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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.

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.

Continue reading >

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.

Continue reading >

6 Oct

Great Cause: Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge

Pet-challenege-blog Here at Animal Planet, we love great causes that help animal organizations financially and also help raise awareness about their cause.

The Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge launched Sept. 29 and has already done big things in a short amount of time. The challenge, which is meant to help organizations that specialize in reducing euthanasia in shelters - whether it's through TNR, SNR, spay neuter, shelter and rescue and so on - is giving organizations a platform to raise money to help their cause. The best part? The organization that raises the most money will also receive a $50,000 donation. The second will get $20,000, the third $10,000. Each week, organizations will also have a chance to win up to $20,000 in prizes.

And while this is a challenge with a competition element, whatever each organization raises between now and Oct. 30, they'll get to keep. And so far a little over $135,000 has been raised. We'd say that's pretty awesome.

If you want to learn more about the challenge and also support a cause of your choice, head the the challenge page. We also encourage you to learn more about Found Animals, an independently funded non-profit that seeks to to reduce the number of animals euthanized in shelters each year.

And don't forget to check out our ROAR campaign as well!

2 Oct

35,000 Walruses Crowd Alaskan Shores as Sea Ice Fails to Form

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Credit: Corey Accardo/NOAA/NMFS/NMML

In a somewhat alarming sight, nearly 35,000 walruses have gathered onto Alaskan shores - the result of increasing global warming, according to The Washington Post.

In previous years, walruses would typically navigate north as the sea ice melted and then head south again when it returned. The sea ice serves as a refuge for the walrus, who need considerable rest time between diving deep to the sea floor for food. However, in 2007, the sea ice did not form - which lead to the walruses having to take refuge on Alaskan shores.

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Credit: Corey Accardo/NOAA/NMFS/NMML

Although it is a sight to behold - walrus are quite comical looking with their wrinkles and large tusks - it is actually fairly dangerous for the animals. Close quarters means disease spreads quickly, food runs out, animals such as brown and polar bears are nearby, and a slight disturbance can lead to a stampede.

As Margaret Williams, managing director for the World Wildlife Fund's Arctic program, told the Guardian, "It becomes like a giant pig pile. You have all these animals that are normally distributed on a flat surface. When they lose their sea ice habitat and come ashore in places that are accessible – like flat, sandy beaches – they gather in large numbers. … When they are disturbed it can cause stampedes in large numbers."

So what can be done to help these animals? According to the Post, "Short of immediately reversing global warming, scientists in the Arctic can only do damage control." The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed adding the Pacific walrus to the endangered species list and the Federal Aviation Administration has asked that flights not fly through the area as walrus are skittish and the disturbance could cause a stampede.

Learn more about the arctic and what the WWF is doing to help here.

2 Oct

RED ALERT! We've Lost HALF Our World's Wildlife in Last 40 Years, Study Says

The World Wildlife Fund released an update of their Living Planet Index on Tuesday, revealing that HALF of our planet's wildlife population has vanished over the last 40 years.

HOW depressing and utterly horrifying is THAT?

Our earth lost about 52% of its biodiversity between 1970 and 2010.  During this timespan, land creatures declined about 39%.  Freshwater species declined about 76%. And, marine creatures also declined by 39%.  The tropics have seen the greatest loss with a 63% decline -- Central and South America have been DECIMATED with a 83% loss.

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Photo: There were 100,000 tigers on our planet in 1910. As of 2010, there are only 3,200 remaining, according to the study. You can learn about the tiger pictured in this screenshot from this video >>

According to the study, human consumption is unsustainable -- we overkill for food and destroy the natural habitats of wildlife.  The human population requires the equivalent of 1 1/2 Earths of resources to support our current needs.

After the direct impact of human consumption, climate change is cited as the next biggest threat to the planet's wildlife.

The Living Planet Index report is released every two years. See a (shocking!) infographic of our Human Impact >>

 

What Can You Do? ... R.O.A.R.!

It's now more important than ever that we are all doing what we can to help our planet and our fellow Animal Kingdom friends!  There's no time to lose!  We are all in this together!! DO IT FOR THE ANIMALS!!! 

No, seriously -- it is SO important that we all take action now. And, as you may already know, Animal Planet's R.O.A.R. Matching Campaign is in full swing! So a few things you can do:

* DONATE: If you make a donation to one of our partner non-profits by Oct. 7, you will help that organization compete for a series of $10,000 bonuses!  Get all the details about the Matching Campaign here >>

* SHARE: Who are we working with? Read all about our partners and see the latest leaderboard numbers here >>  And, click on "Share This Project" and help spread their message and cause via your Social networks!

* VOTE: Cast your vote>> in the live poll to help determine who will win the Fan Favorite bonus of $10,000.

HURRY! The campaign ends this Tuesday, Oct. 7! Act now and help spread the message!!

Continue reading >

16 Sep

Moving Funeral Service Held for Oklahoma City K-9 Officer Killed on Duty

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Oklahoma City police officer Sgt. Ryan Stark, center, leans over the casket of his canine partner, K-9 Kye, following funeral services for the dog in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. K-9 Kye, a three year old Belgian German Shepard, died Aug. 25 after being stabbed by a burglary suspect on Aug. 24. Sgt. Stark tried to separate the dog and the suspect before fatally shooting the suspect. Credit: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

In a moving tribute to the bond created between police offices and their canine counterparts, funeral services were held for 3-year-old Kye, an Oklahoma City K-9 officer, after he was killed apprehending a suspect Aug. 24.

The Oklahoma City Police Department held a full funeral service, with honors, for the Belgian German Shepherd where more than 1,000 people showed up along with dozens of service dogs, according to BuzzFeed.

On Aug. 24, police were in pursuit of a suspect in a high-speed car chase. When the suspect crashed the car into a ditch, Kye chased after him with his partner, Sgt. Ryan Stark, not far behind. When Stark caught up to them, he found the suspect repeatedly stabbing the dog with a knife, according to Today.com. He died the next day.

Continue reading >

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Welcome to the Bites @ Animal Planet, where you can connect with the people who bring Animal Planet to life. Find out what's in the works here at Animal Planet, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.

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