Animals & Pets

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Meet the woman who rescues Louisiana rats

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 6:31 PM

  • Delilah the rat.

It's been a ratty couple of weeks in New Orleans (well, rattier than usual).

Sparked by a viral clip of chubby brown rats taking the air at a Decatur Street restaurant, suddenly rats were everywhere — the evening news, the front page of The New Orleans Advocate, all over Twitter, where reactions ranged from "Rats in the Quarter, what's new?" to "I'm never leaving the house again."

But there's one Louisiana woman who's a staunch defender of rats' right to ... rat. As founder and director of For the Love of Rats Rescue in Walker, Darleen Watts says rats aren't something to be feared. Since 2012, she estimates she's rescued more than 4,000 rats — both wild and domestic — including hoarding cases that bring in more than 100 rats at a time.

She's also kept pet rats, who sometimes take their own star turn on her Facebook feed.

"Of course you get those comments — "'Ew, how disgusting,'" she says. "And then you get those comments of 'Oh, how cute.'"

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Why is a state Senate bill clarifying state law on bestiality so controversial? Because: Louisiana

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 6:54 PM

State Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, presented his anti-bestiality bill April 25. - PHOTO BY DREW WHITE/MANSHIP SCHOOL NEWS SERVICE
  • State Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, presented his anti-bestiality bill April 25.

State legislators made more progress Wednesday toward strengthening a state law that bans sex with animals.

The House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee passed the bill 14-0 after much debate, sending it to the House floor. The bill, written by state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, was approved by the Senate earlier this month.

The bill aims to modernize and clarify the law on bestiality in Louisiana.

“The law is very archaic and doesn’t address any modern implications like video voyeurism and doesn’t address soliciting animals for sex on the Internet,” Morrell told the House committee.

“What we seek to do is take bestiality out of its current problematic section of the law and give it its own clear concise statute that allows law enforcement to prosecute individuals that do this under the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
The bill would create a separate statute against sexually abusing an animal rather than wrapping the offense into the section of existing law that describes various “crimes against nature,” including sodomy.

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Tricentennial Dog Parade in City Park on Sunday canceled due to weather forecast

Posted By on Sat, Apr 21, 2018 at 11:32 AM

A bummed-out dog. - CREATIVE COMMONS/TESS
  • A bummed-out dog.

The NOLA 300 Tricentennial Dog Parade, which was scheduled to take place Sunday in New Orleans City Park, has been canceled due to threats of bad weather. The cancellation follows that of the "Citywide Family Reunion" in Armstrong Park,  which also was scheduled for Sunday; the musical portion of that even has been moved to the Orpheum Theater.

The dog parade, which was sponsored by Gambit, is part of the city's official tricentennial activities. A makeup event is being scheduled.

More information below the jump.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Would you hire a 'nutrition service' called Nutria?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 1:23 PM


A generation ago, tourism and state officials attempted to solve the problem of Louisiana's invasive nutria rat by coming up with a campaign to get people not only to shoot the critters, but to eat them:
But what if nutria were to become in the 90's what redfish was to epicures in the 80's? Redfish was nearly wiped out in Louisiana when the New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme started preparing it with a dense pepper char. Scientists only hope as much could be done for the nutria.

If the situation is eat or be eaten, that is where Dr. Thomas comes in. He is the father of the annual ''Nutriafest,'' a campy event that features a cooking contest designed to encourage consumption of the rodents. State officials say Dr. Thomas was the first person who came to mind when Louisiana received a $2.07 million Federal grant to help eradicate the pest by increasing its commercial potential. The taste is most often compared to rabbit.
Yeah, you can say "tastes like rabbit" all you want, but most people can't get over eating a swamp rat-beaver with pumpkin-orange teeth, even if you try to rebrand the rat as "ragondin" and come up with recipes like "Ragondin à l’Orange" — which is why it's puzzling that a new "personalized nutrition coach" service has launched calling itself "Nutria":

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Dog-friendly movie nights to begin at Zeitgeist

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 12:43 PM


Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center will institute BYOD ("Bring Your Own Dog") movie nights on Tuesdays beginning April 10.

The theater on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard screens arthouse, indie, horror, documentary and other films; BYOD screenings will feature the theater's regular programming. Tomorrow's screening is part five of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Eight Hours Don't Make a Day miniseries at 7 p.m.

Water is provided by the theater, and dogs do not need a ticket to attend.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Sen. John Neely Kennedy introduces his 'WOOFF Act,' and online commenters get snarky

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 3:42 PM

Woof indeed.
  • Woof indeed.

When a puppy died on a United airlines flight on Monday, Sen. John Neely Kennedy sprang into action, producing the cutely acronymed Welfare of Our Furry Friends (WOOFF) Act with Nevada Sen. Cortez Masto.
This did not go over well with a number of folks on social media, who noted Kennedy had yet to propose any legislation after a gunman killed 17 students at a Florida high school one month ago. A sampling of the blowback:

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

That horrible story about the dog that died on the United Airlines flight? Sen. John Kennedy is looking into it

Posted By on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 1:58 PM

  • A United Airlines plane.

If you haven't read about it already, don't ruin the rest of your day — just know that United Airlines (you know, the company that drags doctors out of their seats) screwed up again yesterday with tragic results. A flight attendant insisted that a passenger put her pet carrier containing a French bulldog puppy in an overhead compartment instead of under the seat, and the puppy died in flight. (United is having a shitty week in general with pets; it also sent a German shepherd that was supposed to be traveling to Kansas to Japan instead.)

It turns out that killing pets is a particular problem with United. Here's the U.S. Dept. of Transportation statistics on animal deaths on U.S. airlines in 2017:


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Monday, October 30, 2017

Acro-Cats returning to New Orleans in December

Posted By on Mon, Oct 30, 2017 at 4:45 PM

The Rock Cats, rocking out. Promised versions of "A Cat in a Manger" and "Catnip Roasting on an Open Fire" were not performed.
  • The Rock Cats, rocking out. Promised versions of "A Cat in a Manger" and "Catnip Roasting on an Open Fire" were not performed.

In keeping with our editorial policy of informing New Orleans of all things cats-related
, we are happy to announce The Amazing Acro-Cats are returning to New Orleans in December for their annual holiday residency in the Crescent City.

America's favorite (only?) Cirque du Feline will once again thrill discerning theatergoers with 14 seasonally-themed performances at the Theater on St. Claude Dec. 1-16:

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Crescent City Cat Club, Marigny cat cafe, opens Nov. 4

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 9:24 AM


Get ready, New Orleans: a real live cat cafe (well, mostly) is coming soon to a trendy neighborhood near you.

Crescent City Cat Club (CCCC), a "visitation and adoption facility" located in Faubourg Marigny, opens Nov. 4 and features both indoor and outdoor cat habitats for 10-15 furry friends. The resident cats have been locally sourced from Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter and move in this weekend.

There's a $7 fee to hang out at this cat party, or for $10 you can enjoy a drink (coffee, soda, water) and a snack (chips, cookies, nuts, popcorn) during your visit. You may also bring your own refreshments, and there's free Wi-Fi and "cat-related media offerings." CCCC accommodates roughly 10 guests at a time.

The facility probably can't guarantee that the cats will enjoy your company — or even notice you're there — but if you happen to make a connection, the animals are adoptable and your CCCC entry fee is refundable if you take one home.

More information is available on the organization's website or by calling (833) 665-2228 (NOL-ACAT).

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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


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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