It wasn’t the first time someone has fallen in love online.
It wasn’t the first time someone dropped everything to travel across the country to meet and claim the object of his affection.
But it may be the first time that someone has been able to get members of the public to help finance such a trip.
That’s probably because the girl of Joel Carpenter’s dreams was a dog — a husky-shepherd-collie mix named Sadie that he spotted on Petfinder and was so smitten with that he bought a one-way ticket to Minneapolis to adopt her, knowing full well he didn’t have the money to get back home to Maine.
“For whatever reason, Sadie just struck me,” the 23-year-old told the Detroit Free Press. “I felt like I need to fly out to rescue her; at the core, there was just this intense feeling that I was doing the right thing.”
“You could say I’m winging it a little bit,” he added in an interview conducted while he and the dog were stuck in Michigan. “I was just kind of following my heart.”
Joel Carpenter flew from his home in Portland, Maine to Minneapolis on Sept. 22 and adopted Sadie from a local shelter.
While there, what little money he had — what with taxi fares, motels and adoption fees — ran out.
It could be Carpenter is just young and brash and a poor planner, but, more likely, he saw the whole thing as an adventure.
He knew he might have to rely on ride-sharing and couch-surfing on the trip home — and things started out well enough when he got a ride from Minnesota to Grand Rapids in a kindly gentleman’s RV.
There, he found a couple that invited Sadie and him to stay in their home. But when he ran into trouble finding another ride he decided to call a local news station to see if they could help “spread the word that I needed a ride back to Maine.”
Here we have to question whether Carpenter was so gullible as to think a news station would gladly broadcast his ride needs, or so savvy as to know he was sitting in the middle of a pretty good story.
After the news report, Carpenter’s phone started ringing.
“News papers and News stations all curious about my story. What was most encouraging was the positive support for me and Sadie. Many people became invested in our adventure, and wanted to help out any way they could. Many people have told me we should try Go Fund Me … So here we are!” Carpenter wrote on the Gofundme page he established.
Between it and a Facebook page started by his girlfriend, donations and offers of help poured in — food, toys, motel rooms and, finally enough money to buy an airplane ticket.
On Wednesday Joel and Sadie hitched a ride from Grand Rapids to Detroit, where another good Samaritan bought Carpenter and Sadie a hotel room for the night. On Thursday, he and Sadie flew home.
The saga of Carpenter and Sadie raises more than a few questions — including just how loose a screening process that shelter must have had to hand a dog over to someone who lived 1,500 miles away, with no money, and no clear way home. Was that irresponsible, or did they just fall for the romanticism of it all?
I kind of did, and I’m a cynical sort. But then again I uprooted my dog from his stable home to spend a year on the road, traveling across America in a car but on a shoestring, including doing a little couch-surfing and a little relying on the kindness of strangers.
Is the saga of Carpenter and Sadie proof that love conquers all? Is it the epitome of irresponsibility? An excellent adventure? Or is it just the kind of thing dog-crazy people do?
I ‘d love to hear your opinions on all this (and unlike most websites that ask you for that I really mean it) because — other than being happy they are safely back home — I’m not sure what exactly mine is.
(Photo of Joel and Sadie from WZZM)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 5th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal, animals, bond, couchsurfing, dog, dogs, facebook, gofundme, joel carpenter, love, maine, minnesota, news media, online, online love, petfinder, pets, relationships, ridesharing, sadie, shelter, shelters, social media, trip
That was back in the fall of 2009 when the dog was pulled from a Gardena auto shop that had been set ablaze in an apparent suicide.
Over the weeks he received treatment for his burns at the Affordable Animal Hospital in Torrance, dozens of people expressed interest in adopting him — but no one followed through. About a year ago, Hachi — after surviving the fire, after prolonged and costly medical treatment — appeared headed for a sadly ironic end.
When Faith Summerson, founder of Pal Rescue, heard Hachi was about to be euthanized by the county shelter due to lack of space, she stepped forward, and Hachi was rescued again.
She picked him up and sought to find him a forever home — keeping him in one of her kennels and later at her own home.
Pal Rescue was founded in 1995 and has helped find homes for over 3,000 cats and dogs. Hachi, though — despite gaining notoriety on the Internet, because of his unusual appearnace, as the “Terminator” dog — didn’t appear destined to become one of them.
Until last month, when his year and a half wait ended.
After his story appeared on the news, Pal Rescue reports, they heard from a man who had recently lost his own dog. While many had offered him dogs to fill the void of his previous dog’s death, he had turned them all down, opting to wait instead for a dog who truly needed him — one not everybody else would want.
Call it rescue No. 3 for Hachi, a dog named, after his first rescue, for the legendary Akita, Hachiko, who waited every day at a train station in Japan for his master to return from work — and continued to do so for another 10 years after his master’s death.
The rescue organization reports that Hachi’s new dad is “a very dedicated and experienced dog owner that has had many beloved dogs in his lifetime, and always gravitated to the ones most in need.”
“The two hit it off immediately when we home delivered Hachi yesterday … Hachi was at ease the moment he walked in the door.”
You can find Hachi’s full story at petfinder.com
Posted by John Woestendiek April 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, affordable animal hospital, akita, animals, burned, california, chow, dog, dogs, fire, forever home, hachi, hachiko, home, mix, pal, pal rescue, petfinder, petfinder.com, pets, rescue, shelter, the pal rescue, waiting
Petfinder.com has announced its annual ranking of the 10 most popular names for adoptable pets in 2009.
For the third year in a row, “Buddy” and “Max” came in at first and second for dogs, with “Lucy” and “Smokey” topping the list of cat names.
While many of the most common names have remained consistent year-to-year, there was one new name turning up on the list for both cats and dogs — “Bella.”
The top 10 dog names were: 1. Buddy; 2. Max; 3. Daisy; 4. Lucy; 5. Charlie; 6. Bella; 7. Molly; 8. Jack; 9. Sadie; 10. Lady.
The top 10 cat names: 1. Lucy; 2. Smokey; 3. Midnight; 4. Bella; 5. Molly; 6. Daisy; 7. Oreo; 8. Shadow; 9. Charlie; 10. Angel.
Petfinder.com is also sharing its favorite quirky and unusual names of the year, selected from more than 170 submissions received via Facebook and Twitter. Here are their favorites:
Shyanne Thailand Moo Goo Guy Pan, Mr. Tomfoolery Scardeycat Eliot, Rusty Buckets, KeelHaul, Too Fancy for You, Angry Donut, Maple Syrup, Hoseclamp, Prince Xavier Binxley, Hoku-ho’okele-wa’a.
“While funny names are always a big hit, we are also seeing a trend of pet parents giving their furry friends middle names, such as ‘Sunshine Ray,’ ‘Roxanna Bobanna Little’ and ‘Madison Wisconsin,’ suggesting that these animals are more like family members than family pets,” said Betsy Saul, the co-founder of Petfinder.com.
Petfinder.com is an online, searchable database of animals that need permanent homes, compiled from 12,900 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angel, bella, buddy, cats, charlie, common, daisy, dogs, funny, jack, lady, list, lucy, max, midnight, molly, most, names, oreo, pet, petfinder, petfinder.com, pets, popular, quirky, sadie, shadow, smokey, trend, unusual
Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, and Operation Scarlet, a Shar Pei rescue group based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania have won the first round of voting — and $1,000 grants — in the The Animal Rescue Site’s $100,000 Shelter+ Challenge.
A total of $100,000 in grants will be awarded to shelters and rescue organizations in the 2009 Challenge, which wraps up July 26.
Members of the public can vote for their favorite shelters once a day at theanimalrescuesite.com.
This year, a grand prize of $20,000 will go to the top vote-getting organization. The second place winner will receive $5,000 and third place will receive $3,000. Honorable Mentions of $1,500 will go the fourth and fifth highest vote-getters.
“Because the voting lasts for fifteen weeks on our site, there is plenty of time left for new shelters to leap into the lead,” said Rosemary Jones, a spokesperson for The Animal Rescue Site. “We’ve also increased the number of grants, so there are more even opportunities for all types of Petfinder.com shelters and rescue organizations to receive anywhere from $1,000 weekly winner (for the most votes cast that week) to regional awards to the $20,000 grand prize.”
As of April 30, the top ten shelters in the Challenge in alphabetical order were: Best Friends Animal Society, Kanab, Utah; Days End Farm Horse Rescue; Lisbon, Maryland; Humane Society of Huron Valley, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc., Pittsville, Wisconsin; Oasis Sanctuary, Benson, Arizona; Operation Scarlet Inc, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary, Ovando, Montana; SBU Cat Network, Stony Brook, New York; Seminole County Animal Services, Sanford, Florida; and Wynne Friends of Animals, Wynne, Arkansas.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: best friends animal society, days end farm horse rescue, grants, human society of huron valley, leaders, midwest horse welfare foundation, oasis sanctuary, operation scarlet, petfinder, petfinder.com, rescues, rolling dog ranch, sbu cat network, seminole county animal services, shelters, the animal rescue site, theanimalrescuesite.com, voting, winners, wynne friends of animals
A perennial favorite for those seeking an alternative to the Super Bowl, the Puppy Bowl is basically two hours of watching rambunctious puppies frolic on the gridiron of Animal Planet Stadium.
Puppy Bowl V will be the first to feature an entire cast of shelter and rescue dogs — all 20 dogs featured are up-for-adoption pets, or free agents to use the sports term. Two are from our neck of the woods — the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.
The SPCA also provided the cats that will be featured as half-time entertainment.
To kick start this year’s sports extravaganza, “Pepper the Parrot,” will be singing a unique rendition of the National Anthem.
To find out more about the Puppy Bowl, and how to vote for Most Valuable Puppy, visit Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl web page.
The Puppy Bowl airs from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday on Animal Planet network.
Here’s a look at last year’s action:
Posted by John Woestendiek January 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, animal planet, discovery, dog, dogs, football, gridiron, kickoff, most valuable puppy, network, pepper the parrot, petfinder, puppies, puppy bowl, puppy bowl V, pups, rescue, schedule, shelter, sunday, super bowl, super bowl sunday, time, tv
Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) is lowering its adoption fees for the rest of December, and will waive it entirely for animals two years old and older.
The move comes amid a surplus of abandoned dogs and cats — many of them dropped off by families facing financial difficulties.
“We’re being inundated with healthy, adoptable animals,” said BARCS executive director Jennifer Mead-Brause told the Baltimore Sun. “We have people driving up in U-Hauls, dropping off their pets. It’s heartbreaking.”
On top of that, the economic downturn has resulted in fewer people showing up to adopt.
For pups and kittens six months and younger, the fee will continue to be the usual $65, which includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, and preventatives. For animals aged 7 months up to 2 years, the fee hs been dropped to $10, and for animals under two, there will be no fee at all.
The reduced fees are in effect from Dec. 13 through Dec. 31.
To see the animals now at BARCS, you can visit BARCS Petfinder page, or visit in person, at 301 Stockholm St. Shelter Hours are Monday to Friday, 12:30 to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 15th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal welfare, animals, baltimore animal shelter, barcs, cats, deal, dogs, fees, holiday, hours, lowered, ohmidog!, older, petfinder, rescue, shelter
Of course, we’re using “ugly” in a nice way. Perhaps we should spell it a different way, like phat instead of fat. How about “uglee?” Something that is uglee, pronounced ug-LEEEE, is so hideous as to actually be cool; whereas ugly, pronounced UG-lee, is, well, just plain ugly with no redeeming value.
Feel free to use my newly coined hip phrase at your will. But back to the contest winners.
Above is Bella, a lab/pit bull mix adopted from the Bowling Green Warren County Humane Society (in Kentucky). Her owner, Megan Fisher, says they call this her “Cosby Sweater” and reports that she loves wearing it.
The other finalists included Kasey, who has outgrown the number being modeled above, and Landon, a Yorkie mix currently up for adoption through PPAWSS, Promoting Pet Adoptions and Welfare in Sulphur Springs (Texas).
Then there was Hot Momma, the Chinese-Crested (a breed that actually needs sweaters) who was submitted by Angela M. Shatzer of Carolina Poodle Rescue in Spartanburg, SC; and Isabel, whose owner notes she “definitely looks like a chub of sausage in this sweater.” Isabel’s not fond of the sweater, but it keeps her from rubbing the hair off her belly.
You can see all the finalists and read about them on Petfinders blog.
But be forewarned, they (the sweaters, not the dogs) are ug-LEEEEEE!
(Photos courtesy of petfinder.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 11th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: apparel, christmas, clothing, contest, dog, dog sweaters, dogs, e-cards, holidays, petfinder, sweaters, uglee, ugly, ugly sweaters