Posts By: Brody Anderson

Two Sisters, Formerly Feral, Are Reunited and Loved

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The Humane Society of Independence County in Batesville, Ark., snagged a $1,000 as a regional winner in last year’s Animal Rescue Site Shelter+ Challenge. The shelter’s Sue Augustus sends us this report:

“Thank you so very much for all that you do to help those of us in animal rescue try to make a difference. A special thanks to The Animal Rescue Site for their generous support of these contests over the past several years! What a great way to increase support from all our communities, AND make a difference in so many pet’s lives!

I am attaching a couple of pictures of some of our more recent challenging and successful adoptions. Both stories are so very heartwarming and truly let us know that we can make a difference!

Arbor came to our shelter in June 2011 along with her three sisters, Zinfandel, Fluff and Miller. They had been found abandoned way out in the country and were quite wild and unsocialized. It took many volunteers many months to get these sweet girls to a point where they were adoptable. All found wonderful loving homes except for Arbor. 

Arbor continued to flourish in our shelter, but just never find her forever family. Then, in December, Zinfandel’s family (they had renamed her Blanche) contacted us and said they were wanting to adopt Arbor and reunite her with her sister. Oh what a happy day for everyone at our shelter, and for the two sisters! Arbor is seen in this picture, snuggled up with her sister Blanche.

The comments from their family: “The sisters are happy to be together! They love running and playing in the backyard. They snuggle when they sleep. Arbor (who will remain Arbor because she knows her name and that’s what we’ve called her for the last eight months!) is so very different from Blanche. Much more people-oriented, braver, and sillier! She loves to play! Thank you for allowing us to bring these two beautiful girls into our lives!” 

We just LOVED this Happy Tail!

Shades came to us in June 2009 with his sister, Flicker. They had been fostered for a short period of time before we could get them into our shelter. They were about four months old. Flicker found her home after living at our shelter for almost a year and a half, but Shades had to wait. He was one of our longest residents, but in November of 2012 a miracle walked in. David and Tina took their time in deciding on their new best friend and trucking companion.  Shades ultimately was adopted by David and Tina, and he immediately took to the highways with them in their 18-wheeler, traveling back and forth from Arkansas to California!

For the next several weeks, pictures were posted of Shades on his “Excellent Adventure” on our Facebook page. What a most wonderful and heartwarming story for all our staff, volunteers and supporters!

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Petfinderfoundation x Dress-Lace.com Sleeveless Lace Dress

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Petfinderfoundation x Dress-Lace.com Sleeveless Lace Dress – Lace Top Skater Style/Crew Neckline/Side Zipper

The top portion of this petfinderfoundation x www.dresslace.com/ lovely white dress has a lace insert above the bodice which reaches to the shoulders and the short sleeves. The dress has a sheer lace yoke which surrounds the body with a keyhole in the back top area. The skirt of the dress flares out in a skater shape, wider at the hemline for sensual movements. The full length of the skirt has long vertical dart seams that support the body and create a graceful flow from the bodice to the hem. Short cap sleeves are made of pure lace insert for extreme coolness and breezy styling. Dance the night away in a pair of comfortable white pumps or low sandals or dress it up with a pair of black or white heels for a dinner party or cocktails with your friends. Spice up your appearance with added bling with silver hoop earrings and a diamond tennis bracelet. Dress is made of 98% cotton and 2% elastane for a bit of stretch.

Rescued Golden Retrievers Stay Healthy Thanks to Vaccination Grant

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Charlotte, a former puppy mill breeder, was vaccinated thanks to our grant.

We got this report from Robin L. Adams, executive director and cofounder of Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue Inc. in Reinholds, PA:

“While we bring in golden retrievers and goldendoodles on an almost daily basis, we have occasion to address emergency placements.

“Last week, such an event occurred. We were contacted by our golden retriever rescue partners in Tennessee about [an emergency] situation in Arkansas consisting of golden retrievers, German shepherds, great Pyreneese, pigs and horses. The Tennessee rescue was not able to cope with a sudden influx of golden retrievers, and knowing that we can handle these situations due to our facility, Golden Gateway, we of course said yes.

“A cooperative effort between the Great Pyrenees Club and DVGRR resulted in finding transportation for 16 dogs (11 golden retrievers, five great Pyrenees) to Golden Gateway. We provided overnight housing and care for the great Pyrenees, who were then picked up the following day to be taken to a veterinarian and ultimately, foster homes.

“The ARK 11, as we called them, and 45 golden retrievers before them have been the beneficiary of 56 of the vaccines to date.

“For DVGRR, the impact of Hurricane Sandy was felt in the form of the loss of the rubber mulch we use in an exercise area devoted to puppy-mill survivors (an estimated $10,000 repair), electricity loss (vaccines destroyed) and a large pool of donors no longer able to support our efforts due to their own personal loss.

“We are extremely grateful to the Petfinder Foundation for their collective efforts to help continue rehoming of animals everywhere.”

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Our Vaccination Grant Protects Dozens of Cats in the Adirondacks

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Cats like Nova at Adirondack Save a Stray benefited from our vaccination grant.

We got this note from Meredith Fiel at Adirondack Save A Stray in Corinth, NY, which recently received a vaccination grant from the Petfinder Foundation to recover from the impact of Hurricane Sandy:

“We were able to update the 65 cats and several kittens in our cat room and kitten area. This was done as a direct result of your fabulous grant. We were able to update all of the rabies and distemper vaccines to all that needed it. We are extremely grateful. We still have leftover vaccines and because of that, we were able to take in and rescue additional cats and dogs and many have been placed into loving homes.

“Our cat room has free-roaming kitties. [Cats can spend time there] once they are vaccinated and vet-checked and all of the medical attention has been done. This cuts down on a lot of stress. Our puppies are in our puppy rooms and our older dogs are in the kitchen and adoption area and kenneled at night. We try to have a stress-free environment for all of our furbabies until they are adopted into loving and forever homes.

“Again, I want to thank you for all you have done on behalf of the animals here and everywhere. You have made many tails wag and hearts purr.”

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Twister Was Abandoned, Starving, with her 10 Puppies

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Twister, as she looked when she was rescued

We received this grant report from Bellowood Rescue in Cedar Springs, MI, which received an operations grant last year from the Petfinder Foundation and the Pedigree Foundation. The story has a happy ending for mama dog Twister and her pups. As Bellowood president Kimberly Schreuder tells us, “With the wonderful lifesaving grant from the Petfinder Foundation, we were able to vet and take care of Twister and her entire family, including little Iris who had a broken leg. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation!! Glad to have you on our team!”

Saving Twister: Anatomy of a Rescue
By Laurel Barrick

“It was Aug. 1. The caller was clearly distraught as she described how the mother dog had sat trembling in the middle of a busy road, with cars driving around her. Her teats were swollen beyond belief, in stark contrast to her backbone and ribs showing through the skin stretched tightly over her skeleton. All the woman knew was that the dog was in Morley, near a shop where her husband had purchased some parts. She did not know the address or the cross street. She thought maybe the dog belonged to the man who owned the shop. Her husband was furious at her for calling, but she could not get the image of this mama dog shivering in the heat of day in the middle of a road out of her mind. And so she called Bellowood, the closest rescue she could find. Then, with her husband yelling at her to ‘mind your own business,’ she said she couldn’t tell me any more and she had to get off the phone.

Her teats were swollen, her body nearly skeletal.

“Aug. 2 was a frustrating day as myself and Rhonda Waldorf from Safe Haventried to find a clue to the dog’s whereabouts that we could follow. The caller said to try looking on Craig’s List for ‘lawnmower repair.’ Rhonda found a number that might be the shop and called but was told by a man that it was not his dog and he didn’t know what she was talking about.

“The next day, Aug. 3, did not start out much better. I had to call the woman back and beg her to please look up the phone number for the shop when her husband wasn’t around. We were not getting anywhere trying to locate the dog. Finally, armed with the correct phone number, Rhonda again called, and while the dog was not related to the shop at all, a man was able to tell her that he thought she might be his neighbor’s dog. He could not give a name or address, but was able to give her directions to the house where he thought the dog might be.

(more…)

After Surgery or Dealing with Arthritis, Shelter Dogs Can Now Rest More Comfortably

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Nico chills on his new Chill Pad.

Our partners at P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You) donate a Special Edition Chill Pad dog bed to a shelter pet for every Artist or Original Collection pet bed purchased (learn more here). So far they’ve given 260 homeless dogs warm places to sleep.

That includes Nico, above, and Duffy, right, at Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society in Brownsville, VT. We got this email from shelter manager Jackie Stanley:

“Please find attached pics of Nico enjoying some of his new favorite Chill Pads! Nico is a 3-year-old neutered male Pit Bull/Shepherd mix. He has gone through two surgeries to correct a torn ACL, and his Chill Pad makes his relaxing time much more comfortable.

Duffy gets comfortable.

“Duffy is a 12-year-old spayed female Westie. Duffy is particularly fond of the Chill Pads since she is highly arthritic!

“All of our dogs have been thoroughly enjoying the comfort of the Chill Pad mats. We are incredibly thankful to be the recipients of this gracious grant. We work very hard to make sure all of our animals remain safe, healthy and comfortable while they’re in our care. You definitely helped to make that easier!

“Many thanks from all of us at Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society … especially Nico and Duffy!”

Thanks for the update, Jackie, and thanks to P.L.A.Y. and everyone who purchased an Artist or Original Collection pet bed for their own pet so a shelter dog could rest easier!

Learn more about adopting Nico.

Learn more about adopting Duffy.

Purchase a pet bed and P.L.A.Y. will donate one to a shelter pet.

Are you with a shelter? Apply for a P.L.A.Y. Chill Bed grant here.

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Our Vaccination Grants Protect Hurricane Sandy Pets

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Elaine loves belly rubs and other dogs — and has been vaccinated thanks to our grant! All photos are by Geoffrey Tischman of Tischman Pets Photography.

Many animal shelters in the Northeast are still struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and we continue to help. We’re giving adoption groups $1 million in vaccination grants to protect the cats and dogs in their care against common contagious diseases.

So far, we’ve given vaccination grants to 88 shelters, all impacted by Hurricane Sandy. That includes Westchester Humane Society in Harrison, NY, which received 250 doses.

Lois was also vaccinated.

Westchester Humane board director Irma Jansen tells us, “This grant was an incredible help for our shelter and we were delighted by the amount of vaccinations we received. We thank you and BI so much for making this possible!”

The shelter has vaccinated dogs like Elaine, above, and Lois, right, against bordetella (a.k.a. kennel cough), rabies and, via a single vaccination called DHPP, distemper, hepatitis, parvo and parainfluenza.

In addition, cats like Thackery (below) were vaccinated against rabies and, via an FVRCP vaccination, three of the worst viral infections affected cats: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia, a.k.a. feline distemper.

Thackery was vaccinated against FVRCP and other diseases.

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A Thundershirt Proves Better than Meds for an Anxious, Deaf Dog

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Champ in his Thundershirt

Thanks to our friends at Thundershirt, we were able to send 60 of these great shirts to Big Fluffy Dog Rescue in Hopkinton, MA.

Big Fluffy Dog’s Elizabeth Zaccaro wrote to tell us how a Thundershirt has helped a dog named Champ:

“Champ is a 1-year-old, deaf Golden Retriever-Great Pyrenees who is available for adoption through our rescue. Champ has severe anxiety issues and we have found the Thundershirt calms him. He was on medication, but it did not help him, so we are using non-medical ways to help relieve his anxiety.

“When Champ gets adopted, we will send him home with his shirt.”

Donate a Thundershirt to the shelter of your choice.

Are you with a shelter or rescue group? Apply for a Thundershirt grant here.

Interested in adopting Champ? Learn more about Champ here.

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VIDEO: Watch this if You’re Thinking of Adopting a Bird!

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Noah Horton, assistant director

Yesterday, you learned a little about my experience renovating Carolina Waterfowl Rescue with our Rescue U team at the beginning of this month and met some of the permanent residents of CWR. Today I want to share how I learned about bird adoption and became more enamored with the idea of birds as pets.

Things to Consider Before You Adopt a Bird

I got a chance to talk with CWR director Jennifer Gordon about bird adoption and learned a huge amount. The considerations for adopting a bird are totally different than those for adopting a dog or cat. For one thing, dogs and cats are both natural predators. Most birds are considered prey animals. Knowing this one fact can change the way you look at a bird.

People often assume when meeting a bird for the first time that birds are unfriendly, when the truth is, they are naturally on the defensive until they are comfortable with you. Jennifer told me, “Most people say birds who they initially thought were unfriendly were eating out of their hands within a week.”

Furthermore, each type of bird requires a totally different type of care. Birds like parrots are very smart and require enrichment and interaction to stay happy. These are not good pets for people who are very busy and cannot spend time with their birds. Geese, on the other hand, can be left outside with proper shelter and a small pool and remain content without much human interaction. However, any bird who has imprinted on a human requires a large amount of human interaction. Watch the video above to learn the difference between imprinted, habituated and feral birds, and to hear some other considerations, such as your home’s zoning, that go into bird adoption.

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How Our Assistant Director Became a Bird Guy

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Noah bonded with Rupert the duck over his two-week stint at Carolina Waterfowl Rescue.

Noah Horton, assistant director

For most of my life, I was a self-proclaimed cat person. Don’t get me wrong: I love dogs — I’ve always just sided with felines. Maybe it’s their subtle personality quirks, or the way they make you work for the relationship, or the way they fall asleep for 19 hours a day and let you stack things on top of them and take photos. Whatever the reason, that has always been a part of my identity. That is, until last week.

You see, for the first two weeks of the year, I was with our Rescue U team in Indian Trail, NC, renovating a bird sanctuary. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue takes in tame and wild birds, gives them a safe and cage-free place to live, and works to find loving homes for the adoptable birds. The only bird rescue in the state, CWR adopts out about 1,800 birds a year and houses around 200 at any given time. The birds include ducks, geese, swans, turkeys, chickens, pigeons, herons, peacocks and cockatiels. Suffice it to say, it was a big change of pace from our usual Rescue U renovations of shelters that house mainly dogs and cats.

My Experience with the Birds of CWR

This yard of ducks is a typical scene at CWR.

When I first saw one of CWR’s many yards, full of swimming, quacking and waddling ducks of all kinds, I thought, “Look, a bunch of ducks.” Sure, I could tell the difference between the mallards and the Muschovys and the domestic Pekin ducks, but within those groups, they all seemed to be clones of one another. This is what I see as the biggest challenge for bird advocates: To an outsider, individual birds’ appearances don’t make them as easy to connect with as dogs or cats. But like I said, one of the reasons I’m a cat guy is I like that I have to work for the relationship. And I could tell from watching the regular CWR volunteers interact with the birds that there was plenty of relationship to be had!

Mr. “T” the Turkey

Mr. “T” the turkey had a thing for Liz Baker, executive director of the GreaterGood Foundation.

Mr. “T” the turkey is one of the flashiest birds on the 11-acre property. A domestic breed of turkey, he imprinted on humans immediately after he hatched, and feels more comfortable around humans than other birds. He is constantly puffed up in a full-feathered display, walking around trying to impress all the volunteers and any other people on the property. He walks up to you and prances back and forth as if to say, “Aren’t I pretty?” You can tell by the way he cuddles you that he appreciates a good pet to let him know you saw him. And you can tell by the way he reacts to different people that he recognizes them and has favorites. He really had a thing for Liz Baker, executive director of the GreaterGood Foundation (which fully funded the renovation through The Animal Rescue Site), and would make his neck extra long any time she was around to show how big and tough he could be for her. Because Mr. “T” is imprinted on humans, he requires a lot of attention and is not adoptable. Instead, CWR uses him for educational purposes, bringing him to local schools and adoption events.

Rupert Huneycutt the Duck

Rupert imprinted on humans when he was born. His original family gave him a collar that he still likes to wear.

My personal favorite was Mr. Rupert Huneycutt the duck, another permanent resident. He followed the volunteers into the main shelter building every day for lunch, waddling and chatting us up with a “quack, quack, quack” the whole time. When you walk up to Rupert, he tilts his head down and to the side, so he can look at your face. This is something I never knew a bird would do, but the staff at CWR assure me birds can remember the faces of many people, and after years of no contact, will remember people they especially liked. I actually witnessed a woman who volunteered at CWR a few years ago come to visit during the renovation. I was told Mr. Fuzzy the Canada Goose had really liked her when she was a volunteer. Sure enough, when Mr. Fuzzy saw her he quickly ran to her for a pet and to say hi. I like to think Mr. Rupert liked me, and after about a week he would allow me to hold and pet him, and gave me plenty of love nibbles.

The Love Story of the Black Swans

These beautiful black swans are a mated pair and do not leave each others’ sides.

The emotional capacity of the birds is amazing. A lonely or under-stimulated bird will refuse to eat or will self-mutilate (pull his feathers out). But birds also exhibit this behavior when those they love are in trouble. There is a beautiful mated pair of black swans at CWR (swans mate for life) whose story exemplifies this. The male swan had lost his previous mate before coming to the rescue and was extremely sad. The volunteers at CWR worked hard to make sure he ate. One night, an injured female black swan was brought in. The male, in the yard, heard her cries in the main shelter building and sat outside the wall closest to the female for weeks until she was brought outside. She slept in the kennel next to him, and he would scoot close to her and talk to her all night. After another couple of weeks, they began their courtship dance (a mating ritual performed in the water where the two swans perform intricate neck and wing movements), and they are now inseparable.

By the time I left the CWR, I could recognize the birds for who they were — individuals with distinct personalities who care for each other and the humans who look after them. Most of the permanent residents of the rescue, including Mr. “T” the Turkey, Marm a Lade the Rooser, Rupert the duck and Pringles the Grey Goose, have such big personalities, they have their own Facebook pages, which I encourage everyone to take some time to visit.

Bitten By the Bird ‘Bug’

After my two weeks at CWR, birds have a big place in my heart. As CWR director Jennifer Gordon told me: “It’s kind of a bug you get. Once you start working with the birds, it’s hard to stop.” Birds connect with you the same way any pet does — you just have to learn to see the signs; it’s like learning a new language. You have to dig a little to get to the connection (like cats), but once you’re there, it’s incredibly satisfying. Birds, as prey animals, have to make a conscious decision to let you get close to them, which makes your relationship special.

The number of dedicated volunteers who work with the birds at CWR every week is a testament to the power of the birds’ personalities. CWR is a 100% volunteer-supported organization, which means that 100% of donations go directly to the care of the birds who live there. To learn more about volunteering or donating to CWR, visit them online.

As for me, I’m still a cat guy, but now I can say with confidence that I’m also a bird guy. And I really miss Rupert the duck.

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