Mav’s Rescue Friends was set up with the goal of helping animals in need. At this point, Mav’s Rescue Friends is currently in the very early innings, but long term we will have two primary causes: 1) to rescue and treat animals who have been abused and are in need of critical care, and 2) to provide funding to smaller rescue groups who have acute financial needs.

Over the past few years, we have been fortunate to meet a variety of amazing people and rescue groups that do incredible things for animals, and this will be our effort to help advance the animal rescue effort in our own small way. We are still just in the learning stage and are unsure how our thinking will evolve, but please visit us again down the road and see how we are progressing.


Maverick, Cosita, Jen and Adrian Meli (aka the fourth wheel)

“Dogs have given us their absolute all.  We are the center of their universe.  We are the focus of their love and faith and trust.  They serve us in return for scraps.  It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.” ~Roger Caras

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Big Cats facing extinction

I read this article today that big cats are facing extinction in National Geographic. I had no idea that this was a big problem, so the article was surprising:  http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/07/big-cats-at-a-tipping-point-in-the-wild-jouberts-warn/

There were apparently 450,000 lions fifty years ago and 20-30k today. It is correlated to our population growth. Apparently, for every billion people the earth adds, the lion population drops 50%. The same is true for leopards, cheetahs, and snow leopards. The article points out that poaching is a problem and that a general degree of misinformation that they are much more prevalent than they are.

The article is worth a read and discusses the Big Cat Initiative, which is funding large conservation projects to save lions.

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Bob the Cat

I ran across this article about how a feral cat named Bob helped a homeless man turn his life around and it put the biggest smile on my face:


The story is extremely heartwarming to say the least and is being made into a movie, in addition to the over one million copies of books that Bob’s father (James) has now sold based on their tales. The backstory is that James was living on the streets when he met Bob, who had an injury at the time. James collected enough money while being homeless to treat Bob  (incredible to say the least), and Bob has not left his side since. James tried to get Bob back to his family, but Bob was not having it. The people of London started doing news stories on him, and they have since become extremely famous.

What a great duo!

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Dogs like to solve problems

I saw someone post this article the other day and thought it was pretty interesting:


According to a recent study, dogs are much more excited to receive a treat when they earn them vs. getting them for no reason. This specific study trained dogs in various problem solving tasks and then measured the level of excitement by such things as wagging tails.

It is pretty interesting that dogs (similar to humans) enjoy rewards from accomplishment more than from doing nothing. I guess the results make sense given many dogs enjoy working, but I am a bit surprised they like treats more after performing a task rather than just getting the enjoyment out of the actual task.

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Dog waits for owner for a week outside hospital

I came across this article about a dog who waited for his owner, a homeless man, for a week while his owner was in a hospital in Brazil:  http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2014/04/homeless-brazilian-dog-waits-outside-owners-hospital-for-eight-days/

The man was injured and then in the hospital for a procedure, and the dog waited the entire time. Finally, the staff let the dog in to see his owner and shared pictures of the overjoyed dog online. Dogs do not require much beyond love-that is why they truly are man’s best friend. I have never met a dog I didn’t love and Seco is exactly the reason why.

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Pet euthanasia rates are still too high, but they are down

I just read an article with new data out that pet euthanasia rates continue decline. The number of pets euthanized each year is now approximately 3mm which is down significantly from 15mm forty years ago. This is especially interesting in light of the fact that there are approximately 150% more pets today.

It seems that the animal rescue community and changing preferences for adopting over breeders along with various legislation is continuing to make a meaningful impact. Spaying and neutering and no-kill shelters have been especially helpful.

Three million is too high (1 is obviously too high), but I was delighted to see that the numbers continue to come down very fast. You have seen a tipping point, and it would seem that it is going to become socially unacceptable very quickly which might turn every area into a no-kill area.

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Soldier reunited with his dog

I saw this the other day and thought I would post it:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2580631/Adorable-moment-retired-soldier-reunited-Iraq-dog-partner-flew-Germany-adopt-year-separated.html

Retired Air Force Sergeant Simpson was reunited with Robbie, the working dog with whom he spent four years serving abroad. Sergeant Simpson was unfortunately unable to adopt Robbie when he finished his service though because Robbie was not done serving. This was recently corrected when Robbie retired and the two were united in Germany. The heartwarming pictures of the two have since gone viral.

The two are very lucky as all too often the brave men and women serving our country are unable to adopt their working dogs.  It is hard not to be touched by such a happy ending here!

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An Act of Dog

I came across this website called an Act of Dog:  http://anactofdog.org/An_Act_of_Dog/Home.html where an amazing artist is using art to save animals.

The artist Mark Barone and colleagues are seeking to raise $20mm to help put an end to the 5500 dogs each in shelters throughout the country. He has committed to painting 5500 dogs in shelters and creating a memorial to use art to bring attention to the cause. In his words, a painting can capture the emotions of the dogs stuck in shelters and bring the moment to life so they aren’t forgotten.

They are going to create an exhibition and their ambitions are very large and real. They have already garnered an enormous amount of press coverage and there is a documentary being made of what they are doing. Their goals and cause are amazing to say the least, and I wish we had more Marks out there. I can’t wait to see how this effort progresses-they are doing a tremendous amount of good.

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Is pet food killing your little pal?

I came across this article online and thought it was definitely worth a read:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2546512/How-pet-food-killing-dog-feeding-parsnips-yoghurt.html

The basic premise of the article is stated more strongly than my title-the premise being pet food is killing your dog. I have read a lot about different pet diets over the years including raw diets, various types of pet food, etc. Maverick had pet foot allergies when he was a puppy that made his hair fall out so we had to give him a special type of wet food. As we researched dog foods more we learned that a lot of the mass market brands were stuffed with carbs and had very little protein.

After reading this article, I started googling around seeing what advances have been made in dog food over the past couple of years and the good news is that new niche/high-end food brands are coming out and taking share from the low-end dog foods out there. Just as humans are learning to eat less processed foods and more organic diets, I think it makes intuitive sense that this is likely also the best solution for dogs as well.

I don’t have enough information yet to know if this extends your dog’s life by 1% or 30% on average but I am going to hunt around for studies and see what I can find.

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Happy New Year

Well, happy New Year to you if you happen to come across this blog. I always enjoy reflecting on how much I have to be thankful for in my life (amazing wife, two great dogs, etc-I could be hear all night). I have only kept this blog on life support so to speak, as I still have been playing with a bigger idea I hope to tackle for a non-profit over the medium term-so, if you are reading this, it is probably by accident.

I generally do not believe in doing things unless I can do them well, and it was clear to me from my efforts in 2012 that I was inefficient at best and could do much better with a better thought through strategy. I continue to read, learn, and collect statistics with the hope of honing my general ideas. I need to spend more time speaking to people more knowledgeable than I am about a lot of the issues/ideas I am bouncing around so that is my resolution for 2014.

I hope you and your family had a great holiday and wishing you the best in 2014.

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Interesting idea about taking pics of terminally ill animals

I saw this article the other day and the pictures at first were near impossible to look at:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2510103/Beautiful-heart-breaking-pictures-terminally-ill-elderly-pets-final-embrace-loving-owners-just-die.html

The article is about a photographer who takes pictures of terminally ill dogs with their owners in happy settings before the animals are euthanized. I think a big misconception with a lot of dog owners is that when it is time for their animals to move on they want it over as fast as possible and don’t want to be in the room when their friend is euthanized-because it is too sad.

I think the reality is that our pets are with us through thick and then and everything is easier for them when we are around. A dog in a cold room alone with a veterinarian being euthanized is not a way to go vs. you being in there to hold the dogs paw and comfort him or her as they move on.

This picture idea is another interesting idea. In the days or weeks before a dog has to be euthanized, I think it is actually a nice idea to celebrate the life you have shared together in your favorite setting. That may mean you take your loved one to the park or McDonald’s to get a hamburger but taking pictures to celebrate the happiness you have shared together and create positive lasting memories seems like a great tribute to your furry friend.

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