Friday, October 31, 2008

Efforts for animals on a SD Reservation

The 2006 Rosebud Sioux Tribe Sicangu Oyate Animal Care Project featured three high volume spay/ neuter clinics, held over the course of five months. As in previous years, clinics were held at central locations and transportation was provided from outlying areas. 897 surgeries were provided this year, with a breakdown of 54% dogs to 46% cats.

The clinics were held in Todd County, South Dakota, which is 85% Sicangu Lakota. It is the fourth to the poorest county in the US according to Census 2000 figures. The Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation includes five counties; the most populated is Todd County. Nearly 25,000 Sicangu Lakota tribal members reside here, mainly in Todd County.

Our starting point this year was one we had never experienced before. Instead of working to gain new ground, this year's project maintained success. We continued the recipe including well publicized high volume spay/ neuter clinics, transports from outlying tribal communities so all pets could be included, and preparation for transfers to out-of-state shelters.

Four letters of support written at the conclusion of 2005 reveal that the number of stray animals had been dramatically reduced. Three letters originate from school officials. The reason is that prior to this program, packs of dogs searching for food in school dumpsters terrorized schoolyards. One dogfight resulted in children witnessing a horrible incident of cannibalism. The packs of dogs had formerly been a school safety issue. Through spay/ neuter, this issue was resolved to the benefit of the animals and the children. The number of dog bites had dropped significantly and cruelty complaints have diminished significantly as well.

Our new task is to analyze the numbers and pinpoint what worked well, and what might have been done differently. The current goal is to describe our experience in detail, so that others may benefit from this information and duplicate this effort where it is appropriate.

Established to provide comprehensive solutions, since start up this program included a pet transfer relationship so that adoptable puppies and dogs could be humanely removed from the reservation. Transfer relationships with Denver, Boulder and other smaller facilities have continued (Salt Lake City, included in 2003, was too far for regular transfers). Roughly, 700 animals have been transferred to date.

Unwanted dogs are received at the clinics, and we are prepared for euthanasias. However, due to the help of humane organizations willing to receive animals at the time of the clinics, no adoptable dog has been euthanized due to a shortage of space. Euthanasias have included dogs with temperament issues and illness. 3,317 animals have been spayed or neutered at the clinics since the start of this program.

Altogether, including sterilizations, transfers and euthanasias, roughly 4,075 to 4,100 animals have been removed from reproductive circulation on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation between July 2003 and September 2006.

The changes have been dramatic.

Although the problems were visually evident, we started out with very little hard data on the numbers of unwanted animals. We used anecdotal information, regular sightings of unwanted animals and information from health administration workers on bites.

Despite a lack of hard data at start up, it has been possible to determine the reduction of dog bites and cruelty complaints. We have also been able to track changes in pet care habits, and changes in the impact that unwanted animals have on the communities.

Prior to this project, no animal control or protection program existed on the reservation. Homeless dogs, often seriously affected by mange and parasites, froze and starved to death. Packs of stray dogs survived by cannibalism. There were an excessive number of dog bites.

Animal control consisted of collecting and shooting unwanted dogs. The shootings traumatized people throughout the reservation, including those who hired the people to shoot the dogs. The last collection and shooting was in 2002.

In late 2002, the tribal health office sought assistance in addressing this issue. A 2002 tribal council resolution declared respect for animals to be a traditional part of Lakota culture.

In July 2003, the tribe held the first Sicangu Oyate Pet Care Celebration, which included the first high volume spay/ neuter clinic on the reservation. 649 animals were sterilized.

This was the first "responsible pet care event" on the reservation. It was heavily publicized and was accompanied by an educational component. Throughout the clinic, 71local volunteers signed in.

Funding History:
The 2003 clinic was funded by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Summerlee Foundation, and the ASPCA.

ASPCA, assisted by Two Mauds Foundation, provided funding for surgeries in 2004.

In 2004, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) funded the renovation of a building to house the animal welfare/ control program. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST) took the lead role in coordinated the building renovations, the educational efforts, and acquiring local donations.

PETsMART Charities, Inc., has provided funds for anesthesia and surgical equipment and a medical sterilizer. Other equipment and supplies were donated as well.

Friends of Animals generously funded this program in full in 2005.

Friends of Animals, PetSmart Charities, Inc., and the Handsel Foundation funded the 2006 clinics and PetSmart Charities, Inc., provided funding for additional equipment and training.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has provided housing and lodging for the visiting team since start up. This averages around $3 per surgery.

The cost per surgery for staff, travel, and disposable surgical supplies (suture material, Isoflourine, etc.), are around $21 per surgery.

In 2003, the program started with one high volume clinic. 649 pets were spayed or neutered. Roughly three quarters of pets were females. In addition to Oklahoma staffing, Arkansans for Animals and Montana Spay/ Neuter Task Force provided staffing and coordination.

In 2004, a four-day clinic provided 459 surgeries. The pet transfers continued throughout 2004.

In 2005, three clinics, with two veterinarians lasting four days each, provided 1,313 surgeries, or 52% of the total since program start up. In 2005, the tribe initiated the use of trustees from the jail for volunteer labor. The trustees were given time off of their sentences for helping us.

To date our clinics have performed 3,317 surgeries on the reservation.

2003, 5 days total, 1 clinic for 5 days, 4 vets, 649 animals (20 veterinarian working days)= 32.5 animals per vet per day

2004, 4 days total, 1 clinic for 4 days, 3 vets, 459 animals (12 veterinarian working days) = 30 animals per vet per day

2005, 12 days total, 3 clinics for 4 days each, 8 weeks apart, 2 vets, 1,313 animals (24 veterinarian working days) = 54.7 animals per vet per day

2006, 14 days total, 3 clinics, 8 weeks apart, 2 vets for one clinic and one vet for 5 days the last 2 clinics, 897 animals (18 veterinarian working days) = 50 animals per vet per day

There have been 39 actual open clinic days (5, 4, 12, 14).

Veterinary working days- (the number of vets in the clinic, times the number of clinic days) was 74.

In 2006, again three clinics with two veterinarians for the first, and one veterinarian for five days for the second two, provided a total of 897 surgeries.

Between the second and the third clinics of 2005 (following 17 clinic working days), the change in the appearance and population density of the dogs became evident. Packs of dogs were basically gone and strays decreased overall. Many animals in packs do not survive the winter. Packs largely disappeared once the source of the packs, unwanted dogs from unwanted litters, were eliminated through spay/ neuter.

Following the very apparent (upgraded) change in the condition of the pets that were noted in 2005, the two stores that sell dry dog food were contacted to see if there had been a change in the volume of dog food sold. Management at both stores confirmed that there had been a significant increase in dog food sales as the actual number of dogs declined on the reservation (2004-05). This indicated a pro-active, as opposed to passive, change in pet health care habits.

In 2006, we noticed that the clinics included parents, specifically fathers, who spent the day at the clinic with their children and the pets. The 2006 clinics were more "social" than the previous years, with a few people coming back to visit veterinarian Dr. Brent Pitts and some requesting well- pet examinations.

It is reasonable to speculate that had the model of three shorter clinics been used the first year, the success may have occurred earlier. This does not necessarily mean that less surgery days would have been needed, but the days could have been provided in less time (2 years instead of 3). That could have potentially prevented animal suffering during the 03-04 winter.

Effective timing (shorter, more frequent clinics) enabled the clinics to terminate pregnancies, making the timing more beneficial to animals and cost effectiveness. In 2003, one clinic with "20 veterinary working days," (meaning five days with four vets), which was not filled to capacity, averaged only 32 animals per day/ per vet. In 2005, with fewer vets, the clinics averaged 54 animals per day/ per vet. (This assumes the vets are capable of high volume).

The clinics started at the end of April in 2005 and 2006. At that time, no dogs were pregnant and very few had entered estrus ("heat cycles"). The chain of unwanted animals that begins each spring was prevented for hundreds of dogs. Unfortunately, some cats were already pregnant; some had had litters. However, weather concerns prevented the clinics from being held earlier without risking holding a clinic and people being unable to get there.

The greatest costs in this model are per diem costs, or per clinic costs. The travel expenses are per person, the staff is paid per diem, etc. The surgical supplies (suture, Isoflourine, etc.) are minimal compared to the travel, etc. Consequently, the smaller clinics filled close to capacity increase the cost efficiency and availability. The timing and the ability to fill the clinics appear to be the key to efficiency and effectiveness.

The recipe includes

· Skilled high volume surgeons,

· A lot of volunteer help (this is where the jail trustees come in),

· A transport system so that remote communities are included, with effective timing and good publicity,

· The ability to accept unwanted animals at the time of the clinic so that animals may be transferred to shelters or, if unadoptable, euthanized.

Trustees from the jail received time off of their sentences for working with the clinic, which worked very well. While providing consistent staffing for the clinics, the trustees learned some job skills that may be helpful in gaining entry-level work at an animal shelter or clinic. Inclusion of trustees required some management by tribal health care workers, however it was great overall.

Additional costs included travel expenses so the coordinator could be on site, commercial dog food to send home with pets after surgery, and some additional pet health supplies. Donations from Clova Abrahamson, President of Oklahoma Humane Federation, Nancy Atwater of SPAY Oklahoma, and humane organizations in Oklahoma and South Dakota assisted with these costs.

Pet food was sent home to ensure that the animals were fed properly during the first few days of recovery. Many pets have diets mainly of scrap and commodities, including powdered milk and scraps over macaroni, etc. This diet has worked reasonably for most; however, the clinic sends home appropriate nutrition following surgery.

In addition to sterilization, dogs are dewormed and treated for mange and ticks, which can also become zoonotic issues (transmission to humans). All animals are vaccinated for rabies, a service provided by Indian Health Service. The IHS staff remains on site, administers the vaccines, and helps to facilitate the check in services.

Once sterilized, the pet can be brought back to subsequent clinics for deworming, tick prevention, mange treatment, etc.

In 2006, we tried a "bounty" or "incentive" system, which worked best when we located a key person in the community who wanted to address community issues, and paid them per dog as the animal was signed in.

At this point in the program, offering the bounty to owners did not help bring in people who were not motivated to act without it. The reason may be that homes still not participating include some primary adults who have special difficulties and are unable to even get the pet to the transport vehicle. The incentive program was generously funded in full by Joan Lawson of Minnesota.

The changes in pet care habits, (dog food, leashes, etc.) tend to support that most people do not want litters of pets to watch starve and have underfoot. Consequently, offering the incentive to a pro-active community member was more effective than targeting the individual households that were still not participating.

Transports make sure every pet can come to the clinic. The transports are somewhat costly and time consuming, but are absolutely vital to getting the pets in from outlying areas. It was meaningful to have someone included in the transports who was fluent in Lakota, especially for approaching elders.

The response to the transports was directly related to the level of outreach that was done before the clinic to let people know when to be at the pick-up location. The best way to do this was to have a health worker go door to door in the evenings (2003-04), in the targeted housing areas and communities, for a week or so before we got there. The ability of the CHR office to do this varied, based on their other activities and requirements. They are somewhat understaffed and cover an enormous service area, so activities involving added time commitment can be difficult.

We have learned a lot about how a community can find creative solutions to a tragic problem. Through teamwork and the generous support of the funders who have made this success possible, people on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation now enjoy a healthy relationship with the animals who share their homes.

It is our pleasure to share this report with other communities in the hopes that grass roots efforts to help animals may be expanded.

Sid Kills In Water, Director,
Community Health Representative Program,

Ruth Steinberger,
spay/ neuter project coordinator,

Bev Kauth

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mama Mia

Dear Denise:

Mia came to the shelter very pregnant 2 weeks ago. She is a wonderful cat, and soon caught the attention of Melissa and her two young daughters who volunteer at the shelter.

They decided they wanted to take Mia and foster her at their home in Thief River Falls. Well it didn't take long until they fell in love with Mia and decided to adopt her.

We just got an email that five little kitties were born yesterday.
They are getting great care and love from Melissa, Autumn and Brooklyn.

As soon as the kittens are weaned they will come to the shelter and move on the new homes. Mia will be spayed and become a part of the foster's family.

Thank you so much for helping Mia. Sincerely, Karen and RLRR

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Benay arrives

Benay is a friend of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue who has generously given of her time to come stay at the rescue fulltime and help with the animals while Karen recovers from surgery on her foot.

Benay arrived at the shelter on October 6 and has been working very hard. She is pictured knee-deep in puppies.

She has the "cathouse" in immaculate condition and has all the dogs/puppies socializing and going with her on her marathon walks twice a day. The animals absolutely love her.

Benay went to Redby and looked for a dog who was paralyzed and laying under an outdoor stairway in the mud. She rescued him and took him to the Clearwater Vet and tried her best to save him, but after several days, it was apparent to the vet that the dog would never walk again. He crossed the rainbow bridge, but thanks to Benay, he did not have to continue to suffer wet, cold, and in pain anymore.

This woman is outstanding in her commitment to the animals, constantly bathing mangey pups and keeping up on everything. She is falling in love with Sylvester, the cat on special diet for urinary problems. He sleeps on her pillow and follows her around like she is one of the gods. She shared with me yesterday, that when she leaves, Sylvester will go with her to his forever home.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Newsletter (October 2008)

Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue (RLRR)
October 2008 Newsletter

Medical and Rescue Statistics
2006 2007 Jan – Sept 2008
Animal Clinics 1 2 3
Shelter Clinics 1 1
Rescues 500 503 422
Spay/Neuter 346 455 465
Quill removal 14 6 4
Major Medical 5 16
Eye Surgery 3
Mastectomy 1
Other Medical 6 1 6

ACCOMPLISHMENTS January – October 2008

Computer and database upgrades:
1) Donor database established.
2) Clinic client database established. This is important for keeping track of medical care that each animal has received so that they get proper treatments and don’t get over vaccinated.
3) Computer donated by Friends of Flicka. Thanks to Denise for getting this need fulfilled.
4) RLRR Blog designed by Denise Luke. Denise updates it frequently with a lot of GREAT photos, stories and information . You can contact Denise at if you have information for the blog. Check the RLRR blog weekly and also check out past entries under blog archive at

Shelter upgrades:
1) New well. Now Karen doesn’t have to haul buckets of water long distances to water the animals. It also makes cleaning dog kennels and the cat house much easier. Thanks to the Lawson Foundation for funding this much needed project.
2) Two more heavy duty 2-pod dog kennels.
3) Cat shelter cleaned and updated with new washer/dryer, plumbing, linoleum, paint, doors, curtains and laundry tub. If you saw it before, you won’t recognize it now. The shelter backroom is now a spare bedroom. People can now stay there when they visit after Benay’s visit ends in December. See photos at under October “The cat house” gets a makeover.

More spay/neuters and surgeries have been done this year then the same time last year thanks to the dedicated vets, techs and volunteers at the animal clinics and to your donations for care at local vets.
Please see for information and photos regarding these clinics. Look under blog archive on the right hand side of the page.
1) HSUS/RAVS. (See August for several RAVS entries).
2) AHS Golden Valley. (See June “Clinic with AHS, May 2008”).
3) Animal Ark. (See May “Neuter Commuter Clinic May 1-4”).
4) Akin Hills Pet Hospital. (See September “Akin Hills Pet Hospital helps out at RLRR”).

1) DJ & T Foundation (SNAP grant): $5,000 for spay/neuter of owned dogs only. Can be renewed.
2) Charlotte Parks Foundation: $5,000
3) Animal Rights Coalition (ARC): $250

1) Pins for All Pets Fundraiser: $14,000+ raised. RLRR will receive a portion of the money.
2) Animal Rights Coalition & Fast and Furless Vegan Boutique donated $675 from their grand opening silent auction.
3) Twin Cities Pet Expo. First year RLRR participated. Raised $731 from t-shirt sales and donations.
4) Garage sale and matching donations (approx. $3,200).
Thanks to everyone who donated and helped!

1) Barbara Bowman took a sabbatical from work this summer to help Karen at the shelter and to help prepare and organize the huge HSUS RAVS clinic. RAVS ran very smoothly this year thanks to Barbara!
2) Karen took a sabbatical from teaching at Red Lake High school for the 2008-09 school year to focus on the shelter and to get much needed foot surgery .
3) Benay Rosenthal came all the way from Washington Island to take care of the shelter while Karen recovers from foot surgery from October to mid-December. With Benay’s help, animal rescue can continue. Thanks Benay!

Red Lake Firsts:
1) Red Lake police accepted the offer of reward money for the first time for an animal cruelty case. HSUS offered $2,500 reward in torture of Ode. Read about Ode on (See August “Reward for information regarding animal cruelty – A first”).
2) Tribal Council is discussing making rules & regulations for companion animals for the first time.

RLRR Support Team Growing:
Three more people have joined our Red Lake Rosie’s Support team.
1) Andrei Tarassov, DVM is a local vet who has helped with RAVS on Red Lake and is eager to help with more clinics.
2) Jody Johnson has jumped on board to help and has already supported animals in need at Red Lake.
3) Veronica Bartsch, DVM is also a local vet who has done one clinic and plans to do more.

Contact Lynn If you would like to find out more about the RLRR Support Team at

Thank you’s:
1) To all the caring people in our RLRR Support team who have given so much of themselves.
2) To all the shelters, rescues and individuals who have taken in or adopted Red Lake animals. For the list of rescues, see
3) To all the workers and volunteers at the animal clinics.
4) To everyone who has donated their money, talent and time.
4) To Karen Good who makes us humble and feel worthwhile by opening our hearts and minds to Red Lake animals. Without Karen there would be no Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue. If you see Karen interact with the animals – you know that there is an unspoken word of trust and peace when they are in her presence. When they are with her, their broken bodies relax and their eyes say it all. Thank you Karen!


1) November & December transports NEEDED! Please let Lynn know when you are available.
2) Transports needed at least once a month.

Dog and cat food:
Please contact Dee Dee if you know where we can get free food. Food supply is getting very low.

Monetary donations:1) Donations for vet bills are greatly needed. Many animals in need were helped this year thanks to your donations. So far in the first 3 weeks of October, vet bills have been $4,046.82.
2) We will have a special holiday donation form this year. Look for it within the next few weeks via email.
3) Please check with your employer about matching donations. Many employers match and this is a great way to help the animals even more.
4) RLRR is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and donations in cash or in kind are tax deductible.
5) Donations can be mailed either to RLRR or to the vet:

Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue
23880 South Good Road
Trail, MN 56684

Clearwater Veterinarian Services
Gonvick, MN 56644
(no street address – small town)

Please make checks out to Red Lake Rosie’s Animal Fund Account.

The RLRR Newsletter will be published at least bi-monthly beginning January 2009.

Lynn Mecum

Friday, October 24, 2008

Precious cargo

A special thank you to Susan who tranported out a litter of 7, a litter of 8 and 2 ferrets on Friday, October 17. Susan traveled all by herself and made a long one-day transport.

These babies all went to Tricounty Humane Society in St. Cloud. Dee Dee placed the ferrets in a rescue.

We thank all the transporters and volunteers who travel so many miles to help these homeless babies get a chance for a real home.

Karen and Benay, RLRR

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Happy Ending for Dylan

Dylan, a very tiny male shep pup was found at the dumpster with starvation and mange in October. He was neutered and got his shots when Dr. Bartsch and Lindsay Kline of Akin Pet Hospital, Farmington, MN visited the shelter.

He did not go out on the transport, but stayed at RLRR a while longer to recover from mange.

Dylan was alway quiet and after a few weeks began showing signs of paralysis of the rear legs and was having trouble walking. The local vet put him on steriods, and we saw little improvement. We feared the worse.

Dr. Bartsch took Dylan who was transported out by Pet Haven Mary Lou and Laura last week, and after treatment there and seeing a neurologist DYLAN IS WALKING!! He also is being adopted. We just got the good news today.

Our thanks to all who helped this dear boy who had such a rough beginning in life.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Update on Mindy in foster care

I am Mindy's new foster mom and want to let you know she is doing very well.
I can't believe how sweet she is considering the rough start she had.

The first day she was here, she was nervous so I showed her the dog bed in the dining room, left her alone, and I sat down on the living room couch.
She curled up on the bed and about 20 minutes later, I noticed she was on a chair in the living room. I got up and went to the kitchen and came back to find her on the end of the couch.

It seemed like she was unsure of how close she could get to me and wanted to take baby steps. Once she realized she was welcome, she really started to open up. She's only been here two days, but I can already see that she is an amazing dog.

You obviously did a great job caring for her and must love her as much as I do! I'm going to have a hard time seeing her go to a new home, but I will make sure that it is the best home she can have.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Photos of LLCB in their new home

LLCB?? Lucy, Linus & Charlie Brown of course!

Hi Denise,

We're doing great! All 3 kitties now seem to be part of the family. As Ch. says, "They've decided to become lap cats surprisingly quickly."

Linus seems to have lost his skittishness -- he actually seeks out Jane (our 11 year old) to snuggle with her. He also is the most devious now about hopping up on the counters. He waits 'til we walk from the kitchen toward the family room and then jumps up to investigate. When he sees us headed for the squirt bottle, he jumps down and pretends he was never there.

Charlie is still the most insistent on affection. He squeezes himself between any person and the cat they are currently petting. He is a funny, loving kitten with a very short attention span! And he seemed very in tune with the fact that Jane was sick this weekend and feeling very sad. He planted himself on her lap most of the weekend.

Lucy is her usual sweet self. She has spent most of the week sleeping on our bed, but she comes down to greet us when we get home, and she grooms her boys occasionally. She seems to like time away from Linus and Charlie, though I noticed she was still letting them nurse as late as this weekend.

They are surprisingly well behaved. We haven't had any issues with them trying to get outside. We do feel lucky to have them in our family!

I am attaching a few photos I thought you might like.

Thanks, C.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Poor Nika

Oct. 8, 2008
Dear Friends:

Nika was found laying on the highway with a severely injured foot and infection. She is a sweet mix, about 8 weeks old, and will be taken to vet tomorrow.


Oct. 9, 2008
Dear Friends:

Nika the pup with severe foot injury found on highway, is at the Clearwater vet getting her leg amputated out of necessity today. She is doing well right now.


Oct. 13, 2008
Nika (the pup) got adopted by the vet that did her amputation so she is going to be in great hands.... Karen dropped her off at the vet's house on Saturday afternoon and i haven't heard how she's doing since then... i'm hoping well ;-) What I can tell you is that the day after her amputation she was pretty spunky.... she definitely wanted to be held and pampered because if we put her in the kennel she would cry so hard and if we would stick our finger in the kennel she would settle down ;-) Nika is an absolute doll....


Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Endings for Harper & Connie

Hi, Denise;

Please check out two Rosie's dogs on their All Dog Rescue Happy Endings pages!

1) Cash (his Rosie's name was Harper, and his new family named him Kirby):

2) Koko (her Rosie's name was Connie, and her new family has named her Kahlua):

I hope you like the Happy Endings, and I'll send you more if/when we get them for Rosie's dogs!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Marilou's first visit to RLRR

Marilou of PetHaven visited Red Lake and Karen for the first time last weekend and she wrote about her experience to me and on her blog:
Laura (another Pet Haven volunteer) and myself returned yesterday from the most incredible weekend with Karen up at Red Lake. Words can't adequately describe how moving and life-changing it is to simply spend time up at Red Lake with Karen and to witness the work she does on behalf of the animals.... Despite the cold weather and non-stop rain, I would not trade the time we had up at Red Lake.

On Sunday we transported 8 pups to the cities (of which two of them... Little Ann and Sadie ... are in Pet Haven's foster program now!....and many thanks to Diane D for stepping forward and fostering again.. she will most likely be fostering Sadie ;-)

All the animals just touched my soul.... there are a few dogs up north (Mama, Jesse and Sheri) who we did not bring back on this last trip, however, they have captured my heart and I am going to be working hard to find fosters for them so that we can bring them on a future transport. I absolutely fell in love with Mama and when she is ready in about a month after she is done nursing her pups and is spayed, I have told Karen that I will be up to get her :)

I will write more about our experience up north, but wanted to go ahead and share some photos I took from our trip.

Karen -- today is your foot surgery, and please know that you are in
my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all you do...and Denise/Barb/DeeDee and Diane: thank you for being such strong supporters of Red Lake Rosie's and for all you do as well! :)

They are still at Red Lake and we would love to help them out. If you are open to fostering please email


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The "cat house" gets a makeover

Words can't really describe the extreme make-over that has taken place inside the "cat house"! If anyone has any "before" pictures please send them in!

This building was originally Karen's home with a round main room for kitchen and living space and a hallway to the bathroom, laundry and a bedroom. When Karen built a new house on the property, the rescue was developing around the former house, so it began to house supplies, cats, and junk!

Gradually that trend has been reversed, culminating with a big effort this summer while Barbara was visiting and by Karen & Kevin and by the volunteers who came up to clean and paint: Tom, Nancy, Benay, Bob, Rae Ann, Missy, Denise, Dee Dee, Cathy, Maria and Eli.

The plumbing is working again, there is a new washer/dryer and in addition to all the cleaning and painting, a new vinyl floor was laid.

Benay will be living there while she is at Karen's helping while Karen is laid up recuperating from foot surgery. In future, it will be a place for volunteers to stay when they come to help.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rosie II

Rosie II was rescued in March 2005 and the Red Lake Rosie Rescue, Inc started shortly thereafter. Rosie II stays in my house. She loves lying on the porch during the summer days but prefers to move in the house in fall and winter. She is a wonderful dog, and loved by all.
I always remind her and thank her that she has helped more animal friends, and that she often has more in her checkbook and has more friends than I do!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Last week I visited the Havenwood Care Center in Bemidji to see if the original Rosie was still there, and sure enough she was! She is pictured with Kathy, Activities Director who had adopted Rosie in
1999 as a therapy dog from the Beltrami Humane Society. I had rescued and surrendered her there a few weeks prior to Kathy finding her and seeing her great personality and potential.

She has been a faithful friend to residents for the past 9 years.
The residents love her, and she has a great life being pampered, and Kathy admits, "she gets lots of treats"!

Thank you Kathy and all the residents for taking such good care of her.

Sincerely, Karen Good and RLRR

Friday, October 10, 2008

She'll always be Joanna to us

I received a note directly from the pup we came to know at Red Lake as Joanna. She was Angel in foster care, but arrived at her new home with the name of Lily. That could change again, but we hope her happiness never will.

Dear Foster Mom,

Just wanted to let you know I'm really happy in my new home. My new parents took me to visit Grandma & Grandpa. I guess they'll be my babysitters. We went to Petsmart and Chuck & Don's where we bought some new toys and puppy food. I got to play with some other dogs & puppies. All the people were extra nice to me.

When we arrived at my new home, I got to run all the way down the driveway. I'm starting to feel at home. I have a dog bed in every room, but the kitchen is my favorite.

This weekend I got to chase some chickens. You'd have been proud of me, I had my hackles up all along my back. Boy, you should have seen those chickens run. They didn't come back until after dark. I also tried to play with my new cat, Libby. I can't figure out why she doesn't want to play with me, but I'll keep trying. She justs hisses and makes weird noises.

I had to take a bath on Sunday with a special shampoo because some fleas were biting me. Mom caught one of the black specks in my white fur. She called the Vet and got some Frontline for puppies to stop them from biting me.

This week I am learning how to be a "working dog". I get to ride in the pick-up to work each morning. Then I sleep in my bed in the backseat until lunchtime. We go for a walk and get a drink, then I sleep some more until quitting time. After the ride home, I'm full of energy to run down the driveway again.

My folks are talking about changing my name because Lily is too close to Libby and they get the two mixed up. They're waiting to see my true personality before they make a final decision. I'll keep you posted.

Here's a picture of me with one of my new toys... a leftover blanket binding from my human cousin's baby blanket. As you can see, I'm having fun.

Thanks for taking such good care of me!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ginger and Bridgette

In Memory of Bridgette:

Bridgette and Ginger came to the RAVS clinic as strays from the Group Home in Redby. Both too ill to be spayed, they came to the shelter to recuperate from starvation, mange, and in Bridgette's case, to be treated for heartworm.

It soon became apparent that the two gals were inseparable. They preferred to be together in the same kennel and Ginger enjoyed grooming Bridgette. Barbara and I began to think they may be mother/daughter.

I am sad to say that Bridgette crossed the rainbow bridge last week possibly as a result of her heartworm treatment. She improved greatly the first month, was spayed, and then got her heartworm treatment. She began to have organ failure. She was an older dog and, perhaps with the advanced stage of her disease, she did not survive.

During her stay, she loved her food, and treats and was very affectionate, and we are sad that she left us.

On the positive side, she is the only animal that was lost in a group of very sick animals that came after the clinic was over. All others are well, and many have been placed. Ginger remains here to recuperate a while longer and soon will find a real home she deserves.

Karen Good and RLRR

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ode learns some manners

Note from M. at Pet Haven where Ode is in foster care:
Just thought I'd share with you some photos of Ode from our recent training session with Maureen (of Canine Coach).
I absolutely love this sweet girl!! :)

Now it would be hard to deny that this is one funny-looking dog, but she sure is a happy girl now!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hauling straw bales for winter

It gets VERY cold in Red Lake in the winter, but the people and the animals need to stay warm. Straw bales are piled up around the buildings and kennels and thick straw bedding is also used for warmth in the kennels. Every fall the bales must be purchased, hauled and distributed around the rescue. This task has been accomplished and I received a report.

Here are a couple photos for you. September 28th we hauled 252 bales of straw for Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. The team consisted of Carolyn, Tom, Nancy, and, of course, Karen . We managed to move all 252 bales safely without losing a single bale in our slow 12 mile hike back to Karen's place. Karen is pretty much an expert at stacking straw and the rest of us city folk watched in awe as we were taught 'how to.' It was a fun day, lots of laughing and giggling, and our political debate talks helped re-energize us when we started to slow down. Now the dogs and puppies will stay warm during the winter season.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Mindy finds a foster home!

DeeDee and I drove through beautiful autumn colors up to Red Lake this past weekend. We helped Karen and other volunteers with chores on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, we drove a dozen or so dogs and puppies back to the Twin Cities to three different area rescue organizations. Mindy was one of those lucky pups. All the dogs were so good for the long drive and I think Mindy was excited to be a city girl!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mindy has recovered and is ready for a home!

I met Mindy at the RAVS clinic at Red Lake in July. She was a pup nearly grown with her mother and her mother's three tiny new pups. All were in absolutely terrible condition. Mindy and her mom in particular had severe mange and were itching themselves raw. They were starved. I must admit I could hardly look at them or imagine how hard their lives had been, but I got a happy update from Karen today:

Mindy has been at the Red Lake Rosie's shelter since the animal clinic. She came in too ill and malnourished to be spayed and has recuperated here at the shelter. She is a wonderful dog, and has gotten back all of her hair, no longer itches, and enjoys life very much. She loves her kennel and feels very secure having a bowl of food and water which she carefully watches over. She likes to socialize with other dogs and people, too.

In 8 short weeks, she is now spayed and has had her shots and is ready to look for her forever home. Since she is a black dog and has had such a sad history, we want to make sure she goes to a foster home and gets all the tender loving care she needs. Mindy is only about 40 pounds and will always be smaller.
Isn't it amazing what food, water, antiparasitics, and a little love will do for an animal?! She looked like one of the most hopeless cases when she came, and now she is a real beauty!

Thank you all for supporting Mindy.

Karen and RLRR


Related Posts with Thumbnails