I Support Pet Adoption

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Best Friends Hotter than EVER


Not only was the temperature hot at Best Friends this Sunday, but so were our dogs! Hot to trot, that is, right to their new homes. We really had a banner day at the adoption event considering the awful heat kept many potential adopters away.

One of the most exciting adoptions was of Sara and Iyame who will be going home TOGETHER! They've been the bestest of friends at the shelter and we couldn't be happier the way this turned out. Both dogs are so full of energy and fun, they are a perfect match. Ironically, Sara had been adopted at the last event, but then returned due to being hyper and eating the guy's couch. Oh well, I guess Sara knew that she wanted to be with her best buddy even if it meant going back to the shelter.

Some of our older dogs also were adopted, which is always a thrill for me. George/Carson got a great home with a shelter volunteer. Little Candy also found a home! In fact, 7 of the 9 dogs who attended the BF event from WLA were adopted!!

That's an excellent showing, even in good weather!

Sugar A923887 & Cole A910874

What fun!

My good friend Seth, of Little Friends Animal Photography, hooked us up with CBS News! I know, it's wild! Seth and I were interviewed and we got to feature a couple of our sweetie-pie dogs! Holy dog doo! We're going to be on TV!

Sugar, who is an absolute love with people, was wonderful on camera! She was hanging out with Seth during his interview and insisting on belly rubs. She is just an absolute doll! Sugar's not very dog friendly, but, wow, she LOVES the humans! Kids, seniors, everybody!!

Then we let Cole do his thing, as he is the MAN when it comes to playing fetch. He has so much spunk for an older guy. He's really funny, CBS got great footage of him. I hope someone sees him on TV and runs right down to the shelter to adopt him because he deserves a chance to enjoy his golden years. Come on, who doesn't love a big black, ball-obsessed Lab?????

As for my part in all this, I got to plug the shelter and what we are doing there. It was great. I did it in my work clothes so I actually looked like a respectable person. A Huge thanks to Seth as he is responsible for this wonderful PR opportunity. Please check out his website and treat your pooch to a photo shoot with Seth!

Btw, those beautiful and expressive photos of Sugar and Cole were taken by the master himself!


The news piece should be on this week. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Updates of the day

Every now and then, things work out...

First, my last post was about Jerry, the pretty Pittie for whom things were looking pretty hopeless... Thankfully, Jerry's savior stepped in to save the day. He will be going to Via Lobos to hang with lots of other pitt bulls like himself! Good luck Jerry!

Then, more about Grover! I have been in touch with his original family and they had this to say:
  • Grover is wary of strangers initially but warms up.
  • He loves his food, and doesn't like to be disturbed when eating.
  • He loves to have his belly rubbed.
  • He's quiet indoors and just wants to hang with his people.
  • He enjoys hanging around outside.
  • He know lots of tricks!
  • He often ends up in very cute but unusual positions!
  • He absolutely loves his people.
  • He's fine around kids and grew up taking orders from one!!
  • He goes to the dog park but likes to stay close to his person.
Grover sounds like a perfectly reasonable dog to me! He is so gorgeous and has a peppy attitude. I had him out for a bit today and he was terrific.

I think it's important to know and respect your dog's wishes if they are reasonable. If a dog is tired or hot and doesn't want to be bothered, let him be! Of course, you are the benevolent leader so you have nothing to prove, right?!

Oh and here's a little update on my girl Princess. She's doing a little better but not gaining any weight. We've made a group effort at the shelter to make her more at ease by giving her some office time which means it's a little more quiet and relaxing. Princess is also getting special meals so that she'll gain some weight! We have also found that giving her a toy in her run seems to ease her tension a little.

I had her out and we met up with a little girl. Princess did great with her! No jumping or anything. I was so proud!

I really think Princess is a great dog for just about anyone. She's not hyper and indoors she seems very calm. The only thing I don't know is how she would be with another dog. However, it's not unreasonable to expect in a normal situation that she would be fine. She may need some help adjusting to a new home initially, but I think Princess will do very well with an educated guardian.

Coming for West LA we have:
George aka Carson- On the old side but SWEET with a capital S
Iyami - Lots of love to give and energy to expend, she's a doll
Sara - Another energetic girl, but also another sweetie pie. A lover not a fighter!
Negra - Your typical Rottweiler, sweet and lovely.
Brandy- Very gentle and easy to handle.
Candy - So cute and very nice. She loves to cuddle...
Dino - Mellow guy, lots of love to give.
Sam - Dino's pal, really needs some TLC, he misses having his own home.
Cha Cha - Tons of energy for play. Great agility dog. Smart!
Daisy - Cute and sweet. Just a perfect little girl.
Princess! - Yay, she's finally going to an adoption event, good luck Princess!!! xoxo
come see us there!!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Never say die...URGENT!

Jerry A923616
In Danger!!!
@ the West LA Animal Shelter

One of the most difficult aspects of being a shelter volunteer is working with a dog who may ultimately be euthanized. As much as I have tried to avoid the cruel reality of death at the shelter, every now and then one comes face to face with one of their favorites being put down. It really sucks when it happens and you keep wondering, what could have been different for this particular animal.

Most of the time a dog is only euthanized for severe behavioral problems or extreme illness. The truth is that most behavioral problems can be dealt with and it is a RARE occurrence when a dog is so far gone that death is the only reasonable solution. We are extremely lucky at West LA as we so rarely deal with killing due to over-crowding. Some of the other shelters have it so much worse than we do when it comes to euthanizations in general.

Recently, at WLA, one dog has really gotten the short end of the stick. I'm not sure how, of all the Pit bulls we get into the shelter, this dog's life got so off course. We've had dogs with so many more behavior problems than Jerry! I just think his sweet demeanor led to unrealistic expectations on the part of the adopters, who are mostly unexperienced dog people with good intentions, that is, until something goes wrong.

Jerry, a gorgeous blue and white Pitbull, about 2 years old, who was originally found on the street has now found himself in Quarantine and even worse, possibly put down due to a set of unfortunate circumstances.

Jerry was adopted out twice and returned both times due to aggression issues. The first time it seemed that he was overly protective of the woman with whom he lived and was coming between her and her boyfriend. The second time he "bit" a 15 year old boy who was trying to get Jerry out of a car (or something to that effect). When Jerry was returned, he was immediately sent to Quarantine which means that he couldn't be taken out of his run for 10 days. I have not seen him since he was returned.

I don't know the exact facts about either incident, but what I do know is that Jerry is the victim in this situation. Jerry isn't perfect and may have some some issues that need to be addressed by a professional, but no one has made that effort on his behalf. No one adopted Jerry and thought, gee, maybe we should work with a trainer or maybe we should learn about Pit bulls. Everyone took him at face value and expected him to be perfect, easy and issue free. WRONG!

Frankly, I don't know what Jerry's issues are as I have only seen the sweet and gentle dog who has been at the shelter. He has always been a pleasure to be around. If anything, he could be shy at times, but overall everyone liked him including the staff at WLA which says a lot! But, here we are now discussing his last days. Due to pressure put on the shelter by the people who returned him, Jerry's days are now numbered possibly as soon as This Thursday. If you have any way to help, please call the shelter today!

West Los Angeles Animal Shelter
11361 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

Jerry is RESCUE ONLY. Please circulate.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Grover needs a home!

This message came to me so I wanted to share it with you!


CONTACT: West LA shelter 310-207-3156

GROVER is a beloved family dog who was rescued from an area shelter about 6 years ago. He is a neutered, brown and tan Bearded Collie mix. GROVER is an owner surrender because the wife has developed serious pulmonary issues and her doctor instructed them to get rid of him. The husband was very emotional filling out the relinquishment forms. I was there and it was heartbreaking. GROVER has been at the shelter since April 5th and he is not adjusting well -- volunteers say he is depressed and very timid. The owner told me GROVER is a very sweet dog but can be shy and nervous around strangers.



Monday, April 14, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: More on Princess

Princess A914086

Okay, I know you've see this girl before. She's a Shepherd mix who is about 4 or 5 years old. I guess she has become my "project" at the shelter as she is having such a hard time over there. Princess is a great girl who, right now, is so stressed out that she is NOT herself anymore. My fear is that her stress will drive her over the line that some dogs cross at the shelter.

Signs of Stress:
  • Spinning in kennel- a lot of people see this behavior as indicative of being "energetic" or "hyper" but actually it is a repetitive behavior brought on by confinement.
  • Not able to focus- fear/stress
  • barking- brought on by being confined and having dogs directly across from them. The dog feels threatened so they begin to develop behaviors to scare off a potential threat. Similar to leash aggression.
  • Barrier Aggression- often a LEARNED behavior at the shelter. Probably won't exist outside of the shelter.
  • Dog Aggression- similar to Barrier aggression, this is often a result of confinement in a stressful atmosphere where there are other dogs, such as a shelter.
The point is, many of these dogs are GREAT dogs who are reacting to their environment. Princess is a good example of this. She has lost weight, she spins in her kennel, she "seems" dog aggressive, etc. In reality, she's a pretty calm dog who loves to play. She's nice on leash and loves a belly rub.

I have worked with this dog in a calmer atmosphere and have seen her feel more relaxed. In a calm senario, she does really well. I have every confidence that with some help, she can recover from her ordeal at the shelter. My feeling is that she could be successfully introduced to other dogs, and I also believe that she would be fine indoors. In a nutshell, Princess would thrive with an understanding guardian.

However, time is of the essence and I don't think she can make it long term if she is continually subjected to this amount of stress!

The moral of this story: it's just a fact that some dogs do well at the shelter and others crash and burn. It's unpredictable to say the least. But please don't JUDGE a dog by its behavior in the run, take the dog out and meet her!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: It's SENIOR Dog Day

The Shelter is FULL of SENIOR dogs!!!!!

What is it about senior dogs... I just love them! Unfortunately, a lot of people don't love them as they are the hardest dogs to get adopted at the shelter. Even with the shelter's Seniors for Seniors program, we don't see a significant number of senior dogs being adopted. So sad!

In previous posts I have introduced some of our great senior dogs. Well, most, if not all, are still at the shelter waiting, waiting, waiting...

Sorry in advance for some of the bad shelter photos; it's all I had in some cases. Also, these profiles are in no particular order and the pictures follow the description.

Pepina-A938427- white papillon 9 years: Another tiny kid who looks adorable! Don't know her personality yet but she gets along with other dogs! Seems very sweet!


Leo- A922566-Chow: Owner surrender that is 14 years old. Has irritated skin so they shaved his rear area and treated it, but it makes him look bad. He is a very sweet dog who gets along with people and dogs. Poor guy!


Cole- A910874-Black Lab 10 years?:Sweet dog, just wants to play ball and frolic! He is a character sure to provide you tons of entertainment with his antics! Losing weight, needs out!


Dino & Sam- A915863/A915861- Shep mix and Chow mix both around 10 years: This pair is just asking for a little yard and a shady tree. Both are sweet and mellow. We've taken them to adoption events and they did very well. Sam loves Dino and it would be GREAT to have them adopted together. Best Buddies plus seniors = BIG DISCOUNT at the shelter!


Honey- A931447- Long hair Chi about 7 years: A total sweetie pie who just wants a lap! Had to be shaved due to matting. Needs a diet too! What a little doll!


Benji-A938900- Shelti 12 years: What a cute dog, she looks like a puppy as she is pretty small. She seems pretty friendly. Typical shelti who likes to bark, however, it's not very loud... A cutie!


Grover-A570978- Bearded Collie mix 6 years: This dog is so cute, he looks like a cartoon! The story on this guy is heart-breaking. He was an owner turn in by an elderly man due to his wife's lung illness they couldn't keep him. The man was so distraught with tears and sobbing over the loss of his good friend. Grover loves his food and seems like a chill guy.


Tristen- A932984-Pit mix 7 years: This brindle pittie girl is a LOVER! A volunteer favorite, she is mellow and sweet. Likes to play and loves the love.


Negra- A932279-Rottweiler 7 years: What a marshmallow! This poor kid is overweight and has terrible muscle tone. She needs a home where she will get a little exercise and a lot of love!


Carson/George- A924467-Chow mix 15 years?: Slow and sweet, what a honey! We think George is deaf but otherwise he's just a sweet old guy! Seems to like everyone and other dogs are okay too!

I'm sure I've missed a few of our wonderful senior dogs so check out the www.laanimalservices.com site to see who else is looking for a new home in their golden years.

I think we need more senior rescues here in LA. Right now we have few choices even though many rescues take in seniors, we can't depend on that since these dogs are so hard to place. If YOU are interested in fostering a senior, let me know and I will hook you up!
You can write me at lola4dogs@gmail.com.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: What a Friday!

Thank You Oprah!
Wow, I don't even know where to begin! First I want to comment on the Oprah show on Puppy mills, shelters, euthanasia and the spay/neuter issue. I must admit I was impressed overall in that Oprah brought these three issues together showing the connection of puppy mills to over population and the sad results of these irresponsible practices. The puppy mill segment was not as gruesome as I thought it would be (although it was bad enough). I was ready to fast forward as soon as it got too graphic. Poor kids.

What really caught me off guard though was the part on the Fort Worth shelter where they are forced to euthanize an insane number of beautiful adoptable dogs every single day. I was really disturbed by what I saw, not so much by the way they kill the dogs, but by the shear number of dogs! I felt sick by this grim reality. I must say, very brave of Fort Worth to show this process; but people need to see what is going on!

Of course the show made me think about our own situation at the shelter and the dogs who have been euthanized who may have been able to find a home. I do realize that we are fortunate at West LA and that the other shelters have much higher numbers. Whenever I think of one of our beautiful dogs being led to the euthanasia table, I just want to scream! We have so many wonderful animals as do ALL the shelters, city and county alike! Where are the people who are looking for a wonderful animal with whom to share their life? Hello! Are you out there???!!! Go to your local shelter, PLEASE!

Actually, on Friday, prior to Oprah, I was lucky enough to experience the wonderful adoption of two mostly white with black pitbulls who had been picked up on the street together. They had been deemed "best buddies" even though they weren't being housed together. They were the coolest dogs! The female was a friendly wiggle butt and the male was a bit more timid but you could see in his eyes that he was a loving boy. The people who adopted them were also really cool because they wanted two dogs, preferably two Pitbulls! OMG, I love you people! I guess their previous dog was a Pit and he had recently passed. They really seemed like nice folks who loved dogs.

So, Deb and I took the dogs out so the nice people could meet them in the yard. The dogs were so happy to see each other! They may have been related as they shared many physical traits. It didn't take long for the people to fall in love. Just after a few minutes of admiring their beauty and calm yet playful behavior the deal was sealed. Yay! The dogs were already spayed and neutered so off they went sitting in the back of their new guardian's car looking as hopeful as Deb and I were feeling. Good luck doggies! (sorry, I don't have pix)

In addition to that adoption, I worked with Princess (the Shepherd) and Sadie (the Bulldog mix), both of whom are coming along nicely. I'm seeing a lot more of Sadie's personality now and she definitely has a goofy side! She is very sweet and very good on leash. Plus she knows "sit" although she is a little picky about treats. I'm still working on finding her motivator. Sometimes she likes to run into me which is really funny. She also loves a belly rub with a BIG smile on her pretty little face.
Sadie A902312 (approx 3 years)

As for Princess, I feel that she needs a lot of love and human contact. She's extremely stressed at the shelter which manifests itself with her spinning in the kennel. People think she's too energetic or just crazy. However, I feel she is acting out due to the stress of her situation. This behavior is wearing her out which would also explain her weight loss. Poor baby. She is such a love and actually quite calm when out of her kennel. So keep that in mind when you go to the shelter that some dogs may seem super hyper and crazy, but often times they are only reacting to the stress of the their environment. Take them out of that environment and you have a very different dog. That's why you need to meet dogs outside of their kennel after they have relaxed a bit. Patience is key to choosing the right dog.

Princess A914086 (approx 5 years)

In the yard, I also observed two dogs who are kenneled together, Sara and Iyame. Sara is a Greyhound mix and Iyame is a gorgeous GSD. I would love to see these two go together as they really enjoy each others company. They play like crazy!! So happy, romping around, it's the cutest thing. A person with a yard would get so much pleasure out of just watching these two. You just can't help but smile the entire time watching them run around after and into each other. Both of these dogs are very sweet and mild mannered. They are young dogs too, probably around 1 1/2 or 2 years old. They are very special indeed! Come check them out at WLA.

Sara A905194 and Iyame A925520

This Sunday, 4/6/08 there are two adoption events. One is on the Venice Boardwalk and the other is on San Vicente in Brentwood (Bow Wow Meow). Take this opportunity to go meet some of the shelter dogs and you will see what I have been talking about. You'll fall in love for sure!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Eli's coming...

Hide Your Heart!
Eli A901017 (Rescue Only)
West LA Shelter

This is a real stinker of a story. This dog, Eli, comes to the shelter. He's dog friendly and basically just a nice guy. Then, one day a volunteer takes him out so that he can get some play time. Unfortunately due to his long confinement, he got kind of excited and went a little nuts. By nuts I mean that he grabbed the volunteer's shirt sleeve and wouldn't let go! What a nut! Anyway, he got in trouble for this and is now in danger of being euthanized.

Eli is a really smart dog and attentive with a capital A. His obedience training is going really well. He knows his verbal sit and down. However, he needs a person who is committed to working with him and continuing his training. Thankfully, a couple of our dedicated volunteers have been working with him and making great strides in his development.

Eli is active, loves to run and would be great for someone who has a lot of space and time for him. An active male or female who likes to be the leader would be perfect. Eli doesn't need a harsh environment though, rather, an understanding one. This boy is so great and responds so well, a little knowledge will go a long way with him. So bone up on your dog training skills and get this boy out of the shelter, before it's too late!!