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Mick The Puppy Learns To Walk, And Other Animal Rescue Stories
July 30, 2013
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Earlier this month, the Mia Foundation in Rochester, New York took in a young dog named Mick.

Mick was six weeks old when he arrived at the Foundation, and he was born with a condition called Swimmer Puppy Syndrome, meaning he couldn't sit, stand or walk because his legs were splayed out.

The Mia Foundation is dedicated to taking in and caring for animals with birth defects that would otherwise be put down.

In Mick's case, they had their work cut out: they hung him from a harness to keep the weight off his chest, taped his legs into the proper position for much of the day, and put him in a swimming pool inside his harness for 15 minutes, four times a day.

The therapy led to lots of breakthroughs - sleeping on his side, sitting up on his own - but the biggest one happens around the three-minute mark of the video at the top of the page: Mick learned to walk, and even run.

There's no shortage of stories online about animals being rescued and rehabilitated. Here are a few more.

Man Rescues Four Deer From Drowning in Alaska
deer-water.jpgBack in October 2011, Tom Satre, his sister Sharon Kelly and some other family members were taking their boat for a picnic near Juneau, Alaska when they saw some unexpected creatures in the water.

At first, Kelly thought they might be sea lions or shore birds, but as they got closer, she realized they were actually young Sitka black-tail deer - four of them, all stranded in the cold water.

The species is known to be good at swimming - but these four were obviously in trouble. They headed toward the boat ("their fear of drowning overpowering their fear of people," as this Discovery article puts it).

deer-boat.jpgAt that point, the deer were too exhausted to get on the boat, so the human occupants pulled them on deck.

Once they were dry, the deer slowly recovered from the cold water, and when the boat reached the opposite shore, three of the four animals got off the boat themselves.

The fourth had to be taken off in a wheelbarrow, unable to stand, but after a while he managed to get on his feet and the unlikely rescuers left him to head for home.

Abe And Davey, Two Beagles Rescued From A Spanish Laboratory, Become Inseparable Friends
Warning: Some Footage in this Video may be Disturbing

These two beagles, Abe and Davey, were sold to a laboratory in Spain when they were just a couple of months old. They spent years being subjected to harsh testing, with Abe spending three full years completely isolated from other dogs.

When the lab shut down, the Beagle Freedom Project flew 40 beagles including Davey and Abe to the U.S.

After they arrived, the dogs reacted differently to their newfound freedom: Davey adjusted fairly well, trusting his new human friends. But Abe was unable to get comfortable.

Five weeks later, Abe was doing better. He was still nervous around people, but he was occasionally letting them pet him. Both beagles were adopted by Cindy, who says they've changed her life.

Dr. Jane Goodall and Others Work to End the Use of Chimpanzees in Lab Testing

chimps-goodall.jpgOn June 26 of this year, Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, announced that 300 of the 360 or so chimpanzees owned by the N.I.H. would be freed.

Two weeks earlier, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service had put forward a proposal to list chimpanzees, including those in captivity, as an endangered species. It was intended to make it even harder to use chimpanzees in animal testing.

The announcement that 300 chimps will go free is a particularly sweet victory for Dr. Jane Goodall, who has been working since the mid-'80s to end experiments involving chimps, the New York Times reports.

Still, there are challenges ahead for the newly freed chimps. Sanctuaries will need to be found where they can live and be cared for. And the N.I.H. will keep 50 or so chimps in case they are needed for research that is not possible any other way (like a sudden outbreak of disease in humans).

Related:

Andrew Westoll On The Chimpanzees' Great Escape

New Study Suggests Apes Can Have A Mid-Life Crisis But Apparently, They Don't Buy A Sports Car

Man's Best Friend, Even After Death: Dog Spends Six Years By His Owner's Grave

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