Posted on: Sunday November 10
Next weekend, November 15th-17th, PetSmart will be hosting National Adoption Weekend. During this 3-day event, more than 2,000 animal welfare organizations across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico will work together to find homes for adoptable animals before winter and the holidays, and to increase awareness of the problem of pet homelessness. LDCRF will be celebrating with an additional adoption event on Saturday November 16th at the Potomac Yards PetSmart in Alexandria, VA, from 12:30-3:30 PM; and, the way we celebrate each weekend, by saving more lives!
The problem of pet homelessness can seem overwhelming. Each year, 6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters in the US, and only half of that amount will be adopted. That works out to approximately 11,000 animals euthanized each day. A 2012-2013 survey by APPA National Pet Owners revealed another part of the problem – only 20% of owned dogs and 26% of owned cats were adopted from shelters or rescue groups. When asked about reasons for not adopting in a 2011 PetSmart Charities study, pet owners most frequently said that they had doubts about shelters and rescues, were uncertain about the pet adoption process, and were looking for a particular breed or type of pet.
What is LDCRF doing to step up to the problem? We’re changing attitudes toward adoption and animal rescue, by providing people-friendly same day adoptions at several locations throughout the metro DC are
a each weekend. Adoptions always include a 2-week trial period, spay/neuter, and current vaccinations. LDCRF is also dreaming big, by always working to rescue more dogs and cats than the previous year. Since the beginning of this year, 2,532 deserving animals have found homes, which is already closing in on our 2012 year-end total of 2,580. And, we’re not stopping there. Through participation in the ASPCA Rachael Ray 100K Challenge this past summer, techniques were developed for holding special adoption events at the drop of a box, Facebook and Twitter were used more effectively to raise awareness of LDC
RF, more volunteers and fosters came on board, and many adoption processes were streamlined.
National Adoption Weekend is an opportunity to celebrate how far LDCRF has come, and also to look forward to all that we can still achieve. For every 2,500 lives that have been saved, there are 2,500 more waiting. As a volunteer-run organization, LDCRF can only continue to achieve these big dreams with the help of our amazing volunteers – from dog handlers, cat volunteers, transport drivers, adoption table workers, donors, fosters, and our many other volunteers who generously give their time, commitment, and compassion. Thank you for all that you do, and we hope to see you at one of our adoption events next weekend, helping us work toward the end of pet homelessness, one animal at a time.
Posted on: Wednesday August 7
In July, The Humane Society of the United States assisted in the rescue and removal of 95 animals after authorities discovered them living in filth and suffering from a lack of basic care in Arkansas. Once we watched the video of the rescue, hard to imagine how these dogs even survived! After being cared for at a temporary shelter in Arkansas, Lost Dog and Cat Rescue, which is an Emergency Placement Partner for the HSUS, was asked if we could help in finding homes for some of the dogs. While we aren’t able to go and rescue 95 animals at a time, we are glad to be able to help make more large scale rescues possible by finding homes for animals from these cases when we are able. We had a great weekend of adoptions, with 82 dogs and cats finding homes, and are happy to welcome 13 of these dogs into the LDCRF family.
Most of the animals we rescue come from high kill shelters, and are scheduled to be euthanized. We often don’t know their history- their stories, their previous lives-relying on them to tell us. In this case, we do know their story, and it is a reminder that there are animals out there who don’t make it to the shelter, and instead live in these situations. We’re glad to be able to play a part in the rescue of these dogs, and help them find homes where they will learn what life is supposed to be like.
If you’re interested in helping these dogs and others find homes, please consider making a donation, signing up to volunteer, or join our network of foster homes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org! If you’re interested in adopting, please email email@example.com
Click here to check out the album with all thirteen of the rescued dogs on our Facebook page
Watch the news story that aired on WJLA, featuring our Medical Director and Events Coordinator Barbara Hutcherson, below.
Posted on: Sunday August 4
Between the towns of Toa Baja and Catano, just west of San Juan on the island of Puerto Rico, there is a road stop near the mouth of the river that is frequented by fishermen. It is a solitary place, with no buildings or homes nearby, and just the few passing cars to find the dogs that are abandoned there each week. In early July, a good Samaritan noticed Helena and her 6 puppies near the road, and placed them into a small enclosure with food and water. Fearing that the pups would escape the enclosure and walk onto the road, he contacted a local rescue group, Animalitos de Dios PR. Rescue volunteers arranged to pick up the dogs, and to provide much needed veterinary care, all funded by their own volunteers and donors. Knowing that the greatest chance for adoption was transport to the mainland, the rescue group contacted LDCRF, and then arranged and funded the flight to the US. For Animalitos de Dios, the day of the flight was a huge victory for them, since, through their hard work and fundraising, 7 dogs fewer would die on the streets of Puerto Rico.
But, of course, many dogs, cats, and puppies in Puerto Rico are not so lucky. Estimates of the number of stray and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico range from 100,000 to 250,000. Obstacles to overcoming the pet overpopulation problem are many: few local adoption options, only 5 local animal shelters for the entire island, lack of belief in spay and neuter of pets, difficulty enforcing animal control and cruelty, and a poor economy. Several isolated beaches and areas, such as the road stop near Toa Baja and Catano, are used as “dumping grounds” for unwanted dogs and puppies. Local rescues bring much needed food and water to these areas, and take in as many adoptable dogs as possible. While spay and neuter is the only solution to the overpopulation problem, transport to the mainland currently provides the only hope for saving lives.
While most of our animals come from the southern and eastern US, LDCRF helps where the need is great. Some rescues, such as those in Puerto Rico, provide veterinary care and shots for their puppies before arriving at LDCRF. Funding from the $100K Challenge would go a long way to providing more medical care for all of our dogs and cats, and would allow LDCRF to continue to save puppies like Delgado and his siblings.
Perhaps momma Helena knows how slim her chances of survival were, but her pups, who are Facebook fans helped to name – Delgado, Rodriquez, Sierra, Gonzalez, Molina, and Clemente – only know the joy of running in the grass, and taking part in the puppy kissy booth at Lost Dog’s first August 5K last Friday night. As the $100K Challenge comes to a close this month, let’s keep working together to save lives that have just begun.
Posted on: Monday July 22
The results are in for the first month of the ASPCA $100K Challenge, and the news is great! LDCRF increased our adoptions by 120%, finding homes for 176 more dogs and cats than we did in June 2012! And there’s more – we are currently in 2nd place in our division, with only 16 adoptions separating us from the leader, and in 1st place in our division for improvement! This was only possible through the tireless work and commitment of our volunteers, fosters, donors, and adopters, and we thank you all for your amazing efforts!
For those new to LDCRF and for those of us who need a refresher, the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a nationwide competition that provides an incentive for the 49 participating shelters and rescues to get creative and think outside the box, coming up with new techniques and strategies to adopt out more animals from June to August than they did over the same time last year. All participants end up winners, since these new approaches hopefully increase more than just adoptions – they will lead to improved efficiency, better teamwork, a larger base of volunteers, and more community support and awareness.
Creative, new approaches and the additional lives saved will be their own reward, but we will also have the opportunity to receive anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 in monetary awards when the contest ends on August 31st. At that time, $20,000 will be awarded for the shelter or rescue group with the highest percentage increase in adoptions in each division, with $15,000 going to the group in 2nd place. Additionally, the group in each division with the most improvement will be given $10,000. A special “$25,000 Community Engagement Award” will go to the group that shows the greatest increase in community involvement, determined by the number of volunteers, fosters, newsletter subscribers, and Facebook fans.
How do we keep adding up the number of lives saved this summer? There are many ways to help! First, let everyone know that LDCRF is the best place to adopt, with people-friendly adoptions and a 2-week trial period. Next, help get more people you know involved with LDCRF, either as weekend adoption event volunteers, fosters, donors, or walkers on our Paws in the Street events. Finally, get as many people as you can, and their friends, to like us on Facebook and share our updates! Every Facebook fan counts as we count down the dog days of summer!
To follow our progress over these final weeks of the $100K Challenge, go to http://challenge.aspcapro.org/contestants, and look for LDCRF in Division 2. While June has been a month of great success, let’s keep going and make this a summer to remember, with more dogs and cats finding the loving homes they deserve!
Posted on: Friday May 31
Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation Takes on 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge
Community Support Needed for Chance to Win $100,000 Grand Prize and Save More Lives
ARLINGTON, VA (05/31/2013) —Beginning June 1, 2013, Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCRF) will be a contestant in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. LDCRF is competing for a chance at more than $600,000 in grant funding, including a grand prize of $100,000.
The 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a nationwide competition for animal shelters (and their communities) aimed at getting more animals adopted than ever before. LDCRF’s goal is to find great homes for 1,500 homeless dogs and cats June, July and August.
“The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a great motivator for our army of volunteers, area residents and businesses to connect hundreds of the beautiful, fun, loving cats and dogs at our Rescue with the right families,” said Barbara Hutcherson, Adoptions Coordinator for LDCRF. “Working together, we will increase accessibility of rescue pets, save hundreds of animals, and enrich the lives of new adopting families. We’ll also have a shot at the $100,000 grant which will help fund the medical care for our animals awaiting adoption.”
Working toward the goal of getting more cats and dogs adopted, LDCRF will be holding additional adoption events each weekend at area pet stores and community places. Adoption events this weekend are as follows:
Friday, May 31, 2013. 6:30 PM Tysons Corner Petsmart (cats), Fairlakes Petsmart (dogs)
Saturday, June 1, 2013. 11:00 AM Virginia Commerce Bank 7115 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church
12:00 PM Seven Corners Petsmart, Sterling Petco (dogs),
1:00 PM Fairlakes Petsmart (dogs) Rockville Petsmart (dogs)
Sunday, June 2, 2013. 12:00 PM Sterling Petsmart
1:00 PM Tysons Corner Petsmart, Leesburg Petsmart (cats) Reston Petsmart (cats) Alexandria Petsmart (dogs)
Attending our events this weekend are over 40 specially featured “Graduation Day Dogs” who are hoping to be the first class of adoptees as LDCRF kicks off the contest this weekend. The adoption fee on these dogs is reduced to $200 to increase accessibility to rescue pets. All dogs are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations as well as medications.
For more information about Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, please visit www.lostdogrescue.org.
The Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit charitable corporation founded in 2001 whose primary purpose is to rescue dogs and cats from euthanasia in overcrowded shelters. Contributions are tax deductible. Follow LDCRF on twitter at @lostdogrescue,and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/ldcrf.
Posted on: Sunday May 5
Many of our dogs come from difficult situations, making their way to us only through the commitment and caring of a virtual human chain of shelter staff, veterinary personnel, and rescue volunteers. Tucker’s story is exceptional, not only because all the odds were against him, but because those who found and helped him on his small, Virgin Island community refused to give up. CLICK HERE to read about Tucker’s amazing journey from being an injured stray on St. Croix, to LDCRF…..
Donna Cascarelli, coordinator of the Love is in the Air rescueand transport program in St. Croix, came upon a heartbreaking sight in a downtown parking lot in December – a very skinny dog with a broken leg, trying but unable to keep up with 3 other dogs. After much coaxing, he was caught and brought to the vet, whose exam revealed that the dog’s leg had been broken for 3- 4 months, and was now healing incorrectly. The dog, now named Tucker, was given a temporary cast and splint, and brought to Donna’s house. However, not accustomed to living in a home, Tucker escaped that evening when Donna left for her job.
Tucker roamed for 9 days and 10 miles before he was caught again, with the cast still on. Brought back to Donna’s, he got all that he had been missing – good food and good love – and then some – the immediate friendship of Donna’s other foster dog, Hannah. Although finally learning from Hannah how to trust and be an indoor dog, Tucker remained painfully skinny. Another vet visit and x-ray revealed a disturbing diagnosis – intestinal organs shifted into his chest and collapsed lungs as a result of the past accident, with very high risk, and expensive surgery his only chance of survival. “Given the cost of the surgery and the slim chance that he would survive it – many were of the opinion he should be euthanized. However, even if his chances were only 5 percent, someone has to be that 5 percent, and that was Tucker,” Donna said. A beach bingo party at a local restaurant raised the money for the surgery, and Tucker not only survived, he thrived! One last hurdle – organizing and funding off-island air transport for both dogs – brought Tucker and Hannah to LDCRF.
But Tucker was luckier than many strays on the island. Being on an 82 square-mile island, the shelter cannot move animals to other facilities or rescues, and foster homes are virtually nonexistent. In 2012, only 668 cats and dogs were rescued or adopted out of 3,866 intakes. Additionally, economic and sociocultural issues result in many dogs running loose, owners not spaying or neutering pets, and incidents of animal neglect and cruelty.
Donna and her friend, Therese Donarski, director of the Virgin Islands Humane Learning Center (HLC), are working to turn things around by increasing the number of dogs air-lifted to the mainland, educating children on proper animal care and treatment, and continuing the alliance between the shelter andthe rescue and transport programs. More change has come in the form of a low-cost spay/neuter program, headed up by the FIX IT Foundation, who chose St. Croix to test strategies to increase demand and educate pet owners. All of these programs, including the Love is in the Air transport and rescue, operatewith assistance from donations.
Tucker’s story is incredible, but it is also the story behind manyLost dogs and cats – a seemingly hopeless situation with a life hanging in the balance, turned around by caring and determination. As a LDCRF volunteer, you become part of the next chapter – the journey home!
Posted on: Sunday April 21
25 miles west of Blacksburg, and just 4 miles from the West Virginia border, lies the town of Pearlsburg, Virginia – the starting point for the journey of 18 dogs and 6 cats to Lost Dog and Cat Rescue. Some were stray, some were owner surrenders, but all faced the possibility of not making it out of the Giles County Animal Shelter, the county-run kill shelter.
The volunteer-run Giles County Animal Rescue (GCAR), formed in 1999, has been able to drastically change the lives of the shelter animals by promoting and networking adoptable animals, working with rescues, and organizing and financing transportation. Additionally, they provide weekend help for the county shelter, without which there would be no visitation hours. Through this work, the GCAR was able to save hundreds of cats and dogs in 2012. They are greatly helped by the generosity of the local Tri-County Vet owner, Dr. Linda Richards, who boards many of the animals for free or at cost until rescue transportation can be arranged.
The dogs and cats destined for LDCRF were loaded into a cargo van, donated by Enterprise, on Friday, April 5th, and driven by GCAR volunteers to the Lost Dog & Cat Ranch in Sumerduck. Once unloaded, a treatment sheet for each animal was created, medical records were checked, medications given, and finally a collar and tag issued. Then – at last! – a chance to work off the stress of the ride in the play area, while ranch staff observed behavior and chose kennel mates.
Back in Giles County, GCAR volunteers will still be working hard to promote low-cost spay neuter programs, which, along with adoption from local shelters, they feel is the primary answer to their county’s major pet overpopulation problem. As Christine Link-Owens, president of GCAR said, “Cats are like mice, reproducing at alarming rates and treated as vermin by many. We will never stop this overflow of unwanted cats until we can change the mindset of the community here…which we are working on.”
Posted on: Sunday April 14
Imagine living your whole life in one very crowded room, rarely or never going outside or meeting other people or animals. Then imagine leaving that room, and encountering the sights, sounds, and people that you have missed. Sound scary? This is the experience that Finn, Quinn, and Santana, our remaining 3 “Glee Dogs,” have had since being removed from a hoarding situation in West Virginia in 2010. They came with their friends, Mercedes, Sunshine, Kurt, and Figgins, who have all been adopted after being in foster care.
After receiving these 10 dogs from a hoarding situation in Barbour County, WV, in 2010, LDCRF ranch staff worked with most of them, renamed the ” Glee Dogs,” for over a year. While initially too afraid to be approached or touched, several progressed enough to move to foster homes in January 2012. Fosters found that two things were key: allowing time and space for the dogs to gradually adapt, and having another dog in the home.
Fosters and ultimately adopters were able to contribute to an ongoing study by the Best Friends Animal Society and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, looking at the effects of hoarding on a dog’s mental state and behavior. Dr. Frank McMillan, who is overseeing the study, noted that when respondents were asked, “Have you ever considered your dog’s current behavior or mental capabilities to resemble any of the following human conditions?,” 53% saw behaviors that most resembled post-traumatic stress disorder.
How do you know that a dog is fearful or anxious? You might recognize it right away – she might cower or flatten herself to the ground, tuck her tail, growl, tremble, or pull back her ears. Some signs are less obvious – panting, yawning, licking lips, drooling, or raised hair on the back of the neck. Dogs can show fear for a variety of reasons – a difficult past, like the Glee dogs; limited exposure to different environments, scary experiences in a shelter or on the streets, a timid personality, or simply a reaction to recent changes.
Once you recognize that a dog is afraid, how do you handle them at an adoption event? Most importantly, gain their trust by using non-threatening body language, and handling them in a gentle yet confident manner. Do not make direct eye contact at first, or loom over or approach them directly over their head. Instead, hold the leash in a firm yet gentle way, move slowly, talk in a soft tone, and let them come to you on their own terms. Understanding their fears – whether it is loud noises, the doors at the store, children, men, or large dogs – will help you decide where they can be walked, and what you need to avoid. Learning their thresholds for these triggers – maybe they can stand in eyesight of a large dog, but not near one; maybe even the sight of a child makes them nervous – will help you provide the safest environment for them.
Dr. McMillan also found that, when adopters were asked “If you had to do it all over again, knowing what you know now, would you adopt this dog again?” — 93% answered “Yes”. This is great news for Finn, Quinn, Santana, as well as all our other fearful dogs, who are ready for a brighter future!
From left to right: Finn, Santana, and Quinn, the remaining Glee Dogs, who would love a foster home or adopter! Click on their photo to learn more about them.
Posted on: Friday March 29
They arrived in a shoebox, a whole litter of puppies only 4 days old and in need of a lot of human help. Their mother had been hit by a car and killed and they were far too young to eat on their own. Lucky for the “Box Babies,” wonderful LDCRF volunteers were at the ready. The tiny puppies were nurtured and bottle-fed around the clock and grew to be happy, healthy puppies. this weekend, They are out looking for their forever homes. Here is their story in pictures…
Posted on: Saturday March 23
Ever wonder about cat testing a dog at an adoption event? Or what it means to say a dog has “passed” a cat test? Here’s the scoop. When a potential dog adopter has a cat at home and is interested in finding out how a specific dog would react to their cat, a cat test can be done at the adoption event. Experienced dog and cat handlers will take the dog and a dog-savvy cat to a quiet aisle, where they will look for indicators of prey drive in the dog. These behaviors include aggressive movement toward the cat, excessive barking, lunging, growling, and/or extreme focus on the cat. In those cases, the dog should not be placed in a home with a cat.
However, a dog that ignores or is afraid of the cat, or shows non-aggressive and distractible interest in the cat, might be able to live with cats after a proper introduction and training. To see Freckles completely ace her cat-test, click here.
While the cat-test can give a fast read on the dog’s initial interest in and behavior around cats, the dog might behave differently at home with a cat for a variety of reasons. The dog could be distracted or overstimulated by the environment, tired at that particular time or still adjusting to recent transitions. For whatever reason, the dog may just react differently to living with a cat than meeting one briefly, so no matter how well a dog does during a cat test, adopters should use caution at home. The dog should be on a leash at the initial meeting, and interactions should be supervised and gradually increased until the dog ignores the cat when in the same room.