Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year -- Read & Enjoy

Toby and Cody -- an inseparable pair!
November 2009 the League took in 13 huskies who had been the victims of a bankrupt sled dog operation in Northern Quebec.  None of the dogs had ever been inside.   Placing the dogs in permanent homes was a challenging task.   Most of the dogs went to foster for a period before finding their forever homes.  A recent adoption update from Manitoba's person was signed by "Leader, Wolfpack".   Last spring I adopted 7-year-old Husky, Manitoba, from WARL. I seriously can't overstate how perfect a match Toba is for my other Husky, Cody. Like Toba, Cody was also rescued from really less than desirable living conditions and as a result had developed a tendency  to have stress-trigger seizures. He also suffered from tremendous isolation anxiety and the destructive behavior that resulted got to a  point where it was physically harming him. I had tried literally everything the Husky experts had suggested and the only other option was to adopt him a buddy. Since he's 8 and slightly arthritic I wanted a dog that would match his temperament and energy level, which brought me to Toba. I have always been drawn to the dogs with the hard luck  stories as I like to give homes to animals who aren't likely to find  an open door elsewhere. Toba's story tugged at my heart strings, and I knew that even though she's a young, spirited 7 yrs most people in the  market for a Husky are looking for young fuzzy-faced pups.The first time Toba and Cody met they instantly fell into step with each other, literally.  They bonded like an old married couple. A week after bringing Toba home, people at the dog park remarked that they seemed like they'd  been together their whole lives. 9 months later, Cody's anxiety has  not made a single appearance and he's as playful as he was five years ago. Toba's fear of jumping into cars has been replaced by boundless  excitement and she will actually shoulder Cody's 80lb frame out of the  way to be first in. She no longer flinches when pet and is actually quite insistent about receiving head rubs from all visible hands.      So glad that Toba gets to ride in the car and enjoy endless head rubs.  We, at the League, are happy for the whole wolfpack.



Monday, December 27, 2010

No Snow in Washington, But Bitter Cold and Wind are Cruel Reminders that Not Every Animal is Safe Inside

Doesn't Magda look cozy?  In her curled cat position snuggled up against a warm blanket, hers is a picture of a perfect life.     Mgada's  adopter wrote of her her first couple of days  in her new home, "just wanted to let you know that Magda is doing well at her new home.  She seemed to adjust really well; she ate right away, explored the apartment, used her litter pan immediately,and spent the night snuggling with me on the couch. She is such a sweet and smart girl! Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet and fall in love with Magda."  

What does Magda's perfect report have to do with extreme weather?   Nothing, except to remind us that not all animals are so lucky as to have a person to cuddle with.  Strays are obviously in need of immediate help, even when the weather is not freezing.  But, sometimes animals who appear to have "homes" should be reported to the authorities, too.   In the District of Columbia it is against the law to chain a dog and all dogs outside for an extended period of time in a fenced in area MUST HAVE a proper dog house.  That means, the structure needs to be off of the ground, have a door flap to guard against wind, and have adequate dry bedding inside.  Cats should not be outside. They constantly seek warmth and sometimes they find it under the hood of a recently parked car.  Those temporary shelters can turn into death traps.  Report animals in distress to District Animal Control, 202 576-6664.  To report animals in need outside of D.C.find your local animal control agency through 411 or google search. 

All animals should have a doting guardian who takes photos and writes emails just like Magda's.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Holiday Treat -- Another Happy Adoption!

From Lelani's adopter
I re-named her Mika, and she is doing great! She and my pug Tank get along splendidly! They love to play and then crash...always makes me laugh. You would have to see the two goofballs in action to truly appreciate it. She is extraordinarily loving and sweet. She is just a big goofy couch cushion! She is a wonderful dog!

Read & Relax -- Paul Public Charter School Students Share Stories With Dogs & Cats

 As part of a student service learning project, students from Paul Public Charter School are spending a couple of hours each month at the League.  They help out in lots of conventional ways -- stuffing kongs, cleaning kennel cards, folding laundry -- but they also spend time reading to the animals.   Daniel came prepared with the all-time favorite, Green Eggs and Ham.  The little dog in the distance may not have been ready for belly rubs, but she was a good listener, probably identifying  with Sam I Am. 
I could not, would not, in a house. I would not, could not, with a mouse. I would not eat them with a fox. I would not eat them in a box. I would not eat them here or there. I would not eat them anywhere. I would not eat green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

                                         A pat

and a story makes for a perfect afternoon!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lots of Labs & Laughs

Cordelia, a recent WARL adoptee,
and her buddies are
decked out for the holidays!
 It's Christmas every day when we get updates like this one.
Cordelia's a great dog -- with her own very strong personality (greedy, stubborn, energetic and loads of fun).  She joined this household, and its established dog routine very successfully, and contributed positively to the energy.
  • Camden (Cammy/Cam Cam), a 14.5 year old black Labrador retriever;
  • Ce Ce (Chi Chi) a six-year old chocolate Labrador retriever and
  • Cordelia (Co Co), a five-year old yellow Labrador retriever -- all "C" names (none named by me) and all adopted!
Now that there are 3 of them, they're a true pack, and they do what they want -- including seeking me out wherever I'm located in the house and scolding me, if I am late or diverge in the slightest from their established routine.  'And I have no better sense than to laugh at everything they do. 
I started this blog so I could write about animals.  But, in recent days our adopters'stories have been coming fast and furious.  Sharing our successes is so much fun.  If the weekend weather predictions hold true, I may be sharing photos of dogs enjoying a romp in the snow.  Check back soon!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Holiday Letter to Warm Your Heart

Dear Friends at Washington Animal Rescue League,

On the three month anniversary of being rescued from the horrible abuse at the PLRS "research" lab, Sweetie Pie (formerly known as "Cyclone") would like you to know he is thoroughly enjoying the holiday season and is looking forward to his first Christmas with presents and treats from Santa Paws.

Sweetie Pie is such a happy cat! I had the privilege to adopt him two months ago today. Within less than 8 hours he was exploring his new home and playing.within two days he was allowing me to pet him all over.  After only ten days he re-gained his purr; in three weeks, he started sleeping on the bed all night with me; and as of yesterday, he let me pick him up and hug him (briefly, but it was the first time he didn't struggle immediately).

He is an excellent companion. He is extremely curious, very polite, loves to talk and to demand attention. And he has a great appetite. At long last, he is able to be a cat and do all the things felines are supposed to do. Other than the blue tattoos in his ears, there is virtually no sign of the trauma he experienced and adopting him has been 100% easy!

Warm wishes to everyone at WARL for a happy new year,

Cynthia  & Sweetie Pie

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Ending Thanks to a Young Hero

Just before the Arctic cold gripped our area a 
hungry, dirty teeny kitten surely would have died had it not been for the heroic action of Daven, a teen who, not only picked up the kitten and fed her, but brought her to the League so she could be adopted into a forever home.  Daven wrote on the intake form, "I am surrendering this animal because I found her not fed, dirty, running in the street, and I felt I needed to do it."  Many people -- teens and adults -- would have walked right by the kitten figuring rescuing a six-week-old kitten was not their responsibility.  Not Daven.  Thank you Daven for doing the right thing!   The kitten, named Peppermint by shelter staff, has been adopted and will be home in time for Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Who Needs Cable?

Nigel in the office figures
he will need to share his bed with
I never thought I'd adopt a kitten.   After all there are many wonderful adult cats at the League -- all waiting patiently for their forever homes.   And, every time I walk through our cat room, I imagine taking one of them home.  Since my best cat, Bruce, died in August I've thought about how Merl might like Harley, Antoinette or Tom.   But it didn't seem quite right to throw an adult cat into the chaos of my home -- busy schedules, two older male cats who don't like each other, and Nigel, a gentle, but still 75 lb dog.  Max, on the other hand -- ever the optimist, thought a kitten was just what Merl needed.  Merl was yowling all night and sedentary all day.   No doubt he should have a buddy, but a kitten -- I didn't think so. 
Things have a way of working out.  I brought home an adorable Siamese mix around Halloween.  Merl acted like the teeny kitten, Nugget (AKA Bo) was just another hairball waiting to be vacuumed.   The kitten went back to the League and was adopted with his sibling (More on Nugget later).   I started thinking that Merl would eventually adjust to living without a best friend.  And then came Charlotte -- the cutest kitten ever.   As Max said, she was what I was looking for -- a female with a round face.  Well, I had other criteria, but that face definitely got me.  I brought her home shortly before Thanksgiving.  And, for whatever reason, Merl decided that he could be friends with Charlotte.  After a few days he pounced back when Charlotte got in his face.  And, a week into her residency he took to chasing her up and down the stairs and pinning her in the center of the living room rug.  

Charlotte settled in
the minute she moved in.

We don't have cable TV.  Definitely no need now.  When we aren't watching Merl and Charlotte wrestling, we are playing with Charlotte, throwing toys toward her, dragging, a cat dancer for her to chase, or saving her from precarious places like the center of a huge house plant.  Sometimes we just watch her sleep.  She is very cute when she sleeps.   Charlotte is more entertaining that 120 television channels and she snuggles!

One Picture is Truly Worth a Million Words!

Every dog needs a couch and person to call his/her own.  Cammie's new guardian reports "I've really enjoyed our first month together". 

More updates coming -- this is truly a joyous holiday season for many of our canine and feline alumni!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Very, Very Heartwarming Update

In September, the League took in 30 of the more than 200 dogs and cats surrendered to officials after the USDA began an investigation into allegations of neglectful living conditions and cruel abuse of the animals at Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. in Gates County, North Carolina.   While people may disagree on whether or not there is a need for animals to be used in research, no one can justify the way the North Carolina lab animals were treated.  An undercover investigation by PETA documented horrible incidents of blatant cruelty.  The dogs and cats were were force-fed some substances and subjected to having others smeared on their skin—one such smear test caused seizures, blindness, and bleeding from the nose in 57 cats—but they were also allegedly routinely abused by their caretakers who screamed at them, sprayed them with water and chemicals, dragged them through the facility, and threw them into cages.  Thankfully, all of the horror is now past history.  

Muffin and Cookie lounge comfortably
on the sofa in their forever home
The update from Cookie and Muffin's person proves that animals are extremely resilient and forgiving. Why would a once tortured animal trust a human being?

From their new home --

"....Cookie is such a loving little thing, she is my dream cat and Muffin is not far behind. Cookie likes to sleep on my neck with her little face right next to mine. Her whiskers tickle my nose. Muffin also comes around and wants loving but she is my explorer and my guard. They both follow me around. They play together and are so funny and I enjoy playing with them. Muffin jumps on top of Cookie and "grooms" her followed by rough and tumbling play...."

All of the lab cats were placed in homes and most of the dogs have been adopted, too.  A couple rat terriers are still waiting at the League for their forever homes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh Cyrus -- the Great Recycler

Two updates in one day -- more good news to be thankful for. 

There is a book in this one, maybe a series.   This update is in fact excerpted from a much longer tale called "Oh Cyrus!".  

I have began to refer to Cyrus as the "Great Recycler". Clearly, he gets just as upset as I do about the constant junk mail arriving at the house everyday. In fact, he dislikes it so much that he has developed a very firm position on it.

Each day the mail comes after I get home from work. As I hear the sliding door on the mail truck I feel a cold chill down my spine. Cyrus-who is normally watching me (watching him) lolls his tongue to dare me to get the the mail slot first. We wait each other out...

Tension is building....

I bolt for the door and he bolts first-EVERYDAY. Personally, I think 4 feet vs 2 is an unfair contest. I should at least get a head start! As Cyrus runs for the door, the other animals panic and try to get out of the way. I have seen one of the cats actually try and climb drywall to keep from being mowed down.

Once Cyrus gets to the mail slot he takes it all in his big mouth (slobber and all) and starts to shake it back and forth. At this point, I have to take it-and he knows it. My only goal is to get the important mail (usually bills so I should really just skip it), but Cyrus likes to keep it and demolish it. Minutes pass as we are locked in this daily tussle. Eventually (being the good dog that he is) he relents and gives me the mail. In return, I give him the junk mail to tear up. Once it is torn into tiny little pieces, it breaks down into garden compost easier. Even while Cyrus is having a good time he is respecting the environment-that's great recycling!

Prescott Update

Remember Prescott, my office buddy?  Well,  he is still keeping up-to-date with the latest technology.  This picture, sent by his forever person, shows Prescott, the computer geek, cat-napping on the job. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks

Many of our wonderful volunteers visited the dogs and cats in our care on Thanksgiving.  We are very grateful to them for coming in on the holiday and spending time with the animals.  

Lou modeling her stylish bandanna
We are grateful, too, for the people who adopt shelter animals and provide them with loving forever-homes. We got an update from one of those homes yesterday.  
Lou snoozing on her piggy bed

"A little over two years ago, we adopted a black and white coonhound mix named Blitzen (now Lou). In that time, Lou has become an irreplaceable member of our family. She's the perfect companion, whether going for a hike or relaxing on the couch. Her sunny outlook and goofy charm win over everyone she meets."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Can See You Just Fine

Meet Uno and Mister. 
Totally unrelated.
Both missing their right eyes.  
AND, both ready to go home!  

(photo taken soon after surgery. 
Mister's eye wound  has healed.)

Mister has been described by staff as "the sweetest kitten ever." 

The older, yet ever-playful Uno possesses the true orange-tabby personality -- delightful.
Uno and Mister  will be spending Thanksgiving at the League, waiting for their forever homes. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tigers May be Saved from Extinction

An article in yesterday's Washington Post, 13 Nations Sign Declaration Meant to Save Tigers,  was encouraging and heartbreaking at the same time.  
Heartbreaking --
Tigers once roamed most of Eurasia from the Tigris River to Siberia and Indonesia. But in the past century, the number of countries that are home to tigers has dropped to 13 from 25, while three of the nine tiger subspecies have become extinct. Experts say there are now only about 3,200 tigers left in the wild.
Encouraging --
Officials from the 13 countries where tigers live in the wild have signed a declaration Tuesday aimed at saving the iconic big cats from extinction.  The new accord stipulates that the nations will strive to double the tiger population by 2022, crack down on poaching and illicit trade in tiger pelts and body parts.

Read Associated Press reporter Irina Titova's article  in it entirety at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/23/AR2010112303245.html.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Two in a Row -- Another Happy Ending

You would think that when a dog goes home, the last thing on the adopter's mind is reporting back to the League.  Not so with Toucan's new person.  She sent an update, complete with pictures, 24 hours after "Touk's"   homecoming.   The photos  definitely show forever-home, especially this one with Toucan's bed front and center.
What a great dog this is. Your team has done a fantastic job at training her. She's got such a nice personality.  She seems very comfortable already... She is happy to play, but is also relaxed. It is surprising to me, how quickly she has taken to all of us.  She acts like "finally, guys! you finally showed up to get me! now let's get this thing going!!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Adoption Story!

Right after adoption
Reagan in her new home
What a pleasure to see this picture of Reagan, formerly known as Fig Newton, on the sofa -- in a real-honest-to-goodness home. Reagan was one of more than 80 dogs who was rescued from a HORRIBLE hoarding situation. Dogs were everywhere. They were timid and terrified; many of them, including Reagan, had terrible skin problems due to gross neglect. Reagan's  new guardian reports, "She was one of the dogs from the Mississippi hoarder and had a lot of skin problems. I can't tell you how much we love her. She is such a good dog. She just started doggy school last week. We are so proud."

It might be cold and raining outside but, when we get updates like this, the sun shines at the League!

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Does it Feel Like to Be Returned?

Malia -- Back Again!
 We are not Macy's or Nordstrom's or Target.   Yet, we get our share of returns!   Cats and dogs are returned, not just to the League, but to shelters everywhere.  Well-meaning people think they want to add an animal to their household, and then something happens.  Of course, we will take the animal back -- we would much rather that the cat or dog be returned than given away, let go, ignored ,or hurt.   But, even still, when you watch an animal go home, you want to believe that it is forever.
13 common reasons
why animals are returned to shelters
  1. The dog gets too big
  2. The dog chews the furniture, the wall, the cabinets
  3. The dog poops on the floor
  4. The dog bites
  5. The dog barks
  6. The dog doesn't bark
  7. Someone in the house developed an allergy
  8. The cat scratches the furniture
  9. The cat doesn't use the litter box
  10. The family has a baby and has no time for the cat/dog
  11. It's too expensive to care for the dog or cat
  12. The guardian doesn't have enough time
  13. The children are not responsible  (Really, parents tell shelter staff that they return or give up the cat or dog) because their kids are irresponsible.)
How do you think Malia feels being returned to the League for a second time?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Happy Homecoming

Cyrus -- WARL alum --tells Maggie that he is thrilled to be part of the family!
"He's so big," was a frequent comment heard when people looked in the den and saw Cyrus (formerly known as Thor and Big Foot).   Lucky for this big-hearted shepherd, there are people who are looking for BIG, goofy dogs.   Staff love getting updates from adoptees.  I was going to excerpt the report from Cyrus' new person, but could not decide which  paragraph or sentence to leave out.  It's all so good.  So here is nearly the entire text. 
Cyrus' doggie brother (Toby-"the boss"-pug) and sister (Maggie-"the playmate"-labradoodle)keep him very busy, his dad does a great job with his exercise, and our afternoon dog walking team wear him out (for awhile anyway). He spends his evenings stalking me around the house, licking the dishes in the dishwasher clean (gross) and carrying his stuffed moose who now (sadly) has one antler left.

 He enjoys a simmering energy with the cats who he would love to chase (unfairly of course-mom and dad say "no"), so he settles on glaring at them with a twinkle in his eyes every chance he gets. He enjoys invading the bathroom when it is occupied, stealing any shoe not put away in the closets (I love this because we all seem to be putting our shoes away more often now), learning to unscrew the top of a peanut butter jar (we still don't know how he did it), laying in the sun and dozing, sprawling on "his" couch, tucking his nose under his tail when he sleeps, and gently laying his nose against your knee in a really sweet "I'm here with you partner" kind of gesture.

He LOVES children and will try and make himself smaller and less threatening to every child he meets so they will come pet him. In fact, while hiking in a creek he rolled over for four small children to pet his belly and ended up putting his nose underwater and practically drowned as a result. He didn't seem to care though as the children now felt sorry for him and gave him even more attention (I think it was staged).  He apparently also enjoys coffee as he stole mine today and got completely amped on caffeine (note to self-no coffee for the dogs).

 He is an all around comical, soulful, playful, generous, spirited, gentle and kind family member that we will cherish and love (and laugh at-often).
Can't wait to hear more about the adventures of Cyrus, Maggie & Toby!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Name That Cat Toy

 Cat toys can be very expensive. BUT, cat toys are also easy to make. See Klaus playing with my yet to be named cat toy. All it is a pom pom and a bell covered in a scrap of material. I bunched the material together and tied it with a long piece of sewing ribbon. I tied a second bell onto the dangling piece of ribbon. AND, I curled an orange pipe cleaner and wrapped that into the ribbon. Presto -- a cat toy! The entire thing was made with craft supplies and scraps on hand. Maybe it cost $.20 in materials. That's it.   By the way, Klaus would like to play with this and other toys in a new home

Monday, October 18, 2010

Flying with Four-Footed Friends -- Forget It!

An article in the Washington Post's Sunday travel section profiled Pet Airways, an airline dedicated solely to the safe travel of animals.  But, the more newsworthy statistic printed, in my opinion,  was this -- "Since May 2005, the Department of Transportation has collected monthly data  from airlines on pet incidents.  Through August 2010, the total was 154 pets who died, 63 injured and 38 lost."  Animals traveling are stowed in their carriers in the cargo hold -- imagine traveling in a dark, loud cargo area, without anyone to oversee your trip.   That's what the founders of Pet Airways did, and then they created an airline that transports just animals -- two-footed passengers have to find their own means of transportation! 

Years ago, I flew with my cat, Sidney, from Tallahassee, Florida to Miami.  Sid was in a carrier tucked securely under my seat.    The man behind me sneezed the entire trip.   After a several hour delay, due to fog, Sidney and I, along with the sneezing passenger, arrived safely at our destination.  What if she had been cooped up in the cargo area for, not only the duration of the 90 minute trip, but the extra ground-hold as well?

Joe Yonan's article brought back memories of a very interesting trip, and made me realize how lucky my my animals have been -- none of them, after that flight with Sidney, have ever had to travel by air.     In fact, if it were up to Nigel ,he'd travel by car 24 hours a day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prescott Has a Computer, a Real Bed and His Very Own Person in His Forever Home!

It's always wonderful to get an update, especially when the update is from an office buddy. 
Things are going very well so far. Prescott is the star of the house. Everyone loves him and the feeling seems to be mutual. He likes his new toys and sleeping on my bed with me. He's actually cuddling with me right now. He also seems to have a strange fondness for my laptop. He likes to lick the base right beneath the keyboard. I think he will love living here and we will all love to have him here! I've also attached a few pictures that I've taken of him so far. Thanks so much giving me a chance to bond with this wonderful animal!

Maybe someone should call WAMU-88.5's Animal House and ask Dr. Gary why Prescott licks the computer.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cool Book for Want To Be Veterinarians and Others Who Care About Animals

Did you know that a dog's normal heart rate is 80-120 beats per minute?  Does a cat's heart beat faster or slower?  What about a small bird's?   Those answers are in a wonderful resource, ER Vets -- Life in an Animal Emergency Room by Donna M. Jackson.  The book is filled with many critical-care cases coupled with graphic pictures, including one of a cat who had a piercing arrow in her abdomen.  The cats, dogs, birds, bunnies, SNAKES, and other animals were all treated at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University.   You'll learn Emergency room codes like -- FB (foreign body -- something odd showing up on an x-ray like a needle, cell phone or rubber duck); BDLC (Big dog, little cat: a big dog attacked a little cat); and CHF (Congestive Heart Failure).  Wat do you think HBC stands for?  There's information on toxic treats -- many of us know that chocolate is bad for dogs and cats, but did you know that onions are harmful, too.  The book suggests items for an animal first aid kit, addresses the history of veterinary medicine, and offers resources for where to go for more information.   A school , classroom and personal library must have!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tsu Tsu -- A Quiet Kitty Looking for Just the Right Forever Home

Prescott relocated to his forever home over the weekend.  I'm certain that he is busy organizing his five human roommates and making himself right at home -- googling and answering the phone.     My office is cat-less for the time being -- it gives Nigel a chance to come to work with me.  However, I did have a temporary border over the weekend.  Tsu Tsu spent some quality time chilling and enjoying her time as an only office cat.  However, I told her that I could not offer her an office placement at this time.  She needs to work her charms on visitors to the cat room.    She is one of those under-the-radar cats.  At first glance a visitor might just walk right by her condo, but spend some time with Tsu-Tsu and you will be charmed by this sweet, mellow beauty.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm incredibly busy today, so Prescott has volunteered to take all messages. He's a very resourceful cat and would make someone a wonderful companion!!! Prescott definitely prefers two-legged friends to four.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Prescott is Keeping Busy

Prescott is a very curious cat.  What he doesn't know he'll find out. He's on my desk right now rearranging my rubber band collection -- I think he may have done that all weekend, things looked a little out of place this morning.   

He's extremely bright too.   I just got the book, Why Do Cat Have Whiskers, and as soon as I put it down, Prescott delved  into it.   I think he's looking for an answer to the question, "Why haven't I been adopted?" 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Prescott the Personal Assistant

Have you ever thought what it would be like to have a personal assistant who could do your homework, answer emails or keep you company during the work day?  Well, Prescott has assumed that role in my office.  He's now in charge of screening calls, deleting spam and making sure that I stay on task.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Meet Prescott

Meet purring Prescott, my newest office pal.  He wasn't having such a good time in the cattery.  Too many top cats running around.  Prescott can get overwhelmed by playful kittens and persnickety adult cats.  So when adoptions staff said Prescott would thrive in a quieter space, my office was the logical spot.  And, does he ever thrive!  He's upside down next to the key pad right now.   It's hard for me to concentrate over the loud vibrating motor sound that is coming from Prescott's purr box.   He's happy to see me when I come in, but he's also happy to see anyone who comes in.  He doesn't play favorites -- Prescott is truly a people cat, what he needs now is his very own person.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome Home Charlie!

Ahhh, Finally a really comfy spot!

I suggest we share!

Charlie, the cat formally known as Bruno, has settled nicely into his new home.   It didn't take him long to decide that he would KEEP the people who adopted him.   He has graciously allowed one of his new people to photograph him in his new surroundings as a way of assuring us at the League, that after nearly nine months of living at the shelter, he has really and truly moved on and is HOME.  

Go ahead, take another picture!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jubilee Adopted Too!

It was a great week at the League.  Little Jubilee, the kitten with the misshapen leg, was adopted.   She has never given a second thought to her leg -- she romps,climbs and jumps at full speed.  She loves to play AND she went home with another kitten.  I hope her forever home sends progress reports!


Bruno spent nine months in the cattery and just one week in my office. 
I came in this morning and the sign on my door announcing Bruno's residency said ADOPTED!  His new people are very lucky, they are now sharing their home with one super terrific cat.  Have a GREAT life Bruno buddy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bruno, My Office Buddy -- For Now

Shelters are great.  They house animals temporarily until  permanent homes can be found.   Cats tend to stay in shelters longer than dogs.  Even so, why no one has adopted Bruno is beyond me.   He is a big, handsome boy who believes that the human lap was created for his benefit.  Trouble is, Bruno has not had a consistent human lap in a long time.   He's been at the League for 9 months with no new home prospects in sight.  He was getting really tired of watching other cats and all of the cute, little kittens packing up and moving on, while he's been waiting patiently for his forever home since before the snow storms of 2010.   Last week he made an inner-shelter mover, to my office -- as a foster cat.   I discovered that he has a natural talent for typing. sgdfhgheu7604=kkh,,l -- See, Bruno just typed something in "cat".   If you read it closely, I think it says, Great cat, still seeking the right forever home.  Until great, forever  that home is located, Bruno is welcome to hang out here.   What do you think, Bruno?  xixioxokdjhewlld 11kjoeuirtyonjdf;a.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back on the Bus!

 Yes, apparently, the dog days of summer are really coming to an end.   The AP Photo by J. Pat Carter shows a couple of happy passengers sitting nicely on the bus heading to Totally Dog Day Center in Miami.  It was just one of those pictures too cute to pass up.  I wonder what bus rules are in place -- No changing seats while the bus is moving, no howling and no paws out the window!?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Check Out the Dogs at the League Via PetFinders Videos

Click on the links to the right, beneath the Friendship challenge -- Watch Joy, Thor, Lilani and Sade!  Not only is it really, really important to  find wonderful homes for the animals who are at the League, but it is really, really important that we give the cats and dog great care while they are staying with us.  And, we do.   You can see some of the dogs enjoying their quality time with staff members.  And, not only do our animals get terrific care, but they, and our staff,  are getting into great shape.  Watch Ryan run with the dogs!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Many times Max would prepare for bed, but before he could fluff his pillow or get completely tucked in, there was Bruce.  With one gigantic leap Bruce would claim the center of the bed.  Bruce insisted on a little extra room.  I'd laugh and say, "Thank you, Bruce, for picking us.    Then I'd say, "Max, thank Bruce for picking us."   And, Max would mock,  "Thank you Bruce for  picking us, can you give me little room, please?"    That was our routine.

Deciding Bruce could stay six years ago, when he moved in as a foster cat, was the easy part, knowing that we had to let him die peacefully was hard --  very hard.    His kidneys were deteriorating, he wasn't always eating,  his weight kept dropping, sometimes he just stared off  into space, AND he wasn't jumping  on Max's  bed.  

I will always be grateful that Bruce chose to live with me.  Bruce died Friday, August 20, 2010.  I love you Bruce. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bear Cub Battles Human Carelessness

Cathy Connolly's  Associated Press picture of a black bear cub with a plastic container stuck on his head reminds us that our actions can negatively impact others, including  wildlife.  The accompanying article read,  "The clear plastic container was removed from the 6-month-old cub's head after being stuck for at least 10 days. The cub poked its head into the jar when digging through trash in a neighborhood in central Florida. Biologists say the cub was days away from death because the jar made it impossible to eat or drink. The team had to tranquilize the mother bear and then grab the cub to remove the jar from the bear's head."  It's really amazing  that the cub survived

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Jubilee Needs a Home!

Cute, huh?  Those eyes, that little black smudge on her head.  Jubilee is the kitten who spent the night at my house last month.  Never did I think that all these weeks later she'd still be waiting at the League for her forever home, but she is.  She's in a window with two friends.  In fact, she's had lots of friends while she's been waiting for someone to notice her and say that she's the one.   That just keeps happening to her window mates.  They get adopted and Jubilee keeps growing and living in the window.  Before long, she won't be a cute little kitten, she'll be a teenage cat and then full grown.  They grow up so quickly. 

Trouble is, Jubilee is not perfect.  You can kind of tell from the photo that her back right leg is not quite right.  I don't think Jubilee knows it though.  She runs, plays, jumps  and tackles her window mates nonstop.  She was born with a defective back leg.   It's been examined by veterinarians.  It's even been looked at by specialists, all say it's okay, just looks funny.  And, because Jubilee's leg looks funny, would-be adopters keep choosing her window  mates.  They want a perfect kitten.  I'm really surprised.  I thought someone by now would say, "that's her, I LOVE the kitten with the funny-looking leg!"  Jubilee's ideal home would be one with another cat, so she would have a buddy to romp with and race through the house at top speed and then climb to the back of the tallest chair and dive to the ground.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Doing the Right Thing

Our July 12th FREE pit bull spay/neuter day was such a success, with so many people showing up with their dogs, that we had to schedule several overflow appointments on July 30th.  People were happy to return.  "We believe in being responsible and that means getting our dog neutered," one guardian said as she waited with her big bruiser of a dog.  If only every dog and cat guardian would feel the same.  This is a particulary tough time of year for animal shelters -- puppies and kittens, litter after litter, all needing homes showing up daily.  AND, there are still lots and lots of wonderful, deserving discarded adult cats and dogs anxiously waiting for their opportunity to be placed in forever homes.  

I nominate the  caregivers who brought their pit bulls in for surgery on Friday as my heroes of the week.  Thanks for making sure that your dogs are NOT contributing to the overpopulation crisis.  AND, considering that pit bulls remain one of the most abused and most misunderstood breeds of dogs, those guardians get an extra gold star in my book.

Our next FREE pit bull spay/neuter day is Monday, AUGUST 9th --
  • No appointment necessary
  • No income or residence restrictions
  • Plus FREE rabies, DHPP, and bordatella shots
  • Drop off is between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.  -- Spots often fill up by 8:15 a.m
  • Pick-up between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hanging Out with Nigel & Bruce

When Nigel first came to  live with me Bruce made it well known that he had little use for a dog.   However, cats, unlike elephants, must not have good memories because these days, Bruce can often be found parking himself close to Nigel.  Nigel, on the other hand, is not so sure of Bruce's intent.   Even with Bruce being somewhat debilitated by  his failing kidneys, Nigel is not quite at ease with Bruce near by.  Both guys hung out with me at the office the other day.  Bruce, because he needed to receive fluids in the hospital, Nigel because it was too hot, without power, to stay at home. 

The electricity  came back on yesterday.   Today, it's just me and Bruce at the League.  Bet Nigel is resting very comfortably at home.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Big Bruce and the Power Outage

The storm that ripped through the Washington, D.C. area left thousands without power including me.    Cats, including Bruce, like the heat --   he's not complaining.  In fact, he felt pretty good last night and chased the light beam from the flashlight as I walked from one room to the next.   Bruce's burst of energy was a bright spot in a storm that left us in total darkness.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Story of Slinky, A Dog Who Would have Died.....

I absolutely have to share this story.   Slinky's rescue reminds me that there is evil in the world, but there is good, too.   Some of the pictures are hard to look at.   By the fourth update, Slinky's looking pretty good, and by the fifth, no one would probably guess what this guy went through.  Lucky for Slinky, Jesse was driving by where he was left to die.  

"... This is Slinky, we found him on the side of the road on Mothers Day. Being a Sunday, we had no one to call, so we drove him to the animal emergency here in Catonsville, and they said he was hungry and had worms, but that was it, he wasn't sick or anything.  So we've been fattening him up... slowly.  He's such a precious animal. He sits in our lap, and gives kisses."   From Jesse, Slinky's Hero.

A recent picture of Slinky, two months after his rescue!