Meet Howie, an endearing and unique character looking for his forever home. He’s 17 pounds, 18 months old, and was rescued from Smyth Country in VA. With his big ears, friendly eyes, and athletic nature, Howie makes the perfect partner to go on new adventures with!
At the dog park, Howie truly rules the roost, with other dogs following his lead on all the agility courses. This leader of the pack loves to play with all dogs, and his playfulness easily wins him new friends. He loves to run around outdoors, and he’s a nature lover at heart. Howie’s prowess doesn’t end at just the dog park though – he has brains in addition to brawn. Naturally intelligent and extremely bright, Howie learns new tricks very easily. In fact, he already knows how to sit, shake and high-five! He has an alert, observant disposition. Howie loves to play fetch, and he is obsessed with any and all squeaky toys. Howie can be wary of strangers sometimes, but he also warms up very easily to new people.
Howie is perfectly well-behaved on his own when his foster Mary is at work – he never chews clothes or shoes or anything he’s not supposed to! You don’t have to worry about leaving him by himself while you’re gone. He is completely house-trained, and he even considerately lets his foster mom sleep all night without waking her up! Howie loves going for car rides, though he can get a little carsick. He lets out his silly side sometimes when he mimics sirens that are passing by.
With beautiful black hair that doesn’t shed at all, Howie is perfect for those looking for a hypoallergenic or non-shedding pet. Fit as a fiddle, Howie’s an energetic and active dog, though he can also be very calm and laidback. Howie is amazing with children and loves playing with all kids, and kids in turn take to him easily also. He is a big-time cuddler, and one of his favorite pastimes is to snuggle with you under a mountain of blankets. Howie’s looking for his next cuddle buddy, partner-in-crime, best friend, and loving owner!
Learn more about adopting Howie here: http://www.citydogsrescuedc.org/available-dogs.html#action_0=pet&animalID_0=7522522&petIndex_0=42
Fore: Golf Has Gone to the Dogs!
Let's start by stating the obvious - our volunteers are pretty awesome. Last year, Sarah and Josh adopted a City Dogs Rescue dog and named him Wrangler (fka Axel/Travis). Since then, they've done all sorts of things to help City Dogs Rescue, such as fostering dogs and processing adoption applications. Wrangler was even part of their wedding earlier this year (well, he kind of got cold feet, but he was there in a tux and was adorable). One of the coolest things they've done to date is that Josh raised a whole bunch of money for CDR this summer by playing golf. You see, Josh is a golf pro and for the past few years he's done a fundraiser called PGA golf day where he gets to raise money for two charities (one of his choosing) and this year he decided to support CDR. He played 100 holes of golf in one day on and raised money for each hole played.
The money raised by Josh from this event has been a huge help to CDR. We are a volunteer-led organization and we rely on donations from our dedicated supporters to keep us going. In addition to funds spent on our dogs for the usual things like spay/neuter, bloodwork, vaccines, and transport, we also provide some things you may not know about, like heartworm treatment and extensive training for some of our dogs with behavioral issues. This all costs money and this fundraiser was such a huge help to us. To say thanks, we let Josh name one of our adorable adoptable dogs from Pickens, SC. He chose the name Ace for this cute guy, who has since been adopted.
Josh and Sarah have outdone themselves again because they've agreed to foster some special needs dogs coming to DC. These two senior dogs were left without a home when their owner was killed in a car accident. One of the dogs is blind and needs a consistent foster home so he can get the hang of living indoors. Even though these two dogs are not bonded, Josh and Sarah have agreed to foster both of them so their lives are disrupted as little possible.
Josh and Sarah really are aces in our book.
CDR Special Rescue: Pewitt Road Dogs
On April 22, 2014, a team of officers from the Nashville, Tennessee police department and staff from Metro Animal Care and Control executed a raid on two properties whose owner was suspected of running a massive heroin and cocaine trafficking organization, in addition to a dogfighting ring.
What they discovered was horrifying: dozens of dogs and puppies – many of them emaciated, scarred, or marked with gaping bloody wounds - tied down with heavy chains, spent syringes likely used to inject the dogs with steroids, treadmills, and other evidence of dogfighting and abuse. Yet, in spite of the abject suffering and despair, the rescue team was greeted with wagging tails and hopeful faces. “The dogs knew they were being saved,” said Becca Morris, Public Relations Coordinator for the Nashville Health Department, who was on the scene at the time. “It was beautiful watching the officers and folks from the DA’s office interact with the dogs, who were very excited to see us,” she said. “This case really changed a lot of people’s minds about judging dogs based on their past.”
Morris, who was tasked with running the off-site shelter that temporarily housed the dogs until they were placed, worked with expert behaviorists from Animal Farm Foundation to have each dog individually evaluated. “None of the dogs showed any signs of human aggression,” said Morris.
When City Dogs Rescue co-founder Gina Tomaselli - now an attorney for The Humane Society of the United States, which assisted in the raid - found out that some of the dogs were still in need of placement, she knew exactly whom to call.
“We agreed this was an important opportunity to raise awareness and show people that dogs are not defined by their past,” said Meredith Raimondi, CDR director, who coordinated with rescue partner and dog rehabilitator Pam Nalley to have Nash and Roger brought to South Carolina, where Pam would work with them until they were ready to be in placed in foster homes. "Pam Nalley has been a tremendous addition to the CDR family and we wouldn't have been able to save these dogs without her help," said Raimondi.
"They couldn't walk on a leash and froze when anyone touched them, but they showed absolutely no aggression."
“When I first picked them up back in June, they were terrified,” Pam said. “They couldn't walk on a leash and froze when anyone touched them, but they showed absolutely no aggression.” Pam’s daughter, Tiffany, and a dog trainer, Kerry Freeman, worked on building their trust over the following several months. “Roger in particular was extremely shut down. Nash had more confidence, but she was not comfortable around other dogs. However, Tiffany, who has been the dogs’ primary caretaker, gained their trust almost immediately. Little by little, Roger came around. And just last week, Nash had supervised playtime with a male dog, and showed positive interest in him. It has been beautiful to watch their transformation. These dogs are ready.”
“Ten years ago, these dogs would have been put down automatically,” Raimondi noted. “Fortunately, that is changing, and we are now seeing many former dog-fighting victims living happily as family dogs, and some have even become therapy dogs. City Dogs Rescue is excited to be a part of this change, and we are so fortunate to have a dedicated, active community of supporters that we know will help spread the word about Nash and Roger so they can find the loving homes they deserve.”
[Note: It is a common misconception that dogs rescued from dogfighting operations are too damaged to find homes, but the rescue of the dogs from Michael Vick’s operation – several of whom became therapy dogs – and the many others that followed proved this to be completely wrong. See http://www.viralnova.com/vicks-fighting-dogs/.]
Co-founders Darren Binder and Dave Liedman added, “City Dogs Rescue was formed to give dogs like Nash and Roger – dogs who otherwise might not have had a future – the second chance they deserve. They are no different from many of the other abandoned, abused, or neglected dogs we routinely rescue. We are honored to play a role in giving these dogs the opportunity to shine.”
Join the movement to help Nash and Roger!
If you would like to be a part of Nash’s and Roger’s journey, please visit their pages (Nash’s profile and Roger’s profile) and share them with your friends, family, Facebook, etc. Both of them need foster homes in Washington, DC starting on December 6 for at least two weeks. They are both currently available for adoption as well through CDR.
Adopt Gracie The Black Lab Mix
Black lab mix Gracie lives up to her name, with an endearing personality and mellow nature. She’s four years old, 65 pounds, and was rescued from a shelter in West Virginia. Despite experiencing both neglect and health obstacles in the past, Gracie has since proven what a lovable, happy-go-lucky pup she is at heart. Before arriving at City Dogs Rescue, Gracie’s elderly owner moved into a nursing home and could no longer care for her. After being given to another family, Gracie apparently didn’t get along with her new owners’ cats. As a result, she was tied up outside by herself for upwards of 14 hours a day, depriving her of physical as well as social stimulation.
After coming to CDR and her current foster home, Gracie is now visibly transformed; she’s happy and in healthy shape. Foster Kay Leech recalls that Gracie was initially overweight and stiff due to inactivity, in addition to being emotionally detached from not getting enough quality attention. Now, Kay is happy to report, Gracie loves hanging out with people, going on walks, and getting her fair share of petting time while lounging on the couch!
Thankfully, in addition to getting the love and care she needed, Gracie has also received proper medical attention through CDR’s fundraising efforts. CDR and foster Kay noticed that Gracie’s gait is a little uncoordinated and feared that she suffered from a brain tumor or other illness. Fortunately, Gracie was able to get an MRI and it revealed that her quirky stride is just another endearing part of who she is! She was born with a smaller cerebellum--the part of the brain that controls coordination--than most dogs, so her walk can be a little lopsided. Gracie also suffered from a minor skin infection and inflammation, which were resolved thanks to antibiotics. She really is a trooper and hasn’t let these hurdles get her down. Kay says that Gracie has improved dramatically since she started exercising regularly and is now alert, healthy, and fully mobile. She’ll occasionally get tripped up, but always hops right back up and keeps going unfazed--just like how she’s tackled obstacles in the past!
Gracie loves a good snack (cheese is one of her favorites) and exploring on walks, but most of all, she enjoys some good rest and relaxation time. She has a sweet, sunny disposition and is very low maintenance. She bonds quickly with people and will never refuse a good belly rub. Calm around other dogs as well as children, though not extremely playful, she’s an affectionate, gentle soul. After her tough journey before being rescued, Gracie deserves some love--not to mention snuggles--in return!
Learn more about adopting Gracie here: http://www.citydogsrescuedc.org/available-dogs.html#action_0=pet&animalID_0=7536842&petIndex_0=0
Almost four months ago, City Dogs Rescue responded to a plea to save Lobo who was at risk of euthanasia due to overcrowding in Cleveland County, NC. Usually when we rescue dogs, everything in their lives starts to look up. Well, Lobo had a few more stops on his journey that we weren’t expecting.
Lobo was an owner surrender who was dumped at the shelter by his person with no reason given. Owner surrenders are usually the first to be euthanized and as he sat in that cage, Lobo started to show symptoms of swelling on his front leg. Thankfully, once CDR rescued him, we were able to get him to the vet promptly with the help of local volunteers. The first guess diagnosis based on initial observations was a snake bite. After a few days of hospitalization, poor Lobo suffered as the swelling progressed and an abscess formed. At this time, the vet was able to determine he was bitten by a brown recluse spider.
We all know about black widow spiders being extremely poisonous but many of us were unaware that the brown recluse spider can be equally bad or worse. The next few weeks would reveal just how damaging these spiders can be. As the venom traveled through Lobo’s body it produced ulcers in various areas. These areas opened up and the skin around them began to necrotize, leaving him with large open areas along his legs and abdomen. The images were mind-numbing and we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. This was a new experience for all of us and there was a point where we wondered if the necrotizing was ever going to stop! But it did, after several weeks, and the skin started to heal. We all just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him it would get better!
During this time, we also learned that Lobo had contracted distemper from the shelter. This brave boy’s immune system was not only combating the spider bite, but now also fighting distemper. Thankfully, he never developed full-blown distemper symptoms and is now rid of that as well. For safety precautions, CDR conducted a full 4-month quarantine and he poses no risks to other animals or humans at this time.
Health battles didn’t stop there for Lobo. At times of weakness in the immune system, dogs are at the highest risk for mange. Lobo’s system was so exhausted that next he then developed demodex mange. Thankfully this is the non-contagious and completely treatable type, but we couldn’t believe this darling boy had to deal with another illness.
Through it all, Lobo remained happy and full of kisses. Four months of nothing but challenges all because his previous person dumped him at an overcrowded shelter with no prior vaccines and no concern as to what would happen to him next. His caretaker and the vets constantly remarked about his calm, gentle and happy nature throughout such uncomfortable experiences.
We have to send a very special thank you to Deb Hardin of C.A.R.E. She stepped up to foster Lobo and without her love and care, we’re not sure he would have survived. She made countless trips to the vet during the frightening spider bite time and gave Lobo all the extra care, love and support he needed to fight through all this illness and come out the happy, healthy awesome boy he is today.
We hope that Lobo’s health obstacles are behind him and that the only thing awaiting him now is a forever family!
If you are interested in meeting Lobo, please fill out an application!
Lobo is sponsored by Patricia Kennedy through her volunteer service grant from Booz Allen Hamilton.
City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.