MCM: WarChild


Cause of the month

Cause of the Month logo

Following is taken from Warchild.us

 

Some bear physical scars. All carry emotional ones. On the Syrian border, where the swell of refugees fleeing a bloody and unrelenting conflict shows no sign of abating, the stories that are the hardest to hear belong to the children. War permeates their dreams at night. It has made many of them too anxious to go to school, to leave their homes, or to be more than a few feet from their parents. Children who were once confident, bright and articulate now cower in corners of make-shift tents, eyes downcast, the strain of their lives palpable.

There is five year old Mada, whose hands shake so uncontrollably that she has difficulty dressing herself. Nadiyya, also five, stopped speaking for three years after a mortar exploded in front of her house. Her mother Rasha, pregnant with her second child, immediately bundled her daughter up and fled to the Jordanian border, which she calls “the journey of death.” Like most Syrian refugees, Rasha and her children can barely get through the day, drained as they are by fear and exhaustion. They don’t think about the future, she says, because it is too difficult to imagine one.

As the Syrian conflict enters its fourth year, international agencies worry about the “lost generation” – the children of war who are now years behind in their schooling, and who feel dislocated in an environment that often treats them as interlopers. Syrian children who do manage to enroll in local schools must rejoin at a lower grade level – something that older children say embarrasses them and causes them to be stigmatized by their peers.  Their extreme poverty, the lack of running water in their homes that makes it impossible to wash themselves or their clothes, and the very fact that they are Syrian, often result in bullying.  Parents notice changes in their children’s behaviour as well: their screams in the dark; their unexplained tearfulness; and, their attention and behavioural problems.

But for some children, like ten year old Ameera, school itself is simply too painful to think about.

Ameera wears an orange-knit dress with threadbare sleeves, which she ritually pulls at. A once outgoing little girl with high grades, Ameera no longer attends school – she cannot even bear the thought of it. The last time she sat in a classroom, a missile landed in the school’s courtyard, instantly killing fifty primary school children. Ameera placed her hands over her head as her two best friends, seated a few rows in front of her, were blasted with glass and shrapnel. Amidst the smoke and confusion she ran to them, but her teacher prevented her from seeing them. The girls were already dead. The teacher then led Ameera out the back of the school, and instructed her to run home without stopping. This is her lasting memory of grade five.
Shortly after the missile attack at Ameera’s school, her father, Fayez, began making arrangements for this family of nine to make a run for the border, believing that it was safer to take their chances with what lay ahead than to face what was surely coming for them. The day of their departure, over 100 people – neighbours and friends – were pulled from their homes and hiding places and, according to Fayez, were butchered with knives or gunned down as they ran. Fayez grabbed his children, hastily bundling them into the car behind their home, and fled.


Now in Jordan’s northern refugee area, Fayez is unable to earn a living because he cannot afford the necessary work permits and has shrapnel damage to one arm. Still, he hopes that with time and support his children will have a chance at recovery, and that Ameera will once again be excited to go to school. “I want to be a doctor” she told me. Her wish is that someday she might be able to stop people from dying.

What children like Ameera need – desperately – is to feel safe. This is why War Child’s first priority is to reduce the immediate risk of violence, exploitation and abuse. In the coming months and years we will need to address the education deficit, with accelerated learning classes that will help children catch up their missed years of school quickly. This will allow them to either join the formal Jordanian school system or remain in the program to continue their education. A safe place to go and a return to learning – important first steps on the long journey to a restored childhood.

The war in Syria has precipitated the biggest refugee crisis in twenty years. But it is the stories of individual children like Ameera that give us a sense of the true scale of the tragedy. The suffering of Syria’s children cannot be ignored. It demands action.  Please give generously today.

Still millions of kids suffer in a war or are suffering from the effects of a war they have been in previously. Syria, Uganda and many other countries still wage a war and it’s the kids that pay the price.

About War Child International
War Child International is a family of independent humanitarian organisations, working across the world to help children affected by war.War Child was founded upon a fundamental goal: to advance the cause of peace through investing hope in the lives of children caught up in the horrors of war and currently consists of three implementing offices: War Child Holland, War Child North America and War Child UK.

These offices operate as equal partners, share the same aims and goals and work together in the field, but are totally autonomous, with independent trustees and financial coordination.

GO TO OUR LOCAL WEBSITE:
Australia
Canada
Holland
Ireland
UK
US

ABOUT THE WAR CHILD OFFICES

War Child International currently consists of three offices: War Child Holland, War Child North America and War Child UK. Although sharing the same aims and goals, the three organisations are totally autonomous, with independent trustees and financial coordination.

The three implementing offices have united under a common War Child International flag to unite their efforts and to define a shared set of values, best practices, common principles and operational guidelines under total equality. Thereby creating a network of organisations working across the world to help children affected by war.

WHAT WE DO

War Child International implements projects in Afghanistan, Burundi, Chechnya, Colombia, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, West Bank and Gaza according to the following themes:

  • Child protection: to protect children and young people against the consequences of armed conflict.
  • Education: to enable children and young people’s access to education.
  • Justice: to ensure children and young people’s access to justice when their rights are violated.
  • Livelihoods: to build sustainable local livelihoods that address children and young people’s fundamental needs.
  • Psychosocial: to stimulate children and young people’s own psychological and social development.

The War Child organisations run their own projects, but also work in partnership with local grass roots organisations, through both short-term emergency relief and long-term rehabilitation programs, to improve the living conditions of war-affected children.

SUPPORT FOR WAR CHILD

War Child has gained enormous support from the public, schools and business communities. Company sponsor programs, products and co-promotion activities have been set up and many concerts, art expositions and special events have been organised to support the War Child cause. Thousands of schools around the world have participated in raising funds and awareness for children in war zones.

Since the early days of War Child the music and entertainment industry and many famous artists have joined the ranks to support War Child’s cause. Dozens of special concerts and CD’s have been organised to support War Child’s activities.

 

 Annual Reports To learn more and download financial information, visit the national websites:

 

Shades of gray: can Wolves and Humans live together


Gray wolves once ranged across North America. But by the 1930s, they were nearly extinct — trapped, poisoned and hunted by ranchers, farmers, and government agents. With protection under the 1973 Endangered Species Act, the wolf population rebounded. But wolves lost federal protection in 2011.

 

Now, with hunting permitted in many Western states, the future of this once endangered species may again be in question. Can we live with wolves? Earth Focus travels to Montana and Wyoming to find out.

So one of the reasons that people are afraid of wolves is because the fear for attacks on livestock and/or Humans. How well founded is this fear? let’s take a look at the facts, shall we?

I guess many Americans will be familiar with Politifact and the Oregon section had the following on fatal wolf attacks on Humans in the Rocky Mountain states

In a recent article in The Oregonian, Michelle Dennehy, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, spoke some about those risks.

“Wolves have attacked and killed people in Canada and Alaska,” Dennehy told The Oregonian. “It is extremely rare and has never happened in the Rocky Mountain states, but we advise people to keep your distance from wolves and any wild animals.”

Oregon is home to an estimated 24 wolves, a small population. But a 2010 reportby the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service puts the number of wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain population (which includes Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon) at more than 1,650.

This got us wondering whether it could be true that there have been no documented cases of run-ins with wolves in that fairly large area. Plus, we’re always looking for a change of pace.

We started where we always start: the source. Dennehy pointed us to a 2002 report from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research called “The fear of wolves: A review of wolf attacks on humans.”

Because “the vast majority” of global wolf research happens in North America, the report says, wolf attacks in Canada and the U.S. have been extremely well documented. That documentation — and the fact that attacks are so rare — allowed the authors to detail every attack in the past century.

All told, the study’s authors found 18 wolf attacks in North America — 12 in Canada and six in the U.S. Of the attacks in the U.S., four occurred in Alaska (as did an unspecified number of small incidents along a road where truckers had taken to feeding the wolves) and two in Minnesota, in which the victims weren’t injured. Two of the attacks in Alaska left the victim dead of rabies. Both of those happened in the 1940s.

Dennehy also sent us a news clip from a paper up in Saskatchewan that detailed the 2005deathof a young Ontario student who was on a walk near a Saskatchewan mining camp when he was attacked and killed. A sad story to be sure, but one that happened a ways away from the Rocky Mountains.

We try to be thorough, so we also placed a call to the International Wolf Center, an organization that tries to advance the survival of wolves through education.

We spoke to Jess Edberg, who is based in Ely, Minnesota. Minnesota has the most robust wolf population outside of Alaska.

“Overall, in North America and around the world, a wolf attack on humans is very rare,” Edberg said. “In the lower 48, we haven’t had any attacks on humans.”
She added that many of the attacks that do occur often involve sick animals or animals who had been fed or allowed to become accustomed to humans.

Edberg did point out the Alaska Department of Fish and Game had recently concluded that a woman found dead in 2010 on the Alaska Peninsula was killed by wolves.

Finally, she sent us looking for two studies on wolves. One report, which shared an author with the first Norwegian report, looked at Scandinavia and found that over the past 300 years, 94 people have been killed by wolves. All of those cases, the report found, were before 1882 and most were children under the age of 12.

The second, more pertinent report, done in 2002, by Mark E McNay for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game looked at wolf attacks in Alaska and Canada and found that “despite (a) large and widely distributed wolf population, no human deaths have been attributed to wild, healthy wolves since at least 1900, and biting incidents or bluff charges are rare enough to warrant publication in scientific journals.”

Of course, that report was published before the two deaths we mentioned above.

History and perception of wolf attacks worldwide

Europe

Map showing the number of wolf attacks in France by département from 1400 to 1918.

Map of Eurasia showing the distribution of wolf attacks, with blue indicating areas where both rabid and predatory attacks occurred, purple for purely predatory attacks and green for purely rabid ones.

Chart showing the hypothetical stages leading up to wolf attacks on humans in 15th-19th century Italy. While these factors are now largely absent in modern-day Europe, they are still present in rural India, where many attacks took place during the late 20th century.

In France, historical records compiled by rural historian Jean-Marc Moriceau indicate that during the period 1362–1918, nearly 7,600 people were killed by wolves, of whom 4,600 were killed by non-rabid wolves. Numerous attacks occurred in Germany during the 17th century after the thirty years war, though the majority probably involved rabid wolves. Although Italy has no records of wolf attacks after WWII and the eradication of rabies in the 1960s, historians examining church and administrative records from northern Italy’s central Po Valley region (which includes a part of modern daySwitzerland) found 440 cases of wolves attacking people between the 15th and 19th centuries. The 19th century records show that between 1801-1825, there were 112 attacks, 77 of which resulted in death. Of these cases, only five were attributed to rabid animals. In Latvia, records of rabid wolf attacks go back two centuries. At least 72 people were bitten between 1992-2000. Similarly, in Lithuania, attacks by rabid wolves have continued to the present day, with 22 people having been bitten between 1989-2001. Around 82 people were bitten by rabid wolves in Estonia during the 18th to 19th centuries, with a further 136 people being killed in the same period by non-rabid wolves, though it is likely that the animals involved in the latter cases were a combination of wolf-dog hybrids and escaped captive wolves.

Russia and the Soviet Union

As with North American scientists later on (see below), several Russian zoologists after the October Revolution cast doubt on the veracity of records involving wolf-caused deaths. Prominent among them was zoologist Petr Aleksandrovich Manteifel, who initially regarded all cases as either fiction or the work of rabid animals. His writings were widely accepted among Russian zoological circles, though he subsequently changed his stance when he was tasked with heading a special commission after WWII investigating wolf attacks throughout the Soviet Union, which had increased during the war years. A report was presented in November 1947 describing numerous attacks, including ones perpetrated by apparently healthy animals, and gave recommendations on how to better defend against them. The Soviet authorities prevented the document from reaching both the public and those who would otherwise be assigned to deal with the problem. All mention of wolf attacks was subsequently censored.

Asian Hakurou by WildSpiritWolf

Asia

In Iran, 98 attacks were recorded in 1981] and 329 people were given treatment for rabid wolf bites in 1996. Records of wolf attacks in India began to be kept during the British colonial administration in the 19th century. In 1875, more people were killed by wolves than tigers, with the worst affected areas being the North West Provinces and Bihar. In the former area, 721 people were killed by wolves in 1876, while in Bihar, the majority of the 185 recorded deaths at the time occurred mostly in the Patna and Bghalpur Divisions. In the United Provinces, 624 people were killed by wolves in 1878, with 14 being killed during the same period in Bengal. In Hazaribagh, Bihar, 115 children were killed between 1910-1915, with 122 killed and 100 injured in the same area between 1980-1986. Between April 1989 to March 1995, wolves killed 92 people in southern Bihar, accounting for 23% of 390 large mammal attacks on humans in the area at that time. Police records collected from Korean mining communities during Japanese ruleindicate that wolves attacked 48 people in 1928, more than those claimed by boars, bears, leopards and tigers combined.

North America

There were no written records of wolf attacks on humans prior to the European colonization of the Americas, though the oral history of some Native American tribes confirms that wolves occasionally did kill humans. Tribes living in woodlands feared wolves more than their tundra-dwelling counterparts, as they could encounter wolves suddenly and at close quarters.Skepticism among North American scientists over the alleged ferocity of wolves began when Canadian biologist Doug Clark investigated historical wolf attacks in Europe and, based on his own experiences with the relatively timid wolves of the Canadian wilderness, concluded that all historical attacks were perpetrated by rabid animals, and that healthy wolves posed no threat to humans. Although his findings were later criticized for failing to distinguish between rabid and predatory attacks, and the fact that the historical literature contained instances of people surviving the attacks at a time when there was no rabies vaccine, his conclusions were nonetheless adopted by other North American biologists. This view subsequently gained popularity among laypeople with the publication of Farley Mowat‘s semi-fictional 1963 book Never Cry Wolf, with the language barrier hindering the collection of further data on wolf attacks elsewhere. Although some North American biologists were aware of wolf attacks in Eurasia, they dismissed them as irrelevant to North American wolves.

By the 1970s, the fear of wolves was largely counteracted by the emergence of a pro-wolf lobby aiming to change public attitudes towards wolves, with the phrase “there has never been a documented case of a healthy wild wolf attacking a human in North America” (or variations thereof) becoming the mantra of people trying to create a more positive image of the wolf. Although several non fatal attacks had been reported since 1985, it wasn’t until April 26, 2000 when a 6-year-old boy survived an attack by a wolf in Icy Bay, Alaska that the assumption that healthy wild wolves were harmless became seriously challenged. The event was considered so unusual that it was reported in newspapers throughout the entire United States. Following the Icy Bay incident, biologist Mark E. McNay compiled a record in 2002 of wolf-human encounters in Canada and Alaska from 1915-2001. Of the 80 described encounters, 39 involved aggressive behavior from apparently healthy wolves and 12 from animals confirmed to be rabid.The first fatal attack in the 21st century occurred in 2005, when a man was killed in SaskatchewanCanada by wolves that had been habituated to humans, while in 2010, a woman was killed whilst jogging near Chignik Lake in Alaska.

basically….. there is no reason to fear a wolf attack however when in wolf country always be cautious. We all need to protest against this delisting and start protecting the wolf. One way of doing this is by supporting Wolf Haven International (and if you want more wolfhaven you might visit this blog done by one of their caretakers )

NH_Logo_BlackOutline

Wolf Haven International

MCM: Ending the Wolf Haven International Month #Loboweek


 

Cause of the month

Cause of the Month logo

So it is always the end of March 2014 and with that we are approaching the end of the Wolf Haven International cause

Coincidentally this week is Loboweek so I thought it a good idea to have some attention for this.. I learned about this when I visited the WHI Facebook page which took me to The Wolf Conservation Centre at http://nywolf.org/ which provided the following information.

#LoboWeek – Join the Movement!

On March 29, 1998, 11 captive-reared Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) were released to the wild for the first time in the Blue Range Recovery Area of Arizona and New Mexico. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the rarest and most unique subspecies of gray wolf, was once again greeted by the mountains of the southwest. This March, marks the 16th anniversary of this historic event, a significant milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation. In recognition of the anniversary, the WCC is among the rapidly growing group of partners participating #LoboWeek, an international movement to educate people about the Mexican wolf or “lobo” and our efforts to successfully restore this critically endangered wolf to its ancestral home in the wild.

Become a Partner!

Starting March 23rd, we’re enlisting Wildlife Organizations, Zoos, Advocacy Groups, Businesses, and individuals like you to come together with one common purpose – to raise awareness for the most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America, the Mexican gray wolf.

#LoboWeek is harnessing the power of social media to broaden our reach to and create a national moment.  All week (March 23rd-29th)  #LoboWeek partners are dedicating time to the lobo on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other social media; offering information, fun facts, special events, contests and more.

How to become a partner

It’s up to you how you choose to celebrate, but by following the simple steps below, our united efforts can help #LoboWeek take its place on the calendar and help make history!

Please follow the steps below and also email maggie@nywolf.org so we can track how large our #LoboWeek pack is growing!

FACEBOOK during March 23 – 29:

  1. Step One: Update your Facebook cover photo.  (the banner photo, not profile picture) to reflect something related to Lobo.  People can use their own photo or one of ours (See below *)
  2. Step Two: Overlay the #LoboWeek badge (it has a transparent background) on your cover photo. CLICK HERE to download the badge.

    CLICK HERE to download a cover with badge (lots of options).

  1. Step Three:  A commitment help raise awareness for the lobo by posting, sharing, and educating on your Facebook page.

TWITTER during March 23 – 29:

  1. We connect on Twitter by using #LoboWeek on all lobo related tweets
  2. Retweeting partner’s tweets is a great way to show that our mission to educate people is united effort.

Double Your Donation to the Wolf Conservation Center on March 26th!

In honor of this significant milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation, Wolf Conservation Center supporters Amy Wendel and Dan Meisel are providing a matching grant up to $5,000 for all donations received on Wednesday March 26th to help support the WCC’s efforts to save the lobo!

Save the date! Your support will help the WCC continue its commitment to the lobo and the recovery efforts necessary for this critically endangered species to sustain itself in the future.

Donate HERE

This Organization will be the subject of the MCM in a few months since I do not want two similar causes back to back but Loboweek seems to me a perfect ending for this months cause.

lobo_1998-2014_badge

Once again here is some info on WHI

http://www.wolfhaven.org/

Wolf Haven International (WHI) is a 501(c)(3) organization that has worked
for wolf conservation since 1982. The mission of WHI is to conserve and
protect wolves and their habitat. We do this by:
• Providing sanctuary for captive born wolves
• Educating the public on the value of all wildlife
• Promoting wolf restoration
• Protecting our remaining wild wolves and their habitat

M807_loboweek

For 30 years, WHI has rescued and provided lifetime sanctuary to over 170
animals. We are participants in two Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs
for endangered species: 1) Mexican grey and 2) red wolf. These are
partnerships between captive facilities, the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As an SSP member,
WHI has successfully bred both red wolves and Mexican wolves. We have
also had eleven of our SSP Mexican grey wolves released into the
wilderness of the Southwest.

Our sanctuary and education department welcome over 12,000 visitors
each year. Guided walking tours, eco-scavenger hunts, interpretive games,
camping and prairie walks inspire our visitors to observe, interact, and
appreciate wildlife of all kinds.

WHI owns 82 acres of pristine Mima Mound prairie, wetlands and
woodlands. We partner with The Center for Natural Lands Management,
state and federal Fish and Wildlife, the Audubon Society and other
environmental organizations to preserve and restore native plants,
butterflies and mammals to the prairie.

Travelers from other countries, out-of-state, local residents, school
children, youth groups, seniors, and families all come here to experience
the magic of Wolf Haven International.

WCC-Lobo Week-Day 7-M1141

 

On a side note. The people of Wolf Haven have seen my MCM blog and have send me a nice email thanking me for this which of course is greatly appreciated and I have done so with pleasure. If (or as soon as) they have added more (non credit card) payment options I will be adopting a wolf myself and I urge all of my readers to either do the same or to donate in another way. Donation/adoption info can be found at the donation pages at WHI. WolfHavenInternational has been “adopted” by this blog as ongoing Cause. A logo will be placed in my sidebar and their info can always be found in the MCM area of this blog

WolfThankYou

AWOOOOOLFNEWS: Wolf now a protected animal in the Netherlands


The wolf in the Netherlands receives a legally protected status. This means that it should not be hunted. Wild animal Farmers whose animals were eaten by a wolf, get compensation.

This writes Dijksma Secretary of Agriculture in a letter to the Lower House. In recent times, some reports have been published about the expected arrival of the wolf to the Netherlands.Netherlands must prepare, said Dijksma.

Return

Wolves can survive in the Netherlands because there is enough food, such as deer and wild boar.

Dijksma wants to focus on the coming of the wandering, living alone wolf. About 15 kilometers from the Dutch border with Germany is such a solitary wolf identified, and 200 kilometers from the border a pack of wolves. In eastern Germany wolves live in groups.

1000km

It is unclear when the wolf will set foot on Dutch soil. Young wolves leave their homeland after two years and pack in search of a natural habitat and a partner. They can make or 1,000 kilometers.

Wolves are not dangerous for humans but farmers fear their arrival because they eat sheep, goats and poultry. These animals are often in a pasture without a locked gate. A wolf can therefore easily reach its prey. So there are compensations for damages “caused by protected animal species kept commercially farmed animals.”

Bullet Holes

Last year a dead wolf in Luttelgeest was found in Flevoland. He proved himself to have come to the Netherlands. In the body of the wolf were two bullet holes in his stomach, and investigators found the remains of a beaver. The wolf appeared to be shot in the Carpathians and here are laid along the way.

Wolves live in many European countries such as France, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Russia.

 

MCM, a Wolf Haven International update


Cause of the month

Cause of the Month logo

As you know, Wolf Haven International is the first cause in my MCM series and they posted the following information today on Facebook

After so many recent losses, we are very pleased to announce that our newest resident, Lexi, is now available for adoption. She is the fifth wolf or wolfdog from Wolf Country, a now-defunct tourist attraction in Alaska, to eventually call Wolf Haven home (others are Eve, Klondike, Samantha and recently deceased Bono). Free from 8-ft drag chains, Lexi is now London’s enclosure mate, following the recent passing of Kiawatha. We are grateful to Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) for their initial rescue of 30 animals from Wolf Country. Now, hereeeeeeeeee’s Lexi!

Lexi, the newest addition to the WHI pack, click the image to go to their site

To phrase my good friend Whizzy. AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH welcome to the sanctuary Lexi, have a great and long live

Every Day Heroes: S.E Dogs


Every Day Heroes. When we think of heroes we tend to think people. Alanya and Lijda for example in my last two EDH blogs but also people like Fireman, Policeman, Nurses and Teachers will be counted among them by most of us. However not every Every Day Hero is a human.

In the title I used S.E. Dogs. Now you could read that as Special Edition dogs since a lot of dogs I am talking about are very “special edition” but it stands actually for Seeing-Eye Dog also known as Guide dogs.

Some History first.

References to guide dogs date at least as far back as the mid-16th century; the second line of the popular verse alphabet “A was an Archer” is most commonly “B was a Blind-man/Led by a dog” In the 19th century verse novel Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the title character remarks “The blind man walks wherever the dog pulls / And so I answered.”


The first guide dog training schools were established in Germany during World War I, to enhance the mobility of returning veterans who were blinded in combat, but interest in guide dogs outside of Germany did not become widespread until Dorothy Harrison Eustis, an American dog breeder living in Switzerland, wrote a first-hand account about a guide dog training school in Potsdam, Germany, that was published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1927. Earlier that same year, U.S. Sen. Thomas D. Schall of Minnesota was paired with a guide dog imported from Germany, but the guide dog movement did not take hold in America until Nashville resident Morris Frank returned from Switzerland after being trained with one of Eustis’s dogs, a female German shepherd named Buddy. Frank and Buddy embarked on a publicity tour to convince Americans of the abilities of guide dogs, and the need to allow people with guide dogs to access public transportation, hotels, and other areas open to the public. In 1929, Eustis and Frank co-founded The Seeing Eye in Nashville, Tennessee (relocated in 1931 to New Jersey).

USA and Canada…. click here

The first guide dogs in Great Britain were German shepherds. Four of these first were Flash, Judy, Meta, and Folly, who were handed over to their new owners, veterans blinded in World War I, on 6 October 1931 in Wallasey Merseyside. Judy’s new owner was Musgrave Frankland. In 1934 The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in Great Britain began operation, although their first permanent trainer was a Russian military officer, Captain Nikolai Liakhoff, who moved to the UK in 1933.

UK click here

Australia click here

Now of course the Seeing Eye dog is the most well known of the support dogs but there are also dogs that are trained to help other people then blind. I am thinking not only disabled people but, like we do here in the Netherlands, dogs can be trained in the following areas as well:

Kids with Autism:

Autism Service Dog

Some children with autism become mesmerized when on the streets. They suddenly run away or stay standing in one place. This can result in dangerous and difficult situations. As a parent, you are forced to always hold your child close by . Going out with your child or family together, can therefore be a big problem. Do you recognize this? By linking your child to a trained autism service dog, the danger of running away disappears and takes some of the stress off. I will list some organizations at the end of this article where more info can be found about these special dogs

BUDDY DOG FOR (FORMER) Armed Forces
Cope with life again

Buddy dog for (former) Armed Forces

Some (former) military personnel, agents or people with similar professions, are struggling with anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, social isolation and other PTSD symptoms. A specially trained dog buddy can be a solution. H/she ensures peace, regularity and ease of movement. The buddy dog also knows  practical skills with which he supports his buddy. For example waking up his buddy when he has a nightmare. These dogs can actually prevent homelessness and avoid institutionalization among those that have returned from active duty in Iraq ad Afghanistan. In the USA they are called Battle Buddy Dogs.

Battle Buddy Dog

These dogs are ALL Every Day Heroes but here is a helpful hint: I am sure that if you see such a dog helping his/her “master” you are eager to pet and praise the dog. DO NOT DO THIS unless you have gotten permission from its owner. It is very simple, these dogs are working, let them do their work please. If you see one of them resting first ASK if it is ok to approach and/or pet the dog. DO NOT GIVE IT TREATS

Besides the seeing eye links already given here are some more informative links about these dogs.

Dutch organization (all types)

Uk Organization (Dissabilities/Autism)

USA organization

Australian Organization (kids, Autism, special needs)

(Australian, similar as above)

UK organization

Worldwide Organization. All types

Many more organizations are to be found worldwide. I have only listed the Dutch, USA, UK, Canadian and Australian Organizations (and not even all of them)  since most visitors to this blog come from these countries. However google is your friend if you live in another country then mentioned.

To close this article I would like to ask if you can think of anyone/thing more deserving for the honorary title of Every Day Hero?….not?…. thought so as well 😀 A big Wolf Hug to ALL the trainers and Dogs out there, you are AMAZING

When worlds collide: Lazarus Taxa


In biology, a taxon (plural: taxa) is a group of one (or more) populations of organism(s), which a taxonomist adjudges to be a unit. Usually a taxon is given a name and a rank, although neither is a requirement. Defining what belongs or does not belong to such a taxonomic group is done by a taxonomist with the science of taxonomy. It is not uncommon for one taxonomist to disagree with another on what exactly belongs to a taxon, or on what exact criteria should be used for inclusion.

in paleontology, a Lazarus taxon (plural taxa) is a taxon that disappears for one or more periods from the fossil record, only to appear again later. The term refers to the story in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus is said to have raised Lazarus from the dead.

So says science, in short, a Lazarus Taxon is an animal or plant that we thought was extinct but has since been re-discovered.

In recent years we have heard a lot about animals that are on the endangered species list, we have eye for the Panda and the Whale, we say awwww when we hear that a rhino or elephant is in need of help and we moarn when we hear another species is gone from this earth  like the Golden toad in 1989

Golden Toad, extinct 1989

However, besides losing animals (and plants, let not forget about plants) we also have learned that we not only lose animals, we have re-discovered animals thought to be extinct for a while, ranging from a few decades to millions of years. Here is a short-list of a few of them, enjoy. 😀

1: the Coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae)

Coelacanth

Probably the most well known example. The primitive-looking coelacanth (pronounced SEEL-uh-kanth) was thought to have gone efxtinct with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But its discovery in 1938 by a South African museum curator on a local fishing trawler fascinated the world and ignited a debate about how this bizarre lobe-finned fish fits into the evolution of land animals.

There are only two known species of coelacanths: one that lives near the Comoros Islands off the east coast of Africa, and one found in the waters off Sulawesi, Indonesia. Many scientists believe that the unique characteristics of the coelacanth represent an early step in the evolution of fish to terrestrial four-legged animals like amphibians.

The most striking feature of this “living fossil” is its paired lobe fins that extend away from its body like legs and move in an alternating pattern, like a trotting horse. Other unique characteristics include a hinged joint in the skull which allows the fish to widen its mouth for large prey; an oil-filled tube, called a notochord, which serves as a backbone; thick scales common only to extinct fish; and an electrosensory rostral organ in its snout likely used to detect prey.

Coelacanths are elusive, deep-sea creatures, living in depths up to 2,300 feet (700 meters) below the surface. They can be huge, reaching 6.5 feet (2 meters) or more and weighing 198 pounds (90 kilograms). Scientists estimate they can live up to 60 years or more.

Their population numbers are, predictably, not well known, but studies in the Comoros suggest only about 1,000 remain there. They are considered an endangered species.

2:Lord Howe Stick Insect (Dryococelus australis)

Lord Howe Island stick insect

The Lord Howe Island stick insect (Dryococelus australis) or “land lobster” is a large, flightless stick insect that was, until recently, thought to be extinct. It has a glossy brownish-black exoskeleton with some pale yellow markings where joints and body segments meet.

Females reach over 150 mm in length, while the slightly smaller males are characterised by strongly curved, spiny, muscular hind legs.

As the name suggests, this species was known only from Lord Howe Island, a small volcanic island situated in the Tasman Sea some 800 km north east of Sydney, Australia. It is nocturnal, feeding and moving around only at night, and sheltering in small tree hollows during the day. In 1916, Arthur Lea, a well-known Australian entomologist, visited the island and described seeing as many as 68 stick insects in a single tree hollow.

The Lord Howe Island stick insect is arguably the rarest insect in the world. The species was abundant until sometime after 1918 when a vessel, the “Makembo”, ran aground nearby leading to the introduction of black rats (Rattus rattus) to Lord Howe Island. Within 30 years the stick insect was thought to be extinct due to predation.

In 1964 a group of climbers ventured onto the nearby island of Balls Pyramid. This steep, rocky outcrop is situated approximately 23km south east of Lord Howe Island and is virtually inaccessible. The adventurers made landfall and were able to take some photographs, including one of a recently dead Lord Howe Island stick insect.

No further exploration occurred until 2001 when a group of researchers returned to Balls Pyramid and rediscovered living adults. Today fewer than 30 adult stick insects remain on the Pyramid and the species is recognised as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN Red List.

3: Banggai Crow (corvus unicolor)

Banggai Crow

The Banggai Crow (Corvus unicolor) is a member of the crow family from Banggai in Indonesia. It is listed as critically endangered by IUCN. It was feared extinct, but was finally rediscovered during surveys on Peleng Island by Indonesian ornithologist Mochamad Indrawan in 2007 and 2008.

It was sometimes considered a subspecies of the Slender-billed Crow, but it is actually rather distinct from this bird, resembling an entirely black Piping Crow overall. The Banggai Crow is a small crow, some 39 cm long and completely black with a pale iris and a short tail.

For more than a century, it was known from only two specimens taken from an unknown island in the Banggai Archipelago – probably in 1884/1885. Visits to the archipelago in 1991 and 1996 yielded no unequivocal records of the species, leading some to believe it was extinct. During a survey conducted between 2007 and 2008 and partially financed by the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (Germany), it was repeatedly seen on Peleng Island[3] and Indonesian ornithologist Mochamad Indrawan caught and photographed two individuals.[4] The validity of the crows on Peleng was not recognized by BirdLife International in its 2009 Red List. Confirmation of the identity based on two specimens from Peleng was made by Pamela C. Rasmussen of the American Museum of Natural History in October 2009.

The total population is estimated at approximately 500 mature individuals, living in mountain forest at altitudes above 500 m. The decline of the Banggai Crow is thought to be primarily due to habitat loss and degradation through agriculture and extraction.

This bird remained a complete enigma for a long time. Listed as Vulnerable in the 1994 IUCN Red List, it was changed to Endangered in 2000. In 2006, the status was considered as Possibly Extinct. This proved to be incorrect and the status was corrected to Critically Endangered in the 2007 Red List. (I could not find a video of the bird)

4: Cuban Solenodon (Solenodon cubanus)

Cuban Solenodon

This primitive insectivore resembles a large stoutly-built shrew. Like its relative the Hispaniolan solenodon (S. paradoxus), this species secretes toxic saliva to subdue its prey. The solenodons diverged from all other mammal groups an incredible 76 million years ago and were, until recently, among the dominant predators of the West Indies. The species was almost wiped out by introduced predators such as dogs, cats and mongooses following European colonisation of Cuba, and was believed to be extinct until a single individual was captured in 2003.

Recent genetic studies have revealed that the solenodons diverged from all other living mammals during the Cretaceous Period, an incredible 76 million years ago. This separation occurred at least as long ago as the branching of many entire mammalian orders (e.g. pangolins versus carnivores, or manatees versus elephants).

Fossil evidence shows that solenodon-like insectivores existed in North America 30 million years ago. They are thought to have originated from North American insectivores that colonised the Greater Antilles by overwater dispersal from Central America or the southeastern United States.

There are only two species of solenodon alive today, the Cuban solendon (S. cubanus) and the Hispaniolan solenodon (S. paradoxus). Two additional species, S. arredondoi and S. marcanoi, are known only from skeletal remains collected from western Cuba and southwestern Hispaniola respectively.

The two living solenodon species are believed to have diverged around 25 million years ago, when northern Hispaniola separated from eastern Cuba. This separation is comparable to the divergence between distinct mammalian families, for example, dolphins versus whales (30 Myr ago), or humans versus Old World monkeys (23 Myr ago). On this basis some researchers argue that the two species should be placed in different genera, with the Cuban solenodon being placed in a distinct genus,Atopogale

Sources used for this article are National Geographic , Listverse.com, Listosaur.com , and of course Wikipedia