Tag: Christian Cotroneo

Darling Izzy

A wonderful sequel to yesterday’s post.

Needs no introduction from me except to say that this wonderful account of Izzy’s loyalty was first seen on the Mother Nature Network site.

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Dog stranded by wildfire waits for her family at burned-down home

Christian Cotroneo
October 13, 2017.

As the scene unfolded when family members checked the house, it wasn’t clear what they would find … and then they saw Izzy. (Photo: Jack Weaver)

When the Weaver family woke up to flames outside their Santa Rosa home — a region ravaged this week by deadly wildfires — there wasn’t much time.

They had to get out.

But sometime during that panicked retreat from the house on Wikiup Bridge Way, the family dog, Izzy, bolted away.

Trying to find her amid the chaos of fire proved too dangerous.

And so this family, like countless others in California’s wine country, left more than just their home behind. When they drove through sheer walls of flame and across an uncertain wooden bridge to get to safety — they left their hearts back on Wikiup Bridge Way.

It turned out, it was the one thing they couldn’t leave behind.

A day and a half later, while the area was still smoldering and roads were still closed, Jack Weaver and Patrick Widen made the nearly-three-mile trek back to the house.

“It was incredibly important,” Weaver, who grew up in that house, tells MNN. “My mother was a wreck for having gone through that. Nobody wanted us to go back because they were worried we would get injured.”

‘I can see …’

In a video of their return, posted on Facebook and shared below, you can hear the men laboring to catch their breath amid blackened trees and still-crackling ruins.

“Izzy!” Weaver is heard calling into the smoky veil. Over and over again.

They push farther and farther ahead. “Izzy!”

“Almost to the house,” Weaver says in the video. “I can see … the gate. The gate’s still standing.”

The Weaver family home was gone. (Photo: Jack Weaver)

A moment later, he adds, “I don’t see the house at all. F$#k.”

It had burned to the ground.

But someone was still standing.

“Izzy’s here!” Weaver calls, his voice choked with emotion. “Izzy!”

“Oh my God! Come here, baby!”

The giant dog bounces into view, her tail whirring like a helicopter.

Izzy had stood faithfully by the burnt-down family home. (Photo: Jack Weaver)

“When she same running around — you can probably hear it in my voice — we were shocked and ecstatic,” Weaver says later. “I wish I could have filmed longer, the happy reunion, but I was so happy I dropped my phone.”

Since the family posted the video, it’s been shared more than 4,000 times. Maybe it’s a testament to the need for all of us to find a happy ending amid heartache.

In any case, Izzy is where she belongs now — in the arms of her family — a testament to faith under fire.

“She didn’t have a burn on her,” Weaver says. “It definitely lifted my family’s spirits.”

Izzy is back where she belongs. (Photo: Beckyjean Widen)

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YouTube also carried a video:

Well done, Izzy, and Jean and I send you fondest hugs!

Well done HSUS!

Here’s what HSUS are doing for the poor dogs out in Puerto Rico.

From time to time we do donate a few cents to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) because their size and huge support from so many people does allow them to step up to the really big needs.

And Hurricane Maria certainly left a big need in its wake for dogs.

So a recent item that was published over on Mother Nature Network just had to be shared with you all.

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Hundreds of dogs are being airlifted out of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico

One beach famous for its stray dogs is now hauntingly empty.

Christian Cotroneo, October 3, 2017.

The HSUS Animal Rescue Team (ART) assists with animal rescue and response following Hurricane Maria on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. (Photo: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo/AP Images for The HSUS)

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, hundreds of dogs, as well as cats, horses and even a few pigs, are getting off the island.

Several rescue groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, have waded into the breach to rescue some of the island’s most defenseless residents: its burgeoning population of stray dogs, as well as those currently in shelters.

HSUS has a history with the territory, helping with law enforcement training and horse care, and working closely with animal shelters across the island.

“Since the storm hit, we’ve been doing our best to stay in contact, given the communication challenges, with all of our shelter partners and other partners on the island,” Inga Fricke, director of pet retention programs for HSUS, tells MNN.

Puppies under a house in Vieques, Puerto Rico. (Photo: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo/AP Images for The HSUS)

This week, the organization — with help from partners like Wings of Rescue and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center — began airlifting dogs from stressed island shelters to a processing center in New Jersey.

“They get vetted there, get the care they need and then get parceled out to other partners around the country,” Fricke says.

Not every animal survived Maria’s onslaught. Notably, a southeast corner of the island once teeming with strays — nicknamed “Dead Dog Beach” — was found to be desolate when rescuers arrived.

“We’re hearing from our rescuers who have a feeding area where they go every day and we are hearing that most of those dogs have perished,” Twig Mowatt, co-founder of All Sato Rescue, tells MNN.

While the organization is based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mowatt is just outside of Boston, coordinating with the Humane Society of Puerto Rico to get vulnerable dogs airlifted to the mainland.

“I’m kind of like an air traffic controller these days,” she says. “My group is largely rescue and transport but we partner with the humane society for those really badly affected.”

“We were able to get dogs out on Friday and then yesterday,” Mowatt adds.

John Peaveler, an inspector with HSUS, does a field inspection in Vieques. (Photo: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo/AP Images for The HSUS)

Described as “apocalyptic,” the hurricane left much of the island in the dark, without electricity or communications. And while the humanitarian relief effort is ongoing — much of the island was still without power in early October — the search for animals in distress may be even more complicated.

With an estimated 150,000 dogs in Puerto Rico and not enough animal shelters, there’s no space for dogs found roaming at large. As a result, many of them are put down immediately.

A crated dog is prepared for transport to New Jersey. (Photo: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo/AP Images for The HSUS)

“We have even done several transports, even just this year, to try and alleviate some of the overcrowding and the pressures on the shelters across the island,” Fricke explains.

“But certainly our focus now, after the hurricane, is to try and remove as many of the sheltered animals as possible so we can allow them to make room for animals that unfortunately have been affected by the storm and can’t be kept by their families any more for any reason.”

If you would like to help HSUS in its efforts to to save Puerto Rico’s displaced animals, consider making a donation here.

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That’s a great way to end the week. See you all on Sunday!