Tag: prayer

Keepin’ It Together – Teaming Up To Save Harley

Each time the TASP hotline rings, and each time another email arrives at our inbox, there’s a new challenge to our creativity waiting to be met, to keep one or more animals out of trouble. Case in point: Harley, a sweet 5 year old Pit Bull and her loving family.

A man left a message in my voicemail that his dog had been vomiting, refusing to eat, and suffering with diarrhea since Wednesday. Now all of us who are blessed with good health, a vehicle that runs, and enough money to budget for vet bills would have had the tools needed to solve this dilemma in less than three days. But Harley’s challenge was a perfect storm of unfortunate coincidences. Her Dad was suffering from cancer that had put him on disability. To make matters worse, Dad’s truck had broken down and because he now had limited income, he hadn’t had enough money to get it repaired yet. Dad’s fiancé would have helped, but two weeks earlier she had broken her ankle and was still hobbling, still out of work.

In the midst of all this, the family had run out of dog food and was feeding Harley whatever they could muster from the freezer and the table: chicken and rice, beef ribs, whatever they could gather that would satisfy Harley until they could get back on their feet, get the truck back on the road and get some grocery shopping done. And then Harley’s vomiting and diarrhea began. After the first 36 hours of her illness, Harley’s family grew more concerned for her wellbeing. They knew that she would become dehydrated if she didn’t get some fluids into her system, but each time she drank some water, she’d just throw it back up.

The mountain lake where Harley and her family live is absolute heaven from June till Labor Day, inhabited by vacationers looking for a retreat from the hubbub of life; but from Labor Day till Memorial Day it’s remote and virtually uninhabited except for Harley’s family, a seventy-five year old neighbor with a car less reliable than Harley’s Dad’s truck, and an assortment of bears, squirrels, Canada geese, and other wildlife.

Harley hadn’t seen a vet in awhile, since Dad came down with his illness. Co-pays and gas to get to and from doctors appointments, CT scans, treatments and blood tests ate up what little Dad’s disability check could provide. But it wasn’t like Harley wasn’t loved or that she didn’t love her family. She lived a relatively idyllic life on the lake with them and her presence in the little house brought joy to their otherwise stressful world of medical uncertainly. She was the bright spot in their lives and they adored her.

When I found Dad’s call in my voicemail during my Friday lunch break, I called back right away. Learning the litany of misfortunes that had hit this little family over such a short period of time was kind of like listening to an old Hank Williams song. Yet Dad didn’t make excuses or demands. He only politely asked if there was anything we could do to help him get his dog looked at by a vet who would accept payments over time. He’d already called every vet he could think of, tried applying for Care Credit and other veterinary credit companies and been rejected by all. He told me how he and his fiancé had been feeding ice cubes to Harley in an effort to keep her hydrated and I could hear the worry in his voice as he described her present demeanor. Lethargic. Didn’t want to go out or do anything. No appetite. Wouldn’t even lift her head….certainly not the bubbly, bouncy Pit Bull he’d adopted from the shelter back before cancer changed this family’s world forever. In my head I was considering the possible veterinary conditions we might be dealing with: pancreatitis…….punctured or blocked GI tract………kidney failure…….or euthanasia?

You know, at the time we were on that first phone call, I didn’t have much hope. An hour’s drive west of Albany, this dog was nearly an hour and a half west of where I work.  I was still at my job and couldn’t just pick up and leave. By the time I got out of work, every vet’s office short of the Emergency Hospital would be closed…..and the cost to walk into that facility is currently $130 before work on the animal even begins. I started going down the list of TASP volunteers and where they were located at that point in time. Nobody available on such short notice on a Friday afternoon.  I had already committed to helping three homes in Troy after work on that Friday, each with its own sad, time-sensitive animal situation that needed tending. The following day I was scheduled to haul home-deserving foster dogs to Bark & Brew in Grafton. I found myself calculating in my head how much TASP might be able to spend on Harley at the Emergency Hospital on Saturday night, that is, IF she would survive that long.

Then I think an angel reached down and tapped me on the head because it suddenly occurred to me to contact Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. I personally knew how much they care about all needy animals and I knew they had a good number of volunteers in Albany County. We had nothing to lose by asking if MHHS might have a volunteer available who could drive this failing dog and her owner to a local vet to try and save her. TASP would pay the vet bill. We just needed a transporter, and soon.

I texted. I got a text back in short time. It was KC at Mohawk Humane. The text said, “Hi, Melinda, it’s KC – will try 2 find a volunteer 2 transport the dog for Mr. ……..” And this was where the music should turn from Wagner’s Requiem to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, if you know what I mean. That little text message gave me HOPE! KC found a wonderful man named, “Todd,” who volunteered to transport Harley and her Dad to The Village Animal Clinic in Voohreesville. Danielle at the Clinic said Dr. Cheever agreed to see Harley Saturday morning in spite of their normal policy of only accepting established clients on Saturdays. Todd left for the lake Saturday morning not knowing if Harley could be saved, but he was eager to do what he could to give her and her family a chance.

Flash forward to Saturday morning. Harley and her Dad are helped into The Village Animal Clinic for the eval. The Doc’s examination indicates a case of severe gastroenteritis (possibly from the diverse collection of things Harley had been eating when her dog food ran out?). Harley is treated and sent home same day.  TASP pays the bill over the phone and Todd transports Harley and her VERY relieved and grateful Dad back to the lake. TASP then orders a couple of large bags of dog food to be delivered to Harley’s house by Chewey.com, to keep her eating a dog’s menu instead of a human’s. The update call from Dad the following day was very encouraging. Meds appeared to be working, vomiting had stopped, diarrhea clearing and Harley was starting to become more interested in life again. The joy in Dad’s voice would make anyone think this guy’s on top of the world. Some things in his life may be absolutely awful right now, but he’s not alone in this struggle. He has friends he didn’t even know a few days ago and they helped him save his dog. Life is beautiful!

I spoke with Dad this week and he’s scheduled for surgery in January. Meantime, Harley is healthy and keeping him smiling again. She’ll be receiving a TASP care package in the mail this week with some donated treats and flea preventives to help take that burden off the family’s wallet, and we’re also contributing to the repair of Dad’s truck so he and Harley have reliable transportation during this challenging winter. We’re sending our prayers for a successful surgery for Harley’s Dad and hope you all will as well. After all, he may need his dog, but she needs him, too.

 

 

A few things worth noting about this project:

  • The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society is more than just a shelter now. If you haven’t visited there lately, you should; just so you can see what a state of the art Humane Center looks like. Sheltering is only a part of what MHHS does for their community, as witnessed in this true story. They have a healthier building, better kennels, and first class veterinary equipment. But even more noteworthy, they have programs that help the community do a better job of owning pets. Educational programs for kids. Low cost spay-neuter services. A Pet Food Pantry. Training classes for pet owners and their animals……so many resources offered to help animals and people live in harmony! And speaking of people, I have to say that the people at MHHS are inspirational. With just one text message, TASP found the caring partners we needed to bring a much-loved pet out of a crisis that would have devastated her owners. We could not have brought this happy ending to this family without the help of Mohawk Hudson Humane Society’s people.
  • We got lucky when we chose The Village Animal Clinic for Harley’s emergency visit. Dr. Cheever graciously set her clinic’s policy aside to accept Harley on a Saturday; she didn’t have to do that. My recommendation to all is to find a veterinarian you can trust and afford, and then make it your mission to bring your animal(s) to that vet once each year. Having an established relationship with a veterinary clinic or hospital can get you an appointment ahead of others who do not have a relationship with that vet. It’s just like going to a doctor, eh? If you’re already a patient, you get seen this week. If not, you get an appointment in 3 months. Visiting a vet even when your pet is well isn’t a waste of money. It gets your pet a chance to be checked by a professional for signs of illnesses that could be caught early enough to fix for far less than if left alone to fester. Checking eyes, ears, oral, anal, and general palpation of skeleton and body gives you a good picture of where your pet stands health-wise and it also gives you an opportunity to learn by asking questions of professionals who have a lot of education and experience about animals. Harley’s case was an exception, and we understand there are other folks who also find it impossible to make an annual vet visit due to their own or a family member’s needs taking priority. But while you’re in good health, if you can budget even a tiny bit each month to be set aside for your pet’s preventive care, you might just save its life.
  • Dogs may be omnivores, and they may enjoy table-food as it’s going down the gullet. But the havoc it can render on a dog’s digestive system can be life-threatening and costly. Harley and her family were lucky that the cooked rib bones offered to her hadn’t broken off irregularly and blocked or perforated her intestines. To be sure, this family’s financial situation had caused them to try some creative solutions to feeding Harley that they probably wouldn’t normally have approached. At the same time, the genius they exhibited in offering ice cubes to Harley to get fluids into her dehydrated body was probably the key action that kept her alive. Dehydration is an extremely dangerous condition that can cause organ failure and even death if allowed to go on for too long. An animal can live without food for days but not without water. It’s something to bear in mind anytime your pet has an extended bout of vomiting and/or diarrhea, or any time you pass your pet’s empty water bowl.
  • If you have a decent job, and you know someone in your neighborhood who is struggling financially…..with a health situation or some other challenge that could endanger their pets, why not drop by and ask if they need anything now and then? Just say you’re paying it forward for the good things that have happened in your own life when you really needed help. It takes so little to reach out and offer a hand to those who truly need it and the reward of knowing you changed lives is something you just can’t buy anywhere. TASP does our best to help whenever and wherever we can, but we can’t be everywhere and we’re always operating on a shoestring, financially. You don’t have to work in animal welfare to offer welfare to an animal and its owner.

In Their Words……More Testimonials From Our Consumers and Friends

I just wanted to thank you so much for all you did to help us save Rocky from NYCACC and help him recover from kennel cough without infecting our other dogs. He is a dream and we would not have been able to do it without your knowledge and help! You are an amazing resource for our community! – Lisa

 

Thank you for a wonderful time and your special treatment of our little old man – Barbara

 

You guys are the BEST! Thank You. – Johanna

 

Jack Passed away on July 31st very unexpectedly…….I cannot begin to tell you how precious all of the photos we have had taken are to me now. – Sarah

 

Thank you so much I just called them she has an appointment for tomorrow at 3:15. – Amie

 

I just want to say thank you so much God bless you for helping baby and I just wanted to update you with her how she’s doing and she is now walking again thank God…….I wasn’t able to have children do to my disease and they are my children…….and they are my world I mean that – Chrissy

 

….sometimes he regresses but I’m practicing and practicing and he’s getting better and better thank you again! – Ada

 

After paying rent and utilities I struggle with the other monthly expenses. Thank you so much! – Kathleen

 


Full Speed Ahead for Pet Retention Assistance

Well, here we are releasing the 5th edition of our “Out of the Box” e-newsletter and I still haven’t run out of things to tell all of you! In fact, each day brings more voicemails, emails and text messages presenting TASP with more requests for help of every sort. I have to admit, 2018 has been one heck of a challenging year for our little organization, with the loss of Mitch and the exponential growth in the number of requests we’re receiving. But we’re a sturdy, stubborn bunch and we keep our noses pointed into the  wind, moving one foot ahead of the other, one project after another.

These days at the Plasse ranch, when I’m not working at my paying job or tending to TASP matters, I’m caring for a number of my own and TASP’s hospice dogs and cats. Dear old Otis, our 24-year-old hospice cat, finally passed over to the other side less than a month ago. Meantime, Guidry, the Catahoula puppy I brought home from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina is now pushing fourteen and losing control of his back end. I thank God every morning that he’s able to get up with assistance and walk just a bit on the farm he so conscientiously patrolled all these years. And I thank God I have a job that allows me the privilege of being able to care for his needs at this stage of his life, and a husband who is kind enough to hand-feed Guidry when I’m not home and to help me rearrange our home’s entire basement level to accommodate this beloved old dog’s condition. I know there are people who love their animals as much as we do, but who aren’t as fortunate as we are. My heart goes out to these people because I know what it feels like when an animal leans its head up against me asking for help. How would I feel if I couldn’t afford to respond?

Believe it or not, I still occasionally encounter people who give that “deer in the headlights” look when I tell them what TASP does. And I can understand why some folks might not readily relate to the concept of helping animals and their owners through tough times. If you were fortunate enough to be born into a secure home and have not experienced the loss of your security up till now, it might be hard for you to wrap your head around all the changes a person is subjected to when their life is interrupted by a health issue, a divorce, the death of a spouse or loss of a job.  Those changes can be more readily comprehended and rationalized by a human, but what about their pet? A conversation I had recently with a nice lady on the phone illustrates this perfectly, I think. The tearful call came one night while I was working through the day’s voicemails and emails while simultaneously choking down a bowl of soup for my dinner.

This woman from a county about an hour and a half from my house was sobbing that she’d been sent to us by her local shelter.  She had contacted them looking for help for “Hennessey,” a female pit bull she’d rescued from a neglectful home two years ago. The dog was very weak, not eating for the past couple of days. When she originally took the dog in, she had her spayed and vaccinated by a local vet hospital and Hennessey had been healthy right up until this problem occurred. But between then and now, this lady had endured four surgeries; and what had been a financially secure home turned into a place where there was barely enough to go around even when things were all running smoothly. With Hennessey suddenly becoming ill, there was no emergency fund left to treat her at a vet. I listened as Hennessey’s Mom told me her story, and then my heart sank when she said, “And then the guy at the shelter told me, ‘People who can’t afford to care for an animal shouldn’t have one.’ You know, when I rescued Hennessey, I COULD afford a dog! I never planned on getting hurt and I never dreamed I’d be begging for someone to help me get her vetted now!”

These are the situations that deserve “out of the box” consideration. It’s an adult pit bull that is loved and that has an owner who wants to keep her. Should we send that dog into the shelter system and hope she finds another home where her owner won’t someday get sick and have trouble paying a vet bill? Or should we just help this pet owner through the current crisis and let the family resume life together, not overburdening the shelter with another pit bull? After all, Hennessey’s Mom was able to afford the day to day care of this dog and would probably even be able to afford vetting if this need hadn’t just occurred at the same time she was healing from her last surgery.

More and more of these crises are being brought to our attention now because we’ve been making happy endings for at-risk pets for over ten years….and good news is contagious. We’ve done our best to offer whatever help we can remotely over the phone and internet to these distant counties. Proof of financial need can be texted to us; payment of a vet bill can be made over the phone in most cases. We’ve mailed pet store gift cards to people needing supplies where we can’t reach them and we’ve had supplies shipped directly to needy animals from places like chewy.com. We’ve shipped first aid supplies to the cat whose rearend was ripped up by the new family dog and we’ve helped explain in layman’s terms things like abcess care, second intention healing, tapeworm, flea prevention, kidney failure and amputation to worried pet owners facing big and small decisions. We’ll keep on fielding the requests from wherever animals are at risk in the Capital region and do our best to respond with enduring solutions. If we can’t be there personally, then we’ll work with those who are there……like the man in Amsterdam who requested help for an injured cat belonging to his neighbor who speaks Ukranian fluently but has trouble with English. I have strong faith that TASP will find ways to grow support in the areas farthest from our reach through partnering with other individuals and groups, so if you know someone who might want to team up with TASP in places like Fulton, Montgomery and western Schenectady counties, please have them contact TASP through our website, or call me at 518-727-8591. After all, TASP can’t be everywhere all the time, but with so many caring animal lovers in our region, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t work together to prevent an animal’s suffering when their owner hits on hard times.

Thanks from the heart from all of us at The Animal Support Project for caring enough to open and read our messages, and for supporting our mission. We wish all of you and your families: two-legged, four-legged, furry, hairless, scaled and feathered, warm-blooded, cold-blooded, old and young, a very beautiful holiday season and a new year that fills you with joy, prosperity and gratitude. Will be back in touch in the spring with more good news for y’all.


High Fives – Thanks to Our Growling List of Business Partners

High Fives…….

…..to the wonderful businesses in the Capital Region who prove they care by partnering with TASP:

Adirondack Veterinary Clinic

Animal House Dog Grooming

Animal Wellness Veterinary Services

Aquaduct Veterinary Hospital

Benson’s Pet Centers

Bloomingrove Veterinary Hospital

Borador Animal Hospital

Bought Veterinary Clinic

Brunswick Agway

Brunswick Animal Hospital

Campbell Supply

Cambridge Valley Vet

Canoe Associates Insurance Agency

Catskill Animal Hospital

Cobleskill Vet Hospital

Conceptual Images

Crawmer’s Animal Training

CourierTronics

Duncan & Cahill Contractors & Engineers, Inc.

Fane Construction

Fuzzybutts Grooming

General Electric

Hallam ICS

Healthy Pet Center

Higher Ground Farms

Honey Badger Farms

Hoof n’ Paw Vet Services

Hoosic Veterinary Hospital

Infinity Pet Services

In The Comfort of Home

Karen L. Marbot, Attorney at Law

Kat’s Bed n’ Biskit

LaFave, Wein and Frament, PLLC

Lifetree Pilates

Latham Animal Hospital

Lowes Home Improvement Center, Latham, NY

Lydall Corporation

Mud Hollow Farm

Oakwood Veterinary Clinic

Out of the Basement

Pet Supplies Plus

Quest Plumbing

Regeneron

Riverside Vet Hospital

Ross Valve

Schoharie Vet Hospital

Schopf Law

Shamrock Grooming and Dog Day Care

Stewarts

The Animal Hospital

The Village Animal Clinic

Tub 64 Pet Grooming

Union Street Veterinary Hospital

Upstate Veterinary Specialties

VCA Brown Animal Hospital

West Mountain Animal Hospital

Whalen Tent

Wiley Brothers Hardware & Building Supply

WLR Embroidery

Please consider giving them your business in return for their commitment to TASP’s mission.


The Next Chapter – Update on Mitch’s Dogs

With 2018 nearly over, we realize what a challenging year this, our tenth year, has been. Losing Mitch Valerien in March was the worst thing that ever happened to our little group, and it was so totally unexpected, the cause still not fully understood, even the most optimistic of us probably felt like the floor was pulled out from under our feet. So it is easy to imagine how much worse that horrible event was for Mitch’s dogs. Without the ability to understand even what little we knew about Mitch’s death, these animals went through a life-altering change in 2018. Living alone, Mitch was everything to these dogs: mother, father, nurse, chef, janitor and UBER service….TASP owed it to Mitch to do our best to help her animals get to the next chapter in their lives as painlessly as possible. And thanks to the kindness of our community and the resilience of these dogs’ spirits, we have some very positive news to report to all of you.

Andy: “The Flower,” is now living a loved, safe and joyful life with Lea, a local veterinarian who has a soft spot for senior dogs. And BTW, she also has a very friendly, sweet black lab mix female for Andy to play and snooze next to. This gentle guy was very bonded to Midnight, Mitch’s little black lab mix female, so it was especially gratifying to have Andy find a home with another friendly female who resembles Midnight so much. Andy’s new Mom is a “foster failure,” just as Mitch was when she originally adopted Andy from Labs4Rescue so many years ago. The first time we contacted Lea to bring Andy to an adoption clinic, she asked to adopt him because he had grown so content in her home and she’d grown so fond of him. Lea writes in her latest update, “He’s doing great, a real sweetie and has adjusted to life with me very well. Everyone loves him. His sister is forever pestering him to play, sometimes he’s happy to and other times he just patiently ignores the biting at his head and feet (Hadley can be a pill!)” Andy’s new life is truly what Mitch would have asked for if she could.

Click on Andy’s portrait to watch a video of him and Hadley playing together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin: “The Forever Puppy,” was the first of Mitch’s dogs to be adopted, and the oldest! Thanks to Tracy, Mitch’s childhood friend in Rhode Island, Ben lounges on the carpet next to Tracy’s desk while she’s working from home, just as he did at Mitch’s house while she worked from home. Ben’s got a family who adores him and makes him a part of everything they do. And he has a little girlfriend to snuggle up and flirt with whenever he wants to. Tracy’s latest report: “Ben is doing great. He has been a great addition to our family. We love taking him for rides and he loves just being with us. We are truly lucky to have him.” Can you imagine how happy this would make Mitch?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billie: “Sweetheart,” Billie was the dog who seemed to suffer the most when Mitch passed away. For awhile, we couldn’t figure out why Billie was physically failing. But once she settled into Lynn’s home in farm country, just outside of Fort Edward, Billie’s condition began to turn around. We discovered Billie’s physical decline was just a symptom of her grieving! Lynn happened to be her Vet Tech at Borador Animal Hospital when Mitch was still alive. After Mitch’s death, Lynn’s heart went out to the old dog with the huge benign tumor on her back, who suffered so profoundly from the loss of Mitch. In a recent email, Lynn told us, “Everyone in my family just loves her. She fit in here like she had always lived here.
Although I am sorry that it was necessary to rehome her I am honored to have her as it is the only thing I could do for Mitch.” It’s clear Lynn adores Billie and Billie’s physical improvement since moving in with Lynn testifies to how happy she is there. Lynn even prepares home-cooked meals for this noble old dog! Now, Billie’s latest chapter is truly a happy tail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midnight: “The Little Sister,” also hit the lottery. She was adopted by Ally, who works at Upstate Veterinary Specialties. Midnight has a much smaller pack now: just her and a dog-friendly cat, so she gets loads of attention and love, and doesn’t have to share her Mom with a lot of other dogs. She even gets to go to work with Ally, who tells us, “Midnight is doing wonderfully. And feels like she has always been a part of my life. I love her already!….. I am so glad that I found her. It’s been such a positive experience and I am looking forward to giving her a perfect home after going through so much. Her story truly touched my heart.” Ally’s update really touched all of our hearts at TASP. Little Midnight is surely blossoming in this new life of hers.

Mallory: While the “Little Mama” is waiting for her own forever home, she’s fostering with the Plasse’s, sharing the front zone of the house with Hammond (Rich & Melinda’s senior Rottie mix) and Desi, the deaf senior Jack Russell Terrier from TASP’s hospice program. Mallory enjoys her role as the only chick in the crowd, and the male dogs seem very willing to have Mallory direct the day’s activities. Rich tells us, “Mallory’s showing us every day what a terrific gal she is by walking to and from the play yard without even being leashed. She barks when company comes and loves lounging on the self-heating dog bed Hammond loaned to her. She’s such a cheerful girl…. her tail wags so hard when she sees me, it sounds like she’s beating a drum. She’s a really good dog!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadie: “Cover Girl” is now officially a Canine Good Citizen thanks to her foster Mom, Lucinda. While she waits to be adopted to her forever home, Sadie shares the foster home with two cats and two male mini dachschund mixes. She enjoys the daily walks Lucinda takes her on in their quiet neighborhood and one of her favorite things to do is to snooze with her dog and cat friends on Lucinda’s big front window seat. With her good manners and her magnetic personality, it’s just a matter of time before Sadie finds her special person to adopt her; but in the meantime, she’s thinking foster life is mighty sweet at Lucinda’s. “Sweet Sadie is an eager-to-please girl. She relishes car rides and outdoor walks and hikes, but is also content to nose around the back yard or sit by the window to watch the world go by,” according to Lucinda. Sadie  certainly has matured and is nothing like the wild-child she was years ago when Mitch took her in. She’ll make someone a fantastic companion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zach: The dog we were most worried about being adopted was our “Wingman.” With his separation anxiety, Zach presented a big dilemma for anyone who worked outside the home. Fortunately for him, Bill came with his family to the Petapalooza adoption event at Curtis Lumber in Hoosick Falls earlier this year. Bill had just suffered the devastating loss of his wife. And being retired, he found himself with way too much alone time. Zach’s larger-than-life personality caught Bill’s eye from the get-go and before long they both knew they needed each other. The rest of the story is better than anything we could have written for Zach. Bill and Zach are a team now, doing everything together at home and on the road. Bill’s minivan is the perfect vehicle for these two bachelors to cruise to the park for a nice walk or to run errands in town. And Bill says Zach is like his shadow, always right behind him and ready to participate in any activity, especially climbing into bed at the end of the day. Bill says, “Sometimes he even beats me to bed and I have to ask him to move over so I can get in!” Bill’s daughter, Dawn adds, ” I would like to thank you for giving my Dad the opportunity to adopt Zack. I believe they are a perfect match! They are inseparable, great therapy for each other.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time only moves in one direction and no amount of money on earth can buy time back once it’s spent. The old adage says, “Change is good.” But some changes are so sudden and irreversible, they can upset even the most level-headed of us. All of us at TASP are glad that Mitch’s dogs are finding their own lives now. It wasn’t easy for them to adapt after all the years they shared with Mitch, but thanks to the commitment of Mitch’s circle of friends and the response from the community, all of her dogs are safe and loved. We hope to report on the final placements for Sadie and Mallory soon, and with that, we will all know Mitch can finally rest in peace knowing her “kids” are going to be alright.


The Next Chapter – Project Outcome Followup

Update on Bria

If you follow our facebook page, you know Bria returned home to live with her family back around January. As soon as she went home, Bria was enrolled with her family in Basic Obedience training through Crawmer’s Animal Training, courtesy of TASP, just to give her a leg up on moving back to home life. With three active kids, Dad recovering from major surgery and Mom adapting to her new job, it was extremely gratifying to know that the whole family was so devoted and committed to bringing Bria back into their lives.
The nicest update about Bria just came from her Mom!
“It’s been a whirlwind of a year but this is us and we got this… we are settling in and as I write Bria is laying by my bed. I would take a pic but she is a girl always in motion! Allana graduated yesterday and she will be off to St. John’s University in the fall to study Bio with a concentration in pre-med. We will never forget your kindness and would love to visit before she leaves! You are so special to our family!”
This family is still struggling to make ends meet since the fire took their home nearly two years ago. They are STILL waiting for the insurance companies to settle. But they’re a family of survivors and they’re all working hard to move on with life. They are an inspiration to everyone who knows them and it has been a joy to play a part in their recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update on Copper and Charlie:

Who says two giant old dogs can’t find a home together? Well, if this happy ending doesn’t make you believe in Santa Claus, I don’t know what will. You met Charlie and Copper in our last newsletter. On their way to the euthanasia room, these two bonded senior dogs made a detour to TASP foster care with Kat. And not long after that, just in time for Christmas, BOTH of these old guys hit the lottery and were adopted by Allison and her wonderful family. Used to giant breed dogs, the family’s home was ideal for our old buddies. And what a great way to start the new year: loved and safe with folks who treasure them for the gems they are!
At their ripe old ages, there is no telling how many Christmases Copper and Charlie will see. But knowing they will spend the rest of their lives being loved and spoiled is enough to make anyone want to celebrate. Thanks to everyone who had a part in this miracle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update on Bucky:

Three dentals, two leg surgeries and TWO YEARS in foster care! That’s what it took for Bucky to find the home he was meant to have. Although the little cowpoke was always a hit at adoption clinics and events, he never seemed to get the followthrough from potential adopters, and those who DID apply to adopt him had other animals who didn’t care to have Bucky in the family portrait. But that all changed in July when JT came into the picture. With a circle of friends who all own dogs, JT was looking for a little compadre who would work out well in her apartment and who would get along with the rest of her friends’ dogs. Circle Bucky for that! Living in Boston near a wonderful network of parks, trails and dog-friendly businesses, JT and Bucky now are seen frequenting all the best spots for reading and posting p-mail. And since JT works from home, the Buckmeister has his very own full-time relationship; the kind of lifestyle we think he always dreamed of and deserved. From a discarded, crooked-legged waif to a healthy, beloved companion with a real live bedfella and a social life to rival that of any Boston bachelor, this little Urban Cowboy is finally home!


Message from the President: TASP’s Position on the 2017 Gulf Hurricanes

TASP has received many enquiries about our plans for responding to the Gulf hurricanes this season.   At this time, several of our key people are massaging our schedules to comply with requests received from ASPCA and RedRover. As an all-volunteer organization, we have to be sure that when we, as individuals, are planning travel across the country to support animals victimized by a natural disaster, the needs of our own families, jobs and animals are provided for. So will TASP people be traveling to the gulf to help? Based on our individual situations, several of us are planning to respond with the national groups who have been invited in by the local jurisdictions, and with whom we already have relationships.

In the meantime, for those of you who want to help the animals and people currently under duress in the gulf, please consider making a financial donation to any one of the NARSC (National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition) organizations who are responding. If you aren’t sure who’s really a part of this qualified  coalition, CLICK HERE for a link to the list of the current NARSC membership: . And remember that the well being of pets depends on the well being of their owners.  Don’t underestimate how important pets are to the people who were evacuated from their homes in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and surrounding areas. These people need to get back on their feet asap and get their families back to something like normal. Organizations like The Salvation Army are the vital link to that. Your donation, made specifically for Harvey or Irma (or Jose? Maria?) Response, will go a long way toward bringing people and pets home.

Just a reminder to all of you who have been worrying about this: The south is used to bad storms and flooding and they have learned a lot from past experiences. Don’t forget that there are many qualified rescues and national animal welfare organizations who have an abundance of trained, qualified staff and volunteers located within driving distance of the disaster. Animal disaster response is handled much differently now (thank God), compared to the way things were handled after Hurricane Katrina. If you watched any news footage of the human rescues for Harvey and Irma, there were many images of animals and their people all leaving the home together. Thanks to lessons learned, many human shelters now allow pets in the same or a nearby separate shelter, so pet owners and pets can remain connected until they can all go back home. This works very well and has been used for years very successfully. Ever since George W. Bush’s PETS Act went into effect, local SARTs/CARTs (State/County Animal Response Teams) in the gulf have been drilling regularly in preparation for something like a Harvey or an Irma. They have had trailers filled with supplies and volunteers with go-bags already packed, ready for deployment when the call comes. Starting this August, the call came and came again; and all that preparation was put to work for the good of the pets in the gulf.

All the major states and cities in the gulf (and around the country, for that matter) have advance contracts called, “Memoranda of Understanding” already established with all sorts of non-governmental organizations for situations like hurricanes and other disasters. When the local jurisdictions feel they can’t manage the animal situation on their own, they contact the animal welfare organizations they’re already contracted with and invite them to enter the disaster zone to help the locals rescue and/or care for the displaced animals. The same “Incident Command” protocol used by fire, rescue and military is used now by all the bona fide Animal Disaster Response organizations in the NARSC coalition. This way, there is mutual accountability, communication and tracking that will sustain the mission and ensure the best possible outcome for pets and people.

Many months from now, when the gulf’s inhabitants are back on their feet and the emergency pet shelters and boarding facilities begin to deactivate, there may be a need for animals who were not reclaimed to be sent to foster care or to pre-qualified municipal shelters and rescues. Some may even be sent as far north as our back yard. But until that emergency sheltering/boarding period is over, the NARSC animal welfare organizations will not likely be sending owned hurricane animals anywhere. One of the primary purposes of emergency animal sheltering is to hold the animals until they are reclaimed by their owners. We are obligated to allow the owners to have their pets back once they are able to take them. You would expect the same courtesy if you were in their shoes, right? Animals who were already in the shelter prior to the hurricane’s arrival ARE being moved out to other shelters outside the disaster zone, and one local shelter, Mohawk Humane Society, actually just received 23 animals from a Texas shelter and is taking another 30 from Florida shelters. But if someone asks you to finance their trip to the gulf today to bring back animals and they’re not affiliated with one of the authorized member organizations, you might want to ask a lot more questions before opening your wallet.

Thank you all for caring and praying about this situation. Having worked plenty of disasters in the past, I can tell you there are few sights that compare with the look on a displaced person’s face when they are with their beloved pet, no matter what else they may have lost. As the hurricane season continues to evolve, we will be bringing you our own personal accounts of what we find when we deploy to wherever we’re needed. Until then, take comfort in knowing it’s a blessing for something like a Harvey or an Irma to happen in 2017 instead of 2007; animal disaster response has come a long way since then.

 

 

 


Update: Will Bria Be Home for the Holidays?

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Hi again, everybody! It’s me, Bria! I’m still in foster care with TASP, and pretty soon it will be a whole year that my family and I have been apart. We’re still keeping tabs on each other and the rumor is, we might have a new home by Christmas. It seems like so long ago that the fire wiped out our old house and put me here in foster care. Ever since then, Mom and Dad have been working their hearts out, trying to save up enough for a down payment on a house while they’re still waiting for the insurance companies to stop arguing with each other. I love them for keeping their promise to Allana and me to reunite all of us again for good and forever, and I’ll wait patiently until they are ready to bring me home.

This is Allana’s first year in college and I have been praying for her to be as successful as I know she can be. It must be hard to concentrate on your studies when you’ve lost your home and your BFF isn’t beside you to keep you smiling, don’t you think?

While I’m waiting, I’ve got a nice young fella to play with here at my foster home. His Mama has been very sick so while she is getting better, Nicholas the German Shepherd puppy lives in my zone. When he first showed up, I thought he was kinda goofy….all feet and ears and always jumping on everyone and chewing anything he could fit into his mouth. But now, he’s been here for a few months and he’s been growing into a handsome young dawg. He’s become my favorite playmate and best friend (next to Allana, of course).

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Nick and I like playing Capture the Wubba and Steal the Antler outdoors in the yard and we wrestle like a couple of Olympians for hours on the kitchen floor. At night, after last outs, we like chillin’ with our peanut butter Kongs while Mom and Dad are finishing up the day’s chores. Thanks to all the exercise and play with Nicholas, I am staying in great shape and losing some of my own goofiness, gaining some more manners and maturing into an adult Lab Lady.

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I still spend most of my day carrying things in my mouth….old habits are the hardest to break. But heck, we all have our fetishes, right? And at least you always know where to look for the Kong Wobbler: it’s right here, in my mouth!

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You don’t have to worry about me because I am safe in TASP foster care. But would you please pray for Mama and Dad, Allana and the kids? They have lost so much but they still keep trying to rebuild their life. If our prayers come true, this Christmas, I’ll be sleeping next to my Allana again.

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