Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Panda May Have Faked Pregnancy for More Buns, Bamboo

A giant panda slated to be the star of the first-ever live broadcast of the birth of panda cubs has lost the role -- after it was discovered the bear is not pregnant after all, Chinese state media reported.

Not only was it a phantom pregnancy, but zookeepers suspect the panda, Ai Hin, may have been faking it to improve her quality of life, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding told Xinhua on Monday.

Ai Hin, age 6, had shown signs of pregnancy, including a change in appetite, moving less and an increase in progestational hormone in July, according to Xinhua.

But after almost two months, she began acting normally again, zookeepers said.

Experts say pandas sometimes carry on the behaviors associated with early pregnancy after noticing that they get preferential treatment, the news agency reported.

"After showing prenatal signs, the 'mothers-to-be' are moved into single rooms with air conditioning and around-the-clock care," Wu Kongju, an expert at the Chengdu base, is quoted as saying.

"They also receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life."

The birth of Ai Hin's supposed cub and its progress in its early days, from its first cries to acquiring its distinctive black-and-white fur, were due to be broadcast online to panda lovers in China and worldwide.

Giant pandas are notoriously reluctant to breed in captivity and pseudo-pregnancies are common.

The female is fertile for no more than three days a year, and the time span for a pregnancy is from 80 to 200 days, according to the Chengdu base. Scientists will closely monitor behavioral and physiological signs, but it's often a guessing game.

Even if a pregnancy proves genuine, baby pandas have very low survival rates. According to the Chengdu base, only a third to a half of pandas born in Chinese captivity manage to survive past infancy.

There was good news last month, though, when a panda gave birth to a healthy set of triplets in China's Chimelong Safari Park in the southern city of Guangzhou. The cubs are thought to be the only living panda triplets in the world.

Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland thinks its panda, Tian Tian, could be the next to produce a cub, based on the latest scientific tests, but there are no guarantees.

"It is very likely that we will not know 100% if Tian Tian is pregnant until she gives birth," Iain Valentine, Director of giant pandas for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said earlier this month.

As few as 1,600 giant pandas survive in the mountain forests of central China, according to the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo in Washington. More than 300 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world, most of them in China.

This picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows giant panda Ai Hin sitting in its enclosure at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan's province. Hopes that tiny panda paws would be seen in the world's first live-broadcast cub delivery were dashed on August 26, 2014 when Chinese experts suggested the mother may have been focusing more on extra bun rations than giving birth. (Photo: STR AFP/Getty Images))

National Dog Day Turns Into Military Canine Lovefest on Twitter

Veterans and U.S. service members shared pictures of the canines they encountered while deployed.

Perhaps you’ve heard that today is National Dog Day. According to the website devoted to the occasion, it was founded in 2004 to honor dogs for “their endearing patience, unquestioning loyalty, for their work protecting our streets, homes and families.”

The holiday sparked the hash tag #NationalDogDay, in which Twitter users posted photographs of their favorite dogs. And that quickly turned to veterans and U.S. service members sharing pictures of military working dogs and other canines they encountered while deployed.

Consider this first one, from Thomas Gibbons-Neff:
Click on image to enlarge.

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The Pentagon’s official account also got in on the act:
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So did the Air Force and the Marines:

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Here are a few examples of dogs at work:
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And some examples of military service dogs getting love:

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Plea For A "Forever Home" For Dog in the UK that Has Been Overlooked by 14,000 People

A Darlington rescue centre has put out a plea for help in finding a "forever home" for a dog that has been overlooked by 14,000 potential owners.

Jed, a seven-year-old lurcher, has been with the Dogs Trust in Sadberge since he was four months old.

The trust said he had been taken in by several families in the past but in each case, due to their circumstances changing, he has had to be returned.

His carer at the trust said he was "affectionate" and "fun loving".

Jed's placement at the centre is being funded by the People's Postcode Lottery but his carer, Judith Davidson, said he really needs a permanent "forever home".

She said: "I have seen thousands of dogs find their forever homes over the last seven years but nothing could compare to seeing Jed finding a loving new family of his own.

"Jed is such an affectionate, fun loving dog. I have a real soft spot for him."

The Dogs Trust said Jed would suit a family with older teenagers and someone who only works part time.

Likes and dislikes:
Jed loves his carers and has lots of good friends in the centre. He loves to play with his cuddley toys, and to dash about on the field with his doggy chums. He can run very fast as you can imagine, but then he likes nothing better than to crash out on his comfy duvet for forty winks.

Type of home needed:
Jed is a friendly and affectionate chap who just needs some discipline and routine. He can be very WELL behaved with other dogs and could live with a family with older teenagers so long as they are sensible around him. He needs to be with someone who works only part time as he does like someone to give him lots of hugs during the day.

More about Jed:
Jed originally came into the centre as a 4mth old puppy. He went to a home for 7mths but was too much for the other dog in the home. He has now been with us since feb 08, and is one of our long term residents. He has been home with one of the staff in the centre, and he absolutely loved it and was impeccably behaved, so we would love to see him find a special new owner to give him a home of his own.

Rehoming Centre:

Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre, Darlington
Hill House Farm
Co Durham

Open: 12:00 - 16:00
Late Night: Thursdays 12:00-19:00 (from 24th April until Thursday 18th September)
Closed: Tuesday

For more information on how to adopt Jed, click HERE!

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Lauren Bacall Set Aside $10,000 for the Care for her Papillon, Sophie

Lauren Bacall, who died Aug. 12 at the age of 89, had an estate worth more than $26 million, and the legendary movie star made sure to provide for her beloved dog, Sophie. According to papers filed Friday in Manhattan Surrogate's Court, the actress set aside $10,000 for the care for her Papillon.

The New York Daily News reports that Bacall, who died at her Manhattan home after suffering a stroke, specified in her 2013 will that her son, actor Sam Robards, would care for the pooch. To do so, she gave him five figures to cover the canine costs.

The majority of Bacall's sizable estate, which includes her apartment in the famed Dakota building (where John Lennon lived and died), is to be split between her three children: Leslie Bogart, Stephen Bogart, and doggie handler Robards. Beyond that, she gave $250,000 to each of her six grandchildren, and two of her employees also received monetary sums (Maria Santos was given $20,000; Ilsa Hernandez was left $15,000).

Bacall, who had a legendary love affair with her first husband Humphrey Bogart and was also married to Jason Robards, was a lifelong dog lover.

"I was always a dog yearner," the New York native told Glenn Close in a 2008 interview for "I didn't have a dog growing up in the city with a working mother. As an only child, I yearned for someone to talk to. When I was 16, we got a champagne-colored Cocker Spaniel and named him Droopy. From the first moment, [Droopy] was very possessive of me. All my dogs have been possessive of me."

From then on, Bacall always had dogs and Sophie was her special companion later in life. She was photographed walking the dog near her Upper West Side apartment and even brought the pup on the red carpet at the Toronto and Berlin film festivals. And when she was promoting her reissued memoir By Myself and Then Some in 2005, Sophie accompanied the star to book signings.

Watch Close's amusing interview with Bacall and the very vocal Sophie, which took place in the honorary Academy Award winner's NYC apartment. Bacall joked that she didn't give the dog orders, she took the orders. The dog also put on quite the show with its toy, The Humperdink.

Bacall leaving money for the care of her dog isn't that unusual — for celebrities or everyday folks who want to provide for their faithful furry friends. However, hotel magnate Leona Helmsley, who was dubbed "the queen of mean," made major headlines when she left a whopping $12 million to her Maltese, Trouble, in 2007. Three years later, fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide, left $82,000 of his $26 million estate to his trio of dogs: Minter, Juice, and Callum.

Celebrities love their cats, too. When Dusty Springfield, the British singer of "Son of a Preacher Man" died from breast cancer in 2009, her last will and testament included several provisions for her 13-year-old feline, Nicholas. The cat was to only be fed baby food imported to England from the United States, live in a 7-foot indoor tree house, and be serenaded to sleep with a stereo system playing Springfield's hits. The most quirky stipulation of all? That the cat be "married" to a female cat of Springfield's friend.

After hearing that, Bacall leaving $10,000 for the care of her dog is totally normal.

Greenbelt, Maryland Area - Lost Kitten Your Area, 8000 block of Mandan Road - Have You Seen this Kitten?


Sapphire went missing on 8/26/2014 from the 8000 block of Mandan Road in Greenbelt, MD. She is an indoor kitten who escaped her foster home.

Description: Female, spayed, four-month-old, tortoiseshell domestic short-haired cat. Microchipped and friendly.

If you see Sapphire, please call 202-576-6664.

Former Baltimore Police Officer Pleads Guilty in Puppy's Death

A former Baltimore police officer accused of beating and choking his girlfriend's puppy and texting her a photo of the dog's body pleaded guilty Wednesday.

Alec Eugene Taylor, 28, of Hyattsville, faces up to three years in jail and a $5,000 fine on one felony count of aggravated animal cruelty. Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 8.

Police say Taylor's girlfriend reported that he had killed Rocko, a 7-month-old Jack Russell terrier, Feb. 26.

State's evidence against Taylor included text messages he sent to his girlfriend.

"I almost killed rocko," Taylor wrote.

He explained in another text that the dog relieved himself on the carpet after being let outside.

"Smh. Ugh I dunno what to do with him anymore," Taylor's girlfriend wrote back.
Taylor then texted the picture of Rocko.

"Why is he laying like that," Taylor's girlfriend wrote.
"I beat him. I might of paralyzed him."

When asked if Rocko was able to walk, Taylor replied, "Yea I think he's pretty much dead. Imma throw him out now."

Taylor's lawyer said his client was under a lot of pressure and took his frustrations out on the dog.

Clinton, Maryland Residents - Two Black Labs Found in the Area Near Toys R Us - Do You Recognize These Dogs?

Sharing from: Coolridge Animal Hospital
Is anyone missing 2 black labs from the clinton area near TOYS R US? A client brought them to us this morning. Prince Georges Animal Services will be picking them up, in an effort to find their owners ( as they are NOT microchipped). If you or someone you know is missing their fur babies please call them at ( 301) 780-7200

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Washington Humane Society - Register Today for a Chance to be the Grand Marshal of the Walk! - September 27th

Register Today for a Chance to be the Grand Marshal of the Walk!

Are you the proud parent of an adopted WHS dog? Would you like the chance to strut your pup’s stuff as the Grand Marshal of the DC Walk for the Animals? Here’s your chance!

When you register for the Walk, simply enter your adopted dogs’ information, and you will be automatically entered for a chance to win this first-of-its-kind prize! The Grand Marshal and winning pup will help us to kick off the festivities for the day, and lead our Walk. PLUS you will each be adorned with a majestic cape and crown to motivate
the crowd in support of DC animals.


You don’t have to be a dog parent to participate in the walk – there is something for every animal lover at the DC Walk for the Animals & Pet-A-Palooza. Those of you that love your cats or even your pet rabbit or turtle should join us in this exciting event too! You can register and raise funds on behalf of your special pet and then walk in their honor. Everyone is welcome!

What: 2014 DC Walk for the Animals

When: Saturday, September 27, 2014

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Kingsbury Center
5000 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20011

Make sure you don’t miss out on all the fun! Sign up now to walk the one-mile course around the Kingsbury campus neighborhood as an individual or a team. Friendly and well-behaved dogs are welcome to participate (and must be on a leash). All registered walkers will receive a t-shirt and other goodies.

You will have a blast while raising awareness and much-needed funding for the Washington Humane Society. Plus, you’ll get to meet other pet lovers in our community and celebrate DC’s love of animals.

New this year, WHS has partnered with cartoonist Brian Basset, creator of the comic strip Red and Rover, which is distributed in over 250 newspapers. Red and Rover will be offering weekly tips for pet owners to get active and engaged in the Walk fun. Learn more at

This fantastic event is free to attend, but WHS encourages people to register as a walker or to create a team to help raise critical funds for DC animals; registration is $20 for adults, $15 for kids (4 - 12 years old), and free for children ages three and under. Registering online at is easy, plus you can set up your own fundraising page to motivate friends and family to get involved.

Unable to join the walk? Become a “virtual walker” to support DC animals by making an online gift. 100% of the proceeds from this event support the animals and the work of WHS. For more information and to sign up, visit

Activities and entertainment include:

  • Contests for people and their pets
  • Giveaways and prizes
  • Onsite pet adoptions featuring our mobile adoption center, Adopt Force One
  • Kids' activities
  • Music

Exhibitors - pet related products, local businesses, and educational booths

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