From fur to fins, Lisa Blanck covers animal issues

29-Pound ‘Doughnut’ Finds New Home

29-Pound ‘Doughnut’ Finds New Home

This Doughnut is a kitteh who found his way to the Jacksonville Humane Society in Florida.  They posted photos of him, wanting to know if there was a family out there who wanted to take in “the biggest boii ever.”

Tipping the scales at 28.6 lbs., Jax Humane wanted to be sure that whoever signed on to take in this pulchritudinous, purring puss, would also help keep him on his new, veterinarian-prescribed diet.  He may be pounds of ‘adore’, but it’s just not healthy for a cat to be so corpulent.

Courtesy, Jacksonville Humane Society

Jax Humane had some fun with the big guy, posting that he ran a 13/10 on the Imgur ‘Chonk Chart for Cats’ and,

“Oh Lawd He Comin!”

But few could resist and the applications came rolling in.  Within days of the original post, Doughnut had a brand new home and a brand new name – ‘Ziggy’.  Though his previous owner loved Doughnut very much, (and may have broken bread with him a bit too much), his new family was equally thrilled to add him to their clan.  He’s even got a kitty sibling willing to share the love.  Said his new mom,

“I feel so lucky that we were able to bring him home, he’s the sweetest boy.”

Approximately 4 million cats enter shelters each year.  Why not visit your local shelter and find a fine feline who’ll fit your family?

Come back to AnimalWrites for more great stories about animals and the people who love them.


Neglected, Devoted Senior Pair Finally Find Rescue Devoted To Them

Neglected, Devoted Senior Pair Finally Find Rescue Devoted To Them

From their photos you can tell that Benny and Mona haven’t had easy lives.  Their bodies tell a sad tale – elbows covered with pressure wounds and scars.  Hanging tumors and infected ears.  Fleas cover their bodies, with many fur-less patches of skin.

But the two labs find beauty, compassion, contentment and companionship in each other, even while chained in a dry and dusty yard.  Immensely devoted, the senior pair seemed destined to end their days at an animal shelter when their elderly owner passed away.  Their owner’s next of kin had already surrendered them to the local authorities.

Before Rescue, Courtesy, Putnam County Animal Control

Putnam County Animal Control, in Palatka, FL, began networking the pair when they arrived at the shelter.  These notifications soon caught the attention of Laura Ortiz, Founder and volunteer for Great Dawg Rescue in Ormond Beach.  She quickly took these two sweet seniors under her rescue’s wing.

Great Dawg Rescue specializes in adult, senior or hospice retrievers who have been left homeless, without options.   Ms. Ortiz quickly observed the limitless devotion Benny and Mona held for each other.


“They are awfully dedicated to each other, cleaning each other’s terribly infected ears and sitting within arms length at all times.”

Benny and Mona, after their baths, Courtesy, Great Dawg Rescue

Though we have no way of knowing if they had once been loved pets, who, like far too many, found themselves cast outside, ignored and abandoned, we’re certain that their lives moving forward will be filled with limitless love and care.  Care from wonderful humans, and continued adoration from each other.

“These two are never out of each others sight whether they are standing or sleeping. And if they ever do lose sight of one another, they cover each others’ faces with kisses of gratitude when they see each other again.”

It may take some time for the pair to become acclimated to lives of comfort, but Great Dawg Rescue is more than happy to give them the time they need.

“The sweetest thing is to watch Benny protect Mona by standing charge over her as I slowly introduce them to my tribe…he stoically places himself between her and my dawg and huffs and puffs and charges when anyone gets too close. It is obvious Benny forgets he’s old and feeble so it all happens in slow motion, and my biggest fear is that he will break a hip or lose a tooth…but it’s the most noble and darling thing at the same time. He’s just doing what he’s done all his life…making sure his best friend/soul mate/life partner is OK, and for that, I will never fault him.”

Senior pets really bring a specialness to our lives.  Once you open your home and heart to one, we’re sure you’ll agree with this sentiment:

I wish I had met you sooner so I could have known you longer.

Great Dawg Rescue has other wonderful animals in need of homes, for adoption or foster.  You can find some here on Petfinder, and on their Facebook page.  In honor of Adopt A Senior Pet Month, consider offering your home to a senior in a shelter near you.

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One Year After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s ‘The Sato Project’ Holds Spayathon Round Two

One Year After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s ‘The Sato Project’ Holds Spayathon Round Two

If you’re an animal advocate, when a hurricane’s devastating impact is revealed in the morning light, chances are high that you are already heartsick, worried about the animals affected by the tragedy.

When Hurricane Maria blew through Puerto Rico, the number of owned, abandoned and stray animals who suddenly found themselves lost, starving and on the street was unimaginable.  One area of the island, practically ‘Ground Zero’ for Maria, was Dead Dog Beach, where animals are regularly dumped and left to fend for themselves.  A group of volunteers had established themselves there, before the storm, striving to change the lives of these animals.

And then Maria struck, obliterating their progress.  Determined to rebuild, they once again stepped up to the challenge.  And every day, The Sato Project continues to keep making a difference for the animals in Puerto Rico.

Courtesy, The Sato Project

They have a multi-level approach including assisting animals of island residents who chose to stay on the island with their pets, reuniting pets with the families who chose to leave and providing extensive spay/neuter services throughout Puerto Rico.

June 2018 saw The Sato Project on the ground in devastated areas still in need of rebuilding homes and lives.  In conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States, ’round one’ of June’s Spayathon saw 899 spay/neuter surgeries completed through The Sato Project in Cieba.

Spayathon day 3, Courtesy, The Sato Project

In November 2018, ’Round Two’ of the Spayathon took place, once again spearheaded by the HSUS, and partnering with 22 organizations including Helping Paws Across Borders.  At their Fajardo location, 1,113 animals were again provided with free surgeries and vital vaccinations.

The Sato Project are ambitious in their goals.  With the help of veterinarians skilled in high volume, high quality surgery, they and their partners hope to to provide spay/neuter services to 20,000 animals by 2019.  You can help them reach these goals by clicking here, on their Amazon wishlist.

Courtesy, The Dogist

The Sato Project also partners with the amazing group, Wings of Rescue, to help transport selected animals out of Puerto Rico, and into shelters on the mainland, animals  who have adopters and fosters ready and waiting to give them shelter from the storm.  For this purpose, The Sato Project has already developed a number of fostering groups in the States including Animal Haven ShelterBrandywine Valley SPCA and Potter League For Animals.

Courtesy, The Sato Project

The Sato Project took their name from the Spanish word for ‘street dog’; many of these abandoned dogs live their entire lives on the streets or the beaches.  These little dogs, usually terrier mixes, have to survive by their wits.  They have very hard lives; most don’t make it past their second birthday.  The Sato Project wants to change how these dogs are commonly perceived.   They believe, and we agree, these animals are incredible treasures; every single day, the organization fights to make their lives better.

Courtesy, The Dogist

To date, The Sato Project has distributed over 68,000 pounds of humanitarian and animal supplies to individuals and rescue organizations across the island.   If you’d like to get involved in this life-changing effort, please contact them on this link.  Round Three of the Spayathon takes place February 3-9.

Please follow AnimalWrites for wonderful updates about animals and the people who love them.


Study Shows Women Who Share Their Beds With Dogs (And Not Men) Sleep Better

Study Shows Women Who Share Their Beds With Dogs (And Not Men) Sleep Better

You may have heard the saying, ‘Lie down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas’, but a new study in the Journal of the International Society for Anthrozoology puts a better spin on it.

Apparently, women who share their beds with dogs of the canine variety get a better nights rest.  Women who curled up next to their canines reported less disturbed sleep, greater feelings of security and felt more comfortable with than without their canine partner.  Other studies show that roughly 60 percent of all dog owners allow their dogs to sleep on their bed with them.

The study did not come to the same conclusions for women who sleep with cats; the same benefits for getting forty winks with a feline don’t seem to apply.  In fact, women who share a bed with their cat reported their sleep was disrupted as much as when sharing a bed with a human.

Further, according to the study, dog owners also tend to go to sleep and wake earlier than cat owners.  Which does make sense – who needs to wake to walk their cat in the pre-dawn?


Admittedly, the study is ‘self-reported’ and not confirmed by any objective measure, but if you find yourself tossing and turning, perhaps the answer to your restless nights may be found in your local shelter!  Feeling a cold wet nose on the pillow next to you, or snuggling up to your pup on a cold winter night may be just what the doctor ordered!

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Online Puppy Scam Victim’s Twice-Broken Heart Healed By Hurricane-Rescued Pup

Online Puppy Scam Victim’s Twice-Broken Heart Healed By Hurricane-Rescued Pup

Losing your pet in any fashion is devastating.  Whether it’s to illness, an accident, theft or they simply vanish and cannot be found, their loss is always mourned.  Recently, a disabled gentleman from Portland, Maine, lost his pug to cancer.  His doctor recommended he get a new therapy animal to assist him with his disabilities.

After six months, and ready to love again, Peter Cole went searching online to find a new best friend.  But tragedy struck once more; while on that search, Cole fell victim to an overseas puppy scam.

The Better Business Bureau reports that 80% of online ads for puppies are likely fake, with dollar amounts reportedly scammed from customers topping $1200.

Pete Cole reportedly paid $500 for a pug named ‘Joey’ to  He was told the dog would be put on a plane, but ‘Joey’ didn’t show.  Then Cole was tapped for an additional $900 to ‘insure the dog so it could fly’.  Cole thought something was up and refused to pay any additional $$.  Not surprisingly, ‘Joey’ never materialized.  Devastated, Cole simply didn’t know where to turn.  He said,

“After that scam situation I was so mad I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t think I was going to get a dog.”

A local news station in Portland was alerted to Cole’s plight.  WGME reported the story, warning viewers about the scam.  As is all too common, the scammers, tracked back to Russia, simply took down the bogus website and launched a new one, using the same photograph that took in Mr. Cole.  Obviously, these scammers have no intention of stopping.  In the meantime, the station began working behind the scenes with local rescues, hoping to find Cole a new dog.

WGME and the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland began devising a solution.  After speaking with Mr. Cole, ARLGP staff were convinced he’d be a great, loving dad to one of their pups, and they began to search for a match; they were committed to giving his story a happy ending.

Earlier this year, ARLGP had brought in about two dozen dogs who survived the hurricane that razed Puerto Rico.  Angel, a three-year-old corgi mix, was one of the hurricane survivors in need of a home.  And once Cole and Angel met, ARLGP knew it was a match made in Portland!

Though they each suffered horrible losses, Pete and Angel are on their way to making each other whole again.  And Cole promises to give Angel a good life.

“He’s going to like Portland, let me tell ‘ya.  He’s going to be spoiled.”

Over a six-week period in 2017, reported that the largest number of bogus websites they identified were selling Yorkshire terriers (108), French Bulldogs (105), Pomeranians (77), Bulldogs (73), and Huskies (63).  Naturally, AnimalWrites endorses adopt, don’t shop.  But if you simply must shop, the BBB has these recommendations; if you’d like to report a scam, click here.

And if you enjoyed this story, or have a story suggestion, please subscribe to AnimalWrites and let us know!

Rescued Greyhounds Train To Become Service Dogs For Veterans

Rescued Greyhounds Train To Become Service Dogs For Veterans

A program at SouthTech Academy High School in Boynton Beach, Florida, is teaming up with Awesome Greyhound Adoptions to re-train greyhounds, retired from racing, to assist South Florida veterans in need.

Last week, Florida voters spoke out for the greys, passing Amendment 13 with 69% of the vote, making this the 41st state to ‘prohibit the cruelty and killing of dog racing.’  The change will go into effect across the entire state by the end of 2020.  People who voted for the dogs, but are concerned about what will happen to them when they no longer race, will be eager to hear more about some valuable training programs.

Awesome Greyhound Adoptions has been offering their Hounds & Heroes program to veterans since May, 2011, placing highly-trained greyhound service dogs with veterans with PTSD or those who need mobile assistance.  The vet assistant training program with SouthTech Academy fits hand-in-glove with that program.

Says Carolee Ellison, a vet assistant instructor at SouthTech,

“People think that they are very excitable… they are 45-mile-an-hour couch potatoes.”

And these nimble couch potatoes are much stronger than you can imagine, blowing another stereotype out of the water.  Says Ellison,

“If the veteran is starting to lose their balance, they can hold them up.”

The greyhounds will need forever homes or fosters before they can participate in the program like the one at SouthTech.  But for all those who still have some doubt that voters made the right decision, this week Awesome Greyhound Adoptions posted this on their Facebook page:

New girl coming into adoption today and new boy on Friday this week…… we need to “replenish the supply” as we only have one boy left for adoption right now and MANY applications to foster / adopt.

The steps towards the end of dog racing in Florida began in 2011, when reforms were offered to the Florida Legislature from Grey2K, the advocacy group spearheading the initiative, including decoupling, a bill to ban steroid use in greys, and a bill to track injuries.  But the racing industry would have none of it and refused to comply or negotiate.  And the FL Legislature tabled the entire issue. Now, thanks to the voters, they have no choice but to comply.

According to a report from the Bradenton (FL) Herald, at least one greyhound track owner agreed with the voters. “Financially (ending racing) probably makes money for us because the dogs weren’t profitable except for a couple of months out of the season.”  Advocacy group Last Chance for Animals estimates that 3700 greys will need homes in the coming year.

If you’d like to learn more about Awesome Greyhound Adoptions, please click here.

This Pet-Friendly Maine Resort Also Secures New Homes For Shelter Pets

This Pet-Friendly Maine Resort Also Secures New Homes For Shelter Pets

Looking for a sweet vacation spot for you and your canine companion?  Maine’s Inn by the Sea goes to the ends of the earth to pamper all their guests, both human and canine.  And, over the last few years, many families vacationing at the resort have returned home with an additional furry family member.  Intrigued?  Read on about this successful program!

This beautiful Cape Elizabeth beach-side facility partners with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.  Select, well-behaved dogs in need of homes find temporary residence at the elegant hotel until they are adopted.

Bambi found her furever home in NYC! Courtesy Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland

It took Bambi, a one-year-old spaniel mix, less than 24-hours to find a new home with one of the guests at the Inn.  Bambi came to ARLGP from a rescue partner in Los Angeles.  And when she left Maine, she went to her new home in New York City!

Bowie found his furever home! Courtesy, Inn by the Sea

Another  recent guest at the Inn was Bowie, an 11-month-old mixed breed.  He appeared on the Inn’s Facebook page on November 9th, and this lucky pup found his furever home in just a week!

Many guests at the Inn are already predisposed to love being around animals.  Whether they’re enjoying a human-only vacation or have arrived with their own pet, guests and Inn staffers are always happy to see a friendly furry face, making this special program a perfect symbiosis.

For the past 20 years, the Inn by the Sea has been pet-friendly and was recently featured in the Travel Channel’s list of top places to take a vacation with your entire family, both two-and-four-legged.

Reyna enjoys the fire in the lounge - a foster dog at Inn by the Sea
Courtesy, Inn by the Sea

Rauni Kew, PR & Green Programs Manager for the Inn by the Sea tells us,

It’s been a huge success with guests and staff- we love the foster dogs and always have a little separation anxiety when they leave, but of course are very happy they have a permanent loving home.

Since its inception three years ago, more than 130 dogs have been adopted through the Inn by the Sea.  The program also helps promote the joy you find when rescuing an animal and the work of the Animal Refuge League.

If you’d like to learn more about the Inn by the Sea, click here! And for more information on ARLGP programs and their adoptables, please click here.  And please subscribe to AnimalWrites for more news about animals and the people who love them!

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