ECPR Teaches Humane Education With Southwest Youth and Family Services

Our slogan here at Emerald City Pet Rescue is “Love Can Save Lives.” Every day, all of us here at ECPR discover how true that is in so many ways. Not only does adopting a rescue pet give them a new chance at a happy life, but so many people who have rescued often tell us, “Really, he/she rescued ME!” I can personally speak to the truth of that as my first rescue dog, Lily, has been with me through thick and thin and I can’t imagine my life without her unconditional support and friendship. Dogs love without conditions, they forgive the unforgivable, and they have the resilience to overcome unspeakable horrors. My love and respect for how courageous they are is not only a personal passion of mine, but it has become a large part of why I do the work that I do. In the recent outreach that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of, I have had the privilege of witnessing dogs, just by being the loving souls that they are, reach the hearts of many and brighten their lives.
3D17Recently, our wonderful Education and Outreach Specialist, Bethany, had the opportunity to collaborate with counselors from Southwest Youth and Family Services who help young children deal with aggression and bullying issues. They visited an after-school program in Burien called New Futures twice per week and asked us to assist with dogs one day per week. The children in the program ranged from ages 5 – 8.
As I often do, my personal dogs and I came along with Bethany (our ECPR “ambassador” dogs!) As much as we would love to bring adoptable rescue dogs to every type of event, outreach, or educational opportunity, we don’t always know how they are going to react in those types of situations and we want to make sure that we don’t put them in situations that may be unsafe for them or for others, nor do we want to add any extra stress to their lives. Fortunately, Bethany and I have wonderful rescue dogs of our own, some of them ECPR alums themselves, that can serve as ambassadors; they are socialized, very loving, and wonderful representations of how much love rescue pets have to give.
BF15Bethany developed a variety of activities over a three-day period of time (one day a week for three weeks) to help the children learn and understand the concepts of empathy and compassion while using the animals as a way to help them understand the message. These lessons were partly about learning about animals and how to care for them, but she also had them relate things animals need to be healthy and happy to what they, the children, need to be healthy and happy. Their faces lit up when they realized that people and animals need the same things! We had them do activities where they worked in pairs (to encourage healthy communication and respect toward one another), and of course, we had plenty of “dog time” where they were able to pet and hold the dogs and learn about their rescue stories. It is amazing and uplifting when young children truly understand the responsibility of caring for a pet, and how teaching them about animals helps them relate to each other better as well. The teachers mentioned they already saw a noticeable difference in their behavior, and Bethany and I were so touched by that!
DBD6When we first met the children, they were rowdy (like all children are!) and oh-so-eager to meet the dogs, but as we taught them about how to approach, pet, and handle the dogs, and as we did various activities with them to help them understand empathy and compassion, we witnessed new concepts in the world opening up to them as they learned all about communication and body language. I was particularly amazed when one of my dogs got a bit frightened and tucked her tail between her legs – one of the young children said, “oh give her some space, she’s scared!” His concern for her and his attention to her body language truly touched my heart!
One of the children had a very difficult time sitting still and being quiet, but when I put my littlest chihuahua in his arms, suddenly he was very calm and so gentle with her. The immediate transformation as he showed compassion for my dog, Peaches, was simply amazing to witness.
0351Bethany did an incredible job creating tailoring lessons and activities to the age range and needs of these students and I feel incredibly honored that I was able to join her on this experience. I’m very thankful to be a part of such a compassionate rescue that values encouraging the community (people of ALL ages) to have compassion for animals, and for each other.
If you are a part of a school, a program, a community center, or anything else and you would like the opportunity to bring in a form of Humane Education, please contact our Education and Outreach Specialist Bethany at bethany@emeraldcitypetrescue.org 
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Action Jackson Found His Soulmate!

Capone mid bathCapone is a special dog that has been with Emerald City Pet Rescue for over a year. This four-year-old Cavalier King Charles mix was found as a stray in California, and once his owners were finally found, they said they didn’t want him anymore. We rescued him from the shelter and brought him to Seattle so he could find a forever home.

Once Capone warms up to people he is a cuddle-bug and a goofball, but he has had difficulty finding a forever home because he is reactive when first meeting someone before that trust and bond is built. (We don’t blame him, being abandoned in his past and all!) 20170513_165519

We are strictly no-kill here at ECPR and we will keep a pet as long as it takes for them to find a forever home, no matter what.

Along came someone who had sadly lost their companion a few months back, and was hoping to honor her beloved pet by giving a dog like Capone a home. Capone, now named Jackson, went to her house just yesterday, and it brings tears of joy to our eyes that she has already begun documenting their journey together as she works with compassion and kindness to build a strong bond and a sense of trust with a dog who has a difficult past.

We are thrilled for any and all ECPR dogs, cats, and critters who find their forever homes through Emerald City Pet Rescue, but sometimes there is that special dog, and that special person, who when they come together spark pure magic.
Join Jackson on his journey with new mom on Facebook: Action Jackson the Cavalier King. Our motto rings true, Love Can Save Lives!

ECPR’s Clinic Staff Works Wonders With An Injured Dog

At Emerald City Pet Rescue, we are blessed with an amazing staff that all work together with passion, commitment, and unconditional love for our rescue animals. As we continue to expand at a fast pace so we can help more pets in need, we have had the good fortune to be able to bring a wonderful veterinary team on board. In just the short time that we have had our in-house clinic, the team has already come across triumphs, challenges, and even some heartbreak.
Today, we’d love to share a wonderful story about an incredible little dog with more heart and spirit than we can possibly imagine, and everything our veterinary team has done, and continues to do, in order to support this pup through her rough time. Their efforts are creative and compassionate, and we are proud and blessed to have them on board as an integral part of our rescue effort.
Little Gingersnap was found by a good Samaritan by the side of the road in California on June 17, 2017, and taken to Marysville Veterinary Hospital. Because of her extensive injuries, she was quickly transferred to a 24-hour speciality hospital, Valley Oak VCA in Chico.
Gingersnap had been hit by a car and her injuries were found to be quite severe. This poor, sweet girl had extensive amounts of skin torn off of her paws and both hind legs because the car that hit her dragged her across the pavement. So much skin was missing that her bones, tendons, and muscles were all exposed. Wounds that extensive can be quite painful and the road to healing from them comes with the risk of infection. Healing requires a LOT of patience from the dog while the wounds are cleaned, sterilised, and re-bandaged daily. I can’t imagine how painful that must be for her!

***TRIGGER WARNING, please be advised that these photos linked below are of Gingersnap’s initial leg injuries and they are very graphic in nature, click at your own risk!

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Thanks to our amazing veterinary team, Gingersnap did not need to have skin grafts to help heal her wounds. Instead, they decided on the innovative choice to use Manuka honey to keep her safe through her healing process. Manuka honey has been found to destroy bacteria that could otherwise infect open wounds. It also has bioactivities that help to boost the immune response, which helps new tissue grow and repair wounds. It also suppresses inflammation. How incredible is that!? Nature is its own miracle!
If that injury wasn’t bad enough, Gingersnap was also found to have a fractured bone in her hind foot, and the scariest part of all – she was pregnant. She was instantly put on pain relief medications, antibiotics, and fluids to help ease her suffering and keep her calm. An ultrasound was performed to check on the state of the puppies, and by the grace of nature; the pups had strong heartbeats and seemed okay! Amazing!
But, Gingersnap’s mammary glands were bruised, and one had to be removed. There were still some tough, scary decisions for the vets to make. Should they perform a c-section and deliver the pups immediately, or should they wait until they were born naturally in order to fix Gingersnap’s wounds? They decided to wait. Fortunately, they didn’t have to wait long!
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Gingersnap’s first puppy was delivered June 20th at 9:30 PM. Despite all of her injuries, she managed to then give birth to 4 healthy puppies who immediately began to nurse on her already wounded mammary glands. The poor girl had to undergo surgery to remove the severely damaged glands, but she was determined to use the ones she had left to continue nursing her pups. There was a concern at first that her puppies may have to be human-raised and bottle fed, but to everyone’s surprise, Gingersnap was determined to care for her puppies no matter what. One of our dedicated techs, Destiny, took Gingersnap home for a long weekend to monitor her progress and make sure she able to care for her pups.
Most dogs need to undergo anaesthesia to have wounds as extensive as hers cleaned and dressed daily, but Gingersnap wags her tail and patiently allows her wounds to be cleaned and re-dressed; a perfect little angel. Our staff began to dress her wounds with “designer bandages” with bright colors and fun designs, and she doesn’t even need a cone because she doesn’t try to chew on them at all, despite the itching and burning of her healing skin underneath.
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Gingersnap’s legs have healed up and the wounds are now closed. She has some scarring on her belly where some of her mammaries were removed. Her puppies are healthy, happy, and doing very well.
Gingersnap3A dog like Gingersnap is a true treasure, a walking, talking reminder of why we are all a part of this rescue. The courage, heart, and trust she has shown has blown us all away and touched us deeply in a way that none of us will ever forget. Every day she amazes us, every moment her kind eyes and wagging tail brings a smile to our faces. She will make the most wonderful pet once her puppies are grown and she is healed enough to be available for adoption, and the fact that her happy ending is at least within sight is such a rare miracle considering the condition she was found in.
Our veterinary staff pulled through for this dog by not only being creative and innovative on how to best heal her wounds, but the dedication, kindness, and love they have shown her is a level of commitment and compassion that we are beyond honored to have here at the rescue. They deserve credit for pulling together so quickly and giving Gingersnap the best chance possible to heal and succeed.
Gingersnap is a great example of why we do what we do. With compassion and dedication, our slogan reigns true; Love Can Save Lives!

Deena’s Happy Ending

Deena_PF2Deena is a sweet, wonderful Yorkie that has been with us here at Emerald City Pet Rescue for a handful of months. She came to us very fearful, but we could tell that more than anything, she desperately wanted to love and be loved. She needed to learn through positive daily interactions that she was now safe forever and our staff worked hard to show her that there was nothing to be afraid of. Slowly we watched this timid girl come out of her shell and begin to take treats from us, tolerate human touch, and then ask for pets. She went from cowering when approached to approaching those she learned that she could trust and asking them for attention.

Our staff does such wonderful work with the challenges some of our pets present when they first arrive, whether it be medical challenges, or behavioural/emotional. Our behavioralists guide our staff to work with our animals and help them gain confidence using practices by Sophia Yin using positive reinforcement, the “learn to earn” program, and more. We cater specific training plans to the animal’s individual needs, and with Deena, what she needed most from us was time, patience, and the gentle touch of kindness.

IMG_5151.JPGA potential adopter approached us with a lot of interest in adopting Deena. Because Deena is a flight risk as well as a climber/jumper, we had concerns that her potential adopter’s backyard fence simply wasn’t high enough for Deena to be safe in while romping in the backyard, but the adopter felt a special bond with Deena and very much wanted her. She hired a contractor to build her fence up higher so that Deena would be safe, and came in to visit with Deena in order to build a bond. When her home was ready, Deena was still available so she was able to then move forward with the adoption.

IMG_5154Our behavioralist Farrah took Deena to her new mom’s home for the home check. She was very touched by how relieved the adopter was, and she told us that Deena’s mom looked at her new dog and said, “She’s staying? She’s really mine?” Then she looked at Deena and said, “You’re finally home!”

We can’t express enough how much it meant to us that someone loved Deena enough to literally build her a safe yard, and to come and visit her regularly to build that crucial bond between them. Working in rescue can be tough on our hearts. We all bond with the animals that we care for and when we work extra hard to help an animal, seeing them find a home is both an amazing moment of triumph, and just a touch of sadness because although we know this is what we’ve been helping them work toward, we will still miss them. It helps so much to know that a special dog like Deena has an amazing adopter who has already gone above and beyond to meet her needs, we know that Deena is in safe and loving hands for the rest of her life. We’re so grateful to Deena’s new mom. Happy endings like this remind us of why we do what we do. Love can save lives!

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Girl Scout Troop Donates $300!

IMG_8778The wonderful thing about rescue is that there are so many ways to help out and get involved, and we feel very blessed to be a part of such a supportive and enthusiastic community.

Yesterday, we had a visit from Girl Scout Troop #45302, and they gave us an amazingly generous donation of $300! What a wonderful gift from young people, who already feel compassion for our animals and the desire to help.

Like this troop, there are so many ways for people to get involved and help our animals. If you can adopt, wonderful! If you cannot adopt, foster. If you cannot foster, our animals always need supplies and funds to help them on their way to finding their forever homes, and there’s no age limit on the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of these amazing rescue pets.

Thank you so much, Girl Scouts, for your wonderful and generous donation, and for caring about our animals and working hard to help them out. You’re making a difference in their lives and they know it!

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ECPR Offers Humane Education Curriculum to Elementary Students

IMG_8738One thing that we feel very strongly about here at Emerald City Pet Rescue is reaching out to the public. Recently our Education and Outreach Specialist, Bethany, has developed a Humane Education curriculum for elementary students and we recently had the first opportunity to visit the students enrolled in Dearborn Park International School’s Summer Staircase Program for three sessions. The students were split into three groups ranging from Kindergarten to fourth grade. Bethany designed a program that would encourage the students to think about compassion and empathy in regards to both animals and to the other people in their lives.

IMG_8736The first day of our visit, we taught “Intro to Rescue.” We discussed The Three R’s (Rescuing, Rehoming, Rehabilitating), we discussed some of our adoptable animals and their special needs, and then led into what it takes to care for those animals and to have compassion for them.

On our second visit, we introduced the students to some activities in regards to empathy and engaged them in a conversation and Q and A about understanding a person’s basic needs, an animal’s basic needs, and to compare what a human needs vs what an animal needs (and allowing them to discover that many of our needs are all the same!). We then provided them with hypothetical situations / scenarios and asked for their feedback on how they should respond to those things with empathy in mind, a word we incorporated deeply into the lessons with the hope that the students would take with them an understanding of how to identify and have compassion for the feelings of others. Some of the hypothetical scenarios we gave them were, “If you see someone on the playground making fun of or picking on someone else, what can you do to make that person feel better?” The kids responded with answers like, “Tell a teacher” and “ask that kid to play with me so they won’t feel sad and left out!” Hooray – they were understanding empathy!
We then moved on to animals. “What if you see a mama cat out searching for food so she can care for her kittens, and someone is throwing rocks at her? How do you think that cat would feel, and what can you do to help her and make her feel better?” The kids responded with, tell the person to stop, give the mama cat some food, etc. They were understanding that an animal has feelings too. Success!

At ECPR, we firmly believe that helping young people understand empathy and compassion for both their fellow human and animals alike, they will grow up to be happy, healthy, helpful, kind adults. Animals need our empathy and compassion, especially when they cannot speak for themselves.

Our third visit was the most fun for the students, we brought some dogs for them to meet! We taught them about properly approaching a dog, about always asking permission before trying to pet a dog, and how to be gentle and respectful of the dogs and their space. We got them into smaller groups and allowed them to meet and pet our dogs.

IMG_8731Although the students were young, I watched them light up when they understood something, I saw them connecting the importance of caring for an animal’s needs by realizing their basic needs are the same as our own (food, water, shelter, LOVE, being safe, etc.) and I feel confident that the lessons we did will help these students grow into adults that are compassionate toward animals.

We are fortunate enough to have more schools lined up for this lesson plan, and we also plan on expanding and developing more lessons for all ages. We understand that as a rescue, we strive to help the animals in our care of course, but the best way we can help ALL animals is to be involved in our surrounding community and to help educate people about the awesome responsibility of caring for animal’s needs and what it takes to keep them healthy and happy. The more confident and knowledgeable a person can be about animals, the more equipped they will be to decide if owning a pet is right for them, what kind of pet might best fit their lifestyle, and what an animals needs are.

IMG_8740If you are involved in a school or program and you think Humane Education would be a great fit for your students, please don’t hesitate to contact our Education and Outreach specialist at bethany@emeraldcitypetrescue.org 

We’re happy to work with you and design a curriculum that best fits your school and/or program! IMG_8745 IMG_8750 (1)

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Visit from the Bridges Program

IMG_8479Today, Emerald City Pet Rescue had the privilege of welcoming some wonderful members of Seattle Public School’s Swedish First Hill branch of the Bridges Program into our facility for an educational visit.

The Bridges program is designed for students with disabilities between the ages of 18-21. The vision of the program is to create a world where these young adults are given the tools to live their adult lives as independent, productive, and engaged community members. They aim to provide opportunities for them to build vocational, social, and independent living skills.

Our Education and Outreach Specialist, Bethany, along with our Volunteer Coordinator Austin, created a learning environment for these students that included “Intro to Rescue” where we discussed who we are as a unique rescue, where we rescue our animals from, and the steps we go through to rehabilitate them and to help them find safe, happy forever homes. Our wonderful trainer Skye then joined the lesson to do a training demo with a focus on respect and responsibility, with adoptable pup Barry, and the students were given the opportunity to join in and participate actively with the dog. The lesson ended with another adoptable dog Yuki being brought in for them to meet, as well as a few staff dogs (Emerald City Pet Rescue Ambassadors) Athena and Lily.

IMG_8485We are proud as a rescue to have had the opportunity to meet these wonderful young adults and to educate them about animal rescue. There is nothing more inspiring to us than young people having a passion for animals, and for us to be given the chance to hopefully inspire them to advocate for those in need.

A special shout-out and thank you to the teachers and the students of the Bridges Program who participated in today’s educational visit. We were happy to meet each and every one of you!

If you have a group or a class that would enjoy an educational visit to our rescue to learn about animal rescue, compassion-based training, and more, OR if you would like US to come to YOUR school or facility, please contact our Education and Outreach Specialist, Bethany, at bethany@emeraldcitypetrescue.org to arrange a visit!

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