Poison hemlock blooming in western Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH —
Poison hemlock, an invasive and dangerous plant, is blooming in the western Pennsylvania area. The plant is poisonous to both people and animals.

Experts say poison hemlock has a smooth, hollow stem and can be identified by purple spots on its stems. It tends to grow near meadows and streams.

Dwight Lingenfelter, an extension associate at Penn State Extension specializing in weed science, said the plant has toxic properties, primarily if it is ingested. He said that in general, most people are not allergic to poison hemlock just by coming in contact with it. Some people may experience skin irritation if they touch it.

According to experts, you can easily dig out poison hemlock with a shovel or pull it out with a pair of gloves.

If there is a lot of it, use of a herbicide that is non-lethal to animals recommended.

Besides the Skin Irritation – some will experience allergy symptoms, such as irritation of the eyes, and lungs. Keep your pets away from the Hemlock as it will kill them, if ingested.

Here’s what it looks like:

Canada Goose to end use of animal fur by 2022

Canada Goose, has pledged to cut out the use of Animal Fur in their products by the year 2022. Following suit with other going green companies, after years of criticism from the consumer base, and animal rights activists groups.

We will see when 2022 rolls around.

The Toronto-based winter clothing company, whose most popular products include its fur-trimmed coats, announced in a tweet Thursday that in 2021, it plans to end the purchase of all fur, with all manufacturing of fur products ending by 2022.

“As a brand driven by our purpose, we are committing to a future without fur,” Canada Goose tweeted.

This move comes as part of Canada Goose’s sustainability goals, which include transitioning to 90 percent of product materials being made up of organic fibers and moving to 100-percent recycled packaging by 2025, according to the company’s 2020 Sustainability Report released in April.

Advocacy groups praised Canada Goose’s plans to phase out animal fur, including Humane Society International, which wrote in a tweet, “This is a historic moment in our fight to end cruel fur fashion and we commend Canada Goose for its decision to go fur-free!”

Read more here: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/560342-canada-goose-to-end-use-of-animal-fur-by-2022

‘Obese’ Potbellied Pig ‘on the Road to Recovery’ After Being Abandoned in Las Vegas Heat

The Potbellied Pig named Cupcake whom was abandoned in Las Vegas, during the terrible heat wave happening. Is now on the way to recovery.

Earlier this week, The Animal Foundation – a nonprofit animal shelter and low-cost vet clinic in Clark County, Nevada – shared on Facebook that the animal was discovered outside a Las Vegas home earlier this month. At the time, temperatures in the area were surpassing 107 degrees, according to CBS-affiliate WKBN.

In their social media post, the shelter added that Cupcake was “dumped” in the yard in a large wire dog crate.

“She was alone, uncomfortable and severely overweight,” the organization added. After taking in the overweight pig, who could “hardly move,” The Animal Foundation determined that Cupcake weighed 175 pounds. The pig also had overgrown hooves and dirty ears.

the organization is looking for an owner to love and take care of Cupcake.

The shelter – which said they take “in an average of 25,000 animals each year” – notes that as Cupcake continues to lose weight, it will be easier and more enjoyable for her to walk.

“She will need a caring owner who will help her on her weight loss journey and show her the love she deserves,” The Animal Foundation wrote on Facebook.

“While we can’t erase the trauma and abandonment that Cupcake has experienced, we are doing everything we can to make up for it with love,” they continued, adding, “Some, like Cupcake, need extra time and specialized care before they can find their happily ever after.”

Biologists Discover New Species of Glowing Pumpkin Toadlet | Science | Smithsonian Magazine

By Riley Black
SMITHSONIANMAG.COM
APRIL 28, 2021 2:00PM
Pumpkin toadlets look exactly like what their name suggests. Less than half an inch-long, these tiny, orange frogs hop around the sweltering forests along Brazil’s Atlantic coast. But how many species of these frogs are there? The question isn’t just important to biology, but for conservationists seeking to preserve unique rainforest amphibians.

To researchers, pumpkin toadlets belong to the genus Brachycephalus. Determining how many Brachycephalus species exist, however, isn’t easy. As many as 36 have been named, but researchers sometimes disagree on which species are valid or which species a particular population of frogs should be assigned to. Different populations of these frogs look very similar to each other, not to mention that their genetic makeup only varies slightly.
— Read on www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/biologists-discover-new-species-glowing-pumpkin-toadlet-180977610/

Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us – The Washington Post

Kitty Block, 56, is president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States and CEO of Humane Society International, an affiliate. Trained as a lawyer, Block has spent decades advocating on behalf of animal welfare, domestically and around the world.

During the pandemic, there’s been a huge surge in adopting pets. What do you think are the benefits of that trend, and also, maybe, the potential perils?
In a time of crisis, when people feel things are uncertain and people feel isolated or scared, to be able to bond with an animal is so important. For so many people, it wasn’t just: Oh, it’s convenient. I’m working from home. It’s: I need to have this kind of connection, this unconditional love. And [animals] provide that. That’s who they are. That’s what they do.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/humane-society-president-discusses-the-surge-of-pet-ownership-during-the-pandemic–and-what-animals-can-teach-us/2021/04/27/198f5bcc-9269-11eb-a74e-1f4cf89fd948_story.html

Glaciers are melting faster than they did 15 years ago, study shows | PBS NewsHour

Glaciers are melting faster, losing 31% more snow and ice per year than they did 15 years earlier, according to three-dimensional satellite measurements of all the world’s mountain glaciers.
Scientists blame human-caused climate change.

Using 20 years of recently declassified satellite data, scientists calculated that the world’s 220,000 mountain glaciers are losing more than 328 billion tons (298 billion metric tons) of ice and snow per year since 2015, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature. That’s enough melt flowing into the world’s rising oceans to put Switzerland under almost 24 feet (7.2 meters) of water each year.

The annual melt rate from 2015 to 2019 is 78 billion more tons (71 billion metric tons) a year than it was from 2000 to 2004. Global thinning rates, different than volume of water lost, doubled in the last 20 years and “that’s enormous,” said Romain Hugonnet, a glaciologist at ETH Zurich and the University of Toulouse in France who led the study.
— Read on www.pbs.org/newshour/science/glaciers-are-melting-faster-than-they-did-15-years-ago-study-shows

Petition Update

I have been debating whether or not to share this news with everyone. It breaks my heart that our Government in the state of Pennsylvania is heartless.

My correspondence:

From: Mary Robbins >
Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2020 2:55 AM
To: PA Senator Katie Muth <senatormuth@pasenate.com>; Gaydos, Valerie <vgaydos@pahousegop.com>; LGoffice@pa.gov<LGoffice@pa.gov>
Subject: Petition Signatures: Outlaw Cat Declaw ■ EXTERNAL EMAIL ■

To Representatives, Senators and Lt Governor,I have attached the following document for you to look over. With the hopes that you will come to a logical and fair decision.The document contains over 850 signatures requesting that Pennsylvania, follow suit with New York, and outlaw the barbarity that is cat declawing.I am also including the link to the petition, https://www.change.org/p/pennsylvania-governor-outlaw-the-declawing-of-cats
Declawing of cats has been a part of managing the scratching behavior of objects in cats. However, this barbaric tradition to protect ”items” and other material possession has caused more harm than good. Declawing cats has left them physically and mentally scarred for life.
We sit here on the precipice of destroying our beloved companions just to protect a few pieces of furniture or walls. All of which can easily be replaced, repaired and or protected by other humane ways.

Declawing of cats should never be an option. Scratching objects and or trees is a natural instinct for cats. The Medical drawbacks to declawing include pain in the paw, infection, tissue necrosis (tissue death), lameness, and back pain. Removing claws changes the way a cat’s foot meets the ground and can cause pain similar to wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes.

Those who declaw their cats are basically torturing cats for a lifetime. Some cats, even big cats in zoos go through life never placing full weight on paws, some even developed a mental disorder. Leading them to constantly lick and or shake their paw uncontrollably.

Not to mention if cats should escape outside how would they ever defend themselves against other cats or wildlife? They wouldn’t and due to that inability to defend or climb a tree, they would most likely die.

Why declaw when There are many alternatives to declawing that doesn’t leave a hazardous effect. Such as having professional clip nails as they do for dogs. Nail caps that can be adjusted to their size. And then there is double-sided tape to protect walls and door frames. Bumpers to protect furniture and non-toxic apple bitter to deter them from scratching up surfaces.

There’s also an environmentally friendly cat tree. Made of hemp, cardboard, dead tree bark and sea rope. All of which is biodegradable and reusable.

Declawing should be nonexistent, it should be considered animal cruelty and punishable if done/practiced by any person.
I thank you for your time and understanding.

Regards Mrs. Mary Robbins

Their Response

The fact that it took them 6 months is appalling. Don’t even get me started on meetings. This is a blanket statement and a complete letdown. If the state of Pennsylvania refuses to hear their people then it’s time to go over heads.

I don’t trust the Secretary of Muth. If Muth was so involved with animal welfare there would be a TNR program in place. There would be NO-Kill shelters and there would be no open door policy shelters either.

There are now over 3,000 signatures plenty to get the ball rolling with the upper legislation via the POTUS/House/Senate legislation. I will continue to push this issue.

Elephants Trample Suspected Poacher to Death

An alleged poacher died on Saturday after he was trampled by elephants.
He and two others — both of whom survived — are suspected of hunting for rhinos in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, according to CNN. The trio fled when park rangers started to pursue, unfortunately running into a breeding herd of elephants that weren’t keen on their uninvited company. The story is laced with schadenfreude: man killing vulnerable species gets comeuppance — but it also illustrates how prevalent poaching still remains today, and just how difficult it is to stop it.
Constant Threat
Kruger National Park currently hosts the largest rhino population in the world. Even then, the park is home to only 268 black rhinos and about 3,500 white rhinos. The dwindling numbers illustrate how fragile the species are, yet the concentration of rhinos in one place also makes the park a prime target for poaching — a problem that’s devastated the animals in recent years.
That makes fighting poachers in the park like a game of whack-a-mole, as more and more people attempt to hunt down the rhinos.
— Read on futurism.com/the-byte/elephants-trample-suspected-poacher-death

Texas Dog Awarded After Saving His Owner’s Life | PEOPLE.com

Many adopted dog owners will say that their furry friend rescued them, and in Astro the dog’s case it’s particularly true.

Astro received an award on Friday from Texas’ El Paso Fire Department (EPFD) and El Paso Animal Services for saving his owner’s life during a medical emergency last week. His award for the heroic act included a medal and a dog-friendly cake, according to KTSM.
— Read on people.com/pets/texas-hero-dog-gets-award/

School Faces Backlash Over Fox Culling

Minet Junior School in Hayes has removed traps set for foxes on their grounds after a public backlash against the practice, which involves killing …

School Faces Backlash Over Fox Culling