Bites at Animal Planet

20 Oct

Special Testing Begins To See If Texas Dog Has Ebola

More than one week after going into quarantine, the dog of a Dallas nurse that contracted Ebola has begun the testing phase to determine whether or not he has the virus.

Bentley, a one-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, was moved into a special kennel where officials can watch him and periodically collect samples of his waste for testing, according to a statement from the City of Dallas. Like humans exposed to the Ebola virus, Bentley will be monitored for 21 days.

The dog’s ordeal began earlier this month when his owner, Nina Pham, was diagnosed with Ebola after contracting the virus from a patient at a Dallas hospital. Pham has since been transferred to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland for continued monitoring.

To learn more about Ebola and its tie to dogs, be sure to watch a CNN interview with Monsters Inside Me host Dan Riskin. And if you’re interested in diseases tied to animals and parasites, visit the Monsters Inside Me page on AnimalPlanet.com for photos, videos and more. You can also watch a new episode this Thursday at 10/9c.

20 Oct

Nothing is Cuter Than This Baby Rhino Playing With a Goat

Today's installment of utter cuteness comes to us from the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in South Africa.

The centre's mission is to conserve rare, vulnerable or endangered animals. A big part of their work is captive breeding of endangered species. While they specialize in cheetahs, the Centre cares for many other species as well, including Gertjie the orphaned white rhinoceros

Gertjie--nicknamed "Little G"--has a sad story that is all too common. He was found next to the body of his dead mother, who was killed and mutilated by poachers. They hacked off her horn for the lucrative traditional Chinese medicine black market.

Practiced throughout Asia, traditional Chinese medicaine holds that rhino horn is used to treat a variety illnesses--despite the fact that science has shown that it actually has no medicinal value and despite the fact that killing rhinos for their horns is illegal. Rhinos are rapidly declining and some species are close to extinction. Yet such is the power of tradition and faith.

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Southern white rhinoceros calf.

Luckily for Little G, he was rescued and brought to the Centre. White rhinos are the most social of the five rhino species, and even after Little G recovered from the trauma of losing his mother, it was evident that he needed companionship. So the folks at the Centre introduced Little G to a pair of goats, and a fast friendship was born.

Here is Little G frolicking with Lammie the goat. The joy the two animals are experiencing in this video is evident and infectious. Whenever I get down about the horrible things people do to animals, videos like this one and the story of Little G's rescue help remind me that there are still good people and good things happening in the world.

 

Photo by Vanessa via Flickr Creative Commons.

17 Oct

America's Cutest Channels Its Disney Side This "Howl-O-Ween"

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A dalmatian dressed up as Cruella de Vil…the irony! (Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks)

Who says Halloween has to be spooky and scary? You’ll never look at the holiday the same way again when Animal Planet and Disney comes together Saturday for America’s Cutest: Disney Side Howl-O-Ween.

Hosted by actor John O’Hurley, the hour-long special will be chock-full of adorable pets showing their “Disney Side” dressed up as some of Disney’s most iconic princesses, pirates, heroes and villains. It was filmed in Walt Disney World during the park’s first-ever Disney Side Dog's Day, as 101 (what other number could it be?) dogs took over Magic Kingdom for a pet-tacular day filled with a doggie dance party and a parade down Main Street USA, led by the latest winner from America's Cutest Pet.

Which the winning pooch had a “hairy-tale” ending and won? You’ll have to tune into America’s Cutest: Disney Side Howl-O-Ween SATURDAY at 9/8c to find out! Until then, check out some amazing photographs from Disney Side's Dog Day and get the inside scoop on how the event went, courtesy of the Disney Parks blog!

Cute pets in costumes and the happiest place on Earth…what could be better?

17 Oct

Shark Feeding Frenzy Is Nearly On Shore

Land Shark?! This unusual event was captured on a North Carolina beach last week, reminding us that sharks are indeed among us. We have no information as to what species of shark they were, but likely one of these sharks native to the area, and local news reports "masses" of Blacktip sharks on the Carolina coast this week. The YouTube post suggests they were feeding on blue fish, and you can see that pelicans and other sea birds are keen on picking up the scraps. Check out the thrashing caudal (tail) fin action! 

Check out Discovery News for more information on this encounter. Then see out our collection of amazing shark videos, as well as our LIVE Shark Cam!


Live video by Animal Planet L!ve

See another feeding frenzy!

14 Oct

(Adorable) German Shepherd Naps Like My Dad

Here's an adorable video of one tuckered out pup! He MUST be in a deep, deep sleep, dreaming of squirrels, fetching things and delicious, meaty treats ... It may be an oldie from last year but it's still CUTE AS EVER: 

Not to mention, he totally looks like my Dad napping on the couch on a lazy weekend. I LOVE YOU, DOG!!!

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14 Oct

Dog Survives Euthanasia Attempt

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AP Photo/Jay Reeves

In what many are calling a miracle, an Alabama dog is surviving and thriving despite a euthanasia attempt last month.

The dog, now named Lazarus, was surrendered to a shelter Aug. 19 after its owner said they could no longer care for him. The dog was also injured having been hit by a vehicle, according to People. When nobody stepped up to adopt the dog despite several attempts via social media, he was set to be euthanized Sept. 10. According to the People article, an animal control officer witnessed the contract veterinarian administering the lethal dose of drugs and saw the dog put back into a kennel. When volunteers came back the next day, Lazarus was awake and had moved to an outdoor pen linked to the interior kennel.

No one is quite sure how Lazarus managed to escape death. Some claim it's a miracle. Other theories suggest that an improper dose was given or a vein dodged the needle. Either way, Lazarus is living a happy life with a foster family in Birmingham, Alabama.

Meet another miracle dog >>

Learn About the Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge >>

13 Oct

Dog In Texas Put Into Quarantine After Owner Gets Ebola

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A makeshift shrine was made outside Excalibur's home. A sign above reads "Excalibur. You are free now. Rest in peace" (Photo Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

Last week in Spain, a dog was euthanized out of precaution after his owner was diagnosed with Ebola. This week in Texas, a different dog will be spared from a similar fate.

Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings announced that a dog owned by a nurse with Ebola will be quarantined, according to The Dodo. The Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center will oversee the dog's care with assitance from government officials, as mentioned on Twitter.

The decision comes less than a week after Spanish officials decided to euthanize a dog named Excalibur after his owner became infected, despite protests and a petition signed by around 400,000 people.

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9 Oct

Dog Euthanized in Spain After Owner Is Diagnosed With Ebola

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Excalibur barks from the balcony of his owner's residence. He was euthnized October 8. (Photo Credit: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

The Ebola virus that has resulted in more than 3,000 deaths this year has now claimed the life of a dog.

It wasn’t virus itself that resulted in the mutt’s death, but rather a decision by Spanish authorities to euthanize the dog, named Excalibur, after his owner became ill.

Despite protests and a petition signed by around 400,000 people, Excalibur was euthanized in his home Wednesday, as reported by CNN. His owner, María Teresa Romero Ramos, tested positive for Ebola after treating a priest who had been brought back to Spain after working with Ebola patients in West Africa. She has been hospitalized in Madrid, while her husband is under observation for any symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization, Ebola is transmitted to humans through “blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.” And while fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of the virus, Ebola has been documented in infected chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines. Ebola is then spread through direct human-to-human contact with “the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people.”

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9 Oct

Animal Cruelty Now a "Crime Against Society," Will be Tracked by FBI

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Thinkstockphotos

In a big win for animals and animal lovers everywhere, the FBI will now begin tracking animal cruelty cases via the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and reports from local agencies, according to CatChannel.com.

Formerly, animal cruelty cases were classified under "all other offense" and they were difficult to track because a variety of local law enforcement agencies, animal control officers and humane society agents enforced animal cruelty laws. Under the inclusion, animal cruelty will be an offense in a distinct category simlar to that of murder, assault and arson crimes.

Simply put, animal cruelty is now a "crime against society" and this new classification should motivate law enforcement agencies to pay greater attention to animal cruelty cases - particularly those within the four categories: simple/gross neglect, intentional abuse and torture, organized abuse and animal sexual abuse.

For more info on the update, check out CatChannel.com.

See Tia and crew rescue pit bulls from a fighting ring, featured on the latest episode of Pit Bulls & Parolees, every Saturday at 10PM E/P.

8 Oct

Washington Firefighters Rescue Family of Hamsters

 

BABY-HAMSTER-OXYGEN-500 Firefighters in Lacey, Washington, had the chance recently to be heroes in more ways than one when they rescued a family of hamsters from the home of their human family.

"I can think of a handful of times where we have saved small animals (rodents, birds and even a few fish) from house fires," Battilion Chief Tim Hulse told Animal Planet. "The most common animal rescue is family dogs and cats. Obviously, our first priority is to locate and rescue any humans in the structure. Once we have confirmed that the house is clear and that the situation is under control, checking for family pets is often one of our next tasks."

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The firefighters found the family in the living room and after removing them from the structure, they gave them oxygen via breathing tubes, which were tiny enough to act like teeny oxygen masks for the hamsters. Sadly, one baby hamster was lost, but two adults and two other babies were saved - which is pretty amazing considering what they went through.

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