Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not My Dogs, sort of

Sometimes my work as a rescuer seems so overwhelming...there are so many dogs, and to do the best work, I can only help one at a time. So this week I decided the best thing I could do was to recruit other people to join me in my puppy rescue efforts. The following dogs are not my rescues (sort of) but they are safe because I was driven to save them:

 Loki, on the left, is an American Bulldog/Dalmation mix. Elsa, on the right, is a Catahoula Leopard Dog/Pitbull mix. Both are going to be big dogs. They've been fostered together for a while now and totally love each other.

Elsa & Loki came to me from another rescue in South Carolina. These dogs had been in animal control and were pulled to safety by Jenn K. Unfortunately, in terms of finding their forever home, they had no more luck with Jenn than they did with animal control. Every day they were looking less like puppies and more like grown dogs. Every day it was seeming less likely that anyone was going to come forward to adopt them. So I petitioned my fellow CODAR fosters to find someone here in NJ who would take them in. Thank you Nancy and Kim!! As an update - Loki has already gone to his forever home with Devi & Jarrod and their kids, and we are hopeful that as soon as she is ready, Elsa will also join Loki to live in Ocean County in their forever home TOGETHER! How wonderful is that?!

The next dog I helped is Cannon. He's another plain brown-wrapper cast off dog, but he needed someone to sponsor him (pay his pull fee) so that another rescue could take him from the shelter without having to worry about paying any fees. Other folks, including my friends Heidi & Thomas, contributed to Cannon's transport fees to get him out of South Carolina and on to a place where he is more likely to find someone to adopt him.

Interestingly, after seeing the rescue work that I was doing, networking online with dogs like Cannon, my friends Heidi & Thomas (OK, mostly Heidi!) decided that maybe it was time for them to get their very own rescue dog. Enter Petunia, an 8-lb little beauty who was a puppy mill girl. Sadly, like most puppy mill breeders, her owners had not taken very good care of her. She was transferred to another holding facility after the bust, and then on to another rescue, before she was loaded on a two-day transport to NJ. The stress of her former life and all of the passing around was too much for this frail, little girl, and she became very ill. She is living in Staten Island now, but her health is shaky. She has a severe giardia infestation, a collapsed trachea, an upper respiratory infection - possibly pneumonia, and is being medicated for extreme anxiety and stress. She is not eating much and is coughing 24/7. Her new family is trying very hard to bring her back to health, but it's very hard on all involved. So sad, and yet, I'm so grateful that she finally has someone who loves her like the baby that she is.
This is what Holly's foster mom had to say about her:
Holly is 17-18  inches from paw to shoulder and a beautiful brindle mix that when the sun hits her she shines like a dappled copper penny! (I think Penny should have been her name....) Her white chest blaze and white dipped paws are charming and she is a very slender and gracefull 30 or less pounds at this writing. She was understandably a bit timid at first meeting but has proved exuberant when introduced to my CODAR canine rescue Snow Angel and my Maine Coon feral rescue cat Lucky; She absolutely loves to play and knows how to throw toys in the air and put them in your lap to elicit a she knows how to do this having been in a shelter for the last three months simply speaks to her adopt- ability as far as I am concerned. She was a dreamboat on the ride home in the transport crate in my car
> and has willingly gone into the open wire crate that I set up for her in my "animal room". She has also invited herself into my rescue Angel's transport-style crate that stays in my Living Room.  Thus far, Holly is toy, food and water non-aggressive but I will monitor closely in the coming days as we all acclimate her into my family and animal household.
We tried to take new pictures of Holly to post on the website but she could not sit still from excitement! The existing website photo of her standing at attention at the kennel is wonderful but I think it makes her look so much bigger than she really is. I was so surprised at her smaller size when I picked her up from transport.  She is very slender and graceful. I was also surprised at her elongated snout and ever so slight droop in her jaw. I think it hints to a lab or hound mix in her background!
Holly has constantly followed me around the house, tries to sit on my lap and now sleeps at my feet whilst I do this computer work. Having been in a kennel for the past three months, I am sure that she will need intensive  house-training and I will work very hard upon that.  I can say that she seems to know what a stern "NO" means and I have been spending the last several hours reinforcing the word "down" so she does not jump over the pen and gates that I have set up to keep her contained in her space.  I keep telling myself : "Good Luck With That"
as she is quite the agile one and apparently has never had to be told NO on this.... her rescue kennel gates were surely much higher than my 36-48 inch convertibles :-).
Holly's medical records and micro-chip info are in hand and she appears to be healthy and very, very adoptable.   All in all, I think Jen did a really good job on this pull and I thank you JEN, Pam and CODAR for giving me the opportunity to support your worthy efforts. 

Holly was adopted this weekend at the Aberdeen Day adoption event!

The last of my Not-My-Dog Rescues is actually ten (that's right - 10) puppies. Greenville Animal Control was inundated with baby dogs over the weekend and things were looking really bad. So many puppies on top of all of the usual dogs aged young to senior and everything in between. So I put in some calls. No one at CODAR could take them in - we're all full. The Monmouth County SPCA had just built its puppy wing but could not take any more until the end of the month, but Briain, the director of the new puppy facility, also made some calls and connected with Sherri at Homeless Paws NJ, who agreed to take the ten pups. What this involved on my part was getting Homeless Paws NJ all signed up with GCAC, finding someone else to network to find the funding for pull fees and transport fees, coordinating the transport, picking up the dogs from the transport (after waiting two days during an earthquake), bathing 10 stinky, flea-covered puppies at 6:00 at night and driving them down to meet their new foster parents in Forked River!! Thankfully, my husband and daughter were really helpful with the bathing and drying, and Maggie kept the puppies happy from Red Bank to Forked River and helped me move them from our car to the fosters' car in the pouring rain.

So, 14 dogs rescued. None ever saw my own doorstep, and I will not have the responsibility or enjoyment of caring for them, but in my own little way I helped them along to safety. In many ways, this kind of help was much harder than just agreeing to pull one dog and take care of it until it finds a home. It was much more short-term labor-intensive. Lots of hours on the computer and phone. Lots of stress about whether people were actually going to show up to take them when they arrived in NJ. Lots of worry about the puppies on the transport. Lots of fretting about poor Petunia. Even though they are not my fosters, I still love and worry about each one - times 14. Whew. I probably won't do this kind of rescue again.

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