The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and advocate for all dogs, is pleased to announce the opening of submissions for the 2022 AKC My Canine & Me. This award is intended to honor children and young adults who are making a positive impact on the world with their dogs or achieving personal growth and success utilizing their knowledge of dogs and their dog ownership.
To be considered, students must be nominated by a parent, teacher, mentor or another adult familiar with their efforts. Additionally, they must be in good academic standing and provide a report card (for grades K-8), GPA (Grades 9-12) or school transcript with the application.
A short essay should also be included describing the bond between the child and their dog, and the reason for the nomination. All children nominated will be enrolled in the Junior program and receive a Junior number.
Winners will be determined and selected based on the following four categories:
Personal Achievement Award: Celebrating children who have overcome personal challenges with the help of their dog.
Influential Junior Award: Children demonstrating leadership skills with their dog during after-school activities or gatherings and inspiring their peers and teachers as a result.
Innovative Junior Award: Celebrating children who have excelled in honing their creativity through training skills with their dogs.
Community Achievement Award: Celebrating juniors who show commitment and passion through fundraising and contributing to their community for the welfare of dogs.
Winners will be announced annually and awarded $1,000 scholarships which can be used toward tuition, additional training classes or another dog-related activity. Additionally, they will receive a plaque honoring their achievement and a mention and interview on AKC.TV.
If you would like to nominate a child for the AKC My Canine and Me award, please visit the AKC Press Center to learn more about the program and to apply.
On May 12, officers with the Portsmouth Ohio Police Department went to a house on Sycamore Street after receiving a tip from a neighbor concerned about a foul smell coming from the residence. Inside the home, they found 29-year-old Samantha Damron, a former veterinary technician, and 19 dead dogs.
Officers also found 27 dogs who were still alive, but in poor condition after being badly neglected. Portsmouth City Health Department animal control officer Wendy Payton commented on the horrible scene, describing it as one of the worst she had ever seen.
Responding officers said that Damron was in a bedroom with two dead dogs when they arrived…she was literally sleeping next to the bodies of dogs who did not survive. The incident report revealed the dismal conditions in the home; describing animal feces and urine smeared on floors, with trash and rotting food littering the home’s interior like an episode from the Hoarder’s television series. Conditions were deemed bad enough inside that the home had to be condemned.
As officers assessed the situation, they noted that Damron showed no emotion.
Thanks to a search warrant, officers were able to analyze Damron’s technological devices. The incident report states that her posts on social media indicate that she, “has interest or a fetish in dead or skeleton-related ‘arts’ of dead animals.”
Damron was booked into the Scioto County Jail on over 33 counts of cruelty to animals; the surviving dogs were taken to the Scioto County Dog Shelter for care.
According to the shelter facility, the dogs, all German shepherds or German shepherd mixes, are being held as evidence and they are not available for adoption at this time.
A cat is lucky to be alive after getting stuck in a car engine and going for an unexpected ride. Days ago, the BARCS animal shelter in Baltimore shared photos of the fortunate feline, who surely used up one of his nine lives in the frightening ordeal.
The shelter’s May 9 Facebook post explains what transpired:
At 7 am on Thursday morning, Baltimore resident Mike P. was awoken by a strange yowling sound. When he looked out his bedroom window, he saw a broken down car parked outside with its hood open. He waited a moment, and then, the howling began again. It occurred to Mike that the noise was coming from the car.
Mike went outside to talk to the driver of the car and learned that after approximately 10 minutes of driving, and hearing an “odd sound,” he pulled over to investigate. Together, the pair searched the engine compartment and discovered the source of the sound.
they found that a cat was stuck in the engine compartment. The cat was firmly stuck, howling continually from the heat and pain of his terrible situation.
Freeing the trapped cat proved to be a task greater than the pair could accomplish on their own.
They called emergency services, and Mike ran inside to get tools and a hydraulic jack. Unfortunately, the cat could not be removed without the assistance of the fire department and Baltimore City Animal Control. After they arrived, it took over an hour to free the cat–with all hands on deck.
The shelter dubbed the cat “Pattycake,” and shared his injuries from the car engine:
(he) had burns covering his underside and ulcerations on all four paw pads. His skin was peeling and his fur was covered in soot; he even had soot in his mouth.
After a few days of veterinary care, Pattycake began to heal. The shelter found a microchip, but the cat’s owner has not yet been found. The shelter said:
As for Pattycake’s family, he did have a microchip, but it hasn’t yet led us to an owner. The rescue happened in the Reservoir Hill neighborhood of the city.
Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 11,700 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.
The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and other human activities.4 Most of the warming occurred in the past 40 years, with the seven most recent years being the warmest. The years 2016 and 2020 are tied for the warmest year on record. 5
The ocean has absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 100 meters (about 328 feet) of ocean showing warming of more than 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.33 degrees Celsius) since 1969.6 Earth stores 90% of the extra energy in the ocean.
The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost an average of 279 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2019, while Antarctica lost about 148 billion tons of ice per year.7
Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska, and Africa.8
Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and the snow is melting earlier
Global sea level rose about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century and accelerating
Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades.11
The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.12
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30%.13,14 This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the ocean. The ocean has absorbed between 20% and 30% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions in recent decades (7.2 to 10.8 billion metric tons per year).15,16
If you've missed gawking at human cannonballs and unicycling clowns under a figurative big top while the smell of popcorn wafts through the air, you're in luck: The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus is being revived less than a decade after it shuttered.
The iconic traveling circus, which in 2017 halted performances after more than 140 years in operation due to dwindling ticket sales (and years of controversy for its continued use of animal performers), will return in September 2023, production company Feld Entertainment announced Wednesday.
The circus' famed title -- "The Greatest Show on Earth" -- remains. But notably missing from the new show are live animals: Elephants, tigers and the rest of the beasts whose appearances in the circus drew ire from animal activists and audiences before the original show ceased, are not included in the revamped tour.
For years, animal welfare groups criticized and picketed the circus for what they deemed unfair and cruel treatment of wild animals, particularly its elephants. The trunked giants had been the stars of Ringling's circus for over 100 years, often performing stunts throughout the show, before showrunners phased them out of the circus in 2016. Many of the elephants retired at a Florida wildlife sanctuary.
Giulio Scatola, a former Cirque du Soleil choreographer who's leading casting for the new Ringling circus, told the New York Times that the new show will incorporate its performers' backstories to create a narrative throughline, rather than a series of disconnected, awe-inspiring acts.
"Logically, in order to be successful for 146 years, you constantly have to change," Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment said.
The new Ringling team is currently holding auditions across the world, though the new cast won't start rehearsing the final product until next summer. Then, in September 2023, the circus will embark on a 50-city tour across North America.
The monkeypox virus is spreading across the world, with reports of cases in the U.K., Spain, Portugal and the U.S. In Massachusetts, a case was found in a man who had recently traveled to Canada.
Although it's the only case in America that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware of, health officials are looking into whether it is connected to small outbreaks in Europe. An agency representative told The Associated Press that the CDC is "preparing for the possibility of more cases."
In Portugal, health authorities confirmed five cases of monkeypox in young men, and Britain announced two new cases. The British Health Security Agency had previously reported four cases they said had spread among gay and bisexual men in London In Spain, health leaders said they were assessing an outbreak of 23 possible cases.
Officials are looking into the possibility that some infections were spread through close contact during sex. Monkeypox has not previously been documented to have spread through sex, but can be transmitted through close contact with infected people or contaminated materials.
It is usually spread by touching or getting bitten by infected wild animals in western and central Africa. The virus enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or the eyes, nose or mouth. Initial symptoms of monkeypox include, fever, muscle aches, exhaustion, headache, backache, the swelling of lymph nodes and chills. Within one to three days, or longer, the patient develops a rash and lesion progress before falling off. Most people recover within weeks.
The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks and, in Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 people who contract the disease.
While there are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent infection with monkeypox virus – including avoiding contact with animals that could harbor the virus and any materials that have been in contact with a sick animal – there is currently no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox virus infection.
A vaccine developed against smallpox has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for monkeypox prevention, and several antivirals also appear to be effective. Infections are rare in the U.S. Last year, Texas and Maryland each reported a case from people who traveled to Nigeria.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 and comes from the same family of viruses as smallpox. The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Spiders and scorpions may seem like creatures that need to be crushed rather than conserved, but wildlife experts say a growing global pet trade is putting wild populations at risk, even though they help humans and ecosystems. Collectors are now trading more than 1,200 species of arachnids (the group that includes both spiders and scorpions), according to a new report in the journal Communications Biology, with 80 percent of them unmonitored and vulnerable to extinction. “These are species for which trade is completely legal, but there’s no data on how sustainable it is,” says Alice Hughes, an author of the study and an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Hong Kong.
Hughes and her colleagues developed an algorithm to scan websites that sell spiders and scorpions online, including those that represent brick-and-mortar pet shops. Then they compared those to existing trading databases compiled by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The researchers found that from 2000 to 2021, 77 percent of one species known as the emperor scorpion were collected from the wild, with 1 million imported into the US. More than half of the existing species of tarantulas are being traded, including 600,000 Grammostola tarantulas, a group that includes the Chilean rose tarantula, which is commonly found in pet stores. The study estimates that two-thirds of spiders and scorpions that are traded commercially were collected from the wild, rather than captive-bred.
“When people go into a pet shop, they see an animal and they assume that it’s probably raised in captivity,” Hughes says. “What we now know is that for small animals like the arachnids, over 50 percent of the individuals you see in pet stores have actually come from the wild. And that’s before we even properly account for mortality, because of course, if they’re being shipped over from Africa or wherever, a large number are probably going to die on the way.”
While spiders and scorpions may seem dangerous, they are usually not so if left alone. Arachnids also keep insect pests in check, and spider venoms have been found to contain antimicrobial, painkilling, and cancer-fighting compounds, making them potential candidates for new drug development.
Collector Richard Stewart has more than 110,000 subscribers on his Tarantula Collective YouTube channel and raises 120 tarantulas representing 80 species in his home in Wheeling, West Virginia. Stewart believes that most tarantulas and scorpions sold in the United States are captive-bred, and that the growing hobby of owning them increases the public’s knowledge of arachnids, as well as the conservation threats they face in their home countries. He says that tarantulas face much greater risks from deforestation and governments that don’t do enough to protect their native habitats. Stewart says public interest in spiders and scorpions has exploded as people realize they are actually low-maintenance pets that don't need walking three times a day and can be kept in apartments or small homes without a backyard. “They’re fascinating creatures, and they’re beautiful,” says Stewart, who has been collecting them for the past 20 years.
Two teenage boys in Tennessee are facing animal cruelty charges stemming from a brutal beating that left a dog dead earlier this month. The 16-year-old boys, identified as Tucker McKinney and Wyatt Stinnett, are accused of running over a dog and then beating him to death with a stick.
The sickening incident was recorded on video and shared on social media…which led to a police investigation after multiple people, horrified by what they had watched, reached out to the authorities.
The dog’s true name is unknown, but advocates hoping for justice have dubbed him “Angel.” A Justice For Angel Facebook page has been created, and there are already over 1400 members who want to see the teens punished for the merciless way that they killed Angel.
The video recording of this cruel incident is too graphic to embed on our website but the injured dog can be heard screaming in terror and pain as he is pummeled time and again until he dies. Visit animalvictory.org to sign a petition and learn more.
A beloved polar bear, taken in by the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Washington after being orphaned as a cub, has died. According to a release from the zoo, the 26-year-old bear, Blizzard, was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2021 and recently, his health took a rapid turn for the worse.
Dr. Karen Wolf, the zoo’s head veterinarian, said that the difficult decision to euthanize Blizzard was made when it was apparent that his quality of life was deteriorating. After his death, a necrospy revealed that the cancerous mass on his liver had grown to the size of a giant watermelon.
Point Defiance Zoo director Alan Varsik commented on the zoo’s tremendous loss:
“The entire Point Defiance Zoo family is devastated by the loss of this extraordinary bear. Blizzard held a special place in our hearts and touched the lives of millions of people during the two decades he was with us. He inspired people to care deeply about polar bears and to take action in their own lives to reduce their carbon footprint and help protect wild polar bears.”
Blizzard arrived at the Point Defiance Zoo in 1997, after being orphaned in Canada. The zoo explained:
“He’d been separated from his mother on the Arctic tundra and had no chance of survival.”
Assistant curator Sheriden Ploof, one of Blizzard’s primary caregivers, shared thoughts about the beloved bear:
“Blizzard was feisty, smart and always eager to learn new things. He loved pouncing, playing with his big barrels, splashing in his pool, and practicing his stalking and hunting skills. He was an exceptional animal who will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.”
At 26 years of age, Blizzard exceeded the median life expectancy for polar bears in the care of humans.