Monday, November 16, 2009

Why I love Planned Pethood

Taken from those that voted for PPI to win a $10,000 grant. Thank you for the kind words.

  • Jill Borkowski says,
Why do you love Planned Pethood Inc? Planned Pethood is so dedicated to finding permanent, loving homes for abandoned animals AND focusing on the bigger picture and spay/neuter. They have a great relationship with other animal welfare organizations in our community, including Humane Ohio's low-cost spay/neuter clinic, and understand the importance of everyone working together to make an impact on pet overpopulation. This summer, when Humane Ohio had grant money to lower their already low-cost spay/neuter rates even further, Planned Pethood went door-to-door in the targeted zip code to make sure pet parents knew about this, and to offer free transportation to and from Humane Ohio's low-cost spay/neuter clinic. As they were going door-to-door spreading the news, they rescued several stray and abandoned animals, some of who needed immediate medical attention. That's just one example of why I love Planned Pethood!

  • Kymm DeRose says,
I can't say enough good things about this organization. Not only do they do a lot of adoptions, but they are really making a BIG difference in the community. They will go door to door to find pets that need to be fixed! That is one dedicated Rescue group! You deserve to win PPI!!

  • Tamara Ernst says,
Their willingness to be at the forefront of rescue in our community

  • Heather Tessler says,
PPI is an all-around WIN for animals in our community! Their volunteers are a tremendous resource and are always willing to help. PPI has placed cats and a dog that I've rescued with loving homes. Thank you!

  • Anonymous says,
They care about the local dogs.

  • Cindy Belka says,
Because they are out there in the community and always willing to help! I just adopted my second best friend (dog) from them in the last year. They are always available for help and advice even long after the adoption process, and always have events open to the community as a whole and most of them are open to dogs as well as their human companions.

  • Anonymous says,
The best and most comprehensive rescue group in Northwest Ohio, that also fund spay/nueter services

  • Michael Brooks says,
Low-cost spay/neuter programs and pet adoption programs are the best in the area.

  • Linda Boyle says,
Being very proactive in spay/neuters and taking care of sick/injured animals.

  • Marion Risk says,
I like their plan of addressing the problem by offering adoption and low-cost spay/neuter

  • Nikki Morey says,
They focus on local dogs and cats rather than ship (broker) them in from out of town. We have animals that dies daily so where's the logic in that? They also are PROactive in the overpopulation problem by aggressively getting spay/neuter into our community. Planned Pethood ROCKS!

  • Catherine Buchanan says,
They truly believe in taking care of the animals and preventing more unwanted animals.

  • Nicole Eppstein says,
I got my puppy from there and she is the best!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I would love to help, but I can’t foster!!!

People often tell us that they would love to help us, but they aren’t able to foster. There are so many ways that you can help that don’t require fostering. Just like most businesses, companies, organizations, etc., it takes people with different talents, performing lots of different jobs, to be successful. And because Planned Pethood operates on a volunteer only basis, you decide how much time you can invest. All of the jobs listed below allow us to help our area’s homeless cats and dogs, and provide our community with low-cost spaying/neutering services. Many jobs can be performed from the comfort of your own home. If you are interested in helping with any of the jobs, or would like more information, stop by any event, or email us at

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR - communicates with new volunteers about opportunities and manages a list of volunteers. From the comfort of your home.
DOG EVENT COORDINATOR - Schedule volunteers to drive the truck and set up adoption events on Saturdays. When available, Saturday adoption events.
EVENT VOLUNTEERS - Load and unload our truck; set up and take down the crates, tables, chairs, etc.; talk to potential adopters; keep an eye on the dogs, etc. When available, Saturday adoption events.
WEBSITE UPDATERS- Updates one page of our website as needed. Usually takes about 15 mintues a week. But sometimes, it's more involved.
FIXX LINE COORDINATOR - offers support to FIXX line volunteers and manages the instructional guide. From the comfort of your own home.
FIXX LINE - Check our voice mail lines and return calls and/or forward information to the appropriate individuals. Online access with e-mail is recommended. One day a week, several hours a day, or as a substitute.
From the comfort of your home.
RESPITE CARE - Because we try to save as many dogs as we can, our foster homes are always full. Our dog fosters need a break from time to time, even a few days a couple times a year makes a huge difference. Our foster homes are sometimes in need of temporary care for their foster dogs. If you can keep one, two, or more of our foster dogs in your home for a day, or two, or more, that would prevent us from having to pay to keep the dogs in boarding, which will allow us to save more of our area's homeless dogs, or offer more low-cost spaying/neutering services to the Community. Also a great way to try your hand at fostering to see if it is for you. At your convenience!
CAT CARE VOLUNTEERS - Care for the cats and kittens at our Petsmart adoption center at Spring Meadows. Make sure they have food, clean litter boxes, and a lot of love and attention! One day a week, 1-2 hours.
TRANSPORTATION - Transport dogs to and from events; help get the general public's cats and dogs to spay/neuter appointments; transport Planned Pethood dogs and cats to various veterinarian appointments, etc. As needed.
CRAFT SHOW COORDINATOR - Arrange for PPT to appear at various craft shows and community festivals. Organize other crafters to pool crafts and items to sell to the public. At your convenience.
CRAFTERS - Create dog- and cat-themed craft items for Planned Pethood booths at local festivals and craft fairs. At your convenience.
SPECIAL EVENTS VOLUNTEERS - Help with fundraisers, information tables, festival booths, etc. As needed. And many more!

Dog and cat beds
Collars and leashes
Crates, all sizes
Food, all kinds
Dog and cat treats
Clay kitty litter
Litter boxes
Puppy training pads
Bleach, paper towels and other cleaning supplies
Medicines like heartworm and flea preventative
Gas cards
Two pocket colored folders
Printer ink cartridges
Copy paper
Colored paper
Card stock
1st class and postcard postage stamps

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This post is probably gonna be rambling. Sorry no map provided.

I'm trying to write the holiday mailing that goes to the home of anyone that supports PPI. It's usually the only time during the year some of the people hear from us. The message has to be short and has to show how we have wisely spent our money.

The trouble is that we have too much to say. We have saved so many lives and saved so many from rotten homes. How do I only write about a few? Animals have died while in our care because they were so sick by the time someone called asking us to help. I want everyone to know about those animals. Those cats and dogs deserve to be honored but I can't due to lack of space and lack of attention span of the normal reader.

The trouble is that most people don't want to know all the gory details. They aren't comfortable with that much ugliness. Our volunteers are hip deep in ugliness sometimes.

I also want to write about how our volunteers agonize over the care of the animals. They also agonize about the animals we get calls about and we simply don't have the space to help. To add insult to injury, we usually get a phone call and/or email blasting us for being heartless and cruel for not taking the animal they have called about. Personally, I would like to talk to all those people and ask them why they think they way they do. I wish we could tell all our supporters about more of those stories. So they can better understand that while they are helping us greatly by donating goods and money- others might not have money but instead get spit on for their efforts. Literally spit on. It's happened to me years ago.

I want the people that don't check in on us often to realize how we are sooooo much better than other rescues. But I have to be nice and not mention things like that. I want everyone to see what we are doing and the positive things we are doing for our community in the bright light of day. Then they would be so inspired the people wanting to volunteer would be coming in droves. YAHOO!

But I can only use up a page worth of text. So all those details about dogs like Farrah and cats like Sheegwa get left out. All those ugly stories about dying kittens and puppies don't get spoken about. I wish, I wish, I wish.

Wish me luck we can make it a powerful message dispite the brevity. Fingers crossed we can keep moving in the right direction.

--Nikki Morey
Executive Director for Planned Pethood

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

more on responsible breeders

To add my thoughts to the post below on breeders, breeding at all is a controversial subject within rescue. I personally would never buy a dog or puppy but I am not against RESPONSIBLE breeding. Like the post says, responsible breeders show their breed of choice and only breed those dogs that enhance the desired traits of that breed. They have all the recommended health clearances and would never breed a dog that passes on known health problems. Their dogs are sold with strict contracts which include spay/neuter for pets that will not be shown. They always take their dogs back if the original placement doesn't work out, oftentimes at a loss financially. In fact in many cases, responsible breeders make no money at all, not after the costs of shows and vet care and limiting the number of litters to those dogs that meet their requirements. Most of these people show and raise their dogs from a love of the breed, and their dogs rarely add to the problem.

While of course we prefer you get your new dog or puppy from rescue, and just about any breed you prefer has and will show up at a local dog pound, if you want to buy your puppy, then look for a responsible breeder. Yes you might pay a bit more or wait a while longer but you know what you're getting, and you are not contributing to the problem. For more information on finding a responsible breeder, click this pdf prepared by the Humane Society of the United States.
How to find a good breeder (pdf)

Another controversy within rescue is the purchase of puppy mill dogs and puppies, either from auctions or directly from the puppy miller. Yes, those purchased dogs are "rescued" and no longer have to endure the horrid life of a puppy mill dog. Still that puppy miller is making money, no different than buying a dog from a petstore. Not only do some rescues add to their available dogs in this manner, puppy mill brokers have realized that by calling themselves "rescue" they can increase their appeal to the general public and sell more dogs. Like one of the dog wardens I know said, when you look at a "rescue's" list of available dogs, where are the older dogs? The mixed breed dogs and puppies? A "rescue" that only has high demand purebred puppies is certainly lining the bank account of a puppy mill breeder, and accordingly that breeder will continue to breed dogs to sell. They don't care who buys them or why. For more information on finding a responsible rescue, click here:
What to look for in a reputable rescue

While we do have many puppy mill-type breeders in this area and Planned Pethood does get those dogs when they're dumped in local dog pounds, either because they've been replaced with different dogs or because they have health problems the breeder doesn't want to deal with, one of the bigger problems in this area are backyard breeders. These are people with a couple of purebred dogs (probably with AKC papers, which anyone with a purebred dog can acquire) who sell puppies for extra cash. These dogs are sold via newspaper ads or through the internet, with little or no screening, no follow-up or spay/neuter, and those dogs or the puppies they breed DO end up in local dog pounds all the time. I've heard people say only sick or aggressive dogs end up in dog pounds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Over 6+ years of visiting local dog pounds on a regular basis, I have seen every breed you can find locally, most breeds many many times. Even rarer or harder to find dogs still end up on death row from time to time.

In summary, do your homework. Not only do you have to make sure the breed or dog you want is appropriate for your circumstances, you also need to make sure that who you get it from isn't a part of the problem. It's a lot to undertake but considering your dog will be a part of your life for 10-15 years, and especially considering the millions of dogs who are euthanized every year in this country, most for no other reason than they're "surplus," isn't that bit of extra effort worth it?

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Growing up in the Midwest I have always been an Ohio State Buckeye fan! Hang on Sloopy! The best dern band in the get the picture. Now I am converted.

Kathryn Meurs, a veterinarian at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine has identified the mutant gene responsible for Boxer Cardiomyopathy. This is an inherited electrical conduction defect that causes an irregular heartbeat. The heart is unable to pump blood efficiently causing side effects from fainting to sudden death. If a puppy receives the gene from just one parent, he or she can be affected. Even a boxer-mix can be effected (that is all me and my girl Stella). Anyway, a DNA test to screen for the gene is now available from WSU, costing approximately $60.00. So the long and short, hopefully breeders will responsibly acknowledge and use the test and most importantly, boxer pet owners can manage the disease.WSU College of Veterinary MedicineVeterinary Cardiac Genetics LabSee or call 509-335-6038.

--Jennifer Herbert

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What is a breeder?

The definitions below were written by Marjorie Simon, relative of a volunteer. Ms. Simon is well known B/F for Brussels Griffon. Some additional information was added to Ms. Simon's explanation as it pertains to our local community.

What is a Breeder?

Breeder Fanciers (B/F) breed for one reason and that is to better the breed and to exhibit dogs in AKC shows and trials [in the efforts to gain comfirmation points]. B/F carefully screen their buyers and agree to buy back their dogs for the sales price if the dog doesn’t fit into the new home. They stand behind every dog they breed for the life of the dog. They test their breeding dogs for inheritable problems by using appropriate screening protocols. They breed primarily for themselves. You may have to wait several years in order to get a dog from a good B/F.
B/F would never sell to a third party like a pet shop where they never get to meet or interview the person buying their dog. They spay and neuter their pet quality pups before they sell them.
Backyard Breeders (BB) breed with the sole intention of selling dogs to make extra money. They do not test their breeding stock for inheritable problems. They usually have breeding pairs and sell their puppies on the internet and classified ads in the newspapers. They do not stand behind their dogs should problems come up. They have no history of their breeding lines, knowledge of breed type, breed in ignorance thus creating health problems and do not hold back puppies not meeting breed standards. Buyer beware!! They tell rescues that they don't have their animal spay/neutered because it's a purebreed. Many purebreed dogs you can purchase through the paper, Craig's List, etc do not have confirmation points or a Champion award.

Puppy Mill Breeders (PMB) supply pet shops with puppies. Pups are picked up by distributors from different puppy mills and are taken from their mothers at a very early age. They are then brought to a warehouse where they are inventoried and packed on trucks for delivery to pet shops or auctions. This brings them to the pet shops by the time they are seven or eight weeks old. Their survival rate is poor and their heath is compromised.
Some PMB specialize in only small breeds. They sell their pups at swap meets to anyone who will buy them. They advertise champions and some do show their dogs at isolated shows that usually don’t have any other of that breed in the competition. These BB or PMB will enter enough of their own dogs so there will be points to make one of their dogs a Champion. We use to call these ‘cheap champions’ but with the price of an entry fee it is not cheap to make a dog a champion this way. A Ch. in front of a dog’s name does not mean it is a well bred dog either does an AKC registration. Pet shops buy from PMB or BB.

Within the NW Ohio area there are "rescues" that purchase puppies at auction from PMB. They claim they have rescued the dog, but really they are supporting an industry. The price they charge is surprising, the animals are often ill and they are not spay or neutered.

Planned Pethood gets lots of purebreed dogs and cats. All those animals come from legitimate pounds and humane societies where the animal would have otherwise been put to sleep. We have reason to suspect many of the dogs in pounds are a PM's breeding stock that have been cast aside for whatever reason.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Instructions for washing a dog

So tonight, after inhaling the aroma from Kiera for almost 2 weeks now I decided it was time for a BATH. To say Kiera doesn't like bathes is to say Angus is a trite skittish.

Step by step instructions follow:

1. Gather supplies, you will need at least 2 large clean towels, shampoo and something to dip water with.
2. Start running nice warm water in the tub
3. Get Kiera (Huske-German Shepherd mix foster dog) into bathroom.
4. Close bathroom door to keep others out (Are you kidding? They won't come near the room with water running unless its ME in the tub!) and to keep Kiera IN.
5. Try to lift the 50-60lb dog into tub. She promptly gets rubber back legs that gracefully collapse into a very good lay down.
6. Try again. Again, the front legs go up but don't quite go INTO the tub, back legs collapse down. Gosh my back is starting to hurt!
7. With herculean effort we manage to get (her paws are splayed out at this point) the front feet into the tub! HOORAH!
8. Now the back and hindquarters get lifted in to tub. Did you know Kiera can make her back end weigh more then her front end? Well, she can!
9. At this point I am telling her she had best be grateful we aren't outside using the COLD water hose, but in a fairly clean tub with warm water! I don't think she's buying it.
10. Wet down the dog. Yeah, she loves that... NOT
11. Squeeze out a generous amount of shampoo onto said dog's back.
12. Rub briskly, may have to add more water as you go along to get a good lather. Move onto the sides, underbelly, legs, neck, head and tail. Oh yeah, she LOVES getting her ears washed.
13. Use more shampoo as required. The conditioning shampoos work nicely and smells much better then what ever was all over her.
14. Once we are done soaping the dog, begin the rinse procedure. Remember to keep pushing dog back into tub. A body blocking move is required here, just remember to stay in front of the dogs head to prevent escape.
15. With your dipping device, (now why the hell didn't I get something bigger then this little thing?) scoop water up and onto the dog, rinsing away the soap suds. Since the dog may have a thick coat (hell I wish I had that much hair) you will have to scoop enough times to get the soap out down to the skin. So why the heck did I use so much shampoo?
16. Once the dog is rinsed properly, get your bath mat out onto the floor so you can assist her onto it from the tub. Instead, she jumps out and promptly shakes all over everything. By this point I could be a fill in for the wet t-shirt contest, except for the fact I have a bra on because otherwise. . .er-umm. . . hang to the...well you get the idea.
17. Once the darling dog has shaken her self, clean off your glasses and find the towels, sit down on the ceramic floor you so lovingly laid last summer-OH CRAP there is a ton of water on the floor and you are sitting in it! Well you are wet already what's a bit more? Begin to vigorously wipe down the dog. Hmmm remember all that hair? Yep, takes a while. She is being very helpful at laying down like a good girl. Geesh, the bathroom is steamy!
18. Once you have the dog basically, partially, sort of dried off you carefully open the door to the rest of the house. At this point, Kiera bursts out of the bathroom and hauls hinny down the hall.
19. Empty the water from the tub, mop up the floor.
20. Head to living room to observe newly cleaned dog rubbing herself all over your couch. Right where I am about to sit. Did I mention she was still a trite wet?
21. She's resting now from her ordeal, I'm pouring a beverage and in just a few minutes I will jump up and clean the bathroom, then still sipping my beverage I will take a long soaking bath in the gleaming clean tub. And NO Kiera cannot have any of my wine!

-- Debbie Gring

Who's on the phone?

“My husband just left me and the kids, we have this dog that I just cannot keep right now. . . I don’t make enough money to keep the roof over our heads, just don’t know what we are going to do…this dog is wonderful (her voice breaks) we love him a lot, but just cannot keep him but we want to find him a good home . . . can you help?”

These calls are real, the circumstances are real. When people in the public call us at 419.826.FIXX (3499) they are prompted to leave a message. These are examples of calls from the FIXX line as retrived by our volunteers. FIXX line volunteers are part of the group of heros making up Planned Pethood.

“I have a cat that needs to be spay, I live on $500 a month and can’t afford it…can you help?”

These volunteers retrieve messages from our various mail boxes once a week on their assigned day.

“My vet says that you have a program where we can get our cat neuter done at a discounted rate…can you help?”

The FIXX line coordinator ensures each day is covered to assist with these calls. Often she fills in for someone who is away or ill. We have 1 volunteer for each day but several of them answer more than one line

“I’m really interested in one of the dogs on the website, but would like to know a little more information about her…can you help?”

Some calls are fun, like the people looking for a new pet. What a rewarding job to help them connect with their possible new best friend.

“We found a dog on the expressway just now, he seems really nice but we can’t keep him . . . can you help?” "We found a mama cat nursing a litter of kittens under a bush on our walk tonight . . . can you help?"

Sometimes the animals are unloved and unwanted, sometimes they are “problem children”, sometimes they are truly part of the family who for no fault of their own find themselves homeless.

"We adopted Sassy from you last year. Our house is in foreclosure and we have to move in with my mom who will not allow us to bring Sassy with us. We have to return Sassy back to Planned Pethood . . . can you help?"

We always take our animals back. Always.

The FIXX line volunteers laugh with callers, cry with callers and try to help them all. We are always in need of volunteers, if you are interested please contact

It feels good to help people even when it hurts- just listening and offering condolences, a bit of empathy, a laugh at a happy time, a tear at a sad time. It's all part of volunteering for an animal rescue organization. Somehow even at the end of the worst days possible, we know we helped. Won’t you help too? If doing telephones isn’t your thing, there are many other jobs that need to be done that don’t require fostering or even much time!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Seems like the rescue biz is as competitive as car sales. We are all hurting for resources and all want the same limited resources. Be it foster homes, food, kitty litter, grants, money or whatever. While we are all jockeying for the same resource we try to make statements about how we are different from other rescues. This is in hopes that in some way the audience will value that difference and select that one rescue over another.

While rescues are making statements about how they are different then the rest, it's so easy for us to start knocking others. It all started with me thinking a about how Planned Pethood gets knocked by other rescues. I was at least going to stop with me.

A perfect example are the terms "kill facility" and "no-kill facility". Three to four million surplus animals are euthanized every year in shelters across America. These are the lucky ones that were humanly put to sleep rather than suffering, lingering in death. Alone and afraid in their final minutes. Those "kill facilities" offer that humane death. In many cases the "kill facility" works diligently until the last moment to try to get other rescues to take animals so they don't have to euthanize. They certainly find no glee in that part of their job.

Most of the "kill facilities" should actually be referred to as "open door policy facilities". In our community the Toledo Area Humane Society has what is called an open door policy. Any animal entering their facility has the chance to be placed in their adoption program or if resources are limited, euthanized. Planned pethood cannot degrade the Toledo Area Humane Society for having this open door policy. Without a facility with an open door policy, imagine to think of what our city streets would look like? The slow death those animals would have to endure is boggling.

On the other side of the debate is the "no-kill facility". Mostly that term is used to describe a rescue with "limited intake" policies. That means they get to pick and choose what animals come in, usually based on how many adoptions they had the week previously. Planned Pethood's animals ONLY come from our community. We have the luxury to select animals out of the surplus. I have been striking the term "no-kill" from my vocabulary because it really has lost it's meaning to most people. And it really doesn't mean Planned Pethood is better than a facility with an open door policy.

Additionally, many people need to know that "no-kill" isn't always a humane choice, in my opinion. There are shelters and rescues that would rather warehouse an animal indefinitely rather than put it to sleep. Shelters within close proximity to us have dogs that have lived in a kennel for years. Those dogs are too unpredictable to be adopted or too dangerous to be placed in a home but as a "no-kill" facility the animal's entire existence is a cement floor and chain link fence. Workers pet the dog through the fence, or maybe even can go in the cage with the dog briefly. But that's about it. Here's the super weird part . . . the above opinion makes me suspect among many in the rescue biz. Because I don't hate any kill facility and don't hate all dog wardens, I'm cast under a shadow of doubt. Because I don't think dog wardens have horns under their hair or a forked tail others think there is something wrong with how I think. Others in the rescue biz that believe as I do, agree that they too have been viewed as "suspect". I struggle to see the logic, but who said rescue was logical?

The issue of semantics between the terms "kill" and "no-kill" facilities is something we all need to be examining. How am I applying the term? How am I assigning value to those terms? How is one label better than another when looked at under a different light?

--Nikki Morey

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ran into a dog with testicles

I stopped at PetSupplies+ to get a load of cat food and met a woman with a young boxer there with testicles! I, of course, said how handsome he was and hoped he was getting neutered. She assured me that he's had his shots and the vet suggested they wait until November to castrate him and that it was going to be $200. She went on to say she had heard of some other place that was more reasonable and was going to look into it. I whipped out a Humane Ohio card and let her know he was plenty big enuf to be fixed now! She also volunteered that they got him at Dave's Pet Shop (ggrrrrrr, boo) and paid $99 for him. They had gotten some verification that he had had some beginner shots there. As we talked, she said they had been to the MetroBark that day and what a fun time they had. Planned pethood was there too. Their niece and her dog were with the family and she apparently won the title of the dog and owner who look most alike! It was some little silky thing with an underbite and the niece stuck her chin out so she would "look like the dog"! The niece had the dog perform a hula for me! What a nice treat!

--Carol Dunn
President and Founder of Planned Pethood

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Missy Finally Gets a Forever Home

Regular readers of my main blog already know about Missy, a female terrier mix we fostered. You can read the earlier posts about Missy's abusive former owners if you want to know the background of this abused dog.

After many months with us, we decided that our own home would be the best place for Missy to live. We had very few applications on this sweet dog, and folks seemed to be reluctant to take a chance on a troubled dog like Missy.

Their loss, I say.

Anyways, this makes four Planned Pethood dogs we have adopted, three of which were once our PPI foster dogs. Call us softies, but some dogs are just destined to be forever dogs in your home no matter how hard you work to find them a permanent home.

Anyways, Missy seems unfazed by her change in status, and as her confidence has increased she has been angling for alpha dog status. She used to sleep downstairs in the kitchen, then she started sleeping on the floor of our room. She gradually began to sleep on the foot of the bed, and now she gets territorial with our Puggles over sleeping next to my wife.

So welcome, Missy, to your forever home, and may your remianing years be happy and healthy!

And the Brooks family will happily continue to foster with PPI. We have fostered something like 42 dogs in the past few years, and even though Missy was a "keeper," we have lots of room in our yard and hearts for helping save more dogs.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Website help wanted!

We need someone to help with some of the website updates. You don't need a lot of computer experience. Our software is super easy to use! What we need is someone able to help with some of the "slower" pages, those that only need changed occasionally. That would free up more time for our volunteers to take on the bigger projects, like the complete change of photos on the site coming soon! For more information, email us at Thanks!

Submissions welcome!

If you're a blogger or just have something to say, we'd love to add it to our blog here! Tell us about your rescue dog or cat, your experiences with rescue, even something rescue related you have an opinion on! You don't have to have a blogger account. We can repost it for you (with you credited, of course.) Email us at Let us know if you have any questions, thanks!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August Board meeting

Last night was the August board meeting. It's always good to hear the good ideas of others. I'm excited to start making board meeting minutes and executive reports available to volunteers. We have a couple new fundraising ideas that came up. One board member passed the latest newsletter on to her co-worker, who in turn applied to adopt Dublin, one of the animals we featured.

Good stuff is around the corner.

--Nikki Morey

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nice dogs need someone, maybe you?

When I first started going to the Fulton County dog pound to see if there were any dogs out there that needed rescued, I was told by a few people that all they had were "labs and hounds." As it's turned out over the past five years, that couldn't be farther from the truth! I have picked up nearly every breed you can think of: chihuahuas, pugs & puggles, Boston terriers, westies, doodles, yorkies, scotties, keeshonds, Goldens, boxers, German Shepherds, the list goes on and on. Some of the dogs that end up there are from local puppy mill type breeders, and are in terrible shape. Some are most likely driven out into the country and dumped off, hoping the proverbial "nice farmer" will take them in, which of course never happens. Others are simply local strays no one bothered to call for.

Still it's true, like at most pounds, the breeds I see the most of are labs and lab mixes, and dogs in the hound group. Of those, the nice purebred labs and beagles usually get a second chance. There's way too many of them but since they are such popular breeds, they do get adopted fairly easily.

It's not such a happy ending for the bigger hounds and lab mixes. There's just not room to save them all. At any given time, Planned Pethood has an assortment of lab mixes. Some of them came from pounds, some came in as strays. Many were adopted as cute puppies and then when their families have to give them up, there's one more nice lab mix who needs a new home.

Right now the two dogs pictured above need a miracle. The red hound has been there a few weeks, because she's such a sweet dog no one wants to put her down. While they are generally happy, good-natured dogs, hounds do not get adopted too easily. They're too big to have the same appeal as a basset or a beagle. They can make great family pets but they have their little quirks too. They follow their noses anywhere and oftentimes a good scent is more important to them than your commands! Still it's heartbreaking when a nice dog like this doesn't get another chance because she's not a popular breed and there simply isn't foster space available. At all of the northwest Ohio dog pounds, there is only so much space and when that runs out, there is only one way to open a kennel up for the next dog that comes in...

(One of the reason Planned Pethood is the only local rescue that only takes dogs and cats from our immediate area is because the need is still so great here. We love all dogs and wish we could save them all, but until we run out of dogs to save right here, our resources remain focused on the dogs in our own backyard.)

The big beautiful black lab mix is another dog who needs someone soon! He is just an exceptional dog. He was barking when I tried to get his picture but when I told him to SIT, he sat right down! He is on a court hold right now, a cruelty confiscation. Judging by how thin he is, odds are his owner didn't bother with basics like food and water. Still he is a loving, friendly dog. It's unclear when he might be released for adoption but one thing is clear, when that does happen, he will be a GREAT dog for some lucky family, if he gets another chance.

Fostering, especially big dogs like these, isn't for everyone. Still, all of us had to start somewhere and once we did, we found out just how fulfilling saving great dogs like these can be! If you've ever considered it and are just dragging your feet a bit over jumping in, now's as good a time as any! Even if you're not the "hound type" we can certainly find the right dog or puppy for you. And if you're interested in either of these dogs, please let us know ASAP! We'd sure like to see them living the good life as someone's beloved pet, but we can't do that without you!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Adoration of Rescue Dogs

My morning routine begins with letting half of my dogs outside, while the others bark, "Not fair! Not fair!" (They don't all play nicely together so they have to take turns.) Then I start coffee and check email. Now when I sit down, I am greeted by my recently returned foster dog, Haven, doing her patented body wag and giving me kisses. If she could talk, I suspect she'd be saying "GOOD Morning!!! I'm thrilled to see you again!!!" There's not a greeting out there that's more exuberant than Haven's.

(You can read Haven's story on the Featured Dogs page on our website.)

I can only try to imagine what goes on in her mind, being home again after 10 months on her own. Whatever she is thinking, it's clear she's able to forget all she's been through, and is simply delighted to be here again.

People comment all the time about how difficult it must be for me to make regular trips to Northwest Ohio dog pounds, to help save some of the dogs who end up there. And yes, it is hard. I see dogs every week who I know have little hope of a second chance, because they're big mixed breeds or older or aren't acting all that nice. Sometimes miracles occur and a truly great "average" dog does get out after all.

(For example, Farrah, whose lucky day came when Nikki Morey and her husband Mike Hart went over to the Fulton County pound to pick up a few other dogs, and ended up with her in their car, too. If you want to adopt a truly wonderful dog who will thank you every day of her life, please consider Farrah.)

It's probably pretty hard for those who haven't been bitten (no pun intended) by the rescue dog bug to understand why we do what we do. All those strange dogs eating our shoes and our new cell phones, all that dog fur!! All the time and money and heartache over dogs?! All the hassles aside, I feel blessed and honored to have made the acquaintance of so many wonderful canines, and you know what, they DO appreciate what we've done for them.

These dogs don't care that the laundry isn't done, or we were rude to someone at work. While some of them have baggage they can't quite leave behind, they don't hold grudges and if you wave them away one day because you're too busy, they'll still be there the next day, wagging their tails and giving you another chance. There's a t-shirt/bumper sticker quote out there that says: "Please help me be the person my dog thinks I am." That sums it up right there. To them, we're heroes, for no reason other than we provide love and care, sometimes the first love and care they've had in their lives. No one else will ever adore you quite as thoroughly and selflessly as a dog who you've rescued.

There's a few lessons in this for all of us, lessons about being grateful for what we have, about letting go of things we can't change. About enjoying this romp in the yard, without worrying so much about whether or not it will rain tomorrow. I know I fall far short of being the kind of person these dogs think I am but I still appreciate their confidence in me. And meanwhile, Haven sleeps a few feet from me on the floor, fields and fears forgotten, just happy to be back with me again.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Hey, your dog is loose"

My neighbor, Danny, called my husband to let him know that one of my dogs was running around the block. My husband called me to ask me where I was. Not at home! The first thing that ran through my head was, "did I shut all the windows?".

I raced home, burst through the door and did a head count. Yep. All present and accounted for. Hence, it was not my dog running loose around the block. I jumped back in the car to see if I could spot this loose dog.

Another neighbor stopped me to say, if I was looking for a loose dog it hopped into a car a couple blocks over. The sad thing is that I actually have had a dog jump out a window to get into the back yard to be with my husband. Geez.

Oh well, mystery solved.


Welcome to our new blog

Well . . . here we are. Welcome. We hope you visit often.

Our desire is to have several writers for this blog. For instance, I might write about my fosters & how they are doing. Or I might announce some news about Planned Pethood. Other writers will probably be posting about their fosters, products we like and how we operate.

I have a huge day ahead of me so I better sign off for now. I have 6 dogs to feed and water and have to sweep the house. That's a lot of dog hair. Of course the reward are all the kisses I'll get from some of the dogs along the way.

--Nikki Morey
Executive Director