Friday, December 17, 2010

How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

This is a great article on how to make your home pet friendly:

The Animal Obesity Epidemic

The following article was sent to me by Ashley Porter of and is something all pet owners should be aware of:

Top 50 Reads for Understanding the Animal Obesity Epidemic

Note from Jo Ann:

Pet obesity has become a major problem in this country, and one which often leads to serious health issues and, yes, even the premature death of a beloved pet.

Overweight animals are just as prone to heart problems, diabetes, thyroid conditions, and other organ failures as humans are. Hips, joints, and back are also affected.

Proper diet and exercise will definitely help to keep your pet in good heath and prolong their life span.

Always remember that "WE ARE WHAT WE EAT"... and that applies to our pets as well. If it's not good for you... then don't feed it to the animal.

Read the ingredient panels on all your pet food and make sure you are buying a product that meets the requirements of your dog or cat. You DO NOT want products that contain mostly indigestible carbohydrate grains. Rice, either white or brown, is a much better option than corn or sorghum. An indigestible carbohydrate often turns to sugar, which can lead to obesity.... or worse, diabetes. Also, become aware of the "treats" you are giving. All those pretty colors are FDA dyes, which can affect the kidneys... and most treats contain "sugar" or other ingredients that often contributes to obesity.

There are a number of good pet nutrition books available. The internet is also full of information but you do have to be careful... as some of these sites are not a reliable source. Your Veterinarian can also provide you with help in getting your pet back in good, healthy condition.

However, the best solution is to feed a proper diet, feed the right amount of food for the activity level, and always be aware of any changes in weight.... either gain or loss.

Another good rule is to have a feeding schedule for your pet. Free feeding (allowing the animal an endless supply of food) often leads to overeating. The proper amount, given twice a day, is the best way to ensure your pet stays in proper physical condition.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

In Loving Memory of Chyna

Chyna was rescued from the Muskingum County Pound in 2008.

Apparently, she had been dumped or gotten lost from her original owner and ended up in the yard of another couple who, after many attempts to find where she belonged, decided to keep her. Their vet determined she was around 5 years old.

However, four years later, the couple decided to divorce and neither wanted to be bothered with her anymore, so she was taken to the pound. They didn't even bother to tell the Dog Warden her name.

Being a senior and an owner turn-in, this poor little girl ended up on the euthanasia list. The pound volunteers put out a plea to save her life.

When I saw that sweet face .... how could I say NO... and I was on my way to Zanesville.

She arrived in my home as the most "perfect" dog I've ever had. Impeccable house manners, got along with everyone, including the cats. She was never crated the entire time she was here. She was PERFECT in every way.

I did manage to get her adopted out twice but she was returned both times. Both adopters said she was unruly, would snap at them and had run away on several occasions. However, I experienced none of that behavior while she was here. It became apparent that Chyna was happy right where she was and had no intentions of leaving.

Unfortunately, this past summer, my little girl was diagnosed with a large cancerous mass in her stomach. The vet said there wasn't anything that could be done. The tumor had already advanced into other areas of her body. It was just a matter of time.

We decided to bring her home and give her what quality time she had left.

For the past 4 months, Chyna seemed to be doing great, her appetite was good, I didn't have to give any pain meds, she was alert and active. However, all that changed at the beginning of this week. She started to show signs of discomfort and stress. Her appetite dwindled down to nothing and she finally stopped eating yesterday, which meant it was time for me to make that heart wrenching decision.

I made the appointment on Thursday, Dec. 2nd to have her humanely put to sleep.

Even though this amazing little dog was ready to leave this world, her concern was trying to give comfort to the two people she had come to know as Mommy and Daddy. As Al and I held her, and cried, she tried so hard to tell us that it was OK. Her final thoughts were for us, not for her. But then, that's what kind of a dog she was. It was never about what you could do for her... it was always about what she could do for you... and she stayed true to that right up until the very end.

It's always been hard for me to say goodbye, but this special little dog not only touched my heart but my soul as well and the void she left in my life will never be filled.

Goodbye my sweet baby, Your cancer is gone... you are whole once again.

Have a safe journey to the Rainbow Bridge, and thank you for all the love and happiness you brought to my life.

You will always be in your Momma's heart... forever.

So, until we meet again.... be happy and run free.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Pet Miracle - Waiting to Go Home

This is truly touching story that will give you goosebumps! It is written by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe" - author of the popular "Tips 'n' Tales" newsletter. This story is from Mary Ellen's book Expect Miracles. Enjoy!

It was 35 years ago that Sister Mary Julia recounted this touching cat story, then 15 years later she repeated it word for word. You will see why it was so unforgettable to her once you hear this cat's amazing tale!

"An elderly couple arrived at our animal shelter, on Vancouver Island. They were very hesitant in their manner and the woman told Mother Superior, 'Our daughter was in an accident and died. Her cat refuses to settle into our home without her. Will you please find a home for her orange tabby?"

Read the entire story at:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10 Most Memorable White House Pets

This is a fantastic article on the 10 Most Memorable White House Pets that was sent to me from a reader. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

For more Presidential Pets, also visit:

Monday, October 4, 2010

October is Adopt a Dog Month

"October is Adopt-a-Dog Month! Over the past few weeks, I've been providing you with my best tips and advice to prepare you to step up as the pack leader from day one if you decide to adopt this month. Choosing a dog is a decision that should be made with care and deliberation. A dog is not a toy or a clothing accessory; it's a living creature. Too often, a dog is adopted because it is "cute" or "fashionable" rather than based on the merits of its behavior and energy levels. When selecting a dog, it is vitally important to take into account how that dog's energy will harmonize with your own."

The above was written by Cesar Milan ... and no truer words were ever spoken.

All too often, people adopt a dog for the "wrong" reasons. Now, yes, it is commendable that people go to shelters, the pound, or even a local rescue group to save a life. However, just because you feel sorry for the dog, it's just the cutest little thing you've ever seen, or your children fell in love with the puppy, doesn't mean this animal will be a suitable "lifetime" member of your family. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT OWNING A PET IS, INDEED, A "LIFETIME COMMITMENT."

The biggest reason dogs are surrendered to pounds or shelters is because the owner didn't do their homework BEFORE getting the pet.

If you are looking to buy a specific breed ... and only from a reputable breeder (please do not support the Puppy Mill Industry by buying from your local pet store or from a "backyard" breeder), please research the breed and know what is required.

How big is this puppy going to be when it becomes an adult? What type of coat does it have and will it require regular grooming? Dogs that do not shed are great ... however, they do require frequent visits to the grooming salon ... or you're going to have to learn to do it yourself. Do you have the time or money for this?

What kind of a diet does this breed require? A lot of purebred dogs are surrendered when the animal develops skin and stomach issues from feeding a less expensive grocery store brand of food. Can you afford to purchase a higher quality, premium pet food, or even a Vet prescription food?

What kind of health issues are associated with the breed you have chosen? Can you afford the Vet bills to sustain this dog's quality of life should it develop heart problems, thyroid conditions, kidney or bladder issues?

What energy level is this dog .... couch potato or "SPAZ?"

Do you have the time and energy for daily walks after you've been gone all day at work?

Do you have the time and money for obedience classes for this new puppy? Please remember that puppies are like infants ... they do not come fully programmed. Yes, they are going to "wee wee" and "poop" all over your house until properly house-trained. And, let's not forget about the "chewing" stage. Puppies that are teething can devour almost anything in your home .. and often do.

Are you willing to clean up the "mess" and replace damaged furniture, woodwork, carpeting, etc.?

If you decide a Shelter/Pound dog is what you're looking for, please keep in mind that a lot of them do not have the time nor the staff to be efficient when evaluating a prospective adopter to ensure this is a good match. So, it's up to you to make sure the new dog or puppy is going to fit into your lifestyle. Once again, please do your homework as they don't have the necessary means to do it for you.

However, most rescue groups have an advantage over pounds or shelters. We DO have the time to evaluate our prospective adopters and can help guide you through what is required for the particular dog you have chosen.

We are often accused of being "picky," down right "mean" ... and sometimes even "discriminating" against people. This simply is NOT true. We know what type of home the animal needs, and it's our job to see that your home is a "good match" ensuring that YOU are going to be a Happy Pet Parent, and the dog has found it's forever home. After all, that is the goal ... a HAPPY ENDING for both dog and owner.

Also, remember that if you're looking for a specific breed, there are plenty of "breed specific" rescues in your area. They can be very helpful in providing information needed to make a good decision as to whether or not a particular breed will be compatible. If so, they can provide you with exactly what you've been looking for.

Let make this October's "Adopt A Dog Month" the best ever. Do your homework, ask yourself ... as well as everyone else in your household .... are we ready to make that lifetime commitment? If you can do this .... and answer "YES" to all the requirements of owning this particular pet .... then, HAPPY ADOPTION. It is my sincere wish that all of you enjoy a wonderful, happy lifetime with your new family member. If it's the "right" dog, you will never regret saving it's life. You will be rewarded with unconditional love. It just doesn't get any better than that, folks.

My best to all of you,

Jo Ann & "gang"

Dog Prayer

Too precious not to share!

The Labrador and the Dolphin

I hope you enjoy this video of two unlikely friends!

Animal Rights Group Threatens to Sue 2 Ohio Dog Pounds

Below is a link to an article concerning two Ohio county pounds (Harrison and Fayette).

Animal Rights Group Threatens to Sue 2 Dog Pounds (Published 9/29/10)

This is unacceptable by any pound or shelter that is responsible for the welfare of the animals in their care.

Ohio has full licensing for "humane" euthanasia by means of lethal injection. To continue with a "homemade gas box" or injecting air into an animal's stomach is inexcusable.

The people of Fayette county should hang their heads in shame for allowing such barbaric practices to continue. This also applies to any other county in Ohio that continues to use unacceptable means of euthanasia for stray and homeless animals.

I hope that you are as outraged as I am and will make your voices heard.

Jo Ann & "gang"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nutritional Know-How by Cesar

This is a great pet nutrition article by Cesar Millan that is also featured in the October issue of Cesar's Way Magazine:

Nutritional Know-How: A to Z

100 Expert Nutrition Tips for a Happy & Healthy Pet

This article was suggested to me by its publisher Ken Martin. I found it to be very thorough and well put together. I hope you find it useful:

100 Expert Nutrition Tips for a Happy & Healthy Pet

20 Parrot Tricks in 2 Minutes

Just fantastic! I hope you enjoy this very talented duo!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Breeder Gases 93 Dogs in Makeshift Gas Chamber


David Yoder must be prosecuted for this horrific act of animal abuse. Just to lose his kennel license is NOT enough.

Please take time to read, sign, and pass on to others.

Thank you.
Jo Ann

David and Barbara Yoder of Black Diamond Acres kennel in Seneca County, New York, decided to "depopulate" their kennel. David Yoder created a makeshift gas chamber out of a wooden whelping box (a wooden box usually used as a safe place for birthing dogs) retrofitted with a metal door and a three-horsepower engine. Filling the box with five or six dogs at a time, he pumped in carbon monoxide, walked away so he wouldn't get a headache, then came back a few minutes later to see if the dogs were dead. He repeated this cruel process over and over again, killing a total of 78 dogs and 15 puppies.

Following the massacre, the USDA told the Yoders that euthanasia needs to be performed by a vet, and the kennel's license was cancelled. It's too little, too late. The Yoders need to be prosecuted for animal cruelty.

Tell the Seneca County District Attorney to prosecute the Yoders to full extent of the law.

Photo credit: In Defense of Animals

To sign the petition, please visit:

Read more at:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Opportunity to Overcome

Dear Readers:

The following story was sent to me by a good friend, and I felt it was truly worth sharing as we seldom see anything good written about a Pit Bull. I am thankful that it has received such an overwhelming response!

I want to thank everyone who left comments on this article. Although I wish I could take credit for this rescue, it was actually an Animal Control Officer who is the real HERO, here.

Unfortunately, I don't know the name of this person, nor do I know where the story originated from. It only says "Washington", which could mean just about anywhere. So, if any of you should stumble across more information, PLEASE share it with us. If I should find out more, I'll do the same.

Again, so sorry if it was misleading to my readers. Even though I've had a hand in helping to save many a bully breed, I can't take credit for this one. The ACO who was called to pick up the dogs is the "true" HERO for this Happy Ending.

I am, however, overwhelmed by the response I received. It is truly heartwarming to know that there are people out here who have looked past the stigma of the word "PIT BULL" and have shared their wonderful stories and experiences with these amazing dogs.

As I said, all too often, we hear and see only the negative aspects of the "Bully Breed".

Hopefully, My Pet Rescue Blog has shared some of the more POSITIVE sides to these dogs and is helping to erase the stigma attached to the breed.

Please keep sharing these wonderful stories about your own Pit Bulls. Hopefully, one of these days, we can convenience our lawmakers, law enforcement, and our communities that it is NOT the breed but rather the irresponsible, and sometimes cruel, "human" who is to blame. PUNISH THE DEED, NOT THE BREED.

My best to all of you.

Jo Ann & "gang"


I am a Pennsylvania State Dog Warden and I received a call concerning two strays that showed up on a front porch early one morning.

When I got there, this is who greeted me:

A female Pit Bull and a male Chihuahua.
The Chihuahua was guarding the Pit Bull!!!

They looked to have been on their own for a while. The Chihuahua was missing fur and the Pit Bull had an injured paw.

I was able to slip a leash over the Pit Bull and walk her into a cage and put her in my truck.

However, the Chihuahua would not allow me to get near him but would not leave the Pit Bull behind…….So I thought of a plan to get the Chihuahua into my truck.

My first option was to make a ramp by using a board.

This proved to be a bit too challenging for the little guy.

I found a stool and it worked like a charm! Perfect! He was in!

Once on the tailgate though, the Chihuahua would not let me get near without putting up a fuss!

Every time I neared, he would bark and snarl, cautioning me to stay away. If I came too close he would jump off and we would start all over again. So I sat on the ground, about 25 feet away, and slowly scooted my way over, all the time having a conversation with a Chihuahua that was guarding a Pit Bull!

Eventually he let me get close enough so we could have a face to face & heart to heart discussion.

I told him that his intentions were very noble and would not go unrewarded for the both of them.

-- Unfortunately with the abundance of Pit Bulls and general misunderstanding of the breed, they are not easily adopted and when found by a Dog Warden, Animal Control officer or Dog Catcher, they usually end up at an Animal Control facility that holds them for 48 hours. If they are not claimed, they are euthanized. However due to this little guy’s tenacity and I do believe true affection for his Pit Bull lady, I was not going to let that happen. --

So with my promise to be their protector, he let me pick him up.

However he wanted nothing to do with separate cages. So together they went!

I took the Chihuahua, his Pit Bull and their story to the Washington County Humane Society.

It took some time to get them into the shelter, not because of who they were, but due to lack of space. Their story of dedication and should I dare say love won the hearts of everyone who came in contact with them. Eventually a space was set up for them in a restroom in the lobby and they settled in. The shelter intends to find them a home that they can share together.

The happy ending to this story is not a typical one for most Pit Bulls who are running at large.

It took the determination of this one small, scrappy Chihuahua to save the life of this Pit Bull.

Can you imagine how many lives could be saved if we humans took the time to look past the stereotype and really looked at each dog as a dog?

You may find a loving, loyal and dedicated companion to fight for like our Chihuahua friend did.

This little man and I both extend thanks to the Washington County Humane Society for giving them a second chance at a life together.

Perhaps this story will give you a second chance to revisit your thoughts and opinions concerning Pit Bulls. They deserve the opportunity to overcome a stereotype that can most certainly lead them to death.

These two thank you for that opportunity.

Before You Adopt a Dog

October is Adopt-a-Dog Month! Here is a great article by Cesar Millan with tips and suggestions for those considering adopting a dog:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cats Have It Made in the Shade

Man Built a Sanctuary for Homeless Cats

Craig Grant bought a tree farm far away from the city and turned it into a sanctuary for all the cats he has rescued.

He lives there with the cats and provides lots of love, care and companionship. It’s hard to imagine that once he was not a cat lover and did not want cats until he met his son’s cat Pepper. He also got to experience what it is like raising a litter of kittens.

“Over that time I learned that every cat had its own unique personality and it wasn’t long before the kittens were swinging from my curtains. I didn’t care. Something had changed… I didn’t want to give them up.”

The condo life was not easy for the kitties, so Craig found a tree farm and settled down there for his fur babies.

Over the next several months, he rescued more and more homeless and abandoned cats. The number of new residents kept going up, so Craig expanded the sanctuary to make more room for the animals.

The farm was named Caboodle Ranch and is now a permanent home for all the homeless, rescued cats. Each of them has a sad story of their past, but now they are living in heaven.

“Cats should be able to roam free, and at Caboodle Ranch, that’s what they do.”

Craig has built many beautiful cat houses and decorated the place with vibrant colors and tons of liveliness.

All the cats are spayed and neutered. Don’t forget to visit Caboodle Ranch (non profit rescue center) at their website and check them out on Facebook.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Donations Needed for Pretty Girl and Justice

My friend and fellow rescuer Robin of Measle's Animal Haven Pit Bull Rescue in Dublin, OH is appealing for donations for two very special Pit Bulls in need of surgeries.

Pretty Girl (pictured at left) is a blue and white American Staffordshire Terrier who is about 2 years old. She came to us with a horribly broken jaw that had been crushed and dislocated when she was a puppy and had healed very badly. She cannot even open her mouth and was very emaciated when we took her. She has now gained weight and is so happy in her foster home, but we want to fix her jaw so she can eat normally and live a normal life. She can only open her jaw about 2 millimeters and if she ever vomits she could choke to death because she cannot open her mouth.

Justice (left) is an American Staffordshire puppy who is 6 months old as of 6/23/10. He was rescued by a kind animal control officer from a horrible situation in which he was being slowly starved to death. Also his back legs had been badly broken and allowed to heal badly. He also has a broken foot, pelvis, and his two rear femoral heads are broken. When we took him he weighed 16 pounds and should have weighed 30+. This puppy has been horribly mistreated by people and yet he loves them more than anything. His favorite thing is to curl up on your lap and sleep with his head on your chest while you watch TV.

Measle's Animal Haven is a 501(c)(3) organization and any donations you give are tax-deductible (we will be happy to provide you with a receipt). Please help us fix Pretty Girl's and Justice's broken bones and continue to save the lives of so many pit bulls every year.

We also need donations to continue our PIT FIX program, which has allowed us to spay and neuter hundreds of owned pit bulls, so we can reduce the number of unwanted bulls that are euthanized every year in Central Ohio. The demand for this service is incredible and it allows us to also educate pit bull owners on how to be responsible owners.

Our Chip In page is:

PLEASE help us help them, and the countless other pit bulls we save every year.


Robin Laux, Director

Measle's Animal Haven Pit Bull Rescue
501(c)(3) Non-Profit No-Kill
P. O. Box 4142
Dublin, OH 43016

On the Web:

True Love Has No Limits

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ohio Decision Makers' Deal with the Devil

From Barbara McGrady of S.P.A.

I Resound a Loud, "DITTO"... to Vivian Stevenson's response (below) concerning HSUS and Governor Strickland's "DEAL"...

Dr. Albert Schweitzer best describes the world I envision for future generations:

"There slowly grew in me an unshakable conviction that we have no right to inflict suffering and death on another living creature unless there is some unavoidable necessity for it, and that we ought all of us to feel what a horrible thing it is to cause suffering and death out of mere thoughtlessness. And this conviction has influenced me only more and more strongly with time. I have grown more and more certain that at the bottom of our heart we all think this,, and that we fail to acknowledge it because we are afraid of being laughed at by other people as sentimentalists, though partly also because we allow our best feelings to get blunted. But I vowed that I would never let my feelings get blunted, and that I would never be afraid of the reproach of sentimentalism."

~ Dr. Albert Schweitzer (Nobel Peace Prize Winner)

We Need to THINK before we VOTE!

Please Support McKenzie's Law!

Take just a minute or two to READ THIS LINK:

New Deal Sells Ohio and its animals short

On July 1st, 2010, Vivian Stevenson (not verified) says:

HSUS, Pacelle, Governor Strickland and the Farm Bureau have all thumbed their noses at the citizens of Ohio and have left its animals in jeopardy. Every voter who signed those petitions should feel like they've been slapped in the face and should remember that during the elections in November. HSUS needs to tuck its tail and go back wherever it came from taking Pacelle with it because they have failed the citizens of Ohio and the animals they were suppose to be protected. As usual in politics, they got the mine while the citizens, in particularly the animals, got the shaft. Governor Strickland, I will remember this at the polls in November that you have no concern for what the citizens of Ohio want and no concern for the welfare of the animals of Ohio. Despite the fact that I campaigned for you in the elections, I sure won't this time and actually will push for another person for Governor.


Wide Range of Animal Welfare Issues

Posted Jun 30, 2010 by Laura Allen

They should be treated humanely before they're slaughtered to eat.

"The question is not, "Can they reason?"
nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
~Jeremy Bentham

In a press conference held today, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced a deal has been reached with the Humane Society of the United States on a number of animal welfare issues.

As a result of the agreement, HSUS will not pursue its ballot initiative pursued through a ballot committee called Ohioans for Humane Farms to end certain factory farming practices such as (1) use of battery cages for egg laying hens, gestation crates for pregnant pigs, crates for veal calves or other confinement that prevents animals from lying down, standing up, fully extending his or her limbs, or turning around freely; (2) strangulation and other inhumane methods of killing cows and pigs and (3) transport, sale or receipt of non-ambulatory animals.

Signatures necessary to put the imitative on the ballot were due today.

Gov. Strickland said the deal would "enhance animal welfare and animal care standards" and is "good for Ohio agriculture and good for animal welfare in our state." He said the deal had the support of the Ohio Farm Bureau and agriculture industry organizations in Ohio.

What the deal means for Ohio's farm animals

Under the deal veal crates must be discontinued as of 2017, the same date as specified in the ballot initiative and when the industry has said use of the crates would be phased out anyway. Gestation crates may continue to be used until 2026 though no new permits for facilities using the crates can be issued after Dec. 31, 2010. Battery cages used for egg laying hens will not be required to be phased out, but there can be no new permits issued for facilities using battery cages for confinement.

It is not clear if the Livestock Care Standards Board will agree to implement these measures. Under Ohio law, the LCSB determines standards of care and treatment for farm animals. The LCSB could also presumably lift these restrictions at some point.

The deal does include a ban on strangulation of farm animals and mandatory humane euthanasia methods for sick or injured animals. There will also be a ban on the transport of downer cows for slaughter. The language of these measures is not yet available. It is not clear what enforcement measures and penalties will be included. Again, the LCSB must implement these restrictions if they are to have the force of law.

In addressing why HSUS decided to abandon the ballot initiative, Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS, who was present at the news conference said that a ballot initiative is an "uncertain circumstance for both sides" and it is a "better outcome for both sides if we can advance ...reforms".

HSUS, the Governor and Ag Industry agreed on a number of other animal welfare issues

Indeed, the deal is far-reaching, affecting other animal welfare issues. It was agreed that the governor would issue an order barring importation of exotic, dangerous animals as pets. It was agreed legislation would be enacted to raise penalties for cockfighting and improve commercial dog breeding standards. But the legislature must first pass the legislation.

There is already a bill pending to raise penalties for cockfighting. There is a battle between two puppy mill bills, S.B. 95, that would actually encourage puppy mills, and McKenzie's Law, soon to be introduced by Ohio state Rep. Cheryl Grossman and which is supported by a grassroots movement. There is also a ballot initiative underway that would ban dog auctions. McKenzie's Law would also ban dog auctions while S.B. 95 would allow them to continue.

Pacelle said HSUS would support S.B. 95

It is more important than ever that you let your Ohio legislators know that you support McKenzie's Law as the best way to end puppy mills and the cruelty to dogs. And, you can still help gather signatures for the ban on dog auctions. Take this as an opportunity to get involved and help pass meaningful legislation that will truly save dogs from the puppy mills in Ohio.

"We ought all of us to feel what a horrible thing it is to cause suffering and death out of mere thoughtlessness..."

Barbara McGrady

Adopting a Shelter Dog - Free Book

Rescuing a dog from a shelter is a wonderful way to give a dog a second chance at life, and find yourself a new best friend. But, how do you help start this new relationship off on the right paw? This FREE Guide walks you through the first seven days of adopting a rescue dog.

Veterinarian Dr. Susan Wright and Editor Misty Weaver take you through the first seven days, from selecting a dog that will be a good fit with your family (Chapter Four) through to establishing routines (Chapter Seven), and socialization (Chapter Eleven). Each chapter ends with a real story from a family that adopted a rescue dog, sharing with you the joys and the challenges that accompany any adoption.

Get this GREAT resource by visiting:

Monday, June 28, 2010

"Dr. Dolittle" Hirt Does a Lot for Rescued Animals

From Barbara McGrady of S.P.A.:

"Dr. Dolittle" Hirt does a LOT!

Dr. Hirt not only talks to but HEALS castaway animals that others aren't willing/able to help.

The Short of it:

This amazing veterinarian in Clyde, OH is in the process of forming a non-profit animal rescue sanctuary... Another Chance Sanctuary Rescue & Rehabilitation Retreat.

When her clients bring in pets with serious health issues and are unable or unwilling to pay for medical care or specialized surgery necessary to save their lives... Dr. Hirt doesn't consider euthanasia as an option, unless the animal is suffering and CAN'T be helped.

She spends her money to save these animals' lives, and cares for them for the rest of their lives, if responsible homes aren't found.


Dr. Hirt is hoping others who love animals can help...

A client of Dr. Hirt's recently passed away unexpectedly
and she had a rescue of her own...
to the tune of 58 cats and 3 dogs.

Donna Schneider passed away three weeks ago.
She lived in Castalia, Ohio.

As a rural mail carrier
Donna rescued many cats along her route.
She couldn't stand to see them suffer along country roads.
Dr. Hirt vetted most of these cats
and did what she could to help Donna.

Dr. Hirt is volunteering her time to go to Donna's house to feed, scoop and water, and when I can, I have volunteered my time to ride along with Dr. Hirt to help.

Someday, when I make my exit, I hope that at least a few will join together to properly care for the animals S.P.A. has rescued, too.

Last time I met Dr. Hirt at her clinic
to help care for Donna's cats
and walked over to her SUV,
this is what I saw...

Dr. Hirt takes various groups of her rescues to the clinic with her each day.
I was finally able to make room on the seat for me!

When we arrived at Donna's house
I could not believe all of the cats.
Most appeared to be very healthy,
except for a few with kidney failure and old age.
A couple were diabetic,
but Dr. Hirt took them to the clinic soon after Donna's death.

Donna has photos and cat plates, cat cards, cat calenders, etc.
all over her house!
Not to mention hundreds of cat toys.

She had placed an electric blanket over her dining room table
so the elderly, ill cats could keep warm and comfy.
It was still turned on my first visit there three weeks ago,
soon after her death.

I found this photo of a few of Donna's cats
in a stack of photos on an end table...

Donna's son will be selling her house soon
and all of the cats have to go!

Dr. Hirt is taking all of Donna's
beloved rescues under her wing...

Dr. Hirt has 35 dogs living in her home, as well as pot bellied pigs, birds, cats, and in her barn; goats, sheep, horses, AND MORE.... ALL RESCUED ANIMALS!

She is personally in financial trouble from spending all of her own money on the hundreds (probably thousands) of animals she's rescued. She should have filed for non-profit status long ago. She has been personally funding her no-kill sanctuary.

We think that all veterinarians must have big bucks, right? And attorneys? Why, of course...

Last night, when I was trying to fall asleep, trying to stop thinking about all of the animals lined up who I needed to help "tomorrow"... I began thinking about how the people I most admire in this life always seem to be hurting for money.

They are somehow driven to make a difference and are not only compassionate enough but also intelligent enough to know just exactly how to do that... focusing their efforts on stopping the madness regardless of the monetary pay-off. And yet money is a necessary part of this life, isn't it...

I guess the moral of this story is that being a good guy isn't easy. Money and glitz has a powerful pull but aside from that, we all have to eat. Where does one who is so motivated to make a difference draw the line?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A little integrity is better than any career”.

He also said, “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”

That's what I admire most in these special individuals... their courage.

Dr. Hirt is trying to figure out a way she can afford to convert part of her outbuilding into a cat shelter for Donna's cats. There is already a cement slap as big as a two car garage, she said. What she needs is insulation, wall board, ramps, propane heat, windows, etc. and then all of Donna's cats will be safe.

Every time I have gone to Dr. Hirt's place I am moved to tears that someone would undertake so much, that she would do so much to stop the suffering for all of the animals who reside there.

Does anyone have a way
to contact Ellen or Oprah?
Dr. Hirt would be a good candidate
for help from a national level.

In the meantime...
anyone wishing to donate to

can do so in one of the following ways...


Another Chance Sanctuary
3320 C.R. 175
Clyde, OH 43410

Thank you!

Barbara McGrady
Society for the Protection of Animals

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Butcher of Licking County Strikes Again

This is a note I received from a fellow rescuer:

Dear All,

Jon Luzio, aptly named the Butcher of Licking County, for happily dragging puppies, kittens, dogs and cats that whimpered for their lives to a gas chamber, resigned effective on September 2010. (Let's just say that Mr. Luzio considered his options limited, given his reputation for killing animals that were slated for rescue and adoption and the public outrage that followed.)

Out of pure spite and sadism, Luzio has evidently gone on a killing spree, until he leaves in September of 2010.

My suggestion: lets all email the Licking County Commissioners and demand his resignation effective TODAY. Luzio is incompetent, period. There is no further need for his employment.

Worse, there were dogs that had been adopted that Luzio killed, in his own words, "because he can".

Please see below and rain emails on the Licking County Commissioners demanding Luzio's termination of employment as of June 14th, 2010. Please email them as soon as you receive this communication.

The fact that Luzio is killing animals that had already been adopted is just insane!

Licking County Commissioners

Tim Bubb - (at

Doug Smith - (at

Brad Feightner - (at

Thank you.

Previous post:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stop Animal Abuse at Conklin Dairy Farms Ohio

Graphic video secretly taped by Mercy for Animals shows workers at the federally-subsidized farm holding down newborn calves and stomping on their heads. It shows one worker wiring a cow's nose to a metal bar near the ground and repeatedly beating it with another bar while it bleeds.

Please sign the following petition to stop the animal abuse at Conklin Dairy Farms:

Monday, May 3, 2010

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Citizen Corps has declared May 8, 2010, National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day.

The declaration is meant to raise awareness about the importance of planning for pets' safety before disaster strikes.

Citizen Corps is asking veterinarians and kennels to provide pet owners with tips on creating emergency plans for their companion animals. Additionally, the corps recommends partnering with a local pet store to hold an event offering pet disaster kit shopping lists and giveaways, such as identification tags.

"Preparedness is peace of mind, and including our animals in preparedness plans before an emergency or disaster is the best way to ensure the safety of people and their pets," said Dr. Heather Case, AVMA Scientific Activities Division director.

"Citizen Corps National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is the perfect time for veterinarians to encourage their clients to develop appropriate animal evacuation plans and kits," Dr. Case said.

The AVMA offers an array of disaster preparedness resources, including "Saving the Whole Family," a client brochure on ways of providing for pets during an emergency. The brochure and other disaster planning resources are available in the Animal Health section of the AVMA's Web site at

US Stamps for Shelters

Starting April 30, 2010, the U.S. Postal Service is selling stamps featuring pets that were adopted from shelters. Sales of these stamps help buy food for shelter pets. What a great idea!

Order yours today at or get them at your local U.S. post office.

Sample of the Animal Shelter Stamps

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

STOP THE HOWLOCAUST - Licking County Dog Pound Rally


SATURDAY, APRIL 10th from 10AM to 2PM
at Licking County DOG POUND
544 Dog Leg Road Heath, OH 43056

Where: Heath, Ohio 36 miles east of Columbus (Central location to be announced soon!!)

Out of Town Supporters:
Please RSVP if you’d like us to supply you with a sign

Questions? Send to

Media Inquiries: or 740-973-3060

More Info?: & FaceBook Page

Community Meeting: Wednesday, April 14th starting at 6:30 pm in the Heath High School Cafeteria.

Trumbull County OH: where BSL victims went to die

From BAD RAP Blog:

Imagine you're forced to consider giving up your family pet because BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) has made it virtually impossible to find insurance for your dog's targeted breed? And you're getting friggin' desperate. And you know that your local shelter is a dead-end - emphasis on dead - because, who in their right mind wants to adopt a dog with overwhelming state restrictions attached? And rescues are beyond full with dogs they can't place? And you're thinking, "Good god - How can I possibly put my beloved to sleep?"

And you learn about a sanctuary that takes pit bulls. A no-kill sanctuary with a warm and inviting website for your family pet; the wonderful dog that's been your steady and loyal companion for months or years. Would you take him there rather than euthanize him? Oh hell yeah, you would.

You and me, and many, many other people. When we learned that a sanctuary in Trumbull County Ohio had been raided for overcrowding and horrid conditions, it almost didn't land on our radar. But I grazed the seizure photos at the urging of a friend and nearly fell over.

Read the entire article at:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beluga Whales in Danger

Petition from the NRDC:

Industry giants are pressuring the Obama Administration to abandon endangered beluga whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska. We need your urgent action to help protect these rare whales from extinction.

Please tell the National Marine Fisheries Service to finalize its proposal to designate an area of more than 3,000 square miles as critical habitat for Cook Inlet beluga whales.

Cook Inlet belugas live in one of the most populated and industrialized regions in Alaska. Their health and habitat is continuously threatened by the devastating effects of development and pollution.

In fact, this genetically distinct population of beluga whales has plummeted in number from 1,300 in the 1980s to fewer than 400 today.

Following years of advocacy by NRDC and others, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed designated critical habitat for Cook Inlet beluga whales under the Endangered Species Act this past December.

Without these habitat protections, which are backed by decades of scientific research and data, Cook Inlet beluga whales could be wiped out forever.
Yet powerful industries are falsely claiming that designating critical habitat will hurt local development.

In truth, this designation simply helps ensure that new development projects will move forward with safeguards necessary to protect belugas and their habitat.

Please make your voice heard right now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Loving Memory of Daddy the Pit Bull

Cesar Millan, all his family and friends, his staff and volunteers, and dog lovers all around the world today will mourn the passing of one of the most loyal, trusting, well-balanced, and influential pit bull ambassadors the world has ever known. Daddy, Cesar’s longtime friend and partner in canine rehabilitation, died peacefully surrounded by family on Friday the 19th of February. He was sixteen years old.

See Daddy's Memorial Page on the Cesar Millan website.

We have lost one of the greatest ambassadors for the Pit Bull breed our country has ever known.

"Daddy" was the finest example of what a Pit Bull truly is.

How sad that our news media and law enforcement only seems to focus on the negatives with this breed and continue to label them as "vicious killers" -- and insist upon trying to ban them from society.

To me, it certainly doesn't take the brains of a rocket scientist to figure out that any time you have a vicious dog, no matter what breed, an irresponsible "human" is to blame.

We have a decorated War Hero, Sgt. Stubbs, and a movie star, Petey, from the Little Rascals -- both were Pit Bulls -- as well as countless others who have performed services to their communities, including saving human lives.

Even some of Michael Vick's dogs have gone on to become therapy dogs in hospitals and nursing homes. However, none of these dogs made the front page of our local newspapers or the feature story on the evening news. It's always the unfortunate Pit Bull who fell into the wrong "human" hands that make headlines. How unfair to this breed to be so "one-sided."

Cesar Milan's "Daddy" showed the entire world what a true loving disposition these dogs have as well as the achievements they have accomplished.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Cesar and his family for the loss of their beloved Daddy.

Little Junior will have some mighty "Big Paws" to fill, but I'm sure he's up to the challenge and will soon become our next Ambassador for the Breed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Licking County Dog Pound


I find it somewhat hard to write a comment on this video as I usually try to post the brighter side of companion animals and what an important role they play in our lives. They are truly one of God's amazing creations. They entertain us, they protect us, but most importantly... they love us unconditionally, and stay steadfast and true till the very end. Now, just how many of you can say that about a friend or even a spouse?

With that being said, let me try to address the importance of this graphic video.

First of all, I couldn't even watch it all the way through as I felt myself getting sick. Being a rescuer for many years, I fully understand that this horrible means of euthanasia still exists in many areas of our country. Some pounds still use heart stick, which is nothing more than jamming a needle, hooked up to electricity, into the animal's heart and turning on the "juice". These animals have no form of sedation and are basically tortured to death. Gas chambers aren't any better. Tragically, there are still some states within our country that do not have licensing for "humane euthanasia" by injection, which I find unbelievable in the year "2010". However, OHIO does, indeed, have this licensing but, unfortunately, we still have county pounds here that refuse to move into the 21st century by continuing this barbaric means for disposal of the pet overpopulation problem. Even sadder is the fact that these "good 'ole boys" seem to enjoy the horrific death they inflict upon these poor discarded animals.

Hooray for Bonnie Mansfield (see article links below) and her efforts to bring this problem in Licking County to light. However, it just isn't Licking County. There are many other counties, within Ohio, that refuse to evolve out of the "Dark Ages" as well.

Now, yes, I do understand that "euthanasia" is still needed because people just can't seem to grasp the concept of "SPAY OR NEUTER" your pets, along with the "back yard breeders" and puppy mills... and until they do, we will continue to have this overwhelming problem of too many animals with nowhere to go.

However, if these animals need to die, there is absolutely no reason why they should have to suffer the cruelty of gas chambers (or heart stick) at the hands of people like Jon Luzio.

Shame on the residents of Licking County for giving this "good 'ole boy" a salary of over $47,000 a year to continue gassing poor animals when lethal injection is available. Perhaps if the good citizens of this county voted for a "decrease" in his salary, Licking County could afford the Sodium Pentobarbital needed for a more humane practice of euthanasia.

Please remember that "YOU" are part of the problem unless "YOU" take action. If your state or county still uses unacceptable forms of euthanasia, STAND UP AND MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. This is the 21st Century. If we can put men into space... then there is no reason any animal should have to suffer the tortures of being gassed or electrocuted.

I think this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. says it all:

"Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."

Writer challenges 'Watchdog'
Letter to the Editor - Buckeye Lake Beacon
January 30, 2010

Watchdog responds to critic
Letter to the Editor - Buckeye Lake Beacon
February 6, 2010

Watchdog says director, gas chamber need to go
Letter to the Editor - Buckeye Lake Beacon
February 20, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Remembering Allie

On the morning of Sunday, January 24, 2010, two men suspected of at least six home invasions on the east side of Columbus came to Allie's house to attempt yet another one.

When the men approached the door, Allie started barking.

One of the men fired 3 shots through the door, killing Allie.

But Allie's barking woke the only person in the house, who was able to get a look at the men and also get away, unharmed.

Later that evening the two men were arrested with not only the items they took that night, but items from other home invasions they committed.

Allie did exactly what she was supposed to do, protect her home under any circumstances. Her unselfish actions are directly responsible for the person in the house getting away un-harmed.

On the Monday after this tragedy, Allie's family contacted HSDC, writing:

"Please help us memorialize Allie by donating a small gift in her name to the Humane Society of Delaware County. Lets take something bad and do something good!!"

To make a donation in Allie's memory, please visit:

Lion, Tiger and Bear - an Unlikely Trio

They make an unlikely trio, but Baloo the bear, Leo the lion and Shere Khan the tiger have forged an unusually strong bond.

Considering that they would be mortal enemies if they ever were to meet in the wild, it is stunning to see their unique and genuine friendship in these intimate pictures. Rescued eight years ago during a police drugs raid in Atlanta, Georgia, the three friends were only cubs at the time at barely two months old.

Jungle japes: Shere Khan the tiger, Leo the lion and Baloo the bear all live together in a specially-built enclosure at Noah's Ark Animal Rescue Centre, in Georgia, USA

They had been kept as status symbol pets by the drug barons.

Delivered to the Noah's Ark Animal Rescue Centre in Locust Grove, Georgia, the decision was made to keep the youngsters together, because of their budding rapport.

'We could have separated them, but since they came as a kind of family, the zoo decided to keep them together,' said Diane Smith, assistant director of Noah's Ark.

'To our knowledge, this is the only place where you'll find this combination of animals together.'

Living with the zoo's founders for the past eight years, Shere Khan, Baloo and Leo have now moved to a purpose-built habitat were the US public can now witness first hand their touching relationships.

Best friends: The three beasts have been kept together since they were rescued from drug barons when they were just two months old

'We didn't have the money to move them at first,' said Diane.

'Now their habitat is sorted and they have been moved away from the children's zoo areas where the public couldn't really get a good look.

'It is possible to see Baloo, who is a 1000 lb bear, Shere Khan, a 350 lb tiger and Leo, who is also 350 lbs, messing around like brothers.

'They are totally oblivious to the fact that in any other circumstance they would not be friends.'

Handled by Charles and Jama Hedgecoth, the zoo's owners and founders, the three friendly giants appear to have have no comprehension of their animal differences.

'Baloo and Shere Khan are very close,' says Diane.

'That is because they rise early, and as Leo is a lion, he likes to spend most of the day sleeping.

'It is wonderful and magical to see a giant American Black Bear put his arm around a Bengal and then to see the tiger nuzzle up to the bear like a domestic cat.

'When Leo wakes up the three of them mess around for most of the day before they settle down to some food.'

Larking about: Noah's Ark owner Charles Hedgecoth enjoys a visit with Baloo and Shere Khan

Surprisingly for three apex predators with the power to kill with a single bite or swipe of their paw, they are very relaxed around each other.

They eat, sleep and play together,' said Jama.

'As they treat each other as siblings they will lie on top of each other for heat and simply for affection.

'At the moment they are getting used to their new habitat.

'Shere Khan is being quite reticent about the move, but Baloo, the bear is very good at leading him on and making him feel comfortable and safe.'

Explaining that the three 'brothers' have always seemed to share a unique bond, Charles said: 'Noah's Ark is their home and they could not possibly be separated from each other.

'You just have to remember who you're dealing with when you are with them though. It's when you forget that these fellows are wild animals that you get yourself in trouble.'

The trio's new habitat cost an estimated $15,000 and had to be constructed carefully, in order to accommodate its occupants.

Jama said: 'The clubhouse had to be very sturdy for the guys, because they all sleep in it together.' She added: 'We had to include a creek, because the tiger and the bear both like to be in water.'

The animals treat each other as siblings and even lie on top of each other to share warmth and affection.