Now more than ever, you are needed to donate your old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter. With financial cut-backs, repairs on shelters are often put off, so if it's drafty, the animals suffer. I know my shelter uses rags to stuff under doors. No kidding! Empty out those closets... this is your chance to get rid of stuff and do something useful!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Free Stuff and We Are Their Voice

From the good 'ol ASPCA. I love this group and am proud to be a monthly supporter.

I have called them twice before; once for a skunk that needed to be rescued and the owner of the building - actually a nursing home - next to me was too slow in getting someone to humanely trap and remove the little stinker to the woods. One of the program staff out of their NYC office got on the horn that day and had the problem taken care of. The nursing home has now placed chicken wire all around their basement window-wells so animals don't keep falling down there. Total problem solved in about 48 hours. The program guy called me back and said they were going to do it, but the call gave them the impetus to do it that day! Program Man didn't hassle him, they just talked and I think having a group look out for animals was enough for the nursing home director.

"We are their voice!"

One time I was going to lessen my month amount, just due to cutting back a bit. I hesitated since I really believe this group is worth every penny I give them. But I had it on my mind, and then the magazine came out with their expose on puppy mills. It was hard to read but I was so proud of them that there is no way I'm lessening my monthly gift. In fact, they got me on the phone a couple of months ago and when I told about how I had thought to lessen my gift and so there was no way I could increase, he still got me to round up $2 extra bucks a month! Nice job, if I say so myself.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Little Guy

Here is my own little guy. Renaldo the Red (like Robert the Bruce). Hey, a little guy's gotta have some heritage and when they are pound puppies, you gotta make it up for them!

I got him from Elmsford Animal Shelter ( in January '07, two months almost to the day after I lost my beloved Miss Maddie, another rescue from Elmsford. Pics on her another time.

Notice in the background is the daschund his "grandmother" bought him for Christmas last year. It sings "Low Rider," and moves even lower than it is normally as the music plays. Renaldo torpedoed it with his pointy nose, knocking it over when I first played the song.

Don't be fooled by his sitting on the floor either. Feh. It's a big act is what it is.

Actually, if you go to the "Happy Endings" section of Elmford's website and go in about three pages, you'll see the bit I wrote about him. It's a really cute picture of him with his favorite bone and it looks like he has a cigar in his mouth and he's smiling. He loves his bully sticks.

(This is a picture off the internet. That's about the size of it, too!)


Saturday, August 29, 2009

ASPCA responds to death of dog left in car by Richmond Virginia head of SPCA

I feel very badly about this case, but it shows you it only take one mishap and your dog will suffer. I hope this lady's husband can one day forgive himself.

First the article, then Virginia SPCA's statement, and then the ASPCA's statement following. Im glad they are forgiving of her. It's terrible but honestly, it's not like she knew and certainly wouldn't have left him in there herself.

Va. SPCA exec's dog dies after 4 hours in hot car

RICHMOND, Va. - An executive for an anti-animal cruelty group says her 16-year-old blind and deaf dog died after she accidentally left him in her hot car for four hours.

Robin Starr, the CEO of the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, says she didn't realize "Louie" was in the car until noon. Starr's husband, Ed, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he put the dog in her car as she got ready for work Aug. 19. She often took the dog to work with her.
Robin Starr took the dog to two clinics, but he died of kidney failure.
The National Weather Service says the temperature had reached 91 degrees by noon that day.
The board of the SPCA says it still supports Starr, who has been CEO since 1997 and does not plan to resign. It was unclear whether she would be charged.


The Board of the Richmond SPCA fully supports our CEO Robin Starr during this time of great personal loss. Robin has been a staunch and unwavering advocate for animal welfare and her efforts have been instrumental in improving the plight of animals since she joined the Richmond SPCA in 1997. We expect Robin to continue her lifesaving work as CEO of the Richmond SPCA for many years to come. We can only hope that this unfortunate accident will help other pet owners avoid similar tragedies in the future with their beloved pets.

ASPCA Responds to Death of Richmond SPCA CEO’s Dog

August 26, 2009

NEW YORK– The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) issued a statement from President and CEO Ed Sayres prompted by the recent death of the Richmond SPCA CEO's dog:

"The ASPCA was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Louie, Richmond SPCA CEO Robin Starr's beloved dog, who died after accidentally being left in Ms. Starr's car for several hours on a hot summer day. The ASPCA truly believes that this incident was a horrible and unfortunate accident.

"Robin has dedicated her professional life to saving animals' lives. An outspoken advocate for the prevention of animal cruelty, Robin has worked diligently with her staff for many years to increase the shelter's adoptions and decrease euthanasia since becoming a no-kill facility – a remarkable achievement for the animals at-risk in the Richmond area and a model for the entire nation. If a terrible tragedy like this could happen to someone like Robin, then it can truly happen to anyone.

"Certainly, the grief that Robin and her family must be going through right now is profound. Anytime you lose a pet, it's tantamount to losing a member of the family – but it is hard to imagine the pain that comes with losing a pet in such a tragic way.

"While some might unfortunately call for Robin's resignation as a result of this horrible accident, it is imperative that we focus on the thousands of animals' lives that she has saved through her work with the Richmond SPCA. Louie's death serves as a tragic lesson – animals should never be left alone in a parked vehicle, and pet parents must stay vigilant when it comes to their pets' safety."


Friday, August 28, 2009

Little Baby Cloe Got Adopted

A sweet very puppyish nine month old brindle female named Cloe (who I dubbed Little Baby Cloe) was adopted by two guys this week from Yonkers Animal Shelter. I'm so thrilled! I used to walk Cloe most days I went to the shelter. What a little love! I like to take them into one of our two outdoor pen areas (one is the adoption area people meet and play with prospective pets and the other is a covered outdoor pen that's big enough for the dog to run around in and which has a dirt floor.) I took Cloe in the bigger pen about two weeks ago and she immediately stood up on the bench in there, though that was intermingled with her romping around. She slid off the bench and got her arm caught on one of the shaped metal things that hold the bench up so you can sit on it, and she just looked at me with guilty eyes that said "am I in trouble?" and "help me" simultaneously. She wasn't hurt or anything, just stuck, by her own doing!

All from a dog that was left in a closet when someone got evicted from their house! Can you imagine? It happens and it doesn't always end as well as this did.

Anyway, since the brindles (one "color" of pittbull) are dark brown and black striped (and usually have some white on their chest and paws), I and other volunteers or staff try to buy them brighter color collars so they get noticed. I'm not sure if we ever got a picture of her with the bright pink hibiscus collar I got, but I know those two guys noticed her as she walked down the street with a volunteer. That's how they first say saw her. Plus, it says to anyone visiting the shelter, someone cares about this dog and yes, even though they are in a pound, they are "pet-able." She looked adorable in that pink collar!

I actually got an email from Leslie, the volunteer coordinator (the one who roped me into all this!) letting me know Cloe was "going home," so I dashed from my office to quickly say goodbye and good luck. I was glad I did; she waggled her whole body at me. It was a good day.

I'm trying to get more pictures of her; the one above she looks a little menacing, but she was anything but! The dogs move around a lot when they are out of the pens so it's hard to get good pictures. But what a mush she is! I hope new owners and new pet are all happy. Best of luck to Little Baby Cloe.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Well, well... and here we have the vicious pit bull, tormentor of little dogs.

(Hey, sometimes it happens, but not in this video!)


And here is another story about a little guy who saved the day. I'm making up for my Mr. Big post with stuff about Little Misters.

Here is the Big Hero, ChiChi:

And finally, as I write this, in the background is America's Funniest Videos and some person sent in a tape of one dog marrying another, and yes, they were both chihauhaus. The bride wore white, the groom skirmed in his mom's arms but did have on a tuxedo!

Today, life is as it should be.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Shelter in the City. Meet Mr. Big.

Shelter in the City...

The City of Yonkers that is!

But hey, to you folks outside the Northeast, it's probably all the same anyway.

So meet Mr. Big.

He is the "New Caesar," meaning he's huge! He's demanding, too, barking when you come nearby to make sure he gets his treat. I actually hurry up and give him his so I can take my time and feed the mother-daugther combination in the pen next to him. Then he's quiet, for about a second! So I bring two treats, one for before and one after (clearly he's better at this than me). Apparently, he's well behaved and calm when he comes out.

They never do what you expect, do they?

We get all kinds of folks calling for dogs they see posted on Caesar was adopted by a retired homicide detective who wanted "a man's dog." He specifically did not want a dog that was "a chihauhau or something." So he and Caesar went home together and now we get emails telling us how Caesar eats out of his granddaughter's hand ("like a lamb.")

Now Mr. Big is the new Caesar. Why don't you come around sometime? But beware, you'll be buying the dinner. No dutch treat with this guy.

Click the title of this post to go to Mr. Big's page at for video and other pictures.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

President of ASPCA speaks about Michael Vick

Ed Sayres: The Road Ahead for Michael Vick

After careful consideration, we have decided to speak out now about Michael Vick because of the special circumstances involving the ASPCA. Several months ago, Mr. Vick's PR representatives approached the ASPCA to help educate America about the heinous act of dog fighting following his release from prison. We were the first animal welfare organization given the opportunity to work with Mr. Vick but immediately turned him down due to the unique knowledge we had of his indescribable and barbaric acts of animal cruelty where he and his associates savagely electrocuted and beat dogs to death after they lost their brutal fights.

The ASPCA's general consultation and our specific role in processing the forensic evidence in this case were key elements that resulted in Mr. Vick and the three other defendants all pleading guilty to felony crimes. As such, this organization and I personally have seen the acts of cruelty committed by Mr. Vick first hand-- acts so heinous that the public has never laid witness to them. And now that Mr. Vick has spoken out for the first time since his release from prison, the ASPCA wants to make clear why this organization chose not to partner with him in his supposed rehabilitation efforts. We are simply not convinced that Mr. Vick has demonstrated compassion toward animals as living beings or the necessary remorse for his criminal actions against them.

60 Minutes provided a convicted criminal a national platform to selfishly focus on his own recovery when, in fact, the animals, the victims who cannot speak for themselves, should have received the attention. CBS did a grave disservice to the animal welfare community by failing to show the ugly truth of Mr. Vick’s actions and the horrors of dog fighting and animal cruelty in this country. The continued attention paid to Mr. Vick is only reinforcing that criminal behavior does not destroy fame and fortune.

The ASPCA works every day to prevent animal cruelty, in the absence of tougher, more consistent laws and lack of education and awareness. We serve as the animals' voice, as millions of animals suffer alone and in silence because they cannot speak out against their perpetrators. When a crime against animals is committed, the ASPCA's priorities are to build a sound case that results in successful prosecution of the perpetrators, as well as the rehabilitation of the victims. Our direct involvement in the Vick case yielded success in both areas, and in fact, we work every day to ensure perpetrators like him are behind bars.

Although Mr. Vick has served his time and is now entitled to employment, the ASPCA was strongly against him being able to immediately re-join the NFL, to play alongside highly paid elite athletes who are looked upon as our heroes and role models. Today, it is difficult to see him in the uniform of a Philadelphia Eagle because of the startling lack of judgment and moral character he has demonstrated over the past several years. It is questionable whether he will have any credibility as an educator on the dog fighting issue. The ASPCA welcomes a national conversation on animal cruelty and especially dog fighting, but questions Mr. Vick’s ability to lead it. The ASPCA will heighten its efforts to bring this national travesty to the surface through meaningful education and discussion that brings the hard, cold sickening reality of a fight into stark relief for those who might wonder why all the fuss about a dog fight. A true national discussion would focus not on one man and his crimes, but on a nation that allows dog fighting to happen every day without a national outcry. This is where the ASPCA will focus its energies in the coming months.

Mr. Vick has indeed been given another chance to play football with the Philadelphia Eagles. It is important to state that the ASPCA is extremely disappointed that owner Jeff Lurie hired him for his team before it was clear that Mr. Vick has truly developed a sense of compassion for his victims, the animals whose lives were taken by him. The ASPCA believes in second chances-- in redemption-- but that second chance has to be earned through contrition, conversion to the cause of animal welfare and finally, through hard work. Mr. Vick has only now begun his journey toward a second chance. It will be a long and hard road for him, and while we wish him well, we also want to remind the nation that the work of ridding the nation of dog fighting is as compelling a story as one man’s path to redemption. Let’s not forget to focus on the animals, the crimes that are still being committed every day in the United States. What are we, as a nation, going to do about that? How are we going to express our outrage long past the first time Mr. Vick takes the field in Philadelphia?

Compassion for animals is the hallmark of the ASPCA and the ultimate message that we hope is gleaned from this horrific story. While this case has garnered the national spotlight because of Mr. Vick’s notoriety, it is the end result that will matter most. Will Mr. Vick have learned something—and taken the opportunity he has been granted to impart to his legion of fans the importance of compassion toward animals? Certainly, only time will offer us an answer—but we will be watching.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photo Essay on the Golf Tournament- Dinner

The event was a huge success!! A great time was had by all!!

(UPDATE: to date, almost $17,000 has been raised from this event, and we are still counting!)

Kay Pistone Carucci (who heads up the effort to raise the needed funds for the New Yonkers Animal Shelter,) Augie Cambria - Commissioner of the City Dept. of Parks - and volunteer committee member, Mayor Phil Amicone (who attended and is genuinely serious about getting this shelter built,) Mike Silvestri (who donated our beautiful venue, absolutely delicious food, and the time of his highly-courteous staff,) and a bevy of committed volunteer committee members are all to be congratulated on a job WELL DONE.

More details on what we raised in the days to come. For now, enjoy the pics... (taken with my cell phone!)
Kay Pistone Carucci and Mayor Phil Amicone (above)
Our clients (below)

Kay and the very wonderful Mike Silvestri (above)
The view at the Beautiful Riverview
The room (check out those paw print balloons!)

Lots of donated gifts (complete list of donors to be posted soon)

Hole Sponsor (below) (This is the store of Darlene, the shelter staff member who held her own fundraiser last week - Cause for Paws)

Kay with more volunteers: (sorry - I'm still getting to know names!)

Our beautiful venue, with a staff that really cared and made our evening special (thanks!)

Our clients

More to follow in the days ahead. Thanks to all who helped bring this wonderful event to fruition! We are that much closer to our $2.3M goal.

Official New Yonkers Animal Shelter website:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sophie Goes To Iraq

I do a little soldier support, through an organization called Soldiers' Angels ( so I relish the chance to combine both my loves, supporting soldiers and anything that concerns dogs. In the future I will be posting more stories that focus on dogs coming home with soldiers, fostering dogs while their soldier-owners are deployed, and the like. I had not considered I would have a chance to post a story like this! Enjoy!

(And, this is a Humane Society dog, so if you read my Michael Vick post, you'll see I'm sore at them but do see the value of much of their work).

Homeless for less than a day, shelter dog Sophie, a 2-year-old Australian shepherd-Queensland heeler mix, was handpicked to accompany the California National Guard, 49th Military Police Brigade, when they deploy to Iraq.
“We are looking for a little bit of home away from home,” said Sgt. Arlyce Baty, of the 49th, stationed in Fairfield. “She will be a morale dog and mascot.”
Sophie came to a local humane society as a result of owner release; they said they were moving and could not keep her. It took her about two hours before she found herself a new home and lifestyle. On Aug. 7, Baty picked up Sophie, and the two headed to New Jersey for three weeks of training. From there, Sophie will accompany Baty and more than 100 soldiers as they head to Kuwait, then on to Iraq.
Sophie was handpicked for the task because she has several qualities that make her perfect for service.“She’s calm, relaxed and well-mannered,” Rogers explained "This is the first time Baty’s brigade will have a dog as part of the unit, she said. “We are really excited that our dog can be of service,” said Casie Jachetta, director of marketing for the Humane Society.
Though Sophie won’t be sniffing out explosives or drugs, she will contribute a much-needed service to soldiers stationed in the Middle East. “She will provide some comfort and companionship to the unit,” Baty said. “This is my second deployment to Iraq. It just might make it a little bit easier having a little piece of home with us.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Story of Caesar

Click the post title for a story in LoHud, a section of the Westchester Journal Review (that is very kind to us and always posts about our dogs).

This story is about one of the dogs that got adopted from Yonkers Animal Shelter this past week. Caesar was a staff favorite (they all sort of are) and in particular I can tell you G the Volunteer took an interest in him. G could be your Grandma and there she was, walking this gigantic pit bull, even though her knee is weak and they both would sort of hobble down the road. I thought of her when I heard Caesar got adopted and wondered if she'd be upset. Nope, or if she was, she didn't show it!

Read on...
It's a heartwarming story, and catnip to us animal people.

Congrats to all at the Yonkers Animal Shelter for taking good care of Caesar, and in particular Leslie, who does her best to ferret out the very best adoptive parents she can for our dogs. Well done!

Pit Bull Ban Protest-Rally - August 25th in DENVER,CO

From the ASPCA Community Boards:

If you are a lover of dogs, a lover of pit bulls, and / or a lover of true justice... Join me and a few thousand of my closest friends as we rally against Denver's illogical ban on Pit Bulls.

Where: Denver City and County Building lawn, 1437 Bannock Street

When: August 25, 2009 1:00pm

What: No Dogs Please... BUT, bring an empty leash and collar symbolic of all the dogs fallen or exiled

Notes: This will be a PEACEFUL PROTEST. No rioting, no property damage, no stopping or interferring with normal traffic, etc.

Contact: For more info, contact Sherri Moore at 303-396-5327 or e-mail

Monday, August 17, 2009

Humane Society and Michael Vick... what do you think?

I have hesitated writing anything about this subject for a few reasons. Leaving those aside for the moment, I want to share some things with you that convinced me to publish this today.

Three months ago I was sitting with my cousin Len in Nevada, while I was out there for a week of family related events, and we were out having a drink and catching up. He has a two year old, had gotten married three years ago, and I had not been out with just him in years. We discussed many things, and somehow made it on to the subject of Michael Vick and the potential of his being reinstated in the National Football League. I was incredulous at the idea of it; Len said to be ready because it was bound to happen.

A short time ago I began volunteering at a local animal shelter. For years I had dropped off certain items there; linens, dog food, pillows, and anything I thought they could use. I trained myself to not look at the dogs because I would go home with images of them in my head and be sad I couldn't take another one home. More on my beginning to volunteer at a shelter here (

I was afraid as the next person of pit bulls, which make up the majority of dogs at many shelters, and mine was no exception. But I have learned over time that this breed, which certainly has vicious dogs that probably, after much abuse, cannot be rehabilitated, and some that can, most have been painted with the same brush as fighting dogs, when all they really are is homeless. On top of not having a home, they have the distinction of being dubbed "a mean breed" by a sensationalist media.

I am no expert in pit bulls and I am certainly still learning. Here is what I know: without being abused, they are trainable, friendly, happy-go-lucky dogs, that like to play, are affectionate, and have personalities the same as other dogs I've adopted. They are extremely loyal. What happens after they've been neglected or abused? They are skittish, have trouble bonding, and can be other-dog aggressive. Are they all that way? No. Are some? Honestly, yes. And you hear first hand from people at shelters - who have no interest in someone adopting a dog they cannot handle - what that dog's issues are. They'd rather be honest than have you leave the dog somewhere or waste their time and precious resources with an unsuccessful adoption.

I feel badly that these dogs remain at the shelter while people move past their pens. They want so much to be loved and given a chance; you can see it. Were it not for all the volunteers who walk and nurture those dogs, many would end up not being adoptable. But that's not what is happening; they are getting adopted, albeit slowly and with much effort. Over the last two weeks, eight dogs I know of found a permanent spot. Almost all were adopted outright by owners, and two went to breed-specific rescues (a whole other part of animal rescue that exists and which has its own multitude of commited volunteers).

That's pretty good, and it happened with a multi-pronged approach:

1) Properly caring for them at the shelter;

2) Allowing for a good volunteer program with a lot of training so the dogs can be socialized (making them better, adoptable pets);

3) Having a trainer on hand to work with any dogs who have issues as well as working with those people adopting them to find a good match

4) And finally, doing follow up.

I continue to be impressed by the ingenuity and commitment of the numerous volunteers, people who do even more than walk the dogs. One example: dogs continue to appear in Pet of the Week stories in local papers and sure enough, once people get to know them, inquiries begin coming in, and the task of matching the dog to their eventual owner begins in earnest. There is a lot of back room work that happens to pull the whole pet-adoption world together.

Back to Michael Vick. I, like everyone, abhor what he did. More so now that I participate in certain rescue-driven dog discussion boards and occasionally see pictures of dogs terribly maimed by dog fighting (and were what is known as "bait dogs" - enough said,) but who have been adopted by some loving soul who is taking up a collection for an operation, finding a foster home, or reporting in on a dog they adopted and who now makes a great rescue story. I'm talking dogs who needed breathing apparatus installed where their mouths used to be, all due to dog fighting. So back to our friend.

I happen to know Michael Vick is forgiven by The Only One Who Can Do It Right. I am somewhat surprised by Vick's lack of messing up this re-entry into polite society. He's either very sincere or has been coached well. I know a lot of us are upset at him and will remain so, especially because we see the aftermath of stories like his, where dogs end up in shelters who shouldn't be there, and who undergo treatment that should never have happened, or in most cases, are shunned by a public that is so petrified of them, they languish and are difficult to adopt out. Mind you, I'm not suggesting if you have young kids you should go and adopt a full grown pit bull with an unknown history. I'm saying some people are in a position to do this, some are not. But all of them, when un-abused, really and honestly make fine pets. Michael Vick being reinstated says to everyone "you can do whatever you want and you can be PR'ed out of trouble." There are firms who specialize in rehabilitating people who fell off the good-citizen wagon. I'm not opposed to people fixing their image, which will only stick if they are sincere. I'm opposed to the lack of consequences in our society where if you have enough money, whatever you do is "forgiven." Why can't he ask for public forgiveness and not play pro-football again? Because there is money to be made, and like a lot of things that can be both good and bad, greed in this case won the day. By Vick being reinstated into the NFL, courtesy of an extensive PR campaign, this whole incident ended up being nothing more than a challenge for a newly borne cottage industry. I offer an example of what I think should have happened in a comment I made at Philanthropy Today, an industry magazine (and its online link below) that comes through my office daily. I should have spent more time saying that I applaud his wanting to move on with his life, but I don't think a person ought to re-enter their old life with such aplomb after such a fall from Grace, and I don't think organizations such as the NFL should welcome them back. At a certain point, the whole slippery slope gets worse and worse. Where does it end? Do we next deal with an example of this level of abuse happening to people and we excuse that, too? We're on our way if the ad people have anything to do with it.

In this case, and in what is by now a well known fact, the Humane Society of the United States has constructed an anti-dog fighting campaign around their interaction with and participation in the rehabilitation of Michael Vick, orchestrated by his PR firm. For a while I was ambivalent about this. I thought perhaps there was value in an animal protection organization making lemonade out of lemons, especially if it resulted in honest curtailing of dog fighting. But the truth is, when looked at in the bigger picture, what has really been reinforced to young people or anyone participating in dog-fighting? If you are famous and made an egregious mistake (or in this case, a series of them very deliberately), does the 18 months one did in prison exonerate a person from the criminal behavior they exhibited? Does having served their time completely remove all stain of the terrible crimes he committed? Does it alleviate the issue of thousands of dogs in shelters who make up the remnants of actions such as his, even indirectly? And are we reinforcing a negative image by yet another person in the NFL (or in society in general, for that matter) being let off the hook in a well publicized campaign designed to get maximum coverage for the parties involved?

Okay, here is the article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Click the link for the comments I and others made, which put at least one person out. I felt I owed a statement of sorts, saying that just because someone has a nice shiny PR campaign, and though I do think they ought to be forgiven, I do not think that means they ought to be reinstated into a job that is highly visible, sets an example, and reinforces, yet again, that if you're rich and well liked, you can do what ever you want and someone will bail you out. Not everyone thinks this campaign was a great idea and several of us are annoyed at the Humane Society for participating. Was I hot-headed in saying I won't support them anytime soon? A little. They're a good group (notice their link on this blog) but I'm put out by this and that's my two cents. In my comment I offer what I think they should have done. I'd be interested in knowing what you think and I have an open comments thread attached to this post. Thanks.

August 17, 2009

Give and Take: Humane Society's President Talks About Michael Vick

The president of the Humane Society of the United States shares his thoughts on “A Humane Nation” about the return of Michael Vick, the National Football League player who was convicted of dog fighting, notes Give and Take, the Chronicle’s roundup of the best blog posts about the nonprofit world.
Monday August 17, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

More Updates From Yonkers Animal Shelter

Darlene's fundraiser (Cause for Paws) raised a couple of thousand dollars for the new shelter this past Sunday at the JFK Marina in Yonkers. Pretty good! "Next year will be even better," she says. I was sorry I could not go but was having my apartment painted the day after. All the volunteers I spoke to who went said it was a lot of fun. Glad the rain held out. Keep in mind Darlene is a staff member and used her weekend to raise money for the dogs and cats.

Six dogs were either adopted or rescued this week from the Shelter. That's on top of at least two that I know of from last week. What a banner week it has been! Some of the adopted included Ceasar (The Giant Brindle Male Pit Who Stole Volunteer Gayle's Heart) and Bette the Boxer, both of whom have nice homes tonight. Tomorrow another woman is adopting a dog to go with the male pit bull she has already, who only likes young females. haha. The two dogs played today in the pen where prospective adoptive parents and their maybe-dogs play and get to know one another.

There is an adoption event for cats tomorrow taking place at the Petco in Scarsdale on Central Park Avenue. Next week I'll report on how that went. It's interesting to be on the shelter-end those events now, which I have seen for many years. Those events are how I got my last three dogs.

The website for Yonkers Animal Shelter is going to start including Happy Tails, a reporting of sorts of all the dogs who get adopted or rescued. It's more than you think. When they get that up and running, I'll do a post on it. I'm excited because I think people should see all the very positive and dedicated work happening there. As a still-new volunteer, I am duly impressed. This is an unglamorous place if there ever was one (hence, the need for a new shelter) but the level of commitment and care on the part of volunteers who supplement the care given by the very-able staff who go above and beyond, is an interesting sight indeed. I never expected so many people to be working so hard to make sure dogs gets adopted, and into the right homes. I am so completely pleased that I began walking dogs there two months ago, I cannot tell you. It has added a lot to my life, and it's much more happy than sad.

On that note, YAS's Golf Tournament is fast approaching! August 20th - next Thursday - golfers will tee off at 12:30 at Split Rock and will dine at The Riverview that evening (see post below). There will be many prizes and gifts for attendees, and they include the many gifts solicited by the volunteer committee working to put the event together. This week I had the pleasure of talking to Bronxville store owners twice to ask them to make a gift. Seven came through and there might have easily been more but I do have a job! Next year, if we do this or some other fundraiser, I will start much in advance. This wasn't bad for one and a half weeks. People were genuinely interested in knowing about the new shelter, and happy to help.

Please join me in thanking the following stores in Bronxville, NY (an incomplete list by far, as I do not yet know all the stores who donated but will be doing a full post on them). They could not have been nicer about offering their help.

Maison Rouge Salon

Village Day Spa

Tryforos & Pernice Florist

Underhills' Crossing Restaurant

Harry's of Hartsdale Restaurant

Blue Blue Mexican Restaurant

Womrath Book Shop

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thanks to the Bronxville storeowners who donated items to the Golf Tournament to benefit the Yonkers Animal Shelter

Today during my lunchtime I canvassed Bronxville with flyers for the upcoming Golf Tournment (on August 20). Three stores said yes off the bat! A few more are thinking about it and I will follow up later in the week. Many were genuinly interested in where the shelter is located and where it's going. Speaking of that, the new site will be near Stew Leonard's and Costco on Route 87.

Thanks to Village Day Spa (

Womrath Bookshop (

and Tryforos Florist (

UPDATE: Thanks to Underhill's Crossing! (whose website I will look up and post here soon).

Your generosity and total lack of hesitation is not only welcomed but appreciated! I will be publishing a complete list of donors and benefactors of the new shelter.

Committee members have been doing this work for a long time. I got lucky today with three hits.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Building Hope, The Campaign for the New Yonkers Animal Shelter

I attended a meeting last night about the upcoming Golf Tournament being held at Split Rock Golf Course ( on Thursday, August 20th to benefit the New Yonkers Animal Shelter. The new shelter - when it's built - will replace the almost 50 year-old shelter at 120 Fullerton Avenue in Yonkers, New York (currently where Mr. Willie, Miss Sophie, and Hannah Banana - et all - all live).

When: Thursday, August 20th
Where: Split Rock Golf Course
Registration: Noon

Tee-time: 12:30pm
Cost: $600 per team, $150 per individual

There will be a silent auction (they are still accepting gifts), a 50-50 contest, and other prizes.

After the tournament a dinner is being held at The Riverview in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York (a beautiful historic town along the Hudson River), which is being hosted by Riverview owner and generous benefactor of the shelter, Mike Silvestri, along with the New Yonkers Animal Shelter Committee (who I had the pleasure of meeting last night). The committee is headed up by Dr. Kay Pistone Carucci, who invited me to join the committee, which I have done. Though this event is only two weeks off, I assured Kay that I would help with the next event they plan.

Dinner tickets are $75 per person.

Even if you don't play golf, you are welcome to attend the dinner. Bring a friend! The Riverview is gorgeous. Mike supplied the committee with dinner and dessert as we met on location, planning the last minute details.

Checks can be made out to New Yonkers Animal Shelter, c/o Dept. of Parks & Recreation, 285 Nepperhan Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10701. They can be reached at 914-377-6450.

More info to come.

Check out The Riverview:

Check out the Split Rock Golf Course:

Check out the New Yonkers Animal Shelter official site:

Inmates Fostering Dogs Before Adoption

I have heard of this before and I think it is generally thought to be good for those in prison to work with animals as doing so both calms and relaxes, and contributes to good mental health. I would be curious what dog rescue people think of it! I think this looks like a good program.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Repurpose Of This Blog

Slight change. Given the many shelter and pet-related issues out there, I am going to use this blog as a general purpose advocacy site instead of only advocating for one shelter. Since starting this blog-project, I keep coming across compelling stories that need telling and I know that interesting (I hope) narrative coupled with facts and information will keep people visiting. This week we had visitors from London, several from areas in Canada, Wisconsin, Maine, Missouri, Los Angeles, New York (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Westchester), Michigan, North Carolina, Conneticut, Ohio, and a bunch that I could not identify. It makes sense that I attempt to reach a larger audience, and my hope is that we together can build a wider base of support for shelter animals. Everyone can make some contribution, either in time, money, ideas they are willing to see through to fruition, and lobbying your local legislators when they need it.

I'll still be walking the sweeties at Yonkers Animal Shelter ( ), so you can expect to see other stories about those dogs and cats. However, now there will now also be stories on rescue organizations, issues that need lobbying and for which I will post information, notable items in the news, and fundraisers that need supporting. There are a lot of things that need doing and I think it is best to focus my energy in more than one place.

Still, I have a special place in my heart for Yonkers Animal Shelter and in the next couple of days I'll post information about upcoming events. Most notable is their upcoming Golf Tournament and Dinner on August 20, which is raising money for their new shelter - a desperately needed facility if there ever was one. YAS was literally built in the 50's. Here is a link. They are poor in facility but rich in volunteers and staff that go above and beyond. On that subject, don't forget Darlene's Cause for Paws Poker fundraiser this Sunday, August 9th (

Tomorrow I am off from work and will spend half the day running errands and half walking dogs. Same with Saturday. I can't think of a better way to spend days off! I always look forward to seeing them. And I got my shipment of special bison treats (and other things on clearance from Drs. Foster and Smith). Mr. Willie should be glad. And Miss Sophie, and Cloe, and Hannah Banana, and George The Nice Calm Dog, Debbie and Dixie, and Pudgie - who likes his toys, and Spuds The Giant RCA Dog.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

George The Nice Calm Dog

Meet George, featured pet today from the Yonkers Animal Shelter.
George is a middle-aged man, at 8 years old (so he's 56, past the 50-I gotta-be-me-thing but not so old he doesn't still turn heads.) The ladies like him well enough. He is mild mannered, quiet, and just a nice dog. He doesn't make a lot of noise, he patiently waits his turn for a walk, goes back in his pen when it's time. Come and meet him!

120 Fullerton Avenue Yonkers
New York 10704

Wait, who are you? Let me take a sniff.

Oh, okay, it's you... cool!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good for this lady

Woman saves Chihuahua from hanging.

Here is the Link:

Thank you, Krisna Torres!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Help Us Help Rex

Rex is a five-year-old German Shepherd whose owners were discovered shopping for a vet who would euthanize this beautiful dog. He was severely neglected by his owner who would leave him crated for days, often with him wearing both a bark collar and muzzle because his barking "upset the neighbors". When he was finally allowed outside (on a short chain), the neighborhood kids would tease Rex and throw things at him. Pet Rescue took this dog in and boarded him in a private kennel where caring and talented handlers worked with him daily.

Rex recently was granted permanent residence at Pack Ethic, a rehabilitation facility in Upstate New York. There, he continues his rehabilitation and will soon be a full member of the pack. Until it is safe for Rex to interact with the pack, the trainers are requesting a large outdoor kennel for Rex to learn proper behaviors from the existing pack members.

The cost of the kennel is $1,500 and it will be used, not only for Rex, but also for other dogs that may need to learn from the pack!

To make a donation towards Rex’s Run, please visit:

Care to foster a shelter dog?

Check this out:

The dog pictured in the above article is one of ours! He's very nice and someone put a nice camouflage collar on him recently.

If you can help, here is an organization designed to connect you to a dog or cat that needs fostering:

Jenny’s Hope Rescue, Inc
A 501(C) 3 non-profit

Local Rescue Needs Foster Homes

Jenny’s Hope Rescue is helping dogs of all ages, and is in desperate need of additional foster homes in the NY/CT area in order to save as many lives as possible.

If you can foster a dog, large or small, please contact Jenny's Rescue at:

Phone: 914-242-1812

Web site:, where the fostering application is readily available.

All too often time runs out. Help Us. Help Them.