Navy Captain Bob Dolan died at the Pentagon on 9-11, but his namesake, a Labrador retriever trained in bomb detection, is ready for duty.
The 500th dog to go through Transportation Security Administration training at Lackland Air Force Base — all of them are being named after the 3,000 victims of 9-11 — Dolan is headed for duty in Maui, according to NBC.
NBC first reported on the dog when the TSA announced the birth of the 500th dog destined to enter its Explosives Detection Canine Team program. Dolan got to meet the wife of the man he was named after, Capt. Robert Edward Dolan Jr., on the Today show.
“My children and I are very excited to have a puppy named in Bob’s memory,” said Lisa Dolan. “Bob began his military career as an explosives ordnance expert. When he was killed at the Pentagon, he was working on Homeland Defense, and so it very fitting to have one of the TSA puppies named for our hero, Captain Bob Dolan. Knowing ‘Puppy Dolan’ will one day be an explosives detection canine in the service of our country is reassuring. Dolan’s future career keeping travelers safe is a fitting addition to Bob’s legacy of freedom.”
Lisa Dolan and her daughter got to reunite with the dog again at his recent graduation.
Operating out of Lackland Air Force Base since 2002, TSA’s canine program selectively breeds and prepares puppies to be trained and deployed to airports and mass transit systems throughout the country.
About half of the 500 puppies bred by TSA are working as detection dogs for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies or have been selected as breeders for the program.
The TSA relies on volunteers to help raise the puppies. After screening and an orientation, families in central Texas provide a nurturing home environment from 10 weeks to 12 months of age. TSA provides all the food, equipment and veterinary care, and the families provide environments in which the puppies can grow and develop.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 000, 3, 9-11, airports, animals, bob dolan, bomb, bomb-sniffing, captain, detection, dogs, explosives, foster, homeland, labrador retriever, lackland air force base, law enforcement, mass transit, navy, pentagon, pets, puppies, robert edward dolan jr, security, training, transportation security administration, tsa, victim, volunteer
As she approached, the bag — tied at the top — began moving.
And when she opened it she found a cream and white- colored Chihuahua mix inside, dirty but alive.
According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the dog has been named Angel and is being cared for at the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center, formerly the Riverside Humane Society.
The volunteer, Debra Jordan, was on her way to work at the center when she spotted the sack, about 9 a.m. Monday, according to center spokeswoman Carrie Ridgeway.
Ridgeway said the dog is believed to be about three years old. Her ears were caked with mud and there were insect bites on her body.
After a bath and a meal, the dog seemed to be fine, she added.
Adoption Center officials reported the incident to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
“It’s not only heartbreaking, it’s also a crime,” Denise Perry, executive director of the adoption center said. “Pets aren’t disposable. They are living, breathing beings.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, alive, animals, bag, burlap, california, center, chihuahua, debra jordan, discarded, dogs, found, mary roberts, mix, pets, riverside, riverside county, tied, trash bag dogs, volunteer
That’s when one or more of the five dogs in her care attacked and killed the 23-year-old woman at her home in Decatur, police say.
Despite that, and the euthanization of all the dogs, her family has set up a fund in her name to support rescue efforts at Loving Hands Animal Hospital, where Carey worked.
“Since the second grade when she read the book ‘Throw Away Pets,’ she vowed to be a voice for all animals,” her parents, Greg and Ellen Carey, said in a statement. “Upon placing her first abandoned animal in a permanent loving home in 2003, she volunteered countless hours with rescue networks and animal shelters. There she did what she loved the most: rescuing animals from untenable situations to find them safe, loving homes.”
LuAnn Farrell, the co-founder of the non-profit Angels Among Us Pet Rescue,” said Carey was known for taking in hard to place animals.
“She was one of the good ones because she did take in the ones nobody else would help,” Farrell told 11 Alive in Atlanta.
Farrell said the young woman’s death “kind of makes us all slip back just a little bit and say this is something that can actually happen,” but that she hopes it doesn’t dissuade people from helping animals in need.
“You know that’s the one thing she wouldn’t want people to do, shy away from rescue. It’s already hard enough. We’re already having thousands of them being put to sleep every day. There’s only so many of us that can do it,” said Farrell.
Carey had one of the rescue organization’s animals, a boxer mix, living with her at the time of her death, as well as two Presa Canarios and two pit bulls, one of which, Napolean, she had adopted six years ago when he was eight weeks old.
She was dogsitting one of Presa Canarios, and it was that dog’s owner, Jackie Cira, who discovered Rebecca’s body after she failed to show up for work at Alpharetta’s Loving Hands Animal Clinic.
Police originally investigated her death as a homicide, but last Thursday they announced she was killed by multiple dog bites.
The dogs were all euthanized Wednesday, with the consent of Carey’s parents, a police spokesperson said.
Cira, in remarks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, questioned whether it was necessary to put all the dogs down, and why animal control officials made no apparent effort to determine which dog or dogs inflicted the bites leading to Carey’s death. Cira’s dog, Danai, was also euthanized.
Tim Medlin, interim director of DeKalb Animal Control, said public safety was the priority: “I won’t put another person at risk,” he said.
Donations in Carey’s name can be made to www.angelsrescue.org, by putting Carey’s name in the remarks section. They can also be mailed to Loving Hands Animal Hospital, 13374 Hwy 9, Alpharetta, GA, 30004.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, alpharetta, angels among us, animals, attacked, bitten, boxer, care, contributions, death, decatur, dogs, euthanized, five dogs, foster, fund, georgia, investigation, killed, loving hands animal hospital, pets, pit bulls, police, presa canarios, provider, Rebecca Carey, rescue, rescuer, shelter, throwaway pets, tragedy, volunteer, volunteers
Buddy, one of more than 200 dogs that lived at the home of a hoarder in California — depicted in the video above — died last week at age 15, but not before getting to spend more than a year in a loving home.
Ida Schillaci Noack took part as a volunteer in a March 2011 rescue effort at the hoarder’s home, in southern California, and ended up, with the homeowner’s permission, bringing Buddy home with her. Three months later the Humane Society of the United States removed most of the other animals from the home. Noack took part in that effort, too.
Buddy spent almost a year and a half with Noack. Last week, the day before she had the old and ailing dog put down, Noack wrote about Buddy on her Facebook page. With her permission, we reprint it here in its entirety:
He is the greatest canine love of my life.
I’ve had other rescues. There was Elvis, followed by Miss Piggy, then Rex (who required special care due to renal disease).
After Rex’s passing, I found Sampson, an affable tank.
In between all of them have been fosters; at one time our house had 5 dogs and 4 cats. All were special.
But there was something about Buddy.
Buddy came from a hoarder’s property. This hoarder, an older woman, lived in a dilapidated house. She appeared to at least have electricity and plumbing. The refrigerator in the kitchen — only the freezer portion was working — contained just a few items: some medication and two pounds of raw hamburger, but no stove to cook it with.
In the middle of the living room there was a another refrigerator — inoperable — along with two crated dogs who had no food or water. The flooring had been destroyed down to the cement, and the walls were coated with a brown scum extending at least two feet up from the floor. At one time the property had over 250 dogs: some kenneled, some crated, many running wild, several pregnant … and most were sick.
It was obvious many of the dogs were from the same litters, spanning generations. They didn’t appear socialized; they might accept food or treats, but then ran and hid. There were dirt dens, and some kennels were only five feet long and two feet wide. The neglect of these animals had apparently been going on for years, but even worse was that the property was located in the desert of California where it was hot enough to melt the glue from our shoes.
The level of noise itself almost required ear plugs. Even in the open outdoors, the smell of feces and urine was overwhelming. In the weeks prior to my arrival several other volunteers had come down with giardia.
In all this chaos, Buddy stood out. He was a shaggy mess in a sea of shepherd and lab mixes. He moved slowly in his kennel. No barking, no jumping, nor did he run and hide. I went in as part of a grassroots rescue, for several weekends we cleaned, fed, watered and did basic medical for the dogs. We were slowly transporting them out as the rescue community could take them in. Those that were extremely sick were taken out right away.
Buddy’s hair was probably 6 inches long – so long I couldn’t see through to his eyes. He kept his head down and once he caught my scent he walked sluggishly over to me.
I squatted down, my body pointing away so that I posed no threat – and I slowly reached out to him. His tail wagged – barely – and he nudged closer. Finally I moved the hair away from his eyes. They were closed. Did he even have eyes? I couldn’t tell. I stayed a few minutes with him, then moved on. There were 200 more dogs that needed food and water.
A few hours later I found my way back to him. He came over to me in the same way and I petted and rubbed him gently.
My friend Kim came over – I told her I wasn’t sure if this old guy even had eyes. She looked at me worried, cocked her head and said, “I’ll give you a thousand dollars to take that dog.”
She repeated herself. Crap. It wasn’t the money, I was already in love with him. There was something about him that made my heart swell, skip a beat, go pitter-patter. Pick one or choose all. I called my husband, another great gift in my life. His response? “Whatever you want, my sweet.” I’m lucky.
So Buddy was loaded in a crate and into my life. The groomers bathed and shaved him. The vet pulled most of this rotted teeth out, and his blood levels were great.
He wasn’t suffering from malnutrition, giardia, mange or any tick-borne illnesses – all of which plagued many of the dogs that had already been pulled. Still, he was mostly blind, partially deaf, very thin, and not even house-broken. But he is perfect in so many other ways.
He has never barked or growled; he will just “purr” when you pet him. He’ll get the zoomies about twice a week till he falls over. He rubs up against me like a cat and then falls into my lap.
I have to carry him in and out of the house and keep him crated at night to avoid late night accidents. He loves his breakfast, dinner, and evening Kong filled with peanut butter.
Buddy is a lot of work, but to me this 15-year-old ragamuffin is worth every bit of extra care, and is worth far more than a thousand dollars. He is priceless and he makes my heart sing. Tomorrow, Buddy will cross the Rainbow Bridge, this has not an easy decision. But we can no longer help him, he will not get better. So tomorrow we will let him go, with dignity, grace and our love.
(Photos: From the Facebook page of Ida Schillaci Noack; top photo by Stella’s Hope)
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters and rescue organizations. In this feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of our “Adventures in Volunteering” posts can be found archived here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 150 dogs, 200 dogs, adventures in volunteering, animal, animal welfare, best freinds animal sanctuary, buddy, california, dead, dies, dog, dogs, downtown dog rescue, experiences, hoarder, hoarding, hsus, humane society of the united states, Ida Schillaci Noack, los angeles, loss, mojave desert animal rescue, pets, red rover, rescue, rescuer, rescues, shelters, southern, stories, surrendered, tales, volunteer, volunteers
Stepping out onto the exercise field with a dog at the Washington Humane Society is a thrilling moment — for me and the dog I’m with.
The dog knows he or she will be going for a walk or doing a training activity. I know that — as a result of the teaching, exercising, or simply socializing — the dog will be better for the experience.
After spending a few minutes walking and working with the dog I’ve taken outside, I think about how great it would be if I could always count on a second volunteer to be there at the same time.
Volunteering should be a team sport because it takes a lot of team work to provide the best experience for the dogs.
Each volunteer should be willing to do whatever is necessary to help the dogs, including exercising them and also providing care for the animals. If one person tries to do only one task, the team suffers.
That’s why I want to encourage others to volunteer at the Washington Humane Society. Volunteering is not a game or sport, but it does require acting in unison and working together, and everyone must work hard to ensure success.
If everyone works hard together more can be accomplished. A true volunteer is committed to helping in all aspects of the care, training, and exercising of the animals. Team work doesn’t always mean that each person gets attention for everything they do. The benefit to the dogs is the reward.
This brings me to a dog with whom I have spent a lot of time at WHS. Her name is Ginger. She has beautiful brown eyes and she loves sitting close to me on the park bench outside. She also loves a peanut butter kong for a special treat.
I also help train Ginger when we go outside. She is very smart and is always looking forward to “sitting” for a treat.
Participating in this “Shelter Enrichment Activity” is one of many things you can do as volunteer.
Ginger never wants to leave my side, and loves all the attention from volunteers. On Saturday, my fellow volunteer, Valerie, and I took out Ginger together with another WHS dog and they had such a nice time cooling off together in the summer heat, sitting in the cool shade of bamboo trees.
These are great moments to share with another volunteer and it is rewarding to know that we helped take the dogs out together and that they were so calm and happy out in the field.
To meet Ginger, stop by the Washington Humane Society Adoption Center located at 1201 New York Ave. NE. To see more of their adoptable pets, visit the website. If you are interested in providing anything extra for Ginger, please contact Katherine Zenzano at Kzenzano@washhumane.org.
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters – if not the heart and soul, at least the arms and legs. In this new feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to email@example.com.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adventures in volunteering, animals, dogs, experiences, ginger, guest posts, humane society, julie stack, pets, rescues, shelters, socializing, trainer, training, volunteer, volunteering, volunteers, walking, washington humane society
Volunteering at the Forsyth Humane Society has been a great experience overall. I mean, besides scooping the “bio-waste,” to put it delicately.
I spent most of my time playing with and walking dogs of all energy levels, backgrounds, and breeds.
And I spent some of my time in a costume, serving as the humane society’s mascot at community events.
Fun as it has been, I have also come to two unsettling realizations.
I have also concluded that with age and time since intake, the chances of an animal’s adoption decrease. A dog who has been there two months stands much less chance of finding a home than a new puppy. Puppies come and go quickly, whereas older dogs are often overlooked.Ideally, all dogs would find homes, and everything would be fine. A perfect world where all dogs have a lifelong home from birth probably will never exist. However, isn’t it morally wrong that the ones who have been caged up their whole lives are the ones that don’t get adopted?
Even if you don’t want to get a dog, you can still make a difference. Volunteer at your local Humane Society or shelter and interact with the animals there. You’ll have that warm feeling of having done something to help pets feel secure during a time of need. And aside from that, it can be fun, too.
Here are some of the things I did this summer at the Forsyth Humane Society, in Winston-Salem, N.C:
I walked dogs (picking up after them as I did so). If someone wanted to see what a dog was like, I’d let them walk the dog and I’d just follow and scoop. If they wanted, they could also take a dog into the playpen outside and play with them (as long as a volunteer or staff member was there).
I also did quite a bit of playing myself, tossing tennis balls to the ball-playing dogs, running with the more energetic ones down the trail, and if they were really hyper, I’d do a bit of doggie “bullfighting.” I’d hold a bone or something, and sidestep at the last second and try to avoid having the bone taken for a few minutes, at which point I’d let the dog grab on and it would become tug-of-war. It was great exercise for both me and the dogs, though I usually wound up being the one worn out first. It’s also quite fun, if you don’t mind one or two accidental scratches here or there from a paw.
But then there’s another side to the volunteering. That’s the real reason to go — the difference you can make in a dog’s life. For me, that feeling came while working with dogs like Truvy, a pit bull.I didn’t know anything about her history at the time, so I took her for a walk like I would any other dog. Someone (I can’t remember who) who was walking another dog said it was good that I was walking her because she was afraid of men, likely as a result of having been abused by one. After learning this, I set myself a goal for the day—to get Truvy to not be afraid of me.
I took Truvy to the end of the walking trail, where I sat down, and after about thirty minutes, she did too, but still cowered when I tried to reach out and pet her. When Truvy finally started to feel safe enough to lie down, a sudden boom (likely a truck on the overpass a couple hundred yards away) scared her, and we were back to square one. So we went to the playpen. It took about forty minutes to get her to try to pick up a tennis ball. She dropped it when I approached her and she ran to the corner. When I was told that it was time to put Truvy in back in her cage and let another dog in the playpen, I sat with her in the cage. She curled up in the corner, and I sat down next to her and started petting her. I sat with my arm around her for a while.
By the end of my two-hour shift (at least half an hour of which was in the cage), Truvy had curled up against me with her head on the inside of my elbow. So I wound up completely filled with that warm fuzzy feeling I mentioned earlier—except in my left arm which was numb from the elbow down.
I also enjoyed volunteering at the events like “Pups in the Park,” where dogs can come to the baseball game with you. Before the game, the Forsyth Humane Society bus, ROVER, parks in front of the stadium, and visitors are invited to walk through it and see some of the animals that are up for adoption.
Some of the volunteers walk the dogs around with “Adopt Me” harnesses on, and others hand out bags to people so they can pick up after their dogs. Then there are the people who sell T-shirts to raise money for FHS, and those who run the games that entertain kids while their parents look around.
And finally, there’s the all-important mascot duty. That was my job of choice at events — even though it got a little hot in there. I walked around in a dog costume, sometimes freaking out the real dogs. Lots of them barked at me, some sniffed me, and one grabbed my tail. Humans waved at me, hugged me and took pictures. Best of all, I got into a baseball game for free.
Do you have to go to these extremes or anything to make a difference? No. Volunteering can mean simply playing with a dog for a few minutes or taking it on a walk. These simple things help a dog learn how to interact with humans so that, when he or she does find a home, the transition can be smooth. It’s a fun, rewarding experience for both you and the animal whose life you improve with every minute you spend with them.
Can we have a utopia? Maybe not. However, we can donate an hour or two at a local shelter and make the world a better place — one pet at a time.
Editor’s note: Volunteers are the foundation of most animal shelters — if not the heart and soul, at least the arms and legs. In this new feature, we invite shelter and rescue volunteers to share their thoughts. If you’ve had an experience with a particular dog, or a particular program, if you’ve found new inspirations, learned some lessons or just want to write about the day-to-day work you do with animals, send your story along, with photos if you like, including one of yourself, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 19th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adventures in volunteering, animal shelters, animals, dogs, essays, forsyth humane society, guest, guest posts, humane society, joe woestendiek, mascot, pets, posts, rescue, shelter, spca, submissions, volunteer, volunteering, volunteers
More than four years after Little Red came to Best Friends from the dogfighting ring that operated on NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s property, she has been officially adopted.
Susan, a longtime Best Friends supporter from the Midwest, saw Little Red’s photo not long after she arrived at the Utah animal sanctuary — one of 22 former Vick dogs sent to Best Friends for rehabilitation.
“There was something about her eyes,” said Susan who became a sponsor of Little Red, contributing to her care at Best Friends.
A year after that, Susan visited Best Friends with her sister. She hoped to meet Little Red then, but wasn’t allowed to because all of the former Vick dogs were court-ordered to be kept apart from all non-staff at the sanctuary.
A year later, Susan was back again, and by this time, Little Red had moved to an area where Susan could at least see her from a distance.
Still another year later, in February 2011, Susan returned to volunteer again. This time, she was able to volunteer where Little Red lived, but still wasn’t allowed to interact with her directly.
But she did get to see her every day, for a week.
After that week, Susan began wondering about the possibility of bringing Little Red home with her, and she applied to adopt her.
Last September, Susan was cleared to take Little Red home as a foster dog. According to court orders, all former Vick dogs have to first be fostered for a period of six months before they can be adopted.
Last month, those six months came to an end, and Susan recently returned to Best Friends with Little Red to fill out the final adoption paperwork.
“She’s done fabulously well,” Susan says.
It took a little while for Little Red to feel confident in her new surroundings. She was leery of the wide-open spaces on Susan’s six-acre, fenced property. For weeks, she stayed next to the fence. Now though, Little Red makes full use of the space, and enjoys playing with Susan’s other four dogs.
“She runs like the wind!” Susan said.
(Photo and video courtesy of Best Friends)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoptions, animal sanctuary, animals, best friends, dog, dog fighting, dogs, little red, michael vick, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, rehabilitation, sponsor, utah, vick dogs, vicktory dogs, volunteer
The 38-pound dog, named Mabeline, scared the attacker off, allowing the 17-year-old girl to escape.
Volunteering at the shelter on a recent Saturday, the girl was chased, grabbed by the hair and pinned down before Mabeline scared the attacker away.
Michael Bacon, a registered sexual predator, was arrested, WTSP-10 in Florida reported.
Since the attack, Mabeline has been adopted. Her new owner, Mary Callahan, had no idea what the dog had done, until 10 News told her.
“I looked at my dog and I thought, ‘You are a hero,’” Callahan said.
The shelter said they are no longer allowing volunteers to walk dogs down the path where the attack happened.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arrested, dog, dogs, florida, friends of strays, mabeline, mix, pets, rescues, rhodesian, ridgeback, safety, sexual predator, shelter, shelters, st. petersburg, volunteer
The Quay County Sun in Michigan reports that Caesar — a Maltese who was never located after the crash — recently turned up at the Tucumcari shelter, where a volunteer was able to track down his owner, Monica Benson, after he was scanned for a microchip.
“This has been the best news we have received in a year,” said Benson, who lost her husband and a daughter in the accident.
Caesar is expected to arrive home in Clio, Michigan, this week, where Benson’s four surviving children have made welcome home posters for him.
The Benson family was traveling westbound on I-40 near Tucumcari on June 15, 2010, when their Chevrolet mini-van overturned, killing Gary Benson, Monica’s husband, and their daughter Emily.
One of the other children, Benjamin was placed in an intensive care unit.
“While Benjamin was in the ICU, we placed pictures of him and Caesar on the walls.” Monica Benson said. “When he woke up he would point at the pictures and say Caesar.”
(Family photo of Benjamin and Caesar)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, benjamin benson, caesar, clio, crash, dog, emily benson, found, gary benson, i-40, lost, maltese, michigan, microchip, monica benson, new mexico, posters, rescue, returning, reunion, shelter, traffic, tucumcari, volunteer, welcome home
Amid a continuing investigation into allegations of animal cruelty, what was once the entire animal control staff of Chesterfield County, S.C., has been fired.
Sheriff Sam Parker said the firings took place Monday “in an effort to begin a new start at the shelter.”
The animal shelter has been under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the state’s Attorney General’s office since allegations came out in March that dogs were being shot as a form of euthanasia, according to WBTV.
The state Attorney General’s Office has not released its findings on the investigation, and says it is still underway.
While it has been alleged that nearly two dozen dogs at the shelter were shot and dumped in a landfill, Sheriff Parker said he believes the initial number was exaggerated, and that his office is investigating the deaths of six. Allegations also surfaced that dog fights were being staged at the shelter, but the sheriff said those allegations appear false.
WBTV filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Sheriff’s Office to learn the names of the four fired animal control staff members – Brian Burch, Eric Donahue, Lee Carnea and James Calvin Culledge.
The shelter was shut down and its employees placed on administrative leave after the investigation began. Deborah Farhi, a volunteer who works with the shelter, says a tip led her to discover dead shelter dogs in the landfill. She said she dug up two dogs that had been shot in the head.
While deputies were temporarily assigned to operate the shelter, the sheriff prohibited them from driving animal control vehicles because of hundreds of threats towards the animal control officers.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, attorney general, chesterfield county, deborah farhi, dogfights, dogs, euthanasia, fired, firings, investigation, landfill, pets, shelter, sheriff, shooting, shot, south carolina, staff, threats, volunteer