Volunteer video

One of our volunteers, Tobi, did a great video of the hardworking volunteers at the Baldwin Park Shelter. Enjoy!


With gratitude, from the dogsThe dogs at the shelter told me they wanted to say thank you to the volunteers for their unyielding commitment, devotion, love, care, compassion and determination to help find them homes and save their lives. So, I helped them make this little video. With gratitude, we love you! —Tobi Sackheim

Raised Dog Beds Needed

If you have ever visited an animal shelter, you know that traditionally they have been made of cement and metal grating, not the most comfortable arrangement for a dog, but practical for the shelter worker hosing off the surface. Although this is a convenient way to keep the surface free from debris and contaminents (namely, “poo” and “pee”), it’s an unforgiving surface for a dog that might be underweight, cold and stressed.

One of the biggest challenges for a shelter like this is to keep illness from spreading, especially those that are airborne, such as kennel cough, which is pretty much guaranteed to be present in the air at most shelters. The longer a dog stays at the shelter, the more likely he or she is to contract this commonly transmitted “doggie flu.” Dogs with strong immune systems are able to fight it off, but for the weak and fragile, it can been a long, uncomfortable struggle, or even a death sentence in some cases.

The Baldwin Park Animal Care Center is no exception. They are one of the older shelters in the LA County shelter system, and must contend with the regular challenges of the LA County shelter system, namely  not having enough bedding to go around. Because it is so easy for beds or blankets that are directly on concrete to get fouled or dirty, the best and most useful kinds of dog beds are raised off the ground. 


United Hope for Animals  would love to be able to provide the shelter with all the raised beds it needs, but alas, at $57 each (including shipping), we do not have the budget for all 90 beds that the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center needs. We need your  help! If you are able to contribute a bed or two (or more!), please visit Kuranda.com/donate and select “California” under “choose your state” and then “Baldwin Park Shelter.” The shelter is most in need of the medium sized beds.

In the comments section at checkout, let them know that you heard about this program through United Hope for Animals, and send us an email and let us know you donated a bed! 🙂 

Doggie Treasure Hunt!

No one can deny that companion dogs make us happy. In turn, we strive to give them good lives, providing food, shelter affection, and companionship in return. Despite the seeming closeness of the relationship I have with my dogs, I’m still all too aware that snuggling on the couch, taking rides in the car are very human activities, and the dog is happily fitting in to that. The daily “walk”, which rarely miss, is more balanced, in that we feel natural strolling along, and the dog gets to to what is instinctively natural: sniff.

My dogs, like most dogs, live for the “walk.” If they had to choose between that and a treat, I think they would choose the walk every time. This is my projection, of course. I enjoying “seeing” everything and everybody we encounter on the walk, and they enjoy smelling it all. Their nose is, of course, their most important of the five senses we share, and magnitudes more sensitive.

Close up photo of dog sniffing

Photo by Liz West

Just how much more sensitive might blow your mind. BBC entertainment recently aired a program about this and demonstrated a dog on a boat being able to pinpoint exactly the location of a can stuffed with treats that had been dropped to the bottom of a lake and weighted down so they knew it hit bottom. The dog sniffed and sniffed the air and alerted in the direction of where it had been dropped, and their sensors told them it was precisely where the treat had been submerged.

Now I’m not saying that the dog could smell underwater, but perhaps molecules in the air just above where the can was lowered were still concentrated enough to let the dog know it was there. Either way, it boggles the mind to think about the scent abilities of dogs. It’s a dimension we can only try to imagine.

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Jameson: The Small but Mighty Pugweiler

What do you get when you cross a Rottweiler with a pug? The small-but-mighty “Pugweiler” of course! Meet Jameson, a unique blend of Rottie colors and a curly pug tail, who went from being discarded and injured at the shelter, to a very loved and valued member of his new Altadena family, and “doggie therapist” to his four-legged brother, Astro.

In June, the two-year-old Jameson, then known as “Shadow”, found himself at Baldwin Park Animal Shelter, but quickly became a shelter volunteer favorite. On glamour shot day at Baldwin Park, UHA volunteers were so smitten with Jameson’s uncommon good looks and personality that they completely forgot to take his picture! photo (4)

It was also discovered at the shelter that Jameson had an injured front leg, possibly due to being hit by a car, which required a visit to the clinic and a giant blue splint to heal. Apparently, his former owner decided to surrender him rather than fix the fence where Jameson kept escaping. When United Hope for Animals volunteers Laura Knighten and Jileen Hohle came to pick him up to be fostered, they lamented that no one would call or be interested in an injured dog like Jameson, especially with an enormous blue splint on his leg!   IMG_2285

 Fortunately, Jameson was going to be fostered by UHA volunteer Jileen, and given a comfy, quiet place to rest and heal his leg. Shortly after settling in with with his foster mom, Jameson developed pneumonia, which was a setback. After he was feeling healthy again, he was seen by an orthopedic specialist who noted that Jameson would always have “character” in his walk, but surgery was not recommended at the time.  Once he was over the pneumonia, and the splint removed, Jileen saw that Jameson was full of energy, and maybe even a little bored of her apartment lifestyle! It was time to find his forever home.

 It was very important that Jameson’s new home would be accommodating to any special needs that he may have in the future due to his past injury, so a very special family was needed! Jileen remembers the day she and Laura brought Jameson to meet his potential new family at their home, and it was very noticeable how he fit right in. As his new dad was making lunch for the (human) boys, Jameson laid nearby on the kitchen floor as if he lived there all along. They knew he was home.  It was hard for her to say goodbye, but Jileen knew that Jameson would be living out every doggie’s dream with his new family, a home with a huge yard, and a playful dog brother to keep him entertained.

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