Topics: Animals

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...

Rare Sandhill Crane Visits Harwich Port

By: Tyler Maikath

HARWICH PORT — One morning last week, Nan Poor, a trustee of the Harwich Conservation Trust, looked out her window into her yard, where she has several bird feeding stations. Among the visitors to her yard, which is next to the HCT Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve’s wetlands and walking paths, there are often mourning doves eating seed on the ground or blue jays bouncing about. This particular morning, thou...

ORLEANS — Dogs may be allowed to bring their owners to the sands of Skaket Beach and Rock Harbor until Memorial Day Weekend for the first time in five years. Acting as park commissioners, the board of selectmen was to vote last night (April 1) on a proposal by Natural Resources Manager Nate Sears to allow dogs at those locations from Labor Day through the Friday before Memorial Day while maintaining the April ...

NORTH HARWICH — Nearly a month after the brutal attack that almost took its life, Scottie, the seven-year-old Welsh pony, is on the mend. While the close-knit community of equestrians on Cape Cod is still trying to come to grips with the cruelty of the crime, things are beginning to get back to normal, stable owner Claire Bangert said this week. “Scottie is recovering,” she said. The horse is now at a veter...

Brutal Attack On Horse Prompts Distress, Outrage

By: Alan Pollock

NORTH HARWICH — The brutal attack on a 7-year-old Welsh pony overnight Saturday has left the horse with life-threatening injuries and local equestrians and supporters angry and afraid. Police say sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, one or more perpetrators entered the barn at CB Equestrian on Derby Lane off Old Chatham Road and let four horses out of their stalls. The subject then apparently ...

Brutal Attack On Horse Prompts Distress, Outrage

By: Alan Pollock

NORTH HARWICH — The brutal attack on a seven-year-old Welsh pony overnight Saturday has left the horse with life-threatening injuries, and leaves local equestrians and supporters angry and afraid. Police say sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, one or more perpetrators entered the barn at CB Equestrian off Old Chatham Road, let four horses out of their stalls, and then violently attacked one w...

CHATHAM – Members of the park and recreation commission are interested in expanding opportunities for dog owners to walk their pets on town beaches during the summer season, but state and federal regulations designed to safeguard nesting shorebirds could be an impediment. Currently, dogs are not allowed on town beaches from May 1 to Sept. 15, with the exception of Jackknife Harbor Beach, where dogs can be walk...

ORLEANS — The animal control and regulation task force takes a wide view of its responsibility to recommend actions to get things right for the town’s dog owners and non-dog owners. Urging the group to consider future recommendations on “regulations and expectations” on Dec. 2, chairman Karl Oakes advised that “we want to give ourselves flexibility to be able to do certain things by trying to enforce a custo...

Orleans Dog Owner Sees Progress

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — If a dog is man's best friend, who's a dog's best friend? Karl Oakes might try to deflect the praise, but one can imagine that tails wag at the mention of his name. Oakes has become the town's leading advocate for dogs that love to visit the beach and their owners who love to join them there. Brought up in apartment buildings, he couldn't have a dog and never owned one until “my daughter kind of fi...

ORLEANS — The selectmen and town administrator are working on including a wide-ranging discussion about rules for dogs and their owners on the agenda for their July 17 meeting. “We had agreed to get into this after [last year's] dangerous dog hearings,” Selectman Mefford Runyon said at the board's July 3 meeting. “We were talking about soup to nuts, regulations, enforcement.” Earlier, he observed, “Everybody...

Dogs Have Their Day At Selectmen's Meeting

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — People can walk their dogs before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. on a town property adjacent to Skaket Beach now that the selectmen have scaled back what was a round-the-clock seasonal ban at Willie Atwood Road and Wildflower Lane. It was standing room only in the Nauset meeting room June 19 as more than 70 opponents of the restriction called on the board to reverse its recent decision. Testimony from dog...

HCT: Keep Your Eyes Open For Turtles

By: Alan Pollock

SOUTH HARWICH — The Harwich Conservation Trust is asking residents to keep an eye open for eastern box turtles and spotted turtles, two declining local species that face a variety of mostly man-made threats. If you find one, officials are asking you to snap a photo and record some information, all of which will be relayed to the state's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. The eastern box turt...

During his first full day in Churchill, Manitoba, Kevin Clayton saw moose, beluga whales, a wolf and a polar bear. The massive bear was lounging on a beach and wasn't particularly interested in the helicopter hovering nearby. “It was sitting in the wrack line, where I wasn't expecting it,” Clayton said. Over the next week, he got plenty of chances to see polar bears and was even able to observe the release of ...

Formal Dog Park Ruled Out For Town Conservation Lands

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Anyone who hoped some of the town's conservation land could be used for a dog park has been barking up the wrong tree. Although dogs and their walkers are allowed on all 14 of the town's conservation properties, they were acquired under agreements that prohibit “active recreation,” Conservation Agent John Jannell told the conservation commission Sept. 25. That definition, he said, includes enclosed...