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Posts Tagged ‘animal story

Attleboro neighbors agog as bear hangs out in backyard tree

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Published June 21, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B2

A young black bear was spotted several times in Attleboro last weekend, causing a scene when it clung to a tree in a residential area Sunday evening for about two hours.

The bear was in a tree behind a home on Lamb Street, onlookers said, where several police officers and a Capron Park Zoo official tried to control the animal as neighbors gathered to watch.

“There were easily over 100 people on the street, maybe 50 to 75 feet away from the bear,” said Bill Jones, who owns the house next door. “That in itself was very scary to me and my wife because” there were very young children in the crowd.

Around 9:30 p.m., Massachusetts Environmental Police were called to the area, spokesman Reginald Zimmerman said yesterday. The environmental police officers ordered the crowd to back away and had local police turn off their lights – and the bear left soon after through Jones’s yard.

“No more than five minutes after that happened, we could hear branches cracking and we could see the shadow of the bear coming down the tree,” Jones said. The bear then climbed over Jones’s fence and ran across the street into a wooded area.

The bear had been spotted several times over the weekend, Zimmerman said, but did not cause any problems. The appearance follows a string of black bear sightings over the past month in areas including Wayland, Framingham, and Weston, but this is not unusual, he said.

“Basically, what happens is around this time [of year] moms kick [the cubs] out of the dens, and they go out in search for food and wander until they can find their own territory,” Zimmerman said.


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June 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

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Couple holds on to hope — and their beloved horse

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Published on June 8, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B3

As the weather in Brimfield worsened last Wednesday, Joann Kass and Steven Bush released their four horses from the barn behind their house, then took shelter in their cellar.

“Their instinct is better than ours when it comes for survival,” said Bush, 58. “All we were thinking of was don’t let anything happen to the horses.”

After the storm passed, one of the animals – Cajun, a 9-year-old Paint – was found severely injured.

But after lifesaving surgery Thursday evening at the Tufts Hospital for Large Animals, the horse is in stable condition and is expected to be discharged soon.

Cajun’s survival is a bright spot for a couple who lost their house, cars, and barn when the twisters pummeled the region.

When they were able to exit the cellar after the storm passed, the couple sized up the destruction, then immediately hunted for the horses.

Kass saw the herd leader, XXX Mouse, standing over Dakota and knew that Dakota had died. Soon they found the other two horses, Cajun and Dragonfly.

Dragonfly sustained some scratches, but Cajun was severely injured. Blood dripped down his rear right leg, where a stick still protruded.

Bush immediately began cutting through the fallen trees and debris blocking the driveway, and Kass called their veterinarian, Dr. Paula Orcutt.

“It was very sad that the horse was dead, but you had to take care of the one that was alive,” Bush said. “We didn’t give anything else much thought: The house can be rebuilt. We can buy cars again, and we can buy more hay. But with Cajun, that’s a living, breathing thing, and he can’t be replaced.”

Orcutt was able to reach Cajun at around 1 a.m. Thursday, remove the stick from his leg, and bandage him the best she could.

More than a dozen people gathered later that morning to finish clearing the driveway, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston took Cajun to the Tufts hospital, in North Grafton.

Thomas Jenei, clinical assistant professor of large-animal surgery, gave Cajun his initial evaluation. He said he found the lowest joint in the horse’s foot was damaged and filled with debris.

Bush said doctors gave Cajun a 50-50 chance of survival.

“They’ve lost so much they really wanted to do everything they could to get him through this, so he could return to being a happy, healthy member of their family again,” Jenei said.

The couple decided to go through with the two-hour surgery, but left before the operation.

“We both were in tears, because we didn’t know if we were going to lose another horse or not,” Bush said.

The next morning, the hospital called and reported Cajun was in stable condition after the surgery and seemed to be in good spirits. The couple was updated again Saturday and told that he was eating again.

Gradually, Cajun began putting weight on his leg again, and yesterday doctors said they expected he would be discharged in about a week.

While specialists continue to work with Cajun, Bush and Kass are planning to rebuild their home and trying to find temporary stables to bring their horses back on the property, where they are living in a trailer.

Orcutt waived her fee for the on-site care, and drug distributor JA Webster has committed to pay for the drugs used in Cajun’s care.

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June 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

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Dog missing from shelter is found after police get a tip

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Published May 26, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B2

A 9-year-old Shih Tzu has been returned to the MSPCA-Angell facility after it was allegedly taken Sunday afternoon, officials said.

A staff member noticed the dog, Bella, was missing Sunday afternoon and reported her stolen to Boston police, spokesman Rob Halpin said in a statement.

A visitor who was at the facility in Jamaica Plain on Sunday called and reported having seen a woman with a dog fitting Bella’s description in her bag, said Amanda Kennedy, director of the center’s Animal Care and Adoption Center.

With the help of the tip and surveillance video, police were able to identify a suspect.

Boston and Malden police went to the woman’s house in Malden and found Bella. The investigation is ongoing, and no additional details have been released.

Kennedy said Bella was in stable condition when she was returned.

“We’re just so thrilled to have her back,” she said. “She seems happy to be back.”

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May 26, 2011 at 10:06 am

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Mass. lifts boating advisory on right whales

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Published on May 20, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B2

At the beginning of each year, North Atlantic right whales travel near New England, but after appearing in record numbers this year near Cape Cod, they have all departed.

Because of their recent departure, the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game has lifted the advisory for boaters to avoid the whales, a spokesman for the department said in a statement.

An aerial survey on April 25 documented 124 whales in Cape Cod Bay, a record high for the area, the statement said.

There are only approximately 450 of this breed of whale in existence.

A subsequent aerial survey, conducted May 13, showed the whales had left the area, but officials are warning boaters around the Cape to continue to watch for the animals.

“Though no whales were sighted in the bay, boaters should remain on the lookout for right whales as they may still be present on the backside of Cape Cod and in the Great South Channel,” the statement said.

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May 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

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Whales depart waters off Cape Cod

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Published May 19, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

At the beginning of each year, North Atlantic right whales travel to the coast of New England, but after appearing in record numbers this year near the tip of Cape Cod, they have all departed.

Because of their departure, the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game has lifted the advisory warning boaters to avoid the whales, a department spokesman said in a statement.

On April 25, an aerial survey documented 124 whales in Cape Cod Bay, a record high for the area, the statement said. There are only approximately 450 in existence.

Another aerial survey conducted May 13 showed the whales had left the area, but officials are warning boaters around the Cape continue to watch for the animals.

“Though no whales were sighted in the bay, boaters should remain on the lookout for right whales as they may still be present” in area waters, the statement said.

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May 19, 2011 at 10:37 am

Great white shark checks in early off Martha’s Vineyard

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Published on May 7, 2011 in The Boston Globe, page B3

A great white shark was spotted yesterday off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard by a group of fishermen, officials said.

The shark, which was confirmed as a great white by a state specialist, was circling the carcass of a minke whale off Aquinnah on the western tip of the island, said Reginald Zimmerman, a spokesman for the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Jeff Lynch of Chilmark, a commercial fisherman who sails out of Menemsha, said he was going mackerel fishing yesterday morning with two friends when they spotted the dead whale and then saw the great white swimming underneath it.

“The funny thing is I was going mackerel fishing to get shark bait,” he said.

Lynch said he motored out of Menemsha at about 6 a.m. and spotted the whale carcass and shark at 7 a.m., about 1 to 1 1/2 miles west of Aquinnah. He said they drifted near the site and observed the shark until 7:30 or 7:45 a.m.

“It was kind of following me around,” said Lynch. He said it came within 2 feet of his boat.

“I had a few `Jaws’ quotes going through my head,” he said. “I go shark fishing all the time. But to see something that size was absolutely incredible.”

He estimated the animal was 20 feet long and weighed 2,000 pounds.

Lynch said he took pictures of the shark and e-mailed them to shark specialist Greg Skomal, a biologist with the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries, who wanted to tag the large specimen but was not able to reach the site in time.

Will Farrissey of Oak Bluffs was on the boat with Lynch and said the shark was the largest he has seen.

“It was pretty amazing seeing it,” Farrissey. “It is definitely something I’ll remember my whole life.”

The fishermen approached the dead whale because US Coast Guard officials had asked them to take photos of it. When their boat approached, the shark swam below, Farrissey said.

“All we said was, `We don’t want to sink now,”‘ he said.

The encounter ended when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environmental police towed the whale carcass away and the shark disappeared, Lynch and Farrissey said.

“What I really want to stress is there’s no need for panic,” said Zimmerman, the state agency spokesman.

Zimmerman said there have been sharks spotted in the area in previous years because they follow seals for feeding.

Last year, eight sharks were tagged by the state, and five were tagged in 2009. Over last summer, beaches were closed because of the sightings in New Bedford, Chatham, and Westport.

Skomal said yesterday’s spotting was not unusual for the area, but that it is early in the season for shark sightings.

“It does seem to be a little bit early to me,” he said. “I didn’t expect to see these animals until later in the month or early next month.”

Skomal said it is difficult to try to predict why the shark came earlier this year, or what this may mean for the summer.

“Certainly the sighting of a single shark is not unusual,” he said. “We have to see how it plays out for the next month.”

While no official warning has been released, Zimmerman stressed that people should take caution in the water and avoid areas with seals.

-Martin Finucane contributed to this report.

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May 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

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Wild turkeys patrol city sidewalks Raising curiosity, causing gridlock

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Published on April 6,2011 in The Boston Globe, page B3

After hearing about it from customers for a week, Karen Henderson finally saw the legend yesterday, a live turkey on Commonwealth Avenue, near Washington Street in Brighton.

Up to four at a time have been spotted recently in the area, causing walkers to gawk and traffic to be gridlocked at times.

“This one is not shy,” said Henderson, 54, an employee at Melvin Pharmacy, where the turkey could be found most of this afternoon. “It’s pretty calm.”

This recent Brighton spotting marks the start of turkey mating season, expected to last through early May, said Marion Larson, a biologist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Based on its picture, she identified the bird as a male.

“Sometimes hormones do strange things to birds,” Larson said. “We get calls about odd places they’re showing up or other odd behavior.”

According to Larson’s department, there are 18,000 to 20,000 wild turkeys in the state.

In these situations, officials can step in only if a wild animal is sick or injured, Larson said. If they are removed, the birds will probably return.

“It’s not always that easy,” she said. “These birds are going to return. They have wings.”

Henderson and others have been feeding the turkey bread to encourage it to stay out of the road. But feeding the bird, Larson warned, may encourage it to stay or return next year.

Police officers were unsuccessful in attempts to shoo it back to the sidewalk yesterday, but Larson approved of their methods. “Reminding them that you are in charge or at least are somewhat of a threat or unpredictable, that’s the way it needs to be,” she said.

Customers have told Henderson they have seen up to four together; and last year a group of three hung around the area around the same time of year. She is concerned about the turkey getting caught in traffic or not finding its way home.

“It’s very content,” she said. “I’m just hoping it finds its way back to where it belongs.”

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April 6, 2011 at 9:05 am

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Second person arrested in puzzling puppy theft

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Published on March 21, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

A second person was arrested today in Worcester in connection with the puzzling theft of puppies last week from a Sterling animal shelter, officials said.

Jose L. Figueroa, 22, of Worcester, was arraigned in Worcester Central District Court on four counts of receiving stolen property valued at more than $250, Worcester district attorney’s spokesman Tim Connolly said.

Figueroa’s bail was also revoked on a case from last year in which he was charged with intimidating a witness, said Connolly.

Worcester police arrested Sylvia Ortiz, 22 of Worcester, last week in connection with the same case, police said in a statement. She faces three counts of receiving stolen property.

Connolly didn’t know whether Figueroa and Ortiz were connected. Worcester police didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Meanwhile, as the weather worsened today, concern was mounting at the Sterling Animal Shelter because two of the nine puppies stolen overnight Wednesday still haven’t been recovered, said Leigh Grady, the shelter’s executive director.

“It’s pretty much a dire situation right now,” she said. “They can’t survive with weather like this.”

Grady and others spent the weekend searching for the remaining two after seven were returned last week, she said. The shelter received tips that the puppies were spotted in the Great Brook Valley area of nearby Worcester, but searchers couldn’t find them.

At least two of the seven that have been recovered were found wandering outside in Worcester, one near a school and the other on railroad tracks.

“We’re just praying somehow, some way we’ll get these guys back,” Grady said.

Five of the returned puppies have been sent to their adoptive homes. Two remain under veterinary care but should be able to go to their adopted families this week, she said.

Written by jdunccc

March 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

4 of 9 pups taken in Sterling returned Shelter receives anonymous tip

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Published on March 18, 2011 in The Boston Globe, Page B2

Leigh Grady knew something was wrong when she came to work yesterday.

The normally rowdy animals in the Sterling Animal Shelter were relatively quiet, “like they knew something was going on, and they were traumatized,” she said.

Grady, the shelter’s executive director, said the shelter’s side door had been kicked off the hinge, five of the kennel doors had been opened, and nine puppies were taken.

Police are investigating the theft of a variety of mixed breeds from four litters, ranging in age from 10 to 14 weeks.

Jennifer Wooliscroft, a spokesman for the Animal Rescue League, said last night that four of the dogs have been returned, thanks to an anonymous tip.

Staff at the shelter are particularly concerned because all of the puppies were spayed or neutered on Wednesday and are in need of medication. Grady personally offered a $1,000 reward for their return – no questions asked.

“We just want to make sure they’re OK,” she said. “We’re all pretty upset and devastated.”

Police took photographs and dusted for fingerprints at the shelter.

Police Chief Gary Chamberland said the department’s best lead is a stolen vehicle that had been abandoned in the area.

Police have reached out to nearby police departments and animal control units, asking to keep an eye out for the dogs.

“I’ve never seen this number of dogs taken from a shelter,” said Chamberland. “I would say it’s kind of unusual.”

Additionally, a Saber Alert was sent out yesterday, informing animal control officers and animal care professionals across the state of the missing dogs, an official from the Animal Rescue League of Boston said.

Lieutenant Alan Borgal, director of the center for animal protection at the Animal Rescue League, said he had not seen a puppy theft of this magnitude in a while. He said more thefts happen at pet shops, and people tend to only take one or two dogs.

“I think it’s very sad that these were young dogs, and I think the only market is to sell these on the street or go out of the state,” said Borgal, who has also notified New Hampshire authorities.

The shelter received the puppies from other rescue groups in Tennessee and Virginia, where they were either picked up as strays, left at a shelter, or were at a kill shelter where they could have been euthanized.

Anyone with information on the puppies still missing is urged to call the Sterling Animal Shelter at 978-422-8585 or Sterling Police at 978-422-7331.

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March 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm

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Six of nine puppies returned after mysterious theft

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Published on March 18, 2011 in The Boston Globe Metro Desk Blog

Six of the nine puppies stolen from Sterling Animal Shelter overnight Wednesday, in a mystery that had baffled police, have been returned, the shelter’s executive director, Leigh Grady, said today.

Four puppies were recovered last night after police, acting on a tip, went to an apartment complex in Worcester, where they found three in one apartment and one at a neighbor’s apartment.

Sterling Police Chief Gary Chamberland said an arrest was made in Worcester in connection with the events, though he did not know any further details. A Worcester police spokesman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

This morning a man returned a dog directly to the shelter after claiming he found it near some train tracks. Grady said the return seemed suspicious to her, because her staff thought they recognized the man as someone who had been at the shelter the day before the puppies went missing.

“It’s quite strange – he didn’t ask about the reward,” she said. “My staff that was here on that day said that they are 99.9 percent sure that he was here.” The shelter had offered a $1,000 reward for the dogs.

Also this morning, a sixth puppy was recovered outside of a Worcester school, Grady said. The daughter of one of Grady’s friends, who also works in animal rescue, got out of the car to enter the school this morning and heard crying. The girl found the puppy underneath the vehicle.

“The whole thing is pretty shady,” said Grady. “It seems like they took them and are splitting them up, trying to hide them.”

The puppies that have been returned were unharmed but seemed skittish after the events. Currently, the staff is worried about the three puppies that are still missing, and hope they get home soon, Grady said.

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March 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm