Suburban Pets Face Odd Dangers

August 12, 2008 at 7:13 pm 1 comment

From Querencia via HickChic:

News Flash!  Opossums are trying to displace homeless kittens!  Why hasn’t PETA weighed in yet on this nefarious plot?  After all – every time a conniving marsupial scam artist gets adopted into a suburban family, one more homeless kitten is doomed to die!

It’s not bad enough that suburban wildlife have decided to invade our homes masquerading as lost kittens, they’re preying on our pets too.  Attacks on dogs by wolves, bears and mountain lions have been in the news lately – now deer have apparently decided to get in on the action as well.  From WKYC Cleveland:

It was just after breakfast Saturday morning when Allyson Weagraff and her two daughters heard their pug puppy yelping in the backyard.

“Unfortunately, it was at like 8 o clock, so the girls were awake and they heard my wife screaming,” Chad Weagraff said. “She witnessed the whole thing.”

What they saw was a doe stomping on the little dog.

“She was on a leash,” Chad said.

A frantic Allyson began throwing canned goods at the animal, but it was too late. When her husband got to their Mentor home a few minutes later, the puppy was dead.

Ohio wildlife officials say this was an unfortunate but isolated situation. It was probably an overprotective doe worried about her fawn. A more common problem is a deer vs. car.

Deer vs. car altercations may be more common than events where deer kill dogs – but they’re generally not as terrifying or heart-rending as watching Bambi stomp your beloved pet to death.

A rather bizarre story from NPR illustrates a little known danger presented to dogs by wildlife – drug addiction:

A dog may be man’s best friend. But one dog, Lady, decided she needed more friends — and she found plenty in the knot of toads living at the local pond. A suburban family’s secret struggle with an uncommon addiction comes to light in this personal essay by NPR’s Laura Mirsch.

“We noticed Lady spending an awful lot of time down by the pond in our backyard,” Laura Mirsch recalls.

Lady would wander the area, disoriented and withdrawn, soporific and glassy-eyed.

“Then, late one night after I’d put the dogs out, Lady wouldn’t come in,” Laura Mirsch says. “She finally staggered over to me from the cattails. She looked up at me, leaned her head over and opened her mouth like she was going to throw up, and out plopped this disgusting toad.”

It turned out the toads were toxic — and, if licked, the fluids on their skin provided a hallucinogenic effect.

Looking for a fix

“We couldn’t keep our dog’s addiction a secret any longer,” Laura Mirsch says. “The neighbors all knew that Lady was a drug addict, and soon the other dogs weren’t allowed to play with her.”

In the end, Lady seems to have found a way to manage her problem.

“She seems to have outgrown the wild toad-obsessed years of her youth,” Mirsch says, “and now only sucks on weekends.”

From the Washington Post a story on the threat aggressive neighbors can pose to pet owners:

Linda Johnson admits that her two miniature poodles, Ollie and Hershey, sometimes trotted into her neighbor’s yard during their morning and afternoon walks. It is possible that once or twice, the two brown and black fur balls even peed in the grass, she said.

But that, she said, was no reason to have her arrested, shackled and charged with trespassing, all based on accusations by her Calvert County neighbors, a Maryland State Police sergeant and his wife.

“What’s even crazier is the state’s attorney is actually going to prosecute me in court for this,” said Johnson, 47, who is awaiting trial this month on the charges filed in May. “They’re sniffing along the grass, walking on the grass, because that’s where the dogs want to walk.”

The case of Maryland v. Linda May Johnson is a classic tale of suburban strife, pitting dog walker against homeowner, neighbor against neighbor on a contentious issue that roils communities across the region. Compounding the squabble is Johnson’s claim that her neighbors’ German shepherd attacked her poodles and 8-year-old son.

Those involved say tension between the Barths and the Johnsons turned into an all-out dogfight several months ago, when Johnson called animal control to report a dog attacking her poodles and son.

Animal control officials say neighborly squabbles involving pets are common. But often, they add, the fights have more to do with underlying problems than they do with dogs, and they are usually resolved without an arrest. 

I’m not sure if I’d refer to this kind of all out battle squabble as ‘neighborly’. Frankly, it sounds more like The War of the Roses with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner enmeshed in an all-out dog fight over dog poop instead of possession of their McMansion – than a minor disagreement between neighbors.


Entry filed under: dogs, humor, pets, wildlife. Tags: , .

Proof that We Rock! No! No! Bad Dog!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dorene  |  August 13, 2008 at 1:42 am

    There was a case in suburban Philadelphia of a stag in rut attacking a Lab — thos antlers did some damage to the dog, but he lived.

    So far, Pepper hasn’t run into any deer that attacked her — she once found a herd that was puzzlied by her, decided she was a fox and left. Otherwise, she barks and they leave, which is exactly what I want.

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