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Snake Bites Spike in Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga.--Cricket is an Atlanta Lab Rescue dog. Her owner, Justin Bates, gave her a second chance. Peachtree Hills veterinarian, Dr. Duffy Jones, gave her a third.

"One day she came back in favoring her leg after we let him out. Favoring turned into limping and limping turned into swelling so we knew something was up," Bates said.

"When we tell people their dogs or cats may have been bitten by a snake, they're surprised," Dr. Jones said.

"We never saw a snake," Bates said. "But we do... or we did... have a lot of Ivy."

And that's the key to the worst snake bite season vets across Georgia have seen in decades. The wet weather has allowed ivy and kudzu to flourish. And now, it's Copperhead birthing season. 95% of bites in Georgia are from Copperhead snakes. "Copperheads are really good at living in urban areas. They've adapted very, very well," Dr. Jones said.

DeKalb Rape Crisis Center Marks 20 Years

DEKALB COUNTY, GA -- The DeKalb Rape Crisis Center is marking 20 years of healing and helping victims of a devastating crime.

DRCC was founded in 1989 after the Junior League of DeKalb County raised the funds to hire a small staff and recruited a massive reserve of volunteers.

At the time, the only rape crisis center in the area was at Grady Memorial Hospital, which covered both DeKalb and Fulton counties.

"Grady often had more volume than they really needed to be handling," said former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson, now a founding partner of Wilson, Morton & Downs law firm. He served on DRCC's first Board of Directors. "Grady was stressed a lot of the time to meet the demand."

Today, DRCC meets a growing demand and provides a vital service to the community.

Santa Plans Visit to Three More Metro Malls

ATLANTA -- Santa Claus makes his grand entrance at three more metro Atlanta malls this weekend, with stops planned at Perimeter, Gwinnett Place and North Point on November 13.

If the wait is longer than 15 minutes at Perimeter, parents will receive a pager allowing them to shop until it's their turn at the big chair.

Gwinnett Place and North Point malls are among those offering special times for pet lovers to have their pet's picture taken with Santa Claus.

RELATED:  COMPLETE LIST OF SCHEDULED SANTA SIGHTINGS

Dunwoody Police Chief Joins Effort to Combat Crimes Against Women

DUNWOODY, GA -- Chief Billy Grogan of the Dunwoody Police Department has been chosen as one of 20 law enforcement executives from across the country to participate in the 13th National Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women, hosted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

Through the institute experience, IACP intends to raise the response to violence against women crimes on law enforcement's agenda and support the adoption of best practices by the officers in the Dunwoody Police Department.

During the four-day institute, which will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, Chief Grogan and the other selected participants will explore innovative approaches for investigating crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Seacrest's Gift to Sick Kids

ATLANTA -- Teenage friendships can be fickle and fleeting, but not Leah and Kera's.

"I was outside one day and she was too," said Kera. 

"Yeah in the garden, she came up to me," Leah chimed in. 

"And I was wondering what she had, and she was wondering the same thing about me," Kera finished the thought. 

Kera has Ewing Sarcoma, a bone cancer. Leah has leukemia. Both spend far too much time in the hospital, but they have found each other and in typical teenage fashion, they share their love of shopping, albeit modified.

Crime Alerts From The Patrol Car To Your Phone Or Email

DUNWOODY, GA -- Are you worried about crime in your neighborhood? Do you want to know what the police are doing about it? In Dunwoody you can find out instantly. Police there are giving residents a role in policing their community.

It's called Interactive Defense System and it's a new social network site specifically for crime. Dunwoody is the first police department in the country to use the program. The best way to describe it is high-tech community policing. "It's similar to any other social media, Facebook, MySpace, that type of program," said Officer William Furman.

Residents can sign up to receive email or text messages directly from police officers. Or they can just go to a website to find out about crime in their neighborhood. "We can post all of our wanted people, all of our missing persons and any lookouts," Officer Furman said.

Atlanta Falcons Help Randy Waters Pay It Forward

DUNWOODY, GA -- All through November, 11Alive's morning team is asking local celebrities to join us for random acts of kindness to help us pay it forward.

This week the Falcons teamed up with Feed the Childern Foundation to give 400 military families thousands of pounds of non-perishable food items at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody.

It was a perfect spot for Randy Waters and a Falcons rookie star to surprise folks with a random act of kindness.

Randy surprised some families with gift cards to Target. Falcons Rookie LB, Sean "Spoon" Weatherspoon had a sweet treat for the kids.

Blue Bell Ice Cream brought a whole delivery of ice cream, and the "Spoon" spooned it up for the kids.