Category Archives: adoption

Top 3 Dog daddies

This Sunday is Father’s Day. A good dad is one who truly loves his kids, furry ones, too. And he spends time with them, taking care of them, training and having fun. We are inspired by these three dog dads.

 

Here are our top 3 picks for awesome dog daddies.

 

  1. Roo Yori

Running to the rescue, Andrew Yori made man’s best friend proud! ‪#‎K9Ninja‬ ‪#‎AmericanNinjaWarrior‬  Cici and I were very excited to see Roo on the show. Dog dad to Wallace, world champion frisbee dog and Hector, former Vick dog (both dogs are now over the Rainbow Bridge), Angus, Mindy and founder of a pit bull rescue foundation named after Wallace, Roo just appeared on the TV show American Ninja Warrior and qualified for the next round. He encourages people to adopt dogs from shelters. Wallace was an unwanted shelter dog once upon a time and Roo and Clara took a chance on him and it worked out great.

 

https://www.facebook.com/NBCNinjaWarrior/?fref=nf

 

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2.  Paul: Cherry Garcia’s dog dad

Cherry, another former Vick dog, was quite traumatized when he was adopted by his parents. And he has absolutely blossomed in their loving care.

 

What has surprised you most about him?

One of the most surprising things to us is we really thought Cherry would get to a certain point in his rehabilitation and settle in and not change much after that. What we have found is Cherry continuously grows and overcomes the next obstacle in his way. It will be a lifelong journey for him, and he has days where he regresses, but eventually he moves forward. It has been an incredible journey watching him go from a dog who slept with his eyes open to a dog that we can call “normal.” We know that isn’t the most exciting term, but that’s all he wants to be, a normal dog.

The other thing we have found really surprising about Cherry is that stress helps him learn and move forward. We all saw Cherry on “DogTown” and how shutdown he was. We didn’t have a plan of how to handle his fame, but we weren’t going to put him through public events if they didn’t help him. The first event we took him to was a small, kids-only event. He was stressed to the max, and we stayed a couple of hours b

When we got home that night, Cherry took to his normal routine with much more confidence than we had ever seen. He was so full of himself. We thought, “Hmm … maybe this is a tool we can use to help him progress.” We were right!”

 

HECherrySnuggling

 

http://bestfriends.org/stories-blog-videos/latest-news/cherry-vicktory-dog

 

3. Jon Stewart

Long time pit bull advocate, he even adopted a three-legged dog named Champ. When he did The Daily Show, the office was dog friendly. When he retired from the show, he and his wife Tracey bought a 13 acre farm in New Jersey. They provide homes for formally abused farm animals.

 

http://moomah.com/themagazine/virtual-adoption

 

Happy Father’s Day !!!!

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Filed under adoption, Adventure, Best Friends, best friends animal sanctuary, big dogs welcome, dog friendly, dog movies/TV, dogs, farm animals, pit bull, Uncategorized

Love of the Paws

You love dogs and maybe cats and horses, too. And perhaps you love reading about them and the people who rescue, adopt and foster them as well as love romantic tales with a furry side. I just discovered an incredible book series by an amazing author, Susan Daffron is her name and our interview is below. I am starting the 8th book in her Alpine Grove series and apparently there is a 9th book and a 10th one on its way.

 

What I LOVE LOVE LOVE about these books, unlike other books that have pets in them, romantic comedies, is that Susan’s pets are major characters and play a BIG role in each of the stories. They are integral and integrated into the story. She writes firsthand from her knowledge about animals and it is hilarious at times, heartwarming and each of the books in the series gets better and better. What I also found wonderful is that she continues the characters stories, a little bit, in each of the books, so you feel as though you are getting to know everyone in the town of Alpine Grove. There is no such real town, but there is an Alpine, CA and much of the descriptions relate to where Susan lives in idaho.

 

This book is for dog lovers, cat lovers, even horse lovers. And the romance is very family friendly. In other words, the couple may kiss a little or end up in the sack but there is not a whole lot of spicy sexy details. I found some of the other books where the happy couple jump in the sack one two three, quite unrealistic and disarming. Who does that? no kinky stuff, either, just plain old normal living day to day with dogs and cats kind of thing. Very inspiring for animal lovers.

 

Each book can be read by itself, stands alone, but i think you will miss out if you do not read ALL of them.  Now how can you not love books with names like Chez Stinky, Bark to the Future, the Art of Wag, Luck of the Paw, not to mention a book with pugilies !!!

Here’s the complete list:

Four paws up !!!! Cici agrees, Woof Woof Woof !!!!

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How did you get started writing romantic comedy books ?

I’d written a lot of nonfiction books and my husband started writing fiction. After we published his first book, he encouraged me to give fiction writing a shot. By then, he had acquired many books about story structure and writing, so I read through a few and decided to attempt a novel of my own.

Who is your favorite romantic comedy book author ???

Janet Evanovitch (although technically she’d say her books are mysteries).

Did you plan to have a whole series ahead of time – Alpine Grove ?

I wrote the first book with the possibility of turning it into a series. If the first book hadn’t done well, I’m not sure I would have written the second. But I got enough good feedback from people that I decided to continue.

Did you write about dogs and / or romantic comedy before this series?

I wrote nonfiction books on pet care and rescue, but no fiction whatsoever.

Are the people and pets based upon pets you’ve had, people you know ?

The human characters tend to incorporate aspects of people I’ve met or know, but aren’t really based on anyone in particular. This explains how I develop my characters:

http://www.susandaffron.com/creating-characters-people-love/

The dogs in the first book (Chez Stinky) are very loosely based on the dogs I had from 1996 – 2012. For those who are curious, this post explains which one of my dogs they are based on:

http://www.susandaffron.com/write-what-you-know-applies-to-pets-too/

 

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How do you begin each book?  do you have the names of the characters and plot all worked out ahead of time ?

Most of my books start with an idea. Sometimes it’s something that strikes me as funny or a theme I ran across in a movie, article, or a book that I want to explore. Then I figure out the characters, flesh out the story and put a basic outline into Scrivener. After that I start writing. At about 30K words, I tend to get incredibly stuck and have to print out the outline and figure out where I’m going in more detail. Then I go back to writing.

How do you decide which dogs or cats to feature in each book? 

I think about the type of dog the character might have, since certain types of people are attracted to certain types of dogs. For example, the character Sara Winston in The Treasure of the Hairy Cadre is an athlete. Before the story begins she wants a jogging buddy, so she goes to a shelter and adopts a high-energy Australian Shepherd that she names Holly. This post goes into more detail about how I create animal characters:

http://www.susandaffron.com/creating-animal-characters/

Do you have experience with walking dogs at a shelter or starting a nonprofit animal rescue ?

Yes. I volunteered at an animal shelter for many years and worked part time as a vet tech at a spay/neuter clinic. I didn’t start a rescue myself, but I founded an organization called the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals that provided educational resources to rescues.

Tell us about your pets

I have three dogs, who are all alumnae of rescue groups. Fiona and Tasha are Samoyeds from Samoyed rescues and Kaylee is a mix of maybe Samoyed and collie that I got from a chow rescue. (The group rescued more than chows; basically, they took anything that was extra furry.)

Do you have a favorite breed of dog or cat that you like?

I’m a fan of Samoyeds (big surprise) but I also love Golden retrievers and retriever mixes. I have a soft spot for long-haired breeds.

What is your favorite book / pet / character ?

Of my books, my favorite character is Kat, since her story carries through the entire series. So I know the most about her life and background. Of the dogs, I love Linus because he’s so sweet and Swoosie amuses me because I incorporated aspects of my dog Fiona into her character.

We talked a little bit about your geek side, how did that influence your writing these books? a few of your characters are kinda geeky… and you said you work for IBM. 

I’ve been married to a programmer for a long time and worked in technology for years, starting as a technical writer. It was inevitable that I would include a few geeky people in my books. This post goes into it a bit more:

http://www.susandaffron.com/geeks-and-nerds-in-romance/

Do you have an agent, publisher or did you self-publish the books? in either case, why?

My books are published by my publishing company Logical Expressions, Inc. which has published more than just my books, so technically the corporation is a micropublisher. I was traditionally published (nonfiction) years ago and had an agent. It would take a LOT of money and unusually good contract terms to tempt me to accept a traditional publishing deal at this point. Although self-publishing is a lot of work, I have the flexibility and freedom to write the books I want to write.

Have you traveled a lot ? travel with your pets?

We’ve traveled with our pets a lot in the last few years because the current crew of dogs are great on road trips. (The prior pack was NOT.)

Any particular dog friendly places that you enjoy taking the dogs?

We live in Idaho and there are thousands upon thousands of acres of trails and forested areas to explore. The dogs love going hiking with us.

Are you an equestrian?  met any real life cowboys like Clay?

I’m a pathetic horseback rider, but I do enjoy it. I don’t own horses, but I have met quite a few people involved in the equestrian world. I did some research on horse trainers and Clay is compilation of a bunch of stories I read about their lives.

Are you a dog trainer?

I only train my own dogs, which is plenty. Almost all of my dogs have been to obedience classes with varying degrees of success. Fiona got her AKC Canine Good Citizen certification, which means mostly that she likes treats a LOT so she’s easy to train. I plan to take Tasha to classes later this summer.

What inspires you about writing about dogs and cats and romance?

I like writing about the relationships people have with each other and their pets. For most people I know, pets are part of their family and often play a big role in the decisions people make. So quite a few of my books explore those ideas.

Are you working on any new books, series related to pets?

I’m about halfway through the first draft of  the as-yet-untitled tenth novel in the Alpine Grove series. The dog in this one is a yellow Labrador retriever named Harley that the main character, Lisa Lowell, is fostering for the local rescue group.

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Filed under adoption, belly rubs, breeds, canine cuteness, cats, dog friendly, dog hair, Uncategorized

Nine years: the good, bad and ugly

Nine years ago today 51 terrified, traumatized, and unsocialized dogs, who had been forced to fight or were used as bait dogs, were rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in Surrey Virginia. Normally, these dogs would be held as evidence and eventually humanely euthanized. But in this groundbreaking case, it was decided, due to the request of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, BADRAP, and other loud animal loving voices and the agreement of the judge, that these dogs would be individually evaluated to see if any of them could be saved and rehabilitated.

From Jacqueline Bedsaul Johnson (she and Kevin Johnson adopted Ray)

“Each dog was to be tested for dog aggression as well as human aggression. It was hoped that two or three of the 49 surviving dogs (two died while in care) would be deemed salvageable. Imagine everyone’s surprise when all but one of the dogs showed at least some degree of ability to be rehabilitated.

“One dog, who had been bred and fought repeatedly, was just too emotionally and physically damaged to try and save. She was humanely euthanized. The remaining 48 dogs were dispersed to 8 different rescue groups for adoption, rehabilitation or sanctuary. 22 of the most damaged dogs were sent to a sanctuary to begin working towards recovery and eventual adoption.

Forty of these dogs have been adopted and are now living in loving homes with kids cats, and other dogs. Dogs like Cherry Garcia, who just had one leg amputated, Handsome Dan, Little Red, Mel, Layla, Curly, Jhumpa Jones, Jonny, Oscar, Uba, Iggy, Audie, Zippy, Stella and Ginger. I was lucky to have met Red, Stella and Ginger and their guardians a few years ago at the Monterey SPCA.

https://celiasue.com/2009/08/22/survivor-dogs/

Some of the dogs have become therapy dogs, agility champions and emotional support animals. Others have gone to the Rainbow Bridge including Red, Lucas, Leo, Jasmine, Georgia, Hector (and his brother Wallace, who was not a Victory dog but an unwanted shelter dog who became a world champion disc dog), Ray and others.

“These dogs were victims, not criminals. And because of their bravery and loving nature they have taught us all so much. If dogs like these – dogs who were trained, fought and abused – can become loving family members, how can anyone say that Pit Bull-type dogs are inherently dangerous? It just doesn’t make sense.

“Dogs that are seized are now routinely assessed for rehabilitation. There is no longer a belief that these dogs are somehow responsible for the life that was forced on them. That they are damaged goods, better off dead.”

“In the coming days, many of the adoptive families of the dogs rescued from Bad Newz Kennels will be traveling to Virginia to what is now known as Good Newz Rehab Center. In the field where once our dogs were chained, trees will be planted to memorialize each of the dogs. Each tree will have a plaque listing the dog’s name and their family’s name.

“This is not a media event, but a private ceremony and pilgrimage for the people who have loved these incredible dogs. Vicktory Dog Oscar‘s mom Rachel and artist/writer Levity Tomkinson of the Re51lient Project have designed a t-shirt to commemorate the event, and to help raise money for the families traveling to honor their dogs.

http://barkpost.com/good/michael-vick-most-infamous-dogfighting-anniversary/

A movie about the dogs called The Champions” premiered in 2015 and has been screened at festivals and events around the country. It’s also available for purchase online. Directed by Darcy Dennett, the film follows six dogs from unlikely survival to adoption. The film has won awards, including People’s Choice for Best Documentary at the Denver Film Festival. Pit bulls are banned in Denver.

https://celiasue.com/2015/10/15/victory-dogs-film-the-champions/

A word about The Re51lient Project: 51 Paintings of the Dogs Rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels. The Re51lient Project is an art advocacy project that combines Levity’s signature style pop-art painting and positive, emotionally driven writing.

She aims to promote a highly positive image for pit bull and pit bull type dogs, dogs rescued from fighting rings and to show others that if these dogs can triumph, love, forgive, continue forward and just simply be happy, then we as humans have the ability to wake up every morning and do the same. These dogs shows us the potential that we all have and provide a palpable inspiration and hope that we can change our lives.

Levity is the proud momma to a pit mix, Rinlee, (who incidentally is the reason that she began painting dogs in 2010). She has followed the stories of the dogs rescued from Bad Newz Kennels. Rinlee is the reason that she began painting “Dog Pawps” which twas the artistic foundation to create The Re51lient Project.

“Dogs are as close as we can get to perfection here on Earth,” says Levity. “They are these little hearts and beings and spirits that every day, they do their best. That’s all they know how to do. They love infallibly  I feel like with these dogs in particular, all of the feelings and traits are magnified even more because they have been exposed to more than any living being ever should, but look at them. They are beautiful, they are happy, they’re forgiving, they love. They’re re51lient. That have changed the world and have the ability to cause more change, simply by being them. They have certainly changed my life.

“These dogs will be remembered with love, with reverence, appreciation. They’ll be remembered with tears, both happy and sad. They will be remembered in every dog rescued from a fighting ring that has been given, is being given or will be given a chance to be evaluated and seen as an individual. They will be remembered by not only their lives, but by the lives of the other dogs that they saved.

“These dogs deserved a chance at life. People finally had the chance to see that dogs rescued from fighting rings have every right, just as any other dog, to be seen as individuals. Because of these dogs, other dogs rescued from fighting rings, both large and small, have been given the chance to be seen simply as dogs and therefore, given a chance at the lives they always should have had.

“These dogs absolutely have set a precedent in how dogs from fighting rings are evaluated. They truly changed the landscape and I am so grateful to the people who so deeply believed and worked towards helping others see that these dogs must be treated as individuals,”  Levity concluded.

 

The dogs in their own woofs… words …

Ginger 

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“Today marks nine years since I was rescued from Bad Newz Kennels. Today I woke up snuggled under a pile of covers with a sweet kiss on my nose from mom…life is good.

 

Uba

For my dog (Uba), on this day he went from being a puppy waiting to be a victim of unimaginable cruelty to a puppy actually being mentally and emotionally tortured. This was the day that his emotional well being was sacrificed. The Vick dogs changed the conversation and so, so many dogs are alive today because of them, so I don’t begrudge the world his emotional challenges. Nine years ago today was not the first day my dog felt love. It was probably the first day he was truly terrified.”

 

BADRAP

“The time period between their seizure (April 2007) and release to rescue (October 2007) did damage to many of the dogs from the case. The now-timid Ginger scampered back and forth like a scared feral cat in the back of her kennel, Frodo pressed himself to the ground when the shelter clatter finally got to him (he’s still noise sensitive), and the energetic Uba paced in neurotic figure eights to relieve his tedium. Our stomachs were in knots during the months that this set of dogs was in lock down. While we waited anxiously for the courts to allow us to evaluate, and then, okay their release, we knew the damage done by their impossible conditions could be irreparable in some or all of the dogs.

“…We’ve learned so much from the Vick dogs, and their lessons have changed us forever. One of their biggest lessons though tends to be forgotten in the excitement of their adoption success. We’d love it if every time readers hear of a new batch of victims rounded up from a cruelty case, you would consider the Vick dogs’ long and difficult post-seizure experience and ask, “What’s being done to keep this latest set of dogs comfortable, vetted and sane while we wait for help to arrive?” The answer to that question could make all the difference in whether the cruelty they suffer ends for good the moment they’re seized by authorities — not several months later, after they’re finally released to rescue.

“NOTE: With all due respect to the incredible people who came together to seize the “Vick dogs” in April 2007, we will be celebrating the five year anniversary ‘happy style’ in October — on the date that the federal courts finally waved them out of the shelters and onto freedom. What a HAPPY day that was!”

http://badrap-blog.blogspot.com/2012/04/vick-dogs-five-years-post-seizure-has.html

 

Little Red enjoying the sunshine

 

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Handsome Dan

“Because so many people worked to save us, went to bat for us, took a chance on us, and gave us the tools to learn how to live in the human world, the climate has now changed for dogs like me rescued from the horrific world of dogfighting. They are no longer victims, now they can be survivors. Until dogfighting is no more, we will continue to fight for the survivors.

“I owe so much to my special friends Nicole Rattay (the first person I learned to trust on the other side), Rebecca Huss (my court appointed guardian), Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer (for your hard work and granting me my name), John Garcia (for so much, including advocating for my move to Best Friends and all the one-on-one time), Betsy Kidder (my first mama), Kristi Littrell (for finding my family), Crissa and Damien and all of my other caregivers, Cherry Garcia (my first playmate), Little Red (my first roommate and girlfriend), Ann Allums (for bringing me home) and countless others who helped me find my way. Thank you from the bottom of my big pittie heart, from me and my mama!”

 

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Handsome Before when he was known as Hanover 22

 

 

After with his dear friend Cherry Garcia and mama Heather who operates an animal rescue organization named after Handsome

 

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Cherry Garcia now

 

Cherry-leg-7

Cherry’s brother Novi when he saw CHERRY, first thing he did was count his legs ‘1, 2, 3; Cherry has 3 legs now and he is awesome!’

To watch Cherry’s recovery and all of his adventures that will follow, you can ‘like’ his Facebook page.

http://barkpost.com/cherry-vicktory-dog-amputation-champion/

 

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Filed under adoption, animal rescue, animal stars, badrap, best friends animal sanctuary, pit bull, Uncategorized, Vicktory dogs

Foster a Dog

 

Fostering is one piece of the NO Kill equation

“We all grew up believing that if you worked at a humane society or an SPCA, it was because you loved animals. And we were also told that the killing was a necessary evil and that nobody wanted to do it. And they wouldn’t do it if there was any sort of alternative… But then when the San Francisco SPCA created an alternative model and showed them that, indeed it wasn’t a ’necessary’ evil, it was just evil and we could end it, [the sheltering establishment] didn’t want to hear about it, they didn’t want to know and they felt so tremendously threatened by it that they did everything in their power to try and stop it.” –Jennifer Winograd, No Kill Advocacy Center, in the film Redemption.

http://www.nokillredemption.com/

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Screenings:

“America is two countries now—the country of its narrative and the country of its numbers, with the latter sitting in judgment of the former. In the stories we tell ourselves, we are nearly always too good: too soft on criminals, too easy on terrorists, too lenient with immigrants, too kind to animals. In the stories told by our numbers, we imprison, we drone, we deport, and we euthanize with an easy conscience and an avenging zeal. We have become schizophrenic in that way, and pit bulls hold up the same mirror as the 2.2 million souls in our prisons and jails and the more than 350,000 people we deport every year. Every year, American shelters* kill about 1.2 million dogs. But both pro- and anti-pit-bull organizations estimate that of these, anywhere from 800,000 to nearly 1 million are pit bulls. We kill anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 pit bulls a day. They are rising simultaneously in popularity and disposability, becoming something truly American, a popular dog forever poised on the brink of extermination.”

http://www.esquire.com/features/american-dog-0814?src=soc_fcbks

* the No Kill community would argue that we do not HAVE to kill. Some shelters CHOOSE to do so.  Nathan Winograd suggests and has himself implemented the No Kill Equation as the head of a shelter (or two) where he took killing off the table of options and challenged his staff to come up with creative solutions to get pets adopted.

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Can fostering pets save more shelter pets?

Rock and Rawhide thinks so.

There is an estimated 3-4million pets euthanized each year in US animal shelters. That’s 10,000 per day on average. There must be a way to curb at least some of this. There is. Fostering.

There is a strong lack of homes willing to open their doors to fostering a shelter pet. Maybe it’s because they assume that a shelter animal is “broken”, or that they think they would never be able to give the animal up to an adopter, it would break their heart. The former could not be further from the truth. And the latter is selfish. Imagine the heart exploding with happiness that the beautiful pet you have supported and loved, has found forever love with a great family.

Many shelter animals are down on their luck, and need a second chance. They have lived in homes before, they have lived with children, other pets, and life was great! But perhaps their human passed away, or maybe they fell on hard times and just couldn’t afford pet care any longer. And now Muffy or Fluffy or Spike or Spot is sitting in a cage wondering what on earth happened. Sure, there are some shelter pets who sadly have never felt love, or the affection of a human before. Some were abused or neglected. But all of them still have hope, they wag their tails, they purr.

One thing they all have in common is the dangerous waiting game. Will they get sick in the shelter? Will they go crazy if they are there too long? Will they gain bad behaviors because they are not receiving the natural love, attention and comforts that a home should provide? Will they make it out alive at all?

How the animals end up in the shelter in the first place is a societal problem that we alone cannot fix. But if people opened their homes to shelter pets we could save a bunch of lives and help animals transition into forever homes much more easily. That at least would be a start till our society puts a higher value on the lives and existence of our furry friends, till the law stands up for our four-legged buddies, till shelters are no longer overflowing with the unwanted.

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Fostering is a wonderful experience. As a foster parent, you can set certain guidelines with the rescue group as to what type of animal you prefer. A certain breed, age, sex, temperament, that you think will fit into your home. If you work full time and already have a dog, you can always request a dog-friendly foster pet who is house-trained. You will have the full support of the rescue group. But you must also give them full support in return. You must make a minimum time commitment (some rescues require 3 months, some 6 months).

Your job as a foster is to guide the pet into being the best it can be, to get it ready y for a forever home. That could involve teaching a dog to stay off the couch or walk better on leash, or teaching a cat to welcome other pets or to play, or simply to teach trust and love.

For an adopter, it makes the process a little easier. There is less guessing. We are certainly not suggesting that potential adopters should shy away from shelters when making adoption decisions. We LOVE shelters and wish more people would consider adopting a pet direct from a shelter, instead of using it only as a dumping ground. But for some, they need to know more specifics that a shelter often times cannot provide. When a pet lives in a foster home, it has a better chance of showing its personality, of displaying more natural behaviors. An adoptee can be told if that pet likes children, what commands it knows, how it acts in a dog park, what its favorite game or pasttime is, how it is with car travel, what it acts like when strangers enter the home, whether it needs a home with adults only, etc. Some of these traits can be noted by a shelter, but to many the transition from shelter directly to home is one that results in many adopters returning pets.

A pet needs time to decompress, to learn trust, to “get over” the shelter experience. This may be easy for some pets, and not so easy for others. A patient and loving foster home can help them through this process. Each rescue group is different with the type of support it offers it fosters. Some pay for all medical bills, some even pay for food. But all are ready with any help and advice they can provide. The rescue will promote the pet on social media and it’s website, as well as on sites such as PetFinder.com. If appropriate, the pet would also be part of adoption events where the general public can visit the pet. It is always helpful if the foster also promotes the pet to their contacts. They are the best ambassador for that pet.

One example of a wonderful dog that would flourish in a foster home is Millie. She was on the kill list in NYC and was pulled by A Pathway to Hope Rescue, after Rock & Rawhide advocated for her life. A great dog with so much potential, she is currently staying at A Hotel for Dogs in Middletown NJ, a doggie day care facility. She spent 2.5 months in the shelter, and now almost 1 month at the Hotel, where she is doing great. But it is time for Millie to find a home! Two-years-old, sweet, affectionate, listens to commands, obedient, healthy, loves to play, walks great on leash, and loves the car. Yet she’s just one of hundreds, actually one of thousands of dogs in boarding today. Lucky enough to have their lives saved. Unlucky enough that they are still in limbo….waiting.

Consider fostering. Consider adopting. Consider volunteering at your local animal shelter or rescue group. And always, hug your pets a little tighter, knowing they are the very lucky ones.

About Rock & Rawhide: Rock & Rawhide aims to increase adoptions and quality of life for dogs and cats in shelters, by providing distraction therapy and noise/stress reduction through the donations of toys, tough chew items, Kongs, Nylabones, bones, rawhides, blankets and more. If a dog is chewing, it’s not barking! If a cat is playing, it’s not meowing! Less noise = less stress. In turn, dogs and cats can pass their evaluations at shelters, and show more of their personality, making them more adoptable. We collect items through regular donations, music gigs, visual art shows, culinary events, DJ events, drop box programs, and more.


About A Pathway to Hope Rescue: A Pathway to Hope is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of abandoned dogs and cats, with a special focus on south to north rescue of northern breed dogs, the rescue of stray cats, and community outreach to further the cause of rescue.


About Hotel For Dogs: Dedicated to providing your dog with only the very best in lodging, play, and love. An owner-operated facility, staffed by hard-working, energetic dog lovers. It’s not enough for us to simply provide your dog with a little space while you’re away. We want them wagging their tails, making new friends, and singing doggy farewells when you come to pick them up – because we’re dog owners too and we know how hard it is to leave them.

 

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Filed under adoption, dogs, Uncategorized

Love, Hope and Forgiveness

Heroes Come in Different Species

 

An Abused Pit Bull and Human Survivor Share Hope and Healing

Some people see a pit bull and go running for the hills fearing that they will be maimed due to the sensationalizing of (and often untrue) pit bull attack stories overreported by the media. Then there are dog lovers and advocates who see a dog just like any other dog. Donna Lawrence is one of the latter. Yes, even after she WAS attacked by a pit bull.

 

A recent survey of people who admitted to having negative opinions of pit bulls, 60 percent of the participants cited media reports as the basis of their negative opinions.

 

“One person and one animal can make a powerful difference in the world,” said Donna. She survived an attack and later adopted an abused pit bull puppy who was set on fire. Her courage and commitment to dogs inspires people around the world.

 

Donna and Susie’s story of Love, Hope, Courage and Forgiveness has been made into a movie called Susie’s Hope which recently aired on UPTV.

 

The DVD will be released this fall, but you can preorder through Best Buy now!

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/susies-hope-dvd/25346296.p?id=3251052&skuId=25346296&st=Susie%27s%20Hope&lp=1&cp=1

 

Movie trailer:

 

 

Donna thought Susie was dead when she found her in a park. “My heart melted the instant I saw her. I had so much compassion for her. I saw this six week old puppy with third degree burns all over her body and I couldn’t understand how someone could do this to her. I had never seen abuse like this before. She was so little and frail with scars all over her body. Her ears were burned off. She had broken bones. Susie needed a lot of love and protection,” Donna explained.

 

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“As I held her, covered in bandages, she kissed my face.  She was so loving and just wanted me to hold her. I was captivated. We were kindred spirits. I could relate to her pain and suffering. She was wrongfully attacked. We both had a lot of physical and emotional scars and fears to conquer.”

A few weeks before she met Susie, Donna had been feeding her neighbor’s abandoned and abused pit bull who was chained up 24/7. One day the dog became aggressive and attacked Donna’s legs. She thought she was going to die.

It is important to note that the attack on Donna was not because the dog was a pit bull. The attack fit the profile cited in a recent report published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA)/  The report discusses dog bite prevention and cites factors involved in attacks. Breed is not a factor. The dog that attacked Donna was chained up (a resident dog not a pet), abused, neglected, not neutered and no able bodied person was there to intervene.

“I was working through some serious emotional turmoil, and one weekend when I had Susie in my care, I got the tragic news that I would never be able to have children—as a result of the attack. I cried all the way home from the doctor’s office.  When we got home, it was like God spoke to me,” Donna recalled. “You see that puppy, she has been abused, set on fire, and left for dead. Yet she is forgiving. She is not living in the past. She is happy and thankful to be alive.  She is moving on with her life and so can you. I want you to adopt her. I have big plans for you–bigger than you can imagine. And you will never fear dogs again.”  So, I listened to God. I let go of my hurt and anger and trusted in God that together we would bring healing to people and animals.”

Pit bulls and their bad reputation never bothered Donna. She considers pit bulls “loyal and affectionate dogs with loving hearts.”  Before the pit bull that attacked her and adopting Susie, Donna rescued another pit bull named Samson. “He was so sweet; I’d take him to the salon with me every day and he’d sit by the dryers while the gals got their hair done.  He’d look over their shoulders as if he was reading the magazines with them!”

Wanting justice (a punishment to fit the crime) for what happened to Susie, Donna was concerned that Susie’s abuser would go free. Animal cruelty laws were very lenient in North Carolina at the time and had not been changed in a very long time. The person who abused Susie was only given jail time because the court could charge him with destroying someone else’s property. Susie was treated as property rather than a living being. So, Donna helped to pass Susie’s Law with stiffer fines and jail time for animal abusers.

It  was a team effort. “In March 2010, we canvassed the state of North Carolina, sharing Susie’s story. We sent out emails, postcards and letters with our “request for change.”  We took Susie before the city council and county commissioners Votes were unanimous in the House and Senate (after taking one look at Susie).  The Bill was signed by Governor Perdue in June 2010, with Susie’s paw of approval. The law was put into effect in December 2010.”

“Remember, serial killers practice abusing animals first and then move on to innocent children and adults,” Donna declared.

Now, Donna has high hopes for the impact of the movie. “We hope that Susie’s Hope will start a nationwide movement, to bring national public and legislative awareness, to change laws in every state. Maybe even a national law to protect all animals. Some states have great animal cruelty laws, and then, some don’t. I hope the movie will motivate others to make a difference and change in their own state, or hometown, for the sake of the animals. I also hope the movie will motivate people to never give up on the things they are passionate about.”

Through Susie’s Hope™ the non-profit organization, Donna and Susie teach people how to treat animals properly.

 

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“Susie and I are on a mission to do all we can to stand up for the rights of animals. It is time for a change in our society. We need to stop turning the other cheek to abuse and start reporting abuse whenever we see it. We need to crack down on puppy mills and backyard breeding. Fight for changes in your own state. Let’s get animals off of chains and make them a part of the family. We hope people will take care of their pets, and learn how to be safe around them, to love and respect them.”

When Susie and Donna visit schools, “I usually ask the children to offer Susie a treat. I teach kids in the schools how to approach animals,and to always ask permission. Not all animals enjoy kids running up to them and getting in their face, or riding them like a horse. Children need to learn at an early age to respect an animal’s space and how to gently approach them.

“People need to understand animals have feelings and emotions just like we do. They feel pain, loneliness and rejection, and they know when they are loved–and when they are not.”

Susie turned five years old in June (2014). “Susie loves chasing her brother and sister dogs around in the yard. She loves going to work with me at the salon.  (She gives the clients kisses and shows off with her favorite tricks–riding a skateboard, jumping through a hula hoop, playing dead, counting, reading, pointing to colors, and more). She loves to eat peanut butter. She loves riding in the car and traveling.  I think she likes being my friend. Susie does like other doggies, but it takes her a bit to warm up to them–she has to make sure she can trust them.

“Susie and I are on a mission to do all we can to stand up for the rights of animals. It is time for a change in our society. We need to stop turning the other cheek to abuse and start reporting abuse whenever we see it in our neighborhoods, communities or our workplace. We need to crack down on puppy mills and backyard breeding. We want to encourage everyone to fight for changes in your own state and communities. Let’s get animals off of chains and make them a part of the family. We hope people will continue to educate children as well as adults in their own communities how to take care of their pets, and how to be safe around them, to love them and respect them,” she concluded.

Susie is a nominee in the American Human Association Hero Dog Awards contest. As the 2014 AHA Therapy Dog, please consider voting for her.  (Visit www.susieshope.com orwww.susieshope-nc.org for more information).

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Susie’s Hope on TV

This is an incredible week for pit bulls with Pit Bull Week at HuffPost Green and this movie, wow !!!

A pit bull attack survivor adopts an abused pit bull … this just makes me cry. The courage exhibited by Donna Lawrence is truly inspirational and healing. (Imagine if someone else who shall remain nameless went on this path instead of the path of hate and revenge, oh well, everyone chooses what they do).

The movie Susie’s Hope, the true story of Greensboro, NC’s Donna Lawrence (played by Emmanuelle Vaugier, “Two and A Half Men,” “CSY: NY”), a natural-born animal lover who barely survives a ferocious, life-threatening attack by an abused pit bull but learns to overcome her new fear of dogs and move forward in the most unexpected way – by adopting and caring for a brutally abused, abandoned pit bull-mix puppy named Susie.  Susie’s Hope premieres exclusively on UP on Sunday, August 3 at 8:00 p.m. EST / 7:00 p.m. PST.

Susie’s Hope is an inspirational, hopeful movie about unexpected second chances and compassion,” said Sophia Kelley, senior vice president of programming, UP.  “After almost losing her life, Donna Lawrence finds the strength to face her newfound fear of dogs and motivate a state to pass legislation to help prevent cruelty to animals. Susie’s Hope is a truly touching film that’s guaranteed to uplift all who watch it.”

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Susie’s Hope recounts the story of Donna Lawrence (Emmanuelle Vaugier), a long-time dog enthusiast and caretaker, who warily observes the neglect and deterioration of a nearby neighbor’s pit bull and volunteers to help.  When the owner moves and abandons the dog, Donna is left behind as the animal’s caretaker.  Every day, she places a bowl of food in the doghouse and walks away.  During a routine visit, the fearful dog attacks Donna without warning, pinning her to the ground, viciously clenching her at the throat.  Donna calls out to God and finds the strength to throw the dog off and roll away.  After being rushed to the emergency room by a neighbor, the doctors tell her that she is lucky to have all of her limbs as well as her life.  Donna receives 45 stitches in her leg and spends the next two months learning to walk again.

With the help of her husband Roy (Burgess Jenkins), Donna heals physically but the emotional scars of the traumatic attack leave her shaken and frightened until she meets Susie.  Donna’s close friend, Ramona (Andrea Powell) is who initially comes across Susie, a pit bull-mix puppy that had been beaten, set on fire, and left to die by her former owner. Both having experienced vicious attacks, Donna and Susie share mutual fears and learn to conquer them together.  Donna makes peace with her wrongful attack and Susie forgives humans for hers. Spearheading a group of like-minded individuals, the pair ultimately inspire and move an entire state to take a legislative stand against animal cruelty through the passage of “Susie’s Law,” which strengthened North Carolina’s penalties for animal abuse into a Class H felony.

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About Donna Lawrence and Susie:

Donna and Susie have worked to overcome their mutual traumatic experiences to inspire and minister to others (human and canine).  Donna and Susie visit schools, nursing homes, churches, burn centers and organizations, and attend pet adoption fairs and fundraisers to motivate and educate people surrounding animal cruelty.  Captivating the hearts of those that learn of Susie’s story, Susie was recently recognized as the 2014 Therapy Dog winner for The American Humane Association Hero Dog AwardsTM. The commendable recognition has placed Susie in the national finals (as one of the eight finalist contenders) of the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™.  To vote for Susie, visit: http://www.herodogawards.org/vote?nominee=35549916.  Voting ends Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12 p.m. EST.

For more information about the Susie’s Law and the Susie’s Hope™ non-profit organization, which promotes education and awareness of the care and responsibility required in owning pets as well as animal safety around unfamiliar animals:

·        www.susieshope-nc.org/susieslaw.htm

·        www.susieshope.com/nonprofit

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Pit Bull Week

Are you following Pit Bull week on HuffPost?  You should be…

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HuffPost Green is launching a week-long, community-driven effort to bust the myths and raise awareness about pit bulls, a maligned “breed” that often bears the brunt of dated, discriminatory legislation that can make it near impossible for these dogs to find a forever home.

You can follow along with HuffPost Pit Bull Week here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/pit-bulls/

 or on Facebook and Twitter where we’ll be using the hashtag #‎PitBullWeek.

Adorable photos of pit bulls

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/28/my-pit-bull_n_5625605.html

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Pit bulls have long been popular family pets, noted for their affection and loyalty, but you don’t hear much about gentle, loving pit bulls in the media because a well-behaved dog doesn’t make headlines.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-bershadker/what-puts-pit-bulls-in-pe_b_5626508.html

Pit bull heroes

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/29/pit-bulls-heroic-happy-and-good_n_5563496.html

And hopefully, we will have an interview with a very special guest this week, a pit bull named Susie and her mom, Donna. On Sunday August 3, this weekend, a movie about their very amazing life together will be on TV. The movie is called Susie’s Hope.

Stay tuned !!!

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Filed under adoption, animal abuse, canine cuteness, dogs, keep pets safe, pet adoption, pet care, pit bull, publicity