Friday, June 25, 2010

Hope and Horses, and More

While all 12 horses have been halter broken, given a bath, taught to stand tied, and also started on feed through wormer prior to giving a full kill worming, Hope and her 12 day old puppies are doing very well. Hope is feeding all the puppies on her own, and they are growing and their eyes are starting to open. Hope is gaining weight and no longer has backbone, ribs and hip bones sticking out.

I have had a chance to look the pups over and found that four have long tails, 3 have tails that are considerably shorter, and one has a stub of a tail. This gives us a clue as to who their daddy was, as only corgis, Australian shepherds, old English sheepdogs, and schipperke breeds are born with naturally short tails. Of course, it could be a genetic glitch, as Hope also has a short tail, but we aren't sure whether it's natural or acquired.

We have three of Katie's beagle mix puppies still to find homes. I moved them to a larger area so they have more room to play while they wait for a new family.

Tony, the mountain dog, has learned to sit, come when called, and is now learning to be quiet and not bark for no good reason. He's a beautiful youngster and will make someone a faithful companion.

Nike, the designer husky, has shed off and has a beautiful new coat. He, like Tony, will make someone a great companion.

Katie and Bindi, our beagle girls, are enjoying life and never miss a chance to sniff the play yards from one end to the other.

Dolly is doing great after her first heartworm treatment, and shedding off all the old fur. She has a great attitude and those huge brown eyes just suck you in.

It's been a busy week!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Emergency Delivery

I saw her picture in a crosspost from a friend - a small Jack Russell type female with a bobbed tail, fear in her eyes, and a very pregnant profile! She was in a shelter in another state, and the animals there are euthanized weekly in gas chamber style unless someone rescues them or adopts. I had already told this friend that I had but one kennel open, and there were other dogs in the crossposts that needed rescuing, but she captured my attention, and I could not ignore the feeling in my gut that she needed to come here. I talked with our rescue coordinator, and she was okay with it and willing to meet a transport half way to get her. The big problem was time. She was running out of time as far as the weekly euthanasia date, not to mention she was nearly full term with the pregnancy.

We snatched this skinny, wormy, dirty, very pregnant young lady before they could put her down. The rescue coordinator asked me what she should do if she started having pups on the way here. I told her to let nature and instinct handle it and drive. She made it to the kennel without having a litter in the car, much to everyone's relief.

This morning she greeted me with 8 new babies! All of the pups are alive and appear to be doing very well. A quick look gave me a 4 girls, 4 boys count. We have named our little mama Hope, and she is extremely thin, but loves the menu in the maternity ward. The pups are quiet and content, so we are giving mom all the help we can and hoping for the best.

Why her? There's a plan, you can count on it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vehicular Surrender

Three times this week, we have taken in animals that were thrown out of moving vehicles. What in the world are people thinking???

In one case, a German Shepherd was tossed out of a moving vehicle on a dead end road. The dog could not be caught (can you blame him?) and stayed around a home with three young children. The kids weren't allowed out of the house to play till after animal control managed to catch the dog. By the way, someone drove by every day and threw food out for the shepherd. Hope someone got the license number.

Tony, a mountain dog mix, was chunked out of a moving truck in a park. The person who saw it hung around for two hours hoping someone would come and reclaim him. Tony is a big, friendly, housebroken dog that fortunately didn't have any injuries as a result of his "exit" After a series of phone calls, someone suggested bringing him out to us, and when he showed up, the first sentence out of the young lady's mouth was "I couldn't take him to animal control because they will euthanize him."

The third incident was a litter of four kittens. They were pitched out the window of a moving vehicle. One was run over by the car behind them. Two managed to hit the ground and run off. No one could find them. The fourth was rescued by a witness to the event, and we have that kitten now. Fortunately it is not injured, but it sure is scared.

The animal control facilities in our area all try very hard to place animals in foster, rescue, or adoptive situations. However, there are way more animals flooding into the animal controls, rescues, humane societies, etc. than we can possibly handle. The truth is that we can't save them all - no matter how hard we try. The various facilities take in the animals, do temperament testing, and then do triage. The animals that are very aggressive or have bite records are the first to be euthanized. Animals that are "iffy", if there is enough available space, are given a chance. Animals that are friendly, non-aggressive, just want a home are given every available chance, and if possible are sent to other facilities to prolong their chances at adoption.
Sadly, there just isn't enough available space or money to keep them all indefinitely.

There are a couple of animal controls that will not take surrendered animals, but only pick up an animal if found as a stray. This wasn't the case in the above three incidents. I personally feel this particular policy is dangerous - both to the animal that is no longer wanted, but to the people of the community. The stray can starve, be run over, and lots of other lousy outcomes. If someone dumps an aggressive animal, there is risk of someone getting bit.

The bottom line --- if you find a stray, call animal control. That's their job, and they do it well. They care, and it's just as hard on them to have to make up a euthanasia list as it is for the person who finds the stray to have to contemplate it. If the stray is dangerous, then that's where it needs to be - they have the means to handle the situation.

If someone wants to give up their pet and thinks that a vehicular surrender is the best way. Think about it. Hitting the ground from a moving vehicle hurts, causes broken bones or internal injuries. Which is worse - lying in a pile of pain and blood by the side of the road waiting for the buzzards to find you, or a simple prick with a needle and eternal sleep???

Think it over and do the right thing.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nicky, Epileptic Border Collie

"Will anyone give me a bid?" - that's how it started. We were at an auction to raise money for crippled children, and a breeder had donated a purebred border collie to be auctioned off. Just as my husband was telling someone on the other side of the room that he had better get back to me before I bought the dog, the auctioneer yelled out "Sold" - to me for $15. This was a Saturday night.

About 2 AM on Monday, Nicky had a grand mal seizure. I had seen quite a few greyhounds with seizure activity at the race track, so knew what to do. He came out of it, and I knew we would go to the vet first thing in the morning. Before 8 AM, he had another grand mal seizure. The vet kept him for the day, started him on medication, and when he called me to tell me he could come home, Nicky had another grand mal seizure, so he stayed over for another day. The consensus was that the breeder had had him on medication and discontinued it for the auction and failed to tell anyone about the epilepsy.

When I picked him up, the vet told me the real danger was that he would injure himself during a seizure and/or because of the high dosage of medicine, he would have liver/kidney damage and his life expectancy would be shortened.

Nicky had progressively more seizures, mostly grand mal, but sometimes there would be a day of a whole string of petite mal seizures. When he was recovering, he would always walk in circles and so for his safety, I would put him on a long leash or tie out while he recovered so that he couldn't bump into things or fall down stairs and injure himself, much less just wander off if nothing was in his way.

The seizures continued to escalate and the medication was adjusted many times, and the vet said he couldn't take a chance on neutering him, so when he was in the yard one day and the neighbor's female cocker spaniel came to visit, Nicky became a father.

One day while I was cleaning house, and he was enjoying being outside, he seized and the tie out broke. He wandered off. In the period of 30 minutes, he literally disappeared. I called all the business owners (we lived in a town of 500 people), the vet clinic, and let the sheriff's office know that if he was found and was slobbering, he wasn't rabid or mean - just the seizures. My biggest fear was that he got into a corn field, and we would not find him, or he would wander in front of a car.

We found him and he had been down by the creek, so we cleaned him up, medicated him, and he played with Jessi, ate a good meal, and had the best evening he had had in a long time. He passed away in his sleep.

My lesson in this - I should have had enough guts and brains to let him go sooner. If I could not make him comfortable, and I could not fix the problem - I should have known better.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Old National Road Yard Sale

This weekend is the Old National Road Yard Sale, where you can shop from St. Louis, Missouri to Baltimore, Maryland. All you really need is a BIG vehicle to haul all the treasures you find along the way.

PAWS Hancock has been collecting items and is participating in the yard sale in hopes of raising money for the rescue.

If you are in the area of Highway 40 this weekend, stop by Greenfield, Indiana and buy some treasure to help us support our dogs and cats.