Thursday, November 29, 2012


Animal abusers often get away with their crimes.   Not so in the case of Sean Delontay Branch.  He was sentenced to 120 days in jail for brutally killing a puppy.  The 24-year-old admitted to dropping a cement slab, that weighed more than 90 pounds, on King Tut.  The six-month-old sleeping puppy was tied to a neighbor's fence.  Branch's reasoning?  He was mad at the pup's guardian. 

Kudos to D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert Dixon, who told Branch, ""I don't think you understand the depravity, what it says about someone who does that." The sentence was one month more than what was sought by prosecutors.  The judge who handed down the sentence didn't stop with jail time -- Branch will be placed on three years of supervised release after his jail time. And, he was ordered to pay $450 to a crime victims' fund and complete a class that teaches anger management

Friday, November 23, 2012

We are Thankful for caring kids!

Generous Janney Elementary School friends
The day after Thanksgiving has become a shopping frenzy -- but not for all.  At the League it looks like Santa made an early appearance and several second grade elves brought toys and treats for the dogs and cats. Ms. Da Silva's 2nd grade class at Janney Elementary School decided  to bring a little fun to the cats and dogs currently housed at the League.  Jack, Ben, and Tomas delivered a basket full of awesome gifts for the animals.  And, classmate Henry is here right now visiting the dogs in hopes of adopting a new family member! 

Sailor checking out the toys
During this season of goodness and gluttony, we are grateful for young people who care about the animals.   In addition to the basketful of toys and treats, the students dropped off colorful artwork.  The caption on a drawing of a cat and a fish reads, "I hope you get adopted.  I really hope so.  love Liam."  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Young Author Finds Healing in Writing & Adopting a Rambunctious Pup!

Sachin Muralidhar, a student at Great Falls Elementary School, asked his parents for a dog for his tenth birthday.  Sachin did his research and his family agreed that the time was right to add a pup to their family.   They travelled to the Washington Animal Rescue League where Sachin, his brother, mom and dad fell in love with a sweet, quiet and gentle pup.  The tan-shepherd-mix  dubbed Clue went home to grow and play with two growing and playful boys.  That was not to be.  Unbeknownst to our medical team, the puppy, with the soulful eyes, had a congenital liver defect that  would become obvious in a short time.  Little Clue was euthanized within weeks of moving into a home where he was loved and adored.   
Sadness overwhelmed the family.   Reminders of the little pup were everywhere.   Sachin dealt with his grief by writing a poem.   The poem, Get a Clue, is now a book complete with photos of Clue's brief life.
Sachin and Clue

Sachin includes a postscript to his poem that reads, Please tell your parents to take you to WARL – they do a such a great job rescuing abandoned animals and giving them a safe place to live until someone adopts them – and, they have the cutest puppies, like Clue, just waiting for you!
And that's what the Muralidhar family did.  They adopted a rambunctious retriever-mix, Sparky, who has so much energy that it is hard to get a photo of the energetic pup that isn't blurred by motion. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Racking up those frequent flier miles!

It's been a little over a year since Javi picked Hachi and Hachi picked Javi.  Readers may remember that Hachi, formerly named Encore, a survivor of a horrible hoarding case  in Ohio, lived at the Washington Animal Rescue League for several months before finding his forever home.  He became totally depressed and shut down.  It didn't seem to matter what enrichment activitity he was offered, who took him out, or what treats he was given -- he looked sad.  And, then one day Javier and his mom came to the League to adopt a best friend.  The connection between boy and dog was immediate.  The two quickly became inseparable.  Javier even teamed with Hachi to report on Old Yeller for a creative book report presentation (see right side of the page).

In July I received an email from Dana, Hachi's other best friend, and Javier's mom.  "I just wanted to let you and the staff at WARL know that I've accepted a job in Beijing, China. Therefore, Hachi (aka Encore) is off on a new adventure. Although I'm worried about the stress of the trip, I've gotten us a direct flight from Washington to Beijing, and Hachi will fly on the same flight. After a 7-day mandatory quarantine, he'll be ready to come to his new home."

A recent email confirmed that the family has adjusted to life nearly 7,000 miles from Washington.  "Hachi is well. He lost 10 lbs in quarantine, but I was prepared for that. He has adapted to high-rise apartment living and no longer has his "eating disorder" where he freaks out at his food and barks at it. Our apartment complex is very large and dog friendly, so Javi and Hachi frequently socialize with other dogs in the small parks in our development. It's common to hear a little girl saying, "Da gou," meaning big dog. I find it curious because there are many  larger dogs in our community, such as huskies, chows, and retrievers. Nonetheless, I guess they still think he's big compared to a typical Chinese pug or Pekingese. At this moment, Hachi is asleep and snoring on my bed with me. He is taking up a third of my queen-sized bed."

Dana promises another update as soon as she has a working battery for her camera.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Welcome Stone Ridge Students


The Washington Animal Rescue League's social action partnership with Stone Ridge of the Sacred Heart started as scheduled.  Unlike some Sandy-stricken areas, schools in Montgomery County, Maryland resumed classes on Wednesday, October 31st.  Ten Stone Ridge sophomores spent the day learning about WARL.  Meeting, Jeremiah, an older pooch, was a highlight of the two hour visit.  He did his best to promote the notion that adopting an older dog is best!