Can You Buy Dog Fur in Queens?

We recently got word that Unique Product Enterprises -- a Rego Park, Queens-based biz -- advertised and sold "numerous" items containing DOG fur, according to an investigation conducted by the Humane Society of the United States.

Of course, selling fur from man's best friend is kinda illegal, as per the The Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000. That law bars the import, interstate advertisement, and sale of items with dog or cat fur, according to the Society. (And, to be perfectly clear, dog fur is different than dog hair -- it requires the removal of the animal's pelt, meaning they were skinned.)

So what exactly went down with Unique? And is the company still hawking these items?

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Bloated Pig/Rat-Monster Washes Up On Shore Of East River

Categories: Animals, WTF?
Denise Ginley
If anyone's missing a gigantic, bloated pig/rat-monster, it's been found on the bank of the East River -- and it's disgusting.

The above photo -- and others you can see after the jump -- were taken under the esplanade along the East River by a woman named Denise Ginley.

It's unclear what this thing actually is -- there's some chatter that it's the second-coming of the "Montauk Monster," which was found washed up on the shore near Montauk in 2008 and determined to probably be a bloated raccoon. This monster, however, looks more like a bloated pig or rat -- if you ask us, anyway.

We're no experts in disgusting, bloated water vermin, though, so we've contacted experts at the Bronx Zoo to see if they can tell us what this thing actually is. We'll let you know what they have say -- meantime, see some more photos of this monster below.

UPDATE: An animal expert tells Gothamist -- which first reported on this bloated mess -- that it likely is a dog. That said, those ears look awfully swine-y -- or pit bull-y (we don't know what the F to think).

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For The Birds: New York City Summer Birdwatching

Cedar waxwing, via Rob Jett.
A recent post on the Environmental Protection Agency's Greening the Apple blog about seasonal birdwatching in Sandy Hook, New Jersey got us thinking: Do you have to go all the way to a neighboring state to check out the summer's cool birds?

So we hit up two area birders -- Dr. Robert "Birding Bob" DeCandido and "City Birder" Rob Jett -- to find out.

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Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bill de Blasio Call on City To Retire Carriage Horses

Around fifty people gathered on the steps of City Hall this afternoon to demand the City Council test out a prototype electric car that they hope can replace horse-drawn carriages. That proposal, Intro. 86A, is sponsored in the City Council by Member Melissa Mark-Viverito.

New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets(NYCLASS) -- joined by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Mark-Viverito, and animal welfare advocates -- lead the rally, calling on Council Speaker Christine Quinn to support the pilot program.

The vintage-replica vehicle initiative would not cost the city any money, the group says, as it would be funded entirely by NYCLASS donations.

NYCLASS also delivered a petition to the Council -- signed by 85,000 New Yorkers -- supporting the replacement of horse-drawn carriages with these cars.

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Andrew Coté, NYC Beekeeper, on Urban Apiculture (And Getting Bees in His Nose!)

Last week, the Voice brought you news of bees(!), which have been swarming New York with the onset of warm weather.

If the thought of thousands of stinging insects flying around the city en masse sounds scary, fear not! We had the chance to catch up with Andrew Coté, often billed as the city's "busiest beekeeper," via e-mail and ask him a few questions about urban apidae -- namely, whether the bees are trying to kill us.

(They're not! But if you see them swarming, you should contact him ASAP!)

Coté is a fourth-generation beekeeper and founder of The New York City Beekeepers Association and Bees Without Borders, a non-profit that teaches impoverished people in developing countries how to produce honey for income. So what did he have to say?

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BEES Swarm East Village!

The Sixth Street Community Center generated buzz yesterday, when it received a shipment of 15,000 bees to potentially make honey for its new cafe.

(Bees, buzz, GET IT? GET IT? Oh man. We really do hate ourselves sometimes, and with such good reason.)

Anyway, this wasn't the first apiary announcement to come from the East Village this week. Judging from a post on the New York City Beekeepers Association Facebook page, a group of bees allegedly associated with Bowery Poetry Club's "Bob" reportedly swarmed for the second time in two weeks.

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Craig Dershowitz Blows $60k In Legal Fight For Custody Of A Puggle (Yeah -- That's A Dog)

Craig Dershowitz
This is "Knuckles," the puggle a man has spent more than $60,000 to "rescue" from his ex-girlfriend.

We love dogs. They're awesome -- they're loyal, fun, and make you feel like a rock star every time you walk in the door. That said, we would never spend $60,000 to win custody of a dog after a rough breakup with a former girlfriend. The same cannot be said of Craig Dershowitz, who already has spent $60,000 fighting to win custody of his dog, and is now taking donations to further the fight.

Dershowitz, who lives in New York, says he's already blown through his life savings trying to win custody of his puggle, "Knuckles," which he considers his "son." He's now turned to the Internet to raise an additional $20,000 to continue his legal battle with former girlfriend Sarah Brega, who took the dog to California when the two called it quits.

See a video Dershowitz made pleading for donations below.

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Kill The Geese, Now! (Or People Might Get Killed by Them)

Avians and airplanes are a bad mix -- and the skies above New York City are no exception.

On Tuesday, a bird strike prompted a JetBlue plane to make an emergency landing.

Last week, also, a bird strike forced a Delta flight to make an emergency landing.

And don't forget the Miracle on the Hudson in 2009, when Capt. Chesley Sullenberger heroically landed a U.S. Airways flight on the river after a Canada geese flock hit the aircraft, CBS News reports.

Now, there seems to be a simple solution to this problem.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand proposed a bill that would make "it easier to round up geese from a federal refuge near Kennedy Airport and kill them."

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Dog Survives Gunshot Wound To The Head During Home Invasion By Man In a FedEx Uniform

If you know this guy, call the cops.

A dog is lucky to be alive after getting shot in the head by a man in a FedEx uniform during a home invasion on Staten Island last month.

According to police, about 4:45 p.m. on March 31, the suspect forced his way into a home on Lambert Street. Wearing a FedEx uniform, the suspect pulled out a gun before a struggling with the 32-year-old male resident of the home.

During the struggle, the victim's 12-year-old pitbull approached the suspect, who shot the dog in the head -- luckily, the pooch survived.

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Midtown Jewelry Maker's Showroom For Bunnies, Bunny-Lovers

Screen shot 2012-04-07 at 2.06.01 PM.png
It's Easter weekend, which means it is time for bunny-related news. The New York Daily News today draws our attention to Sequin, a jewelry showroom-cum-bunny home, in Midtown. Dottie, Biggles, Badger, Lollie and Fanny hop around in the showroom along with four rescued kitties. The owners of Sequin are bunny enthusiasts -- they have a Rhode Island sanctuary -- while Cindy Stutts, who calls herself "Chief Bunny Officer," works in sales and product development, and acts as the adoption counselor for Rabbit Rescue and Rehab. In that capacity, Stutts helps facilitate bunny adoptions via the New York City Animal Care & Control Shelters.

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