<![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-usSun, 25 Jun 2017 17:05:42 -0400Sun, 25 Jun 2017 17:05:42 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County Pets of the Week]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:25:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/062317+NBC6_Luna.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami Beach Police Holding Pet Adoption Day on Friday]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:01:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/061317+miami+dade+pet+adoptions.JPG

With Friday being ‘National Take Your Dog to Work Day’, the Miami Beach Police Department wanted to make sure that furry friends in the county got a chance to one day be taken to their owner's work.

In conjunction with Miami-Dade Animal Services, the HOPE Express Adoption Unit is at the city’s police department located at 1100 Washington Avenue until 2 p.m. in the Major James Smith Community Room.

All animals come spayed, neutered and microchipped.

"You adopt them for a nominal fee, and they only ask that they go to a good home," said Ernesto Rodriguez from the Miami Beach Police Department.

Whether you adopted today on the beach or any other time, a complete list of requirements for adoption is available on the county’s website, including the identification needed, costs for adoption and other information.

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<![CDATA[Mama Gator Nearly Attacks Photographer in Florida]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:37:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/209*120/Gator+Nearly+Attacks+Photog+in+Gainesville.JPG

A photographer encountered a close call with a mama alligator in north Florida after getting a bit too close to its babies.

The gator is seen in the video launching from the water toward a man who was inching closer for a good photograph. The gator bit the photographer’s tripod as he leaped backward through nearby bushes.

Ben Boukari Jr., who filmed the encounter on a trail in Paynes Prairie in Gainesville, remained on the boardwalk above the gator in a safe location along with other bystanders.

Despite nearly getting bit, the man pulled out his cellphone and continued to take photos. The hissing gator, in response, warned the persistent photographer with another snap.

As the gator crawled back into the water, the man moved in closer, this time to grab his bag. The gator charged once again before the photographer grabbed his belongings and hopped back on the trail. 

"Certainly a what not to do," said Boukari.



Photo Credit: Ben Boukari Jr.
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<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:25:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Jet-A1715678.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County Pets of the Week]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:33:52 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6_Gatsby.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Gator Found at Front Door of Parkland House: BSO]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 17:46:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/216*120/gatorfrontdoor.png

Deputies responded to a Parkland house where an alligator was found inches away from the front door Thursday afternoon.

Broward Sheriff’s Office officials said deputies taped the gator’s mouth shut and had it contained. It’s unclear where the gator was taken or what attracted it to the front of the house.

Part of the gator’s tail was propped against the door, and its head appeared close to a front door mat.

A neighbor across the street noticed the gator and warned those inside not to exit the house. The neighbor also called a trapper, police said. 

The house is in a gated community, police said.




Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office ]]>
<![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:03:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Boss-A1764151.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[$1 Pet Adoptions Being Offered in Miami-Dade County Tuesday]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 11:39:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/061317+miami+dade+pet+adoptions.JPG

If you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family, Tuesday might be the perfect day to do so in Miami-Dade County.

To celebrate the first anniversary of the county’s Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center in Doral, the group is offering $1 adoptions for all animals. The fee includes spay and neuter surgery, rabies and booster vaccines, deworming and microchip.

In compliance with Florida law, a $27 license fee must be purchased for any dogs that are adopted. Also, any animal that is too young for spay or neuter surgery at the time will be subject to a refundable deposit.

"That is a savings - if you adopt a dog over 4 months old it's usually $65 total and if you adopt a puppy it's usually $75 total. so it's quite a savings," said Lilian Borhorquez from Miami-Dade Animal Services.

The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with family interactive activities being offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the building located at 3599 NW 79th Avenue. Over 28,000 animals have been cared for in the new home since it opened.

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<![CDATA[7-Foot 'Bad Boy' Python Captured Roaming Miami Beach]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 12:56:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Albino+Python+Captured+in+Miami+Beach.jpg

Police have captured a 7-foot “bad boy” slithering in the middle of the street in Miami Beach overnight.

The serpent, identified as an albino python, was safely recovered after being spotted roaming near Alton Road and 13th street, according to officials.

Police say the snake was then handed over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The FWC urges the public to help manage the growing population of pythons and other nonnative species by reporting sightings to their Exotic Species Hotline here.



Photo Credit: Miami Beach PD
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<![CDATA[Animals Affected by Flooding in South Florida]]> Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:43:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/161*120/Animals+Affected+by+South+Florida+flooding+%284%29.jpg While some animals sought shelter from rain or higher ground from flooding, others took this time to explore new territory that their natural habitats might not allow.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County Pets of the Week]]> Thu, 08 Jun 2017 13:54:51 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6-summersplash_Lady+Garfield.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:57:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Sweetie-Pie-A0780339.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Trapped Yorkie Rescued From Tub Drain in Miami]]> Mon, 05 Jun 2017 23:56:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/060517+Yorkie+Saved+From+Tub.jpg

A small dog was pulled to safety Monday evening after its paw was stuck in a tub drain in Miami.

Firefighters were called out to the home to rescue the trapped Yorkie. Pictures taken at the scene showed the crew using several tools to free the young pup.

Miami Fire Rescue said the dog owner told officials she was bathing the dog when the pooch's paw got caught in the drain.

The Yorkie, who was rescued from a local shelter, was lucky once again when firefighters came to its aid. The dog is expected to be okay.

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Photo Credit: Miami Fire Rescue
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<![CDATA[Abandoned Pigs Saved From Hog Heaven]]> Mon, 05 Jun 2017 21:49:15 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000029896660_1200x675_960830019674.jpg

A West Virginia towing company helped rescue 150 pigs found abandoned in a semi-truck. Andrew Colegrove reports.

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<![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County Pets of the Week]]> Fri, 02 Jun 2017 14:02:45 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6-summersplash_Peter.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami Beach Firefighters Rescue Kitten Trapped in Sewer]]> Mon, 29 May 2017 14:28:31 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/217*120/052917+Miami+Beach+Kitten+Rescued.jpg

Miami Beach firefighters rescued a kitten from the sewer Monday morning.

The fire department posted a video to Twitter showing one of its firefighters pulling a tiny kitten from a manhole. The charcoal-colored kitten shivered it was drenched in sewage.

A later post showed the kitten dried up and in better spirits.

The Miami Beach Fire Department is looking for a new home for the kitten. Anyone interested in adopting the feline is asked to stop by Station 5.

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Photo Credit: Miami Beach Fire
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<![CDATA[Exotic African Lizard Found Roaming on Plane]]> Fri, 26 May 2017 12:35:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/052617+lizard+found+on+plane.jpg

A worker on a plane got quite the surprise Thursday when an exotic lizard was spotted in the cargo area.

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Unit responded to the scene to corral the Black Throat Lizard, that was hanging out inside a container in the cargo area. The Venom Unit captured the 4 foot reptile using a dog crate. The reptile was checked out and appeared to be in good condition, officials said.

Officials did not reveal which airport the lizard was found and they don't know how it ended up on the plane.

The reptile was handed over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Black Throat Lizards are native to Tanzania and can become aggressive if they are not handled regularly.  However, the lizards are known to be docile and have mild temperaments in captivity. 

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Photo Credit: MDFR Venom Unit
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<![CDATA[Meet Isis, the Bomb-Sniffing Dog Protecting You]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 12:30:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/052417+isis+the+bomb+sniffing+dog.jpg

ISIS was raised in prison, but she wasn't doing hard time. The bombing-sniffing pooch was trained by female inmates at Florida prison to become a service dog as part of a program called Puppies Behind Bars. NBC 6’s Julia Bagg reports.



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County's Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 13:57:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6-summersplash_Natalia.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Dylan]]> Sat, 20 May 2017 15:02:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/259*120/pet+of+the+week+dylan.JPG

Our pet of the week is Dylan, a 2-month-old Shepherd mix, who is looking for his forever home.

Allison Nash with Humane Society of Greater Miami stopped by NBC 6 on Saturday with Dylan. Dylan may only be a puppy but he is playful, loving, and easygoing.

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

If you're interested in Dylan 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[Does My Pet Really Need All Those Tests?]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 12:57:25 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Doc+diagnostics.jpg

Several months ago, I met with a new client who informed me she was looking for a different vet. She had been seeing a colleague of mine, whom I’ll call “Dr. X”, for many years, but was looking to make a change.

“Don’t get me wrong,” she explained. “I really like Dr. X. And I understand that she doesn’t have a crystal ball. But so many tests! And I could never get a straight answer when I asked what they were for. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was funding her continuing education.”

Ouch. So why do we run all of these tests?

The short answer is that it’s responsible medicine. As more and more people begin to see pets as members of the family, the demand has increased for state-of-the-art medical treatment. Modern thinking means modern medicine, and higher expectations of the veterinary profession.

Routine bloodwork, regular dental cleanings, advanced diagnostics, and specialty hospitals were certainly not the standard of care when I was a kid. But does your pet really need them? Or as a friend put it recently, “How do I ask my vet if a test is really necessary without sounding like I’m cheaping out, or questioning his judgement?”

I have a saying I’ve used since my first year out of vet school. Twenty-one years later, it’s still relevant. “I never run a test unless I think the results might change my plan.” A culture and sensitivity, for example, will let me know exactly which antibiotic will kill the bug your pet is fighting. Yes, it’s another test. Yes, it’s an additional charge. But superbugs are becoming more and more common.

If I know exactly exactly what I’m fighting, I can rest assured I’m not blindly throwing useless antibiotics at a pet whose immune system is already compromised. I can also make certain I’m not contributing to the superbug epidemic by creating one in your poor pet! A culture is a test that may change my treatment plan. And while pre-anesthetic bloodwork on a healthy, bouncy puppy may seem excessive, I’m looking for signs of problems that may not be visible during the course of a routine physical exam.

For instance, if the bloodwork reveals liver values which are not within normal ranges, I’ll need to rule out a congenital liver problem before putting your pet under anesthesia - even for a routine procedure like a pediatric neuter. Yes, this too means yet another test. It also means I have something to address before even thinking about anesthetizing your puppy. In other words, the result of the test may absolutely change my plan.

However, another recent example was a second opinion on a dog who had been diagnosed with a severe reproductive tract infection. I concurred with the original vet’s assessment, as well as his recommendation for immediate surgical intervention. The family took several days to decide on a course of action. By the time I saw the dog again, she was barely clinging to life. In a textbook world, we would have run a similar pre-anesthetic panel.

But the twenty minutes it would have taken to collect the sample, run the test, and interpret the results, were twenty minutes Candy the poodle did not have. I was fairly certain the bloodwork would come back showing a sky-high white blood cell count, which would tell me what I already knew - Candy was suffering from a life-threatening infection, and immediate surgery was her only hope.

The test would have told me she was a poor candidate for anesthesia, that the risk of losing her on the operating table was dangerously high. But surgical intervention gave me the one and only chance to save her life, regardless of what the labwork revealed. In other words, it was not a test that would have changed my plan. We rushed Candy to surgery, and she pulled through with flying colors.

I can hear the horrified gasps of some of my colleagues as they frantically scroll to the comment section. “No bloodwork?! But there might have been something else going on! He missed the opportunity to pick up any additional, underlying conditions! Like diabetes! Or Addison’s Disease!” And indeed I did. But frankly, when presented with a patient that is close to death due to an infection, I’m not going to obsess about their calcium levels.

It’s the equivalent of worrying about the lawn when the house is on fire. When Candy came in two weeks later to have her stitches removed, we collected a blood sample to ensure her body had cleared the infection - and of course, to look for signs of any underlying conditions like diabetes or Addison’s Disease!

Diagnostics are vital and necessary tools for veterinary practitioners. Most veterinary horror stories involving cases gone wrong are directly connected to owners who decline recommended tests; please don’t think I’m endorsing carte blanche for pet parents to decline diagnostics.

Neither I nor any colleague in my circle has access to psychic powers or a crystal ball. We’re good, but we’re not that good. That said, clients should never feel as though they are being coerced into agreeing to pointless tests, or funding teachable moments for veterinary staff. If you aren’t sure why a test might be necessary, simply ask your vet:

“How might the results of this test change your treatment plan?”

This lets your vet know you respect the process, whilst still expecting a sensible treatment plan as the ultimate goal. It is not an unreasonable question, and he or she should be able to easily articulate an answer. If you’re met with a prickly attitude, an avoidance response, (read, BS answer), or worse yet, a blank stare, it’s entirely possible your vet does not have a treatment plan in mind.

It may be time to find a vet who orders diagnostics with an endgame in sight, and can better explain their value. Because even the soundest of treatment plans, will only work when pet parents and practitioners work together. This requires solid communication, which is always a two-way street.

Next time, we’ll discuss some other questions you can ask to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your diagnostic buck!

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 deals and discounts exclusively for NBC 6 viewers!

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<![CDATA[Animals Dealing With Similar Seasonal Allergies as Humans]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 12:58:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/051917+pet+allergies.JPG

Seasonal allergies can certainly make people feel miserable this time of year - but did you know your pet could also be suffering from allergies?

Veterinarians say the signs your pet has seasonal allergies are through skin conditions, skin infections, and recurring ear infections.

Animals have been found, much like humans, to be dealing with problems from issues like different types of grasses, tree pollen and even dust mites. It's a subject that South Florida vet Dr. Ian Kupkee covered on NBC 6 this past March.

"So once you find out what your dog or cat is allergic to, they'll actually compound those things in a form of oral solutions where your body kind of gradually acclimates to those allergens,” said Dr. Jae Chang

Allergy testing through blood work is urged as the only way to know what's causing the problems.

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<![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County's Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 13:57:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6-summersplash_Peter+Parker.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 13:38:50 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/202*120/Savannah-A1872012.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Stuck Horse Rescued From Thick Mud in Florida]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 22:33:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/051617+horse+rescued+from+mud.jpg

A horse trapped in thick mud was pulled to solid ground with the help of a determined crew and heavy equipment.

The 25-year-old thoroughbred named Kiersa somehow got stuck in the mud Monday in Plant City.

Rescue crews failed to break the suction from the horse, so they decided to call in a veterinarian and heavy machinery. Kiersa was put to sleep while crews used a harness to hoist the horse from the mud.

Kiersa suffered no broken bones or other injuries and was able to stand up on her own 30 minutes later. Her owners are having her monitored for health complications.


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<![CDATA[Dog Miraculously Survives Deadly Bacteria]]> Thu, 11 May 2017 23:51:57 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/051117+tetanus+dog+survives.jpg

NBC 6's Jamie Guirola shares the survival story of a dog that miraculously recovered from a life-threatening bacteria.

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<![CDATA[Barefoot Python Hunter Wrestles Huge Snake With Bare Hands]]> Thu, 11 May 2017 22:38:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/051117+python+dusty+crum.jpg

A python hunter reeled in a colossal catch in the Florid Everglades.

Dusty “The Wildman” Crum slithered his way toward a 16-foot, 10-inch python and managed to successfully wrestle it.

Footage shows the wild capture as Crum snuck up on the snake barefoot and tackled it with his bare hands. Crum said the catch was the biggest snake he’s ever caught.

In the video, Crum presumes the snake was pregnant and perhaps injured by another animal. He works with the South Florida Water Management District’s python elimination program.




Photo Credit: Courtesy: Joey Waves
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<![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County's Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 13:51:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6-summersplash_Sparkle.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County's Pets of the Week]]> Fri, 05 May 2017 13:55:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6_Gidget.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Tue, 02 May 2017 13:35:33 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Titan-A1868691.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County's Pets of the Week]]> Sat, 29 Apr 2017 11:57:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6_Apache.jpg Check out the Pets of the Week from the Humane Society of Broward County.]]> <![CDATA[Blind Dog Rescued From Lake in Miami Gardens]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:02:25 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042717+miami+gardens+dog+rescued.jpg

A blind dog in distress was rescued from a lake Thursday in Miami Gardens.

The pooch, which officials think is a Cocker Spaniel, ended up in the water on Northwest 179th Terrace and 54th Avenue around 3 p.m. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue used a small boat to reach the canine on the banks of the lake.

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The blind pooch was given oxygen by the crew and kept warm to avoid hypothermia. It appears the dog is in good health.

First responders will hand over the canine to proper authorities as Animal Services tries to locate the owner.




Photo Credit: MDFR]]>
<![CDATA[Euthanasia Drug Found in Dog Food Prompts Recall]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:48:02 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042617+party+animal+dog+food+recall.jpg

Party Animal has issued a nationwide recall of its Cocolicious dog food after lab tests of some products showed traces of the euthanasia drug pentobarbital.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, a retailer in Texas alerted Party Animal of the contamination after a customer presented two cans of dog food that tested positive for pentobarbital, a drug used for euthanasia mostly of dogs, cats, and horses.

The affected products include 13-ounce-cans of Cocolicious Beef & Turkey dog food (Lot #0136E15204 04) with a best by date of July 2019, and 13-ounce cans of Cocolicious Chicken & Beef dog food (Lot #0134E15 237 13) with a best by date August 2019. The company said the food had been manufactured and distributed in 2015.

Party Animal contacted two retailers that may have sold the customer the food and asked them to remove all remaining cans from these lots from shelves. Pet owners who have cans with the recalled lot numbers to throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

The company said there was one report of a pet who experienced discomfort, but there have been no deaths reported.

"The safety of pets is and always will be our first priority. We sincerely regret the reports of the discomfort experienced by the pet who consumed this food," the company said in a statement.



Photo Credit: FDA]]>
<![CDATA[Zoo Miami Lion Gets Root Canal, Pedicure]]> Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:33:32 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/042717+lion+%283%29.jpg A 9-year-old Zoo Miami lion gets a root canal and pedicure]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 12:47:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Timon-A1857649.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Cow Stuck in Belly-Deep Muddy Ditch Rescued Near Lakeland]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:48:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042417+cow+rescued+polk+county.jpg

The Polk County Sheriff's Office was busy Monday mooooving a cow that was stuck in a muddy ditch.

Photos posted to the sheriff's office's Facebook showed the cow trapped in belly-deep waters.

To pull the animal to safety, the agricultural crimes unit used equipment from the Florida Department of Agriculture and a front-end loader provided by the cow's owner.

The cow was back on her feet and in no time she happily returned to grazing in her pasture.



Photo Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Monkey Spotted Near Restaurant in Central Florida]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 22:04:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042417+apopka+monkey+on+the+loose.jpg

A monkey that was spotted hanging out near a restaurant in Apopka has become the talk of the town.

Witnesses told NBC 6's affiliate in Orlando, WESH, they saw the animal frolicking near the Max and Me Jamaican Restaurant.

The primate has been seen in the area for several days.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been alerted, but officials said there was no active search for the monkey at this time. There have been no reports of injury or damage, officials said.

WESH reports that monkey sightings have not been uncommon in the area over the years.

There are feral groups in the area, and some believe they’re related to the monkeys brought to Silver Springs for film and TV productions.



Photo Credit: WESH]]>
<![CDATA[Manatee Rescued at Key Colony Beach Released Back Into Wild]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:36:17 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/198*120/rescued+manatee+Key+3PO.PNG

After 8 months of recovery, a rescued manatee is now ready to be released into the wild.

A manatee that suffered a severe injury after being struck by a boat at Key Beach Colony was rescued by the Dolphin Research Center from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission last August. The manatee lost about 95 percent of his paddle, leaving only a portion remaining.

The 900-pound injured marine mammal was taken to Miami Seaquarium to recuperate, where he was given Star Wars-inspired name: Key 3PO.

"So we have a Star Wars theme going on at the Seaquarium and since he came from the Keys, we wanted to be different and named him Key 3PO," says Jessica Schiffauer, Miami Seaquarium Animal Care Supervisor.

Miami Seaquarium has a rehab facility where they provide medical care and resources to rescued manatees.

"Any animal that we get here, if it’s months if it’s years, our goal is to release them back out so they can help the population,"

Key 3PO will be returned to Key Colony Beach, where it will be released back into the ocean.

The public is advised to contact the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC to report a distressed or injured manatee. 



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Meowmaste: Yoga with Cats at Miami-Dade Animal Services]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 18:07:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/20161223+yoga+generic.jpg

Ever wish you can bring your cat to yoga class? Now, you can!

Miami-Dade Animal Services is holding a zen-filled session just for cat lovers.

Yogis will join yoga instructor Tara Smith and shelter cats Saturday from 2 p.m to 4 p.m.

Miami-Dade Animal Services hopes the event will encourage more pet adoptions. Adoption fees for all cats and kittens will be waived on Saturday only.

Registration is required for the Yoga with Cats workshop and a $20 donation is requested.

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<![CDATA[10-Foot, 400-Pound Crocodile Undergoes Surgery at Zoo Miami]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:59:01 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/A39.jpg

A 396-pound endangered crocodile underwent surgery at Zoo Miami Friday after suffering a critical injury.

The 13-year-old male Orinoco crocodile from South America underwent a procedure to treat an infected wound likely caused by a bite from another crocodile, according to Zoo Communications Director Ron Magill.

The nearly 10-foot-long crocodile sustained an injury to its wrist that needed medical attention, but in order to so, the massive reptile had to be immobilized and transported to the zoo hospital where it was attended to by veterinarians and zoo staff.

The affected area was successfully treated surgically by removing the infection and medicating the wound. The crocodile will remain in the zoo hospital for the next several days before being returned to its exhibit at the Amazon and Beyond area of the zoo.

Orinoco crocodiles are a critically endangered species that is found in isolated pockets of the fresh water tributaries of the Orinoco River in Colombia and Venezuela.



Photo Credit: Zoo Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Rescuing Baby Wildlife: How, And If, You Should Help]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:52:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/042117+dr.+kupkee+with+butterfly.jpg

Springtime is when South Florida’s wildlife is hard at work, caring for the next generation of wildlife. It’s also when veterinary clinics are flooded with calls concerning young wild animals who appear orphaned or abandoned. While these callers are always willing to help and eager to know what to do, they are often surprised to learn that even good intentions can result in more harm than good. Here are some general rules for deciding how - and more importantly, if - you should help a baby wild animal.

Observe from a distance

Perhaps the most important aspect of wild animal rescue is deciding whether the animal needs to be rescued at all. Remember the well-meaning tourists who “rescued” a bison calf in Yellowstone National Park? Often our attempts to intervene with the natural order of the wild world to more harm than good. It is normal for baby animals to be left alone while their mothers search for food.

A young bird flailing on the ground in apparent distress may simply be learning how to fly. These youngsters have not been abandoned, and the parents are probably closer than you think. Attempts to be a Good Samaritan may even result in attacks by angry mothers who neither know the story, nor care about your good intentions. Find a quiet, hidden spot, and only intervene if the the baby is in imminent danger of being hit by a car, or snatched by a predator.

Determine whether or not the baby needs your help

If the youngster is shivering, it has probably been on its own for a while. In this case, intervention is necessary. Ditto for babies who are wandering and crying for more than about twenty minutes. If mom is around, she will rush back to quiet him, as such sounds draw the attention of predators. If a parent does not appear in response to such distress calls, the baby is likely on his own.

A youngster who is bleeding, or displaying a limb which is dragging, or appears broken needs your help. Search the area for a dead parent. If you find one, the baby needs you. The same holds true for a baby animal who is presented as a “gift” by a cat or dog. If the youngster has survived this misadventure, he needs help, and he needs it now.

With regards to birds, one should only intervene if the baby is pink, or has minimal, fuzzy feathers. If you can find the nest, carefully place the baby back inside. Contrary to popular belief, birds do not recognize their offspring based on scent. The parents will not abandon it if it has been touched by humans.

A baby bird who is fully feathered is probably on the ground because it is learning to fly. Leaving it alone is counterintuitive, but essential. Flying is difficult, and fledglings get frustrated when they fail. They may squawk loudly and flail around in a most dramatic fashion. But they are doing this for mom’s attention, not yours. And your attempts to help are likely to be rewarded with a dive-bomb attack from an angry avian mom. If the fledgling is in imminent danger from a cat or dog, chase the miscreants away, and leave the bird alone. This will also alert the mother bird, who will happily take it from there. More extensive information on baby bird rescue can be found on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website

Take action

If you’ve determined a baby needs your help, you need to get him to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator as quickly as possible. This is not - repeat NOT - a DIY project you can do at home. Wildlife rehab is extraordinarily difficult. Every species has a specific diet, and babies must be fed often. Great care must be taken to ensure food is not aspirated into the lungs, where it can lead to life-threatening pneumonia. Orphans must be taught how to hunt on their own, with minimal exposure to humans.

Since the goal is to return the animals to the wild, the youngsters cannot be put in a position where they imprint upon their human caretakers. Some species are more susceptible to imprinting than others. Only a licensed wildlife rehabilitator can do this successfully, and in a species-specific manner. Because of the complications involved with this process, it is illegal for non-licensed civilians to attempt to rehabilitate wildlife. Since it is also illegal to keep wild animals as pets, it is not an option to rescue a wild baby in the hopes the imprinting process will turn it into a novel pet.

Many rescuers are surprised to learn that veterinarians are not automatically licensed to treat and rehabilitate wildlife. While some of us may have this additional layer of training, most of us (myself included), do not.

While your veterinarian can probably provide you with a list of licensed wildlife rehabbers, please be understanding if the vet you’ve always counted on cannot take your wild foundling off your hands. The same laws that apply to the general public also apply to us. Without the proper licensure, it is illegal for veterinarians to treat or rehab wild animals.

Transport the baby safely

When dealing with an orphaned baby, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama, and neglect our own safety. Your foundling is probably terrified, and terrified animals - even adorable, helpless baby ones - often bite. If your orphan has teeth, use a blanket or towel to swaddle him. This should also protect your hands. Place him in a box or pet carrier, and do so as quickly as possible.

Remember these animals must be returned to the wild, so keep handling to an absolute bare minimum. It’s also important for them not to lose their natural aversion to the sounds of human activity. Once you have your charge secured in your car, make the interior as quiet as possible. Turn off the radio, silence your cell phone. Do everything in your power not to talk.

The difference between life and death in many of these situations is warmth. In addition to the towels inside the carrier, cover the outside as well. Point A/C vents away from the carrier. Never put animals on a heating pad, but if you happen to have an old school hot water bottle, fill it up, wrap it in a towel, and place in the carrier. Do not give the animal any food or water unless specifically instructed to do so by a wildlife rehabilitator.

So who are these wildlife rehabilitators?

Here is a list of some of South Florida’s licensed wildlife rehabilitators. If you live in an area where wildlife is abundant, you may want to plan where you will go in advance. Call ahead to let them know you are coming, as many are not equipped with a reception area. Most of these facilities are either non-profit organizations, or individuals donating their time and expertise.

They may be bashful about asking, so I’ll say it on their behalf - financial donations always needed, and greatly appreciated. If you use their services, please try to be as generous as possible.

Wildlife Rescue of Dade County 

South Florida Wildlife Center 

Pelican Harbor Seabird Center 

Falcon Batchelor Bird of Prey Center at the Miami Science Museum

Everglades Outpost 

Florida Keys Wild Bird Center 

Click here for a list of wildlife rehabbers throughout the state of Florida

 

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

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<![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County Pets of the Week]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:20:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/042117+NBC6_Snickers.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 20:33:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/041717Vanessa.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Humane Society of Broward County Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 12 Apr 2017 13:20:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/NBC6_Hazel.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Miami-Dade County Animal Services Pets of the Week]]> Wed, 12 Apr 2017 13:13:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Kelly-A1860808.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Kids Catch 13-Foot Python in Pembroke Pines Neighborhood]]> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 17:08:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/041117+python+pembroke+pines.jpg

A group of Florida teens wrangled a 13-foot python they found roaming in a Pembroke Pines neighborhood. 

The three boys caught the massive snake in Holly Lake, a residential community on the edge of the Everglades, Pembroke Pines police said in a Facebook post.

The python had burn marks on its skin and may have been trying to escape a brush fire that ignited in the Everglades Wednesday. The "Holiday Fire" charred 6,800 acres through parts of Broward and Northwest Miami-Dade before it was brought under control Sunday.

Police warned residents that brush fires in the Everglades may lead to a rise in wildlife entering nearby residential areas as they try to escape the smoke and flames.

The phython was taken to Everglades Holiday Park to be assessed by professionals.

Officials warned against approaching pythons or other wild animals and said residents should call 911.



Photo Credit: Pembroke Pines Police
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