Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vans Loaded With Gifts

Members of Girl Scout Troop 6694 
with just a portion of their gifts 
for the animals at WARL.
A couple of the collection boxes.
Tis the season.   Members of Girl Scout Troop 6694 really got into the spirit of organizing, collecting, and giving. The fourteen girls, hailing from six D.C. schools, decided to help the animals at WARL while earning their Bronze award.  That meant that each girl had to contribute 20 hours to the cause -- and, by the looks of what  they carried into the lobby, they made every minute count.   They didn't  do one project; they spearheaded a myriad of efforts to net three vans full of toys, treats, linens, home-baked goodies and more.  They used the money that they collected in hair salons, offices, schools, and other highly populated spots to purchase things on WARL's  wish list including special requests such as chicken broth and kongs.
Thank you Troop 6694!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gifts for the Animals and WARL staff!

This the season......We have the greatest adoptions team and kennel staff.  The animals depend on them for their care in the shelter and their ability to find  them the  very best forever homes!   Yesterday, a visitor  came to our lobby with a cake, holiday card and happy pictures of WARL alums, now named Roxie and Bailey.  People who work in shelters do so because they love animals.   And,  cake!  Many thanks kind adopters. 
WARL dogs are getting new tug toys thanks to Ross Elementary School 4th grader, Noemie.   She braided toys for the dogs.  The toys are a bit different than the usual braided tugs, these are stretchy.   Noemie used cast-off leggings.  Leggings with holes are the perfect material for tug toys, Noemie explained.  The spandex in the leggings makes for fun stretchy tugs.  Kozy Girl, WARL alum and regular classroom visitor, checked out one of the toys in the classroom and declared the toys dog-tested, winners.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Homes for the Holidays!

I was listening to holiday music on the radio and Irving Berlin's classic tune, White Christmas, came on; I can't stop singing May your days be merry and bright; And may all your Christmases be white.  And while I was belting it out, I started  looking through recent adoption update photos and saw this picture of Foxy, who has now been in her forever home 5 months and I thought, Foxy is as white as snow and is absolutely going to enjoy a merry and bright holiday season -- she should be featured prominently on a holiday greeting.  So, I'm taking the liberty of sharing her photo to wish everyone, two-legged and four, a very happy, healthy holiday season in hopes that at least part of it -- maybe just a day or two -- is white!

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Microchip Can Be a Ticket Home

A quick injection  places  a microchip under kitty's skin
Ruby getting "wanded".
A loyal warlkids reader reminded me that micro-chipping  saves lives.    A common statistic in the animal-sheltering world is that, out of the  8 million animals who end up in shelters every year, only 15-20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are ever reunited with their guardians.  Micro-chipping can help  boost the return rate.  Every cat, dog, puppy and kitten adopted from the Washington Animal Rescue League is "chipped". The quick procedure involves inserting a tiny microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) under the animal's skin  through an injection.  The information on the chip is then  registered to the adopter or traced back to WARL.  That way, if the cat or dog  gets lost and is brought  to a shelter or animal hospital, the identification  information stored on the chip can be read and used to contact the animal's person.   The identifying information is read by a scanner/wand.  And then, everyone lives happily-ever-after!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
My office buddy went home last week.  I am certain that  he has settled right in and has probably claimed a favorite spot or two!    

Nigel always enjoys this time of year.  He is particularly fond of all of the fallen leaves.  So many smells.  Sniffing every leaf can make walking a very s l o w process.   Sitting among the leaves is a good way for Nigel to soak up all of the scents at once.   I'm very thankful for November days like yesterday -- sunshine, unseasonably warm temperatures and lots of time to spend with Nigel, the best dog in the world.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Strong, Lovable Office Buddy Seeks Forever Home!

How About Homer?
This is my  office buddy.  His WARL name is French Toast. The name does not suit him.  I've been calling him Nick or Zeke. He needs a strong name.  Gus would be good.  Or Bud.   He is such a love bug. Perhaps  Romeo, Rhett, or Mr. Darcey?  He needs a forever name and a forever home.   

Friday, November 7, 2014

Just Hanging Out, Soaking Up the Sunshine

When the front door is open, leaving a nice, sun-warmed floor and perfect view of all street activity, Nigel, Merl and Charlotte assume their rightful places in what appears to be size order.   While  hypnotized by the silent ballet of the falling leaves, they are acutely aware of their rank -- Merl may not be top dog, but he is surely king  of the trio.  And, if he wants Nigel's spot, it is his for the taking.  I think, however, he likes being surrounded by his loyal subjects.   

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Animal Advocates Have Their Own Special Place at the Ross Elementary School Library

 Mr. Flanagan, Ross Elementary School's librarian, oversees an  interactive library.  The Stand Up Against Animal Cruelty area is not only stocked with fiction and non-fiction selections for animal lovers of all ages, but the yellow animal cruelty activity books, that Mr. Flanagan created, encourage students to speak up for those who can't.  Caring about animals is a Ross Elementary School core value.  Ms. Jaffe and Mr. Markus' fourth and fifth grade classes are participating in a year-long Washington Animal Rescue League program that, like the animal awareness section in the library, promotes responsibility and social action.  The Ross library, an inviting, cozy space with Mr. Flanagan, and his welcoming smile and festive bow-tie serving as host and guide, encourages students to enjoy all that the library has to offer.   WARL hopes to help  Ross continue to build its animal selection in the library.   If you would like to purchase a book (or two) contact me at debbie@warl.org or leave a book at the shelter for the Ross partnership.   Possible titles are Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea, The Tenth Good Thing About Barney or any of the others selections listed further down the page on the side bar.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It Happens -- Love at First Sight

Oliver going in the crate
Buster settled in the crate,
For as long as I've worked in shelters -- and, that is a very, very long time -- people have said to me, "Oh, I could never work there, I'd take them all home." I always smile and give my standard answer, Well, my house is only so big, my budget is even smaller, and the amount of time I have to spend with my animal companions can only be divided in so many ways.
It's a good idea when people begin to work in a shelter to set a personal limit. Something like I'm not going to adopt an animal until I've been there for six months, or I'll only adopt a Dalmatian, because I've always wanted to live with a Dalmatian (not). I remember falling in love with a black and white cat at my very first shelter job in Tallahassee Florida in 1982. My heart wanted to adopt him but my head knew better -- my apartment was only so big, my budget even smaller, and the amount of time I had to spend with my animal companions was very limited, There were already three cats vying for my lap. But then, a few weeks later, SamMelvin (who at the time was just an orange tabby identified by a five digit number) was put in a cage. I fell hard. SamMelvin and I were meant to be together. So, with very little thought, I adopted cat number four, SamMelvin was a truly awesome cat!

When our new Adoptions Assistant started at the League, she was in no position to adopt a second dog. Her beloved Oliver was undergoing chemotherapy and was definitely entitled to extra pampering. But then she  fell hard. Flint stole her heart. He'd at been at the shelter for a long time. Potential adopters were drawn to him, but when they learned he would need expensive surgery to correct a luxating patella (a knee cap that slides in and out of place), they would pass him by. She could not just walk by. So, she and her boyfriend decided that if Oliver liked Flint, then Flint would have his forever home. Without hesitation, Oliver said yes. Flint got a new home, a new name (
he's now Buster) and two people who love him unconditionally. And, best of all, he got a BFF who insists that the two of them share one crate.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Help, We Need Towels!

Our towel supply is running low, very low.  We go through many towels every day.  We use them to clean the glass, clean the kennels, and clean the dogs.  And, right now, we have lots of puppies, which means lots of messes, which means lots and lots of cleaning!  AND, not enough towels.  So, if you are thinking of helping the animals by organizing a linen drive at school or cleaning out the linen closet at home,  collecting towels -- all sizes --  would be greatly appreciated.  Towels can be dropped off at WARL any day of the week.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Kitten at Home Makes Every Day a Celebration

Saturday, October 4th marks the 83rd celebration of World Animal Day.  Originally created to bring attention to the plight of endangered species, the annual event celebrates all animals, especially our companions.  We received an update from the family of the  the newly adopted, Tasha Olivia Ivypool Barker,  declaring her totally adjusted to her forever household.  The photo of Tasha and her favorite being, Lily, embodies the sentiment behind World Animal Day 2014,  a day for remembering and paying tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them. http://www.worldanimalday.org.uk/

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Apollo Picks A Family

Liam & Apollo Pose
We got an email with adorable first pictures.  It read, Sorry to send so many photos,but we just love this little kitty and can’t stop taking pictures! Makai has been renamed Apollo. My whole family loves him. He’s getting along well with our other animals, too. Sookie, our 2.5-year-old cat, loves having a friend. She’s been showing him the ropes. He’s very curious about our rabbit and thinks the guinea pigs are interesting, too.  Mostly Apollo is just a sweet and loving little fellow. We are so happy to have him as part of our familyWhat a lucky little kitty!  I wanted to know more.  How did this family of four agree on the little guy?  We were looking for a kitten because we hoped a kitten might have an easier adjustment to our home since we already had a cat there. We chose Apollo mostly because when we were visiting WARL, he leaped out and claimed my husband. He chose us. He followed us around and wanted to be held by us. There really wasn't any choice involved on our part. I think if that kitten had opposable thumbs and knew how to open a car door, he would have just gone home with us that instant.
Devin and Apollo snuggle

I emailed backed, wanting to know more.  Finding a good name is always tough. I was being silly and suggested "Spartacus"—just to make the boys laugh—such a tiny cat with such a big name seemed silly. But it got us going down that road. Apollo was a Greek sun- god and one of the translations of that name means "giving or bringing of light."  Our older cat, Darcy, had recently passed (terrible cancer) and our younger cat, Sookie, was alone now. We all noticed how depressed she seemed after Darcy died. We were all depressed. Darcy was an awesome cat. We had hoped that adopting a new kitten would help all of us. And so, we brought home this little light and guess what? It worked!  Sookie is so so so happy to have company. Apollo has quickly become a part of our family. We love him. 

For my husband and I—we're of the generation where the word "Apollo" means ROCKET, like Apollo 11 and landing on the moon. And THAT seemed to fit, too, because Apollo's got a lot of energy. He soon had Sookie zooming all over the house with him, playing. 
I've been thinking picture book titles, how about  
Apollo Lands a Forever Home!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Siblings Raise Money for WARL

Many companies will match charitable contributions made by their employees, thereby doubling the size of the donation.  When Brady (sign holder), Kayla (kneeling), McKenna (behind the stand) and Logan (in orange) decided to give all of the $115 profits they made from their summer entrepreneurial endeavor to WARL, their parents agreed to make a dollar for dollar match.  Tribble, the pug, undoubtedly drew many patrons to the stand and received lots of pats as much appreciated  tips!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Finding Forever Homes is No Easy Task

Cat rooms at WARL, and other shelter, are full.  As soon as cats and kittens are adopted more move in to take their place.  A friend of mine rescued the five kittens and cat featured on the adoption flyer; he took them to the veterinarian, paid for all of their vaccines and spay/neuter surgery, and now comes the really hard part -- finding them forever homes.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dental Work Done!

Nigel at home, post surgery, sleeping off the pain medication.  I hope he is enjoying happy, happy dreams.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nigel Goes to the Dentist

Do I really have to stay here?
How does a 75 lb dog become invisible?    Nigel tried his best this morning  to blend in with the floor at the Center for Dentistry& Oral Surgery.  One of the doctors just called to say that, while Nigel doesn't need a set of dentures, he is going to lose three rotten teeth and another will be filed, smoothed, and bonded.  Nigel will still have a great smile, the teeth extractions are in the back;  and after the polishing and fluoride treatment, he'll have a much healthier smile and probably sweeter breath.  Dental health, like with people, is important for animals.  Nigel didn't complain about his broken teeth, but he is not a complaining kind of dog. When Max had several  teeth pulled he  insisted on ice cream and mashed potatoes for every meal. For now,  Nigel will feast on water-downed dog  food.  Poor pooch!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Celebrate Cats Rule Tuesday! (My new holiday)

So, what does the picture of Roma yawning in her new home and the cover of the Five Lives of Our Cat Zook, by Joanne Rocklin, have in common?  Not much except that we received Roma's adoption update over the weekend and  I read the book last night; and, I couldn't wait to share both! Roma's person sent this update, "She's my perfect little companion and  I am so thankful to WARL for bringing us together!!"   Five Lives of Our Cat Zook, is about letting go of the perfect companion.  A tender, funny, and heartfelt book about love, loss, friendship and life’s lessons, Five Lives of Our Cat Zook, is filled with a number of perfect couplings including the narrator, Oona and her beloved cat, Zook,  a cat who happily ate --  in his better days -- fried zucchini.  Check out the author's website at http://www.joannerocklin.com/

Friday, August 29, 2014

Nigel's Goes to the Vet

Dr. Shillito greets his patient,
Nigel, the world's best dog!
It was an easy commute.  Nigel and I walked down the stairs to the Washington Animal Rescue League's Medical Center where Nigel had his back-to-school doctor's visit with Dr. Dan Shillito.   Although he smiled at the beginning of the visit, I was not very happy by the end of the exam.  Nigel has two BIG broken teeth .  The official diagnosis is slab fractures of the maxillary carnassial teeth numbers 108 and 208.  Say that five times real fast.  The bottom line is that the big wolf-like chewing teeth have to come out; That means general anesthesia and and loud dentistry drills.   Lots of cats and dogs must be suffering from bad teeth, Nigel's not on the schedule until October 30th.   Chomp while you can, Nigel!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Caring Camper Rescues Orphan Squirrels

Washington Animal Rescue League's Caring Kids Campers are compassionate about All animals.   When Brooke attended our All About Animals Camp earlier this month, she mentioned that she volunteers with horses.   A few weeks later she was rescuing orphaned baby squirrels.   The squirrels fell from a nest;  It was believed that  the mom died and the babies, starting to squirm out of the nest, were hungry.  They were taken to Second Chance Wildlife Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  For assistance with injured and orphaned wildlife in the District of Columbia contact,  City Wildlife at (202) 882-1000.  Both organizations recommend NOT rescuing animals if they don't need rescuing.   To learn more about wildlife explore Second Chance and City Wildlife websites at www.scwc.org and www.citywildlife.org.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"Should I Swim Home?" Wonders Nigel

It may not be raining cats and dogs, but there is a flood in our parking lot.  Nigel stopped to contemplate the best way to cross the WARL River!  I'm hoping that there is not another  newly created body of water in my basement!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Best Thing About Coming to Work in the Morning.....

Getting a picture like this, in the all-staff inbox, with a simple email that reads, "Hi good folks at WARL. I adopted Montana, now named MOOSE, last year. Can't imagine life without her. Thank you!"   If Moose could write, her email might say, I was adopted into a wonderful home last year.   Can't imagine like without my person!   Thanks!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Erica and her WARL adoptee Frisco
and the wonderful assortment of
handmade blankets and toys
Sarah wraps Trip, a puppy mill survivor,
in one of the brightly colored blankets.
Bags of the handmade comforters fill the
lobby benches.
When Erica and Sarah decided to use the Girl Scout Silver Award,  the highest award  a Girl Scout Cadet can earn, as a means to help the animals at the Washington Animal Rescue League, they decided to do something crafty, useful  and long lasting. Their brightly colored hand-made fleece blankets and toys are now enjoyed by almost every dog and cat in the shelter.  The fringed blankets were created with the many different animals in mind -- smaller kitty condo sized blankets, large dog beds and every size in between.    The girls are definitely, in the words of the Girl Scout handbook, "using their knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in the world. " 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Work it Out Guys!

"My turn  to play with that toy," the little torti says to her tabby sibling.  "I don't think so.  I'm happy to sit here, claw the cardboard and even take a bath all right here!"  Several  simple recycled cardboard scratching circles were created by our WARL 101 campers last week.  A few kitties went home over the weekend and took their specially created, favorite toys with them.  These guys are learning a tough lesson with theirs -- sharing!

Happy News Update -- My office buddy went home.  Can't wait to get an update from his new forever family!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Awesome Office Buddy!

I have an office buddy.   The name this sweet guy has at WARL is Mutton (we must have been having a bad naming day the day he was brought in).  I'm trying to come up with a more appropriate moniker.  for the time being I'm calling him Buddy.  He is the sweetest guy.  He'll sit on my lap, likes to be brushed, and is quite content to be under the desk so he doesn't get in the way.  He's been here for a long time.  He's one of those cats that I call "under the radar".  He doesn't cause a fuss, and when he is in his tower in Kitty City, he just hangs out -- kind of resigned to his life in the shelter.  He's probably thinking he has it quite good here.  When he came to WARL three months ago, he had a gash on his neck and was skinny.  The wound has healed, he's put on weight, and is ready to go HOME!  A real home with someone who loves him unconditionally!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Caring Kids Camp 2014

We've been really busy with Caring Kids Camps at WARL.  First a week of WARL 101, where campers focused on the care and placement of shelter animals, and last week our All About Animals campers were introduced to cats and dogs, plus bats, reptiles, sea creatures and farm animals!  Many of those non-shelter animals are featured in a flicker photo album, check it out https://www.flickr.com/photos/warl/sets/72157645111805687/.  WARL 101 repeats next week, with another week of All About Animals slated for August 4th.  Both camps are completely full, but 2015 camp registration is just around the corner.   February is only 7 months away.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Babysitters, Put this Brand New Carter Goodrich Book in Your Summer Kid Pack

A good book for veterinarians' offices, too.   Mister Bud's hot spot is treated with cream and a cone.  Zorro, the funny looking pug, thinks Mr. Bud  can be taken advantage of in his compromised state.   But, the caring guardian remarks "Poor guy.  It's hard to see with this thing on, isn't it?" after Mr. Bud's unfortunate encounter with a lamp.    Mister Bud gets a special treat and Zorro is called out for out for getting into the biscuits.  A charming picture book that stresses companionship, ( both canine and human) and responsible care.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Davy Jones is in the House!

Well,he is in my office.   He'd like a house.  Or an apartment.  A condo would be nice! I like having an office buddy; right now he's doing all of the work and I'm just enjoying his company.  But, this absolutely perfect cat has been living at the Washington Animal Rescue League way too long.   It's time for Davy Jones (DJ to his close friends) to be adopted.   And, since it is Friday afternoon, I'm going to tell him good-bye.   I can feel that this will be his adoption weekend.   I just know it!  He's the best cat here.  Well, definitely the very best gray and white cat hanging out in  my office!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Feline Friends -- Twice the Fun!

Everyone at the Washington Animal Rescue League loves updates!   Especially when they come with photos.   I usually don't get to know the kittens when they are here -- and I don't remember Ludwig (who was called VaVaVoom at WARL), the cute little tabby pictured here with her new forever friend.  But, the photo sent in by her adopter conjured up memories of my first cats, Sidney and Artie,  from more than 30 years ago!   When Sidney, an all black cat like Night Fury, was nearly a year old, we decided to adopt a friend for her.  Artie was just a little thing.  All of a sudden, Sid, who we still thought of as a tiny kitten, looked like a stalking panther.   She wasn't exactly welcoming of Artie during those first few days, but in no time at all the two became great friends.   They played crazy cat games and snuggled up close during nap time. Almost overnight,  Sidney morphed back into a sleek black cat and Artie quickly grew into his  fluffy adult self. No more wild cats, but forever friends.  Looks like Ludwig and Night Fury are becoming the same.   

Monday, June 2, 2014

What do you want for your birthday?

The money jar after it was emptied
and donations counted
The birthday girls visiting  Kitty City
When Freya and Mila were asked what they wanted for their birthday, their response was immediate -- to help the animals at the Washington Animal Rescue League.  Instead of birthday gifts, the 7-year-old twins asked their friends and family to fill the money jar that they created.  And, their friends and family went all out.  The girls' birthday celebration netted $300 for the animals!!!  Mila and Freya brought their donation to the League's 100 year birthday bash.
 Thank you Mila and Freya.  Wishing you many more happy birthdays.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kids Giving Back

What a great week!  Yesterday Ms. Pang's class from Paul Public Charter School came by to visit.  But, they did not come empty handed!  They brought lots and lots of tug toys and bags of homemade biscuits for the dogs and paper towel and toilet paper roll toys for the cats.  The day before the Lab School of Washington's Roots and Shoots members visited bringing bags of linens and a check for $173, money raised at bake sales.   And that wasn't the end of students' generosity; A check $140.12 collected from Temple Micah's religious school students and  another check for $243.40 raised by the Holton Arms School's Animal Rights Club showed up in the same day's mail!  Students care.   And they show that they care by doing great things for animals!! Thank you all. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dogs Routinely Teach Kindness at WARL

It's not just people who promote kindness to animals at the Washington Animal Rescue League.   Several dogs come to the League daily with their guardians.    Dr. Jan Rosen, WARL's medical center director, lives with Ruby, one of our regular be kind to animals goodwill ambassadors.  Ruby accompanied Dr. Rosen to meet Aiton Elmenetary School's fourth graders when they visited the League last week.   She was happy to accept treats from every student, even if she had to work a little to get them. The students taught  Ruby  to "wait", an exercise that all dogs should learn as part of their ongoing safety training.   Of course, Ruby readily accepted pats and belly rubs from the 13 kind kids -- She didn't have to wait at all for those!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tasty Treats!!

 The dogs at WARL scarfed up yummy, freshly baked treats last week.  Thanks to the  Girls on the Run chapter at Two Rivers Public Charter School, our pooches snacked on gourmet treats.    The girls gathered and mixed the ingredients, rolled out the dough and used variety of cookie cutters to get an assortment of shapes including bones and moons.  They baked the cookies, filled a BIG basket with the biscuits and delivered them to WARL where they were quickly gobbled up!  Thank you Girls on the Run at Two Rivers Public Charter School and Coach Jackie for baking special treats for the dogs at WARL.  They enjoyed every bite.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

McKinley Tech Students Visit WARL bearing Gifts!

Students don sterile garb to handle pups
Dogs love tug toys and they love tennis balls.  Put the two together and you have a super-toy that guarantees hours of fun.  McKinley Tech students wanted the dogs at WARL to have plenty of toys to choose from.  They gave their colorful, student-made braids to shelter dogs, and to patients visiting the clinic, and still left a big bag full  of toys that staff  distributed to the dogs in quarantine.  The dogs had  a grand time tossing the toys and retrieving them; in the dens housing  two dogs, lively games of tug-of-war were played.   The project was led by Shaina, a Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area  intern, who graduates from the University of Maryland today.  Thanks McKinley Tech students!  Congratulations Shaina!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Troop 6560 Enlists the Support of their Neighborhood and School Communities

When  Capitol Hill Girl Scout Troop 6560 decided to earn their "Community Organizing" badge, they chose to organize an activity that would help the animals who need it most -- the cats and dogs at the Washington Animal Rescue League.  On Sunday, the first day of Be Kind to Animals Week 2014, they delivered their collection of linens to the League.  The girls solicited donations from their neighbors and classmates which resulted  in several heavy bags full of towels and blankets. 
The scouts, not only learned a lot during the course of organizing their project, but learned even more about homeless animals from Michael, a loyal WARL volunteer who led their Sunday shelter tour. 
Thanks Troop 6560!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy Be Kind to Animals Week!

Animals brighten our world.
It is our responsibility to make theirs
a safe and happy place.
Click on the link below