SE TX man hopes social media will help find wolf that’s been missing since Hurricane Harvey struck on August 28th.

A shy but lovable black wolf-dog named LeRoux went missing in Orange County during Harvey and his owner, Jerry Mills, desperately wants to find him.

“I’m so afraid someone is going to shoot him,” Mills said.
“He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.
He was bottle-fed and hand-raised.”

 

LeRoux, who is a high-content wolf-dog, went missing on Aug. 28  after he jumped a fence to escape the rapidly rising floodwaters in Orange, TX.  Mills has no idea where he may be. 

“I wouldn’t surprise me if they find him in Oklahoma,” Mills said, hoping to utilize social media to track him down.

 

The former breeder and long time wolf advocate has been raising the animals for 30 years. Mills currently has five dogs and feeds them soy-free, grain-free meat based kibble.

Leroux is 35 inches TALL at the shoulders and six and a half feet long from nose to tail. He has black fur, yellow eyes and a small white blaze on his chest ” Mills said. 

He is intimidating but Mills is hoping that someone who loves animals will contact him, rather than “hanging him on their wall.”

 

If you see LeRoux, contact Mr. Mills at (409) 330-0871.

Injunction Sought Against Further Killings After Washington State Nearly Wipes Out Three Packs for One Livestock Owner

For Immediate Release, September 25, 2017

Lawsuit Challenges Washington Wolf-killing Protocol

OLYMPIA, Wash.— Two conservation groups filed a lawsuit today seeking to stop the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and its director, James Unsworth, from killing any more state-endangered wolves.

Today’s suit, filed on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands, asserts that the agency’s killing of wolves from the Smackout and Sherman packs in northeastern Washington relied upon a faulty protocol and failed to undergo required environmental analysis. The suit was filed in Superior Court of Washington for Thurston County.

“We can’t sit by and watch Washington wildlife officials kill more wolves from the state’s small and recovering wolf population,” said Amaroq Weiss, the Center’s West Coast wolf advocate. “Washingtonians overwhelmingly want wolves recovered, not killed. The Department of Fish and Wildlife needs to listen to public opinion and consider the dire environmental costs of killing more wolves.”

In June of this year, Fish and Wildlife officials adopted a revised “wolf-livestock interaction protocol” for determining when to kill wolves in response to livestock conflicts. The protocol provided for the state to kill wolves more quickly than in prior years. As the lawsuit notes, the protocol was adopted without any public input or environmental review, in violation of the state’s Environmental Policy and Administrative Procedure Acts.

“Reasonable minds can differ on when we should and should not be killing wolves, and whether the killing of the wolves in these two packs was justified, ” said Nick Cady, legal director for Cascadia Wildlands. “But there is no question that we should be fully analyzing the efficacy of these actions, welcoming public and scientific input, and be able to hold the state accountable. This is a state agency spending taxpayer dollars.”

The department has since relied on the protocol to order killing of wolves from two packs, with two wolves from the Smackout pack and one wolf from the Sherman pack killed to date. At the time of the Sherman pack kill order, only two wolves could be confirmed as comprising the pack, one of which the department has now killed. The department has temporarily paused killing wolves from both packs, but will resume if there are more livestock losses.

Overall, since 2012, the state has killed 18 state-endangered wolves, nearly 16 percent of the state’s current confirmed population of 115 wolves. Fifteen of the wolves killed since 2012 were killed on behalf of the same livestock owner; those kills have now led to the near eradication of three entire wolf packs, including the Profanity Peak pack last year, and the Wedge pack in 2012. The rancher in question has been a vocal opponent of wolf recovery and has historically refused to implement meaningful nonlethal measures designed to protect his livestock from wolves.

Washington’s wolves were driven to extinction in the early 1900s by a government-sponsored eradication program on behalf of the livestock industry. The animals began to return from neighboring Idaho and British Columbia in the early 2000s, and their population has grown to 20 confirmed packs as of the end of 2016.

But wolf recovery in Washington is still a work in progress. Wolves remain absent from large areas of the state and although the population has been growing, it remains small and vulnerable. Given the continued endangered status of wolves, the state and livestock operators should stick to nonlethal methods as the sole means for reducing loss of livestock to wolves.

“We appreciate that many livestock owners already are using nonlethal methods, said Weiss, “since the science shows such methods are more effective anyway.”

Plaintiffs are represented in the case by attorneys from the law firm Lane Powell.

Amaroq Weiss, Center for Biological Diversity, (707) 779-9613, aweiss@biologicaldiversity.org
Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, (314) 482-3746, nick@cascwild.org

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/wolf-09-25-2017.php

Have some FUN. Quiz tests differences between wolves and coyotes

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeHL-OELiIAlFmaQMTLLktKqnIx39csgWj7n0-Zxtb_3eKUqg/viewform – LINK to the QUIZ.

This time of year, a wolf pup can look like a full-grown coyote. Young wolves are just as small as coyotes and their coats are a similar color.

And if you’re on the hunt for coyotes, you don’t want to accidentally shoot a wolf, which is a protected species. Hunting or accidentally taking a wolf is illegal and carries the potential for huge fines.

So, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife created an online quiz to teach people the differences between the two species. The quiz includes 20 photos and asks participants to decide if the photo is of a wolf or a coyote. After submitting each answer, the quiz offers tips on how to tell them apart.

ODFW spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said the quiz, released online Sept. 19, has been a fun way to educate both hunters and the general public. As of Friday, 16,791 people had taken the quiz.

“There was a desire to make something that hunters and others could use to test their knowledge,” Dennehy said. “It’s not just for hunters. We appreciate the general public taking it too.”

A main difference between the two species is size. An adult coyote weighs between 15 and 30 pounds and stands about 1 1⁄2 feet tall and 4 feet long. A grown wolf is much larger, weighing between 70 to 100 pounds and is about 2 1⁄2 feet tall and 6 feet long.

Size can be hard to judge for hunters, so wildlife officials suggest learning other characteristics. Most notably, coyotes have a narrow face and snout, while wolves have a blocky face and snout.

Wolves are no longer listed under the state Endangered Species Act, but they are considered a special status game mammal and protected by the Oregon Wolf Plan throughout the state, according to ODFW.

Wolf populations fluctuate, but at least 112 wolves were counted in Oregon in 2016. Wildlife officials in 2016 documented 11 wolf packs, with eight breeding pairs. Wolves currently in the state either migrated from Idaho or were born here.

Most of the wolf packs are found in Northeast Oregon, with others being found in the Southwest. No wolf packs have been discovered in Des­chutes County.

“We are not aware of a resident pack in the Bend area,” Dennehy said.

There is no hunting season for wolves in Oregon. In October 2015, a Baker City man was charged with shooting and killing a radio-collared gray wolf in Grant County that he mistook for a coyote.

The hunter, Brennon D. Witty, voluntarily notified the state wildlife officials and Oregon State Police that he shot the wolf while hunting coyotes on private property south of Prairie City, according to media reports at the time.

In February 2016, Witty pleaded guilty to taking a threatened or endangered species and was fined $1,000. Wolves were listed under the state’s Endangered Species Act at the time of the incident. He was also ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution to ODFW, and his firearm was forfeited to the state.

Oregon wildlife officials rely on people, including hunters, to report wolf sightings. A reporting form is available on the wildlife department’s website. Reports from the public can help wildlife biologists know where to do their wolf surveys.

“We do get wolf reports from the general public,” Dennehy said. “We can’t always respond immediately to a report, but it does help with surveys.”

HAVE FUN WITH THUS EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE.  TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND SAVE A WOLF!!!!!

http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/5616347-151/quiz-tests-differences-between-wolves-and-coyotes

If not us – Who? If not now – When?

So here it is….the aftermath.  The hurricanes have passed.  Crisis is over.  We go back to our lives. How normal everything is on all the wolfdog groups.  People are showing off pics of their pretty wolfdogs.  Wolfdog questions are being asked, answers are given.  Petty bullying is back.  Judgmental acrimonious behavior in full swing. Life goes on right?

It goes on until those affected in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico walk out the front doors of homes not theirs; either a parent’s house, a friend’s house or their children’s house if one is so fortunate…or we walk out of our houses (those that still have them!)  and see the big trees that have fallen, see the water still reddish from being off for over a week.  We sop the water off the floors and put fans to dry the walls.  We call out for our missing four legged friends that were lost in the storm and only here silence.  Our Puerto Rican brother’s and sister’s spend another night looking at the stars to light their nights.  Those of us that lost our jobs during this hurricane or lost work…pray for a miracle to pay next month’s bills. It all seems so surreal watching the world we live in and the world on Facebook.  All so simple…like rebooting a computer.

I am one of the fortunate ones.  We had hurricane force winds, rains, trees feeling down all around us…no power or water for 7 days, a house full of family and friends and we survived intact.  Long distance friends and family talk about how we all dodged a bullet and aren’t we glad it was not that bad. It was a bad storm.  Many of my friends lost their homes, their pets, their livelihood.  One acquaintance lost her life.  For those safe, warm and dry…….platitudes are not welcome in our home!

So what is the point?  Do I want the wolfdog community to be in perpetual mourning and grief?  Do I want thousands more PM’s stating how “sorry they are” for the situation? Do I want  another fundraiser?  Do I want yet another meaningless hashtag “we stand with florida/texas/puerto rico (which means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when you have no water….electricity..or home).

Simply in a word..No.

I see at least 10,000 active in wolfdog community on Facebook, I see Wolfdog Radio with over 25,000 listeners.  I see people still crushed in spirit, still hurting standing fierce, tall, proud and silent as if to say “we are still here –we are alive!”

Everyone out there that is reading this blog…..and on Facebook.   When you PM someone…look at the menu on the PM screen….do you see that coin with the dollar sign?   Did you know you can send money?  $1, $5 any amount and with no charge to an individual person (image below!)

 

You can make a PERSONAL gesture.   All of you KNOW some one, one individual person that has been DRASTICALLY affected by the hurricanes, you KNOW someone who is in pain and needs help. Send them 1 dollar…send them $5.00 dollars.  When you go to McDonald’s – instead of getting Double Triple Quarter Pounder…get something on the dollar menu and send someone you know the other dollar.  This is something we ALL can do. We have to do it. We need to do it.  Sometimes just knowing that someone out there gave you their hard-earned dollar…means more than you will ever know.

A past president gave a speech that is pretty apropos:

“We have to ask ourselves if we do nothing, where does all of this end. Can anyone here say that if we can’t do it, someone down the road can do it, and if no one does it, what happens to the country? I know it’s a hell of a challenge, but ask yourselves if not us, who, if not now, when?”

Let’s rise to this challenge.  Right know wolfdogs face an uncertain future. Legislation is being passed like a knife through soft butter.  But we are not soft butter.  We have skins of steel and strong hearts.  We leave no one behind, we walk through hell together and what hurts one ….hurts all of us – Humankind and Wolf-kind alike.   Let the week of September 25th be the week where we reach out and help as many individuals that have been affected one on one.  Everyone of us can do this.  You can do this.  I can do this.  We can do this.

Deanna Moose

Owner/Producer Wolf Dog Radio

When it comes to finding a trainer for Fido, beware of dog … trainer

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/smarter-living/how-to-find-a-qualified-dog-trainer.html.   Ann Wessel / St. Cloud Times via Associated Press.

The world of dog training can be a bit like the “wild west of professions,” where anyone can advertise being a trainer without necessarily having gone through proper education or licensing, said Jean Donaldson, director of California’s Academy for Dog Trainers.

“It’s kind of like if there were kidney specialists but there was no need to go to medical school or get a medical license,” she said. “That’s not O.K.”

Beyond wasting time and money, unqualified trainers can cause psychological harm to your pet, possibly leading to permanent damage. “The dog can suffer,” said Marc Bekoff, an animal behaviorist in Colorado who has written extensively on canine psyche. “You can be using techniques that won’t work or using techniques that increase fear and stress.”

Mr. Bekoff added: “All you have to do is put up a sign that says you’re a dog trainer.”  So how do dog owners, when seeking a trainer, make sure that they get the real deal?

Look for Certifications

Owners should look out for the handful of reputable certifications dog trainers can earn.

“It’s kind of like doing a background check,” Mr. Bekoff said. Certified Pet Dog Trainer, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and Certified Dog Behavior Consultants are three that experts point to. Accolades from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the American Animal Hospital Association are also promising signs.

Certifications, however, are not a guarantee, said Dr. Ian Dunbar, an animal behaviorist in California who runs seminars for dog trainers. It is not unheard of that such credentials might be faked. Moreover, these programs tend to focus more on theory than practice.

To verify such certifications, “check with the body the trainer claims certifications from,” Ms. Donaldson said.

Trainers Should be People People

It is obvious that trainers should be good with dogs, but they should be equally competent with humans, too.

“If the owner comes away feeling, ‘Oh my god, the trainer is this natural genius with dogs, but I have no idea what to do at home,’ and they come away feeling inadequate, that’s a flag,” Ms. Donaldson said.

“The trainer has to be someone who’s good with people, who understands people psychology and motivation,” Dr. Dunbar said. “In addition to being able to tell people what to do, they have to motivate people to do it.” You want a trainer that “you click with,” he said.

Person-to-person communication is key with trainers, but words matter only so far as they can be translated into action. “Any kind of woo-woo language, about ‘energy,’ ‘packs,’ ‘leadership;’ anything that sounds very non-concrete, where you come away thinking, ‘O.K., but what’s actually going to physically happen with my dog here?’; any attempt to obfuscate — that is a huge red flag,” Ms. Donaldson said.

Experts suggest, too, for owners to preview trainers before signing up. Attend a session to observe. “If they don’t allow that, then I wouldn’t go,” Dr. Dunbar said. At the very least, he adds, insist on “a trial session.”

Expect Personal Questions

The best dog trainers will want to know about the bond you have with your dog, Mr. Bekoff said.

“Look at the relationship you have with your dog, because that’s what it’s all about,” he said. Paramount, then, to correcting a behavioral issue is figuring out how a given issue relates to the relationship between dog and guardian. A good trainer, advises Mr. Bekoff, will say to you: “Tell me about you and your relationship with your dog: Do you work at home? Are you home a lot? How many people are in your house?”

Personal trainers should also be willing to operate remotely, adds Dr. Dunbar, and venture into the real world to an area where a dog is misbehaving: adog park, for instance, or along a regular walking route.

Avoid Heavy-Handed Tactics

A rewards-based approach is always better than fear-based, and across breeds, too.

“If they’re eschewing the use of positive reinforcement, saying, ‘We don’t want to use food or toys,’ that’s just not going to get the job done. That’s been amply disproved by research, Ms. Donaldson said. “Anyone making that claim is on very flimsy ground.”

Mr. Bekoff agreed. “You can get a dog to do whatever you want him to do in a heavy-handed way, but then you’ve got a miserable dog and a terrible relationship between you and your dog,” he said. “Positive reinforcement is definitely the move.”

Dr. Dunbar said research backs up this idea. “It’s a scientific fact that reward-training is quicker and more effective than punishment-training,” he said. “Why? There’s only one thing to teach: what’s right.” By contrast, with the harsher training, you have to “punish each and every mistake.”

“And when you screw up with treats, the dog loves you,” he added. “You screw up with a shock-collar, you’ve done a lot of damage, the dog doesn’t like you very much, and he doesn’t like training.”

Additional Helpful Resources

Dog Star Daily, a site started by Dr. Dunbar with a cornucopia of articles on dog training, including free e-books for download

Everything You Need to Know About Trainer Certifications, a comprehensive article by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers about training certificates

Dog Emotion and Cognition course, a free online class from Duke University taught by Dr. Brian Hare, an associate professor of evolutionary anthropology with a specialty in dogs.

 

 

Animal Tracks Is One Of L.A.’s Most Unique, Fun Experiences you MUST visit

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebaltin/2017/09/15/why-animal-tracks-is-one-of-l-a-s-most-unique-and-fun-experiences/#15e184a04062.  Steven Baltin – Contributor

Condensed from above URL.  Visit it to read the full story.

One of the many goals of Animal Tracks, (http://animaltracksinc.org/), run by former movie animal trainer Gunderson, and her husband, a current movie animal trainer, is to educate people about animals. It’s not a zoo, though she jokes, not without reason, the sanctuary, where she and her family live with the animals, is like the Cameron Crowe movie, We Bought A Zoo.

“Other than the fact they all drink, they all eat, they all poop, they’re all different,” Gunderson says of the many species of animals at Animal Tracks. “I will say you would never treat a sugar glider the way you treat a chimpanzee and you would never treat a chimpanzee the way you treat an alligator.  Every single species, I have found, has that little something unique to know.”

Los Angeles native Michelle Cano is a devout animal lover who has lived a great deal of her life about 30 minutes from Animal Tracks, Inc., an animal sanctuary in Aqua Dulce, California.

Animal Tracks qualifies as both hidden and an absolute gem. For animal lovers it is one of the most enjoyable and unique days you can have in L.A. As we did the three-hour tour we looked at each other countless times and said, “I never thought I’d see this,” starting with the opening of the tour, where we watched two monkeys getting a bath, Baltin stated.

Whether it’s the kangaroo or armadillo Cano mentions, or the wolf hybrid, Scout, a serval named Monzo, the hedgehog Harley Quill, the giant frog Prince Charming, or the python, The Erminator, all the members of the group get to wrap around their shoulders, the animals clearly trust and love the staff members.

Gunderson explains that is the result of a lot of training. “You have to do 10,000 hours with each species,” she says. “It’s very regulated, through the USDA and they come out and inspect us. They set the rules and regulations. Then you have California Fish And Wildlife and they come out and this is all spot, they don’t tell you when they’re coming, they just show up whenever they like. And Fish And Game is the most in depth, it’s probably about 50 pages, and that’s just to renew your permits, it’s not to add new species. Before you can add new species you have to prove you have the caging and the credits, you have to say why you want it and then they determine if that’s okay.”

“The monkeys bathing was my favorite,” Cano says. “They were so adorable and to see them bathing themselves, they’re like people.”

Monkeys taking a bath, something you have to see to believe, a common refrain at Animal Tracks, is one of the many one-of-a-kind experiences you have at Animal Tracks. After the bathing experience, our group – their tours go up to 10 people – is escorted outside to a picnic table for the “Monkey Experience.”

There we spent an hour as the different monkeys are introduced to the group. We are instructed by trainer Stacy Gunderson and her staff to let the monkeys come to us, which they do in their time. Once they get comfortable, in between eating fruit and granola from a bowl in the middle of the picnic table, they climb on us, feel our faces, playfully take our stuff, like my sunglasses, and interact with the group.

Monkeys taking a bath, something you have to see to believe, a common refrain at Animal Tracks, is one of the many one-of-a-kind experiences you have at Animal Tracks. After the bathing experience, our group – their tours go up to 10 people – is escorted outside to a picnic table for the “Monkey Experience.”

There we spent an hour as the different monkeys are introduced to the group. We are instructed by trainer Stacy Gunderson and her staff to let the monkeys come to us, which they do in their time. Once they get comfortable, in between eating fruit and granola from a bowl in the middle of the picnic table, they climb on us, feel our faces, playfully take our stuff, like my sunglasses, and interact with the group.

Cano has been to many of the biggest L.A. animal sanctuaries and she has no problem calling Animal Tracks her favorite. “It’s the most hands on,” she says. “I always wanted to pet a kangaroo and I got to do that here. I got to pet an armadillo. I love how much you get to interact with the animals.”

Gunderson admits taking over Animal Tracks, which they did in 2008, was not easy. Now that they have one of the most unique spots in all of L.A., and arguably the best for animals, their goal is to expand greatly in the next few years.

“I would like to set up a place where people can come with strollers, with shade trees and kid-friendly animals, with bunny rabbits, and they can picnic. I’d love to have a hands-on area where people can hang out with flamingoes and monkeys and have that bucket list experience,” she says. “And I would love to have an area where we can do educational shows, where people can come to us and we can have school buses come and we can educate kids. We’ve really outgrown this facility, we’re looking for something bigger, better, faster, stronger.”

Animal Tracks deserves to grow and for everybody to know about it. After Cano and I posted our experiences there on social media, we both received numerous messages from friends wanting to know where this is and how to go and experience the tour. We only hope that as it grows it does not lose the intimacy that makes Animal Tracks so special.

Enjoy an exceptional offer from Rick Lamplugh on wolves and Yellowstone.

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