Saturday, August 31, 2013

Remembering Dolcie: from tragedy to happiness

Many years ago, I was playing with a dog named Elsie outside San Francisco Animal Control. Like so many others before her and sadly, after her impound at SFACC, Elsie was scheduled to die.

A bevy of media personnel was in house that day covering the high profile case involving Hera, the dog accused of mauling Diane Whipple one year before. Although evidence had been offered that Hera was not guilty of the mauling and had shown nothing but gentle behavior to all who handled her, she was going down. Somebody had to pay and once the trial was over and Hera's use as 'evidence' with completed, she would be killed.
This particular day, a lone photographer wandered out to the side yard, note the fire hose in the background, the notorious fire hose that would nearly kill another dog a year later, Slappy. 

The reporter lowered his camera and asked me, 'What do you think it is that makes these dogs go bad?'

Elsie and I didn't miss a beat and as she soared up into the free air for a ball, I answered him. 'The media.'

We both laughed and he continued to go about his work and took this shot of Elsie, a wonderful dog, scheduled to die like so many others at SFACC just for being a pit bull.

Elsie had a sad story like so many others. She was spotted by Angela, a longtime MacLaren Park resident who'd walk her own senior dogs in the San Francisco Excelsior neighborhood. Angela noticed Elsie with her companion, a black lab, running and playing in the tall Eucalyptus groves.

On one particular morning, Angela saw city workers removing the body of the black lab who'd been run over by a car. Elsie was sitting by his body. Angela remembers, "There was a police officer on site and he told me to stay back.  I saw her and she looked up with those human eyes of her.  I brought her a bowl of food and water."

"When the woman from the Animal Control came to pick her up and the other dog.  She laid her whole body over the dead animal.  The police officer, the woman from Animal Control and myself could not believe what we had just witnessed."
"You hear about these things all the time, but to actually see it brought tears to your eyes.  Dolce went very willingly with the woman.  She put her in the back of the truck.  I went around to see her and that is when she grabbed my heart and soul.  She literally had tears rolling down her face, and those eyes.  I will never forget those eyes."  

Angela adopted 'Dolcie' short for Dolcenea from Reunion Rescue. "She was really my "big, beautiful girl."   I used to call her "Dolcie do right" - she really could do no wrong.

This is much how life works in rescue. So many do not make it out of the confines of high kill shelters, but ever so often, there is an Angela, a Dolcie and a happy story for a change.

The media usually isn't knocking down our door to report these stories, but there's always my little blog, Pit Bulls and Other Animals which can try and tell one happy story to make up for all the nasty horrible ones.

Dolcie had a happy life. "We went on long walks in McLaren Park and she would slide down the hills head first on the green grass in winter.  She swam like an Olympian -outswimming every dog in McLaren Park."

"She loved it here in Sonoma, after we moved from San Francisco, on October 12, 2005.  She had a big bag yard with green lawn to roll around in and we went on long walks.  That's where we met Panda Bear, our neighbor's dog (part Poodle and English Sheep dog).  She loved him and when I took him in at seven months, she mothered him like her own."

"She was healthy and well until the time she left us on October 7, 2011, and now patiently awaits our arrival at Rainbow Bridge."

Dolcie will be remembered on our memorial walk with Hope and Pam on September 21 at Treasure Island in Best Friends Strut Your Mutt. Hope and Pam's walk is open for anyone who had a Dolcie in their life and would like to walk with us.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Homeless pup to march for other homeless pets

Buster Posey a.k.a. Pokey was a stray dog like many others in the San Francsico bay area just a couple of weeks ago. He was spotted by one of Reunion Rescue's longtime adopters who called the shelter.

Buster wound up catching kennel cough and was going to be euthanized when we got the call. Reunion acted quickly and submitted the necessary paperwork to save Buster at the last minute.

Buster is a super dog, very dog friendly and great with people and kids.

He's now in temporary foster and regaining his strength, but still homeless.

Buster Posey was named by the adopter's four year old who's a solid Giants fan. The SF Giants have
offered to sponsor Buster in Best Friends' Strut Your Mutt on Treasure Island this year

Please share Buster's page and consider a small donation to support Reunion Rescue and help us save more homeless bay area dogs.  Better yet, create your own page or virtual strut page where you and your 'mutt' can strut to help others just like Buster Posey.

Please help Buster and Reunion Rescue tell the world pit bulls and other animals don't have to die.

                                                                                                 .....Somebody loves you!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

HSUS needs rescuers to help with monster dog raid

One of the biggest dog raids in history has netted nearly 400 dogs and the Humane Society is asking for help.

"After assisting in the rescue of nearly 400 dogs from multiple dogfighting operations in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, The Humane Society of the United States is now providing around-the-clock care to the animals at its shelter in an undisclosed location."

The criminal activity associated with Spindletop 'refuge' a little over a year ago has proved that these big raids can have a positive outcome. "When these dogs are released by the court and able to move on to the next stage of their lives, The HSUS will need help from other rescue groups and shelters around the country. 

We are seeking groups to join our Dogfighting Rescue Coalition, to help find these deserving dogs new homes. Groups from all across the country can possibly help rehabilitate and rehome these dogs. Working with our partners in this coalition, The HSUS has a uniquely high success rate at adopting dogs rescued from fighting. More info at:"

HSUS director stated 'these dogs' lives changed overnight' after "a three-year investigation of these alleged dogfighters led to Friday’s series of interventions. Police in Auburn, Alabama started the investigation, with HSUS experts participating every step of the way, though the case was ultimately led by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney. All told, there were 367 dogs rescued on Friday in what is thought to be the second largest dogfighting raid in U.S. history."

The Humane Society is a powerful entity, but needs community help to really save these dogs. "The dogs are receiving healthy food, clean water, toys and plenty of TLC. The dogs are also being treated for their injuries and the effects of neglect by veterinarians." 

"The dogs are all being evaluated by behavior analysts, who are developing individual rehabilitation plans for each animal. This work is essential to ensure the safe transition of these dogs from their previous lives of misery to their future as well-adjusted pets."

This crisis has placed an opportunity to join rescue forces with HSUS to change the tide. Dogfighting is rampant and seems worse than ever. Each day's emails, Facebook posts and news articles carry some nasty account of animal related cruelty. The HSUS has brought down this mountain of evil, but needs community support to help care for these dogs so the criminals that hurt them and so many others can see justice done. 

The tragic story of Devine

Devine will die just because of economic hardship.

Devine is a gorgeous girl and absolutely the sweetest baby ever. Unfortunately she is back at the shelter because her owners could no longer afford to keep her. Please do not judge them. 

Please share her pictures so she can find a new family. Devine is sweet, gentle, and absolutely loves to snuggle and give lovings! Come by and fall in love with her today!

This picture of Devine is with a family friend, not even a member of her own family.

$50.00 adoption fee covers spay/neuter, vaccinations including rabies vaccine. You also receive a 3 day voucher to any vet in Jackson county for a wellness check and you also get a free name tag from 2 Dogs Dancing!

Jackson County Animal Shelter

4400 Audubon Lane Gautier, MS

Phone Number:228.497.6350

Hours:Mon - Fri,10-4 pm Sat, 10am-2pm

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dad with baby create Nazi pit bull hate film

Labeled a public service announcement, a Dexter look-alike holding a toddler begins a nauseating attempt to ape Sarah McLachlan's heartfelt song and outreach to save shelter animals.

In a sickening plea to help homeless pets, the speaker mimic's McLachlan's ASPCA animal cruelty video in a perverted attempt to malign pit bull type dogs.

Entitled "Pit Bull PSA," the video employ's McClachlan's recording and elements of the ASPCA advertisement to push a message of hate and killing. Did the ASPCA and Sony/ATV Music provide permission to use McLachlan's music and lyrics for a pit bull hate 'PSA' message?

Highly doubtful. What kind of individuals would put together this kind of garbage in order to trigger hate for an already maligned animal? Certainly not any thinking person interested in education and solutions. Do these 'filmmakers' consider themselves creative?

The production ends with a pit bull attack and one that's made its dogeared travels over every pit bull hate site on the internet, so no surprises. Word up, homey. Element of surprise and redemption set the bar distinguishing the men from the inept in the arts. One strives to leave the viewer leaving with something new, a broader concept. This is just a piece of hate-filled junk which leaves the audience walking away with a sad sense of a demoralized society and a taste of what liver cancer must feel like.

Maybe someone should call ASPCA and SONY to see if permissions were granted for the use of intellectual property in such a low brow effort.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
550 Madison Ave, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-7730

Public Inquiries:
(888) 666-2279

Monday, August 26, 2013

Zimmerman blames it on the pit bull

Here's a new one....using pit bulls to beat a murder rap. According to Fox News, "George Zimmerman and his wife began carrying handguns after repeated run-ins with a pit bull, and the volunteer neighborhood watchman continued his armed vigil over a gated community in Sanford, Fla., as a rash of burglaries left neighbors frightened, according to a report."

"The couple took firearms training courses and got handguns and concealed carry permits in late 2009 -- three years before Zimmerman shot unarmed teen Trayvon Martin dead -- after a pit bull named Big Boi menaced Shellie Zimmerman near their home, Reuters reported."

To be fair, Zimmerman attempted to thwart the dog with pepper spray. When Big Boi, a run in with neighbor's dog that spooked Zimmerman's mother in law's pooch prompted "the Zimmermans to contact Seminole County Animal Services and to buy pepper spray, the news agency reported. After a third encounter with the dog, Zimmerman called authorities and an officer who came to the house advised him to take up arms."

Wow. The story unfolds. According to Fox News, Zimmerman bought a gun on the advice of the visiting policeman. This raises all kinds of questions. In light of the near daily dog shootings by the police, is this the standard maintained to the public. Get a gun?

"Don't use pepper spray," the officer told the Zimmermans, according to a friend who relayed the conversation to a Reuters reporter. "It'll take two or three seconds to take effect, but a quarter-second for the dog to jump you. Get a gun."

Published in the Fox News article, "the Zimmermans heeded that advice and bought two guns in early December. George Zimmerman selected a lightweight Kel-Tec PF-9 9-mm. handgun. It is not clear if that was the same gun that killed Martin on Feb. 26, after a confrontation. Zimmerman, 28, who claims he acted in self-defense after Martin attacked him, has been charged with second-degree murder. He went into hiding after being released from jail on $150,000 bond.

Once armed, "Zimmerman's attention had shifted from Big Boi to a string of robberies that began to plague the community sometime around June 2011, Reuters reported. He was later asked by the homeowners association to launch a neighborhood watch, and Zimmerman began carrying the 9-mm. handgun as his walked his dog -- a violation of neighborhood-watch guidelines, but not a crime."

While uncontrolled dog behavior is certainly not endorsed, there are far better solutions than either pepper spray or guns. A recent neighborhood class in my own city provided many great alternatives to use of pepper spray which has a faulty history of effectiveness.

Rather that outfit ourselves with guns and tasers, educational classes with actual dog behaviorists will do more for protecting our community than arming ourselves. The defense includes Zimmerman's 'mixed' background and history of being a church alter boy. Trayvon Martin is still dead and blaming a pit bull for that death is not adequate.

The defense to save Zimmerman by blaming a pit bull might backfire much like pepper spray has been known to go sideways and much like the idea of carrying a 9 mm handgun the day Trayvon Martin was shot to death.

Were I on that jury, I would want to hear remorse, sorrow, not blame for some neighborhood dog.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

More than 4,000 dogs saved thanks to one death row dog

Murmur leaving Bakersfield
Murmur was at the high kill shelter KCAC in Bakersfield, California. It was four years ago and the situation involving our nation's extreme killing was as bad then as it is now. According to some animal figure crunchers, the shelter euthanasia has diminished, but to those of us who are involved in rescue work, it's a bloodbath. It was a bloodbath four years ago and it's a bloodbath now.

Streets of Bakersfield group

Murmur was spotted by then kennel manager at KCAC and posted on a group email. When I saw her photo, something clicked. Reunion Rescue was full at the time as we always are, but I started scrambling to see what I could do to save this one dog. Besides being an adult in a very high kill shelter with intake of over 500 dogs per week.

Streets of Bakersfield: Driving to save dogs

Murmur had a heart murmur. I started posting to try and find her a foster and my post was answered by Barbara, a woman from Oakland, California. What began that day was a small effort between two people which has resulted in a volunteer transport group responsible for saving over 4,000 dogs up and down the state of California. I met a few solid transport and rescue people who dedicate their lives to rescue and transport.

One of the dear members of Streets of Bakersfield left us this past Memorial Day, John McCauley. John helped found Streets of Bakersfield and was one of Murmur's transport legs the day she was driven to Barbara four years ago.

Goodbye John McCauley: rescue dogs lose one of our own

Hub on his way to Minnesota
One year ago, Barbara adopted a 'brother' for Murmur. One of our Spindletop dogs pulled from the high kill Garland Shelter was transported to Barbara and Murmur who have since relocated to Minnesota.

Labor Day Labor of Love: 23 legs to happiness

Barbara has created a Strut Your Mutt page for Murmur and Hub to represent Reunion Rescue this year
in San Francisco and to raise awareness for homeless pets everywhere.

Please take a minute to visit Murmur and Hub's page and contribute a dollar or two so that we can help that next homeless pet in some high kill shelter.

Murmur, Hub and Barbara's Strut Your Mutt page

Visit Reunion Rescue online to see some of the many other wonderful dogs in our refuge which came from terrible abuse and shelter situations.