Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Society • Native American Tribe Saves Wounded Dog

The Native Americans have a sacred respect for the environment and for the animals. Had they remained in charge, there would be no environmental problems. If they cut down a tree, they will immediately plant a seed. When they must kill animals for food, they first say a prayer for the animal, then kill it humanely.

So it was when on February 1st on the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, as the temperature plummeted to -29 degrees. Tribal Police Chief Kenneth Washington responded to a call about a dog in trouble. A Leech Laker known for her love of animals, Teresa Gunter, had reported a wounded dog, reeling in pain.

There he was, lying helpless outside in the freezing cold, according to a news release sent out by ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

The shepherd mix had been shot and left with a severe head injury and bullet fragments in his leg. Chief Washington came immediately.

When Ms. Gunter showed him the weak bloody shepherd mix, he was alarmed. The dog couldn’t even lift his head off his paw. “His eyes were sunken in,” Washington recalls. “I though he might die.”  He knew he had to help.

The Tribal Police works with a project called, Leech Lake Legacy. The project transports animals in need from the reservation to shelters and rescues around Minnesota that can provide life-saving veterinary care, rehabilitation and adoption.

The animal transportation project is supported in part through a special ASPCA program that helps cash-strapped municipal animal care agencies move more dogs to safety. This program is supported directly through donations to the ASPCA.

In the last six months alone they have helped the Tribal Police get hundreds of dogs to safety.

The night Washington found the dog, which he named, Nibi, he called the Leech Lake Legacy right away. The next day Nibi was on his way to a new life after being cared for the night before.

Today, a little over a month after Washington rescued him, Nibi is thriving, getting healthier each day. He greets people enthusiastically and likes for people to put their fingers in his mouth. It is his special way of “holding hands.”

Nibi now has a job at a wildlife center, working with his caregiver, and stares at the mountain lions in fascination. He is happy. This is a story that should have been a headlined story in the major media. Fortunately, we have the internet.

People, please be kind to animals. Only savage, barbaric crude people inflict cruelty to animals. These beautiful creatures have feelings the same as we do. They feel intense mental and physical pain as well as anxieties.

A civilized society will never allow themselves to be charged with cruelty to any creature…and that includes man.

All cruel medical experiments using animals must stop. With technology so advanced, cures can now be discovered without animals suffering.

In other animal news, Helen Trautman of Pittsburgh sent me a clip about the death of Pat Derby who was known as the “Champion of Animal Welfare.” She was a former trainer for TV shows like “Lassie” and “Flipper”.

She then became a crusader against animal exploitation in entertainment and founded one of the largest privately operated wildlife sanctuaries in The United States, according to Paul Vitello of The New York Times (2/22/13). She died February 15th at the age of 69.
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Rev. Austin Miles who has three dogs and a cat wrote a series on God and Animals, which answers the perplexing question: Do Animals Have Souls? The ten part series, which leading environmental and wildlife journalist, Cathy Tabbi called,“A groundbreaking series,” can be seen on this website. Check archives for October 2011 and November 2011.

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