Last month Liam Neeson was seen as a hero in animal rights having saved a dog from being abused by a group of teenagers but this month it seems he has lost his hero status. Irish Hollywood star Liam Neeson has been targeted by animal rights activists after he has spoken out to protect horse and carriage drivers in Central Park.
Protesters have been hounding his New York home carrying signs with pictures of dead horses saying ‘Worked to death’ and ‘Horse + Traffic = Death’. Carriage drivers in Central Park are in danger of being banned over huge concerns around the welfare of the animals.
“The actor has invited the anger of animal rights activists all across the U.S. as he lends his support to an outdated and dangerous tradition”, activists argue. The activists have claimed that “Liam Neeson has made the shameful choice to be the only celebrity voice on the side of the cruel, outdated horse carriages.”
New City Mayor Bill Di Blasio came into power looking for an end to the 150 year old tradition but Neeson has made a point of standing publically behind the controversial traditional horse and carriage industry, which has long been a favourite of tourists at the tourist hotspot. The final decision on the ban is to go to a Council vote but the support for the ban introduced by the Mayor is soft.
Ever thought of keeping a fox as a pet? Probably not, especially if you keep hens or have any other pets. One Kilkenny man has however taken it upon himself to give 3 foxes a good home. Patsy Gibbons from Thomastown in Co. Kilkenny first took in a seven week old vixen named Gráinne, seven years ago and now has Gráinne, Minnie who is five and Henry who is 11 months old.
Patsy admits that he never planned on having foxes as pets but it just turned out that way. His brother-in-law came to him with Gráinne who he had found in a store room, hiding in a box looking for heat. Patsy brought her to the vet and has been caring for her ever since. Word soon spread and Minnie was brought to Patsy at a month old by a woman who found her and the Henry was brought to him after being attacked by a dog. Henry had sustained a lot of injuries but is nearly back to full health.
Patsy says “They are very tame around me and love being rubbed and played with. When I got them first I was giving them baby food but now I make sure to feed them chicken legs and mince but they also love white snails, worms, blackberries and herbs. But they just adore wine gums.”
Patsy has managed to house train the foxes and spends his time bringing them around to different schools around the south-east where he teaches them about the animals. Patsy already has three foxes, no less than 28 hens, 12 ducks, two dogs and two cats which is more than enough to look after and he isn’t planning on expanding his brood any time soon.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland has criticised the keeping of wild animals as pets and has said,
“Each year brings different sorts of wildlife issues but every year we get contacted about individuals buying and selling fox cubs on the internet. This is a difficult one to deal with as the fox does not enjoy protected status in Ireland, so keeping one as a pet is not illegal under the Wildlife Act. It is nonetheless a dangerous and irresponsible thing to promote.”
They say cats have 9 lives, well maybe this is true for our feline friend Phoebe living in Passage West Co. Cork. Phoebe is set to be crowned the oldest cat in the world when she reaches her 25th birthday in August this year. This is the equivalent of a massive 117 human years.
This little miracle was adopted in 1989 by owner Caroline O’Riordan and as she was a very sickly 7 week old kitten she wasn’t expected to live very long but Caroline gave her a chance and Phoebe has continued to thrive for 24 years. Caroline also adopted Phoebe’s brother Paddy at the same time who made it to a mighty 17 years old be his sister continues to outlive him and every other cat.
Having contacted the Guinness Book Of Records it has been confirmed that Phoebe is the oldest cat in the world with the second oldest cat on record being only 22.5 years old. Caroline has been sent forms and is set to submit them within the next few days along with Phoebe’s birth certificate and then it will be official.
Phoebe is an indoor cat and has spend 80% of her life indoors and has therefore never been exposed to cat fights or any harsh weather. Phoebe now spends her days curled up in the warmest place in the house, usually Caroline’s lap and is considered a member of the family by now.
The oldest cat who ever lived was a cat named Creme Puff who lived to a whooping 38 years old having been fed on a strange diet of coffee, eggs, bacon and broccoli.
We can’t wait to see Phoebe in the Guinness Book Of Records.
Paddy Murphy, a Kildare pub and farm owner got a shock last week when one of his ewe’s gave birth to what he thought was a lucky black sheep. This little fella was infact a Geep (a half goat, half sheep hybrid).
Mr Murphy noticed this little guy was different from the start as he was extremely fast, much faster than a lamb and had much longer legs than a lamb. This is when he realised it must be a Geep.
The birth of this cute hybrid was not intentional and is thought to be the result of mating between a goat and one of Mr Murphy’s cheviot ewes. The little Geep is even developing horns on his head and is the talking point of the town, causing quite a stir in Paddy’s local pub.
This is the first reported birth of a Geep in the Republic of Ireland as this form of cross breeding is a very rare occurence. Usually the Geep dies while the ewe is pregnant or is still-born but this little fella seems very healthy and the ewe is caring for it just like she would a normal lamb.
Luckily Paddy is not planning on sending this little miracle to the slaughter and is even thinking of naming him. Does anyone have any suggestions?
When the no- makeup selfies started appearing on Facebook some people greeted them with scepticism but it cannot be denied that they have raised a huge amount of money for the Irish Cancer Society.
The latest charity to jump on the selfie trend is the Irish Guide Dogs. The idea is that you take a close up picture of your dog or a “Delfie” and text Woof to 57500 to donate €2.50 to the Irish Guide Dogs. You then post the picture on your Facebook page or Twitter explaining what you are doing and then nominate other people to do the same.
These selfies or delfies are a great way of raising money for charities as they grab people’s attention making them want to take part and do the same and therefore donate.
We hope that the Irish Guide Dogs raise a lot of needed funds with their Delfie Campaign.
In cute news, it has been announced that a baby animal festival is to be held in Northern Ireland. The festival which is to take place in Streamvale Farm in Dundonald, Co. Down, will be overloaded with the cuteness of baby lambs, chicks, bunnies, ducklings, calves and puppies.
This festival will be open everyday in April and will allow the public to feed and cuddle the newborn baby animals. There will be a playground for the kids and also a covered playground so even if it is raining the kids can still enjoy the festival. This is the perfect Easter day out for your family so why not check out http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/Baby-Animal-Festival-Belfast-P39621 to find out more.
All of our pets are hero’s in our eyes but this bulldog has defintely proved his super hero status. Well known reality TV star Kelly Osbourne was saved from getting ran over by her fateful bulldog Willy. 29 year old Kelly was taking her four legged friend for a walk in the sunshine which could have ended very tragically if it wasn’t for Willy pulling her back out of harms way and stopping her being hit by an on coming car. Kelly, daughter of Sharon and Ozzie Osbourne posted about her lucky escape on her twitter account along with a photo of her giving her beloved Willy a well deserved hug. We like to think that our dogs would do the same for us.