TIME animals

CEO Fined $5,000 for Kicking a Puppy

Surveillance footage shows the now disgraced executive kicking the animal repeatedly

Des Hague, the former CEO of U.S. catering company Centerplate who was caught on camera kicking a puppy in an elevator, has been fined $5,000 and banned from owning an animal for three years.

Hague pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in February after surveillance footage from a Vancouver hotel elevator surfaced in August 2014. It showed him kicking a Doberman puppy five times and tugging the dog into the air by its leash, reports CBC News.

In the wake of the incident, Hague resigned from the top job at the company, which employs around 30,000 staff. He was also ordered by Centerplate to donate $100,000 to animal charity.

“Clearly this is something I am very, very sorry about,” he told the court on Wednesday. “I can assure the court these incidents will never happen, ever again.”


TIME Crime

More Than 70 Animals Found in Arizona Mobile Home

These animals were rescued from filthy conditions in an Arizona mobile home on Wednesday.
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office These animals were rescued from filthy conditions in an Arizona mobile home on Wednesday.

One of the cats was nursing three Chihuahua puppies

More than 70 animals were removed from a filth-covered mobile home in Arizona on Wednesday, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies removed 54 dogs and 19 cats—one of which had died—from a known animal hoarder’s mobile home in Wittmann, Ariz., according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

The homeowner, John Koepke, 71, had been involved in an animal hoarding case in 2011 that prohibited him from owning animals until May 2015. Details of that case weren’t available.

Koepke was “highly emotional” and refused to surrender the animals to detectives, calling them “his…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News.

TIME Bizarre

Croatian Court Bans Dog From Barking

Croatia No Barking
Darko Bandic—AP Dog Medo barks in a backyard in Peroj, Croatia, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. A fed up neighbor from a northern Croatian Adriatic village has won a temporary court order that says Medo must stop barking at night. If not, owner Anton Simunovic must pay some €2,800 ($3,160). The 3-year-old mutt, now confined in a barn between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. instead of being allowed to roam, is the only dog in Croatia slapped with a no-barking injunction. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

They couldn't handle the woof

Dog owners might want to reconsider before relocating to northern Croatia, where a court recently gave a dog an injunction for … barking.

Medo, a 3-year-old mutt, has been given a temporary court order to stop barking between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m, the Associated Press reports. His owner’s neighbor is suing for more than $1,500 in damages, claiming that Medo’s barking has negatively impacted her health.

“He barks normally, like any dog does,” owner Anton Simunovic said. “He barks when he sees a cat, or if someone unknown comes to his territory.”

The temporary court order has prompted Simunovic to confine Medo to a barn at night. Until a court in Pula issues a final ruling, the injunction stipulates that Simunovic will be charged up to $3,160 if Medo barks at inopportune hours.

While Medo hasn’t made friends with his neighbors the pup has a strong social media solidarity movement.

Almost 43,000 people have joined Medo’s Facebook page, many of whom are posting pictures and videos of their pets barking in support:


TIME portfolio

50 Astonishing Animal Photos of 2014

TIME looks back over the past 12 months and presents a selection of underreported, astonishing and apparently-implausible animal images

Whether cute and cuddly, wild or exotic, animals seem to endlessly fascinate. Our furry, feathered friends provide us with constant surprises and hours of viral entertainment on an annual basis. And this year was no exception.

Here, TIME looks back over the past 12 months and presents a selection of underreported, astonishing and apparently-implausible animal images—from a bear in a hammock and swans in a boat, to a koala with a camera and a “happy” sloth. Images, we trust, that will maintain their ability to utterly and thoroughly surprise.

TIME animal

Woman’s Pickup Truck Stalls Due to an Unexpected Case of Python

"How much horsepower you got?" "Nah, man. Pythons."

A woman in New Mexico found a surprise after her pickup truck stalled in Santa Fe. When she and local chef Jackson Ault (who stopped to help) popped the hood, they were greeted by a 20lb brown-and-yellow python in the engine block, the Associated Press reports:

The python was taken to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, where spokesman Ben Swan says the reptile has minor injuries but otherwise is in good shape.

Police say the snake likely crawled into the pickup at the motorist’s home several blocks from where the vehicle stalled. And Ault says he thinks the truck stalled because the snake dislodged an electrical wire.

Authorities say the owner hasn’t turned up yet.

TIME celebrity

Billy Joel Wants People to Stop Killing Elephants and Rhinos for Pianos

Billy Joel And Gavin DeGraw In Concert At The MGM Grand
Ethan Miller—Getty Images Singer/songwriter Billy Joel performs at the MGM Grand Garden Arena

The Piano Man has had enough

“Piano Man” Billy Joel has seen an ivory key or two in his day, but the musician has a message to piano aficionados: Stop killing elephants and rhinos to make instruments.

In support of a New York bill that aims to ban illegal ivory trade, Joel posted this message on his website:

To whom it may concern:
I wholeheartedly support the ivory sales ban bill pending in New York State.
I am a piano player. And I realize that ivory piano keys are preferred by some pianists.
But a preference for ivory keys does not justify the slaughter of 96 elephants every day.
There are other materials which can be substituted for piano keys.
But magnificent creatures like these can never be replaced.
Music must never be used as an excuse to destroy an endangered species.
Music should be a celebration of life – not an instrument of death.
Billy Joel

Listen to the piano man, everybody. Elephants are friends not musical instruments.


TIME animal

‘Extinct’ Bat Isn’t Actually Extinct

Yves Adams—Getty Images Flying Brown Long-eared Bat (Plecotus auritus)

The bat reappeared in Papua New Guinea, according to a new study

When the New Guinea big-eared bat, which hadn’t been seen for over a century, was captured, it hadn’t even been hiding.

In fact, student researchers Catherine Hughes and Julie Broken-Brow from the University of Queensland trapped the bat in Papua New Guinea in July 2012 while it was flying in an open area by a logged rainforest now overrun by grasslands, according to their study published in Records of the Australian Museum.

The bat remained an unidentified species for nearly two years at the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery until Dr. Harry Parnaby, a researcher at the Australian Museum, requested to loan the mystery mammal. He subsequently identified it as Pharotis imogene, a critically endangered species according to the IUCN Red List. With ears nearly twice the size of its face, the insectivore—so tiny you could lift it with a pair of chopsticks—had last been seen in 1890, said researcher Dr. Luke Leung in a statement.

It’s not the first time a species has seemingly risen from the dead: the La Palma giant lizard, for example, was rediscovered in 2007 after its 500-year long “extinction.”

TIME al fenn

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Margay Kitten in a New York Apartment!

Montezuma the margay kitten -- a largely arboreal big cat native to Central and South America -- launches himself from the top of a door in a New York apartment in 1961.

It’s the early 1960s. You’re dropping by a friend’s place. You knock on the door — but brace yourself. In their house or apartment there just might reside a lithe jungle cat. These creatures usually call Central and South American forests home, but as LIFE explained to its readers in a December 1961 article, margays were adapting to a whole new habitat … a concrete jungle.

Today, they’re classified as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “Red List” of endangered species. But back in the ’60s, margays (along with leopards, chimpanzees and kangaroos) were kept by the rich and famous as novelty pets. The photo here is of Montezuma the margay — “the most elegant pet to be found in New York City,” according to LIFE — romping in the Manhattan home of Mr. and Mrs. Si Merrill.

Subsisting largely on a diet of beef or turkey heart, and the occasional side of watercress, the powerful feline was full of energy. “I don’t think I could live without a margay,” Mrs. Merrill told LIFE. But Monte (as he was known) could probably do all right without her. Margays live largely on birds in their native arboreal habitat — and New York, of course, has an abundance of plump pigeons.

Delia Mandia is a native New Yorker and NYU undergraduate student whose passion is her global nonprofit organization, Night Night Monster. She also enjoys competitive gaming (she is world-ranked) on her custom built hydro-cooled PC, and attending Stargate conventions.

TIME animal

And the World’s New Fastest Land Animal Is…

Paratarsotomus macropalpis

Researchers have used film to determine that the world's fastest land animal is not a cheetah but a mite no larger than a sesame seed. The paratarsotomus macropalpis trounces the big cat by moving a crazy 322 body lengths per second to the cheetah's 16

A tiny mite no larger than a sesame seed holds the record as the fastest land animal in the world, according to new research, when measured in proportion to its size.

While the cheetah is commonly thought of as one of the speediest creatures in the animal kingdom, and moves at 16 body lengths per second, the Paratarsotomus macropalpis trounces the big cat with a whopping 322 body lengths per second, according to a study by Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. This is almost twice as quick as what was previously believed to be the fastest animal, the Australian Tiger Beetle, which moves at 171 body lengths per second.

Because of the mite’s minuscule proportions and inordinately fast pace, the research team was unable to use traditional means of measuring its velocity. “We can’t actually chase after a mite because they move much too quickly for that,” said Jonathan Wright, lead researcher of the study. “We’re actually filming them running on a concrete driveway.”

After gathering the footage, the researchers then replayed the film to find that the mite’s speed exceeded their expectations and that it was also able to quickly switch its direction.

The findings were presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego on Sunday.

TIME animals

Heroic Corgi Defends Grass Against Menacing Goats

What she lacks in stature, she makes up in valor

When a pair of goats clearly attempted to gang up on this poor innocent corgi, well, let’s just say she stood her ground and fought back.

Her name is Mini and she happens to be the same pooch who bravely took on a sour lemon candy a few months back. Look how far she’s come in such a short time! Then, she battled a tiny inanimate object, and now, she’s taking on two whole goats!

Be sure to watch 27 seconds in as the goats awkwardly maneuver their way out of an adirondack chair. Shortly afterwards, it becomes clear that this corgi is a formidable foe, stumpy legs and all.

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