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The top picture is of Abby (formerly called Velvet) and my son’s Golden Retriever, Nico, taking up the entire sofa in the den. The other was taken by my sister at a family dinner. We were talking and not paying much attention to the dogs and Abby was eyeing Donnie’s plate. She is standing on all fours and is still able to rest her chin on the table.



Rescue Momma Dog Saves Rescue Puppies

msmuffin_pupsWe received a phone call about 6 orphaned boxer mix pups. The mother was tragically killed as a driver of a car swerved to miss a 4-wheeler that shot into the road. The driver veered into the yard of the mother dog, hitting and killing her. She was survived by 6, 12-day-old pups. Many rescues were called, and the Humane League was able to help. The pups were taken in and were hand nursed around the clock. Now, you may think you have read this story before; however, the story does not end here.

We also received a phone call about a Bassett-mix dog that had lost her pups. She was taken into rescue, as well. She, now dubbed Ms. Muffin, was isolated and given time to heal.

Meanwhile, the boxer mix puppies, after their first week in rescue, took a turn for the worse. Everything they ate started coming back through their noses. It was so pitiful to watch as they struggled to eat and breathe. As one of the foster moms, I was up during the day and night, too. The littlest one was 28oz. and the biggest pup, within days, was almost as small. They were losing weight and nothing seemed to work. We spent many days at the vet, trying figure out what was wrong. We tried different drugs, different bottles, different formulas and countless hours trying to find something that would help them. Nothing seemed to make a difference. They still would try to eat and the same response. Gagging and choking as the food came right through their little noses.

Finally, on the longest and scariest night of all, I was spent and so were they. They were not getting the nurturing I am sure only a mother dog could give. The love and licking and cleaning. The snuggling and warmth. As I continued to try and slowly feed, feeling futile… what happened next can only be described as a miracle. I turned and, into the small crate used to house the pups, went Ms Muffin. Still having the desire to nurse (without milk at the time), she nuzzled and nursed and licked and cleaned. She had her babies after all.

The next day, we all made one final trip to the vet. The vet tried one last form of treatment. And with Ms Muffin’s help, the pups started to improve. Within 24 hours, these fragile little things were turning the corner. I can only believe this was not a mere coincidence. Ms. Muffin was sent to help. The pups are now almost eight-weeks-old, and you would never know they ever had a rough week in their little lives. And you will never convince Ms. Muffin that she is not the proud Momma of Boxers.

Below: Ms. Muffin volunteers to snuggle with her adoptive puppies.




Dear Mrs. Beth,

Cami is doing great. She is eating, going to the bathroom, and just being a playful puppy. We are crate training her and she doesn’t really like it that much. We checked in about training and she has to be a little older to start so we will hold of on it. Here are a few pictures of her doing some things. We haven’t let her play with any other dogs yet but she will have some great fun and some amazing friends. Also, one of her favorite games to play is fetch.

Thank you so much. We will keep you updated.

Jaiko, Chris, Ondrea, and Aja



Nine Year Old’s Birthday Party Helps Animals

Nine Year Old’s Birthday Party Helps Animals

Many parents and kids struggle each year with themes for their birthday party. For Richelle Matarazzo, a third grader from Hillside Elementary in Roswell, there was no question what she wanted to do. She held a fundraiser for a local animal shelter.

Party guests were invited to a sidewalk pet adoption held by the Humane League of Lake Lanier. Richelle had to limit the amount of friends she could invite, and instructed them that any gifts should be for the animals. With help from her mother Cathryn and sister Genna, Richelle’s party held a bake sale and for 3 hours peddled homemade cookies, brownies and muffins. They raised over $300 for the shelter.

It was all Richelle’s initiative to do something to help animals, said Cathryn, it was her idea to ask friends to bring baked goods or donations instead of gifts. All the party guests enjoyed the unique celebration, especially helping out with the dogs and cats. And what did the 9-year-old birthday girl who didn’t get any presents think? Best party ever! exclaimed Richelle, who’s only regret is she did not go home with an adopted puppy.



eli_graduatesHi Pat and John,

We thought you might get a kick out of seeing Eli’s “Graduation” pictures from his beginner training class. He’s doing great and we love him to death. He’s really enjoyed seeing all his Lanier Pet friends when we’ve gone to class but we missed seeing you guys. Everyone comments on how well he looks and that makes us feel great.

Take care,
Lorri, Bob, Lindsay, Thane, and Eli






I adopted Chloe this past Saturday and just wanted to let you know she is doing great so far. She is so sweet and so well behaved. She is having fun and I think she is enjoying her new home! I have attached a picture. As soon as I get more pictures I will send some your way. Hope all is way and thank you for such a great dog!!




Greeting from RI! I wanted to thank you again for all the work you do. My mother and brother are thrilled with Tundra – now named Bruschi (pronounced Brewski). The latest report is that he knows how to sit, shake, lie down and stay with only a week of training under his belt. He had his first trip to the beach and made “herding” circles in the sand. I am heading to RI this weekend to celebrate my brother’s birthday and cannot wait to see how much he has grown.

Take care,


Hi Jane:

sandal_doberman250I just want to let you know that Sandal has settled into our family quite well. She has an optimistic personality and a sweet disposition. There is a slight mischievous streak, which has mostly taken the form of stealing items that the baby spit up on. If you catch her stealing and call her name, she is contrite and actually returns the stolen item to the exact place she found it. Pretty amazing. When she runs down the center hall of our house, there are just legs flying everywhere. She is gentle and patient with the kids and quite a snuggler.

Bombay and Trixie seem to have fully accepted her into the dog pack fold as well. At the dog park in our neighborhood, another dog growled at Sandal for some reason and B&T came right to her defense.



Thought I would send you a few pictures of Fiona, formally known as Joy.
She now weighs in at 50lbs and is a perfect fit for the family.



Humane League Looking for Foster Moms and Dads for Cuddly Canines

July 30, 2007
By Leah Miller

Every day lovable dogs and cats, for many reasons, end up in our overcrowded shelters. Unfortunately, not all these dogs get adopted. Those that are scheduled for euthanasia did not stand much hope until… The Humane League.

The Humane League of Lake Lanier got started in April 2005. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life for pets and improving the lives of people through the human bond with their pets. With services such as spay, neuter, microchip, vaccinate, de-worm and care for these lovable pups, the Humane League is committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of pets and to their successful placement into new, forever loving homes.

You can make a difference. Temporary homes are needed for rescued dogs until permanent homes are found. When foster homes are available, another dog’s life can be saved. Beth Mulrooney, President of the Humane League of Lake Lanier says, “All dogs from the Humane League of Lake Lanier are in foster care. We pay all medical expenses and even provide food. The foster home provides love and a safe environment. Foster homes are screened just like potential permanent homes. We are looking for friendly foster families in all areas of North Georgia.”

For more information on Foster Care, Adoption or how you may help, Please call Beth at 404-358-4498 or visit the website at

See the Article in the

The Humane League of Lake Lanier, Inc Celebrates 2nd Anniversary

The Humane League of Lake Lanier, Inc Celebrates 2nd Anniversary

The Humane League of Lake Lanier celebrated their 2nd anniversary with a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. The thirty-two volunteers in attendance were treated to a family style Italian feast at a local restaurant. A benefactor of the Humane League, who wished to stay anonymous, provided the evening of fun and camaraderie.

As for any small business, the Humane League requires a lot of different professional skills to function. Without a permanent structure the Humane League runs a Virtual Shelter of foster homes and volunteers. “This was great!“ said Andrea West, one of three volunteers responsible for the group’s website, “For many of us, this was the first time we’ve met face to face”

Since it’s inception in the spring of 2005, the Humane League of Lake Lanier has quickly grown to become the area’s largest all Volunteer Animal Shelter. Based in Forsyth County, the volunteers of the Humane League have spayed/neutered and homed over 650 homeless pets. “We’re proud to be part of a new approach to pet overpopulation. Working together with traditional animal controls to find alternative solutions is a national trend”, said the non-profits Founder and President, Beth Mulrooney.

To see available pets or inquire about volunteer opportunities, visit the virtual shelter at

Humane League of Lake Lanier, Inc PO Box 3322 Cumming, GA 30028 404-358-4498

This press release was featured in several newspapers in the North Georgia area, including the Forsyth Herald and

Yay! I have been adopted!

Yay! I have been adopted!

Do you know what it really means to give a rescue pet a second opportunity at a happy healthy life?

In case you don’t know me; My name is Fletcher. I am a big, beautiful boy, at least that is what they tell me. I somehow ended up at an animal control shelter and made friends with all the people there. It was easy. They were so friendly, I could not help but be super sweet in return. When my time was up (I still don’t know what that means), the shelter people sent me to live with a foster family of the Humane League of Lake Lanier.

In my foster home, I showed people my secret weapon. I can CLAP!! When they tell me to Cheer, I jump up on my back legs and clap my paws together. I used this secret weapon to win over a real family that decided to Adopt me as a true member of their family.

Now, I have someone who understands that I may take time to adjust. After all, it is a completely new family, home, yard and schedule that I have to learn. Imagine what you felt like your first day at a new job. Now imagine that you have to learn what your responsibilities are at your new job, but you don’t speak the same language as your boss or co-workers. That is about how I felt with so many sights and smells to get used to.

Being adopted means I have someone that will give me structure and nurturing. Someone that is willing to take on a 10-15 year commitment. Someone that is willing to keep me healthy. Someone that would be willing to get me a little professional training if I fail to tell them what I need.

So, what does this mean to you? I will love you unconditionally. I will always wag my tail when you come home. I will greet each day with you happy. I will be devoted and loyal. I will sleep beside you and protect you. I might, from time to time, forget myself and eat your slipper. But I will always love you.

So, we should all clap and cheer since you decided to adopt me!

A Rescue Dog’s Christmas Poem

‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town, Every shelter is full – we are lost but not found, Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare, We hope every minute that someone will care, They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call, “Come here, Max and Sparkie – come fetch your new ball!! But now we sit here and think of the days.. We were treated so fondly – we had cute, baby ways, Once we were little, then we grew and we grew – Now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new. So out the back door we were thrown like the trash, They reacted so quickly – why were they so rash? We “jump on the children:, “don’t come when they call”, We “bark when they leave us”, climb over the wall. We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed, Now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made. If only they’d trained us, if only we knew… We’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too. We were left in the backyard, or worse -let to roam- Now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home. They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye… “Maybe someone else will give you a try.” So now here we are, all confused and alone… In a shelter with others who long for a home. The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat, with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat, They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer… We know that they wonder how long we’ll be here. We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads.. Of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds. Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears – Our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear. If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the Inn — Could you help with the bills and fill our food bin? We count on your kindness each day of the year — Can you give more than hope to everyone here? Please make a donation to pay for the heat… And help get us something special to eat. The shelter that cares for us wants us to live, And more of us will, if more people will give. Written by David, the Dogman

Are Pet Owners Healthier?

Are Pet Owners Healthier?

The unconditional love of a pet can do wonders for emotional and physical health. Studies show pet owners are less likely to experience depression, are better able to cope with stress and may experience blood-pressure-lowering benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, research has shown that Fido or Fluffy can:

+Relieve stress. Playing with a puppy or cuddling a cat can help you unwind after a long day or comfort you if you’re sad or lonely.

+Help your heart. In a comparison study examining the heart rate and blood pressure of pet owners and their non-pet counterparts, people with pets had lower heart rates and blood pressure levels. The pet owners also had less increase in their heart rate and blood pressure when exposed to stress, and their blood pressure dropped faster following a stressful event.

+Protect your heart after a heart attack. Scientists discovered that dog owners were more likely to be alive one year following a heart attack than those who didn’t own dogs.

+Help keep you fit. Walking the dog is good exercise for you, too.

Is a Pet Paw-fect for you?

*Time involved. Cats, dogs, and other animals need food, water, exercise and and companionship daily. Consider your work and travel schedules to see if you can accomodate a pet.

*Financial support. Food, licensing, toys, grooming and verterinary care are all costs to keep in mind. And remember that pets can live for 10 to 15 years or more.

*Living space. A large dog might not be happy in a tiny house. You’ll need adequate space to accomodate your pet’s size and activity level. Some apartments or townhomes may have restrictions on size and number of pets. If you rent, keep in mind your next home may have more strict guidelines on pet ownership than does your current residence.

*Physical conditions/abilities. Pet allergies or other physical limitations might interfere with your ability to take care of a pet.

Happy Tails to You

Once you get a pet, visit a veterinarin as soon as possible for a complete check-up. This will ensure that your pet is healthy and up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations and heartworm prevention. Then, enjoy getting to know your new pet. You can help keep each other happy and healthy.

Dogs Get Found, Cats Stay Lost

Andrea Thompson
LiveScience Staff Writer Sun Jan 14, 5:05 PM ET

A lost Fido is more likely to be found than a missing Tabby.

Why? Because man’s best friend is more likely to have identification tags and dog owners are more prompt in searching for their missing pets, according to a new study.

The findings, published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, found that while 71 percent of lost dogs in the Dayton, Ohio, area were reunited with their owners, only 53 percent of lost cats ended up back at home.

“Dogs seem to be easier to get home to their owners,” study author Linda Lord of Ohio State University told LiveScience.

Dogs vs. cats

In her survey of people who ran lost pet ads in local newspapers, Lord found that dog owners contact and visit shelters much sooner than cat owners after the pet goes missing. More than one-third of the recovered dogs were found after a call or visit to a local animal shelter.

Dogs are also more likely to sport tags or carry an ID chip implant, Lord said.

Cat owners may not put identification on their cats because the cat shirks the collar or they keep the cat indoors.

“Just because you keep your cat indoors doesn’t mean you don’t have to identify them,” Lord said. Cats still can slip out of the house.

When people find cats without identification, they might assume they are strays and feed and adopt them, whereas people who see a dog wandering alone are more likely to assume it has an owner, Lord said.

Many cat owners also wait several days before calling or visiting shelters. They run the chance of missing their cat, which could be euthanized or adopted by someone else.

Of the study cats that did make it back to their owners, Lord said, two-thirds came back on their own.

Pet-finding tips

The key to finding a lost pet is visible identification, Lord said. If someone finds your pet, they can call the number on the ID tag without having to involve the shelter system. While microchips are a great backup, they are not visible to the naked eye and require shelters or veterinarians to scan them, she said.

Lord also emphasized that it is important to act quickly when looking for a missing pet by calling local shelters after one day, visiting every three days, putting up posters and even taking out newspaper ads.

The pet owners Lord interviewed were often surprised to hear about methods they hadn’t tried.

“There was definitely a lack of awareness,” she said.

Though different methods may be more or less effective in different places, Lord said, “people really need to think about having a plan.”

Two Horses

Just up the road from my home is a field with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing. If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her. As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell. Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see.

Just a dog

From time to time, people tell me, lighten up, its just a dog, or, thats a lot of money for just a dog. They dont understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for just a dog. Some of my proudest moments have come about with just a dog. Many hours have passed and my only company was just a dog, but I did not once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by just a dog, and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of just a dog gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day. If you, too, think its just a dog, then you will probably understand phases like just a friend, just a sunrise, or just a promise. Just a dog brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. Just a dog brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person. Because of just a dog I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, its not just a dog but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. Just a dog brings out whats good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. I hope that someday they can understand that its not just a dog but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being just a man. So the next time you hear the phrase just a dog. just smile, because they just dont understand. Versatile Hunting Dog Magazine, February 2006

I am an animal rescuer

My job is to assist God’s creatures. I was born with the drive to fulfill their needs. I take in helpless, unwanted, homeless creatures without planning or selection. I have bought dog food with my last dime. I have patted a mangy head with a bare hand. I have hugged someone vicious and afraid. I have fallen in love a thousand times. And I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body too many times to count. I have Animal Friends and friends who have animal friends. I don’t often use the word “pet”. I notice those lost at the road side and my heart aches. I will hand raise a field mouse and make friends with a vulture. I know of no creature unworthy of my time. I want to live forever if there aren’t animals in Heaven, but I believe there are. Why would God make something so perfect and leave it behind? Some may think we are masters of the animals, but the animals have mastered themselves… something people still haven’t learned. War and abuse make me hurt for the world, but a rescue that makes the news gives me hope for mankind. We are a quiet but determined army and we are making a difference every day. There is nothing more necessary than warming an orphan, nothing more rewarding than saving a life, no higher recognition than watching them thrive. There is no greater joy than seeing a baby play who, only days ago, was too weak to eat. By the love of those who I’ve been privileged to rescue, I have been rescued. I know what true unconditional love really is, for I’ve seen it shining in the eyes of so many, grateful for so little. I am an Animal Rescuer. My work is never done. My home is never quiet. My wallet is always empty, but my heart is always full.

A Poem for Boomer (aka Uncle Sam)

A Poem for Boomer (aka Uncle Sam)

by David Howton, Acworth, GA

At the Fulton County Animal Services shelter each dog shares a run with three other dogs.
My sister and I walk down the aisles and the caged dogs look at us with their liquid, pleading eyes, begging to be allowed out of their cages, away from the barking and the awful smell of fear.

“Just one minute,” they seem to say, “give me one minute out of here.”

One little brown terrier is curled in a tight ball in the corner. His cell mates jump and bark. He coughs miserably.

His eyes go from me to the door at the end of the aisle, where there is sunlight and fresh air…and quiet.

The card on his door says his name is Uncle Sam.

It is an old name for a young dog, even a sick young dog.

I put out my hand and he struggles to his feet.

His tail waves like the flag on a beautiful fall day.

He is ready to go with me, no matter what, no matter where.

For him, freedom is a boy and a few steps down a hallway, but it might as well be Air Force One and a million miles away.

Thanks to a David Howton, Boomer was released to rescue from the shelter where he was taken to a foster home, regained his health, and loved until he was adopted to a wonderful family in Cumming Georgia

Poem for the foster dogs

I look into your eyes, so full of hope as they gaze at me unwavering. I can see and I can feel your longing to love and trust – and I can feel your apprehension. I watch as you tentatively step in the room, the feel of carpet soft and unfamiliar, the coolness of the air a balm to your soul.

I detect a tiny quiver of excitement – “What is this place? Do I get to stay here?” Endearingly you touch the toys with your nose – “Is it all right – are these for me?”

Your eyes flicker back and forth watching the others. “They’re not scared – should I be?”

With abandon they play and bark, romping and rolling in the grass and still you watch with caution, too shy to take part. They race back in the door – as a pack and in order. You see the big male, the little female, and then the juvenile. “I had a family once.”

You’ve taken in much and are now weary – it’s time to sleep. New night sounds greet you, but they are soft, reassuring sounds. Others settle in around you, quiet words spoken to all. A cat glides by in silence.

Gently I stroke your head. Sleep the sleep of innocence, little one and rest well.

Morning comes and I watch you test the wind. Your muzzle is moist with dew. There is so much beauty in you. I am in awe of your spirit, your resiliency. Yes, that is your food, and fresh water is here. With renewed strength comes courage.

Your eyes thank me, and you nuzzle my hand with your velvet nose. With a bound you join the others, gently touching one with your paw – the juvenile. You reward is a play bow and I watch as you run with abandon – joy in your eyes.

Welcome, little foster dog.

Lonesome Dove