Monday, September 5, 2016

Another "+" for a Pitty!

Pit Bulls get such a bad rap that I try and point out good things that happen with this breed... At the end of 2012 (the day after Christmas), TLC rescued a VERY pregnant Pit Bull with her 6 month old daughter... The report came into
Delano Animal Services that there was a 'mean and vicious set of Pit Bulls in the lemon grove by my house'... A TLC volunteer drove to Delano and saved these two - the mom was originally named "Lemoncello" because of the grove... Her daughter got adopted out almost as soon as we got her spayed and up to date on shots... 

Lemoncello (to be renamed "Momma") had her 9 puppies two weeks later in the VERY small office in my home... It was a 14 hour effort with all family members chipping in to keep the whelping area dry and clean as Momma delivered her pups... One pup we almost lost and were it not for my husband's efforts with resuscitation and care, she would not be a healthy Pitty today... 

Momma's puppies all became adopted right away and my volunteers kept turning down each adoption application we got on her... They wanted her to become a 'shop dog' and eventually she started coming home with me each night from the rescue shop... She's smart... REALLY smart... Each challenge I throw at her, she achieves and exceeds my expectations... 

Now that you have her back story, let me share some more with you... 

Not only has Momma traveled to Vegas to attend a Best Friends rescue conference, she has been an ambassador of the breed to MANY young children and folks afraid of this breed... She'll lick you to death given half a chance... A few of the TLC volunteers she absolutely LOVES, and spotting them from way off, she will get totally nuts with excitement and overjoyed with the anticipation of lovin' up on them... 

We called on Momma to save a little puppy's life who needed blood transfusions.... I rushed this pup to our vet's office, convinced he would die before I got there with him and Momma... 

I put Momma in a 'sit-stay' and she stood while they pulled blood from her artery in the neck and transfused the pup... As God is my witness, that pup was prostrate and near death... But in less than 10 minutes, he was up and howling, jumping around like all puppies do... The vet techs could not believe they did not need to muzzle Momma to get the blood drawn and then even more surprised with Momma's blood saved this pup from dying... 

Now, let me share the fourth 'save' Momma has done... This 'mean, vicious Pit Bull' that she is... (being sarcastic here as I truly believe Momma knows she is helping other canines and people get over the bad rap Pitties get)... 

A little over a week ago on Saturday, August 27th, one of the TLC volunteers let us know that her dear Fredo had been admitted to Conejo Valley Animal Hospital in severe straits... 

He had some red blood-like bruises on his belly and blood tests confirmed that he has very low counts on platelets (14... and they admit dogs with under 70,000 for ER care)... Fredo was actually bleeding out internally... 

At the time, they did not really know what was wrong with Fredo and were doing everything they could to save his life... They were treating it very aggressively and he continued to deteriorate... 

Getting no better, the next day I suggested that Momma could donate blood to Fredo on the hope it would help... Eventually on Tuesday, August 30th, a blood transfusion became literally his last hope and we rushed Momma over for the donation of blood... Again, she was great and well-behaved... I truly do think she knows she is doing something good for other dogs...  I really do... 

And Fredo is a SWEET Schnauzer mix... Full of love and young - he's only 4 years old!... Very much loved by his fur-parents and has always received the best of care... 

That afternoon they transfused only half of what was drawn from Momma and Fredo started perking up... He ate the fresh chicken his mom had brought for him... 

Diagnosis? (per his mom)

Fredo has an autoimmune disorder that causes Thrombocytopenia which causes his own body to destroy his platelets. There is no known cause. It usually goes undetected until it becomes life threatening. Usually in younger dogs it's hard to find because they don't get blood work done as often. They admit dogs with low platlets at 70,000 and he had 0. He's really lucky to be alive. He has bleeding in his GI tract because of Meds or that the platlets can't clot the bleeding. Once in remission, he can start to be weaned off the Meds slowly and monitored closely within 6mo-year. It might come back "with a vengeance " but we are not going there yet. 

Two days later on September 1st, according to his mom -
"Fredo has improved significantly!!!! The vet said they are having a celebration in the lab because he has 104,000 NEW PLATLETS!!!! Thanks to Momma for buying him some time and new medications he might be able to come home tomorrow! He's not out of the woods yet, but this is the best news we've had in 5 days. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.
And on September 2nd, Fredo was well enough to come home... He's on tons of meds and needs to take it easy of course... Even just moving around slightly,
our muscles do these little mini-tears, causing micro bleeding and if you don't have platelets or your body is not making them, the body's natural system cannot clot this mini-tears.

I have now joking referred to Fredo as being a 'Schn-itty' having been infused with Momma's blood (her mom was a American Staffordshire and dad was a Bull Terrier, according to the DNA we ran)... 

We continue to pray and wish for good thoughts for Fredo... 

BTW, Fredo's mom 'gives back' by doing all of the gorgeous photos of the dogs and puppies we rescue these past several years... And the TLC volunteer group is very much a family, extended and large, but all of us pull together when one member or their furbabies are in danger... I am grateful Momma has such strong, rich blood and she readily is willing and able to donate blood to other canines in need... 

So the next time you see a Pit Bull, and immediately think bad thoughts of the breed, consider how many of these noble dogs are giving back ~~ and in BIG ways ~~ to others and the community... 

I know Momma 'gives back' to me every night as she listens to my day and gets her pats and cuddles... 76 pounds, but tons and tons of heart and love for everyone she meets... I wish everyone would get these 'Momma blessings' that I do!



Love ya, Momma!  ♥♥♥ Thanks for saving another dog's life! ♥♥♥






Saturday, August 20, 2016

Celebrating - Jake!

We wanted to celebrate Jake's story with you... As a puppy, Jake was involved in a house fire and surrendered to a vet for care...


Jake made a full recovery but the scars remained...



A local firefighter felt compelled to give Jake a home despite the horrible shape the puppy was in...



Now Jake hangs out at the fire station with his dad!  He travels around with his dad, giving out educational information regarding fire safety and is a mascot of the fire department.  He has even been sworn in as an official member of the department!



Just goes to show you one more time that ANY dog can rise like a Phoenix from the ashes and be a contributing member of the community if just ONE person cares enough to commit to being a furever dad or mom!


Jake also has his own Facebook page now ~~> CLICK

IT JUST TAKES ONE PERSON TO SAVE THE LIFE OF A HOMELESS PET.

Have a ... be that person today!

Go adopt a homeless animal and save their life!







Thursday, June 9, 2016

Not in my neighborhood

TLC has always struggled to find space to save animal lives since we went from a foster-based rescue to what is called a 'brick and mortar' organization... 

Having the ability to save animal lives and be open 7 days a week for the general public to view, interact with and hopefully adopt is what we believe is an essential part of No-Kill and keeping this county at the No-Kill status... 

For those not familiar with the definition of No-Kill, basically it means that no healthy, adoptable animal is killed and to achieve No-Kill status, 90% or more entering your shelter must live... 
At one time in our county when I first got involved out here in California in rescue, for every 10 animals that entered the shelter system, only one came out alive... Five years ago, our county had a kill rate of 60%... For every 10 animals that went into the shelter system, only four came out alive... 

TLC has actively pursued the goal that no healthy, adoptable animal needs to die in our county since its beginning on June 9th of 2009... Yes, today is our 7th year anniversary and in 2,557 days, TLC has managed to save 2,723 animal lives - more than one day... 

On a day we should be celebrating our victories and continuing to achieve our goals, we are being evicted by a landlord that does not want to lease to a dog rescue... Not that we don't pay our almost $5,000 a month rent... But because he does not want to lease to a rescue and it is a 'bad fit'.... 

On Monday, June 6th, we lost in court fighting the eviction and are currently waiting for the sheriff to post the notice on our door that we have 5 days to vacate the four spaces we have gutted, built out, created a rescue center in and have operated a full-time, volunteer-run organization in... 

We find it incredible that there is currently 43 empty commercial properties in Simi Valley and not one of the landlords or owners are willing to lease space to a nonprofit rescue that provides such a valuable service to this community... 



Even more ironic is that our county's shelter currently has more than 600 homeless animals - an all time high in their history - and they continue to struggle to keep the No-Kill status they fought so hard for in the summer of 2012... They have stopped owner surrenders for the past week, while we can offer no relief because we ourselves are being kicked out of our rental space!

The 'not in my neighborhood' or 'in my property' prevails... And it makes you wonder about things... 

Simi Valley's citizens have long protested the huge number of massage parlors in our city - to the point we were referred to as 'Slimy Valley'... At last count there were 34, but these businesses don't seem to have a problem finding property to lease... To the point that in January of last year, our city council adopted a 45-day moratorium on the issuance of licenses for massage parlors... Something Mayor Huber spoke out about over 5 years ago... And something our police department has an additional workload to enter and inspect... We, as a city, struggle with the drug problem here as well... Two areas that attract the criminal element - both areas TLC volunteers have observed from the center and reported to the local police department as any good citizen would... 

But to lease to us?... "Nah, not in my neighborhood"... Makes you wonder how many of these commercial landlords and owners actually live in our city...

In the meantime, TLC has no where to go and 57 dogs and puppies in our rescue... And five days to move.


Monday, May 9, 2016

2 sides (??) to every story???

It is said there are two sides to every story...

So, dear owner, allow me to share my side of this story... Sometime between us closing the rescue center on Saturday evening and 7AM on Mother's Day, you climbed up our steps and left your dog at our doorstep... 


No food, no water, no collar, no note, no information... nothing.

TLC volunteers came in to open and found this poor sweet lady curled up on the artificial grass mat inside the gated area on our front patio... 

How could you do this to your pet?

We have named her "Jane Doe" at this point, and have tried numerous different foods in the hopes of getting her to eat... 

Finally I was able to convince her to eat part of my smoked bacon/cheddar egg sandwich from Starbucks this morning... The first thing she has eaten for us since her arrival... And we tried EVERYTHING at our disposal... We know absolutely nothing about this dog, and how can anyone be so cruel to abandon a dog like this?


We noticed she left blood spots when she urinated, so she (at our expense) is at the vet's office right now... So far, she has badly infected ears, has a skin condition and an ultrasound has been run to see if she has bladder stones causing the bleeding... 

The vets believe she is about 12 years old... 

If you have a side of the story, we'd love to hear it... And yes, we have security surveillance tapes of her being dumped like this... 

If you did not have the funds to provide her with medical care, VCAS does have a program that they can help you out... If you had called us ahead of time, we might have been able to help as well... Instead you chose to throw away this dog like yesterday's newspaper... 

So now, we as a nonprofit rescue are picking up the tab and trying to put this dog's story together like a jigsaw puzzle... We don't know if she's had her shots and is up to date... We do not believe she is spayed... She has no microchip... All of the things any responsible owner would do if they loved their pet... 

Awaiting your call or email to explain your side of the story, "Jane Doe" sits and wonders why she was left at our doorstep like this... 


"Jane Doe" - abandoned our our doorstep in the middle of the night on Mother's Day, 2016

P.S. If anyone wants to help out with her vet bills, we certainly could use the help.  You can donate through PayPal on our website - http://www.tinylovingcanines.org/donate.html




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

H-2-O.... ut oh!

We have bottled drinking water at the house, and have had it for years now after my doctor recommended it, citing research he's read for quite some time about the connection between digestive issues and the amounts of drugs that are dispensed, consumed and then end up in water supplies, but not removed by water companies... I wish I had kept the link he gave me to that web site, but I guess if you are that interested, you'll Google and find it...

The dogs in our house also drink bottled water... More of a convenience frankly, than going to the kitchen sink to refill their large bowl... 


This morning I read a survey done that ended up in my email and it was a bit startling.... 

Now, I don't have any cats, but it sure does make you wonder about what is in our water (and especially because we pay some pretty hefty water rates here in Southern California!)

If you want to read the entire article you can find it here ~~>
http://trupanion.com/blog/2016/04/trupanion-trends-hard-water-pet-urinary-health-study/


More on this topic:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Too nice to die....

I have an aversion to leaving nice dogs to die... If you are a nice dog but you are an older dog, your chances of getting adopted diminish... I have often thought to myself, "What if people treated other people the same way they treat the dogs in shelters?  Older dogs get euthanized, dogs with medical issues die, even fat dogs don't get adopted as quickly and run the chance of being killed... where would that leave me?  I'm old, I have medical issues, I am overweight...."


Well, Nasir is not overweight but he certainly has won the heart of many TLC volunteers, including mine...  We found him at the Camarillo shelter and knew going in that he had a cataract in his right eye... But that didn't stop us from pulling him...

Shortly after saving him, the cataract 'flipped' and instead of flipping inwards, it flipped outwards... 

When we came into the rescue center that morning, it looked like his entire eyeball was going to burst out of its socket... I will spare you the gruesome image and not publish that photo on this blog...

He was also not in really good health... He was underweight and apparently not been giving good nutritional food for some time... His coat was and thin in places... 

But personality-wise?  He was a love... pure sweetness wrapped up in 5 pounds of heart and affection... 


Off to the vets he went... And then we discovered he had a grade 4 heart murmur... Surgery would be dangerous for him... sigh... BIG sigh...

These are the times I HATE what I do... 

Too many times it comes down to the lack of money to save these dogs... 

An 11-year old dog with an adoption donation of $200 and now facing a $1200 surgery to remove this eye... He's really not old in dog years for this breed, but still... And I know, I know... We can't save them all, but it does not make my job any easier... 

I am usually pretty good at making decisions and I have to - every day - based upon what can we do to save and take good care of ALL of the dogs we save at TLC...  Looking at this logically, we just could not afford this new surgery, and even if we could, would he even survive it?

The hard decision had to be made... And I made it... But I tossed and turned that night... Throughout the night... And unhappy about the decision I had made to have him humanely euthanized the next morning... 


When I woke up, I realized I just could not do it... Some how, some way, I would find the money to get this surgery done... He was just TOO sweet and loving of a dog to have to die because of a medical issue that could be fixed... 

Instead of taking him that morning to be humanely euthanized, I took him in to have his surgery done... And then I nervously awaited throughout the day for news from the vet's office... 

Most of the TLC volunteers sat on pins and needles with me... Nasir had quickly become a favorite of everyone's... It was a big sigh of relief when we learned he had pulled through the surgery... 


Once this eye got taken care of, Nasir had a rough first week... But slowly he started gaining weight and his coat started filling out well... 

Because he is potty trained and oh-so-friendly, we let him wander around in the lobby at the rescue center now... He greets people (and begs to be held) when they sit down to do their adoption paperwork on some other dog or puppy... 

We keep hoping someone will see him for the jewel of a dog he is, and he will find his own furever home... He has such an endearing little almost cat-like sound he makes when he is asking to be picked up and cuddled... That little bob of a tail wiggles to beat the band and you cannot help but fall in love with him!

I think (??) he is getting some extra treats and being sneaked some extra goodies, 'cause he is starting to get a bit chunky 'round the middle... (smile)... And losing an eye has not changed one thing about his personality except to make him even more loving, if that is possible... Maybe there is some internal thing going on that he knows despite not having the money to do the surgery, we did it anyway because he truly is worth it, ya know?

Nasir's own person is out there, and will one day walk into the rescue center and fall in love... I just know it... 

Linda


I'm waiting for my furever mom and dad









Monday, April 11, 2016

"You're too fat"

"Owner surrender requesting euthanasia because dog is too fat"

You might think we are kidding, but no, we're not.  We have several of these dogs now at the rescue center.  In fact, we pulled three at one time and set up a special area just for them with extra room to walk around in, feeding them special diets, a program set up with our dog walkers and logs to monitor their weight loss.

We call it our "Chunky Monkey" section and no one can believe these sweet dogs were destined to die - requested to be put to death by their owners - because they were fed too much and/or the wrong things and allowed to get "fat".

What do you even say to someone when they tell you this?


When Sox came to TLC on the 22nd of February, she weighed 29 pounds.   You had to help her stand up by pulling slightly on the lead to give her that extra hand in going from a laying down position to an upright, standing position.  She could not walk up or down the steps of the rescue center... in fact, she was 'done' and out of breath simply walking from the dog room to the front door of the rescue center! 

Then our dog walker would have to carry her down the front stairs, nudge and coax her to walk 200' around on the sidewalk, then carry her up the back steps!

Today, seven weeks later, she weighs 21 pounds.  She is no longer out of breath simply by her walk, can stand up on her own and looks forward to her walks... bring the leash and she is ready to go!


We haven't done anything spectacular here - just simply cared enough about her life to do the right thing.  Sox has been to the vet and there is nothing really medically wrong with her.  Our vet was really impressed by how much weight she's lost in 7 weeks (8 pounds) and by this time next month in May, she'll be at her ideal weight.

Now Sox can sit down like a normal dog, and walks without the pain of her hind legs being stretched too far apart because of the extra girth in her belly.  This dog's frame was never meant to carry almost 30 pounds - her ideal weight is 15.

As for her special diet, we purchase frozen green beans and freshly shredded carrots in addition to the high quality kibble (Zignature) that we feed all of our rescued dogs.  A bit of warmed up salt-free chicken broth popped into the microwave added to the mix?  The chunky monkeys love their extra special meals at TLC!

Sox could use an advocate however... Or more than one... Someone willing to come to the rescue center and walk her once a day, or several times a week. Have you been wanting to give back and not been able to figure out how?  This could be your gentle act of paying it forward -- to help save the life of a sweet, deserving dog that did not deserve to die because she was 'too fat'!