PAWS ACOSS AMERICA!! Our canine fur family traveled to Chester County, PA to celebrate the Paws Fund Raiser. While the weather turned really cold and windy, we had a wonderful time meeting people we’ve worked closely with like Eileen Gibson (she organized the picnic and is in charge of paying the bills and keeping track of money coming and going on a daily basis. Eileen also headed up the Paws Across America Fund Raiser). Debbie Buskirk, the keeper of ALL records attended as well with her Irish/English setter mix (such a cutie!) Jennifer Cloherty, a person we’ve worked closely with since we joined A & B about a sixteen months ago flew out especially to be there too. Jennifer is one of our amazing transport coordinators. All three of these ladies serve on the board in a volunteer capacity.  We were surprised to find how many of the attendees knew our Margo from her sad rescue story.  Margo herself was exceptionally pleased to see Jennifer. You see Jennifer had taken her through her FHO surgery and rehabilitation. Margo spent months with Jennifer and her fur family so it was a wonderful reunion to see these 2 meet up again. We met lots of new folks and even some people we only knew from Facebook. I promised Mike Iovanna that I would mention his fabulous cooking skills at the picnic! Let me say, no one went hungry as Mike kept the burgers and hotdogs flying off the grill. No easy task with the wicked cold winds we had on tap. (Mike Iovanna is a transporter and fosterer, he fostered Grainger shown in the photo above with his new forever person Larry Novak.) There were loads of wonderful prizes for the Chinese auction and I am happy to say we went off with a few of them. The best part of the picnic was knowing how much money we raised from this campaign. Originally our goal was set at $22,000 by the end of the day of the picnic we had raised $32,639.96. Since the Paws campaign will continue through the end of the year we are hoping to break the $33,000 mark. Thanks to all of you that attended and donated. HEADS UP!!! June 17, 2017 is the date for the next VIP picnic. You will WANT to be there!!

      Fostering and how important it is by Sharon Parker : Three years ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life, I filled out an application to foster dogs for A & B.  You see, my family had just lost our two setters (both rescue dogs) due to bladder cancer and old age and while we didn’t feel we could ever adopt another setter, we wanted to help this beautiful breed in other ways.  The day we received our approval to “just foster”,  we agreed to foster a 4 year old male setter. “Oreo” had been removed from an abusive owner who was kicking him and shocking him repeatedly, because he wouldn’t perform at a field show. This poor dog was taken to a high-kill shelter and thankfully, A & B was notified about him. He was transported to us and for weeks, he hid behind the grill on our deck, too traumatized and afraid to move. We offered him treats, introduced him to peanut butter stuffed Kongs, took him on daily walks and bought him the comfiest bed we could find and let him take things at his own pace. Now named “Blue”, he slowly blossomed into a goofy, lovable, (but quirky!) permanent member of our family, our first “foster fail” as we knew we couldn’t find anyone who would love and understand him more than we did.
     Since then, I began to get more involved with A & B. In addition to fostering, when the rescue needed people to check vet references and make initial phone calls to those interested in adopting, I helped out in that area. Currently, I volunteer as the foster home coordinator, trying to find places for the many setters we are notified about, and lately it’s been on an almost-daily basis. It makes my day when I get a fast response to my email plea to foster a dog, especially a senior setter or heartworm positive dog. I often lose sleep over the dogs that no one responds to, even after I send out a second and third request. I think about how these dogs have been let down by their previous owners and know they deserve a second chance. 
     This is a tough time of the year to get people to take a foster dog, we’re heading into the holidays and people are thinking about their Thanksgiving dinner and putting up holiday decorations. But the reality is, this is a CRUCIAL time to get more people to take a dog in need. Many shelters, especially the rural ones with a shoe-string budget, euthanize every single animal during the last few weeks of the year, as they don’t have the manpower to take care of these unwanted animals.  Unfortunately, that is their sickening “solution” to the problem. If every single person reading this newsletter, would commit to fostering just ONE dog, we’d be able to save hundreds of setters! Without a firm foster home commitment, we can’t tell the shelter to save the dog for us. We’re grateful to the generous, monetary donations we receive and the kind people who spend their weekends driving these dogs to their new locations, but we really need more people to open their hearts and homes to the dogs stuck in shelters. I’m happy to talk to anyone who’s thinking about fostering or even remotely considering it, for me there’s no greater satisfaction than sending my foster dog to a wonderful new home, and getting pictures and updates on their new family member! Between A & B and an all-breed local rescue that we’ve previously fostered for, we’ve taken in more than 50 dogs. We’ve fostered litters of puppies, deaf dogs, HW+ dogs, shy/un-socialized pups, dogs who needed ACL and liver shunt surgery, setter-mixes, seniors and about everything in between. Deaf setter “Keely” and setter-mix “Trinket”, just left our home for their new families, and I have HW+ Thor arriving shortly.
     I LOVE all dogs, but especially the setter breed! My grandparents always had setters, as a child, my family had a beautiful setter and our children grew up with both Heinz 57 mutts and setters. I look forward to my kids being 4th generation setter owners someday. I work as a teacher and my students often ask to see pictures of the foster dogs I have now. One first grade student told her confused parents that I wasn’t really a teacher, but actually a veterinarian! I try to promote responsible pet ownership, hoping it will make a difference as these young people grow up and get their own dogs.
     The bottom line is…..FOSTERING SAVES LIVES! If you want to foster a setter and make a difference, please contact me. And for those of you have fostered and continue to take these neglected, abused and unwanted dogs into your homes, you’re wonderful and amazing and truly life-savers, and I wish I could thank you all in person!

Please note, the photo below is of Sharon Parker and her family!!! Thank YOU Sharon for all you do! 

A Timely Update
A quick thank you note from Jeanne & Dave in New Mexico: 

We adopted Kelli six years ago from
A&B and she is still doing great.
Thanks for all you do for the dogs.
Jeanne & Dave
New Mexico
Fostering & the Holidays
     Halloween is over, the craziness of the holidays is zooming towards us.As Sharon mentions above, A very, VERY unpublished fact is that there are small, high kill shelters that may euthanize their full population during the holidays because they can't get people to work on those days. Additionally, people rarely want to take on a new pet during the busiest time of the year. 
     I know that with shopping to do, possibly travel time, cooking for the hoards, parties to attend you really don't want to think about the fur babies left behind or worse put to "sleep". (Why do we use that phrase? Does it make killing these animals acceptable?)
     Would you consider being an emergency foster for a dog in need? A&B is always in need of fosters, more so this time of year. Often when A&B gets word of a setter in need it's at the last minute, quite possibly the dog is out of time and is slated to be euthanized. We need someone that can take the dog fast even if for a short time while we look for a longer term foster.  It's simple really, you fill out an application to be a foster  click here for the application. You could make such a difference in a dog's life! A&B will arrange transport to you and pay all vet bills while the dog is in your care.
     Below we show some incredibly silly reasons that people give every day for surrendering their dog gleaned from some articles by the experts
     One example is a story out of the Memphis, Tennessee area. A man turned over his bulldog mix to an animal shelter because he said the dog was gay. The former owner said the dog was ‘humping’ other male dogs, he didn’t want it anymore, and it could be euthanized. 
     Too noisy, hairy, and expensive are just some of the reasons pet owners have given. Too much energy!  Another reason people surrender their pets is because it's too much work. They don’t want to train an animal or they’re tired of it.
     Sometimes it's because the owner thinks the pet is unattractive.
     "It’s not cute anymore, It’s not a puppy and it got bigger than I thought.”
     "Digging," Wow, I didn't know that dogs dig!! 
     The longer the list gets, the crazier it gets. For example, one dog was given up because of a nonexistent illness. The lady had gone on the internet and done some research and decided that the dog was dying and had an incurable disease, even though it had been totally checked out by the veterinarian. She was a hypochondriac, but with her dog. 
     Another outrageous excuse that's been used is that the dog and the decor don’t match. Somebody turned in an animal because the person got a new couch and said the fur didn’t match anymore. What???
     At the end of the day, just do something. Buy a few bags of dog food or kitty litter and deliver it to your local shelter. Volunteer at your local shelter. Often these dogs are kept in a kennel 24/7. Offer to take them for a walk. Not only are you helping the dog get some much needed exercise, you will be able to assess the dog for the shelter just by relaying his behavior back to the shelter and thereby possibly making the dog more adoptable. Offer to drive a leg of a transport. It's rarely more then an hour's trip and you are helping get one of our rescues to his or her foster home.This year our household isn't sending Christmas cards or the cheesy newsletter that normally accompanies the card. We are going to take the $100 we would normally spend and send it to Above & Beyond English Setter Rescue. If you can't foster, why not make a donation to help pay for the vet costs or special needs of a rescue?  Click here to make that donation!
Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! See you next month!
Above & Beyond English Setter Rescue
60 Molleystown Rd. Pine Grove PA. 17963 |