animals – Michmutters

NYC carriage horse on the mend after scary collapse: stable worker

The sick carriage horse that collapsed on a busy Manhattan street won’t be sold off or euthanized as a result, a stable employee insisted to The Post on Thursday.

The horse, named Ryder, spent the night at the West Side Livery stables on West 38th Street after he was filmed lying in the middle of the street in Hell’s Kitchen as his driver repeatedly struck him and ordered him to “get up.”

Christina Hansen, a carriage driver who works at the stable, told The Post it was “highly unlikely” the 14-year-old horse would be put down or sold off following Wednesday’s caught-on-camera order.

“He’s not going to be sold,” the top hat-wearing Hansen said, adding that she’d spoken to the horse’s owner earlier Thursday.

Ryder was examined by a veterinarian after being brought back to the stable by the NYPD’s mounted unit following his collapse — and the diagnosis was Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, a neurological disease caused by possum droppings, Hansen said.

Hansen said it was unlikely the horse would be put back to work immediately because he’ll need treatment for EPM.

Ryder has stayed at West Side Livery stables in Manhattan.
Robert Miller
Ryder collapsed on ground
Ryder collapsed in Midtown Manhattan on Aug. 10, 2022.

“It would be irresponsible,” Hansen, who is also a union shop steward, said of having him lug a carriage right away.

“We have all the time in the world. We’ll do what’s right by the horse. He’s going to be treated and we’ll figure out one of the best places for him to retire to,” she added.

The stable worker said Ryder, who has only been in the Big Apple since April after being used as an Amish buggy horse, was already doing “really well.”

“He’s been great. He’s been plowing through there. He’s been eating his carrots,” Hansen said.

Her insistence that Ryder won’t be cast aside came after the president of NYCLASS — an anti-horse carriage group — claimed the horse was at risk of being sold for slaughter following his collapse.

“If the owner simply sells Ryder, he is at serious risk of ending up being sold for slaughter or in some other terrible situation,” Edita Birnkrant said in a statement.

Birnkrant said the organization had already offered to “place Ryder in a sanctuary where he would receive lifelong love and care and proper veterinary care.”

Christina Hanson
Carriage driver Christina Hansen told The Post that it was “highly unlikely” that Ryder would be put down or sold off.
Robert Miller
West Side Livery stable
The carriage involved in the incident parked outside of West Side Livery stable on Thursday.
Robert Miller

Meanwhile, animal activists — including NYCLASS — descended on City Hall on Thursday to call on the City Council to fast track legislation that’ll phase out horse carriages in the Big Apple. That bill was introduced by Councilman Bob Holden last month.

If passed, the new measure would give horse drivers preferences for electric carriage licensure and require they be paid union wages.

“The collapse of Ryder in peak rush hour traffic in Midtown Manhattan is tragic, unforgivable … and entirely preventable,” said Dr. Jim Keen, director of Veterinary Sciences for Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy.

Cut on skin seen on horse.
Injuries are seen on Ryder, possibly from the collapse in midtown.
Robert Miller
Another cut was found on the rear right side of Ryder.
Another cut was found on the rear right side of Ryder.
Robert Miller

“Whether he collapsed from overwork and heat exhaustion, or, even worse, overwork, heat exhaustion and untreated EPM, there is no excuse to treat a horse like an expendable machine. There is a simple solution: prohibit carriage horses from dense urban areas, and replace them with electric carriages as Councilman Bob Holden proposed.”

Ashley Byrne, PETA’s director of outreach and communication, said the legislation, if passed, would “be a win for everyone.”

“It would be a win for the workers. Their jobs would be preserved and would be much better and have benefits. It would also protect the public from accidents and run away horse incidents, that we have seen far too many of. And obviously a win for the horses,” she said.

Cut on Ryder's leg
A cut was also found on Ryder’s leg.
Robert Miller
Ryder and Christina Hansen.
According to paperwork, Ryder is 14 years old.
Robert Miller

Mayor Eric Adams didn’t answer questions about the horse collapse Thursday.

One protester, Lisa Forsee, 60, took direct aim at Hizzoner over his silence.

“I am ashamed of him. He is running this city. He is allowing animal abuse. It’s documented. He needs to do something about it,” she said.

Additional reporting by Desheania Andrews



Weevils in caves, fish, and an ant that ‘babysits’ caterpillars among 139 new species classified by CSIRO

The CSIRO has released details of more than 136 new species of animals and three plants identified in the past year.

The new species include four fish, 117 insects, 11 jumping spiders, three plants, a frog, a millipede, an earthworm, and a marine trematode — a parasitic flatworm.

The trematode was found inside a fish.

Close up of sucker mouth.
The oral sucker of Enenterum petrae under microscope. Baby Petra doesn’t know how lucky she is.(Supplied: Daniel Huston/Zootaxa)

Now called Enenterum petraeit was named after the baby daughter of its identifier, Petra.

David Yeates, director of the CSIRO’s Australian National Insect Collection, said choosing a favorite out of the newly identified species was a bit like being asked to “choose a favorite child”.

However, he said one of the most interesting is a species of ant — now known as Anonychomyrma inclinata — which “babysits” the caterpillars from one of Australia’s rarest butterflies, the bulloak jewel butterfly.

An before
The newly named ant Anonychomyrma inclinata is the ‘obligate attendant’ for the rare and beautiful bulloak jewel butterfly Hypochrysops piceatus.(Supplied: CSIRO/Jon Lewis)

“The ants carry the little caterpillars out from under the bark of the bulloak tree to feed on the soft tips of the leaves or needles at night; they carry them out and then back,” Dr Yeates said.

It’s a symbiotic relationship, where the ants protect the caterpillars from other ants, and get something in return, he said.



Pet grooming Perth: Couture Canine co-founder Charmaine Cayeux opens up on growing demand from fur parents

Spending thousands of dollars on pet grooming may seem like something only the Kardashians would do, but families across Perth are spending big bucks to get their beloved pooch looking its best.

The global pet care industry is worth a staggering $374 billion. Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, so it is no surprise that dog grooming businesses are booming in the west.

Charmaine Cayeux, co-founder of Couture Canine grooming, has pioneered the opulent nature of looking after one’s furry friend in West Perth and has amassed a large clientele of owners willing to fork out tens of thousands of dollars every year to maintain their pet’s immaculate appearance .

Ms Cayeux’s luxury services, which include “doggy facials”, jacuzzi sessions, nail painting and stylized haircuts, can range between $150 and $500.

Yorkshire Terriers like Kenzo, along with Cavoodles, make up “90 per cent” of the furry customers at Couture Canine in West Perth.
Camera IconYorkshire Terriers like Kenzo, along with Cavoodles, make up “90 per cent” of the furry customers at Couture Canine in West Perth. Credit: ross swanborough/The West Australian

Due to extremely high demand, the company has a waitlist with more than 50 dogs from all over the State, who will wait at least a year to secure a coveted spot.

“We are developing this culture of dog grooming in Perth where it’s perfectly acceptable to take your dog for a blow dry twice a week,” she said.

“We have clients who spend over $400 a week and have done it for 15 years.”

Ms Cayeux revealed that 90 per cent of Couture Canine’s customers are Cavoodles and Yorkshire Terriers owned by professionals who work in Perth’s CBD — and who drop off their furry best friends in the morning to be groomed and attend “doggy daycare”.

Loyal customer Amanda Krzywoszyja, who regularly pampers her miniature poodle Henry Danger, believes that social media has been a big influence in the rise of luxury pet grooming.

“Every second pet seems to have Instagram, so it’s that social presence (online),” Ms Krzywoszyja said.

“Also, my partner will take Henry for a walk and he’ll be like ‘Oh my God. I’ve got so many comments on how good he looks’ and it’s that smiling moment of taking pride in how you care about them and (how) they’re living their best life.

“At the end of the day, they’re our best friends and are not around for a long time so why not give them the best opportunity that they can to be spoiled.”

Kim Kardashian has made no secret of her fur-baby pampering.
Camera IconKim Kardashian has made no secret of her fur-baby pampering. Credit: kim kardashian/Instagram

It seems luxury brands are also looking to profit from the booming industry, charging an obscene amount of money for everyday pet care items like brushes and collars.

Last month Italian fashion house Gucci released a pet collection with eye-watering prices as high as $12,000 for a dog bed, $630 for a poop bag holder and $570 for a designer leash.



Tribe: California wildfire near Oregon causes fish deaths

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. — A wildfire burning in a remote area just south of the Oregon border appears to have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Klamath River fish, the Karuk Tribe said Saturday.

The tribe said in a statement that the dead fish of all species were found Friday near Happy Camp, California, along the main stem of the Klamath River.

Tribal fisheries biologists believe a flash flood caused by heavy rains over the burn area caused a massive debris flow that entered the river at or near Humbug Creek and McKinney Creek, said Craig Tucker, a spokesman for the tribe.

The debris entering the river led to oxygen levels in the Klamath River dropping to zero on Wednesday and Thursday nights, according to readings from tribal monitors at a nearby water quality station.

A photo from the Karuk taken about 20 miles (32 kilometers) downstream from the flash flood in the tributary of Seiad Creek showed several dozen dead fish belly up amid sticks and other debris in thick, brown water along the river bank.

The full extent of the damage is still unclear but the tribe said late Saturday it appears the fish found dead 20 miles downstream were swept there after their deaths and that the fish kill isn’t impacting the entire river.

“We think the impact is limited to 10 or 20 miles of river in this reach and the fish we are seeing in Happy Camp and below are floating downstream from the ‘kill zone,’” the tribe said in an updated statement, adding it continues to monitor the situation.

The McKinney Fire, which has burned more than 90 square miles (233 square kilometers) in the Klamath National Forest, this week wiped out the scenic hamlet of Klamath River, where about 200 people lived. The flames killed four people in the tiny community and reduced most of the homes and businesses to ash.

Scientists have said climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the last three decades and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive. Across the American West, a 22-year megadrought deepened so much in 2021 that the region is now in the driest spell in at least 1,200 years.

When it began, the McKinney Fire burned just several hundred acres and firefighters thought they would quickly bring it under control. But thunderstorms came in with ferocious gusts that within hours had pushed it into an unstoppable conflagration.

The blaze was 30% contained on Saturday.

The fish kill was a blow for the Karuk and Yurok tribes, which have been fighting for years to protect fragile populations of salmon in the Klamath River. The salmon are revered by the Karuk Tribe and the Yurok Tribe, California’s second-largest Native American tribe.

The federally endangered fish species has suffered from low flows in the Klamath River in recent years and a parasite that’s deadly to salmon flourished in the warmer, slower-moving water last summer, killing fish in huge numbers.

After years of negotiations, four dams on the lower river that impede the migration of salmon are on track to be removed next year in what would be the largest dam demolition project in US history in an attempt to help the fish recover.


Flaccus reported from Portland, Oregon.



WA Police rescue ducklings in pouring rain on Perth’s Mitchell Freeway

WA Police have proven there is no case they can’t quack, braving the pouring rain to help rescue adorable ducklings that lost their way and waddled onto a Perth freeway earlier this week.

The group of about 10 Shelduck ducklings was spotted trying to cross the northbound lanes of Mitchell Freeway, just before the Hodges Drive exit in Heathridge, around 10.20am on Tuesday, August 2.

A WA Police spokesperson said police received multiple calls alerting them to the situation and Traffic Enforcement Group North officers sprang into action.

“Unfortunately, there was no sign of a mother duck, and the ducklings were in danger of being hit by cars,” they said.

The group of about 10 Shelduck ducklings was spotted trying to cross the northbound lanes of Mitchell Freeway, just before the Hodges Drive exit in Heathridge, around 10.20am on Tuesday, August 2.
Camera IconThe group of about 10 Shelduck ducklings was spotted trying to cross the northbound lanes of Mitchell Freeway, just before the Hodges Drive exit in Heathridge, around 10.20am on Tuesday, August 2. Credit: WA Police

The spokesperson said the officers, with the assistance of Main Roads WA staff and members of the public, were able to safely secure all but one of the ducklings.

Video of the rescue shows officers in the rain collecting the birds and entering a roadside storm drain in an attempt to scoop out the last duckling that got washed away.

“After several attempts, [the officer] was able to safely rescue the last duckling,” the spokesperson said.

Main Roads WA maintained a safe working area using their incident response service vehicle on the side of the freeway, while the rescue took place.

The ducklings were taken to Native Animal Rescue in Malaga, where they are now being cared for.



Man accused of shooting Lady Gaga’s dog walker recaptured after mistaken release

A suspect mistakenly released from a Los Angeles County jail where he was being held on suspicion of shooting Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stealing her French bulldogs has been recaptured.

James Howard Jackson, 19, was arrested nearly five months after being released from jail while awaiting trial “due to a clerical error,” the county Sheriff’s Department says.

Here’s what you need to know about the latest development in the saga.

Wait, what happened?

In February last year, Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was shot by a man who stole two of the singer’s French bulldogs in Hollywood.

Detectives said they did not believe the thieves knew the dogs, Koji and Gustav, were Lady Gaga’s at the time.

It is believed the offender was motivated by the value of French bulldogs, which can be thousands of dollars each.

Blonde woman hugs small yellow dog
Lady Gaga with one of her beloved French bulldogs.(Supplied: Instagram)

Is the dog walker OK?

Yes, but he has lost part of a lung as a result of his injuries.

In a social media post following the attack, Mr Fischer thanked Gaga for her support while he was fighting for life in hospital.

“You have shown so much support throughout this whole crisis to both me and my family,” he said.

“I look forward to the future and the moment when I get bombarded with kisses and licks (and maybe even an excitement pee?) from Asia, Koji, and Gustav.”

Man recovering in hospital.
Ryan Fischer thanked Lady Gaga for her support while he recovered in hospital.(Supplied: Instagram)

And the dogs?

They’re also safe and well.

Lady Gaga offered a $US500,000 reward ($643,000) — “no questions asked” — to be reunited with the dogs.

The dogs were returned two days later to an LAPD station by a woman who police initially said appeared to be “uninvolved and unassociated” with the crime.

three french bulldogs
Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs Koji, Miss Asia and Gustav. (Supplied: Instagram)

Who was charged?

A month after the kidnapping, multiple people were charged with attempted murder and robbery in connection with the armed snatching of Lady Gaga’s dogs and the shooting of their walker.

Police arrested James Jackson, 19, Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27, in connection with the violence.

Police also arrested 50-year-old Jennifer McBride — the woman who returned Lady Gaga’s dogs who police initially said appeared to be “uninvolved” with the crime.

Ms McBride turned out to be in a relationship with the father of one of the suspects.

So someone was arrested, then mistakenly released, but has now been recaptured?


Mr Jackson was mistakenly released from a Los Angeles jail in April this year, where he was being held on a charge of attempted murder.

Last month, US authorities offered a $US5,000 ($7,200) reward in return for information that led to his arrest.

At the time, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said the move aimed “to speed up the legal process” and Mr Jackson was arraigned under a new case number.

“Mr Jackson was subsequently released from custody by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. We are unsure as to why they did so,” the statement from the District Attorney’s Office read.




Victorian animal rights MP proposes ‘Veticare’ scheme to offer public care for pets and animals

Vet care in Victoria would become free or subsidized under proposed new laws to introduce a Medicare system for animals dubbed “Veticare”, to make seeing a vet more affordable and accessible.

Australia is experiencing a national vet shortage and combined with an increase in pet ownership during the pandemic, it has resulted in some vets closing their doors, particularly in rural and regional areas.

In response to the issue, the Animal Justice Party will introduce a motion into the Victorian parliament which includes establishing public vet hospitals, upskilling vet nurses and setting up a bulk-billing model for vet care.

It remains to be seen how many supporters the minor party will be able to win over with its bold new plan — but here’s how it says it would work.

Why has it been introduced?

Pets and wildlife are not getting the care they need because animal owners and rescuers simply cannot afford it, according to the Animal Justice Party leader Andy Meddick.

“Victoria has a vet shortage crisis, and it is not just creating animal welfare issues, it is driving up prices and placing unimaginable pressure on vets to work overtime, unsupported,” Mr Meddick said.

“Just like we can visit our doctor with a Medicare card, Veticare creates public clinics allowing for free or low-cost appointments.”

Penny Hocking has been a vet for more than three decades and said Veticare could make a huge difference, particularly in rural and regional areas.

Penny wears glasses and smiles at the camera
Vet Penny Hocking says free veterinary care would help ease the burden on animal rescue groups.(Supplied: Animal Justice Party)

“Some people are driving hours to get vet care in regional Victoria, because there is very limited after-hours services there and in the cities it can be very expensive,” she said.

“When people cannot afford vet care, not only does the animal not get adequate care but often they can be euthanized or surrendered to a rescue group who are burdened with the vet expenses.”

What would it cover and how would it work?

The system would cover everything from companion animals needing minor care, including a yearly check-up and injections, to more serious operations.

People who have domestic animals would pay an annual fee and receive a Veticare card.

The Veticare card means pet owners would pay a scheduled fee (as with Medicare) and depending on an owners financial situation, they would be charged a gap fee.

A sick dog
The ‘Veticare’ system would cover a range of procedures from yearly vaccinations to serious operations.(abcnews)

The laws would also introduce government-funded public veterinary hospitals which would be bulk-billed with no over-the-counter fees.

Vet clinics are privately owned and there are currently no public clinics in Victoria.

Who would be eligible?

Every Victorian pet owner would be eligible to have the scheduled fee covered for their vet appointment, but the gap fee would differ based on a person’s financial situation.

Concession, pension and healthcare cardholders would have the entire costs covered, receiving the same benefits as Medicare, for their pets through Veticare.

Animal rescuers and carers would be provided with a Veticare card but would not have to pay an annual fee, to recognize the contribution they make to protect animals.

A black dog with gray markings stars at the camera on a sunny day
‘Veticare’ would work in a similar way to Medicare, with scheduled fee coverage but gaps would be based on a person’s financial situation.(abcnews)

“Vets are often under stress because they have to attend to wildlife and use resources at their clinics they are not reimbursed for, we want to make sure they get that reimbursement,” Mr Meddick said.

As part of the laws, dedicated wildlife hospitals would also be set up in regional areas with wildlife-skilled vets to reduce the burden on other clinics, with the first hospital to be located on the Great Ocean Road near the Surf Coast.

“There is currently no wildlife vet or specialty service for the entire area of ​​western Victoria,” Mr Meddick said.

Is there anywhere else in the world that does it?

The proposal is an Australian first, and could be the first in the world.

“The idea sprung from the question how do we fix the vet crisis?” Mr Meddick said.

“We had to find a way to alleviate pressure on vets and their mental stress, alleviate financial stress on people who want their animals to be seen and the burden wildlife rescuers are placing on vets and vet nurses, so we looked to the health system and Medicare.”

Andy Meddick smiles, dressed in a dark blue shirt as he holds a small dog dressed in a warm coat, under gray skies.
Victorian Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick believes his bold vision will attract some support in parliament.(Supplied: Andy Meddick)

What about the issue of vet shortages?

Vets are leaving the industry in record numbers because of increasing stress and patient load.

The proposed laws would supply extra training and upskilling for vet nurses to become technicians and nurse practitioners.

In human medicine, nurse practitioners and technicians are allowed to do minor surgical procedures and the same principles would apply in the animal healthcare sector to reduce the patient load and burden on vets and enable more animals to be cared for.

Vet nurses would also be able to assess wildlife in a bid to free up time for vets to take on other appointments and improve access and encourage them to stay in the industry.

Dana hugs two dogs while sitting in a sunny yard
Vet Dr Dana Kolosky says many veterinarians have left the industry during the pandemic.(Supplied: Animal Justice Party)

Last year the Victorian government introduced vet nursing as a free TAFE course to help address the shortage.

Vet Dana Kolosky said since the pandemic the industry had lost a lot of staff.

“It is busier than ever, a huge amount of staff have left and the public has gone out and taken a lot more animals,” Dr Kolosky said.

“We experience a lot of stress and fatigue, it is not the well-paid, easy job that people perceive it to be, we take a lot of stress home and emotional blackmail is a huge issue – people say to us things like ‘if you don’t do this our animal will die’.”

“People look at vet care and think it is very expensive, but they are comparing it to a heavily subsidized human system.”

What happens next?

Today, the Animal Justice Party’s sole MP, Andy Meddick, is introducing the motion into the Victorian Parliament’s Upper House, where the state government does not have a majority.

A whippet sleeps under a doona with its head on a pillow
Mr Meddick argues his proposal would make access to vet care more equitable.(abcnews)

Mr Meddick said he had some crossbench support and he had been discussing the plan with the government.

“I would like to see it up and running within 12 months, but I can appreciate the government might want to spend more time on this,” Mr Meddick said.

As for the cost?

“I would be lying if I said it was going to be cheap, I would expect it to be over $10 million,” Mr Meddick said.

“But the benefit would far outweigh the costs.”