34 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. I am looking to help someone place five Jack Russel mix four year old dogs. They are use to being outside. A divorce situation is happening and she cannot afford to feed her dogs anymore. They are very sweet dogs and in need of a home. If anyone is interested, please see my link on http://www.facebook.com/tammy.gaede I have pictures of the dogs posted there. If anyone can help her to get some food for these dogs it also would be appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Please check the itchmoforums.com. One of the regulars has put together an extensive list of those who can help provide food/medical care for needy people – by state. That might be a good place to start to help this woman.

  2. I’m going to post an emailed plea for help that we received last week, normally I wouldn’t consider such a thing, but this may be one that many of you can help with, or Shirley can ‘nose’ into and prod some [much needed] change into happening…

    WVPBH doesn’t typically make shelter pulls from outside of the state, simply because we’re the only pit bull rescue in WV and there are more than we can save as it is. However, for this situation, we have committed to a small number of pulls as soon as we have additional space (kennels are under construction now).

    The reason I wanted to share this is because of the ‘resistance’ and lack of support this group is receiving in making improvements. I think, as most all of you do I’m sure, that all of these misplaced pets deserve every chance possible…and it’s wonderful that Mary and her group are working their tail-ends off to see change take place. But perhaps with the support of others nationwide, Cumberland and Allegheny MD officials will get on board and support the work this group is doing (and replace lazy shelter workers with the volunteers that care).

    Please take a moment to read the email and if you can provide Mary with any direction or assistance, contact her via her email address….

    Thanks all!

    Hello friends,

    I’m working with Allegany County Animal Shelter in Cumberland, MD. They are a small rural municpal shelter. 90 days ago and numerous previous years their kill rate was 85%. Since the old director was ousted, the volunteers have (in the midst of remaining staff resistance) gotten the killing to stop and have exceeded 90% save. I have worked in the kennels and watched myself, as staff sat down and read magazines, hung around and chatted with each other, surfed the web while the volunteers did everything.

    I have gotten 2 small rescues to work with us, but as is the fact that we’ve only moved a small number and adopted out a pretty good number (comparitively speaking), we are full and overflowing and we need help.

    We had 27 dogs and did 4 more surrenders this weekend so far. The kennels are 4×6 with 2 dogs. We have 70 cats. We can’t push retention and fosters and all the other tenets because staff work against us. There’s one ACO who will go trap cats just so she can fill us to the point of euth for space. We are fighting this with everything that we are.

    Can you please help us? We would take care of transport and there is no pull fee. All animals would have shots and health certs but not S/N because the area vets aren’t willing to commit to low cost for us.

    This is the Petfinder page but does not reflect this weekend’s surrenders. I have to ask every day for staff to update it.


    For the animals,

    Mary Thompson

    1. In the situation described, the volunteers will never succeed. They say they can’t develop a foster program or even work on pet retention due to the staff resistance. They are, understandably, reaching out to other rescues to help take pets but this is not a plan that will work long term – probably not more than once.

      I hope the vols can gather their data about the dramatically increased save rate since the old director was ousted and approach the county about no kill. Instituting the programs of the No Kill Equation is what will keep their save rate up long term.

  3. From an email sent out by Rich Russom
    On March 14, 2011, Pat Horan – Shelter Director for the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter – was reassigned, after disturbing video (www.youtube.com Kill The Kitty) surfaced depicting Ms. Horan and a staff member committing an act of cruelty against a cat.

    Pat Horan’s employment must be terminated and the Attorney General’s Office must conduct a full investigation of the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. Criminal charges must be brought against Pat Horan and others who have participated in cruel and inhumane behavior, as well as those who had knowledge of such behavior and took no action.

    It would not be the first time abuse and cruelty were exposed at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter and it is clear to many, Kate Murray – Town Supervisor, cannot or will not, police agencies under her jurisdiction. Transparency is non-existent and corruption widespread, at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. Advocates in Nassau County attempting to save lives and improve conditions, have been barred and met with resistance by county officials and shelter management.

    According to recent news, it appears that Kate Murray has resigned…AMEN! I hope that a further investigation is underway to determine the corruption of the staff!!!

    Animal Shelter Protest Rally –
    The “Hope for Hempstead Shelters Protest”
    Saturday, March 19th *High NOON*
    Parking Lot of the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter
    3320 Beltagh Ave., Wantagh, NY 11793

    1. I haven’t read anything about Kate Murray resigning but I totally agree that if any of the sickos in the video still work at the shelter, they need to be kicked to the curb.

      1. I know that the petition here – http://thecommunityalliance.blogspot.com/2011/03/no-shelter-from-storm.html is calling for the termination of Pat Horan and asking people to demand that Kate Murray resigns.

        Kinda off topic – but in regards to Kate Murray….it appears that she is not only lacking when it comes to overseeing the shelter in Hempstead but she isn’t doing a very good job overall within the town.


        And in this ‘follow-up’ story Ms. Murray, herself says that “The building commissioner has to be held to a higher standard.” Yet, she herself doesn’t have to be?!?!?

        More craziness from Ms. Murray – http://www.city-data.com/forum/long-island/1160711-kate-murray-town-hempstead-snow-removal.html

        Here is more about Ms. Murray…appears she has friends in high places – which makes even more sense considering everything going on that she is RESPONSIBLE for and getting away with not doing her job properly.

        For someone like Ms. Murray to continue to hold the position that she does while failing to actually do her job there has to be corruption to the core within Hempstead. If she hasn’t really resigned then I think it’s safe to say she needs to. Even the people within Hempstead think she is doing a sucky job, but I guess when you’ve got friends in high places you can get away with anything.

  4. To the person working at Allegany County Animal Shelter in Cumberland, MD. I hope you are taking a lot of detailed notes, photos, videos, and keeping complete records of what is going on at that shelter. Please try to do what I read someone else did and take screen shots of the workers/leaders Facebook profiles during working hours to show that they are indeed not working. Bring all of this to your county council meeting and give to local media. There has to be more good people than bad people in this area you need to find a way to contact them with the facts that can not be talked away.

    Wishing you all the best in get reforming this shelter. Work on getting more people behind you.

    1. I’m not familiar with the Allegany County Animal shelter, but I will say I have been documenting abuse/neglect at a no kill shelter for 2 years. I have boxes of documents and 100’s of photos, witness statements and notarized letter from people who adopted the dogs and with the exception of Shirley, I’m having a very hard time with media coverage. LEt me know what you come up with:) Thank you and good luck!

      1. I know that everyone has their own opinion of specific media outlets – thinking some are more corrupt than others. But we have a news channel here in central Ohio that actually takes stories like this and investigates them and reports their findings on the news. Fox News is one that I know likes to grab onto stories like this and blast them all over the place….have you tried contacting them?

  5. Forgot to add that you do NOT have to wait for the shelter to post their pets on petfinder, facebook, or twitter. You can post their pets under your petfinder listings first and then when/if they post the pet remove your listing since petfinder doesn’t allow double postings. But you can post as much as you want on Facebook and twitter!

    Put on a special event to get the media’s help to move the overload of pets.

    1. This is good advice but just wanted to mention that the vols need to consult the shelter policy handbook (if there is one) to make sure the shelter doesn’t specifically prohibit the posting of their pets on social networking sites. Believe it or not, I have heard of kill shelters doing this. I guess they don’t want to risk the chance of having fewer pets to kill.

      1. Actually the animal control closest to me asked that I NOT post animals photos and info on Facebook because they were getting too many calls and some people calling were mad because of their 90% kill rate and because the animal was already gone (the will not say if an animal has been rescue, adopted, or killed, it is just no longer there). I am still posting their animals from time to time on Facebook and Twitter. I want to see fewer animals killed.

      2. This is exactly the sort of BS I was talking about. “We don’t want to hear complaints about the killing. Just let us kill in peace.” It’s outrageous.

  6. AARP Alaska is sponsoring a Sled Dog Memorial Race here in Fairbanks on April 9th. This will be a family event to honor the tour dogs killed in Whistler, BC, as well as those sled dogs in our own kennels and communities that have passed over the rainbow bridge.
    Every entrant will receive a prize, including membership in Mush With PRIDE. We’ll host three races, a skijoring event, a 6-dog event, and a Jr./Sr. Passenger event. The AARP Sled Dog Memorial will be at the Jeff Studdert Race Grounds in Fairbanks with permission from the Alaska Dog Mushers Association.
    We also hope to offer booth space to rescues and other family services organizations in hopes of promoting family love and support that extends to animals both human and otherwise.
    Mushers are invited to sponsor prizes in memory of their lost teammates. We plan to begin with a moment of silence for the Howling Dog Tour Dogs, and provide a memorial booklet after the event of all sponsored dogs.
    For more information or to sponsor a prize, please contact Lynn Orbison at daisyacres@mosquitonet.com or call 907-488-9685.
    p.s. The GCI Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race starts today at 1 p.m. you can listen online through the link at http://www.sleddog.org (I’ll be announcing on the radio…tune in and catch the action!)

      1. Very well! I’ve had a cold, and lost my voice last week, so I’ve been careful and I think I’ll make it through all three days of announcing. Exciting race action. Tomorrow we hope to host an AARP demonstration race down second avenue during the short break between when the last team goes out and when the first team comes in.
        AARP Alaska has been sponsoring a special division of the 4-dog class with the Alaska Dog Mushers Association for the past seven years! They believe in staying active and teaching the next generation, which is EXACTLY what old sled dogs love to do! They aren’t as fast, but they teach, and they love, and AARP and some of us mushers just LOVE to support them.

  7. I would like to bring up a topic that affected both myself and my organization. It is about rescuers who pre-judge a situation with another rescuer before they have any data.
    We were poised to take an allegedly senior lab mix female, HW+, from a southern rescuer. Then the worst happened – we were hit with a surprise ice storm that not only knowcked out power, but brought trees down all around us. We had to get water and some wood for warmth brought to the top of our drive by a friend. We had to hack and chop trees blocking our drive to eventually get out. We had no power, no cell phone or landline for days. And anyway, all my data, including phone numbers, were in my computer. Well, when power was finally restored, I opened my email to get hold of the said rescuer. She got there first, with a FLAMING email to ALL of her contacts how we “dumped” on a 5 yr old (since when is 5 senior anyway?), and that we were worthless, the shit of the rescue world, and not to bother with us. I immediately wrote her back and told her the circumstances. No reply. Emailed again. No reply. Called her – she was hardly interested in talking to me. When she got home and read my emails, which politely requested a retraction of her flaming crapola, she simply wrote back “sorry am not sending her to you”. She will not retract despite my determined polite request and mention of lawyers.

    This has now troubled me for over a week or two…I am hurt that a judgment was made without waiting to find out what happened – suppose I had had a heart attack? I am also pissed because she dissed a reputation that I have spent years and years of my life building.

    So I guess the moral of the story is: if you have a problem with another rescue(r), please try to find out what happened BEFORE you tell the universe that they are fucked up pieces of trash that are littering the road to rescue. Thanks.

    1. Some people care WAY too much. Or they invest in all the wrong ways. I understand the burn-out from seeing so many animals relinquished for *marginal* reasons. But I also believe that we each project out the image that is returned to us. Morgana, I’m sorry. Just realize she’s got a problem with herself and she can’t see past it to focus on the real you. She needed to paint you ugly to sooth her own mind. You can’t fix it for her, she has to do it herself, and obviously, she’s having trouble with that. I try really hard to judge people in the here and now and not based on gossip and bashing from other sources.

      1. Thanks LynnO – that makes it “smart” a little less. I forget that and am wounded way too easily because I tend to hold my cards way open, and nasty people take advantage of that part of me. I am trying to leave it alone. I appreciate your suppport.

    1. FWIW, I ignore DNA/DNR posts and lists. They are entirely too unreliable for my tastes. If your name appears on the animal cruelty database, I’ll find you myself. If your references don’t check out, I’ll find that out myself. If you give me a freak vibe, I’ll make that call myself. All this mudslinging on e-mail lists and forums is just a distraction and a waste of time.

      1. SHirley: Thanks – that is all too true. IT’s the way I myself work, and I never pass on a DNA/DNT/DNR unless I personally have verified the info. I appreciate your words and thoughts.

  8. Please help my friend Bethany Sweitzer. She is a rescuer and founder of Find a Friend Rescue. Just weeks ago, her house was broken into and along w/personal items stolen some of her smaller rescue dogs were taken as well. Then yesterday 3/17/11 more devastation happened, her personal dog was stolen out of the yard. The following is her plead.
    Bethany Sweitzer can be found on Facebook for a photo of her dog. Thank in advance for sharing w/others.

    STOLEN!!!!!!! Martinsville, IL My personal dog was stolen out of my yard today. His name is Anubis he is an altered male blue/white Pit Bull. He is very friendly and will go with anyone, especially if they open a car door. He was out in the yard while I was working with some other dogs. When I got back the gate was standing wide open (it was a 6 ft kennel with the latch set very high and a clip in it) and his collar was laying beside it. I let this dog run free in the yard and he NEVER EVER leaves the property. He is microchipped. Please if you have any information call 217 251 5247

    1. Celine:
      I am sooo saddened for you, my heart aches. Have you contacted the police and all vets within 100 miles to give them a description and the chip #? Better yet, fax out flyers with sharp color images of Anubis and the details, but only give the chip# to the athorities and police and shelter people that you trust. I am praying you get them all back in good health.

  9. A small bit of good news. A facebook friend posts dogs from a local rescue and she posted a dog she thought was a sable corgi mix (looked kind of like a sable shepherd in color). I looked at the dog and said to myself, that is no corgi. I double checked my hunch and was pretty sure the picture was of a relatively uncommon breed of dog known as a Swedish Vallhund. I replied to her posting with that information and a link to the parent club rescue contact. She forwarded pics to the rescue coordinator and just a short time later, someone from the club went to the shelter and pulled the dog.

    Love happy endings.

  10. Thank the Goddess for happy endings! ANd kudos to you, Marguerite, for using those breed books. Half the animals in the shelters could be adopted if staff would crack a book or two!

    1. Yes, but cracking those books open or even using the Internet to identify a breed isn’t in the job description – so why would they ever bother to do it?

      Sadly, I sat in a shelter not too long ago and watched as the ACO unloaded his truck. As they brought the dogs in one by one they would look at it and “pick” the breed to label it with. There were two people there and occasionally someone else would walk by and throw in their two cents. Unfortunately almost half the dogs were some type of pit mix and they would get the dog out, check it over, scan it for a chip, writing notes in a folder the whole time. If they came across a dog that was a sweetie (in their eyes) they would say “Oh…put down boxer mix” and if for some reason they didn’t like the way the dog looked or acted (they were reasonably scared to be in this strange place with unfamiliar people) they would say “Mark it pitbull.” An instant death sentence in this shelter.

      I caught them with one of the dogs and looked over and said..”No you might want to double check that one it’s a chow mix.” (Looked like someones boxer and chow had babies.) Seriously, I got into an argument with an ACO over a breed of dog. Even after pointing out the black spotted tongue and medium length brindle hair they refused to change the breed they listed – which was pit mix. At which point I was asked to leave. I did and then turned right around and called the director and gave him a bit of a tongue lashing and told him that allowing his employees to pick and choose the breed without using obvious factors was beyond ignorant. I asked him if they EVER used the Internet or ANY resources to double check breeds. His reply was that these were people that worked with dogs all the time and they “knew” what they were doing.

      I just took a package of books that are about identifying breeds to the shelter and dropped it off. I wasn’t using them and figured maybe if they were there SOMEONE might actually use them. Fingers crossed….

  11. Actually I didn’t use books, although I have shelves full of dog books. I’ve been going to dog shows for decades and I make my living as a canine artist. I thought the photo looked like a Swedish Vallhund and double checked on line to be sure.

    One of the shelters I worked with to pull dogs from years ago had an unusual dog in the kennel. I checked my books that time and the next time I went in I told them that the unusually marked dog I had seen last time was a rather uncommon Catahoula Leopard Dog. They all looked at each other, but no one said anything. I realized that the dog had already been killed. Sad. This was a shelter that worked with rescues and did all they could to move dogs out, but still would kill for space. If I had realized how quickly a dog could wind up dead, I would have called as soon as I confirmed my guess.

    1. Well, whichever way its done…if you look at a good breed book, you’ll find that alot of Shepherd mixes can actually become something with an “exotic” name – adoptable. Alot of terrier mixes are some “exotic” breed – adopted. We used to do this at a shelter I used to pull from and had a really good relationship with – and those dogs with exotic sounding breed names (and we didn’t do it, obviously, if the dog didn’t look the part to a “T”) just flew outta that shelter.

  12. I have asked over and over to remove the comment about the dogs and over a year later it still is there! Kindly remove it!

    1. I don’t do comment takedowns unless there is some extenuating circumstance that would warrant such action. The likelihood of anyone coming into this years old thread at this point is slim anyway. Except for you drawing new attention to it. But if you don’t like the policies, feel free to click.

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