Category: Cats

What a wonderful photograph.

The ultimate feat!

Margaret from Tasmania sent me the following remarkable photograph.

I just had to share it with you, indeed I share the whole article.

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Woman Manages To Get Her 17 Pets To Pose For Incredible Family Paw-Trait

By Jess Hardiman, 3rd December, 2019

A woman has achieved the ultimate feat for any pet owner, having managed to get not just one of her animals to pose nicely for a photo, but all 17 of them.

Kathy Smith, 30, is the proud owner of eight dogs and nine cats, who she somehow wrangled into an incredible family paw-trait.

Mind you, the accomplishment didn’t easy, as Kathy spent two weeks trying to get the perfect shot. That’s right, a FORTNIGHT I guess they do always tell you never to work with animals; now I can see why.

It turns out the dogs were up for the challenge and sat quietly for the camera, but it was getting the cats involved that proved to be more difficult. Like trying to herd… well, cats.

 

PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KATHY SMITH, 30, WITH CAT SMOKEY ON HER SHOULDER) A pet owner managed to get her SEVENTEEN cats and dogs to pose perfectly still for the ultimate ‘family pawtrait’ – after spending days trying to get the perfect shot. The amazing photo shows eight solemn-faced pooches and nine felines lined up on and around the sofa, all gazing stoically into the camera. Dedicated Kathy Smith managed to set up and capture the heart-warming snap in five minutes two weeks ago after bribing them with a stash of treats. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY – 0161 697 4266

Numerous warm-up photos show the eight well-behaved pooches in place, with Kathy bribing Ruby, Ben, Max, Sheba, Teddy, Rio, Storm and Misha to ‘sit’ with a handful of treats.

Then came the moggies, a process that saw shop assistant Kathy dashing back and forth with her camera on standby, hauling the cats back into place several times.

Kathy eventually got them all into position and captured a split-second snap of the 17-strong pack before they scattered to return to their pressing everyday lives.

PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED [from back left – front right]: KATHY’S PETS DINKY, JAKIE, OPAL, PADDY, SOCKS, SAFI, CINDERS, DUSTY, MAX, SHEBA, SMOKEY, STORM, RUBY, BEN, TEDDY, RIO, MISHKA) A pet owner managed to get her SEVENTEEN cats and dogs to pose perfectly still for the ultimate ‘family pawtrait’ – after spending days trying to get the perfect shot. The amazing photo shows eight solemn-faced pooches and nine felines lined up on and around the sofa, all gazing stoically into the camera. Dedicated Kathy Smith managed to set up and capture the heart-warming snap in five minutes two weeks ago after bribing them with a stash of treats. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY – 0161 697 4266

Kathy, from Corwen, Wales, said: “I was so thrilled when I I’d captured this shot – it’s like a little family photo.

“I love all of my pets so much so I was really happy when I managed to get them all posing together – despite it not being easy to do.

“I kept trying to get photos of the cats and dogs all together but some of them were always out of frame.

“The dogs will all sit for treats so that was easy enough, but the cats were another matter.

PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KATHY SMITH’S PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS AT PICTURES WHEN CATS REFUSED TO POSE) A pet owner managed to get her SEVENTEEN cats and dogs to pose perfectly still for the ultimate ‘family pawtrait’ – after spending days trying to get the perfect shot. The amazing photo shows eight solemn-faced pooches and nine felines lined up on and around the sofa, all gazing stoically into the camera. Dedicated Kathy Smith managed to set up and capture the heart-warming snap in five minutes two weeks ago after bribing them with a stash of treats. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY – 0161 697 4266

“I now know the real meaning behind herding cats – I had to just keep picking them up and putting them back until they stayed.
“It took about three attempts but in the I managed to keep them there for a couple of seconds and get the photo before they were off again.

“We live in quite a chaotic but you get used to it.”

Kathy, who rescues and cares for pets and other wildlife in need, said people are often surprised to see her giant four-legged family when they come to visit her in her three-bedroom semi-detached home.

She has three German Shepherds (Mishka, Storm and Max), three border collies (Sheba, Ben and Rio), a mongrel called Ruby and a Yorkshire Terrier Maltese cross named Teddy.

PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: KATHY SMITH, 30, FROM COLWYN BAY, WALES, WITH FRIEND’S DOG LOLA) A pet owner managed to get her SEVENTEEN cats and dogs to pose perfectly still for the ultimate ‘family pawtrait’ – after spending days trying to get the perfect shot. The amazing photo shows eight solemn-faced pooches and nine felines lined up on and around the sofa, all gazing stoically into the camera. Dedicated Kathy Smith managed to set up and capture the heart-warming snap in five minutes two weeks ago after bribing them with a stash of treats. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY – 0161 697 4266

Along with the nine cats, she also has four budgies, several fish and even a baby hedgehog in her care.

Kathy “People are usually shocked when they come over and realise how many pets we have, the house is but we’re used to it.

“They all run and you don’t there’s a lot of them until they’re in one room.”
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News

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One can easily get Jess’s background for it is on the same page:

Jess is a journalist at LADbible who graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Film Studies, English Language and Linguistics – indecisiveness at its finest, right there. She also works for FOODbible and its sister page Seitanists, which are both a safe haven for her to channel a love for homemade pasta, fennel and everything else in between. You can contact Jess at editorial@ladbible.com.

Brilliant! To be honest I don’t really know how Jess pulled it off!

Snow, snow, thick thick snow!

Winter has arrived.

Here’s the forecast from NBC.

As I write this post, yesterday afternoon, it has been snowing for some hours at Hugo Road (ZIP 97532). In the anticipation that we might be snowed in at 8am we drove the short distance to our local Dollar General store to stock up on dog food and other bits and pieces.

So this story from the Daily Dodo seems really apt. I hope you enjoy it.

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Stray Dog Found Curled Up In Snow Keeping Orphaned Kittens Warm

Photo Credit: Pet and Wildlife Rescue

Last weekend, while driving on a freezing cold night in Ontario, Canada, a Good Samaritan spotted something that made her stop.

There, curled up on a snowy roadside, was a shivering stray dog.

But she wasn’t alone.

Though the dog could have found a safer place to pass the night, she wasn’t just thinking of herself.

Photo Credit: Pet and Wildlife Rescue

A closer look revealed the kind pup had wrapped herself around five orphaned kittens, whom she was cuddling to keep warm in the biting temperatures.

The Good Samaritan, in turn, saved them all from the freezing night by taking them to the Pet and Wildlife Rescue shelter. But by then, an incredible bond between the dog and kittens had already been formed.

For rescue staff, learning the circumstances of this case made one thing clear: the pup had saved the kittens’ lives.

“It’s truly heartwarming!” a shelter spokesperson told The Dodo. “It had been a very cold night so these kittens would have had a very hard time surviving.”

Photo Credit: Pet and Wildlife Rescue

The kittens are now safe, but require treatment for flea and worm infestations. Meanwhile, the sweet stray dog who saved them insists on overseeing their progress with regular visits — much like a proud mother.

It’s still unclear where the dog or kittens came from originally, or if they knew each other prior to that night. Pet and Wildlife Rescue is hoping an owner will come forward to claim them, but if not they’ll be put up for adoption.

Thanks to that brave pup, however, a sad ending for the kittens was transformed into a happy one.

“Our staff sees many difficult situations on a daily basis and stories like this one make every heartache worth it,” the shelter said.

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There may be someone who wants to follow this up by supporting the Pet and Wildlife Rescue in Ontario. So here is the website.

Note that this is the global website, the regional website for the Ontario Wildlife Rescue is here.

Now a cat recall!

This is self-explanatory!

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Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

I’m pleased to report there have been no recalls since September 26.
However, for the many dog owners who also own a cat…

Go Raw is recalling one lot of its “Quest Beef Cat Food”… because it may be contaminated with Salmonella.
Missed any of the 11 other recalls we’ve sent since early July? Be sure to visit our Dog Food Recalls page for full details.
6 Best Dog Food Lists Updated
The Dog Food Advisor has recently updated the following best dog food pages:

  • Best Dry Dog Foods
  • Best Puppy Foods
  • Best Dog Food for Allergies
  • Best Grain-Free Dog Foods
  • Best Senior Dog Foods
  • Best Dog Food for Weight Loss

Click here to see our Best Dog Foods for November 2019

Please be sure to share this news with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor
Saving Good Dogs From Bad Dog Food
P.S. Not yet on our recall notification list? Click here to get FREE lifesaving recall alerts by email. No spam. Cancel anytime.

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This is a brilliant service!

A book about a terrible happening!

A massive cull of pet cats and dogs in the UK during WW11.

Out of the blue the other day Margaret from Tasmania sent me an email.

Hi Paul,
I happened to come across this rather sad but interesting story.
Thought you might like to read it.
Warm regards
– Margaret (from Tasmania)

The email contained a link to this very sad information.

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The little-told story of the massive WWII pet cull

By Alison Feeney-Hart
BBC News Magazine

12th October, 2013

This dog was treated by a vet, but many were put down at the outbreak of WWII

At the beginning of World War II, a government pamphlet led to a massive cull of British pets. As many as 750,000 British pets were killed in just one week. This little-discussed moment of panic is explored in a new book.

The cull came as the result of a public information campaign that caused an extraordinary reaction among anxious Britons.

In the summer of 1939, just before the outbreak of war, the National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee (NARPAC) was formed. It drafted a notice – Advice to Animal Owners.

The pamphlet said: “If at all possible, send or take your household animals into the country in advance of an emergency.” It concluded: “If you cannot place them in the care of neighbours, it really is kindest to have them destroyed.”

The advice was printed in almost every newspaper and announced on the BBC. It was “a national tragedy in the making”, says Clare Campbell, author of new book Bonzo’s War: Animals Under Fire 1939 -1945.

Campbell recalls a story about her uncle. “Shortly after the invasion of Poland, it was announced on the radio that there might be a shortage of food. My uncle announced that the family pet Paddy would have to be destroyed the next day.”

After war was declared on 3 September 1939, pet owners thronged to vets’ surgeries and animal homes.

An RAF serviceman delivers a stray to Battersea

“Animal charities, the PDSA, the RSPCA and vets were all opposed to the killing of pets and very concerned about people just dumping animals on their doorsteps at the start of the war,” says historian Hilda Kean.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home opened its doors in 1860 and survived both wars. “Many people contacted us after the outbreak of war to ask us to euthanise their pets – either because they were going off to war, they were bombed, or they could no longer afford to keep them during rationing,” a spokesman says.

“Battersea actually advised against taking such drastic measures and our then manager Edward Healey-Tutt wrote to people asking them not to be too hasty.”

But Campbell cites an Arthur Moss of the RSPCA who, “gloomily pronounced that the primary task for them all would be the destruction of animals”.

In the first few days of war, PDSA hospitals and dispensaries were overwhelmed by owners bringing their pets for destruction. PDSA founder Maria Dickin reported: “Our technical officers called upon to perform this unhappy duty will never forget the tragedy of those days.”

In Memoriam notices started to appear in the press. “Happy memories of Iola, sweet faithful friend, given sleep September 4th 1939, to be saved suffering during the war. A short but happy life – 2 years, 12 weeks. Forgive us little pal,” said one in Tail-Wagger Magazine.

The first bombing of London in September 1940 prompted more pet owners to rush to have their pets destroyed.

Many people panicked, but others tried to restore calm. “Putting your pets to sleep is a very tragic decision. Do not take it before it is absolutely necessary,” urged Susan Day in the Daily Mirror.

But the government pamphlet had sowed a powerful seed.

“People were basically told to kill their pets and they did. They killed 750,000 of them in the space of a week – it was a real tragedy, a complete disaster,” says Christy Campbell, who helped write Bonzo’s War.

Historian Hilda Kean says that it was just another way of signifying that war had begun. “It was one of things people had to do when the news came – evacuate the children, put up the blackout curtains, kill the cat.”

It was the lack of food, not bombs, that posed the biggest threat to wartime pets. There was no food ration for cats and dogs.

As war approached, families increasingly worried about feeding their animals

But many owners were able to make do. Pauline Caton was just five years old at the time and lived in Dagenham. She remembers “queuing up with the family at Blacks Market in Barking to buy horsemeat to feed the family cat”.

And even though there were just four staff at Battersea, the home managed to feed and care for 145,000 dogs during the course of the war.

In the middle of the pet-culling mayhem, some people tried desperately to intervene. The Duchess of Hamilton – both wealthy and a cat lover – rushed from Scotland to London with her own statement to be broadcast on the BBC. “Homes in the country urgently required for those dogs and cats which must otherwise be left behind to starve to death or be shot.”

“Being a duchess she had a bit of money and established an animal sanctuary,” says historian Kean. The “sanctuary” was a heated aerodrome in Ferne. The duchess sent her staff out to rescue pets from the East End of London. Hundreds and hundreds of animals were taken back initially to her home in St John’s Wood. She apologised to the neighbours who complained about the barking.

But at a time of such uncertainty, many pet owners were swayed by the worst-case scenario.

“People were worried about the threat of bombing and food shortages, and felt it inappropriate to have the ‘luxury’ of a pet during wartime,” explains Pip Dodd, senior curator at the National Army Museum.

“The Royal Army Veterinary Corps and the RSPCA tried to stop this, particularly as dogs were needed for the war effort.”

Ultimately, given the unimaginable human suffering that followed over the six years of the war, it is perhaps understandable that the extraordinary cull of pets is not better known.

But the episode brought another sadness to people panicked and fearful at the start of hostilities.

The story is not more widely known because it was a difficult story to tell, says Kean.

“It isn’t well known that so many pets were killed because it isn’t a nice story, it doesn’t fit with this notion of us as a nation of animal lovers. People don’t like to remember that at the first sign of war we went out to kill the pussycat,” she says.

Follow @BBCNewsMagazine on Twitter and on Facebook

Bonzo’s War: Animals Under Fire 1939 -1945 is written by Clare Campbell with Christy Campbell.

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Now there’s a little bit more information on the Duchess of Hamilton, namely:

The Duchess of Hamilton, 1878-1951

  • Nina Mary Benita Douglas-Hamilton, notable animal rights campaigner
  • Established animal sanctuary in a heated aerodrome in Ferne during war
  • Founded Scottish Society for Prevention of Vivisection in 1911

The Duchess at the National Portrait Gallery

It’s very difficult to make one’s mind up. As was written there were no food ration cards for pets.

But at the same time this huge pet cull was too much, too soon.

As was written, “The story is not more widely known because it was a difficult story to tell, says (Hilda) Kean.

“It isn’t well known that so many pets were killed because it isn’t a nice story, it doesn’t fit with this notion of us as a nation of animal lovers. People don’t like to remember that at the first sign of war we went out to kill the pussycat,” she says.

It was a most interesting link albeit a very sad one.

So go on, how old is your dog?

An explanation of how old is that pet of yours.

One of the most frequent questions dog and cat owners get asked is how old is he or she. The pet that is!

And one of the most frequent concerns we have for our pets is how long will they live, as in what is their natural life span. Certainly, most of us realise that the larger dogs live slightly shorter lives but is that borne out in practice.

Well a recent professional article on The Conversation blogsite answered those questions.

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How old is my pet in dog years or cat years? A veterinarian explains

By

Clinical Instructor of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University

July 23rd, 2019

“Just how old do you think my dog is in dog years?” is a question I hear on a regular basis. People love to anthropomorphize pets, attributing human characteristics to them. And most of us want to extend our animal friends’ healthy lives for as long as possible.

It may seem like sort of a silly thing to ponder, born out of owners’ love for their pets and the human-animal bond between them. But determining a pet’s “real” age is actually important because it helps veterinarians like me recommend life-stage specific healthcare for our animal patients.

There’s an old myth that one regular year is like seven years for dogs and cats. There’s a bit of logic behind it. People observed that with optimal healthcare, an average-sized, medium dog would on average live one-seventh as long as its human owner – and so the seven “dog years” for every “human year” equation was born.

Not every dog is “average-sized” though so this seven-year rule was an oversimplification from the start. Dogs and cats age differently not just from people but also from each other, based partly on breed characteristics and size. Bigger animals tend to have shorter life spans than smaller ones do. While cats vary little in size, the size and life expectancy of dogs can vary greatly – think a Chihuahua versus a Great Dane.

Human life expectancy has changed over the years. And vets are now able to provide far superior medical care to pets than we could even a decade ago. So now we use a better methodology to define just how old rule of thumb that counted every calendar year as seven “animal years.”

Based on the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Life Stages Guidelines, today’s vets divide dogs into six categories: puppy, junior, adult, mature, senior and geriatric. Life stages are a more practical way to think about age than assigning a single number; even human health recommendations are based on developmental stage rather than exactly how old you are in years.

Canine life stages

Veterinarians divide a dog’s expected life span into six life stages based on developmental milestones. These age ranges are for a medium-sized dog; smaller dogs tend to live longer, while larger dogs tend to have shorter life expectancies.

STAGE
AGE (YEARS)
CHARACTERISTICS
Puppy 0 – 0.5 Birth to sexual maturity
Junior 0.5 – 0.75 Reproductively mature, still growing
Adult 0.75 – 6.5 Finished growing, sexually and structurally mature
Mature 6.5 – 9.75 From middle to last 25% of expected lifespan
Senior 9.75 -13 Last 25% of life expectancy
Geriatric over 13 Beyond life span expectation

Is your community no-kill?

A timely republication of a helpful article.

The Best Friends website has a useful article under their 2025 Goal aim.

It follows nicely yesterday’s post.

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2025 Goal

No-Kill for Cats and Dogs in America’s Shelters

You believe that animals deserve compassion and good quality of life. You also love your community and want to take action for the pets and people in it. Here’s how.

Last year, about 733,000 dogs and cats were killed in our nation’s animal shelters, simply because they didn’t have safe places to call home. Together, we can change that and achieve no-kill for dogs and cats nationwide by 2025.

Is your community no-kill?

Explore lifesaving nationwide using the interactive tool below and see which shelters in your community need your support. When every shelter in a community achieves a 90% save rate for all cats and dogs, that community is designated as no-kill. This provides a simple, effective benchmark for our lifesaving progress.

This dashboard presents a dynamic data set that is being updated regularly with the most current information available. We welcome your feedback to help ensure that our data is the latest and most accurate information.

Go here to access the map!

Common elements of a no-kill community
All no-kill communities embrace and promote:

Collective responsibility: We hold ourselves accountable for the welfare of pets in our animal shelters and communities.

    • Individual community members are willing to participate in lifesaving programs.
    • State and local government are poised to support those programs.
    • A transparent shelter staff is working with their community to save more lives.

Progressive lifesaving: We value compassionate and responsible actions to save animals.

  • Decision-making is data-driven and anchored by best practices in the field.
  • Quality care is provided to every pet and quality of life is a priority.
  • Programs are designed to save the animals most at risk of being killed.
  • Programs are designed to tackle the root of the problem rather than the symptoms.

True euthanasia: We recognize that, for some animals, euthanasia is the most compassionate choice. This is why the no-kill benchmark for save rate is 90% and not 100%. In some cases, shelters may not meet the 90% benchmark, but do meet the philosophical principles of no-kill, which are:

  • Ending the life of an animal only to end irremediable suffering.
  • Ending the life of an animal when the animal is too dangerous to rehabilitate and place in the community safely.

End-of-life decisions are made by animal welfare professionals engaging in best practices and protocols.

Visit the “Community Lifesaving Dashboard Frequently Asked Questions” page to learn more.

Working together to save more pets

About the lifesaving community maps

These community maps are the first of their kind in animal welfare. They represent an enormous undertaking on the part of compassionate organizations and individuals throughout the country and a commitment to collaboration and transparency from more than 3,200 shelters across the country.

Learn more about how these maps were created and how you can help make them more accurate and powerful for the pets in your community and beyond.

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Once again, go here to view the maps.

The best of luck!

This is some mother dog!

A share of a story from more than a month ago.

From my file of stories that I keep for Learning from Dogs comes this one about a mother dog that raised a kitten.

It’s a delightful article and I have great pleasure in sharing it with you.

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Dog Mom Raises Tiniest Kitten As One Of Her Puppies

“She was trying to tell us, ‘This little creature belongs in my family.’”
BY
PUBLISHED ON 06/12/2019

Nala was just a newborn when she was abandoned alone in a dirt alley. A kind neighbor heard the tiny tabby’s cries and brought her to the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) in Spokane, Washington.

The little kitten had never known a mother’s love, but soon, two unusual moms would step forward to help her grow up strong.

Jamie Myers

Found at such a young age, Nala had to be placed with a foster family to have the best chance of survival. When Jamie Myers saw a plea for help on Facebook, she jumped at the chance to take in the kitten. She was fostering a cat who had recently lost a number of her babies and knew Nala would fit right into the little family.

“She was about a week and a half younger than my group, so I said, ‘My mama is pretty wonderful. She’s been very accepting so let’s see if she can’t nurse,'” Myers told The Dodo. “Nala nursed straight away and mama took her in instantly. She started licking her, and grooming her and showing her acceptance and love.”

Jamie Myers

By the time the mama cat and her babies were ready to be adopted, Nala still wasn’t quite big enough to find her forever home. “She did everything later than the rest of the group,” Myers said. “When they all opened their eyes, she still had her eyes closed, and when they started toddling about, she was still latched onto Mama nursing.”

Nala was alone once again — but not for long. Myers had taken in a dog named Izzy who had recently had puppies. Izzy’s paws were full nursing her own litter, but she was still determined to adopt the lone kitten.

Jamie Myers

“The mama dog kept trying to get Nala and pick her up and put her in with the rest of her babies,” Myers said. “She just thought one of the babies was out and missing — she kept trying to put it back and put it back.”

Izzy became more and more insistent that Nala belonged with her, so eventually, Myers decided to take a chance. “The kitten could not walk across the floor without Izzy getting up from nursing to hunt her down,” Myers said. “She was trying to tell us, ‘This little creature belongs in my family.’”

Jamie Myers

To help the mama dog settle down, Myers placed Nala in Izzy’s pen and supervised their interactions. A remarkable change occurred as soon as Nala joined the group, and Myers knew that she had done the right thing for both dog and kitten.

“As soon as we put Nala in with her babies, she settled and was happy and all was right in her world again,” Myers said. “And Nala just all the sudden had all these little warm bodies for snuggles and love, and a new fur mama to care for her, and she just fit in with her second foster family.”

Jamie Myers

Nala quickly adjusted to her new routine with her dog family: “She would get in and out of [the pen] on her own. So when she was done snuggling, she’d get out and go eat her kitten food and play for a little while, and then she’d go right back in,” Myers said. “Whenever she wanted to sleep, she was always in there sleeping with them.”

Jamie Myers

With the love and care of her three foster families — dog, cat and human — Nala grew bigger and was finally ready for adoption.
But for Izzy, Nala finally leaving the house was bittersweet. Luckily, Myers knew just what to do to settle Izzy down again.

She agreed to foster a bonded pair of kitten sisters desperately in need of some love and attention. And Izzy couldn’t be happier, Myers noted: “Now Izzy has two more kittens she’s loving on.”

Jamie Myers

Izzy proves a mother’s love knows no bounds — no matter the species.

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This is an interesting tale. The last statement: “no matter the species.”, is almost certainly not true. But this dog has shown that this kitten is to be loved.

I’m not sure that a mother elephant would be able to raise a baby snake, for example, but it doesn’t take anything away from the story!

Batman to the rescue!

Seriously!

It’s unbelievable but there’s a guy who transports rescue dogs and cats to their new owners. And he dresses up in a batman tunic!

This story was recently carried by The Dodo and is shared with you all today.

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There’s A Real-Life Batman Going Around Saving Shelter Pets

“It’s not who I am underneath but what I do that defines me”

BY

PUBLISHED ON 07/03/2019

Not all heroes wear capes — but when it comes to helping animals in need, some really do.

That’s what one homeless pit bull named Koko learned when the Caped Crusader himself changed her life forever.

Photo Credit: Batman4Paws

Koko arrived at the Pet Resource Center of Tampa as a stray. Day after day, she waited patiently for a family to choose her. But, before that day could come, she was put on the euthanasia list. With an hour left to live, Koko was pulled from the shelter by her foster mom and months later found a forever home in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The only problem? She had no way of getting there.

Enter the Dark Knight — otherwise known as Chris Van Dorn, founder of the animal rescue nonprofit Batman4Paws.

Batman4Paws

An eight-hour road trip dressed in an elaborate Batman costume is all in a day’s work for Van Dorn. “I would say I’m just the middleman,” Van Dorn told The Dodo. “The real heroes are the people giving these dogs a good, loving home.”

Koko is one of many dogs and cats whom Van Dorn has helped transport from overcrowded shelters to the safety of their forever homes.

And while dressing as Batman isn’t necessary to save an animal’s life, it has helped Van Dorn open up a dialogue about the importance of adoption and fostering.

Batman4Paws

The costume just makes everybody happy and smile,” Van Dorn said. “It’s special to see Batman walking around, and when they find out that he’s doing a good deed in the world they get even more excited.”

“It kind of just came as a way to embody all the good I wanted to do in the world,” he added, “and make it easy for people to talk to me right off the bat.”

Batman4Paws[/caption]

Van Dorn grew up watching the Batman animated series and began volunteering with animal rescues when his family adopted an Australian shepherd named Mr. Boots. When it came time for Van Dorn to start his own rescue organization, he decided to do it as Batman with, of course, Mr. Boots occasionally stepping in as Robin.

Batman4Paws

Every superhero has a secret identity, and for Van Dorn, wearing a mask was an intentional way of keeping the focus on his mission of saving animals.

“When I was first starting out, I was keeping everything really anonymous,” Van Dorn said. “I would sign everything ‘Bruce Wayne’ and not put my real name out there … My catchphrase is, ‘It’s not who I am underneath but what I do that defines me,’ and I still hold that true today.”

Batman4Paws

His cover was blown when GoFundMe honored his campaign, naming him as their GoFundMe Hero for May. Van Dorn hopes soon to put his private pilot’s license to good use by purchasing a plane so he can fly the animals to their forever homes every week.

But for the time being, he’s using his Batmobile, and making a difference whenever he can.

“Actions speak louder than words and I’m just doing my best to empty the cages,” Van Dorn said. “And I challenge anyone to go to their local shelter because it’s a depressing place, but if you can help out in any way — whether that’s to foster a dog or adopt a dog or just volunteer your time, then you should go out and do it.”

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This is one amazing guy. Simple and straightforward!

A plea!

A republication of shared angst

I haven’t been a follower of Cara’s blog Who Will Let The Dogs Out?  for a very long time but her posts are powerful and good. I have every intention of remaining a follower.

Especially when one reads posts this one that speaks of the stream of unwanted animals.

Cara has given me permission to republish it.

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A Neverending Stream of Unwanted Animals

We are home and settled in for the holiday week, but in some ways, I feel like I’m still in Tennessee. The pull is so strong. The stories down there break my heart but they also fire up my desire to fix this situation.

It is SO fixable. It does not need to be happening. There are more than enough of us to help the women struggling to help the dogs in western Tennessee. Once more, there are more than enough homes for those dogs, too.

From Kim Kavin’s excellent, well-researched book, The Dog Merchants:

“The notion that America’s homeless dogs face an ‘overpopulation problem’ does not match up against the available statistics. Supply is not exceeding demand. Americans want about 8 million dogs a year as new pets, while only about 4 million dogs are entering shelters….If just half the Americans already getting a dog went the shelter route, then statistically speaking, every cage in US animal control facilities could be emptied. Right now.”

And Tabi and Amber and Kim and Anne and Laura wouldn’t spend their every waking moment fighting to keep animals alive.

I’m not trying to guilt those of you who chose to buy your dog, particularly if you bought that dog from a reputable breeder and/or intend to show your dog. What I am saying is that if the next time you decide you’d like another pet (especially a cat), you’d consider looking at your local shelter or rescue.

And the next time a friend of yours or just an acquaintance tells you they adopted a dog from a shelter or rescue, thank that person for choosing to save a dog.

I’ve been home for five days now and already I’ve heard of more heartbreaking stories landing in the lap of both Karin’ 4 Kritters and Red Fern. Puppies abandoned and struggling, three dogs rescued by a woman who has them kenneled on her front porch to keep neighbors from poisoning them, dogs and puppies simply dumped. I can’t keep count of how many are in desperate need of rescue, so I asked for a summary from Laura (who handles transports from the area for OPH and many other rescues across our country).

The list here of calls for help in one day is:

– 3 pups dumped at Red Fern (that may go to Greenfield pound) – the picture of the ear with ticks is one of these puppies.

– 2 choc pups dumped in the country that they put at the city pound for now

– 2 pittie teens they’re being asked to take. (Crockett and Tyke)

– 3 strays in Sharon, TN that a lady caught because the neighbors were threatening to poison them because they’ve been running loose for months.

– pittie pup in Greenfield that the owner wants to surrender because it’s getting to be “too much”

– 2 three month old pups someone is asking her to take

– a 6 month injured beagle. The owner was going to “put it on the street” so her brother went and picked it up but he thinks it has a broken rib and it’s in pain and he doesn’t have money to treat it so he wants to dump it on Tabi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s just in a day. Multiply that times all the little towns and counties all over western Tennessee that rely on rescues like Red Fern and Karin’ 4 Kritters and their minimalist dog pounds. Places where there is no safety net and dogs are suffering and dying daily. Places where there is no real, reasonable, low-cost access to spay/neuter. Places where dogs (and cats) are not valued or loved, and where their local government will not spend money because it’s ‘just a dog’ or ‘just a cat.’

We seem to have ‘solved’ the problem in the northeast and many metropolitan areas, but we are far from a solution in the rural south and Midwest. We cannot forget them.

The need is so real. Something has got to change. Someone has got to let these dogs out.

Thanks for reading and for caring.

Blessings,

Cara

If you’d like to help, page back through these posts for contact information, but if you’d really like to help, TELL someone. Spread the word – I remain convinced, that the problem is not that people don’t care, it’s that they don’t know. Please help us tell them.

ooOOoo

Bear in mind that the above list is for One Day!
Is it true that people don’t know about this?

Well those that read this blog certainly do now.