Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Saving the dogs of Spain

Jackie Todd and her husband moved from the UK to a rustic Spanish village 13 years ago, and have since dedicated themselves to helping local K9s in need. The moved to get away from their workaholic lifestyles, but turned out working hard at something else instead. It started with a 6-week old puppy thrown from a car, then a pup saved from a river, then a stray that had had its ears and tail cut off. Just last year, they helped 119 dogs. All those dogs would make for some great stories, so the wrote a book!

Dog Days in Andalucia: Tails from Spain is only available in the UK right now, but you can read more about it here in the Daily Mail. Maybe the publishers could send me a copy here in the US??

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dog eats...cop car bumper??

Winston wanted to make it clear that he did not want the cop car near his house. So he attacked the car, and literally ripped off the bumper and punctured two of the tires. The cops did try to subdue Winston, first with pepper spray, then with a tazer, but he was determined to take out that bumper. As you can see in the video below, he did have two buddies cheering him on, but Winston did nearly all the damage on his own.

This got the dog in a little hot water, and he was detained at the McKamey Animal Trust for two weeks to determine if he was a dangerous dog. He did display good behavior during that time and has since been released to his owners--who agreed to fortify their fence and take Winston to obedience classes. He will be on "probation" for another 6 months.

I think Winston was just trying to look tough in front of his buddies, but he was lucky the cops kept cool and did not take more extreme measures in trying to subdue him. I hope he learned his lesson to not mess with the cops (or their cars)!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Image rehab for pit bulls (Photographers needed!!)

For a long time, pit bulls were considered an "All American" kind of dog. They were used in the military, and appeared in popular television shows. Let me tell you, every pit bull I have met has been a happy, friendly, wiggle-butt kind of dog. Only recently has their reputation been corrupted by criminals who abuse them and train them to fight.

Well, a new organization called StubbyDog is out to change that. I was not able to find an official website, but a quick google search tells me that they are ready to grow becuase they are hiring for all kinds of positions! Apparently they were founded by Michael Mountain, one of the original top-people at Best Friends Animal Society. It is their mission to change public perceptions of pit bulls. With their hard work, hopefully their image can get some much needed rehab. But they need your help! They are calling on photographers out there to submit photos that can help advance their cause. Printz Photography has the details, or you can email with your pictures.

If anyone has more info about StubbyDogs, please pass it along so I can link to them here!

[Image courtesy of ]

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A long way down!

Bomb sniffing dogs can be a huge help to soldiers in the field. The problem is, sometimes the "field" is far away and you have to get there fast. Ok, I would take a helicopter there. What if there is nowhere to land? Well, the dog has got to jump just like the soldiers!

Austria's special forces crew recently joined a British team went on a training mission in Norway. With specially equipped harnesses, the dogs jump out tandem with a soldier. As one of the jumping soldiers explains to the Daily Mail, dogs don't perceive the height distance the way humans do. In fact, he says of his dog, "He has a much cooler head than most recruits." I will take his word for it!

Check out the Daily Mail article for some more neat pictures.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Surgical surprise

At first, they thought it was cancer, but it turned out that Braken had actually eaten a soccer ball. This black lab had a birth defect in his diaphragm that allowed his stomach to migrate up towards his heart after he ingested the ball. On the x-rays it looked like a large growth next to his heart, and only after they opened him up did they discover the 5 inch soccer ball!

He had to have two additional surgeries to repair his diaphragm , but that is better than having cancer for sure. Braken didn't exactly learn his lesson though..his person says that he still tries to eat everything!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spotted dog survives a tough spot

Chloe slipped out of her collar and darted into the street to greet another dog. A double decker bus got in her way. She was struck the bus, then became trapped between the front wheels. The firefighters of Swiss Cottage, north London, were quick to the scene to help out the dalmatian in need. They brought in a hydraulic jack to help Chloe out from under the 7.5 ton bus. They were able to tilt the bus enough to the side that one fire fighter was able to get into the tight spot to pull Chloe to safety.

Amazingly, this tough dog came out without a single broken bone or even a scratch! She was pretty scared by the whole ordeal but was happy to be back in the arms of her loving person, Brian Levy. Of course, a big wag to the firefigters who have again proven themselves to be real heros to dogs in need. Check out the whole article from the Daily Mail for some more great shots of the rescue.

Monday, March 22, 2010

ER welcomes injured dog

Scottie had accidentally gotten out of his fenced yard and got in a scuffle with another dog. Confused, scared, an injured, where would you go? To the emergency room, of course! Scottie walked right in through the automatic doors at the San Juan Medical Center in Farmington New Mexico, and got the help he needed. Some waiting patients gave him some water and attention until an animal control officer came to pick him up. The officer, Robin Loev said, "He seems very intelligent, very smart and calm and looking like he needed help. I guess he went to the right place."

Scottie's people recognized him in a news report, and were thankful that he was take care of during his adventure away from home. His family picked him up from the Farmington Animal Shelter, and hopefully installed a new lock on the gate at home.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stamps to the Rescue

Animal Rescue has another big advocate this week: the United States Post Office! They just announced their "Stamps to the Rescue" campaign. The postal stamps feature adorable pictures of 10 dogs and cats that found their forever homes by way of a shelter. Through the campaign, they hope to raise awareness about pet adoption. They have some big names promoting the campaign---including Ellen Degeneres, the Humane Society of the United States, Petfinder, and several others. During the Campaign, Halo pet food will be donating one million meals to shelter pets around the country.

Ellen described how you can help: "The first thing you can do is adopt a shelter pet, just like it says on the stamp. That's one less mouth to feed for these under-funded animal shelters across the country. More importantly, you'll give an abandoned pet a true home -- and change your own life in the process."

If your house is already full of four legged family members, you can help out by buying a book of stamps for $8.80 to support the campaign. If you want other merchandise from the campaign, check out the USPS store online.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The big "O" for Best Friends

Some big news for one of my favorite charities, Best Friends Animal Society--They were selected to be featured in O magazine as one of Oprah's top ten charities. This is basically the equivalent of being selected as one of Oprah's "favorite things" but for charities.

In celebration of the magazine's ten year anniversary, the are doing a "Live Your Best Life" fundraising walk in NYC over mother's day weekend. Some walks are targeted to just one cause, but this is targeted to ten, allowing more people to participate to help charities that may not have the resources to organize something like this one their own. Even if you can't walk, you can still help fundraise of course. Oprah is planning some exciting prizes for the top fundraisers, and Best Friends is offering some very cool incentives too.

If you needed a reason to participate, or to give, you should read about all the great work that Best Friends does on their website. If you already know and love Best Friends, like me, you will enjoy this adorable video of nine puppies that recently landed at their sanctuary in Kanab, UT. Sure, the video is super cute (especially the synchronized head tilting at the end), but the best part is knowing that all of these puppies will find great forever homes because of the angels working on their behalf.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Champ needs his own hero now

Four year old german shepherd, Champ, lived up to his name when protecting his family from burglars. This dog took five bullets to protect his family. Amazingly he survived, but with some serious injuries. His family could not afford his treatment, and decided to euthanize him. Well, Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of Southern California stepped in to make sure Champ got another chance at life.

Veterinarians say that Champ was lucky that all the bullets exited his body, and he is not expected to suffer from any long term troubles once he recovers. His treatment and recovery is not cheap, and the rescue that currently has custody of him is seeking donations. His last challenge in his recovery will be finding a new forever home....but I have a feeling that there will be lots of folks wanting this real, live, dog-hero in their house.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Poppy survives 300 ft plunge into the sea

Poppy was out for a day at the beach with her people enjoying chasing seagulls. Until she chased one right off a cliff! The springer spaniel took a 300 ft plunge into the sea and somehow swam to shore. She looked pretty scared by the time the rescue crew arrived to pick her up. Amazingly, she only suffered from a partially collapsed lung, she is expected to recover just fine. Check out video of the rescue here:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Soli is a real gem!

Soli was a lucky dog because he got to go to work with his person every day. His person owned a jewelry store, which doesn't sound like a place where a dog could get in much trouble. Until the day that Soli ate a 3 karat, $20,000 diamond! The vet said that the best thing to do would be to let nature run its course and the diamond would be out in just a few days.

This jeweler found himself collecting and digging through poop for three days until the gem turned up. Despite it all, they still think Soli is a gem himself, and he still goes to work with his person. Now, he gets plenty of treats so that he won't be looking to pick up anything more valuable as a snack! Check out the video here.

Wags to my buddy June for the tip!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Firemen on thin ice to help dog

The firefighters in Clark County, Ohio were on thin ice--literally--after receiving a call that a dog was stranded on the ice of George Rogers Lake. These brave guys are used to the heat, but they suited up in dry suits to try to save this dog. After falling through the ice once, they decided to take a boat out to get her. As they got close, the dog fell through the ice too. But the firemen got ahold of her and were able to warm her up. Check out some footage of the amazing rescue from WDTN.

It turns out this brave girl was not actually stranded, but standing guard out on the ice because two of her buddies had fallen through (sadly, her buddies were not recovered in time). Now known as the George Rogers Park Dog, she is in the capable hands of the workers at the Humane Society of Clark County. She is under veterinary supervision for frostbite on her paws, and is receiving lots of love from the workers to help her recover from the very scary event. They have already been flooded with calls from people interested in adopting George Rogers Park Dog, so it looks like she will find a nice warm, dry home soon enough.

Wags to all the brave firemen and women out there that help to get dogs out of scary situations like this every day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hunting for forever homes

Some hunters take great care of their dogs, while some consider them disposable. The latter was the case with pack of four beagles left behind in Long Island. As some out of town hunters do--the dogs were probably left behind after they didn't return immediately after a hunting trip.

The pack was looking to local humans for help, but some were understandably a little intimidated by the four dogs approaching! Luckily, they were eventually picked up by the Southold Animal Shelter. The dogs garnered some media attention, in part because of community concerns about the problem of abandoned hunting dogs in the North Fork area. Thanks to the news coverage, Southold Animal Shelter was flooded with adoption requests for member of this pack. Two of them already have new homes--forever homes this time around.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My dog ate my...what?

Say your dog ate your homework--cliche. Now, say your dog ate your tickets to a dog-training seminar--you can't make this stuff up! Mike Evans bought tickets to Cesar Millan's show as a Christmas present for his wife. Their dog Islay was not so keen on this plan, and when the tickets arrived via mail, she chewed them up! Mike said, "She has never touched the mail before. It is the ultimate irony, we don't know whether to laugh or cry."

After some debate about their policy, the booking agent has decided to reissue the tickets (I am sure the media attention helped). So, sorry Islay, your people are still going! It is probably in the best interests of you and your pack.

Wags to my buddy Shep for the tip--I am *sure* he would never do anything like this!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A paw in the door

A good headshot can get you in the door in LA. A bad one can keep you out. If you spend time browsing Petfinder like me, you know that some of the dogs looking for homes have photos that don't seem to capture their best side. It is understandable, not every homeless dog has the help of a professional photographer. Well, that is where Seth Casteel comes in. Seth is a professional pet photographer who volunteers in the LA area to help make sure more dogs have great headshots to get the attention necessary to find the forever homes they desperately need. Check out Seth's before and after shots that helped these dogs find homes:

If you are a professional photographer that has a way with pets, think about volunteering your skills to help a shelter near you!

A big wag to my friend Surf Dog Ricochet for the tip, and congratulations are meeting your $10,000 goal on your latest fundraising campaign!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Deacon's beacon home

Last December, Deacon went missing from his backyard in rural Virginia. He would occasionally enjoy extended outdoor adventures, so his people weren't too concerned at first. After a few days, Kieth and Pamela Holt became quite worried and alerted the authorities. Weeks went by, and they believed they lost their two year old german shepherd for good.

Then just a few weeks ago, they received a call from an animal control officer in Florida! The officer asked if they were the owners of a dog named Bruno--which was Deacon's first name when they adopted him--when his microchip was registered. Right away, they drove 10 hours and 600 miles to pick up their guy--who was over-joyous at the reunion. Just another reminder of the importance of microchipping! Ask your vet about it on your next visit, and remember to keep your contact info up to date. It could be your dog's beacon home.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Four legged survivors in Chile

Earthquakes are scary for everybody--dogs and humans alike. Many times, pets are separated from their people in these disasters. Folks in Chile are still looking for survivors. The dog pictured here was found in the process. There is no word on his people, his name, or anything else, but the rescue workers were able to get this little guy to safety and provide him with clean water and food. Just another reminder that our four legged friends are also in dire need in the aftermath of such disasters.

Check in with the links provided in my earlier story about the Animal Relief Coalition in Haiti for updates on their ongoing work in the aftermath of the quake there.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Treo, the bomb-sniffing hero

Treo is one heroic dog. This hard-working-bomb-sniffing dog was recognized last week at the London's Imperial War Museum with the Dickin Medal. Treo was instrumental in discovering Taliban bombs in Helmand Province in 2008, saving the lives of countless soldiers. His handler is certainly proud: “When I am at his side I feel safe because I know he has saved my life many times.”

The Dickin award is the highest military award for British service animals. The award started in 1943, and has been given to 63 animals including 27 dogs. According to the AP, there is no equivalent award in the United States. Check out the video below from the Telegraph of Treo and his handler receiving the award.

Wags to two tipsters for this story: my buddies Shep and Winn.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ricochet redefines what it means to be a service dog

I want to introduce you to my friend Ricochet. This girl is so special on her own, but she uses her talents to give back in a big way. Ricochet was born into a litter of budding service dogs, but becuase of her interest in birds, she did not make the cut. She could have become just an ordinary pet at that point, but her people saw real talent despite her bird-induced limitations. Check out this great youtube video that documents her training and how she came to the next phase in her life--from a service dog to a surf-ice dog!

Ricochet (Ricki for short) learned how to surf as a puppy, and just loves it. She uses her talents and magnetic personality to draw attention to the needs of people with disabilities. Her first fundraiser, a tandem surf with her quadriplegic buddy Patrick, raised $10,000 for his medical needs and a sponsor for 3 years of his physical therapy. Ricki did a toy drive over Christmas, getting toys to 630 kids! She is currently running a fundraiser for her young buddy Ian McFarland who suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him disabled. Ricki and her person hope to reach their $10,000 goal this week. Read all about Ricki and her great work on her website.

Surf Dog Ricochet was recognized earlier this year with a Dogswell WAG award for the most charitable story. Check out this slideshow of her on the "green carpet" at the awards. Dogswell also honored Joe St. George for his amazing rescue of Venon/Spikey from a flooded LA river earlier this year.

In addition to working hard for good causes, Ricky is a dog that knows how to have some serious fun. Check out her great facebook page that is regularly updated with great pictures of her adventures (Like the one from her playground practice posted here). Don't miss the fun photo series of Ricki meeting a real, live bunny up close!

Monday, March 1, 2010

THE biggest dog ever

It is hard to keep up with the latest on who is considered THE biggest dog around. The Guiness book of world records crowned Titan as the new title holder last fall, only to be unseated this month by George. This dog is 7'3" when standing on his hind legs, and weighs a whopping 245 pounds. He is not just the current title holder, but the largest dog ever recorded. That is a lot of dog! His people first had him in a crate, then they upgraded to a twin size bed, but now he has his very own queen size bed!

Titan had appeared on the Today Show, but George showed him up media-wise too with an appearance on Oprah! Gibson, the longtime record holder, passed away over the summer. He also appeared on Oprah. Check out the special coverage of Gibson's plane ride to Chicago--he took up two coach seats, but was a hit among the other passengers. George apparently required a whole row of seats!