Barn Cat Demands Rides on Farm Animal’s Backs

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by Caroline Golon

Boli
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Photo by Joanna Shaw

At Snowfall Ranch in Elizabeth, Colorado, you’ll find the typical array of horses, pigs, goats, miniature donkeys and lambs. You’ll also find a barn cat named Teton who rules the roost.

When the Joanna and Scott Shaw, owners of Snowfall Ranch, began a renovation, they immediately saw mice so they decided to get a mouser. “Right from the start, Teton had spunk,” the Shaws said of the cat they adopted for the job. As much as they tried to keep him in the “cat area” he would not stay there. Instead of hanging in his cat house with food and fluffy blanket, he wanted to hang out with the barn animals. Eventually the team gave up trying to keep Teton contained and let him go where he pleased.

It wasn’t long before they discovered Teton leisurely riding atop the other animals. Joanna says he often climbs aboard particularly in bad weather. “He tends to ride them more in snow with the belief being he doesn’t want to get paws wet,” she told The Dodo.

Boli
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Photo by Joanna Shaw

Aside from riding on his friends, Teton sleeps with them and even drinks from their water troughs. While the little cat isn’t a big fan of humans, he seems right at home with a variety of other species.

“When they are turned out in pasture he goes with them,” Joanna told The Dodo. “He will lay with them on the 7 acres and I would guess he believes he is one of them.”

Rescue Dog Rescues Tiny Hummingbird

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by Caroline Golon

Boli
Click Here to enlarge
Photo courtesy of
Ed Gernon/YouTube

Rex the dog was rescued from the streets. He had only been with his new owner for a month when he turned around and rescued another animal in need – a helpless hummingbird.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Rex used to be feral. He lived on his own, scrounging for food, and fighting with other dogs. That’s why his new owner, Ed Gernon, was so surprised when Rex showed such tenderness and concern for the tiny, injured hummingbird they came upon while out on a walk one day in Whitter, Calif.

Rex stopped by the hummingbird lying on the ground. The bird was covered in ants and didn’t have any feathers. Gernon assumed it was dead. But Rex knew otherwise. “…He suddenly stopped and he would not move,” Gernon told CBS Los Angeles.

Incredulous, Gernon brought the bird home and nursed her back to health, feeding her a special formula every 15 minutes all day. He named her Hummer and even taught her how to fly, using a hair dryer.

He was touched by Rex’s concern for the little bird so decided to give her his all to help her survive.

In the early days, Hummer grew very attached to Rex. Gernon says, “There was a time, as Hummer was perfecting her flying skills, that she developed a total crush on Rex,” Gernon explains on YouTube. “Wherever he was, she wanted to be close by. She even started bathing in his water bowl, killing time while he ate before she’d start playing with him again. So strange, but amazing.”

Boli
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Photo courtesy of
Ed Gernon/YouTube

Now, a year later, Hummer is still with Gernon and Max although Gernon knows she needs to leave them at some point. “It’s time for her to start mating and I keep leaving the doors and windows open thinking she’ll leave,” he told CBS.

Gannon himself is still amazed by what happened. “I rescue this dog. He rescues the bird. The bird rescues all of us in a weird sense and it’s just a miracle.”

Dog Helps Woman Survive 9 Days in Desert

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by Caroline Golon

Boli
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Photo courtesy of
Gila County Sheriff’s Office

A Phoenix woman is crediting her rescue pup, Queenie, with helping her survive nine days lost in the desert.

According to The Washington Post, 72-year-old Ann Rodgers had set out in her car with her Queensland terrier mix, Queenie, and her cat, Nike, to surprise her daughter and grandson in Tucson.

Low on gas, Rodgers became lost looking for a gas station. When her car ran out of gas in a remote area near Canyon Creek on the White River Indian Reservation, Rodgers knew the best thing was to stay with the car, hoping someone would find her.

Unfortunately, after 2 days, no one came by. She was forced to make a decision: hike to find water and cell phone reception or stay and risk dehydration.

Boli
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Photo courtesy of
Arizona Department of Public Safety

So Rodgers set off. An avid camper, Rodgers also brought along survival tools that she had in her car like a knife, matches and warm clothes and, of course, her dog Queenie. For Nike’s safety, Rodgers left the cat in the car.

Rodgers and Queenie traversed the canyon, looking for help, becoming even more lost. They drank pond water and ate plants and huddled together at night by fires Rodgers was, fortunately, able to build.

“Queenie became my pathfinder,” Rodgers told The Washington Post . “She was the one who would range ahead of me to find the game trail, or cowpath or place to cross a river safely.” 

Meanwhile, a search was on for the missing woman. Police officers had found Rodgers’ car and her cat, Nike, who was in good condition, albeit hungry. The large-scale operation, including helicopters, took another 6 days to find Rodgers.

Rodgers had used white sticks and rocks to spell out “help” in the sand, which helicopters spotted. She left a note next to the bones, explaining that she and Queenie had headed downstream.

When rescuers found the note, they continued their search, happily discovering Queenie and, a few minutes later, Rodgers.

Miraculously, both Rodgers and Queenie were okay, other than suffering from exposure.

Male Cat Perfect “Mom” for Orphaned Baby Kitten

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by Caroline Golon

Boli
Click Here to enlarge
Photo courtesy of
Cristina Piapia

One male cat is the perfect “mama” for an orphaned newborn kitten.

According to cat lover’s site, Love Meow, Cristina Piapia found a tiny newborn kitten alone one morning, without a mother anywhere nearby. The kitten was so young his eyes were still closed.

Piapia, who lives in Spain, took the little kitten back to her house to care for him. What happened next surprised her.

Her male cat, Boli, began caring for the kitten, just like a mama would. He groomed the kitten and snuggled with him.

While Piapia bottle fed the kitten, Boli took care of all of the other nurturing aspects of caring for a newborn.

Piapia named the little kitten Fa. As Fa grew, he idolized his “daddy,” Boli, following him around.

Now Fa is growing into a healthy, happy young cat, thanks to the caring and love given by Piapia and her special “mancat” Boli.

Family Dog Leads Firefighters to Kids in Burning Home

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by Caroline Golon

Penelope
Click Here to enlarge
Lenny, photo courtesy
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

A former police dog named Maxx recently put his training and bravery to work for his own family when their house went up in flames.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, police deputy Margo Feaser and her husband, Brent, along with their 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter were asleep around 11 p.m. when a fire broke out in their Orlando home. Neighbors said they heard an explosion and then saw flames coming out of the house. They called 911 and rushed to help.

The family was trapped inside the house. The fast-acting neighbors were able to smash windows and knock down the front door to get to Margo and Brent. The family’s German Shepherd, Maxx, also emerged from the home. However, their children were still inside.

According to Today.com, Deputy Feaser tried frantically to go back into the house to search for her kids but neighbors held her back so firefighters could go in.

The smoke was so thick that firefighters had trouble making their way through the home to find the kids. That’s when Maxx sprung into action. The retired police dog led firefighters back into the house two times to find the children. Maxx led the men straight to the kids and firefighters were able to carry them to safety.

The whole family, including Maxx, suffered injuries but survived the devastating fire.

Seminole Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said the heroics of many led to the rescue – the neighbors, Deputy Feaser and, of course, Maxx.

“The family canine was just absolutely remarkable leading firefighters inside,” Lemma told the Orlando Sentinel. “It absolutely saved their lives.”

Room Director Donates 10,000 Bowls of Halo to KittyKind Rescue

Posted by & filed under Freekibble, Stories.

by Caroline Golon


Photos by KittyKind, Inc.

Just by playing Freekibble.com every day, you are making incredible things happen for pets in need!

At this year’s Academy Awards, nominees had a special opportunity to help pets. Halo, Freekibble.com and Greatergood.org gave each nominee in the top 5 categories a gift certificate for 10,000 bowl donation of Halo natural food to the rescue or shelter of their choice.

Lenny Abrahamson, the director of the acclaimed movie “Room,” was nominated for Best Director this year and received the gift certificate.

Abrahamson chose KittyKind, a 501(c)(3), no-kill, all-volunteer cat rescue and adoption group located in New York City.

KittyKind was thrilled and honored with the donation. “We chose to give those meals to as many rescuers who feed community cats as we could possibly help!”

KittyKind distributed 136 bags of high-quality Halo Spot’s Stew (1,168 pounds of food), to over 20 colony caretakers. This distribution is helping to feed more than 1,000 community cats! “We worked together to make a difference for some of NYC’s biggest heroes,” said a KittyKind team member.

So what did the cats think of the food? “Are you kidding?” said Meredith Ferguson with KittyKind. “This probably the best food most of these cats have ever had. Not one single complaint from the rescuers, only tears of joy about the high quality of the food.”

Way to go Kibblers! Your impact reaches far and wide!

Dog Café Opens in Los Angeles

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by Caroline Golon

Penelope
Photos by Patrick Corr

We’ve heard a lot about cat cafes but now dog lovers can have their day thanks to a new dog café that’s opened in Los Angeles the first of its kind in the U.S.

The Dog Café provides a place where dog-loving humans get their doggie fix and adoptable dogs from local Los Angeles area shelters can come for socialization and to hopefully land a forever home with one of the patrons.

According to MSN, the shelter chooses dogs for the café who could use more human interaction to build trust again. “We want to love them to the point where they start trusting people again,” said owner Sarah Wolfgang.

Wolfgang has worked in animal welfare for 15 years and wanted to do something different to help homeless animals. She then spent some time in the restaurant industry to learn the ropes. While the café opened a few months ago to great success, the official grand opening was April 7.

Wolfgang describes the Dog Café “like a cool community center” that’s “part coffee shop and part dog lounge,” she told MSN.

The cost of entry is $10 a person, which comes with a beverage and 55 minute reservation to get all the canine cuddles you can handle. Customers can also choose to stop by the coffee shop for the cool atmosphere and specialty beverage.

“Dogs pretty much run the dog lounge,” Wolfgang told MSN. “Customers are just guests.”

Creative Cops Save Cat from Tree

Posted by & filed under Freekibble, Stories.

by Caroline Golon

Penelope
Click Here to enlarge
Photo Credit:
La Vista Police Department

Quick thinking and creativity from some feline-friendly cops saved the day when they rescued a stray cat who had become stuck in a tree.

According to the Huffington Post, two officers with Nebraska’s La Vista Police Department were called to the scene where a cat was perched 20 feet above ground over a creek.

Officer TJ Markowsky of the La Vista Police Department described in a hilarious series of Twitter posts how he and Officer Harold Rappold rescued the cat.

Officer Rappold pulled out his Taser and used the laser like a “red dot” to guide the kitty down to safety. Then, officer Markowsky used his bulletproof shield to give the cat a bridge to walk across to solid ground.

As Officer Markowsky live-tweeted the rescue, he pointed out that, per protocol, the officers will have to file official paperwork for using a Taser. He also mentioned that charges are pending against the cat “for scratching me.”

The caring (and funny!) officers took the cat to the local Humane Society. Happily, according to the Huffington Post, the cat was adopted quickly.

New “P.I. Woof” Film Showcases How Training and Nutrition Help Shelter Pets Shine

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Halo and Filmmaker Larry Kay Team up for Homeless Pets

Tampa, Fla. (April 11, 2016) – What happens to shelter dogs when they receive good training and are fed a healthy diet? Almost anything! says award-winning dog filmmaker and author Larry Kay. Kay teamed up with Halo, Purely for Pets, America’s best-loved holistic pet food brand, to create the new action-comedy short film P.I. Woof “Smellbound,” starring shelter dogs from Pet Orphans of Southern California.

For P.I. Woof, Kay uses movie technology to immerse shelter dogs in his animated world. The title character is a wisecracking hero, P.I. Woof, performed by Trusty, a six-year-old mutt who was sheltered at Pet Orphans for more than a year before being adopted by shelter employees and becoming one of the first graduates of Kay’s filmmaking project.

P.I. Woof’s sidekick is Eight the Cat, so named because she has only eight lives, instead of a cat’s so-called nine lives. Eight is performed by Jane, a five-year-old shelter alum.

The film’s villain is an animated reptile “mutt” named Weevil, who insists that he is a purebred Tyrannosaurus Rex. Kay explains, “Weevil is a bully who hates mutts even though he is one.”

In this premiere episode, titled “Smellbound,” P.I. Woof must rescue shelter dogs who have been brainwashed by Weevil.

The project began when Kay wondered: what happens when you train shelter dogs like movie dogs? “One of the biggest reasons that shelter dogs don’t get adopted is lack of training,” he explains.

In the past year, Kay and his filmmaking team have made short web films featuring more than 35 shelter dogs at Pet Orphans. Most dogs begin filming with little or no training and are transformed by the filmmaking experience into pets that are ready to be adopted. P.I. Woof is the first longer film Kay’s team has developed. All animal actors who appear in P.I. Woof have now found forever homes.

Halo, which donates more than 1.5 million bowls of healthy, nutritious food to homeless pets every year, knows that high quality nutrition can make a big difference in a shelter pet’s adoptability. In fact, in a survey of 85 shelter professionals, 75 percent said the quality of Halo pet food “definitely helps” dogs and cats get adopted.

Since the project’s inception, Halo has donated 30,000 bowls of healthy, natural food to feed the dogs and cats at Pet Orphans to help them find their forever homes.

Pet Orphans President Suzanne Allison knows first hand how the nutritious Halo diet makes an impact on the pets in their care. “The quality of Halo food gives Pet Orphans’ rescues more energy, shinier eyes and brighter coats making them easier to adopt.”

Contact: Caroline Golon
Halo, Purely for Pets
614-580-2445/caroline@highpaw.com

Two Programs Pair Shelter Dogs with Juvenile Inmates

Posted by & filed under Freekibble, Stories.

by Caroline Golon

Penelope
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Lenny, photo courtesy of
Fox 5 New York.

Dogs can inspire us to be better people and there is no better proof of that than when troubled kids in juvenile centers and jails can help train dogs.

One program in Amarillo, Texas called Unlocking Hope pairs local shelter dogs with juvenile inmates who help socialize and train the pups to increase their chance of being adopted.

“Here they learn to reach out and put some of their needs aside for the betterment of another individual, in this case a dog,” Joe Barton, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Randall County, told Newschannel 10. “They’re learning to be responsible. They’re learning to open up and trust. They’re learning to show care. It’s a very experiential, real-life set of skills that they can parlay over to people in their community.” 

Plenty of kids apply for the Randall County program but only two were selected for this round. The selected kids have responsibility for the dog. “The dog lives with them, sleeps in their room with them and the kiddo is in charge of the dog,” says Barton.

A trainer meets weekly with the kids and the dogs to help teach the dogs basic commands that the kids can reinforce.

“Dogs have no judgment,” said Jena McFall, executive director of the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society. “They love you unconditionally, and they love fully. So I think these kids are going to be really loved.” 

Across the country at Rikers Island prison in New York, teen inmates are engaging in a similar program with a rescue dog named Lenny from North Shore Animal League.

A select group of kids care for Lenny – feeding, exercising and training him, with the ultimate goal of finding him a forever home.

Like the Unlocking Hope program, officials at Rikers have found their program successful as well.

Correction Department Deputy Commissioner Winette Jackson says she sees positive changes in the teens involved in the program in a variety of ways, including the elimination of violent incidents with participants.

To date, the Rikers teen program has cared for eight dogs who have found forever homes.