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!
We all know dogs are capable of achieving amazing feats — that is just completely irrefutable. They rescue their owners from gas leaks, help calm veterans with PTSD, plant trees to restore burnt forests, track survivors of an earthquake, and even comfort anxious cheetahs.
Dogs do these awe-inspiring acts, sometimes in spite of their own disability. A partially blind and deaf dog recently became an honorary member of the police as he rescued a three-year-old girl who was lost in the Australian bush in Queensland.
Seventeen-year-old blue heeler Max stayed with the girl, named locally as Aurora, overnight and then helped lead her grandmother directly to her location after a huge search and rescue operation . . . Aurora wandered off alone on Friday afternoon and was found safe in bushland 2 kilometres from her house at around 7.30am local time on Saturday, according to ABC News.
100 volunteers were involved in the emergency search, but it was the deaf dog that eventually led to Aurora after camping with her the whole night. Queensland Police showered Max, the deaf dog, with praises and tweeted that he is now an honorary member of the police force.
[Aurora’s grandmother Leisa Marie Bennett] told ABC News: “I think [Aurora] was a bit overwhelmed by the tears and the howling, but I explained to her how happy those tears were. It could have gone any of 100 ways, but she’s here, she’s alive, she’s well and it’s a great outcome for our family.”
I swear, dogs just never run out of life-saving surprises for their human friends. And for rescuing a 3-year-old girl, Max truly deserves his yummy one-of-a-kind treat from the Queensland police.
Some people boast unbelievable generosity and an incredible sense of compassion for others in need. While the likes of Bill Gates have donated billions to charity, others do what they can, such as this mom who provided breastmilk for struggling parents. However, it takes a special kind of patience to demonstrate kindness towards delinquents — especially law-breaking ones. This Toronto cop did just that, purchasing clothes for a pentinent shoplifter.
The would-be thief had attempted to steal a long-sleeved shirt, a tie and a pair of socks, [said officer Jeyanesan], adding such items are not common targets for shoplifters.
Jeyanesan said the teen had secured a job interview for a “service industry position,” but did not have professional-looking clothes to wear.
The 18-year-old claimed he needed to support his family financially after his father had fallen ill. Jeyanesan then decided to cover the $40 purchase and the teen was released without any charges.
“He understood the importance of what happened, that this could easily be seen as a crossroads in this young man’s life, and took the very commendable decision to assist in the way he did,”
Personally nowhere near as forgiving, I’m certainly glad that people like Jeyanesan exist!
When unlikely pairs come together, the results are often a pleasant surprise. Just as the crafstpeople of Peitian didn’t expect to collaborate with Hong Kong students on a building project, this kindergartener didn’t expect a police escort on his first day of school.
Kevin Will Jr., never got the chance to meet his father, so on Tuesday morning, Houston Police Officers honored their friend and and fellow officer, and escorted the 5-year old kindergarten student from his home in the Wildwood at Oakcrest Subdivision to Wildwood Elementary in Tomball ISD.
Will Sr. was killed by a drunk driver in 2011. At the time, Will’s wife Alicia was pregnant with Will Jr. Years later, on behalf of their fallen friend, some 100 police officers walked Will Jr. to school.
“We always touch base with the families who’ve lost loved ones in the line of duty and make sure [they know] we are there for them, whatever they need. In this case, it was just moral support on his first day of school,” [said officer Joe Gramaldi]
I’m not crying. You’re crying. The fact of the matter is, family exists beyond blood. Kevin Will Jr. may not have met his biological father, but has a handful of surrogate dads to count on.
There isn’t a lot that dogs can’t do, besides — of course — talk (although we wish they could). They’re keeping greenhouses safe and even proving to paraplegics that anything is possible. But unwanted pit bull Ghost is turning even more tables, becoming Washington’s first deaf K-9 officer.
“Barb found Ghost to be a very stable dog,” [said Jeremy] Barclay [of Washington State Dept. of Corrections]… “He was very focused and determined to locate his ball when thrown or hidden. This makes for a more trainable dog for drug contraband detection. His high energy was also key.”
The adorable pup was found as a stray, jumping from Swamp Haven Rescue to Olympic Peninsula Humane Society. Ghost now bunks in with handler Joe Henderson, keeping bad guys at bay in the morning.
“I think it’s wonderful that he has his forever home while benefiting the public safety of our citizenry,” said Barclay.
Ghost is definitely the good boy America needed.
Heroes don’t always wear capes. In fact, most dress in uniform, willing to go to lengths others wouldn’t. Such champions include Saved In America, a group of retired officers determined to see sex trafficking to an end. But as with most, there aren’t usually enough eyes to account for every victim. Luckily, skepticism exists inherently in many, which is what led ticket agent Denice Miracle towards the rescue of two teen girls.
“Between the two of them, they had a bunch of small bags,” Miracle said. “It seemed to me as if they were running away from home. They kept looking at each other in a way that seemed fearful and anxious. I had a gut feeling that something just wasn’t right.”
Led to believe they would earn $2,000 to act in a music video, the teens ultimately fell for a far more dangerous scheme. After phoning the local sheriff, Miracle discovered both teens were carrying doctored one-way tickets.
“I’m proud of Denice and how she put her training into action to save these children,” said AA General Manager Aleka Turner.
Not all miracles are orchestrated by higher beings — sometimes they’re just people.
More often than not, society can be grisly. Many will turn a blind eye — but staying silent is many a time just as dangerous as not knowing. It’s individuals like dentist Kenny Wilstead, who treated a domestic abuse victim free-of-charge, who are calling attention to everyday horrors. Now, in a very public campaign, U.S. Navy Seals and retired officers are banding together to put an end to human trafficking.
“It is partnerships such as this that play a significant role in law enforcement today, not only from a public safety standpoint but also as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those who have been victimized,” wrote [Sheriff] Mike Williams.
The group, Saved In America, works within the system and employs volunteers. The foundation takes cases on missing juveniles, and rehabilitating those who are rescued.
“People don’t realize this is going on in their own backyards. This isn’t in some far away country with very poor people,” says Joshua Travers, Joseph’s son, a former U.S. Marine and SAIM’s case manager.
When high-profile cases are shelved, we often forget that, for many, the search isn’t over.
With bee populations at risk, moves to ban pesticides and upgrade beekeeping technology are on the rise. Still, in spite of such grand efforts, trouble loomed over Wild Hill Honey. Vandals ransacked the business of $50,000 in damage, unrecoverable — at least until the community stepped in.
“Some vandals came up and they destroyed all of our beehives and most of our beekeeping equipment. They tried to batter their way into our shed but eventually they piled some stuff up and went in through the window,” says [owner Justin] Engelhardt.
Legally, bees can’t be insured, and repairs are covered by personal expenses. But, in just a few days, neighbors raised $35,000 for the Engelhardts — over half of what was needed. Even better, police easily secured a lead.
“The police response was fantastic. We called and they came right away and they dusted for fingerprints at the shed, and there are some footprints that they’re using to try to further the investigation and hopefully that leads somewhere,” says Engelhardt.
Thanks to the donors, Wild Hill Honey will resume operations in the spring. A buzzing little heart sure does go a long way!
As it becomes less of a stigma, mental health is finally receiving the attention it deserves. People are embracing their conditions thanks to online tools like DIY therapy and help hotlines. Notwithstanding, feeling vulnerable and ashamed remains a looming issue — one that Sweden is tackling firsthand. Countering rising suicide rates, Stockholm has introduced the world’s first mental health ambulance.
Inside the ambulance is a warm, inviting area equipped with comfortable seats instead of medical equipment, two mental health nurses and one paramedic.
The Psychiatric Emergency Response Team attends to roughly 130 calls monthly, countering 15,000 attempts annually. So far, the ambulance’s success rate has risen steadily.
“I can’t see any reason as to why the project shouldn’t continue,” [Mental Health Emergency head Fredrik] Bengtsson said. “It has been considered a huge success by police, nurses, healthcare officials, as well as by the patients.”
It sounds as though Sweden is the first to get things right. If mental illness is as urgent as physical trauma, why not treat it as such?
In the midst of an increasingly problematic society, there are a few hidden gems among the wreckage. Among them is 5-year-old Cassie Gee, who paints for charity. Another is Katryna Robinson, who donates hotel toiletries to the homeless. But police officers at El Segundo are the cherry on top after helping a high school teen crowdfund her stolen college money.
“We started talking and we said, ‘She’s a valedictorian, a really good kid, she’s done everything right in her life, why don’t we set up something so the El Segundo community can help her?’” said Officer Joe Cameron, union president.
Cops set up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to retrieve the $2,000 student Kristin Villanueva had saved. In just a few days, the page had pooled nearly $5,000. It’s an impressive feat, seeing as how the most successful GoFundMe campaigns are for dogs.
“From El Segundo employees to El Segundo residents, everyone pitched in. Community support like this is why I’m proud to be the president of this association and serve this amazing community.”
Villanueva’s newly-raised funds are going to cover her tuition for a bachelor’s degree in engineering.