No more waiting for their next walk !
Blog & News

August 11, 2014

It’s Katie!! Best Friends Update on the Michael Vick Nightmare/ Where We Are Now, and A Fun Read About Therapy with Your Pooch!


Employee Extrodinaire, Katie Gallaher

She is EVERYWHERE!  Yes, often at the desk at Belmont Crate, always making sure people and dogs get the best information possible, and the best service. (altho, customer vs. dog, the dog wins every time!!) In the meantime, her car is running in the parking lot, full of donations, that she will deliver to a rescue organization later that day. She will probably spend a few hours on the computer catching up with dog stuff, and communicating with places she volunteers. The photo above was taken at a rescue org. where rhodesian ridgeback/ boxer puppies, were soon to be ready to transport and find homes for.

Katie has been an animal person her whole life. She started at Crate Escape 6 years ago, and has held at least 90%of the jobs available. She did overnights for quite awhile where she really got to spend quality time with the dogs, and know them well. She is a hard worker, outspoken (in a good way) about animal welfare, and ready to jump on any new idea or solution to make dogs’ lives easier or happier.

We are blessed to have her at Crate Escape. Thanks, Katie, we love you!!


Ernie’s Emphasis

I am so glad we picked Katie to talk about. She is my good friend, and I trust her in every way. She is best friends with Hilda, who she watched grow up – and cared for often.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Charlestown Blu. I know we discussed the genders of the two Blu’s – one outcome is that C’town Blu is male. He is charmingly scruffy, and healthily stocky.  It is still possible that Belmont Blu (Belle?) is female– but that must be addressed at a later date. Say hello to C’town Blu!!



Along with most other dog lovers, Crate Escape people followed the shutting down of Michael Vick’s horrendous dog fighting business. Best Friends was key in initiating legislation to direct how the dogs were handled after the shut down. BF  also brought out the truth on the miserable lives of rhe dogs who are involved. They multiplied their ‘pit bull initiatives’ to educate us about the breed, and how they have become so hated in the last 40 years. The article below is an update on their progress in rehabilitation for the dogs who are saved when dog fighting rings are shut down.!

Later, Ernestine


Best Friends Blog

The continuing upside of the Michael Vick dogfighting bust

July 14, 2014

It’s a landmark day for dogs in the state of Delaware.

Today, the governor of Delaware signed into law a bill spearheaded by Best Friends that will ensure that in future, any dog seized in a dogfighting ring bust in Delaware will be evaluated as an individual and afforded the opportunity of rehabilitation and adoption rather than face an automatic death sentence.

We’d like to offer an enormous “thank you” to Representative Earl Jaques and State Senator Karen Peterson for their roles in passing this lifesaving legislation.

But there are also quite a few dogs we have to thank. In particular, the Vicktory dogs.

You may already know the story of the fighting ring bust that took place on Michael Vick’s property in April 2007. But what you may not know is that protocols at the time called for any dog rescued from a dogfighting ring to be killed because they were deemed dangerous by birth and by definition. Even though the vast majority of the dogs trapped in those rings never qualified as fighters and were, for the most part, frightened and abused victims.

Best Friends led a chorus of opposition to the “kill them all” policy that was about to claim the lives of the 49 pit bull terriers and pit mixes seized from Vick’s property. The general public, local grassroots organizations and pit bull rescue groups joined us in a clear statement that these dogs should not be re-victimized by the state after being so badly abused. And we were heard.

After the dogs were evaluated individually, only one was euthanized for aggression. Twenty-two of the most traumatized came to Best Friends for rehabilitation or permanent sanctuary and the rest were released to rescue organizations for eventual adoption to the public.

The Vicktory dogs, as the contingent that came to Best Friends was dubbed, became celebrities of sorts as their progress was documented on the National Geographic Channel’s “DogTown” series filmed at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Toothless and scarred Georgia, one of the dogs who was too cute for words, was a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show as well as Larry King Live.

Beyond the celebrity, though, the Vick dogs were — and today continue to be — champions for every dog trapped in dogfighting misery who finally gets rescued, only to face the bitter irony of a policy that deems them deserving only death. Because of their example, that policy is changing and we celebrate Delaware’s progressive stance on this issue.

Together, we will Save Them All.

Gregory Castle
Best Friends Animal Society


Is Your Relationship With Fido on the Rocks?


Dr. Joel Gavriele-Gold is not a cat person. The walls of the 73-year-old psychologist’s Upper West Side office are decorated with paintings of dogs, including one of Rin Tin Tin. On the day of my visit, Gavriele-Gold’s enormous black herding dog, Dova, snored on a sofa by the garden-level window. Gavriele-Gold had encouraged me to bring along my Lab-mix, Casey, who lounged at my feet on the carpeted floor, occasionally getting up to sniff a bag of treats stashed behind a chair.

I had come to interview Gavriele-Gold for a book I was writing about dogs in America. His practice is nontraditional: Gavriele-Gold specializes in dog issues — not canine depression or other behavioral problems but the sometimes fraught relationships we have with our pets.

In a few days I would be embarking on a nearly four-month cross-country journey with Casey in a rented R.V., during which I would be meeting hundreds of dog-obsessed Americans — celebrities, suburban moms, dog rescuers, homeless teenagers, Cesar Millan and my former middle-school English teacher, who now works part-time as a “dog masseur.” In initial conversations with them about their dogs, I heard a lot about unconditional love and the ease of a dog’s company. While cats can be moody and standoffish (get on their bad side, and they might just pee on your pillow and find a new human to ignore), dogs were described as optimistic and forgiving, loyal and trustworthy. They make us feel good about ourselves, I heard again and again, and they’re a much-needed respite from the challenge of dealing with actual people.

‘It sounds to me like you didn’t get the love you needed from your mother,’ he said, ‘just like you aren’t getting the love you think you need from Casey.’ I felt tightness in my chest. Casey yawned.

Gavriele-Gold, though, is interested in a less-talked-about aspect of the human-animal bond: conflict. He has found that our relationships with our pets can often be thornier than we realize. I heard something similar from David Shaw, a psychologist in Maui who also encourages his clients to bring their dogs to therapy, and who keeps a water bowl in his office for such occasions. “Today, dogs are one of the primary relationships — if not the primary relationship — in many people’s lives,” he said. “We think of our dogs as family members, as kids, so it’s no surprise we would have conflicts with them. Our dogs can unintentionally push our buttons.”

I knew a little something about that. I had sheepishly confessed to Gavriele-Gold on the phone that Casey, who had recently turned 9, could bring out my insecurities. Part of me worried that my dog didn’t like me very much. And my biggest fear was that it wasn’t all in my head.

In his office, Gavriele-Gold wasted little time before mining my subconscious for signs of canine-related transference. “Does Casey remind you of anyone from your past?” he wanted to know. Gavriele-Gold believes that people often displace feelings toward a human onto a pet. “We think we’re mad at the dog,” he told me, “but we’re actually mad at our husband or our dad or our kid.”

I’d spent too much of my 20s talking to therapists about my human family; I wasn’t interested in rehashing that, especially with this new dog-related twist. Besides, I had come to Gavriele-Gold’s to interview him. I shuffled my notes in my lap and changed the subject.

“All right, but we’re coming back to this,” he warned. Then he looked at Casey with a warm, rosy-cheeked smile. “Look at you! Such a good boy.”

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