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, February 28, 2011

Food Drive for Pet Pantry in Cincinnati

With the economy the way it is, there's a much greater need for things like this. Way to go Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry! This pet food pantry distributes food to low income folks once a month. I have seen dogs from not-so-great-off families otherwise end up in shelters, so this short term solution may in fact be quite "long term" for the dogs.


Saturday, March 5th 10:00am-3:00pm

Red Dog Pet Resort & Spa

5081 Madison Rd (site of the old Oakley Drive-In)

Bring your donations to Red Dog and help us stuff the Red Dog bus full of pet food!!

Donate and receive a coupon for a discount off Red Dog services!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pet Rescue's Gala - Friday, March 4th -- a great cause to support

This local (NY downstate area) organization - voted Best Animal Rescue Group in Westchester County - rescued 900 pets in 2010. This compares nicely with national groups I follow and support. I'm proud to say I donated a full journal page for their upcoming Gala event. They are dedicating the event to all the foster families that helped them achieve so much over the past year. When I think of good places to donate, Pet Rescue is among those at the very top of the list.

Between this and the last post (on fostering the pets of our deployed military personnel), I hope you will see how instrumental foster care is to the pet rescue community. It literally saves lives.

Since 1982, Pet Rescue has saved over 10,000 pets!  Amazing!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Great Job Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet!

As you may know, Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet (GASP) is an organization that fosters the pets of our deployed personnel while they are abroad. So many dogs and cats end up in shelters when someone gets their orders and cannot find suitable pet care for the year they will be away. It is a tall order, afterall, to mind someone's pets for a year or more. This group and their well trained volunteers step in to help and prevents the soldier from having to drop their beloved at the shelter.  Owner surrenders at shelter die first, since the shelter knows no one is looking for them. It's heartbreaking.

I know one of the co-founders of GASP, and I can attest to it being a well-run and thoughtfully grown organization. They now have their headquarters in Texas, to accomodate the pets of soldiers when there is no suitable family to foster them, and they have 2,500 families across the United States at the ready to help watch over the most prized possession (next to actual kids) of our brave men and women serving on our behalf.

Please consider becoming a foster family or donating a few bucks to this very worthy cause.

Go here for the Q & A with Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet that I did last year. They discuss what's involved in being a foster family for a soldier's pet.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Adoption Events in the NYC Area, Feb and March

I seem to have fallen out of the habit of posting these monthly. I will try to be better.

NYC's Mayor's Alliance has the goods.


Another Shelter Ends Gassing

If you read this blog even semi regularly, you know I am on a tear about gassing.

But here is welcome news reported by Pawsitively, a group I know from Facebook that does a lot of dog rescue. Congratulations (and thank you!) goes out to SEAGOVILLE Animal Shelter, for doing the right thing and banning this barbaric practice.

Turns out they work with a group called CRASH, Citizens for Reform of the Animal Shelter, and they report that only one shelter in Texas with a population over 35,000 people, Garland, still gasses to euthanize.

Gassing in neither quick, nor painless, nor humane.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Effort to Save Bella

A request came through the dog rescue grapevine and I couldn't resist:


Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter
East Hanover, NJ
973-386-0590 ext 5


I am the Shelter Operations Director of Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter in East Hanover , NJ and on Christmas Eve 2009, I received an emergency email about a pit bull who was found in central New Jersey during a terrible snow storm tied to a dumpster with a box of puppies next to her. The puppies were almost overlooked as they were covered in snow and Bella was in horrible shape. She was severely underweight with mange and terrified. One of our fosters took her and the pups in for a few weeks and of course, all of her pups were adopted out quickly.

Bella, unfortunately, is still here at our shelter and has over the past few months started to show serious signs of kennel burnout. She spins and jumps in her kennel, growls and lunges at people walking by and has started to growl and lunge at animals outside of her kennel while walking. She is deteriorating quickly and we have run out of options for her.

It has come to the point that, for Bella’s sake, we have to think about her quality of life and the safety and well being of the public. We are putting out pleas to pittie rescue groups that may be willing to get Bella into a foster home and out of the kennel situation. Bella has until the end of this month to find a “home” or she will be euthanized. This is not a decision we have come to lightly and we are still hopeful that someone will come forward to help her once again. Bella is not good with other dogs or cats and, at this point, should not go with small children. These requirements seriously limit the number of potential adopters for her and has eliminated all of our fosters.

I know you must get, as we do, hundreds of pittie pleas a week but if you can help us help Bella, we would be deeply grateful.

Thank you for your consideration.

Monica Sinforosa
Crossed Paws Rescue
501 (c)(3)


Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Managed Cat Colonies

A few weeks ago my Mom was visiting and she wanted to take Metro North (a train) into the City. I live in the Bronx, just north of Manhattan, and even though all five boroughs make up "the City," we all say "the City" as though we are going to another city. I don't know why, it's just that way.

I noticed a cat sitting on a fence near the train station and made a mental note to see if she was still there the next time I went (there are several houses nearby and the cat was not thin nor did she look neglected or abandoned). That ended up being yesterday.  After seeing her and slowing down, thinking of stopping to give food out of my trunk (I'm one of those people), I noticed several black and white cats and I knew there was a family. So I pull over, pop the trunk, and dump out some dog kibble. That was all I had.

A woman was feeding the cats about forty feet away and hurried over to chat. Turns out, it was a "managed colony," a term I had never heard before. She has been trapping and spaying/neutering the cats there for some years, and they are all fixed. She feeds them twice a day and otherwise looks out for them. They are feral and cannot be made into house cats, according to her and others I know who have said the same thing.

I had never heard of this term "managed colony" before. However, there is a woman in my building who feeds the cats in the empty lot behind the building, a wooded lot (that's a favorite spot of mine just after a snowfall). She has a cat house out there, and her and her husband feed them twice a day. She's mentioned that they are all fixed, after she trapped them and brought them to the vet. I and an older gentleman feed the birds and squirrels at the other end of the lot. It's a beautiful little piece of land with many trees and lots of animals that take cover there, including a skunk and sometimes a coyote. The skunk and I have an agreement: the lot is his after 7:30pm, when my dogs get their mid-evening walk, and we steer clear. I put water out in the warm months and I'm certain he goes to drink each night.

Once a guy walking his dog out back crushed one of the cat houses (there were two), and I happened to be at my car in the adjacent parking lot. I took a picture of him with my cell phone so he knew that I knew what he looked like. I glared the don't-mess-with-that-glare, and he never has touched it again. I don't understand people. Clearly these were not abandoned cat houses, and they have two dishes of fresh food there most times you look.

Anyway, turns out the cat lady in my building and the cat lady by the train station both took the same community class about managing cat colonies. Small world.

Where do such classes take place? Well, it so happens that just today I recieved the following information in my email, from Best Friends Animal Society. It's all about managing a cat colony, humanely trapping them to be able to get them fixed, releasing them back in their familiar area, and caring for them. It was no accident the cats I saw all looked like they belonged in someone's house.

Dear Best Friends member,

If you love cats, Best Friends Animal Society invites you to a free workshop on how to help community cats. Focus on Felines Boot Camp will be held on Sunday, February 27th from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Tabby’s Place, 1100 US Highway 202, Ringoes, New Jersey.

In just two and a half hours, you’ll learn how to improve and save the lives of free-roaming cats in your neighborhood. You’ll receive the latest information and tools for helping community cats. Topics include working with neighbors and animal control, feral cat care and management, trap/neuter/return techniques and more. For details, visit: "TNR Training" on the Best Friends Network website.
Attendees will learn about trap/neuter/return (TNR) techniques, nuisance control, animal control, free-roaming cat care and management as well as working with neighbors, vets and local government and animal control.
New Jersey’s community cats really need your help! Please sign up for Best Friends’ Focus on Feline Boot Camp today by e-mailing Danielle Rice at: or calling (908)237-5300, ext. 450.
From all of the cats whose lives will be made better or saved—thank you for caring! I’m looking forward to meeting you on February 27th. Together we can make the dream of No More Homeless Pets come true.
Best wishes,
Shelly Kotter
Cat initiative
National Specialist

Saving Lives One Cat At a Time

P.S. – Please pass this invitation along to other kitty-loving friends or family members, or bring another cat lover with you to the Focus on Felines Boot Camp.

In case you're wondering, as I have, how exactly they trap cats in order to fix them, here's a video.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Fundraiser Benefitting Dogs and Cats at Yonkers Animal Shelter


Well Done!

Anytime a kill-shelter has a 96% rate of adoption in a month, it's worth noticing!

Williamson County, TX - The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter ended the month with a 96% lifesaving rate! Last month, they took in over 500 animals and only had to euthanize 19. WCRAS, in conjunction with the other regional shelters and the local Humane Society are trying to make Williamson County a No Kill community, where only animals that are sick and suffering, or dangerous animals that cannot be rehabilitated, are euthanized.
Now, I do not know how they categorized "dangerous" and there are places where "sick" and "suffering" can find homes, be cared for, and cured, but this is still worth noticing, if only because a shelter in a state that euthanizes a lot of dogs is thinking "no-kill."

Read on to see what they say works ("Community," which means many things, including fostering and spay/neutering). They offer examples on what works, and it's worth reading.

Continue reading on Texas shelter ends month with 96% save rate - National dog rescue

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Police Officer Found Guilty of Starving K9 Partner To Death

... and yet he only gets 1 year probation, has to give up his police certification (he is retired), and has to pay a $1500 fine.

Not a bad deal for a thug.

I like the police, so things like this really piss me off.

As usual, when I get an address, it will be on here. This POS isn't being spared the mail from an outraged public. He lives in Miami. It should be noted that he's recieved all sorts of awards and commendations. And now a guilty sentence from a judge.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

People Meds Top List of Dog Poisen Cases

Sobering news from ASPCA:

Human Meds Top ASPCA’s List of Harmful Pet Toxins for 3rd Straight Year
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Fielded More than 167,000 Calls in 2010

January 28, 2011

NEW YORK—Human medications have topped the list of pet toxins for the third year in a row, according to a new list released today by the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®). In 2010, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, Ill. fielded more than 167,000 phone calls about pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances – and in almost 25 percent of those calls the ASPCA aided in diagnosing and treating pets who accidentally ingested human medications.

According to the ASPCA, the top five calls into the APCC in 2010 were:

1) Human Medications. The most common culprits include over the counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, antidepressants, and ADHD medications. Pets often accidentally ingest the medication when pills are dropped on the floor.

2) Insecticides. About 20 percent of the calls are about insecticides, which are commonly used on pets for flea control or around the house to control crawling and flying bugs. The most serious poisonings occurred when products not labeled for use in cats were applied to them, so the ASPCA recommends pet owners always follow label directions.

3) Rodenticides. Baits used to kill mice and rats are mostly grain-based, which not only attracts the rodents but dogs and cats as well. Several different types of rodenticides can cause seizures, internal bleeding, or kidney failure. The ASPCA recommends keeping these products out of the reach of pets.

4) People Food. Xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic are foods commonly ingested by pets. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, while onions and garlic can cause anemia if enough is ingested. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free gums and mints, can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.

5) Veterinary Medications. Many medications intended for our pets – which are often flavored to make it easier to administer them – can be so tasty that pets may ingest the entire bottle if they get hold of it. Common chewable medications include arthritis and incontinence medications. Always contact your veterinarian or the APCC if your pet ingests more than its proper dose of medication.
For a complete list of the top 10 pet toxins of 2010, visit If your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s 24-hour APCC hotline at 1-888-426-4435.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Good News at Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet

Gatesville, TX, January 31, 2011 – Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet announced that they have officially gone into a partnership with rising country artist Lucas Hoge as their official spokesperson.

“I am honored to be working with Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet,” said Hoge. “I’ve made a commitment to supporting our troops and animals over the years, and to find an organization that combines these passions was a perfect match.”

Focused on supporting our men and women in uniform who are serving overseas, the organization has reunited over 104 pets with their military service members after a deployment to harm’s way. They do this through the generous support of volunteers and a network of over 2,500 potential foster homes across the country.

The above is excerpted from GASP's website and here you can go to Lucas's website, where an official announcement is posted.

GASP has three programs all designed to support military personnel hang onto their pets while deployed. Go here to see how you can help.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Animal Farm Foundation

I have posted about this great org in the past. I happened to be visiting all the orgs in the blogroll on the left side column here, when I came across this most wonderful picture. Probably a therapy dog visiting a nursing home. Look how happy everyone is.

Go here and here to see some of the great work Animal Farm does, including the awarding of various grants that encourage adoption of pitbulls like the one pictured above.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals Agrees

Go here to see an excellent column that corroborates what I've written in the previous post about puppymilling.  It's titled Does It Matter Where I Get My Dog?

Yes, yes it does!

Don't forget to pass along the soon-to-be-premiered documentary, Madonna of the Mills.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Madonna of the Mills

(Photo courtesy of Nicole Pettinella
 Laura Flynn-Amato with one of the puppies she has rescued.)

More welcome news, this time from Staten Island, NY!

On Friday, February 4 at 7:00pm Madonna of the Mills, a documentary featuring Laura Flynn-Amato, a Grymes Hill woman who has rescued nearly 4,000 dogs from Pennsylvania puppy mills over the last five years, will be screened at Tottenville High School on Staten Island.

The documentary will focus on a woman who acted on what she learned after her two store-bought dogs died suddenly (one after the other). The hope is that it will educate the public that the vast majority of dogs in pet stores come from terrible breeding conditions. I know the stores owners say "it's a private breeder," "it's AKC approved," and people who buy the dogs say "but I have papers." But the truth is that today's dog breeding is much different from when I was a kid. Back then, you went to someones home whose dog had one litter a year and you picked out the dog that you most bonded with. Now it's a big money making thing. I don't mind making money; I mind dogs being bred just for profit, who receive absolutely no medical care, who are filled with antibiotics in the hope they won't come down with an illness that will kill them (i.e. Parvo -a known ailment of puppy mill dogs) and especially when I see how many dogs are put down each year - some 6 million in this country. (Good news though, it used to be 17 million a year). How many people do you know who impulsively bought a cheap designer dog they think raises their social status? Or who could buy a cheap designer dog as a gift, only to have that dog, foisted on an unsuspecting owner, end up in a shelter? Or what about how easy it is to dispose of something you barely had to work to get?

Madonna of the Mills focuses on four dogs rescued from Pennsylvania puppy mills run by Amish and Mennonites.

I wonder - actually, I know - that the public is largely unaware that the Amish and Mennonite populations in Lancaster County, PA are big puppy millers.  Now, I have nothing against the Amish and I have always applauded their living as they choose. It's embarrassing to say but it might be the only time this is relevant to anything I'm talking about: I even still have the yellow bonnet with cherries that I got when I visited "Amish Country" as a single digit!  However,  I learned about this problem (400 puppy millers in Amish country) from a rescue group I did volunteer work for some years ago. I kept the information in my head - frankly, it was the last thing I expected from mild-mannered Amish people, but it has been corroborated many times since.

Why is it so bad? Because the Amish are fulfilling a desire by this country to have the latest designer dog (a little ironic!), but their standard of care for "pets," not something they support keeping, is actually extremely sub-standard. Taken together with few laws to prosecute animal abusers and mild penalties when charges are filed, and it has created a situation where outside the public view dogs are bred in absolutely appalling conditions. What we see is the bright shiny new puppy in the store window but they came from conditions where the mothers' legs are deformed from spending her entire life in a wire cage six inches bigger than her, skin conditions are rampant, and teeth rot out of their heads. We are told the bright shiny puppies are "AKC (American Kennel Club) approved," and that they are from "a private breeder."  Yeah, they're private alright, because otherwise the conditions wouldn't fly. AKC needs to update its standards. They are complicit in all of this.

The ASPCA had a great magazine issue about 18 months ago that focused on this problem, and they highlighted a man who rescues hundreds of dogs who are being moved from one horror at puppy mills only to be sold at auction (by, you guessed it, the Amish) - another horror! Used-up dogs that can no longer breed are often sold to research facilities to test their products. Hard to believe that in the U.S. it's legal for a dog to be in a cage six inches bigger than it for all of its life (read: 24/7), and then be sold to a research facility to have experiments conducted on it and then be killed at the end.  (Don't fret; there is stuff being done about this but my point is DON'T BUY YOUR DOGS FROM PUPPY STORES).

Please read this article, where Mrs. Flynn-Amato tells it like it is. Here is a quote to underscore what I said above.
They are kept in cages -- typically six inches larger than they are -- with wire floors, and let out only to breed. By the time Mrs. Flynn-Amato gets to them, they can barely walk, their ears and teeth are infected, they have the shakes and sores on their skin.
They have no names, just numbers.

"They're not housebroken, they hide under the table and they shake," she said. "If I don't rescue them, they shoot them. It's perfectly legal."

Ninety-nine percent of puppies sold in pet stores -- often for triple or quadruple the cost the pet store paid -- are bred in puppy mills, which are largely unregulated, according to Mrs. Flynn-Amato. Almost all go home with parasites or some type of health problem.

A neighbor in my building who I pass on the street each day as she is going to work and I'm just finishing the boys' long am walk was especially chatty the other day. Because of the weather she was not able to get into Manhattan and tuned back to go home, where we bumped into one another.  My dogs always bark at her, and she wanted to tell me she adopted a puppy. She was so happy about it. I smiled and congratulated her, and silently said "oh no" as I asked her where she got him from. A puppy store.  I said "oh , then it's a puppy mill dog." She said "no, he was bred by a private breeder and has papers."

Now, in a situation like this you are faced with two choices. You can just say congratulations and move on, or you can do a bit of educating. I opted for educating while still being supportive and happy at her happiness, as presumptuous as that sounds.  While I congratulated her I also said that many people don't know dogs from puppy stores or pet stores are actually bred at puppy mills, that they come with papers, that they are bred by a "private breeder" but in really bad circumstances. I could tell she wasn't thrilled and I didn't want to burn the relationship, but I needed to say just enough to plant the seed.  I said I hoped he was healthy and she wouldn't have problems, and that no doubt she will give him a great home, which I'm sure she will. Her yenta husband already separately gloated that his dog doesn't bark nearly as much as my two maniacs boys. (No other dogs probably do).

My cousin and his wife used to be puppy store people. Their first puppy died of parvo (a slow painful death); the second - I forget what. They learned the hard way. The first dog, which got returned like spoiled milk, traumatized his wife, and by the time the second dog got sick they were done. Many puppy mill dogs are ill, or so full of antibiotics when they leave the mill, to ward off sickness from sub standard conditions, that they suffer seizures later.  The third time they went with the senior dog advertised by the local news station as "Dog of the Week." They couldn't be happier. A senior dog got to keep his life and now they are part of "the converted."

Amen. I thank God for people like Laura Flynn-Amato.

Click here to see how you can help Mrs. Flynn- Amato in her quest to adopt-out former puppy mill dogs. She founded and runs No More Tears Rescue.


Welcome News in Kentucky

This is nice.

"Crisis averted at the Rockcastle County Animal Shelter."

Way to go Kentucky!