Virginia's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers Inc. and its CEO for allegedly selling “diabetic alert dogs” that weren't properly trained for the job.
"This suit alleges not just dishonest and unlawful business practices, but a recklessness that could have endangered the lives of customers who relied on the claims made by Service Dogs and its owner," said Attorney General Mark Herring. The lawsuit alleges that Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers and Warren charged $18,000 to $27,000 for a dog that could purportedly identify life-threatening low and high blood sugar in people with diabetes. In reality, the dogs "were often poorly trained, ill-behaved, and unequipped to help manage a life-threatening situation, rendering them little more than incredibly expensive pets," Herring's office said.
Herring said the company the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions law. He also said it misled customers and donors about certain aspects of its payment structure and lied about Warren having served in the armed forces.
"An investigation of customer complaints showed that, instead of the well-trained service dog that was promised, Service Dogs often provided an untrained puppy that showed significant shortcomings such as an inability to properly walk on a leash, inappropriate chewing and destruction, inability to respond when called, jumping on people, fear of noises, and frequent barking or whining". The complaint also alleges that Service Dogs encouraged customers to solicit charitable donations to cover the cost of their dog despite several times not being properly registered to solicit charitable funds. And it claims the company misled customers about a partnership with or endorsement from JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Finally, the suit alleges that Warren lied to customers and donors when he claimed to have served in the U.S. Marine Corps, to have trained dogs for the military, and to have received a medical discharge because of a diabetes diagnosis. In reality, Warren has never served in the U.S. Marine Corps or any other branch of the military.
In his lawsuit filed in Madison County Circuit Court, Herring is seeking restitution on behalf of affected consumers along with civil penalties and attorneys' fees. He is asking the court to block Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers from further violations of the Consumer Protection Act and Solicitation of Contributions law.
Herring is also seeking an accounting from the company of all funds obtained through unlawful solicitations, and the establishment of a charitable trust so those funds can be provided to an appropriate charitable organization.
People in Alamogordo will continue to pay a fee if they want to keep bees.
In April, commissioners approved a $50 fee for anyone with bee colonies.
The money would help pay for inspections, but some residents argued it's too much.
Commissioners were split on whether to lower the fee, so the $50 stands.
FARMER Graham Burnett says the bra he used to ease his cow’s tender udders has left the animal feeling like a dairy queen. Graham, 56, borrowed wife Paula’s 36A M&S undies in a desperate bid to spare Doris from pain during milking.
And it gave the animal instant relief as her greedy days-old calf — which had insisted on feeding only on her sore front teats — switched to the back. That saved Doris developing mastitis, which can cause permanent damage and is even fatal in extreme cases.
Graham, of Tain, Easter Ross, said: “We tried using gaffer tape which they claim will stick to anything — but I can tell you it won’t stick to an udder. “So we needed to use something and the bra worked. We put it on the front, the calf will use the back ones which takes the pressure off.
“It’s worked really well because the udder has gone down and the calf’s ‘sooking’ away.” But Graham joked: “I don’t think you’ll be seeing me on Dragons’ Den any time soon.” Missus Paula, 57, revealed it was a straightforward task strapping the bra to Simmental cross Doris. She said: “It’s a good job she’s a placid cow because it was easy to put it on her — she’s a real sweetie. “We’ve been here for 11 years and it’s the first time we’ve used a bra on a cow.
“Graham got it rigged up and it fitted really well. One of our friends said because it was M&S it was ‘a posh bra for the discerning cow’. “It’s made in China so it has come a long way — if it had been for the back teats I would have needed a double DD.” But she laughed: “The bra is NOT going back in the drawer.”
Finally, the calf was able to get its milk from the back quarter Farmer pal Donald Ross hailed the idea to protect Doris — who has six calves. He said: “Using the bra is a technique that has been done in the interests of the cow’s welfare. “The fabric is soft and has been fitted using an elasticised band.
“The udders could be milked by hand, of course, to relieve the pressure. But there is the risk of this causing the cow further discomfort, and it kicking out and injuring the person milking it.” He added: “There is also a light side to it. We’ve just come through a hard winter but we’ve retained our sense of humor through that.”
Bra-mazing! The farmer used one of his wife’s bras to help relieve some of the pressure. Donald posted snaps of the young animal suckling on Doris online — sparking a string of comments from stunned pals.
Jen Clark tweeted: “This is getting udderly ridiculous! And Jenny P said: “Bra-illiant.”
Mastitis, the inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue, is a major endemic disease of dairy cattle. Milk-secreting tissues and various ducts throughout the udder can be damaged by bacterial toxins, and sometimes permanent damage to the udder occurs. The condition can also hit causes women’s breast tissue to become painful and inflamed. It’s most common in breastfeeding mums usually within three months of giving birth.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been closed indefinitely because of the danger of flying boulders from any sudden steam explosion inside the simmering Kilauea volcano.
The park on Hawaii's Big Island, near the town of Pahoa, was shut down Thursday night for only the second time this year.
Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory fear the steady lowering of a lava lake inside the volcano will soon slip below ground water level. If that happens, water will pour into the molten lava, producing steam that could launch rocks and boulders the size of refrigerators as far away as a half mile.
“If it goes up, it will come down,” said Charles Mandeville, volcano hazards coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey. “You don’t want to be underneath anything that weighs 10 tons when it’s coming out at 120 mph.”
In 1924, the last dangerous brew of magma and water sent rocks the size of automobiles flying from the volcano.
Scientists say there is no danger of injuries or fatalities from any such explosion as long as people stay out of closed areas of the park around the volcano.
A new eruption would also spew more ash and sulfur dioxide gas into the atmosphere, worsening an area already hit by fissures and lava that has spread over 117 acres, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.
Kilauea has destroyed 36 structures – including 26 homes – since May 3, when it began releasing lava from vents about 25 miles east of the summit crater. Fifteen of the vents are now spread through the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods. Around 2,000 people have been evacuated from the area.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige said crews at a geothermal energy plant near the lava outbreak have removed around 50,000 gallons of flammable fuel as a precaution.
Dr. Joanna Woods thought she'd been bitten by a bed bug or mosquito, but the Phoenix mom soon realized it was something much worse.
"It was just so much pain that I couldn't get through the cloud of pain," said Woods. "It was excruciating. I could liken it to childbirth. When they ask you if the pain was between one and 10, there were times it was 10."
Woods appears to have had an encounter with a blister beetle that has the ability to release a dangerous toxin when it comes in contact with human skin.
The poisonous chemical causes swelling and blistering of the skin and can be fatal if ingested by children.
Woods is convinced her uncomfortable encounter with the blister beetle took place at a Valley movie theater a few nights ago when her arm started to itch.
A few hours later, the arm was red and swollen and getting worse.
Emanuel Jara with Responsible Pest Control said blister beetles have been in Arizona for years and usually leave people alone.
"It is their season right now," said Jara. "You can find them in parks, in bushes and your very own backyard. A lot of times people, when they are doing gardening, they'll encounter them, so it's just about being very cautious."
Fortunately for Woods, the medication she's taking has reduced the swelling and her arm is getting better.
She only wishes that bug could have bugged someone else.
Lab dog to lap dog: Research animals get new lease on life
Ringo the beagle loves all the things every dog would: Running in the yard, rides in the car and the frequent snack.
You'd never know that Ringo, now five years old, had lived the entire first two years of his life inside a small cage at a nearby medical laboratory. When he was first adopted by the Bleich family in 2015, he was nervous around people and other dogs, and thrown off by the feel of grass beneath his paws and cool gusts of wind under his floppy ears.
Dogs like Ringo rarely seem to get a happy ending. A majority of dogs that have been subjects of medical research and experimentation are euthanized and destroyed when the laboratory they live in has completed its tests, according animal welfare groups.
But, thanks to a growing number of states that have passed legislation cracking down on the practice by mandating that research laboratories must first attempt to adopt out healthy animals that have survived the research tests, thousands more dogs and cats may find homes.
Since 2014, Minnesota, Connecticut, Nevada, California, Illinois and New York have all enacted so-called "Beagle Freedom" laws, named for the dog breed that is most commonly tested on due its particularly docile nature. Just last month, Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed his state's bill into law, and on Tuesday, Delaware’s General Assembly passed a similar measure (it had already passed the state Senate), sending it to Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, for his signature.
Nearly 61,000 dogs and nearly 19,000 cats lived in medical and scientific research laboratories in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (In total, nearly 821,000 animals were used for medical and scientific testing in 2016, according to the agency’s records.)
Under the U.S. Animal Welfare Act, medical and scientific laboratories must disclose the number and type of animals on which they’re conducting testing and periodically allow in federal inspectors, who make sure the facilities comply with minimal requirements that pertain to the living conditions of the animals in the labs.
But they aren’t required under the law to report what they do with the animals after the research has concluded, which advocates say is the primary reason states have gotten involved.
Skeptics, many of whom are actually animal welfare advocates, say that the bills are not enforceable, because they don't require institutions to report what they have done with their animals and don’t offer any punitive measures for institutions that don't comply with the requirements that they prioritize adoption over euthanasia. But experts maintain that the laws are working, pointing to public attention and shame as a forceful deterrent.
We've all heard it before—“My dog ate my homework.” But not many people can claim their family pet has shot them.
Now one Iowa man is saying that’s exactly what happened after he was playing around with his dog, Balew.
Richard Remme is a veteran with a conceal and carry permit. He had his gun on him in a belly band under his overalls while playing with his dog Blue. Despite hearing the gunshot, Remme says it wasn't until his leg felt cold and wet that he realized what happened.
"This was a what, one in two billion? One in 100 million, whatever the odds are of this happening, a freak chance of this happening. There's a mechanical safety and a trigger safety on this gun. How did this gun go off? I have no clue," he said.
Doctors say the bullet did not do any major damage to Remme's leg, and the man is also optimistic about his relationship with Blue.
"I am not worried one bit about the relationship with the dog. The dog is actually at home looking for me," he said. "They told me that both times they were at the house that the dog was going bonkers trying to find me."
Remme is expected to make a full recovery.
5 things you're doing that are making your dog secretly hate you...
Dogs are one of the best things in the world, but owning them comes with a lot of challenges and a big learning curve. A dog is more than just a pet — they're a family member whose life you're responsible for. And no two dogs are exactly the same. They each have likes, dislikes, and fears just like any of us, and as their human, you'll have to learn your dog's preferences to make sure you aren't doing things they secretly hate. Of course, not every item on this list will apply to all dogs, and your dog may like or at least be able to deal with these things better than others. But it's important to be aware of them so you can try to create the best possible life for your pup.
1. You hug them too tight. There's been some debate over whether or not dogs hate being hugged, but the consensus seems to be that, at the very least, they probably don't love it. When they're hugged, which is a behavior dogs don't naturally do with each other, they show signs of stress like becoming tense, pinning their ears back, or moving away from you. This doesn't mean you can't show your dog affection. They're your best friend, after all. But find ways to show that affection in ways other than a full-blown hug, and pay attention to their body language to make sure the gesture isn't making them uncomfortable.
2. Their walks are rushed. Sometimes we're all rushed and taking an hour-long walk isn't an option. But for the sake of your dog, it's important to make time. Not only do they need the daily exercise and routine, but they also need time built in to that walk to smell pretty much everything.
Your dog's sense of smell is heightened, and it's one of the main ways they take in information about the world. As annoying as it might be, stopping to smell that grass or tree stump is actually an automatic behavior for the dog, and it's a bad idea to try and train it out of them.
3. You don’t play with them enough.There are some great dog toys you can buy to encourage your dog to play while you're gone, but that doesn't make up for quality human/dog playtime. It's so important in fact, that a study conducted by a canine behavior expert showed that dogs who get more playtime are less likely to have behavioral problems like jumping on people, being aggressive, and exhibiting signs of anxiety. Not to mention it's a great bonding experience for the two of you.
4. You’re leaving them alone for long periods of time. Most of us would love to spend all day home snuggling our pets. Unfortunately, work and social engagements often pull us away. While it's totally understandable to leave your dog alone sometimes, leaving them at home alone for extended periods of time can cause behavioral problems. Separation anxiety is real, and so is your dog's boredom when they don't get the exercise and attention they need. And quite frankly, it's unhealthy for dogs to go more than eight hours without being able to pee.
5. Your house has scents they hate. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, which means a lot of smells we barely notice will be very strong to them. Perfumes, ammonia-based cleaning products, vinegar, citrus, and chili peppers are among the smells dogs will do their best to avoid. Using them in your home will create a less than comfortable environment for them. ---------------------------------------------
Woman shocked when dog she raised turns out to be a fox....
The woman, identified as Ms. Wang by Chinese media, had purchased what she believed to be a Japanese Spitz puppy from a pet shop in China.
For months Wang raised the pup, but kept noticing odd behaviors, like the animal never barked and at three-months-old, the furry pet started refusing to eat dog food, she said. She also noticed some physical signs that seemed off.
"The fur got thicker when it reached three months old. Its face became pointy and its tail grew longer than that of a normal dog,” she said.
Eventually Wang gave in to her suspicions and took her pet in to Sun Letian, an expert in animal epidemic prevention at Taiyuan Zoo, for advice.
"Based on the size, it is a domesticated fox. It carries a smell in their body and the smell can get stronger as it grows older,” Letian told Wang.
While the white-coated fox is currently only 12 inches long, it is expected to get bigger.
Once Wang learned her pet dog was actually a pet fox, she opted to give it up to the zoo, where she said it could receive a more suitable diet and “better living environment,”
The fox will be placed in quarantine for a month before it is put in an enclosure at the zoo.
Raccoon family drops through ceiling of Michigan home
A family of raccoons created a chaotic scene when they fell through a ceiling and into the living room of a Michigan home.
A homeowner in Sheridan Township sought help after the raccoons fell from an attic. Police and firefighters easily picked up the four baby raccoons, but the mother eluded capture.
She bit a responder's gloves before hiding in a closet. The Albion Department of Public Safety posted video of the response on its Facebook page.
Police said in a statement that a dog catcher pole was used to collar the raccoon. No people or animals were injured in the incident.
The raccoons were taken away and released into the wild.