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20 AMA Z I NG

B EAUTI FU L PASSIONATE

REBECCA CORRY

BERNIE BERLIN

SHANNON KEITH

CHRISTINE DORCHAK

LEAH BREWER

JENN MCFARLING

DOG MOMS T H AT W I L L

INSPIRE

AN D

MOTIVATE

YOU! WINTER 2014

W W W. A M E R I C A N D O G M A G A Z I N E . C O M


TABLE Of CONTENTS

WINTER 2014 V OLU ME 7, I S S UE 4

Photo by AmbEr l boylEs-PElloCK

30 - DOG MOM: Jamie Streck Buehrle Mom to 4 Dogs and Animal Advocate

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Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

14

Working Like A Dog

16

BEAUTY:

Koby, AKA Puppy Einstein

From Trash To Treasure Rose’s Road To Recovery

18

Little Dog With A Big Heart

22

DOG MOM: Rebecca Corry

24

DOG MOM: Shannon Keith

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DOG MOM: Christine Dorchak

30

DOG MOM: Jamie Streck Buehrle

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DOG MOM: Jenn McFarling

34

DOG MOM: Merrily Tithof

36

DOG MOM: Rochelle Steffen

38

DOG MOM: Stacey Arbeit-Pravec

40

DOG MOM: Stephanie Coomer

42

DOG MOM: Elaine Taylor

Angel, the Precious Blind Pug Stand Up For Pits Foundation Beagle Freedom Project GREY2K USA

Mom to 4 Dogs and Animal Advocate Mom to ParkerPup Mom to Lady Bug the Pibble Mix Mom to Mac the Pitbull Special Needs K9

Mom to Ruger the Pit Bull-Ambassabull Mom to Sammie the Pit Bull & Hooch


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I have used other blankets on my dogs for several years, but it was when I started using the Back on Track dog blanket that I noticed the difference. My older dog Lotus has a hip joint problem. He is very sensitive to the cold and becomes stiff easily so Back on Track has been a great help... compared to the usual dog blankets available. Stiffness that may appear after a rest period completely disappears after diligent use of Back on Track. Jenny Damm: Gold medal winner, Agility World Championships/National Championships, Cruftswinner agility, Winner of the Year Agility Dog, active national and international agility instructor.

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TABLE Of CONTENTS

WINTER 2014 V OLU ME 7, I S S UE 4

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Photo by JosEPh FrAZZ PhotoGrAPhy

62 - DOG MOM: Bernie Berlin A Place To Bark Rescue

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Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

DOG MOM:

Michele Schaffer-Stevens Mom to Aladdin Nation

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DOG MOM: Rose Villegas

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DOG MOM: Jennifer Corodimas

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DOG MOM: Jamie Devine

52

DOG MOM: Imelda Suriato

54

DOG MOM: Pam Wahl

56

DOG MOM: Leah Brewer

58

DOG MOM: Deborah Young

60

DOG MOM: LaChrystal Ricke

62

DOG MOM: Bernie Berlin

64

NON-PROFIT PROFILE

66

NON-PROFIT PROFILE

68

SHORT STORY -

Mom to Sunshine, Pack and Friends Mom to Auggie & Company Miss Philadelphia International 2015 I’m Not A Monster Advocacy Initiative The Virginia-Maryland Dog Mom to Elle the Pit Bull Mom to Juno’s Place

Mom to Reggie the Deaf Pit Bull A Place To Bark Rescue GREYlong Viva! Animal Rescue NM

From Worst to First: My Favorite Dog Jimbo


TABLE Of CONTENTS

WINTER 2014 V OLU ME 7, I S S UE 4

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PUBLIC SERVICE CAMPAIGN

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ART: FEATURED

74 Photo by JAson bonE At mAnGy DoG PhotoGrAPhy

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56 - DOG MOM: Leah Brewer Mom to Elle the Pit Bull

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Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

Show Your Soft Side

PHOTOGRAPHER Mike Ruiz

ART: FEATURED

PHOTOGRAPHER Sherry Stinson

ART: FEATURED

PHOTOGRAPHER Virgil Ocampo

78 82

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

86

LITERATURE:

FAMOUS DOGS ON FACEBOOK WITH FRIENDS

Books Recommended

88

PUPPY MILL SURVIVOR

90

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

92

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

95

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

96

4TH ANNUAL HALLOWEEN

Blind Dog Jack Mickey the Bulldog and the Padded Bum Crew

Juniper The Bird Cage Puppy Parker, A Survivor

Costume Contest Winners


FOUNDER / PUBLISHER

JAMIE M DOWNEY

EDITOR IN cHIEF

JAMIE M DOWNEY

ART DIREcTOR cREATIVE DIREcTOR SENIOR EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR cOPY EDITOR

KELLY MAYER MIcHAEL ANTONE DAVID REVIERTER cASEY RODARBAL DEBORAH JOHNSON

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CONTRIBUTING wRITERS: Kim moBley, Kim CollinS, amy morGenSTern, mary Kelly, reBeCCa Corry, Shannon KeiTh, ChriSTine dorChaK, Jamie Buehrle, Jenn mCFarlinG, merrily TiThoF, roChelle STeFFen, elaine Taylor, STaCey arBeiT-praVeC, miChele SChaFFer-STeVenS, roSe VilleGaS, JenniFer CorodimaS, Jamie deVine, imelda SuriaTo, pam wahl, leah Brewer, STephanie Coomer, deBorah younG, laChrySTal riCKe, Bernie Berlin, aShley pedronCelli, Sande rieSeTT, KaTie poTTenGer, larS powell, Karen randall, lori haBerman-wilSon, miKe ruiZ, VirGil oCampo, Sherry STinSon, Kim Greer, Selina KeniTZer CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Kim moBley, Brandon moBley, mary Kelly, amy morGenSTern, Gene BlaloCK, reBeCCa Corry, VirGil oCampo phoToGraphy, danelle FeSTa, amBer BoyleS pelloCK, lawrenCe mCFarlinG, dan mCFarlinG, merrily TiThoF, roChelle STeFFenS, STaCey praVeC, imelda SuriaTo, Jeanne Taylor phoToGraphy, elaine Taylor, walTer KinG, Valerie Bruder phoToGraphy, K&K phoToGraphy, FoCuS in Fur phoToGraphy, deBorah younG, laChrySTal riCKe, JaSon Bone, CGiGi phoToGraphy, JoSeph FraZZ phoToGraphy, aShley pedronCelli, KaTrina SanCheZ, KaTie poTTenGer, diXie roGerS, larS powell, lori haBerman-wilSon, Karen randall, ThereSa Brown, maGali wriGhT, leo howard luBow, miKe ruiZ, VirGil oCampo, Sherry STinSon, roSe VilleGaS, Kim Greer, Selina KeniTZer,

HOW TO REACH US: The Dog Publishing, DBA: American Dog Media American Dog Media 17011 Lincoln Ave #610 Parker, CO 80134 info@theamericandogmag.com www.theamericandogmag.com For advertising Inquiries: Email to: info@theamericandogmag.com Letters to the editor/story ideas: Email to: editor@theamericandogmag.com Subscription rate is $20 per year within the United States and $50 per year for all foreign subscriptions. U.S. funds only. Subscriptions are non-refundable. Subscribe online: www.theamericandogmag.com 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: subscribe@theamericandogmag.com Postmaster: Please forward change of address to: The Dog Publishing DBA: American Dog Media 17011 Lincoln Ave #610 Parker, CO 80134 Copyright 2014/2015 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 reect the views of the publisher.

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Winter 2014 | American Dog Media


WORKING LIKE A DOG!

KOBY, AKA PUPPY EINSTEIN

photos by Kim Mobley

photo by Kim D Mobley

photo by Brandon Mobley

tri c k dog and K 9 artist By Kim Mobley (Koby’s mom)

Four years ago, a 12-week-old Miniature Pinscher/ Lhasa Apso puppy was brought into our lives. We named him Koby. After bringing Koby home, I began to teach him the basics as I had done with all of our other dogs in the past. But, there was something special about this little guy, his drive to learn was incredible and he loved to learn new things. He would try anything for a treat. Within the first week he had learned all the basic commands plus “sit pretty,” “wave hi,” and “roll over.” Hence, the nickname Puppy Einstein. Over the next couple of years Koby had learned well over 100 tricks, and I had a found a new passion. In September 2013, I began to teach Koby to paint. Within a couple of weeks he was holding a paint brush in his mouth and adding his very first paint strokes to paper. Not only was he painting, but he was enjoying it. I knew I wanted to do something special with his new found talent. It was

14    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

then that I asked Lisa Morrissey and her painting pup, Brody the Border Collie, to do a charity painting with us to raise money for the Children's Cancer Association. I picked this charity as my brother is a survivor of a very rare muscle cancer, and he spent a lot of time in the hospital as a toddler and child. I couldn't think of a better way to "paw" it forward. Koby and Brody’s painting, “Colors of Joy,” was auctioned off on eBay just in time for Christmas with all the proceeds donated to this wonderful charity. Shortly thereafter, Koby and Brody painted together again to raise money for the Tampa Bay Humane Society. Koby has since raised funds painting for many more charities, including our local Lincoln County Animal Shelter, The Oregon Humane Society, Neighbors for Kids, and the local school’s music programs. His most recent paintings include, “Flames of Passion,” that was auctioned off at an Oregon Humane Society fundraiser this October, followed by

his very first four- color painting, “K9 Perception,” which was donated to Animal House TV to grace the new walls of the Adams County Pet Rescue. We have also had the honor of donating paintings to children facing tragedy, and dealing with grueling health issues both locally and afar in hopes to bring them an extra smile. We will continue to “paw” it forward in any way we can. Koby and I have accomplished a lot together, raising money for charities, being named 2014 Crufts factor’s funniest dog, competing in trick competitions, and bringing awareness to fair and kind treatment and training of animals through positive reinforcement. But, first and foremost, he is my best friend and I love him with all my heart.

For more information on Koby please visit: www.kobyakapuppyeinstein.com www.facebook.com/KobyAkaPuppyEinstein www.youtube.com/user/kimmobley333


FROM TRASH TO TREASURE

ROSE’S ROAD TO RECOVERY

By Kim Collins and Amy Morgenstern (Foster moms to Rose)

Rose, an 8-month-old pit bull puppy was removed from her home in Daytona Beach, Florida, after witnesses reported that she had been sexually abused by her owner, James Guy Bull. Neighbors reported that they heard her cries for months and even asked Bull if something was wrong with his dog. His common response was that she was hungry, so the neighbors would bring scraps of food to his house for her to eat. She still continued her cries, and finally one of the neighbors had enough and walked up onto Bull’s patio. Even though the stereo was blaring, Rose's cries were heard loud and clear over the music and the neighbor walked through an open door and witnessed Bull raping Rose. The police and animal control

16    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

were called and Bull was arrested and Rose was taken to the Halifax Animal Shelter. Once Rose was brought to Halifax, a volunteer took it upon herself to look for a rescue to help get her to safety. Second Chance Rescue NYC agreed to take Rose and transported her to a NY airport where we picked her up and became her new foster family. That night, the rescue started Rose's Facebook page, “Rose's Road to Recovery,” which is now supported by over 37,000 fans and growing.  Once her Facebook page was started, Second Chance Rescue NYC shared the news with their hundreds of thousands of followers of what had been done to Rose by her abuser.

Petitions were shared and letters written to the judge to try and put Bull away for as long as possible. Bull pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 5 years in prison on Sept 19, 2014. The judge compared Bull’s abuse to "systematic and chronic child abuse" after hearing eyewitness testimonies and from the veterinarian that treated Rose at Halifax. Rose's day-to-day life with us, her foster family, is documented on her Facebook page. We are still working on socializing her with other dogs and becoming more comfortable with men approaching her on the street. Her daily routine is pretty normal and includes playing with her foster brother Kaykoh (our resident dog), and going on walks in NYC. Her FB page has really been


FROM TRASH TO TREASURE

PHOTOS BY AMY MORGENSTERN

about paying it forward. Rose has a lot of amazing supporters who signed petitions, wrote letters, bought t-shirts and decals, and came to the courthouse in Florida for the sentencing. Now we use her FB page to advertise for other dogs in need and Rose's fans always come through. They are an amazing group of supporters who help by sharing, donating, and stepping up to foster shelter dogs in need. We have been volunteering with Second Chance Rescue NYC for almost 2 years now. Rose is our 7th foster dog, and so far, the 6 dogs that we have had before her are in their forever homes and doing really well. Amy acts as the graphic design department for the rescue; designing the logo and t-shirts for various fundraisers, and creating

videos to raise awareness. We both help out with adoption events, fundraising events, sharing dogs in need on our FB pages, visiting the dogs at the vet and fostering for the rescue. When we aren't busy volunteering our time, we have a full-time job running our art business, which has taken a back seat to the rescue for the past year or so. Trying to do our part to help save lives has become a serious passion for us, and everyday we are validated in some way that shows what we are doing is making a difference. That's really all that matters. Rose is still looking for her forever home. Rose is a total sweetheart and loves her people, but her forever home needs to be a cat-free home. She could be very happy being an only

dog, but if there is a resident dog there, slow intros are the best way to integrate her. She loves car rides, cuddling on the couch, playing fetch and tug of war. She needs an alpha human who will show her direction and to socialize her. She loves attention and is a total lap dog, giving kisses on command and snuggling with you at night. Rose is a very happy puppy now. She understands love and is becoming more and more trustful of others. We are committed to finding her the forever she deserves. She's an absolute mush and a total boss lady packed into a tiny 40-pound puppy's frame.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ Roses-Road-to-Recovery

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    17  


LITTLE DOG WITH A BIG HEART

ANGEL THE PRECIOUS BLIND PUG

PHOTO BY MARY KELLY

By Mary Kelly (Angel’s mom)

Angel got her name when we adopted her at 8-weeks-old in 2003. Little did we know that 11 years later, she would become an angel to so many around the world. In March of 2013, Angel was diagnosed with diabetes and within 6 short days this disease stole her vision and she was diagnosed as totally blind. Two months later she had to have her eyes removed due to pain caused by glaucoma. Although this was a difficult time, Angel was now free from pain. She slowly adjusted to her new lifestyle and remains able to see; not with eyes, but with her big heart. Angel lives a full and happy life with her family - her human parents, one human brother (Brad) and one furbrother (Sam). We started a Facebook page called “Angel the Precious Blind Pug” in hopes of learning how to help Angel adjust to her new lifestyle, and her page quickly grew. Angel is now an inspiration to many of her followers as they have learned there is “life after blindness.” Motivated by how loved and supported Angel is, I wanted

18    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

to start a mission to help other pets. This is when “Angel’s Paw-It-Forward” became a reality. I believe all animals deserve what Angel has: the love of a family, a safe home, good food, clean water, and people to care for them when they are sick. There are many good people all over the world who help homeless pets; rescuing them from the streets and high-kill shelters, or helping those animals that are hurt and loving them until they find a forever home. But these organizations cannot exist without monetary donations. Angel’s Paw-it-Forward raises money every month for a different No-kill shelter or rescue so that more dogs and cats can have the love and care they deserve. Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida, was the first rescue we sponsored. In April 2014, Angel “pawdelivered” her first Paw-It-Forward donation of $273 (which was matched by another donor making a donation of $546). This shelter was chosen because

of the outstanding job its founder, Ms. Laurie Hood, and her staff does by caring for 300 animals on any given day. We only sponsor No-kill shelters because we strongly believe that every animal deserves life. Since this first donation, we have proudly sponsored 7 different shelters in the first 6 months. You can visit www.angelspawitforward.com to read more about these wonderful shelters. Subscribing involves a monthly donation of only $19.99 or you can make a one-time donation when you have funds. All who make a donation of $19.99 or more will receive a “pawtographed” certificate from Angel and a newsletter providing details about the shelter you are supporting. We hope that you have a heart the size of Angel’s and will join our Paw-It-Forward team as we virtually travel the world to help sheltered fur babies.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ Angel-the-Precious-Blind-Pug


cOVER STORY

20 AMA Z I NG B EAUTI FU L PASSIONATE

DOG MOMS

BERNIE BERLIN CHRISTINE DORCHAK DEBORAH YOUNG ELAINE TAYLOR IMELDA SURIATO JAMIE BUEHRLE JAMIE DEVINE JENN MCFARLING JENNIFER CORODIMAS LACHRYSTAL RICKE LEAH BREWER MERRILY TITHOF MICHELE SCHAFFER-STEVENS PAM WAHL REBECCA CORRY

T H AT W I L L

ROCHELLE STEFFEN

INSPIRE

SHANNON KEITH

AN D

ROSE VILLEGAS

STACEY PRAVEC STEPHANIE COOMER

MOTIVATE

YOU!

Photo CoUrtEsy oF mErrily tithoF

American Dog Media | Winter 2014

21


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

REBECCA CORRY

PHOTO BY VIRGIL OCAMPO PHOTOGRAPHY

By Rebecca Corry, Founder Stand Up For Pits Foundation

I’m an actress, comedian, Founder of the Stand Up For Pits Foundation (SUFP) and proud pibble mom to a real life Angel. Currently, I am a series regular playing "Leisha" on a new NBC sitcom called "One Big Happy" produced by Ellen Degeneres. My real life angel is my very own velvet hippo named Angel, and she is magical. Humans have identified her as a "pit bull type” dog, but to me she is, like they all are, love encased in perfection. Every single minute of every single day with her is a gift and just when I think I love her the most I could possibly love her, I love her even more. Everything I do to help save this beautiful breed is because of Angel. Angel came into my life just over 6 years ago and changed everything. Someone dumped battery acid down her back, she had been bred, clearly abused, and had horribly home-cropped ears.

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Angel sat in the South LA Shelter with the tag "leave alone" for over 2 months before being pulled and had clearly lived her life at the hands of monsters, yet she has nothing but love to give. Immediately after adopting Angel, I encountered ignorance first hand and it soon became clear that "pit bull type” dogs are targets of injustice and hate in so many ways. Pit bulls are innocent voiceless victims that our society has deemed "inherently dangerous," yet it's the humans who abuse, neglect and fight them, who are, in fact, the inherently dangerous ones. For over 3 decades this breed has and continues to be the target of uneducated fear based on myths and violence, yet our society chooses to ignore the monsters at the other end of the leash and bans and blames the victim instead. It's shameful and embarrassing.

So knowing what I know and seeing what I've seen, who would I be if I did nothing? Doing nothing is not, and will never be, an option. What is happening to this breed is a direct reflection of a broken society, and as a member of this society, I choose to do all I can to make communities safer for humans and pets. Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is discrimination enshrined in law and goes against the very fiber of what our country was built on and dog fighters and animal abusers are sociopaths and can no longer be ignored. The Stand Up For Pits Foundation assists and supports in many different capacities. In addition to what we do, a large part of our mission is empowering people to take action. Those who take action become part of the solution. We encourage people to figure out what they can do and do it. If everyone did something, we could


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

PHOTOS COURTESY OF REBECCA CORRY

PHOTO BY VIRGIL OCAMPO PHOTOGRAPHY

end this horrific epidemic. People who want the abuse and discrimination to end are the majority and have the power to create change. Every year in this country 4 million animals die needlessly. "Pit bull type” dogs are the majority of all dogs in shelters and it literally sickens me to know we destroy and throw away perfect souls who better our lives and who should be cherished as gifts. We live in a first world country and in 2014 Americans are fighting dogs in trunks of cars, uhauls, basements, fighting rings, fields, trails, city streets, alleys, backyards, or anywhere they can. From men, women and teens of all ethnicities, in all communities, to educated professionals and millionaire business owners. These sub-humans who walk amongst us are violently abusing, neglecting and murdering our dogs and people need to wake up and realize it's EVERYONE's problem

as it's been proven time and time again that people who abuse and kill animals will likely and most often times do go on to commit crimes against humans. To compartmentalize abuse is absurd. Abuse and discrimination is wrong. Whether the abused or discriminated against has two legs or four, it is wrong and I will never stop fighting to end the mass murder of innocent life. Ever. The Stand Up For Pits Foundation has an amazing board of directors who believe ending abuse and discrimination is possible and so do our PHENOMINAL supporters. Our supporters are some of the smartest, compassionate, and problem-solving people I have ever known. They are dedicated to truth and they get off their couches and from behind their keyboards and they DO something. When I hear all the positive things that have come from the One Million PIBBLE March on Washington DC

PHOTO BY VIRGIL OCAMPO PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOS COURTESY OF REBECCA CORRY

and what people have gone on to do, it blows my mind. Living a purpose filled life is a beautiful thing to see and these people are doing it. Thousands showed up in DC from all over the country, Canada, and Europe on May 3rd, 2014, because they believe in fighting for the rights of their four-legged family members. These are the kinds of humans who are making change and they restore my faith in humanity.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ StandUpForPitsFoundation

Visit our Website at: www.standupforpits.us

Follow Stand Up For Pits Foundation on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/rebeccacorry

Email Rebecca at: info@standupforpits.us

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    23  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

SHANNON

KEITH

By Shannon Keith, Founder of Beagle Freedom Project

I am the president and founder of the non-profit organization ARME (Animal Rescue, Media & Education) and it’s mission Beagle Freedom Project, which saves animals from laboratory testing (visit www.beaglefreedomproject.org for info). Sadly, animals such as dogs, cats, and many other species are used in experiments for cosmetics, products and pharmaceuticals. Of the 70,000 dogs living in cages in laboratories across the United States, 96% of them are beagles. Beagles are used because of their docile, friendly and forgiving nature, but Beagle Freedom Project rescues all breeds and species from laboratories. I have four dogs: Chula, a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback mix who is about 13-years-old. Samantha is a

24    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

Corgi mix and is 9-years-old. I got Chula and Samantha from the East Valley shelter when they were on death row. Next is Oliver, who I rescued when his litter was dumped in a box after having just been born. His umbilical cord was still attached and bleeding. I did not think he would survive, but after round the clock bottle-feeding and care, he thrived! He is 6 now and is a Pit Bull. Finally, there is Cha-Cha, a Chihuahua I rescued from the North Central shelter. She’s about 3-years-old. My dogs are my family. I cannot imagine a day without them. When I look into their eyes, when we snuggle, when I see the simple joy on their faces when we go on walks or hit the park, it makes me think of those dogs sitting in cages with no love, no

sunshine, no treats, no park. I promise them that I will do everything in my power to free them and end the archaic practice of animal testing. Every rescue has a unique story, but my favorite rescue story is of Chula. Eleven years ago, I was at the shelter. In the first cage I saw a sick, emaciated dog who was very pregnant. I was told that dogs in the first cage were to be killed that evening. I immediately said that I wanted to adopt her. I was told that they don’t adopt dogs who are not fixed, so she would get an abortion the following morning and spayed. While I, of course, advocate for sterilization, it was clear she was about to pop! I asked if there was any way I could adopt her without the pups being aborted, but they said no. I adopted her anyway and asked


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Photos by Gene Blalock

where she was being transported in the morning for her surgery.

them all amazing homes and Chula and I would become inseparable.

Early the next morning, I drove to the facility where she was to have her procedure. I begged the veterinarian not to abort. She said that while she agreed that this was inhumane, if she did not do it, she would lose her contract with the city. I desperately tried to think of options. A-ha! I said she was sick, and that dogs cannot undergo surgery when sick. She said, “Wait here.” A few moments later, she appeared with a thermometer in hand and said, “Yes, it appears she has a fever. She cannot have surgery. Take her home…. now!” I quickly put Chula in the car and the next day, Chula and I sat together for eleven hours while she gave birth to eleven beautiful puppies. Months later, I would find

I cannot imagine my life without fighting for the rights of those who are unrepresented. Animals have the fewest advocates out there. The animal rights cause is unique because it is the only cause wherein the victims have no voice. Literally. We must push harder and yell louder, for what we know is right, and that is a world in which animal cruelty is ancient history.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/BeagleFreedomProject

Visit the Website at: www.beaglefreedomproject.org

Follow Shannon on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/shankeithbfp

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    25  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE Photo BY Danielle Festa, GREY2K USA Worldwide

CHRISTINE DORCHAK By Christine Dorchak, Founder of GREY2K USA

My name is Christine Dorchak and I am the president and general counsel of GREY2K USA Worldwide. We work across the globe to pass laws to protect greyhounds, educate the public about the cruelty of dog racing and promote the adoption of ex-racers – all with the ultimate goal of ending commercial racing. I am an attorney and my focus is writing legislation and lobbying before lawmakers and government leaders worldwide. To date, I have

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drafted the bills that ended dog racing in four states. You might say that I am a dog lawyer! My love of dogs was brought home to me in a startling way. In 1992, I was struck by a speeding train while walking my dog, Kelsey. She was a one-year-old Black Russian Terrier whom I had adopted on her last day at a kill shelter. Just as I had saved her life, she saved mine by pulling me away from the direct path of the trolley

and sparing me from certain death under its wheels. We both suffered terrible physical injuries and I promised that if I should ever be able to walk again, I would spend my life helping dogs. We spent the next two years in recovery and then we began our new life in the humane movement. Sadly, I lost her just days after graduating from law school. Kelsey was fifteen and she had stayed by my side during those most difficult years of my life.


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE Photos BY Danielle Festa, GREY2K USA Worldwide

Photos BY Christine Dorchak

In 2001, I started GREY2K USA when I learned that thousands of dogs were suffering and dying at two dog tracks in my own backyard. I knew I had to do something about it. I had to help them! Greyhounds are kept in warehousestyle kennels, inside small, stacked cages for an average of twenty hours a day. Then, when they are let out to race, they suffer terrible injuries and many die. They break their necks, their backs and their legs, suffer heart attacks and are paralyzed – just so someone can place a $2 bet on them. I knew this was no way to treat a living being and the dog racing industry had to be stopped. Each year, GREY2K USA publishes a calendar of rescued greyhounds. All the photos are provided by our supporters. We tell each dog’s own rescue story and provide a month-tomonth history of the milestones in the fight to end dog racing. We believe

that greyhounds should grow up in families and receive the same love that other dogs do. The goal of GREY2K USA Worldwide will be realized when all the greyhounds are finally given that chance. You can see our 2015 calendar at www.grey2kusa.org/calendar.

the years, the fight to end dog racing has made me realize that change is not only possible, but it is inevitable. We can stop animal suffering and close down cruel industries if only we dedicate ourselves to achieving these goals. Everyone has something to offer!

For me, my greatest reward is the knowledge that I am helping to save the lives of greyhounds every day. Whether I am writing legislation, hosting an information table, or working one-on-one to help match a greyhound with a potential adopter, the personal satisfaction I feel is beyond words. In fact, anyone reading this who would like to help rescue a needy greyhound can go right to our web page at www.grey2kusa.org/adopt and see the greyhounds available for adoption from rescue groups worldwide.

Unfortunately, I recently lost my dear greyhound Zoe. She died of a fast-acting cancer after living for years with terrible racing injuries. She was a living example of why this cruel industry must end and “ZoZo” continues to inspire our work at GREY2K USA each and every day.

As a longtime animal activist who volunteered for many campaigns over

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/GREY2KUSA

Visit the Website at: www.grey2kusa.org

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    27  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE PHOTOS BY AMBER L BOYLES-PELLOCK

JAMIE BUEHRLE

By Jamie Buehrle

I am a mom to two kids, four dogs, and a wife to a major league baseball player, Mark Buehrle, so my job is managing a really busy household. I have been deemed as “CEO of the Buehrle household.” My second job is to try to help companion animals, which I do through many means. I have built relationships with different rescue groups across the country and I also volunteer as much as possible to walk dogs, transport dogs to safety, and clean kennels.   I often get asked why I advocate for and help the homeless shelter dogs. Growing up, I always loved animals, but didn't fully understand the importance of “adopt- don’t shop” until I was an adult. I feel like I started hearing more and more stories in the media about animal abuse and the staggering statistics of how many great adoptable animals are euthanized everyday in

30    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

this country. Then in 2007, when the Michael Vick dogfighting bust made national news, it made me so angry. I was determined to find a way to make a difference. I began volunteering and helping with dogs that needed to find homes. I soon realized, because of my husband, that I had a national platform which allowed me to reach more people. Over the last few years, I have done a lot of advocacy on Breed Discriminatory Laws. I have talked to numerous groups about how it directly impacted my family and how it impacts families across this country. Mark and I found ourselves in the spotlight last year when we chose to separate our family and live apart when Mark was traded to a second team, in a city that has a pit bull ban. It has been hard on us, but it wasn’t a difficult decision because there was no way we would leave a family member behind. The media picked up

the story, and it was overwhelming, but we were happy that it reached so many people with the message that pit bull type dogs are just wonderful family members like any other breed. Breed bans are hurtful, unjust, and most importantly, ineffective. Mark and I try to take of advantage of any opportunity we are given to promote all things “rescue.” We started adoption programs in Chicago and Miami at the stadium during Mark’s baseball seasons there. The programs were to showcase adoptable dogs, promote rescue, and highlight area rescue groups. One of the rescue groups near and dear to my heart is Hope Animal Rescues (www.hoperescues.com) located in Godfrey, Illinois. Hope’s mission is to save dogs on their last day of life in animal controls. They pull a lot of


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

pit bull type dogs, black dogs, special needs dogs and seniors, which is something I respect immensely about them. They have 130 dogs in their care on any given day. The founders are two people that truly do everything for the animals. Mark and I purchased some property in 2011 and built a facility for the dogs to live while they are waiting for their forever home. It has become a great place for volunteers to come out and help clean kennels, and walk and socialize with the dogs. I try to get there as often as I can to help. Safe Humane Chicago (www.safehumanechicago.org) is a group I learned about when Mark and I created our program “Sox for Strays.” This group works with dogs that have entered animal control through the court system. They provide training and enrichment for the dogs. Then they search for a rescue to take them in until a forever home is found; a second chance at the life they deserve. Safe

Humane Chicago opened my eyes to what really happens once a dog is confiscated while the accused abuser waits for their day in court. I never realized how the 4-legged victim, in many cases, sits and deteriorates in animal control. Adoptapet.com is a great non-profit that promotes rescue and makes it so easy to find your perfect match. They are North America’s largest nonprofit pet adoption Website, with over 230,000 adoptable pets listed at any given time. I always tell people I don’t care what type of animal they adopt, I just want them to rescue one. I always get asked to help people find a particular dog, and I love that adoptapet.com proves that you can find any breed, age, or size needing a home. So many people have no idea that a lot of purebred dogs end up in shelters, and adoptapet.com helps them find exactly what they are looking for. They promote the importance of adoption through public service campaigns.

Mark and I have helped with adoption billboards in three cities. I feel that we have brought a great deal of awareness on breed discriminatory laws because of our personal story. Many people had no idea such laws existed, much less the devastating impact they have on families. Since Mark and I started speaking out and conducting interviews, the sports media has assisted us in reaching a new demographic. The additional media has caused people to stop and take exception to these laws, and this is when real change begins. We continue to lead by example. Pit bull type dogs are great and deserve to be treated as individuals.  When someone wants to give a “pit bull” a chance or volunteers for a rescue or tells me they chose to rescue an animal because of me, that is the biggest compliment I could receive. It’s confirmation we are making a difference…. and there is no greater reward than that.

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    31  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

JENN MCFARLING

photo by Lawrence McFarling

By Jenn McFarling, dog mom to ParkerPup and Reser

Q:

Why did you get involved in being an advocate for canine cancer?

The main advocacy work I do is with cancer awareness. This became an important issue to me back in 2006, the year before Parker came into our lives. It was the year my dad was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. I'm an only child and very close to my parents, so I did a lot of bargaining with the higher powers. I told myself if he got through it that I would give back to the cause somehow, some way. When Parker arrived on the scene, he was so in tune with people that therapy work was a no-brainer.

32    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

But I knew I had to do something else, something bigger. Raising awareness and funds for charities that are truly making a difference in the world of oncology became a focal point. I had also lost golden retrievers in the past to cancer, but when I lost my golden, Daisy (Parker's sister/best friend), to lymphoma a year ago, it just strengthened my resolve. We've been blessed with a great platform to spread that message. When we hear from people saying that they caught cancer in the early stages because of our reminders, it makes me feel like we're on the right track and that we're making a difference.

Q:

What motivates you to keep giving back and advocating for the dogs?

I've gone though that period in my life where I wasn't sure I would have a dad anymore. That was probably one of the hardest times I've ever had to go through -- the not knowing and that feeling of helplessness. Losing 3 dogs to the disease also kept me motivated. I've lost childhood friends to cancer where one passed away on my 21st birthday. I got the word when there was a knock on my door as I was opening presents. Not fun. We've lost many family friends and seen so


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

photo by Lawrence McFarling

photo by Dan McFarling

many family members with broken hearts. I also hear from many people every single day. People who just found out their dog or family member was diagnosed, or that they just had to make that decision to help them to the Rainbow Bridge. That stuff isn't easy. But it motivates me because I know how much it hurts.

Q:

What types of advocacy do you do to help others?

One of the biggest things we try to push, other than cancer awareness, is just to simply be kind. To love and to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. Dogs do that naturally, but it's hard for people to 'get.' Parker has given us so many opportunities and experiences that we would never otherwise have. One of them was just in the last year. We got to know some amazingly wonderful people who had suffered the most tragic loss. But despite all they'd gone through, they chose to love. They chose joy. They chose forgiveness. That's what dogs do too. They don't dwell on things or hold grudges. They love. They make the most out of the life they are given. So we'll share that message as often as we can.

Q:

photo by Dan McFarling

photo by Dan McFarling

What are your favorite charities you support?

requested, and to get their picture taken with him on those walks.

We love Morris Animal Foundation! Right now they are doing a study with 3,000 golden retrievers called the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and Parker's little brother, Reser, is one of those study dogs. They're still looking for more hero golden retrievers and you can apply at www.caninelifetimehealth.org. I think many great things will come from this historical study. We also support the American Cancer Society, and many others. But those are probably the two most important that we work with.

Q:

Do you have a favorite event that really stands out?

Favorite events? Any of the Morris Animal Foundation K9 Cancer Walks! They are a ton of fun and very inspirational. However, I normally have to wear sunglasses as my only goal at those events is to keep from crying or tearing up; a goal I have yet to accomplish! But it's rewarding to see Parker wear his cancer vest with over 2,000 names. It's heartwarming to see people touch it, to look for names they

Q:

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

As of right now, we've raised over $22,000 for various charities. Every dollar helps. That's a fairly big accomplishment. I think probably my proudest accomplishment is Parker! Just everything he stands for and the lives he touches, both with his therapy work with adults and children and people fighting cancer. And also how he has been able to connect so many different people from all over the world. He may be a dog and he may not really be able to speak English, but he is doing everything. He speaks to me. He motivates me to be a better person. I truly believe Parker is my heart dog. He is one-in-a-million and for that I am so thankful!

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ParkerPup

Visit the Website at: www.parkerpup.com

Email Jenn at: jenn@parkerpup.com

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    33  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

M ERRI LY T I T H OF

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MERRILY TITHOF

By Merrily Tithof, mom to Lady Bug the Pibble Mix

I have always had a passion for animals, ever since I can remember. I think it started at birth. Growing up, the stray dogs and cats always managed to follow me home, and of course, my parents always obliged my passion. When I finally became of age and on my own, the shelter became the next place I would find my BFF's. Then the streets gave me treasures of four paws and fur.

individual dogs on social media sites like Facebook, has resulted in many dogs being pulled and rescued and adopted. I have always been involved in rescue work, but through social media I have been able to host online fundraising events and raise money for rescues and dogs in need of medical care.

I am the momma of Lady Bug the Pibble Mix, age 6, who I found as a stray dog abandoned on the streets. Lady Bug’s siblings include; Llama (age 12), and a street rescue; Tucker (age 10), and a hoarding situation rescue; Rockit (age 8), and a testing facility rescue; and her kitty sister, Pixie, who was the baby of a feral cat.

Lady Bug is a “monster” for I'm Not A Monster (www.imnotamonster.org), and each year before the holidays we collect donations of food, toys and treats for the rescues to give to their homeless shelter dogs and cats. My goal this year is to raise 15,000.00 worth of pet-related items that will be donated to rescues that are in desperate need of food and supplies to keep on saving lives.

I started Lady Bug's Facebook page 3 years ago and immediately started sharing the shelter dogs on death row. I cannot wrap my head around dogs being on death row because they are simply homeless. By “sharing” the

I do what I do, and I keep coming back because I am not one to turn away. If we do not help these dogs and cats, who will? Society has kept everyone so blind to the horrible truth of animal abuse, which is the millions

34    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

of pets thrown away each year to be killed in so-called shelters. Eyes need to be opened. Changes need to be made. People need to be held accountable. I support so many rescues. I love those that are transparent to the public, like Reggie's Friends, VIVA! Animal Rescue NM, A Place To Bark, and The Old Dog House, just to name a few. The list could go in. My dogs are my heart. Those that rescue them are my heroes. All life matters, and the shelter dogs lives matter. They matter to me. It is unfathomable how they are discarded. Please adopt your next pet and rescue a dog from a shelter or rescue group. There are all breeds and sizes available. Find your new best friend forever at your local shelter. And please don't turn away from a street dog.

For more information visit: www.facebook.com/pages/ Lady-Bug-The-Pibble-Mix


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American Dog Media | Winter 2014

35


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

ROCHELLE STEFFEN

BY ROCHELLE STEFFEN, MOM TO MAC THE PITBULL

I am Mac’s mom. I am the “head grunt” of Mac’s Mission. We have applied for and are pending our 501c3 non-profit status. Once we are “official” we will apply for our Missouri rescue license. We plan to run a very small, home-based dog rescue (1-3 dogs). We are federally trademarked with “i am pit bull strong” and have our second trademark pending. This will allow us to forever protect Mac’s way of giving and his legacy. We raise money to give away to rescues and shelters across the world. We have a stellar core group of grunts that work for free for the mission, and the most amazing following of true friends across the world that support us.

health and then send him to rescue through my local shelter. However, he is the best “foster failure” I have ever experienced.

This started as a small grassroots effort in 2011 to raise money for Mac’s “genetically bad” back legs. He was bought from a backyard breeder and was in rough shape when we got him. He was near death. He was 3 months old, mangy, and weighed 4 pounds. Our plan was to foster him back to

We raised the money for Mac that summer and we kept selling the t-shirts. I realized how many other pit bulls and dogs in this area truly needed the help, so we decided to keep raising money and give it all away. We recently gave away $2000 in $200 increments to 10 different rescues for a pit bull

36    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

I noticed when Mac was about 6-months-old he had a strange walk and seemed to have trouble with his back legs. Many vet visits later, we realized he had major problems that would require many surgeries. I worked three jobs raising money for the expensive leg surgeries that would cost $4000. I worked a full-time job, a part-time job, and sold t-shirts that said, “i am pitbull strong,” printed by me in my kitchen to sell at the Farmers Market every Saturday.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROCHELLE STEFFEN

in their care. That money helps those pit bull type dogs gain freedom or further helps them find their forever home. Mac was able to give away over $14,000 in 2013, and is now at $16,000 in donations in 2014. It’s important to me to give back to the community and we foster constantly for our local shelter. We help with the special needs dogs, hospice dogs, and bottle-feed puppies and kittens. We love to take them and help them get to their full potential to be ready for adoption. I photograph every week at our local shelter and have been doing so for 13 years. Our little shelter was doing the "positive shelter adoptable photo" before the mainstream started doing it, and that is a very proud feeling for me. We moved a long time ago from that “sad behind bars look,” and dressed our adoptable pets up to show how amazing they really are. Our little shelter rocks!


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE Mac and his 2 moms

Rochelle and Mac

Mac’s Mission does a regular cheeseburger fund that is paid for by his friends on Facebook for our local shelter. Many times, we have taken 50 cheeseburgers out to the dogs or giant tubs of peanut butter for their kennel enrichment. To see the smiles on the faces of the dogs getting a special cheeseburger treat is heartwarming! We have a local “rescue ninja” group of amazing Mac’s grunts that scour the yard sales, Facebook pet groups, and craigslist animals sites. This is a very special program that is a success because of our relationship with Mac’s shelter, The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri. We have been able to help over 150 dogs (and one 3-legged bunny) from terrible things happening to them because of the evil people that troll these sites for free animals for bad reasons. Every animal that has been “pulled” from these sites has gone on to get adopted or sent to rescue.

Mac also has a campaign that came out of the generosity of folks wanting to help him pass the time when he spent many months in his crate from his 5 different leg surgeries. His friends wanted to send him toys and treats and I started asking for a "matched pair." One toy/treat goes to him and the other goes to his local shelter for the dogs there. This is an amazingly successful campaign and the shelter dogs love the constant goodies. Another important program we have is our doghouse program. This fund helps us buy houses or friends donate them and we give them to area dogs that have broken or no house in our area. Our city ordinance is, “food, water, and shelter,” and we help recycle the bad houses for good ones. We recently got a grant of sorts from a friend that is going to allow us the ability to buy a couple of outside pens to get a few dogs off chains.

Mac does a $50 monthly "doggie goodie box" to a sick/injured dog that we find out about through his friends. May it be cancer, an illness, an injury, or a recently rescued abuse case, we specially tailor the goodies to that dog and try to make their day better. In addition, we also do a lot of things just to help shelter dogs. We buy small swimming pools on sale and donate them to local rescues and shelters. We have bought an entire room of new kennels at a local shelter to get their dogs inside from the cold weather outside. Recently, we bought 9 pet oxygen mask kits and donated them across the country to fire departments. I feel my biggest accomplishment is Mac. Simply Mac. He is my heart walking around outside my body, and together he and I can help save the world. I feel this to my core.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/macthepitbull

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    37  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

STACEY PRAVEC PHOTOs COURTESY OF STACEY PRAVEC

STACEY AND GUNNER

STACEY AND ELLIE

STACEY AND LILY

Stacey with Mommie, Lily, Ruben, Marly, & Zoey

STACEY AND BELLE

BY STACEY PRAVEC, CO-FOUNDER of SPECIAL NEEDS K9

I am the co-founder and Vice President of Special Needs K9 (SNK9). We are a dedicated, non-profit organization involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs and other animals suffering from neglect, abuse, physical and medical needs. SNK9 currently cares for 10 dogs and 2 cats. Due to the severity of their conditions some will remain in our care permanently, others are receiving care, and the remainder are available for adoption.

existed. After the emotional passing of my mother, I finally felt the loss of stability, security and safety, but most importantly, the loss of unconditional love. During these hard times I depended on Sabrina, my rescued Rottweiler, to get me through my darkest moments. It was then I could relate to how helpless animals feel when abandoned and “thrown away.” Just like Sabrina, all animals gave me a sense of peace and belonging, and I knew that one day I would return the favor and become their guardian and their voice.

At the age of 10, I grew up on a farm with my mother, who also shared the same affection for animals. During this time I nurtured and cared for all of my pets and developed a unique relationship with each and every one of them. I learned that although animals don’t have a voice of own, their eyes serve as a window to their soul and show their story of love and true unselfishness.

One Thanksgiving eve, I decided to give back to the ones that were there when I needed unconditional love throughout my life, the animals. I started volunteering at local shelters to keep my promise I made years earlier. I was always one to help the “underdog,” and sadly, it didn’t take long to notice the ones who needed us the most were always overlooked. Soon after, Special Needs K9 was born.

Years later after moving from the farm, my devotion to animals still

I’m always raising awareness for animals through education and leading

38    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

by example. I stress the importance of spaying and neutering, adopting not shopping, the horrors of puppy mills, and debunking the pit bull stigma, which Lily, my rescued pit bull saved from euthanasia, also helps with when we visit schools to educate the youth. I also live a vegan lifestyle and encourage others to live a healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle as well. Animal rescue is the hardest, most emotionally draining challenge I’ve ever taken on, but I feel as if it’s my duty to protect the helpless animals and give them peace in life as they have always done for me. I will continue to pursue my mission, my passion, and my life’s purpose; which is to rescue and provide a safe haven for needy animals, the discarded and the unwanted, - my furry angels.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/pages/ Special-Needs-K9

Visit the Website at: www.specialneedsk9.org


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American Dog Media | Winter 2014    39  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

STEPHANIE COOMER

By Stephanie Coomer, founder of Project Bully

I am the president and founder of Project Bully Indiana, Inc. (an education and advocacy organization), and the owner/designer of The Personalized Pit Bull (we make custom pet products). I am an advocate for pit bulls and bully breed dogs. I am a voice for the animals, and momma to Ruger the Pit Bull Ambassabull (age 2), and Bane (age 4), who are both rescue dogs. My husband and I, on a whim, got involved with pit bull rescue in 2009 while living in Kentucky. We just kind of became the only place that would take stray and unwanted pit bulls in our area. We didn't know anything about proper rescue and funded all the vet care out of our own pocket. We just wanted to help these neglected and abused dogs. This is what opened my eyes to the incredible plight of

40    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

pit bulls. We had no idea until we started volunteering with the shelter and getting involved with local rescues how badly help was needed. Even after moving back to Indiana, I knew I had to keep fighting for these dogs and do more. In 2013, I founded Project Bully, which is an education and advocacy organization. Our goals are to encourage and assist people with responsible pet ownership through spay and neuter, unchaining dogs, and promoting shelter and rescue adoption. We work to educate consumers that bully breeds, especially pit bulls, are amazing dogs. We help our community by being a resource and helping them (the community) to learn to be better dog owners. We work to raise awareness and advocate against BSL (breed specific legislation).

I also started Ruger's Facebook page when we adopted him to document his life and journey as a pit bull “Ambassabull.” Ruger attends many pet-related events every year. He enjoys giving out kisses and showing the public that pit bulls can be wonderful and loving dogs! He has his Therapy Dog Certification and is a Canine Good Citizen, so he makes my job of advocacy so easy! With Ruger becoming a therapy dog will show people how well-mannered and kind he is, but also shows that pit bulls can do anything. In 2015, he will begin his volunteer work as a therapy dog working with veterans and children in schools. On Ruger’s Facebook page we have fun. We try to educate, and we help veterans since my husband is a USMC


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

PHOTO BY FOCUS IN FUR PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOS BY K&K ® Photography

Iraq War Veteran. Helping our nation’s heroes is very dear to us and we started a program called Operation: Ruger's Helpers for Heroes. We are currently collecting the names and addresses of service men and women overseas who have “wish lists” of items needed from “home.” We will make a list for our fans and followers to send care packages to those American heroes who are keeping us safe. If you have a friend or family member overseas or are interested in donating a care package, please email the information to: rugerthepitbull@gmail.com. I am really proud of Project Bully and the strides we are working on to change the dynamics of our community and surrounding areas for the future of dogs here. I am also very proud of the hard work Ruger and I do in the community that helps spread the positive pit bull

movement. We have been able to reach so many people through social media and Ruger’s Facebook page, which now has more than 34,000 loyal followers. There are many great rescue organizations that I support other than my Project Bully Indiana. I love the work that Indy Pit Crew and Casa Del Toro Pit Bull Rescue do here locally in Indiana. Another favorite organization is Pets for Vets who are, “dedicated to providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America’s veterans who could benefit from having a companion animal.” I love doing what I do, and yes, it's tough and stressful. A lot of days it’s overwhelmingly sad, but the good days make up for the bad days. Seeing the joy in the dogs’ faces that you

helped, truly make it all worth it. To me, advocacy and education is so important. If we can help people be better and more responsible pet owners through education (especially our youth), then we can change the future for the animals. A trend of kind people reaching out for the animals, working together and helping through rescue, education and advocacy, can change the world.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/RugerthePitBull www.facebook.com/ ThePersonalizedPitBull www.facebook.com/projectbullyindiana

Visit the Website at: www.projectbullyindiana.org

Email Stephanie at: stephaniecomerdesigns@gmail.com

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    41  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

ELAINE TAYLOR

BY ELAINE TAYLOR, MOM TO SAMMIE THE PIT BULL & HOOCH

My day job is being a store manger in retail serving the public, and my other job is being a mom to six rescue dogs -three lab mixes and three pit bull mixes. My pack includes Duke (age 14); Gracie (age 10); Emma (age 7); Tank (age 6); Sammie (age 8); and Hooch (age 3). I started rescuing animals as a child. Every stray cat, dog, bird, goat, or animal in need always found a way to follow me home. My love for animals and the need to help them still remains to be my purpose and passion in life. Whether it's transporting shelter dogs, rescuing strays, sponsoring a spay/neuter, sharing and cross-posting homeless dogs, or educating others about animal abuse and BSL. It never seems to be enough, and I am always looking for a way to help more animals and rescues. So I had to find some way to raise funds to feed my passion. That's when I created SAM (Saving Animals Movement), named after my baby girl Sammie and I decided I would make and sell t-shirts! At the time, I had five hundred dollars set aside and

42    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

I used that money to purchase a screen print startup kit. I set up shop in my kitchen and taught myself to screen print. Then I opened an online store. I made the decision to do one shirt a month and would choose a dog with a Facebook page, put them on the shirts, and let them pick which rescue would get the proceeds of ten dollars per shirt. When I was all set, I reached out to Lady Bug The Pibble Mix, and her mom, Merrily. Knowing they would be the first SAM t-shirt, they accepted my offer graciously. It was a simple shirt with Lady Bug’s beautiful face and the words, “Be Kind.” Well, Lady Bug sold one hundred shirts! SAM's first check went to Cherry HEART Rescue for one thousand dollars, and the happiness I felt that day will never be forgotten. Next would be Emmitt's Place, Juno's Place, Noodle The Disabled Dachshund and Gladys Glorious Angelbull, who all sold over one hundred shirts each. With the help of these great friends, and their friends, family, pack members and fans, SAM was able to donate

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ELAINE TAYLOR

six thousand, eight hundred dollars to rescues in 2013. We started this year off with a big bang with t-shirts from Run Auggie Run, Cora the Wobbly Pittie Girl, Hercules, Noodle, Life of Tides, Emmitt, Juno and Gladys. Our goal is to donate ten thousand dollars to rescues in 2014, and we are well on the way. We owe a big thank you to Morgan of Bark Point Studio and Missy of Art Board Co. for donating the artwork. We do not profit from the shirts - it's all done for the love of animals! I hope my story will inspire others to do something to help the homeless animals. Everyone has the power to make a difference, and it doesn't matter how much or how little you have to give. You can help in many ways; foster, adopt, volunteer, spay/neuter your pet, or “share” the dogs and cats available for adoption on Facebook.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ Sammie-The-Pit-Bull-Hooch


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43


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

PHOTOs BY VALERIE BRUDER PHOTOGRAPHY

MICHELE SCHAFFER-STEVENS

By Michele Schaffer-Stevens, mom to Aladdin Nation

Even though I am a medical administrator, my first love is pit bull rescue. I have had many dogs over the years, but my current dogs are all bully breeds. My pack consists of Brady (age 4), Parker (age 4), and Bully (age 3). They are better known as the “Brindle Brothers” on Facebook, and then I have Aladdin (age 3), who is “Aladdin Nation” to all his fans. I have been involved in rescue for many years, fostering and advocating for the breed. I started Brindle Brothers Foundation in 2009 and I do fundraising events with many local groups, as well as Pit Sisters, located in Jacksonville, FL. I get hundreds of requests on a weekly basis through Brindle Brothers Facebook page to help people rehome their dogs, provide vet care, or most often, asking for food when a family hits hard times.

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I am also part of Lilo's Promise Animal Rescue. Lilo's takes in medical cases and other hard to place dogs because of behavioral issues, and dogs that have sat in shelters for months due to being evidence for dog fighting cases. Many of the dogs in our care are starting from ground zero in terms of training and socialization. Thankfully, we have a large network of foster homes, so we don't kennel many of our dogs and we have wonderful volunteers who give Lilo's kids a lot of time and attention. We are currently fundraising to start Lotus House, a home where our dogs can live and learn to transition from the shelter to a home. Since I foster emaciated and abused pit bulls, a campaign that is very near and dear to my heart is “Show Your Soft Side.” This is the brainchild

of Sandra Riesett, and the other team members are Lori Smyth, Caroline Griffin and photographer Leo Howard Lubow. Show Your Soft Side is a nationwide campaign against animal abuse that features professional athletes and musicians along with their pets or shelter animals. My dog Aladdin, who was found severely emaciated with two broken back legs and a broken tail is one of their models. I am a small part of the SYSS group helping to recruit models, both human and canine! My Aladdin is a certified therapy dog, so much of the advocacy I do involves him. He is an incredible example of the resilient nature of this breed. He was severely abused and by all rights should not trust people, but he has an amazing spirit and loves everyone that he meets.


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE PHOTO BY VALERIE BRUDER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO BY VALERIE BRUDER PHOTOGRAPHY

PARKER, BRADY, ALADDIN, AND BULLY

MICHELE AND ALADDIN

We go into nursing homes, schools, libraries, and the Ronald McDonald House. We recently started doing a children’s reading program with Barnes and Noble. Aladdin does many public events and even has his own kissing booth to fundraise for Lilo's Promise Medical Fund. Recently, Aladdin was denied entry into a local hospital's pet therapy program because he is a pit bull. Virtua Health Systems, located in New Jersey, accepted his application and then refused to process it or meet him because of his breed. My mother was the director of volunteer services at Virtua for 15 years, so it was very disappointing to not be able to share Aladdin's comfort with the patients there. This has made us all much more aware of breed specific legislation.

MICHELE, HER SON TY, WITH PARKER ON THE SET OF PIT PROUD

Being involved in rescue has certainly changed my life. In the years that I've been doing this I have come across some exceptional, hard-working rescues with many local groups, as well as Pit Sisters, Lilo's Promise Animal Rescue and Pibbles and More Animal Rescue. There are also some amazing people out there who work hard for this breed every day like Jamie Streck Buehrle, Sharon Athansiou, Dahlia Canes and Sandra Riesett. They are advocating daily and sharing dogs to move them out of shelters, as well as fighting BSL. If I had a wish it would be for people to foster, just once, so they could understand what a life changing experience it is. Not just for the dog you save, but for you as well. Fostering saves lives; the dog that comes into your home and the dog that takes its

place in the shelter. Incredible dogs just like Aladdin are euthanized every day, simply due to lack of space. If you can't foster then volunteer, or go to your local shelter and walk a dog or hang out in the play yard with them. Simple interaction like that makes a world of difference to a dog that spends his entire day locked in a kennel. If you can't volunteer then share the dogs on Facebook where a simple share could change their life. Saving just one dog doesn't change the world, but surely for that one dog the world will change.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/aladdinnation

Become a “friend” on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/brindle.brothers

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    45  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

ROSE VILLEGAS PHOTOS BY CGIGI PHOTOGRAPHY

ROSE AND STAR

ROSE AND SUNSHINE (SUNNY)

ROSE AND JUNIPER

ROSE AND POPCORN

BY ROSE VILLEGAS, MOM TO SUNSHINE, PACK AND FRIENDS

I work for Alliance Communication Services. I was in sales for 30 years, then decided a year ago to make the jump to the contractor side of the business. One of the reasons I accepted the position as Project Manager with Alliance was because the owner allowed me to work from home. It was also an opportunity to grow and use my RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) certification. Currently, I have four rescue dogs. Sunshine is a pit bull, about 5-yearsold. She has fear issues and requires a muzzle in public. Popcorn is a 6-year-old Chihuahua. Star is also a Chihuahua, about 4-years-old. The most recent addition to the family is our paralyzed puppy, Juniper. She was born June 8, 2014. I get asked three questions often. The first, “Why would you adopt a dog who is paralyzed? The answer is, “Why not?” The next question is, “Will Juniper ever be normal?” What people don’t understand is, to Juniper and the rest of my pack, she is “normal.” She never had use of her legs, so she

46    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

doesn’t know any different. She does everything other dogs do, except with two legs. The third question people ask is, “Aren’t you worried Sunshine will hurt Juniper?” I hate to disappoint people, but Juniper and my pit bull are best buddies and are always together. Not everyone can adopt dogs like Juniper and Sunshine. But those who can, like myself, are very lucky to have them in our lives. They both have taught me to have patience – lots of patience! I spent several years volunteering for my local shelter. I stopped a little over two years ago, when I rescued my first pit bull, Nappa. From the time I rescued her, got her healthy and adopted out, it was less than a month. After that, I began fostering. In comes foster fail number one, then two, and Juniper was three. With the four dogs I have and my regular job, it isn’t possible for me to foster or volunteer. But I wanted to find a way to give back. Giving back is the main reason I started my collar company, Let There Be Collars. I donate 25% of sales to charity.

Currently, the four charities are: Cupid’s Bridge Animal Rescue, Ruffles Rescue, Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue, and Acadia Antlers’ US War Dog Program. I started my dog’s Facebook page over a year ago. It’s called, “Sunshine, Pack and Friends.” I did it to bring awareness to the damage rescues do when they toss a dog in a kennel for 18 months without the proper training. I wanted people to see that a pit bull with fear issues can be a great dog. My hope is to change people’s minds about rescue dogs and pit bulls. I’ve had six people contact me since Sunny’s page was started. Two people adopted pit bulls and four changed their opinion about pit bulls. They all gave Sunny’s page credit for it. Six may seem like a relatively small number, but it’s a start! We receive numerous comments from fans who share that when they have a bad day, they always get cheered up visiting Sunny’s page.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/sunshinepandf

www.facebook.com/Let-There-Be-Collars


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

JENNIFER CORODIMAS

BY JENNIFER CORODIMAS, MOM TO AUGGIE & COMPANY

I am mom to six wonderful pups. While my husband and I love all animals, we are particularly drawn toward pit bulls and special needs pets. We did not choose any of this, it was not in our plans, but we eventually realized this is what we were meant to do. It all started ten years ago. I'd seen the media stories on pit bulls and how inherently dangerous they were said to be. One day while I was in my yard, a large, stray pit bull came running at me. I immediately froze in terror as I prepared to see my life flash before my eyes. Then it happened. I became an instant human lollipop with this pit bull that just wanted to give me kisses! I soon dismissed the negative pit bull stigma based on my own positive

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experiences. We still have that pit bull today and her name is Nikki, and she’s the best companion ever. Morgan was next. He was unwanted due to having a fatal heart condition. Our thoughts were that we couldn't handle adopting a puppy that was to live such a short life. However, we soon realized that it wasn't about us. It was about giving him a happy life for as long as he had. This sweet, gentle soul gave us a lifetime of joy in the two short years that he lived. Morgan didn't know he was going to die and he lived in the moment. He is the reason we have opened our hearts to more special babies, and I’m so proud of my husband who is so patient and kind, and such a wonderful daddy to our fur kids.

Then there is Tater Tot. He was in danger of being euthanized and taken from his mom at four-weeks-old because she bit him and was not ready to be a mom. He is special in that he is emotionally challenged due to his early abandonment issues. He even nurses on my arm when he is cold or tired. He is one great big love bug! Along came Auggie. He was a 2-monthold pit bull stuck in a California shelter and had only a few days left before being scheduled to be euthanized. He was listed with neurological issues and he could not use his back legs. A rescue called Good Newz Pittie Pups contacted us about him and we immediately told them to pull him to safety for us. Three weeks later we


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

PHOTOS BY WALTER KING

made the journey to San Francisco to get our sweet boy. Auggie may be in wheels now, but his love and zest for life are very apparent! Next is our Gertie Rose. She is a pit bull with a cleft palate who was tied in a bag and thrown in a dumpster at just one-day-old. A police officer heard sounds coming from the dumpster and rescued her. Then the Mia Foundation took care of her and Gertie was tube-fed for five weeks till I was able to fly to Rochester, NY, and bring her home. Gertie has since had surgery for her cleft. She is always ready to give everyone a big, wet smooch! Lastly, we flew our latest babies, Minnie and Brindy, to the United

States from Thailand where they had a rough start. Minnie was hit by a car and run over, then attacked by street dogs. Like Auggie, she does not have full use of her back legs. Brindy's mom and siblings were poisoned to death; she was the only survivor. Both puppies were in a horrible area, and their next destination would have been the meat market. They are just adorable and extremely gentle. We also have great admiration for our Facebook fans on our page, "Auggie & Company." They support us in many ways and have also helped the page to become a platform for helping other pups in need. Our loyal fans will share our message of truth about pit bulls and portray them in a positive light, where they belong. Also,

our fans help us to reach more people so we can let others know just how deserving special needs animals are of having a happy, loving life. Many people look for the perfect pet, but sometimes, it's the imperfect ones that provide something so completely rewarding and satisfying. There is something amazingly wonderful about these special needs babies. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it's as if they know that they have been given a chance at life. The love that they give back is ten-fold. I have never seen anything more beautiful than this, and this is why we do what we do.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/RunAuggieRun

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    49  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

JAMIE DEVINE

Jamie and Frankie

Jamie and Helena

By Jamie Devine, 2015 Miss Philadelphia International

I am a full-time student at Penn State Abington studying early education and currently hold the Miss Philadelphia International 2015 title. As Miss Philadelphia International, I have a platform to promote a cause and decided that pit bull awareness would be my focus. This is something that is near and dear to my heart and I was excited to be able to share my passion globally. I believe with my title I can spread the word and help educate people how misunderstood the pit bull breed is. We rescued our first pit bull, Roger, 4 years ago. Unfortunately, Roger died from cancer just 8 months after we adopted him, at the age of 15 months. During the short time that we had Roger, he changed so many people’s minds as to how loving and affectionate a pit bull is. His short life was so purposeful that I feel compelled to continue educating the community. I spend a lot of my free time doing photo shoots with Valerie Bruder

50    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

Photography and the shelter dogs to help them get adopted. I “share” the dogs on my Facebook page, “Miss Philadelphia International 2015- Jamie Devine” so people can see all these amazing dogs waiting for their forever home. I love going to adoption events to try and help the homeless dogs find their forever family. I will do radio interviews, news interviews, billboards, and multiple appearances to promote the “Adopt, Don’t Shop” campaign, which educates people about adopting dogs. I advocate for pit bull awareness because I want to help fix the bad reputation the pit bull has unjustly received over the years. In addition to the advocacy work I do, I also volunteer with a lot of animal rescues including Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), New Jersey Aid For Animals, Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue, Camden County Animal Shelter, and Sunrays Pit Bull Rescue. Currently, I have a 4-year-old pit bull mix named Frank, who I just adore.

We adopted Frank from Paws Animal Rescue 3 years ago. Our family was also fostering Helena, who is a 2-yearold pit bull at the Camden County Animal Shelter. I have done several photo shoots with Helena while doing charity work and the last time she was taken back to the shelter, it broke my heart. So my family has officially become foster failures and we adopted Helena. She now has the forever home and family she was craving! I am most proud of spreading my love for pit bulls and educating as many people as I possibly can. I am thrilled to represent the city of Philadelphia, the rescue groups I volunteer for, and all the misjudged pit bulls on the Miss Pennsylvania stage in March of 2015. Win or lose, I hope people will leave the pageant more educated about pit bulls and will hopefully adopt one of their own.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ missphiladelphiaInternational2015

PHOTO BY VALERIE BRUDER PHOTOGRAPHY

A photo shoot promoting Pit Bull Awareness and adoption


Your Pet, Your Love, Our Care. www.petsitters.org

American Dog Media | Winter 2014

51


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

IMELDA SURIATO

IMELDA WITH HER DOGS, RUDY AND ROSCO

PHOTOS COURTESY OF IMELDA SURIATO

By Imelda Suriato, Founder of I’m Not A Monster

I’m Not a Monster is an advocacy initiative that aims to dispel myths associated with misunderstood dog breeds, particularly pit bulls. It was born out of frustration. On January 5, 2010, we rescued a pit bull. My husband saw a skinny pup being dragged, beat and kicked by a man in Brooklyn, NY. The man proceeded to tie the pup to a hydrant and went into a store. My husband got out of his truck, untied him and off they went. That’s how Rosco came into our lives. We were not pit bull people. We had family dogs growing up, but never pit bulls. We were not advocates, nor rescue people. After we got Rosco, family members told us to surren-

52    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

der him to the shelter; peppered with news stories of pit bull maulings. We got the “pit bull” sneer, the sidewalk avoidance and the outright ridiculous, “get that dog away from me.” Then one night in July 2011, on our nightly walk with Rosco, a woman quickly crossed to the other side of the street when she saw us. We chimed the standard “he’s friendly!” and she spat out, “yeah, right!” That moment, the utter frustration and blood-boiling anger were etched in my mind. I was hurt that someone could say that about my dog, from 20 feet away! I went to bed angry and woke up with the idea for I’m Not a Monster.

The next 2 days I worked feverishly to set up the Website. I wrote the mission statement, and while researching for additional content, found all these horrible things that these dogs are subjected to, from abuse to media bias to BSL (breed specific legislation). It was an eye-opening moment. The abuse, exploitation and hatred are mind-boggling. How could so much hatred be directed towards these dogs? I was naïve because I didn’t think people could be so cruel. And then after you know, how can you not do something about it? So slowly we built the community. Stories started coming from people


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

PHOTOS COURTESY OF IMELDA SURIATO

Imelda with Rudy and Rosco PHOTO COURTESY LOUIS VUITTON THE PIT BULL

photo courtesy of Jagger

IMELDA WITH JAGGER PHOTOS COURTESY OF IMELDA SURIATO

photo courtesy Kandie the Therapy Pittie

Louis Vuitton the Pit Bull’s Holiday Drive

Imelda with nana the Earless Kandie the therapy Pittie’s Pibble at Pibble March Holiday Drive

all over the country who adored their dogs, from pit bulls to mutts. They just want the world to know that these dogs are loved family members, and that they are not monsters.

individuals and businesses, we raised close to $100,000 in donated food, toys and other enrichment items last year (2013) — a staggering 400% growth!

Besides featuring loving dogs as a way to improve the breeds’ image, we promote shelter pet adoption, network animals in need, educate the public and inspire the community to do good. Our proudest campaign is the annual “Monster” Holiday Drive, a nationwide shelter drive benefiting homeless pets waiting in shelters and rescues. Started in 2012, we established partnerships with over 80 ambassadors, shelters and rescue groups. And with the help of

Our success continues to grow as more animal lovers get involved. This year, ambassador and organization participation has doubled — more than 100 shelters, rescues, advocacy organizations and we have 70 “Monster” Elves! It is a logistical challenge to coordinate, but it’s so worth it. We’re showing the world that by working together, we can make a social impact and help shelter dogs find loving homes. Whoever thought that a group of proud parents of misunderstood

dogs, where most came from sad beginnings, could make such an impact? Margaret Mead wrote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Indeed. We are showing the world the “Monsters” are awesome. And together we can.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ImNotaMonster

For more on Holiday Drive: www.monsterholidaydrive.com

For more info email at: info@imnotamonster.org

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    53  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

P HOTOS C OU RT E SY OF PA M WA HL

PA M WA H L Madison and Pam

Pam in flight to a Pilots N Paws Rescue Mission

Pam with Joey, Madison and Lexi

BY PAM WAHL, OWNER of THE VIRGINIA-MARYLAND DOG MAGAZINE

I am the owner of The VirginiaMaryland Dog Magazine. The publication is full of educational and uplifting articles designed to educate and entertain readers through contributions written by a team of highly respected veterinarians, trainers, nutritionists, etc. Every one of our covers features a dog that is need of adoption. I am also the Vice President of the non-profit organization, Pilots N Paws. Pilots N Paws connects pilots with rescue groups for the purpose of transporting animals by aircraft from death and despair to foster and forever homes. All of my life I have been an animal lover. When I was a child living in rural Maryland I was constantly bringing animals home that were either abandoned or injured and begging my parents to allow me to keep them. To this day I have not waivered with regard to my love and devotion to the innocent animals. My devotion continues through my association with the Pilots N Paws organization and the many pages within my magazine that are devoted to rescue organizations. Most recently, in conjunction with the Frederick County Humane Society, we have started a cause entitled the

54    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

Unsung K9 Hero Project. This project is designed to assist our local K9 law enforcement agencies in obtaining donations for much needed items that are not included within the agencies budgets. Some of these items include mobile kennels, patrol harnesses and tracking harnesses.

the leashes and crates of animals that have just been freed from unnecessary death due to shelter overcrowding. The look and feel of holding an animal that has just been released from a kill shelter, in some cases only minutes to spare before being euthanized, is what drives me.

Through my position with Pilots N Paws, I spend time educating the public about adopting shelter pets at various animal-related and aviationtype events. In addition, I am currently a student pilot in hopes of rescuing and transporting animals in my own aircraft in the not-so-distant future. In the meantime, I frequently accompany a wonderful Pilots N Paws volunteer pilot assisting with the loading and unloading of animals, organization of paperwork necessary for transport, as well as being the willing recipient of countless kisses and cuddling of the animals during their in-flight journey to foster and/or forever homes.

I currently own three wonderful and loving Shetland Sheepdogs. They include Joey (age 14), Lexi (age 7), and Madison (age 3). Unfortunately, I recently lost my beloved “Tyler,” at the age of 14.

My life is not only devoted to my own animals that includes dogs, horses and cats, but to helping all animals. There is nothing better than touching down on a runway at an airport and looking out the window seeing countless volunteers from the rescue organizations holding

Even though Pilots N Paws is most near and dear to my heart, I also support the Frederick County Humane Society and the Middleburg Humane Foundation. I truly try to assist as many organizations that I can through my magazine. Helping animals is my life. As long as there are animals in need, I will do whatever I can to assist them. I simply can’t imagine my life any other way.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/VirginiaMarylandDog

Visit the Website at: www.thevirginia-marylanddog.com


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

LEAH BREWER

LEAH BREWER, MOM TO ELLE THE PIT BULL

I’m Leah Brewer, also know as Elle the pit bull's mama, and helping people is my job as a Licensed Massage Therapist for the last 24 years. Currently, I have two dogs. Bruno is a 6-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier and is my husband Eric's right hand man. Bruno goes to work every day and helps as an entertainer at Brewer’s Radiator Service. He greets customers with tail wags and kisses. Friends will stop by Eric’s shop, not because they need to service their car, but because they want to hang out with Bruno, one of the happiest dogs on the planet. His most favorite things to do are to go on family hikes and swim in his pool. Elle is a 6-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier and is my best friend. Elle is my K9 partner in life and we volunteer as a registered Pet Therapy Team with

56    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

Therapy Dogs, Inc, to help others in our community. Elle is also a registered Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.) providing companionship to children while they read a book. In addition, she is a safety education dog with my Pawing It Forward Program for schools and Community Pet Program for families. She even goes to work with me and helps some of my clients relax more than I can. Elle’s favorite activities are watching television, swimming laps in her pool, and most of all, she enjoys going on walking adventures. Elle the pit bull is well known around the world because the love of a dog is powerful! In 2010, after many years of watching and learning, I got actively involved in pit bull advocacy work because uneducated people in my community and beyond had it all wrong. I know

from personal experience of being misguided from the media regarding the truth about pit bulls and the harm that happens from irresponsible dog owners. As a responsible mama to two loving pit bulls, I understand the desperate need for change. I feel deeply frustrated that too many misunderstood dogs, due to their appearance alone, are not welcome in society because of an unnecessary fear. I support many rescues and charities that are local and out-of-town because it is important to me to help paw it forward in any way I can. The Positive Pit Bull in Raleigh, NC, PAWNC in Rocky Mount, NC, and Rainbow Animal Rescue in Roanoke Rapids, NC, are just some of the organizations I have supported. Along the way, I have helped friends and shelters and will continue to help the ones that need a hand.


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE photo by Verna Higgins of VHiggins Photography

photos by Jason Bone at Mangy Dog Photography

A recent event with kids that stands out for me was a partnership with the Roanoke Rapids Fire Department in October (Fire Safety Prevention Week), because it was such a positive, successful experience. I taught Elle how to “stop, drop, and roll” just for fun, but it turned out to be very useful for fire safety education. We were invited to be part of the program at Manning Elementary School for students to learn how to be fire safe and she showed them what to do in case their clothes caught on fire. Elle's fire safety demonstration was a hit with all 10 classes! In 2013, Elle was named the American Humane Association Hero Dog of the Year. That top national award opened many doors and provided a huge platform for animal awareness. Also, this year with Elle by my side, I was proud to be a voice for pit bulls at

the One Million Pibble March (in Washington, DC) with Rebecca Corry’s Stand Up For Pits Foundation in the fight against breed specific legislation. Elle and I were also honored to partner with State Farm Insurance for American Veterinarian Medical Association’s (AVMA) National Dog Bite Prevention Week at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. We teamed with Victoria Stilwell, United States Postal Service and many other organizations to share valuable education about public safety. Elle was happy to help lend a paw with a special trick I taught her; a friendly pit bull delivering a package of prevention on stage, left a lasting impression for everyone that day. I am most proud of my family, and how both Bruno and Elle, have changed lives. When I hear people say we have inspired them, or I read an emotional

life story on Elle's Facebook page, that touches my heart. To know these true testimonials of how my dogs have caused positive life changes for friends, near and far away, I feel extremely honored to have made such a real connection in the life of another person. My dogs have taught me to live happily in the moment and embrace each day to the fullest. I love what I do and I know that I am one of the luckiest dog moms to have been blessed with Bruno and Elle in my life. I love helping my friends and being able to share this phenomenal gift that I have been given, because my dogs can help me, help others even better.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/EllethePitBull

Visit the Website at: www.ellethepitbull.com

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    57  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DEBORAH YOUNG

DEBORAH YOUNG

Nikki and Deborah

By Deborah Young, mom to Juno’s Place

My family is all animal lovers and we always have animals (dogs and cats) at work with us. Rescue is a family affair. Unfortunately, many animals are dumped after hours at our familyowned business, Standard Auto Wrecking, in Worcester, MA. So after work and on weekends I attend events on rescue and help others in rescue and education. My aunt has a shelter for abandoned and abused cats, and I also help her with rescuing these neglected kitties in Worcester, MA, where there is an estimated 35,000 feral cats. Currently, my family consists of 4 dogs. Scout is a Dachshund (age 8); Dutchess is a mixed breed (age 6); and Juno (age 6), has her own Facebook page, “Juno’s Place.” I ran across little Juno when she was only 2-months-old and sick with pneumonia. She became my 24/7 travel buddy because she needed so much care. I realized then I had to branch out to helping other dogs. My 4th dog, Nikki (age 6), is a female pit bull that was abandoned

58    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

on the front door of the wrecking yard. I called the shelters to see if she could be adopted and they said she would be euthanized because of her breed, so she joined our pack. That’s also when I started working on BSL (breed specific legislation). By attending pet-related events, fairs, and conventions I am able to educate people about BSL and why it is wrong to discriminate against pit bull type dogs. I work to promote spay/neuter of pets. I meet with children and try to teach them respect and kindness to animals, and learn kindness to each other. I also try to educate people about "compassion fatigue," and that sometimes you just have to step back and recharge yourself. You cannot save every animal if you are making yourself sick day in and day out. I figure if I keep going and educating, somehow I will make a difference, even if it’s just a small one! I want to see a change in the way animals are treated in my lifetime.

Right now, I am attending all court proceedings in Quincy, MA, against the abuser who was caught and arrested in the case of Puppy Doe, and advocating for stricter penalties for animal abusers. I am making my voice heard. Puppy Doe has a Facebook page at www. facebook.com/JusticeForPuppyDoe. There are some charities that do amazing work and I fully support Sweetpea Friends of Rutland Animal Shelter (www.sweetpeafora.org). They are a no-kill shelter that is run with their heart and not by a corporation. They never give up on a cat or dog in need. I also support Massachusetts VestA-Dog that provides training and equipment to police dogs. Then there is Spay Worcester who’s mission says, “The goal of the Spay Worcester task force is to work to reduce the population of free roaming cats in the city of Worcester through spay, neuter and public education.”


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE Budda and Deborah

Wolfie and Deborah Another favorite is Kane's Krusade (www.KanesKrusade.org). They improve the quality of life of dogs through awareness campaigns for misunderstood dogs and the distribution of C.A.R.E. Kits. These kits include food, treats, toys, equipment, vaccinations, spay/neuter, microchips, Kondos (dog houses) and more. This results in keeping loved dogs in their homes, out of shelters and off the streets. A yearly event I help organize is the Pet Rock Festival (www.petrockfest. org). The mission of the Pet Rock Festival states they, “provide a venue where animal welfare organizations of all kinds (from those that fight to prevent cruelty in the courts to shelters to rescues to rehabilitation programs) can gather to fuse an even tighter network, and to also get the word out about their programs to the public.” I created my own organization, Private Citizens for Pets in Peril, in memory of three kittens and one adult cat shot

Scout and Deborah

Deborah helping a lower-income young man with his dog and killed by pellet guns in Worcester, MA, and one dog Zeus, who was beaten in the head and then stoned. We want to unite the public through a common love of animals and work to promote awareness about animal rights and issues through education and community projects. Everything I do is in their memory. There are many more organizations that I support such as Feet Need Shoes, Relay and Bark for Life, Make A Wish Foundation, and the Molly Bish Foundation. I am into everything, and anywhere someone needs help or education - I am there. One of the most rewarding things I have done lately was “A Christmas in August” for a little boy named Grayson with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). We did a fundraiser on Juno's Place and Burt's Brigade Facebook pages and brought him and his older sister Christmas with Santa gifts and pizza!

Dutchess and Deborah

Juno and Deborah Also rewarding, was winning the Petco Foundation Grant contest and donating the $18,000 prize to Sweetpea Friends of Rutland animal shelter for shelter improvements. They can now build a beautiful outside gated area so the dogs can run and play, and well, just be dogs as they wait for a forever home! I have seen a lot of really bad things working in rescue, but I have also seen some pretty amazing things. I have had my heart broken 1000 times by what I have seen, only to turn around and witness a total miracle with an animal that fought against all odds and lived. I set my goals very high, to be honest, because I want to change the world. As the saying goes, "When you save a dog, you save yourself."

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/JunosPlace

Follow Juno on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/junosplace2013

Email Juno at: Junosplace@yahoo.com

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    59  


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

LACHRYSTAL RICKE

BY LACHRYSTAL RICKE, MOM TO REGGIE THE DEAF PIT BULL

I have two jobs. I am a college professor of communication and my second job is full-time kibble slinger, dishwasher, laundry attendant, pooper-scooper, and kennel attendant at what we jokingly call Casa Del Reggie (aka our house). I always chuckle when people ask how many dogs we currently have, because I often have to stop to count them. Also, because that number has been known to change around here on a daily basis. We have six dogs of our “own,” and in the past three years, we have had over 70 foster dogs call the Casa their home. I’m not sure when we became “rescue people.” I have always had rescue dogs. Growing up, my parents rescued Newfoundlands and my dogs have always come from shelters or from the streets. Now, when did our rescue life start? That answer lies with Reggie (Reggie the Deaf Pit Bull). When we adopted Reggie we fell in love with this amazing dog that nobody wanted. We couldn’t figure out how this great

60    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

dog could be cast aside and find himself on a euthanasia list in a shelter. Once he came into our lives, we wanted to do more for dogs in general, and for bully breeds as well. We started small by walking dogs for a local rescue, then got progressively more involved in fostering and transporting. Within the last year, we have focused a lot of effort on helping dogs that are living in boarding facilities find the forever families they have been waiting for. Beyond this, we take in injured dogs, sick dogs and street dogs, and help them get healthy and ready for adoption. Many times, the sick and injured dogs have a hard time getting pulled from the shelters because rescues have such tight resources, so we try and help with these dogs when we can. We also try our best to help people get their pets spayed/ neutered (we help families pay for these surgeries when we can), and we also do a lot of microchipping of pets to make sure they get home in case they ever get lost.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF LACHRYSTAL RICKE

Because of Reggie, we started our own 501c3 nonprofit called Reggie’s Friends. Through the social media reach of Facebook, we have been able to network hundreds of dogs, help fill transport legs for dogs moving to families or rescue, and raise money to help save dogs. We also support the great work of our friends at Corridor Rescue in Houston who work tirelessly for the street dogs of Houston. St. Francis Angels, also in Houston, does the most amazing work with some of the most difficult medical cases. I am proud to be a dog mom and one of the best parts of my life is that I get to be Reggie’s mom! I love that I have friends all over the world because of my dog.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/reggiethedeafpitbull

Visit the Website at: www.reggiesfriends.org


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

BERNIE BERLIN

PHOTOS BY JOSEPH FRAZZ PHOTOGRAPHY

BY BERNIE BERLIN, FOUNDER OF A PLACE TO BARK

I am the president and founder of “A Place To Bark,” a non-profit charitable organization established in 2001. I am a very small, grassroots animal rescue, saving 700-900 homeless pets from needless euthanasia every year. I am also an author, artist, workshop leader and product developer for the arts and crafts industry. For 15 years I have been fighting for, and saving the lives, of homeless pets. It all happened by accident and I realized the great need that is out there and that someone has to be the voice of these precious creatures. A Place To Bark’s (APTB) mission is to provide assistance and care to animals in need. We work together with other animal welfare agencies, with each doing our part to create a win/win

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situation for every adoptable animal that comes into our program. I continue year after year, because someone has to. My motivation comes from the lives that I save. I love to see the happy families that adopt my dogs and the wonderful life these dogs go on to live. Life is precious and should always be cherished. As hard as it is for me walking the rows at high-kill animal controls every week, my focus is on saving lives, and I try to pull as many of these homeless pets as I possibly can. Currently, I have 3 dogs of my own. Sunshine is a 7-year-old pit bull that was confiscated from dog fighters. They debarked her and used her as a bait dog. Today, she is a therapy dog and a mother to any motherless puppy we

rescue. Then there is Taffy, a 14-yearold Rat Terrier. She was one of my original rescues when I first started A Place To Bark. She was severely abused and I saved her the day she was to be euthanized. My third dog is Mr. Macabee McFuzz (Mac for short). He is a 9-year-old Brussells Griffon that was surrendered to the shelter, because as a puppy he would have potty accidents. One way we spread the message to adopt shelter pets is through social media. We have a big following of over 160,000 loyal fans on our Facebook page, A Place To Bark, and we share the stories of the homeless pets in need. Spreading the word of adopting rescued pets and the importance of spay/neutering is the only way the


DOG MOMS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

needless killing of shelter animals will end. Responsible pet ownership begins with each of us, and leading by example will inspire the next generation of pet owners. Although my favorite charity is obviously my own, I love many others. There are  so many great people doing wonderful things, it truly makes this world a better place. Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue in Tennessee (www.snootygiggles.com) is one of my favorite dog rescues, along with Young at Heart’s Shelter for Senior Pets in Illinois (www.yahpetrescue.com) is another I absolutely adore! Then there are my amazing adoption placement partners where we transport our dogs ready for adoption to; PAWS Chicago, West Suburban Humane and the Dog Patch

Pet and Feed Store, all located in the Chicagoland area. Even though there have been thousands of dogs saved through our rescue, the puppy mill survivors hold a very special place in my heart. There is one dog in particular that stands out who was saved at the beginning of this year. This dog was found by animal control lying on the side of the road. At first they thought he was dead. He was starved with an embedded collar and a tow chain attached to him. When they realized he was just barely alive, they had a choice to euthanize him or call for a rescue to take him. They called A Place to Bark. I was on the road at the time, and it being late in the afternoon on New Years Eve, I had to call and ask many people

to help. They all canceled their prior plans, including my veterinarian, to save this dog. Today, he is happy and healthy, and after almost a year, now ready for adoption. We named him Zoltan, which means life! I love being able to make a difference. To inspire others that we can all can change things. The Power of one + one + one = the power of everyone! And with that, we can change the world, if only we believe. Love lives on because people care.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/aplacetobarkdogrescue

Visit the Website at: www.aplacetobark.com

Make a donation at: www.aplacetobark.com/donate

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    63  


NON-PROFIT PROFILE

Photo by KArEn rAnDAll

Photo by lori hAbErmAn-Wilson

GREYLong - IN SEARcH FOR A cURE

gioVanni

Photo by tErEsA broWn

Photo CoUrtEsy oF GrEylong

Zygo Photo by lori hAbErmAn-Wilson

roCKy

joji

teeKa

“WE’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT MAKING A DIFFERENCE.” By Karen randall and lori haBerman-Wilson

In 1993, my husband Chris and I lost our beloved dog Giovanni, a mixed breed, who had osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, a disease that has claimed many lives of our canine companions. In 2005, our 6-year-old Greyhound, Rocky, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Searching online, we found that very few studies were being done on bone cancer in dogs. Three months later our friend’s 7-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer was diagnosed with rhino cancer (cancer of the sinus glands). We approached others who had lost dogs to cancer. With a cause so close to our hearts, we set out to make a difference. In 2006, we established GREYlong (www.GREYlong.org), a nonprofit organization that is committed to improving the health of all dog breeds. The name is a nod to the changing coat color of senior dogs and alludes to a hope for longer and healthier lives for our pets. GREYlong raises money through fundraising events; our online Oktoberfest Auction, our sighthound beach gathering called the Gallivantasia, the sale of donated items on eBay, the sale of M&M Designs dog collars, leashes

64

and coats, and the hard work of volunteers who make and sell everything from jewelry, to embroidered towels, and dog snoods. GREYlong is dedicated to funding studies focused on the prevention, treatment, and ultimately a cure for canine cancer. GREYlong has funded studies that deal with lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, and bone cancer. Cancer is quite common in older dogs, in particular, lymphoma, mast cell (a type of skin cancer), and bone cancers. Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in pets. Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer of the circulatory system and can manifest as a skin cancer or in an organ. It is common in Boxers, Pit Bulls, and Golden Retrievers. Bone cancer is common in the large breeds of dogs. In humans, when breast or prostrate cancer metastasizes it turns into bone cancer. Since hemangiosarcoma and bone cancers have genetic components that are similar in humans, finding a cure/treatment for our pets is a win-win for us as pet owners. Keeping true to our mission, GREYlong has donated more than $71,000

Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

to studies at veterinary colleges at the University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University, and to Morris Animal Foundation. Where many nonprofit organizations focus on important adoption efforts, GREYlong volunteers work hard to cover the next step, pet longevity. When you have lost a pet to cancer, you become a different person. You see the importance of adoption and caring for your pets with the hope that they will live a long and healthy life cancer-free. How you can help: Support GREYlong by shopping at AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate . 5% of each qualifying sale. This link will get you started: http://smile. amazon.com/ch/03-0609843 Donate small, cherished items that we can list on our eBay site, or if you buy on eBay, consider donating $ when you purchase. You can type in our name “GREYlong Corporation” at check out. Host a “Walk for a Cure” or a “Rummage Sale” with the proceeds donated to GREYlong.

For more information visit: www.greylong.org


Non-Profit Profile

V I VA ! A N I M A L R E S C U E

photo by Peggy Boyar

N M (N ew M e x i c o )

Turbo

Arabella PHOTO BY ASHLEY PEDRONCELLI

By Ashley Pedroncelli, Founder and Executive Director of VIVA! ANIMAL RESCUE NM

Q:

What motivated you to start VIVA! Animal Rescue NM?

How exactly does a rescue get its start? For me, it was simply a need to do more. I was fostering homeless pets for rescue groups and shelters, and it just wasn’t enough. I wanted to see change happen, I needed to feel like I made a difference, and I had the burning desire to make it happen.

I talked to a lot of people about starting a rescue, I brainstormed with them, and Viva! Animal Rescue NM was born.

events, we network with other rescues, and raise money and plan transports for out-of-state rescues.

What is VIVA! Animal Rescue NM all about?

Viva! is not breed specific, or even animal specific. We do mostly rescue dogs, but we have also helped kitties, a guinea pig, and two horses. We are a small, but ever growing group of people who are determined to see things in our state change - for the better!

Q:

Viva! Animal Rescue was born in early 2012, after New Mexico’s largest adoption event. I had fostered dogs for the Valencia County shelter for this event, and it was wonderful to see all the shelter dogs get adopted during the event - yet it was very disheartening, because the shelter was still full of adorable, adoptable, awesome pets. What could I do? How could I help this situation? Sure, I could foster again, but that wouldn’t affect the root cause of the issue. It wouldn’t take some of the pressure off of the shelter staff that had to make horribly, hard decisions about which pets to euthanize on a daily basis.

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Our mission from day one has been to lower the euthanasia rates at New Mexico’s rural shelters. We do this through responsibly rehoming those pets that find themselves homeless at the shelters. Viva! Animal Rescue will pull as many shelter dogs off the euthanasia list as we are able to and place them with our amazing network of foster homes. Once the animals are safe, we then work on finding these shelter pets the perfect forever home. Viva! Animal Rescue will also help market and promote the animals at the shelters that are available for adoption. We take pictures of the dogs and post them online or shoot videos of the dogs playing to show their great personalities. In addition, we fundraise to help the shelter attend the bigger adoption

Q:

How can people get involved to help your cause?

We are always in need of foster homes in the Albuquerque, NM area. We are always in need of supplies such as; dog food, collars, leashes, toys, chewies, supplements, shampoo/ conditioner, flea & tick items, bowls, crates, towels, blankets/comforters, and dog beds. We need a volunteer with experience designing and maintaining websites (you do not need to be local to us).


Non-Profit Profile photo by Tryslyn Campos

Rook

Charlie

SUGAR

COPPER

photo by Katrina Sanchez

PHOTO BY ASHLEY PEDRONCELLI

PHOTO BY ASHLEY PEDRONCELLI

We need a volunteer to help with us fundraising (you do not need to be local to us).

around his neck. We took that off right away, and brought him home with us. We searched the classifieds for lost dogs, there were no flyers in the area where we found him, and we determined that no one was looking for this dog. Also, this dog was not micro chipped. We decided to name him Turbo, and he became a Viva! dog.

also helped transport almost 1000 dogs from the shelter to our rescue partners out of state; either by funding the transports, or driving ourselves.

A volunteer is needed to help us maintain our online databases with www.Petfinder.com and www.Adopta-pet.com (you do not need to be local to us). We need a volunteer with graphic design experience to help with designing flyers for events (you do not need to be local to us).

Q:

Do you have a favorite rescue story about a dog you saved?

I found Turbo on Dec 18th, 2013, on my way home from an all day adoption event. My better half and I were exhausted and driving from one end of town to the other when he noticed a dog on the side of the road. The dog looked like it had wire around his neck. We pulled over and he came right up to us. We put the dog in our truck and discovered that he had a “collar” fashioned out of barbed wire

Turbo quickly showed us he that he's one smart fella by opening doors, gates, and anything else that was preventing him from going where he wanted to be. It took some searching, but we found Turbo the perfect home where he gets to chase geese at the golf course, herd sheep on the weekends, and go to work with his dad. He's a beloved family member, just as every dog should be. 

Q:

What are the accomplishments of VIVA! Animal Rescue NM?

Since starting our rescue we have adopted out over 300 dogs, puppies, 2 kittens, saved a guinea pig, and partnered to rescue 3 horses. We have

Q:

What are your future goals for VIVA! Animal Rescue NM?

In 2015, our main goal is raising money to purchase a transport van so that we can assist and rescue more dogs around our state. We also hope to expand our foster families and volunteer base so that we can pull more dogs to safety. At Viva! Animal Rescue we want to inspire and motivate others to get involved in rescue and make a difference in the lives of pets. No matter who you are, or where you live, there is always a way you can help fur kids.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/VivaAnimals

Email Viva! Animal Rescue at: vivapaws@gmail.com

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    67  


SHORT STORY

Photo by DiXiE roGErs

FROM WORST TO FIRST:

Photo by DiXiE roGErs

Photo by DiXiE roGErs

jimBo at the dog parK

Photo & PAintinG by DiXiE roGErs

jimBo at the dog parK

jimBo and Friends

M Y FAV O R I T E D O G J I M B O By lars poWell

Jimbo is a dog of leisure, mayhem, and dogged determination. My sixth dog ever. My second foster dog. My first foster failure. He is my favorite dog, but Jimbo started out as a rescue group’s “hot potato.” Nobody wanted to foster him. They thought he would never be adopted. He was too “bad.” As the legend goes, they found Jimbo playing in a busy-traffic intersection. A handsome mix of Jack Russell Terrier and Beagle, he was fearless. Once in the group’s care, Jimbo ate three cats, a bird, and an untold number of shoes. A thrifty rescue group was paying big bucks to board him at a vet’s office. I have no doubt all stories of Jimbo’s exploits are true. In fact, I once paid $150 ransom for Jimbo’s safe return after he slipped the fence and dispatched a small coop of chickens.

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Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

Completely worth it. Here is why. Jimbo is loyal and he never gives up. All he needed was a leader and a job. Now he has me and at least two jobs. His first job is to be my belly blanket when I nap on the sofa. He takes this seriously even though it is only parttime work. His full-time job is to patrol the front yard for varmints. On command, he dashes to the fence, traces the perimeter, and then does a zig-zag pattern through the middle. He would rather patrol than eat when he is hungry. On the rare occasion he finds a varmint (mostly snakes and lizards), he politely escorts them to the gate and sends them on their way with a gentle pat on the back. That is a lie. They die hard, but let’s not dwell there. Jimbo has been with me now for eight of his twelve years. Along the way, we have learned a number of tricks and

tips for making the free spirit a more manageable pet. Just like a home, three of the most important things about keeping a pet like Jimbo safe are: 1) location, 2) location, and 3) location. Jimbo is consumed by wanderlust. He knows there are more chickens right around the corner if he can just slip the fence. In addition to the basics (strong fence, double-door entry and exit), we have found peace in the TAGG Pet Tracker (pettracker.com). For a small monthly fee, Jimbo has GPS tracking 24/7/365. The nifty app shows his location on a map if he breaches the established perimeter. Choosing your next dog is a big deal. It is important to get all the information available. After that, however, you should make up your own mind. Sometimes a “bad” dog just needs the right situation and the right gadgets.


PUBLIC SERVICE CAMPAIGN

Show Your Soft Side: Poster_New Torrey_CMYK Final_Poster_New Torrey_CMYK Final 10/15/14 12:23 PM Page 1

In spite of White House visits and a championship ring, Torrey’s paws remain firmly planted on the ground.

Only a punk would hurt a cat or dog. Torrey Smith, Wide Receiver, Baltimore and Champion to the Underdog with his pups Mama and Prince Photography by Leo Howard Lubow

Facebook.com/showyoursoftside

Poster_Sam Orpeza_CMYK_Poster_Sam Oropeza_CMYK 8/7/14 11:49 AM Page 1

There’s not a hammerfist, knee strike or guillotine choke alive that could put a dent in Sammy Oropeza’s soft side.

Only a punk would hurt a cat or dog. Sam “Sammy O’ Oropeza, MMA fighter, Team Balance Bellator with his best girl and rescue pup, Stella. Photography by Leo Howard Lubow

Facebook.com/showyoursoftside

Sande and Don Riesett

T h e F e e l G o o d C a m pa i g n T h at G r e w O u t Of A n g e r

By Sande Riesett

Most marketing campaigns come out of weeks, months, or sometimes years of strategizing, planning and testing. Not so with the Show Your Soft Side campaign – it was borne out of a single moment of anger. In late 2010, Baltimore was beset by one horrific case of animal abuse after another. A nursing cat was set on fire by two 13-year-olds, a gang of kids clubbed a young puppy to death in a public park, and two teens were charged with dousing a dog, later named Phoenix, in kerosene and then setting her on fire. As someone who had always grown up with four-legged

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siblings, it was impossible for me to comprehend how anyone, let alone a child, could do this sort of thing to a defenseless animal. I went from dumbfounded to angry when the Phoenix trial ended in a hung jury and there was speculation that the City would not undergo the expense of a retrial. I was so outraged that I had to do something. That something turned out to be the only thing I truly knew how to do – create advertising. The goal was to combat the mindset of young people who view the maiming of defenseless cats and dogs as a sign of “toughness”

or “manhood” and, as luck would have it, the idea had been staring me in the face all along. My husband is an athletic kind of guy, former college football player, runner and definitely no wuss, but around our rescue kitty – he turns into a giant marshmallow. I couldn’t help but wonder if a former street tabby named Little Man could bring out my husband’s soft side, would the same hold true for other tough guys? With the help of Lori Smyth, Promotions Director at 98 Rock and Caroline Griffin, then Chair of the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Commission, we


PUBLIC SERVICE CAMPAIGN

PHOTOS By Leo Howard Lubow CAAC254_Poster Tommy_CAAC254_Poster Tommy_CMYK 7/21/14 11:36 AM Page 1

Poster_John Rallo_RGB_Poster_John Rallo_RGB 11/26/13 9:28 AM Page 1

This bad boy’s added a new four-letter word to his vocabulary. It’s spelled L-O-V -E. To his opponents, John Rallo is a fighting machine. To Doobie, he’s a pussycat.

Only a punk would hurt a cat or dog.

Only a punk would hurt a cat or dog.

John Rallo, MMA Fighter and his rescue kitty, Doobie. Photography by Leo Howard Lubow

Tommy Lee, Proverbial Bad Boy & Ripping Drummer of M otley ¨ Cr u¨ e with his dog, Bowie. Photography by Myriam Santos

Facebook.com/showyoursoftside

Poster_Michael Campanaro_Final_Poster_Michael Campanaro_Final 10/15/14 12:13 PM Page 1

This may be his first year in the pros, but Michael Campanaro is already a seasoned veteran Softie.

Buster may be the only guy alive who actually enjoys being tackled by Brendon Ayanbadejo.

Only a punk would hurt a cat or dog.

Only a punk would hurt a cat or dog.

Brendon Ayanbadejo, Linebacker, Baltimore with his dog, Buster.

Michael Campanaro, #15, Wide Receiver, Baltimore with his main man, Champ.

Photography by Leo Howard Lubow

Photography by Leo Howard Lubow

Facebook.com/showyoursoftside

started testing the theory. Within a few weeks, Orioles’ Adam Jones, Ravens’ Jarret Johnson and MMA Fighter, John Rallo, all fessed up to having a soft side and agreed to participate. Fortunately, so did Leo Howard Lubow, a gifted photographer, friend and self-confessed “cat guy.” (Leo has since gone on to add a former shelter pup named Archie to his cat family.) Our original plan was to scrape together enough money to put posters in city schools, but we soon learned there were a lot of other people out there who also needed to “do something.” With the help of a company called Media Works, we launched in September of 2011 with an integrated media campaign that included close to $200K of donated advertising. From there, things snowballed.

Today, three years later, we have close to 100 official Softies from the fields of football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, hockey and MMA, as well as rockers, stuntmen, police officers and comedians – with more waiting in the wings. The campaign is funded through sponsorships and contributions and is executed by a small team of Soft Side volunteers. Since our emotional inception, our goal has been to educate kids (and adults) that compassion towards animals is a strength, not a weakness. In the process, we’ve created a communications platform that has directly increased donations and adoptions for shelters and rescues in Baltimore, and thanks to the incredible reach of social media, connected like-

Facebook.com/showyoursoftside

minded individuals and organizations throughout the country. It is our hope that every city and town in America will someday show its Soft Side and together we will put an end to animal abuse. Sande Riesett – With close to 30 years experience in advertising as a Creative Director and Copywriter for agencies in London, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Sande now spends the bulk of her time running Show Your Soft Side, Inc. campaign. She’s assisted on the home front by two rescue kitties, Little Man and Bugsy, and her “cat guy” husband.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ShowYourSoftSide

Visit the Website at: www.showyoursoftside.org

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    71  


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

MIKE RUIZ

P HOTOGR A PH Y Q:

What inspired you to photograph dogs?

Two and a half years ago I adopted the sweetest pit bull named Oliver. He has really inspired me to develop compassion and empathy for the plight of abandoned, neglected and abused dogs. Whenever I can lend my photography skills to help their cause, I jump on the opportunity.

Q:

see a smart, feeling and thinking animal. That is what I try to convey in my photographs of the shelter pets.

Q:

hat is the main quality W you want to capture when photographing a dog?

I try to capture their self-awareness. If you look into a dog's eyes, you can

72    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

hy is it important to W donate your time and talents to shelters and take pictures of homeless dogs?

It's so important to bring awareness to animal shelters because a lot of people just don't know how many tens of thousands of amazing and beautiful pets are discarded all the time. These same people don't know the kind of heinous abuse they are supporting by buying dogs from

some breeders and puppy mills. Most shelters are filled with every type of dog that you could ever want; purebreds, mixed dogs, mutts, big, and small. By photographing the homeless dogs helps increase the likelihood they will be seen by someone who will fall in love with them and want to adopt them.

Q:

What type of projects have you worked on to help homeless pets?

I do as much as I can to bring awareness to the very misunderstood pit bull. I continuously support various


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

rescues by donating my photography to silent auctions and helping with adoptions and fosters. One of the projects I did was the Hunks and Hounds Calendar. I was inspired to shoot this calendar after adopting a black pit bull while I was in Los Angeles on a photo shoot. This sweet and gentle pit bull, Oliver, came from the kill list at the Harbor Shelter in San Pedro, CA, which has many dogs who need loving homes, of all breeds. All proceeds from the calendar benefit Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue, a non-profit that saves, rehabilitates, and rehomes animals from high-kill shelters across

the United States. Visit their Website at www.louieslegacy.org for more information about the work they do. In addition to the Hunks and Hounds calendar, where all the models who are with Silver Model Management donated their time and services on this project, I also participated in the "Show Your Soft Side" campaign promoting kindness to animals. This campaign was created in response to the alarming incidence of animal abuse in Baltimore. You can get more information at www.showyoursoftside.org and find them on Facebook at: www.facebook. com/ShowYourSoftSide.

Photographer Mike Ruiz

Become a fan of Mike on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/mikeruiz1

Visit the Website at: www.mikeruiz.com

Pre-order the calendar at: www.louieslegacy.org/calendar/

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    73  


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Destiny the Pibble is a Pit Bull rescued as a stray from Tulsa Animal Welfare in Tulsa, OK. Read her story at: www.tylerdog.com/destiny

SHERRY STINSON TYLERDOG PHOTOGRAPHY By Sherry Stinson

“I’m going home!” Those three words pretty much changed my life. I have to admit, before I started doing rescue photography, I had never been in my local animal shelter. I had two rescue dogs, but they came to me through friends. One day, my phone rang and a former photography student asked if I knew anyone who could help out at the shelter taking photos of their animals. I don’t know why, but I said, “Sure, me!”

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The following week, I packed up a bunch of equipment since I wasn’t sure what to expect and headed to the shelter. Upon arrival, I saw row after row of kennels with sweet dogs of all breeds and sizes. One kennel in particular caught my eye. A little dog was sitting there, wagging his tail furiously as I walked over to look at the sign hanging above his head: “ADOPTED! I’m going home!” I smiled, then looked over at the other kennels

lacking a sign, and my smile fell. He was the lucky one. The others, not so much. Tears welled up as I realized this one dog’s future was a positive one while the others were still waiting, unsure of what fate had in store for them. I did my first rescue shoot that day, photographing 30-40 dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies in a dark, smelly concrete utility room, and it was all I could do to not cry or want to take each and


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER Photos by TylerDog Photography

Dawn is a young Pit Bull available at Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans, LA. For more info visit www.vrcpitbull.net.

Farris is a special needs adult Boston Terrier. He’s available through Dag’s House in Marrero, LA. For more info visit: www.dagshouse.com.

Lily is an adult Chihuahua available through Save-An-Angel in New Orleans, LA. For more info visit: www.save-an-angel.org

This beautiful mama cat and her kitten are one of many litters coming into Tulsa Animal Welfare each year. To learn more, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/city-services/animal-welfare/adoption.aspx.

every one of them home. That’s when I knew – I had found my calling, my passion. I was going to photograph shelter animals and help put an “I’m going home!” sign on every kennel I could. I was going to make a difference! Fast forward six years and I’ve taken about 30,000 photos of adoptable dogs and cats at over 30 shelters and rescues all over the state of Oklahoma, a few in Texas, and some in Louisiana. The one thing I aspire to do when photographing shelter animals is capture their true personality. I don’t think you can truly “see” an animal behind the bars of a kennel. Sure, those photos are sad, but unfortunately, “sad” doesn’t always translate to “adopted.” I want to capture the essence of the animal’s personality, so when a potential adopter sees their photo, they think, “Wow, I could see us out hiking… or hanging out on the couch… or playing with my kids.” I want people to fall in love the minute they see the photo because they “see” the animal. I’ve heard adopters say my photos spoke to them and that’s what I want to achieve each time the shutter clicks.

The best part is we’ve been told our photos really do make a difference as adoption rates have increased almost everywhere we’ve been and brought more recognition to each shelter and rescue. To me, that’s what it’s really about. Not recognition for myself or what I’m doing, but rather the increased awareness for the shelters and rescues on the front lines who are trying to get these animals into forever homes. Many people ask me why I do it. Isn’t it hard? Isn’t it expensive? The answers are yes and yes. However, I believe each of us has something to give back to society. Mine just happens to be a talent for photography and a way with animals. There have been many photo shoots where I’ve walked away with tears running down my cheeks. When you look into the eyes of a dog, knowing when you go back in a week, he may not be there, it changes you. It puts a burden upon your heart to make a difference. So, each time I load up and go to Tulsa Animal Welfare (the shelter in Oklahoma where I shoot weekly), I

know for the few minutes we spend with each dog, I’ve made a difference. My volunteers, who are dedicated to come out and help each week, have made a difference. Not every animal we photograph has a forever home coming for them and not all have happy endings, but for those few moments, the dog or cat is treated with great love, fawned over, and gets to know what it feels like to be cherished. Those few minutes make a difference. On this amazing journey, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people in rescue with incredibly huge hearts. We share the same sentiment – looking forward to the day we are no longer needed because it means every animal has a home.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TylerDogPhotography

Visit the Website at: www.tylerdog.com

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    75  


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

PHOTO BY COURTNEY LAM

PHOTO BY VIRGIL OCAMPO

VIRGIL OCAMPO

PHOTOGRAPHER VIRGIL OCAMPO

VIRGIL’S FOSTER FAIL BABY BELLA adopted through Sleepy’s Dream Rescue

PHOTOGRAPHY By Virgil Ocampo

I first discovered my spark for photography when I posed for portraits for my cousin during a stay in the Philippines. Little did I know at the time what a profound impact it would have on my life, as I also picked up a camera and began capturing the world around me. Although I’ve always appreciated photography as an art form, I’ve come to realize what a powerful tool it can be for helping animals, one of my passions since childhood. My first dogs were strays from NYC and MD, and my current pack consists of a motley crew of 4 adoptees and a foster -

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Logan, Shogun, Ninja, Bella, and Dozer, who are all rescue dogs. In my early days of volunteering, I realized how instrumental photography can be for creating awareness about animals in need and inspiring others to take action. I picked up my camera and went to work. With every dog that I photograph, I try to capture his or her personality and emotions. I have found that dogs, like people, display a range of emotions; from happiness and excitement, to hopelessness and despair. When people view my photos, my hope is that they make a connection with the animal and

take action. Whether it’s reaching out to animal shelters or rescue groups, fostering, adopting, or spreading the word. For shelter dogs especially, these images can play an important role on the path leading to adoption. With fellow volunteers and photography equipment donated by the Shelter Art Foundation (www.shelterartfoundation.org), I continue to conduct weekly photo shoots at my local animal shelter, the Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center in Maryland. I also volunteer at special events hosted by rescues like Sleepy’s Dream and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. These


FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER PHOTO BY VIRGIL OCAMPO

PHOTO BY VIRGIL OCAMPO

EVOLVE Martial Arts Academy fighter John Thorpe and Precious (adoptable through Canine Nation)

PRIME IS AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION WITH AMBASSADOR PIT BULL ALLIANCE

PHOTO BY VIRGIL OCAMPO

PHOTO BY VIRGIL OCAMPO

ANGEL IS AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION THROUGH SLEEPY’S DREAM RESCUE

ONE MILLION PIBBLE MARCH WITH REBECCA CORRY AND HER VELVET HIPPO, ANGEL

events range from casino nights and holiday photos, to comedy shows and town parades. All involve raising funds for dogs in need, spreading awareness, and in some cases, catching kisses at a pit bull kissing booth! This past spring, I had the honor of photographing the One Million Pibble March in Washington, D.C., lead by Rebecca Corry, who is the founder of the Stand Up For Pits Foundation. This momentous event presented a united front for fighting breed specific legislation. I was proud to capture the spirit and determination of fellow pibble supporters standing up for those

without a voice. Equally enjoyable was meeting animal advocate Rebecca Corry and her velvet hippo, Angel! More recently, I had the opportunity to hang out behind the scenes of a Sandra Riesett’s Show Your Soft Side campaign photo shoot and meet the photographer, Leo Howard Lubow, who is one of my favorites. Meeting the people behind this campaign have inspired me to try harder, to do more, and continue to fight for the cause of helping to save the lives of shelter pets. Bonding with rescue dogs, taking their photos, sharing their stories, and

teaching others to do the same is my way of contributing. Animals end up in dire circumstances through no fault of their own and we need to be the voice for those who have none. Lily Tomlin once said, “Somebody should do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody.” I would add that we are all somebody.

Become a “friend” on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/virgil.ocampo.7

Visit the Website at: www.virgilocampophotography.com

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    77  


Holiday Gift Guide

Snuggle Puppies: Since 1997 we have been making

a difference for stressed out animals all over the world with our now famous SnugglePuppies. With a real feel “pulsing” heart beat and warmer packs they are sure to make a difference for your pets with loneliness, fear and anxiety. Visit: www.SnugglePetProducts.com

WOODROW WEAR: Woodrow Wear’s Power Paws™ socks are a unique indoor/outdoor solution for medical needs, traction, and weather issues. Cotton and elastic ensure comfort, fit and adaptability. Visit: www.woodrowwear.com

ZEN DEN PETS: ZenDenPets™ “Where instinct meets

comfort.” The attached fleece blanket satisfies the instinct to den and provides a comfortable denning and burrowing experience for your pet. Visit: www.zendenpets.com

ACADIA ANTLERS: MOOSE DUST Dry Dog Food Topper

A sprinkle of Moose Dust on dry kibble will entice the pickiest of eaters! No dog can resist dinner with a Moose! Visit: www.acadiaantlers.com

BACK ON TRACK USA: Back on Track designed the Mesh Dog Blanket with all dogs in mind: young, old, hard-working athletes or the family pet. Every dog can benefit from the natural warmth therapy this blanket provides. Back on Track products effectively warm muscles before exercise, helping reduce the risk of strains or injury too. Visit: www.backontrackproducts.com/Dog-Products-c12/

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Holiday Gift Guide

BIKE TOW LEASH: Reward yourself and dog with

the amazingly stable and fun Bike Tow Leash. American Pet Association approved safe. Also for trikes & mobility scooters. Visit: www.BikeTowLeash.com

LEGITIMUTT: Featuring our Park Avenue Coat from Legitimutt's

Gold Label Collection. Cotton Cable knit over Cashmere fleece with faux mink trim. The perfect gift for your pampered pooch. Visit: www.legitimutt.com

THE PIT BULL PRINCESS: Attention Pit Bull Lovers!

Decorate for the holidays with a custom ‘Merry Pitmas’ wreath. Select colors to match your own dogs. We celebrate Pit Bull type dogs and offer a huge selection of products and gifts. Visit: www.thepitbullprincess.com

WIKI WAGS: Buy the best and let the wraps do the rest! Wiki Wags® brand reliable Disposable Male Dog Wraps; convenient for today’s busy lifestyles.

PetDek - “A Car Space Pet Place” A foldable, rear seat shelf designed for the comfort and safety for your pet. Covers over most of the foot well. One minute installation. Visit: www.petdek.com.

Visit: www.wikiwags.com

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    79  


Holiday Gift Guide

AMERICAN DOG: Do you love dogs and support adoption

of shelter pets? Then make sure to order one of these high-quality, long sleeve, black t-shirts with a great message. Visit: www.theamericandogmag.com/departments/adm-shop

TWIGO TAGS: Tito the Pom turning up the Silence

with Twigo Pet ID Tags. 100% silent. Personalizes instantly. Write, boil and wear - it’s that simple! Fun, unique, vibrant and easy to attach. Visit the website at: www.twigotags.com or call #888.276.1231

Kurgo Loft Collection: The Kurgo Loft Collec-

tion features dog beds, coats, car seat covers and more. Warm and cozy, it’s perfect for winter! Reversible, waterproof and machine washable. Visit: www.kurgostore.com/loft-collection

KENNEL KOMFORTS INC.: BELLY BANDS & BRITCHES. No more accidents or marking in your home ! Breathable cotton, used with a sanitary pad, machine wash and dry. Guaranteed. Visit: www.Kennelkomforts.com or call #406-889-3805

OHANA PET ORGANICS: Organic Hawaiian Coconut Oil has many benefits for dogs: improve's a dog's coat, helps reduce weight, and relieves sore joints. Visit: www.ohanapetorganics.com

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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

I’M NOT A MONSTER: Order your dog a "Monster” Hoodie!

Fleece Dog Zipped Hoodies are super soft, and this is the perfect hoodie to let your dog rock out in style and share a great message. Visit: www.imnotamonster

BULLY MART Bully Mart dog collars are made

one at a time and handcrafted in the USA by hand. Made to your pup's exact neck size and specifications. Each purchase helps give back to rescue. Visit: www.bullymart.com

AcADIA ANTLERS has Flavored Moose Taster Multi-pack Dog Chews for your dogs! Made from naturally shed Moose Antlers and are cruelty-free. Visit www.acadiaantlers.com

AMERIcAN GREAT LIFE PET PRODUcTS Great Life’s all natural treats are made with premium and organic ingredients, easily digested and great tasting. Made and sourced in the USA. Dogs love out Chicken & Acai Berries and the Salmon Duck, Chicken, & Buffalo biscuits!

DOG MAGAZINE: American Dog Magazine makes a great gift for family and friends. We are published quarterly, and if you love dogs, you'll love our magazine! Visit: www.americandogmagazine.com

Visit: www.greatlife4pets.com

American Dog Media | Winter 2014

81


fAMOUS dOGS

fA M O U S d O G S

ON fACEBOOK wITH fRIENdS!

"MUTTLEY cYRUS"

"PETUNIA'S PAGE" 82

Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

"cOOPER DEAN"

"cHESTER THE YORKIE"

"FRANKIE & ZOEY THE SPOILED LITTLE DAcHSHUNDS"


fAMOUS dOGS

"PENNY & cHARLIE"

"RUBY, THE GEM"

"JILLIAN JIGS"

"THE GOLDEN BAcONS"

"DIVA DAISY AND FREELOADING FREDDIE"

"RUFUS OFF THE STREETS" American Dog Media | Winter 2014

83


fAMOUS dOGS

wITH fRIENdS

"LULU'S JOURNEY A PUG'S LIFE WITH EPILEPSY"

"BAILEY OF A PLAcE cALLED HOME"

"JUMPIN JAcK McFLASH THE cORGI"

"DIAMOND OF SAPPHY'S SPOT"

"cHARLIE THE cATTLEDOG"

"MATILDA THE cOWDOG"

Photo by KElly GrEEn

"RIPPLE THE ZEN DOG" 84

Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

"GIANNA SOUZA"

"TAZI TIARA"


fAMOUS dOGS

ON fACEBOOK!

"KALLY THE BOSTON TERRIER"

"BABY QUEEN EILEEN"

"THE ANTIcS OF PATcH THE PIBBLE"

"PAPA PUG cARR"

"PRINcESS JASMINE KOSTNER"

"THE cANINE BAcHELOR"

"KIWIANDKAI SHEPPY"

"JUNO'S PLAcE"

"cHOPPER THE BIKER DOG" American Dog Media | Winter 2014

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LITERATURE: BOOKS REcOMMENDED all BooKs reVieWed By nanCy allen

HARLOW & SAGE (AND INDIANA): A TRUE STORY ABOUT BEST FRIENDS by brittni VEGA

This book is a charming story about three dogs, "who are taking the digital world by storm." Harlow the Weimaraner tells the story of the three dogs; a Miniature Dachshund, a Weimaraner, another Dachshund, and their humorous life together. There are more than 125 stunning photos of the "highly photogenic" pups. This story shows the bond the three dogs have for each other and their "unparalleled friendship." Great story to read.

THE GREAT GRISBY: TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF LITERARY, ROYAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, AND ARTISTIC DOG LOVERS AND THEIR EXCEPTIONAL ANIMALS by miKitA brottmAn

Mikita unravels her eight year love affair with her French bulldog, Grisby, while giving us information on the bond between humans and dogs from a very long time ago to the present. The 26 alphabetical chapters tell us about the human-canine union. She shows us the many ways in which dog is the mirror of man. This book is quirky and delightful, with loads of personal reflections. A wonderful story to learn how much dogs have taught us about empathy, happiness, love, and what it means to be human.

PINKERTON, BEHAVE! by stEVEn KElloGG

The Revised and Re-illustrated 35th Anniversary Edition. The book explains, "Steven Kellogg was particularly affected by the tragic Sandy Hook Shooting, and wanted his work to reflect a positive and non-violent message. The reimaging represents a strong stance against senseless violence, and is an effort to eradicate the tragedies we see in the news daily." The Great Dane’s "timeless silliness" will have you falling in love with this adorable, disobedient dog. Pinkerton is also a bad influence on the other dogs at the doggie school and makes the instructor go a little bit crazy. However, when a burglar enters the house, those bad habits can sometimes.... not be so bad. An enjoyable, funny book to read.

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Winter 2014 | American Dog Media


LITERATURE: BOOKS REcOMMENDED all BooKs reVieWed By nanCy allen

UNLIKELY HEROES: 37 INSPIRING STORIES OF COURAGE AND HEART FROM THE ANIMAL KINGDOM by JEnniFEr s. hollAnD

Unlikely Heroes is a book that everyone who loves animals should read. This book shows how animals; dogs, cows, rabbits, etc, have helped save lives, act as surrogate parents, or befriended lonely or injured people. Jennifer found that after their "kindness, loyalty and love" to their people, that animal relationships went back to a life that they had previously, "just as they are meant to." Animal lovers please read this book and you will truly see why we are animal lovers.

REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF MY DOG HAS TAUGHT ME by CynthiA l. CoPElAnD

Lesson #1: Joy is meant to be shared. Our dogs, "the four-legged philosophers" show us that every day is a gift. This book has many inspiring photos that will capture dogs in ordinary moments such as eating, protecting, working, playing, mourning lost friends, and celebrating everyday ordinary moments. "Every page delivers a lesson that appeals as much to our hearts as to our minds.” A great book that will show us what dogs teach us is of even greater value than what we teach them.  

THE LIFE & LOVE OF DOGS by lEWis blACKWEll

The Life & Love of Dogs is a book that tells us and shows us why "dogs live with us in a way that no other creature does." After having a wonderful dog your life changes, and without one, a person's life is diminished. This book explains how dogs have helped change our lives. There are hundreds of fantastic images by "acclaimed photographers from around the world." A wonderful book to get and to give as a gift to read about the great love affair we have with dogs and why.

American Dog Media | Winter 2014

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PUPPY MILL SURVIVOR

By Katie Pottenger (Jack’s mama)

Almost 8 years ago, I received a call from my friend, Joanne Norris, of Smaller Paws & Pomeranians Rescue. She said that she had a newly released puppy mill dog that needed a foster home right away. She said that “Pedro” needed an experienced home that could deal with the issues a newly released mill dog has, and that Pedro most likely could not see out of his right eye. The next day my mother and I drove to Joanne’s house and renamed that dog Jack, as in one-eyed Jack. Four days later, on my birthday, I decided that Jack was to be mine and I adopted him. After adopting Jack, I took him to an ophthalmologist and learned that he was suffering from a version of Progressive Retinal Atrophy. The doctor’s best guess is that he had suffered from Canine distemper in the puppy mill and it was causing his retinas to degenerate. Jack has since gone completely blind, but he doesn’t let

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that stop him! Jack comes to work with me every day at Parker’s, the pet supply store I own, and is notorious for stealing treats and chews from the displays. In November 2011, Jack stole a treat from a basket and I noticed some blood coming from his mouth. What I found was a tumor growing in his palate the size of a lima bean. Jack had just had a dental a few weeks prior and it wasn’t there then, so I was very scared. We got the first available appointment at Purdue University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital Oncology department. Many tests later, we learned that Jack had a Maxillary Plasmacytoma, a type of round cell tumor, which extended from behind his left eye through his cheek and down to his palate where I had found it. Jack underwent 20 radiation treatments at Purdue, and he is now 3 years cancer-free! On his first anniversary of being cancerfree, Jack wore a t-shirt I had made that

said ‘Suck it, Cancer!’ to his appointment with his Radiation Oncology team at Purdue. I posted a photo of him in it on the National Canine Cancer Foundation’s Facebook page that went viral. We started producing ‘Suck it, Cancer!’ shirts to benefit dogs in rescue with cancer and to help pay for Jack’s extensive vet bills. I also started a Facebook and Instagram page for him under the name Blind Dog Jack. Jack is my heart dog and the dog of a lifetime. Despite what he has been through, he has an amazing attitude. He has survived so much, and still wakes up every day with a smile and ready to go to work. I hope to use his story to teach people the value of adopting pets with special needs. We also want to help spread the word about the horrors of puppy mills and to help people whose dogs are also going through cancer treatment.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/BlindDogJack

photo by Katie Pottenger

photo by Katie Pottenger

photo by Katie Pottenger

photo by Sparenga Photography

BLIND DOG JACK


HAPPILY EVER AFTER

MICKEY THE BULLDOG

AND THE PADDED BUM CREW By Selina Kenitzer (Mickey and the crew’s mom)

Mickey and The Padded Bum Crew consist of 5 English Bulldogs born with Spina Bifida, ranging from 11 months to 10-years-old. The crew members mimic a Disney movie; with Mickey (crew leader, 2.5 years), Minnie (1.5 years), Lilo (1.2 years), Stitch (11 months), and Bessie (10 years old). Although we have been adopting rescued English Bulldogs for 15 years, Mickey was our first special needs bulldog. We saw a post on Facebook of this adorable English Bulldog with Spina Bifida who had been rescued from a backyard breeder. Four months prior, we had just said goodbye to our 10-year-old Bulldog, Tubby. We had always focused on seniors and harder to place bulldogs, but Mickey’s little puppy picture continued to tug at our hearts. We weren’t familiar with Spina Bifida, but we reached out to his foster mom, and soon after she was on her way to our home with our new addition. When we first met Mickey he was a tiny little guy wearing a diaper with

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his back legs splayed outward, but he sure could get around! For the first year, we hobbled his legs to allow his hip bones to form properly. Hobbling is basically wrapping their legs together, hip distance apart, to stop them from splaying outward. This technique helped Mickey’s legs tremendously. While he is able to move around well inside the house, we decided to order him a cart from Eddie’s Wheels, giving him the freedom to run when outside. Mickey forever changed our lives. He helped us to realize our purpose and dream, which was to save as many of these special needs pets as we could. A few months after we adopted Mickey we came across a little girl named Jeyda. She had Spina Bifida and was found in a shelter, bald from a severe case of demodex mange, and left to lay in her own filth. The rescue angels at SoCal Bulldog Rescue saved her and showered her with the very best care and a lot of love. Once available for adoption, we reached out to our contacts at SCBR and soon she became part of our family. 

Mickey and Jeyda took to one another instantly and soon became known as Mr. & Mrs. Little, since they were both smaller than your average bulldog. Within a few months of adopting Jeyda we discovered that she had many internal health issues. We lost Jeyda less than a year later due to complications from a hypo plastic trachea; essentially her airway shut down. The loss of Jeyda was huge for us as her parents, but she was Mickey’s soulmate and he was clearly lost. We knew we needed to do something for Mickey, as he was so depressed. We came across a beautiful 9-year-old English Bulldog with Spina Bifida named Bessie. She had been surrendered to rescue after living her life in a patch of dirt in a backyard. In addition to the Spina Bifida, Bessie was born with two club feet. She didn’t let her deformities get in her way and she learned to pull her body with her front legs. Carrying the weight of her body on her front end all of her life caused severe bowing and arthritis


HAPPILY EVER AFTER PHOTOS BY SELINA KENITZER

in her front legs. Like Mickey, we had a cart made for Bessie, but she didn’t want anything to do with it. She has gotten around with her front end for all of her life, and that’s what she was comfortable with. Bessie is determined, strong, happy, healthy and lives in the moment. She doesn’t let anything get in her way and if she wants something, she’ll get it. After showing her dislike of gates in the house and pushing them down, we affectionately refer to her as Bessie the Bulldozer. A couple of months after adopting Bessie, we realized that Mickey still needed a play partner. We came across a 12-week-old English Bulldog with Spina Bifida that was an owner surrender. Mickey took to her immediately; playing, wrestling and cuddling. They were instantly bonded and we decided to rename her Minnie. Shortly after, we came across another 12-week-old English Bulldog with Spina Bifida in Hawaii that needed

to find her forever home. It was a team effort to get her to the mainland, but she ultimately became a part of our family and we decided to name her Lilo. She blended in seamlessly and Mickey took his two baby sisters under his wing. They were known as the Three Amigos.   At this point, we thought we were done. However, 5 months later, we saw a video of a little English Bulldog in Southern California that was in need of a home. This little guy had Spina Bifida and dropped hocks. Essentially, he’d walk on the “elbows” of his hind legs. We reached out and soon this little guy made his way to our home, and is now lovingly known as Stitch. We now had a crew of 5 diaper babies, so we decided to call them The Padded Bum Crew.  One thing we realized early on is that these guys aren’t any different than your average dog. They play hard, sleep hard, and love unconditionally. They love their food and treats and a good

chew toy. The only thing different for them is that they wear a diaper. Their care is slightly different, but not difficult, it simply takes a bit of getting used to. Their day starts off with a booty bath and then they’re changed another 3 times throughout the day. They get supplements and are changed often to help prevent bladder infections. We also try and give them as much “air” or “naked” time where they can roam outside without a diaper. This also helps to prevent diaper rashes and UTI’s. Mickey and The Padded Bum Crew are passionate about showing others that these babies deserve a chance at life. They can live happy, healthy, love-filled lives if given a chance. We hope that we can show people just how “normal” they are through their daily posts, pictures and videos.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/mickeythebulldog

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    91  


HAPPILY EVER AFTER

JUNIPER

The Bird Cage Puppy By Rose Villegas (Juniper’s mom)

Juniper, known as the Bird Cage Puppy, was tossed in a bird cage at 7-weeks-old. Why would someone do that? Because Juniper couldn’t bring in any money to her unscrupulous breeder. When her breeder realized she couldn’t use her back legs, he tossed her in a bird cage and then he placed the cage outside so she would die. Thankfully, someone came across this tiny puppy in a cage, and the breeder told the lady she could take Juniper. A plea was then circulated on Facebook looking for a rescue group to take Juniper. Many thought her back was broken. Within 12 hours, a volunteer by the name of Lori Miller from Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue,

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and I, drove into Compton, CA, to rescue her. Juniper’s entire little body fit in one of our hands. She had several ticks on her body and she was starving when we rescued her. We immediately took her to the vet to be examined. Her x-rays showed she had a bend in her back, which was obvious to Lori and myself, not a broken back. A spinal specialist determined Juniper had scoliosis and a fused rib in her lower back. However, she felt with therapy Juniper might be able to walk. Sadly, that isn’t the case. After six weeks an MRI was performed. The MRI confirmed several physical

issues; scoliosis (two bends in her back), a missing disc in her upper back, several fused discs in her lower back, and either a severed or completely dead spinal cord from her mid-back down to her tail bone. Although Juniper can relieve herself to go potty, she doesn’t know when it is happening. Due to this, she wears a diaper while indoors most of the time. After consulting with several vets and human doctors, they agreed, “surgery could not reverse the damage, and it would only cause Juniper unnecessary pain.” One vet stated Juniper could possibly live to be 4-5 years old before experiencing discomfort or pain. However, we just don’t know for sure.


HAPPILY EVER AFTER PHOTOS BY ROSE VILLEGAS

I was Juniper’s foster mom from day one. After the MRI news, I made the decision to adopt her. After all, I couldn’t take her away from her big sister, Sunshine the Pit Bull. The two of them have bonded like they were born to be together. Juniper’s forever family includes a rescue Chihuahua named Star, a rescue Chihuahua named Popcorn, and a rescue Pit Bull named Sunshine.

It’s easy for strangers to see Juniper and instantly say, “I feel so bad for that poor dog. Will she ever be normal?” In our eyes (her siblings, hers and mine), she is as normal as any dog. Juniper destuffs her stuffies, plays chase and fetch, and does everything else her siblings do. She even attended her first training class. Her favorite things to do are playing in the agility tunnel and wrestling with Sunshine.

If you’re looking for Juniper, you’ll find her with Sunshine 99% of the time. Instead of feeling sorry for Juniper, let’s come together to end backyard breeding.

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/sunshinepandf

Don’t contribute to the problem... be part of the SOLUTION

SPAY & NEUTER YOUR PETS. American Dog Media | Winter 2014    93  


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

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

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

a e r i c n Do m

g

www.youcaring.com www.gofundme.com www.fundrazr.com www.giveforward.com www.indiegogo.com www.firstgiving.com www.crowdrise.com www.razoo.com www.biddingforgood.com www.petcaring.com

A

BEST WEBSITES TO RAISE MONEY FAST

M

agazine

“T-SHIRT” FUNDRAISING OPTIONS www.TEESPRING.com www.BOOSTER.com www.BONFIREFUNDS.com

GREAT FUNDRAISER FOR SCHOOLS & SHELTERS WWW.FUNDRAISINGWITHCANDISE.ORG 94    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media

COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN DOG MAGAZINE


HAPPILY EVER AFTER

PARKER, A TRUE SURVIVOR

By Kim Greer (Parker’s foster mom)

Parker has an incredible story of survival. Parker was tied to the back of a pickup truck and dragged down the road by his owner. His 'so called' owners took him to a vet after a few days, but could not afford treatment for his horrific wounds and asked that he be euthanized. Parker had excruciating, painful, open wounds all over his body; his chest, his 'private' areas (causing him to not be neutered), along with serious wounds on his paw pads and the top of his feet. That is when Ruff Love Rescue (www. ruffloverescue.com) stepped in and rescued Parker. Parker was taken to Blue Flint Animal Hospital and was treated with a tremendous amount of care for over a week. He was then released to me for fostering. Parker was doing really well taking his antibiotics, pain meds, and care for his wounds until he suddenly became very sick. Parker refused to eat, drank very little water, and refused his meds even with chicken in pill pockets. He

was scheduled to go back to the vet the next afternoon, however, in the early hours of the morning I woke up to him being very sick. He had thrown up clear fluids and had extreme diarrhea with blood. Parker was rushed back to the emergency vet and placed in ICU. Parker was diagnosed with the parvovirus; a virus that is deadly to puppies and comes on very quickly without obvious symptoms. Apparently the same people who tied him to a truck and dragged him down the road, also never vaccinated him, and he was exposed to this deadly virus shortly before being abandoned. While in ICU, he also developed Pancreatitis, along with Pneumonia. Parker's outlook was very grim and we all tried to prepare for the worse. He lost 12 pounds in one week. Overnight, Parker miraculously turned a corner, and 24 hours after that got to come back home! Parker was still very sick and he was on 6 medications and a prescription dog food. There

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KIM GREER

was also a possibility that he would lose his left hind paw due to all of his struggles. After weeks of medication, introduction of dry food, and his weekly vet visits, Parker SURVIVED! He has many scars on his body, but he is 100% healthy. He is the most handsome 11-month-old pup you have ever seen. He loves his foster siblings at home. Parker is a handful, but he is in doggie daycare and manner training at the Bark Lodge (www.barklodge.com) to help him overcome the puppyhood he missed!  There are certain times that Parker seems to associate with his past, but for the most part he is just a goofy, happy, and very well-loved boy. Parker stands STRONG against animal abuse, Puppy Mills, and advocates strongly for fostering and adoption!

Become a fan on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ParkerSurvivor

American Dog Media | Winter 2014    95  


AMERICAN DOG MAGAZINE PRESENTS OUR

4TH ANNUAL HALLOWEEN

COSTUME CONTEST

WINNERS!

CONGRATS TO OUR 30 wINNERS!

96

#1 RUFIO

#2 WILMA

#3 MERMAID

#4 SIMON

#5 ZELDA

#6 cOPPER & cOcO

Winter 2014 | American Dog Media


4TH ANNUAL HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST

#7 GNOME

#8 PRAWN

#9 DIESEL

#10 ZOE

#11 ZOEY

#12 ELSA

#13 RORO

#14 KEEGAN

#15 PENNY

#16 VADER & LUNA

#17 OSKAR

#18 GIZMO American Dog Media | Winter 2014    97  


4TH ANNUAL HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST

#20 LADY DARLA

#21 HARLOW

#22 BEETHOVEN

#23 HARRY

#24 BUDDY

#25 BRADY & BULLY

#26 AUTUMN

#27 TYSON

#28 LOGAN & KONA

#29 COLWYN

#30 PENNY

PHOTO by www.valeriebruder.com

#19 PARKER

98    Winter 2014 | American Dog Media


JAMIE BUEHRLE

MERRILY TITHOF

ROCHELLE STEFFEN

STACEY PRAVEC

20 AMAZ I NG BEAUTIFUL PA S S I O N AT E STEPHANIE COOMER

MICHELE SCHAFFER-STEVENS

IMELDA SURIATO

DOG MOMS!

ELAINE TAYLOR

JENNIFER CORODIMAS

ROSE VILLEGAS

JAMIE DEVINE

PAM WAHL

DEBORAH YOUNG

LACHRYSTAL RICKE

W W W. A M E R I C A N D O G M A G A Z I N E . C O M

American Dog Winter 2014  

20 Amazing, Beautiful, Passionate Dog Moms That Will Inspire and Motivate You!, Holiday Gift Guide, 4TH Annual Halloween Costume Contest, Wo...

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