Monday, October 8, 2012

Pet Fire Safety. Autumn Wildlife. TX Bison. Wildlife Fenced. Horse Cruelty. Sweet Lily. Pet's Bowl. Chicago Fire. CA–NY Air Race. Rescued Kitten.

For “Mammal Monday”:

Fire Safety Month: Keep Your Pets Safe!

“October is National Fire Safety Month and while it is the time of year when safety tips and home evacuation plans are promoted, keeping safe and protecting your family – both two-legged and four-legged – in the event of an emergency is a year-round responsibility.

In many cases, pets will hide during a fire because of the unfamiliar sights and sounds and when firemen descend on your home, the idea of strangers in their territory could make them even more reticent to be found. Just as you put decals on the bedroom windows of your children to alert fire fighters to their presence, so too can you have window decals to let firefighters and other emergency responders know how many pets are in the house. A pet insurance company, Petplan, is offering free window alerts to pet owners. Locating your pets is one of the best steps toward helping save their lives in a fire emergency.

Preventing fires is the best way to keep everyone safe and here are a few fire safety tips to keep in mind year-round:

  • Always keep the batteries in your smoke detectors and make certain they are in good working order.
  • Extinguish candles and fireplaces before bedtime and never leave a pet unattended around open flames.
  • If there are areas in your home in which a pet could accidentally start a fire, you need to “pet-proof” that area. Properly store propane tanks, address loose wires, etc.

Pet parents know the importance of keeping a pet emergency kit available in the event of an evacuation; along those same lines, you should always keep your pet’s evacuation equipment near the doorway – this includes your leash or pet carrier.

pet-safety Another pet safety measure that’s being undertaken is a Bark 10-4 campaign. This campaign aims to equip every fire truck with a pet oxygen mask. Reports show that close to half a million pets are impacted by fires annually and that close to 50,000 of those pets succumb to smoke asphyxiation. If the fire trucks have the correct equipment, the lives of many pets can be saved.

What steps do you take to keep your family members safe?  



Here's a video on Pet Fire Safety from the Fire Safety Dog.

“Siren the Fire Safety Dog reminds you that it is time to test your smoke alarm batteries!”


Autumn is one of the best times to see wildlife.

“Many animals are out and about, busy preparing for the winter months by storing food, getting ready for hibernation or beginning migration.
One of the best ways to ensure you see some of these amazing natural events is by turning your yard into a Certified Wildlife Habitat® site! That's because when you provide local wildlife with food, water, shelter and places to raise young, they'll thank you by calling your yard home.

Here are just a few of the magical scenes you can witness in your garden this season: butterflies: Catch a glimpse of these beauties as they begin their long winter migration to Mexico or California. changing color: Watching leaves change is one of the most beautiful autumn spectacles. Once fallen, leaves create a natural home for wildlife like chipmunks, frogs and even helpful garden insects. birds: From songbirds to waterfowl, many birds will migrate south during this season and could use your yard as a place to fuel up and rest — or to take up residence for the entire winter. on shrubs and trees: In late summer and early fall, many plants produce berries that are essential fuel for migratory wildlife. mammals stocking up for winter: Keep an eye out for the often amusing sight of many animals, such as chipmunks, jays and flying squirrels, storing food for the colder months.
Don't miss all the amazing wonders of nature fall has to offer.”


Bison still roaming range at Caprock Canyon.

“Up on the red-clay banks of Caprock Canyons State Park about 240 miles northwest of Fort Worth, there was an unusual celebration, where historians, naturalists, and hunters alike will gather to pay homage to the American Bison.

No one hunts these bison any longer; this herd belongs to the people of Texas. The bison, commonly called buffalo, are descendants of the massive Southern Herd that once spread from Colorado, through Kansas and down past the Texas Panhandle.

Their story of survival, first as the primary source of life for the Plains Indians, then a singular source of income for white hunters after the Civil War, is both heart-wrenching and amazing.

Bison bull and herd at Caprock

The three-day celebration is intended to raise funds to continue the health and proliferation of this historic herd that was once nearly extinct.
These are offspring of animals saved from the hunters by Charles Goodnight, the pioneer plainsman who ran the huge JA Ranch on the edge of Palo Duro Canyon.

Goodnight started with two buffalo calves in the late 1870s. His herd grew to as many as 250 and roamed free on the JA Ranch for about 130 years, until 1997, when JA owners donated the herd to the state.

"Of all bison alive today, the JA Ranch bison are uniquely important, because they have been kept isolated at the site where they were caught in the 1870s and not crossbred with other bison," said Andrew Sansom, who was then Texas Parks and Wildlife executive director. "They are a potent symbol of the American West, and their addition to the Texas State Park system means the heritage they represent will be preserved for future generations."

I stood just beneath the West Texas Caprock with a group of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department employees the day the bison arrived from the JA Ranch. They looked surprisingly small, scraggly, and confused at their new home near Quitaque.  They stirred the dust and looked for a way out of their new predicament.  But 10-foot-high pipe fences with rows of steel cable and high-tensile wire stopped them.  Still, no one knew if this wild herd could adapt to the limited enclosure; no one knew if it would grow, or slowly die away.  The animals represent the only known genetically pure bison remaining from the Southern Herd, once thought to have numbered more than 60 million. It had been reduced to 40 -- 18 males and 22 females.

Their blood was drawn, their DNA tested and their pure Southern Herd bison heritage was certified.  The herd has more than doubled now and its health has been a steady climb, thanks in part to the inclusion of three outside bulls donated by Ted Turner from his New Mexico herd -- also descendants of the Southern Herd.

The animals now range, almost freely across Caprock Canyons State Park and this year is the second celebration of their success. They have grown stature and importance as historical ties to our past.”  From:


A Barrier for South Texas Wildlife

A pedestrian fence cuts across the Southmost Preserve near Brownsville, Tex.

A pedestrian fence cuts across the Southmost Preserve near Brownsville, Tex.  Erika Nortemann/The Nature Conservancy

“A line of 18-foot-high steel posts spaced four inches apart flank the entrance of part of one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the United States, and one of the most endangered. Bifurcated by the fence is the Nature Conservancy’s Southmost Preserve near Brownsvillle, Tex., whose threatened species include the Southern yellow bat, the Texas tortoise and the ocelot, an endangered cat whose estimated American population is under 50. One of the few remaining stands of native sable palms in the United States grow there as well.

The posts are part of a 70-mile “pedestrian barrier” between Falcon Dam and the Gulf of Mexico that was built to deter illegal immigration and drug trafficking. It lies anywhere from hundreds of yards to several miles north of the border. Before construction started in 2009, experts expressed concern about the effects of the fence on so-called wildlife corridors in the Rio Grande Valley. Now they are taking stock of the impacts.

“All wildlife roam along corridors,” said Laura Huffman, director of the Texas branch of the Nature Conservancy. “These are nature’s highways. Any time you put an obstacle in a highway, it’s going to affect mobility, the ability of animals to move back and forth.”
At the Southmost Preserve, the bottom of the fence is pierced by 8-by-11-inch openings every 500 feet.These aren’t large enough for many animals, biologists say, nor were they positioned on the basis of existing data on wildlife corridors.”  More at:


Dozens of neglected horses seized from Graham property











SEATTLE -- “Pierce County officials say the 39 horses seized from the property on Meridian Street East in Graham were found living in "deplorable conditions."  The 39 emaciated and sickly horses from inhumane conditions in dark stalls filled with feces on a breeding farm outside of Tacoma on Wednesday, authorities said.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents discovered the malnourished animals, many injured and some standing in more than a foot of waste, while serving drug-related warrants on Tuesday at the 99-acre property in Graham, Washington, Pierce County Animal Control supervisor Brian Boman told Reuters.

Animal control officers and sheriff's deputies from Pierce and Kitsap counties returned to the ranch a day later to seize the animals and found many were highly skittish because they had been "stall-bound" in three dark barns, Boman said.

"It was like a puppy mill, only with horses," Boman told Reuters. "The conditions are terrible. There's no telling how long it's been since they've seen daylight."  From:


 Sweet Lily

Sweet Lily“One morning, the manager of the cat shelter saw a man carrying an all-white cat.  When the manager came to the window, he threw Lily into the middle of the four lane busy street outside. I'll be forever grateful to the shelter manager, who ran out and truly rescued Lily.

When I was visiting the shelter the next week, I picked Lily up and she immediately fell asleep in my arms. I fell in love.

Lily is deaf, toothless and clawless. Despite her hard life, Lily loves all people. Her favorite thing is to be held upside down like a baby. But she's scared of my other cats; because she can't hear them, she thinks they "sneak" up on her!

Lily knows sign language for "come" and "no" but, being a cat, she pretends not to see me sometimes - usually when I'm trying to show off her skills. Lily gives me all the love in the world - animals in rescue are just waiting for their chance, too.”    Lisa Millman  Chicago, IL


How Big is Your Pet's Food Bowl?

Pet Food

“A recently published study indicates that just as human dieters are encouraged to use smaller plates and utensils to help with weight loss, large food bowls and random food scoops are contributing to the growing pet obesity epidemic.

In the study, the amount of food fed to dogs was significantly less when owners used a small scoop and a small food bowl. Portions went up when large bowls and/or large scoops were used.

Many pet owners buy pet food bowls much larger than the meals they should hold, and when the correct portion of food looks miniscule compared to the size of the bowl, they add more food to the bowl. Pet owners also tend not to use kitchen measuring cups to portion out their dog’s or cat’s meals. This also leads to overfeeding.

If you want to get a handle on how much you’re feeding your dog or cat, you can use our formula to figure out how many calories your pet should be eating each day. Then determine the number of calories in the food you’re feeding, serve portion-controlled meals (usually a morning and evening meal), and don’t forget to factor in treats.”   Complete article at:


On This Day:

Fire rips through Chicago, Oct 8, 1871: 

“The Great Chicago Fire begins on this day in 1871. It goes on to kill 250 people, leave 100,000 people homeless and destroy thousands of buildings. All told, the fire was responsible for an estimated $200 million in damages (more than $3 billion in today's money), approximately one-third of the city's entire worth. At the time, slightly more than 300,000 people lived in Chicago, which was quickly becoming a transportation hub for goods and people traveling between the East Coast and the burgeoning frontier.

The fire began near the home of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary at 137 De Koven Street in southwest Chicago at about 9 p.m. Legend holds that the fire started when the family's cow knocked over a lantern, but it is unknown whether this is actually true. What is known is that within 90 minutes, the fire was completely out of control and rapidly moving toward the city center.

Blinding hot ash and dust swirled as the blaze grew—at its height, it was as much as a mile wide. The winds were so strong and unpredictable that firefighters found it virtually impossible to establish safe positions from which to battle the blaze. Lake Michigan proved to be the only thing that could halt the fire as it raced four miles west. The fire continued to burn wildly throughout the following day, finally coming under control on October 10, when rain gave a needed boost to firefighting efforts.

Of the 18,000 buildings that were destroyed by the fire, the most notable was the city's courthouse, which had cost over $1 million to build. The Field and Leiter department store was also lost, with an estimated $2 million of merchandise inside.

The fire prompted an outbreak of looting and lawlessness. Five companies of soldiers stationed in Nebraska and Kansas were summoned to Chicago and martial law was declared on October 11, ending three days of chaos. The military stayed for two weeks restoring order. Meanwhile, refugees filled the beaches of Lake Michigan, waiting until they could safely return to the city.

The following month, Joseph Medill was elected mayor after promising to institute stricter building and fire codes, a pledge that may have helped him win the office. His victory might also be attributable to the fact that most of the city's voting records were destroyed in the fire, so it was next to impossible to keep people from voting more than once.”


First transcontinental air race, Oct 8, 1919:

“The first transcontinental air race in the United States begins, with 63 planes competing in the round-trip aerial derby between California and New York. As 15 planes departed the Presidio in San Francisco, California, 48 planes left Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York.

Lieutenant Belvin Maynard, flying a Havilland-4 with a Liberty motor, won the 5,400-mile race across the continent and back. Maynard reached the Presidio in just over three days, rested and serviced his plane for another three days, and then returned to Roosevelt Field in just under four days. Maynard won for the lowest total elapsed time, but in actual flight time--24 hours, 59 minutes, and 49 seconds--three others accomplished the round-trip journey faster.”



If you read my journal from the day before, you will know that I rescued a little longhaired tortie kitten, all alone, meowing in a box in Jay’s shed.   The shed also had a mama armadillo with babies, who growled at me.  The mama cat had deserted it, or something had happened to her, and the tiny kitten had been crying all night. It was chilly, so I turned on the heat when I got home, and kept her warm covered up in a box.

Jay called to say that he found the other kittens dead in the shed.  He said they looked like they were mangled, and there was a dead snake in there, too.  I looked up about armadillos and they aren't normally kitten killers, so there is no telling what happened to them.

Tiny-tortie-kitten-7-0ct-2012 This one wasn't eating well, and cried a lot in between short naps.

I don't have the heart to take this little 3 oz bundle of fluff to the pound, where they would put her to sleep as there would be no one to feed her.  

I worked with the little kitten on and off all day, trying to make her eat, hoping that would stop her crying.  (Yes, I know you have to wipe them with toilet paper to make them go pee, like their mama would.) 

Finally, in the late afternoon, she realized that the little pet bottle was not an enemy, and drank some canned kitten milk and settled down.   With that much white on her, she might even be considered a calico. Now I have to give her a name.   Hopefully, I can save her so she can be adopted one day.


Sandra said...

We always had a Calico cat on the farm named Minerva. I always liked that name.

Dizzy-Dick said...

You are such a kind and compassionate lady. May all your days be filled with joy.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your email comment, Rick.

"Penny, Just read your Blog and I liked the story on the Chicago Fire and I've been told the same story by my G/P & my mother. So I copied it to my Word Perfect program & printed it out. So just want to say thanks again, & I'll just have to wait till your next Blog print out to see what's next & interesting. Catch Ya Later (Shiloh)-Rick"

Thanks and Happy Trails to you Rick, Penny.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comments, Sandra and DD.

Sandra: Usually I have to come up with a name that starts with 'P' for Penny, so that our SPCA boss knows which foster parent has which animal and without having to look it up. 'Minerva' is nice and elegant, but it doesn't really suit this one's personality.

DD, I didn't do anything that anyone else wouldn't have done. You can't see a defenceless little critter, all alone in the world, needing someone to save it's life and take care of it, without doing something about it.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny

Edith Canon said...

Thanks for the fire safety tips. I have a pet too and it's scary to think he would get stuck inside the house in case of a fire disaster. It's true, crisis and fire management plan is a year round responsibility. I admit, I take it for granted most of the time.