Angels with Huge Wings for Estella!

I would first like to thank each and every one of Buddy Nation’s angels for your loving and generous donations towards Estella’s surgery. In today’s economy it’s not always easy to give, and every time I need you, my angels are always there to help these precious dogs. I am constantly in awe and extremely humbled by your compassion.

We are almost at our $6,000 goal thanks to all of you. Some have made donations through the website, some through our online fundraiser, and some directly to VetSurg where Estella will receive her double ACL surgery. I am hoping to get an update total to post shortly, but we are SO CLOSE to goal! This is the same feeling I got when I tried to raise money for Buddy’s amputation surgery. I think I cried every day as I watched the donations come in until we not only met our goal, but exceeded it, allowing us to not only pay for the surgery itself, but all his back vet bills and a month of recovery in a motel room with his mama.

Every time I decide to TRY, you are there to support me and my efforts to help the homeless pets. Living on the street or in homeless camps is not easy for people or pets, but without you, their lives would be far less easy. YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Yesterday evening I received a call from my Vice President and Treasurer letting me know that a kind person had read about Estella in the Ventura Breeze, and had walked into VetSurg with a $500 check. This donation is the one that gets us to that “almost there” mark. I have thanked all who have donated online, but I have no way of thanking this lady. I hope she reads this and knows how extremely grateful we are. I wish I could meet each and every one of you to thank you personally. You are blessings in my life, and in the lives of the homeless dogs and cats we help. We simply cannot do it without you. So thank you, all of you wonderful people, my heart is so full with gratitude it’s about to burst!

ESTELLA’S ORIGINAL FUNDRAISING PLEA:

Many of you know and love Estella. We have been trying to raise the money for her double ACL surgery, but there have been so many other homeless dogs needing help that it has constantly has depleted our funds.
It’s time to get serious for Estella. She is young, sweet and energetic and deserves a life without pain. If she doesn’t get this surgery, she will be crippled for life.

Given her circumstances, we all feel it’s best to get both knees done at once. VetSurg and Dr. Holsworth can do that. We have gotten a small grant of $400 that has to be used in 60 days or we lose it so we have to get moving on this pronto!

It’s taken us 2 years to gain her owner’s trust to the point where he is willing to allow Estella to recover in a foster home. We have that all lined up. Now all we need is the money.

Please please help us my angels. No amount is too small. We did this once before for Buddy. Now it’s Stella’s turn. She needs us!

You can read all the updates I’ve posted since we began here: https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-estella-run-and-playStella going home

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IMPOUNDED – a documentary film by Ember Condron

A few months ago, I met with a lovely young woman, a film student named Ember who was making a documentary film for her class at Santa Barbara City College about Pit Bulls. She graciously asked to interview me and another member of the Buddy Nation board of directors about the plight of Pit Bulls today.

Her film was chosen for the film festival. I found it to be insightful and poignant. My love, my Blew, and my new puppy, Moo, are also in the film.

Warning, there are some graphic images.

IMPOUNDED – a documentary film by Ember Condron

 

 

MIMI UPDATE!!

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On Friday I met up with Lori’s daughter and her family. They drove in from AZ on Thursday to see mom and pick up Mimi. We drove to the boarding facility to get Mimi, then off to the hospital (quick stop at the beach) to get Lori and reunite her with her girl. A happy and tearful reunion it was.

Van was loaded with kids, parents, luggage, dog food and bed I got them, and Lori & Mimi ~ off to AZ they went. Lori will stay with her daughter and family until she can find a room or apt. to rent for her and Mimi. Mimi will also get to see her one and only puppy, Lucky, who the family adopted about 5 months ago.

A HUGE thank you goes out to Mindy BeneRa and everyone at Ventura Highway Luxury Boarding for Dogs. They gave Mimi 9 DAYS LODGING, filled with love and play, and they picked up the bill, no charge to us!

That’s LOVE! That’s our amazing Village at work!

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Good morning Buddy Nation,

We have not posted any updates in awhile because we have been SO BUSY helping homeless dogs. The word is spreading, and we are doing all we can for these precious souls and their people.

Dogs Helped in the last 2 months:

Chloe the Boxer – she is a healthy 10 year old girl whom we have helped for many years .. getting her spayed and vaccinated and keeping up her yearly dog license. As her person is homeless, we ask our contact at SPAN (Spay Neuter Animal Network) to let him know when she is due for shots & license renewal, as he comes there for his dog food. One of the Buddy Nation board members has arranged to foster or adopt Chloe, should anything happen to her person who battles cancer.

Hendrix the Belgium Shepherd – Hendrix and his person have been on the Ventura streets for about a year. We are currently working to get him a job and housing so that he can turn his life around. One of the social workers who works with the homeless is helping us and getting him on some financial assistance until he has steady paychecks. Our board members are actively looking for a room to rent for him and Hendrix as well as work to stabilize his life, so that he can get back on his feet. The veterinarian at our county shelter (a No-Kill shelter) has treated Hendrix for his heartworm, giving him his two-day treatment plus week’s stay at her infirmary to let it work. There is no charge for her work.

Jonni the Rottweiler puppy – Jonni was left in a box outside a local business, along with her siblings, at age 6 weeks. All were immediately adopted by employees and Jonni by a couple who live in their van with another rescue dog. Jonni was given her puppy shots and de-wormed by Dr. McNeil, one of 4 veterinarians who donate and discount their services for Buddy Nation (she is also on our board). Another board member took the couple and Jonni to a pet store to buy food and supplies.

Xena the Basenji mix – Xena and her family live in an RV in a safe night parking place. Xena is a health young girl who so fat has just needed up-to-date shots and licensing.e of our board members keeps in regular touch with the couple as both have health problems. She makes sure that Xena has food and we are working to get a service dog certificate for Xena.

Primo the Dogo Argentino, Susie the Jack Russell mix and Lolly the Dachshund – These 3 dogs were part of a family that lost its home due to medical expenses. Buddy Nation got the call to help place them from a housing social worker. We were able to find a home for the elderly Doxie and the also elderly Dogo. While Primo was in a boarding facility waiting for his new home, his cancer took over and we had him euthanized and cremated. Susie was granted service dog certification and is still with her original person, going to work with him every day.

Johnnie and Jimmie the Sibling Cocker Spaniels – Buddy Nation volunteers have been taking care of these two lovely dogs for many years, long before Buddy Nation was officially formed. Jimmie and Johnnie suffered from glaucoma and cataracts and had surgery and treatments by eye specialists over the years. Recently, at age 15, both suffered heart problems that eventually took their lives. One of our donating veterinarians mercifully euthanized them. We continue to keep in touch with their humans for fostering needy dogs.

Asker the Pit Bull – Asker was 11 when a person from a local church called us and asked us to come to the church to check on a dog living in an RV in their parking lot. Asker was a beautiful Pit Bull, who has a huge tumor on her chest. We immediately got her into one of our veterinarians and then into a surgical veterinarian who scheduled her for surgery. She died the night before her surgery and is buried in the church yard.

Charlee the German Shepherd – Charlee and his person lived in a truck. At aged 12, Charlee developed hind leg problems and we brought him our veterinarian who gave him medication to ease the swelling and inflammation and then worked with one of our craftspeople who has started to build dog wheels for disabled dogs. Sadly, on their way back from another county where the man had a day’s work, Charlee was illegally seized and killed by an animal control officer from that county. Buddy Nation has hired an animal rights attorney to look into the matter.

Primo’s, Johnnie’s, Jimmie’s, Asker’s and Charlee’s obituaries appeared in our local paper, The Ventura Breeze.

Charlie the Chihuahua – Charlie is a frisky 10 year old who is being fostered by one of our board members while his person undergoes radiation for cancer. Charlie has had extensive dental work resulting in lots of teeth being pulled – he now has kissing sweet breath, however. He goes to visit his person, who lives in the river bottom in Ventura and we work with a church to ensure that the man has food and clothing as needed. A seated walker was donated to him, too.

The rank and file of Buddy Nation help is for veterinary care, routine spay/neuter, shots, micro chipping, licenses and food. We go where we are needed and do what needs to be done. Most of our dogs are Pit Bulls – who are very loved and cared for by their people. We also currently have 2 groups of cats on the river bottom that we take care of. … more to come!

We cannot help without YOU my Buddy Nation Angels. We are grateful for any amount donated. Every penny goes to the care of the homeless dogs.  THANK YOU for your continued love and support!

Shadow

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This is a long one and so heartbreaking. A long, convoluted, and unresolved road so far after Shadow was shot by Ventura PD for doing what any dog would do…defending his family! He spent some time at the shelter and then in boarding, and was finally released into a foster home where he is thriving while we (still) await some resolution to the matter.

Aug 14, 2016 — Shadow and his foster fursister Kayla are getting along juuuuuust fine 🙂 In the house, they are affectionately known as the “tweedles” (we decline to define “dee” and “dum” as it vacillates on an hourly basis).

This will be a long update, but for those interested in the details it is worth it:

The appeal of Shadow’s nuisance hearing is scheduled to be heard December 7, 2016 at 8:20 am in Department 43 of the Main Courthouse of the Ventura County Superior Court. The defendants/respondents are Ventura County Animal Services, Ventura Police Department, the four VPD officers who filed complaints under penalty of perjury against Shadow, and the person who conducted Shadow’s animal nuisance hearing. There could be some change in the parties and that could delay the hearing. As you can see, Shadow will not be suffering from any such delays, though.

The First Amended Writ and Complaint, without exhibits referenced and without the possibly 1100+ documents contained in the Administrative Record accompanying the case, can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_OSg9wEO_xeOHBwRFg4a2ltc28/view?ths=true. The “FAC” contains a lot of facts, but barely covers about 1/3 of what went on in Shadow’s case.

This lawsuit is not just about Shadow, though. This lawsuit is about every animal owner in Ventura County. It speaks to issues that could affect animal owners throughout the State of California, if not beyond. Change is scary, but necessary in an evolving society. Some people do not like change and, therefore, this lawsuit is making certain sectors of the community very, very mad. As well it should, though not in the way some are taking it.

On behalf of Shadow and every animal owner that has ever faced an animal nuisance hearing (or any animal owner/lover), please give the case, its issues, and all of the people involved the consideration and respect that is deserved. Not every lawyer is bad; not every lawyer is good. Not every cop is dirty; not every cop hasn’t taken liberties behind the veil of the badge. Not every “pitbull” is vicious; not every “pitbull” hasn’t done something wrong. And not every governmental entity is squeaky clean.

Asking our city and county to provide clarification to questions that are unanswered under the law is not wrong. Nor is asking them to provide records that are deemed “public” under the law even after they say that none exist (despite the fact that some are published online). Asking for a dog not to have a death sentence over his head for defending a loved one against four people who admit beating the dog’s loved one within the dog’s line of sight is not wrong. Especially when the “injury” that dog allegedly caused could have been the result of the actions of one of the other officers involved in the incident.

This is even more “true” in the county that touts itself as being the largest “no-kill” county in California in 2014. A county that pursues media coverage and outside assistance on that premise and provides/sells people with t-shirts touting their “no-kill” status still utilizes “abatement” orders of death in animal nuisance cases in the event of ANY future violation of the orders or animal nuisance law no matter what the violation may be.

Oddly, the “no-kill” claim for VCAS has yet to be made for 2015, but the agency still maintains – at least in the media – that it is a “no kill” shelter. Why, then, does VCAS maintain the right to kill a dog deemed a nuisance – for any reason and without a temperament determination – within ten days of a ruling if an owner does not comply with the orders put in place? Why does VCAS do this despite the fact that California law gives the owner 90 days to appeal such a decision? It is wonderful that VCAS claims to be a “no kill” shelter but it’s animal nuisance orders contradict that credo.

Pursuing these issues on behalf of an anyone, much less a member of an underserved population (such as the homeless and/or veterans who love and care for animals that are demonized for no reason other than a social stigma that changes by decade), is no reason to devalue a case, a cause, or the people involved – on either side. If you choose to look at this case, look at it and evaluate it on all points. On all merits, demerits, and everything in between. Nobody has done everything right and nobody has done everything wrong. But nobody deserves to have been given a death sentence over protecting a loved one in a manner that allegedly resulted in two stitches – whether by bullet that, thankfully, didn’t do the job or by statute/ruling that gives the government carte blanche to finish the job upon the slightest future violation of – at best – obscure animal nuisance laws.

On April 22, 2015, Shadow watched as at least 3 Ventura police officers utilized physical measures to “control” his human brother during the course of an arrest.  Shadow did what many dogs would do: he went to his brother’s aid.  It is alleged Shadow bit one of the police officers on the forearm.  Shadow was then shot by another police officer.

While there are laws governing animal bite hearings, they don’t address many important issues and they are unclear (if not contradictory) in others.  Shadow’s lawyer has been dealing with both Ventura City and Ventura County agencies trying to ensure Shadow gets a fair hearing.  That process is still ongoing and, because of the issues involved, we need your help raising awareness of the problems in the existing system.  Letters/emails/calls to local council members, the County Board of Supervisors, politicians, animal rights advocates, newspapers, etc. expressing concern would help get these issues noticed for Shadow at least and – hopefully – help in affecting change for the future.

Finally, substantial fees have been and are being incurred in preparing Shadow’s defense.  The City and County required money up front to get documents, videos, etc. that can shed light on what really happened that night.  Fees were also required to be paid for each witness we require to attend the hearing (the police officers).  Should Shadow be found to be a nuisance but not ordered to be put down, his boarding fees for the last 4 months will need to be paid as well.

Please consider speaking up for Shadow as well as all other animals who are the subject of animal nuisance hearings in Ventura County.

If you would like to know more about the issues involved, please visit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WI9gzwQFsUhdpyU_OAkZJS0BfOpl4eRISg4oi6eIgAg/edit?usp=sharing.

We can also be reached at HelpSaveShadow@gmail.com.

Baby ~ Honorary Pit bull

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Baby lives in the river bottom with Pippi, Bonnie and Charlie. She also got her spay (at 7 years old) and vaccines. She hadn’t had any shots either! Got her mamas tent, sleeping bags, blankets, dog bed, and food as well.

They lost all their belongings when the police raided the campsite and made everyone leave. People are not allowed to take their stuff with them! Jeez, what’s up with that?!

Nickel

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Nickel is one awesome dog! Not only super handsome but super sweet. I only met him once and then not again until I received an urgent message.

Here is the story: I received a message from another friend who works with Canine Adoption and Rescue League – CARL that one of my homeless dogs, Nickel and his person Benny, needed help. Benny had shown up at the CARL Boutique Thrift Store very sick but wouldn’t go to the hospital until he knew his beloved dog was cared for. The fates were smiling that day, as Mary Saputo, head of CARL, just happened to be in the store. She got Benny to the hospital with what they at first thought was pneumonia, and took Nickel to CARL to be cared for while Benny was at VCMC.
Well, it turns out Benny has cancer, and it’s everywhere. He has anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to live.

I contacted my friend, M’Lou Mashburn Keller, about an RV she had wanted to donate last year for my homeless dogs, and asked her is she still had it, and would she consider donating now so that Benny and Nickel could be together. She jumped right on it, and Jenifer Hurt and M’Lou did the leg work needed to get the RV to the parking lot of CARL Thrift Store that very day!

Benny and Nickel stayed in the RV until Benny was too sick to stay there, then he went into hospice. What happened to Nickel you ask? Well…he was adopted by Mary Saputo, the head of Canine Adoption and Rescue League and is now happy and content in a home!