Last Chance Charlie

I know that the rescue community is constantly inundated with pleas to save just one more dog.  And sometimes it wears on us.

But I’m going to ask you to save just one more dog.

Meet Charlie.  Charlie is what we might call a special circumstances dog.  He is currently incarcerated in the quarantine room at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. 

Charlie A157412

He will only get out of there if a rescue steps up to take him.

Here’s how he landed in jail.  First, he came into MCAS and went into the adoption program.  He’s a great dog, so he was adopted.

Unfortunately, he was adopted by jackasses.

The head jackass had a young son who didn’t want to play with Charlie.  In fact, when Charlie got in his way, the kid hauled off and began kicking Charlie in the ribs.  Poor Charlie finally grabbed the kid’s pants leg in self-defense.  And even then, attempting to save himself, he did NOT hurt the kid.

Nevertheless, the head jackass dragged Charlie back to the shelter and dumped him.  Worse, he dumped him “for biting the kid.”

As we in animal welfare know, that puts Charlie on death row.  He cannot go back in to MCAS’ adoption program, because under county regulations, the shelter cannot put a “biter” up for adoption.  However, they CAN release him to rescue.  Given Charlie’s circumstances, they are begging for a rescue to stand up for Charlie so they can save this nice dog.

I took Charlie out to play today.  He is calm, mannerly, neutered, vaccinated, and grateful for attention.  He is a beautiful animal who deserves a hell of a lot better than to die in a shelter because a father allowed his son to kick the dog until the poor animal had to defend himself.

Charlie needs immediate rescue to save his life.  No one at MCAS wants to put him down, but the only way to save him is for a rescue to take him.

Please help him.  Call the shelter at 936-442-7738 and ask for Minda Harris.

 **Update:  Tammie got adopted!  Big Red, Titan, and Cindie STILL NEED HOMES.

If Not You, Then Who?

Several times recently I have joined my fellow rescue community members in begging for foster spots for particular animals.

  • the depressed pregnant dachshund
  • the three little dogs with chemical burns
  • Charlie the “rescue only” dog

These are just a few of the hundreds of animals in need of foster, rescue, or adoption at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter.  And MCAS is just one shelter of thousands, all with the same problem.

Here is the stark reality.  Eight million animals die in shelters every year.  For every animal that goes into a foster home, a rescue, or a permanent adoptive home, another animal gets a chance to survive.

Where do they all come from?  Good question.  Some come in as strays, either dropped off by Good Samaritans who found them or brought in by animal control.  Some are formally relinquished by “owners” who don’t want them any more.  And an astonishing number are dumped in the middle of the night, left for shelter workers to find when they come to work in the morning.

The three little dogs with chemical burns fall into this last category.  First thing this morning, MCAS employees found a Yorkshire Terrier, a Schnauzer, and a Chihuahua mix, all painfully thin, all with fresh burns the length of their spines.  They think that these burns may be the result of cheap over-the-counter flea repellent drops, but realistically we’ll never know.

The good news is that rescue groups stepped right up and offered places for the Yorkie and the Schnauzer.  The bad news is that a place has not yet been found for the Chihuahua/Papillon cross.  It’s not that no group is willing to take him.  It’s that they are are so full that no one has been able to find a place for him in their program yet.  He is a sweet little boy who needs veterinary care, food, and a safe place where he can feel loved. 

And he is only one of so many.  I have no doubt that tomorrow morning, there will be another lost little victim left on the doorstep at MCAS.  If not there, then at another shelter in the area.

How can you help?

DONATIONS:

  • Food (good quality food, please, as low quality food with red dye can sicken the animals).
  • Plastic wading pools to help animals keep cool.
  • Towels, hypoallergenic laundry soap, sturdy pet toys, crates, and other supplies.
  • Money 

SERVICE:

  • Bathe dogs.
  • Walk dogs.
  • Photograph dogs for their website.
  • Help clean.
  • Help with adoption events.

And last but most important:

  • FOSTER! Help a homeless pet by providing veterinary care, love, and affection until he finds a forever home.

Interested in helping MCAS?  Please visit them.  They are open every day.  They’re on highway 242, just east of Interstate 45, on the north side of the road.  (You’ll have to go past them and do a u-turn.)

Readers who are not in the Conroe area, please, check out your own local shelters.  They all need help. 

If not you, then who?

Disaster preparations: Bring the dog!

One of the most alarming things (to me, anyway) to come out of the recent wildfires is the plethora of displaced and abandoned animals. 

Good pet owners:

Several people interviewed by local media were quoted as saying all they had time to do was grab their pets and car keys and get out.  Notice the priority.  They grabbed THEIR PETS.

Other people:

One individual was quoted as saying that she and her husband left their livestock AND THEIR THIRTEEN SCHNAUZERS behind when they were ordered out.

Oh, where to begin.  Okay, I actually do understand that they may have had no choice when it came to the livestock.  Livestock requires trailers, and most people have more hoofstock than trailer space. 

But THIRTEEN SCHNAUZERS???  Realistically, this suggests one of three possibilities to me. 

  • She has show dogs.  Nope!  If these were show dogs, they would never have left them.
  • She does schnauzer rescue. Nope!  No rescuer would leave thirteen dogs behind.
  • She’s a back yard breeder.  Probable! First, thirteen schnauzers is a lot of dogs, and second, she frankly didn’t seem very upset about leaving them. 

My personal disgust aside, let’s take this as an opportunity to do a little planning.

In the event of a disaster (flood, fire, hurricane, whatever), have you made plans for your pets?

Ideally, here’s what you should have:

  • Copies of shot records
  • At least a week’s worth of medication for any pets that need them
  • At least a week’s worth of food
  • Bottled water
  • Dishes
  • Crates
  • Photographs of each pet with their name, age, and any pertinent information written on the back
  • Collars/harnesses and leashes

If you do have to leave in a hurry, you should be able to throw all these items (minus the crates, of course) in a bag, along with their beds and a couple of favorite toys, and get the animals, crates, and the afore-mentioned list into your vehicle and in motion in less than ten minutes.  Five minutes would be better.

Since one of my babies is extremely high maintenance, I keep several copies of his medical and behavioral history (which is extensive) on the refrigerator door, where I can grab them in a hurry on my way out the door.  I actually have this in case I need to make a late night run to the emergency clinic, because Bumble’s medical history does NOT fit in the two blanks on their little intake form.  But it’s handy to have in case of evacuation, too.

You should also consider where you’re going to take them.  Most shelters will not accept pets.  Make sure you have two or three options available to you – friends or relatives who are pet friendly AND HAVE ROOM for them, good boarding facilities in your evacuation destination, hotels that will accept pets. 

For this particular emergency (the Dyer Mill fire), the HSPCA set up livestock and companion animal shelters in Navasota.  It’s wonderful that the HSPCA is able to provide that option for all the displaced animals, but you cannot count on shelters being available.  Most places do not have the tremendous disaster response resources that an organization like the HSPCA can offer.  And if you’re like me, you don’t want your pets in a shelter setting if there is another choice.

Plan ahead.  And whatever happens, do NOT leave your pets behind.  They rely on you to keep them safe.

Big Red and Friends

I’ve spent a lot of time at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter lately.  It’s simultaneously one of the saddest and yet most hopeful places I know.  Not every animal gets out alive.  There are just too many.  But many, many more are saved BECAUSE of MCAS.  MCAS gives them a chance, and works really hard to find forever homes for as many as they possibly can.

The dogs featured in today’s column are all dogs that have been stuck in shelter limbo for far too long.  These are great dogs; the volunteers and staff love them, and want them adopted into loving permanent homes. 

Please, look closely at each dog, and share this column with everyone you know.  My goal for the next week is to see these dogs get adopted.  To do that, I need (and they need) your help.

Big Red (A158944)

 

I love this dog.  He appears to be a cross between Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever.  On the small side, he probably weighs around 50 pounds.  He is quiet and mannerly, but loves to play with his kennel mate, all the more so because they have been incarcerated together for a while now. 

Big Red would do well with other dogs, and he is very friendly to people.  He is not the kind of extroverted dog who climbs the kennel gate trying to attract your attention, but if you go in to see him, he revels in the attention.  I think he gets overlooked by many potential adopters because his kennel mate is such an exuberant clown.

Cindie (A162291) 

Cindie is a most unusual looking girl.  Check out those ears!  I’m not sure what she is, but I’d say there was a visit to Australia somewhere in her gene pool. 

She is a young, playful bundle of energy who never met a stranger and desperately wants someone to play with.  She loves her kennel mate, and her only behavioral issue seems to be an excess of affection.  She wants an active household in which she will get plenty of exercise, play time, and attention. 

Tammie (A157255) 

This big brindle and white girl is a lovable moose, no question.  At a guess, I’d say she’s the result of an encounter between a coonhound and a Great Dane, or something along those lines.  She is about a year old, give or take a couple of months, and probably weighs around 80 pounds. 

This active young girl plays hard with her kennel mate and throws herself joyfully upon any human who ventures into her pen.  The shelter has her (and the other dogs featured here) in larger runs outside in an effort to accomodate her size and energy level, but being confined for so long is starting to get to her.  Of the four dogs in this column, she is the most overtly needy.  Something about her really calls to me, but my yard isn’t much bigger than her kennel run.  She needs plenty of room and lots of human attention.

Titan (A100934) 

Titan, like Big Red, is a calmer, quieter soul.  This gorgeous Australian Cattle Dog responds happily to affection, and plays for hours with his big kennel mate.  But he is also content to sit quietly beside you.  He has the most beautiful markings and a kind personality.  I think life has been hard on him – he is so grateful for any affection.

I’m calling on all my readers to help find homes for these four beautiful dogs.  Each of them has been in the shelter far too long, and each of them deserves so much better than to spend endless days in a chainlink pen waiting for someone to love them. 

The Montgomery County Animal Shelter is located just East of Highway 45 on 242, on the north side of the Woodlands.  These four dogs are in the “Outback” section, in the two pens closest to the front of the shelter.  Make sure you bring their ID numbers with you.

Rescue Designs Coming!

Dear rescue friends,

This particular column is a request for information.

I’m designing a line of products just for us.  Teeshirts, buttons, wristbands, posters, and assorted other products, all rescue themed.

Over my years in rescue, I have listened to rescuers complain about the products they can’t find and the things they wish they had for adopters, adoption events, and promoting rescue in general 

A few themes you’ll see in these products:

  • Pro-adoption
  • Anti-puppy mill
  • Anti-roadside puppy sellers

You can see all the new stuff for yourselves at MCAS in a couple of weeks – Minda has graciously invited me to set up there so that all the local rescuers can see the new products (since most of you come through there anyway!).

What I’m asking for now is your input.  What else do you need?  What other products would you really love to have?

I’m working with suppliers all week, so now is the time!  All products will also be available through my website (click the shopping tab above) as they come in from the manufacturers.  Check back often as I add new items!  I’ll add the new posters and buttons tomorrow.  Just click on the Rescue Resource Room within the store site.

Please post suggestions either to the blog itself or to Facebook. 

Thank you so much for your ongoing support of my blog, my store, and our endless fight to save more animals.

Shannon