On the Shoofly - August 2020
- story by Dena Temple
A new state law puts some teeth in the penalties for animal abuse and might help prevent loss of life. Read the laws and find out what you can do to help.
- story by Dena Temple
First impressions aren't always the best ones with rescue dogs - the happy-ending experience of Irish and Dean Oden and their two adoptees shows that persistence pays.
- story by Denise Jacobs
Scroll to the end of the story to see future Shelter Stars now available for adoption at the Hancock Animal Shelter!
In March 2016, Dean found Stella’s shelter picture online, invited Irish to lunch, and surprised her with a trip to the Hancock County Animal Shelter, but Stella was nowhere to be found. She had been fostered and was living in Gulfport. The shelter volunteer offered to bring Stella in, so Irish and Dean busied themselves for a couple of hours and returned.
“Stella had no interest in us,” Dean says. “She just walked around in the shelter and kind of ignored us. We thought, well, she’s not the prettiest thing, and she’s not showing any interest in us, so we were prepared to pass on her."
Surprised, the shelter volunteer said, “Really? You don’t like her?”
“Well, I don’t think she likes us! She’s indifferent. We were hoping for a little more enthusiasm than that.”
“No, no—she’s great! Take her home and see how it goes.”
So, the Odens put Stella in their car and took her home. “She pouted the whole way,” Irish remembers.
Once home, Stella began looking around the house. The more she wandered, the more her demeanor changed.
“She picked up speed,” Irish remembers. “She tore through the house, up the stairs, out to the yard, and around the pool. Then she came up to me all happy-like and seemed to say, ‘Hi! I think I’ll stay.’”
From that moment on, Irish says, Stella has been a perfectly obedient dog, and, Dean adds, “sweet to all people.”
If there’s a fly in the ointment, it’s that Stella is a picky eater. Irish and Dean are accommodating people and serve up refrigerated dog food, which they cook in the same pan as they have cooked their own dinner, so it has some flavor in it.
Dean says, “I pour a little olive oil over Stella’s food and add some salt and pepper. She likes it! It tastes like maybe it’s the same thing we’re eating.”
Dean notes that Stella is happiest when the family is moving. Irish adds that, after a walk, Stella positions herself on the couch, where she pouts until the next time they open the door. She never has to wait very long because both Dean and Irish are steadfast walkers with an active lifestyle.
Two years later to the month after Stella's adoption, Dean and Irish decided it was time to get her a companion. Enter Ronan.
This time serendipity played a role, as the Odens happened upon Ronan at a Lazy Magnolia Brewery event benefiting the Hancock County Animal Shelter. Ronan was the right size and seemed to be about the right age. The thing is, he seemed a little traumatized, but the couple chalked that up to the brewery’s loud band and noisy crowd.
“Ronan was biting and breaking skin that first night,” Irish notes. “He wasn’t a good dog then, but we thought he was just scared.”
It turns out that Ronan had been relinquished by his previous owner that very day, so he really was traumatized. Apparently, the dog had spent “life before Dean and Irish” in a crate and had never been socialized. He was afraid of the front door and green grass. He was nervous all the time and, if his growls were any indication, disliked women in particular.
“For a while, I was sorry I got him,” Irish says. “I thought for sure he was going to bite me, but I knew that if I returned him, the shelter would put him down. I didn’t have the heart to do it. I thought, ‘We’ll figure it out.’”
And figure it out they have.
Irish, who spends the most time with Ronan, eventually realized that he was acting out of fear.
“We worked to gain his trust slowly,” she says. One strategy was to ignore the dog—to take care of him, of course, but to give him space. Playing hard-to-get proved successful. Eventually, Ronan relaxed and came to Irish on his own.
Seven months later, after some tears and a lot of trial and error, Ronan is a different animal. “Now, he never leaves my side,” Irish says. In Ronan, Stella gained a brother, and Irish and Dean, cosmic merit badges in compassionate problem solving.
After being interviewed for this article, Irish said she hoped their story would inspire more people to adopt.
Hancock Shelter Adoptables
The dogs below are available at the Hancock County Animal Shelter as of November 12, 2018. Call the shelter at (228) 466-4516 for availability. Check out the Facebook page of the Hancock County Animal Shelter for latest adoptables!
This beautiful, sweet girl is CHARLOTTE, a 2 yr old American Pit bull Terrier mix, who has endeared herself to our staff and volunteers, and to all of the kiddos who volunteer with us on Saturdays at Pet Smart. It's safe to say that Charlotte has a fan club! ?
This gal has it all...lovely personality, beauty, and smarts! She is friendly and playful with other dogs of all sizes and demeanor, and she seems oblivious to cats. She has a real affinity for children, and loves to play and interact with them. Charlotte sits for treats, "gives paws," walks well on a leash/harness, and is very well-behaved in her kennel. She is also house trained. She is very affectionate, and gives hugs and kisses very generously. ?
She is so even-tempered and sweet-natured that she could join any family dynamic...a family with children, or she would be a wonderful companion for a single person/couple, or active retirees. Like we mentioned...Charlotte has it ALL! ? Come meet this awesome dog!
*Charlotte's adoption fee is sponsored $40 ("Lonely Heart"), which includes spaying, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians. Charlotte is light heartworm positive, but she is currently on a monthly heartworm preventative and responding great.
TILLY, a three-year-old mixed breed, is a remarkably sweet girl, who has every reason to be dubious of humans, yet she truly loves everyone! She yearns to be petted and held, and she gives appreciative hugs and kisses to all.
Poor Tilly was dumped by her previous owner in Shoreline Park, left to fend for herself and her six-month-old puppies. All four of her puppies were either adopted locally, or were transported to the Northeast via our Rescue Transport Program. So, now it's Tilly's turn to be pampered and spoiled! She would be a wonderful family dog, as she is super loving with kiddos of all ages. A single person/couple, or a active retirees, looking for a quiet, sweet-natured best friend would be a perfect match.
We think she is delightful in every way, and we hold Tilly in very high esteem. We are unsure if she is house trained, but she walks well on a leash/harness and keeps her kennel clean. She is awesome with other dogs, so she could easily join a home with existing pets. Come meet Tilly, and you'll know why we're crazy about her!
*Tilly's adoption fee has been sponsored by a wonderful supporter of our shelter, but an approved adoption application still applies! Her adoption contract includes spaying, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians. Tilly is heartworm positive, but she is currently on a flea/heartworm preventative and doing great.
SPIKE is a handsome 2 yr old Manchester Terrier/Hound mix. He has quickly endeared himself to our staff and volunteers with his easy-going personality, sweet nature, and intelligence. He sits on command, walks obediently on a leash/harness, and enthusiastically "shakes" paws or hands. ? This smart boy also "rolls over." He loves to have his back and tummy rubbed, and he often rolls in the grass while sunning himself. He's such a sweetheart, and funny, too! ♥️
Spike is friendly with other dogs regardless of gender and demeanor, and he even greets pesky puppies with good humor. He is also accepting of cats. ? We feel that Spike could join any family dynamic and be a welcomed addition. A single person/couple, or active retirees would find a loyal and fun-loving pal in Spike. And, he could easily join a family with children and other dogs.
He appears to be house trained, as he keeps his kennel very clean, and he is crate trained. Please come meet Spike...he may be the furry family member that you've been looking for! ?
Spike's adoption fee is $75, which includes neutering, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians. Spike is heartworm negative.
HONEY is a 10 month old Belgian Malinois mix puppy, who most definitely lives up to her name. She is the sweetest! ? She is a beautiful pup recently surrendered by her family because they moved from a home with extensive acreage to a home in the suburbs.
Honey would do best in a home with lots of land (securely fenced - wooden privacy) to explore and romp-n-play and enjoy the outdoors. Her previous home included both elementary school aged children and small breed dogs, so she could easily join a family with kids. At our recent adoption event at Pet Smart, Honey made many new friends, including some pretty cute kiddos and doggies of all sizes and shapes. She loved them all! ?
Honey would also be a great partner for an active single person/couple, or retirees dedicated to giving this growing puppy the exercise she needs to a healthy, happy dog. Robust walks, playtime, and lots of quality time with her family would be perfect for Honey.
This smart pup sits on command, behaves cooperatively in her kennel, and appears to be house trained. She walks great on a leash/harness once she settles down from the excitement of going for a walk. If you feel like Honey would be a good fit for your family, please come meet her. She is loving, beautiful, and smart! ?
Honey's adoption fee is $75, which includes spaying, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians.
This cutie is MANNY, a 5 yr old Miniature Pinscher mix. He's such a little fella, but he has a BIG personality, so we are recommending that he join a home with similar size dogs. He met many new friends at Pet Smart this past Saturday at our adoption event, and our volunteers discovered that this smart chap sits on command, but especially for treats! ?
If you're seeking a small companion to pamper and spoil, we are pretty sure this mature boy will love being the center of attention. He would be an ideal little friend for retirees, seniors, or a single person/couple. Manny also enjoys the company of older children, who can respect his size and need for gentle play and affection. He is waiting to meet you...come in soon!
*Manny's adoption fee is $50 (senior 5+ yrs old), which includes neutering, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians.
This adorable little fella is ROCKY, is a 2 yr old Miniature Pinscher mix, who was surrendered by his owners in hopes he would find a loving home more well-suited to his needs and personality. Understandably, Rocky is confused and grieving, but he still seeks out the affection and reassurance of our staff and volunteers. He just wants to love and be loved. ❤
Rocky became overly protective of the adult female in his previous home, to the point that he would show possessive behavior when the male adult in the family came near his "momma." Obviously, Rocky has a deep need to bond with just one person, and does not want to share allegiances. So, we feel he would do best as the companion of a single woman of any age in an adult only home.
He does, however, get along with other dogs. Rocky is house trained and is very responsive to praise and affection. Please help us find an appropriate, loving home for this loyal, sweet boy!
*Rocky's adoption fee is $75, which includes neutering, worming, vaccines, microchip, and a free vet check with one of our participating veterinarians.
Can't adopt but want to help?
Shelter Stars - Sept./Oct. 2018
Patricia Urreta does not have a photo album illustrating Maggie’s life between those presumably playful puppy years and her current sleepy, arthritic stage of life. When it comes to shelter animals, we must often employ our powers of deduction. To know what came before, we can only speculate.
“We don’t know what Maggie’s been through,” Ms. Urreta muses. “She had obviously been neglected. I don’t know about abused, but certainly she was neglected. She probably lived outside and had no real affection. She probably never had treats.”
Puppy Dog Tales - March/April 2017
Fostering animals is an important community service. Taking in a shelter cat or dog, even for a few nights, prevents another animal from ending up on the street, where they could endanger other animals or people.
“It also plays a pivotal role in getting the animals to their forever homes,” says Denise Hines.
Hines has worked as a volunteer with both the Hancock County Animal Shelter and Friends of the Animal Shelter in Hancock County (FOTAS).
Puppy Dog Tales
Sponsor Spotlight - Feb/March 2018
They pout, they push the limits, they beg for your attention. They make you laugh often – and occasionally want to pull out your hair. But you can’t imagine living without them. The love you share is boundless.
Are we talking about children or dogs?
Both parents and dog-owners can identify with those statements because children and dogs are a lot alike, according to certified dog trainer Kathleen Markey.
Known to most of her friends and clients simply as “Markey,” the retired teacher and former college basketball coach is the owner of Bay Area Dog Solutions – or “BADS.” In addition to training, BADS offers pet-sitting in Markey’s home, doggie day-care and even transportation to and from the vet.
Markey has been a certified dog trainer for the past twelve years. She says it’s the perfect career for her – not only because she loves dogs – but also because training dogs runs a parallel path to her previous career.
Puppy Dog Tales - Jan/Feb 2018
If you visit the Hancock County Animal Shelter, you’ll likely see this: kennels and stacks of crates, full of barking and mewing animals eagerly awaiting adoption. The shelter is regularly filled to capacity with stray, abandoned and surrendered cats, dogs, horses, bunnies and other animals.
But this is an incredibly uncommon sight in animal shelters in northeastern states or along the East Coast. There, shelters have wait lists - made months in advance - to adopt animals. Eager pet-parents pay a fee that’s equal to a car note, or more, to take a rescue home.
Here is a tale of supply and demand, of too many animals at one shelter, and too few at another; as well as the story of the work of a few transport rescue groups, staffed mostly by volunteers, that save these animals by taking them on a cross-country trip to their forever homes. Here is also proof that legislation can basically eliminate the sad practice of euthanasia and have a major impact on animal cruelty.
Puppy Dog Tales
The Human-pet companion bond is what I write about. For thousands of years we have been in partnership with you. The beginnings of our long association were in helping you hunt, or destroying vermin who ate stored food. Gradually the relationships grew. Today we are recognized as service animals and faithful, loving companions.
Dogs are used to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder, and as guides for people who cannot see and who need companions to help them live independently.
One of our specialties is acting as catalysts for communication and social interaction. We help teach children responsibility, and are often the only listeners who do not judge young people or adults. Much research and anecdotal data points to what we animals bring to relationships with people.
Puppy Dog Tales
A few months ago we got a call from the Bay Hide Away RV Park. They wanted us to come for breakfast and to get a check for Friends of the Animal Shelter in Hancock County. "Sure," we said. My human, Christina Richardson, and I had a great breakfast and brought home a check to help with the spay and neuter program.
Bay Hide Away is a wonderful campground where many of the same people come back every year to see the sites on the coast and do things together. Joe and Michele Richard own the place and encourage their visitors to bring their pets.
Well, one thing led to another and I decided to get a few stories about these furry visitors to our area in the words of the humans who travel with them.
Puppy Dog Tales
Shmoo from Wisconsin
Shmoo is our Bichon and the ruler of our household. How his name came about. Remember "Little Abner?" There was a small little group of bowling pin-sized white creatures. Their whole purpose in life was to make people happy. Our Shmoo lives up to this huge responsibility. He loves everyone!
Riley & Bella from Illinois
We love coming south for the winter. It gets so cold at home, we don’t get to go out and play very much. That’s all we do now! We love taking our mom & dad for walks, and would be amazing at chasing squirrels and rabbits, if they would just trust us and let us run free! It’s also lots of fun meeting up with our Snowbird “dog” friends. There’s always new dogs, like Stretch - that is her photo-bombing our picture. She is from Kansas. We sitting by the campfire too.
Rocky is 14 years old, and was rescued from Louisiana. He is the old man of the bunch and is retired from his days as Top Dog at Bay Hide Away RV Park! He loves to eat, sleep, go for short walks, play outside and eat lots of treats. He has traveled all over the U.S., visiting some of the Snowbird dogs. He prefers now to stay close to home and let them come to visit him!
Boomer is seven-years-old and a very sweet, friendly, fun dog. He loves to do everything and wants to be included in everything. He was rescued from a Flea Market in Louisiana. His first name was “Poppy” and then “Peanut." Through no fault of his own, the first two forever families did not work out. We changed his name to “Boomerang” (since he kept coming back) and he has been with us ever since!
Roux is an 11-year-old Bassett Hound. We rescued her when she was pregnant with eight puppies! She is fun-loving, never met a stranger, enjoys being around people, greeting other dogs and very playful. All of her puppies found forever homes, although her first born still lives with her! She loves to howl out a tune whenever she sees the camper’s walking or riding their bikes around the RV Park!
Youglee is a nine-year-old Bassett mix & Roux’s first born! He’s a sweetheart, loves people, animals, everything! Truly a momma’s boy, he gets teased a little for still living with his mom. He especially enjoys sitting on the backyard table or chair and watching the RVs go in and out. He loves going for walks and playing fetch with his toys. Youglee gets very excited when he meets the new campers and we joke that he cannot hold his “licker!"
Tiger Lilly - Michigan
At home our 15-yearo-old cat, Tiger Lilly, sleeps all day and goes out all night. So when we brought her here last year, she wanted to do the same thing. I carried her around the RV Park during the day so she could see where she was. The first time she asked to go out at night she came back in about 20 minutes.
This is the face of a dog of many accomplishments. The first was in just staying alive. In February of 2002 Daisy was born into Shetland Sheepdog royalty. Her grandfather Jade Mist Beyond Tradition was one of the top winning Shetlands of all time. Her father Jet Stream Cove Wave was a grand champion.
A breeder in Stafford County Virginia owned Daisy’s mother. Daisy was destined to be a show dog but there was a glitch in the plan. Ms. Daisy did not like being a kennel dog and was miserable. When she was nine months old she was sold to a family to be a pet. These folks were busy and kept her in a crate in the garage. After three months they turned her in to the Stafford County Animal Shelter.
Puppy Dog Tales
It’s hot and my allergies are acting up. I am allergic to Eastern Cottonwood and Short Ragweed, Russian Thistle and Yellowdock, which is unfortunate for a dog whose native career is to herd sheep.
As few sheep are raised and grazed on Astroturf, herding is not what I do. I am a journalist. When I am not writing my column I accompany my person as a Seizure Alert Dog.
Are you hot? I sure am, and being in the dog days of summer — a period from about July 3 to August 11 — doesn’t make it any better. Why is it called the dog days, anyway?
Puppy Dog Tales
That’s because the star Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, (Latin for “Greater Dog”) is also the brightest star in the northern hemisphere’s summer sky. Did you know that there are 88 constellations and that 42 of them have animal names?
When I am hot I do a lot of lying around and trying to be in cooler surroundings. Because of that I see a lot just by being in the same room with people and I guess I am privy to more conversations between humans than the rest of my pals.
A person who is really fancy is “the cat’s meow.” You refer to someone working industriously as “busy as a beaver.” How about “snug as a bug in a rug”? Then there are “fat cats,” “old goats,” and “bookworms.” Humans can be “as happy as a clam,” “horsing around,” or living “a dog’s life.” And what does “it’s raining cats and dogs” mean? Wouldn’t it be a little strange if I were to get together with my female friends and have a “hen party”?
Everybody loves a massage. We pets do too. Giving a massage is a time for both owner and pet to bond, spend some soothing time together, and at the same time do a mini-diagnostic checkup.
For your basic massage there are a number of good books and videos to follow. This example from the American Animal Hospital Association is a good start.
Puppy Dog Tales
We are big fans of Jackson Galaxy. Mr. Galaxy is the host of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell and he tells it like it is about the relationships with our cats and those that amaze or drive us crazy.
Mr. Jackson became a cat behaviorist while working at an animal shelter. He said that it was a “necessity thing." He had to figure out how to address cat issues so they could be adopted. He is a frequent speaker for events sponsored by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanub, Utah and other animal welfare organizations around the country and the globe.
Puppy Dog Tales
The Animal Shelter in Hancock County is having a special the first week in July. From the 6th of July through the 10th you can adopt a dog for $20 or a cat for $10. What a great deal!
If you are looking for a dog or a cat please do not overlook the big black ones, the seniors or pets with special needs. Did you know there is something called the Big Black Dog Syndrome? This applies to cats as well as dogs, so I am going to call it the black animal syndrome.
Statistics from Pet Finder.com shows that it takes four times as long to get a black animal adopted.
Puppy Dog Tales
Puppy Dog Tales
I love being a service dog and a journalist. I get to do so many things and I am always so impressed that one good thing so often leads to another. Let me explain. During the Mississippi Week for the Animals two years ago I went to the Pearlington Library during story hour. I love meeting the children and a neat thing about going to the library or to the Boys and Girls Club is that I always get to hear a good story. This story hour was no exception.
We gathered around a short table with little chairs. I like the little tables and chairs because I can see better, otherwise all I see is knees and feet. So we settled in. The story selected was "Two Bobbies: A Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival" by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery and illustrated by Jean Cassels.
Puppy Dog Tales
I have been trying to meet with Carolyn Rhodes, Director of Gaits to Success for a couple of months. It has been too cold and rainy to have classes but the rain gods gave us a break on Saturday morning and I was able to see some students in action.
Before I get into my morning at Gaits to Success I want to mention that we are involved with Friends of the Animal Shelter in Hancock County. My "person," Christina Richardson, is the current president. We are coming up on kitten and puppy season and as always many of them will wind up as discards.
Puppy Dog Tales
Keeping Us Healthy and Happy
I have been plagued by hot spots for the past few years. I am allergic to something in the grass that makes me itch and get little red blisters on my stomach. This year I got treated with a homeopathic remedy and I am so much better. My success gave me the idea to ponder on and share with you some ideas on how you can look after our physical, mental and emotional health. Keeping us happy and young at heart takes effort. Here are 10 tips that will help you do that.
Puppy Dog Tales Column
Across The Bridge
At Home In The Bay
Beach To Bayou
BSL Council Updates
Casting My Net
Coast Lines Column
Friends Of The Animal Shelter
Growing Up Downtown
House And Garden
Legends And Legacies
Mother Of Pearl
Murphy's Musical Notes
Old Town Merchants
On The Shoofly
Shore Thing Fishing Report
Talk Of The Town
The Eyes Have It