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Tag: organization

Rescue group signs contract on Vick house

A Pennsylvania-based dog rescue organization and advocacy group has reportedly signed a contract to buy the former estate of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick — headquarters of Bad Newz Kennels, a dogfighting operation.

The group, Dogs Deserve Better, says it hopes to turn the 4,600-square foot house and 15 acres of property in Surry into an animal sanctuary, where rescued dogs could be trained and rehabilitated.

The organization, which has been at the forefront of the movement towards banning the tethering and chaining of dogs,  has 45 days to raise enough money to cover the asking price of $595,000, according to the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk.

Monica Severy, the group’s local representative, said it has raised more than $50,000.

“The dogs will live in the house, and we’ll use it for training and for meetings,” Severy said. “There will be somebody there all the time, living there.”

The house has been empty for three years. When  Ace and I visited in August, the sign posted out front listed it as both for sale and for rent.

The white brick home has five bedrooms, four and a half baths, a pool and a basketball court.

Severy said the group chose the property for the symbolism of turning a place where dogs were made to suffer into a place of refuge for similar dogs. Fifty one dogs were seized from Bad Newz Kennels, and investigators discovered eight murdered dogs on the property once owned by Vick, who this past weekend was given the key to the city by Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway.

261 dogs seized from rescue organization

More than 250 dogs were confiscated from a rescue organization in Polk City, Florida, and its operators were arrested.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says 261 dogs were seized from Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue. Diane and Charles “Chuck” O’Malley were charged with more than 200 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and are being held at Polk County Jail.

The sheriff’s office received a tip at around 3 p.m. Wednesday that about 100 dogs were being mistreated at the O’Malley home, said Carrie Eleazer, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman.

Animal control officers went to the home Wednesday night and asked to see the dogs. The couple wouldn’t allow animal control staff into the home, but brought out one dog at a time to be inspected, Tampa Bay Online reported.

The couple showed 117 dogs to authorities, but by then it was midnight and they said they would not show any more, officials said.

The sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant and returned to the home at around 2 a.m. Thursday, confiscating all 261 dogs that were at the home — 35 of them puppies. The dogs were mostly Labradors and Labrador mixes.

Sheriff’s officials said many of the dogs were malnourished and had fleas, parasites and tartar build up on their teeth.

“It was deplorable living conditions, even for humans,” Eleazer said.

The Facebook page for Mid-Florida Retriever Rescue said the nonprofit, founded in 2005, is dedicated to placing “Labrador retrievers and other working dogs in loving permanent homes.”

Bark and Wine is this weekend

dogwine-224x300Attention wine-drinking dog owners: There’s an opportunity to enjoy sampling wines with your dog at your side this weekend — and to support a good cause in the process.

The fourth annual Bark and Wine event is Saturday (May 1) from noon to 4 p.m. at the Fiore Winery in Pylesville.

The event, which features wine, dog treats, music and raffles, is being held by Best Friends Fur Ever to raise funds for Fallston Animal Rescue Movement (FARM).

Best Friends, a dog daycare and overnight resort, is part of the foster network for FARM, an organization that has found homes for 8,000 animals.

Tickets are $10 per person, with an additional $5 fee for the wine tasting. For $5 dollars more, you can ride the bus from Best Friends (1009 Philadelphia Rd. in Joppa) to the event with your dog.

If you’re interested, RSVP to Best Friends at 410-671-7529 by April 28th.

(Photo: Painting by Amy Reges, a former wildlife biologist and current Lab lover and artist whose Otter Tail Art studio is located in Burdett, New York.)

Through a Dog’s Eyes

As the founder of one of the country’s largest service dog organizations, Jennifer Arnold has spent the last 20 years breeding, training and matching service dogs for people with disabilities or special needs.

Now she has documented that mission, which began when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 16, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“I remember not wanting to leave the house,” she said. “I felt very awkward, scared. It surprised me how frightened I was to be left alone. You feel so vulnerable.”

throughdogseyesArnold’s book, “Through a Dog’s Eyes,” comes out in September. A PBS documentary based on the book and narrated by Neil Patrick Harris debuts April 21.

Arnold and her family decided to set up their own service dog training school when, as a teenager, she was diagnosed and found herself in a wheelchair. She applied, but was so far down the list that the family began making plans for their own service dog academy.

Three weeks later, though, her father, a surgeon,was hit and killed by a drunken motorcycle driver. Arnold and her mother spent the next 10 years raising funds, and incorporated on Dec. 31, 1991. They started training their first dog the next year. Canine Assistants is now among the largest service dog providers in the country.

“Through a Dog’s Eyes” looks at Arnold’s treat-based teaching methods, five of the people to which the organization has provided dogs and how the dogs have helped them regain independence.

One of them is Bryson Casey, 30, of Kansas City, Mo., who served in Iraq as a captain with the National Guard. He came home and was in a car crash that left him a quadriplegic. He and his dog Wagner bonded instantly.

Arnold is now 46, her disease is in remission and she is married to the academy’s staff veterinarian.

In the last 20 years, Canine Assistants has given away 1,000 dogs; there is a waiting list of nearly 2,000. The organization does not charge for the dogs, and will pay for food and vet bills for the life of the dogs, if needed. The recipients are asked to do community service in return.

Canine Assistants breeds its own dogs, and trains rescue and shelter dogs. There are 150 dogs in training year-round. About 5 percent fail to make the program and are placed as pets.

It costs about $22,000 to train a service dog, Arnold said.

The book can be pre-ordered from Random House.

Is Rescue Ink breaking up, or “evolving?”

rescueink

 
As fearless, outspoken, and in your face as they portray themselves, you’d think the gang at Rescue Ink would be a little more forthcoming about whatever it is that is going on within the organization, where, by some accounts, nearly half of the members — representing God only knows how many tattoos — have pulled out.

Instead, other than a vaguely worded official statement, they’ve left it up to their fans to figure out just who has left, and why.

Despite the continuing success of their National Geographic Channel TV show, and a recently released book, there are reports — mostly on Facebook — that four members have left the organization and the TV show, pretty much in unison, to pursue other interests.

The only official confirmation I could find was a statement by Rescue Ink member Mary Fayet posted on the group’s Facebook page of Joe Panz:

“Rescue Ink is an ever evolving animal rescue organization dedicated to battling animal abuse and neglect and assisting other animal-welfare agencies and shelters do the same. With much regret, we announce that some participants of Rescue Ink have chosen to depart the organization and as such we wish these departing members the best of luck in their future endeavors and thank them for their countless hours of dedication promoting the mission of Rescue Ink.

“Please be assured, however, that Rescue Ink, thanks to our founding members, countless dedicated recruits and volunteers’ remains stronger than ever and will continue to promote the Rescue Ink mission.”

The statement doesn’t say who has left. But, from what I can gather from the Facebook pages of Rescue Ink’s original members at least four – Eric, Angel, Robert and Batso — have departed.

Batso Maccharoli reports on his Facebook page: “THE INK OF RESCUE INK, THE ELDEST AND ORIGINAL MEMBER BATSO, HAS FLOWN THE COOP. I have decided to no longer be affiliated with Rescue Ink. I will continue to keep balance and harmony in my life by doing what I love most – helping.”

Rescue Ink, a nonprofit animal rescue organization based in Long Island, formed officially in 2008, and their TV show, “Rescue Ink: Unleashed,” premiered last year.

Baltimore art exhibit benefits Recycled Love

Art for the Animals, an exhibit benefiting Recycled Love has its official opening Saturday (Feb. 20) at  Gallery @ 32nd & Chestnut in Hampden.

The opening, postponed earlier due to the snow, will run from 6 to 11 p.m., and includes a silent auction, food, beverages and live music.

Presented  by Diversiform, the exhibit features works by artists Matt Bovie, KT Howard, Sandra Jones, Landis Expandis, Carly McKague, Nick Schauman and Kelly Walker.

More information is available at the event’s Facebook page

Fidos for Freedom walk is tomorrow

Fidos for Freedom, a non-profit organization that trains and provides service and hearing dogs  is having its annual fund-raising walk on Saturday.

The Fall Stroll ‘n Roll starts Saturday at 9 a.m., and runs until noon, at Centennial Park in Ellicott City.

The event includes vendors, games, prizes, a bake sale, demonstrations, dog contests and the walk around the lake.

Fidos for Freedom, in addition to working with service and therapy dogs, also operates the DEAR (Dogs Educating and Assisting Readers) program.

Sweet Jasmine, former Vick dog, killed by car

 
Sweet Jasmine, the former Michael Vick dog taken in by the Baltimore’s rescue group, Recycled Love, was hit by a car last month and killed.

The pit bull that made the cover of Sports Illustrated last year was living in the suburbs with Catalina Stirling, president of Recycled Love. Jasmine was one of three Vick dogs turned over to the Baltimore organization.

No details about the accident have been disclosed.

“Our hearts are heavy with sadness over the loss of our sweet Jasmine,” a blog for Recycled Love reported. “She was recently killed by an automobile in an unfortunate accident. Jasmine touched so many lives in so many ways. Her family is devastated by her passing, but they would like everyone to recognize and celebrate the unmistakable love Jasmine received and the priceless gifts she has given to everyone.”

“Please understand that Catalina, along with the rest of Jasmine’s family, are just beginning to process this loss,” the blog states. “Thank you for allowing time for all to heal.”

One of 51 pit bulls seized from the Michael Vick dog fighting ring bust in 2007, Sweet Jasmine was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated last December. The cover article detailed the ongoing rehabilitation of  the Vick pit bulls that were placed in foster care and adoptive homes.

The Recycled Love website provides few details of what happened, but it does contain a letter of condolence sent to Stirling.

“We will never forget Jasmine,” the letter reads. “She is now and forever the poster girl, who in one glossy photograph, challenged millions of people to question the treatment of animals, to reevaluate their own prejudices and to open their eyes to previously unknown, to them, horrors of dog fighting and rampant animal abuse. The world is a better place for Jasmine having been here.”

23 dead cats pulled from Cecil County home

The Cecil County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc. has removed 23 dead cats from a residence outside Chesapeake City, Maryland.

Acting on a complaint about possible cat hoarding in the 900 block of Town Point Road, animal control officers  determined there were at least 100 live cats in the home, and advised county buildings inspectors and Sheriff’s Department officials of the situation.

The agencies went to the home and removed 23 dead cats– wrapped in towels, diapers and plastic bags– all kept in freezers in the house, according to CCSPA officials.

The owner of the cats claimed she was affiliated with a Delaware cat rescue organization.

The house had an overpowering smell of urine, and animal feces were seen on floors, CCSPCA said. Otherwise, there was adequate food and water for the cats and multiple litter pans available on each floor of the house.

Most of the animals appeared to be in adequate medical condition but an upstairs room bore a sign indicating that cats in that room were positive for feline leukemia, a highly contagious, untreatable condition that leads to medical complications and premature death in cats, the CCSPCA said.

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Website offers $25,000 to dog rescue groups

A dog training website says it plans to award $500 each to 500 dog rescue organizations to help them cope during the recession.

Trainpetdog.com will distribute a total of $25,000 to rescues, with donations in the form of cash or dog supplies, depending on each organization’s needs.

“Our world has a serious dog overpopulation problem,” said Nipa Roy, spokesperson for TrainPetDog.com. “There are tons of rescues out there, making a noble effort to save and re-home dogs, but every day they struggle to get enough funding to stay open another day. Donations are an absolute necessity for these rescues.”

“With the current economy, many dog rescues are struggling to survive even if they were doing okay before,” Roy added. “Fewer families can afford to care for their dogs, so more dogs are being surrendered and fewer are being adopted out.”

TrainPetDog.com will select 500 of the neediest dog rescues to receive donations. To be considered for the donation, a rescue must fill out the online form on TrainPetDog.com’s web site. The form requests contact information for the rescue, allows the rescue to choose whether they want the donation in cash or goods, and asks questions such as what dog breeds they rescue and why they should be chosen as one of the 500 to receive a donation.

With more than 875,000 subscribers to their free dog training mini courses, TrainPetDog.com provides breed specific information for owners who want to learn more about dog and puppy training. Rescues can link to the website to provide foster and adoptive owners with the information they need to train their dogs.