Category Archives: people helping animals

Surf session brings joy to children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Surf Dog Ricochet breaks barriers by surfing with severely disabled 3 year old girl who has tracheostomy/breathing tube on board.

Surf session brings joy to children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

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Ricochet has been creating unique surfing experiences that empower individuals with disabilities for over 7 years. But this was the first time she surfed with a child who couldn’t breathe on her own. Notice that 3 year old Bailey’s mom is holding her breathing machine with a big smile on her face. Yes Bailey, YOU are surfing!

Bailey has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a disease that robs individuals of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to stand, sit, crawl, walk, swallow food effectively, or breathe. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants. Bailey has type I SMA which is the most severe and common.

Bailey, along with several other children with SMA broke barriers last weekend at a special surf session with Ricochet and Cure SMA.

Since many of the children aren’t able to hold their heads up, a bath chair was attached to the surfboard to accommodate the challenge and keep the children comfortable.

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Thanks to an incredible team of skilled volunteers, the participants with SMA got a thrill of a lifetime. Safety is our number one priority and having children who are profoundly disabled takes the utmost expertise of the water team and Ricochet.

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Some of the children like Bailey have a tracheostomy, a surgical procedure to create an opening through the neck into the trachea so they can breathe. Therefore, getting water into the opening could cause aspiration pneumonia. With this in mind, the water team picked the surfboard up each time a wave came into shore.

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They stayed in very shallow water, and when a small wave came, they strategically lowered the board, and a volunteer held onto the back, walking it to shore.

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Once the board came to a stop, it was again picked up by the team. This protocol keeps water from getting onto the child, while still providing the kids a surf experience with Ricochet.

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5 year old Riley is Bailey’s sister and has type II SMA. She is weak and cannot hold her head up on her own. But, she was telling everyone she wanted to be first to surf with Ricochet.

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For a child with SMA, going from a stroller full of gear to a surfboard full of cheer gives both the child and the parents the opportunity to do something they never thought possible.

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Children who aren’t as severely disabled were able to go further out in the water, but safety is still our number one priority so we had a volunteer on board, and a team on the ready.

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5 year old Logan wore a pair of goggles to keep water out of his eyes. But he never stopped saying “again, again, again”.

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5 year old Avery has type II SMA. It’s often impossible to perform the basic functions of life, but it doesn’t affect the ability to think, learn, or have hopes and dreams.

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23 year old Robyn has type II SMA.

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Robyn isn’t able to hold her head up by herself, so her brother supported her head as they rode to shore!

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Yawns and smiles = a perfect day!

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These individuals definitely have a fighting spirit, and just like Ricochet, they believe anything is possible. Surf’s up!

There are four primary types of SMA: type I, II, III, and IV. Type I is the most severe and most common. Type II individuals can typically sit up without help, but are unable to walk. Type III individuals can initially walk, but have increasingly limited mobility as they grow. Type IV is very rare and usually surfaces in adulthood. It leads to mild motor impairment.

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The non-profit, Puppy Prodigies is blessed with volunteer water men and women who are very highly skilled, trained and experienced in surfing, dog handling, and the disabled community. Couple that with an Executive Director who has a degree in service dog training, plus a dog who has extensive training as a service dog, and you have a team that prides themselves on high standards. Their number one priority is safety and we abide by all the rules, regulations and laws governing the unique work we do. Their insurance covers Ricochet, those she surfs with, and our volunteers. It is because of these practices that we are able to provide these surf sessions with the utmost conviction.

Ricochet was honored to help raise awareness of SMA. Please get on board and join her by sharing this inspirational story of children who have a spirit much stronger than the body that houses it. Be sure to watch the video to see all the fun!

To learn more about Ricochet check out these links:

http://www.surfdogricochet.com
https://www.facebook.com/SurfDogRicochet
https://instagram.com/surfdogricochet/

To learn more about SMA visit these links:

http://curesma.org/
http://www.ionispharma.com/

Photos by:
Killer Surf Pix
Ionis Pharmaceuticals

Posted in dogs, people helping animals | 1 Comment

Shirts to save animals

Throughout the month of August, Booster is showcasing and supporting t-shirt fundraisers launched by pet lovers to save homeless animals, and to raise awareness and much needed funds for animal-related 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

The B-Cause: Pets campaigns benefit a wide assortment of pet-focused nonprofits based in different locations across the continent, individually focused on a diverse range of animal species, breeds, conditions and organizational objectives. Read all about the causes, and find links to buy the shirts on the Booster Blog.

Here are just some cute critters who’ve been rescued recently:
Animals saved by B-Cause Pets-Collage

Posted in cats, clothing, dogs, gifts for pet lovers, people helping animals | 1 Comment

Shop With Your Heart

Shop with your heart

We are excited to share this new iniative from the ASPCA on behalf of farm animals. The Shop With Your Heart initiative gives consumers the resources to recognize, locate and demand meaningfully welfare-certified meat, eggs and dairy products as well as plant-based alternatives. We have always believed that animals deserve happy healthy lives, so we are happy to see easy ways for consumers to make better choices.

How can you help? Visit Shop With Your Heart and take the pledge. Share the video below:

Share a photo of yourself making a heart and tag #ShopWithYourHeart and @ASPCA. You can also share this image on social media if you prefer:

SWYH-Shareable_square_062916_cow-decide

When you take the pledge you will gain access to an exclusive Shop With Your Heart Grocery List, including welfare-certified and widely available plant-based brands! We hope that you will consider joining this important movement, and help us improve the lives of factory farm animals by shopping smart, and with your heart!

Posted in people helping animals | 3 Comments

Free Microchip Clinic to Commemorate Five-Year Anniversary of Joplin Tornad

Joplin Humane Society, ASPCA Host Adoption Event and Free Microchip Clinic to Commemorate Five-Year Anniversary of Joplin Tornado

photo credit: ASPCA
photo credit: ASPCA

“Paws in the Park” adoption event held at Parr Hill Park as part of Joplin Proud events

This Saturday, the Joplin Humane Society and ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) will hold an adoption event and free microchip clinic to coincide with the five-year anniversary of the 2011 Joplin tornado. The event—called “Paws in the Park”—is part of Joplin Proud, four days of events to recognize the progress made since the disaster hit and decimated a third of the community.

WHEN: Saturday, May 21
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
*Microchip clinic will end at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Parr Hill Park, Joplin, Mo.

WHAT: The ASPCA and Joplin Humane Society will provide free microchipping for all pet owners on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Joplin Humane Society will also have animals available for adoption. All animals available for adoption have been microchipped, spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Pet ID tags donated by the ASPCA will be available for adopters and pet owners. All pets are welcome at the event and should be leashed and current on vaccinations.

WHY: Of the 1,300 animals displaced or lost after the 2011 tornado, fewer than five percent were microchipped. While the ASPCA was able to reunite 500 of the animals with their owners in the month following the tornado, 800 remained unclaimed. The ASPCA and Joplin Humane Society found new homes for the 800 remaining cats and dogs during a two-day adoption event hosted in late June.

“It was incredibly challenging to reunite the lost pets with their owners,” said Tim Rickey, a Joplin native and vice president of ASPCA Field Investigation and Response. “We hope the community will learn from this tragedy and get their pet’s microchipped. It could be their ticket home if they become lost or disaster strikes again.”

As a result of disasters such as the Joplin tornado, the ASPCA has created a mobile app that allows users to store critical pet records required to board pets at evacuation shelters, provides customized steps to search for lost pets, and includes a check-list of actions to take before, during and after a disaster.

photo credit: ASPCA
photo credit: ASPCA
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