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Nation’s Largest No-Kill Rescue Shelter Opens in Alabama to Save 5,000 Dogs a Year

in Animals 58 views

These are Macon County Kennels, the largest no-kill rescue shelter in the U.S., and newly opened in Alabama to help combat a pet overpopulation crisis in the southeastern United States.

It was renovated from an old greyhound training center into a facility that has the capacity to save, rehabilitate, and adopt out up to 5,000 dogs per year.

Located in Macon County, the intention of the founders were to service a region encompassing eight states including Florida, and to help dogs find new homes across America.

“The opening of a second Big Dog Ranch Rescue location is something I’ve prayed for over the years,” Big Dog Ranch Rescue Founder and CEO Lauree Simmons said. “It’s a great day for us and, more importantly, it’s a great day for the dogs.”

Ironically, Big Dog Ranch Rescue hasn’t always had this big dog ranch. Since starting their work in 2008, they estimated they’ve saved 53,000 dogs from being euthanized.

Currently its three renovated buildings include space for 100 dogs and a veterinary center, but a further 13 kennels are still undergoing work.

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Watch the Incredible Moment a Sea Lion Swam up to Snorkeling Teen–And Hugged Him: ‘It Felt So Euphoric’

in Animals 73 views

A 15-year-old experienced the wildlife moment of a lifetime while on summer vacation.

Ethan Becker was snorkeling with his dad Chuck when they spotted a sea lion heading straight toward them.

Chuck got out his underwater camera and began recording after he realized his son was in no danger and the curious animal seemed simply to want to play.

Ethan spun around with the sea lion, in the Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico, allowing the mammal to embrace him in a slow dance for almost a minute, before it swam over to have a look at Chuck.

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275 Rare Parrots Saved From Hurricane at Florida Sanctuary: ‘They’re Family’

in Animals/People 69 views

275 exotic parrots are now on their way to a new wildlife sanctuary after their heroic caretaker pulled all of them up into his stilted house like Noah’s Ark to ride out Hurricane Ian.

There’s no question in Will Peratino’s mind that if he had not done so, the waves which crested his 5-foot high fencing around Malama Manu Sanctuary on Pine Island would have drowned all of them.

After the devastation, a full-scale volunteer effort transported all 275 parrots by boat through flooded canals to solid ground where they will be taken to another wildlife sanctuary.

The efforts were led by Project Dynamo, a volunteer rescue operation from Tampa that heard about Peratino’s plight. They put together a team and four boats to put all the parrots into cat-sized pet carriers and bring them off the ravaged Pine Island.

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Cat Who Sneaks into School Gets His Class Photo Taken – And Portrait Packet is Sent Home to Mom

in Animals/School 74 views

A cat performed the most head-scratching stunt in Wales recently on class picture day, leaving a group of proud moms “in floods of laughter.”

10 and 7-year-olds Meghan and Chloe Roberts were all dressed up and excited to have their picture taken at Drury Primary School, but their excitement couldn’t compare with that of Ziggy, their orange and white cat who regularly visits the school.

When Ziggy the “honorary student,” felt it was his turn, the 4-year-old effortlessly jumped up on the photo chair, looked straight at the camera, got his snap, and promptly left.

“Chloe handed the letter to me and I expected it to be her photos,” Chloe’s mom Emma Roberts told local Welsh news, The Leader. “But then when I looked I was just in floods of laughter and so were the other mums standing by me.”

“I asked her what had gone on and she said he just jumped on the chair. He didn’t need any encouragement, he just got up there for a photo. The school has just accepted him and he goes there at any opportunity. He’s there every day.”

Indeed the headmaster has described the cat’s attendance record as “an excellent example for other pupils.”

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Dog Owner Shocked to Discover Her Pet is the Brother of One of The Queen’s Corgis

in Animals 74 views

A dog owner recalled her shock after finding out that her beloved pet is the brother of one of the Queen’s corgi dogs.

Nadia Smith got her corgi puppy, Wilbur, in February of 2021—and learned later that he had a special connection to Queen Elizabeth II.

She spotted a post on a Facebook group about the Queen’s newest dog named Muick and quickly realized they had come from the same litter.

The 28-year-old who lives in Yorkshire had toyed with the idea of adopting Wilbur’s brother too, but had decided against it.

After seeing pictures, it became clear that Wilbur and Muick were brothers, the only two from the litter.

“I was in shock when I realized,” said Nadia, who works in social media marketing. “You never think anything like this will happen to you. It’s such a strange way to be connected to her.

“We loved corgis because of The Queen. From seeing her with all her corgis, we thought if they’re good enough for her, they’re good enough for us!

“When we went to get Wilbur, we picked up and cuddled the other puppy too.

“We held the Queen’s actual corgi—and we own his brother!”

She added, ”‘The Queen’s dog chewed my shoelaces’ is not something you ever expect to say!”

When they realized who Wilbur’s brother was, Nadia and her partner had sent a letter and photos to the Queen to inform her.

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Woman Hailed as Hero For Using Drone to Locate Over 200 Lost Pups For Free

in Uncategorized 99 views

A dog lover has been hailed a ‘real-life superhero’ for using her drone to reunite families with their lost pups—most recently, just in time before a ‘deadly’ storm hit.

September 9th was a normal Friday for Erica Hart, as she abandoned her shopping trip to rush home and launch a drone search for a schnauzer before a rumbling thunderstorm made things worse.

Jamie Hollinshead phoned her from Clayton, Yorkshire, to say his rescue dog Hilda had bolted from their garden and they’d already searched for two hours.

The 33-year-old rushed to the last-known location and within 20 minutes spied the escaped pooch running down a residential road.

When the two-year-old dog darted into a nearby field and kept moving, Erica was able to direct Jamie and his wife to the best spot for intercepting her.

The couple from Clayton, who adopted the rescue dog this past April, has hailed Erica a ‘real-life superhero’ and believes Hilda could have been killed had she not been found before the thunderstorm hit minutes later.

“What she did is brilliant. She’s a hero, a real superhero.

“She saved her life. She could have been run over or the storms could have panicked her—you just think the worst straight away.”

“Erica was in constant communication with us. She knew what she was doing and where to look,” said Leah, who had no idea how the dog escaped their fenced yard, but thought it must have been spooked by the thunder.

“As it was getting later, we thought we’d never see her again. It brought a tear to my eye when we got her back.”

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Corgis Dressed in Royal Attire Gather in Australia to Honor the Late Queen, a Corgi Mum of Five

in Animals 87 views

Dozens of Welsh Corgi owners dressed their pampered pooches in royal attire as they gathered to honor the late Queen Elizabeth II, herself the world’s most famous Corgi enthusiast.

The event, organized by the Perth Corgi group, took place in Langley Park, Perth, Australia, where approximately 50 dogs and their owners gathered in tribute to the Queen.

Elizabeth II owned more than 30 Welsh Corgis throughout her life.

Minnesota-native Tessa Vernstrom, who is studying in Australia, attended the event with her two corgis, one-year-old Tendi and three-year-old Riker.

“The event was organized on very short notice by the Perth corgi group, as soon as we heard the news,” she said. “It’s a tight knit community and we said we should do something to honor the Queen, so we organized this.”

“I didn’t dress up my dogs, but I wish I had. I usually dress them up for events like Halloween, but I didn’t have time to find something appropriate.”

“Personally, I was saddened by the Queen’s passing,” she added. “I personally respected… her love of animals and corgis in general.”

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Till Death Do Us Bark: Watch Inseparable Shelter Dogs Get Married in Adorable Ceremony

in Animals 189 views

Two inseparable shelter dogs got married in an adorable ceremony, with their own specially made mini chapel complete with bubble machine

Nine-year-old Peanut and three-year-old Cashew got married at the San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS) in Bexar County in Texas last Wednesday.

Both Chihuahuas were surrendered in April 2022 by their families to SAHS as they could no longer be taken care of.

The pair met in the SAHS medical building after their respective dental surgeries and instantly bonded.

After watching their relationship blossom, staff decided to organise the ceremony in the hopes of finding Peanut and Cashew their forever homes.

The romantic occasion featured the pups dressed to the nines with a red carpet flanked with dog-shaped hedges.

“The ceremony was to celebrate their love and recovery journey,” Lucia Almanza, a Public Relations Associate at SAHS, said. “Their small, intimate wedding day was shared with staff, volunteers and our closest friends. The event included a beautiful walk down the aisle, bubbles, music and cake, of course!”

A mini wedding chapel was also built for the occasion.

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K-9 Lafferty is newest four-legged employee at Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

in Animals 393 views

WATERTOWN — Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Lafferty and his handler, Deputy Christian D. Hughes, graduated from the New York State Police K-9 school in Cooperstown on Friday morning and are ready to serve.

Former Sheriff James L. Lafferty said that when he was asked if the 13-month-old Belgian Malinois could be named after him, it was an easy decision.

“My mind was spinning when I got that (phone call), but it didn’t take me long to decide,” he said.

Sheriff Colleen M. O’Neill said she is grateful the former sheriff said yes.

“I think it’s a great fit and a great match. He’s a handsome dog and Sheriff Lafferty’s a wonderful man, and was a fantastic sheriff,” Sheriff O’Neill said. “So he’s got success written all over him.”

At the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, K-9s are traditionally named after former sheriffs. One K-9 was named after Sheriff O’Neill’s late father.

Sheriff O’Neill allowed the deputy to pick the name, O’Nei, pronounced “Oh-nee” to honor Sheriff O’Neill’s father.

“I lost my dad a few years ago, but I know that he’s looking down very, very proud of that honor, and it makes me extremely happy too,” she said.

Sheriff O’Neill said that the K-9 unit takes advice from the state police program on which dog breeds and what specific dog to choose.

The other part of the process involved making sure Deputy Hughes and K-9 Lafferty are connected.

“Of course we sent Deputy Hughes and his supervisor down to meet the dog a couple of times before we actually brought him home, and made sure that they were a good match and sent them to school,” she said.

There are some specific qualities that the department looks for in a dog, Sheriff O’Neill said.

“We look specifically for dogs that can track lost kids, or criminals, that we can trust them to protect the handlers and other deputies, that they can find what they’re trained to find whether it be explosives or narcotics,” she said. “But we also want dogs that kids can walk up to and pet, that we can walk around the county fair with, and that we can do demonstrations with. So that’s probably the toughest challenge is to find a dog that’s so good at their police work, but are also calm enough for kids to approach. … That’s kind of the magic potion.”

In order to qualify to have a K-9, a deputy sheriff needs to have a few years under their belt because of how long the commitment is.

“Deputy Hughes was a perfect candidate for a K-9 handler,” Sheriff O’Neill said. “I think on day one he made it pretty clear that’s what he was going to do someday.”

“Since the first day in the agency, and even before that it’s something I’ve wanted to do,” Deputy Hughes said. “So to be able to take my partner home every night with me it’s just, it’s fantastic, I’m beyond excited about it. There’s times we don’t always click and bond as well as we should. We have our moments, but overall, he’s been great. He’s going to do fantastic things, not just for the department, but for the citizens of Jefferson County as well.”

Once the process started, Deputy Hughes brought K-9 Lafferty home with him to begin bonding — no training, just bonding. K-9 Lafferty then began to live with Deputy Hughes and he took him to work every day until they started at the academy. Deputy Hughes said the training process begins with the basics such as learning to sit and stay, of which he said “you would think is an easy task, but put 10 dogs up front and try to teach them how to sit, it was challenging.” After the basics, K-9s move on to narcotic detection, then to tracking, then to apprehension.

Deputy Hughes said that the dogs start off slow, with tracking a toy for 15 to 20 yards before extending the distance.

“Eventually you get to the point where there’s actually another human at the end of the track building searches,” he said.

He called the course rigorous.

“With all the training, you just start to bond more and more and more, and it’s just as much teaching the handler as it is the dog,” Deputy Hughes said. “Typically the dog is picking it up faster, it’s the handler trying to figure out the dog, and the different quirks that he has and how to read the dog, and as we went along we just kept bonding and bonding and now I got a partner. He’s right there on the road with me all the time so it’s awesome.”

The program, which normally takes about 20 weeks, took about 14 weeks for K-9 Lafferty and Deputy Hughes. The shortened program was a retread class, due to older dogs being cycled out. In the retread class, only two of the 10 people involved had never been handlers before, including Deputy Hughes.

Deputy Hughes described having K-9 Lafferty with him as being “unbelievable.”

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Cats and Dogs May Protect Owners From Memory Loss in Later Life, Study Finds

in Animals 309 views

Owning a pet, like a dog or cat, especially for five years or longer, may be linked to slower cognitive decline in older adults, according to a preliminary study.

“Prior studies have suggested that the human-animal bond may have health benefits like decreasing blood pressure and stress,” said study author Tiffany Braley of the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. “Our results suggest pet ownership may also be protective against cognitive decline.”

The study looked at cognitive data from 1,369 older adults with an average age of 65 who had normal cognitive skills at the start of the study.

A total of 53% owned pets, and 32% were long-term pet owners, defined as those who owned pets for five years or more. Of study participants, 88% were white, 7% were Black, 2% were Hispanic, and 3% were of another ethnicity or race.

Researchers used data from the Health and Retirement Study, a large study of Medicare beneficiaries. In that study, people were given multiple cognitive tests. Researchers used those cognitive tests to develop a composite cognitive score for each person, ranging from zero to 27. The composite score included common tests of subtraction, numeric counting, and word recall.

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