Good Karma Pet Rescue bio picture
  • Welcome to Good Karma Pet Rescue!

    Good Karma Pet Rescue is a network of foster homes in South Florida dedicated to providing dogs and cats in need with the love and care they need and deserve. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

    GK was started in early 2011 by Stacey Tollackson Chen, who decided that she could best provide for her foster animals by starting a rescue that aims for high quality care rather than high volume. We intend to stay as small as we need to be to ensure that every one of our foster animals is treated with the same care and respect we show our own furry family.

    GK is based in Fort Lauderdale and is supported by wonderful, dedicated foster parents throughout the South Florida area. If you are interested in helping to save lives through volunteering, fostering, or adopting, please get in touch with us!

Why I hate breeders. Especially pit bull breeders.

WHAT IS THE POINT?

This is Lilo. She was likely a backyard breeder dog. Literally, a backyard. The way she acts she very likely spent her whole life outside.. getting to come indoors was an adjustment for her. She has badly cropped ears and boobies that hang to the ground from all the puppies she nursed. This dog is so sweet, and so thankful for every little thing she gets. Now she spends as little time as possible outside, probably remembering when she was left outside neglected and ignored. Lilo is looking for a forever home.

Lilo is an approximately 4-5 year old girl pit bull. We have spayed, vaccinated, and microchipped her. She has cropped ears and a heart-shaped mark on her head. She is a big, imposing girl… but very, very sweet. So happy to be living indoors, so happy to get food and toys and love. Gets along great with all the dogs at the foster home, from the pug to the pit. Deserves so much better than she got for most of her life so far, so if you are interested in adopting Lilo and giving her the world, apply at: http://adoptadog.goodkarmapetrescue.org.

So anyway. A breeder gets a dog like Lilo, treats her badly, mutilates her (cropped ears = mutilation), ignores her, and makes her have puppies.

Then what happens to the puppies? They’re sold.. to people who may abandon them months later in a shelter (unvaccinated, always).. to people who may breed the dog themselves.. to people who may do worse.. to anyone who coughs up the money.

An example of one of those puppies is Bracho. I received Bracho’s photo in my email yesterday, an email from the local shelter who was looking for a rescue to take this dog in.



Bracho was left in a crate full of standing water/urine/feces for approximately three days, as the shelter advised. He had edema (swelling) in all four paws from the extensive water contact. Worse, he has bone deformities, likely caused by abuse in the form of being closely confined too much during his short life plus neglect in the form of poor nutrition. Another explanation is that he was fed a low-protein and high-calcium diet in a misguided (stupid) attempt to grow him into a “low rider” pit. Oh, and OF COURSE his ears were cropped. I didn’t realize that from the shelter photos, so when I first got a photo from the vet’s office that showed his cropped ears, it was like salt on a wound. I can’t explain it. It’s just maddening that so so so much is heaped on these poor dogs. It never ends for them. And the stupidity! Why go to the trouble of doing some horrible misguided cosmetic procedure on a dog that you aren’t even, you know, FEEDING correctly?

It seems that most stories of horrible abuse are always about pit bull or staffordshire mixes. Example: I did a search for “dog abandoned in standing water” to get information on how it affects their paws, and a story comes up about two dogs left behind in a garage for a month after the owners moved out. What breed of dog were they? Staffordshires, OF COURSE. Story: http://blogs.hudsonvalley.com/211/2013/03/08/spca-two-dogs-abandoned-in-flooded-wallkill-garage/


Bracho being tended to by our vet, Dr. Simon Seskus, and likely getting some of the first kind treatment of his life.

So now Bracho has deformed legs which we hope will improve with high quality nutrition and physical therapy. Bracho eats ravenously and guards his food like so many who have lived with empty bellies. His ears will always be mutilated.

Yet, Bracho is still as sweet as can be. He’s tentative with people, like so many sweet dogs who have been treated badly by the people they’ve known, yet he’s still accepting of love and affection. He still wants to play tug and run around with his toys, even though his gait is heartbreaking.

Stories like Bracho’s make me curse the breeders and the pit bull “lovers” and breeders who are actually pit bull exploiters and abusers. Why on earth go to the trouble of breeding a dog, or buying a dog, and then treating him like this? Chopping off his ears, denying him proper nutrition and then, inexplicably, abandoning him in a crate full of standing water and filth? I just don’t understand.

Bracho is about four months old and 18 lbs. He will be fostered by our vet’s tech, Roxanne, who looks forward to helping him get to as close as 100% as he can be. He is going to be happy from here on out. But I shudder to think of what happened to Bracho’s littermates, or what happens to dogs like Bracho every day who are not so lucky as to be discovered by the authorities.

If you want to adopt Bracho, fill out an application at: http://adoptadog.goodkarmapetrescue.org. He will be ready for adoption in 2-3 months, we hope. If you would like to help a dog like Bracho by opening your home to foster, fill out an application here: http://foster.goodkarmapetrescue.org. We rescue cats too! If you would like to offer your financial support for Bracho and dogs like him, you can send a donation to our PO Box or via PayPal to info@goodkarmapetrescue.org.

You can follow Bracho’s story by becoming a fan of our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/GKPetRescue.

Poor Lisa’s story

Lisa’s fundraising page: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/lisa-kitty/65133

Lisa came into the shelter where I volunteer, the Pompano satellite shelter of Broward County Animal Care, one day late in April. When I met Lisa, she looked like this:

Seeing kitties with this kind of body language is sadly common. The adult owner surrenders tug at my heartstrings especially hard. People usually get their pet cats as kittens, so from when they were just little babies the cats got used to a safe environment, people to feed them and hopefully treat them kindly, and then one day one year, five years, even 15 years in the future (yes, cats are surrendered at 15 years old) they find themselves in a smelly, very loud, very scary shelter with NO idea what’s going on. I have seen cats completely shut down; hiding under their litterboxes, facing the back cage wall frozen stiff, crying incessantly… It’s heartbreaking.

So here was Lisa, with her ears back. A plump, cute kitty, in a very scary situation. All I knew about her was her name and that she was five years old and that her owners surrendered her. I made a note on the cage card for the next photographer (a note for myself or my friend Kate) to re-take the photo when Lisa had calmed down because it made me sad the only photo I had of her made her look so fearful. Notice her ears in a normal position in her intake photo. Poor girl had no idea what was about to happen; she was just going for a ride in her carrier.

My friend Kate went to the shelter next and noticed that Lisa had calmed down, so snapped this photo:

She likely was still scared and still unhappy, but at least she had grown accustomed to the shelter environment and looked like her cute self.

While I was at the shelter on June 1, I overheard talk of Lisa being adopted. What a happy day, an adult cat being adopted! (People, PLEASE adopt an adult! Please? No one else does.) News like that always puts a little spring in your step and helps you have a little hope in a very hopeless feeling place.

On June 8, when I arrived at the shelter one of the awesome staff members told me to make sure I saw Lisa; she was back and she looked bad. I did my usual walk-through to see the new arrivals in the adoptables room when I came across Lisa’s cage. My heart just sank, and my stomach shifted. Poor Lisa was back, only now her face was extremely swollen and she had spots of blood and pus near her whiskers.

I asked the shelter staff what had happened. They explained that the adopters had dumped Lisa back off at the shelter and when they were questioned about her injuries, they pretty much shrugged them off and said they had to leave.

Our rescue does not specialize in adult cats for the simple reason that we cannot adopt them out; no one wants them, a fact that frustrates me all the time. If someone wants a kitten, they want them as young as they can get them. I could have two identical cats, one at 8 weeks and one at 10 weeks and almost everyone would choose to adopt the 8-week-old cat. I have as many foster cats as I can and nowhere to show them for adoption. I love to help adult cats, but we have to have a plan in place before we take them. In this case, however, I looked at the staff member and said I would take her. If I weren’t to take her, I knew what would happen — she would be sent to the other shelter to see a veterinarian and euthanized. After sitting in a cage suffering for who knows how long. The rescue also has a lot of medical cases on our plate right now, so taking on another worried me just a little, but.. again, I could not leave her to suffer and die after all she had been through.

So, my friend and I drove her to the emergency clinic. I had another rescue mission to complete, so we left her in the care of the clinic staff and asked for an update when they could look at her.

When the vet called, he said it was bad. He said when he went to clean the blood and pus off her face, the skin came with it. He said she was in bad shape and in a lot of pain. He said we should consider euthanizing her, but that he would like me to come see her for myself so I could get the depth of her condition.

I can’t really describe the shock of when I saw her. I had thought when we brought her in that she would need some cleaning up and some x-rays in case it were an animal attack and they needed to check for broken bones, but I never considered her skin coming off like it did. It was incredibly raw, shiny with blood and pus. As she was not eating on her own, she needed to be syringe fed. I helped with that. When I would give her a bite of food sometimes blood would drip off her face onto her bed. I told the vet I would like to at least try for a bit and see if she could recover, but that we would have to be careful to not let it go too far. I stared at her and wondered if I was making the right decision by keeping her alive and suffering, but was hoping there could be a silver lining to the experiences of her past couple of months. Lisa was given lots of pain medication, put on an IV, and treated with antibiotics.

The veterinarian flushed out her wounds and the shock of seeing her in her cage was dwarfed by the shock of seeing that she had holes in her face, something I could describe as pockets that extended deep into the side of her face.

A censored mid-cleaning photo:

Again, I wondered to myself if we were making the right decision.

While all this was happening, the folks on Facebook were abuzz with Lisa’s story. And miracle of miracles, I received an application for adoption for Lisa in the case she recovered. I had someone else step up to foster her while she recovered and until she could get to her forever home. Folks started donating towards her care. Amazing things for Lisa! She had a bright future ahead of her, if we could just help her reach it!

One of the big questions in Lisa’s story is — what happened? We have no way of knowing. The vet said it looked as if it could have been a bad snake bite. Someone else said maybe she was attacked by a raccoon. She could’ve had some other kind of trauma; what appeared to be bite marks could be holes caused by an abscess bursting. Unless her adopters tell us, we may never know what happened to Lisa. We do know that it probably happened just a few days after arriving into her new home. By the time Saturday came, she was dehydrated and jaundiced; the vet estimated she had been suffering for 4 days without eating or drinking before the adopters dropped her off at the shelter.

Since the day all this started, Saturday, things have.. well, they haven’t gotten worse. That was a genuine fear.. if the infection were bad enough, or if the injuries were caused by snake venom, or if she had a flesh-eating bacteria, MORE of her skin could’ve fallen off. I would not have expected Lisa to live through that. But during Sunday’s cleaning, nothing new came off. By Monday her wounds were not the bright, shiny, raw ones of Sunday.

Lisa hadn’t been using her litterbox on her own since she came out of the shelter on Saturday, she would just pee where she laid. She had to be bathed every time she was put under for a cleaning. But today I saw her use the litterbox! Yay, Lisa! She has not started eating on her own either. We have been syringe feeding her, and if she doesn’t start eating on her own within a few days or we will have to fit her with a feeding tube to keep her at a heathy weight while her body tries to heal itself.

Here is Lisa today at the vet’s office:

The holes in her face are seeming to want to close. Her face looks awful, yes, but nothing like it did on Saturday. Lisa is starting to move around a little.. we even saw some attempts at grooming! These are all hopeful things. She seems very sad and depressed, but considering what she’s been through in the past couple of months, I would expect nothing else. I try to balance the syring feeding with lots of petting, combing, and sweet-talking and hope Lisa starts to realize soon that very good things are in store for her if she recovers.

We have followed up with Animal Care, and they have assured us that a citation will be served to the adopters as soon as the officers are able to make contact with them. They can plead guilty and pay a $500 fine, or they can contest it and go to court, in which case I will be appearing with all of the uncensored photos of Lisa I have to make sure that they are punished for whatever cruelty or neglect they inflicted on this poor cat.

Please stay tuned to the Good Karma fan page for updates about Lisa: http://www.facebook.com/GKPetRescue. We are so hoping to share happy photos of Lisa soon.

If you want to contribute to Lisa’s care, visit Lisa’s fundraising page: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/lisa-kitty/65133. You can also donate via PayPal directly to us at info@goodkarmapetrescue.org. Whatever funds are left over after Lisa’s care will be utilized for one of our other animals in need, such as Joe who needs entropian surgery, Mariah who needs mammary masses removed and her leg amputated, Daffy’s dry eye treatment, mama kitty Fiona’s hospitalization, food for the eight puppies just born, etc. We really appreciate everyone’s support.

Meet Mariah the sweet poodle!

Meet Mariah! We first heard about Mariah through one of our foster mommies who saw her at the shelter. She texted to say she wanted to know more about her, that she seemed to have a broken leg and was just a sad old pup. Here is Mariah’s shelter photo:

We emailed the shelter for more information and the email came back said, “Looks like this girl is in pretty bad shape.  Clinic estimates about 14 years old and all her teeth need to come out.  All her mammaries are swollen, but can’t say if there are tumors in all.  She also has cataracts in both eyes.  We would have to release her “as is,” no vetting.  That’s as much as the clinic is able to confirm unfortunately. It is extensive.” As always, we told the foster that we would back her if she could commit to fostering.

So, Mariah got picked up! Mariah with one of her foster moms, Peggy.

Mariah on her “freedom ride” from the shelter! Look at that poor little leg.

Thankfully one of Mariah’s foster moms is a groomer. Here Mariah is after her first bath! Very poofy girl!

And here she is after a good grooming! Thank you, Raquel!

Soon after we took her out, Mariah took a trip to our veterinarian. She was a perfect little patient. The vet estimated that her age is more around 9 years old. She weighs in at just under 8 lbs. What a tiny, dear girl!

She has what appears to be an old fracture to her leg. She can’t walk on it and it just hangs there.

Here is a video of her in the veterinarian’s office:

She has mammaries that are swollen and her nipples expel brown liquid.

Mariah has cataracts in both eyes.

Her teeth are in sore need of a dental.

Despite all of these health issues, Mariah is just the happiest & sweetest little dog. It makes us so sad to think of how long she must have suffered before she finally started getting the care she deserved. She deserved so much better! She hops along after her foster mom and would love to sit in a warm lap all day long. She gets along great with the other pups.

Someday soon, in the coming weeks, Mariah is going to have a very big day. She has so many things that need to be done to her that our veterinarian thinks we may have to do it on two separate days as to not overwhelm her poor system. Mariah will need to be spayed, tested for heartworm, have her mammary tissue removed, have a dental, and possibly have her leg amputated. Here is an image of her radiograph which has been sent off to the specialist so we can make sure we are making the best decisions possible for this dog.

Obviously this will likely result in a very big veterinary bill for all that little Mariah is going to require. Here is a link to contribute towards Mariah’s care: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mariah-the-senior-poodle-/62680

We rely on our supporters to help us help animals like Mariah. Without donations from people like you, poor Mariah here likely would not have made it out of the shelter! You can either contribute through the link, or send a donation via PayPal to info@goodkarmapetrescue.org. Or click here:




Mariah is also going to need a forever home when she’s all fixed up, so please share this tiny poodle girl with anyone you  know who may want to give her a loving forever home!

Meet Adam & Angel! Two beautiful kittens rescued from the shelter!

Meet the two most recent additions to our rescue — Kenny & Mittens! Those were their shelter names. Foster mommy Beth picked out new names for them — Adam & Angel.:)

These kittens were rescued from Broward County Animal Care & Adoption, from the Pompano location. Of the two Broward shelters, the Pompano shelter is smaller, has far fewer resources, less foot traffic, and the list goes on.. That’s why MOST of our rescue’s pets come from that shelter. We feel they need the most help, and with faces like this needing our help any time we can offer it, why would we ever need to go elsewhere?

These two sweethearts did not come in together. In fact, both of these kittens were picked up all by themselves running as strays on the street. However, they were put together in a cage at the shelter and fell in love. Now they’re BFFs so of course we had to take them both!

Here they are in the shelter snuggling together in Angel’s’ official photo:

We were all excited to get a “freedom ride” photo of these two, but Angel was so interested in the food she wouldn’t look up! Adam was wondering what the heck was going on, though.

Once they got to their temporary foster home, their carrier door was open and they were finally able to stretch their little legs and explore a little. We did a quick little photo shoot so everyone could see what cute kittens they are.

This is Angel. We thought they were both boys until we noticed her calico-like markings and checked her and, sure enough, Angel is a girl!

How could we have ever thought this girly little face belonged to a boy? Don’t know! And yeah, the plumbing here isn’t so glamourous, but we do always say all you need to foster is a bathroom – and we mean it! The kittens are happy as can be even in their toilet-room accommodations!:D

Here is Adam, who was a great little model, but I think only because he had no idea what was going on or why I was setting him on a toilet. Ha!

They were thirsty & hungry from their little home-from-the-shelter adventure, and when Adam took to the water bowl and rested his little paws on it.. oh! Oh! Hurts my heart!

Unfortunately, two days out of the shelter and little Adam does not seem to have an appetite and is dehydrated. He has lots of spunk and wants lots of attention, but feels very thin & dehydrated. We are giving him subcutaneous fluids, supplements, and syringe-feeding him.

Angel, on the other hand, is doing great (aside from the sneezies)!  Thirsty little Angel:

One last photo, of these cutie pies just before we snagged them outta their shelter cage & took them home.

Adam & Angel are 6-7 weeks old (Adam is much smaller than his girly friend) and will be ready for adoption when they reach about 8 weeks or 2 lbs. They will be neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, dewormed, and can be adopted for just a $75 donation to the rescue for each. Please let us know if you think you want to make these cuties a new addition to your home! We would love to see them go together (they are BFFs after all!) but will separate for great homes. Convince us! Application can be found at http://adoptacat.goodkarmapetrescue.org

If you would like to contribute towards their care, please PayPal a donation to: ji_sou@yahoo.com. That goes straight into the rescue’s bank account! Thanks!

The Home Depot Garden Center kittens!

We got an email a few weeks ago from someone who was taking care of some kitties at a Home Depot garden center in Deerfield Beach. Although the feral mama was doing alright there, of course no one wanted to see five kittens growing up on the street if they could be rescued. Here is one of the pictures we received of the kittens in a flower pot.

We made room, and one night two lovely ladies named Bridgitte and Karen worked to trap the kittens for us.

Here are the kittens just a day off the street. Now in mid-May they are about 7 weeks old and we are looking for forever homes for them. South Florida folks can apply at http://adoptacat.goodkarmapetrescue.org.

We are also looking for sponsors for each of these kittens. If you would like to sponsor one of the kittens to help out with supplies and vet care, we ask for just a $25 donation. The kitten will then be “your” special kitten, and you will get a photo of the kitten with a thank-you card in the mail. Please click here to sponsor a kitten, and let us know in the comments which kitten you want to sponsor! http://www.facebook.com/GKPetRescue/app_4949752878.

Here is Jacinta, a gorgeous Russian blue mix who is the most outgoing of the bunch.

Here is Jasmine! She’s a super cute grey & white kitten.:)

This is Dahlia, a sweet black kitten who is the tiny girl of the litter.

This is Lenox, who looks just like Jacinta.

And here is the last little guy, named Clove. He’s a black & white kitten and one most upset with me for confusing him with this whole shelter & food thing.:D

Thankfully our friends at Lady Luck Animal Rescue helped to get the mama fixed just a couple of days after the kittens were trapped, so now she’s going to be much better off — no more babies for her, and she can use all her time & efforts to keep herself healthy instead of worrying about kittens.  Follow us on Facebook to watch their happy endings find them! http://www.facebook.com/GKPetRescue:)

Update 8/12: They are all in homes now! Dahlia went all the way to Ohio to find her forever home. We could not be happier for this little group of formerly feral kittens!:)

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