Tag Archives: Florida

Haus the rescue dog returns the favour

The DeLuca family of Tampa, Florida are very happy they chose to adopt Haus, a German Shepherd two months ago.

Last week, Haus stepped in to keep their 7-year old daughter from being attacked by a rattlesnake, an Eastern Diamondback to be precise.


Haus suffered several snake bites and it was touch-and-go for a while when he was admitted to the local veterinary hospital and put on an anti-venom drip and given pain relief.

The family appealed for funds for his care and were amazed at how quickly the funds added up to over $50,000.  They then issued a statement “PLEASE — we feel we have plenty to care for Haus’ needs” and encouraged people to donate to other worthwhile charities – where the excess funds will also be donated.

At last report, Haus’ condition is improving.

And it makes me very glad that New Zealand is a land without snakes!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

New Florida law protects dog rescuers

Republican Governor Rick Scott has signed House Bill 131 into law.  This law will allow people to break into locked vehicles to rescue animals or people who are “in imminent danger of suffering harm.”

Dog in car

In Florida, children and pets have regularly suffered by being left in overheated cars.  Many have died.

Rightfully so, there are guidelines for the law to apply.

  1.  You must check that the vehicle is locked.
  2. After doing so, call 911 or law enforcement before entering the vehicle or immediately after rescuing the child or pet.
  3. Use no more force than is necessary to break in — and remain with the person or animal until first-responders arrive.

All of these guidelines seem very reasonable to me.

Well done to the State of Florida!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Florida sniffing dogs

The state of Florida is employing the use of some special Labradors in their fight for biosecurity.

Bear, Sierra and RJ are trained to follow the scent trails laid down by the invasive Giant African Land Snail.

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Times

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Times

The snail is a pest in the Miami area, where officials believe they have contained the spread of the pest.

The snails can grow as big as rats and they eat plants as well as stucco and plaster because they need lots of calcium to grow their shells. In large numbers, the snails have been known to cause extensive structural damage to buildings.  (And there’s lots of stucco in Florida!)

Photo by Andrew Derksen, Florida Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey Program

Photo by Andrew Derksen, Florida Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey Program

The snails can carry a parasite which is a human health risk because it can cause a form of meningitis but no cases have occurred so far in the United States.

The snails were introduced by a Santeria group which is a religion with a Caribbean and West African background.  The group would use the snails in religious ceremonies.

The Full Tummy Project

I love true stories about how dogs bring people together.  This one comes from Florida, where people at The Doglando Foundation have created the Full Tummy Project.

The Full Tummy Project sets up every Thursday evening at the Global Outreach Center in Bithlo, Florida (east of Orlando, home to DisneyWorld) to provide food and other essential supplies to homeless pet owners.

photo courtesy of Pets of the Homeless

photo courtesy of Pets of the Homeless

The Center has traditionally provided meals for the poor and homeless (like most soup kitchens and homeless shelters), but the folks at the Doglando Foundation recognized that many homeless also own animals and the animals suffer from their poor living conditions and inability to pay for veterinary care.

“Between 5 to 10 percent of homeless people have dogs or cats, and in some [rural] areas of the country, it’s as high as 24 percent,” says Renee Lowry, executive director of Pets of the Homeless, a national organization that helps provide food, medical care and assistance to homeless people who need help caring for their animals.

People are homeless for many reasons; for example some have mental illness but others have lost their jobs in the enduring recession and have had mortgages foreclosed.  The family, including the family pet, ends up on the streets.

So the Full Tummy Project is a soup kitchen for animals and there are currently over 150 families registered with the project.

Orlando Weekly cover

The Orlando Weekly covered the stories of the people involved in the Full Tummy Project, so read the full story by clicking on the Orlando Weekly cover page above.