2007-01-03 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

by Joanne Anderson

There are so many facets of shelter rescue that I love. Sometimes I'm merely the "accidental tourist". While at a Town shelter for a particular dog or cat, I may stumble on another one, often a purebred dog, which can be placed in the best of hands once I contact a dedicated network of guardians. Then I just sit back and watch the magic happen.

Last Wednesday I accompanied my pal, Doris Klem, to a distant Town shelter to retrieve a Last Hope foster who had escaped from his "tentative" owners. (Actually it was a Lets Make a Deal trip. At times you need a co-pilot when you transport a dog. Since this goofy guy likes to slobber the driver and rear view mirror, I promised to go with Doris, if she'd ride with me the next day when I took our exuberant foster German Shepherd to her trainer.)

The Last Hope dog was a fortunate fugitive. Turns out his trial owners weren't searching. Thankfully, the shelter recognized their new inmate. He had spent 6 months with them before Last Hope adopted him, and happened to get loose again in the same Town. The staff called to say they thought Mr. Goofy was back. We went to bail him out.

While there, I noticed Cupcake, a female Bullmastiff lying on a rug. The signs on her cage said that she came in 12/15 as a stray with a fractured pelvis. She was most likely hit by a car. Despite the ingrained "pound" misconception, most Town shelters are evolving from holding tanks to havens. Years ago an injured dog, especially a giant one, would not be kept long. In contrast, while in the Town's custody, Cupcake had xrays and pain meds. The staff was doing all they could to make her comfortable.

Dora, Shepherd mix Dora, Shepherd mix I asked about her x-rays, then for permission to take a few photos and call breed rescue. The shelter was extremely accommodating. In the past, and still at times, the mention of "purebred rescue" meets with varied reception at municipal shelters.

Some government run shelters think the public should have first choice of all purebreds, but others, like me, feel that the public has already failed these impounded purebreds at least once. We believe the next placement, when possible, should be with the intervention of those experts who cherish the breed and will do all they can to see that the dog never surfaces in a shelter again.

Soon as I got home, I called a Bullmastiff 's angel, Janell Granier, is director of programs at the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals by day. She's also a foster Mom for many orphan also a foster Mom for many orphan kittens and a volunteer for American Bullmastiff

Zoe at Oyster Bay Shelter Zoe at Oyster Bay Shelter Association

(ABA) Rescueclubs.

akc.org/aba/rescue/

res1.htm. Janell

has performed

miracles for Bullmastiffs

pulled from other

LI Town shelters, including

Xander who

now lives happily ever after in Ohio. I emailed her the photos to verify Cupcake's breed. Digitals are a Godsend to rescue work.

By the next day, Janell had made arrangements with the Town shelter to pick up Cupcake. On Friday, using one of her precious vacation days and no co-pilot, Janell drove mucho miles from Manhattan to eastern Suffolk to get Cupcake, and then to New Jersey to bring the appreciative, smooching Bullie to Andrea Kelly, her wonderful new foster Mom.

Cupcake, estimated only to be about 2, has been delivered to the best of hands. She has the support of Janell, Andrea and all of ABA Rescue. Cupcake is now recuperating in a home; on supplements to strengthen her bones; and has an appointment the day after New Year's to see their favorite orthopedic specialist. Once she's better, she'll go to a forever home. I can't think of a happier way to usher in the new rescue year.

… Switching breeds-Yours truly, the accidental tourist, is also a jinx. Told someone Wednesday that I rarely see Weimaraners in the shelter and the next day the Wegman floodgates opened. Two owner surrenders showed up. That's why this week's adoption list is a combo of Islip and Babylon Town Shelters.

Meanwhile Oyster Bay Town Shelter (677-5784) Miller Pl. Syosset has a selection of nice mixed breed dogs and cats deserving of loving homes. "Dora" (#1120) is a playful, young Shepherd mix. "Zoë" (#1084) is squinting in the photo and doesn't show her lovely odd eyes- one blue/ one green. This cat wants to celebrate 2007 with a new best friend. The shelter 's updated Petfinder site is running again.

Dogs: "Sarge" (#1119) - a sturdy Shepherd mix; "Tish" (#1101) - a shy Golden/Shepherd.

Cats: a longhaired gray female; "Kitcha" (#1182) - bubbly black & white; "Bob" (#919) - the big tabby in the lobby.

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