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Lewes, Delaware
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March 11, 2005     Cape Gazette
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March 11, 2005

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10 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 11 - March 14, 2005 Volunteers sought for Piping plovers will be returning to Delaware's beaches and dunes in coming weeks and Mamie Pep- per, a Division of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist and primary plover monitor, is already look- ing for ways to help the federally threatened species maintain its tenuous toe-hold in the state, and make some headway. After a disappointing 2004 season, with only eight chicks fledging from the seven nesting pairs at Cape Henlopen State Park, Pepper is recruiting a piping plover patrol to help her protect the nests and chicks from human disturbances and to help educate the public. "Last year there were 18 volunteers and they were a huge help," Pepper said. She has scheduled this year's volunteer training for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 9, at Cape Henlopen State Park's Biden Center. Those interested can call to sign up at the Delaware Natural Heritage and Endangered Species office at 302-653-2880, on Pepper's cell phone at 302-382- Diping plover patrol 4151, or by e-mail at" The Point at Cape Henlopen has been closed since March 1, as it is every year, to give plovers and other beach-nesting and foraging birds the best possible chance at reproductive success. "As the birds arrive and begin their courtship ritu- als and choose nesting sites, we will be monitoring their activities," Pepper said. "Once they start laying eggs, we may have to close other stretches of the beach to.protect the difficult-to-see nests from distur- bance." Last year, in addition to the nests at the Point, there were nests at the park's Gordon's Pond area. In past years, plovers also have nested at Delaware Seashore State Park. Until all the eggs are hatched and the chicks are able to survive on their own, the state's Piping Plover Recovery Program needs volunteers to assist in pro- tecting the nesting areas, to report threats to the birds, and to inform beachgoers about the designated areas. Jim Cresson photo SPCA Sgt. Jeff Nock leads Sire, a 76-pound Olde English bulldog, into the Sussex shelter after recovering the dog from Norfolk, Va. police. Sire had been shot through the thigh by a state police officer shortly after the Feb. 18 attack on a Del- mar boy. The wounded dog eluded search teams and was found six days later in Norfolk, at the Elkin Street home of Glorasteen White. Dog that mauled Delmar boy returned to Delaw00 re By Jim Cresson SPCA investigators have few details to reveal about the grue- some dog attack on a six-year-old Delmar boy, Feb. 18. They acknowledge that the unidentified boy was lying face down and unconscious in his front yard near the Delaware-Maryland state line when his mother found him. The victim's injuries, which those close to the case described as severe bites to the face and head, were considered to be ex- tremely severe. The boy was flown to Johns Hopkins Universi- ty Hospital in Baltimore where he was admitted in critical condition. His condition was later upgraded to fair, and he remains in the hos- pital receiving treatment. Those close to the boy's family say the young victim will likely need several operations over the months ahead to heal the wounds and restore his appearance. Delaware SPCA Executive Di- rector John Caldwell would not comment on the nature of the vic- tim's wounds or on details of the investigation being conducted by his agents in Sussex County. During a conversation with the Cape Gazette on March 2, Cald- well did credit the good investiga- tive work of Sussex shelter dog control officers in recovering three of the four dogs believed in- volved in the attack. Caldwell said state police officers that first re- sponded to the attack shot and killed one Olde English bulldog. They shot another Olde English bulldog, but it ran away and could not be located by air and ground search teams. Caldwell said that two pit bull dogs, also believed to have been involved in the attack, were voluntarily turned over to the SPCA by their owners, who live near the victim's family. Caldwell said his agents' good investigative work resulted in the discovery that the wounded Olde English bulldog had been taken to Norfolk, Va. shortly after the at- tack. After obtaining a warrant for the dog's return, SPCA agents from the Sussex shelter asked for and received help from police in Norfolk, who executed the war- rant Feb. 24 and held the dog for local agents to claim. SPCA Sgt. Jeff Nock drove to Norfolk, March 2, and took pos- session of the wounded bulldog. Nock then drove the dog back to Georgetown and quarantined it in the Sussex shelter. The 76-pound Olde English bulldog exhibited all the physical characteristics of its breed, which was created in England when a breeder crossed a bulldog with a mastiff. The result was a breed of dog popularly described as looking like a bulldog on steroids. "We're taking the Attorney General's Office lead in sorting out this whole tragic situation," said Caldwell. "We need to prove ownership or caretaker status for these dogs and see who can be charged with what." Then, make the drive to Besche Furniture for your Better Besche Buy. 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