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Rescued Animals Are Optimistic

All animals deserve love and care, especially those who have been neglected and left to fend for themselves. For all of those individuals who've rescued a lost, abandoned, or unappreciated animal, your kindness has not been overlooked and is making a bigger change than you may think.

A new study by scientists at Queen Mary, University of London has discovered that animals rescued from abuse and neglect, aren't a lost cause. These animals can recover and in some cases have a more optimistic outlook on life compared to other animals.

As the first scientific study of rescued animals, 18 goats were observed - nine who had experienced a poor diet and lack of shelter, along with nine who had been treated well. Placing the goats in a spatial awareness test, the scientists observed how the two types of goats engaged in finding food in an area unknown to them.

Believing the well-treated goats would perform better, the scientists were surprised to discover that the positive treatment the neglected female goats received at the sanctuary, made them more optimistic.

"Mood can have a huge influence on how the brain processes information. In humans, for example, it's well known that people in positive moods have an optimist outlook on life, which means they are more resilient to stress. In the same way, measures of optimism and pessimism can provide indicators for an understanding of animal welfare," explains co-author Dr. Elodie Briefer from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.

So even though our furry friends can't literally thank us for our hospitality in their time of need, it's their outlook on the future, after they've been cared for, that proves that we are making a difference in each rescued animals life one at a time.

Take a cue from Fiona, a rescued pooch from South Los Angeles. She was found blind, flea infested, and fending for herself, but after being rescued you can see in her demeanor and wagging tail how she's come a long way from that parking lot she was found in.

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