A groomer in New York City found a creative way to help pets whose owners have taken a hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Taylor, owner of Harlem Doggie Day Spa, started a “pup relief fund,” CNN reports. Loyal clients have purchased gift cards to support the business and help others care for their pets. So far, Taylor has raised $2,000 and helped a dozen pet owners.
“Every month I’ve been giving two or three clients free grooming services,” said Taylor, who goes by the nickname “Dogfather of Harlem.” “In many cases the pets’ fur is severely matted because they’re well overdue for grooming.
Grooming has been a saving grace for Harlem Doggie Day Spa during the COVID-19 pandemic. The business provides daycare, boarding and walking, but had to put those services on hold when the state of New York forced non-essential businesses to temporarily close, CNN reports.
In July he plans to take his grooming efforts on the road, lending a hand to pet owners across the U.S. He’ll do an eight-day tour in his grooming van.
“Hopefully, in every city we can give away free products and teach people to reduce matting,” he told CNN.
The number of U.S. Postal Service employees attacked by dogs nationwide fell to 5,803 in 2019 — more than 200 fewer than in 2018 and more than 400 fewer since 2017.
USPS is highlighting technology that helps reduce potential attacks, while releasing a list of the top 10 dog bite states (see below). The organization also unveiled its annual list of cities with the most recorded dog attacks. It was led by Houston, with 85 bites in 2019; Los Angeles, with 74 bites; and Chicago, with 54 bites.
USPS is also highlighting safety initiatives to help protect its employees and offers tips to pet owners as part of the Postal Service’s National Dog Bite Awareness Week, which runs Sunday, June 14, through Saturday, June 20.
“Even during these difficult times, it’s important for our customers to understand that letter carriers are still coming to homes daily and need to deliver mail safely,” said USPS Safety Awareness Program Manager Chris Johnson. “We are confident we can keep moving the trends of attacks downward, and ramping up overall awareness for everyone is the best way to do that.”
According to Johnson, technology supports carrier safety in two ways: Mobile Delivery Devices, handheld scanners used by carriers to confirm customer delivery, include a feature to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address. And the Informed Delivery service alerts customers to mail and packages coming to their homes, allowing them to plan for the carrier’s arrival by securing dogs safely.
The Postal Service offers the following safety tips:
- When a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate glass windows to attack visitors.
- Parents should remind children and other family members not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet. The dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.
- If a letter carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office location or another facility until the letter carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office location.
For a complete list of the top 10 states visit USPS.com
As economists have declared that the United States is officially in a recession, many people are wondering what industries will be able to withstand the economic impact of the pandemic. One Florida-founded franchise has taken strides in expansion over the last few months thanks to the recession-proof attributes of the pet industry. Scenthound, a wellness-based grooming concept, has been able to continue expansion and sell 11 new units during the pandemic, including its first out-of-state deal.
The wellness-based groomer has 4 locations open in their home market of Palm Beach County, Florida, and now 21 units in development across 3 states. During the pandemic alone, the brand has sold 6 units in the Atlanta area, 3 units in the Las Vegas area, and 1 unit in Parkland, Florida. Other units in development are in Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, and Miami, Florida.
The brand believes its recent growth speaks to the strength of the pet industry. Despite economic downturn, many Americans decided to adopt pets during the pandemic and clear out shelters across the country. People have continued to invest in their pets and have proven that the pet industry is not only “essential,” but recession-proof.
Scenthound was founded in 2015 after CEO Tim Vogel spent more than 10 years running both a mobile grooming business and local grooming “Scenters” and seeing first-hand the shortcomings within a booming pet industry and the lack of education surrounding dog grooming. Vogel began a mission to give dogs and their owners a fast, easy, and affordable grooming solution Scenters that provide a haircut, but more importantly, focus on a dog’s health. “Everything that we do is with your dog’s health in mind,” added Vogel.
Embedded in the name, Scenthound focuses on the five core areas of maintenance: Skin, Coat, Ears, Nails and Teeth. Their Scent Techs are fully trained to give each dog the care it requires — regardless of breed — and the membership program allows for dog parents to have the peace of mind that their fur family is cared for on a routine basis.
With all of the new pet parents thanks to the COVID-19 adoption surge, Scenthound is taking initiatives to educate them so that they understand the importance of preventive care to keep their furry friend healthy. The “Scenthound Salutes” campaign launching next month will be inviting new pet parents in for a free grooming and educational session to learn about how preventive care can change their new dogs’ life. The brand is excited that with nationwide growth comes more opportunities to teach people about the proper care their dog needs.
Scenthound is on track to sell 40 total units and open 20 by the end of the year. The brand has been franchising since last year and is actively seeking single and multi-unit franchise partners who are passionate about dogs and are looking for be hands-on with the business. Including a franchise fee of $50,000, the initial investment for a Scenthound location ranges between $206,400 to $378,400.
“Seeing it at first really took my breath away," Adéle Grosse, who spotted the dead animal while on a walk with her husband in Brittania Bay, told Live Science. "Honestly, it looked like a majestic prehistoric animal."
Giants squids, who usually live between 2,000 and 3,200 feet below the surface, are only seen once every few years and washed up carcasses are rarely intact, Michael Vecchione, an invertebrate zoologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, told the publication. A live giant squid has never been caught.
Grosse estimated the squid was about 13 feet long and weighed about 660 pounds, which is actually on the smaller side. Female giant squids can measure 60 feet across, according to Live Science. The carnivorous creatures have eight arms and two longer tentacles all with powerful suction that help them capture prey.
Giant squids can feast upon fish, squids, octopuses, nautiluses, cuttlefish and even other giant squids. Vecchione said giant squids bite off little pieces of their prey with their beak. The squid’s “esophagus goes through the middle of the brain, so it has to bite pieces of food so that they'll be small enough to squeeze through the brain," he told Live Science. Even the squid’s eyes are giant: at one-foot long they are the largest of any animal, according to Vecchione.
Grosse told the publication they weren’t sure how the squid died.
"We had big swells the night before, and it was my understanding that the swell washed up this beautiful squid onto the beach in the early hours of the morning," she said. "We looked for bite marks or injuries and could not really find anything."
After Grosse uploaded photos of the giant squid on social media, she connected with the curator of marine invertebrates at Iziko Museums of South Africa, Wayne Florence, who plans to study its DNA. The Iziko Museums of South Africa has the largest collection of giant squids specimens on the continent.
The death of Street Cat Bob, a cat who inspired a popular book about a man struggling with drug addiction, has touched the hearts of Chinese netizens who mourned the cat on social media and shared their stories of beloved pets.
Bob died at the age of 14. The book, written by James Bowen, has become familiar among Chinese people because of the film based on it, "A Street Cat Named Bob." After playing himself in the film, the cat gained lots of fans in other countries.
The related hashtag "Streetcat Bob passed away" has been viewed more than 180 million times as of Thursday afternoon, and some netizens posted articles in the channel for the film on China's major media review platform Douban to mourn the web celebrity. The film has got an 8.0/10 rating on the platform. "Bob pulled James from the darkness. Little angel, please be happy when you are in your planet," a netizen "Hamifengzi" commented on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
Another netizen told a story on Douban about how her cat and golden retriever accompanied her when the netizen broke up with her boyfriend. "It was a dark time, but because of my two angels, I finally pulled through," the netizen wrote. "When they intently stare at me, I instantly feel powerful because I know there is someone who loves and needs me in the world."
These commemorative comments and articles reflect the way in which people have emotional dependence upon their pets, especially young people who are living in large cities alone.
A white-collar worker surnamed Xiao, 26, from North China's Shanxi Province who now lives in Beijing, has had a Scottish Fold cat for more than one year. "Now I cannot leave her, rather than her having no way to leave me," Xiao told the Global Times on Thursday. "Every day, the thing that mainly supports me in going to work is being able to play with her after work."
Keeping the pet has changed Xiao's habits. She did not cook herself and always ate at canteens but now she has learned to cook and mostly eats at home - "because there is someone waiting for me at home and cooking for my cat is a pleasure for me."
Song Xuan, a psychology professor at China University of Labor Relations, told China Youth Daily that many young people are turning to pets for the intimacy they lack. Song pointed out that many young people born after the 1980s and 1990s are the only child in their family, and many of them work in big cities and refuse to marry early.
"For single young people, pets can accompany them and relieve their pressure, and they sometimes even treat pets as children," the professor said.
Some people aren't able to have a pet but it cannot stop their yearning and attention to pets. They follow many abroad and overseas pet bloggers to experience the process of keeping pets online.
Qi, a 26-year-old Shanghai resident, is one of these people. "I dream of having a pet dog and now I just can watch videos about pets' daily lives online, as a way of relieving my loneliness," she told the Global Times. In 2019, the number of pet dogs and cats in China's cities and towns reached 99.15 million, an increase of 7.66 million over 2018, as the Paper reported.
The solar eclipse is coming. On June 21st, Sunday, India will witness the Annular Solar Eclipse. This particular eclipse is said to be the 'deepest' annular solar eclipse in nearly a hundred years. On Sunday, people from different parts of the world will be able to witness the beauty of what is commonly signified as the 'Ring of Fire'. The Annular Solar Eclipse June 2020 is likely to appear for around 30 seconds, similar to a necklace of pearls. But Indians have only one question in their minds: Will the solar eclipse kill coronavirus? In fact, this has become a popular query on Google search results, consistently spiking as the date of viewing draws nearer.
A solar eclipse takes place when the moon moves between the sun and earth, obstructing the sun’s light. In an annular solar eclipse, the moon entirely or partially covers the sun from when seen from earth. So why does this have anything to do with the coronavirus? In a bizarre claim, a scientist based in Chennai has said that there are connections between the coronavirus outbreak and the solar eclipse which took place on December 26. Dr. KL Sundar Krishna, a Nuclear and Earth scientist told ANI that the pandemic may have been a result of mutated particle interaction of the first neutron emitted after the solar eclipse owing to fission energy. He said that there is a "planetary configuration with new alignment in the solar system" which occurred after the solar eclipse. And that is even the coronavirus outbreak happened, according to Krishna.
Krishna has even deduced a possible theory of how the virus originated. He told ANI that the virus has come from the upper atmosphere where "inter-planetary force variation" took place. The said neutrons then began nucleating which further resulted in bio-nuclear interactions in the upper atmosphere. This bio-nuclear interaction, according to him, may be a source of the virus. However, this may not be actually based in science. In fact, the only connection between coronavirus and the solar eclipse is just, well, the sun.
The current new novel Covid-19 belongs to the group of viruses called coronavirus. 'Corona,' means crown. The scientists who came up with the term 'coronavirus' in 1986 found that under a microscope, the virus they were looking at resembled a solar corona: the bright crown-like ring of gasses surrounding the sun that is visible during a solar eclipse, reports TIME.
NASA also describes it similarly : "The Sun’s corona is the outermost part of the Sun’s atmosphere. The corona is usually hidden by the bright light of the Sun's surface. That makes it difficult to see without using special instruments. However, the corona can be viewed during a total solar eclipse." There has also been a myth about how hot weather can kill coronavirus. While it's a myth which has been debunked by the WHO, solar corona, could kill coronavirus - they're really hot, in fact, they're some hundred times hotter than the surface of the Sun.
But the only possible way for this solar corona to affect the coronavirus on earth, would be if they came in contact - which they won't, since the sun is over 152.02 million kilometres. The only scientific ways to 'kill coronavirus' so far is washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, using hand-sanitizers, disinfecting surfaces which may have come in contact with someone who could be a carrier of the disease. Wearing masks, and practicing good personal hygiene, not touching your face often, as well as limiting contact with other people prevents transmission of the disease. The solar eclipse won't kill coronavirus - that's entirely in your hands. Literally. ----------------------------------------------------------
The Florida Keys is close to adding a new weapon to help control a mosquito-borne disease -- genetically modified mosquitoes that produce dead offspring. Outbreaks of dengue fever in the Keys in recent years prompted local authorities to consider the genetically modified bugs because the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads that and other diseases, has shown resistance to pesticides.
At stake is the potential for a large public health crisis in the tourism-dominated region. A reduction in the amount of pesticide use would be a side benefit. "Ultimately, the name of the game is public health," said Chad Huff, public information officer for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District. "We have seen outbreaks of dengue fever. The last significant one was in 2010, but the effectiveness of the pesticides declines."
The new mosquitoes, engineered by British company Oxitec, were released in trials in Brazil. Studies by Oxitec and other scientists said the program resulted in significant population declines for the disease-carrying insect. "We have shown that the release of mosquitoes in a neighborhood results in 95 percent suppression compared to areas with no release," said Nathan Rose, director of regulatory affairs at Oxitec. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the release, and Florida officials announced state permits on Tuesday. Final approval is required by board members for the mosquito control district. The district's board plans an online workshop to hear from Oxitec at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The district hasn't set a date for another workshop to gather more input from the public.
Oxitec is capable of deploying the mosquitoes quickly, but has not offered a timeline for release pending final approval. Releases are possible along the entire 125-mile chain of islands. The altered mosquitoes, which the company calls Oxitec Friendly, are male. Only female mosquitoes bite people or animals for blood meals before they lay eggs. The altered males mate with female Aedes aegypti, and the female offspring then carry a protein that kills them as tiny, barely visible larvae. The result is a steady reduction in population, according to the company.
Oxitec said it spent 18 years of public-private collaboration with universities, governments, global foundations and more than 200 scientists from over 20 countries developing the program. But environmental groups believe more study is needed, according to a petition circulated by the non-profit Florida Keys Environmental Coalition. The group cites concerns about potential impact on bats or other animals that eat mosquitoes.
One study of Oxitec's mosquito release in Brazil found that the altered mosquitoes mated with some other species, according to the findings published in the journal Nature in September by researchers from Yale University. The result was hybrid mosquito offspring, which the researchers said could be hardier and pose unknown problems for mosquito control.
But Oxitec found no impact on the environment. The gene edit disappears after a few generations, the company's Rose said. "We did experiments to show that there's no impact on predators that eat mosquito larvae," he said. "Because Aedes aegypti is invasive, from Central Africa, it's not a significant part of the food chain in Florida." He said the Keys is a good place to demonstrate the program in the United States since it is isolated and a potential home for the spread of mosquito-borne disease because of tourism and climate. -------------------------------
They call him Lord Fairfax: A 65-lb turtle found lumbering through a Virginia neighborhood puzzling the locals
He was out of place for sure. His species -- the alligator snapping turtle -- isn't native to the area.
They're aquatic creatures preferring the rivers further south than in a suburb.
And yet, that's where authorities found him - near a residential pond in Fairfax County.
No one knows how he got there. But authorities can hazard a guess.
Lord Fairfax was most likely bred in captivity, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said.
"If you are considering a turtle as a pet, please do your homework first and find out what it takes to provide adequate care for a lifelong commitment," the department said.
At 65 lbs, Lord Fairfax was a youngster. Fully grown, this species can exceed 200 lbs.
The turtle never would have posed much of a threat to the locals. But he most likely would have died slowly from freezing or starvation, the department said.
But this story has a happy ending.
A biologist picked him up and Lord Fairfax now has a new home at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk