Monday, September 9, 2013

Rescue Dogs Serve Veterans


Healing 4 Heroes is a nonprofit group based in Peachtree City whose mission is to train and place psychiatric service dogs to veterans with PTSD.  What makes this group so special is they train shelter dogs to become companions to the vets.  The dogs are trained to assist the veterans with up to seven tasks.

Seeing the veterans with their "battle buddy" in action is awe inspiring.  These once unwanted dogs are now the best friends of our veterans in need.  Veterans return home in body, but sometimes, the effects of war remain with them.  Whether it is a loud noise, or loss of hearing from their service, the veterans can have difficulty in returning to life as they knew it before their service to our country.

At a recent fundraiser for Healing 4 Heroes, we ran across the combination of veterans helping other veterans, volunteers helping with dog adoptions and the spirit of America. 

Mike Quinn, a local Newnan Vietnam Vet who was at the fundraiser, urges others to get involved with Healing 4 Heroes as the veterans with PTSD need our help and support.

Shanon Clay of Williamson, GA, commented she is proud to support Healing 4 Heroes in their mission to help wounded veterans through training and supplying of service dogs for all their individual needs.  In addition, she encourages others to support our troops, support their families as our heroes are important to us.

 What can we say?  Saving two lives just touches our heart.

To learn more how you can help, follow Healing 4 Heroes on Facebook or send an email to healing4heroes@aol.com .  Or better yet, pick up the phone.  Call 678-364-9993 and ask Piper how you can become involved.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Atlanta Humane Society Offers $2,500 Reward for Case of Burned Cat

Atlanta Humane Society announces a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for burning a two-­‐year old cat in Union City, Ga.

The Fayette County Humane Society rescued the male cat, now called Grayson, from an apartment complex in early August in response to a resident’s call. The Union City Police Department filed a report and are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the party(s) responsible for dousing the cat with lighter fluid and setting him on fire. Contact Captain Eugene Tate with the Union City Police Department at 770-­‐515-­‐7835 or etate@unioncityga.gov with information regarding this act of animal cruelty.

“This is a horrific act of animal cruelty,” states William Shaheen, president, Atlanta Humane Society. “It is imperative that those responsible for this terrible act are caught so that we can prevent this from happening to another innocent animal. It is our hope that the reward will encourage citizens to do the right thing and report anyone who is treating animals unkindly.”

Grayson was treated at the VCA Braelinn Village Animal Hospital in Peachtree City, Ga. Despite his burns and diagnosis of FIV, the grey and white cat is expected to recover fully and is ready for adoption.

Fayette County Humane Society is seeking a foster or permanent home for Grayson with no other cats and an indoor-­‐only lifestyle. Contact info@fayettehumane.org for more adoption information.

Atlanta Humane Society is an advocate for animals. The reward fund, furnished by the Holland M. Ware Charitable Trust, encourages tips leading to the arrest and conviction of persons responsible for animal cruelty.

About Atlanta Humane Society 
Founded in 1873, the Atlanta Humane Society and Society For Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, Inc. is the oldest private non-­‐profit animal welfare organization in Atlanta and one of the oldest humane agencies in America. Services such as adoptions, charitable veterinary clinic, low cost spay/neuter services, pet facilitated therapy, animal behavior training classes and canine play yards are possible by generous contributions of time and money from the public. Our mission is to prevent the neglect, abuse, cruelty and exploitation of animals and to assure that their interests and well-­‐being are fully, effectively and humanely protected by an aware and caring society. For more information about the Atlanta Humane Society, visit www.atlantahumane.org or call 404-­‐875-­‐5331.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Matilda the Eastern Bongo is Expecting

Beauregard’s younger sibling will be the newest ambassador for one of Earth’s rarest mammal species

Matilda, a 4-year-old eastern bongo at Zoo Atlanta, is expecting her second calf. While the date of conception is uncertain, the Animal Management and Veterinary Teams estimate that her birth window could be as early as December 2012. Bongo gestation is nine months.

Matilda and her mate, 4-year-old Tambo, were recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which seeks to maintain a self-sustaining, genetically diverse population within North American zoos and has reintroduced captive-born bongos to eastern Africa. The pair’s first offspring, male Beauregard, born December 2, 2011, was the first bongo born at Zoo Atlanta.

Eastern bongos are critically endangered, with fewer than 500 believed to remain in the wild in their native Kenya. Habitat destruction, poaching and hunting for the bushmeat trade are the primary threats to these large forest antelopes, which are known for their deep, striped reddish coats and magnificent curved horns in both males and females.

“We’re delighted that Matilda is expecting a second calf. Bongos are some of the rarest mammals at Zoo Atlanta, and any healthy new addition is a celebration for such a critically endangered species,” said Raymond King, President and CEO. “We also find that our guests tend to be less familiar with this species than they are with many of the other large mammals at the Zoo, so we welcome any opportunity to introduce our visitors to these beautiful animals and the challenges they face in the wild.”

Matilda has been trained to participate in voluntary ultrasounds so that the Animal Management and Veterinary Teams may regularly monitor the development of her calf. Stay tuned for updates as her pregnancy progresses.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Southeastern Greyhound Adoption Holds Meet and Greet at Wal-Mart in Peachtree City

The second Saturday of August, 08/13/2011, Peachtree City, GA, Southeastern Greyhound Adoption (SEGA) will hold a Meet & Greet at the Peachtree City Wal-Mart, 2717 Highway 54, Peachtree City, GA 30269 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. These monthly events are a wonderful way to meet Greyhounds up close and talk to their owners about the joys of adopting an ex-racer. Meet & Greets are hosted by SEGA volunteers who typically bring their own pets. Contrary to popular belief, Greyhounds do not need excessive amounts of exercise but, in fact, are gentle and very laid-back dogs that make excellent pets for all types of families. SEGA is an organization that places Greyhounds into homes after their racing careers have ended. The mission of SEGA is to find good permanent homes for former racing Greyhounds and to educate the public about why Greyhounds make good pets. Since its inception in 1998, SEGA has placed more than 1700 Greyhounds into loving homes. For more information see www.greyhoundadoption.org, email at info@greyhoundadoption.org or call us at 770-474-9738.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sumatran Tiger Cubs Born at Zoo Atlanta

New arrivals are the first tigers born at the Zoo in a decade

Chelsea, a 7-year-old female Sumatran tiger, gave birth to two cubs late July 5. The first offspring for Chelsea and 10-year-old male Kavi, the cubs are the first tigers born at Zoo Atlanta in more than a decade.

Chelsea’s pregnancy was confirmed via ultrasound on May 20. Thanks to groundbreaking training achievements prior to her conception, the tiger has participated voluntarily in ultrasounds throughout her pregnancy, permitting veterinarians to monitor her condition without the risk of general anesthesia.

“We’re very excited about the birth of Chelsea’s cubs, and proud of the superior animal care and training efforts that have enabled us to track the cubs’ development as her pregnancy progressed,” said Raymond King, President and CEO. “We hope that as we watch these cubs grow, we can help our guests better understand the need to protect tigers in the wild.”

Sumatran tigers are the world’s rarest tiger species, with fewer than 400 believed to remain in the wild. Poaching, habitat loss and territory fragmentation caused by deforestation are the primary threats to the critically endangered cats, which are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The last tiger cub born at Zoo Atlanta was female Bahagia, who was born in 2000 and moved to the Sacramento Zoo in 2002.

Zoo Atlanta is a participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP), which seeks to maintain a self-sustaining, genetically diverse population within North American zoos. Conservation projects supported by Zoo Atlanta include work to preserve tiger habitat located in a critical wildlife corridor in Sumatra’s Aceh Forest. Chelsea and her cubs are currently bonding in a specially prepared indoor den. Once the Animal Management and Veterinary Teams are confident that Chelsea has adjusted appropriately to her first experience with motherhood, guests will have the opportunity to observe the cubs live on camera at the Sun Bear/Tiger Terrace at Zoo Atlanta, as well as via webcam on zooatlanta.org. Webcam viewing will be available later this week through partnership with Earthcam; stay tuned for details on the cubs’ debut.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Atlanta Peregrine Nest Produces Four High-flying Falcons

Four new falcons will soon be eligible for drafting, riding the air currents that swirl around their high-rise home in downtown Atlanta.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials recently examined and banded the four young peregrine falcons in a nest outside the offices of McKenna, Long & Aldridge, 51 floors up in the SunTrust Plaza building.

Law firm chairman Jeff Haidet said the same two falcons have been nesting on the balcony for five years. The number of young this spring only increased his excitement and pride.

“This is the first year that the pair has produced four babies … and it’s always a special treat to observe their transition from hatching to flying,” Haidet said.

Two or three falcons hatched each of the previous years. Before this pair of parents, peregrines fledged foursomes outside the firm in 1999, 2000 and 2005. The 2011 nestlings will be flying within two weeks.

Peregrines are possibly the world’s fastest animal, diving at more than 200 mph to nab pigeons, ducks and other birds in mid-air. The nest at SunTrust Plaza is one of only two confirmed in Georgia. The other is in midtown Atlanta.

Jim Ozier, a program manager with DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section, occasionally hears reports that suggest there are other peregrine nests in metro Atlanta. He encouraged residents who see the falcons in pairs or possibly tending a nest in the spring to notify his office, (478) 994-1438 in Forsyth.

Peregrines were removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species because of a successful population recovery effort, but Georgia still lists the birds as rare. Historically, the only known nest in the state was at Cloudland Canyon in the early 1940s. Peregrines were apparently absent for several years during and after the DDT era.

DNR normally offers a web camera view of the nest at McKenna, Long & Aldridge, thanks to the law firm and a grant from The Garden Club of Georgia. The equipment needs upgrading, and the hope is to re-establish the behind-the-scenes look at Georgia’s highest-flying falcons in 2012.

This year’s clutch hatched in mid-April. The nestlings leave the nest at about 5 weeks old. Life can be hard for them in metro Atlanta. Hazards vary from traffic to large windows. A peregrine hatched at the firm last year was found days later suffering from trichomoniasis, a parasitic disease of young birds. The falcon was rehabilitated by Kathryn Dudeck of the Chattahoochee Nature Center and released.

Georgians can conserve endangered and other nongame wildlife such as peregrines through buying a bald eagle or ruby-throated hummingbird license plate, or donating directly to the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund. Wildlife plate sales and direct contributions provide vital support for the DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section, which receives no state general funds for its mission to conserve wildlife not legally hunted, fished for or trapped, as well as rare plants and natural habitats.

Visit www.georgiawildlife.com for more information, or call Nongame Conservation offices in Social Circle (770-761-3035), Forsyth (478-994-1438) or Brunswick (912-264-7218).

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Georgia's Rare Species Profiled in New Online Accounts

Quick: Name the turtle found in Georgia that lures prey using part of its tongue.

Not sure?

How about the Georgia mussel that grows inch-long spines, a blue crayfish known mostly from the Chatsworth area, the shorebird that sports a long orange bill, an endangered plant beleaguered by butterflies or the minnow best identified by its lips?

Answers to these and other questions about Georgia’s rare wildlife are found in a new lineup of species profiles at www.georgiawildlife.com. The 403 updated and expanded online accounts detail the identification, habitat use, distribution, ecology and conservation of Georgia’s protected species, plus selected rare species considered at risk but not officially protected.

Brett Albanese, a project leader, said the goal is providing a reliable and current source on rare animals and plants that can used by all, from university scientists to middle school students and from biological consultants to landowners and managers. The profiles also feature information from important references such as the Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Georgia by Linda Chafin of the State Botanical Garden.

“We tried to use the best experts to author the profiles,” said Albanese, a senior aquatic zoologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section.

The hope is that the accounts spur feedback that adds to the body of information about each species. Profiles list when they were written or last updated. Readers can report omissions and errors by email.

The profiles stem from the State Wildlife Action Plan, a strategy guiding the DNR and its partners in conserving Georgia’s biological diversity. Accounts cover basics such as descriptions and life history, as well as threats, management recommendations and conservation status of the species in Georgia. Photographs and some range maps are included. Guides and glossaries explain structures used in species identification and other technical terms.

Years in the making, the profiles reflect “a vision of protecting the natural environment in Georgia,” said Greg Krakow, a project leader and natural resources biologist involved in the effort since its start.

Nongame Conservation Section Assistant Chief Jon Ambrose noted that conservation of many of the species depends on voluntary efforts by private landowners. Ambrose said the accounts offer a new information tool that will hopefully lead to “more occurrences of the species and habitats in better condition because of better management.”

Oh, and about that nimble-tongued turtle, it’s the alligator snapping turtle. The other answers: Altamaha spinymussel, Conasauga blue burrower, American oystercatcher, Canby’s dropwort and fatlips minnow.

The profiles are found at www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation (click “Rare Species Profiles”). For more on the Wildlife Action Plan, see www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/wildlife-action-plan.

Help conserve endangered and other nongame wildlife through buying a bald eagle or ruby-throated hummingbird license plate, or donating directly to the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund. Wildlife plate sales and direct contributions provide vital support for the DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section, which receives no state general funds for its mission to conserve wildlife not legally hunted, fished for or trapped, as well as rare plants and natural habitats.

Visit www.georgiawildlife.com for more information, or call Nongame Conservation offices in Social Circle (770-761-3035), Forsyth (478-994-1438) or Brunswick (912-264-7218).

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Bald Eagle Nesting Pair Survives Tornado-Like Storms & Hatches First Of Three Eggs

(BUSINESS WIRE)--While tending to their nesting duties, non-releasable Bald Eagles "Franklin" and "Independence", cared for by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation (www.eagles.org), recently survived severe storms that passed through the East Tennessee area.

“During the high winds and intense thunder showers, I intently watched the eagle nest day and night from a video camera available over the Internet”

"During the high winds and intense thunder showers, I intently watched the eagle nest day and night from a video camera available over the Internet," said AEF President Al Cecere. "It always amazes me how the parent birds faithfully cover the eggs and young with their body and wings during severe weather, even when chunks of hail are pounding on their backs."

The first of three eggs laid in March, which both parents have been diligently incubating and shielding from inclement weather over the past several weeks, hatched on the day of the Royal Wedding (April 29). The second egg and third eggs hatched May 5 and 6 respectively.

The most intimate nesting activities of these majestic birds are under a microscope lately, as the conservation group has established a "live" Eagle Nest Cam which can be viewed from their www.eagles.org website (or www.ustream.tv/americaneaglefoundation).

At about 5 or 6 weeks of age, all the eaglets that hatch in the nest will be moved to an artificial nesting tower located on Tennessee’s Douglas Lake. They will be released into the wild at 13 weeks of age after they've grown to full size.

"We invite anyone who loves animals, birds, nature and America to drop by our website (www.eagles.org) to watch and enjoy these wonderful birds," said Cecere. "We're even open to suggestions from our viewers regarding any possible names for the babies."

Both parent birds suffered permanent disabilities to one wing due to gunshot wounds. The American Eagle Foundation is headquartered at its United States Eagle Center located at Dolly Parton's family entertainment park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Buford Trout Hatchery Hosts Guided Bird Walk On May 7th

Springtime is a great time to observe many species of colorful birds known as neotropical migrants. Just north of Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division’s Buford Trout Hatchery offers a combination of habitat that is attractive to neotropical migrants, making it the perfect location to spot a beautiful summer tanager or orchard oriole.

Local bird expert Rusty Trump, will be leading a bird walk along the hatchery’s Lincoln Sparrow Trail Saturday, May 7th at 8 a.m.

The Lincoln Sparrow Trail is a short, half-mile loop that is easy to walk and features two wildlife-viewing blinds and an observation deck which overlooks a wetland. Bird checklists and a limited number of binoculars are available for participants of the May 7th bird walk.

The walk is intended for individuals and families and is not designed to accommodate large organized groups. The walk is scheduled to begin promptly at 8 a.m. and should last until 9:30 a.m.

Birding participants can expect to see or hear a variety of neotropical species, including indigo buntings, summer tanagers, orchard orioles and numerous warblers. These neotropical migrants now are winging their way north on an annual migration from the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Buford Trout Hatchery is located between Cumming and Buford off Ga. Hwy. 20. From Atlanta, take Ga. Hwy. 400 north to Exit 14. Exit right on Ga. Hwy. 20 and travel east for four miles, turn left on River Club Drive in the Chattahoochee River Club subdivision. Travel approximately ½ mile and turn right at the second stop sign onto Trout Place Road. Trout Place Road dead-ends into Buford Trout Hatchery.

For additional information about the May 7th bird walk, contact the Buford Trout Hatchery at (770) 781-6888.

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Coming Soon to a Beach Near You: Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Loggerhead sea turtles will soon start crawling onto Georgia’s barrier island beaches to nest.

One ambitious leatherback sea turtle already has.

For the second year in a row, a female leatherback reached the beach first, nesting on Ossabaw Island April 19. The early arrival of this endangered species is not unusual, and the loggerhead sea turtles that are more common to the Georgia coast will begin arriving next month, said Georgia Sea Turtle Program Coordinator Mark Dodd of the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

Dodd expects a strong loggerhead nesting season, although not quite the 1,750 nests found last year, the most since daily monitoring of all Georgia barrier islands began in 1989. “My guess is it will be down a little bit but still an above-average nesting year … somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 nests.”

From May through September, these massive turtles named for their large heads will lay eggs in the soft sand where beaches meet dunes. Loggerheads are federally listed as threatened, with a proposal pending to classify some populations – including the one found year-round along Georgia’s coast – as endangered.

A group of volunteers, researchers and others called the Georgia Sea Turtle Cooperative manages and protects sea turtle nests from Tybee to Cumberland Island. “What they do is absolutely critical to our overall conservation effort,” said Dodd, a senior wildlife biologist with the DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section.

Data gathered contribute to management decisions and genetic research that is mapping the loggerhead’s family tree along the Southeast. Nests sheltered by being moved above the high-tide line and protected from predators such as feral hogs result in more eggs hatched, which could pay dividends as more sea turtles reach the age of 35 years and older at which the females first nest.

Loggerheads have a long way to go. Although the last five years of nest counts show a slight upturn, the federal definition of recovery is a 2 percent increase per year for 50 years, leading to an annual count of 2,800 nests. Georgia recorded 995 nests in 2009 and 1,646 in 2008. The 2011 season starts within days.
Help conserve loggerheads through buying a bald eagle or ruby-throated hummingbird license plate, or donating directly to the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund. Wildlife plate sales and direct contributions provide vital support for DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section, which receives no state general funds for its mission to conserve wildlife not legally hunted, fished for or trapped, as well as rare plants and natural habitats.

Visit www.georgiawildlife.com for details, or call Nongame Conservation offices in Social Circle (770-761-3035), Forsyth (478-994-1438) or Brunswick (912-264-7218).

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