Monday, January 25, 2010

Hurricane Katrina to Haiti: Dogs Survive Two Disasters

A team from The Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International has been on the ground in Haiti for five days. Please see HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle's blog below for a heart-warming update on their efforts to aid animals affected by the earthquake and the story of two dogs who lived through Katrina and have now been rescued from Haiti by the HSUS team.

"Since arriving in Haiti last Thursday evening, our veterinary response team continues to help animals affected by the earthquake, assessing animal needs and offering hands-on assistance. We’ve provided food for animals living in the streets, visited a local zoo to check on the welfare of the animals there, and conducted assessments of the situation with farm animals in areas outside of Port-au-Prince. We’ve also responded to doctors’ requests to help assess the humanitarian situation, and provided medical supplies to doctors working in Port-au-Prince. (You can follow along with our team’s latest efforts here.)
Perhaps because of its chronic poverty, Haiti does not have the level of pet-keeping seen in many other nations. We fortunately have not yet discovered or learned of large numbers of animals trapped in buildings and killed when these structures collapsed. The farm animals also seem to be in acceptable shape, and they, of course, are concentrated in the more rural areas, which were not at the epicenter of the earthquake. The stray population was substantial before the quake hit, and the health of these animals remains an ongoing concern. In the days ahead, we’ll be concentrating on providing feeding stations and water for the strays, and we’ll also work with government responders and humanitarian groups to handle situations properly when they come across animals in need or in distress. We were the first animal welfare organization to send a response team to Haiti, and we’re now assembling a second wave of veterinarians and disaster responders to make their way to the affected area. We plan on being deployed for weeks and to not divert our focus from this crisis.
Perhaps the most exciting news is also one of the most improbable and remarkable of stories.
A day after the earthquake struck we received an urgent plea for help from an American couple living in Port-au-Prince. They’d been forced to evacuate very quickly and were not able to bring along their two dogs. We explained that we were working to get responders into Haiti as soon as possible, and pledged that we would do everything we could to help once our team hit the ground.
In talking further with the family, we discovered that they were the victims of two natural disasters, as were the dogs. The couple had lived in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and, when they returned home in the aftermath of the storm, found two dachshund mixes roaming the streets. They were moved to take the dogs in, and named them Bella and Dieter. These are the same two dogs that had to be left behind in Port-au-Prince.

Here’s the remarkable news: Our team has located the dogs. They are in good health and now in our safe keeping, having survived a Category 4 hurricane in 2005 and now a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in 2010. When we told the family that we had located the dogs, they were understandably overjoyed. With the help of our partnering organization, Veterinary Care and Human Services of the Dominican Republic, we’re transporting them to the Dominican Republic today. We intend to reunite them with their family as soon as possible.
It is remarkable that these dogs are on-the-ground survivors of the two biggest disasters in recent years in the western hemisphere. They are living embodiments of the principle that kindness and concerted action do make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable creatures. That’s one reason while we’ll continue to maintain boots on the ground in Haiti and to do all we can to help the animals and people of this stricken nation."

Thank you HSUS for sharing this uplifting story! We love a happy ending. To see Wayne's blog with photos, click here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

FREE SPAY/NEUTER SURGERIES FOR PIT BULLS! The Seattle Humane Society & PetSmart Charities Team Up to Help

Great news for pit bulls! The Seattle Humane Society and PetSmart Charities are joining forces to provide FREE spay and neuter surgeries to pit bulls and pit bull mixes in King County. The dogs will also receive free vaccinations, and microchips will be available for $5.

Pit bull mixes now make up approximately 30 percent of lost, stray and abandoned animals in our community's shelters. Thanks to this $50,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, we can help change those statistics by altering more than 750 dogs and helping save lives by ending unwanted litters.

Spaying and neutering actually improves a pet's health! The surgery eliminates reproductive cancers in the females and prostate cancer in the males. This simple surgery has many other benefits too, such as making them less likely to roam and get into fights.

If you have an unaltered pit bull, or know someone who does, call the Seattle Humane Society at (425) 649-7560 today to make an appointment.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This week's adopt-a-shelter dogs: Raz and Sox

Hi, I'm Raz! I’m a four-year-old border collie mix and here to dazzle you with my personality! I am a friendly, energetic guy who would love an active home to call my own. I do great on-leash and would make a terrific walking or running partner. I aim to please, so would love for my owner to go through some training classes with me so I know exactly what's expected of me. After a day of playing, I'll happily curl at your feet. Come and meet me at the NOAH. center!

Hi, my name is Sox! They call me this because I'm mostly black with cute white paws. I’m a six-month-old boxer/Lab mix. I am a young exuberant guy that loves to play with tennis balls, and would like to live with an active family as I have energy to burn! I’m a smart dog -- I know how to sit and would love to learn more in obedience training so I could be your best companion! I have lived with another dog and even a five-year-old child. I’m a really sweet boy so I hope you come visit me at NOAH soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dogs Doing Great Things: Surf Dog Ricochet Catches a New Wave

Welcome to a new CityDog Blog category: Dogs Doing Great Things! And, here is the first dog that inspired it...
Ricochet, (”Rip Curl Ricki,”) the Surfin’ for Paws-abilities SURFice dog, who raised over $10,000 for quadriplegic surfer, Patrick Ivison (we blogged about this awhile back), and most recently raised over $3500 in a toy drive, is catching a new wave with Ian McFarland. Ricochet's current project presents a unique and exciting triple challenge: Help get Ian back on a surfboard/surfing, help motivate him through his rehabilitation, and raise funds to offset the expense of his costly medical bills.

In July, 2008, Ian and his family set out for a road trip to Colorado, but never made it. A devastating car accident claimed the lives of his parents, and Ian suffered a severe traumatic brain injury that left him in a coma. Ian spent almost four months in the hospital, and although discharged, still had a feeding tube, could barely speak, and was in a wheelchair. Over the course of 18 months, Ian has made remarkable progress in his recovery, but still has a long way to go.

Unfortunately, his rehabilitation therapies are very costly, and that's where Ricochet's fundraising comes in. In the last three weeks, she has raised over $3080 for Ian through her inspirational YouTube video "From Service Dog to SURFice Dog" (click here to watch). The video went viral, and has over 1.2 million views, which continues to increase on a daily basis with donations coming in from all over the world.

Ian used to surf with his daddy, and it's his hope to surf again. "The Ocean is very therapeutic for Ian," says his Aunt Melissa. "It was in the water where Ian took his first steps after the accident, and it would be wonderful if Ricochet could help motivate him to do even more, and get back on a board..., Ian loves dogs."

Ricochet recently met Ian, and although it was too cold for the beach, the pair didn't let that stop them from hanging out on a surfboard! Sessions with Ian will continue through the winter, and since Ricochet is a certified goal directed therapy dog through Pawsitive Teams, she will use her skills to help motivate Ian in his rehabilitation. As the weather gets warmer, therapy will continue on the beach... in the ocean... on a surfboard!

Ricochet was slated to be a service dog for a person with a disability through the Puppy Prodigies program, but had to be released from the role due to her drive to chase birds, which could be risky for a person with a disability. Rather than focus on what she couldn’t do, the emphasis was placed on what she COULD do, and the Surfin’ for Paws-abilities initiate was carved out for her.
For more information, or to make a donation go to, or contact Judy Fridono at 707-228-0679, or You can also visit:

Ricochet's facebook page:  
Ian's website:  
Pawsitive Teams website:  
Puppy Prodigies website:


CityDog Magazine

Friday, January 08, 2010

This week's adopt-a-shelter dogs: Elwood and Trixie

Elwood is a handsome eight-year-old Doberman who is ready for his new forever home! He is an athletic boy, who enjoys his walks and is well-mannered on a leash. He would benefit from a person who is willing to be firm and consistent in their training method. Dobermans are highly social dogs and may become distraught if left alone for long periods of time, so if you work extended hours, doggy daycare for one or two days a week (or more) may be in order. To meet Elwood in person, visit NOAH today!

Are you looking for a playful, active girl who can motivate you to get out and get moving? If so, then you need to meet Trixie! She’s a two-year-old border collie mix, who would love to be able to get out and exercise with you everyday! She needs lots of mental and physical stimulation so a training class would be GREAT! NOAH offers classes and because Trixie’s an "alumni," you receive $10 off the cost. She'll reward you with lots and lots of love!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

CityDog Yappy Howlidays Muttmixer Party Pix!

The weather outside may have been frightful, but the CityDog Yappy Howlidays Muttmixer was quite delightful! Seattle dog lovers mixed and mingled at the W Hotel, celebrating the season with their festive furry friends. Check out all of the party hounds here: CityDog Magazine | Yappy Howlidays Photo Gallery.

And, don't miss our next event...the CityDog Puppy Love Muttmixer!

When: Wednesday, February 10th, 6-8 p.m.

W Seattle Living Room
1112 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 264-6000

Please RSVP with the number of people and pooches in your "pawty" to

CityDog Magazine

Monday, January 04, 2010

New Season of DogTown Airs on National Geographic Channel

One of my favorite shows, "DogTown," rings in the New Year with a new season. The first episode aired January 1, but CityDog got a sneak peek at the first six episodes and we can say without a doubt, it's going to be another great season. "DogTown" follows the rehabilitation of abandoned, neglected and misfit dogs at DogTown, the last-hope refuge that's part of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest no-kill animal facility in the country, located in Kanab, Utah.

The new episodes feature the adoption of one of the Michael Vick pit bulls, Handsome Dan, an incredibly shy but sweet dog obviously traumatized by his experience; the rehabilitation of a shepherd mix rescued from the Lebanon-Israel war; dogs abandoned because of the economy; and a morbidly obese Chihuahua in need of a "Biggest Loser" makeover. On the front lines of each case is DogTown's incredible team of trainers and veterinarians, including cutie pie John Garcia, Michelle Besmehn, Sherry Woodard (who has to be one of the most patient women on the planet, dedicating her skills to rehabilitating dogs with aggressive behavior), Pat Whitacre, Dr. Patti Iampietro and Dr. Mike Dix.

"DogTown" airs Fridays at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific and is suitable for all ages (although, the first episode does feature some disturbing video of dog fighting, so you may want to monitor that one with young viewers). Otherwise, "DogTown" is a good lesson in the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs, no matter their circumstance, and furthers the effort toward a no-kill nation.

Pictured above: Georgia, a Michael Vick rescue and resident of DogTown.