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Henry Vilas Zoo announces 2 new residents coming to zoo

Henry Vilas Zoo announces 2 new residents coming to zoo

Madison?s Henry Vilas Zoo announced Wednesday that two new residents will be moving in as soon as their home in the zoo?s new Arctic Passage Exhibit is finished.

Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz said the new residents are two grizzly bears who are currently at the Bismark?s Dakota Zoo, in North Dakota.

The bears were born in the wild, and their mother and grandmother were nuisance bears, which mean they were too comfortable being around people. They broke into campsites, and the grandmother had to be relocated 11 times to keep her away from people.

Then the grandmother broke into and raided a pig farm and became too dangerous. Officials euthanized the mother and grandmother, leaving four cubs behind.

Madison will be helping the zoo in North Dakota out by taking two of the cubs. The bears don?t have names yet, but zoo officials hope the community will help them out with that.

MPD Mounted Unit officially announces newest member

MPD Mounted Unit officially announces newest member

The newest member of the Madison Police Department?s Mounted Unit will be announced Monday at a Community Corral, according to a release.

Torres is an 8-year-old Friesian Gelding that has spent the last two months in field training with the unit, and has now earned the right to start his solo career, officials said. Torres joins the unit thanks to a private donor working in conjunction with MPD?s nonprofit organization.

In March, Jack, a veteran horse member of the unit, passed away following a short illness, according to the release. But Torres has filled the void and is ready to carry on in Jack?s footsteps.

Torres will be introduced to the public at the Community Corral from 5-7 p.m. at Vilas Park. The unit?s team members will also be available to share information and answer questions about the horses and the responsibilities of being a mounted police officer.

Mounted police horses featured at park meet-and-greets

Mounted police horses featured at park meet-and-greets

The city's equestrian police team is scheduled to make appearances at three parks this month to meet with the community.

The Madison Police Department said its mounted patrol unit will hold "Community Corral" stops on the south, west and northeast sides of the city.

The Community Corral is an informal meet-and-greet event, organizers said.

Police said the park events are "a great way to 'corral' up area neighbors to say hello to the largest four-legged members of the police department."

The mounted patrol is scheduled to stop by from 4-5 p.m. at:

  • SOUTH: Henry Vilas Park, 1602 Vilas Park Drive, near the playground on Monday, July 21
  • WEST: Bordner Park, 5610 Elder Place, on Monday, July 28
  • NORTHEAST: Reindahl Park, 1818 Portage Road, near the shelter on Wednesday, July 30

Humane society's pet event offers free adoptions

Humane society's pet event offers free adoptions

Lots of furry friends are looking for good homes during a free pet adoption event underway in Madison this weekend.

Dane County Humane Society spokeswoman Gayle Viney said most dogs had already been adopted by Saturday afternoon but there were still plenty of cats available to good homes at no cost. 

The adoption fees are being waived as part of a two-day event sponsored by Maddie's Fund. 

DCHS is one of five area rescues including DC Friends of Ferals, Angels Wish, the Humane Society of Southern WI and Friends of Noah who are participating in the nationwide event.

People are invited to visit the animals at the DCHS main shelter, 5132 Voges Road, or the Adoption Center West, 7474 Mineral Point Road.

Viney said doors opened Saturday at 10 a.m. and will continue through 8 p.m. Sunday event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Potential families will still be screened so pets go to qualified homes, organizers said. 

Tallest horse, donkey at Midwest Horse Fair

Tallest horse, donkey at Midwest Horse Fair

The world's tallest horse and the world's tallest donkey will be in one place this weekend.

They are at the 35th annual Midwest Horse Fair at the Alliant Energy Center grounds in Madison from Friday through Sunday.

The world's tallest horse is Big Jake, who lives on Smokey Hollow Farm near Poynette, Wis. The Belgian gelding is the Guinness World Record-holder for world's tallest living horse at one quarter inch short of 6-feet, 11 inches. He weighs about 2,600 pounds.

The world's tallest donkey is Romulus, who is 5 feet, 8 inches -- five inches taller than the old record holder. His brother, Remus, is just 2 inches shorter and he will also be there. They are from Red Oak, Texas.

More than 50,000 people are expected to attend.

Man adopts dog with secret sniffing ability

Man adopts dog with secret sniffing ability

There are thousands of successful adoption stories coming out of the Dane County Humane Society. Countless pets have found homes but News3 traveler Mark Koehn has a story not so much about adoption but about fate.

The story begins one morning this past July; Tim Stephenson was watching the news.

"I saw her on News3, the pet of the week. Then I hear a little bit of the stories that she's not really adoptable," Stephenson said.

Ten-year-old Sassy was brought to the news station but adoptees knew older dogs can sometimes be harder to place.

"Just because she's 10 years old and she has a few problems, it doesn't mean anything. I'm not going to let her die just because of all of that," said Stephenson.

Stephenson said he wasn't going to let her die just because she was 10 years old and had a few problems, but he expected to not have to keep up with such a fast pace.

Pet food chain and Dane County team up for Henry Vilas Zoo

Pet food chain and Dane County team up for Henry Vilas Zoo

Dane County and Mounds Pet Food Warehouse raised $20,000 to be donated to the Henry Vilas Zoo Animal Warehouse fund, according to a release from the Dane County Executive's Office.

According to the release, five stores competed by creating unique displays in each store during the month of May to raise the money.

The Middleton location raised the most, earning employees with a behind-the-scenes-tour of the zoo.

According to the release, the money will be used to purchase toys and materials to keep animals happy and healthy.

Mounds and Dane County partnered in 2011 for the same cause. They raised $18,000 that year.