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Founded by Liz Keller as a branch of her Glen Wild Animal Rescue in Cherry Valley, N.Y., Rescue Dogs Rescue Soldiers trains and pairs shelter dogs with vets suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other debilitating ailments. Liz has a soft spot in her heart for all the dogs in her program, and often finds they change her life as much as she is changing theirs. In this special blog post, Liz talks about 12 dogs that have made her year very, very special.

At Christmas time I like to reflect on all of the things I’m thankful for. I have been blessed with a beautiful property and the ability to help dogs who needed someone to find their untapped potential and bring it to light. While everybody is spending time with family, friends, and the ones they love, I thank my lucky stars that my team and I at Rescue Dogs Rescue Soldiers are able to be family for 12 very special rescue dogs.

In honor of these animals, who I’ve grown to love and care for with all of my heart, I created my very own version of the Twelve Days of Christmas with a little twist to introduce you to all of my four legged friends. All of these dogs came to our sanctuary from North Shore Animal League America’s no-kill campus where they were rescued from lives of uncertainty and loneliness. For one reason or another, these dogs didn’t find their adoptable matches, but they have been thriving here, living fulfilling lives of love and joy.

The first dog, Violet, was very nervous and had a difficult time acclimating to new people. I knew I would be able to help her with this anxiety, but I never knew how much she would help me too. Violet has become the four-legged love of my life and the smiles and happiness I see from her every day, leaves me speechless. She makes me smile, helps me sleep through the night, and is just a calming companion. She was the first gift brought to me during my Twelve Dogs of Christmas.

Then came Oakley, a tough gal, who knows what she wants. She’s not ready to give up her top dog status, but in cold days she opts to stay inside where it’s nice and warm. She reminds me of me – I hate getting old, but I still appreciate all of the love and support I receive from my true friends!

On the third day of Christmas, Daisy came to me. She is the Energizer Bunny – in the door and up the stairs before I can even close the door behind me. Daisy took a while to get to know everyone and feel comfortable, but now that she trusts us and knows she’s safe and sound in our care. I truly cherish her for the amazing, fun-loving animal she is.

The fourth dog of Christmas always sings to me. His name is Oskar, and he loves to howl. Oskar loves the great outdoors and can’t get enough of the grass under his paws and the fresh air in his snout. He became trusting very quickly and loves attention. He has a big personality and is always watching what we are up to.

Number five is Max the Cattle dog. He’s another one who took some time to warm up to us, but he builds strong bonds once he adjusts. He loves Isaiah, our manager and seeks his attention whenever he can. If you let him fall for you, you’ll have a friend for the long haul. Max is one of those dogs who is loyal to the end, and who doesn’t like that in a companion?

The sixth dog of Christmas is Buster, who is as happy and peppy as can be! He loves to play each and every day, only stopping to cuddle up with those he adores. This guy has so much love to give and makes all of us light up when he’s being his silly self.

The seventh dog of Christmas is King Louie. We call him that because he is majestic and a regal sight to behold when he is running free. Trust me, when you meet this guy, you’ll want nothing more than to make him the king of his very own castle. Thee King Louie has been nothing but royalty since he came to us, and we certainly wouldn’t have it any other way.

The eighth dog of Christmas could only be Cooper. He’s a smart one and keeps me on my toes. He learns quickly and likes to change things up from time to time. Cooper is one of those dogs who is more human like than he is dog, which makes all of us appreciate him even more for his loyal companionship.

The ninth dog of Christmas, his story got to me. Fable rescued from a bad situation by North Shore Animal League America, needed time to build trust when he first came to us. Thankfully he trusts us and is very happy to be part of the gang. I couldn’t be more proud that together with Animal League America, we were able to change Fable’s life for the better and provide him with a family who loves him.

The tenth dog of Christmas just so happens to be Denver. This dashing gent is a real celebrity around these parts. A local Pre-K class writes to him weekly and they are so happy to be his PawPals. Although he gets so much love and attention from his new friends, nothing makes me happier than seeing him build relationships with the people who care for him on a daily basis. He’s made remarkable strides from when I first met him.

The eleventh dog of Christmas is Max the shepherd mix. He is a great four legged companion, especially if you consider lounging around the house at night, snacking on chips to be your ideal date. Although he loves hanging indoors when it’s time to relax, bring him outside and let him run and you’ll see true speed and athleticism at its finest. He’s truly the best of both worlds.

Cody is the twelfth dog of Christmas. Last but certainly not least, Cody is handsome as can be. He is aloof and sweet, and totally enjoys the easy-going country lifestyle. He’s the perfect dog to for quiet, lazy days, or long walks in the woods.

To read more about Rescue Dogs Rescue Soldiers click here.

The post The 12 Dogs of Christmas appeared first on Animal League.

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Collaborative Rescue Saves Dogs from Yulin “Festival”

On Saturday evening, January 20th, North Shore Animal League America’s Rescue Team joined in the efforts to prevent six Shepherd mix puppies from suffering horrific ends before their lives even began at the Yulin Meat Trade “Festival” in China.

These adorable little survivors only had the chance to be part of this lifesaving rescue mission because of the valiant work of Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation in Sherman Oaks, California. The 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which focuses solely on rescuing abused and neglected animals, rescued two pregnant female dogs directly from the “festival” last summer, affording them the opportunity to birth their litters in the safety of their rescue facility. Almost eight months later, six of their puppies are here at Animal League America’s no-kill campus, ready to begin their journey to adoption day thanks to this collaborative rescue effort.

Because of this intricate rescue, which spanned more than 10,000 miles, these puppies will never have to suffer. Never will they be forced to cower in the back of an overcrowded wire cage as they are paraded through the streets on their way to a celebrated demise. Now, nestled safely in their spacious cages with full bellies and even fuller hearts, all six of these bright eyed pups will be provided with everything they need to grow and mature in to the highly adoptable pets they were always meant to be. From high quality veterinary care by our medical team and warm baths by our professional groomers, to socialization and play time at our Adoption Center, these dogs are now free to enjoy the lives they were destined to have.

“We are so proud to call Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation a partner in rescue. Without their tireless efforts to save animals in desperate need of saving, so many helpless animals like these two momma pups and their unborn puppies would never have a chance,” said Cindy Szczudlo, Animal League America Director of Rescue Services. “Thousands of animals are mindlessly slaughtered during this event – a statistic that we still can’t fathom. Anything we can do to help prevent more animals from suffering the same fate, we’re going to do it.”

Although these dogs are now safe, thousands of other dogs in Yulin and countless others around the world still need our help. Animal League America partners with more than 2,000 shelter and rescue groups from across the United States and around the globe in order to position ourselves in the ideal place to save as many lives as we can. By donating to our Rescue Fund, you enable us to expand our reach to save the lives of even more dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens from all over the country, as well as in our own backyard.

Please donate today and help us to provide better lives for more animals in need of saving.

The post Collaborative Rescue Saves Dogs from Yulin “Festival” appeared first on Animal League.

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We all know that moving from one home to another can be a difficult transition – and the transition from a shelter to a home can also be very difficult for cats and dogs. When bringing home a new pet it’s always good to remember that Fido or Fifi will need time to adjust to the changes in their environment and daily routine. Here is some helpful information to help ease your pet’s transition into your loving family.

Bringing Home a New Cat:

Have a room set up for your cat when you get home.

  • It should be a relatively quiet, low traffic area where your cat can slowly get used to his/her new surroundings.
  • The litter box, water & food bowls, toys, beds, etc. should all be placed in the room before you bring in the cat so they can explore the room as they enter.
  • Cats love to hide and play so create some hiding places – such as cardboard boxes, or large blankets – so your cat has a place get away too, if needed.
  • Block off any areas that are difficult for you to get to, without moving large obstacles or making lots of noise.

Keep in mind that the move from a shelter to a home, although beneficial, can cause some temporary behavior changes.

  • Your cat may hide for the first few days, or may run from you when approached.
  • Give your cat time to get to know you, offer lots of patience and love and your pet will surely come around.

Closely monitor your new cat’s eating patterns.

  • Be sure to pay close attention to behavior, and eating patterns during the first week after you bring your cat home.
  • Some cats, under stressful situations will refrain from eating, and retaining proper nutrition.
  • Try to place food as close to your cat as possible, show him/her where you place it, and offer food with strong smells to encourage him/her to eat.
  • Call your veterinarian if you feel your cat is not eating enough to receive proper nutrition, or having other problems eating.
Bringing Home a New Dog:

Try not to overcompensate for any hard times you feel that your dog may have experienced in the past by being too permissive.

Don’t feel that you need to constantly entertain your new pet. Moving from a cage into your home is stimulating enough for the time being.

Try to limit the amount of company you have for the first few weeks, to make the process less stressful for FIDO.

Give your dog time to adjust. Like any new relationship, this one also requires time, patience and understanding and each dog warms up at their own pace, which may differ from expectations.

A change of environment can trigger temporary behavioral problems. For example, some dogs will urinate in unexpected places, while others might to want to chew things. Some dogs may feel overwhelmed at first and want to hide or run away while others take a more defensive position. As “pack animals,” dogs will test you to find out where they stand in the social hierarchy of your family. Living in a cage provides little stimulation. In a new environment, a dog may become over-stimulated and become “”testy”” or hyperactive.

Ask for help. The team at North Shore Animal League America is committed to making your adoption a success. We offer support with behavioral issues through orientation classes, low-cost group training classes, private training, and educational literature and phone support. For more information on our Pet Behavior services visit animalleague.org/behavior or call 516-883-7900 ext. 342.

The most important thing to remember, whether you’re welcoming a new dog or cat, is to be patient. All animals are different and adjust at their own speed. Give yourself time to get to know your pet, and soon you’ll have a loyal and loving companion for years to come.

The post Tips for Bringing Home Your New Pet appeared first on Animal League.

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February is Pet Dental Health Month

Good dental hygiene can add years to your pet’s life. Even though pets don’t often get cavities, they are susceptible to periodontal or gum disease, which is the number one illness found in both dogs and cats. That’s why it’s so important that pet lovers include dental hygiene in their animals’ health and wellness routine.

To help keep your pets smiling bright, our Pet Health Center is celebrating Pet Dental Health Month this February – making this the perfect time to get your furry friend on a proper dental regimen.

50% Off Dental Exams & 10% Off Any Dental Procedure* Throughout the month of February, when you bring your pet in for their annual dental exam you’ll save 50% off the exam fee. Plus, if a dental procedure is needed, you can save 10% off the total cost of the procedure AND receive a refund on the cost of the original exam!  Call (516) 883-2000 to schedule an appointment or email us at phc@animalleague.org. Plus, take advantage of these special offers:
  • 5% Off Dental Chews
  • $12 Tooth Brushing Kits

The Marvin M. Fried Dental Suite at our Pet Health Center offers extended services for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.

Among the dental services we provide:

  • Teeth cleaning and polishing
  • Tooth extractions
  • Oral surgery
  • Preventative care to avoid dental disease

Learn more about The Importance of Pet Dental Health.

*Special offer applies to dental appointments made for February 1, 2018 through March 15, 2018. Cost of exam will be refunded after required dental procedure performed inside our Pet Health Center. Special offer is by appointment only.

The post February is Pet Dental Health Month appeared first on Animal League.

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Tell the truth: When was the last time you gave any thought to your pet’s dental health? If it’s been a while—or maybe never—you’re not alone. Studies reveal that about two-thirds of pet owners do not provide the dental care recommended by their veterinarians.

That’s a big mistake. Even though pets don’t often get cavities, they are susceptible to periodontal or gum disease, which is the number one illness found in both dogs and cats. That’s why it’s so important that pet lovers include dental hygiene in their animals’ health and wellness routine.

“Just like with people, dental disease can lead to all sorts of major health issues for animals,” explains Dr. Mark Verdino, VP and Chief of Veterinary Services at North Shore Animal League America. Dental hygiene is as important to your pets’ overall health as nutrition and exercise, he adds. “Gum inflammation and tooth loss can be very painful to your animals and costly to treat, but they also can lead to more serious conditions, including damage to the heart, lungs and kidneys.”

Estimates suggest that, by the time they are three years old, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease. Some of the most common symptoms in both dogs and cats include yellow and brown build-up of tartar along the gum line; inflamed gums; and persistent bad breath. A change in eating habits or pawing at the mouth can also indicate dental disease.

But since dental problems often develop gradually, it’s easy to miss the signs until there is a bad infection. That’s why it’s critical to schedule a regular annual dental check-up with your pet’s veterinarian.

Below is more information you need to know help you prevent your beloved dog or cat from getting dental disease and add years to their life.

  • It’s important to brush your pet’s teeth as early as possible. The best time to start a tooth-brushing regimen is when their adult teeth are in, at about 6-9 months old. But getting puppies and kittens used to the process earlier is important.
  • Avoid dental products containing Xylitol, as it is highly toxic to dogs and questionable to cats. NEVER use human toothpaste to clean pets’ teeth and gums.
  • Poor dental hygiene can lead to dental disease. Dental disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth and can result in oral pain, halitosis, tooth loss and periodontal disease, and it can even affect the heart, kidneys, intestinal tract and joints.
  • A pet in dental pain is not a happy pet, and the pain can affect his/her ability to eat, which can result in weight loss and malnutrition.

Regular exams are key to maintaining the denatal health of your pet. During a dental exam your local veterinarian will determine the status of your pet’s dental needs. If your pet needs more advanced dental care, your veterinarian will recommend the treatments needed and the approximate costs involved.

The Marvin M. Fried Dental Suite at our Pet Health Center offers extended services for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens., including teeth cleaning and polishing, extractions, oral surgery, preventative care and much more. All services are available at affordable prices. Please call (516) 883-2000 to discuss your pet’s needs.

The post Keep Your Pet Smiling: The Importance of Dental Health appeared first on Animal League.

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When winter’s cold weather descends and temperatures begin to plummet, there are some special precautions to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your pet safe and warm. It is important to remember that pets are members of the family and should always be treated as such. When it comes to extreme conditions – be it cold, rain, snow or storms – it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

An animal of any age can suffer the ill effects to exposure to cold. Hypothermia, frostbite can be a legitimate concern if your pet is left outdoors in cold weather for an extended period of time. A dog or cat whose body temperature has dropped significantly may shiver, will not be completely aware and alert, and will have a slow heart and respiratory rate. Frostbite, although uncommon, may occur on the tips of the ears or tail of any dog or cat left outside in the frigid temperatures.

Here are a few important things to remember that will keep your beloved pet safe and warm this season!

Know your pet’s limits when it comes to outside exposure.  Some breeds do very well in the cold temperatures but still need to be kept inside when not on walks or outdoor breaks.  Other breeds – Chihuahuas, Poodles and Terriers, for example, should not be left out in the cold for long periods of time. One simple rule of thumb to follow is if it’s too cold for you, it’s most likely too cold for your pet as well.

Rock salt and Antifreeze are toxic and harmful to pets.  Use pet friendly ice melting products and/or booties. If pets are exposed to rock salt, be sure to wipe off their feet, tummies and any exposed areas.

Antifreeze is fatal to humans and animals alike. If you have a basement or an attached garage that you allow your dog to explore, be careful to store antifreeze, batteries, deicers, cleaning products, and other chemicals securely out of reach. Even a tiny amount can make your dog deathly ill. Call your veterinarian immediately if you think your dog has ingested anything that might be toxic.

Fireplaces pose an additional indoor danger to animals – Screens are a must to avoid flying sparks and flames. Although it could be tempting for them to curl up in front of the fire on a cold night, pets need to be kept a safe distance from fireplaces and portable heaters to avoid overheating.

Gradually increase your pet’s exercise as the weather improves to avoid injury. The winter months in some areas can mean a lot of time spent indoors and not enough time playing outside or going on walks.  As temperatures thaw and spring approaches, it’s best to slowly, but steadily increase your pet’s exercise levels so they will be at their best when it’s time to enjoy the warm weather.

The post Keep Your Pets Safe and Warm This Winter appeared first on Animal League.

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To Be a Better Person, Learn from Your Pet.

I started thinking about New Year’s resolutions and why they matter after I heard the Marist Poll announce that the number one resolution for 2018 is to be a better person.

Amen, I say to that! And one of the best ways I know to make a person happier, more fulfilled, and just plain better is to find a way to help and love homeless animals.

It might seem obvious, but sometimes what’s obvious needs repeating: So, to keep that New Year’s resolution, here’s a tip: Adopt a pet!

But before you adopt, do your homework. I’ve placed more than 500 cats and kittens into responsible, loving homes during the past few years, and nothing impresses me more than a well-informed, serious applicant. If you need advice, visit your local shelter. Most rescue groups and shelters have adoption counselors to make appropriate matches, and some even have foster-to- adopt programs that can be really beneficial to both the potential adopter and the animal. Get expert information, because the decision to adopt will stay with you for the lifetime of your new pet, and adopting on impulse isn’t fair to the animal or to you.

Opal, Ruby, and Jasmin, triple adoption. Together forever!

Once you’ve transformed the life of a homeless animal, something wonderful happens. You discover that unconditional love goes both ways — you get it and you give it. In fact, I think the human-animal relationship helps a person realize that what really matters in life is life, the life you can protect and nurture, as well as the better life you’re living because you adopted a pet in need.

And the benefits continue. Research shows that pet guardians have higher self-esteem and are more outgoing and less fearful than people who don’t share their lives with pets. A pet’s resilience is so inspiring they can help us feel optimistic and give us a sense that good things can come our way. After all, you are the good thing that came your pet’s way and changed everything for the better!

(Don’t tell Leon Bear, but black cats have a harder time finding homes.)

Pets reduce loneliness, stress, and blood pressure, give us support in times of crisis, and when they go crazy in your hair to help you tease it for a New Year’s Eve Party — or use every option available at the litter box — they make you laugh out loud.

My personal stylist, a girl kitten named Jeff.

Cuddles taking no chances.

Special-needs pets, like our blind and beautiful Sophia
(shown above), bring special love into life.

I’ve had so many fosters who were blind, were missing a leg, or had neurological issues that at first seemed daunting. But after living with them for a while, I came to realize they’re incredibly resilient and adaptable and make perfect companions.

My colleagues at North Shore Animal League America offer a powerful way for all of us to help special-needs pets through their Pet Sponsor Program. Members of the program make a monthly commitment to help support the more than 36 cats and dogs who will need special medical care for the rest of their lives. Many of these pets have been adopted or live in foster homes. Nevertheless, as part of its no-kill mission, Animal League America covers their medical expenses for as long as they live. I’m so proud of this program and so touched by the lives it saves.

One feline, named Pretty Kitty, is still looking for a foster home or adopter. Animal League America rescued her from a local municipal shelter in November 2015. She has a neurological condition that affects her coordination. She also struggles with incontinence, but according to my friends at North Shore, she more than makes up for her challenges with a bright, playful, affectionate personality. Everyone loves her.

If you’re interested in beginning the year by supporting a special-needs pet in this incredible program, please visit animalleague.org/sponsor.

Pretty Kitty

— BREAKING NEWS —

Pretty Kitty has been adopted! This fabulous feline wrapped her new mom and dad around here dainty little paw on January 15, 2018.  Now this beautiful girl has a New Year’s resolution of her own – to live happily ever after.

Pets make us better and happier in countless ways. I’ve mentioned just a few here. Studies show that pet people laugh more, talk more, play more, move more (which helps with that fitness resolution), and perhaps most important of all, care more. I’m not so naïve as to believe that adopting a pet will bring world peace, but I know from my own experience that pets can transform your world for the better and bring a sense of peace and serenity into your life that you’ll value every day of the year.

Adopt, if you can. But if you can’t adopt right now, then foster. If fostering doesn’t work for you, then volunteer at your local shelter or support their work with a donation, large or small.

It’s the least we can do for creatures who do so much for us. After all, pets open our hearts not only to other animals, but also to ourselves and to each other. More than anything, that’s how pets make us better people.

Happy New Year,

xo
Beth

P.S. Here’s a reminder: Our friends at Hallmark Channel will broadcast Kitten Bowl Von Sunday, February 4, 2018, starting at 12 noon EST. This is going to be the most exciting, lifesaving gridiron battle ever. We’re featuring adoptions and player backstories, and I’m thrilled to say that all of the cat-letes have found responsible, loving homes. Animal League America rescued many of these cats and kittens during last summer’s awful hurricanes, so this is a really moving event. You do not want to miss this. Learn more about Kitten Bowl V at animalleague.org/kittenbowl.

Keeping his eye on the ball.

The post New Year’s Resolution 2018 appeared first on Animal League.

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Question

A cat adoption agency wants to take our cats back and is threatening legal action against us. We adopted two cats, but had some issues with the second cat and asked if we could exchange him for another one, the rescue obliged, but when they arrived they came with 2 carriers instead of one. We realized they planned to take back both cats this entire time and used this opportunity to do so. We showed them the room we were planning on keeping the cat in and then they turned away from the room and tried to go into my bedroom for no reason. When I told them no, one of them came up with an excuse of "I smell smoke and your endangering the cat and you violated the agreement and no deal" as an excuse so she could take the cats from us. This was false, and when I realized she was trying to scam us and take our cats, I asked her to leave my apartment. She refused and threatened to call the police.
We had paid $125 for both our cats and got their microchip registrations, but never got their adoption papers after asking multiple times over the course of months. The adoption papers agreement we signed after rereading it, had not been breached and we were not in any violation as she claimed. She then went on Facebook the next day and made a sob story making false accusations about us claiming we "bullied" and "threatened" her, which we did not. She also made claims that we were all a pack of liars and were so poor we couldn't even afford to feed our cats, which is also false. She claimed she was getting legal advice from some lawyer friends of her's to see what she could do, my guess is to scare us into handing over the cats. Can she legally take the animals from us?

Answer

The rights of a rescue and adopter are typically contained in an adoption agreement. Sometimes these agreements provide that the rescue shall have the right to reclaim animals under certain limited conditions, usually related to animal care. Consider that animals are occasionally adopted as pairs and it could be inhumane to separate them. If the case goes to court, the judge will decide whether the adoption agreement was breached and what remedies the rescue has for breaches.

PLEASE NOTE: Responses to legal inquiries are not meant to replace seeking legal advice from an attorney in your state. The materials in this website and any responses to questions are for informational purposes only and are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. This website, the information contained herein, and any responses to questions directed to this column are not intended to create and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely or act upon any information provided on this website or in any response to your inquiry without seeking the advice of an attorney in your state regarding the facts of your specific situation.

Send Your Pet Legal Question Now!

Elinor will field as many questions as she can and they will be posted here on this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions are answered. However, many individuals have similar questions. You may find helpful information in the categories listed below.

Ask a Legal Question

The post Pet Legal Q&A: Adoption Agency Wants to Take our Cats Back appeared first on Animal League.

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Question

I posted a picture of a dog, with no biting history that I'm aware of, in need of a home. On Monday the adopter paid me a $200 adoption fee and picked up the dog. Everything was apparently going good, until Tuesday when I received a series of texts and phone calls from the adopter. The adopter told me that the dog had attacked his kid when giving him a hug goodnight and the dog was then picked up by Animal Control. Can the adopters seek legal action against me? Are they entitled to have the $200 adoption fee refunded?

Answer

Typically a dog “owner” is not responsible for a dog bite that occurs after the dog was given away. That is not to say he/she won’t be sued anyway. However, if the person who gave the dog away failed to disclose that the dog had a biting history or misrepresented it, a court might hold such person liable (this will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case). In settling a disagreement or claim, it is customary to have a release signed (basically stating that in consideration of accepting the money, such person has no further claim relating to the incident). However, since a minor cannot sign a contract, these matters get more complicated when a minor is injured (since a typical release won’t bind the minor). Consult with an attorney in your area for further information and certainly if you are sued.

PLEASE NOTE: Responses to legal inquiries are not meant to replace seeking legal advice from an attorney in your state. The materials in this website and any responses to questions are for informational purposes only and are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. This website, the information contained herein, and any responses to questions directed to this column are not intended to create and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely or act upon any information provided on this website or in any response to your inquiry without seeking the advice of an attorney in your state regarding the facts of your specific situation.

Send Your Pet Legal Question Now!

Elinor will field as many questions as she can and they will be posted here on this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions are answered. However, many individuals have similar questions. You may find helpful information in the categories listed below.

Ask a Legal Question

The post Can the adopter seek legal action against me? appeared first on Animal League.

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The Season For Caring and Sharing Is Here!

Our first snowfall arrived on Dec. 9, a lazy Saturday — the perfect, dreamy start to this magical season. Our tree is up and decorated, and each of our resident cats has a bed tucked beneath its lowest branches. Yoda looks like a snowdrift settling in for a long winter snooze.

Our house feels especially blessed at this time of year. As Howard said so poignantly the other day, “You’re never lonely when you have cats.” And right now, we have some of the most beautiful, funny, and inspiring nuggets ever to share our life and our home.

One is an adorable Tuxedo nugget we named Lumi, and I’m convinced she has supernatural powers. I discovered her gift quite by accident when I made a wish, touched her little black button of a nose, and the wish came true! I tried it again…and again. More often than not, I’ve wished for perfect adopters for our fosters, and Lumi’s nose seems to be working!

Lumi

In just the past few weeks, I’ve been so lucky to deliver many precious nuggets to their loving new families. To name a few: Mama Holly, senior Felix, Lilly, adults Lola and Rosie, Pumpkin Spice and Candy Corn (besties forever!), Crackle, Ethel and Ester (another double), Mushy Marty, Dolly, Levi, Mama Honey, gorgeous adult Sallie… and Clarence (now Marli) who needed his badly injured eye removed. I was thrilled to hear from his new family that the surgery was a complete success and this strong boy is doing fine!

Billy Bob (now Cooper)

Lola

Crackle

Snap and Poppy. Black kittens rock!

Aspen and Jack Frost in the arms of their new mom and dad. Their new brothers are from my very first litter of foster kittens, orange nuggets Tonto and Kimasabi!!!

And thanks to my incredible Instagram friends, a gorgeous, one-pound (!), abandoned Maine Coon kitten named Dixie (above), who was nurtured by my equally incredible mom in Pittsburgh, is home for the holidays, already the center of attention for her two cute new playmates, at right.

We also nurtured and fell in love with two very special kittens, Weeble and Tinsel, who both have Cerebellar Hypoplasia, a neurological condition that compromises their coordination. They are my Superstar Nuggets, so resilient, good natured, and capable, despite everything. And thanks to Lumi’s magical intervention, Weeble has a beautiful home already. And because Lumi and Tinsel are sisters, I know The Nose is working its magic for resilient little Tinsel.

Look at Weeble, all decked out in a red ribbon, now at home with his beautiful mom and beautiful sister, Blossom, one of my former blind fosters.

BREAKING NEWS

I interrupt this blog to bring you a thrilling update. The Nose did it again! Tinsel is going home with a family experienced in caring for cats with Cerebellar Hypoplasia. This family also adopted former foster Milo, whose missing eye never slowed him down one bit. But wait …There’s more!!  Lumi used her magic to find herself a loving family, too. I’ll miss that nose of hers, but I firmly believe her magic will linger in my heart forever. She’s been the best-ever Santa’s Helper!

Lumi and Tinsel

Milo

I NOW RETURN YOU TO MY REGULAR “BLOG-CAST,” FILLED WITH EVEN MORE WISHES COME TRUE!

Here’s Catalina, for instance. I was thrilled to deliver this sweet, blind, and beautiful kitten, now named Lexi, to her wonderful mom. Lexi is doing brilliantly, even negotiating stairs!

And here are three more of my “perfectly imperfect” treasures. As you know, blind cats and kittens have my heart, and these three are currently inhabiting my heart and soul: Happy Bug, Merry Bug, and Jolie Bug, the Tortie. The Nose is still busy at work for these three!

And finally, here are Angel Pie and Flossie, besties forever. I’m so proud of them. And to think everyone told me they were feral!

In case you haven’t noticed, my blog is filled with images this month. I think of each as my holiday card to you. It’s important to share these faces and stories, because I know you care…and because each is a wish come true.

Another wonderful wish came true on Nov. 29 when I joined my colleagues at North Shore Animal League America to break ground for Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center, an exciting new addition to our Long Island campus designed especially for cats and kittens. This state-of-the-art facility will allow us to rescue many more animals by adding a second floor to the existing shelter that will house a cage-free, natural living environment for felines. I can’t wait! There’s still a lot of fundraising and hard work to do, but we’re on our way!

And then, just two days later, I had the amazing privilege of telling the more than 350 guests at Animal League America’s Get Your Rescue On Gala® all about our progress for Bianca’s Furry Friends. It was a very special evening, filled with laughter, friends, tears, music, and hope.

There is, of course, something missing from our Christmas this year, and that’s Charlie Chunk. He loved Christmas. We miss him so much and will always cherish the joy he brought into our lives every day of the year.

Charlie Boy, our Chunk

Happy Holidays, Beautiful Memories, and All Good Wishes for 2018 and beyond.

xo
Beth

P.S. An important reminder at this time of year: Pets are gifts in our lives. But giving pets as gifts is never, ever, a good idea. Caring for another living being is a huge responsibility. No one should open a box and find a “surprise” puppy or kitten waiting inside. If you want to help someone you love experience the joy of living with and loving a pet, discuss the responsibilities, do some research, and visit your local animal shelter together to find just the right fit. Your time and experience as a responsible pet caretaker will help the pet and his/her new family find the gift of unconditional love. They’ll be forever thankful!

The post When You Wish Upon A Nose… appeared first on Animal League.

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