Here’s a picture that turned out to be worth much more than a thousand words.
When an Atlanta rescue organization posted this photo on Facebook of one dog hugging another — a shot taken at a shelter shortly before both were scheduled to be put down — it was only a matter of hours before they were taken in by a foster parent.
Along with the photo was this explanation from Angels Among Us Pet Rescue in Atlanta, written from the perspective of one of the dogs:
“I’m Kala. This is Keira. We’re so scared in here. The people working in the shelters see how scared we are but just told each other that today is our deadline.
“We have to have someone rescue us or we’ll be ‘next.’ Keira is black and not a ‘real boxer,’ just a mix. She’s so brave and tells me it will be okay no matter what happens. She tells me to be brave too but I don’t know if I can be.
“Can you see our faces. Keira knows what will happen. You can see it in her eyes. She’s putting on a brave face for sure but I can feel her heart beating fast while I’m clinging to her.
“If no one saves us, someone will take her away from me. I’ll see her as she goes down the hallway. She won’t come back and I’ll cry.”
Within a few hours, both dogs were taken into foster care by an unnamed veterinarian from the Atlanta area, according to MyFoxAtlanta.com.
The photo was shared thousands of times on social media, and received thousands of ‘likes.’
(Photo: by Malena Evans, courtesy of Angels Among Us)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 22nd, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, angels among us, animals, atlanta, care, death row, dog, dogs, euthanasia, facebook, foster, home, kala, keira, pets, photo, photograph, rescue, saved, shelter
The potentially deadly strain of the dog flu that has sickened thousands of dogs nationwide has made its way to North Carolina.
Two dogs in Asheville and one dog in Winston-Salem were confirmed to have the H3N2 virus at the end of last week, and state officials suspect more than 200 dogs in the state may also be infected.
The confirmed case in Winston-Salem is that of a 10-year-old German shepherd that belongs to Dr. Sandra McAvoy of Abri Veterinary Hospital, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
McAvoy believes Zalea might have gotten the virus from a dog she was fostering for the Forsyth County Humane Society.
The humane society closed its doors Thursday due to concerns about the virus and expects to remain closed for at least 10 days.
Most dogs recover from the sickness within two to three weeks, but secondary bacterial infections can develop and cause more severe illness and pneumonia.
Dog flu is not transmittable to humans, according to the Center for Disease Control. Humans can, however, spread it from an infected dog to an uninfected dog.
The symptoms include cough, runny nose and fever. Other signs can include lethargy, eye discharge, reduced appetite and low-grade fever, officials said.
The state is also testing samples from a cluster of dogs in Greensboro that are showing similar symptoms.
“All dogs are at risk because this is something new, they’ve never been exposed,” said McAvoy. “They don’t have any natural immunity to it. So it’s probably going to run a course and then down the road we’re going to have immune dogs, down the road we’re going to have vaccines so the dogs will be vaccinated and they won’t get it.”
As for Zalea, she’s recovering from pneumonia and McAvoy is hopeful she’ll to pull through.
Two percent of the dogs that have contracted the virus have died.
A state Agriculture Department website is tracking the cases, and features more information and resources for pet owners.
(Photo: Zalea, the German shepherd who was one of the first dogs in North Carolina to be diagnosed with the H3N2 virus; from 13NewsNow.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 20th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, asheville, dog flu, dogs, flu, forsyth humane society, h3n2, health, north carolina, pets, safety, shelter, symptoms, vet, veterinary, winston-salem, zalea
Mayor Shelley Vana warned pet rescue organizations this week to stop bringing homeless dogs from other cities and states into Palm Beach County, saying the practice contributed to the deaths of local dogs in need of homes.
Finding homes for local shelter animals is made harder by well-meaning rescue groups that transport dogs and cats into the county for adoption events, the mayor said.
“How does flying or busing in puppies from other regions … help the dogs in this community?” Vana asked during a press conference at the county shelter on Tuesday. “How does it benefit dogs that are going to die here?”
The county’s animal shelter near West Palm Beach takes in about 15,000 dogs and cats a year. It manages to find homes for about 80 percent of the dogs (so far this year), and puts down the rest.
Included in that 80 percent of dogs who get a second chance, though, are dogs pulled from the shelter by rescue organizations — some of the same organizations the mayor is being critical of.
In light of that, and the mayor’s very non-global perspective, her plea/warning/request strikes me as a little selfish. It’s almost as if she’s saying Palm Beach’s bounties, beauties and kindness should be reserved only for natives.
What seems to be prompting the mayor’s push is the county’s quest to reach the admirable goal outlined in its 10-year “Count Down To Zero” program. Launched in 2014, the goal is to become a no-kill shelter by 2024.
The program calls for increasing spay-and-neuter efforts while encouraging more adoptions, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
About 1,800 dogs and 8,300 cats were euthanized at the Palm Beach County animal shelter last year.
Because many rescue groups have “ignored” the county’s request that they stop bringing in outside dogs and cats for adoption, Vana went public Tuesday with her plea for rescue groups to focus on helping local animals.
The county wants rescue groups to stop bringing in outside animals — some from Broward and Miami-Dade counties, some from Alabama, Tennessee and other states — until the county shelter can find homes for 90 percent of the dogs and cats it receives.
The mayor’s concerns were echoed by Dianne Sauve, the county’s director of animal care and control, who agreed local dogs should be put first.
“These guys deserve a home,” Sauve said. “Let’s try to clean up our own backyard.”
Others think the mayor is going too far.
“It doesn’t matter where the dog is born, if the dog is need,” said Lauree Simmons, president of Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington.
Simmons estimates that her group has 350 dogs from Palm Beach County, but it also has volunteer foster homes across the state that help find dogs in need. The group takes dogs from the county shelter and from other shelters across the state that would otherwise be euthanized, she said.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that Tuesday’s press conference was prompted by the actions of another local rescue group that, on Saturday, brought in 60 pets from Alabama for an adoption event.
According to the Palm Beach Post, local philanthropist Lois Pope worked with the American Humane Association to fly 60 pets from Greenville, Ala. Assisting Pope in that effort was part-time Palm Beach resident Beth Stern, wife of Howard Stern.
“I’m on a mission,” Pope explained. “I want nothing more than to save dogs from being euthanized in gas chambers. I want to take them from kill shelters and find them forever homes.”
Even if that means Palm Beach County might have to work even harder to reach the numbers it wants to reach, it’s hard to find any fault in that.
(Photo: Lannis Waters / Palm Beach Post)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 3rd, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animals, countdown to zero, dog, dogs, florida, goals, local, mayor, non-local, organizations, palm beach county, pets, rescue, shelley vana, shelter
An out-of-work English teacher has opted to live in her car for the past four months rather than give up her two dogs.
Hillary Barrows, 57, returned to England after teaching in other European countries and found herself unable to find work and unable to pay her rent.
She was offered emergency housing — but only if she agreed to give up her dogs, Robbie and Cleo.
Ever since, the English teacher has been living in her 20-year-old Alfa Romeo hatchback, with her dogs, in a parking lot in Canterbury, Kent, according to the Daily Mail.
The dogs are large ones — an eight-year-old Egyptian Pharaoh hound named Robbie and a five-year-old Labrador named Cleo. Both were rescued in Spain.
Barrows is divorced and has no family in England. Her mother lives in Canada, and the rest of her family has emigrated to New Zealand.
She has gone public with her plight in hopes of getting a job offer, or other help. More than 600 people have contributed to her Go Fund Me campaign, which has raised more than £9,000.
With a lap top and a cell phone (which she recharges at a nearby McDonalds), she’s continuing to hunt for jobs.
“I’ve applied for every job going, but nobody wants to hire me because I live in a car. I applied to a pub to be their cleaner, and they told me they couldn’t hire someone with no address. I’m between a rock and a hard place, really.”
While she said she’s eating one meal, every other day, her dogs are not going without food. She has been visited twice by RSPCA staff checking to see that the dogs are cared for.
“I am in a no-win situation — I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, I just want someone to give me a hand-up,” Barrows said.
“I just want to get back to work, get a house and somewhere safe for my dogs.”
(Photo: Tony Kershaw, SWNS.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 27th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, car, dog, dogs, hillary barrows, homeless, homeless teacher, jobs, living, living with dogs, pets, shelter, teacher
It’s not every day that a group of shelter dogs has its own art exhibit.
This one opens Sunday in São Paulo and it’s aimed at raising awareness about the plight of Brazil’s stray dogs.
Shelter dogs from Procure1Amigo were used to create the 18 artworks by shaking off the paint (edible and non-toxic) that was poured on them.
The paintings go on sale when the exhibit opens Sunday at São Paulo’s Perestroika. Photos of the dogs shaking their way through the creative process, channeling their inner Jackson Pollock, will also be for sale.
And the artists will be available for adoption.
It’s part of campaign called “Canismo,” an artistic movement supporting the adoption of shelter animals.
“The shake of the paint reveals a remarkable exercise of freedom, where each drop of ink bears the stain of prejudice,” reads a statement on the Canismo website.
“The combination of different colors in the paintings shows the mixture of breeds, as random and as beautiful as each mongrel dog.”
The brightly colored paints were made using corn starch and food coloring.
(Photo: Courtesy of Canismo)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 8th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adoption, animals, art, brazil, canismo, canvas, dog, dog art, dogs, exhibit, mutts, paint, pets, shaking, shelter, strays
A dog belonging to a misunderstood breed has helped a boy with a misunderstood disorder show a previously unseen side of himself, and his mother couldn’t be happier.
Amanda Granados says her son Joey was diagnosed at age 7 with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism that contributed to his getting suspended from school six times — all while in kindergarten.
Joey couldn’t sit still. He sometimes struck himself. And he hated being touched by others. His mother says he had never let her hug and kiss him.
While he was a whiz at math and had a near photographic memory, Joey always had difficulty making friends.
“He has a hard time reading social cues or facial expressions, and there’s awkwardness around making friends, said Granados, a 36-year-old single mother of three boys.
Then, a few months ago, the family adopted a pit bull named Roxy from a Los Angeles shelter — and Joey suddenly had the kind of friend you don’t have to make.
As Joey, now 14, explains it, “I didn’t have too many friends growing up, but then we got Roxy and I’ve been able to make friends ever since. At home, I’ve been able to hold my mom’s hand, kiss her, hug her and do a lot of things that I hadn’t been able to do growing up. She’s opened up my heart.”
“I get emotional thinking about it,” his mother said. “For all those years, he wouldn’t hold my hand, he wouldn’t hug me — it was all part of the autism — but this dog has taught him how to give and show affection. He holds my hand now. He hugs me. The first time I got a kiss on the cheek was when Roxy came home.”
A photo on the Internet led Joey to his new best friend. Joey had been asking his mom for a dog, and she saw that the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles was planning an event where a shelter dog could be adopted for $10.
“We were looking through pictures online, and Roxy’s picture made us fall in love with her,” Granados told Today.com.
“As soon as Roxy met Joey, she totally ignored me and his mother,” said adoptions specialist Denise Landaverde. (That’s her, Roxy and Joey in the photo to the left.) “Amanda was happily surprised to see Roxy go straight to Joey and watch them play together. It just sealed the deal for her.”
Granados said she initially had some qualms due to the bad things she has heard about pit bulls, but seeing her son and Roxy together made those concerns disappear.
“She is literally his best friend,” Granados said. “He can be in the foulest mood, and she comes along and it’s like a light. She doesn’t care about his differences — there’s no judgment with her — she just loves him.”
Joey agreed. “If I’ve been having a bad day, Roxy can hear a tone in my voice,” he said. “She runs up to me to give me a giant hug and lick me to death and do almost anything she can to make me happy.”
Studies have shown that dogs can give children with autism much-needed companionship and help them learn compassion, responsibility and even social skills, such as making eye contact.
What has happened between Joey and Roxy speaks louder than any of those studies, though — or at least it does to Amanda Granados.
Roxy, she agrees, seems to have opened her son’s heart, and she thinks part of it may be because of what they have in common.
“Kids with autism are looked at differently and misunderstood, and so are pit bulls,” Granados said. “I think that’s why they’ve bonded.”
(Top photo courtesy of Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center; photo of Joey and Roxy courtesy of Amanda Granados)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 1st, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, amanda granados, animals, aspergers, autism, best friends, Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center, dog, dogs, joey granados, los angeles, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, roxy, shelter
That Boston terrier who boarded a city bus and went on a 20-mile ride in Houston last month has landed in a forever home, according to news reports.
The dog, as you can see in the surveillance video above, hopped on the bus in northwest Houston with some other passengers, though he didn’t belong to any of them.
Twenty miles later, at Metro’s downtown transit center on Main Street, he exited the bus with other passengers — one of whom escorted him to the transit authority police station.
“He was a very friendly little guy. He was very sociable. But he was a gentleman,” Metro Police Officer Ida Schoener told KHOU.
Schoener, on her lunch break, took the dog to the Bayou City Veterinary Hospital, which agreed to care for the dog — by then nicknamed “Metro” — until an owner or foster family could be found.
“He’s pretty calm but also excited to go out on walks,” said Bayou City veterinarian Kristy Kyle. “He is not afraid of the world. We’ll put it that way.”
The transit authority released surveillance footage recorded on a camera on the bus of the dog being welcomed on board, as well as footage of the dog arriving at the transit center.
After no one called to claim the dog, a Boston terrier rescue group was called and a temporary home was found.
There, the dog’s long strange trip finally came to an end, the veterinary hospital reports, when the person serving as his foster parent decided to adopt him.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 13th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopted, animals, bayou city veterinary hospital, boarded, boston terrier, bus, dog, dogs, foster, houston, metro, news, passengers, pets, public transportation, rescue, shelter, stray, surveillance, transit, video