Animals & Pets

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

On the Clock: Billy Mitchell, dairy plant manager

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 11:15 AM

Billy Mitchell mans his desk at the Dean Foods dairy processing plant.
  • Billy Mitchell mans his desk at the Dean Foods dairy processing plant.


It begins with a cow, or rather, many cows.

At a farm  —  usually outside of Dallas or in New Mexico, where many of Dean Foods’ farms are located  —  thousands of cows line up twice a day to be milked, their heavy udders releasing six to seven gallons of raw milk every day. 

That milking is the first step on a long and complex journey. Raw milk is stored on the farm in giant refrigerated silos; when the silo is full, tankers capable of hauling 5,600 gallons of milk at a time pull up, ready to be filled for the drive to Dean Foods’ dairy processing plant in Hammond. (Dean is the parent company of regional brands including Brown’s Dairy, as well as national brands such as TruMoo and DairyPure.) 

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

On the Clock: Amanda Pumilia, humane law enforcement manager

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Amanda Pumilia reaches out to a dog on a call.
  • Amanda Pumilia reaches out to a dog on a call.


On a lumpy residential street in the 7th Ward, Amanda Pumilia and I pull over in the toaster-shaped fiberglass van and mobile kennel driven by humane law enforcement officers in New Orleans. A chicken saunters across the street as Pumilia peers into the rugged laptop mounted beside the driver’s seat and frowns.

We’re here to investigate an alleged dog bite case, and Pumilia rattles off the details to me: a blue house, two dogs, a man walking on the sidewalk, a bite to the face. In the picture she shows me, there’s a shallow laceration on the man’s chin.

“Bite cases get a little hinky,” she tells me, on our way to the scene. “Every time an animal bites a person, there’s a rabies quarantine that’s supposed to happen … even though the threat of rabies is minor, it’s still there.”

As Pumilia looks around, a problem becomes apparent: there’s no blue house. But nearby, we can hear the telltale woof-woof of several dogs.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Amazing Acro-Cats return to New Orleans for another holiday spectacular

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 1:48 PM

The Amazing Acro-Cats (featuring Tuna, bottom) perform on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
  • The Amazing Acro-Cats (featuring Tuna, bottom) perform on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Christmas in New Orleans means Mr. Bingle, garlands on the streetcars — and, in a new tradition, stupid cat tricks. Once again, The Amazing Acro-Cats are coming to St. Claude Avenue in December for an extended run of their show Meow-y Catmas in New Orleans.

Besides cats doing tricks (or not, depending on how the mood strikes them), other wonders of the Acro-Cats shows of past years have included a dog in a tutu, a cymbal-playing chicken named Gregory Peck and a hedgehog that wore a Santa hat and pushed a bowling ball, presided over (sort of) by ringmaster Samantha Martin.

Like Hamilton, a show it resembles in no way whatsoever, this is a hot ticket and usually sells out. Performances at the St. Claude Theatre are 7 p.m. on Dec. 2-4, 9-11 and 15-18 (4 pm meow-tinees Dec. 11 and 17). Tickets are $20-$34.

Here's the Acro-Cats amazing the audience of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert:

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

On the Clock: Bob MacLean, Audubon Nature Institute senior veterinarian

Posted By on Sat, Sep 3, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Katie Christiensen hangs with Southern white rhino Macite, one of veterinarian Bob MacLean's patients.
  • Katie Christiensen hangs with Southern white rhino Macite, one of veterinarian Bob MacLean's patients.

In a metal outdoor stall adjacent to her enclosure, the 5,000 pound, 53-year-old Southern white rhino Macite bumps her big prehistoric head lightly against the bars. The horn at the end of her nose looks like an ancient relic, but she scrapes her giant flat feet in the dust just like a cow shuffling in a pen on a hot day. 

Around Macite’s enormous backside, veterinarian Bob MacLean uses a hand brush and a gel to clean, disinfect and pack the chronic pressure sores (similar to human bedsores) on the elderly rhino’s back legs. She’s thought to be the oldest living female of her kind, and MacLean’s team is doing its best to keep the sores from growing. It’s part of a litany of tasks large and small that make up his role as senior veterinarian for the Audubon Nature Institute

“We’re trying to keep it from going systemic,” he says, as he finishes rinsing the sore. “We’re treating her every day.” 

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Doggy fashion show Bad to the Bone: Rescued on the Runway returns Sept. 17

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 3:07 PM

Photo courtesy Diane Lundeen/Petcetera - PHOTO CREDIT: SCOTT STUNTZ
  • Photo credit: Scott Stuntz
  • Photo courtesy Diane Lundeen/Petcetera


Bad to the Bone: Rescued on the Runway
is a professionally produced fashion show, but its staff extends beyond the usual cadre of stylists, makeup artists and Zoolander types. Along the runway, dog handlers sub for paparazzi, placed to reassure the dogs who cruise the … er … catwalk with the models.

Bad to the Bone co-founder Diane Lundeen says the dogs have varying degrees of enthusiasm for the spotlight. 

“Some dogs are just fine. They’re like ‘Hey, I’m here! Take me home!’ Other dogs are like ‘Are you kidding me? You want me to do what?’” she says. 

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Orleans Public Library hosts food drive for flood victims, plus more donation drop points

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 2:48 PM

All New Orleans Public Library locations will collect dry and non-perishable food items as part of a food drive to benefit flood victims, it announced in a statement this morning.

Library Marketing and Communications Director John Marc Sharpe described food as "the most critical need" and called for donations of shelf-stable items such as canned fruit and vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, soup, beans, chili, pasta, rice, cereal and peanut butter, as well as supplements including protein bars and Ensure. Each library will have a donation box. Goods ultimately will be distributed to Second Harvest Food Bank

Relief efforts continue after last weekend's historic flooding wreaked havoc on the state, potentially leaving thousands homeless. Below, find additions to Gambit's early list of places to donate or get involved.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Where to help Louisiana flood victims: Donation drop points around New Orleans

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 12:01 PM

click image Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, tweeted these photos Aug. 13 of the historic floods in central Louisiana. - TWITTER/@ONEVISIONARY
  • TWITTER/@onevisionary
  • Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, tweeted these photos Aug. 13 of the historic floods in central Louisiana.

After several days of record-setting rainfall, devastating floodwaters poured into much of Southeast Louisiana this weekend, including East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Ascension and surrounding parishes. Multiple news organizations are reporting the rescue of more than 20,000 people from homes and vehicles as of Sunday.

As many New Orleanians know well, flooding robs families of resources large and small: it's not just cars and homes, but day-to-day personal effects, from clothes and blankets to shampoo and toothbrushes. Here's our ongoing list of sites to donate these much-needed supplies to flood victims, as well as several contacts for direct donations and volunteer opportunities. 

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Y@ Speak: The #Chad Awakens

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 1:40 PM

It's Carnival time — you know what that means: watching buildings burn, spray-painting public spaces, catching Confederate flag beads and sleeping on strangers' stoops. Plus: a look at some of the DIY floats from 'tit Rex, Chewbacchus and Barkus.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Dine Out For Paws," benefiting the LA-SPCA, to take place June 11

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 12:05 PM

A chow mix and a gray tabby contemplate a large bowl of underdressed spaghetti. - LA-SPCA
  • LA-SPCA
  • A chow mix and a gray tabby contemplate a large bowl of underdressed spaghetti.

The Louisiana SPCA's sixth annual "Dine Out For Paws" event will take place Thursday, June 11. Dozens of New Orleans-area restaurants will donate 20 percent of their proceeds from lunch and dinner service to the region's largest animal welfare organization. 

A full list of participating restaurants can be found here, or you can click on the map and investigate places to eat in your own neighborhood.


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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top stories and blog posts of 2014: What you really were interested in reading

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 3:45 PM

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We know, we know — you want hard-hitting investigative stories, breaking news, City Hall probes, political scandals and all that.

And you got some of that this year, including Jeanie Riess' look at Uber in New Orleans, an omnibus issue about pot ("Louweedziana"), Clancy DuBos' reasons "Why Bobby Jindal Will Never, Ever Be President," our second installment of The New New Orleans (actually, you clicked on that a lot), Jules Bentley's polarizing first-person essay "Sober in New Orleans," Henrick Karoliszyn's look at the danger of black-market silicone implants, Kari Dequine Harden's followup on Honduran refugee children in New Orleans and Matt Brennan's two-part series on Louisiana film tax credits.

But what were the most clicked-on stories on Blog of New Orleans and Best of New Orleans?

Here's what you really were searching for and reading ...

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