From an email:

Buy tickets here.

“Once again this year, Sugar & Champagne to benefit the Washington Humane Society, will take place Febryuary 4th at The Ronald Reagan Building, honoring our local crusaders against animal cruelty: Washington Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement Officers, Animal Care & Control Officers, and Humane Educators. This celebration of all things sweet, showcases the DC area’s most talented pastry chefs complemented by some of the world’s finest sparkling wines. The VIP Chefs’ Tasting Room presents an exclusive savory gathering prepared by the finest chefs of the national capital region. Our new Exclusive Experience provides special guests with a unique opportunity to make their own desserts, learn to concoct magnificent drinks, view exceptional demonstrations, and try items not offered to any other guests.

In addition to honoring our own, the Washington Humane Society honors our community’s “Humane Heroes” who have had a positive impact on the lives of animals in the District and who have shown tremendous support for our programs and services. These award recipients have proven their commitment to and support of WHS and we truly appreciate their dedication to our mission.

Our Officers have done a lot of outstanding work this past year. During FY ’14 our Humane Law Enforcement Team observed 4,472 animals (42% increase from the previous year), and our Animal Care and Control fielded 16,319 calls (12.1% increase from the previous year).

– One of our victories includes the sentencing of Charles Palmer on April 18, 2014. He was sentenced to 25 months imprisonment, three years of probation, and an order not to own any animals by the Honorable Milton C. Lee, Jr. Palmer pled guilty to two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of Cruelty to Animals, as well as one misdemeanor count of Simple Assault on January 31, 2014. Palmer was indicted November 26, 2013 on fourteen counts, including five felony counts of Cruelty to Animals and five misdemeanor counts of Cruelty to Animals involving ten different dogs. Three of the ten dogs are now deceased, allegedly at the hands of the defendant, and two of the dogs (Porter and Roxy) were rescued and rehabilitated by WHS.

– Thanks to the work of our officers, DC residents Christopher Wayne Johnson and Mark Donell Mosley were indicted on September 9, 2014, on multiple counts of animal abuse after allegedly brutalizing a bull terrier named McFly. Based on the severity of these acts, the court elevated some to felony level crimes and issued the following. On October 2, 2013, the Washington Humane Society (WHS) was notified about a severely injured brindle and white, male, bull terrier type dog who had just been fought near 602 46th Place SE. Officers were not able to locate the dog until the morning of October 3, when a dog matching that description was found by WHS Officers alive, but in critical condition in the woods behind the address. The dog, McFly, had numerous bite wounds over his entire body as well as three lacerations across his neck consistent with an attempt to slit his throat. Johnson and Mosely were indicted on one count each of Felony Cruelty to Animals (in violation of 22 DC Code, Section 1001) and one count each of Misdemeanor Abandonment of Maimed or Diseased Animal (in violation of 22 DC Code, Section 1012). If found guilty, the men are each facing up to five years imprisonment for the Felony charges and up to 180 days imprisonment for the Misdemeanor charges, with the potential for monetary fines. Johnson was additionally indicted for Felony Animal Fighting (in violation of 22 DC Code, Section 1006.01) and if found guilty he faces a fine of $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.

– A few of our more light-hearted stories include ducklings who were discovered after a pedestrian heard chirping coming from a manhole. Our Animal Care and Control Officers were able to remove the manhole cover using a winch and rescued two ducklings who were then reunited with their mother at Capitol Reflecting Pool in front of the Capitol Building [see video above].

– There was also the case of a goat running loose in NE DC!”

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Officer Ted Deppner rescuing a kitten

More photos of Humane Society Officers in action after the jump. (more…)

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Whoa, thanks to Amanda for capturing (and sending us) this awesome encounter:

“Driving down New Hampshire in petworth and this beautiful eagle dive bombed into my car trying to collect an injured (dead?) squirrel from the road. It was quite a surprise to realize the giant bird that nearly hit my windshield was an eagle, who then perched on a rooftop for a few minutes looking all majestic before swooping down to collect his supper and flying away. It was quite the show!”

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More shots after the jump. (more…)

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Bat visiting Woodley Park in 2012

From the Petworth listserv:

“To all Powell Elementary Parents,

This evening [Tuesday] while playing baseball with my son on the baseball field, my son and I, along with few other folks out on the field and soccer field, noticed hundreds of bats swarming inside the chimney of the school.

It looked like a scene from a halloween/Dracula movie. I stopped a police officer to see if he could alert the custodian since there was a door open to the school. The officer thought the section of the school thats connected to the chimney was blocked off, but wasn’t sure.

As we walked home, I’m was not sure if the officer was able to talk to anyone at the school tonight because I saw him ride towards the back of the school since no one answered the front door. We wanted parents to be aware in order to take the necessary precautions on Wednesday morning.

I’m hoping the school is sectioned off from the bats for the safety of all the students.”

Fortunately another member responds:

“Did you get a close look?

These could be Chimney Swifts – small birds that could be mistaken for bats – kinda look like cigars with wings. These birds roost in chimneys in groups, and may swarm around these roosts in the evening. During fall migrations these groups can be large.

They pose no threat. Practically speaking, neither would bats, for that matter. Little Brown Bats would be the common bat around here. They eat insects (mosquitoes) and have been hit hard with a fungus in recent years, making them much less common. We definitely want them around.”

Ed. Note: Back in June we learned a Big Brown bat in Ward 1, was determined rabid by the DC Department of Health. Fortunately Powell is in Ward 4.

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A reader writes:

“It was hanging out on the steps to our English basement near Lincoln Park. Apparently it’s copperhead birthing season.

Update: My roommate works at the Museum of Natural History, so she’s talking to some herpetologists there. Right now, we’re just leaving through the garage….

Update: Official verdict is that it’s not a copperhead! Juvenile ratsnake (pantherophis alleghaniensis)”

Ed. Note: Heads up. Literally. Last May/June we talked about rat snakes falling out of trees in Cleveland Park and Adams Morgan.