Archive for the ‘Human-Animal Bond’ Category

Tarzan Recovers From Encounter With Car, Thanks to Angel Fund

Friday, April 8th, 2016

 

On an August morning in 2014, Robin – a writer and editor who lives in West Los Angeles – heard a cat crying in her courtyard.  “He was yelping and he was really upset. He just kept crying and crying,” she said, “and his mouth looked swollen.”

Robin, who asked that her last name not be used, recognized Tarzan, a friendly cat who lived outdoors in the neighborhood after his owner died. eH “At first I thought he had an abscessed tooth. I could see he was in pain. . . . So I took him inside and started researching veterinarians on the internet.”

Robin took Tarzan to the Westchester Veterinary Center and Cat Clinic. “When I got there, I explained that I was not Tarzan’s owner and that I was just a concerned animal lover. The staff . . . was really friendly and concerned about the cat,” she said.

A staff veterinarian said Tarzan’s jaw was shattered and that he needed surgery. She said that he probably had been hit by a car.

“I sat inside the exam room with Tarzan and I was massaging him and talking to him and the [clinic] staff was talking about what to do.  Someone came in after a while and said that I could apply to Angel Fund for Tarzan’s surgery. I said I was willing to chip in $150. Angel Fund and the clinic paid the rest.”

Robin and Tarzan Feb 2016Dr. Henry Yoo, owner of the clinic, did the surgery. “He did an amazing job with Tarzan,” Robin said. “There were a couple of months of feeding him with a turkey baster and going to the clinic regularly for follow-up appointments. The people at the clinic were always friendly and helpful.”

The time she spent caring for Tarzan had an impact on Robin.  “After a couple of months,” she said, “I got very close to him. And I didn’t want him going back outside. It’s healthier for cats indoors [where they’re unlikely to pick up diseases] and there are no cat fights.  And I certainly didn’t want him to get hit by a car again. So I just had to adopt him.”

And, she said, “without Angel Fund, who knows what would have happened to him. He might have been put down. I really think that the clinic and Angel Fund saved his life.”

Today, she said, you can’t tell he had surgery. “He’s a special cat. He eats normally and has a good appetite. He has a lot of energy. He’s very clean and he was always really friendly. One day I woke up and he was lying there beside me.” She thinks Tarzan is “teen or pre-teen” in age.

Are she and Tarzan living happily ever after? “He is.  I am.”

Are you doing it together. “Exactly.”

Disaster Plan for Pets

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Veterinary Pet Insurance (r) - a Nationwide Insurance Company

Pet Disaster Preparedness

Plan Ahead to Protect Pets

A natural disaster or an emergency can take place when you least expect it. In moments of panic or chaos, you may not have enough time or foresight to evacuate pets with their daily essentials. Planning ahead for pets will save you valuable time—and keep your pets safe.

Storing an accessible “grab and go” bag for pets and having a well thought-out exit strategy will have you prepared for the worst.

Check out our infographic below for quick tips on preparing yourself—and your pets—for a disaster plan.

For more in-depth info on preparing pets for a disaster, read “5 Natural Disaster Tips for Pet Owners.”

Pet Disaster Preparedness Infographic

Blue Giving Stress Relief During Final Exams

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Blue spreading cheer during finals

Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Angel Fund Helps Beautiful, Pregnant Boots

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

 

Boots and the Holy Spirit 009Last Spring, Scott and Barbara Peterson had a visitor to their Tustin apartment – a beautiful black and white cat who was affectionate and loving.  The animal – they named her Boots because of her white paws – soon became a part of the family.

But after a few weeks they realized that Boots was putting on weight, that she was pregnant.

When the time came for Boots to deliver her litter, it quickly became clear that something was wrong.  She was in extreme discomfort and seemed unable to give birth.  Scott searched the internet and found a website which suggested that a mother cat who was in labor for five hours should be taken to the hospital.  He went back to the internet to look for a nearby veterinarian and decided to take Boots to Veterinary Surgical Specialists in Tustin not far from their home.

There Dr. Diane Craig performed a cesarean section and delivered two kittens. She told Scott and Barbara that one of the kittens was simply too big to be delivered by a normal birth.

Scott, a retired electrician, did not have the financial resources to pay the hospital and surgery bills. He applied for an Angel Fund grant and was approved for $500, an amount that the clinic matched. He and Barbara are grateful for the help they received and the care Boots was given.

Today, Boots, who was spayed when her kittens were delivered, is an indoor cat.  One of the kittens still lives with the Petersons.  “She [Boots] is really pretty.  She’s black with white paws and a white tuxedo look,” Scott said.  And she is healthy and happy. He    e H

“I thought it was miraculous that she came to us when she was pregnant,” he said. “If she hadn’t done that, she probably wouldn’t have survived.  She just walked in the door. We didn’t realize she was pregnant at first.  But if she hadn’t come to us, she would not have lived.”

Did she have some inkling that she might need help? “I don’t know,” Scott said.  “Maybe somebody else sent her our way.  Maybe somebody from above.”

Ollie’s Injured Knee Repaired With Help From Angel Fund

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

AF Ollie 2

In January last year, Brandy Knochel took her dogs to Riverwalk Dog Park in Riverside not far from her Perris home. “It’s a dog park I frequent and we were on the agility side of the park,” she said. “There’s a hoop you can jump through and Ollie loves to do that.”

Ollie is a Rottweiler-Airedale mix who weighs more than 100 pounds. “Bubba, go jump!” Brandy told him. The dog eagerly ran for the hoop but his sister, a much smaller Golden Retriever mix, got in the way. “She jumped in before him, which slowed him down. So when he jumped through, his back leg got hung up on a chain,” she said. “And when he landed, he immediately laid down and started yelping. I thought, ‘Oh my god, he just broke his leg.’ He couldn’t walk and he wouldn’t let his toe touch the ground. So I took him to the veterinarian.” The doctor said she believed Ollie had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament. She referred Brandy to a specialist.

A dog trainer, Brandy said she was “immediately doing fund-raising for him. I did training at discounted rates. I did rummage sales. I did garage sales. I knew he was going to get surgery but, if we could get help, it made it that much easier.” At her garage sale, she put Ollie in her front yard on an ottoman with a document that described what had happened. “We told people that all proceeds would go for his surgery. We had people who came to the sale and didn’t buy anything but donated to his surgery fund.”

A friend who lives nearby and works for SCVMA told her about Angel Fund. Brandy filled out an application. Shortly before Ollie’s surgery date, her friend called her and told her that her application had been approved.

Dr. Sam Shenouda performed the surgery on Ollie at Ambassador Dog and Cat Hospital in Long Beach. When he repaired the ACL, however, he discovered a torn meniscus and repaired that, too. The additional cost was $900.

“I had raised enough for his ACL surgery,” Brandy said. But with the additional charge for meniscus repair, she needed the Angel Fund grant and the hospital’s match to pay her bill. “When I found out they had approved it, I said, ‘Holy Cow! I cannot believe this is happening.’ I was very thankful for it. I’m sure he [Ollie] was, too.”

Ollie now is “a brand new dog, essentially,” Brandy said. “He looks so good. And the doctors said that, usually, if a dog tears a leg on one side, he is at risk for the other side. We’ve had zero issues with his other side. You wouldn’t know looking at him that he had had surgery. HJ He takes a little longer to get up, especially in the winter, if he’s been lying down a while, because he has to stretch the [injured] leg.

“We’re very, very much appreciative of the help Angel Fund gave us. It relieved some of the tension and it just made this a whole thing a lot easier. It worked out extremely well for us.”

Welcome back Janell Keider and her new Pet Partner Piper!

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Piper Keider Pix

PIPER:

Breed: Flat Coat Retriever Mix

Partner: Janell Keider

 

Piper was just a puppy when she was abandoned in another country. Kind people rescued her, collected donations, and bought Piper a plane ticket to the United States so she could have a safe and loving home. We adopted Piper before she was a year old and could tell that she would be a great therapy dog – she loves people, especially children, and is sweet and gentle. She greets our cats each morning with a wagging tail and lick on their noses. She also loves to race around the backyard, playing “tug” and “chase” with our other dogs. We are so happy that Piper joined our family!

AHF Pet Therapy Team Comforts Patient With Severe Depression

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Mia for MissionIn November, Mission Hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit (located in Laguna Beach, California) opened their doors to a Pet Therapy Program, which has been offered by the hospital as a Community Benefit service to patients for the past 8 years. Over a dozen dedicated Pet Teams have volunteered their time in an effort to support the healing journey for patients, and most recently, two teams have opened their hearts to the behavioral health patients. Recently, staff shared a story of a patient who was significantly changed due to a visit with Mia, who has been a canine volunteer with Mission Hospital for 7 years.

“We had a patient with a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder who experienced major loss and was having a very difficult time coping.  She suffered with thoughts of suicide, insomnia, and severe social isolation. She had these symptoms for days and had not attended any patient groups. While she initially declined pet therapy, further prompting encouraged her to participate. Initially, she simply sat next to Mia, but after a few minutes, she began gingerly petting her and her physical affect began to change. She walked out of the group room with a small smile on her face. From this day until discharge, she became more and more visible on the unit, began sleeping better, and no longer had thoughts of suicide. We are convinced that she would have been here far longer if she hadn’t been given the opportunity to make that initial step to spend some time with Mia.”

It is connections like this one that make our work at Mission a sacred experience and help to bring wholeness to our patients, our co-workers and our community. Many thanks to volunteers Pam and Daleen who take hours from their day to prepare their dogs and spend time at our ministry; without them, these sacred moments would not be possible.

Military Hero Dogs Back in the States to Reunite with their Handlers

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

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FROM THE AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION…

Thanks to you, some of America’s bravest heroes — our military dogs — have come back to a hero’s welcome and a safe, loving home following a lifetime of service to their country.

With your help we’ve been able to bring home seven of these courageous canines in just the past four months and reunite them with their heroic handlers:

   •  MWD Cila and Sgt. Jason Bos, who served close to 100 missions in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

•  MWD Ryky and Sgt. James Harrington, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan from 2008 to 2011, working in front of a convoy to sniff out deadly IEDs.

•  MWD Thor and Sgt. Deano Miller, who spent every moment in Afghanistan together identifying IEDs but had been separated since 2010.

•  CWD Mariah and Sgt. Omar Peña, who forged a bond in Afghanistan that not only kept them safe on the battlefield, but also provided important companionship while not on patrol.

•  CWD Boo and Cpl. James Hinton, who were such a great team identifying IEDs that Boo would often sniff out explosives without being given the command.

•  CWD Cena and Cpl. Jeff DeYoung, who served together during Operation Moshtarak, considered the largest military operation in Afghanistan at the time.

•  CWD Donna and Cpl. Joaquin Aranda, who counted on each other to survive the long cold nights in Afghanistan together.

In fact, each trained military dog saves the lives of an estimated 150-200 U.S. service men and women, and they deserve not only our respect but a good, safe retirement on U.S. soil.

But not every one of our four-footed veterans is so lucky. For a variety of reasons, some don’t get home to enjoy the happy, healthy lives they have so richly earned.

To change this and urge America and its leaders to bring home ALL our veterans — including those on four legs — please join us and three of the military hero dog teams you helped reunite on Capitol Hill tomorrow at 2:30 pm in the Cannon Building, Room 210, for an afternoon you won’t soon forget. We promise you will walk away with a new-found appreciation for the brave sacrifices made by the two- and four-legged warriors.

With gratitude,


Robin R. Ganzert, PhD
President and CEO

Pets help chase the blues away

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Opie Ferguson PicturePets can help people deal with depression by providing companionship, initiating physical activity and serving as a source of routine and responsibility, both of which are therapeutic, according to this article. “Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression,” says psychiatrist Ian Cook, director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. The Huffington Post/The Blog
 
You’ve seen the TV commercials, the person in black and white and sad while they watch their friends and family in color happy as can be? Then the sad individual gets help, sees the world in color and has a dog run into frame to play with them, or they are suddenly on the couch petting their beloved cat. Well, there’s a reason for that, pets can help individuals with depression/illnesses/anxiety.”Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression,” says Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA.Depression affects millions of individuals in the USA alone. A lot of people reading this suffer from some form or know someone who does. A pet might not be right for everyone, so don’t just show up with a pet one day for someone you know with depression.The first thought that enters many heads is “I can barely take care of myself, a pet would be a mistake.” Well, with great pets, comes great responsibility. Depression studies have shown responsibility promotes mental health. “Taking care of a pet can help give you a sense of your own value and importance,” says Cook. It will remind you that you are capable — that you can do more than you might think.” You still may be arguing that you can’t even get out of bed or off the couch, well that won’t fly (unless you get a bird, in which case let it fly around). Pets add routine to your life, you want be able to stay in bed till 2 pm or lay on the couch till 11:30, pets have a schedule and they will help you schedule your life again. You’ll have to get up to feed them, let them out, play with them, walk them, feed them again. Pets get you off your butt and moving again.Depression has a strongest weapon, and that weapon is isolation. It will pull you back from your friends and family, you’ll dodge calls/texts/snapchats/IM all of it. Leaving you to question all your thoughts alone, that is when depression strikes hardest. Pets offer the opposite of isolation, they bring companionship. A dog will never leave you alone, in a good way. My dogs run up to me all day throwing toys at me, laying on me, whine until I pick them up. I’m never alone, and I love my pets for that. I have woken up at 3 am to one of my dogs throwing a football at my head, meaning its play time now. Having a pet means you’re never alone, even when you shut the door to go to the bathroom in peace, your pet will barge in “You watch me go, why can’t I watch you go?”Pets give us routine, keeping us active, dogs have the added benefit of being brought on walks, or to dog parks. This exercise of taking your pet out promotes physical activity which in turn promotes mental and physical health. Walks help you lose weight, get you out of your depressing house which you’ve been cooped up in for far too long and also lets your pet relieve themselves with no shame. Say you’re walking your dog or bring them to the dog park, well there’s a good chance someone’s going to come up to you to ask to pet your dog or ask what kind of breed they are, your dog will encourage you to interact socially. You may be shy or anxious or still feel alone, but guaranteed your dog will get attention and thus bring the interaction to you. So long isolation, hello social butterfly wonder dog. You may hate talking about yourself or not care what others say but pet owners love talking about their pets like children, and it’s safe to say if you have a pet you like pets in general, so you’ll go ahead and converse about them. Let your pet shine.If I’m not petting one dog I’m petting the other, if I’m not scratching a friends cat behind the ears them I’m scratching another. Studies show that people feel better when they have physical contact with others. Petting a cat and listening to them purr soothes you, rubbing your dogs belly and watching their leg kick also relaxes you. You’re no longer sitting in the house just lying there, you have someone to touch, to talk to, to interact with.
Finally, there’s laughter, endless laughter. Depressions got you down well your pet with 100% certainty will make you laugh. I’ve had my dogs fart on me when I’ve gone to pick them up and the sound scares them so they run away, one of them fell off my bed in the middle of the night while dreaming and got right back up with his tail wagging like it was the best dream ever. Depression makes you think about everything that has gone wrong and everything that can go wrong over and over again until you can take it no more. These little moments with pets that make you laugh make a world of difference. You may laugh as your cat chases a laser pointer around your house trying to catch the blasted red dot, or as they randomly fall asleep anywhere they like, like upside down on top of a loaf of a bread, the point being that though they are pets they have more empathy than we could ever dream.The hardest step is getting up and seeking help and once you do that, take your pet for a walk or pet them, anything to get your mind on track a little more. Pets may not cure depression, but they certainly can help calm you.- Chris Stallone