Monday, November 18, 2013

Dying Manatees. Water Warrior. Dog’s Diet Causes Pee Burned Grass. Coyote in Snare Trap. Family Pet in a Divorce. Fix Your Pet, Please. Sandy Koufax. Jonestown.


For "Mammal Monday":

Pollution Killing Manatees at Record Pace

Yet, industry group seeks to removed endangered species status.


The manatee deaths have been linked to toxic algae outbreaks. (David Hinkel / U.S. FWS)

"I’m sad to report that 2013 has become the deadliest year ever for Florida’s endangered manatees.

So far this year, 769 manatees have died (Jan. 1 through Oct. 29), the largest annual manatee die-off in Florida since record-keeping began, according to the Save the Manatee Club.

“That means more than 15 percent of the estimated population of about 5,000 has already been killed, and as the year goes on the total will continue to climb,” environmental reporter Craig Pittman wrote in the Tampa Bay Times.

Boat collisions are usually the main killer of these mellow sea cows, who float and graze in Florida’s sea grass beds. But this year, boat collisions are down.

image This year, the biggest manatee die-offs on Florida’s east and west coasts are linked to algae outbreaks, which are worsened by sewage, manure and fertilizer runoff—the subject of our continuing legal fight against polluters. As regular readers of this blog know, we have been working since 2009 to enforce legal limits on these pollutants, which are wrecking Florida’s famed aquatic ecosystems as well as killing wildlife.

Florida regulators are doing the bidding of polluter-lobbyists, and environmental disasters like the record manatee deaths are the sad result. Instead of stepping in to enforce the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has backed off.

A toxic red tide bloom in southwest Florida killed a record 276 manatees along Florida’s west coast near Fort Myers. On Florida’s east coast, in the amazingly biodiverse Indian River Lagoon east of Orlando, pollution-fueled algae outbreaks kept breaking out and then hundreds of dead fish, dolphins, and pelicans began turning up, along with more than 100 dead manatees.

Among the 123 dead manatees found this year were stillborn, newborn or young calves less than 5 feet in length, which sets another annual record for this category, Dr. Katie Tripp, Save the Manatee Club’s science and conservation director, told reporters.

Forty-nine of the small, dead manatees were found in Brevard County, north of Vero Beach. That’s at the epicenter of a massive sea grass die off which scientists say is linked to pollution.

The Indian River Lagoon has lost 47,000 acres of sea grass since 2010, which, as the Tampa Bay Times noted, “one scientist compared to losing an entire rainforest in one fell swoop.”

When scientists performed necropsies on the manatees, they found that their stomachs contained a reddish seaweed they don’t normally eat—their normal sea grass food source was wiped out.

Patrick Rose, an aquatic biologist and the executive director of the club, added: “What we put into our waters, how much we pump from our aquifer and draw from our springs and rivers, together with how we use our waterways, all has an impact on our own lives and the lives of every aquatic species. We must be better stewards of our waters and waterways or suffer even more severe consequences going forward.”"   More at:


The Manatee Alert App notifies boaters when they are approaching manatee speed zones and helps facilitate the reporting of injured manatees and manatee harassment. (Manatee photo © David Schrichte)

"Go to to download the free Manatee Alert App. Conserve.IO, based in Delray Beach, Florida, develops mobile applications for conservation organizations. For more information, go to"


Water Warrior - The fight to stop toxic algae in Florida's water

"In this video, Earthjustice Managing Attorney David Guest talks about the threat to the health and wealth of Florida's citizens posed by toxic algae outbreaks. The outbreaks are caused by pollutants from sewage, fertilizer and manure that big business pump into Florida's waterways. Earthjustice, on behalf of several local groups, has filed suit to establish limits on these pollutants that will help end this problem."

Visit - - to learn more and take action to help clean Florida's waterways.


3 Reasons Your Dog’s Urine Kills Your Grass – And What to Do About It

Are you feeding your pet to thrive or just survive?

image "Most veterinarians at one time or another get questions from clients about why their dog’s urine burns the grass… and what they can do about it.

There are three reasons a dog’s urine burns grass: an alkaline pH, concentrated (vs. dilute) urine, and nitrogen load. The most important factor of the three is urine pH.

Dogs are carnivores, and as such, their urine pH should be on the acidic side – ideally from 6 to 6.5, but no more than 7. A urine pH over 7 will not only burn your grass, it can predispose your pet to struvite crystals and other urinary tract disorders.

image A dog’s urine pH can often be maintained in the healthy range by feeding a species-appropriate diet -- low-carb, grain-free, potato-free, and preferably fresh or at least canned food for the increased moisture content.

If improving your dog’s urine pH doesn’t fully resolve the problem of your burned lawn, alternatives are to water down the spots where he urinates, or cover the area with about an inch of compost to help rebalance the soil pH."  More at:


Coyote Rescued from Snare Trap.

"Graphic video & hard to watch. People need to be aware of what this is like for the animal & the rescuers. The coyote was not expected to be found in a snare so we had to act with the tools we had."

"The animal was eventually freed but died a week later from its injuries.

The officers learned that a resident had hired a wildlife trapper to set the trap after a “coyote vs. dog incident at the location a week prior.”

The reaction from the property owner who hired the trapper was horror. Had it been known what would have happened to the coyote the trapper would never have hired to begin with. The property owner fired the trapper that day. In addition, those who have viewed the video are in agreement thus far that this is something that should not be allowed." More at:


New Rules About Who Gets Your Family Pet in a Divorce

image "Nowadays, when pet owning couples break up, it’s less likely the family dog or cat (or bird or other companion animal) will be viewed as just another piece of property to be distributed.

Both pet owners and those in the business of settling divorces realize pet custody issues can be as thorny as child custody disputes. These days, divorce mediators and judges are more apt to consider the best interests of the pet.

In deciding who should get custody, the courts take into consideration such things as which party takes care of the animal’s basic daily needs, veterinary visits, socialization and training, and who is better equipped financially to care for a pet.

Couples who are splitting up should keep their pet’s interests in mind and make custody decisions based on providing the best care and stability for the animal.

Depending on many factors including the type of animal involved, it makes sense for some couples to share custody, while others will do the right thing by relinquishing a beloved pet to the person better able to care for it."  More at:


Please spay or neuter your dog, there are not enough homes, or foster parents to go around.

Foster dog


Please spay or neuter you cat, there are not enough homes, or foster parents to go around.

Cat and many kittens

And while that is going on, the first cat is having more litters of kittens!!


On This Day:

Sandy Koufax retires, Nov 18, 1966:

"On November 18, 1966, Sandy Koufax, the ace pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, retires from baseball. He was just 30 years old, and he was retiring after a great season--he’d led the Dodgers to a National League pennant and won his third Cy Young award. But he had chronic arthritis in his pitching arm, and he was afraid that if he kept playing baseball, eventually he wouldn’t be able to use his left hand at all. "In those days there was no surgery," he said much later. "The wisdom was if you went in there, it would only make things worse and your career would be over, anyway. Now you go in, fix it, and you’re OK for next spring."

But what Sandy Koufax is perhaps most famous for is his refusal, in 1965, to pitch the first game of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. (Don Drysdale pitched instead, and gave up seven runs in the first three innings; "I bet right now you wish I was Jewish, too," he said when the team’s manager pulled him out of the game.) In 1971, the 36-year-old Koufax became the youngest person ever to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame."


Mass suicide at Jonestown, Nov 18, 1978:

"On this day in 1978, Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones leads hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their agricultural commune in a remote part of the South American nation of Guyana. Many of Jones’ followers willingly ingested a poison-laced punch while others were forced to do so at gunpoint. The final death toll at Jonestown that day was 909; a third of those who perished were children.

Jonestown did not turn out to be the paradise their leader had promised. Temple members worked long days in the fields and were subjected to harsh punishments if they questioned Jones' authority. Their passports were confiscated, their letters home censored and members were encouraged to inform on one another and forced to attend lengthy, late-night meetings. Jones, by then in declining mental health and addicted to drugs, was convinced the U.S. government and others were out to destroy him. He required Temple members to participate in mock suicide drills in the middle of the night.

In 1978, a group of former Temple members and concerned relatives of current members convinced U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan, a Democrat of California, to travel to Jonestown and investigate the settlement. On November 17, 1978, Ryan arrived in Jonestown with a group of journalists and other observers. At first the visit went well, but the next day, as Ryan's delegation was about to leave, several Jonestown residents approached the group and asked them for passage out of Guyana. Jones became distressed at the defection of his followers, and one of Jones' lieutenants attacked Ryan with a knife. The congressman escaped from the incident unharmed, but Jones then ordered Ryan and his companions ambushed and killed at the airstrip as they attempted to leave. The congressman and four others were murdered as they boarded their charter planes.

Back in Jonestown, Jones commanded everyone to gather in the main pavilion and commit what he termed a "revolutionary act." The youngest members of the Peoples Temple were the first to die, as parents and nurses used syringes to drop a potent mix of cyanide, sedatives and powdered fruit juice into children's throats. Adults then lined up to drink the poison-laced concoction while armed guards surrounded the pavilion.

When Guyanese officials arrived at the Jonestown compound the next day, they found it carpeted with hundreds of bodies. Many people had perished with their arms around each other."



Ray came over and we moved Nala's own personal three storey kitty condo out of my bathroom into the Grooming Room.  Nala has had to sleep in the Grooming Room with Peekers now that my 'new' old cat, Ava, is in isolation my bathroom until we know that she is really healthy.   It wasn't fair that Ava had Nala's condo in there, as it is Nala's favourite place, and will go with her to her new home when the time comes.   Then we moved my four storey one in there for Ava, even though she hardly ever moves away from the bathroom window, and had never been on Nala's condo. We disinfected both condos.  I can't let Ava meet Nala and Peekers as they are all ready for adoption.  Ava came from a different rescue and hasn't been checked out by our SPCA vet, so she has to be kept away from them.

We started to put more screen on the screen porch, but one thing led to another.  The door handle on the inside of the garage door came off, so we had to nut and bolt it on, this time.  Then we had to put a new end on a water hose so that we could water the aloe in the homemade greenhouse.  Finally, we were able to cut and staple up one more panel of screen on the west side of the porch. We sorted out all the screen molding that had come off the porch into size order and found the pieces that had come off that section, and screwed it on.  That west end of the screen porch does get wet in a driving rain, so we put clear vinyl up over the screen, on that one side.

The weather has turned warmer again, and it was back to tank tops and shorts yesterday.

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