Our Special Angel

Angel first arriving with Sedona at the vet office.

Angel first arriving with Sedona at the vet office.

Some of you might have keept tabs on Angel through our Facebook postings.  Angel came to Sedona in late February with the help of Charwill Kennels Rescue via the Philadelphia

Angel's favorite activity, giving paw.

Angel’s favorite activity, giving paw.

SPCA shelter.  Angel was surrendered to the shelter severely underweight, missing over 60% of her fur and with skin and ear infections.  The shelter was full

and because of Angel’s estimated age of 8 to 10 years old and medical condition, she was at risk of being euthanized without a rescue coming in to save her.     Angel’s foster mom helped to completely transform her into a trusting and healthy German Shepherd.  Her fur grew back, the skin infectionscleared up and by May, Angel had found her forever home.

A Very HAPPY Ending

Happy and Harley waiting to come into our program

At the same time that we met Silverado and Sierra, we received information about two senior German Shepherds that has spent the last three years of their lives outside living in a stall at a horse barn.  The owner’s were losing the farm and if a rescue would not take them in, they would be forced to put them to sleep.  Upon meeting the two dogs named Happy and Harley, it was clear they needed some TLC.  Harley, a 12 year-old white male, was the father of Happy, a 9 year-old red and tan.  Both were pretty scruffy looking and needed to be seen by a vet for a checkup and to make sure their shot records were up to date.  Harley was slow, having some trouble walking because of issues with his hind legs and extremely long nails.

Bath time for Happy

Harley getting cleaned up

Harley getting cleaned up

After the two were seen by a vet (Harley was diagnosed with Lyme disease and arthritis, Happy was healthy), we arranged to pick the two up and bring them to a groomer for two very long baths and grooming session.  Harley’s health had deteriorated further, he was having difficulty getting up and holding his bladder.  Happy was clearly nervous and doting on Harley.  After the groomer, we brought them to a Tier Haus Farms and into our foster program.  We knew at that point that Harley was not adoptable, and probably didn’t have much longer to live.  However, in his last week he would be surrounded by a family that would care for him, let him roam around the farm and try to enjoy a little bit of life.

Happy and Harley together at their new foster home -Tier Haus Farms

Happy and Harley together at their new foster home -Tier Haus Farms

After a few days Happy easily integrated into his new foster home, that had four other German Shepherds, a lot of cats, geese, chickens, and other farm animals.  The transition helped Happy when a short time later Harley passed away.  We knew that

A Harley Memory

A Harley Memory

if Happy did not find a forever home, that he could comfortably retire with his foster family.  A supporter of Sedona had contacted us after recently loosing their dog named Buddy who lived to 14 and a half.  They also owned a farm, and had two other German Shepherds that like their mom, were missing their Buddy.  On the first meeting, it was clear that Happy was a perfect fit.  Happy is now enjoying the good life he deserves.

Happy keeping cool at the pool

Happy keeping cool at the pool

Happy's New Pack

Happy’s New Pack

Silverado and Sierra Together Forever

Silverado and Sierra together at York SPCA

Silverado and Sierra are brother and sister, living together since they were puppies.  Their owners had them for 6 years before surrendering them to the shelter because of a divorce.  Entering a shelter is always a stressful situation for any dog.  Most reputable shelters will attempt to place a ‘bonded’ pair like Silverado and Sierra together, so as not to disrupt their lives any further.

Placing two large dogs like Silverado and Sierra together can be difficult.  Usually adopters will be looking for just one dog, and many times have other animals, which means bringing in two dogs is not an option.   During the summer, the shelter was getting over crowded and they were not having much luck finding a home together, so York SPCA reached out to Sedona for help.

After meeting Silverado and Sierra, it was clear how attached they were to each other.  When we took Sierra for a separate walk, Silverado paced around the fenced in play area, waiting for her return.  During play time, they would chase after the same toy together, never fighting over it and they would come up together waiting for a treat or more attention.

Silverado and Sierra were with Sedona for a little over 3 months, which is about the average amount of time a dog stays in our program before finding a forever home.  Although initially, we had some inquiries into adopting them together, most people that contacted us were interested in one or the other but not both.  In rescue, patience can be a virtue and the wait for the right home that would keep them together paid off.  We received an inquiry from a family that had recently lost their 6 year old German Shepherd after a year of intensive care for many medical issues.  They had a hole in their lives and Silverado and Sierra were soon to fill it.

Despite living about 6 hours away from Silverado and Sierra, their new owners were committed and willing to make the trip to give Silverado and Sierra a forever home.  Their new home included another friendly dog, a fenced in yard, an active household and two loving owners.

So many toys to choose from

So many toys to choose from

When's NCIS coming back on?

When’s NCIS coming back on?

We love our new backyard

We love our new backyard

Bo Knows Rescue

Bo getting ready to enter Sedona Foster Program

Bo getting ready to enter Sedona Foster Program

One of the questions we often get from people interested in rescue in general is, “How do  you find dogs for your program”?  This is one such story with a happy ending for a boy named Bo.   A goal of ours is to try and service people looking for help with rescue in the Northeast areas that do not have a lot of rescue organization options easily available to them.  One such area is central and eastern Pennsylvania.  We had corresponded with a rescue friend, Diane Buhl, in New Ringgold, PA on a number of occasions and were going out to visit their kennel, Charwill Kennels.   Diane had received a call from an elderly couple in Pennsylvania, who were moving unexpectedly and had no luck finding a home for Bo, their 9 year old German Shepherd.   When we visited, she let us know that Bo’s owner had less than 10 days to find him a home.

Space was tight but we would work hard to get Bo a new home.  Within a few days, one of our volunteers met Bo and immediately brought Bo home to foster.  Our volunteer also had a German Shepherd at home, Sheba, who was not fond of any other dogs in the house.  However, Bo was out of options, so after a few days, Sheba and Bo came to a temporary truce.  It wasn’t long before we found Bo a nice foster home with no other dogs.  Bo’s final foster home was a short foster, because they instantly fell in love with Bo and within 3 days decided to adopt Bo.

It would be nice if all our stories and adoptions worked so quickly as it did for Bo, but the ‘average’ time a dog stays with us is about 3 months.   We were happy that all the pieces fell into place with Bo.  In rescue, one never knows where the dog will come from but where they are going is to a new happy home.

Bo in his new home

Bo in his new home

Bo enjoying the summertime

Bo enjoying the summertime

 

How Long Does A Dog Stay At Sedona

A common question we receive from an owner looking to surrender their dog, or an adopter just interested in meeting one of our dogs is “How long does Sedona have a dog before he or she gets adopted?”  Knowing the answer to that question is like knowing the velocity and location of an electron (if you waited long enough, we’d get the quantum physics and rescue correlation to pop up in one of our posts).  We could give probabilities and estimates, but let’s look at two recent success stories – Clyde and Chewbarka.

Clyde jumping for joy in preparation of being adopted.

Clyde jumping for joy in preparation of being adopted.

Clyde had a lot going for him when he entered our program.  He is not particularly old (about 5 to 7 years old), he is a friendly with people and he tends to ignore other dogs.  On the flip side, Clyde had some rough edges that needed to be addressed.  Clyde liked to chew (and destroy depending on his mood) towels and sheets, he did not like car rides and was not particularly house broken.  Weighing his pluses and minuses we would have expected that Clyde would find a home within 2 to 3 months.   Clyde’s posting on petfinder and adopt-a-pet was very popular, and of all our dogs, we consistently received the most inquiries every month from potential adopters asking about Clyde.   Despite his popularity, Clyde was with our program from inception (in fact we had him for a few months prior to being an official non-profit organization).   All told, it took almost 9 months to find Clyde a home, but it was worth the wait for Clyde.

Chewbarka came to us from a shelter in southern New Jersey, looking so sad and unhealthy that the shelter thought he was about 12 years old.  Chewbarka cleaned up nicely, and our vet estimated his age closer to 8, but still he was up on the senior scale.  He has dry-eye syndrome which requires giving him tear drops and cleaning his eyes two to three times a day.  Luckily for Chewbarka he was good with other animals.  However, when we first took him into our program we were mostly concerned about just getting him out of a shelter.  We did not foresee him getting adopted quickly.  Chewbarka never actually made it onto our website as an available dog.  We had an approved family meeting one of our other available dogs, and Chewbarka was being walked at the same time the family arrived.  That was truly love at first sight.  We barely had Chewbarka in our program for three weeks before he was in a very active and loving home.

While the age of a dog will play a role in the length of time they may stay at a rescue like ours, we have found that unfortunately the lowest probability dogs to get adopted are those that are not good with other dogs.  A dog like Avery, who has some special needs, would most likely have found a home by now if she was good with other dogs, or at least cats.  This is the conundrum that all rescues face, how to find foster homes and forever homes for dogs that will be the only dog in a household.  At Sedona, we are actively looking for people who want to get involved in rescue or just curious about rescue but do not currently have an animal in their home.  An animal-free home can save dogs like Avery or Vicki that are at the highest risk of being euthanized at a shelter.  We provide the medical care and any support needed to foster homes, especially first time foster homes.  If you know someone interested in finding out more about being involved in rescue, fostering an adult or senior dog is a good transition into the world of rescue.

Saving Avery

Why We Saved Avery – A Sedona Story

Something fun is going on, can I join?

Something fun is going on, can I join?

Sometime in late February, we were contacted by Hempstead Shelter about Avery, an 8 year-old female German Shepherd dog. Avery had been found as a stray by the local police department and turned into the shelter. No one had claimed Avery and the shelter was looking for a rescue organization to take Avery. Normally, Long Island is outside of our working area, but we were going to be in the area one Saturday and decided to take a ride out to meet Avery.

Avery at shelter with her tail bandaged.

Avery at shelter with her tail bandaged.

After spending some time with the spunky little shepherd, it was clear that Avery was up against some long odds of anyone from the general public coming in to the shelter and adopting her. Avery’s back end and hips were wobbling, she was listed as 8 years old, and she would need to be the only dog in the household. Those are tough odds for any dog in a shelter environment.

Avery - Patiently waiting

Avery – Patiently waiting

We kept in touch with one of the shelter managers and cross-posted Avery’s picture and story to help generate some interest in hopes that Avery might be adopted from the shelter. There were no takers for Avery and no other rescues available or that had the resources to take in Avery, a dog that with a low probability of being adopted, a dog that might possibly need surgery or some other type of rehabilitation program for her weak hips.

Avery is always ready to play ball

Avery is always ready to play ball

It didn’t take any strong engineering or financial skills to do a cost analysis or probability tree to realize that we would be taking a risk bringing her into our program. We knew that there was a high likelihood that she would be in our program permanently. The cold hard facts are that each rescue, big or small, has finite resources and sometimes has to say “no.” The shelter had gone above and beyond for Avery, especially given that she had no takers for a number of months.

Avery was out of options and soon to be out of time. Despite knowing the odds were stacked against her, to turn our back on Avery would be to turn our back on our mission. In rescue sometimes you just have to believe. Our mission at Sedona is to take that leap of faith on a dog like Avery. Since being in our care, Avery has responded well to her acupuncture treatments, though she still continues to wobble in her hips when she is active. She has a little motor in her that never stops and Avery just loves to chase her tennis ball, or soccer ball.

Miss Avery

Miss Avery

Like all dogs, Avery has her little quirks that only make her more adorable to us. In the first month in our program we had three potential adopters or foster homes, but each fell through for different reasons. We are still looking for her guardian angel to provide her with a home to play in, sleep in, enjoy her retirement years and provide her new family with companionship and joy. Please help us make Avery’s story complete and allow us to take leaps on faith with other dogs like Avery. You can help sponsor Avery through her Go Fund Me campaign.

GEMMA – Finds Her New Family

G1 MontageWhen we first met Gemma at Newark Shelter we were immediately drawn to her.  How could we not be?  Much like Sedona, Gemma was a frightened white German Shepherd and we knew from speaking with volunteers at the shelter that there was no interest in anyone adopting Gemma.  She was curled up in her run and it took effort and coaxing to bring her out of her run.  Once Gemma was outside, she began to cautiously check out her surroundings and warm up to people.

Gemma FH5Gemma settled in nicely to her foster home the first evening.  However, after a day, her foster mom, who is a veterinarian, realized that there was something medically wrong.  Even after a number of baths, Gemma had an odd odor and she suddenly became very defensive around the other dogs in the house.   Upon further investigation, it appeared that Gemma most likely had a litter a few months prior to entering our program and had a dangerous infection in her uterus.

Gemma AAH9Gemma was a trooper during her stay at American Animal Hospital for treatment and surgery.  For the first week her hormones were out of whack and while she was super friendly to the staff, she did not want to be bothered with other animals.  As we prepared her to return to a foster home, she began to again show a lack of interest in other dogs.

An experienced German Shepherd owner, who had a Shepherd of her own and four cats was moved Gemma’s story and her pictures.  When her soon to be new family first met Gemma, everyone knew right away that it would be good fit.  Gemma would finally have a family that would truly care for her and a new pack of her own to make her feel safe and secure.

Photo Mar 15, 7 24 53 AM

Gemma Success Collage
Gemma Valentine Day A

BELLA – Enjoying Her New View

Bella enjoys the Manhattan Skyline

Bella enjoys the Manhattan Skyline

Dog’s don’t study economic theory or politics, but they are impacted when their owner is struggling to just stay financially afloat. When Bella’s owner was losing her home she came to us to make sure that Bella could find a new family who would not only be able to financially care for her, but give her love and attention. We were able to match Bella up with a young couple looking to adopt their first German Shepherd together. In Bella’s new home, she gets lots of play time and enjoys many scenic views of New York City along the way. Bella was our first adoption in 2015. Congratulations.

Congratulations Bella

Congratulations Bella

Bella ready for her new home.

Bella ready for her new home.

FIONA – A New Look

A happy Fiona In her new bed

A happy Fiona In her new bed

Fiona keeping warm this winter

Fiona keeping warm this winter

Here's looking at you.

Here’s looking at you.

There is nothing better than hearing from our our adopters and a happy story like Fiona’s.  Here is a letter from Fiona’s mom.


“All is going really well with Fiona. Her personality is really coming out. And she is so smart. She is teaching us the commands she knows and let’s us know when she wants to go out by going to sit by her leash on the porch and giving us a little bark. I would swear she speaks English. Whoever were Fiona’s first parents it is obvious they loved her very much. And it is obvious that her first parents realized what a really smart and terrific dog she is. And that is why it breaks one’s heart to see how she ended up after her first parents disappeared from her life.”

“Fiona loves long walks and enjoys helping her new family on the farm. She’s great with our 13 cats on the farm and the horses. She loves to go for rides on any motorized vehicle – car, truck, and she’d try to get on a tractor if she could – but is actually quite happy to just sit in the parked car for hours as long as she can see us. She also takes her job as Guard Dog very seriously. Every once in a while she’ll give her “Big Girl Bark” to let everyone know that she’s on the job. And if anyone comes to visit, she immediately leans right into them with the happiest waggy doggy tail ever!”

“Fiona has gotten a bit talkative over the last month or so as she realizes that she’s part of the family. She has a waterproof winter blanket (as you will see in the video) and we have a rain sheet on order for when the weather warms up a bit and the blanket would be just too much with her weight and coat. She hates raindrops and snow flakes on her face; she’s so funny!”

“Fiona has really taken to her “retired” life style. She is not a morning person/dog. She does not run around and play, but she does run to the open car door! If you haven’t figured it out yet, we just love her to death. She’s the best dog we could have asked for and is more than we anticipated. Your video captured her true spirit and vulnerability and we are just so grateful to her foster family for taking such good care of Fiona and bringing her back from near death. I honestly believe that if it weren’t for them, we would not have the most perfect dog ever.”

“Fiona – the best dog ever!!!”

-Sylvia

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TANYA – A Merry Christmas Story

Tanya hoping for a Christmas miracle

Tanya hoping for a Christmas miracle

Our story begins a few years back. Tanya’s holiday season started off on a very sad note. Just before Thanksgiving, Tanya’s owners decided they wanted to give up their 9 year-old German Shepherd dog. They had her since being a puppy but now, they explained that she shed too much for their home situation. Her owners told us that they had young children walking around on the floor and sometimes Tanya would also drag in dirt and poop after they let her outside.

Perhaps there were other reasons that the owners didn’t want to say as to the true reason for giving up Tanya. In rescue, a little further questioning can yield a truer picture. Sadly, no other reason was given. Given how close it was to Thanksgiving, the owner’s were asked if they could wait a few weeks, so that someone could meet Tanya at her home and talk to the owners about their options.

A few days later, a lovely all black 9-year-old German Shepherd wound up at a shelter. It was Tanya. Her owner’s did not even wait for us to try and find her a home. A nice soul sponsored Tanya while she was at the shelter and asked if anything could be done to help a very sad and dejected Tanya.

A wistful Tanya

A wistful Tanya

During Christmas season, sometimes miracles can happen. Fate was on Tanya’s side. A retired couple had recently lost one of their dogs and they were looking for a nice senior dog to be a companion to their other German Shepherd, a retired Seeing Eye dog.

Tanya took a long drive, straight from the shelter to hopefully her new home. When Tanya arrived her new owner’s fell in love with her right away. Tanya was happy as well. She now had her new pack: two friendly dogs, a cat and a loving home.  A Very Merry and Happy Christmas for Tanya!

Tanya_and_friends2

Tanya and her new best friends

A happy Tanya at her forever home

A happy Tanya at her forever home

Tanya lived for another three plus years before passing away. These are the type of stories that move us to rescue adult and senior German Shepherds. Thanks to all the volunteers at Garden State German Shepherd Rescue who made this story come to life.  Consider being a foster home and making another Christmas story like Tanya’s come true.