a “Thank You”

If you are my “real life FB friend” then you already know this story since I shared it last night, but I wanted to share with the rest of my blogosphere friends too!

I volunteered for awhile at the local shelter, but I haven’t been there since April! Before that, I was going every other weekend, usually on Saturday and Sundays. Time just got away from me with being busy with every day life, my own dogs, the rescue….and I just didn’t make it back to the shelter. I had a really hard time never knowing what happened to the dogs that I loved there. As a foster parent with the rescue, I get to choose who my dog goes to. With the shelter, you have no say. I’d walk out each day, never knowing if the dog I spent time with would be adopted, by a good or bad person, or even put down. It was really hard on me, especially because of my love for the bully breed and the shelter always being overcrowded with them. In fact, in the blog post that you’ll see mentioned below, was a dog named Ruby. She is part of the reason I started to volunteer less and less at the shelter. She was so terrified. I never even got to pet her because she wouldn’t move from the corner. I networked for her, and tried so hard to find a rescue that would take her. Then one day I called to check on her, and she had been put down. I was heartbroken and cried my eyes out…for a dog whom I had never even touched.

I still share the shelter dogs from time to time, along with dogs from a few other local rescues. Networking is so important and DOES save lives! Last night, I got proof of just that!

I received the nicest message on my Tails of a Foster Mom FB page, from someone I have never met in person, never talked to, and never even knew she saw my blog. Here is what she said:

“I wanted to tell you thank you. You don’t know me, but you are one of the reasons that I ended up adopting my dog. In June 2013 you posted some pictures on your blog of the dogs from the Tallahassee Animal Shelter and I don’t remember how I came across it exactly, but I ended up looking at a picture of one particular dog who would stick his paws under the kennel door so that people would pet him as they passed. His name was Kail. I had been looking into getting a dog for some time, so I thought I could go look at him. Needless to say we fell in love instantly and he came home with us a day later. A year and a half later and he’s still the best thing ever. His name is now Anaximander (Nax for short) and he has a cat brother and a doggie I think it was fate that I ended up looking at your blog that day and I thank you for taking that picture and posting it for the world to see. Nax is now the happiest dog on earth, and spoiled rotten every day. I just thought you would like to know that you were the reason that a loving dog that was tossed aside got his second chance and is living life again. Thank you so very much, Lindsey and Anaximander”

Kail1
Picture courtesy of Lindsey and Nax!
Kail2
Picture courtesy of Lindsey and Nax!

 

I just cannot explain how much this message meant to me! I recognized her pup as soon as I saw his beautiful mug, and am so happy to hear of the wonderful life he is living! Sometimes it feels like it’s pointless, to do all of this rescue work, when there are still so many backyard breeders, abusers, and homeless pets. Thanks to Lindsey’s sweet message though, I feel renewed in my passion to keep trying to make a difference in the lives of these animals.

Thank you to all of you who read my blog, share adoptable dogs, and advocate for these wonderful animals. And a BIG thank you to Lindsey for sharing her story. Happy living, Lindsey & Nax!!!

To see my original post, where Lindsey first saw Nax (previously Kail), click HERE!

Don’t forget to encourage your friends & family to adopt, when they are looking for a new furry friend!

Tallahassee Animal Shelter’s adoptable pets: http://www.talgov.com/animals/onlinekennel.aspx

Last Hope Rescue’s adoptable pets: https://www.facebook.com/LastHopeRescueFL/app_137541772984354

Have a great day, friends! 

xoxo

Animal Advocates

Animal advocates. What does it mean to be an animal advocate? To me, being an advocate means taking action to help/support/defend. I am a rescue advocate. I am a bully breed advocate. This means I attend rescue events; I promote the rescue whenever I can. I tell people about rescuing, adopting, and fostering. I am a bully breed advocate, mostly through Oscar. I am constantly and consistently working on basic training, to help him be the best dog possible. He is CGC certified, a great foster buddy, and he loves the humans. I want him to prove all the haters doubters wrong, by showing everyone what a good boy he is.

IphoneJuly2014 015

Take the Blackfish Sea World situation. First, yes I saw Blackfish, and yes I think the things Sea World has done are disgusting. However, I think many of these people bashing Sea World are a bit ridiculous…ok, “ridiculous” isn’t the right word, but I can’t think of what is the right one. People jump on the bandwagon, “Take down Sea World! They’re evil! Roar!”…but what are those people actually doing about it? What is the actual point they are trying to make? That Sea World has mistreated these animals, right? So, boycotting Sea World is going to help those animals? No. Let’s assume that the whole country gets behind this idea, and Sea World ends up going bankrupt. What happens to the animals? Wild animals that have been in captivity for years. Some were even born in captivity. It is highly unlikely that they could be released into the wild successfully. So…euthanize them? Set them free and let the other wild animals kill them? What are the advocates doing for these animals? If my opinion mattered at all, if I could speak to the world and get everyone to listen, I think the best move would be to make Sea World into an animal sanctuary. Sea World HAS done some wonderful things, including rescuing wildlife, rehabilitating them, and releasing them. They could continue to do that, and in the case of an animal that can’t be released, then they keep them in the sanctuary. The animals shouldn’t be forced to learn tricks, and do shows, just for the entertainment of tourists. It could be used as a learning facility for future marine biologists, vets, etc. But…what is the likelihood that this will happen? Slim to none, I am sure. I wonder, did anyone ever consider that these same things, the situation people are all of a sudden outraged over, are also the same for animals that are in zoos, aquariums, and circuses? No one is causing an uproar over those poor animals though, because there hasn’t been a documentary released and blasted through news outlets. Humans put these animals in captivity. Advocates would have to not only demand change, but follow through as well, to make a difference for the animals.

May 2014 069

It’s the same with shelters and rescues. Over the last couple of years, I’ve heard “What you’re doing is wonderful”; “poor animals, humans suck”; “I wish there was something I could do”….but there is! Fostering is not for everyone. I wish it were, but I understand that it’s not. But there are plenty of other things you could do. You can volunteer at local adoption events. You can follow a local rescue or shelter on social media, and share an adoptable dog each day, to help network. You can make a monthly donation to a rescue or shelter, monetary or supplies. There are so many ways you can help; so many ways you can be an advocate. These animals, domestic and wild, need people to stand up for them. They need advocates.

July2014 028

 

When I say the animals need advocates, I mean REAL advocates. Not celebrities who jump on the bandwagon just for a photo shoot. Real advocates, like Kaley Cuoco, who advocates for the bully breeds; Ellen Degeneres, who advocates for holistic treatments for pets; Ian Somerhalder, who advocates for rescues and no-kill shelters. These are people who are doing something for the animals. There are companies that claim to be advocates, but have still done some negative actions. Take PETA for example. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. But did you know that this group euthanizes over 90% of the animals in their shelters? Of course, they say this is done to alleviate suffering. You mean to tell me that 90% of the animals are suffering that greatly, that they can’t be rehabilitated and adopted out? Did you also know that PETA made a statement that pit bulls should be euthanized because a bad person might adopt them? (Since then, they have obviously back pedaled and reworded what they supposedly meant.) This is not to say that PETA does nothing good for animals. I am just trying to point out that there are good and bad sides to everything. Same with Sea World. Why are we (humans) killing the animals when they aren’t the ones doing wrong? Humans are the ones doing the bad things.

Why do the animals pay for it? Because they can’t speak up for themselves.

Research. Volunteer. Educate. Advocate. 

 

So, what does being an advocate mean to you? Do you consider yourself an advocate for someone/thing?

Dogs6

 

Please remember, my opinions are my own. I don’t expect others to agree with everything I say. There are things I believe in whole-heartedly (pit bulls need love too), and other things that I disagree with (Sea World’s treatment of some of their animals). It is important to have a dialog, to be open to hearing what other’s have to say. Please, feel free to voice your polite, respectful opinions in the comment section below. I would love to hear what you have to say! 

A quickie!

Hi friends! Just a quick post to beg you for some votes! Oscar is in a contest to be on a magazine cover. I think it’s be amazing if he won, because it would be just one more way to show that pit bulls can be awesome family members! Please vote for my sweetness, & share on your social media outlets! This contest goes until July, so please bear with me while I annoy the *}@$:! out of you, begging for votes! 😉 You can vote every 12 hours! And you don’t even have to “like” a page or put in any of your own info! It’s as simple as clicking on the link, and clicking “vote”!

CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

Thank you in advance for your votes!!!

20140523-212111-76871160.jpg

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Xoxo

Drama in Helping the Homeless

When I joined the rescue world, I started out as just a foster. I attended events and asked the boss ladies lots of questions, in order to learn about the rescue. I started to become more involved, by helping in any way I could. Eventually I was checking adoption applications, helping with home visits, and then I had the opportunity to run the social media for the rescue. Social media is a fascinating thing. It can be a wonderful tool. It’s a way to keep in touch with friends, see pictures of vacations, and kids. You can also follow people that have similar hobbies. I started following local shelters, rescues, any local businesses that had to do with dogs basically. I also quickly unfollowed those sites that like to count down the days until a dog is going to be put down. The ones that use big bold lettering, begging you to save this poor soul from death. I understand why they do it. I appreciate their urgency. But, for me, I just can’t take it. I have learned how bad it is out there. I know that I will never be able to help every dog in need. I will never  understand why people abuse helpless animals. I don’t need the sad, sweet faces of urgent dogs shoved down my social media throat. That is one great reason to follow rescues. In general, rescues don’t use those dramatic techniques to obtain adoptions. Usually, once a dog is in a rescue, they are safe, so while they might be in need of adoptions, the pups aren’t urgent like they are in shelters. (I’m not saying that you shouldn’t follow or network for shelters. There are just certain ones that are too hard for me, personally, to follow.)

photo 3 (12)
Sweet Stella

If you ever follow any of these pages, you might have seen the negative comments. And if you haven’t seen them, well you probably just aren’t looking hard enough. For example, there is a page called Taters Time to Shine.
It is run by a young girl, and her adventures as a pittie mama, an animal advocate, as well as a few other positive things. She often shares adorable pictures of her dog, Tater. He is her service dog, and he is a great example of what a pit bull-type dog can be. He is always smiling, running around playing, having a great time! Apparently she has recently experienced social media bullying. I don’t know the specifics, and I do not know this young lady, nor do I know the people involved. I am only stating things that I have read. The things that have been said to her are things like Tater looks vicious in his pictures because his teeth are showing, alluding to the fact that she isn’t a good pit bull advocate because of these pictures. Now, I don’t know about you, but have you ever seen a happy dog smiling withOUT showing their teeth?!? I sure haven’t! She has experienced such meanness lately that she was considering taking her page down.

lhr
Bonded hubby & wife, Izzy and Trooper (seriously, they even had puppies together!)

There is a story going around right now about a rescue in California, who refuses to return a dog to it’s owner. Basically, the dog was lost for a short period of time, and while the owner was searching, the pup ended up in the hands of a rescue. The rescue then adopted the dog out. On the same day of the adoption, they were contacted by the original owner, wanting her dog back. The rescue took the stance that they had already completed the adoption, and they didn’t feel the owner tried hard enough, so they were not going to give the dog back. There is a lot of he said/she said involved, and several different opinions about who is right. As I was reading the story on another dog-related site, I started reading the comments. Complete strangers, who have no relation to the people involved, were being so incredibly nasty to each other. Fighting over the points they each were trying (and failing) to make. If someone said they thought the owner should be given the dog back, someone would follow it up by calling them an idiot (with a few other choice words mixed in). I can’t understand this.

(Here’s one of the many articles about this situation: click here.)

Lover boy Pace
Lover boy Pace

As I was scrolling through those comments, just about to move on to something else, I saw a comment that caught my eye. Someone was saying that this behavior was typical of rescues, that they have tried adopting through a rescue before but they asked too many personal questions, like their past pet history. A rescue…adopting out dogs that humans have already failed at least once…asking about the care you provided your previous pets…gasp! Craziness! 

Bootsie, LHR's first Jacksonville adoptable!
Bootsie, LHR’s first Jacksonville adoptable!

I don’t get people who are argumentative just to be mean. People who look for the bad, negative things in all situations. I am not saying don’t be opinionated. It’s ok to be passionate, to be an advocate for whatever you believe in. But why do we treat each other like this? Especially in the rescue business, shouldn’t we be working together? People are often bashing rescues for taking too long to get back to them, for adoption fees being too much, for asking too many questions on an application, or even for declining an adopter. These haters don’t consider the history of the dog, the things we’ve seen, the amount of care, vetting, and love we have put into the dog.

Rosette-This is Stella's mama, and she needs a home too!
Rosette-This is Stella’s mama, and she needs a home too!

Surprisingly, there is drama within the rescue business too, meaning between rescues and within rescues. This is not including Last Hope Rescue. I can honestly say that while of course there are difference of opinions, and people getting stressed out about things, etc. There is really never any drama between the LHR board members. We work well together, we help, we reach out to each other. We have the same passion, and we do what we need to do to continue our rescue efforts. Sadly, this is not the case between other rescues. That kind of drama, whether it is within the rescue or towards people reaching out to the rescue for adoption or assistance, is what spoils people’s opinion of rescuing. As members of the rescue community, we should be putting our judgmental opinions aside, and helping the animals. THAT is what we are supposed to be doing. Helping the animals who have already been failed by someone else. We are their bridge, from hell to happiness. That might mean dealing with a clueless owner, or rude adopters, but we should remain polite and professional. Because if we aren’t, we are ultimately hurting the animals.

We should be educators. We should be helpers. We should be rescuers.

ADD MADDDIEEEE

All of the dogs pictured in this post are in need of forever homes. Please contact LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com, if you are interested in adding one of these wonderful pups to your family! 

*Disclaimer: Other than the specific pages or rescues mentioned, I am not speaking of any particular page, rescue, or person. Everything I’ve said is my own opinion, stated in my personal blog. I always welcome comments and opinions, however any negative/rude comments will be immediately removed.