How will your pets react to the solar eclipse?

Published: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 @ 7:39 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

(Cox Media Group National Content Desk)
(Cox Media Group National Content Desk)

The August 21 Great American Solar Eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse to stretch coast to coast in the continental United States in 99 years. Humans are expected to react with amazement when the thin path of totality, or total eclipse, passes through portions of 14 states, but what about their pets?

>> Read more trending news

Dogs and cats will be affected by the eclipse much less than wildlife, says to Russell McLendon, science editor for Mother Nature Network. But there are still important things to know about how the solar eclipse could affect dogs and cats, including safety measures responsible pet owners should take.

>> Want to see the solar eclipse? Head to these 10 places for best views

How To Safely Watch A Solar Eclipse

Here are five of the most important things to know about how the solar eclipse could affect your pet:

Cats and dogs may not notice the solar eclipse much. 

Many wild animals may mistake solar eclipses for twilight, McLendon wrote in MNN. Crickets and frogs may jump-start their evening chorus, diurnal animals might quiet down and even nocturnal animals like bats and owls might be lured into activity in the eclipse's totality. 
While they can't anticipate the eclipse phenomena like humans who read about it ahead of time, family pets are unlikely to have a primeval reaction to the eclipse like their wild animal relatives. They react differently, because their daily routines are influenced by human schedules as well as sunlight levels, McLendon reported.

Pets may still become fearful during the eclipse. 

More than the darkness of the solar eclipse, pets may be apprehensive about the crowds that gather to view it, according to Lloyd Nelson, an Illinois animal-control officer interviewed by the Southern Illinoisan. Be aware that your dog or cat could get spooked by solar eclipse-inspired events that involve crowds of people, whether you take a pet with you to a viewing spot or it's near your home.

"It's sort of like the Fourth of July, but tripled," Nelson said. "We are going to have concerts, people shooting off fireworks in the dark of the midday sun, loud noises and strangers." 
Just as you do during firework holidays, make sure your pet is either safe inside for the eclipse or on a leash and under careful watch.

Pets can suffer "eclipse blindness." One thing we do have in common with our pets is that human, canine and feline eyes can all suffer from "eclipse blindness" when safe precautions are not taken during the eclipse viewing. During the eclipse, as the moon's shadow starts to block the sun's light, some of the sun's fiery disk will still be visible, according to LiveScience.com . A view of that light can literally burn any eyes, human, cat or dog, that look up at it. 

>> 7 things to know about the rare total solar eclipse crossing the nation this August
The condition, commonly called "eclipse blindness," happens when the sun's powerful rays burn sensitive photoreceptor cells in the retina. It usually results in blurred vision and other vision loss instead of complete blindness, since humans and animals ordinarily turn away before complete blindness occurs.

Pet's don't necessarily need glasses, but it wouldn't hurt. 
Space.com's safe viewing recommendations for humans include proper eye protection from NASA-approved eclipse glasses, along with strict warnings against trying to view the partial eclipse with a camera or telescope.

Whether your dog or cat also needs the glasses is up for debate in the scientific community. Mike Reynolds, an astronomy professor at Floriday State College in Jacksonville, Florida, told LiveScience.com that it's best to outfit pets that will be out during the eclipse with protective glasses.
Another expert quoted in the article wasn't as concerned. "On a normal day, your pets don't try to look at the sun, and therefore don't damage their eyes," said Angela Speck, director of astronomy and a professor of astrophysics at the University of Missouri. "And on this day, they're not going to do it, either,"

Animal lovers can help with worldwide research. While it's unlikely that your dog or cat will have a remarkable reaction to the Great American Eclipse, pet lovers might enjoy observing how animals in the wild or even the neighborhood do unusual things. Previous eclipses worldwide have involved reports of night birds singing, bats flying, spiders tearing down webs or owls calling, according to a report in the Southern Illinoisan.
But because total solar eclipses are so infrequent, scientists have little beyond anecdotal evidence of animal behavior, Rebecca Johnson, citizen science research coordinator at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, told the paper.
To remedy the dearth of research, the academy created a "Life Responds" project where citizens all over the world download the iNaturalist app from Apple or Android platforms and document the plant and animal reactions they see during the eclipse.
To join in the fun, download the iNaturalist app, make an account and practice making observations before the eclipse using the project "Getting Started" guide.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Man injured while taking selfie arrested on outstanding burglary charge

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 10:39 AM

Man Injured Taking Selfie Arrested On Outstanding Burglary Charge

A man in Texas injured while taking a selfie ended up with a mug shot.

>> Read more trending news 

Galveston police told KHOU that Billy Pettice, 38, was rescued Friday from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway after falling 40 feet while trying to take a selfie. 

Pettice was hospitalized and treated for broken ribs. While in the hospital, authorities ran a warrant check and discovered that Pettice was wanted on a misdemeanor burglary charge in Louisiana, KHOU reported.

After his release from the hospital, Pettice was arrested on the outstanding warrant, police said.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Gunmen followed family 80 miles from shopping center to rob them, police say

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 4:02 PM

Brittany McEntire said the two men ran up her driveway and took her two Louis Vuitton diaper bags and demanded all of her jewelry, including her late father’s ring that she cherishes, after following her 80 miles from a shopping center.
WSBTV.com
Brittany McEntire said the two men ran up her driveway and took her two Louis Vuitton diaper bags and demanded all of her jewelry, including her late father’s ring that she cherishes, after following her 80 miles from a shopping center.(WSBTV.com)

A woman said she was robbed at gunpoint in her own driveway after driving 80 miles home from a shopping trip.

Police believe the robbers may have followed her from the shopping center in Atlanta to her home in Dalton.

Brittany McEntire told WSB that two men robbed her at gunpoint about three weeks ago. Her mother, husband and three children were also in the driveway. 

>> Read more trending news 

McEntire said the two men ran up the driveway and took her two Louis Vuitton diaper bags and demanded all of her jewelry, including her late father’s ring that she cherishes.

She said the whole robbery took less than a minute, but she has not regained her peace of mind.

“I could’ve lost my whole family if they had started shooting,” McEntire told WSB.

The suspects allegedly followed McEntire from Buckhead for about two hours in an unidentified white car, police said.

McEntire said she is unsure why she was targeted because she did not take home many bags from the store. 

“It was not a shopping spree,” McEntire said.

Police believe the men will try to follow and rob more people.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Trump signs executive order ending migrant family separations

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 4:01 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 4:01 PM

Watch – President Trump Signs Executive Order Ending Migrant Family Separations

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order ending his administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border amid global criticism of the practice.

Update 4 p.m. EDT June 20: White House officials on Wednesday afternoon released the full text of the executive order signed by the president.

>> Trump ends migrant family separations: Read the executive order

In it, Trump directed officials to detain migrant families together. Officials have come under fire in recent months after reports surfaced that migrant children were being taken from their parents at the border.

The order did not address what will happen to children and parents who are currently separated and in government custody.

Update 3:20 p.m. EDT June 20: Trump signed the order, which will keep families together but continue the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, on Wednesday afternoon.

>> From Jamie Dupree: President Trump to reverse course on immigrant family separations

“We're keeping families together and this will solve that problem,” Trump said. “At the same time we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a ‘zero tolerance,’ we have zero tolerance for people who enter our country illegally.”

Original report: Trump told reporters Wednesday that he will “be signing something in a little while” to address family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.

>> Read more trending news

“We want to keep families together, it’s very important,” Trump said. "I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure.” 

It was not immediately clear what the president planned to sign. Trump has repeatedly called on Congress to change laws that he says mandates the family separations. There is no law that requires children be separated from parents at the border.

He blamed Democrats for the continued separations in a Wednesday morning tweet, but he added that he was “working on something.”

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was drafting an executive action for Trump that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to keep migrant families together at the border.

Nielsen does not believe Congress will act to resolve the issue of migrant family separations, the AP reported, citing two unidentified sources familiar with the matter. She’s working with officials from other agencies, including the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, to draft the executive action. 

The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of crossing the border illegally as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Parents have been separated from their children as they face prosecution.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The executive action Nielson is drafting “wouldn’t end the zero tolerance policy, but would aim to keep families together and ask the Department of Defense to help house the detained families,” according to the AP.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Trump ends migrant family separations: Read the executive order

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 3:51 PM

President Donald Trump holds up the executive order he signed to end family separations, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Donald Trump holds up the executive order he signed to end family separations, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order to end his administration’s controversial policy of separating migrant children from adults suspected of crossing the border into the United State illegally.

>> Read more trending news

The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of crossing the border illegally as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Parents have been separated from their children as they face prosecution, including nearly 2,000 children separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

>> From Jamie Dupree: Trump stops family separations, keeps ‘zero tolerance’ at border

What You Need to Know: 'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Policy
Read the full text of the order:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1Policy. It is the policy of this Administration to rigorously enforce our immigration laws. Under our laws, the only legal way for an alien to enter this country is at a designated port of entry at an appropriate time. When an alien enters or attempts to enter the country anywhere else, that alien has committed at least the crime of improper entry and is subject to a fine or imprisonment under section 1325(a) of title 8, United States Code. This Administration will initiate proceedings to enforce this and other criminal provisions of the INA until and unless Congress directs otherwise. It is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources. It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.

Sec2Definitions. For purposes of this order, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Alien family” means

(i) any person not a citizen or national of the United States who has not been admitted into, or is not authorized to enter or remain in, the United States, who entered this country with an alien child or alien children at or between designated ports of entry and who was detained; and

(ii) that person’s alien child or alien children.

(b) “Alien child” means any person not a citizen or national of the United States who

(i) has not been admitted into, or is not authorized to enter or remain in, the United States;

(ii) is under the age of 18; and

(iii) has a legal parent-child relationship to an alien who entered the United States with the alien child at or between designated ports of entry and who was detained.

 Sec3Temporary Detention Policy for Families Entering this Country Illegally. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, maintain custody of alien families during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members.

(b) The Secretary shall not, however, detain an alien family together when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child’s alien parent would pose a risk to the child’s welfare.

(c) The Secretary of Defense shall take all legally available measures to provide to the Secretary, upon request, any existing facilities available for the housing and care of alien families, and shall construct such facilities if necessary and consistent with law. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.

(d) Heads of executive departments and agencies shall, to the extent consistent with law, make available to the Secretary, for the housing and care of alien families pending court proceedings for improper entry, any facilities that are appropriate for such purposes. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.

(e) The Attorney General shall promptly file a request with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to modify the Settlement Agreement in Flores v. Sessions, CV 85-4544 (“Flores settlement”), in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.

Sec4Prioritization of Immigration Proceedings Involving Alien Families. The Attorney General shall, to the extent practicable, prioritize the adjudication of cases involving detained families.

Sec5General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented in a manner consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,

June 20, 2018.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories