Home is where Henry is

Today was the day. I woke up at o-dark-thirty, grabbed a large coffee, put Henry in a harness and we headed out towards Jackson, MS. His rescue has a volunteer transport lined up and he needed to be dropped off at the vet for his health certificate. Henry, who has been with us since last March, and was not successfully adopted, would be going to a new foster home in California.

I’m still not sure why this darling beagle was not adopted. One look at those big brown eyes and he owned me.

Its nearly a 3 hour drive to Jackson. I only made it an hour. Henry, who loves car rides and and stands on his hind paws with the wind in his face, was curled into a tight ball in the back seat, whining. I told him I loved him and he was going on a long trip to a new home. He whimpered. I swear that they understand what is happening. Maybe they don’t understand my words, but they understand my emotions. He knew. His favorite stuffed Moose was on the back seat next to him. He looked at it. Looked at me. He knew it shouldn’t be there. He alternated between quiet and whining. I rolled down the windows. He stayed curled in a ball.

I recently drove Tres all of the way to Ohio, and I didn’t cry until I had handed him over and got back into the car. I knew he was going to a good home. He was happy the whole trip. This wasn’t like that. Henry was scared. I was crying. I was crying enough that I had to pull over. I was crying enough that I had to call my husband. I had to turn around and drive Henry home. He is home. We love him and he is staying. It wasn’t planned. I thought I could say goodbye. He couldn’t. I couldn’t.

A lot of people say that they can’t foster because they would want to keep them all. I was ready to let Henry go. He was nearly adopted in New Orleans. It didn’t work out, but it was a good home. I would have been happy for him, happy for the family. I can do that. It just wan’t meant to be with Henry. He was meant to be with us. We got home and he was so happy. The other dogs were so happy to see him! So, now I have four permanent residents. Pen, Ollie, Bailey & Henry.

That was all before 9am…

Meet Artie! Artie is a highly unexpected guest, (because I am getting Brando on Thursday afternoon).

Mr Artie was abandoned and found himself at the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter. He was rescued to a foster home a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, his little foster brother vetoed him (and picked a fight), and Artie vetoed apartment life. He is active, and needs a yard to run around in. Artie needed a place to stay, immediately. So, here he is. I have chased him with a camera all day. He was in constant motion. Anxious, but happy to run and play. Tonight, he is cuddled up on the couch with my husband. Calm. He is playful, and gentle, and loves car rides and being outside. Artie is a 4 year old Springer Spaniel/Collie mix. He is very sweet with my kids. He will sit for a treat. I don’t know how this darling lost his family, but he deserves only the best in life. He is 50 lbs of fluff and love.

The Cecchine Hotel for Dogs is full again, just the way we like it.

I may never go to the bathroom alone again…



A Refuge From the Storm

I joke with people that I am learning Louisiana geography through animal rescue. It’s true. I have driven all over rural southern Louisiana to visit animal shelters and spring dogs from doggy jails. A few weeks ago I drove up to Folsom, Louisiana, which is about an hour north of New Orleans.  It was a lovely day for a drive across the lake. Fun fact: with a length of 24 miles, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the world’s longest bridge over water. I have driven it many times this year while taking Tres, my former tripod foster, to his specialized physical therapy sessions. (If you have ever driven it in driving rain with very low visibility, you will know why I strongly prefer these sunny, clear days.)

Why Folsom? Prior to Hurricane Harvey, all of the Take Paws Rescue animals were housed in volunteer foster homes like mine. Last August, Take Paws Rescue,  partnered with The Inner Pup of New Orleans (TIPNO), to convert a 5,000 square-foot workshop on a 17 acre residential homestead in Folsom, LA into a temporary home for dogs that have been rescued from the flooded shelters of Hurricane Harvey in St. Landry, Vermillion and Iberia Parishes of Louisiana, as well as flooded areas of Texas. Originally purchased as a refuge from city life for the Goldring family (the founders of TIPNO) and their personal dogs, the family generously offered the space for immediate rescue use after Harvey. The heartbreaking truth is that already over crowded shelters would have to euthanize animals in order to make room unless rescues and adopters stepped in to take the animals.  Sadly, in this region, there are always more animals in need than there are rescues and resources to save them. Rescue organizations outside of the immediate area also offered to host these displaced companions if they had space, but this was insufficient to meet the overwhelming and immediate demand.


Why are there so many dogs in need? Sadly, as many as eighty percent of dogs in rescue shelters in Louisiana are euthanized.  This kill rate is one of the highest in the United States and unfortunately represents the culture of how supposed companion animals are regarded in the U.S. South. In search of longer-term solutions to pet overpopulation, Take Paws Rescue is partnered with TIPNO, whose mission is to create a network of accessible, affordable resources, enlightened attitudes, and accountability so that families embrace pets, and to end the cycle of abuse, neglect and overpopulation through community education and prevention programs.

In the short–term, Take Paws moves animals into foster and forever homes as quickly as possible, but there are always more dogs in need than there are open foster homes. The TIPNO Takes Paws refuge allows us to save the lives of more animals by pulling them out of overcrowded and underfunded animal shelters, getting them all necessary veterinary care, spaying and neutering, and listing them for adoption with fully vetted applicants. The refuge is a wonderful facility with plenty of room for the dogs to run and play outside. It is a place to heal on the way to their forever homes!

Look who I met at Folsom, Buddy and Boss, our latest guests at The Cecchine Hotel for dogs. Since August of 2017, the TIPNO Takes Paws refuge has housed 175 dogs and going forward we expect to house as many as 30 to 40 dogs per month. We believe it is important to maintain a surge capacity so that we will be ready for the next natural disaster emergency that our region will inevitably face.

Our team has many volunteers, but the demand to provide the best care for these displaced pets is nearly overwhelming. As well as fostering, I am currently seeking grants and writing funding proposals for for the TIPNO Takes Paws Refuge.

To help as many pets as we can, we are in need of: 

-A bathing station for pets – and a bathroom for the people staff!

-A vehicle to safely move animals to and from veterinary care, which is vital to them being healthy enough to be adopted

-Medical supplies(including heartworm and flea and tick protection) and funding for veterinary care

-Pet food (We go through at least 20 bags of dog food every month), treats, and toys

-Cleaning supplies

-Bedding and blankets to keep the pets safe and comfortable, as well as heaters and fans


We always need more short-term fosters:  http://takepawsrescue.org/foster/


Want to DONATE to Take Paws Rescue (via Paypal)?

or you can send checks to:

The Inner Pup of New Orleans
 5208 magazine Street, Suite 357
 New Orleans, LA 70115

I will happily accept donated items and drive them to our pups in need in Folsom. 
Just get in touch with me at: daniellececchine@icloud.com 



Boss (black and white) and Buddy(brown and white) are both doing really well. Boss has found his forever home and Buddy (with his free hugs) has found his way into my heart. He will be tough to say farewell to.

Buddy is currently accepting applications for a lifetime of free hugs at: http://takepawsrescue.org/adopt/



But wait – there’s more: Bella & Millie & Zoe

I saw this picture on a shelter website and I fell in love. It happens that way.

So, I contacted the rescue, and then I contacted the shelter manager. And, you know how when you are shopping on Amazon, they recommend other items? If you like that, you’ll love this!  Well, the shelter manager was quick to let me know that this darling came in with two others, probably siblings. Rescuers don’t like to leave family behind. If we take puppies, we take mom. If we take one puppy, we also take its siblings. I was ready to take two of the three girls if I could find a foster for the third, and then we hit a snag. Another rescue that I work with had just pulled a mama and her litter of pups from this same shelter and they had kennel cough. Kennel cough is highly contagious. It is treatable, but dangerous in puppies. Left untreated, it can become pneumonia. One of the rescued puppies that had it was being hospitalized.  An outbreak of kennel cough at the shelter. This was a problem.

If you take your dog to boarding or daycare they require a bordatella vaccination because of the easy contagion. All of my dogs are vaccinated.  Just like the flu shot that we all get every year, the bordatella vaccine doesn’t cover all of the strands of kennel cough, just the two most common ones. After the giardia outbreaks of the past summer, and the joys and expense of treating every dog here for it, I am being cautious. Mya has a suppressed immune system and I am particularly concerned about exposing her. I ended up pulling the little black one, Bella, from the shelter and leaving the other two behind. I had only found 1 foster willing to deal with a quarantine situation. Bella was the sickest and most stressed in the shelter. She has a little cough. The vet tech working at the shelter said that all three dogs had tested positive for heartworm, and Bella was highly positive, so I got her out first. I asked if they were treating the 3 for kennel cough or heartworm. No, she said. We don’t have the funding for meds and we don’t give them anything unless it gets really bad. So, every dog that is brought in is given a bordatella vaccination, but thats it. They are all exposed, and not treated. It breaks my heart.

I spent a week begging for fosters for the other two. The problem is, there are just so many dogs in need, and never enough fosters. Taking in a contagious dog isn’t an easy thing. I understand. But I wasn’t going to give up on these puppies. I share my fostering stories constantly, and introvert that I am, I ask total strangers if they would like to become fosters. It has been such an amazing positive experience for me. If you show interest, I ask if you want to try it. I followed up with a woman who commented on a Facebook post about these puppies. I talked with my waitress who was really enthusiastic about fostering one of them. Unfortunately, they both said they would love to, and then didn’t fill out the necessary application to become a foster. In the meantime, I felt awful about leaving the other two dogs behind. Really awful. I finally got to the point where I couldn’t just leave them there. I had an interested adopter for one and a potential foster for one and so I went and got them both. I’m so glad that I did! There have been a few coughs and sneezes, but nothing bad. They are all three house and crate trained and as sweet as can be. They all have adopters lined up. Best news is, we took them to the vet this morning to get spayed and I asked them to repeat the heartworm test – all 3 came back negative! I am overwhelmingly happy about this!!! Best news ever!

These 3 puppies were lost, or thrown away, and then locked up in puppy prison. I am so happy to be able to get them out and into forever homes. They are going to make three families very happy! The is why I rescue. I spread love.

Look at them now.