A North Carolina woman who spent her final days trying to find homes for the 34 rescued cats and dog that lived with her may be resting more easily now.
All but one of the animals — Lilly, shown above — have been adopted, WRAL reports.
Susan Lee of Wake Forest, an independent animal rescuer, died earlier this year after a battle with cancer, but not before putting out a plea to family, friends and the public to adopt the dogs and cats she called ”Susan’s Sweethearts.”
Mike And Doreen Smith adopted Bruiser, an energetic 80-pound dog with one blue eye and one brown eye.
Ryan Wood, who heard about Susan’s Sweethearts from a friend, adopted Buddy. “He was unlike any of the other dogs. It’s hard to explain. It was love,” Wood said.
Karen Croom, a friend of Lee who promised her she’d get all of the animals adopted, said only one dog remains — a black Lab named Lilly, who, while good with people, is looking for a home with no other pets.
(Photo: Susan’s Sweethearts)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, animal rescue, animal rescuer, animals, bruiser, buddy, cancer, cats, death, dogs, homes, lilly, north carolina, pets, rescue, susan lee, susans sweethearts, wake forest
Susan Lee, of Wake Forest, independently rescued animals for 35 years, according to WRAL in Raleigh.
Lee, 55, had undergone radiation twice – each time coming back to the home where she grew up to care for her animals, hundreds of which she took in over the years. She learned in December that the cancer had spread to her brain.
In an interview with WRAL News last week, Lee said she wanted to make sure her “fur kids” were well cared for if something happened to her. She’d set up a website before her death in hopes of finding homes for the animals still in her care.
In the interview, she said she would stay home and look out for her pets as long as possible, even though she was growing weaker.
“I love this place. My mom has been blessed, I’ve been blessed to live here,” she said as a dog walked over to lick her face — one of the eight dogs and six cats she was still trying to find homes for last week.
Lee said her cancer strengthened her faith, made her grateful for each day and strengthened her bond with her animals, which included special-needs horses.
“I hope there will never be a day that I’m alive that I don’t have an animal with me,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, cancer, cats, death, dogs, fur kids, homes, horses, north carolina, pets, rescue, rescuer, susan lee, wake forest, website
I found this little gem of a story — about a dog enjoying life in the home of a millionaire — in the Summit Daily.
It was written by Micaela Gilchrist, from notes she took last year while attending a “Parade of Homes.”
The annual event in Summit County, Colorado, like those held elsewhere, gives not so wealthy people a chance to visit inside the homes of highly wealthy people, covet their stuff, and, in some cases, make a few whispered jabs at the homeowners, or at themselves for not having achieved greater financial success.
Gilchrist, an author, describes a couple observing what they thought was a bedroom in one house, only to learn what they’d walked into was a closet, one of 11 in the home. The husband turns to the wife and says, “My life is a pile of crap.”
This is a dog story, though (and a crap-free one, you’ll be pleased to know), and we’ll be getting to the dog. But first here’s Gilchrist explaining why she makes a point of going to the annual tour of ritzy homes:
“I don’t attend the Summit County Parade of Homes every year just to view innovation in design and architecture — although there are marvels to behold. Nope. I go to enjoy the spectacle of people ogling other people’s stuff and to eavesdrop on the things they say to one another on the tour.”
It was inside the crown jewel of last year’s tour — a home that had reportedly undergone $9 million in renovations and which, she says, “glimmered with astonishing opulence” — that she noted how taken everyone touring the home was with the owner’s dog:
“The Labrador retriever waggled through the mobs, greeting each person with a nudge and slobber. What a great mascot for this home! The lab’s nose was coned in soil from digging in the garden and his mud-caked nails clicked on the marble floors. He was exactly the sort of dog we had at home, a good ol’ boy who didn’t mind getting dirty once in a while. Suddenly, we liked the owner of this palatial spread a little bit more. Maybe, the rich weren’t so different, after all.”
She describes a couple in their 90s — among the visitors — who sat down and opened a Tupperware container of cheese sandwiches. The wife gave her husband half, then fed the dog her half, despite her husband’s warnings.
“You shouldn’t feed him cheese,” he said. “Some dogs get the winds when they eat cheese.”
“The dog yawned and dragged his masculine undercarriage over the silk fabric of the designer sofa. Turning a few circles, he snagged the delicate weave with his long nails and then collapsed. He rested his head on a tasseled pillow. Snoring like a buffalo, he then began to drool. And because the old man had been correct about Labs and cheese, the sleeping dog loosed a concerto of extravagant flatulence, while the public held their noses and ran laughing from the room.”
About then a young man in torn jeans and dirty boots came running in through the French doors.
“Murphy! There you are Murphy. What the hell are you doing up here?”
The young man grabbed Murphy by the collar and pulled him off the couch, explaining that Murphy — despite the way he was making himself at home — wasn’t an official resident, after all:
“Nah, I muck out the stables across the way. One minute the dog is there behind me. Next minute, Murphy’s slipping off to hang out with the millionaires … We’re both living out of my Honda Civic right now until we can afford to rent a place. C’mon, Murphy.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, article, author, colorado, custom, designer, dogs, homes, luxury, micaela gilchrist, millionaires, murphy, parade of homes, people, pets, rich, rich dogs, summit county, summit daily, wealth, wealthy dogs
Whether you’re looking for a homey environment in which to board your dog, or want to make some money by hosting one in your home, a new company called DogVacay.com is offering to help hook you up.
The site launched March 1 in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and will soon be adding other cities to its listings, through which dog owners and dog sitters can connect.
“Right now there are kennels and there are private pet sitters,” said Aaron Hirschhorn, who founded DogVacay.com with his wife, Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. “And we realized there was a need for a marketplace to bring together responsible dog lovers with causal and professional dog sitters who can provide a more affordable and better experience for dogs.”
Hirschhorn said that rates offered by hosts on DogVacay.com can be as little as half of those of boarding kennels.
On the site, each dog sitter sets his or her own prices with assistance from DogVacay.com. Listings are free. The site takes a 3 percent to 10 percent transaction fee from dog sitters, according to MSNBC.
For customers, fees include insurance coverage for veterinary emergencies. Pet sitters are vetted via reviews, social network connections and direct interviews by DogVacay.com staff.
Pet owners who take their dogs along on trips may also use the service to find sitters or host homes in cities they visit. “We think this will help free people up to travel because some people don’t want to kennel their dogs while they’re away and don’t want to bother their friends,” said Hirschhorn. “This way, more dogs can go along.”
Like Airbnb.com, the site allows customers to rate the hosts, and hosts are encouraged to go online after the stay and rate the behavior of their guest.
The Hirschhorns say the idea for the company came from experiences with their dogs.
“Vacations were always overshadowed with the guilt of leaving our dogs, Rocky and Rambo, in a caged kennel where they may not get the attention they need,” said Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. “We believed there was a better way of caring for dogs, so we tested out the concept for Dog Vacay in our own home, and before we knew it, we had more clients than we could handle and decided to launch the Dog Vacay platform.”
(Photo from MSNBC.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aaron hirschhorn, animals, boarding, care, community, connecting, dog sitting, Dog Vacay, dogs, dogvacay, homes, hosts, karine nissim hirschhorn, kennels, los angeles, marketplace, pet sitting, pets, private, providers, san francisco, sitting, travel, vacation
Multum in parvo.
That’s Latin for “much in little,” and it’s a term often used to describe pugs — big personalities in small, smush-faced packages that many of us humans seem to find endearing, despite their penchant for snoring and snarfling with each breath.
As a result many shelters see an influx of surrendered and abandoned pugs in summer.
In the Mid-Atlantic states, when public animal shelters (often high-kill animal control facilities with 48 hour euthanasia policies) get a pug into their custody, they call Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue (MAPR), an organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and forever home placement of mistreated, abused and abandoned members of the breed.
The reasons people give for giving up their pugs vary. Sometimes they’re frustrated by the health issues, and lack the knowledge and resources to handle them. Sometimes pet owners hit financially rocky times, lose their homes and feel they can no longer take care of their dog. Sometimes the reasons are even more complex.
To understand the rescue/rehabilitation/placement process a bit better, let’s use the example of Stewie (left), a pug that was surrendered by his mom to a local animal control facility in a remote Maryland county.
She explained to shelter workers that she was surrendering Stewie to keep him safe, since every time her husband got mad at her he beat Stewie. Stewie was undernourished (most likely not eating out of fear and anxiety), potentially suffering from internal injuries, and was deathly afraid of all humans.
With a dedicated band of volunteers up and down the east coast, MAPR immediately turned to email blasts and social media to coordinate a pickup by vounteers from this far-away county. Meanwhile, other volunteers were working behind the scenes to arrange a foster home, veterinary care, behavioral help, and any other resources necessary to ensure that Stewie could enter into a stable living situation while awaiting adoption into his forever home.
Within 24 hours, a foster home in North Carolina with the behavioral know-how to deal with Stewie’s fear, an additional behavioral specialist to do more intensive training, and a vet all willing to take on his case were secured. After that, it was back to the social media and email blasts to arrange transport. Less than 48 hours later, Stewie was on his way to his new beginning, as five volunteers donated their time (and gas money) to relay Stewie on the 500-plus mile trip.
Even then, the work was only halfway done. Other volunteers perused adoption applications to see if any potential homes that had already been approved would give Stewie the environment he needed to thrive once he’s been rehabilitated by our trainers and foster family. Other volunteers made home visits and phone calls to check the references of potential adopters — those with a soft spot for that multum in parvo personality.
Why all this rigamarole? Why the FBI-esque background check? The answer is simple. We at MAPR are dedicated to placing every single pug in a home that will last them forever. We want to ensure that every pug that comes through our rescue goes to a home that will provide the highest quality of care and love possible. We want to prevent the Stewies of the world from ever having to suffer or be afraid of humans again.
MAPR has coordinated the placement of over 60 pugs in six states (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina) in the last 30 days alone.
However, as of July 21st, 2011, the Stewies of the world will just have to wait.
Due to extenuating circumstances — chief among them, shrinking resources — MAPR has had to close their doors to all intakes until further notice. Our foster homes are overflowing, and our resources for vet care are rapidly dwindling.
Due to the recession, more and more dogs are deteriorating with preventable health conditions like heartworm disease. By the time they come into our care, the cost to stabilize them medically is in thousands of dollars.
Adoption fees offset some of that. MAPR charges adoption fees of $400 for a pug under six months, $250-$350 for pugs between 7 months and 10 years old and $100 for a pug over the age of 10. Sometimes that covers some vet expenses — updated shots, wellness checkups and the like. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Take Honey Bun (left), who came from West Virginia, where she was forcefully bred for ten years every heat cycle. While each of her puppies fetched between $500-$1,000 apiece, her owners kept her in an outdoor pen year-round and couldn’t be bothered with providing her with heartworm preventative.
When she arrived, in addition to some serious man-hating behaviors, she had such a severe case of heartworms it necessitated a series of medications being injected directly into her spine. Even with a phenomenal network of vets who give us great rates on care, her treatment costs were upwards of $2,000.
That’s why we rely on our “pug angels” – those who donate anything they can for the care and treatment of our foster pugs. MAPR has seen a severe decline in donations.
Not every case is as severe as Stewie’s, or necessitates the extensive treatment that Honey Bun required. Take my current foster pug, Cosmo (left). He’s a 3-year-old ball of energy that was simply too much for his aging mom to handle.
Many times, owners who just cannot care for their pugs will turn to MAPR instead of taking them to the local shelter in hopes they can avoid euthanasia. Cosmo is in perfect health, has a great disposition, is fully housebroken, and will most likely be a quick adoption.
I work with MAPR because I believe that the Stewies, the Honey Buns, and the Cosmos deserve a second chance at a good home that will love them forever. This is why I asked my good friend John if I could write a piece for ohmidog! I’m hoping to find like-minded people in the mid-Atlantic region that would like to donate their time and energy as a foster or volunteer.
Equally beneficial would be like-minded people in any part of the country or world that would like to be a “pug angel” for any of our foster pugs. On our website, you can apply to volunteer, or click on that donate button! You can find us on Facebook, too.
If you know people who have pugs, or like pugs, or have ever mentioned a pug, tell them about us too. The pugs thank you!
LaRee McCuan, a volunteer with Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue, lives in Baltimore, where she completed her Masters of Social Work degree this year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Her forever pug, Mikey, who recently became a therapy dog with Karma Dogs, is pictured atop this post.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandonment, abuse, adopt, adoption, animals, brachycephalic, breathing, breeds, cosmo, difficulties, dog, dogs, donate, economy, forever homes, foster, homes, honey bun, laree mccuan, mapr, mid atlantic pug rescue, multum in parvo, neglect, pets, pug, pug angels, pugs, rescue, respiratory, shelters, stewie, summer, surrender, volunteer
Get back to where you once belonged
– The Beatles
You can’t go home again
— Thomas Wolfe
The Beatles had more memorable lyrics – ”Ob-la-di, ob-la-da” notwithstanding — but Thomas Wolfe (and here we mean the ”Look Homeward Angel” one, not the modern-day, white-suited “Right Stuff” one) is probably best remembered for that one phrase, which also served as the title of one of his fine books.
“You can’t go home again” — meaning, of course, not that you can’t physically return, but that, if and when you do, what was there then isn’t likely to be there now, or how you remembered it isn’t how it is now, or maybe even how it was then, or that time has a way of erasing your past, just as it will one day lay claim to your future.
Whether one can go home again has been a recurring theme of Travels With Ace. In our journey, we’ve revisited the places of my youth — in Houston, in Tucson, in New York, and in Raleigh. (I had a lot of homes, both in my youth and since — 28 in 16 different towns.) Sometimes the reconnection has been strong; sometimes it has been faint. But you can go home again.
And I am.
A week from now I’ll be settling into the modest little apartment unit in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in which my parents lived when I entered the world — not with with a bang (though obviously that occured at some point) but with a whimper.
Now, in the denouement of, if not life, at least this blog, it’s back to John: Chapter One, Verse One.
(Note: At 57, I’ve found I prefer my metaphors mixed. So I run them through the blender, on puree, sometimes with an added pinch of Metamucil, ridding them of the hard to digest lumpy bits. They are both tastier and easier to swallow that way.)
In the beginning was the word — and I was born of two wordsmiths. I followed their footsteps into the newspaper industry, put in 35 years or so, then — as newspapers became glimmers of their former selves — jumped ship to write a book, and write these blogs, and find a new identity to replace my old one.
Now, I’ll be stringing them — words, I mean — together in the same room where I once rattled the rails of my crib, documenting the denouement, or the final resolution of the intricacies of my plot, if indeed I have either plot or intricacies.
It will be — at least for a while — the somewhat circular ending of my year on the road with my dog Ace, who has helped me reach the decision.
We came here to spend a couple of months close by my mother, and to reconnect with my own roots, much like I sought out Ace’s several years ago.
It was on the way home from one such reconnection, a family reunion, that my mother showed me the house she and my father lived in when I was born. In the window was a “for rent” sign. There was only one step up to enter.
I signed a lease — as is my style, and given my lack of a plot — on a month-to-month basis.
So next week, given my birthplace is unfurnished, it’s back to Baltimore to reclaim my stuff, now nested in a storage unit on Patapsco Avenue.
Then we’ll lug it all back to College Village, a spanking new apartment complex when my mother and father moved in 60 years ago. Now, it’s far less upscale than its surrounding neighborhood, a collection of mostly squat brick units that look like something you’d see on an Army base.
I, having only lived there one year, and it having been my first, have no real memories of it, but it was interesting to see, when I brought her over for a visit, how it triggered some for my mother.
Ace, too, seemed to like it better than the basement. When we dropped by to sign the lease, his tail was up and wagging. He visited the tiny kitchen, then sniffed out the two bedrooms, paying far more attention to the front one. Did my baby smells still linger after 57 years? Only then did he walk up to meet the landlord and his daughter.
As the landlord ripped the “for rent” sign off the front window, I think my dog and I came to the same conclusion — that one intricacy at least, at last, had been resolved, and that we were home, for now.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, birthplace, childhood, college village, dog inc., dogs, heritage, home, homes, homeward, journey, memories, mixed metaphors, north carolina, pets, reconnecting, return, reunion, road trip, roots, the beatles, thomas wolfe, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, winston-salem, wordsmith, writer, writing, you can go home again, you can't go home again, youth
Six days a week, Kate Quigley leaves her Kansas City neighborhood and ventures into those whose residents are less fortunate, meaning, often, that their dogs are, too.
In a 25-year-old pickup truck, she scouts out animal abuse and neglect — and situations verging on that — and offers food, hay, doghouses, toys, spaying and neutering and more.
Often referred to as “the dog lady” or “Miss Kate,”Quigley knocks on doors, talks to owners and drops off supplies — up until recently as a representative of Spay & Neuter Kansas City and No More Homeless Pets KC, where, last year alone she brought in 438 cats and 562 dogs to be spayed and neutered, gave away 95 doghouses and 14,700 pounds of dog food and talked to 3,030 households.
Now she’s started her own non-profit called Chain of Hope, according to the Kansas City Star. The newspaper reports that several volunteers have switched affiliations from other groups to join Quigley, a recently divorced mother of three, in her cause.
Chain of Hope’s mission, she says, is to break the chain of ignorance for pet owners who neglect their outside dogs, to break the chain of unwanted litters, and to persuade dog owners who leave their animals tied up to unchain them, or at least use less harmful cable tie-outs.
“I don’t get it when people tell me that a dog is for protection, but the dog is tied up on a chain at their back gate. How will a chained dog protect them?”
(Photo by DAVID EULITT / Kansas City Star; to see the entire gallery, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, chained, chains, chains of hope, dog lady, doghouses, dogs, food, hay, homeless, homes, kansas city, kate quigley, miss kate, neglect, neighborhoods, no more homeless pets kc, pets, poor, poverty, rescue, shelter, stray, tied, toys
If you’re looking for some good music, a good cause and something to do on Valentine’s Day, there’s a benefit concert at the 8×10 Club in Federal Hill tomorrow to raise funds for MidAtlantic Bully Buddies, a Baltimore pit bull rescue.
Tickets for “Peace & Love for Bully Buddies” are $15 and doors open at 7 p.m. The show is open to all ages and features the bands Can’t Hang, Woo & the Yellow Dubmarine and Mobtown Saints.
All proceeds benefit Mid Atlantic Bully Buddies, a rescue organization that provides foster care for dogs while seeking to find them permanent homes, and works to educate the public and correct misconceptions about pit bulls.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 8 x 10, adopt, benefit, bullies, concert, feb. 14, federal hill, foster homes, fosters, homes, mid atlantic bully buddies, pit bulls, pitbulls, rescue
There are more cats and dogs in the UK than anyone thought.
According to figures in a new study, there are around 10.3 million cats and 10.5 million dogs in the UK, a total of 4 million more than pet food manufacturers had estimated, according to The Guardian.
The report, based on polling, also concludes that cat owners are better educated.
The study is the first published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 20 years — when there were 6.2 million cats and 6.4 million dogs.
Cats, according to the study, are more likely to live in households with someone with a college degree. A poll of 2,524 households found that 47.2% of those with a cat had at least one person educated to degree level, compared with 38.4% of homes with dogs. We will presume that cat owners did the math.
Last year, the Pet Food Manufacturers Association estimated — not too precisely, as it turns out — the size of the UK domestic cat and dog population at about 8 million each.
The new study, published in the Veterinary Record by Jane Murray, a cats protection lecturer in feline epidemiology at Bristol University, does not take into account strays or those animals in shelters.
About 7% of UK households own both a cat and dog.
(Photos: My dog Ace, your cat Miley, both of whom got their education on the streets; by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 10 million, animals, bristol university, cats, census, count, degrees, dogs, education, homes, news, pet ownership, pets, poll, polling, research, study, uk, united kingdom
Virgin America flew 15 Chihuahuas from San Francisco to New York this week in an effort to aid the overcrowded population of Chihuahuas in California.
West Coast shelters, overwhelmed with Chihuahuas, have been looking for help from shelters on the East Coast, where there is a demand for the dogs.
Escorted by a veterinarian, the dogs were to arrive at JFK and be picked up by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which will help them find homes on the East Coast.
Virgin America’s Facebook page documented the flight, with videos and photos posted while in the air.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, airline, aspca, california, chihuahuas, east coast, facebook, flight, glut, homes, media, new york, pop culture, san francisco, shelters, shipped, surplus, transfer, video, virgin america, west coast