Saturday, July 3, 2010



Blake Gopnik, a journalist with The Washington Post, wrote the following in his review of the Norman Rockwell exhibit which just opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum:

"This Fourth of July, let's celebrate courage. It took courage to split from England, courage to risk democracy and still more courage to dream up a constitution to preserve it.

Courage has been the signature virtue of almost every great American: Emily Dickinson was brave to warp grammar, Louis Armstrong was brave to blow jazz and Jackson Pollock was brave to paint splats."

RSQ wholeheartedly agrees with Mr. Gopnik, and on this cusp of the Fourth of July, we salute a most courageous American rescue hero by the name of Julie Loparo. Simply put, Ms. Loparo is brave to rescue animals. RSQ recently asked Ms. Loparo to write a few words about what animal rescue has meant to her throughout these past several months.

Rookie, My Foster Therapy Dog
By Julie Loparo

Rookie, a homeless 2-year-old pointer-lab mix came into my life at just the right moment. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was half-way through the “heavy-duty” chemotherapy sessions. I had decided before treatment began that my rescue foster dog work had to be put on hold until I wad done with both chemo and radiation therapy. It was not a decision that came easily as rescuing dogs was such a part of my life and that of my family. I figured as I was entering into the hardest fight of my life I had to concentrate on getting through each day without the complications that fostering dogs may bring. By making that decision, however, I forgot about the joy that fostering rescue dogs bring that far exceed the complications. Enter Rookie. He was a southern dog brought up for an adoption event held in Connecticut by a local rescue group. He had spent his entire life in shelter waiting for his adoption. Sadly, Rookie (or Rook, as he was originally named) was a “leftover” from the event. He arrived to our home looking as if the weight of the world was on his shoulders. He had the lost look in his eyes of a shelter dog that had been waiting too long - and those in the rescue world know that look well. My group of dogs (all with their issues but very lovable) took immediately to Rookie. They sniffed him for a short time and then retired to their usual spots in the home. For two days he would not come indoors willingly but would camp out underneath my deck furniture and venture out for food and water. By day three he was laying half-way in and half-way out by the sliding doors leading out to the deck. I was encouraged. In the afternoon he came all the way in and discovered a comfy corner of a near-by couch and realized that it was pretty nice being indoors. He became my big black-brown shadow. As I introduced Rookie to a world outside of a shelter, I re-entered the world myself. Feeling self-conscious about appearance changes that accompany chemotherapy, I hadn’t ventured out much over the last couple of weeks and truthfully, I just wasn’t all that motivated to visit and socialize. Rookie was pretty much of the same mindset. He didn’t want to socialize much either but, as his foster, I knew it was important to get him used to meeting people. I would plop on my scarf and big yellow sun hat (which prompted Rookie to bark at first) and head out to the dog park, town shops and visits with my friends and always accompanied by my daughter Callie who was thrilled to have her “old” (of course I have to use quotation marks) Mom back. It was therapeutic for both Rookie and me. As his soul healed, so did mine. He reclaimed his doggie joy splashing through the creek at the dog park, and I reclaimed my fighting spirit. Rookie is now living large in a lovely home in Westport, Connecticut, where he swims daily and romps with two other rescue buddies. Usually, when I leave fosters for the last time at their new home, I walk away and don’t look back. This time, however, I had to look back. Just as I looked over my shoulder Rookie turned around to look at me. For just an instant, I saw a flash of the old lost dog look in his eyes but then his new mom whistled, and he was off running in his new yard with his new family. Thank you Rookie. I owe you - as do my two new foster dogs just rescued from Bridgeport Animal Control.

Pawnote: On June 28, a tornado touched down in Bridgeport and thousands suffered severe damage and were without power as Bridgeport declared a State of Emergency. Bridgeport Animal Control housed temporarily-displaced pets and some of those pets were not able to be re-claimed and will soon be placed for adoption. In honor of Julie's rescue efforts, please go to Bridgeport Animal Control at or email for additional information about fostering and adoption from this facility.

Bridgeport's Chief Animal Control Officer Jimmy Gonzalez, a "dogcatcher" who thinks outside the crate, has made many much-needed changes at the Bridgeport facility and has dedicated himself to re-shaping the image of animal control and its officers through education and increasing the level of involvement of the surrounding community. Jimmy has kept a moving photo on his cell phone for several years and had it made into a powerful poster which local volunteers are displaying in hopes of raising rescue awareness. His poster, along with dogs and cats available for adoption, can be viewed on the website.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


In honor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament, currently being held in South Africa, Continental Soccer World, a U.K.-based website for soccer fans offered up the following World Cup canine connection...

"The whole of England was getting ready for the 1966 FIFA World Cup on home soil. Then all of the sudden the FIFA World Cup trophy, the Couple Jules Rimet, disappeared. At a stamp exhibition in London. A case for Scotland Yard.

The theft led the English Football Association (FA) to becoming the laughing stock of the whole world for a few weeks. There was a ransom demand of 15,000 pounds. But was it attempted extortion? Not at all!

Fearing they would have to make a replacement trophy, the English then had all the luck of efficient organisers. A week after the robbery, on Sunday, 27 March 1966 to be exact, the barge worker Dave Corbett went out for a walk with his dog "Pickles" in south London. Suddenly the dog disappeared. Shortly after the master and his dog had left the house, Pickles began sniffing around amongst the bushes in the vicinity. Corbett firstly found his dog again and then came across a piece of metal wrapped up in newspaper. It was the Golden Goddess, the Coupe Jules Rimet, the stolen FIFA World Cup trophy. Little Pickles duly became, to all intents and purposes, a national hero. As a reward Pickles and his owner were invited to the celebration dinner after England's win and it is said that the dog licked the plates clean.

(RSQ soccer fans can go to for the latest World Cup results.)

Pawnote: Pickles has been described as a "black and white mongrel dog" of high intelligence. To find your own "black and white mongrel dog" please go to

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010


Riverside County Department of Animal Services Officer Jessica Leitz-Lightfeldt for tying a rope around her waist and wading into a freezing catch basin in Hemet, California in order to save a small dog.

4:15 AM PDT, April 1, 2010)

HEMET -- An animal services officer rescued a small dog stranded in the middle of a catch basin in Hemet.

The little Maltese mix was stuck on a small island in the middle of a catch basin near a Winco supermarket, says John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

"We kept calling it," Officer Jessica Leitz-Lightfeldt said.

"But it wouldn't come. Then he started putting his head down in the water and that's when I knew I had to go in."

Officer Leitz-Lighfeldt wadded out into the catch basin, unaware of how deep the water was.

She had a rope tied around her and Lt. John Stephens held the other end on the shore of the muddy catch basin, says Welsh.

"The farther I went out there, the muddier it got," Officer Leitz-Lighfeldt said.

"It felt like I was being sucked in. I'm glad I had that rope around me."

Once Officer Leitz-Lightfoot brought the dog to shore, he was rushed to the Animal Medical Center in San Jacinto.

(RESQAK9 sends another bark-out to KTLA News for filing this report and to for covering this story.)


"By ethical conduct toward all creatures, we enter into a spiritual relationship with the universe."
--A. Schweitzer

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest Shines Spotlight on Pet Adoption and Goal of Finding Homes for 400,000 Deserving Pets by the End of 2010
St. Louis (June 7, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — Many pet rescue stories tug at our heart strings and show the unique bond between pets and their owners. Ten such stories represent some “paw”-inspiring tales of lovable canines that make up the finalists in the 2010 Purina® Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue® Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest. Now, America has the chance to vote for the most remarkable story and help choose the winner.

The rescue organization Ambassador, rescue pet and owner featured in the winning story will be awarded with a trip to the National Dog Show presented by Purina® in Philadelphia in November. The winning pet rescue organization will also receive $5,000 in Purina® Pro Plan® brand pet food coupons.

This nationwide contest promotes the amazing but often untold stories of pet rescue and raises awareness about its importance. Doing More™ for Pets honors rescue pets that have overcome great odds to survive and thrive under harrowing circumstances, thanks to the incredible hard work and dedication of small pet rescue organizations. Nearly 100 stories were submitted, and a judging panel selected the 10 most inspiring success stories as finalists.

Through October 1, pet lovers across the country can visit to view the 10 finalist pet rescue stories and help make one canine the top dog with their vote.The contest winner will be determined by a combination of a popular vote and judges’ scores.

“These 10 stories are truly inspiring and pull on the heart strings of the pet lover in all of us,” said Heather Gettys, senior brand manager for Purina® Pro Plan®. “We’re proud to help shine the light on these special pets and the amazing people who rescued them.

Doing More for Pets Rescue Stories Contest Finalists
Pets honored as the 10 finalists in the Purina® Pro Plan® Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest include:

Asher, submitted by Tennessee Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (Knoxville, TN)
The transformation from sick and fragile to gorgeous and loving has made Asher the golden retriever’s life with his new family more meaningful then they could have ever imagined.
Bubbles, submitted by Raining Cats N Dogs (Redding, CA)
After intensive surgery and endless care and attention, a sick six-week-old puppy, weighing only six pounds and starving, soon found health, happiness and a wonderful home to call her own.
Buddy, submitted by Border Collies In Need, Inc. (Phelan, CA)
Found severely mauled when he was used as a bait dog for competitive dog fighting, Buddy is now thriving. In fact, the gratefulness of this once-mistreated Border Collie has inspired others to realize that no matter what life hands you, a good heart will always overcome the bad.
JoJo, submitted by From the Heart Rescue (Canutillo, TX)
Once abandoned with a broken leg, this courageous dog now uses her own journey through life to inspire humans recovering from orthopedic injuries as a service dog.
Kaylene, submitted by Husky Haven (Houston)
Within the first few months of her life, a petite Siberian husky puppy went from being abused and abandoned on the side of a road to finding a forever home with her new best friend through the help of a devoted pet rescue organization.
Kobe, submitted by Dalmatian Rescue North Texas (Dallas)
Hit by a car, stranded, starving and left to fend for themselves on the side of the road, a Dalmatian mother and her pup are now strong on their road to recovery, and hopeful about finding a forever home.
Leopold, submitted by Great Lakes Weimaraner Rescue (Gary, IN)
After being rescued from a cold, lonely shelter, an injured yet hopeful Weimaraner had to give a little in order to gain a lot. An injury forced veterinarians to amputate his leg but he now has a loving family and a future thanks to many strangers who helped along the way.
Ollie, submitted by Animal Guardians of America (Plano, TX)
When it seemed that no one could keep up with the high-energy needs of a dog named Ollie and foster homes with other dogs weren’t working, fate brought in someone who was just his speed.
Ten, submitted by Alabama Pug Rescue and Adoption, Inc. (Birmingham, AL)
Found starving and severely malnourished, a spirited pug’s life was threatened by an infection. But thanks to dedicated rescue workers, each day was a milestone and today he has exceeded all expectations and is a true perfect “Ten.”
Wishbone, submitted by PupeLuv Rescue, Inc. (Waterford Township, MI)
When a kind soul was encountered by an abused, malnourished dog, his outreach to those who cared meant a new chance at a healthy life and a loving, forever home for this lucky dog.
About Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue®
Smaller pet rescue organizations help place nearly half a million dogs and cats in homes each year and represent nearly 45 percent of all pet adoption agencies. However, they are often overlooked by potential donors due to more limited fundraising and marketing resources.

The Purina® Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue® campaign is committed to Doing More™ to help pet rescue organizations nationwide raise funds and awareness via local adoption events. The program helps pet rescue organizations give rescue pets the nutrition and care they need and the loving homes they deserve. To help raise awareness and promote adoption, Rally to Rescue® Ambassadors host adoption and fundraising events at pet retailers across the country and sell Doing More™ for Pets T-shirts onsite, online at and at Rally Across America events this summer and fall.

About Pro Plan® Rally Across America
Encouraging pet lovers to Do More™ for rescue pets and the organizations that care for them – by adopting, volunteering and giving – is the focus of the fourth annual Purina® Pro Plan® Rally Across America national road tour. This year, the tour has set a goal of 400,000 pet adoptions by year end, building on the current total of more than 320,000 adoptions since the Rally to Rescue® program inception in 2005. The tour also encourages pet lovers to contact local organizations and offer to help rescue pets by volunteering a few hours or by giving pet care items or a monetary donation, both of which provide valuable help.

In addition, event goers can receive training tips from Purina® Pro Plan® trainer Melissa Heeter with her rescue dog Viola. Heeter provides training techniques customized to pets’ varied and unique personalities. Pet owners can use these techniques at home with their own pets or their newest four-legged friend.

“When looking for a furry addition to their family, some potential pet owners may feel reluctant about adopting rescue pets out of concern they were given up because of behavioral problems or because they may have been abused,” Heeter said. “But that’s not the case with many rescue pets and the truth is, just like any other pet, they can be a loving, wonderful, life-long companion. Often it just takes a little training and patience for rescue pets to feel more at ease with their new environment.”

To find a pet rescue event near you, view the complete stories and vote in the Doing More™ for Pets Rescue Stories Contest, or to apply to become a Rally to Rescue® Ambassador, visit or