[FOUND] LOST DOG: Crestmont Drive – Medium size Black Dog

Edited to add: The DOG IS HOME!

I got this comment on the ‘pets’ page,  but am posting it here for better circulation. If I get a photo, I’ll post it here too. And if Nina comes home, please let me know!

Our dog, Nina, was last seen at 1am on New Years Eve in Forest Knolls on the hillside above Crestmont Drive.

She was spooked by the fireworks and ran off. Please help her come home.

She has a blue collar with a Marin County dog license and an oversized leather teardrop tag.

Nina is a 7 year old small/medium sized black dog with brown stockings and salt & pepper toes on her hind legs. She has two brown spots above her eyes and a white spot on her chest. There is some graying around her snout. We’re working on getting her photo posted here as well.

Save Off-Leash Dog Walking In The GGNRA!

I was sent this note by two of our neighbors. Though I don’t personally have a dog, I believe that dogs and their walkers make areas safer for *everyone* to use.

Joel Engardio, Candidate for Supervisor in San Francisco's District 7, takes a stand on dogs

Why? It’s because dog-walkers are around. In all weathers, every day of the year, dogs need their walks. Who else uses the parks? Joggers do, but they usually go by running, often with their music on. So do hikers and trekkers and parents with their kids – but they usually select nice weather and convenient times. Dog walkers are the eyes and ears of our parks.

Paws in our parks means eyes in our parks.

So I’m pleased that our neighborhood is dog-friendly, and I’m happy to post this – for the dog-walkers, and for people like me who benefit from their presence. I’ve made some minor edits and corrected the deadline date.

SAVE OFF-LEASH DOG WALKING IN THE GGNRA!

What’s the Deal?

This past September, the GGNRA released a revised version of its Dog Management Plan in the form of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, or SEIS. This document proposes eliminating 90% of off-leash dog access, and severely restricting all dog walking in 21 existing GGNRA sites in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo counties, as well as in all future sites managed by the GGNRA.

Why Should I care?

If the GGNRA implements their preferred alternatives, Marin will lose off-leash access to the Oakwood Valley Trail, Muir Beach and almost all other GGNRA trails. The only off-leash opportunity in Marin would be Rodeo Beach, the one beach that is only reachable by car by any and all users. And most trails within the GGNRA in Marin would no longer allow any use by people with their dogs, leashed or unleashed. People and their dogs would go from having access to an already tiny 1 % of the GGNRA down to a mere .1 %, effectively removing an entire user group from the GGNRA.

Several years ago, when the plan was first unveiled, public comment ran 3-1 against the GGNRA’s preferred alternatives. But the GGNRA apparently isn’t listening. They’ve re-heated the same plan, with even more restrictions in many locations. And they are requiring new comments for the “new” plan. Even if you commented a couple of years ago, you need to do it again.

What can I do about it?

Comments close on 18 Feb 2014 at 11 p.m. [Webmaster; It’s been extended from January 11th, 2014]. You must submit substantive comments that directly address aspects of the SEIS. No form letters or petitions will be accepted or counted. The GGNRA is making it difficult for a reason. Comments mailed in the old fashioned way always carry more weight. We’ve tried to make it easy for you: key points/phrases to include in your comments are listed below. You may also comment on the NPS website, by clicking on the “Comment on Document” button. Here’s the link: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=303&projectID=11759&documentID=55416

HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO MAKE IN YOUR COMMENTS

  • Mention where you walk, how long you ‘ve walked there, and what impact this will have on you as a dog guardian and as a citizen.
  • The SEIS lacks scientific data. Instead, it makes assumptions and assertions with absolutely no peer reviewed site-specific studies as required by law. Without these studies and corresponding data, there is no legitimate or legal foundation for these policy changes.
  • The plan doesn’t differentiate between impacts caused by humans or other animals. It just assumes all the negative impacts are caused by dogs.
  •  If the GGNRA further limits dog walking as recreation, what few surrounding parks and trails that do allow off-leash will become overcrowded and overburdened. We need more access, not less.
  • A well-exercised dog is a well-behaved dog. The SFSPCA and Marin Humane Society, as well countless other dog behaviorists are opposed to GGNRA’s preferred alternatives.
  • There is no federally designated critical habitat in the GGNRA. Yet they cite possible impacts on critical habitat as a reason to ban dogs or restrict access to dog owners.
  •  The GGNRA is an urban park, not a wilderness area. It’s critical recreational open space for a densely populated urban area. By severely reducing off leash dog walking, the GGNRA is in violation of its enabling legislation that allows different user groups -it specifically mentions off-leash dog walkers -to recreate.
  •  Oppose the GGNRA’s preferred alternative and tell them you support the NO ACTION alternative.
  • Tell the GGNRA to enforce the existing (and adequate) rules to manage dogs.

For more info, visit saveoffleash.com

Send comments to: Frank Dean, General Superintendent Golden Gate National Recreation Area Fort Mason Building 201 San Francisco, CA 94123-002

 SPREAD THE WORD! TOGETHER WE CAN KEEP THE GGNRA DOG FRIENDLY!

offleash dogs

Lost Cat: ‘Sky Kitty’

Jennifer, a former neighbor asked me to post this. Her cat, who currently lives in Forest Knolls, is missing. If you see him, please email her at jenadibi@att.net

Sky Kitty

Here’s her message:

I am no longer a member of the Forest Knoll group as we moved out of state.  However, my cat has been staying on Warren Drive with a friend until I can come back and transport him to his new home. Would you be able to post this message to the listserve for me?

He has been missing since Thursday morning, November 21st.  He lives on Warren Drive near Oak Park and responds to the name Sky Kitty.  Has anyone seen him?

Please keep a lookout for Sky Kitty, and email Jennifer if you see him.

Continuing Saga of Trashcans and Raccoons

I’d gone for a walk toward Tank Hill, the other evening, when I saw a shape scurrying across the road. Raccoon! And sure enough, it was Garbage Night, and there was the overturned trashcan. As I approached, I made out its tail, sticking out of the trashcan, and then, as it heard me, it came out and tried to decide whether to stay or run.

The light was poor, and the picture worse, but here you are. (It scampered off before I could get anything better.)

trashcan with racoon

I’ve been wondering what’s happened – raccoons never used to up-end trashcans like this. They’ve been on a learning curve, it seems. Apparently, that’s what urban wild-life does – it becomes smarter.  Here’s an article from Wired Science:  How City Living Is Reshaping the Brains and Behavior of Urban Animals

Article from Wired Science: How City Living is Changing Animals’ Brains

THREE TRASHCAN SOLUTIONS

trashcan with cross-over bungeesMeanwhile, our latest solution seems to be holding up – two crossed bungees, snagged outside the lid hinges on one side, and on either side of the main lip of the trashcan lid on the other. Like in this picture.

trashcan with bolt 2Walking around the neighborhood on garbage nights, we’ve seen other solutions.

One neighbor drilled a hole in the lid, and attached a strap with a bolt and washer. They then snagged the strap to the bar below.

 But the solution that looked simple and ingenious was the one that tied up the trashcans with a bow, like shoe-laces in a larger size. Because it’s rope, not bungee, it doesn’t stretch, so presumably it’s difficult for the raccoons to pry off.

Wonder when they’ll learn to untie shoe-laces…

trashcans tied in a bow

Trashcan Score: Raccoons 2, Bungees 0

So I recently posted here about how one bungee cord was not enough to prevent raccoons from getting into the trashcans… it took two per trashcan. That worked well.

Or so I thought. I was out of town recently when I got this message: “Double bungees are no match for these strong clever critters!

Yowch. See this photograph? That’s what accompanied the message.

two is not enough

Maybe the black bin had overflowed and some of the garbage was left on the side in vulnerable garbage bags?

Nope. Here’s another picture. The raccoons had managed to push the bungee cord out of position, open the corner of the can, get in, and drag out the contents.

two is not enough -2

So we’re developing new solutions. (The easiest would be to put it in the garage until Garbage Morning, but with two cars and three garbage cans, that doesn’t work.)

Until we do, we’ve invested in a box of disposable rubber gloves for clean-up. And maybe we’ll add more bungee cords.

Stay tuned, and if you’re losing (or winning!) the Bandit Battle, I’d love to publish your experiences and photographs. Email at fk94131 at yahoo.com or leave a comment here. (Comments are moderated, so it may take a day or two to come through.)

Of Raccoons, Trashcans, and Bungee Cords

single bungee on compostables trash can

A few days ago, I’d posted about the raccoon that visited our trashcans… and knocked them over to raid them.

Several neighbors suggested using bungee cords to keep them closed. Some were kind enough to send a detailed explanation of how to bungee a trashcan so the raccoons couldn’t open it.  So we duly got some cords, and fastened down the lids of the green “compostables” bin, and the black “landfill” bin. (We didn’t bother about the blue bin; we figured recyclable paper and plastic and cans wouldn’t interest the critters.)  And it worked!  I added a note to my previous post to say so.

Until it didn’t.

raccoon at night 2a

A few nights later, they pushed over the green bin, and then deftly moved aside the bungee cord enough to open the lid and drag out its contents.  Now what? we wondered. Someone suggested boring a hole through the lid of the trashcan and putting a chain through it.

Instead, we decided to try a double bungee, two cords on each bin.

So a few nights ago, I heard the now-familiar crash. They’d pushed the trashcan over. But this time the bungee cord held, and the bin stayed shut.  We hurried out, and saw a couple of raccoons scamper off.  We may have a solution.

trashcan with bungee cords

If we do, it’s this:

  • Fasten each bin with two bungee cords in parallel, hooked over the handle, and the bar on the other side that’s used to lift the trashcan over the truck. You may have to open the hooks a little with pliers so they can grab the bars; at least we did.
  • Remember to replace them every time you put something in the trashcan. My experience is the raccoons come around 1-5 a.m., but who knows? Maybe they come earlier on some days and some places. [Edited to Add: The other evening, they showed up before 10 p.m.]
  • Remember to remove the cords in the morning before the garbage trucks come round, or they won’t clear the garbage.

Of course, it’s a lot easier if you can just keep the trashcans in your garage, and put them out only on the morning of Garbage Day. But if you have two cars parked inside, or a garage full of Stuff, it may not be feasible.

Protest the Poisoner with a Donation for Vet Bills

Sadly, Oskar the dachshund who was poisoned by the strychnine-laced meatballs, has died. The veterinary clinic did their best to save him, but lost the battle.

Oskar in veterinary hospital – photo credit: AIMSS Facebook page

The poisoner/s remains at large. There’s a $5,000 reward for information leading to their arrest. This dastardly crime could affect almost any animal or bird or even human – the police determine there was so much strychnine they advised against handling the meatballs without gloves. [Edited to Add: If you have information, call the police  at (415) 242 3000 – Lieutenant Pengel or Inspector Nannery – or the Animal Legal Defense Fund at (707) 795-2533, ext. 1010]

Meanwhile, Oskar’s treatment was hugely expensive. Already facing the tragic loss of her pet, his owner shouldn’t be left holding the bill for a crime that hits all of us as a community. I’m not a dog-owner, but I am using my donation to protest this horrible act. If you would like to do the same, here’s the Paypal link.

paypal button

The veterinary clinic, Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services,  notes on their Facebook page: “Donations can be submitted through the paypal site, as well as in person at the hospital via credit card. We regret that at this time we cannot accept checks. “

[Edited to Add: They’re at 1333 9th Avenue, San Francisco, California 94122; the phone number is (415) 566-0540 and they’re always open.]

[Edited to Add 2: In response to some questions from readers, I asked AIMSS what the target amount was, whether the funds would go directly to reducing the liability of Oskar’s owner, and what would happen to excess donations if the target was crossed.  Here’s what AIMSS said:

“Hey, Thanks for helping Oskar’s mom! So Oskar’s bill was capped by the hospital when it reached $26,000. All funds raised go directly to Oskar’s medical cost. If we go over the target amount we will donate any additional funds to SF Aid for Animals.” ]