Animal Stories Pet Care Shelter Animals

Lost Dog Ty reunited with his family after 2 weeks – Miracles do happen

Tysons Lost Dog Poster

For a handsome Pit Bull, Ty (short for Tyson) and his family, October 11th, 2011 will always be a special day. That’s when they were reunited after Ty had been lost for almost 2 weeks. Let’s backtrack: I work for Pacific Coast Dog Rescue (, one of the largest rescue organizations in the Los Angeles area. We house about 100 rescue dogs, some of which are special needs dogs who need regular medical attention. Consequently, I spend a lot of time at our vet, Animal Medical Center in Van Nuys, CA.

On September 30th, while I was waiting in the vet’s lobby, a man brought in a very sweet neutered male Pit Bull. The man had found him on the street nearby. No collar and no tags. (NOTE from the author: I have picked up about 300 dogs from the streets within the last 8 years. Only 4 of those dogs had tags and nearly none of them were spayed/neutered). But the dog seemed very well taken care of, he was in good shape and was pretty clean, as if he just had a bath.

According to procedure, the dog was scanned for a microchip. An AVID chip was located so the vet contacted the microchip company. The dog had been chipped to a woman who now lives in Colorado and had given the dog to somebody else. When that person was contacted, they claimed to have given the dog to somebody else. The number provided on the chip lead to one dead end after another.

So the options for this poor baby weren’t great: if he was brought to the shelter, he would most likely be euthanized after a few days (the six Los Angeles City Shelters and the six Los Angeles County Shelters euthanize an average of about 1,200 Pit Bulls PER WEEK). Since our rescue is full, and most other rescues are full, we asked the vet to hold on to this handsome boy for a little while. We were going to do our best to try and find him a home. The reality is that it takes several months, sometimes years, to find a GOOD home for a Pit Bull, especially an adult Pit Bull. Ty was estimated to be between 5 to 7 years old. Most people want puppies or young (1-2 year old) dogs, and most people do not want Pit Bulls. In short, we needed a miracle. And that’s what we got, but in a different (and much better) way than expected.

Our volunteer Leslie, and I met on Tuesday, October 11th at the vet’s office to take Ty (who we had named Stanley) out in the neighborhood for a photo and video shoot. We were going to post his info on several websites to try and find him a home. We found a nice, shady, grassy area to take photos in, and we gave him some toys and a little bandana so he would look extra cute in his pictures. We took a ton of great photos and decided to take a walk in the neighborhood nearby to find a nice spot for a video. As we were walking, I told Leslie how funny it would be if the Ty’s owners just happened to see us walking him.

After a little walk, we settled on a nice lawn and Leslie and Ty were the stars of our little adoption video. Having captured some great photos and footage, we started walking back to our car. Suddenly, an SUV pulled up next to us and a woman rolled down the window. She was very excited and asked us if we had found this dog. We told her that somebody had found him and brought him to our vet. She shouted, “That’s our dog! It’s Ty! He has been missing for almost 2 weeks!” I still get goosebumps when I think about this moment. They stopped their car in the middle of the street and the woman, her husband, and their daughter jumped out of the car. They were in complete shock as they embraced Ty. It was a wonderful reunion, with Ty snuggling up in their arms.

I asked the woman, whose name was Debra, to show us some proof that Ty was really their missing dog. She showed us pictures of Ty on her cellphone, and it was clearly him! Everybody kept talking over everyone else because it was such a great moment. Debra, her husband Michael, and their daughter were in total disbelief that they just happened to be driving down this street at the right moment. What a miracle! And then they told us what had happened to Ty…

They had bathed him (remember, when he was found and brought into the vet’s office, it seemed like he had just had a bath) and then let him go potty in the yard. They left for a couple of hours to give food to the homeless people in the area, which they do regularly. While they were gone, it started to rain. Ty had a history of getting anxiety when the weather was bad. So, in his anxiousness, he chewed through the fence and got out. He wasn’t wearing his collar/tag since he had just had a bath and was drying off. (NOTE from the author: Please make sure to never let your dog into the yard without proper ID. Keep your dog indoors after a bath until you put collar/tags back on the dog.) Debra and Michael had adopted Ty about 6 years ago from a local, well known rescue who FAILED to check/change the microchip information, which could have resulted in Ty’s death if he had ended up in the shelter. We all went back to the vet’s office because I couldn’t release Ty to his family without getting approval from the vet. Dr. Nunez and the staff at Animal Medical Center were overjoyed about the wonderful news. Everybody had fallen in love with Ty during his short stay there.

We took this picture to post it - It was not necessary:)

Ironically, Debra had been referred to Animal Medical Center by a friend right before Ty had gotten out. Ty had a minor skin problem that they wanted to get checked out. The vet that was referred to them happened to be the same vet that Ty was brought to when he was found. Michael told us that he had just bought steak and fish for Ty right before his disappearance. When he went missing, they had checked the shelters (both in person and online), made lost dog posters, and posted ads on Craigslist and other pet search engines. They also recently had their fence reinforced with a metal grating so that none of their dogs would ever get out again.

When they were reunited, Michael rushed home to get Ty’s collar, tag, and leash. After we said an emotional goodbye to Ty, he and his family, now complete again, went home to reunite Ty with his little dog brother!

Animal Stories Non - Profits Pit Bulls Shelter Animals

Maxine – The Pit Bull ~ she never had a home

Maxine was waiting 7 years for a forever home

This is in Maxine’s honor, who waited for her forever home for 7 years and died without it. Please take 7 minutes to honor her memory by reading her story:

Maxine was NOT one of the approx. 1200 Pit Bulls who die in the 12 government shelters in Los Angeles County EVERY WEEK. But she was one of the thousands, who sit in boarding facilities for years and she was one of the many who died in a boarding facility without ever having a home of her own. Maxine suffered from a rare auto-immune dysfunction. She was taken to one of the best (if not THE best) specialists in Los Angeles back in June 2011, when she had some strange pussy sores suddenly appear on her front paws. The specialist treated her with IV-fluids, cleaning of the sores, antibiotics and even laser treatment. Maxine recovered but never fully. Our spunky, feisty, sweet girl, stayed quiet and reserved. But we tried to make ourselves believe, that she was just getting older and had to recover from the illness.

Maxine's "For Adoption" picture

Maxine came to us as a very young dog, almost a puppy. She was found in a rough part of Los Angeles, absolutely terrified of everything and everybody. It took her a while, to settle in and start trusting. But she eventually did and everybody that knew Maxine, LOVED Maxine. Even our handyman, who most dogs meet with suspicion was one of Maxine’s best friend. So, if everybody who knew Maxine loved her, WHY did no one ever adopt her? Well, that is a mystery to us too. But we do know, the statistics, we do know that shelters are over-full with Pit Bulls, we do know, that the nice families usually want Labradors and not Pit Bulls or Pit mixes. We do know, that even though, Maxine was so very pretty to us, the general public did not see her beauty. We do know, that even her sweet kisses and lovely face did not make people give her a chance. We do know, that our hearts broke every time, she looked at us, longing to go to her own home, all we could tell her, was not to give up. And she didn’t. She stayed strong until the end. And the end was on a warm August evening in 2011. Two days prior, sweet Maxine developed those strange, puss filled sores on her feet again. We rushed her to the specialist, who immediately put her on IV-fluids.Because the scores had developed within just a couple of days together with a 106 Degrees Fever, almost 3 months after the initial appearance and treatment and her extensive blood-panel had come back clean, it was bad news. We were recommended to let her go and not put her through anymore, as it was predicted, that this would happen over and over again and get worse every time. So, with a heavy heart, we agreed and one of Maxine’s favourite care-takers, Lisa and one of her close friends, came to be with her during her last moments.

Maxine's last day

Maxine went for a nice little walk, during which we could tell how exhausting everything was to her, as her heart was beating heavily. Maxine smelled the grass for the last time, marked some spots and then we were on our way back to the hospital, to help her cross the rainbow-bridge. We tried to stay cheerful for Maxine, when really both of us, had tears close by. We spent some more time, in the courtyard of the hospital on a soft blanket, feeding Maxine hamburger paddies. She loved it. We didn’t want to let go. We were trying to bargain. Find another solution. There was none. Maxine was very relaxed, just snuggled up and enjoyed all the kisses and love. But we didn’t want to let go because we felt, that this was not enough. Maxine deserved, as they all deserve, her own home, her own family who hugged and kissed her everyday and told her, how beautiful she was. Her own person, who would take her on hikes, on car rides (Maxine loved car rides), who would snuggle up on a soft pillow with her and rub her belly.

Her own person, who would tell Maxine, how much she was loved. We do our best but we have to split ourselves between all the other dogs too. There are so many Maxines, dogs that are forgotten and unwanted by society. Of course, it starts with the irresponsible, ignorant backyard breeders, who produce these dogs. But from all my years of experience of dealing with them, I know, that it is pointless to have them apply any logic to what they create or to get any compassion out of them. They are heartless, cold monsters. They don’t care. The only way to ever stop them is to punish them. But the government won’t do that. The media won’t get involved because “the are just animals” and it is not politically correct to speak out. What about the tax-payers, who spend millions of dollars each year to pay to euthanize all these unwanted dogs? They don’t seem to care either. But what bothers me too is, that people say, they want to rescue a dog but they really only want to rescue, WHAT THEY want.

Maxine on her last walk with one of her friends

What fits their needs. Why not change your needs and expectations and REALLY rescue a dog. Adopt a dog, who most people don’t want for whatever reason: the dog is black, the dog is old (or middle-aged), the dog is a Pit Bull, the dog is disabled, the dog is behavioral issues). Why not? Why are most people so arrogant, that with all their human faults, they feel they need to get a dog that is perfect? Well, Maxine was perfect to us and none of us can express the pain we felt, when we had to let her go. Maxine died peacefully in our arms, she was actually being kissed and held until she stopped breathing and her heart stopped beating. WE WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER MAXINE! But this story is not only about Maxine. This is about all the dogs, that are sitting in rescue boarding facilities and shelters right now and are waiting to either get adopted or get killed (in the shelters). This is about all the Pit Bulls who die because of ignorance. This breed is one of the most wonderful breeds ever. Even one of our Presidents had a Pit Bull, Petey from Little Rascals was a Pit Bull and there COUNTLESS of examples of wonderful Pit Bulls as family members, even service dogs. We need you, as society, to step up to the plate and stop the breeding and adopt the unwanted! NOW. Don’t wait and let any more Maxine’s happen.

Please consider adoption first. Many innocent dogs are waiting for their forever homes. We have many Pit Bulls and other dogs for adoption. The dogs need you, please don’t look away!

Adoption No - Kill Movement Non - Profits Pit Bulls Shelter Animals

Donut's Story

Donut as a Puppy


In October 2010, I had networked a mother dog and her two pups (then 12 weeks old) . A homeless family, living in an RV found the mother dog pregnant and she gave birth to several pups in the RV.

When I met them, they still had 2 puppies and the mom. They wanted to get rid of the mom and keep the pups. The day, they were all supposed to get fixed, they hid the male puppy, DONUT, and told me, that they had given him away. I was upset but still got mom and daughter fixed and brought them back. I then had found a home for the female pup and tried to convince the homeless family, to let me adopt her to this wonderful home. When I came back to pick mom and daughter up for suture removal, DONUT slipped out of the RV. They had lied to me, he was with them the whole time but they didn’t want him to get neutered.

So, I decided, not to bring momma dog and puppy back after they got the stitches out, since the family had lied to me. The Puppy went directly into her home  and the family threatened me for weeks with calling the police because I “stole” their puppy. Momma dog IS STILL IN MY ONLY FOSTER HOME. She is an amazing dog but all these months later, she has not found a home (Video below).

THEY HAD TO GET RID OF HIM AND DUMPED HIM AT THE WEST LOS ANGELES SHELTER. When he was a puppy, they wouldn’t give him up but now…..I am an an independent rescuer and I am beyond full. I CAN’T LET DONUT DIE IN THE SHELTER, SINCE I PLACED HIS SISTER AND STILL HAVE HIS MOM.

Mama Dog when she was living in a R.V. - Katie Girl - Still for Adoption

Update:  Many of you have followed Donut’s story:

Katie Girl - For Adoption

His mother was taken off the streets by a homeless family, she was pregnant and gave birth to several pups in the homeless family’s RV trailer. Some pups died, some were given away and we rescued Donut’s mother and his sister. But they refused to give us Donut or let him be neutered. Now, 8 months later, they dumped him. He ended up at West LA Shelter and because of living with this family in a crazy environment, he is FREAKED out and was deemed aggressive in the shelter. The day of his scheduled euthanization, we found out and stopped it.

OUR RESCUE IS FULL, FULL, FULL but we couldn’t let Donut die.


Often, dogs do not get rescued, UNLESS DONATIONS ARE RAISED BEFORE PULLING THE DOG. We didn’t have time, in order to save Donut’s life. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!! We have only raised about $500 so far, (Chip in PLUS PAYPAL) and we will need to raise at least $2000. Donut is not ready to be up for adoption and will receive training at our facility, his future adopter will receive a training DVD of Donut and a free lesson at placement but the training alone costs $2000, this is not including the boarding cost.

Please make a donation for Donut here:


Donut and his mom are listed on our and other websites for adoption!

BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP: Donut will need training. He is NOT aggressive but totally freaked out and not socilialized due to living with the homeless family (the father is an abusive alcoholic). PLEASE HELP ME, BY DONATING TOWARDS DONUT’S TRAINING AND RESCUE. As you know, he will not be able to be placed quickly and our rescue has a lot of expenses! Please donate VIA CHIP-IN or PAYPAL to

Please watch his video and see, how beautiful he is (that is, after a much needed bath and gaining some weight).
Video Donut:

Video Donuts Mom:

Adoption Breeds Non - Profits Pet Care Pet Care Shelter Animals

Missy's story – The girl from the 405 Freeway, L.A.

Picture an off-ramp at the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. What do you normally see there? Bushes, trees, maybe trash, plastic bags, cardboard boxes, paper, cans, bottles, maybe old tires, things tossed out of the cars driving by. This is where beautiful Missy was found over 3 years ago.

Missy is a happy, wiggly, kissy dog. She is a beautiful red-head, athletic and affectionate. She is always in a good mood when she is around a human being. Unfortunately, Missy has been living in a kennel facility ever since she was rescued over 3 years ago. She is comfortable there: She gets fed, she goes to play in the yard, she sometimes gets taken out for walks and gets a cookie, every time an employee walks by her. But does she get the attention she craves so desperately? Does she get to snuggle up next to her favorite person or family? Does she get to play ball every day (which she loves!)? Does she get to swim in the pool which is her absolute favorite activity? Does somebody tell her every day, what a wonderful girl she is and how much she is loved? No. Well, that is not completely true. She did have all that for about 2 months. Just recently. Missy got adopted by a nice couple and their teenage daughter. They had a dog before Missy for many years, they live in a nice home with a secure yard and a wonderful pool. They adored Missy, feed her the best food, bought her toys and gave her kisses. So, what happened? Why is she not with her adoptive family anymore?

Let’s reverse: We at Pacific Coast Dog Rescue are very careful when placing our dogs. We look for a stable life-style of our adopters, we make sure, that their home and yard are secure for the dog. We strive to place our dogs with people who are going to be committed to the dog. Who will work through any issues that may arise. We also outweigh the good and the bad, because there is always something in question. In the case of Missy’s adopters, everything matched, except, that maybe, there was a bit of a lack of confidence in handling Missy in certain situations. As mentioned before, Missy is a very happy and wiggly dog and that means, that she can get overstimulated at times. So, the key is, to keep Missy calm and controlled. Not that difficult of a task, as Missy has received our 3 week on-leash obedience training and she LOVES to show off her training. As a matter of fact, her adopters updated us on several occasions about her excellent manners and her obedience. They even had a cocktail party 4 days after Missy moved in, when she impressed everybody with her excellent manners.

We, at Pacific Coast Dog Rescue take the adoption process serious. We always conduct several home visits with the dog, before leaving them at the new home for good. During that time, we practice the training with the adopters. We also check in regularly for the first couple of months and ask the adopters to contact us right away with even the smallest problem or concern. Well, Missy’s adopters informed us, that Missy would get very excited, when she saw people playing basketball. I guess, the moving ball made her anxious. The founder of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue and also our trainer, David Roe, explained Missy’s adopters, how to use the training, to handle her in those situations. Everything seemed to be going well until we got the call: “We are heartbroken, but we have to return Missy. She nipped our neighbor, playing basketball.” How could this have happened? Missy was on a leash. Easy to control. According to the adopters, Missy was on a leash, they walked by the neighbor with the basketball and she jumped and nipped him in the leg.

I wasn’t at the scene but I know, that this was a no-brainer to avoid: 

1. Walk into a different directions, cross the street, go around the person with the basketball. 

2. Follow the training routine, don’t let the dog get to the point of over-stimulation, use the training to keep her focused. 

3. Ask the person to step out of the way because your dog gets nervous around basketballs. 

Either one of those solutions seem reasonable to me. And Missy would still be happy with her family in her home. Instead, this preventable incident turned into a huge scene. 911 was called, 2 police cars, a firetruck, an ambulance and animal control showed up. The person who got nipped in the leg, went to the hospital but his injury was so minor, that he did NOT need any medical treatment. Animal control determined, that Missy was NOT a danger to society, they actually commented on what a nice dog she was, after they tried to agitate her and push to see, how far they could go with her and all she did, was try to kiss them! But according to law, Missy had be quarantined for 10 days. Because she is such a nice dog and was not determined to be vicious, she was able to stay in her home during that time. But I have to warn you: Animal control has ALL the power in these kind of situations, they can determined a dog to be dangerous at their discretion. And then, there is nothing you can do, to save your dog’s life. Especially, if your dog is an American Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Mastiff, Bulldog, or a mix of those.

The hysteria is big. So, where is Missy now? She is back at the rescue. Her adopters brought her back with tears in her eyes. I had to hold back, not to start crying, because I know, that I wouldn’t have been able to stop. Missy has always been one of my special heartbreakers because I know, how much she longs for a family to love her. On the other hand, I am happy, that she is back with us, safe. Now I know for next time, I have to be even more careful in placing her. So, that Missy truly has a forever home. Somebody who is sensible to her needs, somebody who loves her unconditionally and somebody who protects her. Because Missy is a wonderful girl!

If you are interested in adopting Missy please visit the website of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue and contact Ingrid.

Please also check the video interview with Ingrid Hurel here.

Pet Care Shelter Animals

Gentle Giant Bubba's knees – Please help fundraise for his surgery costs

We need close to $7000 to save Bubba’s life. Fundraising Campaign link:–s-Knee-Surgery

Why? Because he is the product of one of the countless backyard breeders in South Central Los Angeles and needs surgery on his knees. Why? Because these backyard breeders sell litter after litter of poorly bred puppies for a couple of hundred bucks. Why? Because they don’t care where the dogs go, they don’t care, if the dogs are healthy. This is where Bubba probably came from: A filthy backyard, his mom a breeding machine, maybe living on a chain, without shelter. Bubba was probably sold cheap or just dumped in the streets and ended up in one of the highest kill shelters in Los Angeles. But he was not euthanized, he was adopted by a couple. Well, Bubba was scared and confused and the couple couldn’t deal with his trauma. So they brought him to us, to get trained and to find a home for him. That is done now.

Bubba has completed his obedience training, he is a very happy boy. There is also a lovely couple waiting to adopt Bubba, but it’s not that simple: Both of Bubba’s hind knees are completely messed up. Bubba has been evaluated by two different specialist who confirmed, that his knee caps are completely out of place and this is caused by bad breeding. He can’t even stretch his legs straight and it will become very painful over time. So, Bubba, who was probably sold for a couple of hundred dollars, then dumped in the shelter to die, then saved and trained, might have to suffer now and become a crippled dog, IF we can not raise the money for his surgery. His knees are so bad, that both specialist have predicted for him to not be able to walk within a couple of years UNLESS HE RECEIVES THE SURGERY. And Bubba is not even 2 years old!
Bubba’s favourite activities are: GIVING KISSES, rolling in the grass, snoozing on a soft dog pillow and playtime in the park. He is a very handsome, loving dog and has come a long way. He has won the hearts of everybody at our rescue and he charms all the ladies!

Watch Bubba’s videos:

Fundraising for Bubba from Yurda Henzel on Vimeo.

Bubba’s Introduction with Ingrid from Yurda Henzel on Vimeo.

Please help Bubba! Reality is, that without the surgery, he will not only be crippled but nobody will want to adopt him.
Every dollar will help Bubba to have a chance at a life without pain and a chance to live a normal, happy dog life!

We created a fundraising campaign for Bubba on and we want to urge everybody to spread the word and donate for Bubba’s knee surgeries. His first surgery appointment is scheduled 18th, August 2011 the campaign will run till 31st of August 2011. Please help us to help Bubba, thank you so much.

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Adoption Non - Profits Pet Care Shelter Animals

Dear Foster Mom, Foster Dad:

This article was submitted by our friend Ingrid Hurel, Adoption Coordinator and Activist at Pacific Coast Dog Rescue.

“You will remember, I have lived with you for a time,
I may not be yours, but you will always be mine.”

This is the end of a very powerful poem, “written” by a Foster dog. Being a Foster parent, really is the beginning. The beginning of life for a dog, who never had a chance before. A dog, who was saved from death-row at the shelter, a dog who was tossed out, like a piece of trash, a dog, who was passed around, because they were moving, they became allergic, they had a human baby, they didn’t have anymore time, maybe the dog wasn’t a cute puppy anymore or became too old or ill. They seem to be a million reasons, to give up a dog.

The beginning of life for a dog, who lived on a chain in a backyard, a dog who never got any attention or toys, a dog who didn’t have any shelter and slept on cold concrete. A dog who was running the streets, hungry, scared, injured. The beginning of life for a dog, who has spend years in a boarding kennel, living in a concrete dog run, because nobody wanted him or her. Maybe a black or a brindle dog, or a Pit Bull, or an old or handicapped dog, because most people want fluffy, young, light-colored dogs.

And then the miracle happens and you become a Hero without even knowing it. Your Foster dog comes home, for the first time sleeps on a soft bed, for the first time experiences human affection and kindness. Your Foster dog will start changing. You will see a smile on his/her face, your Foster dog might start playing with toys, wagging the tail and give kisses. Your Foster dog may be rolling in the grass, racing around and then snuggling up close to you, look deep in your eyes and you will know, you did the right thing.

This knowledge will carry you do the hard times, that you may experience with your Foster dog. Traumatic experiences are not always overcome easy. Your Foster dog might experience separation anxiety, aggression issues with people and/or other animals. You Foster dog might pee in your house, vomit, destroy things. You will have to plan your life around your Foster dog and you will ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Well, you are doing this, because you have committed to this and you know, that without you, your Foster dog, will not have a chance. You are doing this, because, once you know, what a wonderful life, the dog will have in his/her forever home, you will do this again and it was all worth it. You are doing it, because you will learn a lot about yourself in the process. You are doing it, because, you have to. For the sake of the dog.

Maybe you are fostering, because you are not ready to adopt, you can’t commit to a long-term guardianship, you are not financially stable enough. But you can always foster a dog. And you are not alone in this. Whether you want to foster one of our dogs or not, Pacific Coast Dog Rescue will be able to guide you through the process. With years of experience, having saved and placed over 2000 dogs and the best dog trainer in Los Angeles, David Roe, Pacific Coast Dog Rescue, makes the right matches and eases the dogs into their forever homes.

To you, this might be only one dog, but to the dog, you are the world.