Petfinder Featured Pet

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lily's Story Part 1

On March 15th, there was a puppy mill raid in Wyoming, Iowa.  A breeder suspected of animal neglect and cruelty was investigated after reports had been filed.  100 dogs were examined by two licensed veterinarians one by one, as they were removed from the facility.  They pulled the dogs that showed signs of neglect or cruelty and the others went back into the facility to stay.  66 dogs out of the 100 were kept as evidence.

Quotes from the breeder's USDA inspection report,  "A total of 66 dogs at the facility were identified to be in need of veterinary care by a veterinarian licensed in the state of Iowa during the time of inspection.  These veterinary care issues included chronic skin conditions, gingivitis, dehydration, an umbilical hernia, ear parasites and infections, chronic eye problems, abscesses of the scrotum, and various purulent discharges from the penis and anus as per the veterinarian...  Food and animal waste from washdowns has been allowed to accumulate immediately adjacent to the outdoor runs of the main building.  The pile is not less than five feet in diameter and not less than one foot at the highest point.  In addition to the amount present, the accumulation is showing signs of degradation.  Therefore, it is clear that this has been allowed to accumulate for some time...  The main building had a strong odor.  Some windows were open at the time of the inspection.  However, they did not supply sufficient fresh air...  The veterinarian present indicated that some of the Boston Terriers, due to their body structure, had abscesses and/or ulcerations from them constantly being on the mesh in use...   The feet of these puppies were observed passing through the openings in the floor...The enclosures had 3 square feet of floor space when subtracting space taken by the food and water bowls.  The enclosure contained three dogs.  The minimum floor space required for these three dogs is approximately 17 square feet... The food receptacles for all outdoor housed dogs are excessively dirty...  The dogs had not received water twice in a 24 hour period...  The water bowls for all outdoor housed dogs are excessively dirty...  All wash downs in the breeding rooms had excessive accumulation of animal and food waste...  The outdoor washdowns were covered solid with animals and food waste...  The facility owner refused (inspection).  Refusal to allow inspection is a serious violation of the Animal Welfare Act."

Here are some links to articles about the case. 
http://www.examiner.com/x-3113-Denver-Pet-Training-Examiner~y2010m3d27-Puppy-mill-raid

http://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2010/03/accused-iowa-puppy-miller-is-convicted.html

http://www.kgan.com/template/cgi-bin/archived.pl?type=basic&file=/shared/newsroom/top_stories/videos/archive/2010/03/lD82CPra.xml

The USDA inspection report from the raid

The original plan called for any dogs pulled from the facility to reside at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The college offers a Veterinary Technician Training Program and had the kennel space necessary for this operation.  Once the dogs arrived at the school, the college allegedly began receiving threatening phone calls that allegedly originated from the breeder of the dogs.  The college suddenly recinded their offer to help.  66 dogs that were now in a safe place, were in need of a new safe place and fast. The authorities were in dire need of placement for the dogs that were being held as evidence.
 
The call went out for local rescues to step up to the plate in a game that they weren't even playing.  The groups would be required to take these animals into their homes at their own expense.  They would have to agree to keep these dogs for an undetermined amount of time.  They would agree that the dogs did not belong to them, and they must obey any judgements made over the case. They knew they were taking a risk with their funds, and with their hearts.

Rescue volunteers from groups all over Iowa stepped up, never hesitated, and took in all 66 dogs.  Not one dog had to go back to the breeder due to lack of a place to go. Rescuers took them to their own veterinarians to be evaluated and provided them with any medical care they required.  Rescuers fostered the dogs in their homes, paid for food, toys and treats, and paid veterinary bills with their own funding.  But in the end, their biggest expense was the toll it took on their heart. 

Meet Miss Lily.  She is just one of the 66 dogs.  She wore a tag at the time of her liberation from the breeder.  On that tag was a number, #104.  There was no name on the tag. There was no spark in her eyes.






The edges of her ears were torn from her cagemates.  She had open sores, scabs, and scars on her head, legs, and body.  Her haircoat was sparce, to the point where you could see her skin through what should be a full coat.  There was so much dander on her skin from it's dryness that it looks like she was playing in the snow.  She had a permanent head tilt to the left, from an undiagnosed neurologic problem.  In this condition, Lily's body was used to make puppies and turn a profit. 

Lily's rescue group was Safe Haven of Iowa County.  Her foster Mom was Rinthea.  Lily was taken to the veterinarian and she was placed on antibiotics for 3 weeks for skin wounds and infections.  Then she went home.

At her foster Mom's, she received a collar and a name tag.  On that tag, was a name...her name.  Lily learned to live in a house with people as part of a family. She began to learn housetraining.  She began to learn what love means.  Lily slept on cushions, and pillows, and soft cushy beds instead of a wire cage bottom for the first time.  She met new dogs and discovered cats.  Some of them would play with her, and some would not.  She rolled on the soft carpet and in the grass.   She felt hugs and received kisses.  Lily learned her name.


As time was spent together, Lily's photos began to exude personality and love for life that was not there in the beginning.  A spark now shined in her eyes.  Rinthea's facebook posts of her time spent with Lily were passionate and powerful.  But these days were also stressful.

The rescue volunteers waited anxiously to hear about the fate of the dogs.  They were waiting on word from the courts as to the results of the investigation.  Would charges be filed?  Would the breeder lose is USDA license?  How long would the dogs be held as evidence?  What was going to happen, and when?  Would they be relinquished permanently to the rescues and made available for adoption?  Would the dogs go back to the breeder?   Would they sit in limbo for months or even years waiting for the case to come to trial? 


To be continued...



You are invited to share a link of the blog on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.
If there is text of a different color within the blog, that means there is a link that you can click on to visit that I wanted to share with you.

If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!


If you are new to our blog, don't forget to check out the blog archive!


Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Easter Bunny's Been Busy!

Tonight my daughter came running in from outside.  "Mommy, there is something in the yard that you need to see!" 

"What is it, Miranda?"

"I think it's a dead rat, but it's not dead!" 

It was only a few months ago that we found half of a dead rat in our yard.  I shudder to think of where the other half of the rat was, or where these rats were residing before their unfortunate demise.

Wonderful.  Another dead thing I have to bury before the dogs find it and roll in it.  Another joy of pet ownership. Dogs roll in the smelly things that cats kill.  What on Earth possesses dogs to roll in the most disgusting and smelliest things imaginable!?  And how is it we can love them so much, despite this significant personality flaw?  Perhaps dogs and cats think that cologne and perfume are the most disgusting smells ever, and they FURgive us for our stinky flaws?

As I follow my six year old out of the house, the neighbor's granddaughter comes running from the back yard screaming in horror, "It's moving, Miranda!  It's moving!"  I walk to the back yard to see my son staring at it in dumbfounded amazement.   "Wow, it's moving," he says softly with a spark of wonder in his eyes and in his voice.

I look down and see tiny little legs wiggling.  It was a baby bunny.  So cute, but so alone.  This was not a nest.  There were no other baby bunnies to be seen anywhere. 

Once I declare to the children that this half dead rat is actually a baby bunny, the kids are overjoyed with their discovery.  Even the little girl that was horrified by the fact that this rat thing was moving, suddenly finds it adorable.  I now have 4 children begging to pet it or hold it.  Eight hands are grabbing at a baby bunny not much larger than the palm of my hand.

I've done my share of wildlife rehabilitation, and I know that if you find an "abandoned" nest of baby bunnies, that you are supposed to lay some long grass or straw over the nest.  Mama bunnies only return twice a day to feed their babies, and she will move the straw or grass you place over the nest in order to feed them.  If the straw is still there after 24 hours, the nest may be abandoned.  But this wasn't a nest, and I have a cat...and two curious kids!

So I make a phone call.  I call the Iowa State University Wildlife Care Clinic, and ask their advice.  Erica, the volunteer on call, tells me that the bunny could have been moved by my cat, or a bird could have scooped it up intending to eat it, but dropped it mid-flight in the yard by accident.  I move into the house, hoping the loud kids "oohing and aaahing" will not follow.  As I am speaking to Erica, I am still fighting off my own two children in the house.  My kids honestly believe that this bunny is the coolest toy ever!  They both want to love it up so much they are about to burst!  I had to put Erica on hold, and tell the kids, "Back off!  It's a baby!" I yelled with a slight giggle appreciating their interest in this new creature.  They finally backed off and let me complete my conversation.  Erica, also laughing at this point, advises me to place the little peanut in a heated cage and bring it to them the next day for evaluation.  Of course this all happens just 20 minutes after the Wildlife Care Clinic has closed its doors for the evening, and no staff remained at the office. 

I am not a bunny expert in any way, but this little baby seems pretty lethargic.  If it is hypothermic, too cool, then warming it up right away will help it a great deal.  I place the baby bunny in my scrub top chest pocket, and head out the door.  I left my kids at the neighbor's house, who were kind enough to watch them as I ran this errand of mercy, and drove the peanut to the clinic.  The peanut  is now in a kennel with a heating pad on low.  I hope he survives the night.  While there is no evidence of puncture wounds or injury on his tiny body, if he was displaced by a hawk or a cat, there could certainly be internal damage.  His color looks good as his little mouth and gums are the lightest shade of princess pink.  Erica assured me he would not starve overnight since the Mama bunnies only feed the babies once or twice a day. This is quite different than baby kittens who need to be fed every few hours.  If he does not make it through the night, I can only assume there was significant injury or a significant health condition.  Either way, he has my love and my prayers.

If all goes well overnight, I will get him to the Wildlife Care Clinic in the morning.  Hopefully he will be in time for a big breakfast.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Updates on Previous Blog Topics!

Petland Wheaton says Rescue is not Profitable
http://vetrescue.blogspot.com/2010/07/petland-wheaton-says-rescue-is-not.html

Here is a statement from Petland Wheaton's facebook fan page regarding their change:
"Petland Wheaton We are continuing the program... as you can see above we are still continuing with cats and dogs that have been fostered for 2+ weeks. Less than 1% of the population of animals in rescues are from pet stores... the reality of it is the people that are not spay/neutering their animals and backyard breeders are the largest contributor to the pet overpopulation problem. We are still trying to help the best we can and to find homes for as many adopt-a-pets are we can. Thank you for your support."

FYI Petland Wheaton,  The reality of it is that the people not spaying and neutering their animals and contributing to the pet overpopulation in MASS NUMBERS is the puppy mills where you are purchasing your "healthier purebred puppies".  Thank you so much for supporting them.  (insert sarcastic tone here)

Please share your opinion with the store owner by mail, phone, facebook:


Petland Wheaton
80 Danada Sq West
Wheaton, IL, 60189
Phone:630-752-4800

Visit Petland Wheaton on facebook to voice your opinion but be aware, they will delete posts they do not like. You must become a fan of their store  to voice your opinion.
They liked what we said when they decided devote themselves to rescue, so let us not be quiet now! Please remember to be respectful in expressing yourself .

A Bird in the Hand
http://vetrescue.blogspot.com/2010/07/bird-in-hand.html
 
I received an email from the woman who had advertised the lost cockatiel. 
"Hi, Unfortunatly he has not been found. He is a normal gray male cockatiel (light gray body with white on the wing edges, yellow head and crest with orange cheek patches). He has no band or microchip. I have no pictures as he was a recent rescue. He does give kisses, wolf whistle and says "pretty bird" but it is very hard to understand. He always lands on your head.
I pray every day that someone found him, fell in love with him and decided to keep him.
Thank you for your concern,
Lisa"
 
Since her missing bird did not have a band, and our found bird had a band, we did not have a match.  We all hope that her bird landed on someone's shoulder as well.
 
A Dog Gets Her Shots
http://vetrescue.blogspot.com/2010/06/dog-gets-her-shots.html
 
Maizie had to be sedated again to remove a mass of scar tissue from the gunshot wound that was bothering her foot.  We removed 5 more pellets, one of them was  from her face.  She got a mild infection in the foot, but is recovering well.
 
 
The Beginning of a New Life: A Puppy Mill Rescue
http://vetrescue.blogspot.com/2010/06/beginning-of-new-life-puppy-mill-rescue.html
 
Schnookie has an adoption application pending!    Here are some new photos! Go back to the original story linked above to see her before photos!  What a wonderful difference in a furry little life!
 


A Fish Out of Water
http://vetrescue.blogspot.com/2010/07/fish-in-hand.html
Penguin is still doing time, with no adoption potentials in site.  His white cat sibling, allegedly not involved in the fishy murder, will now be joining him for adoption at Jewell Animal Hospital, as he has been evicted from their home as well. 

We are overwhelmed with cats and kittens for adoption with no reprieve in sight.  Please adopt or foster if you can...


*I hope my readers know that when there is type that is different in color from the other text, clicking on that type will lead you to a related link that I want to share. 

*If there are other blogs that you would like an update on, just let me know and I will do my best.
 
 
 
 
You are invited to share a link of the blog on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.



If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!


If you are new to our blog, don't forget to check out the blog archive!


Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Petland Wheaton says Rescue is not Profitable

On June 22nd, I posted a blog entitled, "Petland in Wheaton Goes Adopt Only, with One Small Hiccough".  I was thrilled to find out that this particular Petland had decided to work with rescued dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, and rehome them, rather than purchase puppy mill puppies to sell in their store.  Perhaps this would set a new precedent that would be followed by other stores.   The only aspect I was not thrilled about was the fact that the adopters were given a free spay/neuter certificate rather than the animals having already been spayed/neutered prior to adoption.  I encouraged people to support the store and to let Petland Corporate know how happy people were about the change.  Their facebook fan numbers skyrocketed by 120 people in 2 days time and they started wondering where people had suddenly heard about them.  Between my efforts and the efforts of the facebook group, "Iowans Exposing Petland" who also supported the change to rescue pets, Petland Wheaton was overwhelmed with praise.

After a few short months of going rescue only, Petland Wheaton has decided to discontinue their rescue work and return to the purchase of puppy mill puppies. 


In the letter, Petland announced the end of their rescue program once the rescued pets that are currently housed in the store are rehomed.  Their current facebook status update reads, "Petland Wheaton Needs your help finding homes for our remaining adopt-a-pets! Everyone goes home for only $49.99! We are waiving the microchip registration and AKC registration ($150 value) and every pup goes home with a free bag of Nutro food! Please help us find homes for these wonderful animals!"

In the letter from the store's owner, Adam Stachowiak, that was posted on their facebook fanpage, Petland Wheaton claims to have had unexpected increases in labor to house and care for the rescue animals.  I am unsure as to why they had a more difficult time with adult animals as compared to puppies.  When we have puppies for adoption, the kennels are a MESS.  They potty in the cage, they spill their food, they trample the mess throughout their cage.  We clean them up with love and elbow grease, but puppies are much more work to keep clean than the adults are. 


Petland Wheaton also claims to have seen an increase in serious illness that they did not see "in their purebred dogs".  Diseases do not choose to infect an animal by breed or lack thereof.  The puppy mills are selling mixed breed dogs and purebreds, and you even stated that you will be purchasing both in the future. The solution to incubating diseases is to house the dogs in foster homes for two weeks prior to entering their adoption facility.  During that foster period the pets should be spayed and neutered using the same free spay/neuter certificate that they were giving to the owners at the time of adoption. 

Petland Wheaton states that they saw little support for the rescue dogs.  I would like to know their definition of support.  People made it known that they approved of the change.  By support then, did they mean that there were fewer adoptions than their usual puppy sales?  Most people who adopt rescue dogs put a lot of thought and consideration into the process making sure their lives are ready for the family addition.  Many pet store puppy purchases are sudden whims or impulse purchases.  The people see the cute little puppy and forget the work involved with raising them and potty training them.  They forget the dog is going to grow into an adult dog, sometimes a much larger dog than that puppy in the window.  Puppy purchasers are often naiively unaware that expenses and hard work will follow the purchase.  They neglect to inform their landlord about their impulse purchase, and months down the road are giving the now older dog away or selling them on craigslist.  Some of the dogs in shelters and pounds are the very dogs you sold to the person who held the cash in front of you without considering the committment needed for such a purchase.  So yes, you will see fewer adoptions than puppy purchases.  But to have 40 adoptions in a month is 40 lives made better by your efforts.  That is 40 times that you made a difference for the better.  Many shelters dream of having 40 adoptions in a month, I know I would!

I am certain that if you advertised well locally, that you could increase your volunteer rate to assist with caring for the rescue dogs while in your store.  Shelters and rescues would be more willing to support your store by purchasing products and handing out store information and coupons to their own adopters if you were dedicated to your rescue work and respected their rescue work.

To turn around after only three months of rescue and decide it is not working is not just a business decision.  It is called quitting.  The summer months are always slower in the adoption world due to family events and people being at home less often in summer.  Smart people are less likely to add to their family during a hectic summer schedule.  Add to the summer slump, the fact that our economy is still forcing people to relinquish their animals due to lost jobs, lost housing, and forced relocation.  These are the same people who, when their lives turn around in the future, will appreciate that you helped them to place their pets in a quality home when they were forced to leave them. 

Rescue is not profitable, we all know that.  But you can get rich in different ways through rescue via self esteem, self worth, and making a difference in a world where 4 million animals are euthanized a year. 

The biggest problem is the fact that you are going back to actively supporting commercial breeders and puppy mills who force the parents of your cute pet store puppies to live their entire lives in cages with little to no human affection or exercise.  You obviously know about the need for rescue because you were willing to try it.  How can you turn around and decide that it is ok to support these commercial breeders?  If you truly believe that your breeders are different, then post their names publicly and proudly. 

Read "The One You Left Behind".    Each person that purchases a puppy, should consider that puppy's parents.  The dog that gave birth to and raised that puppy is still residing in a cage getting bred again and again.  Her worth is decided by her production ability and when that is gone her fate lies in the hands of a "business decision" such as the one you have made.  She is only a piece of inventory to them, a small portion of their breeding stock.  Will she be auctioned off for a few dollars at a puppy mill auction?  Will she be shot?  Will she be humanely euthanized...that too is an added business expense?  Will she be one of the few that are lucky enough to be relinquished into rescue, and possibly end up in your store for adoption? 

Oh wait, you don't do that any more. 

To my readers:
Please share your opinion with the store owner by mail, phone, facebook:
Petland Wheaton
80 Danada Sq West
Wheaton, IL, 60189
Phone:630-752-4800
Visit Petland Wheaton on facebook to voice your opinion but be aware, they will delete posts they do not like.  and you must become a fan to voice your opinion.
 
They liked what we said when they decided to rescue, so let us not be quiet now!  Please remember to be respectful in expressing yourself .



You are invited to share a link of the blog on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.
If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!
If you are new to our blog, don't forget to check out the blog archive!
Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Fish Out of Water...

Meet Penguin.  He is in solitary confinement for murder. 


Penguin, aka Blackie, incarcerated.

A few weeks ago, he was dumped on an unsuspecting woman by his owner.  She did not want more cats, but the owner gave her few options.  She took him and his housemate, a white cat whose identity has not been made public, into her home.  The white cat blended into the new family just fine.  But it seems Penguin, who has been previously known by his alias "Blackie", developed a few issues as a result of the change in guardianship.  These issues, brought about actions that cannot be reversed.

Penguin was left home alone, as many cats are.  Due to the sudden changes and instability that have so recently affected his life, he found himself acting out in ways that were unpredictable and out of character. 

On the day in question, Penguin allegedly stopped at the fish tank to discuss his problems with his new housemate, Oscar the fish.  The conversation was complicated by the language barrier.  Oscar had a difficult time understanding Cat, and Penguin was not very fluent in Fish.  In his frustration, Penguin crossed a threshold from which he cannot be brought back.  His actions led to the death of Oscar.  May Oscar rest in peace. It has yet to be determined whether this is a case of murder or involuntary fish slaughter.

This case has left many people wondering, "Weren't there any signs that indicated he was capable of this?"  There is no history of such fishy aggression in Penguin's life. Even those closest to him never imagined such an event could have been brought on by their friend, Penguin.

Penguin was tried, convicted, and sentenced by his current caregiver.  He was sentenced to relinguishment by owner and is currently incarcerated at Jewell Animal Hospital in the care of the South Hamilton Animal Alliance. 

His sentence is of undetermined length.  He is currently receiving counseling for fishy aggression.

Once a fishless family is willing to step up and agree to rehabilitate this sweet, gentle, and loving cat, he will be granted parole. 

Is your family ready to grant Penguin an early parole?



You are invited to share a link of the blog on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.

 
If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!


If you are new to our blog, don't forget to check out the blog archive!


Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Life of a House

A small girl is curled up on the legs of her Mother who is sitting on a bright orange, velvet couch.  The little girl holds a small wooden bowl containing a scoop of ice cream.  She is gripping the spoon tightly as though it might jump out of her hand.  She swirls it around the bowl creating a smooth malt-like drink from the frozen lump of ice cream.  Her mother looks at her, "Why are you doing that?"  "Because it tastes better this way," says the little girl.



In the dining room are cousins, sisters, brothers, mothers and aunts playing cards.  A young girl sits on a stool at the table's side.  She wanted to play High-Low-Jack, too.    In her hands are four jokers.  She grips them tightly anxiously awaiting her turn to place them onto the pile.  She just knows she is going to win!



In the bedroom is a young teenager wearing headphones and playing her LP records.  Her walls are covered with posters and photos of Shawn Cassidy.  She sings "Da Doo Ron Ron"  loudly, not realizing what a ruckus she is making.  Her older sister storms in the room.  "What are you doing?!"  Startled, she responds, "Singing."  "I thought something was wrong with you!  Be quiet!" as she spins on her heals and leaves the room.  The teenager cranks up the headphones, and sings even louder.  In the years to come, Shawn Cassidy will be replaced by Remington Steele while the girl moves on from LPs to cassette tapes.  On the shelf in her room sits her 12 inch black and white TV which airs three stations.



In the family room, a young girl sits on the floor playing "Mousetrap" with a friend.  From the kitchen, a small radio is heard.  The song "New York, New York"  by Frank Sinatra comes on the radio.  A woman enters the room singing along to the song, and swiveling her hips.  The young girl is embarrassed and rolls her eyes, "MOM!"  The Mom laughs and dances her way out of the room.

A desperate Mom lays down next to her young daughter on the bed, trying to get her to nap.  Relief would come quickly as the Mom falls asleep instead of the child.  The child expresses her love for her Mommy by using her lipstick to create fabulous and original artwork on the bureau. 

After playing on her friend's crutches, a young girl pouts and tells her Mother, "I wish I had crutches."  Beneath the Christmas tree that year, was a pair of crutches with a note attached.  "To Tiny Lisa, From Old Scrooge."

Around the coffee table runs a small girl wearing fuzzy blue slippers.  The girl yells, "Help!  A fox is chasing me!" as she giggles.  Behind her runs a small Pomeranian puppy, grabbing at those slippers.  Each time the little girl stopped running, the puppy grabbed those slippers and shook her head with a growl, like a cheetah catching it's prey.  The little girl would squeak with laughter.  A better squeaky toy has yet to be created.



On a rainy day, a young girl decides to use a long sleek coffee table as an indoor "Slip and Slide".  She gets a running start and slides across the length of the coffee table on her belly.  She flops off the other end of the coffee table onto the floor laughing.  As she looks back at the slip and slide, there is a huge gouge in the wood running the length of the table.  Perhaps she should have taken off her belt before sliding.

After accidentally receiving her daughter's college bank statement, the Mother sits on a stool at the counter in the kitchen beneath the rotary phone.  On a small sticky note attached to the statement, she writes, "I love you, honey, but you are not rich enough to support my lifestyle."  She places the papers into an envelope and puts it in the "to be mailed" pile.

A young lady returns home from college.  As her Mother walks out of the house thrilled to welcome her home, the girl opens the back door of her Toyota Corolla.  Out of the car hops a beautiful border collie mix, a much larger dog than the family has ever had.  The Mother's face goes from elation to the visual declaration of  "And just where is that thing going to live?" 

A woman goes out to water the lawn.  Water spurts from holes running the entire length of the hose.  A beautiful border collie mix sits in the doorway, wagging her tail, and awaiting her praise.  Who else would have protected the family from that long green snake in the garden!


A young woman stands alone in an empty house.  The coffee table is gone.  There are no posters on the walls.  There is no hose in the garden.  The dog is gone.  The Mother is gone.  Soon the house too, will be gone.  Home to a new family and ready for a new life and memories.



Thanks for the memories, Mom.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The New Eyes of Innocence

Sometimes you forget how important daily decisions are, until you see them through "new eyes".   We received a litter of three kittens at the clinic that were young, abandoned, and sickly.  They seemed to be getting better.  The food was disappearing.  They seemed to be becoming more active.  Then one of them went downhill.  She started getting thinner, and didn't appear well.  We made the difficult decision today to put her to sleep.  She was struggling to breathe.  There were only a few hours left in her young life. 

It would be so easy to not make a decision and walk out of the clinic at the end of the day without giving the kitten a second thought.  Let her pass on her own, and not burden myself with making "THE" decision.  I say "easy" because then I would not be forced to confront my employees about the situation.  I do not mean easy in the sense that the decision was taken lightly. 

Both of my afternoon workers today are young, impressionable, and wholeheartedly in love with almost every animal that goes in and out our doors.   Making the decision to euthanize the kitten was the relatively easy part for me.  I knew I would be ending the little one's suffering.  Telling my employees and stirring up emotions was going to be the difficult part.

There was a point when the kitten was trying to fight for her life.  Today, I was certain that the life was spent and the fight was over.  

I gently picked up the kitten and carried her over to Miguel, my assistant. 

"We have two choices, let her pass on her own or euthanize."

His decision was also relatively easy after having been doing this for 5 years.  But it was still heartbreaking.   The most difficult part was now approaching.  The other employee is Miguel's little sister.  She is a hard working, intelligent, mature young worker.  I am as proud of her as I was of Miguel at the ripe old age of 14.  Both of these kids have a work ethic beyond their years.
Miguel asked if we should do it without telling Kassy.  His heart wanted to spare her the role of decision maker, knowing that losing the kitten would be emotional enough.  His role of the big brother as a protector was evident.  As an employer and a friend, despite our age difference, I knew it would be best to include her in the decision, out of respect for her dedication to the animals and her dedication to my clinic.  Miguel and I both knew it was going to be emotional for her, and for us.  

I started crying before Kassy even entered the room.  I probably would not have cried had I performed the procedure alone.  When you have been doing this job for so long, there is a protective mechanism that guides you through the traumatic and emotional aspects of the job.  I feel the pain, but have lost that tender innocence that Miguel and Kassy both still carry.

I presented the same two options to Kassy, "We can let her pass on her own or euthanize".  The tears welled in her eyes, and her cheeks flushed red.

She softly whispered, "Option two."  She stayed with the kitten, and the procedure was done.  The kitten quit struggling for breath and went quiet.  That kitten died having had the love of a solid gold heart. That kitten's name was "Fluff".  We all cried.  We all knew it was best.  We all felt the pain of her loss.

Kassy cried for the kitten. 
Miguel cried for the pain his little sister felt. 
I cried recalling a time when I was the little girl who wanted to save them all (not sure I ever lost that hope).  Through Kassy's eyes I learned that I still am that little girl at heart.  I cried out of pride of the people I employ.  I cried for Miguel.  I cried for Kassy.  I cried for the kitten.  Thank God for them.

I am proud that Kassy shed those tears for an otherwise forgotten kitten.  That little life meant something to her, and her feelings about that kitten meant something to me. 


Thank you Fluff.



Thanks to some important words from some very persuasive readers, I have decided to continue the blog on facebook. Thank you to all of my readers for your support.
You are invited to share a link of the blog on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.
If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!


If you are new to our blog, don't forget to check out the blog archive!
Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Bird in the Hand...

It was an amazing day overall.  An hour or so before the Pomeranians were picked up for their trip to California, we received an unrelated phonecall.  It was a phonecall that made us all laugh.

I hear Jill, my assistant, saying, "Ya know what, I am going to have to discuss that with the doctor before I can answer that question."  I love when my employees say that.  I would much rather they ask me too many questions and annoy me, than answer a question with an incorrect answer.

Jill gallavants over to me with a Cheshire Cat smile on her face.  I anxiously say, "What?" with a nervous tremor in my voice.  What could the question be?  "Can we take in a litter of 12 black lab mix puppies?"  "My cat had six kittens and then got hit by a car, what should I do with them?"  "My landlord found out that I got a dog and I have to get rid of it, can you take it?"  WHAT COULD THE QUESTION BE?!

Jill begins, "There is a gentleman on the phone that was standing outside in his yard..."

My mind begins to fill in the rest of the sentence "...and found a litter of bunnies, no, a litter of kittens, no wait, saw a dog get thrown out of a car?"

Jill continued, while my mind raced, "and a bird landed on his shoulder and it won't go away.  What should he do?"

I almost thought she was joking, and yet from the expression on her face, I knew she wasn't! 

"See if he can bring it in?",  I answered with a questionmark.  I laughed out loud at the visual image of a man, who is likely more familiar with cattle or hogs than with birds, trying to get into his car with an unknown bird perched on his shoulder.  I expected to get a phone call at some point saying that the bird flew away when he tried to handle it or when he tried to get into the vehicle. 

Just as the van pulled up for the Poms' transport, a man walks into the office.  You guessed it, he had a bird on his shoulder. 



On his shoulder was a comfortably perched Common Grey Cockatiel.  Jill led them into the exam room to get the man's information and take down a description of the bird in case someone calls having lost one.  As I am about to step into the room, Jill comes out. 

"Does it have a band on it's leg?" 

"I don't know.  That is for you and Miguel to find out.  That bird really does not want to come off of his shoulder."  She laughed, and cowardly ran off, while beckoning for Miguel!

I worked at a pet store for years throughout high school and college.  In doing so, I learned quite a bit about handling birds and some other exotic animals.  I have had a few opportunities to teach Miguel about handling some exotics as well, but with his natural instincts, it is a much more graceful experience when he handles than when I do.

Miguel lays a small towel over the bird and gently places his fingers around the chest.  You have to be cautious not to compress the chest much on birds as they breathe more with the inward and outward motion of their chest than they do with their diaphragm, which is how we breathe.  He places his forefinger and middle finger on each side of the birds head so it cannot turn and bite either of us.  He gently lays the bird on it's back with it's feet up in the air, and exposes the band.

We write down the numbers.  The gentleman that the bird chose, also chose this little bird.  He decided to keep the bird while we try to find the owner. 

The bird seems to be more comfortable with men, so I wonder if the primary owner was male. Male cockatiels are often more tame and affectionate than females.  This bird's plumage indicates that it is likely male. All bird sex organs are hidden discreetly within the body and true sexing is only done via a small camera through an incision in the abdomen. The bright yellow face and sharp coloring make it more likely to be a male bird.

With his contact information and description of the bird, the gentleman departs with the bird in the same manner in which he entered, on the shoulder.  It was a truly comical sight to see.

In my research of bird bands, I know the bird originated in Iowa and was born in 1999.  The average lifespan of a cockatiel is 15 years with a life span ranging up to 22 years.  This little cutie is 11 years old. 

I called the Iowa Parrot Rescue and inquired as to whether there was a bird band registry.  Unfortunately, there is none.  I asked if anyone had reported having lost a cockatiel.  He has had no such reports.  He finds similar occurrences in bird rescue that we see with dogs and cats.  People can no longer keep the bird for whatever reason, so they open the window and let it fly away.  There is always a chance that the bird escaped inadvertently, and I sympathize with the owner if that is the case.  I wondered if there was someone out there looking for this gentle bird. 

I checked the Petfinder Lost Pet Classifieds.  I found a posting that an adult male Cockatiel had gone missing from near Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines on July 3rd.  This was before the bird arrived on the man's shoulder, so the timing is right.   Des Moines is an hour drive from Jewell.  That bird's wings must be tired if he flew that far.

I sent an email asking the poster of the ad for more identifying information on the bird, such as color and band numbers.  I will have to wait and see if there is a match between her bird and ours.  I also have to hope that the previous owner has some proof of ownership, like band number id.  I will update when I know more.





Thanks to some important words from some very persuasive readers, I have decided to continue the blog on facebook. Thank you to all of my readers for your support.






You are invited to share a link of the blog on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.



If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!



If you are new to our blog, don't forget to check out the blog archive!



Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pomeranian Rescue Chapter 4

Back in August of 2009, I began writing this blog.  I was completely unsure of where it would take me, or whether people would read it.  It is around this time that we received our first set of retired dogs from the same breeder as the ones that just made their way to Southern California Pomeranian Rescue.

My transport volunteer that had provided transport for the California dogs a few short weeks ago, seemed exasperated a year ago when she had brought us other dogs from that same puppy mill.  She mentioned that the breeder has an old Pomeranian, ten years old at the time, that she is no longer able to breed due to age, but she is still living in a cage.  "I tried to get her to let me take her. But she wouldn't." 

The breeder was keeping her "for sentimental reasons".  This Pom was her very first breeding dog, and apparently deserved to spend her entire life in a cage at this breeder's facility for "sentimental reasons" as though it was a privilege or rite of passage.  I am sure many other dogs who had outlived their fertile years were sold off or discarded in previous years.  

I am not criticizing those breeders that relinquish their retired dogs to rescues, although I wish they would help the rescues with expenses.  Other breeders dispose of the dogs in such ways as sales at puppy mill auctions, selling on craigslist, shooting the dogs, euthanasia by a veterinarian just because their production is low, letting them live their life out in a cage.  Rescue seems the best option for the dogs, and we will continue to do it as long as the dogs need us.  Rescue work and the associated expenses are not our obligation, but are our calling, and we do it willingly.

Give us your tired, your poorly treated, your infertile masses, and we will make loving pets of them.
 
Despite my transport volunteer's pleas to let the senior girl join the other dogs in rescue, the offer was rejected, and the little old girl lived in that cage for almost another year.

When the transport arrived with the first group of seven Pomeranians a few weeks ago, my transport volunteer looked at me in excitement, "We got her!"  I was not sure what she was talking about, after all, a year had passed.  My memory is spotty in the moment!  My befuddled look encouraged her to continue, "We got the little old girl!"  Then I knew!  The "Sentimental Pom" was with us!

She is a little black girl, with a muzzle that is white as snow.  She is a petite, delicate, little lady.  She is the only black Pomeranian in this herd of tiny dogs at my feet!




She seemed healthy upon exam for a senior girl with a history of producing puppies year after year, cycle after cycle, and watching them go to homes while she continued her work.  Her tongue hangs out of her mouth  because she no longer has any teeth to hold it in.  This is called edentulism, and is common in the older puppy mill dogs.  Her haircoat, unlike some of the others, did not require shaving, thank goodness.  She has a new name, "Dorothy".  If the breeder had given her a name for the last 11 years, she neglected to share it with us.

Dorothy has moved on to California, with the other rescued Poms, to enjoy "a dog's life" the way it should be enjoyed.  Here she is upon her arrival in the Golden State, getting her first grooming.



A California rescue volunteer, who shares the same white whiskers as Dorothy, is enjoying the company of a little senior girl with many stories to tell.

A note from the Pom rescue said, "She lives with 4 other pommies in a senior home where she is never alone and never crated. She has a yard to run in and lots of belly rubs and cuddles. She is GREAT with kids and other dogs of all ages and sizes. She is learning house training quickly now that she has a doggy door and constant positive re-enforcement."

Prior to California departure, at the arrival of the second transport of California Poms, we were informed by my transport volunteer that the breeder "felt so bad" about selling the other Pomeranians, that she threw in a Shih Tzu that she was not initially planning to give to rescue.


We have named her HoHo...like the snack cake.

This beautful girl is very sweet and you cannot get enough of her, just like a Ho Ho snack cake. She is black and white, like a HoHo snack cake. She is much more timid than the Poms. She has an adorable underbite. She is available for adoption with the South Hamilton Animal Alliance . She will need a quiet home, with patient people that understand the term "Positive Reinforcement". She seems to enjoy the company of children, as long as they are old enough to understand the proper treatment of animals.

I have mentioned that we have received several breeds of dogs from this breeder.  In June, we got a little surprise.  Along with dogs, we received...



a baby chick.  While picking up dogs for transport, the transport volunteer noticed the chick running around the breeder's farm, and it was the last one, the only one that the other animals had not killed.  The chick was tossed her way, and the volunteer didn't look back...even though we had no idea what we were going to do with it.

We posted on facebook that we needed chicken feed immediately!  A friend came through almost immediately with feed, and a hotlamp.  We had no idea what kind of chick it was.  It seems chicks, like dogs, can be of mixed breed, so no one could help determine the breed.  She was a cute and fuzzy little thing that we named "Bella".  She went with another rescue friend of mine who has other chickens.  This friend happens to be a vegetarian, so we know she won't end up surrounded by noodles and broth.  I hope Bella isn't a boy!

It is said that God doesn't give us more than we can handle, then the breeders cannot give us more than we can handle either.



Other blogs of interest:

So, I Have a Few Minutes Between Appointments

Lucky Dog

The One You Left Behind  one of my favorites.

The Eyes Have It  These are from the same breeder.

There are so many... just read back in the blog archive!

Thanks to some important words from some very persuasive readers, I have decided to continue the blog on facebook.  Thank you to all of my readers for your support.


You are invited to share a link of the blog on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.

If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!

If you are new to our blog, don't forget to check out the blog archive!

Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Poms Away! Pomeranian Rescue Chapter 3

We received a phone call on Wednesday morning, the day of the transport.  A woman named Linda said she was expecting to arrive at the clinic for the Poms in the early afternoon.  We made a note of it in our schedule book, and because she was on the road the conversation was short and brief.  We assumed that she would be taking them from the clinic to the airport.  We hoped that she had with her everything that she would need for the trip.  We are willing to provide necessary items for rescue transports but we need to know what is needed in advance since the nearest shopping centers are 25 minutes away.  Welcome to small town living!  Did I mention that the population of Jewell is 1200!

I decided to give well wishes to the little furballs, and document the occasion with a few rare photos that would make my sister, the Pomeranian lover, jealous!  Here they are Joyce, see them and weep!

My pants were covered in little paw prints when this was over!


That afternoon, between appointments, we notice a mini bus/ large van pull into the parking lot. 




Still unsure of the process, we raced to the parking lot.  We looked a bit like a Three Stooges episode, all three of us trying to be the first one outside, all three stuck in the door like a giant three headed spider, nothing but arms and legs protruding from the door!  We have our childish moments...

Suddenly mature and composed, we introduce ourselves to Linda, the driver, who gives us a brief rundown of the transport plan.  She is driving our dogs, and several other pets all the way to California.  This is what they do!  On the bus was a cat going to Fresno to be with his owners who have moved there,  a dog going to San Diego to be with his owners who moved there, a few other animals whose owners are moving, and our 11 poms going to rescue in Orange, California.  Their expected arrival was Saturday. 


Linda was kind enough to grant me permission to use the photos and discuss their business in my blog.  They function mostly as a gentler alternative "moving van" for people's pets. 

From their website,
"Here are some reasons why Precious Pet Transport Service should be on your moving list.


  • Ground Transportation is generally less traumatic for your pet.
  • Every pet has their own comfortable USDA crate for traveling appropriate to their size.
  • Dogs are given at least 4 scheduled walks a day.
  • Bottled water is available to pets 24 hours a day.
  • Cats have litter boxes available when needed. 
  • Clients are given the phone number of the driver and can call for daily updates to check on the welfare and location of their pet. 
  • We feed your pet according to your instructions. 
  • Vans are kept climate controlled, winter and summer. 
  • Pets are NOT left alone in the vehicle at night. "
The animals are with the driver, in this case Linda, a co-owner of the business, 24 hours a day in a climate controlled van.  She has a bed in the van, and it is left running all the time.  The windows are covered in insulated fabric to maintain the temperature and conserve energy. 

We started bringing the dogs up, double checking that their collars and ID tags were secure and  intact as we loaded them onto the bus.  One dog had a repeated loss of collar in our backyard, and it was missing again as we brought her up.  We went to look for it and found it in our backyard.  We quickly replaced the collar and moved the tags, a painstaking task, to the new one.  Identification on this trip is vital!

We climbed up into the van and got the tour.


The van was immaculate!  Their were no foul odors, no food or litter on the floor.  The animals that were in there seemed quiet and comfortable.  And it was so cool, thanks to the large air conditioning unit!  All in all, it was a nice ride!  I hate to admit it, but it was cleaner than my van on any given day.



We said our goodbyes, and some were more difficult than others.


As the van drove away, I watched.  I wished I could travel with Linda on this route just to experience it.  I am not sure my patients, or Linda, would have appreciated it, but what an experience it would have been. 

I know you are waiting for the good and the bad in this story...
Good = 11 dogs rescued
Bad = 11 dogs leaving our care for good. 

Good bye wishes to our new furry friends, and a big Thank You to our new rescue friends:
Southern California Pomeranian Rescue
Precious Pet Transport Services


You can see photos of their arrival in Orange, California if you are a facebook member.  Join the group "Southern California Pomeranian Rescue Facebook Fan Page"  Click on their "Photos" page.  Look for their "Iowa Rescue" Album and see the dogs arrival and care program happen! 

Chapter 3 is NOT the final chapter in this rescue...

To be continued...



(Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)









***I will no longer be publishing the blog on facebook, although you are welcome and invited to share a link of it on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. If you wish to receive the blog in your email, please follow the instructions below.

If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!



If you are new to our blog, feel free to read some of the older blog posts..

Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pomeranian Rescue Chapter 2

We were expecting another transport of the remaining 14 dogs in just two short days.  My wonderful staff was ready and willing to sacrifice their personal time on a Sunday to help these dogs in need arrive to a place of safety.

On Saturday night, the night before the transport was planned to take place, I received a phone call...

I did not recognize the number.  I considered not answering it.  I was going through a drive-thru window at the time it was ringing.  Good timing and cell phones rarely go hand in hand.  But I hit that green button anyway.  "Hello?"  I did not recognize the voice at first, the loud tones and verbage were bounding out of the phone.  I soon figured out who it was.   In panicked tones, the voice shouted, "That f*******   b****  sold the dogs out from under us!  She knew we were coming for them tomorrow!  She knew we were going to take them!  I'm so angry!"  And the cursewords continued.  I don't think I had ever heard her swear!  While she continued to be panicked and pissed, I became the voice of reason.  That is not always the case... just ask my employees.  I have my own moments of panic.

While I was disappointed, I was not surprised at all.  Of course the breeder would take money for the dogs rather than give them away.  It makes sense financially to do so.  This is a business to them.  A transaction that brings in money, regardless of the amount, is going to take priority over any other verbal non-profitable agreement.  I understand the idea of business.  I just have a hard time knowing that the inventory that is being bartared for, the item that is referred to as "breeding stock", are the same animals many of us keep in our homes and consider an important part of our family.  As far as a person "giving their word" or honoring verbal agreements, it takes more than a handshake now-a-days.

But we didn't lose them all.  There were five more dogs that she agreed to send.  Again, the bad news comes with the good news: some dogs were lost to another breeding operation, BUT we still had 5 dogs heading our way... in theory anyway.  That was enough good news for me to be content.  There will always be a ping of regret about not getting there sooner to transport the others, but we do what we can with what little we have.

The transport for the remaining five was rescheduled for Monday, and we would wait with baited breath until they were officially on the transport route, and in our "extended arms".  Only then would we breathe a sigh of relief.  This freed up my employees' Sunday, and only required one car to make the trip.  Time to sit and wait. 

Then I realized, we had to tell the Southern California Pomeranian Rescue that there would only be 11 dogs.

The rescue was devastated.  They were so concerned,  "Is this person still breeding Pomeranians? Is there any way we could get them back."  I explained to them that my understanding was that the dogs were sold to another breeder.  They were not being kept by this breeder.  However, I have no knowledge as to whether this person is continuing with breeding Pomeranians, or is telling us the truth.  It is being claimed that the breeder is retiring and cleaning house, but I have no proof of that.  I wish I could find out for certain, but they do not exactly invite me or anyone else into their establishments. 

The sad part was that the Pom Rescue had already paid for 21 dogs to be transported to California.  I don't know if a refund was granted for the additional 10 dogs.  I sure hope so.  I checked all the local shelters for Poms that might be able to make the trip, but did not succeed in finding any. 

The new group of dogs arrived on Monday.  All of the dogs were in the same condition as the previous.  Friendly but filthy.  We did the same to them: toenail trims, rabies vaccines, grooms, and baths when time allowed. 


We got kisses.  We scooped poop.  Did I mention we take the good with the bad?

The transport to California was still a mystery.  We had been notified that the transport was scheduled for Wednesday.  We had no idea whether it was plane, train, or automobile. 

We sometimes send dogs on planes to their new families. This requires a transport volunteer to cover a 60 mile drive from Jewell to Des Moines to the airport, an airline approved kennel, paperwork, food, ice in a dish (we are told to freeze water in the kennels dish so the dogs can drink it as it melts), and a backup plan if the flight is delayed or cancelled.

We often participate in ground transports, some of which go all the way to the east coast.  Each transport consists of volunteers transporting the precious cargo in increments of 50-100 miles or more until the dogs are safe in their new home or rescue. Our responsibility is to provide collar, leash, kennel if needed, paperwork, and a tranport volunteer for the first leg of the journey (this is often the most difficult part). 
 
How much are we going to need to provide for a transport of 11 dogs?  We don't have enough kennels on hand if they are needed.  It would be a tight fit, even for my van, to tranport 11 dogs in separate kennels to the airport!  I was a little nervous.  Time was getting really tight!

Then, we discovered the means of transport...


To be Continued...



(Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)




***I will no longer be publishing the blog on facebook, although you are welcome and invited to share a link of it on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. If you wish to receive the blog in your email, please follow the instructions below.
If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!

If you are new to our blog, feel free to read some of the older blog posts..
Feel free to make a comment on the blog, but please do so at the blog's website: http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ ;-)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pomeranian Rescue Chapter 1

As we celebrate our Independence Day with parades, fireworks, and cook-outs, a few lucky dogs celebrated their Independence Day early.

Several weeks ago, we received a phone call from another rescuer.  A breeder wanted to relinquish 21-25 retired breeding Pomeranians.  This breeder operates a puppy mill and has given us Shih Tzus, Pomeranians, Poodles, Poodle mixes, Terriers, Schnauzers and Schnauzer mixes in the past.   


(This photo is not of this breeder but is a photo of an Iowa USDA Class A licensed breeding facility)

We have had Pomeranians for adoption before, some of them were from the same breeder, others were not.  Unfortunately, we often have a tough time finding homes for them.  I cannot explain why Pomeranians seem difficult to rehome, perhaps people are less aware of their breed as compared to others.  I was raised with Pomeranians, and my sister continues to keep only Pomeranians.  She no longer buys them, and will only adopt rescued Pomeranians now.  Two of hers, came from our rescue group, also retired breeding dogs, but not from this particular breeder.

We often turn to breed specific rescue for assistance, but Pom rescues seem hard to find.  If you search for Golden Retriever rescues or Cocker Spaniel rescues, you will find them in abundance.  This is not the case for Pomeranians.  In the past when we have had only one or two Pomeranians, we kept them until a home was found, regardless of the time invested.  When we received this phone call I knew we were in over our head in sheer numbers with this one.  We immediately sought help from breed rescue.  That meant we had to find responsible Pomeranian breed rescues, and quickly.  Breed rescues are often limited by their number of volunteers, foster homes, and budgets just like any other rescue or shelter, so we were concerned with such a large number of dogs.  We would have to find LOTS of Pomeranian rescues to cover this number of dogs...or so we thought.

There was a non-breed specific rescue group that we have worked with before that was willing to take up to five pomeranians.  That was comforting and much appreciated, but we were still anxious.  That would put five dogs into safety, and brought us down to 16-20 poms still needing rescue.  This is still a very high number.  My facility and staff are just not big enough to hold that many dogs for an extended period of time. 

The rescuer who asked us for help with these dogs, made another inquiry.  It was asked if I was comfortable taking in all the dogs and euthanizing them.  The explanation given was that they would be better off dead than being sold to another puppy mill.  She had discovered that the breeder was listing the dogs for sale on craigslist.  I declined that option, "Just get the dogs to us and we will get them rescue."  

I proceeded to search Google and Facebook for Pomeranian rescues.    I must have emailed at least a half dozen rescues asking for help with these dogs.  Finally, one group stepped up in a HUGE way.

Southern California Pomeranian Rescue jumped in head over heals!  They called us almost immediately upon receipt of my email.  They agreed to take all the dogs!   We researched this group first to make sure these dogs would be going to a place where they would be spayed and neutered, and placed in loving homes.  We checked personal references.  We checked veterinary references.  We dissected their website.  We talked to their Volunteer Representative to be sure we understood them, and they understood us.  

The good news was sent to our rescue friend just a few days before the first transport of Poms was due to arrive at the clinic.  She was overjoyed with the news that rescue was found for all of the dogs.  The tough part was going to be getting the dogs to my clinic.  It is a few hours drive, and she has a small car.  The plan was to do a small, single car run on Friday.  On Sunday, another person would join the force and bring back the rest of the Poms in one transport consisting of two vehicles and 14 more dogs.

The Pom rescue requested that rabies vaccines be done.  They would have the rest of the vet work done when the dogs arrived. The dogs would be making the trip to California within days of their arrival. We had little information about the types of transportation or the extent to which we would have to participate.

Normally, I prefer to completely vet any animals prior to transports. That way they have a microchip for permanent identification, and if they were to escape during a transport, they cannot end up as a breeding dog again. That part of their life is over. But this rescue required a deviation from our routine. There was no way to vet all these dogs in such a short period of time.

She brought the first transport of seven Pomeranians to the clinic on Friday.  All in all, these guys were filthy, but seemed fairly well socialized. They were not afraid of people and movement like we often see with relinquished breeding dogs.  They were all in dire need of dentals, pedicures, and grooming.  Their teeth were coated with tartar, many of which will likely fall out when the tartar is removed.  Their haircoats were full of matts and held an odor that was almost palpable and could not be removed by bathing alone.  All of this is all familiar to us.  But is the Pom rescue ready for this?

Looking at these faces, we could not stop at just rabies vaccines.  It seemed wrong to just cram them back in a cage and wait.  So we gave them each a dewormer, rabies vaccine, trimmed their overgrown toe nails, and did emergency grooms as they came in the door. They were fitted with collars and had their ID tags placed on them immediately.  A few of the ones that we shaved were given baths when time permitted.  They wagged their tails, and jumped on our legs to say hello...and pooped on our floor. In our business we happily take the bad with the good... 

We were expecting another transport of remaining 14 dogs in two days, with my wonderful staff ready to sacrifice time on a Sunday to help these dogs in need.  

But on Saturday night, I received a phone call...


To be continued...




***I will no longer be publishing the blog on facebook, although you are welcome and invited to share a link of it on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. If you wish to receive the blog in your email, please follow the instructions below.


If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is a required step. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!



If you are new to our blog, feel free to read some of the older blog posts...



Feel free to make a comment on the blog! ;-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Schnookie update!

For those of you who read the last blog about Schnookie at http://vetrescue.blogspot.com/2010/06/beginning-of-new-life-puppy-mill-rescue.html  here is a new photo of her living it up in her foster home!  A few words from the receiving rescue, "Schnookie is doing fantastic with her foster parents, gets to go to work with her foster mommy, and her foster brother who was a mill puppy rescue from us last year."


I will say it again... is there a cuter face???


***I will no longer be publishing the blog on facebook, although you are welcome and invited to share a link of it on facebook. If you wish to receive the blog in your email, please follow the instructions below.




If you want to receive this blog into your email inbox each time it is published, go to http://www.vetrescue.blogspot.com/ , and enter your name into the subscribe box on the upper right side of the page. The blog will send you a confirmation email. Reply as instructed in the email to confirm your subscription, this is required. You will receive the blog when it is published. You will not get junk mail as a result of subscribing!

Don't forget to read some of the older blog posts..

Feel free to make a comment on the blog! ;-)