Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Shark Photobombs Family Photo

Can there be such thing as a shark photobomb?  That’s what many are calling an eerie and eye-catching photo inadvertently snapped by a California mother that appears to show a large shark, or maybe a dolphin, swimming near her two children.  "It was quite a shock to see” the photo, June Emerson told KTLA about her photo, which captured the outline of a large fish swimming underneath a breaking wave close to the shore on Manhattan Beach.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Puppy Brings a Family Christmas Joy

Like many Christmas presents, my dog Tucker came in a box.  A few years ago in Denver, three tiny newborn puppies, just hours old, were stuffed in a cardboard container like some old shoes and dumped off in front of an animal shelter without explanation — no note detailing what had caused the dog-dumper to lose his humanity, no apology for yanking the puppies away from their mother or for visiting tragedy on the first person to open the box.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Video: Dramatic Rescue of Dog Swept Out to Sea

A lucky dog was rescued in the UK Sunday after being swept out to sea and assumed dead.  The Labrador and its owner were taking a walk when the dog went into the ocean off Sea Palling on the north Norfolk coast and was taken away by the tide, according to Sky News.  Two kayakers helped the man search for his pet but eventually gave up.  However, the next morning, crews from Royal National Lifeboat Institution began searching the reefs half a mile off the coast.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Your Dog Recognizes Your Face

Your dog may be able to recognize your face in a photo.  That’s the latest from the University of Helsinki, which published the results of its study in the journal Animal Cognition this December.  According to Science News Daily, the researchers had dogs look at facial images of familiar humans (such as their owner) and other dogs in the family, as well as unfamiliar humans and dogs they’d never encountered. Then the researchers measured the dogs’ eye movements as they viewed the photos.


Monday, December 23, 2013

American Animals Are Getting Fatter

Everyone knows Americans are fat and getting fatter, and everyone thinks they know why: more eating and less moving.  But the "big two" factors may not be the whole story. Consider this: Animals have been getting fatter too. The National Pet Obesity Survey recently reported that more than 50 percent of cats and dogs—that's more than 80 million pets—are overweight or obese. Pets have gotten so plump that there's now a National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. (It was Wednesday.) Lap dogs and comatose cats aren't alone in the fat animal kingdom. Animals in strictly controlled research laboratories that have enforced the same diet and lifestyle for decades are also ballooning.


Friday, December 20, 2013

World's Only Floating Cat Sanctuary

Imagine, if you will, that you live in Amsterdam. It's a very chill time and you enjoy a comfortable existence near a canal because you're Dutch and that's a thing. One day, one of the city's many stray cats hangs out adorably near you for so long that you think, "Alright, lil' buddy, you can live with me." The cat thinks, Wat leuk! Over the next few weeks and months, you take in so many cats that they literally overrun your home and you are forced to do the only logical thing: buy a houseboat adjacent to your dwelling and fill it with dozens and dozens of homeless cats, creating the world's first and only floating cat sanctuary. 


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ancient Chinese Cat Shakes Up Domestication Theory

A cat-and-mouse game played out in a Chinese village 5,300 years ago is helping scientists understand how wild felines became the tame pets we know today.  Scientists believe it was the cat's appetite that led to domestication. Grain stored by ancient farmers was a magnet for rodents, which in turn attracted wild cats.  Over time, the cats adapted to village life and became tame around their human hosts.  This is, at least, the leading theory, derived from archaeological evidence in the Middle East, rather than China. But bones recently discovered in a Chinese village add weight to the idea that felines took on pest-control duties in ancient times, says researcher Fiona Marshall of Washington University in St. Louis.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blind Man and Guide Dog Run Over By Subway and Survive

A brave seeing-eye dog loyally leaped to the subway tracks when his owner tumbled off a Harlem platform Wednesday — and they both survived getting run over by a train, according to witnesses.  Cecil Williams, 60, was heading to the dentist when he felt faint about 9:30 a.m. on the uptown A train platform.  His guide dog, a black labrador named Orlando, was trained to keep him from going over the edge — and tried to hold him up. The dog was barking and trying to pull him , but Williams fell, according to witnesses.  Matthew Martin, 54, said that the dog never hesitated.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Seven Animals Who Need A Hug

We've all had those days -- the ones where nothing seems to go right and we have a to-do list that continues to grow by the minute. Stress is a natural response, so it's important to have go-to tricks to banish our anxieties -- whether that's a few calming meditations or something as simple as cute photos to put a smile on our face. Luckily, these seven stressed animals know exactly how we feel -- and if a kind gesture can make them feel better, then maybe it can for us, too.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Dog Saves Man Hit By Car

A dog helped save her owner who was badly injured in a car crash just days before Thanksgiving.  John Miles was walking his dog Lucy on Neponset Street in Dorchester, as he does every day, when both of them were hit by a car.  John blacked out and doesn’t remember what happened. Lucy, a husky-beagle mix, who was also injured, limped to a nearby dentist’s office and barked until help arrived. She limped back and stayed by John’s side until emergency crews arrived.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

World’s First and Only Seeing Eye Cat

Carolyn Swanson was featured in a 1947 LIFE magazine issue because of her special pet: she owned a seeing eye cat. Her Persian kitty named Baby was so loyal to her, he led her everywhere she wanted to go. He helped her leave the house, safely cross streets and go about her daily life.  He may be the first (and only) seeing eye cat to ever exist.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Animals With Pets Of Their Own

From a gorilla who loves cats to an elephant with its own dog, check out these astonishing stories of interspecies affection.  For many of us, pets aren't just casual companions. They are cherished members of the family. (Sometimes it even feels like we're the pets, and our pets are the masters.) So it’s worth asking: Are humans the only animals that keep pets? Or do other animals also keep pets and form deep companionships with other species?


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Scientists Discover New Species in 'Lost World'

On the second day of a four-day trek to Cape Melville a team led by Dr Conrad Hoskin, from James Cook University, and Dr Tim Laman, from Harvard University, discovered three reptile species, including a "bizarre-looking" leaf-tailed gecko, a golden-coloured skink and a boulder-dwelling frog — species that have been isolated from their closest cousins for millions of years.  "We're talking about animals that are ancient — they would have been around in the rainforest of Gondwana... rainforest that's been there for all time," said Dr Hoskin.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Images: Dogs Go For Joyrides

A creative photographer has come up with an unusual pet project – snapping pictures of ecstatic dogs as they hang their heads out car windows. Lara Jo Regan, 48, took on the venture for her 2014 calendar “Dogs In Cars.”


Friday, December 6, 2013

Animals Benefit From Dog Custody Battle

The Manhattan custody battle over a miniature dachshund named Joey will finally give Fido proper weight on the scales of justice, experts predict.  “We’re seeing a shift in the law,” said Stacy Wolf, an attorney with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  “We’re very heartened and happy to see a judge considering the emotional connection between humans and their animals as relevant to custody,” Wolf added.  Family law attorney Sherri Donovan who represents one of the spouses fighting for sole residential custody of Joey said last month’s landmark decision by Justice Matthew Cooper establishes “a whole new status for animals.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Group Files To Gain Legal Personhood For Chimp

An animal rights group has filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit that seeks to establish the “legal personhood” of a cartoon-loving chimpanzee they say is being held prisoner on an upstate used trailer lot.  The Nonhuman Rights Project filed the suit Monday in New York Supreme Court demanding that the monkey – a 26-year-old chimp named Tommy – be freed to live out his life in a sanctuary for primates.  Court documents describe Tommy as “a cognitively complex autonomous legal person with the fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Animal Selfie: Bird Records Journey on Camera

A brazen bird snatched a video camera that was recording crocodiles in northwest Australia and captured fascinating footage of its 70-mile journey across the country’s remote landscape.  Wildlife rangers in Western Australia’s Kimberly region released video on Monday that reveals the sea eagle’s caper. The bird’s flapping wings can be seen as it grabs the device and takes off, and the eagle later poses for a selfie, poking its face into the camera lens.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Is Your Pup An ‘Einstein’?

Like many dog owners, Raymond Meza, 51, has long thought his dog was especially smart. Turns out he was right.  A few months back, Meza, a retired deputy sheriff living in Utica, NY, signed up his 4-year-old English coonhound, Lilly, for a new online service called Dognition. Dog owners can test their pups’ intelligence via special games that then provide them — and Dognition’s research center — with information about their pet’s intelligence. According to Dognition, Lilly is a canine “Einstein,” one of nine profiles it assigns its doggy test subjects.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Dog Survives Nine Days Under Tornado Rubble

A six-month-old pit bull that was buried under a pile of rubble for more than a week after a tornado ripped through a central Illinois city has been coaxed to freedom with hot dogs and reunited with his owner.  Jacob Montgomery, a member of the Illinois National Guard, was separated from the dog, Dexter, when the Nov. 17 tornado destroyed his third-floor apartment in Washington. Montgomery combed through the wreckage multiple times but turned up no sign of Dexter.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it’s a great occasion to have your family join you in the kitchen for a fun day of food prep. When the enticing aromas of food start wafting through your house, it’s likely that your pets will want to get in on the action. However, the hectic environment in the kitchen on this food-filled holiday poses some potential health risks for your pets. Remember these safety tips as you whip up the perfect batch of mashed potatoes and gravy:


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meet Ippo the Baby Zonkey

A baby Zonkey — a cross between a Zebra and a donkey — named Ippo has been born at an animal reserve in Florence, Italy. Ippo is the foal of a male zebra who was adopted from a failing zoo and an endangered donkey breed from Amiata. “Ippo is the only one of his kind in Italy,” reserve employee Serena Aglietti told ANSA.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Dog Eats Homework

An eighth-grade student's dog required emergency surgery to remove 50 sharp pins from his stomach after he ate the young girl's science homework, according to ABC News.  Payton Moody, 13, of Englewood, Colo., was constructing what sounds like a creative and fun volcano science project out of candy, including a chocolate mountain with red licorice for lava and blue M&M's for water. But on the advice of her mother, Payton used pins to keep all the candy elements attached.  


Friday, November 22, 2013

Tornado Survivor Finds Missing Dog Buried Alive

Jon Byler Dann, above, survived the devastating tornado that struck Washington, Ill., by hunkering down in the basement clutching his four children – ages 8, 5, 2½ and 1½. But an important member of the family was still in harm's way. Before the storm, as debris started to hit his house, Byler Dann had tried to coax the family dog, Maggie, into the safe room. The skittish animal refused to leave her kennel. After the storm passed, Byler Dann emerged from the basement to find that his home of five years had been destroyed above him. Maggie was missing and Byler Dann assumed his beloved pet was dead. 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cat Summoned for Jury Duty in Boston

Boston resident Sal Esposito has been called to jury duty, but there's one thing standing in the way of his ability to serve: He's a cat.  Massachusetts couple Anna and Guy Esposito received a jury duty summons for their feline friend this month, who they had listed as a household resident on the 2010 Census.  "Sal is a member of the family so I listed him on the last Census form under pets but there has clearly been a mix-up," Anna told local TV station WHDH. "I read the whole thing and I said, 'Oh my God, how could he go, he's a cat?'"


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blind Dog Hugs Brother, Melts Our Hearts

Can't you just feel the love?   There's no denying that, as this picture illustrates, canine brothers Jeffrey and Jermaine are inseparable – and not just because they adore each other.   Jeffrey is blind and his brother, Jermaine, is his loyal guide dog. The 8-month-old pups were found on the streets of Philadelphia in October, according to Operation Ava, the animal rescue that is trying to find them a permanent home together.  "The unconditional love and devotion these two dogs show is positively inspirational," reads a post from the Chester County SPCA, which shared the photo on Facebook Nov. 15. (The photo subsequently received more than 34,000 likes – and counting!) 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Movie 'The Ghosts in Our Machine' Champions Animal Rights

Many documentaries steeped in social or political issues get very insistent and often very noisy in expressing a point of view. Michael Moore is of course the model for effective, engaging and defiantly in-your-face activism in this arena.  In contrast, "The Ghosts in Our Machine," a heartfelt meditation on animal rights, comes at you as a whisper. It depends on the persuasive powers of creatures great and small — in their natural habitat or in cages — to argue that we stop using them for food, clothing, research and entertainment. That the cages be tossed away.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Tangled Whale Freed Off NJ Coast

When rescuers sailed to a spot off the New Jersey shore, they found a young humpback whale, bobbing near the surface but unable to move much.  Although it was able to break the water’s surface and breathe, “the whale was likely anchored to that spot, much like a dog tied to a leash,” said Scott Landry, head of an agency that rescues entangled marine animals.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Video: Baby Elephant Plays In Ocean For First Time

We hope the little guy doesn't get swimmer's ear. According to YouTube user Nancy Belal, who uploaded the video above, this baby elephant is enjoying its first time in the sea.  The splash session took place in the ocean off a Thai island, Power 94.9 FM reported.  It makes for one adorable aquatic encounter.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

For Modern Society, Are Animals 'The Ghosts in Our Machine'?

Marc Bekoff, emeritus professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is one of the world's pioneering cognitive ethologists, a Guggenheim Fellow, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. This essay is adapted from one that appeared in Bekoff's column Animal Emotions in Psychology Today. He contributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.


Monday, November 11, 2013

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month

"He is what people think of when they think of Old Friends (an area of Dogtown where older and wiser pups reside)," says caregiver Lauren Casterline. She is talking about Brewster, a handsome, brindle-colored dog with a frosted muzzle. Brewster was in a foster program at the shelter he was in, but he kept getting overlooked. His caregivers think it might be because of his age (he is 10), though they describe him as "a mellow gentleman," who is "totally happy," gets along with everyone he meets, and would love nothing more than to sit and be petted for hours.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Corgis Could Become Endangered

God save the corgi.  The Queen of England’s favorite breed of dog was placed on Britain’s Kennel Club’s “at watch” list — and could soon become endangered, the organization warns.  Only 241 Pembroke Welsh corgis are registered with the club this year and, unless that number spikes to 300 by January, the pups will be placed on a “vulnerable native breeds” list, the club claims.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Video: History of No Kill Animal Revolution

The No Kill Advocacy Center, in partnership with No Kill Nation and Sagacity Productions, is proud to announce the upcoming release of a feature-length documentary on the No Kill revolution in America.  When the early founders of the animal protection movement died and their organizations took over the job of killing those they had been formed to protect, a fiery zeal was replaced with a smoldering ember that gave little light or warmth and the humane movement went to sleep. After over 100 years of this antiquated and deadly paradigm, the grassroots of the animal protection movement is finally waking up.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Video: Lion Forms Amazing Bond with Conservationists

Valentin Gruener and Mikkel Legarth play with Sirga as if she were a family pet. But while she is not a pet, Sirga is considered part of the family, as much as a lion can be part of a human family.  It is a touching bond that stretches back to when the two men rescued Sirga as a cub deep in the African bush and became the animal’s surrogate parents.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Teen Saves Lives by Speaking to Elephants

Here's a language you never got the option to learn in school! A 14-year-old girl from India knows how to speak to elephants, a skill that comes in handy more often than you'd think.  Last June, a herd of 11 elephants from nearby forests entered a residential area in the city of Rourkela. Before the wild animals could wreak havoc on the town and its residents, authorities got hold of teenage girl Nirmala Toppo, because unbelievably, she seems to have the ability to communicate with elephants.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Five Animals With Unique Noses

After falling in love with the newly rediscovered Pinocchio lizard, we thought we’d look up the noses of some other animals with ornate schnozzes.  You know all about the elephant, the star-nosed mole, and the proboscis monkey, whose nose is right there in its name. But we sniffed out a few Cyranos that might not leap to mind quite as quickly.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ten Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let's face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How Was Work? Just Snuggled With Some Kittens

Brace yourselves: Jackson and Eve, 3-month old kittens that are brother and sister, just stopped by the TIME headquarters in New York City. ASPCA reps held them, and staffers got to pet the gray-and-black-striped cats in front of blown up posters of past magazine covers. Eve grabbed this reporter’s notepad, for instance.  In honor of National Cat Day on Oct. 29, offices in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle were able to request kitten and cupcake deliveries in exchange for a $20 donation that will go to a local shelter, as part of a promotion organized by Uber, the taxi-hailing app, CHEEZburger, a website for memes, the Seattle Humane Society, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top 10 Exotic Animals of Costa Rica

Sandwiched between two continents and two seas, Costa Rica is a biogeographical bridge bursting with life and natural wonders. For such a small country, it offers some of the finest and most varied wildlife viewing on the planet.  Similar in size to West Virginia, this rain forest-cloaked Central American country is home to more than 500,000 different species -- about 4 percent of all plant, insect and wildlife species on Earth.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Twin Panda Cubs Named at Zoo Atlanta

The twin giant panda cubs born in July at Zoo Atlanta now have names.  Zoo officials said Wednesday the pandas will be called Mei Lun and Mei Huan, which originates from a Chinese idiom that means “something indescribably beautiful and magnificent.”  People voted on several possible names through the website for ABC’s “Good Morning America.”


Friday, October 25, 2013

Sumatran Elephants Suffer in Rush for 'Liquid Ivory'

Western consumers are inadvertently driving the Sumatran elephant to extinction by eating, washing and wearing - in cosmetics - the derivatives of a fruit that is destroying the animal's last remaining forest habitat. Jim Wickens reports.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bob Barker Donates $1M to Send Rescued Elephants to California Sanctuary

Three former zoo elephants from Canada have arrived at their new home in a California sanctuary after former "Price is Right" host and animal activist Bob Barker sought and paid for the move.The 89-year-old Barker was on hand late Sunday to welcome the pachyderms to the Performing Animal Welfare Society's ARK 2000 compound in the hills near San Andreas, The Sacramento Bee reported.  "It was more than emotional for me, for all of us," Barker said. "I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. It's hard to believe they are finally here."


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

'Blackfish' To Air on CNN

Today on Twitter the words #seeBlackFishCNN were trending for a while. On Oct. 20, it was obvious that this new documentary that will air on CNN is making a huge impact on the world already. Stop Insane Cruelty went to Twitter to voice their opinion and so did other people.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

‘Shake’ Captures Pups in Motion

In 1878, photographer Eadweard Muybridge used photography to capture high-speed motion and prove that when a horse gallops, all four of its hooves leave the ground. In her new book “Shake,” shutterbug Carli Davidson uses the same technology to demonstrate that when dogs perform the titular action their body parts swing, sway and spin in beautiful, unexpected and hilarious ways.


Monday, October 21, 2013

American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Announced

The top 2013 American Hero Dog will be announced Saturday at the third annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards at The Beverly Hilton.  The winner is determined by a combination of more than 1 million votes cast by the public and by a celebrity panel that included entertainers Whoopi Goldberg and Kristin Chenoweth as well as country singing star Miranda Lambert.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Kenya to Microchip Every Rhino's Horn

Microchips will be placed in the horn of every rhinoceros in Kenya in an ambitious bid to tackle the scourge of poaching, wildlife officials have announced.  The World Wildlife Fund donated the chips as well as five scanners at a cost of $15,000 (£9,400). Tracking the rhinos – there are more than 1,000 in Kenya – to dart them and fit the device will cost considerably more.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013

The winners of this year’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition have been announced today at a gala awards ceremony held at London’s Natural History Museum. South African photographer Greg du Toit has been named Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 by the panel of international judges for his image Essence of elephants, a mysterious and energetic portrait of African elephants in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana.