Pets and Animals

By The Mercury News | Pets and animals news and advice from The Mercury News staff and columnists.

Your dog is talking; are you listening?

For a good many years, dogs have been working to understand what we’re talking about, but now researchers have started listening to what the dog is …

Cognitive Science

Pig racing at the county fair — cute or cruel? The answer isn’t simple

<i>CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing these photos or video on a mobile device</i><p>Taylor Noll is what some might call a long drink of water. The …

Pigs

What animal is responsible for killing 11-pound papillon dog?

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> My little 11-pound papillon was attacked in my backyard again. She was attacked in February 2017 at 9 a.m. and again this past Friday at …

Owls

Carelessly tossed cigarette butts cause troubles for wildlife and pets

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> I want to wade in on the discussion about cigarette filters. Besides the fact that they are ugly and pollute, they are also full of toxins.<p>…

Pollution

Critter Corner: Interesting facts about most common cat breeds

<b>Dear Miss Behavin’:</b> My friend and I have been debating the best cat breeds to adopt. She thinks Maine Coons are perfect and I love Torties! Any …

Pets

Arming yourself against a ground squirrel invasion

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> Since the water district has turned over maintenance of the portion of the Santa Teresa hills behind my house to the city of San Jose, we …

Contra Costa County

Dog found in forest 11 days after crash kills her owner

A dog missing for 11 days after the accident that killed her owner on a Northern California road was found and reunited with the man’s family.<p>Lena, a …

Northern California

Ask a Vet: What’s new with the dog flu?

<i>Today’s “Ask a Vet” question is answered by Dr. Adam Scott, Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center and Urgent Care, 2000 Bishop Dr., San Ramon.</i><p><i>Q. Earlier</i> …

Public Health

Why did the opossum stick leaves in her pouch?

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> Last week, my wife noticed a female opossum in the backyard stuffing leaves into her pouch. Does this mean she is building a nest for her …

Self Defense

Screaming young skunk, rescued from muddy hole, released back into the wild

Earlier this year, a woman heard screaming coming from an open post hole and discovered a young skunk, wet, muddy and shivering, trapped in the …

Wildlife

Uh oh, is there a dead squirrel stuck behind my washer?

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> My cat brought in a still-living small squirrel two weeks ago. It hid out in my stacking washer-dryer closet.<p>I tried to lure it out of its …

Time I

Raccoon reaches skyscraper roof as the Twitterverse watches

A raccoon that became an internet star as it scaled a downtown St. Paul office building made it to the roof and has been trapped, according to …

Cute Animals

Tips for keeping your pets tick free this summer

While we celebrate the return of summer weather and all the outdoor activities that come with it, there are some downsides to all of that outdoor …

Pets

How can I get rid of a mother fox and three pups living under the deck?

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> Last Sunday we discovered we had a fox and three young ones nesting under our deck.<p>After calling trappers, Lindsay Wildlife, Contra Costa …

Contra Costa County

Video: Friendly pig found wandering the streets of Concord

CONCORD — Animal services officials had to impound a domesticated pig last week after it was discovered roaming a city neighborhood and snacking on …

San Francisco

A stolen slice of pepperoni pizza leads sleuths to homeless puppies

From the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up department we have a tale of a peaceful picnic, a pilfered pizza and a pile of perky puppies.<p>It all started a …

Royal Family

Peacocks are beautiful, but their behavior is not

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> The neighborhood we live in has peacocks, and they come into the yard, eat flowers and poop on the patio.<p>They are not deterred by fences …

Birds

Pawternity leave for new pet parents? Nordic company says yes

Moms and dads in the United States have trouble getting any time off when they add new human babies to their families, but a pet food company based …

Pets

Kitten that was almost roadkill, now on the road to a new home

A kitten found alone and injured on a busy Vallejo street is now ready to ride off into the sunset of a happy life.<p>The kitten was found a couple of …

Cute

JetBlue joins wave of airlines cracking down on suspected fake support animals

JetBlue has joined the growing number of airlines cracking down on suspected fake emotional support animals.<p>Starting July 1, the airlines will only …

Horses

An effort to help the homeless and their pets

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> Pets bring joy and comfort, as well as better health, to their owners’ lives, but financial or medical problems can leave pet owners …

Pets

Palo Alto’s animal shelter may get new operator by month’s end

Palo Alto’s ailing, city-run animal shelter could see a new operator before the end of the month.<p>Pets in Need, a nonprofit that runs a no-kill …

Pets

Reward in Oakland puppy-abuse case climbs to $40,000

Reward Increased to $40,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case of three abandon puppies. Do you know who did this? …

Memorial Day Weekend

Tips on how to hush a neighbor’s barking dog, from those who know

I think I’ve discovered a topic that generates almost as many comments as wandering cats, and that’s neighbors with barking dogs. Here is a sampling …

City Politics

Bullfight! Fremont bulls face off on neighborhood street

Update: We have learned the bulls got out through an open gate, due to illegal trespassing. Community members are opening the private property gate, …

Fremont

Dollars and Pets: What pet owners can expect to pay when they rent

Pets are family, and overall the number of households in the United States including them continues to grow.<p>In California 52.9 percent of households …

Housing

Pets not eating more marijuana in California post Prop. 64, data shows

Pets aren’t getting stoned more, or less, than they did before recreational cannabis became legal earlier this year in California.<p>For several years, …

Cannabis

Smelly skunks are always in season

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> I was wondering if the seasonal and nocturnal behavior of skunks are habitual enough to be explained.<p>Our dog has gotten sprayed as early …

Animals

Pets and Vets: The hunt for a few good dogs

<i>Editor’s note: The is the second of a five-part series on the Pets and Vets program at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek,</i> …

Animal Rescue