The 64-year-old left her house in Ontario’s cottage country at 10 a.m. Tuesday for a regular walk with her border collie. About a kilometre along a side road, the pair turned down a narrow path and stopped in a clearing to throw a Frisbee.
The dog dropped the Frisbee in a muddy patch, and when Ms. Van Alstyne bent to retrieve it, she felt her feet sink. “I took one step too far,” she said. “It just sucked me right in. (Gerry Van Alstyne)
But perhaps the worst pet of all, environmentally speaking, is a cat.
Domesticated cats started out as parasites on human civilization. Unlike other species, and admittedly to their credit, they domesticated themselves. When humans started growing grain, the crops attracted rodents that attracted cats. Wild cats evolved into housecats, and they were quite useful for thousands of years, killing disease-ridden rats and mice and protecting our food stockpiles.
But now that we have industrial farming, reliable food storage and mostly mouse-proof houses, cats are mere parasites again. Playful and often affectionate parasites, sure, and adorable when young, but a scourge on the landscape. (PMO)
Poop, scoop and hang: The doo-doos and don’ts of dealing with your dog’s droppings “Would you hang your kid’s dirty diaper on a shrub in your backyard?” asks Janice Palmer, a retired biology teacher and volunteer who plants native trees and shrubs in Sherwood Park. “It’s crap, for God’s sake, and it’s plastic in a natural area. It’s unsanitary, it’s unsightly and it’s disrespectful of other park users and it’s disrespectful of nature.”
Photos of the day A rabbit jumps over a hurdle at an obstacle course the 5th Open Rabbit Sport Tournament on Aug. 28, 2011 in Rommerz, Germany. Eighty rabbits competed in light-weight, middle-weight and jumping-for-points categories. Rabbit Hopping is a growing trend among pet rabbit owners in Central Europe and the first European Championships are scheduled to be held later this year in Switzerland. (Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)
Oh boy, Oh Boy OH BOY! A Jack Russell dog runs during a race at the 2011 Taipei Pet Show inside the Nangang Exhibition Hall in Taipei July 15, 2011. The show will run from Friday to July 18 and has about 130 exhibitors and 600 booths this year. REUTERS/Nicky Loh. More of today’s best photos.
Missing dog found 4,000 kilometres from home: Pollux had been given up for dead, having wandered out of her Quebecois owner’s house more than a year ago never to return. But as it turns out, that stealth black lab is very much alive, albeit across the country in B.C. Just how the lab made it all the way to Kamloops remains an unsolved mystery. “I guess only the dog knows,” said Sarah Gerow
Photos: Dog, bear hug An orphaned bear cub wandered into a family’s back yard in Podvrh, Slovenia about a month ago. The family has not officially adopted the bear cub, named Medo, but they and their dog have bonded with him; the family plans to build a fenced-in area for the cub. (Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters)
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaker is proposing that all retailers certify their animals are obtained from either a registered humane society, a registered shelter or rescue group or a municipal animal shelter (Photo: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters)
And how she came to be flying over the nursing home is explained by the deep talon marks in her back and sides, showing she was probably the unwilling passenger of a hungry eagle that had picked her up but eventually found her 18 pounds too much to hold.
May — her ribs broken and her body lacerated — was found by nursing staff on May 2 and delivered to the Sunshine Coast SPCA.
Common language on fauna betrays an “anthropocentric bias” and impedes an understanding of our interaction with the non-human species sharing the planet, argue the editors of the first academic journal dedicated to animal ethics in their debut issue.
Instead of “pet,” the Journal of Animal Ethics suggests “companion animal.” Rather than “wildlife,” they are to be called “free-living.” “Differentiated beings” or “non-human animals” is preferred to simply “animals.”
Words such as “vermin,” “beasts” and “critters” are stricken completely, along with similes such as “sly as a fox,” “drunk as a skunk,” “eat like a pig,” “slippery as an eel,” “breeding like rabbits” and “stubborn as a mule.”
“We will not be able to think clearly unless we discipline ourselves to use more impartial nouns and adjectives in our exploration of animals and our moral relations with them,” the editors write. (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)