Monday 28 February 2011

Animal Farm?

New York house found with filthy animals including calf

Dozens of flea-infested animals and several rotting animal corpses were removed from a filthy New York home where an elderly woman with dementia lived with two younger people, authorities said on Wednesday.

Living in the house were a calf, fancy hens, rats, rabbits, a chinchilla, a Mallard duck, a pheasant and other animals, said Sergeant Regina Benfante of the Suffolk County, New York, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"You name it, and that type of animal was in there," she said. All told, 76 live animals and about 10 corpses were found, she said.

Three people also lived in the house -- the 87-year-old owner who suffers from dementia, family friend Alan Warner, 23, and his fiance, she said.

Warner was cited for violating town codes regarding the animals but no animal cruelty charges had been filed while the SPCA investigates, she said.

"I don't know how the woman was living in the home, because she is very elderly and very frail." said Benfante.

"No animal should live in that condition, no humans either," she said. "This is one of the worst homes we have ever seen, filled with faeces and urine."

The calf, chinchilla, rabbits and cats showed signs of distress but the SPCA said it hopes the animals can be nursed to health and most put up for adoption.

"We have never seen a cow in a house before, that was a first." said SPCA Chief Steve Laton.

Sunday 27 February 2011


'David Cameron stole my aunt's cat'

A London man claims David Cameron has "taken" his aunt's cat and has launched a Facebook campaign to get him back.

Larry the cat made headlines around the world when he was adopted as Number 10, Downing Street's new rat catcher.

But Tim Sutcliffe says 'Larry' is really 'Jo', a stray taken in by his Auntie Margaret who was left devastated when he ran away last October.

Mr Sutcliffe has started a Facebook page to campaign for the cat's safe return to his aunt, who lives in Bermondsey, London, reports the Daily Mail.

He believes the cat ended up at Battersea Cats Home after running away, before it was re-homed to Downing Street.

"As she didn't technically own Jo, Battersea were well within their rights to take him, but she is really upset that he's been taken away from her and she wants him back," he said.

Nearly 500 people have joined the group, with several confirming via the page they had emailed the Prime Minister demanding his return.

Mr Sutcliffe claims the cat wouldn't let anyone hold him except his aunt, showing the same character traits that saw Larry attack an ITV news team.

Posting on the wall of the group, Ms Sutcliffe wrote: "I still can't believe that my Jo has ended up being taken into Downing Street.

"I nearly died when I saw him in the papers. I've just found some of his cat hair on the sofa, so we can prove it's Jo with a DNA test if we have to."

Saturday 26 February 2011

Just A Half Then!!

Horse becomes a regular drinker at British pub

Staff at a pub in Staffordshire say they don't mind that one of their regulars always has a long face -- because it's not like Basil could do anything about it.

The nine-year-old Welsh Cob stallion has become a regular at the Meynell Ingram Arms in Burton where he is allowed to walk right in and up to the bar.

Over the past few years he's even said to have started enjoying the occasional tipple of Marson's Pedigree which is always served to him in his own glass.

Manager Guy Wallis insists locals don't mind sharing the bar with the 14.2 hands pony… though there have been complaints he doesn't ever get a round in.

Wallis added that Basil's owners have been regulars at the pub for more than ten years and he has often tried to get his hoof in the door.

But a couple of years ago they gave up trying to keep him out and let him wander up to the bar. Now they even give him some vegetables to go with his pint.

Speaking of their unusual drinking companion, one regular said: "It's great to see animals in pubs, it's like the good old days. If people can take a dog into a pub why not a horse."

Friday 25 February 2011

House Pet?

Alligator found behind a sofa in Brazil

After floodwaters receded from her home, a Brazilian woman was shocked to find a most unwelcome house guest: a 5-foot (1.5-meter) alligator lying tamely in the living room as her 3-year-old son petted the reptile's head.

The animal apparently was washed inside by the high water on Monday night, said Luiz Claudio Farias, a captain of firefighters in the north-central city of Parauapebas.

When the woman went to clean up the following day, she saw the boy playing with something behind the couch, Farias said. It turned out to be an alligator.

"She snatched the boy away and called us," he said.

Farias said it was lucky the reptile apparently wasn't in the mood for a meal: "If he was hungry, he could have seriously hurt or even killed the boy."

Firefighters trapped the alligator and took it to a nearby environmental preserve, where they set it free.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Dead End Job?

Worker Dead At Desk

EBECCA Wells, 51, old Rebecca Wells had been dead at her desk at the L.A. County Department of Internal Services for a day before she was discovered.

Wells had come into work on Friday at 9am. Her body was discovered by a co-worker the next day.

This might be why we Tweet: to remind others we are still alive…

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Dog Gone It!!

Dog survives 32km drive stuck to the grill of a car

Donald, a 14-year-old Jack Russell cross, wandered into the path of a Honda Civic as it travelled along a dual carriageway.

The driver, who thought he had hit a fox, continued along the road at speeds of 60mph with Donald firmly stuck to the bonnet.

He only made the startling discovery half an hour later as he pulled into his drive in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, in the early hours.

‘He heard barking and saw there was a dog stuck to the grille of his car,’ said a spokesman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue.

Crews released the pet using heavy cutting equipment and wrapped him up to keep him warm.

After being checked over by vets, Donald has been reunited with his owner.

‘Amazingly, he has only suffered a few scratches and is eating and drinking like his normal, old self,’ said owner Ann Armett, 55, who lives near the A50 in Uttoxeter where Donald was picked up for his unexpected ride.

She said Donald had disappeared after going outside on the drive to urinate. ‘Usually, he comes straight back but this time he never returned.

‘I think the wind must have blown him into the traffic.’

Her son Robert, 25, who has grown up with the family’s pet, added: ‘It’s incredible he wasn’t more seriously hurt.’

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Trapped Granny

Grandma trapped in her house by massive pile of leaves

The front of her home and her neighbour’s, has been surrounded by a 1metre (3ft) deep pile of leaves driven by decidedly chilly winter winds of more than 112kph (70mph).

Speaking outside her home in Brunswick Park Road, in Wednesbury, West Midlands, the 77-year-old said: ‘I could not even get out my front door on Monday it was so bad. I had to go round the back.

'It has been like this all week, I have lived here 23 years and I have never seen it like this. I have asked the council for help clearing it off my drive but they said they can only clear leaves from the footpaths.’

It would take one person a full day and at least 50 garden sacks to remove the pile which has blown in from a nearby cemetery.

Neighbour Karen Thomas, 40, who lives in the road, said: ‘We have always had problems – sometimes I find myself having to fill 20 black bags before I can get out the house – but this is the worst ever.’

A major section of the street was finally cleared by a council work team and a large lorry.

Monday 21 February 2011

Horsing Around?

Horse semen for New Zealand food festival

Shots of horse semen will be introduced at an upcoming New Zealand food festival.

The item will be on the menu at next month's annual Wildfoods Festival, along with raw scorpions and chocolate-covered beetles.

Racehorse breeder Lindsay Kerslake claimed to Fairfax Media that the shots would "taste like a milkshake".

He said: "The idea is you'll have as much zizz as a stallion for a week afterwards."

Organiser Mike Keenan told AFP that Kerslake thought it would offer "something different", adding: "He's working on a number of flavours, from vanilla right through to strawberry and chocolate."

Sunday 20 February 2011

OF’s Never Say Die!!

OAP survives desert for five days

An 84-year-old motorist drank windscreen washer to stay alive when he got lost in the Arizona desert.

Henry Morello took a wrong turn driving home and ended up stranded in a ditch for five days after his car battery and mobile phone died.

He survived by using car mats to stay warm at night and drinking the windscreen fluid - and even read the car manual cover to cover to pass the time.

Eventually he was found by a passing walker, whom he kissed with relief.
After his ordeal he said of his hero: "He looked like an angel to me."

Saturday 19 February 2011

Why Would You Want To?

New Zealand 'Win a Wife' contest

A radio competition, in which the winner will fly to Ukraine and be given the chance to pick a bride from an agency, sparked outrage in New Zealand Wednesday.

The winner of the contest - launched by MediaWork's station The Rock, which is broadcast nationwide - will also get 12 nights' accommodation and NZ$2,000 (US$1,500) spending money.

On its website the company acknowledges that some people will get "their panties in a twist over this one" - and they have, with social activist Sue Bradford saying the contest "takes commercial radio to new depths."

"It is unusual and somewhat disturbing that a commercial entity would commercialize what should be one of the most meaningful human relationships and actually offer it as a prize for a radio show," she said.

The promotion began on Monday and ends on February 28, with five finalists to be subjected to character assessment from friends and family, and psychometric testing and suitability for marriage testing by a psychologist appointed by MediaWorks.

The prize does not include travel for the Ukraine woman to come to New Zealand.

The Rock program director, Brad King told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) the competition was "a bit of a laugh."

"At the end of the day, it's up to both people if they decide to get married and return to New Zealand. We're not actually marrying anyone or bringing women back to New Zealand," he said.

Friday 18 February 2011

Doggie Love?

Love me, love my dog, say Britons

Britons are famously devoted to their pets but a new survey ahead of Valentine's Day shows their furry friends may be standing in the way of love.

Eighty percent of dog owners for example said they would not date someone who didn't like their pet and nearly 20 percent of the 3,000 pet owners surveyed would rather have an animal companion than a relationship.

As many as 36 percent of all owners stroked their furry friends more than they touched their partners.

And 12 percent felt that owning their cat or dog was having a damaging effect on their relationship.

The poll was conducted to mark next week's release of the Blu-ray and DVD of hit doggy film "Marmaduke."

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Dead Heat!!

British town to warm up pool with crematorium heat

A British town council said Tuesday it had approved plans to use the heat from a crematorium to warm up the swimming pool next door.

The local authority in Redditch, a town outside Birmingham in central England, reckons the move will cut energy waste.

Work on a link between the town's crematorium and its new leisure centre will begin later this year following the council decision.

A senior official from Unison, Britain's second biggest trade union, has called the plan "sick", "insulting and insensitive".

However, Redditch Borough Council leader Carole Gandy said correspondence showed that up to nine in 10 locals were in favour of the idea.

"Many respondents have in fact praised the council for being so innovative and for being willing to discuss the idea openly," she said.

"We have been careful to explain how the technology would work, that it is tried and trusted, and that the practice is quite common in parts of Europe and especially in Sweden."

The heating scheme will be the first of its kind in Britain.

The council said the plan will save more than £14,000 ($22,500, 16,500 euros) a year.

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Jail Time

5 Year Sentence "Unfair": Jewel Thief

Doris Payne admits that she is an international jewel thief who has stolen countless jewels and other expensive items in her criminal career which spans more than six decades.

She's also remorseful for taking things that didn't belong to her including an $8900 diamond ring from the Macy's in Fashion Valley in January 2010.

"I am very sorry,"Payne said during an interview at Vista Detention Center shortly after she was sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison.  She called it "unfair."

"I should have gotten probation,"said Payne about her sentencing.

Payne believes she was given the maximum because the prosecutor painted her as a media hungry thief who boasted about her noteriety.

"I never gloated about what I did," Payne said about the attention she has gotten over the years.

A book deal about her life story is in the works and Halle Berry is slated to portray her in an upcoming film.

"I wanted Queen Latifah to play me," she said.

During the interview, Payne got emotional when she talked about going back to prison.

She said she may not survive long because she suffers from a serious lung disease.

"I'm not afraid, it won't be a situation where I suffer because I go into respiratory failure with this and it's a quick thing,"Payne said.

Her attorney Gretchen Von Helms is filing an appeal and Payne is hoping it'll help her avoid going to prison, at least in the immediate future.

"I'm sure the judge would give me an appeal bail and let me go get medical attention,"Payne said.

When asked if she would ever steal again, Payne said her career as an international jewel thief was over.

"I just want to get my book deal done, so I can start a battered women's shelter,"Payne said.

She said her mother was a victim of domestic violence and she wants to help other victims.

Monday 14 February 2011

Woof, Woof

Barking dogs can land owner in jail

If you live in Italy and if the barking of your dogs keeps the neighbors up at night, it's you who might wind up caged -- in a jail cell.

The top appeals court sentenced four people in Sicily to two months in jail because they refused to keep their 10 dogs quiet at night despite complaints from neighbors who had repeatedly picked a bone with the owners over lost sleep.

The four were also ordered to pay court charges and a fine of 500 euros ($684) each.

Sunday 13 February 2011

Gnomes Of Liverpool!!

Gnome flashmob invades Liverpool Street Station

The nine-inch-high brigade of gnomes was equipped with traditional accessories such as fishing rods and rakes, as well as more commuter-esque attire - laptops and mobile phones.

Some 5,000 of the ornaments were put at the busy London station to mark the release of Gnomeo & Juliet 3D.

The film hits cinemas across the country this Friday, just in time for the weekend before Valentine's Day.

James McAvoy and Emily Blunt star in the animated flick, which centres around two gnomes who have to overcome various obstacles to find ever-lasting love with one another.

Saturday 12 February 2011

Puppy Love??

Woman charged in puppy-mailing attempt

A Minneapolis woman has been charged with animal cruelty after postal workers say she tried to mail a puppy to Atlanta in a sealed box with no air holes.

Postal Service spokesman Pete Nowacki says employees became suspicious when the box suddenly fell off the counter after the woman left the post office Jan. 25. Postal inspectors opened the priority mail parcel and found a 4-month-old poodle mix, panting hard, inside.

Police Sgt. William Palmer says without the postal workers' intervention, the puppy would certainly have died in the airplane's unheated and non-pressurized cargo hold. It also had no food or water.

The Star Tribune says 39-year-old Stacey Champion has been charged with animal cruelty. The dog was taken to the city's animal control facility.

Friday 11 February 2011


Bird kills man at cockfight

A man has died after being stabbed by a bird that had a knife attached to its leg at an illegal cockfight in California.

Police say the injured man and other spectators fled when the police arrived at the fight.

The man was declared dead two hours later in hospital.

Thursday 10 February 2011

Now That’s A Vacation

Cat comes home after seven years

A cat has been returned to its owners after seven years away from home.

10-year-old Billy, a Burmese pedigree, went missing from his Liverpool home in 2004. His owner Carol Rogers received a surprise phone call last week from a local vet to say that Billy had been handed in.

Rogers told BBC North West Tonight: "I'm thinking 'Billy, Billy, Billy - who's Billy?' I said: 'I haven't got an animal called Billy. I've got three other animals, but they're not called Billy.'

"So she said 'No, Billy, Mrs Rogers - who you lost seven years ago.'

"My husband couldn't quite believe it until he came home and saw him - it was lovely."

Billy was identified by a silicon identity chip which was implanted when he was a kitten.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

The Old Ways?

Mexican Smugglers Catapult Pot Over Border

Forget border hopping and sewing drugs into car cushions. Mexican smugglers have found a far more creative way to push pot north of the border: via giant catapults.

Two massive drug catapults were found in the Mexican state of Sonora, about 20 yards from the U.S. border in Arizona, the Associated Press tells us.

Resting on SUV flatbeds, each of the ancient contraptions were capable of flinging 4.4 pounds of marijuana over the border at a time.

National Guard troops found the first machine on Wednesday, and local soldiers followed an anonymous tip to the second one Agua Prieta on Thursday. They seized the vehicles, the catapults, and 35 pounds of the drug.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Hooked Up?

Motorist pictured hooked up to IV

A Chinese man has become an internet sensation after he was photographed driving while receiving IV treatment.

A series of pictures of the motorist was taken by another driver, Zhou Tao, in the city of Xi'an in western China's Shaanxi province.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw the IV pole sticking out fo the window and the driver receiving treatment," said Zhou.

"At one point I was right next to the man and could see the gauze on his hand where the needle went in.

"He obviously didn't have enough space in the front for the IV pole so he had put it in the back, behind him, sticking out of the window.

"Other motorists couldn't believe it either, they were sounding their horns at him. Perhaps they were worried he might fall asleep!"

The pictures of the man - who has been nicknamed 'Injection Brother' - notched up more than 100,000 hits in just two hours.

People have been commenting that he must be the busiest man in China - and the best at multi-tasking.

Monday 7 February 2011

Get A Life!

Japanese tourists sending cuddly toys on holiday

Cash-strapped Japanese tourists who can't afford to visit Europe themselves, have started sending their cuddly toys there on holiday instead, it's been claimed.
Bosses at 'Barcelona Toy Travel' say they've been inundated with requests from Japan to take soft toys on sight-seeing tours of the Spanish city.

The firm charges £60 to show a teddybear around Barcelona on a six-day trip and supplies owners with a selection of photos showing their beloved bear in front of various monuments.

A postcard is also sent back to the owner, followed by the well-travelled soft toy… which won't stop going on about Gaudi architecture. Don't you just hate pretentious teddy bears.

Sunday 6 February 2011

Aussies...Don't You Love Them!

Hundreds gather for the kangaroo races

Today's Hanging Rock Cup raceday has been postponed because of kangaroos on the track.
The traditional Australia Day meeting had attracted thousands of racegoers, but kangaroos invading the track made it impossible for Racing Victoria Limited stewards to let the races go ahead. 

The horses were in the barrier for the first event at 12.35pm when jockeys noticed kangaroos close to the track along the back straight.
The horses were released from the barriers and efforts were made to shoo the kangaroos away.

The horses were released from the barriers and efforts were made to shoo the kangaroos away.

Despite the efforts of Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club and RVL staff, the kangaroos returned to the vicinity of the track.

At about 1.45pm chief steward Peter Ryan had no choice but to postpone the meeting because there were no guarantees that the kangaroos wouldn't jump on to the track while a race was being run.

Kyneton and Hanging Rocking Racing Club chief executive Mark Graham said the kangaroos were persistent in wanting to enter the racing club and, despite being shooed from the venue, they continually jumped the five-foot fences.

"We have had about half a dozen kangaroos who were more interested in being inside the venue, than outside the venue," Graham said.

He said they had no alternative but to cancel the meeting because of the danger the kangaroos posed to riders.
"In the end, the risk to rider and horse was too great."

He said race meetings at the picturesque venue had been affected by kangaroos about eight times in the past 10 years.

Gates at the racing club are normally open and kangaroos graze freely at the racecourse.

Saturday 5 February 2011

Sex Mad!!!

Man seeks police protection from sex-mad wife

The man is seeking help after being unable to meet his wife’s insatiable appetite and constant demands for sex, authorities said on Wednesday.

He arrived at his local police station in south-western Germany complaining that he had been sleeping on the sofa for the past four years in order to escape the clutches of his sex-crazed wife.

The couple have been together for 18 years and have two children.

In a statement police said: ‘Now he has decided to get a divorce and to move out... in the hope of finally getting some rest, particularly as he is anxious to arrive at work well rested.

‘At the moment this is impossible because he says his wife keeps coming into the living room demanding that he perform his marital duties.

'He asked for police help in getting some sleep at night.’

Friday 4 February 2011

And Something For The Weekend?

Man 'tries to steal condom machine'

A man has been banned from a bar in Hungary after reportedly trying to steal its condom machine.

According to Metro, Miklos Antal was caught trying to hide the machine under his jacket on his way out of the Nyiregyhaza venue.

Antal reportedly told the police that he had "met a hot girl at the bar and needed condoms for later" but claimed that he was low on money.

"So I thought I'd solve both my problems at once," the 28-year-old added.

The man was given a lifetime ban from the establishment after locals notified police.

Thursday 3 February 2011

Don’t Mess With Granny!

Granny, 90, fights off trio of thieves

A granny in Germany made short work of three suspected robbers who tricked their way into her Berlin apartment as she celebrated her 90th birthday, police said.

The trio, a woman and two men, rang the doorbell of her flat in the eastern district of Hellersdorf and said they were there to attend the granny's birthday party.

The pensioner, whose birthday it actually was, became suspicious however when the woman asked her for a drink of water and then tried to hold a towel in front of her face.

"She hit the con artist in the face. At the same time she pushed one of the men out the door, at which point the trio fled," police said in a statement.

"The senior was unharmed."

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Wheel On Fire!!

Man Removes Wheel Clamp By Setting Fire To His Car

Exeter Crown Court, where Torquay man Scott Smithers, 27, stands in the dock.

Having failed to remove the wheel clamp from his Metro with an axe (value of car: £120), Smithers set fire to a petrol-infused newspaper on the backseat and watched his car go up in flames.

He is said to have told police:

“My brain ended up being an idiot.”

Judge Paul Darlow sentenced Smithers’ brain to a high level community order.

Tuesday 1 February 2011

It’s The “Real” Thing?

Canna Cola: Marijuana sodas to go on sale in US

A US firm has announced plans to launch an odd range of marijuana-spiked soft drinks guaranteed to give you a buzz.

Makers says the drinks, which include a cola, a Dr Pepper–like, a lemonade and a orange flavoured one, will go on sale in February for $10 to $15 each.

Because they contain 35 to 65 milligrams of THC - the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis - they will only be available in medical-marijuana dispensaries.

The drinks are said to only have a "mild marijuana taste"… and go great with a special sort of chocolate brownie.