Adoption-worthy rats — 30 of them — get spayed and neutered by veterinary …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 23, 2014 in Rat News
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It had all the makings of one big medical melodrama:

Thirty-five Foothill College veterinary-tech students with syringes full of painkillers.

Four freshly scrubbed and scalpel-ready surgeons.

And 30 domesticated rats, sitting there Sunday morning in a campus lab with no idea how bad their days were about to go.

“It was my idea to spay and neuter them so they’d make better candidates for adoption,” says Sandy Gregory, the instructor running the all-day show. “You have a lot of groups spaying and neutering dogs and cats, like Fix Our Ferals, but there’s nobody out there for the rats. Rats get a bad rap as being dirty and attacking people in horror films. But they’re just the opposite; they’re incredibly sweet, social and very smart.”

The caged patients Sunday are one of the last batches of about 1,500 rats rescued from a hoarder’s house in Southern California. The owner had taken in a few pet rats at first, but things spun out of control. Not hard to do, says Gregory, when rats can get pregnant within days of giving birth, produce a new batch of offspring in 26 days, and sport litters averaging between eight and 12 babies. After eating most of the homeowner’s furniture and hollowing out the Sheetrock in his walls, the rats appeared on a 2010 segment of the AE program “Hoarders,” which is when Cynthia Cross, director of Bay Area-based North Star Rescue, stepped in. Most of the rats have been adopted and many have been spayed or

neutered.

“If they’re aggressive, we put them in these cages marked ‘W’ for ‘watch out,” says Cross, pointing to a row of cages filled with the clueless rodents bound for the surgical room over in the corner. “But especially with the males, once they’re spayed they mellow out immediately.”

Improving behavior

The students break into teams of three, each shepherding an assigned rat through the 45-minute process: weigh them, calculate the amount of pre-op pain medication they’ll need, administer it with a syringe squirt below the fur, give them oxygen and then anesthesia while they’re squeezed into a glass cone, surgically prep them by trimming around the genitals, then carry them into surgery.

“Unlike other animals, rats don’t vomit, so when they wake up, we give them a bit of banana, and if they eat it, that’s a good sign that they’re pretty much back to normal,” said Nat Smith, 32, a friendly vet-tech in training, as he puts two red-marker bands on the tail of his team’s first rat of the day, nicknamed Big Red Two. “This isn’t just about population control, either. Spaying and neutering improves their behavior and helps them have fewer health issues as they get older.”

Team members Stefania DiCicco and Katie Moyer, both 29 and from San Francisco, stand ready. Moyer uses a calculator to figure out how much Butorphanol and Midazolam that Big Red will need — “a smidgen of each,” she concludes. Then DiCicco jabs a syringe into a roll of Red’s furry fat. After a couple of anxious moments in which the patient resists the needle’s stab, Red is soon chillin’ on the back of Smith’s tattooed neck.

“I’m sorry I had to do that to you, little buddy,” DiCicco says to Red. She says “I can hear him calling for his friends. He’s like, ‘What’s happening? Why am I here?’ “

As they wrap him in a blue bath towel, Moyer says “That’s the hardest part; you’re hurting these guys who you care so much about.”

The operation

Red is whisked to the other side of the room, placed gently inside the cone containing tube-fed oxygen and then, gradually, the sleepy-time gas. Red suddenly melts into a blubbery blob of rodent love. Smith, a soft-spoken bear of a transgender who prefers to be referred to as “s/he” in print, softly applies lube into Red’s eyes to prevent them from drying out in surgery. While Moyer baby-talks her now-unconscious patient, and Smith explains that rats have “the largest testicles, relative to body size, of any mammal,” the attending surgeon, Dr. Ashley Zehnder, awaits Red’s arrival.

For 20 minutes, Red lays there on the operating table, making the next-to-greatest sacrifice for ratkind, while Smith and his colleagues monitor the patient’s respiratory and heart rates, looking for signs of possible distress. At 230 beats a minute, Red’s heartbeat, if anything, is a bit slower than normal, which is a good thing.

“That’s a good-looking testicle,” someone says as Zehnder make a couple of artistic slices. A few sutures, a little bit of skin glue and Red is good to go.

At 11:04 a.m., minutes after the final stitch is sewn, Red stretches his studlike body — no matter the procedure. And then, hearing Moyer beckoning him with “Wakey-wake!” he lifts his head to check out the scene.

“Where am I?” Moyer imagines Red saying. “And where did my testicles go?”

Come on, says DiCicco as he grabs a nearby banana, “let’s get some nanners into you, love bug.”

Red devours the fruit.

And that, says Smith, “is a very good sign.”

Contact Patrick May at 408-920-5689 or follow him at patmaymerc on Twitter.

Adoption option

If you’re interested in adopting one of these rescue rats, visit North Star Rescue’s website at www.northstarrescue.org and click on “Rat Hoarding Case.” Rats can be adopted from several sites, including Andy’s Pet Shop, 51 Notre Dame Ave., San Jose.

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_19178202

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How to prevent RATs from taking over your Mac

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 23, 2014 in Rat News
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My partner and I have seven pet rats at home and I love every single one of them. But there is one kind of rat I am keen on keeping out of my home – and my computer – and that’s a Remote Access Trojan. These nasty, malicious applications let attackers use your computer as if they were sitting right in front of it, giving them complete access to your files, your network, and your personal information.

RATs in the Mac

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a reader who had just returned from a trip abroad. Since coming home, he had noticed that his MacBook was behaving oddly. He found that some of his settings had been changed and, stranger still, his cursor would sometimes fly off on its own. The final straw came when our reader saw an email open on its own and heard, through his computer speakers, someone talking about looking for a particular address.


We spoke with the researchers at Bitdefender and, based on our reader’s description, they believe the HellRTS, a type of RAT, is to blame. If that’s the case, what our reader experienced was just a piece of what this “complex malware development kit” can do. Unfortunately, Bitdefender’s researchers say they can’t be sure without examining the infected machine.

That said, Avast’s Mac malware analyst Peter Kalnai told me that most RATs on OS X have limited functionality compared to their Windows-only counterparts. “Therefore, some cross-platform Java bot could be suspected of being behind this case,” Kalnai said.

The symptoms our reader described were extreme (and bizarre!). A RAT may be used much more subtly, giving away far fewer clues to its presence on your machine. Researchers from ESET told me that Mac users should watch out for their computer suddenly slowing as the malware hogs CPU power.

Surprisingly, Sophos’ senior researcher Chester Wisniewski said that RATs are the tool of choice for attacking Macs. “PC users are primarily being hit by opportunistic, money making, spam-spewing garbage,” Wisniewski explained. “Mac users, on the other hand, are primarily being targeted with data stealers and remote access Trojans.”

Call the exterminator

The problem with RATs is that they allow attackers to make subtle changes to your computers without you even realising it. An attacker could install a keylogger and snatch up all your passwords, or install more malware deep in your computer. An infected computer has been vulnerable for as long as the RAT has been installed, so there’s no telling what mischief has gone on.

Interestingly, Kalnai suggested that the first course of action is simply rebooting the computer. “A system reboot is an easy way to get rid of an infection that does not contain any mechanism for persistence,” he explained. Unfortunately for our reader, such a simple solution wasn’t enough.

When you’re ready to address your RAT problem, disconnect the infected computer from the Internet. RATs only work when the infected computer can get online, so isolating your computer gives you more control. You may want to switch your Wi-Fi network off while working on the infected device, just to be sure it’s not connected. If you need to download software for the infected machine, use someone else’s computer and copy the files you need onto a clean storage device – preferably a new one, or one you’ve scanned with AV software.

The next thing to do is back up your Mac, but this presents a problem because unpleasant surprises may be lurking on your computer. You might consider following the advice of Kaspersky senior researcher Roberto Martinez and back up only critical information but not system files. If you’ve already been backing up your computer with the built-in Time Machine tool, there’s almost certainly something nasty on there. We’ll deal with that, soon.

Next, try and install antivirus software to exterminate the RAT. Many security companies now have strong Mac offerings – run the AV tool of your choice and follow its steps for removing any malware which is discovered.

Before attempting to recover any information from your backup, scan the backup with two different AV tools in case one missed something. Then, restore your files selectively, avoiding anything that seems suspicious. Unfortunately, using the one-click restore feature of Time Machine isn’t the safest bet. Once you’re done, wipe your backup and start fresh.

More advanced users can attempt to discover the RAT’s persistence mechanism and delete those files. Kalnai suggests looking for a launcher file in the Library/LaunchAgents/ directory, or look for the line “setenv DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES “inserted into the /etc/launchd.conf file. Of course, such efforts are probably beyond the average user. I prefer to give AV a try before mucking around in my Mac’s innards.

The nuclear option

When our reader wrote to us about his RAT infestation, he’d already gone to the extreme of wiping his computer. There’s a lot of appeal in starting fresh, but doing it safely is critical.

If you decide to go this route, my colleague Fahmida Rashid recommends not using Apple’s built-in recovery partition, as the RAT’s operator may have tampered with it. Instead, use a hard copy of OS X, or explain your situation to an Apple Genius and install the latest OS using their equipment. According to Apple’s support forums, it’s also possible to create a bootable USB stick for installing Mavericks.

As we said before, backups of an infected machine may only serve to re-infect your computer. It’s prudent to install and run two AV tools on your backup and only restore files you need and trust. Instead of restoring applications from your backup, download clean copies. If you have software that can’t be obtained through other means, run your AV tools immediately after installing apps from your backup. Again, wipe your backup once you’ve finished restoring your Mac.

Keep the RATs out

The best way to keep from being hurt by RATs is to keep them out in the first place. Install AV software, run it regularly, and keep it up to date. Also, interrogate every file and link you’re sent. If the URL looks funny, or you weren’t expecting an Excel spreadsheet from your great aunt Beatrice, don’t click it. Stereotypically, Mac users haven’t always thought about security. That’s no longer an option.

Preventing infection is the best defence, but Martinez said that this requires constant vigilance. That’s because malware is frequently spread through social engineering – basically, tricking people into downloading or installing a malicious file.

“Cybercriminals can send, for example, an email with some attached file with the malware code embedded or maybe a link that leads the user to a compromised or phishing website,” Martinez said. “For that reason, it’s very important to be careful opening files (mainly those that come from the Internet) attached in an email or via a USB storage device.” Martinez also warned that malware developers can fake digital certificates, allowing them to circumvent an operating system’s built-in defences.

Also, RATs only have as much access as the victim’s account they’re targeting. Set up multiple accounts on your Mac but grant Administrator access to only one. And, of course, create strong passwords for each account. Give all your other accounts limited access, and don’t use the administrator account for anything besides making important changes to your system. This means you’ll have to authenticate software installations and other changes, but that’s a minor inconvenience.

Finally, set up your Mac’s firewall feature if you haven’t already. RATs need to communicate with their operators over the Internet, so blocking that traffic will stop the RAT in its tracks.

Apple’s built-in firewall is a great option, but you may want to rely on a third-party solution if you’re recovering from a RAT infestation – at least until you can confirm that there’s no unusual traffic going to or from your Mac. Some Mac AV products include a firewall, like Norton Antivirus for Mac. Other tools, like Little Snitch 3, make it easy to monitor and authorise web traffic from apps.

RATs are among the scariest attacks out there. They can make your computer, and anything it connects to, vulnerable. But it’s the experience of watching your computer carrying out actions on its own that is truly unnerving. Remember that just because you’re on a Mac doesn’t mean that you’re safe. Take the time to learn what tools are available and use some common sense to keep the RATs off your Mac.

Article source: http://www.itproportal.com/2014/04/22/how-to-prevent-rats-from-taking-over-your-mac/

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The Travelin’ Rat Spreads The Word About Pet Rats And You Can Too!

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 22, 2014 in Rat News
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© Courtesy Julie D.
Danielle (right) and Brittany man The Travelin’ Rat booth at the January 2014 World of Pets Expo Educational Experience.

As much of a difference a single person can make in the lives and welfare of animals, a team can make a substantial impact, especially if the members of that team are passionate, driven and led by a creative go-getter. The Travelin’ Rat embodies all of that — and it demonstrates the possibilities that can arise from teamwork and an enthusiastic leader.

The group sprang from a simple introduction of two ladies who were looking for other rat owners in their area. Danielle S. and Julie D. of Maryland attended the World of Pets Expo in Timonium, Maryland in May of 2008. It was there that they discovered their common interest of wanting to help animal rescues and rats, so the brainstorming began that led to the creation of The Travelin’ Rat.

But what exactly is The Travelin’ Rat? It is a unique organization that helps rescues that take in rats, especially ones that are overlooked. They help in a multitude of ways, big and small. They are often found sitting with rescues at events to aid them in whatever way they can, even if only to give emotional support. However, they are best known for their Rescue of the Month program. The group selects one rescue that takes in rats each month and rolls up its “sleeves” to raise funds to donate to them through many creative means.

Danielle is a co-founder and the current president as well as the treasurer. “By far, the biggest way we help is by spreading the word when a rescue needs help with funds or adopters or has an event or transport and by fundraising for them,” she said. “We have helped dog and cat rescues when they asked for it, like through face-painting at an event for them. We only donate to rescues that take in rats through our Rescue of the Month program, as will be the case once we set up our Emergency Vet Fund for Rescue. We raise funds by selling items on our webpage and in our Zazzle and Etsy stores, plus we go to different animal events to sell our wares and do make-n-takes for the kids.”

Danielle’s forte is in fundraising, which is driven by her creativity and passion for rats. She has dedicated a lot of time and energy into the development and continued growth of the group. “I am responsible for all the paperwork and most of the computer work! I also set up and coordinate the events and schedule rescues for our Rescue of the Month program.”

Co-founder, Julia C. is secretary for the group. “I photograph events that we attend. I also photograph each piece of inventory available for purchase on our website,” she said. “I create the signs that we use at events, contribute to set up and bring refreshments to events for our volunteers. I also put together a write-up of each event we attend. This gets published in a magazine called ‘It’s a Rat’s World.’ I write and mail thank you cards to people who send donations, collectibles, volunteer their time, etc. to our organization. I put together our raffle baskets for all of the events as well as baskets we donate to other rescue groups for their fundraising events.”

The core strength of the organization lies with its teamwork. Each group member uses his or her individual skills and talents to carry out very specific jobs enabling The Travelin’ Rat to run as effectively as possible. Working alongside of Danielle and Julia are four other members:
Lisa B. from the West Coast is the social media director and resident seamstress. “I run The Travelin’ Rat’s Pinterest and Twitter sites as well as co-admin TTR’s Facebook page,” Lisa said. “I also sew small animal items such as hammocks and snuggle sacks for TTR’s Etsy store. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from these items go to our rescue of the month.”

Abby J. from the Midwest is the computer expert of the group. “I manage the website and create promotional fliers and designs for The Travelin’ Rat,” she said. “I also troubleshoot technical problems as well as explore new software and programs to help TTR give substance to their ideas and realize their dreams.”

Frank V. is vice president and vital to the group. He is the man who hauls all of the goods to events and is responsible for set up and break down, as well as manning the booths. He also makes beaded jewelry for TTR’s Etsy store.

Patricia G. is a highly valued volunteer who handles all of the shipping.

© Courtesy Julie D.
Danielle holds Trek, a doll that raises awareness about rat rescues.

One more special member of the team is named Trek. He is a doll that was made and generously donated by Linda B. of The Crafty Rat. His job is to travel around the world to raise awareness for the group and what it does. Friends and rat fans have taken him in and have shown him the sights where they live, sharing stories, photos and videos of his adventures.

“Hopefully this little ambassador will also be able to educate those individuals who he comes into contact with who do not already know about the virtues of pet rats or the plight of animals in shelters and rescues,” Abby said. “Trek has his own Facebook page, which is run by all of his hosts. He has really taken on an identity of his own outside of The Travelin’ Rat. We keep a record of his exploits on his webpage photo gallery, and Danielle orchestrates his travel plans with the host volunteers. It’s been fun, and I’m pretty jealous of the adventures the little guy has had globetrotting.” Read about his travels here. 

This generous group led by what seems to be a master juggler offers people a vast number of ways they can participate and contribute. “The Travelin’ Rat depends on support from the public,” Danielle said. “So we can always use donations of both cash and items — we can sell, raffle or auction them off or even put them in our ‘used items’ bin at shows where people take something then make a donation.”

She added that they have two ongoing fundraisers through Rescue Chocolate and iGive.com, and The Crafty Rat holds a sale in April and December that benefits TheTravelin’Rat, so buying from it during those months and using a special code helps them and gives buyers a discount. Other groups that have held fundraisers for them include Sandi’s Soap Scents, Denis K with Scentsy, A Side of Creativity, The Rat Attack Team and Ty’s Rat Shack. “We have a World Rat Day Raffle in the spring and a Fall Facebook Auction that helps us generate funds,” Danielle said. “We’re so grateful to all who donate to these. And spreading the word about us and what we do is huge.”

Imagine an animal rescuer sitting by a window watching a mail truck come and go as it does any other day, all the while they listen to dozens of squeaky wheels spinning away in the background with happy critters running on them. But today is different. Today a gift arrives from The Travelin’ Rat that will help put food in the bellies of those critters and help provide them with healthcare and the necessities they need. Today the rescuer is guaranteed peace of mind. He or she knows somebody cares, supports what they do and appreciates it.

Cherie Jones, founder and president of Tiny Toes Rat Rescue of New Mexico is an example of someone who has benefited from TTR’s efforts. “Many people do love animals, but not many people go out of their way to formulate a plan to help animal rescues the way The Travelin’ Rat does,” Jones said. “They’re simply wonderful! I hope that they continue to light a fire in the hearts of animal lovers everywhere and inspire them to financially support animal rescues.”

Jinna Adamson, who runs Apple Wood Rescue in Denver, rescues a variety of small pets and has also been on the receiving end of TTR help. She has gotten more followers on FB as well as cash donations for veterinary care and supplies due to its efforts. She loves that TTR products are both for critters and people and that they run a sponsorship for a month. “Most online fundraisers that I’ve participated in will only last one or two weeks,” Adamson said. “Having an entire month to promote and post about the event certainly helps generate more interest.”

As for the future, everyone in the group hopes to expand so that they can help more rescues. Danielle dreams of having a TTR East, TTR West, TTR Australia, etc. But she admits that would be quite an undertaking. She has said that she would like TTR to be able to travel to events outside of the Mid-Atlantic region.

Abby shares Danielle’s perspective about the organization’s future and its challenges, “I see a common problem with small businesses — in our case small charity — in a virtual world,” she said. “There are many advantages to having so much information at our fingertips but just as many opportunities to get lost in the crowd. These are the obstacles that we are facing right now: how to be noticed in a virtual setting, how to raise awareness, and how to encourage people to become part of our community. With perseverance and hard work, I hope we can keep on keeping on and continue to share our love of rats and grow to be a bigger and better source of support for small animal rescues.”

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Article source: http://www.smallanimalchannel.com/critter-news/2014/04/22/the-travelin-rat-spreads-the-word-about-pet-rats-and-you-can-too.aspx?cm_mmc=RSS-_-article-_-na-_-na

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Helping Hands founder delivers aid, respect to homeless

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 21, 2014 in Rat News
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Though the location has changed a handful of times, the mission of helping the homeless has remained the same for nearly 25 years.

“So many times, you see these individuals somewhere and people will just pass by — they don’t want to make eye contact, they don’t want to think about it,” Stacey said. “I think the importance of recognizing them as human beings, and trying to meet their needs, is important.”

Each Monday and Thursday, Stacey and his group of volunteers mill about the crowd of people outside the two-story green house at 509 NE First St., which is owned by the adjacent First United Methodist Church.

They chat with those waiting for assistance from the volunteer nurse practitioners, physicians and other health care workers providing medical care.

Stacey said about 2,000 homeless people live in Gainesville, and according to the Helping Hands website, the program had 4,028 visits in 2013 and more than 18,500 since it opened in October 1989.

Meeting needs and providing care is in Stacey’s blood.

He is 62, with close-cropped gray hair and round, brown eyes that point to the floor when he speaks humbly about his life’s work.

Back when the clinic was just an idea, Stacey was a social worker who specialized in veterans’ care. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s from Loyola University, he dove into veteran social work in Illinois.

In 1979, he transferred to Gainesville to work with the Veterans Administration.

Stacey and other VA medical employees wanted to start providing health care to the homeless. With his nurse practitioner wife, Cynthia, and about six other volunteers in tow, he founded Helping Hands.

The program is supported in part by the Alachua County Commission and is funded entirely by grants, donations and fundraisers.

After years of witnessing the homeless walk in and out of his doors, Stacey said he has learned that even though the need for health care is great, what the patients really want is someone to acknowledge them.

“They have a lot of aches and pains they complain about, but a lot of it is just sitting down and talking with someone,” he said. “It’s the attention they need. They just want someone to listen and recognize them.”

While no major medical procedures take place at the clinic, patients are seen for such ailments as respiratory infections, high blood pressure and diabetes. Acupuncture and psychiatric care also are offered, but Stacey says many times people just come for a shower and a fresh change of clothes.

Running a program for the people who are typically ignored and stigmatized by society can be discouraging, Stacey said, and the most frustrating aspect is when he witnesses his patients cycle through addictions and end up exactly where they left off — or in some cases, worse.

“The one woman I think about lived with her mother in Hawthorne for a while,” he said. “She was looking so good and sober and clean and then, sure enough, a few months later, you’d see her and she was back to it. She was murdered downtown three years ago.”

Men and women have separate clinic days. The men get medical attention on Mondays, while the women see doctors and nurses on Thursdays.

In the past five months, some of the homeless women have begun volunteering at the clinic. For Stacey, seeing the women volunteer is more than rewarding.

“Did I ever get to the point where I wanted to give up?’’ he said. “No, because you get to see this other side of it. These women are taking ownership of the program, and to see the improvement in their self-image — in how they’re feeling about themselves — that’s what keeps me going.”

One of the women, Candy, has been coming to the clinic since 2002. She used to live in a car and wear her pet rats on her shoulder for protection from homeless men.

In the time Candy has been helping at the clinic, she said, Stacey has been “amazing” to her and everyone else who sees him.

“Oh man, if it weren’t for him and this clinic, there would be a lot of homeless people out there that would have truly crappy health care,” she said. “He treats us with courtesy and respect — and that’s big, that’s really big.’’

Over the years, encouragement from Stacey’s wife has kept his passion alive, despite setbacks.

“There were Mondays where I’d say, ‘Gee, how long do we really want to keep doing this?’ and she’d look at me and say, ‘Oh, come on, we gotta keep going.’ ”

The Staceys’ dedication has kept volunteers such as Brendan Shortley, the clinic’s manager, in the program. Shortley has been at the clinic for almost 21 years, and he credits it all to the couple.

“He and his wife saw a need, and they didn’t just talk about it, they did something about it,” Shortley said. “That’s what has kept me here so long. The need is here. The population is here.”

Stacey said he knows the homeless population in Gainesville will never disappear. Still, he’s dedicating his life and time to do what most will not.

“Unfortunately, I think we’ll always have the problem. It’s what you do to make a dent in it that helps make all the difference,’’ he said.

“They’re human beings,’’ Stacey said. “You’ve got to give people a chance and then a second chance.’’

Article source: http://www.gainesville.com/article/20140421/ARTICLES/140429931

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Pets for adoption at Seattle Humane Society | Jan. 4

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 21, 2014 in Rat News
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Meet Garth. This Garfield look-alike is a 6-year-old orange tabby with an easygoing demeanor. Garth likes to chat – especially if he’s requesting his favorite snack or a hearty chin scratching. His adorable little trill is sure to put a smile on your face.

Meet Winnie,. This chocolate-colored gal is a 1-year-old Chihuahua mix. She’s a little bundle of energy that loves to chew on squeaky toys and go on walks. Her tiny tail wags with joy whenever you talk to her, revealing her enthusiasm for her human friends. If you’re looking for a loyal and loving companion to bring in the New Year – Winnie is your pup.

Both are at the Seattle Humane Society in Bellevue, located at the intersection of I-405 and I-90. It is open seven days a week from noon to 6 p.m. For directions call 425-641-0080.

 

Pet Update

During the month of January, Seattle Humane Society is waiving adoption fees on critters like rabbits, guinea pigs, pet rats and hamsters.

Comment on this story.

Article source: http://www.bellevuereporter.com/community/185313231.html

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Restitution ordered over dead, dying reptiles – Quincy Herald

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 21, 2014 in Rat Answers
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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) – A Southern California exotic pet breeder who had 20,000 dead and dying rats and reptiles in a warehouse has avoided jail time but was ordered to pay more than $190,000 in restitution.

Mitchell Steven Behm, 55, of Coto de Caza, also was sentenced to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service at a hearing Wednesday.

He owned Global Captive Breeders in Lake Elsinore, 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, which sold exotic snakes and reptiles, along with rats for reptile food.

Behm and business manager David Delgado were arrested and initially charged with more than 100 counts each of felony animal cruelty. Behm negotiated a deal, pleading to a dozen misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Under its terms, Behm won’t be able to own any animals or operate any animal-related businesses.

Delgado, 30, of Rialto, has pleaded guilty to a dozen felony counts and faces more than five years in prison. His sentencing hearing is in May.

In 2012, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals received a tip from a whistleblower and sent in an undercover investigator.

After two months of documentation from PETA, animal control workers entered the warehouse, only to find themselves gasping for air and running for the exits because of the stench.

Some of the animals already were dead when rescue workers arrived. Veterinarians determined that those still living were too sick to treat and too toxic to move, so they had to be euthanized.

The restitution Behm had to pay included $102,000 to the city and about $88,000 to PETA. Behm already has paid most of the bill, with the balance due in 90 days.

“No punishment could compare to the daily horror that thousands of rodents and reptiles endured at Global Captive Breeders, but this sentence is an important step,” said Daphna Nachminovitch, senior vice president of cruelty investigations for PETA.

“Animals at GCB lived miserably and died in fear and pain. Confined to cramped, filthy bins, they slowly starved, drowned, or languished without veterinary care in nightmarish conditions typical of suppliers to the pet trade industry. Behm’s restitution to PETA will allow us to continue to expose such cruelty to animals, wherever it occurs,” Nachminovitch said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source: http://www.whig.com/story/25282613/restitution-ordered-over-dead-dying-reptiles

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Restitution ordered over dead, dying animals

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 20, 2014 in Rat Answers
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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California exotic pet breeder who had 20,000 dead and dying rats and reptiles at his business has avoided jail time but was ordered to pay more than $190,000 in restitution.

The Orange County Register reports (http://bit.ly/1r4K36h) 55-year-old Mitchell Steven Behm has been sentenced to five years’ probation and 200 hours’ community service.

Behm owned Global Captive Breeders of Lake Elsinore, which sold exotic snakes and reptiles and raised rats for reptile food.

Authorities say they found horrendous conditions when they went to the business in 2012 following an investigation.

On Wednesday a judge ordered Behm to pay more than $102,000 to the city and about $88,000 to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which uncovered the conditions at the business and helped with the cleanup.

Behm’s partner, David Delgado, will be sentenced in May.

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

Article source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/restitution-ordered-over-dead-dying-animals-144651443.html

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Southern California breeder who had 20,000 dead, dying animals must pay $190K in restitution

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 20, 2014 in Rat Answers
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A Southern California exotic pet breeder who had 20,000 dead and dying rats and reptiles at his business has avoided jail time but was ordered to pay more than $190,000 in restitution.

The Orange County Register reports (http://bit.ly/1r4K36h) 55-year-old Mitchell Steven Behm has been sentenced to five years’ probation and 200 hours’ community service.

Behm owned Global Captive Breeders of Lake Elsinore, which sold exotic snakes and reptiles and raised rats for reptile food.

Authorities say they found horrendous conditions when they went to the business in 2012 following an investigation.

On Wednesday a judge ordered Behm to pay more than $102,000 to the city and about $88,000 to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which uncovered the conditions at the business and helped with the cleanup.

Behm’s partner, David Delgado, will be sentenced in May.

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/04/18/southern-california-breeder-who-had-20000-dead-dying-animals-must-pay-10k-in/

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D.C. Animal Watch

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 20, 2014 in Rat News
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The Post Most: LocalMost-viewed stories, videos and galleries int he past two hours

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-animal-watch/2010/12/01/gIQAZtndNL_story.html

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California breeder who had 20,000 dead, dying reptiles, rats must pay $190,000 in restitution

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 19, 2014 in Rat Answers
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RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A Southern California exotic pet breeder who had 20,000 dead and dying rats and reptiles in a warehouse has avoided jail time but was ordered to pay more than $190,000 in restitution.

Mitchell Steven Behm, 55, of Coto de Caza, also was sentenced to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service during a hearing Wednesday.

He owned Global Captive Breeders in Lake Elsinore, 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, which sold exotic snakes and reptiles, along with rats for reptile food.

Behm and business manager David Delgado were arrested and initially charged with more than 100 counts each of felony animal cruelty. Behm negotiated a deal, pleading to a dozen misdemeanour counts of animal cruelty. Under its terms, Behm won’t be able to own any animals or operate any animal-related businesses.

Delgado, 30, of Rialto, has pleaded guilty to a dozen felony counts and faces more than five years in prison. His sentencing hearing is in May.

In 2012, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals received a tip from a whistleblower and sent in an undercover investigator.

After two months of documentation from PETA, animal control workers entered the warehouse, only to find themselves gasping for air and running for exits because of the stench.

Some of the animals already were dead when rescue workers arrived. Veterinarians determined that those still living were too sick to treat and too toxic to move, so they had to be euthanized.

The restitution Behm had to pay included $102,000 to the city and about $88,000 to PETA. Behm already has repaid most of the bill, with the balance due in 90 days.

Willa Bagwell, executive director of Animal Friends of the Valleys, the local shelter that helped with cleanup, said she would have preferred to see Behm do jail time. “We just don’t want him to be around animals,” she told the Orange County Register.

Behm’s restitution to PETA will help the group “continue to expose such cruelty to animals, wherever it occurs,” PETA spokesman Dan Paden told the newspaper.

But even more important, Paden said, was keeping both men away from animals for as long as possible.

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Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com

Article source: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/california-breeder-had-20-000-dead-dying-reptiles-205341427.html

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