South Dakota man gets $190 fine for having pet in public without a leash... A man who was fined for allowing his pet...... SNAKE!!! ...to slither freely in a South Dakota park said an animal control officer suggested he use a leash to restrain the reptile.Jerry Kimball said he initially thought the recommendation was a joke because it was April Fool's Day when he was fined $190 and ticketed last week for "animals running at large". Kimball was approached by the officer after a woman complained that his Fire Bee Ball Python was roaming freely at Falls Park in Sioux Falls.Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong said a city ordinance requires all pets to be leashed or restrained in public. She said pet snakes can be held or kept in a container to comply."If it's in public and it's not on a leash, it's at large. The ordinance doesn't really distinguish between animals," she said.DeJong added that snake lovers should be more sensitive to the aversion many people feel toward the animal. While non-venomous snakes are legal to own, not all park visitors will welcome a python in a park.But Kimball said he considers it his mission to rid the public's fear of snakes."That's my purpose in life: To let people know that snakes aren't killers," he said. "What better way to give back than to help people understand these misunderstood creatures?"Kimball said he plans to fight the ticket in court.-----------------------
Latvian Mayor of the City of Riga talks about potholes... has viral moment when interrupted by his cat...The mayor of Latvia's capital, Riga, was talking about the city's efforts to fix potholes during his weekly online question-and-answer show when he got interrupted ... by his cat Dumka.City Hall spokesman Viktors Smirnovs says the black-and-white fluffy feline decided to have a sip from Nils Usakovs' mug while he was recording the video that was posted Sunday on Facebook.Smirnovs said Friday "we thought it was funny," so the City Hall decided to re-publish the clip Tuesday of the animal strutting into the frame and boldly starting to drink out of mug as Riga's 40-year-old mayor calmly watched.Usakovs tried to pet the cat but it jumped off the desk.-------------------
Wild turkey dodges rush hour traffic while crossing highwayA wild turkey is giving thanks after safely making its way across a heavily trafficked Massachusetts interstate during rush hour.A helicopter camera caught the dramatic scene in Lynnfield, just north of Boston.The fowl ran afoul of motorists on Interstate 95. Some drivers had to swerve to avoid striking it.The turkey walked most of the way but decided to fly across the last few lanes after a near miss.The bird was part of a flock that caused intermittent traffic delays by trotting onto the highway.Thanksgiving is coming...
Why owning a pet could protect your baby from obesity and allergies...Families with cats or dogs running around the house may unwittingly be protecting their infant children from future allergies and obesity. Research out of Canada shows babies born into families with pets have higher amounts of microbes tied to lower risks of obesity and allergies.University of Alberta epidemiologist Anita Kozyrskyj and a team of researchers analyzed more than 700 Canadian children. They found babies exposed to pets while in the womb or up to three months recorded an "abundance" of ruminococcus and oscillospira, the latter of which is associated with leanness or lower body mass index, notes the study published in the journal Microbiome.The team said the theory is that early exposure to bacteria — like that from a dog — creates a type of resistance.Kozyrskyj said unborn babies and newborns often are indirectly exposed, with the microbes passing from pet, to mother to baby. This means a child could get the benefits of the microbes even if the pet were removed from the home before the baby was born.------------------------
Rabbits are great pets, but not holiday impulse buys...DON’T buy your child a rabbit for Easter – All too often a pet bunny can turn into a problem once a child gets tired of looking after it – normally within six weeks.Bunnies are #NotJust4Easter. That's the message Space Coast Animals Rights hopes resonates with those who plan to purchase rabbits or baby chicks to fill gift baskets for the holiday.In partnership with LUSH cosmetics, the group has launched a nationwide campaign to make sure people think twice before they seal the deal on a new furry (or feathery) friend. Rabbits and chickens are a lot of work, long after the Easter holidayA lot of people don't realize how much work these animals take. Rabbits will live 10 to 12 years, sometimes more. They need to be neutered. They can’t live in a cage, they need to be running around. They have a specific diet and they can die really easily if fed the wrong food.Chickens live, on average, about eight years, but there are reports of chickens living as long as 20 years, according to mypetchicken.com.These animals end up either being abused, abandoned or even dying once the thrill is gone. Often children lose interest and parents aren't aware of the animal's proper care.Thousands of Easter bunnies turn up in shelters after Easter, according to ASPCA. ------------------