Four picture books about the importance of bugs

Four recently-released picture books serve to show young children the importance of bugs. It’s an important concept for youngsters who might otherwise try to catch a butterfly or kill a hapless insect. Without insects, the earth would be a barren place.

“The Chameleon that Saved Noah’s Ark” by Yael Molchadsky and illustrated by Orit Bergman shows how hard it must have been on the ark for Noah and his familychameleon — having to feed and care for two of every kind of species must have been exhausting! And while Noah and his wife and sons are able to please almost all the animals, there is one pair of creatures that will not eat. The two chameleons grow skinnier and skinnier, and in spite of Noah and his wife trying every kind of food, they won’t eat. When, to Noah’s horror, they find their fruit has been infested with bugs, the chameleons show their importance. They eat the bugs. But the author makes sure to get his message across that “everything and everyone has a place in the sun” by having Noah save two of the bugs. After all, some creatures need to eat them! (Nancy Paulsen Books 2016)

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Two fabulous friendly dogs out of time at county shelter


Reddick is the perfect dog!


Lauren is sweet and puppy-like.

Looking for a dog you know will be sweet and friendly? Want a companion who will love you with all his or her heart? Look no further. In Tampa, FL, right now, two of those dogs sit in kennels waiting — but they won’t be given much longer to wait. They are on the list of dogs who are at high risk of being killed because of limited space at the shelter. Please share their story!

Lauren has been called “awesome” by the volunteers and her foster. She was in foster (probably while recovering from a doggy cold) and is now waiting for a home of her own. She knows sit, she loves to swim in a pool, and she sleeps in her crate. Lauren is still very much a puppy. She has puppy energy and needs a bit of puppy training, but she is very smart and very eager to please.

Lauren is ID#A1643464. There is more information on her Facebook thread. Her current status: high risk.

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Get ready to go back to school with great nonfiction newly-released books

With the hotly contested and very controversial presidential elections around the corner, two books are sure to spark some interest in the election and about past presidents. A book that will fascinate children with unusual facts about past presidents is “Your Presidential Fantasy Dream Team” by Daniel O’Brien and illustrated by Winston Rowntree. According to the publisher, “Combining presidential history with fantasy football tactics, this laugh-out-loud book is a fresh, fun take on nonfiction — history made fun for reluctant readers.”

While this reviewer knows nothing about fantasy football, the book is both insightful and humorous. At the end of each chapter about a president, there is a summary. For example, “You’re building an elite team — there’s no room for the guy who might FLIP OUT at any time.” (Read the book to find out which president that refers to.) About Nixon, “Nixon extended the war in Vietnam by five years just so he could cheat Humphrey out of the White House and become president.” This would be a great read-aloud as the days tick by before the election. It’s good to remind children that presidents are just people like them.

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‘Glass Sword: Kneel or Bleed’ by Victoria Aveyard is 2nd in the ‘Red Queen’ YA series


“Glass Sword” is the sequel to “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. This second book in the series continues the tale of the powerful silver-blooded people who have basically enslaved those whose blood is red and who lack the super-abilities of those with silver blood. The protagonist is Mare, whose blood runs red although she has abilities that are equal to those of a silver-blooded person.

In this sequel, Mare has escaped from the prison of Maven, the king, who had cruelly betrayed not only her but his half-brother, the older brother who should have been king. Now she, Cal (the true king) and others with her special abilities are trying to locate and save other red-blooded people who have special abilities. It’s a race against Maven, who also has the list of people and is out to kill them before Mare can find them. Continue reading

Corpus Christi Animal Control kills 7 dogs in spite of 33 adoptions at Clear the Shelter event


The volunteers and animal rescuers in Texas are furious that even after the Clear the Shelter Adoption Event last weekend when 33 animals were adopted (and the shelter had many empty kennels), seven animals were killed at the Corpus Christi Animal Control since last weekend with more scheduled to die.

Britta, a senior chow who was “normal” according to her kennel card was killed. Penny, a young staffie who was confiscated as part of a cruelty case and who was described as submissive, was killed. Taken from an abusive situation, she wasn’t give a chance to get a loving home. Would she have been better off with a hoarder? At least she would have been alive.

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Daryl was also killed. He was heartworm positive. Princess, also killed, had been labeled fearful although volunteers had little difficulty handling her for photographs. Little Drake was a two-year-old rottweiler mix who was killed. He had also been labeled “normal” by shelter staff. Most of those dogs arrived at the shelter the week of July 20th and we killed on July 26th and July 27th — they were only given an average of five days to find rescue or adoption. Volunteers had almost no time to photograph them and network them.

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New Miami-Dade Animal Services lacks many basic necessities


Before even walking into the  brand-new, multi-million dollar Miami Dade Animal Services building, it became obvious that the shelter still has serious problems. The parking situation is a huge one. It was poorly planned and is inconvenient for those trying to visit the shelter. On a Monday at noon, there was not one parking space available. To make a poor situation worse, when trying to find a parking space on one side of the building, there is nowhere to turn around at the end of the lot, so if there are four cars in the lot looking for a space to park, all four cars must back up through the lot to get out. I was forced to park across the street from the shelter outside the UPS facility, next to their fence, on grass and dirt. This was on a Monday afternoon. It’s difficult to imagine what the situation is like on a weekend. Whoever designed this parking lot and planned for the number of cars sorely miscalculated.

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Before and after: Sweet healthy dog returned to shelter 4 months later shot and heartbroken


Update: Zeus/Janko is safe!

This is what happens when a shelter allows anyone to adopt a dog. When there are no background checks, no home visits, no follow-up phone calls, dogs can be abused, thrown into the streets, shot, or worse.

Zeus was a sweet, happy and loving puppy in March of this year. Volunteers met him and were enchanted by his playful demeanor. He was adopted, but now is back at the shelter — a different dog.

Now he sits in the corner of his kennel, terrified. He arrived at the shelter with multiple gun shot wounds on his neck, head and back leg. This is a dog who was mistreated and is now frightened. His adoption to an uncaring — perhaps even abusive — family will cost him his life. Continue reading

10-day foster would save this sweet, scared girl’s life


Sweet Natalia is frightened of thunderstorms and has a painful fractured upper canine tooth. But the issue that will cost this friendly girl her life is that she has a doggy cold — an upper respiratory infection — and she will be killed when her kennel is needed.

There is a simple solution that will save Natalia’s life. She needs a foster home for ten days while she gets medication and recovers from her virus. Then she can go back into the general kennel area and be put up for adoption. The isolation kennels are limited and dogs are at greater risk there. And Natalia’s time is up. She should be considered urgently in need of foster (or adoption).

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Shelter mixup to cost small dog his life


Volunteers who found a rescue to take Luke, a small dog at Miami Dade Animal Services, were beyond frustrated as one email told them that Luke was on hold, the next said he wasn’t available, and the next said he was.

The veterinarian there told several people that Luke and another dog, Kimbo, only have until 6:00 pm on Wednesday and they will be killed. So the volunteers have frantically been working to save this little, scared dog. While he did bite someone, the rescues and volunteers believe it is because of his fright at the shelter, and they believe that he can be rehabilitated and successfully adopted to the right family.

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‘I Love Rescue Vehicles’ and ‘I Love Construction Vehicles’


These two kits include everything needed to keep a youngster occupied for hours and hours. “I Love Rescue Vehicles” includes a book about rescue vehicles with great graphics, reusable stickers, a huge poster of a fire engine, pieces to build a fire station, and a model fire truck. Add in “I Love Construction Vehicles” and you’ll have a child who will be entertained for even longer.

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Killed on Clear the Shelter Day; they wouldn’t even give him a chance


Today was “Clear the Shelters” day when dogs across the nation got adopted for free. The idea was to empty the shelter and get dogs and cats into good homes. But for this dog, a county shelter in Tampa, Florida make sure that wouldn’t happen.

This was written by a volunteer:

“This is Pickle. His owners left him at the shelter June 11. He’s only one year old. He was so shy when he got there, then learned to greet people as they passed him by. A beautiful boy.

Today Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center decided to kill him. Only him. I don’t think his kennel was needed. They had 29 adoptions of dogs today, only 17 new dogs came in. They said the Community Deemed him Unadoptable. CDU. Because no one came for him. The last photo was from yesterday. It breaks my heart again tonight. I wonder who or why they decided he couldn’t have a chance tomorrow, so many more people come on the weekends.”

So why would the shelter kill just one dog when there were empty cages? No one knows and the folks at Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center don’t respond well to questions.

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Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center spends money on the lobby, but dogs still sweltering in the back


When you walk into the lobby of the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, it all looks beautiful. The lobby is cool, especially on a 95 degree summer day in Florida. There is fresh paint on the walls, flat-screen televisions on the walls, computers for people to look for pets, even one kennel adjacent to the lobby where dogs are housed in air conditioned comfort.

However, while the dogs in the air conditioned new wing appear to be much more comfortable in their cool kennels, volunteers pointed out that there is no outdoor access for these dogs. When the renovation was done, no one thought to make sure that all dogs would have outside access to relieve themselves. The space was there — there were just other priorities. The dogs’ comfort and ability to defecate away from their living area was not important.

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