I Support Pet Adoption

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!