Saying Goodbye…

Goodbye from POMHR
To all of our supporters, adopting families, friends and family, we are so very thankful to all of you for all of the help you have given us over the past 2 years. Whether you adopted, donated, volunteered, made treats for our dogs, shared links or helped in one of 100 other ways, we are in debt to you for all you did in getting 12 dogs into wonderful, loving forever homes.

Laura Clawson, I don’t even know where to begin thanking you for all that you have done to help us with our foster’s. From PupCakes problem with hands to the Basic Obedience classes, Intro to Nose Work workshop and playdates with Bruno, you have been there for us and the dogs from the very beginning. I don’t know what I would have done without all the wonderful advise you have given me and I will never ever be able to put in words what your friendship has meant to me. You are God sent and I will never forget your generosity.

We would also like to thank all of you who were involved in giving Chili a chance at life and ultimately a peaceful, dignified death. Many times we were praised for the extensive care and efforts we gave in trying to save him, but you all were the hero’s. If it hadn’t been for your donations for vet costs we would not have been able to do everything possible for our little man. Thank you to the Mirror Lake Animal Hospital staff who worked with us endlessly in his care and costs to make it possible to give him as much time as he wanted before he became exhausted and let us know that he was ready to go. Thank you Maren Henry for the most beautiful heartfelt gift, the urns for us and Trista so that we could keep Chi Chi with us forever. Last but certainly not least, thank you Teresa Leslie for making the call to us in the first place so Chili could bless our lives and to Trista for trusting us with her little man. Trista and Chili, you will be forever in our hearts.

We have always had the philosophy that everyone should do what they could to help homeless animals and those in need. Two years ago we were able to start Paws of My Heart Rescue to save as many lives as possible. It’s what we could do and we did it. Most of you know that Paws of My Heart Rescue consists of me, my husband and generous volunteers at times. We had no other foster homes, it was just us. Most of you also know that my husband is disabled and is very limited on what he can do while I work a 40+ hour/week job. I never wanted to take on any other foster homes because more foster dogs in our program meant more work, and I just didn’t have the time. I didn’t want the rescue to get out of control like many do.

We went into rescue with very little experience but we had learned what not to do. We knew not to ever abuse donations or the support of our friends, family and supporters. We set out to treat/spoil all the dogs in our care just like they were our very own. And we did. Our foster dogs were never kept in crates except for an hour or so during the day for feeding and at night while we slept. The rest of their time was spent with the rest of our family, with us. We didn’t want to become out of control where dogs would have to be crated because there were too many to control. None of our foster dogs were ever put outside for hours on end, but just for a few minutes, supervised while they had potty and playtime. When they were ready to come in, we all came back in. Our idea of rescue was just that. Rescue the dogs from bad situations then bring them into a loving, family environment where they could heal both physically and emotionally in preparation for their forever homes.

We are deeply appreciative of the donations made for the dogs, especially in these times when most of us are struggling just to make ends meet. There were times when we were able to pay for things out of our pocket and we did. I hated asking for money when I knew how bad things were for many. You will never know how much your donations meant to us so that we could have all the dogs vetted and get them what they needed. We kept our finances as an open book so that anyone could see how the money was spent. That’s the way it should be. I have seen other organizations spend donations like it grew on trees and it upset me to no ends. We set out to treat our donations like we would our own money and we did. There were times when we made toys out of old socks, invented treat toys and recycled collars anytime we could. We were always frugal with donations and I could not be more proud of how they were handled. More importantly, you would be too.

Yes, I am very, very proud of what we accomplished in the past two years. No, we did not save 100’s of dogs but for the 12 (13 if you include Chili) we did save it made a world of difference. With our “Adoption Procedures” in place, we were able to find awesome homes for our dogs. We went into every potential adopter’s homes with the foster dog to make sure it would be a good match for both the dog and the family. It was something we did so that the chance one of our dogs would end up back in the system would be very slim. A forever home should be what its name implies, a home that will last forever. THANK YOU to all the families that gave one of these babies a great home with lots of love. We are forever in your debt.

So what now? It saddens me deeply to say we are closing our doors. Rescue has taken a toll on me with the long hours I have to work, but it has especially taken its toll on my husband. After months of discussions and searching our hearts we made this decision for both us and our personal dogs. We want all of our adoptive families to know that we will still be here for them if we are needed and all contact info will stay the same. We will continue to help dogs in need, just not through rescue. So with a heavy heart, we say thank you for all you have done to help us with Paws of My Heart Rescue. We will never forget it and we love you all.

Killing My Dogs

Niblet

Our sweet little Niblet

A few months back our good friend Maren bought us a subscription to Whole Dog Journal. It was an awesome gift that, as it turns out, may save our personal and foster dog’s lives. In the very first issue I discovered that the Kibbles ‘n Bits Mini Bites that we had been feeding our dogs for years was the equivalent to feeding them Twinkies. That was only the beginning to what has turned into a journey of discovery.

 
We searched high and low, read what must have been a million labels and finally chose a Nutro Brand product that we thought would be healthy and beneficial to all of our dogs. There were 2 problems with that. Fisrt, it was expensive. My dogs would have had to get jobs to pay for it and thanks to Laura Clawson, I found out that Nutro does animal research. We were not about to help fund the use of animals in research. That was the end of Nurto and we somehow ended up back on the KnB.

Yesterday, during a routine yearly vet visit for 2 of our personal dogs, our vet advised us of something we already knew; our dog food contained LOTS of preservatives, chemicals and was a really poor choice in dog foods. This heightened our search again for a good dry dog food that was affordable. I spent hours on the internet researching different dog brands until I came across one article, then another that changed everything.

The article/video was talking about what goes into dry dog food, specifically the chemicals, preservatives etc. It said that the FDA makes the manufacturers tell us what they put in the dog food, but what they don’t have to tell you is the chemicals that are put in the dog food ingredients BEFORE it reaches the dog food company. This was terrifying to read. I am not saying that ALL dry dog foods are bad and contain harmful chemicals because I don’t know. That’s the whole point of the decision I came to, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS IN THE STUFF!

The decision was made. My dogs, both personal and foster, would be started on homemade dog food where I could control and know what they were eating. I didn’t know what was in the dry food, much less what it was doing to my dogs. This morning, I awoke to the answer to that question and it was terrifying. My pom/chi mix Niblet, who is approx. 3 yrs old was having a seizure. This wasn’t the first one, he had two previously, but they were far apart. I remembered something else; Diego has had a seizure too.
After Niblet was out of his postictal phase, I went back to the internet and typed “Seizures associated with dry dog food.” The list that came up was extensive. I began reading the articles and saw the following, in different wording, over and over again;

‘it’s the preservatives that are added to the brand name dog foods that will trigger seizures in dogs, it comes right down to what pets are fed.’

I have been doing this to my dogs; I have been killing them and didn’t know. If you have never saw a beloved family member have a seizure, let me tell you, it’s terrifying. Niblet loses his bladder while his tiny body twitches and jerks uncontrollably. The only thing you can do is keep him safe during the seizure making sure he doesn’t fall off the bed, couch or other elevated perch, prevent him from hitting his head and that he doesn’t get choked. You feel absolutely helpless.

 
From now on, my dogs will be fed only homemade dog food and treats. Oh yes, don’t forget doggie treats which are full of the same chemicals and preservatives as the food. Rawhides contain many preservatives also. I hope you will do your own research and talk to your vet about your dog’s food. As I said earlier, I am NOT an expert. I am in the process of learning and wished to share our dog food story with you in the hopes that it might help other dogs.

PupCake’s Version of a Pawsitive Ending

Safe Forever

If you read our earlier blog “Our Little PupCake” you already know that he has issues with biting/snapping. We have worked very hard with this little guy taking him to obedience classes, an Introduction to Nose Work for Fun Workshop and spending countless hours one on one with him to help him feel more secure. Although he has gotten better, especially with his bite inhibition, he still has many fears that cause him to continue to bite when he is put in an uncomfortable situation; situations as simple as being picked up or petted.
It has taken us many months to learn his body language and know when he is uncomfortable BEFORE he gets so fearful he feels the need to defend himself by biting. It has taken a lot of time because he is so inconsistent with these situations. For example, at times he is perfectly happy being picked up and will snuggle into the crook of your neck with his tiny nose. At other times with the same movements he will snap or even bite. We have tried desperately to find a pattern or triggers to his fear to no avail.
We had been hoping that PupCake would eventually be ready for adoption to the right home, but as time went by it became more and more evident that he would never be ready. Allow me to rephrase; we lost hope of ever finding a family that was ready for him. It would take a family that has lots of patience, understanding and time to work with him continuously for the rest of his life. That’s a tall order.
We don’t ever want to take a chance on putting PupCake in a bad situation. He has already been through so much in his short life, more than any dog should ever have to endure. We will never know what took place at his former home, but we did see the conditions PupCake was living in and heard his former owner referring to him as “the damn dog” when he thought we couldn’t hear. This all went into our decision and we feel as though it’s the right one for PupCake.
What is best for PupCake? That wasn’t the only question; we also had to consider the rescue as a whole. With very limited space for foster dogs, keeping PupCake would mean that it was one less space for a rescued dog. Do we accept more foster homes? Keeping our high standards of operation that we are so very proud of will not be compromised, so we will work out that issue in the future. For now, the dogs in our care are our first priority.
Paws of My Heart Rescue’s Board of Directors have decided that it would be in PupCake’s best interest if he remains here in Sanctuary for the remainder of his life. This is not a case of foster failure, but a case of rescuing a dog that deserves a happy life, but is unadoptable. It is our job not only as dog lovers but as a licensed rescue to give him that….and we will. PupCake we love you dearly and you now have your own version of a Pawsitive Ending.

Our Little PupCake…

PupCake

Our Sweet PupCake

Our Little PupCake…

This 3 lb. little guy came into our lives on a Saturday afternoon after we returned from finalizing another adoption. He had belonged to a terminally ill man that had bought PupCake for his 6 year old daughter almost a year before. Since becoming ill, he had slowly reached the point where he could no longer take care of him. He reached out for help to Laura Clawson, our Positive Reinforcement Trainer, VSPT who called us to see if we could help. We were happy to.

When we arrived at the man’s home, we walked up the front porch stairs which had a baby gate to keep PupCake from escaping. There was feces covering the deck and I knew that the man was unable to take him down the stairs to walk him in the yard. We knocked on the door but no one answered. I could hear two voices inside arguing, so I waited a minute then knocked again. They continued to argue and the one phrase I could decipher in all the raised, muffled voices was “the damn dog.” After a few moments the door finally opened and PupCake bounded out and literally jumped into my arms. I handed him to my husband as we walked into the very dark living room while I retrieved the Owner Surrender form from my notebook so that we could get the owner to sign it and get out. The entire situation was a little scary to me. As I waited for him to sign, I looked around the dark room and saw PupCake’s crate which was full of feces with no food or water in site. I didn’t see any toys either.

PupCake was content in my husband’s arms, never trying to get down once. As soon as the paperwork was signed, the man handed me a folder he had received from Laura the previous year when she had worked with PupCake.  I said “thank you” and we left. He was concerned as to what he was going to tell his daughter when she returned home in a few days from vacation with her mother.  It was a terrible situation that left me very sympathetic and sad for both PupCake and the family.

It didn’t take us long to discover that PupCake had issues, and we needed help. We took him to Laura’s house to be evaluated and it didn’t take her long to discover that PupCake was fearful of hands. He would snap/bite in many situations that scared him, such as being picked up with 2 hands (he is fine with one) or if hands came into his crate to pick him up. Also, he will snap/bite if he doesn’t get his way. e.g. PupCake is sitting in your lap when you decide to get up. If he is not ready for you to get up, he will growl, snap/bite at the first movement or if you say “let me up” even if your hands don’t come close to him. Another example; PupCake likes to be held SOMETIMES. He will let you pick him up and cuddle him, pet him and give kisses. BUT at times, you can repeat this same action and he will growl, snap/bite you.

To help PupCake, we took him to basic obedience classes which helped tremendously. He learned commands such as “touch” which works well when he is chewing on a stick or other object that he shouldn’t have. Before when we would try to take it away, he would snap/bite. Now we can ask him to “touch” and as he does this, we can take the object away. The “leave it” command would work better in that situation, but PupCake is still practicing it and is not as proficient as with the “touch” command.

The crate issue was solved easily. We will usually just let him remain in bed until he is ready to get up, but if we need for him to come out, we can use the “come” command immediately followed with praise or a treat. The basic obedience classes were great in making PupCake feel more comfortable, thus alleviating some of the snap/biting. His bite inhibition has gotten better too. In the beginning when he bit you, many times he would break the skin. Now you may feel his teeth, but it is softer. It’s a great help that he absolutely LOVES to train. He loves learning new things and he loves showing off what he has learned.

Laura believes that PupCake was very poorly socialized as a puppy which has led to these behaviors. He was possibly taken away from his mother and siblings too early, or not given adequate attention/socialization by his previous owner, we will never know. Puppies should NEVER leave their mom and siblings until they are at least 12 weeks old, but that is another blog.

I am aware what many readers are thinking at this point. “PupCake is a bad little dog!” That couldn’t be further from the truth. When I get home from my paying job, he is always there to greet me with that little tail wagging so fast I sometimes think it will break off. I pick him up and he gives me PupCake kisses and usually a tongue up the nose LOL. When I set him down, he runs to the back door and waits for me to take him out for his morning run with his foster siblings. Once we come back in, he is ready to sit in my lap for some petting and cuddling. He isn’t a bad dog at all; he just has issues that humans caused.

PupCake is available now for adoption, but I am not sure we will ever find a family that will love and accept him the way we do. Most people don’t want a dog that will require continuous work for the rest of his life, or that is “damaged.” In all honesty, this is fine with us. We love him so very much and he fits in well with our personal dogs. I know that if he stays here, he will never be hit or abused which some may be tempted to do when he bites. We understand why he snaps/bites, that it is a reaction of fear. We also know that if he ever was to be hit or abused, it would undo all of the trust he has learned. We won’t let that happen. So for now, he will remain on our adoption page but all applicants will be cautiously screened and under no circumstances will we let him go to a home with children.  In the meantime, PupCake will stay here with us where he is loved and very much wanted by all. Either way, PupCake already has his Pawsitive Ending.

An Animal Shelter – From the Inside.

I’m in every shelter all over the world.

I have been wanting to write this blog for some time now, but I knew that it would be painful to do so. But it’s time. As we get ready to make a trip to the shelter in the morning to save another life, those memories come back like a flood that I can’t stop.

WARNING! This story is grahic. It is my experience as a shelter worker in one shelter.
Many years ago before becoming a nurse, I worked for a Veterinarian for several years. I have always had a deep love for animals and wanted them not only in my home life, but in my work life as well. But what got me there was a six month experience that I will never forget. The memories still haunt me today, and it is something that I will relive over and over again because I know that it will more than likely never end in my lifetime. I hear the screams, scared whines, and the painful barking like it was yesterday. I can still smell the death.
I accepted the job making minimum wage because I wasn’t there for the money. I wanted to work with the dogs and cats everyday. The old saying “if you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life.” applied to this job. I was hired as a kennel tech at an animal shelter and I was estatic….and very much naive. I thought what could be better than having your day full of what you love, puppies, kittens, cats and dogs, more of them than you could imagine. If you started petting each one, you would be there all day until you reached the last one. There were never shortages of pets.
My days there started out in the area that I was assigned to, which rotated on a regular basis. We would all go in before we opened to the public and clean cages/runs, and get the pets ready to be viewed by the public. Once the cages/runs were clean, the hoses and buckets put up, the director would come through the entire shelter with a black sharpie and look at each cage card. If the pet had been there for three days (strays) or an owner surrender, they were in danger of getting an “X” with the black sharpie across their card. All of us would hold our breaths as we watched her go from cage to cage, praying she wouldn’t use the sharpie on those that we had grown fond of, or ones that we had bonded with. The “X” meant that the animal would be euthanized if we needed to make some space for incoming animals.

Some days, all the cages were full, and we knew that a team of two would spend all day euthanizing to make room. In an effort to save room, we would often put two dogs (or more) that got along well in the same run, in order to save space and possibly lives. We would wait until the AC trucks would begin calling in with numbers of pets they had picked up to know if we would have to make room.

When the trucks came in, one of two things happened. Either the pet was considered to be adoptable (showing no signs of aggression, illness, or injuries) and they were given vaccinations and put into the adoptable areas of the shelter. If they appeared to be aggressive, ill or injured, they were placed into a quarantine area. The same rules applied, we had to keep them for at least 3 days to see if they were reclaimed before they could be euthanized. We would try to work with these animals to fix whatever the problem was to get them into the adoption area, but sometimes it was impossible. Some dogs were so frightened that they were deemed aggressive and were put down as soon as their 3 days were up. Others were sick beyond our limited abilities, funds, and knowledge to treat, so those too were put down as soon as their 3 days were up.

We went to extremes to help any pet that we could stay in the adoption area for as long as possible. One morning while assigned to the kennel where we kept the big dogs, I walked through to see what was there. In one run I noticed the English Bulldog who had 3 puppies was agitated and growling which was new. I looked around the run and immediately saw it. The 6″ drain cover was off, and I could hear faint cries coming from the drain. As I attempted to enter the run, the momma dog continued to growl, snarl and lunge at me. I yelled for help, then yanked the run door open, said a quick prayer, then headed for the drain in the back corner of the run. Thankfully, the momma dog sensed that I was trying to help and didn’t attack. I layed flat on the floor and put my arm into the drain all the way up to my shoulder. I could feel the puppy, but my arm was just too short to pull it out. Another kennel worker came in and was able to reach the puppy, pull it out and handed it to me. All the while, the momma dog stood back and let us save her puppy. It was an amazing moment.

With the help of another tech, I rushed the puppy to the sink, suctioned her nose and mouth, then immediately gave her a bath to wash all the bacteria infested waste off. Bundled in a warm towel in my arms, she was still not safe. The director insisted that we put her down because it was her belief that the approximately 3-4 week old puppy would not survive. I protested. Then I protested louder until I got my way. When she was old enough, she was the first of the liter to get adopted. I cried happy tears.

The shelter is full, we have to make room for incoming animals. We hated those words with a passion. After the morning cleaning, two kennel techs would take on the task of euthanizing for the day. The shelter was somber. nobody talked, everyone just did their jobs in silence as they watched “the room” door open and close as one of the techs would come out to get the next animal to be euthanized. We would watch as the dog/puppy would be happy to leave their cage/run, jumping up on the tech for a rub and kind words, only to stop at the door. Few got to the door and went in willingly. They would lock their legs and attempt to back away with every ounce of strenght they had. But it never did any good. The tech would pick the dog up and carry them inside, then the door would shut.

Once inside the room, the dog would be placed on a stainless steel table that was attached to the wall. Shaking, trembling, scared to death as they seemed aware of what was about to happen to them. They knew that the breaths they were taking would be their last. There was nothing they could do to stop it. As one tech held the trembling dog, talked to them in a soft loving voice as they were petted, the other tech would be busy drawing the injection up into a large syringe. The amount to be given was based on weight, so we would always over estimated the weight so that the dog would go peacefully and quickly, and there wouldn’t have to be a second injection. Once drawn up, the holding tech would wrap one arm under and around the neck and head, like you see your pet being held at the vets office. The other arm would be over the top of the dog, holding the right leg to be injected. They would grasp the anticubital (bend of the leg) and twist the skin outward so the vein would roll on top. Pressure would be applied until the syringe was in the vein at which time the pressure was released and the solution could be injected slowly. During this time, the pet was being comforted in a soft voice until they slowly collapsed onto the table, taking his last breath. Once death was confirmed, the animal was placed into a black garbage bag. The tech would “hug” the pet to get the air out of the bag, then tie the end into a knot. The bag was then taken to a huge walk-in cooler and gently layed on top of the others that went first. After the table was cleaned of urine and feces that were released during the procedure, the tech would open the door to retrieve the next pet. This process would often continue the entire day. One dog/cat after another. One life taken after another. Needlessly.

The pets that came into our shelter got their generally from two different ways. Picked up stray by AC, or were owner surrenders for reasons varying from the owners were going on vaction and couldn’t find anywhere to board them, the pet was pottying in the house, the puppy was chewing up the house, they were moving and couldn’t take the pet with them, or one of many other reasons. ALL of which could have been prevented through education. I am begging you to do your research BEFORE getting a pet. As a fellow blogger wrote recently, we are fast to blame backyard breeder’s, and puppy mills for the pet over population problem, when in fact it is the uneducated owner who is the biggest problem.

I recently heard someone say “here is one dog they won’t get to kill” referring to shelter workers. Know this….shelter workers DO NOT enjoy killing dogs, they are doing the dirty work that society created and ignores as if it doesn’t exist. Instead of bashing them, why don’t you thank them for doing a job that not many have the heart to do. It is not an easy thing to kill a pet, but unfortunately it has to be done. Until pet owners get educated, the problem will continue to exist, pets will still die needlessly, and shelter workers will still get the blame. WALK THROUGH A SHELTER TODAY. Know that a very small precentage of the pets you see will come out alive.

 

 

Chili a.k.a. Chi-Chi

Chili

Chili is patiently waiting on his human to come home.

Chili’s story has not only to do with helping a dog, but also helping an active member of the military.

Chili belongs to an active military member, who was being sent to a place where they could not take Chili. Attempts were made to find a family member or friend to take care of him in their absence to no avail. As a very last resort, and time short before leaving, they did the only thing left that they knew to do. It was the most heart breaking decision a loving pet owner had to make, but there were no options left. After 6 years of being Chili’s companion, since he was a pup, the military member took Chili to the CCAS and surrendered him on a Friday. Understandably, they cried the whole time they were there. It was wrong. The entire situation was wrong. This person, who was serving our country, serving you and me with their life, was having to sacrifice the life of their loved pet in order to do so.

Chili was absolutely terrified, which led him to be what is known as a “fear biter”. He was so scared, not knowing where he was, where his human was, or what was happening. He didn’t understand why they had left him there, or what he had done to deserve it. The military member didn’t know it, but Chili’s behavior, together with the fact that he was an owner surrender made him an automatic candidate to be euthanized.

The next morning a concerned animal control officer advised Teresa Leslie, the Humane Society President of the situation. She contacted us about Chili, trying to find a way to help him. There was no time for any of the military assistance programs because of the massive amount of paperwork, and we knew it. We had to get Chili out. Teresa then called the military member to see if they wanted to get him back upon their return, and the answer was a very tearful yes.

Our next hurdle was to get Chili out before he developed an upper respiratory infection or Kennel Cough. Because it was a holiday weekend, we were unsuccessful at getting him out that day, so Tuesday we were there to get the little guy. He was still in a state of fear and confusion and was not friendly in the least. When we were finally able to get him into a crate in the car, an inmate working there pulled me to the side and said “you better watch that one, he has tried to bite several people”. I told him thank you for the warning and we took Chili home, having no idea how he was going to act. Once there, I texted the military member to let them know that he was out and safe. They texted back: “now I can breath”. Of course I cried.

For the first 24 hours, we left Chili alone in a separate play yard for the most part. He paced, panted and got even more anxious when we would enter the yard so we left him alone to calm down. The next day, with treats in hand and a lot of patience, he finally came to us, allowing us to pet him. By the end of the day, he was jumping up wanting to be petted. On the third day, Chili acted as though he had lived there his entire life, greeting us with tail wags, and climbing into our laps when we sat down.

The third day, still no signs of illness. I called around to find a groomer that would donate a badly needed haircut for Chili. Thankfully, Tracy Karnbach and Four Paws Pet Resort happily agreed. Tracy said that he did really well with the groom, but didn’t like getting a bath. When I went in to pick him up, he was hopping all over the lobby, tail wagging, socializing with the other dogs AND cats, and was so very proud of his new haircut which looked GREAT! At this point, I knew that Chili was an awesome dog and was going to do well.

That same day, Chili began coughing. At first I was hoping that it was due to his pulling on the leash while going and coming from the groomers. Because he had been in the shelter for almost 4 days, we already had him in isolation to protect the other foster dogs, and our personal dogs in the event that he had contracted an illness, and was asymptomatic. But he continued to cough.

We took him to the vet and he was put on antibiotics, but would have to remain in isolation until he finished the antibiotics and was no longer coughing. Chili spends his days alternating between being outside, and then in a separate room in the house. We really hate this, because one advantage of being a small rescue is that all the dogs can spend their time together and with the humans, not in cages or crates. But unfortunately, it is necessary.

Chili didn’t cough at all today, and his antibiotics are almost complete. I believe within the next few days, we will be able to bring him out so he can play with the other dogs, lounge on the couch and be part of the family. His true colors have really came out, and they are beautiful. He is one of the most loving, sweet dogs that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

I am sure that we will blog again on Chili’s progress, and definately his eventual reunion with his human. It brings tears to my eyes everytime I think about it. I am not sure when that will be, but we are dedicated to making it happen.

A Big Weekend

Paws of My Heart Rescue has had a big weekend. The yard sale was a huge success, and we now have enough to have our first 2 dogs vetted, spayed/neutered, and given any other care that they need. THANK YOU to our community for making this happen. We do not take donations lightly, and are so grateful for every single one.

The second big happening, as you can see, is that our website is now published. At least the beginning of it. We have so much more we will be adding, including a new section for education. We strongly believe that educating on a variety of subjects relating to adoption, spaying/neutering pets, heartworm preventative etc. is part of our obligation to the public as a rescue. So watch for our site to grow and get better over the next few weeks.

Thank you for visiting, and for your support. We couldn’t do this without you.

New Beginnings

WOW! Starting a rescue has been a chore, but one I would do over and over again if it meant that I could do what I love. Now that we have crossed all of the paper work hurdles, incorporating, getting licensed etc., we still have other hurdles that must be crossed.

Before we can rescue, we have to be able to have the dogs vetted, spayed/neutered and any additional care that they may need. That costs money. So before we have even pulled a dog, we are trying to raise money to cover the costs that the first dogs will incur. I wish I could make people believe that even a $5 donation helps tremendously. I also wish that the economy was better so that people could afford to donate. I haven’t even mentioned the 501(c)3 yet. That paperwork (all 30 pages of it) has been started, but that is another $400 to file with the IRS. It’s a catch 22. Understandably, people don’t want to donate because we haven’t received our tax exempt status, but we need the donations to file it. What a vicious circle.

More hurdles…We have to get our CCHS foster dog transported to his new home before we can bring another dog in. I don’t want to risk him getting sick again. Yes again. Soon after his arrival, he became very sick to the point I was afraid we would lose him. He was diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia and was hospitalized for 4 days. It was our first test.

To prevent our personal dogs from catching Apollo’s illness, I scrubed our home from top to bottom with disinfectant, and isolated him from the other’s at the first sign of illness. However, it was already too late. My smallest Chihuahua became ill also, and was also taken to the vet, put on antibiotics and was able to come back home. To nurse him back to health, we had to cook him chicken to eat, place him in a steamy bathroom several times a day to open up his bronchial passages, perform chest percussions to help loosen up the junk in his lungs so that he could cough it up, and fight him to take his antibiotics.

Once Apollo was able to come back, we had to continue with the isolation. Apollo couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t let him play with the other dogs, and at about 10 weeks, I worried about the effects it would have on him during this important socialization period in his life. Thankfully, everyone is better now, the isolation is over, so now we are just playing the waiting game until transport. I don’t know if we passed our first test or not, but we learned from it.

We still have many hurdles, but we are going to take them one at a time. We have to. There are dogs out there that are dying everyday that need us, and to let that happen needlessly is not only unacceptable, it rips my heart out a little at a time.