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Monday, September 3, 2012


Niky in her cage at MDAS. She was in an area that is not as
readily available to the public. She was crying and
reaching through the bars just wanting to be touched. 
     I'm not a rescue.. I am just an artist. However, not being a rescue does not mean that I should not work to help those that I make art about.  I have fostered and done transports and a number of things on top of the art ... and I try to network the animals that I meet and photograph. I do my best to follow their paths online and through emails - it is just amazing when I get to meet someone who adopted a dog or cat that I took a photo of.. Sometimes I get to meet the fosters who cared for them or people involved with a rescue group who took one in-- it really is amazing to me how hard some people work to save the many dogs and cats who end up in the shelters... it takes a lot of hard work. However, there are times when I meet a dog or cat and in following their path.. I find that they never did find a real home.. some of of these dogs are still waiting - and they are not as safe as some think.

     Until I came to South Florida, I had never heard about the fact that some people will pull dogs out of shelters and put them in boarding.. some dogs stay in boarding for a very long time... some dogs just get forgotten. People can sometimes get so caught up in the moment-- they get that rush of the save-- they sometimes don't ask the right questions of potential adopters or rescues... and then find out later that the dog doesn't really have a place to go.. so they sit in boarding... waiting for the right adopter to come along.. or a responsible rescue to open their doors for them... this is a common occurrence in South Florida. So many dogs just sit waiting and waiting in boarding kennels -- sometimes the bills are not even paid on the dogs and the kennel operators take losses because of that. Some dogs have gotten sick and passed away in boarding- never finding a real home. Sometimes, a rescue will allow someone to use their name to pull a dog- yet, when that dog gets stuck in a kennel-- that rescue is nowhere to be seen-- and sometimes those same rescues allow it to happen over and over again.. sometimes the same people fill up the boarding kennels with dogs simply to save them-- with no regard to how a life stuck in a kennel or crate will truly affect those they 'saved'. I refer to that as "offsite hoarding".
Niky on her way out of MDAS. We were all
so thrilled! She could not stop giving kisses. 

     Along with the great stories in rescue that I have been able to see unfold in front of my eyes-- there are the disappointing stories as well-- whenever I see a dog stuck in boarding .. to me, that is a disappointment. The picture above is of a dog named Niky. Niky is a pit bull and I met her at Miami Dade Animals Service in January of this year (she was illegal due to BSL). I fell in love with her-- she was reaching out and crying- so many do that- yet, something about her really struck me. I snapped a bunch of photos and hoped for the best. Someone did take her out of the shelter - in fact, the day she left I got to see her again on the way out the door.. .. as you can see-- Niky loves people... she hates being a cage.. she needs to be with people.. so I was so happy to see her on her way out and to be going to a foster home... but, I celebrated a little too fast.


Niky in boarding?- this photo was sent to me anonymously-
 I had no part in taking this photo. 
Since January, Niky had been in boarding. She had been waiting for a home this whole time.. it was not fair to her at all. I tried my best to get her image out- to post her. I check in with the foster- who never had been able to take her into her home- yet, told me she had been paying the boarding bill this entire time (she paid over 2k in boarding bills- there was no help given by any rescue) - and every time I checked-- Niky was still waiting for a home- or even a temporary home with a foster. I could go on about what happened and I could give a scathing critique on the events that occurred- but, I want to use this post to talk about the dogs.. to show Niky and to show other dogs-- in hopes that someone out there will see one and be able to adopt or foster... and turn a disappointing stories into a success... and hopefully learn from what is going on.

    I wrote this entry about Niky being stuck endlessly in boarding, but then stopped. I stopped because someone came forward to say they could foster Niky.. in a real home. After waiting on pins and needles for a week- Niky finally was delivered to her foster home. But, the story will not end with her now- Niky is out-- but, the work is just beginning. She is terrified of other dogs to the point of feeling that she needs to defend herself- she is not used to getting enough exercise- and she needs to learn basic obedience. It will take time before she is truly available for a home... but, she is out of boarding- she went from living in a crate- to now living in a real home... and that is a pretty huge accomplishment-- especially for a dog who has been waiting for 7 months or so in a boarding kennel. When she is truly able to be adopted- I will post that.

Niky taking her freedom roll in the grass as she meets her
foster family. She got a much needed bath and they are
already hard at work training her. 
     Besides Niky, there are a number of dogs in boarding at the moment who really need homes or fosters. Below, I will do my very best to post them- since they are so far from me I cannot go personally to visit the kennels -- the information that I have is solely based upon what others give. At the time I post this- I am sticking with dogs that are posted on two Facebook sites dedicated to dogs in the Miami shelter. Again, I could go on about how each one got there - but, for this post - I want just to show some faces who are waiting..  thought to be safe.. are not really.. and I hope that someone might see them.. and be able to help... because, as they say 'rescue does not end with the pull'.

 Please click on links provided for more information on the dogs. (all photos below are taken from the Facebook pages linked to them- most are the original intake photos from MDAS.)

Lucky has been in boarding as long as Niky had been- months- you can find the FB thread on him by clicking here  
Diesel has also been in boarding for months- 6-7 at this point. He is high energy and still fairly young- so the last place he needs to be is in a kennel-- he needs to be in a home with a yard and someone who will teach him obedience. You can learn more about him by clicking here.
Bianca has been in and out of MDAS several times- on her thread someone has stated that she is to be flown to them- but, has she been sent off yet? I am not sure. Please, for more information on her click here. 

Tear Drop has been in boarding for very long time- and is possibly having some medical care. For more information on Tear Drop- and/or if you can help with a home - please click here. 

Salsa has been in boarding since May and needs a real home. If you can help Salsa, please click here for more information. 

Coco is in real need- Has been in boarding since June and appears to have some behavioral issues-- being in a boarding kennel is not the best environment for that.. click here for more information. 

Saibr has been in boarding since June and really needs out!! Please click here for more information or if you can help this little one be free.  
Spike has been in boarding since July with the possibility of being shipped off to another state to an adopter who just appeared on Facebook- I am not sure of the fate of this little dog- but, if you can help please click here. 

Ty has been in boarding since July and desperately needs out and into a real home. Please click on his Facebook link here if you can help him. 

Seuss now called Hayden - appeared to have a foster, but it did not work out. He looks so much better now, but boarding is not the best place for any dog. He has been out of the shelter since May- I am not sure how long he has been in boarding- but, I understand he will need some training. Click here to find out more. 

Kathy has been in boarding since June- if you can help her - please click here.  
Oscar has been in boarding since June and I understand he is a very nice little dog. He needs a real home or a real rescue to take him in. You can learn more about him by clicking here 
I hope this one is wrong. Cindy is just a little baby- and if this is true and she is in boarding.. that means that someone took a dog that had been fostered and then rescued her and put her in boarding. Boarding is NOT a safe place for any baby. But, I am just going by what is listed... I am hoping this is wrong. But, you can see her link here. 

Girl has been in boarding for a long time! It looks like she was in MDAS back in March. I do not know the full story on her, but if she has been in boarding this whole time- that could not be good for her! You can learn more about her on her Facebook thread here. 
Minnie really needs a home! She was pulled out of MDAS back in April.  A chipin was done and there was said to be a plan, but I don't think leaving a dog in boarding is really a plan. I am not sure what happened, but she is needing either an adopter or a truly responsible rescue to take her. You can read more about her on her original thread here. 
Diamond is in boarding and looking for a real home- please click here for information on her. 
Mimi has been in boarding for some time. She really needs a home. You can learn more about her by clicking here. 

I KNOW there are more dogs- but, at this time.. I am sticking solely with the ones who are currently posted online as being stuck in boarding. If you know firsthand of any others- please feel free to add links to them in the comment section. 


Darcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darcy said...

Hi Mary, Beautiful job, and oh so sad! This has been a continuous roller coaster at the dog house! I have not clicked on each dog yet, but this is truly so so sad, but FACTUAL!!!! Wendy's Rescue was so right when she told me a year ago, that this has been ongoing. The Dog House owner Howard and Manager, JIm only care about keeping that business afloat. Not one animal gets walked by either one of them. I know that for a FACT, for I went there to walk several dogs that were DUMPED by a so called rescue. One sweet pittie named Blue, had never been out of his run. He was STUCK there for 5 months. His paws never felt grass, no other texture except for the hard cement floor that he was held prisoner in. I am sick and tired of these rescues that grab the money donated for the DOGS and then stick them in this hellhole, left there and forgotten. PLease Mary----post this blog page on this page as well on facebook! Keep up the fight!

Really Sad said...

I have always been an admirer of your work, but for some reason this hit me really hard..........That's good, that's our job, hit people between the eyes..

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head. This needs to stop! This is animal abuse. Sick, demented and scammers are behind this cruelty. Thank you for bringing attention to this on going problem.

Jake said...

Sadly this is all too common. We've seen it here Delaware. The writer of the blog below who is still pushing the concept of renting space at private kennels, and was a board member for a shelter being built. They pulled a bunch of dogs before the shelter was built, and some of those dogs were in various kennels for over a year.
"A shelter that is truly No Kill does not kill for space or convenience. A true No Kill shelter works harder to get the dogs adopted, fostered, or transferred to a rescue group when the shelter is filling up. A true No Kill shelter will rent space at a private kennel if necessary."

I'm sure this was costly to the mental health of the dogs, but it was also financially costly to the group. The shelter is built now, but has missed multiple dates to open. I suspect due to lack of funds. They now have a dog control contract that began in July of this year, but are still only open by appointment. I personally think this will end in disaster because it's hard enough getting animal adopted out with convenient hours, let alone get dogs out the door by appointment only. Hopefully for the sake of the animals they will prove me wrong.

For me, it all comes down to one simple question - is that a life I would want for my dog? I've had to kennel a few times and can remember how frazzled he looked after the week, and we paid for a walk and a play session each day. Dogs need homes, not being shuffled around for months or years, and certainly not alone and isolated in a cage for an extended period.