Friday, December 23, 2011

Snickers the Service Dog.

Thank goodness for these people- it is so easy for people to move and leave the problem unsolved- they are fighting the city and bringing national attention to this. I really hope Snickers gets to go home to his mom and dad soon.

Read more.

Want to read about a pit bull named Hooch who was a search and rescue dog on 9/11? Click here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

No "Bones" about it...

NBC's Bones' creator and author of the best-selling "Bones" series, Kathy Reichs, has a prejudice against Pit bulls. As a faithful watcher of her show and a loyal reader of her book series (I've now read about half of them), I've started to pick up on some distrubing trends. I love her series and her books, but this is yet another example of the pit bull stereotype being propagated without any basis and without really adding much to the story. It is unclear how much experience Reichs has with pit bulls, but based on the way she describes them, I doubt she has much.

Whenever Reichs refers to a strong, threatening or menacing character, she says he looks like a pit bull. I'd say it happens at least once-three times per novel.

Recently, while reading Fatal Voyage, I came across this scene:

A tow-truck has just picked Dr. Temperence Brennan up and she is entering the shop with her dog, Boyd, a chow-mix, who is described simply as "protective" when growling at the pit. (FYI- a breed that also may have some difficulties getting adopted because of its bad breeding practices that have led to some aggressive tenancies- read more)

"The flesh on Boyd's snout compressed against his gums. His body tensed. The growl deepened [...] Bowman met us with a length of rope. 'Had this in back,' he said. 'Flush can be peevish.' ... Crossing the lot, I stepped through the door and circled Flush. An ear twitched, but he didn't look up. Maybe pit bulls are calm because they are secure in the belief that they can kill anyone or anything that provokes them. I hoped Boyd would keep quiet and keep him distance [...] Boyd was straining at his collar, every fiber focused on the pit bull. Flush was either sleeping or playing possum, waiting for the chow to approach."

Sarcastically, she adds... "The garage had the usual tasteful garage appointments. A calendar ... a cigarette machine [...] Three kitchen chairs. A pit bull."

This fine art photo is for sale by Etsy photographer Andra Lara for $25, click here.
So so many things about this passage disappoint me as a pit bull owner, who knows that my dogs are not different from other breeds (particularly Chows), and neither of whom would be as well behaved as Flush is described. (Winnie would attack Tempe with wiggles and jump on her waist, and Bruno would bark and wag, alerting everyone of the stranger present.)

Nothing in the passage about Flush was menacing, and yet, because he is a pit bull, something is conveyed to the reading audience, that she or Boyd are in danger. Even while laying sweetly, he is somehow described as suspicious... playing possum perhaps.

I seriously recommend Kathy Reich's books, they are intriguing, scientific, have great character development, and get me through me 3 hours of commuting each day, but hope that perhaps with a well-written letter (and a picture of my sweet pit bulls) I can convince her to stop referring to them so negatively in her best-selling books.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Who's there!?

Bruno and Winnie the look-out... not sure what for...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pittie of the Week: Lucy- A face you have to love...

Lucy does have a face only a mother could love, but being a pittie-mom, I love it.

Abuse and over-breeding of pit bulls is not just an American problem. This dog, Lucy was rescued off the streets of Bogota, Columbia where she was being beaten and forcibly and repeatedly raped by aggressive male dogs for breeding. She deserves all the love and comfort in the world. Her face my be disfigured, but it shows the world what she has been through, and will help many people understand the plight of dogs like Lucy who deserve so much more.

Here's her description from Strays from the Heart:

Hi my name is Lucy! I've was rescued from the streets of Bogota, Colombia and lived in a foster home over there for about 6 months before coming to the U.S. Prior to my rescue I was beaten by my former owner so badly that my nose and jaw were broken. Both body parts have already healed, but since they never set properly this gave me my uniquely good looks and character. What do you think? Unfortunately not much can be done about my face unless they break the bones and reset them again, not sure I want to go through that. Whoever did this to me also pulled out some of my canine teeth so I could not fight off the many male dogs that would repeatedly mate with me when I was in heat. Yeah I know, this is a terrible way to live. But although I was used as a breeding machine, by my lucky stars, I somehow got away. Then I was living on the streets, alone, emaciated and pregnant. Then that’s when my angel found me.

Upon examination at the vets office they found that my uterus was twisted and they had to decide whether to save my puppies or me. They chose me! They estimated that this was my 5th or 6th pregnancy in a row, having lived my whole life, 3.5 years, in an abusive home. When the neighbors found out I had been rescued, they approached my angel and told him that I was also used as a submissive dog in several dog fights in order to train aggression into the fighting dogs. So you see, I never reacted, because I’m a lover not a fighter! 

Thankfully some good people got together to bring me here and now I’m ready to find my forever home with a great family! I'm a bit shy of strangers but never aggressive and just need to build up my confidence with both dogs and people. As a matter of fact, where I’m staying now, they say I’m the sweetest thing! Always ready for a good belly rub. While my past has been hard, I hold no grudges. Typical to my breed, I just want to live and have fun!

I'm now spayed and have had all my shots, I’m in good health and can eat without a problem. I'm ready for a new life and new home! If you like short, stocky, 50-pound brown girls, then I know you’ll love me! Sadly, I’m currently living in boarding and would love to break out of here. If interested in adopting or fostering me please call Vivianne at 646-662-0251 –or- you can email her by clicking here! Woof!

To learn more about Lucy, or to foster or adopt her,  email or call Vivianne above, or email or call Beth Silberg at Strays from the Heart. ( / (347) 242-0459)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What makes Pibbles special??

Stubby dog's post on what makes pibbles unique is SPOT ON.
I love it SO MUCH-I've reposted it below.

Couch/bed/blanket stealers? CHECK
Zoomies around the house? CHECK
Big pittie smiles? CHECK
Wiggle-butts? CHECK
Face-lickers? CHECK

Somehow Bruno and Winnie combined meet all the criteria Stubby dog describes for what makes a pit bull different from any other breed. I've had a Chocolate lab and a Wheaton Terrier, both have great qualities, but there is something about pit bulls- whether they are mutts or pure breds, that is completely unqiue, and if you have had one- you know what those qualities are- most notably complete love & devotion for their owners!

Yes, Pit Bulls Suddenly Snap

December 13, 2011  

Five things you’ve always heard about pit bulls and why they’re all true

By Micaela Myers

1. Pit bulls “suddenly snap.” It’s true. One minute they are lying upside down on the couch snoring, and the next minute they hear the word “walk,” or “rawhide,” or “ball,” and they suddenly snap. From 0 to Mach 90, they are doing zoomies down the hall, tongue flapping, tail tucked for turning aerodynamics. Jump in front of this joyful train, and you could indeed accidentally get knocked down! (photo by Donna J. Griffin)

2. Pit bulls’ jaws are unlike any other dog. Again, it’s true. Bullies have a singular type of jaw that enables smiling unlike any other! The lips curl up and wrinkle, and you can’t help but laugh at that happy pink tongue bobbing with each big breath, those shiny white teeth and those big twinkling eyes. (photo by Ronny Ag Roberts)

3. Pit bulls are tenacious fighters. Ever try and fight a pack of pit bulls for the couch? The bed? A soft, cozy blanket? It’s true, they love a comfortable place to sleep and would rather lie right on top of you or each other than be alone on the cold, hard floor. (photo by Janet Podczerwinski)

4. Children beware. If your child has a phobia for canine kisses, then he or she definitely better stay clear of pit bulls. Pit bulls have a special radar just for children. Smell one, and they start to lick their lips. They can’t wait to find that little kid and cover them in kisses. (photo by Colleen S Moore)

5. Pit bulls are the ultimate guard dogs. Maybe all robbers need is a little love? If this is the case, then yes, pit bulls make excellent guard dogs. Most will be happy to greet robbers with their wiggly butts. They may even show them where the couch (and TV) is, where the coziest bedroom (and jewelry) is, and invite them to stay and cuddle awhile. (photo by Cristina Falcon Seymour)
Those of us who really know pit bulls, know that they’re just dogs (OK, maybe they’re especially cuddly and goofy dogs). Now let the world know the truth about pit bulls! For a more serious look at pit bull myths and facts, click here and visit our resource page.
All photos courtesy of StubbyDog’s Facebook fans

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Doggies drive us nuts sometimes...

When Bruno and Winnie want more attention that we can give them because mom is busy applying to graduate school and dad is busy studying for law school exams this is what happens... They are banished to the crate to calm down for a bit.
Notice they can fit comfortably if only Winnie didn't hate it when Bruno rests his head on her bum ( yes she will growl a him for it!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eukanuba Challenge Weeks 4 & 5

We decided to give it a little longer till we updated you all on the food challenge and it's a good thing!
For the first time since we have had him (over a year now) Bruno's coat it starting to soften and become shiny. He still (charmingly) lacks eyelashes - which causes his eyes to tear oh-so-cutely, but his ear hair is coming in nice and soft. (finally!)

The pups still love the taste of the wild salmon formula and since we cut back on the cups for Winnie we haven't seen the weight gain we started to see before.

The best thing about the food really has been that they have had no trouble adjusting to it- we have even had to go back and forth to their old food on trips to our parents' homes and they never had a single belly-ache!

We'll wrap up the challenge soon and let you know how you can win your own Eukanuba in the next post!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Drug use at ACC?

Check out this post by Urgent Part 2- Apparently ACC Director Julie Bank has been notified of drug use by her employees (employees who have in the past made life-ending mistakes by putting the wrong dogs to sleep!) and has yet to do anything about it!
Here's to hoping this outrage makes it on the news. The staff at ACC is already bad enough as it is, but for no one to care whether these mistakes happen (because they're all pittie strays anyway, right?), and for no one to seek out to correct these problems, is a real shame. I wonder how they would respond if a purbred dog was put to sleep days after arriving before its owners could find it, rather than just another stray? Every dog at ACC deserves a chance, and these low-life staff members are holding them back from that chance to survive.

Incompetence Running Rampant At NYCACC - PART 4 - Is Drug Use In Shelters Being Ignored?!?

by Urgent PART 2 on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 11:41am
Animal Care & Control of NYC is a place where dedicated volunteers and employees are fired for any attempt at all to blow the whistle on widespread negligence and neglect, or even just those that work too hard to get animals rescued.  In the past year alone, employees like Emily Tanen and unpaid volunteers like Rita Bar-Or and Jeff Latzer have been fired for little or no reason at all, with no thought given to the effect their absence would have on the care of shelter animals.

But what about employees who are part of the problem?  Shelter employees that get high at work, or come to work intoxicated while exhibiting disdain for the animals in their care?  Anyone who spends enough time at the shelter becomes very familiar with these people, but what is more shocking is that these people are in fact embraced by the administration.  Why would that be?  Because Julie Bank prizes a very certain quality in the staff she maintains: cold, heartless contempt for any notion of animal welfare.  As long as these people are not sticking their necks out for better care of the animals, all other issues of professionalism, responsibility and dedication do not matter; they will always have a job at ACC if animals matter as little to them as they do to Park Place management.

Urgent has been contacted by numerous rescue groups, adopters, volunteers and even a few staff about the condoned negligence that perpetuates in the mismanaged ACC shelter system.  We were also recently contacted by a concerned citizen of East Harlem who tried to do something about it.  This person (who for obvious reasons insists on anonymity) had inside knowledge of drug use going on at the Manhattan ACC, and even knew who was supplying it to employees. He spoke up about it to shelter administration, and like every volunteer or staff or rescuer who writes emails to shelter management with concerns about shelter animal treatment, he was ignored.  He even tried again, this time including every elected official whose email he could find.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: * *
Date: Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Subject: Your last chance before I go on TV about DRUGS AT THE HARLEM SHELTER

Dear Julie Banks,

Why didnt you respond to my email?  It was a very important email about 4 workers at the Harlem shelter who do drugs, and none of you bothered to respond to me.  Do you only respond to white people with lawyers?  You think since I live in the neighborhood where your shelter is that I don't matter as much?

I gave you a list of four people that work in your medical office that use drugs even though theyre supposed to be saving animals. (I copied it at the bottom of this email)  Doesnt that matter to you?  Since I wrote that to you, I read about your shelter on the facebook, and I saw all the shitty things you been doing instead, like killing the wrong dogs and firing your best worker. Why dont you fire the people that are high at work instead?  Two girls on that list I sent you were even talking shit about how proud they was to smoke weed during work!!!  Dont believe me?

If you dont answer this email and drug test these people, i'm gonna get this up on the internet on that Urgent website.  Trust me, you dont want that.  And remember like i said, if you tell them even a half hour before that your gonna test them, theyll pass, and go on being high treating dogs.

This is your last chance julie banks.  Next time you hear from me i'll be on channel 5

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: * *
Date: Sat, May 7, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Dear Animal Care and Control,
I know for a fact that these four people work in the harlem medical department, and all use drugs all the time.  Sometimes they even use at work. You need to drug-test them right now, because theyre supposed to be helping the animals, and they cant do that if theyre high!  How do I know this?  I know the guy who sells to them.  I promise you, if you give them a drug test like all employees should get, and you dont let them know first, theyll fail. If you tell them even a half hour before, theyll pass (I've done it for jobs before, all you need is a drink from gnc).  But doing that when your supposed to save animals is just wrong.
Trust me, i'm not joking with you.  Don't put the animals at risk any longer!  And if this gets out and people know the vet tex are high, it will look very bad for nyc.
There names are:


And still -- nothing.  The people he implicates are still at the shelter putting animals in danger, including one role of particular importance: a New Hope rescue liaison.  The unanswered emails from the whistleblower also names a shelter behaviorist, a lead vet tech assistant, and a vet assistant. 

The biggest mystery here is why the shelter does not follow through on its pre-existing drug policy of random drug tests, and mandatory testing after a bite incident.  A shelter staff source tells us that the New Hope rescue liaison was bitten last year, but bragged about never being tested or she surely would have failed.  A second source from the shelter staff sent us the attached photo of drug paraphernalia found in the shelter backyard, with a note explaining that it was common sight at ACC.

So Julie Bank, maybe you'll answer Urgent instead: how could you ignore these emails and continue to put the animals' lives in the care of openly irresponsible and "distracted" people?  Numerous staff named in these emails work in the medical department, and the Manhattan shelter is notorious for its rampant medical "mistakes" that leave dogs, cats and kittens found stiff in their cages for lack of care.  The homeless animals of NYC deserve better than this, and the citizens of NYC deserve oversight into who their tax dollars employ.

The NYC Govt needs to know that you are outraged. Please go to this link for contact information:

Also, The New York State Dept of Health (not the NYC DoH) and the DEA would both be appropriate avenues to explore for complaints due to the involvement of controlled (Scheduled) substances. Those performing euthanasia MUST be registered with the New York State Dept. of Health to handle/administer scheduled drugs (see Section 80.134 of Title 10 regulations).

"The Department of State is committed to maintaining the integrity and competence of the licensees within its jurisdiction. Should a member of the public believe that a licensee has acted in an untrustworthy or incompetent manner, he or she may file a complaint with the Department's Division of Licensing Services. The complaint will be reviewed and an investigation will be commenced to determine whether the licensee should be disciplined. Both the licensee and the complainant are kept apprised of the proceedings.

A licensee who is found to be in violation of the law is subject to reprimand, fine, suspension or revocation."

A copy of the complaint form can be found here:

Coming Soon - Part 5 - You won't want to miss it...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eukanuba Challenge: Week 3

Quick update: Winnie and Bruno still love their Eukanuba food, although I have noticed that Winnie appears to be putting on some weight, check out this pic of her lazing around with a slightly growing belly.

Usually she and Bruno are somewhat trim and very muscular, although she puts on weight a lot more easily than Bruno and it all sits in her mushy little belly- which makes her all the more cuddly. That must be the Rottweiler part of her.

The problem is she has weak joint and knees- so the trimmer we can keep her the better.

Help for the Holidays

All it takes is one person, one dollar, one minute to save one dog- if we work together to support rescues. Please keep rescue groups in your heart these holidays. See what good can come of your small efforts:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bruno & Winnie try to out-cute each other...

Obviously competing in the world finals of cutest pitties ever...

Why are you sitting on each other puppies??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eukanuba Challenge: Week 2

Well, I have noticed that the pups have more energy for sure! (I'm not entirely positive this is a good thing, because they have been tearing through the house, playing with their toys, and climbing on Chip and I to go on walks.) They also have been gobbeling up their food heartily.

Salmon food PLEASE!?
However, on the taste test, the Rottweiler food is the clear loser. Unfortunately, it does not appeal to Winnie or Bruno. I'm not concerned that - given no other options - they would starve, but with the fishy all-natural Salmon formula around, they snub their noses at the Chicken-Rottie food everytime.

My theory on the food is this: Umami flavor wins out.

Umami is the mysterious fifth flavor after Salty, Sweet, Sour, and Bitter-- in Japonese it means "pleasant savory taste." The Umami Info describes it as:

"Taking its name from Japanese, umami is a pleasant savoury taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate, which occur naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role making food taste delicious."

Not surprisingly, breast milk is most mammals first exposure to the flavor- which is what makes it so irresistable to us. Besides touch, taste is the only sense dogs have developed at birth. This means that while they cannot hear or see their mom, they can feel her warmth and taste her milk.

Is Umami in your dog food?
Dogs' sense of taste is only 1/6 as good as ours (ever wonder how they can eat such strange things like plastic?) - but they still like to have their food smell good and taste good- and not give them a tummy ache. I think the fact that their first experience with food and comfort is umami-flavored, it makes sense that they would want to replicate that later on.

Guess what dog food ingredient contains the most umami? Fish- it is filled with it (140mg per serving of the main ingredient, free glutamate)- and chicken? Not so much, only 44mg. Want to drive them crazy with taste? Cheese has 1200mg- that's why they act like they are going to tear your carpeting up at the first sight of a cheeze ball!

My guess is Winnie and Bruno go crazy for the fish the same way they go crazy for cheese. Do you find this is true with your dogs too?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eukanuba 28 Day Challenge- Week 1

Bruno and Winnie are Beginning Eukanuba's 28-day dog food challenge this week.
Bruno's food is Naturally Wild: North Atlantic Salmon and Rice Formula
  • Salmon as the #1 Ingredient: 100% Real salmon provides an excellent source of protein as well as vitamin-rich fish oil. That's why it's the #1 ingredient.
  • Healthy Carbohydrates: Unique Multigrain blend includes barley and rice and is a quality source of carbohydrates that helps maintain healthy energy levels.
  • Natural Prebiotics: Natural FOS (fructooligosaccharides) works in your dog’s digestive tract to support strong defenses.
  • Antioxidants: Made with a unique antioxidant blend including vitamin E to help dogs stay healthy and live long lives.
  • Natural Fish Oil: Natural fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. These nutrients also help support the immune system and nervous system.
  • Only the Good: No Fillers, corn, or artificial preservatives
  • DentaDefense®: Clinically Proven to reduce tartar by up to 55%

Winnie's food is Rottweiler Formula - because she is part Rottie, has really bad joints (hip displaysia and a torn/repaired ACL), and we think her coat is a classic Rottie coat- gorgeous and silky black/brown.

Eukanuba Rottweiler is specifically made to nourish the overall health, including strong muscle tone, joint health and shiny coat of Rottweilers. This food provides high-quality animal proteins to help build and maintain strong muscle tone and body condition. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. FOS, a natural Prebiotic, is included to support your Rottweilers's strong defenses from within the digestive tract. Natural fish oil helps Rottweilers maintain that sleek and shiny coat they’re famous for. Feeding Eukanuba Rottweiler will help keep your dog as toned, and magnificent as he was bred to be.
  • Lean Muscles: Higher protein level to help maintain strong muscle and body condition (vs. Large Breed Adult)
  • Heart Health: Guaranteed Taurine and L-Carnitine levels, vital nutrients for a healthy heart
  • Healthy Joints: Formulated to maintain a healthy weight and minimize joint stress.
  • FOS (fructooligosaccharides): This Prebiotic works in your dog's digestive tract to support his strong defenses.
  • Chicken as the #1 Ingredient: Real chicken as the #1 ingredient provides an excellent source of protein.
  • Antioxidants: Made with antioxidants such as Vitamin E to support your dog's immune system.
  • Natural Fish Oil: Natural fish oil provides omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
  • 100% Nutrition, 0% Filler: Your dog deserves the best, so there’s no room for fillers like artificial preservatives, artificial flavors or colors in our food. In fact, every carefully chosen ingredient serves a specific purpose in promoting your dog’s overall health. It’s our 100% commitment to you and your dog.
  • Wholesome Grains: Made with highly digestible barley and grain sorghum to help maintain healthy blood sugar and energy levels.
  • DentaDefense®: Crunchy kibbles with a coating of micro- crystals scrub your dog's  teeth with every bite, reducing plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to bad breath.
Week One:

Bruno and Winnie eagerly attacked their food last night...
Winnie's Rottie food is a little hard for her to chew- it took her about twice the amount of time Bruno took to finish (the kibble size is bigger than the salmon formula).

This morning, however, it became super clear that they prefer the Salmon (1st ingredient Salmon) over the Rottie formula (1st ingredient Chicken). Given extra of both- neither of them finished the Rottie formula- the fish smells and oils may be too much to resist- they couldn't get enough of it!

Here's Winnie- eagerly waiting for some of Bruno's salmon formula before even touching her own.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pits, Pets & Politics

American presidents and politicans have been historically carnivorous. Many of them enjoy hunting and shooting things and putting forth an aggressive dominant personality. Mama Grizzly-aka Sarah Palin is a great example. Being a vegetarian or pet-lover is often seen as weak in politics. Empathizing with animals suffering is seen as an inability to make tough decisions.

An article by Kelly Oliver in the New York Times suggests that people consider animal-lovers to be crazy and somewhat pathelogical. The more dependant we are- the crazier we are. Animals are subscribed by doctors to help us cope with weakness, depression, and illness. And hence we see strong meat-eaters in politics today.

She asks, is there room in America for a vegetarian candidate? I've been asking myself this recently because I would be drawn to vote for someone simply on this basis. Why? Well, I assume this means they are compassionate and thoughtful about the affects they have on the lives under their control. The opposite feeling frightens me in a political leader. Of course, individual philosophy is not always consistent. Just because a politician cares for animals and doesn't eat meat does not mean they will treat all Americans equally and help the lower classes-- Case in point: Adolph Hitler, a notorious vegetarian.

However, I am drawn to vegan, vegetarian and pescaterian politicians:
Benjamin Franklin was a vegetarian.
Bill Clinton, after 2 open heart surgeries and being influenced by his daughter Chelsea is a vegan. (And dropped 20 lbs!)
Al Sharpton is a pescatarian. (And a LOT slimmer these days.)
President Obama signed a law banning "obscene" videos depicting animals being tortured to death with penalties of up to seven years in prison. 

If you want to see how other politicians stand on the issues--out the Humane Society's Score Card:
For example, my senators Lautenberd(D) and Menendez(D) each scored 100/100, with Menendez sponsoring the Fur Labeling Law. New York senators did well also, scoring 89 (Gillibrand) and 78 (Schumer).

Here are the representatives who scored 100+ (scored 100% and led legislation)- All are democrats:
Grijalva(D-AR), Capps(D-CA), Davis(D-CA), Filner(D-CA), Milner(D-CA), Sherman(D-CA), DeLauro(D-CT), Schakowsky(D-IL), Van Hollen(D-Maryland), Peters(D-Michigan), Andrews(D-NJ), Holt(D-NJ), Towns(D, NY), Price(D-NC), Kucinich(D-Ohio) (Also a Vegetarian!) and Dicks(D-WA).

The senators who scored 100+ are Kerry (MA) and Lieberman (CT).

Sadly, the congressman I intered for (I lived in his district), Scott Garrett has a 13 and voted against the following bills: Factory Farms, Marine Turtles, Sea Otters, Wild Horses, Guns in Parks, Rare Cats, Primates as Pets, Didn't bother voting for Puppy Mills, Horse Slaughters, or Chimps in Research.

The following should be noted for voting against Service dogs for Veterans: Flake(R-AZ), Shedegg(R-AZ) and Issa(R-CA).

Starved, Neglected and Alone...

For some reason, the most abused animals in America are pit bulls.
If you are on the East Coast, and have room and time to nurse this guy back to health, please consider fostering/adopting. He will be pulled by Amsterdog if you step up!

Weight: only 31 pounds, I'm going to guess this guy will put on 15 more pounds if not 25 in the next few months. Bruno was only 45 pounds when we got him, he's now 60!

Behavior: Got stiff when approached while gulping food, assessor notes: needs reassessment at normal weight, but Roko got sick with Kennel Cough first. He doesn't seem to like other dogs at the moment, but loves people.

Has $100 in pledges already. Click here to leave a comment on his thread.

Another boy being destroyed today who I can't ignore is this sweetie- Skye. He is neutered but has a bad skin rash. Look at those sweet eyes!

Pittie of the Week!

This pup is named Radar, and I love how much he reminds me of Bruno. He is shy of new people, but loves Dogs, just like Bruno. Last night, Bruno had such a hard time listening to all the noises and children outside - he got so anxious he would randomly start barking at things- including at one point, growling at our chandelier for 5 minutes!? Then I let him under the blanket on the couch and he snuggled in, and knowing he was safe in there, went straight to sleep. How can you resist that?? If you'd like your own Bruno- here's your chance!!

Age: 1 year
Sex: Male
Breed: APBT Mix
Hi! I'm Radar and I'm a very loving, active pup who had a rough start in life.  I am the perfect size for NYC living, although I'd probably prefer a quieter place.  I am super shy but will quickly bond with my caretaker.  I love dogs and would do best with a another dog in my forever home.  My new parents need to be patient, understand my social limitations and be committed to taking me to training classes so he can build confidence and a relationship with my new family!
I am currently in foster care, so please contact the shelter to set up a meeting with me!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Doggies begin to Cocoon!

It's getting very chilly in the Northeast and the puppies definitely know how to stay warm.

Bruno and Winnie have been cuddling on the couch and snuggling in bed whenever they can.

This time of year, Bruno even stays asleep long after we get ready for work, huddled under blankets.

When I finally lift them up to move him to his crate for the day, he is so hot and sleepy that his eyes barely open!

 I wish I could cocoon like them all day!

Haloween is here (almost)

What will your pooch be for Halloween?
While Bruno is terrified of the holiday- due to the amount of little children (the scariest things on earth!) and the multitude of scare-crows and lawn-ornaments, we still think he doesn't mind playing dress up once in a while....

This is our first Halloween with him (we will have him a whole year on November 9th!) and he will be a Horse with a Jockey on his back! Its a great costume I picked up at Target for only $10. Winnie will be a Lobster again!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some recent PitterPatter Faves

....Including more of our submissions!

(Bruno eating Dairy Queen at night)
So cute- our doggies hate baths too
This little cutie was adopted this summer from RBARI

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bruno the driver

Bruno waits patiently for his Dad to come out of the store...
This past weekend he went to the dog park for the first time with his Grandma! Apparently, he barked at strangers, but everything went well! We will have to try this again sometime.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Doggies at Play: Body Language

Winnie is recovering so well! It is almost like she never had surgery at all- her hair is growing back over her frankenstein scar and she is romping and rolling with Bruno all over the house. I don't know how it is possible for her to feel so little irritation or pain, but I chalk it up to the amazing work of Dr. Petraro at Twin Rivers and also to Winnie's fierce pain-tolerance.

She and Bruno can play forever- they get so tuckered out chasing each other around the house and gnawing at each others faces and legs. (Do your dogs do this too, or do they just sweetly cuddle together?) We figure they are pretty well suited for each other but every once in a while someone carries it a little too far and the other comes hiding behind my legs.

Bruno taking his turn making the first move...

My favorite part of watching them play is the elaborate little dances they do- and the funny little water breaks they take. All of a sudden, play will stop- they will go take a drink- catch their breath, and then one will do a play bow and it starts all over again!

Did you know that 20 minutes of dog play is about as much excersize as an hour long walk!? So glad to know our doggies are getting the stimulation they need even when Chip and I are busy. If you are interested in learning more about dog body language to see how fairly your dogs are playing, check out this video:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bruno's destruction...

So we have been trying to limit the amount of time Bruno spends in the crate by trying him out in different rooms in our new apartment. Winnie of course can be left anywhere because she does no harm to any of our belongings or the carpet, but as you may remember- whenever he is unsupervised (AND ONLY when he is unsupervised) he will reak havok by eating everything in sight and going to the bathroom all over the house.

We tried successfully for a while keeping him in the kitchen. It was small enough that she didn't want to be confined there with whatever mess he could make, and easily cleanable if an accident occured. However, within a few weeks he figured out how to somehow leap over the gates without toppeling them over- I'm imagining some sort of dear like elegant bound...

Next we tried leaving him in the Office- a room with a door. Here's what happened the very first day:

Bruno's destruction....
Look at that guilty face!! He must be super anxious when we leave.
So for now he is in the crate all day- which I'm sure he doesn't enjoy but we are not sure what to try next.
Any ideas?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Animal Farm Foundation Slideshow

PETsMART offered a phone/web based training on Pit Bull Adoption Basics/Training hosted by Kim Wolf of the Animal Farm Foundation.

These are some of the interesting slides shared with the participants.... These are a great resource if you are trying to explain pit bulls to your friends and family.

Kim said...Only 2-10% of a dog's DNA determines his DNA, and yet we are using that very small amount as a predictor of behavior, which is arbirtary and incorrect.
Don't imply more than you know or use terms incorrectly. Example, for a dog to be a bait dog- there has to be an aggressor dog, which is not a good image to conjure in adopters minds about pit bulls. Also, terriers tend to be "tenacious", but "pit bulls type dogs" can be lazy.

Don't imply more than you know- just because a dog barks at all brown dogs, doesn't mean it cannot be in a home with a brown dog. Fact: It is better to transfer ownership and get the dog back through legal channels if something goes wrong, rather than loaning the dog first- which opens you up to liability as a shelter or organization.

Having a separate area or policy for pit bull dogs sets the potential adopters up to think that pit bulls are different. You as the advocate should not create unnecessary fear. We should not assume anything about a dog's behavior from its arbitrary label.
There can be an unlikely match where you least expect it! Take time to get to know the potential homes.
Animal Farm Foundation does not give people a list of what may go wrong because they feel that they cannot list a comprehensive list of "what ifs".  People with children between 5-17 acquire 75% of dogs at any given time, so age-restrictions automatically restrict the adopter pool to 25%.

Advice from AFF to Shelters/Rescue Groups:

1) Place them next to a variety of dogs, don't segregate.
2) Put a friendly pit bull in your lobby as a greeter with a bandana!
3) Teach the dogs parlour tricks (pray, handshake, roll over, blow kisses)
4) Use enrichment toys to keep pits quieter and busier- they will present better to adopters
5) Think of your adopter as a customer-make the environment calm, cool and peaceful
6) Use playgroups to burn energy, learn more about the dog's personality, and engage volunteers
7) Have Rescue Brunches - invite local rescue groups and foster homes to watch play groups to pick dogs based on observation.
8) Some dogs do best with a job (agilty, disc, obedience, police, search and rescue, assistance, therapy)
9) Happiness Sells, Sadness repells. (Adoptions increase when you focus on the human/canine bond.)
10) Take pictures with other dogs or people, create a scene or tell a story, take pictures in front of landmarks or in costumes, even a hand or foot of a person in a picture increases the dog's chances of getting adopted. Take videos!
11) Use adopt me vests
12) Use business Cards
13) Don't forget the bling! (Cute tags, collars, bandanas!)
14) Don't forget the Elder dogs, they can be great additions to homes for years to come
15) Promote your staff that live with pit bulls to show you believe what you are selling
16) Promote your shelter as an "adoption option" rather than individual dogs.

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