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With all the bad and sad animal stories we read here, and on the news, I want to try something here. Post any stories you come accross that are good stories of people doing things for animals, or happy animal news articles.

For example here is one I came accross in the link below.


NJ man swings ax to help animal shelter | Video | 6abc.com



When you come accross a good or happy animal related article post it here. Maybe this is one place we can come to for reading good things that go on out there with animals.
 

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Great Idea!

This is the newest news from my city, which is a VERY good thing--the new ASPCA shelter opens today! The old location, was just so depressing.

Homeless dogs, cats in Dallas get friendlier shelter | Dallas-Fort Worth Communities - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News

Because the newspaper went to premium subscription, I'll post the article as well:
By SCOTT K. PARKS Staff Writer [email protected]
Published: 28 December 2011 10:42 PM

The prospects for orphaned dogs and cats in Dallas will be looking up in 2012.
The Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center, scheduled to open Monday, replaces the outdated SPCA of Texas shelter on Riverfront Boulevard with a much larger, state-of-the-art building that houses neat stuff like the Transfer Dog Behavior Evaluation room equipped with a video camera.
Gone from the new building are the rows of chain-link fenced cages found in the dog pounds of old. They are replaced with glass-enclosed observation rooms that accommodate visits between pets and families that might want them.
“It takes away that jail-type look,” James Bias said during a recent tour of the new SPCA center in West Dallas.
Bias seems the perfect person to be president of the SPCA of Texas. He and his wife have four dogs, six cats, three goats, one horse and 11 children. As he moves through the gleaming new building, his passion for pets is evident.
“The idea is to create a system in which more animals move through the shelter quicker and we are able to save more lives,” he said.
This is the time of year when we humans talk about whether life will be better or worse in the new year. For dogs and cats and the SPCA staff that care for them, there is no question that 2012 will be a better year.
The 40-year-old shelter sits on 1.1 acres. The new shelter and its grounds cover seven acres, including several fenced, quarter-acre outdoor playgrounds where dogs can catch Frisbees or chase tennis balls.
Philanthropic support
The fundraising drive for the new animal shelter began almost eight years ago when Jim Moroney Jr. announced a $1 million donation from his late sister’s trust, the Betty Moroney Norsworthy Charitable Trust.
Other philanthropists subsequently stepped forward to support the project — the Rees-Jones Foundation, the Meadows Foundation and Myron Martin among them.
The SPCA acquired land on the westbound frontage road of I-30 and then purchased an office building once occupied by the United Methodist Church newspaper. The existing building provided the starting point for a renovation and expansion that ended up at 72,000 square feet.
Three main entrances at the front of the building accommodate the SPCA’s main functions.
Adopting families enter an atrium-like lobby decorated with gigantic photographs of impossibly cute dogs and cats. Those needing spay and neuter services enter into a clinic lobby that fronts an operating-room suite with the latest technology.
The third entrance — sadly enough — is for those giving up pets for adoption. This area includes private rooms for anyone overcome by emotion.
“We want to be sensitive to people, and we recognize how difficult it can be to lose a member of the family,” Bias said during a tour of the shelter.
Cat rotunda
The grimmer aspects of the shelter are leavened by more whimsical spaces such as the cat rotunda, built to resemble a circular fish bowl. Glass-enclosed cat “condos” are arranged around the circumference of the rotunda, which is infused with blue-hued ceiling, floor and lighting to resemble a refreshing pool. Colorful “Nemo-esque” ceramic fish hang from a light fixture.
A seating area allows potential adopters to observe the cats frolicking in their enclosures.
SPCA officials hope the new shelter will result in a 20 to 30 percent increase in pet adoptions during its first year of operation compared to the old shelter.
 

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Great Idea!

This is the newest news from my city, which is a VERY good thing--the new ASPCA shelter opens today! The old location, was just so depressing.

Hey DG, that article reminded me of another feel good video when I read “It takes away that jail-type look,” Have you heard of her?

 

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That photographer is a GENIUS! I am by no means a professional but I KNOW I can take better pics than the ones posted from our local shelter!!! I am going to look into helping!!! That guitar loving golden CRACKED ME UP!!!!!!!!!! I am just smiling ear to ear thinking about that handsome boy LOL!!!!!!! This thread was such a great idea!
 

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Hey DG, that article reminded me of another feel good video when I read “It takes away that jail-type look,” Have you heard of her?

I'm very familiar with her and her photos! She definitely helps with adoption rates for the groups she helps--and it's so true! In fact, I just saw my cousin sitting in the front row in the seminar Ms. Berg gave to other rescue groups! My cousin told me about the feature but I never caught it on the news. Thanks for posting this!
 

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I saw this video on CNN on Christmas Day. It made me think of the many touching stories I've read here on the GRF. Anyone working for the good of animals is a hero in my book.

ETA - this includes anyone who has answered a question on the forum, helped with transporting a dog, taken in a rescue, said a prayer, lit a candle, or just checked back on a thread. I personally consider so many people who've done things for me and Hannah without knowing us, to be great heroes. :)

Pilots and Paws
 

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Rob

Rob

Thank you so much for starting these Happy Pet Stories.
If you haven't read the story of Clint RedDog, please do.
Clint was on the Brink of death, just hanging on by a thread, and look at him now!

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003160832821#!/media/set/?set=a.101116833337011.1385.100003160832821&type=3

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003160832821#!/profile.php?id=100003160832821&sk=photos

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001457330782#!/profile.php?id=100003160832821
 

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Reunion of Troops and Afghan Dogs



Reuniting Troops with the Dogs they Befriended in Afghanistan

On Nov. 16 at JFK Airport, American Airlines, working with American Dog Rescue and Cathy Kangas, CEO and founder of PRAI Beauty, helped Nowzad Dogs with "Operation American Reunite," which brought together service members and the dogs they "adopted" while deployed to Afghanistan.

The dogs were transported to the United States by a freight operation from Kabul, Afghanistan, to Dubai, and then to London; from there, AA Cargo transported them to JFK Airport. American also provided air travel for the service members to come from across the country to reconnect with the dogs they befriended.

"Bringing their pets home to them from overseas is an important way to recognize the sacrifices made by our soldiers, and [we're] is glad to be able to help make it happen," said Captain Steve Blankenship, Managing Director - Veterans and Military Initiatives for American Airlines.

Nowzad Dogs is the first and only dog rescue organization serving the stray animals of Afghanistan. The organization - started by former British Royal Marine Pen Farthing - aims to bring back to the U.S. the dogs and cats that brought comfort and support to soldiers in Afghanistan so they can live with their owners.

"We have had an outpouring of emotional support from employees regarding this initiative," said Jennifer Pemberton, Senior Marketing Analyst, Cargo.
 

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This was in my morning paper. There is nothing like eating oatmeal and reading this heartwarming story through happy tears. :) It was due in large part from readers coming forward and making donations. :)

You can see the photos if you click on this link: Seizure dog

Here is the story:

Seizure dog’s become new best friend for McKinney boy with epilepsy

By ERIC AASEN Staff Writer [email protected]
Published: 06 January 2012 11:32 PM

After Oliver Kurlinski started having seizures, he became withdrawn and afraid. He didn’t want to be alone.
But the 5-year-old is a different boy now, thanks to his new dog, Hazy.
The dog has only been in the Kurlinskis’ McKinney home for a few weeks, but Oliver — who has epilepsy — now sleeps in his room with Hazy at his side. The boy plays with his toys — and Hazy, too — while his mom prepares dinner in the kitchen. And when Oliver has a seizure, Hazy alerts his family.
During Oliver’s seizures, Hazy will sniff the boy’s mouth and head. Sometimes, she can predict a seizure up to two hours in advance.
“Hazy makes him feel safe,” said his mother, Heather Kurlinski. “It just thrills him. It just gives him such a sense of accomplishment. It’s more than I ever expected.”
Last March, Oliver was featured in a The Dallas Morning News story about his family’s quest to raise $13,000 to get a seizure-detecting dog from Ohio-based 4 Paws for Ability.
The day the story ran, $10,000 in donations poured in. Checks and cards arrived in the mail. People called Heather Kurlinski to provide support.
The family had enough money to get a seizure-assistance dog.
“It was amazing,” Kurlinski said. “It was really heartwarming. … It was only possible because of them. I’m just so grateful and touched that they were so responsive.”
To start the process, the family had to send a video of Oliver to 4 Paws. References had to submit recommendation letters.
In November, Hazy introduced herself to Oliver via email.
“Do you like to play ball?” read the note from the dog. “Do you like to smell grass? I like to smell things like grass and trees and things like that. I am sure we will find fun things to do together. … We can be bestest friends.”
In early December, the family flew to Ohio to meet Hazy, a black bloodhound-Labrador mix.
When Oliver first saw Hazy, he hugged her. He got on the floor and played with her.
The Kurlinskis underwent 10 days of training.
Oliver is smitten. He picked out a purple collar for Hazy to wear. He calls her his “doctor dog.” Hazy detects about 80 percent of the boy’s seizures.
“She’s a really big dog,” Oliver said. “She’s as cute as a puppy. I like her. And she likes me — because she follows me everywhere.”
Oliver, who loves to wear costumes and create imaginary stories, will fold Hazy into his tales. Sometimes, Hazy plays the role of a Star Wars clone trooper. Other times, Oliver will place a red-and-blue cape on her.
When he watches TV, Oliver, and his 3-year-old brother, Griffin, will lay on Hazy as if she were a pillow.
Oliver gives Hazy treats when she lifts her paw to give him high-fives or shake his hand.
“He has this special friend and he lights up when he sees her,” Heather Kurlinski said. “And she lights up when she sees him.”
IN THE KNOW: Seizure-assistance dogs
Ohio-based 4 Paws for Ability trains seizure dogs, as well as autism- and mobility-assistance dogs.
Benefits: The group says children who have seizures may be afraid of being alone, sleeping in their own beds or participating in certain activities.
Providing comfort: 4 Paws says seizure dogs can help comfort children; can help distract them during blood tests and other medical procedures; and can be used during therapy to help encourage them to participate.
Fewer seizures: Some parents have told the group that their kids have had fewer seizures since the dogs entered their homes. The group believes the dogs help reduce stress in children.
SOURCE: 4 Paws for Ability
 

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Lucas and Juno: The Special Relationship Between a Sick 4-Year-Old Boy and His Dog


As nearly anyone who has adopted a dog or cat from a shelter can attest, there’s something special about a rescued pet; it’s as if the animal senses he’s been given a second chance at life. That’s certainly the case with Juno, a Belgian Malinois who was rescued from a shelter just days before she was to be euthanized. But since coming to live with her family in Alcoa, Tenn., Juno has taken on the role of rescuer to four-year-old Lucas Hembree.
Lucas suffers from Sanfilippo syndrome, an inherited, metabolic disease caused by the absence or malfunctioning of an enzyme needed to break down long sugar molecules. As the disease progresses, children lose the ability to speak, walk and eat. The disease also causes severe neurological damage that leads to aggressive behavior, hyperactivity and seizures.
Credit: Courtesy of the Hembree family
Juno helps to keep Lucas calm.


“The most catastrophic thing parents hear when they learn their child has this disease is that there’s no cure or treatment available,” says Lucas’ father, Chester.
Unless that changes, Lucas isn’t expected to live past the age of 15 and may be in a vegetative state by the time he is eight. Realizing that every moment is extra precious, Chester and his wife, Jennifer, want their son to experience as much as he can while he still has the capacity to enjoy it.
So when the disease started to take a toll on Lucas’ joints, Chester looked into getting a service dog to keep Lucas steady when he walked. “I was told that a service dog would cost at least $15,000, and that Lucas wasn’t a good candidate because of his deteriorating abilities and his behavior,” Chester says. “I refused to accept this answer.”
A combination of prayer and persistence led Chester to Juno. “I came across a posting about her on a rescue group’s website,” he says. “I had the feeling in my gut that I had to go see this dog.”
The whole family made the two-hour trip to meet Juno, who was being held at an east Tennessee shelter. “She was emaciated, and was days away from being euthanized,” Chester says. “She had been surrendered to the shelter because her previous owners didn’t understand the Belgian Malinois.”
Credit: Courtesy of the Hembree family
Lucas' dad, Chester, knew Juno was a special dog right from the start.


Fortunately, Chester did. He’d gotten to know and love the breed while working as a law enforcement officer years earlier. “I used to help with the training of police K-9s, and our dogs were Belgian Malinoises,” he says. “I loved their desire to work and their ‘never quit’ attitude.” In addition to being a popular choice for police dogs, the breed is often used in combat. In fact, it’s believed that the dog that helped Navy SEALs take down Osama bin Laden was a Belgian Malinois.
But while the breed has proven its prowess on patrol and in combat, Chester needed to be sure Juno would be a suitable service dog for his little boy. “I put her on a loose leash and she walked with me and never pulled,” Chester says. “Next came the Lucas test. They took to each other immediately, like kindred spirits.”
The Hembrees brought Juno home and showered her with love and affection. “I wanted to make sure she had plenty of time to adjust to the family before I started the formal training,” Chester says. Yet, from the beginning there seemed to be something instinctive about their relationship. One day, Chester noticed Juno circling Lucas while he was in his wheelchair. “She was whining and nudging him with her nose,” Chester says. “I checked his oxygen levels and they were very low.” After giving him oxygen, Lucas returned to normal and Juno greeted him with licks and affection.
Credit: Courtesy of the Hembree family
Juno watches over Lucas during a recent trip to the hospital. Lucas and Juno received more than 6,000 Christmas cards from well-wishers around the world. This was the first batch.


“That’s when I knew she had the ability to pick up on his neurological changes,” Chester says. “Now she alerts us when Lucas is about to have a seizure or if his oxygen levels drop really low. She has saved him several times."
Juno has become a literal shoulder for Lucas to lean on when walking, and a calming influence when he’s agitated. And while Chester makes sure that Juno gets time off, he says that it’s hard to get Juno to leave Lucas’ side. “You don’t see one without the other close by,” he says. “It really feels like it was meant to be.”
To learn more about Lucas you can go to the Facebook page that his dad writes from Lucas' perspective.
 

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I have written about the GAP (Gifted Animal Program) before, but here seems to be the place to put it again. It was started by two men in the Dallas area, one who ran a city shelter and the other a dog trainer. They saw so many dogs put down at shelters they felt could be trained and given a new job to do and families to love. They put together a simple test and started training shelter personnel on how to correctly test the dogs. The dogs they look for are high energy, usually turned in because family didn't have time to train and dog just too high strung for them. If the dog passes the initial test the GAP program is called and one of the two men go and do a series of "test". If dog passes then it is pulled from the shelter and put with a trainer who trains for free. The dog is then placed usually in Immigration Dept and become drug detection, herding, the list goes on and on. What started as a small thing 10 yrs ago has blossomed US wide. Classes are given free to any shelter and are then GAP certified. Hundreds of dogs are now doing a job with a family that loves them, soldiers have them over seas, our airports see them searching for drugs and they keep the herds of goats/sheep contained and moved at border areas of our country.

Right now there are two GAP dogs way up at the tip of Canada working with their handlers/trainers scenting out the feces of animals considered endangered or feared extinct. The icy conditions and vass country make it almost impossible for humans to get a correct count, but a dog can scent this and "mark". These two great dogs were found in a kill shelter in Texas, about to be killed. Now they have jobs to do, people who adore them and they contribute to mankind!

What a tribute to the shelters who take time to train their employees to the GAP program and that the steps were taken to test and give these dogs another chance! There are GAP dogs doing their jobs in 30 states now, mainly Texas and California. Hurrah to these dogs and their new life!
 

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I have written about the GAP (Gifted Animal Program) before, but here seems to be the place to put it again. It was started by two men in the Dallas area, one who ran a city shelter and the other a dog trainer. They saw so many dogs put down at shelters they felt could be trained and given a new job to do and families to love. They put together a simple test and started training shelter personnel on how to correctly test the dogs. The dogs they look for are high energy, usually turned in because family didn't have time to train and dog just too high strung for them. If the dog passes the initial test the GAP program is called and one of the two men go and do a series of "test". If dog passes then it is pulled from the shelter and put with a trainer who trains for free. The dog is then placed usually in Immigration Dept and become drug detection, herding, the list goes on and on. What started as a small thing 10 yrs ago has blossomed US wide. Classes are given free to any shelter and are then GAP certified. Hundreds of dogs are now doing a job with a family that loves them, soldiers have them over seas, our airports see them searching for drugs and they keep the herds of goats/sheep contained and moved at border areas of our country.

Right now there are two GAP dogs way up at the tip of Canada working with their handlers/trainers scenting out the feces of animals considered indangered or feared extinct. The icy conditions and vass country make it almost impossible for humans to get a correct count, but a dog can scent this and "mark". These two great dogs were found in a kill shelter in Texas, about to be killed. Now they have jobs to do, people who adore them and they contribute to mankind!

What a tribute to the shelters who take time to train their employees to the GAP program and that the steps were taken to test and give these dogs another chance! There are GAP dogs doing their jobs in 30 states now, mainly Texas and California. Hurrah to these dogs and their new life!
This program is so amazing!
 
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