Sunday, February 19, 2017

59 and counting....

Last night as I was driving home from adoptions after a very LONG and tiring day (up at 3AM and finally calling it a day at 7PM), I was thinking back about the day... How many other people are as lucky as I am?....

Once a week, I get to spend the day with some of the NICEST people... Old and young, I get to see a lot of ladies (and a few gents) come together without a thought of getting paid, a day FULL of hard work and with no other rewards than knowing they are part of a movement to save puppy and dog lives... Yeah, sure - you can just about always count on people showing up if there is a paycheck involved, but the time and energy these folks give up comes not from anywhere else but their heart....  ♥

Today is my birthday and I am adding one more year to my 'official' age... At 59 years old now, I truly believed I would be retiring from rescue 20 years ago 'cause by now, we as a people would have stopped killing adoptable dogs in our shelters and pounds... But as I was (still) reflecting on growing older, I realized that in less than 4 months from now, our county would have gone No-Kill five (5 - yes - FIVE) years ago...

What an EXCELLENT birthday present to give an 'older-than-dirt' lady... Five years of not killing nine of out of ten dogs that walked through their doors...

Over five years ago, I used to physically sick Monday evenings because I knew the next day (Tuesday) was kill day at Ventura County Animal Services (then known as VCAR)... And that any dog I could not save and get out of there, was a dead dog early Tuesday morning... No matter how many times I'd plead for a foster that week and pray for that dog to be adopted by someone over the weekend, there were some dogs that I absolutely failed despite my very best efforts... Those dog faces are still the ones I see at times in my nightmares...

And five years later?... Monday evenings I no longer get nauseated... I don't FEAR Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays any more... In fact, this past week several of the VCAS and TLC volunteers sat at the same table at Sutter's Mill for a great fundraising dinner... Now, just how SPECIAL this memory is, huh?... Something that no one can take from me and I will have forever as long as I live... Thank-you, Donna and Barry, for committing VCAS to No-Kill in my lifetime!...

My husband and I are not wealthy... We are not even 'comfortable' and live paycheck to paycheck like everyone else does... But the love of dogs and doing rescue has 'paid' us back in memories and unconditional love that even the wealthy billionaires in this country don't have... TLC is fast approaching the 3,000 mark of saves, but what numbers don't show is the special cases and not easily adopted sweethearts that have passed through our hands and onto their own furever homes... That never shows up in statistics but it sure shows up in heartbeats and precious memories...

Yesterday, despite the threat of rain and overcast skies, there was a beacon of hope and promise that came to adoptions... A dog, thrown into an industrial trash compactor (pregnant) to have her litter inside and the first miracle was that no one pushed that button or threw in heavy trash on top of them... Feral, but not aggressive, she would not (or could not) leave the trash compactor and her puppies behind, so that is how she showed up in rescue - when brave souls climbed into the trash and hauled her and her litter out...

Her name is DeMara and we don't know how long she and her litter of pups were in that trash compactor... But when I got her, I could encircle her waist with my two hands, thumb-to-thumb and finger-to-finger... Feral, but not aggressive, she would unwillingly submit to being touched by human hands but by her body language, you could tell it was not something she was comfortable with...

Second miracle came along when her pups were weaning and another foster in TLC stepped up to allow her to dry out and start becoming socialized... Those two months brought this beautiful dog from a skin-and-bones skeleton to a plush and healthy, young adult female... Working with DeMara, she went from a 'void, no personality' dog to a dog that looked with interest at a human... It took two months, but oh my, what a big change....

And the third miracle of this dog's life?... Unexpectedly we had to switch foster homes for DeMara... Most of us in TLC foster but few of us have big dogs... I asked Lydia and her husband, Neil, if they could just foster for two weeks... And the switch occurred last Saturday at adoptions... DeMara sat, 'plastered to the parking lot' at PetSmart as she waited for her new foster mom... New sounds? New people?  New dogs?  DeMara was apprehensive and on edge... But in my mind?... She'd gone eons in change already...

Yesterday, this beautiful dog came back to adoptions... And in just a week? What another unbelievable change~!!!... Her third miracle in her lifetime and one of the sweetest birthday presents I have had... DeMara was no longer plastering herself to the ground, but actually going up to strangers and new dogs she did not know... She came up to me as I was eating my breakfast and allowed me to feed her half of my sandwich - something she had never done before to me despite being her foster mom for 6 weeks... She actually sat at my feet and took my pieces of breakfast sandwich from my hand~!!! ... Gentle, gentle too...

At one point, I had one of those 'heart shudders' you get when you realize just how much of a miracle you are looking at - right in front of you... A dog that had NO chance, nor her pups... To have three miracles in a short amount of time and to come from being feral to being a family dog... 


I willingly gave up most of my sandwich... Maybe at the beginning because I could not believe my eyes... But at the end, because I was SO enjoying the vision of her taking food from my hands...

THESE are the kinds of birthday presents I get, not just once a year, but year round... I listen to folks that work in offices and at companies, complaining about the folks they work with and for... I could not have a better job... It is hard, it is emotionally and physically draining, it pays nothing (and in fact, you pay to have it in numerous ways... smile...), but oh, how lucky, LUCKY I am...

Each day is like Christmas and every week is like having your birthday all over for the non-material 'presents' in memories and heart twitters you get... 


Yes, indeed... I am a VERY LUCKY 'older-than-dirt' lady... 

Hugs,
Linda

P.S.  DeMara at her foster mom's home with Bettie (also a rescued and now adopted homeless dog).  Bettie Davis is a Chihuahua mix with a beautiful personality... DeMara is a Jindo/Shepherd/Lab mix, sitting behind her.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New venue

We have started looking into ways to raise funds to offset the massive amount of vet bills we have, saving canine lives.

We already have the 'Luv My Dog' line of essential oils we create in a medium that you can apply to the back of their neck or at the inside tip of their ear.

In addition, we are going to start carrying unique doggie items for pet owners and lovers... Or to be used as gifts for a pet lover you love.

We will post them on our blog as they are available - use the label 'fundraiser' on the blog cloud to find these items easily.


And now for today's arrival?  Cute little 'heart doggie love' rings have arrived and will be available at our next adoption event for sale!  $6 each... 



Monday, February 13, 2017

Pain & Dogs

Dogs are extremely good at concealing pain from us.  Why do they do this?  As pack animals, not showing their suffering has clear survival benefits. The ancestors of modern dogs would commonly leave behind a member of the pack who was in pain and slowing down the group as a whole.  Each pack member needed the pack to survive, hunt and eat ~~ so without a pack, it was a death sentence.  As a result, dogs have learned to hide their pain very well, despite all the breeding we have done and changing of their genetic make-up.

And as dogs age, just like with us humans, nature takes its course.  Depending on the SIZE (and NOT human years), our canine pets move out of adulthood and into becoming a senior citizen, complete with the issues of growing older. While a large breed dog is considered "old" at 7 or 8 (human) years, smaller sized canines are really "old" until they reach 9 to 12 (human years).  As they change, we should be changing our care of them as well.

Side Note about Seniors: Food for seniors will have a lower fat content and a bit higher in fiber.  Protein levels will remain the same. Once a senior dog, they should be switched to a senior formula food accordingly. A good senior formula will have slightly higher levels of glucosamin, chondroitin,and other elements to support joint function. With many senior Chihuahuas, supplements of Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin C are more important than ever. 
We have a great sheet on how to recognize dog pain on our website in the resources section HERE.

Four of out of five large breed dogs over the age of 8 are suffering from some kind of joint pain or arthritis.  With the smaller sized canine breeds, this usually is between the ages of 9 to 12 (human) years.  Fortunately, there are some subtle signs we can look out for:

Top 6 Signs of Canine Osteoarthritis

  1. Weight Gain: Obesity is often an indirect sign of arthritis, as dogs become less active due to the pain.
  2. Difficulty in getting up to greet you: This is one of the most often cited signals. If your dog usually jumps up to greet you or visitors when they first walk in the door, but suddenly stops this behavior, there may be something wrong.
  3. Limping: Often arthritic dogs experience limping right after getting up from lying down. The limp may not last for long, and might only occur a few moments after getting up.
  4. Decreased energy: If your dogs overall energy has taken a turn for the worse, they may be feeling the pains of arthritic joints.
  5. Irritability: If your dog has become irritable for no apparent reason, they may be suffering from a hidden pain of some kind.
  6. Increased licking, biting, or chewing: Pay attention to where your dog is licking or grooming themselves. Excessive or unusual attention in one area of the body might be a result of joint pain.
Sadly, most dogs will be affected at one time or another by osteoarthritis, joint pain, or hip & elbow dysplasia. There are many factors influencing when or how bad the symptoms might be.  In general, the larger the breed of dog, the more likely they are to suffer from joint pain, and the earlier you need to start preventative measures.  

The following breeds in particular are prone to more severe joint problems. Many veterinarians recommend supplementation for these breeds as early as 3 years old: German Shepherds, Goldens, Labs, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Great Danes, Dachshunds, Newfoundlands and St. Bernards.  In the case of the Dachshund, we humans have bred the spinal column so long to create the confirmation of the dog, we have created a weakness there that requires early supplementation (even if the dog is not large in size).

Many veterinarians recommend supplementing with a high quality glucosamine, MSM, and Chondroitin supplement. In recent years, turmeric has also become a popular ingredient for joint support.  For more information on the use of turmeric, see this piece by Dogs Naturally Magazine.  The dosage of turmeric is 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per day for every 10 pounds of dog weight ( 1/2 to 1 tsp for a 40 pound dog).  And with anything natural, please don't fall into that mindset of 'if one is good, two must be great and three must be fantastic' we humans are known for.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Push Button Dogs

Just the term - 'push button dogs' - seems to be quite humorous, doesn't it?  I won't take credit for it... One of the TLC volunteers, Carol K. mentioned it and as I mulled over it?... It struck me as to how many folks expect dogs to be 'push button'... 
TLC does not rescue nor place in adoption 'push-button dogs'
At least on a daily basis, I get 5-10 requests for dogs that are potty-trained, don't ever bark, etc. in our rescue's email... And every week at our adoption events, my volunteers and I hand out hours of free education (to those willing to listen to it) on the handling and care of dogs...

The two biggest errors I see in dog owners that fail with their pets is 1) failure to be consistent and 2) lack of observation... NONE of us have all the answers to ALL of the questions, comments and issues with dogs... The very best any of us can do is to constantly try new things and hopefully find solutions for pet issues... But if you, as an owner, are not committed to being consistent with your dog and willing to be an observant dog owner, you are setting yourself up to fail eventually.... 

Take for example, the big "P" problem - be it :poop: or pee... No matter how cold it is, or rainy, or windy, every morning I go outside with my dogs... I am consistent and I am observant... They know I am going to stand outside there and watch what is going on (even in my pajamas and freezing my tuckus off!)... I want to make sure they are doing what I expect them to do, and this also gives me an opportunity to see if anyone is sick, having problems pooping or the poop is not quite 'right'... You veteran dog owners know what I am talking about here... Even the oldest dog can be potty-trained... Unless there is a medical condition (i.e. bladder infection, etc.), dogs do not want to pee and poop where they sleep and eat... It is just not in their nature... So if your pet is doing his business inside the house, you need to look at how consistent you are about keeping set hours at getting him outside... 

At my house, throughout the day, they have a doggie door they use... If a new foster does not know how to use a doggie door, the other dogs will show him quickly... But if I see the dog is unwilling to follow the other dogs?  Hot dogs work great at encouraging the dog to go through the flap... However, if you work and you are gone 9-11 hours a day, you do best to confine your dog to a section of your home or apartment that has somewhere for him to relieve himself if needed... If you leave your dog free-roam and you get hung up at work, you can only expect him to find a spot on the carpet when you don't come home at the normal time... 

I pretty much go to bed at the same time every night... My dogs and fosters will come around about 15-20 minutes before that time and watch me... Observing me to see how close I am to going to bed... They can't read a clock nor have a wristwatch, but they know... They absolutely know what time it is... My dogs are all kenneled at night for two reasons: 1) I used to let them sleep with me and eventually figured out I don't sleep as well with them in my bed and 2) after a near miss at evacuation for a wildfire heading in our direction, we could not find one of our dogs... Afraid of the smell, the dog hid somewhere we did not think of and that was enough of a scare for me... If I have to evacuate in the middle of the night, I want to be able to QUICKLY grab my important papers and our dogs.

I use the command "Kennel Up" because it is my habit... I too am a creature of habit just like dogs... Our dogs quickly beat us to their kennel at night because they know they will also get a Greenie once in their kennel... SO easy to teach a dog to do this, and even with a new foster, I don't have to worry about finding a puddle or a present somewhere... 

But I am consistent... Over and over and OVER again... If my husband uses a different command, I let him know (and/or show him) how to get the same responses I do when using the same command I do... I'm not being mean - it is for the dog's best interests that ALL family members use the same terms and commands... Dogs LOVE consistency... But they are not 'push-button dogs'... 

The better I am at being consistent in something, the more responsive they are going to be when responding... 

If your life is helter skelter, your work schedules vary, your social life is heavy and being consistent is not going to work?.... Then maybe your life is not really good for having a dog... If you still need a doggie-fix, any rescue or shelter will GLADLY appreciate your help - trust me on this!... 

The other area that comes up with people wanting to adopt 'push-button dogs' is the wrong person is making the selection when adopting... We have parents come in all the time and want to adopt a dog for their children... Let's face reality here... Your child will grow up, go through high school and maybe into college before the puppy you adopt from us today is old... No matter how smart or committed your child is, YOU are going to be the one to be the caretaker of this puppy through its normal lifespan, so if YOU don't like the dog or don't want to take on the role of the major caretaker, don't adopt a puppy... If this is just a temporary measure for a few years, adopt an older, bigger dog breed... The bigger the dog is size, the shorter the life span... 

And?... Dogs don't teach children responsibility... We as parents do... If we are not consistent in our role modeling, our kids won't be either... If you are too tired to get up and take that dog out at 6AM on Saturday mornings when the dog has been going out at that time Monday through Friday, the dog is going to have an accident in the house because your child is not going to do anything they don't see you do... 

Barking?... Well, that is not really something that is 100% genetically programmed in dogs... Dogs in the wild don't even bark - we humans taught domesticated dogs to bark... The only real difference between dog barks and breeds is the size of their lungs and how deep in volume a bark is going to be... But if barking is tolerated (or even encouraged as puppies), your adult dog is going to bark when they are bored, if they are still intact (not spayed or neutered) or hear a strange noise... I don't 'untrain' dogs in regards to the door bell, but otherwise?... I don't like barking dogs... Consistency and a water spray bottle works wonders, but only if you get up and use it IMMEDIATELY over and over again until you have broken the habit in the dog... Hollering out the window to 'SHUT UP' only causes your neighbors to hate you more than your barking dog!

Your dog is NOT going to like each and every one of your friends... Face it... Do you?... Of course not!... Some dogs seem to have a much higher level of tolerating all kinds of smells... Maybe they were introduced to a lot of smells as puppies and aren't surprised by some of these outlandish aftershaves and perfumes... If one of your friends 'smells funny' to your dog and acts nervous around your dog, your furbaby is simply NOT going to like them... Nothing personal... Just not your dog's cup of tea... So when that friend comes over?... Let Spot take a nap in the bedroom... Easy to fix... 

A car gets older, it seems to need more mechanical work... We get older, we take more trips to the doctor's... Same goes for your dog... The older they get (and especially if you've fed them junk dog food all this time and didn't do dentals every few years), the more your dog is going to need to see a vet... With a car we intend to keep, we are much more diligent about the maintenance of it... But dogs aren't leased - once no longer cute and a puppy - and maybe with bad habits you've taught them or allowed them to learn - surrendering to a rescue or a shelter is not a good thing... 

But if you HAVE to surrender your dog, the MOST and HONEST information you can give at time of surrender will be more insurance that your pet finds a good, furever home... There are people that will adopt a dog that bites children - but don't neglect to give the shelter or rescue this kind of information... If your dog lifts his leg in the house all the time, this can be fixed (neutering is the first step, installing a cat scratch tree right outside the doggie door and applying chemicals is another quick fix)... As long as we know what the issues are, we can quickly either re-train or advise an adopter of what still needs work... 

NONE of us knows what the future will bring... When you brought that cute puppy home, you might not have known your new husband is a wife-beater and you can't stay married to them... Moving is something we ALL know about ahead of time, so that is not a good reason to surrender a dog (IMHO)... Just about any other reason, any reputable rescue (if they have room) should not make you feel guilty about surrendering your dog... And most will try and give you proven suggestions and tips that we use...  I always ask, "Do you REALLY want to keep this dog?" and if a pet owner does, I really try to help...

Most good shelters have pet retention programs in place now, so if you have issues you need help with, why  not contact your local shelter, be HONEST with them about what is going on and there is a good possibility that you don't have to give up your dog... But only if YOU made the right decision at the beginning and did not expect your pet to be a 'push button dog'...

We as humans, are genetically programmed to respond to respond to cute, wiggling puppies and sweet babies... If you are totally not affected by one or both, you've learned to ignore the heart tug... But if you adopt based upon what you believe a breed WILL BE LIKE, or because you had that breed as a child instead of how that dog is acting after 10 days in your life with your lifestyle, you are simply going to find there are no 'push button dogs'...

Throw out your misconceptions of what is old (dogs do NOT age seven years to every one human - it all depends upon their size), which dog breeds are naturally aggressive, sex determines temperament and/or automatic bad habits along with the idea that rescue or shelter dogs are 'broken', 'less than', 'someone else's nightmare', etc... Dogs are no more 'push button' than we as humans are... 

Think outside the box (and the button)... There are a wealth of homeless dogs and cats that need a home and yours just might be the best ever!

Monday, January 9, 2017

More bow ties coming!

We rapidly sold out of the doggie bow ties a volunteer was making as fundraisers, but we now have another volunteer interested in doing this.  The father and son team had just a blast making the doggie bow ties that the son asked his dad to make one just for him to wear.  Isn't it adorable?



Expect a new selection at our next adoption event to be seen and purchased!

Friday, December 23, 2016

How much is that doggie in the window?

I, as the Director of TLC, generally work the email box for the rescue... Out of every 5 emails, at least one will be "How much is your adoption fee?"... Usually the person is inquiring after the cutest and most highly sought-after puppy that just arrived on our website, finally available for adoption... And on occasion, I do get a reply back that either a) "Why aren't your dogs free?" or b) "Too expensive - I'll find one elsewhere"...

For years, we defended our adoption donation rates - we are not in the business of 'selling dogs or puppies' but in saving them... And saving a shelter dog is not cheap... A few months back, one of our volunteers 'shopped' the local vets to see if we could lower the cost of our spays and neuters... The lowest cost was $300 and the highest (for a 60 pound large breed) was $700... Currently we use Best Friends in Mission Hills and we pay the same rate that the general public does ($114)... It is hard to get an appointment and 'spay day' means you are up at 5:30AM, there by 6:30AM and don't leave until about an hour later... Then the process is repeated in the reverse in the afternoon, you'll hit the rush hour traffic coming home and if you live in Simi Valley, the pick-up process can easily take you two hours to complete....

Our adoption donations are pretty standard - $500 for any puppy under 6 months old and over 6 months old, it drops to $350... We no longer take checks because of the incidents with the general public who adopted from us, and then called the bank and stopped payment on their checks... Some people will do everything they can to get a free puppy or dog, so that is on them... We changed our policy now - credit card or cash only now.... 



Because we are No-Kill, we will keep any dog we pull and commit to, regardless of how long, until we can find that great furever home... This little guy (Jack-Jack) is our record in the rescue... We pulled him in 2010 and we still had him in 2013 until he was adopted... In between those times, we feed him, he had numerous vet visits and bills, got his booster shots and rabies, etc.   And TLC does not feed its dogs and puppies crap... The average daily food cost is about $2.00 a day... Multiply that cost by three years and you get a partial representation of just how much it costs  AFTER you have gotten a shelter dog up to adoption standards...

Also, because we are No-Kill, WHENEVER possible we will take back one of our adopted dogs if the adopter can no longer keep them... And this happens more than anyone can imagine... We cannot always do this, but we jump through hurdles and obstacles to make sure that our dogs do not go back through the shelter systems... We are foster-based now, so we are ALWAYS in desperate need of foster homes - and the number of foster homes is in DIRECT relationship to the number of dogs and puppies we can save each year... 


One of our small dogs was adopted out twice and returned twice... He recently got adopted and his new adoptive mom has emailed us, saying "He is the PERFECT dog.  We have been looking for months to find just the right dog.  I cannot believe (XXXXX) has been adopted twice and returned.  He was meant to be MY dog - that is the only reason I can think of to explain his history!"...

So back to the topic - "How much is that doggie in the window?"... 


In TLC, we do NOT believe in spay abortions... This goes against the grain and mindset of most of the humane organizations, shelters, etc... It is legal in our state (California) to euthanize any animal that cannot be adopted... Because unborn puppies cannot be spayed or neutered --- or must stay at the shelter or organization until they are at least 8 weeks old and two pounds --- pregnant moms are generally euthanized, and if cute and adoptable, space is at a premium and the shelter does not want to release the mom and pups to a rescue, the puppies are euthanized so the mom can be moved onto an adoptable situation after she is spayed...

But in TLC, we have found after MANY years of doing this, pregnant moms who get a spay abortion (especially when close to delivery) usually become incontinent later on in life... The only reason for this (we believe) is that when you disturb the natural progression of things, the hormone production is interrupted, the internal organs do not naturally go back into place, etc...


We also believe (and again, going against the grain of the humane community's mindset), if we always have spayed or neutered puppies available to be adopted, the general public just might adopt instead of buying an INTACT puppy from a back-yard breeder or off the Internet... Our puppies do not contribute to the epidemic of unwanted, homeless animals that flood our shelter systems in this country... And if you decide to buy and not adopt, take a few minutes to review your purchase agreement regarding your new puppy... Does the breeder take back their puppies until the natural old age time?... Does the back-yard breeder also participate heavily in rescue of their chosen breed they do for profit?... Just something to think about if you are determined to buy and not adopt... 

So why the $500 adoption donation for puppies under 6 months old?... 

Simply put?  Supply and demand.


We want to rescue the dogs that are left behind in the shelters to die or be euthanized... Usually they are older than 5 years (when they are no longer considered 'adoptable' by the general public), and the smaller the breed, the longer the lifespan of the dog... A cared-for Chihuahua can live 15 to 20 years... But if they are over 5 years in a shelter situation?... People are passing them by and not adopting...

Recently we pulled a 10-year old TEENY Chihuahua out of the shelter system... Very sweet little pup about 3.5 pounds... Potty-trained, the foster mom reported she got along very well with her dogs, was no problem to foster and just a little cuddle-bunny who was a sweetheart... Older than 6 months, for us she would be a $350 adoption donation... 
Once Tuni went in to see our vet (who was VERY generous with what he charged us as a rescue), her dental bill was $335 and some change... 




As a rescue committed to this dog until we find her a furever home, that does not leave us very much 'wiggle room' to keep this dog and keep her healthy... This is WHY our puppy adoption donations are $500 - to provide a few extra dollars to take care of the dogs that are not going to be adopted and out the door right away...

Regardless - all TLC dogs and puppies are going to be adopted to you with these items:


  • Spayed or neutered
  • Micro-chipped - lifetime activation with no additional charges for changes
  • Be current on their vaccines (dependent upon the time they arrived in our hands and rescued) - puppies require three series of vaccines (bordetella, plus the core "5" - distemper, parvo, etc.).  If they are born in our rescue, they generally have the time to get all three series prior to adoption - we start at 4 weeks old, do them every 2 weeks and by 8 weeks, they have had all three series.
  • If they are over 4 months old, they generally also have their rabies vaccine
  • Complimentary vet visit at our vet within 5 days of adoption
  • 10% off coupon at Theresa's for all supplies bought within 5 days of adoption (with the exception of food)
  • Large coupon booklet from Petco valued at over $650
  • Even LARGER coupon booklet from PetSmart
  • Complimentary groom from Indiana Bones' House of Groom
  • Post adoption support from TLC
And your adoption donation is tax deductible to the extent of your IRS status... plus once you adopt from TLC, we go right back out and save a dog's or puppy's life... You are actually saving two dogs in reality - this one you are adopting and the next one we now have room for in our foster base.

So, how much is that doggie in the window?... You tell me - it all depends upon your perception of things... Recently I complimented someone on something they had, and their response was, "Oh, thank-you!  It really was not that expensive... I only paid $150 for it at (XXXXX)"... I gulped internally, smiled and replied it was really nice, but in my head I am thinking to myself, "I have NEVER sent more than $20 in my lifetime for one of those.  OMG!!"

Saving a dog or puppy's life in your lifetime?  Priceless is my answer.

With many doggie hugs,
Linda
TLC Director


P.S. If you would like to read more on this topic, here is another website to read through - it is from 2010 but the majority of it still applies today - "How Much is that Doggie in the Shelter?"

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

If you adopted a puppy from us at TLC, these photos might be hard to look at... But on Giving Tuesday, we thought you might like to see where it begins and why we work so hard throughout the year in TLC... 


Dedicated to No-Kill in Ventura County, we pull from Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) and fill every available foster slot we have... A dog gets adopted?... We go right back in and save another dog's life... If they have a pregnant mom or mom with pups, we always take them despite the difficulty and much greater expense to save this kind of rescue...

But we also have a commitment with another shelter that if we have room,  and they have a pregnant female or a nursing mom with pups, we will do our best to save both the mom and pups... We do not pull dogs older than 6 months from this shelter, always giving priority first to VCAS in an effort to support No-Kill in our county... 
From this shelter, my dear Momma came almost 4 years ago and I could not have asked for a better dog... She too came VERY pregnant to us and delivered 9 pups in my home office shortly after arriving into our hands... 

If you adopted a puppy from us in the past four years, it is very likely it came from Delano, the same shelter we got Momma from... 

Footnote: The mindset in the humane community is to spay and neuter, and if the mom is pregnant to spay/abort the puppies... TLC has never believed in this practice... We have also felt that if we had spayed/neutered puppies available for adoption, the general public is more likely to adopt instead of going to the Internet or to a backyard breeder to buy an intact puppy...  As all of our puppies are spayed or neutered prior to adoption, we know our puppies are not contributing to the epidemic of homeless, unwanted pets flooding into shelter by unwanted pregnancies... 


I am not saying our way of thinking is common and/or the norm... Most rescues do not want to take in pregnant moms or moms with nursing litters... They usually take the puppies and leave the mom behind... 

The mortality rate of the puppies is high because the mom might have gotten pregnant in poor health, and may not have good nutritional standards while being pregnant... Litters of puppies are fragile and it takes a great deal of care to insure all of them will make it... 

But when you see (as we have for the past 3-4 years), where these moms are coming from and the dire circumstances they are in, it is very hard for us in TLC to say "No" when asked by this shelter to save a mom and her pups... 


If a mom comes into this shelter and she's pregnant, she's going to be in an open kennel run with other dogs... 

This is the high desert and it gets COLD at night... With limited funds and virtually no walk-in traffic, these dogs have a hard time getting adopted, but a pregnant mom?... It is highly likely she is going to have to deliver her pups in an open kennel run -- then attempt to keep them warm and fed under some almost impossible situations... 

So this is where your donations go when you donate to TLC... We save these moms with their pups, give them warm, dry, loving homes to grow up in and with good nutritional needs being met.... When they are old enough, we start their puppy shots and at 8 weeks, we spay or neuter both mom and the pups... 

These moms are not delivering in a puddle of water or having to protect their pups from other dogs walking about, thanks to your support of our efforts in TLC... We, as a small rescue without taxpayer dollars cannot afford to do this kind of rescue without the community's support and donations... Last year's vet bills were over $100,000 and we are always behind the eight ball, trying to do a lot with very little...

So on this Giving Tuesday, we ask you to dig deep and donate to TLC so we can continue the kind of rescue work we do... 

Donations can be done online at our website - http://www.tinylovingcanines.org/donate.html

or you can donate through our Wall of Love on our Facebook page.

With your help, you insure puppies survive, thrive and find their own furever homes!  Thank you!

Linda, Director, TLC