Posted on May 20th, 2013
Check out this great article from the Wall Street Journal about our marines saving the desert tortoises.
Such a great article about our Marines saving the Desert Tortoises! This article is from The Wall Street Journal.
The Few, the Proud, the Tortoises: Marines Protect Endangered Species
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.—U.S. Marines are taught to overcome obstacles with a minimum of help. But when some Marines prepared to charge a hill in a training exercise here a few months ago, they were forced to halt and radio the one man who could help them advance: Brian Henen, turtle expert.
The troops were “running up the hill and firing at targets,” Mr. Henen said. “Some of the tortoises like the hill also. The Marines don’t want to hurt the tortoise, so they call us and we go in and move it.”
Mr. Henen, who has a doctorate in biology, is part of a little-known army of biologists and other scientists who manage the Mojave desert tortoise and about 420 other threatened and endangered species on about 28 million acres of federally managed military land.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t recognize the amount of conservation the Marine Corps does,” said Martin Husung, a natural-resource specialist on the base. “A lot of people think we’re just running over things.”
Instead, Mr. Henen often hustles out to remote parts of the Mojave Desert to make sure the threatened desert tortoise, which can weigh 10 pounds and live to be more than 50 years old, isn’t frightened by charging troops.
“When they get scared, they pee themselves,” Mr. Henen said, referring to the tortoises. Since tortoises can go two years between drinks of water, an unplanned micturition can cause dehydration and even death. So Mr. Henen sometimes demonstrates to troops how he soaks the reptiles in a pool until they drink enough water to plod on with their lives.
The tortoise isn’t the only animal benefiting from the limited hunting, high security and trained biologists on many bases. On the Navy’s San Clemente Island, biologists protect vulnerable loggerhead shrikes from hungry rats by installing metal “rat flashings” at the base of trees the birds nest in. In Texas, the Army creates protective nesting environments for endangered golden-cheeked warblers to fend off incursions by brown-headed cowbirds. And at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, the once-endangered Helianthus eggertii, or Eggert’s sunflower, is doing so well it has been taken off the endangered list.
Congress ordered the Defense Department to protect the flora and fauna on its lands under the 1960 Sikes Act. Today, the military works with agencies like the Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau of the Interior Department, to search for and protect animals, plants and archaeological sites on its bases.
At Fort Benning, an Army base near Columbus, Ga., gunfire and explosions regularly set off fires in the pine trees, said John Brent, the base environmental manager. Oddly enough, this is a boon for the red-cockaded woodpecker, a bird on the endangered species list that has made a comeback there.
The finicky woodpecker typically lives in longleaf pines at least 60 years old. The tree thrives on forest fires. “It needs fire to germinate and grow,” Mr. Brent said.
Outside the base, civilian agencies have long tried to prevent forest fires, and that ultimately hurts the pine population. Elsewhere, forest lands are disappearing amid rapid development.
All of this has the birds flocking to the base, Mr. Brent said. To help welcome the new tenants, Mr. Brent and others have been building bird “condominiums,” Mr. Brent said. For this they cut a hole about the size of a loaf of bread in an existing tree and slide in a cedar box to accommodate a nest. They can only do this once per tree because these picky birds prefer “condos, not townhouses,” Mr. Brent said.
“It’s a well-kept secret” that biologists are drawn to work on military bases, Mr. Brent said. “There’s a chance to do terrific work.”
Last year, the Department of Defense spent nearly $70 million on threatened and endangered species management and conservation, including $16.5 million on the red-cockaded woodpecker and just under $6 million on the desert tortoise.
The outlays let biologists survey habitats, tag and track animals, build hatcheries and provide ecological training to thousands of troops.
At Fort Irwin, an Army base near Barstow, Calif., Clarence Everly bumped along a dirt trail in a Dodge Ram pickup. The former Airborne Ranger is now the natural and cultural resources manager on base.
“Having been in the Army, it gives you some street cred” dealing with soldiers and the chain of command, he said. “You’re not just the environmentalist guy trying to prevent them from doing training.”
He drove out to meet a team of biologists from the U.S. Geological Survey on a 10-acre restricted area where lonely Joshua trees shook in 50 mile per hour winds.
This “is a great resource,” said Christina Aiello, a USGS scientist and Ph.D. student from Penn State University, trying to yell over the gusts of wind. “Blocking off areas, restricting access, it’s safe and secure and there’s no public access.”
She is part of a team doing research on how tortoises interact socially. She said their research is “like Facebook” as they track friend circles in the tortoise group.
Back at Twentynine Palms, Ken Nagy, a professor emeritus in biology from UCLA studying the reproductive habits of the reptiles, held a baby tortoise in one hand, its shell still soft.
They are like “walking ravioli” to predators, he said. A fenced-off section of the base covered by netting helps overcome the high mortality rate for young tortoises in the wild. Mr. Nagy’s program helps protect juveniles from birds and allows for research in a natural habitat.
Other parts of the military’s domain aren’t exactly natural but still offer the animals military-style protection.
On Fort Irwin, Mr. Everly peered through the window of his pickup at some targets in the distance—home to a surprisingly large tortoise population. “In essence, the live-fire ranges are protection for the tortoises,” he said, looking at a patch of ground where bullets often rain down but rarely hit the burrowing reptile. “Nobody goes out there.”
Check out the entire article here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323798104578452941180687984.html?mod=wsj_valettop_email
Posted on May 1st, 2013
How to eliminate doggy bed odors.
A lot of times our dog beds will acquire that good old “doggy smell” and although our dogs may think it smells heavenly, sometimes it’s nice to eliminate the odor so you can’t smell it laying in your bed!
What we recommend is taking apart your dog bed (should you have a cover on it) and throw it in the wash along with any blankets your dog may use in his bed.
After you wash and dry your dog’s bedding, we recommend sprinkling our Clear the Air Furniture Odor Eliminator on the padding before zipping up the cover around the dog’s bedding. Your dog’s bed should smell fresh and with Clear the Air in your dog’s bed, the doggy odor will stay away for longer.
If your dog bed cover can not be unzipped and separated from the padding within the bed, place your dog’s bed outside in a well ventilated area and sprinkle Clear the Air Furniture Odor Eliminator all over the bedding. Leave on the bed for 24 hours and when done, shake out the granules and vacuum any leftover granules.
It is also a good idea to hang our Clear the Air Odor Eliminator Bags above your dog’s bed to absorb any “doggy” odors your dog may leave behind.
Do you have any questions about eliminating odors? Please comment on our blog or contact our customer service agent!
Posted on February 25th, 2013
Bubbas - the Purrrrfect Choice!
Check out Bubbas’ bio:
This handsome boy is not only an absolute lovebug, but also has an adorable personality that is sure to capture your heart. Bubbas is 7-year old Domestic Longhair who is apt to be mistaken for a motor boat whenever he’s being pet, as he loves to purr! In fact, he has a tendency to enjoy such exchanges (petting for purring, and the like) so much that he might even drool a little! Despite how it might sound, I assure you, it’s adorable. This sweet guy takes just a bit of time to come out of his shell, but once he does – anyone who meets him is quick to fall in love. Bubbas is great about using his scratching post, and has a particular affinity for cat nip if one sees fit to offer him a treat for being so very awesome.
Bubbas would do well in a variety of homes, but doesn’t prefer to share the spotlight with another kitty and would therefore love to be the only cat in your life. But we’re certain that won’t be a problem with the abundance of personality and love this guy has to share.
For more information about this lovable gem of a kitty, or if you’d like to meet him, please contact Customer Service at (619) 299-7012 or stop by our Gaines Campus.
Animal ID 99289
Posted on December 27th, 2012
This is such an amazing story and what a GREAT Christmas gift!
SAN DIEGO – It’s a very Merry Christmas for a cat named Sophia, who went missing from her family in Arizona seven years ago and found her way to the San Diego Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals over the weekend.
According to the Humane Society, staff members were able to contact Sophia’s family thanks to her microchip.
A Humane Society staff member will be flying the cat back to Phoenix on Wednesday.
“We heard that the family was unable to get Sophia back home to Arizona so we decided to do whatever it takes to get her back to them,” said Gary Weitzman, president of the SDHS and SPCA . “Everyone deserves to be home for the holidays, so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get Sophia back to her family. This is another great testament to the importance of the microchip.”
Sophia’s mom, Trish Oster said, “I was shocked to hear that she was ok after seven years. I didn’t know how I was going to manage getting her from San Diego. I’m so grateful to the San Diego Humane Society for bringing my Sophia back to me. It’s the best Christmas gift I could have asked for.”
Posted on December 5th, 2012
Clear the Air always likes to feature pets in the spotlight at the San Diego Humane Society. Hastings is a recent employee favorite and in need of his forever home.
“Hastings is very loving and loves to snuggle in your lap or next to you,” says Kelly R., Chief Financial Officer of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. Kelly chose Hastings as her Employee Pick because of his winning personality and adorable little idiosyncracies that were quick to steal her heart, like the squeaky little chirping sounds that he makes when he is ready to play or have dinner.
Hastings is a Hidden Gem, which means that he tends to do better in an environment outside of the public adoption area. He is currently being housed in the Finance Department; and Kelly, along with the rest of the Finance team, couldn’t be happier about it! They are constantly taking photos of the sweet kitty playing peek-a-boo, or curled up in a ball, or just looking as handsome as ever. Adding to his handsomeness, says Kelly, is his “…beautiful soft coat and sparkly white belly fur.
He also has the cutest freckles on his nose!” We asked Kelly if there was anything else that makes her Pick awesome and she was quick to tell us, “Hastings is enough company to be the only kitty in the family, which will suit him just fine. He is all you would want in a cat and more! And maybe best of all, he has a TERRIFIC purr motor!!”
If you are interested in meeting Hastings, or in getting some more info about him, please call the San Diego Humane Society at (619) 299-7012.
Posted on November 26th, 2012
This week we are promoting Benji! He is looking for his forever home…do you have room in your heart for Benji?
Watch Benji’s video and see his goofiness & enthusiasm come to life!
Benji is a sweet, one-year old Pit Bull/Lab Retriever mix who is as lovable as he is cute! Still an exuberant pup, Benji approaches life with enthusiasm and plenty of curiosity. Although he had a tough start in life that has left him a bit shy, he is becoming more and more social daily, and Benji’s current foster mom reports that he is doing very well, having fun, and wagging that tail of his more than ever!
This sweet guy will need some extra time and patience from the lucky family who adopts him. The world around him can seem very new and scary, so Benji appreciates slow introductions and lots of love to help him overcome some of his fears. In addition to playing with tennis balls and being his energetic and goofy self, Benji also knows how to relax with the best of ‘em and enjoys spending plenty of quality time snuggling on the couch.
Benji’s adoption fee of $75 includes his neuter, current vaccinations, permanent microchip identification, a certificate for a free veterinary exam, a bag of food from Hill’s Science Diet and a license if residing in Oceanside or Vista! This very special hidden gem of ours is currently in foster care. If you are interested in meeting him or getting more information, please contact Customer Service at (619) 299-7012.
Animal ID 94566
Posted on November 23rd, 2012
Adopt a senior pet this month for a reduced adoption fee.
The month of November is dedicated to “adopt a senior pet”. When you adopt a senior pet, you are adopting a homeless pet that is already house trained, doesn’t chew up furniture, and as already settled into its personality so there are no surprises as time goes on.
Many people might think that a senior pet is an old pet with no life left, but quite the opposite is true. Most senior pets end up in shelters and rescue groups because they were once in a home and something happened in the family that prevents them from keeping the pet.
For example, the death of a pet owner is the most common reason for pets to become homeless. Divorce often leads to split families and turmoil and the pets can get “forgotten” in the midst of human emotional turmoil. No matter the reason, senior pets are not to blame for becoming “homeless”, they are simply the victims that get left behind. Anyone who has adopted a senior pet can tell you that it’s the best adoption you can ever choose.
At animal shelters and rescue groups everywhere, there are loving, healthy senior pets looking for that one special home to cherish them for the rest of their life, and they don’t ask for much: just a warm place to sleep, good meals and plenty of love.
During the month of November, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA is honoring its ‘Sensational Senior’ animals with reduced adoption fees! senior pets in need of homes are looking for that one special family that will cherish and love them in their golden years, and they don’t require much more than a warm place to rest and plenty of love.
From now until November 30, the adoption fee for all senior animals (over age 7) will be reduced to $25. If a second ‘animal buddy’ is adopted, the fee will be waived entirely! Special discounts are also available to adopters over age 55 who choose to adopt a senior animal. These fees include microchipping, spay/neuter, vaccinations and veterinary exam. Don’t delay—curl up with a sensational senior animal today!
Posted on November 21st, 2012
The ASPCA has shared some helpful Thanksgiving tips for the Turkey Season!
Happy Thanksgiving from Clear the Air! Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.
Talkin’ Turkey – If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don’t offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.
Sage Advice – Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.
No Bread Dough – Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.
Don’t Let Them Eat Cake – If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
Too Much of a Good Thing – A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don’t allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.
A Feast Fit for a Kong – While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.
Posted on November 16th, 2012
The ASPCA recently reported a great story about two lucky pets who found homes during the torrential torment of Hurricane Sandy.
Clear the Air is happy to report this great story:
As Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the Tri-State region, ASPCA employees worked tirelessly around the clock to provide critical care to animals in need, including the animals in our Adoption Center in Manhattan.
We are thrilled to report that two lucky animals found loving forever homes in the midst of the chaos caused by this historic storm.
First, a very special Chihuahua named Bentley—later changed to “Sandy” in honor of the occasion of his adoption—went home with Katherine N. on Monday to join his new family.
This sweet dog has come a long way. When he first arrived at the ASPCA in July, Sandy suffered from severe pneumonia and a broken leg. His pneumonia prevented him from undergoing immediate surgery and as a result, he lost his leg. Sandy took this in stride, happily moving around on three legs.
Katherine was drawn to Sandy while volunteering as a dog walker at the Adoption Center—his sweet personality and love for sitting in laps was irresistible. She has re-named him “Tito,” and calls him a “hurricane miracle.” He is safe and sound in Katherine’s home, making friends with her other dog, Nina, whom she rescued from the ASPCA in 2005.
On Tuesday, a sweet 12-week-old kitten named Nelly also received his happy ending. With a day off from work due to Hurricane Sandy, Christie H. and Mark G. visited our Adoption Center and adopted Nelly to join their cat, an ASPCA rescue named Ted, in their New York City home. Now Nelly is “Ned,” and Ned and Ted are getting along great.
We couldn’t be happier that these two shelter pets found loving families, who were willing to welcome shelter pets into their homes during an unsettling time.
Story can be found at: http://blog.aspca.org/content/two-lucky-pets-find-homes-during-hurricane-sandy
Posted on November 14th, 2012
Clear the Air is always saddened to see so many Pit Bull breeds in the local shelters. Unfortunately people have a misconception about the breed and we would like to share part of an article from the ASPCA about why Pit Bulls have a bad rap.
Sadly, the pit bull has acquired a reputation as an unpredictable and dangerous menace. His intimidating appearance has made him attractive to people looking for a macho status symbol, and this popularity has encouraged unscrupulous breeders to produce puppies without maintaining the pit bull’s typical good nature with people. To make matters worse, irresponsible owners interested in presenting a tough image often encourage their pit bulls to behave aggressively.
If a pit bull does bite, he’s far more likely to inflict serious injuries than most other breeds, simply because of his size and strength. A pit bull bite is also far more likely to draw media attention. Many dogs of other breeds bite people, but these incidents almost always go unreported. They’re just not exciting enough fodder for television and print.
Despite this bad rap, a well-bred, well-socialized and well-trained pit bull is one of the most delightful, intelligent and gentle dogs imaginable. It is truly a shame that the media continues to portray such a warped image of this beautiful, loyal and affectionate breed. Pit bulls once enjoyed a wonderful reputation. Some of the most famous dogs in American history were pit bulls. A pit bull named Stubby, a decorated hero during World War One, earned several medals and was even honored at the White House. During duty, he warned soldiers of gas attacks, found wounded men in need of help and listened for oncoming artillery rounds.
Pit bulls have been featured in well-known advertising campaigns for companies such as Levis, Buster Brown Shoes and Wells Fargo. The image of a pit bull, which was considered a symbol of unflagging bravery and reliability, represented the United States on recruiting and propaganda posters during World War One. Many famous figures, including Helen Keller, President Theodore Roosevelt, General George Patton, President Woodrow Wilson, Fred Astaire and Humphrey Bogart, shared their lives and homes with pit bulls.
Modern pit bulls can still be ambassadors for their breed. Some are registered therapy dogs and spend time visiting hospitals and nursing homes. Some work in search-and-rescue. Tahoe, Cheyenne and Dakota, three search-and-rescue pit bulls from Sacramento, California, worked tirelessly at the World Trade Center during the aftermath of 9/11.
Others, like Popsicle, an accomplished U.S. customs dog, work in narcotics and explosives detection. Still others serve as protection or sentry dogs for the police. The majority are cherished family members. Pit bulls become very attached to their people, and most love nothing better than cuddling on the couch or sleeping in bed with their pet parents (preferably under the covers)!
Read more about pit bulls at: http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-articles/the-truth-about-pit-bulls