Sunday, March 13, 2016

Drunk Driver

Your best friend went to the bar, had way too many drinks and drove home.  However, on his way home he crashed the car into a ditch.  He caused some minor damage to his car.  You brushed it off as a mistake on his part.  You will just keep a closer eye on him and hope he doesn't do it again.

A few days later, he did it again.  Got in a car and drove drunk.  You brushed it off again saying it was a bad day and he was stressed out.  You watch him a little closer but don't really think much about it.

About a week later he gets in the car again, drunk.  This time he crashed the car taking out a telephone pole.  Causing some real damage to his car.  You have a long talk with him, explain to him this behavior is not ok.  He can't keep doing this.  You told him you were going to do whatever you can to help him so this doesn't happen again.  Things were going ok for about 2 weeks, then again he gets in a car, drunk.  This time he crashes into another car, seriously injuring the person in the other car.

Now you know there is a real problem, you get your friend help.

Not trying to compare or make light of drunk driving but my point is.... how many times does someone have to drive drunk before you realize there is an issues, there is a serious problem? Once, twice or just until they kill or hurt someone?

To me JUST ONE TIME I would be taking the drunk driving seriously.

So why is it that a dog can bite, bite, bite, send someone to the hospital, bite bite, send someone to the hospital, bite again and we keep making an excuses, we keeping blaming someone else.  Well maybe if so and so took the dog maybe if he wasn't around kids, other dogs, men, women, etc.  Excuse after excuse.   So tell me when is the biting aggressive dog issue taken seriously after it kills another dog or disfigures someone, maybe a child?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


As hard as it is to admit, we aren't perfect. We are human, we make mistakes. The difference between being an ok average rescue and being a great rescue which is what I strive for everyday is admitting from those mistakes, taking away from the mistake and learning and growing from it and doing the best I can to make the mistake right.

Now I am sure you are all wondering what I am talking about... here is the story:

On Feb 6th, Princess was scheduled to meet her new potential family. The foster home tried taking a new way to the farm then she usually takes and got lost. Her GPS had her doing U-turns because of a road closure. She was an hour late to the meet and greet appointment.
The people were nice about it but could tell as the time went on were annoyed. And hey I can't blame them I would have been too.

As usually we told the adopting family to make sure they take Princess to the vet within the first 10 days. Make sure the vet checks her out and let us know if there is any issues.
And now the fun begins........... They did take Princess to the vet, finding a lump on her chest. Something we didn't notice. Poor Princess had blood work done and was scheduled for surgery this past Friday to have the mass removed. The vet said that the mass was much larger then he expected and had branch offs that he had to remove causing a large incision area. Poor Princess had to have drains put in. She went back to the vet today and had the drains removed. Vet said she looks to be healing up nicely but did a fecal test finding whipworms. DEAR LORD! How much more could go wrong with this poor dog. So she is now being treated for this.

Lucky for the adopter they signed up for the Free 30 day Pet Insurance that we offer to all of our adopters. She has submitted the vet bills to the insurance company and is waiting to hear back from them. I believe the total is around $1,200.

I am completely embarrassed by everything that happened to poor Princess and this adopter. It started off rough and seems to be getting worse. If I were these people I would be cussing up a storm.

All though all protocols were followed with Princess and it is was all honest mistakes, nothing malicious at all. I still feel like an idiot. I have to keep reminding myself that we aren't perfect and stuff happens, especially when you are dealing with so many dogs with an unknown history.

So how are we going to make this right. Well from the first email I received from the adopter, I told her that I am glad she signed up for the Pet Insurance but if the Pet Insurance doesn't cover something to let me know so I can make sure she gets reimbursed. If we would have found the lump, we would have had the surgery so there is no reason for her to have to pay for the surgery since clearly it is something we should have noticed.

And now with today's message about her having whipworms. Although in rescue world that is not a big deal to us, we expect dogs to have worms when they come in and whip is a common one. That is why all puppies/dogs that come into the rescue are automatically de-wormed with 3 days of panacure. We did that with Princess but obviously she needed another dose. Whipworms are a hard one to control / treat. Usually does take two doses.

So with all the issues/trouble/hardship her poor adoptive family has had with her in just the 10 days they have had her, I will be sending back their adoption fee. There is absolutely no reason or excuse for something like this to happen. But again I have to remind myself we are a human and doing the best we can with the information and resources we have. And although the adoption fee being returned can't take away from the last 10 days of vet visits, surgery, medication, etc. I hope the adopter knows this is NOT normal and I hope my writing about this to all of you helps for people to understand a little more that being in rescue, running a rescue isn't easy nor predictable and my rescue isn't perfect but we do the best we can and will make right where we have failed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The word KILL

The word KILL is a strong word.  It sounds horrible, it sounds unjustified, cruel.  I also think it is over used by some in the rescue community or those that call themselves animal advocates.
When someone says to me "The dog is going to be KILLED"  in my mind I jump to the dog doesn't deserve this, how can someone KILL an innocent dog.  But when someone says to me "they dog is going to be euthanized"  I believe that there is a reason for the dog being euthanized and don't question it all that much.

The reason I am bringing this up is because there are people who believe that every dog should have a home regardless of the dog's behavior, aggression, illness, etc.  When a dog is going to be euthanized for aggressive behavior they tend to jump to the word KILL as if the dog being put to sleep is the very worse thing ever. In my opinion there are worse fates then being humanely euthanized.

Dogs are by nature pack animals.... meaning they like to be around other dogs, they don't want to kill them and shred them to pieces.  However, there are dogs that are that way.  To me this is not normal, to me this is a clear sign the dog is mentally suffering.  They are living in a world the rest of us aren't living in one of fear, one of pain, one of confusion.  Yet THEY DESERVE A HOME.  THEY DESERVE TO LIVE.  Deserve?  I am not sure about that.... they deserve to be treated humanely, they deserve to not be in pain and not to be suffering.  That is what every living thing deserves.

If a dog was hit by a car and you took the dog to the vet and the vet said to you.  "This dog is in a lot of pain, I am not going to be able to make the pain stop and he has zero quality of life, assuming he lives through all this trauma and pain"
Do you believe that dog DESERVES to live, DESERVES to go home with you and continue to be in a pain? Having no quality of life?  Or do you believe that dog deserves to be at peace and not in pain?

The same holds true with a dog that is aggressive towards other dogs or that is aggressive towards people.  Don't get me wrong, do what you can for the dog.... hire a trainer, talk  to a vet, work with the animal and really make sure that any decision you make is the right one FOR THE DOG!
However, if the dog is aggressive towards other dogs or towards people and has hurt other dogs or people and all the training and time and vets aren't and won't help this dog then the dog is clearily in pain, mental pain.  That is not normal behavior for a dog, to be aggressive.
So you mean to tell me that dog DESERVES to be in pain just so you can say "it's alive"
I don't agree.

What about my child, my baby niece, my BBF's toddler?  What about my dog?  Do they DESERVE to not be bit, hurt, scared for life, killed or mauled by the dog who is aggressive? Do they DESERVE to be safe?   When placing a dog that has aggression in a home out of your control you are putting others at risk.  All it takes is one mistake by the new owner or foster parent.  One time of not muzzling the dog in public, one time of  forgetting to make sure the collar is on tight, one time of opening the door just a little too wide when the girls scouts come selling cookies, one time of the gate being left open by the meter reader, ONE TIME, ONE MISTAKE.

The reality is, in my opinion, not all dogs DESERVE a home.  In my opinion all dogs DESERVE wait let me rephrase that ALL LIVING BREATHING THINGS DESERVE respect, kindness and to not be in pain, not be suffering

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 is over

I know I haven't written much this year and I took a few years off but as anyone who has been reading this blog since the beginning I had a lot of issues with my neighbor harassing me.  He then started to use this blog against me.... well he tried, it back fired horribly.

The case was "over" early in 2014... the 5 years of harassment were finally over.  In late 2014 the man had some health issues and has since been in a nursing home.  His wife, a very nice lady is now living alone and I worry about her.  She has sent a few cards.... the first in March 2015 for my son's birthday and I have invited her to a few parties we have had at the farm.  I feel bad for her because I know it was all her husband being mean and I most certainly am not going to hold it against her.
I have helped her with a few things and will continue to keep an eye to make sure she is ok.  I have often thought her husband was probably not so nice to her either...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Neurological Puppy

Rescue most definitely is not for everyone.  We had a litter of puppies born and to make a very long story short one of the puppies we discovered was blind.  Ok, so no big deal.  Well as the weeks went on the puppy was developmentally slower in progressing then her litter mates.  Ok, no big deal, she is blind.  WRONG!

The puppy was moved to a new foster home away from mom where she could receive some one on one attention.  After 4 hours of having the puppy the foster home called me and said "something isn't right."   At 13 weeks she was evaluated by a very well known vet office with excellent vets specializing in all sorts of things.  We use this vet office a lot!  The prognoses was not good and the vet recommend immediately taking her down from the adoption website.  This was not a health dog and she had zero chance of a happy life.  The puppy has neurological issues, she was pace non stop until she got so tired she just collapsed from exhaustion.  She was blind, which we knew.  She has sensory disorder meaning sometimes you touched her and she didn't mind other times you touched her and she would growl and snap.  She was only 13 weeks at this point but she was going to be a 60 pound dog soon enough and that is a scary though.... a blind dog growling and biting!   To add to that the older she got and the more she grew she was going to eventually be unable to walk at all.  She was already high stepping (sign of neurological issues), she was walking in circles, unable to balance so always had to lean against something and her back end would just give out from time to time.  She had started flying biting the air which is a type of seizure and with time would get worse.  She did not have the ability to understand she had to potty so would never be house trained.  AND she had no sense of smell.. you could put a treat the smelliest treat you can find under her nose and if she wasn't hungry she wouldn't eat it.  She also never wagged her tail and didn't respond to voices,  maybe for a second but then would turn away and this was all the time only randomly.
Basically she was a heartbeat in a puppy outfit.  She only did what she needed to survive... eat and drink.
So at 13 weeks old I had to make the decision to put a puppy to sleep.  That was not on my top one million things I want to do list.

Of course when this decision was made I had people contacting me saying they were take her, they could handle all of this.  To those people I want to say YOU ARE SELFISH! And that would be the most inhumane thing that could ever be done.  To be honest I am pissed that she went through a spay surgery and was microchipped and given 2 rounds of shots.  There was no reason to put this poor dog through any of that.    And this is why rescue isn't for everyone.  YOUR HEAD NEEDS TO MAKE DECISIONS NOT YOUR HEART.  Would it be easier to keep her alive... easier emotionally, yes.  Physically no but emotionally yes.  But the truth is you are doing it for YOU not for the dog.   And that really makes me mad.

Am I sad yes, am I devastated no.  I feel like if a dog is suffering putting it down is the right thing to do. Am devastated over the dog that was perfectly healthy that someone was mean to and I have to put to sleep because they are no sick from the abuse, I am devastated over the puppy that gets parvo and dies because some a-hole didn't vaccinate their dog.  Those thing devastate me. Putting to sleep a sick dog that was no fault of anyone's doesn't devastate me.

Friday, December 18, 2015

I Found Him, Mom (Heaven Sent)

My son, Brandon Austin, loved all animals. There was a special place in his heart for dogs, and he wanted to save every stray with which he came in contact. We dubbed him "The Dog Whisperer" because he had a way with even the most unapproachable dogs. He said, “You just have to love them enough, and they will love you right back”. Had I given in to him, we would have had more animals than people in our home!
His dad had a golden retriever m...ix that lived until he was sixteen. We had gotten divorced when Brandon was seven, and "Puppy" went out of state to live with his dad. From that moment on, Brandon began with his endless pleas to find another one "just like Puppy". We started our search, but until we had a stable home in which to live (rather than an apartment), I kept saying, "Soon, Brandon, soon."
Due to a tragic accident, I lost Brandon last year. I was, and still am devastated, as he was my heart. To honor his memory, I have spent hours helping whatever animal rescue groups I can. I am very active online, with Facebook being one of my key ways to find out about various agencies. It has brought me comfort, and hope, to carry on my son's legacy in this way.
One day, while scrolling through my news feed, I came upon the Multiple Breed Rescue (MBR) Facebook page. I was shocked to see ‘Brandon Austin likes this page’. Was this a sign? The picture, of course...a golden retriever/Chow mix!! Nothing like that had happened before in all of my months of online searches. What were the chances that I would happen across this rescue? MBR is based in Ohio, and I am from Rhode Island, so I wasn't sure how that was going to work. But I could not ignore what was happening. It was like my son was showing me what he wanted me to do.
I filled out an application online, and held my breath. I remember thinking, ‘well, if it is meant to be, it will all work out’. I got an email reply within 24 hours. Within the next few days, references were checked, and I became the "mommy" to Little Austin. I was ecstatic! I flew to Ohio, met his wonderful foster mom, and then drove home to RI with my new, very nervous, fur-baby! One of the requirements of Multiple Breed Rescue is that you have to register the microchip within a certain time frame. When I called to do this, the man on the phone told me Little Austin’s birthdate, as he had been registered before: Little Austin has the same birthday as my son, Brandon! It's as if Brandon was reaching out to me. He knew I needed saving and someone to whom I could give my love! From heaven, Brandon said, "I found him, Mom!" And I believe with all my heart, he did!

**** This was written by an adopter of the rescue I run.  She submitted to PetCo to help us win a grant.  WE DID!  And I wanted to share the story*** 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rescue isn't as easy as you think it is

A lot of people think "I love animals"  I can rescue animals.... it's easy, right?


There is a lot more to being a responsible rescue person and running a rescue operation then loving animals.  You have make decision with YOUR HEAD not your heart.  You have to know when to say no, you have to balance life.... your paying job, your family, your friends, every day life chores like laundry, cooking dinner - heck just eating, etc.   There are some that can and some that can't and you have to go into rescue knowing what you can and can't handle. If you aren't an organized person, if you can't separate your head from  your heart then this isn't for you.... I mean volunteer by all means but please don't do it on  your own  it seems to always end in disaster  FOR THE ANIMALS!

I just shake my head in disbelief when I hear of yet another rescue with too many dogs, dogs being in shelters / boarding / foster homes for YEARS, dogs not getting all the vet care they need, the dirty cages, the aggressive dogs they are spending thousands of dollars on because all dogs deserve a home.   It just never seems to end.  They put on such a good front, you think they are doing good stuff, they attend events, fundraisers, etc.   Then you get close to them and learn the truth.

If you are going to run a rescue, take a business class.  Learn what it is to run a business, then maybe you will be able to run a successful rescue.... maybe.  The second part is using  your head instead of your heart to make decision.  I have many many times had to put an animal to sleep that I loved so much but the truth is the dog wasn't safe, wasn't healthy, wasn't happy and me keeping it alive was making ONLY ME feel ok not the animal and in some case most certainly not the person that dog could potential hurt because of it's aggression.

Rescue isn't for everyone that is for sure