Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best New York Animal Stories of 2011

Huffington Post did a slide show of the "Best New York Animal Stories of 2011." I don't know if best was the right choice of words for this story, more like the most talked about New York animal stories of 2011. They have everything from the Bronx Zoo escapees to the disappearance and ultimate passing of Jack the Cat. My favorite one? This video of an adorable Frenchie who danced his way into a friendship with a police horse...



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Celebrity Sunday: Christmas Edition

I have to say, I LOVE Pink. I think she is an incredibly talented singer, an amazing dancer and the passion she has for animals is wonderful. This past week she did something that I could only hope to some day be able to do, keep reading to find out what...



Pink just came through with a canine Christmas miracle -- shelling out $5,000 to pay for emergency life-saving surgery on a puppy that had been tossed in the L.A. river and left for dead. Pink was surfing the Internet recently, when she stumbled upon a story about a puppy that had been thrown off an L.A. overpass and suffered 3 broken legs when it landed in the L.A. river. The dog was in bad shape and rehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifquired major surgery FAST.



That's when P!nk sprung into action -- contacting the Ace of Hearts animal rescue organization and offering to pay for any medical expense it took to save the dog's life. $5,000 later the dog, Stella, went under the knife -- and recovered!! And it gets better -- we're told the dog has since been adopted by a loving family and will probably get a big, juicy bone for Christmas.

Source: TMZ

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays from Astrea and Ora! We're having a nice relaxing Christmas with our family. For the first time since I brought her home last year, Ora got to come back to where she started at my parents house.


Astrea with our Christmas cards


Ora, thrilled beyond belief, to spend 2 hours in the car on our way to celebrate.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm ready for my lunch!

This is the most random, hilarious thing I've seen in a long time. I would love to know the back story to this...

Friday, December 16, 2011

And now I'm the proud owner of a toothless cat...

Ok she's not totally toothless, but my hopes of clearing up Ora's stinky breath with a water add-in and a cleaning were quickly dashed this week. My poor little girl is currently hiding under my dresser, mad at the world, but soon she'll realize it was for the best.

The saga began last Saturday. When we woke up, I went to feed Ora and noticed the right side of her little face was swollen. I tried to look to see what happened, but she did not want me touching her face. So, rather than make her mad, I just kept an eye on her. Aside from the swelling everything else was fine - she ate, drank, and played like normal. Astrea was going in to the vet for a check up the next day, so I called and asked if I could bring Ora in too.

The vet immediately knew that it was a tooth causing the swelling and we decided we couldn't put her cleaning off any longer. From the looks of it she thought that the cleaning and some antibiotics would do the trick and she'd be back to normal. We discussed doing an extra dental cleaning every year just in case, but nothing seemed to out of the ordinary. Of course she gave me the "worse case scenario" which involved maybe pulling out the tooth causing the swelling, nothing too drastic though. It all sounded easy enough so we made an appointment for later in the week to come in and get it all done.

Ora and I spent the past few days playing chase and wrestle to get the antibiotics in her and then today was the big day. Poor thing, Ora never gets to go anywhere good in the car. If we're going for a ride, she knows something crappy is about to happen, either she's getting ditched at the hotel or going to the vet. She cried the whole way and then turned into a major love bug while we waited to drop her off. Because it all seemed pretty standard I expected to pick her up in the afternoon and everything would be great.

Around two the office called to let me know she was doing fine, BUT they discovered the extent of the damage to her teeth and gums was way worse than expected. Those first 5-6 months of her life in the "wild" did not do Ora any favors in the dental health department. My poor girl had so much damage that they took out not one, not two but NINE teeth today. NINE! When they started running down the list of which teeth they were removing I was beginning to wonder if she would have any left! That's a lot of teeth to lose for one little kitty, but she's a champ. She did really well, got lots of paid meds and cuddled me like she never has before when I picked her up.

So now, my stinky kitty is a toothless kitty. She's still mad at me, but in the time it took me to write this she did come out from under the dresser. I think she's still loopy from the pain meds though, she's doing some sort of odd run/dance through my living room. Maybe if I'm lucky she'll decide that even though I'm a mean lady, scratchies and belly rubs are worth sitting in my lap for tonight...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Letter to My Dog

Sometime last week I heard about this website, A Letter to My Dog. It's absolutely amazing. A Letter to My Dog is a blog and book project by photographer Robin Layton and publisher PQ Blackwell. The website includes letters from famous and unknown dog-owners who all have one thing in common: a love of their dogs. In 2012, exceptional letters and their canine recipients will be contacted to be photographed for the book, a portion of the proceeds of which will go to the Humane Society of the United States. I instantly got sucked in, and I'm sure you will too, but fair warning - it's one of those website you shouldn't read unless you're prepared to have a little cry.

It didn't take long before I decided, I had to submit a letter to Astrea. I encourage you to submit one too! On Sunday, my letter went up on the blog, and here it is again...

janu 034

Astrea,

I’ve never told anyone this, but I almost passed you up. I wasn’t sure if I was ready. I didn’t know if I had it in me. Losing Sancho after just five months was almost too much. I didn’t know if I could do it again. What if I couldn’t love another dog the way I loved him? I was heartbroken and scared, but those perfect little eyebrows told me I had to give you a chance. From the moment I met you I knew Sancho sent you to me. The way you nuzzled your face into my hair and were perfectly content in my arms, I knew you were at home with me.

I felt so guilty at first. There were still so many nights that I cried about Sancho. I was afraid you and I wouldn’t connect, but it was those nights that made me realize how perfect you were. There were those nights where you knew I just needed to cry and you were happy to cuddle with me until I was done. Other nights, I couldn’t help but laugh the way you jumped on me and licked the tears off my face. You motivated me to get up and get out. Before I knew it I couldn’t imagine my life without you.

I’ll be honest, I never saw myself as a ‘dog person.’ If someone would have told me one day I’d be getting misty eyed while writing a letter to my dog, I would have told them they were crazy. But here I am, with you curled up at my side. So what I really want to say is this – I hope you understand how much fun I have playing with you. And how thankful I am that you forgive me when I get mad. How much I appreciate your over the top welcome when I come home from work. How happy I get when you act like a puppy and sleep with your face buried in my hair. But mostly I just hope you know how much I love you.

Thank You For Loving Me Back.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mobile Monday: The Evil Vet

Both girls had to go into the vet yesterday, it's the first time I've ever taken them together. I was afraid it was going to be a huge fiasco, but it actually was fine...except that Astrea was super protective of Ora. I was actually really surprised. Astrea was fine with her own exam, but did not want anyone touching Ora. First Astrea did her best to hide Ora from everyone. When it came time for me to put Ora up on the table, Astrea started jumping on me to try and keep me from picking Ora up. Once I finally got Ora up on the table, Astrea pawed at me until the exam was over and Ora was back safely with her sister. Look at how cute they were together...



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Friday, December 09, 2011

I'm the Proud Owner of a Stinky Cat

So I have a confession. Ora is a stinky cat. She's gorgeous, but she is stinky. Not like she needs a bath kind of stinks, like she needs to brush her teeth daily kind of stinks. And it's bad. You can smell her coming a mile away. I feel bad about it, sometimes I don't want to cuddle her she smells so bad. Usually I just cover my nose and mouth with a blanket so I can avoid getting scratched and not die from her breath. I've asked the vet about it - twice. He looked at her teeth and gums, they're a little yucky but nothing so pressing that he thought it needed to be taken care of right away. His answer was, we'll bring her in for her bi-annual teeth cleaning in January and that will take care of it.



That wasn't good enough for me. What about right now? What can I do? I don't want a stinky cat! That's like having a stinky kid. Everyone knows and no one wants to say anything. I try brushing her teeth anytime she'll sit still long enough, we've yet to be successful. I've tried the minty breath treats. She doesn't want them. I've tried Greenie's treats. She knocks them on the floor for Astrea.

I've seen those ads for water add-ins. Looked like a good option, but I'm skeptical about trying a product for the first time by ordering it online. Knowing Ora, I figured one of two things would happen. Either she'd stop drinking when I added it in or it wouldn't work and I'd be out $15 or more. I was also a little concerned that because she's so sensitive it may give her a reaction. Last weekend I decided to wander through Waggers, a new pet shop and spa that opened near my house. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but then I saw Triple-Pet Plaque Off. There were a couple other options, but based on the ingredients, this one looked like the best option. For less than ten bucks, and the option to return, it was worth a try.



So what's the result? THANK YOU to the less stinky breath gods!! It took a couple days, and she isn't yet fresh of a daisy, but she smells so much better. I can't even explain how happy I am. I think the fact that we fell asleep on the couch together this morning speaks volumes. Ora is a picky girl, she prefers to drink from a glass so by letting her have a glass of water everyday just for her, she's been drinking her water and it's great. I'm hoping that in a few more days she won't smell at all. I can't guarantee that it will work for everyone, or that it will work in the long run, but right now I'm super happy and stoked!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Update on Lynn Jones - Air Cargo Worker

Apparently the reaction to Lynn Jones being fired over refusing to load a mistreated dog onto a plane at the Reno-Tahoe Airport was heard by her employer. Ms. Jones has been given the opportunity to return to her job, with back pay, but at this point she's unsure if she'll return. I don't blame her, I'd be scared too, especially after making it clear that her supervisor wanted her to ignore the dog and put him on the plane. The one question I still have is, although it's become a "teachable moment" will there be any repercussions for the supervisor who wanted Jones to put the dog on the plane and then subsequently fired her?

From ABC.com:
A Reno, Nev., airline baggage handler was offered her job back with missed pay after she was fired for refusing to load an emaciated dog onto a flight.

Lynn Jones, 56, told the Reno Gazette Journal that she was still undecided and worried about potential retaliation from other employees if she decided to return.

“I loved my job at the airport,” she said. ” … But I just couldn’t turn my back on that dog. … My supervisor said it wasn’t my concern, but animal abuse is everyone’s concern who sees it.”

Jones was fired Nov. 12 after she refused to load the sickly dog onto a flight bound for Corpus Christi, Texas.

The hunting dog’s paws were also covered with sores and bleeding, witnesses told the Reno Gazette Journal.

The dog was taken away by animal control officers and was nursed back to health before being sent to its owner in Texas.

Sally Leible, president of Airport Terminal Services, Jones’ employer, called the incident “regrettable” and said it would be used as a teachable moment for the company.

“We applaud Ms. Lynn Jones’ courage to report the unfavorable condition of the animal she encountered, and we encourage others to be as vigilant as she was,” Leible wrote in an open letter posted on the company’s website.

“We are hopeful that this valued team member will rejoin us.”

Leible said Airport Terminal Services would also make a $5,000 donation to the Nevada Humane Society.

Jones is a long-time canine lover. She has three dogs and once owned a dog-grooming business.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Air Cargo Worker Loses Job After Reporting Abused Dog

I'd like to think that all people want to do the right thing. However, no matter how much people want to do the right thing, stories like this scare people into keeping silent. It's a rough world out there and not everyone can survive losing their job by standing up for what they believe in. I commend this woman for being strong enough to do what was right, no matter the consequence. Shame on her supervisor for telling her to load a clearly abused dog on a plane when he likely wouldn't survive the trip. I hope this woman is able to find a new job quickly and those responsible for her for her firing AND returning the dog to it's abusive owner are given the proper punishment.

Also, if you're in Nevada, what gives with this law making animal abuse cases confidential? My gut feeling is that this is a business backed law that protects factory farms some how - but I just don't understand why anyone would have thought this was a good idea.

Anyway - for everyone still reading, I hope this story inspires you to stand up for what's right and for those who can't stand up for themselves.



From rgj.com: Lynn Jones was a baggage handler at Reno-Tahoe International Airport when she saw an emaciated hunting dog, its paws bloody, its body covered with sores.

The listless pointer was lying in a pet carrier in the cargo area of the airport on Nov. 15, waiting to be shipped to Texas.

"The Transportation Safety Authority officers couldn't even get the dog to stand up to be X-rayed," said Jones, who was then an employee of Airport Terminal Services, the facility's contractor.

"Everyone who saw it, the TSA people, the Airport Police officers, the girls at the ticket counter, was concerned. The dog was so weak and torn up. It didn't look like it could survive the flight."

Jones said her supervisor told her to load the dog on the plane because the animal's paperwork was in order and its condition wasn't her concern. She said she was warned she would lose her job if she kept carrying on about the dog.

"I was crying," she said. "I kept saying that dog could not be put on a plane."

The Airport Police called Washoe County Regional Animal Services, which took custody of the pointer and provided it with veterinary care. Jones said animal control officers also were appalled at the dog's condition.

Jones said she was fired from her job on the spot.

"(My supervisor) kept yelling, 'That's it, you're done, you are out of here, go home,'" Jones said. "I left."

Officials of Airport Terminal Services, which is based in St. Louis, did not return calls for comment. Jones said when she called the company after the incident, she was told she was no longer an employee because she had "abandoned" her job.

"I didn't abandon anything; I was told to leave," she said.

When Jones went to animal services last week to get a copy of the incident report, officials said the document is confidential. They also declined to provide the Reno Gazette-Journal with any information about the incident or other recent animal abuse cases because "Cooney's Law," passed this year by the Legislature, keeps cases' details secret.

"The animal control people were wonderful at the airport, and right after they took the dog, they said it was in very bad shape, but it would probably pull through," Jones said

She said shipping documents indicated that the dog was owned by a hunter in Texas who keeps it in a kennel and has it shipped to the places he hunts.

"I hope he didn't get the dog back," Jones said.

The dog was shipped back to Texas after being nursed back to health and examined by a veterinarian, airport officials said. Under Cooney's Law, officials said, they can't release the incident report or the photos of the animal, but said they were sickened by its condition.

"In all my years here, this is the first time I'm thoroughly disgusted over what I understand to be the situation this animal was put in," said Krys Bart, CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, who also is on the board of the Nevada Humane Society. "... I'm proud of (airport police) officers. They had an affirmative responsibility to deal with this, and that's what they did."

She said she is frustrated that, under the new law, she can't share the report or the photos with the public. She said she was out of town when the incident occurred but determined later that the dog had been abused prior to arriving at the airport.

Bart said Jones was not an Airport Authority employee and noted that Jones said she was fired, but the contractor said she abandoned her job.

"I'd like to know the truth," she said, "but I don't want to get in the middle of a personnel matter."

Jones said she is looking for another job.

She lives in Lockwood with three dogs, three cats and a bird, all animals she rescued throughout the years. She is a former blackjack dealer and once owned a dog grooming service. She worked as a baggage handler at the airport for about five and a half years and copies of her employee evaluations describe her as an exemplary employee, dedicated and hard-working.

She said her job loss has been a hardship, but she has no regrets.

"I loved my job at the airport," she said last week. "Getting the bags to the right flights was challenging, the work is very physical and the people were great. I wouldn't have traded that job for anything. I wouldn't have risked it for anything.

"But I just couldn't turn my back on that dog ... My supervisor said it wasn't my concern, but animal abuse is everyone's concern who sees it."

Sunday, December 04, 2011

12-Hour Rescue Effort Saves Cat...a toy cat.

When I first read this story I laughed pretty hard. Then once I was done laughing, I felt so proud of all these people. Even though the story is silly and the cat turned out to be a toy, good for all of these dedicated people who spent so much time trying to save an animal. So many people would have heard that noise and walked on by, but these people took time out of their day to save one little kitty they thought needed help.



From the Daily Post - RESCUERS spent 12 hours trying to save a “pregnant cat” from a clothes recycling bin – only to discover it was a squeaky toy.

The alarm was raised on Monday evening when a woman heard a meow sound coming from the recycling bins in Moelfre, Anglesey.With a heavily pregnant cat, Puss-Puss, missing in the village people raced down to the clothes bin to free the animal which continued to meow.But the locks had been tampered with and they were unable to free the “cat” despite trying until 11pm at night with a grinder and calling in the fire service, the RSPCA and bin operators Tyddyn Môn.

They returned to the site in Lligwy Road the next morning and put food into the bin.
With concerns for the pregnant cat growing the bin was transported 18 miles to specialist engineering firm K Owen in Llanrhyddlad.Using a steel saw engineers were eventually able to cut their way into the bin at around 2pm.

Owner Kelvin Owen said: “Once we got into the bin we heard the meow again, it sounded just like a cat and we all started to carefully search the bags. “Then I found a bag of toys and picked out a toy cat, I said ‘it couldn’t be this could it’, it wasn’t making any noise and I asked if I could cut it open to investigate. As I held it it went off, miaow, miaow, mystery solved! The lads were in stitches, it was such a laugh.”

Jasmine Hazelhurst, from Anglesey Pets – part of the Free to a Good Home Anglesey site – said: “I did feel embarrassed when they pulled out the stuffed cat. But I am also proud at the way everyone rallied around to save the ‘cat’. Local people and Tyddyn Môn did so much to save the ‘cat’ and it shows what community spirit there is. We feared finding a dead cat in the clothes bank so to find a stuffed toy was a relief.”

Puss Puss is still missing.

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