Tag: foster care
Instead he’s homeless.
Stuntman and trainer Paul Thompson, saying he can no long look after Berry because of the demands of his job, turned Berry and a second dog actor, named Porridge, over to German Shepherd Dog Rescue in the United Kingdom.
Outrageous, we say.
Rather than being responsible, rather than showing some gratitude to the dogs that served as his meal ticket, the dogs’ owner casts them aside as if they were aging Hollywood actresses, deemed too old and wrinkly to have any box office pull.
Maybe it’s even more atrocious than that — for movie dogs don’t get paid in the first place; their trainers do. At least the actors have a union. Maybe dog movie stars should have one, too — or at least some sort of fund to assure they are taken care of in old age, as opposed to tossed on the street.
Berry, no youngster anymore at age 10, and Porridge, who’s 13, are now in foster care, together, while the rescue organization seeks to find them a permanent home.
Berry — full name Shadowberry — played the role of Padfoot, who was the animal form of wizard Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather in Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban. The human form of the role was played by Gary Oldman.
Porridge, a German shepherd-Labrador mix, had parts in “The Bill” and the TV adaptation of “White Teeth.”
“I found myself spending a lot of time away from home,” Thompson explained, according to the Daily Express. “The dogs needed more attention than I could give. It was a difficult decision to make but one I had to accept was best for the dogs.”
Lizzy Brown, one of the rescue organization’s coordinators, estimates at least 100 people have offered to take the dogs so far. Many of those offers came from the U.S., ABC News reports, but Brown says, given the age and condition of the dogs, they won’t consider shipping them overseas.
Both pooches have chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy, or CDRM, which makes it difficult for them to walk, but “Berry’s not nearly as bad,” said Brown.
Berry offers an explanation of his abandonment — if that’s not too strong a word – on the website of German Shepherd Dog Rescue, which apparently composed the remarks:
“My Dad contacted German Shepherd Dog Rescue because he realised he didn’t have the time to look after us properly anymore. His work takes him away from home an awful lot and whilst his friends and family tried to help look after us, we weren’t getting the walks or brushes we were used to.
“This lovely lady came round to visit us one day. She asked Dad a lot of questions about us and then we got in the car with her (I love the car) and went to her house to live. Apparently she is what they call a Foster Mum but we called her Mum. We loved our Mum because she had these lovely soft beds to lie our wobbly old legs on, a nice big garden for us to explore, and she spent lots of time with us making sure we were fed, brushed and loved.
“Apparently there were a lot of people on the film I was in, something to do with a Harry Potter, who became very rich and very famous from it and they all live in lovely houses of their own. If it wasn’t for German Shepherd Dog Rescue and my Mums and Dad I would not be as happy and cared for now as I am, but I am still waiting for a home to call my own. If only I had become rich and famous as well then maybe I could have helped these wonderful people help more dogs like me and Porridge.”
Berry’s account seems to let Thompson off pretty easy, and quite possibly there are extenuating circumstances to which we are not privy. Nevertheless, once one profits off a dog, as I see it, they have even more of an obligation than that which comes with being a regular pet owner.
That “no animals were harmed” in the making of The Prisoner of Azkabanthe, or any other movie, is one thing. What happens to them afterwards is important, too. Treating them as disposable, especially after they’ve fattened up your pocketbook, is reprehensible.
I don’t know if Thompson is helping to pay for the future care of the dogs from whom he profited, or whether he’s leaving that up to the rescue and any adoptive parents that come along.
But given he can no longer make the “time” for them, it’s the least — truly the least — he could do.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: berry, dog, dogs, entertainment, foster, foster care, german shepherd, german shepherd dog rescue, harry potter, hollywood, movie, movie dogs, padfoot, paul thompson, porridge, rescue, shadowberry, shelter, sirius black, the prisoner of azkabanthe, trainer, uk
Snowy was rescued after being abandoned in a backyard by a family in Wilmington, N.C., who moved away. He was blind, probably deaf, heartworm positive, with rotten teeth and skin infections.
But a foster volunteer in nearby Leland took him in, and Snowy began regular visits to the vet, all paid for by MAPR.
Early reports from the foster mom were encouraging:
“Last night, for the first time, he layed on his back and wanted belly rubs,” she wrote last November. “He’s finally trusting and feeling safe, which makes everything I’m doing feel so worthwhile and rewarding. His temperament is wonderful. He’s very easy going and sweet. He’s only improved from the moment I met him. Just a sweetheart!”
But somewhere along the way, things took a turn for the worse.
The foster mom in February contacted Robin Young, a board member of MAPR who helped arrange the foster placement, and told her she had to move and could no longer provide foster care for Snowy.
Young made arrangements for a volunteer to pick up Snowy, living in Leland, outside Wilmington, and bring him to Waxhaw, outside of Charlotte, where she could care for him herself until a new foster was found.
But when the volunteer called the foster mom, and sent emails, she got no response.
For months MAPR tried to make contact with the foster mom, even sending a certified letter, but still no response. Eventually they called the veterinarian treating Snowy, and learned that his file was “inactive.”
At MAPR’s insistence, the vet’s office contacted the foster mom, and she finally called Young, but even then it wasn’t clear what had become of Snowy.
“At first she said, ‘I gave him back to you. I gave him to that woman,’” Young recounted. Asked what woman, she said she didn’t know. And still later she said her ex-husband took the dog to Greensboro and gave her to “some woman.”
But no MAPR members or volunteers had received the dog, Young said.
“We really don’t know where he is, or who took him,” Young said. “At this point whoever has him must have taken him because they cared about him. At least I’m hoping so. But we want to make sure they were they given all the information about he needed, like the heartworm treatment.
“We’re not demanding he come back into the rescue, we just want to know if he’s OK,” she said.
MAPR asks anyone with information about Snowy to contact them at:
Posted by jwoestendiek September 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blind, deaf, disappeared, dogs, foster, foster care, leland, mapr, mid atlantic pug rescue, missing, north carolina, pets, pug, pugs, rescue, sick, snowy, wilmington
Van Dusen, 59, is a former family-law attorney who lives alone (not counting the cats) in Oakland, Calif., where she’s a volunteer and foster care provider for an organization called Fix Our Ferals, which traps, neuters and cares for stray and feral cats.
In her 2004 tax return, Van Dusen deducted $12,068 in expenses related to caring for foster cats in her modest home – food, veterinarian bills, cat litter, paper towels, garbage bags, and a portion of her utility bills.
The IRS, as you might guess, said no, declaring the costs she incurred caring for strays as “nondeductible personal expenses,” as opposed to charitable contributions.
Van Dusen — and we’re sure all 70 cats agreed — didn’t think that was right and contested the IRS decision.
In 2009, the case wound up in Tax Court, where Van Dusen represented herself because she couldn’t afford a lawyer.
“If it came down to helping a cat with a medical problem or saving for retirement, I would spend on the cat’s care—as will a lot of rescue workers,” she told the Wall Street Journal, which carried a story Saturday about her victory.
According to the Journal, it was also a victory for animal rescue volunteers across the country, and volunteers in general. There are more than 1.5 million IRS-recognized charities, the article said, and the ruling makes clear that unreimbursed expenses incurred by volunteers working for them are deductible.
Van Dusen learned she had won her case earlier this month. “I was stunned,” she said. “It feels great to have established this precedent.”
She said her pretrial dealings with the IRS were “intimidating.” Once in court, she said, the agency’s lawyers “tried to portray me as a crazy cat lady.” The judge, Richard Morrsion, patiently allowed her to state her case.
“He had to go through all these receipts from Costco and ask questions like, ‘What were these paper towels used for?’ ”
Under his ruling, Van Dusen was allowed to deduct most of some bills and half of others for care of the feral cats. The judge stopped short of granting her total deduction because she didn’t have a valid letter from the charity acknowledging her volunteer work.
The IRS declined to comment on the case. It has 90 days to contest the ruling in federal appeals court.
(Photo: By Michael Mullady; source: Wall Street Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal rescue, animal welfare, california, cat lady, cats, crazy cat lady, deduct, deductions, feral, fix our ferals, foster, foster care, internal revenue service, irs, jan van dusen, judge, law, neuter, non-profit, nonprofits, oakland, organizations, ruling, spay, stray cats, strays, tax court, trap
Lollie Wonderdog, the pit bull mix reclaimed from a Maryland trash bin and lovingly fostered for nearly five months in a Takoma Park home, has been adopted.
Lollie, whose experience as a foster dog was recounted in the blog Love and a Six-Foot Leash, was adopted by a family of four — a family (that’s part of it to the left) whose mom saw in Lollie a fellow survivor.
It’s a lovely ending to a tale well told by Aleksandra Gajdeczka, whose family took Lollie in temporarily and blogged about the experience — partly in an attempt to find a permanent home for the three-year-old dog, partly to tell the world about the joys of fostering.
Including, last week, the bittersweet and often tearful feeling that accompanies the successful conclusion of that experience.
In a letter to her departed foster dog, she wrote, “You pass through the world with a carefree grace that I have rarely seen in a dog, and have never seen in a person. Your ability to make everybody like you and the whole world smile, paired with your ability to overcome anything with a wagging tail and a flapping tongue is truly remarkable. I hope you don’t remember the specifics of how you ended up in that dumpster in September, bruised, half-starved, and filthy, but I hope you always remember that you have overcome so much — and come out a shooting star. An eternal firework.
“Lollie Wonderdog, it’s an amazing thing when a sad little dog can teach a bunch of humans so much about perseverance, patience, and overcoming the odds. You have touched our lives forever, and we love you very much.”
Emotions ran strong on the receiving end, too. After Lollie — whose new name is Lily Fireworks — was situated in her new home, her new owner wrote down her thoughts about it all, which were published on Love and a Leash this week:
“I had breast cancer at 24, had a few breast surgeries, lost all my hair, all that fun stuff … Fast forward six years, and we’re looking for a dog. We found Daisy, a beagle with giant “udders.” A breast cancer survivor finds a dog with udders…it was meant to be! Last year I went through chemo again when my cancer returned, and Daisy beagle was the sole reason I got up and got any exercise some days. She lay next to me on the couch when I felt pukey, she sniffed my head when my hair fell out again, she saw me through the whole year of chemo. That’s a lot of walks together … Sadly, we lost Daisy very unexpectedly a few months ago, and I didn’t want another dog …”
Then she came across Lollie’s blog, through the Montgomery County Humane Society website.
“We contacted Aleksandra and set up a time for John and me to meet her Lollie Wonderdog. If we thought she’d be a good family member, then we’d tell the little ones. We went to meet Lollie. I couldn’t get over her itty bitty waist. She was adorable. Those giant eyes … she licked my stinky shoelaces, and it was love. How could a dog who had been through so much still have so much love to give? I thought about it — Lollie and I are both survivors …”
(Photo by Aleksandra Gajdeczka, courtesy of Love and a Leash)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aleksandra gajdeczka, animals, blog, breast cancer, dogs, dumpster, forever home, foster, foster care, fostering, humane, lolita, lollie, lollie wonderdog, maryland, montgomery county, new home, permanent, pets, pit bull, rescue, shelter, society, surviving, survivors, takoma park, temporary, wonderdog
Here’s a blog we’re hooked on, and one we hope comes to an end soon — for, when it does, that will mean Lollie, the 3-year-old pit bull whose adventures in foster care it chronicles, will have found a forever home.
The blog recounts the foster care experiences of Lollie — full name “Lollie Wonderdog” — who was discovered in September by animal control officers after they received a call about an animal making noise in a dumpster. When they arrived and opened the container, there was Lollie, filthy, half-starved, and covered in cuts and bruises.
Lollie licked the hand of the officer who reached in to scoop her up, and she’s been winning hearts ever since — first at the Montgomery County Humane Society, where she was known as Lolita. She spent a month there before being taken in as a foster dog by Aleksandra Gajdeczka and family, in late October, at their home in Takoma Park, Md.
“She had clearly been bred for money, abused, and then thrown away — quite literally,” Gajdeczka writes on the blog, entitled ”Love and a Six-Foot Leash: One family’s quest to open minds, win hearts and save lives through the foster program.”
Lollie’s foster family took things slow, introducing her to their other dog, Chick. They taught her to walk on a leash, sit and cuddle — though that last one seemed to come pretty naturally once Lollie became less fearful and more playful.
Gajdeczka says the blog has multiple purposes, but it’s mainly aimed at finding Lollie a home.
“We have a few humble goals in this pursuit: to find our current foster a great ‘forever home’ by revealing her sweetness and her big personality; to encourage others to fostering by sharing our experience; and to show the gentle, loyal nature of pit bull type dogs when kept as family pets.”
Lollie, believed to be a pit bull-bulldog mix, is available to families within a two hour drive of DC.
“Lollie comes to you with a heart full of love, a clean bill of health, all of her shots/vaccines up-to-date, and already spayed. She is housebroken, does not chew on furniture, shoes, or clothes, and is quiet and cuddly. She is a smart dog, an ultra-fast learner, and has a lot of energy– she would make a great running partner, and may excel in agility training … She is wonderful with adults and children alike, and fine with some dogs– though she would be happiest in a single-dog house. Per MCHS rules, she cannot be adopted by a family with small kids, small animals (cats, rabbits, hamsters . . .), or no prior dog experience.”
The blog tells you all you need to know, should you be interested in adopting Lollie.
It has some great photos (Aleksandra is also a photographer, reachable at email@example.com), some sweet videos, and nicely depicts not just Lollie’s growth during her time in foster care, but all the love she, like all dogs — even those spurned, ditched or dumped — has to give.
Even better yet, it shows that humans do, too.
(Photos and video by Aleksandra Gajdeczka)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, adopt, adoptable, adoption, aleksandra gajdeczka, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, blog, dog, dogs, dumped, dumpster, foster, foster care, foster dog, lolita, lollie, lollie wonderdog, love and a six foot leash, maryland, mchs, montgomery county humane society, neglect, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, shelter, video
The first of the Michael Vick dogs taken in by Best Friends Animal Society — one of those that were thought to be too corrupted to ever make pets — has apparently found a home, and a soulmate.
Halle (that’s her on the right) was one of the 22 Vick dogs that went to Best Friends — sent there because they were considered the most hardcore, most traumatized, least likely to be rehabilitated. At Best Friends, the reasoning went, those who couldn’t be socialized would be able live out their lives at the animal sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. The less severe cases went to other rescue organizations, and many have gone on to get adopted as pets, and even become therapy dogs.
Halle, though, is the first of the Best Friends batch to make the transition.
While the adoption isn’t official yet — the so-called Vicktory dogs, under court requirements, must complete a six-month foster period — Halle has moved into a home with a new caretaker, identified as Traci, and Best Friends reports that it looks as if the arrangement might be a forever one.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, animal sancturary, best friends, dog, dogfighting, dogs, foster, foster care, halle, home, lucas, michael vick, pit bulls, rehabilitation, rescue, shelter, tacoma, traci, vick dogs, vicktory dogs