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Unreal: Family Pet Survives 30 YEARS Living in a Record Player Box Inside Filthy Storage Room

Family Pet Survives 30 YEARS Living in a Record Player Box Inside Filthy Storage Room

(Foto: Perla Rodrigues/ TV Globo)

TheBlaze: Many might say it is impossible for a tortoise to survive three decades living in a record player box inside a filthy storage room. Those people would also be wrong.

One fateful day 30 years ago, a pleasant Brazilian family lost their tortoise named Manuela. Little did they know he never even left. As Gizmodo humorously puts it, “Manuela got condemned to three decades of solitude in a dark dusty place full of crap.”

The tortoise apparently got lost while the family’s home was being renovated in the 1980s. Sueli Almeida said he thought “she had fled because the mason who did the work of the house leaving the gate open.”

But that wasn’t the case. Manuela apparently got trapped in the storage room where the man of the house, Leonel Almedia, stored a variety of worthless junk, including electronic devices. Inside an old box of a record player is where Manuela the tortoise would call home for 30 years.

Gizmodo tells us how Manuela was ultimately found:

Fast forward to right now, 30 years after that renovation. Sueli’s father died at the beginning of 2013, so it was time to clean the room where Leonel had been storing all this filthy stuff for all these years:

According to Sueli, the dad was obsessed about collecting crap that he thought may be used in the future: “he picked from the street everything he thought he could. If he saw an old television, he would get it, thinking that he could use some part to fix another gadget in the future. That’s how he kept accumulating things.”

But, in all this time of collecting electronic trash, he never noticed the poor trapped tortoise. Only when they cleaned the room and they were putting all this garbage outside, someone noticed it. It was a neighbor who told them, said Leandro de Almeida, Leonel’s son: “I put the bag of trash on the floor and the neighbor asked me if I was going to throw the turtle away too. I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

A Brazilian news channel talked with veterinary professor Jeferson Pires to figure out exactly how the animal could have survived all that time inside the storage room. The professor said turtles are very resilient and can “live long without eating much” despite unfavorable conditions.

The family says Manuela probably lived off of termites and other insects in the house, but they don’t really care. They are thrilled to have the family pet back in the house.

And they lived happily ever after. It’s unclear if the tortoise still has some unresolved resentment towards his family.

Family Pet Survives 30 YEARS Living in a Record Player Box Inside Filthy Storage Room

(Source: Gizmodo)

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January 31, 2013 Posted by | animal abuse, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Pirates Set…

« Back to On The Set

Did you know?

  • Johnny Depp works well with pigs.
  • Geoffrey Rush has a real way with monkeys.
  • You can’t take a poisonous snake to Honolulu.

Beth Langhorst knows all this, because she has served as Senior Certified Animal Safety Representative on the set of all four Pirates of the Caribbean movies — including the latest, “On Stranger Tides.” Since the Pirates film series began in 2003, Langhorst has monitored hundreds of animals on its sets. The 14-year Animal Safety Rep veteran can say, with certainty, that “No Animals Were Harmed”® on the sets of these Walt Disney films.

“Everything that looks dangerous in the film was done as safely as possible,” Langhorst said.

Weather matters
The filming of “On Stranger Tides” lasted about six months and took the crew to London, Hawaii and Puerto Rico to capture Captain Jack Sparrow’s (Johnny Depp) adventures. The on-set weather involved everything from cold, boggy gloom to tropical jungle swelter. To help ensure the comfort of the horses used on set — about 70 in total — the producers used three different groups of horses, each native to the climate of the filming locale.

Aloha CGI
Hawaii prohibits venomous reptiles on its islands, and those in its zoos are not allowed to leave — plus, Johnny Depp would probably rather not hold a poisonous snake. So, the producers used computer-generated imagery for all the frog and snake scenes in the movie.

Some Pig
One of Langhorst’s favorite animals to work with on the set was the pig, who started out a little wild but soon got used to working for food rewards and belly scratches.

“He was a great little pig,” she said. “By week four, we had turned him into a star.”

Fifth movie?
Sorry, we can’t tell you — but if there is another Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Langhorst will be there on the set protecting animals.

Source: American Humane Film and TV

May 21, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rhode Island’s New Reptile Laws Take Effect

Providence, Rhode Island (April 7th, 2010)

Wide-ranging new laws governing the importation and possession of exotic animals will take effect on April 15th 2010.

Rhode Island's New Reptile Laws Take Effect

The new laws define all animals as one of three categories: Domestic Animals, Exempt Exotic Animals and Exotic Animals. Only animals classified as Exotic Animals, which includes any animal not on either of the other lists, will require a permit. Under the new laws, a Domestic Animal is any animal that has been bred to a degree that makes it distinguishable from wild individuals of their species.

An Exotic Animal is defined as “any vertebrate or invertebrate other than those defined as domestic animals, native wildlife, or exempt exotic animals under this regulation”. Any animals imported or possessed that does not fall under the Domestic Animal or Exempt Exotic Animals lists and does not have a permit can be confiscated. Permits will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require that the animal is in a position where it can not escape.

Any amphibian that is “kept, housed or maintained” outdoors will require a permit. Indoor amphibians will no longer require a permit, as in an earlier draft, but all retail amphibian vendors must provide written notification to purchasers of the permit requirement and keep a sales log that includes the name and address of the buyer, and details of the species purchased. All species of turtles can be kept without a permit except endangered species, the red-eared slider turtle, the Argentina or Chaco tortoise; gopher tortoise and pancake tortoises.

All venomous snakes require a permit, except for boa and python species other than the emerald tree boa, green tree python, African rock python, reticulated python and all species of anaconda. Permits are also not required for some species of snake in the families Uropeltidae, Xenopeltidae, Typhlopidae, Leptotyphlopidae, Anomalepidae and Colubridae. Most species of lizard require that the owner has a permit, except for some species of skink, girdle-tailed lizards, geckos, iguanis lizards, agamid lizards and night lizards.

This news story is independently sourced and PetPeoplesPlace.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet

April 8, 2010 Posted by | animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, responsible pet ownership, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adopt Just One More Pet and Save a Life!! – Sharing a Great Pet Adoption Pet Story!!

dalmation, parrot and other pets

Sharing a Great Pet Adoption Pet Story!!

Our friends, Al and Andrea, in Corpus Christi moved there with 3 cats.  Over the past five years, one… Maggie, has passed on and gone to kitty heaven.  But during that time, they have  rescued a black pug that had some health issues, a Black Ker (maybe) out of a litter of abandoned puppies and an orphaned Chihuahua.  This was quite a feat for my friend, Andrea, who was basically afraid ‘or at least leery’ of dogs  before they adopted their first one, Buddy, at Al’s urging. Then ‘she’ adopted the next two, Beau and Princess.

Then about 10-days ago they ran across, almost over, a kitten.  The Calico kitty who looks like one of their older cats, Peaches, was running across the highway when they found her.   They did more than their due diligence to find the kitten’s owners but she is now one of the family and has been named Kit Kat… along with Peaches and Bart makes three.

3 kitties and 3 doggies… a nice family now that the kids are grown!

If you are an animal lover 4 to 6 pets, throw in a bird, fish or pocket pet, perhaps making even 7 or 8 are a fun and manageable number for a couple or a responsible family teaching their kids the values and joy of taking care of another living creature and overall responsibility (under supervision). If you aren’t, it probably seems like a nightmare… but then you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog.

Adopt Just One More Pet and Save a Life!!

Posted:  Just One More Pet

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Market Watch: Stocks Driven by ‘Pet Parents’

Market Watch: Stocks Driven by 'Pet Parents'NEW YORK — It was relatively a quiet week for the pet industry in terms of the market place, but it did bring the announcement of a new president for a newly formed group, the filing of a Form 8-K for a stock sale and a little insight into the industry’s growth — driven by the dawning age of “pet parents.”

Welcome, Madame President

On Thursday, Sept. 24, Henry Schein Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC) announced the appointment of Lonnie Shoff as president of Henry Schein Global Healthcare Specialties Group.

Henry Schein is primarily in the dental products business but also distributes animal health products, in addition to software systems to dentists, medical doctors and animal health clinics.

Within Global Healthcare Specialties Group — a newly formed division — Shoff will be responsible for the dental specialties and global exclusive brands. Previously, Shoff was at Roche Diagnostics for more than 20 years, where she was senior vice president and general manager of the Applied Science group, as well as in charge of U.S. commercial operations for the $350 million group.

Henry Schein’s stock price has been steadily increasing for the past six months with a 52-week low of $32per share but has remained above $50 per share in the past month. As of press time, the announcement of Shoff’s appointment appears to have no significant effect on the stock price.

8-K Filed for Sale of Stock

On Friday, Sept. 18, MWI Veterinary Supply Inc. (Nasdaq: MWIV), which distributes pharmaceuticals, vaccines, diagnostics, capital equipment, supplies, veterinary pet food, and nutritional products to veterinarians, filed a Form 8-K with the SEC concerning a trading plan created by its parent company, Agri Beef Co.

Sold to the beef producer in 1981, the form disclosed “that Agri Beef Co. has entered into a pre-arranged stock trading plan to sell a limited number of their shares of the [MWI’s] common stock. The 10b5-1 Plan entered into by Agri Beef Co. allows for the sale of a maximum of 227,346 shares of the company’s common stock through August 31, 2010.”

Following the announcement last Friday, the company’s stock saw a slight jump Monday and Tuesday reaching more than $42 per share but generally appears to be remaining in its previous range for the past month between $38 and $40 per share. The 52-week range for the company’s stock is $20.16 to $42.21 per share.

Why PetMed Express Could Grow & Grow

Last Thursday, Sept. 17, the Motley Fool’s Matt Koppenheffer named seven stocks he predicted would surely grow over the next several years and PetMed Express (Nasdaq: PETS) was one of the lucky seven.

But, his reasoning appeared to have nothing to do with luck but rather healthy financials — citing almost no debt, positive cash flow and doubling of revenue in four years — as well as pet owners.

As Koppenheffer puts it: “Gone are the days when Fido was relegated to the backyard and treated like, well, an animal. Pet owners increasingly see their pets as a part of the family, and in many cases are as concerned about the well-being of their dog or cat as they would be about a child.”

PetMed’s stock has fluctuated in the past year, at times below $13 per share but has remained steadily above $17 per share for the past two months.

That’s the latest business news in the pet industry. Stay tuned for another round-up at the end of next week.

By:  Jennifer Fernicola – business correspondent for Zootoo Pet News.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

September 27, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, pet products, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

11-foot python unexpected guest for California family

Image: Burmese pythonLAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) – Imagine this visitor…  A Southern California family got a slithery surprise when an 11-foot python turned up in their front yard.

Francisco Delgadillo says he was chatting with his sister on their porch Sunday night in Lake Elsinore when he saw an enormous snake moving across the fenced yard.

The first animal control officer who saw the size of the critter had to call for backup. Two officers then wrangled the 50-pound snake into a truck and took it to a shelter.

Authorities say the Burmese python probably was somebody’s pet. If the owner doesn’t claim it by the end of the week, it probably will be given to a snake rescue group.

Abandoned snakes into the wild, including Burmese pythons has become a huge problem in many areas within the U.S., especially in Florida.

Be responsible and take any pets that you can no longer keep or take care of to a rescue, a sheltor, or find them a new home; please do not just release them for the sake of the animal as well as people that it could harm.

Related Resources

August 19, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Company Will Start Building “The World’s Most Pet-Friendly House” But Here Are Some Hints For All Pet Parents…

dalmation, parrot and other pets

Protect your beloved pets from everyday hazards in your home…

Pets are more than just animals. Our furry, feathered, and finned friends require time, attention, and as safe and comfortable a home as we do. “Most people don’t think about pets when buying or building houses—not even the pet owners themselves,” says David Beart of professorshouse.com, a Canadian company that will start building “the world’s most pet-friendly house” at the end of this year. “Over half of all homes have pets living in them, but animals are still an afterthought when it comes to home improvements,” says Beart. “What I really want to get across is much more than just creating the world’s most pet-friendly house,” Beart adds. “It’s about making people think of pets with importance rather than as possessions, or even disposable.”

When you’re planning a home for both you and your pets, consider their particular needs. Think about whether you’re putting your door-dashing dog on a high-traffic street. Will your protective pup go postal on guests? How can you make your multi-story home comfortable for your elderly dog? What common household items are hazardous to pets and not humans? (Last year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances and hazardous things in their own homes.) Keep reading to learn what you should be looking for, and how a little planning can go a long way to help you streamline your daily routine and keep your pet safe and happy.

All-Fours Inspection

Try to think like your pet to get a sense of what might be dangerous to them. The pros at Purina suggest that the best way to start is by taking “a puppy’s eye-view” of things. You have to put yourself in your pet’s place—and get down on all fours—to take a look around. Make sure you inspect areas that your pet can access by way of climbing or jumping. You’d be surprised at the dangers a periodic inspection of your home can reveal. Here are some hazards to look for (although they may not be all you find):

•Look for choking, strangulation, electrocution, and suffocation hazards. Keep window treatment cords short and cut through any loops, and unplug or cover wires and electrical cords.
•Don’t leave human foods and medications where pets can access them. Eliminate “ladders” that curious pets can climb to access elevated areas like countertops and tabletops. Discard perishable trash daily to keep pets from rummaging through it.

Between trips to the curb, keep trash odors (and pet temptation) low with baking soda and a tight-fitting lid. One pet-owner favorite is the stainless steel and rubber Vipp Trash Can with foot-pedal.

If pets get into the trash, they can chew chicken bones into shards, get to choking hazards like fruit seeds and cores—and your house is going to be a mess. Note that many fruit seeds contain natural contaminants that can result in potentially fatal cyanide poisoning in dogs: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, caffeine in coffee grinds and chocolate are also toxic, sugar-free foods and gums containing Xylitol can cause liver failure, and nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures, and central nervous system damage. See the ASPCA’s list of  Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet. If you think your pet has ingested something hazardous, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 right away.

•Make sure indoor plants are varieties that are pet-safe. Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Other common, but toxic, plants include amaryllis, poinsettia, mums, and aloe vera. See the ASPCA’s database of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants before bringing a new plant home.

•Pets can often maneuver cupboards open to access home cleaning products, pesticides, fertilizers, and other hazardous items. Consider latching them shut. Keep rooms where you set out rodenticides and traps off limits to your pet.

•Not letting your pet ingest antifreeze seems like a no-brainer. But, the smell and taste of the stuff is especially appealing to both cats and dogs. In fact, approximately 10,000 pets die every year as a result of antifreeze poisoning from as little as a drop. Keep it stored in a latched cabinet or on a high shelf, and use it carefully, cleaning up any drips or spills immediately.

•Keep your toilet lid down, especially if you use automatic bowl cleaners, to eliminate risk of poisoning. Keeping the lid down also eliminates a drowning hazard.

•The number of cats that fall out of windows is so high, that the veterinary profession has coined the term High-Rise Syndrome. If you must open windows, make sure that screens are sturdy and properly installed. Window guards are not adequate protection for cats, who can easily fit through the bars.

Carving Out a Space

Kittens and pups will sneak into an opened dryer (or other small, dangerous places) the first chance they get. Give them their own space and you won’t have to worry about them seeking refuge where they don’t belong. A hazard-free zone, with a cozy bed, water source, and safe toys will do the trick. Other convenient features include a sink to wash feeding bowls, and adequate storage for accessories. Remember that well-exercised pets are less likely to get into trouble, and more likely to rest well at night instead of barking or whining for attention. If it’s possible, create a pet area in a mudroom with cat or doggy door access to a fenced-in yard, corral, or dog run so that they can head outdoors at their leisure.

Litter boxes should be placed away from feeding areas and in a place that’s private, but not too isolated. If your pet doesn’t feel safe or comfortable using a litter box, he won’t. Elderly pets should be given an area on the ground level, and weepads should be accessible. Consider placement of ramps to furniture if you allow your elderly pet that kind of access. If you’re not home for most of the day, you’re presented with a special set of concerns: Consider a pet fountain so that fresh water is readily available. Leave your pet with sturdy toys that won’t break to reveal small parts. Interactive treat toys made of high-impact plastic, like the Buster Cube from Doctors Foster and Smith, will keep your pets occupied and stay in one piece. If your pet is especially curious, consider crate training him or blocking off a small, safe area with a baby gate.

Paw-Safe Flooring and Fabrics

Go with fabrics and flooring materials that’ll make less work for you. Stylish, easy-care leather or ultrasuede can be wiped clean and won’t be dramatically affected by wear. Crypton Super Fabric is a synthetic germ- and stain-resistant option made with pet owners in mind. It’s available in a variety of custom colors and patterns and the Crypton online store offers couture pet beds, “Throver” furniture covers, and decorative pillows.

Carpet isn’t the best choice for pet owners, but if you must go wall-to-wall, choose a color that matches your pet (it’ll mask pet hair) with a performance rating of 3.5 or higher. For lightweight dogs, hardwood with adequate urethane finish is a common and easy-clean choice. For heavier dogs, ceramic tile or another nonporous hard surface flooring would be best. See Pet-Friendly Flooring for more ideas.

Clean Pet, Clean House

Groom your pet yourself, and you’ll save up to $100 per visit to pros. You’ll also spend less time cleaning house. Regular nail clipping keeps scratch damage down, while regular brushing keeps hair in the brush instead of, well, everywhere else. Brush before and after a wash to keep drain-clogging hair to a minimum. Vacuum twice a week with a machine like the DC17 Animal Vac by Dyson designed especially for homes with pets. It features a mini turbine head to lift hair and dirt from upholstery, stairs, and vehicles. The design allows for hygienic bin emptying and includes a lifetime HEPA filter. For a quick clean up, pass strips of packing tape or a wet plastic kitchen glove over clothing and surfaces to pick up stray hairs.

If your pet inherits furniture and flooring that isn’t ideal, then you’ll have to become a master at stain removal and disinfecting. Monitor your pet so accidents can be handled promptly. The longer a stain sits, the harder it’ll be to remove, and your pet will be more likely to sniff out the same spot for a repeat offense. Look for special cleaning products with natural enzymes to break down stains and odors. Pros recommend OdorLogic CleanAway and OdorLogic OxyQuick (for fresh stains). Finally, pay attention to flea and tick prevention and control. If the pests are on your pet, then odds are flea eggs, pupae, and larvae are in your carpeting, bedding, and yard.

Petscaping Your Yard

If you let your pets out into the yard, flea and tick prevention isn’t your only concern. You’ll have to determine whether you need to build or add structures, install invisible fences, and identify toxic plants in your landscape. The ASPCA keeps an extensive database of plants that are hazardous to dogs, cats, and even horses. Some such plants are azaleas, some ferns and ivies, daffodils, and daylilies. Pet-friendly plants include bamboo and, of course, catnip. Search the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants database before you put something in the ground. Insecticides and fertilizers were among the ASPCA’s top 10 pet poisons in 2008, so consider organic gardening.

Feeding Time

Buying bulk to save on pet food? Then you have to store it appropriately to avoid contamination and slow the vitamin and nutrient degradation process. Check for tears in food packages before you buy them. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) advises against using feeding dishes to scoop food out of packages. Assign a clean spoon or small container for scooping. FDA guidelines for food storage call for leftover wet food to be refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and dry food to be stored in its original bag, then placed in a clean, food-grade plastic container, and stored at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Placing the bag in a container will also keep unwanted insects and rodents away. Note that dry foods are more nutritious and less susceptible to contamination or spoilage than wet foods are.

Storing bulk food in large trash cans in the garage is a fairly common practice, but this exposes food to temperature extremes in a container that can leach dyes and additives into food over time. Make sure you purchase a special food storage container, or visit a local food establishment to claim a food-grade plastic bucket that’ll soon be headed for the trash heap.

Small Animals

“Too often parents buy small pets and fish for their children as learning tools, but those pets are even more fragile than cats and dogs,” Beart explains. “The average lifespan of a hamster, for example, is about 3 years. In many homes, the pet hardly ever lasts more than a few months.” Here are some helpful tips that’ll ensure the safety and longevity of your small pets:

Hamsters

•They tend to be active at night and asleep during the day. For that reason, you’ll want make sure your pet’s exercise wheel isn’t a squeaky one.
•Provide at least 2 inches of bedding to allow for normal burrowing behavior. Use shredded tissue or paper, or clean processed corncob. Commonly used cedar chips are associated with respiratory and live disease in rodents. Clean cages and refresh bedding at least once a week.
•Many hamsters must be kept in cages by themselves after the age of 10 weeks. Adult females are especially hostile to one another, so do your homework before you consider grouping.

Guinea Pigs

•Their bodies cannot produce Vitamin C, so you’ll have to supplement it with an appropriate product from your pet supply store.
•Guinea pig’s teeth grow constantly, so chew toys are essential.

Rabbits

•They actually learn litter box habits quickly and easily. Keep in mind that they like to chew and may hide in small, dark spaces. When you allow your pet time out of his cage for exercise, consider cord protectors, securely cover ducts and vents, and always locate your pet before sitting down and opening and closing recliners.

Birds

•Cage placement is very important: Keep the cage away from windows and radiators to protect your bird from drafts and direct exposure to heat. Many birds prefer to have a safe corner to back into, and if a cage is placed away from walls or toward the center of a room, it can make your pet feel insecure. Cage placement away from windows also means your bird won’t always be anxiously guarding itself from “predators” like your neighbors dog and other passing animals.
•They perch and take cover in the wild, so provide these opportunities in their cages. Your bird’s foot should wrap around approximately 2/3 of each perch and toes should never meet and overlap. Irritation, injury, and infection may result if perches are too small.
•Kitchens are a common place for pet-owners to keep their bird cages. Be aware that birds have very sensitive respiratory systems, and fumes emitted from overheated nonstick cookware could be fatal.
•Do your homework when looking for pet birds: Some species, like social finches, require companionship while others will do fine on their own.

Fish

•Though fish are widely considered the most “disposable” of pets, you can greatly reduce tank mortality by creating the ideal water conditions for the type of fish you have. Required temperatures and pH levels depend upon the kind of fish you have. Research the requirements of your breed and monitor their conditions periodically.
•When adding new swimmers to your tank, consider the types of fish you already have. Some species may be aggressive or even attempt to eat other fish. Tell a pro at the pet store what’s already in your tank, and ask if the fish you want to group are compatible.

By: Tabitha Sukhai, This Old House Magazine

Posted:  Just One More Pet

August 12, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Toddler dies, python found coiled around her

The snakes are not native to Florida, but many people keep them as pets

python OXFORD, Fla. – A 2-year-old girl apparently was strangled Wednesday by her family’s 12-foot-long pet Burmese python, officials said.

Shaunia Hare was already dead when paramedics arrived at about 10 a.m., Lt. Bobby Caruthers of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said.

Charles Jason Darnell, the snake’s owner and the boyfriend of Shaunia’s mother, said he discovered the snake missing from its aquarium and went to the girl’s room, where he found it on the girl and bite marks on her head, Caruthers said.

Darnell, 32, said he stabbed the snake until he was able to pry the child away, and then called 911.

Authorities remained outside the small, tan home, bordered by cow pastures Wednesday afternoon, awaiting a search warrant to remove the snake from the home. It was unclear if it was still alive.

Darnell did not have a permit for the snake, which would be a second-degree misdemeanor, said Joy Hill, a spokeswoman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He has not been charged, but Caruthers said investigators were looking into whether there was child neglect or if any other laws were broken.

NBC affiliate WESH reported that Darnell told deputies he left the snake in an aquarium in a bag when the family went to sleep.

The python was one of two snakes in the home — the other is a 6-foot-long boa constrictor. Both snakes are alive, Carruthers said.

Two other children also lived there, WESH reported.

The Humane Society of the United States said including Wednesday’s death, at least 12 people have been killed in the U.S. by pet pythons since 1980, including five children.

Pythons are not native to Florida, but some residents keep them as pets, especially Burmese pythons, which can grow to more than 15 feet and weigh more than 150 pounds.

When the snakes become too large, some owners release them into the Everglades and other wild areas, Florida officials say.

The fast-growing population of snakes has been invading southern Florida’s ecosystem since 1992, when scientists speculate a bevy of Burmese pythons was released into the wild after Hurricane Andrew shattered many pet shop terrariums.

Scientists don’t have an accurate estimate of how many pythons are in Florida, butBurmese_Python estimates range from thousands to hundreds of thousands.

This is just another example of the epidemic of the  loss of personal responsibility and the loss of common sense that has swept the United States.  These situations come from a lack of thinking things through, a loss of self-responsibility for our actions and a lack of concern for others… people and animals.  Was this the snake’s fault??  Heck no!  It was the owner’s fault – the parents’ fault.

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July 2, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

Where there is a will…

abandoned_dog_2

One of the greatest tragedies of the failed housing market is the cost to pets and animals.  And although highlighted now and again after some tragic event where a pet has been left behind to starve without food or water in an abandoned house or chained to a tree when their family moved, it has been under reported. 

Losing your home, often after having also lost your job in today’s uncertain financial environment, can be both scary and overwhelming.  People become panicked and often make rash and unsound decisions under the pressure or go into a state of denial.  But leaving your pet or any animal behind without making arrangements for them to be taken care of could end up haunting both you and your family forever.  A pet is a family member and abandoning them, besides being illegal, could leave permanent scars, especially on children. 

cruelty_dogOften lack of planning is the greatest culprit.  Friends or family members will usually take your pets, either permanently or until you or an adoptive family can take them, if you really cannot or do not know where you are going or cannot take them along.  Running an ad in the local paper, online, or in the neighborhood ad sheet is usually free for pet ads, but people tend to want to believe that things will get better so often wait until the last minute when they are out of time and therefore often also out of options.  I have seen people walk their pets or sit outside a market with them wearing a sign:  ‘I need a home’ or ‘Will you take me home?’ with relative success.  Networking with friends, neighbors and co-workers, or putting up signs at markets, at your veterinarian’s office, church, and on community boards and mailboxes are also great sources, as well as contacting local rescues and no kill shelters.  Many pet sites also have message boards where you might find an adoptive parent or  a foster family for your pet, giving you more time to find another solution. 

I have also seen people negotiate with new landlords or network to find a place that will allow their pets to move with them, even though the listings originally said no.  Getting a written reference from either a former landlord or neighbors is helpful and working through a realtor or leasing agent also usually ups your chances.  Remember if you are going to rent, the owner pays their fee, not you. 

abandoned_exotic-birdsBe creative!  I recently came across someone who traded their car for an old camper by running an ad in the newspaper.  It gave the family and the pets a crowded but temporary place to live and stay together.  We are surrounded by community, sometimes our greatest failing is the fear or hesitance to ask for help. 

Where there is a will… there is a way, and it starts with planning.

By:  Marion Algier/Ask Marion 

 

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April 6, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments