Animals & Pets

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tony the truck stop tiger euthanized after 17 years as Grosse Tete attraction

Posted By on Tue, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:00 AM

click image PHOTO BY JANUSZ SOBOLEWSKI
  • PHOTO BY JANUSZ SOBOLEWSKI

Tony — a 17 year-old Siberian Bengal tiger — has died, after living his life as a Grosse Tete truck stop attraction at the center of a controversial legal battle over his ownership and life in Louisiana.

According to a statement from the Tiger Truck Stop website, Tony was euthanized Oct. 16 after exhibiting "typical signs that death was imminent" to "prevent Tony from suffering." The statement says Tony will be "preserved through taxidermy" following an autopsy.

Tony had lived at the truck stop since January 2001, when the tiger was six months old. "Tony knew many of the regular visitors to his Grosse Tete home and was known for
rubbing against the bars of his enclosure and 'chuffing' to those he liked," the statement said.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Louisiana SPCA offers fee-waived adoptions Oct. 15

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 6:02 PM

ZEMLINKI! / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • ZEMLINKI! / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

At its "Empty the Shelter" event Sunday, Louisiana SPCA partners with Subaru Loves Pets to waive fees for all adoptions.

Pets adopted Oct. 15 come microchipped and are spayed or neutered and treated with with up-to-date vaccines. The shelter also will offer a free trial of pet insurance plus a small bag of pet food. More than 300 animals are currently housed at the shelter.

Participants are encouraged to arrive early and must be 18 years old with ID. The shelter is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to an event announcement on social media, adoption fees can normally be as much as $150.

In related news, Southern Animal Foundation hosts a "Kitten Party" at Alvar Library (913 Alvar St.) next weekend. Cats and kittens will be available to play with and adopt. That party is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct 21.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Orleans Cat Art & Film Festival is May 20

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 9:05 PM

Felis catus, the star of the internet. - CREATIVE COMMONS/ANDREW SKUDDER
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/ANDREW SKUDDER
  • Felis catus, the star of the internet.

If the universe is made of stars, the internet is made of cats — hence the popularity that's led to the third annual New Orleans Cat Art & Film Festival, which will be held at the Delgado City Park Student Life Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20.

The event will feature internet cat videos (of course), "feline art" (presumably made my humans, not cats), jewelry, live music, food and drink, workshops by the Louisiana SPCA, adoptable cats, a kids' area and more. Proceeds benefit the LA/SPCA and Art for Cats' Sake.

Tickets are $5-$25 in advance. For more information or to submit your own cat film, visit the event website.
Location Details Delgado Community College
Delgado Community College
615 City Park Ave.
Mid-City
New Orleans, LA
(504) 671-5012

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Proposed changes for Louisiana animal shelters move to the full state Senate

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 3:13 PM

Pups clamor for attention at the LA/SPCA. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Pups clamor for attention at the LA/SPCA.

Save the washable markers and cardstock. The days of “Missing Dog” posters may become a faint memory for Louisiana youngsters.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development on Tuesday moved to recommend to the full Senate two bills, one authorizing animal shelters to post pictures of animals on a social media account or website, and the other setting regulations governing the operation of animal shelters and training of personnel.

Sen. Ryan Gatti, R-Bossier City, who authored Senate Bill 64, said the idea to authorize posting pictures of missing animals came up after talking to an array of pet-owning constituents “from all walks of life.”

“Social media is free, and you can set up a page for just about anything,” Gatti said.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ahoy, Barkus: pups parade the French Quarter Feb. 19

Posted By on Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 5:30 PM

A drum major with the "St. Pawgustine Marching Band."
  • A drum major with the "St. Pawgustine Marching Band."

King Maximilian and Queen Athena led a procession of dukes, maids and past royalty — all of them dogs — as the Krewe of Barkus presented its 2017 parade in the French Quarter Feb. 19.

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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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