UPDATE #3 ON THE
July 27, 2006
As this very hot
month comes to an end, we all think about what would have happened
to these 56 Akitas if they had not been confiscated by the Animal
Regulation Department of Los Angeles County. Southern California
has faced record breaking temperatures for 19 days in a row—119
degrees F. was recorded in Woodland Hills, the highest temperature
ever recorded in that community. Palmdale, where these dogs were
kept, is part of the desert, where triple-digit temperatures are
normal though not quite as high as they have been during this heat
wave. We all agree that many of these dogs would not have survived
this heat wave—nearly all of them were very thin, covered with
ticks, suffering skin sores and many, if not all of these Akitas
were infected with the tick-borne disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted
Fever, which can be fatal.
As the animal
shelters evaluated temperament, the Akitas were spayed or neutered,
then released to the group working to salvage the dogs. This is the
perfect opportunity to extend sincere gratitude and thanks to some
incredible people who stepped up to help these Akitas. We were
amazed, relieved and thrilled with the response from one of the
oldest Akita clubs in the country—the Inland Empire Akita Club.
These are folks with a lot of breed experience, making their
contributions of time, very valuable.
Carol and Bill
Bobrow have been true to their breed by arranging to take 4 Akitas
into nearby kennels. They accepted the dogs that were believed
“questionable,” and so far, every one of those Akitas has turned out
to be worth the effort.
When Carol and
Bill contacted us with their offer of assistance, we were
overwhelmed since Bill’s training experience with Akitas is well
known and just what we needed. Lille Hoyes (Red Arrow Kennels in
Fontana) deserves our eternal gratitude for making room for these
Akitas just before the busy July 4th Holiday.
animal shelters have begun to medically treat these dogs as needed,
and have been extremely cooperative by housing the dogs until we can
move them into kennels or foster homes.
recommendation of staff members with Los Angeles County, we were
able to secure 10 affordable kennels at Bark Avenue Kennel, in Los
Angeles, a boarding facility run by Flo and her great staff. This
wonderful resource has provided excellent, compassionate care for
so inadequate to acknowledge the help given to us by Jill Holt
(groomer extraordinaire) for connecting us with Debbie Skinner at
Sage, CA kennels – a friend of Jill's.
We are also very
grateful to Gail Lowry of Red Dawn Akitas, Cathedral City, CA - for
informing David Vonk of our need for kennel space; and to David Vonk
for informing his mom Cindy Muller and sister Kim at Mountain
Shadows Kennel, San Jacinto, CA.
imagine how difficult it is to find quality boarding kennels at the
last minute with July 4th looming on the horizon! These
Akitas had already suffered through days, months, even years of
confinement in deplorable kennels—we could never send them back to
such cruel suffering, so the importance of QUALITY kennels was our
main concern. Imagine how these dogs felt when they were
brought to these excellent facilities and given life-sustaining
food, after their barely sustainable lives in Palmdale! We all
know how fastidious an Akita can be!
Of the 56 Akitas
taken on May 20th, two dogs were reclaimed (directly from
the shelter) by their original owners. One dog is being held (by
the shelter) for reclaim by the original owner--if he is not claimed
we will move him to a private kennel and find him a foster or
Eight dogs have
been adopted or moved to foster care; another one has a confirmed
home but he is waiting for transport to Texas and recovering from
his ordeal. He is an old guy and needs careful management but he
has a marvelous home waiting for him in Texas.
have 12 Akitas housed at the Bark Avenue Kennel in downtown Los
Angeles; two are housed at the kennel in Fontana, where they are
working with Bill Bobrow. Two Akitas have already finished training
with Bill and are deemed ready to meet potential adopters; they will
be moving to the kennel in San Jacinto. We have six more Akitas who
will be moving from shelters into two private kennels to work with
Bill. Bill is working with a Fontana kennel and a new kennel
facility in Phelan, CA where they are building several new runs for
our Akitas; this is very close to where Bill Bobrow lives.
Nine Akitas will
soon be moving from the animal shelters into three other private
kennels--Bark Avenue in Los Angeles, the kennels in San Jacinto, and
in Sage, CA, where they will recover, grow stronger, and eventually
meet with prospective foster and adoptive homes. (Thank you Inland
Empire Club for volunteering to help and for connecting us with
kennel facilities in your areas!)
adoptive interest has been expressed for many more Akitas;
visitations are currently taking place. This allows several
folks to meet more than one dog before making their selection(s).
TikiHut Rescue will be selecting five or more Akitas for transport
to their area in Northern California within the next week or two.
This is all the
good news we have to report, and it is a lot of GOOD NEWS. Please
keep in mind that the good news far outweighs the bad news but no
large rescue ever turns out to have 100% perfect, happy
endings—there are always losses. We have lost six of these
Akitas—one is extremely tragic because she was so sweet: Cher, the
wonderful long-coat was either accidentally adopted out or
accidentally euthanized at the Downey Animal Shelter. The staff at
the shelter has been unable to determine how or why it happened. We
can only pray that Cher was adopted. The heartbreak of Cher is
compounded by the fact that we had a groomer who loved long-coats
waiting to take on her tangles and knots!
Five Akitas were
euthanized for serious, unrelenting people-aggressive behavior.
They were carefully evaluated by a trainer and by Akita savvy people
who all agreed that the dogs were probably dangerous. With so many
Akitas needing help, the decision was made to allow them to be
euthanized—a difficult and heartbreaking choice.
Four Akitas have
not been released by the county because they are Wendy Reuben’s
personal dogs. They are Palmdale #1 (Cachi), Palmdale #8 (Simba),
Palmdale #22 (Harmony), and Palmdale #25 (Muffin). Giving any Akita
back to Wendy Reuben is not a decision that we participated in, and
of course, we would be more than willing to take these four dogs as
well if given the opportunity. They deserve to be given a second
chance along with the others we are helping, but the choice is not
ours to make.
NEED… transportation help to move dogs from shelters and kennels in
Los Angeles out to PHELAN, CA (near Victorville), SAN JACINTO, CA
(near Hemet), and SAGE, CA (near Temecula). If anyone can offer
help by driving from the shelter to the kennel, please call Cathy.
We also need a
few more volunteers who can occasionally do pre-adoption HOME VISITS
(we will provide a checklist), and to be available to help make
introductions between dogs-and-people - - and between dogs-and-dogs
at the kennel locations in Los Angeles, San Jacinto, and Sage, CA.
If any one has some spare time that they can share with these
Akitas, you would be welcomed and well rewarded with Akita
AN UPDATE ON
Micah was the
big brindle boy who was barely alive when he was rescued from the
Palmdale kennel. He was one VERY sick Akita whose pain and
suffering during his internment in Palmdale, in human terms, can
only be called HELL! Micah was the first Akita taken from the
shelter and rushed to veterinarians where he stayed until he showed
signs of recovery. Nancy Lamm of ARWNY had arranged to have Lori
and Bob Lober of Los Angeles share the responsibility for Micah.
You can read about the miracle of healing and the emerging of a
truly courageous Akita with a delightful personality at the ARWNY
website by clicking on Micah’s first photo:
To see the
updated list of Akitas and their status, click over
to the updated
assistance either as a volunteer or a driver, please contact one of
For foster homes or kennel space, please contact
For donations of funds to help with board bills and veterinary
care, please contact Jeanne:
this page and visit it again to see more stories of these Akitas as
they find what every Akita should have—a good home with honest
people who pledge their loyalty to these marvelous dogs and treat
them humanely with kindness and love. The human-Akita bond is so
worthwhile when an Akita is lucky enough to find the right person.