Join us at Corktree Tavern in Amherst on July 14th for an array of summer beers and satisfying wines!
Join us at Corktree Tavern in Amherst on July 14th for an array of summer beers and satisfying wines!
by Gregg Senko
The 3rd Annual Doggie Dash recently took place at the French Creek Reservation in Sheffield. Weather conditions weren’t the most suitable for a day spent outside, let alone to run in. The misty, drizzly day was not a runner’s best friend, which was only compounded by the unseasonably cold temperatures that day. Then again, this is Northeast Ohio so who’s to say what’s unseasonable in late April? Sure we want 70 and mostly sunny, but sometimes we may have to settle for 47, wet and overcast. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “It is what it is.”
Nevertheless, volunteers, competitors and dog walkers showed up to take command of the 5k run and the 1-mile walk. Despite the humans’ discomfort in the sloppy conditions, the dogs didn’t seem to mind, enjoying the distractions of other dogs and even one cat who arrived in a kitty stroller (yes, that is a real thing). Once the volunteers handed out the registration packets and the runners lined up, the start of the race was signaled and things were underway. The 5k race was won with an impressive time of 22 minutes and 53 seconds. Some glided across the finish line, others were a bit more winded, but all successfully finished. No quitters here! Congrats to all attendees!
The real news, however, was (as always) the animals. Funds raised will go toward aiding those cats and dogs in need that are brought to Friendship. Every little bit ends up going a long way so small events like these can be just as crucial as our Wags to Riches gala. Thanks again to Lake Ridge Academy, all donors and all of our volunteers that day.
There are two events in the very near future regarding Friendship APL! One is geared for the entire family while the other is a fundraiser for the adults. First is the Rally to the Rescue event at Midway Mall. The event will be held this Saturday, March 11th, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and will feature various rescue groups, adoptable pets, rescue groups, Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, face painting for the kids, balloon artists and much more! This will be a real treat for anyone looking to adopt, for those who have pet-related questions or if you just love animals and want to hang out.
Also on the agenda is another great event coming up at Giuseppe’s Wine Cellar in Amherst. As this is the month of St. Patrick’s Day, the Gaelic words “Erin go bragh” typically flow through these shamrock-speckled days. While that’s typically translated as “Ireland forever,” we’ll keep the Emerald Isle in our hearts while we cheer Erin Go Dog! in honor of our next occasion of the same name. Erin Go Dog is a great little Irish craft beer and wine tasting event happening on Saturday, March 25th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Click the photo below for more details on this small event with big heart!
While it is a great thing to pair a homeless dog with a loving family, it is another to actually help that family train their new four-legged family member. There are multiple cogs in the process of getting an animal adopted. It can start from getting them out of an unfavorable environment, but it doesn’t always end with the the adoption itself. Sometimes the new dog is just a little to wily for his or her new home. For the humans, it can be frustrating dealing with a pooch that’s operating on overdrive and not adhering to commands. If you’re looking for help, search no more. Friendship APL is offering training classes for you and your dog!
FAPL’s resident dog whisperer, Don Hitchens, has over 20 years experience working with canines. One of his many résumé highlights is training Friendship APL dogs at the Grafton Correctional Institute, which allows previously difficult-to-adopt dogs (too shy or maybe a bit hyper) to get acclimated to their human counterparts and listening to commands. Don is more than proficient in a number of training styles and will help you teach your dog in a variety of areas.
Classes are 6 weeks for $125 involving basic obedience and socialization. To sign up or schedule an appointment with Don Hitchens, please call 440-322-4321 (ext. 22) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAPL has had the luxury of some very dedicated employees and volunteers on its roster over the years and 2017 is certainly no exception. Take for instance the case of Derek. The young, determined animal aficionado found his roots helping four-legged souls when he was a child, always bringing stray cats or dogs home. In time, his grandmother informed him of the Friendship Animal Protective League of Lorain County. As it turns out, it was a perfect match of a good soul and an establishment looking for assistance.
Gregg: When did you begin helping out at FAPL?
Derek: The second Saturday in February 2016. I’m just shy of a year here.
Gregg: How did you get started?
Derek: The first thing I did here was wash a car (laughs)! After that I got more involved, specifically working with the animals.
Gregg: What have been some of the best experiences other than working with the animals?
Derek: It’s been great making new friends and all the other things that have come with the territory. When I started, the bigger dogs would pull me around, but my time here has taught me how to work with them so they act calmly. It’s the same for aggressive cats. I can handle them now without much worry, whereas that wasn’t the case when I began.
Gregg: I understand you’re going to college soon. Are animals in the cards for your future?
Derek: Definitely! I’ll be starting classes to pursue a career as a veterinary technician.
Best of luck, Derek! While he won’t totally be gone from FAPL, the time, care and passion he puts in will be missed.
Throughout the year, FAPL Director Greg Willey and company do their absolute best to rescue animals in the most unfavorable of situations. Cats hit by cars, dogs abused by cruel owners, these are just a few of the countless scenarios that bring animals to the Friendship Animal Protective League. However, before they spend a few days in a FAPL cage awaiting adoption, they must first pay a visit to a veterinarian to rectify any unfortunate medical conditions.
The veterinary costs that FAPL incurs are a necessary, but costly part of our business. Our business is rescuing animals and finding them good homes, and while vets went to went to school to help animals, their services are not free. Throughout the year, FAPL holds and participates in numerous events to raise funds to keep our building running, to pay our staff and, most significantly, to cover the costs of those vet bills. In 2016, medical costs of our animals more than doubled what it was in 2015.
Despite those fundraising efforts throughout the calendar year, none assist us more than our annual Wags to Riches event. This year, the fundraising gala will be held on Saturday, February 11th at Tom’s Country Place in Avon, Ohio. Tickets are $100 and include dinner, open bar, the opportunity to purchase tickets for raffles, casino games and just the general notion of a really good time. Plus, at the end of the day, it’s all to help the animals.
Click here for more information on how to purchase your tickets for the 2017 Wags to Riches event!
It was with great pride that I was able to present “Doc” Rick Broz with the 2016 Friendship APL Volunteer of the Year plaque. His love of dogs has been a true inspiration to so many, and I have been proud to work alongside him over the past 5 years.
The plaque reads:
”Doc” Rick Broz has been volunteering with Friendship Animal Protective League for the past 5 years. His contributions to both our shelter and to animals throughout Lorain County have been immense. His time with Herbie propelled him from shelter volunteer to animal hero. As an advocate for animals, he led the charge to pass legislation in the City of Lorain. This new law will prevent dogs from being tethered outside for the entirety of their lives. He has become a friend and a source of inspiration to both the two-legged and four-legged, and we are proud to have him as a volunteer!”
Thank you Rick for the thousands of hours you have dedicated to both Friendship Animal Protective League and to companion animals throughout the City of Lorain!
This is the time of year that we give thanks for all the blessings we have received.
I have spent over fifteen years in animal welfare. I have come across some very bad people over the years, but for every bad person whose path has crossed mine, I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most amazing, generous and heroic people. These people are why I continue to fight and rescue animals. Without good people, we would have no volunteers or staff to provide the love and care our animals need. I would have no donations to ensure that our animals receive food, water, litter or emergency medical treatment. I would not be able to rescue a tenth of what I have rescued over that time.
Each and every day, my staff and volunteers come to the shelter and take care of these animals. They rescue them from the streets and overcrowded shelters. They feed them and give them medicine. They take pictures of them and with them to help us find forever homes. But most of all, they comfort and love them.
Our foster families open up their hearts and their homes to some of our hardest cases. Mary Cordray bottle fed nine one week-old puppies for weeks. She would get up every few hours to nurse them back to health. These incredible people sacrifice so much of their time getting them ready for adoption.
Our adopters choose to bring our dogs and cats home with them. They take a chance knowing that some of these animals have come from abusive situations and require patience. They know that some are sick and require additional care. They take them because they know that the love they receive from these homeless pets is priceless.
Some people just do amazing individual acts. Although the entire Oberlin Fire Department all deserve credit for helping rescue the kittens from the drain pipe. It was OJ Tingler that patiently led the kitten to safety that day. His work that day has led the others at the fire house to call him the “Cat Whisperer.” Young Brynn Berkowitz put together a small event with her friends and family and raised over $1,300 to help orphaned animals.
If you take the time to reflect, and this is the perfect time of year to do just that, you will be astounded at just how many good and caring people surround us each and every day. It is the people for which I am thankful each and every day.
Just under two weeks ago, FAPL brought up five dogs from the Richland County Dog Shelter. One of the most personable of the group, Hank, has received his fair share of attention since that van ride up 71. The second time Hank was mentioned was for an event in Avon recently at Landmark Garden & Supply. He had a number of admirers, but October 15th just wasn’t Hank’s day to find a home. Enter this writer’s third coverage of the delightful retriever mix.
October 22nd saw two pit bull-mix pups, two kittens, two adult cats and our beloved Hank pay a visit to Petitti Garden Center in Avon. After about an hour into our promotional event on the chilly Saturday afternoon, one excited and determined woman arrived seeking the whereabouts of Hank. The beautiful dog peeked around the legs of a few volunteers and soon found his human match. The pair were happy as can be, and with that, we bid farewell to Hank as he settles into his forever home. We’ll miss you buddy, but we know this transition will be a great one.
However, the good news doesn’t end there. Remember those pit bull pups I mentioned? Of the brother/sister pair, the sister, approximately 8 weeks old, was the target of one family’s affection as they were immediately drawn to the wee lass once they approached the FAPL tent. After several smiles and a lot of time shared with the pup, she was also on her way home as well, meet and greet pending of course. Believe it or not, like any game show announcer would exclaim, “There’s more!” The two kittens got adopted together so ‘inseparable’ will still be part of their vocabulary.
While the remaining pup and two adult cats didn’t get to their homes today, surely their moment is just on the horizon. To see these fine furry friends and many others, please stop by the shelter to see who could be a great match for you.
It was only a handful of days ago that another call came in from the East Holmes Veterinary Clinic in Berlin, Ohio. The good people there don’t ring us to say hi though. A call from them is an opportunity to rescue more animals, and this situation was no different. FAPL staffer Brianna and I took the van, loaded it up with half a dozen travel cages and made the hour-and-a-half journey to Mennonite country.
Over the twisting country roads and rolling green hills of farm land, we arrived to pick up six dogs of varying size and age. The first pair to exit the clinic were a male/female chocolate lab couple, each at a year and a half old (Snickers and Hershey Kiss). Surprisingly, both were, for the most part, eager to hop into their travel cages. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say pure bred dogs like these won’t take long to get adopted…just a hunch.
The next pair were also of matching breeds; two female English bulldogs (Lollipop and Candy Corn). The expressions on their faces will make your heart melt, though their frightened uncertainty of the situation at hand was quite evident. If I could ever see a pair of dogs do their best impression of the proverbial stubborn mule, this was it. I could’ve hire a competitor from the world strongman competition to take a leash, but it wouldn’t have mattered. These dogs were simply not moving.
While I do make it a point to go to the gym regularly, I quickly learned I’m either not lifting enough or these dogs were no lightweights. I’ll go with the latter…okay, maybe a little of both. With walking them not an option, we carried them to the van to which they were rather stubborn subjects of travel. Almost mimicking a Bugs Bunny cartoon, both dogs outstretched their legs to avoid fitting into their travel cages. Want a challenge? Hold 50+ lbs. of unwilling weight that does its best impression of square peg/round hole. With a little gentle maneuvering, we finally managed to get both girls in their crates.
Finally, there was the youngest pair of the bunch at both pups clocking in at an estimated ten weeks old. First was a Doberman who recently underwent corrective surgery. While the English bulldogs wanted nothing to do with a car ride, this little gal was more than happy to be a part of the journey. Her youthful counterpart, however, was not. Dot is a cute yellow lab mix who is currently recovering from scabies, a parasitic skin disorder that she will soon make a full recovery from. She’s got a little bit of hair to grow back and some traveling to get accustomed to, but you can bet she will light up someone’s life as soon as she becomes adoptable. After all, she is already painting smiles on FAPL workers.
Still, our story doesn’t end there. Sure, these dogs still need to find good homes, but after a quick vet check-up, that will come to fruition. The rest of the story has to do with the human star of this story, Brianna. Unfortunately, the spunky, hard-working employee moved on from FAPL as of October 22nd. While she approaches her new endeavor that we all wish her the best with, it is her undeniable work ethic, knowledge and her care for the animals that will be missed greatly. She sets quite the admirable standard in what it takes to succeed at Friendship APL. Good luck, Brianna!
The Friendship APL list of Upcoming Events!
The Friendship APL is like a bee hive of sorts as there is always something good going on. While the residents are of the four-legged nature, it is the humans who frequently zip in and out accomplishing any number of tasks at hand or preparing for those yet to come. Two of the FAPL’s biggest events are just on the horizon with details below:
Wine & Craft Beer Tasting
December 3, 2016 – Giuseppe’s Wine Cellar (Amherst)
Tickets can be purchased at $35 per person for the early December event featuring an array of red and white wines as well as an admirable variety of craft beers. Prep your palettes for this beverage boutique as you can try before you buy!
Wags to Riches
February 11, 2017 – Tom’s Country Place (North Ridgeville)
Without question, the Wags to Riches gala is FAPL’s biggest event of the year. This fundraiser helps in covering costs of some of the shelter’s biggest expenses such as facility improvements and veterinary costs. The event features live music, numerous raffles, local TV personalities and the opportunity to help a lot of cats and dogs in need. Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased at both the Wine & Craft Beer event as well as through FAPL at 440.322.4321.
For additional information on these and other events, or to purchase tickets, please visit the Events page on our website at https://friendshipapl.org/events/ .
On October 15th, the good folks at Landmark Lawn & Garden Supply in Avon, Ohio provided space for FAPL staff and volunteers to set up shop on the warm and sunny Saturday afternoon. Complete with a hay maze and pumpkin painting for kids, pet adoption was also on the list for grown-ups and children alike. Accompanied by five residents of the Friendship APL, the human crew brought in three cats and two dogs to show off to the public. One of the canines that was with us that day found her forever home after only a few hours. Wilma the Chihuahua quickly found comfort in the arms of her new companion as it seemed to be a match that was destined to be made.
While other staff answered questions and educated the Landmark customers on the animals that were present, I was distracted with the second dog, Hank. Hank is a retriever/terrier mix that we picked up from the Richland County Dog Shelter not a week prior to the day’s event. Instead of being the example of pet promotion excellence, I was the victim of tail-wagging affection. Yeah, I fell for it. Guilty as charged. Nevertheless, Hank had his fair share of admirers throughout the day with several inquiries made about the bronze beau.
He loves to play, enjoys the outdoors and makes for a great watchdog. The latter was proven when a nearby bystander had accidentally tripped their own car alarm to which Hank promptly responded, his eyes fixed on the source of the audible abnormality. Hopefully luck is right around the corner form him. With that being said, let’s hope the same is true for the three cats on hand that day. With personalities diverse as any human’s, the three people-loving felines are hoping that, like Wilma, they too capture the eyes of the next companion-seeking person that passes by their cage.
At first glance, the Richland County Dog Shelter (RCDS) is a small labyrinth of hallways lined with cage after cage, augmented with a symphony of begging barks from its residents. There is a well-established relationship between the RCDS and Friendship APL, which is what led to a recent call from Richland to Friendship. Just like every person, every business or establishment has its own strengths and weaknesses. While the RCDS can house several more dogs than Friendship, it’s Friendship that truly excels at finding quality forever-homes for animals. It is through teamwork like this that becomes a matchmaker for the four-legged variety.
Soon after the call came in, Friendship’s Intake Supervisor, Stephanie, headed out with a van full of travel cages while I tagged along. Upon arriving at our Richland destination, the wide stone-block building looked rather vacant. There was a lone car in the parking lot and it proved to provide a quiet scene. After signing in, however, we made our way to the dogs and the barking began. Some were so scared their canine calls were those of duress or begging. Others remained so silent, but spoke with their wide eyes, following our actions as we studied them, hoping to be the next dog to escape the confines of their cage for even a few minutes.
There is a method to the choosing of the dogs that would come with us. In an overall sense, they need to be adoptable. While a number of things can sum up to meet that requirement, the basics of it are a friendly demeanor and an interest in their human counterpart(s). Thus, the process is certainly not random in nature and carries a degree of heavy-heartedness just the same. While there is the emotional peak knowing we are putting five souls on the focused path to loving homes, there is also the valley knowing that over ten times that many must be left behind.
As Stephanie paced the shelter floor and examined each dog in detail, I made mental notes of her decision-making process. I soon realized this was a daunting yet time-sensitive task. A list was made of five dogs, which we took to the front desk. As we declared the names of those we intended to take with us, two were immediately nixed as there were already applications in process in Richland for their adoption. One of these was Cobalt, a short-legged, long-bodied dog with black fur and blue-gray spots, looking like something along the lines of a Dachshund and a Scottie. His body was a unique mixture of breeds to be sure, though his affectionate attitude stood out the most. The other was Olivia, a dog that I made a quick connection with and the one that Stephanie gave me the duty of picking. To put it plainly, it was a bummer that we weren’t able to include these dogs in the care and home-seeking talent of Friendship. However, the flipside to that coin is that they are being adopted so they are on their way to a new and permanent home.
Stephanie and I headed back and toured the facility once more, claiming two more dogs to fulfill our max five-capacity for the trip back. It wasn’t long before we made our tally. First was a Cupcake, a female Corgi-mix that is a little ball of love. Next was Ridley, a male Shepherd mix who has a face to die for. Then there was Hank, a male retriever mix whose wiry, nimble frame was never suited for cage life (but then again, what dog is). Last but not least were our late additions, Sassy and Birdie. Sassy is a female Boxer-mix and Birdie is one beautiful coon hound. After our journey, all five dogs got to take turns running in Friendship’s outdoor caged areas. The dogs were intrigued by one another, but even more so by their outdoor surroundings where they got to stretch their legs, run around and just act like a dog.
In all honesty, all five were very sweet dogs. They were of varying energy levels with Hank, Ridley and Sassy covering the most ground. Cupcake is in heaven just being close to someone showing her affection, and Birdie, oh Birdie, if I could adopt her I would. She would gallop, then stop, then exclaim the day’s goings-on in her world to a neighboring canine (in this case Cupcake). When I called out to her, she would make this almost apologetic walk toward me where she need to be at my side, her face next to mine as she bore an expression of devotion and trust. She is a prize of a dog, no doubt about it, but then again, aren’t they all?
The next step for the newest residents of the Friendship APL is to get any additional shots and vaccinations not administered during their stay in Richland. There is also all-important spaying and neutering that will take place as well. Shortly thereafter, these five loveable souls will be ready for adoption and a new life filled with the care and love of someone’s home. The story doesn’t end there, however.
For every Cupcake, Ridley, Hank, Sassy and Birdie, there are thousands of more dogs out there who roam the streets or are confined to months of the stressful confines of overflowing shelters. I didn’t adopt a dog today. I’m in no position at this time, but I did assist in getting five of them out of an unfavorable situation and into a better one. They are now one step away from their personal paradise and it’s results like those that are simply not achievable without the aid of volunteers. It’s something to consider if nothing else. We may not be able to open our homes to every cat or dog, but we can find every cat or dog a home.
It was only recently when the Friendship Animal Protective League received a call from the East Holmes Veterinary Clinic that they had someone we may be interested in helping. A young female Rottweiler had been effectively discarded by her human companion, used simply for the purposes of breeding and selling the pups for cash. The story begins as an unfortunate one as it is often the all-too-common tale that some female dogs go through. They are treated solely as a product instead of the life-loving canine that they really are. Rest assured, this four-legged lass was not about to be cast into a pooch purgatory where she would have to fend for herself. Friendship veteran staff member Allysa and day 1 volunteer, yours truly, hopped in the car and headed down to Mennonite country in Berlin, Ohio.
The 90-minute journey to our destination was painted with numerous family farms and dotted with the occasional horse and buggy, a peaceful and scenic trip to be sure. Upon reaching our destination of the East Holmes Veterinary Clinic, we were promptly greeted by Bob, one of the clinic staff. While he’s certainly not the tallest employee there, he was one of the most ambitious, but this lively trait is quite common for Yorkies such as Bob (who was later labeled as Robert when he wouldn’t return to the lobby from outside). In a rather yin-yang of dog breeds, a Great Dane named Moose soon entered the scene, almost apologetically tardy as he followed Bob out to make our acquaintance as well. The tandem had an uncanny chemistry in their greeting duties, combining their smile-inducing powers that were nothing short of irresistible. Nevertheless, while Bob and Moose were great souls to spend time with, Allysa and myself were on a mission as it was the Rotti we sought.
Within a few minutes, one of the East Holmes humans brought out our pooch of interest. At roughly just over a year old, we laid our eyes on one beautiful Rottweiler, though it was safe to say she was a bit bewildered by all the commotion. Upon kneeling down to connect with her, it was noticeable that she was a bit under-nourished and in need of some TLC and a little chow. Though apprehensive to enter our vehicle, she eventually made her way inside and was quite the quiet passenger. Now the trick was what to name her. Of course her forever home may change it once she gets adopted, but for now, she needed an identity, even if it is only temporary. Allysa proposed the question to me, to which my immediate response was a rather uncreative “I don’t know.” Allysa coaxed my thought process by presenting the question once more. This time the name “Emma” came out. I figured we were at East Holmes, triggering the thought of Sherlock Holmes whose partner was Watson. However, Watson was a male and our dog of the day was a female. That’s when the actress Emma Watson popped in my brain. Emma it is!
Once the return trip was complete, Emma had second thoughts about exiting the confines of her travel cage. After a minute or so, she made the leap and it was to the grass we were headed. It’s been quite some time since I had seen a dog so entranced by its new surroundings. There was an excitement in Emma’s demeanor as she took in the sights, sounds and smells of it all. The calls of sparrows drew her attention to the left, while a wind-induced rustling of the weeds perked her ears to the right. Call me crazy but it was almost as if she was exhibiting an appreciation for this unfamiliar yet open environment. Soon after, Emma made her way to her cage to which she promptly feasted on bowls of food and water that were ready and waiting for her. Though she wasn’t familiar of where she was or what the future holds, Emma definitely had a level of excitement that peeked through the curtains of uncertainty.
Crowe arrived at Friendship APL from Mahoning County. He had been sitting at the pound for a month. We could not figure out why this 7 month-old Lab mix puppy would need our help. He had a sweet disposition and was very social. What could we do to help get this puppy out of a cage and into a home? We decided to do a photo shoot!
This picture taken of Crowe in Maria’s Garden in Avon was shared by thousands of people and viewed by tens of thousands. Thankfully, it ended up on the Facebook page of his new family. They saw the photo and brought their whole family down with them. The moment they saw him they knew he was a perfect fit for them.
But that is what makes Friendship special. We have the ability to get these dogs out there to the world. We take the time to make sure that everyone of our dogs and cats are viewed as individuals. If they are special to us, they will be special for those families that come and add a companion pet to their family! We have dogs that have found homes from Toronto to Florida, South Carolina to Portland. Crowe (now Crew) found a home right here in Lorain County.
These are the adoptions that we love! It’s not just the dogs and cats for which we work so hard to rescue; it is the families that take them home and make them a part of their life. Crew is one of thousands of stories that are created every year at Friendship APL. Come down for a visit and help write a new story for one of our dogs or cats.