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Talkin' Pets News

August 26, 2023

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Gino Sassani - Lost World Reptiles - Tampa, FL

Producer - Lexi Adams

Network Producer - Ben Boquist

Social Media - Bob Page

"Dairy Every Day is a Healthy Way – Keeping Kids' Health on Track" is the theme of the 55th Annual Butter Sculpture at the New York State Fair. This year's butter sculpture, highlights the important nutritional role dairy foods play in helping brains, bones and bodies grow.

With a whimsical approach, the butter sculpture depicts a train being conducted by a cow and carrying young passengers fueling up on dairy foods. The train's signage calls out "milk, yogurt and cheese" as vital ingredients in children's diets, all of which are essential to achieve healthy growth, strengthen immune systems and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

"Many studies show that kids are not getting enough calcium and Vitamin D, and milk along with dairy foods like yogurt are a top source of these essential nutrients."

"As kids head back to school, it's an ideal time for parents to get their children's health on track by pairing dairy products with other nutrient rich foods to fuel their days for learning in the classroom and playing sports," said John Chrisman, CEO American Dairy Association North East. "Dairy farmers are strong supporters of children's health through school nutrition programs and programs that combat food insecurity."

This year's kid-focused sculpture incorporates colors on the station sign and rail cars. Artists Jim Victor and Marie Pelton of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania constructed the sculpture over an 11-day period using more than 800 pounds of butter from O-AT-KA Milk Products in Western New York.

Along with viewing the butter sculpture and enjoying some delicious dairy products, fairgoers can visit American Dairy Association North East's website for tips on pairing nutritious dairy foods with fruits, vegetables and protein for healthy back to school meals and snacks. 

After The Fair, the sculpture will be deconstructed, with assistance from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, and transported to Noblehurst Farms in Linwood, N.Y., where it will be recycled into renewable energy.

Each month, Noblehurst Farm's massive recycling program turns over 500 tons of food waste from supermarkets, universities and schools into enough energy to power the farm and over 300 local homes in the community. The recycling program not only reduces the farm's carbon footprint, it diverts food waste from landfills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Visit americandairy.com/nystatefair for more New York State Fair-related information.

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China announced Thursday it was banning all seafood from Japan in response to Tokyo’s decision to begin releasing treated radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant, dramatically escalating an already tense feud between the two neighbors.

China’s customs department then announced it would stop importing all aquatic products originating from Japan – meaning the ban could potentially limit other oceanic products besides seafood such as sea salt and seaweed.

Japan has argued throughout the building controversy that discharging the treated water is safe and urgently needed to free up space at the crippled nuclear power plant.

The company said it expects to discharge only around 200 or 210 cubic meters of treated wastewater. It plans to then continuously release 456 cubic meters of treated wastewater over a 24-hour period and a total of 7,800 cubic meters over a 17-day period.

Japan’s devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused water within the Fukushima nuclear plant to be contaminated with highly radioactive material. Since then, new water has been pumped in to cool fuel debris in the reactors, while ground and rainwater have leaked in, creating more radioactive wastewater.

While some governments have expressed support for Japan, others have strongly opposed the wastewater release, with many consumers in Asia hoarding salt and seafood amid fears of future contamination. The US has backed Japan, and Taiwan has agreed that the amount of tritium being released should have “minimal” impact.

However, China and the Pacific Islands have been vocal in their opposition, arguing the release could have broad regional and international impact, and potentially threaten human health and the marine environment. China’s foreign affairs ministry said the wastewater release would “pass on the risks to the whole world and extend the pain to future generations of humankind.”

Many people in China continue to hold ambivalent feelings toward Japan. Despite the popularity of Japanese products and culture in China, calls to boycott all things Japanese are not uncommon whenever old grievances, triggered by current bilateral disputes, re-emerge.

Both places – mainland China and Hong Kong – represent Japan’s top two biggest export markets for seafood, according to Japanese custom data, spelling potential trouble for the Japanese fishing industry.

When the wastewater is released, it will be heavily diluted with clean water so it has only very low concentrations of radioactive material. It will travel through an undersea tunnel about 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) off the coast, into the Pacific Ocean.

Third parties will monitor the discharge during and after its release – including the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning the American public that more than two dozen people have been sickened across 11 states as part of a salmonella outbreak linked to small turtles. 

Out of the 26 illnesses reported in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and California, nine people were hospitalized.  

Tennessee has recorded the most cases, with six, CDC data shows. 

"Although any turtle can carry salmonella germs that can spread to you and make you sick, turtles with shells less than 4 inches long are a known source of illness," the CDC says. 

The CDC added on its website that federal law bans the sale and distribution of turtles with shells less than that length, but "despite the ban, these turtles can sometimes be found illegally online and at stores, flea markets, and roadside stands." 

It also noted that young children are especially at risk of becoming sick of illnesses transmitted by small turtles. 

"Pet turtles of any size can carry salmonella germs in their droppings even if they look healthy and clean," the CDC says. "These germs can easily spread to their bodies, tank water, and anything in the area where they live and roam.  

"You can get sick from touching a turtle or anything in its environment and then touching your mouth or food with unwashed hands and swallowing salmonella germs," the CDC added.

The agency recommends against purchasing pet turtles for children younger than five years old, adults aged 65 or older or those with weakened immune systems. 

"Don’t kiss or snuggle your turtle, and don’t eat or drink around it,"  Salmonella symptoms include fevers higher than 102 degrees, bloody and recurring diarrhea, frequent vomiting and dehydration.  The symptoms start as early as six hours after swallowing the bacteria, but some can begin as late as six days afterward, according to the CDC.

"Most people recover without treatment after 4 to 7 days," the CDC says. 

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Black bears on Grand Island in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have been on the hunt for more than “pic-a-nic baskets.”

Apparently bear encounters on Grand Island in Lake Superior off the coast of Munising have grown concerningly frequent and remain ongoing. Campers on the island – a national recreation area within the Hiawatha National Forest – reported multiple incidents of bears taking both food and other human-scented personal items such as backpacks and shoes.

Federal forest officials said some of the personal items the bears took did not contain food and were properly packed according to backcountry guidelines. That means the bears are now associating any human scent with the reward of food.

However, no island visitors have been injured in the encounters.

National forest officials are warning visitors to the island to be prepared for possible bear encounters and to keep all personal items in their possession. Forest rangers will patrol the island and enforce strict food storage regulations to maintain public safety.

“We don’t know precisely how many are on the island and we don’t know precisely how many are being habituated because the island is fairly small. The opportunity for people and bears having interactions is pretty high, especially because it’s a popular area for recreating,” said Chelsea Kallery, U.S. Forest Service spokesperson.

“It’s been something that has been happening with increased regularity, particularly within the last couple of weeks.”

Federal officials said the national forest is partnering with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to remove animals that are habituated to humans. A small portion of the trail that goes north to south of Mather Lodge will be closed for the work, though the nearby road will not be affected.

Grand Island is about 13,500 acres of deep hardwood forest ringed by both sandy and rocky beaches, as well as cliffs with impressive overlooks. There are designated campsites, a couple of cabins, and hiking trails both around and within the interior of the island.

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Police are working to identify a man accused of robbing a store with some interesting companions: three parrots. 

According to Fairfax County, Virginia police, around 8 a.m. on Aug. 22, the suspect pulled a knife near the McDonald’s in the Seven Corners area at 6165 Arlington Blvd. and took off with an undisclosed amount of money. 

The suspect was described as a Hispanic man between 28 and 32 years old with tattoos. 

Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the 7-Eleven on Patrick Henry Drive that showed the suspect wearing a black cowboy hat with two parrots on top, a patterned shirt, and a third parrot on his shoulder. 

The suspect left the area in a blue Ford SUV.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call 703-256-8035 or submit an anonymous tip online

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A small black kitten was running for at least one of its nine lives in the fast lane of westbound Interstate Highway 580 in Livermore on Tuesday morning until a kind California Highway Patrol officer gave chase and saved its life.

The Dublin CHP office posted on its Facebook page, "CHP officer Piccinini saved a kitten on the busy freeway this morning!
"The scared kitten was running in the traffic lanes of westbound I-580, west of N. Livermore Avenue. Our officer chased the kitten until it found a place to rest in a crevice on the freeway wall."

The CHP said Alameda County Animal Control responded and took the kitten to its next adventure at the East County Animal Shelter.

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The number of pets surrendered to the animal shelter has soared this year in Loudoun County, Virginia, as officials prepare for a big push to encourage more people to adopt.

The number of pets surrendered to the shelter run by Loudoun County Animals Services is up by 42% so far this year. “That’s a huge increase for us,” Melissa Heard, shelter operations manager, told WTOP. “We’re seeing just a lot more pets in general, which means a lot more homes are needed.”

The organization is preparing for its annual “Clear the Shelters” event at which pet adoption fees are waived, which aims to motivate more potential owners to open up their homes to pets needing homes. As for what’s behind the sharp rise, Heard pointed to a number of factors.

“The cost of vet care has increased — it’s expensive to care for an animal,” she said. “Housing is also one of the major reasons people are surrendering pets. They don’t have a pet friendly place to call home.”

In addition, the number of animals coming to the shelter as the result of animal welfare investigations is also on the rise. So far this year, the shelter has seen 170 animals come into the shelter after being removed from unsafe situations.

Earlier this month, the animal services organization removed 40 cats from a Loudoun County home following a hoarding investigation, which strained the shelter’s resources and led officials there to issue a call for donations of cat food and litter.

The Clear the Shelters event in Loudoun County takes place this weekend. The Leesburg shelter is open today, and Sunday, Aug. 27, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors are asked to arrive by 5 p.m. so they have enough time to process their adoption.

While the organization hopes county residents take them up on the offer to adopt a pet for free, Heard stressed that becoming a pet owner comes with real responsibility.

“Pets make great family members, but they do require daily care,” she said. “They require veterinary care, time and attention.”

Of course, you’re likely to be rewarded with lots of snuggles and sloppy kisses.

“But definitely it’s a commitment,” she added. “And so we want to make sure you’re committed and ready to take on the responsibility of an animal.”

Loudoun County is far from alone in seeing a surge in its shelter population. In Montgomery County, Maryland, officials with the county’s animal services and adoption center said last month they were facing a “crisis” of overcrowding.

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A dog has spent more than 800 days at a Colorado animal shelter waiting for a loving family to care for him.

French mastiff Simba has spent more than two years at Denver’s MaxFund dog shelter hoping a family will decide to take him home.

“This 110lb cuddly boy is adored by so many and he even has his own suite in our kennel,” it said. “To find his perfect match, Simba simply needs someone who understands that he is a unique boy seeking unique mentoring.”

“Although Simba doesn’t get along with all dogs and does best as the only dog ​​in the household, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad dog.”

The post goes on to say, “Remember, dogs that don’t like all other dogs don’t have flaws. They just need different care than others, but they are just as great.”

Since the post was shared online, it has garnered more than 500 reactions, most of which have been “care,” “love,” and “like” emojis.

According to the American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.3 million pets enter US animal shelters each year.

“Of these, about 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats,” it says. “We estimate that the number of dogs and cats entering US shelters annually has decreased from approximately 7.2 million in 2011. The largest decrease was in dogs (from 3.9 million to 3.1 million).”

According to MaxFund, the shelter operates under a “non-profit, no-kill” policy and was founded in 1988.

The shelter added that it takes in injured animals with no known owners and then tries to “find loving forever homes” for them once they recover.

Anyone interested in inquiring about Simba can contact the shelter at 303-595-4917 or email dogadoptioncenter@maxfund.

Last week, a Pennsylvania animal shelter shared the story of a five-year-old American Staffordshire terrier named Cobie who has been waiting for adoption for three years.

Gillian Kocher of Pennsylvania SPCA, which works with Main Line Animal Rescue, previously said to Newsweek that Cobie “loves to see his friends”.

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SAN FRANCISCO — A pet shop owner is looking to retire, but first, he'll have to give away his business — literally.

You could say talking to reporters isn't one of John Chan's favorite things.  

"I'm not good on camera," he said nervously.  

But when it comes to animals, not only can he talk, they actually listen. A few words from Chan is all it took to silence a particularly chatty parrot at his store in Chinatown, called Pet Central

It's clear Chan has his way with animals. And why wouldn't he? Since he was little, he's spent every spare moment here, following his dad around.  

After his dad retired, Chan took over, tending to exotic pets from birds to reptiles to fish.   

"When you come in to the store and you see all the animals looking for you, how happy they are dancing in front of you and that's the most important thing," he said.  

For more than 40 years he's been working 10 hours a day, six days a week, never taking so much as a couple of days' vacation.  

But now, at 58, he too is looking to retire and spend more time with his family. Which is why recently, he posted an ad on social media looking for someone to take over the business.  

The ad read: "Pet store for sale. Owner retired. Looking for some one [sic] who loves animals. And take good care of my customers. Asking price is $0." 

 "We're not trying to make money off the pet store," Chan explained. "We want to make sure we find people with a good heart. That's the most important thing."

It's not completely free. While Chan says the business is worth about $300,000, he's hoping to recoup the inventory, which is about half that.  

Andrew Brown, one of his regulars, said this is the end of an era.   

"I can only say this is very iconic of him," he said.  

As for John, he's already making plans for the future.  

"I think a long-time vacation, maybe a couple of weeks, maybe a month?" he said.

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There was heartbreak at an animal shelter in Ireland after a 21-year-old dog was surrendered having been deemed "too old" to take care of by her former owner. Holly the Labrador mix was brought in to Carrick Dog Shelter in County Monaghan earlier this month by a Monaghan County Council dog warden. "She had been surrendered to him by her owners, presumably to be euthanized," Helen Hewett, the manager of Carrick Dog Shelter, told Newsweek. "The warden had been advised that the dog was 21 years old, housed outside on a chain and that the owners could no longer care for the dog."

Hewett and the rest of the staff at the shelter quickly discovered that Holly still had plenty of life left in her. "Despite hearing and sight issues (age related) the dog had a healthy appetite for food and human company and had a lovely friendly temperament," she said. "On assessment we realized that this dog could still have a good quality of life in the right environment and placed her details on our Facebook page to help find her a placement."

In the U.S, older dogs are significantly less likely to be adopted from animal shelters than young ones. According to Pet Pardon, an organization campaigning to bring an end to the use of kill shelters, it's estimated that older dogs spend as much as four times longer in shelters than younger ones. However, over in County Monaghan, staff at Carrick Dog Shelter were determined to ensure Holly did not fall foul of that particular statistic, so turned to social media for help. Writing in a post shared to the shelter's Facebook account, they explained how she had been dumped by her owner "for being too old" adding that "sometimes it's very hard to have faith in the human race."

That faith was quickly restored by the response to the post, with animal lovers flocking to offer help to Holly. "The response to the plea was overwhelming with many people offering her a retirement home as well as some animal rescue centers," Hewett said. In the end, they accepted an offer from Almost Home Animal Rescue, an established animal welfare charity in Northern Ireland that works to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome companion animals and other small animals. "They offered a space in their specialized dog retirement village," Hewett said. "We opted for this offer as we knew that a full vet assessment and continuing veterinary care would be provided along with all the other support required." Hewett is delighted with how things turned out for Holly, given the heartbreaking circumstances in which she arrived at the shelter. "Despite being initially shocked that such an old dog was surrendered to the pound by her owners, the outcome for Holly has now been the best ever we could have wished for," she said.

She paid tribute to the work of everyone connected with Carrick Dog Shelter, which was first established in 1995. Since then, working under Monaghan County Council , staff, volunteers and supporters across social media have been doing everything in their power to share the plight of the dogs that end up in their care, in the hopes of rehoming as many as possible. "The results have been phenomenal with the 'kill rate' hugely reduced," Hewett said. "Monaghan now has one of the lowest pound kill rates in the country." Holly, in the meantime, is settling into her new home. A Facebook update from Almost Home Animal Rescue NI confirmed: "After a long and no doubt confusing journey from Monaghan, [Holly] was settled in with her new friends. Despite the disruption in her life, this sweet girl's tail hasn't stopped wagging. Who knows how much longer [Holly] has but one thing we can promise is that for whatever time she has, she will be truly loved and cared for...Welcome to the family." +++++++++++++++++++++++

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