Gates Police and Fire rescue duckling from storm grate (video)

Screenshot of body camera footage showing Gates Police and Fire coming to the rescue of a baby duckling trapped in a storm grate. Click to see the whole video.

 In an age where police are wearing body cameras, often as a way to have a record in potentially volitional situations, it's nice to take a moment to view some of that video and get the warm fuzzies.Duckling fuzzies, to be exact.Here's officer body cam footage from the Gates Police Department, a suburb of Rochester, NY.  Officer Shawn Omara and some members of the Gates Fire Dept. came to the rescue of a baby duckling who had fallen through a storm grate. In the video, you can … [Read more...]

Kids, BB guns, and shooting birds for sport

I was visiting with friends recently when one of the kids - we'll call him Joey - came from behind the house to ask a question."Dad, can I shoot a woodcock?" The youngster, about 10 years old, had a BB gun and had apparently spent the morning shooting birds.His dad told him there's an actual season for shooting woodcocks, so no, he couldn't kill one. So Joey went back to shooting robins and grackles and sparrows. When I asked Joey how many birds he'd shot that day, he said eight. When I … [Read more...]

Life in the cemetery (fall foliage pictures)

Mt. Hope Cemetery is a wildlife sanctuary. I spent a bit of time with this critter. Someone called him a whistle pig and said if I whistled he would have stood up for me. I was pretty close; I preferred him in his critter hole.

I spend a lot of time walking in the cemetery. One of our dogs, Bailey, is dog reactive so it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not feed her excitement. It's been two years of training and practice and lots and lots of patience.The more new experiences she has, the less reactive she gets. But it's difficult to find places where we can walk and not run into off leash dogs. (See my discussion about the leash law.) So we walk in the local memorial park and small historic cemetery … [Read more...]

Vote for the most unusual pet insurance claim in the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards

Baxter fell from the 11th story window and lived to meow about it. He's just one of the nominees for the 2012 VPI Hambone Awards that honor the year's most unusual pet insurance claim. (Photo: VPI nominees)

Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. is getting ready to award the 2012 Annual Hambone Award, and  you get to pick the winner!Named after a dog that ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while stuck in a refrigerator, the VPI Hambone Award has since been presented for three equally unusual claims. Past winners include Ellie, a Labrador retriever who gobbled up an entire beehive and its thousands of inhabitants; Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and piece of a basketball; … [Read more...]

Help name the Seneca Park Zoo’s new lions

Zero the polar bear. His mate Aurora prefers solitude. Let's hope it's because she's expecting!

My husband and I visited the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY a few weeks ago to see the new Step Into Africa exhibit. Everyone has been talking about it.I love the zoo. Over the last decade or so, the Seneca Park Zoo has really made some fabulous changes. I'm a huge fan of the otters, and I could spend hours watching them frolic and slide and swim. I especially love the Rocky Coast exhibit, with the wonderful polar bear habitat and the sea lion pools. What a change from the zoo of my chi … [Read more...]

Seneca Park Zoo celebrates first artificial insemination of polar bears

It takes a whole team to make a polar bear pregnant! (The polar bear artificial insemination team; photo Kelli O'Brien)

I love being able to shine light on my wonderful hometown of Rochester, NY and today there's super news that makes animal history: The Seneca Park Zoo, in partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo's Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW),  is celebrating the first successful artificial insemination of polar bears in the world.Aurora and Zero, the Seneca Park Zoo's polar bear couple, have been together for two years without any cubs to show for it. And while the bears are older … [Read more...]

Hollywood plays host to the 26th Annual Genesis Awards, Saturday March 24, 2012 (Updated with winners)

Ian Somerhalder will be presented with the Wyler Award at the 26th Annual Genesis Awards.

Tomorrow night, the Humane Society of the United States and Hollywood will honor the major news and entertainment media who over the last year have produced "outstanding works that raise public awareness about animal issues" with the 26th Annual Genesis Awards.The list of nominees includes (full list at the end) features films like "Dolphin Tale," "Rio," "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," and "War Horse" as well as talk shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show."Dancing With The Stars" judge Ca … [Read more...]

Mt. Hope Cemetery – and wildlife habitat

Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY offers not only a walk through history but a beautiful place to wander with your dog.

 I've been neglectful in posting this last week because here in the Northeast, spring made an early appearance and I wanted to be outside as much as possible before another snowstorm hits. That's life in Western NY.One of my favorite places to walk with a dog is a local historical cemetery, but last week I visited Mt. Hope Cemetery for a change of scenery. It's ironic that I've lived in Rochester my entire life and have only once been inside Mt. Hope Cemetery, the nation's f … [Read more...]

Bear cubs born before internet audience (video)

On Sunday, January 22, a bear named Jewel gave birth to cubs while an internet audience watched it happen live. The birth took place at the Wildlife Research Institute, home to the North American Bear Center, in Ely, Minnesota.And you can watch it happen - and hear the little cub squeals! - in this video!I'm personally a technophobe - I use the barest technology necessary in order to do my job. But thank God - literally! - for technology like the Den Cams and the folks who used it to … [Read more...]

Busch Gardens to give park visitors a behind the scenes peek at animal care

You can even watch a Muntjac get his teeth cleaned!

If you've ever wondered how the folks at the zoo take care of the animals, Busch Gardens is giving park visitors a behind the scenes look at large animal veterinary care when their new $5 million Animal Care Center opens January 23.You'll get to see routine animal care, surgery, x-rays, nutrition, dental care - anything that goes into take care of the health of the park's 2,000 animals.  In a press release, the park announces that the treatment center will allow guests to watch as Busch G … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X