Thursday, December 9, 2010

eNewsletter from Planned Pethood - December 10, 2010

Please remember Planned Pethood during this holiday season. We need your help to continue the work we do the rest of 2010 and into 2011.

You can sponsor a snowflake in honor of or as a gift to someone special. Your donation will go directly to helping the dogs and cats of northwest Ohio enjoy the greatest gift of all, another chance at life!

Thank you for all you do to help us to help them! Donate Now!

Toledo's "Pit bull" Laws Repealed- New Ordinance Enacted

Toledo City Council voted to repeal the (Toledo Municipal Code) TMC 505.14 regarding the dog breed known as "pit bull" and "pit bull mixes". To replace these laws, Council enacted Ordinance 389.10 to create TMC 1706 regarding the ownership of all dogs regardless of the breed.

This ordinance goes beyond beyond those of the Ohio Revised code for any dog within the Toledo city limits. These laws cover items like barking, tethering dogs outside, leaving a dog alone and how a dog is defined as a public threat to safety. The ordinance also outlines penalties, broken down into different levels of threat. You can read the Toledo ORD 389.10 by clicking here.

Many thanks to those citizens serving on the Dog Warden Advisory Committee for crafting this important law. Thank you to the citizens who worked without end to see justice be served to the canines and their owners in our community.

3rd Annual Rescue Reunion

Winters in Ohio are cold, snowy, and LONG!!! Not the kind of weather you want to excercise with your dog. So, we have decided to move our 3rd Annual Dog Rescue Reunion from October as usual, to the beginning of 2011.

January 23, 2011 from noon to 4pm

We hope this will give you something to look forward to during the dark, deary days soon to come. It will still be held at a doggie day care facility so the dogs can play, while we enjoy each others company and eat.

Bark Ave Dog Day Care Inc.
4641 West Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43615-3945

Tiny Fred

Tiny Fred's story isn't all that unusual.

Someone has a cat that had kittens. They feel the kittens are a pain in the neck so they start handing them out to anyone (even if they can't care for the cat) at the first chance.

Fred and his litter mates were ripped from their mother at the tender age of 4 weeks old. Kittens and Puppies should stay withtheir mothers until at least 8 weeks.

Tiny kittens and puppies taken from their mother too soon miss out on essential nutrition from nursing and vital socialization from each other. Dogs can become very unbalanced and dangerous if separated too early.

Our volunteers often bottle feed and care for these tiny darlings until they are ready to be spay/neutered and then placed for adoption.

Planned Pethood also gets litters of kittens and puppies that are already weaned from their mother and only require a foster home for a short time.

Who Doesn't Love Puppy Kisses?

Our dog program is in desperate need of puppy fosters.
Several of our volunteers regularly search sites such as Craigslist and the area newspapers for people giving away puppies. They contact the owners and offer to take all of the puppies, and then Planned Pethood will spay/neuter all of the pets in their house, at no charge, in order to prevent more litters. Sometimes, we are contacted by the owners who request our help. Our involvement may prevent the puppies from landing in the wrong hands with bad intentions, and assures that they will be vetted and spayed/neutered before adoption.
The owners are usually anxious to rid their home of the youngsters and will surrender them as young as 5 weeks old. Our volunteers know the importance of keeping the litter together in the same home. This allows the puppies to learn socialization skills so that they become loving, well-adjusted adult dogs. There are some things that can only be taught in the dog world.
Without puppy-ready foster homes, we have had to turn away the needy litters. Fostering several puppies at a time, or even a whole litter, is not as difficult as it seems. Having more than one puppy assures that they have each other to stay entertained, and settle in easier for bedtime. Usually young puppies sleep the majority of the time, and their awake time can be spent getting puppy kisses. We have several volunteers who have been doing this for a long time and would be happy to offer their guidance. One of our foster homes even has a specially designed puppy room.
Do you have room for the makers of the Fountain of Youth? Puppy breath, mmmmmmm.

And we need people for litters of kittens too. Or just one dog or cat.

Visit our website to read about fostering and to complete an application to foster in your home by clicking here.

Good Bye Vienna

Vienna's first Heartworm treatment was as usual, tough on her. Her foster family felt helpless watching her suffer in pain knowing that there was nothing they could do for her. Vienna had a severe reaction to her second treatment. She experienced trouble breathing, foaming at the mouth and seizure activity. Her quick-acting foster family rushed her back to the vet's office for treatment.
Unfortunately, Vienna never recovered and she passed away shortly after being returned to the vet's office. All of the volunteers are very saddended by the news and her foster family is taking it extremely hard.
We feel it necessary to point out that Heartworm disease is completely preventable. A one-time a month pill, year round, at a cost of about $6 a month for Vienna is all it would have taken. Are your dogs protected? One mosquito bite is all it takes. Mosquitoes CAN travel inside houses, so even indoor dogs should be given preventative.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Working dogs

by Mary Torio

People meet my Okette(aka "Monster")
and tell me "Oh, I want one JUST like HER!" I usually reply:
"No, you really don't." Don't get me wrong, she's a perfect fit for
me;I wouldn't trade her for love or money. But she REQUIRES 6-10 hours
of exercise, 5-7 days a week.

Here's an example of why I don't recommend working-line GSDs
to most people: due to my being busy, Okette only got "normal dog"
level exercise since Tuesday, other than an
hour of swimming on Sat. When I got home last night & the dogs
crowded the door Kona growled at someone for jostling her. This happens
every single day & Okette ignores it. But last night intensity girl
was out of her head with unexpended energy so she
attacked Kona and had her pinned down as I came through the door. It
took two hands for me to pull her off, and she tried to go back for
more. This is NOT typical! I have no doubt this only happened because
hadn't had enough exercise or mental stimulation for the past 4 days.
Keep in mind she DID get walked and played with the other dogs here all
day! When she's had enough
exercise she completely ignores being growled at and even nipped. But
only 4 days of 6-8 hours exercise she was off her head.

Working line dogs are
bred to DO stuff, and their energy requirements are off the hook. How many dogs wind up in rescues or even put down
because of "behavior problems" that are just due to boredom or lack of exercise? People get
so offended when I try to talk them out of getting one like her. Lemme
repeat, I LOVE this dog, wouldn't trade her if I could. I LOVE her
energy & drive. But most people aren't up for all that. And
there's no shame in that! I just want people to recognize what they are
and are not up for, and get their dogs accordingly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why we have an application to adopt

by Mary Torio

People often ask why we have such an involved screening process to adopt a dog from PPI. Perhaps this story will shed some light on that.

I got a phone call this morning around 8:30 am. It was my sister-in-law, in tears, on her way to the vet. She had witnessed a puppy being hit by a car. She and another Good Samaritan stopped. The car that hit him did not. She put the pup in her car and raced to the vet, while the other person grabbed a second puppy that was running loose in the street. He found the owner of the pups who told him: "Just let the damn dog die, I ain't payin' no vet bills." She had not gotten the contact info of the guy who took the other puppy, but we're hoping he kept that pup. My sister in law then called me to see if Planned Pethood could take the pup she was taking to the vet. I could hear the poor little guy crying in her car.

She took him to Temperance Animal Hospital, where they found he had two broken legs, a broken pelvis and internal bleeding. She called me again to check in, and was very upset. She kept repeating what this guy had said about the dog and asking "How can anyone be so cruel? At least end his suffering humanely!" While we were on the phone they came out to tell her he was bleeding from his nose and mouth, and they were not going to be able to save him.

All I could offer her for comfort was the knowledge that at least the pup had someone who cared for the last half hour of his life, because it sure sounds like he didn't for the rest of it. The staff at Temperance Animal Hospital were loving with him and very kind to her. But she was very shook up by the callousness of the owner and of the person who hit the pup and kept driving.

Unfortunately we in rescue see that sort of callousness every single day. We screen potential adopters because we want to get to know something about you, so we feel confident that you are not one of those who discards canine or feline lives when they are not convenient. Please understand it isn't about you in particular, it's about what we see so much of every single day. We've taken these animals in and promised to find them homes where they will be loved and cherished, and that the home we place them in is one that fits their personality and energy. That's our priority.

So please, when you find yourself rolling your eyes at our application, remind yourself that not only are we trying to make sure you get a pet that fits you, we are also making sure your new pet has a safe and loving new home.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It Is not my cat


Elected officials in Toledo have made some wise and meaningful decisions for the dogs of our community.

First, the Lucas County Commissioners have hired a Chief Dog Warden who is not only committed to public safety but also to responsible care for the dogs in her custody. Julie Lyle quickly implemented policies that have been standard in many communities across Ohio but were ignored in Lucas County. In just six months, the euthanasia rate has been reduced to about 45% compared to 70% under the previous warden. She is working with Planned Pethood and other rescues to place adoptable dogs and lower the rate even more. A volunteer program is underway which is intended to augment, not replace, the work that goes on at the pound. If the need arises to call the dog warden, feel comfortable in doing so – times have changed.

Secondly, Toledo City Council recently passed a new dog ordinance that holds owners responsible for the behavior of their dogs. I'd say it's about time! Just impounding a biting dog and killing it does nothing to educate the owner. Further, dogs are to be judged by their behavior, not their breed. Planned Pethood's board recently revised our policy on pitbull types – the new policy is that provided we have the fosters available, we will accept puppies of ANY BREED at the age of 12 weeks or less.

What's up for the future?

It seems to me that a dog park – at least one! - is needed and on the horizon possibly at the site of the South Toledo YMCA. Let your voice be heard.

Cats, cats, cats are everywhere and while my Mother might have said it about mice, it's true of cats, “IF there's one, there's another one and then there's more”. TNR(trap, neuter, return) has been practiced by PPI volunteers for a number of years currently in conjunction with Humane Ohio, a non-profit spay/neuter clinic. We have led the way in this endeavor and urge you the reader to participate. It's easy to say it's not my cat but the reality is that soon the statement will be THEY are not my cats. We have grants and bequests to assist the public and it's really is very easy to trap cats. When you see a cat with the tip of its left ear gone, it probably has been fixed. If it's around your house, those mice my Mother talked about will be gone and all you need to to is feed the mouser. Then send us a donation to perpetuate the activity.

Planned Pethood eNewsletter October 1, 2010

Rescue Reunion- January/February 2011

Prom for Paws - March/April 2011

Rummage Sale - April/May 2011. Donation drop off will begin in January 2011.

Paw Hoorah - April 30, 2011

Quick Links...
Spay/Neuter FAQ for Cats FAQ for Dogs Donate

Holiday Greeting Cards
You may purchase 25 Planned Pethood Holiday Greeting cards for $8 on our website, via PayPal. The cards are blank inside for your personal message. You are showing your support of Planned Pethood by purchasing the holiday cards. And by promoting an organization that is important to you to your friends and family, our message reaches a wider audience. Click here to make your purchase today.

Updating The Website
The website will soon have the majority of its static pictures totally changed. The information remains the same. But to keep it fresh and new, the photos were all updated. The website committee said they all felt it was important to make those changes at LEAST once a year. The opening slide show on the home page will be changed as well. And the Scrapbook page will be updated to include our most recent events. Stay tuned!

Thank you to Pam Underwood and Lou Pratt for their contribution to changing the photos. Thank you to Sally Wehner for the use of her fabulous photos.

Make your United Way Go To Us!
Select your payroll deducted United Way donation to go to Planned Pethood. Just write our name in and we will start getting it in 2011.

Opportunities for Improvement
If you ever have a complaint or concern, you can always contact me or anyone on the board. Complaints are supposed to come to me, but if you are uncomfortable with that, you can make your concerns known to anyone on the board. Board members are listed on the website.

One of the duties of an Executive Director is to resolve complaints and address conflicts. When a complaint is made about a volunteer, our process or our program, I take it very seriously. Complaints are good. They are opportunities for improvement. They are ways for us as a group to learn and grow.

Sometimes I have a hard time ascertaining what is idle crabbing versus a formal complaint. If you think I have not taken your complaint seriously, please feel free to contact me to make sure I understand you are making a formal complaint. If I have done that to you, again, please do not think I am dismissing what you have considered to be a complaint. I might have thought you were just crabbing.

--Nikki Morey
Executive Director for PPI

Small & Large Needs
We always need supplies. Perhaps you can help? Right now the Dog Adoption Program is in need of a folding 6 foot table. Or two folding card tables. We also always need the following:
  • Crates, all sizes
  • Clay kitty litter
  • Litter boxes
  • Paper towels and other cleaning supplies
  • Medicines like heartworm and flea preventative
  • Gas cards
  • Printer ink cartridges (HP 33, HP 34, HP 36 & HP 37)
  • 1st class postage stamps
Contact if you can help. That's ED as in Executive Director, not Edward.

Planned Pethood Recipient of Litter Patrol Grant from PetSmart Charities
We are very happy to report that Planned Pethood has been chosen by PetSmart Charities to receive a 2-year, $15,000 per year, Litter Patrol Grant. Litter Patrol is Planned Pethood's innovative program developed by Kathy Kozak and Karen Latta in 2005.

This program utilizes volunteers to contact people giving away "free" puppies and kittens. Spay/neuter assistance is then provided for these animals as well as any other dogs and cats in the household that are not fixed. As space permits puppies and kittens are taken into Planned Pethood's adoption program. We believe that spay/neuter is the ultimate rescue. Our Litter Patrol program often breaks what has been an ongoing cycle of uncontrolled breeding. As always there are strict guidelines in order to qualify for assistance.

In the past Litter Patrol funding has been sporadic. This generous grant from PetSmart represents a significant step forward in funding these efforts for the next 2 years and will provide spay/neuter assistance for approximately 1,000 animals.

Appreciation goes to Jane Holman for preparing and submitting the grant proposal and Nikki Morey for designing and implementing the necessary reporting procedures. Anyone interested in working on grant writing for Planned Pethood, please contact Jane at

Fund Raising Successes
Many thanks to all those that have helped make money for PPI. Our bake sale and craft sale at the Dog Days of September was a huge success. Thank you to those who contributed baked goods and who worked the sale.

Thank you to BGSU students who put together the Wag N' Tailgate party which raised $193 for PPI. Go Falcons!

Thank you for the volunteers who orchestrated the Euchre Tournament and to those who attended. They raised money that will get several animals off the streets and into warm homes.

How and where we get our animals

It's a balancing act.
And no one is ever happy with the results.

A stray dog and an owner surrender dog play fight. Scrappy & Rain have since found happy homes.
Was it the phone message left on our FIXX line? Was it the email directly from A dog pound or an animal shelter? Or maybe the text from a fellow rescue, that they are also full but have a great animal in immediate need, but only 24 hours to get it out! Oh, no it was the co-worker or was it the death in the, no I remember now it was the dispatcher at the hospital. I got it, how could I forget it was the post from Face Book!

One could laugh at all the above scenarios but they are all the communication tools in which the public, other rescues, dog wardens, animal shelters, and volunteers use to let Planned Pethood know on a daily and sometimes hourly basis, that the animal they have is in immediate need of rescue. How do you choose, who gets rescued first, or next?

Planned Pethood follows a protocol and balance that has been maintained for years (not easily). First priority are animals being returned to us. Second, strays. Talk about risk, there are no controls in place to help these dogs maintain their safety- no food, no water, no shelter, no medical treatment, and no love and kindness. Third, the nearest surrounding counties, our own backyard! You see them in the paper or on the website and unfortunately, some you never get to see. Strays, owner surrenders, abandoned, and lost aniamls all end up with no where to turn but pounds and shelters. So, that is where we go next, #3 local (to Northwest Ohio) pounds and shelters. Fourth, owner surrenders. These animals usually have food, water, shelter and a loving home but for some reason must go, mostly due to no fault of their own, sometimes just an inconvenience. So that is how Planned Pethood does intake, a risk ranking based on the need and ability of the organization's foster base.

The priority order is the easy part. It is the balancing act of foster homes that is the harder part. Now, only 2 of the 40 or so families in the foster base do not have other dogs or cats. That is significant because if we have a great animal but they can not live with another dog or cat, where can they go, where can everyone get along? A balance must be achieved.

Not to mention personal preferences of the foster base; breed specific preferences (or none of a certain breed or I only want and will foster cocker spaniels), size requirements (nothing over 25 pounds, please), age (I only foster kittens), sex (only females), and simply- what a person can personally handle as well as the what the dynamics of their household or pack can handle.

Do not forget about vetting, emergencies, ability to get the dogs to adoption events, what the spouse will tolerate, vacations, responding to applicants, writing bios and filling out cage cards, and what behavior issues or disputes that may arise due to the new addition.

Whew, did we mention them wait; exercise requirements, no long haired cats/dogs, must be housetrained/litter box trained, must like children, no jumping, must tolerate the daughter's dog she brings over every weekend.

So now, you have the order of intake, then you have the balance of foster homes-now, couple that with real life. For example you save a dog that appears would fit in his new temporary home but when he gets into foster care does not like the resident dog with no other available foster homes he goes to boarding. Do you leave that home vacant? Or do you roll the dice and save another life? Do you stop all intake, or just stop rescuing adult dogs? Then suddenly you get a return, but no adoptions from the weekend, another animal sitting in boarding, oh my! What about that call regarding the stray mother and her litter living under someone's porch? Then you get an owner surrender of a beautiful cocker spaniel, do you place him with the foster that only takes cocker spaniels or do you pass him by?

Our volunteers might see a sign for a free dog or cat and want to help it and foster it themselves. But the Intake coordinator already has a similar animal lined up to come into the program? How do you juggle that without offending the foster family?

Decisions, decisions all with precious lives at stake. All decisions and actions are made with the very best of order, balance and intent to save as many animals as possible. Remember we also do this while maintaining a non-profit organization that is dependent on public donations and our fund raising efforts, without this we have no rescue.

House Bill 79/55
House Bill 79 was introduced by Representative Barbara Sears (up for re-election in Ohio) of the 46th district. The bill is co-sponsored by Representative Michael Skindell, Representative Gerald Stebelton, and Representative Lynn Wachtmann. The bill would remove the term "pit bull" from Ohio's statutory definition of vicious dog. Ohio is the only state to have enacted statewide breed specific legislation. As of May 28, 2010; House Bill 79 was added to House Bill 55 and went before the full House for a vote. It was overwhelmingly passed and has moved to the Senate.

H.B. 55 encourages judges to include companion animals in domestic-violence protection orders and anti-stalking protection orders. H.B. 55 also emphasizes the need to counsel convicted animal abusers and contribute to a safer society by lowering recidivism. This would be accomplished by requiring courts to order psychological evaluation and counseling, if necessary, of minors convicted of animal abuse, and by requiring the state psychology; medicine; and counselor, social worker, and marriage and family therapist boards to approve at least one continuing-education course on counseling individuals who abuse animals. Lastly, the bill would help ensure that Ohio treats animal cruelty crimes seriously by making additional acts of torture to livestock and wildlife misdemeanors of the first degree (punishable by up to six months imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine).

1. Contact your senator,, and ask him/her to support passage of House Bill 55. Written letters have the most impact. In all correspondence, please be polite and respectful and stick to one or two talking points.
2. Contact the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee on Criminal Justice Committee Members and ask them to support House Bill 55.
- Senator Tim Grendell (Chair), 1 Capitol Square, Ground Floor Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: (614) 644-7718 Email:
- Committee Members:listed at this website and denoted with ***
3. Follow up with a phone call to each Senator's office a week after sending each correspondence.

For further details, click here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fallen Starr

by Mary Torio

Two months ago Planned Pethood lost Starr, an alumnus of the rescue, and Planned Pethood’s original “Ambassadog.” Starr came into my life after I applied for a Golden Retriever(as a friend for my current German Shepherd(GSD), who was partially paralyzed due to a disease called degenerative myeleopathy, and used a doggie wheelchair), and received a reply asking me to please consider a scared, abused GSD who was not warming up to humans or other dogs in the foster home, and needed someone who understood special needs Shepherds.

I agreed to meet her, but with no plan on taking her in. Riiiiight, famous last words! I brought my other GSD, complete with wheels, to meet the little lady. She was a beautiful, little girl, just as lovely as can be. When the foster opened the car door, this dog who had not gone up to anyone voluntarily since being surrendered marched over to me, sat on my foot, leaned on my leg and looked up at me with those beautiful, sad eyes. I didn’t stand a chance! My other GSD went right to her to give her a kiss. She came home with me as soon as we could get the paperwork done.

Starr had obviously been abused. She was terrified of people and new situations. If you came up behind her too suddenly she’d flinch as if expecting to be kicked. She hid if people came to my house. But she and I were best pals from the day I brought her home. She not only loved me, but whenever we’d go outside she would stay very close to my GSD with the wheels, as if standing guard over him, be it at home or at the barn where my horses were. She was silly and playful and developed a true joy for life.

With love and patience, Starr came out of her shell of fear of humans. I started lessons with her in order to build her confidence, and we quickly realized she had the perfect temperament to be a therapy dog. Just a couple months past our one year anniversary together, Starr (along with her adopted GSD mix sibling Emma) passed the test to become a Therapy Dog International certified therapy dog. I was so proud! My scared little girl wasn’t scared any more! Indeed, she now sought attention from people!

Starr and Emma became “Ambassadogs” for Planned Pethood, assisting me with presentations about PPI. We visited scout troops, senior centers and schools. Starr had a very serene, quiet way about her that seemed to draw out the scared or abused children. On visits to special needs classrooms we had some absolutely amazing experiences.

One of the first and most memorable visits involved a very special young boy in my sister’s classroom. He twirled his fingers in Starr’s fur, patted her, looked her in the eye and told her all sorts of things in his own verbal language only the two of them understood. He spent 35 minutes with her, occasionally leaning over to hug her and press his cheek against her fur. He event got a book, and holding it upside down “read” to her from it, holding it up to her nose so he could point out the pictures to her. She stood rock-still the entire time, just being. Radiating calm and love.

This child’s grandma came to pick him up and exclaimed that he was afraid of dogs. My sister shushed the grandma and asked her to just watch for a while. Finally she called out to him that it was time to go. As he left he looked back at Starr, waved and said as clear as day “Goodbye Starr! I love you!” I didn’t understand Grandma’s tears or my sister’s gasp of shock. Later my sis explained that this little boy was autistic. He did not speak or like to make eye contact, nor did he allow anyone to touch him. He typically avoided touching things. But with Starr he did all those things on his own initiative.

When we visited again, he was allowed to hold Starr’s leash on the condition that he speak to give her commands (sit, stay, come, etc.). He did so with confidence, but in a voice so quiet I had to stand behind him and give her the corresponding hand signals. But oh, this little guy was SO proud when she did what he asked! He was so excited he even spoke a couple words to me! My sister told me that Starr’s visits seemed to have prompted a permanent breakthrough with this little boy. I can still see his big eyes shining up at me while smiling a huge beaming smile in his joy being with Starr.

Starr developed a disease called Degenerative Myeleopathy which causes gradual paralysis and eventual death. My first GSD, her buddy in the wheels had died of it already. There is no cure- it is fatal. She gradually lost the ability to walk on her own power. But that didn’t mean she was done living! We got her a wheeled cart so she could stay active. She took to her wheels like gangbusters, and would happily roll around visiting when we’d go give our presentations. At the barn she would run with the other dogs and try to chase bunnies. I have pictures of her following the other dogs into huge puddles with her wheels. I was often amazed by how extensive her wheel tracks were in the dirt. She certainly got around! She was like a little furry ATV out there, rolling over stumps and rocks and even railroad ties on occasion. When she’d get stuck she’d patiently wait for me to come get her unstuck, then off she’d roll again!

The first presentation we gave after she got her wheels was to a girl scout troop. After my talk I had let the dogs run free in the gym with the kids. A mom came up to me acting very shaken up. I thought “uh-oh, Starr ran over someone’s foot with her wheels and scared them or something”. Nope. This mom told me her daughter had been mauled by a dog several years prior, and been terrified of dogs ever since. The mom watched her little girl walk over to Starr (who was off leash and not near me), put her arms around Starr’s neck, and gave the dog a hug and a kiss. The mom was just so happy to see her daughter, voluntarily, not merely go near a dog, but wrap her arms around one and not be afraid.

Starr had a similar impact on seniors who were unsure around dogs. At one senior center a woman told me she was afraid and just wanted to look at the dogs. I told her not to worry, I wouldn’t let them touch her. Starr had her own ideas about that. She just walked over and stood close the woman, but looking away from and not touching her. She waited patiently as if to say “take your time, I’ll be here when you are ready.” Sure enough the woman eventually felt safe enough not only to pet Starr, but then to pet Emma and Herbie( the other two “ambassadogs” that were there with us that day).

I could go on and on about the people Starr touched:the children who are normally behavior problems who were absolute angels when Starr was in their room, the children who were victims of abuse and wouldn’t talk to adults, who would talk to Starr, the kids who didn’t like to read who would take a book and read it to her. I think of the wheelchair using adults and children who could relate to Starr’s need for wheels and what it said about living life to the fullest, even if your legs don’t work… the grandfather at PPI’s birthday party who told her “It’s hard isn’t it old girl, but we’re doing ok” as he patted her on her head with tears in his eyes.

She didn’t just touch people. Starr’s being in wheels helped dogs as well. So many people who had no idea there were options out there for their physically disabled dogs after meeting Starr were able to help their own dogs in ways they had not known were possible. I can’t tell you how many e-mails we’ve gotten to PPI from people who met her in her wheels asking for info for their own dogs.

I have so many beautiful, heart-touching stories from the too few years I had her with me… there were just so many people whose lives she affected. Part of the beauty of Starr was that she drew as much benefit from them as they did from her. Even after the disease had stricken her to such a degree that she could only manage an hour visit, she’d come home from that hour just glowing. And she’d be noticeably more pleased with life for days after.

It was my privilege and honor to have her in my life. She was a gift of such magnitude that words can’t do it justice. I am so grateful that I was able to share her gentle serenity with so many people. As the disease progressively ravaged her body she lost more and more physical ability, but she never lost her loving, silly, sweet spirit. She stayed proud and happy until the end.

On June 12th 2010 she let me know that she was done fighting, and needed me to let her go. We go to Banfield in Rossford, and they were so kind, you could tell they loved her too. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Even in her death Starr continued to give, as we donated her remains to the University of Missouri where they are doing research on DM, trying to find treatments and a cure. The staff at Banfield took care of that for us, and I can’t thank them enough. It was very important to me that her death not be for nothing. Hopefully her contribution to the research will help find a cure for this horrible disease that took her way too soon.

Starr left behind a legacy of love that Emma, Herbie and I are trying to live up to. We continue with our program of educational presentations and therapy visits without her physical presence, but with her close by in spirit.

Goodbye Starr, I love you!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A dog named Lacie

Lacie was tied outside of a local dog pound when the dog wardens came into work one morning. Three 1 week old puppies were left in a box nearby. The dog warden picked up 2 of the puppies to bring them inside and when he turned around, she was walking behind him, carrying the third puppy in her mouth.

The first day I went to see her, she had some sort of infected wound on her shoulder. By the next day, that had broken open and was seeping. We couldn't tell how it occurred but it looked like a large scrape so we wondered if perhaps she'd been hit by a car. Fulton County has a pretty nice pound compared to some I've been to and they had her in the quieter "vicious dog" room, but the pound is still no place for tiny puppies, and so I brought her home. She was uneasy the first few days. Who wouldn't be? All those protective mom hormones, whatever discomfort she was in from her injuries, being one place, then at the pound, then finally here. Who knows what she thought would come next. In a short time she settled in and was a good mama to her babies and bonded with us as well. I named her Lacie.

It's clear Lacie's life before she ended up at the pound wasn't easy. She's around 6-8 years old, and undoubtedly lived as an outside dog, perhaps tied up somewhere, having litter after litter of puppies. Who knows why someone finally "got rid of" her but at least then she was able to get the love and care she deserves.

Lacie and her puppies stayed here for almost 2 months. Her puppies (Leon, Lavender and Lilac, all adopted) were very friendly and good-natured. She is good with the other dogs but prefers her own space. She mostly ignores the cats although sometimes can't resist a chase across the room when one of them runs. (Don't worry, my cats are very dog savvy and she isn't interested in hurting them, just wants to play.) Her wound healed up quickly and her coat's gotten shiny and thick. She loves all of us and seems happy to be here.

When her puppies were 8 weeks old, everyone went to Humane Ohio to be fixed and vetted. I hadn't even gotten all the puppies in the door when the vet came out to talk to me about Lacie. When they did the initial exam they found a mammary tumor. While they recommended that be removed when she was spayed, it was beyond their capabilities at the clinic to do so. And so Lacie came back home again. Later she was seen by another one of our vets who found the tumor was malignant and had already spread throughout her mammary chain, and her heart was enlarged as well. The decision was made to keep her comfortable for however much time she has. It's been a couple of weeks now and she seems to be doing fine. She's not an active dog and she doesn't like being handled much, so I assume she does have some discomfort, but she still loves attention, loves a romp through the yard and seems happy, so we're hoping she has a lot of time left to be loved.

Unfortunately Lacie's story isn't uncommon. Dogs everywhere are kept outside with no medical care, not spayed so they have multiple litters of puppies, who end up perpetuating the cycle with more puppies as well. Canine mammary cancer rarely occurs in dogs who are spayed before their first heat and even if she'd been spayed as a young adult, her risks would have been substantially lower. By its very nature, rescue deals with the consequences of irresponsible pet ownership, and Planned Pethood always has dogs and cats who are being treated for preventable injuries and illnesses. If you adopt a puppy or dog from us, they will of course be spayed first, thus reducing their risk for mammary cancer. If you know of an unspayed dog, please talk to their owners about getting her fixed. We of course care about proactively solving the pet overpopulation by preventing litters but they will also be greatly reducing the chances of their dog ending up like Lacie.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Planned Pethood ALWAYS takes our animals back

Heather first entered the Planned Pethood Dog Adoption Program as an eight-week-old puppy, with the rest of her litter-mates, as part of the Litter Patrol program(in this program we respond to free kitten/puppy ads, offer to take the entire litter to place for adoption, then spay/neuter the pets remaining in the home to ensure no more unwanted litters). She was soon adopted as a puppy.

The following summer, the family that adopted Heather called to say they had to return her to PPI.
. They said she wasn't house-broken, had chewed up their above-ground pool, and had to spend most of the time outside because she was so awful.

By this time, Heather was over 100 pounds of Bloodhound mix. The foster parents
had the opportunity to speak to the former owner at that time to get the whole picture. From what they was able to piece together, and from the behaviors Heather showed, we realized the living conditions for Heather had been less than ideal.

Heather was left outside, alone, the majority of the time.
Bored with nothing to do and no one to interact with, she did indeed chew stuff she shouldn't have and dig an occasional hole. Once in the foster home, it was obvious that Heather was now also scared to death of men. She wanted to have nothing to do with them and growled at the foster dad for almost three weeks. It's not unusual see this type of reaction in abused dogs, but Heather was above and beyond any we had ever seen. But true to her good nature Heather not only got over her fear of the foster dad, she was shortly thereafter in love with him.

Another thing we noted very quickly was that Heather was indeed housebroken but was having incontinence issues.
The vet confirmed she did not have a urinary tract infection. The foster mom often would rub Heather's tummy and think, "Something isn't right with this picture. Something is off". Come to find out, Heather had an inverted vulva, that was corrected with surgery.

We discovered what a sweet clown Heather was. She would smile at you by flipping her nose up and her lips back. It's like a dog version of Mr. Ed. She throws her head around with glee, makes weird elk noises, and is the sweetest baby. Her nickname in the foster house became Baby Hey-Hey. Heather has always been the model dog and family member. Her pitiful Bloodhound eyes peeping up at you, followed by lots of energetic kisses is a heart-melter. How can you not adore a dog that is a small pony and wants you to hold her like a baby?

That fall, another family adopted Heather, but although they assured me they would follow my care instructions to the letter, it wasn't long before they had to return her. As it turned out, they didn't care for Heather as instructed they weren't even giving the girl her medicine! We had told them that to overcome her fear of the father in the home, for him to feed her. But they couldn't even do that. Despite our best efforts people tell fibs about how well they will care for the dog.

When the foster dad went to pick Heather up, she jumped into the van and looked at him like "I'm outta here , man!"

Heather stayed with the same foster family for another year.
A family with another dog were interested in giving Heather her forever home. They were devoted to Heather and loved her dearly. However, their Schnauzer mix was not a fan of Heather. After a year of the two dogs taunting each other without incident, a minor error caused a big problem: an accidentally open door gave Heather her chance to get even to the Schnauzer, and she inflicted serious damage. Hence, Heather was given her walking papers.

The family cared enough about Heather that they contacted the same foster family, wanting Heather to only come back to us. The wife had even gone to to count how many dogs that foster family had listed under there name to make sure there was room for Heather again.

For the fourth time Heather was back with Planned Pethood, and she strolled right in and got herself a drink of water from the toilet. It was as if she'd never left.

A few months ago Heather and her foster mom, with the rest of the PPI crew, were at an adoption event at the Anderson's Maumee.
The mother of Heather's litter-mate, Howie, was shopping there that same day. She saw Heather and saw the many similarities between the two dogs. Heather was eventually adopted by Howie's family. The mother later said that, as she went back to her car, she felt like she was walking away from Howie. They had always called Howie "How-How" as a nickname. So now they have How-How and Hey-Hey. That was 3 years ago.

If this home somehow doesn't work out for Heather, all of us are comforted to know that PPI will be there for her. PPI has been the harbor she can rest in. And really isn't that what Planned Pethood is all about? Doing whatever we can to help an animal in need, in our own community?

Each time Heather returned back to that foster home, her unsinkable spirit heartened them. They are honored to be there for her and be her only advocate.

We all play an active role in helping dogs like Heather. If you send us a check once a year, maybe you'll be the one who bought Heather some medication or a bag of food. If you volunteer with PPI, you're giving animals like Heather a second, third, or fourth chance. Your help is what makes these kinds of miracles happen every day through PPI.

Keep up the good work PPI volunteers and supporters.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 4, 2010 eNewsletter

dog wash fundraiser
Happy 4th of July from Planned Pethood, Inc

eNewsletter July 4, 2010

Iams Pet Food Donation

In February, Planned Pethood received a generous donation from IAMS in the form of 33 pallets of dog and cat food. Two volunteers drove down to Leipsic to pick it up and many volunteers met at the Lucas County Fairgrounds to help unload it.

Since then, PPI has moved most of the food into the homes of volunteers so it is readily available when needed. And, of course, much of the food has been eaten by the animals in our adoption program.

We don't often get donations like this. In the lean times, fosters supply the food for the foster cats and dogs. It can be expensive. So we were eager and excited to get such a huge shipment.

By the end of May, we had to remove the remaining 8 pallets from the fairgrounds to a warehouse offered to Planned Pethood by Bennett Enterprises. Alas, this meant we had to rent a truck and beg a couple volunteers to pallet jack the remaining food on board. Luckily, Rich, an employee at the Lucas County Fairgrounds took pity on us and forklifted the pallets into the truck. Phew!

By August, Planned Pethood must have the food removed from the Bennett Enterprise warehouse. These last 8 pallets will be placed into homes as we can find space.

Thank you to all the volunteers that have hauled 1,000's of pounds of food, stored food all over their house and moved the food from location to location.
50 Volunteers Needed (badly)

We are still looking for 50 volunteers to help us Friday, July 30, 2010 for the Jackel Concert at Toledo Harley-Davidson on Central near Centennial. Only 26 days to get 50 volunteers. It's a ton of fun! You can read more detail here. Email to sign up.
Vote to win $500,000 toward a Toledo Dog Park

The City of Toledo and Ottawa-Jermain Board have managed to throw up enough road blocks and complaints to ensure that a Toledo city park WILL NOT be the location for the first park, says Toledo Unleashed.

Meanwhile, according to Kevin Mullan at Toledo Unleashed, Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop has opened some doors for us with the Metroparks and the Lucas County Rec Center. We are exploring these options and will provide you an update as SOON as we have more information.

Mullan goes on to say, "While we are trying to figure out WHERE the park can go, Dani (my wife) and I, and more importantly our pug-pomeranian, Elvis, submitted an application for Purina's WagWorld Dream Dog Park contest. We are one of 60ish entrants."

The ten Finalist videos will be revealed on the Beneful WagWorld Web Site on or about July 14, 2010. The Finalists' Entries will be posted for the public to vote for their favorite Entry at starting on or about July 14, 2010 at 12:00:01 pm ET and ending on August 11, 2010 at 11:59:59 am ET ("Voting Period"). Limit one (1) vote per person, per day. A "Day" is defined as the 24 hours between 12:00:00 am ET and 11:59:59 pm ET throughout the Voting Period. The public voting will be tallied as a numbered rank between 1 and 10 with the Entry that receives the most votes receiving 10 points, and the Entry that receives the least votes receiving 1 point. A new panel of judges will also judge the 10 Finalist Entries on the same judging criteria listed above. The public voting rank will account for 10% of the final score and the judges scores will account for 90% of the total score.

If we WIN, we'd be able to bring a $500,000 Dream Dog Park to NW Ohio - hopefully Toledo. Please send this to all of your friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers and even people you don't know.

View Elvis' video and voting details can be found here.

Vote Daily! Get others to vote with you!
Make our dream a reality!

First Dog Wash Fundraiser a HUGE success
Jacob Dilworth dries off a customer.
We made over $400 in our first dog wash fundraiser. Most of the money was made by doing the anal gland expressions so it wasn't all that pretty.

Thanks to all the volunteers that helped wrangle, lather, dry, perfume and shine up all the dogs. It was back breaking work. Thankfully, we have plans for the next dog washes to make it easier on ourselves.

Don't miss our next ones: July 17 @ Anderson's Maumee (Come see the Amazing Air Dog Show while you are there), August 14 @ Anderson Maumee and September 11 @ Anderson Talmadge. Many thanks to the Anderson Stores for making this a possibility.
Good Search & Kroger Cares

Don't forget to use as your search engine. Every search earns us money.

Don't forget to sign your Kroger card into the Kroger Cares Program. Everytime you swipe your card you make money for PPI. More details here.
Darby Update
CoopetteLots of people have been following the progress of Darby. We think she was purposefully burned with a chemical over her back. It has burned down to the muscle and covers a 8 x 11 inch space in ONE of the two spots.

We are very pleased to report she is doing wonderfully. As you can see by her happy Rottie smile, Darby is not only healing but in fine spirits.

It's only been a two and a half weeks but the recovery is amazing. The swelling is almost completely gone. She is growing hair in a few spots. The oozing has all but stopped. And we can see new pink skin all along the edges.

On Thursday, July 1st Darby had surgery to prepare for getting a honey wrap as part of a wet to dry dressing process. If you have ever had a large wound or known someone with a significant burn like Darby's, you know how painful and tight the scar tissue can be even years after the injury has healed. This process will allow for Darby to have loose skin, as any dog is supposed to have, and not suffer from the pulling and adhesion pain scar tissue can cause. Darby will continue with laser treatment to assist in the healing thereafter. And Darby will have a pain management program available to her.

We do not refuse treatment to our animals based on cost of treatment, or on the age of the animal once it is in our care. When we take in a dog or cat we take that commitment seriously. Frankly, we treat the animals in our adoption program just as we would our personal pets. Any one of us would have elected to have this done to our own pet. Thanks to Sylvania Vet for helping with the cost. The total bill (all inclusive) is $500.

If you are interested in following Darby's story, watch her on our Facebook. You can read her back story on our website as well by clicking here. If you would like to make a donation to Darby, you may do so here.

Donate Find us on Facebook
We Don't Have An Office . . . On Purpose

Many are surprised to learn Planned Pethood doesn't have an office. It's been a long time philosophy that the money donated to us is best used going to our animals rather than the upkeep of a building, utilities, etc. When you make a donation, you can be assured it's going toward our mission to save lives.

We also do not have a large paid staff. PPI only has one part-time employee, the executive director. All the day to day workCoopette it takes to make the massive machine of Planned Pethood work is done by volunteers. Some are fosters. Some help with paperwork, data entry, paying bills, moving animals and supplies around and organizing events. Some do it all.

Should we ever be so lucky as to be leased a space for $1.00 a year, utilities included, for a long term contract we might consider having an office. But until then, we proudly say we do not have a facility.
Extraordinary Animals With Extraordinary Vet Bills
Coopette will be available
for adoption soon
This 5 week old kitten was found inside an enclosed chicken coop cowering in a corner, eyes matted shut with several not so nice chickens around her. Luckily she was found before the chickens could do her any harm, but she has a severe and untreated eye infection in both eyes. Her right eye suffered irreparable damage and will need to be removed once she is a little bigger and healthier. Her rescuers thought she was a boy and so the name Cooper was given. Once taken to our wonderful vets, Cooper was a 'she' and is now affectionately referred to as Coopette. She is a friendly and sweet kitten that weighs just a pound and needs some TLC and groceries before her surgery. We need financial help for little Coopette's veterinary care and surgery and we are asking for donations to provide her with the care this tiny kitten needs.

Robert Nubbins, the cat without a tail, has been adopted. Thank you for your support and care for Robert.

In the last newsletter we introduced you to Chelsea, a dog with a broken leg. Many thanks to West Suburban Animal Hospital's Dr. Thompson for the wonderful work he did on her bone plate. They also gave us a significant discount. Chelsea is supposed to be kept quiet and rest her leg for the next several weeks. It's hard to keep a good dog down. It's harder to keep a frisky dog, like Chelsea, contained. Chelsea's total bill to her surgery is $667.00.

If you would like to make a donation to any of these animals, you may do so here or at the PayPal logo below.


Open Volunteer Meeting

From time to time we offer an open volunteer meeting. This is your chance to bring up your concerns and good ideas. This is also the best opportunity for new volunteers to learn more about Planned Pethood.

Handouts will be available.

August 10, 2010

6:45 - 8:15pm

Sanger Library
3030 W. Central Ave 43606

Your time is valuable, therefore we will begin promptly at 6:45pm.

Quick Links

Celebrity Wait

Read all about it in this pdf file.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at Georgio's Cafe 426 N. Superior St. 43604.

Your servers will be Bob Esplin, Ben Konop, Randy & Janna Lake, Amy Davis, Greg Bilazarian, Doug Kearns, Justin Micheals, Beau Harvey & Tom Stebbins.

Your $50 can spay/neuter two feral cats or go toward saving one dog from a life on the streets. One hundred percent (100%)of the "tip" you give your celebrity server will go directly to Planned Pethood.

You will have four dinner selections (which is made the night of the event) and a selection from the dessert tray. You and your party will be seated at a private table and will not be seated with strangers.

Please join us for a delightful meal and support the cause.

Join Our Mailing List
Don't forget PPI's Blog

For longer stories or daily updates we use our blog. Sign up for it and be inspired.

You can read our blog by clicking here or visiting:

Upcoming Events

July 17- Dog Wash @ Anderson's in Maumee
July 18- Air Dog Show @ Anderson's in Maumee
July 18- Parking Lot BBQ @ Big Lots in Perrysburg
July 25- Craft and Information show @ Browning Care Center
July 30- Volunteers work Jackel concert at Toledo Harley Davidson
August 10- Volunteer Meeting @ Sanger Library
August 12- Emergency Preparedness @ UAW Local 14
August 14- Dog Wash @ Anderson's in Maumee
August 14- Bark for Life @ Bass Pro Shop
August 24- Celebrity Wait @ Georgio's
August 29- Road Rally
September 10 - 12 - Petsmart 3 day Adoption Event
September 11- Dog Wash @ Anderson's on Talmadge
September 18- Dog Days of September
September 25- Euchre Tournament @ UAW Local 14

Possible Craft Shows

We are taking into consideration participating in several festivals with our crafts and/or bake sales.

To determine if we will participate, it will depend on what help we can get from volunteers for these specific days. Please refer to the list below and send us an email if you can help out with any of these shows. Because there is a cost to be at these events, it's important we have enough reliable help.

We need help with the following:
* Set up before the event
* Pick up craft and/or bake sale items from other volunteers
* Man the table, make change, sell, answer questions
* Take down and repack inventory.

We have an inventory of crafts but need a wider variety for people to select their treasures. If you want to donate craft items, please contact us at We have a list of specific items that sell well and others that do not.

We also would like to have a bake sale at many of these events. If you can contribute baked goods to one please email us your offer. We have figured out the items that sell well, transport well and those that do not.

Polish Festival
July 9 - 11
Maumee Summer Fair

August 20 & 21
Sylvania Arts & Crafts Festival
September 12
Harrison Rally Days
September 18
Roche de Boeuf
September 25
MacQueen's Apple Butter Festival
October 2 & 3
unknown cost
Grand Rapids' Apple Butter Festival
October 10
unknown cost
Main Street Sylvania
October 17