Watch Tip Classic – Watch for Strays

Posted on August 29th, 2012 by Trish Roman-Aquilino

Watch Tip LogoThis Watch Tip was originally written by Anna Nirva.

With the upcoming holiday three-day weekend almost upon us, this classic watch tip bears repeating – many families will be traveling with pets to strange areas, and many pets will be either boarded or watched over in their homes by either professionals or friends and family.

Watch and listen for stray dogs and cats that could go missing while traveling with their families, or be frightened by holiday fireworks. Take action to save them. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: What to do if you find a dog

Posted on July 2nd, 2012 by Trish Roman-Aquilino

Watch Tip LogoWe’ve all been there – a dog is running loose in the neighborhood, or you see a dog sitting on the side of road, all alone. Most of us are inclined to help in those situations, and this week’s Watch Tip focuses on how to do so safely, thoroughly, and conscientiously, increasing the chances of your found dog being reunited with their owner.

Play it safe

Assuming the found dog is not aggressive or injured, and you can safely get the dog into your car or home, you will want to collar and leash them, so that they will not be able to escape you as well; it is very helpful to have extra leashes that can quickly be looped into a slip-leash.  If you have an appropriately-sized crate for transporting them, even better!  A special trick I learned from a long-time dog rescuer, is to close your car door on the leash, after putting the pup in the car – leaving only the handle portion of the leash extending from the car.  That way, you can grasp the end of the leash in your hand before opening the door, and the dog does not have an opportunity to escape. Read the rest of this entry »

Last Walk — A Love Story

Posted on February 5th, 2012 by admin

As we come up on Valentine’s Day its time to talk abut love. And what better love than that between rescuer and rescued?

This story is dedicated to all the brave, marvelous people who adopt old dogs.

 

Last Walk

This story is about love, love that carries through death. Oh, it’s not a story about romantic love. There are plenty of those. This is a story about an unselfish love. This is a story about love that accepts unconditionally and asks for nothing. This is a story about the love between a rescuer and the last dogs she saves.

Margaret was an old woman who loved dogs. She loved big dogs and small dogs, short-haired dogs and long-haired dogs, quiet dogs and not-so-quiet dogs. She loved puppies, too. But what Margaret loved the most were old dogs. You know, the ones who sleep a lot and maybe can’t see so well any more. They’re the ones who hang back when the treats and pets are being given out because they have a little arthritis or aren’t so sure on their legs. They don’t want the other dogs to bump them or even knock them over. They’re the dogs who might have trouble eating hard food but try anyway. You know those dogs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Turning it in

Posted on September 13th, 2010 by admin

Hello, readers.  My name is Gerri Bara – I’m a Realtor, a Rescuer and a Writer – not necessarily in that order.  The following post was originally an email that I sent to my rescue contacts in Maricopa County, AZ (Phoenix area). We have a horrible animal overpopulation problem here and there are (thankfully) hundreds of people who make up an informal network of rescuers. We reach out to each other to save homeless animals, share information and – sometimes – vent.  I was asked to post this story on the Sunbear site to help create awareness of the issues we face.  The “E” referred to in the story is the Euthanasia List.

Turning it In
Gerri Bara, Chandler, AZ

My car found its way to the East Side county shelter yesterday again…  all by itself, darned thing.  I brought home a little guy – I think he’s a Beagle mix and maybe some chi – he’s small.  He needs neuter surgery and has been in some nasty fights – he was a stray and street life was cruel to him.  Extremely sweet and gentle.  Great with our dogs, cats, LOVES kids.  While we were filling out paperwork in the lobby at Eastside he wanted to go up to every kid in the place.  Tail never stopped wagging.  They say he’s about 2.

He was on the E for fear.  Same old story.  G et him out of there and he’s a charmer.  :-)  He’s sleeping on the floor by my chair and I sit here and think “if I hadn’t stopped there yesterday he’d be dead now.”  Makes me sick to my stomach.

He has a nearly healed puncture wound on one ear and an open puncture wound on his flank – lots of little and not-so-little scars.  But the biggest concern is his right front paw.  He hobbles and scoots – full of energy – but won’t put that paw down.  Holds it out in front of himself when he walks or runs. I can’t tell if it was broken and healed wrong or if it’s a current injury.  Waiting to hear back from Suzy at CircleL re: vet appointment.  He is already using the doggie door.  Had a bath last night and was very good.  Loves being in the car.  Loves being alive.  We will foster him until we can find him a loving permanent home.

I lost my temper with a lady yesterday … well, not a lady – a lady wouldn’t take her dog to the pound and dump it off like a sack of garbage. I was standing in line in the back at Eastside, waiting for my little guy to get his rabies shot and a much needed Frontline treatment.  He was snuggled in my arms – I swear they know it the second they’ve been saved off the E list.

Anyway, here comes this well-dressed woman with an old black and white chihuahua in a cage.  Just a little tiny dog. He was stressed, panting, laying on his side and looking up at the woman with both love and fear in his eyes. He already had a sense of what was to come. It was SO hot, and I had just looked at so much heartbreak in so many upraised eyes behind a hundred kennel doors.  I was not feeling politically correct.

So I said, “Is that your dog?”

“Yes,” she says.  A little haughty.

“What are you doing?” I asked, knowing, heart sinking – but still hoping I was wrong.

“Turning it in.” she says, with not even a tiny hint of a crocodile tear.  I notice her use of “it” instead of “him.”  Not a good sign.

“Why?” I asked, in a voice I still had control of, but half an octave higher.

“We’re moving,” she explains in a condescending voice, as if that is the reason the world is round. Like those two words provide a perfectly reasonable justification for the fact that we are murdering thousands of animals in this country every day and she has generously let silly little me in on an insider’s tip.

And just like that, here comes my Scottish temper, boiling to the top.  It doesn’t happen often (thank the Lord, because I can’t control it), but when it’s here, it takes over my vocabulary and I never know quite what to expect.  “How can you DO that?” I demanded.  I looked more closely at the dog.  So cute, so tiny, so trusting.  The woman turns her back to me. “They’ll probably euthanize him.  Don’t you know that?” I say in a pleading voice.  “No one adopts the old ones. He’ll be terrified and confused, and he’ll will wait and wait for you. He won’t understand that you’re never coming back. And he’ll shake and cower and cry, and finally he’ll just shut down, and then they’ll put him on the kill list for fear, and that will be the end.  Because you moved.”

She didn’t answer me or turn around.  I think we were both stunned – maybe me more than her. I couldn’t believe those words came out of my mouth, but there they were.  The truth – hanging right out in the blazing open air.  No sympathy and no empathy for her lack of responsibility or her lack of compassion.  How can there be?

Come on.  A chi eats what – a quarter cup of food a day? The lady had a diamond on her hand worth thousands.

“We’re moving.”  We sure as heck are. And it isn’t in the right direction.

Maybe some rescuer with a kind heart will see that dog and step up to the plate – assume responsibility for a life that the woman so casually threw away.  I sure hope so.

The guy behind the counter called “Next?”  I turned around and went inside, out of the heat, carrying my little guy and my paperwork.  He looked at the cute little dog in my arms and asked, “Turn-in?”  Then he saw my paperwork, with the bright, shiny rabies tag stapled to the top and smiled a little.

“Nope,” I smiled back.  ” New Hope .”

As we drive home I think my normal thoughts and dream my normal dreams: the shelter I’ll build when I win the lottery, the never-ending need for creating awareness, my inability to understand a heart that could leave a loving, trusting animal behind, my gratitude for the thousands of others who rescue, and for those who love their pets “’til death do us part.”

Then the little guy on the seat next to me whimpers a little, and I reach over to give a reassuring pat, and for a while I just think about him.

One at a time…

The rest of the world is slowly advancing but not the people of the Gaston County, NC Animal Shelter. They have a $6400 budget shortfall so guess what they want to do to save money? They want to skip those time-consuming adoptions and just kill all animals in their clutches.

Read the rest of this entry »

Major Rescue In Rural Oregon

Posted on December 9th, 2009 by admin

The Oregon Humane Society is working to save as many as 100 dogs who have been living with barely any food and left outside in freezing conditions.

Here are the details from the OHS website.

HarneyCo_2Most of the dogs are living without shelter on a rural property in Princeton, Oregon, about 20 miles outside of Burns. Some of the dogs are living underground in holes covered with planks, others are chained to farm equipment and have little or no shelter from the snow, wind and sub-freezing temperatures common in the high-desert country.

The rescue team is expected to return to the OHS shelter in Portland on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at approximately 4 pm. A three-person OHS team traveled to the property Monday and returned with 14 dogs, including four puppies who are one-week old and six puppies who are three- to four-months old.

The dogs being rescued were subsisting on cattle carcasses obtained from a local meat processing plant. The property was littered with piles of bones and cattle skeletons. Also visible were the unburied remains of at least one deceased dog.

OHS is perhaps the only animal shelter in the region with the resources to care and find homes for so many dogs at one time. “Most of these dogs, despite their living conditions, are friendly to people and want to be around us. I hope we can get them into loving homes in time for the holidays,” said OHS Executive Director Sharon Harmon.

OHS was called on by Harney Country Sheriff David Glerup, who arrested three individuals and charged them with five counts of animal neglect.

The case was brought to Sheriff Glerup’s attention by county social workers who were investigating an unrelated complaint against the owners of the dogs brought by an 11-year-old child living on the property. Officials have since removed all children from the property.

The individuals charged have surrendered the dogs allowing the OHS to be able to put them up for adoption.  A few of the dogs will go to past owners who will keep them in their home as as part of the agreement to surrender the remaining animals.  I don’t really get the last part because if the dogs had been surrendered by the owners at an earlier date they obviously weren’t wanted, I can’t see why they would be given back.

This is a horrible situation, thank goodness the OHS has stepped in to give these dogs a chance at life.  If you would like to donate to help these dogs get the medical care they deserve and eventually into  loving forever homes go to the OHS website where you can make an online donation.

Can You Help Mojo?

Posted on December 8th, 2009 by admin

mojosweet

Here at Sunbear Squad we’re all about being good Samaritans to animals and helping out rescues in need.  Today we have a very special boy, Mojo,  who needs our help.

He’s a rescued Bernese Mountain Dog. As some of you may know I have a soft spot for Berners after having adopted our rescue,  Logan,  from the Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition. Unfortunately after a mere 14 months we lost our beautiful boy to cancer.  Recently we adopted another BARC baby, Patience. She’s a great addition to the Hoefinger household.

Mojo is being fostered but he needs to find a permanent home. However, most imperative is being able to get some tests done on him because he has a neurological issue that needs to be looked into.  The rescue is not able to pay for the very costly test and they’re trying to raise some money so they can get him diagnosed and then find him a forever family.

Mojo was seen by the vet and is appears that he does have some sort of neurological issue with his spine/rear end. We are working on trying to raise funds to have some proper test done, most likely an MRI.  This is very expensive at about $3000. Sadly the rescue can not afford to spend that much on just 1 dog.  If someone is willing to help by donating something towards the tests, would be very helpful. If someone is willing to adopt with these unknown diagnosis, please feel free to call us or click on the link above for a PayPal donation site for Mojo.

Read more about this adorable boy on the Heart Of  Michigan Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue site.  If anyone is looking for some good Mojo this may be the boy for you.  Please post and crosspost this message.

Humane Society Launches National ‘Puppy Mill’ Tip Line

Posted on December 7th, 2009 by admin

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Great news from the Humane Society Of The United States, they have started a tipline to help dogs being abused at puppy mills. While there have been tiplines for dog fighting for a while there was not one specifically dedicated to report puppy mill abuse.

Dogs Don’t Deserve Lifetime Confinement for the Sake of Profit

(Dec. 3, 2009) – To help end the misery associated with large-scale dog breeding operations known as “puppy mills,” The Humane Society of the United States has launched a national telephone tip line and encourages callers to report suspected cruelty or unlawful activities involving such breeding facilities.

The hotline, 1-877-MILL-TIP, is available to anyone with information of a possible crime involving puppy mills – but particularly welcomes information from those with “insider” knowledge, or from law enforcement officials who might be aware of such operations.

“Puppy mills are a national scourge,” said Justin Scally, manager of The HSUS’ Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force. “Hundreds of thousands of dogs across the country are trapped in constant confinement their entire lives, producing puppies to profit the puppy mill owner. This tip line will be a vital tool to help free these dogs from a life of abuse.”

The Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force investigates puppy mills and works with law enforcement, animal shelters and other agencies to stop abuse and to ensure enforcement of existing laws. The task force also provides expert guidance to local, state and federal agencies in the prosecution of animal abusers as it relates to the operation of puppy mills. Since its launch in June, the Task Force has assisted in the rescue of more than 1,200 dogs and puppies from abusive situations at puppy mills.

The announcement of the new national tip line comes during The HSUS’ 3rd annual Puppy Mill Action Week, which is dedicated to educating the public about how to find a new best friend without supporting the abusive puppy mill industry. Puppy Mill Action Week runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 6, at the start of the peak holiday puppy buying season.

The Wilde Puppy Mill Task Force is named in honor of Kenneth and Lillian Wilde, who donated a portion of their estate to The HSUS to help dogs. Thanks to the Wildes, The HSUS was able to expand the organization’s capacity to rescue more animals from the inhumane puppy mill industry and to raise national awareness of the pain and tragedy that can lurk behind the inviting visage of a young puppy for unwary buyers.

Puppy Mill Facts

· Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction, and are confined inside cramped wire cages for life. Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant breeding cycles.

· Dogs from puppy mills are sold in pet stores, online and directly to consumers with little to no regard for the dog’s health, genetic history or future welfare. Consumers should never buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site; instead visit an animal shelter, breed rescue group, or visit a breeder’s home and meet the puppy’s parents.
· The HSUS supports compassionate breeders who provide for their dog’s physical and mental well-being. Quality breeders don’t sell puppies through pet stores or over the Internet.

Oprah’s show on puppy mills aired back in April 2008 making the public, most for the first time, aware of what a puppy mill is.  Although I knew you shouldn’t buy pets from a pet store I really had no idea the reason behind it, I didn’t know what a puppy mill was.   I could never have imagined the horrific conditions and horrible abuse these dogs suffer without seeing it with my own eyes.

As hard as the Oprah show was for people to watch once the puppy mills ‘dirty little secret’ was out there was no going back. Thankfully since the show there have been raids of abusive puppy mills, changes in legislation, and new laws.  While we still have a long way to go, each step like the new tipline,  gets us a little closer to hopefully one day ending puppy mills altogether.

*ImageChef.com