Thursday, July 31, 2008

Shipment success!!!

Some rushed photos of some of the lucky animals that are currently on their way to New Jersey:

Kira, a rescue of ADLA's Stewart


Bongo, whose big ole ears were retracted due to nervousness in this photo

Chip, who is fat and furry now

The itty-bitty kitty of Liz's 5 fostered kitties sent today, doing some yoga in the back of the kennel

A total of nine rescued animals will be sleeping at St. Hubert's tonight. It's a good day. On that note...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COLIN!!!!! (who is currently doing his Coast Guard thing out on the ocean, so celebrating will commence when he returns tomorrow)

('s Liz's birthday tomorrow also!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Zoey AND Sebastian: Off to Chicago!

Yesterday, my nearest and dearest Kate, along with her cousin Paul, took Zoey and Sebastian on a plane ride to Chicago. Both sweet critters traveled as a carry-on. They were both as quiet as can be and had not one accident...what perfect babies.

My darling foster children, keeping each other company in their carrier, on the way to the airport

Kate is confident that she will be able to find homes for both Zoey and Sebastian through her extensive connections in the animal world of the suburbs of Chicago. Lucky for her, they are unbearably cute and shouldn't be hard to adopt out.

Since Zoey and Sebastian left yesterday, our apartment is eerily calm. Boca spent all of last night searching for her "kitty." (While Sebastian was here, I would say, "Where's your kitty, Boca?" She would find Sebastian and look up at me as if to say, "Here he is!") I feel bad for Boca, but I have to admit it is nice to have our apartment back to it's regular population size. Scout, our cat, has come down from on top of the fridge and has willingly reclaimed his territory and his position as overseer of apartment activity.

Scout, reigning from his throne with his fellow watchers

Tomorrow, we have another shipment of animals, 11 total. The shipment will be for Chip, Lulu, Bongo, Kira (a rescue of ADLA's Stewart), and 5 kittens that Liz has been fostering for quite some time. The weather is right on the edge of being too hot, so let's keep our fingers crossed for a successful shipment. Thanks to Denise Karamitsos, who volunteered to pick up our satos and gatos tomorrow night, and Jackie Fahey, director of St. Hubert's, we were able to arrange this prospective shipment without an arranged flight with a flyer. Instead, our furry friends will be flying via Priority Parcel Service of American Airlines.

Once we get these animals to St. Hubert's, we will finally have room for Toby and possibly other Los Machos satos as well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Time to send some satos!!!

It's sato-sending time!!! We are working on getting another trip together right now to send the following dogs from Los Machos beach:

Lulu and Bongo, the day they were rescued. Bongo's ears remain equally as phenomenal.

Chip on the day of his rescue as well, the same day as Lulu and Bongo...This dog is a huggable mess of love.I will miss him dearly.

In other traveling news, little Miss Zoey is being scooped up by my best friend from college, Kate. Kate is visiting me in Puerto Rico with her cousin, Paul. I admit to having a bit of a pep talk with the puplet before Kate arrived and told her to lay on the uber-cuteness in order to reel Kate into taking her to Chicago. Kate works at a specialty animal clinic in the suburbs of Chicago and is convinced she will be able to find Zoey a home in no time, as well as give her any further medical attention she may need. It's a win-win situation really.

So how can you help? Well if anyone feels like being directly responsible for getting one of these priceless pups that much closer to their forever home, sponsoring the shipping cost of any of the above satos is the way to go!! Let me know if you are interested!

As for my Toby-pick-up mission...we have nowhere to put him!!!! Don't worry, I'm working on it. However, I can't rescue him until we get some of our already rescued pooches off the island. Soon, buddy, soon...I promise. I may still be heading out to LMB this week. I'll keep you updated.

Thanks so much!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Back to life and catching up

Zoey, hanging out on one of her many puppy-training pads. She's totally newspaper/puppy pad trained...very impressive...and easy for me to clean up!

Sorry it's been awhile. California took the life out of me, and I needed a bit of time to catch up since returning this Tuesday. Zoey is back in the Santulli household, and boy is she a different dog. Don't get me wrong...She's still totally pathetic and has some issues to overcome, but her legs look normal again, her cough has pretty much disappeared, and she's a wiggly, no-cares-in-the-world puppy. As it should be. We visited Dr. Ramos yesterday, who said that Zoey looked great. She even got her first booster shot. Today, Colin and I get to give her her first bath! Sebastian, the Arecibo kitten we rescued a few weeks ago, is still reeking havoc in our apartment. He also saw Dr. Ramos yesterday and received his second booster and rabies vaccine and tested negative for FIV/Feline Leukemia. He should be ready to go on our next flight to St. Hubert's (at which point our dog, Boca, will whine in withdrawal of her kitty for days, and our cat, Scout, will party like it's 1999 in honor of regaining his throne).

Zoey, chewing on her favorite treat, compliments of Cody. She'll even keep one in her mouth while she goes to the bathroom.

Iris has not had her surgery to amputate her leg yet. Dr. Ramos would like to see a little bit more meat on her bones before he performs her surgery. She definitely looks like she's fattening up, and she is on painkillers to help her get through the day with such horrific wounds. Bambi is ready to go "home." "Home" for now will be at Liz's apartment, though right now Liz is tied up with a handful of kittens and a recently rescued puppy from the Arecibo shelter.

For those of you who do not know yet, Liz and Efren trucked out to Arecibo (while I was in CA) and attempted to pick up the remaining 14 or so puppies. Alas, most of the puppies we saw while vaccinating the entire facility had died. Six puppies were saved, however one died in Liz and Efren's car on the drive back to San Juan. A majority of the pups are being boarded with Gloria at Save a Sato. Liz is hanging on to one lucky pup, who she calls "Freckles Beckles," who will soon be traveling stateside to her new forever home with our beloved volunteer, donor, and friend Chrissy Beckles. Chrissy has already lovingly named her soon-to-be new family member Boom Boom (pictured on the right with one of Liz's foster kittens; photo from LIz). How sweet!

In Los Machos news (I know, it's been awhile!!), I have some sad and happy news about the Cha Cha clan. Awhile back, two of Cha Cha's pups fell ill and did not make it. However, three of her lucky pups found homes among friends of Dr. Ramos and his staff (they have all grown very attached to Cha Cha and her puppies). The remaining puplets are doing well and are ready to be sent to the States.

Blondie is doing fantastic! She's still a lovebug, which will never change. She just had another special chemotherapy treatment, to be thorough, and Dr. Ramos has officially deemed her in the clear of her tumors. Karla and I are working on finding her a home still...and if any of you are interested, the time is now!!! Let's get this girl out of her cage, shall we?!?!?

Chip looks like a totally different dog now, will a almost full coat of fur and a perma-grin on his face. He's my current personal favorite, and sometimes I fantasize about keeping him for myself. He's just that sweet. However, in a week or so, we are hoping to send him on his way to St. Hubert's or one of our other trusted shelters where he will find his forever family. I am going to miss that boy.

Lulu and Bongo are also ready to go. Lulu, in fact, who overcame Parvo beautifully, has become a bully. She has a bit of sibling rivalry with Bongo, and I would like to split them up ASAP. Poor Bongo just takes it like a good boy. Since Dr. Ramos' is fully booked right now, they remain in the same kennel. I am hoping to send one of the two to a shelter in the States within the next week.

I will be going to Los Machos on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week to FINALLY pick up Toby, given that Dr. Ramos can make some room for him. Toby does have an adopter who has been waiting patiently for our busyness to die down. We currently have a boatload of animals to care for and not enough money or room to do so. Therefore, our abilities to continue our flow of Los Machos rescues has retarded a bit. I think of those dogs everyday, which is enough to bring a tear to my eye relatively often. However, there have been dogs in need elsewhere, as there always are. I am looking forward to going back to my rescue stomping grounds. I'll let you know how it goes.

Dakota, a reborn Red Sox fan

Thanks for reading, as usual,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An opportunity to rescue 14 puppies at the Arecibo Shelter

If you have not yet read of our visit this past Sunday to the Arecibo Municipal Animal Shelter, please scroll down to my last post to get the scoop.

For those of you that have, we now have a golden opportunity to rescue the 14 remaining puppies at the Arecibo Shelter. Basically, Gloria from Save A Sato has agreed to board them for the bargain price of $1000. If that seems like a lot, trust's truly not. As you may already know, we have no space right now at Dr. Ramos' for our rescues, or our own apartments for that matter. So we would really like to jump on this as soon as possible.

As for our already rescued warriors, all four are pushing through. Currently, Colin and I have Bambi and Iris until this afternoon. They will be going back to Dr. Ramos' where Bambi will soon have her infected tooth extracted and Iris will have her front leg amputated. Zoey is going to stay at Liz's until Colin and I return from California (oh ya, I'm leaving for CA tomorrow...coming back on Tuesday), and Rosa is living in Adri's bathroom. Zoey and Rosa are both showing signs of improvement.

Photos: (1) Four puppies who are still at the Arecibo Shelter (2) Bambi (3) Iris and her terrible injuries...painful to see, I know.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Arecibo Shelter rescues: on death's door

This past Sunday (July 6, 2008), Liz, Efren (Liz's main squeeze), Adri, Colin and I all went to the Arecibo Municipal Shelter (in Spanish, Albergue de los Animales Municipio de Arecibo). Thanks to donations from Mayra Gardon Stella, Denise Karamitsos, Christina Beckles, Jenna & Jeffrey Massey, Janine Coppola, and Tina Strobel, we arrived at the shelter with enough DHLPP and Bordetella vaccinations, Drontal Plus, as well as other goodies for all the animals at the shelter. Several other volunteers came to help as well along with the staff vet tech, Jose, and the director of the shelter. We were a well-oiled machine (well, at least after the first hour of getting into the groove), backed in spirit by our gracious donors and supporters.

There were a lot of the same faces at the shelter that we saw during our last visit, as well as some new ones. Several dogs have also been adopted in the past week or two. In fact, two puppies were picked up by a couple while we were onsite. We popped on a couple of our recently donated collars (Thanks, Betsy!!), and they were on their way to a better life...hopefully.
At the end of the day, there were too many dogs to rescue from the shelter, but four we could not leave without. I feel the best way I can tell you about our day yesterday is through the few pictures I had time to take. Enjoy...but for my fellow weepers, get the tissues out now!

A gang of shelter dogs greeted us with alert ears and curious eyes upon our arrival.

A sweet puplet who we caught outside of her fenced-in kennel. She smelt of urine. Jose said she was blind.

Four puppies taking a nap. When we arrived, very few dogs had any food in their bowls and had not been fed that day. With donation money, Colin ran out an bought 200 lbs. of dog food and extra bowls.

Here are the sad photos of those we felt we had to at least attempt to save while vaccinating and deworming approximately 80 animals at the Arecibo Municipal Shelter yesterday.

Adri fell in love with this girl who she named, Rosa. As we found out just yesterday from Dr. Ramos, Rosa has pneumonia, ehrlichiosis, and a very high white blood short, she's very sick.

Iris got out of her kennel at the Arecibo Shelter and was hit by a car. Her front leg is practically dangling from her body and her back leg isn't in much better shape. Liz and Efren kept her overnight on Sunday. Dr. Ramos plans to amputate her front leg later this week. Needless to say, she will need a lot of rehab.

Iris' front leg, yellow from the antibacterial spray Jose had applied earlier that day. She's was/is the saddest sight, poor girl.

Iris' back leg...none of these pictures do her injuries justice.

We found this pup amidst 5 other puppies in a kennel. Her legs were inflamed, and she had a terrible cough. Liz and Efren put her aside in on of our mobile kennels until the end of the day. She stayed with Colin and I on Sunday night and is now at Dr. Ramos'. She has been diagnosed with either kennel cough or influenza (possibly both). Her extreme respiratory condition is what caused the inflammation on her legs. Dr. Ramos is concerned that with her infection, septicemia (blood poisoning, often fatal) could become an issue.

At some point in the night at our apartment, the at-that-point unnamed pup's legs both became so swollen that they began to puss and bleed significantly.

We cleaned her up a bit and wrapped the back of her joints, the origin of the blood, with some cloth.Colin and I decided to name her Zoey (Origin:Greek...Meaning: LIFE)...she has to stand a chance with a name like that (right, Jamie?!?!)!!! Here she is, tending to her enlarged legs.

Admist the sadness and hope that she would be okay, we were enamored with how cute Zoey looked with her '80s-reminiscent leg warmers. Actually, we were just enamored with her, period.

Bambi is an old momma that caught Liz's eye. Based on Dr. Ramos' initial assessment of her health, she has to have a tooth extracted, the few remaining teeth she has are in disparate need of a dental, and, again, she is an old soul. She also was hit by a car, or something of the like, at some point in her past. Though her broken bones have healed, she cannot walk very well.

I am leaving for Dr. Ramos' now to pick up Iris, Zoey, and Bambi. Adri will be picking up Rosa later this afternoon. We will do all we can to help these animals. These animals are all exceptionally sick and/or in need of extensive veterinary attention. Please help us save these four Arecibo rescues. Let us know if you are interested in sponsoring (even partially) or adopting Iris, Rosa, Zoey, or Bambi. We will be glad to take care of them on this side until they are ready.

I'll write more later,

Friday, July 4, 2008

In love with the Garden State

I just got back from New Jersey yesterday midday. For those that need a recap, I left for Newark on Tuesday at 5:50 with 18 rescued satos (2 of which were our Los Machos satos Annie and Nugget), St. Hubert's-bound. At the airport on Tuesday, both Annie and Nugget were extremely well behaved, simply watching their surroundings cautiously and taking intermittent naps. I was a proud "momma." Upon arrival in New Jersey, Chuck, one of St. Hubert's ACOs, picked me up along with the dogs. I met up with Jackie at St. Hubert's Madison shelter, helped unload dogs, and cruised back to Jackie's for the night. On Wednesday, Jackie and I woke up at our leisure considering we did not go to sleep until 1 am. I woke up to seeing New Jersey in the daylight for the first time. With no concept of what New Jersey had to offer, I was in awe of how gorgeous and green the state is and found myself missing my original stomping ground that Jersey reminded me of, Missouri.

Jackie first brought me to the St. Hubert's in Long Branch. Understated, I was dazzled by the shelter's organization and cleanliness, and especially loved how each animal had luxury items such as a bed with something warm to curl up into. In my past animal shelter experiences, most of the low-kill shelters I visited retained a cold ambiance, but not St. Hubert's. Though I never had a doubt in my mind, my visit to St. Hubert's Long Branch assured me that Amigos de los Animales is partnered with a shelter of integrity and humanity, and I haven't even mentioned the organization's stellar staff yet either. I'll get to that.

After our short visit to the Long Branch shelter, we drove about 25 miles to Madison, New Jersey. The St. Hubert's facility in Madison is located on a beautiful spread of green land and has several buildings used for specific, animal-related purposes. It comes as no surprise, as Jackie explained the shelter's structure, that St. Hubert's has such a incomparable reputation for matching an animal with its human counterpart or counterparts. From the initial vetting and quarantine to the socialization and training of the animals that come through both branches of this shelter, St. Hubert's staff is undoubtedly the best of the best. During the afternoon I spent in Madison, I was bombarded by very-much-so wanted knowledge of animal behavior, shelter operation, adoption protocol, and on and on. As with anything, because St. Hubert's covers all of the if, ands, and buts in terms of precautions for animal care and health, it would prove difficult to question or lack confidence in how they do what they do. In sum, it was a fantastic experience.

Towards the end of my visit to St. Hubert's, a special visitor and his family paid me a visit. Remember "remarkable ears" Rocco??? Well, I swear his ears are more remarkable than ever. It was fantastic to see Rocco and to meet Christine Bengivenga and her gorgeous girls, Jenna, Jillian, and Gina. Man, has he got it made and is obviously smothered with love and care in his forever home. I have to admit to being very touched by their visit and so grateful to be able to see the faces, in vivo, of a family that took a chance on a Los Machos sato. If you don't remember, Christine contacted me after only seeing a picture of Rocco on my blog. She knew this dog needed to be a part of her family and made it happen.

And if I didn't already feel special enough, Jamie Sherr, ADLA's long-time supporter and volunteer, pulled out the red carpet for me Wednesday evening. Jamie arrived at St. Hubert's at around 4:30 with her darling sata, Zooey. Zooey was rescued by ADLA's Nydia awhile back. She was sent to St. Hubert's in North Branch, which is where Jamie met her match. Jamie, Zooey and I went for a walk in a park for about an hour, where once again I was enamored with Jersey's natural beauty. Soon thereafter, we went back to Jamie's to freshen up, drink a Stella (a personal favorite, not to be found in PR), and then headed out to dinner with her lovely comrade Gavin. Dinner was wonderful, compliments of dear Gavin. From there, Jamie poured me into the oh-so-comfy Newark Sheraton, compliments of her Starwood Preferred Guest points. I slept on what would seem like a cloud for approximately 4 hours, waking up for my 6 am flight at 4 am. Still, it was a dreamy 4 hours.

I would like to thank everyone who made my stay in New Jersey unforgettable. Not only were my experiences scattered with sincere hospitality and kindness, but I also left St. Hubert's/New Jersey with a heightened sense of what it means to save animals and how to do so more efficiently and with the best interest of the animals in mind. And, of course, I would like to especially thank Jackie Fahey, director of St. Hubert's, for allowing all of us of ADLA to benefit from her wisdom and her glorious animal welfare centers. Having adopted out nearly a thousand Puerto Rican satos, without St. Hubert's our rescue efforts would obviously by drastically less successful. And, for those of you who are weary of adopting a "shelter animal," I urge you to visit St. Hubert's and its crew, who, simply put, just do it right.

Photos: (1) St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in North Branch
(2) inside hallway to the "Cattery" and "Kennel Area" at St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison (3) the outdoor runs,which are connected to indoor kennels, at St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison (4) Nugget, in her cozy bed at St. Hubert's (5) the Bengivenga girls and their main squeeze, former Los Machos sato Rocco (6) Annie and Nugget in transit to the St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in North Branch

And the cuteness continues at the Santulli abode...

Oh, and stay tuned because Amigos de los Animales is heading to the Arecibo Municipal Shelter this Sunday with plenty of vaccinations, dewormer, and other goodies. Thank you to those donors (you know who you are) who have helped us raise approximately $2000 for this cause.

Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Chipster: I LOVE this dog

Chip is a former Los Machos sato, rescued a few weeks ago from the grassy area next to Avis. This pointer mix is awesome...he's such a lover.

Unfortunately, Chip does not have a sponsor yet....any takers???