July 23, 2014
by Sam Bourne

Hero Dog Rescues Deaf Boy from Burning House


Just his luck. The first time Nick Lamb is allowed to stay home alone and he ends up waking up in the middle of the night to a raging house fire.

RELATED ARTICLE: Pet Fire Safety Checklist

All things considered, however, it could have been much worse. Nick was born deaf, and while he has cochlear implants that help him hear, he turns them off when he goes to bed. So that night when the house was ablaze, Nick was unable to hear the smoke alarm.

Then what shook him from his deep slumber?


The very sloppy kisses of a hero dog named Ace.

Whether Ace, a pit bull, somehow knew that Nick was unable to hear the alarm, or if he just wanted to wake up the only person in the house to shut it off, the fact remains that if it wasn’t for Ace’s slobbery wake up call, there is a good chance that neither one of them would have made it out of the house alive.


“I thought he wanted to go outside,” Nick told AP reporters, explaining the initial confusion of being awoken by Ace to find his house on fire. That confusion, however, went right out the window the second Nick saw all of the smoke billowing throughout the house. “I just wanted to get out.”

Barefoot, the two of them rushed out of the house, Nick covering his nose and mouth with his shirt. Luckily, Nick managed to grab one of his cochlear implants on his way out of the house, enabling him to talk on the phone with the fire department and his parents.

RELATED ARTICLE: What Causes Dog and Cat Asthma?

“It’s amazing, because if [Ace] wouldn’t have been there, he probably wouldn’t have even woke up,” Nick’s mother told AP.

While Nick and Ace were able to rush out of the burning house to safety, the family cat Pixie remained inside until rescued by firefighters. Now being treated for smoke inhalation, vets are confident that the skittish kitty will pull through.

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Associated Press – Dog Hailed as Hero for Alerting Deaf Boy to Fire

July 18, 2014
by Sam Bourne

Brave Cat Protects 5-Year-Old from Gang of Bullies


It is starting to look like we are going to have to rethink the term ‘scaredy cat’ with all these brave cats making headlines. The most recent in this long line of brave cats is Smudge, a moggy that saved 5-year-old Ethan Fenton from a pack of bullies.


Ethan and his 2-year-old brother, Ashton, were playing soccer in the front yard when a group of three older, and much larger, boys walked up and started taunting Ethan. Taking the highroad, Ethan did not respond to the bullies and instead continued to play with his brother. However, bullies do not always take kindly to being ignored.


Ethan’s mother, Sarah Fenton, told The Mirror that “one of the boys got in Ethan’s face and said, ‘Oi! Why are you ignoring me?’ and pushed him over.”

And then, Smudge lept into action.




Rushing out from under a car, Smudge jumped up onto the aggressive boy’s chest, pushing him off Ethan and putting the fear of God into him.

“I think it was shock more than anything but the boy stumbled backwards, burst into tears and then ran off,” said Ethan’s mother.

What the Fentons found most surprising about the event was how readily Smudge came to Ethan’s rescue. Sure, a close knit bond had been forged between the young moggy and the two boys, but never had they see their beloved house cat act in such a protective way. This brave cat behavior presented an entirely new side to their kitty that they had never seen before.

RELATED STORY: Learn About Cat Personalities

And Sarah Fenton couldn’t be happier about it. “I actually feel so much safer knowing Smudge is around after seeing him defend [Ethan] like that.”


While Smudge did not play the part of the brave cat for any kind of recognition, his actions are certainly earning him a lot of press. In fact, because of Smudge’s protective behavior, his name has been thrown in the ring for the National Cat of the Year award, one of the highest honors a British cat can receive.

However, even though he is starting to gain popularity for being such a brave cat, Smudge knows that his job as Ethan’s protector is not over. Sarah told a reporter at The Mirror that “[Smudge] has slept outside his bedroom keeping guard ever since it happened.”


Now that is a cat that knows the importance of family.

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The Mirror - Is this Britain’s bravest cat? Feisty feline saves boy from bullies

July 17, 2014
by Sam Bourne

Service Dog Gets Boston Bombing Survivor Booted from TJ Maxx

On July 10th, Sydney Corcoran was asked to leave her local T.J. Maxx because of her service dog. The retail chain has issued a formal apology for the actions of that branch’s manager, but apology or no, the damage has already been done.

The Service Dog’s Origin

A survivor of the bombing at the Boston Marathon, Sydney sustained multiple shrapnel wounds that day and has been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ever since. For her, the service dog she was given — named Koda — has been her saving grace.

“It’s knowing that I have this little support system that’s all my own. He’s my little cheerleader,” Sydney said to ABC 5 News. “Honestly, I sleep better now. I used to have a really hard time trying to sleep because my mind would always just be going in overdrive.”

RELATED STORY: ECAD Project Heal – Stories of Heroes


The T.J. Maxx Incident

Because Koda is such an integral part of Sydney’s life, when she was told to leave the store because of him, it hit her especially hard. And it wasn’t like the manager was unaware of Koda’s role as a service dog.

“He had on his service dog vest — bright blue, says ‘service dog’ all over it,” Sydney said. “The store manager came over to me and said to me, ‘If you want to keep your dog in the store, you have to put him in the carriage.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 made it illegal for any establishment to refuse service to a customer based on the pretense that they are in possession of a service animal, or request that anything be done with the dog that might inhibit their ability to serve. That being true, the manager of this TJ Maxx was in direct violation of Sydney’s rights.

TJ Maxx has formally apologized on behalf of the store manager, stating that they are deeply remorseful for their actions and will work hard to ensure that nothing like this ever happens in any of their establishments in the future. And while TJ Maxx has promised to be more aware of the importance of a service dog, this case is just a symptom of the bigger problem.

RELATED STORY: Airline Refuses Iraqi War Vet His Service Dog


The Big Picture

All across the globe, there exists an overriding misconception about the importance of service dogs to those they are serving. We would never dream of asking an injured vet to check his prosthetic leg at the door, but should he be accompanied by a German Shepherd, it’s all “no dogs allowed.”

In order to enact a change, we need to stop viewing service dogs as pets and start seeing them as the ambulatory and emotional aids they are. Why not start today?

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WCVB – Marathon Bombing Survivor Says Service Dog Got Her Kicked Out of Store

July 15, 2014
by Sam Bourne

Hero Cat Saves Dying Woman’s Life


Rarely do we hear about a “hero cat,” but when we do it makes for an amazing tale.  The story of how Slinky Malinki saved his owner from the jaws of death is proof of that.

The Hero Cat’s Origins

Janet Rawlinson, a former nurse,was put on morphine for her chronic back pain. However, her reaction to the medication ended up being far more severe than her back pain ever was.

After slipping in and out of consciousness for 5 days, Janet began to lose her grip on reality. On the fifth day, when she fell into another morphine induced stupor, her normally timid and aloof cat, Slinky, intuited that there was something seriously wrong.

RELATED ARTICLE: Learn About Cat Personalities


Showing a kind of quick response one might expect of a hero cat, Slinky rushed over to the neighboring house and began tapping at their window to get their attention. Once the neighbors noticed the cat, they sensed his urgency and followed him back to Rawlinson’s home. There they found an unconscious Janet.

“They got in through the back and managed to wake me up. My neighbour said he thought I was dead,” Janet told a reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph.

The Aftermath

Now back home, safe and sound, Janet has noticed that Slinky has been much more cautious around her.

“He sits on hills beyond the house and he watches out for me going into the kitchen. If he doesn’t see me go in for a couple of hours he will come into the house and find me, and if I don’t see him he will tap me on the leg or arm until I respond.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Crack the Cat Language Barrier – Learn to Understand Your Cat


After news got wind of Slinky the hero cat, he has been nominated for a hero award by the Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards in London. If he manages to take the prize — and he is the front runner — he will be eligible to win the prestigious National Cat of the Year title.

Last year’s winner was Jessi-Cat, a service pet that helps a Manchester boy cope with his Asperger’s Syndrome.

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Lancashire Telegraph - CAT SAVED MY LIFE: Hero pet taps on neighbour’s window after owner collapses

July 10, 2014
by Sam Bourne

Saving Strays & Fighting Crime: A New Source for K9 Dogs

k9 dogs

Photo from Facebook

Mutts are just as clever and capable as their purebred cousins — anyone that has rescued a mixed breed can attest to that.

However, when it comes to being official police K9 dogs, purebreds have long been the only choice.

Departments with K9 dogs often spend thousands of dollars having purebreds like German Shepherds from Europe shipped over. This expense not only that takes a large bite out of the department’s budget, but it could also be entirely avoided.

k9 dogs

Photo from Facebook

It seems crazy for police to be paying top dollar for European purebreds when there are equally capable dogs that are in jeopardy of being put down. And Universal K9 is working on helping police everywhere realize that.

From Strays to K9 Dogs – How The Program Works

Brad Croft, the founder of Universal K9, and his team of military-trained personnel have already trained upwards of 60 rescue dogs. His organization has turned out dogs that can detect drugs or explosives, track scents, and apprehend a suspect. What’s more, every single one of these dogs were on track to be put down before they were rescued by Universal K9.

k9 dogs

Photo from Facebook

Once the dogs are fully trained, they are given to a police department free of charge. This organization gives police a new resource and gives these dogs a new lease on life.

And it is not only police who benefit from these fully trained K9 dogs. Schools and other institutions that may need the kind of help these dogs have to offer can apply to receive K9 dogs of their own. The goal of this program is to find homes for these otherwise helpless dogs, so anyplace that can use them is more than welcome.

k9 dogs

Photo from Facebook

How You Can Help

Croft is currently working with a class of 15 new dogs and expects to have trained 100 dogs by the end of the year.  Croft said to ABC News “if you look at the statistics, the statistics are like something like 945,000 a year that are being euthanized,” so there is still a lot of work to be done.

In order to widen their scope and help more police departments open their eyes to the potential of rescue dogs, Universal K9 is asking for some start up capital and has been using the popular crowdsourcing site Indiegogo to go about it. If you think this project is worth expanding, please lend them a hand either by donating or sharing this with people who might care.


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Source: ABC News - From Shelter to K9 Unit: Group Gives Dogs Second Chance and a Duty Digital Journal - From Street Dog to Police Dog Crowdfunding Campaign Aims to Save Dogs, Aid Struggling Police Departments & Protect our Nation’s Schools From Guns/Drugs