Monday, January 31, 2011

"Discarded" in Sacramento

Sacramento 1/31/2011- 

"I gotta see them folks that’s gone out on the road. I got a feelin' I got to see them. ... their own sperit is downcast an’ sad?" The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

Amá,  Navajo - translation, "mother"

SacPaws blogger Kari Bluff's story about her chance encounter one morning last week with an abandoned dog "Discarded" has now touched a chord with animal communities on two coasts.

"Discarded" - photo by Kari Bluff

The photos caught our attention at For Paws and with the aid of some dedicated people at the Sacramento Bee this "Discarded"dog was found Sunday, she's at the Sacramento City Animal  Shelter

Shelter Director Penny Cistaro said Monday that the "Discarded" pit is badly underweight. "She's just skin and bones but eating and appears to have recently given birth."

Cistaro, estimates she's three to four years old and while she's not socialized, the director added, "She is not aggressive and accepts food from our hands, but she will not ask for anything." For that reason, Cistaro explained, the abandoned dog needs expert rehabilitation and she wants the public to know the abandoned dog will not be offered for general adoption.

After Tuesday when she will be evaluated Cistaro has agreed to release her to a qualified rescue organization willing to provide the necessary care and rehabilitation this dog needs. 

CHAKO, Sacramento based pit bull advocates have generously offered to "pull" this girl from the shelter on behalf of a responsible 501(c)3 rescue that would be able to provide care, rehabilitation and a secure rehoming for her. This is her break, she likely hasn't had many but it will take a community to make it happen. To that end For Paws Hospice, Tampa Bay will sponsor relocation and any necessary veterinary costs.

Please contact For Paws at 727.639.9285 or by email: 
if your organization can assist.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Discarded" pit Sacramento follow up

The compelling photos of an abandoned female pit bull and some old furniture posted by SapPaws blogger How I See Life prompted some concerned emails through our network.

By Sunday a fellow blogger produced this image from Google maps which bears a strong similarity to the location where the pit was apparently last seen Thursday.

If you look closely at both this screen shot from Google and the photos from the author here we think there is a good chance they are the same location, the 3600 block of Winters Street.

If anyone has seen the dog or knows where it may have been taken please let us know and we will try to intervene. We have some volunteers in the community that will assist in locating the dog, making sure it gets to a vet and then fostered. Thanks, Taxi

Friday, January 28, 2011

Game changer, walk the dog - we dare ya

We’re not huge sports fans here at For Paws but we do enjoy a reason to get out and exercise now and then by walking the dogs so when Subaru contacted us about their Game Day Dog Walk Event, well, need we say more.

Subaru won’t be watching Super Bowl and they say they won’t be advertising on it either; instead they want all the dog people out there to take a break from the tube and the hype and do something healthy for a change and walk the dog.

Taking your dog for a walk during Super Bowl might seem un American but we look at it this way, you’ll lose a pound or two, your dog won’t mind - he’s probably down on the leagues anyway over that Vick thing - so what the heck, a little walking, a little fresh air and besides the game will still be there, it’ll be there for hours and hours and hours.

So go to Subaru and take the pledge to join in the Game Day Dog Walk Event, your dog will love it, we’re pretty sure you could use it and you just might start a new tradition all painted up in your team colors (you’re so cute) and doing some real Tail Gaiting for a change.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vets provide free dog heart check

The Mobile Dog Heart Health Unit to Provide Free Heart Screenings at Dreher Dog Park on January 29
To learn when the tour will be coming to a city near you go to the Tour Schedule here: 
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan. 27, 2011 -- The Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour is heading to West Palm Beach for an afternoon of free heart health examinations at Dreher Dog Park. From 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, certified veterinary cardiologists will perform on-site heart screenings in a soundproof medical unit, as well as educate owners about canine heart disease.
Since early 2009, veterinarians on the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour have checked the hearts of more than 5,000 dogs around the country and found a previously undetected heart murmur in approximately 20 percent of them. In addition to providing free heart health exams, veterinarians teach dog owners about heart disease – a common ailment that is about as prevalent in dogs as it is in humans.
About 11 percent of the nearly 75 million dogs in the United States have heart disease, and that figure increases to as many as 60 percent among aged dogs and certain predisposed breeds. Yet, a national survey shows that more than half of dog owners are unaware that their dogs may be at risk of heart failure.
"Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease can significantly prolong and improve the quality of a dog's life," said Tacy Rupp, a West Palm Beach area veterinary cardiologist with the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour. "We look forward to educating local dog owners about heart disease in dogs and the treatment options. By emphasizing the importance of annual veterinary examinations and early diagnosis of heart disease, we hope to help more dogs live longer and better lives."
Veterinary specialists will provide free dog heart screenings from 1 to 5 p.m. on January 29 at Dreher Dog Park, 1100 Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach. Certified veterinary cardiologists on the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour use a stethoscope to listen for heart murmurs and other irregular sounds, as well as generally assess whether or not the dogs show any signs of heart disease.
Veterinarians will also educate dog owners about the most common symptoms of heart disease: reduced willingness to walk or exercise, difficulty breathing, coughing, loss of appetite and weight loss. Dog owners can learn more at
About Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs
The Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour is designed to educate people about congestive heart failure (CHF) in dogs.
While there is no cure for CHF, clinical study results have shown that dogs with the condition live nearly twice as long and enjoy a higher quality of life when diagnosed and treated during the early stages of heart failure.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

First woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2011 -- Profile America -- The nation's first woman doctor received her M.D. on this date in 1849 -- as the result of a joke. Elizabeth Blackwell had applied to many medical schools but was rejected because of her gender.

The faculty at Geneva Medical College in New York decided to let the students vote on her application, sure it wouldn't go through. But as a gag, the students voted "yes."

Following her graduation, Dr. Blackwell moved to New York City but found it hard to get a job at established hospitals and clinics. Dr. Blackwell opened her own dispensary in 1854, which three years later had grown to become the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. Later, the institution opened its own medical college for women. The New York Downtown Hospital as it is now known is the only hospital in downtown Manhattan.

Today, there are 877,000 doctors in the U.S. -- nearly one-third of them women.

In 2007 for the first time in history - female veterinarians outnumber men, according to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA).

You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at

Friday, January 21, 2011

A tale of two city dogs

Tampa Bay

When you’re wounded and alone nothing lifts the heart more than finding a friend to lean on.

Charlie will be moving to Sacramento
Two dogs from opposite sides of the country and from very different backgrounds share their stories: one abandoned the other cared for and both in need of help. This is a story of two dogs and the special families they’ve adopted.

Charlie is a happy two year old American bulldog with a family and a good home and a special friend, his two and a half year old human baby brother. Charlie’s owner Morgan says the two are inseparable, which gives her comfort when her husband is away. Charlie’s dad is a sergeant in the army.

When Charlie’s dad recently returned from a tour of duty in the middle east the family made a painful discovery, Charlie is heartworm positive.

Treating heartworm is easier now than just a few years back but can be expensive. For a young family with a new baby, living off base and separated by war, the cost of treatment, $2000 or more, may as well be a million.



Pearl was running, or at least trying to run. She was lost, scared and her back leg ached from the effort. It had hurt for a long time.

Pearl on the porch at her new home
She tried to hide from strangers or when a car approached but time was running out for Pearl and her hunger drove her to take chances. Hunger and the pain in her leg numbed Pearl’s senses and when Eleanor and Sophie found her she no longer had the will to run.

Pearl’s rescuers took her to a clinic where the doctor examined her broken leg. The break had occurred some time back but had not been treated and now showed signs of painful healing, splintered and twisted, Pearl’s leg needed surgery and quickly but surgery would also be expensive.

Eleanor and Sophie posted a lost and found and to their surprise an owner came forward. When it was explained that Pearl desperately needed medical attention the owner refused, abandoning Pearl.


The city tale

As it sometimes happens when reporting a story, separate story lines merge into something larger than the original. The stories of Charlie and Pearl now take on a new significance as both dogs adapt to their new lives in Sacramento.

Charlie’s dad after returning to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa is preparing to move his family to their new posting at Beale AFB in California. They are trying to support Charlie and care for Charlie even as they ready themselves for the move, Charlie’s treatment which can be a protracted process over several weeks will have to wait and the cost still poses a problem.

Eleanor and her husband have decided to adopt Pearl. Eleanor is a part time park ranger and their family budget doesn’t include the necessary funds for Pearl’s surgery.

Both families began searching the internet for help and found For Paws Hospice, a non profit organization working to help families like Charlie’s and Pearl's remain together.

For Paws relies on communities like Tampa Bay and Sacramento, close knit communities that support the human animal bond, welcoming new families and offering help to those who open their homes and hearts to those in trouble.

If you would like to help either Pearl or Charlie, now would be a good time. Charlie and his family are moving to the Sacramento area in February and Pearl needs her surgery as soon as possible.

You can learn more about Charlie and Pearl at

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Veterinary inspiration awards mark Orlando VetCon

Orlando, FL, Jan. 19, 2011-- Heska Corporation this week hosted an awards event at the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) in Orlando, Florida, to introduce the winners of the 2010 Inspiration in Action Contest and to announce the company's ongoing commitment to providing a forum that encourages creative thought and innovation among veterinary professionals.
At the conference, Heska introduced Dr. Lori Kogan, Director and Founder of Pets Forever and Dr. Cathy King, Executive Director and Founder of World Vets. The directors of these winning organizations outlined their organizations' mission and how they plan to use the prize money from the contest.
"Heska has adopted 'Inspiration in Action' as the theme for our ongoing philanthropy and community outreach," said Michael J. McGinley, Heska's President and Chief Operating Officer.  "We've committed to make the national Inspiration in Action Contest an annual event and again, this year, we will award a $25,000 grand prize and a $5,000 cash prize to the runner-up."
He added that Heska will also host a Virtual Inspiration Wall at, where anyone can share their ideas, ask questions, follow 2011 Inspiration in Action events and connect to a community of like-minded individuals devoted to supporting the human-animal bond. Heska hopes this online resource will serve to inspire action on behalf of veterinary professionals everywhere.

Monday, January 10, 2011

American Humane, Front Porch Project

DENVERJan. 10, 201-- 

American Humane, the country's oldest charity serving children and animals, today announced a partnership with Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. Selected communities across the state will begin implementing the Front Porch Project®, American Humane Association's research-supported, community-based initiative to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Over four days in April and May, American Humane Association will train professionals and other community members selected by Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance on how to locally deliver the Front Porch Project's community training. As the cornerstone of the Front Porch Project, the community training equips people with the knowledge, tools and action steps necessary to intervene appropriately to help protect the safety and well-being of children and to help parents and families do the same. With the support and oversight of the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, these new trainers will use the information and techniques they learn to deliver the training to members of their local communities.
The underlying premise of the Front Porch Project is that everyone has a role in keeping children safe from abuse and neglect, while supporting and strengthening families in their communities.

Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance Executive Director Angela Liddle explains the need for such an initiative: "The Front Porch Project gives ordinary people the knowledge and confidence to make a difference. The more education and training we can provide, the better chance we have of averting a tragedy where a child suffers or dies." Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance's role will be to oversee the delivery of the Front Porch Project community training in selected communities across the state.

Each community in the U.S. has a public child welfare system that is mandated to ensure the safety, family stability and well-being of its children, including responding to allegations of child abuse and neglect. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report Child Maltreatment 2009, approximately 763,000 children were confirmed victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect in the U.S. in 2008 (the most recent data available). This data indicates that the responsibility of protecting children is too great and too important to be delegated only to public child welfare agencies. Concerned individuals, families and communities must become involved and take on the civic and personal responsibility of protecting children and supporting families in their own neighborhoods, particularly before abuse or neglect ever occurs.

Research conducted by Prevent Child Abuse America shows that a majority of Americans -- more than half of the general public and two-thirds of all parents -- are willing to become involved in helping prevent child abuse and neglect. But, they also feel they lack the knowledge and skills to intervene safely and effectively. That's what the Front Porch Project is all about -- providing the information, skills and practice that help community members grow their relationships with one another; building stronger communities; contributing to the healthy development of children; and keeping children safe.

For more information about American Humane Association's Front Porch Project, visit

About American Humane Association

Since 1877, the historic American Humane Association has been at the forefront of almost every major advancement in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society. As the nation's voice for the protection of children and animals, American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at today.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Old dogs

A friend told me of a man who knew who had cared for and loved his dog for many years and upon its death the man felt so much grief and so much loss that he vowed never to let another creature enter his life.

My friend, knowing this would only fuel the man's emptiness and despair, encouraged him to get another dog as soon as possible and reluctantly the man agreed with one provision, "I'll adopt another dog but I won't let it be my friend, we'll just be roommates," the man insisted.

A few days later my friend met the man walking his new dog down the street and was startled to notice that the dog was old and lame.

"I see you've found another companion," my friend said to the man, but how is it that this dog looks older than your last companion?"

"He is old, in fact he was the oldest, most worn out looking dog in the shelter and when I looked at him his eyes seemed to say, 'I know you're not here for me but thank you for stopping a moment or two; you remind me of my old friend who left me, I don't know why."

"In that instant," my friend said, "the man understood they had both lost something that only the other could return, a last chance. He adopted him on the spot."

If you have an older dog or if you can, adopt one, you'll have the friend for life and so will he.

  1. Show him your love and devotion and treat him with respect. After a lifetime, and so many years of unconditional love a dog is able to give, there comes a time when it is you who has to show how much you care. Even more than people, a dog can sense who loves him and cares for him, and this will instantly invigorate him.
  2. If you live in a two-story house and the dog is used to being upstairs, move him downstairs, but tending to his every need and making the environment attractive so that he doesn’t feel left out. Some of your own activities may have to be moved downstairs to keep him company.
  3. In the early stages of disease, make his environment comfortable and hazard-free to enable the use, for as long as possible, of the majority of his physical capabilities. There are special steps to help him get out of the car or get off the bed without having to take a big jump that could damage his bones and joints faster.
  4. Do not deprive him of his beloved walks and quality time outside; it keeps him active and alive. Instead, support him with an appropriate harness and help him maintain his pace and activity level for as long as possible.
  5. When he is no longer able to walk by himself, do not treat him like an invalid; instead, enable him to move as he used to. Get him a wheelchair or special cart to support his body. He won’t even notice it and will continue to be his old self for quite some time.