Pet rats abandoned in West Lothian

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 16, 2014 in Rat News
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One of the abandoned rats

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after up to 21 pet rats were abandoned in two separate incidents in West Lothian.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was first alerted at around 2pm on Saturday afternoon when a group of female rats was discovered huddled by the side of the B8084, a single track road just off North Street in Armadale leading to Eastoun Road in Bathgate.

The charity was then called to rescue 13 male rats found loose in the garden of an empty property at 3.30pm on Dean South Road in Livingston.

The rats are now in the care of the Scottish SPCA’s Edinburgh and Lothian’s Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.

Inspector June Chalcroft said, “We believe these abandonments may be linked given the close proximity of both locations and the fact all the rats are white with grey markings.

“Although eight rats were initially reported in Armadale, when I arrived they had scattered and only three remained. There was woodland nearby so, sadly, it’s possible they have run in there and likely they will never be found.

“We are very keen to trace whoever is responsible for these cruel and irresponsible abandonments and we would urge anyone with information to contact us.

“All the rats are friendly and in good condition and we’ll soon find them loving new homes with responsible owners.”

Abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.

Article source: http://www.theedinburghreporter.co.uk/2014/04/pet-rats-abandoned-in-west-lothian/

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Pets and Wildlife Calendar: April 12 and beyond

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 15, 2014 in Rat News
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Events

EAST BAY

“Extreme Delta: Delta Predators”: Live bird show featuring hawks, owls, falcons and more. Tours of the ISD Water Recycling Facility and information on water conservation, water science, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Delta predators and more. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 12. Ironhouse Sanitary District, 450 Walnut Meadows Drive, Oakley. www.deltasciencecenter.org.

Pet Photos with the Easter Bunny: Benefits Hopper’s Halfway Home.

Beginners Rabbit 101 Class: Topics include: diet, housing, grooming, behavior, the benefits of spay and neuter, exercise and toys. 9 a.m. April 12. Contra Costa Animal Services, 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez. www.petfinder.com/calendar/displayevent.cgi?event_id=67992.

Rattie Ratz Rescue Rat Adoptions: Rattie Ratz is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of domestic pet rats. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 12. Pet Food Express, 1388 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek. www.rattieratz.com.

Llamas: Learn to groom, feed, lead and interact with llamas. Reserve your own llama or share one with up to three people. For ages 8 and older. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 12 and April 26; 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 13 and April 27. Redwood Regional Park, 7867 Redwood Road, Oakland. $78 per llama. 888-327-2757, ext. 2, www.ebparksonline.org.

Farmer and Ranch Drought Workshop: Topics include drought emergency funding opportunities from local, state and federal agencies, with breakout sessions pertaining to livestock, crops and water availability. 1-7 p.m. April 16. Martinelli Event Center, 3858 Greenville Road, Livermore. $15 includes dinner. To register, contact Haley Burgardt, at 925-371-0154, ext. 100; Haley.Burgardt@acrcd.org or www.acrcd.org/workshops/droughtworkshop.aspx.

Bonnie Cromwell’s African Safari: Features an alligator, an ocelot and a serval, just to name a few. 7 p.m. April 24. The Bone Room Presents, 1573 Solano Ave., Berkeley. $15 paid in advance. Seating limited. 510-526-5252, www.boneroom.com.

Earth Day/Wildlife Festival: Learn about composting, take a nature walk, study a dragon fly, plus many other activities at this outdoor festival. Community presenters: Earth Day tribute with Chester Miner, Elder of the Cherokee Nation; Congressman George Miller, honored guest; Native Bird Connections Raptor Show, Mini Habitats, Joan Morris, pets and wildlife columnist, Orinda Historical Society and more. 1-4 p.m. April 27. Wagner Ranch Nature Area, 350 Camino Pablo Road, Orinda. www.fwrna.org.

“Pasta for Paws and Purrs”: Dinner, live and silent auction, raffles, “fun table” for kids. 6 p.m. May 2. Benicia Clock Tower, 1189 Washington St., Benicia. $20 adults, $10 kids. Benefits Solano County Friends of Animals. retiredruby@comcast.net, SCFOAhelpme@gmail.com.

Noah’s Ark Day: See and learn about bees, birds, dogs cats, chinchillas, rabbits and reptiles (some available for adoption). Meet “Canine Spike” from the Pinole Police Department 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 3. Christ the Lord Church, 592 Tennant Ave., Pinole. svmcneel@icloud.com, www.christthelordpinole.org/noahs-ark-day.html.

Paws In Need: A community yard sale will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 3, on the side yard of Milfleur, located in Kottinger Barn, 200 Ray St., Pleasanton. New and gently used items such as home and garden decor, jewelry, tote bags, kitchenware, pet items and more will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit spay and neuter programs and Jackie Barnett’s Just Like New Fund. 510-305-2553, www.paws-in-need.org.

Maine Coon Cat Adoptions: Cat adoptions held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. first weekends monthly at Pet Food Express, 3868 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. www.mainecoonadoptions.com.

Animal Feeding: Check for eggs and bring hay to the livestock. Learn all the animals’ favorite foods and help tuck them in for the evening. 3 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays in March and April. Ardenwood, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 888-327-2757, ext. 2, www.ebparksonline.org.

Animal Feeding at Ardenwood: Check for eggs, bring hay to the livestock and learn the animals’ favorite foods. 3 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 510-544-2797, www.ebparks.org.

Xtreme Bugs Exhibit: Featuring more than 100 giant bugs, some that are animatronic, including a 15-foot-long Japanese hornet, a fluttering monarch butterfly, a ladybug, a line of marching ants, an orchid mantis, stinkbugs, spiders, honeybees and more. Opening day celebration includes cockroach races between live and robotic bugs, opportunities to try on a robotic scorpion tail and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, through Sept. 1. Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley. $11-$17. UC Berkeley students and staff, and children three and younger are free. www.lawrencehallofscience.org, 510-642-5132.

Loma Vista Farm: Field trips and tours are available for schools, day cares, garden clubs, senior centers and other groups, Monday through Friday throughout the spring and summer. 707-556-8765, www.lomavistafarm.org.

Fish Feeding Time: Get close to crabs and see flounder, perch and pipefish. 3-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. 510-544-3187, www.ebparksonline.org.

Delta Discoveries: Drop by Big Break Visitor Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in February and learn about the wonders of the Delta through arts and crafts activities. 69 Big Break Road, Oakley. 510-544-3050, bigbreakvisit@ebparks.org.

Women on Common Ground: Series of naturalist-led programs for women who love the outdoors but whose concern for personal safety keeps them from enjoying local parks. For a schedule of events, call 510-544-3243 or email kcolbert@ebparks.org.

Animeals: The Valley Humane Society operates a pet food pantry that provides regular free meals for dogs and cats of seniors and low-income families. Donations of wet or dry dog and cat food are always accepted, even if opened or recently expired and can be dropped off during open hours at Valley Humane Society, 3670 Nevada St., Pleasanton. Pet-related items such as litter, treats, and toys are also needed. Pet food distribution takes places through partnerships with local food banks: Pleasanton: Valley Bible Church, first Thursdays monthly, 7106 Johnson Drive. Livermore: Tri-Valley Haven, third Wednesdays monthly, 3663 Pacific Ave. http://valleyhumane.org/programs/animalsanimeals.

SOUTH BAY

Our Pack Pit Bull Rescue Dog Adoptions:

Meet available dogs; get information. No same day adoptions. 1-4 p.m. April 12. Pet Food Express, 12900 Saratoga Sunnyvale Road, Saratoga. norcalpetadoptions.com, www.ourpack.org.

K9 Cancer Walk: Dog lovers are invited to walk with their dogs and celebrate the lives of their canine best friends or walk in memory of dogs that have lost their battles with canine cancer. Proceeds will benefit Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that invests in science that advances veterinary medicine for animals. Short walk: .75 miles; long walk: two miles. Registration 9 a.m., walk and opening ceremony 10 a.m. April 13. Vasona Lake Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos. www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/losgatoswalk.

Nature Photography 101: Naturalist and nature-photographer Greg Kerekes will present the basics of nature photography, then lead participants on a hands-on, outdoor shoot in the park. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 19. Guadalupe River Park Visitor Center, 438 Coleman Ave, San Jose. $20. Preregistration required. 408-298-7567, www.grpg.org.

Fishing in the City: Learn to fish clinics teach the basics of fishing to children and adolescents ages 5-15. Equipment and tackle are provided. There is no charge for the clinics but there may be a park entrance fee. Each adult may bring two children; a driver’s license is required for a rod loan. For information, email erotman@dfg.ca.gov.

Dog Book Reading Club: Do you love dogs? Want to learn more about their behavior, training, learning, body language, and using positive training methods? The Humane Society Silicon Valley Dog Book Reading Club meets from 2-4 p.m. fourth Sundays monthly to discuss a different book. 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas. Free. 408-262-2133, www.hssv.org.

PENINSULA

Dog Day Mornings: Dogs romp and play off-leash in a supervised atmosphere every Saturday morning, (through Dec. 13) rain or shine. All dogs must be current on their vaccinations, have attended a basic obedience class and all dogs six months and older must be altered. Two sessions: 9:30-10:30 a.m. for dogs all shapes and sizes. 10:30-11:30 a.m. for small dogs only. 650-340.-7022, ext. 184, http://events.mercurynews.com/sanmateo/events/dog-day-mornings-/E0-001-064829229-7@2014040509.

Wag Hotels’ Easter egg Hunt for Dogs: Snack on finger foods while your dog sniffs outs eggs filled with treats and prizes. Bring your camera for photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny. A photographer will also be taking and selling photos through out day. Benefits the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA. Noon-2 p.m. April 12. Red Morton Community Park Activity Building, 1400 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City. $15-$20. 650-364-0800, www.eventbrite.com/e/5th-annual-wag-hotels-easter-egg-hunt-for-dogs-redwood-city-tickets-10516303547.

Pet Loss Support Group: Facilitated by experienced grief counselors. Meets 7 p.m. second Thursdays, monthly. Lantos Center of Compassion, 1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame. 650-340-7022, ext. 344; lreynolds@phs-spca.org.

NORTH BAY

Mensona Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show: Agility Trials. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 12-13. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Lyttle Cow Palace, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 707-938-8065, www.sonomacountyfair.com/events.php.

Read to a Dog: Kids ages 5 to 9 can improve their literacy skills by reading out loud to specially trained Reading Education Dogs from the Marin Humane Society. Sign up for a ten minute session. Sessions: 2-3 p.m., through April 18. Marin City Library, 164 Donahue St., Sausalito. 415-332-6157, http://marinlibrary.org/events-and-programs?trumbaEmbed=date%3D20140315#/?i=1.

Mensona Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show: Agility Trials. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 11-13. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Lyttle Cow Palace, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 707-938-8065, www.sonomacountyfair.com/events.php.

“Cesar Millan Live!”: Cesar Millan will share his philosophies and methods, then present examples via live demonstrations with multiple dogs. 8 p.m. April 13. Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $49-$69. 707-546-3600, www.wellsfargocenterarts.org.

Farm and Ranch Emergency Preparedness Fair: When disaster strikes, animals as well as people need to be safely relocated. It’s important that rural communities and pet and large animal owners have a plan in place that ensures their safety and survival in the event of emergency. This event provides a forum for educating communities with a free, one-day program of emergency preparedness, education and demonstrations.

Produced in conjunction with UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. No on-site parking. 11 a.m. May 4. Atwood Ranch and Vineyard, 12099 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen. 707-935-0621, www.julieatwoodevents.com/animals.html.

Dairydell Canine’s Dog-A-Palooza: Features local rescues and a unique pet-oriented program for the entire family. Demonstrations, discount vaccinations and microchipping, a “poochy parade” and silent auction. Friendly dogs on leash welcome. Noon-4 p.m. May 18. Dairydell Canine, 2575 Adobe Road, Petaluma. 707-762-6111, www.dairydell.com

SAN FRANCISCO

Rabbit Adoption Day: Meet rabbits available for adoption and learn about their care. 1-3 p.m. April 13. Petco, 1591 Sloat Blvd. 415-665-3700, www.rabbitrescue.com.

Meet the Animals: A special selection of Randall Museum’s animal ambassadors will venture from their cages, pens and perches to greet museum visitors up close. Meet rodents and amphibians, see a Great Horned Owl and maybe even touch a tortoise. 11 a.m. April 13 and April 19. Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way. Free. 415-554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

Wag Hotels’ Easter egg Hunt for Dogs: Snack on finger foods while your dog sniffs outs eggs filled with treats and prizes. Bring your camera for photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny. A photographer will also be taking and selling photos through out day. Noon-2 p.m. April 12. Old Speedway, Golden Gate Park, Chain of Lakes and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. $10-$20. 415-876-0700, http://sfwageaster.eventbrite.com/?aff=zvent.

Birding the Hill: Explore Corona Heights Park with Audubon experts to check out its avian inhabitants and spring visitors. Birders will circle the hill to look into several habitats enjoyed by different bird species. 8 a.m. April 18. Meet in front of Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way. For ages 5 and older; kids 11 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Free. 415-554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

Bug Day: A family-fun festival exploring the world of insects. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 26. Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $3 donation. 415-554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

Puppy Social: Let your puppy (6 months or younger) blow off some steam while learning proper behaviors and socializing with other puppies. 7-8 p.m. Tuesdays. K9 Scrub Club, 1734 Church St. Free. Advance registration required. 415-648-2582, http://k9scrubclub.com/pages/puppy-social.

SANTA CRUZ/MONTEREY

Animal Loss Support Group: Meets 7-8:30 p.m. third Thursdays monthly. Santa Cruz SPCA Building, 2601 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. Reservations: 831-465-5000.

Bee Keeping 101: Randy Fox and Wayne Pitts will discuss their experiences with bee keeping as well as the “do’s and don’ts” of the profession. For ages 16 and older. 12:30-2 p.m. May 18. Quail Hollow Ranch County Park, 800 Quail Hollow Road, Felton. $3. 831-335-9348, www.scparks.com.

Spring Dog Festival: Fun for dogs and their people. Games, demonstrations, food, adoption showcase and “paw-some” shopping. Benefits dogs in need. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. May 18. Soquel High School, 401 Old San Jose Road, Soquel. $10 per dog. $5 per person. 888-682-6972, www.coastaldogs.com.

AROUND THE STATE

Horse O Rama: Riding and driving presentations featuring horse breeds from around the world and U.S. Friesians, Peruvian Pasos, Miniatures, gaited horses, Arabians and more. Petting zoo, face painting, youth stick horse race, Lunch available. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 10. Hidden Valley Lake Equestrian Center, 20432 Powder Horn Road, Middletown. Free. 707-987-4075, www.pashatingle.com.

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Guided Wetlands Tours: A wildlife naturalist will lead a group (minimum of 18 people) through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. Learn wildlife identification and behavior patterns, conservations efforts and more. The experience can be customized to include requested information, along a half-mile walking route. For information and scheduling, call 530-846-7505 or email ldieter@dfg.ca.gov. www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region2/graylodge/index.html.

Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve docent-led walks: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Binoculars and bird books available to borrow at no cost. Visitor Center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use is $4.32 per person, ages 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html.

MOBILE ADOPTION SITES

Animal Rescue Recon, Inc.

  • Saturdays: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. PetFood Express, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5829 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs only. 925-392-7654, www.animalrescuerecon.com.

    Contra Costa County Animal Services

  • First Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. Pet Food Express, 1388 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; dogs and cats.

  • Second Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Pet Food Express, 2158 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill; dogs only. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. Petco, 170 Arnold Drive, Suite 115, Martinez; rabbits only.

  • Third Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. PetSmart, 5879 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; rabbits only.

  • Fourth Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only.

  • Sundays: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Petco, 1170 Arnold Drive, Martinez; rabbits only.

  • Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Contra Costa Animal Services, 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez; dogs. 925-335-8330.

  • Second Sundays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Sports Basement, 1881 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek; dogs only.

  • Last Sunday of the month: Noon-3 p.m. Molly’s Pup Purree, 425 Hartz Ave., Danville; dogs only.

    Homeless Animals Response Program

    (H.A.R.P.)

    n

    Saturdays: Noon-3 p.m. Petsmart, 4655 Century Plaza Blvd., Pittsburg; cats only.

    n

    Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Petsmart, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5879 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs only.

    n

    Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Pet Food Express, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5829 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs and cats.

    Send animal related events to kbennett@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Article source: http://www.contracostatimes.com/east-county-times/ci_25547982/pets-and-wildlife-calendar-april-12-and-beyond

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    Michigan Humane Society Holds Rat Adoption Day: Only 5 Rats Adopted!

    Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 15, 2014 in Rat News
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    Published:March 26th, 2012 12:09 EST

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    “Nine-year-old Jesse Stump didn`t choose his newest pet rats – they chose him. He said the rats, sisters named Thelma and Daphne, immediately took a liking to him during the Michigan Humane Society rat adoption event Saturday.

    rat

    `They started biting me,` he said. `They started crawling up.`”

    Detroit News

    I`m an animal lover, there has never been a time in my adult life when I didn`t have at least two pets in my home. Indeed I`m more than just an animal lover, I advocate for the rights of animals.

    But when my home was infested with rats I didn`t make a call to the SPCA to come rescue the rats, I immediately called an exterminator.

    But different strokes for different folks I always say, and if someone wants to adopt a rat — more power to them. Little Jesse knew that the rats Thelma and Daphne liked him because they bit him. Call me a bit eccentric, but I like pets who express their love by purring and rubbing their warm noses against me.

    The rat adoption event wasn`t exactly a tremendous success, at the end of the day the Michigan Humane Society managed to find homes for only five rats.

    I would never adopt a rat, but I commend the humane society for holding the rat adoption event: It teaches children to love all animals.

    Read More:

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120324/METRO/203240381/Rats-find-new-homes-Westland-shelter-s-adoption-event?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

    Photo Credit: Wikipedia.Org

    Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes

    Article source: http://thesop.org/story/20120326/michigan-humane-society-holds-rat-adoption-day-only-5-rats-adopted.html

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    Earth Day activities held at nature center

    Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 14, 2014 in Rat News
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    (Photo)

    Temperatures have begun to flirt with the 60s and 70s, the snow has melted and the ice is nearly gone, making way for next week’s Earth Day celebrations Friday, April 18. The day is seen as an opportunity to shed awareness and appreciate one of the more spectacular planets in the entire solar system.

    “We have a lot of festivals and holidays for other things, and I think, this is the one day we can celebrate the earth,” said Dickinson County Naturalist Charles Vigdal. “It’s a very important part of our lives that we forget about, this is the planet that we live on and we are all apart of the earth. I think we all need to take a moment and stop and look around once in while and see what we can do to improve our habitat and make things a little bit better for everybody.”

    The celebrations have been spread out to a whole week — dubbed Earth Week. Both the Dickinson County Nature Center and Lakeside Lab will host events throughout the seven days. A bird hike was held Sunday at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. Lee Schoenewe took residents on a hike to look for winter wrens, song birds, eagles and other waterfowl.

    “We live on Earth every day, but we don’t often celebrate it,” said Kiley Roth, community relations coordinator. “We want people to come out and join us in celebrating this beautiful world and all it offers.”

    Visitors can enjoy the wonders of nature and celebrate earth from 4-8 p.m. Friday, April 18 at the Nature Center.

    The day will include outdoor educational hikes, demonstrations, crafts and other children’s activities. There will also be several guest speakers throughout the afternoon sharing their knowledge of nature with guests.

    “It’s fun to see a lot of people that come every year,” Vigdal said. “I like the celebration because it is a fun way to get people out here. We have lots of fun activities and we get to talk about some interesting things.”

    From 4-6:30 p.m., kids can enjoy hikes and crafts. Wetland frog hikes led by Jane Shuttleworth, the education coordinator at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, will be held at 4 and 5 p.m. Lee Schoenewe will lead hikes at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. for the bird watchers and those just curious in waterfowl.

    Naturalists Karess Knudtson and Vigdal will present live animal demonstrations throughout the day, featuring the likes of Itsy Bitsy, Rosie and Courtney — the resident snakes — as well as Rizz and Rachel — the nature center’s pet rats. The animals are sure to excite any young kid in attendance.

    “Whether you want to look for animals in nature on one of the hikes or stop by for the live animal demonstrations inside, you’re bound to learn something new during our Earth Day celebration,” Roth said.

    There will be an hors d’oeuvres potluck inside the nature center beginning at 6:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their own appetizer or desert to enjoy while taking in the beauty of nature. Refreshments will be provided and adults are allowed to bring wine or beer along.

    After a busy day of hikes, demonstrations and crafts, visitors can sit back and listen to stories told by Rich Leopold, former director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. He will present “Tales of a Natural Resources Administrator: A Collection of Wins and Losses,” at 7 p.m.

    “Rich will talk about some of the more pressing things going on in the world,” Vigdal said. “It’s a good reminder of things that are happening.”

    Nature has always been a key aspect of Vigdal’s life and he hopes to share his love with others next Friday.

    “I’ve always been interested,” he said. “In high school I was fascinated with biology and how things work. I like to think about the science of everything — physics and math. I think biology hits every one — everything is connected through science, it’s fascinating. The whole world is like a big jigsaw puzzle.”

    Earth Day is a great way to get out and appreciate what the world has to offer, especially for those who love nature or want to finally get rid of that last bit of cabin fever.

    “We want people to just to come out and see all the cool things here at the nature center,” Vigdal said. “It’s free and it’s a lot of fun.”

    OSPREY RETURN

    The Okoboji osprey returned to the Iowa Great Lakes Monday, April 7 — landing in their nest outside the Dickinson County Nature Center.

    The osprey usually return in April, although this year was slightly earlier than usual. This will be the fourth nesting for the banded male and wild female, who raised three successful babies last year.

    The babies that hatched in 2013 will stay in South America this season and should return in 2015. Osprey usually return to nest within 100 miles of where they learned to fly, although the banded male in the nature center nest is about 170 miles from where he fledged.

    The osprey are building their nest and can be viewed on the web cam several times each day or with binoculars. They will lay eggs in three-four weeks, and the female will sit on the nest constantly after that to incubate and protect the eggs.

    Osprey grow to about 4.5 pounds, with a 71-inch wingspan.

    “I think osprey are exciting because they’re very physical birds,” Naturalist Charles Vigdal said. “They’re very acrobatic. They are the Michael Jordan of birds, because they can do things that normal birds can’t do.”

    Article source: http://www.dickinsoncountynews.com/story/2070005.html

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    This Adorable Rat on a Treadmill Used To Be Paralysed

    Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 13, 2014 in Rat News
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    Besides being utterly adorable and begging for a tiny training montage, this rat is actually demonstrating an impressive medical treatment. Because just a few weeks prior, it was actually paralysed with a spinal cord injury.

    Researchers at the EPFL have developed a special electrochemical treatment that can help treat paralysis by encouraging the brain to re-wire some of its neural networks to different tasks. And in this case, the newly assigned task is to take control of limbs that were previously paralysed.

    The treatment starts with the rats being injected with a series of chemicals that bond to the receptors on their spinal cord’s neurons. These chemicals then allow the dead spinal cord to be receptive to stimulation from electrodes implanted in the rat’s spinal canal. Over time, the stimulation helps to awaken the spinal cord’s neurons, which in turn allows the spinal cord to basically learn how to move and function again. Although, that is a quick summation of a long process.

     

    The treatment does require the rat to undergo physical therapy, including using its paralysed hind legs to walk on a treadmill. (Hence, the adorable vest getup in that photo.) But in just a couple of weeks of training the paralysed rats were able to once again take their first steps on their hind legs, and after six weeks were able to walk for long periods on their own.

    Now, unfortunately the treatment is still a long way from being viable for people who’ve been paralysed with a spinal cord injury, but the results are so far incredibly promising. And clinical trials are scheduled to start on humans in just two years. [EPFL via Popular Science]

    Article source: http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2012/06/this-adorable-rat-on-a-treadmill-used-to-be-paralysed/

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    Dog squad stalwart proud to lead

    Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 12, 2014 in Rat News
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    We’ve all seen SPCA collectors sitting outside supermarkets or shaking buckets on street corners, and the woman behind this army of volunteers says she is constantly amazed at how generous people are.

    “The public are fantastic,” Ali Mason says.

    “The food bins set up at local supermarkets are always full of kitty litter and dog food. It’s a wonderful help.”

    But it is Mrs Mason herself who is often the biggest help of all.

    She has been running the SPCA’s “Dog Squad” for the past 10 years and devotes about three days a week to helping the Tauranga branch secure the funds necessary to care for  the region’s neglected animals.

    SPCA operations manager Margaret Rawiri describes Mrs Mason as having an “outgoing, bubbly” personality, and says she would give anything to help the organisation.

    “She’s a really great person. She spends a considerable amount of time helping us rather than doing things for herself.”

    Mrs Mason moved to New Zealand from Canberra in 1992 and resurrected Tauranga’s Dog Squad after attending the SPCA’s  annual meeting and discovering it had was defunct due to a lack of volunteers.

    The group’s original task was to collect money using their own pet dogs, dressed in blue and white SPCA jackets to help attract attention outside supermarkets and in the city centre.

    But Mrs Mason soon saw other fundraising opportunities and arranged for merchandise  such as SPCA drink bottles, caps and key rings to be sold as well.

    She now co-ordinates a team of 35 Dog Squad members and has branched out into other areas.

    Several times a week she and fellow Dog Squad members visit rest homes around Tauranga with a variety of animals for elderly residents to interact with and admire.

    “The occupational therapists ask us to visit and, when we do, you can see the residents’ eyes light up and their smiles are worth a million dollars.

    “They love having a cuddle with a kitten or patting the dogs.

    It brings them great joy and it certainly warms my heart.”

    The Dog Squad’s presence is also requested at  children’s days and venues like Animates pet store when special events are held.

    “We’ll get together as big an assortment of animals as we can. One of our members has a giant Flemish rabbit, which is the biggest I’ve ever seen, another lady owns pet rats as well, and children love them because they’re a bit different.”

    Mrs Mason is responsible for booking regular spots outside Brookfield New World and Countdown Fraser Cove for her team to man, and she makes sure donation boxes are  emptied weekly.

    “They’re never empty. Sometimes you’ll open it up and there will be lots of notes in there. It never ceases to amaze me.”

    The Tauriko woman has always had a love of animals. She is currently mum to a 4-year-old German short-haired pointer named Koda, and recently lost her beloved dog Chuka, aged 12.

    But she says the real work is done at the SPCA shelter itself – a place she could never cope with spending time in.

    “It breaks my heart. There are so many horrendous stories that the team up there have to deal with every day. I’m doing the easy stuff. The lovely frilly stuff.”

    Nevertheless, the “easy” stuff is still a big job and it’s one she is more than happy to do.

    “No one can do these things without the support of people behind you. The Dog Squad members are an amazing lot.”

    Article source: http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/local/news/dog-squad-stalwart-proud-to-lead/3961562/

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    Pets and Wildlife Calendar: April 12 and beyond

    Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 11, 2014 in Rat News
    No Comments

    Events

    EAST BAY

    “Extreme Delta: Delta Predators”: Live bird show featuring hawks, owls, falcons and more. Tours of the ISD Water Recycling Facility and information on water conservation, water science, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Delta predators and more. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 12. Ironhouse Sanitary District, 450 Walnut Meadows Drive, Oakley. www.deltasciencecenter.org.

    Pet Photos with the Easter Bunny: Benefits Hopper’s Halfway Home.

    Beginners Rabbit 101 Class: Topics include: diet, housing, grooming, behavior, the benefits of spay and neuter, exercise and toys. 9 a.m. April 12. Contra Costa Animal Services, 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez. www.petfinder.com/calendar/displayevent.cgi?event_id=67992.

    Rattie Ratz Rescue Rat Adoptions: Rattie Ratz is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of domestic pet rats. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 12. Pet Food Express, 1388 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek. www.rattieratz.com.

    Llamas: Learn to groom, feed, lead and interact with llamas. Reserve your own llama or share one with up to three people. For ages 8 and older. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 12 and April 26; 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 13 and April 27. Redwood Regional Park, 7867 Redwood Road, Oakland. $78 per llama. 888-327-2757, ext. 2, www.ebparksonline.org.

    Farmer and Ranch Drought Workshop: Topics include drought emergency funding opportunities from local, state and federal agencies, with breakout sessions pertaining to livestock, crops and water availability. 1-7 p.m. April 16. Martinelli Event Center, 3858 Greenville Road, Livermore. $15 includes dinner. To register, contact Haley Burgardt, at 925-371-0154, ext. 100; Haley.Burgardt@acrcd.org or www.acrcd.org/workshops/droughtworkshop.aspx.

    Bonnie Cromwell’s African Safari: Features an alligator, an ocelot and a serval, just to name a few. 7 p.m. April 24. The Bone Room Presents, 1573 Solano Ave., Berkeley. $15 paid in advance. Seating limited. 510-526-5252, www.boneroom.com.

    Earth Day/Wildlife Festival: Learn about composting, take a nature walk, study a dragon fly, plus many other activities at this outdoor festival. Community presenters: Earth Day tribute with Chester Miner, Elder of the Cherokee Nation; Congressman George Miller, honored guest; Native Bird Connections Raptor Show, Mini Habitats, Joan Morris, pets and wildlife columnist, Orinda Historical Society and more. 1-4 p.m. April 27. Wagner Ranch Nature Area, 350 Camino Pablo Road, Orinda. www.fwrna.org.

    “Pasta for Paws and Purrs”: Dinner, live and silent auction, raffles, “fun table” for kids. 6 p.m. May 2. Benicia Clock Tower, 1189 Washington St., Benicia. $20 adults, $10 kids. Benefits Solano County Friends of Animals. retiredruby@comcast.net, SCFOAhelpme@gmail.com.

    Noah’s Ark Day: See and learn about bees, birds, dogs cats, chinchillas, rabbits and reptiles (some available for adoption). Meet “Canine Spike” from the Pinole Police Department 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 3. Christ the Lord Church, 592 Tennant Ave., Pinole. svmcneel@icloud.com, www.christthelordpinole.org/noahs-ark-day.html.

    Paws In Need: A community yard sale will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 3, on the side yard of Milfleur, located in Kottinger Barn, 200 Ray St., Pleasanton. New and gently used items such as home and garden decor, jewelry, tote bags, kitchenware, pet items and more will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit spay and neuter programs and Jackie Barnett’s Just Like New Fund. 510-305-2553, www.paws-in-need.org.

    Maine Coon Cat Adoptions: Cat adoptions held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. first weekends monthly at Pet Food Express, 3868 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. www.mainecoonadoptions.com.

    Animal Feeding: Check for eggs and bring hay to the livestock. Learn all the animals’ favorite foods and help tuck them in for the evening. 3 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays in March and April. Ardenwood, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 888-327-2757, ext. 2, www.ebparksonline.org.

    Animal Feeding at Ardenwood: Check for eggs, bring hay to the livestock and learn the animals’ favorite foods. 3 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 510-544-2797, www.ebparks.org.

    Xtreme Bugs Exhibit: Featuring more than 100 giant bugs, some that are animatronic, including a 15-foot-long Japanese hornet, a fluttering monarch butterfly, a ladybug, a line of marching ants, an orchid mantis, stinkbugs, spiders, honeybees and more. Opening day celebration includes cockroach races between live and robotic bugs, opportunities to try on a robotic scorpion tail and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, through Sept. 1. Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley. $11-$17. UC Berkeley students and staff, and children three and younger are free. www.lawrencehallofscience.org, 510-642-5132.

    Loma Vista Farm: Field trips and tours are available for schools, day cares, garden clubs, senior centers and other groups, Monday through Friday throughout the spring and summer. 707-556-8765, www.lomavistafarm.org.

    Fish Feeding Time: Get close to crabs and see flounder, perch and pipefish. 3-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. 510-544-3187, www.ebparksonline.org.

    Delta Discoveries: Drop by Big Break Visitor Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in February and learn about the wonders of the Delta through arts and crafts activities. 69 Big Break Road, Oakley. 510-544-3050, bigbreakvisit@ebparks.org.

    Women on Common Ground: Series of naturalist-led programs for women who love the outdoors but whose concern for personal safety keeps them from enjoying local parks. For a schedule of events, call 510-544-3243 or email kcolbert@ebparks.org.

    Animeals: The Valley Humane Society operates a pet food pantry that provides regular free meals for dogs and cats of seniors and low-income families. Donations of wet or dry dog and cat food are always accepted, even if opened or recently expired and can be dropped off during open hours at Valley Humane Society, 3670 Nevada St., Pleasanton. Pet-related items such as litter, treats, and toys are also needed. Pet food distribution takes places through partnerships with local food banks: Pleasanton: Valley Bible Church, first Thursdays monthly, 7106 Johnson Drive. Livermore: Tri-Valley Haven, third Wednesdays monthly, 3663 Pacific Ave. http://valleyhumane.org/programs/animalsanimeals.

    SOUTH BAY

    Our Pack Pit Bull Rescue Dog Adoptions:

    Meet available dogs; get information. No same day adoptions. 1-4 p.m. April 12. Pet Food Express, 12900 Saratoga Sunnyvale Road, Saratoga. norcalpetadoptions.com, www.ourpack.org.

    K9 Cancer Walk: Dog lovers are invited to walk with their dogs and celebrate the lives of their canine best friends or walk in memory of dogs that have lost their battles with canine cancer. Proceeds will benefit Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that invests in science that advances veterinary medicine for animals. Short walk: .75 miles; long walk: two miles. Registration 9 a.m., walk and opening ceremony 10 a.m. April 13. Vasona Lake Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos. www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/losgatoswalk.

    Nature Photography 101: Naturalist and nature-photographer Greg Kerekes will present the basics of nature photography, then lead participants on a hands-on, outdoor shoot in the park. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 19. Guadalupe River Park Visitor Center, 438 Coleman Ave, San Jose. $20. Preregistration required. 408-298-7567, www.grpg.org.

    Fishing in the City: Learn to fish clinics teach the basics of fishing to children and adolescents ages 5-15. Equipment and tackle are provided. There is no charge for the clinics but there may be a park entrance fee. Each adult may bring two children; a driver’s license is required for a rod loan. For information, email erotman@dfg.ca.gov.

    Dog Book Reading Club: Do you love dogs? Want to learn more about their behavior, training, learning, body language, and using positive training methods? The Humane Society Silicon Valley Dog Book Reading Club meets from 2-4 p.m. fourth Sundays monthly to discuss a different book. 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas. Free. 408-262-2133, www.hssv.org.

    PENINSULA

    Dog Day Mornings: Dogs romp and play off-leash in a supervised atmosphere every Saturday morning, (through Dec. 13) rain or shine. All dogs must be current on their vaccinations, have attended a basic obedience class and all dogs six months and older must be altered. Two sessions: 9:30-10:30 a.m. for dogs all shapes and sizes. 10:30-11:30 a.m. for small dogs only. 650-340.-7022, ext. 184, http://events.mercurynews.com/sanmateo/events/dog-day-mornings-/E0-001-064829229-7@2014040509.

    Wag Hotels’ Easter egg Hunt for Dogs: Snack on finger foods while your dog sniffs outs eggs filled with treats and prizes. Bring your camera for photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny. A photographer will also be taking and selling photos through out day. Benefits the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA. Noon-2 p.m. April 12. Red Morton Community Park Activity Building, 1400 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City. $15-$20. 650-364-0800, www.eventbrite.com/e/5th-annual-wag-hotels-easter-egg-hunt-for-dogs-redwood-city-tickets-10516303547.

    Pet Loss Support Group: Facilitated by experienced grief counselors. Meets 7 p.m. second Thursdays, monthly. Lantos Center of Compassion, 1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame. 650-340-7022, ext. 344; lreynolds@phs-spca.org.

    NORTH BAY

    Mensona Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show: Agility Trials. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 12-13. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Lyttle Cow Palace, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 707-938-8065, www.sonomacountyfair.com/events.php.

    Read to a Dog: Kids ages 5 to 9 can improve their literacy skills by reading out loud to specially trained Reading Education Dogs from the Marin Humane Society. Sign up for a ten minute session. Sessions: 2-3 p.m., through April 18. Marin City Library, 164 Donahue St., Sausalito. 415-332-6157, http://marinlibrary.org/events-and-programs?trumbaEmbed=date%3D20140315#/?i=1.

    Mensona Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show: Agility Trials. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 11-13. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Lyttle Cow Palace, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. 707-938-8065, www.sonomacountyfair.com/events.php.

    “Cesar Millan Live!”: Cesar Millan will share his philosophies and methods, then present examples via live demonstrations with multiple dogs. 8 p.m. April 13. Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $49-$69. 707-546-3600, www.wellsfargocenterarts.org.

    Farm and Ranch Emergency Preparedness Fair: When disaster strikes, animals as well as people need to be safely relocated. It’s important that rural communities and pet and large animal owners have a plan in place that ensures their safety and survival in the event of emergency. This event provides a forum for educating communities with a free, one-day program of emergency preparedness, education and demonstrations.

    Produced in conjunction with UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. No on-site parking. 11 a.m. May 4. Atwood Ranch and Vineyard, 12099 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen. 707-935-0621, www.julieatwoodevents.com/animals.html.

    Dairydell Canine’s Dog-A-Palooza: Features local rescues and a unique pet-oriented program for the entire family. Demonstrations, discount vaccinations and microchipping, a “poochy parade” and silent auction. Friendly dogs on leash welcome. Noon-4 p.m. May 18. Dairydell Canine, 2575 Adobe Road, Petaluma. 707-762-6111, www.dairydell.com

    SAN FRANCISCO

    Rabbit Adoption Day: Meet rabbits available for adoption and learn about their care. 1-3 p.m. April 13. Petco, 1591 Sloat Blvd. 415-665-3700, www.rabbitrescue.com.

    Meet the Animals: A special selection of Randall Museum’s animal ambassadors will venture from their cages, pens and perches to greet museum visitors up close. Meet rodents and amphibians, see a Great Horned Owl and maybe even touch a tortoise. 11 a.m. April 13 and April 19. Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way. Free. 415-554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

    Wag Hotels’ Easter egg Hunt for Dogs: Snack on finger foods while your dog sniffs outs eggs filled with treats and prizes. Bring your camera for photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny. A photographer will also be taking and selling photos through out day. Noon-2 p.m. April 12. Old Speedway, Golden Gate Park, Chain of Lakes and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. $10-$20. 415-876-0700, http://sfwageaster.eventbrite.com/?aff=zvent.

    Birding the Hill: Explore Corona Heights Park with Audubon experts to check out its avian inhabitants and spring visitors. Birders will circle the hill to look into several habitats enjoyed by different bird species. 8 a.m. April 18. Meet in front of Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way. For ages 5 and older; kids 11 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Free. 415-554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

    Bug Day: A family-fun festival exploring the world of insects. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 26. Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $3 donation. 415-554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

    Puppy Social: Let your puppy (6 months or younger) blow off some steam while learning proper behaviors and socializing with other puppies. 7-8 p.m. Tuesdays. K9 Scrub Club, 1734 Church St. Free. Advance registration required. 415-648-2582, http://k9scrubclub.com/pages/puppy-social.

    SANTA CRUZ/MONTEREY

    Animal Loss Support Group: Meets 7-8:30 p.m. third Thursdays monthly. Santa Cruz SPCA Building, 2601 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. Reservations: 831-465-5000.

    Bee Keeping 101: Randy Fox and Wayne Pitts will discuss their experiences with bee keeping as well as the “do’s and don’ts” of the profession. For ages 16 and older. 12:30-2 p.m. May 18. Quail Hollow Ranch County Park, 800 Quail Hollow Road, Felton. $3. 831-335-9348, www.scparks.com.

    Spring Dog Festival: Fun for dogs and their people. Games, demonstrations, food, adoption showcase and “paw-some” shopping. Benefits dogs in need. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. May 18. Soquel High School, 401 Old San Jose Road, Soquel. $10 per dog. $5 per person. 888-682-6972, www.coastaldogs.com.

    AROUND THE STATE

    Horse O Rama: Riding and driving presentations featuring horse breeds from around the world and U.S. Friesians, Peruvian Pasos, Miniatures, gaited horses, Arabians and more. Petting zoo, face painting, youth stick horse race, Lunch available. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 10. Hidden Valley Lake Equestrian Center, 20432 Powder Horn Road, Middletown. Free. 707-987-4075, www.pashatingle.com.

    Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Guided Wetlands Tours: A wildlife naturalist will lead a group (minimum of 18 people) through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. Learn wildlife identification and behavior patterns, conservations efforts and more. The experience can be customized to include requested information, along a half-mile walking route. For information and scheduling, call 530-846-7505 or email ldieter@dfg.ca.gov. www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region2/graylodge/index.html.

    Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve docent-led walks: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Binoculars and bird books available to borrow at no cost. Visitor Center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use is $4.32 per person, ages 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html.

    MOBILE ADOPTION SITES

    Animal Rescue Recon, Inc.

  • Saturdays: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. PetFood Express, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5829 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs only. 925-392-7654, www.animalrescuerecon.com.

    Contra Costa County Animal Services

  • First Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. Pet Food Express, 1388 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; dogs and cats.

  • Second Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Pet Food Express, 2158 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill; dogs only. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. Petco, 170 Arnold Drive, Suite 115, Martinez; rabbits only.

  • Third Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. PetSmart, 5879 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; rabbits only.

  • Fourth Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only.

  • Sundays: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Petco, 1170 Arnold Drive, Martinez; rabbits only.

  • Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Contra Costa Animal Services, 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez; dogs. 925-335-8330.

  • Second Sundays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Sports Basement, 1881 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek; dogs only.

  • Last Sunday of the month: Noon-3 p.m. Molly’s Pup Purree, 425 Hartz Ave., Danville; dogs only.

    Homeless Animals Response Program

    (H.A.R.P.)

    n

    Saturdays: Noon-3 p.m. Petsmart, 4655 Century Plaza Blvd., Pittsburg; cats only.

    n

    Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Petsmart, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5879 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs only.

    n

    Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Pet Food Express, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5829 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs and cats.

    Send animal related events to kbennett@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/home-garden/ci_25547980/pets-and-wildlife-calendar-april-12-and-beyond

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    Party may be over for rat pack that invaded neighborhood

    Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 11, 2014 in Rat Answers
    No Comments

    People living on a Northeast Portland street hope the party is over for a group of rats that invaded their neighborhood.

    Seneca Alexander, Sr., said the rats came because a neighbor has been putting out large amounts of bird food on the ground. He said he has counted as many as twenty rats feasting on the food.

    “I’ve seen them partying up and down on the block,” said Alexander. “This is the grossest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Like, yuck!”

    Alexander said the rats have damaged items in his garage and he is worried they will bite his son and his cat.

    “It’s a hazard all the way around,” said Alexander.

    After KATU aired a story about the rat invasion, the neighbors leaving out the bird seed said they will no longer put it out. And they called in an exterminator to take care of the rats who appear to be living in their bushes.

    “As soon as it happens, it’ll be nice,” said Alexander. “Because it’s a nuisance, you know.”

    A rat expert from Multnomah County Vector Control said people can call the department at 503-988-3464 if they think there is an infestation in their neighborhood.

    Multnomah County Public Health Vector Specialist Chris Roberts said an inspector can come out and investigate. He said having rats on your property is a code violation, but inspectors try to work with tenants or property owners to take care of the problem, rather than punish them.

    Roberts said rats come to an area in search of food, and the number one problem is bird food on the ground. Next, he said, is open compost bins or piles and suggests you put a lid on your bin. Third, he said, is pet food left outside.

    Here is more information about rat infestations and how to prevent them from Multnomah County. 

    Article source: http://www.katu.com/news/problemsolver/Party-may-be-over-for-rat-pack-that-invaded-neighborhood-254842211.html

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    What Could Really Happen If You Eat Rodent-Infected Food?

    Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 10, 2014 in Rat Answers
    No Comments


    On second thought, maybe skip the cheese plate tonight.

    On second thought, maybe skip the cheese plate tonight.Photo: Ju-Lia/Getty Images

    The biggest restaurant story of April: rodents, specifically the rats that shut down a Dunkin’ Donuts in midtown and, of course, the lone mouse spotted at Dominique Ansel Bakery that ultimately led to a Health Department shutdown of the Cronut palace. (Not to mention that rat running around the subway car.) Anything involving rodents has an inherent ick value, but every New Yorker knows dealing with them is also part of life in the city. So we wondered: What’s the worst that could happen to you if you actually ate rodent-infected food? Sure, it’s gross, but is it truly dangerous?

    Officially, the CDC lists seven diseases North American rats and mice transmit directly and 11 they transmit indirectly. None sounds good, and several can kill you. Theoretically, food or liquid served with any living bacterium or virus puts you at risk of catching something, and essentially the only thing New York rats won’t eat is rodent poison — worth noting: the pioneering rodentologist Martin Schein claimed scrambled eggs are a favorite food — so it’s really not like one pantry food, if rodent-accessible, is safer than another. Foodborne disease is transmitted through saliva, urine, and droppings. In the course of one day’s food rummaging, a rat can unload 50 half-inch droppings.

    Without even including the millions of mice in NYC, some estimates say rats alone outnumber New Yorkers 2 to 1 in the city. The two rat species native to New York (Norway and black) carry things that sound like they’d appear in scenes from The Walking Dead: hemorrhagic fever, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, leptospirosis, and listeriosis. The good news is that, while restaurant rodent infestations are uncomfortably common, outbreaks of these rodent-borne diseases are not. But the bottom line is that contamination by rodent is still a possibility in New York, even if the odds are low. From a worst-case-scenario perspective, here’s what you could get the next time you bite into a dirty doughnut:

    Dander and hair allergies: Studies suggest a quarter of us may be allergic to rodents, and some researchers consider mice a leading cause, if not the leading cause, of asthma. For this to really mess you up, though, you’d need a bad rodent allergy and food that was absolutely covered in dander or hair.

    Leptospirosis: You get this bacterial infection from foods or liquids splashed with rodent urine. It doesn’t matter what kind of rodent, as long as the pee stays moist on the food. Nine in ten people get rough but manageable symptoms (headaches, fever, diarrhea), making it look deceptively flulike. For one infected person in ten, though, it can cause “multiorgan failure.”

    Listeriosis: This bacterial infection can be found in rodent excrement and can, in the worst cases, cause blood infection or meningitis. It can grow at low temperatures, and a study conducted in Tokyo — another city with a large urban rat population — found that nearly 7 percent of black rats roaming city buildings are carriers.

    Rat-Bite Fever: Don’t be tricked by the name; you don’t really need to be bit. It also comes in a foodborne version called Haverhill fever, after a Massachusetts town where infected rats tainted the milk. It’s rare, but scientists have learned it’s frighteningly fatal in at-risk groups, as high as 53 percent, even. In fact, a San Diego boy died last summer after he was bitten by his pet rat Oreo.

    Hantavirsuses: Internal bleeding is the hallmark symptom of these viruses, which are carried by rodents, but are transmissible by food and airborne contact. Doctors used to think infections couldn’t move person-to-person, but recent research shows that’s probably wrong, so (in theory) a sick rat in a trap could potentially infect an employee, who could in turn give it to customers before their appetizers even arrived. Any food is at risk if it is not stored in rodentproof containers, one of the many reasons the DOH requires storage in rodentproof containers at least six inches off the floor.

    Article source: http://grubstreet.feedsportal.com/c/35350/f/661601/s/393770da/sc/36/l/0L0Sgrubstreet0N0C20A140C0A40Cpossible0Eeffects0Eof0Eeating0Erat0Eand0Emouse0Etainted0Efood0Bhtml/story01.htm

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    Alberta's rat-free status in jeopardy as rodents spotted in Medicine Hat

    Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 10, 2014 in Rat Answers
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    MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – Rats!

    They’re back in southeastern Alberta.

    The City of Medicine Hat says that several rats have been spotted in its landfill.

    The rats were spotted after a report came in about a single rat found in a farm yard south of Highway 41A.

    The city, along with Cypress County and Alberta Agriculture are working together to investigate.

    In August 2012, an 80-metre-long rats’ nest was found in the landfill and residents called in sightings, resulting in at least 100 Norway rats being killed by city staff.

    It took six hours for 21 workers and two excavators to dismantle the nest.

    Since then, the landfill has been continuously monitored and the city credits that for discovering the new cases.

    The city says additional bait stations have been put out to poison rats, and staff are checking sites daily.

    Agricultural fieldmen known by Albertans as the “rat patrol” have worked for years targeting invading rats within a control zone along the province’s eastern boundary.

    Pet rats are also forbidden under provincial law.

    (The Canadian Press)

    Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said southwestern Alberta.

    Article source: http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/Albertas+ratfree+status+jeopardy+rats+spotted+Medicine/9714882/story.html

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