October 31, 2009

Bush rats unleashed on Sydney

Apparently Sydney doesn't have enough rats already... so they are going to release an army of native Bush rats into the city.... to be fair, these are not like the usual sewer dwelling Black rats, and they want them back to redress the balance of the current rat population. Smacks a little of biologic meddling, but it is an interesting idea.
We live on a small piece of water, more broad river than lake, so we see plenty of water rats scurrying along the banks when we walk in the evenings, and often they are foraging in the rubbish bins! It all adds excitement to the dogs' walks as we won't let them chase the ducks, but ratting is sometimes permitted. To be fair they have never caught one!

Personally, I would prefer it if we had squirrels here - I miss them, particularly the red ones. In the UK, the larger American grey squirrels have almost over run the red ones... so nice to read they are working on plans to redress that balance too!
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/Redsquirrel

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October 30, 2009

Halloween 'not for pets'

Halloween - I had never really thought about this being an issue as it is usually overshadowed by the usual articles on Guy Fawkes and fireworks...which is an annual problem for our dog Jessie. Her usual symptoms have started... no eating outside after dark, taking to hide in her safe corner between the wall and the couch... and racing away when the faint whine of a rocket goes off! Yes, we have used the special desensitizing CD in the past... and it certainly does help, but she is not cured by a long shot! The problem is owner compliance...

Meanwhile keep the dogs away from all the chocolate if you are trick or treating and in the interests of their own safety, Keep Away from the visiting ghosts, vampires and zombies.. and while i think about that - keep the kids safe from the human predators too.

oh - and do adopt a black cat this week....or even a dog. I have always known they are the most likely to linger in rescue shelters and are over represented in the euthansia numbers - but superstition should not play a part in this/
http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/cutestuff/3009974/The-problem-with-black-cats

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October 29, 2009

Unleashed: Simon Cowell a softie for animals

Simon Cowell a softie for animals

Either American Idol judge Simon Cowell is much sweeter than he lets on on TV, or he's trying to make up for the nasty situation involving an Idol wannabe over the summer, but the judge has written a really big check for the animals.

The Los Angeles Times reports Cowell donated $30,000 to Linda Blair's WorldHeart Foundation. Cowell apparently learned from a mutual friend that Blair's rescue was having financial problems.

Photo: Cowell speaks at a September fundraiser for the Battersea Dogs' & Cats' Home at London's Royal Opera House. Credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images via LA Times Unleashed

I confess to being just a little surprised to read about Simon's latest antics... judging books and covers and all that.
Apparently, Simon not only speaks at events like this, but he recently donated $30,000 (US) to Linda Blair’s (yes, that Linda Blair from the Exorcist) animal rescue organization, World Heart Foundation in Los Angeles. It was in danger of closing due to lack of funding when Simon heard they were in trouble and offered to help.
http://lindablairworldheart.org/
This says it is a non- profit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating abused, neglected, and abandoned animals from the harsh streets of the Los Angeles area, as well as from the overcrowded and overwhelmed city and county animal shelters.

Thanks Simon...

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October 27, 2009

Is this haunting picture proof that chimps really DO grieve?

United in what appears to be deep and profound grief, a phalanx of more than a dozen chimpanzees stood in silence watching from behind the wire of their enclosure as the body of one of their own was wheeled past.
This extraordinary scene took place recently at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon, West Africa.
When a chimp called Dorothy, who was in her late 40s, died of heart failure, her fellow apes seemed to be stricken by sorrow.

As they wrapped their arms around each other in a gesture of solidarity, Dorothy's female keeper gently settled her into the wheelbarrow which carried her to her final resting place - not before giving this much-loved inhabitant of the centre a final affectionate stroke on the forehead.  

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Chimpanzees appear to console one another as Dorothy is carried to her final resting place in a wheelbarrow
Hard not to feel emotional at this picture...
what do you think they are doing?

October 26, 2009

Maltese terrier on dangerous dog list

I have always had West Highlander Whites up there on my own dangerous breed list... along with a few other more traditional, larger usually breeds. Another little white dog, the Maltese Terrier, now takes it's place on this roll, according to Australian research.

I know bites from Labradors are becoming more common - the breed that was always so steady and reliable. So why is this happening - this breed, and other little white dogs, are currently popular pets ( Maltese, Bichon Frise and Poodles are often crossed with other small dogs to create "designer breeds" ) - so are they just more commonly owned now, or is it the repeated breeding for their looks at the expense of temperament? Where do puppy mills, breeding large numbers of poorly handled/socialised puppies play a part too?

A large part of it is purely the owners failing to teach them the rules of good canine conduct. To quote some animal behaviouralists... "there are no problem dogs; only problem owners.".

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October 25, 2009

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 won by leaping wolf

There are also some other amazing pictures on this page... loved the black and white picture of the massed starlings.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1222063/Wildlife-Photographer-Year-2009-won-leaping-wolf.html

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Declawing - of cats and tigers and lions... oh my!



The continuing saga of the lions at the northern Lion Park in Whangarei continues. As a vet, I read today's news with some horror... ( as if the recent death of their Head Lion Keeper and strange business dealings aren't enough)..
Big cats featured on The Lion Man hit TV show are suffering after having their paws 'mutilated' so they could perform with their handlers, says the wildlife park troubleshooter now overseeing the animals’ welfare.Some 29 of the 37 lions and tigers at Zion Wildlife Gardens have been declawed - a practice condemned as 'barbaric' by consultant Tim Husband, hired after the fatal mauling of Zion ranger Dalu Mncube in May.
"One only needs to watch these animals trying to eat to see how they struggle to grip their meat without having the use of claws to hold it. To my mind it's absolutely barbaric,'' Husband told Sunday News.
and perhaps the saddest part of all for the veterinary profession - it was (surprise, surprise), all about money and increasing the public exposure of the lions for the tourists and television! 
The findings of a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry investigation into declawing at Zion is a 12-page report that considers the possibility of charges being laid over the declawing. But the fact most of the controversial operations, from 2000-2008, were supervised by MAF vets was "problematic to any prosecution".
"Front pad declawing was deemed necessary by Zion's principal veterinarian at the time in order to facilitate close interaction with both handlers and veterinarians, and the need for a commercial income stream to be generated by Zion."
"Key drivers" given by the vet - whose name was withheld - behind his declawing of the big cats included "the animals were being used commercially to permit the financial survival of the zoo", and "close contact with handlers and film crews was required and personal safety was an issue".
Claw removal ( Onchyectomy)  in cats is one of the issues vets rank with tail docking and debarking in New Zealand. Cropping of dogs' ears is illegal here, but the rest falls in the category where it is encouraged that vets only consider performing these procedures when other measures have failed. In Vetscript, October 2008, the NZ Veterinary Association issued this, apparently specifically in response to the declawing of lions.

The Animal Welfare Act 1999 defines declawing as ‘the removal from the foot of a cat by a surgical procedure of the whole or part of one or more claws of the cat’ and categorises this as a ‘restricted surgical procedure’. This means that it can be performed only by a veterinarian or veterinary student supervised by a veterinarian, and that the veterinarian, whether performing the procedure or supervising it, must first satisfy himself or herself that the declawing is in the interests of the animal.
The NZVA has specifically stated said that this procedure
is to be considered contrary to the welfare of large cats.


From The Facts about Declawing



Removal of the last digits of the toes of a cat alters the conformation of their feet and causes them to meet the ground at an unnatural angle that can cause back pain similar to that in humans caused by wearing improper shoes. In my experience on the few I had to do when in practice, they also bleed heavily and there are risks of post operative complications...
Contrary to most people's understanding, declawing consists of amputating not just the claws, but the whole phalanx (up to the joint), including bones, ligaments, and tendons! To remove the claw, the bone, nerve, joint capsule, collateral ligaments, and the extensor and flexor tendons must all be amputated. Thus declawing is not a “simple”, single surgery but 10 separate, painful amputations of the third phalanx up to the last joint of each toe. A graphic comparison in human terms would be the cutting off of a person's finger at the last joint of each finger.
Complications of this amputation can be excruciating pain, damage to the radial nerve, hemorrhage, bone chips that prevent healing, painful regrowth of deformed claw inside of the paw which is not visible to the eye, and chronic back and joint pain as shoulder, leg and back muscles weaken. 
Don't forget, lions and tigers are heavier than domestic cats. They often require further surgery to correct the gait abnormalities and pad damage caused... and then there is the issue of how removing their nails makes it difficult for them to eat meat... with no grip.

This Lion Park recently lost their Head Ranger..sadly he was bitten in the head by one of the tigers while working with him in front of a group of tourists. But when I read this - I have to wonder what impact claw removal might have had on the personality of the tiger - if this is what is reported in domestic ones!
Some cats are so shocked by declawing that their personalities change. Cats who were lively and friendly have become withdrawn and introverted after being declawed. Others, deprived of their primary means of defense, become nervous, fearful, and/or aggressive, often resorting to their only remaining means of defense, their teeth. In some cases, when declawed cats use the litterbox after surgery, their feet are so tender they associate their new pain with the box...permanently, resulting in a life-long adversion to using the litter box. Other declawed cats that can no longer mark with their claws, they mark with urine instead resulting in inappropriate elimination problems, which in many cases, results in relinquishment of the cats to shelters and ultimately euthanasia. Many of the cats surrendered to shelters are surrendered because of behavioral problems which developed after the cats were declawed.
and for those of you who own a furniture shredding feline... check out some alternatives, ( good article)
 or learn to trim them yourself!

One popular, non-surgical alternative to declawing available through veterinarians is the application of vinyl nail caps (marketed in the US under brand names such as Soft Paws and Soft Claws) that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic replacement when the cat sheds its claw sheaths (usually every four to six weeks, depending on the cat's scratching habits).
Apparenly these have arrived in New Zealand - sigh... they do coloured nail caps...



and I am not commenting as I don't know enough about them - but please, think twice before asking for your cat to be declawed.



October 24, 2009

Painted horses are mane attraction for anatomy students

A picture paints a thousand words... and this picture would certainly replace the dry and dusty tomes we had to learn from..and make understanding the way a horse walks on the nail of it's third finger easier, let alone the way they can sleep without using muscles to support themselves..

There are some great online pages to help with anatomy these days and we have recently purchased some software designed to demonstrate anatomy, medical conditions and surgical procedures to clients... it is the Diagnostic Imaging Atlas - you can download a free demo (although it is a large file) at http://www.diawebster.com/
It is really interactive, so we are planning to use it on the big screens, which will make a change from just power points, and the students can have a go on it too.

But I still might need a shaved dog and a good artist for next years classes....

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October 22, 2009

Save the planet: time to eat dog?

I found this article quite interesting - and they are not advocating we eat our dogs, despite the recent incident of this here in New Zealand!!!

They do however say -
The eco-pawprint of a pet dog is twice that of a 4.6-litre Land Cruiser driven 10,000 kilometres a year, researchers have found. Victoria University professors Brenda and Robert Vale, architects who specialise in sustainable living, say pet owners should swap cats and dogs for creatures they can eat, such as chickens or rabbits, in their provocative new book Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living.

"I think we need animals because they are a positive in our society. We can all make little changes to reduce carbon footprints but without pointing the finger at pets, which are part of family networks."

The eco-footprints of the family pet each year as calculated by the Vales:
German shepherds: 1.1 hectares, compared with 0.41ha for a large SUV.

Cats: 0.15ha (slightly less than a Volkswagen Golf). Hamsters: 0.014ha (two of them equate to a medium-sized plasma TV).

Goldfish: 0.00034ha (an eco-fingerprint equal to two cellphones).

damn... i have the dogs, the cats, the fish, a small SUV, the plasma.. and the cellphone - which shall I give up!!!! Somehow keeping rabbits and chickens doesn't hold any appeal... and life without the techno seems unimaginable! No blogging, no facebook....
What would you do?

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October 18, 2009

Waikato cat thaws out after freezer ordeal- an owner's worst nightmare?


A south Waikato family's cat has survived 19 hours in a freezer.

The cat, Krillen, was found by owner Sarah Crombie, 27, lying stiff and semi-conscious on a bag of dog food when she went to get a loaf of bread out of the freezer.

"I was looking in there and I heard this funny noise," the Te Kuiti mother-of-two told the Herald on Sunday .

"It was sort of a 'miaow' but he was so half-frozen he couldn't get the noise out properly, poor thing. So I look down and I see this grey fluffy thing sitting on top of the bag of dog food under a rack."

Her partner Sid Sisson had shut the top-loading freezer the night before, not realising the cat was inside.

Fortunately, Mr Sisson, 28, knew it was essential to raise the body temperature of hypothermia sufferers slowly. So he put the cat under his shirt and got into bed with him.

The dairy farmer kept Krillen under blankets and against his bare chest for three hours until he thawed out.

Dr Nick Cave, senior lecturer at Massey University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, said the cat's survival was impressive and probably down to Mr Sisson warming him up slowly.

When I read stuff like this, I am pleased I have a front loading freezer!
Glad she didn't just put him in front of a fire or heater - certainly saved his life.

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October 17, 2009

Two faced cats and other conjoined animals



Every now and then we see reports of animals born with extra legs or heads... generally they are the parasitic remains of what would have been a twin, where the egg fails to divide cleanly, or the foetuses become merged in some way...Most of them die, but some of them do live.. adapting to having two heads or six legs or parasitic parts...


 
 

Here is Lil'Bet - you can read more here

 
 

The most remarkable thing about this cat is that it appears that he not only has two faces, but also has two functioning brains. Even though no x-rays have been taken to confirm this, veterinarians think that the two brains function independently because one face can sleep while the other is awake, one face can sneeze while the other does not, and both faces eat and breathe.

Meet Frank and Louie... each side has a name. He was six years old when this was taken.
They have two mouths, two noses and two working eyes. "He" does have a third eye in the middle, but it is non-functional.



If you like this sort of thing - you can read more  at Feline Medical Curiosities - Conjoined Kittens - or check out Feline Medical Curiosities- Facial Deformities

Dolphin Football - dolphins toss jellyfish sky high!

One of the best parts of our annual dolphin trip is following the dolphins as they swim with the boat.. they are so agile and sleek. So I was interested to see this video in which they appear to be playing football with the jellyfish in the water... perhaps like humans they just can't resist kicking the ball in their way or the stone off the footpath... but they do it too often to be pure coincidence...

Looking forward to our next dolphin trip to Kaikoura in March 2010... ( see http://www.dolphin.co.nz/) but in our case, preferably without all those jellyfish in the water!!!

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October 15, 2009

SPCA sickened and disturbed by nail attack on this cat

Tonight, I am ashamed of the fact this horrible attack happened here in Christchurch. I can only hope someone knows who did this and reports them.

There is a wonderful article on the SPCA in this month's North and South Magazine here in New Zealand in which they discuss their work and some of their cases. There is certainly growing concern at the relationship between violence in the home, child abuse and mistreatment of animals. One area of concern was the tendency for young children who are abused and regularly seeing violence in their homes. to discover "power and control" by starting on animals as their victims. It is a disturbing trend... probably happening all over the world.
The SPCA are hoping that publicising this will help them to get enough information from the public to catch them.
Anyone local with information should call 03 3497057.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/2961362/SPCA-sickened-and-disturbed-by-nail-attack-on-cat

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October 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Phoebe

Princess Phoebe is one year old today... bound to be spent celebrating and playing with her presents. Just glad we got to visit this holidays and give her our presents early so we could watch her enjoying them!!! Spot her reading and playing in her pink Dora the Explorer tent....and the huge purple ball :)


To celebrate - here are some of my favourite recent Phoebe photos... just click on it to see the larger version.





I have just spent a happy few minutes scanning back over the last year - pictures of her life in reverse order... you can too - "Phoebe's life in Pictures.

You can follow their family blog at Treacy Travels

It was also my son James' birthday this week. Despite major internet problems we managed to Skype them,  restarting the call at least five times ( turns out our router needed resetting to cope with the changes to the telecom systems...) . A wonderful person heading over there with spare luggage space meant we were able to arrange a pile of handwritten letters and cards. A wonderful opportunity to get out my Scheaffer fountain pen, a gift from my late grandfather when I was a student, (over 30 years ago) that I used for all my major exams at vet school... it writes like a dream and  it was a privilege to use it to write a real letter, on real paper. Large bars of Whittakers Dark Ghana Chocolate were also sent over...  apparently dark chocolate is non existent in Bangladesh ! It was all a great surprise for him, carefully arranged by Jess and hopefully added to their day :)
Hopefully they will blog about that too!
James and Jess in Bangladesh

For James and Phoebe - Happy Birthday :)


October 9, 2009

Elephant Birth - what an amazing sight!

After the last post on the oversized dog, I found this amazing video of an elephant giving birth. As a vet, I found this fascinating. So for something completely different and very heart warming, do watch.
It is graphic - but what a moving film - certainly not something you get to see often.
The speed of the baby getting walking was amazing -and the kicking by the mother - wow!


World's tallest living dog ???

They intend to enter this dog to the Guinness Book of records as the world's tallest dog.
Whether they are successful or not, I am just relieved it is not drinking out of my kitchen sink! Mind you, if it had vegetarian tendencies, it might clean up some of the stuff that gets left in our sink after our resident vegetarian has prepared their meals...and perhaps it would do the dishes while it was there - I could use some help!

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October 8, 2009

Dog-killing toxin found in Thames

The sea slugs carrying the deadly TTX toxin are moving south from Auckland. A dog has been reported to have died from it near Thames after playing on Tapu Beach.
This is the same toxin found in the infamous puffer fish.. and dogs get it from playing with the slugs. This is also a risk to children who might get the slime on their hands.
I was talking to a colleague today about their recent holiday in Port Douglas. She says they have nets to keep the deadly jelly fish and stingers away from the beaches. I know the Gold coast have shark nets... anyone for slug nets?

Phoebe's family were playing on the beach up north today - where the slug warning seems to have been lifted with no new cases being reported. However, on arriving home they heard there was another tsunami warning.
Take care out there peoples and pets!

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October 7, 2009

Pocket Pigs are the latest pet craze

I would love one, but I think the price tag is too steep- about $2000 NZ!
I think we have enough pets already at our house, even if they can be house trained. ... but I do love pigs - they are so intelligent and have great personalities. I was lucky enough to run a breeding unit on a 200 sow unit when i was at vet school.. was a great way to spend the summer!
On the negative side, the smell is an issue - I took my students to visit a large piggery once - we got spattered with pig um poo, and the smell as we got back on the bus was indescribable - the gumboots had to go in the boot of the bus. As we were backpacking in primitive conditions, I later had to use my fleece jacket as a pillow - phew!! I relived that piggery alright.
I did have the best nails I have ever grown that summer on the pig farm - I don't think my finger nails went near my mouth once !

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October 6, 2009

'You are being shagged by a rare parrot' - Last Chance To See

I love Stephen Fry and follow him on Twitter... I appreciate his unique view of the world and his tour of New Zealand has led to some great footage.

This footage displays our rare and endangered New Zealand Kakapo Parrot...
(read more about them at: http://www.seriousfunnewzealand.com/aboutnz/kakapo.cfm)

This video shows them as I have certainly never seen one before!
Have you been shagged by a Kakapo lately?

Thank you so much to Caroline from "Brinkbeest in English" for putting me onto this!
http://brinkbeestinenglish.blogspot.com/2009/10/ever-been-shagged-by-kakapo.html

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Owner finds Custard's eggs take a lot of beating - "Breeding Red Eared Sliders"


This is a good article on breeding red eared slider turtles... and as we have a lovely male slider called Shelton in our classroom, it caught my attention.
Nearly all our past animal care and vet nursing classes will have stories to tell of how he moves things round his tank, plays suggestively with his water filter, or his ping pong ball, and that he needs his shell scrubbed regularly.
We got Shelton about 8 years ago from one of our technicians whose sons had originally owned him from a hatchling... in fact one of the sons is now back as a father of two studying at polytech ; I presume he has been shown Shelton again :)
Although he lives in a large tank, we have never felt the urge to get him a female companion, but reading this makes me wonder why! He gets to lie under his UV basking lamp, and for some enrichment, regular walks around the classroom, and out on the lawns. Once we took him on television as the visiting star of a local pet programme ... he charmed everyone by racing off across the carpet at the end; people came from all over the studio to meet him.
Love to hear some "Shelton" memories - if you are a past student reading this on blogger or facebook, do share some:)

October 5, 2009

Wild dogs that commute from suburbs to scavenge in city in Russia

I wonder if this is true? Pretty clever dogs if it is! There are more pictures and a video on this link :)
They are lucky there is room in the carriages.. probably would not work in London or New York!

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Massage eases pain in old dogs

I so approve of this - we are considering running some special extra courses in it for our students in the future as we have a qualified person available... who also does homeopathy.

"Massage is not a substitute for good veterinary care, but can be worked alongside vets to treat old dogs, injured dogs and puppies or high-energy dogs. Massage increases circulation, gives them exercise without stressing their joints. Some dogs get so relaxed they fall asleep – that's the ultimate compliment."

Massage is very different from just stroking.. and not only is it therapeutic, but the dogs love it!
Can't blame them - people do too :)

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October 3, 2009

World Animal Week 4-10th October

It is World Animal Week from 4-10th October... and many churches all over the world will be holding services like this to bless the animals ... I liked this flyer for the service in the Auckland Cathedral on Sunday.
Christchurch will be holding one too - in the square...
On Sunday 4 October, the Cathedral Square will be filled with the voices of cats, dogs, goats, ponies, and everything else in between when the Paws on Parade gets underway at 2.30pm to celebrate World Animal Day. The parade will be followed with a Blessing of the Animals service at 3pm in the Christchurch Cathedral to celebrate St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. This is a fun outing for people and animals of all ages and breeds!

Adults and children are invited to bring their pets to join the Paws on Parade procession, which starts at 2.30 and then participate in the Blessing of the Animals service at 3pm.

Animals lovers and pet owners can join in the fun with or without their pets. See more at the local SPCA website:
http://www.spcacanterbury.org.nz/

Even if attending a service is not for you, WSPA World Animal Week is still a celebration of animals that helps to raise awareness and standards of animal welfare worldwide. It is a chance to help make the world a safer, more compassionate place for all animals. There is no limit to what you can do; the important thing is to take part – and to have fun!

For World Animal Week 2009 WSPA is supporting the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) fund and the Nyaru Menteng Sanctuary, home to over 650 orphaned and injured orangutans.

You can also help by getting involved with some of the causes in your own part of the world and spreading the word in blogs and facebook - try this link :)
http://www.worldanimalweek.net/

Meanwhile, have fun with your own pets!

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October 2, 2009

Rescue workers move in to round up animal survivors of disaster


It is good to read that the SPCA, MAF workers and disaster experts from the World Society for the Protection of Animals will travel to Samoa to treat and feed animals left hungry and injured after the tsunami. The livestock need to be saved as they are a source of food and injured pets, particularly dogs, are a source of danger if packs start scavenging or attacking people. .

After Hurricane Katrina, it was found that many people refused to be evacuated ahead of the storm because they could not take their pets. Since then, part of disaster planning involves the establishment of temporary shelters to house animals until they can be reunited with their owners, or where this is not possible, rehomed. They realised that human life can only be saved if they make arrangements to ensure people really do leave.
Sadly, a tsunami or earthquake often gives little time for evacuation, but being prepared to confine pets and get out where possible can occur. The American Veterinary Association has written a book about it - "Saving the Whole Family"
http://www.avma.org/disaster/saving_family.asp

After 9/11, many animals were left in the surrounding towers, their owners evacuated. Local people set up a rescue arrangement in one of the piers , pet food was donated, and the army took volunteers cages up into the high-rises, with no power, lights or lifts, and collected the pets. To their credit, they only lost two animals... one very young, and one very old.

This type of disaster also created a need for Urban Rescue dogs, dogs trained to search in rubble... as opposed to Land Searches in the bush or forests. Urban dogs cannot wear a tracking harness as they need to operate in unsafe conditions and be directed from a distance by their handler. They also cannot dig when they make "a find" - just sit quietly ! Their sensitive noses and eyes become clogged with dust, but vets would not be allowed into these areas to treat the dogs, so the handlers must also be trained in emergency care. Some paramedics are trained to be able to place intravenous drips into the dogs too. I have had the privilege of watching these dogs being trained here in Christchurch - at a local hard fill dump! I take my hat off to the volunteers who hide deep in the rubble waiting for the dogs to arrive!
You can read more here:
http://www.usardogs.org.nz/index.php

My friend came for coffee today and we did wonder what we would grab when an emergency happened... during the recent tsunami warning, they did put the cat cage on the deck and shut the cat inside the house where they could find him... just in case!
Would you be ready?

October 1, 2009

Dog trackers have a nose for missing | Stuff.co.nz

Rochelle Fidler, 28, of Ashley, and 14-month-old ridgeback-labrador cross Bounce are the country's newest and youngest operational dog-tracking team for Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR).

Rochelle was one of our students who studied our National Certificate in Dog Training back in 2000. She has also works as a vet nurse. I well remember her first dog, Smudge, who sadly died of cancer. Really pleased to hear that she is doing so well with Bounce as she has been involved in Search and Rescue from a very young age - as she says:
" Finding a missing person with a tracking dog was an "addiction", she said.

"That's why I still pursue search dogs. Once you have had that find, you just want to do it again and again."

Fidler and Bounce could be called on to search for someone anywhere in the country as there were so few teams, she said.

"I am the only one in Canterbury with an operational tracking search dog," Fidler said.

"When I first got operational I was the only female tracking dog-handler and the youngest at 20. Now I'm still the youngest at 28. It's quite amazing."

Well done Rochelle - and all the best with Bounce :) Some people are going to really appreciate meeting you working together! They just don't know it yet.

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Bird strike! The moment 200 starlings were sucked into passenger jet engine on take-off | Mail Online

Bird strike was responsible for the plane crashing into the Hudson River recently. Luckily, this pilot was able to keep control and land the plane... although many of the birds were not so lucky!
After two recent flights, both filled with turbulence, I am pleased no birds decided to take us on!

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The kingbird that took on a hawk and lived to tell the tale | Mail Online

What an amazing photo...

This is the moment a tiny kingbird decided it was time to see off a potential predator circling his home.

In a bold move, the aggressive little bird launched itself at the fearsome red-tailed hawk and sank its talons into the larger bird's back.

See more pictures at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1216709/Pictured-The-plucky-little-kingbird-took-piggyback-predatory-hawk-lived-tell-tale.html#ixzz0ScfHa3RJ

and then see my next post for some birds that weren't so lucky when they took on a plane !!

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