Poor Caitlyn the Pitbull

Stories like this completely break my heart. I recently came across a Huffington Post article about a sweet, adorable pitbull named Caitlyn who was mutilated by horrible humans who taped her mouth closed. The lovable pup was found with tape so tight around her mouth that circulation was cut off to her tongue. Thanks to the veterinary care team at Charleston Animal Society, she is being treated, and is showing improvement. At the time of the article, Caitlyn had started eating some, but it is up in the air as to whether or not she will need to have a portion of her mouth and tongue amputated, though it seems likely.

The fact that someone out there is sick and depraved enough to do that to an animal is so disturbing. Isn’t violence to animals one of the signs of a sociopath? How can some one look a living creature in the eye and do something so cruel? The animals aren’t able to speak up for themselves, and they rely on their caregivers to protect them and keep them safe and healthy. Thank goodness there are people out there like the staff at the Charleston Animal Society to help care for these animals and give them a second chance. Working in the veterinary field, I hope I never have to see something so awful.

If you would like to learn more about Caitlyn’s story, check out the Huffington Post article here.

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Disney Nature: Monkey Kingdom

We recently saw Disney Nature’s newest documentary titled Monkey Kingdom, and it was pretty good. What I loved about this film that was different than previous Disney Nature pics was that they showed the interaction between the monkeys and their human neighbors. As humans develop more and more into previously wild areas, there will inevitably be some overlap. You get to see the difference in how they live between their wild home, and the one in the big city. Their sleeping habits are affected, their diets, and even their social structure. Narrated by Tina Fey, it had the typical style of other Disney Nature documentaries where the subjects are named, and the events take place from a particular animal’s perspective, in this case, an adult female monkey low in the social order. It follows the amazing journey of these monkeys from their home territory, to the big city, and back, and the female monkeys journey from the bottom to the top of the social hierarchy. I recommend this movie to both adults and children looking to learn more about nature and get a good story at the same time.

Santa Barbara Oil Spill

I was so sad to hear about the Plains All American Pipeline oil spill this occurred this past Tuesday off the coast of Santa Barbara County in California. The spill ended up being five times worse than they originally thought. While clean up efforts continue, the long term effects on the marine life and environment are yet to be seen. We are still seeing effects on the marine life from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill that took place in the Gulf back in 2010.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has this to say:

“California’s coastline is one of the state’s most precious natural treasures. This oil spill has scarred the scenic Santa Barbara coast, natural habitats and wildlife. My office is working closely with our state and federal partners on an investigation of this conduct to ensure we hold responsible parties accountable.”

This spill hits a little closer to home for me. I live in northern California, and I volunteer with marine mammals like the California sea lions and elephant seals being effected by this spill. In addition, fish, birds, and other wildlife are being affected by this spill. Apparently, it is the only major pipeline in the area without an automatic shut off valve because of the previous owner somehow talking his way around the requirements back in the ’80s. That is unacceptable. As of today, they still hadn’t found the segment of pipeline with the leak.

In an MSNBC article, it is reported that:

“The oil transportation company has been fined at least 10 times for oil spill violations in four other states between 2004 and 2007, according to reports. The Houston-based company has been deemed the “worst violators” by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration.”

This company needs a kick in the butt. They should be shut down. That many violations and failure to have an automatic shut off valve?! It makes me sick just thinking about it. We can only hope that this was a lesson to them, and that they will be held fully responsible.

Record Numbers At The Marine Mammal Center

We were now at almost 200 animals at The Marine Mammal Center this year. Those are record numbers! We haven’t had this many animals at the center at one time in something like 40 years. There is an algal bloom in Monterey Bay that supposedly is contributing to the problem in addition to other conditions. The NBC Bay Area News was there on Thursday while I was volunteering filming a story about it. Here is a link to the story along with some video footage of some of my crew-mates and some of our cute little patients.

If you’re interested in donating to help us feed so many hungry mouths, check out TMMC donation page.

Hoppie, the wayward sealion pup who found himself 100 miles from the ocean wandering through an almond orchard. Image Source: www.facebook.com/themarinemammalcenter

Hoppie, the wayward sealion pup who found himself 100 miles from the ocean wandering through an almond orchard.
Image Source: www.facebook.com/themarinemammalcenter

My Hero: Jane Goodall

This video is so touching. Jane Goodall is, and always will be, a hero of mine. In this video, a chimp named Wounda is released back into the wild after a stint at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center. I’ll warn you now, it’s a tear jerker so have those tissues ready. Just after being released, Wounda turns around to give Jane a big hug. I don’t know if I’m more jealous that Dr. Goodall got to hug a chimp or that the chimp got to hug frickin’ Jane Goodall!

The Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center cares for around 160 chimpanzees at any given time. To support the center or learn more, check out the Jane Goodall Institute’s website.