*Leech Lake Legacy is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization

Envisioning a world where every reservation dog and cat is well cared for

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Huckleberry - Home At Last

Dawn says goodbye to Huckleberry and wishes him well :)
Huckleberry was one of over 30 dogs who came down from Leech Lake Reservation on November 8th as part of a humane investigation. From the get-go this charmer won the hearts of the staff at the Animal Humane Society/AHS. Our friends at AHS told us he was the most friendly and outgoing of the bunch! Most of the others were so fearful of people and had to go through AHS' Ad Prep program for shy and fearful dogs.

Unfortunately when Huckleberry was evaluated it was determined that he had some pretty serious dog aggression issues and unfortunately was not able to be placed up for adoption at AHS. We were contacted to see if we could find a rescue that could take him in and work with him. We reached out to our usual network of rescues and unfortunately no one was able to help. Most rescues and shelters are unable to take in dogs with dog-to-dog aggression issues as their fosters have other dogs, and many shelters simply aren't able to take in dogs with dog aggression issues. AHS also reached out to their partner rescues/shelters in hopes that they could find a group able to take and work with Huckleberry. After one of our Leech Lake Reservation transports, our main contact at the Golden Valley site asked us to come back and meet a few of the dogs who had come down from the neglect case. There were only about 5 dogs remaining and 4 of them were going through their shy and fearful program. There was only one dog - Huckleberry - who they were working hard to find a rescue to take him. Dawn, the vet tech supervisor at the Golden Valley AHS site, was clearly in love with Huckleberry. They asked us for any help we could give them in reaching out to our network. AHS and Jenny (of Leech Lake Legacy) sent out multiple requests on behalf of Huckleberry. About a week ago, we learned that Huckleberry was starting to go stir crazy in the shelter. He had now been in the shelter for 5 weeks .. he was deteriorating and a decision needed to be made soon. The staff at AHS wasn't willing to give up on this guy and as a last ditch effort we reached out to our contact at Home At Last sanctuary. We had no where else to turn and we completely understood if Peggy at Home at Last would not be able to take him. As Jenny always does, she had a long conversation with Peggy and gave all the information we had about Huckleberry and his level of dog aggression. We of course, also shared how incredibly sweet and loving he is and given the right environment (a lot of acreage and someone who was very dog savvy) that Huckleberry may learn to adapt to living with other dogs again.

We were ecstatic when Peggy, after asking a lot more questions, said YES!! so yesterday, after Jenny drove to Motley to pick up the big transport of 19 pups and dropping them off at the Buffalo AHS site, we made our way to the Golden Valley AHS site to pick up Huckleberry to transport him to his new home ...

What an incredibly sweet and handsome boy he is!! We can't quite figure out what breed he is ... all we know is he is 81 lbs of cute, uniqueness with a lot of soul and personality! Dawn was there to meet us and to bring Huckles (as she calls him) out to us. The staff at AHS made sure Huckles had everything he needed and he was sent off with a big hug and lots and lots of love.

We took Huckleberry to meet his new mom Peggy. We had two hours of wonderful conversation about so many things (of course, most of it had to do with animals!) and all the while Huckleberry hung out by us and looked up at us with his soulful eyes. Peggy shared with us how she and her husband would introduce Huckleberry to the rest of their pack at their sanctuary.

Today, we got an update from Peggy:

"Huckleberry is home, and it will be slow going for him. He is a VERY dominant guy, and doesn't wait to say hi before inflicting this. With that said, he responds very well to us, so we are taking this very slowly. He has met several dogs, males and females and has figured out we won't let him do anything. He has access to our living room and attached outdoor run when unattended,(he likes the couch, and watched some tv with me this am) otherwise he is on a leash with me everywhere I go, and this technique has proven successful with other recalcitrant pooches. I laughed out loud last night when my short, squat basset mix, Edgar, greeted Huckleberry enthusiastically!  KIN!!

My daughter has been away so will meet him for the first time tomorrow. He will find a very doting 13 year old can be really fun!  Hucks LOVES my husband already--lots of dogs fall for him right away--which has shown us another behavior which is guarding his people. We are very familiar with this, so are not concerned about it at all. He is a darling boy, and we will take all the time it takes to get him in the mix
. "

Thank you Peggy (and Home At Last) for taking this incredible boy into your pack and for being willing to work with him so he can adjust to living with a pack again. And thank you AHS for taking him in and caring and loving him so much for the time he was with you ... and thank you for tirelessly advocating on his behalf and for trusting us to find what we believe is going to feel like heaven for him ... that is, once the handsome boy learns, with guidance from Peggy, he must co-exist with the rest of the pack :)

It truly is amazing what we can accomplish when we all work together!

We will keep you posted as we get more updates on Huckles!!

12/29/2012 Update on Hucks:

"Happy New Year, ladies!  I thought I would take a moment to bring you up to speed on Huck's progress. He has indeed jumped multiple dogs, but in two contexts: guarding people, and attempting to overthrow. our responses to these situations has been unequivocal, and I can see him beginning to calculate actions. He is not a reactionary dog, and does not just jump into a foray. He tolerates the chaos very well, he seems far more intentional with his actions, and has targeted male dominant dogs. We do not leave him in the group when he is unattended, he still has his living room with outdoor run. (probably watching too much "Law & order, SVU") However, when we are here, he is in the group, off leash, and is rapidly adjusting. He really enjoys the open space and the deer!!!! He is a very boisterous greeter of his people, nearly taking us off our feet! He is so good about taking correction, which makes this  so much easier. So, the cliff notes are that he will be just fine here, and time is the healer of all things. In 6 months, this will be one of the Home At Last veterans, showing new dogs the ropes. So, thanks for trusting us with him!  He is very unique!! I will try to get you some photos of him out and about. "

And an awesome photo of Hucks with the pack after a long day ... see if you can spot Hucks (hint: someone thinks he makes an awesome pillow!!)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Consider a year-end gift for the animals

A new Cotton ... with foster mom Jenna.
It has now been almost 20 months since we made our first transport up to Leech Lake Reservation to meet with the Leech Lake Community Services Officer. We have had 111 transports, covering approximately 45,000 miles to bring over 1,100 precious animals to safety. Since our first trip up to Leech Lake Reservation our network has grown as we continue to collaborate and build partnerships both within Leech Lake Reservation and outside of the Reservation.

As 2012 comes to a close, it is difficult to pick one story to share as each animal has touched our hearts. But tonight, I would like to share with you an update on Cotton (who arrived on 10/28/12) with her brother Caster. Cotton had 75-80 quills on her face and Caster had over 200 quills over his entire body. On November 11th, I shared incredibly sad news … the passing of sweet Caster (click here to read the blog posting on Caster). Along with the 200+ quills removed from his body, face, legs, and chest there were apparently more quills inside of his body. Quills migrated in his body and penetrated his heart, liver, lungs and kidneys. We shed many tears for Caster but his spirit continues to live on in his sister Cotton. The next day (November 12th), Cotton went home with foster mom Jenna and in the month or so Cotton has been hanging out with foster mom Jenna and her many foster 4-legged siblings she has become a totally new dog. She has come a LONG way from when she arrived and was extremely fearful of people. Now she loves to be held and to sleep on laps. She also gets along great with her foster siblings and rumor has it she sleeps on foster mom’s bed with two of her siblings, Yukon and Rue. Just 6 weeks ago, Cotton was fending for herself up at Leech Lake Reservation, starving and in excruciating pain with a face full of porcupine quills. Today, she naps on a couch and gets pampered like royalty. She will be up for adoption soon and whoever adopts this sweet princess will be a very lucky person! Thank you Jenna for everything you have done and continue to do for Cotton.
Cotton and Caster when they arrived on 10/28/12

Cotton’s story is just one of more than a thousand stories. We are now at over 1,100 animals who have been transported and given a second chance. We could not do this without the support of so many … from volunteers, to donors, to the Leech Lake Tribal Police, to our partner shelters and rescues.

2012 was an amazing year for Leech Lake Legacy:

  • We transported and re-homed more than 900 dogs and cats.
  • We hosted two spay/neuter clinics on the Reservation where 184 dogs and cats were altered.  We also provided wellness checks and vaccinated another 126 dogs and cats.
  • We held two “Great Puppy Roundups” where more than 100 animals were surrendered and transferred to rescues and shelters in Minnesota.
  • We provided emergency medical care to countless dogs and cats who were brought in to our veterinarian in Bemidji with injuries that needed immediate attention.
The following video gives you a glimpse into our first 20 months!

 Our goals for 2013 are even greater.  Our plans are to host four spay/neuter clinics on the Reservation and during the months without scheduled clinics, to host vaccination clinics and Great Puppy Roundups.  We will also continue our weekly transports of dogs and cats from the Leech Lake Impound.  And inevitably, there will be injured animals on the Reservation who will need immediate and often expensive medical care.

In order to continue the transports, clinics, roundups and provide emergency care to injured animals, we need your support.  We are an all-volunteer grass roots organization. Every single cent you donate is used to help these animals.

Please consider making an end of year donation. You can make an online donation through Paypal by clicking here. You can also send a check to:

Leech Lake Legacy
P.O Box 385454
Bloomington, MN 55438

Thank you again for supporting Leech Lake Legacy.  Together, we are making a difference.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Santa photo fundraiser a big success!

Santa and Ahnung (a rescue from Red Lake Reservation)
Leech Lake Legacy's first Santa photo fundraiser on Saturday, December 8th was a huge success! We had a big turnout and are extremely grateful to everyone who came out to have photos taken with Santa with their furkids.

A special thanks to photographer Ryan Siemers of Capture M.O.R. for donating his time and talent to help the animals of Leech Lake Reservation. And many thanks also to Ark Pet Hospital in New Brighton for hosting our Santa photo fundraiser and for your incredible hospitality! In total we raised $650, all of which will go towards our efforts to help the animals of Leech Lake Reservation. In total we had 49 dogs and 4 cats come to have their photo taken with Santa.

A huge thanks also to Santa :)

Here are just a few of the photos ..... If you would like to be added to our email distribution list to be notified of any upcoming Leech Lake Legacy events please send us an email at leechlakelegacy@gmail.com.

Big Bear, Yukon and Cotton (both Yukon and Cotton are Leech Lake Legacy rescues!). Yukon is now a permanent addition to Jenna's home (and Big Bear is his wise older brother) and Cotton is being fostered by Yukon and up for adoption.
Jade and Vera
Gert ... this cutie is also a Leech Lake Legacy rescue!!
Leech Lake Legacy volunteers. Bottom row (left to right: Legacy and Ahnung); middle row: Marilou, Santa, Terri; top row: Dinie, Diane, Sandra.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kiki's bittersweet story ....

Kiki (now She Dog) in November, 2012
On Friday evening, November 9th, Kiki walked into the Woodbury Animal Humane Society with her foster mom, Mary. It was a special night as she was officially being adopted.
Close up of Kiki's face

For those of you who have been following the Leech Lake Legacy blog you will remember a blog post I wrote on July 26th (http://leechlakelegacy.blogspot.com/2012/07/medical-emergency-fund-is-depleted.html). We received a call from the Rory, Leech Lake Community Services Officer about a dog he was picking up from an abandoned house. He had been informed of a dog and her pups living in an abandoned house. After Rory was able to get Kiki he contacted us to let us know she was in pretty bad shape. Her face was completely infected and swollen, and she had porcupine quills on her face. We immediately authorized him to take Kiki and her 4 pups to our partner vet in Bemidji, Animal Care Clinic. They immediately fell in love with her. Her pups were absolutely adorable but there was something incredibly special about Kiki .. she laid on her back soaking in all the belly rubs she could get and was very patient while the vet techs removed as many of the quills from her face as they could. She came down on transport on Saturday, 7/28 where she continued to win over the hearts of the staff at the Buffalo Animal Humane Society. Her pups were quickly vetted, spayed/neutered and were adopted out within days. Kiki's story unfortunately revealed more health issues. I provided an update on August 1, on our blog (http://leechlakelegacy.blogspot.com/2012/08/kiki-update.html).
Kiki hanging out at the Buffalo AHS in early August

Since that update we learned that Kiki has an injury to her back leg. They were having an orthopedic surgeon evaluate her and soon discovered on top of the leg injury she had kidney issues. She ended up in the home of Mary (who works at the clinic of the orthopedic surgeon who was evaluating Kiki). Kiki was renamed to She Dog (her foster mom Mary named her She Dog so she wouldn't get attached to this incredibly wise and gentle spirit) ... well, it didn't work!! Mary shared with me last Friday that Kiki (aka She) is the most amazing dog she has ever had.

Kiki unfortunately has been diagnosed with kidney failure (stage 3, out of 4). Her prognosis is not good. She has been given 2-3 months, and up to 2 years. When I saw Kiki last Friday I would never have even known she had kidney failure. Her coat is incredibly soft and shiny; her spirit is full of life; and her presence filled the lobby of the Woodbury Animal Humane Society. And yes, she still rolled over on her back for lots of belly rubs. She gets to go to work every day with her mom and she gets acupuncture and laser therapy for her leg ... the other day she also spent time on the water treadmill, and according to her mom " .. she loves the treadmill. She acts like a puppy when she gets out!"

Kiki ... know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. You have touched the hearts of so many and you are a survivor. We are counting on you to defy the odds of your kidney failure diagnosis ....   You have been through so much in your short 2 years. We want you and your mom to be able to enjoy many, many more years together. Meanwhile, we know that you are getting the absolute best care possible and if anyone can help you pull through this, it's your mom :)

Kodiak .. one of Kiki's pups

What a beauty!! :)

Comfy nap spot!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Please consider donating to Leech Lake Legacy

As non profits in Minnesota are gearing up for Give to the Max Day on November 15th, we hope you consider also making a donation to Leech Lake Legacy. As a brand new non-profit we are unable to join in the major fundraising effort through GiveMN.org this year. We filed for federal tax exemption and 501(c)3 status in October, 2012 and if this designation is granted, the full amount of your donation will be deductible for federal income purposes. But next year, you can count us in with the Give to the Max effort !!) ... Not wanting to miss out, however, we thought we'd ride the coat tails of the massive fundraising effort on Thursday!! :)

We are an all-volunteer grassroots organization. We began our efforts in May, 2011 and partner with the Leech Lake Tribal Police to transfer dogs/cats from Leech Lake Reservation to our partner shelters and rescues in Minnesota. Since May, 2011 we have been able to transfer 1,013 dogs/cats to our partner shelters/rescues. We hosted and sponsored two spay/neuter clinics with Kindest Cut in 2012 and spayed/neutered 184 animals and also provided wellness checks and vaccinations to residents at the clinic.

All donations raised will be used for our medical emergency fund or to fund one of our 2013 spay/neuter and vaccination clinics. We are planning on hosting 4 spay/neuter clinics with Kindest Cut in 2013.

We are grateful for the the following video which was created by our partner the Animal Humane Society and documents the tremendous need for spay/neuter efforts at Leech Lake Reservation.

Kiki .. one of many needing medical emergency care and taken in by the Animal Humane Society (stay tuned for a special update post on this amazing girl!)
Ilke - hit by a car. Taken in by Faeirieland Rescue. He had orthopedic surgery and is doing great. Ilke, now Tanner is up for adoption!
Lil' Dougie .. shot and had 3 bullets in his spine. We were unable to save him but he was free from pain and surrounded with love when he left us.
Clementine, a very pregnant rottie was picked up by the Leech Lake Community Services Officer at the end of October with a face full of porcupine quills. She was immediately taken to our partner vet in Bemidji where she had the quills removed. She was in labor on the transport ride to the cities on 10/28. She is now safe in rescue with Second Hand Hounds. She had 8 puppies in total. 4 of her puppies didn't make it, but 4 are thriving.
Cotton and Caster arrived on the 10/28/12 transport along with Clementine. They were immediately taken into surgery at the  Animal Humane Society and their quills removed. Over 200 quills were removed from Caster (pup on right) and 80 removed from Cotton (pup on left). Unfortunately we lost Caster on Sunday, 11/11. There were quills that were beneath the surface of his skin and they had migrated to his heart, kidneys and lungs. Rest in peace sweet Caster. We are happy to say Cotton is now in a foster home (in Morrison County Animal Humane Society's foster program), and is quickly coming out of her shell and learning to trust humans again. Thank you Jenna for taking her under your wings.

To make a donation by credit card, click on the 'Donate' button on the right hand side of our blog and it will take you to paypal. You do not need to have a paypal account to donate by credit card. You will also notice and option to make recurring donations ... we have set up a recurring donation of only $25 a month (that's less than $1/day!). Please consider also setting up a recurring donation.

To make a donation by check please mail your check to:

Leech Lake Legacy
PO Box 385454
Bloomington, MN 55438

If you have any questions you can email us at leechlakelegacy@gmail.com.

If you make a donation we would very much appreciate it if you would also add a comment to our blog post letting us know that you donated :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Caster ... another bright star in the night skies

Jenna giving Caster kisses :)
On October 28th, we had quite the transport arrive from Leech Lake Reservation with many injured dogs. We will share more about that transport on another blog post. For tonight, we need to honor a very special pup who touched hearts of so many, and in particular the heart of Jenna, an animal care lead at Animal Humane Society.

Cotton and Caster when they arrived
Caster  arrived on the October 28th transport. A huge thanks to Martha, a Leech Lake Legacy volunteer up north, who helped rescue two precious puppies (Caster and Cotton) whose face and bodies were filled with quills. We got a call from Martha on Saturday (10/27) evening and we reached out to our partner the Animal Humane Society/AHS. Our vet clinic in Bemidji was already closed and we desperately needed to get Caster and Cotton in to see a vet and the quills removed. They were in so much pain and absolutely terrified, and rightly so! Without hesitation, we were told by AHS to bring Caster and Cotton in. When the transport arrived on Sunday, Caster and Cotton were immediately taken into surgery .. they were sedated and the quills were removed. They removed over 200 quills from Caster and 75-80 quills from Cotton (including one on her tongue). There were quills over Caster's entire body ... his back, chest, legs, and face. After their surgery they were given time to recover and they appeared to be healing nicely physically. They were terrified of people, however, and would not let anyone near them. They would snap in fear if anyone tried to come near them. Our friend Jenna at AHS, however, did her usual amazing work with these 2 pups and she continued to work with them. She would take her lunch hours in the 'Q' ward (the quiet ward) at AHS sitting in Caster's kennel (she would alternate time with Caster and Cotton). She would share stories of her progress with Caster. At first he wouldn't even come near her and it would take very yummy treats to entice the sweet boy. Then he would come closer and sit on her lap. It was clear Jenna was making tremendous progress with Caster and he was learning to trust humans again, thanks to Jenna. Cotton was also making progress but was a little more leary. It was also very clear how much Caster had wiggled his way into Jenna's heart.
Caster right before surgery

After a week and a half at the shelter we realized that a shelter environment was not in the best interest of both Caster and Cotton and we needed to get them into a foster home and a shelter/rescue with a foster program with the ability to work with extremely shy and fearful pups. Arrangements were made for Caster and Cotton to be transferred to the foster program for Morrison County Animal Humane Society (another Leech Lake Legacy partner) and Jenna offered to foster either Caster or Cotton (we had another experienced foster lined up). The balls were set in motion and Caster and Cotton were spayed/neutered on Friday. We were planning on having them both transferred to their respective foster homes tomorrow/Monday.

At 7:00 am today I received a call from Jenna. She had just arrived at work. I knew when my phone rang at 7 am on a Sunday morning that it probably wasn't a good thing. These 3 heart wrenching words painfully came out of Jenna's mouth as she fought back tears, "Caster is dead."She arrived at work to find Caster's lifeless body. All I could feel was this incredible pain in her heart for a puppy who had wrapped his spirit around her heart ...  From the day he arrived on Oct. 28th, it was clear Jenna loved this little guy. She admits, she has a soft spot for the really shy ones and she adopted a very shy and fearful dog years ago and watched him come out of his shell and blossom. She was playing a key role in doing the same for Caster and Cotton. Every day when she was at work at AHS, she took extra time with Caster and she was committed to spending her lunch hours with them.

The AHS vet checked Caster out when she arrived at the shelter this morning. She was concerned at the time of Caster's original surgery of the number of quills in his chest and removed all the quills she was able to see. Today, she confirmed that Caster had quills in his heart, kidneys and lungs. Jenna spent time with Caster yesterday and he was doing great. He may no longer be with this us physically but his spirit will forever be in our hearts, and the love, patience and compassion he experienced from Jenna is one I have no doubt he took with him.

Jenna, thank you for all the love you freely gave to Caster; for giving him a taste of what is to be loved; of showing him that humans can be trusted; for showering him with so much love and attention and yummy treats and toys; and for simply sitting quietly with him in his kennel and allowing him to come to you, at his own pace ... and for napping with him and simply holding him and giving him kisses while he snoozed.

He will forever be in your heart. He knows you loved him and his spirit is sprinkled around us and with his sister Cotton. Thank you for taking Cotton into your home tomorrow ... as you watch her come out of her shell you will know that her brother Caster is nudging her along ;-)

You are a gift to all the animals who are blessed to be touched by your presence.

Caster ... you are loved and your will be sorely missed.

Caster and Jenna ... nap time at lunch hour :)
Cotton ... going home with Jenna tomorrow!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Support and promote Leech Lake Legacy by purchasing your t-shirt!

Long sleeve t-shirt colors (Texas Orange and Kiwi)
Looking for an easy way to support our efforts to help the animals at Leech Lake Reservation? ... Purchase a Leech Lake Legacy t-shirt! :)

Leech Lake Legacy does not have a foster program or a physical shelter. Since our efforts began in May, 2011 we have been able to transport and help 926 dogs/cats. We work with shelters and rescues in Minnesota to place animals up for adoption. We do not adopt out any animals so we do not have any revenue from adoption fees. We work with the Leech Lake Tribal Police and when animals are surrendered or picked up we arrange for transport and placement of these precious animals. Oftentimes, animals come in injured and in need of immediate medical care. Leech Lake Legacy works with Animal Care Clinic in Bemidji, MN to provide any emergency care or for puppies surrendered to be boarded until we can arrange for them to be transported to a shelter or rescue. With the increase in the number of puppies being surrendered (and our need to provide temporary boarding) and the number of injured animals being picked up (we have had an increase of dogs with porcupine quills) our medical emergency fund is in dire need of being replenished. Please consider purchasing a t-shirt to help support our efforts and promote the work we are doing. Of course, you can also just make a donation to Leech Lake Legacy. We are a non-profit organization and have filed for federal tax exemption as a 501(c)3 public charity.
Short-sleeve t-shirt colors (Pistachio and Orchid)

We have short sleeve and long-sleeve t-shirts available. Long-sleeve t-shirts are available in Texas Orange and Kiwi colors. As of Friday (11/9/12) morning, we have the following sizes available in long sleeve:

Long-sleeve Kiwi/green:
  • 4 Larges
  • 1 extra large
Long-sleeve Texas Orange:
  • 1 Small
  • 5 Mediums
  • 5 Larges
  • 2 XLs
In short sleeve, we have Orchid/purple and Pistachio/green colors available. As of Friday (11/9/12) morning, we have the following sizes available:

Short-sleeve Orchid/purple:
  • 1 Small
  • 5 Mediums
  • 4 Larges
Short-sleeve Pistachio/green:
  • 2 Smalls
  • 4 Mediums
  • 4 Larges
 Cost for T-Shirts:
  •  Short-sleeves are $20 (cash or check) or $21 (paypal)
  •  Long-sleeves are $25 (cash or check) or $26 (paypal)
Add $5 for shipping and handling (up to 3 shirts).

Please help us continue help the Clementines, Casters and Cottons ....

Clementine after she was picked up by the Leech Lake CSO. She was taken immediately to our partner vet to receive medical/emergency care.

Cotton and Caster when they arrived on transport. They were immediately taken into surgery to have the quills removed.
Please email us at leechlakelegacy@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing a t-shirt or have any questions.

If you would like to make a donation to our medical fund you can click on the 'Donate' button on the right hand side of our blog, or mail a check to:

Leech Lake Legacy
PO Box 385454
Bloomington, MN 55438

We could not do what we are doing to help the animals at Leech Lake Reservation without the generosity of our volunteers, partners, donors and supporters.

With heartfelt gratitude,
Marilou & Jenny
Co-Founders of Leech Lake Legacy

Friday, November 2, 2012

Great Puppy Roundup II

Do you have puppies you would like to surrender?

Leech Lake Legacy
in partnership with the Leech Lake Tribal Police
is hosting:

The Great Puppy Roundup II

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Great Puppy Roundup is a day when residents of Leech Lake Reservation can surrender their unwanted puppies at no charge. The surrendered puppies will be transported to rescues and shelters in other parts of Minnesota where they will be vetted, checked out, spayed/neutered and then placed up for adoption.

Date:                 Saturday, November 10, 2012
Time:                9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Location:          Leech Lake Tribal Police Headquarters
                          6530 U.S. Highway 2 NW, Cass Lake, MN

If you have puppies or know of someone who has puppies to surrender, please contact us at leechlakelegacy@gmail.com.

The Great Puppy Roundup is held in memory of Little Dougie, an eight-week-old puppy who was found alive by the side of the road in Leech Lake with three bullets in his spine.

We were unable to save his life.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Open letter to the former mom of Rex

Animal care lead Jenna gets a big hug from Rex
Dear former mom of Rex (a beautiful young shepherd mix),

You stopped by the Leech Lake Puppy Roundup on Sept. 22, 2012 to ask about a dog you had to surrender in July, 2012 because you were not allowed to have a dog where you lived. You told me his name was Rex. I wasn't sure if we had taken him into the Leech Lake Legacy program but you assured me you had. You had contacted the Leech Lake Tribal Police and Rory (the Community Services Officer) had gone out to your house. He reached out to the other co-founder of Leech Lake Legacy, Jenny, about other options we had for Rex ... unfortunately we did not have any temporary housing options available for Rex and so you surrendered your sweet boy. You came back that chilly Saturday morning to ask if he had been adopted. You had found a place to live where you are now allowed dogs. You wanted to know if Rex was still up for adoption at the shelter and if he was okay.

I am sorry our conversation was interrupted that Saturday morning. I am sorry that I wasn't able to get your name and contact info before you turned around and left. I am sorry I wasn't able to give you answers that morning. I have been haunted by the sadness in your face and the tears. I know that all you wanted to have was some closure ... to know he was okay; to know he was loved and cared for. I want you to know that I came back and looked up your boy. I want you to know I remember Rex very clearly. I remember when he arrived on transport from Leech Lake Reservation on July 20, 2012. He was renamed to Jeriko. He was a bundle of joy when he got off the transport vehicle. Our friend Jenna (who is the animal care lead at the Animal Humane Society) was there to welcome him, and he immediately gave her a big hug and a kiss. I also want you to know that your boy Rex was adopted on July 24th, just four days after arriving. He had one of the shortest stays at the shelter and in that time was loved and cherished. I'm not surprised he got adopted so quickly. You and your family did a wonderful job raising him.
Rex is happy to get out of his crate!

I know all you wanted was some closure and the knowledge of knowing that Rex is safe and in a loving home. I have no way of reaching you and so I am writing this letter to you on our blog, in hopes that some day you will stumble upon this blog and know that you touched my heart and soul with the love and compassion you had for Rex, and for caring enough to come back on a chilly Saturday morning to check and see if he was okay.

I know the decision you made in July, 2012 was a very painful and difficult decision. There is no doubt in my mind that I know you loved him with all of your heart and you simply wanted to make sure he was okay.

I am sorry I didn't have all the answers for you that chilly Saturday morning on Sept. 22nd when you stopped by the Leech Lake Tribal headquarters. You have been in my thoughts and I just needed to let you know that your boy Rex is doing great!! My hope is that you will find some comfort in seeing these pictures of your beautiful boy and the joyous, happy spirit you can just see from his face :)

with gratitude,
Co-founder, Leech Lake Legacy

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sweet, sweet Clementine

Clementine after she is picked up at Leech Lake Rez
Clementine, a sweet, sweet rottie, was picked up by Rory, Leech Lake Reservation Community Services Officer this morning. Leech Lake Legacy got a call this morning about Clementine, a very pregnant rottie with a face full of porcupine quills. We gave Rory the okay to immediately take her in to our partner vet, Animal Care Clinic in Bemidji. Just earlier we had alerted them to some puppies also arriving. Rory picked up a litter of 3 puppies (Cash, Cinderelly and Chicory) in addition to Clementine.

Clementine snarfed down a pocket pill that contained pain meds but is unable to eat. The vet checked her out, and said she needs to be sedated and the quills removed. She is suffering too much. The staff at the clinic assured us that the sedation they used would be safe for the pups, but at this moment, it was more critical to take care of Clementine who was obviously in so much pain. We gave the okay for them to sedate Clementine and remove as many of the quills as they are able. They suspect she is about ready to have her pups any time.

Leech Lake Legacy has reached out to partner shelters and rescues. We are planning to transport her to the cities on Sunday and are hoping one of our rescue or shelter partners (with a foster network) will be able to take her in. Please send positive thoughts Clementine's way ....

The three pups who were also brought into Animal Care Clinic (Cash, Cinderelly and Chicory) were also checked out. They are being treated for mange, fleas and chewing lice, and we are also working on placement for these sweeties.

With today's intake of Clementine and the 3 pups, our medical emergency fund is taking a big hit. If you are able to contribute even a small amount to help us replenish our medical fund it would be greatly appreciated. Please click on the 'Donate' button on the right hand side of our blog, or if you would prefer to write a check you can send it to:

Leech Lake Legacy
PO Box 385454
Bloomington, MN 55438

Clementine - close up

10/26/12 Update: Clementine had her quills removed and is much more comfortable now and resting at the vet clinic. We are grateful to Second Hand Hounds rescue for taking this sweet girl into their foster program.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Yazhi ... deserves only the best from this point forward ...

Yazhi ... taken at the Bemidji Impound
This poor girl was dumped at a grocery store parking lot in Bemidji, MN. She ended up at the Bemidji Impound where she captured the hearts of the staff at the Impound and made her way down on transport to the cities on 10/9/12 and was taken in by one of  our partners, Animal Humane Society/AHS. The poor girl was scared to death and was shaking like a leaf.

Yazhi spent some time at AHS getting checked out by the staff veterinarians. We soon learned sweet Yazhi had many, many health issues. We were told the following:

  • She has a heart murmur (grade 3 or 4 on a scale of 6)
  • She has cataracts in both of her eyes
  • Her teeth appear to be rotting (they were unable to check out her teeth while she was awake, and told us they would do a thorough check when she was sedated).
  • They were able to shave all the mats off of her body but would shave her face and head while she was sedated (she did not like her head our mouth to be touched ... understandably!)
  • She has at least 5 tumors/nodules along her mammary chains
Yazhi arrives at AHS on 10/9/12
Leech Lake Legacy and AHS worked together to explore what we could do for sweet Yazhi and what would be in her best interest. There is a strong possibility the tumors are cancerous. After much discussion we decide we have to at least give Yazhi a chance to experience the good life and to be loved and cherished. We also know what's most important is to keep her comfortable and free from pain. We were fortunate to have a wonderful, experienced foster step forward to provide temporary hospice care as we continue to reach out in hopes that someone out there would be willing to adopt Yazhi, a beautiful senior pup who has been through so much and simply deserves to live out the rest of her life being treated like a queen.

Yazhi was sedated and shaved .. all the mats are now gone from her face and body and she is like a brand new dog!! :) When AHS had her sedated, they went ahead and extracted 11 teeth (they indicated that 5 had already fallen out). She has a few teeth remaining and they did their best to clean her remaining teeth. After getting a closer look at our teeth while Yazhi was sedated they estimate her age to be around 12 years.
Yazhi gets ready to go home with foster mom Vicki!

Samples from a couple of the nodules along her mammary chain were removed and sent to the lab to see if they are cancerous. AHS will notify us in about a week when the results come back. Her foster mom Vicki picked her up at AHS this afternoon. It was apparent Yazhi got lots of loving and pampering from the staff at AHS. We are extremely grateful for our partnership with AHS and for all they have done for Yazhi and for working with us so that we could ensure that Yazhi has the opportunity to experience the good life ... we all deserve that :)

We are extremely grateful to Vicki for temporarily fostering this sweet girl. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

We realize there are a lot of unknowns with Yazhi. We realize she's a senior dog with a multitude of health issues (including cancer). We realize she may not have long left in this world. Despite all of that we believe she deserves the very best and we believe she deserves to enjoy whatever time she has left .... If you are interested in meeting Yazhi and would consider opening up your heart and your home to this special senior pup, please email us at leechlakelegacy@gmail.com.

Recovering from surgery

Yazhi ... she even had a little bounce in her step! :)