Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Good Prevails! Ending 2018 with Great News for Animals

BREAKING GREAT NEWS!  Something spectacular happened today!  Some might call it a miracle, but it wasn’t because it was created from hard work, perseverance and dedication to right wrongs.  Today, President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law and with it, several animal protection initiatives were born. They include the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act, the Pet and Women Safety Act and the Parity in Animal Cruelty Enforcement Act – which makes dog and cockfighting illegal in U.S. territories.  All of these acts – which many of us have worked on for years to see become laws, were incorporated into the Farm Bill as amendments. With this Bill, legislators also said NO to the proposed King Amendment that would have stripped states of farming and animal protection laws.  THIS IS HUGE!

On top of this news, last month Californians voted against the extreme confinement of farm animals and Floridians voted overwhelmingly to end Greyhound racing and the cruelty that comes with it.

We end 2018 on a great note for animals, one that screams to lawmakers that we’re not going to take animal abuse and exploitation anymore.  We’ve given notice that animal welfare is a bipartisan issue.  It’s not about politics, it’s about compassion.

I’ve promised myself to celebrate these wins because I’ve spent years working to help make them happen by going to Washington and successfully meeting with lawmakers.  But no one person did this alone.  WE DID THIS!  If you signed petitions, made phone calls or sent emails to lawmakers, attended fundraisers, gave money to lobby groups like The Humane Society of the United States Legislative Fund and Animal Welfare Action – if you volunteered, wrote letters to editors, and if you saw something wrong and did something about it – I ask you to please celebrate this win with me and end the year with a renewed commitment to keep going to create positive change.

This is a magnificent accomplishment and we must absorb the positive energy that comes with it. We’re all part of the compassion movement and together, with the signing of the Farm Bill, we have; made it easier for women to leave abusive relationships with their pets, made it illegal to eat dogs and cats in the United States, and made it illegal to fight dogs and cocks in U.S. territories – a move that will stop a myriad of illegal acts that go with the torture of animals in these activities.

Bravo to the lawmakers themselves who worked hard for today’s success. And to all the people I work alongside, and to those who I haven’t had the pleasure to meet but who have participated in today’s win by speaking up for those who can’t – you have my admiration and gratitude.  #HEROES

~Jennifer Skiff, Advocate and Author of Rescuing Ladybugs, The Divinity of Dogs, and God Stories

Meeting with Maine Senator Susan Collins to discuss animal welfare issues.

Becky Sentementes with Humane Society of the United States representatives Katie Hansberry and volunteer Jennifer Skiff lobbying for animals in Washington, D.C.

Gratitude Transcends Species

This is my friend Hope. Most days now, I drive to her house in the late afternoon and help lift her into the back of her Mom’s car so she can go to the dog park to spend an hour with her friends. Hope is always grateful.

We’ve been friends for a decade and during that time, she has never missed an opportunity to tell me I’m special, that I matter to her. Her smile radiates love and is a gift to me. I’m grateful for Hope.

When all feels lost, gravitate toward dog because love is mirrored and gratitude transcends species.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Jennifer & Hope

The Purpose of her Existence

Michele & Zeus

Michele Newman has faced death, loss, and immense hardship. What’s kept her here is the fact she knows her life has purpose.

Michele rescues senior dogs. I met her when she rescued a dog name Hooch. He had spent 10 years on a chain. We connected instantly and then she went quiet for a long time. I recently asked her what had happened. This was her response:

“Without the dogs in my life there would be no me. That’s a fact. It is only through all the innocent souls who not only looked forward to me going into the shelter every day but those who needed me to pull them to safety into my rescue group to spend their last days, weeks or months, that gave my life true meaning.

In October 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy. Eighteen months later my husband Bill and I went to a doctor who diagnosed me with infertility. Bill left me on the spot and never talked, touched or looked at me again.

A month later I tested positive for BRCA, a genetic disorder. A year later I had a hysterectomy and just months after that, had a double bilateral mastectomy. An infection ensued and I was rushed into surgery because of a hematoma.

All this time I had no one. But I did have my dogs, all old souls counting on me as much as I needed them. I reached out to a couple of girls at work and without hesitation, they came. One took the keys to my house and promised to take care of the dogs, while the other reminded me that my pups needed me to be strong and focused. Another girl and her boyfriend stayed in the hospital and waited out my surgery. Tina, Laurie, & Rose acted how I only wish all of humanity would act toward one another- with a kind heart and selfless soul.

After the surgery I became deathly ill and was placed under the care of infectious disease doctors who placed a PIC line in me to receive treatments. But one night I couldn’t breathe and dialed 911. An ambulance rushed me to the hospital and I had emergency surgery to find out my gallbladder was gangrene. The surgeon told me it had most likely been dead for seven months. I’d used my life reserve to stay alive.

After that, I had seven surgeries to rid my body of the infection and scar tissue. I had skin graphs and spacers placed to help relieve some pressure from my chest.

While going through all this I lost six of my dogs, Rilee, Mikey D, Brooklyn, Kane, Flower, and Mya. Pushing on without them was near to impossible – and so my fight continued for the others.

I did my grieving in silence. I didn’t want pity and believed if I talked about it, it would take root. So my mission was to cleanse my body of all negativity and to believe that God’s plan was for me to share my story to inspire those around me not to dwell on the sadness. So I grieved my losses with my dogs around me and it was ONLY through them and their unconditional love that I was able to achieve happiness. I owe them my life!”

Photo: Michele with Zeus.

Tattoos: The name of every dog who loved her through her medical journey.

Charity:  Senior Animal Medical Aid Fund:

https://www.facebook.com/Senior-Animal-Medical-Aid-Fund-Inc-119486670195/?fref=ts

Archie the Ambassador

Archie the globetrotting ambassador

Archie the globetrotting ambassador

From a rough life with convicted criminals to shedding his light as a globetrotting ambassador! Meet Archie.

I had the privilege of his smile and company while visiting my friend Cynthia recently. Cynthia’s the U.S. Consul General in Perth, Australia. She asked me over to meet Archie and his guardian Marsha Lance who recently moved to Australia to work at the U.S. Consulate.

Archie, the most adorable Pom who definitely resembles Boo, had a rough start in Kentucky. His story is that he kept escaping, running away from his house. But, people with good intentions kept delivering him back. Finally, after his legal “owners” went to prison, he was released and… adopted by Marsha.

Welcome home Archie! It’s good to have your bubbly personality representing the United States in Australia!

Lesson #1: Some dogs run away for a reason.

Lesson #2: Everybody deserves a fresh start, especially Archie!

A Perfect Adoption

Muffin's Mom, Heidi

Fin’s Mom, Heidi

Muffin's Dad, Gary

Fin’s Dad, Gary

Favorite Fin! I keep a collection of photos of my fosters and ‪‎dogs‬ I’ve helped adopt.

These are two of my favorites. “Muffin” arrived at the SPCA of Hancock County in an RV. She was in a small, dirty cage. Her “owners” said she was crying all the time and they didn’t want her anymore as she was “ruining” their vacation.

Our director, Diana de los Santos, took her and watched as they drove away with another little dog in their RV.

Within hours the source of Muffin’s pain was determined; rotten teeth. We paid for the surgery and I became Muffin’s foster Mom. While I pampered her through her recovery, my friend Marion at Acadia Veterinary Hospital kindly posted an adoption plea to her clients. Three families were interested.

During the interview process it was clear to me that these two people were meant to bring her into their home. And they did! This is Heidi Burnham and Gary Rich. They own the Atlantean B&B in Bar Harbor, Maine (a B&B that was actually my first house when my family moved to Maine). As you can see, they like to hike!

This year they donated a portion of their proceeds to the SPCA for saving Muffin, now named Fin. I want to thank them and to also show you what a happy adoption looks like – all smiles.

If you get a chance, you could head to their Facebook page and thank them for adopting Fin and supporting the SPCA.

Here’s the link: Atlantean Cottage B&B