Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Therapy dog Star detects lead in water at San Diego Unified School District, California - Mary Cummins

therapy dog, star, Lindsay Curtius, san diego unified school district, san diego cooperative charter school 2 mountain view campus lead water test california, Mary Cummins
LA Times released a story about a school therapy dog who detected lead in San Diego school drinking water. The therapy dog "Star" pictured above with his handler Lindsay Curtius refused to drink water from the school's water supply on January 26, 2017. That's when his handler noticed a sheen on the water. Lindsay Curtius of San Diego Cooperative Charter School 2 Mountain View Campus reported the incident and the water was tested. The water test showed that the water contained more than maximum allowable amounts. All children at the school are drinking bottled water until the testing is finished in June 2017.

Star is a Labrador. Generally Labradors will drink and eat almost anything. They're one of the most common dogs to be accidentally poisoned for this reason. That would lead one to believe this was a smell issue. We have drug and disease sniffing dogs. Time for lead sniffing dogs.

Star was trained at NEADS, National Education for Assistance Dog Services, dogs for deaf and disabled Americans as a therapy dog. This is her profile.

"Hello, my name is Star! I am the Service Dog for the Classroom at SDCCS2.  I am originally from New York state. I was trained by NEADS,National Education for Assistance Dog Services, in Massachusetts for 20 months before I met my handler Lindsay Curtius. We trained together in Massachusetts before traveling on an airplane back to my new home of sunny San Diego!

I was matched specifically with SDCCS to assist students off all ages both in and outside the classroom environment. Dogs at schools assist in the social development of children by teaching responsibility, compassion, self esteem, and empathy. It has also been found that they decrease unexpected behaviors and promote positive behavior in students.

In my position at SDCCS, I work hard to perform all my tricks that I was taught to help children with all different kinds of needs. I enjoy being read to, talked to, and I love playing ball!

When I'm not working at SDCCS I enjoy camping, hiking, and running on the beach!
If you see me around campus, please say hello!"

About the handler Lindsay Curtius.

"My name is Lindsay Curtius. I am an Education Specialist at San Diego Cooperative Charter School 2. In July 2016, I had the opportunity to fly from California to the NEADS campus in Massachusetts to meet and train with Star, SDCCS’ Classroom Therapy Dog.

SDCCS is a progressive, developmentally-based, child-centered program. We focus on developing empathy and social emotional skills through healthy attachment, pro-social communication, and relationships. We are designated as an Ashoka Changemaker school through the Start Empathy Initiative and we are dedicated to the development of each individual child as a whole person.

Since this summer, Star has become a welcomed addition to our school family and has adjusted well to the California lifestyle! Star spends her days helping students with developmental, sensory, and behavioral needs, who are fully included across ten multi-age classrooms. She assists in the social development of children by teaching responsibility, compassion, self esteem, and empathy. It has also been found that dogs in classrooms decrease unexpected behaviors and promote positive behavior in students.  Star’s favorite day of the week is Friday where the entire school comes together in the auditorium to sing!

I look forward to continuing to work with the NEADS family as Star grows and becomes a member of our school family."

http://www.sdccs2.org/staff.html

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Deadly Fungus Invades Texas and is Found on a New Bat Species - BCI - Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates

BCI, Bat Conservation International, WNS, White Nose Syndrome,  Pseudogymnoascus destructans, Animal Advocates, Mary Cummins, Los Angeles, California
Deadly Fungus Invades Texas and is Found on a New Bat Species
The fungus known to cause White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease that has decimated hibernating bat populations in the United States and Canada, has been discovered for the first time in Texas.
The fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) was detected on three species of hibernating bats in northern Texas: the cave myotis (pictured), Townsend’s big-eared bat, and the tri-colored bat. This is the first discovery of Pd on the cave myotis and the first detection of the fungus on western populations of Townsend's big-eared bats - two bat species with distributions extending further into the west.
"This is devastating news for Texas, and a serious blow for our western bat species," says Mike Daulton, Executive Director for Bat Conservation International (BCI).
Katie Gillies, Director of Imperiled Species for BCI added, "We have been surveying hibernating bats and monitoring for the arrival of Pd for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) since 2011. At this early stage of detection, we have not observed any visible signs of the disease on any bats in the state, such as white fungal growth on the nose and wings. Detecting the fungus when it first arrives gives us a chance to take action and try to minimize the impacts from White-nose Syndrome on our Texas bats."
The fungus was detected in six Texas counties from samples collected in January and February by BCI and Texas A&M University (TAMU) biologists as part of a larger national surveillance study led by University of California, Santa Cruz. The cave and bat samples were collected in Childress, Collingsworth, Cottle, Hardeman, King, and Scurry counties.
"The arrival of the fungus in Texas is not surprising. I’ve been looking for it for years, hoping I would never find it. And now that it’s here, I’m devastated because I know what WNS does to bats. After years of surveys, I feel a special responsibility to these bats. I know them – I see them every winter. And now, I fear that I might not see them for much longer. We must act now," explains Gillies.
"We need to expand our targeted surveillance to get a better understanding of the distribution of the fungus. We will also be reaching out to landowners and the community to help protect bat roosts and emphasize decontamination to reduce the likelihood of an accidental spread of the fungus to a new location."
White-nose Syndrome has been rapidly expanding westward since its discovery in New York in 2007. Millions of bats have been killed by the disease, with population declines greater than 90% in some states. 
Texas, with 32 bat species, has the greatest diversity of bat fauna in the country. The state is also home to the famous roosts of Mexican free-tailed bats at the Ann. W. Richards Congress Ave Bridge in Austin and Bracken Cave, one of the largest bat colonies in the world, near San Antonio. However, Mexican free-tailed bats do not hibernate all winter and may not be highly susceptible to the disease.
"While we are cautiously optimistic that Mexican free-tailed bats will not be heavily impacted by the disease, we do have serious concerns for hibernating species, such as the cave myotis, that often share their roosts," says Winifred Frick, BCI Senior Director of Conservation Science. 
Texas is the most eastern edge of the distribution for the cave myotis, with the species being found throughout southwestern USA and into Mexico. The discovery of the fungus in Texas is significant on a national scale as biologists are concerned that the spread of Pd into western states will be exacerbated as this and other western species are exposed.
"The detection of Pd in Texas comes on the heels of last week’s announcement of White-nose Syndrome being confirmed in Nebraska. This emphasizes the need for us to not only increase our surveillance but also our research efforts to identify and develop tools to improve survival for bats exposed to the fungus. Although there is no known treatment for White-nose Syndrome, we are actively working on research that may prove effective," Frick explained.

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


Google+ Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary Cummins-Cobb, Mary, Cummins, Cobb, wildlife, wild, animal, rescue, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife rehabilitator, fish, game, los angeles, california, united states, squirrel, raccoon, fox, skunk, opossum, coyote, bobcat, manual, instructor, speaker, humane, nuisance, control, pest, trap, exclude, deter, green, non-profit, nonprofit, non, profit, ill, injured, orphaned, exhibit, exhibitor, usda, united states department of agriculture, hsus, humane society, peta, ndart, humane academy, humane officer, animal legal defense fund, animal cruelty, investigation, peace officer, animal, cruelty, abuse, neglect #marycummins #animaladvocates #losangeles #california #wildlife #wildliferehabilitation #wildliferehabilitator #realestate #realestateappraiser #realestateappraisal #lawsuit