In the last week of every month we take a look back at the crazy creatures and amazing animals that have made the headlines in recent weeks. Here’s a reminder of what April’s headlines told us about some of the animals that share our planet:
Pets take charge?
April’s Fools Day unleashes a host of creative stories and liberty taking every year, and 2017 was no exception – all the major news outlets and social media sites carried stories of strange and amazing happenings that on closer examination turned out not to be true. One of our favourite pranks was from Amazon, who tweeted a series of videos highlighting their new product ‘Petlexa’ – voice recognition software allowing pets to communicate with the company’s home management hub. Much as we’d love to live in a world where cats can order a sushi delivery, it was not to be. Not this year at least!….
Calls to keep records of animal abusers
The RSPCA has repeated its call for a log to be kept of those convicted of cruelty towards, and disqualified from keeping animals in the UK. Their appeal is supported by MP Stephen Kinnock, who believes that a register of convicted animal abusers could ultimately help prevent offenders going on to commit violent crimes against people.
The charity reports that eleven people were prosecuted for breaching a ban in the last three years alone, and they believe the actual figure could be higher. Currently the government is reluctant to introduce such a process, as there are fears that a public register could encourage vigilante behaviour against perpetrators.
Living the high life
Cameras were allowed behind the scenes this month at New York’s JFK airport, which offers an exclusive support service for pets and horses travelling through the busy hub. ‘The Ark’ is the only such place of its kind in the US, providing a quiet space where animals can wait for connecting flights or for collection by their owners, away from the loud noises and cramped cages of the usual cargo holds. Opera music is played to relax horses staying in the facility, as studies have shown that classical music has a calming quality for animals, just as it does for us humans. Food and medications can be personalised to the waiting animals, whilst grooming facilities and regular walks ensure that each four-legged customer arrives at their final destination in great shape!
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support