A rhodesian ridgeback puppy and mother dog.
m_h via flickr, Creative Commons

The State House has passed a bill that would require basic standards of care for commercial dog-breeding operations.

The "puppy mill bill," as it's known, would apply to facilities with more than ten breeding females. Breeders would have to provide food and water, exercise, appropriate housing, vet care, and humane euthanasia if needed.

A Coquerel's Sifaka lemur at the Duke Lemur Center.
Laura Candler

A Walking with Lemurs tour at the Duke Lemur Center might just seem like an ordinary walk through the woods at first. But at the rustle of a food bucket, tiny, energetic animals begin to descend from the treetops, and you know you’re not walking in any normal forest. Lemurs zip past you at will, some of them with tiny infants clinging to their backs, and there are no barriers between you and the furry primates.

Bat with white-nose fungus.
Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

A deadly fungus known as white-nose syndrome has been decimating bat populations in the Eastern United States and is spreading quickly through western portions of North Carolina. It was discovered in upstate New York in 2006. The infection is marked by a white frosting of fungus around the bat's nose, ears, and wings.

Medics in training at Fort Bragg
Sgt. April de Armas/82nd CAB, Fort Bragg

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alleges that at least 300 goats are killed and maimed at Fort Bragg each month for medical training.  Now activists are applauding signs the army may be starting to the change the way soldiers are trained for trauma response. According to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress has required the military to lay out a timeline to phase out the use of animals for training purposes.

A chimpanzee eats treats from inside a papier-mâché egg at the North Carolina Zoo.
Zoo photo by Tom Gillespie

Who says animals can’t participate in an Easter egg hunt? This weekend, while thousands of children across the state hunt for candy-filled Easter eggs, the North Carolina Zoo will give its animals their own egg hunt.

The “Egg-Stravaganza” begins Saturday morning, and it involves zookeepers putting papier-mâché eggs filled with animal treats inside the animals' living spaces. Some of the lucky creatures that will be getting eggs include gorillas, elephants, ocelots, Red River hogs, seals, bears, and a cougar.

Another undercover investigation by an animal rights group has revealed patterns of abuse directed toward turkeys at Butterball poultry plants in four counties. This comes less than a year after the group Mercy for Animals documented abuse at a Hoke County Butterball facility. Vandhana Bhalla with Mercy for Animals says an undercover investigator was wired with a camera, which captured the abuse.

Today, parakeets are creatures of the tropics, but one breed in particular was native to the forests of the Eastern United States, including North Carolina.  The Carolina Parakeet went extinct in the early 20th century, but continues to fascinate the public.

New Policy To Control Feral Cats In Wake County

Jun 5, 2012

In the past, Wake County euthanized all unwanted cats. But not anymore. The county is adopting a new approach to control its feral cat population.

Asma Khalid: Feral cats are unsocialized. They can't live indoors. This new policy allows private animal groups the right to trap, neuter, vaccinate and then return these alley cats to the outdoors.  The Wake Audobon Society opposes the plan. It fears more outdoor cats will mean fewer birds. But, Pam Miller says that's not true.

Humans have an inconsistent relationship with animals. Some of them we invite into our homes and treat as family. Others we send to slaughter and happily eat. Still others we are content to let roam wild, unimpeded by human hands.

Firefighters in Durham will now be equipped to save more lives when they're called to rescue families from burning homes and apartments. Many survivors emerge distraught to find little can be done for their pets because of severe smoke inhalation. But now, every one of Durham's 16 fire stations will have kits containing oxygen masks to help resuscitate man's best friends.