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Archive for October, 2009

Happy Halloween: How to keep your pets safe on this scary day

Here are a few handy tips for making Halloween a safe day/night for your pets:

Keep your pets safe on Halloween:
** Keep pets safely inside away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities.

** Make certain that all pets are wearing collars with ID tags, especially indoor pets. Frequently opened doors tonight provide perfect opportunities for escape, despite our best efforts.

** Keep candy out of your pet’s reach. Candy can be harmful to pets and chocolate is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets.

** If you’re going trick-or-treating, leave the family dog at home. Dogs can be difficult to control with all those crazy ghosts and goblins running around them. A lost pet or a dog bite will quickly end your Halloween fun.

** Keep decorations away from pets. Candle flames might set fire to a pet’s fur. Dangling decorations should be kept in high places to avoid pet entanglement, choking and other potentially life-threatening hazards.

** Use fake cobwebs sparingly, if at all. Pets can choke on them.

** The only costume most pets want to wear is their own furry birthday suit. If your pet wears a costume, make sure it doesn’t restrict movement and supervise your pet carefully.

Have fun when you’re out trick-or-treating Saturday night! Stay on the sidewalk and watch out for cars. /Gary

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2009
Under: Halloween, Pets | 1 Comment »

Halloween: Check out Wally’s Jack-O-Lantern Spider!

Jack-O-Lantern Spider photo by Wally Wood, Livermore, CA
Jack-o-lantern spider w.wood

I’d like to share with your readers my special garden lady, “Ms. Spinneret.” She is a beautiful pumpkin orange and if you look closely at her back you will see she has a Jack-O-Lantern face, ready for Halloween.

Trick-or-treat, anyone?
Wally Wood, Livermore, CA

Beautiful! A Jack-O-Lantern Spider!

What will Mother Nature think of next?! /Gary

Ms. Spinneret, sitting on her web, comes with a built-in fly swatter
fly swatter w.wood

Posted on Thursday, October 29th, 2009
Under: Halloween, Spiders | No Comments »

Harmful algae bloom: Coast Guard rescues distressed seabirds

Coast Guard rescues seabirds in Oregon

Astoria, Oregon — Coast Guard members from Air Station Sacramento, California, load cold and wet seabirds suffering from exposure onto an HC-130 plane for transport to International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in Fairfield, California. The federally protected loons, murrers, scoters and other seabirds were rescued by the Wildlife Center of the North Coast in Astoria, after becoming soiled by unusual sea slime caused by a harmful algae bloom along the Oregon coastline. (U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer Shawn Eggert)

The staff and volunteers at IBRRC are having trouble covering the costs of saving these large numbers of distressed seabirds. You can help — please do!

Thanks for caring.You can find out lots more about this in yesterday’s (Tuesday) blog. /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
Under: Algae, International Bird rescue research Center, Seabirds | 1 Comment »

International Bird Rescue Research Center to the rescue: Seabirds in trouble.

Stranded by harmful sea foam, caged murres waiting to be checked in at IBRRC in Fairfield. (Paul Kelway/IBRRC)
murres1 paul kelway ibrrc

The International Bird Rescue Research Center needs your help. So do a lot of seabirds that are in BIG trouble.

I just got a call from my friend Jay Holcomb, executive director of International Bird Rescue Research Center.

Jay works out of IBRRC’s bird center in Fairfield. When the Cosco Busan hit the Bay Bridge on Nov. 7, 2007, and spilled oil in the Bay, the oiled birds were taken to IBRRC for care. In my opinion, Jay and his staff and volunteers are the best in the business when it comes to caring for oiled and distressed seabirds. Jay travels all over the world to assist and advise when there’s a big spill.
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Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
Under: Algae, International Bird rescue research Center, Seabirds | No Comments »

Push to stop cruise ship industry from dumping sewage in ocean


Here’s an update from friends of the Earth on what’s being done to STOP cruise ships from dumping millions of gallons of sewage into California’s coastal waters, and in other fragile spots around the world. It’s about time!! /Gary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from Friends of the Earth:
Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.) introduced legislation on Wednesday (Oct. 21) that would prevent cruise ships from dumping sewage and other waste into coastal waters.

“Cruise ships are currently allowed to dump raw sewage just three nautical miles from shore. This practice is not only disgusting, it can threaten the public health, coastal tourism, fishing economies, and marine ecosystems,” said Neesha Kulkarni, Legislative Associate at Friends of the Earth. “Advanced technology is available to treat this waste, but the cruise industry has failed to install this equipment on a majority of its ships. The Clean Cruise Ship Act would put a stop to this practice and hold the cruise industry accountable.”
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Posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2009
Under: Cruise ships, Ocean, Pollution | 1 Comment »

Wind turbines causing dark nights for bats

Wind turbines make bat lungs explode

Posted on Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
Under: Bats, Wind Turbines | No Comments »

Hey Dog Lovers: 3 new AKC dog breeds to debut at National Dog Show

Irish Red and White Setter. Photo by Jim Dillon, AKC

Three new American Kennel Club-recognized breeds will make their national TV and major competition debuts at The National Dog Show Presented by Purina next month.

The Isish Red and White Setter, Norwegian Buhund and Pyrenean Shepherd will be among more than 150 dog breeds competing for Best in Breed, Group Winner and Best in Show honors at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks/Valley Forge. These breeds will be introduced to the American television audience during the Thanksgiving Day broadcast of the National Dog Show, a 2-hour, family entertainment special airing nationally on NBC immediately following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
Under: American Kennel Club, Dog Show, dogs | No Comments »

Raider Nation Cat Celebration for ARF


The Oakland Raiders have helped Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation find homes for 37 adults cats through a special Raider Nation Cat Celebration promotion.

All adult ARF cats (six months and older) are available free of adoption fees, thanks to the generosity of the Oakland Raiders (standard adoption criteria still apply). This special Raider Nation Cat Celebration ends Sunday, October 25.
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Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
Under: ARF | 1 Comment »

Light pollution is a killer for migratory birds

I just received my latest copy of the “Bird Conservation Tip Sheet” from the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and there’s a very interesting piece in it about the harmful effects of light pollution on migratory birds. Check this out — I think you’re going to be very surprised.

States & communities tackle light pollution harmful to migratory birds:
Communities are starting to attack the problem of light pollution (, which is harmful to migratory birds, through voluntary programs and also through legislation.
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Posted on Monday, October 19th, 2009
Under: Birds, Migration | No Comments »

Wolves: Fight to keep gray wolf from being gunned down in Idaho & Montana

I never thought I’d see the day when the Obama administration AND the National Rifle Association would both defend the killing of wolves.

That happened last week when the NRA sought to intervene against a lawsuit by 13 conservation organizations to put the northern Rockies gray wolf back on the endangered species list and save it from being gunned down in Idaho and Montana.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, Western Watershed Project, Wildlands Network and Hells Canyon Preservation Network.
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Posted on Friday, October 16th, 2009
Under: Killing wolves, Wolves | 8 Comments »