Huff Post #PitBull Week

When you hear “pit bull”, what’s the first thing you think of? Lock jaw? Kids being attacked? Dog fighting? Well, I believe that those descriptions are wrong. Instead, you should think of love, loyalty, obedience, and hearts bigger than their goofy heads!

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This beautiful dog, is @fernthepitbull on instagram, follow her to see all the amazing work she does in the community.

The number of dogs that are euthanized in shelters every year is in the millions. A vast majority of those are pit bulls. Every day, thousands of pit bulls are put to sleep because of the American public’s media fueled false perception that they are a bad breed of dog. Stop for a moment and ask yourself – have you ever met one? If so, did it attack you? My guess is no. The reason behind that is because they are not monsters by nature. In fact, pit bulls used to be referred to as “nanny dogs” because they would often be left with children and babies to protect them. They are fiercely loyal and protective and would alert the parents if anything was wrong. So, when and why did all of this change?

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This is Bugsy, protecting his Beagle sister.

Unfortunately, the media has exposed dog fighting rings and often times they show images of barking, manic looking pit bulls. It then leads to other stories of dog attacks and once again the pit bull is to blame. For the record, I grew up with a toy poodle named Rocky. He weighed 10 lbs. when his hair was grown in. He used to bite me on the hands and snap at me when I wasn’t paying attention.  He would growl at you when you walked too closely to him. But, you would never hear of something like that on television because it doesn’t make for good TV! If it were up to me, I would have had a pit growing up. However, I lived in Miami and it has been deemed illegal to possess a pit bull.

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Would you ever be scared of this little fluff ball?

Dade County isn’t the only place to ban pits.  In the link below, you will see a map of all the states or cities where pitties are banned:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/06/bsl-map_n_7216190.html. Simply put, pit bulls will be put to sleep just for being born the way they are. It has nothing to do with temperament or age. What if it was your dog? What if they came and said that all labs, retrievers, or shepherds were bad and they were going to be put to sleep? How would you feel if your particular dog did nothing wrong? It’s heartbreaking to think about. Taking these dogs off the streets and out of loving homes does not make the world a safer place. It’s a matter of educating the public that pit bulls happen to make great pets.

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Pit bulls are not born mean and aggressive. In fact, pit bull puppies happen to be some of the cutest, squishiest and cuddliest pups around. Why anyone would want to fight them and mistreat them is beyond me. The reason that pit bulls become mean and aggressive is because of the owners. On the flip side, some of these amazing animals are turned into something far worse than a mean and aggressive dog. They are made into bait dogs for others to attack and train on. However, even after these dogs are mutilated, mistreated, and sometimes left for dead, they possess a heart of gold. If you have ever seen a dog fighting ring rescue, you know that it is one of the most amazing sights. These rescuers come in and the dogs wag their tails and have nothing but love and compassion.

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Have you ever seen anything cuter than the face above?

Here is an example of what can happen to a bait dog: http://fox43.com/2015/05/21/the-dog-without-a-nose-local-rescue-saves-pit-bull/ In this case, incredible humans stepped in to help. But, sadly, this is not always the case.

These dogs don’t exist to indulge sick and twisted individuals who want to see them fight. They are here because they are loving and loyal friends who are just misunderstood.

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This sweet boy is Kiko.  He was protecting his owner during a home invasion.  Kiko got shot in the head during this and sadly he is still looking for his home and someone to love.  If this is you please contact me ASAP.

Please check out this HuffPost article on the #PitBullWeek project. It helps reinforce why it is so important to have people recognize the true beauty of these incredible dogs.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arin-greenwood/pit-bull-myths_b_5623555.html

I am currently in the process of working on a pit bull project in the New York area with Mighty Mutts Dog Rescue.  If you are in NYC, have a pit bull, and would like to be featured, please contact me at dogsofnycphoto@gmail.com

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Please help spread the word about pit bulls! The millions of them in shelters need advocates and voices more than ever!

A Plea for Kiko

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Kiko stole my heart.  The minute I met him, I was won over.  That is what he tends to do when people meets them, he makes them fall in love.  Yet no one has fallen enough in love with this sweet hero to take him home.

BarkPost just posted an article about this sweet boy as well.  How is it that so many outlets are writing about this dog, and begging to find him a home. Help me, Mighty Mutts, and BarkPost find not only Kiko, but the other dogs out there a home too.  To see the article about Kiko head over to http://barkpost.com/hero-barkbuddy-shot-head/

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While working with Mighty Mutts over the summer, Kiko was one of my favorite dogs to photograph.  There he was, every Saturday, with a smile on his face, waiting and hoping that the next person that pet his head was his forever.  That still has not happened.

Kiko’s backstory is incredible, and will make you fall in love before you even meet him.  Kiko is a fourteen year old bulldog mix who made the news about two years ago.  At the age of 12, Kiko sprang into action to protect his dad from a home invasion.  During this heroic he was shot at point blank in the head. Miraculously, he survived and is now fully recovered despite having lost his hearing. Unfortunately, since then, his dad fell on some hard times and was unable to continue caring for him. Now, this hero dog needs to find someone who can be his hero and give him the best life has to offer for his remaining years. Kiko is a gentle boy who needs a quiet home where he can spend the rest of his life just being loved and taken care of. He is believed to be deaf so he will need an owner who understands his needs and is patient He is neutered, housebroken, and well mannered, but due to his experiences, it is preferred that he is the only animal in the house.

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Now it is our turn.  It is our turn to be a hero to Kiko.  It is our turn to share, post, tweet, and talk, to get the word out there about Kiko.  It is our turn to find him a loving and incredible home for him to spend the rest of his life in.  It is our turn to protect him.  If you know of anyone who would make the perfect home for Kiko, please reach out to Mighty Mutts.  And please come meet him and all the other amazing dogs, every Saturday on the corner of Union Square.

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Spicing Up Her Life: Alexis and Pepper

6_28_Pepper-16Alexis, one of Mighty Mutt’s incredible volunteers, along with her family decided that they were going to rescue a dog from the organization. They had no interest in buying from a pet store or a breeder since they are aware of how many displaced animals there are in need of a home. It also helps that Alexis sees it firsthand when she volunteers in Union Square each weekend.

Alexis’s affiliation with Mighty Mutts began after her family dog, Nikkie, passed way. She wanted to find a way to give back to dogs the way that Nikkie did for her. She did some research online and found Mighty Mutts. After volunteering for a while, she met Pepper.

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Pepper was found locked inside of a carrying case after being abandoned outside of a fire department on a hot summer day. Attached to the case was a note from Pepper’s previous owners. They said that the reason they abandoned Pepper was to teach their children a lesson (what kind of lesson, I cannot begin to imagine). After being abandoned, Mighty Mutts rescued her and Pepper went to live with a foster. Shortly after, Pepper’s foster had to study for the bar exam and had some travel coming up, so Alexis’s family decided to help out by temporarily dog-sitting for Pepper. It didn’t take long. According to Alexis, “we fell in love with Pepper and her personality. We started the adoption process.”

Alexis says that Pepper is a “loveable, happy, princess” and that she has brought so much happiness and love to her family. Alexis calls Pepper a “faithful friend and a loyal dog” and says that her personality brings joy each and every day. She cannot imagine her life without Pepper in it – nor any dog for that matter. Alexis says that after this experience, she would absolutely adopt again in a heartbeat.

6_28_Pepper-13 As a volunteer for Mighty Mutts, Alexis is fortunate to be part of an organization that really cares. She encourages everyone she meets to adopt a rescue dog by telling them that “adoption saves a life!” She said that the team at Mighty Mutts really cares for the animals and takes the time to make sure they have the best home possible. Until that time, the organization gives these dogs the best care. She’s proud to be a volunteer for Mighty Mutts.

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Matchmaker Matchmaker Make Me a Match: Robert +Danielle, Shelly, Bugsy (Moe the foster!) and 19 Years of Dedicated Volunteer Service

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Even before Robert began volunteering with Mighty Mutts, he never thought about getting a pet from a store. First of all, he feels strongly that pet store puppies come from puppy mills and he doesn’t want to support that. Second, he always wanted to get his “forever buddies” from a rescue. He loves the idea of opening his home to animals that have been abandoned and/or abused. In his mind, those are the ones that need his help the most.

March 11, 1995: Robert has a vivid memory of the events that occurred this day. Back then, he never really ventured to Union Square, but on that Saturday he went to purchase a DVD player at The Wiz (the electronics store that once occupied the space where American Eagle is now). As he was walking toward the store, he noticed a crowd of people and a bunch of dogs on the corner of 14th Street. Never one to give up an opportunity to play with dogs, he walked over. As he was looking around, he saw a New York Times article from the previous Sunday taped to the table. The article was about John and Mighty Mutts. Robert remembers the article having a profound impact on him and after reading it he noticed that the gentleman sitting with the dogs in Union Square was the man from the article. While his original plan was to go to Union Square for a DVD player, Robert said that, instead, he walked over to John and asked “do you need any volunteers?” That moment began what has now been a 19-year commitment to helping dogs by volunteering with Mighty Mutts. To this day, Robert still has the New York Times article at home which serves as a constant reminder of the day that changed the course of his life.

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Robert always liked having two dogs at the same time. When he first met Shelly, he only had one dog, a pit mix named Mikey, as his eldest dog had passed away. He always intended to get a brother or sister for Mikey, but he was waiting to meet the right one to add to the family. One Saturday, as he headed over to Union Square for his weekly Mighty Mutts volunteer shift, he spotted an “absolutely adorable” beagle. He learned that Shelly was just rescued from a terrible life with a breeder of hunting dogs and it was her first day at the corner. Robert recalls, “the moment I saw her I said, ‘I want her. Do we have any applications in for her yet? No? Good, she’s coming home with me!”

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Even while Robert had Shelly and Mikey, he would take in foster dogs from Mighty Mutts. Robert met Bugsy when he was part of his “walking crew”. Bugsy was staying at Ollie’s for about three months because there was no foster home for him at the time. Robert knew that when his current foster was adopted, Bugsy would be his next. Before taking Bugsy home as a foster, Robert needed to make sure that he would get along with Shelly and Mikey, who was now older and starting to get sick. While waiting for Michelle to meet him over at PetCo with Bugsy, Robert struck up a conversation with a woman named Danielle. Little did he know at the time, but Bugsy ended up being quite the match maker! Robert and Danielle have now been together for almost a year.

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Bugsy was rescued from a crack house in the Bronx. Robert brought him in as a foster after he passed the test with Shelly and Mikey. After a few months, Mikey passed away. Trying to keep to his desire to always have two “permanent” dogs, Robert wanted to keep Bugsy, but he had to make sure that he would be a good foster buddy to other dogs he would undoubtedly bring in. Once he proved himself with Moe, Robert’s next foster, he decided to make Bugsy a permanent member of the family. He said, “how could I give him up? Especially after he fixed up me and Danielle!”

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According to Robert, there haven’t been many challenges with Shelly and Bugsy. Robert provides a structured, loving home – which is critical when there are three dogs wandering around (two permanent and one foster). The biggest challenge was for Shelly when Bugsy became permanent. Bugs always wants to play and Shelly keeps trying to let him know that he’s too big for her. For now, Moe makes for a better play mate.

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When asked how these dogs have changed his life, Robert didn’t even know where to begin. The love the dogs give to him always makes him feel better. His belief is that “canine therapy is the best.” Plus, he believes that the act of adopting has led to many friends and places he would have never met/experienced before. Being with animals that really needed a home has been a life altering experience. Plus, he says, “Bugsy helped me meet the love of my life!”

Robert will continue to foster and adopt dogs as long as he is able to care for them. He reiterates his position that there is no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars when there are so many beautiful and loving ones in need of a home. He says that he will always get his dogs from Mighty Mutts. He says that Mighty Mutts has dogs that are “rescued from the worst circumstances and have the greatest hearts.” He continues to donate his time to these dogs and sees no end in sight.

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Providing a Court for the Jester: Julie, Rosa, and Pixie

Julie has always had rescued pets. She knows that there are so many wonderful animals in shelters and on the streets that need to find their forever home. While animals that are in pet stores and at breeders need their homes too, she sees no reason to have to resort to going to one. Her senior pit-bull, Pixie, is one that she found on the streets. She rescued Pixie after finding her wandering around in Crown Heights. Lucky for Julie, Pixie came to her well behaved and incredibly smart. She had no intention of finding Pixie a sister, but sometimes things happen for a reason.

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Rosa came to Julie as a foster. She, and a male Chihuahua, were both abandoned at a vet’s office in Pennsylvania and while the male was quickly adopted, Rosa found her way into the foster system. She ended up with a Mighty Mutts affiliate group run by Shana. After going through a few foster homes, Rosa came to live with Julie and Pixie.

At first, Rosa was difficult to housebreak. She was also very timid when she first came to stay with Julie and Pixie and would recoil from anything that was unfamiliar. In addition, like many small dogs, she had a tendency to bark a lot – especially when it was a person or dog she wasn’t sure of. But, Rosa started to settle in and she began to feel comfortable with Julie and Pixie. That’s when Julie realized that Rosa was not going to just be a foster dog. She told me that “once she [Rosa] adjusted, she had no intention of leaving. After eight months, I gave up the pretense of fostering and adopted her.”

Now, Rosa is almost 100% housebroken, but according to Julie, “she’s close enough!” In addition, she has now formed a bond with both Julie and Pixie and is even sweet and sociable with other people. Besides Pixie, she seems to be indifferent to any other dog. The barking is still there, but Julie says that Rosa is doing much better than many other small dogs she’s seen.

Julie says that both of her dogs have had a huge impact on her life. Pixie has become her “consigliore” and her rock. In contrast to Pixie’s disposition, Rosa is the “court jester” of the family. Together, Julie says, “the house is full of love when they are home.”

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Julie intends to have dogs as long as she is able to care for them. As far as other pets are concerned, Julie said that she would also like to have a pet pig. But, she adds that it is “still a way off!” Regardless, her pets will always be rescues. She says that “a rescue may have some challenges, but overcoming them together and giving a fellow creature back the ability to love and trust can be one of life’s richest experiences.”

Mighty Mutts brought Julie together with Rosa, and she “will always be grateful for that.” She praises the Mighty Mutts organization because they take in dogs that many other rescue groups won’t and the volunteers care for them regardless of their issues or infirmities for as long as they need it. Julie says that by rescuing, “you are doing a wonderful thing” and that anyone with a rescue will tell you that even though you may be rescuing the animal, for the human, “the rewards are even greater.”

*Please note: these photos were submitted by Julie, not taken by me*

Barclay – Center of Attention

Meet Andrew, and Barclay (and his brother Boomerang).

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After speaking with Andrew, the love and respect that he has for his dogs is obvious. Like everyone else involved in this project, Andrew is a firm in his belief that there is no other option than adopting or rescuing a pet. He says “there are so many shelter animals in need of a home and the majority of them never find one.” That’s why he made Barclay the second rescue dog to join his family. Five years ago, they rescued six month old Boomerang from the ACC. At five years old, they decided to get Boomerang a younger sibling. They saw Barclay in Union Square one Saturday and immediately fell in love with him.

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Barlcay’s history is all too familiar. He was left tied up outside of a vet’s office in Brooklyn, somewhere near the Barclay center – hence his name. The vet took Barclay in, examined and treated him, and then contacted John of Mighty Mutts.

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Andrew knew that dogs have a tendency to act differently at adoption events as opposed to when they are brought home – especially in Union Square. When they brought Barclay home, he had non-stop energy, no matter how long the walk or how much playing was involved. Andrew said that he just wanted to play with everything and seemed to be on “overload” with the number of toys in his basket. Andrew said he was “the epitome of a happy-go-lucky puppy.” One positive was that Barclay came housebroken and never had an accident in the house. There was also an adjustment period between him and Boomerang. In the beginning, Boomerang was jealous and did not like having to share the love, attention, and his toys. After one squabble where Andrew had to step in, they seemed to take the hint. Now, they chase each other around all day and are great together. Barclay has since calmed down and adjusted well to his new environment. Andrew says “he listens very well, is extremely loyal, and is one of the best cuddles around. It’s his favorite thing to do!”

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Since their family already had a dog, Andrew was aware of the responsibilities involved with being a parent to a four legged fur-baby. To them, the only difference is that now there are two. They feel that it is the best thing ever to come home to happy dogs that constantly make you feel good.

Andrew has said that he will always have a dog for as long as he lives and he plans to only rescue them. By doing this, he believes that he is giving them a second chance and they reward you back many times over.

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When asked how he feels about Mighty Mutts, Andrew said: “adopting from an organization such as Mighty Mutts was much different than going to the ACC, where they are simply trying to find ANY home for their animals. [With Mighty Mutts] There was an application process, including meetings and a home visit to ensure that the dog was going to a good, safe home. It shows how much the organization cares for their animals”

 

Three Tails, Six Sets of Whiskers, Twelve Pink Paws = Three Magical Friends David, Erin, and their cats Larry, Nora, and Nick

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David and Erin are two of the many people out there who realize how many cats there are living on the streets, in shelters, and in rescue organizations that are waiting to find their forever home. Ollie’s Place happens to be in their neighborhood, and they used to pass by all the time. Whenever they did, they saw the sweet little kitties staring out at them through the window. One day they decided to walk in. They didn’t expect that they would be walking out with melted hearts and adoption papers.

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In total, David and Erin now have three cats from Ollie’s Place – Larry, Nora, and Nick. According to Erin, Larry spent time living on the streets in Pine Barrens, NJ. Ollie’s Place worked for several months trying to capture him, and finally one day while he was running after a mouse, he ran right into the trap. He was taken to Ollie’s Place and as Erin put it, “he became a bouncer for Ollie’s – checking IDs at the door, keeping the peace, and distributing kisses to any and all.” I guess all of his time on the streets made him the tough guy! Nick and Nora came to Ollie’s place after they were born behind a Chinese restaurant. Erin says “they traded chicken lo mien and general tso’s for hearty meals of kibble and bits.”

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David and Erin took home Larry and Nora first as they decided that two cats would be the right number. Only a few months later, after Nora “put a guilt trip on her humans for having left her pale male brother behind”, they went back and got Nick. All three cats are doing great at home. Nick has a habit for jumping onto dressers and knocking into small items on the ground. Larry has a tendency to jump inside the refrigerator every time it opens. And Nora likes to wake David and Erin up by jumping on their heads in the morning. Besides these antics, David and Erin say that their manners are “perfectly delightful” and that you would never know they were living on the streets.

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David and Erin feel as if these three cats have had a major impact on their lives. They can point to five specific things that have changed since these three kitties came into their home: First, they said that there is less room in the bed. Second, it’s now a little harder to sleep in on the weekends. Third, they now keep small patches of grass in little pots here and there in the apartment. Fourth, hair clips can never be found when they need to be (more a problem for Erin than David!). Last, but most important, they now come home every day to “the happy pitter patter of little dancing cat feet.”

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Both David and Erin could not imagine not sharing their home with “three tails, six sets of whisker-beds, twelve pink paws, and three magical friends that go meow in the night…..and every other time of day!”

They both feel that Ollie’s is so loving and caring and friendly. What drew them most to Ollie’s Place is the fact that it is a no-kill rescue organization. “When a cat is in a dire situation, there is no better place for them to end up while waiting for their forever homes.” By taking in these three kitties, they feel that all they have done is free up space for more cats to come and wait for their families to take them home.


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Chasing Shadows: Christine, Finn, and Lulu

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Christine and her family have a long history with Mighty Mutts/Ollie’s Place. Shortly before 9/11, one of their family cats passed away. In November 2001, they were walking through Union Square and they met the Mighty Mutts crew. They followed up with John afterwards and ended up adopting a 4-year old cat that they named Sophie. She was a cream and white striped, British Short-Hair. This past fall, she became sick. Christine said that she spent many nights just sitting with her, petting and rubbing her. Christine said “one morning she ran into the bedroom and jumped into my arms. I held her as the bells of St. Brigid’s pealed and she passed away.” When they made the decision to get another cat, there was no question as to where they would go: Mighty Mutts/Ollie’s Place. She said that she has “no interest in getting a pet through a breeder or a store.”

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Christine now has two cats from Mighty Mutts: Finn (originally named Goose) and Lulu (originally named Blue Girl). Finn lived out with John at the NJ barn for many years. He is now about nine years old. Blue Girl is about two, but her backstory is unknown. Christine said that since they adopted both of these cats, they have been fortunate that neither has had any seriously bad emotional issues or physical ailments.

These two cats have changed Christine’s life. “I cannot imagine living without them – they give me great comfort and completely nonjudgmental companionship. My home seems ghostly empty without Finn and Lulu in it.” They make her and her family happy. She said they also make them laugh, sometimes falling over in stitches because of some of their antics. One of the funniest things that Lulu likes to do is jump halfway up a wall to try and catch a shadow. Christine thinks that they would love to try and catch the pigeons on the windowsill, but instead they try for shadows. I suggested to Christine to try shining a light on the wall to see if Finn and Lulu would chase it. She tried it and said that they “LOVE” it!

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To Christine and her family, rescuing again is not open for debate. She has done it several times before and she will continue to do so until she is no longer able to provide adequate care. She hopes that if and when that time comes, whoever is taking care of her takes equally good care of her cats.

Christine wishes, as so many of us do, that there was no need for any rescue organizations. However, she knows that there are literally millions of homeless dogs and cats in America and that places like Mighty Mutts/Ollie’s Place are crucial. She truly believes that John and his crew have done a great job and will definitely be returning to Ollie’s Place the next time she is ready to adopt a cat.

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Double Trouble – Two Special Posts Today

As we worked on this project we got such an influx of people wanting to participate that some days will be two happy tails in one day.

First up we have Kristen and her dog Conqy:

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Throughout her lifetime, Kristen had a number of dogs and cats and when she moved from Europe to New York, she missed having that companionship. She came to realize that in New York alone, there were so many homeless cats and dogs that needed to find their forever home. Kristen knew that she did not want to buy a dog from a pet store when so many of them needed help. However, before taking in a rescue animal, she wanted to make sure she could adjust her life to taking care of a dog. Therefore, she started out, like many others, fostering dogs.

Walking through Union Square, she came across Mighty Mutts and afterward did some research on the website. “I sent in an application on their website to be a foster home, and soon ended up with my first foster dog.” Her first dog through Mighty Mutts was Hula. After a few months, Hula went off to live in her forever home. When that happened, Kristen decided she couldn’t be without a dog again and took in Bailey. A few months went by and Bailey was adopted by a nice family.

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One day, Mighty Mutts called Kristen and told her that they had a “special case” that they were hoping she could care for. They had a dog named Conqy who had been rescued off the streets. He was in rough shape. He was “skeleton thin” and had open wounds all over his body. The vet that he was taken to did an excellent job and stitched him back together, but mentally he still needed some work. He was very fearful and not entirely comfortable with all of the new surroundings. Kristen agreed to take him in.

The first few months were a bit wild. Conqy found his inner puppy and would chew up furniture and shoes, barked a lot at statues, people with hats and other dogs, and had a case of separation anxiety. All things that were totally understandable. But, Kristen held on and the persevered. Gradually Conqy settled in and began to relax. He started to like other people and other dogs and soon became the hero of the neighborhood. According to Kristen, “everyone knows Conqy. He gets cuddles and treats from everyone – young and old!”

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The plan was to foster Conqy and rehabilitate him. But, after a while, Kristen realized that she did not have the heart to give him up – nor did she want to be without him! Conqy became Kristen’s forever-dog.

Although he still can be a troublemaker at times, Kristen says that they have so much fun together and if she had the choice, she would do it all over again in a heartbeat. She is so thankful to Mighty Mutts for bringing her and Conqy together.

Kristen asked me to share a message that she has to anyone thinking of getting a pet: “Please choose to adopt one [a dog] that needs a home rather than supporting the puppy industry. There are so, so many wonderful creatures with such sad fates out there just waiting to be saved.”

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The second post is Beach and Lidia:

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Beach is a volunteer for Mighty Mutts. As a volunteer, Beach was aware of the vast number of unwanted pets in the NYC area and when the time came to get a second dog, she planned on adopting. She said that “it seemed cruel and irresponsible to buy one when there were so many great animals available for adoption.”

When Lidia (formerly Themla) came to Mighty Mutts, she came from a breeder in Pennsylvania with her mom, Louise. According to Beach, “she was very young, maybe a year or a year and a half, and had already been bred for puppies.” Being a volunteer for Mighty Mutts, and already a proud owner of a Boston Terrier, Beach “jumped at the chance” to foster one of these dogs.

When they first got Lidia, she struggled with a fear of loud noises. “She would cower under our dining table when we listened to the stereo or if the TV was on.” Beach said that Lidia was also quite confused (and terrified) of stairs. The other thing that was heartbreaking is that when they first got Lidia, she would only go to the bathroom if she was on top of a metal grate on the sidewalk in Manhattan. Beach can only assume that this was how she felt comfortable because she likely lived much of her early life in a crate. But, as time went on, Lidia started to get past her issues. After only a few weeks of having Lidia, they knew that they couldn’t live without her and they went on to adopt Lidia for themselves. Beach told me that this is what she calls a “foster failure!” I would argue that it is quite the opposite for little Lidia!

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Having a dog already, Beach and her family were aware of the benefits and challenges presented by pet ownership. But,” having two,” she said “is so much fun”. Beach told me that she is “endlessly entertained” by their constant antics. She said that adopting Lidia was a great decision and that she would have done it all over again if she had the choice.

Beach believes in Mighty Mutts. She said that it is great because the animals are individually fostered so that every dog is getting the socialization and training they need while they wait for his or her forever home. She wishes she had more time (and likely more room) to be able to foster more.

In my mind, Beach perfectly summed up what it means to be a dog owner: “Dog ownership is like a constant infusion of anti-depressants. How can anyone be sad, angry, lonely, etc. when your pup comes bounding to the front door to greet you, full of enthusiasm and unconditional love?”

I’m still searching for the answer…but I doubt it will ever come to me.

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Eileen (and family) and Sadie

According to Eileen, “mutts make the best dogs.” At least, that’s how she was raised to think. She told me that her family has always adopted or rescued animals. So, when she was ready to get her first dog on her own, going to a pet store never crossed her mind. Eleven years ago, she went on the NYCACC website and came across Buddy – it was love at first sight. She recalls standing in front of his cage so nobody else would take him.

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Fast forward to one Saturday when she and her daughter were going to lunch in Union Square. At the time, she was not actively looking to get a second dog and was unaware of Mighty Mutts and the work that they do every Saturday in Union Square. As they passed by the adoption drive, they stopped to meet and see the dogs. Her daughter, who Eileen says is very similar to herself, tried to pet every dog and throughout lunch kept asking if they could go back. They did, and that’s where Eileen met and fell in love with Sadie. “I like to tell people that I have a type – big brown dogs with floppy ears,” she said. Sadie fit this profile and they knew that Sadie needed them. The only thing standing in their way was the fact that they were unsure how Buddy would react. After some back and forth, John, from Mighty Mutts, brought Sadie over for a meet and greet. Buddy took to her well – despite the few little scuffles that any siblings have! In the end, however, Sadie and Buddy really enjoyed each other.

Eileen came to find out that this was not Sadie’s first time being adopted from Mighty Mutts. Another family had Sadie for ten years. But, when their two year old child developed an allergy to Sadie, it was clear that they had to do something. Mighty Mutts has a policy that if you cannot keep your dog for any reason, no matter how long it has been, you must return the dog to them so they can find another home. After Eileen adopted Sadie, she spoke to the father of the family that had to give her up. She could tell that he was devastated to lose her. Eileen assured him that she would be fine with us and that we would take very good care of her. A promise that she has kept to this day.

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Buddy and Sadie are both older dogs. After they both pass on, Eileen doesn’t plan on getting any more pets right away. At the same time, she told me that she “can’t imagine being dog free for the rest of my life.” However, if (and when) she does decide to get another dog, she would definitely adopt again. She also thinks that the legacy will continue with her daughter. “She already talks about the pets she plans to have in the future.”

Eileen is a huge believer in adopting and she has immense respect for Mighty Mutts and Ollie’s place as she feels they are very thorough when placing an animal. She gives them a lot of credit for doing what they do. If it wasn’t for Might Mutts, and John taking the time to bring Sadie over to meet with Buddy, Sadie would never have found her true forever home!

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