Tag: Laura S

Protecting our dogs from being stolen!

Can you imagine anything more awful!

I’m not sure if we are out and about with our dogs more frequently in the Summer but one would assume so.

But whatever the season, the number of people that do take their dogs with them when they are out is very significant.

So a recent article published by Care 2 about how thieves do steal dogs seemed timely.


5 Ways Thieves Could Steal Your Dog

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on January 1, 2013. Enjoy!

Sergeant Kenneth Chambers was playing Frisbee with his dog in the parking lot of a Jacksonville, Florida, grocery store recently when lightning struck out of the clear blue sky. The young American veteran, in recovery for post traumatic stress disorder, rolled down the car windows and placed his Australian Shepard/Blue Heeler Mix inside the vehicle just briefly, while he went inside to help his mother with the bags. When he came out moments later, Adalida was gone.

Unfortunately for Sergeant Chambers, and for Adalida, the parking lot scenario placed them in two of the top five high-risk situations for pet theft. And while Sergeant Chamebers’ search continues for Adalida, there are measures that all of us can take to prevent a similar tragedy.

Here are five of the top high-risk pet theft scenarios to avoid: 

1. Dogs in cars

In the blink of an eye, a partially opened window can be forced down or smashed. It takes 20 seconds or less to abduct a dog, and by the time a pet owner returns to the car, their dog is long gone. The American Kennel Club reports a 70 percent rise in dog theft in 2012 and a 40 percent rise the year before. A weak economy has fueled financially motivated dog-napping — and a dog in a car is, quite simply, a sitting duck.

2. Highly prized breeds or dogs with special abilities

A purebred dog or a dog with special skills is a bit like a gold watch. Thieves see dollar signs, and that’s more than enough temptation. Any dog left unattended can be taken, but there is far greater motivation for criminals to walk off with a dog who can bring in a large sum of cash.

3. Pets left in fenced backyards

Everyone loves the convenience of a doggy door — especially criminals. Homeowners who let their pet explore the fenced yard without supervision maintain the illusion of safety, but police departments across the country will tell you that this isn’t enough.

In broad daylight on a single Saturday in November, Corning Animal Shelter Manager Debbie Eaglebarger documented the theft of four Dobermans, four Australian shepherds and two Rottweilers. One neighbor witnessed a man and a woman lure one of the dogs out of a backyard and into their vehicle. All dogs taken that day were purebred, but that is not always the case.

4. Pets left tied in front of businesses

This one may sound like a no-brainer, but particularly in urban areas where pets accompany their owners on errands, it’s not uncommon to find dogs tied up in front of a bank or grocery store. Typically, these are dogs with a gentle demeanor — and that makes them highly susceptible to the commands of a would-be thief.

“Leaving your dog tied up in front of a store is about as ludicrous as leaving your child out front and saying, ‘Wait right there, I’ll be back in 10 minutes,” explains Howard Simpson of Integrated Security and Communications in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. “Do yourself a favor and realize that there are security risks in even the safest of neighborhoods. Being naive makes you a target.”

5 Strangers in the neighborhood

Any strangers on your property can be a risk to your pets. Whether they are invited contractors, deliverymen or political campaigners, visitors could easily grab a pet during a moment when the homeowner is distracted. In some cases, they are making a mental note of homes with valuable breeds or easy-to-subvert home security that will facilitate a quick dog-napping at a later time. It bears mentioning that it’s not uncommon for cats to jump into the back of truck beds for a snooze and to be unwittingly carried off at the end of the day.

Which breeds are most likely to be stolen?

According to the American Kennel Club, the most stolen dog of 2011 was the Yorkshire terrier, followed by the Pomeranian, Maltese and Boston terrier. Small breeds are targeted by thieves because of their size but also because of their value on the market — a single dog can fetch well over $1,000! Among the large breeds, Labrador retrievers are a frequent target, as well as pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes – perhaps for a much more sinister purpose.

Why do thieves target pets?

1. Bait dogs and laboratory dogs

This is every dog guardian’s worst nightmare. Indeed people involved in dog fighting will gather “bait” dogs to be used as training tools for fighting dogs. It happens in both urban and rural areas, and there has been no measurable decline in dog fighting in recent years. Despite some legislation intended to stop the sale of undocumented dogs to research laboratories, under-the-table sales continue — and, in some countries, these exchanges are not considered a crime.

2. Financially motivated theft

“For the first time ever we’ve seen a trend now where shelters are being broken into and purebred and mixed breed dogs are being stolen,” said Lisa Peterson, spokesperson for the American Kennel Club. In fact, any purebred dog, particularly puppies, is considered a high-value commodity. Even with a microchip, it’s often too late when a pet buyer discovers that they have purchased a stolen dog.  By then, the thief is long gone.

3. Emotionally driven theft

What’s often overlooked are the emotionally motivated crimes that rob dogs of their families. This can happen because the perpetrator feels that a dog is not being properly cared for. Some animal lovers will feel justified in stealing a dog that is tied in front of a store or who gets  loose one day. Other times it’s an act of revenge, and, in many cases, a former romantic partner is considered the prime suspect.

Whatever the scenario or the motivation, dog guardians can best protect their dogs with watchfulness. Never leave a dog unattended. Secure your home, including all doors and windows, to the best of your ability and budget. And be wary of strangers in your neighborhood at all times.

Brought to you by the Harmony Fund, an international animal rescue charity.

Sarajevo Saviours!

Must be something in their water!

Back last December, I published a post under the title of Maybe we all need saving!

It centered around Caki Bravo from Sarajevo and his passion for saving dogs.

The 6′ 2″ tall taxi driver is a gentle giant whose passion leads to the rescue of at least a dozen street dogs each month.

Care2 recently published an item written by another Bosnian but about the same person: Caki Bravo.

It is shared with you all.


Drivers Stop Their Car to Rescue Dog Who Leads Them to a Surprise

By: Laura S.   March 4, 2017

About Laura

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally published on September 29, 2015. Enjoy!

Written by Edina Pasic in Sarajevo, Bosnia

In the middle of the busy highway we saw a female dog running totally confused between cars and trucks. The cars were passing very fast, so I screamed. My teammate Caki stopped the car and tried to get over to her slowly. She was so scared that she started to run away from him. Luckily he managed to chase her over to a widening, so I called on her while Caki went back to get the car. We had left it in the middle of the highway.

After a while, I didn’t even know what I was talking to her about anymore. I begged her to stay there with me. She looked at me obediently. Her eyes were sad and looked bad. She was full of scars. I cried with her. Her breasts were hanging to the floor.

Luckily we had some food in the car. When we gave her some food she ate very fast. It was hard to believe, she ate big cans of food. She was so puffed that we didn’t know if she was with puppies or if she had already had them. We also gave her some doggy crackers. She ate two, took the third in her mouth and started to walk away from us, back towards the highway. It was warm. The cracker (she was planning to give to her puppies) melted in her mouth. She swallowed it and continued going towards the road.

We realized that she had puppies waiting for her, since she was going back. I followed her on foot and Caki with the car. She didn’t run from me anymore. We walked on the edge of the highway together. My heart stopped every time a big truck or a car rushed by. I’ll never forget that. Even now, while I’m writing this, I start to cry.

We walked for about 1.5 kilometers. Just imagine how far she has walked to find food. Imagine how hungry she must have been. She kept turning around to see if I was still following her, like she was taking me to see her babies. We came to a hill and she started going up. There was only one house there, only one. We went to the house and she led me to a shed. I heard the puppies cry for their mother. I couldn’t see how many there were because the shed was filled with clutter.

I decided to knock on the front door of the house and ask them about this little family. An older man opened the door and immediately got mad when I asked about them. I was already upset about this poor dog, so this was the last thing I needed. He told me he was planning to take them somewhere far away when his son came over with the car. He had already planned this for a very long time, but sadly for him and luckily for them, he didn’t have a car. I asked him to help me gather them up and I would take them with me. He was shocked. I asked him how many babies there were. He told me that she had originally given birth to five puppies, but three had died and only two survived. Poor Mimosa was wagging her tail when the owner of the house came towards her. Even though he didn’t love her, she still loved him.

His wife, being more humane than him, started to cry and told me she had been feeding them in secret from her husband. These poor lives. We first placed the puppies in a box, then the mother. She didn’t protest, she trusted me. I started to cry again. Thinking back, I think it was more from the shock.

She Gave Me Kisses the Whole Way

The mommy gave me kisses the whole way. She’s now in a pension with her son and daughter, waiting for their forever homes. She’s great with people. When she’s outside with her babies at the pension, she growls at the other dogs that get too close to her babies, looking out for them. She is very kind. We are now struggling to keep them safe here until they get new homes. I rescue hundreds of animals like these all year long.

Photo Credit: Edina Pasic


Learn more about the effort to support Edina and Caki’s animal rescue work in Bosnia.

There can never be too many people like this in the world!

So many good people.

Demonstrating the power of goodwill.

It is a function of the news media to highlight alarming events; many of them with some justification.

But it’s all too easy to be drawn into a world that seems almost to be uniformly dark and foreboding.

Thus the following item seen over on the Care2 site really does deserve the widest sharing because it reminds us that there are countless good people who work so hard for our wonderful animals.


Christmas Rescuers Save 1,300 Dogs and Cats From Winter Without Electricity

3196714-largeBy: Laura S.  December 24, 2016

About Laura

DONETSK — In the days before Christmas, a Ukrainian animal shelter drifting toward a winter of complete darkness has experienced an unexpected tidal wave of support from international animal lovers determined to keep the power on.

15622021_1036490849792714_720628534510030461_nLast week, the shelter – located on the Russian border- sent out a distress call about the imminent threat of blackout for their 1,300 dogs and cats, many of whom were left behind by refugees during violent attacks over the last two years. After losing their local business sponsor during the military conflict, the shelter team have been enduring an intense struggle to feed the animals and to simply stay afloat.

15356522_1022758584499274_2915401203100161546_n11“I can’t even remember the last time something good happened to us,” shelter manager Vita Bryzgalova explained in an email to the Harmony Fund international rescue charity. “We are now facing a power shut-down since the debt for electricity accumulated over the past year. It is almost $7,000 since the beginning of 2016.”

If the electricity in the shelter would be cut, the veterinary appliances will not work and the shelter will be under sub-zero temperatures with no way to provide treatment or carry out operations,” Vita continued. “There will be no place to keep medications and vaccines and food for all animals living in the shelter as everything will freeze. The building is heated by a boiler but it doesn’t not work without the electric pump. There are three hospital wards with animals here and there are about 80 animals that are being treated and they especially need warmth and care. Also we have 35 employees who give daily care of the animals and they will be sick more often without heat in the rooms. Without electricity, we will also have no external communications by telephone or internet.”

Having provided donations of food and staff wages during this difficult time, the Harmony Fund turned to Facebook to see if people might be willing to help keep the electricity on. Within 48 hours, half the funds were raised ($3,500) and this sum was enough to keep the power on for the next few months while the charity attempts to raise funds for the rest of the debt to the electricity supplier.


Now quickly drop over to the Harmony Fund’s website where you will read:

About Us – Overview

The Great Animal Rescue Chase

The Great Animal Rescue Chase celebrates the art of animal rescue with a worldwide race to rescue one million. It’s a free event, open to all, and is perhaps the only global animal rescue event aimed at helping any animal in distress, anywhere in the world. Our ambition is to create a culture of enthusiasm and pride in animal activism. We believe in teaching, by example, that there is a hero in each of us just waiting to be unleashed. Empowered animal lovers can not only save lives, but build the momentum for powerful animal welfare reform.

The Harmony Fund

The Harmony Fund offers a lifeline to so called “underdog” animal rescue squads across the planet. Our partners are the small but incredibly courageous and effective animal rescue teams who operate in parts of the world where funding is very hard to come by. Our supporters are helping us to dramatically impact the capacity of these rescue teams to touch thousands upon thousands of animals who might otherwise be unreachable.

Gratitude and respect are at the cornerstone of our relationship with our supporters. We do not expose our supporters to graphic photos of animal suffering or distribute dire forecasts about animal suffering. Instead we focus on a spirit of joy and determination as we pursue essential operations to provide food, veterinary medicine, shelter and protection from cruelty for animals worldwide.

Contact Us

To contact The Great Animal Rescue Chase or the Harmony Fund, view our Contact Us page.

Now go and read some of the awe-inspiring stories of rescues: The Great Animal Rescue.

Welcome Heroes

garc-intro-left-rescue-pitIn the space of time it takes a raindrop to roll down your cheek, a life changing decision is made. You either turn sorrowfully away from an animal in distress or summon the courage to run forward and help. For all you runners out there, welcome home.

Come on in and rest your feet a while. Then join us in a planet-wide race to save 1 million suffering animals who are about to learn the spectacular meaning of second chances.


I know that all of you dear readers of this place will, without hesitation, summon the courage to run forward and help.

So many good, loving people.

And Another Saturday Smile

Enjoy your weekend, and don’t miss the Harvest Moon!

Another fabulous reposting of an article that first was seen on the Care2 site.


This Man May Wear a Hard Hat, But He Sure Has a Soft Spot for Dogs

3188741-largeBy: Laura S. September 11, 2016

Max Kahrimanovic lives in his hard hat. It’s covered in the dust of three continents where he programs wind turbines, often at a dangerous height. But some may say Max’s greatest accomplishments unfold in the far less intricate scenarios down on the ground where he feeds hungry, and often very thirsty, stray dogs. This is the story of how Max won the trust of one of those dogs and the remarkable new life she is now beginning.

So close he could kiss the clouds, Max programs wind turbines internationally.

“I saw her the very first day I came to the construction site,” Max said of the shy sweetheart he encountered during his latest assignment in Turkey. “She was scared and wouldn’t approach no matter what. I would leave food and would have to walk away. Then, from the far, I would see her eating and drinking what I left for her. Slowly she started to trust me and one day she finally let me pet her on the head.”

From that day forward Karis (as Max named her) decided that she had adopted Max. She would keep watch outside his office door and she would be waiting for him when he arrived at work each morning.

Although she was once so afraid of human touch, Karis soon learned that Max was different than the others she’d encountered.
Although she was once so afraid of human touch, Karis soon learned that Max was different than the others she’d encountered.

“She can be naughty at times,” Max laughs, thinking of the occasions Karis dumped over the trash cans. “She wasn’t hungry, I know that much. I was feeding her three times a day. But I guess the leftovers smelled delicious to her and she had to check it out.”

And one day, when Max arrived, Karis had a surprise for him. Overnight, she had delivered seven puppies.

“My first thought was devastation,” Max said candidly. “I know, you’ll think how can I be devastated seeing so much cuteness. But in all these years of traveling through Europe, Morocco, New Zealand, etc. I’ve seen so much misery involving these animals, that I couldn’t feel anything else at that moment.”

At this point, Max had already found a home for Karis in the U.S. and was making arrangements to transport her there. But with seven more lives to worry about, now what?

“How are we gonna manage 7 pups too?” Max wondered. “Knowing what will happen to them after I leave was devastating. I knew they will either die under car wheels, die of starvation, diseases or they will get killed by other bigger dogs that wander around there.”

So, despite the enormity of the costs and challenging logistics, Max and his wife Neli – back in Sweden – began making arrangements to transport the entire family of dogs to the U.S. for adoption. They turned to the Harmony Fund international animal rescue charity for help with the costs of the rescue.

The whole family will be coming to the U.S. soon, and Karis already has a permanent home with one of Max’s friends who has adopted internationally before. Max has no doubt that Karis will be very good to her pups during the transition as she has always been such an excellent mother.

Karis and her pups were moved to a safe location where they await travel to the U.S.
Karis and her pups were moved to a safe location where they await travel to the U.S.

“When she had the puppies, I admired how she never went to eat their food that I gave them,” Max said. “She waited for me to get hers ready. One time I left 6 hard boiled eggs on the table for her lunch. I just stepped out to wash my hands and when I got back eggs were gone. She ate them like that, not peeled or anything.”

Max isn’t always admired for his devotion however. He said he’s known by management as “the guy who feeds strays” and that he has received warnings not to do so. But he simply can’t go against his own moral compass.

Max always makes time to offer food and water to strays like this one in Turkey.
Max always makes time to offer food and water to strays like this one in Turkey.

“This is much stronger than me,” Max explains. “I can’t eat my lunch knowing there is a being, not far from me, starving and hasn’t had a piece of bread for days…. We usually work in small villages far from civilization or any bigger cities. If it is possible to buy it, then I always have one or two huge bags of dry food and some cans in the trunk of my car. And on my way from the site to my hotel, I stop and feed strays that I see. If it isn’t possible to buy dog food, then I improvise with our food by either taking extra breakfast from the hotel or just by buying extra food when I go shopping for myself. I know I can’t save them all. But for that day or that time when I meet that dog I can feed him at least and give him some water.”


I am so pleased to promote what Max Kahrimanovic is doing and to thank Laura for writing this up in the first place.

Max’s admission in that last paragraph uses words that I have heard Jean using when I first met her back in December, 2006 when she was living in Mexico and rescuing so many street dogs and finding loving homes for them in the USA.

Life is a terminal disease!

What can we learn from the world’s oldest dog?

I’m seventy-one years old and aware that the ageing process is “alive and well” within me. It primarily is revealed by a degree of brain atrophy that is evidenced by very poor recall. There is no question that it worries Jean and, at times, worries me as well.  Adding to the recognition that these are my “senior” years is the awareness that the people that one knows all tend to be a similar sort of age and, inevitably, you don’t have to go far to hear of someone who is very ill, or has recently died.

So the motivation is very strong to stay as fit and healthy; both in body and mind.

Thus a recent article over on the Care2 site about the world’s oldest dog seemed more than a tad relevant to yours truly and will hopefully connect with others who know they are never going to see twenty-one again!


World’s Oldest Dog Reveals 3 Secrets to Long Life

3165238.largeBy: Laura S. January 24, 2016

About Laura

It’s often said that happiness is the key to a long life, but is the same true in the lives of dogs?

Let’s take a look at the world’s oldest living dog. His name was Bluey and he lived to be an astounding 29 1/2 years old. As a puppy in 1910, Bluey joined the household of Les Hall in Victoria, Australia.

Every morning, Bluey went to work among the cattle and sheep. He enjoyed the great outdoors and had constant companionship. He ate a diet that largely consisted of wild kangaroo and emu (not unhealthy animals raised in factory farms). Retiring from his official ‘job’ several years before his death, Bluey remained valued and respected even though he was no longer “useful.”

Oldest_Animals_2a12Ask Yourself These Three Questions

 So what about your dog? Are you providing the essential building blocks for a long life? It all boils down to these three questions. Answer honestly, and if you don’t like what you find, today may be the day to turn over a new “leash.”

1. Am I Listening to My Dog?

ThinkstockPhotos-200359349-0011No, your dog can’t speak in full sentences but how hard is it to understand his needs? Chances are, it’s pretty easy. Is your dog full of anxiety because you’ve worked a 10 hour day leaving him alone in the house, or worse yet, locked in a cage? When your dog greets you with excitement at the door, do you take the time to grab the leash and go for a long walk or do you scold him for bothering you? Is your dog getting up very, very slowly from painful joints?

Try listening, really listening, to the things your dog is telling you over and over again. Try this exercise. Think of two memories of times when your dog was happiest. Chances are that you were being active outdoors together. Could you re-create those experiences, even on a small scale, each week?

2. Do I Break My Promises?

ThinkstockPhotos-1224645481Are you guilty of breaking promises to yourself and to your dog?  Do you procrastinate? Make a dedicated practice of fulfilling your promises to your dog, the same way as you would care for your own needs. It’s just like brushing your teeth. Schedule in items like these:
  • A  20 minute walk in the morning before you leave for work.
  • A neighbor to come and let your dog outside at lunchtime.
  • Adhering to a schedule of six month veterinary check-ups, especially for mature dogs.
  • Washing food and water bowls daily.
  • A long walk at the end of the day.
  • And most of all, doing those things you know your dog loves most.

3. Am I Putting My Stress Onto My Dog?

piIf you’ve had a bad day, do you let it spill over? Can you check your troubles at the front door or do you bring them with you and spread your grief? Although it is difficult, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that your truest friend in the world is not the one you want to hurt today.
This business of learning from our dogs just goes on and on!