American Dog Summer 2014

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V O L U M E 7 , IS SU E 2

10 Fundraising Options to Help

37 Real Men Love Dogs!

14 Little Dogs With Big Hearts

38 Real Men Love Dogs!

15 Big Dog With A Big Heart

40 Real Men Love Dogs!

18 Freedom Ride!

41 Real Men Love Dogs!

With Vet Bills

Harley Jr and Zoie

Becket the Greatest Dane Therapy Dog You Gotta Have Hope

Robert Cabral

Micheal Radcliffe Adam Raizin

Ben Dunham

20 Dog Moms Making A Difference 42 Real Men Love Dogs! Debra Jo Chiapuzio

Josh Liddy

24 From Trash To Treasure

44 Real Men Love Dogs!

26 From Trash To Treasure

46 Real Men Love Dogs!

28 Working Like A Dog!

47 Real Men Love Dogs!

30 Dog of the Month: July

48 Summer Gift Guide 50 Famous Dogs on Facebook

Destiny The Pibble

Bronx – the Dox in a Box Chipper’s Friends

Piper the One-Eyed Painting Bulldog

32 Dog of the Month: August JoJo Crazy Legs Bean

34 Dog of the Month: September Ruger the Pit Bull - Ambassabull



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Troy Smith

Joseph Nizarri

Phil Sanfilippo

With Friends

54 Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Mash Unit 56 A Special Dog Remembered Mr. Wilson


Ro ber t Cab ral

Our Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep! Back on Track therapeutic products help hard working, hard playing dogs keep their muscles loose and supple before and after events. You will be amazed at the improvement in how your dog moves! Our Welltex fabric works naturally with your dog’s body warmth to help increase circulation and reduce inflammation. These products effectively warm up muscles before exercise, helping reduce the risk of strains or injury. And, they can help expedite the recovery from established injuries. I have used other blankets on my dogs for several years, but it was when I started using the Back on Track dog blanket that I noticed the difference. My older dog Lotus has a hip joint problem. He is very sensitive to the cold and becomes stiff easily so Back on Track has been a great help... compared to the usual dog blankets available. Stiffness that may appear after a rest period completely disappears after diligent use of Back on Track. Jenny Damm: Gold medal winner, Agility World Championships/National Championships, Cruftswinner agility, Winner of the Year Agility Dog, active national and international agility instructor.

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V O L U M E 7 , IS SU E 2

57 A Special Dog Remembered

78 A Dog Giving Back

58 Featured Non Profit

80 Dog Safety

60 Good Dog Advocacy Group

82 Explore

62 Pet Business Philanthropy

84 Working Dogs

Koko the Sock Chewer Pilots N Paws

I’m Not A Monster Acadia Antlers

64 Pet Business Profile NAPPS

66 In the Dog’s Kitchen 10 Best Fruits For Dogs

67 In the Dog’s Kitchen

10 Best Vegetables For Dogs

68 In the Dog’s Kitchen

20 of the Most Toxic and Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Marshall The Miracle Dog Preventing Dog Bites Visit A Wolf Sanctuary TN Safety Spotters “Animal Friends Teaching Children”

88 Puppy Mill Survivor

Stella, Puppy Mill Survivor

90 Happily Ever After Zoe The Therapy Dog

93 Happily Ever After Team Halo

94 Happily Ever After

Rambo, A True Miracle

73 A Dog With A Cause

96 Happily Ever After

74 A Dog On A Mission

97 Happily Ever After

76 A Dog Raising Money

98 Happily Ever After

Daniel the Beagle Dwyer

Fifty the 2-legged Pit Bull Arbor The Painting Dog

Ada m R a i z i n

J o sep h N i z a r r i

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Hope and Angels For Windsor Mercy’s Miracle

The Gertie Rose Miracle

Phil Sa n fili ppo

Michea l Radc liffe

FUNDRAISING OPTIONS TO HELP WITH VET BILLS If you’re a rescue, a shelter, or need help with your own dog!

Sometimes, you aren’t financially prepared when your pet gets sick or needs unexpected surgery, and you have to figure out a way to pay the really expensive veterinary bill to save your pet’s life.

Here are some fundraising options worth checking into that can help you raise the money.























CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Donna Marshall, Keri Prather, Merrily Tithof, Debra Jo Chiapuzio, Sherry Stinson, Becky Cason, Michelle Jansick, Jessica Stone,Beverly Gentz, Stephanie Coomer, Robert Cabral, Michael Radcliffe, Adam Raizin, Ben Dunham, Josh Liddy, Troy Smith, Joe Nizarri, Phil Sanfilippo, Sjt Lisa Mejia, Chrissy Kaczynski, Laura Jones, Jennifer Giuliano-Dahn, Imelda Suriato, Carol Plescia, Joe Dwyer, Sherry Suhosky, Kelly Michael, Bruce Henderson, Sgt Lisa Mejia, Patricia Belt, Debbie Fields, Zoe the Therapy Dog, Renee Smith, Kim Greer, Glenda ColemanMarch, Jennifer Corodimas, Mercy’s Miracle

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Keri Prather, National Mill Dog Rescue, Dogma Pet Portraits, Tyler Dog Photography, Sophia’s Grace Foundation, Michelle Jansick, Jessica Stone, Beverly Gentz, Stephanie Coomer, Robert Cabral, LaChrystal Ricke, Rita Earl Photography, Josh Liddy, Troy Smith, Joe Nizarri, Phil Sanfilippo, Elizabeth Lebueur, Chrissy Kaczynski, Jennifer Giuliano-Dahn, Pilots N Paws, I’m Not A Monster, NAPPS, Joe Dwyer, Sebastian Sparenga, Arbor the Painting Dog, Cyndi Willenbrock, Patricia Belt, Kim Greer, Diane Bykowski, Ruff Love Rescue, Jennifer Corodimas, Glenda Coleman-March, Renee Smith, Debbie Fields, Hospice of the Valley

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How to reach us: The Dog Publishing, DBA: American Dog Media American Dog Media 17011 Lincoln Ave #610 Parker, CO 80134 For advertising Inquiries: Email to: Letters to the editor/story ideas: Email to: Subscription rate is $20 per year within the United States and $50 per year for all foreign subscriptions. U.S. funds only. Subscriptions are non-refundable. Subscribe online: Subscribers: If the postal service alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within one year. Email change of address to: Postmaster: Please forward change of address to: The Dog Publishing DBA: American Dog Media 17011 Lincoln Ave #610 Parker, CO 80134 Copyright 2014

No part of this publication may be reproduced without expressed written permission of the publisher. No part may be transmitted in any form by any means, including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Publisher accepts no liability for solicited or unsolicited materials that are damaged or lost. Views expressed by editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.




Spokesdogs against Puppy Mills By Donna Marshall

Rescued from a puppy mill last August, Harley Jr and his sister, Zoie, got a second chance at life, and most importantly, they were given the chance to experience love. They spent years living in small, filthy wire cages, being used as breeding dogs, producing puppies to be sold in pet stores, and providing income for the greedy commercial dog breeding industry. But luckily for Junior and Zoie, their breeder agreed to release them to a rescue instead of killing them (a typical practice when mill dogs are no longer deemed valuable). And now, not only do Junior and Zoie have loving families of their own, but they are also ‘spokesdogs’ against puppy mills. They both have Facebook pages to help spread awareness about puppy mills.

Junior is a big brother to the mill dogs that his parents foster for National Mill Dog Rescue. He’s still a little shy, but he puts on a brave face and does his best to teach them how to be “real” dogs. He’s very kind to them and even shares his bed and toys. Besides foster-siblings, Junior shares his home with Destiny and Gomez (puppy mill survivors just like him) and Molly. Junior travels with his parents in the Denver community telling his story, and especially the story of those left behind that still need saving.

dog. She enjoys being petted and likes to follow her mom around the house. She is an excellent guard dog and loves to chase away the wild rabbits from her yard.”

Zoie’s mom had this to say about her, “Zoie is a happy, lively little dog. She enjoys going for walks and sitting by the fire. She constantly wags her tail and is very curious, but she is still very shy and is trying to trust and feel comfortable around people. She has learned so much from her fur-sibling Rico about being a

Learn more at:

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National Mill Dog Rescue is a Coloradobased non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes retired commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills. NMDR gives these dogs a new beginning and a final chance to find happiness and comfort in a loving home.

Follow Harley Jr on Facebook at:

Follow Zoie in Facebook at:



Becket has a great big heart to match the size of his Great Dane body! By Keri Prather (Becket’s mom)

Becket is a Great Dane and was born on April 1, 2011. As is the reputation of his breed, he truly is a "Gentle Giant." Becket began training at 4 months and went everywhere he was allowed, because I knew that with a dog of his size it was important that he was well behaved and socialized. People reacted so positively to him, and he seemed to love interacting with other animals and people of all ages. It was amazing to watch how he brought smiles and joy to so many. I began to think that there had to be a way we could channel his amazing spirit into something positive and truly purposeful. So I began to look into what it meant to be a therapy dog and decided on Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. Becket passed both the CGC and Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs tests with flying colors! Since then, he has earned his AKC Therapy Dog title by completing over 50 visits in just his first year! Becket regularly visits a homeless shelter, assisted living/retirement

homes, and HealthBridge Children’s Hospital. We are currently in the process of joining the therapy dog team at St. Joseph’s Hospital. If Becket can make someone laugh, stimulate the senses, or calm a heart rate for just a moment, it is a good day! He often dresses up in one of his many snazzy bow ties in hopes of letting people know that we find them important enough to impress. Becket knows when I pull out his vest that it's time to "go to work," which gets his tail wagging. Becket is also a spokesdog for the Emma Zen Foundation. He helps to bring awareness and raise money for pet oxygen masks, which are distributed to fire departments all over the country. The pet oxygen masks help pets to be rescued and they save lives since we know how important people's relationships with their pets can be. Becket will soon be working with me in my private practice as a child and family therapist, doing Animal Assisted Therapy and being an integral part of the treatment process.

During his off time Becket is a regular puppy. He loves his playtime, doing “zoomies,” taking daily walks, and chewing on his bully sticks. He likes to drink water from the sink (it is at the perfect height), snuggle while watching a favorite TV program, nap, steal an occasional toilet paper roll, and keep his 13-year-old beagle sister Sadie young. We regularly attend dog friendly events and maintain his socialization. Becket may be over 150 pounds, but that won’t stop him from trying to sit on your lap! He has no idea he’s so giant-sized, and he'll squeeze onto a chair or sit on a patient's bed (with permission of course), just like a Chihuahua. Please visit Becket on Facebook to follow his journey and get updates on his daily life, including his volunteer work.

Become a fan of Facebook at: BecketTheGreatestDaneTherapyDog

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Hope starting her freedom ride to her new home

Found as a stray and then found her forever home across the USA! By Merrily Tithof (Lady Bug the Pibble Mix’s mama)

On March 19, 2014, my daughter and I spotted a “stray” dog in the open field across the street from my home. After an hour of trying to coax her over to us, we finally were able to rescue her. We then took her to my vet and found out that she was micro-chipped. We had hoped that maybe she was just lost, however, that was not the case, because we called the family she was registered to and they said they did not want their dog anymore. So this dog was simply unwanted and had been dumped. I became the role of foster mom and would have started the search for the perfect home, when the perfect home

actually found me. Three simple words were typed to me, “I want her.” Beth, who is Snyder The Elderbull’s mom, had fallen in love with the photos posted on Facebook and my description of this sweet soul that we had found. So, from across the USA, the wheels started turning to get her from California to her new home in Pennsylvania. Beth named her Hope. I had to keep Hope for at least 14 days – a considered quarantine. Of course we fell in love with her, but the role of foster is to heal, love, and then let go. On April 4th, Hope began a new journey, a freedom ride to her forever home.

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With the assistance of the most wonderful transport rescue group, Hope would begin her journey from California and arrive in Pennsylvania. Kindred Hearts Transport Connection makes dreams come true through screened volunteer drivers. They have sent so many fur kids across the states and safely to their new homes. They also do home checks before leaving any animal at the destination! Kindred Hearts was founded by Sherry T. Mastrogiacomo. Hope’s journey was successfully and lovingly coordinated by Rusty Miller, with Peggy Cook acting as communi-


cator and helper. Volunteers from ten states were on board to drive Hope safely to her new home. Each step of her journey was constantly monitored with check-ins from all drivers, and of course, photos. Beth and I were a constant part of all stages. There were a total of 32 volunteers and thousands of miles driven through 10 states which got Hope safely home; where she is loved and thriving! She even has her own Facebook page now! So many things were done in this story; From rescuing a thrown away dog from the streets, to fostering, to transporting and volunteering, and to finally adopting. Transport volunteers do not get paid for their good deed.

They do it out of the sheer love and knowledge that their precious cargos will get what so many dogs (and cats and even birds) deserve - a forever home!


So next time when you think that moving mountains cannot be done, think again! Transport is available and make sure to check out Kindred Hearts Transport Connection! Become part of the movement that allows all animals a chance at a forever home, no matter how far away it may seem.

Become a fan on Facebook at:

Visit the Website at:

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American Dog Media | Summer 2014    19



Founder and President of the Emma Zen Foundation By DEBRA JO CHIAPUZIO

My name is Debra Jo Chiapuzio, and this is my journey from pet owner to pet advocate. I live with Emma Zen, our adopted Labrador/Dane mix and she is known for two things; being a biker dog and throwing outrageous dog parties! Emma Zen’s 3rd birthday party was published in the fall 2010 issue of American Dog Magazine, and here our journey begins. Emma Zen’s public attention was on the rise and I used that to focus on pet issues. We became fundraisers in search of good causes, in which there are many. I am a pet first aid and CPR instructor, and while attending an emergency

preparedness class I saw a pet oxygen mask. At that time I didn’t know what it was, and when I was told of its use, I was intrigued. What I learned was that a pet oxygen mask is an oxygen mask that has been specifically designed with a cone shape to fit dogs, cats, and other household pets. They are used to resuscitate an animal with breathing difficulties such as smoke asphyxiation due to home fires. There is a large rubber seal at the base of each mask allowing for a snug fit, this keeps the jowls closed. I know this as an important feature of Pet CPR where we close the mouth and deliver

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breathes directly into the nostrils; the pet oxygen masks simulate that same proper action. In addition, I was surprised to learn that each year in the United States approximately 500,000 pets are affected by home fires. Also, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), around 40,000 of those pets die every year. I also learned that first responders did not carry this life-saving equipment. I had always presumed (like many other people) that fire fighters and medical emergency technicians had what it took


to save me; and I supposed that meant they could save my pet. What I found was that this is not true. I needed to make a difference. I needed my dog to be safe. I spent six months learning the ropes before establishing 17 pet oxygen mask kits in the Anaheim Fire Department in California. The Emma Zen Foundation donated one kit for every one of their 17 engines; this is called implementation. Today, it’s what sets us apart and I encourage you to read more about what we do on our website at During that time something happened when our social media really began taking off. Our “friends” started posting things like; “I want my dog to be safe too!” “What can I do to help protect

my pet?” and “How can I get my fire department to carry this equipment?” I realized this was so much bigger than Emma Zen and the only way to make a difference on a larger scale was to become a nonprofit. In April of 2011, we retained our nonprofit status and since then over 2,500 kits have been implemented by the Emma Zen Foundation. This includes over 300 kits to the state of Colorado, who is in the process of making pet first aid required by law for their fire fighters! Kits are $75.00 a piece and includes all 3 sizes; however, your city’s fire department may need multiple kits to satisfy their requirements. It has been an amazing journey. From pet owner to pet advocate, from my own preservation to part of the greater good,

and from making ends meet to meeting pet needs. Our organization has had a positive impact on the number of pet lives that have been saved and we work for the safety of your pet. Staying true to now three things we are known for; being bikers, throwing dog parties, and establishing pet oxygen mask kits and donating then to fire departments nationwide! My goal was to make sure my dog had a better chance of survival in cases of emergency. The foundation’s goal is to make sure your pet does too.

Become a fan on Facebook at:

Visit our Website at:

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    21



“We can just feed her and she’ll get better, right?” By Sherry L Stinson (Destiny’s mom and owner of TylerDog Photography)

As a volunteer photographer for animal shelters across Oklahoma, I’ve seen my share of emaciated, neglected, abused dogs. Destiny was honestly no different. But ten simple words spoken by an eight-year-old girl changed the course of her life – and mine. It was our weekly rescue shoot and I had a crew filled with youngsters, given it was Spring break. After we photographed all the dogs and cats available for adoption, one of the little girls, Desi Miller, wanted to go look for puppies.

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As we wandered through the kennels looking for cute puppies, we rounded a corner and what we saw stopped us in our tracks. We walked up to kennel 251A and sitting there was an emaciated, young red pit bull girl; so emaciated that the muscles in her head were atrophied and sunken into her skull. A fresh, pink scar went around her neck where a chain had resided for a very long time. Her ribs and hip bones jutted out. The kennel card listed her as “Unknown.” The baby



didn’t even have a name! And as we stood there in silence, looking at the skeleton of her body, Desi spoke up and said, “What’s wrong with her?” I took a deep breath and said, “Well, sweetheart, looks like someone didn’t feed her or take care of her.” And Desi looked up with those innocent eyes of youth and said, “Why would somebody do that?” I tried to explain to Desi why, but my words sounded hollow. Desi looked up at me and uttered those now famous “ten simple words” and said, “We can just feed her and she’ll get better, right?” Ten simple words. And with her innocent proclamation, Desi changed the course of this dog’s life. I left that evening feeling heavy in my heart, and when I awoke the next morning, I knew I had to do something. I texted a friend who had helped at the photo shoot and we both headed to the shelter. I also contacted Epic's Pit Bull Rescue and asked if they would be able to take "Unknown" into their rescue if one of us fostered her and nursed her back to health. They said yes, so now I had a mission. The next day after I saw “Unknown” in the shelter, I wrote a story about her

entitled “Ten Simple Words.” The story went viral and people began asking for a way to keep up with her. I started a Facebook page for the dog, now known as Destiny, and in less than two months, she already had 13,000 fans who eagerly await news on her progress and rehabilitation. The outpouring of love for this once discarded dog is simply amazing! She has received cards, gifts, and postcards from all over the world! As most everyone knows, Desi’s words touched my heart and I did end up adopting Destiny. It was a glorious day as Desi came to see her namesake saved and going home, all because of the words she uttered. Bringing an emaciated, fearful dog into an existing pack of four females is not a task for the weak of heart. Destiny had resource guarding issues over food, over toys, and over me. It took a little bit of training and behavior modification for her to finally become comfortable enough to know she’d no longer ever want for anything, including food and attention. Now Destiny is a well-rounded member of my pack that includes Xena the Pit Bull, Katie (a Doberman Pinscher), Maggie Monster (a Lab/ Rottie mix), and Jazzy the Amazing Wiener (a Miniature Dachshund).

I am still working on her fear of strangers and to remedy that, I take her to class with me on a regular basis where I teach. Encountering strangers is helping her learn not all people are bad, and each visit brings progress to building her confidence. Eventually, I would like to train Destiny to become a therapy dog. Even though Destiny has regained her weight, the muscles in her head have remained atrophied, which gives her a bit of an interesting appearance. Whether they come back or not remains to be seen. Because of this, we’ve also entertained the idea of a children’s book, to help little ones know it’s okay to be different. Ultimately, the message we want people to know about dogs like Destiny is special needs dogs are just as adoptable as the cute little puppy in the kennel next to it. Sure, it takes a little more work when healing an emaciated, fearful dog. But the rewards far outweigh the work. It gives them a chance. Because of ten simple words spoken by an eightyear-old, Destiny was given a chance at the life she truly deserved.

Become a fan on Facebook at:

Visit the Website at:

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    25



photo courtesy of Sophia’s Grace Foundation

was dumped in a box and abandoned in a park As dictated to my mommy, Becky Cason (Bronx wanted to tell his own story in his own words)

My name is Bronx, and I am a little chocolate mini-dachshund. Want to know how I got my name? Read on! In June of 2013, mommy received a frantic email from a rescue transport coordinator that there was an abandoned dachshund in a box, in a park near Yankee Stadium. A photographer had found me abandoned in the box and called her friend who happened to rescue dachshunds with Sophia’s Grace Foundation. Her friend immediately sent out a call for help, and mommy launched herself into action.

She left work in the middle of the day in Bergen County, New Jersey, and sped into Manhattan to meet the photographer to pick me up. She then drove me straight to the vet she uses in Morris County (which is an hour away from NYC!). I knew right away that she was going to be my forever mommy, but she didn’t. She was just doing what she always does; helping to save another abandoned doggie. The vet told her I was about 10-years-old and dehydrated, with a grade 3- heart murmur, but that I was heartworm

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negative. The vet said I didn’t need a rabies shot because something called a titers-test showed I still had antibodies. I was glad to hear that because nobody wants rabies or heartworms! I had lost a lot of teeth and had holes in my mouth, but the nice vet said he could fix that! Then mommy took me home with her where I got to meet my foster brother Sammy, and my foster sister Maggie. They’re dachshunds too, and I was just so excited to meet them. They told me that mommy had rescued them too and that they loved her very much. I


knew I would be okay then. I also met my nana (mommy’s mommy) and my foster daddy. After mommy gave me a bath and got me all good smelling, I snuggled with my daddy on the big bed and watched TV with him. In July, mommy took me to a vet in Hoboken, New Jersey, where I got “fixed” and had the holes in my mouth repaired. I’m not sure what happened while I was sleeping, but when I woke up I was missing some private parts that were very special to me! Mommy told me it was better for me and that I was a good boy, so I didn’t even cry on the way home. She gave me lots of kisses too!

to get a drink of water and suddenly my back hurt and I couldn’t walk. Mommy drove all the way through a hurricane to a place called Garden State Veterinary Service to get me to a special vet down there. I had surgery on Thanksgiving day to repair two discs in my back. When I woke up, I had a zipper! Mommy brought me home a couple of days later and took such good care of me that on Christmas day I walked across the room to her. I didn’t realize it would make her cry, but it did. I kissed her tears away. I still do water therapy twice a week and mommy massages my legs every night.

By August, I had convinced her I was already in my forever home, so she called the nice rescue lady at Sophia’s Grace Foundation and asked her if I could stay. The lady said, “Of course!” and mommy scooped me up and danced all over the house with me in her arms. Then she put me down and me and Sammy and Maggie zoomed all over the house because we were so happy. That didn’t last long though.

I don’t remember much about my life before mommy, but she says I was probably a companion to an elderly person who passed away and the family didn’t know what to do with me, so they put me in a box hoping someone would find me and give me a good life. Mommy says I probably wouldn’t have survived if they’d turned me into the NYC pound. I don’t know what that is, but if she says it, it must be true!

The day before Thanksgiving I hurt my back. I was just walking into the kitchen

I love to snuggle and sleep under a blanky. If it’s a sunny day I will find a

patch of sunlight to sleep in. The sunlight keeps moving, so I’m always having to find a new spot. Usually, I like to sleep in the big doggie bed with my sister Maggie. She protects me and makes sure no intruders come through the front door to steal me. Sammy is always checking on me too, and every night he cleans my ears for me! My favorite things are breakfast, dinner, and treats! Do I love treats! Mommy says I was born hungry. I also love to run through the house and chase Sammy and Maggie. I don’t have a zipper anymore. I have a mommy and daddy who love me, and a nana who I have trained to attend to my every need when my parents are at work. I have a wonderful life now. Every now and then when I see a box, I pee on it. Just to remind it that no one puts Bronx in a box. BOL!

Become a fan on Facebook at:

Become a fan of Sophia’s Grace Foundation at: SophiasGraceFoundation

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    27



A Therapy Dog Dropout is Changing The World By Michelle Jansick (Chipper’s mom)

She has a missing tooth and an occasional limp. She doesn’t get along with every dog she meets, and sometimes she falls going up the stairs. Chipper is a 5-year-old rescued mutt with golden fur and soft brown eyes. She is far from perfect, but that hasn’t stopped her from making the world a brighter place. Chipper failed out of the therapy dog program when she reached her rebellious adolescent stage and started barking at sweet, little old ladies. The four-legged “failure” quickly discovered that when one doggy door closes, another one opens. She decided to try her paw at writing and published a book about her life as a therapy dog dropout.

Her autobiDOGraphy, which teaches that you don’t have to be perfect to make a difference, is inspiring people (and their pets) all around the world to do nice things for others. A woman from Washington read about the paw-printed valentines that Chipper made for some lonely seniors and she decided to make hand-printed cards with the help of her one-year-old daughter, Kayt. The mother-daughter team delivered the cards to friends and neighbors who needed cheering up. That fun day inspired Kayt and her mom to keep bringing smiles to others, so they started a tradition of visiting a nursing home twice a month.

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Chipper’s book motivated a family in Colorado to buy warm socks and sleeping bags for some homeless youth during an arctic blast. A retired seizure alert dog named Hobo followed in Chipper’s footsteps by cheerfully standing still while his family painted his paw with bright colors to make Thanksgiving cards for some kids at an orphanage. A school counselor from Kentucky planned a field trip for some at-risk students to learn compassion by meeting animals at a nearby shelter. Each month, Chipper chooses a different charity to receive the profits from her book sales. Thanks to her loyal fans in 45 countries, she was able to


donate over $1000 during the first year to help children and animals. She threw a pizza party for her friends at the homeless youth shelter. She bought Christmas presents for the children’s hospital. She helped to save the lives of shelter pups and puppy mill dogs. She sponsored an orphan in Haiti, and helped to rescue children from the sex trade. She supported a charity that rescues shelter dogs and trains them to assist children and adults (veterans) with disabilities. Chipper has no plans to stop donating profits from her book. Her goal this summer is to raise enough money to

sponsor a group of disabled children to tour the Gentle Barn, a peaceful sanctuary in California for over 120 severely abused animals. Although Chipper’s story was originally intended for middle-aged women, she has gained popularity with everyone; male, female, young, old, two-legged, and four-legged. A six-year-old boy in Wisconsin was so delighted by Chipper’s funny adventures that his mom read some chapters aloud to his kindergarten class. A 93-year-old woman was so touched by Chipper’s heartwarming tale that she immediately bought a copy for her daughter who

volunteers for an animal rescue group. A mailman in California loves Chipper’s book so much that he loans his copy to people along his route. A woman in Florida read it to her dogs, and they gave it 4 wags (the best possible rating). To learn more about Chipper and her book, “Chipper’s Friends: The Heartwarming Story of an Imperfect Dog,” visit and you can follow her adventures on her Facebook page.

Become a fan on Facebook at:

Your Pet, Your Love, Our Care.

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    29





By Jessica Stone, Piper’s sidekick and mom

Piper Stone, the one-eyed bulldog is the most beautiful and remarkable girl I know! Rooms light up as she waddles into them! Hearts melt with every head tilt, high five and smile that Piper gives! Even though Piper suffers from serious health issues, she never fails to warm hearts and bring joy to lives through her artwork and daily Facebook photos and posts. You may

never meet another dog with as many faces as Piper, who is an adorably grumpy diva! She looks like a different dog and species from one photo to the next! It is possible Piper is part English bulldog, potbelly pig, grumpy gorilla, and marshmallow. You cannot help but fall in love with Piper The Painting Bulldog and her shenanigans!

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She is an 11-year-old special needs dog who reminds us that we all have the ability to inspire, create and be good at something when given love and encouragement. Sadly, Piper is truly a “tortured” artist. Her painting career is coming to an end as she battles with heart failure, heart disease and a mass by her heart.



Piper’s journey to becoming “The Painting Bulldog” took 8 difficult years of being a mistreated and an unwanted dog, until San Antonio Bulldog Rescue saved her. In 2011, a man surrendered Piper to "Mother Teresa" of SABR when he had no luck selling her on eBay. Piper’s skin was covered in sores and an infection. She was missing an eye because of an injury. Piper walked with a limp and was in severe pain from untreated, horrible hip dysplasia and arthritis. She showed signs of abuse and seemed like she never knew love and affection. Needless to say, Piper was grumpy from her pain and past. Despite Piper's grumpiness, she quickly stole Mother Teresa's

heart. Now, she is stealing thousands of hearts! Piper blossomed into an internationally collected artist and a voice for rescue and special needs dogs. Piper has given my life such meaning and joy. I am incredibly thankful that my husband, Jeff, and I were lucky enough to adopt and love Piper during her last years. Senior dogs rock! It breaks my heart to know that she is living her last months, and the day will come where her adorably grumpy face no longer lights up a room. My time loving her has been too short. I hope that by capturing Piper’s big personality through photography and children’s books, she will forever show the world that different

is beautiful, and special needs beings and rescue dogs are remarkable. Piper’s cause will always live on! A portion of Piper’s sales is donated to San Antonio Bulldog Rescue and nationwide rescue organizations. You can also support Piper’s cause by purchasing her artwork, portraits, and book "The Artistic Mind of The Oneeyed Painting Bulldog" on Etsy.

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American Dog Media | Summer 2014    31



By Beverly Gentz (Jojo’s mom)

I first saw JoJo on the website of Rescued For Life. They are a small rescue group based out of Aurora, Colorado, who had rescued JoJo from a high kill shelter in California, right before he was about to be euthanized. The shelter had determined Jojo was unadoptable and had no quality of life, but thankfully, Rescued For Life stepped up and saved him. At about the same time, I had lost my beloved Chi-weenie, BooBoo, and I was looking for just the right little dog to help heal my broken heart. I had looked at hundreds of dogs, but when I


saw JoJo’s picture, there was something about this itty bitty 3.5 pound Chihuahua that made me just keep coming back to him. So we adopted JoJo into our family on April 4, 2013. Little did we know what an impact he was about to make on our lives!

things at first. As he learned to trust us, he also found his confidence. Jojo discovered that grass is wonderful to play in, and that there’s a whole big world out there to explore. But, Jojo was limited as to where he could go on his own.

JoJo was born with a birth defect that prevents him from being able to use his back legs correctly, but it doesn’t slow him down a bit! He runs and plays with his 2 brothers, Taz and The Monster, and he loves to play fetch and tug-o-war! He is all dog, through and through. He was a little afraid of new

So we set out to find him a custom built wheelchair. He hated it at first. He acted like something was chasing him. And after several months of working with him every day, he still acted like I was torturing him every time I put him in it. But one day, the trash truck came by and his brothers ran to bark

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at it, and he ran right along with them. That’s when the light came on for him. He finally figured out that he could go anywhere he wants in his cart! JoJo also loved to go visit his Grandma Barb at the assisted living home. He made lots of wonderful friends there and was a big hit with everyone. Grandma Barb had Alzheimer’s disease and she had trouble finding her words sometimes. But not when she saw

JoJo! She sang to him and told him stories, and never missed a beat! JoJo is like a magnet, and makes everyone he meets smile when they see him. That is why I decided that we had to share JoJo with the rest of the world, in hopes that he can bring joy and inspiration, education and understanding, to people all over the world. JoJo Crazy Legs Bean, is the defender and champion of all different-abled

dogs everywhere! Please, if you are thinking about adopting a dog, consider one that is older, or that has special needs, or that has been rescued from a puppy mill. They have so much love to give, just like our sweet boy JoJo. And also because every dog deserves a home and to be loved.

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PHOTO by Fur in Focus



By Stephanie Coomer (Ruger’s mom)

There is something to be said about a special kind of dog that can come into your life and truly make you whole. That dog for me is Ruger. In 2012, my family wanted to adopt a dog that would be well-suited for therapy work (an adult dog). The dog we wanted to adopt foster failed with his foster family when they adopted him. So, against our own rule and even without knowing how he would turn out, we adopted Ruger, who was a 7- week-old puppy.

Ruger is a rescue from Ohio, where he and his littermates, only 5-weeks-old at the time, were dumped at the rescue by a backyard breeder. It was apparent early on that he was special. He learned things very quickly, and had a strong intuition. I began working with him right away teaching and helping him on his way to becoming an ambassador for his breed. By 5 months, he was attending events and working them like an old pro. At 9 months, he passed his Canine Good Citizen test.

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Ruger's dad suffered from PTSD as a Marine Corps Veteran who has been to Iraq, so doing PTSD therapy work is very important to us. We had Ruger evaluated by some friends who certify therapy dogs and own therapy dogs, and they could tell right away that Ruger was born to do it. In July of 2013, I founded Project Bully, an organization to spread education and advocacy for bully breeds. We provide community assistance for spay/ neutering of pets, responsible dog



ownership, rescue, and much more. Ruger works with us at every event. He mans the kissing booth, he changes minds, and helps to shatter the stereotypes of “pit bull” dogs. Ruger just has a way with people and animals and he makes them feel comfortable. He truly is gifted and is always a joy. We started Operation: Ruger's Helpers for Heroes last year, and have been able to raise over $2000 for Veteran organizations that use homeless pets for companion and service or therapy

work. Through Ruger’s Facebook page we reach people across the globe spreading his message even further. Ruger also became a blood donor dog this year. He donated blood to save the life of Lana the Weimerainer who was hit by a car. We will start visiting our local high school in May where we have been asked to speak to the students their about responsible dog ownership and the truth about pit bulls. We are very excited to help mold the minds of future dog own-

ers. Ruger will be taking his therapy certification later this year, and we plan to work with PTSD groups and the local VA Hospital. I am blessed to have this amazing dog who has come into my life and spread so much joy to everyone he meets. It is true when people say the dog chooses you, they truly do. He is my soul dog.

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REAL MEN LOVE DOGS! ROBERT CABRAL AND SILLY Robert is the Founder of Bound Angels and Black Belt Dog Training

REAL MEN LOVE DOGS! Meet some amazing and compassionate men who truly love dogs, rescue dogs, train dogs, advocate for dogs, adopt their dogs, and just really enjoy being around dogs!

This is a new, exclusive feature we will be having in every issue of American Dog Magazine to showcase real men who really love dogs! Meet the doggie dads in our summer 2014 issue: ROBERT CABRAL ADAM RAIZIN BED DUNHAM JOSH LIDDY TROY SMITH JOE NIZZARI PHIL SANFILIPPO 36    Summer 2014 | American Dog Media



ROBERT CABRAL Robert and Goofy


By Robert Cabral, Founder of Bound Angels and Black Belt Dog Training

My name is Robert Cabral. I am the founder of Bound Angels and Black Belt Dog Training. There are two scopes to my work: Privately, I am a dog trainer / behaviorist in Malibu, CA, and work with clients with dog issues ranging from basic training to severe behavioral issues, as well as training personal protection dogs. In my work at Bound Angels, I work with animal shelters nationwide helping shelters with tools that will save more lives. These include online training and resources, our educational and informational materials including our books, Selling Used Dogs and Desperate Dogs Determined Measures, our handouts, and our new video training channel on canine behavior. Right now, I share my life with only one dog named Goofy. He is a 4-yearold Belgian Malinois. However, my girlfriend has 9 dogs and a pig that surround me constantly. Goofy came into my life after rescuing 6 Malinois

and Malinois/mixes from local shelters. A friend of a friend of mine had a litter of working pups and thought that Goofy would be a perfect fit to my life with my (then) current dog, Silly, who was a 7-year-old Chinese Shar-Pei. We've since lost Silly, but his memory lives on always. My life would not be complete without my dog. He is there with me from the moment I wake up till I lay down to sleep (and all through the night). We train together, play together, and he makes everything in my life special. He's never in a bad mood, never angry, never sad, he teaches me about compassion, forgiveness, and enjoying every minute of life. Goofy loves life and we do everything from just hanging out to protection dog sports including Schutzhund, AKC Obedience, and scent detection games. He also loves to swim, so we’ll go to the beach for a swim and then play some Frisbee!

My love of all dogs stemmed from my love of Silly, my first dog as an adult. He changed my life and opened my eyes to see the plight of animals in a whole new way. Because of him, I gave up a successful career as a photographer and made it my mission to help animals. I saw their plea as something important. I stopped eating animals and made it my mission to fight for the rights of all animals. It has been the best thing I've ever done in my life. I love what I do and each day is special and filled with passion. I've found great success in what I do, but more importantly, I've found a greater purpose to my life.

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American Dog Media | Summer 2014    37




I’m Michael Radcliffe and I’m an animal rescue transport driver. When possible, I help drive animals for Houston area rescues to other rescues, fosters, and forever homes all over the county. I have driven dogs from Houston and as far away as Montana. Since working with animal transport, I have had the privilege of helping move more than 2,000 animals from rescues, shelters and the streets to the safety of amazing rescue groups and families. In the last three years, I have logged over 60,000 transport miles and loved every single one of them. Our family loves dogs and currently we have 6 dogs! There’s Reggie (aka Reggie the Deaf Pit Bull), age 4 years, and a pit bull; Abbie, age 6 years, and a pit bull; Molly, age 10 years, and a boxer (she is the first dog we rescued

as a family); Crumbs, age 3 years, and a pit bull; Twinkle Pittie, age 4 years, a pit bull/bulldog mix; and Bianca, age 6 months (our most recent "foster failure") and an American bulldog mix. Then we have our fosters. To date, we have had nearly 50 fosters. Right now, we have Bodhi and Luke. Then we always have puppies that we foster for RPM to get ready for their journey to Colorado. In our family, we always joke that our dogs find their way to us. My wife and I were actually just looking to sponsor a dog online for a rescue when I came across Reggie listed with our good friends at Game Dog Guardian, in Kansas. We didn't know if we "could manage" 3 dogs at the time. "Reggie" and "deaf" stood out for me because my dad's name is Reggie and he is deaf. I decided it must be fate talking to me,

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and we worked to adopt him from Kansas to Houston. Crumbs and Twinkle were our first fosters, and our first failures! We got a little better about letting them go after that. Abbie was being given away in a Walmart parking lot when she was just a tiny 4-pound puppy. She was the "runt" and wasn't going to bring the breeder any money, so they didn't want her. I came home with her and it was the first time, "don't be mad," was uttered in our house regarding a puppy. Now that phrase is pretty common! Molly actually wandered up to our door in really rough shape. She had a rope grown into her neck, burns all over her body, and was emaciated. We finally rescued her after 3 hours when she gave up after about 10 hamburgers and thought maybe we weren't so



bad. We took her to a local vet and they told us it would be $60 to put her down. We were shocked and asked if there was anything wrong that she needed to be PTS? We were told she would be expensive to fix up, so it would just be easier to have her PTS. This was really our first experience with abuse like that and then the total lack of concern for it. We always thought we would find her a great family, and well, she has been with us for 6 years now! We joke that we used to be people with dogs, now we are officially “dog people.” We love being able to help our fosters grow, heal, and learn to trust people. It's amazing to see a sick and/or abused dog have that moment when they know they are okay and that life is good. We are lucky to have an amazing pack of our own that always welcome in a new dog and

allow us to keep fostering. Our dogs are my heart. We love each foster like our own and love our own more than anything. Every dog teaches me about being a better person. Our lives changed a lot when we adopted Reggie. We weren't really into rescue before then, but when he came home and we saw this amazing dog that had been slated to be euthanized, we thought, we can advocate for this breed, we can teach people how amazing pit bull's are, and we can use Reggie to educate and inspire people. The motto for our non-profit is “Educate, Advocate, Inspire.” This is one of the things I love most, changing people's mind about "our" breed. Our dogs give us unconditional love and they remind us every day that we can change lives and make things better, for people and dogs. One thing we are really passionate about is our non-profit organization,

Reggie's Friends. We started it after the popularity of Reggie's Facebook page grew, and we use it to help rescues continue to rescue. We earned our 501 non-profit status this past year and have been able to use funds raised through our Facebook page and local events to help spay/neuter/vaccinate/ microchip a lot of dogs for local rescues. We have also been able to pay a few vet bills for rescues and paid for over 8,000 miles of transport in the past year. We are hoping to grow the reach of Reggie's Friends so that we can help more rescues in the coming years.

Become a fan on Facebook at: Reggie-the-Deaf-Pit-Bull

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By Adam Raizin, Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Palm Beach

I’m Adam Raizin, and I’m a real estate agent with Keller Williams in Palm Beach County, Florida. Primarily I list and sell residential real estate throughout the county, but many of the properties I sell are in the town that I live in, Lake Worth, Florida, which offers a sense of community, cultural diversity and small town charm. Currently I have 2 dogs, a beautiful English Yellow Labrador Retriever named Gentle Ben, who is 7-years-old, and a Yorkie Beagle mix named Pixel, who is 3-years-old. After the passing of my Chocolate Lab, Handsome, a friend of mine went online and found Bernie Berlin and her rescue at A Place To Bark in Portland, TN. Bernie realized the bond I had with Handsome and allowed me to adopt Ben, a dog that she was not actively looking to adopt out at the time. Bernie also had another dog with her named Pixel, who weighed about a pound and was the soul survivor of his littermates when Bernie found them. Bernie was in Florida for the Lake Worth Street

Painting Festival and everyone wanted to kiss and hold Pixel and take him home. After seeing all the attention he received and everyone holding him, I slowly started (in my head) crossing off who I thought would be a good match with him. At the end of the day I noticed there wasn't anyone, except me! So I asked Bernie about adopting Pixel too and she agreed that Pixel could stay with me and Ben. Two of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

I spend a lot of time with the boys and we go for walks twice a day. But their other exercise comes from running around the very tropical and lush yard that we have. Ben loves to go swimming in the saltwater pool, whereas Pixel just eggs him on to jump in. Pixel likes to hang out on the first step in the pool, jumping in and out. He knows how to swim and he knows how to get out, but isn’t the biggest fan of getting wet.

Ben and Pixel make me laugh. They get along great with each other and they remind me everyday how lucky the three of us are to have each other. They also make me realize that we need to be thankful for what we have in life, even when we are having tough days or going through rocky times. I donate on a regular basis to A Place To Bark when I sell a home, as I have great respect and admiration for Bernie Berlin and her rescue. She taught me about the "Power Of One," and that with each of us doing our part; we can be part of the bigger picture in life.

Their favorite activity is going for rides in our 1960 Chevrolet Impala. In the mornings our first stop is Dunkin Donuts. Then we drive through the downtown area, up to the beach, and back through town. We also take a drive in the evening as well. Sometimes, they visit their grandparents (my folks) in Boynton Beach, where they get even more spoiled!

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My name is Ben Dunham and I have a furniture business, but make the majority of my lunch money in the stock market. I currently have 2 rescue dogs. Boss is a 9-year-old Staffy Bull Terrier/American bulldog mix, and Molly is a 4-year-old Staffy/Boston Terrier. I adopted Boss from Villalobos Rescue Center. Boss was on death row in a Los Angeles shelter when he was rescued by Villalobos in 2009. He lived at the VRC ranch and was even highlighted on the Pit Bulls and Parolees TV show in a training session. That’s where I first saw him and just felt a connection to this dog who was saved from being euthanized. In January 2011, I made a trip to Villalobos Rescue Center to meet Boss and ended up adopting him!

My dog Molly was being dumped off at a kill shelter in Los Angeles when she got intercepted by a rescuer, and was then sent to me to foster her. Well, needless to say, I became a foster failure with this sweet girl and adopted her into our family.

toys and stuffed animals and Boss just loves treats, especially ones that taste like fish! I also go on hikes with Molly and take Boss paddle boarding and surfing. Boss loves to go surfing and has his own surfboard. And both dogs love their morning walks together.

I've always had rescue pit bulls in my life since I was a baby, thanks to my mom, and I can't imagine living without one. They make me function in the morning and are someone to care for.

I try my best to promote and advocate for rescue pit bulls everywhere I go. Boss is the perfect example of a wellbehaved and socialized dog and he changes peoples’ perspectives and opinions of the breed daily. He loves everyone he meets and helps to break the stereotypes of his breed. We also like to help out rescue groups and will attend events whenever we can.

Both my dogs like the creature comforts of home, and that includes sleeping on the bed! With two dogs, they take up most of my king size bed at night, but thankfully, leave me a small portion to sleep on. Ben and Molly love toys, but only Molly is toy-driven. She loves squeaky

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American Dog Media | Summer 2014    41




My name is Josh Liddy and my work involves running and doing both freelance photography and writing in support of shelter dogs and pit bulls. I started out going into animal shelters and taking photographs of the pit bulls, in an effort to promote them and network them to safety. This led me to being exposed to the unjust treatment going on inside of kill shelters, which I frequently write about. Although I still visit the shelters, for the last year I’ve been heavily focused on fighting local attempts at Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). I’m all about public education on dog-related issues and engaging the community, instead of flippantly judging them and creating a further gap. With fighting BSL, I will do anything within my power to make some kind of a positive differ-

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ence for pit bulls and other targeted dogs. I’ve written at length on the topic, attended and spoken at city council meetings and other functions, created educational videos, called into radio shows, submitted op-eds and rebuttals to the published words of dogbanners, and publicly debated a city councilman within the last year. I try to do all of these things, not only to help the dogs, but to also inspire other people to take them up as well. We can truly make massive strides together, and the dogs need all of us to become engaged. They are so very much up against a perpetuation of nastiness, built on the back of misinformation and fear. Most recently, myself and Tino Sanchez from Peace Love and Pit Bulls started a video podcast called “Bull Horn,” in order to further discuss dogrelated issues in our communities.

Currently, my girlfriend and I have 3 dogs that are considered to be pit bull mixes. They, of course, look nothing alike. My oldest is Neola, a brindle female who will be 6 at the end of the year. Odilia is my 2nd female who is black and white and she’ll be 5 in a few months. Falcor, the male of the group who is probably an American Bully mix, is the youngest. Neola was adopted from Pit Bull Rescue San Diego as I was still in the process of mourning the loss of my best friend and first pit bull, Sway. I’d randomly browse websites, not intending to adopt that quickly, but just looking because their faces made me happy. I came across a couple photos of a baby Neola (named Seattle then) that really made an impact on me. I submitted an application on her not thinking I’d hear anything back, and



to my surprise they were extremely excited about what I wrote. So I drove down to San Diego to meet her in person. When I got to her foster home she had just woken up from a nap and came stumbling out of the door looking as sweet as could be. I picked her up and was already in love with her. Odi was a dog that I came across at the East Valley shelter in Los Angeles while photographing the dogs for networking. Her impound name was Spotty and there was just something about her adorable face looking up at me through the bars that carried so much weight when I went home. I love them all, and adding a 2nd dog into the fray was new for me, but I don’t regret it. Odi is one hell of a character and I couldn’t imagine not having her in my life.

Falcor was a stray dog that my girlfriend found on the freeway while driving to work in the morning. He was roaming down the slow lane during rush hour traffic and no one was stopping or paying him any attention. She literally put her car into park and got out to say hello, to which he immediately rolled onto his back for her. We tried to locate his owner, and there was nobody, and then initially only intended to foster him, but he got along so well with my dogs that the plan was quickly given up on. Plus, my girlfriend was and is absolutely in love with him, so there was no way that he was going anywhere. Our dogs are pretty active and Neola loves to play ball or frisbee, while Odi loves to go jogging, and Falcor loves to swim. We also hike pretty regularly and they all enjoy that. Odi loves to

run beside my bike. Neola would rather be carried on my bike. Odi is my basketball-watching partner. I also really need to mention again how much Falcor loves to swim. When we go to the beach he will do laps out in the ocean or swim laps in a pool, and honestly never tire. He was definitely a sea lion or a chubby penguin in a former life.

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My name is Troy Smith I am a tax accountant by day and dog enthusiast outside of the office. I am also the founder and head trainer for Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners (LARPBO); where our goal is to build organizations and communities across America to teach and facilitate responsible dog ownership, not only for the pit bull, but for all breeds. After building LARPBO and understanding the greater picture, I am currently working to spread this work across America using responsible pit bull and K9 owners as the basis for our cause. My goal is to give every dog owner an opportunity and place that they can provide mental and

physical stimulation, for both them and their dogs, providing a happier and healthier human/dog relationship. LARPBO is not just a place for your dog, it is a community of dog owners that build lifelong relationships with each other that was started based upon one thing - a place to love their pet. LARPBO is my belief and understanding that to fight our dog issues we first need to make a stand to educate the current owners. LARPBO fights to keep dogs out of shelters and in their current home. We work to fight overpopulation, BSL, media stereotyping, and rescue through connecting with the direct owners of these dogs.

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Currently, I have two dogs. Tito is a pit bull and he was rescued from the Sacramento County Shelter. He had a real rough beginning coming from parents that were fighter dogs, catching pneumonia in the shelter where he was born, and being stuck to a ventilator for breathing for the first 4 months of his life. I finally rescued him in December 2009 when he was approximately 6 months old. Tito will turn 5 in June 2014. My other dog, Kima, is a Belgian Malinois/Dutch Shepherd mix. She was rescued off of a ranch when she was 8-weeks-old. The owner of the mother dog did not want the pups and they were completely unexpected. I got a


phone call that a litter of pups needed help and Kima was the one that has stayed in my life. She is currently 1 year and 8 months old. Dogs are the most important aspect of my life. I believe that if every person in this world greeted you with the unconditional love, happiness and support from a dog, that this world would be a much better place. They are always the first to greet you when you get home, the last to complain, and the extreme joy they bring on a daily basis is uncompromising by anything that happened. Playing with my dogs or any dogs always puts a huge smile on my face and takes me to a place where you feel nothing but happiness. There is absolutely nothing that I do not do with my dogs; from walking to hiking, biking, swimming, roller blading, and waterskiing. We run agility courses, practice obedience training, protection

training, and enjoy dock diving. My dogs go everywhere with me, and all of the activities in my life include my dogs. They are a huge and very important part of my life. The one thing we all strive for in life is unconditional love and my dogs give me this in more ways then I could ever imagine. I wanted to spread my knowledge and understanding of canines to as many people as I can across America. My dogs keep me happy, healthy, and with a positive attitude on life. I enjoy the activities in my life because of my dogs. What makes me and my dogs different from anyone else, is nothing but the time I spend with them. The bond that we create allows us to give anything for the other. Building responsible dog owners starts with you and your dog. Get out and enjoy your dog. If you can think it, you can do it. Take your dog to obedience

class or try an agility class. The only failure that you will have is not trying. Be patient, take your time, and trust me you will enjoy yourself. Your passion will pass through to your neighbor and then down the block. Seeing you out with your dog will make others strive to be better, and thus builds a stronger loving community of dog owners. I want to give a huge thank you to all of the volunteers, leaders, trainers, and dog enthusiasts across America as you are making a difference everyday. Thank you to the LARPBO community and to all of its members for believing in your dogs. Your dedication has changed the lives of so many!

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American Dog Media | Summer 2014    45




My name is Joe Nizzari and for the past 18 years I have been the Owner and Director of Training Operations at Line of Fire, LLC. We are a professional firearms training group located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Line of Fire, LLC, trains citizens, law enforcement personnel, and people from all walks of life in firearms safety and self-defense disciplines with firearms. I currently have two dogs; Andy and Sissy. Andy is a Bichon Frise and I think Sissy is a Deer Head, Deer Legged, Long-Haired Chihuahua. Andy is about 5-years-old and Sissy is about 3-years-old. Andy was found by a friend of mine 4 years ago abandoned on the street, in the rain with no collar or microchip and she rescued him. My friend then showed him to me and I said, "That dog isn't going anywhere!" Sissy was given to me last year by a friend from Texas who was visiting me. My friend and Sissy both stayed with me for two weeks and Andy and I fell in love with her from the minute she came in. When it was time for

them to go home my friend mentioned that he would be looking for a home for her when he got back to Texas. I asked him if I could have her and he agreed. I love having my dogs in my life because they love unconditionally. They comfort me when I'm sad, they bring me joy with their playfulness, they alert me when something is not right, they make me laugh with their silly antics, and most of all, they are always there for me without reservation. All they ask for is love in return. Both my dogs love toys, but Andy really loves tennis balls! He'll retrieve that ball for as long as someone is there to throw it. He wears me out sometimes! Sissy likes to chase the tennis ball once in awhile, but it is too big to fit in her mouth. She's not much of a player anyway; she is more of an 'observer.' For more fun, my dogs love to go for rides in the truck (unless we are going to the vet!). I always keep them on leashes when in the truck, and I never let them sit in my lap when I drive. I

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wouldn't want either of them to get caught between me and the airbag in the event of a crash. That could be a tragedy in itself, so I just avoid it. I also never roll the window all the way down. I put it down just enough for them to see the world and get some air. Oh, and they love going to PetSmart and picking out a few toys! I have always adopted my dogs. All of the dogs I have ever had from childhood through adulthood were either adopted from shelters, found on the street, or given to me by people who could no longer keep them. So please don't buy a dog and just adopt from a shelter. At a shelter you will find the best friend you can ever have. They know what it is to be left alone, they know what it is to be abandoned, and most of all, they know what it is to love.

Become a Fan on Facebook at: Line-of-Fire-LLC-Nevada

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By Phil Sanfilippo

I spent over 20 years working in the field of cardiac surgery and cardiology. More specifically, in sales and marketing leadership positions centered on emerging heart valve replacement technologies, gene and cell therapies, and minimally invasive cardiac surgery. I’ve recently been able to escape that unrelenting corporate grind and spend my time consulting and investing in areas that most interest me, like aesthetic and software technologies, along with municipal bond and stock trading. I have a 6-year-old Boston Terrier named Audrey who decided she wanted nothing to do with my ex-wife when we separated, so she stayed with me. Going through this difficult time created an unbreakable bond between Audrey and myself that is forged in stone. She has the uncanny ability to sense my moods, and when I am down or dealing with stress she will often jump up on my lap and snuggle with me.

accident she had as a pup. She ran full speed into a trash barrel chasing something and sustained a serious head injury. The trauma to her head caused ghastly swelling to her eye. During her time in the hospital she completely stopped eating, so they sent her home, eye sewn shut, to see if I could get her to eat. I had to wait 10 days to see a specialist. I finally got her to the best Ophthalmologist in the area after the healing period and he unstitched her eye. The vet gave me a grim look and said her sight is gone and that the eye needed to come out. He called me after a five-hour long surgery and said the eye socket was a mess and he rebuilt the socket and put a silastic ball in to reform it. When I went to pick her up the next day she was completely herself, and over time, the now permanently closed eye healed perfectly. As soon as the cone came off she wanted to play ball and has been doing so ever since!

She knows first hand what it takes to overcome obstacles based on a freak

Audrey is a unique blend of grace, wit and sass, befitting of a true Boston, but

with a quiet calculating demeanor. It’s all about the ball, how to get it, how to get me to throw it, and how to run until she drops. At the end of the day she retires to her den and sleeps soundly, always waking with a bounce in her step ready for the next chase. Between ball play Audrey totally chills, chews on bones, loves to cuddle on the couch and will lay at your feet hoping you will use them to rub her belly. I am always training Audrey, whether it is new commands or situations. It is my belief that dogs love to learn, and like people, never stop doing so. I believe constant training and the reinforcement of positive behaviors makes for a happy, well-behaved dog. So many are given up for behavioral issues, but most often, it is the owner that needs training on how to care for their pet.

Become a “friend” of Phil on Facebook at:

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    47


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fa m ous d ogs

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"MILEZ the dachshund who thinks he's human"




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"SADIE WONDER PUP" American Dog Media | Summer 2014    51


W ith Frien d s








"TURK A long journey for happiness"


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oN Facebook!






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"THE GERTIE ROSE MIRACLE" American Dog Media | Summer 2014    53

SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO’S MASH UNIT “Saving lives, one animal at a time.”

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By Sgt. Lisa Mejia

Sheriff Joseph Arpaio’s no-kill animal shelter, MASH, was created in May of 2000 to house and care for animals that have been abused or neglected by their caretakers, and have been rescued by the Animal Cruelty Investigative Unit. The purpose of the shelter is to provide a safe, healthy and healing environment for these animals that must await the outcome of their owners’ cruelty cases in court. The shelter opened by Sheriff Arpaio is in the First Avenue Jail, located at First Avenue and Madison Street in Phoenix, Arizona. This 30-year-old jail previously held inmates, but was closed for repairs to plumbing in 1999. Though it is no longer suitable for housing inmates, the jail is like paradise to the four-footed victims now housed and recovering there. The Unit is staffed by a small group of detention officers that supervise the sentenced inmates

who help nurse them back to health and provide daily care and love to the animals while they await the outcome of the case against their owners. Once they are well and their court case has been adjudicated, the animals remain in the no-kill shelter until they can ultimately be adopted into a suitable and loving permanent home. Several times per month, the officers assigned to MASH attend adoption events throughout the valley in an effort to find the animals in our care that good home. It is a very rewarding and positive experience for everyone involved. The shelter is air-conditioned and the cells have been reconditioned to comfortably house animals. Some critics have said that it’s inhumane to put dogs and cats in air-conditioned quarters when inmates don’t have air

conditioning. A good response to that came from one of the inmates assigned to care for the dogs. When asked if she was resentful about not having air conditioning, she gestured to some of the dogs and said, “They didn’t do anything wrong. I did.”

Become a fan on Facebook at:

Visit the Website at:

For more info or make a donation: Call (602) 876-1212

Email the MASH Unit at:

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    55




By Chrissy Kaczynski

On April 27th 2011, I arrived at a sanctuary in Florida that was shut down for animal cruelty. This was a rescue that many people thought was reputable, but instead, had animals living in horrible conditions. I walked through the pens photographing the animals and began calling rescues to try to get help for the dogs in need. I watched rescues come to evaluate dogs, and turn many away for minor issues. When I walked into one of the pens, all of the young dogs quickly approached me wagging their tails. Then, I saw an old, emaciated pit bull with skin issues slowly emerge from his doghouse and walk towards me. His spirit was so broken, and yet he was so grateful to be noticed. He smiled at me and I instantly fell in love with him. I knew if I did not take him, he would be passed over. That moment was the beginning of our story, and a relationship that changed me forever. It was the moment I met Mr. Wilson. I had been involved in animal rescue for many years and had many fosters before

Mr. Wilson, but I rarely fostered a senior dog. Rescues often do not save seniors because they know they are unlikely to be adopted. Mr. Wilson was the first dog I ever took in knowing he was a senior with health issues, and I was committed to make whatever time he had left as happy and comfortable as possible. Mr. Wilson showed me how appreciative he was and how much life he had left. He taught me how rewarding it can be to give a senior dog a home. He taught me that old dogs make great snuggle companions, and can still surprise you with bursts of energy. Since Mr. Wilson came in my life, I have rescued several senior dogs. Some were hospice cases that only lived a few months. We have felt very lucky to have these special elderdogs in our lives for however long they had left. I know many people walk by senior dogs in shelters, but they truly do not know what they are passing over. Mr. Wilson showed me that there is nothing more rewarding than giving a senior dog a chance.

56    Summer 2014 | American Dog Media

Through Mr. Wilson’s Facebook page, now “Elderdog Estates,” he shared his personality and humor with the world. He helped show others that old dogs are valuable. Several people let us know they rescued a senior after falling in love with Mr. Wilson. His Facebook page helped me to meet passionate, animal loving people. His page shared our dogs, family, and rescue with an audience that enjoyed watching it all through the eyes of a special elderbull. Unfortunately, on March 5th 2014, our lives changed forever again when we lost Mr. Wilson to lung cancer. We will always advocate for and rescue the senior dogs because of Mr. Wilson. His legacy will live on with every elderdog we are able to save in his honor. R.I.P Mr. Wilson, you will never be forgotten.

Become a fan on Facebook at:





Koko came into my life, and my family's life, shortly after my mom had a major stroke. He was only about 8-weeks-old and was the product of either backyard breeding or irresponsible owners. A family member who was staying with us at the time, brought Koko home with him, so this puppy lived with us most of the time. When the relative found an apartment and was moving out, my mom told him that Koko wasn't going anywhere. This was Koko’s home now, and we were in love with this wild, crazy-eared puppy that brought so much joy into our house. He was so loved and spoiled. I couldn’t eat without him sitting on my chair with me. You had to guard your napkin because he would steal it right off the table. My mom was paralyzed on her right side. He knew that if he went to that side, it would be easier to steal from her. He helped me do dishes when

I would load the dishwasher; he was always there to make sure they were rinsed well before washing! He once pulled my husband, who was holding his leash, down the back stairs while running to investigate an opossum. He was quite a character. Of course, there was the sock stealing. It wasn’t exclusively socks though. Anything was fair game: paper towels, napkins, towels, underwear, shirts, pants, etc. He would find something to grab and usually run around the house in excitement with it! In the 15 years that I had this precious soul in my life, he made it a much better one. He served as a therapist for my sick parents, and for my niece and nephew we were fostering. He saw me through my parents' deaths. He made me laugh through so many of the tough times, and was my rock at my side many other

times. Just by putting that big head on my lap, he could make me feel better. The love in his eyes was endless. I hope he knew how much we appreciated his existence in this world and how much he was truly loved. When I started his Facebook page, “Koko – The Sock Chewer,” I never imagined where it would lead. I have made friends from around the world, have raised funds for charities, worked at trying to change people’s perception of pit bulls, and am currently working on getting donations for a local veteran’s home. A friend from the rescue I work with once called him an ambassador for his breed. I had always hoped he lived up to that title. Although he is gone, I hope that I can continue to make a difference through his page. I hope his legacy will live on for a long time.

Become a fan on Facebook at:

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    57


L&R: PNP Co-Founder Debi Boies & Kathleen Quinn, Executive Director


By Laura S. Jones

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s superman! Well, no, actually, it is a plane, it just happens to be flown by a super man or super woman. Thanks to the vision and heart of co-founder Debi Boies, Pilots N Paws has been matching these super pilots with dogs who need lifesaving transportation to new homes since 2008. Dogs are most at risk of euthanasia in shelters in the south, and they have greater chances of adoption at rescues and shelters in other parts of the country. Pilots N Paws (PNP) serves as a type of match making service between rescue groups who need to send animals to new homes and volunteer pilots who can fly all or part of the route. By reaching for the sky, Pilots N Paws has helped both animals and also pilots. Flying dogs to new homes gives pilots a reason to fly. “Make your next flight tax deductible,” is a favorite slogan for PNP. The current executive director for Pilots N Paws, Kathleen Quinn, says that thanks to this kind of thinking, the organization now enjoys the services of 4,200 volunteer pilots and 12,000 ground volunteers. Together

they have saved many thousands of animals over the past six years and 15,000 pets in 2013. “We don’t do this alone,” says Quinn. Early sponsorship from Subaru and PetMate also made a huge impact. Nothing says collaboration like the Flyways that PNP organizes each year where hundreds of pilots and rescue animals come together, thanks to the work of thousands of ground volunteers at a single airport to begin their journey to new homes. It is a festive atmosphere for a highly organized event. “To stay true to our mission and our South Carolina roots, this fall we'll be hosting a Flyway out of Greenville, SC, where close to 100 pilots will work together to save more than 500 animals all in one day,” Quinn says. Riding the wave of their wonderful growth, Pilots N Paws is expanding its mission to include education about animal welfare in general, responsible pet ownership, including spaying and neutering pets, and promotion of adoption as the best way to acquire an animal. “Our end goal is to put ourselves out of business.”

58    Summer 2014 | American Dog Media

Quinn explains that “our primary objective will remain the same. We will still focus on providing free transport for any rescue animal with the opportunity to go to a safe home. However, we think it is imperative that we take on an educational role in mentoring our youth to help them consider their potential to enroll in flight school or volunteering in animal rescue.” In an effort to reach these future pet owners, Pilots N Paws has put out a children’s book called “Radar’s Dream” and is developing an education program for schools. “Kids are drawn to what we do,” Quinn explains. “We want to change the mind set of a generation and teach everyone that pets are not disposable.” After all, humans domesticated dogs, so we owe them the good life we promised. No animal should have to die for lack of a ride to a new home. On their website,, you can read inspiring stories, donate, volunteer, and request a transport.

Become a fan on Facebook at:

photo courtesy of Pilots N Paws


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American Dog Media | Summer 2014    59

Good Dog Advocacy Group



ELVES WANTED: Calling Compassionate Brands to Join the “Monster” Holiday Drive By Imelda Suriato

In October 2014, I’m Not a Monster will be kicking off our Third Annual “Monster” Holiday Drive™ campaign — a nationwide shelter drive benefiting homeless pets in shelters and temporary boarding facilities. I’m excited to invite compassionate businesses to partner with us and a large number of animal shelters, rescue organizations, and charities. We have established partnerships with over 80 shelters, rescue groups and ambassadors as well as businesses. With their help, and that of individual supporters, we raised $20,000 in the first year and close to $100,000 in just two short months last year, a staggering 400% growth! We plan to build on that success and engage thousands more animal lovers. We are committed to the success of improving the welfare and adoption of homeless pets and I believe this success can be accelerated with your participation. Together we can: 1. Help more than 50 shelters and rescue groups nationwide by collecting toys, blankets, treats, and other enrichment items during the holiday season and distribute them as Christmas gifts to the homeless pets under their care. Toys, treats, blankets, and other goodies are simple yet fundamental elements in helping the homeless pets stay happy, healthy, and adoptable.

2. Reward animal welfare organizations that have already demonstrated a commitment to improve the image and wellbeing of homeless pets. 3. Deliver a message of hope to the communities and play an active role in the development of caring and compassionate humans— young and young-at-heart. 4. Unite caring, compassionate citizens in a common cause: shining a light on the plight of shelter animals across the country and contributing to better communities in the future. I invite you to help make a huge difference this holiday season by donating goods or services or becoming an event sponsor.

SPONSORSHIP BENEFITS DOUBLE IMPACT As we pass on all proceeds to the beneficiary organizations, sponsors help carry out not only our mission, but also the missions of the organizations we support. DUAL RECOGNITION AND EXPOSURE Sponsors will receive sponsorship recognition from both I’m Not a Monster and the partner organizations.

60    Summer 2014 | American Dog Media

ACCESS TO EVENTS Access to local fundraising events across the United States and receive meaningful coverage by media outlets as part of their human interest, community engagement and animal welfare news. PARTNER FLEXIBILITY We views sponsors as partners and aim to provide the best working relationship possible. Flexible terms may include: specific allocation of donations, presentation opportunities to I’m Not a Monster followers, exclusive event opportunities, and many more. EXPOSURE TO THE COMMUNITY Our community is comprised of hundreds of thousands of animal lovers— consumers, decision makers, trendsetters and thought leaders—who actively participate in educating the public, promoting animal welfare, encouraging shelter adoption and presenting responsible pet ownership. Our “Monster” Elves are socially connected making the footprint of the campaign much larger.

To find out about the different sponsorship opportunities and the various benefits they offer your business, please contact us at:

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    61



ANTLERS: a small business giving back in a

big way! By Carol Plescia, owner of Acadia Antlers

When my kids and I started Acadia Antlers we wanted to give back. We picked a charity, the US War Dog Association, who helps military dogs overseas in Afghanistan and Kuwait. This was our charity of choice for our business, and we still continue to send our moose antlers to our K-9 heroes, both overseas and stateside. In the three short years we have been selling our all-natural, moose antler dog chews, we have met some of the most incredible, dedicated and determined people that make it their business to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals that are helpless and in dire straights. Their accomplishments in giving homeless and abused animals a safe haven are measured by wagging tails and undeniable devotion. It isn't often you get one of those “ah-ha” moments in life, but I am glad I did. I saw the opportunity as a mother to teach my sons the value of “giving back.” In my personal life, I have always hoped my charitable contributions to various organiza-

tions made a difference for someone, somewhere along the line, but now I had the chance to take it to the next level and teach my kids about philanthropy. In addition to our donations to the military war dogs, we are “Teaming Up” with all sorts of charities and rescues across the country to help them raise funds for all the wonderful things they accomplish. We donate 25% of sales directed to our website with their organization noted back to them, so they have extra money coming in to pay their medical expenses, food, and other unexpected day-to-day emergencies. We are working with the US War Dog Association to help offset prescription costs for retired war dogs. We are also teaming up with The Pit Boss, Shorty Rossi, who continues to make huge strides with Shorty's Charities for animal welfare. We are so proud to be able to team up with Dogs on Deployment, who find temporary homes for pets of our military heroes called to active duty, and many other wonderful non-profits.

62    Summer 2014 | American Dog Media


Acadia Antlers has such a loyal and faithful customer base that comes back again and again to buy their dogs the highest quality Maine moose antler dog chews. Now, by putting the name of one of the charities or rescues we team up with in their “order notes,” 25% of their purchase will be donated back to help these charities continue their good work. Teamwork makes any load a lot lighter, and it is my determination as a mother to teach my boys that they can make a difference too! Working together we can accomplish anything. Let's make it our business, as individuals, as families, and as people who want to make a difference in the quality of life for the animals that can't help themselves. To continue to follow our efforts, please become a fan of the Acadia Antlers fan page on Facebook. Also, visit our website at to see the growing list of organizations we are teaming up with, and place an order to help them! Making a difference is as easy as putting the name of the non-profit group you want to help in the “Order Notes” section on the order form.

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American Dog Media | Summer 2014    63




Heather Branch, owner of Best Friends Forever Pet Services, LLC, in San Fernando Valley, CA

Flavia Berti, owner of Equipaws Pet Services in Miami, FL,

by Sherry L. Suhosky, president of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters

Working with animals isn’t just a job— it’s a passion. As a professional pet sitter and business owner, I know that having the passion to work with animals isn’t the only thing you need to have a successful business; you need to have access to resources that can help you develop the skills needed for actually running the day-to-day operations of a business. That’s where NAPPS comes in. As a member-driven organization, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), is the only national nonprofit trade association dedicated to serving the needs of professional pet sitters. Through NAPPS, members have access to the tools they need to start or grow their businesses and are able to connect with other professionals in the pet care industry to exchange ideas and best practices for reaching potential clients.

Resources available to all NAPPS members include: • Step-by-step guides on how to start and grow a pet sitting business, along with other tools, forms, and marketing/public relations resources

64    Summer 2014 | American Dog Media

• Member exclusive discounts on pet products, provided by corporate partners of NAPPS • I nclusion in the NAPPS “Pet Sitter Locator” online directory for pet parents •M onthly mentoring teleconferences and access to an exclusive online message board in which pet sitters discuss business challenges and solutions •A ccess to NAPPS University, the educational program that delivers quality education in a variety of ways, focusing on the care and welfare of animals, as well as sound and ethical business practices and procedures for pet sitting professionals • Quarterly magazine, Professional Pet Sitter, with informative and educational articles •G roup pricing for pet sitter insurance, credit card processing, and background screening •M ember pricing at the NAPPS Annual Conference and Small Business Forum

For many years, pet parents had limited care options for their pets and were often obligated to board their furry loved ones at a kennel while they had to be away from home. Today, the growing industry of in-home professional pet sitting focuses on providing quality care for animals, in the comfort of their own home. As a result, pets experience less anxiety when their pet parent must be away from home and are less likely to feel as though they were left behind or forgotten. If you’re considering a career as a professional pet sitter, you don’t have to wander down the path alone. NAPPS can help guide you to building your business and creating a career that requires less time sitting in rush hour and offers more time to bond with your furry, four-legged clients.

Visit the Website at:

Become a fan on Facebook at:

Follow on Twitter: @TheNAPPS




By Joe Dwyer (Daniel’s daddy), Motivational Speaker and East Coast Director for the Lucy Pet Foundation.

Daniel “The Beagle” Dwyer, through improbable odds, survived the gas chamber in October 2011. He was unjustly put into a gas chamber in Alabama along with 17 other dogs, that unfortunately, did not make it out as Daniel did. The animal control officer, lacking the heart to make a second attempt, agreed to put Daniel up for adoption. He was brought to New Jersey and placed in the hands of Eleventh Hour Rescue. The process of finding a suitable “forever” home for Daniel was difficult, but ultimately beneficial when he landed at our home in Nutley, NJ. Daniel’s awesome attitude, which many believe allowed him to survive the gas chamber, fit in perfectly with his four other canine siblings at our home. Daniel’s work to ban the gas chamber and save animals in need began almost immediately after his survival. Daniel and I have been to many different

states to promote adoption and to ban the use of the gas chamber. For example, in November 2011, Daniel and I went to Pennsylvania where our influence got the ball rolling for the banning of the gas chamber. We have also been to South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, and New York to share Daniel’s miraculous story of survival. Daniel has also become quite the celebrity with appearances on local, national, and worldwide news outlets, which has brought the opportunity to make a difference for shelter pets. Daniel and I have recently joined forces with the Lucy Pet Foundation (http:// Lucy Pet promotes spaying and neutering pets and is the most proactive way to end animals being placed in shelters, and ultimately facing a gruesome euthanasia like Daniel endured. Most recently, Daniel and I will be a launching a spiritual podcast called

“Daniel’s Flock.” This podcast series will discuss Daniel’s survival and will be an inspiration to all who may be overcoming difficulties in their own lives. Social media is another outlet that allows Daniel to get his word out across the country so that his inspiration is widespread. Daniel is a true hero because, not only did he overcome such a difficult situation with an amazing attitude, but he also took his experience and used it to help others. Not only does Daniel save animals by promoting adoptions and spay/neuter, but his extraordinary story can also save humans. His incredible attitude combined with his love for others after overcoming the gas chamber is a heartfelt story that many can find inspiration from.

Become a fan on Facebook at: Daniel-The-Beagle-Dwyer

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    73


FIFTY Kelly Michael and Fifty


Four years ago, I saw a cute video of a 4-year-old happy and goofy pit bull mix running around in his foster family’s backyard with so much joy, I just couldn’t handle it. It was love at first sight, and I signed his adoption papers from Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus two days later and brought him home with me. I had no idea what I was in for, and not because of his missing right limbs. Fifty the 2-legged pit bull has changed my life and I can’t even remember myself before I became known as, “Fifty’s mom.” Fifty is by far, one of the happiest dogs you will ever meet – and it’s contagious. There’s not a mean bone in his body, and he thinks every person and dog

that crosses his path is meant to be his best friend. He’s a perfect advocate, not only for his breed and the discrimination they face, but also for “special needs” animals as well. Fifty was shot by a law enforcement officer twice because he looks like a pit bull and has spent the last 7.5 years on only two legs. Fifty has been able to help people who are going through amputations with their pets feel hopeful for the outcome, and I love that. I love that he makes people smile and can turn someone’s day around because he does this for me on a daily basis. I’m very happy we get to share that with an entire community of dog lovers and advocates.

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The reason Fifty is able to stay so strong and keep on keepin’ on is thanks to Integrative Pet Care ( Every week he goes there for physical therapy; he swims in their resistance pool, gets acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments, has his joints lasered to help with any pain and inflammation, and then there are his massages. When he’s not getting one at IPC, he goes to Canine Massage Chicago for his weekly massage fix. Prince Fifty is a very lucky boy since both of these businesses donate their services to Fifty and I, along with helping countless other pets and foster dogs. Without them, he wouldn’t be


anywhere near as strong as he is today at 8.5 years old. Just this year, Fifty and his best bud, "Rude Dog’s Trashcapades" (a rescued OES mix who has a lot to say), launched a new endeavor called The Six Legs Foundation (sixlegsfoundation. org). We are a brand new non-profit organization formed for the purpose of providing financial assistance to dog owners in need. Our goal is to keep pets in loving homes and out of overcrowded shelters. In the past 2 years I have faced my own personal hardships, and without the support of my family and friends,

I don’t know what I would have done. Fifty and I could have been sleeping on the streets. We are beyond fortunate to have a support system, but not everyone is so lucky. That’s where the Six Legs Foundation comes in, and that’s why we’re here. No one should ever have to choose between paying for their dog to receive medical care or having to put them down, simply because they didn’t have the funds. To us, that is unacceptable. The love Fifty and I have received since the day I brought him home is overwhelming. It’s beautiful and wonderful and really has helped me to keep the

faith in people. We have met some of the most selfless and giving people over the past 4+ years and always feel lucky to have them in our lives. Thank you to everyone for your unending support of Fifty, the two-legged pit bull that could!

Become a fan on Facebook at:

Become a fan on Facebook at:


Kelly Michael and Fifty with Heather Owen and Rude Dog

American Dog Media | Summer 2014    75


ARBOR THE PAINTING DOG 76    Summer 2014 | American Dog Media



A Former Shelter Dog is Leaving Her Mark By Bryce Henderson (Arbor’s daddy)

As many of you have experienced, the noble act of saving an animal’s life can dramatically alter your own. For my wife, Jennifer and I, we experienced this when we adopted our dog Arbor from The Animal Foundation, a highkill shelter in Las Vegas, Nevada. We quickly connected with her and she us, but little did we know that April day in 2011 there was a Salvador Doggie sitting behind that kennel door! After bringing her home, we soon realized her incredible drive, her thirst for learning and eagerness to please. She mastered commands and tricks with ease, so one day my wife decided to try something a little more unique and had Arbor give painting a try. She took to it like a natural born artist and painting has become one of her favorite activities.

As Arbor’s popularity grew, we realized that we had an opportunity to raise money and awareness about important animal welfare issues. We would post a video of Arbor painting a piece on YouTube, interspersed with information pertaining to issues such as shelter gas chambers, bait dogs used in dog fighting or the affects of domestic violence on pets. Her highest selling painting sold at auction for $1,000 to raise money for the animals affected by the Oklahoma tornadoes last year. Now with Arbor having over 425,000 fans on her Facebook page, Go Vegas Dog, she has taken on a new mission of turning her former shelter into a No Kill shelter. To be considered a No Kill shelter, the shelter needs to save at least 90% of the animals that

enter their facility. Currently, The Animal Foundation puts down 56% of the animals that enter the shelter, or over 22,000 last year alone. Inspired by Arbor and her shelter friends who did not make it out, we formed a non-profit, NKLV - No Kill Las Vegas, to help educate the community about the No Kill movement and how progressive practices being used in other cities can be brought here. It will not be easy, but in the end it will have all started because we decided to adopt a dog from our local shelter.

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THE M IRA C LE D O G The American Dog reports

How is it a 46-pound, 3-legged, scarfaced dog can make such a huge paw print in this world? Marshall, a dog saved from death, has become the "spokesdog" against bullying and is teaching empathy to hundreds of thousands of adults and children. Marshall is a 5-year-old yellow lab mix and was found in a heap in the corner of a filthy pen housing 60 dogs belonging to an animal hoarder in rural Missouri. At the time of the rescue in September 2010, Marshall was found to be in the worst shape of all the dogs. He had obviously been attacked by other dogs, probably over food (or lack thereof ), and he was badly injured with numerous dog bites. He had a broken front leg and a hole

the size of a tennis ball on the side of his face. Marshall’s hoarding situation was featured on Animal Planet's television show, "Confessions: Animal Hoarding." When the TV crew arrived to film, they found Marshall close to death, and called the Missouri Humane Society for the rescue immediately. Dr. Steven Schwartz, director of veterinary services, was one of Marshall’s guardian angels. He had to amputate the dog's front leg because the damage was so severe. Marshall's heart stopped beating numerous times on the operating table, but Dr. Schwartz refused to give up on Marshall. And, Marshall refused to die.

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"Dr. Schwartz said this dog had a purpose, and that he did not hold on for weeks just to die on his operating table. That's why they started calling him Marshall the Miracle Dog,” said Marshall's new owner, Cyndi Willenbrock. When Willenbrock was looking for a “brother” for her black lab Mooshy, she certainly did not expect to adopt a dog with a disability and horrific past. But when she saw his video, “my heart broke, and I knew this dog did not deserve to be without a home one more day!” she said. Willenbrock was a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative and worked long hours. She was always on the go and training for marathons. But, Marshall


changed all that. “He slowed my life down. From the moment Marshall hopped into my life, he turned my world upside down, and anything unimportant just fell away," said Willenbrock. Knowing Marshall needed to give back, Willenbrock had him trained as a certified therapy dog. She also wanted to share his lessons and has written an award-winning book, "Marshall The Miracle Dog," The book is available at: Willenbrock also founded The Marshall Movement, which teaches children

the importance of standing up against bullying, peer pressure and animal cruelty. Marshall has inspired a Character Education Curriculum to deliver Marshall’s 5 cornerstones: Empathy, Strength, Courage, Kindness and Forgiveness to classrooms. Marshall’s story also caught the attention of Hollywood. A feature film inspired by his life story begins filming in June 2014. “The movie is just one more platform to carry Marshall’s life changing message that there is a ‘Marshall’ inside all of us, that place that feels inadequate,” said Willenbrock.

Marshall speaks the language of the heart and has a unique message for everyone. Willenbrock says, “We just have to get quiet enough to be shown what it is. Marshall is a reminder not to give up five minutes before the miracle.”

Become a fan on Facebook at: Marshall-the-Miracle-Dog

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By Kristy Graham

With an estimated 4.7 million dog bites every year, dog safety is something we should all be aware of.

Avoiding attacks takes training on both the part of dog owners and the parents of children.

800,000 of these bites require medical care and sadly, on average, a couple dozen will result in death. According to the American Humane Society 50% of dog attacks involve children under the age of 12.

Dog owners need to train their dogs, socialize them and help them become accustomed to things like joggers, bikes and skateboards, so that they do not have the urge to chase. They must keep dogs secured in their yards, and on leashes when in public. They need to remove dogs from chains, as that has been proven to promote aggression and anxiety in dogs.

When looking into the causation of the attacks it is apparent that a few factors lead to the majority of these dog bites. They involve un-neutered dogs, chained dogs, dogs allowed to roam, ignored warnings or growls from dogs, unsupervised dogs around children, and lack of training.

Unfortunately, some dog owners are not totally responsible, and sometimes things just go wrong. An owner can have the best intentions, but then

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someone leaves a door or gate open and everything suddenly goes bad. When I was a child, one of the first things I was ever taught was how to properly greet a dog. Put your hand out in a soft fist and allow the dog to smell you, then a soft pet under the chin. Today, I consistently see people approach dogs by trying to pet them on top of the head. This can be a threatening gesture to a dog and can lead to a bite. If a dog starts coming towards you, "become a tree." In other words, don't run. By running, you simply turn yourself into prey. Remember the old saying of "let sleeping dogs lie?" Well,

DOG SAFETY it existed for a reason. Children and adults should never bother or disturb a sleeping dog. Startling them can often lead to a fear-based snap that can lead to a bite and do untold damage. Staring at a dog and making eye contact is also a no-no. It is a challenge to many dogs. Look down, but don't stare at them. Don't expect your dog to tolerate things that may hurt such as pulled tails, pokes in the eye, or pulled ears, etc. All of these things can hurt your dog. And the dog can, and will, strike out to make the hurt stop. Never take food, toys or bones from a dog.

If you are jogging or riding a bike or skateboard and see a dog walking with their owner, don't pass on the dog’s side. They may not hear you, become startled and attack. Or they may see you as prey and give chase. If you can, always keep something with you like a sweater or a stuffed animal that you can let a dog latch onto. This will give you a chance to get away if you should ever find yourself in the situation of actually being attacked. Eighty-eight percent of fatal attacks on 2-year-old children happened when they were unsupervised. Never leave

a child unsupervised with any dog. A bite to the face, neck or thigh of a small child can do deadly damage no matter the size of the dog and it only takes a moment for it to happen. Dogs are not babysitters and no matter what you may have heard, they are not nannies and should never be. Can every dog attack be prevented? No, that is unrealistic. But many can and many should. Responsible owners and people being aware of their surroundings would lead to a huge decline in attacks and fatalities.

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By Patricia Belt, Founder and Director of TN Safety Spotters “Animal Friends Teaching Children”

TN Safety Spotters is a federally recognized 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization founded in 2010. It’s made up of deaf, rescued Dalmatians. These special spotted dogs have been surrendered by breeders or rescued off the streets or from shelters. Now loved and secure, they are well-trained, registered therapy dogs and K9 Public Safety Educators spreading kindness and joy to all. Irresponsible breeding of Dalmatians has led to 30% deafness in either one or both ears. Many breeders continue to stand by AKC’s Dalmatian Club of America’s position on deafness and will euthanize their deaf puppies. One of TN Safety Spotters’ goals is to change the minds of these breeders by setting an example of what deaf dogs are capable of, if given a chance. I’m very glad to say that many breeders are changing their minds by choosing

adoption over euthanasia, and I hope one day soon that AKC’s Dalmatian Club will too. I had no idea of what the future would hold for me when Lottie Dot was rescued as a tiny puppy, frozen and starving, off the highway in Oklahoma in 2005. When the vet told me Lottie Dot was deaf, I started using sign language and hand signals immediately. I never gave it a second thought, and it came naturally. Years earlier, my best friend had a deaf German Shepherd that I loved and helped train, so training Lottie came easy for me. Lottie Dot received her AKC’s Canine Good Citizen award 6 months later, one of the few deaf dogs at that time to pass the 10-step skills test for basic good manners. During this time, I received an unexpected diagnosis of breast cancer. Lottie Dot accompanied me for months

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to grueling, daily treatments sharing our special bond. Not only was Lottie Dot there for me, this little tail-wagging, soft, furry friend bonded with the staff and patients throughout the medical facility. There was one special visit when Lottie Dot was sitting quietly next to a woman that was bald from numerous rounds of chemo and she said, “Lottie Dot doesn’t care how I look does she?” That was the eureka moment for me and I decided to move back home from Northern California to Memphis, TN, either to die or recover, and take whatever GOD had in store for me. Never one to give up, I wanted Lottie Dot to visit the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help get them through their hospital stay and treatments like she did for me. After a successful move to my hometown of Memphis, TN, and months of training to become a registered therapy


dog team, we joined a local therapy dog group. In 2007, Lottie Dot and I became volunteers at St. Jude in their Doggy Daze Program. Entering the doors of the hospital, the entire mood of everyone in the lobby changed; staff, children and parents. Exiting the elevator onto the hospital’s upper floor, the interactions between the children and Lottie Dot were magical.

she needed to spread love, kindness and joy in a world unknown to most deaf dogs. Therapy work came naturally for her. She especially loved children and enjoyed working with autistic children. Dora understood their moods and actions. She loved her role as a Reading Education Assistance Dog working in schools and libraries with kids that had difficulty reading out loud.

In 2013, after 6 years, Lottie Dot retired from St. Jude. Her memory lives on in the hearts of many there. Lottie Dot also recently retired after working for 7 years in rehab at the Memphis VA Medical Center motivating veterans to never give up. Loved by so many, she was given a retirement party for her years of service.

Everyone associates Dalmatians with fire stations. Their history in fire service dates back into the 1700’s. Requests came rolling in from schools for educational programs that included fire safety and dog bite prevention. Knowing how special these deaf Dalmatians were in medical facilities, I decided to officially start a nonprofit: TN Safety Spotters, ‘Animal Friends Teaching Children.’ Best of friends, Lottie and Dora worked side-by-side traveling the entire Mid-South area helping to save the lives of children through safety programs in schools, libraries, and special events.

Lottie and I stayed busy visiting hospitals, abuse centers and libraries, going anywhere we were needed. In 2010, I decided to adopt a beautiful deaf puppy named Dora who is full of grace and character, and whose breeder knew how special she was. Lottie Dot and I gladly drove to West Virginia to scoop her up and bring her home. After months of training, passing her CGC and therapy dog tests, Dora had what

After one year of therapy work and teaching our interactive safety programs, Dora died suddenly of liver disease. As hard as it was, I explained

to Dora’s kids about grief and death. Still to this day she is missed by many. In 2011, Lottie Dot and I gladly welcomed Izzy, who was rescued off the streets of Texas, neglected and unloved. She was fostered and loved by a wonderful family. Lottie Dot and I traveled the 1300 miles round trip near Fort Hood, Texas, to bring this little spotted puppy home and introduce her into the world of deaf working dogs. Within one year, with sponsorship from Spotted Dog Dalmatian Rescue, Izzy received her CGC and therapy dog registration. Her temperament and personality was spot-on for our educational programs and therapy work. Today, Izzy enjoys working with veterans at the Memphis VA Medical Center, Methodist University Hospital, and is a bright spot at the Fire Museum of Memphis helping teach children how to be fire safe. She presses her smoke alarm button, teaches stop, drop and roll, and dials 911 on her phone. Our programs are fun, interactive, and leave memories forever. We end every program confident the kids learned these lifesaving skills.

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When asked about the Spotters’ safety programs, I like to tell folks we are the real deal. We aren’t entertainers, that we are educators. These professional, well-trained K9 educators are allowed into areas that were once off limits to dogs. They have blazed a trail for many. Children learn and retain so much by having therapy dogs as visual aids and learning tools. My goal is to teach our hands-on safety programs where no one wants to go, where education is badly needed, including the underprivileged and low-income areas. One hour of safety education to children can reduce injuries and deaths by 80%.

Lottie Dot, with her beautiful spirit, continues to work at two high schools with students who have special needs. She’s been reading with her ‘students’ since 2007.

he’s graduated basic and intermediate obedience classes and starts advanced obedience soon.

Among the several awards given to us, one in particular led us to develop our anti-bully program in schools teaching children how to ‘spot’ a bully and what to do when bullied. In 2010, Lottie Dot received the Spirit of Kindness award given by the Memphis-based, national nonprofit, The Kindness Revolution. Lottie Dot is the only dog to receive this award for continuing to spread kindness wherever she goes, in spite of being deaf and considered useless in the eyes of many. We are now official mascots of the Kindness Revolution and our program has taught thousands of children nationwide, ‘It’s Cool 2B Kind,’ reducing the number of incidents caused by bullying. Our coloring book is also in the works!

Astro, our newest Spotter, is from Houston, Texas. Lottie Dot, Izzy and I brought 3-month-old Astro into our pack on February 9, 2014, with open arms and paws. Apparently, when his breeder found out he was deaf, they dropped him off at a major pet store. They didn’t tell the employees he was deaf. Once fostered out, the foster mom had to find out on her own. This can be very dangerous for a deaf puppy and can cause their owners to return them to shelters or rescues for “being dumb, stupid and insolent,” thus being the first ones chosen to be euthanized. Lucky for Astro, he was given love and direction by his two foster moms. This built a strong foundation for therapy work and will make my job easier in the next few months. Astro has learned that watching hand signals is his way of understanding commands and instead of a ‘clicker’ I use a ‘thumbs up.’ It’s a very special moment to watch a deaf dog’s facial expression when they realize that hands can ‘talk.’ Astro has already made his debut at the Fire Museum of Memphis and is a wonderful addition to TN Safety Spotters. Today, at 7-months-old,

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Not only do I train my deaf dogs, I train for shelters too. I’m a CGC instructor and therapy dog evaluator and have advanced training in animalassisted therapy work with firefighters dealing with stress and PTSD. I work one-on-one with my dogs providing emotional support to firefighters at our local fire stations. Firefighters and Dalmatians have a very special bond! Thanks to Toyota’s 100 Car For Good program and the help of our friends, TN Safety Spotters recently won a 2014 Toyota Highlander for our dedication to provide excellent community service through our therapy work and safety programs. Now we can reach so many more kids and go wherever we are asked and needed in a safe and reliable vehicle. Our work and dedication providing adults and children therapy and lifesaving skills relies strictly on donations and grants.

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By Debbie Fields (Stella’s mom)

Stella came into our lives on August 2, 2013. She was rescued by Paws and Claws Rescue. My family had decided we were going to foster a dog, so we met with Lisa who had coordinated the rescue, to bring home our foster. It was so sad looking down at all of those terrified faces, wondering how I was going to choose just one? It was at this time I spotted a little body cowering at the back of a crate. This little dog was clinging to the crate wall, terrified. Something told me she's the one, that she needs you more than any of the other ones! I was in tears looking at this frail little body that had never known love. So that is how Stella became our new family member. Before we got halfway home, I knew she wasn't going anywhere. The little girl that no one else would have taken a second look at was the first one to find her forever home! Stella's health was extremely bad due to the years of little or no vetting and

the poor diet she had. After all, she was kept in a small cage with barely any human contact for 13 years. And the smell of the feces and urine coming from her fur was enough to make you vomit. She weighed a mere 3 pounds, has no teeth, two legs that are crippled, multiple cesarean scars, and an attitude to match the years of torment she went through. But imagine yourself living 13 years in a place where the only reason you existed was to make money by churning out litter after litter of puppies. Stella is now loving life! Every day brings something new for her to learn and also challenges. She weighs 5 pounds 3 ounces and has learned that bath time is okay and it's not going to hurt her. She loves her groomer Tabitha, at Critter Sitters. She receives water therapy in the bathtub every week and those legs are starting to move a lot better. She has existing problems with her respiratory system

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from breathing ammonia all those years, and tummy troubles from the poor diet and stress from living in a mill. Even after all those years of abuse, she is a little bundle of love. We can only imagine the torture she went through for 13 years. She is finally learning that her life is important, and learning that there is a thing called love! Stella has her own Facebook page with almost 5,000 friends that she uses it to share animals in need and to raise money for local rescues in our area. She is an honorary member of In His Hands Small Animal Rescue, and has raised over $500 in donations to help them change the life of one more animal. We are planning a Christmas fundraiser to make sure all the animals receive a present. Stella's motto is: One Life, One Day at a Time!

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Zoe wanted to tell her story in her own words

My fairy tale story begins on November 3rd, 2010, when animal control found me on the streets of South Phoenix – shy, frightened, skinny, matted, a dirty grey color, and 5.5 pounds! When no one claimed me, I was put on the “E” list. Fortunately, the county notifies local rescues about our approaching fate. Miss Pam of Ruby Ranch Pet Rescue and Sanctuary was my savior! Because she focuses her love on seniors and special needs pups who have a harder time being adopted, she bypassed me, but for some reason, she

turned back and took my card: “NO NAME - I year old stray.” An immediate trip to the beauty parlor and vet was in order revealing that I was white and not grey, closer to 10 months old rather than a year, undernourished, with ear mites, intestinal worms, and not yet spayed. So that very day, November 9th, my fairy godmother waved her wand and I had a complete makeover and a name –Kya! My Cinderella story continued with Miss Pam’s phone call to mommy. “I

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have the perfect dog for you, Diane. She can be adopted in about a week.” You see, a few weeks earlier, mommy was supposed to adopt another dog named Jewel from Miss Pam, but the lady who was fostering Jewel decided to keep her. Miss Pam felt awful knowing mommy’s disappointment, so she called her about me! My adoption event was to be November 20th, but instead, Miss Pam called mommy a second time, “Kya is healing quickly and is getting so attached to me that I think it would be best if you came to meet her tomorrow.”



When mommy came to meet me, I wouldn’t even look at her, but Miss Pam’s words echoed in mommy’s head, “She’s perfect for you.” So, with a new collar and leash, dog treats, food and a new name, Zoe, I was officially ‘adopted.’ Within just a few hours, mommy could have renamed me Velcro. I fit in perfectly, and the man known as Daddy, loved me too. Life was amazing! I was told I was special by everyone who met me; my

obedience teachers, my AKC Canine Good Citizenship evaluator, and especially my Therapy Dog Inc. Tester/ Evaluator. My life as a therapy dog blossomed. Pets on Wheels of Scottsdale and Hospice of the Valley are the two groups that keep me busy at least four times a week. I love doing my tricks, especially saluting wherever I go, but my favorite time is what mommy calls “A Zoe Moment.” That’s when my Alzheimer’s

patients respond to me, or I seek out a person who needs my attention. From rehab centers to hospitals, a special needs classroom to a library, group homes to palliative care, or events like Paws for a Wish (NCCF) or ASU Alpha Gamma Delta De-stress – I’m there!

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Phoenix with Halo

By Renee Smith, Founder and Director of Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue

Halo’s story began at Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue with a call from a concerned individual about a dog they couldn’t get off their mind. When I first laid eyes on Halo, he was a defeated puppy, laying in a kennel at animal control. He had lost confidence in the world and all those that were meant to care for him. See, Halo was severely injured. I wouldn’t know to what extent until I got him to our vet, but his head injuries were apparent from the beginning. His left eye was cloudy, and his poor little head was misshapen. Animal control thought maybe he had been hit in the head with a shovel. Halo was immediately taken to our vet where he was sedated and x-rays were taken. Halo had not just been hit in the head with a shovel; he had been shot in the head with a pellet gun 3 times. He had a broken ocular bone, 3 pellets in his head, and a fractured elbow in his front left leg. Halo would need a drain tube immediately and his road to recovery was going to be a long one.

When I first brought Halo home he was terrified of everyone and everything. Any sudden movement by his kennel, or even carefully taking him out to pee, would result in him urinating all over himself. His transformation started the day after I brought him home. That’s the day my daughter, Phoenix, came home from spending the night with her grandparents. She walked up to his kennel, kneeled down and said, “Hey handsome.” He walked right up to her and started licking her. From that moment on, Phoenix and Halo were best friends. It wasn’t an easy process to get him to the point he is now. He was scared and would run from leashes, new people, outside, loud noises - really almost everything. I think it took him a month or so before he even felt safe enough to venture around the entire house. Halo has now grown into a handsome boy, full of energy and zest for the world. He loves to go for walks, visit

Petco, and meet new people. He and Phoenix are still best friends. Halo’s abuser, Tyler Sanders, pled guilty as charged to aggravated cruelty to animals and theft of animals $500$1500. He also pled guilty to one count of possession of marijuana and one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He was sentenced to 10 years DOC, with 5 years suspended. After his release he will have 5 years supervised probation. Special thanks to all those involved, Calcasieu Parish Animal Services, Lake Charles Police Dept, Assistant DA Christy Rhoades May, Lake Area Animal Hospital, and to Judge Davis. Halo had a wonderful team behind him, and we at Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue will always be grateful for their hard work.

Become a fan on Facebook at: LakeCharlesPitBullRescue

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A TRUE MIRACLE By Kim Greer (Rambo’s foster mom)

On July 4th 2013, it was a rainy night in my hometown so there were no firework celebrations. I was on the computer and came across a dog rescue that I had been following for awhile, Ruff Love Rescue. They had just posted a photo of a dog that had been hit by a car, and his picture broke my heart. The picture showed a precious dog, just lying in a doghouse with blood pouring from his face. There were pleas from people posting all over their page to ‘save’ him, to get him to an emergency veterinarian as soon as possible; and I was one of them. On the night he was ‘hit,’ one of the ladies that had seen him in the neighborhood saw a dog lying in the

road and she stopped her car to see if she could help. The lady that ran over him had turned around to check on him, and together, they were able to get him into a car and out of the road. Ruff Love Rescue (RLR) was contacted and they decided to check up on him. When they arrived, he was so still, they were afraid he had passed. It was dark out, but they finally saw him breathe, so a dab of food was put under his nose with some pain meds, and he gobbled it up. He was given the name “Rambo.” The following morning Rambo was taken to a veterinarian hospital. Head surgery was first and foremost since his skull was exposed, his left eye was

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literally rolling around the socket, and brain swelling started to occur. He was tested for worms and parasites and was diagnosed with one of the worst cases of each, including Heartworms. Rambo’s prognosis was not good! There were many prayers and well wishes going up for Rambo during this time, and I offered to foster him if he made it. On July 16th, Rambo was released from the hospital and came into my home. When he got out of the van I could not believe what I saw; the pictures were nothing compared to this baby that stood before me. He was so skinny, the white on his fur was grey, he smelled so bad, head oozing,



so much of his body scabbed, and there was a bag full of medicine he needed. Yet, he stood there and wagged his tail! Sue, the founder of RLR was here to help him with the introduction of my two other dogs. He immediately made himself at home and was great with his fur foster siblings. During the next few days, I noticed that he was so afraid he wouldn’t be fed; he wasn’t food aggressive, but ate so fast it would make him sick. Therefore, I put him on a slow feeder bowl, and to this day, this remains the case. Rambo was given baths to clean his fur, and for weeks I could ‘pick’ gravel from his body. When I cleaned his head and placed the crème, he just sat like a

gentle soul, wanting nothing but love. I also had to give him meds for elevated liver enzymes and antibiotics and pills for anemia. Next was Heartworm tx; with his weakened body there was concern how he would do with the tx, so they were divided into 3 rounds. For 60 days he was not able to play, run, or do what healthy dogs can. He was crated during the day and perfectly content lying next to me in the evenings. Rambo has one final challenge to face; closing the wound on his head. After nine months, it has finally granulated all that it can. Rambo loves to run and play ball, unfortunately, when he

barely bumps his head on something it still bleeds. For him to have a real chance at being the dog he so deserves to be, the surgery must be attempted. Plans are for Rambo to have training as a therapy dog and he has already been assessed for this. His journey is not over and we are so grateful for the outpouring of love all over the world for him. Our motto has become, ‘educate before you discriminate,’ and ‘please consider being a foster or adopter of a rescue or shelter pet.’ There are so many that have not been able to share their story like Rambo!

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By Glenda Coleman-March (Windsor’s mom)

Windsor was found on April 6, 2012, by two maintenance men at an apartment complex in Baltimore, MD. He was lying next to a garbage dumpster, dying, and covered in a pile of leaves. His fur was completely matted and he was literally skin and bones. Because his hair was so matted it had cut the circulation off to his leg, so he chewed his rear left foot off. A rescue group, Mutts Need Love Too, was called and Windsor was immediately rushed to the veterinary hospital where it was confirmed that he was suffering from severe neglect. There

were signs of physical abuse and he was emaciated and very sick. He was treated with antibiotics and nutrients, but had to have his left rear leg amputated due to complications and infection from chewing his foot off. While he was recovering in the hospital from his surgery I would go visit him daily. Things looked bleak for Windsor for several days, but he wasn't about to give up, and he had a powerful will to live! After his surgery, I was his foster mom and he came home with me. I was so in love with Windsor by now that I immediately adopted him!

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He has done extremely well since that time and he lets nothing hold him back. Windsor can run on his 3 remaining legs faster than most dogs run with all 4 legs. He now has a loving family that adores him, and of course, a devoted mommy who loves him to pieces! I have nurtured Windsor back to health and he has gained weight and weighs 28 pounds. He is enjoying his new life and though Windsor was rescued and saved, I feel that he really rescued me!

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Mercy wanted to tell her story in her own words

My name is Princess Mercy White, but you can call me Mercy. I reside here in the Mercyful Realm, where all creatures are treated with love, kindness and a gentle touch. My kingdom is a place called Daisy Farm Sanctuary. Once upon a time, I did not live here in my kingdom, but in a place filled with fear, pain, sorrow and evil. I was a bait dog. I was used to let doggies practice their fighting skills on. The awful people that owned me hurt me very badly. They chopped my ears off, did not feed me, and put wire around my mouth so I could not defend myself. They shot me many times, including through my nose, which broke many of my teeth and tore my tongue. When I no longer served a purpose for them, I was shot in the neck, body, and rear. They dumped me on a highway in a place called Valencia County, NM. Other doggies had been treated the same way and dumped there. I was the only survivor. The day I was

dumped was the best day of my life. A Good Samaritan saw me and called for help. I was taken to the shelter and they found a rescue to help me. My guardian angels at Viva! Animal Rescue NM swooshed over and scooped me up and took me to see a vet. I spent 2 weeks at the vet and needed reconstructive surgery for parts of me had been destroyed, and they also took bullets out of me. It was a long recovery for me, and one that will continue my whole life. I am blind in one eye and have a scar in the middle of the other eye from bullet pieces. I get special drops and ointments and things. I also carry many pieces of shrapnel with me today. Recently, I began a battle with a severe bone infection in my left hip. My bone looks a little like Swiss cheese right now. But through it all, I have been a brave girl. I love, I play, I smile, I learn, and I trust. I adore other doggies, and am learning that men are okay. I know that

I lived because I have a story to tell. The doggies that did not live will be remembered everyday in my heart. I do what I do for them, and to honor their short lives. Today I am working on a coloring book that will help give little people a voice to help doggies like me. I am also doing a very special project with help from some of my royal subjects. We are called Justice For Mercy. We are a hotline for people to contact with tips about dog fighting in New Mexico, and especially Valencia County, where I came from. Nobody wanted to help get the men that hurt me, so my family and royal subjects said, “We shall be the ones.” I am so proud of myself for how strong I have become. I am a princess, and I shall live happily ever after!

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American Dog Media | Summer 2014    97




By Jennifer Corodimas (Gertie’s mom)

In German, “Gertie” means “having the strength of a spear,” which is quite fitting since her life nearly ended as soon as it began. Gertie was thrown into a dumpster in the dead of winter at just one-day-old. She was born with a cleft palate and lip, which meant that she could not form suction when nursing, so if she was not tube-fed, she would have starved to death. A police officer in Munford, Tennessee, who pulled over to have a cigarette, heard her crying and rescued Gertie from a terrible fate. She then made her way to Rochester, NY, to The Mia Foundation (, who rescues and rehabilitates animals with congenital birth defects until they are strong enough to be adopted out. There, she was loved and tube-fed several times a day, until she was able to eat on her own. I flew from Boise, Idaho to Rochester, New York to bring our little gem home.

Gertie is our third special needs baby and our fifth pit bull (American Staffordshire mix). Sadly, we recently lost our sweet boy Morgan to a fatal heart condition at only two years old. However, he was our first special baby, and our influence for adopting more. We also have Auggie who cannot use his back legs fully, and lastly, we have three other wonderful rescued pups that we adore. Gertie's story is more common than people realize. Many animals are thrown away or dumped, and Gertie is just one of the lucky ones. Our mission is to continue to spread awareness about cleft palate animals, to show how truly beautiful they are, and that they too deserve a chance at life. Many people around the world are willing to help care for them, so we want to educate to help reduce the number of pups being abandoned. Gertie will eventually become a therapy dog to visit schools and help children

98    Summer 2014 | American Dog Media

learn about cleft palates and being different, since many kids are bullied for this reason. We want to help children understand that this is not okay. Gertie’s Facebook page has given us a platform to help other pups in need, which brings us immense joy. We have a fondness for "differentlyabled" pups and enjoy sharing our babies with the world, so that they can see what we see in them, and perhaps foster, or even adopt one. Gertie is the perfect example of how beautiful, loving, smart and special they truly are. There is something about a special needs baby, it's as if they know that you are helping them and the love that they give back is ten-fold. Gertie may have started out as one man’s junk, but she is our treasure now, and for the rest of her life, all she will know is love.

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