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Sarasota's Putter the Prairie Dog finds new home

Sarasota's Putter the Prairie Dog finds new home

Sarasota, Florida -- Known for digging holes and burrowing under ground near Sarasota's municipal golf course, Putter the prairie dog has settled in to his new digs at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens and the City of Sarasota will partner to host a "homecoming" celebration in Putter's honor on Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. at the family-owned attraction.

Mayor Suzanne Atwell will offer remarks, and several other community leaders and special guests will take part in Putter's official debut.

"The City of Sarasota is excited to work jointly with Sarasota Jungle Gardens to relocate Putter to a safe, welcoming environment," said Mayor Atwell.

Horse droppings anger neighbors

Horse droppings anger neighbors

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- Horses may not be allowed in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park much longer because of what the animals leave behind.

Some neighbors have complained to city leaders about horse droppings in the popular recreation area owned by North Port and maintained by Sarasota County.

Commissioners are considering a complete ban on the animals already not technically allowed in the park.

Restaurant to humanely deter pigeons after controversy

Restaurant to humanely deter pigeons after controversy

VENICE, Fla. -- After controversy over animal cruelty, a Venice restaurant attempts a new strategy to keep pigeons away.

Late last year, Sharky's on the Pier poisoned pigeons to keep them away from customers and their food, but that tactic drew plenty of protest. "We were horrified," Jane Reeves, a board member with Wildlife Center of Venice, told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Animal activists and tourists alike complained of seeing dying pigeons flapping around on the pier and nearby beach as the birds died from the poison.

Sarasota detects West Nile virus in Sentinel Chicken

Sarasota detects West Nile virus in Sentinel Chicken

Sarasota, Florida-The West Nile virus has been detected in Sarasota County according to mosquito management services officials. One chicken among the 13 sentinel flocks has tested positive for the mosquito-borne infection. County officials say they are not too concern yet because it's just one chicken testing positive. If more show up county officials say they will spray the area.

This summer there have been 8 human cases in people so far in Florida this summer. West Nile virus can cause neurological damage. Symptoms include headache, fever, pain and fatigue.

Festivals, animal control on chopping block in North Port

Festivals, animal control on chopping block in North Port

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- Faced with ongoing pressure to cut the city's expenses. North Port leaders are considering cutting some popular programs.

Among the items being discussed by city council: North Port's two animal control officers, the Fourth of July Freedom Festival, the Poinsettia Festival, the Police Explorer program, and city attendants at the North Port Skate Park.

City council members won't make any final decisions for several more days, possibly weeks, but the talk of the cuts to such popular programs in the city have some people upset.

County updates manatee protection plan

County updates manatee protection plan

Sarasota County is updating its Manatee Protection Plan (MMP), first implemented in 2003, with data captured over the last few years. Sarasota County Commissioners will consider adopting the proposed updates to the MPP at its meeting on July 27.

Florida statutes require an MPP for key coastal counties where manatees are present. The purpose of the plan is to reduce human-related impacts to the endangered West Indian Manatee while balancing human and environmental needs.

Save Our Seabirds named Best Non-Profit of the Year

Save Our Seabirds named Best Non-Profit of the Year

On Wednesday evening, June 22, 2011, Save Our Seabirds was awarded Best Non Profit of the year by the Longboat Key, Lido Key and St. Armand's Key Chambers of Commerce in a combined event at the Players Theater Company in Sarasota. 

Lee Fox,  the Executive Director, accepted the award, which was an engraved plaque, on behalf of the organization. 

Save our Seabirds was recognized for its volunteers and employees tireless work seven days a week on behalf of the numerous injured coastal birds which are brought to the sanctuary or rescued at the sight of their injury.