sábado, 20 de setembro de 2008

Earthquakes and Animals And Pets may be able to predict earthquakes

Earthquakes and Animals

Across Southern California, the 5.4 earthquake rattled furry nerves and ruffled feathers--literally.

"My birds felt it first," reported one reader. "They were all fluffy and upset a few seconds before it happened."

In Chino Hills, the epicenter of the quake, Alissa Sissung's 10-year-old daughter, Delaney, was spending the day at a horse camp not far from her home. Just before the ground began to quiver, her daughter watched the horses and dogs stir nervously, Sissung told Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske.

Another reader e-mailed: "I was feeding my horse when all of a sudden, he took off running. Seconds later is when the earthquake hit."

And word filtered in to us from Garden Grove about a greyhound at a rescue shelter who rarely gets up, but who suddenly stood up and looked around, to the surprise of the humans there. Then the earthquake hit.

Whether they really could sense the earthquake a'coming--as fabled--or were as jolted into surprise as their people, the area's animals seem to have withstood the temblor as well as humans did.

Although, like people, they did their share of freaking out. "My cats went running through the room scared to death," Michael Gelfond, an attorney working out of his Beverlywood home office, told Times reporter Tami Abdollah.

Elizabeth Gonzales suffered one of the day's few quake-related injuries--a dog bite. The veterinarian was examining a mixed-breed terrier when the walls of Chino Hills Small Animal Hospital began to rattle. The frightened dog promptly sunk its teeth into Gonzales' hand.

"They are pretty deep punctures," Gozales told L.A. Times reporter Paul Pringle. But "he's always been a good doggie."

Gonzales says that reaction is not unusual. Dogs, cats, and other animals often become terrified when the ground moves. "They don't know what's going on," she said. "They don't feel secure in their surroundings." Gonzales advises keeping dogs and cats away from windows during and immediately after a quake, lest they jump out in panic. "Their first instinct is, 'Where can I go hide?'"

The Los Angeles county shelter system reported that all its animals and buildings weathered the quake just fine. Same report from the Los Angeles city shelters. "No damage," said L.A. Animal Services general manager Ed Boks. "And, no, the animals did not give us any warning of the earthquake--like they're supposed to," he deadpanned.

Even in Pomona, just seven miles from the epicenter, the Inland Valley Humane Society survived undamaged, and the animals were well, according to Jim Edward, operations manager of the shelter. "You hear so many stories about how they're intuitive and seem to know it's coming," Edward said. "No. It was just another day for them. Maybe it's the soft music we play in the kennels."

--Carla Hall

fonte:Los Angeles Times


Shelley Hettig, registered veterinary technician at Desert Dunes Animal Hospital said she firmly believes animals have a ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to predicting earthquakes.

“They’re on the ground in bare feet and they can feel these things. Their senses are so much more alive than ours,” Hettig said Thursday.

Others said their pets were scared by the quake.

"I have a yellow-headed Amazon and when there's an earthquake he flutters down to the bottom of his cage and acts like he's being attacked, but he doesn't know by what," said Cindy Scott, a vet tech at Animal Emergency Clinic of the Desert.

What are some tips to keep your pets safe in case of an earthquake?

-Make sure there is a supply of canned/dry pet food and bottled water with other emergency supplies including pet prescription and medicine.

-If roads are blocked because of a natural disaster, professional help may not be immediately available so familiarize yourself and other family members with pet CPR, resuscitation and general first aid procedures. Your quick action can save your pet's life.

-Try not to display stress or anxiety when dealing with pets. Most animals are very aware of their owner's emotions and can read your stress. This can cause otherwise calm pets to display aggressive behavior.

-After a fire or disaster, check pet structures and favorite hiding places for hazardous debris.

-Ask your local fire department, animal shelter, or veterinarian for a "Pet Alert" sign for doors and windows. In non are available, make your own by listing your pets on a 3 by 5 card and display it prominently. This alerts emergency teams there may be pets that need assistance.

-Dogs and cats should wear I.D. tags with current address and/or phone numbers at all times. This will make it easier for you and your pet to be reunited if separated.

-Keep up-to-date on your pet's vaccinations. Pets may become disoriented and stray, or housed in shelters with other animals herby potentially becoming exposed to infectious diseases.

-Alert local shelters if your pet is missing.


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