Happy Tails

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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Daisy’s Dream Comes True

Working in animal rescue can be extremely difficult. Hearing about beautiful creatures being euthanized at shelters, day in, day out, frequently gets overwhelming. Sometimes, the animal’s health is fading fast and it seems like the only humane solution, but far more often than not it’s a pet with many more years left in it, just the victim of overcrowding and overpopulation.

So when we’re able to intervene to save even one life, it helps ease the pain. Take the story of Daisy, for instance.

One day, Menna, one of our volunteers, was at Southern California Animal Hospital and noticed a strange energy in the office surrounding a woman and her Jack Russell Terrier, Daisy. It turned out that the woman’s husband was ill and they were remodeling their yard and, because she felt she could not longer take care of the dog, she’d taken her in to be euthanized. Apparently, she just wasn’t aware that there were other options for Daisy.

Not surprisingly, the staff didn’t want to put down a perfectly healthy, seemingly well-socialized pet, but they needed an alternative. Menna was able to intervene and boarded the dog for a few days while UHA looked for a foster or adopter for Daisy.

Around this time, one of our beloved rescue dogs, Lancelot, passed away and another of our volunteers, Amanda, decided to foster Daisy in his memory. Although she hadn’t felt quite ready, when she saw Menna’s plea along with the photo of Daisy, she knew she couldn’t resist.

Daisy-fenceAmanda explains, “Thankfully, I was able to step in straight away so that Daisy wouldn’t have to enter into the shelter system and be exposed to cold, stress and communicable diseases. I took photos of her at once and within two weeks we had two interested adopters.

The man who adopted her, Tom, fell madly in love with her. Even though initially his home situation wasn’t ideal (Daisy was a “bolter” and he didn’t have a front yard), he was willing to do whatever modifications were needed to make his home suitable for Daisy.

He ended up getting two doggie gates so that Daisy wouldn’t be able to shoot out the door into the street when they opened the door.

Daisy is Tom’s princess. He takes her everywhere he goes, and I think she’s probably got a rhinestone collar and matching leash!”

Indeed, it has been a fairy-tale ending for Daisy. As Tom puts it, “Daisy is a wonderful member of our family. We can we can hardly recall a time when she wasn’t a part of our daily lives. She goes everywhere with us. Whether it is uptown to get doggie snacks, off to have lunch or even a cross-country drive to visit friends and family, she is joyfully always there with her little tail wagging.

Her curiosity is unquenchable as is her lack of fear. She is so eager to see new things and meet as many dogs as she can. We have a wonderful vet whom she adores visiting! It’s so cute to watch her get excited about going into the office there when we go in there.

You can often find us at the Sierra Madre dog park in the mornings or venturing out and about through our neighborhood. She loves going for truck rides, so we’ll often take a little trip to new places for her to explore.

She is so happy.

Thank you again to you and your folks at United Hope for Animals for having the compassion and care to save her from destruction and bringing such joy and happiness to our lives.”

Amanda sums up, “Dog rescue is often heartbreaking when you see what some of these kind, innocent souls have been through, being neglected and mistreated, but when you are able to save a life, and give a dog that has plenty of years left a new happy home, it makes it all worthwhile. It really is a matter of just getting their sweet little faces out there in front of the public, and finding people who are willing to spend some of their free time helping these dogs get photographed and listed online to make a difference. Sometimes all you need to do is get a great photo and tell people a little about its personality and the before you know it the perfect person will come along.”

Check out these photos of Daisy in her new home – we think you’ll agree she’s content!


Freya is Freed from Foster!

By Anna V. Garrison

I was absolutely not ready for another foster.

I had good reason: I was allergic to my last foster and had just finished spending nearly three weeks suffering from sneezes, a runny nose, and watery, itchy eyes.

But this particular kind of stubbornness means nothing in the world of animal rescue. All it took was one picture to force me to open my home to a third dog.

In all honesty, my choice of foster wasn’t that surprising. Freya was part border terrier – a double threat since I love terriers and have my very own border terrier mix. She was on red alert at the Downey shelter and animal advocate, Ruth Silny, had been tirelessly networking her through Facebook and emails.

The day I pulled Freya from Downey, she immediately displayed the typical rescue pup gratitude. She trotted along beside me with her slip leash and when I sat, she placed her front paws in my lap and nuzzled and licked me for attention.

Freya tells me immediately how thankful she is to be saved!

Freya tells me immediately how thankful she is to be saved!

Fast forward three months later. I was exhausted. Freya and one of my pups were having jealousy issues. Freya’s chewing stage had damaged more than one household item. And so far, I had only had one interested party without an adoption application that had lost interest at some point. I prepared myself to revamp Freya’s profile, take more pictures, and make some videos.

But miraculously, some holiday karma hit me just in time. I was suddenly hit with three separate emails from interested parties. The first one gave me a great feeling (something else rescue advocates understand very well) although I was worried when I realized they lived almost 400 miles away. I’d done out of state adoptions before with great success, but that success always depended on the adopter and my intuition.

As it turned out, my gut was right. I had nothing to worry about. Freya’s new parents were in love with her from the first sight of her picture. A meeting at the park only sealed the deal!

Now, the former red alert shelter dog is living it up in her new home for the holidays with her new name: Darla! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Darla! We hope you enjoy your gift: a forever home!

Darla is living it up!

Darla is living it up!


It's a match made in heaven!

It’s a match made in heaven!

Tica: Lost and Found Again

Story by Kerry Oldridge

As anyone who as been doing animal rescue for any length of time can tell you, everywhere you look an animal is in need of rescue. Certain areas, just south of the Mexican border, have so many homeless dogs, that people stop paying attention. When there are so many, only the most desperate stand out, and, fortunately for one little Chihuahua, someone finally paid attention to her suffering.

A woman living in an apartment building in Ensenada called 4 PAWS, an area animal rescue, to report an abandoned dog. She told 4 Paws that the people who had owned the dog (and who used to live in the building) moved away and left this dog behind, and the dog had been outside wandering around the area fending for herself for a very long time.

Little Tica had barely survived this long by eating any bit of food scrap that fell from trashcans around the apartment building, or what she found on the street. However, the woman caller told 4 PAWS that she did not think the little dog would last much longer. 4 Paws immediately drove to the address, found the dog outside the building, wrapped her in a blanket, and took her to a foster home for treatment.

Tica had a broken leg, a very painful eye infection, and mange so extensive that in some areas her skin was gone and her flesh exposed. Although she was only 2 years old when she was rescued, it was clear that she had already had many puppies, and, had recently given birth. Although the rescue volunteers searched for the puppies, sadly they were never found. It took months of treatment and care before little Tica would even lift her head.

She was not only near death due to the neglect and injures, but she was depressed and withdrawn. Tica eventually responded to her care, was ready to be spayed, and was taken to the spay and neuter clinic preformed by 4 PAWS, sponsored by UHA and a few other individual donors. She was then taken to Julie Meager in San Diego to complete her fostering, and post her for adoption.

Julie Meagher who has, over the years, fostered many rescued pups for both UHA and AAUS, decided that little Tica had in fact found her forever home. After many months of caring for her, Julie and her family decided that they wanted to adopt Tica. Julie said, “we want to make it up to her, to erase all the suffering she had to endure by giving her love and comfort each and every day.

“She may look like just another ordinary, little brown Chihuahua, but she is special,” Meagher said. “Tica is so very grateful; she is one of the most loving dogs we have met. All she want is to give and receive love, she fills our home with joy, and we feel lucky to have her.”

Although Tica’s condition was extreme, in Mexico, this is the typical condition of the homeless dogs, and sadly there are many thousands of dogs like her struggling to survive.

Every month, United Hope for Animals, (UHA), teams up with Animal Advocates of the United States, (AAUS), 4 Paws, and other individual sponsors, to hold a spay and neuter clinic in Tijuana, Ensenada and other areas in Baja, California. As well as offering this much needed service to pets owners that would otherwise not be able to afford it, the long standing relationship between UHA, AAUS and 4 PAWS also enables us to help owners find lost or stolen dogs, rescue abandon dogs, and ensure that they are spayed, neutered, and find safe, loving, permanent homes.

These clinics provide this very important service to the public, who would not otherwise be able to afford it, and as well, to local rescue groups working to help the abandon street dogs. Please help us get the abandon dogs and cats off the street, and into loving homes, and help us ensure that each pet is safely spayed and neutered. Together, with your help, we can end this tragic cycle of suffering.

Tica was one of the many fortunate recipients of the critical link between UHA, AAUS and 4 PAWS.