Monday, September 29, 2008

Adonis: Saved From the Dog Meat Trade

This story about a dog named Adonis is from Humane Society International. Adonis was one of the dogs saved last year from a shipment of 100 dogs bound for the dog meat trade in the Philippines.

Originally nicknamed Brown-Brown by rescuers, he was soon adopted into a loving new home and has since become a therapy dog, visiting hospitals and bringing joy into the lives of hundreds of children.

Dogs just like Adonis are rounded up in the streets, stolen, or even bought from their unknowing owners for an insignificant sum. Dog meat traders take advantage of the animals’ trusting nature -- they bind their muzzles, pack dozens of them into a small cage, and then drive the dogs for hours to their final destination -- a cruel death.

Warning: This video contains graphic footage.

For more info (and for ways you can help), please click here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Test of a Civilization

From PETA TV, below is a video showing the reality (and horrors) of animals being used in lab experiments. Hundreds of millions of dogs, cats, rats, mice, and primates are used and killed every year in the name of science. Many experiments are agonizing, unreliable, and pointless.

Please note: This video contains graphic and disturbing images and information.

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Help My Rescue Win $10,000

Hello everyone! and are running a campaign to promote awareness of pet adoption. They are awarding $10,000 to the rescue with the most votes.

PLEASE vote for my rescue! Even though I'm a very small operation, I have been very fortunate to have saved a lot of little lives and helped to rehome a good many others.

This money would allow me to branch out, finally become a 501c3 and save a whole lot more.

The contest runs from September 22 through November 1, 2008.

Click the link below to vote for Jo Ann's Foster Animals:

Thanks so much for your kindess and support!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Puppy Mill Update on Oprah this Thursday 9/25

Be sure to watch this Thursday's (9/25/08) episode of Oprah - During this show, viewers will meet the tiniest and most talented dogs in the world. Then, a puppy mills update. The first show was just the tip of the iceberg... why we need everyone to watch again!

Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama

I’m not trying to get in the middle of a political war, but I feel people should know where these candidates stand on animal rights.

Jo Ann

September 22, 2008

Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama-Biden

One of the guiding principles of the Humane Society Legislative Fund is that we evaluate candidates based on a single criterion: where they stand on animal protection policies. We don’t make decisions based on party affiliation, or any other social issue, or even how many pets they have. We care about their views and actions on the major policy debates relating to animal welfare.

It stirs controversy to get involved in candidate elections. But we believe that candidates for office and current lawmakers must be held accountable, or they will see the animal protection movement as a largely irrelevant political constituency. In order to have good laws, we need good lawmakers, and involvement in elections is an essential strategy for any serious social movement, including our cause.

While we’ve endorsed hundreds of congressional candidates for election, both Democrats and Republicans, we’ve never before endorsed a presidential candidate. We have members on the left, in the center, and on the right, and we knew it could be controversial to choose either party’s candidate for the top office in the nation. But in an era of sweeping presidential power, we must weigh in on this most important political race in the country. Standing on the sidelines is no longer an option for us.

I’m proud to announce today that the HSLF board of directors—which is comprised of both Democrats and Republicans—has voted unanimously to endorse Barack Obama for President. The Obama-Biden ticket is the better choice on animal protection, and we urge all voters who care about the humane treatment of animals, no matter what their party affiliation, to vote for them.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has been a solid supporter of animal protection at both the state and federal levels. As an Illinois state senator, he backed at least a dozen animal protection laws, including those to strengthen the penalties for animal cruelty, to help animal shelters, to promote spaying and neutering, and to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. In the U.S. Senate, he has consistently co-sponsored multiple bills to combat animal fighting and horse slaughter, and has supported efforts to increase funding for adequate enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and federal laws to combat animal fighting and puppy mills.

In his response to the HSLF questionnaire, he pledged support for nearly every animal protection bill currently pending in Congress, and said he will work with executive agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior to make their policies more humane. He wrote of the important role animals play in our lives, as companions in our homes, as wildlife in their own environments, and as service animals working with law enforcement and assisting persons with disabilities. He also commented on the broader links between animal cruelty and violence in society.

Obama has even on occasion highlighted animal protection issues on the campaign trail, and has spoken publicly about his support for animal protection. In reaction to the investigation showing the abuse of sick and crippled cows which earlier this year led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history, he issued a statement saying “that the mistreatment of downed cows is unacceptable and poses a serious threat to public health.” He is featured in Jana Kohl’s book about puppy mills, A Rare Breed of Love, with a photo of Obama holding Baby (shown above), the three-legged poodle rescued from an abusive puppy mill operation, and his political mentor, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), is the author of the latest federal bill to crack down on puppy mills.

Importantly, Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) has been a stalwart friend of animal welfare advocates in the Senate, and has received high marks year after year on the Humane Scorecard. Biden has not only supported animal protection legislation during his career, but has also led the fight on important issues. He was the co-author with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in the 108th Congress on legislation to ban the netting of dolphins by commercial tuna fishermen. He was the lead author of a bill in the 107th Congress to prohibit trophy hunting of captive exotic mammals in fenced enclosures, and he successfully passed the bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On the Republican ticket, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has also supported some animal protection bills in Congress, but has been inattentive or opposed to others. He has voted for and co-sponsored legislation to stop horse slaughter, and voted to eliminate a $2 million subsidy for the luxury fur coat industry. But he has largely been absent on other issues, and has failed to co-sponsor a large number of priority bills or sign onto animal protection letters that have had broad support in the Senate.

The McCain campaign did not fill out the HSLF presidential questionnaire, and has also not issued any public statements on animal welfare issues. He was silent during the downed animal scandal and beef recall, which played out during a high-point in the primary fight. Yet he did speak at the NRA convention earlier this year, and is the keynote speaker this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, at the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance rally—an extremist organization that defends the trophy hunting of threatened polar bears and captive shooting of tame animals inside fenced pens.

While McCain’s positions on animal protection have been lukewarm, his choice of running mate cemented our decision to oppose his ticket. Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-Alaska) retrograde policies on animal welfare and conservation have led to an all-out war on Alaska’s wolves and other creatures. Her record is so extreme that she has perhaps done more harm to animals than any other current governor in the United States.

Palin engineered a campaign of shooting predators from airplanes and helicopters, in order to artificially boost the populations of moose and caribou for trophy hunters. She offered a $150 bounty for the left foreleg of each dead wolf as an economic incentive for pilots and aerial gunners to kill more of the animals, even though Alaska voters had twice approved a ban on the practice. This year, the issue was up again for a vote of the people, and Palin led the fight against it—in fact, she helped to spend $400,000 of public funds to defeat the initiative.

What’s more, when the Bush Administration announced its decision to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, Palin filed a lawsuit to reverse that decision. She said it’s the “wrong move” to protect polar bears, even though their habitat is shrinking and ice floes are vanishing due to global warming.

The choice for animals is especially clear now that Palin is in the mix. If Palin is put in a position to succeed McCain, it could mean rolling back decades of progress on animal issues.

Voters who care about protecting wildlife from inhumane and unsporting abuses, enforcing the laws that combat large-scale cruelties like dogfighting and puppy mills, providing humane treatment of animals in agriculture, and addressing other challenges that face animals in our nation, must become active over the next six weeks to elect a president and vice president who share our values. Please spread the word, and tell friends and family members that an honest assessment of the records of the two presidential tickets leads to the inescapable conclusion that Obama-Biden is the choice for humane-minded voters.

Link to article:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dude, Where's My Feather Duster?

This hysterical photo of "Dusting Dude" was sent to me by my webmaster Angie. Angie's mother Nancy owns a residential cleaning service in Central Ohio. She snapped this photo of her client Marsha's black Labrador named Dude. Dude (and Marsha's yellow Lab Pearl - who's leg and tail are visible on the left-hand side of the photo) like to "help" out the team on cleaning day!

Those of us who have a Labrador in our lives know all too well how entertaining they can be!

On a slightly related note, it's almost hard to believe that black dogs (particularly black Labradors) are most often passed over at the shelters, resulting in an alarming rate of euthanization... hence, the epidemic known as "Black Dog Syndrome".

You can learn more about Black Dog Syndrome by reading my previous post or by visiting this very educational website called

Please share how a "black dog" has made your life more wonderful. Just click on Comments at the end of this post to spread the joy!

Thanks Marsha & Nancy for allowing me to publish this wonderful picture! Keep up the GOOD WORK, DUDE!

A Rescued Katrina Dog's Happy Ending

Thousands of pets perished in the Hurricane Katrina disaster in August 2005... and thousands more went homeless. Fortunately, animal rescuers from all over the country came in to save and re-home as many pets as they could.

One lucky surviver is a yellow Labrador named Pearl. Pearl's mom Marsha Keefer (who also is mom to "Dusting Dude"), shared Pearl's wonderful story with me...

My husband and I adopted a Katrina refugee from our local animal shelter last October. She is a Yellow Lab mix and looks very pretty with our Black Lab (male) named Dude. At first we were considered foster parents while she was still under medical care from the shelter. She had stage two of heart worm disease and was very sick. She was also on Valium and Prozac due to the trauma of Katrina and also from being caged and transported from Pearlington, Mississippi to Ohio. It took quite a few months (and a lot of patience on our part) for her get over her much paranoia. I am happy to say that she is now negative with the heartworm disease and is no longer taking any medications.

Pearl is a very happy dog and has made herself right at home with us. Not only have my husband and I taught her a lot, but Dude has played a huge part in helping her adjust to living in a new home.

I wanted to tell other people that if they have adopted a Katrina animal that is battling with emotional problems, to just give it time and a lot of patience and I guarantee that your pet will eventually pay you back with endless love and affection.

Pearl has turned out to be a real “gem”, no pun intended!

Marsha & Al Keefer
Pickerington Ohio

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Transport Volunteers Make the Difference Between Life and Death

Photo of me saying goodbye to German Shepherd mix.

I was so pleased to see this wonderful story on the front page of the September 14, 2008 edition of The Mansfield News Journal. I was even more surprised to see my picture along with the story!

Click HERE to read the article.

I helped drive transport on Saturday, September 14th, moving 36 dogs from as far away as Georgia. This was a two-part transport involving lots of volunteers. These beautiful animals were all rescued from death row, some right here in Ohio. Some were pure breed dogs, others just mutts, but all 36 were successfully transported to rescues in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Canada.

Part A and Part B of this transport separated in Columbus. Some went on to Pennsylvania and New York, and the others to Michigan and Canada. Some were even added on. My leg was to drive 2 Pyrenees to Mansfield, OH, along with three other drivers to hand off our passengers so they could continue on to the next leg of their north bound journey.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a newspaper reporter who was covering the story, and a crowd of supporters. What an awesome WELCOME we received and the publicity was greatly appreciated by ALL volunteer drivers.

It’s hard to explain what all goes into making a “rescue” successful. There are many, many volunteers involved. The people on the “pull end" -- the ones responsible for getting these dogs out of a kill shelter. The ones who spend hours and hours making phone calls or cross-posting to other rescues across the nation and Canada to see who has space available. Our wonderful “sponsors” who donate pull fees and the money for vetting these animals.

All animals crossing state lines MUST have all vaccinations up-to-date and health certificates with them when they travel. This is MANDATORY, not an option. Once that is completed, the next task is to get these animals where they’re going, thus .... the “transporter”. These people volunteer their time, their vehicles, and their gasoline to make over hundred mile runs getting these babies to the next leg of their final destination -- safety and the chance for a new life -- and they do it 52 weeks out of every year.

The transport coordinator's job must be a nightmare. They are the ones responsible for filling these legs with drivers, keeping track of everyone on the road, making sure everyone is on time to meet the next leg, having back-up drivers in case some one breaks down or can’t make it. Making run sheets that are sometimes 20 to 30 pages long. Tagging all animals so that they can be identified by the drivers so that health certificates do not get confused. That could cause a major disaster should a transporter get stopped by Highway Patrol or at the Canadian border.

The coordinator tracks all drivers' names, their car makes, models, color, year of vehicle, license plate number, and cell phone numbers so that every one can stay in contact. The coordinator MUST man the phone at all times when these transports are moving in case there is a problem. These people are also volunteers.

The next phase is the receiving rescue or No Kill Shelter which also relies upon volunteers to either provide foster homes or to come in and care for these animals daily until they are adopted. In the meantime, these rescues are still bombarded with local animals as well.

Hopefully, the newspaper story will enlighten more people as to what these dedicated volunteers do 365 days a year in order to save as many lives as possible. It doesn’t really matter which end of rescue you’re on -- all are important and are being carried out by volunteers who receive no compensation for their time and dedication to these homeless animals.

So, the next time you’re out for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon drive, and you come across a convoy of vans, cars, and station wagons, moving down the interstate, with several animals on board -- blow your horn, smile and wave, give them a big “thumbs up”.... and please say a silent prayer for their safe journey.

Jo Ann & “gang”

Little Pieces

This beautiful story was written for those who foster by Grace Saalsaa of MidAmerica Border Collie Rescue. Enjoy!

Melissa sat on the floor, unable to sit straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be impossible. And tomorrow... it probably wouldn't be possible then either. Her mind was too busy thinking about the dog that lay across her lap.

When he came to be with her, he had no name. She remembered that day very well. The first sight of him was enough to break her heart into little pieces.

The woman, who had taken this dog from the rough streets where he had lived, had tried to save him because she was unable to watch this young dog find his own food in a dumpster outside the crack house where he lived. Nobody cared that he was gone.

His fur was very thick; so thick that she had to wiggle her fingers down to feel his bony body. And as she pulled her fingers away again, they were coated in old dirt. Black and white, he was supposed to be. But on that day he was beige and dust.

He sat in the back of her car panting continuously, ears laid outward for he had lost his courage and couldn't keep them proud and tall. He sat motionless, waiting and limp.

But the thing that was the most disturbing was the look in his eyes. They were quiet eyes, sunken into his head - and they watched her. They were alive with thought. He was waiting for her to do something "to" him.

Little did he know at the time that, instead, she would "give" something to him. She gave him one of the little broken pieces of her heart.

She reached out to stroke his head and he instinctively squinched his eyes shut and dropped his head, waiting for the heavy hand. With that little bit of movement she gave him another one of the broken pieces of her heart.

She took him home and gave him a bath. She toweled him dry and brushed some order back into his coat. For that, he was grateful and even though his own heart was loaded with worms, he accepted yet another piece of her heart, for it would help to heal his own.

"Would you like some water, big boy?" She whispered to him as she set down a large bowl of cold well water. He drank it up happily. He had been dehydrated for a long time and she knew it would take him most of the week to re-hydrate.

He wanted more water - but it was gone. Ah... that's how it is, he thought to himself. But he was grateful for what he had been able to get. "Would you like some more?" and she gave him another bowl along with another little piece of her heart.

"I know that you are hungry. You don't have to find your own food anymore. Here's a big bowl of good food for you. I've added some warm water and a little piece of my heart."

Over the four months that he stayed with her, his health improved. The heart full of worms was replaced piece by piece with little bits of her loving heart. And each little piece worked a very special kind of magic.

When the warmth of love and gentle caresses are added, the little broken pieces knit together again and heal the container it resides in. That container becomes whole again.

She watched each little broken piece fill a gap in the gentle dog until his quiet eyes radiated the light from the little pieces. You see, kind words gently spoken turn the little pieces into illumination for the spirit that resides within.

He rested beside her, happy to be with her always. Never had he known such kindness, such gentle caresses; such love. His health had returned, his spirit was playful as a young dog's should be and he had learned about love.

Now his heart was full. The healing was complete. It was time to go. There was another person who had another heart that was meant to be shared with him.

So she sat shapeless on the floor because all the broken pieces of her heart were with the dog. It is difficult to sit tall when your heart is not with you. She wrapped her arms around the dog that sat with tall, proud ears for her. Lean on me, he said.

And she gave him one last thing that would keep him strong; that would keep the pieces of her heart together long after he had gone on to live his new life. She gave him her tears and bound them to the pieces with a simple statement made from the ribbons of her heart.

"I love you, Joe." And Joe lived happily ever after.

Melissa sat on the floor, straight and tall like her mother had always admonished her to do when she was a child. Today, it would be possible. And tomorrow... it probably would be possible too. Because her mind was busy thinking about this, the next dog that lay across her lap.

Where did she get the heart to help yet another dog, you ask? Ahhh... it came with the dog. They always bring a little bit of heart with them. And when the rescuer breathes in that little bit of heart, it quickly grows and fills the void left by the last dog.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin's Shameful Record on Wolves

Dear Fellow Animal Lovers:

I usually don’t get involved in politics. I am not a “political party” person. I vote for the best candidate regardless of his or her party affiliations.

However, I feel obligated to share this with my friends, family, and fellow Americans who still care about our Wildlife, especially our wolves.

Please take a few minutes to view this video and then make your own conclusion as to whether you want this type of person as a Vice President of the United States of America.

Jo Ann & “gang”

After watching the presentation, please visit
Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund for more info.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

National Puppy Mill Awareness Day

National Puppy Mill Awareness Day is Saturday, September 20, 2008.

Events will be going on nationwide. Please visit to find an event in your area and for more information on the horrific realities of puppy mill operations.

Why Crating Your New Dog Is Always Recommended

This hysterical photo was sent in by my friend and fellow rescuer Barbara McGrady of S.P.A. (Society for the Protection of Animals). A couple of years ago, she and her husband were fostering a dog that got very upset after they left to run into town shortly after his arrival to their home.

Barb got him settled into a relatively large kenneled area of her garage. The area was created for his utmost comfort with a nice chair, some blankets, a window, music, a chew bone, and food and water. He seemed so happy and appreciative and gave no indication whatsoever of any pent up anxiety!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

What Is Really In Your Pet's Food?

This article was written by my friend and fellow rescuer Dawn Groth:

Hello all,

Yet another disturbing trend has been brought to my attention by the ASPCA. After reading the articles and doing a bit of research on my own. Just google the words "what's in your pets food" and see what comes up. It's disgusting, and yet true. And I'm not just talking about your cheap generic brands... but Major brand names such as Purina, Kibbles, etc... I know I am going to be very careful from now on what I feed my pets! Thought I would give you all a heads up so you can make your own choices. One of the articles I've linked to has a number of brands that are supposed to be more safe.

"What most consumers are unaware of is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food industry, also known as the agriculture industry. Pet food provides a place for slaughterhouse waste and grains considered "unfit for human consumption" to be turned into profit. This waste includes cow tongues, esophagi, and possibly diseased and cancerous meat. The "whole grains" used have had the starch removed and the oil extracted -- usually by chemical processing -- for vegetable oil, or they are the hulls and other remnants from the milling process. Some of the truly whole grains used may have been deemed unfit for human consumption because of mold, contaminants, or poor storage practices."

"The problems associated with a commercial diet are seen every day at veterinary establishments. Chronic digestive problems, such as chronic diarrhea, are among the most frequent illnesses treated."

"Many commercial pet foods are made with ingredients that have poor protein digestibility."

"Urinary tract disease is directly related to diet in both cats and dogs. Plugs, crystals, and stones in cat bladders are caused by commercial pet food formulas."

What's really in Pet Food... report by Animal Protection Institute

Excellent Article with alternate foods noted at the end of the article.

Get the Facts.... what's in your pets food?