Saturday, February 25, 2012

Willow Goes to the Rainbow Bridge

I have some very bad news to share. Our beloved NEBTR Boston, Willow lost her courageous battle with multiple cancers today.

She was happy and alert this morning. Sharing her special treat of cheese before I went to work. Unfortunately my Mom, who Willow stays with during the day called to tell me Willow was having seizures and was rushed to our Veterinary Hospital. Unfortunately, the Vet suspected that she threw a blood clot to her brain and was in status epilepitcus. Despite their best efforts to stop the seizures, she was not able to be revived. We had the Vet put her to sleep while we were there with her. Our hearts are broken!

We went through a lot together. Willow was a courageous girl with a very gentle spirit. It was our privelege to have her as part of our family. Though we will miss her terribly, we want to thank NEBTR for the opportunity to have had Willow in our lives.

Linda Wichlac

We at NEBTR offer our sincerest sympathies to Linda and her Mom, and thank them for all the love and care they gave to Willow for the last few years of her love. Willow knew she was loved and cherished and they gave her this most precious gift.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Muno and Honey Get Adopted

Muno spent the first day of the rest of his life with his forever family Sunday! Everything went amazingly perfect during the meet and greet with Pam Hess and her family. I really think that Muno's docile personality will compliment well with their headstrong Walter. Chris Schezzini was monumental in the process today by opening her home for us to let the dogs and family members meet at her home on neutral territory and cooked us a full course amazing lunch! Pam so graciously came with gifts for Chris and I for being a part in the rehab and meeting of Muno. I know I speak for Chris when I say how deeply appreciative we were for the baskets and your willingness to adopt my "little old man" (now yours :0) Thank you to everybody who supported us and helped the process.

Megan Sanchez

 Muno at Megan's

NOTE: Muno came to the Chambersburg, PA shelter with Honey. They were found in a crate outside the shelter when they opened up one morning. They suspected they might be an old breeding pair. The male, Muno, had one eye and was fostered by Megan Sanchez. Honey was in rough shape with suspected pyometra, glaucoma, and hip problems. The story ends happily for Honey as well, since she will spend the rest of her life with her loving foster Mom Chris. Click on their names to read more about this pair.

Pam's son, noting that Muno has only one eye, found him especially beautiful because "it's what's inside that counts."  That's what love is all about! 

Oscar Nominated Movies Go to the Dogs

From Dogster.Com, Love of the Dog Blog

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tax Deduction for Foster Homes

NOTE TO NEBTR FOSTER PARENTS: The expenses you provide for the care of your foster Bostons are tax deductible, as explained in the article below. These items include food, veterinarian bills, a portion of utility bills, transportation expenses, dog supplies and other expenses you have incurred on behalf of your NEBTR foster Boston, and should be included as charitable expenses on Schedule A of your 1040 return. Contact Victoria Carter, NEBTR Treasurer, and she will send you the letter you will need to give to the person who prepares your tax return.
From Amy Rossi, the, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Examiner.

 In a landmark tax court case, Jan Van Dusen emerged victorious against the IRS. Van Dusen claimed many tax deductions on her 2004 tax return, for all the expenditures she'd put out for the 70 (yes, you read that correctly) stray and feral cats she had fostered, as part of her volunteer work with Fix Our Ferals, a non-profit California charity.

Van Dusen claimed over $12,000 related to cat food, vet bills, garbage bags, and other items for her care of the cats. In 2009, a judge finally ruled that because her expenses were used toward a charitable organization, she was legally allowed to claim them. In fact, 90 percent of her vet bills, cleaning supplies, and food was tax deductible.

 If you've ever fostered an animal or know anyone who has, you're probably aware of the expenses associated with it. Beside just opening your heart and home to an unfamiliar animal, you also usually have to provide food, gas used to transport the animal to vet appointments or potential adopter meetings, and all the supplies that come with taking care of an animal.

 "People have claimed these types of expenses before, thinking it makes sense because they're doing this service for a charitable organization, they should be able to recoup some of their out-of-pocket costs," said Rachel Hirschfeld, estate planner since 1999 and pet trust lawyer who created the Pet Protection Agreement found on Hirschfeld was one of the first in the country to focus on pet trust laws for the security of pets' futures in cases where their owners might no longer be able to care for them.

 Hirschfeld is thrilled with Van Dusen's victory. "There are so many people who want to foster and help animals, and this ruling will make it easier for everyone. More people will foster knowing it's a legal expense and this will help the whole community," she said. She suggested that a great next step would be tax deductions for people even after they've adopted the animals. "If you're adopting from a charitable organization or shelter, you're really helping out the shelter. The whole world would be a better place if people adopted more animals." (Side note: I adopted my foster dog, and would love to know I could claim her expenses! Wouldn't many of you feel the same way? I know I'm not alone as a "foster failure").

Hirschfeld has some tips for foster parents planning to claim deductions on their taxes.

  •  Collect and retain all your receipts associated with foster pet purchases 
  • Write a note on every receipt and be specific (ie if you go to a hardware store and buy cat litter or lights for the room the dogs are kept in, circle the items on the receipt and write a note about the purpose of the item)
  • Remember that as of right now, the only tax-deductible purchases are for foster pets, not resident pets

    "This is huge what's happened here!" said Hirschfeld, and encourages all pet foster parents to take advantage of this and share with all their animal networks to help raise the rate of fostering, and thus saving, animals in shelters across the country. "This shows that people are starting to really see animals as actual beings." Ironically, Hirschfeld used to be terrified of animals. Now she tells the story of adopting her foster dog. "When you adopt an animal, it actually changes your heart."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Interpreting Rescue

See Betsy's Videos

Hey everyone, it's Betsy. I'm recovering from my knee surgery nicely. I'm a trooper, can't you tell..I've got my poker face on....And don't forget to watch my video showing how I like to snuggle and the one showing me begging for chicken.  I'm being taken care of and loved by my foster Mom Lisa Vaughan until I find my forever home.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Foster Wheezy's Movie

Special Forever Foster Moms

This post is in honor of a very special group of  Forever Foster Moms, all of whom recently lost their little ones.  They are:

Jodi Groff and her foster Terry;  Cynthia Kaiser and her foster Madge; Sharon Davidson and her foster Mo;  Malinda Verrigni and her foster Dot;  Carolyn McCarthy and her foster Tommy; and Megan Sanchez and her foster Charlotte. 

All of these dedicated Moms were the fosters for dogs that they knew only had a limited lifespan, and volunteered to be their end of life caretakers, knowing that they would have to say goodbye to their babies far too soon, but chosing to show them love and devotion for their final days, and to be able to see their final journeys to the Rainbow Bridge.

A special thank you to all those who have forever fosters, knowing that they are the last home for these poor souls who were abandoned at the hour of their greatest need. They, and all the others with forever fosters,  know they were chosen for a special task, and they have all our admiration and respect. 

Jodi and Terry

Terry was a 14 year old girl who had been dropped off at the Philadelphia Animal Shelter.  When dropped off, she was blind in one eye and has no use of her back legs.  Despite that she was also very sweet, and won the heart of Foster Mom Jodi Groff.   Terry was only with Jodi for two days, but in that time, was shown all the love Jodi could give her.  Jodi wrote at that time,  "Today we said goodbye to our foster Terry. She was very peaceful and was licking a spoon of peanut butter and being cuddled to the very end. No matter how much pain she was in she could never turn it down, we even coated chicken with melted peanut butter to get her to eat. Selfishly, we wish she could have been with us longer than two days but we needed to let her go so she could finally be free. The poor girl had so many physical issues- legs so atrophied that she no longer move, incontinence from loss of feeling and painful cataracts/blindness. I have to smile when I think of her finally running her little heart out. I know she had to be a sweet and loyal member of someone’s family and I‘m glad we were able to help her on her journey even if they couldn’t. This decision just doesn’t get any easier!"

Cynthia and Madge

Madge was the first foster for her Mom Cynthia Kaiser.  Madge also came from animal control.  She had been abandoned, so there was no history on her.  It was discovered that Madge had a brain tumor and had pacing and seizures, which were so painful to watch her endure. 

Cynthia said about her when she first got her, "Madge loves walks, belly rubs and giving kisses.  In spite of all that she is enduring, she is a very sweet, loving lady.  We are giving her pred and hope it helps her symptoms but we know that Madge's time with us is limited.  We are making sure that Madge's last days are filled with all the love and care that she so richly deserves. Please keep Madge in your thoughts and prayers." 

At the end of Madge's life, Cynthia wrote,  "Sadly, our sweet foster Madge had to be put to sleep today. She had a rough last couple of days with seizures and neurological symptoms from her brain tumor. Late last night and through to this morning it became obvious to us that she was suffering and needed our help. She passed away very peacefully late this morning and I was with Madge the entire time giving her love and telling her that she was a good girl. Even though we only had Madge a short time, we loved her very much and will miss her sweet, gentle disposition and many kisses. We are so thankful that Madge felt the love and care of a home in her last days. Many thanks to Rhea who took Madge out of animal services and gave her love and care for days, to Ginny for being a great foster support system and to Victoria and Sheryl who spoke to our vet and made sure that Madge got everything that she needed to keep her comfortable. Although I am a new foster, I can see that NEBTR is a wonderful group. If Madge could thank everyone there would be warm, soft kisses all around."

Special thanks to Cynthia for being there for Madge in her last days. She knew love, caring and the best medical care possible. If only her previous home had been there for her in her hour of greatest need. But that's what NEBTR and people like Cynthia are all about.

Sharon and Mo

Mo was an elderly diabetic dog who was fostered by Sharon Davidson.  Mo was her first pup with NEBTR, and she gave him all the love she had.  She drove many hours to pick him up, and cared for him for seven months.  He was a sweet and loving dog with numerous health issues including uncontrolled diabetes and ongoing eye issues that she pulled from a shelter.  Sharon has been about as devoted to him and caring for him as a person could be, and has made his last 7 months probably the best of his life.

They were unable to get his diabetes under control despite numerous medication adjustments and glucose tests. One night at about 2:30 in the morning he started crying out.  She went to him, and he was having trouble moving.  She didn't think he needed medication but rubbed a little honey on his gums just in case and lay on the floor with him.  In the morning she took him to her vet who said he either had a stroke or something neurological going on.  They did a glucose curve test which was normal.  He Could not move one side.  He was dragging his front leg and curling it under so the vet thinks its more likely something neurological. 

He was a hospice case at this point, and Sharon brought him home and had him stay with her for whatever time he has left.  Mo's eye ruptured subsequently, and she and the vet both felt he shouldn't be put through surgery in his frail condition so she held him while he was PTS.  This has not been an easy dog.  His uncontrolled diabetes caused him to have daily numerous accidents in the house and during the night.  Sharon has never once complained, and  said things like "he has been a pleasure to care for, he offered comfort to my mother in her time of sorrow, he is a sweet, wonderful boy, and I am doing this to help a good dog who needs loving care."  Sharon  had him for 7 months and has not been able to leave him alone for more than 2 hours at a time, but again did this willingly.  She's a gem.

Rest in peace, Mo, and thank you Sharon, from all of us.

Malinda and Dot

When she came to NEBTR and Foster Mom Malinda Verrigni, Dot was a healthy 10 year your Boston.  She was 22 pounds and black and white with no brindle.  She had plenty of play and energy left.  Sadly, she did have an issue with a tumor in her breast but this was removed and she was given a clean bill of health in October, 2011.  She was a very sweet girl and extremely loyal and was Dot's best friend forever.  She followed her around all day just to make sure she was.  Dot was playful with her foster home’s dogs  (boston terrier and standard poodle) and  good with small children as long as they are not pulling and tugging at her.  She tired of that very quickly and runs away.    She loved to run after toys and go for walks. She was very obedient and did exactly what Malinda told her and was just a super easy girl.

Unfortunately, her cancer returned, and progressed to her legs and lungs. Dot spent the rest of her time with Malinda and her family.  Her last days were full of love, and her family returned the affection that Dot so freely gave to all.   Dot was super sweet and affectionate, and won the hearts of all who knew her.   She died at the office of her vet, with the staff who had cared for her able to say goodbye to her, and cuddled by Malinda. Rest in peace, sweet Dot.

Carolyn and Tommy 

Tommy, or TomTom, as he was affectionately known,  was abandoned by his family with a brain tumor. He was taken in by Foster Mom Carolyn McCarthy, who made him part of her brood for the time he had left. No one could have received better care or more love, and he died among his new family and surrounded by love. He was a special, handsome boy who taught all around him the value of loyalty and devotion.

Cynthia Kaiser wrote to Carolyn,  at the end of TomTom's life,  " I am so sorry that both you and TomTom have to go through this. My first foster, Madge, had a brain tumor and the pacing and seizures were so painful to watch her endure, I can only imagine what it felt like to her and for TomTom.  It was a sad choice to make but we did put her to sleep after only having her with us for a short time because she was suffering too much.  Tomtom will be pain free, running and playing with all the dogs who have gone before him.  You have filled his last days with love and given him a caring home.  And as difficult as is it, this is your final act of love for TomTom.  My thoughts and prayers will be with you today."

Megan and Charlotte

Megan Sanchez is a Foster Mom for NEBTR, and she recently lost her forever foster Charlotte, whom she fostered through another organization.

Megan wrote,  "My heart goes out to all involved with these special little dogs. Sharon, you have done a great thing taking care of Mo. Karma will be very good to you. It's a great thing to sacrifice a little bit of your emotions to give this guy 7 months of comfort and love. I just put down my hospice foster last week after having her for 8 months. It's hard but, knowing the life we gave her vs. the life she could have had at the shelter or none at all is a huge piece of happy for her in my heart. My prayers go out to you and your family for healing."

We all send our love and support for Megan on her loss of Miss Charlotte.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dog Last Will and Testament

Manny/Littleman Finds His Foster Home

Manny, now Littleman, was turned into the Clifton, NJ Animal Shelter, who contacted NEBTR to care for this 1 year old youngster.  Foster Mon Carolyn McCarthy lovingly cared for him for many months until she could find the perfect forever home for him.  She trained him, and sought medical care and made homecooked meals for his irritable bowel syndrome. while at Carolyn's, Littleman's best friend was Cesar, the emaciated dog that Carolyn also cared for. Cesar was adopted by Laura Ratsavong in Brooklyn, and has the perfect forever ending.  

Finally, Dr. Steve Fries entered the picture. Dr. Steve is an animal chiropractor who has two other dogs of his own, Roo and Ted. Steve says, "My new little guy, formerly Manny, is now Littleman.....he seems to enjoy hearing his new name. Hard to believe a week elapsed. Roo really likes him, but doesn't seem to want to play chase. He is obsessed with toys, bones and antlers and is very attached to me already. Knock on outbreaks of diarrhea (he has a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome), and is tolerating the slow addition of raw diet to his food. He jumped on my kayak several times...hopefully in the warmer months Littleman will enjoy going for a paddle with me. He is an expert at snuggling and joins me the instant I sit or lie on the bed to watch TV. On our walk around the neighborhood this morning the creek on which I live was at low tide. The marsh must have smelled heavenly to Littleman....he just stood and inhaled for a full 5 minutes." Sounds like the ideal home for an active BT!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Foster Quincy Loves to Snuggle

Check out this adorable video of Lisa Vaughan's foster Quincy snuggling in his blankets.

Pliny, An Almost Foster

WOW! A great save by Jenna Antoniewicz who reports: "This is Pliny - we recently rescued him from some college students who were asked by someone in their neighborhood to take him. They realized pretty quickly they were not equipped to take care of a puppy so they reached out to us (long-time Boston lovers!). He was starving, but a very happy little boy! We were going to foster him and contact NEBTR  about finding him a forever home. . . but it turns out he has found one with us. :)

The vet says he's about 10 months old. He is still pretty skinny (trying to fatten him up!) and is getting along great with our other Boston (Yoda). We had to treat him for some roundworm, but it's been a good two weeks since they were found. Booster shots in two weeks... our new baby is doing very well!" A true story with a very happy ending, makes us all so happy that Pliny has his forever home after a rough start.

Thanks so much Jenna and many kind thoughts for your expanding family.