Cuddly companion Thomas has the right idea when it comes to rest and relaxation! His favorite thing to do is sleep! Whether he does so in the yard, on the patio, nestled into cushions on the couch or in his beloved dog bed. This smart guy knows that when he is soaking up the sun and getting some shut-eye it is the perfect time for his fosters to give him a good head scratch and belly rub!
Adopt: Bonded Pair Sukie and Henry
by Jillian O'Donohoe
They may be small, but they have enough love to share with each other and with you! Bonded pair Sukie and Henry will whine if separated, but that doesn’t stop them from pushing the other out of the way to get some snuggles with their current foster Sara DelVillano.
Alumnus Update: Lincoln
by Jillian O'Donohoe
Lincoln has proven that he’s one tough pup, and he is thriving in his new forever home. Lincoln, formerly known as Paddington, arrived at City Dogs Rescue in 2013 with mange, a non-contagious skin infection that caused hair loss in patches all over his body. In addition, he spent the first six months of his life facing abuse, mistreatment and malnourishment.
Sponsor Spotlight: Amanda and Ben Mendelson Donate $2,500 to CDR as Wedding Gift to Guests
by Jillian O'Donohoe
Amanda and Ben Mendelson weren’t afraid to share the spotlight on their wedding day.
Not only did their rescue dogs Meeka and Freckles help walk them down the aisle when they tied the knot in October 2015, but they also donated $2,500 to City Dogs Rescue as a gift to their guests, rescuing 10 dogs as a result.
With their sponsorship, each of the dogs was named after a special place or thing from the time the couple spent dating. The group included Plum, Maple, Glenda, Jay, Wilson, Claire, Pierre, Ty, Aubrey and Roo. Each of the tables at their wedding reception highlighted the dogs to spread the word about CDR and let their guests know they were available to foster and adopt.
Amanda first learned about CDR in 2012 when a friend “liked” their page on Facebook. She had been interested in fostering and adopting a dog since the year prior, so she “liked” it too. A few months later, CDR posted photos of a dog named Meeka, and it was love at first sight. Amanda transported Meeka on the last leg of her journey from West Virginia, and fostered her for two weeks.
“Within a short time of having her, I came to terms with the fact that I knew I couldn’t live without her, so I made it official by becoming a foster failure. Adopting her was the best failure of my life!” Amanda said.
The following year, she and her now-husband adopted Freckles, one of the puppies from the “Halloween coonhound litter.” Since 2012, Amanda has volunteered with CDR by conducting home visits, supporting lost dog searches, handling dogs at adoption events and more.
Because CDR had become such an important part of their lives, Amanda and Ben wanted to share that with their family and friends on their wedding day.
“CDR brought us Meeka and Freckles, and by doing so, created an infinite amount of joy and enhanced sense of love and family in our lives,” Amanda said. “As active members in the CDR community, we know how hard CDR volunteers work to make a difference in the lives of the animals they rescue and the impact they've had throughout the community. On top of having a special meaning to us, we knew our donations would be used in a productive and thoughtful way.”
In addition to Amanda and Ben’s personal donation, the couple set up their gift registry to receive donations from their guests. This resulted in $500 more in donations that were put towards the rescue of CeCe and last minute funding for other dogs that needed immediate rescue.
“Our mission was simple: to educate our guests about the importance of rescue work, and how CDR accomplishes it with an innovative, compassionate approach,” Amanda said. “If people ended up donating, learning more about it, volunteering, or becoming involved in some other way with rescue work, that would be an added bonus. We're happy to report that since our wedding some of our guests have donated to CDR, as well as started volunteering for their local rescue groups.”
Amanda and Ben now look forward to their life together and continuing the work they do with CDR, a cause that will always be close to their hearts.
“CDR sheds a bright light on the impact a small group of people can have when they set out to accomplish an achievable goal,” Amanda said. “Not only does CDR have a tangible impact on saving lives, it demonstrates an important perspective, which is the power of what can happen when a community bands together to work towards a common mission.”
Adopt: Bonded Pair Pandora & Prime
By Alyssa Schor
They’ll entertain you – and each other.
Pandora and Prime will chase each other around and take turns hiding and popping out from under the bed, said Helen Bodron, the dogs’ most recent foster.
“They bring out the silly side in each other,” Helen said. “These two – they’re guaranteed to entertain you. Every day they make me laugh with their antics.”
The pair of pit bulls arrived to City Dogs Rescue from Smyth County, Va. in early January 2015, after the owners had to surrender because they could no longer afford to keep the dogs. Many wonderful people stepped up to foster this duo, including Megan Blevins in Smyth County before they came to DC. Mary Clare Gumbleton and Jaime Gracia have hosted them twice, and Julie Tankersley has also cared for them twice now while their foster families have had travel plans.
Helen, the dogs’ current “long-term foster” previously had a brother and sister dog in her home for 15 years and has been an amazing foster to these siblings.
“I’m a big fan of having two dogs that are companions for each other,” she said.
Pandora and Prime adjusted to their new environment very well and quickly, Helen said. They came from “good, loving homes”; they’re completely housebroken, well trained, obedient and adaptable to their surroundings.
“They’ve never been mistreated, and it shows in their demeanors,” Helen said. “They’re truly happy and fun-loving. They’re just brimming with personality.”
The dogs are very active. They enjoy going for long walks, running around and playing with each other in the yard.
“If you love fast walks, they’re a great personal trainer that way,” Helen said.
But for as “rambunctious” as they can be, Helen said once Pandora and Prime are told to settle down, they become very calm. They love to snuggle – sometimes when they’re sleeping, Prime will put an arm or paw around Pandora.
“They’re so loving and sweet,” Helen said.
Because they’re a bonded pair, Helen said people can be intimidated by the idea of adopting two dogs at once – but shouldn’t be. From experience, she said having two dogs that are already companions can be easier than having one dog.
“The responsibilities are the same,” Helen said. “You can easily do that with two as you can with one. Having two doesn’t take any more time out of your day.”
With Pandora and Prime, it’s also easier to keep them entertained, she said, because they spend so much time with each other – and in a way, that takes some burden off the owner.
“They can entertain each other in ways that the owner never can,” she said.
Helen said people are also hesitant to adopt pit bulls because they think the dogs will need strict discipline – but not Pandora and Prime.
“They’re not high maintenance dogs,” Helen said. “These dogs don’t need a real disciplinarian.”
The ideal owner, Helen said, would be calm when giving any discipline. The ideal owner would also be an active person with a big, fenced-in yard.
But no matter who they’re with, Pandora and Prime will display lots of fun and affection.
“They’re so deserving of a loving home because they give so much love,” Helen said. “Once they adjust, I can’t imagine any owner who wouldn’t be pleased and thrilled to have these two dogs.”
Helen said she would be happy to speak about her experiences with any potential adopter who contacts CDR. For more information on how to adopt Pandora and Prime, visit http://www.citydogsrescuedc.org/adopt.html.
By Alyssa Schor
When animal control officers found Trinity, a stray mixed-breed dog, they couldn’t believe she was still alive.
She was taken to the Smyth County Animal Hospital in Smyth County, Va., where the vet evaluated her and gave her body condition the lowest score possible. While on stray hold, Trinity received care and began gaining weight and building more strength. But when her hold time was up in March 2015, she was to return to the shelter to be euthanized.
The vet and his staff told us about how wonderful this girl was. She used every ounce of the little energy she had to wag her tail and give soft kisses when she saw her caretakers. We decided to step in and take over her care. We couldn’t stand the thought of her being put down after all the progress she had made.
“It’s a tough call to take a dog in that poor shape,” said Hilary Kline, Trinity’s foster. “I figured she must be one incredible dog.”
While still in Virginia, the vets noticed that one of Trinity’s hind legs was badly broken and needed amputated. Many of CDR’s donors stepped up to help fund her surgery, and the amputation took place in early April.
“It was a really phenomenal thing to see how many people came together to get this dog well,” Hilary said.
On Mother’s Day, Trinity arrived to CDR and moved into Hilary’s home. She already had another dog she had previously adopted from CDR.
“I was worried that no one else would,” Hilary said about why she decided to foster Trinity. “The pictures of her were just heartbreaking.”
At first, Hilary said she had to be careful about giving Trinity food and supplements, as gaining too much weight too quickly would add stress to the dog’s body. Trinity’s skin, Hilary said, “felt like porcupine quill” – it was thin and rough. A scar from the amputation had begun to heal, but she still had gaping wounds.
After about a week in the home, Hilary said she noticed Trinity beginning to deteriorate and become more lethargic – but the vets said they couldn’t find signs of any other condition.
On Memorial Day, one of the wounds – 1.5 inches deep – opened up. For almost a week, Trinity had to be sedated each day while vets cleaned out the wound, packed it with gauze, gave her strong antibiotics and later placed a suture on top.
Despite all the procedures, Trinity kept a great spirit.
“Even with all of that, she was always a great patient,” Hilary said. “She was never aggressive. I never saw her act out with everything she’s been through.”
One night in May, Laura McCutcheon’s 14-year-old daughter, Brynn, was researching adoptable dogs online. Brynn loves animals and wants to be a vet. She’d been asking the rest of the family for a while to adopt a dog or cat.
“We’re total dog people,” Laura said.
When Brynn saw a picture of Trinity, she knew that dog was the one.
“I was interested in one that might have trouble finding a home,” Brynn said.
Brynn and her dad sat down and filled out the adoption application that night.
“I was very hopeful that we would get to meet her, and we’re lucky we got to,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but she’s so happy. It was like love at first sight.”
When the McCutcheons first met Trinity in early June, Brynn said the dog greeted them at the door with a big smile. Trinity was making significant improvements with all the care she’d been receiving. The amputation was already complete, her hair was growing again and she had gained most of her weight back.
“By the time we met her, we couldn’t believe it was the same dog,” Laura said.
The McCutcheons officially welcomed Trinity into their home on June 20, making her the 1,500th dog adopted from City Dogs Rescue.
“It really feels meant to be,” Laura said. “We didn't even know about CDR prior to finding Trinnie through an Internet search. We were amazed at the lengths this amazing organization took to help our sweet girl on her road to recovery. She has such a gentle but fighting spirit, so she deserves to be recognized as the 1,500th adoption!
Trinity joined the other family dog, Charlie, who had already been in the home almost 10 years. Brynn said the two dogs get along well.
The family is still helping Trinity build strength in her back leg. Laura said they still have to carry her up most of the staircase.
“She just has this absolute resilience,” Laura said.
But Trinity is now completely house trained, and she can chew on bones and grasp things with her paw – something Laura said she hasn’t been able to do for a long time.
“It’s incredible how much she adapted,” Laura said.
Both Laura and Brynn agree that because of everything she went through, Trinity is truly grateful to now live in a loving home.
“You can just tell she appreciates being here and having a place to sleep and food to eat,” Brynn said. “She really does appreciate everything in her life because of the experience she had.”
Trinity is great with kids and loves when people come up and talk to her during walks. She loves to lie in bed and cuddle with people.
“She’s just been such a blessing,” Brynn said. “She’s been amazing to have around. It’s been totally life-changing.”
By Alyssa Schor
Sugar has one purpose in life: “to love her human.”
“She can't fight off any burglars, or pull you from a burning house, or call for help if you fall down a well,” said Nico Pandi, who’s been fostering the Chihuahua since February, “but she will give you her full and unconditional love beyond any other dog.”
She’s happiest when sleeping on someone’s lap while a person reads a book or uses the computer. If someone goes outside, rides in a car or naps on the couch, Sugar wants to join.
“If you get up and leave the room, she will follow close behind to ensure a moment doesn't go by that she's not with you,” Nico said.
Sugar was first rescued from Smyth County, Va. in November 2014. Nico was originally supposed to foster another dog, but that dog got sick shortly before the transport. He was happy to foster Sugar instead.
Nico’s had other foster dogs. He describes his experience with Sugar as “fantastamazing.”
“There isn't a word in the English language that fully encapsulates the experience of fostering Sugar,” he said.
In December, Sugar was adopted. But it didn’t work out with the children in the family, so she was returned a couple months later.
“She doesn't like a lot of action, so hyper or overly-playful dogs or small children will disturb her,” Nico said.
Sugar enjoys peanut butter, walks, belly scratches and being cute. Nico said he likes how she stands up on her hind legs when she wants to be picked up, and how she rolls onto her back when she wants a tummy rub.
What really stands out about Sugar, Nico said, is how she sticks her “silly” tongue out the side of her mouth.
“People who meet her for the first time can't help but laugh when they see it,” Nico said. “Even though I've had her for months and see it on a daily basis, I still smile when I look at her while she is sleeping and see the tongue sticking out.”
In addition to taking Sugar to numerous CDR adoption events, Nico also tries to bring her outdoors, or to anywhere he goes that might be pet-friendly.
“I put her little pink 'adopt me' bandana on and bring a small stack of CDR business cards to hand out to people who mentioned how cute she is - and there inevitably are a bunch of those,” he said.
Nico also reaches out to his friends and colleagues, hoping he will hear of someone interested in adopting a dog.
“Even if they don't want Sugar specifically, I am happy to introduce CDR to them with the hope that another dog can be rescued,” he said.
Alexis Segal was a temporary foster for Sugar during the second week of June 2015. She said once Sugar got to know her, the dog became very relaxed and behaved well in her presence.
“She is shy at first and loves her person,” Alexis said, “but once you're it, she is the ultimate companion - and her little fun and spunky personality comes out.”
For more information on how to adopt Sugar, including how to apply for adoption, visit http://www.citydogsrescuedc.org/adopt.html.
1. Safety at home: If you take your dog to a picnic, be sure to bring him or her home before you go to the fireworks. Check gates, doors, fences and other areas that a dog could escape to make sure that everything is secure, especially if you are having company or a party. Inspect your dog’s collar, leash and harness to make sure they are fitted properly, strong and secure.
2. Safety while out: Lots of strangers are out on the Fourth of July, so be aware of your surroundings if you take your dog to a new neighborhood. Keep a tight grip on your dog’s leash! This sounds like a no-brainer, but it's so easy to slip up. A minor distraction when you are out with your dog, like a small noise or something blowing in the wind, could startle your dog and cause him or her to bolt. When walking your dog, hold the leash securely by putting your hand through the loop and wrapping some of the length around your wrist to prevent dropping it.
3. Activity helps: Get your dog plenty of exercise before a party or fireworks start. Take your dog for a long walk or romp in the dog park before your company comes over, or before your community fireworks are slated for the evening. Tire your dogs out so they will not have to go to the bathroom while you're out at the fireworks. A hike is a good option for the Fourth because the trail may be less crowded than your neighborhood. This will also make them more likely to fall asleep rather than bark through the fireworks.
4. Calm in the crate: If your dog likes his or her crate, then put it in a quiet, relaxing place. Fill it with toys and treats; soothing music could help too. If your dog does not yet use a crate, today is not the day to begin crate training!
5. Chewing as distraction: Give your dog a special toy to play with at night. If your dog doesn't like toys, consider buying a nice bone for him or her to chew on while home alone. Chewing helps naturally calm your dog's nerves.
6. Stay hydrated: Keep your dog hydrated. Dehydration during the fireworks will amplify the anxiety they are feeling.
7. Keeping calm: Close windows, doors and curtains so your dog is less distracted by passersby and fireworks. This will also muffle extra noise. Set up a comfortable spot in a quiet room or crate - if you have company coming and going your dog may easily slip out. Shut the windows, turn on the air conditioning and some background noise before leaving for fireworks. If a Thunder shirt, Rescue Remedy or other medication works during a storm, you may need to suit your pet up or medicate them prior to the rockets' red glare.
8. Keeping tabs on your dog: Dogs can easily slip out of fenced yards. Double check that your dog is wearing his or her tags and collar, and make sure the dog is microchipped and that the microchip is up to date. Your dog should have the collar on at all times, especially if you going to bring him or her along for any festivities.
9. Have a plan: If you are out and about, make sure your family has a plan for the dog if he gets nervous around loud noises. Everyone should be aware of where the dog should be and for how long. This avoids a situation where someone accidentally lets the dog out in the yard after dusk.
The best prevention is to leave your dog at home, since crowds, explosions and everything else associated with the parades and fireworks on the Fourth is often too much for dogs.
Should your dog get out, immediately contact CDR (202) 567-7364. It doesn't matter if you are fostering, you’ve recently adopted or you've had your pup a long time. If he or she gets loose, call for help immediately!
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
By Alyssa Schor
Stella weighed only 2.9 lbs when she was rescued from Smyth County, Va. in early January 2015. The 8-year-old teacup Chihuahua needed many of her teeth and several lumps removed. She had a massive flea infestation. Much of her hair was gone, and she carried a bad odor, too.
But when Michelle Nottingham, a friend of City Dogs Rescue’s fundraising events coordinator John Benedetto, first saw a photo of the dog online, she knew she wanted to meet her. After having Stella in her home for a week at the end of January, Michelle decided to adopt her.
“I just knew I was gonna keep her,” Michelle said. “She just clung to me ever since I got her. She loves me.”
Unfortunately, Stella faced more medical problems. She had a heart murmur, and she would occasionally collapse from lack of oxygen to the brain. Michelle brought Stella to a cardiologist, who ran several tests on the dog - as it turned out, she actually had bronchitis.
Michelle said Stella also was not receiving enough quality food, which may have contributed to the hair loss and odor.
“You could feel every bone on her body, and that was from having no muscle,” Michelle said.
Stella now weighs 4 lbs. Most of her hair has grown back on its own; the odor is gone. Her coughing from the bronchitis has stopped, and the collapses are far less frequent, thanks to all her medications.
Her teeth are still a work in progress, Michelle said. Stella can only eat soft treats and dog foods, as she only has three teeth – all on one side of her mouth. One of those teeth is infected.
Next month, Michelle will take Stella to see a specialist. The dog’s teeth cannot be removed unless grafts are put in, which are fillers needed inside the mouth to keep the jaw in place.
Although Stella still needs help fixing some of her medical issues, Michelle said her dog has come a long way in the few months she’s had her.
“She’s in tip-top shape,” Michelle said. “It’s amazing what she looks like compared to what she did.”
When adopted, Stella joined another dog, Vivian, in Michelle’s home. Michelle said the two dogs get along very well and keep each other company – Vivian has even taught her “little sister” to be a real city dog.
“She acclimated really well,” Michelle said of Stella.
Michelle said her favorite thing about Stella is her affection. Stella sleeps with Michelle and often sits on her chest when she’s lying down – traits of a true Chihuahua.
“She has to be near me, sit on me all the time,” Michelle said.
Stella loves to wag her tail, run in the grass and travel. Michelle said Stella loves to give her kisses.
“She’s such a good girl,” Michelle said. “I just can’t believe her transformation.”
by Meredith Raimondi (CDR Director)
"No group has more fun for a great cause." That was what Angela Oakley always said about City Dogs Rescue. The truth is that no one has more fun because we had Angela and she lit a spark in everyone she crossed paths with in her life.
We sadly learned that Angela (age 44) passed away last night after a courageous fight against breast cancer.
It is impossible to summarize the impact of Angela Oakley on City Dogs Rescue. To begin, it's important to know that Angela was there no matter what. Angela was there for the dogs and the people.
Angela started as a volunteer dog walker on March 24, 2012 after she saw a Facebook post from her friend Matt Tosiello. She was the first person to ever sign up for CDR's just-launched dog walking program and after her first walk, she signed up to help every free Saturday she had available through the remainder of the summer. If it was a Saturday morning in Dupont, you could expect to spot Angela in her Blue NC Tarheel T-shirt walking a City Dog.
Once diagnosed with cancer just a year ago, Angela never stopped volunteering for CDR. From the start, she was always one of the first to raise her hand to help (especially for the less glamorous sides of dog rescue like looking for a lost dog at 11:00 PM on a weekday or picking up a dog in the middle of Maryland at 1:00 AM). I can't begin to think of how many times Angela opened her car door to a dog in need of a ride and said, "Hop in!" In her first summer as a volunteer, Angela was joined by CDR co-founders Dave and Darren on a transport with dogs from Bladen County, NC. It was the first of countless road trips near or far that Angela made for rescue dogs.
Everyone knew Angela in the City Dogs Rescue family. Countless volunteers and adopters remember her as the first smiling face that welcomed them to our community. Angela served tirelessly in her role as Adoption Events Coordinator oftentimes transporting dogs without fosters who needed exposure most and braving hot summer days or freezing cold weather. Amanda Schwartz, a fellow CDR volunteer, said that everyone saw Angela as a friend because "Angela is the best of CDR". This could not be more true. No person or dog ever felt unwanted in Angela's presence.
Angela was one of CDR's biggest cheerleaders. She probably bought more shirts from CDRKid Ethan Katz's fundraiser than anyone else so that she could share her love of dog rescue with her friends and family.
Here are some Angela-isms from her Facebook page:
On City Dogs Rescue:
Here are some of the countless dogs that Angela walked or drove for CDR:
Angela always had the best descriptions of the dogs she met and made light of their goofier qualities as well:
When asked about her favorite dog, Angela said every time she met a dog she would think, "This is my favorite dog, but they’re all my favorite." Angela never picked favorites among people or animals, but it's no secret that to all of us at CDR, Angela was everyone's favorite.
To all of us at CDR, Angela was everyone's favorite.
Angela is survived by her mom Joyce and her brother Lee. She will be forever missed by everyone lucky enough to know her. CDR will be #TeamAngelaForever.
City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.