What Happened to Mom?

The puppies waiting to be rescued

The puppies waiting to be rescued

When we posted our story of the rescue of the Poet Pups, we got some great feedback and the same question from several readers: “What happened to the mother dog?” We want to thank everyone who asked, because that is an important question! The mom to the Poet Pups, Mercedes, is doing just fine at our kennel facility, The Lost Dog Ranch. She was very thin when she was rescued and needed to be separated from the pups and treated to her own TLC. She is gaining weight rapidly and looking brighter and healthier every day. She will soon be looking for a home to call her own, just like her puppies.

We’re so happy that many people share concern not just about the puppies, but also the mother dogs. Too often, we see mother dogs that have been discarded at a shelter, and it’s heartbreaking. At LDCRF we have a policy to never leave Momma Dogs or Momma cats behind. If we bring the puppies or kittens into rescue, Momma is always part of the deal. Occasionally, we have even been able to rescue Mom and Dad!

Stories like these are one of the many reasons that our foster homes are so important – had we not had a foster home for the puppies, we wouldn’t have been able to help them or their sweet Mom. Whether you’re fostering a dog, a litter of puppies or kittens or fostering a cat, you’re making these rescues possible. You can learn more about fostering and join us in our mission to find more dogs and cats a place to call home in 2014 here.

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Mercedes waiting at the shelter for LDCRF to pick her up!

Mercedes at LDCRF, warm and cozy in her jacket and starting to fill out.

Mercedes at LDCRF, warm and cozy in her jacket and starting to fill out.

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The Poet Pups: From Freezing to Foster!

poetpups1Update: For those wondering about mom, not to worry! She is also safe and sound (and warm) with LDCRF. Her name is Mercedes, and she was emaciated, so is getting a lot of extra TLC from our staff. Once she is ready, she too will be looking for a home!

If the Poet Pups, 12 week old beagle/boxer blends, could talk, they would say that they had a home before coming to LDCRF last Sunday from Essex County, Virginia. This is what “home” meant to them:  wooden shipping palettes nailed together and covered with a tarp, forming an enclosure that held no water or food. Their painfully thin momma was nearby – as she always was, since she couldn’t move far with her heavy 2 foot long chain – lying in a patch of snow against the fence, her water bowl frozen over. And all of this had been the only home they had known, since being born outside on October 19th.

Last Saturday, they did not know that dangerous cold weather would be arriving in just 3 days, so cold that their makeshift shelter would not protect them. They also did not know that their owner had called the Essex County Animal Shelter to have them picked up, and that animal control employees had been working tirelessly to find them a rescue. When animal control arrived that day and lifted the tarp, the pups tumbled out, breaking the thin ice that had formed on top of a nearby mud puddle, and then drinking the muddy water.  Used to always being cold, they walked hunched over to the garden, where some started to eat the tilled dirt.

Having endured 2 ½ months of increasingly cold weather, they were finally on the road to warmth, food, and love – everything you find in a real home. Picked up by LDCRF on Sunday after their first safe and warm night in the shelter, they were immediately taken to Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates for care, and then moved into a foster home. Skinny but healthy, their personalities are starting to emerge – Maya Angelou is the sweet one, Edgar Allen Poe likes to cuddle, and Walt Whitman is a bit of a bully – and they are ready for the next step.

Want to be part of their journey home?  Come meet the Poet Pups – Walt, Maya, Edgar, Alfred, Byron, Langston, Pablo, and Robert – at our Fair Lakes PetSmart (12971 Fair Lakes Center, Fairfax, VA) adoption event this Friday, January 10th, 6:30-8:30 PM, and see how much sweeter life can be with some puppy love.  If any pups are still available after Friday, they will attend the Saturday Rockville, MD Petco adoption event (1:00-4:00 PM), and the Sunday Tysons Corner, VA PetSmart event (1:00-4:00 PM). Please check our website at lostdogrescue.org for maps and directions, as well as availability following the Friday Fair Lakes adoption event.

 

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Tips for Area Residents to Keep your Pets Safe in the Cold!

With the extremely cold temperatures in the Metro DC area, we wanted to share some helpful tips to keep your pets warm, as well as resources in the area. We’re fortunate that at the Lost Dog Ranch, the cats live in a nice cat “cabin” which is of course cozy and heated. The dogs who have access to the outside will get to stay cozy inside with their heated kennels and nice comfy blankets. Our farm animals will also be keeping warm, as all of them have access to the indoors and will be getting lots of extra food to keep them warm over the next few days. Now, here are some tips and resources to help you keep your animals warm and safe!

Max, an LDCRF alumni, LOVES the snow!

Max, an LDCRF alumni, LOVES the snow!

Dogs and cats:
The best way to keep them warm is to keep them indoors! If you’re dog is used to playing outside a lot longer than they’re able to tonight, try filling a Kong with peanut butter and freezing it for 30 minutes. Then give them that to keep them busy and entertained.

When taking your dog outside, make sure to wipe their paws with warm water before coming back inside so that they don’t lick the salt and/or get irritated paw pads. Using a washcloth with warm water to wipe their feet makes all the difference.

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A Rubbermaid container, Styrofoam and straw makes an excellent warm shelter for feral cats. Photo from NYC Feral Cats

Outdoor cats:

If you have outdoor cats that you feed, make sure they have warm places they can retreat to.  Have straw (not hay) inside the

storage container you put out will help them stay warm. The containers you have for food and water also make a big difference. Using thicker plastic water containers is more effective, as the cats can get their tongue stuck to metal, and ceramic containers aren’t as well insulated.

Check your cars:
Feral cats and wildlife will sometimes hide in the hood of cars for warmth, so make sure to bang on the top of the hood to alert any wildlife or cats underneath (Try to avoid honking the horn, as that can injure their ears!).

Horses eating hay in the snow. Photo from thehorse.com

Horses keeping warm by eating hay. Photo from thehorse.com

Horses:
An excerpt from thehorse.com, and if you have horses we recommend reading the entire piece here :
“As the temperatures decrease, a horse’s feed requirements increase. Allowing horses free choice to good quality forage (hay) is the surest way to ensure that they consume enough energy, and the process of digesting forage will actually produce heat. Horses will typically consume 2 to 2.5% of their body weight in forage each day; that would be 25 pounds per day for a 1,000 pound horse. Winter pasture alone will not provide enough forage to sustain a horse and, therefore, must be supplemented with hay and/or grain.”

Fairfax County Animal Shelter is providing temporary emergency housing:
The Fairfax County Animal Shelter has a great offer for area residents that we wanted to share: Because the freezing temperatures predicted over the next few days may be deadly to pets, the animal shelter is offering temporary, emergency housing for cats, dogs, and small companion animals. If you or someone you know needs to utilize this service, contact the shelter at 703-324-0208 or e-mail FCPDPetResources@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Local Animal Control Contact information in case of emergency:
Here are some tips on what to do if you see an animal left out in the cold

Virginia
Animal Welfare League of Arlington 703-931-9241
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria 703-746-4774
Prince William County Animal Shelter 703-792-6465. After 5 p.m., call 703-792-6500
Fairfax County Animal Shelter 703-324-0208

Maryland
Prince George’s County Animal Control  301-780-7200
Montgomery County Animal Control 301-279-8000
Frederick County Animal Control 301-600-1544 Emergency After Hours: 301-600-2558
Howard County Animal Control 410-313-2780
Charles County Animal Control 301-743-2222

Washington DC
Washington Humane Society 202-576-6664

24 hour Vet Hospitals:
Please note, this list is a compilation of area 24 hour vet hospitals, and not an endorsement of services

Washington DC:
Friendship Heights Animal Hospital
4105 Brandywine St NW, Washington, DC 20016
202-363-7300

Virginia:
Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates
120 Cornwell Lane, Purcelleville, VA
540-338-7387

VCA Animal Hospital Alexandria
2660 Duke Street, Alexandria VA
703-751-2022

The Hope Center
140 Park Street SE, Vienna, VA 22180
703- 281-5121

The Life Centre (TLC)
165 Fort Evans Rd NE, Leesburg VA
703-777-5755

Maryland
Animal Emergency Pet Hospital
807 Bel Air Rd, Bel Air, MD
410-420-PAWS

VCA Veterinary Referrel Associates
500 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg MD
301-926-3300

Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic
808 Bestgate Rd, Annapolis MD
410-224-0331

Metropolitan Emergency Animal Clinic
12106 Nebel St, Rockville MD
301-770-5226

Now It’s Not Just a House, But a Home

Rep. Grimm, Patricia Dresch with Little Mikey (formerly Nibbles) and Michael Markarian of the HSUS

Rep. Grimm, Patricia Dresch with Little Mikey (formerly Nibbles) and Michael Markarian of the HSUS

2014 started out for Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation with a great happy ending. For several months, LDCRF had been working together with the Humane Society of the United States and Representative Michael Grimm (R NY-11)’s office to help find a great companion for a survivor Hurricane Sandy.

When Hurricane Sandy hit Staten Island in 2012, Patricia Dresch lost not only her home of thirty years, but her husband and 13 year old daughter. Representative Grimm met her while she was recovering in the hospital, and stayed by her side over the past year helping her to rebuild her life, one day at a time.  Her home that had been ruined during the storm was scheduled to be bought out by the city of New York, however it was taking a long time, and meanwhile she was staying on a pull out in the local church. It was during this time, that they realized she would love to have a dog as a companion.

Having adopted a dog himself, and seeing the help military veterans have gotten from therapy dogs, Representative Grimm knew that having a dog would help. He reached out the Humane Society of the US, who helped him get his dog, about finding the right dog for Patricia. When the HSUS reached out to LDCRF, we knew we could help. We began to look at see what dogs might fit what she was looking for.

It didn’t take long before we found the right fit in the 11lb form of Nibbles. While Pat was waiting for the buyout to happen and to be able to purchase a home of her own, Nibbles was sitting in a high kill shelter in Georgia, also hoping for a home of his own. His time was running out, and he didn’t have much hope until LDCRF rescued him. He went to foster care, where his foster mom helped him to gain weight and learn house manners. His winning personality immediately made her think he would be just the dog Pat was looking for.

Pat agreed as soon as she saw his picture and heard about his personality, that he was the one. He stayed with his foster mom while being treated for heartworms and erlichia, both unfortunately common in dogs from the South. He went through the treatment successfully, and on January 2nd, which was also Pat’s birthday, he hit the road to the house that would become the new home for both him and Pat in Staten Island.

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Nibbles, renamed Little Mikey, found his spot on the couch. Photo from SILive

As soon as the door opened Pat and Nibbles, renamed Little Mikey after Representative Grimm, immediately bonded. He investigated

the new place he would call home, running up the stairs, and then jumping up on the couch next to Pat. Even with the news cameras only a few feet away, he settled right in. She had already prepared a nice bed for him, which included the baby blanket of her daughter who had passed. The blanket had miraculously been found in the rubble, cleaned and given to Pat, who said it only made sense for Little Mikey to have it in his bed.

Pat had spent the first night in her new house the night before, and now Little Mikey would help her in this next part of both their journey. As was remarked when Little Mikey arrived and met Pat, what was before a house had now become a home, now that Little Mikey was there.

We’re grateful that we were able to be part of the recovery process for both Little Mikey and Pat in their new lives together.