2013 June 11, Tuesday
Ensenada, Baja Mexico to southern California
The transport by car and air took only a day, but the planning and logistics to save these lucky seven took us weeks! Some tireless true-hearted ladies in Ensenada have been working over hundreds of miles to help rescue young and small dogs in Mexico who find themselves homeless, starving, and in many cases injured from abuse and serious neglect. Mrs. Ana Villaescusa tends these innocents and works nonstop to network for their adoption to caring forever homes in the U.S. We, and many other rescue organizations in the US, receive and help network her pleas on a regular basis. This past couple of months she has pleaded for help with around 10 small dogs, many of them puppies but some pregnant females or new mothers and some adults who had been hit by or thrown from cars.
2013 May 13- June 10
San Bernardino, California to Baltimore, Maryland
Abner and Carmaline -- the names given these two by staff at the very-high-kill shelter in Devore, San Bernardino county, California, when they arrived there May 3, 2013. Both very thin and not in good health, both gorgeous Maine Coons but described by the shelter as brown tabby domestic medium-hair cats. Worse, they deemed Abner as “Rescue Only” because he didn’t seem very social. But here’s a hint as to how this great story turned out -- check out these “Before” and “After” photos of Abner!
SEE THE UPDATE below from Abner and Carmaline's new human family!
UPDATE 2013 June 5
Pepper has crossed the rainbow bridge, on June 3, 2013. Brad, the human who gave Pepper his final happy forever home, let us all know. In his words (parenthetical remarks are ours):
"Pepper passed away sometime during the night on Monday June 3. That day he had a warm bath and air-dried himself out in the sunshine on the front porch (one of his favorite places and pastimes). He seemed happy and comfortable, and he went to sleep as usual after his dinner and of course a couple hours of tap dancing around the house. (Brad always laughingly described as "tap dancing" Pepper's habit of walking around his home after eating dinner in the evenings, as if to check out all of his favorite spots before retiring in his bed near Brad's bed.) All was well and I didn't see anything unusual. When I awoke in the morning I found him in his bed. I thought he was sound asleep but actually he had died.
I am happy to report that this final weeks were far better than whatever his life had been before. He was quite a character and often brought a smile to my face. I will miss him, as he had easily made his way into my heart. But I know that he is in a good place and enjoyed his final days here. Thanks for saving him and making it possible for me to help him in his last time with us. --Brad"
Thank you, Brad, for giving Pepper the love and the home he had waited all those long years to find. From Joyce saving him from that hot desert and finding us to your asking at just the right time for an older dog that you could help, it seemed like this whole story was a meant-to-be. It's good to try to do good, isn't it?
-- from all of us at On Wings Of Care
2013 April 07
Salton Sea, California
“I may be old, and I may be deaf. I may be blind, and more than a little arthritic. But my name is Pepper, and I don’t give up on life easily. I know my good times are coming, and if I have to wait right here for life to find me, I will!”
And wait he did. By the time Pepper’s first angel found him, he was sitting all alone in an empty parking lot in the hot dry desert near the Salton Sea. He was so weak and dehydrated he could hardly lift his head let alone walk, but she could see that he was alive. She called another angel, a woman named Joyce Lindsay, who took Pepper to the VCA Valley Animal Medical Center Emergency Hospital. They kept him for a few days and did lots of diagnostic tests, including x-rays and blood work. They told Joyce that Pepper was about 15 years old and assured her that Pepper had plenty of life left in him, he was just going to have to take it a little easy in his old age!
We received the plea for help from Joyce. It came among the hundreds of others we get in any given week. But this was an easy one, because we had just recently heard from a wonderful friend and dog-lover named Brad who lives near Kings Canyon National Park in California, near the famous giant Sequoias. Brad said that now that he was finally settled in his retirement ranch, he wanted to do what he has promised himself ever since his beloved old dog “Tess” died a few years ago. He wanted to offer hospice to another old dog. We sent him a photo and the story of Pepper, and that was it -- Pepper’s dream had come true! Not only would Pepper have Brad for his devoted human, and the fabulous Bar2B ranch to live on, he would also have two very sweet female terrier canine sisters to love, whom Brad affectionately refers to as his Bees -- "Wee Bonny Bee" and "Honey Bee."
Pepper stayed with us for a little while in the Los Angeles area until we transported him up to Brad. He seemed to listen to our every word as we told him about his new life to come! A few days after he had arrived at Brad's ranch, we visited him again -- and what a new Pepper we saw! He had learned his way around the front yard and the house, and he sleeps like royalty in all the beds that Brad has made for him. Here are some of our favorite photos. We especially like to see the big smile on his face when Daddy Brad carries him along on their daily walks! Pepper -- you were right all along. Life did have something good in mind for you, after all!
2013 April 22
Devore Animal Shelter, San Bernardino County, California
UPDATE 2013 June 16 Sunday
CHAZ is with his forever family!
See the details and photo below!
“Chaz” was dropped off at Devore Animal Shelter in San Bernardino by his owners on March 12, 2013. They said they wanted him killed ("put to sleep") because they had to move to a place where they couldn’t have him. Fortunately for Chaz, the shelter staff decided that wasn’t what Chaz needed or wanted, so they decided to hold him for the required five days until they could legally release him for adoption.
The shelter called Chaz a 10-year-old neutered male red shepherd mix. Well, they were right about the neutered male part. Now, about six weeks later, he looks years younger and much healthier than he did when we pulled him from the shelter. We see some very fine “black-mouthed cur” with maybe bits of shepherd and chow in him. Most of all, we see now a strong and handsome, quiet, gentlemanly dog with a huge heart, and a dog who has let go of his heavy heart and is becoming a joyful, happy, secure canine family member.
Staff in the shelter said that Chaz had never showed any aggression toward them or other dogs and was a quiet, well-mannered dog. But each progressive day in the shelter had left him more and more visibly on edge, and he had begun showing wariness toward the male staff. By Friday March 15, the shelter labeled him “Rescue Only - Behavior observed. Available 3/17.” This was tantamount to a death-sentence -- first because it limited his options to a small number of county-authorized registered 501(c)(3) rescue organizations, and second because he would have to be pulled by Sunday or early Monday, or he would likely be euthanized by Monday night. In just five short days since entering the shelter, Chaz’s prospects for life had gone from bright to slim indeed.
That’s when we were alerted to his situation. We are a registered 501(c)(3) and are authorized to pull from these and other shelters. But we do not maintain kennels nor a wide base of fosters. We network with trusted rescuers and fosters and and successfully place several dogs per month from high-kill shelters, and we help in the transport of many additional rescued animals. Any animals for whom we take personal responsibility for more than just a few days are usually only those whose time has run out and who are facing needless euthanasia.
Although he was not one of those easily-placed cute, small “scruffies” and “fluffies”, Chaz was a winning dog to our view -- healthy, non-aggressive, quiet, well-behaved, highly intelligent. Wariness of men is not an incurable attitude and certainly does not warrant euthanasia. Chaz just needed the right people to find him.