Sunday, June 12, 2011

'Star' joins a happy month of firsts

The Elderbulls Blog came out with a fun post last week. It highlights several first-ever dog-related milestones set on the east coast over the last 30 days, and includes Cleveland's big firsts among others. Firsts!
It is with great pride that we celebrate the following "FIRSTS" that haven taken place throughout our great nation over the past 30 days. Each one brings us closer to our vision of creating safe & humane communities for all: one nation, under Dog, with liberty and justice for all. - Elderbulls


On the west coast, we're celebrating Audie's first book party as well as the life of a special dog who made Southern California history with her rather quiet arrival to BR circles. In following the theme of patriotism, it's fitting that she came with the name Star...

You may have seen this redhead's face on our facebook page, and again on the Barn Dog Blog.

Star came to us three weeks ago after surviving a suspected dog fighting operation in Los Angeles County back in March. (News) According to Animal Services Director Marcia Mayeda, Star is the first adult dog the county has ever released to rescue from a dog fighting case. One puppy was spared and went to Karma Rescue. (Thank you, angels!) The first little history makers - all of whom can thank Found Animals for championing their cause.

This news comes with heartache, unfortunately. Fourteen of the 17 dogs from this yard were destroyed at the shelters that held them, despite the fact that a large number passed behavior evals with high marks and were slated for rescue. Los Angeles County Animal Services accepted full responsibility for the deaths and blames an internal communication error for the tragedy. Director Mayeda expressed her dismay by phone and told us they're committed to making sure the same mistake isn't repeated. We're surmising that the newness of this type of rescue contributed to the error - It seems 'firsts' rarely come without some degree of confusion and struggle and strife. The Los Angeles case was a big reminder of our need to stay vigilant as the shelter world gets used to a new era with a better way of helping dogs - victims of cruelty especially.

So, Star is suddenly even more special in that she managed to escape two terrible fates. We can't get over how well adjusted she is despite her bankrupt past - as is so often the case with dogs from these situations. She's currently enjoying her brand new life at the barn and is helping new volunteers learn the ropes while showing us who she is. It's been a joy.

She's a darling and we're honored to be part of so many of her triumphant firsts. Welcome to real life, you little trail blazer.


Claudia said...

What a happy beauty! Thank You Bad Rap for all you do!

ForPetsSake said...

Gorgeous is a smiling Pittie!

Marcia Mayeda said...

Dear Donna and BADRAP:

We're so pleased that Star is continuing to do well with you! We truly appreciate all you have done. I do wish to correct one portion of your statement regarding the euthanizing of the other dogs. The error in communication was in regard to six dogs at one of the shelters. The remaining dogs, while they passed behavior evaluations regarding people, continued to show extreme aggression to other dogs. Several were documented fighters. We did not feel that we could safely place these without risking serious harm to other animals, as well as the reputation for all the nice pit bulls out there.

Best regards,
Marcia Mayeda

Donna said...

Thank you for clarifying the number of treatable dogs that were lost Marcia. We appreciate your transparency and your willingness to work to help dogs from these most difficult cases. We're no strangers to dogs with extreme behavior issues. In some cases, a kind compassion hold in a secure setting is the best that legitimate rescues can offer these victims. And sometimes during their time in rescue, certain dogs will show us that their dog aggression was simply exacerbated by the shelter environment. These are the ones that remind us again and again that dogs are individuals with a remarkable potential to adapt, given the right opportunities to succeed. They teach us so much. Here's to the future.