Humans take pride in their unique, perhaps exalted, place among creatures. We’re the only animal that can point to triumphs like space travel, nerve gas, for-profit prisons, and plastic-filled oceans. Until recent times, we also thought we stood alone in our taste for addling our brains with drugs. Alas, we can no longer claim that distinction: Dolphins, dogs, wallabies, waxwings, and loads of other species like to get loaded. [Read more…] about Wildlife Gone Wild: Animal Intoxication
Air quality affects our health in a number of ways. From eye irritation to lung disease, it’s important to take precautions to avoid unhealthy air. Air quality affects animals, including our pets, as well. When considering how to protect yourself from poor air quality, it’s important to plan for your pets too. [Read more…] about Cats & Dogs: The Pawful Effects of Poor Air Quality
Cyanobacteria blooms have closed beaches regularly this summer across New York State. While it may feel like a nuisance to not be able to cool off at your local beach, these blooms force swimming areas to close because they can be dangerous. To protect yourself, your loved ones, and pets, it is important that you understand how to recognize them and what you should do if a bloom is present at a beach you visit. [Read more…] about Beach Closures: Cyanobacteria and Phosphorus in New York’s Lakes
Every so often, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) receives reports from anglers that catch or observe out-of-the-ordinary fish while out on the water. [Read more…] about Pet Fish Belong in Tanks, Not Our Waters
On July 13th, New York State Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Lieutenant Unger and ECO Kochanowski responded to a Nassau County, Long Island residence after receiving a report that the homeowner wanted to turn in a 14-foot Burmese python. [Read more…] about New York Snake Stories: Burmese Python Seized; ‘Rattled’ Service Workers
William O. Stillman was born on September 9th, 1856 in Normansville, now known as Elsmere in the town of the Bethlehem, Albany County, NY. His parents were Rev. Stephen Lewis Stillman and Lucretia (Miller) Stillman.
Rev. Stephen Lewis Stillman was a Methodist minister at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Adamsville (now Delmar) and a descendant of a family that had emigrated from London, England. Lucretia (Miller) Stillman was of Dutch descent. Rev. Stephen suddenly died in 1869, when William was 12 years old. After his father’s death, William and his mother moved to Albany. [Read more…] about William O. Stillman: Leader of Humane Societies, Friend of Animals & Children
A flash of orange streaks across the meadow – a red fox, like a starburst in the snow. Its fur shimmers in the early morning light, and I, bundled in my winter layers and still shivering cold, envy the fox’s luxurious coat. [Read more…] about There’s More To Animal Fur Than Meets The Eye
If you believe we’re the master of our actions, think again. Better yet, have a fungus, bacterium, or protozoan tell you what to think. Jedi mind tricks are nothing compared to what microbes can do to animals, human and otherwise. [Read more…] about Microbial Ecology: Mind Control, Fecal Transplants & Zombie Laternflies
“Saturday was a sad day for all of us and I know that all of Fala’s friends will also be sad to know that he slept away, and the little dog’s story had come to an end.”
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote these words in her column “My Day” on April 8th, 1952. She was saddened by the loss of the famous Scottish Terrier that belonged to her late husband FDR. Both Fala and his grandson Tamas McFala, also a Scottish Terrier, were constant fixtures at Val-Kill in Hyde Park, the home of Eleanor Roosevelt after President Roosevelt died. [Read more…] about Fala, A Presidential Dog
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Ingrid Tague, a Professor of History at the University of Denver and the author of Animal Companions: Pets and Social Change in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Penn State University Press, 2017), joins us to answer questions about pets and pet keeping in Early America.