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Utah pets can now be safely cared for while their owners get the help they need at rehab

These good boys deserve all of the head scratches while they wait for their humans!

rehab; opioid epidemic; pets;
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Pets are now safe while owners are at rehab.

Sometimes pets are what keeps people struggling with addiction and other mental health issues going. Pets provide a level of responsibility outside of yourself and they thrive on routine. For example, if you have trouble waking up in the morning, don’t just set your alarm, start feeding your animal at the time you’d like to wake up. After a week or so of this new and rewarding habit for your pet, they will be sure to remind you it’s feeding time. By simply existing, pets can give their owners purpose on top of all of the great mental health benefits. It’s no wonder that pets can also be the reason people don’t seek out treatment for substance use issues, especially if it requires a lengthy stay away from home. But now, people in Utah struggling with addiction no longer have to choose between their sobriety and their pet.

Some people that find themselves addicted to drugs or alcohol can become isolated from healthy relationships with their friends and family. Being isolated makes it difficult to find someone trustworthy to care for your pets while you’re caring for yourself. As one could imagine, if the social network is depleted and if the only people available to help with pets are other people struggling with addiction, it makes sense to them to prioritize their pet's safety over seeking treatment. When you’re deep in the throes of addiction, clinging to the one thing that is holding you together most days is understandable.


Ruff Haven Crisis Sheltering typically offers free short-term housing for pets while their owners are going through a difficult time like domestic violence or homelessness. It recently partnered with Odyssey House, Utah’s largest comprehensive addiction program, which offers residential programs for teens and adults. The nonprofit also offers sober housing and a program designed for single parents. With Ruff Haven Crisis Sheltering working hand in hand with Odyssey House, potential clients can rest assured their animals will be cared for during their time in treatment.

The animal crisis shelter can keep the animals for up to three months of free boarding while the pet’s owner is receiving treatment. Ruff Haven’s foster coordinator, Beth Henry, told The Salt Lake Tribune, “This is really person-based, like person-led.” Henry explained that the animals are kept safe in a foster home until the owner completes treatment and reaches a place of safety and stability. Before the pet is placed in a foster home, the owner must complete an application, which includes the owner’s current situation. Once the application is complete, the animal is assessed regarding its general condition including vaccinations and if it's fixed or scheduled to be. After all criteria is met, the pet is matched with a foster and the client can check in on their pet once a week via text. This includes foster parents sending pictures and videos to the owner to help ease their minds while they focus on getting clean.

Photo by Sasha Matveeva on Unsplash

Some animals are even able to get visitation with their humans at the Dogs All Day facility, where the owner can schedule some much-needed cuddles with their pooch. Ruff Haven’s Executive Director Kristina Pulsipher told the paper, “A lot of times [owners] worry that they’re gonna forget them during that period — the pets never forget their person. The reunions are why we do this. And we have many people who have been clients that volunteer with us now, or foster for us.”

This program is such a compassionate solution to a difficult situation and will hopefully catch on in other states. It's so important for people to be able to get the help they need without worrying about abandoning their pets. Since Ruff Haven opened in June 2020, it has already helped around 500 animals and 320 families.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

A couple shares why they decided to leave the United States.

Although it is difficult to tell if there is a trend of Americans moving out of the country, rough estimates show that around 8 million currently live in other countries—double the 4.1 million living abroad in 1999.

The most popular countries for Americans to move to are Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom, in that order.

A big reason why some are leaving the U.S. is that an increasing number of employers allow people to work abroad. Others are choosing to leave because of cost of living increases and “golden visa” programs. Golden visas offer the chance to get a foreign residency permit by purchasing a house or making a significant investment or donation.


A couple is going viral on TikTok because they’ve decided to leave America and move to Spain. Luna Ashley Santel had wanted to move for a long time, but her husband wasn’t on board with the change until he had a lightbulb moment while visiting a Spanish café. The couple are parents of a 4-year-old daughter, and a big reason for their decision to leave is her safety.

@lunagoestospain

Here’s what shifted for him. I’m sure this’ll piss the right people off. No pun intended. #movingabroad #spaindigitalnomadvisa #movingabroadwithpets #movingtospainwithkids

While spending time in Spain, the couple went to a crowded café, which would have made them uncomfortable back home in St. Louis, Missouri.

“There's a ton of people walking around. Being from St. Louis, that's not a very comfortable place for me to be in,” the husband said. “And you turn to me and say, ‘Have you seen all these people?’” he recounted his wife saying.

“And you're like, ‘None of them have guns,’” he continued.

At this moment, he realized that living in America caused him to be on alert whenever he was out in public. A feeling he never got in Spain. “And I realized this weight that I had been carrying around my whole life wasn't necessary. Like what we think is normal is not normal,” he said.

When it comes to firearm policy, Spain and Missouri couldn’t be more different. In Spain, owning a handgun for self-defense is allowed when you are in verifiable danger. In Missouri, there is no permit requirement to carry a firearm, whether it’s concealed or carried openly.

In Spain, the gun death rate per 100,000 people in 2019 was 0.64. Whereas, in Missouri, the chance of being killed by a gun is more than 36 times greater, with 23.2 people per every 100,000 dying by gun in 2021.

The video resonated with many Americans who feel uncomfortable living in a country that has become accustomed to mass shootings.

"There’s so much mental energy we dedicate to simply existing in the U.S.," Mintmage wrote.

"As a father of two young boys, your husband’s explanation has me shook because I cannot disagree," Astrolo-G added.

"That is literally my main motivator for leaving the country. I am terrified for my son," Doula Faye wrote.

Luna’s husband isn’t the only one in the family concerned about school safety in the U.S. Luna, a former teacher of 7 years, believes that sending her daughter to a school where they have “terrifying” intruder drills is unacceptable.

“It's nothing that I want my 5-year-old child to have to accept or learn as normal,” she says in another TikTok post.

@lunagoestospain

Replying to @CholeraMeBadd a huge reason we are getting out. #gettingoutoftheusa #movingabroad #alicedrill #alicedrills #iquitteaching #ididntsignupforthishit #movingtospainwithkids

This article originally appeared on 7.14.23

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Ever seen a cat do a backflip?

In the U.S. and Canada, it's common for cats to be purely indoor pets, rarely if ever going outside. Some cat owners build "catios" to give their feline friends a taste of the outdoors, others make use of harnesses and leashes (if the kitty will abide) and others provide contained, supervised outside time on occasion.

Of course, containing a cat is no easy feat, so you have to have a pretty specific outdoor space to be able to do that successfully, which is exactly what the owners behind the "Adventures of Chai" TikTok channel have.

With high hedges, a tall brick wall, and a large swath of grass, the backyard that Chai the cat gets to play in is perfectly suited to allow her inner-outdoor-cat frolic safely. And Chai's joy at getting in a little "garden time" is absolutely a must-see.


The video is captioned, "POV: you let your indoor cat out and have never seen her happier." I mean, she does a complete backflip, for the love. And there are so many things to stalk, chase after and catch, you can tell she's having a blast.

Watch:

@theadventuresofchai

It is so cute to watch🥺❤️ #kitten #cat #cattok #petsoftiktok #catlove #catlover #britishshorthair #cats #scottishfold #cutecat #funnycat

Her sheer joy is 100% contagious. The video has more than 10 million likes and over 52 million views and people in the comments simply could not get over the flip.

"No one talking about the fact that the cat did a literal backflip💀"

"She was so happy that she did a backflip 😭"

"Did your cat just do a backflip 😭"

"DID BABE JUST DO A BACKFLIP"

"THAT JUMP WAS SPECTACULAR"

"THE CAT FLIP SAYS IT ALL HAPPY TO BE ALIVE.❤❤❤❤"

Of course, getting her back inside is not quite as enjoyable. "She loves to make us run for her," Chai's owner wrote on a video of Chai doing everything she could to avoid being brought back inside while her humans chased her around.

@theadventuresofchai

She loves to make us run for her😭 #kitten #cat #cattok #petsoftiktok #catlove #catlover #britishshorthair #cats #scottishfold #funnycat

People the comments also debated the merits of keeping cats indoors vs. letting them roam outside. Some people feel strongly that cats are meant to live outdoors and that depriving them of that life is limiting their happiness. Others pointed out that being outdoors can be unsafe for domesticated cats and that cats themselves pose a threat to wildlife like birds.

Most experts recommend keeping cats indoors with some safe outdoor access, but of course individual cat circumstances can vary. Outdoor cats tend to have shorter life spans and are at higher risk of disease and parasites as well as injury and fatality. Risks from humans and traffic are especially high in urban areas. However, out in the country, "barn cats" are often used to keep rodent populations down, protecting livestock from disease mice and rats can carry.

In Chai's case, she appears to have the best of both worlds, being an indoor cat with a large outdoor area to play in with her humans' supervision. And boy, is she obviously happy about the arrangement.

Find more Chai fun on @theadventuresofchai on TikTok.

His message is making so many SAHMS feel seen.

Stay-at-home moms work round the clock performing myriad duties, both physically and emotionally demanding, all for zero compensation. But even more dismaying than the lack of monetary gain is the lack of recognition these full-time moms get for what they accomplish day in and day out.

That’s where Donald Schaefer comes in.

Schaefer, a man who seems to be upwards of 80 and living in Florida, is a bit of an unexpected influencer in the mom corner of social media. But nonetheless, his Instagram and TikTok are full of videos meant to offer financial tips, recipe ideas and emotional support specifically for this demographic.

One video in particular is making stay-at-home moms, aka SAHMs, feel so seen.


In his “special message to stay-at-home moms,” Schaefer offers SAHMS the rare gift of being told what an “incredible job” they’re doing, saying that their “dedication, hard work and love are the cornerstones of your family’s well being.”

Watching his daughters and granddaughters with kids, Schaefer says that he’s “amazed” at what accomplished every day, and because of that, he was inspired to remind all SAHMS that “what you’re doing matters immensely.”

“Sometimes in the midst of the chaos of daily routines and endless chores it’s easy to forget how important your role is, but every meal cooked, every scraped knee kissed, every bedtime story read, it all adds up to shaping the future generation,” he said.

@magicman1942 Special message for the stay at home moms. #stayathomemom #personalgrowth #inspiration #stayathomemomstruggle #workingmom #personal ♬ original sound - Don

Schaefer went on to say that it’s “perfectly normal” to get overwhelmed or exhausted with all the responsibilities and isolation that come with the job. That’s what makes self care so necessary.

“Whether it’s stealing a few moments for yourself during nap time, indulging in a hobby you love, or simply just taking a relaxing bath at the end of the day if you can find the time. Prioritize your well being,” he urged.

He then encouraged SAHMs to carve out moments to celebrate the small victories and appreciate the joys of motherhood, whether that looks like “a successful day of homeschooling” or “simply seeing your little one smile.”

Finally, Schaefer brought it all home by reiterating that even if it doesn't always feel like it, a SAHM’s value is “immeasurable.”

“Trust me. You are the heart and soul of your family and your efforts create a warm and nurturing environment where everyone can thrive. Keep shining your light and know that you are appreciated, loved and admired more than you’ll ever know. You’re doing an amazing job, and the world is a better place because of you,” he concluded.

Understandably, viewers were moved.

“Made me tear up!! What man takes the time to encourage moms? None I’ve known. Thank you,” one person wrote.

“This definitely made me cry,” another echoed. “Thank you for such kind words and taking the time to make this video. It touched my heart so much.”

One commented, “I’m not even a SAHM, and I still felt this! ALL moms can relate I think…thank you sir!”

And still, another simply wrote, “Needed this.”

For every SAHM (or any stay-at-home parent, for that matter) may these kind words help bolster your spirit, and remind you that what you do is important indeed. You deserve that, and so much more.

For more of Schaefer's content, find him on Instagram and TikTok.

Flynn Rider is a Disney fan favorite.

Disney princesses have become such an ingrained part of our collective conscious that most of us can rattle off the names Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, Belle, Tiana, Ariel, Moana, Mulan, Rapunzel and so on without having to think too hard about it. Disney princes, however, are another story. There's the classic Prince Charming, of course. Aladdin is hard to forget, since the story is literally named after him. Beast doesn't have a name, and beyond that, most Disney princes just don't stick in people's minds.

Flynn Rider from "Tangled," however, might be the exception.

There's something about Flynn Rider that has made him a Disney fan favorite, and a behind-the-scenes video explains one possible reason why: He was designed by a room full of women.


First, here's a reminder of Flynn's character for those who haven't seen "Tangled" in a while:

"Tangled" directors Byron Howard and Nathan Greno shared in a Q & A what they were thinking in the process of creating Flynn.

“Flynn’s character, from the get-go, had to be a charmer,” Howard said. “He had to be this charming kind of swashbuckling, amazing action guy who you had to love from square one…We always kind of compare him to characters like Indiana Jones, who have confidence about them but they’re human at the same time. Because you have to relate to these guys. They can’t just be Superman.”

Greno added that Flynn is one of the funniest characters Disney has created. “He’s this really smart, witty guy. He’s an action hero, he’s also very handsome."

Flynn's handsomeness ended up being highly curated. Howard and Greno shared that after the animators had come up with hundreds of mockups of potential Flynns, they invited the women from around the animation studios to come and weigh in on the sketches, as well as images of leading Hollywood men over the years, to determine what features would make Flynn the most attractive.

This "hot man meeting" yielded a lot of strong opinions, which Howard said was "tough."

"The hot man meeting was hard to go to, for us," said Greno, "because everyone had opinions on what works and what doesn't work. And occasionally things would come up that don't work, and those were things that, you know, we have."

Watch the women in action:

@ashley_tropea

Never forget The Hot Man Meeting #disney #tangled #flynnrider #animation #menwrittenbywomen #disneytangled #disneytiktok

Designing a male hero based on what women actually find attractive vs. what men think women find attractive turned out to be a solid approach. It may be worth imagining what would happen if the idea were reversed—a group of men in a "hot woman meeting" to piece together the ideal woman would likely be received a bit differently—but the consensus in the comments was that the meeting achieved its intended goal.

"This makes so much sense. Flynn Rider is elite."

"And in the end, they nailed it."

"My girls KNEW what they were talkin about."

"And they did a FANTASTIC job."

"Those women did amazing bc that man is FINEEEE."

"THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE! I always felt like he was such a female gaze character I was surprised they nailed it…now I get why."

Several commenters also wondered if that meeting was the genesis of the WANTED posters and Flynn's "They just can't get my nose right!" line in the film.

Of course, as much love as Flynn got in the comments, some people disagreed that he was for sure the most attractive prince. There was a lot of appreciation for Prince Naveen from "The Princess and the Frog" (that voice), Li Shang from "Mulan" and Eric from "The Little Mermaid" in the comments.

Thousands agreed, however, that Disney should have used an approach like this to create Beast when he turns into human form because that reveal left a lot to be desired.

Ultimately, asking women what they actually find attractive instead of assuming or guessing led to the creation of one of the most beloved princes in the Disney lineup. If the goal is to have the female audience swooning over a character, it's definitely something for creators to consider when designing a leading man.

Photo pulled from YouTube video

What kids with autism see.

Imagine everything you'd experience while strolling through a mall — the smells, the sights, the things to touch...

Now imagine all of those feelings and sensations times, like, a hundred.


For many people with autism, overstimulation is their reality.

Being over- or undersensitive when processing sensory information (like sights and smells) is common for people on the autism spectrum.

So an everyday thing that many people might not even notice at the mall, like the spraying of a perfume bottle...

overstimulation, autism, spraying perfume

Autism and coping with overstimulation.

Photo pulled from YouTube video.

... can be overwhelming for someone with autism.

To Jo Wincup, whose 15-year-old son, Ben, has autism, this reality hits close to home.

“Four years ago, my son had a meltdown in a shopping center after becoming overloaded by the crowds, bright lights, and smells. He started kicking me, shouting, and swearing. We tried to get him outside to help him calm down, but the people [lining up] for buses just stared, some even said really hurtful things. This upset Ben even more. He ran off into the bushes and refused to come out. I just wanted to cry, for the ground to swallow us up."

The National Autistic Society is hoping to give viewers a peek into this reality with a new and gripping PSA.

Seen through the eyes of a boy with autism, the video by the U.K.-based group takes viewers through a shopping center, allowing them to experience what living on the spectrum can feel like.

After he's overwhelmed by his surroundings and struggling with his mother (as onlookers gape at what appears to be a child acting out), the boy explains to viewers: "I’m not naughty, I’m autistic."

cafeteria, judgmental, awkward

How can we understand what autism feels like?

Video pulled from YouTube video.

It's important that we all understand what autism can feel like so that we can build a more empathetic world.

Although a large majority of people have heard of autism, a very small number of people actually understand how living on the spectrum can affect behavior. Many kids aren't necessarily naughty; they're dealing with a condition most of us can't experience firsthand.

A new report from the National Autistic Society found that 87% of families say people stare at their child who has autism, and 84% of people on the spectrum say others perceive them as "strange." Unfortunately, this contributes to the reason why nearly 8 in 10 folks with autism report feeling socially isolated.

"It isn’t that the public sets out to be judgmental towards autistic people," Mark Lever, chief executive of the organization, said in a statement, noting the research provided "shocking" results.

"They tell us that they want to be understanding but often just don’t ‘see’ the autism. They see a ‘strange’ man pacing back and forth in a shopping center, or a ‘naughty’ girl having a tantrum on a bus, and don’t know how to respond."

It doesn't have to be this way, though.

The more we all understand autism, the more people on the spectrum can feel OK about being themselves.

“Autism is complex and autistic people and their families don’t expect or want people to be experts," Lever explained. But a "basic understanding could transform lives."

Watch The National Autistic Society's PSA below: