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Please Help Carina

Your donation will help us afford the cost of medical care and boarding for poor Carina, until she can move into a foster or new adoptive home. Read Carina’s full story below and CLICK HERE to go to our ChipIn page, where you can donate to Carina’s recovery. Every little bit helps us help her!


The first time I saw Carina, she was curled up in the fetal position, her eyes locked shut, and her entire little body encompassed within Gary’s arms. When Gary gently set her on the ground for me to assess her condition, I immediately felt the urge to scoop her right back up off of the ground. She could barely stand, her bony and emaciated body seeming as if it would collapse at any moment. Her head was tilted down as if the weight of her sorrows physically restrained her from looking at us. With her head still down, she would slowly peek up out of her dark soulful eyes and give a tiny tail wag. After only a second, her eyes drooped right back down as if even that was too exhausting in her weak state.

Gary, Carina’s good Samaritan, found Carina huddled and shivering on the side of a ditch on a country road in Illinois. Unsure of what to do, and knowing that he could not take another dog home to his house, he immediately got on his cell phone and began to call for help. He reached animal control and agreed to wait in his truck for them to reach the scene. The animal control officer showed up with a catchpole in hand; but as he began to approach Carina, she shook and cowered in fear. Gary was worried that she would flee and offered to attempt to coax Carina towards him with food in his hand.

As he slowly approached Carina, he sadly saw that not only was she in terrible condition, but she was also dutifully sitting next to the tiny body of her dead puppy that had become engulfed in melted snow residue that had washed into the ditch. He approached her slowly, low to the ground with food in his hand. Her eyes revealed her internal conflict; does she leave her puppy to eat the food that she needed so badly? Slowly, she crawled to Gary and quickly devoured the snack from his hand. He sat there patiently with her while she sniffed and circled to familiarize herself with the help that she was being offered. Just moment’s later Gary caught a glimpse of a tiny tail wag as Carina carefully crept up into his lap to cuddle into the warmth he had to offer. Gary scooped Carina up and carried her almost lifeless body into the back seat of his pick-up truck. He wrapped her up in old blankets and towels, and she melted from exhaustion. He thanked the animal control officer for coming out, and offered to find an alternative place for Carina to go. Gary knew that she would not stand a chance in an over-crowded shelter, and would most certainly be euthanized within days of her arrival.

Gary began his search for a safe place for Carina. He had recently fallen on hard times, and between caring for his elderly father and working numerous jobs to pay for his own survival, he knew his fixed income would not cover the costs to care for another dog. He began to call all of the rescue groups he could find in the area, each time repeating his story and plea for help. Gary stayed with Carina in his truck all day and evening hoping and praying one of the groups would call back to help. Gary’s neighbors helped place a Craigslist ad in search for a place for Carina. He received a few calls back in response to the ad, but had a bad feeling about each of them, later explaining to us that he was so worried that she would get back into the wrong hands again and be used as bait, breeding, or worse.

Gary’s call for help came into our Muttline and touched the hearts of our volunteers. While we knew that we were over-capacity and had no foster homes available, we just couldn’t let this one go. After a quick shuffle, a huge offer of help from Dr. Marcy, owner of the Pet Doctor Inc., and a lot of team work, we arranged to pick Carina up and transport her to a temporary safe house at the Pet Doctor clinic for medical care. This bought us some time so we could search for a foster or adoptive home while Carina regained her health at the clinic. I excitedly called Gary back to offer our assistance, he gratefully accepted, and an hour later I met tiny sweet Carina swaddled in Gary’s oversized hunting jacket. Carina spent her first night with me, before going to the clinic. She won the heart of each person she met that night. My husband sat on the ground in front of her inviting her over to him. Staying low to the ground, she slowly crept over. But to our amazement, when she reached him she sat and put her paw up to him to “shake.” Later, after a warm chicken and rice dinner, she met my daughter Jasmine. Carina wagged her tail for Jasmine and even picked up her head a bit, and then gently flipped over on her back to offer her tummy for a belly rub. Carina rode in the car on my lap on the way to the Pet Doctor that next morning.

Carina has captured my heart, and I trust that she will capture many more hearts in her now bright future. One look into those dark, sad, doe-like eyes, and you know that she is thanking you from the bottom of her heart. “Carina” means “dear little one” – a name perfectly suited for this sweet-natured little girl.

Orbie the Blind Pit Bull

Orbie gets a kiss from a roller girl at the Derby

Orbie (formerly Kemo), the blind pit bull rescued by Oakland Animal Services (OAS) in California, has been settling in to his new temporary home at Phoenix Cottage. Orbie spent six months waiting in the shelter, and Our Pack, Inc brought Mutts-n-Stuff and OAS together. Northern California rescues, including Our Pack, took over 50 dogs from last year’s Big MO Bust; this was our opportunity to repay them by helping one of their dogs with special needs. Mutts-n-Stuff has extensive experience working with disabled dogs. In fact, Phoenix Cottage was built especially for blind pit bull Phoenix. Phoenix passed on to the Rainbow Bridge earlier this year, and his family could think of nothing better than for another blind pit bull to find comfort and happiness in his special cottage.

Orbie's favorite toy is his Cuz ball

Orbie’s foster mom and dad are discovering that he is a very social dog, and loves to play and snuggle with any human that crosses his path. Orbie loves toys; he squeaks and squeaks his Cuz endlessly. Due to his blindness, Orbie cannot read the body language of other dogs and is hesitant to interact with them. He relies on humans to be his guide and is responding exceptionally well to clicker training combined with verbal cues, which is especially helpful on walks. Two clicks = obstacle ahead, one click = let’s go, etc. Orbie also has learned sit, down, and roll over. His positive interaction with humans is helping him learn to trust and build relationships with people.

Orbie’s blindness may be due to macular degeneration, and he will very soon be visiting a specialist to determine if his eyesight can be at least partially restored. Regardless of his ability to see or not, Orbie is a sweet, loving, and patient boy who will soon be looking for his special forever home. Check back with us for updates on his progress and adoption availability.

MO 500 Reunion and Memorial

Patience smiles for the crowd as Todd gives his speech.

On Saturday July 10, 2010, a significant event took place at the Humane Society of Missouri’s Macklind shelter: the first anniversary reunion of the largest dog fighting bust in the history of the United States.  There were over 200 people and over 50 dogs at the event.  Most of the dogs were rescues from the July 2009 bust, but there were also two dogs from the pre-cursor bust, the Stoddard County bust in October 2007.  Smiley King Elvis and Fiona were there, representing the Stoddard County survivors.

The festivities kicked off with a greeting from HSMO president Kathy Warnick, followed by a few words from VP of Operations Debbie Hill.  The final speaker was HSMO volunteer Todd Ribbick, who gave a stirring talk about the string of nearly impossible events that culminated in many of the rescued dogs finding homes and becoming beloved pets.  During his talk, many of the listeners started crying as they recalled the hard work and love that went into caring for the rescued dogs.  Also, I’m sure, many of those tears were shed for the dogs, those in loving homes and those not, who touched the workers’ hearts.  Following Todd’s speech, several people put ashes from beloved dogs who didn’t make it into a common box to be put into the Memorial Wall at Macklind’s facility.

Smiley King Elvis, Willis, Atlas, and Samson.

Wall of pictures from the dogs' shelter days.

The activities then moved over to the actual facility.  A special montage was shown, spanning the day of the rescue and the care of the dogs at the warehouse shelter, as well as thanking many of the people involved in the entire operation.  There were very few dry eyes after that!  Personally, I was doing okay until I saw the picture of Fay, Gale, and me.   Some memories take a long time to lose their sting.

Fatboy waits patiently for someone to give him a yummy doggie cookie.

After that, things got rocking!  Shelter workers and volunteers got reacquainted with some of the dogs who were brought there by their adopters.  Foster parents did the same.  There were tails wagging everywhere.  It was quite an impressive scene: all those rescued dogs, a year later, being loved on by people they seemed to remember from the shelter and from their foster homes.  The dogs even seemed to remember each other: perhaps they shared some sort of “group memory” of the hell they had survived and left behind.

Kona (formerly Vienna) gets a kiss from her new mommy.

In addition to the people involved with rescuing, caring for, and adopting the “Missouri 500,” newspaper and television reporters were there to cover the festivities.  Perhaps you saw some coverage on the news Saturday night.  If not, or to see more, go to http://www.fox2now.com/videobeta/a76d02f1-012b-40bb-a25c-f43c27dfd009/News/Reunion-For-Survivors-Of-Largest-Dog-Fighting-Raid-In-U-S-History.

Co-founder, Mutts-n-Stuff

Brothers born in the warehouse shelter: Willis and Samson.

Joe Rockhead

Sir Reginald Farnsworth III got a lot of hugs.

Beautiful Stella (formerly Daffodil).

The Missouri Bust Dogs: One Year Later

HSMO investigators examine Dharma's damaged limb at one of the sites in the 2009 raid.

July 8, 2010 marks the first anniversary of the largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history.  One year ago, an eighteen-month long investigation, initiated by the Humane Society of Missouri, culminated in raids at sites located in eight states across the Midwest.  Humane investigators and federal law enforcement officials rescued approximately 500 dogs and arrested 26 people.  The evidence of abuse and cruelty – as seen in the mutilated limbs and torn faces of the dogs themselves – that was uncovered by investigators was heartbreaking.  Yet amidst the heavy chains and dirty wooden boxes, hope was in the air.  The dogs greeted the investigators not as enemies to be feared or attacked, but as saviors and friends.  Betrayed by the humans who had inflicted so much pain on them, the dogs still welcomed these new humans who had come to put an end to the cruelty.

Sir Reginald gets some good scratchin' action.

One year later, the bust dogs we took into our foster/adoption program are proving to the world that they deserved their second chances at happiness.  They are enjoying lives filled with love and comfort.  Sir Reginald Farnsworth III was a shell of a dog after enduring the horrors of the fight ring, but today he loves nothing more than to snuggle and be hand fed his favorite treats.

Dharma settles in for a nap on a pile of warm laundry.

Dharma was forced to wear a heavy chain around her little neck and breed litter after litter, even though her mutilated leg made carrying pups all the more difficult.  Today Dharma lives like a princess with a family that adores her.  She is on her way to becoming a therapy dog for children with disabilities, even though when she was first rescued she was too afraid to even walk through a doorway.

Petunia is all ears!

Petunia was so terrified of the world around her that she was literally scared of her own shadow.  Now pretty Miss Tuners is queen of the couch, where she loves to throw herself around upside down to demand belly rubs.

Lucy loves smushy snuggles on the couch.

Lucy was desperate for human affection when she was first brought into HSMO’s temporary shelter, yet she often stayed huddled into a little ball in the corner of her kennel.  Today Lucy’s favorite spot to nap is on the couch with her adopted brothers… a 3 year old pit bull and a 7 year old boy.

Malcolm has a classic pittie grin.

Malcolm was rescued as an underdeveloped, weeks-old puppy whose back legs were very weak.  With lots of love and care from his new family, he has grown into a big strong boy who runs and jumps with his adopted sister, Karma, in their huge back yard.

These are just a few of the many wonderful tails (and tales) that came out of the bust.  Their happy endings are the ultimate proof that the victims of dog fighting deserve to be given a first chance at life as it should be.

Brody Needs Your Help

Brody has a broken shoulder and will need surgery to repair his injury. Can you help him with a sponsorship or donation?

Every day we receive cries for help. It can be very overwhelming as you read the pleas and see the sadness in the animals’ eyes. As much as we would love to help all the animals our resources are very limited due to money, volunteers, and availability of homes wanting to adopt a pet. I received an email from a long time friend who asked for me to wave my magic wand and help a special boxer mix that arrived at St. Louis County Animal Control. I took one look at this boy’s eyes and decided we need to help him and give a lift to a very caring worker who sees so much sadness everyday. Our volunteers went to animal control to evaluate this special dog and they too fell under the spell of a sweet dog that has suffered much abuse. Brody has a broken shoulder, is hand shy, and shows signs of a sad life before he was surrendered into animal control. All Brody wanted was a kiss, a soft lap, and some love. What a wonderful soul.

Now here is where we’re asking for your help. Brody’s surgeries and other medical needs will cost about $1,500 – a lot of money but we feel he is worth every dime. We also need a foster home that would keep him in a low-key environment, exercise his limbs, and provide lots of love and comfort as we try to find a home for this boy. We want to thank The Pet Doctor for letting us use their grooming tub get Brody all clean and wash away his past life. Please join us to help this boy as we could sure use sponsors at this time. You can make a donation via PayPal by going to our website and clicking on Make a Donation, or by sending a check to Mutts-n-Stuff P.O. Box 187 Foristell, Missouri 63348. Please specify BRODY in the memo.

Thank you,


Bust Dog Diaries: Samson

Handsome Samson!

Here’s another heartwarming success story of one of the puppies from last year’s big MO bust. Albert (now called Samson) and his brothers were born at HSMO’s temporary bust shelter after their mom was rescued in the July ’09 raid. He has been adopted and is growing up healthy and happy with his forever family. Samson’s new daddy Jake shares the story of how he and his wife fell in love with Samson and decided to add a pit bull puppy to their home.

I’m a dog lover always have been. When my wife and I got married I talked constantly about when we bought a house I would love to get a dog. My wife, Michelle, didn’t quite share the same view, as she never owned a dog only cats. I would talk her about the different dogs I would like to own, Great Dane, Rottweiler, Pit Bull. My wife was very afraid of the idea of owning a Rottweiler or Pit Bull. She would always say I don’t want a dog that could eat me! I would talk to her a lot about what great dogs Pit Bulls are, it was very hard for my wife to get over the stereotypical feelings she had about owning a Pit Bull. Finally she said she would think about it. I knew this was my chance! In January, I found the website PBRC and saw the pictures of Willis and Albert I immediately knew I had to have one of these puppies. When I came home that night I showed my wife the pictures. She watched the Pit Bull Tribute video and we both started crying. With out a word my wife starting filling out the application, she said we have to give a good home to one of these puppies.  In the next week we looked at the pictures everyday as we waited to hear back from Mutts N Stuff. We were so worried we would not qualify for some reason. Finally on Thursday we heard back from Shaun and arranged to meet Albert (we changed his name to Samson). On Saturday, we met Samson, we both fell in love with his adorable face and lovable personality immediately. That day we brought Samson home and waited while Shaun evaluated Samson’s future home. Finally, Shaun gave us the approval. We were thrilled, Samson has broke down every stereotype my wife had about Pit Bulls. She even wanted him to sleep in our bed and he has since the first night he became part of our family.  Samson, is lovable and smart and very gentle. We love him and feel so privileged that he is our puppy. We recently put him in obedience training and he is doing great. The trainer is drawn to him and said he is the Star of the Class! One of our friends said “Samson is the kind of dog that makes you want to get a dog!” He has won over all of our family and friends. We hope that we have the privilege of adopting another Pit Bull when the time is right.

Samson snuggles with his daddy

Samson’s equally smart and adorable brother Willis is available for adoption and waiting for his own loving forever family. To submit an application to adopt Willis or any other of our available animals, please visit our website.

Dharma Goes to Jeff City

April 20th was Humane Day, when animal related organizations from around Missouri travel to Jefferson City to talk to legislators about humane animal issues. Dharma and Mutts-n-Stuff were at the state capital to talk to lawmakers about the big bust last year and the horrible plague of dog fighting that is afflicting the state. Legislation has been proposed that would make things a lot harder for dog fighters and a little easier for bust dogs. We had no idea what a celebrity Dharma is! Many people – including members of the state House and Senate – recognized Dharma immediately. She was a real trooper and gave lots of kisses and snuggles. Here are some pictures from her big day. These were taken by photographer Mike Bizelli, who took the pictures at the bust site last July. He was thrilled to be able to take some new pictures of Dharma now that she is happy and healthy.

Dharma takes a break from the crowds.

Dharma greets legislators and visitors at the Mutts table.

Nobody can resist Dharma's sweet little face.

Relaxing in the shade outside the capitol building.

Rescued from the Road

Trooper is an eight week old puppy that was left for dead after being hit by a car in the road. Muttsn-Stuff needs donations to pay for the medical care for his broken pelvis and other wounds.

Trooper is an eight week old puppy that was left for dead in the road after being hit by a car. Good Samaritans saved him from death, but Mutts-n-Stuff needs donations to cover the cost of the medical care for his broken pelvis and other wounds.

Meet Trooper, an 8 week old puppy that was left for dead after being run over in the road. A couple was driving along a country road out in Franklin County and swerved to miss something that they saw lying in the middle of the road. At first they thought it was a possum, but as they drove closer they thought that it might be a dog. Unable to just keep driving without knowing for sure, they turned around in the road to take a closer look. They realized that it was indeed a small puppy, badly injured and not moving. When they got out of the car and ran over to the dog, they saw that he was still breathing. He whined weakly when they picked him up; he was barely alive. They wrapped him up in a sweatshirt and drove to the nearest vet that was open on a Saturday afternoon. The vet examined the puppy and told them that he had a broken pelvis, infection, was full of worms, and had the beginning stages of demodex mange along with other health issues as a result of not being cared for. His survival and future uncertain, the puppy spent the night in the veterinary ICU.

In addition to a broken pelvis, Trooper has many wounds and injuries.

In addition to a broken pelvis, Trooper has many wounds and injuries.

The couple that had rescued the puppy could not afford to pay for his medical care; they had to find a rescue group willing to take him or he would be put to sleep. Mutts-n-Stuff has taken the puppy in and we have given him the name Trooper, because of his resiliency and fight for life! We need YOUR help to pay for Trooper’s medical care and recovery. You can make a donation by going to our PayPal page or you can send a check to:

Mutts-n-Stuff PO Box 187 Foristell, MO 63348

You can make a note on your payment that you would like the funds to go toward Trooper’s medical care. Thank you for helping this little guy beat the odds to have a bright and happy future! Stay tuned to this blog for updates on Trooper’s progress!