Animals and pets

Harley and Hazel — A love story

To the late Charlie Sherman, a longtime Twin Oaks resident, the two geese among his front pond’s hundreds of birds were more than just beautiful creatures of nature. They were a love story. “Nine years ago a few Canada geese came over and landed on the pond,” said Sherman, a longtime local banker and loan officer. “They all went north again except one. I guess…


HiCaliber Horse Rescue bites the dust

HiCaliber Horse Rescue, which has faced animal cruelty and fraud allegations for months, is being evicted from its Valley Center ranch and sued for more than $4 million. Brenda Markstein filed the lawsuit in Vista Superior Court on Nov. 26, alleging damage to the property, breach of contract and negligence. The suit names HiCaliber and its founders, Michelle Knuttila and Romney Snyder. The Brenda Markstein…


VC horse rescue wracked by fraud, abuse

Attorney General’s Office halts HiCaliber’s fundraising, spending for failing to file tax docs HiCaliber Horse Rescue, a Valley Center nonprofit embroiled in allegations of fraud and animal abuse, can no longer raise or spend money until it submits proper financial disclosures to the state. The California Attorney General’s Office sent HiCaliber a letter Friday stating the nonprofit is considered “delinquent” for failing to submit federal…


Grape Day Park mule rustling ends smartly

Little Girl, the mule, spent a weekend, and day, like no other in her 28 years, stolen from a Grape Day Park tree, searched for in an epic police and helicopter mule hunt, finally — spoiler alert — found and reunited with her owner. A 28-year-old Escondido man was arrested on suspicion of mule rustling. As crazy as that may sound, Little Girl kicked off…


Vila, the gorilla, dead at age 60

One of the world’s oldest gorillas died Thursday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Vila was the matriarch of five generations and served as a surrogate mother for several hand-raised western lowland gorillas, according to the zoo. She celebrated her 60th birthday in October, becoming the world’s second oldest gorilla. “Vila touched many people throughout her lifetime,” said Randy Rieches, curator of mammals at…


Del Mar racetrack back to normal after Lilac Fire horse rescues head home to Bonsall

Thoroughbreds jogged on the main racetrack at Del Mar this week as life after the horrific training track fire in nearby Bonsall began to settle for horses and horsemen involved with the events at San Luis Rey Downs last Thursday. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and 22nd District Agricultural Association officials reported that there were currently 260 Thoroughbreds and approximately 500 other-breed horses stabled on the…


New tiger cubs settling in at Safari Park

Two adorable male tiger cubs are are now available for visitors to see at Escondido’s San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The cubs, who have not yet been named, are from different species of tiger and were put together to give each other company. The cubs have bonded well, and they are growing in leaps and bounds. They are currently fully weaned from formula, and are exclusively eating…


Teeing off for animals at Lomas Santa Fe

Foundation for Animal Care and Education (FACE) will host its 6th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit local pets in need of emergency care and assistance on Monday, Nov. 13. This pet-friendly event will be held at the Loma Santa Fe Country Club in Solana Beach and will allow players to bring their well-behaved pups onto the course for a great day of fun. Golfers will…


Family fun: kids museum, farm-nursery expo

Family fun for everyone on Sunday, Nov. 5 Looking for something fun to do with the entire family? Think of it as a kind of community barn building with the museum being the barn and the community doing the building. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum (SDCDM) is hosting a full day of the good stuff, otherwise known as the Seventh Annual Fall Family Festival. For…


Gorilla my dreams born at Safari Park

ESCONDIDO, CA. — In local birth news, it was a 4-pound baby girl for Kokomo and Winston, their second… Gorilla. A baby gorilla has been born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, zoo officials said. The zoo announced Thursday that Kokomo, a critically endangered western lowland gorilla, gave birth to a daughter about two days ago. While the Kokomo kid weighs about 4 pounds,…