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!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Honoring Temple Grandin

I confess I had not heard the name Temple Grandin too much before this year, not that that means anything. And now I see her all over, even before the film of her life starring the tremendous Clare Danes was due out this past February. She's speaking at a college I know, she's in my latest Bark Magazine, and now the film about her has won seven Emmy awards.

The American Humane Association has a piece about her and that's how I learned the film won.

From their website:
Temple Grandin paints a picture of a young woman’s perseverance and determination while struggling with the isolating challenges of autism. Grandin became a successful doctor in animal science through her unique connection to animals and is now a world-renowned consultant in the field. She is widely recognized within the animal welfare and livestock-handling industries as a pioneer in the ethical treatment of animals.
She's a big deal! She is credited with developing humane handling methods for livestock. Lately there has been much made of autistic kids responding to animals. More on that another time...

Scroll down for this clip from the movie, complete with interviews, and a good explanation of what she has contributed.

And, here's a bit of cheer:

In producing the film, HBO also engaged the services of American Humane’s Film & Television Unit, which is the exclusive monitoring and granting agency to award the coveted “No Animals Were Harmed”® end-credit disclaimer.

Another blogger saw the same article in Bark and had the same feeling I did!

I'm starting a category on this blog to recognize her work, and to encourage myself to learn about what she has to teach us.


Strut Your Mut - NYC's and LA's biggest dog walk ever

New York City – Sunday, September 26th

Pier 84/Hudson River Park

New York, NY
Join a Dog Pack to raise money
for Best Friend's activities,
which are many,
both nationally and locally (one of their specialties!)
Strut Your Mutt Dates and registration info:
September 19 in Los Angeles
September 26 in New York

On-line registration will close on September 17 at noon (for Los Angeles), and on September 24 at noon (for New York). After these dates, you are welcome to register on-site at the event for an additional fee. On-site registration is $35 for adults and $25 for kids who want t-shirts.

On-site registration (and check-in) will open at 6:30am for both events, and the Strut will start at 8:30am.

For questions about registering for Strut Your Mutt, contact Best Friends Events:

Phone: 435-644-4481

Monday, August 30, 2010

Column on No-Kill From Best Friends Animal Society

In keeping with wanting to highlight more organizations that factor large in the lives of shelter pets, once again, here is something from Best Friends Animal Society, the Grand Dame of animal rescue.

Here at Best Friends, we know the realities,
too. We can’t bring every homeless
dog or cat to this sanctuary. But since the
no-kill movement took off, a dozen or so
years ago, the number of animals being
killed in shelters every year has dropped
from 17 million to just under five million.

Read the full column by Michael Mountain:

And a related article on the no-kill movement, spurred on by an honest question about what to do with all the animals if we move towards a no-kill model for sheltering (also from Best Friends):


A little John Denver is good for everyone!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bella Gets Sprung

A friend on facebook forwarded this to me. I've seen the pic before but apparently this video below of Bella being sprung from the shelter explains the happy face.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Labrador and Dolphin Playing


No Pet Left Behind

During this Fifth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, let us remember some of the good that came out of the bad.

The Federal PETS Act of 2006
Because of the public outcry after Katrina, States across the nation are following suit because of the groundbreaking federal Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006. The PETS Act, as it is called, mandates local governments to include household pets in their disaster plans, ensuring that pets will never again be left behind. The measure sent a clear message to local and state governments that what happened in New Orleans should never happen again, because people will put their own lives in jeopardy to stay with their pets.
Via Best Friends Animal Society:


Remembering Danny Bampton

While I missed the one year anniversary of his too-early death, I do want to mention this fine young man who lost his life while helping an animal. I knew the anniversary was coming up and am annoyed I didn't post this on the actual date (August 19th).

Thinking about his family at this time... and about Danny.



Even in mythology, dogs' loyalty and simple but true make-up was recognized.

This is a copy of a plate by Jean-Auguste Barre (French Artist, 1811 - 1896) of Odysseus and Argos. It is presently in the Louvre Museum, Paris, France. It is not copyrighted. It is in the public domain.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Georgia Man Charged With Shooting Dog With Arrow

Hunter Laron Morris of 1235 Brock Circle in Ringgold, Georgia.

Charged with shooting Muppet the dog with an arrow.

Muppet has shaved areas on both sides of his body, where the veterinarian removed the arrow, which pierced his body from side to side. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)

Five-month-old Muppet, struck in the left side by an arrow on Aug.16, is expected to fully recover. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)

Read more: CatWalkChatt - Ringgold man charged with shooting dog with arrow:


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Grey Muzzle Organization

Sarah Sue (on the right) was abandoned at a shelter in California and this little 11-year-old dog almost didn't make it. Muttville, a senior dog rescue in San Francisco, took her in and used their Grey Muzzle grant to pay for her medical care. Sarah Sue was adopted by Gene and now has a safe life with new friends. Grey Muzzle funds the Seniors-for-Seniors adoption program at Muttville.

I have mentioned The Grey Muzzle Organization before but want to starting focusing this blog a little more on organizations that are doing great work. This is one. I have heard them spoken about by dog rescue folk, and the resounding consensus is that everyone is thrilled they exist! If you have some spare dollars to give to a group, this one is surely worth your consideration.

A bit about them (from their website):
You may find it inconceivable then that a treasured member of the family would be tossed away when signs of old age appear, when extra care is required, or after the kids leave home. But this is an all too common occurrence. Old dogs are left at shelters, or simply turned loose or left behind, confused and frightened. Abandonment can also happen right at home: old dogs who are no longer wanted are sometimes banished to the garage or exiled to the backyard with little human companionship. And sadly, sometimes people or families who love their old dog are forced to give the dog up due to difficult circumstances.
...The Grey Muzzle Organization improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, and other non-profit groups nationwide.
....Examples of programs that Grey Muzzle supports are shown below. Read about the organizations and programs we support, from Washington to California to Missouri to New York.
•In-home hospice care programs for senior dogs who are not adoptable
•Seniors for Seniors adoption programs: Helping senior citizens adopt senior dogs

•Medical assistance and beds for old dogs at shelters and rescues

Read more:

I always love an organization that has a page to list its values!
Values of The Grey Muzzle Organization:
1.We believe that old dogs contribute positively to our quality of life and have much to teach us about patience, respect, responsibility, loyalty and unconditional love
2.We believe that every senior dog deserves to live out their golden years, months, weeks or even days in a place of love, security and peace
3.We believe that dogs are not a disposable commodity; rather, they depend on us to care for them through all stages of their lives
4.We believe that at times it is appropriate to make an end of life decision based on a deteriorating quality of life or if the dog is harmful to itself or others
5.We believe in working with diverse organizations from across the county that share our fundamental values
6.We believe in honest and open decision making that allows us to be accountable to our donors and the organizations we support
7.We believe in providing educational support, advocacy, and sharing of best practices for those who support senior dogs

Again, if you have a few bucks to toss their way and you feel for all the senior dogs that in this economic climate are abandoned at dog shelters (and in fact, far too often even in flush times,) then please give this group a look. So you know, when a dog is left at a shelter as an "owner surrender," those dogs are put down first since the shelter people know no one is looking for him or her. Sometimes its that day, sometimes they have three days, but rarely longer. So, the idea that if you leave your old dog at a shelter someone else will adopt your companion of twelve years, is simply not true. Older dogs are more difficult to adopt out. People wrongly believe they cannot change (they can adapt quite nicely, despite the old adage to the contrary), and they come to you mellow and seasoned. Yes, they will require more money in medical care than a younger dog (though not always!) but someday so will we all. Sadly, even diligent and enthusiastic rescue groups cannot keep up with the sheer numbers of the six million pets that die in shelters every year. Many of these are seniors, and a good number are saved by The Grey Muzzle Organization. I'm glad they exist.



Monday, August 23, 2010

Post Transport Sunday

Okay, that was a cat-nip hit! Eight little lives all now at their destinations.  Mama Molly and her five pups (who alternated between sleeping and napping, all snuggled up), an adult cocker/lab mix named Rocky or BB, we weren't sure but he answered to both and he liked rubbing his cocker-ear on your hand to be petted. Another 4 month old pup named Savannah, who was just such a sweet thing, and who wanted my hand to chew the whole time. I drove down to Cranberry, NJ, met up with a fellow rescue buddy in the parking lot of Marriot Courtyard. We traded crates, walked the babies, gave water, put down towels so everyone had something comfy to sit on, and off I went. Then a few hours later, thanks to George Washington Bridge traffic, I met up with another rescue person in Elmsford NY, where the same routine happened. By the end of last night, the dogs were all where they needed to go. Everyone wanted to adopt Rocky/BB, but we all have too many pets as it is. 24 legs of transport organized by one angel of a person.

Mission accomplished. Eight little lights that will NOT go out due to apathy or neglect.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Transport Sunday

This is a rare occasion. I'm forgoing my usual Sunday at the animal shelter to do something that might be more important in the scheme of things. I'm helping to transport three adult dogs, one of whom is a Mama to four puppies! They are moving their way up the eastern coast and headed to Maine (and points on the way), where they all have home or agreed-to fosters. Wish me luck. The puppies will be in a crate, so will skiddish Mom, and the other two loose dogs are a 15lb. pup and an adult, both of whom get along.

There are 24 legs to this trips, and I am just one. Thank goodness all these people agreed to spend their Sunday doing this. Thank you to the people organizing it!! Now seven little lives will be saved.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Handicapped Dog Puts Best Foot Forward

Lucy, a 4-year-old mixed breed whose back legs were paralyzed in a car accident when she was still a pup, became the first handicapped dog to scale the highest peak in the northeastern United States Wednesday morning.


Heartworm Treatment and Video

The above video is actually a newer treatment option for dealing with an advanced case of heartworm. Heartworms take over the cardiac cavity and constrict its ability to pump blood.

I'm bringing Mr. Wiggins - the minipin mix I adopted from Louisiana in March - in for his second treatment for heartworm today. He'll stay over night and receive a shot of melarsomine today and also one tomorrow. Originally we thought he'd be getting one shot and would come home the next day. I could have picked him up but since one of the stipulations is that treated dogs remain calm for four weeks afterwards, a near impossibility with a two year old dog, I wanted him to stay at the vet's office. They said he would be sore at the injection site but I didn't see evidence of that.

I adopted Wiggins from a rural dog shelter in Louisiana in March. I knew he had the beginnings of heartworm, or heartworm larvae, which are gotten from a dog ingesting a mosquito. As such, the general guideline was that he be treated with his monthly Heartgard pill. I was to get him checked two months after adopting him, and that's when we discovered he actually had adult worms. He went on an antibiotic for three weeks, to kill off any infections and prepare him for the heartworm treatment. Just prior to his treatment, the doctors recommended xrays to see if his heart was enlarged or if his lungs had been affected (the heart is right next to the lung cavity and occasionally the worms make their way through). They had not, but I did opt for an additional test, the more expensive echocardiogram so that they could see the actual worms (xrays show the overall organs and the contrasts between shapes or their size, not close up detail). Sure enough, they saw numerous adult worms and the treatment changed from his getting one shot to three.  Since we knew more about the size of the worms, the doctor could, with greater certainty, prescribe treatment, and she opted for it happening over a longer time period (easier on the dog). So I'm glad I spent the extra money have the echocardiogram performed. It gave me confidence in the treatment decisions I was making. It wasn't completely necessary but did give, literally and psychologically (for Mom!), a greater degree of information.

The past four weeks have been busy. Wiggins's (and Renaldo's) walks have had to be shorted greatly since he cannot exert himself, lest one of the now-dead worms that has to dissolve into his system as it breaks down actually break off in pieces and cause a blood clot, which can in turn cause a heart attack or a stroke. This is a major worry. So their walks have been increased by an additional two a day (to six now), though far shorter than before. I also had to pick his toys up so he didn't get any ideas about romping through the house with his squeak toys. I run after him whenever he starts to run around the house annd have to tell him to be calm.

Though that last part has been sad, and we're about to embark on another four week stint of low movement, it'll be worth it!

Any dogs adopted from the south quite possibly have heartworm so know that as you adopt and be prepared to act. If you live elsewhere, be sure to get your dog tested yearly or every other year if you never skip a monthly heartgard pill, and make sure they are medicated all year round. Heartworm is a serious condition and it absolutely can kill your dog if left untreated.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Give Richard Travers in Daytona Beach Your Input

Every so often, I publish someone's information that has been charged with abusing a dog. While I do not wish any harm to come to them, I wish heartily for pressure to be put on them, grief to be given, and in general, for life to become a pain in the ass.

Meet Richard Travers, of Volusia County, Florida, who lives at 1460 General McArthur Avenue.

Our model citizen first accused an anonymous black man of coming into his yard and hitting his dog with a stick, but it turns out that was a tall tale. In fact, a neighbor saw Travers hitting his dog, a pit-labrador mix named Dixie, and strangeling her, one day after his fiancee told him their relationship was over. Reports say Dixie was unable to walk or get up. Now she is in the care of a vet but her condition is unknown.

Full story:,0,3649368.story


Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Medical Technology For Dogs

Two veternarians are teaming up to provide stem cell transplants (using the dog's own fat cells,) to improve the quality of their life and repair painful conditions like athritis.

Randolph veterinarian uses new stem cell therapy on ailing pets
Michael Hutchinson is a veterinarian from the Pittsburgh suburb of Cranberry Township, Pa.

He is the leading practitioner of animal stem cell regeneration in the United States, having performed the procedure on about 100 dogs, cats and even horses since 2008. Although the procedure is approved only for animal ailments such as hip dysplasia, arthritis and ligament injuries, it is providing some hope of uncovering solutions to medical problems afflicting humans as well as cats, dogs and horses.

"When I began working with this, I would have stopped at one or two if it did not work. I’m seeing results all the time," Hutchinson said.

..."The basic procedure involves taking fat from the dog, extracting stem cells and injecting those stem cells back into the dog," said Brian T. Voynick, owner and director of the Randolph hospital.

See full story by Brian T. Murray of the Star Ledger and via

I keep trying tp put the link to their article, but in being clever and not wanting me to " copu" their work, they make it impossible for me to give you the link to their work!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Help Find Two Boys Who Stomped Dog To Death in Nebraska

The Nebraska Humane Society is offering a $1,000 reward to help find two boys suspected of stomping a small dog in a family’s yard last week in south Omaha.
The dog, a Chihuahua mix named Barbie, died Aug. 4, two days after being stomped by the boys. The dog’s owner, LeVar Higgins, heard the dog yelping and looked out the window to see two boys, believed to be between 10 and 12 years old, kicking and stomping the little dog in the family’s yard near 22nd and N Streets.

Mark Langan, vice president of field operations for the humane society, said Tuesday that so far, the reward offer has yielded no tips. Langan said he hopes the boys are found so they can’t hurt any other animals and can get counseling.
And this part - I'm not sure sure about:
On a happier note, the family received a donation of a new pure breed toy poodle on Sunday. The family’s 3-year-old daughter was surprised and excited to get the new dog, Coco, which her mother, Katie Higgins said has helped her get over the loss of Barbie.
I have no idea if this dog was bought at a pet store, which means there is near 100% certainty of it being a puppy mill dog, but I surely hope not. That would add injury on top of injury in this case. It was a wonderful gesture to get the family a new dog, though.

Please keep in mind this little one, who died at the hands of two emerging sociopaths. By 10 and 12, you know better. Want them as neighbors? And keep in mind the little girl, who lost her companion. She'll never forget it and I wish she didn't have to face this kind of behavior so young.


House With a Heart (funded by Grey Muzzle Organization)

This home receives funding from the Grey Muzzle Organization, which exists soley to help senior dogs. A fine group!

From their website:
The Grey Muzzle Organization improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, and other non-profit groups nationwide.

We are not a shelter or rescue group. Rather, Grey Muzzle funds programs such as hospice care, senior dog adoption, medical screening, and other special programs to help old dogs at animal welfare organizations across the country. Distributed through grants, all funds are provided through our fundraising efforts and the generosity of public donations.
Learn more!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

ASPCA Needs Our Help Today To Pass Animal Fighting Bill in NY

Animal fighting is already a felony in New York state, but being a spectator at a fight is merely a “violation” that results in no criminal record.  A piece of legislation is in the works to make attending a dog fight a felony.

While the State Senate has passed its version of the bill, the Assembly has not, and Assembly leadership still has not scheduled this important legislation, A. 6287-B, for a floor vote.

The Assembly will return this month—possibly as early tomorrow—to complete unfinished business. We need to ask for your help one more time to get this bill over the finish line.

What You Can Do

Even if you contacted your assemblymember after our last email, please take a moment to do so again today.

Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center ( to fax your assemblymember to request that he or she (1) support A. 6287-B to make animal fight attendance a misdemeanor, and (2) urge Assembly leadership to post this important humane bill for a floor vote.

NY A. 6287-B/S. 3926-A—Increased Penalty for Attending an Animal Fight

Sponsors: Assemblyman Joseph Lentol/Senator Toby Ann Stavisky

ASPCA Position: Support

Action Needed: Please fax your assemblymember to request that he or she (1) support A. 6287-B, and (2) urge Assembly leadership to schedule this important humane bill for a floor vote when the Assembly returns in the beginning of August to complete unfinished business. Even if you have sent this fax before, please do so again.

Thank you, New York!

ASPCA's link:


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Never, never be afraid to do what's right,
if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.
 Society's punishments are small
compared to the wounds
 we inflict on our soul
 when we look the other way.

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.