Lots of animal news in the headlines in the past few days:
Animal welfare groups are urging New York City to phase out horse-drawn carriages and replace them with antique cars in the wake of yet another accident. The horse, Oreo, bolted after being spooked by something on a busy street near Central Park last week, forcing authorities to shoot the Pennsylvania-bred horse with a tranquilizer gun and injured the driver and a passenger. The latest word is that Oreo may win an early retirement. (I still wonder why New Yorkers have not explored the idea of building a stable in the Central Park and restricting carriage rides to less-traveled park roads).
National Public Radio highlights a photo exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. that takes documents the Army working horses stationed at Virginia's Ft. Myer when they are at rest. These are the magnificent Percheron draft horses that pull the funeral carriages at Arlington National Cemetery.
A huge controversy has erupted over the hiker who left his dog on a Colorado mountain. The dramatic rescue of Missy, the injured German Shepherd, by a group of sympathetic hikers made national news and now, a new twist, the hiker who abandoned her in a storm - and is facing animal cruelty charges for doing so - wants his dog back. That's started a fresh round of debate on hiking blogs and chat rooms.
Tragedy in Georgia where animal rescuer and trainer Rebeca Carey, 23, was mauled and killed by her dogs and the director of DeKalb County Animal Control ordered all six of the dogs found at the home - including one belonging to her friend - destroyed. Carey's friends have set up a fund in her honor to help rescue dogs and encourage people not to be afraid to help them.
In royal canine news, Princess Beatrice's wee Norfolk Terrier lost a fight with Queen Elizabeth's six corgis. Eleven-year-old Max was visiting when the Queen's famous pack - which now includes three "dorgis," a corgi/dachsound mix (I had to look that one up) - turned on him. He nearly lost part of his ear and suffered serious puncture wounds, but is expected to recover.
The controversial abortion-related comments by GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin from Missiouri about victims of rape not getting pregnant, reminded us of the unforgettable words of a lobbyist for Pennsylvania dog breeders. Testifying before a PA House committee about five years ago, in the, well. heat of the dog law debate, the lobbyist told lawmakers that only happy dogs get pregnant. Ergo, Pennsylvania's commercial kennels couldn't be mistreating their dogs because they were producing so many puppies.
(Photo/Angel Franco/New York Times)