Three men charged in horrible shark dragging video case

It has been more than five months since a video went viral on social media showing a shark being dragged by a speed boat. On Tuesday, three Bradenton, Florida men faced animal abuse charges after an extensive investigation.

According to WsmvNews, a press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation states Robert Lee “Bo” Benac, 28, Michael Wenzel, 21, and Spencer Heintz, 33, have each been charged with two counts of aggravated animal cruelty – a third degree felony. In addition, Benac and Wenzel also face one count of illegal method of the taking of a shark – a second degree misdemeanor.

In July, the disturbing video showed at least four men smiling as they dragged a shark behind a speed boat. The video sparked outrage as it began circulating on social media – one of the laughing men could be heard saying “Look it’s almost dead,” as the shark’s body is flailed around in the churning water behind the boat. After the horrific boat dragging ended, one of the men held up the mangled body of the shark for a photo.  According to experts, the shark was still alive, and in agony, while being dragged.

The video ignited enough social outrage to bring about a petition demanding legal action against the men in the video. Florida Governor Rick Scott issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“I was outraged by the sickening video of a shark being horribly abused earlier this year. Florida has no tolerance for this mistreatment, and I am proud of the hard work of the FWC law enforcement during this investigation to hold these individuals accountable for their horrific actions.”

Third-degree felonies for aggravated animal cruelty are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Additional charges for Wenzel and Benac are punishable by the maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

(Photos of  shark dragged Instagram mark/the shark)

Link to video here.

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Read previous article here.


Drowning puppy saved by unexpected hero


Nobody wanted this skinny hurricane survivor, until a reporter gave him a helping hand

Second man claims he was the rabbit rescuer in wildfire video

It seems there is some confusion who the real rabbit rescuer is? And no, this isn’t a “To Tell the Truth” episode where the real young man seen jumping up and down trying to save a little bunny stands up at the end of the question and answer period by a panel of “B” celebrities.

According to the first report, Oscar Gonzales said he was the person in the  NbcNews video, but had described the rabbits as if they could have been domestic pets (white) and not wild. He claimed he was able to grab one of the rabbits, and the babies followed him to a safe area.

But Huff Post was contacted by another person, who says he was the man in the video, and his story holds more water since a local veterinary office and wildlife rehabilitation center can back it up – with the alleged little wild bunny recovering from her injuries. Caleb Wadman, 21, states he was on the highway in La Conchita on Wednesday when he spotted the tiny bunny in what he called “significant distress.”

“I just ran out,” he said, “and that’s when the bunny ran back towards the flames. And I was like ‘No, baby bunny, I’m here. I’m going to take care of you.”

The bunny is currently being cared for at the California Wildlife Center; she is a female cottontail and suffers from burns and heat related injuries. The rabbit was transferred to the wildlife center after Wadman brought her to the Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital. According to staff, who did not identify Wadman by name, however stated he had been wearing the same clothes as seen in the video and had rescued the bunny from the same location as where the video was recorded.

“HuffPost was able to solve the mystery of who rescued the rabbit from the fire. The rabbit is currently being cared for at CWC. It is still very early in her treatment, but at the moment, she is stable,” the organization posted on their Facebook page Saturday afternoon.

Now let’s all be fair though. None of this means Gonzales may not have rescued a rabbit since more than one bunny rescue occurred that night, but only one video caught a man saving one particular bunny. You make the decision.

(Photos for rabbit rescuer FB)

Read the previous article here.

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Nobody wanted this skinny hurricane survivor, until a reporter gave him a helping hand

Emaciated, dying polar bear serves as plea for environmental changes

A video released this week brought tears to our eyes; the vision of an emaciated, dying polar bear hopefully will serve as a rallying plea to change our willful environmental disasters and help us to realize how greed and arrogance continues to destroy those we share the planet with as a warming climate continues to take its toll.

According to National Geographic, nature photographer, Paul Nicklen has been a contributor to the magazine for the last 17 years. He is also a biologist and co-founder of Sea Legacy, a nonprofit group that uses storytelling and visuals to send out messages to save the environment.

The shocking and heartbreaking video on a late summer trip on Somerset Island, a Canadian territory inside the Arctic Circle, shows the emaciated polar bear searching for food in an old garbage can, and all he found was an old seat from a snowmobile to chew. In the photo caption, Nicklen described his team as “pushing through their tears” while working on the documentary.

“It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy. This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death.”

This is a region  where Nicklen grew up, and he stated he had never seen a bear in such poor condition in the past.

“We stood there crying  – filming with tears rolling down our cheeks,” he wrote. “He should have been a dominant bear. Why he was dying I don’t know.”

Although Nicklen agrees he has no solid evidence that the bear’s condition had been affected by the global phenomenon, he decided to use the photo and let people make up their own minds.

Scientists believe polar bears face extinction as the ice continues to melt. The composite population of 25,000 polar bears are predicted to decline by a third in future decades; hunting and breeding areas are shrinking which presents increased chances of starvation. By 2050, it is believed there will be no more polar bears living in the wild. Bears need a lot of food to sustain their bodies, and when they have little ice to ride, the food supplies (seals) quickly disappear.

“When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like,” says photographer Paul Nicklen. “Bears are going to starve to death.”

Some readers have asked why more action wasn’t taken to feed the bear or try to save it; maybe even put him out of his misery?

“It’s not like we travel around with 200-300 pounds of seal meat when we’re walking around in the Arctic,” Nicklen replied. “We knew it was going to be gut wrenching and intense and horrible.”

A 2002 World Wildlife Fund report predicted climate change could lead to their extinction, and that the polar bears had been moving from ice to land earlier in the season and staying longer – gravely extending their fasting season. By the end of summer, most bears showed signs of starvation.

This has not been a recent blight on our planet, and it has progressively been getting worse. No scientists were able to judge the age of the polar bear in the video – just that he was slowly and painfully starving to death. You make the decision about our environment. After all, we are all in this together, and don’t we want our children, grandchildren and many more generations to come enjoy this beautiful planet we share with creatures large and small? Is it man’s path to drill everything out of the earth and its oceans to become richer? When do the animals get a say in the environment? They live here too.

(Photo and video of dying polar bear by National Geographic and Paul Nicklen)

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Video:

Man who rescued bunny from California wildfire speaks out

Oscar Gonzalez had been driving home from work on Wednesday evening in Sylmar when he saw a wild bunny on Highway 1 running as wildfires crossed the roads igniting the brush and trees. In spite of growing criticism from wildlife experts, Gonzalez, 19, states he saved the rabbit’s life and that of her entire family.

The father of one had been videoed by a news reporter jumping frantically up and down as he ran after the frightened wild bunny crossing Highway 1 in LaConchita as the Thomas fire raged forward. According to the Daily Mail, Gonzalez spotted the white rabbit trying to outrun the flames closing in on it.

“I have animals myself and I didn’t want the poor rabbit to get hurt. I knew it was dangerous, but I couldn’t leave them to burn,” Gonzalez stated.

When he got close enough to the rabbit, Gonzalez said the tiny animal jumped towards him as he scooped it up into his arms and allowed him to carry her to the other side of the highway where there were no flames. He stated the rabbit’s family followed him, even though the little ones could not be seen on the video.

As if no good deed ever goes unpunished, local animal experts have since stated Gonzalez may have made things worse for the bunny and her family. The New York Post reports animals like desert cottontails, common in Southern California, should be left alone  and are typically safe as they burrow underground with their young during fires. California Fish and Wildlife experts urge people to leave the animals alone.

“Fire is something animals have to deal with constantly,” explained CFW spokesperson Peter Tira. “Fire or no fire, just let the animals be.”

The animals are known to regularly run near the flames of a wildfire to find areas where they can safely pass through. Most wildlife is said to survive the fires, however some are occasionally killed or burned. 

Do you think Gonzalez was a hero, or should he have just left the bunny to fend for herself? Did Gonzalez endanger his own life and that of firemen if he had been caught in the blaze? Did the bunny’s family follow Gonzalez and the mother bunny out of the forest? Ask away.

 

 

 

 

(Photo of Gonzalez screenshot via NbcNews)

Read the previous story and view the video here.

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Did you know that if you want to get updates from a Facebook page, you need to do more than “like” it? To get recent postings in your Facebook feed, you must also hover your mouse over the word “following” and then click “see first” from the drop-down menu. You may want to check back with your favorite pages on occasion because Facebook often changes your settings, no longer having your having your favorites among those to “see first.


Nobody wanted this skinny hurricane survivor, until a reporter gave him a helping hand

Family files lawsuit after officials take their pet raccoon away

A Seattle area family is devastated after their pet raccoon, raised since she was just a cub, was seized by wildlife officials. According to King 5 News, Mae was raised by Kellie and Chris Greer, who found her seven years ago at a park near the body of her deceased mother.

At the time, the Greers attempted to take little Mae to a wildlife rehabilitation center, but they were not successful in finding one which was willing to take her in. They did, however, get approval from Wolftown, on Vashon Island, to become a “subpermittee,”which allowed them to keep the wild animal, as long as certain rules were followed.

For years, Mae lived with her family as a beloved pet – enjoying playtime in the bathtub, swims on a leash, and camping outings (always harnessed and leashed as was required). But everything changed after a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife warden observed the Greers, with Mae, on a camping trip. The warden took their information and shortly thereafter, Mae was seized from their home by a state official.

The family didn’t know that they had done anything wrong – but according to the state agency, Wolftown was no longer in business, so the subpermittee designation was no longer valid. The Greers didn’t have the proper wildlife permit to keep a raccoon, so Mae was taken away and is now living at a rehab facility where she is being used for “educational purposes.”

Exactly why the Greers were not offered the option to obtain a valid permit to keep Mae is not clear – the family wants their pet to come back home and a lawyer is now helping them. Find a fundraiser to help pay for the legal fees at this link.

Find the Bring Mae Home Facebook group here.

(Images YouCaring and Facebook)

 


Nobody wanted this skinny hurricane survivor, until a reporter gave him a helping hand


 

Man stops to rescue wild bunny from Ventura fire caught on camera

In Ventura County, California, a Good Samaritan saved a wild bunny from the quick spreading wildfires; the rescue was caught on camera.

A man, dressed only in shorts and a hoodie, is seen running over to chase down a wild rabbit on the side of Highway 1, but the man isn’t quick enough, and the frightened bunny runs into the thick brush. The man can be seen clutching his head and jumping up and down, trying to figure out how to save the defenseless little bunny. The animal lover, however had no intentions of giving up, and he moves closer and is finally able to scoop up his floppy eared friend – cuddling the furry little one in his arms and carrying it to safety.

The entire rescue, as the unidentified man risked his own life to save the rabbit, was caught on video by a news reporter. He declined to be interviewed.

It was a Twitter user who said the video restored her  “faith in humanity.”

“We don’t know who this man is, but it doesn’t matter,” stated another Twitter user. “Whoever he is, he has been added to the ranks of heroes who have risen from tragedy with their small acts of compassion.”

So far the fire has destroyed more than 90,000 acres with more than 50,000 homes having been evacuated.  The fires have been burning since Monday night and continues to be fueled by prevailing winds.

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Check out the video: (You tube video and freezeshot from video for wild bunny rescue)

Opossum breaks into liquor store and downs bottle of bourbon

In Okaloosa Island, Florida an opossum started her Christmas celebration early and may or may not know the consequences of a hangover by now. Could it give the phrase “drunk as a skunk” a new meaning?

According to the NFWDaily News, the young female opossum was able to sneak into the Cash Liquor Store the day after Thanksgiving and help herself to an entire bottle of bourbon. A Fort Walton Police Department officer transported the animal on November 24 to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge for treatment. An employee from the liquor store found the animal lying next to the broken bottle.

“A worker there found the opossum up on a shelf next to a cracked open bottle of liquor with nothing in it,” stated Michelle Pettis, an employee of the wildlife organization. “Assuming the opossum drank it all, he brought her to us, and we looked over her and she definitely wasn’t acting normal.”

In other words. was the opossum drunk? She appeared disoriented, pale and had been excessively salivating. She was given fluids to help flush out the toxins and released a few days later.

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a drunk opossum in a box! This sly, and currently slurred, opossum snuck its way into a liquor store and discovered some holiday cheer of its own. A police officer brought the animal to us for medical treatment and is expected to be released soon,” the rescue org posted on their Facebook page.

When Cash Moore, the owner of the liquor store was interviewed, he insisted the animal was over the age of 21, and this had definitely been a first for him.

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Did you know that if you want to get updates from a Facebook page, you need to do more than “like” it? To get recent postings in your Facebook feed, you must also hover your mouse over the word “following” and then click “see first” from the drop-down menu. You may want to check back with your favorite pages on occasion because Facebook often changes your settings, no longer having your having your favorites among those to “see first.”


Meghan Markle’s difficult decision to leave her adopted dog behind as she moves to UK to wed Prince Harry


Who’s surprised with this revelation?

 

 

Family dogs almost died after neighbor used rat poison to kill squirrels

In Bloomfield, Colorado, a family’s dogs almost died after ingesting rat poison spread around by someone in the neighborhood  to kill squirrels. According to the Denver Channel, dog owners, Michael Hendricks and Joan Yates knew something was wrong with their Corgi-mix, Molly when she vomited.

The couple rushed their two dogs to the veterinarian where it was confirmed the dogs had ingested rat poisoning in the form of colorful green pellets. And therein lies the problem explained the family’s veterinarian, Liz Filbert:

“They make it nice and tasty, so the mice and rats will eat it, and unfortunately, those same tastes are exactly what our dogs want to eat. It’s surprising how even just a small amount can really cause severe damage.”

Fortunately, the dogs are expected to survive since the poisoning was found early on, however the dogs will have to take Vitamin K orally.

The neighborhood has been on alert for months worried someone has been trying to kill the squirrels. The squirrels carry the colorful little pellets to other areas, and it is concerning that young children could mistake the rat poison for candy lying on the ground.

Stay alert … our children and our dogs count on us to keep them safe.

(Photo via screenshot Channel 7News)

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

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Meghan Markle’s difficult decision to leave her adopted dog behind as she moves to UK to wed Prince Harry

Firefighters rescue mystery rodent: Any ideas?

It was a structural fire in Denver, Colorado on Monday morning, and of course the firefighters always check for any signs of life in need of rescue. Sure, we all see the photos of adorable puppies receiving oxygen and kittens cuddled in the protective arms of soot covered firemen rushing out of flaming buildings, but the South Metro Fire Rescue are heroes to even our smallest friends.

The fire company tweeted a photo of a very small animal describing the mystery creature as follows:

“Exhausted and covered in soot, this little South Metro resident escaped the fire without injuries but needed a helping hand. After some water and careful placement back in the open space, his day vastly improved.”

And we all know by now, Twitter can create quite the drama, but this time the post had everyone smiling and wondering just what was this mysterious little critter that looked so helpless yet quite adorable. The South Metrol Fire Company didn’t have any answers as to its species, and has reached out to the community for answers.

“It’s a rodent, but we’re not sure exactly what type.”

So far the vote is in to be a “vole.” Any ideas?

We’re just so proud of our firemen – great job men. You are heroes.

Check out the rescue efforts for this little guy on Twitter by clicking here and scrolling down just a bit! Photos and video courtesy of South Metro Fire Rescue.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

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Deformed dog or not? Strange photo is driving people crazy! I’ll admit, this one took me awhile to figure out.

 

Freight trains in Norway kills more than 100 reindeer

In just the last few days, more than 100 reindeer have been killed by freight trains in Norway, sparking an outcry by animal advocates to erect a barrier during the animals’ migratory period. According to the Guardian, in what has been called a senseless tragedy in  Mosjøen, at least 65 reindeer were killed on Saturday alone.

Reindeer herder, Torstein Appfjell called the deaths “totally tragic and unprecedented” and was described as “dizzy with anger,” stating the deaths of the animals have been the worst 12-month period in the area accounting for 250 deaths in the last year. More than 2,000 reindeer were hit along the same northern railway line between 2013 and 2016.

Led by their herders, the reindeer have been migrating from summer pastures in the mountain regions to the coast, however many of the animals get caught on the train tracks. Residents in the area want barriers erected to thwart the animals from getting too close to the tracks.

The train company, Bane NOR, has since reduced speeds in the area, but it is doubtful that the amount of deaths will be reduced based on past occurrences. Warning for trains to decrease their speeds in areas with a huge migration population have not reached the train operators in time.

According to Norway, the country is home to about 250,000 semi-domestic reindeer and most of them live in the far north of the country. The disturbing photos show the dead and dying reindeer lying in the blood-stained snow. Documentary filmmaker Jon Erling Utsi called the scene a “nightmare.”

“The worst thing was the animals that were not killed in the accident. They were lying there, suffering. It was a bloodbath over several kilometres,” he added.

The herders are demanding that the railway operator install a fence along the track, however thus far there has not been any funding.

(Photo via screenshot by John Erling)

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

Did you know that if you want to get updates from a Facebook page, you need to do more than “like” it? To get recent postings in your Facebook feed, you must also hover your mouse over the word “following” and then click “see first” from the drop-down menu. You may want to check back with your favorite pages on occasion because Facebook often changes your settings, no longer having your having your favorites among those to “see first.”


Police K9 honored for saving his partner


Born without his paw, but destined for great things – read all about Furgus!