Monday, July 30, 2012

Bats Rising. Song of the Mouse. NYC’s Animals. ‘You Can Do’. Inmate Dogs. Urban Decay. Flea Mkt Pups. Homeless to Crufts! Water for Wildlife. Sharks. In God We Trust. Medicare.

For “Mammal Monday”:

Bat Facts You Won’t Find in “The Dark Knight Rises”

“Back when The Dark Knight was released in 2008, we made a very solid case for “7 Reasons Bats are Just as Cool as Batman.”   Really, who can challenge these amazing flying mammals, especially when put up against what is essentially a rich guy in a fancy toolbelt? Sorry Mr. Wayne, but it’s true.  With The Dark Knight Rises premiering this week, we wanted to revisit our assertions and add even more amazing reasons why Bruce Wayne should take a backseat to the bats of the world.

Bats are Better Fliers than Birds

The lesser long-nosed bat (below) is a great example of why wings have made bats the successes they are today, after more than 52 million years of evolution.

long-nosed bat, Arizona, pollen eating

An Arizona lesser long-nosed bat caught feeding on pollen by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Greg Tucker.

Wings have allowed the world’s only flying mammal to spread nearly everywhere across the globe, with the exception of the poles and some isolated islands.

The wings are composed of the elongated fingers of the bat’s forelimb with a thin webbing of furred skin stretching between the fingers to create the flying surface. Because these wings are thinner than those of feathery birds, bats are better fliers than birds, capable of more rapid and precise turns. Nerve receptors in the wings help bats sense changes in air flow and even to use their wings as nets to catch insect prey.

costa rica, bats sleeping, batman

Wings have allowed them to be highly adaptable and to turn up in some unexpected places……as these two tiny bats did, photographed sleeping in a rolled leaf in Costa Rica.

Photograph of Costa Rican bats by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Timothy Potter.

Fishing bats in Ecuador, given how bats drink water, you can see how some may have picked up a piscivorian predilection (they like fish). Most bats drink by skimming over the surface of water, lapping up as they go; for some species, it is a short step from drinking on the wing to catching fish on the fly.:  More at:      From Wildlife Promise 7/19/2012 // Roger Di Silvestro


Male mice sing melodic tunes to attract females

“Male house mice are able to sing melodic songs to attract female partners, scientists have discovered.

By taking a normal mouse songThe romantic tunes are pitched at the ultra-sonic range beyond our hearing but each mouse has his own individual signature song. Researchers have known for some time that male house mice have additional sounds to females but it has always been assumed they were just squeaking.   But new analysis has found the squeaks are in fact complex individual romantic songs similar to birdsong.   When scientists recorded the squeaks and slowed them down they found the similarities to the tuneful songs of birds to be striking.

Dustin Penn, a researcher from Vienna’s University of Veterinary Medicine, said: “It seems as though house mice might provide a new model organism for the study of song in animals. Who would have thought that?”

a singing mouse,that mouseStudies have previously found that wild mice sing when they sniff the scent of a female and that female mice are wooed by song.   But scientists have now been able to use digital audio software to analyze the duration, pitch and range of the songs of house mice.

They found that males’ songs contain “fingerprints” that differ from one individual to another including brothers. The finding could potentially lead to understanding how female mice avoid inbreeding.

In birds, males with the most complex “sexy” songs are often the most successful with females but it is not known if this is the case with mice. Wild house mice also produce more “sexy syllables” across a wider range of frequencies than laboratory mice, the researchers found.” From:



“Kalcounis-Rueppell used hand-held recorders capable of recording ultrasonic emissions at a field site California. Later, while going through the recordings, which were played back at a lowered speed and frequency to make them more audible to humans, an unusual and loud sound was heard: this four-note song of a deer mouse.”   For a complete story on this research follow this link:


In the News: Creation News: The Song of the Mouse

“Apparently, bursting forth into song when overcome by love isn't merely a human habit found in movies and musical theater.

Mice sing too! Male mice specifically have distinct vocal patterns, which we perceive as squeaks but in reality resemble the songs of birds, according to digital analysis by researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria.

Each male mouse produces such a distinct tune of his own that scientists feel this variety may be the means by which female mice avoid inbreeding. These melodies attract female mice and are a part of the marvelous mechanism God created to help animals in reproduction.”  From:


New York City's Homeless Animals Saved by National, Local Partnerships

“New York City has the lowest per capita rate of killing homeless dogs and cats by animal shelters, according to the latest findings of cities studied by Animal People, the leading independent newspaper providing original investigative coverage of animal issues worldwide.

Data in the July/August 2012 issue of Animal People shows that New York City's shelters now kill 1 dog or cat for every 1,000 people (a 1.0 per capita kill rate), which makes New York the most successful city in the country in saving homeless animals. This is a stunning turnaround for a city that had a 5.5 per capita kill rate in 1995; a 2.6 per capita kill rate in 2005; and a 2.1 per capita kill rate in 2008. 

At the time I became the President and CEO of the ASPCA in 2003, 33 percent of the homeless dogs and cats in New York City's shelters made it out alive versus nearly 80 percent today. That means that since 2003 more than 220,000 dogs and cats have been saved in New York City.

Collaboration among open admission shelters, limited admission shelters, rescue groups and individuals is the most important criteria for saving animals that end up in shelters, but other measures should be taken to stop animals from becoming homeless in the first place.

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The picture says it all! LIKE and SHARE to pass this on! A big hug to all that have adopted a pet! You are all amazing!

Got a story about a pet you've adopted? Please comment and tell us!

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One of those critical measures is encouraging the spaying or neutering of pets by educating the populace as to its importance and helping financially needy pet guardians by providing low cost options. Between spay/neuter surgeries done at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital and those performed by the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Operations team, the ASPCA has spayed and neutered approximately 20,000 cats and dogs so far in 2012. Nearly 36,000 procedures were done in 2011.

The ASPCA also strives to end pet homelessness by developing programs that target the animals that are the most at risk for being placed in shelters. For example, since the majority of dogs that are enter shelters in New York City are pit bulls and pit bull mixes, we started the Operation Pit program in July 2010 to encourage the spay/neuter of pit bulls in New York City by offering free spay/neuter, micro-chipping, and vaccinations to young pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Since its inception, more than 1,300 surgeries have been performed.” Complete article at:


You Can Do This Campaign - Update July 18th Update

“Jessica gives the first update for the ‘You Can Do this Campaign’. As of July 18, 2012 we are 1/3 of the way to our goal! Visit - to donate and help shelter animals. It only takes one minute.”


Do you think you can change the life of a shelter animal? Each year millions of pets enter the shelter system, and only about 50% of them make it out. You can make a difference.  $5.00 helps, just one animal at a time. 

Why a Gift That Gives More™ is a smart, effective donation.

You helped fund more than 4.5 Million bowls of food in June!

&Like if you know we can do more in July!

&Share and ask your friends to click at

100% of your donation will go to the program described above as a grant through GreaterGood Network stores do not receive any profit from donations through this Gift That Gives More™; we bring it to you in the spirit of the greater good. We even pay the credit card transaction fee, so every cent of your donation goes to charity.

Your donation is 100% tax-deductible in the U.S.A.

You will receive a receipt from for your taxes. has ultimate authority and discretion with regard to the distribution of its funds. All expenditures made are consistent with the exempt purposes of

Check with your employer: your company may match your donation.


Inmates and animals get second chance at Louisiana prison

JACKSON, La. – “The lost and abandoned souls of Hurricane Katrina are long gone from the Dixon Correctional Center, but out of the horror of that tragedy comes a golden opportunity.  It is a new, 9,500 square-foot pavilion-like shelter that can serve as a permanent emergency facility during any state disaster and as general facility for animals from East Feliciana Parish, which has no shelter.

The facility at Dixon was built with grant money from the Humane Society of the United States, which gave the prison the money for its generosity in housing animals during Katrina.  The lost and abandoned dogs living there now are now healthy, well-fed and loved.  For these animals, who often show up malnourished and scared, the inmates’ compassion and care turn their lives around.

“You see the dogs realize ‘You are here to help me, you’re not here to hurt me. I'm in a good place,’” explained Master Sgt. Wayne Aucoin, who manages the facility.  He also sees the change in the inmates becoming men who now have a purpose and who believe in themselves.  “They are here waiting for me when I get here in the morning. They are already getting at it. They’re getting everything cleaned up. They do eight hours just like I do,” Aucoin said.

In the confines of a state prison, the men who work so hard to change the lives of the unwanted and abandoned may very well have rescued themselves.”    More and video at:

No tax dollars are used to run the shelter.  Pen Pals is a non-profit that must raise about $90,000 each year.   If you are interested in making a donation or in adopting one of the animals, write to Pen Pal Shelter, Dixon Correctional Center, 5568 Hwy. 68, Jackson, LA, 70748.


HSI and The HSUS Issue Statement Following Urban Decay Decision to Abandon China Sale. July 6, 2012

Let's end animal testing. Albert Fedchenko/istock

WASHINGTON—”Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States are issuing the following statement in response to an announcement from cosmetics giant Urban Decay that it has cancelled plans to market its products in China, a country that requires animal testing for cosmetics:

“Urban Decay has made the right choice today, having listened to the overwhelming outcry from its customers and taken the high road to fight animal testing by refusing to market in China,” says Kate Willett, HSUS director of regulatory toxicology, risk assessment and alternatives. “This decision will give strength to consumers and other companies to fight animal testing of cosmetics worldwide.” More at:


Flea Market Breeder's Cruelty Exposed

Published on Jul 16, 2012 by hsus

“Extreme cruelty was exposed at a MS puppy mill where the "breeder" would sell puppies at flea markets. When the HSUS and authorities arrived at the woman's property, they found dogs suffering everything from broken bones to mange.”    Don't Shop, Adopt.

Don’t Breed or Buy, While Homeless Dogs Die.

Please spay or neuter your pets. Every Litter Bit Hurts.


“All-Star pitcher Roy Halladay asks people to consider Spaying and Neutering their pets to help control animal overpopulation.”


Happy Ending for Two Lucky Dogs

Two homeless dogs in Ireland were hours from being euthanized when they were rescued and ultimately adopted by a family in England.

These talented girls went on to win big-time agility honors at the annual Crufts event – the world’s largest dog show.

Gertie “Lust for Life” Rumsey and her adopted sis, Winnie “Hairy Havoc” Rumsey showed their incredible competitive spirit and heart as they blasted through their agility events and took home 4th and 2nd place, respectively.  More at:


7 Ways Animals Beat the Heat

From birds to amphibians to humans, animals have developed strategies for keeping cool in hot weather

rufous hummingbird drinking by Alandra Palisser

“Many animals seek water to cool down. Elephants often cool off in a pond or stream. Tigers (unlike most house cats) enjoy a dip in hot weather. Domestic pigs, which don't sweat, wallow in water or mud on hot days; mud also protects them from sunburn. If you provide water for backyard wildlife, you will find that birds, too, like to splash around, both to cool off and to clean feathers and skin. Other backyard animals, such as toads and turtles, will also benefit from access to water, especially as temperatures climb.”

Read the rest at:



“The collapse of a shark tank at The Scientific Center in Kuwait.”

It's probably the only time in your life you will see something like this.

Probably because it didn’t happen:



On this Day:

President Eisenhower signs "In God We Trust" into law, Jul 30, 1956:

“On this day in 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase "under God" inserted into the pledge of allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a law officially declaring "In God We Trust" to be the nation's official motto. The law, P.L. 84-140, also mandated that the phrase be printed on all American paper currency. The phrase had been placed on U.S. coins since the Civil War when, according to the historical association of the United States Treasury, religious sentiment reached a peak. Eisenhower's treasury secretary, George Humphrey, had suggested adding the phrase to paper currency as well.

Although Eisenhower embraced religion, biographers insist he never intended to force his beliefs on anyone. In fact, the chapel-like structure near where he and his wife Mamie are buried on the grounds of his presidential library is called the "Place of Meditation" and is intentionally inter-denominational. At a Flag Day speech in 1954, he elaborated on his feelings about the place of religion in public life when he discussed why he had wanted to include "under God" in the pledge of allegiance: "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."

The first paper money with the phrase "In God We Trust" was not printed until 1957. Since then, religious and secular groups have argued over the appropriateness and constitutionality of a motto that mentions "God," considering the founding fathers dedication to maintaining the separation of church and state.”


Johnson signs Medicare into law, Jul 30, 1965:

“On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law. At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled as Medicare's first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card. Johnson wanted to recognize Truman, who, in 1945, had become the first president to propose national health insurance, an initiative that was opposed at the time by Congress.

The Medicare program, providing hospital and medical insurance for Americans age 65 or older, was signed into law as an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935. Some 19 million people enrolled in Medicare when it went into effect in 1966. In 1972, eligibility for the program was extended to Americans under 65 with certain disabilities and people of all ages with permanent kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplant. In December 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), which added outpatient prescription drug benefits to Medicare.

Medicare is funded entirely by the federal government and paid for in part through payroll taxes. Medicare is currently a source of controversy due to the enormous strain it puts on the federal budget. Throughout its history, the program also has been plagued by fraud--committed by patients, doctors and hospitals--that has cost taxpayers billions of dollars.”



I had intended to finish grooming Mindi’s three poodles, but I had a frantic phone call the night before.  Mindi’s husband had broken down in Minnesota, and couldn’t get home Saturday night.  Mindi is a stewardess and he is an OTR truck driver. They asked me to go check on everything.  Normally, their neighbor sees to the rest of the animals at the ranch if Mindi and her husband are both working, but they were gone for the weekend.

Misty and I went to get Jay as I didn’t want to go by myself, and so Jay and I headed out for the ranch.  After many miles of blacktop, it is down some narrow dirt roads, and we get lost every time we go there, as their address is on one road, but the road sign says a different road.  We finally found the place, and the key to unlock the gate.  We were greeted by some lovely horses, (which scare me as I got kicked by one in 1989), and a couple of Weimaraner dogs and a black lab.  But we were there to check on the four little dogs who have a doggie door from the house to the back porch and their own fenced yard.  Being out in the country, the front door wasn’t locked, so I could go in and see that those dogs had not run out of food or water. 

Jay went down to the horse’s shelter, and they had a big tub with water dribbling in it, so they were OK.  But we couldn’t find out where the big outside dogs had their water.  So I found a big pot outside, filled it with water, and put it up on the front porch where their food was.  Later I was told that they had a faucet dripping into a bucket for them, too, but we didn’t see it. 

I don’t like driving along lonely country roads, or traipsing around dusty pastures with horses, so I was glad that Jay went with me.  He liked it too, as it was a ‘field trip’ for him and he still got paid for the day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

I am glad that all worked out and all the animals were just fine. I bet the animals enjoyed your visit.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, DD.

The outside and inside dogs were very glad to see us, but I stayed away from the horses who came to greet us.

I am glad that they were all fine, too. I was worried about them being on their own with no one checking on them.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny

Dizzy-Dick said...

I hate to leave my dogs, even if I am only going grocery shopping.