Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
- Have the number of the local animal control agency handy. Officers are working around the clock. If you see an animal who is outside unattended, call. In the District of Columbia that number is 202 -576-6664 -- 24/7.
- If you see a neighbor's dog or cat outside call them (or get an adult to call). Make sure that your neighbor is okay. Remind them that their animals should be indoors. It's not safe to be outside for extended periods of time for animals or people.
- When your dog goes outside, be sure to wash and dry his paws when he comes in -- especially the pads between his toes. Those little ice balls hurt!
- If you are venturing outside in the car, be on the lookout for animals that need help as you are driving around. Have the animal control number handy and report all animals in danger. Give as much information as possible -- where is the animal, what does the animal look like, is it contained (can it leave that location) or is it running loose, what is the exact address, what are the landmarks (is there gas station on the corner, or is it a blue house with black shutters). To report homeless people who are out in this weather in Washington call the Hypothermia Hotline at 1 (800) 535-7252.
- Before the car is started, bang on the hood and/or honk the horn -- that way, if a cat who was looking for a warm spot has crawled under the hood she'll take those loud noises as a sign to get out and go elsewhere.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Cats and dogs are often friends. But what about elephants and dogs? Most definitely. I was given the book Tarra & Bella, a truly beautiful story about Tarra, an elephant who had been forced to perform in circuses and movies for more than 20 years. She now lives on 2700 acres at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee with many other elephants and her best friend, Bella. Bella is a medium-sized mixed breed dog who picked Tarra as her friend, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Text accompanies magnificent pictures illustrating the friends' day-to-day interactions and chronicling their painful separation when Bella gets hurt. The photos also show Bella's amazing recovery that was centered on the best medicine -- friendship. Read the book for more information about Tarra and Bella's friendship; and to learn about all of the elephants living at the sanctuary, check our www.elephants.com.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Actually, our animal friends DO communicate with us -- especially when something is wrong. If the TV is too loud a dog might howl, a cat might run into another room; if their stomach hurts cats and dogs usually won't eat; and if something is stuck in their paw oftentimes they limp, hold their paw off the ground or lick the sore spot. It's important for us to watch our animals so when something is wrong we notice. If your cat skips dinner one day it may be that he is not hungry, but if he skips dinner a second day he may be telling you something hurts and should be examined by the veterinarian . If your dog won't put his foot down something may be stuck in his pad, he may pulled a muscle in his leg or he may have hurt his toe. But he can't tell you which of those things is wrong, so it's best to have your veterinarian look at your dog as soon as possible.
This is Briscoe. Doesn't he look happy? You can even see his tail wagging in this picture. Briscoewas not feeling so happy this morning. He was limping; he wouldn't put any weight on his leg. His guardian noticed that Briscoe was walking on three legs instead of four. When she brought him to the Washington Animal Rescue League's Medical Center this morning, the veterinarian discovered a long, sharp splinter stuck in Briscoe's pad. The veterinarian removed the splinter, and within minutes Briscoe was back to walking on all four feet.
Our animals many not speak our language, but they are great communicators. It's important that we, as their care-givers, pay attention to what they are saying.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Gladys came to live with me in 1992. She was a young adult black cat with a scarred eye who was only going to stay until a permanent home could be found. She moved in and immediately told the five other cats that she was in charge, she let Ruth -- my old dog-- know the same. Gladys found her forever home -- mine. She lived in three different houses with me, and welcomed two kids into the family by sleeping with each one. She out lived Ruth and the other cats, and tolerated the cats who came to live with us after her. She totally ignored Nigel four years ago when we brought him home.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Max Edelman, now 86, was only 17-years-old when he was sent to a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Max survived five years of torture, including horrible beatings, starvation and watching others die including a man who was killed when the commandant ordered a large German Shepherd dog to attack. From that day forward Max was deathly afraid of dogs. Who could blame him?
Conquering fear is never easy. But, when he was nearly 70-years-old, Max was determined to overcome his fear of dogs because he wanted a dog's help. Max is blind, and has been so for decades since he was viciously beaten by guards in the camp. Max knew that a seeing eye dog could help him become far more independent. So, he summoned up all of his courage and contacted Guiding Eyes (http://www.guiding-eyes.org/), a seeing-eye dog training and placement organization.
He did it! Or, so he thought. Max completed a 26-day Guiding Eyes training, but that wasn't enough to allow him to bond -- really bond -- with Calvin, Max's assigned dog. Calvin, a very smart and social chocolate Labrador retriever, who successfully completed two years of intense training knew that something was not right between him and Max. They were not a team. No matter how hard he worked, Calvin had not won Max's trust. Calvin began to lose weight. The veterinarian could find nothing physically wrong with him. Calvin was depressed.
Then everything changed -- tragedy nearly struck. The two were waiting at a crosswalk when Max heard the traffic stop. He gave Calvin the "forward" command. According to the article, "A driver made a sudden, sharp right turn and was upon the two without warning. Watchful Calvin stopped instantly, and the two returned to the sidewalk. 'He had saves both of us from serious injury,' [Max] hugged Calvin, and the barrier dissolved." Best friends, Calvin and Max, were together for nine years.
Earlier this summer Max was paired with Tobin, his third dog. To see a picture of Max and Tobin check out the USA Today article at http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-07-28-guide-dog-holocaust_N.htm. Max and Tobin are still getting to know each other. But one thing is for certain, as far as Tobin is concerned, Max is not afraid of dogs!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Michael McCulloch, the director of research conducted in San Anselmo California's Pine Street Foundation, has enlisted the help of several dogs to use their powerful sense of smell to detect cancer. The dogs, all pets volunteered by their guardians are "detecting a metabolic waste from the tumor cells, which is chemically different from the normal cells," says McCulloch.
Animals do amazing things that help people. Sometimes, they do some not so amazing things but are helpful all the same. Send me your examples of animals who have assisted people.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Two hours after reading that the people in a Leesburg neighborhood have "have long complained of deer trampling manicured lawns, eating flowers and ruining community landscaping," I heard a radio report regarding the best way to control the deer population in Rock Creek Park. The spokesperson mentioned four possible means of control including doing nothing, fencing particular plants, adopting birth control measures and killing by sharp-shooting and/or trapping and humanely euthanizing them.
As a means of deer population control In Defense of Animals (IDA) suggests--
- Remove vegetation from roadsides to reduce the attractiveness of roadside areas to deer.
- Prevent deer from eating yard plants and trees by installing fencing.
- Protect individual trees with mesh and netting.
- Contact a nursery to find out what types of netting are effective.P
- Plant native plants tolerant of deer browsing.
- Plant plants that repel deer through smell and taste.
- Use flashing lights or loud noises to startle deer away.
These seem like good ideas to me. Killing the deer, especially in a cruel, barbaric manner like bow-hunting, is not a long-term solution, in fact, it's not even a temporary solution. IDA points out that:
allowing hunters to kill more does, however, does not resolve population problems. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the open hunting of does left fawns without mothers, and removed too many females from the breeding population. Sport hunting decimated deer populations in many states. As a result, states passed laws restricting the hunting of does. These policies have contributed to the overpopulation of deer.
Hunting does remove some animals from the population, but it does not keep deer populations at a continually reduced level. Immediately after a hunt, the remaining animals flourish because less competition for food exists, allowing the remaining animals to live healthier lives, and resulting in a higher reproductive rate.
Fact is, there are a lot of people and a lot of deer. Somehow, the people must figure out how to live with the deer. We might lose a few plants in the process, but we will lose deer -- and much more -- if our way of dealing with the problem depends on bows, arrows and guns.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Leash laws protect dogs and people. A scared dog may not only run into traffic and get injured or even killed, but a scared dog may react out of fear when someone tries to help, and hurt the helper. Dogs can't use language to say, "Help me, I'm scared out here!" A frightened dog may bite the hand of someone trying to do good. The person who was able to capture and bring the two dogs to the League was an adult who took a BIG chance. Luckily, for the dogs and the person no one was hurt.
On your way to school, I'm sure you obey all traffic rules including cross only in crosswalks and cross with green or walk lights. Dogs (and cats, too) are oblivious to such rules. If on your way to school you see an animal running in the street or without a guardian, get adult help. Don't try to physically rescue the animal -- You could get hurt. Get a parent or teacher or crossing guard. Or, if you have a phone, plug in the number of the animal control agency in your area. In Washington, D.C. Animal Control is the proper agency to call, 202-576-6664. Be sure to give as much information as you can. For instance,
- what color is the dog?
- Do you know the breed?
- Where is it?
- Is it in the intersection of Blair Road and Kansas Avenue, N.W.?
- Or is it sitting in front of the 7-11 store on Kansas Avenue?
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Also yesterday she met one of our bunnies Thumper and our guineapig Cuitea. For Cuitea we kept Bashert on a leash and let her follow Cuitea but with Thumper we held them both tight and
She's learning a lot and so are we.
Sadly this will be my last entry (I am going to camp for a month). I will miss Bashert very much but my mom promised to send me pictures.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Carla recently shared their story with me and I am happy to share it with you.
When my daughter, Natalie was younger (she's now 16), I often read Dog Magic and Annabelle's Big Move to her. Carla wrote and illustrated those books and has written and illustrated many other books, too. To learn more about Carla and her many roles as artist, illustrator, writer and teacher visit http://www.carlagolembe.com/
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Nine billion chickens trapped, wing to wing, toe to toe, in small cages prior to being killed for human consumption. I could rant on and on about how wrong it is that we treat animals like commodities and that, despite all we know about a vegetarian diet, we continue to not only eat animals but to keep them in overcrowded conditions, pump them full of hormones so they will grow faster, and kill them in loud, noxious, and dirty slaughterhouses. But I won't.
9 billion chickens
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
She did have a rough day on Friday, but she’s fine now. She’s adjusting to us giving her the ear medicine every day. At first she really didn't like it; after we were done she was pretty scared for awhile. But now she knows that we’re not trying to hurt her….now she stands still (it’s a spray medicine.)
Today wasn't the best day for her. My dad took her to the vet (she seemed lethargic) and it turns out she was dehydrated , had an ear infection and an eye infection and she was constipated poor thing!!!!!!!!But all in all it's been pretty cool having a new dog.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
By this time of year sun flowers are tall and in full bloom; gardeners harvest an assortment of vegetables for their dinner tables; and Roberta, a League volunteer, cuts flowers from her garden plot and decorates the shelter and medical center's lobby and waiting room with bouquets of color.
The city garden across from the League reminds me of one of my favorite books, City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. It's the story of how an abandoned lot smack in the middle of a city block. is transformed into a place of beauty and purpose. It also tells how the newly created garden brings neighbors together. When Roberta recently took me to see her plot in the garden across from the League, she introduced me to a fellow gardener, a woman whose thriving plants gave the appearance of a small farm. She and Roberta talked plants and swapped stories about other gardens.
Truth by told, I am not a gardener. I plant a few tomato plants each year, some years I'm successful, some years not. You don't have to be a gardener to be inspired by the Oglethorpe Street community garden across the street from the League. However, reading City Green, and the plans for starting a community garden listed at the back of the book, just may give you an inkling to try your luck at planting. If I remember correctly, I planted one of my very first tomato plants shortly after reading City Green.
Monday, July 13, 2009
The cats, a feral colony, becomes Travis' project. He feels personally responsible for them. Travis is determined to save them from starvation, disease and Hud. There is no sugar coated story here -- our hero does not save them all and we are told just how horrible life is for the abandoned lot of cats. If you loved Because of Winn Dixie or Shiloh, you must read The Nine Lives of Travis Keating.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Interns are trainees who obtain experience through temporary assignments. The Washington Animal Rescue League Medical Center is fortunate to have interns year-round. Not only do the interns gain valuable experience, but the hospital benefits from the additional help. Some interns are veterinary students gaining practical experience in shelter medicine, others are high school students completing student service learning hours requirements while checking out possible career choices. Hospital interns are responsible for a wide range of jobs. Two of our summer interns, Charlotte, a rising high school senior, and Jasmine a veterinary student will share their experiences in this space in the coming days. Check back soon to read what Charlotte and Jasmine have to say about their work in the hospital.
What do you think it would be like to work in an animal hospital? I've never worked in a hospital, but as a casual observer, I think it is safe to say that no two days are ever the same!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Also we have learned stuff about her -- she likes hot dogs and meat balls, but not peanut butter. She likes bones, but not kongs. We’ve also figured out that after every big walk she needs a 3 hour nap (minimum).
She is also learning to trust us more and more.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
We adopted her from WARL and they got her from a puppy mill but she is nothing like [a puppy mill dog] -- she is very social and relaxed in her new home.
The first day she would not pee outside, she went 2 times inside but on the newspaper. And the next day she went outside almost all the times we took her out, and she has not had an accident inside yet.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Yesterday the puppy mill puppies and dogs, confiscated during the execution of a search warrant of the Almost Heaven Kennels and brought the Washington Animal Rescue League, were made available for adoption. You would have thought that we were giving away 100 dollar bills. Prospective adopters started lining up outside our doors before 9:00 a.m. -- the League opens at 11:00 a.m. People were nice. They talked about how excited they were, they asked about the conditions of the dogs and, then when we opened, they visited with the dogs and made their selections. It is WONDERFUL to see animals, former cast-offs, adopted into loving, permanent homes.
Monday, June 29, 2009
The Washington Animal Rescue League is providing refuge to 100 of 300 puppies and adult adogs seized from a Lehigh County, Pennsylvania puppy mill. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement to obtain custody of the dogs. The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement investigated the Almost Heaven kennels, and took permanent custody of all of the dogs. Rescuers found typical puppy mill conditions; many of the dogs were suffering from skin and eye infections as well as other medical ailments. It is likely that many of these animals had never known life outside their cramped enclosures.
Imagine spending your entire life in a cage? The dogs brought to the League have been examined by veterinarians and will be spayed or neutered. They will be made available for adoption later this week. Adopters will need to understand that puppy mill dogs can be harder to house train than other dogs since most have had to eliminate where they eat and sleep. The League offers special classes to help adopters deal with issues that are common to puppy mill dogs and we recommend that potential adopters check out the Mission Dog (http://www.missiondog.com/) video on understanding and addressing common puppy mill problems.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
I asked what it was about the dog (formerly Blossom, now Leah) that made them choose her; it was love at first sight.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I cannot imagine the suffering Phoenix endured. I cannot imagine the hatred someone would harbor that would cause them to act so violently.
To read more about Phoenix, and see a picture of her go to http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/features/mutts/blog/2009/05/phoenix_the_burned_pit_pup_pas.html
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I also hope that whoever burned Gertrude is sorry. The person who committed this crime was not caught and did not serve time. Our veterinarians had never seen a living animal as badly burned as Gertrude. D.C. Animal Control picked up the two-year-old cat on the streets of Washington on April 14. Her whiskers were singed, the skin on her feet was completely burned off, she had more burns on her legs and face, her fur was full of black ash, and she smelled of smoke.
We don't know how she was burned, but my suspicion is that someone intentionally hurt her. The League veterinarian who first saw Gertrude wondered how she had survived the burns without prior treatment. Even with immediate care, the hospital concluded that most likely her right hind leg and tail would eventually need to be amputated.
What’s worse, the cat’s burns were not her only problem: she was dehydrated and extremely malnourished. She should have weighed seven pounds. Instead, she weighed three. That means that little Gertrude was on her own for quite awhile.
“We treated her burns with daily bandage changes and cleaning, and it now looks as if she might only need a toe amputation,” said shelter medicine manager Maureen Henry. “She was always a really sweet cat, and we were sure she would get adopted quickly once she healed.”
To everyone’s amazement and relief, Gertrude made a full recovery. She will get to keep all her legs and all but the very tip of her tail. The skin on her feet has grown back. Gertrude was moved from the League's hospital to the adoption area today.
It shouldn't take long for her to find her forever home. “Whoever gets her is going to love her—she loves to be held, she loves to play with toys, she’s just the best,” Marq Nelson, the League’s feline expert, said. “I’d take her home with me in a second if I could.”
Someone knows what happened to Gertrude. Maybe someone witnessed someone torturning the trusting tabby. No one reported seeing anything. That, too, should be a crime. Animal abuse is against the law, but prosecution only happens when the crime is reported. If you see someone hurting an animal, please report it to the proper agency. I don't know who finally called the Washington Humane Society to report seeing the badly burned Gertrude, but I sure am glad that they did.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Cats always land on their feet. True or False
FALSE -- While cats instinctively fall feet first and may survive falls from high places, they also may receive broken bones in the process. Some kind of screening on balconies and windows can help protect pets from disastrous falls.
Cats should drink milk everyday. True or False
FALSE -- Most cats like milk, but do not need it if properly nourished. Also, many will get diarrhea if they drink too much milk. If it is given at all, the amount should be small and infrequent.
Cats that are spayed or neutered automatically gain weight. True or False
FALSE -- Like people, cats gain weight from eating too much, not exercising enough or both. In many cases, spaying or neutering is done at an age when the animal's metabolism already has slowed, and its need for food has decreased. If the cat continues to eat the same amount, it may gain weight. Cat owners can help their cats stay fit by providing exercise and not over-feeding.
Monday, May 11, 2009
The League was very proud of the students. Their work will travel to other sites. And, we hope that not only will the fifteen students continue to tell stories through photos and accompanying journal entries, but that the League can work with another group of student photographers before Be Kind to Animals Week in 2010.
A huge Thank You goes to nature photographer Joanne Miller who oversaw the artistic end of the project and Whittier Education Center Literacy Coach Jackie Anderson who was our school liaison.