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Animals

When Ace the service dog and his human Sandy were at Disneyland at the end of last year, Ace met the character Pluto. Happiness ensues!

In a Facebook comment, she gave her pup’s backstory, and explained what happened before and after the video:
For those who made not so positive comments and don’t know this dog’s story….. this puppy is one I raised (as a volunteer) for Guide Dogs of America —he is training to be a guide dog for the blind. We went to Disneyland for a few hours as a socialization experience — what you didn’t see AFTER the 14-15 seconds video where he settled in a DOWN was his DOWN/STAY for a few minutes while Pluto tried to break his stay. Ace entered his “formal” guide dog training at the end of January. My “job” as a volunteer was to socialize and provide him with obedience training. This was a training outing and I was too far back to do a proper correction, but golly-be….he responded anyway. Yep! That is my boy and I am proud of him and love the Disney characters for being so kind and helpful! It will be 6-9 months of extensive training with licensed trainers before Ace has the opportunity to graduate as a guide dog and has the right match in a human partner.

Whenever I talk about what makes a video go viral, I usually say make the audience either laugh, cry or get angry. I should just say fill up a mini-train full of cute dogs, and watch the hits pile up.

Texas Famous reports that a man in Fort Worth, Texas frequently takes his pack of dogs on a mini-train ride around town.

A new species of tarantula has been named after Johnny Cash. Aphonopelma johnnycashi is “found around Folsom [Prison] and the males are predominantly all black, so it fits his image,” says naturalist Chris Hamilton, who led the team that discovered the spider. The only way to kill them? Put them in a ring of fire, until they go down, down, down and the flames went higher.

For 20 years, I thought I had the best job in the world as a publicist in the music industry. Turns out, this woman destroys all happiness I ever thought was real.

Being a panda caretaker is a real job in China, at the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center. “Your work has only one mission,” reports China Daily. “Spending 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows. You need perseverance for this job. We expect that the applicants will be mainly white-collar workers from big cities. They are used to eating whatever they want, but inside the giant panda base, the choices will not be plentiful.”

Humane Society International has rescued 26 dogs and puppies from a dog meat farm in South Korea, its fourth such rescue operation this year. The dogs were successfully transported to the Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, DC. Their staff will evaluate and divide the dogs among them and four Emergency Placement Partner shelters, including the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Fairfax County Animal Shelter and Washington Humane Society to find the dogs homes. The Emergency Placement Partners Program is a program of The Humane Society of the United States, HSI’s U.S. affiliate.

Kelly O’Meara, HSI’s director of companion animals and engagement, said: “We closed this farm as it was just starting, and rescued these dogs and puppies from cold, barren cages with no hope of a future. Like the hundreds of other dogs we’ve rescued from South Korean dog meat farms this year, we know adoptive families will welcome these dogs into their homes and make them the companion animals they deserve to be.”

HSI worked with the farm owner to remove the dogs from miserable conditions and close its doors for good. As part of the plan, he signed an agreement with HSI to shut down the property. HSI will follow the farmer’s progress to ensure compliance. HSI will demolish the cages in the following days now that all the dogs have been removed.

HSI is working to reduce the dog meat trade in Asia, including in South Korea where dogs are farmed for the trade — and where the 2018 Winter Olympics will be held. HSI will work with other dog farmers who agree to get out of the cruel dog meat trade permanently and transition into more humane trades.