone that we could think of and posting notices on local rescue and shelter websites, as well as submitting a lost pet classified at Petfinder.com. We also placed our own ad in the local newspaper, but not in time for the next day’s printing. Finally, we contacted Abby’s microchip registry. It is amazing how many resources are available 24/7 over the Internet. Of course, realistically we knew that we would be extremely lucky if any of this brought us even one lead, and if so it would probably not be for days. We put one of Abby’s beds outside, on the front porch and dimmed the porch light. Emotionally and physically exhausted, my wife went to bed. We fully expected to get up before dawn and start all over again. Soleil and I stayed up on the couch in case we heard anything in the night. Eventually we both put our heads down, but neither one of us could sleep.

Then, at 1:06 AM, Soleil sat straight up, looking at the front door. Four or five seconds later, Abby came up our front steps onto the porch, sniffed her bed and pressed her nose against the outside glass of our front door (a first from that side of the door). Even before Abby appeared, Soleil had sensed that Abby was coming home. I slowly got up and opened the door. Abby, rather casually for her, walked into the house. Thankfully, she was perfectly fine! Soleil, who is only about one-third of Abby’s size, immediately jumped on Abby as if to say “Where in the hell have you been…Do you have any idea of what you have just put me through!?!”

We are extremely proud of Abby for finding her way home, no less than three times, and at least twice while being pursued by strangers. Soleil was a trooper and searched tirelessly for Abby. We would like to think that Abby came home to my wife and I, but we both know that there is a very strong possibility that Abby was looking for Soleil the entire time and that may have even be why Abby broke out of the kennel in the first place. Because to Abby, Soleil was the one who was “lost.”

Soleil is a devoted friend to all of us and we will always be grateful to her for bringing Abby home.

If the circumstances were any different, there is no way that we could ever give up this little dog. She means too much to us, especially to Abby. But we know that it would be selfish for us to keep her. Soleil has more joy to bring to others. We also know that we can do more to honor Soleil by helping other dogs, hopefully many other dogs. But let it be known to all that Soleil is, and will forever be, our hero.

Humbly,

Jennifer and James Huskins, Little Rock, Arkansas

adopted-ar2Abby was adopted from The City of Sherwood Humane Animal Services Department, Sherwood, Arkansas

Soleil was adopted from Little Rock Animal Services, Little Rock, Arkansas by Last Chance Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas in partnership with Mosaic Rescue, Saturna Island, British Columbia (with “forever home” adoption pending)

Source:  Petfinder.com

Abby

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April 18, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment