I Support Pet Adoption

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: A holiday sale?

Duke * A0690792 * 5-7 years old * Shepherd mix

Duke here is a really great dog. He's got a lot of heart considering he's been at the shelter since JULY! But, even though he's led this less than optimal existence, he's actually a very chill dog with a nice personality. Duke definitely likes to run laps and get his ya-yas out whenever possible, but in the meantime, he's happy to wait his turn.
Duke has some obedience training and knows sit and down (with luring). He also knows to pay attention when he's being spoken to... What a good boy. This guy is a great companion and would do well in a variety of situations. Not sure how he is with other dogs, but with some socialization he should be fine. Duke is NOT a hard dog and totally trainable! You really can't ask more from a shelter dog...

He's great! Come meet him and take him home already!

Did you know the city shelters are having a sale? The first 300 adoptions are FREEEEEEE!
Disclaimer: Only get a dog because you really want one, NOT because they are "free." Nothing in life is really free you know...

Other dogs needing homes ASAP! ON SALE NOW!

Buddy A0413332
China A0973208
Bea A0975236
Daisy A0945946

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Xmas wishes to Jack

One more success story for the rescue team of SAAF,LA among others!
Jack is BACK (out of the shelter)! Yea! I love good news...

Jack on his new bed with his new toy!

A beautiful foster family portrait with Jack!

Jack is finally out of the shelter people! Merry Xmas!

Thanks to the work a lot of generous people, Jack was finally pulled from the West Valley shelter by Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation with the aid of another rescuer and a fantastic foster family! Way to go team!

Gosh, it really does take a network of rescuers to save a dog!

There are going to new beautiful pix of Jack with his foster family on Linda Blair's site: www.lindablairworldheart.org

Feel free to donate to her wonderful organization! Linda is located in Acton, CA about an hour out of LA. She can really use volunteers on the weekends so contact her if you're game. She has taken several of our West LA dogs in the recent past and we think she's the best!

Merry Xmas! especially for Jack!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: I couldn't Bea-lieve it!

The Bea-utiful Bea!

Last time I wrote about Bea, well, she still was having some issues. However, things have REALLY changed and she is a totally different girl! Trust and lots of love have given Bea a new lease on life. She's so much happier! Her fear is subsiding as she learns that people aren't all so bad. This girl is a special dog who deserves a wonderful home.

Bea's definitely on the shy side and isn't used to the "world,"so whoever adopts this amazing being needs to go slow and respect that she will need time to adjust to any new situation. However, she is so loving and sweet that I doubt it will be a stretch for that special someone who adopts her.

Bea is Queen for a Day at a "crazy" mobile adoption event!
Love that doggie throne!

The store and the adoption "EVENT!"

So, here's the story regarding the weirdest mobile pet adoption event that I've ever done. It starts out that I'm driving to the event and when we get close to the store I see all these people outside of the store. Gee, guess who these people are? They are PROTESTORS! For what? It's a protest against puppy mills. It's a store that sells PUPPIES!

Well, I thought my head would explode! I would never want to cross that picket line, I totally agree with them. So, now what?

I get there and immediately hook up with the protestors to get their take on having this adoption event at this store. They were very cool and understood our situation. As it turns out one of the orgs who would normally protest this store had struck a deal with the store owner to go humane. This supposedly means that he will stop selling puppy mill dogs. However, he still has puppies in the store that cost $1500 and up so...

Anyway, I decided to stick it out for the dogs and hung around for the entire event. No adoptions but it was really more educational than anything else, on both ends. Some people were so touched by the shelter dogs and others didn't even see them, they went straight to the wall of puppies. Some the employees seemed open to learning the errors of selling dogs this way and others just looked annoyed. Who knows what they really thought, but for me, it succeeded in confirming that we live in a in a very ignorant world.

Honestly, I found it one of the most uncomfortable experiences ever in terms of conflict of interest. I won't go into the details but there's no way any of us would do another event at this location if this store owner continues to sell puppies.

Into the Xmas spirit. Check out these hams!!!

Oh wait, here are the real hams!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from the jolly volunteers of WLA!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Jack and more updates

Take This Boy Home for Xmas! Please...

Well it seems that Jack has avoided death by the skin of his little wet nose! At the last minute the decision was changed to a transfer rather than, well, you know. You can find him now settling in (not for too long I hope) at the West Valley Shelter. Poor fellow, he so doesn't deserve to still be bouncing around the shelter but at least this move will buy him some more time. I'm still working to find a home, a foster or a rescue who will take him...

The other two doggies, Nina and Josie were miraculously saved thanks to the most dedicated volunteers ever! Debbie and Kat were at the shelter keeping tabs and making phone calls. These people worked all day at the shelter making sure that everything went smoothly with the generous adopters of Nina and Josie, although the girls didn't stay together.
Nina is now in Palm Springs and Josie is still near by in Santa Monica! I think they needed to move on in their lives and make new friends. Yay for them, they made it!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: JACK!

The Fabulous JACK! In Trouble :-(
A0922499 - Sharpei mix - YOUNG!!!!

Okay, you know that I have a bone to pick regarding this awesome dog... His idiot first adopter neglected to treat his skin issues and it worsened. Then they returned him and tried to blame it on his behavior. Yeah, right! No one is buying it, especially since Jack has proved himself to be a terrific fellow, friendly, easy and adorable! This guy is a family dog! Not a dog you throw into your backyard to guard your house (which makes no sense by the way since the dog should live in the house if you want him to guard it!) Anyway, I am immensely disappointed to tell you that Jack's going to be KILLED this week (Wednesday) if he doesn't find some kind of rescue situation ASAP. What is going on here? How is this great guy being overlooked? Please come see him and meet him face to face! You'll see why I'm so baffled by the fact that his situation has come to this, probable death.

Also, Jack was at the Roxbury park event this weekend and was fantastic! He was a breeze to have at the park, even though he was surrounded by dogs, kids, adults, bikes, skateboards, etc. He shows no reactivity. Don't get me wrong, he'll need some training, I mean he is an adolescent. Jack is a great dog and I really hope with all my heart that someone saves him soon...

Some more pix from Roxbury Park! These dogs are available and at the WLA Animal Shelter!

Nina-see the last entry for more info on her. She's also scheduled to be put down this week!

Sea Pea now at West Valley & Nina Adopted!

Principe & France Still waiting, both are green-listed.

Buddy Still waiting, also on the green list (soon to be red)

Come to the WLA Shelter to meet these guys, they need YOU!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Bad news for a sister act...

Josie A0965343 & Nina A096542
These two girls were surrendered by their owner because they were moving. These two sweethearts have been at the shelter since July 16th 2008. Because of their great personalities and even temperaments, they've done well at the shelter.
Josie is a 3 year old, female American Staff. Josie is a sweet dog that is friendly with people and other dogs.
Nina is a 8 year old, female American Staff. Like her daughter Josie, Nina is friendly toward people and other dogs. Nina does have an old eye injury that does not bother her.
They are both great on leash and very easy to handle. Both are lover girls and absolutely wonderful dogs!!! They are medium size and and appear healthy. Please help them!!!!!

Josie and Nina will be attending the Roxbury Park Adoption Event
on December 6th!

**These two are on Red Alert and need to be rescued by no later than 5pm Wednesday December 10th 2008.**

If you are able to help please call the New Hope Coordinator at:

Samantha Westbrook
New Hope / Baby Bottle Coordinator
West Los Angeles Animal Shelter
11361 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90064
Shelter: 213 4850494/0495/0496
Cell: 213 792 5811

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: A couple of things

First off, you may have noticed some changes to this blog site, including a new graphic. For the past year or so, I and a group of volunteers from WLA have been working on forming a not for profit organization that would focus on helping shelter animals, primarily dogs. We are called the Shelter Animal Advocacy Fund, Los Angeles.

Unlike rescues, SAAF, LA doesn't pull dogs from the shelter. Instead, we raise money to facilitate rescues, adoptions and support for special needs dogs. We have found homes for so many dogs just by pooling our resources and marketing a dog the best we can. We have donated thousands of dollars of our own funds doing this and it started to make sense that we should find a way to raise money for this very purpose.

Since our org is specifically dedicated to shelter dogs in Los Angeles, I figured it was time to get the word out there! We are serious and we are determined on continuing our work at the shelter by helping those doggies find a way out! So please, support us, support the shelter and support this blog by passing the word around, volunteering at your local shelter and advocating shelter adoptions!

The other exciting thing for me is that I am now a contributing writer to The Wuffington Wag! This is a terrific opportunity to spread the word for our shelter animal cause! Plus, The Wuffington Wag has really great articles, training advice, adoption info plus much more. I'm very proud to be part of the Wag and their pack! Go ahead, check it out: http://wuffingtonwag.com

Okay, enough about me and my projects. Let's get down to some doggies...

Bear * A0974108 * Pit Bull * Young
Bear is so wonderful, why is he still at the shelter? This is a dog who is absolutely sweet and loved by all the volunteers. He's well trained and just graduated from the K9 Connection program. Yay, Bear! This guy is one of those Pit Bulls who just dispel the notion that Pit Bulls don't make good pets! If you don't believe me, come to WLA and meet Bear! He's strong so he wouldn't be a good choice for everyone, but someone who knows and loves the breed would be perfect for him.

Nanuk* A0989125* Shepherd* Adult

This dog is so sweet and friendly. What a cool guy! He is large and kinda loud but a complete marshmallow! He loves to hang out with people. He's a little playful but chill. Great on leash!! This is an easy dog! He loves to be brushed and petted. Wow, why or how he came to be a shelter dog is beyond my comprehension. This dog would fit in just about anywhere. He'd be fantastic with an older person who was active. I admit it, I'm smitten with this guy!

Sterling* A0984880* Pit Bull mix* Young

Sterling is just over a year old. He's very sweet and beautiful, but sort of an enigma. Sterling has become much more subdued since being at the shelter because he was having some problems with the day to day routine there. He is one of those dogs who is triggered by the hose and scary loud stuff which is so common place at the shelter. Poor kid! Well luckily the volunteers all seemed to notice him at the same time and came to his defense, literally saving his life! He's a cool dog for a knowledgeable owner. He needs training but he's still a youngster so it shouldn't be too difficult if you are consistent. Believe it or not, this dog was relinquished due to NOT being protective enough. HELLO!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Some updates

Wonderful updates from the WLA Shelter

I actually had a lovely day at the shelter yesterday. It seemed like there were lots of potential adopters and plenty of volunteers to help them out. We spent the early hours having a photo shoot with our friend Seth Casteel of Little Friends Animal Photography. He's so amazing and he always captures the beauty, inside and out, of our dogs. Plus, he's a pleasure to work with, no diva behavior there! That's a HUGE plus! :-) As always we thank you Seth!

There is a big Roxbury Park (in Bev Hills) animal adoption event coming up on Dec. 6, 2008. There are always loads of wonderful pets available for adoption representing every breed you can think of! There will be a large ad in the LA Times advertising this event, so we hope that we can get the people out there to ADOPT!

Some recent adoptions and rescues have been especially heart warming. All of these dogs were long time shelter residents who were rapidly running out of time. The biggie for me personally was getting a home for Princess, the Shepherd mix who cost me an arm and a leg! She went through a behavior rehab program which was truly a life saver for this dog. I am thrilled to report that Princess, now Lucy, is doing amazingly well with her new dad and enjoying her life with him to the max.

The beautiful Lucy at my house fresh from rehab.

Then another terrific outcome for our good friend Paulo. Wow, that took forever but well worth the wait to get him into the right home. He's doing really well and has been renamed Spanky! How cute is that??? We heard from his adopters who are just loving him and they sent us this cute picture! Yay!!! Big thank you to Bound Angeles for making the video that found him the home he needed. What a difference it makes when the shelter gets additional support from rescues.

Can you find Spanky?

Another happy ending has been for Angel, a older Pit Bull who just needed a home to rest his tired head. Poor guy came into the shelter with all kinds of ailments and what seemed to be abuse. Thankfully a wonderful person has taken him in and he's doing really well now. The first foster situation he was in didn't work out, but that happens sometimes. At least now it looks like he has found a home where he can relax!

Angel enjoying a soft bed at last!

Eli is also a lucky fella! His story was a difficult one. His first adoption was not the right fit, but even worse he got into some trouble through lack of supervision. Unfortunately it landed him back at the shelter as a "rescue only" dog. He was at the shelter for the longest time, and finally at the last possible moment, went to Fresno Bully Rescue, safe from what would've been a certain death at the shelter. He's now in a foster home and doing great!

ELI and his new foster mom, look at that smile!

I also heard from Jonesy's foster and he's doing really well. He had a crazy mishap and got hit by a car. Luckily he's recovering nicely from his injury. His mental state has been a more difficult recovery but thanks to a lot of patience and love, he's making great strides. He's made some new dog friends that have really helped raise his confidence.

All I can say is that these happy endings make me so thankful to everyone who made them possible.

Remember: It takes a network of volunteers to get a shelter dog adopted (especially if they are pit bulls).


Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Give dogs a chance

Part of the problem of being a shelter volunteer is worry. I worry so much about my dogs at the shelter. I worry that they will develop behavioral issues while they are there, especially if they are there a long time. I worry they won't find the right home. I worry they may bite someone and end up with a black mark against them. I worry about their health and safety. Sigh, so much worry.

Today I'm adding a couple of dogs for whom I have great worries about because they have "health" issues which the shelter is limited in helping. Nothing fatal mind you, but things that deter even the nicest folks from adopting them.

However, first are two happier stories which can end up being really happy if these dogs find awesome homes!!

Skiper, A0958137, large, Mature
This guy is so cute, smart and SWEET! He's a big teddy bear. He's been at the shelter for a long time. His roommate Barkley was adopted recently so he no longer has his pal. This is a perfect dog for someone looking for a chill guy who just wants a loving friend or visa versa. I mean this is a dog who want to snuggle, he's that loving. The other cool thing about Skiper is that he was enlisted in the K9 Connection program that matches up kids with dogs to train. It's an amazing program and our dogs love it! Plus it just proves that this dog has a great personality to be in such a program. He's really friendly without aggression issues. He's a little older, but he's wonderful and charming so what the heck! As you probably know, I love older dogs the most and think they make the best pets. Please come meet this cutie pie soon, he needs YOU!

Ranger, A0953814, Large, Adult
This guy is super friendly and energetic! He needs someone who wants an active dog. It's not that Ranger is bouncing off the wall, but he's very happy go lucky and likes to pal around! He's a really good boy with no aggression issues. I can't imagine why he's been at the shelter so long, he's so cool and would make a great family dog. Ranger is also lucky enough to be in the K9 Connection program. Again, all dogs who are included in this program have proven to have the correct temperament to participate. What more do you need to know??? Come to the shelter and see if you two connect and make this good boy a part of your family!

Both Skiper and Ranger will be GRADUATING from the K9 Connection program so please consider these wonderful pets if you are looking to add a family member!

Chester, A0979949, Medium, Mature
Poor Chester, he's such a cutie pie, but he's an older dude with some skin problems. He's awfully sweet and a gentle soul. He'd be happiest in an adult home where someone can give him the love and attention he deserves in the golden years of his life. I'm not one who cares for the dramatic or hard sell, but it seems a shame that such a nice dog should die forgotten at the shelter. Not sure why or how he ended up at the shelter, but I and the other volunteers feel he deserves a warm bed and good food for the remainder of his days.

Jack, A0922499, Medium, Young
This is another dog who just breaks my heart. I've watched him grow up from a puppy and even though he was adopted for a time, he was ultimately returned to the shelter. Now he's an adult and suffering from a type of mange that is hard to get rid of but treatable. This may be why he was returned. However, this is no reason to return a dog! I would hope that a person adopting a shelter dog would be committing to that dog for its entire life not just the cute puppy hood portion of it. Jack actually had this skin condition as a puppy but he was so cute and boisterous that it was overlooked. Now, as a less "cute" dog, he's sitting at the shelter day after day waiting for that person who can get over the fact that he's got a treatable skin condition and who sees what a fun-loving and sweet dog he really is. Jack is a really great dog who probably needs some additional training. Often dogs who spend too much time at the shelter don't always get enough reinforcement of their obedience training so they start to regress a bit. He's still young though and he will a great dog, if he gets the chance. I hate to say it, but this one is urgent.

Please don't adopt a dog if you can't afford things like medical treatment or training. People in this situation often find themselves forced to return their dog to the shelter. So think before you adopt and be sure you can give your new family member what he or she needs in life.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: A Few Good Doggies

Sorry to report but, more bad pix...(except for Sophie)

First some updates from the WLA shelter, Paulo, our one and only, was finally was adopted by a really nice guy who seems to "get it." We are keeping our fingers crossed on that cause you never know how it's all going to pan out in the end. Seriously, I don't take any adoption for granted. That said, good luck Paulo!!! Huge thanks to Bound Angel for making that great video for Paulo!!

Here are some terrific dogs who are currently at the shelter and who REALLY need a home. Some new, some not so new. All of these dogs are favorites of the volunteers.

Charlie A0895899, Australian Cattle Dog mix, young

Charlie is a real character. He is full of fun and energy. The first words out of his mouth would be "let's play!" He's an adorable boy around 1 1/2 years old. He was turned in because he was "eating the furniture." That tells you something, this dog needs exercise, activities and boundries. You can't leave an Aussie at home all day with nothing to do. Plan and simple. Charlie is so much fun! He loves to chase that ball and then another ball, all sizes and shapes. He's got boundless energy. He's also a really nice boy. Gentle and sweet natured, he really likes people and is totally un-reactive to other dogs. He's got great focus. He's a dog for someone who wants to do stuff with their dog like agility for example. What a terrific temperament this guy has! Plus he grew up around a cat so, it seems like he could assimilate to a multitude of situations. I hope you activity junkies come out to meet Charlie, he needs you NOW!

Samson, A0934223, Shep mix, Adult

Samson is a big guy. A macho dude, so to speak. He's a chill dog who really needs to get out of the shelter. He seems un-reactive to other dogs. He's very handsome and is looking for someone who can handle his size and give him a comfy bed where he can relax. I don't think Samson requires tons of room as he's over the bouncing off the walls part of his life. He does need regular walks of course, but he's not like a young playing machine. The volunteer who works with him says he's a doll. If you want a big chill dog, here he is!

Mike, A0981757, Shep mix, Young

Mike is like a dog's dog. He's regular, nothing too fancy, but very nice. He's got energy, but not too much. He's on the larger size, but not huge. He's sweet, but not needy. I really like him. He likes people and will tolerate all their poking and fussing with him. He wants to do what you want to do. I think anyone would like this dog's personality. His one issue, that may just be inexperience, is his over zealousness towards other dogs. He gets a little worked up. Not aggressive just super duper excited. I think with the proper experience he'll get over it and have fun with other dogs. Patience and training is what will help Mike with this problem. Otherwise he is just what a dog is expected to be, a good even tempered friend.

Duke, A0690792, Shep mix, Adult

Duke is a real champ. He's been at the shelter a while and has actually turned out to be a terrific dog according to his volunteer friends. He's friendly and easy to handle. More to come on this guy, but the word out at the shelter is that he's a great dog! More to come on Duke...

Star, A0980454, Rottweiler, Young

What a cute girl this Star is. She is really submissive and just a lover girl! Pretty mellow, she enjoys being with her person. Other dogs don't bother her and she would like to play if the other dog is as polite as she is. She's a smaller version of a Rottie so she's very manageable. Here's an easy one for you Rottie lovers!

Bea, A0975236, Whippet mix, Young

Bea came into the WLA direct from the SLA shelter. She was so scared that she was lashing out towards people in between hiding in her cubby. She's a gorgeous girl with her sleek lines and delicate features. She definitely has that Whippet look to her. She's on the smaller side of medium so she's quite manageable. We are currently trying to get her to be less defensive when she's in her run. She seems a little vicious in there! However, she really isn't. Outside of the run, she becomes her regular self who is just sweet as pie albeit it a little fearful. I fell in love with this girl instantly. Bea is so elegant and has some of the best ears I've seen in a while. This is a TERRIBLE picture so please don't go by this. She is gorgeous, I promise you. She doesn't know obedience but seems fairly mellow on leash and easy to teach. I think she is a good dog for someone who will train their dog and has worked with shy dogs before. She could become protective of her domain so it's important she gets the leadership and training she needs to overcome this behavior. Outside of that, she's a love.

Sophie, A0936867, Pit Bull mix, Young

I just love Sophie (formally Skully). What a terrific girl! She is a lot of fun and full of energy. Sophie was adopted but returned due to no fault of her own (landlord issue). Apparently she did really well in her short-lived home. In fact they said she was mellow in the house. She's a pretty easy dog so don't let the Pit Bull name scare you. She's a sweet dog with no aggression issues towards people. Sophie is a smaller medium size dog. She really enjoys playing with toys and balls. It just makes her so happy!! Her main issue has been her dog reactivity which the volunteers have been working on and seeing improvements. I don't think it's aggression but rather frustration. She is starting to learn to be more relaxed when other dogs are in her line of sight. For that reason, she may not be a great choice for a newbie. However, if you are someone who wants to train their dog, she's a great choice.

Come see and meet all these fantastic dogs at the West LA Animal Shelter!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Back with a Vengeance!

Sorry for the lack of posts in the last month. It's been a rough period at the shelter and I needed to gain some perspective by distancing myself from the situation. I'm back now and we still have a lot of the SAME DOGS looking for a home. It's so sad, but in a way a relief considering what has transpired at all the shelters lately. Thanks for reading and supporting our shelter dogs! Lola

A Couple of Wonderful Rotties looking for a home!

Tristen A0984268 (adult)
This guy is so cute. He's tall and lanky, a real charmer. Tristen is a friendly guy and seems to love people in general. I'm not sure about him with other dogs, but my experience has been that he's a pretty chill dude. The staff at the shelter like him too! I recommend an experienced owner and someone who wants to spend quality time with their dog. Rottie's need a firm hand. He's so awesome, you must come meet him!

Roxy A0978203 Rottweiler mix (young)
Here's a beauty of a dog for you! Roxy is a total sweetie pie. She gets along with other dogs and is great with people. She is playful and adorable. This girl needs a home where she will get ample attention and lots of love...Training too!!!! The volunteers really like this doggie. She is a cute one!

Some more special dogs...

Jack A0922499 Sharpei mix (young)
Poor Jack. This guy came into the shelter as a puppy. He was probably about 6 months old when I first met him. Lots of people were interested in him but he did have some skin problems common to the Sharpei breed. He finally got adopted and we thought he was safe at last. Unfortunately several months later Jack was returned for some reason, probably his skin problem. Now Jack has been stuck at the shelter for months. The fact that he has a type of mange has made him less than desirable to the average adopter. However, this is a sweet dog. He definitely needs some training and structure, but he has loads of potential. It's so painful to see him at the shelter knowing that stress only makes his condition worse. This problem is not contagious and can be treated successfully. Please don't judge this poor guy by his appearance as he really deserves a chance at a normal life.

Betty Boop A934970 Chow/Boarder Collie mix (adult)
Betty is so cute and lively. What a cool dog! Well, get this, she's rescue only. That's right, someone adopted her and claimed that she bit not just one person but a few people when she was in a room with a group of people. Who knows what the actual circumstances were since the shelter must take the word of the person turning in the dog. Betty was quarantined and then adoptable to rescue only. Thanks to the good work of our own Laurie the volunteer, angel of the iso dogs, Betty Boop has gotten a second chance. Betty is still rescue only but at least she's alive and will hopefully find the right home when a rescue takes her in. Betty is good around other dogs. She's good on leash. She's very funny and sweet. She loves attention and would be a really fun dog for an active person. Being that she has a bite on her record, I would probably advise no kids. Other than that, no one has been able to replicate the aggressive behavior that supposedly occurred. She's a favorite of shelter staff and volunteers.

Angel A971916 Pitbull (senior)
This dog came into the shelter a mess. In fact he was evidence for an animal cruelty case. This poor guy had a huge cut down his back and multiple health issues. He's super friendly and despite all his troubles, he still trusts people and other dogs. Even the vet at WLA likes him!!! It's too sad to think of him dying at the shelter after all he's been through. He just needs a warm bed and some love... Come see him and you'll see what I mean.

A few last words...

For those of you reading this who don't know me, I've had struggles with my dog Ace who was originally from the WLA shelter. Even though I already loved the Rottweiler breed, I had no idea what living with one would be like. Over a year later, here I am with my big baby and I admit it, we're in love. However, thanks to getting serious training advice, it's more like tough love as I am always clearly in charge. As a result, I have a great companion who gets along with my other animals and is a pleasure to have around! Bottom line, get the right training for YOUR dog according to his personality and breed. Furthermore, adopt a dog who works for your lifestyle and capabilities. Believe me, I learned the hard way!

Get out and vote this Tuesday!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Three Dog Day

Bad Picture Alert!

Please be aware that the following pictures are not for the skittish... They were taken by Shelter Staff! Noooooo, not that! Thats UNFAIR to animals everywhere!!! Seth Casteel, where are youUUUUUUUUU?

Just kidding, the Shelter can't help it, they are NOT photographers... But these are bad.

Anyway, just a quickie. I spent the day with the three cutest doggies today. We were out front of Kirby's Pet Depot in Mar Vista. It was a little chilly, but fun none the less as we shnuggled together in our little pen. These pictures don't do these cuties any justice, so beware!

Chi Chi A09601888

Don't let ChiChi fool you. She's a babe. Oh, she wants you to think that she's a little snarky and dominant...heh heh, but no, she's a poser. This is a very sweet little girl who likes to wear cute little t-shirts, sit on your lap 24/7 and lick your nose every now and again. Oh, she's a watch dog all right, especially when she CAN'T meet the neighborhood dog cuties. In between she's making you love her and then she gets to be a dog. I guess what I'm saying here is she's a character and a total baby cake. Plus, ChiChi does that magical thing where a dog pees standing up on her two front paws. Amazing!

Betty A0982196

Betty is a diamond in the rough. She just needs to feel trust towards someone special. Very quiet and demure right now, Betty's going to blossom before your eyes once you get her home for a few days. Betty is a Chihuahua mix of sorts. You can't see her cute wavy fur and freckles here. I could even see just in the short hours I spent with her that she was learning to be a dog and run with the crowd. This kid is practically a pup, she's only about a year old. She's a little shy with people initially, but warms up once she sees that you are a friend. So adorable, you'll love her, she's an easy one.

Pee Wee A0970820

Wow, this picture sums it up, Pee Wee is scared. He's a tiny little guy with a bit of a gut. Not sure what happened to him but he ended up at the shelter. To prove that he isn't afraid, Pee Wee is always active and on alert. He can be a little nippy so I don't advise this cutie for youngsters, but fine for adults. He doesn't really bite, just mouthy. If you are a lover of Chihuahuas, you'll really enjoy this little guy. The coolest thing I discovered about him today was that he likes to play fetch. How cute is that? He was making me laugh so much with his funny little antics. I was really enamored with him. Anyway, not for everyone obviously, but for those of us who love the challenge of the scaredy little guy who is so cute and funny that a little nip here and there just adds to his character.

You can find all these dogs at the WLA Animal Shelter: www.laanimalshelter.com

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Train your dog!

Wonderful happy dogs at West LA!

I have many pet peeves when it comes to dogs. Not with the dogs though, but with the people associated with them. The Shelter is where you see the best and the worst of human nature.

I'm so disturbed by people who give up on their newly adopted dog after a couple of days. That doesn't make any sense at all. If you are interested in adopting a dog from the shelter, you need to be willing to commit to at least a month to at least begin to get to know each other.

Believe me, I understand what it takes to keep a dog who isn't working out within your lifestyle, family, or existing dogs. I've been though it. You can work it out in most cases with patience and understanding. Oh, and of course, training!!!!!!!

Don't be surprised when a shelter dog has separation anxiety, nervousness and other behavioral issues. These kinds of issues come up when you get a dog who has gone through something traumatic. Shelter dogs deserve more than a day or two of your time. Behavior issues are part of having a dog in your life. Train your dog, be consistent and don't be a quitter. You will be rewarded with unconditional love and loyalty if you stand by your dog.

Oliver A0764380

Meet Oliver, he's some kind of Shepherd mix who is about 2-3 years old. He's a larger medium size. This guy is a total lover! He is super friendly with both people and dogs. He's always happy to see you. He was adopted but returned because he was too "hyper." If I had a nickel for every time someone uses that reason for a return. Duh, he's dog, he wants to do stuff, he's excited in a new environment, GIVE THIS GUY A BREAK! He's so cute and such a good boy. Anyway, if you are looking for a dog with personality plus, lots of happy energy for play and hiking, Oliver is your man. Definitely not a dog for the lazy at heart. He may need some work on his leash manners but that's no biggie.

Buddy A0413332

Buddy is so gorgeous and sweet, I think he's really special. I saw him and instantly fell in love! First off, he is tall and lanky like a sight hound. Not sure what the mix is but he sure is pretty! And can he run! He loves to chase a ball and he does it with such style and grace. Everyone who saw him running was enchanted. Believe it or not, Buddy's story is kind of sad. He belonged to someone who kept him outside all day and night (boo hiss) and then after 7 years left him at the shelter. The people never bothered to train him so he doesn't know obedience at all. Still, he's such a nice dog. He's easy to handle, I had no problems with him at all. He was a little shy at first but that's normal. After throwing the ball a bit he warmed up nicely. He would be a wonderful dog for someone with a yard and who is active.

Sabrina A0948885

I had to add Sabrina today. This picture is so funny and sooo Sabrina. She is a youngster around 2 years old. She is the typical Pit Bull personality, all boingie and silly. So cute! I would love to see her go to someone who knows Pits and can give her the loving guidance that she needs. Sabrina responds well to verbal corrections and is a very willing student. I think she would be an amazing companion as long as the person TRAINS her. No lazy people who don't think they can afford to pay for training. I know that's harsh, but sorry, I've seen it too many times. You put an untrained Pittie with their energy and excitability into the world with no guidance, it's an accident waiting to happen. With training this girl is a perfect 10!

Patch A0953371

Patch has the sweetest face. All he needs is some love. This guy was a stray and came in to the shelter all dirty and full of ticks, what a mess. He was a full of false bravado due to fear so he just seemed like another scary Pit Bull. Wrong! This is a very sweet and shy dog. Now that he's calmed down and is finding that there are people who want to help him, his vulnerable side is coming through. This guy is just scared and unsure of new people and other animals. The amazing thing about this guy is that he will just lean against you looking for your protection. It's as if he thinks he is a puppy. I've seen this before with dogs who didn't receive proper socialization and it's akin to arrested development. With training and patience he can be a stellar dog. We are still learning about him, but I feel that he has a lot of potential and is just adorable. Definitely a dog for someone who knows Pit Bulls and has worked with shyness issues. So, not a good choice for a newbie.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Miracles take Money

Nicole, now named Sophie, was rescued by Much Love!

We thought for sure that this girl was a goner. Nicole was an older deaf dog who had been in the shelter system for months. To add to her troubles, this beautiful Dalmatian injured her back (we think) and has lost the use of her back legs! She was in Isolation at the shelter and being given pain meds for the last week. She was very unhappy and had stopped eating!

As a last ditch effort, the shelter sent out a plea on this girls behalf otherwise she was going to be euthanized. There was a lot of hope behind this dog since she was nothing else but sweet and lovable. No one wanted to see her life cut short even with this huge problem that had reared it's ugly head! Now she is at a foster home and will be treated for her physical problems.

Much Love was so generous to take her. If you can, please donate to Much Love so they can help Sophie (Nicole) get back on her feet and live out her life!

Lot's of other really exciting developments last few weeks as well. Some of the highlights were:
  • Jonesy was bailed out and fostered by one of the WLA volunteers!
  • Carmen, one of our oldest dogs at WLA, was adopted!
  • Lisa, the shy Jindo who spent weeks not even being shown, was adopted!!
  • Zero, a wonderful Black Lab, who got into some big TROUBLE at WLA and was labeled "rescue only," got rescued despite the mark on his record!
  • Casper, our gorgeous white pit bull who is deaf, found his place at a rescue!
  • Tiger found an amazing home and was renamed Sweety!