Cop Transforms Station Into Kitten Shelter

Some people may have big shoes to fill, but never leave out the chance to do good. In a courageous attempt to save endangered penguins, the Chilean government snubbed a billion-dollar mining project. On the other side of the world, policewoman Gretchen Byrne is transforming the Boca Raton station into an awesome kitten shelter.

“I will get three breaks: A 40-minute lunch break and two 10-minute breaks. Instead of going for pizza with my colleagues I use that time to run to the station and feed them,” she explained. “It all comes out of my paycheck at the end of the day but I don’t have kids so it is probably still cheaper than having kids.”

In just two years, Byrne has rescued 63 cats, knowing shelters would be too full to take them in. She uses Instagram as a platform to advertise her precious adoptables. Though her four-legged tenants can be rambunctious, Byrne claims they also help her to relax.

“The other thing is that is really nice to come home and have kittens to help me destress. I’m dealing with a lot of stuff on road patrol.”

If there is one thing we’re sure of, it’s that Byrne takes the notion of cat lady to a whole new level!

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Shelter Dogs Gifted Comfy Armchairs

Three months in, 2018 has truly been proving itself the year of the dog. While blockbuster hit Black Panther has drained shelters of its midnight cats, dog advocates are getting downright creative. On account of Tinder and the magic of Harry Potter, more and more pups are striking gold with forever homes. Still, not every shelter tenant gets lucky. Looking to keep their waitlisted canines comfortable, the Knox County Humane Society is taking in donated armchairs.

“Our purpose is to keep the shelter pups off the cold floor,” [said] animal control officer Tanner Smith.

Naturally, kennels aren’t the most happening of places, but comfy couches tend to ease stress. Volunteers first disinfect the chairs before one of 80 pups calls dibs.

“It has made the shelter pups feel more at home,” he explained. “We have noticed a huge drop in stress here as well as quieter kennels.”

I’m all about adopting, but shopping may not be out of the picture — for armchairs anyway.

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Shelter Sorts Dogs Into Harry Potter Houses

Across the world, animal shelters share one problem in common: overpopulation. A lack of potential owners willing to adopt mixed-breed and disabled dogs forces many establishments to euthanize their four-legged tenants. Still, many are pushing to give shelter animals a better life. Vancouver is battling puppy mills, while Semper K9 is training shelter dogs to help retired veterans. Now, the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando is sorting its dogs into Hogwarts houses in the hopes of their adoption.

“We want people to look at the dog for their behaviour and personality and what their talents are,” [said] Stephen Bardy, Pet Alliance’s executive director.

By grouping the animals according to their characteristics, Pet Alliance discourages breed discrimination. The shelter takes in nearly 1,800 animals a year — mostly from irresponsible pet owners. The new method allows visitors to more thoroughly determine their best fit.

“We want people to start talking about their own lifestyles and personalities and allow us to match a dog to them not based on looks or breed.”

Encouraging first-time owners to adopt a pit bull may be a stretch — but a pit bull in Gryffindogs? You can count me in.

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Student In Foster System Adopted By Former Teacher

It is in a typical mother’s disposition to nurture, even beyond their own families. A full-time mom and part-time coupon collector, Kimberly Gager used her stash to help Hurricane Harvey victims. A teacher at Pathways Learning Center, Bennie Berry was a mom to hundreds of students. But when 16-year-old Anthony asked Berry to adopt him, true motherhood became a reality.

‘Well, at first I thought he was making jokes until he actually explained the situation,’ said Bennie…

‘And then we struck a deal: Finish an assignment and then you can show me the website.’

In foster care since the age of 9, Anthony gave up hope on becoming part of a family — until enrolling in Bennie’s English class. Though Anthony’s swift request came as a total surprise, Bennie didn’t hesitate to take the youngster in.

‘I have a son. I’m more than elated,’ she said… ‘I have a son for the rest of my life.’

Sometimes, love happens in ways that can’t be taught — not even by an English teacher.

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Be A 5-Star Hostess At Your Local Animal Shelter

For stray pups and wandering felines, an animal shelter is a stepping stone towards a forever home. Or at least it should be. Some promising residents become therapy dogs, while others find families through dating apps (yes, you read that right). Others don’t seem to hit the jackpot. If you’re an animal lover but lack the extra space for a furry friend, volunteering at a shelter might be the perfect side hustle.

As with any non-profit, making a difference isn’t just a monthly stint. Charity groups, especially those that cater to animals, require time commitments. Before diving into the deep end, arrange your schedule. Anyway, most organizations will indicate a minimum amount of hours for students or working volunteers.

Be ready to train. Depending on what you sign up for, training programs may or may not be required. After all, you don’t want to be chasing after a Road Runner stray without the proper equipment. When it comes down to actual tasks, work with your skills and strengths. Do you have an eye for photography? Snapping headshots of handsome adoptables may be the job for you. Are you hands-on and nifty with a comb? Grooming might be your thing.

Animal shelters are all about their tenants and like any hotel, require a load of maintenance. Beyond the animals, you can participate in clerical or manual work. Accountants are totally underrated, despite a slew of paperwork and finances pulled from medical care, neuter-and-spay services, and food alone. Similarly, anyone familiar with carpentry could construct pens and crates.

Supporting your cause remotely is also highly doable (and effective), especially in this day and age. Spread the word by posting your experiences on social media, handing out fliers, and inviting experts to speak at special events. If you have a nickel to spare, gather supplies. While most needed items are often laying around your storage cupboard, others are a little more elusive. Pay a visit to your local Pet Smart. Use Facebook to your advantage to call for donations. Consult sites such as Amazon or eBay — with caution!

If you’re big on events, there’s no going wrong hosting a fundraiser. Whether it be a birthday bash, a school fair, or simple food drive, donate your earnings to your favorite shelter. Even better, allot time to highlight your cause through a speech, video, or game. Learning is always fun when it’s, you know, fun.

At the end of the day, if you’re itching for a companion but can’t yet set aside the funds to care for one permanently, foster them. Falling in love with your temporary house guest may leave you in a sticky situation. Still, the outcome (usually adoption) is often heartwarming one.

Puppies in pet stores may certainly be more attractive than grown ones behind cage doors. Nevertheless, any dog’s eagerness to love and accept you are often immeasurable, regardless of breed or age. They are, after all, everyone’s favorite friend.

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Shelter Dog Adopted Thanks To Popular Dating App

When shelter dogs are out of luck (because, let’s face it — not everyone is as big a dog lover as the South Korean president), there isn’t much hope that remains. A few fortunate pups might end up as therapy dogs, but otherwise, burdens weigh heavy on shelters themselves. Realizing its need to take a different approach to potential pet parents, Animal Ark Rescue set up a Tinder account. For star resident Henry, it totally paid off.

“I vaguely remember silly things from Tinder in my single swiping days,” [coordinator Miranda] Morrison, who is now married, explained. “I think I once matched with pizza? I thought, what if I make Henry a profile? That would be worth a shot.”

Henry’s profile claims that the lovable pooch enjoys road trips and hiking. Morrison even outlined Henry’s perfect date, which involves Netflix and cuddling. While the adorable mutt has yet to score a new home, Tinder has helped AAR up its adoption inquiries.

“I know Henry deserves true and unwavering unconditional love for the rest of his life. He leaves paw prints on the hearts of those he loves,” she said.

Looks like finding love on Tinder may go beyond just romance.

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Vancouver Busts Sale Of Cats And Dogs From Puppy Mills

It’s one small step for puppies and kittens and one giant leap for the animal kingdom! Once again, Canada has taken initiative–this time to ban the sale of puppy mill animals in pet stores. And you can bet I’m proud.

Put forward by City Councilmember Heather Deal, the motion to ban the sale of dog, cats, and rabbits in pet shops passed with a unanimous vote. Richmond and New Westminster have similar laws in effect.

Puppy mills engage in overbreeding for the sake of profit, often producing sick animals. Vancouver is now encouraging pet stores to partner with locals shelters to promote adoption.

Members of the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, an animal welfare organization in Vancouver, had been protesting the sale of animals at this store for five years… The new legislation “sends a clear message to Vancouver residents and the rest of the world that city council believes in a humane community. A city that places animal welfare before profit.”

If you’ve now been inspired to hop on the adoption bandwagon, remember–you are picking out a friend for life!

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It’s Not Okay To Judge People Who Buy Puppies From Pet Stores

I am a self-proclaimed dog enthusiast. I was born second to a beautiful German Shepherd named Greta, who was part of a six-litter family, her mother owned by our next-door neighbor. She didn’t so much take to strangers and despite her somewhat hostile demeanor, lived twelve blissful years. I have since owned two other dogs–Bruce, a lazy Beagle who went to my sister when I left for university, and Charley, a nine-year-old retriever-spitz who can no longer take on my wretched staircase.

Charley is a rescue, and granted, I get a lot of praise for taking on an ill senior dog. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a commendable thing. Special needs animals demand a hell of a lot more time and attention. I often hear that “Every dog deserves a second chance.” So why don’t pet store animals seem to have the same privilege?

Puppy mill rescues are often highly commended because dogs are mishandled, most ending up with diseases like Parvo and distemper. Many of these animals end up in Petcos across the nation, and yet potential owners are discouraged from purchasing them by animal rights groups.

Understandably, a rise in the pet store market will keep puppy mills in business. But what is the distinction between “rescuing” an animal from a mill and “rescuing” an animal from a pet store?

Perhaps the issue doesn’t lie with where an animal comes from, but rather, in responsible breeding. People often turn to pet stores due to the variety of breeds they boast. While it wouldn’t be impossible, finding a “trendier” dog (such as a Pug or French Bulldog) wouldn’t be a likely scenario at a shelter.

Puppy millers make it their business to achieve two things: quantity and diversity. More breeds, higher interest. More puppies, higher income. And in certain climates, breed does matter. Huskies, for example, who are naturally thick-maned, are not likely to thrive in tropical countries, whereas smaller breeds with shorter fur (such as the Chihuahua) would suffer in areas with harsh winters.

Breeders need to eliminate the notion of breeding smart and instead breed native. I had once been sent a collection of charts matching particular breeds to their domestic origins and–spoiler alert–Huskies hail from Russia.

Allergies, which affect 30% of adults and 40% of children, also remain to be an issue for those seeking a suitable pet. More often than not, a person with severe allergies will have very limited to no choices at a shelter–in fact, some dogs remain longtime residents at local pounds because their owner had allergies.

Like most pressing issues that circulate, the puppy mill epidemic demands awareness. We need to see an influx in pet owners who are well-educated in Pets 101.

Stop supporting notoriously bad breeders. One simple reason for their existence? Owners who refuse to pay full-price for a puppy birthed and raised with care. The whole “you get what you give” thing? Totally applicable.

Spay and neuter your pets and know when you are ready for another one. Contemplating a new addition to the family may be easy when your dog is in heat. But what happens when your single new addition turns out to be five puppies over?

Report abuse. We can’t singlehandedly shut down all the world’s puppy mills, but we can attack the problem from its source.

Free yourself from judgment. Don’t attempt to sway a person from his or her decisions. You may find yourself barking up the wrong tree, pun fully intended.

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Deaf Dog Learns Sign Language

As the owner of a senior dog with hip dysplasia, I have learned to adapt to the hassle of frequent visits to the vet and having to haul all 28 kilograms of my retriever-spitz mix Charley up the stairs every evening. Charley, who is perfectly functional in all other aspects (save for faltering vision in her right eye), is a handful. So hearing about Blue, a hard-of-hearing pit bull who learned sign language in only a few months, had me speechless.

Cops discovered [Blue] chained to a fence, abandoned and freezing, on West 170th Street in Washington Heights.

“At first we thought she was just scared and confused,” said Victoria Wells, the senior manager of behavior at the ASPCA rescue center. “But then we noticed whenever someone opened Blue’s kennel, she’d sleep right through all the commotion.”

“Any dog with a good sense of hearing would have been startled,”

In an attempt to boost Blue’s chances of finding a forever home, seven behavior specialists from the ASPCA trained Blue to understand signing.

First, Blue learned the “thumbs-up” signal.

Twenty-five other signals followed —come, sit, watch, stay… and lie down.

The ASPCA treats ten to twenty deaf dogs each year. According to them, Blue is ready for adoption.

Now if only I could get Charley to quit doing her business on the couch…

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