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Archive for July, 2010

Dog attacks: Readers suggest ways to end them

Photo by Flickr user cogdogblog used under a Creative Commons License
Another Dog Bites Man Story

In my Wednesday newspaper column, I wrote about ways to try and put an end to dog attacks (dog bites, maulings, killing other animals and humans). I was inspired to do this when a 2-year-old child died after being mauled by three pit bulls in a Concord, CA, garage on July 22 … and a 7-year-old girl who had a chunk bitten out of her cheek by a pit bull on July 24 in Oakland, CA.  You can read that column here:

I asked if there was anyone else out there in never-never land who had any answers to ending attacks on people by aggressive dogs. Below are four of the responses I received. I am curious how you feel about what they have to say. Please feel free to add your own comments to these letters in the space provided.
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Posted on Friday, July 30th, 2010
Under: Dog attacks, dogs | 14 Comments »

Calif. Animal Legislation: Will these new laws affect you?

Black bear photo by Flickr user emples used under a Creative Commons License
Black Bear at the Sioux Narrows Dump

California Animal Legislation as of July 26, 2010, compiled by Paw Pac, California’s Political Action Committee for Animals.

** For copies of bills, analysis, and votes to read them in more detail: You can subscribe for updates.
** All legislators’ and Governor’s address: State Capitol Bldg., Sacramento 95814. State Directory: 916-922-9300.
** To find the names of your Assembly Member and Senator: Or look in your local phone book under State Listings for Assembly and senate.
** E-mail addresses follow a formula. Examples:, or, Letters, including hand written, by regular mail are always preferable to e-mail.
** Paw PAC 2008 California Voting Chart, endorsements for the 2010 November General Election:
** Compiled by: Virginia Handley
** Paw Pac: P.O. Box 475012, San Francisco, CA 94147; 415-626-0244.

If you like or dislike any of the following new proposed legislation, write your legislators and the governor and tell them how you feel about it … BEFORE they become laws. /Gary
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Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Under: Animal Laws, Animal protection legislation | 1 Comment »

Pet poisoning: Main sources of pet poisoning revealed

Pet kitten

Just got the information below on pet poisoning from Veterinary Pet Insurance Company. Pet owners should definitely read this and take all necessary precautions to keep your own pets from being poisoned. /Gary

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Reveals the Sources of Pet poisoning
Poisoning Incidents Cost Pet Owners Millions Each year

Pet owners often joke about pets being like vacuum cleaners literally eating anything put in front of them. Unfortunately, that lack of dietary discretion too often results in pets ingesting toxic substances, emergency visits to the veterinarian, and large medical bills. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) has analyzed its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to find the sources behind the hundreds of poisoning claims submitted to VPI every month.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
Under: Pets, Poison, Poisonous plants | No Comments »

Hummingbirds: A truly amazing little video

Hummingbird feeding. (Joe Oliver/Walnut Creek, CA)

Do you like hummingbirds? Then you’ll LOVE this short little PBS nature video that was just forwarded to me by Rick of El Cerrito, CA.

If you already think hummingbirds are amazing … just watch this 9 minute film. It will blow your mind. Thank you, Rick. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! /Gary

Click on this, sit back … and enjoy:

Posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Under: hummingbirds | No Comments »

American Bird Conservancy: Gulf oil spill’s impact on birds

Gulf disaster (US Coast Guard photo)

Members of the American Bird Conservancy staff recently returned from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill area and issued a report, “Gulf Oil Spill, Field Survey Report and Recommendations, July 19, 2010,” on their findings.

Here is the report:

The American Bird Conservancy is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to conserve native wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. You can find out more about them at

You should definitely read the report. It’s an eye-opener. /Gary

Posted on Monday, July 26th, 2010
Under: Oil, Oil Spills | No Comments »

Peaches Perkins, cat in a towel closet. How good can it get!

Photo by Art & Mary Anne Perkins, Moraga, CA.
peaches by art, mary anne perkins

This is our new kitty, peaches. She explores any cabinet or closet she can get herself into!
Art & Mary Anne Perkins, Moraga, CA

Art & Mary Anne:
The towel closet! What a great place to snuggle! It doesn’t get any better than that! /Gary

Posted on Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Under: Cats | No Comments »

As you can see, there really is a camel on Bailey Road

Camel on Bailey Road. Photo by Lisa Leggs, Baypoint, CA
camel on bailey rd

This camel belongs to developer Albert Seeno who has property on Bailey Road, in Contra Costa County near Concord, California. The camel is often spotted by amazed drivers. This has lead to the creation of a long-time urban “myth” that there are camels along Bailey Road (as I’ve been reporting for years). Only it isn’t a myth … as you can see from this photo.

The photo was sent to me by Jackie Caudel, of Richmond, Calif. Her friend, Lisa Leggs of Baypoint, CA, took it with her cell phone as she drove by. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Under: Camel | 2 Comments »

Photo of female quail with her chicks in San Ramon backyard

Female California quail and chicks. Photo by Chrissy Lahowe, Fremont, CA
Chrissy Lahowe, Fremont

Chrissy Lahowe of Fremont, CA, sent me this beautiful photo of a little California quail family (female with her chicks) that shares the backyard with her mother-in-law in San Ramon, CA. Enjoy. /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
Under: California quail | 3 Comments »

Study: Lead in game meat worse than thought

Photo by Flickr user Ann Nguyen Photography used under a Creative Commons License
9mm Bullet BW 3

Interesting piece below from the weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity. /Gary

July 14, 2010: Study shows lead in game meat is worse than thought

Lead poisoning is widely known as a grave threat to California condors, golden eagles and other species. These birds sometimes die after ingesting lead bullet fragments while scavenging carcasses shot with lead ammunition.

Evidence is mounting, however, that humans, especially children and pregnant women, are also at risk.
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Posted on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
Under: Lead bullets | No Comments »

King snake makes hole-in-one! Eat your heart out, Tiger!

King snake making a hole-in-one. Photo by Steve Evangelou, Walnut Creek, CA.
king2 steve evangelou wc

I just got this photo from Steve Evangelou of Walnut Creek, California. This is a king snake he photographed making a hole-in-one on the putting green in his backyard. Looks like there won’t be any gophers tossing balls back out of this hole. /Gary

Posted on Monday, July 19th, 2010
Under: King snake | 2 Comments »