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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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Date: 12-29-2014;

Family rebuilding goat herd after fire;

By Lisa King

Kathy Mejia’s eyes filled with tears as she held her week-old baby goat. It is the first baby born after her herd was devastated in a fire in May.

“Here’s my little girl. Isn’t she precious?” she said, stroking Solomon’s Song, as the baby’s mother, Flower, nuzzled her 3-pound infant in a pen on Zaring Mill Road, where Mejia and her husband, Santiago, lost 55 of their 75 goats in a horrific barn fire caused when a bale of hay stored in the structure combusted.

Santiago Mejia looks on as his wife, Kathy, holds Solomon's Song, born Dec. 9, under the careful scrutiny of the doeling's mother, Flower. The couple lost every female and every baby in the fire, and had only males left, so they turned to the community for help, and soon had several does donated to them.

Flower, a Nigerian Dwarf, was the first doe they received, from a couple in Owingsville.

Kathy Mejia said they did not set out to breed her right away, as she was still a bit young for that, but put her in a pen of her own, separate from the males. However, they had one male, Solomon, that had been very badly injured in the fire and could not hold his own with the others, so they put him in Flower’s pen.

“She was lonely and he was lonely, so during the day, they ran together in the pasture,” she said. “Not thinking it was possible for them to breed, but surprise, surprise!”

The Mejias have built their herd back up from 20 to 45. Six Nigerian does were given to them from people around the state and in Ohio, and they acquired four more. They also bought one buck and nine Alpine does from Howard and Joanna Shelburne who sold the remainder of their Alpine goat dairy herd that was left after they suffered a horrific barn fire in March 2013, when they lost 30 prize dairy goats. The family had been heavily into showing goats for nearly 50 years.

The Mejias had been worried about where they would house a herd even if they could rebuild it, but that problem has been solved, at least temporarily.

“My parents built an addition on the back of their barn for us. We’re cramped, but we’re in there for the time being,” said Kathy Mejia, standing in the pen at the home of her parents, Ray and Dottye Smith, who live next door.

“We have to be out in a barn by April because that’s when we’ll start kidding.”

She said she and her husband plan to build two small barns by then.

Mejia said the new goats are really working out well, which will enable them to continue their livelihood.

“Four of theirs [Shelburnes] were already in milk and they [Alpines] give twice as much as the Nigerians give,” she said. “So, wow, we have all this milk now, it’s great! Slowly but surely, we’re getting on our feet.”

Mejia said they could not have done it without the generous support of people around the community and even the state.

“We had some money given to us, and we bought the rest of the goats we got with donations,” she said. “It really gave us a good start so we can do what we need to do before spring, because if we miss another spring and summer, oh, Lordy.”

She expressed gratitude at the generosity of the community.

“We are so very thankful to everyone who gave donations of money and items, because all of it put together brought us to where we are,” she said. “We’re extremely grateful for everything.”

The couple got into the business seven years ago because Kathy has to stay home to take care of a disabled daughter. They sell products made of the goat milk.

“Now we have enough milk to use for drinking, cooking, making cheese, soap and fudge,” she said. “My mom, Dottye Smith, makes all of our goat milk yogurt and chocolate syrup. We will be selling fudge for the holidays and will start selling soap in January.”

They are even going to try out something new; they plan to build a greenhouse and try growing vegetables.

“That’s something new for us, so I guess something good came out of the barn fire,” she said.

The couple will be kidding registered and nonregistered Mini-Oberhaslis, Mini-Alpines, La Manchas, and Nigerian goats in the spring.


Date: 12-05-2014;

Police: Woman injured dog to get pain meds for herself...

By Jeff D'Alessio
The News-Enterprise

PereiraAn Elizabethtown woman is in the Hardin County Detention Center after she was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with cutting her dog with a razor in order to acquire pain medication for her own use.

Heather D. Pereira, 23, of the 200 block of Oaklawn Drive, reportedly admitted during police questioning to cutting her 4-year-old Golden Retriever in hopes of obtaining Tramadol, a narcotic-like pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain.

She cut the dog three times, according to an arrest warrant. Twice the dog was taken to the Elizabethtown Animal Hospital on Ring Road and once to a Jefferson County facility. The dog was treated on Oct. 1, Oct. 17 and Dec. 4. Pereira was given Tramadol Oct. 1 at the Jefferson County Animal Hospital on Outer Loop and then Oct. 17 in Elizabethtown.

When she arrived Thursday, a veterinarian became suspicious of the injuries.

According to the warrant, she claimed to have taken "3 or 4 of the pills and gave the rest to the dog.'' She told authorities that she cut the dog with disposable razor blades.

She appeared Friday morning in Hardin District Court and is being held on a $5,000 cash bond.

She is charged with three counts of first-offense torture of a cat or a dog, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison,. She also is charged with three counts of attempt to obtain a controlled substance by making false statements, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison on each charge.


Date: 11-19-2014;

Dogs are reunited with owner after being lost for a month;

After her two dogs were missing for nearly a month, Joanna Yates of Franklin feared the worst.

"I think I cried just about every day," Yates said. "They're your family."

But Yates was reunited Tuesday with her dogs, Cash and Dixie, after they were rescued from a cave underneath her subdivision.

Joanna Yates of Franklin on Tuesday holds her dog Cash, who was rescued from a cave he was stuck in for a month with Yates' other dog Dixie. Austin Anthony/The Daily News"They're miracles, that's for sure," she said.

The dogs were emaciated, but otherwise seemed OK upon a preliminary check at the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society's clinic Tuesday. Yates plans to take the dogs for a thorough exam as soon as their regular veterinarian can fit them in. 

When the dogs disappeared Oct. 19, Yates and her family searched everywhere they could think of and got the word out through social media, fliers and newspaper ads, but to no avail.

"For days, we just drove around and around the neighborhoods," Yates' daughter Abby said. "We just kept driving and driving. I was like, 'Where did these dogs go?' Normally, they come right back home."

The family was discouraged that no one had caught even a glimpse of the pets.

"It was kind of odd that there were no sightings, that they just disappeared," Joanna Yates said.

Then, a few days ago, they got a lead when a neighbor heard dogs barking underneath a hole from a collapsed drain tile. It turned out the dogs were trapped under the neighborhood the whole time, apparently having fallen about 20 feet into a cave after a drainage pipe collapsed.

"They literally fell off the face of the earth," Joanna Yates said.

The neighbor contacted Franklin city officials, who sent a crew to put cameras down the hole to make sure Cash and Dixie were there. Once it was confirmed the pets were in the cave, they were rescued Tuesday morning by lassoing their necks and pulling them up.

"It was a collaborative effort by a lot of people to bring them home," Joanna Yates said.

One person she's grateful to is Mia Bullard of Bowling Green, who runs the Facebook page "Warren County Kentucky Lost and Found Pets," which has reunited many lost pets with their owners since she started the page in April.

"It works when everybody is working together for a cause," Bullard said. "Friends are made; animals are saved."

She posted information and fliers about Cash and Dixie on the Facebook page and is thrilled their story has a happy ending.

"There's a happy tales album (on the page) and you can read how everyone was found," Bullard said. "This one was a great one. ... It brought tears to my eyes."


By Laurel Wilson
Bowling Green Daily News



Turkeys' story is America's story, from conservation to suburbanization; don't mess with wild ones...

(Photo from National Wild Turkey Federation)

As you enjoy turkey this week, remember the wild version of the bird, whose history traces that of America and its conservation and environmental movements, and which is getting more familiar.

"It’s almost miraculous that the wild turkey didn’t join the unfortunate ranks of such extinct birds as the passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet," writes Bryan Stevens in his "For the Birds" column in the Bristol Herald Courier. "Habitat destruction and a merciless commercial slaughter almost claimed the wild turkey, another uniquely American bird. Ironically, the wild turkey’s valued status as a game bird helped persuade many Americans to fight for its conservation. It’s an effort that succeeded admirably. Today, there are about seven million wild turkeys roaming North America."

Stevens adds, "Interest in the wild turkey as a game bird even inspired the establishment of the National Wild Turkey Federation, which is a national nonprofit organization that serves as a leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America." Stevens also offers many biological details about the turkey, and the old story about Benjamin Franklin saying it should have been made the national symbol, adding that George Washington agreed with Franklin.

The turkey's comeback is ruffling feathers in some suburbs, Michael Rosemwald writes for The Washington Post. "The soaring population has been a godsend for hunters, who are killing record numbers of wild turkeys, even in mostly suburban counties like Montgomery," in Maryland. "But their resurgence is not without drama. Sometimes small delegations of wild turkeys wander into residential neighborhoods on failed exploratory missions for good grub or companionship. For people unaccustomed to seeing turkeys, their appearances are entertaining and occasionally unnerving."

Rosemwald's story begins with an account of a turkey attack on members of a church in Frederick, Md., which led to production of a Destination America show, "When Turkeys Attack," scheduled to premiere at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday. Meanwhile, here's a Post video of wild turkeys in action:

Written by Al Cross Posted at 11/25/2014 07:47:00 AM