How a Photo Helped A Rescue Dog Beat the Odds

Brought to you by Purina ONE beyOnd. One pit bull with special challenges found a home, with some help along the way.

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About a year ago, when a homeless adult pit bull found its way to the Tangipahoa Animal Control Shelter in Hammond, Louisiana, staffers knew they faced a challenge to find him a home. Known as “bully breeds,” pit bulls can be especially hard to adopt because of the perception that they’re aggressive. But this dog also had another challenge: deformities in his front two legs.

For animals like him, the chances are slim to none to get out of a high kill shelter. But for tough luck cases like his, that’s when the services of Nanette Martin can mean the difference between life and death. A professional photographer, Martin is the co-founder of Shelter Me Photography, a nonprofit that specializes in photographing shelter animals to give them a better chance at being adopted. Since 2001, Martin has photographed more than 5,000 shelter animals, significantly increasing adoption numbers as well as web traffic to the shelters after her photos are posted.

Like so many animals, having his photo taken was just what the pit bull needed to find the right home. The photo was spotted by Fur Angels Animal Sanctuary, a rescue group in Indiana, who took him in to buy more time to find a family. And it was while he was being cared for at Fur Angels that he found his “forever” home.

“When I saw his picture, he looked like he was saying, ‘This is who I am. Won’t someone give me a chance?’” says Monica Kaskey, his proud owner. She and partner Sarah Gray already owned two dogs, a dalmatian mix and Australian shepherd, but they saw something special when they saw his picture on Facebook.

“Sarah said, ‘We need him!’ and we caved in,” says Kaskey. Kaskey has a soft spot for dogs that “others pass by” and does a lot of work in dog rescue. Though she sees hundreds of dog pictures through her work, there’s a unique quality to Martin’s photos that really resonates.

“Nanette really puts a lot of work into these photos; they’re sort of a new concept,” says Kaskey. “They capture the personality of the dogs, more than just a shot of them behind bars where they’re scared, nervous, or hiding.”

Since adopting Zulu—a name they chose since the pit bull is a “warrior against the world’s odds”—Kaskey and Gray couldn’t be happier. They’ve been learning to work with his deformity and while his left front leg is not functional (it's bent at a 90 degree angle), he’s been given a prostethic for his right front foot to help offset the strain of carrying Zulu’s 70 pound weight.

“We are looking into wheels so that he can run and walk without pain on his weight bearing foot,” says Kaskey. But that’s not stopping Zulu from helping others when he can. He serves as a breed ambassador for Brew City Bully Club, an awareness group for pit bulls. Zulu regularly goes to schools and dog shows to help educate the public on the gentle temperament of his breed. An ideal ambassador, he shows by example what can happen with a lot of luck and a lot of people like Martin who are passionate about dogs in need.

via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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