Animals Win Headlines in California


Several animals claimed media attention this week in California. The headlines demonstrate the importance of the animal-human bond.

Heat Imperils The Well Being of Hundreds of Birds

In Fresno, hot weather threatened the comfort and well being of 955 birds during transportation in a livestock trailer en route to a convention and sale. As ambient temperatures rose on Monday, the heat level inside the trailer soared to a dangerous 107 degrees Fahrenheit.

The heat endangered the assortment of cockatiels, ducklings, pigeons, parakeets, doves, roosters and other small animals, and resulted in the deaths of at least 18 at the scene. Fresno Humane Animal Services intervened to rescue the animals.

A Llama Drama

In Vacaville, an escaped llama preoccupied several deputies from the Solano County Sheriff's Department. As herd animals, llamas require the companionship of other members of their species and they prefer to remain in social groups.

When one llama left the confines of his pasture and strolled along the roadway to visit with other llamas across a fence, the officers sought to coral the stray. Several llamas inside the enclosed field watched with interest as two officers placed a halter on the visitor and a deputy led him back down the lane to rejoin his own herd. The Solano County Sheriff's Office posted a video of the capture on Facebook, with the notation the deputies offered the runaway "verbal counseling."

An Apparent Pignapping

In San Jose, police initiated a search for a stolen 100-pound potbelly big named "Pig Pig". She disappeared from the back yard of her owners home, along with her kennel. The thief or thieves reportedly ripped out surveillance cameras before absconding with the pig. The heartbroken owners have offered a $500 reward for the safe return of their pet.

Mark and Jeannie Ackermann raised 3-year old Pig Pig and expressed the hope she will return to them unharmed. She disappeared two years ago, but later appeared at the Emma Prusch Farm Park in San Jose.

A Rescued Fawn

Along Highway 80, Sgt. Randy Fisher of the California Highway Patrol noticed a fawn drowning in a drainage ditch during a downpour. Her foot had become trapped.

He freed the young deer. When her mother failed to return, he transported her to a veterinary clinic. Her condition improved and she will return to the wild after recovery.