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Let me tell you about Freya. Freya is a 10 year old (her vet's best guess was she was around 2 when we got her) Catahoula Leapord dog who works as a behavioral dog for our son, does asthma alert for me and my other half, and is a very well behaved, laid back all around 'mama hen'. She has raised 2 cats, two puppies (not hers), and is currently assisting in training my assistance dog. Freya is restricted to an 'at home' dog however because of her rough beginning. We rescued Freya from a 'high kill shelter'through a Catahoula rescue 8 years ago.

When we went to see Freya at the shelter, she didn't have a name. She had a number, like a prisoner. They knew NO background information, they couldn't even remember if she was dropped off by a person or just left. She didn't matter at all, she was just there. She was in a cement floored, filthy kennel, with a mostly empty water dish and no food in the bowl. She was also about 20 lbs under weight. I found Freya on Petfinder listed as an "urgent need" because the shelter was going to Euthanize her the next day. Why? Because they couldn't adopt her out as she had never seen a vet in the 6 weeks she'd been there. THEY didn't bother so they were going to kill this wonderful, intelligent, caring creature. They did allow the Catahoula Rescue Person to take her, and they promptly handed her over to us.

They also didn't bother feeding her, at least not enough. They had moved her into this "solo" kennel just that day because we were coming to get her I was told, before that she was in a 'group kennel' with other 'big dogs'. The group kennels were in even worse shape, I could barely look at them because I wanted to take all the dogs and cats home. She had to compete with the other dogs for too little food, resulting in injuries to her belly, and a fear of other big dogs. She also has food issues. It took some work at first, but I can take food from her mouth now, and take her food dish away, so can the kids. But she still growls at other animals that come near her bowl. I don't take her out to work because I'm not sure she'd have enough self-control in a store to not try and take food from the shelves. She is improving a bit, Sophie is allowed to check out her bowl after she eats now, though Sophie stays well away from her while she's eating (we feed them in separate rooms).

In the above picture you can see some of the scar tissue on her breasts. These are not tumors, they've been there and the same for 8 years. The vet says they are no risk to her any longer; there was risk of infection when we first got her, as they were still healing.

We've often through the years had an issue with her weight. Some dog foods she can't handle (like dry and several brands of canned foods) and she'll get sick if you feed them to her. She tends to lose weight easily. She has allergies to pollen (tree pollen season gets her every year) and she'll cough and lose weight from the effort. Now that she's getting older, we struggle more with it and have added extra meals to her day. We also don't stint on the treats or the hand outs from the humans. She'll never be an overweight dog. Right now she's slightly under weight despite our best efforts; her Vet says she's as healthy as can be expected at her age and with her background. We don't know yet if her early upbringing (and who knows what happened to her before that evil 'shelter') will shorten her life span or bring more difficulties down the road. She's also afraid of thunderstorms and loud noises, we're not sure why. As she's a 'hunting breed' it's possible someone took her hunting before she was ready, or maybe it was spending weeks in a kennel in Florida with thunder reverberating off the walls. Maybe it was the incessant barking of the other dogs. She hides under my desk and we pet her and tell her it's ok.

She also has separation anxiety. It's a good thing we rarely leave her alone because she howls the entire time we're gone and tries to get out through windows and doors, taking down blinds, curtains, and anything else in her way. Crating her doesn't work, she just lays there and shakes, and chews on herself until she bleeds. So, someone always stays home with Freya.

She's had a good 8 years anyway, so far, that we've given her. She has a family who loves her, feeds her, takes care of her. She has her 'babies', Dori the cat and Sophie the Chihuahua mix puppy. She has her kids, my son and daughter, to watch over. She does her job, and would like to do more (she tries to help as a balance/mobility dog but she's too small and fragile to handle that work). She lives up to her name as the Goddess of Motherhood.

We're better for having her. But I wonder about all the other dogs and cats who were in that 'shelter'. How many starved or were too sick to survive by the end of their 'stay' even if they managed to be adopted? How many were put down by adoptive families when it cost too much to bring their new pet back to health? How many were put down by the 'shelter' because they failed in their duties to do so much as basic medical care and food?

One day Freya will leave us and cross the rainbow bridge. We've had a few close calls in the past few years, when she would suddenly lose weight and I would get up during the night to make sure she was still breathing. This year has been better, whether because we've moved out of the falling down, lack of AC and heat house or because we brought Sophie home and she has a new job to do and a new 'baby' to care for I'm not certain. But I do know that when she goes, she will go happy, loved, and mourned.

There is a petition on Whitehouse.gov sponsored by Pet Food Stamps to outlaw for-profit 'High Kill Shelters'. Because of increases in the 'signature threshold' we need 100,000 signatures by May 26 to get a response. I have confidence in our community at DKOS, that we can add a significant number to the over 3,000 who have signed already. So please, if you have pooties or woozles in your life, or if they've made a difference in the lives of your friends and family, or if you just believe that 'shelters' should have to do just that, please, add your name and your plea to outlaw these cruel organizations. There are more Freyas out there just wanting to be loved and offering so much in return.

Please sign the petition to outlaw for-profit 'High-Kill' shelters

7:54 PM PT: Got to go for the night, but I'll be back in the morning to check comments and respond. Thanks for all of you who are signing the petition and/or passing this on to others. We've gone up by about 300 signatures in a few hours, I would suspect a lot of that was due to DKOS activism.


Originally posted to FloridaSNMOM on Thu May 16, 2013 at 02:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Done, for Freya and her kin. (15+ / 0-)

    My first dog Fred looked so lost while waiting in the shelter for a week while those with prior Basset requests were given a chance to come claim him.  We had met him just after he was brought to the Denver Dumb Friends League and he was lost - his first owner gave up on him at only about 18 months old (probably after he was no longer the cute puppy basset all ears and short legs) and he was suddenly thrown into a noisy, concrete-floored maelstrom.  At least he was the only one in his cell, but still it broke my heart to see him there, and I had only just met him.

    Spay and neuter to reduce the pet population so kill shelters can go out of business!

  •  I've never even heard of a for profit shelter. (10+ / 0-)

    Sounds creepy.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Thu May 16, 2013 at 03:53:25 PM PDT

  •  Signed & recced. It goes for pooties, too. (10+ / 0-)

    In memory of my recently departed Reina, who was helped over the bridge after 19 years as a gorgeous but clueless RagDoll.  Thought I was cried out.

    (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

    by argomd on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:11:12 PM PDT

    •  ((argomd)) (8+ / 0-)

      Sorry for your loss. I'm not looking forward to when Freya goes. Our whole family is going to be devastated.  Thank you for signing.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:52:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many thanks. (0+ / 0-)

        Wish one could grieve in advance, but that doesn't work so well, does it?  

        Hope your family holds you tight when Freya has to go.

        (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

        by argomd on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:12:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My first ever dog (7+ / 0-)

      of my own, as an adult, was my border collie, Bandit.

      She was not only as smart as hell, she put up with all the bs I put her through.  I moved her to Australia and back, ffs.

      But the one thing she asked of me as she got older was that I buy her a sheep farm.  So I did. We moved up to Oregon, and she had a blast with the sheep.

      But she was getting older, and creakier, and finally at age 19, she died.  On her sheep farm.  And I buried her in the orchard, right next to her favorite sheep who had died a few weeks before her.

      She's happy:
       photo bandit.jpg

      •  Sweet Bandit. (0+ / 0-)

        Lived 19 years?  A canine?  That sheep farm clearly worked.   That and your understanding of her voice.  Not many can hear what their pets are saying.

        Said to the vet after Reina's pupils had widened and her pulse stopped:  wish people treated each other as well as our pets treat us.

        (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

        by argomd on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:10:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Signed in honor of our own shelter babies (11+ / 0-)

    Shelter Babies

    The little girl on the left is a two-year-old border collie/unknown terrier cross.  The girl on the right is an eight-year-old German shepherd/husky cross.  Both were rescued from local Humane Society kill shelters

    Why purchase a purebred or designer dog when you adopt a beautiful, smart, obedient, wonderful companion like these girls?

    "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

    by Involuntary Exile on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:48:13 PM PDT

    •  I'd love to adopt from a shelter (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, weck, NonnyO, SuWho, Amber6541

      I have 5 dogs.  Unfortunately one of them went through very painful and difficult dual hip replacement when he was young and has developed an extreme fear of both men and strange adult dogs.

      We have worked with him a great deal, and tried bringing an adult rescue dog into our home, but it was a nightmare for the poor rescue.  It was the last thing he needed.  Luckily we found him another good home.

      The only animals my crazy dog will accept are puppies and cats.

      •  You can find puppies in shelters as well (5+ / 0-)

        And cats also. I do understand about having to cater to a dog damaged when they were young. Any medium or large sized dog we get has to be a puppy.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Thu May 16, 2013 at 06:31:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know (6+ / 0-)

          but the puppies always go really easily, and the ones I really want to help are the grown dogs.

          I was never a cat person, but on my farm in Oregon, we found an abandoned kitten and brought him into the house.  All the dogs loved him, and he was wonderful.

          But when we moved back to Arizona, we brought him with us, and we thought because he had never jumped higher than three feet his whole life, he would be safe on our property, which has a big wall around it.

          We set him up nicely in a back bedroom while he got acclimatized.  And he found a few hidey-holes.  But on the 7th day we could no longer find him.

          It's been 5 months now.  I still keep calling for him every time I go outside, even though I know perfectly well he would recognize the sound of my dogs barking if he was lost.

          I only hope that he found a home with better food.

          So I do not know whether it is wise to bring another cat into this house, as much as I would love to.  My dogs have free access to the outside, and if the cat gets outside the boundary of our yard, it is just coyote bait.

          My husband right now thinks 5 dogs are enough, after our experiences, so a new dog of any kind is not in the cards.

          •  Almost two years ago, we tricked one of the (4+ / 0-)

            feral kitties eating in our yard into our house so we could take her to a low-cost clinic for an abortion and to be spayed. She was just a kitten herself then. We planned to get her checked for FIV, get her shots and ear notched, give her a flea treatment and let her go again because I thought the 3 inside cats we already had were enough. When we got her back, she couldn't walk. The vet said it had something to do with the administration of the anesthetic, and it would be better in a couple of days. It took about two months and by then it was snowing outside. My husband named her Baby and refused to let her out even though it was what she desperately wanted.

            Finally, one day in the early spring, she raced out between the wheels of his chair as he was putting out food for our neighbors' two Norwegian Forest Cats who sometimes like to "dine out" on our deck. My husband was heartbroken. We were afraid the raccoons who sometimes wander  outside the nearby park had gotten her.

            It wasn't long before we took in a pathetic little stray (who has since grown to over 20 lbs; our vet says she is at least part Maine Coon), and then another stray with blood running down the side of his face from his ear, making 5.

            Then, guess what! Seven and a half months after her escape, Baby showed up at our door. When my husband opened the door, she walked right in like she owned the place. She's a totally different cat. She isn't afraid of any of the people who come into our house. I felt like someone must have lavished attention on her, so I put up notices on utility poles and emailed everyone in our neighborhood association, but nobody claimed her. She still likes to sit at the door and look out, but if anyone opens it, she literally backs away. She was instantly accepted by our other 5, so now we have 6.

            So, don't throw away that cat food yet. Your boy could still appear at your door some day and if he does, he'll probably be hungry.    

        •  We got both of our shelter babies as puppies (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, NonnyO, Amber6541

          It takes persistence but it's gotten easier now that most shelters have their adoption candidates online.

          "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

          by Involuntary Exile on Thu May 16, 2013 at 07:41:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We lucked into Sophie (4+ / 0-)

            My chihuahua/terrier mix pup. We happened to be in petsmart the right weekend when the shelter was there with her, and we had the money for the adoption fee. We figured she was meant to be here. We went to the store that day for cat litter and cat grass, came home with a puppy and all the necessary accessories.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Thu May 16, 2013 at 07:49:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for signing! (6+ / 0-)

    Both of ours were shelter dogs, though Sophie was not from a kill shelter. She was from a rescue that saves dogs from kill shelters. Our pootie however was the result of a friend's cat having a litter of kittens.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:51:27 PM PDT

  •  Our precious Riley when he was first found (8+ / 0-)

    abandoned in a very remote region in southwestern Ohio.

    Riley today.

    Please help advocate so all shelters can be No-Kill Shelters. It is inhumane to subject our fur friends to the horrors of most shelters.

    Reno, NV has managed to implement a no-kill shelter policy despite the community having a high rate of poverty and alcoholism. A nationwide no-kill shelter policy is possible if we all work together to make it happen.

    Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear. Mark Twain

    by 4Freedom on Thu May 16, 2013 at 04:58:26 PM PDT

    •  So beautiful... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catesby, weck, Amber6541

      I love husky's, but it's too hot here for them. They spend too much time miserable in the spring/fall/summer.

      And yes, we definitely need a no kill shelter policy!

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Thu May 16, 2013 at 05:06:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No it's not (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, weck, NonnyO, Amber6541, 4Freedom

        I have two huskies and have lived in both S Florida and now S Arizona with them.

        Believe it or not, they both go outside every afternoon in 95-100 degree temps and sunbathe.

        My border collies, on the other hand, come indoors when it gets too hot outside.  But not the huskies.

        Their undercoat that protects them from the cold also protects them from the heat.

        Here is one of my huskies at the height of an Arizona summer:
        Othello - Olympic Swimmer photo DSC_0036.jpg

        •  Interesting... a friend of mine had a malamute (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catesby, weck, NonnyO, Amber6541, 4Freedom

          in PA, and she was miserable every summer, so I just thought it would be the same. Maybe some day then I'll get one.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Thu May 16, 2013 at 06:45:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They are the most wonderful dogs (6+ / 0-)

            they are so sweet and affectionate.  The only thing is they cannot be trusted off-leash at any time any where.

            My husband had a malamute in Australia and said he suffered in the summer the same way so maybe huskies are different.

            And Othello, the dog pictured above is a huge escape artist.  He can unlock doors with a flip switch, then turn the knob, and be half a mile down the road before you know it.  And in the rural area where I used to live, people often mistake them for wolves.  Yeah, I know.

            I bought him and his girlfriend a summer training rig for huskies, and I have them drag me around in the cooler months to blow off steam.

  •  Signed, tweeted & facebooked, (7+ / 0-)

    also T&R'd

    I got LuvLee from a rescue group, the Albuquerque Cat Action Team, which is a wonderful NO-kill group that places rescue pooties through fostering until the right adoption comes through:

    Luvlee in her boudoir

    "I don't love writing, but I love having written" ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Thu May 16, 2013 at 05:44:27 PM PDT

  •  Tipped, (6+ / 0-)

    rec'ed and signed. I have three dogs, all of whom were to be euthanized either at the "shelter" or by the drunken, shock-collar remote-wielding previous owner.

    Roy, a 5 year-old Husky Collie mix, is pure joy and the reincarnation of my heart dog Lily. He wouldn't fit in the rescue transport and would have been killed had I not taken him home. He has little baggage except his fear of loud arguments--tells you what kind of home he was from. I was the third adopter. he had spent more time in the shelter than in a forever home. I love him so much it nearly breaks my heart.

    Ollie is an 8 year-old Blue Heeler Border Collie mix whose incessant barking led her previous owner to randomly shock her with the collar remote. When she broke and bit him, he had loaded her into the truck and loaded his gun to take her out to the place where people kill their dogs. A friend across the street intervened and I took her with the promise that the friend would find her a home. She didn't even try and this being during the housing bubble burst I knew no one would want her. Am I glad I kept her! She has come so far in 5 years that she is like another dog. What kind of a monster would treat a fellow creature as badly as her previous owner had?

    Anker is a 13 year-old Seppala Siberian Husky. Look this breed up if you want to see what the original Serum Run dogs were like. The name Balto should clue you in, but even braver and more triumphant was Togo. Most Seppalas are decendents of Togo and his fellow sledge dogs, brought from Siberia by Leonhard Seppala himself. Anker ran in the Iditarod many years ago, and he is the most comical, mellow and personable dog I've ever known. he too would have been killed for being too old to be adopted. Well by golly, I know how to keep an old dog going. All of my dogs have lived to be 15 or 16 and there is every indication Anker will do the same.

    Good food, lots of love and fun, brushings, treats and more love are all these animals want. I am priviledged to be able to give it to them.

    •  You're like me (6+ / 0-)

      a household of border collies/ huskies.

      Shedding, barking, lots of running, and a ton of affection.

      Makes for a really interesting life!  I wouldn't have it any other way.

      It reminds me of when I first took one of my border collies to agility.  He was a border collie, so of course he wanted to bark and chase after the other dogs.

      The instructor put a prong collar on him and started jerking.  I pulled him out of the class immediately.  Because border collies are smart, and if they experience pain in the presence of a stimulus, they will think they are absolutely correct in freaking out in the presence of such stimulus.  As they should.

      He got over being two years old, and settled into being a perfectly wonderful dog without the prong collar, thank you.

      •  Is a "prong collar"... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541

        ... the cruel torture device it sounds like it is?  [I'm not being snarky; I've really never heard of such a thing, but it sounds nasty.]

        I was a child of six in 1952 when we got The World's Best Kids' Dog.  She was just a puppy, and I promptly put a baby kimono and bonnet on her like a baby doll (I have the picture to prove it).  For the next fourteen years, she was the protector and playmate for my brother and me (and our parents) and the assortment of cousins and neighbor kids who came into our home at regular intervals.

        The World's Best Kids' Dog was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and something else that gave her short wavy fur on her back and tail, and her chocolate-colored fur had red highlights in the sunshine.  She had a white blaze on her chest.  She also had the greatest soulful and happy brown eyes, and when she was happy to see us her whole body wiggled and wagged like her tail... and she "smiled!"  Seriously!  With teeth showing while her body wiggled in pure joy when she saw us if we'd been gone all day.  She knew the limits and boundaries of our property and never strayed off of it without us, and she met us kids at the end of the driveway when the school bus dropped us off and saw us off in the morning.  She was also a great hunter but would not retrieve for anyone except family members.  Hard as I try, I don't remember that she ever had a collar.  She was, however, our bosom buddy.

        She was the dog who never met a kid she didn't love instantly.  If someone with a crawling baby came to visit, she positioned herself near the baby.  Toddler who hadn't mastered walking?  She was there to lean on.  Child who didn't have a pet of its own?  She was there for adults to teach the child "pet gently."  Kid who was old enough to throw sticks so she could retrieve?  That kid was a friend for life!  Well, she was a retriever - and retrieving was her favorite thing to do!  For that, she had to have a kid throw something she could retrieve since there was no year-round bird-hunting season, after all.  Kids meant someone would toss a ball for her or sticks or something she could retrieve.  She was blissed out around kids.  :-)

        I know collars are necessary at times, but out in the dingtoolies there really isn't much of a reason to have a collar unless it's a dog that forms packs and they run deer to ground (or into a lake and climb on its back - I witnessed that once; it was perfectly awful, but the game warden knew who the dogs belonged to and they were family pets throughout the neighborhood where we were temporary residents for a few months one year).

        Well, that's my 'background' with collars (or lack thereof), so now you know why I asked.  I just can't imagine anyone shocking a dog or jerking it around by a collar.  Much too painful for the dog, and only a sadistic cretin would do such a thing, I would think.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Thu May 16, 2013 at 08:32:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Signed. nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, weck, NonnyO, Amber6541

    I am a work in progress. Still.

    by broths on Thu May 16, 2013 at 07:21:42 PM PDT

  •  I signed, too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Amber6541

    I will turn 66 on May 26 and success on this petition would be a great birthday present.

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