Lion ‘Mopane’ Killed By Bow Hunter On Edge Of Hwange National Park

Mopane ~ The Latest Dominant Pride Male To Be Killed By Trophy Hunters.

A male Lion known as Mopane has been killed in a hunting area on the outskirts of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Reliable sources say that the Lion was targeted by a bow hunter in the same area that renowned Lion Cecil was killed in 2015. Mopane was shot after being baited in a hunting area on the outskirts of Hwange in a manner similar to Cecil’s killing.”

Mopane was a 12 year old pride male with a litter of six cubs. Almost every year, a dominant pride male resident between the park and the boundary farms is taken out by hunters. There is significant impact on pride dynamics as a result. Males taken out of a pride often cause conflict as other males move in resulting in the loss of Lionesses, less dominant males or cubs which are killed by the new males. Dispersal of youngsters fleeing into external areas creates potential human-wildlife conflict with communities living on the borders of the park.

20 Lions have been killed in this area over the past decade. Many argue that the current level of lion hunting is not sustainable in the area bordering Hwange National Park. Before he was targeted, Mopane had formed a coalition with another male named Seduli. On 10 August 2019, World Lion Day, Seduli was shot and killed by hunters on the outskirts of the park.

Mopane Formed A Coalition With Seduli

According to Drew Abrahamson, owner and founder of Captured in Africa (CIA) Foundation, the remaining pride consists of two adult females and six sub-adults of about 16 to 18 months of age.

“This time is uncertain for them now as they are still at a vulnerable age and relied on Mopane as well as the females for protection. The females are now going to have a very tough time in protecting the pride as they are. Only time will tell as there is now a huge void which will be sought after by other males.” ~ Drew Abrahamson.

Trophy Hunters Target Hwange Park

Hwange Park, in northwestern Zimbabwe, made world headlines in July 2015 when another of its well known Lions called Cecil was lured out of the park by US dentist Walter Palmer.

Cecil The Lion Was Killed By US Dentist Walter Palmer.

The heartbreaking details of the hunt that killed Cecil made international headlines: Cecil was lured out of the protected area with an Elephant carcass being used as bait and shot by Palmer with an arrow. After suffering for 10 agonizing hours, Cecil was eventually found and killed with a gunshot.

Walter Palmer was publicly shunned and received worldwide criticism, but did not face any charges in the Cecil’s death. 

Seduli Was Killed By Trophy Hunters On The 10th Of August 2019 ~ Ironically On World Lion Day!

Seduli, another male Lion who frequented photographic lodges in and around Hwange National Park was shot dead by hunters on World Lion Day 2019 on the outskirts of the park.

Given the continued onslaught against the Lions of Hwange Park it would be beneficial to visually show the losses of dominant male Lions in this region over the course of the last 10 years. Does the number of male Lions shot over 10 years in one region appear sustainable to you given that lion populations have declined across Africa by 43% in the last 25 years? Add to this that with each of these males taken out of a pride, came the loss of either lionesses and cubs dying in the change-over or conflict it caused. Dispersal of youngsters fleeing into external areas creating potential human-wildlife conflict issues with communities living on the borders of the park is not uncommon and is proven in some cases to be as a direct result of these pride males being taken out by hunters.

What Does This Mean For The Lion Prides Of Hwange?

Healthy Lions – who traverse the park and viable protected photographic areas – are being taken out of the gene pool by trophy hunters, as well as Lions who are still breeding and are actively part of a healthy pride with possibly vulnerable cubs. Their loss contradicts the hunters’ philosophies of sustainability and asks when the last independent scientific survey was done on the sustainability of lion numbers in the region and the impact these losses have on pride dynamics in this landscape and the knock on affect to the communities who live in these dispersal areas? And surely looking at these numbers, and the areas where these lions are being taken out…. it is going against those very philosophies that the hunters are using?

Firstly by taking healthy Lions out of the gene pool which are known to be traversing the park and viable protected photographic areas, and secondly taking out Lions which are still breeding and are actively known to be part of a healthy pride and in some instances with vulnerable cubs?

The killing must stop now ~ before it is too late!!!

When The Elephants Came To Mourn The Elephant Whisperer


Lawrence Anthony, who died aged 61, was a South African conservationist, known as “The Elephant Whisperer”. In his native South Africa, Anthony was a key figure in promoting the concept of joining tribal lands to game reserves in order to give remote tribal communities a vested interest in conservation. As well as creating two new African game reserves, he ran a private reserve of his own where he acquired his nickname after rescuing a herd of rogue Elephants destined to be shot.

Lawrence Anthony was born on September 17 1950 in Johannesburg, where his grandfather, a miner from Berwick-upon-Tweed, had emigrated in the 1920s to work in the gold mines. His father founded an insurance business and, as he established new offices around southern Africa, Lawrence was brought up in a series of small towns in rural Rhodesia, Zambia, Malawi and finally Zululand, South Africa.

Anthony followed his father into the insurance business and later worked in property development. But his heart was always in the African bush he had loved as a child. He became involved in working with Zulu tribespeople to try to rebuild their historical relationship with the bush, and in the mid-1990s he decided to turn his hobby into a career, buying the 5,000-acre Thula Thula game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.

Subsequently he founded the Earth Organisation, a conservation group that encourages pragmatic local action, and was instrumental in the creation of two new reserves, the Royal Zulu Biosphere in Zululand and the Mayibuye Game Reserve in Kwa Ximba, which provide local people with jobs and income through tourism, while helping to secure the future of the region’s wildlife from creeping development.


Elephants had never been part of Anthony’s plan for Thula Thula, but in 1999 he was telephoned by a conservation organisation which asked whether he would be willing to take on a herd of nine animals which had escaped from every enclosure they had ever been in, wreaking havoc across KwaZulu-Natal, and were considered highly dangerous. Realising that the Elephants would be shot if he declined, Anthony agreed to give them a home.

“They were a difficult bunch, no question about it,” he recalled. “Delinquents every one. But I could see a lot of good in them too. They’d had a tough time and were all scared, and yet they were looking after one another, trying to protect one another.”

Anthony decided to treat the Elephants as errant children, working to persuade them, through words and gestures, that they should not behave badly and that they could trust him. He concentrated his attention on Nana, the matriarch of the herd: “I’d go down to the fence and I’d plead with Nana not to break it down,” he said. “I knew she didn’t understand English, but I hoped she’d understand by the tone of my voice and my body language what I was saying. And one morning, instead of trying to break the fence down, she just stood there. Then she put her trunk through the fence towards me. I knew she wanted to touch me. That was a turning point.” Soon they were allowed out into the reserve.

Anthony and his wife, Françoise, became so close to the Elephants that on some occasions they almost had to chase them out of their living room. Days after Nana gave birth to a son, she emerged from the bush to show off the newborn to her human friend. A few years later, after Anthony’s first grandchild was born, he returned the compliment, though he recalled that it was some time before his daughter-in-law would speak to him again.

nthony made world headlines in 2003 when he arrived in war-torn Baghdad to rescue the animals in Saddam Hussein’s zoo.

- - LA lion372

In 2003, as Anthony watched television footage of the bombardment of Baghdad, he recalled reading that the city had the largest zoo in the Middle East: “I couldn’t stand the thought of the animals dying in their cages. I contacted the Americans and the British and said, ‘You have any contingency plans?’ Nobody was interested.”

Within days he was on the Kuwait-Iraq border, in a hired car packed with veterinary supplies. The Americans refused to let him cross, but Kuwaiti border guards allowed him through and, with two Kuwaiti zoo workers, Anthony joined the tanks and convoys heading to Baghdad.

When he arrived at his destination, in the ruins of the city’s once majestic al-Zawra park, he found a “horror story”. Met by a tearful Husham Hussan, the zoo’s deputy director, Anthony was initially tempted to give up.


Clouds of flies swarmed over the carcasses of dead animals. Baboons and monkeys were running free, while parrots, falcons and other escaped birds circled overhead. Some of the Lions had escaped; a bear had killed some looters. The surviving animals, including Lions, Tigers and an Iraqi brown bear, were starving and deeply traumatised. There was no food or water.

With a handful of helpers, Anthony began the urgent work of rescuing the surviving animals. With the city’s infrastructure destroyed, water had to be dragged by bucket from a stagnant canal, while donkeys provided meat for the carnivores. “We went out and bought donkeys off the street and the donkey always had a cart, so the guys wouldn’t sell the donkey without the cart,” he recalled. “I still think of how we left those carts all over Baghdad.”

Within weeks American and even Iraqi soldiers were putting down their weapons and mucking in: “We had Republican Guard soldiers working with American troops in the zoo two weeks after they were killing each other on the battlefield,” Anthony recalled. Local mullahs instructed their followers that Anthony and his team should be left unmolested.

He worked in Baghdad for six months, during which time he transformed the fate of the zoo. By the time he left, the surviving animals were healthy, the cages clean and the zoo a viable operation once again.


Anthony was presented with the Earth Day medal at the UN for his work and was decorated with the US Army 3rd Infantry Division regimental medal for his bravery. He told his story in Babylon’s Ark (2007, co-written with Graham Spence). When a Los Angeles production studio announced that it had commissioned a major Hollywood film about the Baghdad Zoo rescue, the craggy, bearded Anthony suggested that Brad Pitt — “a good likeness”— should be asked to play his role

Baghdad was not Anthony’s only experience of working in war zones. In 2006 he convinced the leaders of The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which has been involved in a bloody struggle with the Ugandan government for more than two decades, to sign up to a conservation project to save the northern white Rhino, one of the world’s rarest animals. The LRA, notorious for its use of child soldiers and accused of numerous atrocities, had established a stronghold in the Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to the last four members of the species living in the wild.


When Anthony heard that LRA leaders were meeting the Ugandan government in Sudan, he gatecrashed the talks and subsequently became the first outsider to be granted permission to enter their Congo base.

When LRA officials signed a ceasefire with the Ugandan government in 2007, it included pledges to protect the Rhino. Sadly, the ceasefire subsequently collapsed, and the white Rhinos have not been seen in Garamba in recent years. It is feared that they have all been killed.

After his death his beloved Elephant herds came to his house to say goodbye.

For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African Elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who saved their lives. The formerly violent, rogue Elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.” For two days the herds loitered at Anthony’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve in the South African KwaZulu — to say good-bye to the man they loved. But how did they know he had died? Known for his unique ability to calm traumatized Elephants, Anthony had become a legend. He is the author of three books, Babylon Ark, detailing his efforts to rescue the animals at Baghdad Zoo during the Iraqi war, the forthcoming The Last Rhinos, and his bestselling The Elephant Whisperer. There are two Elephant herds at Thula Thula. According to his son Dylan, both arrived at the Anthony family compound shortly after Anthony’s death. “They had not visited the house for a year and a half and it must have taken them about 12 hours to make the journey,” Dylan is quoted in various local news accounts. “The first herd arrived on Sunday and the second herd, a day later. They all hung around for about two days before making their way back into the bush. “Elephants have long been known to mourn their dead. In India, baby Elephants often are raised with a boy who will be their lifelong “mahout.” The pair develop legendary bonds and it is not uncommon for one to waste away without a will to live after the death of the other.

Lawrence Anthony, Born September 17 1950, Died March 2 2012

Two-Legged Street Dog That Was Shot In The Head Lives To Tell The Tale And Now LOVES Life.


A two-legged street dog from Thailand that was shot in the head and left to die has been rescued by a Canadian family – and now even has her own wheelchair. Lara Pleasence, 51, from Montreal, Canada, first heard about Amira’s tragic story through the Soi Dog Foundation, based in Asia. Administrator and personal trainer Lara first saw Amira in a video posted by the rescue centre in Thailand in October 2020. “This poor dog who was born without legs, lived on the streets having litter after litter, then after nine years of struggling to survive, someone shoots her in the head,” Lara told Jam Press. “I just broke down and cried.”

Amira was treated for her head wound by the Soi Dog rescue centre who shared regular updates of her progress on social media. “Sweet Amira was always wagging her tail; it just broke my heart that she still trusted humans even after everything she’d been through. “I knew I had to contact the rescue to see if I could help in any way, maybe even offer to be her forever family, although they doubted that she would ever be well enough to travel.” After a tense wait, the Soi Dog Foundation contacted Lara to tell her that Amira had recovered enough to be put up for adoption. “I was so stoked and so worried about what my husband was going to say, since we already had three dogs,” Lara admitted. “There was something about Amira, this incredible connection I felt for her from the very first time I saw her. “I wanted to right all the wrongs that were done to her, I just felt compelled to try. “I wanted desperately to show her all the love, security, happiness that she deserved, that every dog deserves, and that this poor sweetie had been denied for so many years.”


To qualify to adopt Amira, Lara and her family had to go through a strict application procedure – including a virtual home visit, interview process and form-filling. “I was made aware that we would have to pay for her to be flown to Canada since, because of Covid, they didn’t have travellers who could take her on the plane for free.” “I think I would have mortgaged the house to get this sweet girl here.” When Amira touched down in Montreal in April 2021 after a 22-hour journey – which cost $2,000 – it was love at first sight. Lara said: “My husband was none too happy about even the idea of another dog since we already had three, but I told him that I had never felt this way about any rescues that I had seen. “I was so excited that we were getting her, I was practically bursting, and he knew that fighting it was a lost cause – happy wife, happy life.” Amira came with her wheelchair, after a man in Vietnam made a custom one for her and it was gifted to the pup by Soi Dog. “She literally came bouncing out of her crate and jumped all over us like the happiest kangaroo you’ve ever seen.” “She’d been in it for over 22 hours and didn’t even have an accident!” “We couldn’t believe the joy she exudes.

She is a true miracle. After everything she’s been through, Amira is fun-loving and outgoing. “She’s so trusting, she loves everyone she meets. “She absolutely loves to be held in your lap and will sleep there for as long as you will let her. “She is resilient and doesn’t let her past hold her back from trying new things or doing something a bit scary like canoeing or going on our paddleboard. “She is obsessed with our bed… If we’re not home, we have to block the stairs because we can’t risk her falling. “How a street dog, with no front legs, knows how to climb stairs is just one of Amira’s many mysteries. “She’ll let me kiss her nose 50 times in a row, my other three dogs will eventually pull their head away, but not Miss Amira, she loves it. “She gets these crazy puppy moments where she runs around on her nubs and jumps up on the furniture then flies right back off it. “These moments make my heart smile because it’s like she finally doesn’t have a care in the world and can just be a dog. “No more struggling for food or to keep her puppies safe and fed or hiding from bad people.”


Now, Amira enjoys a happy life spending her days with her family and playing at her favourite spot. Lara added: “She loves going to the dog park, even though many of the dogs get freaked out by the “transformer dog” with wheels and just bark at her.”


In videos posted to Instagram (@amira.amiracle), Lara shares Amira’s adventures with her new set of wheels. In one comical clip, which has been viewed over 725,000 times, Amira runs after a cat and ends up doing a headstand when she hits a curb. “She just waits for me to pick her back up and she keeps on going like it’s no big deal,” said Lara. Another video shows her gradually getting better at walking in a straight line with her wheels. Followers of Amira’s page are in love with the pup, and she regularly receives gushing comments. One person commented: “So beautiful to see this! You’re amazing, sweet and strong Amira.” “Love u Amira very much,” said another viewer. “She’s amazing and you’re amazing with her,” added another person. Lara is grateful for all the support and says she is touched by the comments she receives. “The people who follow Amira on Instagram are the sweetest,” she said. “They are so happy that she has a family that loves her now. “Some say Amira’s posts are their daily dose of ‘good feels’ or that her videos are ‘good for the soul’. “People feel they need to thank me for taking her, which is so kind, but I always tell them that it is my privilege to give her the best life that I possibly can,” “It’s the least I can do for such an angel. “I can only hope that her page may inspire someone else to help a special needs dog or donate to an organisation like Soi Dog Foundation so they can continue their amazing work.”

Man Pushes His Beloved Dying Dog Up Pen Y Fan In A Wheelbarrow For ‘One Last Adventure’ Together

A dog owner whose pet dog was dying from leukaemia pushed him to the top of Pen y Fan in a wheelbarrow for “one final adventure together”.Carlos Fresco, a hotelier from London, had owned 10-year-old Monty since he was a puppy and the pair had always loved going on long walks together all around the UK.But, after the Labradoodle fell ill 18-months ago, he realised they only had a certain amount of time left and knew exactly what he had to do.

“At first Monty responded well to the chemotherapy, but sadly the leukaemia returned several weeks ago and he started fading fast,” said the 57-year-old.

“Then, at the end of last month, a mate of mine who lives in Brecon detached the retina in his eye and needed to get home from London. So I offered to drive him and took Monty with us. “We ended up staying there for a week and Monty loved having a big beautiful back garden to stretch out in – which is where I stumbled across a rusty old wheelbarrow which I decided to dust off and oil up.

“The next day I put Monty in it on top of a load of blankets and started wheeling him to the top of Pen y Fan. He loved it and the reaction he got from other walkers was amazing. They all took turns in helping to push the barrow, and Monty really enjoyed that because he’d always adored people and being made a fuss of.

“I was bowled over by the kindness we were shown, to be honest – total strangers taking the time out to say ‘hello’ and lend a hand in getting him to the summit. “However, Monty’s health continued to decline during their stay in Brecon and he finally passed away at the foot of Carlos’ bed a few days later.

“He hung on until the morning after Father’s Day – I peered over the mattress and he’d gone,” Carlos said. “He looked so peaceful though and I’m glad we got to go on one last adventure together. “He was a lovely little lad.”



This is your chance to bid on beautiful original artworks and signed memorabilia in our ‘Charity Auction To Help Disabled Animals’.

This is a sealed bid auction, so all you need to do is decide which item you would like to bid for – noting the reserve price for each – and send us your bid with the lot number and name by email to by 21:00 on the 17th of April . We will email you to let you know if your bid is the highest. Postage costs will be calculated when the auction ends. Good luck!

All funds raised help support the Miracle’s Mission Centre for Disabled Animals and their work in the rescue, treatment and rehoming of sick, injured and disabled animals .

Happy bidding and good luck 🐾.

Lot 1

This signed After Life image has been very kindly donated by animal welfare great Ricky Gervais.

Reserve £100


Lot 2

This signed After Life image has been very kindly donated by animal welfare great Ricky Gervais.

Reserve £100


Lot 3

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Badger by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 54 x 41 cms

Reserve: £100

Lot 4

This is an ORIGINAL pencil study of a Rhino by Dane Youkers . This STUNNING piece measures 28 x 36 cms .

Reserve: £100


Lot 5

‘The Animals Fight Back’ original watercolour by Charito Lilley. This thought-provoking piece measures 40 x 30 cms

Reserve: £50


Lot 6

‘Tails Erect’ by Wildlife Artist Carol Barrett. This ORIGINAL study of Warthogs is in watercolour and ink and is on Rhino Dung Paper! It is mounted and measures 40 x 30 cms.

Reserve: £200


Lot 7

A ‘Dazzle Of Zebras’ by Jan Ferguson. This stunning print measures 41 x 30 cms

Reserve: £30


Lot 8

Limited Edition print titled ‘Highland Monarch’ Michael Demain. This stunning measures 56 x 34 cms.

Reserve: £40


Lot 9

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Cheetah by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 57 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100


Lot 10

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Fox by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 58 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100


Lot 11

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Clouded Leopard by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 57 x 42 cms

Reserve: £100


Lot 12

A beautiful print of Tiger cubs by Jan Ferguson. This piece measures 41 x 31 cms.

Reserve: £30


Lot 13

This lot is for an official Scottish Rugby ball signed by the 2021/2022 squad.

Reserve: £75


Lot 14

This is a stunning ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Jaguar by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 57 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100


Lot 15

This is a stunning ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a pair of baby Snow Leopards by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 59 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100


Lot 16

This is a stunning ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Snow Leopard by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 59 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100


Lot 17

A stunning Limited Edition print titled ‘Endangered Nobility’ by Kim Thompson. This beautiful study of the noble Lion measures 60 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £75


Lot 18

‘Mischief Maker’ is a beautiful Ltd Edition study of a Lion cub by Julie Rhodes. It is mounted and measures 560 x 380mm.

Reserve: £50


Lot 19

The beautiful Butterflies In The Round by Cath Hodsman. This Limited Print measures 51 x 41 cms.

Reserve: £50


Lot 20

This lot is ‘A Mother’s Love’, an adorable original watercolour, pastel and pencil of a Lioness and her cubs by wildlife artist Milo. This beautiful piece measures 30 x 28 cms.

Reserve: £75


Lot 21

Who can resist ‘Those Eyes’? This delightful original watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a baby Orangutan is by Milo and measures 59 x 42 cms.

Reserve: £100


Lot 22

A custom made digital pet portraits makes a wonderful keepsake or present for your loved ones and are ideal for framing.

Reserve: £25


Thank you for taking the time to look at our auction and happy bidding.

If you would like to make a donation to our fundraiser to help support our work you can do so at Fundraiser To Help Disabled Animals. Thank you.

Eugene Bostic, Who Built A ‘Dog Train’ To Take All His Rescued Dogs On Little Adventures After He Retired From The Union Pacific

The Dog Train, which Eugene Bostick built himself, made the retired Union Pacific railroad employee and his pups viral superstars. After a video appeared on BuzzFeed, Bostick and his dog train attracted thousands of views and calls from all over the country.

Some might say that the late Eugene Bostick’s most memorable job began long after he retired. His golden years saw him take on quite a unique role—that of a train conductor for rescued stray dogs. However, the Fort Worth, Texas, native never expected his life to take such an unorthodox turn. It was the heartlessness of others that forced him to take on the duty of helping needy pets as he couldn’t bear to see abandoned dogs being left to starve on the streets.

“We live down on a dead-end street, where me and my brother have a horse barn. People sometimes come by and dump dogs out here, leaving them to starve,” Bostick told The Dodo . “So, we started feeding them, letting them in, taking them to the vet to get them spayed and neutered. We made a place for them to live.” He has taken in countless abandoned dogs over the years and even gone one step further in caring for them. Apart from feeding them and giving them a safe home, the retiree also thought it would nice to be able to take them on little trips with him and show them the sights.

And that’s how the idea for a dog-train was born. “One day I was out and I seen this guy with a tractor who attached these carts to pull rocks. I thought, ‘Dang, that would do for a dog train,'” he revealed. “I’m a pretty good welder, so I took these plastic barrels with holes cut in them, and put wheels under them and tied them together.” With his special doggy train ready to embark on little adventures, Bostick began taking the nine dogs in his care around town once or twice a week. 

Residents would often spot them go puttering down quiet streets or through the forest near their home or stopping by a local creek for some fresh air in the adorable train. And no one loves it more than Bostick’s doggy passengers. “Whenever they hear me hooking the tractor up to it, man, they get so excited,” he said. “They all come running and jump in on their own. They’re ready to go.”

The became became somewhat of a local attraction, stopping for photo requests from the locals became a part of their trip routine. For Eugene, however, nothing beats bringing a bit of joy to a handful of dogs who had been through so much. “I’m getting up in age. I’m 80 now, so I suppose it can’t last too much longer, but I’ll keep it going as long as I can,” he said. “The dogs have a great time. They just really enjoy it.”

The Beautiful Story Of John Unger And His Beloved Dog Schoep

The unconditional love of a dog is a powerful thing. Just ask John Unger of Bayfield, Wisconsin.

For 19 years, John’s loyal companion had been a Shepherd mix named Schoep. John learned that his dog had severe arthritis and may needed to be put down soon. He was devastated — and also determined to help alleviate Schoep’s pain.

John knew that people suffering from arthritis respond well to water therapy, so he brought his aging dog to one of their favourite spots: Lake Superior. His idea was to take advantage of the lake’s higher-than-average temperatures that summer and let Schoep feel weightless and relaxed. Considering the grim prognosis from the veterinarian, John also called his photographer friend, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, to see whether she had time to capture a special photo of Schoep just in case.

Hannah met them at the lake for about five minutes and snapped a few shots. A few days later on Aug. 1, she uploaded her favorite image of the man and his dog to Facebook — and an Internet sensation was unleashed.

The photo on her Stonehouse Photography Facebook page had nearly 300,000 likes and 32,000 comments in the first few days. When the photo went viral, John had to adjust to his sudden popularity.

“The first four days I was literally in shock,” he said. He said he spent the first two days reading every single one of the comments on Facebook. Most of them offered words of encouragement for Schoep and admiration for John.

“I would read about five of them and lose it for a good ten minutes and then come back to it,” John said. “To see that this photo has lifted their spirits … that right there lifted mine even higher.”

John has always wanted Schoep to experience everything, so he takes him everywhere he goes. They regularly go on three walks a day.

John actually began floating Schoep in Lake Superior 13 years earlier — but for different reasons. It started because Schoep was a terrible swimmer and didn’t much like the water anyway. It took him several years to be convinced to fetch a ball in the lake, let alone swim in it.

“Whenever he got into the water he wouldn’t swim and would just put his paws on my shoulders and want to be held,” John recalled. “One of these times, all of a sudden, he was asleep. We’ve been doing it periodically since then.”

He stepped up the soaks in the lake after Schoep’s diagnosis. John said he soon saw an improvement in Schoep’s limp, although he didn’t think it would ever go away.

John adopted Schoep as a rescue dog with his then-fiancée nearly 20 years before. Schoep had been abused as a puppy and it took months for him to trust John. But John didn’t give up. He stayed up with him that first night and then many nights after, coaxing him to trust him by sometimes getting on all fours. He said he wanted Schoep “to think of me as another dog and not a man trying to hurt him.”

A year or so after John and his fiancée adopted Schoep, the relationship broke up. The two shared custody of Schoep for a while until she left for graduate school in Colorado, and then it was just the man and his dog.

John said he has fought against depression for a lifetime, and after his relationship ended, he endured some tough years. On one particularly difficult night he took Schoep down to Lake Michigan, their usual evening walking spot back in those days.

“I went out on the breakwater and I was thinking about committing suicide,” he said. “And I was out there for about an hour just thinking about things and it came to the point of me thinking, ‘OK, this is the time.’ And I looked down at Schoep and I don’t know what it was … he had a look like no other time he looked at me. I look back at it now and he knew something was wrong.”

It took that look by Schoep to help bring John back from the brink. “He just snapped me out of that moment … we walked around the rest of the night until dawn.” The next day he thanked Schoep for saving his life.

John broke down and cried as he reflected on how much Schoep has given him, and how he has tried his best to always give him what he could. “I’ve never had a lot of money and especially going through the depression I couldn’t hold a job,” he said, adding, “Schoep has given me his all, no matter what the circumstances, even when I can’t get him the best food.”

After Hannah’s photo made such wide rounds online, strangers began reaching out to help. “A woman from Virginia basically paid for the latest laser therapy on his joints,” he said. “She paid for a full treatment, and I don’t know how much it is, but I know I couldn’t have done that.”

Schoep just had his second installment of treatments Wednesday, and has four more to go. John got a surprise when he took Schoep in for his latest appointment. As he walked in, his vet smiled at him. “What’s going on?” John asked. His vet said, “See all the stuff behind me?” John looked, and there were packages of glucosamine, treats and other treatments to help Schoep with joint pain.

John cried as he said, “People from all over are doing this. I can’t believe it. So much has come in already in donations that I don’t have to worry about anything at the vet anymore.”

All of the donors are anonymous. “How do I thank them?” he said. “It’s just such an amazing thing.”

And then in July 2013 there was a different headline

Dog Pictured Floating To Sleep In His Owner’s Arms Has Died

Schoep, the arthritic dog who became an Internet sensation last summer when he was photographed floating peacefully in Lake Superior in his owner’s arms, has passed away.

The 20-year-old dog’s owner, John, announced the death of his best friend on Facebook on that evening.

“I Breathe But I Can’t Catch My Breath…” John wrote “Schoep passed yesterday. More information in the days ahead.”

The bond between Schoep and John captivated tens of thousands of animal lovers when their photo and story began circulating. Then in the July of that year, John feared that he was mere days from needing to put then-19-year-old Schoep down. In anticipation of his loss, he asked a friend to take one last photo of them together.

That friend, photographer Hannah, met them at Lake Superior, where John liked to help Schoep float to take pressure off his arthritic joints. She captured a photo of the two of them in the lake and posted it on her Facebook page.

That image ricocheted around the world and resulted in an outpouring of online donations and support. The help John received allowed him to afford treatments to alleviate his dog’s condition.

“As best as I can guess, the treatments turned back the clock on his life about a year-and-a-half to two years,” in September 2012 John said. “I’ve taken him for walks on trails that we haven’t been on in three years. He’s not dragging his back legs like he was before. To be able to do that again with him, words can’t even describe the feeling.”

John posted a happy update about Schoep on Facebook along with a photo of the shepherd mix falling asleep in the sunshine, surrounded by bright yellow flowers:

“A fantastic day we had. Up early to walk and go to the beach, eat, nap, go shopping, eat, laundry, go to the beach, eat, nap and one more walk. All without the humidity, that’s what made it fantastic — especially for Schoep!”

Hannah, the photographer who made Schoep and John famous, posted this on her Facebook page.

“RIP Schoep. He had an amazing life and touched us all. Please keep John in your thoughts.”

And then….

….And then John invited a new dog, named Bear, into his home. He posted the news to his Facebook page on Feb. 24 2015 saying,

“I am whole again…

Ladies and Gentlemen – This Is BEAR!

The journey continues with the addition of Bear into my home, heart, soul and OUR lives! Please give him a Big Hello! Bear is a 1 year old, 70 lb. Akita/Shep/Lab mix. I am a very happy man, and proud to introduce him to you. Please join us as Bear and I learn, grow and help in the days, months and years to come!”

John and Bear

Here’s to John and Bear celebrating their future together!

PLEASE click the SHARE buttons to share this beautiful story with others. Also click the follow button at the side of the page to receive updates and notifications of new posts by email. Thank you.

The Story Of Camberley Kate: A Dog Rescuer Extraordinaire

Kate Ward’s nickname “Camberley Kate” is said to have been given to her by historian Sir Arthur Bryant in his book “The Lion and the Unicorn”. It became the title by which she became known to everyone.

Kate’s early history is somewhat hazy – When interviewed she stated that she was born in Middlesbrough on June 13th 1895, and remained proud of her Yorkshire roots. Orphaned before she was ten, she was brought up by an aunt in a strict religious atmosphere. As a young girl she went into service, in Yorkshire and eventually found her way to Camberley. In 1943 Kate bought a cottage in Yorktown, and soon afterwards took in her first stray, a dog which had been about to be put down due to lameness.

As word grew, the number of dogs in her cottage increased – some being tied to her door, some left in carrier bags, others brought in by the police or other agencies. At the end of her life she estimated that she had looked after more than 600 dogs and local vet Geoffrey Craddock, a great admirer of Kate work testified that they were well looked after. An entry in the 1957 directory FOR Camberley reads “Ward K 218 London Road., Cam., Dogs Home”. In 1976 she stated that she had 34 dogs, although by 1977 she had cut this down to 19, as she had been told to go easier at the age of 82! The growth of other dog rescue centres helped in this regard. She also had at least one cat.

Kate and her olive-green painted hand cart, labelled STRAY DOGS, was a familiar sight locally as she pushed it from Yorktown to Camberley each day, through the town centre and up to Barossa Common, on a route suggested by the police. Some of the dogs were allowed to ride in the cart, others were attached to it with lengths of string, and occasionally a favoured few ran loose alongside. Inside the cart, there was usually some meat for the dogs and a shovel to clean any mess away. The dogs were controlled with the help of a whistle. Locals became used to the sight of Kate pushing her cart along the busy London Road although it never ceased to amaze outsiders.

As a local celebrity Kate and her dogs were much photographed, a situation she tolerated as long as the photographer gave a donation for the upkeep of the animals. She also sold her own photographic postcards, and gave short shrift to those who tried to take their own pictures. Generous supporters gave money to assist her work and some even left bequests. She was scrupulous that this money should be used only for its intended purpose: the dogs had their own bank account, administered by 2 trustees. She left money in trust for the few dogs left at her death.

If you gave her some money, she would INSIST you take a photo. That way she could not be accused of begging.

A diminutive figure with her shock of white hair and her beret, Kate defended herself and her work passionately against her critics, such as those who wanted her out of the town centre or who regarded the dogs as dangerous or a health or traffic hazard. On one occasion she rammed a new car which was blocking her way. She also had a number of disputes with the authorities. These clashes were often recorded in the columns of the press. However she won the backing of the local police for her work in taking abandoned dogs in off the streets.

In 21 August 1969 Kate was in the Camberley News fighting plans to introduce a bye law making it illegal for dogs to be out without a lead. This followed complains from residents of new housing estates, and concerns about road accidents caused by stray dogs. In her customary forthright fashion she condemned “The Council is nothing more than a collection of dog-haters. I think this will be rotten. It means that dogs will be chained up all day”. A proposal to ban dogs from the new precinct in Camberley also met with a terse response, particularly since she was in the habit of shopping at Sainsbury’s and leaving some of the dogs tied up outside. When protests about the local drag-hounds running out of control when being exercised attracted her support Kate, in typical fashion, addressed her complaint directly to the King. The Royal family continued to be a favourite route for correspondence. When a local schoolteacher complained that she had seen her beat her dogs with a stick, Kate immediately wrote in protest to the Queen. This was not their first encounter – when Princess Elizabeth got married one of the dogs sent a present of a dog lead.

As these anecdotes show, Kate was an excellent publicist. A local policemen recalled that occasionally a dog would get loose and be brought to the dog pound. If the Police Station was empty she would pay the fine quietly and readily, but if there was an audience she would protest vocally!

Following a series of strokes old age and ill-health forced her to leave her cottage and her remaining seven dogs were put into kennels. Her last weeks were spent at Kingsclear residential home and she died on 4th August 1979. Her funeral was at St Michael’s, Yorktown.

Despite her avowed dislike of people, Baptist Minister the Rev Chris Russell who officiated at her funeral, remembers her private generosity to those in need. This aspect of her life she kept anonymous, passing on her donations through third parties.

After her death, Camberley vet Geoffrey Craddock was quoted in the Camberley News as saying “Camberley has lost its most celebrated and best known character. She will be greatly missed by those of us who had the rare privilege of knowing her”.

During her lifetime, Kate’s fame spread far and wide. She featured In the national press and on television programmes such as “Nationwide” and “Tonight”. was featured on NBC in the United States and her story appeared in publications across Europe from France to Rumania. She also received the ultimate accolade of a feature in “Time” Magazine, and was photographed by Lord Snowdon. To her surprise, in 1967 she received an award from the magazine “Dog’s Life” for her work. In answer to the inevitable question, why she did it? her invariable reply was that she preferred dogs to humans.

Her home at 218 London Road was just a few doors along from the former Lamb pub, near the present Meadows roundabout, but Is no longer standing. The Katherine Court retirement flats were named after her at the suggestion of a local resident in 2000.

There are so many great lessons we can learn from the life of Kate Ward, both as responsible dog owners, human beings, and as pet rescue charities. Most of all Kate recognized the value of a photograph and how it could be used for the positive influence of others, to bring light to a cause, and to help raise money.

Please share for others to enjoy.


Miracle’s Mission are a non-profit charity dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating sick, injured and disabled animals form around the world. Working predominantly in the UK, Borneo & Egypt; Miracle’s Mission is ever expanding to help animals in need wherever they can.

Because ALL animals deserve a second chance, EVEN disabled ones.

Miracle’s Mission offer a full rehabilitation programme right through from assessment to surgery to rehabilitation, recovery and re-homing. This is again why education is so important, so that people become open to adopting disabled dogs.

Miracle’s Mission was founded by Victoria Bryceson in 2015, after a trip to Borneo made her aware of the severity of the street dog population. Working with animal shelters over there, it became apparent that whilst these shelters were caring for the animals, the root cause was yet to be addressed. Allowing un-neutered cats and dogs to roam the streets meant that puppies and kittens were being born onto the streets at an alarming rate, with a grim life ahead of them. Therefore, Miracle’s Mission came into existence with the main aim to neuter stray animals on the streets of Borneo and decrease the population of dogs and cats suffering.

Miracle’s Mission have carried out several TNRM – Trap, Neuter, Release & Manage Projects in Borneo

Feral and hard-to-catch strays are caught in a custom made trap. Using a dog trap is one of the safest and humane way to catch dogs. We will ask their feeder to lay out a trail of food leading to the trap and at the end, the dog will step on the trigger and it will shut close.

However, we cannot keep on rescuing and putting all the strays into ONE overcrowded shelter. Some dogs are meant to be free and wild. As long as we can stop their breeding/mating, we can control the stray dog population.

Since launching the scheme, Miracle’s Mission has helped more than 6,000 animals.

Miracle’s Story

Miracle is the namesake of the charity, and her story is similar to many others around the world. However, not all of these animals end up being as lucky as she was and finding a loving home where she is spoilt rotten!

Miracle was rescued from the streets of Borneo at 1 week old before her tiny eyes were even open. She was found with her siblings in a very remote area, where they were likely abandoned and were very unwell. The puppies were full of maggots, with ringworm and blood parasites. Unfortunately, Miracle’s siblings did not make it.

Miracle was cared for by Victoria and she had a very long road of recovery ahead of her. She had several injuries and was very weak, but she made a miraculous recovery and is now strong, happy and healthy living with her adopted sisters Star and Tess, who were also rescued from Borneo. Her aim is to aid in saving many more animals in need around the world.

Crediting Ella with all she now knows Victoria said: “It took about three months to get Ella back from Egypt and it was the hardest three months of my life.

“I spent the time converting my garage and garden to make them safe for her. As soon as she arrived, and I got her into some wheels she was a different dog. She inspired me to do more. Every vet said with her injuries she should be put to sleep but once they met her, they changed their minds.”

“When she first got into her wheels she just took off, she ran and ran with no hesitation it was like she got her life back.”

Hoping to encourage people to adopt pets with special needs the charity boss said: “People think it would be too difficult to look after a dog with wheels, but they adapt really well. If you have a house with stairs, they live downstairs or you can take them upstairs and put a baby gate at the top. It really is not difficult. They tend to connect with you more.”

Miracle’s Mission were proud to be recently named 2021 Rescue of the Year by Walkin’ Pets who said “the rescue focuses on the hardest to adopt pets, believing that “adopting a special needs pet will change your life, your world, your outlook, your priorities and all for the better.”

The charity is currently fundraising to expand the size of rescue centre which would allow them to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome many more animals in need. They have found this land and buildings that would be suitable for the new Centre For Disabled Animals and is up for auction soon.

If you would like to help ENABLE disabled animals the fundraiser is at

Some Of The Miracle’s Mission Family


Our wonderful supporters and friends have donated a number of amazing items featured below that you can bid for as part our ‘Charity Auction To Help Disabled Animals’.

This is a sealed bid auction, so all you need to do is decide which item you would like to bid for – noting the reserve price for each – and send us your bid with the lot number by email to by 21:00 on the 28th of february.  We’ll email you to let you know if your bid is the highest. Postage costs will be calculated when the auction ends. Good luck!

All funds support the Miracle’s Mission Centre for Disabled Animals and their work in the rescue, treatment and rehoming of sick, injured and disabled animals


Street artist Sonny Sundancer’s gigantic painting of an Amur Leopard overlooked the city of Vladivostok, Russia and is part of his worldwide ‘To The Bone’ project aimed at raising awareness about endangered species.

This STUNNING piece of his work is caught brilliantly in this VERY Limited Edition of only 45 prints and measures 500 x 355mm.

Reserve: £75


This study of a Lion is titled ‘Endangered Nobility’ and is a stunning ORIGINAL pencil drawing by Kim Thompson. It measures 375 x 470mm.

Reserve: £250


This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Siberian Tiger by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 420 x 570mm.

Reserve: £100


Two Day tickets to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park where you can see, amongst others, the pride of rescued Romanian Lions.

Reserve: £50


An original stunning watercolour by Diane Antone titled ‘The Badger’. It measures 210 x 297mm.

Reserve: £75


This is a stunning ORIGINAL watercolour study of a Lion by wildlife artist William Elliston.  This superb piece measures 420 x 300mm.

Reserve: £75


This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of an Amur Leopard by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 410 x 530mm.

Reserve: £100


This is a signed plaque of Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Millward MBE who is one of the most experienced para-swimmers on the British team having won a total of ten medals, including two golds, across three games.

The plaque measures 300 x 210 x 5mm and would superb framed.

Reserve: £50


This STUNNING Ltd Edition print is titled ‘Highland Monarch’ and is by Michael Demain.  It is measures 555 x 335mm

Reserve: £40

LOT 10

This ORIGINAL watercolour of a Stag by I Mills is stunning. It measures 280 x 380mm

Reserve: £50

LOT 11

‘Mischief Maker’ is a beautiful Ltd Edition study of a Lion cub by Julie Rhodes. It is mounted and measures 560 x 380mm.

Reserve £50

LOT 12

‘Lekupania with Giraffe’ by multi-award winning photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Ami Vitalle. This stunning image is of an orphaned baby reticulated giraffe embracing Sarara Camp wildlife keeper Lekupania. It measures 11 x 16 inches and normally sells for $550 on Ami’s website.

Reserve: £250

LOT 13

‘Tails Erect’ by Wildlife Artist Carol Barrett. This ORIGINAL study of Warthogs is in watercolour and ink and is on Rhino Dung Paper! It is mounted and measures 400 x 300 mm.

Reserve: £200

LOT 14

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Giraffe and her calf by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 420mm x 300mm.

Reserve £100

LOT 15

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Badger by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 590mm x 420mm

Reserve £100

LOT 16

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of Zebras At A Waterhole by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 560mm x 420mm.

Reserve £100

LOT 17

This is an ORIGINAL watercolour, pastel and pencil study of a Sleeping Chimp by wildlife artist Milo. This STUNNING piece measures 410mm x 530mm.

Reserve £100

If you would like to make a donation to our fundraiser you can do so at Fundraiser To Help Disabled Animals