Friday, April 30, 2010

It Lives under My Bed

And I don't know what to do! Sometimes, during the night, it comes out to feed...


YesBiscuit Raffle for Local No-Kill Shelter

Visit our friend over at YesBiscuit and enter her raffle to benefit their local no-kill shelter! 

The prize is The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs, which I hear is an excellent cookbook for people who are interested in feeding their dogs wholesome, healthy, home-cooked noms. 

Take a chance on a good book for a great cause!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

May I Ask A Favor?

The shelter where I volunteer has been helping abused, neglected, and homeless animals for over 45 years.

PAWS started as a dream of Westport, Connecticut resident Betty Long in 1962. Since then, the organization grew from a small in-home operation that rescued homeless dogs to what it is today, still a small-scale operation, but one with its own facility that is firmly no-kill, and serves both the feline and canine populations in our community.

Over the last year or so, through the economic slump, PAWS probably faced its worst financial challenges. As people lost their homes, they were forced to surrender their animals in record numbers as they moved into new places which didn't allow pets. That's a topic for another discussion...

Our numbers soared well beyond our limits, but as other shelters were turning away animals we kept making room. How could we not? If the tables were turned, we wanted to know someone could help us find a home for our pets. Animals shouldn't have to die just because someone loses their home! Some people might call this irresponsible of us, biting off more than we could chew; others might see it for what it was: a temporary situation. There was a very large bump in the road, and we had to get over that bump. 

Of course, as healthy animals were being left with us, so were those who needed extraordinary care. For example...

Sammy, the gorgeous black cat with proptosis. He needed to have his eye removed, pronto. The horrible pain this poor guy must have been in! Sammy is so sweet; he's more like a puppy than a cat. Look at him sticking his tongue out for the camera. You'll notice that his left eye is missing. :(  

And Truffle, with her stomatitis, another terribly painful condition. You just can't leave these things untreated. And look at that face!  

And it seemed like kitten season lasted all year! At one point, I think I counted over 65 kittens. Yikes! Thank goodness for good samaritans and foster homes.

On the canine side, we had more than our share of surprises! From dogs like Snoopy, hit by a car,  left on the side of the road. Multiple broken bones and a series of operations to fix him up (although you can't tell from this picture!). He's a goofy, big puppy who found a great home!

And the day we took in 17-year-old Zoe, who was probably dumped since she was found wandering the streets. She's deaf-ish, blind-ish, and she's the love of the kennel!

Ernie, the world's cutest puppy, was dumped in our lobby, dying. Parvo it was. His was one case of many we would see last year. After a stint at the emergency vet (since these people dumped him on the weekend, thanks a bunch), Ernie not only flourished, he was the sweetest little guy in town. Another quick adoption, following his recuperation. He's on his way to his CGC!

Then there was Donna's laryngeal paralysis. Her owners kept letting her roam the very busy streets until we talked them into letting us keep her. One day, she went into respiratory distress and we provided her life-changing surgery. She found a wonderful home and now goes to work with her mom on a horse farm every day!

The stories go on and on. Fortunately, we're able to save so many furry lives! And the feeling is goooood. But the associated costs? Not so good... 

You've probably noticed a new button just above Skelly's. If you can, please click to donate to PAWS - Pet Animal Welfare Society of Norwalk, Connecticut. You can visit their website (which sorely needs updating!) for more information and to see some of our pets available for adoption.

And I hope you'll share this with your friends, if you choose. It's a great place, a "true" no-kill shelter. We don't kill for space, or if an animal has been there for a certain amount of time; it's just not like that. I wouldn't ask if I didn't believe in this organization. We're not a public relations machine; we're grassroots and for the animals. Period. For reals. 

Thanks, everyone. I know in your hearts, we have your support, and that means the world!

I Nose It's Wednesday!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stooopidist Pet Products. Ever.

A friend pointed out this story from the Huffington Post to me yesterday. I've already seen a few of these products, but others had me rolling on the floor. My fave is probably the Papillon in the contraption at the table:

Here in CT, a local TV personality often has our shelter on her show to help promote our animals and the plight of homeless and neglected animals in general. Whenever she has a guest who is promoting their products, she insists that animals from area shelters are the models. Needless to say we LOVE her.

She negotiates with her guests so the products featured are donated to the shelters and we can either use them or sell them - whatever is best for us. We've gotten some pretty amazing stuff through this woman, including very expensive and warm doggie coats which we put to good use during our cold and yucky winters, wonderful beds which go to our geriatric dogs, and other items we couldn't otherwise afford to purchase for the shelter.

Well, one of the items donated last year was the pink Croc-like bed, an amazingly hideous addition to any home:

So, first you have to picture me on the show with a few of our dogs, trying to keep a straight face as this thing is trotted out. "Yes, L, it's beautiful! I can see how cozy it would be... In the living room, yes, of course..." Naturally, she's seasoned and she can go on and on about a rock it that's what she has to do. I'm just trying not to fold myself under the chair and into the Pit Bull who actually IS rolling on the floor next to me, laughing.

But, everyone has their own taste; someone bought the pink Croc and there's an animal out there whose pride is currently being crushed on a daily basis.

So, after looking at the products, what's your favorite?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guess Who's Going Home Tomorrow?!

Remember Athena? Well, her day has finally come!

Tomorrow, she'll go home and become the loyal companion she was meant to be. I haven't met the family personally, but I understand they're quite worthy of our royal princess.

Just look at this face. They're under strict orders to send lots of pictures, of course.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some Days, My Heart Just Soars

Daisy went home yesterday. She is about 8-10 years old, and came to us two days before Christmas last year. Sweet doesn't begin to describe this incredible little Beagle.

She was pulled from our local animal control facility along with three Pit Bulls. Can you imagine someone not claiming a lovely girl like this? I have my theory: It was obvious that she was used for breeding. My thought is that she was used then dumped when they no longer needed her. 

I'm sure she was never showered with love. Probably just the opposite. She never barked, flinched when you moved a little too quickly around her, and it took her quite some time to feel really comfortable around you - to trust that your intentions were to help, not hurt her.

Needless to say, Daisy quickly became a favorite of mine. She wasn't a major cuddler like some of the dogs, but she always greeted me with those big, brown eyes, a tail that wagged as fast as lightning and love, love, love. She'd eventually settle down near me and let me pet her, and after a few months she'd finally crawl into my lap.

Last night, her new mom reported that she's settling in nicely. I think Daisy has finally found the perfect match! A nice, quiet home with someone to love her and keep her safe. And someone to send me picture updates on a frequent basis! 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Strep Zoo Closes PSPCA for Disinfection/Population Break

Strep zoo first appeared at PSPCA's West Hunting Park Avenue facility last June, when six dogs died of the bacterial infection. Although officials thought they'd eradicated the bug, it's back, and it took the life of another dog last month.

Rather than chancing it, the PSPCA has decided to treat all of the dogs preventatively and move them out so a massive cleaning and disinfection effort can take place. The plan is to move the current population into their East Erie storage garage facility for the time being. The problem is, the dogs will not be moved back to the West Hunting Park Avenue facility. Although the current population is asymptomatic, the population break (separating current animals from incoming) is necessary as a secondary precaution to stop the bug in its tracks.

More info, more info, and even more info.

So, moving the dogs to the East Erie facility's storage garage and cleaning the West Hunting Park Avenue facility to reopen it to new animals means they'll essentially have two facilities in East Erie (temporarily) along with the one on West Hunting Park Avenue. They will not have additional staff to tend to the animals. Often, a shelter would have to euthanize their animals rather than do what PSPCA is attempting - they want to keep their dogs and find them homes - foster or permanent - and they're asking for help from wherever they can get it.

If you know of anyone who is willing to foster or ready to adopt, contact the PSPCA! They have literally hundreds of dogs who need your help!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

What About ME?

Last week, Athena's sister Sophie went to a great home.

I never would have expected Sophie to go first, because she's so laid back, primarily black, and she was larger than Athena. She just isn't an in-your-face, hey-you-gotta-adopt-ME dog like Athena is. Oh, yeah. And there's that Pit Bull thing, too. Is she gorgeous, wrinkly, beefy, and snuggly? Oh, YEAH! Just ask her new human child. :)

But Athena just garnered more interest during adoption hours and at off-site adoption events. It was heart-wrenching actually. Everyone held Athena while I held Sophie so she didn't feel slighted. Plus, Athena has this cashmere-colored coat that draws you immediately to her. And then there's that personality. She's just THE dog people would go gaga over. So, I just assumed Sophie would be the dog that grew up at the shelter.

Then WHY is Athena still at the shelter??? There has been interest, we've had applications, but nothing good or serious. (Of course, I'd like to clone Sophie's family, but that's just not possible!)

So tell me, why is this little cutie still waiting for a home?

From YesBiscuit!: Thirteen MS Dogs Now Available for Adoption

YesBiscuit! has an update on 13 of the over 400 pets rescued from a Mississippi shelter in January.

This shelter was designed to hold 60 animals, but when authorities arrived, they found OVER 400 pets living in filthy conditions. You can imagine the horrible neglect of these poor animals. According to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA), the 13 dogs they took in were suffering primarily from "mange, malnourishment, ear and other infections, and heartworm."

Well, the kind folks at HSNEGA have provided care to these 10 dogs and 3 puppies, and as of April 3rd, they are available for adoption.

If you know of anyone in the Georgia area (HSNEGA is located in Gainesville, GA) who is looking for a dog who deserves a great home, tell them about these guys. They've fought long and hard and can use a break from a kind soul. Contact the HSNEGA at 770-532-6617. They are closed on April 4 for the Easter holiday. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

From One Bark at a Time: Neopolitan Mastiffs Belle, Bronx, & Puppies – Can You Help?

Can you help?

Belle and Bronx are Neapolitan Mastiffs, and beauties, too. They have been breed, over and over, by an owner who saw them as an opportunity. Now, the owner has to move, pronto. Enter Kelly, rescue queen and angel. Did I mention that Belle was pregnant, and birth was imminent?

When she arrived at the owner's house, she found two lovable animals who needed a second chance at life, beyond the one that they currently knew. She saw the opportunity to have these gorgeous animals altered, and to give them new lives as companion animals rather than breeding machines. Read the story here at One Bark at a Time.

Of course, most people jump for the puppies and my understanding is that Kelly has received many inquiries on them.

But what about mom and dad? Please consider one of these gentle giants. Wouldn't it be nice if Belle and Bronx could be placed together? :)

General notes about Neapolitan Mastiffs: Neos can be great pets for the experienced owner; they're not for everyone. They're best in an adult-only home, and aren't good around smaller animals (cats or dogs). They're generally peaceful and steady-tempered. I HAVE NOT MET BELLE OR BRONX, so I cannot speak for their temperaments. Please contact Kelly for more information.

If you know people in the Toronto or Ontario area who might be looking for a dog and might be a good fit for either Belle, Bronx, or one of their puppies, please contact Kelly directly.

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