'Bear'-y sweet story: Urgent Bear Center opens in Phoenix

    7:02 AM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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    PHOENIX, AZ (CNN) -- A hospital for well-loved and abandoned stuffed animals opened its doors in Arizona. Some of the animals' reconstructive surgeries are so unique, the stuffed toys are finding new homes in art galleries.

    Nestled in the heart of downtown Phoenix is a unique animal rescue operation. Here, radical surgeries like no other are performed on a daily basis. This is the Urgent Bear Center, a place where old bears get new lives. Tara Logsdon says, "These bears have all been abandoned. They have huge abandonment issues."

    Tara created the bear center. Once clients select a bear, she hand-sews new eyes, hearts, and clothes and while most bears end up in the arms of children, some of her creations end up in art galleries. She says the bear center is not only to spreading comfort, but raising awareness about recycling. She says, "I think these bears are a huge symbol of how you can find things already in existence and just put a little bit of love in them, and they go from being discarded to something on display on a gallery, something really important."

    Tara claims more than 1200 bears have been placed in new homes; many designed by special request. She says, "A woman contacted me from out of state. She wanted a special angel bear made for her son."

    Tara says each one is special in its own way. She says, "Very special and they are all one of a kind, no two are alike. They're all handmade."

    Each bear is sent home with a prescription for hugs daily. The Urgent Bear Center: a place where love is the medicine.

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