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Getting a Pet Can Improve Aging in place

In partnership with aginginplace.org, we would like to publish this great article today. You can find the original post on http://www.aginginplace.org/seniors-and-pets/

Are you wondering how you are going to care for your pet as you age in place? Are you wondering if you should adopt a pet as you age in place? This guide will help you decide on the best choice for you. Studies have shown that owning a pet can be physically and mentally beneficial for people of all ages. In the case of senior citizens, “just 15 minutes bonding with an animal sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain, lowering levels of the fight-or-flight hormone, cortisol, and increasing production of the feel-good hormone serotonin. The result: heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels immediately drop. Over the long term, pet and human interactions can lower cholesterol levels, fight depression and may even help protect against heart disease and stroke” (Byrne, 2015).

If you are mostly immobile, a cat may be the best option because you don’t have to walk them. A small dog that uses pee pads or a caged animal may also be a good option. Senior dogs and cats are better for the elderly because they are more calm, quiet, and less maintenance. Be sure to have the pet checked out by a veterinarian. A pre-existing illness or disease could drain your bank account or make you sick. For those seniors who want a dog, there are many reasons to be wary of jumping into pet adoption too quickly. The lack of mobility and inability to drive to and from the vet, groomer, or pet store worries them. The initial costs are usually high. They also worry that if and when there comes a point when they can no longer care for the dog, that the dog might be taken to a shelter and eventually euthanized. Many seniors feel like their worsening health condition is a burden, and a pet might possibly add to that.

PETS_infographic_aginginPlace

Top 6 Reasons Seniors Should Adopt a Pet

There are numerous reasons for adopting a pet. From companionship to security, pets can provide seniors a better quality of life and improve aging in place. Finding the right pet for you or your family member is easy, and the benefits can be far-reaching

Matching Older Dogs with the Elderly

Pets for Seniors in Illinois created an adoption program that matches senior dogs and senior cats with senior citizens. They worked out solutions to the issues that seniors have with pet adoption, and the program is very successful. The program pays for most of the adoption fee, chooses calm and housebroken older dogs, and provides support every step of the way. If the animal is not a good fit, the organization will take back the pet and refund any fees. Other humane shelters around the nation are trying to replicate this model.

Pet Therapy for Seniors

Those who work caring for the elderly say that pets pull withdrawn seniors out of their shell, provide mild activity and cardio through walking and grooming the pet, and offer a way to feel needed and connect with the world. Pet therapy can also help with Alzheimer’s Sundowners Syndrome. Nighttime can be very confusing and disorienting for folks with Alzheimer’s disease. This is when some Alzheimer’s patients try to run away or leave their home. A pet can prevent this issue by keeping those with Alzheimer’s connected and occupied.

“Animals’ non-verbal communication and profound acceptance can be soothing for those with difficulty using language; some may even connect with memories of their own treasured pets”

“Animals’ non-verbal communication and profound acceptance can be soothing for those with difficulty using language; some may even connect with memories of their own treasured pets” (Byrne, 2015). Pet therapy has shown to improve appetite, social interaction, brain stimulation, and tactile activity. The unconditional love of a dog brings healing and meaning to a sometimes lonely stage in life. Ask your doctor, physical therapist, or social worker about any pet therapy programs in your community. Just because you give away a pet or choose not to take one into your home, it doesn’t mean that you can’t visit with other family pets or receive pet therapy. There are pet therapy home visit services all over the country. Alliance of Therapy Dogs and Therapy Dogs International are volunteer-run organizations with outposts all over the world. A local volunteer will come to your home and bring a trained service dog that is very well-behaved. The dog can play, cuddle, and perform commands during a half-hour or one-hour session.

Service Dogs for Seniors

For seniors with disabilities, a service dog might be the best option. “The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 2011 defines service dogs as those trained to do work directly related to a person’s disability.  Emotional support animals and dogs used as crime deterrents are excluded from this definition.  A service dog is expected to accompany a person with a disability at all times” (Wang, 2013). Service dogs go through extensive training to remain calm and help their owner with mobility issues.

Service dog skills include: opening doors with a strap, pushing doors closed, helping their handler dress and undress, helping those in wheelchairs sit up straight & place feet and arms on footrests and armrests, preventing falls, and retrieving wheelchairs and walkers. It’s amazing the tasks these dogs can do! In an emergency situation, service dogs are trained to perform life-saving tasks, like retrieving medication, calling 911, opening the door for EMT and first responders, running to get help or barking for help after identifying an emergency and laying down on their handler’s chest to help them a cough or breath better. For hearing impaired owners, service dogs are trained in alerting their handlers to the presence of other people or particular sounds, retrieving dropped objects, carrying messages, and warning that an unseen vehicle is approaching. For visually impaired owners, service dogs are trained in avoiding obstacles like moving vehicles, signaling a change in elevation, locating objects on command, and retrieving dropped objects.

Find the right service dog for you. Pets often increase the amount of exercise pet owners get versus non-pet owners. More exercise isn’t always a good thing for older people with injuries and susceptibility to falls. There are also some nonprofits in existence that will help elderly folks care for their pets when walking their dog multiple times a day or cleaning out the litter box is too burdensome. Look to see if there is one in your area.

If you want to learn more about 

  • The cost of Pet Ownership
  • The Risks and
  • How to Care for Your Pet While Aging in Place

Please visit http://www.aginginplace.org/seniors-and-pets/ and let us know what you think about this article. Thank you. 

 

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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 🙂

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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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 ‘loving animals and  ‘hoarding 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 – most of whom are suffering from a Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – to 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—even 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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Adoption Animal Stories Articles Pet Care

AYLA – PackPeople’s new foster dog is waiting for the perfect home

Update: AYLA got adopted 08/12/12, YAY! 

This is AYLA, a Corgi/Shar-Pei Mix rescued from the North Central Animal shelter on Sunday 07/29/12.

I went to the shelter on Friday to take pictures of adoptable dogs — I know that the North Central Shelter doesn’t get a lot of public attention when it comes to pictures and networking the dogs. Since I live close to the facility, I made this city shelter my new project.

At the shelter, I started handing out my little treats, one after another, to these adorable dogs, small, medium, big. After walking through every single kennel, I discovered this little, super-funny looking white dog, yelping for attention. I kneeled down to see what type of dog she is… and I just saw a very funny-looking dog. She immediately pressed her body against the bars trying to lick my fingers, so I passed her some of the juicy treats I had brought with me and realized that something was wrong with her skin. I asked one of the kennel volunteers to take her out, so I could take pictures of the dog without the bars in front of her face.

Ayla with one of the workers at the North Central Animal Shelter, the day she got out.

Her name on her ID card was “Gretta.” I did not like it, and I named her AYLA. I already committed myself to this dog by giving her this new name, I knew it, but tried not believe it. She was hyper, jumping, running and trying to get out of the kennel area. I really liked this dog and she reminded me of our French Bulldog – very silly. I took a few pictures and asked questions.

I know the staff isn’t really informed about the dogs and barely know anything about them, but I liked the guy who showed me the dog, a very friendly volunteer. Her kennel card said, “Found as a stray, came in microchipped and spayed in July.” Nobody claimed her of course.

A Corgi/Shar-Pei mix? Indeed she had the shape of a Corgi, but she looked more like a Pittie/Husky mix to me. We played a little and I petted her dull fur. Half of her coat was already gone and you could see the pink skin. All itchy, dry and red. She had a serious demodex mange going on and smelled really bad.

After 20 minutes with AYLA I left the shelter with my pics and I tried to get her out of my head… NOPE, did not work. The next day I visited her again. I wanted to know if I could put a hold on her for a few days, and try to find a boarding facility before taking her home. They said they wouldn’t take holds but they would give me 24 hours before putting her down. She was on “the list,” one of the first ones who would get killed, because she is a medical case.

Ayla with one of the volunteers.

I talked to my husband and we got her out on Sunday morning before I left to go to work. With the help of my friend Ingrid, I was able to place her at Pacific Coast Dog Rescue until I could get her to the vet for an exam and start treating her skin condition. She was in our care, our responsibility and I was happy. Happy for this little silly dog, and that she made it. AYLA. We visited the vet, she got her bath and her first treatment. After the vet visit, we walked through the neighborhoods and I tried to take some more pictures of her clean fur.

After 5 days of boarding we picked her up today to ease her into her new home with her new foster family (us) and her new friends Lilly and Red. She is sitting in her crate and watching us closely. After a while of whining she relaxed and fell asleep.

Please follow Ayla’s healing process and apply for her if you think that you are the perfect match. She needs medical care for her skin condition. We are covering her medical bills right now. We started the treatment and the new family needs to continue until she completely heals.

AT HOME!

I’ll update information about her disposition and character very soon! AYLA GOT ADOPTED:) Her hair is growing back and she loves her frisbee.

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Adoption Articles Cool and Fun Stuff News Shelter Animals

L.A. Love & Leashes Benefit Event – The first non-profit pet store

Hey PackPeople,

We need your support: my friend Marissa is volunteering for a great organization in Los Angeles called L.A. Love & Leashes and she has asked me to help get them some exposure. Please read what they do and how you can help support their awesome work.

This Thursday night, June 28th, there is a special benefit for L.A. Love & Leashes – the first non-profit run “pet store” that adopts out only animals from L.A.’s city animal shelters. Milo Greene, an LA-based band getting some big buzz recently (on Letterman Tuesday, profiled in the LA Times over the weekend http://soc.li/c0TUntD and sold out the Troubador last week) is playing. There will be an open bar, food (passed appetizers) by celebrity chef Sepi Kashanian and there is plenty of onsite parking.

If 100 tickets are sold, L.A. Love & Leashes can renew its lease after the summer. In their first six months, they’ve adopted out 224 dogs and cats (and one hamster) from LA’s city shelters. It’s a new, humane model for pet stores and the first and only store of its kind supporting our city shelters in L.A.

You can learn more and buy tickets on their website:  www.LALoveandLeashes.com/Events – Make a donation here.

Where and when?: Thursday, June 28th, 7:30 – 10 p.m., 2750 Casitas St., Los Angeles, CA 90039

Please support this creative new model to increase shelter adoptions! Thank you for sharing and supporting.

L.A.’s first pet adoption store for rescued shelter pets.
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Adoption Animal Stories Articles Causes and Petitions

Dear Charlie Bear, we are looking for a home for you ~ Please, don’t give up!

Charlie Bear is a special dog to me: Because of him, I was introduced to dog rescue and animal welfare in the U.S. Meeting Charlie Bear and taking care of my (now deceased) dog Samson, who suffered from a similar condition as Charlie Bear, inspired me to start our website PackPeople.

I met Charlie Bear in 2010. While on my way home from a dog walk, at popular Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA, I spotted Charlie Bear laying on the grass with his wheelchair next to him. Ingrid, one of his care-takers had taken him for a outing to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. There was this stunningly handsome dog and I wondered: WHY DOES THIS DOG NOT HAVE A HOME??? Well, despite his good looks and amazing personality, Charlie Bear has been living in a kennel facility for several years and needs a foster or family urgent! Please read Charlie Bear’s story below and help us, help Charlie Bear to get out of boarding and into a permanent FOSTER / HOME!

Here is what Ingrid, Adoption Coordinator of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue has to say about Charlie Bear:

Charlie Bear, our handsome red/golden Corgi / Akita mix is bound to a wheelchair but that doesn’t stop him from enjoying life. If Charlie Bear was a human, he would be a motivational speaker. One of these fascinating people like Nick Vujicic of Australia who was born without arms and legs but has inspired thousands with his lookout out on life. Just like for Nick, attitude is altitude for Charlie Bear.

Charlie is always happy and smiles.

Charlie Bear and his buddy, a beautiful Chow Chow, were originally found on the streets and brought to a rescue. The rescue shut down before Charlie Bear and his friend were adopted and they came to Pacific Coast Dog Rescue. Charlie Bear’s buddy found a home but nobody came for Charlie Bear. Back then, Charlie Bear used to run and jump like a pup and go for daily walks. But suddenly, Charlie Bear’s hind legs started to give out. After rushing him to the ER and over time, visiting 3 different specialist, there is still no proven diagnosis. The first specialist felt that Charlie Bear might have degenerative myelopathy which is a progressive disease of the spinal cord. It begins with the loss of coordination of the hind legs and eventually leads to complete paralysis and the animal has to be euthanized. 

The second and third specialists did not agree with this assessment and felt that Charlie Bear suffers from one or more herniated discs and severe arthritis in his legs and elbows. The only way to find out, is to conduct an MRI but even with this expensive testing procedure, the specialists indicated, that Charlie Bear could probably not be cured. Charlie Bear has regressed over the past year. He initially was able to walk a couple of steps and then would fall. He was also able to somewhat walk with a sling as support. In September of 2010, we were able to get a doggie wheelchair or also called a cart.  Until just recently, Charlie Bear did very well with it and loved to go for his daily walks.

Charlie Bear loves to smell the bushes and wanted to “race”, especially when he saw a kitty to chase! But Charlie Bear is now getting weaker on his front legs and most days, he only wants to go for very short walks. Charlie Bear is not only very handsome but he is a favorite because of his strong personality! Charlie Bear will greet you with a big smile and give you soft kisses. He will goof around and challenge you, to entertain him. He will melt into your arms and be pushy to get his treats. He is just an amazing dog! THE MOST AMAZING DOG! But there is not denying that he is getting weaker. All his caretakers watch this with great concern and a deep feeling of helplessness.

Ingrid and Charlie Bear

We all love him so much (and tell him every day) but we have to start asking ourselves what is fair to Charlie Bear. He still eats like a horse, plays with toys and LOVES his peanut butter KONGS. But he can’t move much anymore. Thanks to some wonderful people, Charlie Bear has a state of the art wheelchair and a soft and comfortable mat to lay on. Even though, our staff takes care of Charlie Bear around the clock and he gets lots of attention, our dream for Charlie Bear is, to spend the remainder of his life (and who is to tell, how long that will be) in a home environment. We would love for Charlie Bear to have a grassy yard to lounge in and a quiet, peaceful place to rest. Can you help us, make this dream come true for Charlie Bear. Can you open your heart and home to Charlie Bear? Or do you know somebody who would sponsor Charlie Bear to live with a caretaker in their home?

Please share Charlie’s story and help to find a foster or forever family for this awesome dog! He lives in Burbank, California.

Please contact us today, to come visit Charlie Bear, give him a Foster / Home , sponsor Charlie Bear or simply make a donation for this care to www.pcdogrescue.org. If you are interested in Charlie please hurry and shoot us an email to info@packpeople.com.

And please don’t forget to share Charlie Bear’s story with everybody you know!!!

Ingrid recommends following links:

Visit Charlie Bear: http://www.pcdogrescue.org/available-dogs.html?task=detail&id=2

Nick’s website: http://www.attitudeisaltitude.com/aboutus-nick.php

Charlie’s desease explained: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canine_degenerative_myelopathy

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.

Categories
Adoption Animal Stories Articles News Pet Care

Willow – After many years, a three legged dog found her forever home

For so many Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes, it takes a long time, to find the right home. Many never do. Some rescuers feel, that it is “warehousing” to keep the dogs in a boarding facility for a long period of time. I guess, depending on the facility and the care they get, that can be the case. Of course, we would like to see all dogs in homes and not in boarding. Willow was in boarding for many years because despite of adoption events, websites, flyers etc, she was not desirable to the public.

Even after she loss of her front leg due to cancer almost 1.5 years ago, nobody wanted her. Until Carol and her family showed up! They contacted us, describing us their needs and we suggested several dogs of ours, Willow ended up being the best fit and after a few visits and help with the David Roe, founder of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue, who is also one of the best trainers in LA, Willow was home for good! Carol and her family have officially adopted Willow with the premise, that Pacific Coast Dog Rescue will be responsible for any medical bills, should the cancer come back.

Willow finally found a forever home. Owner photo credit: contributed photo.

So far, so good, she is getting regular check ups. Please see below a letter from Willow in her forever home and some wonderful pictures. Please feel free to support the many more PCDR dogs, especially our special needs dogs such as Sparky (blind from birth and just recently had $6000 back surgery), Charlie Bear who is permanently in a wheelchair, as he can’t walk anymore and Cute Sweetie, who has had years of skin treatment with a specialist and is finally good enough to be in a foster/forever home. Please let us know, if you would like to foster/adopt one of our wonderful dogs.

Please see Willow’s letter (as provided by her mom Carol):

Dear Ingrid, I’ve been living in my forever home for three months now and I decided it was time to write to let you know how I am doing. Please share this with all my friends at PCDR. I’m very happy here. I get so much love all the time. I didn’t know it was possible to get so many kisses and cuddles and so much attention. I wish I could share some with the other dogs at PCDR. My grandpa calls me “Little Drummer Girl” – I’m always wagging my tail against something because I’m so happy. My family tells me that I bring them so much love, joy and happiness. I try to tell them that they do the same for me! My mom and my aunt call me “Baby Girl” and I love it!!!

Willow and her new family

My grandma is disabled and needs a lot of help.  I’m always watching to make sure that everyone is taking care of her properly.  I like to sit on the couch next to her or lay at her feet.  When she is at the table eating I lay down behind her.  My aunt says that I “have my grandma’s back”.  Annette comes to help take care of grandma.  She’s my friend and she gives me love and takes care of me sometimes, too. I have comfortable beds to sleep on (yes, more than one – I’m spoiled) and good food and lots of good treats to eat.  I have a lot of toys to play with.  My family tells me that I have a “killer instinct”… if my toys aren’t super tough I rip them apart in minutes.  My shark is my favorite toy.

I get to go for walks in the neighborhood, too. We don’t walk too far yet because I get tired, but I’m learning to ride in a wagon and a

Willow in her new racing car.

trailer/stroller so my mom can take me with her on longer walks. That way I’ll be able to ride when I get tired. I’m doing really well with it as you can see. I get told many times every day that I am such a good girl and that I’m so beautiful, so sweet, so special ,so silly, so smart, so wonderful and such a love – so many times that I can’t even count them. I’m very well-behaved – I don’t beg for food (well, sometimes I do!), I don’t get into things that I shouldn’t, and I never have an accident in the house. 

Willow and her shark toy. Contributed photo.

I can be a bit bossy sometimes, so my family has to remind me that I’m not behaving nicely. A girl can’t be perfect, right? Even with my very few “quirks”, my mom and my aunt think that I’m the perfect girl for them. Thank you for finding this home for me. This is where I’m supposed to be. I love everyone here and they love me, too. I have a purpose in life now – I have a family to love and watch over and a yard to protect. I don’t think there is a dog that is loved more or taken care of better than I am. I never dreamed that life could be this good and I could be this happy!

Love and Kisses,

WILLOW

Article written and provided by Ingrid Hurel (Adoption Coordinator at www.pcdogrescue.org)

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.

Categories
Adoption Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Breeds Cool and Fun Stuff News Non - Profits Uncategorized

Raise Funds with Pure Gold – Celebrate Pets and Books

PackPeople is so grateful to have featured Holli Pfau and her wonderful book, Pure Gold – Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers (hear the interview here) last month, and we’re delighted to share with you a note from Holli about a great way for your shelter, humane society or rescue to raise funds:

“For every copy of the book that’s sold in bookstores during December, I’ll donate $5 to a shelter, humane society or rescue group designated by the bookstore.  And it’s easy to participate.  A group just needs to contact their local bookstore and ask them to stock Pure Gold.  Then send emails to volunteers, supporters and donors to generate traffic for the store and encourage sales.  (They might also invite donors to match my donation, to maximize the income.)  In January, the bookstore just needs to tell me how many copies were sold and who the beneficiary will be, and I’ll put a check in the mail.

Quick, easy and hopefully productive for the rescue group.  If the book isn’t already on the shelves, the store can easily order it and it will arrive in just a couple of days.

If anyone has any questions, please let me know.  Our goal is to raise funds for rescue work, so we’re happy to consult and advise.”

For inquiries, please visit www.puregoldbook.com to learn more about this excellent work, and contact Holli at publisher@puregoldbook.com

Thank you for sharing this offer, as well as your dedication, with PackPeople and our community, Holli! – Yurda and Rufino

Categories
Adoption Animal Stories Articles Get informed and educated

Found Kitten – We need a home for "Thursday"

It’s late at night and very windy…I can hear the sound of a whining cat, it sounds like a little kitten and not an adult cat. I get up and check the yard, it’s dark and I can’t see and can’t hear the meow anymore. This was last Wednesday, the last day of November 2011. Thursday morning I hear the cat again and start looking for her. I checked every single bush, tree and each corner of my own backyard, looked on the street and sidewalks. Checked all trees and poles, looked under the house and around the plants. Nothing – I couldn’t find the cat. Then, after dinner with friends on Thursday, my husband David and I returned home to hear the kitten meowing for help. We started to clip the ivy hedge down. We were sure she or he was stuck somewhere in the middle of it and couldn’t get out.

Cute little "Thursday" lost her family

After an hour we saw the scared and timid little kitten coming out of the hedge. She/He was still trying to hide and pressed her body towards the grass. David grabbed her – and she was not very pleased about this – so she answered with a deep bite and substantial scratch on David’s hand. He was frightened and dropped her, allowing the little kitten to seek refuge in the garage (we’re happy she didn’t run onto the street). Now another hour of searching started. The kitten was so scared of us creepy people chasing her from one corner to the other, but with a lot of patience and a well-thought-out plan we caught her. The first night we made her some nice bedding in one of our laundry baskets and closed it on top so that she could relax a little, making no attempt to open it and disturb her for awhile. A water bowl and a bowl of wet dog food was all what I could provide for the first night. I called her “Thursday”!

Thursday's first day inside the house.

I know that socializing and caring for a feral kitten is a time-consuming process which requires devotion, patience, and attention. The decision to bring this lost and frightened animal into our home wasn’t taken lightly. Ultimately, we have to use our own judgment depending on the kitten’s circumstances and our time and resources. But what kind of choices can we make? A shelter, or let her go? I know if I take her to a local shelter it’s her death – they wouldn’t give her the chance to adapt and would put her down. This was not an option.Thursday is now living in a giant dog crate with her own bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

I’ve had cats in the past but was not very familiar with little kittens, so I started searching the internet for useful information about feral kittens and stray cats. I found tremendous help online, including the website Alley Cat Allies, an awesome source of information; all you need to know when you find a kitten outdoors. David and I weighed our options, which includes socializing her and finding her a home (taking time and a lot of effort) or just waiting till she is old enough to spay/neuter before taking her to a cat colony where she can live outdoors. I don’t know where she came from and if she has a colony or where her family is, but I now recommend The socialized cat guide as a must-read for everyone who finds a kitten.

This week I’m going to try to find the kitten’s home, checking the shelters, lost and found, putting my own found ad in my area and using social media to spread the word – I found a great free tool to create flyers online.

Exploring the couch for the first time

We can’t keep her, with our 2 dogs that are not used to cats. I don’t want to risk the kitten’s life in meeting them. We have to find a home for her, and I’m sure she would be a great cat for someone. She’s already adapted wonderfully. Today I could pet her, and I even carried her around in my pocket. She eats, drinks and already uses her litter box. I think she is about 6 – 8 weeks old. We would pay for her spay/neuter costs and get her vaccinations done before she moves. She looks healthy, but I would take her to the vet to make sure this week.

If you are interested in giving Thursday a new home, please shoot me an eMail. Meow.

Update,  2011 December 12: We’re very happy to announce that little “Thursday” found a new loving forever home. She is going to live with an awesome family in Florida. Now, we have to get her ready for the trip. Wohooo!

We’re checking shipping opportunities. One of them could be Pet Airways – we interviewed Aly from Pet Airways this year and learned about the shipping and transportation of animals in the main cabin.

Update, 2011 December 21st: On Saturday we took our little kitty cat to the vet and got her vaccinated, preparing for her journey to Florida on Monday the 19th. She was still too little for the surgery and too little for rabies; I learned that kittens have to weight at least 2 pounds or be 3 months old. She also got her microchip, and is now registered under the name LUNA (the name her new family has given her).

Christmas Kitty "Luna"

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any response or feedback from PetAirways, which was a little disappointing. I asked for a special fare or shipping opportunities, but they never got back to me. A friend told me I should try out uShip, to list her and wait until any transport companies give me an offer or a bid to my listing. I was not thrilled but gave it a try. After 3 days I received an offer from Candy from Candys Boat and Pet Transport and checked all the reviews which former customers had left on their profile. I asked for a discount or if they somehow could support PackPeople’s first adoption from Los Angeles to Florida – and they agreed to give us a $50 discount! I think that was pretty awesome, considering that this is a small business owner. All the other opportunities I tried weren’t really trustworthy and I didn’t feel comfortable. I accepted their bid and waited until Monday.

Billy and Candy picked Luna up and we had a very good feeling, transferring Luna into Candy’s care. She was ready to travel in her big crate along with some other dogs.

Saying Good-Bye was harder than I expected. I kinda was already attached to that little furry ball and I had to keep in mind the whole time that she is going to live with an awesome family, as well as another cat.

I checked on her today and Billy and Candy told me she’ll arrive in Florida on the 23rd of December. On time for Christmas Eve ~ what a lucky kitty. I hope I’ll receive some new pictures from her family and can update again.

Update, December 28, 2011: Luna aka Thursday arrived at her new families house on Friday, 23rd right before Christmas. Her long trip was over – now she enjoys a new life with a wonderful family and another kitty-cat friend. Everyone seems to be very happy! I hope I can update with new pictures in 2 or 3 month again. Thanks to everyone who shared her story.

Luna playing in her new home - she looks great
Luna with a little bit of Christmas decoration - LOVE you Kitty, take care!

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