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Successful Businessman Risks His Life to Save Thousands of Dogs from Asia’s Dog Meat Trade

Up until a couple of years ago, Mark Ching was a successful businessman who dedicated his free time and resources to rehabilitating abused dogs in Los Angeles and finding new homes for them. But then he heard about the horrors of the dog meat trade in China, and after witnessing them first hand he dedicated his life to rescuing as many canines as he could from dog slaughterhouses across Asia, even if it meant putting his own life at risk.

Mark’s life changed in 2015, when he heard about an annual event in China called the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. He knew that the Chinese and other Asians ate dog meat, and he accepted that as a cultural thing, but what he couldn’t understand was the unspeakable torture that the animals were apparently subjected to before being killed, to supposedly make their meat tastier. It didn’t make any sense to him, so he bought a plane ticket to China, put on a backpack and flew to Yulin to learn more. The gruesome scenes he saw on that first trip to China were more horrific than he could have ever imagined, and while they left him traumatized for life, they also transformed him into a brave activist willing to risk his life to rescue as many animals as possible.

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Mexican Ice-Cream Shop Makes Frozen Treats for Dogs

Summer is just around the corner and, as we all know, there’s no better way too cool off on a hot day than with a creamy ice cream. Apparently, the same goes for dogs, but feeding them regular ice-cream can cause serious health problems, so one ice-cream maker in Mexico City asked veterinarians for help creating frozen treats specifically for them.

Many dogs are lactose intolerant, so feeding them milk or products based on regular dairy can upset their stomachs and cause diarrhea. They also lack the enzymes needed to break down sugar, so eating too much of it can induce vomiting. Chocolate is also a big problem for canines, due to an alkaloid called theobromine, which they metabolize very slowly, and eating too much of it can literally kill them. After learning all this, Mauricio Montoya, owner of Don Paletto ice cream, in Mexico City, decided he needed to create a special kind of ice-cream for pooches.

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The “Dog Lady of Delhi” Looks After Over 400 Strays

Pratima Devi, a 65-year-old ragpicker from New Delhi, India, has dedicated the last three decades of her life to caring for stray dogs. Rummaging through trash and running a small tea stall barely allows her to support herself, but she’ll gladly skip a meal or two to feed the hundreds of dogs she looks after on a daily basis.

The “Dog Lady of Delhi”, ad Pratima has come to be known in India, never had an easy life. Born into a poor family, she got married to a man 10 years her senior when she was only 7 years old, and had her first child at age 14. Her marriage was not a happy one, as her husband would often come home drunk and beat her, and both she and her mother suffered at the hand of her in-laws. Her husband didn’t have a job, so she had to work all day and take care of the house to make sure they had food on the table.

When he was 5 years old, the oldest of her three children went to New Delhi to work, and when living with her abusive husband became too much to bare, Pratima followed him to start a new life. There, she started working as a domestic helper in the house of a popular model-turned-actor, and later set up her own tea stall, in the Saket neighborhood of Delhi. It was here that she met her best friends, stray dogs.

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Neglected Pony Hasn’t Had Her Hooves Trimmed in 10 Years

Horses need to have their hooves trimmed every few weeks, but Poly, a Shetland pony recently rescued by an animal shelter in Belgium, hasn’t had hers trimmed in over 10 years. Now, she may never walk normally again, due to damage to her joints.

As you can see in the gruesome photos below, Poly’s hooved had grown so much over the years that they eventually became thick keratinous spirals that made it impossible for the animal to walk properly. It’s hard to imagine how someone could ignore something like this for so long, but unfortunately, the pony’s owner was the only one who knew about it.

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Belgian Cattle Breeder Treats His Cows to Four Liters of Beer a Day

Hugues Derzelle, a cattle breeder from Chimay, Belgium, believes that one of the secrets to great tasting, marbled beef could be beer, so for the past few months he has been giving some of his cows four liters of dark beer every day.

Derzelle says he came up with the idea after reading that Japanese Kobe beef producers massage their cows, play them soothing music and give them beer to drink. A quick Google search reveals that this is nothing but a myth, albeit a very popular one, but that doesn’t seem to have mattered very much to the Belgian breeder. Since November, he has been treating two of his cows to four liters of local Sara de Silenrieux dark beer, in the hopes that it would improve the marbling of their meat as well as the taste.

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Cuddling with Cows Is the Cutest Form of Therapy

If you’re looking for a unique but sure way to let loose and forget about the stress of your daily life, head off to the Swiss country side for a session of cow cuddling therapy. It’s sure to do the trick!

Sibylle Zwygart’s family runs a dairy farm in Tenniken. Switzerland’s Basel-Landschaft canton. Three years ago she and her father were watching over one of their cows during calving, and while the birth of three adorable calves was usually a joyous event, this time was different. Her father’s trained eyes immediately noticed that two of the calves were sterile females, and the third was a bull, so none of them were of any use for their dairy business. Sibylle’s father planned to sell them all to the slaughterhouse, but she pleaded with him to let her keep them.

It took some convincing, but the farmer finally gave in to his daughter’s heartfelt pleas, on one condition – that she somehow find the money to cover the cost of their feed and veterinary bills. Sibylle agreed, and has spent most of her time since then looking after and training the three animals, which she named Svea, Sven and Svenja. As soon as they were old enough, she started putting them to “work”.

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Every Day, This Dog Goes on the Same Walk He Used to Go On with His Owner

Remember the tragic yet heartwarming tale of Hachiko, the loyal Akita Inu who spent nine years waiting for his owner to return from work, not knowing that he had died of a brain hemorrhage? His legendary loyalty is now being emulated by Thor, a dog of the same breed, who goes on the same walk he and his departed owner used to go on, every day.

Every day, the people of Caçapava do Sud, a town in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul region witness a touching display of animal loyalty. In the morning, Thor, a white Akita Inu, takes to the streets, retracing the daily walk he and his owner used to take up until a year ago, when the 58-year-old man died. He stops at all the usual places his master used to spend time in, lets those who know him pet him on the head and even poses for pictures, before returning home to his adoptive family. That’s become his daily ritual for the last year or so.

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Bolivian Monastery Adopts Abandoned Dog, Turns Him into a Proper Friar

A Franciscan monastery in Cochabamba, Bolivia, recently made international headlines after adopting an abandoned schnauzer and making him one of their own.

How the “world’s hairiest Franciscan monk” ended up at the San Francisco de Cochabamba monastery, four months ago, is still  a mystery, but what matters is that he’s now one of the family. Named Carmelo, the adorable schnauzer has become known as Fray Bigotón (Spanish for ‘Friar Mustache’) on the internet, after photos of him dressed in his own little Franciscan robe went viral online.

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Reptile Breeder Spends 8 Years Creating Unique Emoji Pattern Snake

Justin Kobylka, a selective reptile breeder from Georgia, claims that he spent eight years trying to create a snake specimen with detailed smiling emoji patterns. He finally did it, and the result looks as unreal as you can imagine.

As a selective breeder, Kobylka specializes in taking relatively common reptile species and creating specimens with striking physical features which he then sells for a much higher price. He has created a number of visually-impressive over the years, but none as stunning as the Emoji Ball Python, a Lavender Albino Piebald Ball Python with three orange smiley emojis on its skin.

The unique pattern is caused by recessive mutations, and while these occur naturally, the chances of them occurring in the wild are “astronomical”, according to Kobylka. He claims his Piebald Ball Python is the world’s first to have three detailed smiley face emojis on its slithering body.

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The Promised Land of Pigs – A Retirement Home for Pigs Saved from Slaughterhouses

For the last 22 years, the Promised Land of Pigs, a unique farm in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, has been a haven for hundreds of pigs that would have otherwise been slaughtered and sold piece by piece at a supermarket. Here, they enjoy a peaceful, comfortable existence complete with hugs and weekly massages until the end of their natural lives.

The Promised Land of Pigs (Beloofde Varkensland) is a non-profit organization founded by Dafne Westerhof, an activist militating for the humane treatment of farm animals. For over two decades she has saved hundreds of pigs, either by buying them straight from slaughterhouses, or taking them in from breeders who no longer had use for them or had become too attached to them to have them butchered. Whatever the reason, she’s always been more than happy to accept new pigs into her “Lucky Family” (Familie Bofkont) and give them the life she thinks they deserve.

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Turkish Feline Lover Installs Tiny Window Ladder to Help Stray Cats Escape the Cold

Winter in the Turkish town of Terkirdag has been particularly cold this year, but a local cat lover has come up with an ingenious solution that allows stray cats in her neighborhood to escape the chill – installing a tiny metal ladder leading up into her cozy apartment.

Sebnem Ilhan couldn’t just sit by and let the stray cats freeze to death, so she decided to open up her home to them. But since inviting them in through the front door wasn’t going to work, she had to come up with a more practical solution. The window seemed like the best choice, but even though her apartment is on the ground floor of an apartment building, the window is still to high for cats to jump on to. So she had a tiny metal ladder made that the strays could climb to reach her window.

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Kenya’s “Elephant Guardian” Vows to Deliver Water to Thirsty Drought-Stricken Wildlife Until It Rains Again

It is very dry in Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park, and the animals there are struggling to find vital water water sources. The bad news is that rain isn’t expected to fall again until November, but the good news is that there are people willing to bring water to the animals by the truckload until that happens.

Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua is the founder of Tsavo Volunteers, a group of animal lovers who look after the vulnerable wildlife of Tsavo National Park. Poachers are generally their biggest problem, but these days, the drought is threatening to kill even more animals . The prolonged drought has made water “a very precious commodity”, and thirsty animals sometimes have to walk long distances to find the few watering holes that haven’t dried up. Due to their scarcity, elephants often fight each other for the right to drink, which leaves the smaller, weaker ones at risk of dying. But Patrick and his team are not about to let that happen.

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Welcome to Catzonia – World’s First 5-Star Hotel for Cats Opens in Malaysia

Temperature-controlled rooms, king-size beds, a dreamy playground and gourmet chow are just some of the things felines can enjoy at Catzonia, the world’s first five-star hotel for cats.

Located in Damansara, just outside Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur, Catzonia was set up to offer pampered felines a lavish holiday whenever they need a break from their daily routine, or when their loving masters are away and can’t offer them the attention they deserve. Featuring a total of 35 rooms split into four categories, Catzonia is manned by a crew of feline lovers who promise to play with the guests, groom them and generally make sure their stay is as comfortable as possible.

“We believe that cats need holidays too,” the Catzonia Hotel website states. “They always prefer to be treated as a boss. It means the environment must be felt like home, always being cuddled and hugged, and most importantly they don’t want to feel lonely.”

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The Cruel Spanish Tradition That Kills Tens of Thousands of Greyhounds Every Year

You probably already know about bullfighting and the controversy surrounding this ancient tradition, but there’s another less known tradition that claims the lives of tens of thousands of Spanish hunting dogs every year. And worst of all, nobody seems to want to do anything about it.

Galgos, or Spanish greyhounds, are an ancient breed of hunting dog that was once raised only by Spanish noble families. Today, these beautiful animals have been reduced to tools that modern-day hunters dispose of in a variety of gruesome ways as soon as the hunting season ends. The traditional explanation for their cruelty is that if the dogs have shamed their master by not performing to their expectations, this dishonor must be washed away by torturing and killing the animals, but in reality, it’s all about cutting costs. It makes more sense to them to buy new Galgos from a breeder for about 10 euros a piece, than spend money on feeding the ones they already own until the next hunting season. So they just get rid of them in the most appalling ways imaginable.

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The Tragic Story of a Taiwanese Vet Who Euthanized Herself After Having to Put Down Too Many Dogs

Taiwan recently banned euthanizing abandoned animals in shelters, a law believed to have been prompted by the shocking suicide of a young veterinarian, in May 2016. 31-year-old Chien Chih-cheng injected herself with euthanasia drugs, after becoming extremely disturbed by the large number of animals she had to put down.

Chien Chih-cheng was the director of of an animal shelter in Taoyuan’s Sinwu District. She had chosen to work at the shelter because of her love for animals, and her colleagues remember that she “often worked overtime, rarely took a proper lunch break, and sacrificed her holidays to give the dogs more attention and make their lives better.” After graduating from one of Taiwan’s top university with the highest score in a civil service examination, Chien could have opted for a number of desk jobs, but she chose to dedicate her life to helping abandoned animals and getting them adopted by new families. But her job also required her to euthanize the animals that didn’t get adopted after a certain period of time, and this took a heavy toll on the young animal lover, especially after animal rights activists accused her of killing hundreds of abandoned dogs.

“Some animal welfare activists have unleashed relentless attacks on the Sinwu shelter and Chien was a target of those attacks,” Taoyuan City Councilor Wang Hao-yu wrote on Facebook last year. “She was even described as a ‘butcher.’ For a young woman who chose to work at the shelter because of her love for animals and whose duties involved euthanizing stray animals every day, those abuses were like stabs to the heart.”

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