Prisoners Given Pedigree Dog To Stroke To Prevent Them Smashing Up Cells

Violent prisoners who wreck cells are being given a dog to stroke to control their rage.In a new Government initiative to help young offenders, the pedigree dog called Barney will be taken into a notorious jail to relax inmates.The Pets As Therapy programme is being pioneered at Her Majesty’s Prison Hindley, a young offenders’ institute which has been home to a number of violent criminals, including Sean Mercer, the killer of 11-year-old Rhys Jones.

A source at the prison said: ‘The kids in here regularly go mad, smashing up their cells. This is seen as an answer. Pets, and dogs in particular, are known to make people calmer.’But last night Tory candidate David Davies condemned the plan as ‘utterly ridiculous’.He said: ‘This just proves that this Government has made a dog’s breakfast of the penal system. Why is it that criminals are not simply locked up?

‘Why is that we give them PlayStations, DVDs, televisions and now pedigree dogs to keep them entertained while the victims are left to pick up the pieces of their lives?’Barney, a black-coated Bouvier des Flandres dog, is undertaking specialist training to cope with life behind bars.He will roam the jail, near Wigan, Greater Manchester, under the supervision of a prison worker.Stroking the pet and enjoying its companionship is intended to ease anxiety and it is hoped he will also encourage feelings of affection.
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Buddy The Dog Saves Owner's Home From Fire

A German Shepherd named Buddy saved his owner’s home by guiding emergency services to the blazing building. The dog was in the workshop at the Alaskan home of his owner, Ben Heinrichs, when a spark from the truck he was working on ignited Mr Heinrichs’ clothes.

Mr Heinrichs, 23, ran out as the fire grew and told Buddy: “We need to get help.” The dog then ran out, finding Alaskan Trooper Terrence Shanigan at a crossroads, and guided him to the blaze at their home in Caswell Lakes.Trooper Shanigan was working with rescuers to find the property in an area with about 75 miles of back roads, but their GPS systems were unable to locate the house.

“Buddy was able to connect with me, giving me a lot of non-verbal cues, kind of loping, and wanting me to speed up at times,” Trooper Shanigan said.”And when I finally pulled in, Buddy greeted me at the driver’s side door and kind of nudged me towards the house. It was surreal,” the Trooper told reporters.The event was recorded by the video camera inside the patrol car, and shows Buddy occasionally looking back at the car as he raced ahead, galloping around three turns before arriving in front of the blaze, which was very close to the Heinrichs’ home
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'Toxic stew' Of Chemicals Causing Male Fish To Carry Eggs In Testes

More than 80% of the male bass fish in Washington’s major river are now exhibiting female traits such as egg production because of a “toxic stew” of pollutants, scientists and campaigners reported yesterday.Intersex fish probably result from drugs, such as the contraceptive pill, and other chemicals being flushed into the water and have been found right across the US.

The Potomac Conservancy, which focuses on Washington DC’s river, called for new research to determine what was causing male smallmouth bass to carry immature eggs in their testes. “We have not been able to identify one particular chemical or one particular source,” said Vicki Blazer, a fish biologist with the US geological survey. “We are still trying to get a handle on what chemicals are important.”
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Essex Couple In Donkey Sanctuary Row With Delhi Neighbours

A retired Essex couple are facing the Indian equivalent of an anti-social behaviour order after neighbours in a smart gated colony in Delhi were upset by their decision to turn their home into a donkey sanctuary. Bob Harrison, 67, a retired immigration investigator, and his wife Jean, 69, are passionate defenders of animal rights who have provided an ambulance service for the city’s distressed donkeys since he took early retirement from the British High Commission in the late 1990s.

Their work with the animals and their owners – some of the poorest and most marginalised in the capital – has won them many admirers in India and throughout the world. Their work, under the banner of their Asswin Project charity, is largely unpaid and subsidised by his civil service pension. But their neighbours in Gurgaon, the hi-tech hub for India’s leading call centres, have accused them of lowering the tone of their area.
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Baffling Death Of Rare Siberian Tiger Malyshka At Zoo

One of the world’s rarest tigers has died in mysterious circumstances at a zoo.Malyshka, a Siberian tiger which was pregnant with three cubs, drowned in her enclosure at Banham Zoo, near Diss, Norfolk – even though the predators are excellent swimmers.The five-year-old – mother to 17-month-old cubs Vasya and Kuzma – was found by keepers in shallow water.

She also shared her enclosure with 15-year-old male tiger Mischa, described as ‘good natured and placid’.Zoo director Martin Goymour said a post mortem examination had confirmed Malyshka had drowned, but the cause of the accident was a mystery.He said: ‘Malyshka was such a strong and healthy tigress and showed no signs of external or internal injuries.The pool in the enclosure is not deep or considered hazardous.
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Elephant Provides Breakdown Assistance To Zoo Keeper

An elephant put its size to good use when it helped a zoo keeper start his car by giving it a shove. Lawrence Bates was all set to call for assistance when his jeep at West Midland Safari Park broke down, until Five the elephant decided to give him a helping hand.The 18-year-old African Elephant got behind and pushed the car out of trouble and out of the enclosure. She even cleaned the car in the process.

Five reached into a bucket of water with her trunk, sprayed the vehicle with water to remove any dust, then gathered up a sponge with her trunk and cleaned the windows and paintwork with the style of a true professional.Director of Wildlife, Bob Lawrence, said: “The jeep broke down one morning and the lads jumped out to have a look at it, popped the bonnet and had a look at the oil.
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The World's Smallest Horse Who Weighs Less Than A Newborn Baby

This pint-sized stallion could be a record breaker as the world’s smallest foal.The three-day old pinto stallion, called Einstein, is just 14 inches high and weighs only an incredible 6lbs.The diminutive horse was born in Barnstead, New Hampshire, on Friday at Tiz Miniature Horse Farm.His tiny proportions may be more suitable for a human baby, but they are tiny for a horse, even a miniature breed like Einstein.Dr Rachel Wagner, Einstein’s co-owner, claims the Guinness Book of Records lists the smallest newborn horse as weighing just 9lbs.Breeders say that unlike the current record holder, Thumbelina, Einstein shows no signs of dwarfism – he is just a tiny horse.

(source)

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