Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Halfway Home Urgent Dogs & Pit Bulls Need Foster, Rescue, Adoption - Kansas City Dog & Pet Photography

Beginning Friday, April 29, Kansas City will be taking back control of Halfway Home Pet Adoptions. During this transition of vet/ownership, we are faced with the unfortunate reality that even more dogs may die without being given the chance to live.

According to an article on City Hall announced that it would not renew or extend its animal-shelter contract with Halfway Home Pet Adoptions due to "operational concerns." The announcement comes as Halfway Home and its head -- Dr. Wayne Steckelberg -- are under investigation by the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board for alleged abuse and neglect. The complaint cites a dozen individual cases in which animals died in their kennels from easily treatable medical problems; were pulled out of the shelter with untreated or diagnosed medical problems by outside rescue groups; and, in the case of one three-month old kitten, was accidentally castrated while being prepped for surgery, then swapped out with an identical kitten for the unsuspecting adoptive family.

Unfortunately during this investigation, regular and longtime Halfway Home volunteers were not allowed to return and their efforts to save dogs was unfairly halted. We are unsure of exactly what the future holds once the city takes back complete control of the shelter, but there is speculation that volunteers will permanently no longer be allowed and thus euthanizations will most likely increase.


Halfway Home is TERRIBLY FULL right now! Animals listed at this link are all in urgent status (at risk of being euthanized) at Halfway Home Pet Adoptions - 4400 Raytown Rd. Kansas City MO 64129. Contact (816) 921-0201 or if you are interested in adopting an animal.


About Pit Bulls (from
The Pit Bull has typically been a well muscled dog, with a deep rib cage, powerful back end, broad hips, heavy jaw, heavy front legs and delicate, athletic back legs. They can also be found slimmer and rangier in build with longer legs (a look that all too often earns them the mislabel of "pit mix" in animal shelters). The head shape has changed over the years, and only very recently have the "huge heads" become popular with certain crowds.

Why would anyone want a pit bull?
The fun loving, spunky and affectionate attitude of the APBT is what most admirers come to love best about these dogs. We like to say "To know them is to love them". Pit bulls are impressively loyal, bold and courageous animals. They are natually clownish, alert and intelligent .. in other words, a whole lot of fun to have around! Many participate and excel in various dog sports and activities, including Obedience Trials, Search and Rescue work, Agility Trials, Flyball and Frisbee Competitions, and Weight Pulling events. With their tenacious work drive and strong desire to please their owners, they are natural competitors and win impressive titles wherever they're worked.

The soft side of the breed shows up in their gushing affection for humans - a desirable trait that was very important to the original breeders of this animal and remains so today. For this reason, many pit bulls work as Certified Therapy Dogs in hospitals and nursing homes. Homes with children that know the breed continue to seek them out as their dog of choice. A favorite place of just about any well loved pit bull is in the lap of his adoring human or close by his side.

While huge numbers of pit bulls in this country are cherished family pets, many not so fortunate suffer the consequences of a nation with multi-layered social and economic problems. The historic fighting ability of this All American breed began to be exploited on a larger scale in the 1980's. Pit bulls were soon associated with poverty, crime, and newspaper headlines of back alley dog fighting rings. And, for the first time in the breed's history, we started hearing disturbing accounts of aggressive attacks on humans by poorly socialized and badly bred APBTs, APBT mixes and other breed dogs that were mislabled as APBTs. The press went wild, the public panicked, and the reputation of the entire breed was dragged down with sensationalistic headlines and a few rotten examples of "Pit Bull Imposters" owned by shady and irresponsible owners.

Still Hereos
Despite the difficult beginnings many of our urban pit bulls suffer, one thing rings true: The K9 hero that was admired by this country's earliest citizens continues to show itself in the faces of the overwhelming majority of APBTs in our homes and even most of our area shelters. Even with the rocky starts that so many APBTs endure, an astounding number of dogs remain stable in temperament and great with people. Because of this, we can offer thanks to the earliest dogmen for their selective breeding efforts which produced a dog as hardy as the APBT. The animal that was once courageous enough to do battle with a bull or another APBT in the pit, now utilizes that same bravado to stay alive and sane in conditions where other 'softer' breeds might go insane.

Photos courtesy of Halfway Home Pet Adoptions.


Fiji **CRITICAL: Pit Bull Terrier, Dog; Kansas City, MO

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Benefits of Adopting a Pet versus Buying - Rescue, Foster, Adopt - Kansas City Dog and Pet Photography

As many of you know, I am an animal lover to the highest extreme, Pit Bull and Bully Breed advocate and the voice for many adoptable dogs in the Kansas City area. Below you will find an informative and enlightening article from detailing some of the common myths about adopting a pet.

Now, what about me? I have a handsome, purebred, champion sired Miniature Schnauzer who has become very well known in the land of Facebook and it's probably quite obvious he did not come from a shelter. Get ready to gasp... he came from a breeder. I know.... a die-hard animal advocate such as myself preaching to adopt pets from rescues and shelters, yet her own dog is from a breeder? Hypocritical I feel sometimes, however I was guilty of being uneducated and not understanding the true extent of pet overpopulation until I began photographing adoptable dogs and became increasingly active in the rescue community. Remington was brought into our home before I was involved in the rescue community. He is my furry best friend and I will never regret my decision in bringing him into our life, but I feel that in the future the best avenue for finding a dog is by saving their life and choosing adoption. Please share the below article with your networks and your friends and help educate others as well.

6 Common Misconceptions about Pet Adoption
This post was originally published on the Petfinder Blog • Jane Harrell, associate producer

Myth #1: I don't know what I'm getting

There may in fact be more information available about an adoptable pet than one from a breeder or pet store.

Many of the pets posted on Petfinder are in foster care. Foster parents live with their charges 24-7 and can often tell you, in detail, about the pet's personality and habits. If the pet is at a shelter, the staff or volunteers may be able to tell you what he or she is like.

At the very least, you can ask the staff if the pet was an owner surrender (rather than a stray) and, if so, what the former owner said about him or her. Quite often pets are given up because the owner faced financial or housing issues (more on that later). You can also ask about the health and behavioral evaluations the pet has undergone since arriving at the shelter. In contrast, pet store owners rarely have an idea of what a pet will be like in a home.

Myth #2: I can't find what I want at a shelter
While it's true that adopting a purebred or a young puppy can require more patience than going to a pet store or breeder, it can also lead to a better match for you and your family, for the reasons described above.

If you can't find the pet you're looking for on Petfinder, don't give up. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year. Some shelters even maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don't be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted -- just click "Save this Search" at the top of your search results page.)

Myth #3: I can get a free pet, so why pay an adoption fee?
According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (via the ASPCA), approximately 65% of pet parents in the U.S. get their pets for free or at low cost, and most pets are obtained from acquaintances or family members. The NCPPSP also reports that pets acquired from friends make up more than 30% of pets surrendered to shelters (read the article here).

While getting a "free" pet may seem like a bargain at first, you're then responsible for veterinary costs that shelters and rescue groups usually cover, including:

Myth #4: I'll be "rescuing" a sick puppy from a pet store
Pet stores play on our sympathies by keeping pets in small enclosures and in storefronts. But paying the pet store to let you "save" the puppy or kitten gives those stores exactly what they want -- income -- and perpetuates a cruel industry (read more about puppy mills).

Myth #5: Pets are in shelters because they didn't make good pets
In fact, the main reasons pets are given up include:

  • Owners are moving to housing that don't allow pets (7% dogs, 8% cats)
  • Allergies (8% cats)
  • Owner having personal problems (4% dogs and cats)
  • Too many or no room for litter mates (7% dogs, 17% cats)
  • Owner can no longer afford the pet (5% dogs, 6% cats)
  • Owner no longer has time for the pet (4% dogs)

(Read "Why Are Pets Relinquished to Shelters?") As you can see, many of the reasons have nothing to do with the pets themselves. Working with shelter staff and volunteers can be a great way to figure out the best match for you and your home.

Myth #6: Shelter pets have too much baggage
Rescued pets have full histories ... something that can actually be GREAT for adopters. Remember, all pets-- even eight-week old puppies and kittens -- have distinct personalities. Those personalities will either jive with your home and lifestyle or not. Work with rescue group or shelter staff to find the right fit for you.

Here are just a few of the longer term dogs waiting patiently at KC PAWS for their forever family. Please visit their website at to see a complete list of their adoptables featured on Petfinder.




Thursday, April 21, 2011

Featured in Bella DOG Magazine - Kansas City Dog and Pet Photography

I was beyond thrilled when I was given the opportunity to feature pet friendly spots in Kansas City for a 6 page spread in the nationally distributed Bella DOG Magazine! Kansas City is dear to my heart. I was born and raised and still live in the Kansas City area. I can't see myself ever moving from this location, because I have and always will be a Midwestern girl! When I heard pet-friendly, the first place that came to mind was The Country Club Plaza of Kansas City of course! The entire 15-block district, with more than 150 shops and dozens of fine restaurants, makes The Country Club Plaza Kansas City's premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are allowed to join on the sidewalks of the shopping district. I chose to feature Three Dog Bakery, Tivol, Cheesecake Factory, Hemline Boutique, McCormick and Schmick's and nearby Doggie Style Bowtique on Westport Road.

About Bella DOG Magazine
BellaDOG Magazine is an upscale DOG publication distributed nationwide. They concentrate exclusively on Dogs, their owners and the lives they live together. BellaDOG Magazine touches a new generation of dog lover, combining both lifestyle and service into one, lighthearted and innovative publication. Their readers are very passionate about their dogs and aren’t afraid to show it! They are affluent men and women who are committed to their pets and consider them to be a major member of their family. Their readers are actively involved in their communities and truly care about what’s best for their pets and willingly spend thousands to ensure their comfortable lifestyle.

Phone: 727-289-3170
Bella DOG on Facebook

Here are some pages from the online edition which is also available for viewing at this link. Hard copies are expected to hit news stands May 1 and are available for purchase at Barnes and Nobles and Borders. A big thank you to my models Laurie Menendez and adopted doggy Pippy and Sophia Correnti and Pit Bull Nina.

Some highlights from the photo shoots. Here is Suka, mascot and taste tester of Three Dog Bakery.

Doggie Style Bowtique in Westport!

Nina the Pit Bull and Sophia of MetroPAWS KC, enjoying some time at Cheesecake Factory.

Laurie and Pippy at Hemline!

Pippy and Laurie in their matching Coach accessories.

Hanging out at McCormick and Schmick's!

Scoping out the doggy bowl and new doggy cam at Tivol fine jewelry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Patrick the Miracle Update - Starved & Dumped Pit Bull Defies All Odds, Survives Extreme Animal Abuse - Kansas City Dog and Pet Photography

For anyone that has been following the story of Patrick.... this blog post is an update, showing new photos and the amazing progress this furry hero has shown the world. Now weighing in at 36 lbs, Patrick just underwent a procedure to have a mass removed from his stomach. The mass was successfully removed and ended up being made up of hair... and under speculation that it was from the hair weave of his "owner," eaten in desperation from being starved. Patrick was also neutered while under anesthesia and given a teeth cleaning as well. He is recovering wonderfully and on his way to a whole new life.

Background: Patrick is a beautiful Pit Bull who was inhumanely starved for months and eventually found inside a trash bag, thrown down a garbage chute and left for dead. A bystander eventually noticed the trash bag move just a little.... and inside they found a skeleton of a dog. One of the worst cases of cruelty that anyone had ever seen.

But, the miracle of the story? Patrick wasn't dead. Being starved for months did not kill him. Being suffocated in a trash bag did not kill him. Being thrown 19 stories into the garbage did not kill him. He was rushed to the amazing people at GSVS Pet Hospital in New Jersey where he received an immediate blood transfusion and somehow made it through the night. This is a story of the reprehensible truth of animal cruelty in this word. This is a story of the will to live. This is a story meant to create change. Patrick survived for a very specific reason. He was the chosen one to represent ALL animal cruelty, to help open everyone's eyes and to outrage us all enough to make a difference so other defenseless animals do not have to go through the same pain and suffering.

This is Patrick when he first arrived. Graphic... yes, I know. But we have to see the truth before we can create change. It still blows my mind that a dog in this condition... this deplorable condition defied all odds and SURVIVED!!

Patrick, today with an important message. (photos courtesy of GSVS)

Patrick the Miracle's story is on Facebook where his page has nearly 100,000 supporters and climbing.

Information from

Newark, New Jersey - Kisha Curtis, 28 of Newark was charged with two criminal counts of abandonment and two civil counts of failure to provide sustenance to an animal in the case of a starving one-year-old pit bull mix found inside of an apartment building's garbage chute. Patrick, as the "miracle dog" was named by his rescuers, in honor of his survival on St. Patrick's Day, was found in a garbage bag by maintenance workers at the 550 unit complex Garden Spires apartments. Donations have come in from all over the world including Australia, Italy, Greece, France, and the United Kingdom.

Representatives from the Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park state Patrick's case is one of the worst cases of animal abuse and neglect they have ever seen. Veterinarians, who originally examined Patrick said if the dog had not been discovered when he was, the dog would have died in just a few more hours.

Here are some photos of Patrick's progress, courtesy of the angels on earth at GSVS Pet Hospital.

The hair mass that was removed from his stomach.

Celebrating his re-birth!

His daily check ups.

He does look striking in orange!

Enjoying the view.

Oh the many gifts he is being showered with!

Making the news!

Opening more gifts make Patrick sleepy!

His Lucky Dog shirt.

And most recently, giving some kisses to Pat Scavelli, Administrator of GSVS, wife of Dr. Tom Scavelli. We can all learn something from Patrick and that is to have unconditional love and forgiveness in our hearts. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all sweet boy. May you continue to recover and be blessed to find your forever family to love you more and more every day.