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26 Jul 11:16

Virginia woman charged after dog left in hot car dies

by wtopstaff

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Police say a dog died after it was left in a hot car outside a northern Virginia pet store on a day when temperatures in the region hit 100 degrees.

Fairfax County police say officers and fire personnel called to a PetSmart in Falls Church around noon Monday for a report of a dog locked in a vehicle found the 5-year-old puggle in distress. They tried to cool down the dog and took it to a veterinarian’s office in the store, where police say the dog was pronounced dead.

Police say the dog’s owner, 19-year-old Megan Campbell of Falls Church, is charged with felony animal cruelty.

Officer Megan Hawkins tells WTOP-FM that county animal control officers have responded to 23 calls related to animals and the heat since Saturday.

The post Virginia woman charged after dog left in hot car dies appeared first on WTOP.

22 Jul 18:00

The Most Common Vegetable Gardening Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Andy Orin

You’d think you could just toss some fertilizer on your soil and let the plants do their thing, but taking proper care of your garden so that you actually grow decent vegetables can require a few more steps that beginners might not be aware of. This video from California Gardening takes a look at the ten most common mistakes.


22 Jul 19:54

Concern grows for eagles near Manassas construction site - Inside NoVA

Inside NoVA

Concern grows for eagles near Manassas construction site
Inside NoVA
Some in the Manassas area are in an uproar over construction work being done near an eagle's nest on city parkland. Concern for the pair of eagles that have lived there for years grew this week after local author and filmmaker Victor Rook posted a ...

23 Jul 00:00

How to Care For Silkie Chickens

Silkies make great pets and their fluffy feathers have gotten them the name 'silkie chickens'. Although most silkie owners would say they don't lay many eggs, they are great brooders and great for show! If your interested in getting yourself a few silkie hens, you just need to know how to care for them.


EditPreparing the Housing

  1. Provide suitable housing before you bring your silkies home. Because silkies are quite small and are considered bantams, they don't need a large amount of space like a standard chicken but it's always great to give them plenty of room to roam!
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 1.jpg
    • Silkies can be housed in a garage, shed or in a simple chicken coop. Just make sure the housing is spacious enough so that you can clean it, collect the eggs, catch the chickens when necessary and so that the chickens have room to roost, lay, nest and wander around.
  2. Decide whether your silkies will stay inside the coop permanently or be let outside during the day. If you are going to raise your silkies inside the coop then it does have to be bigger than usual due to the fact that the silkies will be living there for the rest of their lives. You could also purchase a coop with a run if you wanted to.
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 2.jpg
    • The benefits of letting your silkies outside during the day are that they will be happier and healthier, they'll eat your bugs and provide fertilizer for your plants, most of their diet is made up from the stuff inside the ground and grass and you won't need to spend lots of money on a larger coop or chicken run.
    • The disadvantages of letting your silkies outside during the day are that there is a possible chance of them getting attacked by predators, they could escape and get lost, you would have to keep an eye on them constantly and they can get very dirty, especially during winter and autumn.
  3. Add bedding to the coop. There are many bedding available for silkies but the most recommended and common choice is to add wood shavings as the bedding. Wood shavings If you'd prefer something else, try sawdust, newspaper shredding, straw, hay, sand or pine needles.
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 3.jpg
    • Be aware that some beddings are better than others, e.g. wood shavings are very absorbent whilst hay isn't and sand is easy to clean but isn't a common choice as chicken owners have had many problems with using sand as their bedding.
  4. Add a few other items to the coop. This includes a water container, a feeder, some perches and some nesting boxes (one per each chicken). If you have silkie chicks you should purchase a water feeder rather than filling a container up with water as there is a possible chance the chicks will fall in and drown.
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 4.jpg
  5. Make sure the coop is predator proof. Silkies cannot defend themselves and all the fluff around their heads can cause them to not see well which is why you have to make sure the coop is predator proof or at least invest in a predator proof coop.
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 5.jpg
    • Silkies also need ample shelter to protect them from the harsh weather such as rain, hail, snow, wind and they also need a shady and cool spot to protect them from the sun during summer. If it gets really cold during winter consider adding a heat lamp in their coop so that they can stay warm.

EditFeeding Silkies

  1. Provide some feed in your silkies feeder. The amount of feed depends on the size of the flock and the type of feed depends on what you are keeping your silkies for such as eggs, meat or breeding. Here are some different types of feed:
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 6.jpg
    • Layer pellets. When your silkies begin laying they can be fed layer pellets to help them lay hard eggs. You can also supply them with crushed oyster shells or crushed egg shells if their eggs turn soft.
    • Finisher diet. This is for meat chickens and should be fed for six weeks until slaughter. Chicks should be fed a broiler starter instead of a chick starter if you want to keep them for meat.
    • Silkies kept as simple pets can be fed layer pellets or a normal chicken feed which gives them a balanced diet. You could also consider giving them grit which helps them digest their food. However, grit is not needed if your chickens are free-range (live on grass).
  2. Feed your silkies a limited amount of treats. Silkies love table scraps, fruits, vegetables, bugs and seeds. Silkies can be fed just about anything like pasta, rice, watermelon, cooked potato, broccoli, fish, cucumber, cooked egg, bread and they go crazy for meal worms!
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 7.jpg
  3. Provide water for your silkies at all time. The water containers must be filled with fresh water daily and they should be cleaned at least once a week. It's also good to have more than one water container if you have a large flock.
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 8.jpg

EditProviding for Other Needs

  1. Collect your silkies eggs. Eggs should be collected every day with a soft basket or something alike. Be careful when collecting the eggs as they are fragile and one drop means a small mess!
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 9.jpg
  2. Keep your silkies away from aggressive hens. A hard peck to the head can cause a severe injury. Silkies heads are vulnerable as they have a soft tissue which is why you should keep an eye on them if you think they are housed with any aggressive hens or roosters.
    Care for Silkie Chickens Step 10.jpg

EditThings You'll Need

  • Silkies
  • Housing
  • Bedding
  • Water container
  • Feeder
  • Chicken Feed
  • Treats
  • Soft basket

EditRelated wikiHows

20 Jul 08:00

How to Care For a Bird That Has Hit a Window

According to the Bird Conservation Network more than 100 million North American birds die every year from window collisions.[1] These accidents are most common during spring mating season. It is illegal to keep a wild bird in your possession indefinitely. However, you can keep it for a couple of hours to allow it to recover from a concussion.


EditCaring for an Injured Bird

  1. Refrain from interacting with the bird more than is necessary. More likely than not the bird has sustained a concussion, in which case it should be removed from all stimuli. Anything else will make its condition worse. If it has sustained injuries to its limbs, it will require professional assistance anyway.
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 1 Version 2.jpg
  2. Be prepared. If birds frequently collide into your windows, be sure to keep on hand a towel, a small box (a shoe box is ideal), gloves, and, if possible, safety glasses
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 2 Version 2.jpg
  3. Observe the bird. Often the bird will only need a couple of minutes to recover. You should stay to watch the bird and ensure that no predators attack it before it recovers. If it does not recover within five or six minutes you should be more proactive.[2]
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • If you are not comfortable handling a bird you should call the local bird or wildlife rehabilitation center immediately. These can be located with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory:
    • If the bird has a shoulder injury it might be able to fly for short distances horizontally. However, it will not be able to lift its wings above its shoulders or obtain any elevation in its flight.
    • Should or wing injuries will require skilled medical assistance and months of rehabilitation. If the bird seems to have extensive damage to its limbs, call the local bird or wildlife rehabilitation center.[3]
    • Conversely, if the bird seems unconscious the bird has sustained head trauma and will merely need a safe place to relax.
  4. Get a paper towel and cardboard box. Removing all stimuli will significantly increase the probability of the bird recovering from a potentially fatal concussion. You want a small box that will block all incoming light. To make it comfortable you should line it with a paper towel or a soft cotton cloth.[4]
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • If the bird is larger, you can place a towel on the bottom of a paper bag and staple or tape the top the bag, leaving enough of a crack to allow for airflow. However, if the bird is large enough to potentially injury you, you should consider avoiding contact and calling for professional assistance immediately.[5]
  5. Pick up the bird. Use gloves and safety goggles if possible. Hold the bird upright so that it can breathe. Use a firm grip without squeezing. Hold by the wings, near the body.[6]
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 5 Version 2.jpg
  6. Place the bird into the box and shut the box lid. Make sure the box has breathing holes in it. Put the box in a warm sheltered location (out of direct sunlight). Keep it away from predators, including cats.[7]
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 6 Version 2.jpg
  7. Check on the bird periodically. Observe the box every 20 minutes for about 2 hours. When the bird appears to have recovered take it outside.[8]
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 7 Version 2.jpg
  8. Let the bird go. After two hours take the box outside to the woods. Remove the lid. Watch to see if the bird flies away.[9]
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 8 Version 2.jpg
  9. Call experts. If after two hours the bird is not able to fly away you should consult the Wildlife Rehabilitation Directory. Call an expert who can provide specialized care for the bird.
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • Do not keep the bird in your possession for more than two hours. It is illegal to keep a wild bird.

EditPreventing Accidents

  1. Move your feeder. If your feeder is close enough to the window, birds won’t be able to pick up enough velocity to hurt themselves when flying into it. If it is far enough away, then the bird will be more likely to recognize that the window is not part of the natural environment.
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • Ideally you should place your window either less than 3 feet from the window or more than 30 feet from it.[10]
  2. Use white drapery. Birds are drawn to the reflection of the natural environment that they see in your windows. Installing drapes or blinds will obstruct that reflection. This should reduce the likelihood of them flying into your window.[11]
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • You can also place decals on your window. However, to significantly reduce the likelihood of birds flying into the window you will need to have stickers placed no more than 2 inches apart horizontally and 4 inches apart vertically. This would obstruct much of your view. [12]
  3. Install a bug screen. These can be doubly effective. They will reduce the reflectivity of the glass, decreasing the likelihood that birds will fly into the window. Furthermore, they will provide cushion and reduce the chance of injury if a bird does fly into your window.[13]
    Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window Step 12 Version 2.jpg

EditRelated wikiHows

EditSources and Citations

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22 Jul 20:44

Sir Patrick Stewart Has Strong Feelings About Hardware Stores

by Laura Northrup

Do you have an aspiration in life? Do you confess it to the world when you’re out late after maybe a few adult beverages? Noted actor, treasure of the Anglophone world, and eater of tuna salad sandwiches on planes Patrick Stewart would like the world to know that he loves hardware stores, and he would really love to have one in his backyard.

I think that’s called a toolshed, Captain. They’re probably rarer in London, where this video was taken, than in the suburbs, but still However, his sheer joy at pegboards full of tools is amusing.

Since the Internet can be a wonderful place sometimes, fans began posting photos of their own favorite tiny family-owned hardware stores.

(via The Verge)

20 Jul 08:00

How to Care for a Bird That Has Hit a Window

21 Jul 15:02

Walmart Piloting Program To Sell “Ugly Produce” At A Discount

by Ashlee Kieler

Not every apple is a shiny, smooth round orb of deliciousness. Some come with little dents or a few off-colored spots, but that doesn’t make those pieces of produce any less delicious. Still, you might be hard pressed to find those imperfect apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers, and other fruits and vegetables at your local store. That’s about to change for some Walmart customers, though. 

The big box store announced this week that, in an attempt to reduce the amount of food wasted in the U.S. each year, it would pilot a program in which 300 stores in Florida will sell imperfect produce at a discount.

To begin, the company will only sell blemished “I’m Perfect” apples in two- and five-pound bags.


The company says the move is a result of working with suppliers to build the infrastructure and processes that create a new home for perfectly imperfect produce.

“While the texture and flavor remain perfect, the exterior damage usually renders these fruits unsellable in the fresh market because they fail to meet traditional grade standards,” Shawn Baldwin, senior vice president for global food sourcing, produce and floral for Walmart, writes in a company blog post.

In addition to helping to reduce food waste, Walmart says the decision to sell imperfect produce will assist producers who are thrown a curveball by Mother Nature during the growing season.

“Because ugly produce can occur unexpectedly in any growing season or crop, we want to have the systems in place to offer this type of produce whenever it may occur,” Baldwin said.

Walmart says that it will also work with its producers to find alternative uses for the “less than gorgeous” fruits, such as making apple juice or selling small apples for lunch kits.

The mega-retailer isn’t the first grocer to wade into “ugly produce” sales. NPR reports that Whole Foods began selling imperfect produce at some of its California stores this spring. Around that same time, Giant Eagle announced a small pilot program to sell less-than-perfect produce at a discount in its Pittsburgh-area stores.

21 Jul 00:00

Wally the dead whale finally laid to rest in landfill

by wtopstaff

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A dead humpback whale that kept floating up near Southern California beaches has finally been laid to rest.

The Los Angeles Times ( ) says the rotting carcass of a 45-foot-long female named Wally was cut up on an Encinitas beach on Monday and trucked to a San Diego landfill.

The body of the 15-year-old female was towed about a half-dozen times since it first washed ashore at Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles County on June 30.

Currents kept pushing it south. It was repeatedly towed out to sea after showing up off several Orange County beaches and finally came ashore over the weekend at Grandview Beach in Encinitas.

The post Wally the dead whale finally laid to rest in landfill appeared first on WTOP.

21 Jul 01:49

Dozens of dead, starving pit bulls found at California home

by wtopstaff

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Dozens of dead or starving pit bulls have been found at an abandoned home east of Los Angeles.

Riverside County authorities say 10 dead animals and 27 others were discovered Wednesday at a filthy, junk-strewn rented property in the unincorporated La Sierra area.

Authorities went to the home after a neighbor reported smelling a foul odor.

Animal Services spokesman John Welsh says the dogs were inside an enclosed patio area, a kennel area and a home with the doors shut. He says they may have been there for days or weeks.

Welsh says the dead animals apparently died from exposure or starvation, and the live ones were just skin and bones.

Welsh says the owner may have been an unlicensed breeder and could face animal cruelty charges when he’s found.

The post Dozens of dead, starving pit bulls found at California home appeared first on WTOP.

21 Jul 11:12

Black therapist says police shot him with his hands raised

by wtopstaff

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (AP) — A black therapist who was trying to calm an autistic man in the middle of the street says he was shot by police even though he had his hands in the air and repeatedly told them that no one was armed.

The moments before the shooting were recorded on cellphone video and show Charles Kinsey lying on the ground with his arms raised, talking to his patient and police throughout the standoff with officers, who appeared to have them surrounded.

“As long as I’ve got my hands up, they’re not going to shoot me. This is what I’m thinking. They’re not going to shoot me,” he told WSVN-TV ( ) from his hospital bed, where he was recovering from a gunshot wound to his leg. “Wow, was I wrong.”

The shooting comes amid weeks of violence involving police. Five officers were killed in Dallas two weeks ago and three law enforcement officers were gunned down Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Before those shootings, a black man, Alton Sterling, 37, was fatally shot during a scuffle with two white officers at a convenience store. In Minnesota, 32-year-old Philando Castile, who was also black, was shot to death during a traffic stop. Cellphone videos captured Sterling’s killing and aftermath of Castile’s shooting, prompting nationwide protests over the treatment of blacks by police.

At a news conference Thursday, North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene said the investigation had been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the local state attorney. He called it a “very sensitive matter” and promised a transparent investigation, but he refused to identify the officer or answer reporters’ questions. Eugene, a Haitian-American with 30 years of South Florida police experience, just became chief last week.

“I realize there are many questions about what happened on Monday night. You have questions, the community has questions, we as a city, we as a member of this police department and I also have questions,” he said. “I assure you we will get all the answers.”

The chief said officers responded after getting a 911 call about a man with a gun threatening to kill himself, and the officers arrived “with that threat in mind” — but no gun was recovered.

The video does not show the moment of the shooting. Kinsey’s attorney, Hilton Napoleon II, said there was about a two-minute gap in which the person who shot the video had switched off, thinking nothing more noteworthy would happen. It then briefly shows the aftermath of the shooting. He would not say who gave him the video.

Kinsey, 47, said he was trying to coax his 27-year-old patient back to a nearby facility that he had wandered from. Police ordered Kinsey and the patient, who was sitting in the street playing with a toy truck, to lie on the ground.

“Lay down on your stomach,” Kinsey says to his patient in the video, which was shot from about 30 feet away and provided to the Miami Herald ( “Shut up!” responds the patient, who is sitting cross-legged in the road.

Kinsey said he was more worried about his patient than himself.

“I’m telling them again, ‘Sir, there is no need for firearms. I’m unarmed, he’s an autistic guy. He got a toy truck in his hand,” Kinsey said.

An officer later fired three times, striking Kinsey in the leg, assistant police chief Neal Cuevas told the newspaper.

After the shooting, Kinsey said he asked an officer why he was shot and the officer said “‘I don’t know.'” Napoleon said officers handcuffed Kinsey and left him lying in the street on his stomach for 20 minutes without rendering first aid.

During a Thursday news conference, John Rivera, who runs Miami-Dade County’s police union, said the officer believed Kinsey’s patient was armed, and the officer was trying to shoot the patient in an attempt to save Kinsey’s life.

North Miami has a population of about 62,000 people, nearly 60 percent African-American. The shooting took place in a racially mixed, lower-income area of the city.

Witnesses told The Associated Press on Thursday that at least four North Miami officers aimed rifles at Kinsey and the autistic man. Two can be seen in the video, peering from behind utility poles about 75 feet away. The other two, witnesses said, were on the opposite side of Kinsey, off camera, standing behind a car in an apartment parking lot, about 150 away.

Thomas Matthews, 73, said he watched the lead up to the shooting through binoculars. He said he tried to tell an officer that the autistic man had a toy truck but she told him to get back.

“If she would have told the other officers, maybe they wouldn’t have shot,” said Matthews, an African-American. He ran a North Miami flower shop before retiring and has lived in the area for years. He said he has never had a problem with North Miami police.

“But I guess with all the shootings that are going on, they are nervous and shook up,” Matthews said.

Nancy Abudu, the American Civil Liberties Union’s legal director in Florida, said her group hasn’t received any brutality complaints about the North Miami police or about any questionable shootings before this week’s.

Napoleon, Kinsey’s attorney, said he is already talking to North Miami city officials about a monetary settlement for his client, who is married with five children. City officials did not return a phone call seeking confirmation.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters the Justice Department is aware of the shooting and working with local law enforcement to gather all of the facts and to decide how to proceed.

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, who represents the area, said she was in shock.

“From what I saw, he was lying on the ground with his hands up. Freezing. But he was still shot,” said Wilson, a Democrat.

“This is not typical of North Miami,” she said. “We’re not accustomed to this tension. … This cannot happen again.”


Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

The post Black therapist says police shot him with his hands raised appeared first on WTOP.

20 Jul 16:18

6 Things To Know About Why Health Care System Turns Blind Eye To Doctors Accused Of Sexual Assault

by Ashlee Kieler

As we learned earlier this year, it can be extremely difficult — and sometimes impossible — to find information about doctors that have been disciplined by their state medical boards for things like sexual misconduct, overprescribing controlled substances, and various other documented examples of unprofessional or dangerous doctoring. Now, a new report suggests that one reason we might not be able to obtain information related to doctor sexual misconduct is because many cases go unreported, and even in when assaults are reported, they can result in no action being taken against the doctor.

An investigative series published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution describes a broken system that appears to — more often than not — turn a blind eye to doctors who may have sexually abused their patients.

From doctors who have been on the receiving end of dozens of complaints and police reports filed by patients, to those that have actually acknowledged they engaged in sexually abusive behavior, the AJC found many continue to don their white coats and enter examination rooms as practicing medical professionals.

The AJC examined hundreds of thousands of documents that described disturbing acts of physician sexual abuse in every state over the last year, finding that while society is quick to condemn sexual offenders, that same action isn’t followed by the medical community.

The series includes a wealth of information and first-person accounts of doctor abuse and the resulting ramifications for both the doctors, hospitals, and, most importantly, the victim, as well as a state-by-state look at prominent cases and how they are handled.

Here are six things you should know about the seemingly broken system that allows doctors accused of, or who have admitted to, sexual abuse to continue practicing medicine.

Like many sexual assault cases, many of those allegedly committed by medical professionals go unreported, according to AJC.

In many instances, victims choose to keep quiet about what happened because they feel intimidated, confused, or embarrassed. Sometimes they fear that no one will believe them over a respected doctor.

“We are so reliant on them, we are so helpless and vulnerable and literally in pain often times when we go in there. We just have to trust them,” David Clohessy, the executive director of SNAP, a support and advocacy organization for people sexually abused by priests, doctors and others, tells the AJC.

Because of the way we view physicians, Clohessy says, victims are often in shock that they have been violated, that they don’t want to believe what happened and that a doctor is capable of such actions.

In cases where a victim does come forward, the AJC found that many hospitals and health care organizations often shrug the accusations of sexual misconduct away without reporting them to police or licensing agencies.

According to the AJC, there are only 11 states that have a law requiring medical authorities to report to police or prosecutors when they suspect a sexual crime has been committed against an adult.

After examining more than 100,000 disciplinary documents and other records from across the country, the AJC found 3,100 doctors who were publicly disciplined since Jan. 1, 1999 after being accused of sexual misconduct.

Around 2,400 of those physicians were reprimanded for misconduct against patients, while the rest involved sexual harassment of employees or for crimes such as child pornography, public indecency, or sexual assault, AJC reports.

In some cases, the AJC found that cases of physician sexual misconduct were hidden, either because some state board and hospitals handle some cases secretly or medical boards remove once-public orders from their websites or issue documents that refer to sexual misconduct in vague language.

When cases do receive public attention, medical establishments — hospitals, health care organizations, and doctor groups — assure the public that these incidents are exceedingly rare.

The AJC found one instance in which a Texas physician was accused by 17 women of misconduct, including rubbing his erection against them during an exam.

Despite the medical board initially suspending the doctor’s license after finding the complaints credible, the man’s acquittal for lack of physical evidence in one patient’s criminal case resulted in the board reinstating him to practice medicine.

The only restriction was that he could only see men for 10 years, a restriction the AJC reports ended two years ago.

“What (he) did was clearly an abuse of his power over these women,” said Dr. Lee Anderson, a Fort Worth ophthalmologist. “But the ugly reality is, what can we actually achieve?”

In other cases, the AJC found doctors were returned to work after seeking treatment at a recovery center where they might take a lie-detector test, learn empathy, work through their issues, or admit to the actions.

Even when doctors admit to sexual misconduct against a patient, they often don’t stop practicing.

The AJC found that some states are more forgiving than others when it comes to disciplining doctors for these actions. Georgia and Kansas allowed two of every three doctors publicly disciplined for sexual misconduct to return to practice.

Similarly, in Alabama three of every four returned to work, while in Minnesota it was four out of every five, the AJC reports.

Across the country, AJC found that of the 2,400 doctors publicly disciplined for sexual misconduct, half still have active medical licenses today.

Those who believe doctors should receive a second chance after egregious transgressions say it’s about salvaging a career.

“If you graduate a class of more than 100 people out of the University of Alabama medical school, the resources that have been poured into that education almost demand that you try to salvage that physician — if it’s possible,” Larry Dixon, the executive director of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, tells AJC.

Even when a state does bar a doctor from practicing after such a transgression, the AJC found many simply cross into another state and open practices.

For instance, an Alabama doctor’s license was revoked in 2002 after four female patients complained of misconduct, including fondling, kissing, and inappropriate vaginal exams. While the doctor denied the allegations the revocation was upheld in 2004.

A year later, the AJC reports, the man received a license to practice in Mississippi after the State Board of Medical Licensure determined the doctor “would be an asset to the State of Mississippi.”

“It’s frustrating now and it was frustrating then,” Aaron Haslam, a former executive director of the State Medical Board of Ohio, tells the AJC. “We would try to be tough on an individual that we thought had no business practicing medicine and that individual would lose his license and go set up shop in the state right next to us or in Georgia or in Florida.”

For more on doctor sexual misconduct and how cases are handled — or aren’t — check out the AJC’s series.

License to Betray [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

20 Jul 13:16

‘That’s what I get,’ Pokemon player hits police cruiser

by wtopstaff

BALTIMORE (AP) — Police say a “Pokemon Go” player was trying to “catch them all” behind the wheel, but instead a Baltimore police officer’s body camera caught him sideswiping a cruiser.

Officers were standing on a southeast Baltimore corner early Monday when police say a Toyota RAV-4 hit a cruiser steps away. Police say the driver told police that he was looking down playing “Pokemon Go” on his cellphone when he hit the cruiser.

In the video, the driver steps out and shows the officer his phone, saying “That’s what I get for playing this dumb … game.”

Police spokesman T.J. Smith says charges haven’t been filed but police are working with prosecutors. Smith says no one was hurt, but he called on players to pay attention to their surroundings and to avoid distractions while driving.

The post ‘That’s what I get,’ Pokemon player hits police cruiser appeared first on WTOP.

21 Jul 09:06

More than 60 cats, kittens found in DC house

by Kate Ryan

WASHINGTON — A real estate agent checking on a property in Northwest D.C. Tuesday night found some unwelcome guests in the house: two women who were staying there illegally — and their 63 cats and kittens.

The Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League was called to the house in the 800 block of Decatur Street Northwest and recovered 44 of the cats and kittens. The condition of the house was described as “deplorable” by Lisa LaFontaine, president and CEO of WHS-WARL.

Feces was all over the house “inside and outside of litter boxes,” and many of the cats and kittens had upper respiratory infections and were underweight.

“This is an extreme case of hoarding and inhumane treatment of animals,” LaFontaine said in a statement.

Scott Giacoppo, chief community animal welfare officer at WHS-WARL, says the two women left the property with 20 of the cats — it’s not clear whether they’ll be allowed to keep them.

It is also unclear what charges the pair could face.

“It would probably be a neglect case — we’re still looking into it; it’s an active case. We’re working with the owners and we’re evaluating the cats,” Giacoppo said.

The sudden influx of cats, many of whom need medical treatment for their infections, is taxing the facilities of WHS-WARL. Twenty-seven of the kittens are less than a month old and at that age need constant care.

Giacoppo says that on a typical day, five to 10 cats may come in to the shelters.

“But gosh, we got 44 in [on Tuesday night]! We’re always jostling for cage space,” Giacoppo said.

The incident comes just days before the organization launches its Clear the Shelters event on Saturday. Adoption fees will be waived so that qualified adopters can take a pet home. Giacoppo says the just-recovered cats and kittens will need homes, but they won’t be available for adoption until they can get a thorough health and behavioral assessment.

Giacoppo says people can help by coming in and looking over the animals already available at WHS-WARL.

“We need empty cages. We need the community to help us out by coming down and adopting,” Giacoppo said.

The event will be held July 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both WHS-WARL adoption centers — at Oglethorpe Street Northwest and at New York Avenue Northeast — will be open for the program.

The Washington Humane Society — Washington Animal Rescue League has teamed up with WTOP’s television partner, NBC Washington, to host the second annual Clear the Shelters nationwide pet adoption drive.

The post More than 60 cats, kittens found in DC house appeared first on WTOP.

19 Jul 16:04

Report: Lemur attacks woman outside South Florida home

by wtopstaff

MIAMI (AP) — A 21-year-old woman is recovering from injuries suffered when a lemur bit her outside her Miami home, authorities said.

CBS4 ( ) reported that Victoria Valledor looked outside after hearing scratching noises on the door of her home Monday. When she opened the door to check, the lemur jumped on her and bit her.

Isabella Valledor said her sister called 911, but the lemur started chasing her again. She was taken to the hospital, where she required stitches to close some bite wounds.

Personnel with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission went to the home.

Wildlife spokesman Lorenzo Veloz said officials were able to coax the lemur away without sedation and capture it.

“That tells you it has had contact with humans,” Veloz said.

Lemurs are not native to Florida, he said, adding that it would be “very rare to find one out in the wild.”

Veloz said investigators from the wildlife agency are trying to determine where the lemur came from. He said state records show there are about five people who have captive wildlife licenses in the area. Once the owner is located, Veloz said, officials will determine whether to issue a citation.


Information from: WFOR-TV,

The post Report: Lemur attacks woman outside South Florida home appeared first on WTOP.

19 Jul 16:52

Bear that escaped zoo had climbed trees with electric wires

by wtopstaff

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A young black bear that escaped its Ohio zoo enclosure by scaling a fence with electrified wires previously climbed trees wrapped with “hot wires” intended to jolt animals as a deterrent, according to an inspection report.

The exhibit wasn’t open to the public when the female cub, called Joanie, scaled a 12½ foot fence with an angled top and got into a viewing area on June 25, the Columbus Zoo said. Visitors in nearby areas were evacuated as the bear was corralled and sedated. No one was hurt.

It happened as a zookeeper was monitoring how the roughly year-old cub — named for rocker Joan Jett — and another female cub were interacting with their new enclosure, which is the zoo’s procedure when putting animals into new habitats. The keeper responded appropriately in trying to deter the bear’s climbing with verbal commands and by shaking the fence, notifying zoo staff and initiating visitor evacuation procedures, according to the zoo.

“Other than the fact that a baby bear breached an exhibit that had been holding bears for decades and nobody had gotten out of, and so took everybody by surprise, everything else went completely according to protocol,” zoo spokeswoman Patty Peters said Tuesday.

The cubs, which had been rescued from the wild, had been introduced to the enclosure three days earlier. They’d been persistent in climbing on the trees in the enclosure despite existing “hot wires,” so the facility already had twice added more of those deterrent elements, according to a June 27 inspection report made public this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The trees didn’t provide a way out of the enclosure, but keepers wanted the animals to stay out of the treetops so they didn’t get stuck, Peters said.

The inspection report said the zoo must ensure the enclosure is constructed in a way that protects and contains the bears before putting them back into the exhibit.

The enclosure hasn’t yet reopened but has been modified since Joanie’s escape. The zoo added hard, thick, plastic-style sheeting near the top of the fence, below the overhang section, that would block a climbing cub from getting a foothold, Peters said. It also added more “hot wire” to the fence and collared the trees with metal to prevent the cubs from climbing into the treetops.

Joanie and the second cub, Stevie, who also was sedated to be moved after Joanie’s escape, have been in a holding area and are doing well, Peters said.

The post Bear that escaped zoo had climbed trees with electric wires appeared first on WTOP.

19 Jul 19:46

New York animal park owner trampled to death by antelope

by wtopstaff

VARYSBURG, N.Y. (AP) — The owner of an exotic-animal park in New York has been trampled to death by an antelope that got out of its pen.

The Wyoming County sheriff’s office says 81-year-old Hans Boxler Sr. was feeding animals Monday when he was trampled by a nilgai antelope. Relatives found the animal near its pen with the door open.

The nilgai antelope is native to India and is the largest Asian antelope.

Boxler’s 60-acre Hidden Valley Animal Adventure in Varysburg offers daily safari tours to view animals such as camels, zebras and wildebeest.

A family statement says the death was a shock because Boxler understood the nature of his animals and followed a daily routine.

Boxler was a dairy farmer for over 60 years. He started the wild-animal park in 2002.

The post New York animal park owner trampled to death by antelope appeared first on WTOP.

19 Jul 15:09

Va. coffee shop offers discounts for politeness

by Tiffany Arnold

WASHINGTON — In Roanoke, Virginia, it pays to be polite — at least that’s what customers at CUPS Coffee & Tea seem to be banking on.

The coffee shop’s latest promotion is basing the price of their coffee on how polite you are when you ask for it. Simply requesting “one small coffee” means your cup of Joe will carry a $5 price tag — add the word “please” and you’ll pay $3.

If you want to best deal, say, “hello, I’d like one small coffee please.” That will bring the price down to $1.75.

An employee at the shop tells a local CBS affiliate WDBJ7 that it started off as a joke. The coffee shop worker said a sign advertising this promo was posted outside the coffee shop last week. Soon after, a photo of the sign made its way to Reddit, and, from there, made the rounds on social media.

The promo has since gone viral, even grabbing headlines on the other side of the Atlantic.

The post Va. coffee shop offers discounts for politeness appeared first on WTOP.

19 Jul 23:03

Redskins announce death of ‘Chief Zee’

by Amanda Iacone

WASHINGTON — The Washington Redskins announced Tuesday that the man who portrayed the team’s unofficial mascot Chief Zee has died.

In a statement, the team said they appreciated “Zema Williams’ unique passion and dedication to our football team and his fellow Washington Redskins’ fans.”

Williams was famous for wearing Native American headgear and has been appearing at games since the late 1970s.

He had been in ill health recently. And Redskins owner Dan Snyder provided him with a scooter so that he could continue to attend the games.

Fans in recent months created a GoFundMe account to assist with Williams’ with his finances and to help him avoid eviction.

The Redskins have come under fire in recent years for the team’s name and iconography by some Native American groups who say they are offensive.

The post Redskins announce death of ‘Chief Zee’ appeared first on WTOP.

18 Jul 13:37

Pokémon Go Launches In 26 Countries, Servers Promptly Start Crashing

by Mary Beth Quirk

Until this past weekend, Pokémon Go was only available in a few countries, including the U.S. So when Niantic and Nintendo finally launched the mega popular mobile game in 26 more countries on Saturday, players were probably super excited… and then servers started crashing, causing more headaches than monster-catching glee.

Niantic has had a hard time keeping up when people in 26 more countries started downloading the app, with reports of outages and server problems cropping up almost immediately on Saturday.

The company addressed the issue on Twitter through the Pokémon Go account, telling users it was working to fix server issues and would keep folks updated:

Niantic posted a similar message on its web site, writing:

“Pokémon GO downloads, some Trainers are experiencing server connectivity issues. Don’t worry, our team is on it!”

By the next morning, the server issues had been identified and fixed, the company said:

While Niantic hasn’t announced what caused the server issues — perhaps a huge digital horde of Pokémon fans all downloading and trying to play the same day at one time? — a group of hackers has claimed to be behind the outages, Tech Times reports.

18 Jul 17:43

Why Your Airline Has To Make Sure Your Plane’s Coffee Maker Works Before You Can Take Off

by Kate Cox

Wings are pretty vital to an airplane. Engines, flight instruments, landing gear, yeah, these are all things you definitely want to be sure are mechanically sound before you find yourself hurtling at 500 miles an hour six miles above the surface of the Earth. Yet even the most devoted caffeine addict would probably rather take off on time than wait three hours for the plane’s coffee maker to get fixed — so what’s the deal when you have to camp out on the tarmac because the plane can’t make you a cup o’ joe?

That’s what the New York times recently looked into. And the answer, in short, is: because airplanes are really complicated.

The coffee machine on a commercial airliner isn’t just some plug-and-play drip pot like a consumer machine, or even like a ground-based industrial-strength one. Airplanes are their own closed systems, in flight — the power, the water, and everything else, for every machine on board, is connected.

So if the coffee machine won’t start, flight crew might have a bigger problem than just the absence of java on their hands.

FAA regulations require coffee makers on-board aircraft to have a host of safety features built in, to make sure that brewing you a hot cuppa doesn’t, y’know, light the plane on fire. That means if a machine is misfiring, a maintenance crew needs to give it a thorough once-over to make sure there’s no problem with the electrical system. They’ve got to check the coffee maker’s circuit breakers and insulation, as well as the circuitry that connects to it.

If the power’s fine, the problem might be the water — its own special, complicated system. Or the problem might be one of the latches or hooks that holds it in place. Or maybe the problem is clogged plumbing. Or a hundred other small, incredibly fiddly, precise things.

The plane can take off without a working coffee maker, of course, in the event that technicians decide it’s not a hazard but can’t solve the problem fast. But that makes customers — who get very little for free on-board on most airlines, and might cherish that coffee — testy, and they complain.

According to the NYT, the coffee maker problem is a big focus for American Airlines (which now includes the former US Airways fleet). The airline’s chief of operations is focused on fixing small issues that lead to big delays, and the coffee makers are on his list.

“One delay at the beginning of the day can impact hundreds, if not thousands, of passengers and their belongings,” he told the NYT. “It’s not only the most customer friendly, it’s also the most financially sound way to run an airline.”

The Times also checked in with Delta and United, the other remaining large legacy carriers. A United spokesman told the paper that although sometimes delays due to coffee machines do happen, “it’s not a prevalent cause.”

Coffee, as simple as it seems, is a surprisingly involved and complex piece of the modern air travel system. Back in 2012, the problems integrating coffee supplies and coffee machine specs became emblematic of the challenges United and Continental faced in their massive merger.

For Want of a Working Coffeepot, Your Flight Is Delayed [New York Times]

18 Jul 21:38

Cancer Centers Tripled Ad Spending In Last Decade; Are They Pushing Hope Or Hype?

by Chris Morran

If you watch cable TV — especially basic cable during the daytime — you’ve likely seen your share of heartwarming ads showing off cancer survivors who were saved from the brink by the handsome physicians and nurses at [Fill In The Blank] cancer treatment center. Over the last decade, direct-to-consumer marketing by cancer centers has soared, with much of that spending concentrated in the hands of about two dozen operators. However, some doctors are concerned that these ads aren’t selling patients on the reality, but on the experiences of a few rare cases.

The ad-spending figures come from an analysis published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine, which looked at spending by cancer centers on TV, print, and online (both banner and search) advertising between 2005 and 2014.

According to our colleagues at Consumer Reports, here are the 6 factors to consider when researching cancer treatment:
1. Experience: Center should be able to provide details about its proficiency treating your type of cancer & its success rates.
2. Treatment: “Advanced treatment options,” doesn’t mean much. Find out how your medical team plans to treat your cancer. More than one option might be available; what outcomes should you expect from each? What’s the treatment timeline? Are there clinical trials?
3. Risk: Different treatments have different risks & side effects. Doctors should be willing to explain them to you.
4. Cost: If you have insurance, your choices may be limited to those in your plan. If cost is a concern, ask if the center offers financial assistance.
5. Quality of life: What can be done to help you manage your symptoms? What kind of access will you have to your doctor? Are office hours convenient; can you reach them during off-hours? Where will your family stay?
6. Support services: Ask about dietitians, physical therapists, social workers, psychologists, & other professionals who can help you and your family members.

This did not include ads seeking donations for cancer centers or advertising in niche-market publications for physicians; just ads intended to appeal to people who may be looking for a cancer treatment facility for themselves or someone else.

According to the study (which adjusted all dollar amounts to 2014 dollars for sake of comparison), total ad spending by cancer centers was just over $54 million. In 2014, that number had more than tripled to $173.5 million.

Online ad spending (for which the report only has data from 2010 to 2014) grew the most in a very short time — from around $300,000 total in 2010 to $8.63 million in 2014. However, that’s still only enough to account for around 5% of all ad spending.

The biggest spender, by far, in 2014 was Cancer Treatment Centers of America. The Florida-based for-profit chain that currently operates facilities in five markets (Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tulsa) spent nearly $102 million on advertising that year — accounting for around 58% of the entire industry.

In commercials like the one below CTCA shares glowing stories of cancer survivors:

The ad features a few smart-looking (and likely quite smart) doctors talking about the treatment with words and phrases most people outside the world of oncology (or those who’ve had to deal with cancer treatment) don’t understand, but which sound fancy.

Which is basically in line with the results of a 2014 study by the same researchers who published the data on advertising money.

For that report, researchers looked at the content of more than 409 TV ads for 102 different cancer centers and found that they overwhelmingly market treatment (88% of ads) instead of preventative screening (18%). Compounding the issue, only 2% of the ads quantified the associated risks with the treatment being advertised, and only 5% gave an indication of cost.

“Clinical advertisements by cancer centers frequently promote cancer therapy with emotional appeals that evoke hope and fear while rarely providing information about risks, benefits, costs, or insurance availability,” concluded that 2014 report.

In fact, CTCA has been called out over its statistics in the past. In 1996, the company — along with two affiliated hospitals — settled a Federal Trade Commission complaint about its allegedly misleading marketing.

According to the complaint, CTCA advertised that its survivorship rate for cancer patients was among the highest recorded, but did so without adequate evidence to back up that, and other, claims.

While CTCA ceased making those claims, a 2014 Reuters investigation raised concerns about the statistics the company does provide on its website.

At the time, the company claimed that 60% of is non-small-cell lung cancer patients were still alive six months after treatment (that figure now says 65% on the CTCA site), while the national average is only a 38% survival rate over the same timeframe.

However, Reuters’ panel of nine experts on medical statistics unanimously concluded that — assuming the survival rate is accurate — this comparison is misleading, because CTCA patients are not statistically representative of the spectrum of cancer patients.

The company treats — relative to other cancer centers — fewer elderly patients, and very few CTCA patients are covered by Medicaid (or not covered by any insurance). That eliminates two very large groups of people who may be more prone to problems with cancer treatment, either because of other age-related conditions or because they were reluctant/unable to seek out treatment early on.


The CTCA ads — and the many, many stories and videos on the company website — do include the disclaimer that results are not typical (see screengrab at left), but that isn’t necessarily the magic shield against liability in a false advertising complaint.

As physicians Lisa M. Schwartz and Steven Woloshin note in an editorial accompanying the new study, the FTC now places a higher threshold for companies wishing to use the “results not typical” disclaimer.

The FTC would rather companies go with disclaimers that show specifics. For example, if a commercial for a weight loss system features a woman who lost 45 pounds, the disclaimer shouldn’t read “results not typical,” but “most women who use XXX lose 15 pounds.”

Better yet, the FTC would have the company show testimonials from women whose results are in line with that typical result.

According to Schwartz and Woloshin, it’s a lesson these cancer centers need to learn: “Cancer survivors selected because of their striking responses to treatment are by definition atypical.”

18 Jul 22:14

Oreo’s New Choco Chip Cookie Flavor Is Tasty, But Isn’t Chocolate Chip Cookie Flavored

by Laura Northrup

Two years ago, cookie dough flavored Oreos hit the market, with standard chcoolatey Oreo wafers and cookie dough flavored creme. The thing is, both of these cookie flavors have names that avoid one important word: chocolate. That’s because the FDA has specific rules for what can legally be called “chocolate,” and the choco-nuggets in these cookies don’t fit the definition.

Like the chips at Starbucks that can’t legally be called “chocolate” because they don’t have the right proportion of ingredients, these would be “chocolate chip” cookies if they were legally allowed to be.

We can’t find the ingredients list for the current version of the cookies, but the 2014 version listed chocolate as the very last ingredient, behind yellow, red, and blue food coloring.


A staffer at Buzzfeed brought out the ultimate insult in my book, comparing the new product to vanilla Snackwell’s cookies.

PopSugar said that the creme “does taste exactly like chocolate chip cookie dough, albeit with a slightly fake aftertaste.”
Refinery29 observed that “there’s a whole lot of chocolate chip cookie flavor going on” and that the cookie is “kind of like eating cookie dough with the texture of an Oreo,” which is a positive thing.

For some actual junk food expertise, we turned to The Impulsive Buy, which declared the cookies to be superior to the 2014 version, which had an accidental coffee flavor. This year’s version has wafers that taste similar to chocolate chip flavored Teddy Grahams, and the cream is a little too sweet with a frosting texture.

“On its own [the creme is] a bit too sweet, reviewer Adam writes, “but taken in a complete bite with the crunchy wafer, it’s like chomping down on a cookie dough stuffed cookie.” Sounds edible.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Choco Chip Oreo Cookies [The Impulsive Buy]

19 Jul 13:55

It’s That Time Of Year Again: Halloween Creep Season

by Laura Northrup

The Fourth of July is over, and barbecue and pool supplies have sold out, so that leaves a large gap in the seasonal sections of all kinds of stores. Naturally, that means it’s time to haul out the Halloween decorations and merchandise, since there’s nothing better than a rack of skeletons and a shelf of pumpkin spice candles to remind you that summer will be over soon.

Reader Anthony took these pictures in an At Home store, and they were actually taken a week ago, on July 12. “I guess it’s never too soon to start planning, right?” he writes.

Well, that’s true: some readers have written in to tell us that people planning elaborate haunted houses are already shopping for their Halloween decorations, and that could be why stores do this. Maybe, but the need to fill space on the shelves is a more likely explanation.

I keep trying to think of a less creepy way to display these, but I can't think of one.




We usually exempt craft stores from Holiday Creep posts, since people need the supplies to make holiday items long before that holiday happens. However, are holiday-themed scented candles really craft supplies?


Back at At Home, the next display was boxed and on shelves, ready to go. The items are probably out on the shelves now. It is, of course, the traditional Holiday Hoedown.


17 Jul 08:00

How to Train a Dog to Come

Training your dog to come to you when called is not only important for behavior reasons but for safety reasons as well. A simple recall command could be the difference between life and death if your dog gets loose and is headed for a busy street. Dogs that respond to this basic command are also allowed to enjoy more freedom outside when involved in activities such as hiking or playing at the dog park. Use a training technique that interests your dog and show him plenty of patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement to help teach him this basic command.[1]


EditTraining While on Leash

  1. Have the proper trainer mindset. The dog will not learn if you do not have the right frame of understanding. A little research is in order before your first session, and it is always best to take an obedience class with your dog, and train as "homework". But for positive training, keep in mind:
    • Your mood will be picked up by your dog. If you go into training in a funk, or feeling frustrated or angry, likely your pup will feel this too. Although consistency is important, it may be better to skip training that day rather than get negative emotions into the mix. Keep training a positive activity.
    • Be sure the dog masters #1 before going to #2. A success in one step does not necessarily mean the dog actually "gets it". You still need repetition to be sure the dog is consistent. Be sure the dog can really do the first step every time before going to the second.
    • Keep sessions short and frequent. Dogs--and especially puppies--typically have short attention spans. Asking a dog to have prolonged periods of intense training may lead to frustration on everyone's parts.
    • Do not get frustrated if the dog has some failures. When something new is being learned, there will always be failures. This is not a bad thing, just part of learning. If your dog picks up that he or she is disappointing you, and does not really know why, training becomes something bad.
    • Never punish a dog for obeying a command. If you give a command, you should never, ever give the dog any mixed signals that your signal was bad. If your dog was chasing a deer, and you command, "come" and the dog comes, praise him or her--do not rebuke him or her for chasing even though you may be upset and want to get across chasing deer is not OK. Your dog will only understand that if he or she comes, he or she is punished and may not come next time.
  2. Choose the right location. As with any new command, you want to start with a location that’s familiar to your dog and free from distractions such as toys, small children, food, loud noises, or other animals.[2] This allows your dog to focus as much as possible on you, the command, and the behavior you want him to associate it with.
    Train a Dog to Come Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • If you live with other people, keep them involved in the training process too. This way they will know not to distract your dog while you’re teaching commands.
  3. Leash your dog. While your dog will later graduate to off-leash developments in the method, the initial training should take place on leash to keep him close and focused on you. Start with a shorter, six-foot leash that keeps your dog close and you more present in his field of vision.[3]
    Train a Dog to Come Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • Stand an appropriate distance away so that your dog can’t reach you within just a step or two. For a small dog, this may only be two or three feet, whereas you may stand back the entire six-foot length of the leash for a large dog.
  4. Say “come” and begin taking quick steps backward. Your dog will naturally want to chase you playfully when you start taking fast backward steps away from him.[4] You want to issue the command a single time, ensuring you say it before you begin moving backward.[5] This will allow your dog to hear the command clearly before getting distracted by wanting to chase you.
    Train a Dog to Come Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • Issuing the command one time is sufficient. The more you say to your dog during training, the less likely he is to begin associating any of the words with behaviors.[6]
    • If your dog does not respond and stays put, give your leash a slight tug and encourage him to move toward you.
  5. Consider using a hand signal as well. Signals are a good idea since they further associate the behavior, and they also help in situations where your dog can see you, but may not be able to hear you.[7] If you choose to teach with both verbal and hand signals, use a distinct hand signal. Make sure you use the signal and the verbal command at the same time.
    Train a Dog to Come Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • You can wave your hand toward your body or point at the ground in front of you. Holding your hand out in front of you, palm up, and curling your fingers back onto your palm is another common signal for the come command.
    • Hand signals are additionally helpful in situations where verbal commands are not so useful, such as near a loud highway.
    • If your dog goes deaf (which is not uncommon in old age or in some breeds) hand signals become especially helpful.
  6. Move backward until your dog reaches you. You want your dog to associate the command with coming all the way to you and not simply running a few feet. To help with this while using the shorter leash, keep backpedaling (carefully not to run into anything) until your dog reaches you.[8]
    Train a Dog to Come Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • If you are clicker training your dog, be sure to click as soon as your dog starts moving toward you and when he reaches you. This will reinforce his movement, direction, and good behavior.[9]
  7. Offer positive reinforcement. Once your dog reaches you, offer plenty of praise. Repeated positive reinforcement helps your dog to understand that he’s doing what you want with the associated behavior.[10]
    Train a Dog to Come Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Though positive reinforcement most often takes the form of praise and a treat, use your knowledge of your dog to your advantage. Maybe you know he responds best to being given his favorite toy after obeying a command.
  8. Add distractions and distance. The key to success is introducing greater distances and distracting environments in small increments that add a new dimension without overwhelming your dog. If you initially begin in your quiet living room without any toys around, try scattering a few toys next time, and then try turning on the TV as well the time after that. Next, try moving it to the backyard and using a fifteen-foot leash instead of the shorter one.[11]
    Train a Dog to Come Step 7 Version 2.jpg
  9. Use the method while on walks. One of the best ways to help train on the command consistently is to incorporate it into your daily walks with your dog.[12] This not only ensures that you’re regularly practicing the command with your dog, but it also provides a variety of different locations and surrounding levels of distraction to challenge your dog to stay focused.
    Train a Dog to Come Step 8 Version 2.jpg
  10. Issue the command without backing up. Your dog will eventually learn to associate the command with the behavior, allowing you to stop taking steps backward to initiate the behavior. Reduce the number of steps you take after issuing the command from several to just one or two. After that, work on issuing the command without taking steps backward at all.
    Train a Dog to Come Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • Remember to be patient. If your dog fails to come when you stand still, go back to taking one or two steps for another day, and try try again.
  11. Consider group training sessions. If your dog hits a wall anywhere in the process, then consider taking him to a trainer. A professional trainer can help correct any mistakes in your home technique for the training, and the group environment is great for socializing your dog.
    Train a Dog to Come Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • A trainer can teach you and your dog how to best communicate with each other and how to learn from each other as well.[13]

EditProgressing to Off-Leash Training

  1. Try recalling your dog off leash. After several days or weeks—depending on your dog—of on-leash training, choose an enclosed area, and see if you can get your dog to come while off leash. If he doesn’t respond to the command, you may have to start using the back-up method again to make him chase you.[14] Remember that the process will take time and patience, so don’t allow yourself to get frustrated if your dog doesn’t quite understand yet the first time you take him off his leash. The important part is to keep trying.
    Train a Dog to Come Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Also, avoid repeating the command over and over if it’s proving ineffective. Each time you repeat the command without the dog understanding, you risk weakening the association he had already begun to form with the command. If he’s not responding at all, go back to using the long-leash training for another day or two before trying again.
    • If you do initially have to take a step or two backward to initiate the behavior, reduce those steps, take smaller steps, and other similar actions to wean your dog off needing you to move to respond to the command.
    • Occasionally ask him to come when he is not expecting you to. For example, call him when he is sniffing around the yard to test his attention to the command.
  2. Use restrained recalls. As you try to increase the distance from which you recall your dog, you may have to get help from another person. The restrained recall variation involves having someone else hold your dog still, so you can get farther away without your dog following along. When you’re ready, issue the command once (along with any hand signals you may also be teaching) and have the person restraining your dog let go.[15]
    Train a Dog to Come Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • As always, use your clicker if clicker training and offer plenty of positive reinforcement when your dog reaches you.
    • The best way for the person holding the dog to restrain him is by lacing fingers across his chest.[16]
  3. Try a “round-robin” approach. Once your dog is successfully responding to the command for you, a round-robin approach offers new challenges and complexity to the process. Have two or three additional people besides yourself stand in a large circle at least twenty feet apart, and then have people on different sides of the circle take turns issuing the command and having your dog come.[17]
    Train a Dog to Come Step 13 Version 2.jpg
    • Make sure that each person has the proper amount of time to give your dog praise and a treat before the next person issues the command.[18] Remember to use the clicker if you’re clicker training and to have each person use the proper signal if you’re using hand signals in addition to the command.
  4. Expand the range of training. After you feel more comfortable with your dog's progress, alter the training environment and increase your dog's exposure to distractions. If you notice that your dog always seems distracted during training, you should backtrack and work in a familiar setting again before moving onto more complicated environments.[19]
    Train a Dog to Come Step 14 Version 2.jpg
    • Make sure that you never progress all the way to open areas (or even enclosed park dogs where safety may be an issue) until your dog is successfully obeying the command in various locations with all different levels of distraction.
  5. Get help. If your dog is consistently struggling to make the leap from obeying the command on his leash to obeying it while off his leash, then don’t be afraid to get help from a professional dog trainer. A training session with an instructor can guide you through these difficulties. You can also contact a professional trainer or canine behaviorist to get more advice.
    Train a Dog to Come Step 15 Version 2.jpg
    • Each dog is different and therefore not every dog learns in exactly the same way.[20]


  • Make the learning process as fun as possible initially. While your dog is still practicing the recall command, don’t try to use it when you want him to come for a nail trim or anything else he doesn’t like. This will only introduce a negative association for your dog.
  • You can start teaching your dog a recall command once he is about three months old. Each session should last about five to ten minutes, and you can attempt up to three sessions spread throughout the day. Typically, the younger the dog, the shorter each session will need to be because of limited attention spans.[21]
  • If you only use this command when it is time to stop playtime, your dog will interpret this as a punishment and think that this command always precedes the end of a good time for her.[22]
  • Always end your training sessions on a positive note.[23]
  • Never punish or scold your dog after he eventually does come after a very delayed recall no matter how infuriating or frustrating the delay. If you do, your dog will then associate recall with punishment and will be reluctant to come in the future.

EditRelated wikiHows

EditSources and Citations

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17 Jul 21:26

A timeline of the shooting that left 3 officers dead

by wtopstaff

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Col. Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police gave a timeline of the events related to the shooting death of three Baton Rouge law enforcement officials Sunday:

— 8:40 a.m. Baton Rouge police department officers at a convenience store observed the individual. He was wearing all black standing behind a beauty supply store holding a rifle.

— 8:42 a.m. reports received of shots fired.

— 8:44 a.m. reports received of officers down on the scene.

— 8:45 a.m. reports received of more shots being fired.

— 8:46 a.m. reports received of the suspect, again wearing all black and standing near a car wash located right next to the convenience store.

— 8:48 a.m. emergency EMS units starting arriving at the scene.

The post A timeline of the shooting that left 3 officers dead appeared first on WTOP.

16 Jul 21:01

Animal welfare group again sues Iowa zoo, focusing on lions

by wtopstaff

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An embattled northeast Iowa zoo is facing a second lawsuit — this time regarding treatment of its endangered African lions.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund and five Iowans filed a lawsuit Monday against the Cricket Hollow Zoo in Manchester, the Des Moines Register reported ( ).

Earlier this year, the national group successfully sued the zoo to force the removal of endangered lemurs and tigers.

The most recent lawsuit claims that Cricket Hollow Zoo confines African lions in small, barren enclosures, disrupting and impairing the large cats.

Zoo visitors have seen “a female lion retching in her enclosure, a lioness repeatedly ramming herself into her cage fencing, enclosures strewn with fly-laden meat and feces, and flies feasting on the ears and noses of African lions,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit claims that Cricket Hollow Zoo’s treatment of lions violates the federal Endangered Species Act.

A phone message left Saturday by The Associated Press at the zoo was not immediately returned.

Jessica Blome, senior staff attorney with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said the group wanted to include lions in its first lawsuit, but at the time, it was unclear whether the lions were designated as an endangered species. Federal designations have since changed, she said, making it clear that the lions are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Blome said she’s confident in the latest case against the zoo, because the previous lawsuit caused the zoo to give up its tigers.

“All of the evidence that applied to the tigers applies to the lions,” she said.

Five tigers died at the zoo from 2013 through 2015, a California veterinarian testified in court last fall. The veterinarian said the tigers had received inadequate care and described the animals’ enclosures as covered in feces and old food.


Information from: The Des Moines Register,

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17 Jul 14:02

Curing Florida’s algae crisis will take time, money, science

by wtopstaff

STUART, Fla. (AP) — The enormous algae outbreak that has coated swaths of Florida’s St. Lucie River with guacamole-like sludge is a man-made affliction, arising from political and economic decisions made over the past 140 years.

Chasing dollars, Florida land developers and their government allies broke up nature’s flow that used rivers, Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades to move water south from central Florida to the Florida Bay at the peninsula’s tip. That spurred Florida’s economic growth, but it came with a price: Rivers and lagoons have periodically become so toxic with green and brown slime that fish die off, residents are sickened and tourists stay away.

The algae-laden runoff flowing down rivers and estuaries after this year’s heavy winter rains has hit especially hard along the St. Lucie River nearing the heavily populated Atlantic beaches.

It’s an oft-recurring problem. Yet joint federal and state projects agreed upon in 2000 by former Democratic President Bill Clinton and then-Republican Gov. Jeb Bush have been slow to materialize amid tight budgets and political opposition.



It’s complicated, but the simple answer is humans. From the late 1800s well into the 1900s, business interests with government cooperation sought to drain the Everglades so land could be developed. Water that naturally flowed south from Lake Okeechobee through the Everglades to Florida Bay was diverted east and west into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and out to sea.

Around the lake, farms, ranches and homes sprang up, producing human and animal waste and fertilizer, all laden with phosphorus and nitrogen that fast-reproducing algae feast upon. Florida’s heavy seasonal rains wash the pollutants into the lake and slow-moving rivers, prompting massive blooms almost annually in Florida’s summer heat.



Environmental, health and economic. Outbreaks kill fish and other plants by sucking oxygen from the water and releasing toxins. Toxins in the food chain can kill birds, reptiles and mammals. Humans fall sick by touching or breathing toxins. Boaters, fishermen and beachgoers stay away as waters look and smell rancid.



The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District, which control much of the flow through levees and gates, are holding more water north of Lake Okeechobee and sending less water into the rivers. That has alleviated the immediate outbreak, at least in the river. An algae bloom in the lake covers 200 square miles.



Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend unspecified millions to get homeowners off septic tanks and onto sewer lines, reducing nutrient runoff.

Scott also wants federal authorities to expedite an $880 million project strengthening a dike which surrounds Lake Okeechobee, controlling its water flow. The 18-year project is scheduled for completion in 2025; Scott wants it done faster. Democrats and Republicans are at odds over who’s to blame for not allocating extra money.

Eric Draper, Audubon Florida’s executive director, said strengthening the Herbert Hoover Dike “won’t do anything” to alleviate algae because the Army Corps of Engineers will never significantly raise Lake Okeechobee’s water level.

John Campbell, a Corps spokesman, said even with expedited funding, it’s unclear how much faster the project could be completed — given there are only so many qualified contractors to do the work.



Some environmentalists say nature has the best solution: Let the water flow south into the Everglades as it did before man intervened. That’s what was proposed in the then-$7.8 billion pact Clinton and Bush negotiated 16 years ago.

To achieve that end, retention reservoirs covering 90 square miles would be built south of Lake Okeechobee. Supporters say the water could be cleaned of phosphorus, nitrogen and other pollutants before releasing it into the Everglades. They say that also would improve the health of Florida Bay, which lost seagrass when dwindling freshwater turned the bay water too salty.



No. Brian LaPointe, an algae researcher at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, said scrubbing the water of so much nitrogen would be nearly impossible. Besides, nitrogen-laden water would be a disaster for the Florida Bay, its seagrass and its coral, he said. Instead, he recommends reducing the amount of nutrients that farmers, ranchers and residents near the lake leech into the water.



That’s doubtful in the current political climate. The plan would require buying land owned by powerful cane growers U.S. Sugar Corp. and Florida Crystals. U.S. Sugar struck a deal in 2008 to sell 300 square miles of land to the state for $1.7 billion, but Florida’s economy tanked, the state ran low on money, legislators balked and the company changed its mind. Only 42 square miles were purchased for $197 million.

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15 Jul 09:00

Off the beaten path at the National Zoo: The reptiles and beyond

by Kristi King

WASHINGTON — There’s more going on at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo than giant pandas and lions. WTOP visited the zoo to give you a behind-the-scenes look at creatures off the beaten path.

Many of the animals born and bred at the zoo are genetically valuable for the preservation of their species. “Every species is important. As we lose more species, it’s got a cascading effect,” said biologist Matt Evans, assistant curator of reptiles and amphibians at National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center. “It affects how the ecosystem works.”

The zoo is working to address numerous global conservation challenges. There’s a fungus-borne illness, for example, called amphibian chytrid that has devastated nearly 100 frog species worldwide. “We are doing a lot of research with the fungus, trying to figure out how frogs might be able to build up an immune response and resistance to it,” Evans said.

Worldwide, one-third to one-half of all amphibian species are threatened with extinction.

What leads to a job playing with crocs and snakes? The National Zoo’s Matt Evans explains.

Kristi King | July 15, 2016 2:26 am

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15 Jul 14:46

10 National Ice Cream Day Deals To Help Beat The Heat

by Mary Beth Quirk

National Ice Cream Day is officially July 17, or so the ice cream gods have proclaimed, but many businesses are either starting the festivities early or extending the sweet treat deals beyond Sunday. Here’s what you’ll need to know to get your brain freeze on.

1. Uber: The ride-hailing company is kicking off the celebrations on Friday, and calling their promotion #UberIceCream. If you live in a city where UberEats is available, you can request a delivery of free Magnum Ice Cream bars via the UberEats app. If you don’t have UberEats around, the company has ice cream deliveries on offer in 400 cities globally.
When: July 15, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

2. Carvel: Customers can purchase any size soft serve ice cream cone or cup and get a second for free at participating locations.
When: July 17

3. Cumberland Farms: This one’s a bit… interesting. Cumberland Farms has a new line of ice cream sandwiches, and will give you one for free — if you purchase a 20 oz Pepsi or Mountain Dew beverage to go with it.
When: Now through Sept. 16

4. Baskin Robbins: Customers can upgrade to a waffle cone for free, with a portion of all ice cream proceeds on Sunday’s sales going to the United Service Organization.
When: Throughout July

5. Cold Stone Creamery: If you’re a member of the chain’s online rewards program called eClub, or sign up to be one, you can get a buy one, get one free coupon. It may take up to 24 hours for you to get your coupon after signing up, however.
When: Whenever you want it.

6. Dairy Queen: If you join Dairy Queen’s Blizzard Fan Club you can buy one cone and get one free, but you should also check out your local eatery, because many locations are independently owned and operated.
When: Now, tomorrow, when you have time.

7. Tastee-Freez: Customers can bring this coupon to a participating Taste-Freez or Wienerschnitzel location and receive $1 off a banana split, up to two per coupon. and they’ll give you $1 off a banana split, up to two per coupon.
When: Now, until July 31

8. Friendly’s: The chain is hosting a monthlong Sprinklefest, which includes discounts on frosted treats.

9. Marble Slab Cream Creamery: Buy one, get one free.
When: Sunday, before 1 p.m. local time.

10. Petsmart: Because National Ice Cream Day is NOT just about humans, PetSmart will be giving away free Doggie Ice Cream Sundaes at all PetSmart PetsHotel locations on July 17.
When: July 17