A Maine Coon cat named Gracie is being credited for saving the lives of a couple who were experiencing the deadly effects of carbon monoxide poisoning in their home. Kevin and Annette Shanahan of Reedsburg, Wisconsin went to bed not realizing that the vent of their tankless gas hot water heater had been frozen shut with ice, leading to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide leaking into their home.
Annette got out of bed feeling sick and collapsed in a chair. Gracie began pounding on the bedroom door to wake up Kevin. Kevin woke up thanks to Gracie’s persistent efforts. He was also feeling the effects of the gas but luckily the couple were able to call their son and 911. Emergency responders found lethal levels of carbon monoxide on the 2nd floor of the house.
The couple credit Gracie for saving their lives and think that she sensed what was happening and did her best to alert them. As Annette says, “We were definitely saved by Grace. Saved by Gracie.”
We’d like to share a bit of news about a project close to the heart of FACE’s very busy Humane Educator Annie Petersen: the SoulPaws Recovery Project. Besides the work she does with FACE to educate young people in our community about pets and animals, Annie has also worked with other organizations like the San Diego Humane Society and the Zoological Society of San Diego.
Annie, who holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management, has also served as the President of the Association for Human-Animal Bond Studies. Currently, Annie works closely with an amazing organization called the SoulPaws Recovery Project, which she co-founded with Shannon Kopp. The mission of SoulPaws is to offer therapeutic support (including animal-assisted therapy) to those affected by eating disorders.
SoulPaws is dedicated to rescuing shelter animals and utilizing animal-assisted therapy to support sufferers of eating disorders. SoulPaws works with certified therapy animals as well as shelter animals. They also use other therapies like yoga, journaling, and art therapy. Their work was recently featured on the Huffington Post website. Be sure to check out the article and the SoulPaws website to learn more about this great non-profit.
We are very grateful to have such an amazing advocate as part of the FACE team. Thank you for all you do for the animals…and people…in our community, Annie!
Here’s a great way to start your week with a smile! The good folks at the Santa Fe New Mexico Animal Shelter & Humane Society have created a fantastic video to help raise awareness about shelter pet adoption. Check out their “Bachelor” TV show parody featuring 2 love-struck women competing for the affection of one very handsome shelter dog named Stewart:
The Humane Society of the United States recently announced the creation of their new “Humane Puerto Rico” initiative. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the U.S. and according to HSUS, there are many dogs, cats, and other animals there that are in urgent need of help. Did you know that the euthanasia rate for shelter dogs and cats is 95%, and that many thousands of homeless pets roam the streets of this island?
What will the initiative do? There will be a multi-faceted effort to improve the lives of the animals of Puerto Rico in several areas, including:
Training law enforcement officers and prosecutors on animal cruelty crimes.
Donating law enforcement evidence-gathering kits.
Cracking down on puppy mills.
A humane education program that will reach every K-12 public school student.
New tools and technology for animal shelters on the island.
Partnering with Humane Society International on low-cost spay/neuter programs.
Puerto Rican government officials signed an agreement pledging their cooperation to help solve critical issues such as animal cruelty, the street dog population, and the euthanasia rate. HSUS notes that many tourists visiting Puerto Rico have been struck by the number of homeless animals in poor condition wandering the streets, and have contacted various organizations to see what can be done.
Interested in learning more about the HSUS Humane Puerto Rico initiative? Click HERE for the original story. For an update on what’s been going on lately, including a contraception program for the free-roaming horses of Vieques, and the launch of the Sister Shelter Project, in which shelter professionals from several states will provide assistance to Puerto Rican shelters, click HERE.
Why the growing interest in senior dogs? Grey Muzzle reports that more people are open to the idea of adopting an older dog, and they recognize the benefits of bringing a calm, well-trained, and adaptable dog into the family.
Grey Muzzle provides grants to organizations that assist at-risk senior dogs (including the FACE Foundation!) and they surveyed 30 grant recipients that helped dogs in 2016. Here are the key findings:
Two thirds of respondents reported that the situation for homeless senior dogs has improved over the last 2 years.
80% of the respondents said they have seen positive changes in the public’s perception of senior dogs.
The majority of senior dog adopters choose older dogs for altruistic reasons…to provide them with a comfortable home for their remaining years.
One half of the respondents said that more younger people are seeking out senior dogs. Social media may be a factor…seeing pictures of dogs they want to help, and also the “trendiness” dynamic.
Two thirds of survey respondents report that senior humans are still the most likely adopters of senior dogs, since a low-key pup is just the thing for humans who have slowed down a bit.
Most respondents agree that the main factors in not adopting a senior dog are fears of the dog passing away quickly, and also high veterinary bills. Advocates note that the word “senior” can be used for dogs as young as 7. For many, that’s just middle age. As for vet bills, Grey Muzzle notes that they and their grantees (like FACE) provide assistance for veterinary care to qualified pet owners.