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SILENT NIGHT…

Christmas Day 2013.
While masses are celebrating Birth, Family, Unity and Joy,
This dog – along with her male companion – were seized from a man that was LITERALLY starving them to death.
Clinging to life, she was sent to the shelter and labeled an Evidence Dog as they were set to persecute the human responsible.

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The shelter medical and caretaker staff began instant care, for this sweet soul, who was delivered to to them at only 35 pounds: Less than half of her full body weight.
One could literally count every bone on her body.

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All photos here show her AFTER having a few weeks of aggressively upped feedings. Each pound gained, a huge stride in the necessary direction.

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The staff cloaked her in a coat, so her frail bony frame would have some padding while she laid on the floor.
The shelter staff became instantly smitten with this girl – meeting her you would instantly know why.

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Kind & Gentle do not even begin to describe this kid.
They kept her in a remote area away from the public, and that is where we first laid eyes upon her.
As she was Evidence, we could not take her, but definitively let them know how much we wanted her The Minute she became available.

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In the mean time, the staff worked lovingly & diligently to put weight on, and medicate her past any secondary illnesses.

A couple weeks later, we were THRILLED to receive the call that she was being released, and that we could make the drive to go pick her up. We learned at that time – sadly – the male Dane mix that she came in with, did not make it.
When we arrived, her caretakers were so moved to see this girl get people that would ensure her a brighter tomorrow.
They handed us a hand-written feeding schedule that she had been on. And as we leashed this girl – who had successfully put on a hand full of pounds – one of her biggest fans that worked at the shelter, began crying at her heart-filled relief to see this beautiful pup leaving and WANTED.

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Again note, these pics and video are AFTER this quiet girl gained multiple pounds.

Click here to see video of Holly heading to her new life:

Given her Christmas Day association, Holly Golightly, trotted out the front door, leaped into the vehicle waiting, and moved with total and absolute joy into her future.

Holly has made huge strides with us, and is filling out. She loves her daily walks, all of her new canine buddies, her extra meals, and all the affection you are able to offer.

AUD_0694This elegant girl was recently strong enough to spay. She is also the single-most visibly elated pup when it comes time for sleep. Holly WORSHIPS her bedding. Pure Joy: She affixes herself atop a mound of blankets, sitting like humble & grateful royalty upon a throne – with a Large Smile of Gratitude on her face.

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Holly is READY and Now Looking for her people.

AUD_0742Holly Golightly.
Holly GoBoldly.
Holly GoForth Knowing How Happy We Are To Have Experienced, Loved & Cared For You.

This is the story of Mama.

Like so many dogs, she was dumped at the shelter by her people.

While waiting there, she met a woman who thought this three-year-old Shepherd, would make a good watch dog.

So she adopted her.

Mama was thankful.

The woman lived alone – children grown and gone – so Mama was her protector.

The woman loved Mama in her own way, but was not affectionate with her, and Mama lived her life in the yard.

Until she found a way out of the yard, that is, and then Mama got promoted to inside-living.

After a couple of years, Mama’s new owner began to suffer an illness.

She would forget to feed and walk Mama.

And soon enough, with Alzheimer’s claiming much of her waking state, this woman could not care for Mama alone.

As her family would not often come to visit the ailing woman, Mama would sit in the front window and look out across the street, where lived a Very Special Neighbor.

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You see, that Neighbor – a valued member of the Mutt Scouts Team – was an early friend to Mama. This Neighbor, who was active, and had dogs of her own, had walked Mama on weekends since she was first adopted.

Thankfully that very Neighbor noted what was going on, and stepped in, and stepped up Mama’s care.

So began walks – multiple times daily – and someone overseeing Mama’s care & well-being.

When Mama seemed anxious, her human friend would sing to her on their walks.

Mama and Noble Neighbor became closer.

For this Mama was especially grateful.

And loyal. And now consistently positioned herself in that very front window. Waiting. Throughout the day. For her Neighbor-Friend to return home, and love her.

Mama was sensitive to the fact that her owner was sick , and was an absolute different dog when with her.

If the woman endeavored to walk her, she would often get lost in her own neighborhood. Mama would go slowly, and stay by the woman’s side, as to protect her.

The less Mama’s owner could do – the more the Neighbor took on.

Word came that Mama’s owner was being taken from her house – no longer able to care for herself – and put into a home.

Word also traveled that the woman’s family was weighing their “options,” with respects to Mama’s future.

Some family thought a solution was to “let her go,” and that by turning her loose on the streets, she would somehow find accommodations for herself.

Another, more rational thought was taking her back to the shelter. And we all are acutely aware how well a near-seven year old Shep would fare there.

The Neighbor was rightfully heartsick at both of these options, and knew the onus was on her as Mama’s only advocate to craft a respectful, loving option for her sweet friend.

And she only had a couple days to do it, before the woman’s family chose one of the two aforementioned options.

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We had met a very kind family that came to one of our Mobile Adoptions to meet one of our beautiful Devore hoarding dogs, Seven.

Sev is an active, young dog, and was not the best fit for this family.

Four weeks later, the Neighbor Scout did some quick thinking and approached the family to see if they had adopted.

When discovered that, no, they in fact, had not found the right match yet, the wise Neighbor said she believed she knew just the fit.

And you know what?

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She was right.

Mama has new People that takes her on occasional hikes.

Mama has a New House, New Bedding, New Routines, and New Reasons.

Mama still gets to see her Loving Neighbor friend.

Now when Mama looks out the window, she is not worried, not alone, not at risk of being tossed to the streets, nor dumped back into the shelter.

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No, now Mama is Home. With a Family to Care For, and Call Her Own.

Just Where This Mama Always Wanted To Be.

Her life needed an INSTANT turnaround.
And she had NO idea.
On her LAST DAY.

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It was Black Friday and hordes of Los Angeles shoppers were cramming retail spaces in hope of returning home with new TVs, new clothes, new prizes.
The Mutt Scouts traveled to South LA shelter, on this rainy day, with hope of returning home with new chances, new lives-in-need, and in all sizes.

After about four hours there – with the help of the brilliant and loved Tomika Johnson – and as a vast array of new Scouts were about to be loaded for the return,
one of our other absolute favorite humans – Andrea Braver – whose additional hard work at South LA, quality outlook, and legendary heart have always been an inspiration -
walked toward us with someone in her arms.

“She’s being put down.”
“Why?”
“She’s older. In the medical room. For space.”

Before our eyes was the sweetest, unassuming, and unaware senior.
This poor soul stared at us with both warmth and uncertainty.
She was filthy, stained, extremely matted, rotted teeth – ignored & unkempt. Her face and ears had been shaved down because of matting and so she could see.
From the looks and smell, she was dumped in a yard for years, before then being dumped on the streets.DCIM100GOPRO

And before we get in to the next moments, Let us be clear:
It is not the shelter’s fault, nor anyone that works with or for the shelter that this life was to end today, and in this way.
They are overcrowded for a reason. And that reason is not because they wish to be.
This old gal had people at one point. We try to stay outside of judgement because not a lot is gained there.
But need to make certain, that any fingers pointed, are not pointed at the people working so diligently to save lives, at the shelter.

***

“Let’s go. She’s coming.”
It did not take but a second to know that it was up to us to see that the twilight chapter of this kid’s life, would be her best read yet.

Enter: Liz Farley-Andersen. An awesome human that ran a marathon, and donated the proceeds to us to save others, as we once did her sweet Sophie.
As a gesture of appreciation, we told Liz we would be naming a new Scout after her…and we did.
We said when they met up that she could look into her eyes, and choose the name she wished.

First order for “Liz” was a trip to the vet. The doctor saw her and confirmed what we previously deduced, and also charted what Liz would next need.
DCIM100GOPROBefore any surgeries, next up, was to free her from her mats, and bathe her several times.

Liz – whose quick nickname was “White Diamonds” – was instantly grateful for the attention, and the human contact.
After her cut, her deep-cleaning, her blow out, and her soft gourmet meal, she spent the night at the vets wrapped in warmth, as we planned her next step.

Her next vet visit included her long overdue spay, and a most necessary dental, where she had ten rotted teeth removed.
Liz was then sent into foster for her recovery.

***
With every word in her new chapter, you could not find an easier, gentler, whisper of a spirit, who is thrilled to sit quietly next to anyone.

Liz Farley-Andersen then met Liz, held her, and renamed her Hope.AUD_0006

We began calling her Hope Diamond.
A definite gem to us. Any purported curse from the past, was now broken.
Here forward: Only the Finest and Best.

Hope has been thriving in foster.
We brought Hope along to a Mobile Adoption. She enjoys car rides and it was a sunny day, so we knew she would have a nice time.
A kind family was coming to see a ten-month-old Poodle pup that they had seen online.
After meeting the youngster, they then asked who that was, sitting over there.
Then this happened:DCIM100GOPRO

And on the same day that Hope’s life took it Biggest, Boldest and Most-Deserved turn…On the day that she First came to learn that these lovely humans
would be everything to her, and she to them…On the day she First met their beautiful home and bid farewell to the Scouts,
Hope also took a drive to her human’s vacation cabin, and did something else for the First Time Ever in her several years…
Hope met Snow.1450040_10152099694511635_1762237226_n

Another soul. Another reminder.photo
No one has any business Giving Up Hope. Ever.

Started with a call.
So often the case.
From the vet.
It’s night. 9:30 p.m.
Woman drops off dog that was hit by a car.
Leaves it in their office.
She did what she could.
Not her dog. She leaves.
Office will not commit to finding out exactly what is wrong with ‘no-ones dog’ that has no i.d. tags, no microchip. Nothing.

Without financial backing – they will not.
Instead they can take the dog – that has tire marks over its leg – to the shelter, or they can euthanize.
They called us first.
They offered very little in the way of detail, outside of saying “She’s sweet.” The tech could not verify age but offered: “Maybe a Shep mix.”

We Scouts spoke quickly.
We could not get down there, but knew that we could go out to the community to get help for whatever surgery this dog needed.
No way in hell the dog was going to the shelter with a broken limb, nor be euthanized for the same.
We committed – Sight unseen.

Saved by a phone Call.
Get X-Rays. Get Answers. Get Pain Meds. Get Started.

We met the no name dog the next day.
This is the face that greeted us.
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She is about three and a half months old, looks to be an Aussie-Shep mix…and more than a little cute.

We have been searching daily for any notification of anybody looking for this kid. Nothing.
This is an area where dogs are running loose – daily – and attitudes about animal safety can run from Casual to Infuriating.
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Transverse Tibial Fracture.
We got a quote from one of our favorite surgeons of just under one thousand dollars for the pin/plate/repair this kids leg.

She will also be spayed, get vaccines, add a microchip, and get her on the road to wellness.
Luckily Dr. C will give us a couple days to raise the money, as he will take over her care, today, Monday.

Any help to her medical will be huge – Acknowledged & Appreciated.
As always – as we are a non-profit – donation to her care is a tax write-off.
The is a donation tab on the blog, or you can write us for additional details @ themuttscouts@gmail.com
Also, if you would prefer donating directly to her surgeon, we can provide you with that information.
Thank YOU.
Post surgery, she will need time to recuperate with a Foster. Then she will be looking for an Adopter.
A person or family that will monitor her every move – with proud pleasure.
But first – and as a Scout – she will need a Name

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June-July Devore
Upon traveling to San Bernardino for the first time, and ducking under the yellow tape that sectioned off the Devore Hoarding dogs, our very first encounter was with this little lady. She was in the first visible kennel, and seemed enthused to have visitors. In fact she drew us forward – not unlike a store greeter – as if she was trying to tell us something. Though far too shy and afraid to allow us getting closer, this poor, filthy girl – who skin looked to be on fire – was missing fur, pieces of her ears, and clearly was without any understanding of what human touch was about. Yet she held eye contact…and kept trying to say something. Months later, after a Team of Scouts gathered – daily – to move these forgotten souls Past the trembling, wailing & flailing terror they had when approached to be touched, Past all of their medical issues, Past introduction to a collar, a leash, a walk, Past overcoming fear of meeting & trusting others beyond our core, Past basic training, Past overcoming social anxieties & Past what life would now be without us in it daily:

We think we have a pretty good idea what this SMART kid was saying:
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June-July and her stellar, adorable human, Jennifer.
Jennifer met us at the Pasadena Farmers’ Market and would come by each event and fall a little more in love each time, with a few of the Devore Scouts.

After a fated sleep-over, the call came:
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June was HOME.
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So grateful we had the opportunity…and that we were listening to JJ.                                                                           010311-MUTT-SCOUTS-WHITE-LOGO“The gentlest, least likely, forgotten, and neglected among us, have songs you should ASPIRE to sing…and stories you will be INSPIRED to tell.”

 

On our first visit to the Devore Hoarding dogs, we bypassed overwhelm and quickly sussed out the dogs in worst shape, and the oldest we could find. These translated as ‘most vulnerable’ in our minds and also, naively, we thought we would pull two to three of these kids, because we were certain many others would be doing the same – and that as a collective – we could save them all.

Not so.

What happened next was frequent trips down to San Bernardino. As many of you have come to know, our solid-yet-humble rescue wound up pulling one-tenth of these 130 neglected, rescue-only cases.
Our first senior pick, was a cute, mostly toothless, kind-eyed lady we named Ethel Mertz.
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Ethel – who vets placed at 11 or 12 – seemed like back before this hoarding situation spiraled out of control, perhaps received a modicum of affection, because she appeared so damned happy.
Happy for the attention. Happy for the affection. A face that always read: “Thank you for noticing me.”
She was in rough shape for sure.
Scores of ticks, open sores, teeth worn from rock eating, malnourished – bones protruding…and still a glow.
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Where many of these kids were retrieved with a catch-pole (not our choice), Ethel walked out on a leash…with dignity & charm aplenty.
We had her in a doctor’s office – to chart the course on her recovery.
Quick and rough news on Ethel: She had two tumors, anal and vaginal, and due to her shape and age, it was recommended she be euthanized.
And in return, we recommended a flea dip and a nail trim….and any pain prevention if needed.
There was no way in hell we were going to let the lady leave this planet without first knowing warmth, affection, good food, a bed with her name on it, and what it means to be wanted.

We have had the good fortune to work with the awesome staff @ Echo Park Animal Hospital. They have boarding capacity – which became the first temp home for Ethel – and the other 12.  They allow our Scouts (our golden tribe) to take over the back area, working intense therapy on Ethel & the others. But we knew instantly with this news, that Ethel needed out. On borrowed time, there is no pause button.

Enter hospice care and earth-bound saints, JP and Marc.
After we put out the plea: These two gentlemen, stepped up without hesitation, and decided they wanted to be Ethel’s hosts.

If love, attention & joy was to be experienced by the sweet old gal, they wanted it to happen with them, and their two other beautiful pups.

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And so is the tale of one of our first few Devore Scouts entering a home.

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Ethel Mertz – for certain happier than she has ever been, treated as an individual, and with a dignity and compassion sorely missing for the bulk of her life.
JP and Marc: We so appreciate you.
None of us have any idea how long Ethyl will be able to enjoy her days, but for right now – damn all else – she is on top of the world.
She knew.
Maybe that is what she was smiling about.

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Life Wants to Live.
The notion that these dogs should all be destroyed because they could NEVER be with a family, or adoptable, or loving, or trainable was pure fallacy & ignorance.
Show ‘em Ethel. Show ‘em what you are made of. And show ‘em what Forgiveness & Tenacity & Joy look like.

The link below is to The Mutt Scouts Hoarding Dogs Fundraising page. 
This is how it’s possible for us to do this work – with these
13 souls who deserved SO MUCH more than they have ever had.
Every cent of your contribution goes to their ongoing care.

Please consider being a healing part of their journey forward.

http://www.youcaring.com/pet-expenses/it-ll-be-just-like-starting-over-/73819

Life happens quickly…and more often than we wish, it is not gentle.

It is imperative to focus on the positive.

In true rescue, there is a sliding scale of difficulty.

There is abuse. There is neglect.  And in some cases, it is about completely starting over.

Such is the case with the Devore Hoarding Dogs, that have been all over the news, of late.

Robbed of any humane treatment, with zero guidance & compassion – these kids are essentially feral – and know not what to make of human touch.

Did we say “are essentially?” We meant “were essentially.”

Let’s take a look at what a difference, a week’s worth of diligence, affection, and permission, has made.

April May:
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One of the worst off in the pack, this girl was nothing but beautiful to us – instantly. Beyond mange and infections, she is frightened by literally everything. She barely moves. The fact that she walked on her own from her kennel today – just a handful of days after being pulled – & felt okay to fall asleep while laying on a Scout, was G-I-A-N-T.

Jody:
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This ten month old has no idea how handsome he is. When he first arrived, Jody would lay with his head flat on the floor and cry. Nothing would comfort him. He refused eye contact, and needed to have his sizable self carried to be moved. That he met a Scout, today, at his kennel with a tail wag and walked out on his own was G-I-A-N-T.
Bugle:
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If he could have disappeared, he would have. Bugle did not want to be seen, and he viewed the leash as some sort of torture device, and would flail. He will hide in a corner, or desperately hug a door or wall, in hopes it will protect him. That he walked on a leash today – got brushed – and went outside, with a Scout, for his first brief walk is, yup, G-I-A-N-T.
There are many of these kids left, that have not been fortunate enough to be lifted out.
Rumor is: This is the week they start euthanizing the remaining kids, as per the shelter.
We wish to head back down, and bring back a few more babies, and help them start again.
We need your help.
Volunteers are always welcome – Fosters would be brilliant…But we need to cover cost of vetting & boarding for each soul.
Whatever you can do will help these ‘new-crew’ with G-I-A-N-T steps into a new life.

You will not be ‘focusing on a positive’…You will be creating one.

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