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.
Posted on: Friday March 1
We have some amazing news. Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation was named one of only 50 shelters and rescues in the country to compete in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. We’ll be competing by getting you, our community, involved in helping us save as many more lives as possible this June, July and August than we saved last year. And while that will be an important win in and of itself, the stakes are even higher. Working with you to save more lives can help us earn anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 in grant money from the ASPCA so that we can provide medical care to increase adoptability, advertise our adoption events to help us increase our adoption events, and to support our adoption events so that we save even more lives, long after the challenge is over!
Hundreds of shelters tried to get into this year’s $100K Challenge, and we succeeded. Now LDCRF staff, volunteers and supporters are raring to get started on a successful campaign that will attract more volunteers and supporters, and make sure everyone in the DC/VA/MD area knows that this is the best place to find a new furry family member. In short, with your help, we’re going to save more lives than we ever have before!
As we gear up for the challenge, there are ways that you can help right now.
Consider signing up to be a foster parent, now is the perfect time to see if you’re able to foster, so that when the challenge comes, you’ll be familiar with how fostering works, and can help us save more lives! Want to learn more about fostering? E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always need fosters for adult dogs, puppies, nursing mother dogs, cats, kittens and nursing mother cats.
Are you up for the Challenge? Then join us!
Posted on: Friday December 28
At LDCRF’s Lost Dog Ranch, dogs and cats dream big. Your support in 2012 helps make those dreams, and more come true in 2013. Take a look inside our ranch, learn more about Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, and consider making a donation to help us keep dreaming big throughout 2013.
Posted on: Thursday December 20
Recently, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation received a plea to help a young hound who was in a lot of trouble and out of options.
Found as a stray and taken to a West Virginia shelter, Henry had a bullet lodged in his esophagus and a hole in his mouth where the bullet had passed through. The shelter took Henry to a veterinarian who removed the bullet and sewed up the hole, but Henry needed a long term plan. His time was running out. The overcrowded shelter had no space for Henry and he was facing a cruel form of euthanasia- a gas chamber.
Henry needed someone to help. And thanks to the Griffen, Pepsi, Sprite Legacy Gift established by the Mark Levin family in 2010, Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation was able to be there for Henry and offer him a chance.
Within hours of learning about Henry last week, Lost Dog Rescue mobilized volunteers to transport Henry to us and into a 24 hour veterinary hospital with a skilled medical team who could provide the best care for his condition. It turned out not to be a moment too soon, because Henry had also contracted parvovirus- a very serious disease affecting unvaccinated dogs and puppies. Henry needed expensive around the clock care with IV fluids and close monitoring. Thanks to that wonderful care, Henry is making great strides and is eating on his own and starting to cause mischief in his cage.
At Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, we work to make dreams come true for so many dogs like Henry. They come to us sick, injured, and in pain through no fault of their own. They come to us because our mission is to rescue abandoned and unwanted animals and work to find them homes.
Our dream for Henry is that he beats Parvo, recovers from the gunshot wound, and takes up residence on a big comfy sofa, with a family that indulges his every desire. Our dream is that Henry’s next big challenge is only convincing his new family that he needs more bag larger couch, a longer walk and filet mignon for dinner. Our dream is that one day dogs like Henry will have all of the love and care they need and never face the that of euthanasia.
Click here to see a few more dogs who have benefited fromthe Griffen, Pepsi, Sprite Legacy Gift this year.
Posted on: Monday December 10
December 10, 2012
Two weeks ago, I made one of thousands of trips through the front doors of an overcrowded public animal shelter to meet some dogs and cats whose number was about to be up. On this particular day, I met a Wheaton Terrier named Abbey who had been passed between several homes in as many months, a playful orange and white tabby living in a cage in the shelter lobby, a giant terrier/ hound puppy named Major, and Rosie.
Rosie was lying still in her kennel. She didn’t jump at the gate, wag her tail, or even lift her head. She didn’t move at all when I approached, and she looked for all the world like a dog who had just given up. She looked right at me, though with one blue eye and one brown, and I knew for sure that in spite of her appearance, Rosie still had a dream.
Fortunately for Rosie, and thousands like her this year alone, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation was able to make that dream come true. Rosie walked out of a Rockville Maryland Peto with her new family just a couple of days ago and the new life she envisioned when she was scared and alone in the shelter has just begun.
LDCRF made dreams like this come true for over 2,000 dogs and cats in 2012. Thanks to your support, we began our second decade stronger than ever and more committed than ever to righting the ship for homeless and abandoned animals.
By all accounts, 2012 was a great year for LDCRF, for the amazingly dedicated volunteers, for the animals who are now lounging on comfy beds in new homes and for the families who are blessed with the love of a rescue animal.
In just one year, we watched a nightmare turn to a dream come true for a young dog named Cowboy who barely survived a life-threatening illness and bounced back to an amazing showing in the first ever “Best in Shelter” contest. We saw hundreds get a chance to live thanks to the Pepsi, Griffen, Sprint Legacy Gift- a fund established to provide a second chance for older, overlooked and special needs dogs. And, when television news correspondent Kelly O’Donnell chose Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation as her designated charity for her appearance on celebrity Jeopardy!, it was a dream come true to see our logo on national television and shine the spotlight on the plight of homeless animals in our country.
Winston, dreaming of going home.
Tomorrow, LDCRF will have the privilege of sharing our successes, our challenges and our dreams as we are featured on NBC4′s “12 Days of Giving” program. Tune in at 11 am and spread the word!
We started this organization in 2001 with big dreams. As we have grown and gained the experience and skills of a mature organization, our dreams have grown even bigger and our commitment to fulfillment is stronger than ever.
Your continued support will enable us to keep fulfilling these dreams- from the simple desires of a homeless hound searching for the love of a family, to the fulfillment of my lifelong goal of a time when no animals are killed because they have no home.
On behalf of all of the animals like Rosie in the world, thank you for your support of the mission of the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation. Thank you for helping us make so many dreams come true. Thank you for helping us dream big.
Founder, Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation
Posted on: Sunday November 25
If you’re looking to take advantage of some deals on Cyber Monday, consider helping LDCRF at the same time – here are a few ways you can help!
1.) Buying anything on Amazon.com? Make sure to click on this link, and LDCRF will benefit! Click here to go to Amazon.
2.) Buy an item off of our wishlist on Amazon to help our dogs and cats! Click here to see our wishlist
3.) Purchase items not on Amazon.com, such as Thundershirts, which help shy and anxious dogs that we have looking for homes, as they get used to new surroundings. Click here to purchase a Thundershirt for LDCRF.
4.) We are also in need of newspapers for our puppies, so please feel free to choose to let our puppies recycle those papers for you, and drop them off at our Fair Lakes, Tysons, or Rockville adoption event!
Want to find out other ways to donate? Check out our donation page here.