May 9th 2013 6:31 am
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The folks drove out to Las Vegas last weekend. Humom's brother got married there. He married Auntie, the mother of his little baby girls. They married at A Little White Wedding Chapel. Humom is very happy for them!
April 30th 2013 5:44 am
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By Caroline Golon @ halopets.com
In a heartwarming twist of fate, a boy recovering from a heart transplant and a dog with an uncertain future are beginning new lives – together.
Angela McGhee, president of S.A.V.E. Rescue Coalition in Houston, Texas, knew Scotch, a gentle pit bull-lab mix she had in her care, would be a perfect family dog. She also knew that finding homes for pit bulls in Texas was not an easy thing to do. However, as she always does, she worked hard to find Scotch his forever home through a variety of channels, including Facebook.
She was surprised to receive a query from a woman in Bono, Arkansas. Melanie Leon was looking for a wonderful dog for her 11-year-old son, Gabe, who had undergone a heart transplant a year ago.
McGhee was apprehensive about adopting a dog to a family out of state but, coincidentally, a local veterinarian, Dr. Susan Pickle also contacted her about finding a dog for Gabe. Dr. Pickle knew the family and would vouch for them.
Dr. Pickle had met the Leons in Oklahoma City where Gabe had his transplant surgery. Dr. Pickle’s one-year-old grandnephew Liam, was also there for a transplant and she remembered the kind and loving Leon family well.
McGhee says it was amazing how everything just fell into place. “There were powers at work that were way ahead of us,” she says.
McGhee arranged for Scotch to fly to Arkansas via K9 Airlift, which volunteered their services so Scotch wouldn’t have to endure the long drive and…so he would make it there in time for Gabe’s 12th birthday.
McGhee receives frequent updates on how Scotch is adjusting to life with his new family and is happy to report, “Scotch is doing great up there!”
As for Gabe, he understands how special their circumstances are. “I got a second chance because of my new heart,” he told Life+Dog. “I think it’s cool that we can give Scotch a second chance, too.”
April 25th 2013 9:21 pm
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Apr 24, 2013 by Nikki Burns @ theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com
Anyone who has ever had a kitten knows that they are constantly getting into trouble. They climb into places they can't get down from, they get down into places they can't leap out of, and absolutely everything is a toy.
But in the Burnley Tunnel in Melbourne, passers-by and traffic cameras caught sight of a tiny kitten in serious trouble: the little orange tabby somehow found himself halfway down the 2.1 mile car tunnel. Whether he somehow walked the full mile on his own or was dumped there by an irresponsible and uncaring passerby remains a mystery. The kitten escaped hundreds of high-speed passing cars before an incident response team stopped traffic and went in after him.
There is no doubt that the kitten was terrified, and led his would-be rescuers a bit of a chase before they were able to corral him and bring him to safety. "They gave it a bit of a cuddle and took it to the control, where the guys on call gave it some old roast beef from the staff fridge..." reports CityLink spokeswoman Selby-Lynn Nicholas.
The workers named the kitten Dodge. Now at The Lost Dogs Home animal shelter's North Melbourne location, Dodge is looking for a home of his own.
April 25th 2013 9:14 pm
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Just want to thank all the pups who reached out a paw to me yesterday on my Rainbow Day. You each should have received some sort of bark from me by now. I also want to thank all the pups who left me a bone. I have 220 of them the last I checked! Don't know who you are but the bones are noticed and appreciated:)
By the way, I understand the term is the Rainbow Bridge. But since rainbows tend to be from nature and bridges tend to be human made, I like to focus on the Rainbow rather than the bridge part:)
April 23rd 2013 5:50 am
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By Caroline Golon @ http://www.halopets.com/freekibble/donation98.html
The following is one of the incredible, inspiring stories featured in “Shelter Me,” a PBS film by Steven Latham. Hosted by Katherine Heigl, “Shelter Me” aired nationwide last year and is now available for rental at Redbox. From April 23 through April 29, Redbox will donate 100% of rental proceeds of Shelter Me to the Halo Pet Foundation. The Halo Pet Foundation is dedicated to supporting shelters and rescues and best of all, 100% of foundation funds go to help pets! For more information please visit: http://bit.ly/10QsFHw
When Andrew Trotto, U.S. Army, 168th Combat Action Battalion, came home from Iraq, he was struggling with anxiety, depression and anger. Over time, his post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) grew to the point that he didn’t know how he’d survive another day. But a sweet rescue dog named Teka changed all that and gave him a reason to live.
Although Trotto was struggling with PTSD, he didn’t know where to turn. “I was a machine,” he says. “It’s hard to ask for help when you’re in that kind of position.”
He learned about Freedom Service Dogs, an organization that rescues dogs from shelters and trains them for service dogs for mobility issues, soldiers or kids with autism. A dog lover his entire life, he filled out an application to participate in the program.
“We love rescuing the dogs,” says Stephanie Baigent of Freedom Dogs. “There are so many dogs with the temperament of a service dog sitting in shelters. We don’t need a breeding program to have the same temperament and quality of dog to train for a service dog.”
Once his application was processed, Trotto met three dogs but instantly bonded with Teka. “It was love at first sight,” he says. While it can sometimes take up to a year to match a vet with a dog, Trotto says with a chuckle, “I was matched with Teka in three weeks.”
Shelter dogs in the Freedom Service Dog program are trained to sense when their owners are stressed in public and will “post,” or “block,” which means Teka moves in front of or behind Trotto when she senses someone is standing too close or crowding him. “She’ll watch my back and that just takes so much off my shoulders. I’ve calmed down a lot,” Trotto says.
“She knows when I’m upset,” he continues. “She knows when I’m having issues or anxiety and she’ll come over and snuggle up next to me and lick my face and put her paw on me.”
Like many vets suffering from PTSD, every day is wrought with anxiety. With Teka, Trotto feels safe. “I have somebody next to my side 24/7. I don’t have to worry about looking over my shoulder. It’s what she does,” he says.
An emotional Trotto credits his rescue dog with literally saving his life. “If it weren’t for Teka I’d be dead right now,” he says. “She’ll let me know everything’s alright and she just gives me that okay, that you’re good. That you’re not alone.”
April 11th 2013 6:32 am
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By Bryan Nelson - msn.com
Fri, Mar 29 2013 at 6:51 AM
For many of us, pets aren't just casual companions. They are cherished members of the family. Sometimes it even feels like we're the pets, and our pets are the masters. So it’s worth asking: Are humans the only animals that keep pets? Or do other animals also keep pets and form deep companionships with other species?
The answer might surprise you. Not only do some animals display a great capacity to look after and bond with a member of another species, they also appear to form these bonds for no reason other than companionship. To prove it, here's our list of animals with pets of their own.
Koko the gorilla and her cats
Koko the gorilla is best known for being a sign-language speaking ape, believed by her handlers to know more than 1,000 signs. But perhaps her most humanizing characteristic has been the love and affection she has demonstrated toward her pet cats.
Koko was first allowed a pet cat in 1985 after she specially requested one for her birthday. She was even allowed to choose a kitten from a litter; a gray male Manx that she named "All Ball." Koko's gentle care and affection for All Ball was astounding to those on the outside who had never seen another animal treat another species as a pet before, but to Koko's handlers, who knew her well, it wasn't surprising at all.
Tragically, later that same year All Ball was struck by a car and killed while exploring the world outside of Koko's enclosure. Koko's mourning process after being told of the cat's death showed just how deep her emotional bond to the cat was. The following year, Koko was given two kittens. She named them "Lipstick" and "Smokey."
Tarra the elephant and her pet dog Bella
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee has been home to one of nature's most unexpected odd couples: Tarra the elephant and her pet dog, Bella. The two first bonded several years ago when a stray dog wandered onto the Sanctuary's property. Rather than scare off the intruder, one elephant in particular, Tarra, immediately welcomed the stray with open arms. Before long, the two became inseparable. In fact, Tarra seemed to spend more time with Bella than she did with other elephants.
The bond became especially apparent when Bella suffered a spinal cord injury and lost the use of her legs. Caretakers took her indoors to receive medical assistance. For three weeks Bella was bed-bound, and for the entire three weeks Tarra stood just outside the building holding vigil, refusing to leave Bella's side. When the two were finally reunited, their embrace made it clear to everyone involved just how special their bond was.
It goes to show that even a giant animal like an elephant can have a gentle heart.
Amy the deer and her pet dog
This PBS report about animal odd couples showcases many touching stories of animal bonds that cross the species barrier, but perhaps none are as astounding as the story of Amy the deer and her pet dog, named Ransom. The tale takes place at an animal rehabilitation center in Oklahoma, Wild Heart Ranch, which cares for thousands of animals every year.
Though many of the animals at Wild Heart are released back into the wild, Amy is a permanent resident since she is a non-native species to the region. She's a welcome resident, however, because of her strong mothering instinct, as she assists in raising many of the orphaned deer that the ranch takes in. But her mothering skills go beyond other deer.
When the ranch took in Ransom, a golden retriever born blind, Amy immediately took to raising him as well. She regularly grooms the dog, plays with him and has demonstrated remarkable patience and compassion in helping Ransom adapt to a world he cannot see. Meanwhile, Ransom is bonded to Amy in a way indistinguishable from the way a pet dog bonds to its human companions. It's truly a touching and inspiring story!
Capuchins and their pet marmosets
This remarkable story has even gotten the attention of those who are skeptical of reports about animals and their pets. A group of capuchin monkeys in Brazil have been witnessed adopting and caring for a baby marmoset, another type of monkey entirely. The baby marmoset was raised as a regular member of the capuchin family, though the capuchins seemed to understand that the marmoset (named Fortunata) was not a member of their own species. For instance, when they played together, the capuchins treated the marmoset gently, as if they comprehended that she was more delicate than members of their own ilk.
This case of animals keeping pets is particularly astute because it occurred among animals that were all living in the wild. Also, the marmoset that was kept as a pet was not a human-domesticated animal.
A crow and its pet cat
This remarkable story of a crow that apparently raised a pet kitten shows that its not just mammals that can keep pets. (You may have to see the video for yourself to believe it.) According to the report, the kitten was a stray that probably couldn't have cared for itself without assistance. But the only assistance it could have received was from a mysterious crow that never left the kitten's side. Before long, local witnesses got their proof: the crow was seen regularly feeding the cat with worms and other prey that it had collected.
The two animals would often play together innocently, and the crow would protect its pet from dangers (it would even squawk so that the kitten wouldn't wander into the road).
It's a remarkable story that shows how other animals can display a compassion and bond toward other species in a way that many researchers never believed possible before.
Tonda the orangutan and her pet cat
Koko isn't the only great ape that has shown the capacity to care for a pet. Tonda, an organgutan that lived at ZooWorld in Florida, took in a stray cat named T.K. (for "Tonda's kitten"), and kept it as a pet and companion animal. The bond between the two was particularly special because T.K. was a true stray that had to be fostered gently by Tonda over time before the cat opened up to the concept. Meanwhile, zookeepers credit Tonda's relationship with the cat as reason why the organgutan was able to live to such an old age.
The bond between ape and cat was also noteworthy as a contrast to Koko's relationship with her cats because Tonda was not taught to sign. So it goes to prove that the bond between pet and pet owner runs deeper than what can be communicated through language.
April 9th 2013 6:06 am
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Grandpa is turning 75 this April. The Family decided to do something special to celebrate and booked some rooms at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Unfortunately, Pepper could not be included in those plans. She stayed home and watched the house. It was Pepper's first time being left behind for two nights. She did a great job and the house was fine upon the family's return. She was well cared for by GoodNeighborFriendLady. I know because as an earthly dog I was a recipient of that care many a time.
March 28th 2013 6:38 am
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By Laura Moss - www.mnn.com
Thu, Mar 21 2013 at 1:16 PM
Dogs may have a reputation as man’s best friend, but at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, it’s the cats that are best buds with the dogs.
Since the 1980s, the zoo and its safari park have paired cheetahs with companion dogs to provide the cats with guidance and help them feel more comfortable. For endangered felines that don’t breed easily, a canine companion can make a world of difference.
“A dominant dog is very helpful because cheetahs are quite shy instinctively, and you can’t breed that out of them,” said Janet Rose-Hinostroza, animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “When you pair them, the cheetah looks to the dog for cues and learns to model their behavior. It’s about getting them to read that calm, happy-go-lucky vibe from the dog.”
This relationship relaxes the cheetahs and helps them better respond to each other, so they can reproduce and rebuild their endangered species.
The cats are difficult to breed because they’re not social animals. They live independently, and females don't go into heat like other cats — they have to be brought into estrus by a male cheetah.
A century ago, there were 100,000 cheetahs in the wild — fewer than 12,000 remain today. But thanks, in part, to its dog companion program, the San Diego Zoo leads the world in breeding the cats. In the past 40 years, 135 cheetahs have been born at its breeding facility.
Finding the perfect pups
The dogs are typically rescued from shelters, and Rose-Hinostroza looks for puppies that want to be a buddy. While most of the dogs are mutts, the zoo does have one purebred Anatolian shepherd dog whose name is Yeti.
“We love to go to the pound and find a dog that needs a home, but we wanted to get an Anatolian shepherd because they’re such a great conservation story to share with the public,” Rose-Hinostroza said.
Decades ago, cheetahs were being shot and trapped by ranchers in Namibia who were trying to protect their goat herds. Concerned for the wild cats’ fate, Dr. Laurie Marker, founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, trained Anatolian shepherd dogs to protect the herds, and since then, the cheetahs’ numbers have rebounded.
Yeti is the zoo’s largest dog, but Rose-Hinostroza says it’s not size or strength that matters when selecting a dog to pair with a cheetah.
“My favorite dog is Hopper because we found him at a kill shelter and he’s just 40 pounds, but he lives with Amara, who’s our toughest cheetah by far. It’s not about strength or overpowering. It’s about developing a positive relationship where the cheetah takes her cues from the dog.”
Cat meets dog
Cheetah cubs are generally introduced to their canine companions when they’re about 3 or 4 months old once they’ve had all of their vaccinations.
“We’re very protective of our cheetahs, so the introduction is a painfully slow process but a lot of fun,” Rose-Hinostroza said.
The cheetah’s first encounter with the dog is through the fence of its enclosure. A keeper walks the dog past the habitat to help the cat get used to seeing a different animal. Once the cub is comfortable at the sight of the dog, the two are taken to a neutral location for their first playdate, but kept on leashes.
“There are lots of toys and distractions, and they’re like two cute little kids who desperately want to play. But cheetahs are instinctively hardwired to feel uneasy so you have to wait and let the cat make the first move,” Rose-Hinostroza said.
Once the animals are comfortable playing off-leash, they move into a shared habitat and spend almost all their time together. The only times they’re separated are when the canines take time off to play with their fellow companion dogs and during feeding times — filet mignon for the cheetahs and kibble for the dogs.
“The dog is the dominant in the relationship, so if we didn’t separate them, the dog would eat all the cheetah’s food and we’d have a really skinny cheetah and a really chubby dog,” Rose-Hinostroza said.
March 19th 2013 6:09 am
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By Caroline Golon, http://halopets.com/freekibble/donation93.html
When Katie, a German shepherd, went missing from her home, her family searched for her for nearly 30 hours. But it was the family’s other dog, Bojangles, who eventually found her – stuck in a drainpipe.
Katie disappeared from home on a Friday afternoon. Because she rarely left the yard, the family was immediately concerned. For the next day-and-a-half, the family searched for Katie in the dense woods on their 40-acre property, calling her name and covering as much ground as they could.
On Saturday afternoon, exhausted from a day of searching, the family’s kids took their other dog, Bojangles, on a final walk of the day. According to the Huffington Post, the kids and the Golden Retriever walked through the woods and out onto a nearby road. Suddenly, Bojangles ran to a drainage pipe and began barking. Katie was stuck inside the pipe!
Katie had apparently crawled into the pipe but couldn’t get out because the other end was collapsed.
The family had searched the area near the drainpipe numerous times, unaware that Katie was trapped inside.
It took rescue workers an hour to get Katie out of the 25-foot pipe she’d crawled into. Ultimately, they had to cut open the pipe to free her.
Aside from being hungry and thirsty, Katie was just fine and is now back at home, snuggling up to her best bud – and hero – Bojangles.
March 13th 2013 6:07 am
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When Midnight, a six-year-old Labrador Retriever mix, came to us, he suffered from severe skin disease and ear infections and looked emaciated. He underwent treatment at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital and slowly began to recover. When he was ready, Midnight stayed for months in our Adoption Center, waiting patiently for someone to take him home.
In February, Victoria D'Asto and Michael Pisula did just that, giving Midnight a new life as part of their family.
“My husband and I waited a year and a half after the passing of our last dog before visiting the ASPCA in Manhattan,” Victoria says. “After looking at all the dogs and meeting several of them, we settled on Midnight, now known as Harley.”
Harley has come a long way, but he still suffers from chronic ear infections. With medication and TLC, Harley’s ear infections are manageable.
“Even with his health issues and difficult past, we felt that he would be a great addition to our family,” Victoria says.
And they were right. Harley is thriving in his new home.
“It turns out that we really lucked out—Harley is so well trained and sweet with everyone he meets,” Victoria says. “He seems to enjoy his new diet and exercise program as he gains those last five pounds to bring him back up to a healthy weight.”
Victoria tells us that Harley loves to go for walks in Manhattan’s Riverside Park, on shopping trips, and enjoys romping around at Victoria and Michael’s country home on the weekends.
“He loves destroying his toys, fighting for the peanut butter in his new Kong toy and lounging by the fireplace,” she says. “It's been almost two weeks, and he's already become our best friend! Thanks, ASPCA!”
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