Mission

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.

Sincerely,

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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A Day in the Life of a Service Dog Trainer

I came across this article the other day on a day in the life of a service dog trainer and I was tired after just reading it:

http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/24-hours-with-a-dog-trainer/?sr=twmoney111114servicedogs0630story

Service dogs play a huge part in the lives of their owners, and training them is an incredibly difficult and time consuming task. We need more service dog trainers out there so if this article speaks to you, you may have found your calling!

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Utah resort partners with rescue dogs for hikes

I came across this article on a Utah resort that has partnered with a local rescue to help rescue dogs in an innovative way, pairing the dogs with hotel guests for hikes.   https://www.yahoo.com/travel/this-amazing-utah-canyon-hike-comes-with-a-rescue-98118831987.html

Guests at the Red Mountain Resort get the incredible opportunity to hike through the mountain with shelter dogs. The dogs get great exercise and have the time of their lives hiking through the hills, while resort guests get the pleasure of playing with the dogs. In the best of possible outcomes, this leads to the hikers adopting their tour guides!

The hiking program has been around for a decade, and it is an example of a brilliant idea executed by a local shelter.

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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:

http://nyp.st/1obvyia

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:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2656101/Clever-boy-Dogs-prefer-EARN-treats-solving-problems-receiving-handouts.html

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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