Cuts for Mutts is Sunday July 18th

The haircuts are for the humans, but the money is for the mutts!  This Sunday July 18th from 12pm to 4pm at the Aveda Experience Center at the St. Louis Galleria, stylists from J’labii Hair Design will give you a complimentary haircut when you make a donation to Mutts-n-Stuff. PLEASE CALL 314-721-4425 TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT.

Dharma in Chicago Parent Magazine

Dharma is in the Summer 2010 issue of Chicago Special Parent magazine, a special topics magazine from the publishers of Chicago Parent.  The article discusses various ways in which animals can therapeutically help children with special needs.  Although I admit I might be biased, I really do believe that Dharma is a very special dog.  I’m continually amazed and humbled by the reactions she inspires in the people she meets.  People truly do gravitate towards her wherever she goes.  It’s not just that she has three legs; it’s her sweet and trusting personality.  She enthusiastically greets all who approach her, covering their faces with kisses if they’ll allow her to – which everyone does.  And she completely melts their hearts.  Dharma has a calm presence when she’s with people she doesn’t even know, and children love to sit next to her and gently pet her.  Many people are curious about what happened to her leg, but most are surprised to find out that she is a pit bull rescued from the July 2009 dog fighting bust.  “But she’s so small and sweet,” many of them respond.  Yes, she is.  So are so many bust dogs, and they all deserve lives of happiness and love.

-Suzi

Photo courtesy of Mike Bizelli

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.

-Dave
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,

Gale

Bully Blast!

The ladies from The Pet Doctor in the beer playoffs

Thank you to all that participated in our second annual Bully Masters Golf Tournament, In Memory of Fay.  We had a great time, great food, and a great location at Country Lake golf course in Warrenton MO.  Next year we are thinking about having two tournaments, one in late spring in Warrenton and one in St. Peters in the Fall.

I want to thank Linda H. for all the nice prizes and excellent raffle items, as well as for finding sponsors so we could have free soda and water this year.  Next year will try to find a sponsor for the “adult” beverages too!

Good times on the green!

Larry M. was the lucky winner of a pass for a behind-the-scenes tour at KMOX Sportsline. Peggy won the Blues package and gets to go into the KMOX booth during intermission.  Rick was the lucky winner to St. Albans Golf Course and won a round of golf with the golf pro.  Rick, after your lessons we expect you to win the $10,000 prize for a hole in one next year.  Matt G. won the door prize, two tickets to a Cardinal game in section 156.  Rick won the Rams package so we all hope that the Rams have a good season. Neil won a weekend stay at Tan-Tara Resort. And the list goes on: a lucky couple are going to see Sammy Hagar, another couple won a week in Branson MO, and some lucky person will now be even luckier after winning the lucky mirrored bowling ball.

Bust dogs Ellie and Smiley King Elvis were in attendance too.  They smoozed with the golfers and exchanged opinions about how good life can be for rescued victims of dog fighting. Many thanks to all who came out to support us!
-Gale

Sir Reginald Farnsworth III in New York Times

Gale and Sir Reginald Farnsworth III are part of an article on the Canine CODIS project, published in the Sunday June 27, 2010 edition of the New York Times. Way to go Sir Reginald! You’re doing an awesome job representing victims of dog fighting and changing minds about bust dogs.