How 24 circles of loving arms saved Mary and George

Posted on July 30th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

“Someone found them in an abandoned old building in Floyd County”

… said the rescuer in an email.  Someone looked inside, maybe alerted by kids, and saw two thin, friendly dogs with red patchy skin, swollen faces, and runny eyes. Someone noticed how Mary’s teats dangled long and thin. Someone knew the breeding cycle would begin again soon, and decided to take them away from the horrors of backyard breeder life in coal country Kentucky. This is how Mary and George’s rescue begins. (This is Mary at left).

Mary and George needed urgent medical care and weeks of recuperation, too much for this kind but poor Good Samaritan. So they were given to someone else who searched for a rescuer to take them. Mary and George were lucky; they were purebred Boxers. An independent rescuer, Moran, took them. (This was the third temporary home.) She wrote that they didn’t even know how to eat food from a bowl. They had only been fed on hard ground.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vern and Vera, and the Angel Who Loved Them

Posted on July 7th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Early last November, I heard that Emanuel and Meko, two long-term senior coonhounds living in our nearby rural shelter, were to be adopted–together! It felt like a miracle, a blessing, a gift from heaven. These sweet old dogs had been waiting for months, and winter was coming. The shelter has heated floors and indoor-outdoor runs, but coonies have short coats and winters can be brutal in Wisconsin. “Manny” and Meko were friends, and I had often taken them together on walks. I was ecstatic and also curious about their adopter. Coonhounds are not popular dogs to say the least, and most people won’t adopt senior dogs. I heard the adopter lived in Kansas?

What can you say about a middle-aged woman who drove 1,000 miles to adopt two old coonhounds from a little country shelter in Wisconsin? In a word, wings. She was angel on earth who looked deeply at those long-eared sad old faces on Petfinder and was moved to open up her heart and home to them. (See Manny and Meko, still posted on the site). She filled out the adoption application and it passed inspection with flying colors, I heard. So she gassed up her SUV, loaded two dog crates, and headed north. And so it started. Manny and Meko became Vern and Vera, and they all became a family, along with two kitties, Bela and Shugrrr.

Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Tip: Roadside Rescues

Posted on May 29th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Weekly Watch Tip for week of May 30:

Watch for dogs and cats lying along roads and highways—do you see movement? Stop and check. Be careful always, but take action to save a life. Call 9-1-1 or law enforcement; some municipalities may provide assistance. [Is your Sunbear Squad Wallet Card up to date?] If the unfortunate animal is dead, PLEASE stop and check for ID tags to call the owner and tell them the sad news, so they can stop searching and take possession of the body. Do unto others…

When driving, watch roadsides and ditches for animals in distress and be prepared to stop

Remember, in an emergency, every minute counts. Examine your Sunbear Squad Wallet Card to add rescues, shelters, and clinics that you have recently learned about, and make sure your municipal phone numbers are still current. It’s a good time to go through your Roadside Rescue Kit in your vehicle, to add or change old water and kibble. Are any items missing? Check the original list here: Roadside Rescue Kit

Read the rest of this entry »

Movie Review — Mine

Posted on May 1st, 2010 by admin

Mine” is a movie that should be on the “to watch” list of anyone concerned about animal welfare, rescue or animal law. Be prepared for a movie that will make you cringe, cry, cheer and think. If there is any justice in the documentary world, “Mine” should be on the fast track for numerous awards.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Firefighter Bitten in Dog Rescue” has a happy ending

Posted on January 23rd, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Yesterday, a frightened, cold, and exhausted German Shepherd mix desperately tried to climb out of a concrete channel of the Los Angeles River in Vernon, CA, wearing his nails down to bloody stubs. The LA City Fire Dept. dispatched firefighters trained in animal rescue and a helicopter. Firefighter Joe St. George dangled from the helicopter, waded through raging waters, and secured the dog in his arms. They were lifted up and carried to land, and the dog was rushed to emergency care. He was a stray, perhaps frightened from his home by recent thunderstorms.

Joe St. George was bitten in the hand by the terrified dog. Imagine being that dog. He was lost and alone, and then he fell into a river. He was fighting for his life in the fast, cold water. A loud, scary helicopter appears, and a big moving black thing drops into the water and approaches. The black thing is a strange man who grabs his head and body. What a nightmare for an ordinary dog! He tried to defend himself.

Fox News in Los Angeles reported this story, and — brace yourself — they explained the dog bite as a fearful response to a terrifying situation. The dog was not euthanized, but instead given emergency care, and he is fine today (although his owner has not yet been found). Joe St. George explained on the air that he understood why he was bitten, and he was not angry at the dog. News commentators were sympathetic to the dog’s fear as well.

This news station is a mainstream media in one of the nation’s largest cities. How far we have come! This story would not have been reported 10 years ago as not newsworthy, or even 5 years ago because of the bite which could be controversial. But in 2010, Fox News reported it, and other major media such as Headline News also carried the story this morning. The media is responding to us, the audience, and we want news like this because we value the lives of animals. But there is a long way to go. Many communities still shoot stray companion animals instead of rescue them. And if the dog bites in self-defense, it is all over for the dog. If you live in a community like that, please work for change!

Read more and see amazing videos here: