Microchip Reunites Dog Five Years, 365 Miles Later

Monday, November 24, 2008 | 12:56 PM

By Rob Jennings

The reunion to happen Monday is an early Thanksgiving present to the family.

A male dachshund found as a stray in Pittsburgh, PA has been confirmed as the missing family pet of Elda Arguello of Pleasantville, NJ. "Tootsie", believed to have been stolen from the family's gated yard, has been missing for nearly five years.

Through confirmation via an implanted microchip on the dog, the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania will reunite owner and pet in Harrisburg, PA on Monday, November 24, 2008.

This incredible discovery was made late last week when Edna Colon, daughter of Elda Arguello, responded to a letter that the family received from the shelter in Pittsburgh.

All animals brought to the Animal Rescue League are scanned for an implanted microchip when they are brought to the facility. If a microchip exists, the number is checked in a national database and the owner on file is contacted. In this case, the phone number on file did not yield a response. However, the shelter sent a letter to Ms. Arguello and received a return call several days later.

At only six months of age, Tootsie went missing from the family's gated yard nearly five years ago. At the time, the family had another puppy, a Rottweiler named Baby. Sadly, Baby passed away at the age of three after eating contaminated dog food. The family is both shocked and overwhelmed with joy to receive word that their long lost pet is alive, well, and coming home. Several members of the family will meet an Animal Rescue League staff member tomorrow morning in Harrisburg for the reunion.

The Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania places a microchip in every animal that is adopted from the shelter. The shelter also runs a veterinary clinic that can implant the chip into any pet, whether it is a rescued animal or not.

"Given the distance and time involved in this case, the chances were about one in a million that Tootsie would ever be reunited with his original owners. Without a microchip, the reunion would have been completely unequivocally and undeniably impossible. I can't think of a better ambassador for having your pet micro-chipped than Tootsie," said Janice Barnard, the Animal Rescue League of Western PA's Director of Special Programs.

"We appreciate the Animal Rescue League. If not for them and the microchip, we would never have seen Tootsie again. Because (the Animal Rescue League) understands animal lovers, they did all that they could to find us. We are so thankful to (the organization) and their work to get Tootsie back to our family," said eighteen year old Edna Colon.

The family looks forward to giving thanks this Thursday for their long-lost family member's return.

Information from the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania. http://www.animalrescue.org

(Copyright ©2008 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)


Cat reunited after 17 months from microchip

Lost crew cat resurfaces
After 17 months, ship gets feline mascot back

The News Journal

When the Kalmar Nyckel's new crew kitten disappeared in May 2007, the crew of the 17th-century replica tall boat searched everywhere for him -- to no avail.

So when they heard this week that the cat was found -- having survived 17 months of apparent roaming around downtown Wilmington -- they were as surprised as they were grateful. On Thursday, Timmynocky -- looking a little thin but a lot bigger than when he wandered off as a 6-month-old kitten last year -- finally returned home.

"We lost a kitty and we got a cat back -- and he's a big cat," said Marcia Ferranto, executive director of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation.

The cat, whose name is sailor slang for whatzit or thingamajiggy, was about 6 months old when he disappeared just weeks after the crew adopted him from a local shelter. He apparently wandered off from Dravo Plaza near the Shipyard Shops, where the Kalmar Nyckel docks between trips.

The crew thought he was on board when they set sail, and as soon as they realized he was missing, a search party was dispatched on the Riverfront to find him, Ferranto said.

"We found his collar but we did not find the cat," Ferranto recalled.

After three months of looking and chasing down dead-end tips on Timmy sightings, the search was called off.

On Monday, Ferranto got a call from the Talleyville Veterinarian Clinic, saying they had found the crew's cat, identifying him as Timmynocky by a microchip that had been implanted under his skin.

"If it wasn't for that chip, Timmy would have been long gone," Ferranto said.

They learned that Wilmington resident Karin Gatenby had found Timmy wandering on Baynard Boulevard and ultimately took him to the clinic that identified him.

On Friday, the grateful crew invited Gatenby to Kalmar Nyckel to thank her, show her Timmy's home and give her a tour of the tall ship.

Timmy, who Ferranto said looked thin and was covered with bugs, nonetheless was greeted warmly by crew members and by fellow crew cat Toolbox, the senior mascot on the Kalmar Nyckel. Timmy also met Lagon, his replacement on the ship -- which brings up another problem:

Due to rules set up by Ferranto, one of the cats, probably Timmy, will be given away because she does not allow more than two cats to be on the ship at the same time. The woman who found him has expressed interest in taking care of him, however.

"We're thrilled to have him back, but my main concern is to do what is best for the cat. Our goal will be to find him a home," Ferranto said, adding that giving him to Gatenby, who took a liking to him, is one option.

His return home also shows the value in having pets identified with microchips.

"Chips are the only sure way you can have your animal returned to you if it gets lost. It's a great tool to be used," Ferranto said. "If you do have a domestic animal, the most prudent thing to do is to have the animal chipped."


Pets in Los Angeles Now Required to be Spayed and Neutered

Congratulations to the City of Los Angeles for passing the new law which went into effect on October 1, requiring pets to be spayed & neutered (unless the owner has a breeding permit).

Click on above link to read the full story on the HSUS website.

If Los Angeles can do it, every city and town in the U.S. and Canada can do it.

No longer do lawmakers need to cave in to the demands of those who make money from pets.

This weekend public and private organizations throughout L.A. will be offering free spay and neutering.

Finally, an affordable alternative to Heartguard

A few months ago, while out of town with my three dogs, and because I forgot to pack the Heartguard, I learned about Iverhart, the new GENERIC version of Heartguard. I wrangled the three into the local Banfield (more about that place later) for Heartworm- Lyme tests in order to get some Heartguard.

The vet
begrudgingly wrote out three prescriptions so I could purchase the meds elsewhere.

I took the scripts to a convenient and reputable vet hospital where the receptionist told me about Iverhart - the new cheaper-but-equally-effective generic of Heartguard.

(apparently when the patent on Heartguard recently expired, Verbac Animal Health was ready to market their product at a lower cost).

In addition to the lower sticker price, Iverhart is currently offering a $3-$5 rebate coupon on their website.

As with Heartguard and other similar products, Iverhart must be purchased from a vet or other official supplier in order for the warranty to be effective. If purchased from an on-line vet med discounter, the warranty will not cover treatment.


UAN Increases Reward to Catch Philadelphia Dog Killers

Witnesses needed to identify four teenagers who burned a dog to death

SACRAMENTO, CA (September 11, 2008) – United Animal Nations (UAN) today pledged a $2,500 reward to anyone who comes forward with information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person(s) who led a dog to the commuter rail tracks near Front Street and Tabor Road in the Olney section of Philadelphia, wrapped it in a towel, doused it with lighter fluid and set it on fire on Thursday, September 4.

“Sadly, in cases of violence toward animals, people are reluctant to come forward without a financial incentive,” said UAN President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “We hope that the reward will encourage someone to do the right thing and help local law enforcement catch whoever committed this senseless act of cruelty.”

A witness called the Pennsylvania Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ hotline to report seeing four teenagers with the dog. Officers arrived a short time later to find the pit bull dead and badly burned. The Pennsylvania SPCA forensic veterinarian is currently examining the body, and that of a pit bull found dead about 50 yards away, to determine if the cases may be connected.

UAN’s $2,500 pledge brings the total reward being offered in this case to $13,500.

Anyone with information in this case should call the Pennsylvania SPCA at (866) 601-7722 or e-mail cruelty@pspca.org

“Given that research shows that people who abuse animals are more likely to be violent toward humans, our society can no longer take animal cruelty cases lightly,” Forsyth said. “It is especially troubling that this case allegedly involves teenagers. Finding the individuals who burned this dog could help them get the psychological help they desperately need.”

UAN is offering this reward through its Zig Zag Memorial Reward Fund , designed to encourage witnesses to step forward with information about animal cruelty crimes and to advocate the need for harsher punishments in such cases.

The Zig Zag Memorial Reward is named for a Los Angeles dog who was burned, beaten and tortured for hours before dying, and whose assailants were apprehended but received scant punishment. In 2007, UAN launched the Humane Education Ambassador Reader program, a community-based literacy program to strike at the roots of cruelty by helping children develop empathy for animals through stories and discussion.

United Animal Nations (UAN) is North America ’s leading provider of emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services and a key advocate for the critical needs of animals. Learn more at www.uan.org.


Largest Puppy Mill Raid in PA History

Almost Heaven Kennel was busted last night. Again.

A matted poodle (?) in PA SPCA triage tent

More like Almost Hell.

Investigators found 65 dead animals in freezers and seized 125 sick dogs.

A Shih Tzu going to triage tent

There were approximately 800 animals on the property including this caged monkey.

The SPCA says Derbe Eckhart, kennel owner, admits to hundreds of charges of animal cruelty.

He has over 20 years of charges and convictions of animal abuse & neglect and received a lifetime ban from the AKC. The following is from PetAbuse.com

Oct 1, 2008
Alleged: Puppy mill - 800 animals, 125 seized

Jul 19, 2006
Not Charged: Housing exotic animals

Aug 2004
Civil Case: Dog breeders given lifetime ban by AKC

Apr 1999
Not Charged: AKC suspended breeder using alias to register dogs

Jun 1991
Convicted: Convicted abuser operating unlicensed kennels

May 1991
Convicted: Convicted abuser operating unlicensed kennel

Apr 1990
Convicted: 10 puppies die from lack of sustenance

Jun 1989
Convicted: Convicted abuser suspended from AKC until 2019

Aug 1988
Convicted: 45 dogs, 3 cats starved, removed from home

Sentence: Fined $100 each for 32 citations for cruelty to animals; sentenced to 2 to 10 months in Carbon County Prison for allowing unsanitary conditions at the kennel.



Pennsylvania House of Representatives pass TWO Puppy Mill bills


Animal advocates were elated Wednesday as word came that the state House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bills 2525 and 2532, which are designed to improve the lives of breeder dogs living in the state's commercial breeding kennels.

The House voted 181-17 in favor of H.B. 2525, which would double the required minimum floor space for kennels, require annual vet checks for all kennel dogs, ban wire floors in kennels of adult dogs, require that dogs have access to outdoor exercise areas twice the size of their kennel enclosures and eliminate cage stacking.

The House unanimously voted in favor of companion legislation, H.B. 2532, which would allow only veterinarians to perform surgical procedures on dogs, including cesarean birth, tail docking for dogs over 3 days old and debarking, which destroys a dog's vocal cords to prevent barking. It also allows Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement wardens to enforce animal-cruelty statutes in counties where there are no humane-society officers.

Both bills now head to the state Senate, where they are expected to be dealt with next week.
Only one local legislator, Republican Rep. Gordon Denlinger, voted against H.B. 2525. After Wednesday's vote, Denlinger said he believed a slew of amendments to the bill that were defeated Monday would have improved it, but Gov. Ed Rendell's very vocal support skewed the process.

"I support some elements of the bill, but the opportunity to correct a few points was totally ignored by the other side," Denlinger said. "It's a tragedy when the legislative process is taken over by the governor. When that happens, we haven't totally heard from all the stakeholders, we haven't weighed all the elements of the bill. We're just playing to somebody's agenda. That was very apparent as the bill was moving through the House floor."

Specifically, Denlinger said he opposed elements of H.B. 2525 that would require kennel owners to dramatically reconfigure kennels, such as doubling cage sizes and replacing wire floors with solid flooring.

"In some cases, some of these (kennels) are very modern facilities that may be only a year old, and now they'll have to be torn down and reconfigured because of the narrow definition of the bill," Denlinger said. "Some (kennel owners) are good, upright breeders, and this is going to force them out of business, and I don't think that's appropriate. Everyone wants to see bad operators shut down, but with this bill, we're penalizing good breeders. That's a major concern."

Others who lobbied for the legislation for more than two years considered the solid House vote a good sign for the upcoming Senate vote.

"I'm delighted these bills passed the House, and I'm hopeful they'll pass the Senate," said Jessie L. Smith, the state's special deputy secretary for dog-law enforcement. "We got so many groups onboard with this legislation that most legislators felt their constituents want this. We didn't even think (the House) would get to H.B. 2532, but again, there was a consensus on that bill."

Rendell, who made sweeping changes to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement over the past two years to rid the state of its reputation as "puppy mill capital of the east," praised legislators for not allowing amendments "filed on behalf of special-interest groups" to weaken the bill's intent.
"The House has delivered a strong legislation that reflects not only the needs of dogs, but the will of the public in improving the minimum standards in the worst of Pennsylvania's kennels," Rendell said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. "I believe the bills that came out of the House reflect the needs of reputable kennel owners while raising the bar for those who are concerned only with the value, and not the welfare, of the dogs they breed."

With just a handful of voting days left in this session, Joan Brown, CEO of the Humane League of Lancaster County, said she's cautiously optimistic the bills will pass.

"It's a great day for all Pennsylvania and especially Lancaster County," Brown said, referring to the county's high number of commercial breeding kennels. "We are now holding our breath and crossing our fingers for the Senate to pass it quickly so we can implement humane changes for dogs in these kennels."

H.B. 2525 gained momentum in August, when the Bureau announced that two Berks County breeders had shot and killed their 80 otherwise healthy dogs after inspectors ordered 39 of them to be checked by veterinarians for flea bites.

Many in the public expressed shock that current state law allows dog owners to shoot and kill their own dogs. The widespread publicity about the killings boosted interest in H.B. 2525, which would allow only veterinarians to euthanize dogs.

Meanwhile, Denlinger said he hopes H.B. 2525 is altered by amendment in the Senate, in which case, the amended version would return to the House for another vote.
Related Topics


Dog Food Recalled

Published: Sunday, September 14, 2008 4:20 AM EDT

As part of a manufacturer’s recall, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets have removed from store shelves packages of Pedigree Dog Food because of potential salmonella contamination.

The voluntary Class I recall involves the following products:

Pedigree Large Breed Original, UPC 2310029158;

Pedigree Mealtime Crunchy Bites Small, UPC 2310005104;

Pedigree Small Crunchy Bites Beef, UPC 2310031483;

Pedigree Small Crunchy Bites, UPC 2310014719.

At this time, no illnesses or injuries to dogs associated with the consumption of these products have been reported by pet owners.

Customers should check for the above UPC numbers on any packages of Pedigree Dog Food in their homes. Consumers who have purchased packages of Pedigree Dog Food with any of these UPC labels are urged to return the packages to the store for a full refund.

Consumers with questions may contact the Mars Consumer Care Line (866) 298-8332.

All Class I and Class II product recalls of products carried in Giant Food Stores or Martin’s Food Markets are posted at www.giantfoodstores.com and www.martinsfoods.com.


Shame on you, Camden County Animal Shelter

for allowing Prince Chunk, the big fat celebrity cat to become nothing more than a money- making side show attraction for you. If you truly cared about the well-being of this cat, then you would do the right thing and acknowledge that you adopted him to a new family. Now you are trying to claim that they are only fostering him and are required to shuttle him around to events to make money for you? This is a horrendous decision for an animal shelter to make.
You placed him into what you must have considered to be the best home from among the
500 applications (which is pretty disgusting if the other 499 people wanted to adopt only this particular celebrity cat and not one of the many other lovely cats awaiting a home of their own).

Reading this made me so sad:

Prince Chunk was spotted at a local PetSmart Sunday, sadly cowering in a cage as shoppers and photographers poked and prodded at the unhappy cat.

A collection jar was placed by the cage asking for donations to a save-a-stray campaign.

While he may have been overweight, he was a homeless cat who needed a home and he got one. Nothing more and nothing less.

He was given away by his previous owner to "a friend" of hers who then let him go. Luckily for him, he was found and brought to a shelter where he was adopted.

You are behaving like Lindsay Lohan's crazy mother.

He now has a new home and family. Please don't destroy that. Please do the right thing.


The Story of Ode

the pup who had her ears burned off and learned to forgive and trust.


Dog Rescues & Saves Newborn Baby



A dog sheltered a newborn baby abandoned by its 14-year-old mother in a field in rural Argentina until the boy was rescued, a doctor said Friday.

The abandoned infant was found in a field with this dog and her newborn puppies.

A resident of a rural area outside La Plata called police late Wednesday night to say that he had heard the baby crying in a field behind his house.

The man went outside and found the infant lying beside the dog and its six newborn puppies, Daniel Salcedo, chief of police of the Province of Buenos Aires, told CNN.

The temperature was a chilly 37 degrees, Salcedo said.

The dog had apparently carried the baby some 50 meters from where his mother had abandoned him to where the puppies were huddled, police said.

"She took it like a puppy and rescued it," Salcedo said. "The doctors told us if she hadn't done this, he would have died."

"The dog is a hero to us."

Dr. Egidio Melia, director of the Melchor Romero Hospital in La Plata, told CNN that police showed up at the hospital at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday with the baby who doctors say was only a few hours old.

Though the infant had superficial scratches and bruises and was bleeding from his mouth, he was in good shape, Melia said.

The next morning, the child's mother was driven by a neighbor to the hospital and told authorities the 8 pound, 13 ounce infant is hers, Melia said.

The teenager was immediately given psychological treatment and was hospitalized, he said. She has said little about the incident.

The child has been transferred to a children's hospital in La Plata, 37 miles from Buenos Aires.


Public Meeting on Preventing Cruelty to Dogs in PA

If you love dogs you need to be there - Join us September 7th from 1-3 for this special day in Ridley Park, PA at Borough Hall.

WHAT: Public Meeting on Preventing Cruelty to Dogs - FREE meeting for animal lovers
WHEN: Sunday, September 7th, 2008, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
WHERE: Ridley Park Borough Hall - 105 East Ward St., Ridley Park, PA, 19078.
Click here for directions.

If you could help prevent animals from being abused by making a few phone calls, would you do it? If so, this is the meeting for you! Join animal lovers from across Pennsylvania for this exciting meeting!

Currently, three bills are being considered in the state House that would strengthen dog and animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania. House Bill 2525, H.B. 2532 and H.B. 499 are focused on ending puppy mill abuse in PA and increasing fines for animal cruelty. On September 15th, the House will reconvene and now it is more important then ever that PA animal lovers unite to speak on behalf of the dogs! Come to the public meeting and learn more about how YOU can help millions of Pennsylvania's dogs!

Representative Bryan Lentz
Tom Hickey, Sr., a member of the Pennsylvania Dog Law Advisory Board
Howard Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, PSPCA
Bill Smith, Founder of Main Line Animal Rescue and recently featured on Oprah!
Jessie Smith, Pennsylvania's special deputy secretary for Dog Law enforcement
Nicole Wilson, Executive Director, Delaware County SPCA

Meeting attendees will be able to participate in a question and answer session with the panel!

Cat Lovers - while this meeting is mainly dog oriented due to the House Bills, we would not dream of leaving the cats out! The Philadelphia Community Cats Council will have a table with information on adoptable cats as well as information on how you can help them with their spay/neuter efforts.

Animal Welfare Groups Participating:

Reach Out for Animal Rights, an advocacy group working to educate the public on animal mills and spreading the word about the pet store-puppy mill connection.

ZACH ALERT, a PA organization assisting in the safe and timely reunification of lost pets and their families and educating the public on how to keep their animals safe and out of the hands of those who can harm them.

Daisy's Delights Barkery and Boutique will be on site selling their preservative free, great tasting and healthy treats, bones and cakes, for your furry companions. Daisy's Delights products are all natural, and made with human-grade ingredients.

Refreshments will be served!

If you are unable to attend the two-hour meeting but are interested in helping in the fight, please stop by Borough Hall between 1-3 to speak to the advocacy groups outside and pick-up a handbook that will provide details on what YOU can do!


Statement from PA Dept. of Ag. on the murder of 80 dogs

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff released the following statement in response to the shooting of 80 dogs at two Berks County kennels:

"The recent shooting of 80 dogs at two Berks County kennels is saddening. The decision by commercial breeders to kill healthy dogs instead of paying to repair a kennel and seek veterinary care is alarming, and will likely outrage many people. Unfortunately, the killing of the dogs was legal under current Pennsylvania law.

"The two kennels involved have both voluntarily closed, but until our state's outdated dog law is changed kennel owners may continue to kill their dogs for any reason they see fit, even if it is simply to save money. We can't afford to wait any longer to pass legislation that would ban commercial kennel owners from killing their dogs.

"House Bill 2525, introduced in May, would allow only veterinarians to euthanize dogs in commercial breeding kennels. The bill would strengthen current dog laws and provide better standards for the health and safety of dogs in commercial breeding kennels without burdening other types of kennels that house dogs. The legislature has an opportunity to pass this important legislation this fall, and they should -- as doing so will assure that this activity will be illegal in PA commercial breeding kennels moving forward."

Rather than seek medical attention for dogs suffering from fleas and fly sores, kennel owners Ammon and Elmer Zimmerman of Kutztown shot all 80 of their dogs to save costs. The Zimmermans, owners of
A&J Kennel and E&A Kennel, voluntarily surrendered their licenses on July 29 after killing the dogs.

Dog wardens inspected E&A Kennel on July 24, noting several violations for kennel sanitation and maintenance. Wardens also noted fleas and fly sores on 39 of the dogs and ordered veterinary checks. Wardens issued four citations for violations and planned to confirm the veterinary checks during a follow-up inspection. The wardens were notified on July 29 that the owners of both kennels chose to destroy the dogs and dismantle the kennels.
News Articles:
Maxatawny Township kennel owners kill 80 dogs rather than seek treatment:

Thoughts on Paws: Maxatawny's Zimmerman brothers should be shot for killing dogs

PETITION: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/pa-kennel-owner-shoots...

INFORMATION on the House Bill 2525:

PA Puppy Mill Owners Shoot & Kill 80 Dogs

Two eastern Pennsylvania kennel operators shot 80 dogs after wardens ordered some of the animals examined by veterinarians, dog law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Elmer Zimmerman, of Kutztown, shot 70 dogs after a July 24 inspection, officials of the state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement said. His brother, Ammon Zimmerman, operator of a kennel next door, shot 10 dogs, officials said.

Wardens had ordered 39 dogs checked for flea and fly bites. They also issued citations for extreme heat, insufficient bedding and floors dogs' feet could fall through.

Elmer Zimmerman told The Philadelphia Inquirer he feared the state was trying to close his kennel, and said a veterinarian recommended destroying the dogs.

"They were old, and we were hearing that they don't want kennels anymore," he said. "The best thing to do was get rid of them."

Ammon Zimmerman told a reporter the decision to destroy the dogs was "none of your business."

State law allows owners to put dogs down by shooting them, though Gov. Ed Rendell is trying to change that. He backs legislation pending in the state Legislature that would only allow veterinarians to euthanize dogs in commercial kennels.

"It's horrible, but it's legal," Jessie Smith, special deputy secretary of the dog-law bureau, said of the shootings.

"That someone would shoot 70 dogs rather than spend money to do a vet check is extremely problematic," Smith said.

Ken Brandt, lobbyist for the Pennsylvania Professional Dog Breeders' Association, said the group didn't support the operators' actions. He said there were other ways to resolve the situation, "like in a court."

The breeders could have turned the dogs over to rescue groups, said Howard Nelson, chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"Every humane society in the state would have taken those dogs," Nelson said.

The two men surrendered their kennel licenses. Elmer Zimmerman pleaded guilty to four charges of violating the dog law, Smith said.


Please say a prayer for the victims of yesterday's fire in Philadelphia (Conshohocken)

Luckily, none of the 375 people who lived in the complex were injured, but many of them owned pets. It was heartbreaking to watch the evening news last night, as people watched the building go up in flames with their pets inside. One man was shown holding a cat carrier with his cat inside; he went back in for her against the advise of the fire fighters. Thankfully both the man and the cat made it out safely.

Pets that were rescued by fire fighters were taken to the SPCA for the owners to re-claim and owners & pets are being put up in hotels together.

from local news reports:

"Many of the residents who streamed into the firehouse - arriving on school buses or in their own cars - owned pets. Authorities said the rescued but unidentified animals were being housed at a local SPCA shelter. Officials were making sure people with pets could stay at hotels that accommodated them."

Kyle Aaron, 29, was driving home with his girlfriend when he saw his building on fire. After he arrived, he could do nothing but watch as the blaze crept closer toward his own apartment— and worry about his dog, an 11-year-old blond Corgi named Elvis.

After hours of anxiety, a firefighter called his cell phone about 3 a.m.—Aaron thinks the number must have been on Elvis' dog tag—with the good news that the animal was fine.

"We could sleep once we got him," Aaron said. "I honestly don't know how they got him. ... You get your loved ones and life goes on."


NO pet should be cloned, let alone a pit bull

I would have much less of a problem with this incredibly selfish woman if she had paid a lot of money to buy a top of the line pit bull puppy. But to CREATE five pit bull puppies is beyond comprehension.

Cloning only replicates the DNA and not the environmental factors and influences that shape an animal's personality. You can't clone the bond between a pet and the person who loved and nurtured it over the pet's lifetime.

To clone a dead pet when there are so many others already born and waiting for homes is selfish, stupid and ultimately inhumane.


Woman pays $50,000 to clone beloved pit bull
By Hyung-Jin Kim
The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea — Bernann McKinney says her beloved pit bull “Booger” saved her life when another dog attacked her, then learned to push her wheelchair while she recovered from a severe hand injury and nerve damage.

He died in 2006, but now he’s back — at least in clone form, after the birth last week of puppies replicated by a South Korean company.

“Yes, I know you! You know me too!” McKinney cried joyfully Tuesday, hugging the puppy clones as they slept with one of their two surrogate mothers, both Korean mixed breed dogs, in a Seoul laboratory. “It’s a miracle.”

The five clones were created by Seoul-based RNL Bio in cooperation with a team of Seoul National University scientists who in 2005 created the world’s first cloned dog, a male Afghan hound named Snuppy.

It is headed by Lee Byeong-chun, a former colleague of disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk, whose purported breakthroughs in stem cell research were revealed as fake. Independent tests, however, proved the team’s dog cloning was genuine.

Lee’s team has since cloned some 30 dogs and five wolves but claims Booger’s clones, for which McKinney paid $50,000, are the first successful commercial cloning of a canine.

The procedure, which costs up to $150,000, is drawing criticism from animal rights groups, which oppose cloning pets.

“It’s fraught with animal welfare concerns, and it does not bring back a loved one,” said Martin Stephens, vice president for animal research issues at The Humane Society of The United States, based in Washington.

“A dead animal’s DNA does not guarantee the offspring will be identical to the deceased. It takes more than just genes to create an animal,” said Stephens.


He said the cloning process also subjects hundreds of dogs and cats to invasive procedures as egg donors and surrogates. According to a report released by The Humane Society in May, 3,656 cloned embryos, 319 egg donors and 214 surrogates were used to produce just five cloned dogs and 11 cloned cats who were able to survive 30 days past birth.

There are millions of homeless dogs and cats in the U.S., Stephens said, and “we don’t need new sources to compete with animal shelters and reputable breeders.”

Ra Jeong-chan, company head of RNL Bio, said his firm eventually aims to clone about 300 dogs per year and is also interested in duplicating camels for customers in the Middle East.

Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals rejects adoption application from cancer survivor

The original comment has been deleted from the ZooToo site, so I've posted it here.

Here is the link to previous comments about the problems at Francisvale.

Francisvale discriminatory to cancer survivor.

Reviews: 33
Avg Rating: 4.2
Pros: Selection on pets to adopt.
Cons: Treatment of cancer survivors.
Reviewed: 5 days ago -- Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pet Service Reviewed by: LabradorLover
Supporting Shelter: Montgomery County SPCA

Review Details

A very good friend, Sharon, and her husband, Ray, applied to adopt Sherman, an adorable Beagle mix, but were summarily denied.

After filing all the required paperwork, including veterinary receipts for the care of previous pets, and sitting through and cooperating with the various interviews, they were denied. Not just denied, but told they didn't qualify to adopt any of Francisvale's pets. Why? Because Ray mentioned that he had (past tense) cancer. Ray is a cancer survivor.

Whomever at Francisvale made the decision to exclude Sharon and Ray as possible adopters did so, not because Sharon and Ray are unfit to care for Sherman, or any other pet, but rather because of Ray's medical history.

Actually, Francisvale denied Sharon, the primary applicant for Sherman, because Ray had cancer. He mentioned it during one of their interviews. He told them how he loved his previous pets and how he missed playing with and caring for them now that they were gone. His latest, a Golden which passed on about a year ago, lived into its early teens. Sharon still has pictures on her desk at work.

Ray told Francisvale how his life changed when he was diagnosed with cancer. He told them that he wanted to get another dog, but decided to postpone an adoption until he went through his cancer treatment and beat the disease.

Sharon and Ray know what commitment is when it comes to raising and caring for pets. Sharon and Ray produced veterinary bills for their previous pets. They showed the Francisvale staff photos, as proudly as parents show photos of their children.

I would hope that Francisvale does much good for the animals they take in. I know that Sharon and Ray would have been excellent companions for Sherman.

This isn't a depiction of how a couple lost an opportunity to adopt a pet to another applicant. It's a depiction that Francisvale management was very callous, possibly even discriminatory, in the treatment they extended to Sharon and Ray. According to Francisvale management, Sharon and Ray don't qualify to adopt any of Francisvale's pets, because of Ray's recent medical history.

Sharon and Ray will find another pet to adopt and they'll make fantastic companions for that animal.


2 comments found.

4 days ago
I cannot help but to comment. I feel bad for the treatment these two adopters, especially for the husband Ray. There's no excuse in the world why a cancer survivor cannot have a pet and according to the review, they are not qualified for any pets?? Sounds like the francisvale shelter has some serious personnel issues going on there. I cannot speak for them but I hope they lodge a complaint of some kind to the proper authorities.

3 days ago
This outrageous incident with Sharon and Ray is just another example of the clueless and callous management now at Francisvale. I guess you can't expect any better from a so-called "no kill" animal shelter where the board vice president lets bow-hunters come onto shelter property and kill deer; and, where the so-called "wonderful" new "executive director" puts 7 newborn puppies in a locked room with a BUCKET of water and when one drowns in the bucket of water - to cover up her own incompetence, negligence, or even malice - calls the police and makes a false report that a longtime, dedicated employee - who didn't even have access to the room where the puppies were located - had purposely drowned the puppy. This new "executive director" commented on Zootoo that a former, dedicated, Francisvale employee, who was having mini-strokes, was a "brain-damaged retard." Plus, you can only get in "by appointment only" and they charge $250 to adopt "puppies." Now that's a really welcoming place, isn't it? I guess if you're a hunter.


14 year old Katina dog shot with a 38 cal. and dumped at a shelter

This is Duchess, a 14 year old Sheltie mix who needs a loving home. Click on the above link to see her Petfinder page at the Pontchartrain Humane Society in Slidell, LA.


Below, Duchess after her mats and
dreadlocks were shaved off.



Desperately Searching for Theo

Theo has been missing since February 2008. His family has done everything to locate him including hiring two different trackers.

Theo has an under bite; his bottom canines are crooked and one is longer than the other; he has a black spot (birthmark) on his penis; his dew claws get irritated if not clipped regularly and correctly and if that happens he does not like anyone to touch his feet.

We believe that someone has him although he/she may have adopted him from a shelter or rescue and not known the circumstances. We are hoping that if that person knows how much Theo has been missed every day, that he or she will return him.

If you have any leads on Theo's whereabouts, or if the person who has him wishes to return him with no questions asked, you may contact me at
noanimalleftbehind@gmail.com to make arrangements, or contact Theo's owner directly at PinckneyK@usa.redcross.org

Thank you so much!


The Pit Bull Who Could Only Forgive

click title link above to read about Petey

Meet Molly

She's a grey speckled pony who was found abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a dog and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected, and her vet went to LSU for help, but LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case.

But surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly and changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn't overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee,
and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.

Molly happened to be a
one-in-a-million patient. She's tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble.

The other important factor, according to Moore, is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly's story turns into a parable for life in
post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb. A human prosthesis designer built her a leg.

The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life,
Allison Barca, DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports.

And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. 'It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a three-legged horse,' she laughs.
Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.

'It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to
play in life,? Moore said. 'She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.'

Barca concluded, 'She's not back to normal, but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.'

Below is Molly's most recent prosthesis showing the ground surface that she stands on, which has a smiley face embossed in it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind.


Bumping old post and new comment about Katrina dogs

Just because GOD is DOG spelled backwards...doesn't give you or anyone the right to play God.

The following is Dave Gourley's response (in red) to an email sent to him by a Stealth Volunteer. His email response to her was forwarded to many of us who were volunteering to reunite Katrina pets with their owners and I posted it on my blog on 1/26/06. Today, Dave posted a comment:

(I have no idea what he means by people in glass houses but I'll be posting a comment soon, when I have some time)

I have not been able to read the orginial (sic) thread -however regarding the dogs of Katrina -We were instrumental in helping with the rescue of over 100 Rotts from Lamar-Dixon, in Gonzales, La I managed to rescue 3 rotts and assisted with the rescue of one Bullmastiff...The American Rottweiler Club mobilized & got out over 100 dogs themselves.

I have never in the 30 + years of being in the dog world ever seen dogs of all breeds go thru the TRAUMA that these dogs have.

Personal opinion -


Now this is a brash statement - why would I make it...these people left their dogs...dogs were left on the side of the road - in crates - covered with clothing or blankets in 100 + degree heat.

They were abandoned by their owners an (sic) put through tremendous fear of the unknown,rescued by strangers,given a fresh look at like (sic) through the eyes of fear.

If the people who are yelling at this dog are trying to make the dog forget - IT WILL NOT HAPPEN - they are only reinforcing the fear and growing mistrust that the dog is going through.

This dog needs to totally resocialized from the get go and that means a NEW FAMILY - foster care - whatever - but should not be returned to it's owners -

Of the dogs that I rescued - the foster/permamnet (sic) families - started from the begining (sic) -I understand that Rottweilers are not Poodles - I am beginning to beleive (sic) that Poodles maybe more intelligent - but they still have memories - Rotties are less likely to accept immediate change...they are more suspect, but they also realize and accept HONEST caring and sense that the people who are working to rehab these dogs in questions are real in their efforts.

Poodles are a hearty breed - but are they as hearty as rotts - I do not know - But what I do know is the dogs who were abandoned and had to fend for themselves - regardless of breed - they are still somewhat distrustfull (sic) of their new areas

Once a dog has been rescued and re-introduced to society they should NOT be re-traumitized (sic) - they should not be returned to those that abandoned them in the their time of need!

Dave Gourley
Sandragon Kennels
Home of 1 Bullmastiff,1 Standard Poodle,2
Rottweilers,1 Chinese Crested & 5 Border Terriers


Anonymous said...

Dave Gourley here - had no idea this blog existed -
Yes - at the time of Katrina - I represented Sandragon Kennels in Pa. Yes - we have been in the dog world for over 30 years. - I had been involved in Rottweiler Rescue
for over 12 years prior to Katrina - NO - we did not come to bring your dogs out and breed to them - After seeing the sheriff department officers shoot those dogs in the school, I canceled my
appointments in my real job ( providing homecare for seniors) rented a van and headed for Lamar-Dixon -I understand that those people who were ordered to leave their dogs did so extremely reluntant (sic)- I have no complaint with them -

It is the people who left their dogs on the sides of the road - bitches in whelp - whole litters in vari crates - covered with clothing in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees - it is with people who LEFT their dogs tethered to their houses and left them...
It is these people that I was so upset with.

The 3 dogs that I managed to get out - One was adopted in Staten Island by a rescue group, who spent $35,000 to rehab this dog - the dog had 4 major surgeries on its eyes, it tested positive for heartworm, the dog was 33 pounds under weight, he was neutered and finally place in a loving home.

One dog was a rottweiler mix - went to a couple of Doctors (husband & wife) who spent a ton of money rehabing the dog - mediacal (sic) bills - animal behavorist (sic)- etc. the 3rd dog - we guessed her age at between 6 to 9 months - she was positive for heartworm, she had tapeworms and a host of other parasites in her body, she was a mess. My wife n I kept her with our family for 7 months - getting her healthy - socializing her - and eventually found a retired nurse who fell in love with her to adopt her.

The Bullmastiff went to Bullmastiff rescue and was properly cared for and placed.

The poodles that Carolina Rescue took out were all properly cared for and placed in loving homes...

We are not bad people - we are dog people - we are horse people and yes I have been in your shoes - more times than I wish to speak of...

People who live in GLASS houses should not throw stones


Anonymous person paid entire vet bill for abused Philly cat.

click above to view NBC-10 video


There was quite a bit of interest in the story of Riley the cat NBC 10 first reported Monday night and someone, we don't know who, decided to do something about the cat attack. It's going to take weeks for Riley the cat to recover from a senseless attack.

The 1-year-old Manx is well known on the 900 block of Pine Street, often posing in the window of his owner's antique store City Chateau. He is so popular that one customer made him his own MySpace page. The cat's trademark greeting is sticking his paw through the front door mail slot until Fourth of July weekend.


"The cat put his paw through the door slot and it was grabbed and someone pressed the mail slot down against the cat's foot and broke his foot," Joe Connolley, Riley's owner, said."Who would have the capacity to doing something like that to such a sweet animal," a neighbor said."Just low, down dirty, horrible. It's a horrible act," another neighbor said.Neighbors think some young boys drinking on the steps of the store may have been responsible."We had to put a bone plate, which is a stainless steal plate, and screws to hold the fracture in place," the veterinarian said.On Monday night, NBC 10 reported neighbors planned to help raise money to pay the $3,400 vet bill."My coworker just came into my office and said someone paid the vet bill," Connolley said.

Someone anonymously paid the entire vet bill Tuesday morning."To whoever did this, you know, I don't even know how I can return this kind gesture. It was way out of the realm of what I even expected someone to do. I can't thank you enough. Please in a few weeks come to our store and visit our kitty," Connolley said.Unfortunately, Riley injured his paw again while NBC 10 was visiting him at the vet's office and he's going to have to spend some more time at the hospital before he gets to go home.


Infamous quotes from Tiffany & PawMatch

The following two quotes are from the "PawMatch Katrina Relief" blog:
(my comments in red)

Sept. 16th 2005:

Sorry, not a whole lot to report. Andy has been trying to conserve his phone minutes, as he is way over his plan for the month (that is why I post so late, I wait until after 9:00 PM to call him for updates). But our little cocker spaniel girl has had her checkup. She is approximately 6 years old and is suffering from a urinary tract infection and has a thyroid problem, but is negative for heartworm. We are waiting for additional bloodwork to come back. Please note that she is now available for adoption. If you are interested in giving her a loving home, please complete our Meet Your Match™ Questionnaire so we can see if she would be a good match to your lifestyle and expectations.

Tiffany Madura, who was then working as a Katrina reunion volunteer and given access to Petfinder records, KNEW that pets were not to be adopted until at least December 31, 2005. And then only if and after the shelter or rescue organization exhausted all known avenues for locating the pet's owner and cooperated with all inquiries from potential owners.

Sept. 28th 2005:
Great news, we have an update from Hope's foster momma on her condition: "Hope is doing really well. She was depressed for the first day but is now starting to come out of her shell.... She will look us in the eye more and roll over so we can rub her belly (this is a new development as of about 15 minutes ago).... She is just a wonderful girl who is a little sad and confused but as sweet as can be."

Of course Jazz was depressed, sad and confused.... she desperately missed Shalanda and had just been driven all the way from New Orleans to Austin, TX by two strange men.

(for those who don't know, Andy Odam/PawsMatch renamed Jazz, "Hope Floats.")

The following was posted on the nola.com Pets & Animals forum by Tiffany:

16001. Foster dog
chiquitita75, 9/26/05 10:30 ET

I have a dog I am going to pick up and take to the vet before fostering today. Does anyone have any thoughts on - should I ask to see if the vet will give me a discount since I am a regular customer of theirs? I am a little overwhelmed with animal rescue efforts and then buying stuff for the hurricane in case it hit and now a little tapped, though she will get care - also I have a kitty with a hurt paw I need to take so do you think it would be unreasonable to ask the clinic if they could help me out a little on this one dog? Her owners were dead and she was found in an oily bayou. (has bladder infection).

16001. yes
by chiquitita75, 9/26/05 11:12 ET
I don't know many details but apparently they know the owners are dead and I don't believe she was found in a city.

* Andy KNEW that Jazz's owner was not dead. Jazz had an intake form duct taped to her crate with an address. Read previous post for time-line and complete story.

* Andy Odam and Tiffany Madura decided to play God, judge and jury and they lost.

* I don't know what Andy stood to gain from his mis-guided and selfish deception of Shalanda except for the money he raised by using Jazz as his Katrina poster dog.

* Tiffany obviously believed that she would get away with this, perhaps daddy would defend her actions.

Only problem is that daddy is not the one who will experience the karma that is sure to come as a result of all the pain and anguish she has caused Shalanda.

...and a personal note to Tiffany about the "assault."

Everyone said the same thing when they heard of it: "if it had been me, I would have ________." I'll leave it up to your imagination to fill in the blank.

You should be counting your lucky stars that Shalanda is a person of great dignity, intelligence and mental & emotional strength; that after all the lies, deceit, manipulation and emotional torment put her through, that all she did was yank a piece of your hair.

Tiffany goes wahhh....wahhh...wahhh... SHUT UP!