Brainiac celebrates the Year of the Dog with a pair of pet tales

It’s the Year of the Dog so Brainiac went sniffing around for news of our canine friends and quickly picked up the scent of James Franco.

No, not the actor and director whose recent film “The Disaster Artist” may have lost its Oscar momentum once several women came forward to allege that Franco had been a dog to them on the set in the past. This is an altogether sweeter James Franco story, which the Westminster Police Department shared on its Facebook page recently.

Earlier this month, a distraught man named Nicholas McGookin called 911 to report that his service dog – named James Franco – had been stolen by a man riding by on a bicycle.

Two days later, a friend of McGookin’s saw James Franco with some stranger, called Westminster police, and within three minutes they were there to rescue James Franco and return him to his owner, saving him from having to adopt a new dog and name it Dave Franco or Seth Rogen or Tommy Wiseau.

“Many of us at WPD are major dog lovers,” the department commented on a post with photos of the happy reunion. “We are so happy to see James Franco reunited with his dad!”

Sticking with dogs – and cats and snakes and rabbits and iguanas – Brainiac took a look at the city of Garden Grove’s report on how its first year of providing its own animal care services went.

You’ll perhaps recall that the city took back its animal services from Orange County on Jan. 1, 2017, with city staff handling some services, and the Orange County Humane Society providing shelter care.

In a report released earlier this month, the city provided a kennel’s-worth of interesting data, such as the fact that the city was called 84 times for reports of animal bites, 137 times for allegations of animal cruelty and, sadly, 1,011 times to pick up a dead animal.

At the shelter, a total of 1,535 animals were brought in by animal care staff, good Samaritans, and owners who were surrendering their pets. That’s down from 2016, though no number for the previous year was provided in the report. And the Garden Grove-managed department also saw a big reduction in euthanized animals, down from 1,044 in 2016 to 435 in 2017.

That last number should decline further in 2018, as the city is planning to launch a new program in which stray or feral cats that are brought in will be spayed or neutered and then returned to the wild. That’s meant to ease the pressure on the shelter to either care for or kill unadopted cats by eliminating their ability to reproduce and over-populate the city while letting them live the wild life at large.

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