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Talkin' Pets News

March 2, 2024

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jasmine the Dog Trainer

Producer - Devin Leech

Guinness World Records has pulled back the “world’s oldest dog” title from Bobi, whose age was claimed to be 31 when he died in October.

Guinness launched an investigation after the dog’s age was called into question. The organization determined that it “no longer has the evidence it needs to support Bobi’s claim as the record holder.”

The dog, who spent his whole life with owner Leonel Costa and his family in the Portuguese village of Conqueiros, was recognized by Guinness as the world’s oldest dog living and the oldest dog ever. He was a Rafeiro do Alentejo, which is a breed of livestock guardian dog with an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. The dog broke an almost century-old record; the previous oldest dog ever, Bluey (1910-1939), was an Australian cattle-dog who lived to be 29 years, 5 months.

Mark McKinley, director of Records at Guinness, who conducted the review, said:

We take tremendous pride in ensuring as best we can the accuracy and integrity of all our record titles. Following concerns raised by vets and other experts, both privately as well as within public commentary, and the findings of investigations conducted by some media outlets, we felt it important to open a review into Bobi’s record.

We of course require evidence for all Guinness World Records titles we monitor, often a minimum of two statements from witnesses and subject experts alongside pictures, video and where appropriate we will also assess data provided by technology relevant to the achievement. This might be GPS data for a journey record, timing-gate data for a speed record, or where available; microchip data to prove the age of a pet.”

Central to Bobi’s evidence was microchip data sourced from the Portuguese government database, the SIAC, which it transpires, when chipped in 2022, did not require proof of age for dogs born before 2008. With the additional veterinary statement provided as evidence for Bobi’s age also citing this microchip data, we’re left with no conclusive evidence which can definitively prove Bobi’s date of birth.

Without any conclusive evidence available to us right now, we simply can’t retain Bobi as the record holder and honestly claim to maintain the high standards we set ourselves.

No new record holder has been named.


New York City’s celebrity owl Flaco died from a traumatic impact, zoologists confirmed a day after he reportedly flew into a building, with further testing planned to determine if the Eurasian eagle owl may have been sick.

What happened in Flaco’s final hours is top of mind for his fans across the city, who cheered him on as he defied the odds by fending for himself despite a life in captivity. Police are still seeking to arrest whoever let him out of his enclosure at the Central Park Zoo a year ago.

Flaco had been in good physical shape, the necropsy found, succeeding in catching prey even though he had no experience hunting because he came to the zoo as a fledgling 13 years ago. According to the necropsy report released on Saturday, the owl weighed 1.89kg (4.1lb), just 2% less than when he was last measured at the zoo.

Flaco was found dead on a sidewalk after apparently hitting a building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

“The main impact appears to have been to the body, as there was substantial hemorrhage under the sternum and in the back of the body cavity around the liver,” the report said.

The Central Park Zoo put the blame squarely on the person who cut open Flaco’s enclosure. But they are investigating illness as a possible factor, and plan to release an update in about two weeks.

“This will include microscopic examination of tissue samples; toxicology tests to evaluate potential exposures to rodenticides or other toxins; and testing for infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus and Avian Influenza,” the zoo’s statement said.

Eulogies from his admirers poured in. So did speculation about which of the many urban threats to wildlife may have contributed to his death.

Flaco fans who listened for his nightly hooting in on the Upper West Side reported he had gone quiet in the days before his death, and theorized that he may have been ill.


Kathy and June Hennegan, drawing inspiration from their parents' dedication to veterinary medicine and animal care, are now continuing their family's longtime support for Morris Animal Foundation, contributing to groundbreaking research to combat canine cancer.

Jim and Marilyn Hennegan's story began at Hanover College; they met when Jim was a senior and Marilyn was a freshman. After they married, Jim was accepted to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where Jim worked as a chemist, and Marilyn stayed home to raise their two girls. 

After Jim's graduation in 1961, the couple embarked on a lifelong journey of animal care, culminating in the opening of Jim's veterinary practice, Briarwood Animal Clinic in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1965, next door to the family home. This practice became the foundation for their daughters, Kathy and June, who, from an early age, were involved in the care of animals under their parents' guidance.

Marilyn's pivotal role as a bookkeeper in the clinic underscored the family's collective commitment to animal health, shaping Kathy's future path in veterinary medicine and both sisters in animal welfare.

"Our parents had very big hearts for cats, dogs and an occasional monkey," June said.

Jim's support for Morris Animal Foundation, recognizing its critical role in funding essential animal health research, inspired Kathy and June to make a donation toward a pioneering study at Purdue University. This research aims to revolutionize the early detection and treatment of hemangiosarcoma, a common and deadly canine cancer, potentially saving countless lives.

"We're fortunate that not only did our parents instill in us the values of animals, but they also left us financially able to donate to make sure animal studies and the welfare of animals are at the top of what we want to give back to society," Kathy said.


Each year, the Hollywood Beauty Awards not only celebrates the most distinguished in FILM, TV and MUSIC’s makeup, styling, hair and wellness, the elegant event also highlights the beauty of pet rescue.  Thanks to founder Michele Elyzabeth, Helen Woodward Animal Center is honored to once again participate as the beneficiary of the 9th Annual Hollywood Beauty Awards, Sunday, Mar. 3, 2024 at the Avalon Hollywood & Bardot.  This year, fuzzy orphan Center representatives and special Red Carpet Corres-PAW-ndents, Mulan and Hondo, will be right in the heart of some of the biggest names in Hollywood. 

The elegant, star-studded award show has become one of Hollywood’s topmost celebrations, drawing major stars and celebrities to the glamorous event which recognizes the architects of beauty; talent in hair, makeup, photography, styling and more.  The tie-in to animal welfare is not an obvious one, but one close to the heart of the event’s founder & CEO Michele Elyzabeth who is an avid rescuer and believer in pets’ ability to make the world a more beautiful place.

Elyzabeth invited Helen Woodward Animal Center to the Hollywood Beauty Awards as beneficiary in 2017 following the Center’s extensive rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey and the beautiful partnership has continued for seven years.  Inviting orphan puppy corres-PAW-ndents onto the red carpet connects the star-power of the event to the beauty of the beneficiary’s mission.  This year, Mulan a 4-month-old Terrier blend who came from rescue partners in Southern California (her name referencing the 2024 Timeless Beauty Award honoree Ming-Na Wen who played the titular character) will meet and greet with celebs on the red carpet.  Hondo, a 9-week-old Yorkshire Terrier blend orphan pup (whose name honors Shemar Moore receiving the 2024 Gentleman’s Award) will rub furry noses with the stars inside the stunning venue. 

The exposure and reminder to adopt at this year’s Hollywood Beauty Awards is especially important to Helen Woodward Animal Center as the need for adoption skyrockets across the country.  Record low adoption numbers from coast to coast have been attributed to an uneven economy and an unsettled political climate. Whatever the reason, an increase in abandoned pets and a rise in euthanasia is the tragic result. 

“There’s no way to accurately describe our gratitude in getting our animals and our message in front of such influential celebrities who really have the eyes and ears of the world,” explained Helen Woodward Animal Center VP of Development Renee Resko.  “Every time one of those stars tells us that they rescue and that they’ll encourage others to do the same, we know they’re helping us save lives, and that really is the most beautiful thing.” 

On the list of past big-name honorees and presenters Ciara, Viola Davis, Andra Day, Johnny Depp, Laura Dern, Anne Hathaway, Samuel L. Jackson, Andie MacDowell, Carey Mulligan, Joe Mantegna, Leah Michele, Lionel Richie, Brittany Spears, Charlize Theron, Sofia Vergara, Denzel Washington, and many more. 

As for the rest of the furry friends at Helen Woodward Animal Center, they are simply touched that the glitzy award ceremony reminds those in Tinsel Town that fur often covers the faces of those most fair. 


EAST LANSING, Mich. — With vibrant and valuable forestry and plant agriculture industries in Michigan, there are a multitude of reasons forest managers and growers want to protect plants.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), forest products create roughly $22 billion in total economic output annually for the state. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) reports $753 million as the total economic impact of the Michigan fruit industry, along with $428.2 million for vegetables and $1.26 billion for nursery and landscape crops.

Needless to say, plants are big business in Michigan. So when they are threatened by native and invasive insects, Michigan State University researchers are called upon to assist with the problem.

Using resources from Project GREEEN — Michigan’s plant agriculture initiative through MSU, MDARD and the Plant Coalition — MSU scientists have been addressing emerging and pervasive insect challenges for more than 25 years across an array of plant industries.

To read more about this project visit


The AKC Humane FundSM is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2024 Sir John D. Spurling Scholarship, celebrating the human-canine bond. Each year, the AKC Humane Fund awards five full-time students enrolled in courses of study that contribute to the well-being of dogs and the advancement of responsible pet ownership.

The scholarship is named in honor of Sir John D. Spurling, founder of PetPartners, Inc., which provides comprehensive and affordable pet health insurance to dog and cat owners throughout the United States.

“Supporting the future of pet care professionals is an important part of making the world a better place for animals, and we’re pleased to support the next generation in furthering their educational goals,” said Doug Ljungren, President of the AKC Humane Fund. “We look forward to receiving another round of fantastic applicants.”

The AKC Humane Fund awards $2,000 to each of the five scholarship recipients, payable as tuition assistance directly to the institution where each student is enrolled in courses of study focusing on the care of pets. Applicants must be full-time students enrolled in a degree or certification program at an accredited U.S. institution. Applications must be submitted or postmarked by July 15, 2024.

To apply for the Sir John D. Spurling Scholarship, visit

For more information about the AKC Humane Fund, visit


Following five years of study, the Topikos Biofilm Research Institute (TBRI), a division of Topikos Scientific, Inc., has reported an advancement in the treatment of periodontitis resulting from a study of over 100 dogs with gingivitis and periodontitis.

“Dental science was first to conclude that biofilm disease, dysbiosis, drove the pathway from plaque and gingivitis to anaerobic, increasingly pathologic biofilms in the sub-gingival sulcus leading to ligament and bone loss that creates irreversible periodontitis,” says TBRI team member Kevin Cawood, DVM. “Over several decades it became clearer chemical elements in the biofilm matrix entered the circulation to cause distant inflammation and serious complications.”

Dr. Cawood, along with the rest of the TBRI team, ENT physician William Cast, MD, and microbiologist Michael Bechill, PhD, treated dogs of various breeds, age, and disease severity with scaling, polishing, and placing of an antibiofilm compound into the subgingival sulcus. A few dogs were controls and received only scaling and polishing; a few more were treated only with a treatment solution. Both prior to treatment and at one month post-treatment, each dog’s gum line was swabbed to sample the gingival biome, and the specimens were sent for next-generation sequencing (NGS).

Some of the findings of the trial include:

  • A single application of the treatment solution into the subgingival sulcus showed clearing in about two weeks.
  • Serial NGS studies have been done comparing studies from pre-treatment to those from one-month, four-month, and six-month intervals. Observations to date, by the veterinarian and owners, confirm returning dogs remain clear from the single treatment for over six months with improved symptoms and breath.
  • Interim trial results show the biome pre- and post-treatments differ significantly. It remains clear size and breed are significant factors and that, while known pathogens exist in the normal biome, they are represented in different ratios when disease state is contrasted to that of recovery.
  • Dogs less severely afflicted and not treated with scaling, showed similar extended recovery.

Dogs enrolled early in the study are now being recalled for examination and repeat NGS testing. The study’s pilot dog, Molly, a Scottish terrier, remained clear through its seventh month, but began to show minimal plaque in the eighth month post-treatment. Owners have reported normal appearing gums, improved breath odor, and, in some cases, more energy and improved behavior, which the TBRI researchers have attributed to pain relief.

“We plan to measure the duration of pathologic biofilm control provided by interim topical treatment without general anesthesia, scaling, and polishing. Extension of infection control beyond two years would benefit the dogs and better align veterinary practices with what owners in general can afford to pay annually,” says Dr. Cawood.


Throughout the ongoing war with Russia, Ukrainians have found steadfast companionship with animals, particularly cats and dogs. On social media, the owners of notable Ukrainian animal figures have moved away from just cute pictures and begun to comment on the ongoing war with Russia.

Viral favorite Stepan the cat is from Saltivka, a district of Kharkiv that has been badly damaged by Russian shelling.

Before the war, his account @loveyoustepan was just another social account packed with super cute cat pictures. However, since the beginning of the conflict, Stepan's posts pivoted to pleas for the end of war and sharing the reality of living among the invasion.

Efforts among Ukrainian people to address the struggles of stray cat populations have continued, too. They have been working tirelessly throughout the invasion to continue to provide sterilization and vaccination to animals left in the middle of conflict.

On the front lines, cats have become a much-loved part of the war effort. In the fall of 2022, felines were sent to the front lines to deal with mice and rats that were destroying uniforms, blankets and food. They have since become well-documented companions for soldiers amid harsh war conditions as they build bonds with their animals.

Of the latest viral photo, Clara wrote: "Ukraine can't lose, they've got a cat army."

Iva added: "As someone who has been bitten by a cat, I can attest to the lethality of its bite - it nearly gave me blood poisoning."

Others posted that they figured all felines had this level of importance. Cherie commented: "I thought all cats were special forces."


Scientists have struggled to understand how cats produce a low-pitched rumbling sound when they purr, but a new study sheds some light on the mystery.

The type of sound an animal makes is typically linked to the size of its vocal folds, says Christian Herbst at the University of Vienna in Austria. Vocal folds are two bands of smooth muscle tissue in the larynx, a hollow tube in the middle of the neck through which air passes to make sounds.

“Typically, the larger the animal, the longer the vocal folds and so the lower the frequency of sound created,” he says.

Domestic cats, which weigh just a few kilograms, have relatively short vocal folds, which they use to make high-frequency sounds such as meowing and screeching. But that doesn’t explain purring – a behaviour they share with some wild species such as cheetahs and lynxes, says Herbst.

Scientists have proposed that purring relies on muscle contractions in the larynx, so Herbst and his colleagues decided to test this hypothesis.

To do this, they cut out the larynxes of eight domestic cats that had been euthanised due to illness.

A monthly celebration of the biodiversity of our planet’s animals, plants and other organisms.

The researchers found that the larynxes made a purring sound when air was passed through them, meaning that muscle contraction isn’t required. Instead, the sounds were made possible by connective tissue embedded in the vocal folds that lowered the frequency of the sounds they produced.

These connective tissue structures had been discovered in cats before, but no one had linked them to purring, says Herbst. However, the results don’t rule out the possibility that muscle contraction plays some role in augmenting purring sounds in living cats, says Herbst.

The reason cats purr is also still uncertain. In some cases, purring is thought to be a sign of contentment and encouragement for further interaction. It has also been suggested that purring can act as a soothing mechanism and promote healing after injury.


Melatonin plays an important role in reproduction. Researchers know, for example, that melatonin levels increase in the dark winters, ushering mares into anestrus, the period when many do not come into heat. With increasing daylight in the spring, melatonin levels decrease, stimulating mares to begin cycling.

“In the Northern Hemisphere, melatonin levels are lowest in June, coinciding with highest natural fertility,” said Kathleen Crandell Ph.D., a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research.

Human research shows that melatonin has other important roles in reproduction. Melatonin is produced by the placenta, and levels of melatonin increase during pregnancy. One human study showed melatonin was three times higher just days before parturition than in the first trimester, and remarkably higher than in nonpregnant women.

“Melatonin and its metabolites reportedly protect the ‘maternal-fetal-placental’ unit by stimulating antioxidant activity and playing a key role in the developing central nervous system of the fetus,” Crandell said.

Given this knowledge, equine researchers suggested that higher melatonin production may help prepare the mare for foaling and ensure the neonate’s chances of survival.* They hypothesized that melatonin levels would be similar between mares and foals at the time of parturition due to the maternal-fetal-placental connection.

The research team collected blood samples from pregnant mares during the first 12 hours after foaling. Melatonin levels were significantly higher in mares than foals, so researchers rejected the hypothesis.

“The reason why melatonin was lower in foals at birth is unclear as research in this field is in its infancy. However, further research is warranted to determine the influence of melatonin on the foal’s overall health at the time of birth,” Crandell explained.

Another way to support a neonatal foal’s health is to ensure adequate intake of colostrum immediately after birth. Foals are born with an immature immune system and require infection-fighting antibodies found in the mare’s first milk, the colostrum, to protect them from disease.

“Supplementing pregnant mares with omega-3 fatty acids improves colostrum quality and enhances passive transfer of antibodies to foals,” shared Crandell. “The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA may also be beneficial because their diets prior to parturition tend to be heavy in omega-6 fatty acids, as they are frequently composed entirely of grain mixes and hay, often with additional vegetable oil added to increase calories. Thus, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may help counteract the potential imbalance between omega-3s and omega-6s.”


Lately, equine metabolic syndrome and insulin dysregulation are the main concerns associated with obesity. The ever-expanding girth of horses and ponies, however, negatively affects athletic performance even before metabolic issues arise. Equine nutritionists at North Carolina State University reviewed the available literature on obesity and exercise performance. They began by noting that multiple reports suggest up to 50% of horses are overweight, with 15-30% classified as obese. “This includes horses used for competition and therefore classified as athletes,” said Catherine Whitehouse, M.S. a nutrition advisor for Kentucky Equine Research.

According to the researchers, “One consequence of adiposity on active horses is the added workload due to increased weight carriage.” They noted that each score on the 1-9 point Henneke body condition score (BCS) scale equates to approximately 25-50 pounds. Thus, a horse with a BCS of 7 instead of an ideal score of 5, could carry up to 100 pounds in excess fat (adipose tissue).

Studies in Thoroughbreds show that an additional 10% body weight (100 pounds in an average 1000-pound horse) increases oxygen consumption by 15%. Further, Standardbreds with a moderate BCS exercising on a treadmill reached higher speeds for a given heart rate, indicating improved fitness. Similarly, another study demonstrated that increasing loads by 15% (using weights for example) resulted in higher heart rates and body temperatures. “Together, these studies show that carrying extra weight is harder for the horse,” Whitehouse summarized.

Obesity also affects mobility, according to the review. For example, one study of jumping horses showed altered landing behavior and overall gait movement when additional weight (about 40 pounds) was added. Specifically, the horses landed closer to the jump, and fetlock hyperextension was observed. “These changes could predispose horses to soft-tissue injuries such as tears in the superficial digital flexor tendons or suspensory ligaments, for example,” Whitehouse said.

Excess body weight due to adiposity also contributes to the development of osteoarthritis as well as heat stress (adipose tissue has insulating properties). Finally, adding the weight of the rider in addition to the excess body weight brings to light welfare issues as well, the authors noted. Overnutrition due to overestimating a horse’s workload is a common contributor to obesity. For example, owners may feed their horses as if they are in heavy work when in reality they are only engaged in moderate-intensity exercise.

“Owners and trainers are therefore encouraged to use more objective assessments of workload such as time spent in each gait or speed, total duration of exercise per week, or heart-rate monitoring. This will help accurately determine energy (calorie) needs regardless of the discipline or level of competition being performed,” Whitehouse recommended. “This will help reduce the incidence of overfeeding and help owners and caretakers select appropriate feeds to match caloric needs and intake level.” There are many strategies that owners can implement to spur weight loss, including decreasing nonstructural carbohydrate content of forages. Soaking or steaming hay effectively decreases nonstructural carbohydrates, but may leach valuable nutrients. When soaking hay, be certain to offer a ration balancer or vitamin-mineral supplement to ensure all nutrient requirements are being met.


Thanks to a generous donation by long-time Morris Animal Foundation supporter Nan Stuart, the Foundation's Hemangiosarcoma Initiative can fund more studies to improve the odds for dogs suffering from this deadly cancer. 

"I've lost five dogs to hemangiosarcoma," Stuart said. "I recently lost my wonderful golden girl, Koaster, to this terrible cancer. When I heard about the new Hemangiosarcoma Initiative, I thought, 'That's where I want to put my donation.' We need the best minds working on this problem." 

Stuart has been a pet parent of golden retrievers for decades and is passionate about improving the breed's health. She enrolled seven sibling puppies, including Koaster, in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and has participated in the Foundation's Golden Oldies project. Nan's also been active in other studies aimed at helping the breed. 

Hemangiosarcoma is one of the deadliest forms of canine cancer and has a predilection for growth in blood-rich areas of the body. Tumors can suddenly rupture, causing massive blood loss and forcing owners and veterinarians to make difficult decisions within minutes of diagnosis. Mortality is 90% at one year post-diagnosis, and few dogs survive long-term, even with treatment. Hemangiosarcoma is the leading cause of cancer death in dogs enrolled in the Study. 

"Investing in hemangiosarcoma research is a critical stride toward understanding and combating this devastating disease," said Ryan Welch, Morris Animal Foundation Interim President and CEO. "Through collective efforts and generous support from donors like Nan, we strive to improve the lives of our canine companions and advance veterinary medicine." 

"Goldens are so intelligent and so intuitive," Stuart added. "They know when someone needs them. I've learned so much about life from my golden retrievers. Perhaps they can teach us about cancer, too."

Morris Animal Foundation's Hemangiosarcoma Initiative was launched in October 2022 and is a multi-million-dollar research initiative focused on advancing the prevention, detection and treatment of hemangiosarcoma. 


Long Beach, CA – They say a picture is worth 1000 words and that is certainly the case for a dog named Pink whose despair is painfully clear in her lonesome kennel run at the Long Beach Animal Care Services.

Pink was surrendered to the busy animal shelter on February 16 and her heartbreak is clear.

Head down…drooling, collapsed on the floor in fear and despair – Pink’s pitiful situation is not unique. Most dogs feel the same way when they lose their home and their family – the loss is overwhelming.

The impact our throw away society has on unwanted pets is immense. The pet surrendered because of a move, “allergies,” or no time often does not make it out of the shelter alive.

It is clear that Pink is struggling. Please help her find a home by sharing her adoption information.

Adoption profile here

ID# A715116
Located At: Long Beach Animal Care Services
Description: Shelter staff named me Pink.
I am a female and I appear to be a Pit Bull Terrier mix.
Age: The shelter staff think I am about 3 years old.
More Info: I have been at the shelter since Feb 16, 2024.

Shelter information
Location: Long Beach Animal Care Services
Phone Number: (562) 570-7387
Address: 7700 East Spring Street
Long Beach, CA 90815
Extra Information: Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thames Valley, Oxford – Scarlet Blake, a cat-killing transgender, obsessed with “harm and death,” has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering a man. According to the Thames Valley Police, the 26-year-old has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 23 years and 169 days for the murder of Jorge Martin Carreno.

Prior to murdering Carreno in July 2021, Blake tortured a cat named Starlet and then put her into a blender. Blake filmed the gory incident, which showed her torturing the cat and then dissecting the body, saying:

“Here we go my little friend. Oh boy, you smell like Poop. I can’t wait to put through the blender.”

She later “boasted” about her actions and spoke of “her desire to open up a person like her ‘little cat friend.'” As reported in the Daily Mail, Blake told arresting police that she had a cat’s microchip in her own body and she sometimes identified as a cat.

Weeks later, Blake encountered Carreno as he was trying to make his way home. According to a release from the authorities, Blake lured the man before killing him. The release states that Blake:

“lured Jorge to Parsons Pleasure, hit Jorge on the back of the head, rendering him unconscious, before putting hands around his neck and putting him in the water, leaving him to drown.”

Senior Investigating officer Detective Superintendent, Jon Capps of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, said:

“Today’s sentencing brings to a close what has been a very complex and challenging investigation. I know that many will want to focus on the actions and behaviour of this defendant. There are several aspects of this case that have been truly disturbing to see, hear and deal with. This defendant showed calculated cruelty. The acts Blake has been convicted of are barbaric and chilling. The murder was premeditated with total disregard and distain for life and it is clear that only a life sentence is appropriate in these circumstances.”

Visit for more information


Belton, TX – Earlier this month, police in Belton received a call about what sounded like kittens in a Heritage Park dumpster. Responding officers discovered the cries were instead coming from eight newborn puppies who were abandoned in a burlap bag that had been tossed in with the trash.

The officers transported the puppies back to the station to be dried, cleaned, and fed. All but one of the puppies survived. As reported by KXAN News, the odds were stacked against the young puppies. The bag they were in was thrown into a dumpster that had water in the bottom, and it was only 40-degrees outside.

But the surviving puppies are safe now – it is unknown if they will all survive, but at least they are finally receiving care. The police are hoping to identify the person who abandoned them. Anyone with information is asked to reach out to the Belton Police Department at (254) 933-5840.


Beaufort County, SC – The authorities in Beaufort County, SC, are seeking information about a badly neglected dog who was recently rescued from a dumpster. The sheriff’s office said that the miniature poodle was found in a dumpster off of Parker Drive in Burton on Thursday, February 22, 2024. A good Samaritan heard the dog crying from inside a garbage bag that was filled with trash, including dirty diapers.

The authorities have detailed the rescued dog’s health issues, writing: He is a miniature poodle that weighs 10 pounds. He is neutered and has glaucoma or cataracts in both eyes. He is missing his right hind paw. His coat was severely matted when he was found and had not been tended to in quite some time.

Noah’s Arks Rescue said that the dog, dubbed Treasure, had two pounds of filthy, matted fur removed from his body after being rescued. In a release, the rescue group said: I repeat this time and time: why do animals stay alive when their daily existence is pain and torture? It is as if they know someone will come along and save them. Based on Treasure’s condition, he had to have been confined to a kennel for most of his Life. He has been waiting all of his Life to be saved.

Information needed Anyone with information regarding the dog’s owner is encouraged to contact Sgt. Swalm at 843-255-3215, or if wishing to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.

The dog is currently receiving veterinary care at Port Royal Veterinary Hospital. Visit www.animal for more information.


An Indian court has asked a zoo in West Bengal state to change the names of two lions after a hardline Hindu group complained it hurt their religious sentiments.

The lioness was named after Hindu deity Sita while the lion was called Akbar, after the 16th Century Mughal ruler.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) challenged this, saying that naming the lioness after a goddess was blasphemous.

It also objected to keeping the lions in the same wildlife park.

The two big cats currently live in the North Bengal Wild Animals Park in Siliguri district.

On Thursday, the court observed that animals should not be named after "Hindu gods, Muslim Prophets, [revered] Christian figures, Nobel laureates and freedom fighters".

"You could have named it Bijli [lightning] or something like that. But why give names such as Akbar and Sita?" Justice Saugata Bhattacharya asked.

The court also asked if it would be prudent to name pets, including dogs, after people. "You could've avoided a controversy," the judge said.

In its complaint, the VHP - which has ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - alleged that it had received complaints from all parts of the country over the lions' names.

"She [Sita] is the consort of [Hindu god] Lord Ram and herself is a sacred deity to all Hindus across the world," it said. "Such act amounts to blasphemy and is a direct assault on the religious beliefs of all Hindus."

The organisation accused authorities in West Bengal, which is ruled by an opposition party, of doing this on purpose and threatened to hold protests if they didn't change the names and location of the big cats.

"Sita and Akbar cannot be allowed to live together," VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal said.


The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) deployed Wednesday to the Texas Panhandle in response to a fast-moving wildfire that is now the second-largest in Texas history. The team’s mission includes providing veterinary care in support of 12 search and rescue dogs deployed with Texas A&M Texas Task Force 1 and to resident animals while also supporting local shelters. “Working dogs are critical to the success of search and rescue efforts, and our role is to make sure they have the nutrition, post-work rehabilitation, and veterinary care they need to continue providing hope and answers to loved ones of those in the affected area,” said Dr. Deb Zoran, VET director. 

Nine members of the team and five veterinary students left Bryan-College Station for the Texas Panhandle Wednesday morning, with additional members of the team joining the group Thursday to better support the growing number of animals impacted by the fire.  “Fires are unpredictable and often enter a community without warning; when this happens, more people and animals are likely to be affected,” Zoran said. “In these situations, it’s critical that we begin helping to take care of affected animals and support the local veterinary community as quickly as possible.” 

The Smokehouse Creek Fire — the largest in a cluster of five fires burning across the region — was estimated at 850,000 acres, with 3% containment on Wednesday. The fire began on Monday in Hutchinson County in warm, dry and windy conditions. Evacuations and road closures for the town of Canadian had been lifted Wednesday afternoon.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 60 Texas counties on Tuesday and activated a number of state agencies to provide resources for wildfire response operations. The Texas A&M Forest Service said 25 bulldozers and nearly 300 firefighters from across the state had been dispatched to the region. As the largest and most sophisticated team of its kind in the country, the VET comprises faculty, staff and students from the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS) as well as volunteers from the veterinary profession and beyond. 

The team has previously assisted in wildfire responses in Bastrop, Texas, in 2011 and in Eastland County, Texas, in 2022, as well as in Paradise, California, in 2018-2019 and near Oroville, California, in 2020.  “No two deployments are the same, but deployments in response to the same type of disaster often share some aspects,” Zoran said. “When we deploy in response to wildfires, we know we’re going to see burn victims, we know we’re going to have to work hard to keep the search and rescue dogs safe, and we know that the hope we provide by supporting the search teams and by helping reunite a family with a beloved pet is invaluable and more than worth the hard work that goes into disaster response efforts.”

Thanks to the generosity of donors who provide a majority of the VET’s funding, the team is eager to help their fellow Texans as the blaze continues to burn through the Panhandle community.  “We rely heavily on our donors who see the value in what we do and who love our mission of supporting every Texan every day,” Zoran said. “Thanks to donations made to the team, we stand ready to serve when the unthinkable happens.” To learn more about the VET, visit, and to support the VET on this mission, visit

Read 57 times Last modified on Friday, 01 March 2024 00:23
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