By Linda Cole
Military rules are clear when it comes to troops in a war zone and pets. They are not supposed to keep or care for pets at all. Thankfully, this rule is bent when men and women in the armed forces overseas adopt homeless pets. Puppy Rescue Mission is an organization that’s helping to bring these war zone pets home.
On the Puppy Rescue Mission’s Facebook page, a poster shows a soldier crouching down and petting a kitten. The poster reads: “It is man’s sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man.” I thought about the poster – the image and the words, and how true it is for anyone who loves animals. Soldiers have always befriended pets in foreign lands where they were stationed. Rescued dogs have tagged along on patrols, and have been credited with saving the lives of soldiers. Anna Cannan created the nonprofit Puppy Rescue Mission after her fiancé Chris befriended a group of dogs living at the outpost where he was stationed while serving in Afghanistan.
A few weeks before Chris arrived at the outpost to begin his tour of duty, a suicide bomber had snuck into the outpost during the night. Three stray dogs living at the camp rushed to defend the outpost and attacked the bomber. The dogs stopped what could have been a devastating attack when they kept the suicide bomber away from where the soldiers were sleeping. Unfortunately, one of the dogs was killed and the other two were injured but recovered. When Chris arrived, he and his fellow soldiers embraced the dogs, including a litter of puppies belonging to one of the injured dogs. Chris knew he would eventually return home, and he and Anna began to brainstorm how they could rescue some of these brave dogs and send them back to the States for adoption. Anna began a Facebook page to try and raise the $3,000 per dog it would cost at the time they began their mission to rescue Afghanistan dogs needing homes. You can read their entire story on the Puppy Rescue Mission website.
By Julia Williams
I loved the taste of rich, dark chocolate long before studies confirmed that eating a few squares a day can provide numerous health benefits. When I learned that chocolate might actually be good for me, I quit fighting the craving (I was losing the battle anyway!). Now that I’ve discovered there is a chocolate bar that donates 100% of their net profits to animal rescue organizations around the country, I fear my consumption is about to skyrocket. But it’s okay…the way I see it, there are far worse things than eating chocolate and helping animals at the same time!
Sarah Gross founded Rescue Chocolate in January 2010 as a way to raise funds for animal shelters and rescue groups, while also educating the public on issues facing homeless pets. Every month, the Brooklyn-based company picks a different animal rescue organization to help.
Rescue Chocolate’s melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate candy bars, truffles and hearts are 100% vegan and certified kosher. Their products are handcrafted in the finest Belgian tradition with high quality ingredients and no artificial preservatives. Gross works with executive chef Jean Francois Bonnet at the Tumbador chocolate factory to make the divine dark chocolate creations.
By Linda Cole
Nonprofit organizations across the country help pets in a variety of ways. Pilots N Paws is an online organization with a unique transporting program that has given rescue organizations, shelters and people who foster pets the ability to move unwanted and homeless pets to locations around the country where a new home is hopefully waiting for the pet. Pilots and plane owners who want to help improve the chances that a pet can find a forever home are offering their planes and time. They fly pets from an area where there’s little chance a pet can be placed in a home, to another area where the pet’s chances of being adopted are much better. Pilots are also flying pets who have been adopted to their new homes around the country. Pilots who want to help rescue shelter pets can get together with shelters and rescue organizations to plan their own special way of saving a pet’s life.
Pilots N Paws is a volunteer organization that doesn’t ask for donations. It’s a website that was started by Debi Boies who was involved in Doberman rescue in upstate South Carolina and her friend, Jon Wehrenberg, a pilot, who had volunteered to fly a rescued Doberman from Florida to Debi’s home in South Carolina. After the flight, the two began to discuss the need for a better way of moving homeless pets across the country besides the traditional way of setting up car transports. They began on February 8, 2008 with their first official life-saving flight. To date, the volunteer pilots number over 1,800 and there are 8,100 registered users with more registering every day who use the Pilots N Paws website to connect with each other. Debi and Jon are shooting for 10,000 pilots to make sure there are enough planes to transport homeless pets wherever they need to go to help them find a new home.
By Suzanne Alicie
As a responsible pet owner, it breaks my heart to see dogs that need to be rescued. There are foundations that put up heartbreaking ads on television, and shelter animals for adoption at local pet stores. For someone like me who recently lost a dog to cancer, it can really cause the tears to flow to think of those poor dogs having no homes and no one to love. The love of a dog is a truly unconditional love. A dog is never too tired to play, they never want you to leave them alone, and even when they are sick and in pain they want you nearby. When it comes to comfort, there is nothing like the soft eyes of a dog as she nudges your hand to let you know she is there.
We are all aware of animal shelters, or that other term “the pound,” and although they provide a beneficial service to the community, it’s difficult to accept that not all of them can be “no kill” shelters. When it comes to saving dogs and keeping them alive, placing them with foster families for socialization, and making needy dogs available for adoption, canine rescue groups are considered the cream of the crop. There are breed specific rescue groups, rescue groups for different areas of the country, and rescue groups for specific disasters such as Hurricane Katrina which left thousands of animals without homes.