Rescue my heart…

My blog is meant for all things important to me and with my travel plans not for a few more weeks and another in July, I’d like to share with you other important causes in my life.

I am what they refer to as a “Rescue Networker”. I have social media solely established for the networking of dogs in high kill shelters. The networking is meant to bring exposure to dogs who are often mislabeled on temperament after being dumped by their owners, found as strays or confiscated.

In high kill shelters such as OC Animal Care, Carson Animal Shelter, Downey Animal Shelter and many other Los Angeles Animal shelters, dogs are given very little time to be adopted and if they are deemed aggressive in any way are then labeled “Rescue Only”. This means that only a reputable 501c3 animal rescue with established “pull rights” can come and remove the dog from the facility. So potential adopters are not able to freely adopt them even if they were willing to take on any behavioral or medical issues they may actually have. This is very frustrating as a rescuer given that dogs can be deemed aggressive because they are scared and back up into the corner, or are overly excited for time out of their kennel and jump on a staff member. Many of these dogs are very social, sweet and just need love and guidance but unfortunately have fallen victim to being owned by heartless people who at the first sign of inconvenience, have abandoned them to the shelter system. Which is a very scary place for a dog. Constant barking, cold floors, minimal time out of their little cell (maybe once or twice a day if that).

I post this blog not to upset anyone but as a form of education on the ongoing problem of over population, lack of education and illegal breeding. I post this in hopes if you’re considering or someday do consider adding a new family member to your home, that you will seek out your nearest shelter and save a life. adoptionfacts

There is nothing like the gratitude shown to you by a rescue dog or cat. And the reward you feel in your heart is unexplainable. I have been hands on in multiple rescues and even transporting a dog on their freedom walk has brought me to tears seeing an actual smile on a dog who moments before was shut down and depressed. There is something so magical watching the spirit of a dog return.

I’d also ask you to consider adopting older. I know most want a puppy because they believe they can train them to be however they want them to be or they want the maximum time with them possible. I respect this. But adult and senior dogs are also have so much to offer. They are most of the time owner-surrenders who are potty trained, not destructive and even more appreciative of being jail broken. Your time with them however long it may be, would be invaluable to you and to them.

If you are not in the market for a new animal, and not in the position to adopt which is completely understandable, consider donating. Shelters and rescues are always in need of funds to continue to care for these animals that were given up on. (Please contact me if you are looking for an organization to donate to). If you do not have the means to donate financially, time is another invaluable commodity. Visit your local shelters and spend time with the cats and dogs there. Take videos and get to know them. Like I said, most dogs are deemed aggressive at the slightest indiscretion. We rely on volunteers to visit the shelters to really see their personalities. It helps with networking for fosters when we have real assessments outside of shelter staff judgements or adopters. When they feel warmth and love, they often come out of their shells and show you they are not what they are being portrayed as. Especially the pitbull breed who is crucified by media and misunderstood. They are the first to be euthanized and taken behind the “double gates” meaning no exposure. I can attest to the beautiful, caring and loyal instincts and attributes this breed has. I have 2 of my own, have worked with COUNTLESS others and was also raised with one. There are multiple stigmas, stereotypes and inaccurate facts out there about the Pitbull breed. Did you know, they in fact do not have “lock jaw”? It has been scientifically proven that there is nothing anatomically different about a pitbull’s  jaw versus any other breeds.

babyashley

*Chubby baby me with my boys Spanky & Joshua. Both rescues.

You can read many myths about the breed here:

https://www.petfinder.com/pet-adoption/dog-adoption/myths-and-facts-about-pit-bulls/

I am an avid rescue & pitbull advocate. I have one happy tails story I’d like to share with you about a pitbull named Kassidy.

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Kassidy was found a stray in northern Orange County and brought to the high kill OC Animal Care in Orange, CA. She was deemed “severely male aggressive” after allegedly biting a hose when a staff member was cleaning out her kennel, therefore making her “Rescue Only”. Kassidy was brought to my attention and for some reason she especially pulled at my heart. I reached out to every rescue I could, but without a proper temperament test or a vetted foster, no rescue could take on that liability. I was put in contact with a woman who shall remain nameless who was supposed to have rights to pulling at this specific shelter. She ended up being a looney toon who stole the funds raised for Kassidy. Nevertheless, I was put in contact with an amazing woman named Amy! She offered to foster if we could get a clear assessment on her personality and find a rescue to “back” her. (Backing is financial responsibility by a rescue that take care of all costs for a foster like veterinary care, food, toys) Amy even offered to pay for her fees at the shelter and a week of boarding while we assessed her. With no rescue able to commit to pulling her due to her “severe male aggression”, I drove up the shelter and begged the director to release her as a private adoption to me. She refused repeatedly while I hounded the staff at the intake office to let me speak to a lieutenant directly or the director. All refused me, cold heartedly. Finally, after probably growing tired of me I was informed of a new protocol they had implemented that if someone was so inclined they could privately adopt a “Rescue Only” dog but take all liability if she were to bite somebody. I happily agreed.freedomkass

*Kassidy’s freedom ride the day she broke out of the shelter!

We marched out of there after hours of frustration, successful. She was safe! Mere hours before she was to be euthanized. This was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made. Amy paid for a week of boarding in a facility/vet referred to me by the one we shall not speak of. But after that, if she did not get along with Amy’s personal dogs then we would be screwed. Fortunately, Amy appropriately introduced her pack to Kassidy (minus the kitties, she was a little TO interested in them). After that, we continued through our journey with Kass as we were kindly offered to bring her to adoption events with a rescue called 4Life Animal Rescue to get her exposure. We finally attended a large adoption event at the Irvine Care Center where 4Life formally told us they would like to fully back Kassidy. She had gained a lot of followers through our “Saving Kassidy” fan page and had proven herself to not only NOT be male aggressive but to be a total love. We were ecstatic to have a  reputable amazing rescue offer to get Kass the exposure she needed as well as offering us their resources as independent rescuers Amy and I did not have.

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*Getting loving from foster mama, Amy.

About 5 months later, we were contacted by our rescue that potential adopters were interested in a meet and greet with Kassidy. Amy and I reluctantly agreed as Amy and Blaine had grown incredibly attached to Kassidy and would have loved to have kept her. James and Donna came to meet Kass and fell in love. Everything happened so fast and all of a sudden we were dropping Kass off at her new home. Better to rip the bandaid off right? It hurt like hell as I walked Kassidy everyday while Amy was at work, and Amy had spent the past 5 months living with her, training her, loving her. But in the end, we could not be happier with the choice we made in adopting Kassidy to James and Donna. We both still are in contact with them and I even got to see Kassidy last week and meet her new rescue sibling Bella! Kassidy is spoiled living on a huge property in Trabuco Canyon, with neighborhood friends, beds all over the house so that if she wishes to lay anywhere, there is a bed. She even has her own facebook! Though our journey with Kass was filled with many trials, it ultimately one of the things I’m most proud of.

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kassmomanddad

*Kassidy’s Mom & Dad.

kass7*Enjoying the view of her kingdom.

Thank you for letting me show you apart of my world and listening. Animal rescue & welfare is a HUGE part of my everyday life. It can be defeating, grueling and time consuming. However, when you can save just one life you are reminded why you continue to fight through the ”compassion fatigue”. If you have any questions regarding rescues, shelters, donations or any breed and in specific pitbulls please feel free to comment or email me. I have worked with dogs for 7 years as well as been a pet owner all my life. And I love to share the extensive useless doggy info I have obtained over my years. In a later post, I will introduce you to my babies.

Goodnight my wild spirits,

Ashley

Extra notes: FOSTERING SAVES LIVES! A foster takes in a dog for an indefinite amount of time while a rescue networks them for a “furever home” and covers all costs. You only need to provide a safe place for them to stay, show them love and expose them to positive human interaction.

If you are in Southern CA, and interested in fostering please contact me. I would be happy to align you with a reputable 501c3 rescue (dog or cat and multiple other species). If you are interested in adopting, I have a wide network of resources all over the country to find you your perfect four-legged match

xoxo

7 thoughts on “Rescue my heart…

  1. Thank you for the great article, Amy and Blaine along with you are just awesome people! All of these babies are so so lucky that you guys are able to help and rescue!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! You brought us Piper through your networking….another last minute save for a beautiful soul….she is THRIVING and she changed my life forever……nothing, absolutely nothing compares to saving a life….

    Liked by 1 person

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