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A dog explains why Phoenix's pet store law is such a big win for shelter animals.

In the name of representation, I thought it'd be best if we let an actual dog tackle this topic, transcribed (and loosely translated into human-speak) by me, Evan Porter. Enjoy!

Phoenix pet store law, shelter animals, ASPCA

A french bulldog puppy lays on some yellow flooring.

Hey! I'm a rescue pup.

I was born a stray, but now I live in a shelter, which means I'm moving up in the world!

Don't feel too bad for me, though. I have lots of things to be excited about. I got a funny celebrity name when I got to the shelter (Esmeralda Gosling!) and — ohmygod does someone have food?


But there is some even more awesome news this week that has me and my puppy friends spinning in nonstop circles.

Two years ago, Phoenix told pet stores they were only allowed to sell rescue animals like me.

I was just a puppy back then, not the handsome hound you see today. Pet stores in Phoenix that sell dogs from puppy mills just got a whack on the nose from one of those people who wear black robes and bang those funny wooden hammers that look like something a dog ought to be allowed to chew on.

At the time, some people weren't happy about the new rule and tried to get it thrown out, but this week, that fancy robe-wearing judge-person upheld the decision, which is great news for dogs like me (he also upheld the decision not to let dogs chew on his hammer thingy, which is not great news because it looks sooo chewable).

The judge's decision is important because there are these really bad places called puppy mills.

puppy mills, animal rights, animal shelters, purebreds

A photo witnessing the typical puppy mill.

Photo by Krotz/Wikimedia Commons/ Creative Commons/Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

It turns out that most puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills; at least, that's what my human friends at the ASPCA say. I might only be a dog, but even I understand basic economics: Without the demand for their product (puppies!), these puppy mills are more likely to go away for good.

Yay!

It's good news for me and my pals, but not everyone is excited.

We don't see a lot of "purebred" puppies here at my shelter, but apparently, they're a big deal to some humans. This new law says pet stores can't sell dogs from breeders, and that's made some people pretty grumpy.

The owners of the Puppies 'N Love pet store in Phoenix got really mad about this back in 2013, and they "sued" the city — whatever that means. The owners said since the law said they couldn't sell dogs from breeders anymore, they would probably go out of business.

The American Kennel Club isn't a fan of this law either because they think it's more important for humans to be able to pick a specific breed of dog than it is to make sure puppy mills are shut down.

"AKC supports freedom of choice for pet purchasers," they said, and, "Those seeking a puppy of a particular breed … may be out of luck."

Well boo-freaking-hoo! It's mutts like me who end up living on the streets while breeders and puppy mills supply purebred puppies straight to pet stores. Why would a pet store want a brand new pup when there are already so many who need good homes?

And besides, I challenge you to find a purebred cuter than me.

I'll wait — I'm really good at "stay"!

Anything that gets us animals off the streets and into loving homes gets four paws up from me.

Maricopa County, where Phoenix sits (good boy, Phoenix!), is second in the nation in pet overpopulation. To give you a taste, my buddies at the Arizona Humane Society say there are about 250,000 free-roaming cats there, and from my time on the streets, I can confirm that I've sniffed at least that many butts.

If saving more animals in need (even cats, yuck) and shutting down cruel puppy mills means professional breeders have to take a hit, that seems like a pretty OK deal to me.

I don't know what a city councillor is, but this one from Phoenix City named Thelda Williams said something I really liked: "[This law] means more protection for puppy lovers and the puppies themselves. We have so many dogs in Arizona that need homes; we don't need to import them."

I'll shake on that.


All images provided by CARE & Cargill

The impact of the CARE and Cargill partnership goes beyond empowering cocoa farmers

True

Cocoa, the key ingredient found in your favorite chocolate bar, has been a highly revered food product throughout human history. It’s been used for religious ceremonies in Peru, royal feasts in England and France, traded as currency for the ancient Mayans. And considering that many of us enjoy chocolate on a regular basis (mochas and candy bars, anyone?) it seems like that love is still going strong even today.

And if you are someone who looks forward to that sweet chocolate pick-me-up on a regular basis, you likely have the women of West Africa to thank.

Women like Barbara Sika Larweh, a mother of six who works as a cocoa farmer in Larwehkrom, a community located within the Sefwi Wiawso Municipality in the Western North Region of Ghana.

care, cargillMama Cash now empowers other women to gain independence

Nearly 60% of the world’s cocoa comes from both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, where Barbara and other mothers make up over half of the labor force. These female cocoa farmers shoulder the same physical burden as their male counterparts—all while also running households and paying for their children to go to school. And yet, they typically don’t receive equal income. Nor do they have access to the resources that could help them achieve financial independence.

Thankfully, positive changes are taking place. Barbara’s story exemplifies the impact of programs offered by CARE and Cargill, such as Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), which are small groups that offer low-interest loans to individuals living in poverty, helping them to build savings without going into devastating debt.

Through these initiatives, women, like Barbara, are equipped with vital knowledge like financial literacy to improve household incomes, sustainable agriculture practices that improve yields, and nutrition education to diversify their family’s diets.

“They came and trained me on the VSLA. I dedicated myself and volunteered so that I would be able to train my people, too,” Barbara explains.

Within the first year of using the programs, Barbara and the people she trained profited—earning her the nickname of “Mama Cash.”

This is no isolated event. In cocoa-growing communities supported by CARE and Cargill programming between 2019-2022, the number of households living below the national poverty line decreased by nearly 32% in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana - as a direct result of increasing and diversifying income through using these programs.

Like Barbara, who today is an executive member of the Community Development Committee, more than 2.4 million women have used their success as entrepreneurs to transform into leaders and decision-makers within their communities. Whether it’s giving most of their earnings back to their families, reducing child labor, or exponentially increasing overall farm yields, the rippling effect is profound.

The impact of the CARE and Cargill partnership goes beyond empowering cocoa farmers. The joint initiatives have fostered progress on complex global issues related to social justice, such as gender equality, climate change, and food security. By improving access to quality nutrition, water, and hygiene, the joint programs have positively influenced the cocoa communities’ well-being.

Suddenly there’s a lot more to think about the next time you eat a candy bar.

Find out more about the important partnership between CARE and Cargill here.

A dog keeps a watchful eye over a a spot on the lawn.

A TikTok user named Trisha became alarmed after her senior dog, Jackie, seemed particularly captivated by a specific patch on the yard. The spot on the lawn was also of keen interest to the neighbor's dog, who was poking his nose through the fence, trying to get a closer look.

When Trisha went out to inspect the mysterious patch of grass, she realized the dogs were watching over a snug little burrow, home to a clutch of adorable baby bunnies.

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Community

Facebook group rallies to reunite members with long lost childhood items

Total strangers helped this woman find her favorite childhood toy

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Many of us associate connection with social media: connection to the world, to friends and family, and perhaps even to others who share their ideas and hobbies.

Sometimes, that connection can restore old relationships or begin new ones. For Mavis Moon, however, social media is what helped reunite her with a long-lost family member: a blue, stuffed toy dog.

Moon was raised by her grandfather, who struggled with chronic health problems. One day when they were home alone, he suffered a massive heart attack. She immediately dialed 9-1-1, and when the emergency responders who arrived on the scene recognized how traumatized she was after witnessing the event, they consoled her with a blue stuffed dog. Her grandfather eventually recovered, and from that day forward she was never without her dog. He became a member of the family.

The stuffed animal brought her security and comfort. It was such an integral part of her life that her grandfather would carry it around when she couldn’t—he could always be counted on to be in the stands at her basketball games, holding up the dog to cheer for her. That stuffed animal went everywhere she went for years, until one devastating day when she lost him at a local fair.

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Science

Hawk drops snake on Texas woman, then tries to take it back in real-life horror story

File this under "things you didn't want to know were possible."

NPS/Kurt Moses (Public Domain)

Snakes are prey for hawks, but humans aren't usually involved in the hunt.

You know how sometimes you read a story that seems like it couldn't possibly be true, and when you find out it is, you think, "Yeah, I didn't actually need to know that could happen"?

This is one of those stories. And I'm only a little bit sorry for sharing it because it's also one of those stories where every detail gets more and more incredible (or in this case, worse and so much worse). I mean, it's a real-life story that starts with a snake falling out of the sky, for crying out loud. Cue the horror soundtrack.

Peggy Jones, 64, told Fox 26 Houston that she was driving her riding lawnmower in the yard of her home in Silsbee, Texas, when out of nowhere, a snake landed on her from above. Before she could even wrap her mind around what was happening, the snake coiled itself around her arm and began to strike at her face, repeatedly hitting her glasses.

That would be more than enough all by itself, but that's not where this horror story ends. The hawk that had presumably dropped the snake really wanted it back.

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Canva

Certainly not the story we've been taught to believe

Think about the illustrations you've seen of men and women of the Bronze Age who lived thousands of years ago.

Perhaps there's one you recall from your elementary school text book — in which men are probably depicted hurling bronze spears and strangling lions with their bare hands, while the women are most likely pictured leading children around, sifting through grapes or weaving tiny reeds into baskets (presumably to hold the fruits of their husbands' labor).

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Health

After a tragic birth story out of Atlanta, an OBGYN breaks down 'maneuvers of last resort'

"A shoulder dystocia, if you don't know, is an obstetric emergency."

OB-GYN breaks down shoulder dystocia after tragedy in Atlanta.

TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains graphic details of childbirth trauma and infant loss.

A couple in Atlanta, Georgia, experienced a devastating loss that by all stretches of the imagination seems impossible. Unfortunately, the unimaginable is one of the rarest of rare birth complications that resulted in the loss of their newborn son.

Jessica Ross and her partner, Treveon Taylor, were excitedly awaiting the delivery of their first child when during the pushing stage of labor, baby Treveon Taylor Jr.'s shoulder got stuck. According to the Cleveland Clinic, shoulder dystocia is when one or both of the baby's shoulders get stuck behind a bone in the pelvis, which doesn't allow the baby to exit the birth canal.

Ross found herself in this very situation, which eventually resulted in an emergency situation in which the doctor had to dislodge the baby from the pelvis and perform a Cesarean section. It is suspected that the force with which the baby was dislodged caused the infant's decapitation.

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Family

'We're naming a child, not a dog': Man fights with wife over naming baby 'Zoomer'

Has the unusual baby name trend gone too far or is he stuck in the past?

A couple arguing over what to name their baby

Over the past decade or so, there has been a trend of parents choosing to give their children unique names. “We are deep in an era of naming individuality, where parents assume that having a [name] sound distinctive and unique is a virtue,” Laura Wattenberg, the founder of the naming-trends site Namerology, told The Atlantic.

There are multiple reasons for this change in American culture. One is that people have fewer children, so their uniqueness has become more important for parents. Another is that baby name data has pushed parents to go to further lengths to come up with names that won’t make them the third John or second Maria in a classroom.

The internet has also played a role in the change. People with unique names stand out online. Good luck if you’re looking on Facebook for a former classmate named Matt Smith.

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Woman shares video of what domestic abuse can look like.

Being in an abusive relationship isn't typically something people flaunt around social media or their personal lives. Abuse can be difficult to recognize sometimes, even when you're the one being abused, especially if the abuse isn't physical. Emotional and verbal abuse behind closed doors while the abuser behaves differently in public can make you feel like your own perception can't be trusted.

Lindsay Goodman reposted a video from January 2022, where she reveals the behind-the-scenes of a birthday surprise from her abusive ex-partner. Goodman's birthday is August 10, and she has been reposting the video on her birthday every year to show her growth since leaving her partner.

Without the text overlay explaining what was going on, the birthday surprise seemed like an extremely sweet gesture filmed from the ex-partner's perspective. The original video has over 2.2 million likes and more than 13.4K comments on TikTok.

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