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Winter 2010


VOLUME 3, ISSUE 4 cover photo by Heather Green Photography

18 C  over Story Eight Dogs Are Enough!

32 Buzz Sanderson

21 Surf Dog Ricochet

34 Phoebe CyberCrime

22 Bocker Labradoodle 24 Frankie Walk N Roll 25 Billie Valentine 26 Remington 28 Emma Zen Chiapuzio 29 Deacon Doodle Smith 30 Michelle’s Poodles

33 Sparkles Fire Safety 36 Peanut’s Fan Club 38 Doc Barker 40 R  ainbow Diamond 41 Rainbow’s Mom and Dad 42 The Greatest Gift For Dogs 44 Famous Dogs on Facebook 46 A  nimal Shelters Making A Difference  ink Outside the Shelter 50 Th To Increase Adoptions 104 Happily Ever After French Riviera Rescue 105 Happily Ever After Bait Dog Phoenix Rescued 106 Happily Ever After Dolly the Pit Bull 108 Happily Ever After Homeless Pitties Rescued

photo courtesy of Dayna Hilton

8    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

112 Happily Ever After Liam Makes It Out

Does GMO Mean ì GOD MOVE OVERî ? Solid Gold Dog food continues to produce the finest pet food for your dogs and cats. The #1 allergy of pets is soybean, #2 is wheat and #3 is corn. They make the animals chew at the root of their tails and lick their feet. Solid Gold doesn’t use these allergic grains. They use amaranth, millet and barley. These grains have a history of health. In the Old Testament, Ruth is gleaning millet in Boaz’ field. In the loaves and fishes story, it is barley that makes up the loaves. In June 2010, the radio show “Coast to Coast” had a guest tell how some food has been purposely altered causing disastrous results. A farmer used to save seeds from this year’s crop, to plant next year. Then, large companies began to produce Terminator Seeds. The seeds have been genetically modified (GM) so as not to be able to reproduce, causing farmers to buy new seeds every year. These genetically altered seeds are 98% soybean and 90% corn. The government has partnered with the chemical companies. The official term is Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO. These GMO foods were tested on mice. The male mice’s testicles were no longer pink. They turned purplish showing lack of oxygen. Some had cancerous tumors. Instead of 100% female mice conceiving, only 30% became pregnant. When these 30% were bred, only 10% conceived. Then these 10% were bred, zero were born. The control group was fed non-GMO food, almost 100% conceived. When GMO alfalfa was fed to female pigs, sows, they were then bred. X-rays showed the placenta sac with the fluid, it was empty – no piglets at all. Yet the non-GMO food sows produced normal piglets. When the guest on the radio called the chemical company why these terminator seeds were produced, she was told there were too many people in the world, and this was a form of population control. Isn’t this what is the basis of the New World Order!!! If you intend to breed your dogs, and are feeding pet food with soybean or corn, you may get zero puppies. Soybean is sometimes called lecithin. Solid Gold used to get Alaskan wild caught salmon for our dog food. But we were informed that the area has been “fished out”, we were told to use farmed salmon. Never! Farmed salmon is fed GMO corn. The owner of Solid Gold dog food has been raising and showing Great Danes for 50 years. For 30 years, Solid Gold produced many healthy supplements, one of which was called Solid Gold Concept-A-Bitch. They FDA forbid her to produce this herbal aid to pregnant bitches. They said that conception and pregnancy were diseases and only vets should be allowed to breed dogs! The lady’s vet is only 32 years old. When the lady told this to her vet, he said that this was ridiculous, he had other things to do. Also, if breeders are now forbidden to breed by the FDA, where are the future puppies going to come from? Solid Gold doesn’t use sunflower oil in its dog food. The Swedish National Cancer Institute’s 10 year study found a 69% increase in cancer. Solid Gold doesn’t use peas – which may cause gas; or peanuts / peanut butter a well known allergen, or avocados. Dr. Karen Halligan warns that avocados may contribute to pancreatitis. A lady came to our Solid Gold store and bought a bag of our “Just a Wee Bit” dog food for the little dog. When asked what kind of dog she had, she replied that she didn’t have a dog. She had chickens. She replied that she used to feed corn, but about a year ago, their feathers began to fall out, they developed cancer tumors and her egg production dropped considerably. Everything improved when she switched to Solid Gold “Just a Wee Bit” dog food. Now for our story: Angels Unaware Farmer Brown was walking along a road when he heard a tiny sound. It came from a near-by box. Inside the box were some tiny puppies. All had been struck on the head and most had died. But one was still alive although her head was dripping blood. It had been a deliberate killing. Farmer Brown carefully picked her up, wrapped her in his handkerchief and went home, where she was slowly nursed back to health. She looked to be a Border collie mix. Perhaps the mother had bred with a mixed breed dog and the owner didn’t want the puppies, so he decided to kill them. Farmer Brown named the puppy, Angel. Soon the farmer and Angel would go out and do their work. In time Angel was also about to be a mother. She has three lovely puppies. One night, Angel was late returning home. Around suppertime, Angel came into the house carrying a towel in her mouth. Inside the towel was a new born human baby girl. Angel put the baby in her litter box, cleaned it up and cuddled it to keep it warm. Farmer Brown had called the sheriff who quickly came out and transported the baby to the hospital. Seems as though a young unwed girl had given birth to the baby, wrapped it in a towel, and placed it by the side of the road to die. Then, along came Angel and took the towel and baby home. Several months later a couple adopted the baby girl. They knew the background and decided to name the baby, Angela. In the fullness of time, Farmer Brown passed away. Shortly afterwards, so did Angel, the Border Collie mix that no one wanted. Angela grew to be a fine young lady. This is a true story and took place in Scotland. A phrase in Hebrews 13.2 that says “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this, some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Solid Gold is the only dog food company that is a member of the Organic Trade Association, the American Nutraceutical Association, the Medicinal Food Association, Nutraceutical Foods Association and the Life Extension Association.

For a catalog or store near you, call or email us at: (619) 258-7356 or (619) 258-1914 (M-F 10-5 PST) or E-mail us at or Solid Gold Health Products for Pets, the Holistic Animal Nutrition Center 1331 N. Cuyamaca El Cajon, CA 92020

Made in the USA



the dog scene 53 Pet Industry Leader Bob Vetere 54 Role Model Ryan Clinton 58 Role Model Scotlund Haisley 60 Role Model Team Pit Bull 62 Celebrity Profile Lisa Lampanelli

Winter 2010 VOLUME 3, ISSUE 4 64 C  elebrity Profile Elaine Hendrix 67 B  usiness Profile Dog Crate Central 68 A  mazing Volunteer! Jack Leslie 70 A  mazing Rescue! Sarge Wolf-Stringer 72 A  mazing Woman! Tamira Thayne 75 P  hilanthropy American Dog Magazine  umanitarian Awards 76 H 78 N  on-Profit Santa Cruz SPCA  on-Profit 81 N Karma Rescue 82 N  on-Profit Namaste Dog Rescue 84 W  orking Dogs Dogs Donating Blood 87 D  octor of Chiropractic Dr. Caroline Bartley  eterinarian 88 V Dr. Lori Wise 91 D  og Law Is it Safe for Pets to Fly?  og Trainer 92 D Doug Simpson 93 D  og Trainer Michael Wombacher 96 D  og Parent Families Gianna Marie Souza 97 D  og Parent Families Wiggles, Wobbles, Snuggles 98 D  og Parent Families Haiku and Bonsai 100 Bedtime Books



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Publisher’s Note

Founder/Publisher Jamie M. Downey Associate Publisher Heather Green Associate Directors Sharyn Berglund Nancy Allen Editor in Chief Jamie Downey Editorial Director Lauren Wineberg Art Director Kelly Mayer Senior Editor David Revierter Photographer Heather Green

Jamie M. Downey, Founder/Publisher with Cheyenne, Chester and Cassie


e hope you enjoy our winter/holiday issue with all the incredible dogs featured with a job! These canines just live to help others, and it’s very refreshing and inspiring to see so many talented dogs working for charities, raising money for worthy causes, and truly making a difference in the lives of others - people and dogs! This issue also has some pretty fabulous “happily-ever-after” stories that will bring tears to your eyes, but happy tears, because all these dogs were rescued and are now living a great life with a loving family. Because we are a parent magazine for dog lovers, we went back to our roots and have included some great, devoted dog parents, who enjoy showing off their canine kids, and telling our readers about the love and joy their four-legged children bring into their lives- everyday! As usual, we also spotlight some exceptional role models, people who make a commitment and devote their life to making an impact on society, for the betterment of people and animals! You’ll want to read their stories. And, since this is the holiday issue and the season of giving gifts is right around the corner, make sure you browse through all the exciting advertisements which feature delicious food, yummy treats, and the must-have pet-friendly products and services for your dog! We appreciate you supporting and shopping with our advertisers. The American Dog wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season. Remember, this is the time of year to give thanks for what you have and please be generous to those less fortunate. Make sure you have a purpose in life, make a contribution to society, and a donation to charity. If you can make room in your family, consider adopting your next dog from a rescue group or your local animal shelter. We would also like to say thank you to our subscribers, to our loyal readers of The American Dog, and to all our Facebook fans! We adore you! Sincerely, Jamie M. Downey Founder/Publisher

Managing Editor Casey Rodarbal Senior Copy Editor Deborah Johnson Advertising Director Jamie M Downey Production Coordinator Kim Thornton Distribution Manager John Haddock Business Manager Ann Jamison Subscription Manager Wanda Hoff Web Site Design/Manager Jen Griggs-Sebastian Contributing Photographers Diane Edmonds, Marie Shelto, Shaina Fishman, Legacy Studios, Debbie Hendrickx, Ron McHugh, Sue Taylor, Stacey Clark, Steve Mills, Dayna Hilton, Dave Sanderson, Lisa Bettencourt, Felix Mizioznikov, Robert Ochoa, Abe Ortiz, Benjamin Hernandez, Sherrie, Buzby, Emily Bate, Carol Guzy, Jason Largent, Jimmy Cannizzaro, Elaine Hendrix, Lisa Caravella, Kim Wolf, Daly Gonzalez, Katie Monahan, Wallace Schock, Tina Valant, Paul Fleck, Brygida Trzaska, Erica Daniel, Rescue Me Pet Portraits, Claire Jakubiszyn Contributing Writers Dr. Lori Wise, Dr. Caroline Bartley, Nathan Winograd, Carole Raphaelle Davis, Anna Morrison-Ricordati, Tamra Monahan, Doug & Elizabeth Simpson, Michael Wombacher, Jennifer Moulton, Judy Fridono, Tamira C Thayne, Kristy Schroeder, Marie Shelto, Barbara Techel, Russell Baker, Debra Jo Chiapuzio, Michelle Harrell, Dayna Hilton, Dave Sanderson, Rene Gil, Brent Toellner, Bob Vetere, Edith Wallace, Jonathan Offi, Elaine Hendrix, Marcia Conover, Jack Leslie, Brygida Trzaska, Tiffany Norton, Erica Daniel, Jay Johnson How to reach us: The Dog Publishing, Dba The American Dog 20269 E. Smoky Hill Rd. #B-136 Centennial, CO 80015 Phone: (303) 840-6111 (Colorado) For advertising inquiries Letters to the Editor/Story Ideas: Email to:

Subscription rate is $20 per year within the United States, Add $20 postage per year for Canadian subscriptions. We do not ship to foreign countries. U.S. funds only. 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 20269 E. Smoky Hill Rd. #B-136 Centennial, CO 80015 Copyright 2010

Heather Green, Associate Publisher with Bella, Remington and Jaidyn

12    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

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.

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We would love to invite all our readers to become a fan of The American Dog Magazine on FACEBOOK!


Follow The American Dog Magazine on Twitter! We love to tweet!

Find us at: @theamericandog

Visit us on the internet and keep up-to-date with current dog news, our contests, sweepstakes, giveaways, and prizes!

Visit us at: 14    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

Our Contributors Dr. Lori Wise, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Nathan Winograd


Author, Animal Advocate

Dr. Lori Wise graduated from vet school at the University of Florida, then completed her internship and residency at Colorado State Univ. After bcoming board-certifiedin internal medicine in 1990, she practiced in Los Angeles, CA, then returned to Denver to join Wheat Ridge Veterinary Specialists and is one of the partners of Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital.

Nathan is the Director of the national No Kill Advocacy Center. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and a former criminal prosecutor and corporate attorney. He is the author of two books, Redemption and Irreconcilable Differences. Redemption won five national book awards and redefined the animal protection movement in the United States.

Dr. Caroline Bartley, B.S., D.C., CVCP

Anna Morrison-Ricordati

Doctor of Chiropractic Care

Attorney at Law

Dr. Bartley is a graduate of Parker College of Chiropractic. She has practiced in the Denver metro area since 1998 and practicing Animal Chiropractic care since 2002. She is one of four doctors in the state of Colorado who is state licensed in an approved chiropractic technique for dogs and horses.

Anna Morrison-Ricordati is an attorney practicing animal wefare law and general civil litigation in Chicago, Illinois. Her practice includes overturning dangerous dog rulings to assisting animal related notfor-profit organizations with various legal issues. As an advocate, Anna seeks to protect animals from abuse under existing laws and further seeks to extend animal protection through legislative change.

Doug and Elizabeth Simpson

Tamra Monahan

Dog Trainers


Doug and Elizabeth Simpson have been working with animals all of their lives, and love to share their natural method of dog training with the goal of creating as many happy families as they can. They live on a wonderful little animal haven in Boulder, Colorado, and have been featured in many magazines, television shows and radio.

Tamra lives in Highlands Ranch with her husband Mike and two wacky cairn terriers, Molly and Mac. She divides her time between working at the Tattered Cover Book Store and freelance writing. One of her favorite topics to write about is dogs with jobs, those amazing canines who love to work.

Michael Wombacher

Jennifer Moulton

Dog Trainer


Michael Wombacher is an author, lecturer and expert dog trainer for Bay Area celebrities and families, with over 20 years of handson training experience. Michael has written two dog training books, and offers the only digital book on how to prepare your dog for the arrival of a new baby, entitled Good Dog, Happy Baby. He is currently working on his first TV show.

16    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

Jennifer has spent the past 10 years working in the animal welfare field. From Veterinary Technician to Program Coordinator, her animal sheltering experiencehas covered the full spectrum. Currently pursuing a degree in Sociology, she hopes to expand the scope of animal therapy in criminal rehabilitation programs throughout the country.

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The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    17  



photos by Heather Green Photography

Steve talks about his family pack of eight The American Dog reports


: What are the names, breeds and ages of all eight dogs?

Loretta is a terrier mix (3 years old), Ursula is a Min Pin(6 years old), Wolfgang is a Min Pin (11 years old), Hercules is a Min Pin (12 years old), Ignatius is a Min Pin (11 years old), Espironza is a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix (11 years old), Madeline is also a Min Pin (11 years old), and Earlie is our Irish Wolfhound, and he is (7 years old).


: Who was the first dog to join your family?

Ursula is the oldest dog we have. She will turn 17-years-old in January and she was born in the house we currently live in.


: How did you end up with all eight dogs?

It wasn’t planned - kind of by accident. My roommate moved in with a eight-

week-old Min Pin puppy named Hercules. At the time I had three female Min Pins that weren’t spayed. I kept planning to get them all spayed, but we weren’t in a hurry because Hercules was so young. But at seven months he was evidently old enough, and all three females became pregnant at the same time. Since we are not in the breeding business we wanted all the puppies to go to friends and relatives, but we still ended up keeping two of the puppies. Ursula was one of the females that became pregnant, Wolfgang and Ignatius are the two puppies we kept. As soon as the puppies were weaned and old enough, everyone in the house was fixed! The big guy, Earlie, is the third Irish Wolfhound companion I have had. They are such wonderful dogs that I always want to have one in my life so that’s how he came to be here. The

18    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

others are adult dogs that were rescued, two from the pound and Madeline came to us from a friend who moved out of state and couldn’t take her along. Incidentally, Madeline is one of the original puppies I mentioned above. Hercules is her father, so we couldn’t refuse her. Eight dogs is definitely enough. One day I would like to get down to a reasonable number, maybe three or four, but having all of them now is wonderful, and I can’t imagine ever giving any of them up. It’s a lot of work, but they are worth it and fill our house with so much joy and laughter.


: Do all eight dogs get along or are there squabbles?

Generally, all the dogs get along great. But like any big family, there are many squabbles. Wolfgang and Ignatius are

brothers and so they get along just like two siblings. The small dogs have a tendency to get irritated by the Irish Wolfhound because he (accidentally?) steps on them from time to time, but he is not easily provoked.

There is not a day that goes by from someone asking us if we are professional dog walkers.


I spend in the range of $225 a month. I feed them a no-grain dry food that has the benefits of a raw food diet. I could definitely get by with a smaller bill, but I think this will help them all live longer, healthier lives.

: Which dog is the “boss”?

My roommate and I have a disagreement about this. He thinks Hercules rules the roost, but I’m just as certain that it is Wolfgang. Either way, we are in agreement that the Min Pins are in charge.


: Do all the dogs have their own bed or sleep in your bed?

I kind of have a pet bed fetish so there are practically pet beds in every room. My bedroom even has a dog bed built into the wall so you would think they would all sleep in their own beds, but oddly enough, six of the eight dogs sleep in my bed, Hercules sleeps in my roommate’s bed, and Earlie has his own queen mattress to sleep on because he is so large!


: Do you take all eight dogs for a walk together or in shifts?

We take all eight at the same time. We’ve got it down now, my roommate takes four and I take the other four.


: :What is your dog food bill per month to feed eight mouths?


: What is a typical weekend at your house with all the canine kids?

It’s a gravy train commercial when we wake up with all the dogs running down the stairs barking with excitement for breakfast, it’s their favorite time of day. Then because almost all of the dogs are elderly, everyone takes a nap. We shoot for a walk in the evenings and there is a dog in practically every chair in the house when we settle down for a movie.


: How do your dogs make your life special?

I honestly can’t imagine life without them. Every one of them brings something special to our lives, they each are so different. Wolfgang likes to travel, we just got back from Cape Cod a couple


weeks ago. Walking on the beach with Wolfgang was really one of the highlights of the trip. I had his portrait painted by an artist there nine years ago and she still recognized him when we walked into her shop this year. Madeline likes to go with me to the car wash or church when the weather isn’t too warm. Loretta likes to go to get groceries and would be happy to have me hold her for the rest of her life, putting her down only to eat - she’s in my lap now as I write this. Ignatius is our sensitive soul, he loves to give big hugs. I can’t go to sleep at night without him wrapping his paws around my neck and kissing my ear. Hercules loves luxury, he’s a dog that truly enjoys the comforts of life. He and Tom are almost always together. Espironza doesn’t like to go far, but she’s the only one that will really play with toys, and she loves her food more than any dog here. Earlie loves to go to a friends’ boarding stable to run with the horses, which is quite a sight as he lopes along just like a small horse himself. And finally, Ursula is our senior citizen who still has many of the traits of a young puppy. She sometimes bumps into things, and has moments of confusion, but time has truly made her sweeter, and we enjoy all the years we have been blessed with her so far.

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    19  

My Dog

NEEDS A JOB! Check out these canines at work: Billie Valentine

Michelle’s Poodles

Bocker Labradoodle

Peanut’s Fan Club

Buzz Sanderson

Phoebe CyberCrime

Deacon Doodle Smith


Doc Barker

Rainbow Diamond

Emma Zen Chiapuzio

Sarge Wolf-Stringer

Frankie Walk N Roll

Sparkles Fire Safety Surfdog Ricochet

20    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine


Reported by Judy Fridono (Ricochet’s mom)


urf Dog Ricochet, my SURFice dog lives a lifestyle of helping others by pawing it forward, and spends a lot of her time raising awareness and funds for human/animal causes. Ricochet’s focus is on assisting the disabled community and other causes in a non-traditional SURFice dog kind of way! So far, she has raised over $50,000 in an 11-month period, and Ricochet tells me that she is ready to raise more! “SURFice Dog” initiatives are part her alma mater, Puppy Prodigies, a 501(c)3 non profit organization that focuses on early puppy development, and service dog training for people with disabilities. Ricochet is probably best known for her inspirational video, “From Service Dog to SURFice dog.” It went viral, and touched the lives of millions of people all over the world. Richochet is a specially trained dog, and started learning the day she was born. She does have the temperament and advanced training of a service dog. But, because she enjoyed chasing critters, she couldn’t be a traditional service dog. So Puppy Prodigies coined the name SURFice dog® especially for her, and it even came with a trademark! Because Ricochet

is a pretty good surfer and enjoys working with the adaptive surfing community - the name really fits. She is also a canine good citizen, a certified goal directed therapy dog through Pawsitive Teams, and a registered animal assisted activities therapy dog with Therapy Dogs Incorporated. Ricochet does surf for fun and she has won a few contests too. Her best win was at the 2010 Loews Surf Dog Competition where she won 1st place in the tandem division with her littermate, Kalani. At the 2009 Helen Woodward Surf dog Surf-a-thon, she came in 2nd overall. She won 3rd place in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge in 2009 and 2010. And, she has won several other surf dog contests, and have been awarded several top fundraiser awards, and a couple top dog awards too.

For more information or to contact: Website: Email: Become a fan on Facebook: “Surf Dog Ricochet” (info reprinted from website with permission from Judy Fridono)

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    21  


Photo BY Shaina Fishman

Reported by Marie Shelto (Bocker’s mom)


ocker the Labradoodle is one busy doodle. One day he’ll be off to location for a photo shoot or TV commercial for Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Target, Chase Bank or Barney’s NY. The next, he sits attentively in a school library while children read to him in his role as Tail Wagging Tutor. He can also be found visiting a hospital or nursing home to spread joy, give kisses, and get big hugs in the process. He started Bocker’s Buddies, a national group of doodles doing good through their therapy work. Besides modeling, Bocker’s career includes film work in War of the Worlds, Julia Robert’s, Eat Pray Love, and a co-starring role in a short film with actor Rider Strong. Bocker even played a girl, Caramel Barkshaw, in Prince Lorenzo Borghese’s webisode spoof of the show he was on, The Bachelor. He’s appeared on Good Morning America and The View, where Joy Behr gave him a bath. He represented Hillary Clinton on a morning show segment “If the political candidates were dogs” and got a handwritten note from Mrs. Clinton after his appearance. When Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 were casting their show on Labradoodles, they called on Bocker to represent the breed. Bocker does have an agent,

22    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

but his website and his network of almost 4,000 friends and fans on Facebook, (which include celebrities, politicians, models, reporters, photographers), have made him a doodle in demand.

 Besides his therapy and autism awareness work, a very important part of Bocker’s life is helping his four-legged friends in need. Bocker is associated with several shelters and rescue organizations, assisting them through fundraising and making special appearances. Partial proceeds from the sale of his plush toy go to help these organizations. Bocker was honored with a “Quality of Life” award for his willingness to always lend a helping paw. When Bocker gets home from a long day at work, there is nothing he enjoys more than sitting under his favorite tree and devouring a yummy doggie ice cream. If Bocker could talk, he’d say I am one very lucky doodle.

For more information or to contact: Website: Email: Facebook: “Bocker Labradoodle”

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FRANKIE the Walk N Roll Dog: SPOKESDOG! Photos BY Legacy Studios

Reported by Barbara Techel (Frankie’s mom)


t the age of six, Frankie, a Miniature Dachshund was diagnosed with Intevertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) after falling and rupturing a disc in her back. After months of physical therapy, she did not gain the full use of her back legs so she was custom-fitted for a doggie wheelchair. Through everything Frankie endured, she never once felt sorry for herself. She simply adjusted and adapted to her wheelchair within minutes of getting in it.

community. Frankie spreads joy and love to those that need it most.

As Frankie’s mom, I realized I had an opportunity to help educate others about IVDD, and also help children and adults see their challenges in a positive way - so Frankie and I set out to do just that.

A little boy named Jackson, who suffers from a form of cerebral palsy, was struggling to wear his night brace when his mom read him Frankie’s story. His mom wrote that after reading Frankie The Walk N Roll Dog to Jackson he said, “I have to wear my braces just like Frankie!”

Frankie has become an inspiration of hope among children at local schools, and the schools she visits via Skype, encouraging them to always think positive despite challenges. She helps children realize they are all unique, whether they wear glasses or have braces, that these are only tools just like Frankie’s wheelchair to help them be the best they can be.

Frankie is the star of two award-winning books helping children see they always have a choice when facing obstacles, and despite having challenges they can still be a part of giving back to their communities in their own unique way.

For more information or to contact:

In 2008, one year after Frankie’s diagnosis, she became a certified therapy dog. On a regular basis each month she visits a senior assisted-living facility, a local hospital, and a hospice

Website: Email: Facebook: “Frankie the Walk N Roll Dog”

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Frankie’s motto is: “Always be positive, make a difference, and keep on rolling!”

BILLIE VALENTINE: MODEL! Photos BY Debbie Hendrickx

Reported by The American Dog


eft behind as a traumatized young pup during Hurricane Katrina, few people could have imagined how bright Billie’s star would shine one day. Five years later, Billie is the star of his own calendar and greeting cards with one mission: make people smile and raising funds for his less fortunate brothers and sisters along the way. The minute Billie and his current mom Debbie Hendrickx met, something clicked. “Love at first sight” is how Hendrickx describes it. Soon after taking him home, Hendrickx started taking pictures of the new family addition to send to friends and relatives. “I couldn’t believe how he was basking in all the attention and really enjoyed having his pictures taken. It’s like he really takes on a pose,” Hendrickx says. Soon requests were coming in for Billie picture updates. Hendrickx explains that “Billie just loves all the fussing over him and doesn’t mind wearing the occasional costume when he’s in front of the camera, which brought the Billie Valentine concept to life. Besides, Billie is thrilled to make new friends and always puts a smile on the face of everyone he meets.” Hendrickx also says that “we wanted to make a fun product while really raising awareness about considering adoption

first. So we decided $1 of each calendar sale gets donated to a rescue organization. So far Billie has been able to contribute nicely to the Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego, and as Billie recently became a Washington state resident, Fur Baby Rescue of Washington was added to the donation list.” “Billie is one in a million, a true Chihuahua Extraordinaire. Adopting a rescue can require extra love, patience, and care but we really want people to know what joy can come from giving a dog a second chance” says the proud mom. And what does Billie do when he’s not posing? “He loves playing with Patches, his one-eyed brother who is also a rescue. Then there is the napping, lots and lots of napping” Hendrickx says. Who can blame him, with a future so bright and a cause so big, one can’t blame the little guy for being tired!

For more information or to contact: Website: Email: Facebook “Billie Valentine”

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    25  

REMINGTON: National Champion & Fire Dept Spokesdog! Photos BY Ron McHugh of Spare Time Productions

Reported by Russell Baker (Remington’s dad)


know there are many intelligent, “special” dogs around the world, but I think you would be hard pressed to find one that is as versatile as Remington, and who performs at such high levels for everything he competes in and does. Remington was whelped 07/07/2007 and was one of six puppies left in the litter. After three solid years of training he has attained four National Titles for Field Trials including a National Championship and two National Flushing Dog of the Year Titles. He has also completed his AKC Senior Hunt Test Title and is working on his Masters. Remington loves to swim and enjoys competing at the advanced level in Dock Dogs (diving). This high-energy dog also has a job and is the Independence, Kansas Fire Department’s fire dog and plays a large part in the Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Program in our local schools where the kids just love him. Remington has a huge assortment of tricks and will “stop, drop, and roll,” “ring the fire bell” on the front bumpers of our fire trucks, and pull 50 feet of 1-3/4 inch attack line off the truck too. He rides on the

26    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

front bumpers of our trucks during parades and will jump off to perform in intersections for the crowds. There are not many things that Remington is not capable of learning in what we call our 30-minute drill. All it takes for him to learn something new is 30 minutes and a Slim Jim. Remington does what we call “high noon,” he will “find money,” “break dance,” and “high five,” just to name a few more of the commands he knows how to perform. And by the way, Remington’s dad just happens to be the Fire Chief for the Independence Fire Dept. in Kansas. So this lucky dog gets to go to work with his dad everyday and be Russ’s constant companion while enjoying the rest of the family and just being a house dog at night!

For more information or to contact: Become a Facebook friend of Remington at “Remington” or his dad at “Russell Baker” and keep up-to-date with the latest news on this wonderful dog! Just Chicken  Nutritious white chicken breast meat  Low-fat, quality protein  High-value training treat

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EMMA ZEN CHIAPUZIO: Fundraiser! Photo BY Sue Taylor


mma Zen is a shelter survivor, a therapy dog, and the canine ambassador for biker dogs! Yes, I said that. A hundred and six pound Labrador Retriever/Great Dane mix is sort of hard to miss in a sidecar attached to a motorcycle. Emma loves to help others and when I threw my dog a birthday party we requested each guest to bring one can of dog food. I collected 39 cans in all and donated them to No More Empty Bowls, which is a pet food drive that concentrates on helping seniors feed their pets. Then Emma’s party was featured in The American Dog Magazine’s fall 2010 issue and another idea was born. The American Dog donated a generous supply of magazines and Emma held a PAW-tograph signing at Anaheim Feed and Pet Supply and it was a big success! We asked for a small donation and in return we put paw prints and bookmarks into the fall addition of the magazine. When it was all said and done we had raised seven hundred and ninety dollars! Special thanks to Dr. Liz Koskenmaki of Media City Animal Hospital in Burbank, CA and to Tim Layton of the TongkaDOG Foundation. Both donated generously to our cause.

28    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

Reported by Debra Jo Chiapuzio (Emma’s mom)

Our goal was to raise the money and support a program called Actors and Others for Animals. They are located in Burbank, CA and they help subsidize the cost of spay and neutering your pets. I was a recipient twenty years ago when I was having trouble with the high cost of living and being a responsible pet owner at the same time. With the $790 dollars raised from the magazine signing we got to give back to their program, one I never forgot about. In July of 2011 we will be taking off on “Emma’s Ride 4 Life.” The goal is to collect donations and purchase pet oxygen masks to give to our local fire department and emergency response teams so they’ll have the correct equipment to help save our pets lives in case of emergencies. Each of us can make a difference, just start small and watch it happen.

For more information or to contact: Website: Email: Facebook: “Emma Zen Chiapuzio”

DEACON DOODLE SMITH: ACTOR/MODEL! Photos By Stacey Clack Photography

Reported by Jodi Smith (Deacon’s mom)


o one makes it big in show business if they don’t have something that sets them apart from everyone else. For my Deacon the Labradoodle, knowing signed hand commands - a skill he learned while training to be a service dog - helped win him the role of Sandy in a theatre production of Annie in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Deacon loved appearing as the scruffy mutt in the play, but he really has his big brown eyes set on a loftier goal. I’m really hoping Deacon will someday land a role as a mascot for a charitable organization so he can help raise funds for a good cause. Deacon was born in June 2009 and I got Deacon with the intention of raising him as a service dog. His name also means servant of God. He started regular obedience training last October, and became certified as a service dog with West Michigan Therapy Dogs in April. He visits nursing homes, goes to hospitals and veterans facilities, and participates in the Ruff Readers library program, in which children read out loud to a dog to practice their reading skills.

In March, I noticed an ad in the local newspaper seeking dogs to play the role of Sandy in the musical Annie. Three dogs were vying for the part, but Deacon got it because he could follow commands in silence. All they had to do was teach the sign commands to Emily Elderkin, the 12-year-old Grandville girl who played Annie in the musical. Jennifer Hunter, who directed the play, said she loved working with Deacon, as well everyone in the cast loved Deacon too. Deacon will also be featured on a 2011 Cutest Doodle calendar. He won the honor after receiving 10,000 votes in an online “cutest doodle” competition, where his picture can be found at Several photos of Deacon are online at, and Deacon Doodle Smith is also a member of the dog actors guild.

For more information or to contact: Become a friend on Facebook at “Deacon Doodle Smith” Jodi Smith and Deacon can be reached at:

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    29  



Reported by Michelle Harrell (mom to her Poodles)


training revealed.” The audience is shown a few simple tricks to train their dog at home. A background of the original job of the Poodle being a “hunter’s dog” and water retriever is also explained.

Michelle’s Magical Poodles is a family oriented, audience interactive, “trick dog” show. Our show is meant to be entertaining, as well as educational. It includes classic tricks such as the poodles jumping through hoops, walking on their hind legs, dancing, and weaving. Other tricks my magical Poodles know are a magic trick with the magic change bag, a fire safety routine showing how to drop and roll, and escape from a burning building. Also included is a segment on “trick

For more information or to contact:

n the beginning, Michelle’s Magical Poodles was initially inspired by Cupid who started the show. Cupid was an abandoned poodle who was rescued by Florida Poodle Rescue and then adopted by me. While searching for a companion for Cupid, I contacted long time Poodle breeder Rose Thompson, and discovered Pirouette and Blondie. These two half brother and sister were the last of the litter to go. With my three Poodles, I now had my Poodle troupe. In 2006, the newest member of our magical poodle troupe, Emilio, was added.

30    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

Michelle’s Magical Poodles travel the entire United States performing at festivals, fairs and special events. I like to keep a small troupe in order to give my dogs the quality of life that they deserve. We work hard and are on the road a good part of the year. A plain hamburger from McDonald’s is their special treat for being good travelers. We always make sure to take some time out to have a little fun along the way. The secret to our success as performers is that we bring a lot of love to our audience. That’s because there’s a lot of love in our home.

Website: Email: Facebook: “StatueViva and Michelle’s Magical Poodles”

BUZZ SANDERSON: Spokesdog! Photos BY Dave Sanderson

Reported by Dave Sanderson (Buzz’s dad)


uzz was born in Oceanside, CA on May 1st, 2008 and we met when he was 8 weeks old. On his 3-month visit to the vet’s office I asked the vet about his yellow eyes. The vet said that Buzz had sensitive eyes, so I decided to have Buzz wear sunglasses to protect his eyes and that’s all it took. A day doesn’t go by that he isn’t wearing his shades! When we moved to Tucson, AZ in April 2009 we joined Smiling Dog Rescue, which is a non-profit group that will pull Pitties or Pit Bull mixes from the shelter before they get euthanized. The rescue will find foster homes to take care of them until we find these dogs a forever home. Buzz is the spokes-dog for Smiling Dog Rescue and shows up at all of the fundraising events, as well as goes to the PetSmart adoption days to show his support. Buzz is currently going to therapy dog classes so eventually he will become a certified therapy dog and go to hospitals, schools, and retirements homes visiting adults and children spreading goodwill, and to be an ambassador for his breed.

32    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

In September, Buzz was at an event at Harley Davidson of Tucson and the VP of marketing and sales of Blueye eyewear was so impressed with Buzz she offered him a sponsorship and to be the spokes-dog for Blueye eyewear. Buzz is the first dog to be sponsored by an eyewear company that sponsor athletes! And every April our local Tucson Lifestyle magazine allows a dog to grace it’s cover and over 340 dogs entered the contest this year and Buzz won. It’s the first time an American Pit Bull Terrier made the cover! I take Buzz everywhere I go to show what a wonderful breed the Pit Bull is and Buzz just loves all the two-legged and fourlegged friends that he meets. I am a so proud of Buzz and am thrilled that our paths crossed and how he has really changed my life!

For more information or to contact: Email: Facebook: “ Welovesocalbuzz Sanderson” Spokesdog for Spokesdog for

SPARKLES THE FIRE SAFETY DOG: Spokesdog! Photos BY Dayna Hilton

Reported by Dayna Hilton (Sparkle’s mom)


parkles-the Fire Safety Dog and I have made it our mission to help save lives, reduce injuries, and decrease property losses from fire. When we hear stories of how successful our program has been (Sparkles has helped save the lives of two families from fire), we want to work even harder. We are truly passionate about helping keep children and their caregivers fire-safe. Sparkles was rescued from a home with 62 other dogs. After adopting her in 2003 (with the sole intention of her becoming a member of our family at that time), I soon realized that Sparkles was a fast learner and enjoyed going to the fire station and being around the firefighters. One evening, just for fun, I thought I would see if Sparkles could crawl low (one of the key fire safety behaviors that we share is the importance of crawling low, getting out, and going to your meeting place). With a video camera in one hand and a treat in the other, I asked Sparkles to crawl for me and she did so on the very first attempt! I was very excited and before I knew it, I had a partner helping me share the fire safety message. I am very thankful that I have that video and it amazes me to think how many miles she has crawled since that very special day!

When Sparkles was younger, she would jump into her bed, where she would be covered with her with blanket. She would pretend to be asleep, then when she heard the sound of a smoke alarm, she would jump out of bed, crawl low, and go to her meeting place. It was a very effective way of reinforcing fire safety behaviors that the firefighters taught. Now that Sparkles is older and does not travel as much, we are doing Skype visits with schools in the United States and abroad. With schools experiencing budget cuts, this is the perfect opportunity to share the fire safety message and reach more children from all over the world. Sparkles has truly found her calling and I am so grateful that she is in my life.

For more information or to contact: Website: Email: Facebook: “Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog”

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    33  

PHOEBE THE CYBER CRIME DOG: SPOKESDOG! photos by Lisa Bettencourt of Breathless Focus Photography

The American Dog reports


hoebe is a rescued Siberian Husky, originally from Canada. Phoebe’s mom Jayne says, “she was a working sled dog up there and her six-dog team, all brothers and sisters, were named after the characters on the TV show Friends. When the couple who owned three sled dog teams were divorcing, they put all the dogs up for rescue. A lady in New Hampshire rescued the Friends team, and out of the six dogs - only three of them were socialized enough to be adopted out.“ That’s when Jayne Hitchcock and Chris Poulin adopted Phoebe in December of 2009. Although she was already three years old, Jayne says, “she still acted like a puppy and had to be housebroken, taught basic skills such as going up and down stairs, and that dog beds and toys are a good thing!” Jayne found that Phoebe was extremely calm and gentle and began taking her everywhere with her – anywhere that would allow dogs, including the local bank and auto parts stores. Jayne recalls that “Phoebe got into the habit of “roo-rooing”

34    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

a welcome when she entered, much to everyone’s delight. Rewarded with a biscuit, she also “roo-rooed” good-bye.” In the spring of 2010, Jayne took Phoebe with her to a school while she was giving a talk about Internet safety to parents and their kids. Jayne is president of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA) and WHOA-KTD (Kids/Teen Division) and travels all over the United States giving internet safety talks. Jayne tells us “I found that the kids attending the presentation gravitated to Phoebe, who just loves to be petted. That sparked the idea of making Phoebe the official mascot of the Kids/Teen Division and a spokesdog was born!” Phoebe enjoys her new job and accompanies Jayne to schools to teach students how to stay safer online, and to be petted, of course!

For more information or to contact: Website: Email Phoebe at: Facebook: “Phoebe TheCyber CrimeDog”


photos by Felix Mizioznikov

Reported by Rene Gil (Peanut’s mom)


have always had a love for all animals, and have bred and raised everything from Bengal Cats to Black Swans. But my true love is dogs. One day, I was attending a local dog show and saw my first French Bulldog, and just fell in love with the breed. I then spent a lot of time and energy searching for a reputable, top-quality French Bulldog. During this time I met some really great people and was introduced to Peanut’s breeder, Jane Lennon. After waiting a little over a year for the litter of puppies, I chose Peanut who was born on Oct 13, 2008. I’m in the medical field, and as many people know this is a stressful job, but when I’m around my French Bulldogs it helps me cope and relax, and I enjoy watching them play. And, of course, my hobby is showing Peanut, and his job is being a champion show dog!

36    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

Peanut’s legal name is CH. Hillie’s Francis Despereaux. He attained his CH title at 10-months-old with five group placements. One Best in Show at six months of age, eight Best of Breed, and two major wins - all by 10 months of age!
 Peanut not only has excellent conformation, but he really loves to be in the show ring! He is also a great companion and a loving family member.
This little guy enjoys every minute of his life; from taking pictures after the shows, the show ring walk, to running and playing around his home. His favorite activities are chasing lizards and eating. And believe it or not, his favorite foods are cottage cheese and carrots, which he likes with his staple diet of dry food and canned combination.

For more information or to contact: Facebook: “Peanut’s Fan Club, LeGils French Bulldogs”


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The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    37  

photo by Robert Ochoa of PawMazing Photography

DOC BARKER: Canine Ambassador!

Reported by


oc-Barker is an 18 month-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever, a registered therapy dog (complex level) through Delta Society, an AKC Canine Good Citizen, and a mobility service dog for his owner Sherry Buchbinder. Ambassador Doc-Barker is also a canine ambassador for Wishes Forever®, an endowment campaign for the MakeA-Wish Foundation®. As a canine ambassador, Ambassador Doc-Barker promotes the Wishes Forever endowment campaign at numerous community events and fundraisers. Doc-Barker loves visiting wish children in hospitals and staff at Make-A-Wish chapter offices. He is also a wish granter; helping Sherry and her husband Rhein grant wishes to children with lifethreatening medical conditions. Doc-Barker’s first wish he helped grant was 8-year-old Elyah’s wish to have a playground in his backyard. Currently Doc-Barker is busy raising money for Barker’s Fund; an endowment fund established by the Make-A-Wish

38    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

Foundation to grant service and therapy dog wishes. The fund is a tribute to Sherry’s first service dog, Barker, who was also a canine ambassador and Doc-Barker’s mentor. To learn more about Barker’s Fund visit org/friends/barkersfund.htm. Doc-Barker and Sherry also volunteer at numerous medical facilities including Children’s Hospital’s, extended care facilities, convalescent hospitals, and they have visited transitioning Veterans and Military Troops at the Neil Ash USO-San Diego Airport Facility in California. Doc-Barker and Sherry live in Southern California where Doc-Barker enjoys playtime; he loves to retrieve, play hide-and-seek, enjoys squeaky toys, and he like to watch TV in his spare time!

For more information or to contact: Website: Email: Facebook: “Doc – Barker Buchinder”

RAINBOW DIAMOND: photos by Abe Ortiz of


Reported by The American Dog


ainbow Diamond had a rough start in life. In a December 2009 raid, Rainbow was discovered living in a bathtub at a puppymill. For years, she had been forced to breed, even though she was paralyzed and in excruciating pain. Diamond Dachshund Rescue of Texas ( ) took custody of Rainbow and made a plea to get her the medical care she so desperately needed. Upon hearing Rainbow’s story, people all over the world prayed for her and contributed thousands of dollars to pay for her treatment. Rainbow’s therapeutic foster parents, Sean and Holly Hirshberg, provided around the clock care and rehabilitation. Rainbow’s treatment included acupuncture, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, and a bone healing machine. Even though vets predicted that Rainbow would never recover, she is now pain-free and can walk, run, and play. Everyone celebrated when Rainbow was adopted by her foster parents! To give back to the community that was so supportive in her time of need, Rainbow runs the Anti Puppymill Campaign. Rainbow understands that pet lovers want to help animals, but seeing graphic images of abuse and neglect can be extremely upsetting. Rainbow keeps things fun, family

40    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

friendly, and focused on practical solutions. Every Thursday night, Rainbow and her friends host an interactive web chat ccalled Rainbow’s Rescue Romp ( rainbowddrtx). This one-hour show covers issues related to caring for our animal friends. When she is not busy bringing awareness to the good works of rescue groups, Rainbow is a valued employee of Rainbow’s mom and dad founded this hunger fighting non-profit organization. They work to end hunger in America by giving away free fruit and vegetable seeds and teaching people to grow their own food. Rainbow loves to shred paper and frequently lounges in the Dinner Garden office waiting for someone to drop something she can rip up. Rainbow’s cheerful attitude and miraculous recovery have inspired thousands to keep hope even in the darkest times. Rainbow is featured on the Bissell SpotBot Pet Carpet cleaner box in retail stores all over the country.

For more information or to contact: Facebook: “Rainbow Diamond”


Excerpts reprinted from the Dinner


he Dinner Garden is working to end hunger in the United States through home and community gardening. They are striving to create one garden for every six Americans. To help people achieve their gardens, Holly figured she would start at the beginning: provide people with vegetable seeds, free of charge. She could then support their efforts with gardening information and tips for cheap gardening in the space they had available; like patios, backyards, schoolyards, community lots, and church lawns. Holly envisioned a nation where front lawns, empty lots, medians, parks, schools, churches, and community centers devoted space to fruit and vegetable gardens. “The Dinner Garden isn’t just about the seeds,” she says. “It is about giving people hope. It is about showing people another way to live. The Dinner Garden is creating communities where families spend time together in a productive way and children learn that they can create something beautiful and useful to their family.” Holly registered The Dinner Garden as a non-profit corporation in the fall of 2008 in the State of Texas. At the beginning of 2009, The Dinner Garden began its mission of distributing seeds to over 48,000 families and over 120 community gardens! In July 2009, the IRS granted 501(c)(3) status to The Dinner Garden. The Dinner Garden has reached into all 50 states, from Maine to Hawaii and Alaska. They have volunteers and partners hard at work packaging and delivering seeds in many of these states. They have also partnered with organizations, food banks, and businesses across the country, like Catholic Charities, World Food

Garden, Seeds for Food, the Wyoming Food Bank, the San Antonio Food Bank, One World Everybody Eats, Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army, His Harvest Stand, and The Rubber Stamp Shop. Holly tells us that they are always in need of donations to support their cause, and donations are tax deductible.

For more information or to contact: Website: Email: Facebook: “Holly Hirshberg” or “The Dinner Garden” The Dinner Garden PO Box 700686 San Antonio, TX 78270 (210) 979-1776

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    41  

The Greatest Gift

A Home, A Family, and Love

Dear Sa


“Please help want to d me make it out ie. a very own Please grant me live from this sh elte fa on or dad w mily, a nice warm e wish. All I want r because I don’t ho will pr for Chris bed to sle o m e p is e o n t , some fo tmas is my In return o take ca ,I od, and a re of me ! mom them, an promise to love d remain my famil fa y rescued me in my ithful to my famil unconditionally, I y fo tim wil dog, I wil l make th e of need. I truly rever - I will neve l protect r for em will My whole world will laugh, and snugg be the most loyal get who le a r be the gr eatest gif evolve around my at night to keep nd loving th fa t in the w hole world mily, and for me em warm. , that wo .” Sincerely uld , Every sh elter dog looking fo r a home


Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

What Every Dog Wants!


ith the holidays just around the corner, it’s a great time to think about adopting a dog from your local animal shelter or rescue group; not only will you be saving the dog’s life, but you will also be providing that dog with a forever home – what every dog wants! Just like you, a dog wants to be a cherished member of the family and know that they have a permanent home (your house!), and they want to be loved, and patted, kissed, and get some belly rubs once in a while too! Think about it - if you had one opportunity to save a life, would you do it? Could you foster a dog or add one more canine kid to your family? Would you have some love to spare for a special-needs dog? There is no greater feeling of happiness than to experience the unconditional love from a dog that you rescued. The idolization, adoration, devotion and desire to please you…is priceless! It is that simple. If every one of us could donate to an animal shelter, adopt a homeless dog, spay or neuter our pet, and teach kindness, respect and responsibility for animals (to children and some adults!), then the world truly would be a better place. Please consider making a small difference in your city - for a dog. Whether it’s donating a small percentage of your time to volunteer, contributing a little bit of your paycheck to a shelter, fostering a dog for a rescue until a home can be found, or making room in your family for one more canine kid, that one small act of kindness can save a dog’s life! There are thousands of worthy animal charities that help homeless animals and make an impact every day. Slowly, but steadily, laws are being changed to protect animals; the euthanasia rates are going down, more animals are being spayed or neutered, and many dogs are being adopted into loving, permanent homes. Many of these shelters and amazing rescue groups work tirelessly to provide shelter, food, medical care, and hopefully, homes for all the dogs and cats that pass through their doors. Please support your local animal shelters and rescue groups in your town and consider granting the greatest gift of all to a homeless dog - a home, a family and some love!!

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    43  




photo by Bonnie Nance

photo by Bob Shaughnessy

With friends on Facebook!


photo by

Cuba is a black Havanese who lives in Manhattan and was voted America’s Top Dog at the 2010 SkyBark PreWestminster show! He volunteers for Havanese Rescue, has a private dog social site with over 250 members, and is very active in raising money for charity. Facebook acct: “Cuba Americas –Topdog”



Preston Peabody Phelps is a West Highland White Terrier and loves people and all animals (even his three brothers and sister cats!) He loves to “speak” and let you know exactly what he is thinking and he even has his own blog at and a twitter account @preston_speaks. Facebook acct: “Preston Phelps”

photo by Dedi & Gary Wood

photo by


Three times the charm and this lucky boy finally found his forever home the 3rd time around. Bruno is one smart, good-looking dog and loves to play in the garden, bark at the postman, eat, go walking, and, of course, sleep! This dog even has his own forum called “Ask Bruno.” Facebook acct: “Bruno Boxer”

As a young dog, Lucas had many aggression issues, but mom Holly Haynes never gave up on him. Through years of behavior training along with dog sports, Lucas has transformed into a well behaved, thinking, canine athlete and participates in agility and dock diving. Facebook acct: “Lucas Haynes-Clark”

44    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine


Mimi’s mom and dad say this little gal is so full of life and energy and she makes them laugh all the time with her antics. Mimi also loves to dress up and entertain people. She’s so popular that she has her own blog at: www.mimithejackrussell.wordpress. com! Facebook acct: “Adventures of Mimi the Jack Russell Terrier”

Animal Shelters PHOTO BY Benjamin Hernandez,

Making A Difference by Saving Lives! By Nathan Winograd

“You can’t adopt your way out of killing.” It is one of the most enduring beliefs among animal shelter professionals, and it could not be more wrong. The numbers prove it. The studies prove it. But more importantly, shelters across the U.S. are proving it. And that is good news for dogs who find themselves in a shelter. What are they doing to make it happen? In other words, what makes the shelter in Reno, Nevada or Shelbyville, Kentucky or Ithaca, New York, or Charlottesville, Virginia, or Berkeley, California, or any of the other communities that have ended the killing of savable animals so successful? Here

are the top ten strategies they are employing to get every shelter dog into a loving, new home.

1. Public Access Hours

Traditionally, shelters tend to be open during normal “business” hours (9 am to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) and some do not even have those hours. But that means working people and families with children in school don’t get many opportunities to go to the shelter. “Most of our adoptions are after 5 p.m. during the week and on weekends,” says the director of the Nevada Humane Society.

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Last year, the director of a shelter in Indiana decided to stay open on the Fourth of July, when the shelter was normally closed and did a big promotion: 153 animals found loving, new homes; the single day record for any shelter in the state.

2. Offsite Adoptions

Most shelters are located in remote, out of the way parts of the community. In other words, they aren’t located where people work, live, and play. In addition, many people think of shelters as sad and tragic places and may be reluctant to visit. So rather than wait for people to

PHOTO BY Benjamin Hernandez,

come to the shelter, successful shelters are taking the animals to the people. Over 20 years ago, the San Francisco SPCA created the nation’s first offsite adoption program, setting up adoption locations throughout the city. Today, roughly one out of four animals are adopted offsite, and over the years, that has meant over 10,000 animals have found a home while being showcased outside of the shelter. 

3. GHead  o Head to with the Competition

People have lots of choices on where to get their next dog and the Tompkins County SPCA wants to make sure it stays competitive. The shelter has done a good job of competing against local pet stores by offering animals from the shelter—spayed and vaccinated— for less than the cost of buying. In addition, new adopters also get free pet food, a free visit to a veterinarian of their choice, a pet care guide, and an engraved identification tag—all donated by local businesses. Because the shelter also does offsite adoptions, people can adopt from the same mall as the pet store so they don’t have to drive to an out of the way facility. “When we compete head to head, we win,” says the former shelter manager of the Tompkins County SPCA.

PHOTO BY Nevada Humane Society

PHOTO BY Nevada Humane Society

4. MInviting ake the Shelter and Fun

and the payoffs are tremendous: more and quicker adoptions, donations, and other support.”

Nothing makes a person feel welcome like a smile and hello, but getting you to stay and adopt can only be done by a puppy-dog look and a wagging tail. In other words, once you get them in the room, the animals do the rest. The Charlottesville SPCA invites people to interact with the animals and has even set up pools in which the dogs may play and splash in order to make the shelter a fun place to visit. One wet, slobbery kiss is all many people need to know that some goofy, playful pup is “the one.”

5.Social Marketing

Today, having a website is an indispensable part of any organization. But in sheltering, it isn’t enough to save all the lives at risk. Seven out of ten internet users worldwide are on social marketing websites like Facebook and Twitter. That amounts to over 600 million people. And if a shelter is not utilizing those social networks, it is missing out on an important market share for promoting their animals. According to Animal Ark Shelter in Minnesota, a pioneer in this field, “The sharing of adoptable animals via social networking sites is viral marketing in its truest, purest and best form. It costs virtually nothing to get started,

6. Ginreater Visibility the Community Out of sight is out of mind when it comes to where people get their next companion. One shelter did a survey of adopters to find out why they chose to adopt rather than go somewhere else and 83% said they were influenced by hearing about the organization: reading about them in the newspaper, seeing them at a local community event, finding them online, hearing about them on the radio, or word of mouth. Only 17% said adopting from them was their first choice, something they always knew they would do. To get more adoptions, the shelter must be in the public eye.

7. GHelp et by with a Little from Your Friends

Shelters are in the business of saving lives. And like any business, successful shelters are rewarding their best customers by offering them special deals in return for their loyalty. That means giving something back to rescue groups, who typically save many animals every

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    47  

Photo by Animal Ark No Kill Shelter

when they are sick, and we consider them cherished members of our families. Americans have lots of choices when it comes to getting a new best friend, and when we make the decision to adopt from a shelter rather than going to more convenient places, like the local pet store, shelters shouldn’t start out with the presumption we can’t be trusted.

year, and foster parents, who take in special needs animals on a volunteer basis until they are ready for adoption. In Shelbyville, Kentucky, rescue groups and volunteers get the pick of the litter. By giving rescue groups any animal, any time, and at no cost, Shelby has to find homes for the fewer animals who remain. The result? They’ve been No Kill for two years.

8. AThousand Picture and a Words

Whoever coined the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words didn’t consider 3,000,000 shelter animals looking for homes. According to shelter directors who have tops-inthe-nation rates of lifesaving, there is no doubt that a good photograph that shows off the animal’s best qualities advertised in a newspaper, a pet of the week ad, a flyer, or online will get people to the shelter to meet him or her. But it is the story that will close the deal. Rather than focusing on the basics: name, breed, age, and gender, the most successful shelters tell something about each animal: what they like, their favorite activities and treats, and even a little about their ideal home.

9. Let’s Make a Deal

A high adoption fee doesn’t guarantee a good home. “If it did,” says the Director of Operations for a very successful

No Kill shelter, “you wouldn’t see purebred animals in our shelter.” The reality is that people have lots of choices on where they can get an animal and price will influence their decision. Why? In addition to the adoption fee, adopters have lots of other expenses such as collars, leashes, toys, and even a trip to the veterinarian. Thankfully, a multi-state survey of shelters across the country has confirmed what successful shelters already knew: lowering the price of adoptions increased the number of adoptions but did not decrease the quality of the home. Quality and quantity can go hand in hand. Shelters have doubled and even tripled adoptions when they’ve tied adoption specials to fun events such as: no cost adoption weekends, pick your own price adoptions, two-for-one specials, holiday bargains, and free senior pets to senior citizens.

10. SDegree kip the Third Successful shelter directors do not just want dogs to go home, they also want “good homes.” But they caution: ensuring a good home doesn’t require that potential adopters be grilled for an hour, to fill out a 10-page application, or be required to submit to fingerprinting and a polygraph examination. Americans love their dogs. We spend billions on their care, we carry their pictures in our wallets, we miss work

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Screening may be an important part of the adoption process, but a rigid, bureaucratic undertaking is hardly necessary. By talking to and educating potential adopters rather than interrogating them, shelters can place animals in loving homes, without alienating people or making them feel like criminals. Shelter directors with a “can do” attitude and a passion for saving lives are implementing exciting, innovative, fun campaigns to adopt out more animals than ever before. And they are saving thousands of dogs who previously would have been killed. And that is news all dog lovers should celebrate. Nathan J. Winograd is the Director of the national No Kill Advocacy Center. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former criminal prosecutor and attorney, held a variety of leadership positions including director of operations for the San Francisco SPCA and executive director of the Tompkins County SPCA. He has spoken nationally and internationally on animal sheltering issues, has written animal protection legislation at the state and national level, and has created successful No Kill programs in both urban and rural communities. Nathan is the author of two books, Redemption and Irreconcilable Differences. Redemption won five national book awards and redefined the animal protection movement in the United States. For more information please visit or


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The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    49  

Think Outside the Shelter to Increase Adoptions! PHOTOs BY Sherrie Buzby

Thinking Like A Retailer Location is important to retailers. If you have something to sell, the more people who walk by and see your product, the more likely you are to sell it -and the more of it you are likely to sell. This common knowledge is why most retailers pay top dollar for high-traffic retail locations. Rescues and shelters need to think of pets as “products.” But the principles of finding them homes remain the same; the more people who see your adoptable pets, the more likely they are to fall in love and adopt them. So many times I’ve heard shelter people say, “if

only I could get people here to meet this dog, they’d fall in love and take her home.” It’s true. Most shelters don’t have the financial luxury to pay for high-dollar retail locations. Most are sadly stuck in old warehouse buildings, or in far, out-ofthe-way locations. But many shelters are starting to think like a retail store in order to get their adoptable pets in front of high-volumes of potential adopters -and are seeing success with it. In May, the Fort Worth Animal Care and Control division began a partner-

50    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

By Brent Toellner

ship with the PetSmart store in Hulen where they began having adoptable pets available at their local PetSmart (in coordination with PetSmart Charities). The satellite adoption center occupies 1830 square feet that was not being used at the rear of the store and houses up to 50 adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens and one time. Since the partnership began on May 1, adoptions have skyrocketed -- with more than 100 cats and dogs placed with families in just the first 12 days. Sources say that type of volume would take a month at the shelter facility.

In fact, from May 1 to September 19, the shelter had adopted 689 dogs and cats from the PetSmart store location. With the success of the retail location, total adoptions for the year for Fort Worth Animal Care and Control was at 1,142 through September 19 – representing more than double the number adoptions in the same time period in 2009 when they didn’t have the retail location.

And because of this success, Fort Worth Animal Care and Control hasn’t killed a healthy adoptable animal since the program began -- the first time in more than a decade that has happened. In fact, the new adoption center has became so busy, that FWACC had to reach out to other shelters in the area in order to keep up.

we save. We CAN adopt our way out of killing homeless pets.

Simply amazing.

Fort Worth isn’t the only organization doing this of course. Last December a local Kansas City area shelter, Animal Haven, took over an empty mall location for one month during the holidays. The retail location resulted in over 150 adoptable pets finding forever homes in just one month.

While many animal welfare organizations complain about ‘pet overpopulation’ being why they ‘have to’ kill adoptable animals, programs like this one show the power of thinking like more like a retailer. By getting your adoptable animals in high-traffic locations, you can supercharge adoptions and increase the number of lives

Off-site adoptions in high-traffic areas are important. And many shelters are finding success by finding semipermanent (or permanent) locations in high-traffic areas. The economy is slowly on the uptick, but the past two years have been really hard on retail areas -- and many now have empty store-fronts that might be available to

non-profits at a very reduced rate. Think like a retailer -- get your adoptable pets more exposure and get them into loving homes. Their lives depend on it and we cannot make excuses for a lack of innovative thinking any longer. *PetSmart Charities is the nonprofit arm of the PetSmart Corp. which funded the build-out and oversees the adoption program at the Hulen PetSmart store in Ft Worth, TX. Please visit www. to learn more about their adoption programs.

For more information about Brent Toellner please visit: Website: Email: Twitter: @kcdogblog Facebook: Brent Toellner

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    51  



Pet Industry leader

photo courtesy of APPA

Bob Vetere-President of American Pet Products Association

Bob Vetere A Bright Spot in Challenging Times By Bob Vetere, President of American Pet Products Assoc

It seems as though every time you turn on the television or open a newspaper or go to an online news outlet all you hear/read/see is bad news. Well, as pet owners we all have a slightly different perspective of things right now. The pet industry is a remarkable place, particularly in these challenging economic times. It has grown to be a projected $47.5 billion dollar industry in 2010. That’s right – billion! If the Bureau of Statistics tracked the pet industry as a single retail segment it would be the 8th largest segment in the US. It would be smaller than food or automobiles, of course, but it would be larger than toys, candy, hardware, even jewelry! Plus, it has continued to grow at a pace far surpassing many of these other industries. When I was a kid (oh, so many years ago) I had a Beagle named Duke. Duke had a good life for that time. He had a nice house outside with a heavy piece of burlap hung over the opening to keep him comfortable. He spent little time in the house and even some of that was by mistake. Fast forward to today. My Golden Retriever, Dakota, runs the household. He basically goes outside by

appointment. I generally have to trick him just to regain my favorite chair. And I am not alone. Do you realize that twice as many households in the US have a pet as have a child under 18 years old? Almost two-thirds of us have some kind of pet. When you count up all of the dogs and cats and fish and birds and iguanas and all the like there are more pets (over 400 million) in the US than people (about 300 million)! And almost 80 million of these pets are dogs. About 40% of all of the households in the US have at least one dog. Not surprisingly, of the total amount spent on our pets in a year, easily the largest amount – over $17.5 billion – is spent on food. As the number of pets increases year to year - this number rises. But over the past decade food has taken on a different growth model. It is not just more pets need more food, it is the types of food. As the population ages, we tend to keep our pets longer. Because of that we are increasingly interested in keeping our pets healthier over that time period. To meet this need, you are seeing specialty type foods such as vitamin-enhanced, age

and breed specific, and foods aimed at addressing specific health needs such as stronger teeth, better bone structure, and so on. At the same time we are more conscious of visits to the vet starting at an early age to maintain lifetime good health. Veterinarian spending is the next largest spending area at over $12 billion per year. Beyond wellness care there are now a number of human-mimicking surgeries to enhance the health of your dog; joint replacements, cataract surgery, and a wide array of procedures not normally thought of in pet terms. All of this means that Sparky and Fido have a much better chance at a longer, healthier life than their predecessors. And the prognosis looking ahead is even brighter. Pets are a big part of many of our lives. Because they do so much for us on a human level we look at them as a big plus in our lives. It is truly rewarding to understand and enjoy the benefits of having a companion animal.

For more information please visit:

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    53  



Role Model

RYAN CLINTON awesome attorney, animal advocate and founder of Fix Austin The American Dog reports

If you’re in Austin, Texas, then spend ten minutes with Ryan Clinton, and the lawyer will have you challenging conventional wisdom on animal shelters.

54    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

photo by Emily Bate


“To end the killing of dogs and cats at U.S. shelters,” Ryan recently told us, “we need only replicate the policies and practices of communities that have already ended shelter killing.” Pointing to Reno, Nevada, and Charlottesville, Virginia, where open-admission shelters save around 90% of impounded animals, Ryan says, “This can be done. We have a roadmap. All shelters have to do now is follow the leaders.” A highly successful attorney at the Texas law firm Hankinson Levinger LLP, Ryan says that he is puzzled by the resistance many in animal welfare circles show to what he calls an “obvious need to evolve.” He added, “shelters should be lining up to learn about and replicate successful programs, but they aren’t. And the rich and powerful national animal welfare organizations should be devoting seminars, magazines, and millions of their donated dollars to replicating successful programs, but they aren’t either.” A honors graduate of Duke University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Ryan is unswayed by tradition or power. In Texas courtrooms, he has developed a reputation for dismantling even the strongest opponent’s arguments, and has six times been named one of the State’s best attorneys under the age of 40. And, since Ryan and an initially small group of No Kill advocates joined the local animal welfare scene in 2005, Austin’s shelter has cut the number of animals it euthanizes in half by implementing proven programs—despite resistance from the shelter’s management.


Role Model

In Ryan’s opinion, the public holds the key to saving lives. “People need to rise up and demand change,” he says. “In a democracy, the government answers to the people and should reflect the people’s values. Too often, shelters do neither.” Demanding change is exactly what animal lovers in Austin did, with admirable results. In fact, the year Ryan founded with the goal of making Austin a “No Kill” city, over 14,000 animals lost their lives at the City’s shelter. Today, that number is around 7000, and the shelter is saving an impressive 72% of intake. Even so, Ryan still sees room for improvement, and vigorously denies credit; “the real heroes in Austin are the rescue groups who rolled up their sleeves, the citizens who demanded reform, and the City Council who made it happen.” Sipping his self-described “vice of choice”—a Coca-Cola over ice—Ryan describes his entry into animal welfare as “nothing but ordinary.” “Like a lot of people, I started by rescuing stray dogs and cats. But I quickly discovered that the shelter wasn’t doing all it could do.” Among the programs Ryan advocates for are off-site adoptions, foster care for puppies and kittens, low-cost and free spay-neuter services, and trap-neuter-and-release programs (TNR) for free-roaming cats. He says these are the programs that led Reno and Charlottesville to 90% save rates; “If your shelter isn’t implementing core life-saving programs, then your shelter has no one to blame but itself.”

In Austin, Ryan proudly serves as a volunteer foster parent and legal counsel to Austin Pets Alive, a nonprofit that has saved over 5,000 animals from Austin’s shelter in two years, and he consults with advocates and policy-makers in other communities to advance their own No Kill efforts. Although he hopes to someday soon “move onto other projects,” Austin’s homeless dogs and cats hope he doesn’t move on just yet; there are still another 7000 or so every year that need him.

For more information or to make a donation: Fix Austin P.O. Box 49365 Austin, TX 49365 Become a friend of “Ryan Clinton, No Kill Advocate” on Facebook Or keep up-to-date with his blog at: is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to ending the killing of lost and homeless pets at Austin’s municipal animal shelter through the use of empirically proven, cost-effective methods that have already ended shelter killing in other cities. Unlike most other major animalwelfare groups in town, does not accept financial or other resources from the City of Austin or Town Lake Animal Center. As a result, one of the only organizations in town that is able to remain independent and unbiased.

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    55  

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The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    57  



Role Model

Scotlund Haisley Inspiring Greatness in Others

Scotlund standing in front of his Katrina five year anniversary painting

By Edith Wallace


nimal advocates are eternally passionate, but we face moments of disillusion brought on by the seemingly endless misfortunes that fall upon the world’s helpless creatures. Wouldn’t it be comforting to have a human embodiment of inspiration, a ceaseless warrior for the animals, a true role model we could all look to on a national (or international) level? Well if the thousands of people who follow Scotlund Haisley’s animal rescue work are any indication; he has all of the qualities to be this role model. As a prolific animal protection leader Haisley has always been known for his commanding presence and unparalleled compassion for all sentient beings. Haisley has been a major player in the field for more than two decades. He started out as a humane officer in Washington, DC and worked as a

shelter director in New York City and a captain of humane law enforcement in the San Francisco Bay area. He then went on to become executive director of a large nationally recognized shelter and leading the country’s largest animal rescue team. During this time he rescued hundreds of thousands of animals, and most recently worked as the President of In Defense of Animals. Pinning Scotlund Haisley down for a few hours is not an easy task. The man zips across the country more than some commercial airline pilots. One day he’s in Jersey leading the rescue of 55 monkeys from a research laboratory, then he’s off to Texas to usher them into their new homes, only to return to Virginia days later to headline a national animal rights conference. I finally met Haisley for dinner at an Indian restaurant in Washington, DC. I was already

58    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

seated when he weaved his way into the dining room, pecking out an email on his iPhone the whole way to the table. He wore a relaxed button-down, jeans and a surprisingly GQ pair of vegan loafers. As soon as he sat down I realized that the man was perpetually in motion – zipping off emails, cracking his knuckles impatiently, sketching out an idea for his latest painting. Yes, along with everything else on his plate, Haisley is an accomplished artist who often focuses his haunting paintings on the animals he has rescued over the years. Some paintings are meant to stand as a testament to that animal’s suffering, and some help Haisley get the nightmarish images out of his head. In his twenty years in animal protection, Haisley has witnessed some acts of cruelty so viscous they would destroy



Role Model

photos by Carol Guzy

life’s mission to save. I can also see why raising his own children as humane animal advocates is important to this father of three. Haisley has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and he and his wife are raising their young children as conscious vegans. This may seem a daunting task, but poke your head into the Haisley kitchen any given day and you will hear six-year-old Olivia chanting her favorite motto: “animals are our friends, and we don’t eat our friends.”

individuals with less resolve. Whether pulling an emaciated dog from a feces-encrusted cage at a puppy mill or liberating a terrified monkey from a life of painful testing – Haisley gets through it all by focusing on a promise to lift these animals out of the darkness of misery and usher them into the light and hope of compassion. This is an oath he steadfastly delivered on during his time at The Humane Society of the United States – where his animal rescue team saved an unprecedented number of animals from puppy mills and a myriad of cruelty situations. Each year Haisley was at HSUS marked a record-breaking year for the nation’s largest animal welfare organization. If his track record is any indication, Haisley’s life-saving trajectory will only grow as the years pass. As we talked over our naan and steaming curried dishes there was something in Haisley’s brooding, fidgety manner that made me realize this soft-spoken man holds a dark past. After learning a few details of his difficult childhood I understood why he holds feelings of abandonment and abuse in common with the animals he has made his

Haisley’s mission to end animal suffering gained national attention while he was the Executive Director of the Washington Animal Rescue League. At WARL Haisley conceptualized, designed and raised the funds to build the world’s first completely cageless animal shelter, revolutionizing animal sheltering and setting global humane standards. He pulled innovative ideas from international shelters, prisons and holistic veterinarians and combined them all in one unparalleled facility. I visited WARL recently to see what all the fuss was about, and I wasn’t disappointed. Zen-like music whispered in the background, running water trickled over the tops of clear glass enclosures, and clean air circulated through individual filtration systems. It took a minute to realize what was missing; the incessant barking of a typical shelter was gone. These animals were remarkably well-adjusted; benefitting from Haisley’s lifelong disgust with the traditional concept of caged animals. Haisley’s novel approach even drew the attention of the prosecuting attorney in the Michael Vick case, who asked Haisley to care for and begin the rehabilitation process for 11 of the most abused dogs confiscated from Vick.

Through all of Haisley’s endeavors; the grueling rescue missions, the poignant artwork and the encouraging mantras, thousands have been watching. People tuning into their local news see Haisley cradling a dog recently liberated from the horrors of a puppy mill. As they watch him caress the filthy, matted dog they question the origins of the puppies in the window of the local pet store. A light goes on. Thousands of people see his play-by-play rescue updates on their favorite social networking sight. A collective sigh of relief is expelled, knowing that these animals will have a second chance thanks to Haisley and his crew. They surf photos of the grateful animals he has rescued, read his gut-wrenching personal accounts, and feel as if they were almost there alongside the rescue team. Then they ask; what can I do to help? Haisley’s goal, like any truly effective role model, is to inspire those of us on the couches and in the offices to sign up, get educated and become involved. So keep your eye on this man, but don’t simply follow along on the TV or computer screen. Get inspired, take action and join him in his battle against all the inhumanity this world dishes out to its most defenseless creatures. I guarantee you he will be coming to a town near you before too long – so be ready to join him.

For more information or to contact: Website: Facebook: “Scotlund Haisley”

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    59  



Role Model

Team Pit Bull By Jonathan Offi Co-Founder and Coach for Team Pit Bull

Does your dog have more energy than you know what to do with? Our program, Energetic Canine, is directed towards the handler to encourage teamwork and create excess stimulation for high energy dogs. Contact us to learn the endless possibilities in achieving the unthinkable with your canine companion. Our experiences and expertise in handling the hardest of cases will offer specialized techniques in harnessing the drive, applying the focus and setting any dog up for success. As role models to the community and ambassadors to the animals, Team Pit Bull works to raise awareness about Shelters, Rescues, and Pit Bull type dogs. Our main focus has been to educate, entertain, and encourage the public using the animal we hold closest

to us by performing in shows, demos, and competitions. Team Pit Bull consists of Michelle Martin and Jonathan Offi, and our energetic canines. In 2010, we impacted thousands of people by performing in many demos and competing in multiple dogs sports around the world. The dogs compete in Canine Disc, Dock Diving, Agility, and Flyball. Many of the dogs are competing at the highest level with great results and are achieving multiple titles, changing one mind at a time.

For more information or to contact: Website: Email: Phone: (408) 515-9806

Services: • Gang/Youth Intervention Workshops • Kids Camp Pet fun and education • Pet Nutrition/Exercise Programs for dog/handler team • Shelter Services/Animal Enrichment • Professional Training and Behavior Services • Dog Bite Prevention Seminars • Sport Demos for any event or occasion

photos by Jason Largent

60    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    61  




photos by Jimmy Cannizzaro


“Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean”

The American Dog reports


: When did you first see Parker?

I first saw Parker when he was being chased by a cook at a Chinese restaurant. I said, “Hey, that dog’s too cute to be a #17. He’s gonna be my pet.” Okay, okay – that’s not what happened. I just wanted to make myself sound like a hero. I actually saw Parker on a Sunday afternoon at a pet adoption place on the Upper West Side of New York City. I was going to have lunch and I said, “At this point, food’s more important than anything to me, but if he’s still here when I come back from lunch, it’s meant to be.” And it was.


: What made you decide that you wanted to “adopt” a puppy?

Well, I’ve always had an unutilized maternal instinct, and I wanted to adopt something that didn’t need braces or a college education. Parker was an adorable, furry creature that I fell in love with at first sight – kind of like my fiancé, Jimmy. The only difference is, Parker sheds less.


: Have you had other dogs or cats in your family?

No! I grew up in a real Italian household, and there was already enough noise with everyone yelling and screaming

62    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

at each other. My folks couldn’t handle dogs barking too. Up until Parker, the only dogs I had were two-legged, and I’m already crazy, so I don’t need the cats to prove it.


: Since you travel a lot, will Parker be going on tour with you or having a babysitter at home?

No way am I hiring any kind of babysitter. Too many people run off with them: Robin Williams, Jude Law, Ethan Hawke. I’m not losing Parker to any doggie nanny. Suffice to say, Parker comes with me everywhere, even the toilet.


: What adorable or special qualities does little Parker have?

Parker farts and then tries to blame it on my fiancé! Just kidding! Everything about Parker is adorable. He’s as cute as his namesake, Sarah Jessica Parker, and at 5.2 pounds, weighs more.


: Are you having fun teaching Parker any tricks or commands?

I’m having a blast with this. Parker is easier to train than any guy I’ve dated. He does shake, backup and goes to his crate with one-word commands. And hopefully, since he’s a total chick magnet, I’ll train him to attack any attractive women he sees talking to my fiancé.


: Where does Parker sleep – in his own bed or yours?

Parker is exactly like a kid. He has his own bed, but in the middle of the night he usually comes in and curls up, and gets cozy in Jimmy’s back hair.


: Since he’s a recent addition to your family, does Parker have any friends yet?

Parker isn’t allowed to play with other dogs yet ‘cause he hasn’t had all his shots. However, I can’t walk down the street without 30 people stopping to pet him. They love him! I, on the other hand, am making no friends because in New York City we have to pick up after our dogs, and nobody wants to talk to someone with a bag of poop in her hand.


: What is Parker’s favorite toy to play with?

For more information please visit: You can see Lisa at the Beacon Theater in New York City on December 10 and 11, and at Club Nokia in Los Angeles on November 20. For her full schedule of tour dates, go to And pick up a copy of her new book, “Chocolate, Please” in paperback, on sale now.

Of course, we’ve spoiled him rotten! But even though he has every chew toy under the sun, he somehow prefers to tear apart my $5,000 hair extensions and Persian rugs.


: Does Parker have a favorite food or treat?

Like every other creature on earth, he loves bacon.


: How does Parker make your life special?

Parker keeps me from getting a big head. Every time I start to think I’m hot s*it, I’m bending over picking some up. What I’m trying to say is, he keeps me humble.

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    63  



Celebrity profile

photos by Elaine Hendrix


The Jindo came into my life as I was driving to set one day. Sniffing grass on the side of a busy Los Angeles street, he was skinny, filthy and bleeding. He had a collar and a leash, but no tags and no guardian anywhere to be found. Did no one else see this sweet baby who obviously needed help? I pulled over and gently walked up to him, picked up the leash and he followed me as if we’d been together since day one. He hopped in my car and we rode to work in joyous relief - me for getting him off the street, him for being gotten off the street. We showed up on location and he politely greeted everyone. Even as skinny and filthy (and intact) as he was, he was clearly very special. We made a little area for him, and I immediately

started making calls to network his return home, or even better, find a new one that would properly take care of him. I couldn’t help fantasizing that his new home might be mine, so I made a call to my boyfriend at the time to give him a heads up, “We might need to foster this poor dog I found on the street…for just a little while.” Of course, we ended up keeping “Rossmore.” Even when we discovered that once off leash Dr. Jekyll turned into Mr. Hyde; a Mr. Hyde that could literally bite the hand that fed him, escape from almost any situation, run as fast and as far as possible, shed like he’s molting twice a year, act stubborn beyond belief, and not always play well with others. “Special” indeed, yet to witness this lone wolf become a pack member has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I will never forget when I gave him his first bone. He looked at it and then at me like we were both aliens. So I gave my Cattle Dog hers and she instantly started doing her dog thing to it. He watched her, then looked at me, then the bone, then back at her, back at me, the bone, her, me, bone and then…

64    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

he took it. From that moment on, whatever she did, he did. Five years and a tremendous amount of work later, he is one of the sweetest, most loving dogs. His desire to please has overridden his wild instincts, as well as his scars of abuse and neglect. He still follows the lead of my Cattle Dog, and yet has developed his own unique and quirky personality. Jindos definitely aren’t for everyone, but as it is so often said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I’m forever grateful for the day I drove up Rossmore Avenue on my way to set and looked over to see my teacher. I had no idea just how ready I was.

photo by Levi Walker

“Wow, your dog is gorgeous! What kind is he? Husky? Shepherd? Akita?” If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard it a hundred times. I thought it myself when I first saw him and didn’t learn he was a Jindo until we walked up to his mirror image at the dog park. Like most people, I never even knew the breed existed. They’re not common nor are they the easiest to care for - but boy do they make life interesting and so rewarding.

For more information about Elaine Hendrix please visit:

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Kelly L. Mayer Design The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    65  


• in 2009 we rescued over 600 dogs

• in 2010 we will have rescued over 700 dogs

• in 2011 we need your help to continue to save lives!

A PLACE TO BARK is a no kill foster and adoption rescue in TN dedicated to the welfare of animals and was founded by Bernie Berlin. Established in 2001, we mainly work with Animal Control Agencies, rescuing animals from high kill shelters and fostering them until they are healthy. This provides an ideal situation for the animals. They are then placed for adoption through Humane Societies in various parts of the country. We cover all costs for the medical care of the animals with no cost to the Humane Societies. We receive no government assistance. We are solely funded through private donations and the proceeds of Bernie Berlin’s art sales.

Please consider making a donation today to A Place To Bark Rescue! A Place To Bark • PO Box 649 • Portland, TN • 37148 • 615.681.2631



Business Profile


Affordable, high-quality pet crates, pet kennels and custom wood dog crate furniture~

By Marcia Conover Co-Owner Dog Crate Central

We started our business in November of 2007. In the beginning it was just wire dog crates and a few dog crate mats. I really enjoyed being an entrepreneur and kept searching for top quality products that you couldn’t find at the average pet store. Eventually, we expanded our products and progressed into dog crate furniture when I found Dynamic Accents and Denhaus (dog crate furniture). We happen to live pretty close to an Amish community in Western New York. Our Amish vendor is very willing to make custom sizes, stains, and hardware for our wood dog crate furniture. Then Herb found us and asked if he could make beautiful crates for us to sell exclusively online for Dog Crate Central, and we said yes! We sure have come a long way from just wire crates and crate mats! As a business owner, we feel very fortunate to be associated with great manufacturers who are efficient and

timely when it comes to processing and shipping of our customers’ orders. Through special arrangements with our suppliers, we were able to offer products that ship directly from their facilities. That gave us the opportunity to offer many products without the overhead of warehousing product. With our low overhead, we were able to offer quality products at very reasonable prices. We understand and appreciate the importance of excellent customer service and support. Every single order is important to us. We strive to offer unbeatable customer support in the hopes that each new customer will not only show off the dog crate products they purchased from us, but tell their friends and family about our excellent customer service. It is our dream that in time will be known to pet owner’s across the US as their prime source for quick delivery of affordable, quality pet

crates, pet kennels, and custom wood dog crate furniture We now sell dog crate furniture, dog crate covers, dog gates, dog beds, dog sofas, pet strollers, pet carriers, soft side dog crates, wicker dog crates, dog houses, and are in the process of adding dog collars and pet clothes. And we just recently got our Accredited Member Status from the Better Business Bureau. With the holidays coming around the corner, we invite you to browse through all the great products we carry on our Website and for more information please visit

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    67  



An Amazing


Dedicated volunteer and board

member for Karma Rescue

photos by Lisa Caravella

By Jack Leslie



have always loved animals and grew up in Tennessee with horses, cats, and a Lab-mix named “Bovril.” Fast forward to apartment life in Los Angeles which was never conducive to having a dog, however, I rescued two cats despite my building’s “no-pets” policy. So one day about five years ago, while buying cat food at Petco I noticed Karma Rescue having their adoptions in the store and was instantly drawn to a particular Pit Bull puppy. Although I was leaving for Vancouver to work on a film in a couple of weeks, I went back the following Saturday, only to find that the puppy was already adopted. I can’t really say that I knew much, if anything, about Pit Bulls at that time, but somehow I was drawn to their big square heads, almond eyes, and

joker grins. Maybe it was from growing up watching dogs like “Petey” on TV and in the movies. A volunteer talked me into looking at a two-year-old Pit/American Bulldogmix named Mack who had been on death row at a high-kill shelter in a section that the public wasn’t even allowed to visit. Luckily, a volunteer discovered Mack and rescued him. However, he had been in boarding for so long that he was starting to emotionally shut down, and his sponsor was running out of money. I took Mack home a week later and we have been best friends ever since. In those early days, Mack had a serious case of separation anxiety, and he quickly made mincemeat of everything in his

68    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

path so we moved into a house with a yard, but Mack still hated to be alone, so I adopted a little sister for him – Luka, a six-month-old white deaf Pit puppy, who had been abandoned at a vet’s office. Although Mack and Luka kept one another company, the destruction in my house roughly tripled, and they surprised me each night with a creative new way to eat furniture. Several years later, they have finally settled down, although I still occasionally find a chair leg that has been nibbled on. Shortly after adopting Luka, I rescued the first in what would be a long line of dogs I would sponsor and foster. Daisy was a sick, emaciated Dalmatian I found at the South LA Shelter while helping a friend adopt a cat. Knowing

Volunteer she would soon be euthanized, I busted her out of the shelter and boarded her at a vet until she was healthy enough to come home. At the dog park one day with Mack and Luka, a nice family fell in love with Daisy and adopted her. That experience gave me my first taste of that amazing sensation one gets from not just saving a dog, but also giving a family a cherished new member. After Daisy was placed, I purposely went back to the South LA Shelter with the intention of pulling and sponsoring another dog. There I found Sid, a sweet, young Pit/American Bulldog, who would stand on his cell-mate’s head in order to get closer to me. As I was filling out his paperwork, an officer told me that Sid was brought in with a female. Consequently, I left the shelter with Sid and Maggie, a red Pit-mix. Upon rescuing the two dogs, I became much more involved with Karma Rescue, volunteering each weekend at their adoptions and taking care of Sid and Maggie. It was a sad day for me when I finally accepted that the two friends would be split up, and Sid went to a new home without Maggie. However, it would be the first of several homes for Sid, none of which would stick. Maggie, on the other hand, eventually found an amazing home with a young couple, who have subsequently become very involved with Karma and treat Maggie like a princess. Sid, too, eventually found his forever home with a young man recuperating from a motorcycle accident – it’s a true “boy and his dog” relationship.

etc. Karma also encourages community outreach, so I try to help the homeless people in my area who have dogs by providing dog food and vet care when possible. Although I never intended to add a third dog to my permanent family, in January I adopted DeeDee, a thirteen-year-old deaf Pit, whose owner had died after a long bout with cancer. DeeDee recently crossed the bridge after being a loving member of our home for only a short time. It now appears that Juno, a small, black Staffordshire Bull Terrier, may transition from foster-dog to permanent family member. I rescued Juno and her seven puppies from under an industrial building in February of this year after seeing a posting about her predicament on Craig’s List. Starving, with a shattered back leg, Juno let me reach into the dirty crawl space where she gave birth, and take her puppies one by one, without even growling or curling her lip. Juno recovered from leg surgery in my house with her puppies, and her babies were all placed in great homes two months later. As far as Juno is concerned, she is already in her forever home with Mack and Luka, so I guess I’ll make it official soon.

To many people, these dogs are just statistics, just a few more of the many disposable, homeless dogs in our country. To me, and most other rescuers, however, each dog represents the possibility of a full and wonderful life. When I think about how Mack could have just been one of the millions of dogs that are killed in our country each year if a volunteer hadn’t made the extra effort to save his life, I realize that every homeless dog has the potential to enrich the lives of others, the way Mack has enriched mine. Jack Leslie has been President of Production for The Donners’ Company since 2003 and recently produced the movie Hotel for Dogs for Dreamworks/Paramount Pictures. While shooting Hotel for Dogs in Los Angeles in 2008, specifically at the West Valley Shelter, Jack raised money from cast and crew and rescued six dogs from the shelter and placed them in new homes with the help of Karma Rescue. He also rescued an additional six dogs from the streets of LA during production and also found them homes. Jack lives in Venice, CA with his three rescued Pit Bulls, Mack, Luka and Juno, and has been very active in the rescue community since adopting his dogs from Karma Rescue in 2005.

From there, I was hooked, and I quickly became more and more active in the rescue community. In the intervening years, I’ve had a long succession of fosters and dogs that I sponsor. Some are strays from the streets, some are pulled from the shelters, and others come from owners that can no longer keep them. When I’m not working, I spend much of my free time rescuing dogs, taking them to the vet, doing home checks, solicitation donations,

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    69  



An Amazing Rescue!

Pictured: Junior, MaryTodd Lincoln, & Sarge

After 14 yrs of abuse – SARGE And just celebrated turning 16 with a birthday party! The American Dog reports

Every dog has his day, but for Sarge that day came after 14 years of abuse. On September 25, 2009, the Pennsylvania SPCA rescued Sarge and 30 other dogs as part of a major animal cruelty raid in Philadelphia. On that day, Sarge – at the ripe old age of 14 – began his new life as an “Elderbull” with a mission: to change minds and open hearts to pit bull type dogs like him.

After spending five months in protective custody, Sarge was adopted by Kim Wolf and Thad Stringer and joined their five other rescue dogs in a loving home. Sarge now works as a Certified Therapy Dog with Pals For Life and visits nursing homes and hospitals. Because he suffers from severe arthritis and has to be carried everywhere, Sarge bonds quickly with elders who also struggle with

70    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

age-related impairments. “He empathizes with elders on a level that younger dogs are not able to. And the fact that he’s still ‘working’ at age 16 (112 in dog years!) means a lot to them,” Kim said. Sarge also spends time with children and in May 2010 Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter named him “Humane Educator of the Year” for his service

photos by Kim Wolf

to the community. Sarge empowers children to be proud of who they are and to ignore stereotypes about physical appearances. “Sarge shows kids that everyone is an individual and deserves to be treated as such, whether they’re a dog or a human being,” Kim said. To prove his point, Sarge wears his crown from the 2010 Philadelphia Barking Beauty Pageant: although the judges drooled over his good looks, it was Sarge’s loving spirit that made him the first pit bull type dog to win the crown! Of course, his “girlfriend,” a 10-year-old pug named Mary Todd Lincoln, always knew he was a winner. Kim recalled, “From the day we adopted Sarge, it was love at first sight for him and Mary Todd! They’re always on the couch snuggling together. She never misses an opportunity to give Sarge kisses.” In September 2010 Sarge celebrated his “Sweet Sixteen” birthday by launching “The Sarge Fund” at the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (www. With support from the Animal Farm Foundation and private donations, “The Sarge Fund” subsidizes spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and microchips for pit bull type dogs in Philadelphia. “Sarge’s goal is to encourage responsible pet ownership by providing affordable and accessible vet care to pit bull owners,” said Kim.


*In November, Sarge is receiving an award from the Pennsylvania SPCA at their annual “Good Dog Gala” fundraiser. And in December, he’s being honored at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals’ “Holiday Hair-Ball” annual gala ( Kim just bought him a new tuxedo (tails, actually) for the occasions!

To learn more about Sarge and to follow his adventures, visit his blog at: Become a friend on Facebook at: “Sarge Wolf Stringer” Email Sarge at:

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    71  



An Amazing


photos by Daly Gonzalez

Founder of Dogs Deserve Better!

By Tamira Thayne


here comes a day when you say “Enough is Enough,” and August 2, 2010 was that day for me, at least when it came to the Pennsylvania law for chained dogs we’ve been working to get passed for six years.

72    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

Advocate for Dogs!

Six years! During that time many dogs, including this precious white boy, have died while waiting for help, and the sense of urgency I felt was like none other. What could I do to dig up some chaos and get people excited and eager about calling their senators and house reps to demand chain-ge for chained dogs? I know if we don’t get this law passed before the end of session, the dogs would be waiting another two years minimum while we started from scratch, and the frustration of knowing the fate of ‘my’ dogs—the chained ones—rested in the hands of lawmakers really stuck in my craw. Trouble was, nothing we’d done was working, and bills languished in both the House and the Senate committees, with the members feeling no compulsion to get them out onto the floor for a vote. So I pulled up my doghouse and chain to the front of the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and vowed to stay awhile.

I will probably be chained over 50 days, ten hours a day, each and every Monday through Friday before we either win this law or go down in a blaze of glory.

sorry I had to leave again so soon, but I was doing it for all their brothers and sisters still stuck out there on chains and needing my help.

I have already endured torrential rains that flooded the city—sending fire engines scurrying about town— and me without an umbrella. I have endured a week of days so hot, that no day was below 90 and climbing to 99 degrees on other days. The heat became so unbearable I daren’t sit on the cement, and I couldn’t find a speck of shade to shield my body. I paced relentlessly to distract myself from the sweat pouring down my back and the misery of my very existence.

They came to the fence and watched me go, a look of sadness in their eyes. I was sad too, because I missed them already. Yet I was determined that ALL Dogs Deserve Better than life on a chain. I went off to get that for them.

I have been yelled at, cussed out, belittled. I’ve also been lauded, praised, and thanked. Yet the gratitude I most crave will be in the eyes of man’s best friend when I bring him the gift of freedom.

For more information or to make a donation:

The last time I left home to return to Harrisburg for the week, my fosters Banshee and Miss Sugar followed me into the bathroom. I gave them both huge hugs, and told them I was

Tamira Ci Thayne is the founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing Man’s Best Friend from the life of misery on the end of a chain and bringing him into the home and family.

Dogs Deserve Better P.O. Box 23 Tipton, PA 16684 (877) 636-1408 Email: Become a fan on Facebook: “Dogs Deserve Better” Follow DDB on Twitter at: @dogsdeserve

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    73  

No More Excuses

Please ps

o house o p b o j in the ost my


allergic to dogs


got a pay

rce o v i d ga



too m


“ pretty please, I


a g in


v a h

y b a b

digs hole


promise I’ll try to be a good boy!

list goes on and on... You wouldn’t dump your kid at Child Protective Services because of the excuses listed above… So please don’t dump your Dog at the animal shelter either! Please take responsibility for your dog and make a commitment for life! This public service message provided by The American Dog Magazine for all the wonderful dogs who wanted to live life to the fullest, but were dumped at shelters by irresponsible owners and euthanized because nobody wanted them. Please be responsible and make a commitment for life.




The American Dog Magazine Has Donated Over 1.4 MILLION DOLLARS worth of advertising space and editorial coverage to non-profit animal charities (just in the last 2+ years)!

For those loyal readers who have been with The American Dog Magazine from the first issue published in the fall of 2008, you would know that the two years prior we published The Colorado Dog for two years (all of 2007 and 2008) and also published a summer issue of The Chicago Dog in 2008. During those two years of our regional magazines we had always been a huge supporter of promoting adoption and rescue, and we donated more than $200,000 worth of advertising space in the magazines to non-profit animal shelters, rescues, and animal welfare organizations. At the same time during those early years, we also donated more than $500,000 worth of editorial coverage in the magazines to showcase those amazing charities who work tirelessly for the animals in the hopes of making this world a more humane, safer, and better place for those who can’t speak for themselves. From the very beginning we have been committed to helping dogs get adopted from the shelters – these beautiful souls with tails, just waiting for a forever home. We have never wavered in our dedication to promote animal shelters and rescues (to adopt your new best friend), and we have always actively promoted responsibility, accountability, and making a life-long commitment for every person that brings a dog into their home. Once we merged the two regional magazines in the fall of 2008, we wanted to grow that success into a national outlet where we could reach hundreds of thousands of animal lovers, and we became a national magazine, The American Dog Magazine! We now have been given the opportunity to shine an even bigger spotlight on the plight of homeless animals waiting for a family to call their own, and we will always continue to promote and market all the wonderful, loving dogs just waiting, with a tail wag and a big kiss, to be adopted.

Since the fall of 2008 with the first issue of The American Dog, and this is our ninth issue with the winter 2010 magazine (2 -1/4 years) , we are proud to say that we have donated:  36 full pages of advertising space to non-profit charities (worth $288,000)  29 full pages of advertising space for public service messages from The American Dog promoting adoption, rescue, anti-puppy mill campaigns, and spay & neuter (worth $232,000)  139 full pages of priceless editorial coverage to feature non-profit animal charities, their leaders and causes dedicated to saving pets lives (worth $1,112,000). Yes, that does say over a million dollars of editorial coverage! So, just in the last two+ years, The American Dog Magazine has donated over 1.4 million dollars worth of advertising and editorial coverage in our magazines to non-profit animal charities, and that doesn’t even count the amount of pages we have devoted to our role models featured, our everyday doggie heroes, or the many “happily ever after” stories we showcase of homeless dogs rescued! The American Dog Magazine believes in giving back and helping these animals in need. As a national media outlet with our magazines sold nationwide in Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Whole Foods, we believe these homeless dogs deserve a chance to live life to the fullest, they deserve a home, and we are thankful that we can provide some media coverage to keep the focus on the 5-7 million pets being euthanized every year, and we can’t wait for the day when there are no more homeless pets! Please consider adopting your next dog and save a life!

1st Annual Humanitarian Awards visit for all the contest details

LO G ON TO WWW.THEA MERICANDO GM AG.COM and nominate your favorite person or organization our readers, subscribers and fans will choose the winners!

The American Dog proudly presents:

25 Humanitarian Awards for the following categories:

1. an exemplary animal shelter 2. an innovative no-kill animal shelter 3. a rescue organization saving dogs 4. an individual saving/adopting dogs 5. a “spokesdog” for a charitable cause 6. a service dog who gives unconditionally 7. a service dog training organization 8. a volunteer at an animal shelter/rescue 9. a foster family for an animal shelter/rescue 10. a dog rescue transporter 11. an animal welfare lobbyist 12. an animal advocate for dogs 13. an animal welfare blogger

14. an animal welfare website 15. a voice for saving the Pit Bulls 16. a voice for ending puppy mills 17. a voice for ending chained dogs 18. a voice for banning greyhound racing 19. a voice for the no-kill movement 20. a voice to stop illegal dog fighting 21. a role model — dog food company 22. a role model — pet boutique 23. a role model — doggie daycare/boarding 24. a role model — dog trainer 25. a role model ­— philanthropist

visit for all the contest details



Non-Profit photos courtesy of Santa Cruz SPCA


They’ve met with the architect. The land has been chosen, and the process of purchasing has begun. To the employees at the Santa Cruz SPCA, the moments leading up to the construction of a new shelter are akin to memories of waiting for Christmas morning to arrive. For years the SPCA has been relegated to a small, converted ranch-style home, where every square inch is used to house and care for abandoned animals. With such limited space, their rescue work was always restricted to whether or not they had room – resulting in painful decisions about who would be saved and would not. With a large outdoor cattery, fenced areas for dogs to roam and play, and most importantly, more space to accommodate

animals needing rescue – the new stateof-the-art facility will be the Disneyland of animal shelters. Though the size and features of the shelter will change - the intimate, loving atmosphere will stay the same. Animals will still be cuddled by doting volunteers, the comfort and happiness of the furry residents will remain priority number one, and the welcoming nature of the SPCA’s staff will continue to attract adopters, as it has year after year since its inception in 1938.

Santa Cruz SPCA can attain the goal of building a new facility, and being forced to decide who will be saved and who won’t will be a thing of the past.

Though fundraisers and capital campaigns are in the works, funding is still an obstacle. It will take a lot of hard work and innovative ideas to secure the remaining funds necessary to make this dream a reality. With the help of animal lovers and philanthropists, the

To contribute to the Santa Cruz SPCA please visit:

78    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

While procuring funds for the new shelter is an ongoing process, support for current operations is still needed. If you are unable to contribute money, please consider volunteering your time at the shelter or opening your home as a foster family. Donations of materials are also welcome.

Santa Cruz SPCA 2685 Chanticleer Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95065 (831) 465-5000


ADOPT A PIT BULL! From Your Local Shelter or Rescue Group

MILLIONS of Pitties have been killed in shelters due to bad owners, backyard breeders, negative press, and shameful BSL laws that are enacted in over 500 cities nationwide. These Pitties deserve a chance and there are thousands waiting right now for a forever home. Please consider adopting a beautiful Pit Bull from your local shelter or rescue group. Like all dogs, they just want a family to love!

Pit Bulls Rock! • • • • •

Affectionate • Athletic • Courageous • Energetic Friendly • Humorous • Intelligent • Loyal Loving • Noble • Playful • Strong Please go to The American Dog Magazine ( and click on the “Fight Breed Specific Legislation” tab for a list of Pit Bull rescue groups nationwide.




photo courtesy of Karma Rescue


A second chance for dogs Karma Rescue reports

Karma Rescue was founded in 2003 with the mission to save at-risk dogs from the high-kill Los Angeles area shelters. Karma Rescue provides each dog with a new beginning by finding safe and suitable permanent homes through adoption, education, and advocacy. Over the past seven years, Karma Rescue has placed over 1,100 dogs with new families. By default, many of the dogs we rescue are Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes, a breed disproportionately represented in Los Angeles (LA) shelters. Karma Rescue has a great reputation in the rescue community and was just named “Best Dog Rescue” by Los Angeles Magazine in its August 2010 “Best Of LA” issue. Karma was also voted the #1 place to volunteer in 2010 by KABC-TV and was recently featured on two episodes of Animal Planet’s Pit Boss series, and will be seen in two upcoming episodes. In one of the episodes, a Karma volunteer rescues two dogs from Downtown LA, subsequently placing them with the American Idol producer and So You Think You Can Dance judge/producer, Nigel Lythgoe. Our dogs are frequent visitors to KTTV “Good Day LA” adopt-a-pet segment, and, one of the anchors, Tony McEwing, adopted one of our puppies after seeing

him on their set. In addition, in 2009, several of Karma’s dogs were featured in the film Hotel for Dogs, and Karma was mentioned in the DVD extras by one of the producers, a Karma Board-Member. One of the Karma Dogs, a blue Pit Bull puppy, even made it onto the movie’s poster. In addition, one of the first dogs ever rescued by Karma was Lucy, a 3-legged Pit Bull, who had several key scenes in the movie. Karma Rescue is very active in the Los Angeles community with our Saturday adoption events, participation in spay/ neuter clinics, and in-school education program that teaches children the importance of adoption and humane animal care. Karma is very proud of the fact that we offer life-long support to our dogs and their new families. After a dog is placed in a new home, we follow up on the animal’s progress, offer training and advice on all aspects of dog care, and encourage the proud owners to stay involved in the rescue world (volunteer hikes and picnics, mixers and fundraisers, fostering, etc.). We are also known for rescuing dogs that are perceived by many as being unadoptable. Most of these animals

require expensive and extensive rehabilitation, be it behavioral training or medical treatment. Many people in the LA area remember the story of Abigail, a young Pit Bull who was cruelly set on fire and left to die in the streets. Karma Rescue took on Abigail’s cause by raising $50,000+ for her vet bills, providing her with love and support in the hospital, and, ultimately, placing her in a wonderful home with a Pit Bull brother. In the upcoming year, Karma will, of course, continue to save even more at-risk dogs and find them great homes. We also hope to raise our profile in the rescue-community by expanding our in-school program; supporting animal rights legislation; encouraging and helping to provide spay/neuter services; and advocating adoption of homeless animals.

For more information or to make a donation: Karma Rescue 1158 26th St #155 PMB Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310) 512-7833 Email: Facebook: “Karma Rescue”

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    81  




Namaste Dog Rescue By Kristy Schroeder, Founder of Namaste Dog Rescue

Namaste, a Buddhist greeting, loosely translates, “The spirit in me honors the spirit in you.” This concept is the basis in which Namaste Dog Rescue was founded. The simple belief that humans and canines best relate when honoring and respecting our differences and unique spirits that reside within each. Namaste Dog Rescue is a network of volunteers and foster homes saving dogs from kill-shelters, accepting troubled or aggressive cases, and owner surrenders. We specialize in evaluating, rehabbing and re-training these dogs and making sure they are placed in a home that is best suited for the dog. The dog’s best interest - is our best interest. I would like to share with you a story of a particular dog that grabbed my heart. Known only as D176169, a small, young, malnourished little terrier was found wandering the streets. He was taken in by ACO, where he snapped at several of the workers, causing him to be labeled “AGGRESSIVE.” Due to this determination of his character, he was deemed non-adoptable and could be killed at any time for lack of space. The shelter was over-capacity which meant they had just signed his death warrant. A concerned shelter volunteer called me and I dropped my agenda for the day and immediately hopped in my car for the 3+ hour trip to meet this “Dead Dog Walking.”

the worker that “Roscoe” was perfect for my rescue and out the door we went. The next several weeks were spent with grooming appointments, vet visits, and behavior evaluating in many environments. Roscoe passed all his challenges with flying colors! He was a perfect little gentleman. Soon I received an application from a family wanting to meet Roscoe. After a Saturday afternoon meeting, we arranged an “overnight” visit for Roscoe so we could all see how he would blend into the family’s lifestyle. They phoned the next morning to give me an update. Roscoe was a perfect fit. I cried as I hung up the phone. This is of course, our goal. I was crying both tears of joy and tears of sorrow. But my job was not yet done. The final chapter is saying good-bye to the special dogs we save and take in as our own. And the time had come to say good-bye to a special little dog I had called Roscoe. The dog formerly known

When I arrived, a shelter worker walked me to his kennel and I asked if I could go inside to meet D176169. The worker began to open the door, as the small scroungy dog slid into the corner of his cell, cowering in fear. I quietly stepped inside and sat down on the cold damp floor, my heart bleeding for this scared little dog. The worker was saying something to me as I felt a cold wet nose touch my arm. I look down to see a pair of small scared eyes looking into mine. And his tail began to wag. I scooped this dirty dog up into my arms, whispered in his ear that all would be okay, informed

82    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

as D176169 was now living out his second life. The life he was meant to have, full of love, toys, and being a part of a family. But for every happy ending, there are thousands of tragic endings of death and disposal of homeless dogs. That is why I do what I do. That is why Namaste and it’s network of volunteers and supporters will never stop saving dogs. To make sure every one of those tragic stories of a homeless or abused dog will have a happy ending.

If you would like to join our cause, by volunteering, fostering a dog, or even making a monetary donation, you may contact us at: Namaste Dog Rescue Inc 501c3 Non-profit 931 N Trojan Complex Road Covington, IN 47932 765-793-0713 and join us on Facebook!

photo courtesy of Namaste Dog Rescue



Working Dogs

Photos by Katie Monahan

Less than a year after a lifesaving plasma transfusion, Cairo romps in a park near his home in Parker, Colorado.

The Gift of Life: Dogs saving dogs by donating blood by Tamra Monahan

Cairo’s life was saved by his generosity. After years of donating blood to save the lives of other dogs, this beautiful Greyhound became deathly ill and needed a transfusion to save his own life. Cairo had given part of himself to help his fellow canines, and now he needed help. In March 2010, Cairo developed canine influenza, an upper respiratory infection that became life threatening in a matter of days. In the veterinary hospital, he was given oxygen and medication, but this was not enough. Cairo needed a plasma transfusion immediately if he was going to survive. Although his owner Marie Price and her husband love their dogs, they were in a difficult situation. Cairo’s medical costs had reached almost $3,000 and blood plasma is expensive. As the minutes ticked away, Marie was desperate to save her beloved Greyhound, so she called her friend Missy Jenkins, owner of Rocky Moun-

tain Blood Services. Missy said there was no question: Cairo would get his plasma for free because he had been such a consistent donor and had helped many dogs in the same situation. After receiving two units of plasma, Cairo made a remarkable recovery and was able to go home the next day. For Marie, coming full circle in the canine blood donation process was an enlightening experience. “Being a donor is great, but being on the other side and receiving a transfusion that saved his life was incredible,” she says. “If it wasn’t for Missy and the plasma she gave Cairo, he would have passed. They tried medication and everything, but at that point only plasma could save his life, and it did.” According to emergency care veterinarian Dr. Scott Hafeman, canine blood banks have helped the treatment of dogs by having a supply of blood

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products available for emergencies and surgeries. In the past, if a dog came into an ER clinic and needed a transfusion, the vet had to call a volunteer to bring in a dog to give blood. The donation could take almost an hour, and every second means life or death for a critically ill dog. Now, most ER clinics and hospitals have blood supplies on hand thanks to canine donors. “We absolutely rely on blood donors for cats and dogs,” Dr. Hafeman says. “I’ve seen it save lives multiple times. We do a transfusion here at least once a week, and it’s a life saving procedure.” Dogs have been getting transfusions for years, but a steady supply of blood products through blood banks is relatively new. In 1985, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine started the first voluntary donor program in the United States establishing the basis for most blood

Lora Stedman watches as Certified Veterinarian Technician Jen Hancock holds Ballou, Stedman’s Border Collie Blue Heeler mix, while Rocky Mountain Blood Services owner Missy Jenkins prepares to draw blood.

Cairo wouldn’t be with us today without the transfusion he received. Donating blood is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. banks and donor facilities. By reaching out to the canine community, Penn Vet was able to build up a supply of blood instead of calling in a donor at the last minute, thus saving more dogs. Another advance in veterinary medicine that has saved lives is the discovery of canine blood types. In 2005, Dr. Kate Hsuen-Wen Chang at the University of Melbourne developed a method of identifying dog blood types, which has enabled dogs to have more than one blood transfusion over a lifetime. Prior to blood typing, dogs could only have one because they developed antibodies to the new blood and another transfusion can cause a severe reaction. By blood typing the recipient first, the vet knows which type of blood to give the dog. Blood banks have been instrumental in enabling vets to administer the correct type of blood to dogs. According to Rocky Mountain Blood Services owner Missy Jenkins, canine donors

are thoroughly screened before giving blood the first time. They’re tested for diseases and health issues, as well as blood typed, and only dogs who are healthy and disease-free are accepted. Donor dogs must be at least one year old, weigh a minimum of 45 pounds, and have a mellow temperament. But the most important ingredient is the dog’s willingness to donate. If a dog is stressed, Missy won’t take blood that day and asks the owner to come again. She always tries a couple of times because as the dog becomes accustomed to the environment, equipment, and process, it usually calms down and realizes there is no danger. However, if a dog never calms enough, Missy won’t use it as a donor. She insists the whole procedure be as stress free and positive as possible for the animals. Even if the owner is adamant about his dog being a donor, some don’t make the cut. “I want to make sure the dogs are comfortable because if humans walk into a place and aren’t comfortable, they’re not going to give blood and it’s important for dogs to be at ease too,” Missy says. “No matter how much owners want their dogs to be donors, I’m not going to force a dog to do it.”

Once they get used to the process, donor dogs are eager participants in this life-saving endeavor. By making it a positive experience with lots of love, reassuring pats, and delicious treats, these dogs come to see blood donation as the place for praise and goodies. Marie and her Greyhound Cairo see it as a place for miracles. “Cairo wouldn’t be with us today without the transfusion he received. Donating blood is just as important for dogs as it is for humans.”

Kayla happily chases her dog Cairo, a rescued Greyhound, who was saved by a plasma transfusion.

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    85  

Colorado’s most celebrated pet directory and online magazine for dog lovers

• Alternative Therapies • Antioxidants/Supplements • Artists/Photographers • Bling ling/Fashion • Dental Care/Hygiene • Dog Boarding/Daycare • Dog Bones, Chews, Treats • Dog Food • Dog Groomers/Products • Dog Trainers/Products • Ear, Eye & Skin Care • Interior Design/Landscaping • Pet Boutiques • Pet Furniture/Dog Beds • Pet Memories & Services • Pet Products • Pet Services • Pet Stains/Waste Removal • Ramps, Gates, Doors • Veterinarians




Dr. Caroline Bartley COLD LASER AND V.O.M. — For Healing Your Dog

by Caroline Bartley, B.S., D.C., CVCP

Cold Laser (low-level laser therapyLLLT) and VOM gave Shadow, my black lab, three additional years of quality life without drugs after he had been diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy (spinal cord injury from trauma). The first sign of a problem was Shadow’s refusal to jump into the back of our SUV even though he obviously wanted to go for a ride. He then started stumbling when he walked. Never was there a change in his affection or love of life to indicate pain. Yet with these changes, we made a trip to our vet. The diagnosis/prognosis was devastating. The veterinarian said the initial cause was probably a sprain/strained low back. The vet determined Shadow had approximately three months before becoming paralyzed. As a human chiropractor, I felt there had to be more than drugs and a short life of pain for Shadow. That’s when I became a VOM (Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation) and Cold Laser practitioner for animals and have been witnessing extraordinary healing since. What is V.O.M.? It is NOT manual adjusting. It is an effective, drugfree way to restore joint mobility and normal nerve communication. VOM is a method of treatment with a high success rate of over 90% to manage back or disc injuries, etc. A treatment schedule is specialized for each patient and usually consists of five to seven treatments over a month. Long-standing spinal problems can become visible years after the initial injury causing bone changes seen on x-rays. These changes indicate inflammation and pain. VOM reveals these problems long before they become evident on x-rays as well as corrects or treats them. Often when the spine cannot move, this problem generates pain and shuts down or reduces the nerve’s communication. Even this slight impingement on the spinal cord or the

nerve roots affects the organs of our dogs that these nerves supply. For example, reduced function of nerve supply to the colon could result in irritable bowel syndrome. Primarily, VOM is used to treat spinal disorders such as degenerative myelopathy (like Shadow’s), Wobbler’s disease (instability between several adjacent neck vertebrae), hip dysplasia, and disc disease. It is also effective in addressing visceral diseases, such as thyroid disease, as well as performance and behavioral problems. However, the potential to prevent these conditions as well as treat them is exciting. What is Cold Laser therapy? In the world of humans, Cold Laser is utilized in treating 95% of my patients. I use an FDA approved class III laser. These do not generate heat, therefore, do not cause cellular damage. Cold Laser therapy does result in the restoration of normal cell function and enhances the body’s healing processes without adversely affecting normally functioning cells. In addition to the short and long term effects of pain reduction and healing, Cold Laser stimulates the immune response and improves lymphatic drainage.

By combining the 91-93% success rate of VOM and the healing effects of Cold Laser Therapy, we are providing to our canine companions:

low cost, effective, non-invasive • adjunctive treatment of diagnosed conditions;

• alternative to surgery (minimizing risk to older dogs);

• preventative health care; and

• a more healthy, pain-free and longer life.

*Dr. Bartley is one of four licensed doctors under the veterinary chiropractic law in the State of Colorado to treat horses and dogs. She received her Certified Veterinary Chiropractitioner degree in 2002. For success stories and further information on VOM/Animal Chiropractic and Cold Laser Therapy please visit Dr. Caroline Bartley’s Website at: or she can be reached by phone at: (303) 388-6886

Dr. Bartley and Jasmine

Some conditions/diseases treated by VOM and Cold Laser include:

• Lameness

• Progressive Myelopathies (“down in rear”)

• Hip Dysplasia-like symptoms

• Narrowing Discs and other Disc Related Disease

• GI Disorders

• Agility Dysfunction

• Urinary and Fecal Incontinence

• Tendonitis and Bursitis

• Osteoarthritis

• Wasting Disease

• Dermal Ulcers

photo by Wallace Schock

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    87  



VETERINARIAN photo courtesy of Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital

Dr. Lori Wise Diabetes in Dogs

By Lori A. Wise, DVM, MS • Diplomate ACVIM (Internal Medicine) Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital

Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine problem in dogs. It is estimated that one in every 100-200 dogs are diagnosed with this disease. Although any dog can develop diabetes, certain breeds are predisposed: Australian Terriers, Schnauzers, Samoyeds, Miniature and Toy Poodles, Dachshunds, Rottweilers, Miniature Pinschers, Pulis, Cairn Terriers, Keeshonds, Beagles, Pugs, Huskies, and Golden Retrievers. The average age at diagnosis is 7-9 years. Spayed females are slightly predisposed, and obesity is a risk factor. The cause of diabetes in dogs is not fully understood. Genetic factors are likely. Acute or chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas gland) can result in decreased numbers of islet cells and may be a contributing factor in the initiation and progression of canine diabetes. Diabetic dogs are unable to produce enough insulin from their pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that enables sugar (glucose) to enter the body’s cells to provide energy. Diabetic dogs are similar to type I human diabetics, and require that insulin be given by injection once or twice a day. Common signs that the pet owner may notice include increased thirst, increased need to urinate, and an increased appetite with weight loss. It is an easy disease to diagnose by checking blood and urine glucose levels. If left untreated, the dog will eventually begin to break down his body fat for

energy. This results in ketoacidosis, which will cause lethargy, decreased appetite, and vomiting. Ketoacidosis is often an emergency, which requires intensive care and hospitalization. Once the dog is stabilized, the owner will be taught to give the dog insulin injections at home. Most diabetic dogs are fed either canned or dry dog food twice daily. Normal blood glucose in a dog is between 80 and 120 mg/dl. Diabetic dogs often have a blood glucose over 500 mg/dl. It is usually not possible to maintain the diabetic’s blood glucose in the normal range, but a typical goal is to keep it between 100 and 300 mg/ dl for most of a 24-hour period. To determine whether the diabetes is under control, the owner will monitor water drinking, and urination volume and frequency, which should return to near normal levels. Weight gain, if needed, should occur, and the dog’s energy level should normalize. Monitoring diabetic patients used to involve having owners catch urine samples and check the urine for glucose. Now, blood glucose meters specifically designed for dogs and cats, which have been validated in veterinary medicine, are available. Owners can be trained to obtain a blood sample from the dog’s ear margin, inside of the lip, elbow callus, or paw pad. The blood glucose is measured on this sample. Most dogs are surprisingly amenable to having

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this done, and over 80% of pet owners are able and willing to monitor their pet’s blood glucose long term. The development of cataracts in the eyes of diabetic dogs, which leads to blindness, is a big problem. Achieving good regulation as soon as possible may help delay the development of cataracts. Blood glucose monitoring has greatly improved our ability to regulate diabetic patients, with the result of delaying (sometimes indefinitely) the development of cataracts. Measurement of serum fructosamine is another parameter that can be used. This value gives an idea of diabetic control for the preceding 2-3 weeks. Owners should be aware of the clinical signs of diabetes and keep their pets at a healthy weight. If diabetes is suspected, your veterinarian can examine your pet and collect blood to help diagnose the condition. With proper treatment and monitoring, most diabetic dogs will have a normal life expectancy. *Dr. Lori A Wise is a partner at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital and she is board-certified in internal medicine since 1990. One of her areas of interest is the management of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats. She has participated in diabetes research and has lectured internationally on the topic.

For more information please visit:

“The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing” ~ Albert Einstein

ADOPT A DOG. SAVE A LIFE! The American Dog Magazine encourages everyone who wants a dog to adopt from your local animal shelter or rescue group. You CAN make a difference. Whether it’s giving a little of your time to volunteer, donating a small percentage of your paycheck to a shelter, fostering a dog in your home or making room in your family for one more four-legged canine to join your pack. The animals will thank you! This message created by Jamie Downey, designed by Jane Brunton and provided as a public service announcement by The American Dog Magazine on behalf of the 5-7 million dogs and cats euthanized every year in animal shelters. Please consider adopting a dog from your local animal shelter.



Dog Law

Is It Safe For Pets to Fly (in cargo)? By Anna E. Morrison-Ricordati, Attorney At Law

On February 4, 2010, Mr. James Hough received a phone call from a Delta Airlines cargo employee. Mr. Hough’s Neopolitan mastiff puppy, Iagan, had departed from Brussels, Belgium on Delta Flight 125 and was scheduled to arrive at her new home in Peoria, Illinois that day. During a stop in Atlanta, Georgia, it was discovered Mr. Hough’s puppy had died in transit. The puppy was removed for a necropsy to determine the cause of death and Mr. Hough submitted his on-line claim for the loss of Iagan on February 6. Based upon the necropsy performed at the University of Georgia, trauma could not be ruled out. Despite Mr. Hough’s requests, the original crate used to ship Iagan was not provided to Mr. Hough for inspection. Instead, Delta provided him with a brand new crate. And despite his requests, no information about Iagan’s post-flight appearance has been provided by Dandie Scottie Kennels, the contractor hired by Delta Airlines to transport Iagan for necropsy. To date, Mr. Hough’s claim is unresolved. Smaller animals that qualify as carry-on luggage and assistance dogs may board the plane, but for other animals, transport via airplane is risky at best. Any number of problems can arise when animals are shipped on commercial airlines. In addition to stress and connection mix-ups, the cargo area – where live animals are kept - is pressur-

ized and temperature-controlled only during flight. Cargo temperatures can fluctuate dramatically during pre and post flight delays. Animals may also be left outside, may break loose from a damaged crate, and if misplaced, may go without food and water. We haven’t heard more stories like Iagan’s because the laws that govern animal reporting are recent and don’t apply to all animals that fly. Only since 2005 has the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) required airlines to report the loss, injury or death of animals in transit. See, 49 U.S.C. Sec. 41721. Many animal deaths go unreported because the current DOT policy interprets “animal(s)” to include only those kept as companions/pets. Delta was not required to report Iagan’s death because she was being delivered from a breeder to Mr. Hough, and thus was considered a “commercial shipment,” not an “animal,” under DOT standards. Adding insult to injury, airlines frequently rely upon language found on the backs of tickets or in fine print in an attempt to limit their liability for mishandling animals. While liability limits are subject to challenge in Court, the process can be expensive and timeconsuming. Animal owners should be proactive in discovering an airline’s animal handling policies and track record before opting to fly. This is especially true in situations where

an animal owner is unfamiliar with a particular airline and is not aware of liability limits or the need to declare a higher value for his/her animal. Sadly, Iagan’s story is not unique. The Safe Air Travel for Animals Act, or “Boris Bill,” was spearheaded by Barbara Listenik, who had flown on Delta airlines with her dog Boris riding in cargo. Upon landing, Ms. Listenik was shown an empty, bloody crate and was told to fill out a baggage claim form. Apparently, Boris’ crate had broken in transit and Boris had disappeared. Similarly, a West Highland terrier puppy named Maggie Mae was crushed in cargo hold during a 2008 Delta flight transfer. These stories have caught the attention of United States Senators Robert Menendez, Richard Durbin, and Joseph Lieberman, who have proposed modifications to DOT’s current definitions of animals to include dogs and cats transported by anyone, including breeders and handlers. Only with adequate airline reporting can we better understand these animal safety issues. Contact your Senators to let them know of your interest in raising the standards for animals in transit.

For more information or to contact: Anna E. Morrison-Ricordati AMR Law Group, LLC 111. W. Washington St. Suite 1760 Chicago, Illinois 60602 (312) 376-7660 Phone Email:

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    91  




May I Pet Your Dog? By Doug and Elizabeth Simpson Owners of Tenderfoot Training

We are asking all people who encounter someone else’s dog to please be courteous enough to ask permission to pet someone else’s dog, and be respectful of what people ask of you. Unfortunately, some folks just don’t listen and always want to counter with “It’s fine, animals like me” or “I have a way with dogs, its okay.” It doesn’t matter that dogs love you and you have never been bitten before, there’s always a first time for everything. We know it is exciting to meet a new dog, especially if you are a dog lover. Unfortunately, most people feel driven to approach with high energy and have to touch the dog immediately. This can cause many adverse reactions from an unbalanced dog. You don’t know the ‘dognality’ of this four-legged standing in front of you. Is this a balanced and nice dog? Does he seem likely to jump up? Is he nervous and likely to bite? Is he mouthy or aggressive? Ask the guardian about his dog before you approach a new dog and please respect their wishes. When greeting a new dog there is a correct way to approach - see the American Dog Magazine’s, fall of ’08, article Minding Your Canine Manners by Tenderfoot Training for more details.

The responsibility lies with both parties when encountering each other, so to the dog owner we ask, please have the confidence to ask someone not to approach your dog, or teach them how to approach your dog. Most of all, teach your dog to feel comfortable in the world.

comfortable around strangers).” Then explain to the person that sideways body language is calmer to a dog, have them squat down beside the dog, ask them to avert their eyes until the dog seems interested, and then have them stroke the dog evenly when all seems calm. Set everyone up for success.

Teach your friends, old and new, how to greet your dog. If someone asks to pet your dog, you could answer by saying, “Thank you so much for asking, but he is too nervous right now and I am working on his training.” You could even ask them to walk by a few times and toss a treat towards the dog so they are helping to socialize the dog but not actually approaching him. That way it’s a win-win – the dog gets a positive experience with a stranger and the person gets to interact with the dog. Or you could say, “So great that you asked, I would love to have you pet him but I need your help first. He is a bit nervous and I am working on his training, so could you please (whatever helps make your dog more

It is the human’s job to ensure that his dog feels safe in the world, and the world is safe with his dog. This is accomplished through cooperation between all people and their dogs working together to stay safe and create harmony.

The way you approach a dog matters; your energy, getting closer (distance), facing the dog, bending over towards the dog, and eye contact can be forms of pressure which feeds into the dog in a good or bad way. Think about it, if a stranger came rushing at you, hugged you and stroked your hair, then kept starring into your eyes as he spoke gibberish to you, you would find that very creepy, and depending on your personality you might get scared, or you might try to push that person off of you. Well, that’s just what a dog is doing when he stiffens, growls, or worst yet - snaps at you.

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which children seem so able to generate at a moment’s notice. Second, avoid allowing chase games in either direction. It only teaches the dog that he’s faster and cleverer in that situation – information he can live without. Instead, teach your dog tricks, fetch games, hide and seek, as well as basic obedience.

What parent doesn’t enjoy the sight of their child engaging in the playful company of man’s best friend? And what parent doesn’t simultaneously abhor the thought of all that could go wrong? With 80% of dog bites happening to children under five, child/dog interactions are a very serious issue indeed. So let’s look at how we can make such interactions safe and fun. When interacting with unknown dogs in public the following guidelines can make all the difference between delight and disaster. First, instruct your child to never approach unattended dogs, period. Second, even if the dog is accompanied by an owner be sure that your child asks both the owner and you for permission to pet the dog. Clearly, if the owner says no, avoid the dog. Also, if the owner expresses hesitation, or the dog shows no overt signs of friendliness, pass on the interaction. Third, even with permission teach your child not to make sudden moves toward the dog, and to begin by petting the dog gently under the chin.

Only once the dog is clearly at ease with the entire interaction should your child be allowed to expand their interactions to scratching behind the ears, over the head, and so on. However, even with a friendly dog, bear hugs should be avoided entirely. Lastly, teach your child that if a dog should ever chase him/her, playfully or otherwise, never run, scream or squeal under any circumstances. This can quickly turn a mildly agitated situation into a dangerous one as the running and screaming can engage the dog’s prey instinct and drive aggression. Instead, teach your child to stand their ground, avoid eye contact with the dog, and place their hands on the side of their heads so their face and neck are protected until an adult comes to the rescue. With respect to interactions between your child and your own dog, the rules are, of course, very different. Obviously teach your child not to torment the dog with riding, tail-pulling, ear poking, and the assortment of other annoyances

A nice obedience routine might look something like this; put your dog on a leash and stand facing your dog with your child standing in front of you facing him also. Have your child issue commands with hand signals. If the dog delivers, have your child reward with a treat. If he doesn’t, enforce the command gently, but firmly. Repeat with as many commands as your dog knows. Once the routine is established, stand to the side of your child and dog so you’re halfway between them facing them both. Repeat the exercise. Once this is going well, move to standing behind the dog, with the dog and child facing each other. In this situation, while the dog is well aware that you are asserting your authority, his primary interaction is with your child. This will teach him both to enjoy your child’s company and to begin to respect him appropriately. Lastly, never allow unsupervised interactions between children under ten and any dog, ever. By following these guidelines you should be able to assure a safe and positive experience for your child and man’s best friend. For much more information on this subject see my book, There’s a baby in the House.

To contact Michael Wombacher: Website: Email: Facebook: “Michael Wombacher”

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    93  

5–8 MILLION dogs and cats are killed EVERY year by a lethal injection of poison, stabbed repeatedly with a heart stick, or thrown into the oven of a gas chamber

These animals are born…only to die horrible deaths Don’t contribute to the pet overpopulation problem BE part of the responsible solution

SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR DOG TODAY! This public service message provided by The American Dog Magazine for all the wonderful dogs who wanted to live life to the fullest, but were dumped at shelters by irresponsible owners and euthanized because nobody wanted them. Please be responsible and make a commitment for life.

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    95  



Dog Parent

photos by Tina Valant

Chef Laura Souza with her prized “lobster” Gianna

ianna & Valentino (Gianna’s escort) at her birthday party


and canine kid -Gianna Marie Souza The American Dog reports

There is only one room for one princess in this household and her name is Gianna Marie Souza, an Imperial Shih Tzu. Laura recalls, “when our first Shih Tzu, Georgina, went to the rainbow bridge at 15-years-old we were heartbroken. A good friend and reputable breeder surprised us with Gianna. She was three months old, and it was love at first sight for the whole family!” With a lot of hard work and training Gianna earned her CGC title (canine good citizen) in May 2008. With her mom Laura, they form an animalassisted therapy team for Vitas Innovative Hospice Care. They average 30 volunteer hours per month visiting assisted living and nursing home residents. Laura says, “this year we were recognized as volunteers of the year!” We’re told that Gianna’s favorite sport is shopping! Her other activities she likes to attend with her parents are “bark at the park” baseball games, yappy hours, wine and dine with your canine parties,

swimming in the pool, and she loves to participate in fashion shows and contests. Proud mama Laura says, “Gianna has won too many to mention.”

We raised almost $400 for this worth while organization, which raises and trains service dogs for people with disabilities” Laura says.

This little gal loves to give back and “one Sunday each month we host a canine couture fashion show and ice cream social for the assisted living residents. Gianna invites many of her four-legged friends, and a good time is had by all with lots of smiles and tail wags given” Laura says.

Gianna has a full social calendar and Laura explains, “Gianna was awarded positions in two national calendars and often appears in magazines, local media and on TV. Gianna aspires to continue with print work, commercials and TV, and has promised to always donate a portion of her earnings to help dogs in need. She will work for treats and toys!”

Being empty nesters, “we consider Gianna ‘our baby’ and rarely go anywhere without her. She brings so much joy and love to us and many others, and she is just so special” Laura says fondly. For Gianna’s third birthday in March we celebrated with a canine cotillion. “In lieu of gifts, we collected items and donations for Canine Companions For Independence. The event was enjoyed by 30 dog parents, escorted by their decked-out dogs on the red carpet!

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Gianna Marie has her own business cards

Families Brygida Trzaska

and Wiggles, Wobbles & Snuggles! By Brygida T. (dog mom to her 3 Chi’s)

I am “dog mommy” to my three Chihuahuas; two of them are miniature Chihuahuas, Wiggles (5 yrs old), and Wobbles (4 yrs old), and my third is a Teacup Chihuahua named Snuggles (3 yrs old). I got Wiggles and Wobbles from a friend when they were just puppies. They are siblings from different litters and Snuggles is Wiggle’s offspring. All three are doggie models and have been featured in various publications such as Diva Dog book, DogJoy book, America’s Top Dog Model (TM) calendars, Chihuahua calendars, Evanger’s Dog Food calendar, Chihuahua Connections magazine, Pet Style News, Palm Beach Pet Society, Palm Beach Daily News, Palm Beach Post, Sun-Sentinel, etc. They have been on television as well including NBC’s Today Show, CBS12 News, MAS TV’s Dia a Dia, Hola TV, and have auditioned to be in a movie.

Wobbles is my very vocal canine kid. She howls and sings making operalike sounds. Wiggles sings sometimes, but she really enjoys dressing up in costumes and posing for pictures. Snuggles is the little fashionista and diva of them all. She walks the runways unleashed, models in doggie fashion shows, enters fashion contests, and wins most of them. Most weekends, we like to attend charity events and fundraisers helping to raise money for various animal rescues. There seems to always be some wonderful fashion shows, costume contests, Chihuahua races, yappy hours, meetups, dog art exhibits, grand openings, animal blessings, red carpet events, and photo shoots! When we’re not busy attending events, I take Wiggles, Wobbles and Snuggles for walks at the park, or for a run at the dog

park where they love to socialize with other small breed dogs. My dogs have numerous dog beds around the house, but at night they like to sleep in my bed. They also prefer their own playpen, where they play, sleep and chill. Their favorite toys are squeaky toys and little stuffed animals. They also have their own closet full of doggie clothes with plenty of shirts, dresses, pageant gowns, fall jackets, rain jackets, winter coats, sweaters, hats and bonnets, shoes, collars, harnesses, leashes, sunglasses, bathing suits, necklaces, Halloween costumes, and Christmas outfits! Yes, I guess I would have to say that my dogs are very spoiled (and worth every penny)!

For more information on this trio visit:

photos courtesy of Brygida T.

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    97  


Dog Parent Families

photo by Paul Fleck


Denise and Paul Fleck with their kids - Haiku and Bonsai The American Dog reports

Currently, the two Akitas (aka the dynamic duo) run this energetic household. Both dogs were rescued by Akita Rescue; Haiku was found wandering in the desert near Lancaster, CA at approximately four-weeks-old, and Bonsai was surrendered to the shelter for being a chicken thief where Akita Rescue bailed her out. Over the years, Denise and Paul have had the pleasure of being parents to 11 amazing canines, and at the time Haiku was found, Denise was volunteering with Akita Rescue and agreed to foster the little puppy. Also, Bonsai needed a foster home, so Denise and Paul became “foster failures” and ended up adopting these two beautiful dogs - now cherished family members! Haiku is now five-years-old and Bonsai is somewhere between 10 and 13 years old. Both dogs have unique personalities and Denise says, “Bonsai is my Velcro

dog. She’s very loyal and sticks to me like glue. Haiku is just a boy who wants to have fun! He is a little moody and selfish, but he’s also very sweet and charming. And both these dogs know the word “cookie,” because when it’s time for one, they head straight to the counter where the cookie jar is!” On the weekends this family enjoys hiking, and they frequently visit the Bronson Caves in Hollywood, and also like to take the canine kids to one of the local doggie bakeries for an afternoon snack. However, “they really like being the king (and queen) of their own yard where they have plenty of trees and bushes to play in and bark at,” Denise says laughing. The dogs do have a favorite time of day and that would be dinnertime when mom is in the kitchen cooking! Denise says, “both dogs wait patiently hoping a morsel of food will drop on the floor,

98    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

and, of course, I accidentally will drop something here and there for them to scoop up!” When it’s time for bed, Haiku and Bonsai each have their own bed in mom and dad’s bedroom, but sometimes if it’s a little chilly both dogs will jump into bed with their parents and snuggle, just because! Since their dogs love carrots, bananas and apples; for a special treat, Denise will make banana pupcakes. During hot weather, she will also mix non-fat plain yogurt with low-fat peanut butter and freeze it into ice cube trays for a tasty, cold snack. And Denise and Paul both unanimously agree that their dogs, Haiku and Bonsai, truly are the greatest gift and bring so much love and joy into their family! Denise Fleck is a pet first-aid expert, visit

Do you want a best friend? Someone to always be there for you?

To love you unconditionally in good times or bad?

What are you waiting for? Adopt a dog from the animal shelter!

Bedtime Books All books reviewed by Nancy Allen

OOGY: The Dog Only a Family Could Love By Larry Levin Oogy, a dog only a family could love, is one of the most heartwarming stories I have read. The book tells of Oggy’s unbelievable, life-threatening experience due to his torture as a bait dog, and how Diane and Dr. Bianco manage to save the almost dead dog that looks beyond repair. Goes on to tell how Larry and the twins instantly fall in love with the ugliest, but kindest dog on the planet. A must read book to totally warm your heart.

PUKKA: The Pup After Merle By Ted Kerasote This book talks about Pukka’s life of puppyhood with owner Ted. There are more than 200 beautiful photographs showing Pukka from seven weeks of age heading home to Wyoming - to six months old. All the exciting adventures he has during that time are happily relived for us in pictures and we are shown the dog-human partnership that unfolds between Pukka and Ted. You can see the love and enjoyment of how a dog, this dog Pukka, enriches Ted’s life.

So Easy to Love so Hard to Lose By Laurie Kaplan, MSC So Easy To Love So Hard To Lose: A Bridge To Healing Before and After the Loss of a Pet, is the book to read as your beloved pet gets closer to the rainbow bridge. As you face the unbelievable grief of the ending of your pet’s life, this book will offer you support and healing. You will be guided in preparing for your pet’s departure and helped to understand your grief, and finally celebrate their memories of the magical person-pet bond you had.

SURVIVORS: Your Best Friend’s Journey With Cancer By Jaime Rowe Survivors is an inspiring book telling the life-altering stories of seven canine cancer survivors. Beautiful photographs illustrating each dog are shown with their amazing journey into cancer, and now are cancer-free and surviving. The net proceeds from the sale of this book go to support the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation and the CSU Animal Cancer Center. This is truly a book that will warm your heart.

100    Fall 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving By Jeffry Moussaieff Masson The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving is a book you must read. The author, Jeffrey, tells how {us} dog lovers feel about our pets, the love that is given and returned. He gives insight into how the two species – humans and dogs – evolved and became so bonded to each other. He “analyzes current scientific research to describe this relationship.” This is an incredible book and I will read it again and recommend it to everyone.

A Dog for Life By Claire Bessant, Peter Neville & Bradley Viner The book your dog would want you to read is an indispensable guide for telling us how to relate to our lovable canines in their golden years, while also letting us know how to effectively care for and keep them healthy. The book covers the behaviors, medical care, and ailments old dogs have, as well as many other subjects covered that will make both the aging pet, and you, the concerned owner, face the latter years with much needed information.

Pocket Guides: DOG FIRST AID & CPR HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR DOG OR PUPPY By Denise Fleck Animal care expert Denise Fleck is a certified pet first aid instructor, author and lecturer. She has appeared on Animal Planet and gives monthly pet safety tips on KTLA’s 9AM News in Los Angeles. Visit for more information.

Dogs & the Women Who Love Them By Allen and Linda Anderson Extraordinary true stories of loyalty, healing, and inspiration by Allen and Linda Anderson is about women who are compassionate, kind, loyal, and affectionate. These stories show the loving bond between females and their dogs. This bond that these two souls enjoy will be felt by everyone who reads this book, as they hug and kiss their own dog because they know it’s all true.

The American Dog Magazine | Fall 2010    101  

Bedtime Books All books reviewed by Nancy Allen

Irreconcilable Differences By Nathan J Winograd The Battle for the Heart and Soul of America’s Animal Shelters is a must-read book by anyone who loves cats and dogs. Nathan tells why most of the shelters in the country are unnecessarily killing these animals. He names NAMES. He tells how simple it would be to have no-kill shelters in the whole county if people really cared about animals. Now I know you do, so contact anyone and everyone about getting some laws changed. Please read this book - for the lives of cats and dogs are at stake.

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat By Hal Herzog Why it’s so hard to think straight about animals by Hal Herzog is a book about “the ethics of the relationship between humans and animals.” It scientifically discusses our relationships with other creatures and gives “ground-breaking research on a large number of animal groups.” You will have many moments of your ideas being challenged by this book. This book is insightful, compassionate, humorous, empathetic, and will challenge every animal idea we have.

Mad About the Dog By Belinda Harley Mad About The Dog is a true story about how Belinda falls head over heals in love with Goofy, the dog, who changed her life completely. From a Greek Island to uptown London living, Goofy’s life will inspire any dog lover. Dogs give us so much and once Belinda’s heart was taken over by Goofy, she never looked back. You will be reading this book if you are crazy about dogs as I am!

Sally’s Great Balloon Adventure By Stephen Huneck Sally’s great balloon adventure is about a dog that accidentally falls into a hot air balloon and ends up taking quite a journey. There is a very tasty reason that Sally ends up in the hot air balloon……you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is! This is a great children’s book. Kids will love finding out what happens to Sally during her adventure.

102    Fall 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

Smells Like Dog By Suzanne Selfors Smells Like Dog is an amazing story about a bored farm boy who dreams of being a great adventurer like his uncle. When his uncle dies he is given his dog who cannot smell – except for treasures. Homer leaves the farm with the dog to go on a mysterious adventure in the city to find out about his uncle’s disappearance and the legacy he left behind. Middle schoolers will love the “outlandishly funny characters” in this book.

How I Nicky Flynn Finally Get a Life and a Dog By Art Corriveau This is a great story children will love about a boy who has major problems because he is upset over his mom and dad’s divorce, having to move to a poorer city, and going to a new school where he is bullied. A dog named Reggie comes into his life which is the start of many weird changes that Nicky goes through while trying to find out about the dog. We also learn about Boston and the surrounding areas – good and bad. The end of the story will have us cheering for Reggie.

Even Bad Dogs go to Heaven By Stephen Huneck Even Bad Dogs Go To Heaven: More from the Dog Chapel by Stephen Huneck is a book that tells how he feels about dogs and their afterlife. Illustrated in woodblock painting style, it is a fascinating story about life in the Dog Chapel that Stephen built in Vermont showing a unique bond between dogs and humans. Anyone who has lost their pet will find that they have a special place after reading this book.

Little Pink Pup By Johanna Kerby This is a true story about a real baby piglet who was too weak and small to stay with his pig family in the barn, and who was then adopted by mama Dachshund, the family dog, who was a new mom herself with a few puppies. Adorable pictures show the heartwarming bond between these two animals sure to delight the 3-to-5-year-olds for whom this book was written. This priceless story shows how we should all get along.

The American Dog Magazine | Fall 2010    103  

Happily Ever After

photos courtesy of

French Riviera Rescue—From the Pound to Provence

By Carole Raphaelle Davis

This summer, the Companion Animal Protection Society and the Santa Cruz SPCA teamed up with Air France and the French Societé Défense des Animaux (SDA) to launch Riviera Rescue, a new international project to save red-listed dogs in California and airlift them to the south of France. Every year 500,000 pets are killed in California shelters while in France, small dogs are very rarely up for adoption at the fourrière municipale (the pound). The lack of available small dogs for adoption in France combined with the high demand for such dogs and the unacceptable euthanasia rates in the U.S., compelled the organizers of Riviera Rescue to take action. According to the representatives of the French department of agriculture we worked with, Riviera Rescue was the first American dog rescue ever to take place in France. The Santa Cruz SPCA rescued over twenty small dogs who would be evaluated to determine which dogs would be adopted out locally and which six were healthy enough and best suited to make the journey to their new homes in Provence. The lucky dogs were res-

cued from different southern California shelters and transported to Santa Cruz, where the four-legged asylum seekers were sterilized, micro-chipped and vaccinated. They were then pampered for twenty-one days in “quarantine” at Santa Cruz’s Bed & Biscuits before they could take their flight to freedom on the Riviera.

ordinance decreasing euthanasia over 70% in Santa Cruz County,” she said, “Rescue Riviera was made possible… saving dogs that were on death row from Los Angeles. Most people don’t realize that pet overpopulation in the United States is an epidemic and innocent adoptable dogs are dying as they wait for a loving home.”

Their flight took them from San Francisco to Paris, where they were checked up on and held in transit before being transferred to their flight to Nice. When the “Riviera Rescues” arrived at the historic Promenade a des Anglais in the heart of Nice and scrambled out of the caravan, they were welcomed with cheers of joy by a large welcome party, including the mayor’s office and the press.

All the Riviera Rescue dogs have since been adopted by local families and are adapting to their new, happy lives in Nice. One of the Riviera Rescue dogs, Charlie, a Malti-Poo who had lived his entire life in a puppy mill and had been debarked, has become a happy little Frenchman who hangs out in cafés and spends weekends sailing in the Bay of Angels on his own boat. “He’s learning new things every day,” says his adoptive mom, Jocelyne Dechaume. “He’ll have nothing but love and kisses from now on.”

“The Riviera Rescue airlift is a way to avert puppy mill sales in pet stores on the Riviera and to promote adoption while saving lives,” said Mireille Rudeau, French CAPS representative. Lisa Carter, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz SPCA, credits the local legislation that made the international rescue possible. “Because of our spay/neuter

104    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

For more information please visit: Carole Davis can be contacted at:

Happily Ever After

Photos courtesy of Coastal German Shepherd Rescue


Phoenix (aka Luke) was a bait dog without ears sitting on death row….. and got rescued!

By Tiffany Norton

ere is Phoenix’ story........

Phoenix laid on the cold concrete at a county animal shelter in Los Angeles waiting to be euthanized. His time had come and gone at the shelter and his life would soon end before it even started. Miraculously, in the eleventh hour, a kind volunteer decided to take Phoenix’ picture and circulate it to the rescue community in hopes that he would be rescued. Within moments of seeing his picture, I knew he was a dog we had to save. Brutally abused and used as a bait dog, he had never known a happy day in his life. Coastal German Shepherd

Rescue picked him up from the shelter on September 15, 2010 and vowed to show him the good life. Straight to the vet he went to have his ears examined. It seems his ears were savagely removed by an inexperienced hand and he bears the scars to show how terrible this was. Not only had his ears been cut off, but it appears that Phoenix’ jaw was wired shut to prevent him from fighting back while the fighting dogs trained and used Phoenix as bait. Phoenix is getting treatment for his skin infection, ear canal infection, and the wounds on his face and neck. He will not have any long-lasting physical issues, however,

the emotional and psychological issues are long-lasting. After the torture that Phoenix has been through and the repeated attacks by other animals, he is naturally apprehensive. It is confusing to him and he seems to constantly be in a state of wonder as to whether another dog will attack him. With people he is a love, he soaks up every bit of affection that you are able to give him. He nuzzles and asks for more! Phoenix is on the road to recovery and will be in a forever home soon! His story has brought out an outpouring of compassion and support. We are currently talking with families who would like to give Phoenix his happy ever after.

For more information or to make a donation: Coastal German Shepherd Rescue P.O. Box 50726 Irvine, CA 92619 (714) 528-4730 “Dedicated to giving German Shepherds a Second Chance”

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    105  


Happily Photos By Erica Daniel

Ever After

from abused bait dog to amazing therapy dog!

106    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

photo by Rescue Me Pet Portraits in Orlando, FL

By Erica Daniel (Dolly’s mom)

Dolly came into my shelter in Sanford, Florida, originally as a stray. After months of waiting patiently in the kennel for her forever home, a seemingly nice family decided to take this poor girl home in June 2009. Many months had gone by, and dogs came and went from the shelter. One busy Saturday in March 2010, I was working in adoption. I had gone to the front counter to hand a family their new pet they had proudly adopted, when I saw this dirty, bloody, mangled pit bull standing in the front lobby. There was a small crowd gathered around and a few were crying. It wasn’t until the skiddish dog raised her head for us to see - when we all realized it was Dolly. She had been used as a bait dog in a local dog fighting ring. So many questions flooded our headwho would do this? Why? We slowly walked her to the back of the kennel to give her a bath, a warm blanket, and some much needed TLC. We immediately started her on antibiotics

to fight the infection in her muzzle that was torn to shreds. As we were bathing her, blood flowed through the tub. Swollen from the trauma and barely able to open her mouth, Dolly began to lick our hands to say ‘thank you.’ She knew she was safe. She knew she was home. She stayed at the shelter for about a month until she had completely healed, and she was ready to head back over to the adoption building. I couldn’t stomach the fact that she’d be waiting in adoption for another home after her previous horror story. I kept envisioning in my head that the same type of monster would walk in, see her scarred face and want to adopt her for the wrong reasons. So, I did what any normal person would, I took her home. I decided to find a family for her on my own, one that would be hand-picked and simply perfect. My intentions were to rehabilitate her with other dogs, people, and train her to become a Canine Good Citizen. Well,

I accomplished all of that and more. I found Dolly a wonderful home, she is sleeping under my chair as we speak. I realized that she was too special to pass on, I had too many big plans for her life ahead. She is now an AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen and is a part of the SPCA’s Pet Visitation Program where we will soon start visiting nursing homes and children’s hospitals. She is my soulmate, and half of my heart belongs to her. She is very busy these days, making appearances as an advocate to her breed, and keeping up with all of her fans on her Facebook page. She will change the world’s negative perception, one person at a time. She will change your mind too…...if you let her.

For more information: Become a fan on Facebook: “Dolly the Pit Bull” Visit and watch the video, “Dolly the Pit Bull” Email Dolly at:

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    107  


Homeless Pit Bull Family

Ever After

By Jack Leslie, Volunteer and board member for Karma Rescue

On June 17th, I got an email from a rescuer about puppies living on the golf course. Apparently, someone who worked at the golf course had called a Pit Bull rescue down in San Diego, and they called Ingrid, a rescuer that we all know. Several employees of the course had seen both the parents and the puppies. However, we received conflicting reports as to how many there were. We were told as few as six and as many as ten. Ultimately, we rescued seven puppies. I went down there by myself on the Thursday night. I spoke to the woman who worked in the clubhouse and she lent me a golf-cart so I could drive over to the woods where the dogs were living. It was obvious that many of the employees and members were worried about the dogs’ welfare, and several employees had been putting food and water out for the dogs. When I got to the woods I met a young man and woman, both who worked at the course and were in the process of putting out fresh water for the dogs. They told me that they often saw the dogs during the

day when they would sun themselves on the grass. I didn’t see any dogs that night and left food and water out for them. The next day, Friday, I went back out to the course during the day. When I got to the woods, I saw the entire family sleeping in the sun in a glade. As soon as they saw me, the entire family ran into the underbrush, which was very thick and full of vines. I managed to grab one of the puppies, a little blue girl with one blind eye. The other dogs moved so quickly that I couldn’t get an accurate count of the puppies. The little girl who we named Kathy cried a lot, and I could tell her parents and siblings were upset. It was amazing how quickly they all disappeared. The mother was quite small, brown and white, and barked at me when she saw me. The father, a big blue brindle, ran off onto the course. Later that day, I was crawling through the vines and underbrush and managed to catch another puppy who got caught on a branch. He cried bloody murder as well. After all, they were probably

108    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

photos courtesy of Karma Rescue

all feral, having never been handled by people. He looked completely different from his sister. He was bigger, had thicker fur, and had the coloring of a Swiss Mountain Dog. We named him Heathcliff. After a couple of hours, I couldn’t find any more puppies. I came back later that night to leave food but didn’t see any more dogs. On the next day, Saturday, about eight other volunteers showed up to help. It was dirty, sweaty work, crawling on our hands and knees through the thick brush. In addition, there was a stream running through the middle of the woods, and the banks were pretty steep. After several hours, one of the volunteers spotted some puppies hiding in what looked like fox holes. I managed to reach way down into the hole and pull out a screaming puppy - followed by three more. The parents were obviously very distressed by this, but they remained hidden. The four puppies all looked very different from one another. There were two blue females, one of which was very tiny. We named them

photos by Jack Leslie

Rescued and Found Their Forever Homes!

Tess and Pixie. There was a brown male who was much bigger and looked like a shepherd mix, who we named Brandon. Lastly, there was Nike, who had almost no hair and looked almost pink.

Twitch. The other volunteers showed up, and we searched for the other dogs. Although we got glimpses of the parents, we couldn’t get close to them, and we couldn’t see any more puppies.

some puppies behind, where they would surely die. For the next couple of weeks, we left food for the dogs and checked in with the employees, but there were no more sightings.

We fed and watered the puppies, and then I took them home to my house where they were reunited with their brother and sister. They were all crawling with fleas and were immediately given baths.

The puppies were all excited to see each other again, but most of them remained very scared and shy. Their parents had obviously taught them to run and hide whenever they heard a noise. Only Kathy and Heathcliff, the first ones we caught, weren’t completely scared of everything. Since I have a big back yard, the puppies liked to venture outside, but they would run and hide in the bushes if they heard any kind of noise.

During this time, we were trying to get our hands on a trap, since we knew we would never get close enough to the parents to catch them. Finally, a rescuer lent me a trap which had seen better days, but still seemed to function.

The next day, we were set to meet at the course again. I got there a little early and found the parents and another puppy in the same glade. I quickly grabbed the puppy as the parents ran off. This puppy also had very thin fur and a wrinkled face like Nike. We called him

Our greatest fear was that we would catch the parents and unwittingly leave

I set the trap one evening and went back to check it the next morning. The door hadn’t shut but the food was all eaten. I set the trap again, and two of our volunteers went back the next morning to check it. Sure enough, there was the dad, waiting quietly. I drove down to meet

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    109  

them, and we got the big guy whom we called Chester into my car. We took him back to my house and gave him a good bath. He seemed to be a really sweet dog, and he showed no aggression towards us. His puppies were also thrilled to see him. I set the trap again that night, and the next morning another volunteer and I went to check it. We couldn’t believe it when we saw the mother sitting quietly in the cage. We named her Birdie. Like the father, she was extremely docile and let us put a leash on her and take her to my car. Back at my house, she got a good bath and was reunited with a very happy Chester and their puppies. We continued to call the golf-course, but since there were no more dog sightings at the course, we were finally secure that we had rescued all of the dogs. All the rescued dogs had a horrible flea problem, and the vet told us that the fleas had made the puppies anemic. They could have easily died if we left them there. They all had a lot of internal parasites which we cleared up with medications, and a couple of the puppies had skin infections. Also, there was the issue of Kathy’s eye. When we rescued her, it was milky white and twice the size of her other eye. We took her to an eye specialist who told us that she might have to have the eye removed,

but that we would not know for a while. A week later I got home and Kathy had blood all over her face. Her eye had obviously ruptured. I rushed her to the vet, and it was probably a good thing to have happened since her eye returned to its normal size and looked much better. She went to the eye doctor for regular visits, and there is a good chance she will be able to keep her eye, as long as she doesn’t develop glaucoma. Chester also appeared to have something wrong with his eyes - they were very deep-set and were always full of gunk. As we suspected, he had a condition by which his eyelashes were inside out, so we got him surgery to fix them. Poor Chester also had cuts and scars all over his face and body, but they are gradually healing. After all the dogs were vetted most of the puppies quickly got great homes. Heathcliff (renamed Wally), and Tess (renamed Mikki), were both adopted by an awesome young couples. Brandon (renamed Otis), was adopted by an allAmerican family in Pacific Palisades. Little Pixie (now called Gracie), was adopted by a lovely senior couple who lives in Big Bear and had just lost their beloved Pit Bull. Kathy now lives in Las Vegas with a really nice couple who is ready and willing to do whatever it takes to save her eye. Nike (now named

Ace), lives in the lap of luxury with a family who is working hard to help him overcome his shyness. That just leaves shy little Twitch. Although he was adopted by a very nice family, the two-year-old child was just too much for Twitch’s nerves. He’s back in a foster home and waiting for that home that will give him the security he needs. Birdie (the mom), was adopted by a great couple who is good friends with one of our volunteers, and she now lives with two rescued Chihuahuas. And lastly, Chester (the dad), is living with one of our trainers and is getting lots of love and exercise while looking for his forever home. This rescue has a wonderful ending and it was heart-warming to see how this little family had stayed together. Even though they didn’t have much food, Chester and Birdie were great parents who stayed with their puppies and protected them and made sure they were always fed. Although Birdie would stay close to home, Chester would venture off the golf course in order to find food for his family. Furthermore, after being homeless for at least a year, Birdie and Chester could not be sweeter dogs. They love people and are so full of affection.

For more information please visit:

photos by Jack Leslie

110    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine


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Happily Ever After

photos by Claire Jakubiszyn

“LIAM” makes it out of a research lab alive and into a loving home!!

Inew tattoo and what it meant to by Jay Johnson

was thinking a lot today about my

me and I decided I wanted to write something about it and my reasoning for getting it. 8888884. I just got those numbers tattooed on myself. They are numbers that mean a lot to me because I am not the first person to get them. These

numbers were first tattooed on someone nearly four years ago. Someone who didn’t get to choose where he would get his number. Someone who didn’t want a number in the first place. His name is Liam and he is my dog. For the first four years of Liam’s life, he didn’t have a name. He was a laboratory testing animal and as such, a name

112    Winter 2010 | The American Dog Magazine

wasn’t in the cards for him. A name would have personalized him, made him real, turned him into something more than the subject of an experiment, a tool to be used for human gain. It makes it harder to view a person or dog as a thing when it has a name. A series of numbers says the opposite of a name. It denotes a lack of importance, it strips

a living creature of its worth and makes it just a thing that is being used. Because that’s what Liam was to the people who had him for the first four years of his life; a thing, a tool, nothing more than a number. People sometimes ask me how I can know that. How I can know what it was like for Liam in the lab? I know because I was the first person to see him when he came out. When Liam came to live with me, he was terrified. Not just of his new surroundings, but of everything. The sound of metal clinking, the feel of grass or anything soft, it all scared him. The thing that broke my heart most, was that he was afraid of me as well. When I touched him, he would put his head down and put his tail between his legs. The only touch he had known had been the touch that was always followed by something painful or something unpleasant. I could see it in his eyes when I touched him, he was afraid of what I was going to do to him. Afraid that myself and my friends would treat him exactly how all the other humans he had ever encountered had - as a thing, a tool and nothing more than a number. But he proved himself to be stronger than I can even begin to understand. Somehow, even after everything he went through, slowly but surely, he began to trust the new people around him. He started to wag his tail. To learn that there

was more to this world than pain, cages and concrete. The grass still scared him, but he wanted to be near the new people around him. So he would take one big jump into the yard to be next to us, and then one big jump back to the sidewalk. Over time, he didn’t have to jump, he would simply walk through the grass. He had learned not to be afraid of the feel of something soft. He even learned how to play.....sort of. In preparation for getting him from the research lab, my friends and I got tons of toys for Liam. Toys we quickly learned he didn’t understand or care about. We would throw a toy for him and he would just watch, unsure what was going on. He had never played before and didn’t have a clue what we wanted him to do. I remember vividly the first time he chased a toy. I got so excited and he saw it. He ran to the toy, picked it up, dropped it half way back and ran into me, knocking me over. He looked so happy. We threw it again and he would run to where it fell, leave it there, run back and bowl me over again and again in his excitement to be playing for the very first time. Watching him running back and forth through the house, wagging his tail and literally jumping into my arms remains one of the happiest moments in my life because I know it was one of the first happy moments in his. That memory still brings tears to my eyes.

To me, this tattoo is first and foremost about Liam. About someone I love and who constantly gives me the strength to not give up in the face of odds that nearly always seem insurmountable. But its about more than just Liam. Because Liam, despite all he has gone through, is one of the lucky few. The end of his ordeal was the beginning of something better. Millions of other animals in laboratories around the world and billions of other animal in exploitative industries don’t get a new beginning- only an end. Liam reminds me of that every day. Because he got a chance the vast majority of them will never get. It’s of them I think when I want to give up fighting. How Liam is getting the chance they all deserve. My dog, who I love more than anything is no different then any of them. The only difference between him and them, is he got the chance to become something more than a number. Until every cage is empty. (**Liam was acquired legally from an animal testing facility in the burbs. An accountant that worked for the company found out about some dogs that were going to be killed and asked permission if she could find them homes and the company agreed. Liam was one of 30 dogs that made it out alive and all 30 dogs were adopted to people around the midwest.)

The American Dog Magazine | Winter 2010    113  



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The American Dog Magazine - Winter 2010  

The American Dog Magazine - Winter 2010

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