PHOTOGRAPHER TOURS SHELTERS TO HELP DOGS GET ADOPTED - “Our mission is to provide shelter staff and volunteers with the resources to successfully groom and photograph shelter pets, helping give them the second chance they deserve.”
The One Picture Saves a Life initiative teaches animal shelters how to groom and photograph the shelter animals to present them in the best light (probably both literally and figuratively) for adoption. Photographer Seth Casteel is currently touring various shelters in the U.S. to put on workshops. You may be familiar with Casteel’s Underwater Dogs series. The photos above are examples of how different the dogs look depending on how they are presented.
DOGS ON DEATH ROW SAVED BY TRAINING PROGRAM RUN BY INMATES - “One prisoner said he didn’t look at it as “saving a dog’s life” but as “giving it a family”. In turn, he felt it gave him companionship and a sense of responsibility.”
A program at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison in New Zealand lets inmates train shelter dogs who were in danger of being put to sleep. It is hoped that the training will give the dogs a better chance at being adopted. Inmate-shelter dog programs are becoming more common, but this is the first such program at Hawke’s Bay. Here’s more from Hawke’s Bay Today:
A pilot programme at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison is saving dogs earmarked to be put down and giving them a “second chance” at life.
They are chosen and taken from their own death row and into the care of prisoners, who train the pets for six weeks before they are put up for adoption.
Similar programmes are well established in the US and the Hawke’s Bay version - now in its fifth week - was the brainchild of dog behaviorist and trainer Steve Dunworth and established in conjunction with Adopt A Dog.
For some hardened prisoners, it is the first time they have a feeling of true affection. But with a number of men serving life or preventive detention, prison authorities would be keeping a close eye on how the emotional connection would affect the men when it was their dog’s time to leave…“I feel I’m pretty close to her, but at the same time I can’t get too attached,” he said. “I’ve got to know where to draw the line because I know she’s going to be gone anytime now.”
Hopefully this new program at the prison is successful so other dogs can be saved for years to come. Click here for the full story. (Photo by Duncan Brown)
A two-year-old dog named Tonik was rescued from a kill shelter in Kentucky, and is up for adoption thanks to a group called the Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Group. Tonik, a poodle/shih tzu mix, has been getting some attention online because some people think he has a human-looking face. Hopefully he finds a permanent home soon!
Click here for Tonik’s petfinder page and here for more about Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Group.
SHELTER DOGS GET FREE TRAINING TO MAKE THEM MORE ADOPTABLE - “Without the training they receive, they would not stand a chance. Not much would distinguish them from every other dog awaiting their time.”
A dog training center called the University of Doglando in Orlando, Florida is providing free training for shelter dogs in order to improve their chances of being adopted. The “Camp Doglando” program pairs children with shelter dogs and lets the children learn about dog training, while at the same time providing the shelter dogs with training in the hopes of making them stand out at the shelters. Read more from the Orlando Sentinel:
Teena Patel, owner of a dog-training facility in east Orang County called the University of Doglando, is working with several Central Florida animal shelters and rescue groups by running a free dog-training camp in which children who want to learn to care for a pet are paired temporarily with shelter dogs in need of behavior modification.
Patel, 33, said animal shelters are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of dogs that arrive at their facilities and lack the time or money to provide the training that would improve dogs’ chances of landing in a home. She said her dog-training program makes such dogs more desirable to people looking for pets.
The University of Doglando sounds like a fun place. Let’s hope these great shelter dogs find permanent homes. Click here for the full story and click here to learn more about the University of Doglando.
LOS ANGELES ORDINANCE BANS SALE OF NON-RESCUE/SHELTER DOGS - “Los Angeles lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of an ordinance that will make L.A. the largest city in America to ban pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits obtained from commercial breeders.”
Big news out of Los Angeles. Pet stores may no longer sell dogs from commercial breeders. Instead, the stores may sell dogs from shelters and other rescue groups. Individuals can still purchase dogs directly from breeders. One of the goals of the law is to eliminate puppy mills. Read more from the Los Angeles Times:
The ordinance, which the City Council voted 12-2 to approve, targets puppy mills and is designed to cut down on the tens of thousands of animals euthanized each year in city shelters.
Under the law, individuals will still be allowed to buy directly from breeders, and pet stores will be allowed to sell animals that come from shelters, humane societies and registered rescue groups. Stores found to be selling animals from breeders may face misdemeanor charges and a first-time penalty of $250.
Animal rights activists hailed L.A.’s approval of the ban as a signal to other large cities to follow suit. Irvine, Hermosa Beach and West Hollywood are among the more than 30 cities across the United States and Canada that have passed similar measures in recent years, according to Elizabeth Oreck, who has been leading the legislative effort on behalf of Best Friends Animal Society.
This ordinance is not without opposition because some pet store owners claim that it unfairly burdens them. On the other hand, advocates of the ordinance are hopeful that dogs who previously would have been euthanized will now be adopted. Click here for the full story.
INMATES HELP WALK SHELTER DOGS - “…the dog-walking program is so successful that some inmates have returned to the animal shelter after their release from jail to continue volunteering.”
The Livingston County Animal Control in Michigan needed more volunteers to help exercise its shelter dogs. Thanks to a program in conjunction with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department’s Sentence Work Abatement Program, inmates who have been convicted of non-violent crimes are helping to walk the dogs. Here’s more from livingstondaily.com:
Inmates with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department’s Sentence Work Abatement Program, or SWAP, are walking the dogs, which helps reduce stress for both the animals and the inmates.
“It gives the animals some exercise and reduces the stress they have inside the kennels as well as gives the inmates some exercise,” explained Deputy Dave Loar, who heads the program.
Debbie Oberle, Animal Control director, agreed that the inmates’ efforts have helped at the animal shelter.
“We don’t have enough volunteers to walk the dogs; it helps calm them,” she said. “Our dog room is huge, with no dividers. There’s all kinds of shapes and temperaments, and if they can get out and get fresh air, they are calmer.”
Sounds like a mutually benefical arrangement for the shelter dogs and inmate volunteers. Hopefully these dogs are adopted soon. Click here for the full story. (Photo by Alan Ward)
DOGS TRANSPORTED 2,000 MILES TO AVOID EUTHANIZATION - “Weeks before their arrival in New England, these dogs were set to be euthanized in San Antonio, which has struggled to address its high stray population while developing a no-kill policy.”
Recently, 42 dogs in San Antonio who were scheduled to be euthanized were transported to New Hampshire for adoption. A volunteer group called Alamo Rescue Friends focuses on transporting dogs from Southern shelters to the New England area because the dogs have a higher chance of survival up North. Read more from mysanantonio.com:
Until the city achieves its goal, San Antonio has partnered with groups that save animals by taking them from the Alamo City to areas equipped to absorb the strays.
So every eight weeks, Davidson joins a growing convoy from the South to New England, where adopters outnumber the homeless dogs…to date they’ve transported 392 dogs from San Antonio to the Nashua shelter.
“It’s this total transformative journey for the dogs, from being on an euthanasia list at ACS to people waiting for them,” she said. “It’s a big turnaround for the dogs who supposedly nobody wanted, but it’s not true — they were just in the wrong spot.”
ARF also transports smaller groups of strays to rescue groups in Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts.
Thanks to these volunteers, the dogs have new opportunities to be adopted into permanent homes. It certainly was a long journey. Click here for the full story and here to learn more about Alamo Rescue Friends. (Photos by Billy Calzada and Robin Jerstad)
CHOPPER FINDS A HOME - “There’s a happy ending for one of the dogs injured when an Attica animal shelter was broken into and animals were forced to fight each other.”
A dog named Chopper has been adopted from the Paws and Claws Animal Shelter in Attica, Indiana. Last month, someone broke into the shelter and forced Chopper and another dog to fight each other. Fortunately, Chopper has recovered from his scary experience and has been adopted by a local family. Here’s more from wfli.com:
After spending more than a year in Attica’s Paws and Claws Animal Shelter, Chopper was adopted and taken home Monday evening…when the family met the ever-so-friendly Chopper, they knew he was the one. At first, the family didn’t know that Chopper was one of the two dogs forced to fight during a break-in last month at the shelter. And although Chopper was leaving with some stitches still in, the family’s determined to give him a loving, caring future.
Flynn, the other dog forced to fight, still needs the community’s help. He’s is still up for adoption at Paws and Claws.
I hope that the people responsible for the break-in are brought to justice, and it’s great to hear that Chopper finally has a permanent home. Hopefully the other dog, Flynn, also finds a home too. Click here for the full story from WLFI.
DOG SAVED AT THE LAST MINUTE FROM EUTHANASIA ROOM - “When McCuistion called the shelter, Boo was already in the euthanasia room. They pulled her out just in time.”
An injured Pit Bull named Boo was rescued off the streets and taken to the East Valley Animal Shelter in Los Angeles. However, the shelter was over capacity and Boo was eventually scheduled to be put down. Fortunately, a woman was so moved by Boo’s gentle temperament that she scrambled to get Boo out of the shelter and subsequently adopted her. Here’s more from theworldlink.com:
At 9 a.m., Aug. 16, McCuistion called to tell the shelter she wanted Boo. They told her it was nearly too late.
Boo would be killed at 3 p.m. that day.
McCuistion began a phone-calling frenzy.
All she needed was a place for Boo to stay that night and someone to physically get her from the shelter while she arranged further transport. She found her answer in a friend’s former dog walker and a sympathetic L.A. kennel.
But it was nearing 3 p.m.
When McCuistion called the shelter, Boo was already in the euthanasia room. They pulled her out just in time.
Last weekend, she caught Boo and her cat taking laps around her living room. She’d heard a noise from the room several times, but every time she walked in to check, the dog and cat would be laying on the floor as if nothing was amiss.
For some reason, Boo and her new owner made a connection. Boo could have ended up being just another statistic, but she now has a permanent place to call home, thanks to her new owner. Click here for the full story. (Photo by Jessie Higgins)
TEXAS BBQ RESTAURANT DONATES BONES TO SHELTER DOGS - “With these animals, you never know if this is their last stop or not,” he said. “They are totally reliant on the hearts and efforts of the local community to come and save them.”
Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas recently donated 750 bones to dogs at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter. The restaurant plans on continuing the donations in the future. Read more from the statesman.com:
“There was a sudden silence,” said Cheryl Schneider, the director of the shelter. “The dogs were quiet and it lasted for the afternoon.”
“With these animals, you never know if this is their last stop or not,” he said. “They are totally reliant on the hearts and efforts of the local community to come and save them.”
He said he didn’t want to waste the bones that customers left behind on their plates, and he also didn’t want to sell them to pet food stores.
“There’s money to be made out there, but it doesn’t fit who we are,” he said. “This is just a new way of us giving back to the canine community. Dogs need love and dogs love barbecue too.”
I’m glad that these shelter dogs were able to enjoy these special treats. It’s a simple act but it means so much to these dogs. Click here for the full story and here to learn about the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter. (photos by Andy Sharp)
BASEBALL TEAM ADOPTS BLIND PUPPY - “…all of the players and staff have taken Stevie in as one of their own, helping him not only adjust to life without eyes, but make sure he gets a fighting chance.”
Stevie, a 6-month-old puppy, was discovered wandering the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He displayed signs of abuse and of having been thrown out of a car. Stevie was also blind in both eyes and was receiving treatment at the Watermelon Mountain Ranch, a no-kill animal farm. John Ely, a baseball pitcher for the Albuquerque Isotopes saw Stevie and adopted him. Stevie is now a mascot for the Isotopes. Here’s more from kob.com:
He recently adopted Stevie after meeting the puppy at Watermelon Ranch, an animal rescue in Bernalillo County. Ely had been volunteering with some of the other players when they not only met Stevie, but learned of his heartbreaking story.
Workers at Watermelon Ranch said Stevie was found wandering the streets. One of his eyes was so badly hurt it had to be removed immediately, the other was infected and had already caused blindness; it was also removed.
Fast forward to today, the eager pup is not letting anything stand in his way. His owner is Ely, but his family is the Albuquerque Isotopes. Ely said all of the players and staff have taken Stevie in as one of their own, helping him not only adjust to life without eyes, but make sure he gets a fighting chance.
Ely said Stevie has the occasional spills and sometimes runs into walls, but overall, he is making huge strides everyday.
Stevie went from a dog with little chance of survival to a dog who is now surrounded by many, many people who love him. Hopefully, Stevie will enjoy his new life as a baseball mascot. Click here for the full story, and here to learn more about the Watermelon Mountain Ranch.
SHELTER DOGS APPEAR IN HOLLYWOOD FILM - “Mulligan was rescued from the shelter on the morning he was scheduled to be euthanized.”
Several dogs who were rescued from shelters will appear in the upcoming film “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” starring Steve Carrell and Keira Knightly. The leading canine actor is named Aleister, but several other dogs were also used in filming as Aleister’s back-up doubles. Here’s more from Focus Features:
In keeping with a story that is about last chances, Aleister was a shelter dog. Dog trainer Sarah Clifford of Animal Savvy reveals, “He was adopted from the shelter a couple of years ago, and ever since then he’s been acting in TV commercials.”
Dogs’ lives were saved anew for SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, by virtue of the fact that “when a dog has a movie role as large as the Sorry one, you have to have a couple of different dogs at the ready,” comments Clifford. Accordingly, she scouted local animal shelters and found doubles for Aleister. She named one Mulligan, meaning “second chance,” or “do-over,” and he served as Aleister’s stunt double.
“Mulligan was rescued from the shelter on the morning he was scheduled to be euthanized,” reports Clifford. “He learned the ropes, and was doing takes only two weeks after we took him out of the shelter. Mulligan did the scene where Sorry is crawling down the fire escape, and anything else that required a lot of action.
“Rita, another double, was loaned to us from I Care Dog Rescue, which pulled her out of an animal shelter. All of these dogs were lucky.”
Thanks to the dog rescue workers, these dogs now have a glamorous second life. Shelter dogs always deserve a second chance. Click here for the full story.
HOMELESS PEOPLE TO HELP TRAIN SHELTER DOGS FOR ADOPTION - “Woof will start with just a handful of guardians, but he hopes to expand it to include many more and eventually train them in grooming, dog walking or other animal-related skills so they can hold regular jobs.”
The city of San Francisco will be starting a new program called “Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos” (WOOF) starting August 1st. The goal of this program is to provide homeless people with a weekly stipend so they do not have to panhandle on the streets. In exchange, each person will be entrusted with a shelter dog for training. Here’s more from sfgate.com:
…the city - in a program believed to be the first of its kind in the country - will attempt to lure panhandlers to give up their cardboard signs and metal cups in exchange for a small stipend to foster problematic puppies at the city’s Animal Care and Control, making them ready for adoption.
The applicants must also show they’re not severely mentally ill, aren’t hoarders, don’t have a history of violence, and are seeking treatment if they have addictions…In exchange, they’ll receive $50 to $75 a week, several training sessions provided by an animal behavior specialist at Animal Care and Control as well as regular check-ins by that person, and all the dog food, toys, leashes and veterinary care they need.
This sounds like an innovative program that will help both humans in need and dogs who otherwise might have been euthanized (due to overcrowding at San Francisco dog shelters). The human participants and shelter dogs will have the opportunity to provide mutual comfort and help each other lead better lives. Click here for the full story.
DYING DOG SEEKS “HUSBAND” TO CARRY ON SHELTER DOG ADVOCACY -“Lucky’s entire life has been about bringing awareness to rescue…We’re looking for someone to take over.”
Lucky, a Maltese, and her owner are very active in charity work and advocacy for shelter dogs. However, Lucky suffers from spleen cancer and has been given only months to live. In order to continue Lucky’s legacy of promoting dog rescue, Lucky’s owner is searching for a canine “husband” who can carry on her work. Here’s more from msnbc.com:
Like many brides, Lucky is in a rush to walk down the aisle, but she is no ordinary spouse-in-waiting and her shower was anything but typical. Lucky, like many of her 32 guests, is a dog — the most-photographed dog in the world with celebrities…
She and her “parent,” Wendy Diamond, have dedicated their lives to help the plight of rescue animals, yet that will soon end. The energetic but aging Maltese was diagnosed with spleen cancer in February and given three months to a year to live.
“Lucky’s entire life has been about bringing awareness to rescue,” said Diamond, who has made Lucky an ambassador for shelter dogs…Diamond has plans for an elaborate July 12 wedding at the Jumeirah Essex House hotel in Manhattan. The author and animal rescue advocate is looking to pair Lucky with a spouse that will become the new, most-photographed celebrity canine with an aim to help spring animals from shelters across America.
Hopefully Lucky will be able to make the most of the time she has left. She has undoubtedly helped thousands of shelter dogs through her work. Click here for the full story and here for Lucky’s Facebook page.