A woman has been caught on camera dumping a bag of puppies near a dumpster in Coachella, California, CNN reported Sunday.
The puppies, seven in all, were discovered by a passerby Thursday afternoon near a dumpster outside a Napa Auto Parts store. A store employee then contacted Riverside County Department of Animal Services, the department said in a Facebook post.
The three-day-old puppies might not have survived if the passerby, named John, hadn't discovered them, the department said, since temperatures reached the mid 90s that day.
"The Good Samaritan played a major role in saving these puppies' lives," Commander Chris Mayer said. "His actions were humane and heroic."
The department released store surveillance footage Friday showing a woman pulling up to the dumpsters in a jeep around 1 p.m. Thursday. She got out of the car with a clear, plastic bag, approached the recycling dumpster, then tossed the bag next to the trash dumpster and drove away.
Mayer said his department was working with the Riverside County Sheriff and the District Attorney's office to build an animal cruelty case against the woman.
"There is no excuse for dumping puppies," Mayer said. "Especially in today's age when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners. This was a shameful act."
The puppies, which are believed to be terrier mixes, were initially cared for by the department's veterinary team. Southern California group MeoowzResQ, which normally specializes in cat and kitten fostering, has agreed to take over their treatment. The puppies need to be bottle fed and closely watched for a few weeks, Newsweek reported.
The department emphasized that there is never any need to abandon puppies, Newsweek reported. There are shelters open on weekdays in the county which have re-homed around 5,000 dogs between 2017 and 2018, according to department data.
It is not yet known how severe a penalty the woman will face for her actions. California animal cruelty laws allow for both misdemeanor and felony charges.According to the best estimates of the Humane Society of the United States, six to eight million cats and dogs enter shelters in the U.S. each year. Around four million are adopted from shelters annually, and sadly three million are euthanized. Of those euthanized, around 2.4 million were healthy and could have been treated and adopted.
On Friday, Seal Rescue Ireland released Sesame the seal into the ocean after five months of rehabilitation at the Seal Rescue Ireland facility. Watch the release on EcoWatch's Facebook.
On Nov. 21, Seal Rescue Ireland — Ireland's only seal rescue center — found five to six week old Sesame underweight at only 13 kilos with deep lacerations all over her body. Waves from big storms had likely thrown her against the rocks when she was less than 2 months old. Today she's at a healthy weight of 42 kilos and ready to return home.
"It's really encouraging to see her take straight to the waves," said Sam Brittain, animal care manager. "The last time she was in the sea was probably a bit of a traumatic experience for her."
Sesame was initially set to return to the sea on April 13, as reported on EcoWatch Live during a tour of their facilities:
"In a natural turn of Murphy's Law, she unfortunately was delayed because another big storm came through," said Brittain. The release was rescheduled and he explained that the frequency of storms is increasing because of climate change. "It's becoming a big problem for the grey seals."
Volunteers gathered round to demonstrate their support during the release and cheered Sesame on once the cage was opened. "We're really happy with how many people showed out to give her a good welcome back to the sea" said Brittain.
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The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.
Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.
Eye-Catching Designs Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
waterlust.com / @abamabam
The company sells a range of eco-friendly items like leggings, rash guards, and board shorts that are made using recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. There are currently 16 causes represented by distinct marine-life patterns, from whale shark research and invasive lionfish removal to sockeye salmon monitoring and abalone restoration.
One such organization is Get Inspired, a nonprofit that specializes in ocean restoration and environmental education. Get Inspired founder, marine biologist Nancy Caruso, says supporting on-the-ground efforts is one thing that sets Waterlust apart, like their apparel line that supports Get Inspired abalone restoration programs.
"All of us [conservation partners] are doing something," Caruso said. "We're not putting up exhibits and talking about it — although that is important — we're in the field."
Waterlust not only helps its conservation partners financially so they can continue their important work. It also helps them get the word out about what they're doing, whether that's through social media spotlights, photo and video projects, or the informative note card that comes with each piece of apparel.
"They're doing their part for sure, pushing the information out across all of their channels, and I think that's what makes them so interesting," Caruso said.
And then there are the clothes, which speak for themselves.
Advocate Apparel to Start Conversations About Conservation
waterlust.com / @oceanraysphotography
Waterlust's concept of "advocate apparel" encourages people to see getting dressed every day as an opportunity to not only express their individuality and style, but also to advance the conversation around marine science. By infusing science into clothing, people can visually represent species and ecosystems in need of advocacy — something that, more often than not, leads to a teaching moment.
"When people wear Waterlust gear, it's just a matter of time before somebody asks them about the bright, funky designs," said Waterlust's CEO, Patrick Rynne. "That moment is incredibly special, because it creates an intimate opportunity for the wearer to share what they've learned with another."
The idea for the company came to Rynne when he was a Ph.D. student in marine science.
"I was surrounded by incredible people that were discovering fascinating things but noticed that often their work wasn't reaching the general public in creative and engaging ways," he said. "That seemed like a missed opportunity with big implications."
Waterlust initially focused on conventional media, like film and photography, to promote ocean science, but the team quickly realized engagement on social media didn't translate to action or even knowledge sharing offscreen.
Rynne also saw the "in one ear, out the other" issue in the classroom — if students didn't repeatedly engage with the topics they learned, they'd quickly forget them.
"We decided that if we truly wanted to achieve our goal of bringing science into people's lives and have it stick, it would need to be through a process that is frequently repeated, fun, and functional," Rynne said. "That's when we thought about clothing."
Support Marine Research and Sustainability in Style
To date, Waterlust has sold tens of thousands of pieces of apparel in over 100 countries, and the interactions its products have sparked have had clear implications for furthering science communication.
For Caruso alone, it's led to opportunities to share her abalone restoration methods with communities far and wide.
"It moves my small little world of what I'm doing here in Orange County, California, across the entire globe," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about our partnership."
Check out all of the different eco-conscious apparel options available from Waterlust to help promote ocean conservation.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
The grapefruit-sized, approximately 18-year-old eastern box turtle was found by a zoo employee at Druid Hill Park in July. The reptile had multiple fractures on the bottom part of his shell and was taken to the zoo's hospital for treatment.
Veterinarians performed surgery on the turtle and used metal bone plates, sewing clasps and surgical wire to hold the shell fragments together.
The vets then came up with a clever idea to keep the bottom of the shell elevated off the ground so it could properly heal.
"They don't make turtle-sized wheelchairs," veterinary extern Garrett Fraess explained in a press release received by EcoWatch. "So, we drew some sketches of a customized wheelchair and I sent them to a friend who is a LEGO enthusiast."
A few weeks after surgery, the turtle received his very own multi-colored wheelchair, featuring a frame and wheels made with LEGO bricks. The device was attached to the turtle's upper shell with plumbers putty.
"He took off and has been doing great," Fraess said. "Turtles are really good at healing as long as the shell remains stable."
Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation and research at the zoo, said that the turtle will likely use his LEGO wheelchair through the winter and into the spring until all of the fragments have fused together and the shell has completely healed.
"We are very happy that he is recovering well from his injuries and we plan to return him to the wild once he is fully healed," she added.
The turtle's plastron (the bottom part of his shell) is healing.The Maryland Zoo
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Tackling plastic pollution is the theme of 2018. Stories of animals dying from ingesting plastic are all around the web. Did you ever think that the plastic packaging used for your groceries might be the cause of death for an animal species you love?
Join Seal Rescue Ireland in an interactive Facebook live experience to hear all about the adorable and often times sick seals with gnarly scars from plastic netting. Meet the seals, hear the splashes made when eagerly gobbling up the fish and grab a box of tissues because not only do many rescues end in tragedy, but many are never able to be reached.
As reported by Seal Rescue Ireland Educational Outreach Manager Jeshua Taucher:
In 2007, NOAA estimated that annually, 100,000 marine mammals and millions of seabirds and fish silently perish from untreated entanglement in waste produced by our throw-away society.
Karma is one seal that was able to be rescued, but unable to be saved. Appearing healthy aside from abnormal behavior, she was taken in and died in the center. A necropsy revealed a plastic chip bag was lodged in her stomach.
Marine animals are not just accidentally gobbling up our plastic trash. Research suggests that they could be actively seeking it out because they like how the debris smells—which quickly gets covered by algae—and are confusing it for their natural prey.
Not only is the plastic disguised as food, but the reflective elements of plastic are mistaken for fish scales, according to Seal Rescue Ireland.
💥🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨💥: Maui is heading home this Saturday 28th July,Courtown Main Beach! Featuring a taping of a U.S… https://t.co/OdZ6N439Q9— Seal Rescue Ireland (@Seal Rescue Ireland)1532516370.0
Tune in to EcoWatch's Facebook July 28, at 10 a.m. EST to see one amazing success story, engaging in the magnificent experience a seal endures when being released back into the wild.
By Jennifer O'Connor
The new Ohio Dangerous Wild Animal Act rightfully restricts individuals from keeping tigers, lions, bears and other wild animals. Rather than complying with the law, individuals and roadside zoos surrendered nine bears to authorities. Two of the bears gave birth to cubs (four in total) while in the state's temporary holding facility while officials searched for appropriate permanent placement for the animals.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) teamed up with The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado to get these long-neglected bears to their new, permanent home. They're now living the life that they've long been denied.
The bears were in dire straits. Some were underweight, while others were obese. Some were declawed and suffering from intestinal parasites or broken teeth. One bear, named Sweet Baby, was emaciated and housed in a tiny cage in a barn.
Four of the bears—Cheyann, Ersila, Romeo and Sherwood—came from the notorious Stump Hill Farm. Two of them were declawed and all of them had broken teeth. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited the roadside zoo for keeping bears in filthy, wet, ramshackle enclosures.
Waylon, Wally and Molly were living—if you can call their miserable condition "living"—at a now-defunct outfit called (far from) Heaven's Corner for Endangered Animals. Molly had a fractured tooth—the pulp was exposed—and Wally's teeth were in bad shape. Cages at the roadside zoo were dilapidated and rusty and some had sharp, jagged, rusted edges.
Ersila and Molly were pregnant when they were obtained by Ohio officials. Ersila gave birth to three cubs, while Molly is the proud mama of one little one. The four cubs are over the moon at their new home. Captive bear cubs are often taken from their mothers shortly after birth, but these mother bears will get to raise their own young, likely for the very first time.
What You Can Do
We have now rescued 56 bears from roadside zoos, but there are still bears in horrendous conditions all over the country. Ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take action for bears now!