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Toni Eakes and the truth about A wish for Animals rescue

Hello dear animal lovers and friends,

In  2012 I wrote an article about Toni Eakes and her rescue and she threatened to sue me and I had to take it down.

I left this short post up to let people know why I took the previous post down.

For whatever reason, maybe because the universe wants it, this post ranks #1 in google when you search for “Toni Eakes” and I receive countless emails, phone calls  and blog comments from people seeking help with all kind of issues revolving around Toni Eakes and her rescue “A wish for animals”

I never worked with her or met her, but due to this overwhelming flood of people and authorities looking for help or information about her, I felt the urge to publish some of the emails sent to me without publishing names.

You decide whether you want to work with her, adopt from her or volunteer for her. I’m just helping the public and the animals in sharing these emails.

  1. Hello, I tried reading your blog but looks like it was taken down. I fostered for Toni 2 years ago in October of 2013. It was the worst experience of my life. I was wondering what your blog had said. I’d love to know that I wasn’t the only one who got screwed by her then harassed and threatened Thanks

  2. Toni Eake’s facility is actually located at 5930 jasmine St in Riverside. Its a hell hole.

  3. I worked for her and stayed at her property. Animal control was there the day I took these pics and did nothing. I’ve called everyone and sent these pics. Police and animal control don’t seem to want to help. Dogs with mange ticks injuries and illness. What more do they need to see? The matted dog was aced and shaved by a volunteer. Toni asked me to do it and I told her to have him anesthetized and groomed by a vet. Instead she bought ace promazine and had a volunteer do it. The last pic is what he looked like before they attempted to do anything. He came to the kennel clean and developed the mats over months in her care. Last Tuesday the director of services,  Frank Corvina told me he sent officers to the property the previous day to check on a litter of five week old puppies that were dehydrated to the point where the volunteers were giving sub cutaneous fluids to them. A volunteer informed me AC never even came.

  4. I would like to get a copy of your article.  I have been in rescue for many years and known that she was bad but i need to show others occasionally .  Thanks

  5. Hi. Can you please tell me more about Toni Eakes? A Wish for Animals has been pulling dogs with high pledges from southern California shelters. And most recently one of the dogs was deemed aggressive. The foster can no longer keep the dog and the rescue isn’t cooperating in taking the dog back. Any insights would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  6. To whom it may concern,
    Good morning, my name is L. and I am a proud Pitty adopter for the second time. In doing research on google about a Wish for Animals I found your post about having to take down the article about Toni Eakes. I unfortunately made the mistake of adopting a rescue from her and it may turn into a legal issue. What should be a joyous and happy event has turned into one of the worst experiences I have ever had.  I was wondering if you could help with some information and or any help in dealing with this group. Thank you.
  7. Hello, a woman has asked us for help with a foster she has had that belongs to Toni Eakes. This woman has paid for EVERYTHING for this dog. Toni has given her $0 towards the dog. She has had him over a year now. She must move & contacted Toni.Toni won’t take the dog back. Toni told the foster that she is in breach & is abandoning the dog. I always thought the rescue is the owner!  When the foster said she would re home the dog Toni told her that’s illegal cos she owns the dog. Whatever! I need some info so I know what to do to help this foster.

  8. Hi, I hesitate to write to you because quite frankly, the woman scares me.  However, I couldn’t agree more that she shouldn’t be involved in animal welfare.  I have a long sorted story regarding my experience with her and since it isn’t over, I would rather not go into details about it in this email. In fact, I would be much more comfortable talking about it, than writing it since I want to avoid a retaliation from her.  Once my involvement with her is over, I would like to help in whatever way I can, as well as sharing my story on your comment board.  In the end, there needs to be a way to get the word out about her.

  9. Hi thank you for responding. I recently adopted a dog with Toni and it turned into a nightmare. The dog was nothing like the dog that they described when I adopted him. He was not neutered, vaccinated, or microchipped. I was told that’s what the $350 paid for but Toni never returned my calls when I tried to contact her about getting these things done. Toni never responded to any of my communications. He got aggressive around my 5 year old and all other dogs.  He also bit my parents docile elder dog on several occasions. When I contactedToni saying this wasn’t the right home for the dog she got so defensive that she turned it all around on me. Verbally attacked me and said I had made the dog act that way and that I had put the dog in danger. She insisted that I return him by the end of that day. She was unwilling to refund my $350 so I could adopt another dog. I I cannot believe she gets away with it. I have been told to take her to small claims court but not sure if I will win because she says what I paid was a donation to a non-profit organization. Very frustrating. Thank you for the info!

  10. Hi, I am very concerned and discouraged after working withToni on Saturday. I would appreciate a phone call or and email with any information that can be provided.

  11. Hi, Thank you for putting an article together about Ms. Toni Eakes. I thought her lawyer might have contacted you and that is why I could not read the article. I met Ms. Eakes two years ago and the experience was horrible. I have a dog that is now, in decent health this is of course spending over 15,000. The story is a long one and I ended up going on a mission because of her crueltyto animals to get her shut down and I had no luck. I appreciate you taking the time to write an article and hope one day she will be stopped.

  12. Thank you for sharing. I was the one that called animal control on her in 2010 for the place in Laguna Hills. I had a report on her from Orange County Animal Control over 500 pages. I followed her for a awhile and called animal control at her home which again, animal control stepped in. I also got threats from her lawyer and my lawyer wrote her letter then, I never heard from her again. I was lucky my lawyer is an animal advocate. I am sorry, that this behavior of Ms.Eakes has continued for so many years. It is truly sad for the animals involved and the community. My hope is that her cruelty someday stops.

  13. Thank you for emailing me back so quickly. On Saturday, my ten year old and I met Toni and several of her dogs at a Petsmart in RSM. I filled out paperwork, which I assumed was to foster a dog. Before we left she had me sign it. Since I have a King Charles at home, I asked about his vaccinations, worms and flea/tick medicine. She assured me everything was up to date. With all the excitement, I did not get a copy of what I signed. Huge mistake!!! In fact, I did not bring home one piece of paperwork. The next day (Sunday), I called her and asked for a copy of what I had signed and proof of his vaccinations. She was rude and said that I was only fostering and did not have rights to the vaccine records. She also informed me in an email later that night that what I signed was not a foster agreement, but an adoption agreement. She said she had crossed out adoption and put foster on the form (without my knowledge) and asked me to sign it. She still refuses to give me a copy or any records on the dog I brought home. She has been extremely unprofessional and is insisting I sign the foster agreement. The foster contract holds me liable for neutering (which was done by someone already) and that “I must provide proper care (proper food, water & shelter), including necessary medical care, regular checkups and vaccinations as necessary.” It also states that, “I promise and agree to be solely responsible for these animals and to indemnify and hold harmless A Wish for Animals from any and all claims of liability for the conduct of this animal while in my/our home and care. THIS IS A BINDING CONTRACT ENFORCEABLE BY CIVIL LAW.” I find this unacceptable, especially since I am being refused any of the records. I am happy to train, provide a good environment for him to grow in and am in a situation where this would benefit the dog. Her website says foster parents will receive everything from medical care to food at no cost. I found that contradicting and concerning. In addition, on Monday night, two nights after bringing him home with my son and King Charles, I found out the dog had tape worms and fleas. She told me it was easy to take care of and all available at Petsmart. I did not know it would cost me $91. It had only been two days since I had brought him home! I should not be responsible at such an early stage for those costs. When I emailed her (I do have copies of these emails if you want to see them) about reimbursement, and contract concerns, plus I gave her updates on the dog, she refused to pay for the de-worming and flea meds and said I should have waited until this coming Sunday (which would have been 7 days later.) She said she could not afford it. This of course was not an option with my other dog. I didn’t want fleas all over my home or risk getting worms. She didn’t answer any other questions concerning the contract and just stated I needed to sign it. When I brought the dog home she told me he was a lab mix. After researching online, I discovered he is a Rot/Pit Bull Terrier mix. She had no response about my questions on that either. I was informed after bringing him home that he was about 1 1/2 years old and was a shy dog. Then after speaking with her trainer I was told he was most likely a puppy mill dog and knew no life except a cage. Toni was so rude when I asked questions. The dog seemed fearful of people, sounds and cowered like he had been beat. Toni said he had never been beat or aggressive. She treated me like his behavior was my fault. She then very rudely proceeded to lecture me about what I had to do to care for the dog, including which collar I had to use (which slipped right off his head). Not once has she shown gratitude, compassion, appreciation or excitement about the progression of this dog. The trainer who was keeping him for two weeks left him in a large backyard with her 6 Mastiffs. The trainer said a week ago he could not even be pet or walked. When I brought him home, he was clueless what affection was, did not know how to play and still could not be walked. He was nervous about being pet. He has never been in a home environment and was scared to death when I showered and washed dishes. I have worked so hard with him. I hate to give him back to her, but I do not feel like I have a choice. This is a good dog that has an opportunity to grow and be trained, but he is not ready to go into any home. He needs time to learn what home life is and be appealing for adoption. I do not want to make this about me or her. I just am floored by the legal stand point, her demands and unprofessionalism. I fear in the end the dog is going to suffer. I do not know what you recommend. There is more to my story, but those are the main points. I also have the emails as proof. I am an honest, loving, moral divorced mother of 1. I hate drama and avoid it at all costs. This has had a huge impact on me because I have not seen anyone behave so irresponsible, controlling, unethical, dishonest and rude as she is. It is truly disturbing. I have made great progress with the dog. He walks on a leash very well, has learned how to play, smiles, is potty trained, affectionate and discovering what being loved feels like. The progression is unreal. All she seems to care about is herself and money. Thank you for any insight or support you can give. I am very discouraged right now. I also filed a complaint with the BBB. She has had 3 other complaints and her record is an F with them.

Please leave a comment! Thank you very much.

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Adoption Advocacy and Activism Articles Cool and Fun Stuff News Pet Care

De La Doggies – Dog walking and photography in Downtown Los Angeles

meandlilly-1I met Marissa at the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter on a Sunday morning, while she was holding a big heavy camera and waiting for the shelter staff and volunteers to guide her. At the time, I was volunteering at another animal shelter and had come with a dog trainer to show new adopters basic dog training skills, with the help of the shelter dogs. While we were waiting for the first potential adopters and spending some time with the shelter dogs in the play yard, I asked Marissa to join us. We talked about dogs and the shelter system in Los Angeles and discovered that we had a lot in common — like our passion and love for dogs.

Today, after nearly 2 years, I’m very excited to voice our support for Marissa, who has just started her new business offering pet photography and pet sitting services in Downtown Los Angeles.

Allow me to introduce this very talented photographer and passionate animal lover to the Packpeople audience with her own words and bio:

Hello,

I am Marissa de la Torre and Dog is my God.

When I moved to Los Angeles from Oakland, California this time, three years ago, I didn’t have much. I didn’t have a job, not many friends, and not too many hobbies or passions.

Growing up I always enjoyed photography, thanks to my dad, and I was lucky to grow up with dogs in our household. As a matter of fact, I had no siblings growing up, so the doggies were often my play mates throughout the years.

When I first arrived in L.A. I moved into a condo right behind a Petco. The very first day I moved in I decided to visit. I always loved going inside Petco and visiting the rats, mice and guinea pigs — watching them and taking photos always made me happy.

While there I noticed an adoption event going on, that was adopting out dogs and cats, Save a Life Rescue. I was immediately drawn to the furry mammals. After visiting them for awhile, I then talked to the founder of the rescue and soon found out they were in need of a photographer. I was ecstatic. It all seemed perfect — I can use and learn my new digital camera my dad recently bought for me, I could hang out with dogs and cats and help find them forever homes and I can literally do this in my backyard, every Saturday! Tula-1

I then began my romance with doggies and photography, and most importantly it was for a good cause, and I had found a new hobby!

I helped Save a Life for a year and then moved to Downtown L.A. and then began volunteering my time in local high kill animal shelters. It was then I quickly learned about the big problem L.A. had with homeless pets and how packed shelters were with dogs being surrendered or found on the streets, with not enough people adopting or knowing where to find a new pet at.

I soon discovered and starting volunteering my time for non-profit organizations and groups like; United Hope for Animals, L.A. Love & Leashes, and The Lu Parker Project, that were helping a lot of these dogs and cats in the shelters get the proper exposure they deserved through photography and networking. To take a picture of a homeless dog, post it online and see the dog get pulled from the shelter into a loving home, made it all worth it and reassured me time and time again I had picked the right hobby ūüôā

Batman-7Fast forward three years, I am still living in Downtown L.A. and have had a string of 9-5 jobs that were not particularly interesting to me, but they paid the bills and I feel I was doing what I was supposed to do, whatever that means. Similar to when I had first moved here, I did not have any clear goals on what I wanted to do for work and had no real passions I thought I could potentially make into a career. It took some time, a lot of jobs I did not like, a lot of support from friends and family and most importantly my continuous time with doggies to finally realize that I could make spending time with the furry mammals into my career. It really just boiled down to me taking that jump and being confident and prepared!

So now I am proud and happy to officially launch my own dog service business, De La Doggies, offering dog sitting, dog walking and most importantly dog photography in the Los Angeles area.

walker-1I think I can finally say I love my job and most importantly I feel rewarded and fulfilled as a human to be helping take care and provide for human’s best friend, dog.

For more info, rates and examples of my photography work with dogs, please visit my website at: www.deladoggies.com follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook Fan page. You can also find me on tumblr.com and dogvacay.com

All you need is Woof!

~ Marissa

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Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Pit Bulls

What’s it like having an ‘outlaw dog’?

I almost forgot to write about this interesting meeting between my dog Red (Rednose – American Staffordshire Terrier Mix) and an unenlightened human, at my hair dresser’s about 2 months ago.

I was late to my¬†appointment¬†and couldn’t drop off my dog at home, so I called the hair dresser and asked if I could bring my big dog with me. She said, “Of course you can bring your dog.” Red and I walked into the hair salon and he showered everyone who came near us with kisses, his tail constantly wagging for 10 minutes, and he loved the attention and affection. Before I sat down in my chair I asked everyone if they were comfortable with me having my dog nearby. No complaints, so I placed Red right in front of me on his blanket. He¬†laid¬†down and watched the people, calm and super sweet as usual. Everything¬†seemed to be perfect and everyone enjoyed Red’s friendly¬†attitude.

Red at the beach

I was getting my hair cut when the customer to my right was finished and left. A new customer, a tall blonde lady, sat down. Red was excited to see the new woman and tried to get her attention by being super cute and staring at her. He got her attention, and she called him to come over. I let him go, and he was all over her, licking her face and trying to get as close to her as possible. He laid next to her and she patted him for awhile. Then, she asked me about his name and what kind of dog he is.

I said, “Red is a Pit Bull Mix.”

The woman (in her early 40’s, dressed in a business suit) stopped patting him and looked at me, repeating “A ‘PIT BULL’? I mean a ‘PIT BULL,’ PIT BULL?”

(*‚ÄĚPit bull‚ÄĚ is NOT a breed. It’s a generic term often used to describe all dogs with similar traits and characteristics known to the public as “pit bulls.” When we use the term ‚Äúpit bull‚ÄĚ here, it should be understood to encompass American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and mixes of those breeds. Source: Pit Bull Rescue Central).

I said, “YES, he is an American Staffordhshire Terrier and Rednose Mix, he probably has some other breeds him as well.”

I explained to her what a PIT BULL is and she listened, interested. She: “Oh my god, really? I can’t believe it. He is so sweet, loving and well behaved.” Her voice was not excited anymore – it sounded more like she had dry mouth and needed a glass of water. Me: “I know, he is a total¬†sweetheart¬†and an absolutely perfect dog.”

I could feel I was talking to someone who was totally¬†prejudiced about Pit Bull-type breeds. The woman: “You know, I’m an attorney and I just heard of a case where a Pit Bull attacked a neighbor’s child. The child needed 14 stitches and we can be very happy that the dog did not rip the child apart.” Me (in my dry-German way): “Oh really? Why did the dog attack, and what happened to the dog?” She: “I don’t know why he attacked the innocent child. They took him to the pound and he got what he deserved.” Me: “What he deserved? I’m very sorry to hear that. What kind of experience have you had with Pit Bulls until now?”

Lilly & Red

I had second thoughts – should I start a heavy conversation with her or just ignore it?

She: “I’m usually not a dog person (I DISLIKE), but I kinda like your dog. I still can’t believe he is a Pit Bull. I hope he won’t go after your kids one day. My friend is a firefighter and he told me some ugly stories. What is it like having an outlaw dog?” I was not surprised she used the word “outlaw”… I mean, as an attorney she needed to do that. This is the point where my eyes and the eyes of my friend and hair dresser met in the mirror. I smiled and said: “It’s great. We love it. He is¬†definitely¬†an enrichment in our lives.”¬† I turned around to her and said: “You should read more about this type of dog, educate yourself and meet more Pit Bull-type dogs, if you are interested in dismantling your prejudices.”

Now my hair dresser, another friend of hers and two customers got involved. A very interesting conversation was engaged by this woman. In the meantime, Red was busy licking the woman’s hand and legs, and being an ambassador for Pit Bull-type mixed breeds. I knew I was not with “dog-people” who knew a lot about dogs, and I had to handle this differently than the talks I have with rescue friends, dog advocates or dog lovers. I listened for the first 20 minutes and then I started asking questions, and educating them about Pit Bull-type dogs, their needs,¬†temperaments, and of course about responsible dog ownership. I also told everyone about some really good resources where they could learn more about this (of course I mentioned PackPeople). The conversation ended at a nice point where everyone agreed to look at a dog as an individual and not to¬†discriminate¬†against an entire breed, with all the negative publicity surrounding it.

Pit Bulls and their cousins can be great in a multiple animal household, if handled properly. Please contact us for more details.

The responsible pit bull owner is aware of the heritable attributes of their breed’s behavioral makeup and recognizes that pit bulls have an inescapable genetic history. Pit bulls make wonderful and loyal family companions. Like all dogs, they require intelligent, responsible and dedicated ownership.

Bottom line of my visit at the hair dresser and the hour-long debate between hair dressers and customers: I got an awesome cut, and no one really knew the facts about Pit Bull-type dogs. Today, I know much more about this type of dog than I did 2 years ago, because I educated myself, did not discriminate, opened my mind, heart and view.

When I adopted Red I fell in love with his personality, and didn’t care about his look or his heritage.

Many Pit Bulls are waiting in U.S. shelters and animal rescues. Search here. Please always adopt never shop! ~ Thank you.

Categories
Adoption Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Get informed and educated

When Animal Lovers become Animal Hoarders

Where is the fine line between the¬†act of ‚Äėloving animals and ¬†‚Äėhoarding animals? When does a case become extreme?

The Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium (HARC), defines an animal hoarder as someone who:

  • accumulates a large number of animals;
  • fails to provide minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation and veterinary care;
  • fails to act on the deteriorating condition of the animals (including disease, starvation and even death); and
  • fails to act on the deteriorating condition of the environment (severely overcrowded and unsanitary conditions), or the negative impact of the collection on their own health and well-being.

Legally you are allowed to have 3 dogs in one household in the city of Los Angeles. 3 dogs – I think that’s pretty fair. I don’t know many people who own more than 3 dogs and are able to¬†responsibly¬†take care of 3 or more dogs and full fill their needs. It’s very tough and challenging to organize 3 or more dogs in between work and daily errands.

I have a friend who owns 5 dogs and does a great job, the dogs are all happy and healthy and live a¬†fulfilled¬†life with him and his wife, who works from home. They own a huge yard, go on long hikes and work with their huskies. Of course, I would love to have a ranch, stay at home and have a bunch of dogs running around and offer them a healthy life of freedom and fun, but unfortunately that’s not the reality by common urban living standards. Most people are totally swamped with the needs of just 1 dog.

I have heard many stories about hoarders. A friend of mine is working on a smaller case, where a woman keeps 15 dogs and 12 cats in a 2 bedroom house with a small backyard. It is very difficult to convince these people Рmost of whom are suffering from a Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Рto give some dogs or cats to the care of other rescuers or people. They harbor a fear that if they seek help the animals will be euthanized, my friend told me. Hoarders justify their behavior with the view that the animals are surrogate children and that no one else can care for them. Many of the hoarders begin on a mission to help animals that somehow gets out of control. After they become overwhelmed, they find they can’t stop, and they often don’t know what to do, so things continue to deteriorate. Some even pose as rescue groups or legitimate sanctuaries.

A so called “animal rescue/shelter” in Southern California. Photo taken by a former worker – over 150 dogs live in a warehouse type facility in Riverside.

As the number of animals in their care increases, they are unable to keep up with the care and veterinary attention needed.¬† Still, they often see themselves as the animals’ savior, even as the pets suffer.¬†Individuals insist that all animals are happy and healthy‚ÄĒeven when there are clear signs of distress and illness.¬†According to Hartford Hospital,¬†compulsive hoarding¬†is a problem that often accompanies other mental disorders, including depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia and certain anxiety disorders, among others. Hoarding is thought to be a subset of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Cats are the most hoarded animal, followed closely by dogs.¬†Animal hoarders are usually well-intentioned and believe they are helping the animals in their care. They often cannot see the situation as it is and have a disconnect from the reality of their pets’ desperate need for basic care and medical attention. Approximately 72% of animal hoarders are women.

I don’t know if you have heard of the¬†Victims Of Spindeltop Raid – where over three hundred¬†pit bulls¬†were seized by law enforcement on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, in an alleged¬†animal hoarding¬†case in Montgomery County, Texas.

If you suspect someone of hoarding animals, don’t hesitate to alert the local authorities to the situation. Because hoarded animals are usually in terrible condition, the sooner they can be rescued the greater their chances of recovery and survival, and of finding people who will care for them properly. The ASPCA recommends calling both a local animal rescue, shelter, or welfare group, as well as adult protective services or other government health agencies.

Have you had an experience with an animal hoarder, or do you know someone you want to help? Let us know.

If you see a typo, please let us know at info@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop us an email ~ Thank you.

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Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Get informed and educated Pet Care Uncategorized

We had to take down our article 08/02/12 about Toni Eakes and “A wish for Animals”

Why Toni Eakes should not be involved in animal welfare – A true story about ‘A Wish for Animals’

After Toni Eakes lawyer contacted and threatened us we needed to take down the article temporarily.

I had a blog post here recommending that people not work with Toni for a variety of reasons and I got an email from her lawyer to take my post down.

Shoot me an email if you want to share your experiences or insights at info@packpeople.com or leave a comment here. ~ Thank you!

UPDATE: Please read this update post about Toni Eakes

Categories
Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Pet Care Pet Care

Street dogs of Philippines – Help needed!

The Dog is supposed to be Man’s Best Friend, if the dog gets a good person to look after him then life is good but unfortunately this is not the case for most of the dogs in the world.

I have seen all kinds of dogs living in many different kinds of conditions. Some are so well pampered that they do not really know that they are still dogs, others are looked after very well and are a very important part of the family. Some are only useful to the owner as long as he can make money from them and some are just living on their own as nobody really wants them. All around the world, many dogs get lucky and are really treated well, they get the best food, regular medical checks and inoculations, their own bed to sleep on and even clothing to match that of the owner.

With this article, I am not saying that the Philippines is worse than anywhere else for the poor treatment of dogs as there is terrible abuse of dogs happening in the developed countries, but a major difference is that in the developed world there are strict laws to protect the unfortunate animals – while here in the Philippines there are laws, but like many laws here, they are of a very low priority to the government agencies.

As you drive around the streets of Manila or anywhere in the Philippines, you would see many dogs roaming around looking for food. Most of these dogs belong to someone but unfortunately their owners doesn’t care about them, they had been abandoned because the owner got a new pure bred dog, sometimes a dog who belong to a poor family is luckier because they are given table scraps and their family are not abandoning them, everything is still on a case-by-case basis. I also know some rich families who adopt dogs from the street, so I guess social status is not the basis of being a responsible dog owner. If dogs are not fed at home, then it’s up to the poor dog to find food for himself; he can eat dead animals, and rotten food which has been thrown away by people.

Many of these dogs get very badly treated by people who throw sticks and stones to drive the dogs away. Many small or young dogs are forced by hunger to compete with the bigger street wise type of dog who gives no mercy regardless of size so many of this kind of small dog gets open wounds which can easily get infected because nobody will take care of the injuries or treat them. Its so sad to see a dog with a skin disease which has caused all the hair to fall out and in many cases the skin goes pink. These dogs are constantly scratching and open up wounds on their skin as the itching is totally uncomfortable. Because of infection these dogs usually do not survive and their dead bodies can become food for other starving animals so the infections can be passed on to others.

In some cities, there is animal control… who will take dogs if they are roaming in the streets, and if their owners will not get them, they will be destroyed in 48 hours. There are even speculations that, the said animal control or dog pound are selling the dogs to illegal dog meat traders, though it has not been confirmed yet.¬†Some syndicates are getting stray dogs, so that they can sell their meat. It is illegal to eat dogs in the Philippines, but just like any other law, some people can get away with it. Luckily, we have Animal Kingdom Foundation, a UK funded animal shelter, who rescue dogs from illegal dog meat traders.

Before I end this article, I would also like my readers to know that even homeless people are capable of loving dogs, and it only proves that those who have less can give more.

Friends, I want you to meet Mang Rudy. He lives in a push cart with 16 dogs and 2 cats. For me, he is luckier than those who have big mansions, massive money on their bank account because Mang Rudy has best friends who will never abandon him no matter what.

Blog post by Kristine –¬†http://thealphadogattitude.blogspot.com

If you want to support Indonesia’s rescue groups here are some links:

1. Animal Kingdom Foundation– it is an organization rescuing dogs that are supposed to be butchered.

Website: http://www.animalkingdomfoundation.org

2. Island Rescue Organization– it is based in Cebu and they are rescuing street dogs.

Website: http://islandrescue.org/

3. CARA¬†–¬†it is a no shelter facility group, who help street dogs and cats.

4. AARRC– it is located in Kalibo Aklan, founded by a Dutch National.

Website: http://animals.tukcedo.nl/

5. Philippine Animal Lover’s Society. —- It is a group of people, who work through networking using facebook to save street dogs.

Website: donation details here.

Facebook link: Philippine Animal Lovers Society

Related posts: Oscar – A Street dog of Istanbul¬†–¬†Romania’s Street Dogs

Categories
Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Get informed and educated Pet Care

Animal Welfare in the Philippines – Tina’s love for animals

Tina with one of the rescued Pitbulls

From guest author: Kristine Vicencio

Kristine is an animal advocate and guardian in the Philippines. She just started a blog to raise awareness about animal welfare in the Philippines and to share her stories Рand we at PackPeople believe that her idea needs to be shared and supported! Thank you for reaching out, Kristine.

Here is her first article for PackPeople: 

I never thought that maintaining a blog would be challenging. First off, I do not have a camera or a mobile phone with a camera, therefore I cannot record memorable experiences that I can blog. But then again, I remembered the main reason why I decided to blog: I blog because I want to make a difference, I blog because I believe that I have something to say. I blog because I want to.

Bipp bipp the dog with two legs and Bianca

And then, I was able to meet the epitome of animal lovers in the Philippines. Her name is Tina Alviar Agbayani. Well, I met her on Facebook, and I was inspired by her since day one. Maybe you are wondering why I consider her the epitome of animal lovers in the Philippines -Tina is not only a mother to her children, she is also a mother to her dogs, chinchilla, turtle and iguana. All her dogs are rescued from different animal shelters, and that is one thing that I love about her. She can actually buy purebred dogs, but she preferred to save lives. I can say that she is one of the kindest mothers on earth, because she is teaching her children how to treat animals with respect. I am sure that having a quadriplegic dog is not easy; some people will just abandon a dog with this condition, or worse, they may even euthanize her. But not Tina. She decided to keep Bianca and gave her a chance to live like an ordinary dog.

Tina, Bianca and Seb the other amputee dog

Tina is teaching her children the value of compassion, and she is a good example of a responsible parent. Imagine, she was able to take good care of her children, she was a mom to her dogs and to other creatures in her household, and she is even volunteering some of her time to animal shelters.¬†Tina deserves to be in my list of “Dog People of the Month.” She is indeed an inspiration to all. Because of her, I was able to realize that dog lovers should not expect animal shelters to do all the rescues and stuff, there are times wherein we need to step up, and do things on our own. Animal Shelters will not be able to save all the stray animals, but if all dog lovers will stand as one unit to accomplish a goal, then nothing is impossible.

About Kristine: I used to be an animal shelter volunteer, however because of the nature of my job, I was forced to quit. But because I am really passionate about making a difference in the lives of animals, I decided to blog about my passion. I live in the Philippines, and in our country animals are considered as the last priority of our government.

Though we have animal shelters, they do not rescue dogs. Well there are times they do, but most of the time, they don’t. They have this maximum of 30-60 dogs per shelter. There are even times where in, if there is a dog in need and we call the animal shelter, they will not do anything. So, to help the dog, we will use Facebook to disseminate information and will ask the nearest person to the dog’s location to rescue it first, bring it to the vet, while we will contact our animal lovers group all over the world to ask for donations. As of now, we already have 10 rescues, and 4 have already been adopted.

I blog because I wanted to raise awareness regarding the proper way of becoming a dog guardian. I would also like to raise funds so that i can put up my own no kill animal shelter, it’s kinda ambitious but i believe that if a network of people who have the common goal will work together then nothing is impossible.

I have just recently learned that Mandaluyong City has put up their own Animal Shelter, and they also need all the help that they can get, if you are located near Mandaluyong, please be kind enough to visit the dogs and provide some help.

Pictures was taken from Tina Alviar Agbayani’s Facebook account :).¬†If you have any questions regarding my blog, feel free to email me at akvicencio(at)gmail.com

LIKE Kristine’s Fan Page on Facebook here. Visit her blog ‘Everything is better with dog’s hair’¬†here.

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Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Get informed and educated

Why do L.A.’s Animal Services FAIL?

This is BOBO

This is just one example of many, why U.S. shelter systems suck: on Thursday last week I called the East Valley Animal Shelter in Van Nuys to receive more information about one specific dog. I saw a Mastiff, a massive, super sweet-looking dog on the shelter’s website who reminded me of my own dog Samson. Every week I promote a different dog on our Facebook fan page and was looking for a new doggie, when I saw this Mastiff named BOBO.

Owners had surrendered him after 9 years of companionship. I cross-posted his picture on Facebook, tweeted and asked friends for help the same day. After I walked my dogs I called the shelter with my ID number and the dog’s name ready and talked to a woman on the phone after waiting 20 minutes on the line. She was nice but had no clue; she greeted me with a very low and slow “hey”… and I didn’t understand the rest. I gave her the ID number and the dog’s name, and at first she couldn’t find him in the database, then we had this type of not-helpful conversation:

She: He is not at the shelter anymore.

Me (excited): Oh, really? What happened to him, did he get adopted? I’m talking about the big Mastiff with the black mask, he was brown and 154 lbs.

[I described the dog a little more]

She: Oh, hmmmm, yeah that dog…he is AGGRESSIVE.

Me: ‘Aggressive’? Like…dog aggressive, fear aggressive or human aggressive… what do you mean by ‘aggressive’? Is he shy or really aggressive, does he have a history?

She: Ahhhh, I don’t know, but he is human aggressive.

Me: So, is he still available? I want to drop by and take pictures of him. Is he still at your facility? Can you please check for me?

She: Hold on a second…Yes, he is here!

[I’m confused] Me: OK great. I will be there in an hour.

FAIL

This is silly boy Blanco (now: Bones). He is 2 years old and a very friendly and cute dog. His ID# is A1311910

I packed my stuff and was really excited to meet BOBO, a 154-lb. Mastiff. I arrived at the shelter with a friend of mine and walked through the whole shelter, taking pictures of the dogs and sharing doggie treats with them, patting them, looking into some shy, timid and¬†anxious¬†eyes. I stopped and took a deep breath every time and walked through all cages to see who is behind the bars. Calling them and trying to reach their necks with my fingers. As usual the shelter was full of Pit Bull Mixes and little Chihuahuas, each one cuter and cuter. It took me a while to walk through all cages. I couldn’t find the Mastiff and I walked again and again through every single kennel. Finally, I decided to ask a volunteer to take some dogs out and to help me take pictures of the dogs. We took pictures of 3 different dogs and I asked her if she knew anything about the Mastiff – and she said that he wasn’t there anymore, but she doesn’t know what happened to him.

After I spent an hour-and-a-half taking pictures, I walked to the front desk to find the special dog I was looking for. I was afraid to ask,¬†because¬†I feared to hear that they had to put him down or something. I hoped and wished he was still¬†alive. I walked up to the font desk and asked one of the staff members in his uniform and he said he can’t help me without an ID number. I’d forgotten to write it down, so I started looking up the number on my phone, but had really bad reception inside the building. I described him, I mean, this dog is huge and how can’t you know anything about him? He is very eye-catching and you don’t take a Mastiff like him in every day. He was taken in on May 25 and nobody knew anything. My friend asked again, and the guy in the blue uniform was helping others in the meantime. A woman reminded me: “We need the ID number”. It took forever to load the pages. Then the man with the black shoulder long hair said: Ok let me see in the back. After 5 minutes he came out with an ID card and said: Is this the dog you are looking for? ME: “Yes, that’s him”. He: “Oh, he just got ¬†adopted yesterday! I was looking at him and didn’t really buy it, and he showed me the kennel card with a red mark: ‘ADOPTED’. I took a deep breath and wanted to hug the man (I didn’t do it of course). BOBO made it, what a relief.

Love him! This is Ace – ID#A1313718 – brown and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. 3 years old. He looked at me the whole time but didn’t get up.

I’m asking: Why do you have a back area where other dogs (not open to the public) are kept and just waiting for their death?¬†Why do you hand out wrong information and rob a dog of the chance to get adopted? Why do you know so little about the dogs in your shelter and why do you not care? How can you not know anything about a 154 lb. dog?¬†Why did I receive 3 different versions until I got the information I was trying to get? What kind of service is this, for an institution described as ‘Animal Services’?

Everyone who is involved in animal welfare, runs a non-profit rescue, pulls dogs out for a rescue, fosters dogs or just visits shelters like me as a caring individual, knows what I’m talking about. Why is nobody out in the kennel area? No excuses, please. In the 1 1/2 hours¬†I saw at least 3 people who were really interested in dogs. It’s like going to a car dealer and walking around for an hour looking at cars, reading the detail cards and waiting for the sales guys. Do you think the car dealer would sell a car that way? In this case, these are not cars, these are living creatures waiting for a 2nd chance, a new home to rescue them from a kill shelter.

A young couple was looking for a dog and going through the kennels over and over again, an overexcited woman who fell in love with one of the puppies and talking loudly to her mom begged her to let her bring the little puppy home, another family walked around looking for little dogs. I had the desire to help these people and ask them what they were looking for and show them some dogs myself. They were looking for someone, trying to find a person who could assist them.

FAIL

Cute ‘Cookie’ – female, black and white Terrier mix. 8 years old. ID#A1309722

Everything was happening outside in the kennel area, while the complete staff was inside. Incompetent and bored staff members, annoyed by the questions of clients, potential adopters and people who just cared about these imprisoned animals and wanted to know more. Every time, I just wanted to kick someone for his/her false information, ignorance or incompetence.

It was 3:30 pm on a not busy Thursday afternoon and I couldn’t find any staff member to ask questions, they were all hanging out at the lobby and answering phone calls and pretending being super stressed and busy. All 5 of them;). Shelter Volunteer Sarah was great, she showed me 3 dogs and we hung out with them to give them some time and love outside the cages. She helped me a lot that day… and she was the only person I could find.¬†The shelter volunteers, however, were sweating and working hard. One of them told me last time that he always picks up hamburgers for the dogs who get killed that day. They are not allowed to handle every dog, just the ones with the specific signs on the kennel cards.

I left the fancy prison in the Valley, many dogs trapped in cages, 70% Pit Bull Mixes. My camera in hand, loaded with pictures and videos. My thoughts were with all the sweet dogs and cats left behind. My heart was heavy and my eyes full of tears; I was happy that BOBO the mastiff made it out, and thank you to the family who adopted him!

The dogs shown in this post are some of the dogs up for adoption at the East Valley Shelter in Van Nuys, California. Please also read Thomas Cole’s article about no-kill’s limitations and Josh Liddy’s article confusion is a consistent trait of la county.

Bones video:

Categories
Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Causes and Petitions

Oscar – A miserable, lonesome dog in Indiana

Gunter - Chow Chow Mix
This is not Oscar. This dog is waiting for a forever home at the North Central Animal Control & Care Center/L.A. CA. His ID# is A1177509. Please contact (888) 452-7381 if you are interested in Gunther.

We published Sadie’s story¬†last week and mentioned that there is a 2nd dog in need in Indiana, involving the same dog advocate as in Sadie’s case. She’s been trying to get the dogs out of this horrible situation for over 10 months now and is devastated. She has reached out to Dogs Deserve Better and the Border Collie Rescue, without success.¬†She contacted PackPeople in February and told us about Oscar and Sadie, hoping we would listen to their stories.

“For the past almost 10 months and sadly there’s no help out there. It’s a long story and the list of people/organizations I contacted. Please contact me and I would like to share so it can be voiced.¬†I am seeking help for a couple of dogs who are facing extreme neglect from their owners. I am trying to find help to team up with rescues to reach out to the families with education & compassion to either have them bring the dogs inside their house as part of the family or have the dogs go to families that would accept them and provide care.¬† I want to ask you if you know any dog lovers here in Indiana that can team up with me and reach out to this family with education and compassion to the family for these poor dogs…“.

As an animal welfare platform we think that it is our duty to share these stories and raise awareness for these poor neglected dogs. We want to give Sadie and Oscar a shout out and try to help by publishing both dogs’ stories. Please contact us and we’ll provide the contact information for this dedicated animal advocate. Unfortunately, we don’t have any pictures of Oscar, but here is the concerned advocate’s email about Oscar’s miserable life:

OSCAR’S SITUATION:

This dog is an Aussie Shepherd named Oscar in Westfield, IN was abused all his puppy life. At the age of a year and a half Oscar got adopted by a lady who groomed him, took him to obedience school, loved him… in short gave him a better life. Soon after Oscar was adopted, the lady passed away leaving behind a husband and 3 children. The husband took the dog out of the house and placed him in a cage to live there 24/7, away from the house down the hill. It’s been over 7 years since Oscar is in a miserable state there. The house is out in the country. Oscar can only see light in the house from where his cage is. He barks all the time craving love and attention.

One cup of food a day gets thrown at him…food has been cut down to minimum as they think the dog is fat whereas it’s only hair, dirty cold water to drink, cage gets cleaned once in 7 to 10 days.. he’s forced to lay around his poop. He¬†doesn’t get groomed anymore either, no activity or human interaction at all. Oscar’s bark echos in that wilderness.

The man (owner) still wants to keep the dog but he also said he has no time for the dog. He thinks that dog is an alarm system and that he lets him know if there’s someone outside, whereas the dog is barking himself to death out of misery and pleading to let him out.¬†I think that man might be willing to let him go to a family that would accept him as a part of the family.¬†He has absolutely no education about the dog’s breed or basic needs.

I really need help myself in order to reach out to Oscar. Would you please know of anyone that can team up with me to reach out to Oscar… or if you would help me with this in some way I would truly appreciate.

I am human, if you see a typo, please let me know at yurda@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop me an email. Thank you!

Categories
Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Get informed and educated

The 200 million cows of India

Over 1.21 billion people (2011) -this number belongs to India’s population. The second most populous country in the world. 200 million cows call India there home. India is home to more cattle than any other country. In all but two states in India, cow¬†slaughtering¬†is strictly prohibited by law.¬†Bulls, bullocks and¬†she-buffalo¬†are protected¬†for¬†up to 15 years of¬†their life.¬†¬†Protected and loved by the majority,¬†the sacred cows give 125 million tons of milk¬†annually. India¬†is the largest global producer of milk. But cows are not the only things that are sacred. Monkeys are also revered and not killed because of their association with the Hindu god Hanuman.

How do I get to India and cows? Our friend, who is married to a half German half Indian woman, visited this weekend and we talked about animal welfare, animals in India and why I became vegetarian. I stopped eating meat after reading the book, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, a gift from my mother in law while she was visiting in the U.S.  I passed the book to my friend.

Back to the cows; what happens to the cows when they get old and sick, how do they survive and what happens to the milk? I found a great article written in 2009  by Jeffrey Hays, a fantastic source http://factsanddetails.com. If you think cows just live in India until they get old and die from a natural death, you are not quite getting the whole story.

(Article by Jeffrey Hays) Many of the cows found wandering the streets are dairy cows who have gone dry and been released. Cattle left to wander are supposed to be left to die naturally, with their meat consumed by dogs and vultures, and the skins licensed by Untouchable leatherworkers. But that is not always what happens. To keep traffic flowing cows have been banished from the streets of Bombay and quietly picked up in New Delhi and taken to sites outside the city.

It is estimated that about 20 million cattle die every year. Not all die natural deaths. Large numbers of cattle are disposed off every year as evidenced by India’s huge¬†leather craft¬†industry. Some cities have measures allowing the slaughter of obstructive cattle. Many are picked up by truck drivers who take them to illegal slaughter houses where they are killed ‚ÄĒthe favored method is slitting their jugular veins. Often the slaughterers start skinning the animals before they are dead.¬†Of the nine cow shelters that have been set up only three were really functioning in 2000. As of 2000, about 70 percent of the 50,000 or so cattle brought the shelter had died.

Photo credit goes to creator "Atanu Ghosh"

Unwanted cows are gotten ride in numerous ways that apparently do not conflict with taboo against slaughtering cattle: young ones have a triangular yokes placed around their necks which caused them to jab their mothers udder and get kicked to death. Older ones are simply tied to a rope a left to starve. Some cows are also quietly sold to middlemen who take them to Christian or Muslim slaughterhouses.

Most of the cow slaughtering in India is done in Kerala and West Bengal. There is huge trafficking network for from cattle other states taken to Kerala and West Bengal. An official with the¬†Ministry¬†of Social Justice and Empowerment, told the Independent. “The ones going to West Bengal go by truck and train and they go by the millions. The law say you cannot not transport more than four per truck but they are putting in up to 70. When they go by train, each wagon is supposed to hold 80 to 100, but the cram up to 900. I’ve seem 900 cows coming of the wagon of a train, and 400 to 500 of them came out dead.” [Source: Peter Popham, Independent, February 20, 2000]

The official said the trade exists through corruption. “An illegal organization called the Howrah Cattle associate fakes permits saying the cattle of meant for agricultural purposes, for plowing fields, or for milk. The stationmaster at the point of embarkation gets 8,000 rupees per train-load for certifying the cows are healthy and being used for milk. The government vets get X amount for certifying them as healthy. The cattle are unloaded just before Calcutta, at Howrah, then beaten and taken across to Bangladesh.”

If you want to read more facts, please click here. This is another article about India’s sacred cows¬†published¬†by The Independent (UK). Another good article seen on¬†Compassion¬†over Killing.

I am human, if you see a typo, please let me know at yurda@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop me an email. Thank you!