Topics: Animals

WEST CHATHAM — The prevailing southwest winds, which have been blowing steadily for at least a week, have brought some unwelcome visitors to shore. Portuguese man-o-wars, jellyfish-like creatures that can deliver a powerful sting, have washed up with some regularity, prompting beach managers to warn swimmers out of the water. Harding’s Beach in Chatham has been closed to swimmers repeatedly since last week. Li...

CHATHAM — They say every dog has his day. Having seen a previous proposal fade away in 2014, local dog owners are looking for a second bite at a plan to create a dog park at Volunteer Park in Chatham. On Monday, the parks and recreation commission unleashed a plan to further investigate the idea. Commission Chair Meredith Fry, who has two dogs, brought up the proposal for consideration. “I heard about th...

Woof-Woof Hooray: Brewster Dog Park’s A Big Hit

By: Bronwen Walsh

BREWSTER – Ten years in the making, Brewster's Dog Park opened ahead of Memorial Day thanks to generous grants from the Stanton Foundation and the Community Preservation Committee, along with the support of many local businesses and individual contributors. Located behind the Brewster Police Station on Rt. 124, the dog park is open seven days a week, from dawn to dusk. Carved out of the woods, the park include...

HARWICH — While therapy dogs have been used for years to help individuals with disabilities, there’s no question that all sorts of people can benefit from the calming effect of dogs. The nonprofit group Hearts and Paws Comfort Dogs brings trained teams of volunteers and dogs into nursing homes, schools and other venues where people might need some reassurance or just a little bit of puppy love. One of the grou...

ORLEANS – About six years ago, Kevin Garrad found himself at a crossroads. A seasoned Special Forces captain on the verge of retirement, he wrestled not only with who he was, but also who he wanted to be moving forward. A native of Hertfordshire, England, Garrad moved with his family to the U.S. the day before the Sept. 11 attacks, and at just 17, joined the U.S. Army a month later. But after eight tours of du...

Nature Connection: When The Robin Sings

By: Mary Richmond

A robin bursts into song as fog lays low over the landscape, making everything hazy and hiding the full moon. The March full moon is often referred to as the Worm Moon, for it is when the worms become active again, and spring begins to appear through even the coldest, unfriendliest of days. I fling open my door and watch him sing from across the yard, this truly early bird. On a recent walk I passed a field th...

Leash Regulations Pitched For Spring Town Meeting

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS -- For many dog owners, one of the simple pleasures of visiting or living in Orleans is being able to let their pets off their leash. The town does not currently require that dogs be leashed when out in public, but that could soon change. Orleans Police Chief Scott MacDonald came to the select board Dec. 8 with a proposal to update the town's animal control bylaw at the annual town meeting this spri...

BREWSTER — In 1921, Cape Cod was a rural place. The canal was only five years old, and the Cape’s first hospital had only opened the year before. But there was already concern about animal welfare, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston stepped in to meet the need. The first part-time agent, William Irwin of Cotuit, helped countless animals, including community cats and livestock, and visited schoolhouses to t...

In the wake of a confirmed case of raccoon rabies in Hyannis recently, wildlife officials are now distributing nearly 70,000 oral rabies vaccine baits in Harwich, Chatham, Orleans and surrounding towns. Some of the bait will be thrown from trucks, but most doses will be dropped by helicopter. A previous vaccination effort on the Cape held raccoon rabies at bay for nearly a decade, but a raccoon tested positive...

Restoring Seahorse Equestrian Center: A Labor Of Love

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

NORTH HARWICH — When Jennifer Wiley of Brewster stepped onto the former Sea Horse Farm in Harwich during the winter of last year, the place had been in disrepair for a while. Snow was falling through the roof of the indoor arena, the paddock fences were falling down and the grass was overgrown “to our shoulders.” But Wiley and her husband Mo saw past all of that. They saw potential. Six months later, the Wi...

HARWICH — For football players, it's the Super Bowl. For dog lovers, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has been the ultimate stage to showcase all breeds of dogs. This weekend, Harwich resident Karen Smith will be fulfilling a lifelong dream as she leads her 2-year-old red Australian cattle dog Bizzie Bea into the ring for a chance to be named 2021 Best of Breed or Best in Show at the prestigious show. S...

It was Christmas Day and Andrea Spence was starting to prepare dinner when she received a call about 20 stranded dolphins. She quickly left her home in South Orleans and headed for Brewster, where she weathered heavy rain with other members of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Team. Spence and her colleagues were met with a dire situation: 11 live dolphins were stran...

Therapeutic Center Offers More Than Just A Ride On A Horse

By: Evelyn Jackson

“Geyser is furry and he warms you when you are cold. He makes me feel safe. I know he's not going to hurt me,” says 10-year-old Ava from Harwich about the horse she rides at the Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Riding Center in Brewster. Says Ava's mom Sara, “I adopted Ava when she was 19 months old. She had a long history of inconsistent care — a hard beginning to her life. By the time she was six she had panic att...

Meet Fritz, Harwich Police’s New Vape Dog

By: Kat Szmit

HARWICH – The Harwich Police Department has a new member, and he’s here to teach kids in the Monomoy School District not to vape. If he gets a few treats in the process, that’s all the better. Fritz isn’t your average member of the force. Unlike his bipedal fellow officers, Fritz is an 18-month-old German shorthaired pointer and it’s his job, quite literally, to sniff out e-cigarettes and vaporizers on school ...

Wildlife advocates are scratching their heads over the discovery of an unusual number of sick terns in the region. Nearly 20 emaciated and dehydrated juvenile terns have been brought to Wild Care in Eastham over the past few weeks, found in towns from Chatham to Provincetown. Most have died; three remain in the care of the wildlife rehabilitation facility, according to Executive Director Stephanie Ellis. The m...

Harwich Conservation Trust Tracks The Secretive Box Turtle

By: Susanna Graham-Pye

Tracking turtles isn’t as easy as one might think, but Michael Musnick, a passionate amateur herpetologist, is doing his best.  Holding an antenna and receiver, Musnick sets off down one of the grassy trails leading from the parking lot of Harwich Conservation Trust’s (HCT) Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve.  On the preserve’s 66 acres, somewhere, hides a female Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina). Wa...