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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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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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The perks of a pet – Great infographic

Perks of having a pet. If you’re a pet owner, chances are your Fluffy or Fido is one of your best friends in the world. Pets can definitely make your life a little bit sweeter, but what you may not realize is that they can also make your life a little bit healthier. If your health is important to you—and it probably is—then you might think about picking up a new furry best friend. Depending on your health needs, either a dog or a cat can prove equally beneficial in many ways. Need a little more exercise in your life? Dog owners walk, on average, nearly twice as far as non-dog owners do in a given week. Or if it’s a cat you crave, your feline friend can drastically reduce your stress levels. People who have owned pets in their lifetime actually tend to live longer than those who haven’t. If you’re pursuing a degree in healthcare, chances are that when you enter the field, you’ll be able to tell a difference between the states of health of people with pets and those without. The following infographic takes a look at just how having a furry friend makes life happier, healthier, and a whole lot better.

This graphic is provided by MastersInHealthcare.com

Perks of Pets Infographic

If you like this article, you may like our post about Dog’s improve your health.

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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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Articles Cool and Fun Stuff Lilly Recommends News

Has your dog gone Postal? Will no treat satisfy her/him?

We’ve just been let into a little secret from the people over at Postal Puppy. They are about to start shipping shiny new dog stuff to doorsteps every month. We’ve convinced them to share the contents of their first boxes with us: Natural dog treats, along with some organic dog treats (made with locally sourced ingredients), an organic flea and tick control, a professional pet shampoo AND something magic. It’s so magic that it’s guaranteed to stop unwanted barking, console whimpering puppies, reduce hyperactivity, minimize fear of thunderstorms, calm your dog in the car, and more!

So, you can head over to PostalPuppy.com to guarantee yourself a box full of goodness or you can enter this contest to win a box. (Or, both!)

Please note, the first Postal Puppy boxes don’t go out until July. But, yours will be shipped mid-June, wahooo!”

Boozer already received his box full of premium pet products.

Do you think your dog would appreciate this box? Qualify for a give-away right here and receive this exclusive box with treats that are USDA organic, and locally sourced.  A professional, high-performing pet shampoo.  All-natural deliciously healthy treats.  And, an Organic Flea repellent.  And, the last insert is a digital download of music that is sure to calm almost any dog (seriously). Sorry, we can only ship to US addresses.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Every purchase supports small rescues – PackPeople’s new online shop

How can we sustain packpeople.com and keep our important work going? How can we make money with this website? These are questions we asked ourselves last year… and we came up with several ideas. Nothing really new or surprising, just the random things every blog owner starts considering one day. Advertising on PackPeople and earning money with google ads, sponsored links and affiliates; everyone who has a pet-related blog knows what I’m talking about. We want to keep the website clean, informative and not overloaded with ads.

An online shop with unique stuff. That’s the idea!

Our newly-launched online shop has been created to support our work at PackPeople, as well as the work of small, struggling rescues. We will donate 20% of all proceeds to rescues and animal welfare organizations – we keep the rest to buy treats for our dogs :). Prices are fair and the shop looks great! Visit our shop here or use the navigation on top.

From a pool of high quality manufacturers and wholesalers we have picked the most unique and special items (to us:). Ideas we like, products we love and companies we want to work with. Most of the products we sell are produced and manufactured in the U.S. with love by small- to medium-sized companies. Independent artists and pet lovers who make a living in selling their passionate products. For the beginning you can expect the following brands and products in our online shop, and we’ll continue to add more every month…

Get your funny Bandana today for $7.95

For now, we proudly present:

Ruff Ruff and Meow (Pet Apparel)

Arm the Animals (T-Shirts for humans)

Paco Collars (Leather Collars and Leashes)

Threads by Stevie (Bracelets with paw charms)

Felt Monsters by Michiko (Creative needle felted animals)

Please visit and explore our shop and consider buying and contributing – We at PackPeople and the small rescues appreciate your support!

If you think your products would be a great addition to our shop, we would love to hear from you (just know that we’re picky). Please shoot us an email (info@packpeople.com) and we’ll talk about it.

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How to use a prong collar and choke chain

I’m shocked how people use prong collars (pinch collar) and choke chains. Every day I stumble upon dog owners handling their dogs with prong collars. I talk to them and try to educate them and while some do listen, some just ignore my suggestions. Some owners are seeking for solutions without consulting professional help from a trainer. They walk into pet stores and buy the wrong size and the wrong collar that should be used solely for correction during training and not in any other way. The prong collar itself is not a cruel device to use on any dog, as long as it is used properly during training.

Choke chains used on heavy pulling dogs can cause severe damage.

When we adopted Red a year ago, the adoption coordinator was holding Red with a choke chain and a prong collar. Even though I didn’t know much about then, I hated prong collars already. I had this idea in my head that a dog with a prong collar is a dog with issues. I was wrong and I learned a lot about prong collars. I didn’t want to use the collar and it took a while for me to really understand how important and how useful this training tool can be. I had to overcome my fears and misconceptions about the prong collar use.

A prong collar (also called a pinch collar) is a collar with a series of chain links with open ends turned towards the dog’s neck. When the collar is tightened it pinches the loose skin around the dog’s neck. Pressure on the dog’s neck is spread out over a larger area than with choke chains and with most buckle collars. When properly adjusted and used, it startles the dog to give a sharp correction. However, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to actually puncture the skin. Even though it looks painful, it’s actually less harmful to the dog than a slip or choke collar. A prong collar allows you discipline your dog. Some people use an additional slip or buckle collar on the dog and thread the leash through the rings of the prong and the second collar. This way, if the prong collar comes loose for any reason, they still have control of the dog with a backup collar.

Red's Prong Collar is size small. I asked the trainer why he is not using large and he said it has the same effect.

Please use your prong collar correctly: First of all, the right size is very important! The prong collar shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Removing or adding links to the collar lets you adjust a pronk collar easily. A snug fit is mandatory. Petco and other pet stores sell prong collars with sharp edges, consider buying your prong collar from a certified trainer or online. I would always recommend ‘Sprenger’ (made in Germany). The Herm Sprenger prong collar is one of the most recognizable and popular names in obedience training tools. The ends of the prongs are rounded, not sharp to avoid cuts to your dog’s neck (Important). Red is 75 lbs and I personally use the smallest collar size in training sessions. Also the more individual prongs, the better it works (that’s what the trainer said). Dogs with a long coat or thick fur might need bigger sizes.

Sprenger Prong Collar

Secondly, position the collar correctly. The collar should sit right behind the left or right ear and under the jaw. The area high up just under the back of the jaws works because this is where the voice box, or larynx, is located on the dog. If your collar is at the shoulders of your dog, you are using it wrong. A prong collar shouldn’t be used as the only collar and taken off after daily training sessions. Attach the leash to the correct ring on the collar. When the collar lays around your dog’s neck, you will see 2 rings on top: the “dead ring” and the “live ring.” The dead ring has a heavyweight ring with a swivel device attaching it to the collar, which enables it to stand upright, away from your dog’s neck. The live ring lacks the swivel device and lays flat on top of your dog’s neck between small chain links.

I would prefer the Martingale collar instead of a Choke Chain. Always!

Remove the collar from your dog immediately if you are not going to be supervising him. The prongs can catch on objects and choke your dog. Let’s get to slip/choke/check collars (no prong collar). Choke, check chains, slip collars and backup collars shouldn’t be used as a single method on your dog. Why? I see dogs pulling heavy on choke chains and jerking their last breath out of their bodies, snapping for air and dragging their handlers through the city block after block. Once I saw a dog fainted lying on the concrete (tracheal collapse) because the owner compressed the animal’s throat. Many dogs suffer from injuries to the neck, trachea or back caused by trauma. This happens more to specifically big, heavy and powerful dogs that are controlled incorrectly by their handlers. Misusing these collars is dangerous and painful for the dogs if they pull on choke chains and this mainly happens because they haven’t been trained not to pull.

Some dogs stop pulling because it hurts other dogs and does not correct your dog’s behavior? I know that once used properly, the slip collar/prong collar is a wonderful training tool and perfectly safe for the dog. When correcting your dog with the slip collar, use short tugs or snaps to bring the dog’s attention back into focus. DO NOT use the collar to choke the dog into submission. There are no real limits on how much you can constrict your dog with a choke collar. This is what makes it dangerous. It is designed to choke your dog. Your dog should wear a collar and tags for his own safety. Use a choke chain as a back up collar along with your dog’s normal collar. If you are not training your dog, your dog shouldn’t wear a choke chain on daily walks. A very good alternative is a martingale collar.

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.
This is a great video:

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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.

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Counterfeits Pet Products – Designed to look legit

A month ago I had to take our French Bulldog Lilly to the vet, she had a serious inflammation. She recovered well and is healthy again. While at the vet in the waiting area, I heard a woman asking for Frontline’s Flea and Tick treatment who was also complaining about the treatment being overpriced. She told the vet’s assistant she could get the same product online for at least $15 cheaper. The assistant looked at her and asked: “Are you sure it’s exactly the same product?”. She assured it was 100% the same treatment for $15 less and left the vet without buying it. That’s quite a difference that would buy some extra treats for your dog, right? The assistant looked at me and said after the woman had left, “I hope it’s not a counterfeit product”. Counterfeit pet products? I never, ever thought about that.

After he said that, the first thing that came to mind was the Omega 3 fish oil I add to my dog’s food and I couldn’t wait to check. While I was waiting to get Lilly’s medicines, I grabbed my phone and looked up the flea & tick product online (love technology). At home, I checked some online retailers and I realized that there are price differences in the same Flea & tick product, but never a $15 difference. I also made sure that the Omega 3 fish oil fulfilled all EPA requirements. I discovered a website warning about counterfeits pet pesticides with a link to the official website of the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States. I learned a lot on the web pages of the EPA and I want to share with all the online shoppers of pet products. (It’s not necessary to mention, not to buy products on the street.)

(The Environmental Protection Agency says:) Foreign-labeled flea and tick products are being unlawfully imported into the U.S. and packaged in retail cartons that look like legitimate EPA-registered pesticides under the trade names “Advantage” and “Frontline.” Inside the cartons are applicators that have been labeled and packaged for sale in overseas markets.

EPA is concerned because: Retail cartons may be missing directions for use Some products are not packaged in child-resistant packaging; Consumers cannot be sure the product contains the appropriate size applicator for the animal pictured or otherwise indicated on the retail carton. Some counterfeit products have stickers on the outside of the box to hide the foreign labeling. Otherwise, the only way to ensure you have legitimate product is by opening the retail carton and examining the actual product tube.

Here are the most affected and identified (by the EP) products:

• Frontline Top Spot for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 65331-2) • Frontline Top Spot for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 65331-3) • Frontline Plus for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 65331-4) • Frontline Plus for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 65331-5) • Advantage 10 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-117) 2 • Advantage 20 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-119) • Advantage 55 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-120) • Advantage 100 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-122) • Advantage 9 for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 11556-116) • Advantage 18 for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 11556-118)

I also found the following information and it’s very important to know about this if you use pesticides on your dog or cat. There are more environmentally friendly and harmless products/remedies to protect your pet instead of using harsh chemicals. Try new Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedies for Dogs & Cats 8 oz, herbal defense spray and others. I use the Halo Herbal Dip Flea Tick Treatment for Dogs 0.5 oz and both the dogs and I are pretty happy. Consult your veterinarian about the best way to to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even necessary.  Also read Katie’s guest article about flea & tick treatments.

For photos and step-by-step guidance to help you identify whether you have legitimate EPA-registered Advantage and Frontline products, visit EPA’s how to identify counterfeit pet products page.

Safety tips for pet owners:

  • Consult your veterinarian about the best way to to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even needed.
  • Use extra care before use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown signs of sensitivity to pesticide products. If you use a spot-on product or any other pesticide on your pet, carefully read and follow the product label. Use flea and tick control products only on the animal specified by the product label – for example, dog products for dogs only and cat products for cats only.
  • Follow any label prohibitions against use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown sensitivity to pesticide products. Apply only the amount indicated for the size of the animal being treated.
  • Do not apply to kittens or puppies unless the product label specifically allows this treatment. Pay attention to the age restrictions for puppies and kittens on the label.
  • Monitor your pet for side effects or signs of sensitivity after applying the product, particularly when using the product on your pet for the first time.
  • Do not apply spot-ons to pets known to be sensitive to pesticide products.
  • If your pet experiences an adverse reaction, immediately bathe the pet with mild soap and rinse with large amounts of water. Keep the package with the product container (such as individual applicator tubes). Also keep the package after treatment in case adverse effects occur. You will want to have the instructions at hand, as well as contact information for the manufacturer.

If you have more questions visit EPA’s website here and read more about using pesticides on your dog here.

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!

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Blogging our way to BarkWorld

Lilly and Red are blogging their way to BarkWorld 2012

Are you a pet blogger, vlogger, pet community contributor or pet-friendy social media addict? Coming up in October 2012 is the 3rd annual BarkWorld Expo, the national social Petworking conference, and Eukanuba Paws in Motion to BarkWorld is promoting a contest to win a FREE trip to this year’s BarkWorld Expo conference in Atlanta. It’s easy to enter the contest: write a blog post or post a YouTube video on your pet blog and let them know why you want to go to BarkWorld 2012… add your link in the comment section here, and/or tweet using hashtag: #EukanubaPawsInMotion. We heard about the expo in 2011, unfortunately we weren’t able to attend last year, but we did follow BarkWorld on Twitter. Check the website, and you’ll see that the testimonials are very positive and encouraging.

Still not sure what BarkWorld is? BarkWorld is the only Social Media Conference for pet-related online influencers. Founded by Denise Quashie, Social Media Strategist for Socially Planned in 2009, BarkWorld Expo educates pet lovers within social media. If you are interested to learn about tools and online strategies to improve your social media skills, attend a workshop and network with business professionals, you should definitely attend BarkWorld Expo. I checked the keynote speaker list for this year and these experts are confirmed:

  1. Brent Hard, the Southeast Director – Twitter Inc.
  2. Matt Maeker, Co-Founder of Meetup.com
  3. Andy Nibley, Writer/Dir of HBO Documentary – Madonna of the Mills

If you don’t care about winning and want to go anyway you should register and buy your pre-sale ticket here for $89.00 (pre-sale ends April 30). Regular prices range from $129.00 to $169.00. Do you have something to sell or to offer? You can also exhibit at BarkWorld.

With writing this post we hope to qualify and win the Free Trip to Atlanta. Lilly “The Social French Bulldog” and I would love the opportunity to meet and mingle with industry professionals and learn. Let’s keep our fingers and paws crossed!

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BarkWorldConference