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Hurricane Florence: Trucker driving school bus rescues 64 dogs, cats from South Carolina

A Tennessee truck driver is being hailed as a hero after he rescued 64 shelter dogs and cats ahead of Hurricane Florence.

>> On WSOCTV.com: Florence’s aftermath: The latest news from the Carolinas

According to the Greenvale News, Tony Alsup, 51, from Greenback, Tennessee, drove a school bus to South Carolina last week as the deadly storm strengthened in the Atlantic. Once there, he stopped in Orangeburg, Georgetown, Dillon and North Myrtle Beach, picking up 53 dogs and 11 cats from area animal shelters.

>> Read more trending news 

“It’s so easy for people to adopt the small pets and the cuties and the cuddly,” Alsup, of Tony's Emergency Animal Rescue and Shelter, told the Greenvale News. “We take on the ones that deserve a chance even though they are big and a little ugly. But I love big dogs, and we find places for them.”

Related: Hurricane Florence: Coast Guard rescues beagles by boatful in floodwater

He drove them to a shelter in Foley, Alabama, which will distribute the animals to other shelters across the nation, the newspaper reported

Saint Frances Animal Center in Georgetown praised Alsup in a Facebook post Tuesday.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

"It's all true," the post said of Alsup, who also has saved animals from hurricane-hit Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida. "Tony swooped in at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning to pick up our 'leftovers' – the dogs with blocky heads, the ones with heartworm. The ones no one else will ever take. And he got them to safety. Not the most conventional evacuation, but surely the one with the most heart."

>> See the post here

Read more here.

Hurricane Florence: Evacuating a horse? This site can help you find a stable

Families are under evacuation orders ahead of Hurricane Florence, and that means taking their pets, too. But when your pet is a horse, things get a bit more difficult. 

>> Watch the news report here

WSB-TV’s Wendy Corona met with a woman who is stepping in to make it easier. 

“If someone had two horses and brought them, they could go here,” GoHorse.com co-creator Jenny Fudge said as she showed WSB-TV the paddocks where she could take in horses that needed to get out of the path of Hurricane Florence.

>> On WSOCTV.com: Tracking Hurricane Florence: Live updates from the Carolinas

“The travel situation is complicated, and the sooner they can get out, the better,” Fudge said.

Imagine moving a 1,000-pound horse into a 6-foot by 7-foot trailer, only half of which isn't even an arm’s length wide. That becomes a stressful situation for an animal not used to traveling. 

>> Hurricane Florence: North Carolina's wild horses should survive, experts say

Then throw in the traffic and the heat of the road, and it becomes stressful for the owner as well as the animal.

From that was born GoHorse.com, a site that lists stables along the East Coast, now with a special filter listing where hurricane evacuees are welcome.

>> On WSBTV.com: Hurricane Florence: Evacuating to Georgia? Here's where you can stay

“You just go on there and type the city you're looking for, and it will bring up a bunch of stables,” Fudge said.

The goal: less stress for a horse confined in a trailer and dealing with a possibly dangerous situation.

“They can stop drinking, which can later lead to colic, which can potentially lead to death,” Fudge said.

>> Read more trending news 

Through the website, horse owners who need to evacuate can better plan their escape and get their horses back to their natural environment.

If you have a pasture or stable space, you can also add it to GoHorse.com. It's easy to use and already seeing double its normal traffic due to Hurricane Florence.

Cat's ashes stolen in home burglary, Pennsylvania man says

Images from a Pennsylvania man’s home surveillance system appear to show someone breaking into his Duquesne house Monday morning.

>> Watch the news report here

In the images, you can see the alleged thief trying to get in through a sliding glass door while wearing gloves.

>> Read more trending news 

The homeowner told WPXI that once the man got inside, he went through the house and stole a number of items, including jewelry and ashes belonging to their family cat. 

>> On WPXI.com: Click here to watch a full report from WPXI's Gabriella Deluca

 

Florida alpaca dies after motorist feeds it Doritos, Cheese Nips, peanuts

A Florida animal hospital announced the death of a beloved community alpaca Saturday on Facebook.

>> See the Facebook post here

Creekside Animal Hospital in Fleming Island wrote: "It is with a heavy heart that we want to inform our clients and friends at [Swimming Pen Creek Elementary] that our youngest alpaca that was born out on the shared field over a year ago has passed away."

According to the post, a man in a blue car is responsible for the death of the alpaca.

>> Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel, to hang up skis in Florida

The animal hospital said he would dump food onto the field multiple times a week and that they had spoken to him multiple times.

Most recently, he left three boxes of animal crackers, a large bag of Doritos, two boxes of Cheese Nips and two bags of whole peanuts, the animal hospital said.

The animal hospital said the man "leaves the litter behind every single time and we clean it up."

The post said this was the first time peanuts were dumped, and the youngest alpaca overindulged.

>> Read more trending news 

The hospital said it did everything they could for him, even a blood transfusion from his father, but the young alpaca died nonetheless. 

The animal hospital said it "worked on him for 36 hours and just couldn't bring him back."

Employees with the animal hospital said they are now in fear for the rest of the herd, including the goats.

They said they will likely be moving them to a new location because they have no way to protect them from the man with the blue car. 

– Visit ActionNewsJax.com for the latest on this developing story.

Don't touch seal pups, officials say after man brings one to hotel room

They look so cute and so tempting to touch, but the harbor seal pups you see on beaches in Washington state aren’t for petting and they don’t need your help; in fact, your help can hurt or worse — even kill.

>> Watch the news report here

“This is pretty common; we see it all the time. Every year, we get these orphaned animals in that have had some sort of human disturbance,” said Jeff Brown, a wildlife naturalist at PAWS in Lynnwood.

PAWS staff members say what’s far less common is what happened to a baby seal transported to PAWS in mid-June at only a few days old.

>> What is red tide? Inside the toxic phenomenon destroying Florida’s marine life

A man spotted the pup on the beach in Ocean Shores, picked him up, took the animal back to his hotel room and called for help later that night.

“[This seal] did come in with some injuries and he did have some metabolic imbalances because of probably being away from mom for so long and being in the hotel room where he couldn’t get the nourishment he needed. So he is lucky that he pulled through,” said Dr. Nicki Rosenhagen, a PAWS veterinarian who worked to rehabilitate the seal.

Other seals who faced human interference haven’t been as lucky; a pup had to be euthanized after someone used a shopping bag to carry it off a beach in Westport two years ago.

Last summer, people crowded around a pup in Edmonds until Seal Sitters — volunteers trained to monitor the condition of our local seal pups — intervened. They tag the animals and often put a barrier around them to minimize disturbances.

“When a seal is hauled out, or comes out of the water, it may look orphaned but it can be there for up to 24 hours without seeing mom so that’s when we have those issues, when people think it’s been orphaned but it’s not,” Brown said.

Your touch, however, is what could cause the mother to abandon her pup.

>> Read more trending news 

So you’re welcome to take in the view from afar, and maybe you’ll even see PAWS’ success story swimming around Grays Harbor; he’ll be released Tuesday.

“We’re really excited. It was a little touch-and-go in the beginning; he had some wounds over his back and those metabolic imbalances that were concerning. But after a couple of weeks in care, he hit his stride and took off and has been putting on weight and eating really well, so yeah, we’re excited,” Rosenhagen said.

Experts say you should always stay at least 100 yards away from a seal on the beach, keep your dogs on a leash, and call NOAA at 866-767-6114 if you are concerned the animal is in distress.

Florida man slams dog to ground, breaks its pelvis, deputies say

A Florida man is behind bars after police say he abused a small dog and broke its pelvis during an altercation with a woman.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Sean Booth Chidester, 35, of Marathon, was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol on Tuesday evening after deputies posted his photo on Facebook and asked for the public's help to find him.

>> See the Facebook post here

 Deputies said the owner of the dog, a miniature pinscher named Penny, said Chidester "picked up Penny above his head with arms fully extended and slammed the dog to the ground from the top of a set of stairs." The woman took the dog to an animal hospital, where a vet discovered "multiple fractures" to its pelvis and possible nerve damage, deputies said. The vet also said Penny may not be able to urinate without a catheter, deputies said.

Chidester, a convicted felon, is being held on an animal cruelty charge. His bail was set at $50,000.

Read more here.

Officer Jack Russell? Lost dog becomes honorary police K-9 before reuniting with owner

A lost dog became a Massachusetts police officer’s co-pilot Monday. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Duane Boucher, the Orleans Police Department's animal control officer, found the Jack Russell terrier near the Pump House Surf Shop on Route 6A.

>> Read more trending news 

Orleans police wrote on Facebook, “Until his humans are found, Officer Jack Russell will patrol today with officer Boucher.”

>> See the post here

Boucher was able to reunite the dog, named Rocco, with his owner. He apparently slipped out of his collar and decided to go for a stroll. 

“Thank you so much to the Orleans PD for locating Officer Rocco and bringing him safely home,” his owner wrote on Facebook.

Ex-NFL star Jerod Mayo's missing dog found dead in trainer's house

The dog belonging to former New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has been found dead, the Rhode Island SPCA said.

>> Serial pet killer may have mutilated, slain 7 cats; $3K reward offered in search for suspect

The organization said the body of Knox, a 5-year-old English bulldog, was found in a home in Cranston, where its dog trainer lives. 

Cranston police have charged Ameila Ferriera with obstruction.

RISPCA said evidence indicates Ferreira has known about the whereabouts of Knox's dead body for several weeks and concealed his body from investigators. 

>> On Boston25News.com: Man who threw dog off bridge charged with animal cruelty, claims pup liked it, officers say

Investigators said additional charges may be filed depending on the results of a necropsy to determine how the animal died. 

On his Instagram page, Mayo wrote, "Unfortunately, the answers we prayed for regarding Knox aren't the ones we were ready to face."

Police in Wrentham, Massachusetts, were called to Joe's Rock, the conservation area off of West Street, for a report of a lost dog in June. 

At that time, Knox was being walked with another dog by a trainer from Cranston, Rhode Island, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

The trainer then lost track of Knox while taking care of the other dog, and Knox disappeared, police said.

The trainer called police, who responded and searched the area, authorities said.

LOOK: Labrador retriever's epic photobomb during owners' wedding goes viral

A playful pooch is making headlines for pulling off an epic photobomb at his owners' wedding.

>> See the photo here

According to "Today," Angie Blumberg and Jayce Conway of Illinois exchanged vows July 28 in Big Sky, Montana. Their beloved Labrador retriever and best man, Boone, was supposed to stand between Conway and his brother during the ceremony.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

But Boone apparently had other ideas. Although he stayed put during the processional, he "couldn't resist going over to say 'hi'" to Blumberg when she made her appearance, Conway told "Today."

>> Read more trending news 

The couple's photographer, Chris Davis, snapped away as Boone enjoyed a tumble in the grass during the opening prayer. A photo of the moment quickly went viral on social media, where it was shared more than 50,000 times, "Today" reported.

Read more here.

Serial pet killer may have mutilated, slain 7 cats; $3K reward offered in search for suspect

Law enforcement officials are searching for the person or people responsible for killing and mutilating cats in Washington state.

>> Man who threw dog off bridge charged with animal cruelty, claims pup liked it, officers say

Several cats have been killed in Thurston County since February, according to Erika Johnson, Thurston County Joint Animal Services lead investigator on the case.

On Sunday, a seventh cat was discovered. That cat was found killed and mutilated near Decatur Park in West Olympia.

>> Read more trending news 

In Thurston County on Saturday and Sunday, law enforcement officials went door to door warning homeowners of the serial pet killer.

Pasado's Safe Haven is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to the suspect. 

"The cats are usually left in public places after they are killed," a release from Pasado's reads. "Investigators believe these cases are linked due to similar mutilations done to the cats' bodies (removal of the spine)."

>> See the release here

Johnson said the cats are strangled and then surgically cut, not professionally but with a knife. The cats killed have been found in Lacey, West Olympia and Tumwater. 

If you have information, call 360-352-2510.

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