*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

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.