Animals & Pets

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Take a lunch (or dinner) break to Pause 4 Paws

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 5:40 PM

An LA-SPCA worker with a client. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • An LA-SPCA worker with a client.

On Thursday, June 12, a few dozen New Orleans restaurants will donate 20 percent of their dining proceeds to the Louisiana SPCA. The event is the nonprofit's fifth annual Pause 4 Paws, and the participating restaurants make it possible to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out on the town, supporting local, furry friends.

It's really easy to participate. You just go out to eat.

Fifty restaurants are participating, including, appropriately, The Bulldog (both Uptown and Mid-City locations), Cure, Nirvana Indian Cuisine, Noodle and Pie, Mariza and more (there's a full list below the jump).

If you can't make it out to eat, you can also donate to the cause online here.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Committee says Tony the truck stop tiger can stay

Posted By on Wed, May 28, 2014 at 5:50 PM

In its 2014 session, the Louisiana Legislature spent hours debating the fate of Tony, a Bengal tiger and roadside attraction at Tiger Truck Stop in Gross Tete. Senate Bill 250 from state Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, attempts to make an exemption for Tony and his owner, Michael Sandlin, from state law prohibiting exotic big cat ownership. The bill passed the House Natural Resources committee May 28 with a 10-6 vote. After failure in the state Senate in April, Ward resurrected the bill and passed it in May. Following today’s passage in committee, it heads to the House for final approval before heading to Gov. Bobby Jindal for a signature.

In 2010, the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for unlawfully issuing Sandlin a permit to keep Tony, and in April 2013, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal held that Sandlin is ineligible to hold a permit to keep Tony. In October 2013, the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected Sandlin’s petition to review the ruling.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

The 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival meows its way to New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 4:14 PM

The 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival in Minnesota.
  • WALKER ART CENTER
  • The 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival in Minnesota.

"It’s not just about Internet cat videos, it’s about watching Internet cat videos together," says Rachel Joyce of the Walker Art Center in Minnesota, about the 2014 Internet Cat Video Festival, which comes to New Orleans June 28.

The festival, which is apparently the first of its kind in the world, aims to bring the Internet community together - the internet community that spends countless hours on Youtube watching cats trying to wedge themselves into tiny cardboard boxes, that is - from city to city. Founded in 2012, the festival now tours internationally, adapting its program to the needs and desires of each city.

This year's video festival was curated by none other than Will Braden, who cat video enthusiasts will most definitely recognize from the Youtube classic Henri le Chat Noir, the French existentialist cat whose torment goes far beyond kitty litter and other quotidian woes.

The festival is being hosted by local non-profits Spaymart and Art for Cats Sake at the New Orleans Museum of Art. There are three showings on the 28th: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Choose one or just sit through all three. (You know you'll want to.) Tickets are $12 and can be purchased here. There will also be a related festival in City Park, which is free to attend and will feature costume contests, photo contests, feline art and food and drinks. There's a cat photo contest for people to enter before the date of the festival (more details on that here, too).

During the festival, there's a "people dressed as cats" contest. That contest, thank God, is split into two categories, one for kids and one for adults.

The celebration of the world's most aloof and vaguely narcissistic house pet will raise funds for Spaymart and Art for Cats Sake, whose mission it is to improve the lines of feline friends in Louisiana.

WALKER ART CENTER
  • WALKER ART CENTER


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Senate votes to keep Tony the Tiger at truck stop

Posted By on Tue, May 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM

After failing to pass Senate Bill 250 through the Louisiana Senate in April, State Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, reintroduced his bill to exempt big cat owners from a state law banning exotic pet ownership. This afternoon, SB 250 narrowly passed by a vote of 20-18. It now heads to the House.

State Sens. Troy Brown and Mack White were absent to vote last month. They voted in favor this afternoon. Sens. Danny Martiny, Gary Smith and Robert Kostelka, who voted against the bill in April, also voted in favor.

Sens. Dan Claitor, Yvonne Dorsey-Lacomb and Dan Morrish voted for the measure last month but voted against it today. Sen. Ben Nevers, who voted against the bill last month, was absent today.

The law would apply to Michael Sandlin, who owns the 13-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger named Tony, who has lived at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete for more than a decade. The law would come up against the Louisiana Supreme Court's rejection of Sandlin's petition in October 2013 to review the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling that Tony can't live at the truck stop.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Bill to keep Tony the Tiger at truck stop fails in Senate

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 5:55 PM

The Louisiana Senate failed to pass Senate Bill 250 from State Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, which aimed to exempt certain big-cat owners from a state law banning exotic pet ownership. The law would apply to Michael Sandlin, who owns the 13-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger named Tony, who has lived at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete for more than a decade.

The bill passed the Senate's Committee on Natural Resources April 15. The committee amended the bill to remove an exemption for people who hold a USDA Class C exhibitor's license, a license which Sandlin possesses. Today, the Senate voted 18-19 against the measure. Ward's bill attempted to undercut a 2006 state law banning private ownership of exotic pets by exempting those permit holders.

Attempts to remove Tony from the truck stop have been ongoing for years. More recently, the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected Sandlin's petition in October 2013 to review the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling that Tony can't live at the truck stop. In 2011, the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for unlawfully issuing a permit to Sandlin to keep Tony, and in April 2013, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal held that Sandlin can't keep Tony, nor can he keep that permit.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Bill aims for open season on Louisiana wild hogs

Posted By on Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Desoto Parish State Rep. Richard "Richie" Burford, R-Stonewall (motto: "A great place to live"), introduced House Bill 353, which declares open season on wild hogs — the pigs, not the Tim Allen dad-buddy masterpiece. Under the bill, hunters can go after wild hogs, day or night, on private property. Under present law, hunting wild hogs is restricted to daylight hours from February through August. The bill passed the House 85-10 on Wednesday and was introduced in the Senate Thursday.

A House amendment also includes authorization to hunt coyotes at night on private property, also at any time of the year. (Present law already includes permission to hunt nutria and beaver.)

The bill follows the state's exploding wild animal populations — which in recent years have crept into more urban and suburban areas of New Orleans beyond surrounding bayous and parks. Recent sightings include a coyote (which has a Twitter account) stalking Uptown, and several adorable hog families hanging out on the neutral ground on Almonaster Road in New Orleans East.

According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, feral hogs (Sus scrofa) came to North America via Spanish explorers who planned to use them as livestock, but through escape and release, the pigs adapted to the wild. They can reach 400 pounds — they're protective, and kind of mean, and you don't want one charging at you. While the piglets are cute, the animals cause millions of dollars in damage to farms, forests and other property. Hog rooting can impact crops, golf courses, hayfields and backyards. The LSU AgCenter estimates there are more than 500,000 wild hogs in the state.

("But how does it taste, Alex?") Great. It's lean and not too game-y.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Y@ Speak: Carnival Time Lord

Posted By on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

As Mardi Gras 2014 nears, let's look back at the first week of parades — and towed cars, electioneering, sci-fi nerd alerts and a French Quarter's eau de wet dog. Also: Kevin Hart eats chicken and Margaret Orr takes a selfie. Bonus: Dumpsters, Neutral Milk Hotel and gutterpunk advice.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Y@ Speak: feel the noize

Posted By on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 1:00 PM

This week's edition is dedicated to noise — from election debates, "mean" tweets and music festivals and James Carville brand spices to noise ordinance protests. Also, Wendell Pierce's caps-lock warnings about bald eagles.

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: The Amazing Acro-Cats in A Very Meow-y Christmas

Posted By on Sat, Dec 7, 2013 at 2:05 PM

The Amazing Acro-Cats tour bus.
  • The Amazing Acro-Cats tour bus.


A circus of performing housecats is, of course, catnip to children, and quite a few little ones showed up at the normally louche AllWays Theatre this week for The Amazing Acro-Cats, an hour-long revue that demonstrates that cats can be trained — but demonstrates even more conclusively that they can't be taught much. 

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow were quick-marched through the bar and into the theater at the AllWays, where The Amazing Acro-Cats were making a return holiday appearance in New Orleans. Last year, trainer Samantha Martin and her cat pack performed at the much smaller Shadowbox Theatre, but this year she brought her cat bus to town for an extended run (three weeks) in the larger environs of the AllWays. (Friday's night's show was standing room only.)

The show was identical to last year's spectacle. Martin warmed up the audience with a few feline introductions — this is Pudge, this is Oz, this is Sookie, etc. Each cat drew an extended awwwww from the crowd. Children were greatly outnumbered by (how to put this delicately?) people who are really, really into cats. There was also a bit of tightrope walking by several rats, a groundhog that didn't really do anything and a chicken named Cluck Norris.

Samantha Martin and her assistants prepare for a performance by the Rock Cats.
  • Samantha Martin and her assistants prepare for a performance by the Rock Cats.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Y@ Speak: ate too much

Posted By on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM


Burgers and #vendingmachinecat previewed our gluttony. From there, a downward spiral of cream of mushroom soup, Duck Dynasty sugar cookies and yelling, then Anthony Davis broke his hand — weakened from the continuous up and down motion of lifting a turkey leg.

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