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Tag: day care

Can a dog love doggy day care too much?

For a doggy daycare operation, word-of-mouth is generally considered the best advertisement for bringing in new customers.

But this may be the most golden recommendation of all.

rileyIn North Carolina, a dog named Riley apparently loves his daycare so much he ran away from home one day last week, walked a mile to get there, and sat patiently outside the front door.

“Someone walked in the door and they said there’s a dog sitting out here waiting to come in,” said Happy Dogs Café owner Teresa McCarter.

McCarter opened the door and in came Riley, a golden retriever who, though he is a frequent customer, wasn’t scheduled for a visit that day.

Riley immediately ran back to the daycare area to greet at least 20 of his canine friends.

Riley’s owner, Tonia Mosteller, said she and Riley had driven past the daycare earlier in the day. Riley whimpered when he saw some of his friends being walked by a staff member. Back at home, she put him in the back yard and left to run some errands.

“I noticed Riley watching me carefully as I left, but I didn’t think too much about it,” Mosteller told WBTV.

Somehow, Riley managed to unlatch the gate. Because Mosteller often walks him to the daycare in downtown Belmont, he knew the way there.

The daycare owner said she looked around for Riley’s owner when she opened the door for him before figuring out “he just decided to put himself in daycare that day.”

Happy Dogs called Mosteller to let her know Riley was there, but they recommended she let him stay for the day — at no charge.

“He got a free day of daycare and he worked really hard for that day,” McCarter said.

(Photo: Courtesy of Happy Dogs Cafe)

(Editor’s note: The video above is going to continue to bring you other stories. You might want to shut it off upon completion.)

Rapid Paws: A limousine service for dogs

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There’s a new taxi service for dogs in the nation’s capital.

Launched earlier this month, Rapid Paws will transport your pooch (or cat) wherever he or she needs to go — be it vet, groomer, day care, airport, or even to another state.

The on-demand limousine service for animals has a fleet of two climate controlled, high-roofed vans, and they’re even equipped with cams should you want to check in and take a look as your dog gets from here to there.

Customers can schedule a a door-to-door pickup and local delivery to anywhere in Washington and its burbs, and they can do that by phone, via the Rapid Paws website, or through a smartphone app.

While the service may sound over the top, owner Paul Ozner says it’s filling a need.

“It’s an excessive service for some, in terms of basic necessities. But some of the people in this area, they’re time-constrained, and they do have pets. So what are you going to do? You have to treat them right,” he told the Washington Post.

So far, he said, most clients are middle aged professionals too busy to take off work to run their pet to the vet, or disabled, ill or elderly pet owners seeking a little help.

Rapid Paws has teamed up with one real estate company to transport the dogs or cats of people who are relocating.

Ozner said he and his partners came up with the idea based on their experience with a company that delivered meals to schools and the elderly.

Fares typically run from $25 to $60, depending on the length of the trip.

Amy Schumer on moms and their fur babies

A doggy day care center is the setting for this Amy Schumer skit, poking fun at those dog owners who go a little bit overboard — especially when it comes to describing their own “heroism” in adopting rescue dogs.

The five moms trade stories after dropping their “fur babies” at day care.

One explains her dog “lost his legs when a cop shot him in St. Louis.”

Not to be outdone, another says her dog was a Sudan child dog soldier who was kicked out of the militia because he was gay.

Another comes in with a dead dog, explaining she adopted him after he was put down at the local pound: “And I was like, ‘I’ll take her.’ I’m just doing what any hero would do.”

Another relates the story of rescuing her dog, Mrs. Belvedere, from Hurricane Katrina.

“She was up on the roof with this little boy whose parents had drowned. And I just thought, ‘That little orphan boy can’t take care of a dog.’ So I choppered in and rescued her right off that roof.”

“What happened to the boy?” Schumer asks.

“What boy?” the owner of Mrs. Belvedere responds.

Homeless man finds shelter — for his dog

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Disliking all the rules that come with staying in a homeless shelter — especially the ones that prohibit dogs — Bernard Holland chose homelessness over doglessness.

He’d arrived in indianapolis a few weeks before Thanksgiving, stayed with family until that turned sour, then — as temperatures plummeted — pitched a tent in what’s known as The Jungle, a homeless camp just east of downtown.

That’s where a social worker ran into him and his two-year-old mutt, Oreo, on a night temperatures were dropping below zero.

Now, one of them, at least, is staying warm.

oreoIf you guessed the dog, you’re right.

When Ben Bierlein, owner of Wigglebutt Doghouse, heard of the pair’s plight, he offered to take Oreo in and foster her at the daycare and boarding facility.

“To us, the real story here is about a man, although down on his luck and living in a tent, who would not give up on his dog,” Bierlein explained to the Indianapolis Star.

“The fact that he was willing to gut it out in sub-zero temperatures because he didn’t want to leave his dog — that’s pretty powerful. With the myriad of reasons people surrender their dogs to shelters, Bernard would have had a very valid reason, but he loves Oreo; she means the world to him.”

Bierlein, after being contacted by the social worker who came across Holland and Oreo — Melissa Burgess of  Horizon House — offered to care for Oreo during the cold snap. He also paid to get Oreo up to date on shots and to be spayed.

Normally, that would allow Holland to get a slot at a homeless shelter. But he’s still living outside — at least partly by choice.

Holland says he’ll continue to make his home in a tent, unless the nights get too unbearably cold. He says he’s put off by the early curfew and other rules of homeless shelters, and considers them a last resort.

He has enrolled in Opportunity Knocks classes through Horizon House, and he hopes to find a job as a painter or janitor. Horizon House is also trying to help him find affordable housing where Oreo, who he has had since she was four months old, would be welcome.

Holland, 53, said he once operated his own drywall business in Chicago, but in 1992 he was shot at random by two teens as part of their gang initiation and had to undergo multiple surgeries.

Now, he says, he just wants to “get Oreo back, have a roof over my head and have a job and do the right thing in life. I’m not looking to be rich, just live a happy life.”

He plans to hop on the bus and visit Oreo regularly until they are reunited.

Meanwhile, “Oreo is putting smiles on all of the faces here,” the owner of Wigglebutt said. “She is adorable, the biggest sweetheart — and she has made lots of new four-legged friends. She’s very dog-social. If you could watch her during the day, you’d think she’s been coming to doggie day care for years.”

(Photo: Mike Fender / The Star)

Happy campers: The dogs on the bus

Kids aren’t the  only ones climbing aboard the school bus these days in Miami.

Totally Dog, a day camp for dogs in southwest Miami, sends a yellow school bus to pick up its campers — and from what I can see in this video they seem to behave at least as good as schoolchildren.

Dog trainer Elena Sweet opened Totally Dog in 1999. Her husband Jeremy drives the bus. Owners pay about $45 a day for camp.

“Nightclub” for dogs opening in New York

fetchclubManhattan’s dogs will soon have a place to enjoy a night on the town — the Fetch Club, a  3,000-foot indoor dog park/canine club offering spa services, homemade meals and a “doggie disco.”

Scheduled to open next month in a renovated former tobacco factory one block from the South Street Seaport, the establishment will also include a “high-end” boutique, and a lounge where humans can drink coffee, schmooze and Twitter while their dogs frolic.

The New York Post reports that permission to open the club didn’t come easy: After concerns about noise were expressed by neighbors, the  Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order in early April. The department reviewed Fetch Club’s permits and ruled the building wasn’t zoned for kennels — meaning it can’t board dogs overnight.

Owner Peter Balestrieri invested $50,000 in additional noise insulation for the club, adding about 8 inches of padding to his walls and ceiling.

While the club won’t board dogs overnight, Balestrieri says it will be the perfect stop for clubbing humans to drop off their dogs. He says he hopes to equip the doggie dance club with a disco ball.

“We’re serious about the well-being of animals, but we also want them to have fun,” said co-owner Jenna Lee, a former finance worker now taking veterinary courses.

PetSmart fires manager for dog on the job

petsmartA PetSmart in New Jersey may be dog-friendly, but its recent firing of a staff member who brought his dog to work  is making it look something less than employee-friendly.

Eric Favetta was fired from his job at the PetSmart in Secaucus for bringing his dog into the closed store while working a last-minute overnight shift.

Favetta, 31, a PetSmart employee since July 2008, placed his dog Gizmo in the store’s empty day care facility while he spruced up the place for a special showing to potential business partners.

“I have always been the type of employee to go the extra mile,” Favetta told  the Newark Star-Ledger’s “Bamboozled” column.

The store, which encourages its customers to bring pets inside, labeled his deed “theft of services,” and fired him.

Favetta served nearly seven years as a dog handler for various military units in Afghanistan and Bahrain. He became operations manager at the PetSmart in Wayne and, based on his good record, was sent to Secaucus.

At 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, Favetta was asked to work a special overnight shift to prepare the store for a viewing by representatives for Martha Stewart’s company, which was considering adding its product lines to PetSmart.

“I brought my dog with me because I knew if I didn’t, he would have been home alone all day and all night until I returned home at 6 a.m. the next day,” Favetta said. Gizmo, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, spent the night in the empty store’s doggie day care facility as Favetta toiled.

Two weeks later, he was called on the carpet and fired.

PetSmart spokeswoman Jessica White explained the situation this way:

“In our eyes, our services business is huge, with our grooming and training and care. Those are viewed as sale items the same way items on the shelf are,”  she said. “To use the facilities and not pay for it — it falls under the same lines.”

A few days later, PetSmart reconsidered and offered him another job. But Favetta has since moved on. He’s now working as a dog handler for a company that uses animals to search for hazards.

(Photo: MITSU YASUKAWA/Newark Star-Ledger)