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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Student volunteers reach out to their community to help WARL

Ryan and Lee,  Bethesda Chevy Chase High School sophomores, began volunteering at the League several months ago.  They saw how much laundry it takes to keep the cats and dogs clean and comfortable and decided that their MYP  (International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme) project should be centered around helping WARL care for the animals.   They placed a decorated drop-off box in their school's lobby.   Announcements were made in school and on various neighborhood listserves requesting blankets and towels for the animals.  The box was emptied several times.  Linens soon took over Ryan's basement.   On Sunday, a  linen-laden SUV pulled up to the shelter and the teens carted in bundle-after-bundle of towels and blankets.  While their MYP project is finished, the friends, along with Ryan's older brother, remain active volunteers at the League. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We are all in this Together


Hanna, in the classroom,
 mapping out her journey from
Kuwait to Washington, D.C.
 Nearly two weeks ago Hanna Rhodin Al-Mansour, the shelter manager at K'Spath (Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and Their Habitat), accompanied five dogs on a Lufthansa flight from Kuwait to Frankfort to Washington, DC.  The dogs are now available for adoption at the Washington Animal Rescue League. 

Hanna spent the week with different WARL staff members.  Her goal was to learn as much about sheltering as possible in seven days.  And, while we were happy to share our knowledge with her, we were just as eager to learn about K'Spath -- an organization that deals not only with dogs and cats, but pocket pets, equine, and wildlife including baboons! K'Spath is a young organization that has accomplished a lot in a short time.   Videos about the organization can be viewed by clicking on

When Hanna accompanied me to a school visit, I took a seat and asked her to share information with the students about K'Spath.   It's not every day that you meet someone whose rescue work includes caring for the habitat of the caprimulgus aegyptius or the Egyptian Nightjar.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

All grown up with lots to smile about

The very first time I saw Candy Apple, she was a tiny pup, part of a large litter born in a hoarding situation in Arkansas.  She and her mom and nine siblings were rescued by a national group and transported to WARL. Candy Apple, and her brother Funnel Cake, spent several hours in my office the day of a big adoption event.  Sachin (see Sparky posts) and his family fawned over both pups and had a hard time deciding on just one.    After a lot of going back and forth  the family of four adopted Funnel Cake who grew into the very large and much-loved Sparky.   Candy  Apple was adopted shortly thereafter, but was returned to WARL before she was fully grown.  Something was very different when she came back -- her timid personality did not resemble the outgoing pup that I remembered.   But, several months later, the confident, happy-go-lucky, tail-wagging  Juma (formerly Candy Apple)  came for a visit.   She adores her forever family and her forever family loves her.   We love photo and email updates.  It's even better to get in-person (in-dog?) visits. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Harold update already

Well it just takes a cat to move into the office to make me post  two days in a row!  The truth is I want to share Harold's progress with anyone who will listen.  In less than 24 hours he has gone from an ornery ol' tom cat, extremely put out by his living arrangements  in Kitty City, to an inquisitive young guy who, like many before him, quickly decided that desks -- especially piles of papers -- are for lounging.   Trouble is the weekend.  I won't be here, so Harold will have to spend Saturday and Sunday in Kitty City.  I've been explaining that this Prince Charming routine of his, which he is turning on big-time, is his ticket to a real, honest-to-goodness forever home --  one where he will have a desk of his own and maybe share his bed with a human or two.  Visit Harold (also known as Frosting)  in Kitty City at the League this weekend.  If he keeps turning on the charm he may have moved on before the weekend ends.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Another Feline Visitor

As always, we have lots of nice cats -- long haired cats, tabby cats, Siamese-mix cats, solid color cats, calico cats. Our cat room constantly reminds me of the classic 1952 picture book, Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag. While we may not have millions of cats, our Kitty City is fully occupied. This guy, Frosting (who I am calling Harold) is not very happy living in Kitty City.  I gave him a gentle pat and explained to him that his current situation sure beats pounding the pavement looking for his next meal.  He reacted to my reasoning with a swift right hook to my outstretched hand.   So, I said, "You don't like Kitty City, try my office!"  At this moment he is sitting by my feet plotting his next move.   I think he wants to be friendly and affectionate.  But he is still stuck in his macho tomcat, I don't need you,  routine.   Unfortunately, I'm leaving in a few minutes, so he'll have to go back to Kitty City for the night.  But, I've already warned him that when he comes back upstairs tomorrow  he is going to begin a crash course in basic manners.   A cat as handsome as he is should be a real affectionate guy.