Save Our Dogs, a grassroots effort to save working dogs from CA AB 1634/Now SB 250, mandatory spay/neuter
Visit Save Our Dogs
Dog & Cat Owners Say No to AB 1634 SB 250 ~ ROUND 18plus!
See for FACTS on SB 250
Love your Pets? Read my files on Label Animal_Control.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Take time to admire...

I love this slide show which Marvie sent around this time. I just don't tire of seeing the beautiful photography. The philosophical reminders about human expectations is sometimes amusing; sometimes bittersweet, but just about anyone regardless of faith, philosophical leanings or stance can enjoy it. :)

Among other things of beauty, I'm something of an aquarium nut. I used to keep 3 or four different aquariums when I lived in a larger house. I used to imagine some day having a waterfall and koi pond indoors (a sort of atrium) and an aquarium the size of one wall. I've kept many kinds of fish over the years but have never had salt water fish. Anyway, I always enjoy seeing beautiful or interesting aquarium set ups. Today Weburbanist has such a presentation.

Molly. Isn't she pretty? I've had several inquiries for her but some people are just too far away to do a 'trial' to see if she will work out, but inquiries lately have been stepping up. The perfect home for Molly will arrive yet! Molly is a pretty 'akbash' style female that we picked up from Placer County animal control to help her have another chance at finding a forever home.

One more...

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 12/28/2008 09:01:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Stuart Novis (bronte anatolians) sent us a woof // February 08, 2009

What a lovely looking doggie! A pity I'm across the pond, I think I would have snapped her up straight away! I hope she gets a good home.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // February 08, 2009

Thanks Stuart. She's a very sweet girl. Hugs to yours too!   

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Yakkity Yak

Yaking about...
Bring Your Child Dog err Yak to Work Day.
Yay, the pics have captions! -- but the interesting video does not.

Must be a fun place to work. :D
Wow, and it's May already.
Happy May Day.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/01/2008 05:36:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Puppy on Stilts

Sun, 20 April 2008 -- Thanks to etest and matthewc on Blogger help groups, I am finally able to post this! :)
Blogger to Yahoo FTP settings have recently had some sort of glitch -- etest successfully brainstormed a work around that is working for some of us in the same boat. It's working for me, at least for this posting.

It was about noon today (April 15th), Ruya and Coco were out near the corral -- and they started barking. James went to see what was going on and found that the mini horse mare had just had a foal in our loafing shed (an open sided barn). In the first few pics, you can see that her birthing fluids are still in parts of her coat and coloring her hind legs.

He snapped some pics and later after the owner of the mare had arrived, I shot some more. Such a cute baby!
Above, you can see Ruya (R) and Coco (L) in the background watching the new arrival. Most of this set of pics can be clicked to enlarge.

Mama mare is a first time mom and so she was adjusting to all the new things happening to her body. The cute little creature that had arrive less than an hour ago was already strongly imprinted to Mama!

Nuzzling the cutie pie.
Look! It's a puppy on stilts!

I've never seen as much of a beard on a little foal before!

Don't the splashes of white look interesting? Her sire also has asymmetrical white markings.
That splash on the rump looks like a bird flying to the left, or a bird on a perch with it's tail dangling down.

A different camera used for this pic and the next two.
The little filly's beard has been trimmed back a bit. Not quite so goatlike!
Our neighbor introduces his filly to the basic concepts of milking mama with his fingers leading the foal's muzzle and lips to the milk bar.

Mom had a ticklish belly and a full bag of milk -- all sensitive and she wasn't too sure about this fancy new suckling business. Nature usually gets it all worked out soon enough since foals are persistent. Foals sometimes walk around making smacking noises with their lips as they search for their targets! Cute!

New moms sometimes need a little encouragement to let baby nurse if she stamps her feet, squeals and or pushes the baby away due to feeling tender or ticklish. Baby's suckling reflexes in this case needed to be encouraged so we could get mom used to be nursed on while we were out there to help, or interfere. :) That colostrum is so important, so you know how people can get, trying to be sure that they observe that the baby and the new mama get some understanding of Equine Nursing 101. After foals get the hang of it and as they get bigger, they can get to be pretty rough at this, banging their muzzles against mom's tummy. Most moms quickly design a new lesson plan to circumvent that. :)

Just realized... Looks like the mare is almost leaning on James.

Incidently... When you're working with mini horses, you thank goodness for good knees and a strong back! (which is why James and I are partial to the full sized horses, lol)

You can see where the filly got her coloring from. :)
Dad had to be gated off in the paddock so that the mare could attend to her new duties without fussing about curious Dad. Dad seemed to be content if he could just watch. But any time the foal headed in his direction, Mom would nudge the foal away or stand, blocking the path.

More pics of the parents here...

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/15/2008 11:32:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Diane sent us a woof // April 21, 2008

First thing I thought of with the spot on its rump was - dinosaur!   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // April 23, 2008

You've been hanging around the evolution people too much. Ha! And I've become a bird brain. ;)   

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nathan Winograd Chat Transcript at

Have you read "Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America" yet?

The more you know, the better your understanding of WHY AB 1634 and similar legislation does not work.

The chat took place, Feb 1, 2008
The transcript is available now.
Thank you Rescue Network Org! (part of

Please go to the site to read the whole thing... :)

Nathan Winograd
Author of "Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America"
February 1, 2008 (chat)

PHKeeper: On behalf of Jeff Barringer and all of us at, I sincerely wish to thank Nathan Winograd for being our part of our 10th annual Chat Week! Nathan Winograd's 2007 book "Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America" set off a firestorm of controversy -- and inspired an army of animal lovers across the country, calling for serious reform of the American shelter system and an end to the use of killing as a tool of animal population control.

Nathan is here this evening to help us understand exactly what the No Kill Revolution is and how you can look at groundspring efforts to reform your community into No Kill. If you have a question for Nathan, please type a "?" in the room. You will be called on in order. Please do not speak openly in the room. Do not private message the hosts or our guest. Nathan when you have completed your answer, please type GA so we know to Go Ahead. Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, furkids of all ages, I present Nathan Winograd.

continued at the site---

No on California AB 1634
"California Healthy Pets Act"
Choosing a 'feel good' perky name for a bill perpetuates the GRAND deception

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 2/26/2008 03:02:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Isobel, a True Working Dog

Isobel, running with joy!
Happy dog stories always make me smile!

From The Canadian Press - 18 Nov, 2007

Northern Manitoba dogsled team has the blind leading the not-blind.

Isobel, a six-year-old husky cross, has all the great qualities of a sled dog. She loves to run, has strength and endurance, and works well alongside the other dogs tethered to the sleds that take tourists out on the subarctic terrain of Churchill, Man.

It takes a while for visitors to notice that she is completely blind.

"The dog lost its vision, but it didn't lose its spirit," Dr. Evan Fisk, Isobel's Winnipeg-based veterinarian said in a recent interview.

"It can smell, hear and feel other dogs nearby."

Isobel not only follows other dogs on the sled team owned by Jenafor Ollander and her common-law husband, she sometimes runs lead in tandem with another husky.

"She runs tours every single day right now ... and we have tourists from all over the world that are absolutely amazed," Ollander said.

"I'm sure some of them think I'm crazy when I tell them she's blind."

Isobel wasn't born blind. Everything seemed fine until one day three years ago, when she suddenly came to a halt in the middle of a sled run and started staggering around.

"We hooked her back up in her house and noticed that both of her pupils were completely dilated," Ollander said.

"I remember a couple of people mumbling, 'What good is a blind sled dog? You should just take her out and shoot her.' And I'm a bit stubborn in nature ... and I said, so what if she can't be a sled dog? she's a good dog."

Isobel was taken to Winnipeg, where Fisk noticed her retinas had detached, possibly the result of a virus.

Back in Churchill, Isobel was kept indoors. Ollander figured she would be happy and safer inside.

Ollander was wrong.

"She stopped eating and drinking and we were quite concerned about what was going on," Ollander said.

"We happened to bring one of our other sled dogs home, and she perked right up. So it dawned on us that the problem was she was depressed and she missed her pack more than anything else."

Isobel was soon reintroduced to her canine comrades and her behaviour improved right away. She started eating and drinking again.

With some hesitation, Ollander's husband decided to take a chance and hook Isobel up to the sled team and see what would happen.

"That dog ran like you wouldn't believe. She ran better than when she had her eyesight," Ollander said.

Isobel has been running ever since. She relies on the other dogs, human vocal commands, and her other senses to avoid obstacles.

It's not a complete surprise for Fisk.

"I believe that their senses adapt and they adjust, just like a person," he said.

"We know that people hone in well on their hearing skills and their sense of vibration and time and distance and smell and everything like that. And dogs become really acute at that. When they lose their vision, the rest of their senses kind of take over."

Isobel is sometimes put up front with another dog for races, and has beat other dog teams in head-to-head competitions.

She still has a couple of good running years left in her. But she's already nearing the age when many sled dogs hang up their harness.

Finding a good home for her might be a challenge.

"We've had several people who've offered to adopt her ... but we're really concerned because she just loves to run," Ollander said.

"We want to make sure that she doesn't end up in a situation where she gets depressed again."

"She's OK in the dog yard where she has her dog yard buddies."

And isn't she a beautiful girl!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/18/2007 05:47:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cheetah's, Tigers, and Anatolians. Oh My!

Photo thumbnail from HUGE pic on Chyril's blog!

Check out the September updates at Shepherds Rest Blog with pictures of cheetahs, tigers and some of her other cool news.

Ann Beckhelling, the Founder of Cheetah Outreach in South Africa, came to the USA this September and visited with Chyril and family at Shepherds Rest. Chyril has sent an Anatolian male named Morocco to Cheetah Outreach (CO) in the past year. Morocco is turning out to be quite promising. He may be used in CO's breeding program of Anatolians for cheetah conservation efforts. The dogs are kept by herd owners in South Africa, to deter cheetahs from preying on their livestock. Morocco's sire is Gandolf, who is owned by Mr. Guvener Isik, and who happened to be in Oregon at the time. Isik has been featured on this blog for some of his Turkish dog research. He joined with Ann and Chyril on a private tour of Wildlife Safari, Oregon. Isik's dog, Turkish born, Gandolf has been on lease as a working livestock guardian and as a foundation sire to Shepherds Rest Anatolian guardian dogs. Gandolf will probably go back to Turkey to work when his lease is complete. Such a globe trotting paragraph!

Chyril has posted a cool photo story as well, showing an Anatolian Shepherd Dog and a cheetah playing together. Lots of pics. Looking at them play and checking out their expressions and body language is fascinating stuff that intrigues me. It's that "animal whisperer" thing, checking out the pics is quite a trip. (If you love that sort of thing too... remember the pics showing the polar bear and husky at play?).

Chyril has had quite an interesting summer. There will be more updates with photos on her blog soon! :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/03/2007 01:04:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why Didn't The Polar Bear Eat the Husky?

An interesting little slide show.
What are the Opportunities: The Dog and the Polar Bear


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/12/2007 06:01:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mad Mad World of Scientists

One more post for today!

I wanted to blog this one a couple days ago, but today is a catchup day for some of this stuff so here we go.

From The Scientist, this article will probably tickle everyone. I do not know if/when the article might go offline but here is the link to the original, and the text for it is pasted below! I encourage you to visit the original article. There are often thought provoking comments at the end. ;)
Did they really do that?

Four decades ago, a group of scientists actually thought it was a good idea to give an elephant LSD
[Published 7th September 2007 02:22 PM GMT]

In a cartoon by former NASA roboticist Randall Munroe, a man reaches out and pulls a lever. Immediately a bolt of lightning strikes him from the sky. When the man is a "normal" person, he sensibly thinks, "I guess I shouldn't do that." When he is a scientist, however, he scratches his head and asks, "I wonder if that happens every time," and reaches again for the lever.

Curiosity is what makes scientists tick. This curiosity can lead to great discoveries, but it can also inspire bizarre experiments that appear highly peculiar to the rest of society. Such experiments come in a number of different varieties.

At one end of the spectrum are the experiments that, in the words of Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, "first make you laugh, and then make you think." The research is serious, but the subject matter contains hints of the absurd.

For example, a 2006 study at the University of Western Ontario sought to find out if the average dog would seek help in an emergency. Cooperative dog owners pretended to have a heart attack while walking their pet. At a pre-determined spot, they clutched their chest, cried out dramatically, then collapsed to the ground and feigned lifelessness. The dogs were not impressed. Most of them sniffed their owner a few times before wandering around aimlessly -- except for one toy poodle. This bold pooch rushed over to the nearest person, jumped up on her lap, and offered his belly to be petted. The researchers concluded that most dog owners should not expect their pet to turn into Lassie during an emergency.

Then there are the bizarre experiments that make you cringe, not laugh. The classic example is the 1962 elephant-on-acid experiment. A trio of Oklahoma City researchers became curious about what would happen if they gave an elephant LSD. There was just one problem. They had no clue how much LSD to give it.

Elephants are really big creatures, so the researchers figured their subject would need a really big dose. They settled on 297 milligrams, about 3000 times the level of a normal human dose. They shot the drug into the elephant's rump. It trumpeted angrily, woozily rocked back and forth, then keeled over. Soon, tragically, it was dead. In the article that appeared in Science a few months later, the researchers euphemistically noted, "It appears that the elephant is highly sensitive to the effects of LSD." The lesson is that having three researchers work on a problem does not make it three times more likely someone will display common sense.

And then there are the experiments that simply make you shake your head in disbelief and exclaim, "Someone really did that?" Stubbins Ffirth was a doctor-in-training who lived in early nineteenth-century Philadelphia. To gain his medical degree, he undertook to determine whether yellow fever is contagious. He used himself as the test subject, exposing himself to the disease in every way he could imagine. He smeared himself with the blood, urine, sweat, and black vomit of yellow-fever patients. He dribbled the vomit into his eyes. He even drank undiluted vomit fresh from the mouth of a patient.

Miraculously, Ffirth didn't get sick, prompting him to declare yellow fever non-contagious. Of course, he was wrong. It hadn't occurred to him to test for transmission by mosquito bite. Ffirth's experiment demonstrates the difficulty of identifying all the possible variables in a real-world situation.

The history of science is full of bizarre experiments. Many of them, for all their weirdness, display a touch of genius. In 1978, Russell Clark published results of an experiment in which students from his psychology class sexually propositioned strangers in public places to find out if men and women responded differently. No surprise, almost all men accepted the invitation, and all women rejected it. Initially ridiculed by the scientific community (journals refused to publish it for years), the study now earns widespread praise for demonstrating the importance of gender differences in sexual attitudes, something to which psychologists had previously paid little attention.

Unfortunately, if you're designing an experiment that makes your colleagues raise their eyebrows in surprise, it can be very difficult to know if you're heading down the path of genius or madness. The difference usually only becomes apparent in hindsight.

Alex Boese's book about bizarre experiments, Elephants on Acid from Harcourt, goes on sale November 5, 2007. He is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes, and lives near San Diego.

Alex Boese

Links within this article:
L. Walsh, "D'ya hear about the moon bison?" The Scientist, March 2, 2007.

Annals of Improbable Research

K. Macpherson and WA Roberts, "Do dogs (Canis familiaris) seek help in an emergency?" Journal of Comparative Psychology, May 2006.

RD Clark, "Gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers," Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, August 1989.

A. Boese, Elephants on Acid

Museum of Hoaxes

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/11/2007 05:19:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, June 18, 2007

Right Wags are All Right

Anatolians Indulging in Right-Wags

Zor in the foreground, Ruya is the headless one. All indulging in right-wags. Boone on the left didn't have a tail in this picture. The dogs had been playing a wrestling game and had paused to wag at each other. Some Anatolians don't just wag their tails but it goes round and round and round like a propeller. Can't think which direction it flies around in, counter clockwise or clockwise? Bertha (grandmother to Ruya and mother to Zor) had one of those propeller tails sometimes - depending on her mood. Other times she wiggled butt, or merely flicked the very tip of her tail in greeting. (ecstatically expressive to plain Ho-Hum!)

Since the recent study and reports about dogs doing right sided wags for 'friendly' things and left sided wags for more wary emotions, I've been thinking about this more when I watch our dogs play.

Is it not just dogs? I also remember Tess, my Arabian horse having more of a right sided fling to her tail when she put it over her back to play, after tipping the manure cart over deliberately when she wanted to get a rise out of me. She sometimes carried her tail straight out behind her but held it to one or the other side at different times. I wish now I had payed closer attention to her tail. I watched her ears, face, eyes and other elements of stance a lot, but not always her tail. I know that in Arab horse circles, back when I used to attend Arabian Horse Fairs and the like, a tail carried completely centered was supposed to be most desireable. Other horse folks would say that carriage to the side was due to some issue in the spine or the muscles. But I've looked at horses running when letting off their own steam and when they are pushed or stressed and I'm not sure what I think. Aren't these tail carriages sometimes different? Doesn't tail carriage to the side in horses also have something to do with lateral expression of emotion?

From The Scientist
Tailing Lateralization

A dog’s tail reveals unambiguous messages about its mood. Now, a study on tail wagging may lend credence to the contested theory that nonhuman vertebrates have asymmetric brain function. Angelo Quaranta and colleagues from the University of Bari and the University of Trieste in Italy trained video cameras on the posteriors of 30 dogs while exposing them to four separate visual stimuli: the dog’s owner, an unfamiliar person, a dominant unfamiliar dog, and a cat.

Familiar and nonthreatening sights induced right-biased wagging, indicating left side "approach" brain activation. The dominant unknown dog procured left-leaning wags, indicating right brain "withdrawal." Peter MacNeilage, a member of the Faculty of 1000 and a University of Texas professor in psychology, calls the work "a confirmation of what others have argued" – that nonhuman vertebrates have behaviors linked to specific brain hemispheres.

Prior to this research, he says, "In a single subject population, not one study has shown both avoidance and approach. ... Usually when people study the two hemispheres, they use different experimental paradigms. In this case [Quaranta] uses the same experimental paradigm, making it more consistent. This paper supports the theory that when one half of the brain is sensing some danger, it’s more connected to the opposite side of body." A mystery remains, however: "Why do animals have this brain lateralization in the first place?"

1. A. Quaranta et al., "Asymmetric tail-wagging responses by dogs to different emotive stimuli," Curr Biol, 17:R199–R201, March 20, 2007. | [PubMed]

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 6/18/2007 06:37:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // June 21, 2007

Interesting that you mention the "propeller tail" Leydi certainly has a propeller tail, I never knew that Anatolians could or would wag their tail like she does, I have to pay attention to the direction, I think when I look at her standing in front of her it goes counter-clockwise, now I have to look for the right wags in everybody   

Anonymous dog collar addict sent us a woof // June 24, 2007

i've been watching my dog, jersey, for the past few days now, & when she sees people that she knows she DOES wag her tail more to the right. COOL!!   

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cheetahs and Shepherds Rest Farm

Check out the month of October at the blog at Shepherds Rest Farm. One of the youngsters bred by Shepherds Rest Farm went with his breeder to Africa! Information on the cats and cheetah conservation program are being blogged there.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/24/2006 05:40:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Thursday, September 21, 2006

If You're Happy and You Know It, Wag Your Tail?

A happiness test for dogs?

How much does breed character and differential bonding with select family members affect the results?

My Anatolians have been known to zoom around or speak/sneeze/sing when I come home, yet barely notice when James comes home -

. . . o O ("oh, it's just you...," say they. )
*tail tip wags slightly*

Yes they do love him and lean on him when so inclined, but you guys must know what I mean. :)

Do they establish what is normal for the individual dog before going off to decide if the dog is happy?

At left, Ruya in 2004, in the midst of a game with Boone.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/21/2006 06:15:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pythons in the News

Snake swallowing a sheep
From recent news, python swallowing a pregnant ewe.

Is it just me or has it been an especially interesting year for pythons? Snake

These babies are pretty big, can kill their owners, eat alligators or pregnant sheep, and even accidently consume an electric blanket, yet they can go missing! :o

I've been trying to find more pics of the python vs sheep one since only various sizes of the one above have been on the 'net and I ran into this comment on another blog:
I was in Malaysia the day this story was published so I had the opportunity to get the fuller picture, literally. The New Straits Times (NST) ran the story with 3 images of the caught reptile and it's really bizzare.

First off, would you believe that the reptile tried to escape being caught by throwing up the carcass of the pregnant ewe it had just swallowed. The published images showed very clearly the "ejected" food. Gruesome sight it is, trust me.

No mention was made as to why the reptile was caught, but the story did give a pretty clear account of how it happened. The reptile, laden with biting off more than it can chew (or rather swallow, as the NST story puts it), was coiled up in some place happily regurgitating its supper when it was pounced on by a swarm of snake catchers. In a desperate but unsuccessful attempt to escape its captors, the python promptly discarded her dinner by vomitting it out. The irony is that it was caught while lightening the load off her gut. See, the stuff came out as slowly as it went in. Tough!

Last I heard, the 20 [foot] critter is safely tucked away in some rehab point awaiting transfer to a zoo.

Moral of the story: don't get greedy. Just bite off from life what one can comfortably chew. Never stuff and swallow if you don't want to end up in one of the seven gates of hell.

Posted by: Johan Adam Wong | Thursday, September 07, 2006 at 12:04 PM

National Geographic Channel airs Python vs Gator on September 16th. I don't watch TV enough to pay for channels but it sounds like it'll be an interesting show according to Miami Herald. There's a movie clip there where some theories are discussed on what may happened in that gruesome python vs gator fight or explosion scene.

BTW, the python that ate the electric blanket is apparently doing well. :)

Now I realize these snakes are heavy and it's easier on a person to drape the snake over their shoulders when carrying them, but unfortunately, I am never comfortable watching people handle these things when part of the snake is wrapped around their necks or draped around their bodies. eek! :o


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/10/2006 12:30:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger Ron Southern sent us a woof // September 10, 2006

Eeek! indeed. I generally try to avoid animals regurgitating. I don't mind hearing about it, though. I'm just touchy, not squeamish! Glad this is somebody else's news, though!   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // September 11, 2006

Imagine regurgitated critters on the road and adventurous types picking it up as "fresh" roadkill stew. :o   

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Carnivore Damage Prevention News

Not exactly a new link but one that should be getting more coverage because of its educational value, Carnivore Damage Prevention News has a newsletter about various aspects of wild carnivores around the world. CDPNews No 8 / January 2005 is available online and is fascinating reading about the successes and problems in the use of livestock protection dogs as implemented around the world. Below is an image from one of the reports in the newsletter.

Anatolian in Namibia
Anatolian in Namibia, photo courtesy of Cheetah Conservation Fund

There are other archives and files available on other wild Carnivore subjects as well..

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/24/2005 01:45:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments