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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.

New E-Cab partners with DCHS for week-long fundraiser

New E-Cab partners with DCHS for week-long fundraiser

Customers who ride in Green Cab?s all-electric E-Cab will be able to donate to the Dane County Humane Society during week-long fundraiser that starts Wednesday, according to a release.

Green Cab and the DCHS are working together on Ride to Rescue, a fundraiser where all donations from E-Cab riders will go to funding continuing efforts to care for at-risk animals in Dane County, officials said.

The E-Cab, a low-speed motorized vehicle, will be collection donations starting Wednesday and going through Aug. 13.

Seven thousand animals pass through the doors of the DCHS each year, according to the release. DCHS accepts all types of animals, and provides medical care and behavioral enrichment programs when needed.

Passengers riding the E-Cab will be required to make a $1 donation during the fundraiser, officials said. E-Cab is the first of its kind in Madison.

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.

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. 

Middleton police ask for public's help in finding missing cat

Middleton police ask for public's help in finding missing cat

A cat named Sweets escaped from his home in the 6600 block of South Avenue near Maple Street around midnight Saturday night.

Officials ask if you find or see him to call or text 608-824-7300.

Madison's resident foxes make a splash with the community

Madison's resident foxes make a splash with the community

Near the railroad track lining Warner Park, depressions in the snow marked many paths -- coming, going and crossing. Some of the prints set close together, others further apart.

Most of the tracks belonged to two foxes, according to Madison resident Rhonda Martin.

Martin lives near Warner Park on Madison's north side, and sees the foxes so regularly she can keep track of their family trees. She can list the members of the family individually, noting when and how many babies (known as kits) each had, as if she knew them personally.

One female fox had two kits in 2011, one of which took over territory near the baseball field where the Madison Mallards play. He’s still there, Martin said. The other kit -- a female -- made a den down the railroad tracks from her mother, and had five kits of her own in 2013. She and four of her kits were run out of the territory by the fifth, a male.

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.