Pets and Animals

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

Critter Corner: Dog-free zone ideal in search of cat groomer

<b>Dear Miss Behavin’:</b> We tried to give our cat a bath and ended up with kitty scratches all over our arms. Ouch! We want to try a groomer but don’t …

Cats

Surprise! Steller’s jays make use of an old nest

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> I never thought that small birds reuse old nests, but just when we were about to have work done on our house, I noticed a Steller’s jay in …

Angry Birds

Pit bulls and the court of public opinion

Recently I asked readers of our Pet Pal Connection newsletter to tell me their opinions about pit bulls. Here is what they had to say.<p>My grandparents …

Pets

Delta Airlines will ban all ‘pit bull type’ service and support dogs from flights

Delta Airlines, acting in response to two employees being bitten last week and the mauling of a passenger on a plane last year, has issued a blanket …

Delta Airlines

Could a robot get rid of pesky squirrels?

It’s time for some reader feedback.<p><b>DEAR JOAN:</b> I am writing in response to your article on the invasive ground squirrels. My thought is, why has …

Pets

Why do suicidal beetles invade my basement each spring?

<b>DEAR JOAN:</b> Every year around this time, a herd of suicidal beetles appears in our basement, which is built into a hill. There is sandy ground in some …

Insects

Your dog is talking; are you listening?

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

Pets

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