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Eastern Gray Squirrels

The introduction of the Eastern Gray Squirrel to the western US is a perfect example of why exotic animals should not be released into the wild. Most people now probably think that the common suburban gray squirrel with the bushy tail that scurries all over our back yards is native to the west.
In fact the eastern gray squirrel was brought to the west coast by the early 1900’s and has become the most common squirrel in many parts of the western US. It has also been introduced to many parts of Europe, and there is concern that it may completely replace native species in those areas.
This species is very adaptable, and is a prolific breeder. Typically there are two litters of young annually, with 2-6 young per litter, although as many as 8 in a litter have been described. Feeding of birds, and purposely or incidental feeding of the squirrels, has led to proliferation of the species in many suburban neighborhoods. These animals do fall prey to hawks, skunks, domestic and feral cats, and humans, but have clearly been able to thrive in most areas to which they have been introduced.
Although these Eastern Gray Squirrels are one of the most prominent, and both loved and hated, of introduced species, many other species are likely more harmful. Many plant species are incredibly invasive. Released pet bull frogs are threatening to overwhelm many amphibian and other species competing for food and habitat. European Starlings and English House Sparrows are cavity nesters, and had nearly brought native US bluebirds to become endangered until ingenious birders discovered the secret of bluebird trails and boxes.
The take-home message is don’t think you are being kind by releasing pet exotic animals to nature. They may thrive all too well, putting unnatural selective pressure on native plants and animals.…

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Dog Rescue

Fun Games for a Rainy Day

Rainy days are often accompanied by the claim, “Mom I’m bored.” No matter how many toys or electronic devices they have, sooner or later the kids are going to want something new to do. Parents can often be at a loss to find something that will hold their interest. Here are 4 ideas that are easy to do, need only items commonly found around the house and will keep the kids entertained for hours at a time. They are also a great way to boost your kids creative thinking as they create their own rules to change the games.
Musical Games
This is a variation of musical chairs and doesn’t require as much room to play. Place one toy for each person in the center of a rug in an open room. Each person will circle the rug while the music plays. Once the music stops each person must grab a toy. Remove one toy for the second round. The person who doesn’t get a toy is out. Continue until there is only one player left.
Another version is to play music while the kids dance around. When the music stops everyone must freeze in place exactly as they are standing. If you move, you are out.
A third version isn’t exactly a game, but it can be used to motivate kids to help clean up the play room. Each child starts at opposite ends of the room and wait for the music. While the music plays they must pick up and put away as many thing as they can, working toward the other side of the room. When the music stops they must freeze in place. Once the music starts they begin cleaning again. The key is to not keep the music going to long so they have several stops while they are cleaning. The combination of the music and the ‘competition’ really gets them motivated to participate.
Crossing the Marsh
This game can be played with only a few people or many. You will need some newspaper for each participant. You will need a large open space such as a hallway or living room. Mark out a starting line and a finish line. Give each player two pieces of newspaper and tell them they must get from the starting line to the finish line without touching the ground. The newspaper represents the ‘safe’ ground. They will need to place one piece of paper on the ground, stand on it and place the next piece of paper on the ground. Once they have moved to the second piece of paper they will have to pick up the first piece and move it so they can stand on it. Once everyone has done this a couple of times it is time to make it a bit harder.
Now everyone needs to divide into pairs. Each group must do the same thing, but they only have two pieces of newspaper. They can follow the same process, but both will have to fit onto the single piece of newspaper. Make it even more challenging by cutting the newspaper in half to make it smaller and more difficult to stand on. Another variation requires that they leave a trail of newspapers behind them so they must tear a piece off that is large enough to stand on and continue to move to the finish line.
This can be even more fun if you have enough people to make teams of three or more. Then each team has one less piece of newspaper than there are people in the group. For example a team of 4 would only have three pieces of paper. Have races to see who is the fastest to get across the marsh.
Hide and Seek for Stuffed Animals
This is a modification of the standard, “FInd the Button” game many adults remember playing. Young children may have a hard time finding such a small object so this modified game uses a stuffed animal instead. You will need one or more small stuffed animals and a timer to play this game.
One person hides the stuffed animal(s) in a designated room. They can be hidden under, behind and even inside items. Make sure you know how many stuffed animals are being hidden and what they are so there is no arguing about what was found. Once the animals are hidden the timer is set for 5 minutes and the rest of the family looks for the stuffed animals. This is particularly fun when played in a room where many random stuffed animals are usually laying on the floor and you have to find the specific stuffed animals being used for this game. The trick is to remember which stuffed animals are the ones you are looking for. The person who finds …

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Careers With Animals That Will Last A Lifetime

Many people like having pets around the house, such as dogs, cats, hamsters and guinea pigs. There are others, however, who have an earnest love for animals and are especially concerned for their welfare. Animal lovers can find many rewarding careers with animals that will allow them to make money doing what they love to do.
Animals are special creatures that need and deserve the love, care and attention that humans can offer. People who want to work with animals must demonstrate a great deal of love and patience as they learn how to treat sick and injured pets. People in careers with animals can play an active role in giving animals what they need to have a good quality of life.
Veterinarian medicine is a multi-faceted field of study, as the skills can be used in many areas involving animal care. Becoming a doctor for animals involves the same rigorous coursework that is required for treating humans. The typical four years of college and additional six years of medical school and residency apply, except a veterinarian in training goes to veterinarian school instead of medical school.
There are many areas of veterinarian medicine to choose from when embarking on rewarding careers with animals. A veterinarian treats sick or injured animals just as a doctor treats humans for injury and medical conditions. People can pursue a less rigorous and perhaps less expensive educational training by becoming a Veterinarian Technician. This kind of animal care worker functions like a nurse and works anywhere a veterinarian typically works, including animal hospitals and shelters.
Sometimes, wild animals need care and attention when they get hurt or develop illnesses in their natural habitat. A wildlife rehabilitator must become certified in the appropriate coursework needed to learn how to treat wild animals as well as get the proper permits needed to deal with wildlife. These animal workers play a special role in caring for our natural environment by nursing the animal back to health so it can go back into the wild when it recovers.
People who enjoy working with animals can find a job at a zoo or aquarium as animal attendants if they have an animal science or biology degree. There are other important jobs to choose from, such as animal behaviorists, which usually require a doctorate in some field of animal science. Careers with animals can lead to a fulfilling role in helping to give animals dignified care and attention when they need it.…

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Dogs for Adoption

Win the Bed Bugs Battle

Mice and rats may induce a squeal, a shriek or a shudder. Spiders might cause you to jump and the threat of termites eating away at your house will have you calling for help. But there are few pests that can cause a sheer panic more than the way the cute but odorous skunk commands with its mere presence.
Having skunks in your yard will send most people running and for good reason. A skunks spray can reach up to 15 feet. This powerful defense mechanism is a highly evolved weapon. It can even ward off a bear. The stench is notoriously hard to remove and can last for several days. The smell can cause nausea, vomiting, irritation of the skin and even temporary blindness. Even the relatively unskilled human nose can detect a skunk’s spray for up to a mile downwind.
For all the power in the spray, skunks are usually reluctant to use it. They carry about 5 to 6 sprays worth at any given time. Once this supply is exhausted, it will take about 10 days for the skunk to produce another load. This leaves the animal defenseless and vulnerable. They will bite as well as spray if necessary. Their bite is as worrisome as their stink. Skunks, like other pests, can carry rabies.
If a skunk decides to move in under your deck or in your foundation, it can be hard to evict. They will reuse a den from year to year. Females tend to den in groups that may grow as large as a dozen animals. Here are a few tips on making sure you aren’t forced to share your home with them.
Cut off the food sources.
Skunks are omnivores. They eat just about anything they can reach. This includes bugs and grubs, garbage, pet food and nearly anything else at or near ground level. If they don’t have an easy food source nearby, they will be less likely to stick around.
– Keep a tight lid on your trash cans to prevent foraging.
– Don’t leave pet food out overnight.
– Clean up under birdfeeders.
– Use environmentally sound pest control measures to cut down on lawn insects like grubs.
Bar their entry.
Barrier methods are effective on skunks and many other mammalian pests. Block off any access to the foundation and under porches and decks. The skunk is a great digger so be sure that the barrier is sunk fairly deep in the ground. He can slip through a hole as small as 4 inches in diameter so it should fit tightly. On the plus side, he is a lousy climber so it won’t need to be very high.
Call in a pro.
If you do find that a skunk has adopted your home, don’t hesitate to call a skunk exterminator. He may be able to trap and relocate your smelly inhabitant without setting off his most powerful weapon.…

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Dog Rescue

Pigeon and Dove: Introduction

Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae, which include about 300 species of near passerines. In general, dove and pigeon are almost the same. Their names are used interchangeably. And historically the common names for these birds involve a lot of variations. However, there is a tendency for dove to be used for smaller species and pigeon for larger ones. This family of bords occurs worldwide, but the greatest variety is in the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones.Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks, and have short slender bills with a fleshy cere. The species commonly referred to just as “pigeon” is the feral Rock Pigeon, common in many cities.Doves and pigeons build relatively flimsy nests from debris, which may be placed in trees, on ledges or on the ground. They lay one or two eggs, and both parents care for the young, which leave the nest after 7 to 28 days. Doves feed on seeds, fruit and plants. Unlike most other birds, the doves and pigeons produce milk, which is secreted by a sloughing of fluid-filled cells from the lining of the crop. Both male and female produce highly nutritious substance to feed to the baby.Pigeons and doves are distributed everywhere on Earth, except for the driest areas of the Sahara Desert, Antarctica and its surrounding islands and the high Arctic. They have colonised most of the world’s oceanic family has adapted to most of the habitats available on the planet. The largest number of species are found in tropical forests and woodlands. Various species also inhabit deserts, savannas, grasslands, temperate woodlands and forests, distribution of the species vary a lot. Some species have large natural ranges. The Eared Dove ranges across the entirety of South America, the Eurasian Collared Dove has a massive distribution from Britain across Europeto China. Many other species have a tiny restricted distribution, which is most common in island endemics. The Whistling Dove is endemic to the tiny island of Kadavu in Fiji, the Caroline Ground-dove is restricted to two islands, Truk and Pohnpei in the Caroline Islands and the Grenada Dove is restricted to Grenada in the Caribbean. Even some continental species also have small distributions. For example the Black-banded Fruit-dove is restricted to a small area of the Arnhem Land of Australia, the Somali Pigeon is restricted to a tiny area of northern largest range of any species is that of the Rock Pigeon. The species had a large natural distribution from Britain and Ireland to northern Africa, across Europe, up into China and Mongolia. The range of the species increased dramatically upon domestication as the species went feral in cities around the world. The species is not the only pigeon to have increased its range. Several other species have become established outside of their natural range after escaping captivity, and other species have increased their natural ranges due to habitat changes also caused by human activities.…

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Dog Rescue

A First Aid Kit For Your Pet

We all have a first aid kit in our home in case we get hurt. Unfortunately, there are also times when our furry friends get injured or ill. So you’ll be prepared should that happen, it’s a great idea to keep some additional supplies on hand for emergencies and illnesses for our dogs and cats. Here’s what you should include in your Pet First Aid Kit.

Benadryl 25 mg. The dose is 1mg per 1 pound of body weight.


Vetwrap. Vetwrap is a bandage that sticks to itself and not hair. You can purchase it from , from a pet store, or from your vet.

Antibiotic ointment.


Cotton roll.

Nail trimmers.

Cotton swabs, also known as Q-tips.

Ear wash solution from the vet.

Eye wash solution, which you can purchase over the counter at a pharmacy.

Emergency phone number for your vet.

Pepcid AC.

Bland diet for an upset stomach. We suggest canned Purina EN for our patients. Consult your veterinarian for the food best for your pet.



Latex gloves.

Antiseptic wipes/solution.

It’s important to note that you should NOT include over the counter pain medications in your pet’s kit. Very few ‘human’ pain relievers are safe for animals, and those that are safe are minimally effective and will make further treatment by a veterinarian difficult.

Also make sure that you know how much your pet weighs, that immunizations are current, and if your pet has any allergies. Keep notations of these in your first aid kit. If you’re not home when an emergency arises, your pet sitter will have all relevant information.

We hope you never have to use your Pet First Aid kit. But we’ll all rest easier knowing you’re prepared.…

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Dog Adoption

Great Details and Specifics About Pacific Sanddab Sizes

The most common type of all sanddab species is the Pacific sanddab. It lives in the same habitat as the longfin and speckled sanddab. Most of the Pacific sanddab sizes, which is a kind of a flatfish, are medium. It has light brown color with some spots of black or brown, which can also be orange or white at certain instances. Various Pacific sanddab sizes are prevalent to the northern Pacific Ocean. These are scattered from the Sea of Japan on to the coast of California. The young ones prefer shallow parts of the water, while moving on tide pools at times. The adult species are usually located at depths of 50 up to 150 meters.
Other Details
No matter what the Pacific sanddab sizes are, this kind is known to be an opportunistic predator. It eats smaller fishes, numerous kinds of crustaceans, octopus, worms and squid. This may not be popular as delicacy in many parts of the world, except in California where this is used in many cuisines. This is also the reason why this is considered popular game fish in California.
The Pacific sanddab sizes are known in many names, such as soft flounder, megrim, sole, sanddab and lenguado in Spanish. This is a left-eyed flatfish that is part of the Bothidae family. The body is compressed and comes in oblong shape. The eyes, which are situated at the left side, are large. Its head is also deep. To compare and distinguish this species from the longfin sanddab, you have to look at the length of its pectoral fin on the side where the eyes can be found. The fin comes short than the head of any Pacific sanddab sizes. It is also longer than the longfin’s head. There may be other left-eyed fish, but this can be distinguished though the lateral line that runs straight on its entire length.
The female ones mature by the time they get three. At this point, these acquire length of about eight inches, which is typically larger than the males. Every female fish spawns more than once per season and it is able to produce many eggs. The spawning season is at its peak from the months of July to September.
About the Size
This type of fish can get up to 41 centimeters in length or 16 inches, with weight of two pounds. The types that are 10 inches in length weigh less than 1/3 pound.
Different Pacific sanddab sizes can be easily distinguished by the length, behavior and overall appearance.…