These are men, women, and animals who have made selfless sacrifices of their time to save animals or people with their courage, determination, valor and their love. "Selfless" is the quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of animals and humans while acting with less concern for themselves.  I honor such hero's. 


New High-Tech Virtual-Dissection Software a Hit at Okla. High School

How cool is this? Muskogee High School (MHS) in Oklahoma recently started using virtual dissection instead of cats to teach anatomy! The new, high-tech software features reusable, cutting-edge technology, including a wireless stylus, keyboard, monitor, and 3-D glasses.


Both teachers and students are raving about the software, which the school obtained through grants from the Oklahoma Career and Technology Education system. One student, who is considering a career in biological science, gushed, “I absolutely love it. I love it so much. I love science, and this is a hands-on thing without getting dirty. It’s actually looking at the stuff, and it tells you the name of everything. It is so interesting and really cool. You can zoom in and out, and you can check to see everything.”

MHS biomedical science teacher Curt Denton says the technology “has engaged students who have not been interested in science or getting to class.” Hundreds of school districts have implemented progressive dissection-choice policies allowing compassionate students to choose humane alternatives to animal dissection. Studies show that students using non-animal methods learn faster, are more confident in the material, and find the work more enjoyable.

What You Can Do

Please take a moment to watch peta2’s video citing the top seven reasons to cut out dissection and urge the schools in your state to stop dissecting animals, if they haven’t already. There are many humane alternatives to animal dissection, and it’s past time to cut it out.

See the U-Tube clip:

Sam Simon: A True Hero for Animals

The animals have lost a true ally and a sharp and honest tongue with the passing of PETA Honorary Director and entertainment giant Sam Simon, who was our dear friend, a stalwart champion of animal rights, and the multiple Emmy Award–winning co-creator of The Simpsons and one of the writing geniuses behind hit shows like Taxi, Barney Miller, Cheers, The Tracey Ullman Show, The Drew Carey Show, and the FX series Anger Management.

Simon said that the last two years of his life, in which he worked with PETA to close bear pits, rescue an abused elephant in India, send lone roadside zoo chimpanzees to a sanctuary, and find homes for hundreds of chinchillas, a camel, and even a “gay” bull, were the happiest of his life. Late last week, he was given the news that Ringling Bros., the circus he protested in person, had decided, in light of changed public opinion, to take performing elephants off the road by 2018. He wanted to live to see SeaWorld closed but believed that the day the elephants were out of the circus meant that, too, would happen.

Simon—after whom PETA’s Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters, the Sam Simon Center, is named—had been a vegetarian since he was 19 and a vegan since joining PETA about 15 years ago. He set up a charity, The Sam Simon Foundation, to provide homeless people with vegan meals and to rescue dogs from shelters and train them to assist both the deaf and war veterans with physical and mental trauma.

He attacked animal homelessness at its roots by sponsoring spay and neuter surgeries in low-income areas of Los Angeles, helped PETA launch a mobile spay-and-neuter clinic in Norfolk, Virginia, and hosted numerous PETA fundraising parties at his home in L.A. He also hosted a weekly Internet radio show on in which he always made a point to address the animal rights issues of the moment.

Simon once attended a PETA news conference with Bob Barker  to call attention to the plight of animals on TV and movie sets. “[I]f you can’t afford the CGI [computer-generated imagery], either do a rewrite,” he said, “or do a cartoon show like I did.”

Simon began his close relationship with PETA when he donated his fee for an episode of The Drew Carey Show because the plot involved greyhound racing and he felt that he could not in good conscience keep the money.

After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Simon asked PETA’s president to come to the hospital to see him and draw up a list, which she did, of ways in which he could help animals before he died. Sam’s list became a guide for his philanthropy in the final part of his life. He paid for transport and even purchased dozens of animals who had lived miserable lives in roadside zoos so that PETA could send them to sanctuaries. “I just wanted to have some days where I get to see animals walk in grass for the first time,” he said. “Through PETA, we rescue animals in roadside zoos and circuses. They are some of the most abused animals in the country.”

Sam Simon & Ingrid

Despite being gravely ill, he traveled to Newfoundland with PETA and Pamela Anderson with a check for $1 million that he offered to pay the Canadian Sealers Association as a bonus if the organization would help facilitate an end to Canada’s annual seal slaughter.

In addition to all the animals Simon saved during his lifetime, he left generous endowments in his will to ensure that his efforts for animals would continue after he was gone. Animals will have reason to be grateful to this smart, funny, passionate activist and philanthropist for years to come.

In dedicating the Sam Simon Center, Sam said, “One day, people will realize that Sam Simon knew that what PETA says is right, ‘Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use in entertainment.'”

PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said, “The world could learn all about kindness from Sam’s example, just the things he said, and I hope everyone who hears about him will do something kind and generous in his honor, even give your dog an extra hour in the park or eat one meal that does not involve animal suffering.”

This is my Hero

President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. He goes and fights tirelessly to save animals and protect their rights by giving them a voice. This is Michael Markarian and you can read his Bio here.

Michael Markarian is President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund and oversees HSLF's lobbying and political activity.  He also serves as Chief Program & Policy Officer of The HSUS and President of The Fund for Animals, an affiliate of The HSUS providing direct care, food, and medical treatment to thousands of animals each year at its wildlife rehabilitation centers and animal sanctuaries.

Markarian began working at The Fund for Animals in 1993, and tutored under the group's founder and president, famed author and animal advocate Cleveland Amory.

Markarian became the organization's executive vice president after Amory's death in 1998, and was elected president of the organization in 2002. He helped grow The Fund for Animals' staff to 50 employees, revenues to more than $7 million annually, and assets to $22 million.

The Fund operates the world-famous Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, which is home to more than 1,200 animals rescued from abuse or abandonment, as well as a network of wildlife rehabilitation centers and medical clinics.


These people are hero's as far as I'm concerned.

About this video:
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Power Players

What has three legs, a Purple Heart, and fur all over?

Meet German Shepard mix Lucca, a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient (albeit unofficial) credited as a war hero for her work sniffing out IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lucca, who lost a front paw while serving on the front lines, is the subject of new book “Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca.” And along with her first handler and current owner, Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham, this furry war hero recently sat down for an interview with “Power Players.”

Willingham is part of a special unit of dog handlers within the Marine Corps and was first assigned to be Lucca’s handler when she was still a young, untrained dog. The two quickly became a pair and trained together for a year before being deployed to Iraq, where Lucca quickly put her sniffing skills into action.

“In our first week in our first big mission … Lucca went up and indicated there was an explosive there and that was the first time she saved my life,” Willingham said. “It was a really validating moment from all the hard work and training we put in together, to the moment she actually found an IED on an operation, so it was a great, great day."

While active in the Marine Corps, Lucca was identified as a piece of equipment would be, with the ID designation K458. But to the troops she protected, she was known as “Mama Lucca.”

“She is a Marine,” Willingham said. “She's treated just like a Marine. When she got injured, she was medevac’d just like a Marine. They get top notch veterinary treatment -- their medical care, their health care, their dental care -- it's top notch. We treat these dogs outstanding, their part of our team, and Lucca probably knows more about me than anybody else, except my wife."

And in between missions, Lucca provided some needed canine companionship to troops a long way from home.

See the video about this hero dog:

Linn County, Oregon. K-9 Hondo retires after a career of drug busts.. Good job Hondo !!


After nearly nine years that included 500 deployments and the seizure of 185 pounds of illegal drugs, Linn County K-9 Hondo is calling it a career.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office announced this week that Hondo "will be hanging up his leash to live a leisurely life of retirement."

Hondo was deployed more than 500 times and is credited with finding more than 185 pounds of marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine with a street value of $750,000. Hondo also led to the location and seizure of nearly 700 pieces of drug paraphernalia and $126,000 in cash from drug sales.

When he wasn't fighting crime, Hondo was a public ambassador for the sheriff's office at schools and community events. Hondo is being taken off the streets due to his arthritis. Deputies said even though his back is failing, "his spirit is just as energetic and fun loving as ever." "Hondo has certainly earned an extravagant retirement of table scraps, belly rubs, and lounging with his family," a Linn County Sheriff's Office release states.

Hondo partnered with Deputy John Trenary for his entire career.

     Global Wells

Project: Katanga, Bolgatanga Municipality, Ghana

Water Scarcity is the Defining Problem of Our Age

While helping people get drinking water they also help wildlife and dogs have access to the run off water also.

For most of us living in the developed world, we never think about shortages of water. From birth to adulthood, we grow accustomed to turning on the faucet and getting clean drinking water. We rarely stop to think about what it really means to have this resource.

There are places in this world where people do not have access to clean drinking water. In some communities, people have to leave their homes and walk many miles just to obtain water. They walk long distances, only to wait in line at one water source for hours on end and then return home carrying heavy loads of water, repeating this exercise day after day.

At Global Wells we strive to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. It is our mission to help those who cannot help themselves. Please consider joining us in our mission by donating today.

To read more or help:

Thank you Sharon Henry-Jones

Security Guard Stabbed by Mob While Protecting Dog Orphanage

Security Guard Stabbed by Mob While Protecting Dog Orphanage

Just weeks into his new job as a security guard for the Ukrainian animal shelter in the city of Kiev, Petro Dibrova was forced to become a human shield when a mob of angry men appeared with the intention of killing the animals and taking the compound for themselves.

“The attackers tried to enter the heart of the shelter but Petro would not let them,” Shelter founder Tamara Tarnawska explains from Petro’s hospital bedside. “Then they attacked him and inflicted several stab wounds. Staff at the shelter had to call the police and they managed to detain one of the attackers.”

The attack happened in the evening hours and was the second in a series of attempts to harm the animals at the shelter. Back in February Molotov cocktails were thrown over the shelter wall, causing extensive damage to the puppy zone, but thankfully no animals were harmed. Yet this ambush was bolder and far more hands-on.

“In the evening Petro heard the barking of dogs and some shouting in the street,” Tamara explains. ”Our shelter is located in a field, not near people’s homes, so Petro went over to see what was happening. He saw several of the dogs behaving very hectically. Petro did not see anyone so he went to get them some food, assuming the dogs were hungry. When he started to feed them, several men ran toward him shouting, ‘There are many war refugees and destruction, and you feed the homeless animals!’”

“The men started beating the dogs on their paws and Petro immediately threw himself at them,” Tamara continued. “The men were punching Petro and stabbing him with a screwdriver. They knocked out one of Peter’s teeth and stabbed him in the cheek and leg. The shouts and the barking of the dogs alerted the women employees at the shelter who came forward instantly. Then the men started screaming more and threatened to burn down the shelter with all the dogs in it. Our female employees managed to call the police who arrived pretty quickly and arrested one of the attackers.”

The timing of this event is simply uncanny. For the past 20 years the shelter, known locally as the dog orphanage, has never had a guard. Petro was hired by the Harmony Fund just weeks before the attack.

“Had Petro not been there, the animals would be dead today and we fear for what may have happened to our female workers,” Tamara continues. “This one man single-handedly protected more than a thousand lives.”

Female workers at the shelter are afraid for their lives.

Petro (Peter in English) is expected to fully recover and to return to the shelter later this month. At his own home, Petro cares for several dogs he has adopted from the shelter, and now he is compelled to defend them all. He has vowed never to leave the dogs.

Read more:

Saluting all our volunteers during National Volunteer Week


Last week was National Volunteer Week, and American Humane Association saluted all of its volunteers who dedicate so much of their time to helping animals and children in need.

Our Red Star™ program has a strong corps of volunteers who have undergone numerous and extensive trainings to be prepared to deploy with the team to disaster sites and the scenes of large-scale animal cruelty cases. Many of our volunteers have been with us for years, and use their hard-earned vacation days from their day jobs to accompany us on deployments. If you're interested in joining the team that has worked to rescue and care for animals in times of disaster since World War I, visit more info.

Every summer, we work with the National Military Family Association to send animal-assisted therapy teams to their Operation Purple camps for children with parents deployed by the military. These volunteers and their animals – mostly dogs, but there have been therapy cats, llamas, and mini horses, too! – carve out time to bring the soothing touch of animal-assisted therapy to children who are coping with a parent that is bravely serving our country. Children might be frightened at the uncertainty of when their parents may return home, but we've found that they will open up and cheer up when in the presence of these therapy animals.

Volunteer animal-assisted therapy teams are also vital members of our Canines and Childhood Cancer Study, sponsored by Zoetis. As part of the study, therapy dog handlers visit select children's hospitals around the country to provide animal-assisted therapy to pediatric cancer patients. It is our hope that the presence of a dog will help the children and their families in the recovery process and that more oncologists will prescribe this innovative four-legged therapy to their young patients. What's unique about this study is we are also testing the effects of visiting the hospital on the dogs themselves. Like with everything we do, we want to make sure they are not experiencing any harm themselves. For more information on this study, please visit

To see more:

Chica the Duct-Taped Doberman Becomes World’s Happiest Dog

Chica the Doberman puppy committed an unforgivable crime. She grabbed hold of laundry that was drying on the clothesline and ran about the yard chewing and soiling it. When her family discovered her game, they didn’t shrug their shoulders or laugh at their 8-month-old dog’s antics. Instead Chica’s guardian went into the house, grabbed a roll of duct tape and began wrapping and wrapping it around Chica’s muzzle, over her delicate whiskers, determined that she would never open her mouth again. Yet destiny had more in store for Chica than a slow death by dehydration, and clear across Mexico, a rescuer was being summoned to the plate.

Hector poured over thousands of posts on Care2 and Facebook and sent hundreds of emails. He called veterinary clinics and rescue groups in the area and kept coming across the name Fernanda Janine Luna as someone who could help, but he simply  could not find a way to reach Fernanda. With time running out, he decided it was time for plan B.

Scouts in Guadalajara helped bring Chica home. (Left) Luis Armando Navarro Dominguez

Hector packed his bags and was preparing to fly to Tepic when he was introduced to a man there named Miguel Dibildox, a Scout leader who was known for providing veterinary care to rescue dogs. Miguel and Hector had an instant connection and Miguel had heard of a woman named Fernanda who had jumped the fence to release the doberman but was caught.

Hector dialed the phone nervously, almost afraid to hold out hope, when a friendly voice on the other end welcomed his call. It was indeed Fernanda Janine Luna and she was ready to try again. Hector gave Fernanda ransom money to buy Chica from her abusers and as she summoned the courage to bang on their door and negotiate for the dog’s release, he waited breathlessly by the phone for news.

When the phone rang several hours later, Hector could barely believe his ears.  Chica was safe. “I hung up the phone, collapsed to the floor and broke down in tears,” Hector said.

Hector holds Chica for the first time.

And that began one of the most beautiful love stories between man and dog. Chica made the 1,400 mile journey to meet Hector and his wife Carla and their house full of rescued pets. The Harmony Fund international animal rescue network has named Chica “Happiest Dog on Earth” for 2012 with hopes that her incredible story will spark further rescues.

Chica (left with pink collar) enjoys a day at the beach with her new family.


This Pit Bull Carried Her Injured Chihuahua 'Soul Mate' To Safety, Now They Need A Loving Home (UPDATE)

About a week ago, Joanie the pit bull was discovered carrying an injured little friend -- Chachi the Chihuahua -- inside her mouth, around a Savannah, Georgia, neighborhood.

Animal control officers found Joanie putting Chachi down from time to time, to lick the Chihuahua's badly infected eye. Chachi "appreciated the attention," according the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department's Facebook post on the pair. "It's not every day we get to see such devotion between two special dogs like this," Animal Control Officer Christina Sutherin is quoted as saying. "They are both such sweet animals. But the relationship they share just sets them apart."

joanie chachi

Shelter veterinarians had to remove Chachi's bum eye, and so Joanie has been living separately from her companion while he convalesces -- though Sutherin tells HuffPost that the two still "get together-time daily."  "Staff is amazed at the dedication and love these two have for one another," says Sutherin.

At first, police expected Joanie and Chachi's owner to come forward; since no one has yet claimed the pair, the new hope is that the pups will be adopted together, into a family with lots of love -- but maybe without any other dogs. "Neither one seems to care about another dog they are exposed to, only each other," says Sutherin. "They truly appear to be soul mates."

UPDATE: July 23, 10:15 p.m. -- Joanie the pit bull and Chachi the Chihuahua "are going to have Happy Days in Florida!," in the words of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.  Someone -- the name hasn't been released -- from the Sunshine State is adopting this special pair. The move is likely sometime in August.

And just to make it all a little sweeter, here are some photos of the pups after they got the good news: Joanie can't stop smiling!


Police dog killed in line of duty in Portland Oregon. He was part of an elite team.

In March 2014, the Portland Police Bureau announced its newest K-9 recruit. Mick. The dog was shot and killed Wednesday during a gunfight in SW Portland: "It's official! Police dog candidate "Mick" passed his state certification and has earned the radio call sign of K-93! Not only that, but he already has 3 captures under his belt all of which occurred on the same day within a 10 hour time period. Capture #1 was a suspect wanted for Interfering with a Peace Officer where Mick found him hiding in some bushes. Capture #2 was a wanted fugitive who ran from officers in East Precinct. Within 20 minutes of Capture #2, "Mick" knocked it out of the park locating an auto theft suspect who crashed a stolen vehicle "Mick's" handler had been chasing during a lengthy high speed pursuit!"
Portland Police Bureau

Law enforcement agencies in Oregon rely on more than 100 dogs to help them track criminals, sniff out drugs, find bodies and help in arson investigations. Highly trained, each dog is paired with one officer, with whom they work and live. The bond between the two is strong.

"Our dogs are our partners," said Sgt. Rhonda Sandoval, a 19-year veteran of the McMinnville Police Department and treasurer of the Oregon Police Canine Association. "They become part of our lives and our families." A trainer who's worked with two police dogs, Sandoval was saddened to hear about the Portland canine struck in the line of duty.  "It's horrible," Sandoval said. "My heart goes out to the handler."

The association does not keep statistics on the number of police dogs in Oregon that have been injured or killed. But Sandoval said they are just as vulnerable as the handler. The dogs are trained to obey their handler and not react to gunfire. "One of our standards is to make our dogs go neutral to gunfire," Sandoval said. "If things go south and there is a shooting situation, we don't want to worry about what our dogs are doing. We want them to remain under control even in a gunfire situation."

The canine killed early Wednesday in Portland was a German shepherd. Belgian malinois are also commonly used in police work. Both are bred for law enforcement work.  Oregon imports most of its police dogs from Europe, which has a long experience in training the animals. From the get go, they undergo extensive training.  "Most dogs have 360 hours of training before they ever hit the road," Sandoval said. "Then there's maintenance training of 16 hours a month – per discipline."

Patrol dogs, like the one killed Wednesday, are trained in tracking people, searching for evidence, protecting handlers and apprehending suspects. To help officers make an arrest, they bite and hold but do not chew up suspects. Each trained dog costs between $7,000 and $10,000. The Oregon Police Canine Association certifies them, making them pass tests every year. Sandoval said patrol dogs have difficult jobs.

"It's hard work for the dogs," Sandoval said. "They go out and track for hours and miles. They fight our bad guys sometimes. Agility is part of the training. They have to be able to jump fences." They're also in the firing line, as are their handlers.  The dogs usually start their careers between 2 and 5 years old. Most of them retire at 10. "You'll get the rare dog that works longer, but they tend to retire at 10," Sandoval said.


Thanking Our Heroes

Rangers put their lives on the line every day to protect wildlife

I backed a ranger today. Will you?Rangers give their lives to save nature. It's our turn to give back.

Rangers play a very important role in protecting some of the world’s most endangered wild spaces and iconic species like elephants, rhinos and tigers. To celebrate these heroes on World Ranger Day, WWF teamed up with hundreds of children to thank rangers for safeguarding our planet at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C.

Children of all ages wrote uplifting messages on postcards that WWF is sending to rangers in Africa and Asia. They learned that you don’t need superpowers to be a superhero—rangers are the real heroes of conservation, saving a living planet with their dedication and commitment.

WWF supports rangers around the world by providing equipment, training, and technical and financial resources to fight wildlife crime.

  • postcard to ranger
  • postcard to ranger
  • postcard to ranger

Back a Ranger

The men and women on the frontlines of conservation are perhaps the most important protectors of the world’s natural and cultural treasures. Rangers work tirelessly to protect endangered species like tigers, elephants and rhinos, which are targeted by poachers for the illegal wildlife trade. They usually earn very little and some go months without receiving their salary or seeing their families.

Please, give what you can. 100% of your donation will benefit WWF’s Back a Ranger project, which helps rangers get the equipment, training, resources and infrastructure they need to stop wildlife crime. Want more stories like this?

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Thiago 'The Pitbull' Alves Speaks Out Against Dogfighting!

UFC fighter Thiago "The Pitbull" Alves is a tough competitor who fights hard against opponents but has a kind heart when it comes to animals. Unlike loyal dogs who fight because they're conditioned to do so by abusive owners, Thiago chooses to get into the ring. To speak up for animals, he teamed up with PETA for our "Never Be Silent" campaign. He encourages people to treat animals with respect and never fight or abuse them.

It takes only a moment to speak up for an animal in need. And sadly, plenty of animals need our help. If you see a dog left chained outdoors, a lost or stray animal wandering the streets, a dog locked in a hot car, or any other form of cruelty or neglect, speak up! Contact your local authorities or PETA for assistance.

Thiago knows that making the choice to be an MMA fighter was his and his alone and that abused dogs are forced to fight. So he will never be silent!

Watch behind-the-scenes footage taken at Thiago's photo shoot and see why he decided to fight for animals.

You Can Help—Use Your Voice for Animals!
Never be silent—that's the first step to helping animals who face abuse. Speaking up for animals can save their lives. Use your voice to stop animal abuse—share this message with your friends! Learn more about the gruesome
dogfighting industry, and make a habit of being kind and compassionate to spare animals' lives.

SMFD: Santa Monica Fire Department Makes Animal Rescue With Pet Oxygen Mask, Stella Recovering. 
It was happy tails all round when the Santa Monica Fire Department came to the rescue of an unconscious dog discovered in a burning apartment.

Stella the boxer, rescued from an apartment fire by SMFD. #IceCreamPhoto
Credit: Santa Monica Fire Department
SMFD responded to a call at the corner of 2nd and Hill streets on Saturday morning reports KTLA 5, where they discovered a female boxer behind a mattress.

The dog, named Stella, was unconscious after inhaling the smoke. Luckily, firefighters carried her to safety and used a pet oxygen mask to resuscitate her.

Stella’s owners apparently weren’t home, so she was taken to a nearby animal hospital to recuperate. No other injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.



Deer Rescued by Wellesley Police and Fire

Wellesley Police and firefighters were sent to the corner of Glen Road and Springdale Road for an unusual call on Sunday, February 28, 2010. A resident reported that a deer was trapped in a muddy pond at the rear of a residence. Arriving officers and firefighters found a deer stuck in very thick mud. The mud, snow and ice had recently thawed and was several feet deep. The deer’s rear legs had sunk and were not visible. The animal appeared injured, and struggled to keep its head out of the mud. The deer was clearly not able to free itself, so rescuers went to work.
Sgt. Glen Gerrans stabilized the deer’s head, while members of the Wellesley Fire department secured gear to assist in the extrication. Sue Webb, the animal control officer, and members of the Boston Animal Rescue League also responded to the incident to lend their expertise.
Rescuers themselves were hindered by the deep, thick mud and lack of footing as they entered the flooded pond. Wellesley Fire Lieutenant Chuck DiGiandomenico, wearing a survival suit, managed to dig a hole underneath the animal and attach a rope line to the deer’s midsection. Lt. DiGiandomenico then was able to dig and clear some of the mud away, breaking the suction of the mud. With the help of other rescuers, the team then physically pulled the deer out of the mud and on to dry land.
Wellesley Fire Lieutenant Chuck DiGiandomenico works to free the deer.
A cheer went up through a small crowd that had gathered on Glen Road to watch the rescue as the deer was pulled free. Wellesley Police officers and firefighters then put the animal on a stretcher and carried the deer through the woods and across a stream to a waiting Boston Animal Rescue League vehicle. The deer was going to be evaluated for injuries at the Rescue League.


West Boylston Police and Fire Departments rescue missing dog from icy brook

"Teddy," an 18-month-old male Bernese Mountain Dog who had escaped from his home in West Boylston, MA on January 28, was rescued by members of the town's Fire and Police departments this morning after he fell through thin ice on the Malden Street Brook.

Teddy's disappearance had been widely publicized by Granite State Dog Recovery, a Salem, New Hampshire-based nonprofit organization whose volunteers use social networking and Internet resources to help reunite missing dogs with their families through the New England states. According to an article in today's Worcester Telegram, Granite State Dog Recovery was instrumental in locating 100 lost dogs during the month of January alone. The group's Facebook page has more than 15,000 followers.

Based on information posted on the West Boylston Police Department's Facebook page, Teddy is currently being treated at The Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Tufts Veterinary campus in Grafton. Teddy's owner, Mark Lange, reported that Teddy has lost some weight, but seems to be doing remarkably well in the aftermath of his ordeal. The dog will remain at Tufts overnight for continued observation.

Teddy was the second Bernese Mountain Dog who disappeared from a Massachusetts home during the month of January. Granite State Dog Recovery has been working to publicize the disappearance of another one, a five-year-old female named Moira, who vanished from her Pepperell, MA home on January 18.

Hero Saves Turtle at Sea: Thrilling Video Clip

Hero Saves Turtle at Sea: Thrilling Video Clip

Watch as a man kayaking Oman’s remote southern coast comes upon a sea turtle tangled in a discarded fishing net. Abandoned fishing nets and plastic litter are a huge problem along Oman’s 1,600 kilometers of coastline, especially in the more remote regions that are rarely visited.  While there is so much work to be done to clean the coastal waters and beaches, we can all take heart in this small act of kindness that has set one very grateful turtle on his way.

For more great videos and the rest of this story, visit The Great Animal Rescue Chase’s here.

Or  Read more:

One Man Stops, Dozens of Others Walk Past Shivering Dog

One Man Stops, Dozens of Others Walk Past Shivering Dog

Written by Ed Kostro of Illinois

The new year had started on a very sad note — there was another very sad phone call concerning a tiny dog apparently dumped in a big city park.  “She really looks sad, lonely, and frightened.  Have you got time to come out here?”  How could I refuse? “I’ll be right there.” And when I got there, she immediately broke my heart.  She was forlornly sitting there at a snow-covered baseball diamond, trembling uncontrollably, and so very sadly watching numerous people who were very happily walking their happy canines all about.

“When we first spotted her, she was frantically racing all around the park, as if she were looking for someone.  Now, she’s just been sitting there, as if she’s given up.” I slowly approached her, and she didn’t move a muscle.  So I bent down and I softly stroked her furry little head.  And now, she very sadly looked up into my eyes with the saddest pair of canine eyes that I had ever seen. Definitely dumped here by someone, I thought to myself.

She Couldn’t Even Lift Her Tail

She didn’t protest or attempt to run off when I put a lead around her neck, and now I saw what extremely terrible shape she was in.  Her fur was extremely matted and filthy, and gobs of frozen feces clung to her tiny backside.  She was so matted up and covered in caked-up poop that she couldn’t even lift her tiny tail from between her grossly matted legs.

As I led her away, several people asked me what I would do with her now.  “This poor little girl definitely needs some TLC and a hot soapy bath.”  And soon, she and I were on our way to my vet’s office.  As I drove there, she quickly crawled into my lap for some extra warmth, and she finally stopped trembling. At the vet’s office, they took one look at her and said “Poor little thing!  She’s definitely had a very rough time of it.  What will you call her?”  And I soon replied, ‘Little Pooh.’

Of course she had no collar, no tags and no micro-chip.  Dumped dogs usually don’t; and, of course, she had not been spayed.  I spent several days attempting to determine if anyone were looking for her; and of course, no one was. Little Pooh now spent the next week at the animal hospital being cared for, fed, shaved, bathed, spayed and vaccinated.  When my wife and I went to pick her up, I didn’t even recognize her; she looked completely different, and much happier, than when I had first seen her in the park.

As we drove home, Little Pooh clung to my wife’s chest very closely, and she kept kissing my wife’s cheek.  And now, her tiny little shaved tail was even wagging with joy. When we arrived back home, our other rescued street orphans immediately took a liking to her, and she to them, and she was soon very happily cavorting about with them in our backyard.

One of our neighbors eventually arrived to take a look at her, and she soon shouted:  “Oh, My God!  A Little Poodle!  My best friend and her husband recently lost their beloved 16-year old poodle, and they’ve been looking for another one!” Very soon, our neighbor’s friends arrived at our home, and it was definitely love at first sight for both of them and for Little Pooh.  She very quickly had a loving new home. And this is my favorite kind of rescue story.  (See a photo of Little Pooh all cleaned up)

Read more:

Meet an American Veterinary Crime Fighter: Dr. Ernie Rogers, Animal CSI

Dr. Ernie Rogers, Canine CSI

Call it CSI — for animals. The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ newest hire is forensic veterinarian Dr. Ernie Rogers, DVM, Ph.D., an expert in investigating animal abuse and solving crimes against dogs, cats and the occasional alligator. He’s also the first employee with that title on the agency’s payroll. At a time when few industries are gaining jobs, animal welfare officials say that veterinary forensics and animal crime scene investigators are bright spots in the field. The SPCA credits the upswing to shows like Animal Planet’s Animal Cops, as well as heightened media coverage of abuse cases.

As he joins the agency’s law enforcement division, we chatted with Dr. Rogers about what it means to be a forensic veterinarian — and the crimes against animal-kind he helps solve on a day-to-day basis.

Q: What type of training did you need to get into the field?

A: Dr. Ernie Rogers: "I went to medical school and got my degree in veterinary medicine, and then I got a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology. I'd always wanted to work with the police force, so I started by working with police dogs.

Part of what you need is a scientist who can view the crimes from the point of view of an animal: Is it poisoned? What was it poisoned with? How long has it been dead? How long has it been decomposed? That’s normally what a medical examiner does, but that’s what I do."

Q: Why are we seeing an influx in animal crime scene investigations?

A: "People are becoming more and more aware of animal crime and how it affects their lives. A lot of animals that have been stolen out of yards have been used as baiting animals in dog fighting, for example. There's also 'trunking,' which is when they put two dogs in the trunk of a car and drive around. Then they open the trunk and the last dog living is the 'winner.' ”

To read more about this hero:;NewsLetter;Petwire;Jan-17;Article3


Departed but notable dogs of 2011


Leo, a Vicktory Dog (one of the Pit Bulls from Michael Vick’s “Bad Newz Kennelz) passed away the week of December 18th from a seizure disorder. Leo worked with cancer patients as a therapy dog.  He visited cancer patients weekly revealing a playful, loveable dog, and bit of a clown.  After Bad Newz Kennels, Leo went on and passed his Canine Good Citizen test as well as the Therapy Dogs International test. He even won an achievement award for his work from the Animal Farm Foundation.

Vicktory Dogs are the dogs who overcame horrific beginnings to become loving companions and some became therapy dogs.  Being one of Michael Vick’s dogs from his Bad Newz Kennelz – his dogfighting racket – many of these dogs were suffering from serious psychological and emotional trauma.  Their “vicktory” was overcoming the trauma and learn how to play, to relax, and to love.


She was also a hero. She was awarded as the top American Hero Dog for 2011 by the American Humane Association, and in 2002, won the United Kingdom Dickin Medal for her bravery. This honor was bestowed posthumously for Roselle died on June 26 of this year. She was the dog who guided her blind owner down 78 flights of stairs at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.   On that day, Michael Hingson and his guide dog, Roselle, worked in the World Trade Center on the 78th floor of Tower One.  They were both in the office when American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the other side of the building 18 floors above them.   Roselle did not panic; she remained focused on guiding Hingson down 78 floors to the ground.   She was also a calming presence for others trying to descend to safety.  Once on the ground, through the smoke and dust, Roselle guided Hingson to a subway entrance and even waited for the command to descend the stairs. She was also a good friend just doing her job.  Remaining loyal at the side of her owner.


Another 9/11 hero.  Charlie, a former member of the NYPD K-9 Unit who scoured the rubble at Ground Zero after the World Trade Center attacks, died in January natural causes, just short of his 13th birthday. Charlie was 13 months old and untrained when he arrived from the Czech Republic to join the NYPD K-9 unit.   After training, Charlie patrolled the five boroughs in eight-hour shifts. As a patrol dog, he was trained to detect human scent, and on any given day could go from hunting a felon to searching for a lost child. He was just a year into his job when the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster happened.  Charlie was quickly cross-trained into Search and Rescue to work the wreckage at Ground Zero. Charlie worked until age 7, when his handler requested the department retire him.  He remained with his handler in her home during his retirement until he peacefully passed on.


She didn’t scale 20 feet wreckage at Ground Zero.  She didn’t bring a burglar to ground, or keep a sex offender at bay.  She also didn’t save her family from a devastating fire. Nala died after being hit by a car near the Atlanta airport at the beginning of 2011.  She escaped her crate being transferred between flights from California to Germany on Delta Airlines in December 2010. When her story hit The Consumerist, many offered to help search for her.  There were volunteers in Atlanta walking the area with her owner, Alisa Miller.  Many followed this blog for updates.  It was a crushing blow when her body was found along a stretch of highway near the airport.  And here it is a year later, and that pain I had when I got the email Nala was dead still hurts. Nala was a loved family member.  A dog doesn’t need to be any greater than that.  It’s wonderful we have hero dogs and dogs defying the worst man can dish out.  But all they ever want, or are contented to have, is a home. That is what all dogs want.  They want the comfort of their people.  The warmth of a home with a bed, good food, quiet time with pets and hugs, trips to the park, playtime, and squeaky toys!!!

Celebrate your dog!  Love your animals – your bestest friends!  Shower them with all the love your heart can give.  When you love an animal, it awakens the best you have.

They will be our friends for always and always and always. – Rudyard Kipling


Caring for Pets of the Homeless

Woman recognizes need and provides help to animal owners on the streets

Genevieve Frederick, founder of Feeding Pets of the Homeless

At home with her companion Kaiya, Genevieve Frederick is the founder of a nonproft that feeds and cares for pets of the homeless. — Photo by Renee C. Byer

When Genevieve Frederick visited New York City in 2006, she saw a homeless man on the sidewalk, begging. Lying next to him was a dog. Frederick wondered why a guy who can barely feed himself would have a pet. "Then the answer became obvious," she recalls. "Pets are loyal, nonjudgmental companions that provide comfort and even protection and warmth. They may be a homeless person's only companion."

See also: Tails of love.

From that seemingly insignificant incident, Frederick, now 64, embarked on a mission that resulted in the founding of Pets of the Homeless, an organization that provides food and veterinary care for pets of homeless people throughout the United States and parts of Canada.

Determined to help, Frederick launched Pets of the Homeless in 2007. She started by asking her dog's veterinarians, Gary Ailes and Woody Allen, to collect pet food donations. The local media picked up the story, and on the first day of collection, the donations filled a 55-gallon trash can.

Since then, other businesses have joined the effort, and drives have spurred contributions. At last count, more than 79 tons of pet food have been donated. In August, the organization sponsored its latest drive — the second national Give a Dog a Bone week, which encouraged people to bring pet food donations to a site near them.

Next: Number of homeless people with pets continues to grow. >>


Sirius. Gone Too Soon.

He was named after the brightest winter star in the Northern Hemisphere – Sirius the Dog Star.  A star of  legend and mythology. K-9 Sirius was a yellow Labrador Retriever,born in January 1997. He became an Explosive Detection Dog upon graduation from the Port Newark K-9 Center on July 15, 2000, he was assigned Badge #17 and was partnered with Officer Dave Lim of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police K-9 Unit.  Lima and Sirius were stationed at the World Trade Center where they often searched hundreds of trucks and vehicles each day, as part of America’s “War on Terrorism”.   Sirius was the only police dog killed by the terrorists on September 11, 2001. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Sirius and Officer Lim were at their Station located in the basement of Tower Two.  Lim heard an explosion and assumed a bomb had gone off, not knowing that it was actually the first hijacked airliner that crashed into WTC Tower One.  Officer Lim went to aid evacuation of people from the building and left Sirius in his Kennel, thinking 1) it would be easier to have two free hands, and 2) Sirius would be safe in Tower Two basement.  He promised Sirius he would be back.

Officer Lim failed to return for Sirius.  Becoming trapped in the falling debris of Tower One, he wasn’t rescued until five hours later.  Lim tried to make his way to the basement but was stopped by other rescue workers for it was two dangerous. Four months later, on January 21, 2002, recovery teams at Ground Zero located Sirius’s remains.  It was determined Sirius was killed instantly when the tower collapsed.  Officer Lim was there when recovery teams found Sirius.   Everything stopped and everyone saluted while Lim and other officers carried his dog’s body from the wreckage – draped with the American Flag.

A Memorial Service for Sirius was held on April 24, 2002 at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. Earlier that month, Sirius had been posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross at the British Embassy in Manhattan. Almost one hundred police dogs wearing badges covered by black ribbon as far away as California attended and filed past the wooden urn containing the ashes of Sirius, each stopping to salute.  Seven officers fired a 21-gun salute. FBI Special Agent Gerry Fornino, who had been in charge of searching for evidence and personal belongings at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, presented Officer Lim with Sirius’ metal water bowl, which had been pulled from Lim’s car.

The bowl had been inscribed with Sirius’ shield number and the words: “I gave my life so that you may save others.” He was a loyal and courageous dog.  He was also a good friend. Rest in Peace, Sirius. Your memory will be added to the legend of the star that shares your name. Shiny and Sparkly and Splendidly Bright, Here One Day, Gone One Night – from Michael Jackson’s Gone Too Soon.

Update: There is now a Sirius Courage Award.  The first two Sirius Courage Awards will be presented by Lt. David W. Lim posthumously to the family of SGT Zainah Caye Creamer, USA, and to the family of Petty Officer First Class John Douangdara, USN.   The awards will be presented during the  9-11 Working Dog Recognition Ceremony at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011.

To read more:


For Gallantry, We Also Serve

Yes, they also serve.

Animals have aided man in battle and disaster ever since ancient times.   Medals of Honor have been bestowed upon men and women for heroism and bravery for decades, but never to animals. Only the United Kingdom has a medal strictly for animals that have served above and beyond in war and disaster.  The Dickin Medal.  A medal which is equivalent to the Victoria Cross, and the Congressional Medal of Honor here in the USA.  It’s the only one of it’s kind.

The Dickin Medal was instituted in 1943 in the United Kingdom by Maria Dickin to honor the work of animals in war.  Maria Dickin was the founder of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a British charity that provides care for sick and injured animals of the poor.  Maria established the award for any animal displaying bravery and devotion to duty whilst serving with the British armed forces or civil emergency services. The medal was awarded 54 times between 1943 and 1949 to 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, 3 horses and a cat for their heroism during World War II.

One recipient of the Dickin Medal was Rip, a dog made homeless after the Luftwaffe attack on East London in 1940.   He attached himself to an Air Raid unit that had started to feed him scraps as they sifted through rubble looking for victims.  Rip demonstrated a remarkable ability at digging out survivors – almost supernatural.  He was never trained as a search and rescue dog.  Rip just *dug into* work and found numerous survivors.   He had the ability to withstand exploding bombs, air raid sirens, fire and smoke.  This led authorities to later train dogs formally to trace casualties. The last animal to receive the Dickin Medal during war time was Tich, a mixed breed dog that served with the 1st Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps between 1941 and 1945.

Salty, Roselle, and Apollo

In 2002, the award went to Apollo, a search and rescue dog who served with the K-9 unit of the New York Police Department.  Apollo and his handler were called in to assist with the rescue operations after the attacks. They arrived at the World Trade Center fifteen minutes after the attack, making Apollo the first search and rescue dog to arrive at the site after the collapse of  the World Trade Center.   At one point, Apollo was almost killed by flames and falling debris. However, he survived, having been drenched after falling into a pool of water just before this incident. Undaunted, Apollo shook off the debris and immediately started working.

A dog mourns and says goodbye to his owner, a soldier killed in action.

The remains of Petty Officer Jon Tumilson lie in state in his hometown of Rockford, Iowa.  His dog, Hawkeye, was led to his casket to say goodbye. Thirty-five year old Tumilson died on August 6th when a rocket-propelled grenade downed a helicopter, killing 30 Americans and eight Afghans. The picture speaks for itself.

Thank you Andrea:

This is a true story of a hero and inspiration to China


In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, took in Hachikō as a pet. During his owner's life, Hachikō greeted him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachikō was waiting. Every day for the next nine years the golden brown Akita waited at Shibuya station. The permanent fixture at the train station that was Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. They brought Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait. This continued for nine years with Hachikō appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.


Hachikō died on March 8, 1935, and was found on a street in Shibuya. After decades of rumors, in March 2011 scientists settled the cause of death of Hachiko. The dog had terminal cancer and a filaria infection (worms). There were also four yakitori sticks in Hachiko's stomach, but the sticks did not damage his stomach or cause his death. Hachikō's stuffed and mounted remains are kept at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo.

To read more:

The Dog That Cornered Osama Bin Laden ... not your standard K9

When U.S. President Barack Obama went to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, last week for a highly publicized, but very private meeting with the commando team that killed Osama bin Laden, only one of the 81 members of the super-secret SEAL DevGru unit was identified by name: Cairo, the war dog.
Cairo, like most canine members of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs, is a Belgian Malinois. The Malinois breed is similar to German shepherds but smaller and more compact, with an adult male weighing in the 30-kilo range.

German shepherds are still used as war dogs by the American military but the lighter, stubbier Malinois is considered better for the tandem parachute jumping and rappelling operations often undertaken by SEAL teams. Labrador retrievers are also favored by various military organizations around the world

Like their human counterparts, the dog SEALs are highly trained, highly skilled, highly motivated special ops experts, able to perform extraordinary military missions by sea, Air and Land (thus the acronym). The dogs carry out a wide range of specialized duties for the military teams to which they are attached: With a sense of smell 40 times greater than a humans, the dogs are trained to detect and identify both explosive material and hostile or hiding humans. The dogs are twice as fast as a fit human, so anyone trying to escape is not likely to outrun Cairo or his buddies.

The dogs, equipped with video cameras, also enter certain danger zones first, allowing their handlers to see whats ahead before humans follow. As I mentioned before, SEAL dogs are even trained parachutists, jumping either in tandem with their handlers or solo, if the jump is into water. Last year canine parachute instructor Mike Forsythe and his dog Cara set the world record for highest man-dog parachute deployment, jumping from more than 30,100 feet up the altitude transoceanic passenger jets fly at. Both Forsythe and Cara were wearing oxygen masks and skin protectors for the jump.

As well, the dogs are faithful, fearless and ferocious incredibly frightening and efficient attackers. When the SEAL DevGru team (usually known by its old designation, Team 6) hit bin Ladens Pakistan compound on May 2, Cairos feet would have been four of the first on the ground. And like the human SEALs, Cairo was wearing super-strong, flexible body Armour and outfitted with high-tech equipment that included doggles  specially designed and fitted dog goggles with night-vision and infrared capability that would even allow Cairo to see human heat forms through concrete walls.

Jim Slater was a canine handler on the Winnipeg Police Force when he crafted a Kevlar protective jacket for his own dog, Olaf, in the mid-1990s. Soon Slater was making body Armour for other cop dogs, then the Canadian military and soon the world. The standard K9 Storm vest also has a load-bearing harness system that makes it ideal for tandem rappelling and parachuting.

Just as the Navy SEALS and other elite special forces are the sharp point of the American military machine, so too are their dogs at the top of a canine military hierarchy. In all, the U.S. military currently has about 2,800 active-duty dogs deployed around the world, with roughly 600 now in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here's the link to a dandy photo essay about U.S. war dogs that just appeared in the journal Foreign Policy. Several of the photos I have included here are from Foreign Policy, as you will see.

As for the ethics of sending dogs to war, that's pretty much a moot point, don't you think? If its ethical to send humans into combat, then why not dogs? At least the U.S. now treats its war dogs as full members of the military.


Gill Dalley Awarded The 2011 Canine Hero Of The Year Award...

Phuket, Thailand.  June, 2011. Gill Dalley, a director of Phuket’s iconic Soi Dog Foundation has been named the first Asia Pacific Canine hero. Sponsored by the China based Genlin foundation.

Mrs Dalley, who with husband John and a dedicated group of staff and volunteers, run the dog rescueoperation on Phuket and surrounding provinces, receives USD$10,000[Baht302,000] from the award, which is the first China based  award promoting canine welfare in the Asia Pacific region.

Mrs Dalley is donating the USD$10,000 [Baht302,000] award money to the Soi  Dog Foundation save the shelter fund.

In 2008 Gill Daley became the first non-Asian to be awarded Asian of the Year for her work with Soi Dog Foundation. In 2004 she contracted septicemia while rescuing a dog from a flooded water buffalo field and lost both her lower legs, and almost her life. The Soi Dog Foundation needs to raise 5 million before November, to avoid closing the 250 dog shelter and veterinary clinic and having to move off Phuket.

The SPCA citation for the award said it was “in recognition of your tireless efforts in dog rescue, rehabilitation and adoption in the area.” Mrs Dalley was flown to Chengdu, China to accept the award. Soi Dog is in a desperate race to raise by October the remaining 5 million, half the value of the shelter land at Mai Khao in Phuket’s north-east, otherwise it is earmarked to be sold to commercial interests. 5 million has already been raised.

Commented John Dalley: “ Gill’s award is a fantastic recognition of her dedication towards the sterilization of more than 32,000 dogs on Phuket and caring for dogs kept at the shelter because they are unfit to return to where they come from.

To read more:

Last week two beautiful young women lost their lives all for the love of a dog.  Both deaths were tragic and senseless.

Tiffany Jantelle Tiffany and her friends stopped to aid a dying dog at the side of a road in Franklin Twp., New Jersey.  Tiffany was hit by a speeding truck coming up the road.  She died later that night from severe head injuries.  The driver of the truck stopped, got out, and with an “OH SHIT” got back in his truck and left the scene.  Three days later Brian McCauslin was arrested outside Harrisburg, PA and is in police custody waiting extradition to New Jersey. Tiffany Jantelle loved and cared for animals all her life.  She died caring for an injured dog on the side of the road.

Taylor Stinchcomb For her 13th birthday, Taylor Stinchcomb adopted a 4-year-old Doberman pinscher from an animal shelter and named him Romulus. The two were inseparable.  Romulus became ill with cancer and the family discussed putting the dog to sleep. Taylor was so distraught that she and her girlfriend loaded Romulus into her parent’s minivan without permission and fled the house.  Both were 15 years old with no driver’s license. With her friend driving, the van flew off a rural road and struck several trees and a utility pole. Taylor and Romulus were killed in the crash, while the driver suffered minor injuries.  Taylor was active as a volunteer in the community, loved animals, played softball, active in her church youth group, and had many, many friends.  She planned to spend the summer helping the poor. 

Brian McCauslin

By Andrea, June, 2011 To read more:

A Little Boy's Best Friend, Missing Boy Rescued - VIDEO

January 31st, 2011 | 

Late Saturday afternoon in Dickson County, TN, a six-year-old little boy went missing and as any missing child story is beyond tragic and scary, what make this one a bit more heart-wrenching is that this little boy, Caleb Walker, is autistic and went missing wearing only a pair of shorts, no shoes or shirt.  He’d been outside playing with his trusty dog, Milo, by his side when he wandered away and luckily for him when he went missing Milo went with him.

Needless to say, search teams went all out looking for little Caleb, searching on foot, with K-9 teams and from the air.  Six hours later one of the K-9 teams found Milo who led them to Caleb. Caleb was safely returned to his worried family, little worse for wear and little Milo is being hailed as a hero for staying by the boy’s side and leading his rescuers to him.  Good dog Milo!! 

To see the video:

ASPCA on the Front lines: Anatomy of a Raid

Readers of News Alert know that the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team deploys many times a year to rescue animal victims of cruelty, abuse and neglect around the country. Here’s an inside look at how we execute these large-scale raids and rescue hundreds of animals at a time.

Investigation and Planning
An ASPCA Regional Director of Field Investigations and Response gets a call requesting that we help rescue animals in an abusive situation, and the wheels of a raid are set in motion. The FIR Team is especially in demand for criminal investigations, but “where there are animals in need, that’s our priority,” says Jeff Eyre, Northeast Regional Director of Field Investigations and Response. An essential and early component of a raid’s early planning, notes Allison Cardona, ASPCA Operations Director, is ensuring that the team has established legal grounds. “Just like with a human crime, we need to have probable cause,” she says.

When the Regional Director and Operations Director have coordinated a cohesive plan, the team springs into action. That often involves constructing a temporary shelter from scratch—and it can’t always be out in the open in a criminal case, says Tim Rickey, head of the FIR Team.

Raid and Forensics
Once the FIR Team is ready to carry out the raid, “we have pretty strict protocols on how we approach things,” says Tim Rickey. Accompanied by veterinary professionals, the team arrives on the property and immediately sets to work taking a full inventory of the animals, listing where the animals came from on the property and notating any scars or injuries—all evidence for criminal proceedings.

As soon as possible, the FIR Team brings the animals to safety using transport vehicles. The team currently has two—one 40 feet and one 28 feet—but they’re ordering two more this year. “Surprisingly, the actual removal part is the quickest for us,” says Rickey. “Our team can go in and remove 300 or 400 animals in less than a day.”

Sheltering and Treatment
The animals are greeted at the temporary shelter by a medical team, animal handlers and a general staff. They go through triage—where vets examine them and do any necessary emergency treatments, as well as take notes on the animals’ overall condition and lay out a treatment plan.

When the ASPCA becomes the legal guardian of rescued animals, we aim to place them in loving homes, both through our extensive network of shelter partners and rescues and through adoption events of our own.

Long-Term Commitment
“We want to approach investigations in a really holistic way and be a resource to local organizations,” Rickey says. So when the dramatic rescue work is done, the ASPCA sees all the details of a case through to the end.

To help or read more:


An inseparable pair: dog collapses and dies after army handler is killed

Tributes flow in to the British soldier who worked with his dog to defuse bombs in Afghanistan. Colleagues said army dog handler Liam Tasker was inseparable from his spaniel, Theo, and so it was to the end. When Lance Corporal Tasker was shot dead in southern Afghanistan, his dog survived the shooting only to suffer a fatal heart attack when it returned to the British base at Camp Bastion. Tasker, 26, was on patrol north of Nahr-e-Saraj in Helmand province on Tuesday with the spaniel, which was trained to search for arms and explosives, when they were caught in gunfire. He died from his injuries. He was described as having a "natural empathy with dogs". His successful operations "undoubtedly saved many lives", the Ministry of Defence said. The army has about 400 dogs trained to sniff out explosives and weapons but the ministry declined to say how many were deployed in Afghanistan.

Liam Tasker training his spaniel, Theo, last month at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.

His family said: "He died a hero doing a job he was immensely passionate about. We are so proud of him and everything he's achieved."Among many tributes, Liam Fox, the defence secretary, said: "From the accounts made by his military colleagues and his family, I understand that he was a dedicated and highly capable soldier, whose skills in handling dogs were second to none. He and his dog Theo had saved lives and for this, we will be eternally grateful."

A total of 358 UK military personnel have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

 To read more:



Whether this be your first rescue or your hundredth, this is the place for you. Join the tournament to save one million.


Harmony Fund

Hard work and devotion are only half the battle.  Donate and join our global journey to rescue animals all over the planet!  2 Ways to Celebrate the Hero in You!

The Great Animal Rescue Chase

The Great Animal Rescue Chase celebrates the art of animal rescue with a worldwide race to rescue one million.  It’s a free event, open to all, and is perhaps the only global animal rescue event aimed at helping any animal in distress, anywhere in the world.  Our ambition is to create a culture of enthusiasm and pride in animal activism.  We believe in teaching, by example, that there is a hero in each of us just waiting to be unleashed.  Empowered animal lovers can not only save lives, but build the momentum for powerful animal welfare reform.

The Harmony Fund

The Harmony Fund is a USA based 501(c)3 charity that sponsors some of the very best animal protection efforts around the world.  We support projects that raise the standards of welfare for the pets in our lives, the animals on our farms and the wild things in the forest and the sea. 

By donating to the Harmony Fund, you'll help deliver financial support to highly effective organizations who demonstrate tremendous potential to benefit animals.   Help us bring chained outdoor dogs into the heart of family life, provide spay/neuter education and free surgery for pets in low income communities, support programs that elevate the care of farm animals, provide habitat protection for wildlife and so much more.  

Contact Us

To contact The Great Animal Rescue Chase or the Harmony Fund, click here:

Notable Dogs of 2010
There are thousands of dogs out there that have made a difference in the life of a human.  Thousands that protect and serve.  Thousands that have suffered abuse, torture, and neglect.  Thousands that have said goodbye.



The German Shepherd dog that led authorities to a fire at his owners’ property in April 2010.  Buddy’s owner, Ben Heinrichs, was working on a vehicle in his workshop outside the family home in Caswell Lakes, Alaska when a spark from a heater ignited gasoline. Ben Heinrichs suffered flash burns to his face and second-degree burns to his left hand, and the fire became fully-involved in the workshop. Heinrichs set his dog loose with the intention to have the dog get help.  A state trooper dispatched to the scene had difficulty finding the address because the squad car’s GPS device wasn’t working. The trooper then sighted Buddy on the road one mile away from the Heinrichs home and decided to follow the running dog on a hunch Buddy was on a “mission”.  The chase was captured on the trooper’s dashcam.  View the dashcam video. Buddy was officially honored by the community police department in recognition of his bravery and intelligence. Buddy received a silver-plated dog bowl inscribed with a trooper badge, a giant rawhide bone, and a letter describing Buddy’s heroic actions.


During this past summer, Rebecca Northern took a dive into her pool to cool off after a hard day of chores.  She miscalculated the pool depth, struck her head on the concrete bottom and broke her neck .   Partially paralyzed and in pain, Rebecca probably saw her life flash before her eyes.  But the real “flash” was the quick action of her little Jack Russell terrier, Selena. From the edge of the pool, Selena wedged herself under Rebecca’s armpit and kept her moving to the steps in the shallow end.  The little dog barked, and growled and refused to give up until Rebecca was safe.  Rebecca had fractured her seventh vertebra.  She was flown by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where she had surgery to replace the shattered bone. No doubt Selena has been enjoying these past months with extra treats, intense spoiling, and most likely – squeaky toys!


If 11-year-old Austin Forman has an “angel”, it comes in the form of a Golden Retreiver.  In early January 2010, Austin was collecting firewood outside his family’s home in the Fraser Valley, B.C.  When Austin reached the back door of his home, his pet dog, Angel, started to bark furiously.  As Austin turned to check it out he was met with a nightmare.  He saw Angel intercept a charging cougar. The animals fought viciously under a porch until the RCMP arrived.  They arrived just when it looked like Angel was losing the fight – the cougar was gnawing at Angel’s bleeding neck.  The cougar was shot dead and Angel was badly injured.  In fact, everyone thought her dead.  Angel required surgery and stitches to repair puncture wounds and a skull fracture. Angel recovered from her wounds and has been receiving big, fat, juicy steaks, and Austin was told never to dawdle around his chores again.  Am quite sure Austin didn’t argue.

K-9 Nike

Winner of the 2010 AKC Humane Fund Award, Nike, an  11-year old German Shepherd Dog, spent almost a lifetime serving the citizens of New Castle County, Delaware, along with his partner, Senior Corporal Mark Tobin.  And it was quite the decade of service.  Nike and his handler was responsible for the seizure of 1.6 million dollars worth of drugs and 161 apprehensions ranging from murder to burglary. Including the discovery of a knife that had been used to commit a homicide and led to the authorities charging the suspect with murder. With expert tracking ability, he found a 12-year old who had overdosed just in time to save her life – in a driving rainstorm, a six-year old autistic boy who had disappeared in 97 degree heat, and an Alzheimer’s patient who had wandered away from home wearing only a nightgown on a frigid, windy night.  The team also spotted a two-year old child walking alone on a busy street. Nike was able to track back to the child’s father, who was later arrested. Nike is now retired living with Officer Tobin.  But he still rushes to the door when Tobin leaves for work expecting to be included in a busy day as a police officer.  I guess there is no taking the “police officer” out of this dog.

To see More:

2010 Missouri Mill Dog Rescue - 40 Saved

Dogs Arrived at the Animal League on Tuesday September 21, 2010

North Shore Animal League America played a vital role in the rescue of 40 mill dogs that were saved from an inhumane commercial breeding facility in Missouri, thanks to generous support from News Corp.

The dogs, which are mainly Shih-Tzus and other Mutt-i-grees®, arrived at the Animal League on Tuesday, September 21, 2010.

The dogs are currently receiving complete medical and behavioral evaluations and any necessary medical care. As they become ready, they will be placed for adoption at the Animal League’s pet adoption headquarters in Port Washington, NY.


Honor All Our Soldiers.

This holiday weekend between the cookouts, parades, and the extra day off, please take some time to remember our Military Heroes.  The men and women who died for our country, and the ones currently on tour of duty overseas.  Also take the time to remember our Military Working Dogs.  America’s war dogs are trained to recognize booby traps, mines tunnels, weapons caches, and warn troops about ambushes. They saved thousands of lives by their service.  They served in WWII, Vietnam, Korea, Operation Desert Storm, and they are still used today overseas in the Middle East. 

These dogs have faithfully stood by their handlers and protected troops during America’s wars.  Their handlers were equally proud.

Around the United States, there are many memorial sites dedicated to Military Working Dogs.

The Alabama War Dog Memorial at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama.

Faithful Partner – Guardian of the Night at Eglin Air Force Base in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.

Hartsdale Pet Cemetery War Dog Memorial, Hartsdale, New York. 

West Coast War Dog Memorial at the March Field Air Museum in Riverside, California.

The War Dog Memorial.  Village of Streamwood Memorial Park, Streamwood, Illinois.

Barrington War Dog Memorial, Barrington Cemetery, Barrington, New Hampshire.

U.S. War Dog Memorial at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Holmdel, New Jersey.

War Dog Memorial at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Soldier’s Best Friend.  Bristol Twp. War Dog Memorial at the Bristol Township Municipal Building, Bristol, Pennsylvania.

To learn more about Military Working Dogs, here are a few great sites to visit:

United States War Dog Association Website 

War Dogs

USDOD Military Dogs 

US Military Working Dog Foundation


Only in Oregon: Oregon Firefighters Rescue 1,500-Pound Camel From Sinkhole

The camel rested on its side for about one hour after being rescued then stood up and walked back to his barn, McAdoo told the station. A veterinarian said the animal looked uninjured. "It could have been our kids," Kim Dilworth, the camel's owner, told Fox 12 Oregon. "And Moses is [like] our child."

Click here for more on this story from Fox 12 Oregon.    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


League Pet Rescue

Across the U.S., the Animal League responds to the call from other shelter and rescue groups that are forced to destroy animals as a means of population control, and we respond to the cries of so many dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens in peril that count on us to save their lives.

Our Rescue Efforts

As the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, our hands-on work in animal rescue is unmatched, and we’re very proud that our efforts have rescued, nurtured, and adopted close to 1,000,000 animals to date.

Learn more about…

Puppy Mill and Purebred Rescue

Nationwide Rescue

Natural Disasters & Emergency Pet Rescue

New York/Tri-State Rescue



If you'd like to help, sponsor, or adopt:

Cat stranded on Carver Bridge rescued

Ulli Neitch of the Oregon Humane Society's Technical Animal Recue Team grasps a cat stranded on the Carver Bridge. A cat stuck on the Carver Bridge 40 feet over the Clackamas River is back on solid ground after the Oregon Humane Society's Technical Animal Rescue Team rescued it this morning. The cat was stranded on a bridge abutment, with no way to get down, according to David Lytle of the Oregon Humane Society.

Ulli Neitch, a member of the rescue team, rappelled over the bridge railing onto the cement footing about 7 feet from the railing, said Kathy Covey, one of the six rescue team volunteers who went to the bridge. Neitch spent 20 minutes gaining the cat's confidence, then was able to grasp the cat, put it into a cloth bag, and lower it safely to the river bank.

Neitch, with the cat in a bag, is lowered to the river bank 40 feet below the bridge.

Rescuers estimated the cat had been stranded on the bridge for five days. Covey said the gray and white cat was friendly and healthy, but dirty and very hungry. The cat, which had no visible identification, was taken to Oregon Humane Society for medical evaluation. If the owner is not found, the cat could placed up for adoption in a few days. The animal rescue team is supported entirely through private donations to the nonprofit Oregon Humane Society and receives no tax dollars, Lytle said.

Altho I don't agree with how they do some things but at least they ARE doing something with hearts in the right place.


Current animal rights prisoners of conscience

Updated: 2 November, 2011
Please write cards or letters to the following prisoners. Even if you just send a card with a brief message, receiving a message of support from the outside world can make a huge difference to the prisoner. Remember all correspondence is read by prison staff. Also don’t expect a reply as there is a limit to the number of letters each prisoner can write. Many prisons in the Uk are signed up to the 'Email a Prisoner' service, where you can email letters to all UK AR prisoners, see their website for more details:

Uk prisoners

Mel Broughton (A3892AE)
HMP Bullingdon, PO Box 50, Oxford OX25 1WD.

Mel was remanded on 14 December 2007 and was sentenced on 13th February 2009 to 10 years. You can email using:

Support Page
Birthday: 5th July

Tom Harris

Tom is one of the second UK SHAC 6 trial campaigners and has been sentenced at Winchester Crown Court to 4 years on 25-10-10 for conspiracy to blackmail HLS and other companies involved with HLS. Tom has asked to be not listed anymore, as it wants to concentrate on his studies. He thanks everyone for all the letters of support he has had.

What you can send: Only stamps and cheques/postal orders made out to ‘HMP Services’ with Tom’s name and number and the sender’s details on reverse. Also you can email using:

Gavin Medd-Hall (A3624AD)
HMP Coldingley, Shaftesbury Road, Bisley, Woking, Surrey GU24 9EX
In January 2009 Gavin was sentenced to 8 years in relation to charges in connection with HLS campaigns. (One of the UK SHAC 7) Support page
Birthday: 20th March

What you can send: stamps (12 in letter); Self-addressed envelopes, cheques/postal orders made out to ‘HMP Headquarters’ with Gavin’s name and number and sender’s details on reverse. (Please remember that Gavin has poor eyesight and will appreciate if you write in clear, large writing). Also you can email using:

Heather Nicholson (A3158AJ)
HMP Foston Hall, Foston, Derby, Derbyshire DE65 5DN
In January 2009 Heather was sentenced to 11 years in relation to charges in connection with HLS campaigns. (One of the UK SHAC 7) Support Page
Birthday: 30th January

What you can send: Cheques/postal orders made out to 'HMPS', Write Heather's name and number on the back. Stamps & an SAE. Also stationery and blank cards, no parcels. Also you can email using:

Sarah Whitehead (A8369CE) - Moved & new number - 10-07-11
HMP Downview, Sutton Lane, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5PD
Sarah is one of the second UK SHAC 6 trial campaigners and has been sentenced at Winchester Crown Court to 6 years on 25-10-10 for conspiracy to blackmail HLS and other companies involved with HLS.

Sarah has been in prison since 30th June 2008, after being sentenced previously to two years for removing a beagle from a garden where it was kept muzzled in a wooden cage and regularly beaten. Support page
Birthday: 12th February

What you can send: Postal orders made out to 'The Governor'. Books, stationery, stamps; an SAE. Write Sarah's name and number on the back. Also you can email using:

International prisoners

Nathan Block, 36359-086
FCI Lompoc, 3600 Guard Road, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA.
Sentenced 7 years and 8 months
Email support:
Birthday: 6th March



For more information or to send letters of support, email his support at:

Support site:

The Top Dogs of Super Bowl

It’s the second biggest eating day of the year with parties galore, multi-million dollar commercials shown exclusively for the game, and this year’s half-time act is The Who.  Even those like me who don’t know the difference between a touchdown and a field goal, will be watching the game on TV. 

But not everybody participating in the Super Bowl is a football player, a fan, or a TV camera person.  Working the game are the bomb-sniffing dogs of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  These K-9 teams are working side-by-side with other federal, state and local law-enforcement officers to keep the football teams and fans safe throughout this event.  These very special teams of trained dogs and their handlers are working to prevent any terrorists or criminal lunatics from planting explosives in or near the Sun Life Stadium in Miami.  These are the best canine teams in the country, and they have been training and preparing all year for this event. 

ATF’s program, which began in 1986, uses only Labrador Retrievers.  The dogs are supplied by the Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the Guide Dog Foundation, and Canine Companions for Independence.  These dogs are used because they are totally at ease in crowds.  They attend a 10-week training program with their handlers that are conducted at the ATF Canine Training Center in Front Royal, Virginia.  The dogs are taught what scents to alert their handlers to gunpowder, firearms, and a variety of explosives and components that could be used to make a bomb. Handlers learn what clues the dog gives when he scents one of these components and how to read the dog’s alerts. Once the K-9 teams complete the ATF basic training course, they begin their field work and continue to train on a daily basis.   

Any major event the draws large crowds also demands the presence of the ATF K-9 Teams. They are routinely used in criminal investigations and at high profile security events where their expertise is needed.   The ATF has also used its explosives detecting teams at other special events including the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, the Presidential Inauguration, the G-8, the World Series, NASCAR, and the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.   

So serve up the chili, pretzels, cheese and crackers, enjoy the game and may your favorite team be the winner.  Just keep in mind that patrolling along the 50 yard line, in and around the stadium are specially trained dogs helping to keep the event safe.

Help the Animal Rescue Team

  • Our Animal Rescue Team brings animals to safety and provides emergency care. Debbie Pegrem/Tunica Humane Society

Your donation to The HSUS Animal Rescue Team supports our work to save animals from disasters and animal cruelty and to help prosecute their abusers.

Every year we remove thousands of animals from puppy mills, animal fighting operations, out-of-control hoarders, and any situation—hurricanes, floods, tornadoes—where animals suffer.

Then we work with veterinarians, volunteers, and rescue and shelter partners across the country to get the animals healthy and on a path to their new homes. 

Donations to the Animal Rescue Team will be used to:

  • Provide a fully-equipped response team to rescue animals and care for them until they can be placed with rescue groups, in shelters, or in homes.
  • Provide assistance to local communities and law enforcement so that they can respond to disasters and urgent cases of animal cruelty, and to build local capacity for future cases.
  • Fund an investigations unit composed of former law enforcement agents and experts on illegal animal cruelty, animal fighting, and puppy mills so that we can work with law enforcement to shut down the worst operations for good.
  • Train law enforcement and prosecutors nationwide on taking action against criminals who harm animals, either with active malice or through neglect 
  • Fund and promote our reward fund that provides up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of animal fighters and other animal abusers
  • Provide care for animals seized in animal cruelty and fighting cases. Without this assistance, police are often reluctant to pursue cases involving large numbers of animals.

Learn more about the work of the Animal Rescue Team.

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