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May 8, 2009 at 6:00 AM

Lost dog home after 8 years

AUSTIN, Texas, May 8 (UPI) -- A Texas family said they have been reunited with their long-lost pet dog, but they do not know where the animal has been for the past eight years.

Alison Murphy of Austin said she and her family offered a $500 reward for the return of their dog, Dancer, after the dog went missing eight years ago, but they received no word of the beloved pet until the Humane Society in New Braunfels, Texas, called last week, KVUE-TV, Austin, reported.

The Humane Society told Murphy that a musician found the dog wandering the streets of New Braunfels, Texas, last week and brought it to the group's office, where workers used the dog's microchip to track down its owners.

Murphy said the dog, which now answers to the name Fern, does not appear to have lived on the streets for very long.

"Her teeth are in great shape," she said. "She just doesn't look like she's been on the streets for 11 years. Somebody's been taking care of her."

"It's just wonderful to have her back," Murphy said. "She's older now and she's a little more mellow than she was, of course, as a younger dog but she still likes to go for walks first thing in the morning. And she likes to cuddle at night. She's still the same old girl."

Runaway cow escapes slaughter

NEW YORK, May 8 (UPI) -- Animal control officials in New York said a cow that escaped from a slaughterhouse and led police on a 10-block chase will not be returned for slaughter.

Police said Molly, a cow believed to be less than a year old, escaped from the Musa Hala Inc. slaughterhouse at about 1 p.m. Wednesday and ran through the streets, the New York Post reported.

Nesha Kahn, 39, said the cow was in her yard when police finally cornered the animal.

"I think the cow was traumatized. I asked the officer and they said they chased him for about 10 blocks," she said.

The cow was tranquilized and taken to the Center for Animal Care and Control, where officials said they hoped to find the bovine a permanent home at an animal sanctuary.

Denver suburb plays paintball with coyotes

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., May 8 (UPI) -- Officials in a Denver suburb say they hope their use of paintball guns will convince coyotes to move on.

Police in Greenwood Village say numbers of coyotes showing up in town have soared recently, ABC News reported. A 14-year-old was attacked in a park in December, prompting the city to hire a contractor to map coyote dens.

"The city of Greenwood Village has dealt with coyotes for years," Police Lt. Joe Harvey told ABCNews.com. "It's never been as bad as it is now."

The attack on the teenager is the only reported one on a human being. Pets are another matter, and officers investigating a den found 30 dog and cat collars.

Wild Earth Guardians, a conservation group that has sent volunteers to Greenwood Village to help scare coyotes, says hazing the animals is likely to be more effective than killing them because reducing their population would likely lead the coyotes to accelerate reproduction.

In nearby Lakewood, police say a yearlong paintball battle appears to have cut the number of coyotes and made those remaining shyer and less aggressive.

Man finds 36 pounds of pot in package

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga., May 8 (UPI) -- A Georgia man opened a package he believed to be a birthday present and discovered 36 pounds of marijuana, police said.

Henry County police said the Stockbridge man discovered the box outside his front door Tuesday morning and contacted authorities after finding the marijuana wrapped in green cellophane inside the box, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Police Capt. Jason Bolton said the marijuana has an estimated street value between $36,000 and $40,000.

Authorities said the package apparently originated from Texas and bore the man's address but not his name. The police department said narcotics officers were working with UPS to try to find out who sent the package.

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