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August 17, 2014

Save the Date! 8/22, 5-7pm, Franks for Your Business @Belmont Crate + GREAT Read on Lauren Bacall, Dog Person, + Why So Many Homeless Southern Dogs are Transported North!

Back by popular demand….


Taking your pooch to Belmont Crate next Friday?  Around 5pm you will smell grilling and beer at the front door. Cambridge and Charlestown Crate people, stop by with your dogs and enjoy summer refreshments, prepared by Chef Nikkilee!  Invite your friends and their dogs! All are welcome!  August 22nd will be our third cook out – it’s great to have a chance to talk to you and visit with your dogs outside!


Words from Ernestine; Our Rover Reporter


Warm and salty greetings!  Great to see we are having another ‘Franks’ event, I heard wonderful feedback from partygoers who attended last month!

I also heard from you re:  the article on ‘Things that Make Your Dog Crazy’, particularly about dogs not liking to be hugged, and not liking us to pet their heads. I am officially speaking for many Crate Escape people, who know THEIR dogs do like to be hugged and petted on the head.

just sayin’.

This week, I think you will enjoy reading about Lauren and Humphrey’s dogs. I knew they were amazing people!!

And, a great read on why homeless dogs are transported north from the southern states. More education on our homeless brothers and sisters!

Later,  Ernestine




Movie fans mourn the passing of Lauren Bacall, star of such classics as “To Have and Have Not,” “Key Largo,” and “How to Marry a Millionaire,” who died Tuesday, August 12th,  at age 89.

Bacall was famous as half of one of Hollywood’s great power couples. She married Humphrey Bogart in 1945, and together they reigned as film royalty until Bogie’s death 12 years later. In the beginning gossips wondered, what could the 45-year-old superstar tough guy and the elegant 19-year-old model possibly have in common? As it turned out, a great deal. Both were native New Yorkers who loved acting and talking politics, and both were absolutely crazy about dogs. Bogart owned several in his time, including Scotties, Sealyham Teriers, and a Newfoundland. As a girl, Bacall was partial to Cocker Spaniels.


Bacall and her Cocker Spaniel at the Gotham Hotel

But it was the boxer that became the Bogart-Bacall household’s breed of choice. They received their first as a wedding gift. “We named him Harvey, after the invisible rabbit. He was really smart. He knew he wasn’t allowed to get on the furniture so he would only put two paws on at a time, and he would sit between us if we had a fight.”


Harvey, the Top Dog

The Bogarts soon acquired two more Boxers, George and Baby, but Harvey was always the top dog. He appeared in many of the publicity photos that studios issued to promote the couple’s domestic bliss. “Harvey died six months after Bogey,” Bacall recalled years later. “I went to see him at the vet’s and said goodbye. Five minutes after I got home, I was told that after I left, Harvey had eaten his dinner and died.”


Bacall and Bogart enjoying an evening by the fire with son, Stephen, and their three dogs.

Bacall’s love for dogs continued until her dying day. In her later years she was never seen around New York without Sophie, her beloved Papillon.



Adopt a Dog With a Southern Drawl

NY Times,  J. Courtney Sullivan,  May, 2014

IF I could be reincarnated as anyone, I’d pick my dog, Landon. He leads a charmed life. Most mornings he gets scrambled eggs for breakfast, which he prefers to hard-boiled. Every afternoon, he takes a long run. Landon sleeps with my husband and me — he’s a 60-pound retriever mix, but seems to expand to five times that size in our bed. In summer, we take him on vacation to Maine, where he frolics on the beach. Not that he cares, but his picture has appeared in the online edition of Vogue.

Landon’s cushy existence belies a precarious beginning. Three years ago, at 8 weeks old, he was hours from being euthanized in an animal control facility in Tennessee. Someone — we’ll probably never know who — saved him, his six littermates and their mother, and brought them to Bidewee, a Manhattan shelter. We adopted Landon a few days later.

In the last decade, hundreds of thousands of dogs have been transported north from overcrowded facilities in the rural South. Much of the infrastructure for getting them from one state to another was put in place in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina left more than 250,000 pets stranded.

An estimated three to four million cats and dogs are euthanized in American shelters each year. People don’t love their pets any more or less because they live in one geographic region or another. But kill rates spike in high poverty areas with limited access to affordable veterinary services for spaying and neutering. In the rural South, unsterilized dogs are often allowed to roam outdoors. Many counties have weak or unenforced leash laws. Shelters in such areas are overrun, with kill rates ranging from 50 to 95 percent. Even where adoptions are encouraged, low population density makes them rare.

Many of the dogs that are routinely euthanized in Southern states — healthy Labs, hounds, shepherds and others, including puppies of various breeds — are in high demand in the Northeast, where low-cost spay and neuter services are the norm, kill rates are down, and there are exponentially more potential adopters. In 2011, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals started its animal relocation and transport program, which connects overcrowded shelters with those in regions where space is available.

The North Shore Animal League America, on Long Island, a large no-kill rescue and adoption organization, works with shelters and rescue organizations in the South to transport animals to New York for adoption. Last year it placed 6,672 dogs from Southern states. More than 5,000 were puppies.

Volunteers also orchestrate many adoptions. People in Southern states are using Facebook and Petfinder to post pictures of homeless dogs. They find local volunteers who agree to temporarily foster the animals, and make connections with groups like Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue. Despite having little funding and no formal shelter space, the group has found homes for 1,200 Southern dogs since 2011.

It relies on a patchwork of transporters to get the dogs from A to B — from a few volunteers with a minivan to the Tennessee-based company P.E.T.S., which makes weekly pickups in seven Southern states and drop-offs in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New England and New York. P.E.T.S. has relocated more than 50,000 dogs in 10 years.

But as transport grows, it’s essential for all involved to commit to following a set of best practices. Most are dedicated to making the relocation of animals effective and humane, but those who transport sick or unvaccinated pets or sell unsterilized dogs online, rather than working in conjunction with a shelter or rescue group, damage the movement’s credibility. Several states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts, have tightened animal importation laws to limit the number of dogs crossing their borders. Some municipalities have even considered banning transport.

The National Federation of Humane Societies has put out guidelines recommending that shelters transferring pets must be municipal or registered nonprofits. Dogs must have a valid health certificate and records and be nonaggressive, vaccinated against rabies and free of communicable disease. All animals must be identified with a tag at the source shelter (or microchipped, wherever possible) and sterilized, ideally before travel.

P.E.T.S. regulations are another gold standard. They require dogs to be at least 10 weeks old and out of a kill shelter for two weeks — the length of time it takes common communicable diseases like parvo, distemper and Bordetella to present symptoms. They also require cages to be cleaned during travel, and for volunteers to meet drivers along the way and take the dogs for walks. Four states have adopted some of the regulations into law.

Until spay and neuter practices become a matter of course for all pet owners, the majority of dogs in Southern shelters will be euthanized. Every day, rescuers must decide which ones to save and which to leave behind, limited by funds, space in a vehicle, and a best guess as to the number of willing adopters on the other side.

I’m keenly aware of how close Landon came to being a sad statistic. Instead, he’s lying beside me on the couch right now, wondering what’s for dinner.

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