Stories from the Dog Rescue Railroad.

About Me

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Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
I am the author of Every Rescued Dog Has a Tale and a volunteer with many dog transport groups on the internet. ALL profits from the sale of the book have gone to dog rescue groups and rural animal shelters. Follow me on

Thursday, December 3, 2009


From an Animal Control Officer who Gasses Dogs
Yes, I gas dogs and cats for a living.
I'm an Animal Control officer in a very small town in central North Carolina.
I'm in my mid thirties, and have been working for the town in different positions since high school.

There is not much work here, and working for the county provides good pay and benefits for a person like me without a higher education.

I'm the person you all write about how horrible I am.

I'm the one that gasses the dogs and cats and makes them suffer.

I'm the one that pulls their dead corpses out smelling of carbon monoxide and throws them into green plastic bags.
But I'm also the one that hates my job and hates what I have to do.

First off, all you people out there that judge me, don't.  God is judging me, and I know I'm going to Hell.  Yes, I'm going to hell. I wont lie.  It's despicable, cold, cruel and I feel like a serial killer. But I'm not all to blame.  If the law would mandate spay and neuter, lots of these dogs and cats wouldn't even be here for me to gas.  I'm the devil, I know it, but I want you people to see that there is another side to me the devil Gas Chamber man.

The shelter usually gasses on Friday morning.

Friday's are the day that most people look forward to, this is the day that I hate, and wish that time will stand still on Thursday night. Thursday night, late, after nobody's around, my friend and I go through a fast food line, and buy 50 dollars worth of cheeseburgers and fries, and chicken. I'm not allowed to feed the dogs on Thursday, for I'm told that they will make a mess in the gas chamber, and why waste the food.

So, Thursday night, with the lights still closed, I go into the saddest room that anyone can every imagine, and let all the doomed dogs out out their cages.

I have never been bit, and in all my years doing this, the dogs have never fought over the food. My buddy and I open each wrapper of cheeseburger and chicken sandwich, and feed them to the skinny, starving dogs.

They swallow the food so fast, that I don't believe they even taste it. Their tails are wagging, and some don't even go for the food, they roll on their backs wanting a scratch on their belly. They start running, jumping and kissing me and my buddy. They go back to their food, and come back to us. All their eyes are on us with such trust and hope, and their tails wag so fast, that I have come out with black and blues on my thighs. They devour the food, then it's time for them to devour some love and peace. My buddy and I sit down on the dirty, pee stained concrete floor, and we let the dogs jump on us. They lick us, they put their butts in the air to play, and they play with each other. Some lick each other, but most are glued on me and my buddy.

I look into the eyes of each dog. I give each dog a name.

They will not die without a name.

I give each dog 5 minutes of unconditional love and touch.

I talk to them, and tell them that I'm so sorry that tomorrow they will die a gruesome, long, torturous death at the hands of me in the gas chamber.

Some tilt their heads to try to understand.

I tell them, that they will be in a better place, and I beg them not to hate me.

I tell them that I know I'm going to hell, but they will all be playing with all the dogs and cats in heaven.

After about 30 minutes, I take each dog individually, into their feces filled concrete jail cell, and pet them and scratch them under their chins. Some give me their paw, and I just want to die. I just want to die. I close the jail cell on each dog, and ask them to forgive me. As my buddy and I are walking out, we watch as every dog is smiling at us and them don't even move their heads. They will sleep, with a full belly, and a false sense of security.

As we walk out of the doomed dog room, my buddy and I go to the cat room.

We take our box, and put the very friendly kittens and pregnant cats in our box.
The shelter doesn't keep tabs on the cats like they do the dogs.

As I hand pick which cats are going to make it out, I feel like I'm playing God, deciding whose going to live and die.

We take the cats into my truck, and put them on blankets in the back.

Usually, as soon as we start to drive away, there are purring cats sitting on our necks or rubbing against us.

My buddy and I take our one-way two hour trip to a county that is very wealthy and they use injection to kill animals.

We go to exclusive neighborhoods, and let one or two cats out at a time.

They don't want to run, they want to stay with us. We shoo them away, which makes me feel sad.

I tell them that these rich people will adopt them, and if worse comes to worst and they do get put down, they will be put down with a painless needle being cradled by a loving veterinarian. After the last cat is free, we drive back to our town.

It's about 5 in the morning now, about two hours until I have to gas my best friends.

I go home, take a shower, take my 4 anti-anxiety pills and drive to work... I don't eat, I can't eat. It's now time to put these animals in the gas chamber.  I put my ear plugs in, and when I go to the collect the dogs, the dogs are so excited to see me, that they jump up to kiss me and think they are going to play.

I put them in the rolling cage and take them to the gas chamber. They know. They just know. They can smell the death....They can smell the fear. They start whimpering the second I put them in the box. The boss tells me to squeeze in as many as I can to save on gas. He watches. He knows I hate him, he knows I hate my job. I do as I'm told. He watches until all the dogs, and cats (thrown in together) are fighting and screaming. The sounds is very muffled to me because of my ear plugs. He walks out, I turn the gas on, and walk out.

I walk out as fast as I can. I walk into the bathroom, and I take a pin and draw blood from my hand. The pain and blood takes my brain off of what I just did.

In 40 minutes, I have to go back and unload the dead animals. I pray that none survived, which happens when I overstuff the chamber. I pull them out with thick gloves, and the smell of carbon monoxide makes me sick. So does the vomit and blood, and all the bowel movements. I pull them out and put them in plastic bags.

They are in heaven now, I tell myself.

I then start cleaning up the mess, the mess, that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not spay or neutering your animals. The mess that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not demanding that a vet come in and do this humanely.
You ARE THE TAXPAYERS, DEMAND that this practice STOP!

So, don't call me the monster, the devil, the gasser, call the politicians, the shelter directors, and the county people the devil. Heck, call the governor, tell him to make it stop.

As usual, I will take sleeping pills tonight to drown out the screams I heard in the past, before I discovered the ear plugs. I will jump and twitch in my sleep, and I believe I'm starting to hallucinate.

This is my life. Don't judge me. Believe me, I judge myself enough.

I do not know who wrote this.
Someone sent it to me in an email and it haunts me.
                     My hope in reprinting it here is that everyone who reads it, will remember it always.

         Lets all work relentlessly to get the laws changed in this country to give homeless animals a HUMANE DEATH

     if they must be euthanized. 

We owe them at least that much


 Better yet, SPAY AND NEUTER!!!! It WORKS! Let's be a NO KILL NATION!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Last weekend my husband Mike and I drove about an hour east of Cincinnati to take supplies to the Highland county dog pound in Hillsboro, Ohio. All the profits from the sales of my book go to buy supplies for very needy shelters such as this one. They are blessed with wonderful, caring volunteers and foster homes and that is slowly helping to reduce their euthanasia rate. It is still too high. They are trying so hard, but they need help from the general public. So many dogs are just getting dumped there because of this horrible economy when people lose their jobs or homes and can no longer afford to care for their pets.

When we arrived the lot had many cars and it was adoption day. There were also some foster families there to pick up a new dog to care for until it gets adopted. A sad sight in the first outdoor cage was a very pregnant momma dog who was about to give birth at any moment. Volunteers were working quickly to get her into a foster home so she would not have to give birth on the cold hard concrete floor of the shelter.

There are no windows, no heating or air conditioning in the old pole barn building. That morning another rescuer showed up with a window a/c unit to donate and they are going to try to install it in a wall to help cool the dogs on hot summer days. Thankfully, this past summer we only had a few unbearable days. The dogs in the outdoor pens have little protection from the elements. Inside we met the dogs and they were so happy to have visitors. Their cages were clean but sparse. Toys and snacks are much appreciated as donations.

There was a beautiful sable German shepherd, a pit bull being held for a court case who was not allowed out to walk, and a pitiful dog with a deformed leg who had probably been hit be a car and left untreated. They all were so eager to please and I wanted to take them all.

The volunteer coordinator that I spoke to is Lori Roush and you can email her at and she will tell you just what they need, besides lots of cash and a new building.

The address to mail donations is :

Highland County Dog Pound
9357 State Route 124
Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

Lori's phone number is 937-393-3456

If you send a donation, you know it will be so appreciated and it will go to help so many dogs in this rural area.

This sweet guy says "THANKS!"

Sunday, August 16, 2009


On Saturday, August 15, my husband Mike and I helped transport this precious little girl to her foster home in Ann Arbor, MI. Emmy had been found as a stray down South, was rescued and taken into boarding by National Anatolian Shepherd Rescue Network. After being spayed and checked out by a vet, received all her shots, she is now going to her foster home until she finds a forever family.

I have driven dogs for them several times this year and the Anatolians continue to be one of my favorite dog breeds. I had never even heard of this breed until this year. They seem to be a great mixture of mellow and affectionate. The NASRN carefully screens the new adopters because they have special needs.

If you think you might be the perfect family for one of these LARGE dogs, please check out their website. They have so many needing homes right now.

Although Emmy is adorable she is not a typical example of this breed. She is a mixture of Anatolian and Great Pyrenees, and she is only 4 months old. I think Emmy is going to be QUITE a large dog when she grows up. Right now she is in foster care in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has a sibling named Annie who is now a therapy dog but once was rescued by NASRN.

This was a nice easy transport and I met two drivers that I have transported with before, so it is like meeting up with old friends from different cities.

If you would like to spend YOUR weekends helping homeless animals find their way to new lives, just go to Yahoo Groups and check into "dog transports".

You will sleep better that night than you have in a long time with a most contented feeling that you did SOMETHING to end the staggering rate of euthanasia in this country of adoptable dogs and cats.


Sunday, June 28, 2009


On Saturday June 27th, to show support for chained and penned dogs, members and supporters of Dogs Deserve in the Cincinnati, Ohio area chained themselves to doghouses for a day in the hot blazing summer sun.

I did this as a long time supporter of chained dogs and found it to be just as boring and lonely as it is for dogs. We suffered in the heat, were bitten by insects, were thirsty and hungry, but at least we were not as lonely as the real victims are. We were joined by visitors and supporters all day long and tried to educate the public as to how inhumane this practice is.

We continue to try to get laws passed in all 50 states to make this illegal.

Please help us.

Go to Dogs Deserve and see how you can help CHANGE this!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


This is Snoopy, not yet a year old and on death row in a Georgia dog pound.

He has done nothing wrong, and neither did his owners who had to surrender him. They had both lost their jobs and had no choice but to take him to a local shelter. Snoopy was loved and well taken care of. He was all up to date with his shots, neutered and well-behaved. Another victim of the poor economy, Snoopy was set to be put up for adoption. But shortly after being put in a cold dark kennel, his personality changed for the worse.

After being used to a family environment, he quickly became frightened and snapped at the shelter workers. So instead of being given 3 days to be adopted, they moved up his euthanasia date to the next day!

Then, dog rescuers from every part of the country saw his story on FACEBOOK, posted by Terrie Scott of M.A.R.S. Safe Haven Rescue in Ohio, and quickly went into action. Terrie was determined not to let this little life be snuffed out. Because she was an 8 hour drive away and could not get there in time to adopt him, she begged on the internet for others who were closer to PLEASE go to the shelter, or CALL the shelter and ask them to put a hold on Snoopy because someone was coming for him. The shelter said they could not hold him. Terrie was up all night with Snoopy's last hours drawing to a close. Everyone who got her urgent emails, including me, forwarding them to anyone we might know who could physically get to the shelter in time to save Snoopy. Just under the wire someone was found to claim him and get him out of there. RuffusRescue of Cobb County went to the shelter to get Snoopy. Terrie's husband, just returning from a business trip overseas, got in his car in Ohio and drove 8 hours each way to bring him to safety at Terrie's rescue. No longer scared, Snoopy was all wiggles and licks in the car with the 81 year old woman who dog sat for him until his ride to Ohio arrived. SNOOPY IS SAFE.

That is the good news.

30 other dogs died that morning in the Clayton County Georgia dog pound by heartstick. It is just what it sounds like. No last minute rescue came for them. They were just as scared at the end as Snoopy was in that cold dark place, but no one spoke for them.

We try. Every single person I know in dog rescue goes to bed close to tears every night thinking of the ones we could NOT save, their pictures haunt us, their sad eyes, and the thought of a life that will never be. Sometimes it is just too much and we do not look at our emails for a while. We think "what good are we doing?" There are always MORE that are being dumped everyday, maybe for financial reasons, maybe for stupid doesn't matter. Are we even making a difference?

The heroes of this story include Terrie Scott and her husband for above and beyond caring for this dog, Capt. Mark Thompson and Officer Terry Bartlett of the Clayton County Police Department for helping save Snoopy, as well as a HUGE thank you for RUFFUSRESCUE.ORG for going to the shelter for Snoopy. And the HUNDREDS of responses I saw on FACEBOOK desperately trying to find a solution. That is social networking at it's BEST!

The villains in this story are all those people who consider their pets as "disposable" or "just a dog", and all those pet owners who do not spay and neuter their pets. In the city of Atlanta, Georgia, more than 200 dogs are put to death EVERY SINGLE DAY. They are just as cute as Snoopy and their lives matter just as much as his does.

There are just not enough homes or last minutes rescues for them all.


Sunday, April 12, 2009



I am very disheartened by the news that the Obamas did not follow through on their promise to adopt a "shelter dog" and get a "mutt like me". They too have adopted a pure bred dog from a breeder, just like Joe Biden did. I was so hoping that this administration would not continue the lies to the public. We were led on, time and time again by President Obama when he was a candidate and even since the election that he would NOT go to a breeder.

What message did this send to all the shelters around the country? I feel so bad for them. And regardless of what you will hear on the morning news show, there ARE indeed Portuguese Water Spaniels in shelters, even puppies, available. There is no excuse for lying to the public to get the votes of the dog lovers in this country and I will not forget it. In the whole scheme of things I know it is a LITTLE thing, but not really. It speaks to his character and we have had enough leaders with no character in the past 20 years to last a lifetime. He had a chance to make a difference in the way people view shelters dogs as valuable or "damaged" and he blew it. If this matters to you as much as it does to me, do not hesitate to let the President know about it at the website.

SO if YOU are looking for a BEST FRIEND, don't do what the Obamas and the Bidens did. Go to a local shelter and save TWO lives...the one you take home with you and the one who will take his place at the shelter and get off the street.



Thursday, April 2, 2009 - A GREAT Website for Animal Lovers

I would like to thank Barbara Kohn for the very complimentary story she wrote about my book and my efforts to help shelter dogs. We met on Twitter, which I have been trying to get the hang of and she is really helpful in that area. I WAS addicted to Facebook but now I have a Twitter problem. It is a good thing it is blocked at work or I would be fired.

I have been transporting a lot since the weather has improved. I have driven Ms. Gotti, a sweet little pit bull, a couple of Anatolian Shepherds - Ivy and Ramzi, and a blind albino doberman named Tuck. Tuck was a sad, sad case of breeding gone very wrong plus he was starving to death. He was so thin that the previous driver stopped to buy him a TShirt to keep him warm on the transport. He is safe now in a loving foster home with a lady experienced in caring for blind dogs.

Most of these dogs have photos uploaded to my Amazon site under "customer images" if you would like to see them.

My book is also featured this month in the wonderful American Dog has Denis Leary and his family on the cover. There are many stories in this issue devoted to Animal Heroes such as Dogs Deserve and Best Friends Animal Society and many others. Please pick it up at the newstand.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Pit Bull Saturday

On March 14  my husband and I  had the pleasure of driving Ms. Gotti, a sweet 1 year old pit bull who found herself in the Toledo Ohio dog pound.

She has been rescued by the Bark Ark Bully Rescue in Cincinnati. 

Such a beautiful, happy little dog. She was a little underweight at 45 pounds and rode very well in the car. She did insist however that she sit in the passenger seat and not the backseat with me, so I let her.When we arrived at the meeting spot for
 Elisabeth to meet us and take her home to the rescue, we played in the grass for awhile. She was very strong and we really had to hold on to her. But we got lots of pit bull kisses. No one kisses better than a pit bull...don't believe the media hype.

After being at the rescue for a few days, Ms. Gotti was found to have a unique ability to catch a Frisbee in mid-air and is now training to be an agility dog! 

We are so thankful to Bark Ark Bully Rescue in Cincinnati for their continuing devotion to rescuing and rehoming this wonderful loving breed of dog. They find RESPONSIBLE pet owners who understand their special needs and traits so they can stay in their new homes forever.

Please check out their rescue website and help them if you are able.

Ms. Gotti says THANKS!!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

IVY and TUCK...Safely Delivered to Rescues

This is Tuck, a blind albino 2 year old  doberman who was saved from a kill shelter in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. A wonderful woman in Pennsylvania is taking him in because she has experience with blind dogs and will train him and love him until he finds his perfect forever home.  I was so surprised at  how thin Tuck was. 

Since it was such a COLD day, another driver had stopped and bought him a T Shirt to keep  him warm along the way. He came with his own sleeping bag for the car and cuddled up in it for most of our time together. My husband drove so I got to sit in the back  and snuggle with him.  

Tuck is well on his way now to a happy future.

Thanks to all the people involved in Tuck's rescue and transport.

Also, this past weekend I went along with my friend Belinda to transport a beautiful Anatolian Shepherd named Ivy.
 She found herself on death row in a dog pound in Mississippi and was so lucky to have been rescued by the National Anatolian Rescue Network based in Queen Creek, AZ. We met with her previous driver in LaGrange, Ky and she just climbed into the back seat and went to sleep. It could not have been an easier transport. She was very relaxed. That always surprises me about how well these dogs adjust to new people, new cars, with usually very few problems. They seem to know we are there to save them.

Ivy was thin at 80 pounds and reminded me a little of a Great Dane. I do not remember ever driving another Anatolian Shepherd over the past seven years of transporting dogs. They are wonderful dogs, and right now there is one at the Pike County Ohio dog pound in VERY rural Waverly, Ohio  in need of a rescuer or a foster home. They do their best to keep the dogs as long as possible but it is a kill shelter. Last December the biggest champion for these dogs passed away suddenly and they need a lot of help to get their dogs to rescues and on a transport. Please check out their website on and also Adams County Ohio's dog pound. These rural shelters are trying so hard to keep from euthanizing homeless dogs but there is very little they can do. There just are not enough homes, especially in this economy. Spay and neuter programs are the hope for their futures.

 We also need to address the issue of puppy mills out there in that part of Ohio often run by the Amish community, and it goes unseen. They sell their puppies by the side of the road. Please help pass legislation to abolish this practice.

So, Tuck and Ivy say thanks to EVERYONE who helped them along the road to safety and love this winter weekend.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two Dogs and a Man Fighting Canine Cancer

Today I had the great pleasure to meet Luke Robinson and his two dogs Murphy and Hudson. They are on a walking journey from Austin to Boston to raise awareness and money for research on cancer in our canine friends. Luke became interested in this idea when he lost his best friend Malcolm to bone cancer. His dog was diagnosed in 2004 when he was only 6 and fought bravely for 2 years.

Just this past Christmas, my sister lost her 11 year old shih tzu Camille to cancer in her chest. It has been a very hard winter for our family. We miss her very much. My other sister's sweet 12 year old pit bull Jasmine is suffering from osteosarcoma.

I lost my "heartdog" Sam to cancer in 2002 when he was 11. When I adopted Sam at age 7 he had melanoma on his face. We got him radiation treatments at the University of Cincinnati by Dr. David Denman, a radiation oncologist at UC. He gave me five more years with Sam, almost. That's 35 years in dog years. But it was still too soon when he developed a brain tumor in 2002 and I had to let him rest.

If every dog owner who has been touched by this dreaded disease would go to Luke's website and donate to this cause, maybe we can save more dogs in the future.

And if they walk near your city, please take the opportunity to go meet with them and thank Luke for what he is doing for our "best friends". You can see a map of where they will be walking on their website that I have linked above. If you "twitter" you can also follow them there. I just learned to twitter myself!

Thanks Luke!

Monday, February 9, 2009

TURK has crossed the Bridge

I know I should not post while I am so sad and depressed. I got the news a few hours ago that Turk's tortured life has come to a peaceful end in the loving arms of the rescuer who drove 1000 miles to help him. Being chained outside in all weather conditions for 11 years took its toll on his body, and he suffered a seizure from which he did not recover. He passed away in the arms of the woman who saved him.

I am filled with so many emotions that I don't know what to do with them. I feel absolute RAGE at people who will take a BEAUTIFUL creature like this Dalmatian and CHAIN him out out in a yard for YEARS with no care whatsoever; with no thought at all of how he is SUFFERING from loneliness, fear, cold, heat, insects, predators, etc. WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE ????! Either you want a dog and you take CARE of it and treat it like a member of your family, or just go out to Walmart and get one of those cement dogs for your yard!

But then I also feel absolute faith in the goodness of people like Jenny Brock, Tammi Kinman, and so many others who did so much to help Turk. I cannot imagine the pain and grief that Jenny is going through this evening. They saw or heard of his suffering and they chose to act to help him. MANY, MANY people see it every day and choose to do nothing, to look the other way. Maybe after you read his story you will NEVER look at a dog chained in a yard again and DO NOTHING to help. It is absolutely inhumane to do that to a dog - no excuses.

Work for laws to be changed to ensure that people who do this to animals are treated like the criminals they are. California has a law against it, also Connecticut. We are trying to get a state law passed in Ohio this year. Even in Kentucky, where Turk suffered for years, is starting to get laws passed - Louisville has one.

YOU can do something to make Turk's painful life MEAN something. Go to and get started now. They are sending Valentines this month to chained dogs. They spent THOUSANDS of dollars just for postage because they want to END this barbaric treatment of "man's best friend". Friends don't chain friends, as they say.

Do it for Turk.....God rest his soul.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nice Review for my book!

I really would like to thank Amanda L. Snow for the wonderful review she gave my book "Every Rescued Dog Has a Tale" on her website "A Patchwork of Books".

I appreciate the time she took to read and review it. She is also a big fan of the pit bull and she singled out the story of Oreo as one of her favorites. This weekend I have a chance to drive another pit bull from a shelter in New Jersey to a rescue near Cincinnati. If we have the car in working order, we will be signing up.

And last week our community newspaper printed an interview I did with Forrest Sellers about dog transporting and my book.

So lately I have been very busy trying to get the word out about how easy it is to help save homeless dogs by just driving a little bit. It is so rewarding, and one of the best parts is meeting so many new friends who share your love of animals.

Also this week I learned to TWITTER!!! It is fun. I do think some people update just a little too often. I don't really need to know if you have just left for work, then ARRIVED at work, now taking your coffee break, etc. Just an update here and there is just fine...leave some mystery.

Now I am off to walk (stumble through the snow) with my dogs for their afternoon sniff and smell. The wiener dog's belly is getting really cold with the snow piling up. She HATES the red sweater but she is just going to HAVE to wear it.

It really IS too big for her - it belonged to my old English setter who passed away. But her belly is SO big that I have to put a large one on her just to cover it.

Don't make fun of her. She is sensitive.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

UPDATES on Turk and Daisy

Here is an excerpt from an email from the rescuer from Dogs Deserve Better in Kentucky who got the ball rolling to get Turk the 13 year old Dalmatian and Daisy the 6 year old Rottweiler off their chains in the sub zero weather and into a HOME. These dogs have come a long way (literally!) in the past 10 days.

"I just wanted to give you the update on Daisy and how she did today at the dog park. She has never been to a dog park, and today is very sunny and about 30 degrees. She rode great in the car next to me, and once we got there she was very curious and just went exploring. Other dogs came up to her and she would stop, sniff, say hello and move on. She was very non-chalant, but didn't mind when other dogs came up to her. She was more interested in saying hello to the people at the park. She would go right up to them, and flop over on her back for some lovin. I give her an A-plus for her behavior. After the park, I took her on a leash walk with a harness, and while she pulled some, it wasn't bad at all. "

A foster home had been arranged for Daisy in Ohio but there is an offer of a FOREVER home in Virginia. We are waiting on the results of a home visit and then we will set up a transport to get her from Kentucky to Viriginia. She will make someone a GREAT family dog. What a waste for her to spend 6 years alone on the end of a chain.

NOW...TURK's update!
Jenny Brock from Second Chances Dalmation Rescue in Texas drove 1000 miles to get this wonderful old dog from Ohio where the rescue had him checked out by a vet and ready to transport. She has sent these updated photos of Turk.

This one is from the motel where they stopped for the night....

And here is one from when Turk got "home" . Now he gets to sleep on a warm, soft dog bed and has finally bid goodbye to his long days and nights on a chain.

THIS is the image I want to keep in my mind when I think of Turk.

To everyone involved in the happy ending of these two wonderful neglected dogs, thanks is just not enough.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I received an email this morning from the Dalmatian Rescue that saved Turk from dying on the end of a chain in Kentucky. He may not have a lot of time left on this earth but it will be spent surrounded by love and warmth. These are the words of Jenny Brock from the rescue...

" Thank you to everyone who has sent e-mails offering their thoughts, prayers and donations for Turk. As you know, Tammi with Dogs Deserve Better sent out a plea to help Turk (a senior Dalmatian) and Daisy (a 6 year old Rottie) who were both living a life chained up and out in the frigid cold. I am happy to say that Second Chances Dalmatian Rescue was able to take in Turk and with the help of our volunteers, we picked up Turk on Friday, January 16th.

Because Turk has touched so many people, I wanted to send this update so people know what his future will be. Please feel free to post this to others who may be interested in his condition.

Here is the latest update on Turk as of 1/20/09:
Turk received a complete exam, bloodwork and a nice hot bath once he got to our vet in Columbus, OH on Friday. Immediately we noticed that his urine was dilute and had an offensive odor, the vet suspected that Turk was in Renal Failure. The bloodwork came back and it does appear that he is in the beginning stages of kidney failure. Additionally, his red blood cell count is also low, that combined with other blood work results indicate the potential of cancer somewhere in his body.
There is also an indication that he has chronic inflammation (not associated with the arthritis) however, we do not know what is causing it. Without doing a full body ultrasound there is no way to confirm the cancer. Unfortunately, we don't have the funds to do this so we are going to watch his behavior, appetite and monitor any changes. He does not have full control of his legs due to the arthritis, he does not lay down easily due to the pain and needs help getting back up. He is now being started on KD diet (for the kidneys) and pain medicine, which he will have to be on for the rest of his life. He was loaded with worms, thankfully was heartworm negative and is now on antibiotics due to the infection from the sores on his back. He has a grade 3 heart murmur. According to the vet paperwork that came with him, he is actually 13 years old, not 11!! The most amazing part is that Turk still has that spark left! He nuzzles with you, he craves attention and enjoyed some cheeseburgers on his ride to freedom!

So, he is still at the vet because we are trying to see if we can get his urine regulated once he is on a set schedule and we are also monitoring him with the pain medication to make sure we get the right dosage for him to start to feel better. Without the pain meds, his quality of life is poor. With them, we hope we can at least get him comfortable and improve the quality of life even though it will increase the chance of hastening the loss of kidney function.

Due to his legs not working well, and always being an outside dog, he pees whenever and where ever without the ability to hike his leg so his back legs are stained from the urine and he will walk as he pees creating a nice zig zag pattern to clean up! Also because he is in the early stages of renal failure and the kidney cells are sloughing into the bladder, the smell is pretty off-putting. As long as we are able to provide him comfort and quality of life, he will remain in our rescue program. Right now, he is not adoptable and he also isn't going to be able to go to any of our foster homes.

So, the plan is that I will take him here in Dallas, Tx. I work from home, I have a set up that might work for him (and I have my own 14 year old Dal going through some of the same issues, just not as severe) and the weather here in Dallas is much nicer so he would be able to be outside if he wanted to and it wouldn't be so cold. Right now, we think this is his only option. We are going to transport him Friday, our intake coordinator, Penny and myself will meet halfway between Ohio and Texas. But, only if we can get him comfortable on the pain meds. This is a 16 hour trip and we fear that the stress of the trip will be hard on him if he isn't comfortable.

Turk is a reminder of why we do rescue. He may not be young, well adjusted and adoptable but, HE is why we rescue. To give him a chance that he wouldn't have otherwise had. Yes, he will be with us until he crosses to the bridge and we will incur significant ongoing medical costs but, HE is what rescue is all about. Even if he only knows the warmth of a bed and the gentle touch of a loving hand for a few weeks (or whatever time he has left), we will know that we changed his life for the better.

Thank you to everyone who has offered to help and who has kept Turk in your thoughts. Please check out our website for updates on Turk and if you wish to make a donation (we are a tax exempt, 501 c 3 organization)
I am attaching a few pictures of Turk taken the day he came into rescue and started his new and improved life! Thank you to all who helped make this possible! "

Jenny Brock, Director/FounderSecond Chances Dalmatian Rescue

I realize that hardly ANYONE has extra money to send to help a dog rescue, but if you are one of the lucky ones, I hope you will consider sending a donation to this wonderful group of people who went above and beyond to get this dog to safety. No matter how long he has, he will know love all the rest of his days.

NOW let's make sure that Daisy the rottie gets to a rescue.....I will keep you updated on her progress.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sorry I Have Not Posted

I was unexpectedly hospitalized Saturday evening the 17th and I just got home this afternoon. As soon as the room stops spinning, I will post a new story...I have vertigo. WHOA!!! Scary ride.

I am still trying to find out if the Rottweiler Daisy got a rescue. Turk is quite bad off with arthritis and a lot of other problems like kidney failure. He will be in a permanent foster home, and safe and warm all the rest of his days. He is actually 13, not 11 and has suffered horribly.

What is wrong with people who would do that to a dog?

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I have not yet heard if the Rottie, Daisy, has a rescue...I will keep trying. Turk is right now at the vet's office in Columbus and I am awaiting test results to see how bad the damages are from all those years he was neglected and chained.

If you have never given much thought to the plight of a continuously chained dog, I urge you to visit DOGS DESERVE, and it will certainly change the way you see a dog on a chain.

I have been an avid supporter of this cause since its inception in 2002 and the founder is my hero. She saw something everyday that bothered her and instead of looking the other way and trying to block it out, she DID something to CHANGE it. Now there are laws in cities and states (California and Connecticut are a couple) that absolutely PROHIBIT this inhumane treatment of a dog.

Please check out her website and support her cause.

And please pray for Turk and Daisy that their life will be more meaningful than it has been. And don't forget all the other dogs lonely and chained tonight in this cold weather, and DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE IT.


A few years ago I lived 3 blocks from a little beagle named Spencer who was ALWAYS chained , hot or cold weather. He was only a puppy when she first chained him up and I tried for 2 years to get his owner to take him in the house....she said he wasn't housebroken (I wonder why) and he "chewed" (boredom) but yet she did not seek training for him. She just put him out in the yard. After MANY neighbors complained to the SPCA, she was FORCED to get him an igloo doghouse for shelter. But still many times as we passed him (he was on a corner lot) when we walked our dogs, I would see his bowls empty. Sometimes he was wrapped around something in the yard and could not move to reach the bowls if there was something in them. So he became my personal project. I would check his bowls everyday on my walk and fill up the food bowl with a baggie of dog food I carried in my fanny pack. I carried gallon water jugs in my car and on my way to and from work I filled his water bowls. In the winter I poured in hot water to thaw it out. I brought blankets and quilts to put in his igloo when it was 5 degrees outside and his owner was nice and warm in her house. Countless calls to the SPCA did little to help him. They said as long as he had food, water and shelter they could not charge her. I told them the only reason he had food and water was from the neighbors and myself! They told me if I stopped then they could charge her - HOW COULD I STOP? I had no idea when they might stop by, if EVER!

FINALLY after almost 3 years of this and MANY confrontations with the neighbors, she found another home for Spencer. I missed him so much at first but realized no matter WHERE he was now, he was certainly better off. His little igloo dog house is still in the yard and not a day goes by that I don't see it and remember the sweet little dog who spent almost 3 years chained to it. I just pray she NEVER gets another dog.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


EVERY SINGLE DAY I get email pleas for help to save a dog, either in a neglect situation or found as a stray and now impounded in a kill shelter on his last few days. They all break my heart and there is so little I can do to help. My best weapon in this fight is the computer keyboard and all the contacts I have made these last 7 years of transporting. I keep meticulous records. I heard from this email that we have dogs, a rottweiler and a Dalmatian, chained up their whole lives in Kentucky and finally their owners have been convinced that they DESERVE a better life...Check out Dogs Deserve for a life changing experience. They have given permission for someone to take their dogs and find them a rescue.

Here is their story so told by a family member rescuing them.

"Dog # 1 is Turk, a male 11 year old neutered Dalmation. He cannot hear and did not even get up when I was there to take pictures. He has been chained his whole life after being dumped on my cousin's farm. At least they brought him in the basement because we are having below zero temperatures and wind chill. But he is old and just needs a warm loving inside home for the rest of his life. The igloo is where he usually is chained up to. He is very skinny, and they said they have been feeding him extra but he looks emaciated.

Dog # 2 is Daisy, a female 6 year old Rottweiler who is kept way back behind my other cousin's house. They only go back there every other day to feed and water her, she is in a pen and has a barn-like structure with hay and a heat lamp to sleep in. They let me get her out of the pen to meet her and take pictures, and she took off running and ran straight for the house. She is absolutely adorable, so lovable and sweet, and longs to be part of the family, which she never has been. She is spayed, but not housebroken, and was curious about the cat, but did not attack it. She is a short, stocky cutie who just leaned into me and wanted lots of lovin.

Please cross-post this to everyone you know so we can find these two deserving dogs their forever home. I will
help with transporting them too. Thank you,"

So I did what she asked and I crossposted to all my contacts with Dalmation Rescue and within MINUTES a wonderful organization called Second Chance Dalmation Rescue said they will take Turk, the 11 year old emaciated dog who had been CHAINED HIS WHOLE LIFE.. All we now need is a driver to get him to Columbus. That is my specialty, besides typing and crossposting and knowing a lot of good rescue people. I volunteered to take him to Columbus to their vet on Saturday morning. We are waiting on news that Daisy the Rottie has found a rescue in Columbus hopefully and I can drive BOTH of them. Our only regret is that we can't leave RIGHT NOW to get them out of sub-zero temps tonight. I dont know how I will sleep knowing they are cold. Actually that is a BIG part of my bad sleeping habits...thinking too much about who is cold tonight, dogs, cats, homeless people. They all make me sad.

But if we save these two dogs this weekend, it'll be another victory for the good guys. I only pray that Turk has a few really good years left in him to enjoy a warm loving family.

HAPPY UPDATE!!! Early this morning (Friday) I got an email that a volunteer from Second Chance Dalmation Rescue is driving down from Columbus to get Turk TODAY so I do not have to transport Saturday. And it gives him an EXTRA day of WARMTH and LOVE for the first time in his life! Such good people.

NOW PLEASE SOMEBODY, RESCUE THE ROTTIE, Daisy. Dont leave her there alone.

Will continuously update.....

Monday, January 12, 2009


My plan for this blog was to feature stories of some of the dozens of dogs I have helped transport since 2002. In memory of my sister Ronda's shih tzu Camille who passed away last month I thought I would look back at Sparky.

Sparky had such a sad beginning. At 10 months old he was tied up in the back yard all the time near Louisville. He had virtually no care from his owners who had told others that she planned to have him put to sleep the next day if someone did not come to get him. So a rescue rounded up some volunteers to transport him and a rescue in New York State called Forgotten Friends Pet Rescue generously offered to take him into foster care with a lovely woman.

My mom rode with me and we drove Sparky from Carrollton Kentucky to Cincinnati. She held him and cuddled with him for the whole trip and boy did he really need that human contact. He seemed so scared and timid. His new mom bought him 15 new toys, a new collar and leash, a new bed, and his own dishes!

Because it was such a long trip, Sparky spent the night in Canton, Ohio with a driver and the next day arrived in upstate New York to begin a new and BETTER life. He was quickly accepted by the other rescued dogs in the home and settled into a spot on the couch.


You can be part of these happy endings too. Just go to YAHOO GROUPS and type in DOG TRANSPORT. If you join one or two groups, you will soon be receiving emails about the MANY dog transports coming thru YOUR city or nearby towns that YOU can help. It is SO easy and there is nothing that compares to the feeling of seeing them finally happy in a home that loves them.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Today is so gray and dreary in Cincinnati that even my dog Wookie did not want to go out for his walk this afternoon. Laying around on the couch and watching TV was just fine for all of us. We really need to see some sunshine soon.

The only good news I heard all day came from the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. They have custody of most of the pitbulls seized from Michael Vick's property and have taken on the huge task to socialize and rehabilitate them.

Here is a wonderful story about how two of the dogs have come so far that they can now live together in the same pen without fighting. That is such a milestone for these frightened dogs who were so scared when they first came to Best Friends that they crawled on their belly close to the ground so that no one would notice them. Maybe soon they will be ready for adoption by a real family so they can live like regular pets. They deserve it.

I personally love pitbulls and my sister in Maine is loved by one. She has a beautiful, sweet 12 year old named Jasmine.

Many people do not share my view of them I know. I was converted when I met Oreo on a transport in 2002, and I was charmed by his sweetness. He had been bait for a fighting ring in New Jersey. Luckily was saved by a rescue and adopted by a lovely family in Lexington, Kentucky. The whole trip from Dayton, Ohio to Florence, Kentucky was spent with Oreo on his back and me rubbing his belly.

I think he is smiling at me....

I think if more people got to know one of these sweet dogs on a personal basis like I did, maybe they would see there is no need for bans on their breed. Any dog can bite. I have been bitten by German Shepherds TWICE but I don't think we should ban them. What we need are stronger laws to promote responsible ownership, and PUNISH the owners, not the dogs, if they teach their dogs to attack or kill.

Thanks to Best Friends for giving the "Vicktory Dogs" a chance at a normal life.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Stories from the road...

I will be posting about my experience in transporting dogs but I welcome all your stories if you have ever been a volunteer driver on the Dog Rescue Railroad. We would like to see YOUR pictures and hear about YOUR experiences also. Maybe together we can recruit more dog (and cat) lovers to this cause and save even more lives of innocent homeless animals.

And don't get me started on PUPPY MILLS and Petland ...lets resolve to make 2009 the year we outlaw all puppy mills and put Petland out of business if they don't stop buying from those puppy mills. They should stick to selling pet supplies, NOT pets. Pets should come from SHELTERS, not stores. That way you can save TWO lives..the one you take home and the one you make room for in the shelter who may be a stray.

There are so many things I want to do in 2009...humane treatment of farm animals is a big cause I support. The passage of Proposition 2 in California is a great start but lets get it started in other states as well. Factory Farming is horrendous and lethal to our environment. If we are working against global warming, then we must address factory farming. If you ever get a chance to visit the Farm Sanctuary in upstate NY or the one in California, you will never forget it. We did that a couple years ago and went to visit Cincinnati Freedom, a cow that escaped from a slaughterhouse in Cincinnati and then spent 11 days eluding police until her capture. By then the public was in love with her spirit and will to live, so she was adopted by artist Peter Max and sent to live in the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY. She spent many years there until she passed away this month from a cancer in her spine. She passed away surrounded by love of both the humans and all her cow friends at the sanctuary.

See her story here:

Let's all work together for a better life for ALL animals in 2009!