From Baldwin Park to Maine: Bob’s Story

When Jana Savage, animal advocate and UHA volunteer,  first laid eyes on the sick kitten in the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center’s medical clinic, she knew she had to help. Chloe, as Jana named her, was suffering from Sarcoptic Mange, a skin condition caused by mites. Under most circumstances, Chloe’s chances of adoption would have been small, but this little one was lucky to have Jana on her side.

In the end, Chloe turned out to be Bob (oops!), and with the help of Jana, UHA’s Angel Fund, a donation from the Heigl Foundation, and a compassionate foster mom, Bob is now healthy, happy, and, most importantly, home. This is Bob’s story in Jana’s own words:

When I first met Bob (and for the next two months) I thought he was a Chloe. I like to think this early gender mixup has not had a lasting effect on him. By the looks of it, Bob is doing just fine these days.

Sweet Bob was suffering horribly from Sarcoptic Mange at the shelter. When I saw him in the clinic I knew I was in trouble because I just couldn’t let him fall through the cracks, and there was no way my 3 dogs would allow a cat in our house.

An amazing friend of mine, who already had a full plate with two dogs and a small child, took him in and nursed him back to health. Once Bob was healthy, she graciously said goodbye to Bob and I sent him to live with my brother, his wife and their cat, Midge, in Maine.  Bob is doing swimmingly and getting more and more acclimated to a stable and loving home every day.

My brother sent me this message: “He keeps going through phases of comfort…About a week ago he started sprawling out in all directions, when before he would always tuck his limbs in while he napped.”

Bob has completed my brother’s family and they couldn’t be happier. My brother and his wife have a loyal companion, and Midge has a best feline friend forever. The difference between when I first saw him and how happy and healthy is now is a prime example of what can happen when people join together to save a life. 

Blackie’s Story: Why Spaying and Neutering Matter

Meet Blackie, the poster puppy for spaying and neutering. Many might ask how a well-behaved, loving four-month old puppy winds up at a shelter as an owner surrender. Unfortunately, the answer is all too common: Blackie was part of an unplanned and unwanted litter. Unable to care for their own dogs plus a litter of Rottweiler-Pit Bull mix puppies, Blackie’s former owners surrendered her to the shelter.  Celene, a committed volunteer, instantly fell in love with the sweet puppy. Celene recalls:

“She was the perfect forever dog, the one that would cuddle up and try to fit in your lap.  She was smart and easy to train, she would be fun to take on hikes or chase tennis balls in a dog park.  She was adorable and would be the dog to show off to the world. It broke my heart to see her shaking in the shelter and shattered me to think she might have lost her life, since her owners couldn’t find a home for her all  because they didn’t spay or neuter their pets.

Stories like Blackie’s often don’t end well. Young puppies have immature immune systems and are susceptible to disease. Further, crowded shelters that receive stray and surrendered animals every day cannot keep dogs indefinitely, and even puppies can be put to sleep if no one comes to adopt them.

Thankfully, though, Blackie’s story has a happy ending. With a little help from her UHA Glamour Shot and video, which highlighted her winning personality, and the advocacy of UHA and shelter volunteers, Blackie was adopted. Because she was spayed on adoption, she will not contribute to the cycle of unwanted, homeless litters.

“The kisses she gave me will always be a happy memory knowing she is safe now,” Celene says.

Please help stop this cycle by spaying and neutering your pets, and encouraging your friends and neighbors to do the same. Some low-cost spay/neuter resources include:

The Jason Debus Heigl Foundation spays and neuters animals for free through their Heigl Ray of Hope Program. Residents of Baldwin Park (zip code 91706) and El Monte (zip codes 91731, 91732, and 91733) can set up an appointment with one phone call to 818-755-6045.

The Pasadena Humane Society spays and neuters Chihuahuas and Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes for free in select areas surrounding Pasadena, and sterilizes all other dogs from select areas at a low cost.  Visit for more information.

Fix Nation spay and neuters feral cats for free and tame cats for a low cost.  Visit for more information.

For a complete list of Spay and Neuter Clinics in Los Angeles County area, please check (Note: This website cannot be viewed in Mozilla Firefox.)

The Happy Tails of Dudley

A little while ago, a notable package arrived at the United Hope for Animals PO Box.  We were delighted to open it and find this update from Dudley (formerly Diderot of the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center), a little Shih Tzu who was adopted last June. Below is the touching story of Dudley’s journey home. Congratulations on your new life, Dudley!

Happy-Not Harrowing-4th of July!



BANG! BOOM! CRASH! Happy 4th of July!

What to us are sounds of celebration, from firework explosions in the night-time sky, to fire crackers slamming against the ground, may be quite different and even horrifying to the ears of an animal. Well-meaning families often bring their four-legged friends to large crowded gatherings, pool parties, and picnics to enjoy our exhilarating Independence Day. Without preparations for a safe day for your pet, disaster could strike. Many dogs become frantic and nervous in these situations, sometimes even fleeing in fear. This causes a great spike in the number of lost/stray intakes at local animal shelters, where dogs sometimes never reunite with their owners. What can you do to keep your pet safe and sound this 4th? Here are some helpful recommendations:


  • Due to open gates and doors and loud, startling noises from fireworks, becoming lost is the top July 4th holiday hazard for pets. Keep your pet indoors while you are enjoying the fireworks show.
  • Keeping your dog inside with soothing music playing during fireworks can help him feel safe and secure.
  • If your dog is fearful of fireworks, speak with your vet for a recommendation for a mild sedative. Trembling, pacing, and heavy panting are all signs your dog is stressed.
  • For parties at home, keep your dog away from items like glow sticks and citronella candles, and busy with some special or favorite toys.

  • Keep your pooch away from forgotten plates of food and drinks. Alcohol, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, chocolate, and onions are especially dangerous.

  • For Fourth of July outings, plan ahead and bring a fresh supply of water and a doggie bowl.

  • Never leave your dog in a hot car.

  • Whether you are at home or away, make sure your pet is microchipped and wears an ID tag with a current phone number at all times. If you have moved or changed phone numbers since adopting your pet, verifying that the contact information registered with your pet’s microchip is up-to-date will help your pet get home faster if he should get lost.

I can remember my first Independence Day with my little Pomeranian, Romeo. Thinking it was a perfect opportunity to show off my sweet companion to friends, family, and other dogs, I popped him in the car and drove off to the nearest firework show. Not only was it horrendously crowded, as usual, but it was hot, humid and a bit bewildering for Romeo. This alone might have been stressful for him, but I had no idea what was in store when the first firework thundered in the sky above us! Suddenly, with a shrieking and shaking pup in my arms, I realized what a terrible mistake I had made. Minutes later, I was dashing into my car, frantic pooch in tow, wishing I had put more thought into his possible reaction to the earth-shattering sounds.

Romeo on Appalachian Trail

Romeo on The Appalachian Trail in VA, June 2012

Of course he couldn’t understand that these unexpected, intense sounds were to be enjoyed with transfixed “Ooos and Aaahs.” He just wanted to run in terror! Thankfully, he was fine by the time we got home and to the security of my bed, but I have never assumed he’d like to join me at a firework show since!

So, if you are not certain of your dog’s behavior in these types of festivities, consider having a back-up plan in case your pooch doesn’t handle it well!