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Arin Greenwood
Arin Greenwood is HuffPost's animal welfare editor. Arin is a former lawyer (J.D. from Columbia Law School, member of the New York Bar), life long animal lover, and devoted fan of cats who run for public office.

Her first novel, Tropical Depression -- based on her five-odd, sometimes very odd, years living on a small island near Guam -- was published by teeny indie publisher Back Porch Books in 2011. Her second book, a comic young adult mystery called Save The Enemy, was published by Soho Teen in November 2013.

Know a kitten with political ambitions? Have another animal story to share? Get in touch at

Entries by Arin Greenwood

Elves Deliver Shelter Puppies To The Luckiest Kids In The World

(20) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 9:11 AM

Three elves delivered a newly adopted puppy to four lucky kids last Friday.

We love every single thing about this

The elves came courtesy of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter, in northern Virginia, which is -- for the first time -- offering any family interested in adopting a cat, dog, bird, mouse, or even the shelter's sole iguana, the option of having that pet delivered by costumed volunteers on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Of course, pulling off this kind of holiday miracle takes a lot of preparation, so the shelter wanted to do a sort of preview run.

Jessica Biser and her husband, Duane, proved just the right human guinea pigs when they came in earlier in the week. They were ready to take in a new puppy as a surprise for their kids James, Kaitlynn, Allison and Madeline, and also for their recently adopted dog, Hercules, who'd seemed a little lonely.

"When we found out the kids didn’t know they were getting a puppy, we knew we had found our test subjects," says shelter spokeswoman Kristen Auerbach.

Biser was on board.

"They asked if I wanted the elf delivery while I was filling out the adoption paperwork for our puppy," Biser says. "I immediately thought it was a great idea and shortly thereafter I knew this was going to be a Christmas our children, and us, would never forget."

As you can see, it all went extremely well.

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"It was hard to say who was the most excited -- the elves, the kids or Jackson himself, who was wagging his tail furiously," says Auerbach.

"They were floored. Speechless," says Biser. "My daughter couldn't believe one of Santa's elves delivered a puppy."

At least one of the children was a bit confused by the whole thing.

"We kind of forgot to explain why three grown-ups were at their house wearing elf suits and taking pictures, so at the end, the older girl said to me, 'Are you an elf sent by Santa?'" explains Auerbach.

"My other favorite moment was when we were busy talking with the parents and we all looked over to see the son, hugging the puppy," she says. "His eyes were closed and I think in that moment, he was probably the happiest kid in the world. We all had to hold our happy tears in."

It's gone great since then, too. The kids all adore the doggie, now named Zeus -- and little Zeus loves them all right back.

Same goes for Hercules, who, Biser says "loves having a little brother to play with."


Hercules and Zeus are getting along famously. Yay dogs! Photo credit: Jessica Biser

Considering the family's fantastic reaction, Auerbach is feeling really jazzed in the weeks before the elf deliveries go full-scale. She's sure the delightful enterprise will be a huge success.

The goal is to get a new home for every one of the shelter's animals -- about 20 dogs, 40 cats, 30 small animals and the one iguana.

"It’s a bit nerve-wracking at this point because we’re not sure how many deliveries we’ll be doing, since most of the adoptions will happen the few days prior to Christmas Eve," Auerbach says. "We have 25 elves standing by, with more waiting to volunteer, so we’ll just have to see!"

Find out more about the Fairfax County Animal Shelter's available animals on the group's Facebook page.

Elf delivery is available to anyone in Fairfax County, Virginia -- and possibly out of the county, depending on the elves' willingness to drive -- who adopts a pet on Dec. 19, 20 or 23.

Email to see if an elf can travel out to your neck of the woods.

Here are the ASPCA's guidelines on when it's OK to give pets as gifts.

And get in touch at if you have an animal story to share!

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Este adorable pit bull encontró hogar gracias a una foto muy original (FOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 7:47 AM

¿Quién podría resistirse a la carita adorable de este pit bull? Erin Bird, una entrenadora personal, no pudo. Después de pasarse un día entero viendo fotos de Teton (así es como se llama) en la la página de Facebook de Humane Society of Utah's, un refugio de animales,...

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골든 리트리버가 왜 우수한지 과학적인 설명이 나왔다

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2014 | 11:36 PM

누구나 골든 리트리버를 좋아한다. 당연한 일이다. 약간 덤벙거리지만 아름답고 사랑스러운 성격의 골든 리트리버를 어떻게 좋아하지 않을 수 있겠나?

그런데 골든 리트리버가 왜 그토록 친근하고 착하고 똑똑한지 생각해 본 적 있나? 우리는 궁금했다. 그리고 견종마다 어떤 유전적 차이가 있는지도 궁금했다.

수의사이자 일리노이 대학의 유전체학 박사학위 학생인...

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Shelter Goes For Radical Honesty In Adoption Ad For 'Terrible' Chihuahua

(242) Comments | Posted December 14, 2014 | 1:08 PM

For one lovable wee demon of a dog, the Humane Society Silicon Valley has put up up the funniest, most radically honest pet adoption listing we've ever come across.

"Eddie the Terrible," as this 2-year-old Chihuahua is known, is bad with kids. He's awful with other dogs....

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You Definitely Want This Pit Bull Calendar Up On Your Wall

(12) Comments | Posted December 13, 2014 | 12:04 PM

Pictures of the cutie-pie dogs would have been enough.

The Unexpected Pit Bull's 2015 calendar is not only replete with the most adorable of canine mugs, it's also full of amazing pet rescue stories sure to warm hearts and help dispel prejudices against pit bulls.

Which is...

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Perro paralizado que aprende a caminar nos recuerda que todo el mundo merece una segunda oportunidad

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 2:44 PM

El cachorro Zeus estaba casi completamente paralizado cuando Lynda Kuether lo llevó a su casa para cuidarlo, poco después de haberlo rescatado de un refugio con un alto índice de matanzas en Oklahoma.

"Estaba terriblemente demacrado y solo era capaz de levantar la cabeza y mover la cola", dice Kuether....

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Science Explains Why Golden Retrievers Are Awesome

(140) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 12:25 PM

Everyone loves golden retrievers -- of course; they're usually gorgeous with goofy, lovely personalities.

But have you ever wondered what actually makes a golden retriever a golden retriever? And what makes them so irresistibly nice, by and large? We did -- and also wondered how genetically different dogs can...

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Paralyzed Dog Who Learns To Walk Reminds Us Why Everyone Deserves A Second Chance

(153) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 5:51 PM

Zeus the puppy was almost completely paralyzed when Lynda Kuether took him in as a foster, shortly after he was rescued from a high-kill shelter in Oklahoma.

"He was terribly emaciated and only able to lift his head and wag his tail," Kuether says. "He had to be fed and...

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Missing Dog Reunited With Owner After 3 Years Couldn't Stop 'Jumping And Wiggling'

(110) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 9:06 AM

Allen Williams got the happy surprise of his life last weekend, when a Missouri animal shelter called to tell him to come get his dog, Titan, who'd vanished from his yard about three years ago.

"It was pretty crazy," says Williams. "After all this time I'd given up."

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The '367 Dogs' Were Rescued From A Massive Fighting Ring. They Are Loving Their Freedom.

(35) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 5:03 PM

They're called the 367 dogs, because that's how many of them were taken in on August 23, 2013 -- the first day of what would turn out to be the country's second largest multi-state dog fighting bust.

Then that number grew. By a lot.

"As the investigation...

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Pit Bull's Adorable Photobooth Shots Land Him A Forever Home

(93) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 8:56 AM

Who could resist this smooshy little pit bull face? Not Erin Bird.

Within a day of Teton's photos going up on the Humane Society of Utah's Facebook page, Bird had sent a text to her husband, half-jokingly suggesting they go get him.

"He said yes," Bird...

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What It's Like When Your Cat Unexpectedly Dies

(12) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 2:04 PM

On Thursday night, my husband and I were having one of our usual arguments -- I was saying our adopted dog Murray is Jewish because he has a Jewish mom; Ray made the case that this made no sense religiously, spiritually, culturally or caninely -- when we heard a thud...

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Turkey Pardoned From Death By Obama Last Year Is Still Gobbling Up The Good Life

(16) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 8:44 AM

Caramel the turkey, one of two big gobblers pardoned by President Barack Obama last Thanksgiving, has a lot to be thankful for this year.

For one thing, and it's a big one, he is still alive.

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obama turkey

Caramel the turkey...

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PETA Really Needs to Respond to the Charges That Its Workers Stole and Killed a Family's Dog, Then Sent a Fruit Basket

(47) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 1:13 PM

These allegations are so grotesque, they'd make the perfect smear campaign.

As you may have heard, Wilbur Cerate, a Virginia man, claims that last month, two People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staffers turned up at his home when he wasn't there, loaded his daughter's Chihuahua, Maya,...

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Billy The Dog Looked So Sad That A Wonderful Family Knew They Had To Bring Him Home

(39) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 4:36 PM

Cheryl Kramer was not looking for a new dog when she opened Facebook one morning in late September and stumbled on 12-year-old Billy's adoption listing.

"I needed a third dog like I needed a hole in my head," she says. "But it was his picture that stayed with me. I...

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Art Project Honors The 46 Million Turkeys That Will Be Eaten On Thanksgiving

(23) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 3:17 PM

An estimated 46 million turkeys will be eaten this Thanksgiving, and artist Cheryl Miller wants to honor every last one of them with their own portraits.

"Forty-six million is a huge number and one that is hard to visualize, whether we’re talking about individual works of art...

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Hundreds Of Abused Dogs Have A Second Chance Thanks To This Amazing Chicago Rescue Program

(2) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 4:56 PM

This is Braveheart. Her owner was arrested on felony animal cruelty charges in August 2014. At the time, Braveheart was covered in bite marks, her muzzle was swollen and her ear had been ripped in half. She was impounded as evidence in the criminal case against her owner.

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Pit Bull Rescued From Horrible Conditions Now Gets To Roll Around On Giant, Comfy Couch

(53) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 4:46 PM

Belle the pit bull could not be happier rolling around on a big, soft couch. These 55 seconds of pure bliss are all the sweeter once you know what came before them.

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This Is The Moment That An Abandoned Pit Bull's Life Was Completely Changed

(136) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 1:24 PM

It's just dumb luck that Lucy Rockdale happened to have her camera on at the moment she met Rio the dog and turned his life around so completely.

In late October, the grey pit bull was living alone by a river on the outskirts of Tracy, California. A Facebook user...

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Hombre usa a 15 pollitos para hacerle una broma a su ex; ella quería tirar a los bebés a la basura

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 4:58 PM

Una trabajadora del servicio postal se encontró a principios de este mes con 15 pollitos y una extraña y perturbadora historia.

Los pollos, según dijo la cartera, fueron enviados a una mujer en su ruta de envíos en la capital del país. Acompañando a las pequeñas aves había una...

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