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WebClawer: 22 dogs seized from station wagon up for adoption; woman who marketed "Gothic kittens" to stand trial

February 18, 2009 |  4:54 pm

Mickey Rourke with his late chihuahua, LokiMountain lions, quail and updates on the dogs found in a station wagon and a woman accused of animal cruelty for piercing kittens -- the Web is crawling with animal news:

  • Custody of the 22 dogs seized recently from a woman who apparently lived with them in a filthy station wagon has been awarded to the SPCA of Texas. The dogs healthy enough for adoption will be available at two SPCA shelters in Dallas and nearby McKinney beginning Friday. The judge who granted custody also ordered the dogs' prior owner to pay $3,520 in restitution for their care. Dallas Morning News
  • Actor Mickey Rourke, Academy Award-nominated for his performance in "The Wrestler," lost his beloved Chihuahua, Loki, on Monday. Loki was 18 and died peacefully. Rourke famously thanked his dogs, including Loki, in his acceptance speech when he won a Golden Globe award this year for "The Wrestler." In his speech, Rourke said, "I'd like to thank all my dogs, the ones who are here and the ones who aren't here anymore.... Sometimes, when a man is alone, that's all you got is your dog. And they've meant the world to me." The Dish Rag
  • In order to stabilize the state's population of mule deer, Nevada officials say "intensive, sustained predator reduction" of mountain lions is needed. "It's not an effort to exterminate mountain lions," said Ken Mayer, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife. "It's an effort to better manage lions with the prey base." The mule deer's numbers have been reduced from 240,000 to 108,000 over the last two decades. But animal activists are crying foul. D.J. Schubert, a wildlife biologist with the Animal Welfare Institute, said increased mountain lion hunting would amount to "applying the Sarah Palin method of wildlife management, which is to remove animals with big teeth in order to promote the animals hunters like to shoot." Outposts
  • A rare Worcester's buttonquail, a bird species feared to be extinct, turned up in an unexpected place: a poultry market in the Philippines. The Worcester's buttonquail, previously known to birders only through drawings based on dead museum specimens, was identified in a documentary filmed in the Philippines called "Bye-Bye Birdie." Wild Bird Club of the Philippines president Michael Lu said the group was "ecstatic" about the find but saddened that locals apparently placed so little value on the area's biodiversity as to allow them to sell the rare bird as food. "What if this was the last of its species? Much more has to be done in creating conservation awareness and local consciousness about our unique threatened bird fauna," Lu said. Telegraph   
  • The Pennsylvania woman who made headlines by piercing kittens' ears, necks and tails and offering them for sale as "Gothic kittens" will stand trial on animal cruelty charges. During a preliminary hearing held yesterday, Wilkes-Barre district judge Paul Hadzick said the issue was a gray area that a trial judge or jury would need to decide.  Associated Press

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Mickey Rourke with his late Chihuahua, Loki. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

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