Salmonella, listeria found in raw cat food

June 24, 2016

Salmonella, listeria found in raw cat food

The FDA recalled beef, turkey and chicken Rad Cat Raw Diet pet foods due to salmonella and listeria contamination that could put people and pets at risk. Testing found Listeria monocytogenes in two lots of beef food and one lot of chicken food. One lot of turkey food was positive for salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. The food was sold in Western Canada and all US states except Mississippi and Hawaii. (6/24)

TEXAS City of Dallas Animal Control proposal – Selective Catch and Kill

June 23, 2016

City of Dallas Animal Control proposal – Selective Catch and Kill

Shirley – can you add this to your email blasts and list?

Dallas Animal Service has submitted a selective catch and kill proposal
eliminating stray holds all together for animals picked up in high bite
incidence areas – which is South and East Dallas.


TEXAS Dallas takes action on loose dogs after pit bull kills woman

June 23, 2016

Dallas takes action on loose dogs after pit bulls kill woman

June 21, 2016
In this Friday, June 17, 2016 photo, a stray dog wonders a neighborhood
where a homeless woman was killed by a pack of dogs in Dallas. The city has
stepped up enforcement on loose dogs after the group of canines killed the
woman last month, but animal-welfare groups say long-term investments are
needed in Dallas and elsewhere to fix an issue that has long plagued
low-income neighborhoods in some of America’s largest cities. (AP Photo/LM
Otero) DALLAS (AP) – Dallas city leaders expressed outrage in the month
after a homeless Army veteran was killed by roaming dogs, bitten more than
100 times as the animals tore one of her arms to the bone and ripped away
most of her thigh.

They promised to respond to Antoinette Brown’s death by cracking down on
loose dogs found regularly in the city’s poorer neighborhoods. They ramped
up arrests of dog owners, hired a consultant and are reviewing several
proposals, including requiring an insurance policy for “dangerous breeds.”

The issue of loose dogs has long plagued low-income neighborhoods in some of
America’s largest cities as leaders allocate more funding and attention on
broader concerns such as crime, housing and sprawl. While Brown’s death
shows how one incident can prompt a city to take action, animal-welfare
groups say fixing the problem in Dallas and elsewhere requires long-term
investments that many cities have not made.

“Our field is starting to recognize that we cannot accomplish what we seek
to accomplish, which is safe, humane communities, if all we do is respond to
crises after they occur and approach the situation with a punitive mindset,”
said Cory Smith, a public policy analyst for The Humane Society of the
United States.

The 52-year-old Brown was attacked by three pit bulls in the early hours of
May 2 in a neighborhood of single-story, aging homes, some left vacant. A
City Council report on the attack noted that much of a thigh was missing.
Brown died in a hospital days later.

The loose dogs had run free before the mauling and in the days after. Their
owners have had dogs seized in the past. Police have said they could face
charges, but none had been filed by Tuesday as a criminal investigation

“It happened because this is south Dallas and this is the poorest part of
the city and they don’t care,” neighbor Netra Reese told The Dallas Morning
News. “Now they’re talking about it. It takes someone to lose their life for
them to come out and do something.”

Brown’s death led the city to increase enforcement: Authorities since early
May have arrested at least 40 people on some 160 animal-related warrants.

The outcry in Dallas follows similar ones in Detroit, Houston, San Antonio
and other cities where funding for animal services often has been lacking,
primarily affecting low-income areas.

Reforms in those cities included adding additional enforcement officers,
collaborating with pet adoption agencies and in some cases small acts like
handing out leashes to pet owners.

Houston officials since 2009 have increased animal control funding to more
than $12 million, from about $5.5 million, after reports about high rates of
animal euthanasia at city shelters and stories of puppies being flushed down
drains to quickly dispose of them. By November, more than 90 percent of
animals were leaving city shelters alive.

Greg Damianoff, director of Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and
Control, said outreach programs must be done continuously in low-income
areas because of the transient nature of the population.

“The fallacy is that people in those neighborhoods don’t care about their
pets,” he said. “But the reality is they simply don’t have access to a vet
nor do they think they can afford it.”

James Bias, president of the SPCA of Texas, added that municipalities have
to craft a response specific to problem areas. For instance, rental
properties often don’t have the proper fencing to keep pets enclosed, so
outreach efforts could include working with property owners to better secure
their land, he said.

Smith said cities also should be providing free or discounted spay and
neuter programs. The problem of stray dogs, she said, is “the result of
communities of people and animals that have gone underserved for a long

Early mammals’ eyes evolved to see better at night

June 22, 2016

Early mammals’ eyes evolved to see better at night

Early mammals evolved to see better at night to avoid predators such as dinosaurs, a study published in Developmental Cell revealed. Roughly 250 million years ago, mammals developed retinas with rods sensitive to light for better movement at night.

The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (6/20)

TEXAS Researchers find rare eyeless catfish

June 20, 2016

TEXAS Researchers find rare eyeless catfish

A rare species of eyeless catfish first discovered in Mexico in the 1950s has been found in a Texas cave, suggesting a possible link between US and Mexican caverns. The fish, dubbed the Mexican blindcat, is small and white, with skin so translucent that its blood can been seen, researchers say.

The Guardian (London) (6/19)

OKLAHOMA Oklahoma City Zoo veterinarians euthanize gorilla

June 20, 2016

Oklahoma City Zoo veterinarians euthanize gorilla

Oklahoma City Zoo veterinarians euthanized their 41-year-old male gorilla Tatu after diagnosing him with spinal compression and severe spinal arthritis. In April, veterinarians successfully treated him for an infection. Recently, however, they noted a decline in his health, including a loss of appetite, and Tatu lost the use of both legs last week. After the MRI diagnosis, a surgeon determined that repair was not an option, and veterinarians euthanized Tatu.

KWTV-TV (Oklahoma City) (6/18)

TEXAS Dogs kill woman serving court papers at Austin home

June 19, 2016

TEXAS Dogs kill woman serving court papers at Austin  home

The property owners were off site apparently for a considerable period of time; the property was fully gated and padlocked; no trespassing sign[s] posted; the animals have always been friendly per neighbors; and, the animal shelter spokeswoman says they are healthy and appear friendly.

What went wrong?

Dogs kill woman serving court papers at Texas home Published June 17, 2016 One of the dogs seized after an attack on a woman at Texas home. (Austin Animal Protection)

Texas authorities say a woman who went to a home to serve court papers was killed when several loose dogs attacked her.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office said the victim was Erin McClesky, a 36-year-old process server from Austin who was serving civil papers, Fox 7 reported Thursday.

Deputies said a caretaker for the dogs found McClesky’s body Wednesday night, several hours after she had gone to a home in Northeast Travis County.

“There was no one at the house expect for the dogs when she entered the property,” sheriff’s office spokesman Roger Wade told the station.

Wade told the Austin American-Statesman the dogs’ owner probably won’t be charged. “If the homeowner’s not there and doesn’t sic the dogs on them, I don’t know what charges would be filed,” he told the paper.

The paper reported that phone numbers listed for the owners of the property were disconnected and they could not be reached for comment.

Deputies said they seized six dogs that appear to be Lab/Great Pyrenees and husky/Australian cattle dog mixes. They also found 14 puppies who weren’t seized.

The Austin Animal Center is checking the seized dogs for rabies.

When the dogs are released from quarantine in 10 days, a Travis County judge will decide their fate, Fox 7 reported.

OKLAHOMA attyn gen speaks out about right to farm bill (777)

June 18, 2016
OKLAHOMA attyn gen speaks out about right to farm bill (777)–Right-To-Farm-Opponents

By DANIEL C. HOUSTON Associated Press
June 17, 2016 – 7:59 pm EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY — A public campaign is ramping up against an Oklahoma ballot proposal that would make it harder to create new regulations on the agriculture industry, and the proposal’s author claims they’re using “scare tactics.”
The Oklahoma Stewardship Council chairman Drew Edmondson in a Friday press conference condemned State Question 777, billed by its supporters as a “right to farm” initiative. The constitutional amendment would require state and local governments to meet a “compelling state interest” standard to issue new regulations on agriculture, livestock production and ranching.
“I’m telling you, as a matter I believe almost of total fact, those new legislations, those new ordinances, those new rules will not survive that kind of scrutiny,” said Edmondson, a former Oklahoma attorney general and Democrat. “And certainly, it will be at great expense to the taxpayers to try to defend them (in court).”
State Rep. Scott Biggs, a Republican from Chickasha, introduced the proposal, saying the ballot measure is needed because the Oklahoma agriculture industry has come under attack from environmental and animal-rights groups.
“It’s kind of the ultimate safeguard,” Biggs said of the proposed amendment. “Why shouldn’t we be able to protect that as much as possible?”
The Legislature this year passed a companion bill labeling protection of the state water supply as a compelling state interest, Biggs said. But opponents of State Question 777 say it’s not clear the statutory definition would offer any constitutional guarantees in court.
Biggs took issue with that claim, calling it a misleading scare tactic.
“Compelling state interest has time and time again been defined as anything that is necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the public,” Biggs said. “If somebody says water is not a compelling state interest, they need to take a second look.”
Under the proposal, existing agriculture regulations enacted prior to Dec. 31, 2014, would remain in effect. The new standard would apply to future regulations, something Edmondson’s group believes would be bad policy.
“We don’t know what chemicals are going to be added to the feed, seed or fertilizer in 2017, 2018 or down the road,” Edmondson said. “We don’t know what kind of growth hormones, antibiotics or other chemicals are going to be added to our poultry or our pork after (State Question) 777 becomes the law.”
Oklahoma voters will consider State Question 777 on the November ballot.

Blame evolution for finicky cats

June 17, 2016

Blame evolution for finicky cats

Cats are notoriously finicky eaters, but they’ve evolved that way, according to a study published in Royal Society Open Science. Cats are hypercarnivores, requiring a 1:1 ratio of energy from protein to energy from fat, and the study showed cats will choose foods with that balance even when that food choice is less aromatic and tasty than others. Cats also are naturally neophobic, instinctively avoiding new foods because eating something with the wrong content in the wild could mean serious gastrointestinal upset. Veterinarian Martha Cline suggests domestic cats may need more protein in their diet.