Brandy Alexandra Bennett

Brandy and Otie lounging in CT

Brandy, Phoebe, Otie, Raissa and Garrett

Molly Dooker Bennett

Molly Dooker Bennett

Molly Dooker Bennett

Molly Dooker Bennett and CeeCee Genecco-Rainbolt

Rescue pals from Shih Tzu Fur Baby Rescue

Hi. My name is Brandy Alexandra Bennett. Mom and Dad adopted me on November 24th, 2001. They researched what kind of dog was best for their lifestyle and decided on the fabulous breed, Toy Fox Terrier (that’s me!) They knew how many homeless dogs there were in the world, so rather than buy a new one from a puppy store or a breeder; they went to the American Toy Fox Terrier Rescue website. Did you know that out of 49 recognized AKC breeds, 42 have rescue sites?

And did you know that most dogs in shelters are purebreds? Dad likes to tease me and say that new, I would have cost them $1500 or more, but that used, I was free! They also say I am a priceless Princess.

There is usually nothing wrong with the dogs that end up at shelters. Usually it’s a problem on the human end: a new baby, not enough research before getting a dog, a major life change, etc. In my case, I was well loved by my original family, but they had to enter housing that didn’t allow me to go with them. I ended up in a kill shelter in CT! I was terrified there, but luckily, a kind Veterinarian Technician who did small dog rescue, brought me home and posted me on the American TFT rescue site. (www.atftc.com/rescue) Because I was 7 years old at the time, I was considered a tough placement. What craziness, Mom and Dad say! Middle age and senior dogs are usually well trained, calmer and anxious to relocate to a loving home.

Mom and Dad said that the day I came to live with them, we became a family. They couldn’t believe that not only did I have no “issues”, but that I came complete with circus tricks! We 3 were so happy as a family, that we wanted to help other pups and began to work with other small dogs that needed fostering along the way to their new homes. In fact, Mom became a dog trainer, so that she could help rescue and shelter dogs become more adoptable – she used to be the Tri-State rescue co-coordinator for ATFTC and still volunteers with both the ASPCA (www.aspca.org) and the Humane Society (www.HSUS.org).

On these pages, you’ll meet some of the friends I’ve helped Mom and Dad to train and socialize. I gotta tell you, I like having most of them here for awhile, and I know how important my job is, but I usually like having Mom and Dad back to myself once they find new homes. HOWEVER – I have recently made an exception and agreed to have a new little brother, Otie.  He’s 2 years & 9 months old and a real cute tri-colored chihuahua. So now we are a family of four! You’ll get to read all about Otie’s journey on the following pages, and I’ll share with you some of the adventures I’ve had since I came to live with Mom and Dad. They are all the more amazing when you consider I could’ve been on death row (shudder)!

Why Adopting Takes a Little Longer

Those of us active in animal rescue often hear complaints regarding how long it takes for the adoption process.  There are many good reasons for this:  1 – Rescue organizations are staffed completely by volunteers, or larger institutions like the Humane Society and ASPCA are minimally staffed by paid workers who depend on a large number of volunteers to work with them.  2 – We want to be sure that the animal is a good fit for your home and vice versa – it’s very difficult on the humans and animals when there needs to be yet another “re-homing”/  3 – We need to insure the safety of the animal and provide it with basic training.  4 – We need to be able to provide as much information about the animal to the future home, so that everyone is prepared.

It’s easy to go into any pet store, plop down your money and walk out with a pet.  They don’t require you to prove you will give the animal a good home – they just want your money.  And most reliable REAL breeders, will never sell their animals to a pet store, so if you go into one, 99.9% of the time, you are buying a dog (most often) from a “Puppy Mill” – an inhuman way to breed dogs just for profit.  They are often stacked one atop the other in wire cages, especially the breeder dogs.  They often never get their paws on the soft earth.  Aside from the cruelty aspect of this, you are very likely to get a dog with a lot of health issues.  Sometimes you get lucky, often you don’t and the dog never does.

This also means that the thousand and thousands of “used” and unwanted dogs, get killed, simply because there are TOO MANY of them!

So please, opt to adopt – be patient, do your research to find out the best breed or mixed breed for your family, learn how to take care of your puppy, dog, cat or whatever, BEFORE you get it.  They rarely come to you (especially as babies) trained – you need to teach them.

And VOLUNTEER – become a part of the solution to aid in the quicker adoption of all animals, educate yourself about why the worst thing you can do is buy a dog from a pet store – we need to put puppy mills out of business.

Go to my links page to find several animal rescue organizations.