<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - ]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcmiami.com/feature/all-about-animals http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:02:10 -0400 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:02:10 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Bobcat Spotted in South Florida Backyard]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:00:40 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/panther+in+miramar.jpg

A South Florida homeowner woke up to a surprising sight in his backyard.

The homeowner, who did not want to be identified, said he saw a big cat on his West Miramar property one morning while he was having breakfast.

"I told my wife, 'Look at this big dog,'" the homeowner said. "Then the dog crossed over and got into the yard and she told me, 'That's not a dog, that's a cat.' And I realized it's a cat, but it's a big cat."

The homeowner said he was scared at first, but he admitted, "It's a cool thing."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed the animal was a full grown adult Bobcat, although it was initially believed to be a panther.

Now that he's seen it, the homeowner says he just wants the animal to be removed so his neighborhood can be safe.

"If it's hungry, it could be a danger," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Mocha]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 12:01:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/mochapotw914.PNG

Our pet of the week is Mocha, a 1-year-old terrier mix.

Mocha is an incredibly sweet and friendly dog. She loves kids and other dogs, and gets along with cats as well.

Pooches in Pines is helping Mocha find her forever home. Her adoption includes vaccinations, spay and microchipping.

For more information on how to adopt Mocha or any other animal, visit the Pooches in Pines website here or on their Facebook page.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Possibly Stolen Puppy Found Safe in Homestead]]> Sat, 13 Sep 2014 12:51:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/jenna+stolen+puppy.jpg

A six-month-old puppy has been found safe after her owners said she had possibly been stolen from their yard in Homestead.

Jenna, a Thai Ridgeback puppy, is scheduled to have life-saving surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. The puppy needs medication three times a day and must have both surgery and medications to save her life.

Her owners are from out of state and were visiting family when Jenna disappeared.

<![CDATA[Adoptable Pets]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:51:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/jack+edit.jpg This week's adoptable pets from the Broward Humane Society.]]> <![CDATA[Preparing Pets for Hurricane Season]]> Wed, 14 May 2014 12:18:26 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hurricane+cat.jpg

During a storm, you want to make sure every member of your family is protected, including your pets. The Federal Emergency Management Agency urges pet owners not to leave their pets behind and to know which shelters are pet-friendly in the event of evacuation.

Here are FEMA's guidelines for caring for animals during a hurricane:

To Prepare Shelter for Pets:

  • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your "pet survival" kit along with a photo of your pet.
  • Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets in times of disaster but this should be considered only as a last resort.
  • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger! Confine your pet to a safe area inside - NEVER leave your pet chained outside! Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water. Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink. Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.

What to Do With Pets During a Storm:

  • Bring your pets inside immediately.
  • Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed the animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
  • In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.

What to Do With Pets After a Storm:

  • If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
  • In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard.
  • The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.

If You Have Large Animals:

  • Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
  • Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
  • Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers. Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to vehicular travel so they are less frightened and easier to move.
  • Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
  • If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.

If Evacuating Animals to a Pet-Friendly Shelter: 

  • Provide proof of residency within an evacuation zone
  • Present medical and current vaccination records for each pet
  • Make sure your pet has received annual rabies vaccinations
  • Keep your county pet license visible
  • Pet owners must bring supplies for themselves and their pet(s)
  • Check how many pets per household are allowed at the shelt
  • Family member must remain in the PEC with the pet(s)

For a list of pet-friendly shelters, click here.

More Weather Content:

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Deputies Help 6-Year-Old With Autism Find Lost Therapy Dog]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:25:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/therapy+dog+sampson.jpg

When 6-year-old Madeline's French Bulldog Sampson wandered away last Friday, the Broward Sheriff's Office quickly took to the streets to find the beloved pet.

Madeline's mother Tiffany Khuzhian said she frantically called 911 when the dog went missing because "Sammy" is a therapy animal for Madeline, who has autism.

Sammy went missing from the Khuzhian's Oakland Park home on the 6100 block of Northeast 2nd Terrace after the family stepped out to go to the post office.

"I called 911 and these awesome deputies came and saved the day," Khuzhian said.

Deputies scoured the area and shortly after found the dog exhausted and overheated, several blocks away from the home.

"He was worn out, very spent," said Deputy Tally Brown, who found the dog. "I had to carry him to the car."

For one officer, the search hit close to home.

"I have an autistic son," said Deputy Mitchell Lyden. "If Deputy Brown didn't find him, it would have been a sad story."

The joyful reunion was especially meaningful for Khuzhian whose home is being foreclosed.

"My daughter's life is going to become very difficult for her to understand," Khuzhian said.

The mother shared an emotional letter of gratitude with deputies Thursday.

"This was not their job, but they did it," she said. "They did it with integrity, grace and most of all compassion."

Now, Madeline is back to singing nursery rhymes and playing with her pup.

"This is wonderful, I mean we put a smile on a little girl's face," said Deputy Bob Saintien. "I hope I can do this several more times for the remainder of my career."

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Stella]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 11:20:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/stella+potw+97.PNG

This week's pet of the week is Stella, a 2-month-old lab/shepherd mix who is looking for a loving home.

Stella is a well-mannered puppy who walks well on a leash. She still has a little bit of growing to do, and will be a medium-sized dog at around 40 to 50 pounds. Stella gets along great with kids and other dogs and would make a wonderful family pet.

Stella's adoption fee is only $50 and includes neutering, vaccinations and microchip. For more information on how to adopt Stella or any other animal, call (954) 359-1313 or visit Broward County Animal Care's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Investigation: U.S. Cracks Down on Puppy Imports]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 23:40:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/puppymillinvestigation.jpg

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is cracking down on the importation of young, sick puppies for sale in the United States.

Beginning in mid-November, only puppies over six months old that are in good health with proof of vaccination will be allowed to enter US ports of entry on their way to being offered for sale. Personal puppies are exempt from the rule.

Currently, with some exceptions, any puppy with a health certificate is allowed entry, although those not vaccinated for rabies are supposed to be confined by their owners until they are vaccinated.

The result, says the Humane Society of the United States, has been a flood of foreign puppy mill dogs – often sickly or with invalid vaccination certificates -- entering the pet market.

“There’s no question this process of raising them in puppy mills in foreign countries and long distance transport without people properly caring for them during transport puts them at great risk,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. His group estimates thousands of puppies have died during or soon after the importation process.

Team 6 Investigators found two such puppies died of distemper this summer after being imported from Colombia and sold on Craigslist by a southwest Dade County man, Juan Gomez.

Gomez said in June he imported about 24 puppies a month from Colombia, making him a puppy dealer under the law. Miami Dade County cited him for being an unlicensed dealer whose puppies were sold without proper vaccinations and valid health certificates. Having lost his appeals, he now owes the county more than $3,600.

Last week, Gomez said he was misunderstood when he said he imported 24 puppies a month “more or less;” he now says he’s sold only two dogs – the same two Team 6 found died soon after the sales.

He also explained why puppies from Colombia are so attractive to dealers here, saying he could pay $250 in Colombia for a dog that sells for $1,000 to $1,200 here.

Pacelle said the importations come with a cost – to the dogs. “There are stresses, disease-related issues and that’s going to produce sick animals who sometimes die very soon after purchase,” Pacelle said.

The rule takes effect on Nov. 17, more than six years after Congress first authorized the department to regulate the imports.

It also comes after years of government crackdowns on domestic puppy mills. Pacelle said enhanced domestic enforcement has contributed to greater demand for puppies born overseas.

For more on ways to safely adopt a puppy, click here for NBC 6's All About Animals page.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Puppy Helps Cheetah Cub Recover From Surgery]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:28:24 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/cheetah+dog.jpg

On Wednesday, a concerned puppy in San Diego nuzzled and licked her best friend, a cheetah cub, to make sure he would wake up from his leg surgery this week.

With his spotted forelegs wrapped in blue bandages, the little cub Ruuxa is recovering from an growth abnormality operation.

His legs were starting to bow because the growth plate in his ulna stopped growing before the radius, so veterinarians wanted to correct the problem before it caused pain.

The young cheetah was sedated for the surgery at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Harter Veterinary Medical Center.

Raina, the brown Rhodesian ridgeback puppy who has been Ruuxa’s constant companion, accompanied her friend. She sat nearby through the whole procedure.

The pup even laid by his crate while he was recovering from the anesthesia.

“Raina appeared very concerned about Ruuxa when she saw he was sleeping and she couldn’t wake him,” said Susie Ekard, the park’s animal training manager. “She licked him and nuzzled him, and when he awoke, she lay with him and seemed very content to know her cheetah was OK.”

The dog’s presence made it less stressful for the cheetah, Ekard said.

The two were paired together through the Safari Park’s animal ambassador program. Ruuxa was rejected by his mother – which is often the case when a single cub is born – so Raina steps in to help the cub navigate the outside world.

The goal is to develop a kinship between the two animals so the dog can keep the cheetah calm in public settings.

The Safari Park says Ruuxa and Raina should be up to their normal roughhousing soon when the cub makes a full recovery.

According to Ekard, the surgery will help Ruuxa have a better quality of life because he won’t have further leg problems down the road.

“So I’m very thankful that we were able to have the technology and the expertise and the facilities and everything to do this,” said Ekard.

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park]]>
<![CDATA[Adoptable Pets]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 12:47:40 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/0904Apollo513222.jpg This week's adoptable pets from the Broward Humane Society.]]> <![CDATA[Featured Pet: Katie]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 12:50:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/katie+pet+831.PNG

Our featured pet from the Humane Society of Broward County is Katie, a 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix.

Katie is a sweet, playful pup who is a people pleaser. She loves snuggling and squeaky toys. Katie gets along with other dogs and would love to find a forever home.

For more information on how to adopt Katie or any other animal, call (954) 989-3977 or visit the Humane Society of Broward County's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Andrew]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 12:10:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/andrew+potw+830.PNG

Today's featured pet is Andrew, a 2-month-old chihuahua mix who is looking for a loving home.

Andrew is a sweet, gentle puppy. He is playful and loves attention.

The Humane Society of Greater Miami is holding two adoption events today in the community. They will have pets available for adoption at the PetSmart in Midtown from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Miami Children's Museum.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt Andrew or any other animal, call 305-696-0800 or visit the Humane Society's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Dog Abandoned by Owner at Animal Hospital]]> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 08:48:50 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/peachesthepitbull.jpg

The staff at Pines West Animal Hospital is looking for a home for dog that stole their heart and has been with them for six months.

“Peaches has been a client of ours, a patient of ours for over nine years,” said Lynel Reeves of the Pines West Animal Hospital. “The family is known to board her with us and not pick up on the date that they were supposed to pick up, and this last time, they did not pick her up.”

That left Peaches, a pit bull mix, with nowhere to go. So the staff kept Peaches around the animal hospital. But, she’s in a cage most of the time and as Reeves said, “it’s not any life for the dog.”

Peaches is spayed and has all her shots and is in good health plus does basic commands like sit, stay, speak on command, shake hands, and bring someone a toy.

“She’s a lovely dog. She loves everybody,” Reeves said. “I think pit bulls get a bad rap. I could probably name five other breeds that, you know, are worse than a pit bull. And, most of this is learned behavior.”

The animal hospital took to social media to try to find a home for Peaches. Because she’s a pit bull mix, she can’t go to a home in Miami-Dade County because the breed is banned. But the hospital said it will keep helping the pooch and hope someone in another county will give Peaches a good home.

“We’re going to stick it out and find Peaches a home,” Reeves said. “She deserves a home.”

If you’d like to give Peaches a home, you can go by the Pines West Animal Hospital at 18419 Pines Boulevard. You will have to go through a screening process, but there’s no adoption fee.

Photo Credit: Pines West Animal Hospital]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society's Adoptable Pets - Aug. 29, 2014]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 13:03:48 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Bella+513150.jpg The Broward Humane Society's Adoptable Pets for Aug. 29, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Feral Cat Prompts School Closure]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:05:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/2014-08-29_1135.jpg

A feral cat got into a Maryland elementary school Friday morning, and after early attempts to capture it failed, officials sent students home for the day.

Animal Control officers brought traps for school staff to use inside Richard Henry Lee Elementary School in Glen Burnie. But on Saturday, the Anne Arundel County schools posted on Twitte that they have been unable to catch the kitty.

School was dismissed at 9:45 a.m. Friday.

Children who normally take the school bus were taken home on their the normal routes. School officials said pupils who walk or are usually driven to school needed to be picked up by a parent or guardian at the gate on Fourth Avenue.

Students were supervised until they were picked up, officials said.

Photo Credit: @NewsChopperBrad]]>
<![CDATA[How to Keep Fido Safe This Labor Day Weekend]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:16:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/beach+dog.jpg

If your dogs are anything like ours, they probably know that the smell of sunblock equals a trip to the beach! What they don’t know, however, is that drinking that salty surf can be hazardous to their health. Even small amounts of seawater can cause a condition called hypernatremia, also known as saltwater toxicity. Clinical signs of mild hypernatremia are often limited to vomiting and diarrhea. However if your pet ingests larger amounts of seawater, these signs can progress to lethargy, inappetance, stumbling, kidney damage, seizures, neurological damage, and even death. Hypernatremia can only be reversed with aggressive IV fluid therapy. If you suspect your dog may have ingested saltwater, call your veterinarian immediately.

Since dogs overheat far more quickly than their human companions, they feel the need to re-hydrate much sooner than we do. This leads them to attempt to quench their thirst by drinking from the ocean. The saltwater only increases the sensation of thirst, which compels them to drink even more. If you plan on taking your dog to the beach, be certain to offer fresh, cold water every 15 minutes. Pick a beach with shady spots, or bring a beach umbrella and encourage frequent breaks from the heat. Dogs who are overweight are more prone to heat exhaustion, as are the brachycephalic, a.k.a. “smushy-faced breeds. English Bulldogs, Pugs, French Bulldogs, Boxers, and Boston Terriers are just a few of the breeds that fall into this category. These pups also tend to be deep-chested, a trait that makes them top-heavy in the water. Sadly, these breeds are the most common victims of drowning, as they are notoriously bad swimmers. If your smush-faced buddy enjoys the water anyway, by all means include him in your beach plans. Just mind his sun exposure, and watch him vigilantly if he decides to go for a swim. A doggie life-jacket is a wise precaution as well.

Unlike most Dachshunds, our little dog, Grendel loves to swim and is quite good at it. That being said, she has never figured out how to budget enough energy to swim back to where she started! In a beach setting, this can quickly turn into a tragedy. This is actually not an uncommon problem, so I always recommend using a long, extendable leash for canine swimmers. Since Grendel is not quite as young as she used to be, she wears a life-jacket as well. Before allowing any dog to swim, check for warnings regarding chop, rip currents, or jellyfish.

Finally, keep in mind that South Florida’s beaches are not exactly famous for cleanliness. Chicken bones and dead sea critters can wreak havoc on a dog’s digestive tract. Cigarette butts (Grendel’s absolute favorite!) are everywhere, and can be toxic if ingested. On a recent beach visit with both of our dogs, Zohan rolled in two - that’s right - TWO separate Santeria offerings, complete with badly decomposed chickens! Remember, the more disgusting it smells to us, the more interesting it is to them. When it’s time to go home, get rid of residual sand and salt by bathing Fido with a soap-free, dog-specific shampoo. Especially if he’s decided to turn into a Santeria scent-hound!

Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Click here to send him an email. And check out some of these great deals and discounts exclusively for NBC 6 fans!

Photo Credit: Viewer photo]]>
<![CDATA[The Miami Seaquarium Wants You to Name Its New Dolphin Baby!]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:42:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Miami+Seaquarium+baby+dolphin+born+8+2+2014.jpg

The Miami Seaquarium needs your help in naming another baby dolphin!

The newest addition to the pod was born on Aug. 2 to Top Deck Dolphin resident Rioux.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the "Flipper" TV series, which was filmed at the Seaquarium, the park is asking the public to help name the baby dolphin by pledging to "Flip it Forward" with a random act of kindness by Sept. 15.

The winner will be randomly selected to choose from four names - Bali, Eclipse, Corona and Storm - and will receive four VIP park tickets.

The dolphin's name will be announced on Sept. 19, the anniversary of when the "Flipper" series first aired.

Enter the contest here.

Photo Credit: Miami Seaquarium]]>
<![CDATA[Send Us Your National Dog Day Photos!]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:13:26 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/161*120/twister+collazo.jpg

It's National Dog Day and NBC 6 wants to see your best pup pics. You can send your photos to us through email at isee@nbc6.com, on Twitter by using #NBC6, or by uploading them at our site here.

Photo Credit: Nicole Collazo]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Days of Summer 2014]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:25:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dog+day+thumb1.jpg How do you and your pets keep cool during the South Florida heat? Send your photos to isee@nbc6.com or use #NBC6 on Twitter or Instagram.]]> <![CDATA[Broward County Animal Care's Last Chance Dogs]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:17:49 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/181*120/Wally-A1680727.jpg These dogs are classified as "urgent" because they have been with the Animal Care department longer than most other dogs.]]> <![CDATA[Naming Contest for Baby Monkey, Zebu at Jungle Island]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:48:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/082514+jungle+island+baby+capuchin+monkey.jpg

Jungle Island wants the public's help in naming a baby capuchin monkey and miniature zebu that recently made their debuts at the Miami park.

To participate in the contest, Jungle Island is using the Twitter hashtag #JungleIslandBabies. Two winners will receive two general admission tickets to the park.

"These youngsters will make a fantastic addition to our growing family at Jungle Island," said Dr. Jason Chatfield, director of animal care.

Capuchin monkeys are typically found in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America and are considered to be the most intelligent of the New World monkeys. Zebus are native to the jungles of South Asia and are the oldest and smallest breeds of cattle in the world.

The winners of the naming contest will be announced at noon on Friday, leading up to the start of Jungle Island's $10 neighbor Days promotion.

For more info visit www.jungleisland.com.

Photo Credit: Jungle Island]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Clyde]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 14:45:57 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/clyde+potw+824.PNG

 This week's pet of the week is Clyde, a 3-month-old lab mix who is looking for his forever home.

Clyde is still a puppy and is very active. He has a sweet personality and loves to play. Clyde still has a little bit of growing to do, but he shouldn't get too much bigger and will be a medium-sized dog. Clyde would be a perfect fit for an active family.

Clyde's adoption fee is only $50 and includes neutering, vaccinations and microchip.

For more information on how to adopt Clyde or any other animal, call (954) 359-1313 or visit Broward County Animal Care's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Miami-Dade County Breaks Ground on New Animal Shelter]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:10:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Animal+shelter+dog.jpg

Miami-Dade County broke ground Friday on a new animal shelter in Doral, with the goal of easing frequent overcrowding.

Construction is set to begin shortly at the site of the new shelter at 3652 NW 79th Avenue. The new location will be 70,000 square feet, double the size of the current 50-year-old shelter in Medley.

The new Animal Services shelter will feature an adoption center, improved clinic facilities, and quarantine areas to protect animals and prevent the spread of disease. The larger size will provide increased capacity for dogs and cats, and could help the county get closer to its goal of becoming a no-kill facility.

“My administration has made it a top priority to ensure that we all work together to make this new Animal Shelter a reality for our community,” said Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “Today, we celebrate the long-awaited groundbreaking as another milestone toward our common goal of a No-Kill community and improving the conditions for all the animals that we are placed in our care.”

Every year, Miami-Dade Animal Services provides care for more than 27,000 homeless dogs and cats.

Photo Credit: NBC Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Holding Adoption Extravaganza]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 08:00:06 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/082214+broward+humane+society+adoption.jpg

The Humane Society of Broward County will be holding a 4-day "Adoption Extravaganza" beginning Friday.

For four days, anyone who adopts any pet four years of age or older or over forty pounds will have their adoption fee waived. The special lasts through Monday.

"we have so many great pets that are waiting to be adopted. We hope this offer will encourage people who have thought about adopting to visit," Humane Society CEO Christopher Agostino said.

All pets that are adopted will be spayed/neutered before going home, microchipped, receive preliminary vaccinations, deworming, dogs over 7 months will be heartworm tested and cats will be tested for feline leukemia. In addition, pets receive a limited 10-day health care plan courtesy of VCA Animal Hospitals, dogs can enjoy a one week complimentary stay at Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Pet Lodge and you will receive a complimentary bag of Purina One pet food.

The Humane Society of Broward is located at 2070 Griffin Road. Adoption hours are Monday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

For more info, visit www.humanebroward.com.

<![CDATA[Adoptable Pets]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:14:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/0821Ant+512870.jpg This week's adoptable pets from the Broward Humane Society.]]> <![CDATA[Pines Police Giving Stray Dogs a Hand]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:16:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/pinesdog1.jpg

Pembroke Pines Police help make many reunions possible, but one this past weekend showed off a new side of the police department as they try to help out man’s best friend.

Six months ago, Tammy Moses’ German shepherd mix named Gypsy was stolen from her home in Bell, Florida, near Gainesville. The theft came at an especially tough time for Moses’ family.

“We had just lost the children’s father in November and it was extremely hard,” Moses said.

Then last Thursday, Gypsy was found wandering the streets in Pembroke Pines. A Pines police officer spotted the dog and brought it back to the police department’s animal assistance program. It’s a temporary shelter for dogs often found by officers on their beats. The area for the dogs used to be a picnic area.

“We’ve made the best use we can out of this area for employees,” said Pembroke Pines Police Captain Al Xiques. “It’s now gone to the dogs.”

The program is partnered between Pines Police and the non-profit “Pooches in Pines” which takes in the animals after they’ve run out of time at the department. Space at the department only allows for five dogs at a time for five days.

Still, since 2011, volunteers with the Pembroke Pines Police Department have been able to help 500 dogs find their owners or new homes. Police volunteers help out by walking and feeding the dogs during their breaks.

“I volunteer because I love this program,” said Tracy Calvino. “I would hope if my dog got lost, someone would bring it back to me.”

Even as NBC 6 was at the facility learning more about the program, another dog, appropriately named “Lucky” went home after a few hours after his tag led volunteers to his rightful owner.

And soon, police hope a new kennel will be put in for the department’s program. The program will be relying on donations form the community to make the upgrades possible. The upgrades will be for the program that for Tammy Moses has given her a new life with an old friend.

“To just reach out and do what they did for me and my family; it’s just amazing,” Tammy said. “I will forever be indebted to them. They are my angels.”

One more note on Tammy's story, Gypsy was reunited with her owners when Detective Dean Soubasis drove the pooch half-way to Bell, Florida on his day off to make the reunion happen.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Rehabbed Turtle Released in Keys With Satellite Tracker]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:25:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/turtlesattracker.jpg

A loggerhead sea turtle, rehabilitated at the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital after being struck by a boat, was fitted with a satellite tracking transmitter and released from a Florida Keys beach Friday afternoon.

"Pine Tyme" is the last sea turtle to join the Tour de Turtles, a three-month-long "race" that features public online monitoring of the forward progress of 11 sea turtles. The project is organized by the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

Tour de Turtles follows the long-distance migration of several different species of sea turtles from their nesting beaches to foraging grounds. The turtle that covers the most distance is declared the winner.

"We get really important research information that helps us to protect and conserve habitats that these turtles are using out in the ocean. The pathways they are taking between feeding grounds and foraging areas and nesting beaches," said Dan Evans, the conservancy's Technology and Research Specialist. "So it provides us real critical information that we don't get with sea turtles because most of the time with turtles we see them on a nesting beach or a rehab area."

"Competitors" have been released off coastlines into the Atlantic Ocean as well as eastern and western Caribbean habitats.

The satellite transmitters eventually fall off of the turtles after their batteries are exhausted.

To keep track of the turtles, visit the Tour de Turtles website here.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida

Photo Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Who Stole Family's Dog Arrested: Boynton Beach Police]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:35:02 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/081814+shamari+patrick+fluffy.jpg

A woman accused of stealing a South Florida family's dog has been arrested and the pet was reunited with its owner, police said.

Shamari Patrick, 23, was arrested Sunday night at a motel on Federal Highway and faces a grand theft charge, Boynton Beach Police said.

Patrick was being held on $5,000 bond early Monday, and it was unknown if she has an attorney.

The dog, Fluffy, was found and reunited with its owner Monday, police said.

Police said a family had turned to Craigslist to find someone to take care of Fluffy, their 4-year-old dog, and they found Patrick, who claimed to be a pet sitter going by the name Keyana Morales.

But when the family returned from a trip, the sitter and Fluffy were gone.

When police caught up with Patrick, she told officers she sold Fluffy through Craigslist three weeks before her arrest, officials said. Patrick said she sold Fluffy to an unknown Asian woman, with a possible name of Chita, who said she lived in Wellington, police said.

The woman was driving a newer model grey or silver Mercedes sedan and had her 13-year-old daughter with her. The sale took place at the Tiki Hut motel in Boynton Beach.

Police said early Monday that Fluffy was found but gave no other details.

Anyone with information is asked to call Boynton Beach Police at 561-732-8116.

Photo Credit: Boynton Beach Police]]>
<![CDATA[Local Shelter Using Dating App Tinder to Promote Pets]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 12:50:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/humanetinderprofile.jpg

The Humane Society of Broward County is taking a unique approach to sharing their adoptable pets by creating an online dating profile for one lucky dog on Tinder.

Taking a cue from a shelter in New York City, the Humane Society set up a profile for Louie, a 10-year-old terrier, on the mobile dating app. Tinder users who like Louie's profile are then sent contact information for the shelter.

Louie is still looking for his forever home. For more information on Louie or any other animal, contact the Humane Society of Broward County at (954) 266-6839 or visit their website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

Photo Credit: Humane Society of Broward County]]>
<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Bailey]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 13:44:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/bailey+potw+2.PNG

Today's featured pet is Bailey, a 7-year-old lab mix.

Bailey is a sweet, mellow dog. She thinks she is a lap dog, and is looking for a forever home where she can relax and cuddle.

Pooches in Pines is helping Bailey find a home. Her adoption includes vaccinations, spay and microchipping.

For more information on how to adopt Bailey or any other animal, visit the Pooches in Pines website here or on their Facebook page.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Scarlett ]]> Sat, 16 Aug 2014 12:21:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/217*120/scarlett+pet+of+week.png

This week's pet of the week is Scarlett, a pure bred Shih Tzu.

Scarlett was abandoned from her previous owner. She has a sweet personality and loves to relax.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt Scarlett or any other animal, call 305-696-0800 or visit the Humane Society's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Pouting Pet? He May Have the Back-to-School Blues]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:06:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/tlmd_dogs_generic_shelter_puppies.jpg

As the lazy days of summer begin to wind down, South Florida families start turning their attention towards sending the kids back to school. The many preparations and changes in routine can be stressful for both children and caregivers. They can also be a source of anxiety for our pets.

Many families start off their summers by adding a new pet to the family. The logic here is that there will be plenty of time help the new pet get adjusted, and bond with the family at a time when children are spending the most time at home. While this reasoning is both sound and logical, a new pet, especially an adolescent puppy or kitten, can become easily confused and upset by the sudden change in routine. Even older pets, who have been through this drill before, can become depressed or anxious when summertime fun gives way to an empty house. Here are some tips to help your pets avoid the back-to-school blues.

Start back-to-school routines early

While nobody wants to admit that the party is almost over, most parenting experts agree that gradually transitioning to a schedule resembling the school year will help children make the necessary adjustments. This gradual transition can help your pets as well. For the last week or so of summer vacation, start the days earlier, and discourage dawdling through morning chores and rituals. Feed your pets one of their main meals at this time, as they will be more likely to sleep throughout the the day if their belly is full and happy. Schedule playtimes with pets and kids at roughly the same time the kids will be arriving home from school. When school starts, keep this ritual in place. Pets are much less likely to mope throughout the day if they have something to look forward to later. Additionally, both kids and pets are less likely to act out when they are getting plenty of exercise. When school resumes, and playtime is followed by homework, allow the pet to sit or sleep quietly near your children while they study. Get a head start on encouraging earlier bedtimes, and more efficient use of time during bedtime rituals.

Don’t create anxiety triggers

The things we do in preparation for leaving the house do not go unnoticed by our pets. Jingling keys, calling the kids, grabbing a purse or cell phone - all are cues to our pets that they are about to be left alone. The back-to-school essentials our children require can act as additional anxiety triggers for pets. At least a week before school resumes, hang school uniforms in a place where your pet can see them. Leave lunchboxes and backpacks in obvious, visible places. Encourage children to pick up these items and walk around the house with them two or three times per day. Next, try gathering all the gear and walking out the door. You can even drive around the block a few times. The goal is to desensitize your pet to the cues that he will quickly associate with being left alone for long periods of time. Present the activity to children in the form of a game that will help Fluffy to not be sad while they are in school. If they protest, explain that keeping a pet happy is one of the many requirements of a responsible pet owner. Obviously, parents are the most qualified to decide on the best way to get the kids on board, but most will happily step up to the plate if they understand the reasoning behind it.

Separate the Velcro

Now is the time to really observe Fluffy and ask yourself if she is a “Velcro pet”. Does she shadow family members constantly? Does she always have to be physically touching someone? Does she cry when you leave the house? Does she whimper when a family member is out of sight? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a Velcro pet, one that is seemingly not happy unless physically attached to a human family member. While these behaviors can be endearing and flattering, they can also be an early warning sign of separation anxiety. Before these behaviors become a problem, start teaching your pet the coping skills she needs to self-soothe when she is alone. Teach her how to go to her crate or bed, and stay there using “place” or “stay” commands. Give her a mentally stimulating toy like a food puzzle or stuffed Kong toy to keep her mind occupied while she is alone. If you suspect your pet already has separation anxiety, or need some help teaching the commands, please consult with a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.

Give her something to do while you are gone

At Casa Kupkee, Grendel and Zohan spend their alone time with frozen “Kongsicles”. These consist of a durable Kong toy stuffed with baby food and peanut butter that has spent the night in the freezer. It takes hours for them to empty the toy, and the excitement of getting them before we leave crowds out any possible fears of abandonment. When school resumes, have the children give these special treats to the pet. Do not give them at any other time. The goal is to replace the feelings of dread associated with the emptying of the house with the anticipation of something interesting, fun, and delicious. Dispense the treats calmly. Long, apologetic, emotionally charged goodbyes will only add to any existing anxiety. If your pet does not do well in a crate, hide interesting toys, treats, food puzzles, and food-stuffed Kong toys throughout the house for your pet to sniff out and find while you are gone. (Do not do this in multiple-pet households as it can lead to fighting). The kids can be given this task as well. In addition to being fun, it also a great opportunity to teach them about responsible pet ownership.

Don’t tell the kids…

...but all of these rituals will help them adjust to new routines as well! Both children and pets respond well to routine, but replacing old habits with new ones is often met with resistance. By assuring them that these new initiatives are all about making Fluffy happy, parents are likely to get a lot less blowback. Changes made for the sake of Fluffy’s well-being will help everyone make the transition smoothly. But that can be our little secret!

Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Click here to send him an email. And check out some of these great deals and discounts exclusively for NBC 6 fans!

Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Family Says Pet Sitter Stole Family Dog]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 08:10:35 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dognappingboyntonbeach.jpg

A Boynton Beach family went to Craigslist looking for someone to take care of their four-year-old dog named Fluffy. But when the family returned from a trip, Fluffy and the dog sitter were nowhere to be found.

Rosalia Viera was going to Brazil and found a woman named Keyana Morales who claimed to be a pet sitter. Viera checked things out and decided to let Fluffy stay with Morales. When Viera returned from her trip, things changed.

Viera tried calling, texting, and even driving by the house the pet sitter said was hers. But as she drove by, she realized the house was empty and Morales wasn’t who she claimed to be.

“We trusted her. I don’t think she has a heart,” Viera said. "I could not believe. I said, ‘how could this lady be doing this to us?'"

Police said Morales’ real name is Shamari Patrick and she lives out of her car. Viera said she doesn’t know why Fluffy was stolen, but begged Patrick to bring the pooch back home.

“Bring our dog back; we need him back,” Viera said.

Law enforcement said the dognapping is a good example of why you shouldn’t look on Craigslist to find a pet sitter. But, if you choose to use the site, definitely do plenty of research before hiring anyone.

If you have information about Shamari Patrick or Fluffy, call Detective Rocky Zavattaro at 561-742-6135 or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 1-800-458-TIPS.

Photo Credit: WPTV]]>
<![CDATA[Owner Has 5 Days to Claim Rescued Puppy]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:02:50 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/shih+tzu.jpeg

Officials are trying to locate the owner of a puppy who was rescued from a canal in Southwest Miami-Dade early Monday morning. The dog has no tag or chip.

Miami-Dade firefighters rescued the small female Shih Tzu between 137th Avenue and 104th Street

Miami-Dade Animal Services says if the owner of the dog does not claim her within five days, then she will be put up for adoption. She is well-groomed and believed to belong to a home near the canal.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department ]]>
<![CDATA[Broward's Urgent Dogs]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:40:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/186*120/Champ+A16338561.jpg These dogs are classified as "urgent" because they have been with the Animal Care department longer than most other dogs.

Photo Credit: Broward County Animal Care]]>
<![CDATA[Jungle Island Offers Up-Close Lemur Encounters]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 16:35:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000014120954_1200x675_317026883712.jpg Visitors to Jungle Island can play with baby lemurs at their "Lemur Experience."]]> <![CDATA[Lap of Love Offers Pet Hospice Services]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:41:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000014120961_1200x675_317028419521.jpg Lap of Love is a network of veterinarians who provide hospice care for geriatric or terminally ill pets.]]> <![CDATA[Adoptable Pets]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:33:17 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/0814Angel+511733.jpg This week's adoptable pets from the Broward Humane Society.]]> <![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Lynx]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 12:50:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/pet+of+the+week+lynx.PNG

This week's pet of the week is Lynx, a 7-month-old shepherd mix.

Lynx is still a puppy and is very active. He has a sweet personality and loves to play. Lynx still has a little bit of growing to do, but he shouldn't get too much bigger and will be a medium-sized dog.


Lynx's adoption fee is only $50 and includes neutering, vaccinations and microchip.

Broward Animal Care is offering a special promotion this month for all pet adopters. Every person who adopts a dog or cat in the month of August will be entered into a drawing to win a 2-night stay at the W Hotel on Fort Lauderdale beach.

For more information on how to adopt Brownie or any other animal, call (954) 359-1313 or visit Broward County Animal Care's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society's Adoptable Pets - Aug. 8, 2014]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 10:44:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Alley+511529.jpg This week's adoptable pets from the Broward Humane Society.]]> <![CDATA[Featured Pets: Moo and Oink]]> Sun, 03 Aug 2014 11:20:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/moo_oink_kittens.PNG

Our featured pets from the Humane Society of Broward County are Moo and Oink, two brothers who are 9-week-old kittens.

They, along with their brothers Ba and Quack, are part of a litter of four at the shelter. These kittens are looking for loving homes. There are lots of adorable kittens and beautiful adult cats at the shelter, and the Humane Society has a two-for-one special on all cats and kittens.

Today, the Humane Society is having their annual "Bark at the Park" event at the Marlins vs. Reds game. The game starts at 1:10 pm, and tickets can be bought in advance on the Humane Society's website. The cost is $15 for humans and $10 for dogs.

For more information on how to adopt Moo, Oink or any other animal, call (954) 989-3977 or visit the Humane Society of Broward County's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[Featured Pet: Mikey]]> Sat, 02 Aug 2014 11:06:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/mikeypet82.PNG

Our featured pet this week is Mikey, a one-and-a-half year-old Miniature Pinscher mix who is looking for a loving home.

Mikey is a sweet, gentle pup who loves to play. He is great with kids, gets along with other dogs and loves attention.

The Humane Society of Greater Miami is having a special "Barks and Bubbles" dog wash event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 2nd. Members of the public can bring their dogs to enjoy an outdoor bath for $5 donation. Dogs will also get "Paw-casso" paw prints, and they and their humans can enjoy music, games and refreshments.

All adoptions include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and microchipping. For more information on how to adopt Mikey or any other animal, call 305-696-0800 or visit the Humane Society's website here.

For more animal news, visit our new All About Animals page.

<![CDATA[All About Animals: Fostering A Pet]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:08:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/fostering+a+pet.jpg The Humane Society of Broward County is back with a cute little feline that is looking for a home.]]> <![CDATA[Broward Humane Society's Adoptable Pets - Aug. 1, 2014]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:22:54 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/194*120/Abbott+508570+and+Costello+508752.jpg This week's adoptable pets from the Broward Humane Society.]]> <![CDATA[Dog Stolen at Gunpoint Reunited With Family]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 19:01:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dog+stolen+at+gunpoint.jpg

A dog that was stolen from its owners at gunpoint has been found roaming a South Florida street.

India, a 9-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, was found Friday morning walking down West Dixie Highway in Hollywood.

The dog was identified by her microchip after Hollywood code enforcement officers found her and took her to the Hollywood Animal Hospital. India, who had been taking medication for an intestinal infection, was in stable condition.

Police said the dog was taken Wednesday at about 1:30 a.m. at 2134 Washington Street.

Owner Damica Clark said she was working a double-shift that day and her brother, Darren Clark, offered to dog-sit the terrier. Darren Clark said he took the dog for a walk and on his way back home from Young Circle, he said he was approached by a man near a grocery store on Washington Street.

He said the man tried to sell him items he had on him, but Darren Clark tried walking away. That's when he says the man pressed the barrel of a gun against his rib cage.

When the suspect asked him to empty his pockets, he gave him his cellphone, police said. The suspect then snatched the dog leash and took the dog away. He fled in a dark colored SUV with hazed headlights, according to police.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Hollywood Police Department at 954-967-HELP or 954-967-4411. Tipsters can email or text hollywoodpdtips@hollywoodfl.org or contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or at www.browardcrimestoppers.org.

Stay with NBC6.com for updates on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Family photo]]>