Dogs in the News: March 2021

Posted by Scott Tunstall

Similar to celebrities and political figures, pups often find themselves in the news. However, unlike their two-legged counterparts, canines usually grab headlines for all the right reasons. From tearful reunions to hope for abandoned hunting hounds, here’s a roundup of dogs in the news this month.

Missing French Bulldog Found 600 Miles Away

Who doesn’t love a French Bulldog? Photo by Facebook.com/audra.campbell.50

A few weeks after her beloved French Bulldog, Brody, went missing on February 3, Debbie Campbell was on the verge of giving up all hope. An extensive search conducted through social media kept coming up empty. Then she received a phone call from a man 600 miles away in Tijuana, Mexico, who believed he had Brody.

Benjamin Gonzalez had purchased Brody on the street for $1,000. He didn’t realize the pup was missing until he introduced him to his family in the Bay Area, near where Campbell lives. Gonzalez was shown Facebook photos of Brody with pleas from Campbell to help find her missing boy. The next day, Campbell’s son met Gonzalez in San Diego and retrieved the little Frenchie.

“He's from the Bay. I'm from the Bay. It was just weird," Gonzalez said of Brody. "I guess he was just meant to go back."

Man Reunites With Dog After Awakening From Coma

A happy reunion. Photo by Facebook.com/BARCSbaltimore

In October 2020, a house explosion left a Baltimore man hospitalized and separated from his pup, Barak. The man’s injuries were so severe he had to be placed in an induced coma to survive, leaving Barak with no place to call home. Luckily, BARCS Animal Shelter stepped in to provide emergency care for Barak while his owner recovered. Four months later, Barak’s dad awoke from the coma eager to see his best buddy. BARCS continued to shelter Barak until his owner found a new home, and earlier this year the two were finally reunited. “He [the man] hugged and kissed his very best buddy, with all those around him watching in tears,” the shelter said.

Queen Elizabeth Gets Two New Corgi Puppies

A queen's best friend. Photo by @theroyalfamily

Dog save the Queen! The Royal Family welcomed two new furry family members this month, continuing a longstanding bond between Queen Elizabeth and her Corgis. The monarch has owned more than 30 of these lovable pups over the years, and they've come to be a fixture in the royal household. The queen is reportedly delighted with her two new companions, who are the first royal Corgis since Whisper passed away in 2018. The new puppies' names have yet to be revealed.

Dog Hotel for Homeless Pet Owners Opens

Helping those in need. Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Homeless pet owners in Phoenix now have a place to shelter without the threat of being turned away. The Phoenix City Council and Hunkapi Farms have joined forces to create the Almost Home Dog Hotel, a space dedicated to assisting homeless people and their pets. Hunkapi Farms, which offers therapeutic horse riding and other counseling programs, will transform a section of horse stables into cozy stalls that can house up to 30 pups. Doctors and veterinary students from Midwestern University will be on hand to provide medical care for guest pets.

Dr. Thomas K. Graves, dean and professor at Midwestern University, sees value in maintaining the human-dog bond. “The relationship with a dog might be the most positive and constant relationship in a homeless person’s life. Those dogs are truly valuable.”

The Almost Home Dog Hotel is set to open later this month.

British Therapy Dog Receives Order of Merit

"Check out my bling." Photo by Facebook.com/maxinthelakes

A 13-year-old Springer Spaniel from Keswick, England, has received a major award. Max, a renowned therapy dog, received the PDSA order of merit last month, an honor given to animals that “display outstanding devotion to their owner or wider society, above and beyond companionship.” He's the first non-service dog ever to win the award. Max gained notoriety after he helped his owner, Kerry Irving, gain the confidence to walk again two years after suffering debilitating injuries in an auto accident.

Max went on to train as a therapy dog, earning the nickname Max the Miracle Dog. Since 2017, he has met more than 10,000 people through meet-and-greets, public appearances and school visits. In addition, he has helped raise nearly £300,000 ($415,000) for various charities, including PDSA.

Irving doesn’t take his pup’s companionship for granted: “When I was at my lowest, Max became my reason to live, and he continues to make me smile every day.”

Hero Dog Helps Save Man Who Fell Through the Ice

On patrol. Photo by Stoneham Fire Department

A leisurely hike through the woods turned into a day of heroics for a 5-year-old German Shepherd named Diesel. When the dog began barking, his owner, Thomas Walsh, knew something was wrong. He soon came upon a man who had fallen through the ice in a nearby pond. After calling 911, Walsh instructed the man to crawl toward the shore, where he was able to help pull him out of the pond.

"[Diesel is] the hero today, because without him seeing or hearing [the man], I would have just kept walking," Walsh said.

Unwanted Hunting Dogs Find Forever Homes

Fajita found his forever home. Photo by Facebook.com/OHHounds

When hunting season comes to an end every year in February, numerous hunting hound dogs are dropped at shelters or abandoned entirely by their owners. This has led to high euthanasia rates for a lovable breed that is largely misunderstood. Enter Operation Helping Hounds, a nonprofit organization dedicated to relocating unwanted hunting hounds to new homes in California. The group travels the country on “Hound Hauls” to collect homeless and neglected pups. Since its founding in 2018, Operation Helping Hounds has rescued over 800 at-risk canines and assisted in finding them forever homes.

What is your favorite news story about dogs this month? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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