Shelter Animals Are Named the New 'State Pet' of Ohio

iStock.com/FatCamera
iStock.com/FatCamera

The state of Ohio just got a furry new mascot. As The Cincinnati Enquirer reports, shelter animals have been named the official state pet of Ohio in a bid to raise awareness about all the cats and dogs available for adoption. This means rescue pups and kittens will now be recognized alongside the state bird (northern cardinal), state mammal (white-tailed deer), and state insect (ladybug).

Shelter pets already enjoy an official "state pet" status in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, and Tennessee, and legislators in Texas and Oregon are now considering similar bills. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) praised Ohio's resolution, which was part of a sweeping Senate bill that received bipartisan support and went into effect on March 20.

"This designation will help raise public awareness for shelter animals and the many shelters throughout Ohio which are full of wonderful, family-ready pets," the HSUS said. "Animal shelters and rescues always have a great selection of pets looking for new homes."

Earlier this month, the Humane Society of Tuscarawas County, Ohio was searching for a home for a senior golden retriever named Annie and a potbelly pig named Hermione, both of whom were abandoned in the Humane Society's parking lot. A surveillance video posted to Facebook shows a man tying the dog's leash to a post, then dropping off a cage with the pig inside.

After the video went viral, both of the animals were adopted by a mother and daughter who own a farm in Louisville, Ohio. "When I first saw the golden retriever, first she kind of pulled at my heartstrings, and I was like, 'Oh, there's a pig! We have to get the pig!" the daughter, Grace Erb, told Fox affiliate WJW. "With having a farm, we've had many animals dropped off at our facility, and it's heartbreaking."

An ongoing campaign called The Shelter Pet Project—a joint effort by the HSUS and other organizations—aims to make animal shelters the first place people look once they've decided to get a pet.

[h/t The Cincinnati Enquirer]

Why Cats Like to Shove Their Butts in Your Face, According to an Animal Behavior Expert

This cat might be happier showing off its butt.
This cat might be happier showing off its butt.
Okssi68/iStock via Getty Images

Cats are full of eccentric behaviors. They hate getting wet. Their tongues sometimes get stuck midway out of their mouths, known as a “blep.” And they’re really happy hanging out in bodegas.

Some of these traits can be explained while others are more mysterious. Case in point: when they stick their rear end in your face for no apparent reason.

Are cats doing this just to humiliate their hapless caregivers? What would possess a cat to greet a person with its butt? Why subject the person who gives you food and shelter to such degradation?

To find out, Inverse spoke with Mikel Delgado, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. According to Delgado, cats don’t necessarily perceive their rectal flaunting as anything aggressive or domineering. In fact, it might be a cat’s way of saying hello.

“For cats, it’s normal for them to sniff each other’s butts as a way to say hello or confirm another cat’s identity,” Delgado said. “It’s hard for us to relate to, but for them, smell is much more important to cats and how they recognize each other than vision is. So cats may be ‘inviting’ us to check them out, or just giving us a friendly hello.”

For a cat, presenting or inspecting a butt is a kind of fingerprint scan. It’s a biological measure of security.

Other experts agree with this assessment, explaining that cats use their rear end to express friendliness or affection. Raising their tail so you can take a whiff is a sign of trust. If they keep their tail down, it’s possible they might be feeling a little shy.

If you think this situation is eased by the fact you rarely hear cats fart, we have bad news. They do. Because they don’t often gulp air while eating, they just don’t have enough air in their digestive tract to make an audible noise. Rest assured that, statistically speaking, there will be times a cat giving you a friendly greeting is also stealthily farting in your face.

[h/t Inverse]

New York City Falcon Cam Reveals Nest With Four Eggs

BrianEKushner, iStock via Getty Images
BrianEKushner, iStock via Getty Images

The urban jungle of New York City supports a vibrant wildlife population. One animal that calls the city home is the peregrine falcon, once an endangered species, that has been seen around downtown Manhattan for decades. Recently, a livestream of the falcons of 55 Water Street revealed that one of them is about to be a mom.

The camera on top of the skyscraper at 55 Water Street peers into a falcon nesting site, and a female peregrine falcon there has been displaying incubating behaviors since at least late March, according to the Downtown Alliance's blog. It was assumed she had laid eggs, though this wasn't confirmed until she flew away from her nest on the afternoon of March 31. Her absence left four eggs in clear view of the building's bird camera.

It also created some concern among viewers. When female falcons leave the nest to hunt, the father usually takes over incubating duties—something that didn't happen in this case. Fortunately, the mother wasn't gone long enough to put her eggs in any real danger. She returned later that afternoon, and is currently nesting right where the internet can see her.

Peregrine falcon eggs need to be incubated for about 33 days, so expect to see them hatch sometime within the next month. In the meantime, here are some more animal livestreams to check out.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER