Animals in the news this month (Feb 2017)

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 February’s headlines told us about some of the animals that share our planet:

Brave dogs honoured with PDSA Gold medal

Ozzy the German Shepherd and his handler PC Brian Tennant received this prestigious accolade this month for their fearless capture of a knife-wielding attacker in Falkirk, Stirlingshire. The award was presented at a special ceremony at the Scottish Parliament, where two other dogs received the PDSA’s Order of Merit:

  •  Fellow police dog Sweep, a cocker spaniel, was recognised for his outstanding service as a detection dog, tracing drugs, weapons, cash and poisonous substances during his eight-year law enforcement career
  •  Sabakka, a 13 year old Labrador, was honoured for her role within the NHS, helping people with learning difficulties
    How lovely to see our four-legged friends recognised for their outstanding achievements!

Trump’s planned Mexican wall threatens 111 endangered species

Scientists recently revealed the results of environmental impact work undertaken following the president’s proposed wall along the US-Mexico border. The likely route of the 1,000-mile wall will pass through four wildlife reserves in the US side, and a number of nature reserves on the Mexican side. Writing in The Ecologist, Dr. Shonil Bhagwat, a senior lecturer in Geography at the Open University, finds that “as well as destroying natural habits, building a concrete wall would split animal populations in half, making it harder for them to breed and increasing the risk of disease.” Species at risk include ocelots, bears, Bighorn sheep, the US’s last remaining wild jaguars, and the bald eagle – the national bird of America.

Give a dog a home

Finally, in very welcome news from across the pond, this month officials in San Francisco have banned the sale of non-rescue cats and dogs at pet stores across the city, along with banning the sale of any animal under the age of eight weeks. The move is designed to help combat puppy farming and ultimately work towards ensuring that all pets start their lives in safe, hygienic and caring environments. San Francisco city council’s animal department, along with the city’s branch of the SPCA charity, currently re-home more than 6,000 animals each year and it is hoped that this new law will raise numbers even further. A happy note to end on this time!

Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support

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