Sometimes rescuing animals is the most frustrating thing in the world, but then other times things come together and produce amazing results. This week is the one year anniversary of Operation Leave No Dog Behind, a mass rescue effort by Rocket Dog Rescue and Dogma Animal Rescue in Fresno, California. 106 dogs and puppies were removed from a residence and transferred to Dogma and Rocket Dog. We spent days documenting, photographing, microchipping, vaccinating, worming, and defleaing each animal. Rocket Dog was an amazing group of people to work with and we learned so many things watching their operation.
Earlier this week we were contacted by K911 Cat Rescue president, Kathy Cabrera, asking for help with an injured puppy. Someone was trying to surrender her to a rescue and since they only work with cats they reached out to us. After learning more about the situation, we discovered that the injured puppy was in a home with thirteen other dogs. As a seasoned rescue person, my thoughts immediately jumped to, “how can I get these animals altered and prevent this from getting out of hand?” Luckily, our Dogma network of volunteers spreads far and wide, like a grizzled-old buzzard warming his wings in the morning sun.
Our East Bay go-to gal, Kathleen Ellis, contacted Erin Pina and Kristy Keusch from Furry Friends Food Relief, a pet food pantry that also does low and no-cost vaccines, deworming, microchipping and operates a no-cost spay/neuter program. Together we figured out a way to accomplish all of our objectives. Dogma offered to take the mama dog and puppies with the condition that the other animals all be altered. Furry Friends offered to alter the remaining animals through their no-cost alteration program. They are all getting altered this week.
Today Kathleen represented us and joined Furry Friends at the residence. They vaccinated and dewormed all the dogs in the household. The puppy with the injury turned out to have an amputated foot, due to her mother cleaning her too hard at birth. She also had four siblings, all around 6 weeks old. Mama dog, Oreo, developed Eclampsia soon after giving birth and was unable to nurse the puppies but there was a lactating female in the home who became a surrogate mom to them. Eclampsia is caused by a severe lack of calcium in the mother rendering her unable to nurse and can be fatal. After Kathleen was finished vaccinating and deworming dogs, she drove Oreo and her litter to Santa Rosa. The injured pup is considerably smaller and weaker than the rest, so she’s in a separate foster home getting lots of TLC. She goes to the vet Monday morning. The rest of the litter and Oreo are in foster homes.
The greater point of my evening rant is this: Saving animals is always a team effort! Three rescue organizations, many individuals, one pet owner, and fourteen animals all ended the day in a better place. When I’m in the middle of a frustrating rescue day, this is the kind if stuff I try to remember.
Our founder, Dogma Duane, is a passionate animal rescuer. He is now in his seventh year rescuing animals and his fourth year running Dogma Animal Rescue. Duane is a graduate of Sonoma State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in Latin America studies; and is a graduate of the American Bar Association-approved Paralegal Studies program at San Francisco State University.