Proof that Shelter Dogs Rule

September 15, 2009

Here I am, sitting in front of my computer researching. Researching any possible opportunity for my shelter foster dog, Raleigh. She’s a wonderful house dog and fun companion—that is until you introduce a cat, go on a walk or see a squirrel. Then she becomes a tornadic terror. Yeah, she has an issue or two. But one on one—what a great dog.

So I’m belaboring this problem and the possible solutions and I came across this wonderful story about shelter dogs and people dedicated to them. I think I’ll stop bitching about Raleigh for a while.

Taking Responsibility

August 5, 2009

I’m used to people asking me for help about what to do with a stray animal. I do what I can to provide resources and options.

But WTF is up with this? A woman I work with came to me “because I like dogs” to ask what her son should do with his pit bull he doesn’t want anymore. (BTW–her son is a college educated kid and she’s a professional.) Apparently the dog is chewing everything up and is about to go into heat and they can’t take it. But she added that the dog is really nice and not vicious. I told her they could take the the dog to the shelter, but she’ll likely be euthanized, if they’re OK with that. She said “You know, it’s funny, last night I took her out beyond our neighborhood and dumped her. But this morning, there she was in the driveway. Can you believe that?” Uh, yeah, I can.

I’m so mad I think I could throw up. I can’t even look at her but feel inclined to email her the definition of responsibility.

Fuck, people! Does no one have the balls to deal with the problems they create?! If you don’t provide the proper care and attention to your pets, there’s no one to blame for their behavior other than you. So that means it’s your responsibility to deal with it. And if that means you have to turn them over to a shelter, then grow a pair and do it. There are consequences for every action. Take responsibility.

Pixie and Ivy

March 13, 2009

This is Pixie

This is Pixie

I’m taking a foster break. That’s what I have to tell myself every time I walk through BARC and see all of those sad eyes looking at me. Fostering is a tough job and sometimes you need a break to restore your sanity, your household, your bank account…

Apparently I fell off the wagon because a few weeks ago, I pulled a sweet mom and her pup from BARC. In addition to being on an alleged break, I also said I wasn’t going to foster any more puppies. Guess I messed that one up, too. And they’re small dogs. While I don’t have a thing against smaller dogs, I’m really more of a big dog gal.

Little Pup, Ivy

Little Pup, Ivy

Pixie, the mom, is by farthe easiest foster I’ve ever had. She’s house trained, quiet, well behaved, HEALTHY, cute, sweet–and she has an adopter! She’s going to her forever home with a very nice, caring couple next week.

Luckily, I have a great friend who not only comes up with excellent pet names (Pixie and Ivy), but is also fostering Ivy until Pixie gets adopted. Ivy is cute–seriously, damn cute. And she’s smart. An excellent combination of beauty and brains!

Any guesses on the breed mix for either of these two? I think dogs like this are the reason someone invented doggy DNA testing. I think Pixie (about 18 months old and 16 lbs.)  is spaniel/sheltie and Ivy (about 10 weeks old and 8 lbs.) is spaniel/Australian shepherd. Who really knows? And does it really matter? Not to me. Mutts rule.
 

Take a look at Elliot. This gorgeous purebred Labrador retriever arrived at BARC on New Years Day. His characteristics scream lab—friendly, active, loves to fetch, silly. I spent about 30 minutes with him Sunda0979427-elliot1ay taking photos and getting to know him so he could be marketed in this week’s BARC Starz email that features highly adoptable dogs. Lab rescue was also working to try to spring him from the shelter. Options—a lot more options than some shelter dogs have.

Isn’t he great? Don’t you think there’s a family out there who would just adore such a smart, attractive boy?

Oh, I failed to mention. He’s dead. That’s right. Twenty-four hours after receiving confirmation from Dr. O, the head vet at BARC, that Elliot would be ready and available to be featured in BARC Starz, she euthanized him due to “illness.” I spent half an hour with this dog two days ago. Firm stool, no coughing or sneezing, no injuries. In addition, this dog was fully vaccinated on intake and heartworm negative. So why, exactly, did Elliot have to die, Dr. O? Unfortunately, she has yet to provide a response.

One more bit of proof that Houston’s City Pound, BARC, is truly a disaster.

BARC’s head vet, “Dr.” Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze (Eunice Ohashiegbula-Ozuzu), had her vet license suspended in New Jersey after she provided poor care that lead to the death of three dogs in 2003-2004. Oh, and she failed to mention it on her employment app with BARC. Apparently, a couple of years before, she also received a fine associated with poor care and poor record keeping.

Houston, the fourth largest City in the country, and this is the best we can do? How many times have I asked myself that very question when thinking about BARC?! Yeah, it’s a lousy job. But it’s also a job where you have a chance to make a difference and bring an ailing and backward program into the current century. It’s an opportunity to be a hero, a leader, a forward thinker. But the City of Houston hires an incompetent butcher and two-time loser? Houston animals and Houston tax payers deserve better.

Willow Needs Your Help

August 18, 2008

 

Help Willow with her Vet Bills
Help Willow with her Vet Bills

This sweetie is Willow, rottweiler puppy rescued from BARC, Houston animal control/City pound, at the end of July after all of her litter mates were euthanized.

Willow has spent her very short life in and out of a shelter, foster homes, and vet clinics. One minute is seems like she’s fine, the next she’s in an oxygen tent fighting for her life. Rottilove Rescue is footing the bill while vets try to do their best to make her healthy. Willow has pneumonia and an oxygen block in her lungs. This is a photo I took of her the day she was sprung from a certain death from the shelter.

The bills have really stacked up for the small, underfunded Rottweiler rescue group. They could use some help with Willow’s treatment. Bills for this little pup will exceed $1000. I’ve pitched in $100 and will try to do another $100 in September.

No amount is too small. Seriously, $5 can help! Donations can be sent to:
Rottilove Rescue, Inc.
175 Fawn Ridge Rd.
Cedar Creek, TX 78612
Include a note that your donation is for Willow. Rottilove is a 501c3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Willow in an Oxygen Tank

 

Willow in an Oxygen Tank

Don’t let funding get in the way of this little pound puppy having the life she deserves.

O Happy Day for Mel

August 16, 2008

I’m so happy! Melbourne, my Australian Cattle Dog foster, has officially been adopted. There ended up being several people interested in him but the final choice was pretty obvious. Mel’s new Dad is a very nice guy who had a heeler for 15 years. Man and dog bonded almost immediately. Mel will live in the city but will spend weekends in the country on several acres with cattle. Mel the cow dog will get a chance to see cows! The adopter is willing to continue to work with Mel on obedience and socialization and seems to be a very committed owner. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I hope there will be many happy days ahead for Mel. He has been through a lot and he deserves a happy and fun-filled life.

I guess this is the City of Houston’s idea of a hurricane evacuation plan for BARC, the animal control shelter. City bureaucracy at its finest.

FOSTERS!!! HELP NEEDED! See below from Dr. O. They are asking us to help evacuate dogs and cats from BARC and house them temporarily during the storm. This would obviously be a short term foster need…hopefully only a day or two and the animals can go back to BARC.

It is my understanding that Sean Hawkins is organizing an air transport of some dogs and cats to Denver. Not sure how many will be going. Obviously, if we can get some of the dogs and cats out and housed here that would be better. If you can go get a dog/cat or two or three, please go now! I believe that all dogs and cats not taken today will be euthanized.

Please respond with questions to kdeffebach@sbcglobal.net or call me 713-412-1693.

Kathy

—–Original Message—–
From: Ohashiegbula-Iwunze, Eunice – HLT
[mailto:Eunice.Ohashiegbula-Iwunze@cityofhouston.net]
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 1:13 PM
Subject: Re: Hurricane Warning- is BARC in need of help today??
Importance: High

It is official, spread the word and come get them. Only south kennels first.
Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze
Division Manager
Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care
Dept of Health and Human Services
City of Houston
2700 Evella
77026
713 229 7309

SavingAnimals.org has apparently chartered a 757 to transport 300 cats and dogs to Denver. Apparently they’re still trying to get recipients on that end. We’ll see what happens.

I must have been out of my mind Sunday when I decided to pull the 3 heeler pups to foster. I just couldn’t stand the idea of them getting sick and dying at BARC. So they’re home with me.

They’ve been cleaned up and I’ve taken them to my own vet. They have sniffles, but are in generally good shape. They’re on a couple of different meds. I’m getting some excellent advice from people who have a LOT of experience with sick BARC puppies which is helpful for a novice like me. I’m keeping a very close eye on them. I don’t want anything to happen to these babies!

There are two males and a female. I call the female Sydney. The males are Ranger and Shiner. More to come.

A litter of Australian Cattle Dogs/heelers were recently dumped in a Houston park and were taken to BARC. Three of the litter of six are still at BARC awaiting adoption. Pups do not do well in shelters. They get sick and die. Sad, but true.

Adopt one of these abandoned pups

Adopt one of these abandoned pups

These guys have had a rough start that they did not deserve. You can help by adopting or fostering one of these cuties. Or even passing the word to your friends can help. Let’s get them out of the shelter this weekend. Here’s BARC’s info:

BARC (Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care–Houston animal control)
3200 Carr
Houston, TX 77026
M – F 11:30am – 5:30pm
S & S noon – 4:00pm