We have written happy news of Ladybird, who gave birth to only one baby and consented to raise two orphaned kittens with her extra milk. You voted to name these beautiful adoptive siblings after Superheroes: Nakia, Diana, and Natalia.
Today, we are sad to report that Diana, Ladybird's biological baby, has gone to heaven. Ladybird took good care of her and we did all we could to help her along, but Diana never developed and sadly passed away in her sleep. While Ladybird grieves her loss, she is coping well and still providing loving care for her two kittens, Nakia and Natalia.
We are happy to say that in spite of this difficult week, Nakia and Natalia are doing very well. They have grown and developed (both have now opened their eyes!) and are nursing and taking their supplemental bottles like the little lady heroes they are. They have begun to take a little canned cat food as well.
Now that the girls are eating solids, it's time to get them weaned from their adoptive mommy so that she can prepare to be spayed so she can be adopted into the loving family that she deserves.
Check back for more updates on Nakia, Natalia, and Ladybird!
For those of you following the story of Ladybird and her little blended family, here's an update!
As of today, both kittens are bigger and stronger. When Alison first met them yesterday, they were both small and fragile, and the smaller one was so weak that she could barely meow. Today, both kitties are feeling vigorous enough to jump up when Alison enters the room and mew for attention.
Alison has been offering raw goat's milk to supplement the kitten's feeding, because kittens are smaller than puppies and she wasn't sure they would be strong enough to nurse efficiently from Ladybird, but they have very little interest in the goat's milk today so it seems that they are nursing well. Ladybird has fully accepted them as her own babies. She doesn't like Alison to take them away for supplemental feedings, and tries to pull them out of Alison's hands whenever she picks them up, then licks them all over when she puts them down again!
Both kittens seem to be either calicos or tortoiseshells, which makes them most likely to be girls! With that worked out, who wants to vote on names?
To vote, click the link beneath your choice and donate. One donation of any amount equals one vote. Donations to Lee Shore help us to help more vulnerable creatures like ladybird and her family.
Here are the choices:
The lady warriors: Joan of Arc, who led the French army against the English as a young girl, Grace O'Malley a pirate queen from Ireland who rivaled Elizabeth I and won a battle on her ship the day after giving birth to her son, and Lozen, an Apache warrior who fought alongside Geronimo and who did battle for her people with compassion, protecting women and children from the violence.
The queens: Elizabeth I of England, Cleopatra of Egypt, and Catherine the Great of Russia.
The Superheroes: Nakia the Black Panther, Diana the Wonder Woman, and Natalia the Black Widow.
Check Facebook next week to vote for your favorite!
Ladybird came to us a few days ago, an abandoned momma expected to give birth any day. Her little girl made her appearance last night. While both mom and baby are doing well, it was a tough delivery, with a breech positioned baby, and when no siblings appeared overnight, Lee Shore's resident maternity expert Alison decided a visit to the vet was in order to confirm that the delivery was complete and that Ladybird and her little girl were doing well.
The vet confirmed that Ladybird had only one baby, which is a little unusual for a dog, but not unheard of. That being the case, Ladybird had way more milk than her pup needs, which put her at risk for mastitis, or an infection of the breast tissue. With that in mind, Alison asked the vet to keep an ear out for puppies in need of a mother's milk, since Ladybird had plenty to share. The doctor became very excited and asked Alison to wait a moment, then left the exam room. She returned a moment later holding two tiny kittens, both in rough shape. She explained that a gentleman had found them that morning under his house, and brought them to the clinic for care.
A little nervous, waiting to see Ladybird's reaction, the doctor offered a kitten for Ladybird to sniff. Immediately, the momma reached out a paw and scooped the baby protectively to her chest. Alison and the vet were delighted, and Ladybird went home with three babies instead of one.
Check back here for updates on Lee Shore's sweet little blended family. Sign up to receive updates in your inbox for free!
We all love adorable instances of doggy baby love: pictures of puppies snuggling babies at nap time, pit bulls standing guard over their little humans, dogs and kids running around outside together – they all warm our hearts.
We want our children and pets to have meaningful, fulfilling relationships, but there are rules involved in establishing and maintaining that sort of bond. Now, we can’t all be experts in animal behavior, and that’s okay. But there are some easy rules for us to follow as adults and that we need to pass on to our kiddos to ensure that all of their current and future animal relationships are safe and happy.
Can your kids cuddle with the dog, and play with her, and love her? They can, and they should. The relationship between kids and their dogs is a beautiful part of childhood, and nothing makes us happier than seeing a healthy bond between our rescue babies and their forever families. Follow these easy rules and your kids will experience it safely.
We wish it weren't the case, but emaciation is a problem commonly encountered in rescue. This is a treatable condition, but best practice is often difficult to stomach, even though it's in the dog's best interest. Pictured above is Piper, a recent intake who was emaciated almost to the point of death.
This was written by our rehab coordinator, Paulina, regarding Piper's treatment:
I have recently been asked about Piper's slow recovery and want to post some information about the process of caring for emaciated dogs and refeeding syndrome...
Why do emaciated dogs take several weeks to gain proper health weight? Why not give them free choice of food?
When dogs that have essentially been starved suddenly have free access to large amounts of food, they can become very sick and even die. This is an especially tough situation because our natural first instinct to seeing an emaciated animal is to give it food … lots and lots of food. In truth, the best thing to do is bring the dog to the veterinarian immediately for an assessment and feeding plan. A refeeding plan can consist of very small amounts (1/3 cup) over several feedings (4-6) depending on the body score and previous access to food. It is ESSENTIAL to prevent Refeeding Syndrome. Don't kill them with kindness!
To read more:
Refeeding Syndrome, essentially, is when the malnourished dog's system is flooded with nutrients, causing sudden chemical changes in the body. The metabolism kicks into high gear, quickly using up nutrients that are already depleted in the malnourished body. This can make the affected animal very ill and possibly even kill them.
The before and after pictures above accompanied the post. You can see in the upper picture that Piper has regained some weight, but is a long way from her completed recovery. As Paulina says, the best thing to do with any health condition, before anything else, is to take the animal straight to your local veterinarian. Health issues can be more complex than they first appear, the obvious answer may not be the correct one, and it's best to get an expert opinion.
You’ve made the decision to welcome a new member into your family. You’re excited, and rightly so! You are about to have a whole lot of new fun and beautiful new love in your life, and that is a wonderful thing. But before you jump in with both feet, take some time to think about what would make a dog a good fit for your family and lifestyle. Try these tips to help with your important decision, and congratulations!
1.Consider your family’s needs. It’s so easy to get caught up in that baby’s deep, soulful eyes and beautiful, sleek coat, and forget that though she only weighs a few pounds now, she is going to grow! And in rescue, we often don’t know much about the puppies’ parentage, so we don’t really know how big they’ll get. You need to consider your family members, your activity levels, and previous experience with animals before you make the important decision to bring someone new into the mix. Do you live in a small apartment or a spacious house? Do you have elderly relatives who live with you who might be knocked over by a rambunctious teenage dog? Do you like to spend a lot of time outdoors, playing sports? Or are you more of a chill on the couch with a book type? Do you have small children, or do you plan to? How much outdoor exercise space will your dog have access to? Does the foster of the puppy you like consider him a good first dog, or a better fit for a more experience owner? All of these are important considerations and should be discussed with family members and, if applicable, the foster parent.
2.Consider your current pets. It’s absolutely possible to have multiple pets, even of multiple species, cohabitating peacefully. All it takes is a little planning. If you have cats and you want a puppy, you need to make sure that the puppy you want has been cat-socialized. If you have dogs in your home, it usually works best to bring in a young puppy who will naturally come in at a submissive position, aware that he has to abide by existing rules, rather than an adult who might have her own ideas about how things should work, which can lead to dog fights. Best practice is to let the foster of your prospective adoptee know about your full home situation and ask if she has any recommendations. (btw, Lee Shore’s adoption application has a space for you to talk about current pets, so we’ve got you covered!)
3.Don’t fall prey to breed bias. People often think that they know for a fact that a golden retriever is just right for them. Or a Maltese. Or a beagle. That breed has the right personality. It will grow to the right size. It will have the right energy level. You’ve done research. Your friend has one. It’s the right choice.
The fact is, dogs are individuals. Just because you adopt a dog that is the same breed as your old one, does not mean that the puppy you get will be anything like the dog you think you want. Two puppies in the same litter might even have completely different personalities.
What to do instead: Read the puppies’ descriptions, and then talk to the foster parent. They are the ones who know the puppies best. They’re the ones who will be able to say, “This one is very playful and high energy, and this one is more quiet and cuddly,” or, “If you have someone in your home who has a risk of falls, maybe you should consider an older dog instead of a baby.” Fosters and animal rescue experts know the dogs they work with, and they can make the best recommendations.
4.Make sure everybody is on board. Before you bring a puppy into your house, you need to discuss it with everyone in your house and make sure that the are okay with it. Talk about it and come to an agreement, not only with spouses and family members, but also with roommates if applicable. Everyone should be aware of the associated work and costs and their roles in covering those responsibilities
5. Be sure to have a training plan. One of the worst things you can do is adopt a puppy with no plan for training him. Puppies are babies. They know nothing, and they need guidance, both from other dogs and from humans. Lee Shore works hard to make sure their dogs receive proper human and dog socialization as long as they are with us, but once they leave, the rest is on you.
Your puppy, if she’s under five months old, will probably need to be housebroken. He might need to practice walking politely on a leash. She will need to learn basic commands like sit, come, and leave it, not just for convenience’s sake, but because if your puppy runs into traffic, or tries to pick up something sharp or otherwise dangerous, these commands could save her life. He also needs to learn basic manners to make him manageable so that you don’t have to bring him back in a year when he’s out of control.
It’s okay if you don’t know how to teach these important skills, but if that is the case then you should hire a reputable trainer who will teach both you and your dog so that the two of you can have a long, happy, healthy relationship.
Adopting a puppy is a wonderful thing. You are not only saving a life, but you are also helping the rescue to save more dogs in the future, and setting yourself for a lifetime of love and joy. Follow these tips, and your experience should be a great one.
Leeanne, a 7-year-old family pet, was in desperate straits. Her family contacted us with a plea for assistance. Living paycheck to paycheck, their pet situation had spiraled out of control. Leeanne came first. Three years later, a pedigreed German shepherd dog was added to the family. Some cats came and went. Last June, after 7 years with no pregnancies, Leeanne had 11 puppies, and working hard the family placed 9 of them in homes. Then at Christmas a tea-cup poodle joined the crowd. Now they had 5 dogs, some cats and Leeanne was pregnant again! Finally, Leeanne wandered too close to the animal-aggressive shepherd, and was severely mauled. Now they had passed the point where anyone knew what to do.
We are working to help stabilize this family’s situation. They have agreed to give up the 2 six-month-old puppies. They have agreed to give up LeeAnne’s new litter, which will be born any day now. They have put LeeAnne in foster care with us, so that the puppies can be born in a safe environment and we can tend to LeeAnne’s medical needs. LeeAnne will be spayed as will all her pups. We will be discussing spaying the other family pets.
Remember, friends of animals, that adorable baby will need to be spayed or neutered, have immunizations, heart worm treatments, and flea and tick meds. This family has seen the error of its ways and is working to amend its situation. Help us spread the word to spay and neuter and to love our animals through preventative care.
*Post has been updated to include photographs of Leeanne with her new babies.*
Wednesday 1/4/2018 Our new girl, Ginger, was left to starve in an abandoned house filled with horrible aggressive rats, and she had a litter of puppies to defend. It was awful. God bless our rescue friend, Mary Leigh, for going into that torture chamber to get Ginger and her surviving babies out. It takes great courage to agree to go into a home unescorted to find a starving dog. First-responder rescue folks take a lot of risks and see things that weigh on the heart.
Thursday 1/5/2018 Ginger is doing well on day 2. She is still shaky and confused, but we are getting to know her and helping her to feel better. The first 24-48 hours of rescue are about decompression. Ideally by the end of two days, our new dog is relaxing, feeling rather full of food and maybe even a little bored. We frequently know little or nothing about the critters who come to us, except that life has been pretty hard for them. We want them to feel that there are no bad surprises in this new place. Food is generous and comes pretty often. There’s fresh water whenever wanted. Nobody is loud and in-your-face. Life is slow, predictable and pleasant. If things are going well, we might do a gentle dog and cat assessment, just to sense how that is going to go. But mostly, it is about recuperation.
Ginger has been on a walk every 2-3 hours. She has food and water. We are regularly throwing her a chunk of cheddar cheese just to be friendly. She is housed right next to her babies, so she can have a break from them, but also see that they are well.
She is acting like a loving dog. She allows a collar, leash and coat to be put on and off. She walks well on the leash. She has been so easy, she has met our resident cat, Tallulah, who has not left for her adoptive home yet. She has been introduced to several calm on-site dogs as well. She has done great. She appears to have good dog, cat, and people social skills so far.
Her body is debilitated. She is very underweight and has little muscle. She’s pretty bald also. She will need to take time to recuperate, physically and mentally. Soon she will need to see a vet for a check up, but is 15 degrees here right now. She does not show signs of illness. She is eating and drinking, reasonably active for her condition. Barring medical symptoms, we will wait for next week, when it is supposed to be 40 degrees warmer. By then she will be a bit stronger too. So far, so good…
Sunshine’s family abandoned her and moved away. Afterwards she was injured, probably in an animal attack, and her injuries became infected. She had wounds on her face, legs, body and her tail bones were stripped of flesh and exposed. She had detached muscles in her haunches as well. Poor little girl was terrified and in severe pain. Her plight was posted to Facebook by people in her neighborhood and our rehabilitation coordinator watched her story as we hesitated due to the size of her probable veterinary bill. Our doors had only been open for a few months and the bank account was very slim. On Friday, August 4, 2017, when it became clear that none of the local rescues felt able to take her on, Sunshine went home with Paulina. Her first stop was to Foothills Animal Clinic in Forest City, NC. God bless our local veterinarians who provide buckets of reduced cost care to these helpless creatures (and at great stress to their own personal finances).
Sunshine rested at home with pain medicine and antibiotics for a weekend. She had a warm bath to rid her of fleas and clean her wounds. She was scheduled for amputation of her tail on Monday. Her surgery went well and she was on the road to rehabilitation. Her need for rehab was substantial. She needed a long time to heal and she needed a longer time to recover psychologically. At first, she only could relax in her kennel. Sunshine was not too happy being around other dogs and needed lots of time and exposure to safe situations. Her TAIL WAGGED for the first time on August 12th and we celebrated for her.
Paulina's dogs are trained to help traumatized animals to recovery. They will ignore an animal who sends out signals wishing to be left alone and are tolerant of animals who wish to play, but have poor dog social skills. Sunshine slowly learned to be around other dogs. She slowly felt comfortable out of her kennel, then out in a fenced yard. She had a few physical setbacks along the way. Her confidence had to be built little by little. Nowadays she is a happy, healthy little dog.
Sunshine came to us August 4, 2017 and is only now being listed for adoption. Lee Shore Rescue has stood by her for 5 months and we will be with her for as long as it takes. This kind of rehabilitation costs quite a bit. Any help is appreciated, even $5.00 helps. As you make your plans for the New Year, and Sunshine has hope for her new year, please donate!
Marley’s family contacted us on Facebook. They told us that Marley was very pregnant and 10 years old. They did not want to keep her as they bought some new puppies. They stated that she was having her sixth litter and they had never had the money in 10 years to spay her. We agreed to take this sweet girl.
Marley went immediately to the veterinarian where we learned she was also heart worm positive. She could not undergo treatment for this until her puppies were born and weaned. Marley had 6 beautiful pups and she was a very good mother to them. We did our best to wean them as early as possible so that she could get her treatments started. Currently, Marley has started her heart worm treatments. She is tolerating them well. She was spayed December 12, 2017.
Marley is a gentle and loving dog. She loves to cuddle. She wants to be in the house, and if allowed, in the same chair as her person. She deserves better than life as a neglected yard dog with no medical care. We are glad to help her. The reality is that we will never be able to get an adoption fee that approaches her medical costs, much less her normal upkeep. So far, her medical bills are more than $500.00.
Donations make it possible for us to help beautiful souls like our Marley. As uncomfortable as we are asking for help, it is the only way to ensure happy endings. Marley is doing great. A wonderful woman has come forward to adopt Marley and give her the love she deserves. Please help us to help the next neglected and abused animal! Donations are gratefully accepted.
Update: Marley has been adopted under our “Free senior dog to a senior person” program. She goes to live in a home where she will be cherished as she deserves! Help us to be able to take in animals like Marley with your donation.
Joy Shanahan is a student at Appalachian State University with a passion for community service. She can be found in the dance studios at ASU or researching helpful animal tips for Lee Shore.