Dogs and Ebola: Should We Be Worried?


Story: The Facts About Ebola and Our Pets

Sadly, Excalibur, the dog of Ebola patient Teresa Romero Ramos (pictured), was euthanized in Spain despite there being no documented cases of dogs becoming sick with Ebola or spreading it to people or animals. According to experts, authorities could have quarantined the dog instead.

The panic over Ebola has spread to our canine friends. But is that justified?

Here’s the latest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

The ongoing epidemic of Ebola in West Africa has raised several questions about how the disease affects the animal population, and in particular, the risk to household pets. While the information available suggests that the virus may be found in several kinds of animals, CDC, the US Department of Agriculture, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) do not believe that pets are at significant risk for Ebola in the United States.”

Learn more:

Update: The AKC Canine Health Foundation just published a new report, “Ebola: Understanding Viral Transmission, Pathogenesis and Why the Dog is Part of the Conversation,” concluding that “…there is currently no evidence that exposed dogs become productively infected and shed Ebola virus.”

Abused Pit Bull Turned Therapy Dog Becomes America’s Sweetheart

Susie Hero Dog 2014

Story: Pup and Adopter Stand Up for Fellow Abuse Victims

Susie, an abuse survivor who became a therapy dog has been named this year’s “American Hero Dog” at the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™.

The awards honor “the powerful relationship between dogs and people and recognize extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs.”

Susie was only a puppy when her owner beat her savagely and set her on fire, leaving her for dead in a local park in Greensboro, North Carolina.

After being rescued by a local animal shelter and nursed back to health, she was adopted by Donna Lawrence, who had been the victim of a terrible dog attack that nearly killed her and left her without the ability to have children.

Together, they helped each other heal from their physical and emotional wounds, triumphing over pain and fear to become voices for abused animals and helping pass ‘Susie’s Law‘ in North Carolina, which calls for harsher penalties for convicted animal abusers.

Susie became the subject of the movie, ‘Susie’s Hope,’ and working side by side, Donna and Susie continue to make the world a better place for others by visiting hospitals, schools, and nursing homes to inspire people never to give up.”

— American Humane Association

Susie’s charity partner, Paws & Effect, an organization that raises, trains and places service dogs with disabled children and veterans, received $5,000 in her name.

Give $10 to the American Humane Association to help animals and children in need. Text HUMANE to 80888.

Follow the Hero Dog Awards on Facebook and Twitter.

Image from American Humane Association

A Two-Legged Legacy: Wheelchairs for Rescue Dogs


Idea: Help Disabled Homeless Pets with Good Reads

Faith, a two-legged doggie hero, was featured on the cover of Animal Wellness Magazine in 2007.

Born with a deformity, she learned how to walk upright and soon became an inspiration for overcoming the odds – Oprah even called her “one of her favorite guests.”

Faith gained celebrity status for her work with U.S. soldiers, and she and Jude [her mom] often traveled to airports, USOs and other places where they would find injured or returning soldiers.

Her positive attitude, even in the face of her disability, made a huge impression on the troops and earned her the title of honorary E5 Sergeant, out of Fort Lewis. Four thousands troops attended the ceremony.”

— “Faith, the Two-Legged Dog” by Ann Brightman

She also visited schools to help kids learn to read.

In honor of her recent passing, Animal Wellness, one of my favorite resources for my blog about canine cancer wellness, will “pay this love forward and help other dogs like Faith the Dog who have mobility issues,” by donating 25% of subscription sales toward purchasing Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchairs for rescue pups.

A 1-year subscription is $24 and includes six issues (print and digital versions), 12 natural health reports and a coupon book. Use promo code FAITH.

Follow Animal Wellness Magazine on Facebook and Twitter.

Image from Animal Wellness Magazine

A 9/11 Heroine Returns to Ground Zero


Story: Last Known Surviving Search and Rescue Pup Who Worked at Ground Zero Still Helps Others

Now a senior at age 15, we will #NeverForget the bravery of search dog Bretagne.

Dr. Cindy Otto, a veterinarian who cared for the search dogs after 9/11:

You’d see firefighters sitting there, unanimated, stone-faced, no emotion, and then they’d see a dog and break out into a smile. Those dogs brought the power of hope. They removed the gloom for just an instant — and that was huge because it was a pretty dismal place to be.”

She now wears her vest to help children learn to read.

Read Bretagne’s story and vote for her in the American Humane Association’s annual “Hero Dog Awards.”

Image by Denise Corliss

3 Ways to Save These Sanctuary Dogs in Hawai’i

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Story: Sole Animal Sanctuary on the Big Island Rescues, Rehomes Abandoned Dogs

Tucked away outside of buzzy Hilo, Hawai’i down a sleepy country road lined with grass taller than you and me is Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary, home to over 300 unwanted, neglected or abused animals.

Recently, I had the honor of visiting the sanctuary in person.

Hawai’i: No paradise for animals

Mary Rose Krijgsman founded the no-kill sanctuary in 2001 in response to the island’s abandonment and overpopulation issue, much of it stemming from unregulated backyard breeding of hunting dogs and an overextended, economically depressed population who cares for multiple animals without the means.

Though the island’s population is 180,000, in a follow-up email interview after my visit, Mary Rose cited a report that compared the overpopulation problem to a mainland city with 1 million people.

According to her, 1,200 animals are euthanized each month by the local animal control shelter.

An Oasis for Homeless Pets

Sitting on 7.5 acres in a park-like setting, the sanctuary site is refreshing and unlike anything I’ve seen: grassy paths lined with shady trees, some gently bending together to form tunnels leading the way through the property. Outdoor enclosures allow for sunshine, breeze and fresh air. There is even a pond.

Shelter is provided in each secure kennel and generally, two dogs are companionably housed together.

Every dog is walked every day by volunteers and there is a charting system to be sure.

The dogs are enthusiastic, energetic and it was evident that they are content and cared for.

“The animals have a home here…We are not a shelter, we are a sanctuary. We are not a clearinghouse for animals, we are a place where the animals live, learn, eat, communicate, play and get some training,” wrote Mary Rose, who lives on-site. “What we want to communicate with the community is a ‘way of life.’ A life that is pono, full of love, compassion, caring, equality, trust and respect.”

Meet Florence

The sanctuary is inundated with calls for help and offers a home to as many animals as they can, including those who are sick or otherwise unadoptable.

During my visit, I got to know Florence (pictured), a sweet-natured dog suffering the effects of neglect, including low thyroid, skin fungus and a lymph system that is not functioning properly.

Rainbow Friends has funded three operations for her, medication for her condition and weekly medicated baths. “With all this, she is one of the most joyful dogs there are, she loves her toys and will play with them,” she wrote. You can sponsor Florence, or another dog, for $30/month.

Three ways you can help

In addition to monetary donations or giving good and services for the care of their hundreds of animals, including substantial veterinary bills, the sanctuary is seeking support for the following programs. Simply designate your wish under “special purpose” on the donation form.

  1. Support their monthly spay/neuter clinics, where they alter 50 dogs or 100 cats per day for low-income families.
  2. Help create their on-site veterinary clinic. To reduce veterinary costs, Rainbow Friends is reconfiguring their indoor space to function as a clinic by building an enclosed outdoor area for cats.
  3. Give Fido a flight home. They are also seeking use of a plane to transport dogs to the mainland for adoption, as “There are not enough people to adopt out to” on the island.

Donate now.

Rainbow Friends is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.

Rescue dogs aren’t broken,
they’ve simply experienced more life than other dogs.
If they were human, we would call them wise.
They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write,
the ones dealt a bad hand who responded with courage.
Don’t pity a rescue dog.
Adopt one, Foster one, Sponsor one.
And be proud to have their greatness by your side.

Follow Rainbow Friends on Facebook.

Innovative Adoption Concept Saves Lives of Local Dogs


Story: Adopting and Shopping – The Perfect Combination

Adopt & Shop is a one-stop adoption and shopping experience from the Found Animals Foundation. Their flagship space in the Los Angeles area is now open.

You can find 25 adorable adoptable dogs saved from local shelters at the facility (view them before you visit here); the team is available for adoption consultations to find the perfect forever family. Adopt & Shop also offers in-store services, including grooming at Adopt & Shop Untangled, daycare at Adopt & Shop Playtime and positive reinforcement dog training classes at their Adopt & Shop Academy.

Aimee Gilbreath, executive director of Found Animals, has the scoop:

The grand opening of our flagship Adopt & Shop store is a tremendous achievement for Found Animals and an important step towards eliminating shelter euthanasia here in Los Angeles. Adopt & Shop is the largest humane retail adoption center of its kind in California. With almost 10,000 square feet of space, Adopt & Shop will find homes for 2,000 dogs and cats per year, while providing total care for families and pets.

Visit them at:
Adopt & Shop
4235 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, Calif. 90230

Store Hours:
Monday through Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Follow Adopt & Shop on Facebook or Twitter.

Homeless Cancer Pup Looking for Love

Haley the Wonderdog


Tater, the cancer shelter dog near Lake Tahoe, needs a hospice helper. Maybe that’s you? He has the same cancer as Haley, so this one is close to my heart. Let’s jailbreak this little pup potato and get him to a loving home. Please share!

He’s at Douglas County Nevada Animal Care & Service shelter.

Here is the information they provided on Facebook.

Tater is in need of a hospice foster home, he has been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma and the vet only gives him about a year to live. Will you be his hero and give him a loving home for his remaining time. He is truly a love with people and he isn’t even aware that he is sick.

Found 1/30/14 in the Topaz Ranch Estates Area and his owner has not come looking for him so he is now up for adoption.

Name: Tater
Breed: Pit Bull…

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