Forest ranger helps homeless veteran caring for litter of puppies

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A litter of German Shepard puppies owned by a homeless veteran and his wife were all staying in a tent in Perry County, until Tuscarora state forest ranger Steve Shaffer came by to check in on them. Shaffer's colleague Stephen Wacker, who is an assistant forest manager, said Shaffer "wanted to find out what the situation was and if they needed some help and obviously the change in the weather was pretty significant and a factor for them."

With temperatures declining by the day Shaffer decided to post a Facebook message asking for help, which got more than six thousand shares. "Facebook does sort of take a life of its own. You get a story that resonates with people and gets shared and spreads around the world literally in minutes and in this case it did that very well," said Wacker.

A local church group volunteered to help raise money, clothes and food for the homeless couple as well as help them find a place to stay. Cari Coble, who runs a dog rescue organization in Mifflin County, volunteered to take the puppies and said there's no shortage of folks willing to adopt. "These puppies, we are actually getting bombarded with applications, but we want to make sure that we do the dogs justice and make sure that they're going to have forever homes," said Coble.

As for Ranger Shaffer, he told us over the phone that he was just doing his job. However Coble sees him as much more than just a forest ranger.  "An honest, very very nice man. Genuinely cares about animals and genuinely cares about people."