Domestic Cats Face Dangers From Urban Coyotes

The US National Park Service recently completed a two-year study on the diet of coyotes in the Los Angeles, California area.  The results indicate that our cats could be at greater risk for being eaten by coyotes than we thought.

Researchers analyzed over 3,200 samples of coyote poop (called scat) from Los Angeles and surrounding communities.  They also compared the urban coyote samples with samples from more suburban areas that are closer to their natural habitat.

They found that the diet of urban coyotes was influenced by living so close to humans.  The coyotes routinely ate human food scraps and commercial pet food.  They also ate a lot of ornamental fruits commonly found in our gardens.

Unfortunately, free-roaming cats–and even cats allowed outside but restricted to enclosed yards–are also on the menu for urban coyotes.  Domestic cat remains were found in 20% of the scat, the third most common component after human and pet foods and ornamental fruits.

The scat of coyotes from more rural areas had only 4% of domestic cat and it also had less human and pet food and ornamental fruit remains.  Rabbits were the most common part of the non-urban coyotes’ diet.

Pet owners in areas with high numbers of coyotes should always keep their cats indoors.  Small dogs can also be at risk, so it’s important to walk your dog on leash and never leave your dog in the yard unattended.

Make sure your trash can lids are secure and avoid leaving bowls of pet food outside as well.  Experts also recommend avoiding bird feeders and ornamental fruit trees to discourage coyote visits to your back yard.

You can find a lot of helpful information on keeping your pets safe from coyotes on the Urban Coyote Initiative website HERE.

 

Pet Tornado Safety Tips

With the unusually high number of damaging tornadoes hitting the US in the past few weeks, many pet owners may be wondering how to best keep their dogs, cats, and other pets safe from harm during tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

We’ve gathered some of the best expert advice and compiled the following tornado safety tips for pets.  (Be sure to create a disaster plan for your pets, no matter what types of natural disasters your region of the world may face.)

  • Make sure all your pets are microchipped and have up to date ID tags.
  • Your emergency supply kit for severe weather should also include items for your pets, such as food, water, bedding, and leash.

  • Keep dogs and cats indoors during any severe weather event.  During tornado warnings, bring your pets to safe locations in the house.  It’s best to keep cats crated.
  • In the event your pet escapes, make sure you have a current identifying photograph, and know the locations of all local animal shelters.
  • Small pets like guinea pigs and rabbits should be placed in carriers in a tornado-safe location in the house.

  • Birds can be especially sensitive to stress.  Monitor your bird’s health for several days after a severe weather event.  Always keep your birds caged so they don’t escape.
  • Aquariums should be moved under tables or covered with padding to keep the glass from breaking.
  • If you have advance warning that severe weather is on the way, the best plan is to evacuate with your pets until the threat is over.

 

Video: Construction Workers Rescue Stowaway Kittens from Steel Column

Five tiny kittens made big news here in San Diego recently!  Workers on a construction site were surprised to hear meows coming from a 60 foot steel column that had traveled hundreds of miles from Hayward to San Diego on a truck.

After failing to coax the kittens out with food, the workers had to tip the long tube over and slide them out.  Inside were a litter of 3 males and 2 females, just one week old!

Rescuers from the San Diego Humane Society came to the construction site and brought the kittens to SDHS’s 24 hour kitten nursery.

The kittens—named Crowbar, Rebar, Chisel, Jackhammer, and Piper—are now 4 weeks old and in foster care, where they will remain until they are ready for adoption at 8 weeks.

Check out the heartwarming video from San Diego Humane here:

 

Heartwarming Video: Deaf and Blind Dog Maisie Enjoys the Good Life

Maisie is an adorable and active dog who also happened to be born both deaf and blind.  Maisie is known as a double merle dog, the result of breeding two blue merle dogs together (generally regarded as poor breeding practice).

Double merles are prone to both eye and ear abnormalities that can lead to blindness and deafness, as was the case with Maisie.

Maisie was a rescue puppy when mom Haley adopted her after fostering her for just a few months.  Haley developed a successful training routine for Maisie that incorporated touch.

Haley and Maisie work together to raise awareness about the health risks of breeding double merle dogs.  Check out the heartwarming story of Haley and Maisie from The Dodo:

 

 

California Bans “Easter Bunny” Sales in New Animal Welfare Law

This Easter marks the first year a new California animal welfare law designed to protect rabbits goes into effect.  California is the first state in the US to ban live rabbit sales at pet stores—an effort to cut back on the number of rabbits that are either abandoned, surrendered to shelters, or euthanized after Easter.

This is the same law that also bans the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores.  Pet stores can still house adoptable dogs, cats, and rabbits from local animal shelters.

According to an article from Reuters, animal shelters see a spike in rabbit intakes one to three months after Easter.  The House Rabbit Society notes that thousands of rabbits, many still under one year old, are surrendered to California shelters.

Under the new law, rabbits will still be available for adoption from animal shelters and rescue groups, so California rabbit fans have the opportunity to provide a new forever home for rabbits in need!