Thursday, August 27, 2009

We Need Your Help!

We don't beg lightly, but our wish list hasn't had a dent put in it a long, long time. We're also running dangerously low on funds due to recent transports, vaccines and veterinary costs.

Doll says it best:

Project Hope needs a truck tough enough to pull our large horse trailer. We plan to convert our trailer so that we may use it for transport of dogs and cats as well as horses, emus, pigs and the other species we care for. Renting a truck each time we travel takes resources badly needed elsewhere. We're also in need of a tractor, equipped with a bushhog, blade, and scoop.

We need funds for transports, vet bills, medicine, feed, etc. Our water bill alone is sometimes as much as $300 a month.

We have electric and plumbing work that must be done, and fences that need repair. Many of the dog's resting decks need attention. The dogs play and lounge on them and they take a beating. The decks and buildings that are supported by blocks don't hold up long term and the cement work they need is enormously expensive. We want to preserve what we have and provide a safe and comfortable environment for the animals and we need your support to do that.

Please consider our needs and give generously to support our life-saving work.

You can send donations directly to Project Hope at:

52 County Road 241
Grenada, MS 38901

Please contact us directly at 662-237-0233 if you live in the Grenada area and would like to donate goods or services.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Life of Riley

Itamar arrived at Project Hope with his siblings back in December of last year. Hairless, suffering from mange and completely terrified. Over the next couple of months Doll worked tirelessly to transform these three pups and in late February two of the three (Itamar and Larry) were transferred to Every Creature Counts in Denver.

Both dogs were soon adopted and just a few days ago we received an update from Itamar's new guardian, Tracy - with photos! Itamar has a wonderful new life and new name, Riley. Below is the letter and photos we received from Tracy.

Take a look at some of the before photos and video and it's hard to believe this is the same dog.

from Tracy:

A walk in the park.

He is adorable! We have come a LOOONG way together since he came to my house April 5th. He was SO fearful, so insecure... but he is doing so much better. He makes me laugh and he seems so proud of himself when he gets to run around the park off leash, or walk through town with strangers all around and he doesn't cower from them anymore.

Wrestling and belly rubs.

He is definitely happiest with other dogs around and wants to play with ANY dog no matter size, shape, etc. We have lots of "play dates" and trips to the dog park! He gets compliments wherever we go, he is just so beautiful. This past weekend was his first camping trip and let me tell you - he was in his element. He LOVES being outside, near water, etc. - he had such a happy time. The funniest thing about Riley is how he acts when he gets near/in water. He just goes CRAZY! He leaps around and runs as fast as he can in and out of the water - it is very amusing.

Riley in his element.

I'm attaching some photos - hopefully you can see how big he is! He is about 50lbs now and his paws look big, so he may have more growing to do! I love him so dearly and it has been super rewarding watching him become a confident, happy dog. THANK YOU for all you did to save him!!!!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Transport Follow-up

Doll and former employee, Lisa Martin, who had helped extensively during Hurricane Katrina, transported 52 animals to Every Creature Counts in Denver this past Friday. What is normally a 24 hour one-way trip, took nearly 36 hours because of the long breaks walking the dogs and cleaning cages. They were also delayed saving a kitten off the interstate in Kansas.

Here are a few of the animals starting a new life in the Denver area this week.




Puppies, puppies, puppies






Monday, August 10, 2009

Update for August 10, 2009

from Doll:

Last Thursday, Lauren and I responded to a report that the Winona Pound was again overcrowded and there were pups in with big dogs, as well as a mother and newborns. The sight was tragic. In the first run there were but three dogs, but the larger two jumped the little guy. Moments later, a second fight broke out. There were five large dogs in this run, one culvert section to sleep in and one feeder. It’s just not good enough to hear the Humane Society and the city speak of how things will change soon. They may be getting a grant to build a modest shelter, but how’s that helping all the dogs that are there right now?

Doll removes two of a group of four puppies from the Winona Pound.

There’s no doubt that the lives of the dogs we take out improve immediately, but what about the ones we can’t take. Blue Eyes and Ol’ Man have been there for months. The Humane Society has asked me not to make waves with the city over our disgust with the treatment of the animals at the Pound. I perfectly understand politics, but what about the precious dogs that linger in their sub-standard facilities?

Corey poses for a quick photo at Project Hope.

We did bring Cassie and her three pups home, Nora and her six pups (there were ten dogs in their run), and Corey, the little guy who was jumped. As for the dogs we couldn't get, Amy will help me send photos of them to her Homeward Bound team at Mississippi State. Hopefully we can get them into the program. Again, what about the other dogs? This same scene is repeated in nearly every small town shelter in Mississippi and across the country for that matter.

A Happy Update

Weeks ago I received three frantic calls for dogs chained on Carroll County Road 129. A postal carrier who'd seen the dogs said she got sick after seeing them. I investigated and found the report to be accurate. I gathered the photos I took and contacted the Sheriff's Office and Deputy Brad Carver accompanied me on this second trip to the property.

Doll holds Rosebud just after removing him from his "kennel".

Rosebud in his "kennel".

The Deputy and I went to the property and he fully agreed that the dogs were in danger. I took video as we spoke with Mrs. Applon, the "owner's" wife, and pointed out and explained to her what the problems were. She was cordial.

After leaving the Deputy and I discussed the urgency of seizing the dogs. I went to Justice Court and spoke with the Clerk, who prepared a seizure order and I left the photo evidence for Judge Avant. The seizure order would be carried out under MCCS 97-41-2, a civil statute allowing for the seizure of animals that results in the transfer of temporary or permanent custody when their "owner" is unwilling, or unable to care for them.

Marcus is skin and bones.

The Judge didn’t speak with either me or the Sheriff's Office and when I didn't hear back, I tried to contact him for days. The Sheriff finally made contact with him and was advised that the Judge had spoken with the dog's guardian instructing him to feed his dogs better.

I then wrote Judge Avant detailing the condition of each animal and the environment they were being subjected to. I told him I would have Dr. Busby, of Mississippi State University and Dr. Katz, IDA's President, write him giving their professional opinion. August 6, a week and a month since my first visit to see the dogs, Judge Avant called the Sheriff and told him to go see if the condition of the dogs had improved. The Sheriff reported that nothing had changed. Judge Avant then issued a seizure order.

Maggots cover the floor of this kennel.

On August 7th, Lauren and I, accompanied by Deputy Carver, seized the dogs. They were taken to Veterinary Associates for diagnosis of skin conditions, possible parasite infestation, and general health check-ups. We arrived after closing on Saturday, but Veterinary Associates made themselves available (and we are so grateful) and our Amy, a senior vet student at MSU, assisted with the process.

Today Deputy Carver and I will follow up with the judge for setting the bond for the Applon dogs care for the period given for an "owner" to request a hearing, post a bond, and for interim until the hearing.

On the way to the seizure Friday we spotted CeCe, a pup, fleeing through the tall grass on the side of the road. I was able to gain her trust and she accompanied us on the seizure.

An Unhappy Update

Sorry to end this report with terrible news, but in the 16+ years I've been doing this work I have come to know first hand that not every story will have a happy ending. Our little Raisin, pulled nearly hairless from the Clarksdale Shelter, has died. She succumbed to parvo which she was exposed to at the Shelter. We're absolutely heart-broken over the loss, but we know we did what we could. The only good news to this story is that her siblings, Butterscotch and Winkie, are both doing well.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

16 Years and Counting

August marks the 16th year since In Defense of Animals' Mid-South Office, better known as Project Hope, came to be. On August 1, 1993 Doll officially opened the Sanctuary.

Technically, Doll had already been in Mississippi for several months investigating and working to shut down several dog-nappers who had been stealing people's dogs off the street and selling them to research labs. Jerry Vance was one of the key players in this pet-theft ring and Doll eventually put him out of business.

Below are three news clips from WABG-TV in Greenville, MS that detail the case.

In the 16 years since Doll arrived in Mississippi, she's helped better the lives of thousands of animals. Of course, she couldn't do it without her network of other animal caretakers, whistle-blowers, sympathetic judges, prosecutors, sheriffs and other law enforcement.

I've worked with Doll on several occasions and I can honestly say that I have never met a harder working, more dedicated, compassionate and kinder person. Thanks, Doll, for all your hard work over the past 16+ years.

Please take a moment to send Doll an e-mail congratulating her on her 16 years of service to the animals of Mississippi.

-Eric P.


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