Tag: downtown dog rescue
Buddy, one of more than 200 dogs that lived at the home of a hoarder in California — depicted in the video above — died last week at age 15, but not before getting to spend more than a year in a loving home.
Ida Schillaci Noack took part as a volunteer in a March 2011 rescue effort at the hoarder’s home, in southern California, and ended up, with the homeowner’s permission, bringing Buddy home with her. Three months later the Humane Society of the United States removed most of the other animals from the home. Noack took part in that effort, too.
Buddy spent almost a year and a half with Noack. Last week, the day before she had the old and ailing dog put down, Noack wrote about Buddy on her Facebook page. With her permission, we reprint it here in its entirety:
He is the greatest canine love of my life.
I’ve had other rescues. There was Elvis, followed by Miss Piggy, then Rex (who required special care due to renal disease).
After Rex’s passing, I found Sampson, an affable tank.
In between all of them have been fosters; at one time our house had 5 dogs and 4 cats. All were special.
But there was something about Buddy.
Buddy came from a hoarder’s property. This hoarder, an older woman, lived in a dilapidated house. She appeared to at least have electricity and plumbing. The refrigerator in the kitchen — only the freezer portion was working — contained just a few items: some medication and two pounds of raw hamburger, but no stove to cook it with.
In the middle of the living room there was a another refrigerator — inoperable — along with two crated dogs who had no food or water. The flooring had been destroyed down to the cement, and the walls were coated with a brown scum extending at least two feet up from the floor. At one time the property had over 250 dogs: some kenneled, some crated, many running wild, several pregnant … and most were sick.
It was obvious many of the dogs were from the same litters, spanning generations. They didn’t appear socialized; they might accept food or treats, but then ran and hid. There were dirt dens, and some kennels were only five feet long and two feet wide. The neglect of these animals had apparently been going on for years, but even worse was that the property was located in the desert of California where it was hot enough to melt the glue from our shoes.
The level of noise itself almost required ear plugs. Even in the open outdoors, the smell of feces and urine was overwhelming. In the weeks prior to my arrival several other volunteers had come down with giardia.
In all this chaos, Buddy stood out. He was a shaggy mess in a sea of shepherd and lab mixes. He moved slowly in his kennel. No barking, no jumping, nor did he run and hide. I went in as part of a grassroots rescue, for several weekends we cleaned, fed, watered and did basic medical for the dogs. We were slowly transporting them out as the rescue community could take them in. Those that were extremely sick were taken out right away.
Buddy’s hair was probably 6 inches long – so long I couldn’t see through to his eyes. He kept his head down and once he caught my scent he walked sluggishly over to me.
I squatted down, my body pointing away so that I posed no threat – and I slowly reached out to him. His tail wagged – barely – and he nudged closer. Finally I moved the hair away from his eyes. They were closed. Did he even have eyes? I couldn’t tell. I stayed a few minutes with him, then moved on. There were 200 more dogs that needed food and water.
A few hours later I found my way back to him. He came over to me in the same way and I petted and rubbed him gently.
My friend Kim came over – I told her I wasn’t sure if this old guy even had eyes. She looked at me worried, cocked her head and said, “I’ll give you a thousand dollars to take that dog.”
She repeated herself. Crap. It wasn’t the money, I was already in love with him. There was something about him that made my heart swell, skip a beat, go pitter-patter. Pick one or choose all. I called my husband, another great gift in my life. His response? “Whatever you want, my sweet.” I’m lucky.
So Buddy was loaded in a crate and into my life. The groomers bathed and shaved him. The vet pulled most of this rotted teeth out, and his blood levels were great.
He wasn’t suffering from malnutrition, giardia, mange or any tick-borne illnesses – all of which plagued many of the dogs that had already been pulled. Still, he was mostly blind, partially deaf, very thin, and not even house-broken. But he is perfect in so many other ways.
He has never barked or growled; he will just “purr” when you pet him. He’ll get the zoomies about twice a week till he falls over. He rubs up against me like a cat and then falls into my lap.
I have to carry him in and out of the house and keep him crated at night to avoid late night accidents. He loves his breakfast, dinner, and evening Kong filled with peanut butter.
Buddy is a lot of work, but to me this 15-year-old ragamuffin is worth every bit of extra care, and is worth far more than a thousand dollars. He is priceless and he makes my heart sing. Tomorrow, Buddy will cross the Rainbow Bridge, this has not an easy decision. But we can no longer help him, he will not get better. So tomorrow we will let him go, with dignity, grace and our love.
(Photos: From the Facebook page of Ida Schillaci Noack; top photo by Stella’s Hope)
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters and rescue organizations. In this feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of our “Adventures in Volunteering” posts can be found archived here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 150 dogs, 200 dogs, adventures in volunteering, animal, animal welfare, best freinds animal sanctuary, buddy, california, dead, dies, dog, dogs, downtown dog rescue, experiences, hoarder, hoarding, hsus, humane society of the united states, Ida Schillaci Noack, los angeles, loss, mojave desert animal rescue, pets, red rover, rescue, rescuer, rescues, shelters, southern, stories, surrendered, tales, volunteer, volunteers
The homeless and formerly homeless gathered on Skid Row in Los Angeles late last week to remember one of their own — Sheba, a shepherd mix who spent 17 years living on the streets.
On Tuesday, at about 11:30 p.m., Sheba was struck by a car and killed on Alameda Street.
About a dozen current and former street dwellers and animal activists showed up Thursday at a sidewalk memorial service for Sheba on Gladys Avenue.
Among those paying respects was Georgina Warren, who, homeless and addicted to drugs at the time, heard Sheba’s cries while living in a tent on a Skid Row parking lot 17 years ago.
She went to investigate and found a young German shepherd mix chained to a pole, unable to reach a bowl of water someone had left. Warren borrowed some bolt cutters from a nearby mechanic and freed the dog.
It was Warren who, noting how protective the dog was of her shopping cart, came up with the name Sheba, because she seemed to be respected like a queen.
Warren spent the next 10 years with the dog, Downtown News in Los Angeles reports — minus those periods she ended up in jail. When that happened, fellow street dwellers pitched in to take care of Sheba.
Warren left Skid Row in 2008 and is now in recovery. Sheba stayed.
“Sheba was the community’s dog,” said Lori Weise, founder of Downtown Dog Rescue, which provides services for low-income dog owners.
Weise helped care for Sheba, and arranged for the dog to be spayed and microchipped. She was registered on the microchip as the official contact, and there were 11 times that Weise was called to pick up Sheba from animal shelters, always returning her to the streets and the person who was taking care of her — if not always keeping her leashed — at the time.
Weise and others are making arrangements to have Sheba’s ashes buried in the garden at the Hippie Kitchen, a Gladys Avenue service center where Sheba often hung out.
(Top photo: Georgina Warren, left, and Catherine Harris of the nearby Hippie Kitchen, at the memorial service; by Gary Leonard, Downtown News)
(Bottom photo, of Warren and Sheba, courtesy of Lori Weise, Downtown Dog Rescue)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alameda street, animals, car, chained, community, dog, dogs, downtown dog rescue, freed, georgina warren, hippie kitchen, hit, homeless, killed, lori weise, los angeles, memorial, memory, mix, pets, queen, service, sheba, shepherd, skid row
Stray dogs. Stray humans. Lori Weise encountered them both when she started work 16 years ago at a furniture factory on the edge of L.A.’s Skid Row, where homeless dogs and humans were both often treated with something less than respect.
So she created Downtown Dog Rescue — right there in the back of the factory — in the hopes that, through trapping strays, and persuading the homeless to get their dogs spay or neutered, she and her co-workers could make a dent in the homeless dog problem, if not the homeless human one.
She posted fliers promising free pizza for those who brought their dogs in. In addition to paying for thousands of surgeries, the rescue organization has placed or fostered thousands of dogs. And because homeless people can’t a dog license without an address, Weise used the factory’s address to get those dog’s registered. The address of the company, Modernica, was used to license 300 dogs.
The Associated Press, in a story by reporter Sue Manning, took a look this week at Downtown Dog Rescue — both where it has been and where it is going.
The shelter is still located in the back of Modernica, but with homeless people having left downtown Weise now brings shelter services to Compton, where for the last two years it has helped fund a monthly spay and neuter clinic, run by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control.
In 2011, the clinic sterilized close to 800 dogs, according to Weise, and the euthanasia rate for pit bulls at the county shelter dropped 30 percent.
DDR also holds weekly obedience classes at the Los Angeles Coliseum, teaching owners basic commands, agility, and other urban survival skills. The class draws between 30 and 50 dogs a week.
Downtown Dog Rescue has grown from a couple of kennels to 22. The furniture company has grown, too. Owners and brothers Frank and Jay Novak don’t consider themselves activists for either dogs or the homeless, but they say the work Weise has done helps define the company.
“She never talks down to people,” Novak said. “She is so genuine. I think people are impressed by her sincerity and people know none of the money (close to $200,000 in donations a year) goes to administrative costs.”
Eight months ago, Modernica began moving its production plant to Vernon, and they’ve promised Weise a half-acre where she can build a new shelter there. For now, the dogs remain in the downtown factory, where the company’s prop department will stay.
“She is fearless. She will go into neighborhoods nobody in their right mind would go into. She just goes with her conviction and knowledge she is going to help somebody,” said Carole Pearson, founder and president of Los Angeles-based Dawg Squad.
Most of the men Weise befriended 15 years ago are in prisons or hospitals or have died, the Associated Press story notes. But many of them left the streets — voluntarily or not — with the knowledge their dogs would be taken care of.
“I promised a lot of the men as long as their dogs are alive, they will have a good place to live and I’ll love them,” Weise said.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, dog licenses, dogs, downtown, downtown dog rescue, factory, furniture, homeless, humans, licenses, licensing, lori weise, los angeles, modernica, neuter, pets, rescue, shelter, skid row, spay, strays, streets