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Burned puppies pose for calendar to help pay medical expenses
January 15, 2015
Some puppies badly hurt in a fire are recovering, but they still have a long way to go. Now, they’re posing with firefighters for a fundraising calendar meant to help pay for some expensive treatments.”You spend a couple minutes getting to know the dogs,” said animal photographer Michelle Conner. “Every dog is different. Every personality is different.”
Getting the lighting, framing and pose just right, Conner said perfection is telling a story with a single image.
“You make really weird, obnoxious noises during the photo sessions to get their attention, get that little head tilt,” she laughed.
She said rarely does the story she’s telling mean more to her than it did on Thursday.
“These pictures make a world of difference to get their story out,” said Conner.
Nearly a month ago, workers with Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital in Franklin said they began care of three small puppies with third-degree burns from where a breeder’s heating lamp caught fire. Metro Animal Care Center officials said the breeder was cited with misdemeanor animal cruelty.
Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue raised more than $19,000 for the puppies’ initial medical expenses.
“They’ve definitely gone through a lot of pain,” said Shawn Aswad of Snooty Giggles. “As long as they’re getting love and attention, that’s all they’re about. They’re not worried about what happened yesterday.”
Now much bigger and doing so much better, the three puppies are now known at Snooty Giggles as ‘the Blues Brothers’. Not named Jake or Elwood, they’re instead named Yahto, Mavi and Indeever, all words meaning ‘blue’.
“Their blue eyes just stole everybody’s hearts,” said Aswad.
Only Yahto came for a calendar photoshoot Wednesday where animals with special conditions sat alongside fire fighters. The Franklin Fire Department took pictures with the dogs Wednesday, while the Spring Hill Fire Department posed Thursday. All money is intended to go toward the further treatment of the burned puppies.
“Who’s going to stand up for them?” asked Aswad. “Who’s going to help these guys that are sick and injured? I feel like we’ve created this wonderful village for the special needs.”
With Yahto looking so content to just have a shoulder to hang over, Conner stopped to see if she was framing up the shot that could make a big difference for the Blues Brothers.
“Not a lot of jobs out there that you can say make a difference,” said Conner. “I’m passionate about it. I love to do that.”
As for further care, at least one of the puppies will likely be getting a skin graft. Workers with Snooty Giggles said one of their big focuses is making sure the dogs get less calcium with the wounds taking so much of the protein in their bodies.
For more information on how to buy one of the calendars, go to http://snootygiggles.com/sgdr-2015-calendar.
Three puppies badly burned in fire undergoing treatment
December 24, 2014
Three puppies are in vet care after surviving a fire that left them with severe burns.
“Dogs are pretty amazing little creatures,” said Katherine Smith of Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital in Franklin. “You put them through a lot, and they’re still there to get love.”
Though it’s hard to hear the cries of three small puppies with third-degree burns across their backs, Smith said she has to stay strong for the pure blue eyes peering up at her. She’s a kind voice and gentle hand for some pit bulls with incredible resilience named Tigger, Piglet and Pooh.
Smith said a week ago, several dogs in the litter were killed and these three badly burned when a breeder’s heating lamp caught fire. Friday, the dogs were turned over to Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue while Metro Animal Care Center officials said the breeder was cited with misdemeanor animal cruelty. Further details on the case are pending investigation.
“They have wounds, large burn wounds that are covering the majority of their backs that are going to need a lot of attention,” said Smith. “Daily bandage changes are needed and a lot of supportive care measures.”
The puppies are eating well, cleaning their bowls and licking the food off Smith’s fingers.
“Making sure they’re getting enough protein in their diet is essential,” she explained.
Despite being the day before Christmas when money from shopping is so tight, an online fundraiser by Snooty Giggles raised more than $19,000 for the puppies on Wednesday alone.
Smith said that reaction and the work at Blue Pearl is a promise these puppies have a much greater future in store.
“Nobody’s going to be making fun of them at the playground,” said Smith. “They still have the potential of having completely full lives. It’s very touching to know that people they haven’t even met are giving their hard earned cash that they may be a little short on today so that these guys have a chance. It’s very heartwarming.”
Snooty Giggles workers say they have already exceeded their fundraising goal for the puppies. You can follow the puppies’ progress at https://www.facebook.com/SnootyGiggles.
Leonard Binks and Pastry hit the road for UGA!!!!!
See more on www.facebook.com
Scammers lift images of adorable animals to deceive pet adopters
Feburary 18, 2014
Many pet owners would say their animal becomes a part of their family, and when they go looking for just the right one, they usually know them when they see them.
But a Channel 4 I-Team investigation found potential scammers who want to capitalize on that special moment.
We started investigating as soon as we got a suspicious email with pictures of an adorable puppy who we were told was up for adoption for free. But what the emailers didn’t know in this case was they were corresponding with the Channel 4 I-Team.
The emailer said she was recently diagnosed with a brain injury from a car accident that led to the loss of her son and husband. She said she’s looking for someone to take her 9-week-old English bulldog and is even willing to send “Webster” overseas if she’s convinced he will be in good hands.
The Channel 4 I-Team wrote back, and the emailer then asked us to just fill out an adoption form. Later, although the subject line said the dog is free, the emailer said if we paid a $350 fee plus another $209 for shipping, Webster would be all ours.
But it seems the puppy in the pictures was never for sale by the person with whom we were corresponding. We searched Google Images for the photos they sent and found they came from a website of a dog breeder on the East Coast.
The Channel 4 I-Team spoke to those breeders, and they said they didn’t send those emails.
The puppy in question was recently sold to a new family, and we even had his new owners send us a video of him.
Days later, the emailers continued to ask us to send money right away, and it turns out this scam was already on the Better Business Bureau’s radar.
The BBB said thieves often lift online pictures of cute pets and claim they’re for sale, hoping you will fall for it.
“This is big business. The scammers love this,” said Kathleen Calligan, with the Better Business Bureau. “Scammers love your pictures that you post on your Facebook page of you and that adorable kitten or dog that you wouldn’t take anything for. They’re going to lift those pictures and post them on Craigslist and other venues, and they’re going to use your adorable loving family member as the hook to scam people.”
Shawn Aswad knows all too well about Craigslist scams. She heads up the Middle Tennessee animal rescue group Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue.
“We’ve had situations in the past where people would take our stories of our dogs and then we would discover them in a Google search that they’re posting it elsewhere as if it’s their dog and they’re trying to raise money for it,” Aswad said.
She’s there to step in when dogs are in bad situations.
“There was a recent one where a dog was posted on Craigslist – that somebody found it, they turned around, sold it for an extreme amount of money, and two days later the people are looking for their dog,” Aswad said.
That animal you’ve fallen in love with and bought online could already be someone else’s family member, and Aswad says Craigslist and online sales of animals come with another problem.
“It’s also the people out there buying dogs that are looking to purchase dogs to do horrible things to,” Aswad said.
Experts say when you are looking for a pet, your best bet is to find a reputable rescue or shelter to do your shopping.
“The message the BBB wants to send to our listeners is ‘go local.’ There is a great network of adoption agencies, rescue agencies, fostering families you can find the exact pet that you want,” Calligan said.
“Go to your shelters, go to your rescues and, by all means, even when you go to your shelters and rescues, research those shelters and rescues as well, because there are some rescues out there that aren’t reputable,” Aswad said.
And, remember, when you do business online, not only could you end up paying a lot of money and not get that pet you had your heart set on, but your personal information could also now be in the wrong hands.
The adoption form the alleged seller of Webster wanted us to fill out asks for a home address, driver’s license information, phone number, name, email and even proof of income.
“That scam possibly will not end with the disappointment that you have been scammed with the puppy. It’s going to go on to other avenues of your life. Remember, you are going to pay in advance for a shipping fee, vet care checkups, vaccinations. How are you going to do this? You are probably going to do it with your credit card,” Calligan said.
The Channel 4 I-Team asked the emailers who tried to sell us the bulldog for a comment, but they would not return our emails or phone message after we told them who we were.
If you do want to search for the perfect pet online safely, many rescues and shelters post their adoptable pets on the website http://www.petfinder.com.
Rescue group, online campaign support dog with rare heart condition
November 22, 2013
Veterinarians in two states came together with Facebook fans across the county to save a dog’s life in Middle Tennessee. The dog’s name is Leonard Binks, and people who had never met him helped make his life-saving surgery possible.
It was hard to understand why someone would dump Leonard and his brother in a shopping cart outside the Bellevue Kroger.
“We couldn’t understand such cute little fluffy puppies until we discovered Leonard had pulmonic stenosis,” said Shawn Aswad, with Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue. “So I’m pretty sure that’s why he got abandoned.”
Beneath all his lovable fur lurked a problem with a valve in Leonard’s heart. It was a problem that threatened to cut his life short without surgery.
“It doesn’t open and close appropriately, so that makes the heart work a lot harder and eventually causes heart damage,” said veterinarian Dr. Amanda Erickson Coleman.
“The cardiologists have told us that his life expectancy would only be about two years, and he’s at this point 9-months-old,” Aswad said. “He’s a happy, fun-loving dog, and he embraces everything that life brings him and we want to bring that to him.”
Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue is an organization that specializes in rescuing dogs with medical problems and seniors, but it wasn’t always clear if they could save Leonard.
“The few places we could find to do the surgery were just too expensive,” Aswad said. “We couldn’t pay $10,000 and take all that money away from so many other dogs that needed it.”
But the group found the veterinary hospital at the University of Georgia would perform the surgery for about $3,500.
Since his rescue, Leonard has built himself quite an online following. It was such a following, in fact, that it took less than two days for 180 people to step up and donate every cent needed to pay for the surgery.
And so in October, Leonard was driven to Georgia with his favorite heart-shaped toy.
“As if he knows he needs a heart. That’s his favorite thing,” Aswad said.
The procedure was a success, and Leonard is now back home at Camp Snooty.
“We want him to move on and find his own family – a family that’s gonna let him get dirty and swim and dig in the mud,” Aswad said. “So we can also open up a spot here at Camp Snooty to care for another dog with severe medical needs.”
Still, Leonard won’t be up for adoption for a few months. He developed a serious complication after the surgery – a bacterial infection of his heart valve – and will need to complete three months of antibiotic treatment before he can find a new home.
If you want to support Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue, a donor is matching every dollar given to the organization for the next nine days.
Overweight dog working on slimming down for adoption
October 23, 2013
A Middle Tennessee rescue dog is on an extreme fitness plan after indulging in too many homecooked meals. The dog, named Coach Milner, has more than a few pounds to burn off.
The Wheaten mix ended up at the animal shelter in Cheatham County, tipping the scales at more than 90 pounds. But he should weigh closer to 50 pounds, according to his veterinarian.
Coach’s original owners loved him so much, they cooked for him every day.
“From what I understand, he was being fed bacon and eggs in the morning and he got a dinner of chicken and dumplings every night. It was just too dense for a dog his size,” said associate veterinarian Lisa Martin.
Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue took him in and put him to work.
He gets on an underwater treadmill three days a week at Animalia Health and Wellness in Franklin.
“Unfortunately, obesity in our pets is becoming an epidemic just as it is in people,” Martin said. “We just need to get out there and get them more active and watch what we’re feeding them.”
Coach has already lost eight pounds in just a couple weeks of treatment.
He is on a special diet now, and once he starts getting in shape, he’ll be ready to be adopted by the right family.
Team Walter Facebook
My Name Is Walter
June 5, 2012
When puppy Walter is adopted and separated from his littermates, he is both nervous and excited about his new life and the adventures on which he is about to embark. But…
When his new human family discovers that living with a dog requires as much work as it does love and fun, Walter finds himself banished to their backyard, where he is chained to a stake: all day, all night, and in all weather. Soon Walter’s family abandons him completely, and he is thrown into the street. Hurt, hungry, and alone, Walter is quickly discovered by a new family. They work feverishly through long days and nights to help him recover from the neglect he suffered at the hands of his old family. Can Walter’s newfound friends restore his strength and his faith in humanity? Based on the true events surrounding the discovery of an abandoned Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix on the streets in the White’s Creek area of Nashville, Tennessee, MY NAME IS WALTER is a cautionary tale about responsibility and pet ownership. In real life, Walter’s story captured the imagination of many and seemed to unite the world against the horror of animal cruelty. This book is intended to honor Walter and all abused and neglected pets with its message of responsible pet ownership. 100% of the Publisher’s and Author’s profits from the sale of this book go to Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue, the organization that helped Walter.
Ashley Judd Funds Efforts to Save Abused Dog’s Life
May 7, 2012
Actress Ashley Judd is personally involved in the rehabilitation of a severely abused cockapoo named Walter — and despite her efforts, it’s not clear yet whether he’s going to make it.
Walter was not only starved by his previous owner (the emaciated dog weighs only 11 pounds, about half of what he should, considering that he’s five), but he was also thrown out of the window of a moving car.
He was rescued by Tennessee-based organization Snooty Giggles, who partnered with the Animalia Health and Wellness for Animals clinic to try and save his life. And that’s where Judd stepped in.
The actress heard about Walter’s plight and contacted both organizations. She not only volunteered to foot his medical bills, but she also visits Walter every day, emotionally supporting his recovery. Still, it might not be enough — Walter’s condition is very fragile.
“We are doing everything we can to help Walter. Ashley has been a huge support,” says Snooty Giggles’ Shawn Aswad.
“It’s almost unbearable,” Judd says. “It certainly defies individual and collective humanity to know that, not just Walter, but a lot of animals, are treated this way.”
Despite his ordeal, Walter has a very sweet temperament and enjoys being around people and other dogs. Judd hopes that she might eventually foster Walter, but it will be a long time coming — she says Walter’s recovery will be a “very long journey.” However, she also notes that he clearly has a strong will to live, something that certainly works in his favor.
Walter’s progress is regularly documented at both the Snooty Giggles Facebook page, and Judd’s own Twitter account (she also tweets photos of him). The most recent updates state that there has been a slight downturn in his health, but the rescuers aren’t giving up.
“As roller coasters go….it’s going to be another up and down day for Walter. Over night he developed a bit of a cough and is definitely much weaker. His WBC count has gone back up a smidgeon (not surprising, but disappointing), his electrolytes remain balanced, which is key (and very impressive I must say….not an easy task for a vet team considering the circumstances). So….here we go again….lots of coffee and chocolate being circulated at Animalia Health and Wellness. I promise to give a mid-day report with pictures. Keep the love coming,” reports the Snooty Giggles page.
No matter what happens, Judd wants Walter’s story to be shared and hopes that it will serve as a lesson.
“This never should have happened to Walter, and through his story, we can make sure that it never happens to another animal again,” she says.
Here’s hoping for a happy ending.
WALTER’S STORY: ONE DOGS’ LIFE
THROWN FROM A MOVING CAR WITH A ROPE AROUND HIS NECK.
LEFT FOR DEAD.
RESCUED: Loving people cared for Walter’s every need for two weeks…
To view more, click here.
Thousands of people from around the world, now called TEAM WALTER, sent good wishes… held good thoughts… and prayed for WALTER. The Sun shown on his face and filled him with it’s warmth.
Walter died in the hands of his loving caretakers with the positive energy of the universe showering light and love onto his spirit.
We rally now for all the “Walter’s” in the world, to challenge and change a Law that allows owners to ABUSE their own domestic animals.
WE ARE ASKING FOR YOUR DONATION TO ASSIST US IN GETTING SUPPORT AND PASSING THE LEGISLATION OF “WALTER’S LAW”.
THE FUNDS RAISED WILL GO TO SUPPORT THE PASSING OF “WALTER’S LAW”, A BILL TO AID IN THE RESCUE, CARE AND ADOPTION OF ABUSED ANIMALS.