Thursday, May 31, 2012

Group Effort Benefits Animals at the League!

The $320 that Temple Shalom's 7th grade class raised represents, not only weeks of bake sales, but lots of  research, information sharing and debate.   The religious school students collectively chose one organization for their mitzvah ( good deed) project; but before the League was named the award recipient, the passionate pre-bat and  -bar mitzvah students appealed to one another to support a variety of community organizations.   Once the League was identified as the class mitzvah project,  the organizing, collecting and baking began.    The students baked and hosted weekly bake sales and set up a collection box in the  temple's lobby for donated cat and dog food, treats and linens.  Students appealed to congregants, during Friday night services, to contribute to the class' effort.   A number of the 7th graders and their parents visited the League earlier this month to bring the donations and visit the animals.   Roxanne P., a loyal WARL volunteer, guided  the group through the shelter and introduced them to the shelter animals.   The students asked numerous questions, many about volunteering -- undoubtedly this concerted effort to help the animals will not end with the 7th grade project !

Representatives of Temple Shalom's
 7th grade religious school class

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Series is a Hit with Animal Loving Readers

Nigel and I enjoyed several weeks of Friday book club meetings  with four animal loving, thoughtful awesoome fourth grade readers.   I had just read the first book in Wendy Orr's Rainbow Street Shelter Series and was curious what students thought of the book.  I enjoyed the plot twists and the all-important messages related to responsible animal care, friendship and changing family situations.  The  group unanimously felt the same!

I would recommend the book, Missing, A Dog Called Bear  because it talks about a boy who lost his dog, and a girl who found it...The boy called the dog Bear and the girl called the dog Surprise.  It had a happy ending!  wrote Sandy

I will recommend the book to my classmates because  a lot of students have lost a pet.  Maybe my classmates like happy endings.   The ending was when a girl named Hannah got a dog and Logan (the boy) found Bear/Surprise.  wrote Jesse

I would recommend this book because it is very good.  The dog named Bear was always all right and was very friendly.  This book really teaches people a lesson not to say something hurtful to your dog or something really awful might happenwrote Adara

I would recommend Lost: A Dog Called Bear because it is a good book.  It has an exciting twist when a dog called Bear is accidentally called Surprise by a girl named Hannah.  Also, when he (Bear) is found by his owner, Logan, everything gets better because Hannah gets her own dog and it ends with a happy ending.  wrote Charles

Not only did the foursome highly recommend the book, but they were eager to read the next book in the Rainbow Street Series -- Missing: A Cat Called Buster.  Unfortunately, the school year is ending and so is our reading group, so Nigel and I won't be participating in the lively discussion that I'm certain Charles, Adara, Jesse and Sandy will have as they reconnect with Mona, at Rainbow Street Shelter, and meet Buster, Mr. Larsen, and Josh.  To find out more about these books and other in the series visit the Rainbow Shelter Series Facebook Page.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flood Victim Finds Dry & Loving Forever Home!

I was caught driving in a terrible thunderstorm yesterday.  It was really scary.    Once I stopped hyperventilating, I thought about the many companion animals left outside  in all sorts of  weather.  And, then my mind wandered to animals, through no fault of their own, or even their guardians, find themselves uprooted because of catastrophic weather-related tragedies.   More than a year ago the League had a number of canine survivors from the Mississippi floods.   Can you imagine losing your home, your belongings and even your animal companion?  Many people last year were never reunited with their cats and dogs after floods, tornadoes and hurricanes -- people and animals were left homeless.  Many of those animals landed at the League.   The scared little pup in the top picture hardly resembles the self-confident, "I have ME two kids of my own" dog posing for the camera. 
But, they are definitely one of the same.   Ella, all smiles, writes about her best friend adopted from the league last summer, " B.B. Dawg (aka Capella) is cute. She was in the Mississippi  floods -- she is scared of water." 
Who can blame her?  I've never been caught in a flood, but wondered  yesterday if my fate was about to change.   Happily, I made it home to my dry, intact house, where Nigel, Micky, Merl and Charlotte were safely waiting.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I don't typically come to the League on Sunday, but my old cat, Micky, is suffering from kidney failure so I brought him by for fluids. (Most people whose animals need fluids are perfectly capable of administering them at home, but since I'm needle-phobic and work with the very best veterinary technicians in the world, I routinely bring him to the Medical Center.)
Anyway, when I got to the League I expected to sneak into the hospital and then quietly leave without being seen; however,  Natalie our adoptions manager, said that I should meet the three girls who just dropped off $171.00!   They raised the money by selling their toys -- lots of kids sell their stuff so they have money to buy new stuff, but this good-hearted trio, and a number of their friends, held the sale along -- with a lemonade stand -- to specifically raise money for the animals at the League.
And, the story gets better -- when I met Audrey, Elise, Fiona and their mom, I learned that this wasn't their first effort to help the animals at the League. They had done it before!  They told shoppers that the money raised was going to benefit the cats and dogs at the League, and asked shoppers to pay what they wanted.  Of course, when shoppers learned that the toy-sellers were not just entrepreneurs, but philanthropists too, they pitched in a little extra.  It probably didn't hurt business that Juneau, a WARL alum, was there to help with sales.   The photo and caption below are courtesy of the Silver Spring Avenue "Super- Fantastic, Animal Loving "  Crew (words in quotes added by me!).  
The Silver Spring Ave. kids hosted a toy sale and lemonade stand to benefit WARL. (From the left, Leo, Harry, Audrey, Bella, Fiona, Emma, Raphael, Elise.)  And Juneau, a WARL alum. This is the second time we’ve done a fundraising sale for WARL. We love helping out. WARL is a really great place because they never give up on any of the animals and the people that work there do everything they can to make the animals happy.- the Silver Spring Ave. crew

I'm sad that Micky's kidneys are failing, but had I not brought him to the Medical Center for fluids on Sunday, I would not have met  three members (plus mom and a neighbor) of the Silver Spring Avenue "Super- Fantastic, Animal Loving "  Crew,  THANK YOU, Fiona, Audrey, Elise, Leo, Harry,  Bella,  Emma, Raphael  - and, Juneau!!  And, thanks Fiona, Audrey and Elise for giving a deserving dog a wonderful forever home!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Friends Share Information (FSI) and Do Something!

One of the most important things students can do to help animals is FSI -- Friends Share Information.   Recently I heard from three people looking to network with others so that they can  encourage other young people to speak up for animals.  Two are 8th grade students at Sligo Middle School in Silver Spring, MD.  Both students wrote to me asking for materials to pass out at an upcoming Information Fair.   The purpose of the event is to give students an opportunity to learn -- from their peers --  about various nonprofit organizations in the community.   I'm often invited to speak at such events, and enjoy meeting students who care about animals.   But, I believe that the Information Fair at Sligo Middle School will produce more student activists than the typical such event where adults tell kids about their work. 
If these two students talk to 20 or 30 of their peers about the importance of responsible animal care, I guarantee that the number of kids who take  animal welfare seriously, including the importance of spaying/neutering and reporting animal cruelty, will immediately increase.  And, just think what happens when those newly educated animal advocates talk to 20 or 30 more students!
The other person who recently approached the League about getting students to speak up for animals is Kelly, with DoSomething.org. The organization, known primarily for the Bully movie, is speaking up for animals.  To learn more about their efforts, go to 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Katie, a Guest Blogger, Tells About her Work with Space Coast Therapy Dogs

My name is Katie,  I am a 6 year old Toy Fox Terrier.  I live in Palm Bay, Florida with a wonderful two-legged creature.  Shortly after she adopted me -- four years ago from a local rescue center -- my two-legged creature started taking me to school.  We learned lots of things together.  Before long, we were a certified Therapy Dog and Handler team for Space Coast Therapy Dogs in Brevard County, Florida.  I love visiting the Cancer Care Center, nursing homes and senior facilities. I kiss the patients and make their day happier.   Making them happy makes me so happy that I wag my tail so fast it looks like a propeller. I love my work and my two-legged creature and every other two-legged creature I meet, too. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Name this Dog!

Several weeks ago  this regal looking, gentle soul was transferred to the League from another shelter.   At first we thought he was a Great Pyrenees mix, but later decided that he is a Kuvasz.   According to the American Kennel Club, the Kuvasz is "One of the larger working breeds, he is well-muscled and agile. His double coat features a coarse guard hair that protects a soft, fine undercoat. The hair ranges from straight to quite wavy, but must always be white. The Kuvasz’s name comes from the Turkish word "kawasz," meaning "armed guard of the nobility." He originated in Tibet, but developed into the breed he is today in Hungary. The breed served as a companion to the rulers of Hungarian and other European empires and was owned only by royalty. Hundreds of years later, the breed fell into the hands of "commoners," and shepherds found they worked well with sheep and cattle. While he is devoted to and protective of his family, the Kuvasz may not be overly demonstrative with his affections. He is often especially polite and reserved when meeting strangers. It’s important to start training early, but be patient, as the breed matures slowly. As an active working dog, he requires daily activity. However, the Kuvasz coat is very easy to care for, needing brushing but very little bathing.

So, we don't know about sheep and cattle herding, but we do know that this extremely noble dog is somewhat aloof albeit always polite.   When the 100 pound-plus dog came into the League he was called Tundra.  Dr. Shillito, one of the the Medical Center's staff veterinarians has been waiting for the "right" dog to adopt.  He took one look at this gentle giant and iimmediately decided to foster him --  the rest, as they say, is history.  Trouble is no name has stuck.   Dr. Randall suggested Atticus, after a character in her favorite book, To Kill A Mockingbird.   Dr. Shillito has been playing with Yeti, the name given to the mythic Abominable Snowman.  Dr. Shillito's wife said "No" to Yeti. 

For right now the polite reserved Tundra, Atticus, Yeti  has what he needs most -- a HOME..