<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - ]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/feature/all-about-animals http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usFri, 20 Jan 2017 19:16:47 -0500Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:16:47 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Rescued South Korean Dogs Going Up for Adoption in Broward]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:50:24 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/011917+rescued+dog+south+korea.jpg

A group of dogs that were headed for someone's dinner table in South Korea are now going up for adoption in South Florida.

The group of dogs were wrapping up more than 17 hours of travel time at the Humane Society of Broward County Thursday afternoon.

"Look in their eyes, you know. They just want to be loved, they want to be part of a family," the Humane Society's Cherie Wachter said. "They came from a South Korean meat farm where they were housed and eventually going to be sold as dog meat for people to consume."

Wachter estimates that every year anywhere between two to two and a half million dogs are slaughtered for consumption in South Korea. Some of the saved dogs were bred specifically for meat.

"And others look like they were people's pets at one time. So it's hard to comprehend that that's where these animals would have ended up," she said.

Humane Society International is working with farmers to end the practice of dog meat. Part of that is changing public perception of what it means to have a companion animal in the region.

"If a family really doesn't want their dog anymore there are really not a lot of alternatives for them to take them to shelters, so sometimes if someone doesn't want their pet they turn it over to dog meat farm," Wachter said.

The next step for the group is rest and evaluation, followed by vacations, spay or neuter. A dog trainer will work with each pup individually to learn more about their personality.

"So that we can see about their personality and what's going to be involved for a family that wants to adopt them. Some of them might walk on a leash, great, others it took a lot just to get them out of the crate," Wachter said.

Some of the dogs could find a new home as early as next week. Those interested in adopting a pet must complete a application form, that way staff can make sure the dog and family are a good match.

Photo Credit: Humane Society]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Continue to Monitor Potential Screwworm Threat]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:28:38 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/101816+screwworm.jpg

A South Florida community is on high alert as screwworms are popping up in homestead and targeting animals.

Defending South Florida from an infestation means fighting a battle the Sunshine State hasn't seen in decades.

Thursday, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is examining surveillance efforts in after a stray dog suffered an infection there earlier this month.

“New world screwworm is a significant threat, not only to Florida’s agriculture and livestock economy, but to our precious wildlife resources,” Putnam said.

Adult screwworm flies infest wounds and their larvae literally eat away at the host animal, leaving a deadly, gory mess. Humans can become infected, but that is rare. Eradication efforts include checkpoints, and pet examinations, plus the release of sterile flies to reduce screwworm breeding.

“Female screwworms breed just once in their lives,” said USDA Veterinarian Sherry Shaw. “If that breeding is with a sterile male, we’re done.”

Those efforts began last October when investigators confirmed a screwworm outbreak in endangered key deer.

Photo Credit: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services]]>
<![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Humane Society of Broward County]]> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:53:08 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/011817+NBC6_Clover.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week - January 17th]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:56:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/011717+Harley-A0812175.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Actress Calling For Release of Lolita From Miami Seaquarium]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 19:41:28 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/lolita+toothache.jpg

One animal rights group is hoping star power from a well-known Latina actress will help in their calling for the retiring of Lolita at the Miami Seaquarium.

At a scheduled press conference Tuesday, Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo will urge tourists to boycott the attraction until the park releases the orca into a coastal sanctuary.

The event will come with the premiere of a new video the actress filmed for the animal rights group PETA promoting their efforts.

Seaquarium officials released a statement Tuesday saying it would be "reckless and cruel to jeopardize Lolita's health and safety by moving her from her home of 46 years."

"An actress looking for publicity and an activist organization committed to the elimination of zoos and aquariums are not experts when deciding what is best for Lolita the killer whale. She is healthy and thriving in her home of almost 46 years where she shares her habitat with Pacific white-sided dolphins. There is no scientific evidence that the approximately 50 year-old post-reproductive Lolita could survive if she were to be moved from her home at Miami Seaquarium to a sea pen or to the open waters of the Pacific Northwest," Seaquarium General Manager Andrew Hertz said in a statement.

The 20-foot long, 7,000 pound creature has been living at the park since 1970, when the then six year old orca was captured off the coast of the state of Washington. Protesters have argued that Lolita is being treated cruelly by the Seaquarium – including being housed in a tank that is smaller that guidelines set for her size.

Several lawsuits against the park have been filed over the past few years, with each being dismissed. In 2015, Orca whales were placed on an endangered species list – but Lolita was exempt from that ruling since she is a captive animal.

"Miami Seaquarium is not willing to experiment with her life in order to appease a fringe group. These individuals will never be satisfied with the care she receives," Hertz said in the statement. "Lolita is part of the Miami Seaquarium family and is as active and healthy as ever, a true testament to her care."

<![CDATA[Video Shows Shark Jumping Out of Water in SW Florida]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:23:12 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/011617+jumping+shark+on+video.jpg

A group of young fishermen landed quite the catch off the coast of Indian Rocks Beach this weekend.

Kellen Keglor told NBC 6 affiliate WFLA-TV, he and a handful of friends were boating back to shore on Sunday when they noticed a shark swimming near their boat.

The young men decided to toss some bait into the water and the shark was quick to snatch it up.

In cell phone video taken by Keglor, you can see the shark swimming closer to the boat after taking the bait.

The shark then disappears for a brief period of time under the water before video captured it jumping out of the water several times.

"We knew we had a once in a lifetime fish,” Keglor recounted.

Amid a background of excitement and loud screams from the fishermen, Keglor said the whole ordeal lasted about 30 minutes.

<![CDATA[Massive Gator Spotted in Nature Preserve in Lakeland]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:26:00 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/011617+massive+gator+lakeland.jpg

Footage of an alligator that looks almost too massive to be real was posted to the Lakeland Police's Facebook page Monday.

According to the post, Kim Joiner was taking an afternoon stroll Sunday in the Circle B Bar Reserve when the gator was spotted.

The big gator is seen lumbering across a grassy path as a group of spectators take photos.

Lakeland Police told NBC 6 that the gator is real.

Photo Credit: Lakeland Police Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Hero]]> Sat, 14 Jan 2017 10:51:42 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/pet+of+the+week+hero.jpg

Our pet of the week is Hero, a 1 year old Terrier mix, who is looking for her forever home.

Allison Nash with Humane Society of Greater Miami stopped by NBC 6 on Saturday with Hero, and she really is one! She says Hero saved two other dogs from drowning in a pool. Hero is playful, loving, and easygoing.

Hero would make a great pet for a family with kids or a single person. She gets along great with everyone and plays nicely with other dogs

If you're interested in Hero or other animals up for adoption, contact Humane Society of Greater Miami at (305)-696-0800.

For more animal news or to view other pets up for adoption, visit our All About Animals page.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Humane Society of Broward County]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:35:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/0111+NBC6+new_Princess.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Goodbye, Tilikum]]> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:02:08 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/011117+tilikum+goodbye.jpg

Last year, SeaWorld announced that Tilikum, the killer whale featured in the documentary “Blackfish”, was gravely ill. A video statement was given by his veterinarian. I was not in a place where I could turn up the volume, but it didn’t matter. The look on his face said it all. His patient was dying, and there was nothing he could do. I’ve been there myself, and I know that look.

I was not going to write this piece. It’s a sad story with a sad ending, but that wasn’t the cause of my reticence. I held back because, like most sad stories, Tilikum’s is complicated. So too is the gamut of emotions that are stirred when the arc of such a story nears its end.

The outpouring of emotion on social media, however, was immediate and intense. Amidst all the expressions of sorrow, anger, and heartache, one comment in particular caught my eye:

“Violent, savage monster. Good riddance.”

Emboldened, another commentator chimed in, “Seriously. They’re called ‘killer’ whales for a reason.”

Perhaps it was a similar, latent sentiment that was causing me to drag my feet. Tilikum was involved in the deaths of three people. For the loved ones they left behind, those broken families, this news cycle will be especially painful. We must not let our compassion for Tilikum displace empathy for our fellow man.

That being said, there is another broken family in this tragic tale. It’s a closely-knit family of sentient beings, swimming through Icelandic waters. It’s a family that watched in agony as one its youngest was corralled into a net, and flown to the hell that is, for orcas, captivity. Years later, the calf who cried for his mother would make headlines as the beast whose rage took the life of someone who loved him dearly.

Such rage is the product of captivity. It is the bastard child of isolation from family, and crippling silence, conditions orcas were never meant to endure. Dawn Brancheau’s autopsy lists blunt force trauma and drowning as the official causes of her death. But ultimately, it was captivity that killed her. The silence took her, just as it took Tilikum the moment he was torn from the sea.

Some of Tilikum’s followers have vowed to meet him at the Rainbow Bridge someday. For those of you who have never lost a pet, the Rainbow Bridge is a place in Heaven where the souls of the departed are reunited with the souls of the beloved pets who passed before us.

Tilikum will not be there. He was not a pet, and while we may have taken him, he never belonged to us. I pray his final performance will be to leap over the mythical Rainbow Bridge, and swim as far as possible from even the most sainted, and immortal human hands. We destroyed him in this life. May his life eternal be free of us at last.

“Violent, savage monster. Good riddance.”

Perhaps, as he begins his journey, he is thinking the same of humanity.

As I struggled with how to end this piece, I asked my wife if she thought there was a Heaven for Tilikum.

“Um, yeah,” she scoffed, without missing a beat. “It’s called the ocean.”

And there it is.

I found my final wishes for Tilikum in a book of ancient Celtic prayers:

“May the clarity of light be yours.

May the fluency of the ocean be yours.

May the protection of the ancestors be yours.”

Safe journey, Tilikum. Don’t stop at the Bridge; we don’t deserve you. Peace and rest await you. Perhaps the silence has you still, but softly at first, you will start to hear the budding of eternal sound.

Your ancestors call to you. No man will follow. The ocean’s vast embrace is yours again.

Only this time, it’s forever.

Dr. Kupkee is the lead practitioner at Sabal Chase Animal Clinic in Miami, Florida.

<![CDATA[Cow Goes for Walk on Turnpike in Miami-Dade]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 08:48:44 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/011017+cow+on+turnpike.jpg

A cow that was apparently sick of traffic decided to take a stroll on the side of the Florida Turnpike in Miami-Dade Tuesday morning.

The cow was spotted in the northbound lanes of the Turnpike near Okeechobee Road.

Officers responded and the cow was herded away from the highway and ito a wooded area.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week - January 9th]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:43:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/010917-1+Mona-A1819651.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miramar Firefighters Rescue Guinea Pig From Blaze]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 21:11:18 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/010517+miramar+guinea+pig+saved.jpg

A family's pet was saved by firefighters Wednesday after flames filled a home in Miramar.

The ginger-colored guinea pig was pulled from the blaze that started in the kitchen of a home located on the 6300 block of Southwest 35th Court.

Miramar Fire Rescue quickly doused the flames. No humans were injured.

However, Miramar Fire posted to Facebook a photo of the family pet wearing mini oxygen mask. The guinea pig was treated and released on scene.

<![CDATA[Broward Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 16:15:38 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6_Bandito.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:53:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/America-A1835811.jpg The Pets of the Week from Miami-Dade County Animal Services.]]> <![CDATA[Former President Carter Helps Release Turtle in Florida Keys]]> Fri, 30 Dec 2016 16:37:49 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/181*120/123016+potus+carter+sea+turtle.jpg

A rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtle got some presidential help as it was released back to the wild Friday.

Former President Jimmy Carter visited Marathon's Turtle Hospital and joined the efforts to release 70-pound "Salty".

Mr. Carter is in the Florida Keys vacationing for the holidays.

He toured the hospital with about 40 of his extended family members, including his wife Rosalynn and their 11 great-grandchildren.

The sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle had convalesced at the hospital since October after it was discovered floating about six miles off Sombrero Reef lighthouse.

""Salty" suffered from an intestinal impaction and a lung infection, and was successfully treated with antibiotics.

<![CDATA[Plantation Firefighters to be Honored For Saving Young Cat ]]> Tue, 27 Dec 2016 13:26:25 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/121616+plantation+cat+rescue.jpg

A national organization is honoring members of the Plantation Fire Department for their work in saving a kitten that was trapped inside a parking garage wall earlier this month.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, is giving the department their Compassionate Fire Department Award for the incident, which took place December 16th off Broward Blvd. and West 82nd Avenue.

"Thanks to the kind actions of some concerned citizens and a group of determined firefighters, this cat escaped what could have been a frightening, miserable death," says PETA Vice President Colleen O'Brien. "PETA hopes this story will inspire others to take action to help animals in need."

Firefighters spent hours freeing the young cat, who was taken to a nearby animal hospital and is expected to be okay.

The department will also receive other gifts from the group – including vegan cookies.

Photo Credit: Plantation Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Hogan]]> Sat, 24 Dec 2016 11:15:01 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/pet+of+the+week+hogan.jpg

Our pet of the week is Hogan, who is 8 years old and is looking for his forever home.

Tracy Calvino with Pooches in Pines stopped by NBC 6 on Saturday with Hogan. She said he is very chill and obedient. He loves to relax inside and is playful when he's outside.

Calvino said Hogan is great with others and is fully grown. He'll need to go to a loving home. Hogan loves to be around people, other dogs and even gets along with cats!

If you're interested in Hogan contact Pooches in Pines at (954) 431-2200 or visit their Facebook and Twitter pages for more information.

For more animal news or to view other pets up for adoption, visit our All About Animals page.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Humane Society of Broward County]]> Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:49:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/122116+NBC6+winter_Coco.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Miami-Dade Animal Services December 21]]> Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:43:44 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/122116+Checkers-A1654246.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Presents For Pets: Creative Holiday Pet Toys]]> Sun, 18 Dec 2016 11:12:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/kupkee+xmas+gifts.jpg

According to a recent survey, over 95% of Americans routinely buy gifts for their pets during the holiday season. At Casa Kupkee, our dogs take great delight in tearing open their gifts from Santa on Christmas morning.

Many pet owners, however, admit to giving little thought to the types of gifts they buy. Pets are not usually picky about toys, and inclusion in the holiday fun is all our pets truly want for Christmas.  But the right kind of toy can be a gift that keeps on giving long after the lights and tinsel have been packed away.

Preventative Presents

Many of the behavioral problems I see in pets can be linked to a lack of sufficient cognitive enhancement. In other words, our pets are bored. Many of us spend long hours away from home on a daily basis. Our evenings tend to be consumed by television, computer use, and other sedentary activities. Such diversions are no fun for our pets, and the resulting boredom can lead to all sorts of unwanted behaviors. Nuisance barking, destruction, hyperactivity, self-mutilation, and failure to use the litter box are just few of the problems I see in pets who literally have nothing better to do. Since some such behaviors can also be linked to medical problems, the first thing to do is have your pet examined by a veterinarian.  If the behavior has no underlying medical cause, it’s time to ask Fluffy to put on her thinking cap!

Interactive Pet Toys

These toys come in all varieties and price ranges, but they all have the same goal in mind: encouraging your pet to interact with the toy, and use her brain to get what she wants. Dogs are often intrigued by large toys stuffed with small toys which the pet must figure out how to remove.

A toy that moves or makes noise when touched by the dog can also keep them entertained for hours.

Cats are huge fans of these types of toys as they appeal to their natural hunting instincts.

Anything that bounces, wiggles, squirms, or rolls will probably be a big hit with your feline friend. And if you can find something with a timer that will entice your kitty at random intervals, even better.

Food Puzzles

If your pet is not particularly motivated by brain teasers, try tempting him with a food puzzle. These toys encourage both dogs and cats to move and manipulate the toy until a treat is dispensed. Food puzzles come in an endless variety of shapes, sizes and degrees of difficulty.  Owners of especially high drive pets will often serve their entire meals in these sorts of puzzles. Such toys encourage pets to think, solve problems, and burn calories without involving any extra time or effort on behalf of their care takers. If you’re shopping on a budget, or looking for a fun holiday activity for the kids, there are all sorts of ways to make DIY food puzzles for cats using items you probably already have in the house.

If you have multiple dogs, and plan to leave them alone with food puzzles, be sure each dog is confined to a separate part of the house.  Food puzzles can be very stimulating for dogs, and you don’t want to run the risk of a fight breaking out while you are away from home.

Continuing Education

If you have the time, why not consider treating Fido to some scheduled classes? A Certified Professional Dog Trainer can teach you how to have all sorts of fun with your dog. Whether it’s nose work, trick training, agility, or obedience, these activities are fun for both dogs and humans. In addition to keeping Fido happy and fit, they provide him with something to think about besides which designer handbag to destroy next. Learning new behaviors not only reduces both boredom and anxiety, but help active dogs burn up some energy as well.

Many trainers and behaviorists are fond of the adage, “A tired dog is a happy dog.”  While I don’t disagree, I’ll take it one step further: “A cognitively enriched pet is a happy pet.”  By putting a little more thought into shopping for our pets, we can create a happy holiday for the entire family.

Dr. Kupkee is the lead practitioner at Sabal Chase Animal Clinic.

Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Send im an email by clicking here.

Click here for deals and discounts exclusively for NBC 6 viewers!

Photo Credit: Dr. Ian Kupkee]]>
<![CDATA[Clear the Shelters: Nadine]]> Sat, 17 Dec 2016 11:10:08 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/228*120/pet+of+the+week+nadine.jpg

Our pet of the week is Nadine, a 12-year-old Chihuahua mix, who is looking for her forever home.

Laurie Wax with Humane Society of Greater Miami stopped by NBC 6 on Saturday with Nadine. She said Nadine is very cuddly, calm, and friendly.

Nadine would make a great family pet.

If you're interested in Nadine or other animals up for adoption, contact Humane Society of Greater Miami at (305)-696-0800.

For more animal news, visit our All About Animals section.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Florida Bear Undergoes Tooth Surgery]]> Fri, 16 Dec 2016 21:51:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/121616+bear+undergoes+surgery.jpg NBC 6's Trina Robinson shares the story of a Florida bear that underwent surgery for a bad tooth.]]> <![CDATA[Firefighters Rescue Cat Stuck in Wall in Plantation]]> Fri, 16 Dec 2016 13:17:27 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/121616+plantation+cat+rescue.jpg

Plantation firefighters were able to rescue a cat that spent days stuck inside a concrete wall at an office building.

Firefighters spent several hours Friday morning working to free the cat, which was stuck inside the wall at the building at 8211 W. Broward Boulevard for three to four days, officials said.

After chipping away at the concrete wall firefighters finally freed the cat. It was taken to Hollywood Animal Hospital but is expected to be okay.

Photo Credit: Plantation Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Humane Society of Broward County]]> Thu, 15 Dec 2016 06:40:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6+winter_Kary.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Snake Found With Mouth Sewn Shut Outside SW Miami Home]]> Wed, 14 Dec 2016 16:12:23 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/121416+snake+mouth+sewn+shut.jpg

A member of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Unit responded to a strange call Sunday about a snake found in a peculiar position. The baby Ball Python was discovered with its mouth sewn completely shut.

A family spotted the reptile outside a home in Southwest Miami-Dade and immediately called Venom One.

The discovery baffled Lt. Scott Mulin so much so that he posted the encounter on his Facebook page. "Now, you may think any call I run at Venom One would be strange but this one was a first," Lt. Mulin wrote on Facebook.

Pictures posted online showed the tiny serpent with thread sewn through its mouth.

The Ball Pythons are the most common types of pet pythons and are known to be docile. Officers at Venom One don't know who could have done such a thing to the animal.

Lt. Mulin said he was able to get a friend who breeds Ball Pythons to gently remove the stitching. Sadly, the snake's mouth rot after being shut for so long. It is currently being treated.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Miami-Dade Animal Services]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 22:43:28 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Blanca-A1831065.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Cat Found in Trash Bag Recovering at Local Animal Hospital]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 18:41:42 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/cat+found+in+trash+Miami.PNG

A cat that was found in a trash bag in Miami Shores is recovering at a local animal hospital.

Public Works employees found the cat this week inside a black garbage bag on the side of the road on northwest 2nd Avenue.

The feline, which was most likely someone's pet, was found moving and meowing in a trash bag that was placed inside a crate covered in urine and feces.

Saving Sage Rescue was called in to help the cat.

"Whoever put that cat there intentionally wanted this cat to die a slow and painful death," said Cathy Bieniek of Saving Sage Rescue.

Animal cruelty is a felony punishable by up to five-years in prison.

Miami Shores Police detectives are investigating the case, but the rescuers say they did not fingerprint the crate or the garbage bag. "We need to find out who did this, to bring this person or animal to justice. This can't continue, people cannot to think that animals are disposable. They are lifetime commitment and part of our family," said Bieniek.

Rescuers named the cat Kringle. It was taken to Pet Express in Davie to be treated for dehydration and heat exhaustion. Kringle will then be put up for adoption. 

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Toby]]> Sun, 11 Dec 2016 13:01:04 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/219*120/pet+of+week+toby.jpg

Our pet of the week is Toby, a 2-year-old mix, who is looking for his forever home.

Lisa Mendheim with Broward Animal Care stopped by NBC 6 on Sunday with Toby. She said Toby is very energetic and loyal, and friendly.

Toby would make a great family pet. He'd be the perfect pet for a family with kids.

If you're interested in Toby or other animals up for adoption, contact Broward Animal Care at (954) 359-1313.

For more animal news, visit our All About Animals section.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Humane Society of Broward County]]> Wed, 07 Dec 2016 23:32:16 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6+winter_Beau.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week - December 5th]]> Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:18:08 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Erin-A1810273.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Orphaned Ducklings Rescued From Drain in Dania Beach]]> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:31:48 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/120516+ducklings+rescued+dania+beach.jpg Eighteen ducklings that were trapped in a drain without their mama duck were pulled to safety Monday. Members of Broward Sheriff's Fire Rescue and BSO deputies worked together to save the ducklings in Dania Beach. Officials said the feathered babies were left alone in the drain after the mother duck was struck and killed by a car. All 18 ducklings were not injured.]]> <![CDATA[Zoo Miami Celebrates Birth of 50th Giraffe]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2016 21:24:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/120216+giraffe+born+at+zoo+miami.jpg Zoo Miami announced the birth of new female giraffe that is now on exhibit. The calf was born on Nov. 25, weighing 138 lbs. and standing 6' tall. The baby giraffe doesn't have a name yet. Her parents are Sabra and Titan.

Photo Credit: Zoo Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Humane Society of Broward County]]> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:29:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6+winter_Snow.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Pets of the Week: Humane Society of Broward County]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 17:03:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6_Big+Momma.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Thanksgiving and Pets: How To Avoid A Holiday Vet Visit]]> Sun, 20 Nov 2016 11:10:36 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/111816+thanksgiving+pets.JPG

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, pet parents ask me if it’s really such a bad thing to share the feast with their four-legged family members. I am often reminded that it’s the season for sharing, and that they are thankful for their pets. Surely a little bit of turkey is okay, right?

Nobody likes a holiday buzzkill. And chances are, someone will break the “no table food” rule this year anyway. So let’s just focus on the foods Fluffy absolutely, positively cannot have.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions are species belonging to the allium family, a type of plant that while beneficial for humans, is not tolerated by dogs and cats. Other common foods in this category include shallots, leeks, chives, and Chinese onions. Pets that ingest these foods often suffer from gastrointestinal distress. When larger amounts are consumed, a life-threatening condition called Heinz body anemia can develop. Clinical signs include lethargy, inappetance, pale gums, hyperventilation, and collapse. Heinz body anemia is fatal if not treated, so make sure any holiday treats do not include onions or garlic.

Bear in mind that the highest concentrations of both are often found in seasoning packets. In addition to tasting great, these crinkly wonders make irresistible playthings. One of our patients spent the holiday getting blood transfusions after stealing and eating a turkey seasoning pouch. If you must give Fluffy a taste of the turkey, make sure it has not been seasoned with onions, garlic, or any member of the allium family.

Sugar-Free Goodies

Many sugar-free mints, candies, chewing gums and baked goods contain a sweetener called Xylitol. This naturally occurring compound is derived from the birch tree, and is often marketed as a safe, natural alternative to sugar. Pets who ingest even small amounts of Xylitol experience sudden, dramatic drops in their blood sugar.

While the most obvious clinical sign of Xylitol toxicity is seizures, many pets can also experience, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, collapse, and death. Xylitol toxicity is nearly always fatal, and pets who survive the initial crisis may still be at risk for liver damage and blood clotting disorders.

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of Xylitol is the shear number of products in which it is found. In addition to products that are clearly marked as sugar-free, it is used to sweeten toothpaste, mouthwash, kids’ vitamins, supplements, fish oil capsules, and over-the-counter medications. Bottom line - anything marketed for human consumption should never be given to pets without first consulting your veterinarian. And since many products containing Xylitol are often found in ladies’ handbags, make sure your dinner guests stash their purses well out of Fluffy’s reach.


Our geriatric dachshund will magically forget about her aching back and defy the laws of gravity in her attempts to knock over a bottle of beer. While our guests think it’s hilarious, alcohol toxicity is one of the leading causes of holiday visits to the emergency clinic. Symptoms include respiratory depression and liver damage, so keep any adult beverages out of your fur-kid’s reach.


As a general rule,the texture of nuts and seeds make them difficult to digest. Certain types such as walnuts, pecans, and hickory nuts can contain a toxin produced by common species of mold. Additionally nuts are naturally high in fat, and even these “good fats” can lead to pancreatitis in companion animals. Macadamia nuts have been linked to lethargy, weakness, tremors and seizures in dogs with a history of ingestion. While researchers have yet to identify the compound that causes these symptoms, the connection has been proven definitively.


In addition to caffeine, chocolate contains a substance called theobromine which is toxic to dogs and cats. Clinical signs of theobromine toxicity include vomiting, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle rigidity, elevated body temperature, and seizures. While all chocolate can create problems, a general rule is the darker the chocolate, the greater the threat. Baking chocolate and cocoa powder are particularly dangerous.

Cooking Debris

Cooking twine, turkey bones, discarded fat, foil pans, and greasy paper towels are just a few of the reasons we are open on Black Friday. Make sure garbage bags are off the floor and out of reach. Secure garbage bins and clear counter tops as soon as possible. If your dog is crate trained or your kitty is happy in a separate room, you may want to consider keeping them out of the kitchen altogether.

The Most Important Tip Of All

Have a safe and wonderful holiday! Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at NBC 6 South Florida and Sabal Chase Animal Clinic!

Dr. Kupkee is the lead practitioner at Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Do you have a question for Dr. Kupkee? Send him an email by clicking here

Click here to check out great deals and discounts exclusively for NBC 6 fans!

<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Your Pets]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2016 23:33:46 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/111616+pet+safety+thanksgiving.jpg

What better way to show how thankful you are for your pets than to keep them safe and full during Thanksgiving festivities.

The folks at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have some helpful tips to make sure your furry baby enjoys the holiday feasts, accident-free.

Some of staple dishes on the dinner table could harm your pets and you may not even know it. ASPCA advises not to give your pet raw or under-cooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria. "Do not give your pet the left over carcass - the bones can be problematic for the digestive tract, " ASPCA warns.

If you cat or dog is hanging out in the kitchen while you're cooking and baking, be sure to keep them away from raw bread dough and batter. They can become sick and may require hospitalization.

You can still offer your furry baby a fulfilling Thanksgiving dinner, by adding small portion of boneless turkey, sweet potato or green beans to their plate. However, don't let your cat or dog overeat because they could end up with an upset stomach, diarrhea or worse.

Photo Credit: ASPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Black Bear Caught Stealing Sweets From Florida Garage]]> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 12:53:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/194*120/Black+bear+Florida+garage.PNG

A Florida couple was surprised to find a black bear plundering through the refrigerator in their garage, looking for a snack.

Mike Chindamo went into the garage of his Seminole County home after hearing a suspicious noise.

"I said to my wife, why did you leave the freezer door open, and just when I said that, the bear popped up from the other side, and it was absurdly huge," Chindamo told WESH 2 News.

Bypassing all the frozen meat and fish being stored in the refrigerator, the estimated 450-pound black bear helped itself to the couple's ice cream and cake.

Before dining and dashing, Chindamo’s neighbor was able to capture video of the bear in snacking away in the driveway. 

Photo Credit: WESH 2 News]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Tue, 22 Nov 2016 15:54:38 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/112216Rocky+A1552094.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Pets on Pot: Owners Say Medical Marijuana Works on Animals]]> Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:22:39 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/111716+pets+marijuana.jpg

Florida is now one of many states where medical marijuana is allowed for people, but what about pets? Some say pot-based products are working wonders for their ailing furry friends.

"It's my friend's dog that I'm taking care of and he has trouble going up the stairs," Yesikka Vivancos said.

Vivancos says the solution for Rock, an 11-year-old bulldog, is in a little jar.

"I just put it on his hind legs just like you would put it on your knee," she said.

She applies a cannabis-based cream, which she also uses on her 10-year-old miniature Dachshund, Leia.

"I would find her under my bed. She wouldn't jump, she wouldn't get on the couch, she wouldn't climb up her steps on my bed. She wouldn't want to go walking," Vivancos said.

Leia has arthritis on her hinds.

"I thought maybe if I could just give her a massage and I did. I started noticing that there wasn't a pause, that she was continuing to walk, she was always jumping," Vivancos said.

More and more people believe cannabis-based products containing little to no THC are making their pets feel better, without the high. The hemp can be found in creams, chews and treats.

"Industrial hemp products differ in that they have a very low percentage of THC, but they have higher percentage of other things," said Dr. Ian Kupkee of Sabal Chase Animal Clinic.

Dr. Kupkee says cannabis-based products are illegal, but that doesn't mean they don't work.

"So we're put in this very difficult situation," he said.

Dr. Kupkee says because of government restrictions on marijuana derived products, it's impossible to scientifically say if hemp heals. The evidence is all anecdotal, and pet lovers like Vivancos don't believe that should be dismissed.

"It doesn't hurt. It's not going to hurt the dog. They're not gonna get high. They're not gonna have munchies, they're just gonna be alleviated of pain," she said.

The cream Vivancos used is for people and has very low THC. There are similar products specifically for pets but you won't find any vets recommending or prescribing them, but they can be found online.

<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Fire Crews Rescue Puppies Trapped in Cemetery]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:21:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/111716+puppies+rescued+miami-dade+cemetery.jpg

Firefighters came to the rescue of three puppies that were found trapped under a cement slab at a Miami-Dade cemetery Thursday afternoon.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews were alerted to a faint sound coming from underneath the box which is used to house coffins at the cemetery at 1125 Northwest 137th Street.

The crews moved around a couple of the slabs and found one puppy that was stuck in a tight spot. A small trench was dug around the puppy and the dog was freed.

But crews quickly realized that two more puppies were trapped underneath the slabs, and worked to rescue the other two. The puppies were all frightened but in good health, officials said.

It's unknown what led the puppies to the tight spot but it's believed they were cared for by their mother. The dogs were turned over to the Redland Rockpit Abandoned Dogs Project, which is trying to reunite them with their mother. They will be fed and put up for adoption after they're checked out.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society's Pets of the Week - November 16]]> Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:46:12 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/1116+NBC6_Chevy.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Broward County Opening New Animal Adoption Center]]> Tue, 15 Nov 2016 07:38:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/111516+broward+new+animal+adoption+center.jpg

Broward County residents will get a chance to see a brand new home for animals seeking adoption in the area – while offering people a sweet deal to bring home a new pet.

The new shelter is located at 2400 Southwest 42nd street in Fort Lauderdale, across the street from the parking lot of Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport.

Today, as part of the grand opening, all adoption fees will be waived plus adopters will receive specials on pet food – in a mission to encourage you at home to adopt and not shop for a new addition, such as what NBC 6 did this summer with our Clear the Shelters initiative.

The new center boasts twice the size of the former shelter with space to care for up to 500 dogs and cats. Upgraded features include air conditioned kennels, meet and greet adoption rooms as well as pet interaction areas and more

The center will officially open at 11 AM Tuesday.

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Daisy]]> Sat, 12 Nov 2016 10:52:40 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/225*120/pet+of+the+week+daisy.jpg

Our pet of the week is Daisy, a 2-year-old Hound-mix, who is looking for her forever home.

Tracy Calvino with Pooches in Pines stopped by NBC 6 on Saturday with Daisy. She said Daisy is a lover and a runner. She also loves to relax and is well-behaved.

Calvino said Daisy is great with kids and loves to be around people. He'll need to go to a loving home. Daisy is great around other dogs, too.

If you're interested in Daisy, contact Pooches in Pines at (954) 431-2200 or visit their Facebook and Twitter pages for more information.

For more animal news or to view other pets up for adoption, visit our All About Animals page.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[2 Eagles Trapped in Storm Drain Rescued in Central Florida]]> Thu, 10 Nov 2016 19:44:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Eagels+in+Storm+Drain.jpg

Two eagles that became trapped in a storm drain in central Florida have been rescued.

The eagles were reported trapped in a drain in Orange County near Goldenrod Road and Curry Ford Road, WESH reported. One of them was reported injured.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the scene and the eagles were eventually freed.

Photo Credit: Orange County Fire Rescue]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society's Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:59:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6_Batman1.jpg A look at the pets of the week from the Broward Humane Society]]>