Gates Police and Fire rescue duckling from storm grate (video)

Screenshot of body camera footage showing Gates Police and Fire coming to the rescue of a baby duckling trapped in a storm grate. Click to see the whole video.

 In an age where police are wearing body cameras, often as a way to have a record in potentially volitional situations, it's nice to take a moment to view some of that video and get the warm fuzzies.Duckling fuzzies, to be exact.Here's officer body cam footage from the Gates Police Department, a suburb of Rochester, NY.  Officer Shawn Omara and some members of the Gates Fire Dept. came to the rescue of a baby duckling who had fallen through a storm grate. In the video, you can … [Read more...]

Springtime and abandoned kittens

Day old kittens, being cared for by Kitten Korner Rescue.

I was at a charity dog walk this weekend at Rochester Institute of Technology and one of the groups that would be benefiting from the walk proceeds (in addition to Rescue Pit, the pit bull group I work with) was a kitten rescue group called Kitten Korner. Co-founder Laraine VanBlarcom had some kittens with her, what she called "bottle babies".So tiny!!Laraine explained that the one day old kittens had been found by a homeowner, who found them in an unsafe place and moved them for safety. … [Read more...]

Rochester Institute of Technology’s 3rd Annual Dog Walk

Some hot dogs out for the charity dog walk!

This Saturday, I spent the morning with my fellow Rescue Pit volunteers at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) 3rd Annual Dog Walk for Charity. Students and faculty - and their dogs - walked a course through campus to raise money. This year's recipients were Rescue Pit and Kitten Korner. (You can see the kittens in this post.)I don't know yet how much money was raised, but here are some photos of the event. Thanks, RIT students and faculty, for your generous gift of time and money to … [Read more...]

Susie the pit bull mix named “American Hero Dog” of 2014

Susie the therapy dog was named the top American Hero Dog at the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. (PRNewsFoto/American Humane Association)

A pit bull mix named Susie from High Point, North Carolina, has been named this year's "American Hero Dog" at the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.Susie was only a puppy when her owner beat her savagely and set her on fire, leaving her for dead in a local park in Greensboro, North Carolina. She was rescued by a local animal shelter and nursed back to health, and then adopted by a woman named Donna Lawrence.Donna herself had been the victim of a terrible dog attack that n … [Read more...]

Dog and baby photos: are they cute or dangerous?

This meme is making the rounds on Facebook.

 This meme is making the rounds on Facebook - it's a photo of a baby and what looks like a Neapolitan Mastiff. The title says "How to Hug a Baby", but for dog trainers and animal rescue advocates, it's a red flag. While most people see a photo like this and say, "Aw cute!" we ask, "How long before the baby gets hurt and the dog gets sent to the pound?"What we often interpret as a dog showing love to a human baby is usually the dog's curious interest in that writhing, squeaking … [Read more...]

Why “free to good home” can be a death sentence for your dog

This image, of a dog given way in Boston on Craigslist, is making the rounds on Facebook.

 This image is making the rounds on Facebook. I have a difficult time looking at things like this, partly because I'm sent these kinds of pictures daily. It can be overwhelming and, after time, desensitize you.But for some reason, this one caught my eye. Maybe it's because I'm sympathetic to the "need to rehome" situation. We were there a few years ago, when I brought home a little pup to foster, decided to keep her, and then started having major behavior problems with her. In short, new dog … [Read more...]

Bloodhounds, the most feared dogs on earth?

The text of the article

I was at my alma mater St. John Fisher College yesterday for a day long conference on Frederick Douglass and Ireland. Scattered around the room where actual issues of Douglass' newspapers. I love history, and am always fascinated by the way the past mirrors the present. I'll talk more about abolition later this week, but today I just wanted to share an animal-related thought that jumped out at me as I read the stories from the 1850s.In one of the papers - and my stupid camera phone took such … [Read more...]

Indigo, Orphan pups and a gift of Mercy – a heartwarming dog rescue tale

Living up to her name, Mercy accepts The Orphans and offers them a chance at survival. (photo courtesy Pitty Love Rescue)

Here in Rochester, NY we're fortunate to have a wonderful animal group, Pitty Love Rescue, that does remarkable work rescuing, rehabing and rehoming pit bulls and pit mixes. They, along with other great groups in our area, are advocates for responsible dog ownership and a well-trained dog community. There are sad stories - puppy mills, overcrowded shelters, abandoned dogs. Working in the inner city, and especially with such a misunderstood breed, can really take its toll on volunteers.So I ju … [Read more...]

A year of animals, blogging and Patheos

Bandit and Bailey, in a rare moment of calm, sit for a photo. A great deal of chicken was required for this.

I was excited this week to receive a notecard in the mail from the staff at Patheos, congratulating me on my one year anniversary blogging about animals and faith.Really? A whole year? Where did the time go?I love writing here. The columnists, bloggers and editors have been kind and welcoming, and I love hearing from readers who have shared photos, shared thoughts and engaged in discussions on a variety of animal-related topics. It's been a nice change from my decade-plus experience … [Read more...]

Michael Vick featured in Humane Society videos

The Humane Society of the United States has released a 30-second video public service announcement featuring Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick (see below). In the video, Vick urges viewers to report animal cruelty and fighting activities in their communities via the HSUS toll-free animal fighting tip line.Vick is also featured in a two-minute video for the HSUS Pets For Life program, which "brings critical resources such as vaccinations, spaying and neutering, dog training, and ot … [Read more...]


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