Therapy Dogs Line Up To Help The Students Come Back To Class After Horrific School Shooting

The Parkland shooting in Florida was a tragic event, but now that two weeks have passed the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are starting to get back to their normal routine.

In an attempt to make the transition back to school a little more comfortable, principal Ty Thompson arranged for a special treat for the students. He brought in a fleet of therapy dogs to provide comfort to the students who have been through so much, and the results are hard to argue with.

Thompson has been extremely active on Twitter since the event, and his focus has been first and foremost the emotional well-being of his students. As the students began returning, Thompson had arranged to have several therapy dogs on hand, ready to support the teens who have been through so much.

He has stated “the focus is on emotional readiness and comfort not curriculum” so that the students of MSD can begin to “reclaim the nest.”

The kids were welcomed by a fleet of smiling golden retrievers and each classroom had a different visiting support animal inside. A bunch of sweet dogs were cuddling the kids, helping them adjust to being back after the traumatic event.

After the first day, Thompson decided that what this school needed was more therapy dogs. He has increased the number of dogs every day that they’ve been back and the kids are thrilled.

As he helps to bring all the kids gain the strength they need to heal and carry on, Thompson has found a way to bring them a little bit of joy in this trying time.

The dogs have come from the Human Broward’s Animal Assisted Therapy, and they are happy to help. The dogs “participated in classes all day, made lots of new friends and provided unconditional love and comfort” according to their Instagram, and they are honored to be able give their support to these kids.

Source – Mashable / Twitter

Barbra Streisand Reveals She Cloned Her Dog Samantha Twice

When I was a child, Barbra Streisand was a staple in my house. She was my mother’s favorite artist and like my parents, a doting animal lover.

I never had a pet dog before, but when I visited the homes of my friends and family, I was sure to give their pooches a healthy dose of love and affection.

Until 2017, Streisand had a beloved dog too. Samantha was a beautiful Coton du Tulear, who lived to the ripe old age of 14.

But during an interview with Variety, Streisand revealed the unique way she kept Samantha’s memory alive – by cloning her.

Those Sweet Kisses From Your Dogs And Cats Can Actually Become Deadly

We are all guilty of letting our dogs and cats give us kisses. We can’t help it. They are so sweet and just want to show us love. The problem is that in some cases these kisses can become deadly.

They are doing it because they love us, but there have been times when their love was dangerous to our health. Julie McKenna learned this the hard way when she was brought into the hospital with her arms and legs turning purple and was almost unable to speak. Her body had gone into septic shock and the doctors took two weeks to figure out the cause.

Her dog had licked her foot that had a very mild burn on it week before, but she didn’t even think to mention it, but the bacteria known as Capnocytophaga canimorsus in her dog’s mouth had caused an infection.

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The bacteria can be found in even healthy dogs and cats, but when it gets into the human bloodstream it can be catastrophic.

Roughly 10 to 15 percent of dog and cat bites become infected. But as it turns out, it doesn’t need to be a full on bite to infect you, they just need to lick an open wound. Each time your dog gives you a big ol’ slobbery kiss, or your cat licks you with their tiny sandpaper tongues, you run the risk of infection.

It can be as simple as getting just a little bit of the bacteria into the bloodstream and then you may end up like McKenna who ended up needing her left leg amputated below the knee, part of her right foot amputated, as well as her fingers and toes.

Here’s why the bacteria is so dangerous…

4 Ways Your Dog Will Show You That They Really Trust You

Although we love our dogs and just expect they feel the same about us, it feels impossible to actually know how they feel about us. It is possible for our dogs to form a bond with us that leads to them trusting us. There are subtle ways our canine friends show us they trust us, and it’s probably something you see everyday.  

1. Eye contact.

If your dog can look into your eyes for a substantial amount of time, it means they love and trust you. By staring into your eyes, it raises their oxytocin levels. This is the same hormone present in humans that produces the feeling of love. It is the same hormone that makes a mother deeply fall in love with their newborn child. So, when your dog looks into your eyes, it means that they have already grown a high level of affection towards you, which builds trust.

2. Doesn’t panic when you leave.

If you have ever brought home a new dog, you have probably realized that they tend to panic every time you leave the house. They do this because they don’t have a strong connection with you and don’t yet trust you. So, every time you leave the house they think you are abandoning them and get upset, (heartbreaking, I know).

Once your dog trusts you, you will find that they don’t panic as much when you leave the house. Although they would always rather go wherever you’re going, they won’t be filled with anxiety every time you leave the house. Your dog trusts that you will come home and they won’t be abandoned.

But those are not the only ways your pup will show that they trust you…

Olympic Skater Adopts Dog On Its Way To Be Butchered For Meat

Many Asian countries still eat dog meat as a common meal, despite efforts to end the practice. It’s a controversial topic, with some saying that it is a cultural tradition which should not be looked down on. Others say it’s inhumane to eat creatures that we value so much.

Not all Asian countries still partake, with Taiwan implementing a law that prohibits the consumption of cats and dogs. The law was included as an amendment to a previous law introduced in 2011, which prohibited the sale of dog meat. The new law means fines of between $1380 USD and $7000 USD. Repeat offenders are subjected to “public shaming” and a fine of up to $138,000 USD. The new law also makes it illegal to “walk” your dog by having them run beside your car or scooter, as it led to too many injuries in the dogs.

Sky News

However, countries like South Korea still consume dog meat on a daily basis, and it became a big topic of conversation as the Olympics drew closer. Almost two million dogs each year are bred on dog meat farms for human consumption. PyeongChang officials asked that the 12 restaurants that serve dog meat in the city change their menus while the games are on in order to avoid bad press. Not everyone has complied, however.

“We’ve faced a lot of complaints from restaurant operators that we are threatening their livelihood,” county official Lee Yong-bae told AFP. “Some of them initially shifted to selling pork or things instead of dog meat only to find their sales plunging sharply. They then switched back to dog meat.”

Many animal activists called to boycott the Olympics because of the dog meat trade, but eventually it seemed that people stopped caring.

Not everyone did, though.

5 Essential Things Every Pet Owner Needs To Give Their Best Furr-iends A Perfect Life

Owning a pet is basically the highlight of anyone’s life. They bring so much joy and happiness to any household, and they really don’t ask for much in return. They just need your love, a few belly rubs, and some tasty kibbles.

Even though they don’t really need much, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spoil them. Every single dog and cat is a very good dog and cat, and they deserve a special treat for being so wonderful. They just want to spend time with you, and these amazing products can help you get the quality time with your pet that they deserve. Trust us, it’s what they really want.

Walks are probably the biggest highlight of a dog’s day. They spend a bunch of time in the house, waiting for you to come home that the moment you get them outside they can’t wait to explore the whole town. The problem is that eventually it gets dark. It’s hard for the cars to see your best friend.

It can be really dangerous to walk out at night, even when you’re on the sidewalk, because if your dog happens to get off leash and runs out into traffic, cars may not see them until it’s too late. If you want to keep them safe while also helping them look a lot more stylish, an LED collar is the way to go.

There are so many kinds of collars that will help your pooch make a statement, but honestly, it’s one of the smartest buys you will ever make for your dog and you’ll be happy you did it.

These types of leashes are great for dogs who pull because they help you use your entire body weight to control them as opposed to just your arm. It’s perfect for the person who wants to get a run in with their ultimate workout buddy.

It doesn’t just have to be for workouts though, stronger dogs do great with these types of leashes because it forces them to stay with you. The elastic leash is great because it’ll help prevent your dog from pulling so hard it chokes them, but you’ll still maintain enough control so that they don’t accidentally hurt themselves.

Those aren’t the only things your pet is begging you for…

Petition To Make Food Stamps Applicable To Pet Food Gaining Traction

Animal rights always need to be defended. The poor innocent creatures can’t fend for themselves, so it’s up to us to make sure they have the care and love they deserve. Recently, more and more legislation has been put in place to not only protect the animals, but also punish those who hurt them.

A number of United States jurisdictions implemented an animal offenders registry, which publicly reveals the names of known animal abusers in the area, similar to how sex offenders are registered.   Currently, Tennessee is the only state to have an animal offenders registry, but other cities like New York and Cook County, Illinois have them at a local level.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

In addition, Connecticut introduced a new animal advocacy program.

Eight volunteers, seven lawyers and one law professor along with her students, are part of an experimental system that will allow prosecutors and defenders to request an animal advocate for their cases. The hope is that the advocates will give animals a voice they wouldn’t otherwise have, and make animal cruelty charges more likely.

“Every state has the problem of overburdened courts that understandably prioritize human cases over animal cases in allocating resources,” said University of Connecticut professor Jessica Rubin, a specialist in animal law. “Here’s a way to help.”

The volunteers are considered an official part of the investigation and are able to conduct interviews with witnesses or professionals who are relevant to the case. This can save the prosecutor’s time and end up helping the case.

Jessica Rubin and her student Taylor Hansen prepare to present arguments as animal advocates in a dog fighting case.Fox News

But now, people are signing a petition to allow a crucial financial service to extend to pets, and it’s a little controversial.

5 Ways You Can Actually Get Your Dog To Help Around The House

The dream for every dog owner is that their sweet and precious pup finally picks up the slack and helps out around the house. Sure, their job is to look cute and love us unconditionally, which they obviously do, but wouldn’t it be nice if they would start vacuuming or doing the dishes?

Well apparently some dog owners are more clever than the rest of us, because they’ve actually figured out how to get their dogs to help around the house with a few canine-friendly chores. Here are some of the genius tricks that some dogs have learned to do that you might be able to teach your dogs as well.

Trying to wake everyone up in the morning is a hassle. Somehow they always manage to sleep through their alarms, and it becomes your fault that they aren’t up. Well, now you can just send the dog! You just need to teach your dog how to identify all the people in your home, and if you can get them to learn the command “go find [person’s name]” then you are all set!

Start by getting them to find the people all in the same room, then slowly put them further apart. Eventually you can have everyone in different rooms and your dog will still go running to find their friends, hopefully dragging them out of bed in the process.

We lose it daily, so wouldn’t it be nice if our dogs could just find it for us? The remote seems to always end up in the strangest of places, but if you can teach your dog to either “find” or “touch” or “pick up” then you might be in luck. Getting them to learn what a remote is might take some practice, but imagine how useful this would really be?

Those aren’t the only things we can teach out dogs…

Science Finally Explains Your Dog’s Nastiest Habit

It’s the dirty little secret that all dog owners know, but wish they didn’t.

Some dogs just love to chow down on their own poop. And no matter what we do to stop them, it can seem like there’s no way to curb this gross behavior.

They look so innocent…but they love to gross you out.Loiter

While dog owners around the world have witnessed the behavior, vets and animal experts are still trying to figure out why our pets do it in the first place. A new survey may provide some answers, as well as sound advice on how to break your pet’s poop addiction.

The scoop on this bad behavior comes from the journal Veterinary Medicine and Science. Researchers compared two surveys: one of 3,000 dog owners, and a smaller group who say their dogs regularly eat poop.

The results aren’t for the faint of heart, but they are illuminating:

  • 60% of owners in the second survey say their dogs eat poop every day
  • The other 32% say they do it at least once a week
  • A dog’s age, sex, and training don’t seem to make a difference when it comes to this behavior
Poop eating is unhealthy, but not that risky.A Letter To My Dog

While the habit isn’t very dangerous, vets warn it has been known to cause diarrhea and other diseases.

Thankfully, the survey identifies the best way to prevent your dog from eating poop once and for all.

10 Reasons Why Every Dog Owner Spends Their Day Howling With Laughter

It’s no secret that dogs are one of the greatest things on the face of the Earth. We all know that it’s true. They are the most pure and kindhearted creatures that you will ever come across. The other accurate fact about dogs is that they are total goofballs.

No matter what they are doing, dogs manage to bring a smile to your face. These 10 videos prove that beyond any doubts.

They just can’t seem to figure out how legs work. I mean, to be fair they have four of them which must be a lot more to figure out than we have to.

Does it taste good? Does it feel good on their weird little tongues? Why do they do this? Seriously, I want to know, my windows haven’t been clean in years…

I’m not sure that anyone will ever be able to understand what’s going through their heads, or even if we could, I doubt we would want to know the truth.

Seriously, if you are bored just show your dog a mirror and watch what happens.

I get exhausted just looking at them.

Those aren’t the only dogs that will make your heart feel all warm and fuzzy…

What’s Your Pooch Saying? In A Few Years You Can Translate Dog Barks To English

Imagine a world where your dog could just tell you what they want and how they feel. There would be less accidents and temper tantrums; but best of all, there would be a lot of good heart-to-hearts.

Scientists are currently developing a device that can translate your dog’s barks into the English language, so your dream of fostering a stronger connection with your furry friend may become reality.

While studying prairie dogs, professor and animal behavior expert Con Slobodchikoff, from Northern Arizona University, discovered that those breed of dogs have different words to describe colors and species of predators.

This inspired Slobodchikoff to create a pet translator using artificial intelligence software that allows humans to communicate with their cat or dog.

“So many people would dearly love to talk to their dog or cat – or at least find out what they are trying to communicate. A lot of people talk to their dogs and share their innermost secrets,” he said.

Here’s how this is going to happen, and when you can possibly purchase this soon-to-be hot commodity.

A Mother And Her Son Are Devoting Themselves To Saving Dog’s Lives

A small fundraiser in Texas has gone viral, after a video shared on Facebook stole the hearts of everyone that viewed it.

The video was a compilation of videos of a young boy named Roman, holding a number of different dogs that needed homes. In the videos, Roman talked about their best qualities and why people should be adopting them. Throughout some of the videos, Roman started to tear up talking about what some of the dogs had been through in the past, completely breaking the hearts of viewers.

These videos are made by Roman and his mother Jennifer, who together, run the organization “Project Freedom Ride.” Project Freedom Ride is a new fundraiser based in Texas. It was started to transport dogs in shelters from Texas, to Washington, and other northern states.

Vets Warn The Dog Flu Is Deadly This Year – Here’s How To Protect Your Pet

Veterinarians are warning pet owners to watch out as America experiences a serious dog flu outbreak.

The dog flu, or canine influenza, has been identified in 46 states and even Canada, and animal experts worry pet owners don’t know enough about the condition.

Lake Mary MD

The disease has been common in Asia for years, but only spread to the United States from South Korea in 2015. Since then, there have been a number of large outbreaks, including when 1,000 dogs from the Chicago area caught the virus.

Jodie Strait, a dog show competitor whose pets caught the virus, called the disease “unreal.”

Six of Strait’s seven dogs caught the virus.Fox News

“It was the worst nightmare that could ever happen,” she remembered. “I went to a dog show with my dogs and I almost killed them.”

Until now, only owners like Strait who competed in large dog shows had to worry about the canine flu. But now the disease is spreading through the country’s kennels, dog parks, and from pooch to pooch.

Vets are warning owners to learn the signs of dog flu, and how to prevent your pet from catching it.

Dog Seemed Unadoptable, Until She Found her True Calling

Alicia Simatos first saw the picture of Sophie, she knew that she would be the perfect companion for her young son because the two shared a very special connection. Sophie had been stuck at the humane society for over month because of her condition, but that’s exactly what made her the perfect fit for the Simatos family.

Alicia Simatos

Sophie was born with a cleft lip, which apparently was enough for people to pass over her when picking out their new family member. But Simatos knew that Sophie deserved all the love in the world and brought her home. She was excited to introduce Sophie to her son, who also was born with a cleft lip. Simatos has even teamed up with an organization that will not only help out the pups, but kids who are born with the same condition.

Sara Colozino

Cleft lip is a fairly common defect that happens to one in every 600 children born in America. However, when dogs are born with the condition, breeders will often have them euthanized because they won’t sell. But now, these dogs have been given a purpose, and they are going to help a lot of kids…

Want Your Pets To Be Groomed, Housed And Trained? Send Them To Prison

We’ve all had one of those moments where, no matter how much we love them, we’ve wanted to take our precious little bundle of furry joy, lock them up in a massive cage, and throw away the key. It happens to everybody: one second you’re playing with your puppy, having the greatest of times and all is right with the world, then you turn your back on him for one second and he’s proceeded to demolish the one thing you had in the room that was both expensive and irreplaceable.

MNN

Cats aren’t much better. I’ve personally lost track of how many pieces of furniture I’ve had demolished by means of razor-sharp claws, and of course even if you make it clear that they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing, they’ll just wait for you to leave the room before going right back to doing it.

Cute Overload

This all comes before the pain in the ass that is keeping your furball groomed, which can be an entire ordeal in and of itself. Have you ever wished that maybe there was a place you could send your pet to not only learn how to stop being a bad dog, but also for them to get the shearing and fur cuts that they so desperately need?

Well, you’re in luck! It turns out there is such a place for your pooches and kitties: it’s called prison. No, seriously.

There’s A Scientific Reason You Look Like Your Dog

People often joke about dogs who look like owners, but did you realize that science has actually found proof that this is true? A study has found that not only do we look like our pets, but because of these similarities other people can correctly guess which dogs belong to us even when they have no context other than their appearance.

How did they realize this? Scientists had a group of dog owners bring in their beloved pets to get their pictures taken. They photographed 40 owners and their 40 dogs separately on white backgrounds, so that they would all be as plain as possible.

Then, they paired up a bunch of the dogs with different owners, some of them with their actual owner, while others were randomized. They gave the sheets with the pairings to students who were asked to identify which dog-owner pairs belonged together and the results were actually crazy – especially when they added a few complications to the mix…

10 Reasons Why Owning A Dog Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Health

Dog lovers all know that their canine companions make their lives better, but they may not have realized just how big of an impact it can have. It turns out that dogs aren’t only just good company, they are actually going to help you in a lot of huge ways. They are such good boys and girls!

There are a variety of ways that dogs can improve your health, whether it’s treating emotional issues or physical ones, they have a paw-scription for everything! These are the 10 reasons why owning a dog will be the best thing you can do for your health, or at least the cutest thing you can do.

People who own dogs have lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and are less likely to have heart attacks. Dogs also manage to lower the triglyceride levels in their owners, which greatly improves cardiovascular health. It’s also proven that if a dog owner does happen to have a heart attack, they are more likely going to survive than those who don’t.

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When you own a dog, you are more likely to stay committed to an exercise routine because taking care of the dog includes taking them on walks. This has been shown to continue well into a person’s 70s or 80s. Studies say that dog owners have “lower body mass index, fewer activities of daily living limitations, fewer doctor visits, and more frequent moderate and vigorous exercise.”

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Staying active is a big part of losing weight, so it makes sense that owning a dog that keeps you active will help you shed those extra pounds. Research found that by giving people “loaner” dogs a few days a week, they were able to lose up to 15 lbs in a year. Having to walk a dog is considered a responsibility as opposed to regular exercise which doesn’t have the same urgency.

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It helps to meet new people if you have an ice breaker, and what’s a better ice breaker than a cute pup at your feet? According to Kay Joubert, Director Companion Animal Services at PAWS, “Dog owners in particular tend to be a little more extroverted, or outgoing. When you start to engage them about their companion animal, people tend to open up and really blossom. They want to share stories about their favorite friend.”

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Therapy dogs aren’t only around because they are cute. Spending time with dogs is scientifically proven to lower anxiety and blood pressure after only a few minutes. Your brain releases more of the neurochemicals serotonin and dopamine when you spend time with a dog, which contribute to a feeling of calm.

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But that’s not all they do…

Circus Uses Rescue Pit Bulls Instead Of Elephants And They Couldn’t Be Happier

Goodbye elephants, lions, and tigers, because a Chicago couple is using a new animal as the poster child of their family circus.

If you take in a show of Midnight Circus in the Parks, you’ll be delighted to see the entertaining styles of two rescue pit bulls full of animation and skill.

Jeff Jenkins and his wife Julie founded Midnight Circus in the Park in 2006, as a way to raise money for the city’s parks department. The performers always had a love for pit bulls, a breed that’s often mistreated and in need of rehabilitation, and decided to add their rescue pup, Lola to the lineup. She was a natural.

“My wife and I had been doing Midnight Circus in its first iteration for a few years when we adopted her, and Lola was naturally a part of the show,” Jenkins told PEOPLE. “Not every performer was for everybody, but every audience member loved that dog.”

Dog Found Deaf And Alone At Gas Station Learns Sign Language To Help Him Find A Home

The hurricanes that ripped through the country earlier this year not only destroyed people’s homes, but also displaced thousands of pets. As heartbreaking as it is, many animals were left behind in the commotion. Scruffy was one of the unfortunate dogs who lost his home, but that wasn’t all he lost.

Scruffy was found at a gas station in Houston, Texas, after hurricane Harvey destroyed so much of the city. He had nowhere to go and no one seemed to be looking for him. The problem wasn’t only that Scruffy was homeless, he was also sick. His ears were severely infected when he was brought into the shelter, but they knew he deserved a chance at a happy life.

Steve Somerville/Metroland

Scruffy was one of 40 dogs that were taken in by the rescue agency Redemption Paws, who brought the animals up to Canada to give them the medical attention they so badly needed. Now that he was safe, he just needed somewhere to stay while they looked for his forever home. They found someone to foster him, but while he’s been there, he has picked up some unique skills that very few dogs would know…

Army Dogs Were Being Put Down After Serving, Until Their Handlers Decided To Do Something About It

Belgian shepherds Kevin and Dazz spent years putting their lives on the line for their fellow soldiers. They were both trained to sniff out IEDs and protect others from harm and they performed their job wonderfully. They are now able to retire, but apparently for military dogs, retirement isn’t always the best option.

Kevin and Dazz didn’t have a home to go to, so their commanding officer had ordered them to be put down. Obviously this did not go over well, and their handlers were furious with the news. “There’s no protocol to decide if a dog is put down. The commanding officer decides and that’s it. It’s such a cruel way to treat ­animals that have given so much.”

But the people who actually were responsible for the dogs weren’t going to let this happen. “We’ll do anything to save these dogs. We’ll go to Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson if need be.”

The Army spokesman said that, “Wherever possible we endeavor to rehome military working dogs. Sadly there are occasions where this is not possible.” But the people who loved the dogs weren’t satisfied with the answer and kept working to find a solution. Even Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan stepped in to try and help these dogs find new homes.

Duncan said that these dogs had “fought fearlessly alongside our soldiers… Let us now be the ones to fight for them and give them a chance to live happy lives where they can thrive. It is the least they deserve.”

Well, the Army has finally responded do their requests…