Unwanted pups which almost died to be retrained as ‘Assistance Dogs’

first_imgThree little unwanted pups who were left close to death are to be retrained as assistance dogs.The trio were handed into the Donegal Animals in Need charity in need if vital need of lifesaving care.The three dogs, which are Labrador/German Shepherd-cross sisters, were suffering from a range of problems. They were given veterinary care but it was feared that they would not make it.A spokesperson for Donegal Animals in Need said “Nine week old Charlotte (was Lulu), Coco and Chantelle, three Labrador/German Shepherd-cross sisters, were riddled with roundworms and two of them became very sick, ending up in the vets on drips, fighting for their lives.“They had such a heavy burden of parasites that as the worms came away, so did part of their intestines, leaving lesions in the intestine which in turn became infected.“Charlotte and Chantelle were in a critical condition but thanks to the outstanding care of the veterinary staff they are both now on the mend, although at times it seemed they wouldn’t make it.” The three pups are now eating special food and will join their sister Coco back at their foster home where they can recuperate.And the DAIN spokesperson added that the dogs are to play a very special part in peoples’ lives in the months and years to come.“We have brilliant news for their future – all three girls have been booked to be trained as Assistance Dogs – their breed mix being ideal for the job.“But for now they will be taking it easy while they recover as their fosterer gives a huge sigh of relief.”Unwanted pups which almost died to be retrained as ‘Assistance Dogs’ was last modified: March 11th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:animals in needassistance dogsdogsdonegalRESCUEDretrainedlast_img read more

Tampa Bay Rays topple A’s

first_imgOAKLAND — A confidence boost from the starting rotation felt pertinent following the announcement that Frankie Montas, the A’s ace, would be suspended for 80 games for testing positive for PED use.Granted, Montas’ shoes were large to fill — Tanner Anderson, in his third start with the A’s this year, left a little too much space for comfort, taking his second loss in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 5-3 win on Friday night.Anderson’s sinker started him off strong, but the Rays had him decoded the second …last_img

South Africa’s child rights hero

first_imgProf Ann Skelton’s job as a prosecutor was a turning point in her career. It got her interested in children and she realised that she wanted to change the law. (Image: worldschildrensprize.org) HM Queen Silvia of Sweden with Prof Ann Skelton, the World’s Children’s Prize Honorary Laureate 2012. (Image: Christine Olsson/World’s Children’s Prize) The Centre for Child Law pioneered separate legal representation of children in South Africa. Prof Ann Skelton was a legal representative in the centre’s first judgement on this subject, which became a landmark case. (Image: worldschildrensprize.org) MEDIA CONTACTS • Carmilla Floyd  The World’s Children’s Prize  +46 159 12900 RELATED ARTICLES • “The excitement never left us” • More women engineers for SA • SA’s fashion gold medallist • SA academic gets top science awardWilma den HartighSouth Africa’s children have a powerful ally fighting for their rights. In and out of the court room South African advocate Prof Ann Skelton is doing ground-breaking work to advance the rights of children and bring about changes to the country’s juvenile justice system.In honour of Skelton’s work over the past 25 years to protect the rights of children affected by the South African justice system, she was recently named one of three laureates of the prestigious 2012 World’s Children’s Prize.The award recognises people who have done outstanding work for children whose rights have been violated. It’s also the world’s largest annual programme in the field of educating young people about the rights of children, democracy, the environment, and global friendship.Through her work Skelton, who is the director of the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria, continues to put issues affecting children under the spotlight.When Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, Skelton was asked to chair the writing of the new legislation to protect children in trouble with the law. She was involved in drafting the Children’s Act and the Child Justice Act, and she’s still leading the way in setting legal precedents and changing laws affecting children.An early turning pointEarly in her career Skelton reached a turning point. While working as a young prosecutor in the Pietermaritzburg juvenile court, her first job after completing her studies, she realised that she didn’t want to practise law in the conventional way.For her, working in the legal field was about more than taking on a case and representing a client.“I’ve always been interested in law to bring about change,” she says.She grew up under the apartheid regime in South Africa and when she was 15 years old, young black protestors of her own age were being shot and jailed.In the juvenile court she was put in the hot seat and regularly saw children who were beaten by police, bitten by police dogs, and sentenced to whipping.“I was so appalled by this and I thought this must change,” she says.“It was 1986, the middle of apartheid and the children were small – some were as young as seven or eight and could hardly see over the bench. It was pretty harsh.”She worked as a prosecutor for only 18 months, but the experience changed the course of her career.“It forged me into a person who wanted to change the law and it got me interested in children,” she says. “Work experience is important because even if you don’t like what you do, you learn something about yourself.”A challenging jobOne of the difficulties of her job is dealing with an emotional subject, but she says it is important to maintain a professional distance from cases, yet still be compassionate.“I do get angry about children suffering, but through my work I am giving people hope and this is a great reward,” she says.She emphasises that it doesn’t help to become sentimental. “I’m not soppy about children. I see children as people who need extra help,” she says. “I go to court to fight for children and this is why we can’t afford to be too emotional about them.”Landmark rulingsThese days Skelton’s work is not only about helping children in prison, but also taking to court those cases that involve issues such as access to education, socio-economic rights, health and nutrition.She says although South Africa’s laws to protect children are much better now, these laws are not always implemented and children still suffer.Whether she is representing one child or a case that can help many children in the same situation, her work brings about positive change to the lives of South Africa’s younger citizens.  The Centre for Child Law, through its children’s litigation project, has been involved in cases that have been heard in the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal, as well as the High, Children’s and Magistrates Courts.Many judgements have set precedents that have brought about changes in the law, government activities and broader society.Skelton recalls the centre’s first case in the Constitutional Court, involving a 35-year-old single mother of three children convicted of fraud and sentenced to a fine and four years in prison.This case was important as it called into question whether the mother’s sentence was in the best interests of the children, who would be left without a primary care giver if she was imprisoned.Now world famous, it has become one of the centre’s most cited cases. It was the first Constitutional Court case to examine the meaning and content of the constitutional right that ‘a child’s best interests are of paramount importance’.The precedent set by this judgement requires that when sentencing primary care givers, a judge should give preference to non-custodial sentences as far as possible.If imprisonment is the only appropriate sentence, the court must ensure the safety of children during the absence of the primary care giver.Another important aspect of Skelton’s job is protecting the autonomy of children.“It is important to cater for children at different levels of development,” she says. “Childhood is a process and children need more autonomy as they get older.”The centre has pioneered separate legal representation of children in South Africa, based on the idea that children of a certain age and maturity have a right to participate in decisions made about them.This issue becomes particularly important when children get caught up in family disputes or legal battles.Skelton was a legal representative in the centre’s first judgement on this subject, which became a landmark case.Leaving it to the kids to decideWhen she found out that the University of Pretoria nominated her for the World’s Children’s Prize, she didn’t pay much attention to it. “I wasn’t expecting to win,” she says.Skelton didn’t think she stood a good chance, considering that prominent South Africans who have received the accolade include former president Nelson Mandela. The prize was also posthumously awarded to 13-year-old Hector Pieterson who died in the 1976 Soweto uprising and Nkosi Johnson, an HIV-positive child who died at the age of 12 but who made a major impact on public perceptions of the pandemic.But Skelton underestimated herself – her work did make a significant impact on the jury.What is interesting about this award is that the winners are selected entirely by children.The candidates for the prize are selected by a child jury, who are all child rights experts through their own life experiences. Some of them have been child soldiers, debt slaves and even homeless. Voting then opens to 2.5-million children worldwide to select a winner.One of the jury children, 17-year-old Gabatshwane Gumede, comes from South Africa.When she heard the news that she was a winner, Skelton was overwhelmed. She emphasises that her work isn’t a solitary pursuit, but a team effort. “You are always working as a team. It is never just one person that writes a law,” she says.What’s next?She believes the protection and care of unaccompanied foreign children that find their way into South Africa needs more attention. “This is a very interesting group of children that don’t receive much attention,” she says.According to a Unicef article, Children on the Move. Unaccompanied migrant children in South Africa, the government has a legislative responsibility to extend the same protective measures to foreign children as it would to any South African child.Such children, of whom there are several thousand in the country, come from as far as Somalia. “They walk here, or hitch a ride on the back of trucks,” she says.She adds that South Africa’s laws on unaccompanied foreign children are not very clear.“I would like to see more attention paid to this.”Changing perceptions about lawWhen Skelton is not in court, she lectures in the university’s Department of Law. “I draw a lot from my own work. I try to make the law come alive,” she says.When she’s lecturing, she most enjoys changing the way students think about law. “I feel I play a role in helping students see there are other ways to do law,” she says.“I always tell my students that it is important to like your job, because I do.”She says the protection of children’s rights isn’t just up to lawyers and the court, but ordinary South Africans also have a role. “The public can do a lot to help children. You might know a child is being abused and you can bring that to the attention of the law. Don’t turn a blind eye.”last_img read more

Poaching victim Hope survives surgery

first_img10 June 2015The female rhino that survived having its horns hacked off by poachers was doing well after undergoing surgery, one of the vets who operated on it said yesterday.“The surgery went well yesterday [Monday]. She is doing quite well. She is alert and walking around and eating,” said Dr Johan Marais, an equine and wildlife surgeon at the University of Pretoria. Marais is part of Saving the Survivors, a group that treats rhino for gunshot wounds, facial gouges and other injuries inflicted by poachers.Three weeks ago poachers darted the rhino with a tranquilliser and hacked off its horns while the animal was sedated, fracturing its nasal bone and exposing the sinus cavities and nasal passages. Hope was later found by staff at the wildlife reserve – alive, but with a huge wound on the face.Worst injuries“It was a large wound, about 50cm by 30cm and very deep. It went far into her sinuses and nasal passages,” Marais said. “It is easily one of the worst injuries that I had ever worked on.”The rhino, which underwent the initial surgery in May, was later given the name “Hope”. On Monday, Marais and other vets worked on cleaning and redressing the wound and helped to maintain the structure of the rhino’s face at the Shamwari Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth.“We removed dead tissue. There is also dead bone. We took out some, but we also used it as a scaffold [to help restructure the face],” Marais said. “We will go back in two or three weeks.”It would probably take about 18 months for the wound to heal. However, if Hope was suffering to a point where it was inhumane to keep it alive, the vets would “put her down”. “But we don’t think that at this moment.”Marais said one of the fundamental problems with helping rhino was that there was very little information available on the animals, especially on their anatomy and how to deal with situations like Hope’s. “This is a work in progress.”At the rate rhino were being poached, people had to make a concerted effort to gain more knowledge about the animals so that more of them could be saved, he added.Source: News24Wirelast_img read more

Christmas unexpected

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Franklin had a far off look in his eyes as he sat there amid the wrapping paper piles from his Christmas morning present opening frenzy. While he had certainly gotten a good haul, the big present — the pinnacle of his Christmas gift hopes for the whole year — was not what he’d been wanting.At the top of his wish list had been the newest video game system. He already had one, but it was for kid games and in Franklin’s estimation he was beyond ready to move to the next level of video games. After all, he was 10 now, not just a kid. He’d been less-than-subtle with the hints dropped to his parents.When he’d scanned the offerings under the tree he spotted what he thought was a box just the right size for the video game. He wasn’t allowed to open that one until last.Finally after opening packages of socks, underwear, some books, new pants, and a video game for his old game system, and watching his younger brother and sister open all of their presents, Franklin’s dad (with an excited gleam in his eye) pointed to that last package. With unbridled fervor, Franklin tore into the package. He could almost feel that new game controller in his hand.But, with the wrapping paper of that package finally strewn around him, he realized that he was not getting the top item on his list for Christmas that year. Instead of the new video game system, he held in his hands a box containing binoculars —not really what he wanted, and certainly not what he expected.As he sat there he recalled how he had asked about getting some binoculars numerous times, but not for his biggest Christmas present. He loved going outdoors, especially with his grandpa, and looking for signs of wildlife in the fields, creeks and woods around their home. He already knew his songbirds fairly well and he could ID an Eastern bluebird in the pasture back when he was seven. So it is not that he didn’t really want the binoculars, it was just that he had been expecting something very different. So there Franklin sat, not exactly upset, but not really too excited either.His father chimed in: “I know you’ve been wanting these. They are really nice. They will last your whole life if you take care of them. Just think of all the things you’ll see!”Both Franklin and his father were disappointed when the 10-year-old pushed the box containing the binoculars behind the Christmas tree and went to get some breakfast.A couple days later, Franklin went over to visit a friend who had gotten that new video game system. Wow! It was fun. The graphics were better than he’d envisioned and the new controllers were nothing short of amazing. Mid-afternoon, Franklin heard the diesel rumble of his grandpa’s truck outside. He reluctantly put down the controller and thanked his friend. He knew not to keep grandpa waiting.When Franklin climbed into the truck he saw his grandpa had brought his new Christmas waterproof work boots, a pair or warm gloves and a stocking cap. In the cup holder was a mug of steaming hot cocoa. His grandpa’s weathered hand left the steering wheel and patted the pair of new binoculars on the seat.“You’re probably going to want these,” he said with a smile.The first really good snow had fallen the previous day and the temperatures were in the mid-20s with a clear, sunny sky overhead. The first stop was the eagle’s nest on the farm. Franklin had seen it (and the bald eagles) many times, but he really enjoyed seeing the nest in a new way for the first time. He even got an up close look as the majestic male returned to the nest. From there Franklin and his grandpa hiked around the woods and the shrubby fringes of the farm, studying the squawking blue jays and stately cardinals on the way. Their feet crunched in the snow and icicles dripped from tree branches. Otherwise, the only sounds were from the wild Ohio around them. It was nothing short of Christmas magic. Franklin had forgotten how much he loved to do this with his grandpa.Franklin was starting to get tired, cold and hungry as dusk began to settle in. They were crouched down peering into what looked to be a giant groundhog hole at the edge of the woods way back behind the barn.“Probably time to head back,” his grandpa croaked.At the sound of his words, there was a scramble in the woods right beside them and a stunning red fox scurried to the wooded fringe. It was by far the closest Franklin had ever been to a fox. Franklin raised the binoculars to his eyes and found the eyes of the fox staring right into his own — haunting, amber, wild eyes.The eagle had been amazing, the cardinals had been beautiful, but those eyes through the new perspective of the powerful lenses stirred something in Franklin’s soul that he’d never known before. It changed him. Through his unexpected Christmas gift, Franklin saw the animal’s vertical pupils widen just a bit in the growing darkness before the fox broke their connection and walked, unconcerned, into the shadows of the woods. Isaiah 53: 2-6He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.last_img read more

Petrified Forest- Route 66—Geocache of the Week

first_imgTraditionalGC3EPG9by PEFO Ranger Difficulty:2.5Terrain:1 Today is the US National Park Service’s 100th Birthday! In addition to the NPS offering free entry into all National Parks this weekend, Geocaching HQ has created a Find Your Park GeoTour where you can explore geocaches placed by the National Park Service and their partners.We want to highlight a fun, car-themed geocache that was hidden by a Ranger in Petrified Forest National Park. Besides, what’s more American than a road trip on Route 66?Made popular by the Nat King Cole Trio song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” and the 1960’s TV Series, Route 66, the road spans from Santa Monica, California to Chicago, Illinois. Along Route 66, you can visit Petrified Forest National Park, which was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Petrified Forest National Park was created to protect large deposits of petrified wood and other fossils from the Triassic Period, which makes this park Dino-Mite! Over 10,000 years of human history can be found in the park, including over 800 archeological and historical sites.Things to know about the geocache:There is an old car sitting in the roadbed of the previous road.This place is a popular spot to visit, so watch out for muggles taking pictures!This is a “TNLN” geocache, which means “Take Nothing; Leave Nothing”. Bring a pen, sign the log, and save your cool swag and trackables for a different geocaching experience. Please respect the rules and regulations of the park and the resources it was established to protect. Location:Petrified Forest National Park, United StatesN 35° 03.067 W 109° 48.319center_img While you’re in Petrified National Forest, check out other caches the PEFO Ranger has hidden:PEFO – Pioneers of PaleontologyPEFO – Giant LogsPEFO – Painted Desert OasisHistoricAZ66: The Painted DesertHistoricAZ66: Painted Desert InnThanks PEFO Ranger for hiding some super fun and informative caches and also for serving our National Park Service.And I’ll leave you with a seemingly relevant dinosaur joke:What do you call it when a dinosaur has a car accident?A Tyrannosaurus wreck!Make sure to share your experience with the community by using the hashtags #FindYourPark and #Geocaching while on your National Parks adventure this weekend.Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedHappy 100th Birthday US National Park Service! Let’s Celebrate with a GeoTour!June 6, 2016In “Community”Become a U.S. National Park Ranger for a Day – Park Employee for a Day Geocaches (GC42GX2) – Geocache of the WeekApril 10, 2013In “Community”Tips on Developing EarthCaches in U.S. National ParksSeptember 14, 2012In “Community”last_img read more

Chaggan Bhujbal back under scanner

first_imgAccording to Bhujbal, however, he has made it past all these claims unscathed – which is why the veteran politician is not bothered about the latest allegations about his involvement in a ‘Rs 10,000-crore,’ Maharashtra Sadan scam. Bhujbal has been accused by the BJP of allowing a small-time contractor to construct the Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi in return for the development rights of an Andheri slum. The BJP claims the scam is worth Rs 10,000 crores.The PWD minister, however, has said that he is not involved and that he would not just resign from his minister’s post but even quit politics if the charges were found to be true. Bhujbal’s optimism is not misplaced.After all, the probe in the ‘scam’ is being headed by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) which functions under the home ministry headed by RR Patil of the NCP. This is the same ACB that tried to give a clean chit to the then Mumbai Congress Chief Kripashankar Singh in the disproportionate assets case, despite evidence to the contrary.So Bhujbal is unperturbed, despite disturbing allegations that the small-time contractor who got the project for Maharashtra Sadan purchased furniture from a firm headed by one of his daughters-in-law, or that the contractor gave a sub-contract to another firm for the construction of the Sadan, which had a couple of Bhujbal’s employees as directors.The Maharashtra government, which has seldom seemed willing to probe cases of graft especially against its own, made a huge song and dance out of an ACB probe that it has allegedly ordered.Allegedly because ACB officials say they have been asked to conduct the probe by RR Patil on whether Bhujbal benefited from the deal. Home Minister RR Patil, however, says no sanction has been given for a probe. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on the other hand says according to him the ACB probe is on.It’s not just the government that is confused: Even the BJP, the party that made ming that the scam was worth Rs 100 crore, then quickly revised that to Rs 1,000 crore, and now pegs the overall cost of the scam at over Rs 10,000 crore.Ganesh gets a new home on the netThe vibrant ten-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival is traditionally celebrated with street processions of Ganesh idols, accompanied by dancing and singing of devotees.The the idols are eventually immersed in the sea, like this one at Mumbai’s famed Chowpatty beach.Increasingly, however, devotees are giving the queues and messy, loud street celebrations a miss and taking their religion online. Websites allow live streaming of popular idols, such as the famous Lalbaugcha Raja in Mumbai, and devotees can even get ‘digital blessings’ by tuning in at ‘aarti’ timings.Phone companies are also getting in the game, offering SMS prayers and mobile games involving the Hindu god, while smartphones have pooja apps, opening up whole new avenues for the age-old festival.Post-transfer Dhoble back to old waysOne of the first things the new Mumbai police Chief Satyapal Singh did after taking over as Commissioner was to reign in ACP Vasant Dhoble, who became infamous for his attempts at moral policing. Singh hoped that transferring Dhoble from the Social Service Branch to Vakola in the western suburbs would temper his raiding habits.Within days after taking over his new post, Dhoble returned to his old tactics with the same vengeance – restaurants and bars that stayed open after the 11pm deadline were been fined and even pan shops and juice centres were pulled up.Although hoteliers grumble about ‘moral policing,’ Dhoble has his backers because he goes after establishments that are flouting the law. In fact the ACP is almost a celebrity, with people queing to click photos or shoot videos of his raids when he ventures out. And the man clearly loves all the action – he is often seen posing for the cameras and even waiving at the people who throng to see him in action.State schools get sports diktatIndia’s medal tally in the just concluded Olympics might have marginally improved this year, but its fair to say that in a country like ours with a population of a billion-plus people, the medal tally is quite embarrassing.Unfortunately this reflects the lack of a sports culture in our country, most notably our schools. This is why the Maharashtra government’s recent directive has to be welcomed. The state has now directed all schools in the state functioning under various boards to have a mandatory five hours a week reserved for sports.The state government’s intention is not to make champion Olympians out of the school students but simply to encourage students to get more physical activity. Some schools, however, are trying to resist the move. They have complained that it would include an additional financial burden on them to hire a physical trainer, while other claim that they don’t even have grounds for their children to indulge in sporting activities.Gold’s rising price has led to a peculiar problem for the Mumbai police – an increasing number of cases of gold chain snatches. Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh has decided to crack down on the chain snatchers by booking them under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) which makes it hard to get bail. Singh also uses the unique strategy of putting up banners with photos of chain-snatchers at police stations, to educate the public and also to force the criminals to go into hiding.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more