Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kid Heroes For Animals: Amazing Young Girl Uses Horses to Help kids with Disabilities


Kid Heroes For Animals Series

I know this story is not recent, but I thought I'd share it anyway because it is so inspiring and makes you smile!  It is so very kind of Pandora to be brightening the lives of kids who have disabilities.  I love reading stories about kids helping other kids through animals, it is inspiring! ~Declan


The sick little girl saving horses to brighten lives of kids with disabilities



Pandora with a horse she helped rescue.
Pandora Humphries suffers a mysterious and debilitating disease that causes her red blood cells to attack each other and not regenerate. As her mother Amber Hendry and her step-father Anthony Swords explain, Pandora's love affair with a pony named Bella has helped save unwanted racehorses from the knackery and brought joy to dozens of children with disabilities.

AMBER HENDRY: 
My daughter Pandora is a beautiful girl. She's nine and weighs just 19 kilograms but she has a heart as big as the world. 

In 2006, when she was two, Pandora had a bone marrow transplant. She was immune-compromised when she was a baby with haemolytic anaemia, which caused her red blood cells to attack and destroy each other. 

She spent her first two years of life in hospital with cardiac and respiratory problems and needed a blood transfusion almost every day. 

Doctors don't know why this is happening and so she remains undiagnosed. I call it Pandora's Box Syndrome. 

When Pandora was six, she had the bone age of a two-year-old. Today she is a totally different child. Now she has the bone age of an eight-year-old, so she's only one year behind. 

She is still small and doesn't gain weight like other nine-year-olds but she's a bright, bubbly kid. We love people who give blood because without them, I wouldn't have my daughter. 

For Pandora's eighth birthday, we bought her a white Welsh pony named Bella. She loves horses. 

Pandora with her mother Amber, stepfather Anthony and stepbrother.

Pandora, her pony Bella and some We Were Champions volunteers.

Soon after she got a place in the local Riding for the Disabled program. 
Pandora decided to give her place to another child. She said: "Mum, I can walk and I can talk. I want someone who really needs it to have my place".

ANTHONY SWORDS: 
Pandora also wanted to share her pony with the other kids she had met at the hospital. That touched me. 

I'm her stepdad and I wasn't around when she spent all her time in hospital but what she's been through breaks my heart. 

We noticed that having a pony was having a positive effect on Pandora. She seemed to grow and catch up with the other kids when she was around horses. She has a horse whisperer personality around them. 

At the same time we heard about how racehorses were often sold off at the end of their careers. A lot of times they end up being bought for the slaughterhouse. 

By this time, because of Pandora, I was a real horse lover and I thought maybe we could save some of them. 

I called up some family and friends and we decided that we could do something that might help both the racehorses and the disabled and sick kids that we knew. We started We Were Champions. 

I went along to a horse sale. I intended to buy a horse. I came back with three. We invited the kids from the hospital out to our property. 

You can't imagine the joy they get from being on a horse for the first time. I'm a pretty big fella and I work in the debt collection business. But I don't care how tough you are, you can't see those smiles and not shed a tear. 

We have kids with Tourette's Syndrome, autism and all kinds of conditions. And they are all different people when they are in a paddock with a horse. 

Today, we have 19 racehorses, a couple of ponies as well as Pandora's pony Bella and Amber's horse. When we started We Were Champions, it was just our family and friends. 

Today, we have more than 10,000 members and we're waiting for approval as a registered charity. 
Every weekend we have car loads of kids out here, all with smiles because they're on the back of horse. And none of it would have happened if it hadn't been for Pandora and that big heart of hers. 


Friday, January 2, 2015

Kid Heroes for Animals: Kind Teens Save Shelter Animals







Kid Heroes for Animals:  Kind Teens Save Shelter Animals

Here is my next story for my growing series, "Kid Heroes for Animals" on my Children 4 Horses Facebook page.  In this story from December 2012, 3 compassionate teens are featured doing what they love, helping animals. I really hope you enjoy this story! 

I will be posting a bunch of amazing stories of kids helping or saving animals from all over the world! You can also help me by submitting or suggesting your own stories by sending me a message on my Facebook page.  I am hoping the stories I find inspire people, especially kids to be compassionate and caring towards animals and even to be brave and strong! ~ Declan



Animal Rescue Started By Teenager Has Helped Save 20,000 Animals




December 3, 2012 Posted by ADMIN in Dog News
As Posted on Life With Dogs

He may not be old enough to vote, but he’s making a difference. Lou Wegner is the person behind one of the fastest-growing animal rescues in the country. His Kids Against Animal Cruelty uses social networking to encourage adoptions at high-kill animal shelters. In the past two years it has helped 20,000 pets escape euthanasia.

A few years ago Wegner believed shelters were safe havens. After he volunteered at one he learned that in fact many dogs and cats have to be put down at shelters. “It was heartbreaking. All these dogs crying in their cages. Knowing they would be put down broke my heart,” he said. Lou started Kids Against Animal Cruelty when he was only 14 years old with some of his friends. His Facebook page started out with just 47 friends and now two years later boasts over 15,000 likes on Facebook.

Wegner, who is an actor, uses his public appearances to bring awareness to his cause. If he’s attending an event where photographers and paparazzi are likely to attend he’ll try to wear a Kids Against Animal Cruelty t-shirt. His goal is to get more people to adopt from shelters, to spay and neuter pets and to educate them about pet responsibility.

Wegner efforts have saved dogs like Tommy Joe, an 11-month-old black lab. When Tommy Joe’s photo was posted on the group’s Facebook page it didn’t get much attention, with no likes or comments. “I thought he was doomed,” said Wegner.  Tommy Joe was on death row in a rural shelter in South Carolina. Wegner started writing on Tommy Joe’s post and spreading the word about him. Wegner’s extra effort paid off when a group called For the Love of Dogs in Chester, South Carolina  saved Tommy Joe.

Since Wegner’s starting of Kids Against Animal Cruelty, other teens have set up chapters of the group around the country. Wegner hopes to have a chapter in every state eventually and make a bigger difference. “They euthanize just as many animals every day as we have saved. It’s like throwing a Band-Aid in a river,” Wegner said. In addition to trying to save as many animals as he can, Wegner hopes to educate children who commit cruelty to animals. Lou would like to make the children who commit  cruelty to animals have to witness what happens in the euthanasia room at a shelter.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Kid Heroes for Animals: Cool Kid Tina Bergmann Helps Animals In Shelters

 

Kid Heroes: Cool Kid Tina Bergmann Helps Animals In Shelters

  


Here's the next story I found for you as part of my new series "Kid Heroes for Animals" on my Children 4 Horses Facebook page. I will be posting a bunch of amazing stories of kids helping or saving animals from all over the world! You can also submit or suggest your own stories by sending me a message on my Facebook page.  I am hoping the stories I find inspire people, especially kids to be compassionate and caring towards animals and even to be brave and strong!

This is great!  I love doing theses stories, it makes me so happy to know there are lots of other kids out there helping our animals!  I can not imagine a world without animals.  It is really just awesome that there are kids and adults too who commit themselves to helping animals.  ~Declan



Cool Kid Tina Bergmann helps animals in shelters





July 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
This week's Cool Kid loves animals. She may not be able to help them all, but she's sure doing what she can in her community.

Tina Bergmann is especially drawn to helping those animals who end up in shelters. So much so, the Glendora High School senior founded a club called PAWS, which stands for Protecting Animals Within Shelters.

Members of the club go out and clean local dog parks, but they also gather donations for much-needed supplies for the Rancho Cucamonga Animal Center.

"Shelters don't have big budgets for small things like blankets and towels or toys. So it's great when people can donate to them," said Tina.

Tina and her fellow PAWS group members are dedicated to helping in lots of ways. But she says delivering the donations gives them a great feeling of accomplishment.

"It was really inspirational for me because we just got to see how the blankets and towels we were collecting were helping the animals and how my hard work was paying off to help them," said Tina.
Her genuine affection for all animals is a feeling she hopes to convey to others.

"They love you and I love them back. They're just furry little friends. I just love them. I don't know how someone can't," said Tina.

It's a sad fact of society that so many animals end up in shelters. But Tina Bergmann hopes her efforts make that time just a little more comfortable.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kid Heroes for Animals: 9-Year-Old Built Shelter in his Garage to Help Strays



Here's the next story I found for you as part of my new series on my Children 4 Horses Facebook page, called "Kid Heroes for Animals". I will be posting a bunch of amazing stories of kids helping or saving animals from all over the world! You can also submit or suggest your own stories by sending me a message on my Facebook page.  I am hoping the stories I find inspire people, especially kids to be compassionate and caring towards animals and even to be brave and strong!

Ken is only 9 years old and is from the Philippines.  He is a very compassionate boy who has a huge heart!  Read here how he is helping strays in his neighborhood.  ~Declan 



This 9-Year-Old Built A Nonprofit, No-Kill Animal Shelter Out Of His Garage To Help Stray Animals

By  Melissa McGlensey
As posted on Huffington Post
Posted: Updated: 

Ken, 9, has grown up dreaming about someday having a shelter to help the stray animals that live near his home, but he never dreamed he could reach his goal so soon.
Ken did his best to help the local stray dogs and cats he came across near his home in the Philippines, he frequently spent time with them and offered them food, but he longed for the funds to open a no-kill shelter where he could really help his furry friends, according to The Happy Animals Club website.
Then, a few months ago, photos of Ken with three strays made their way onto the Internet, and people from all over the world began to donate money. 
"We got enough money to get the dogs I was feeding off the street, feed them high quality canned food, and provide them with veterinary care," he wrote on his website. 
Ken and his father were also able to build a temporary shelter for the three dogs, named Blackie, Brownie and White Puppy, in their garage. Ken named it The Happy Animals Club. 
"They gained a LOT of weight, their open wounds healed, and their fur grew back," Ken wrote. "They also learned not to be scared of humans."
He plans to put the pups up for adoption soon.
Thanks to the donations, earlier this month Ken was able to sign a one-year lease for a space where he can continue to create a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter for street animals. He hopes to have it up and running soon. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Kid Heroes for Animals: 15 Year Old Ran Into A Burning Barn To Save 25 Horses.




I am introducing a new series on my Children 4 Horses Facebook page. It is called "Kid Heroes for Animals". I will be posting a bunch of amazing stories of kids helping or saving animals from all over the world! You can also submit or suggest your own stories by sending me a message on my Facebook page.  I am hoping the stories I find inspire people, especially kids to be compassionate and caring towards animals and even to be brave and strong!

The first story I have for you is about 15 year old Maddie, who is brave beyond comparison! Wait until you see what she did!!  ~Declan

15 Year Old Repeatedly Ran Into A Burning Barn To Save 25 Horses.

15 Year Old Repeatedly Ran Into A Burning Barn To Save 25 Horses.

A 15-year-old girl is being hailed a hero after dashing into a burning barn and rescuing around 25 horses from near death, against her stepfather’s orders. Taking the reins of each kicking and jumping horse, 4ft-10in Madison Wallraf of McHenry, Illinois guided the frantic animals out of the fire-swept stable and to safety.

‘I got kicked in the shoulder by one of the horses in there and I got knocked down a few times, but my adrenaline was so high at the time that it didn’t really phase me.’


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Police Horse Training - Extraordinary Animals



This is pretty cool.  It's really hard for a horse to become a police academy graduate.  This is a look at some of their training for the San Francisco PD.  Horses are pretty awesome!! ~Declan




Police Horse Training - Extraordinary Animals - Series 2 - Earth

Published on Apr 2, 2014

How are horses chosen to work with the police? With entry requirements more rigorous than the U.S. Navy Seals, only 10% of the horses brought in to the San Francisco mounted police unit will make it through basic training. It takes a very special horse to beats those odds.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Photos of Extremely Rare Moment - White Camargue Horses Race Along France's Rhone River


Beautiful horses! ~Declan


Just horsing around! Fascinating photos reveal extremely rare moment white Camargue horses race along France's Rhone River

  • Xavier Oretgas Ojuel photographed a herd of rare white horses galloping through saltwater at sunset
  • The animals are native to the region where they've long lived in several ranches along the Rhone River
  • Camargue is a relatively remote natural paradise, located near Arles, along France's southern coast
By Katie Amey
As posted on Mail Online
A herd of white Camargue horses galloping through a calm delta at sunset made for some stunning photos from Barcelona-based photographer Xavier Oretga Ojuel.

The Spanish man travelled hundreds of miles to capture this magical moment of the rare animals racing wildly against the setting sun.

Rushing along the remote landscape, the surf is kicked up and the animals' movements blurred, as they are permitted to run free outside for their ranches along the Rhone River, near Arles, France.

Horseplay: A herd of white horses gallop through the saltwater of the Rhone River in France
Horseplay: A herd of white horses gallop through the saltwater of the Rhone River in France


The animals belong to several ranches along the Camargue, a natural region located south of Arles, France
The animals belong to several ranches along the Camargue, a natural region located south of Arles, France


The photographs, taken at sunset, capture the horses between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhone River delta
The photographs, taken at sunset, capture the horses between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhone River delta


The herd is carefree and playful, kicking up water as they splash in the surf
The herd is carefree and playful, kicking up water as they splash in the surf

This is the third time that the photographer has made the trip to region to photograph these majestic creatures, building up quite a portfolio of images along the way.

'In these three years, I have seen many horses - usually they can run for ten minutes until the leader decides to quit,' Xavier said.

'I love seeing horses like this - running free in the wild. They are one of my favourite animals, displaying a combination of power, beauty and water in a great place with magnificent light.' 

He added: 'I remember taking these particular photos. It was a magical moment.

'The sky was ablaze with yellow clouds when a herd of white horses came running through the marsh.

'I chose a short lens to capture the beautiful landscape and I believe I took one of my best pictures.' 

These Camargue horses are named after the region of southern France they are native to
These Camargue horses are named after the region of southern France they are native to


The images are slightly blurred due to the horses' quick movements
The images are slightly blurred due to the horses' quick movements


The rare white creatures are believed to be ancestors of Palaeolithic era horses, which lived over 17,000 years ago
The rare white creatures are believed to be ancestors of Palaeolithic era horses, which lived over 17,000 years ago


The horses have been running wild in this area for years, but belong to ranches along the remote coast of the Camargue
The horses have been running wild in this area for years, but belong to ranches along the remote coast of the Camargue


'I love seeing horses like this - running free in the wild,' photographer Xavier Ortega says
'I love seeing horses like this - running free in the wild,' photographer Xavier Ortega says


The horses slow to a walk once their leader has decided he's tired of running in the calm waters
The horses slow to a walk once their leader has decided he's tired of running in the calm waters



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Horses of Honor in Chicago




Cool artwork.  I love all the colors and designs!  ~Declan


Horses of Honor




All over the city, Horses of Honor are on display. These life-size fiberglass statues of Chicago's police horses were designed to raise awareness and support for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. There are 16 horses currently on display with 40 more expected to roll out shortly. The featured horses will be on display around the city through mid-November.