Tag: Humane society

This is just a beautiful Picture Parade

In other words, Picture Parade Four Hundred and Seventy-Eight.

Introducing A guest post (sort of) by Cara Sue Achterberg.

Read this! It tells the story of the volunteers who spend their time at the Animal Control centre in Bernie County.


Animal Control And/Or Care

By Cara Sue Achterberg

Bertie County is a small county most people pass through on their way to vacation on the Outer Banks. The county’s tiny shelter is the next to last stop on a road that ends at the regional jail. The shelter sits on a property prone to flooding, and although the county has had plans to move it, the folks we talked to were skeptical that the collection of sheds, trailers, and kennels would leave the spot it has occupied as long as anyone can remember.

Bertie County Animal Control in Windsor is a municipal, open-intake shelter comprised of ten kennels on a concrete pad with a roof, plus two quarantine kennels, and three puppy runs.

There is no heat or AC or walls, for that matter. The day we arrived, county maintenance workers were busy wrapping plastic around the kennels to try to give the dogs some protection from the cold.

The county has two full-time Animal Control officers and one part-time ACO, but the care of the dogs is done by Josh, a full-time kennel tech. The county pays for Josh (and a part-time person who comes in once on Saturday and Sunday to feed/clean), plus the ACO salaries, and the property utilities, but everything else is left up to the Bertie County Humane Society.

Beyond the $2000/year the county gives the Humane Society, they must raise the money to pay for everything else – veterinary needs, vaccinations, spay/neuter, food/treats, transport to rescues, beds, heartworm preventative, flea/tick treatment, dewormers and anything else.

Pretty much every dog that comes in is heartworm positive. As Vicky, a volunteer who used to be the kennel manager at the shelter, told me, “If we get one that’s negative, I go buy a lottery ticket!”

Vicky was at the shelter that day to give rabies vaccines to Cooper and Spot, two young dogs at the shelter. (NC is the first state I’ve discovered that doesn’t require that rabies vaccines be given by a veterinarian.)



We learned about Bertie County after we connected with another of their volunteers, Gina. Gina lives two hours away, but she is a tireless advocate for the dogs and the shelter. She networks the dogs to rescues, arranges for veterinarian appointments and transports, even finds donors to pay for heartworm treatment. Gina is one of those rescue warriors with a heart that just slays me. It’s inhuman how many hours and how much work she puts in to save these dogs, many she has never met.

Gina has been involved with BCHS ever since she discovered how many dogs were being killed in Bertie County. She began pulling dogs to foster within her rescue operation and eventually called on other rescues to get involved. Because she lives so far away, she depends on Diane, who lives in Bertie County and is the president of the Humane Society, and Vicky, who used to be the kennel manager at the shelter and still volunteers her time there.

There were only six dogs (and lots of cats) the day we visited thanks to Gina’s work to find rescues to empty the shelter just before the holidays and the bitter, record cold that came. The shelter normally handles about 100 dogs a year.






Because of the number of photographs, beautiful photographs I would add, this is today’s Picture Parade.

In memory of Casey

Casey: September, 2005 – February, 2017

Dear Casey was put to sleep yesterday morning.

I am going to republish a ‘Meet the dogs” essay that was written and first published February 25th, 2014.

But before doing so, Jean and I would like to extend our very great thanks to all the staff at the Southern Oregon Vet Specialty Center (SOVC) who have been so professional and so loving and caring.

Here is that essay. It is worth noting that we moved from Payson, AZ to Merlin, OR in 2012.



by Jean Handover.

Casey, at home; picture taken a month ago.
Casey, at home; picture taken a month ago.

It is 2011.

Every Friday, the Payson Roundup newspaper would devote a full page to the Humane Society, displaying some of the cats and dogs they had for adoption. I would read about each animal and quietly wish I could bring them all home.

I was particularly taken with one dog that had appeared several times in this Friday page. His name was Casey and he was a six-year-old Pit Bull mix. Unfortunately, at home we were ‘maxed out’ with a total of 14 dogs in three different sections of our house. We just couldn’t take Casey.

I had volunteered to be a dog-walker at the Humane Society dog shelter. But after two sessions walking dogs, I just couldn’t look at these sad little faces without breaking down in tears. I switched my efforts to working at the Society’s Thrift Store. That was great fun and, at least, it felt as though I was still helping the animals. Nonetheless, I was very impressed with the animal shelter. They did their utmost to re-home the animals in their care.

Ruby’s ‘pack’ here at home included Phoebe and Tess, rescue dogs from Mexico. Recently, Phoebe had died with leukaemia and Tess with bone cancer leaving Ruby on her own. Ruby was a dog that didn’t mix at all well with the other dogs, as was explained in last week’s post.

The next Friday, the Payson Roundup showed the Society’s ‘lonely hearts club’, highlighting animals that had been in care for a long time. The first dog shown was Casey. I telephone Chandra, the lady responsible for adoptions, and asked if Paul and I could bring Ruby to the shelter to find a companion for her. When we were at the shelter, Chandra asked us if we had anything against Pit Bulls. Of course we didn’t. Ruby was introduced to Casey and, as they say, the rest was history. Casey and Ruby right from the start were just wonderful together.

Ruby behind Casey.
Ruby behind Casey.

Subsequently, I learned from Chandra that Casey had been in care for over a year and, had we not taken him home, his days were numbered at the shelter. There were many cheers and tears when I signed the adoption paper for Casey.

Fast forward to the year 2012 to when we are now living at Merlin, OR.

Casey now lives in the kitchen group here in Oregon: Paloma, Ruby, Lilly and Casey. As with all our dogs, Casey is so happy to have our 14 acres to play in. He is also the sweetest natures of dogs and will try to climb on to your lap at the first opportunity. I have always been a great advocate of Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes and have never come across a mean one.

Thus, if you are in the position to adopt a dog, please consider Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes for the Pit Bull is a much-maligned breed.

Casey demonstrating a dog's focussing skills!
Casey demonstrating a dog’s focussing skills!


This is how Casey will be remembered.

Finally, recalling how close and good friends Ruby was with Casey, one couldn’t see a clearer expression on a dog’s face that Casey was being missed than on the face of Ruby. The picture was taken just before 6pm yesterday evening.

p1160918Trust me, Ruby’s normal face truly has a smile on it.


Only so much ‘heavy’ stuff that one can take at a time!

Yesterday, I wrote a piece about my dear friend Dan’s skeptic view of man-cause climate change.  Last Friday, I published a guest post from Patrice Ayme under the title of The collapse of the biosphere.  In the last 24 hours I also wrote a long comment to Martin Lack’s latest post, No cause for alarm? – You cannot be serious!  So, don’t know about you, dear reader, but it felt appropriate for today’s Post to be full of fluffy stuff.

First an update on our latest member of our family, Kaysee (although we prefer the spelling Casey!).  Can’t believe that it was only a week ago since we got Casey from the local Humane Society but that’s what it was, Casey joined us on the 28th February.  Here are two photographs of Casey taken last Saturday, four days ago!

H'mm, let me try his lap!

No, this is definately the better one!

So I think one can say that Casey has settled in very well!

Next, Cynthia, the wife of Dan Gomez, emailed me a set of wonderful photographs that had come to her from sister-in-law Suzann.  Here’s a small selection for you to drool over.

Hallo! You're cute!

Love it when the phone is left on 'vibrate'!

Hey Mum, can I have fur as soft as this?

Sorry guys, I can't open the door for you!

Ah, that's perfect! Maybe a tad lower!

Meanwhile tomorrow it’s back to the grind!

Then we were ten!

Kaycee joins the fold taking us back up to ten dogs.

Many of you read and commented on the loss of Phoebe that I wrote about on the 17th February.

Phoebe used to be one of a group of three dogs that lived in our large basement room, the other two being Loopy and Ruby.  Well, it wasn’t long after Phoebe’s death that we noticed Loopy was, how can I say it, just a bit off.  She had previously suffered from Valley Fever that had affected her when we were living in Mexico, (useful website on Valley Fever is here) and Jean thought that the fever had returned.  In order to keep a closer eye on Loopy, she came up from the basement and joined the three dogs that made up the ‘kitchen’ group.  Those three dogs being Lilly, Paloma and Chester.  It made sense any way as Phoebe was a great play friend for Ruby and it was clear that Ruby was both missing Phoebe and not finding Loopy as an effective substitute play friend.

Lilly, from the 'kitchen' group, checking Loopy out!

So on Tuesday, Jean and I, together with Ruby and little Sweeny, who also came from the local Humane Society, went back to the Society to find a companion for Ruby.

Jean had had her eye on a male dog, Kaycee, that had appeared in the list of available dogs that is featured each week in the local Payson Roundup newspaper.  Indeed, here is the list of dogs for February that has Kaycee’s details, from which I reproduce below,


My name is Kaysee and I’m a 5-year-old Heeler/Pit mix. I have been with HSCAZ since 23rd March, 2011. I’m a flirty boy, who loves to have his butt scratched. I’m super smart too and I know all sorts of basic commands. Did I mention I like to play ball? My song choice is Brian Adams’ “Everything I Do,” because I will do it for you.

Anyway, Ruby and Kaycee took to each other without any issues and he came home with us later on the morning of the 28th.  Now over 24 hours later, as I write this, it’s clear that he is a bright, loving dog with no obvious personality challenges and already Ruby is relishing his company; they slept curled up together last night.  So that’s wonderful for all concerned.

What follows are some photographs of Kaycee’s arrival.  To be honest, when Jean and I walked around the dogs at the Humane Society, it was very hard to fight back the tears – I wanted to take them all!

Ruby, partially hidden, and Kaycee outside the humane shelter.

Checking out the new garden!

Kaycee seconds away from freedom in his new home, Ruby and Sweeny looking on.

Pharaoh and Hazel saying 'Hi' through the fence to Kaycee.

People will think us mad but so what!

End Puppy Mills!

Join the One In A Million Movement to End Puppy Mills!

Take another quick look at the emotions that dogs bring out in so many of us.  I’m referring to the piece I posted last Sunday under the title of The logic of dogs.  However, there’s a darker side to owning a dog, or more accurately, a puppy.

A quick search for ‘puppy mills’ on Google or YouTube will come up with more anguish than I suspect you can handle.  Here’s just one website that offers some facts about the commercial breeding of puppies.

Here’s a 2-minute video to underline the importance of this cause.

But thanks to an email sent to me from Diane M, here in Payson, there’s something that can be done.

Here’s the email that was sent.

Dear Friends and Family,

I’m sending this to you because of your concern for pets.  Dan Morrison, my friend and ex-husband, has been an advocate for years for animals. I received the information below regarding another way to protect those animals who cannot speak for themselves.

Please take a minute and read the important message below. Please know that  Dan Morrison along with Marlene Walsh are the co-founders of Pet Connections. Dan is also the President of the Board. Check out the website!

In addition, do you have friends who love animals and are understanding and empathize with the message below? If so, please take a couple minutes and forward this message to them. Dan, Marlene and I will greatly appreciate your effort.

Happy New Year, Everyone!


And now what follows is the information that Diane received and then circulated,

Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 6:14 AM
Subject: Join the One In A Million Movement to End Puppy Mills!

There is a new movement underway to permanently put an end to the puppy mill industry by ending all demand for these puppies.  And Pet Connections, Inc. believes in the power of people to do this, one person at a time.

Just this week, the Pet Connections’ website (www.pet-connections.org) went live with its new “One In A Million” campaign, where the public is being asked to sign a pledge stating that they will not purchase or support the purchase of puppies, dogs, cats or kittens that come from “puppy mills” or indiscriminate breeders.

A puppy mill or kitten mill, sometimes known as a farm, is a commercial breeding facility that is operated with an emphasis upon profits above animal welfare and often hundreds of animals are kept in substandard conditions with little regard to the well-being of animals under their control.

Instead, the pledge asks the public to patronize animal shelters, humane societies, or “humane” pet stores who offer only shelter/rescue puppies, dogs, cats or kittens.  Pet Connections’ goal is to collect one million names to present to the governors and legislators of states who harbor puppy or kitten mills because of lax or unenforced laws and to our congressmen and senators telling them that the people have spoken! This cruel and inhumane industry must end.

Pet Connections will work with any pet store who believes that their only source of animals are mills or farms and “convert” them to using animal shelters, humane societies or rescue groups as a source for their animals.

I am hoping that you will go to our pledge page (www.pet-connections.org/pledge/pledge.php) and sign the pledge, and then share it with your family, friends, colleagues, other organizations, newsletters – everything you can think of to help us get the word out and make a big enough impact to make a difference.

Pet Connections believes people can make a difference . . . one person at a time.  I know that with your help we will make a difference.

Thank you!


Marlene Walsh
Executive Director
Pet Connections, Inc.
Phone (920) 232-1357
Fax (920) 273-6059
Mobile (920) 216-4572
Mailing Address:  9777 Seaaca Street, Downey, CA  90241

So it’s just a moment to go here and sign the pledge – PLEASE!  Why?  Well, I can’t put it better than as conveyed in the thank-you email response you will receive,

Change will happen because you took the Pledge.  Thank you for becoming ONE IN A MILLION and supporting the efforts of Pet Connections, Inc.  We are dedicated to ending the practice of selling puppies bred in puppy mills and sold in pet shops.  This is an intolerable practice and must end.  By Pledging, you join a cause whereby numbers create the power for change.

Would you like to help Pet Connections, Inc., reach our goal of ONE IN A MILLION? Share the message by any means you can.  Tell your friends, family and neighbors about the importance of Pledging.  Convince your Facebook and Twitter friends to Pledge to become ONE IN A MILLION athttp://www.pet-connections.org/pledge/pledge.php. Watch the tote board change with each Pledge you influence.

Pet Connections, Inc., is grateful for contributions to help in our goal of ONE IN A MILLION.  It is up to each and every one of us to take responsibility to end the practice of breeding and selling puppy mill puppies.  It is the humane thing to do.


Now let me close with this video that shows the power that can flow from love as opposed to greed.


All three parts combined into one! Created in 2002, “I’m Alive For The Very First Time” tells the story of how two puppy mill rescue dogs forever changed the lives of their adoptive parents, Kathleen and Scottie.