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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Pet Owners Appreciation Day : An Editorial

IMG_8092I’m not a huge fan of the word “owner.” I own my clothes, I own my phone, but do I own my pets? If anything, they own me! But in all seriousness, I prefer the term pet-parents, or even just parents. After all, I raised my pets, I care for my pets, I assume responsibility for my pets, and I love them. They are family.

Being a pet parent can be a roller-coaster ride. The “baby” months are often a lot of work. If you have a puppy, you’re constantly preoccupied with crate-training and/or potty training, teaching them what is okay to chew on and what is not, building trust as their pet-parent as well as making sure they have plenty of socialization with other people and other animals so they grow to be healthy, happy, safe, trusting adults, and so much more!  If you have a kitten, your hands will look like you got in a fight with a scalpel for a good few months while teaching Kitty that your body is NOT a scratching post! RIP curtains until kitty learns the appropriate places to scratch, and that toys are not the same as body parts. The truth is, every young animal relies on you to dedicate the time, love, and patience it takes to guide them.

IMG_8125Like a parent of tiny humans, your “job” as a pet-parent is never over. That animal will need you to care for them consistently and dependably every day of their life, but as a pet-parent, I can honestly say that the love and appreciation they give you back is worth every “accident” on the floor, every accidentally ruined curtain, and even the minutes of sleep you lose because you have to get up early and make sure your dog gets a short walk to poo and pee, or morning play sessions with kitty so they are not a bundle of mischievous energy while you are at work.

Being a pet parent can be inevitably heartbreaking. I got my first cat at eleven years old, and she was my best friend. Tinkerbelle and I had a bond that I struggle to find words to describe. One summer, I went to camp for four weeks and Tinkerbelle was left in my father’s care. An indoor kitty, she escaped past my father one day and hid under our gazebo. My dad was quite worried, and daily he would sit out there and try to coax her out, but she would not come to him no matter what he did. He left food and water for her every day, and sat by the gazebo every night faithfully until I arrived home. Immediately I went to the gazebo and called her, and she shot out from her tiny hiding place and right into my arms in five seconds. The look on my father’s face was priceless!

IMG_8139When I was in my twenties, Tinkerbelle started having many health problems and those problems extended to her kidneys. She got very sick, and to my horror, it was suddenly up to me to make a decision for Tinkerbelle; life without quality, or to end her pain and let her move on. That was one of the hardest choices I ever had to make. I saw with her and held her paw as she was put to sleep and I tried to be silent and supportive to her, but tears were streaming down my cheeks. She looked up at me moments before her life ended, and I knew she understood what was happening, and she wasn’t angry with me.

There was a part of me that was so hurt and empty that I didn’t know if I should ever get another pet, but as empty as I felt from Tinkerbelle’s passing, I felt just as empty not having pets because I knew so many animals out there deserve to be loved as much as I had loved her. When I felt the time was right, I went to a rescue with the intention of adopting another cat, but I ended up coming home with my first dog, Lily.

Taking that leap into being a pet-parent again after I lost my first best friend took a lot of courage on my end. I know that it’s quite likely I will outlive all of the pets in my home right now, and even though the thought of having to go through that pain again terrifies me, I have no regrets about having them with me now and loving and caring for them like they deserve. I admire every pet-parent who has faced loss, who has gone above and beyond to meet their pet’s needs, and who, despite all of those things, can’t imagine life being any other way.

Please take a moment, if you are a pet-parent, to remind yourself what an amazing gift you are giving your pets. If you are not a pet-parent, but you have a family member or a friend who is, tell them that it is Pet Owner’s Appreciation Day, and remind them that their pets love them very much.

So many pets are in need of forever homes. If you’re thinking about expanding your family, please consider adopting a rescue. The gift you give them is priceless, immeasurable, and so very worth it. Stop by your local shelter, or contact a rescue near you today :).

Last note : I may be biased, but here at Emerald City Pet Rescue, we have PLENTY of extremely wonderful pets waiting to find their forever homes! Check out our website at http://www.emeraldcitypetrescue.org

 

Community Outreach : Hilltop House Visit

IMG_7915A few months ago, Emerald City Pet Rescue began bringing dogs to a low-income senior housing center, Providence House at Pike Place Market. This type of outreach is near and dear to our hearts, it means a lot to us that we can help bring joy to people’s lives by giving them the opportunity to visit with some of our dogs, and it’s also wonderful for the dogs to meet new people, as well.

We were so pleased, in fact, with how our visits at Providence House have been going, that when we were approached by Karen Carlos, previous ECPR adopter and Services Coordinator for Hilltop House in First Hill about bringing some dogs for a visit, we were more than happy to set something up.

Today we brought seven dogs to Hilltop House for a visit. Three of the dogs that came with us are available for adoption, as well as a group of “alumni” dogs that have been adopted by a few of our staff members that came along for the visit. On the car-ride back to the rescue, we couldn’t help but discuss among each other how powerful and positive these visits are for everyone; the residents at the housing communities, the dogs, and even us; the staff! The therapeutic aspects of visiting with dogs is evident. Faces light up the moment a dog curls up into their laps, laughter, and smiles ensue when a dog wags their tail and asks to be petted. For the rescue dogs, positive interactions with new people in a new environment helps to build their confidence, and that makes them all the more adoptable. For the staff, it warms our hearts to look around and see human and animal making such an amazing, positive connection, and knowing that we had a part in making that happen. We are all devout animal-lovers and we feel it is our personal responsibility to advocate for our rescue animals. It means the world to us that we are able to share the joy these animals bring to our daily lives with others in the community, and we hope to continue to do more and more of these visits in order to spread joy and educate others on how amazingly appreciative and therapeutic adopting a rescue pet can be.

IMG_7917Thank you to Hilltop House for inviting Emerald City Pet Rescue into your residence and allowing us to share our wonderful pets with you. We hope to come back on a regular basis!

If you help organize a living community and you’d like to give your residents the opportunity to meet some rescue dogs, please contact us at 206 557 4661. We would love to do more and more outreach in our Seattle communities!

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Happy National Pet Day – an Editorial from ECPR

HAPPY NATIONAL PET DAY from your friends at ECPR!

I thought I’d take a few moments to celebrate National Pet Day by writing about my rescue pets and their stories. As the saying goes, “Rescue is the best breed” and I’ve found that to be entirely true! All animals are wonderful and completely deserving of love and the security of a forever home, but if you’ve ever adopted a rescue pet that has known rough times, the way they communicate their understanding and appreciation to you is touching beyond words.

LilyWhen I first began working with Emerald City Pet Rescue two years ago, I had one pet. Lily is my heart and soul. I adopted her at ten months old and she has traveled with me, faithfully stayed by side during hard times, and enjoyed good times with me as well. Lily was my first dog as an adult (I’d had family dogs, and then cats as an adult previously) and I couldn’t have asked for a better dog. She’s more than a dog to me, she’s my best friend. When I adopted Lily, she was severely underweight and in need of a lot of nourishment. She’s the pickiest eater I’ve ever met (Justin who works for ECPR’s retail store says she’s the pickiest dog he has ever met as well!) and she has trouble gaining weight. She is small and delicate, long skinny legs, big giant loving eyes weighing in at just barely five pounds. I don’t know what her early puppyhood was like, but I do know that the moment I took her home, we were instantly bonded.

Lily went everywhere with me, and she still does! When I began working with Emerald City Pet Rescue, she came with me to the office daily and she was happy to curl up on a bed next to my computer. As long as she’s by my side, she’s content and happy. Some say she has separation anxiety when we are not together (okay, I admit it, it’s true!) but it’s also true that it goes both ways. We are simply happiest together, we ease each other’s anxiety, we know that we will always be there for each other. What more could anyone ask for in a best friend?

EliFor the first time, I brought some kittens home to foster. They were about four weeks old, eating on their own mostly but still quite young and needing motherly care. A roommate I previously lived with had cats so I hoped Lily would be okay with kittens. As it turned out, she was more than okay. She was wonderful! Her patience with other animals is the most gracious thing I have ever seen. Lily had never been interested in playing before, I’m not even sure she knew how, but interacting with the kittens brought out a new side of her I hadn’t previously seen. I decided to keep one of the kittens, a fluffy grey little boy that I named Detective Elliot Stabler (after my favorite character from Law and Order : SVU) or “Eli” for short. Eli and Lily became great friends.

RueA few months later, another litter was in need of fostering. This litter was larger, a group of seven, younger (maybe 2 weeks), and very sickly. One kitten in particular pulled on my heartstrings from the very moment I met her. She was the size of a hamster, emaciated, and I was advised by a vet that she likely wouldn’t make it. Her face was sunken in, her eyes huge, almost deformed-looking due to how sick she was. Despite knowing I should try to be “realistic”, hearing this kitten’s prognosis only triggered my determination. I knew then and there that I was going to do everything in my power to save her. I had that kitten with me literally 24/7. I bottle-fed her raw goats milk every few hours around the clock, kept her wrapped in a tiny blanket and held against my skin. I constantly pet her tiny, delicate little body and spoke to her nonstop. I guess I hoped that if I kept her constantly stimulated, she wouldn’t have time to give up. Silly, maybe, and yet, it worked. She was staying alive! The concern, however, was that while her siblings were getting better, growing, and hitting their milestones, little Rue was the same size as she was when I first brought her home and about half the size of her siblings. Tests were conducted, blood was drawn, and thankfully it turned out she had a particularly stubborn parasite. New medication was given, and soon she began to grow! Still, she was behind on her development and when the other kittens were ready for adoption, Rue still needed more time. By the time she was ready, there was simply no way I could let her go. We were very bonded, I was her Mom. Now I had one dog, and two cats.

ScoutIn early 2016, along came Scout, a tiny chihuahua puppy with very bowed legs. I fostered her at first, but of course, fell in love and I knew within a week that I was going to keep her. Scout thankfully grew out of her bowed leg problems and did not need medical attention for her legs. She is a year and a half now, and one of the lights of my life. She’s smart, she’s extremely friendly not only with me but with everyone she meets no matter what gender or age. She’s fearless, eager to jump at a Great Dane’s face trying to play even though that dog’s mouth may be bigger than her entire body. Scout has not known anything but love, and she gives nothing but love. She has a lot of personality, dancing on her back legs while flailing her front legs in the air to wave and get attention. I tease her and refer to her as “my little Praying Mantis” when she does this. Everyone she meets thinks she’s adorable and hilarious.

I told myself after I kept Scout that I was maxed out, I would still foster, but I would not adopt any more pets. Four was enough for me!

Yeah, right!

I went on to foster more kittens that were adopted into other families, and a few more dogs, and I thought I was doing well with willpower. Then, I met Delilah.

DelilahDelilah was a year and a half when she came to me, a 5lb Yorkie girl. What struck me about her instantly was her immediate bond with Scout. Scout is a fun-loving, energetic dog who LOVES to play, and although Lily is wonderful and so patient with every animal I bring home, she can’t quite match Scout’s energy. Scout and Delilah instantly began to play, and Lily, looking almost relieved, retreated to her favorite pillow where she could finally get some time to relax. I kept telling myself that I didn’t need another dog, but Scout insisted! I couldn’t deny Scout her best friend now could I?! Delilah became a part of our family.

 

 

PeachesLast, but certainly not least, came Peaches.
Emerald City Pet Rescue received a relinquishment of nearly 20 tiny chihuahuas. Fosters were needed, so I agreed to take two of them home with me. They were given their own room as I wasn’t sure how they would do with my other animals. Neither of the chihuahuas seemed like they’d met cats before, so they were very confused. “What are these things!?” Their faces asked. Fortunately, my cats are used to dogs coming and going, so they were not stressed or bothered by the new arrivals.

Within a few weeks, the dogs began to come out of their shells and show their personalities. Hannah, an adorable 4lb black and white chihuahua, was adopted, and I still had little Peaches. She “grew” on me, I guess you could say. In contrast to Scout and Delilah who are young with endless energy, Peaches is an older girl who loves to quietly snuggle, like Lily does, and who is completely content with a warm blanket and some pets. I noticed with her other friend gone now, she started clinging to Lily, cuddling with her, and being the “quiet” friend I know Lily deserved, even though she was always so wonderful and patient with the other animals. I was on the fence about keeping Peaches, however, because I knew I didn’t “need” more animals, but a co-worker admitted we were a great pair and I let her peer-pressure me into the adoption. I’m just teasing, I wanted Peaches, of course.

I have quite the full house, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My pets are my family, and the unconditional love, laughter, entertainment, and comfort they provide gives me hope and inspiration in an otherwise sometimes-difficult world.

Today is a day to celebrate all of the pets who enrich and improve our lives. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of a rescue that saves so many pets, and I’m thankful to have been able to save some of them myself. But the truth is, and I know a lot of “rescue pet parents” who feel this way – they saved me, as well.

HAPPY NATIONAL PET DAY!

Feel free to share YOUR pet’s stories in the comments below!

Vivian Talks to NoblePortrait about Shelter Pets!

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7,400 pets are killed every day. That’s 2.7 million each year. If pets were humans, the entire city of Chicago would be completely gone within a year. Founder and CEO of Emerald City Pet Rescue Vivian Goldbloom talks about the ways to help shelter animals in the article “6 Ways to help Shelter Animals.”

Check it out Right Here!

ECPR Provides Humane Education to Students in Seattle

IMG_5610 (1)At Emerald City Pet Rescue, not only are we passionate about caring for our rescue pets and finding them new homes, but we are also passionate about reaching out into the community and teaching them about the importance of rescue.
This winter, ECPR has had the wonderful opportunity to introduce the world of animal rescue to a group of eager, compassionate, animal-loving High School students. This group of students participated in a program called AMP (Action Module Program) and they chose humane education as their experiential subject.

Myself, (Kelley) and our education and outreach specialist, Bethany, had the opportunity to first visit the students at Bush School  for three days of classroom learning. We were able to engage them in discussions, debunk any “myths” about the rescue world, and give them some hands-on experience with a few of our dogs to give them a taste of what working with them directly is like.

Such wonderful hearts these students had, they even did a fundraiser / bake sale at their school to help raise money for our pets!

The students then had the opportunity to spend a handful of days at our rescue, learning further about the daily operations of what we do, and what all of our different departments are responsible for. They were also able to spend more time directly with our animals working on training, learning about their histories, and helping to socialize and prepare them to find forever homes.

Every person working at this rescue has a passion for animals, and it’s wonderful to be surrounded daily by others who all share such an important common interest. We set out on this mission to teach young people about rescue, but Bethany and I learned a lot from this experience as well. We were delighted that these students chose to learn about humane education and we were so encouraged by their eagerness to learn and help. Together, as a community, we can continue to save animals in need and make a difference. These students made a difference for our animals, and they made a difference to the people of ECPR as well by reminding us that we are not alone in our passion and purpose.

If you are a school or a business who has the desire to learn and help, please contact us. We would love to continue to provide humane education to anyone willing to learn. The more we come together, the more animals we can save! At ECPR, we know that Love Can Save Lives. “

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De-Stress With Dogs Event @ University of Washington

College can often be a very stressful time between early classes, challenging tests, and long, interactive lectures. Schedules are tight, sleep is minimal, and relaxing, quiet moments can be few and far between. One of the things we all firmly believe at Emerald City Pet Rescue is that pets are therapeutic. They intuitively respond to the stress in humans by bonding with us, cuddling with us, and taking us out of the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Dogs live in the moment and their presence encourages us to do the same.

Yesterday, we had a wonderful opportunity to bring some of our rescue dogs to the University of Washington so they could participate in a “De-stress With Pets” event. For an hour, college students could come in to a room, sit on the ground, and pet and play with dogs.

Where in the world was this when I was in college?!

I digress.

Three of our currently adoptable dogs, Buddy, Indigo, and Kona, joined us from the rescue along with some dogs owned by employees.

We had never participated in an event like this before, so we weren’t sure what to expect. We hoped the dogs would all behave, act friendly, and successfully de-stress these college students and we were not disappointed! Within the hour, nearly 100 students came to the event. It was truly amazing to watch the dogs light up, even in a room packed full of people, and without hesitation, greet people, ask for pets, sit on laps, and chase after toys in games of fetch. It was as if they fully understood that their “job” was simply to bring joy to others, and they found joy themselves in doing so.

As a dog-mom myself, I know firsthand the therapeutic benefits to having dogs around. When I’m feeling down, they don’t leave my side. When I’m stressed, they adamantly insist that I take a seat, remove myself from my “hurried” compulsions, and pet them in a slow, gentle rhythm until I am as calm as they are. Even so, watching them display such heart, soul, and amazingly compassionate intuition toward dozens of strangers all in one room was something I will remember for a long time.

We plan to do more events like this in the future. It’s an amazing, and I imagine much-needed break for college students, and it’s a wonderful experience for the dogs, as well.

We are always open to opportunities to reach out into the community and help others, educate others, and along with our wonderful rescue pets, facilitate bonding and appreciation between humans and animals alike.

If you are looking for a furry friend of your own to help de-stress you on a daily basis, our pets are gladly up to the task! Check them out at www.emeraldcitypetrescue.org

 

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