It's a typical morning at the Dupont Veterinary Clinic in Lafayette, La. Dr. Phillip Dupont is caring for cats and dogs in the examining room while his wife, Paula, answers the phone and pet owners' questions. Their two dogs are sleeping on the floor behind her desk.

"That's Ken and Henry," Paula says, pointing to the slim, midsize dogs with floppy ears and long snouts. Both dogs are tan, gray and white, with similar markings. "I put a red collar on Ken and a black collar on Henry so I can tell who's who."

The city of Ashland has a deer problem. At least that’s what some residents are saying after being intimidated, chased and occasionally attacked by the city’s resident deer.

After hearing complaints for years, the city held a “Deer Summit” Wednesday night to get feedback from the community. The standing-room-only crowd in the city’s courtroom told local leaders that something needed to be done to reduce conflict between humans and the deer.

US Rejects Protections For Greater Sage Grouse

Sep 22, 2015

The U.S. Interior Department says the greater sage grouse does not need federal protections across its 11-state western range. The long-awaited decision affects millions of acres across the Western states.

“Today I’m proud to mark a milestone for conservation in America, because of an unprecedented effort by dozens of partners in 11 western states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the greater sage grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

A 9-year-old police dog named Rex is ready to retire from the force. That presents a quandary for the Albuquerque, N.M., police department: what to do with a devoted and capable dog whose law enforcement training makes it a challenge to find him a new home?

In announcing Rex's retirement Monday, the department also outlined a sad story. The dog's handler recently retired from the force — and though the two have emotionally bonded, the officer couldn't take his work partner home because he has a small child.

Seattle Aquarium veterinarian Lesanna Lahner checks Mishka's fur after the otter was transferred from Seward, Alaska in February 2015.
KUOW Photo/Sara Lerner

Did the Seattle teachers strike change the conversation about public education? Why is China’s president stopping in Seattle on his way to D.C.? And why does a sea otter at the aquarium need an inhaler?

Bill Radke discusses the week’s news with Seattle Channel’s Joni Balter, Paul Guppy of the Washington Policy Center and former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels.

File photo: diver swimming with dolphins
Flickr Photo/Steve Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0)

Bestselling author Susan Casey was a former competitive swimmer with extensive experience in ocean swimming. So it surprised her when she realized she had never swum with dolphins.

That changed when she unexpectedly encountered a pod of Spinner dolphins during a solo swim off Maui. Casey was so affected by the experience that she spent the next few years researching dolphins around the world. The result is her latest book, “Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins.”    

Cinerama preview of "Racing Extinction" raised money for Initiative 1401.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

University of Washington biologist Sam Wasser got a discouraging phone call last September.

“I got a call from our Fish and Wildlife agents on the border,” Wasser said. They said, “‘Sam, I am so frustrated because last week one ton of shark fins came through our port and I had to let it go.’”

A hard-working border collie competes at the 2015 Vashon Sheepdog Classic.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

You have to feel for sheepdogs.

Sheep get cranky in the sun, they’re afraid of being penned and they don’t always like to stay together. And just when a dog has them in the right direction, they veer off at the last possible moment. They’re the worst.

Dan Acosta shot this image of an orca breaching off the San Juans.
Dan Acosta

Is it ethical to go whale watching? Boats sometimes interfere with whales’ ability to hunt and eat. But whale watching can also connect people with conservation.

And that could help the group of orcas that are resident in Puget Sound. The recent arrival of another baby orca in that so-called southern resident group (see photos in the slideshow above) has tickled whale watchers in the San Juan Islands.

Let me say a few things about Lily: She has never tried to herd people, children, cats or dogs. She does not look like a classic herding dog. You wouldn't mistake her for Lassie or the border collie in Babe. And we have no particular reason to think she's been yearning to herd sheep.

Heidi Cornell and her husband Rick were evacuated three times from their home in the Okanogan area. This is a Google Earth view of Greenacres Road, where they live with their animals.
Google Earth

My husband is telling me to come home.

“It’s close,” he says.

“How close?”

“Within two miles, coming toward us.”

In a series called Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound, Morning Edition has been profiling scientists who explore the natural world by listening to it.

But sometimes listening isn't enough — scientists have to record animals and even talk back to them to figure out what they're saying.

Wildfires continue to burn across the state and it's hitting ranchers hard in central Washington.

There may be an octopus arms race underway. And that's not even a joke about tentacles: Octopuses are actually fighting, and potentially using weapons.

The creatures are hardly team players under the best of circumstances.