450-pound seal removed from northern Alaska airport’s runway
In Alaska, it’s not uncommon for wildlife like polar bears to wander onto an airport’s runway, but a lounging seal is far more unusual.
But that’s what workers found at the airport in the nation’s northernmost city on Monday. A seal estimated to weigh 450 pounds was removed from the runway at the airport at Utqiagvik (pronounced (oot-GHAR’-vik) by way of sled.
The state Department of Transportation got in on the fun by warning pilots of “low ceilings” at the airport.
Meadow Bailey, the department’s communications director, said Utqiagvik, an Arctic Ocean coastal community on Alaska’s North Slope, experienced heavy storms Monday. Staff found the seal while clearing the runway.
The department’s staff members are not allowed to handle marine mammals, so the seal was removed by North Slope Animal Control.
The workers have seen birds, caribou, polar bears and musk ox on the runway, but the seal sighting was a first, Bailey said.
“Wildlife strikes to aircraft pose a significant safety hazard and cost the aviation industry hundreds of millions of dollars each year,” Bailey said. “Birds make up over 90 percent of strikes in the US, while mammal strikes are rare.”
Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween... Cause Scared cats and dogs are no one's idea of fun
On any given day, pets can get into all sorts of mischief, including toppling plants or shredding shoes. So imagine the potential for disaster with your pet and a lit candle or a basketful of bite-sized candy. As critical as it is to keep kids safe on Halloween, it’s also important to recognize the dangers that abound for pets—and in turn for their owners—during Halloween festivities. For starters, candy can be toxic for pets. Chocolate in all forms—particularly dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, and increased thirst, urination, and heart rate. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous for dogs. Even small amounts can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which can lead to a lack of coordination and seizures.
How to Keep Your 4-Legged Friends Safe
And as cute as it might seem to dress your feline friend or canine companion in a costume, bear in mind that a frightened pet in a cape is nobody’s idea of fun (especially not the animal’s).
Here are some guidelines from the Humane Society of the U.S. and the ASPCA on how to keep your pets—and the people around them—safe on Halloween. Keep your pet in a quiet place, away from trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities. Dogs and cats can become frightened or agitated by the unaccustomed sights and sounds of costumed visitors. "If possible, keep your pets in another part of the house, since you're going to get plenty of door knocking and doorbells," Lamberti says. Or if you have a dog near the door with you, keep him on a leash.
Cats—black ones in particular—often fall victim to pranksters. Keep them safely indoors. Place live flame decorations like candles and jack-o'-lanterns out of your pet's reach. Curious cats or rambunctious dogs can easily knock over a candle with a paw or a wagging tail.
In terms of candy you're handing out; keep all baskets and bags out of reach (never on the floor near the door). Pick up candy wrappers. Ingesting tinfoil and cellophane can pose a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage.
Don't let the family dog accompany the kids on their trick-or-treat outing. Children may have a difficult time handling a pet during the festivities, and your pooch could get loose, especially if she is spooked by neighborhood goblins. And even if you have a tight hold on the leash, realize that when you take your dog out, you're responsible for keeping the public safe, too. "If your dog is jumping on people, he won't make a good trick-or-treating companion," Lamberti says.
Keep decorations that pets could chew on—like streamers and fake spider webs—as well as wires and cords from electric decorations out of reach. If pets chomp on Halloween decorations, they could choke or become ill; if they chew on electrical cords, they risk a potentially deadly electrical shock. In the rush to get costume-ready, you might leave makeup or face paint within reach. These products can be toxic to your pets, Lamberti warns. "Talk to the young people in your house, too, so if they're wearing face paint or makeup, they don't let Fluff lick their faces."
IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.
Delta: Probe uncovers ‘criminal scheme’ to scam pet owners
A bogus pet-shipping website that tricks people into thinking they’re dealing with Delta Air Lines is also linked to a scam that preys on people hoping to buy dogs such as Chihuahuas, poodles and corgis, the airline says in a court filing.
Delta, one of the world’s largest airlines says its wide-ranging investigation into the pet shipping website uncovered a “larger criminal scheme.” Delta filed a federal lawsuit last month over a website that it says tricks people into thinking they’re dealing with the airline when arranging for their pets to fly on jets. The airline says the site — DeltaPetTransit.com — is designed to look like a Delta site and uses the airline’s logos and pictures of its planes.
In court records filed this week, the airline says its investigation has turned up numerous sites using the Delta name that promise to ship pets or advertise dogs for sale. The website operators collect thousands of dollars without shipping or delivering any pets, Delta maintains. Even after people pay the purchase price for a “non-existent dog,” the website operators “demand still more payments for ‘mandatory’ insurance, vaccines, permits, and other ‘required fees,” Delta wrote in court filings.
“In truth, however, defendants have no dogs for sale, provide no shipping services, and instead retain as the proceeds of their theft-by-deception all payments made by their various victims,” Delta’s lawyers wrote. The airline’s investigation involves several subpoenas of Google and other internet companies as it tries to identify the operators behind the sites, so it can name them as defendants in its lawsuit. As part of that effort, Delta is seeking to obtain grocery store surveillance video of an unidentified man who picked up a pet-related payment inside a grocery store in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Delta’s investigator had gone on one of the websites and sent a wire payment via Western Union. The man picked up the payment Oct. 18 at a Western Union office inside a King Soopers grocery store. Delta asked a judge this week for authorization to subpoena the video from the grocery store’s parent firm, Kroger Co. Delta on Friday had no immediate comment on the ongoing case Friday.
The airline has identified several other websites which it says are using its name without permission, including DeltaPetAirways.com, court records show. That site uses the Delta name, but also references Delta rival American Airlines and its AAdvantage frequent flyer program.
Delta says it has evidence linking the pet transport sites with the phony dog-selling sites, and the airline believes its all part of the same scheme. One of the websites cited in court records advertises “Mini Golden doodle Puppies.” The site includes a lengthy description of how the puppies are lovingly raised. A shipping section of the site includes prices and details of how the dogs are supposedly transported to their new home via airlines.
“At about five weeks of age we start taking them out on car trips, this not only accustoms them to travelling but also to being confined to a crate for short periods of time,” the website states. “Weather permitting they go outside for play sessions and are soon happy to toilet on grass, block paving, stones and concrete as well as newspaper. By the time they are ready to leave mum they are pretty bomb-proof and well prepared for life in the big wide world.”
Puerto Ricans Are Struggling To Flee the Island with Their Pets
Thousands of people are fleeing Puerto Rico as the island remains without power and the death toll continues to climb more than a month after Hurricane Maria.
Even for those who can afford plane tickets and get to the airport, there’s another hurdle: evacuating with pets.
Leaving the island with animals in tow has become a huge challenge, said Sarah Barnett of the Humane Society of the United States, which has workers on the ground in Puerto Rico. The pet owners Barnett has spoken with have been “hysterical” with worry, she said.
Typically, airlines allow a passenger to fly with one cat or small dog in the cabin, though each airline has its own rules about the process and limits on how many pets can go on each flight.
Things get more complicated when it comes to flying larger pets or multiple animals. Under normal conditions, some airlines allow larger pets to fly in cargo holds. In the initial aftermath of Hurricane Maria, airlines weren’t allowing pets in cargo because of concerns about high temperatures and faulty power.
That means people wanting to leave the island by air with a large pet — or with multiple animals — were out of luck.
Some pet owners stayed, remaining in dire conditions to care for animals. Others had to make gut-wrenching decisions. Claudia, a single mother who left for North Carolina with her baby and two dogs, left her other three dogs with a friend. She’s now desperately trying to bring those dogs to the mainland, too.
Sylvia Bedrosian, who runs Pet Friendly Puerto Rico — a group that promotes animal-friendly business policies on the island said she estimates thousands of pets have been left behind.
By now, some airlines are again flying out pets deemed too big for the main cabin. But the demand is greatly exceeding the number of available spaces for animals.
American Airlines is accepting a limited number of pets per flight as checked baggage, and United is transporting animals through its PetSafe program.
Delta, which previously waived fees for pets flying in the cabin from Puerto Rico, is also now flying out larger animals from San Juan via Delta Cargo.
JetBlue and Southwest never transport pets in the cargo hold, though they both fly a limited number of small pets in the main cabin. A JetBlue spokesperson told HuffPost the airline has waived all in-cabin pet fees for flights out of Puerto Rico through Nov. 15, and doubled the number of pets per flight from four to eight.
The state of Florida has also made accommodations, temporarily suspending some paperwork requirements for pets coming from Puerto Rico.
Abigail Is the 2017 Hero Dog!
As the Hallmark Channel says, the Hero Dog Awards "is a moving celebration of our four-legged friends and the innumerable ways they enrich protect and save lives every day...often ordinary dogs that do extraordinary things."
This week the Hallmark Channel broadcast the star-studded awards ceremony to announce the winner of the Hero Dog Award for 2017. And the winner is – “Abigail”, the Emerging Hero Dog!
Abigail is a Pit Bull rescue with an inspiring story. Her rescuers believe she was used as a bait dog for a dog fighting ring, then abandoned and left to die. Most of one side of her face was missing. A determined veterinarian performed a number of surgeries including skin grafts. When she was being bandaged, the gauze wrapped around her head resembled a bow. Someone called it her “bonnet” - the media picked up the story and people started sending her doggie bonnets from all over the world. Today she is a happy dog that likes everybody. Her Facebook page is “Bonnets for Abigail”.
But Abigail is not the only hero here. All the finalists are heroes, along with all the dogs that whose owners entered them in the competition, and every animal companion we are fortunate enough to call our best friend.
And this is the time of year when we can be heroes for our pets by taking extra care to protect them on Halloween. Keep candy and other treats away from your pet. Some of it may contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener which is poisonous to dogs. Chocolate in any form (especially dark chocolate) can be toxic to an animal. Even seemingly harmless treats like grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in pets. Also, if possible, keep your pet safely indoors or on a tight leash. Outdoors it may become spooked by all the strange comings and goings.
This Halloween, you can be a hero to your furry friend by keeping it safe, so you can both enjoy all the seasons together.