Ed Gernon never suspected the German shepherd mix he adopted last year would be featured in one of those inter-species friendship videos.
Rex left the shelter with a reputation. He “fought other dogs and killed cats,” Gernon said. “He was dangerous. He was an animal that had learned to live on the streets and to survive on his own hunting ability, I guess.”
So Gernon was surprised when, a month after he took Rex home, the dog paused when he came across what Gernon thought was a dead hummingbird.
“He suddenly stopped and he would not move,” Gernon CBS Los Angeles. “I mean it’s tiny and it’s dead as far as I’m concerned. It’s covered in ants. It’s got no feathers.”
Given his dog’s seeming concern for the bird, Gernon checked it more closely, saw it was still alive, took it home, cleaned it up, and it has been living inside his home ever since.
And it even drinks out of Rex’s water bowl.
Gernon initially had to hand feed the bird a special formula every 15 minutes.
“You find yourself doing stuff you never thought in a million years you would do,” he said.
“It was this little creature. This fragile creature that the whole world wanted to kill and he was trying to protect her so I thought I’d go the distance,” Gernon said.
“I rescue this dog. He rescues the bird. The bird rescues all of us in a weird sense and it’s just a miracle,” Gernon said.
After living with the bird for a year, Gernon says it’s probably time for her to be free, and he’s started leaving the doors and windows of his home open, in case Hummer wants to go back out in the world.
So far, she hasn’t.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 28th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, birds, california, dog, dogs, friends, hummer, hummingbird, inter-species, los angeles, news, pets, report, rescue, rescued, rex, tinkerbelle, video
After realizing a surrendered dog had recently given birth, staff at the Marin Humane Society in California contacted the dog’s former owner and asked about the pups.
The owner was “evasive” and “unwilling,” but eventually admitted there were pups and agreed — in the interest of the puppies’ health — to surrender them to the Humane Society as well.
That’s what led to this joyful reunion at the shelter on Monday.
The shelter says that when the mother dog, named Cora, was taken in for a routine check-up, vets found that she had recently had puppies — so recently they became concerned about the health of the puppies.
The Humane Society captured the reunion on video.
The puppies have been named Carson, Branson, Moseley, and Edith, all in honor of Downton Abbey characters.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 11th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, california, cora, dog, dogs, marin, marin county, marin humane society, mother, owner, pets, puppies, pups, rescues, reunited, shelters, surrendered, video reunion
It may make your dog look like he’s a mix of punk rocker and porcupine, but otherwise we won’t poke too much fun at this protective vest, aimed at keeping dogs — especially smaller ones — safe from coyotes and other predators.
It was designed and is being marketed by a San Diego couple that lost their dog to a coyote. They started the business last year.
“Our goal is to help prevent others from experiencing the heartbreak we suffered when our beloved Buffy was killed,” Paul and Pam Mott say on the website for the Coyote Vest.
The basic vest goes for $70. It is made of Kevlar and has a spiked collar area.
For another $20, you can get additional hard plastic spikes running down the sides of the vest. For another $20 you can get the attachable nylon, quill-like “whiskers,” designed to poke the face and eyes of any attacking predator.
And for $60 more, you can add on the “CoyoteZapper,” allowing you to use a remote device to send an electrical jolt to any creature that might be trying to run off with your small dog in its mouth.
“The CoyoteZapper utilizes a dog training collar capable of delivering a painful shock. But instead of shocking your dog in the neck, it shocks the coyote in the mouth,” the website says.
While marketed as coyote protection, the website points out that the vest, and zapper strips, can also protect your dog from dog park bullies — or even another larger dog at home that may not be treating the smaller one with proper respect.
“…Zapper Strips are attached to either side of the CoyoteVest in such a way that it is practically impossible for a larger dog to pick up your small dog without his mouth touching both of them at the same time. If you push the button on the remote to activate the shock module the voltage will be directed though the Zapper Strips directly into the mouth of the attacker. The shock is harmless, but painful enough to make the attacker let go.”
We’ve never been fans of zapping dogs with electricity, for whatever purpose, and using them as conductors thereof is a little problematic, too — though we’ll admit to briefly wondering whether similar protective wear might be effective in keeping school bullies at bay. (In reality, the outfit would likely only lead to more teasing.)
Effective as the Coyote Vest might be in saving a small dog from a coyote or hawk, we’re not sure — for similar reasons — whether the protective vest, or at least its attachments, belong in a dog park. It could end up drawing attention from curious dogs, including a few who might mistake your little one for a chew toy.
The Motts say the fully equipped vests do draw attention, at least from humans.
When they took their dogs Cody, Scooter and Sparky (yes, Sparky!) to the 2015 Carmel Poodle Day Parade dressed in their vests “everybody thought they were the most adorable ‘punk rock’ costumes created just for fun. They really are a lot cooler looking than we expected.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 2nd, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, armor, attacks, california, coyote, coyote vest, coyotes, coyotevest, dog, dogs, kevlar, pets, porcupine, predators, protection, protective, quills, safety, small dogs, spikes, vest, wildlife
After a Fresno family shared a post on Facebook about their dog Ziggy going missing, and Ziggy showing up not much later on Craigslist for sale, a good Samaritan said he did what he had to do — buy Ziggy back and return him to his family.
Ziggy, a Maltese, was stolen Friday from a crate in his front yard in Fresno, Calif., his owner, Kris Villasenor, told ABC News.
By Saturday he was returned to the family, by a stranger named Jeremiah Lee.
“I was browsing Facebook the other day and my aunt shared a post about a lost dog,” Lee told ABC News. “I read it and realized that the dog was stolen in my neighborhood.”
Lee made a mental note to keep an eye out for the dog, and followed Villasenor’s post on Fresno’s lost and found pets Facebook page.
When he saw that someone had commented on the post that they had seen the dog listed for sale, and provided a link to the Craigslist ad, Lee took action.
“I texted the number thinking that there was no way that they would respond and just told them that they had broken a little girl’s heart and to do the right thing.”
To Lee’s surprise, the seller answered his text, claiming they had bought Ziggy from a homeless person and had no idea that he was stolen.
While skeptical of that story, Lee met the seller Saturday and paid $40 for the Maltese he had never met.
Lee got in touch with Villasenor through Facebook, informing her he had her dog, and she picked Ziggy up right away.
Villasenor insisted on reimbursing Lee, even though he protested.
“I wanted to help because I would hope that someone would do the same for me,” he said.
“It’s amazing what Jeremiah did just to get the dog back,” Villasenor said. “The kids are super stoked about it. It’s a wonderful feeling.”
Posted by John Woestendiek November 12th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ad, advertisement, animals, bought, california, craiglist, dog, dogs, facebook, family, for sale, found, fresno, good samaritan, lost, maltese, missing, pets, returned, stranger, ziggy
Animal shelter breaks ins — one in Tennessee and another in California — have left four dogs dead and more than a dozen missing.
Three dogs were found dead Sunday – two in a bloodied Jurupa Valley animal shelter, and one on the side of the road – after an apparent break-in at the facility, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
And an East Tennessee animal shelter became the scene of a dogfight last week when a burglar broke in and placed a pit bull and a boxer, both up for adoption, in the same cage.
Shelter staff believe the two normally docile dogs were provoked into fighting by whoever broke in.
The boxer’s injuries were so severe that, after staff discovered him the next morning, he had to be put down.
Sharon Cravens, shelter president at Best Friends Sanctuary in Jamestown, said she believes someone hopped a fence, then unlocked the cage of a pit bull named Sam and placed him in a pen four cages away with a boxer named Bucky.
Volunteers left the shelter around 7 p.m. Thursday. When they returned Friday morning they find both dogs in the same kennel, covered in blood.
“It’s just sad to see that someone would be that evil and put two dogs to watch it for a show, you know, to put them through that,” Cravens told WBIR.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Jamestown Police Department at 931-879-5871.
Over the weekend, in Riverside County, California, shelter staff arrived to work Sunday morning to find a bloody scene.
“We found blood spatter everywhere,” animal control spokemsan John Welsh said. “There were some blood markings that were about 3 feet off the ground. We don’t know exactly what caused that, but we don’t suspect that an animal jumped into the air and caused that blood spatter.”
Two dogs were found dead of undetermined causes. They were described as a 5-year-old Chihuahua who had been recently brought to the shelter and a 6-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix that was brought in the previous night.
A necropsy was expected to determine the cause of their deaths.
About a mile from the shelter, the body of a third dog was located. It was described as an adult German shepherd, and Welsh said dog tags showed it had been from the Jurupa Valley shelter.
At least a dozen other dogs remained missing as of Sunday afternoon.
Several cut locks were placed in a pile inside the shelter, and investigators believe it had been broken into between Saturday night and Sunday morning, KTLA reported.
Some 22 kennels were “essentially busted open, probably with bolt cutters,” Welsh said.
Shelter employees were working with Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigators and reviewing surveillance footage.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 14th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, best friends sanctuary, bolt cutters, boxer, burglar, cage, california, dog, dogfight, dogs, dogs killed, jamestown, jurupa valley, kennel, killed, locks, pets, pit bull, riverside county, riverside county animal control, security, shelter, staged, tennessee
A homeless veteran whose dog wandered off when he fell asleep on a southern California beach earlier this month has been reunited with his beloved Olivia.
Harry Brown, 53, diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and given a year to live, was visiting Long Beach, California to say goodbye to friends family when Olivia, the young brown and white pit bull he describes as his service dog in training, disappeared.
He searched for her for a week, visiting animal shelters and placing a lost dog ad on Craigslist:
“Her name is Olivia and she is the life to me,” the ad read. “…Please help even if you see her just running by. She had a pink service vest, new leash with pink collar … I would offer reward but I am a disabled veteran, have nothing but that little girl. So please, if you can help unite us, I would be forever in your debt.”
“We spent as long as we could trying to find her,” Brown told NBC 4. With an arranged ride for the next leg of his trip, to Phoenix, Brown had to move on.
It was there he got a response to his Craigslist ad: “Your girl is in L.A. County, go get her,” it said.
Olivia had been found wandering the streets of Long Beach, and taken to an animal shelter.
An animal rescue group called Captain Care raised money to pay for Brown’s ticket back to Long Beach and cover the fees required to secure her release.
Brown, who calls Eugene, Oregon home, picked Olivia up Wednesday.
“She’s my life,” admitted Brown, who says he suffers from PTSD and has had problems with alcohol.
Brown has his own Facebook page, and has used it to thank all those who helped him, especially Captain Care.
Donors provided him with a hotel room, new toys, treats and food for Olivia, and a hammock they can share while on the road, according to The Examiner.
Extra donations will be used to help spay and feed Olivia, and help pay for Brown’s continuing cross-country journey to say goodbye to family and friends.
Donations for Brown and Olivia can be made to Captain Care Intervention at mycaptaincare.org.
(Photo: Courtesy of Harry Brown)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 14th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, california, captain care, craigslist, dog, dogs, dying, found, harry brown, homeless, homelessness, long beach, lost, olivia, pancreatic cancer, pets, pit bull, ptsd, reunion, reunited, service dogs, terminal, veterans
A Chihuahua that was left at a California shelter after suffering chemical burns as a puppy has found a new home with a 12-year-old girl in Alameda who is still undergoing treatment for burns she received as a baby.
Chloe Levenson, who has been through seven surgeries since being scalded by hot tea, adopted the dog — named Fireman — last week.
They were brought together when a Pittsburg animal rescue group, Umbrella of Hope, decided the traumatized dog might get along best with an owner who had experienced similar pain, according to an article in the San Jose Mercury-News.
While thousands of people applied to adopt Fireman, the group thought the dog, who has some behavioral problems, would be a good fit with an owner who might have some extra compassion for him.
Rescuers found the puppy behind Antioch’s animal shelter on March 30 with severe chemical burns running the entire length of his belly and up to his ears, both of which had to be amputated.
After months of medical care, paid for my Umbrella of Hope, Fireman recovered physically, but was diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the burns.
“He had a lot of strings attached,” said Kristy Keusch, who fostered the dog for four months after his release from the hospital.
Fireman didn’t always like being petted. Although he loved having someone rub what was left of his ears, he disliked being touched on his head and neck, Keusch said.
“He punctured me a few times,” she recalled.
She used behavior modification techniques to make Fireman more trusting and less defensive, but she knew that whoever adopted him would have to commit to continuing the work.
When Umbrella of Hope put out some feelers, Shriners Hospital for Children responded and put the organization in touch with Chloe and her family.
After a few meetings, Chloe took the dog home last week.
Although he still growls and nips, Fireman is already letting her touch his head and will cuddle on the couch with Chloe when she watches TV. But he “absolutely hates leashes,” she said.
“I understand him,” Chloe told the organization. “I know what he’s been through, and I think he understands me too.”
(Photo by Kristopher Skinner / Bay Area News Group)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 7th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, alameda, animals, burn victims, burns, california, chemical burns, chihuahua, chloe levenson, dog, dogs, fireman, foster, girl, healing, pets, rescue, scaldings, shriners hospital, umbrella of hope