Stories from the Dog Rescue Railroad.

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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

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!