Nassau, Bahamas Woman Opened Her Home to Nearly 100 Rescue Dogs Ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Rachel Kirby/iStock via Getty Images
Rachel Kirby/iStock via Getty Images

Hurricane Dorian left the Bahamas earlier this week and is currently creeping up the East Coast, but the island nation is still reeling from the damage. The Category 5 storm killed at least seven people and injured 21 others. But at least one piece of good news has come out of the Bahamas: Chella Phillips, a Nassau resident who runs a local animal refuge, was able to save nearly 100 dogs by taking them into her home, The Washington Post reports.

Phillips shared photos of her house-turned-emergency-animal shelter to Facebook on Sunday, September 1. Of the 97 dogs she took in, 79 of them were barricaded in her bedroom. "It has been insane since last night, poop and piss non-stop but at least they are respecting my bed and nobody has dared to jump in," she wrote in the post.

To keep the scared animals as comfortable as possible, she blasted the air conditioner and broadcast music and cartoons around the house. The sick and most frightened dogs were kept in donated crates.

Dorian hit the Bahamas on the fourth anniversary of the opening of Phillips's animal refuge. The Voiceless Dogs, based in Nassau, cares for stray and abandoned dogs in the community by feeding them, vaccinating them, and offering them shelter. The organization has provided care to roughly 1000 dogs since its inception.

After dealing with flooding and power outages, Phillips and all 97 rescued dogs made it through the storm unscathed. But their hardships aren't over: The Bahamas has only just begun the long recovery process, and caring for the islands' homeless dog population will be harder than ever. The Voiceless Dogs is raising money to pay for dog food, new dog houses, medical care, and transportation fees for U.S. adoptions. To support the cause, you can make a donation to the organization's FundRazr page or donate directly to pawtcake.refuge.inc@gmail.com through PayPal.

[h/t The Washington Post]

Therapy Puppy Provides Comfort to Grieving Families at North Carolina Funeral Home

AllenSphoto, iStock via Getty Images
AllenSphoto, iStock via Getty Images

Emotional support animals have become common sights at places like airports, and now the funeral industry is embracing their therapeutic benefits. As WGAL reports, Macon Funeral Home in North Carolina now has a Bernese mountain dog puppy to provide comfort to grieving clients.

Nine-week-old Mochi isn't a fully trained therapy dog yet, but she's already winning over visitors. Tori McKay, Macon's funeral office administrator, had dreamed of bringing a grief-support dog into the business for a decade. Shortly after her 30th birthday on January 4, she and her husband "decided that Mochi would make a wonderful addition to our family and this decade of our lives," she wrote on the funeral home's website.

McKay chose a Bernese mountain dog for the breed's affectionate personality, relaxed disposition, and successful history as an emotional support animal. Between ages 6 months to 1 year, Mochi will receive therapy dog training in Asheville. The plan is to eventually make her available to families upon request and bring her to nursing homes to meet with residents. Until then, the puppy is meeting guests in a more casual setting as she gets used to socializing with strangers.

"Stop by and meet her, she loves making new friends!" a post on the funeral home's Facebook page reads.

[h/t WGAL]

One of the World’s Most Dangerous Spiders Could Invade Homes after Australia's Recent Rainfall

Ian Waldie, Getty Images
Ian Waldie, Getty Images

While recent rainfall has been a welcome change in Australia after destructive bushfires caused a widespread crisis, it hasn’t come without an asterisk. According to the Australian Reptile Park, the wet and warm conditions have made Sydney funnel web spiders highly active—and the funnel web spider happens to be one of the most venomous arachnids on the planet.

In a video the park shared on Facebook, officials warn that the weather might cause a marked increase in the spiders' activity, as males cover territory in search of a mate. They might be found in shoes, in laundry, or in yards. Fortunately, Atrax robustus is easy to identify, with its shiny body providing a helpful visual cue to immediately begin walking in the other direction.

Male funnel webs are thought to have venom up to six times more dangerous than females and also tend to move around more, making human encounters with them more likely. Because they can’t climb smooth surfaces, funnel webs are also prone to burrowing in piled-up clothing or other hiding spaces, providing an unwelcome surprise for anyone looking to retrieve their discarded shirt or socks.

The funnel web is also aggressive, quick to attack when provoked, and packs a powerful enough bite to pierce shoes. After being bitten, pain, muscle spasms, and pulmonary edema follow. Victims should use a compression bandage and limb immobilization to compress surface tissue until they receive medical attention.

Though the species is believed to have caused 13 human deaths, there haven’t been any fatalities attributable to a funnel web bite since 1981. That’s due in large part to antivenom made from milked spiders, an advancement that saved the life of a 10-year-old boy, Matthew Mitchell, bitten by the spider in 2017. The spider was loitering in his shoe and bit him on the finger. After 12 vials of antivenom, Mitchell made a complete recovery.

The Australian Reptile Park is actually encouraging citizens to trap the spiders and bring them in to drop-off sites to aid in the antivenom production effort. They advise nudging the spider into a plastic or glass container with a spoon. Extreme caution should be exercised, but you knew that.

[h/t CNET]

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