Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dog DNA to Help ID Abusers

You may remember that Our Pack worked with the Humane Society of Missouri last year on the dog fighting raid mentioned in this article from the NY Times. Several of the dogs were brought home to Our Pack with the help of our friend Gale Frey from MuttsnStuff. She is quoted in the article:

Effort Uses Dogs’ DNA to Track Their Abusers
Published: June 25, 2010

ST. LOUIS — Scientists and animal rights advocates have enlisted DNA evidence to do for man’s best friend what the judicial system has long done for human crime victims. They have created the country’s first dog-fighting DNA database, which they say will help criminal investigators piece together an abused animal’s history by establishing ties among breeders, owners, pit operators and the animals themselves.

Called the Canine Codis, or Combined DNA Index System, the database is similar to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s digital archive containing the DNA profiles of criminal offenders. Scientists say that by swabbing the inner cheek of a dog, they will be able to determine whether the animal comes from one of several known dog-fighting bloodlines.

Read the rest of the article here:

Here is a video with photos of some of the dogs from the Missouri bust. Beautiful photography courtesy of Lynn Terry.

To see Our Pack dogs available for adoption, click here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dexter at the Children's Reading Program

Dexter was an absolute gentleman and stayed on the floor with this cute little girl while she read a book to him for an hour. The Children's Reading Program is designed to help children gain more confidence in reading. Dogs aren't judgemental so it builds confidence when a chi...ld reads out loud to a dog vs a person. Other children were also reading to other dogs in the very large room we were in so it's hard to hear her reading but she did great. The city we were in can be a bit misunderstood on the Pit Bull breed. However, when we left the library the children and the mothers were impressed with Dexter's calm and happy behavior and came up to pet him and mentioned how sweet he was. He was invited back to be a permanent reader at the library. My hope is that more and more people will see that these dogs are born for this work. This program is really wonderful for kids. It's so nice to see kids reading, building confidence and getting connected to dogs. It's great to help the dogs and children at the same time!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Alfie the Therapy Dog Intern

Here's Alfie, our latest therapy dog student. Our newest Our Pack member (soon to be up for adoption) came from the Oakland case a couple of months back. Well, his life is turning around. Last week we brought him to an oncology center so he could apply for a job as a therapy do...g and visit patients and put smiles on their faces. That he did! His foster person Gloria is doing a fantastic job of training him on obedience, teaching him to be polite while on leash and socializing him with appropriate dog friends and lots of people. Thank you Gloria! It's paying off because he didn't flinch once at beeping medical equipment, nurses walking with IV stands, people walking unsteadily or petting with shakey hands. Alfie was very calm, friendly and seemed to fit right into his surroundings. Therapy work is often a reward in and of itself for our dogs because they love to be touched and goo-goo'd over. Patients appreciate it so much and are often thankful to have a dog to visit with. Hopefully this way we're not only helping dogs but we are also helping people at the same time.

Also see Alfie the Therapy Dog Part 2 Schmoozing the Nurse!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Our little brown guy on the right seen in this pic sitting with my dog Posie, came from the Oakland case a couple of months back. He's doing pretty darn good and will soon be available for adoption, unless of course some lucky person snatches him up before that (we will start accepting apps) for this cutie pie, he's therapy dog material for sure!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bella Got Adopted!

Bella came from the very large raid in Missouri last July where 500 dogs were taken to shelter. Our Pack rescued her in November. We just finalized her adoption yesterday, adopted by Robert, Vanessa and their two children! Yes! We are so happy for this wonderful girl. She's in the best place. Our Pack will continue to give training and support througout Bella's life. We'd like to thank the Humane Society of Missouri for their hard work in helping to save these wonderful dogs. Thanks to Christina Aquistapace and her husband Tony for their great jog they did fostering! We'd also like to thank Gale at MuttsNStuff for getting our girl out to us and the continued help and support. It really takes teamwork and rescues/shelters working together to save dogs. Thank you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kolbie and Ralph

I'd like to thank Jeff and Andie for sending this great pic of Kolbie and Ralph along with their nice words about training....."We already see a big difference with Kolbie!" It makes a big difference living with your dog when they have manners. Some dogs like Kolbie here change quickly (change after one session) and ot...hers take more time and that's ok. Some dogs have tougher stuff to get through.Info on classes at