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BBS Rescue Spotlight: Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue

Best Bully Sticks recently awarded Marley's Mutts a charitable contribution for submitting the winning photo of Hooch below in our Dogs at Play Charity Photo Contest.

 "Hooch is a French Mastiff who had his tongue savagely ripped out of his mouth, his ears chopped off and his tail broken. When we rescued him, he was malnourished and forty pounds underweight. Today, Hooch is a healthy, happy and very agile guy! His favorite past times include doing ballet while playing ball, slobbering all over everything, snuggling, visiting kids with autism and other disabilities, and spreading inspiration, hope and love everywhere he goes!

About  Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue

marleys mutts

When & Why did you start?

Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue is a 501c-3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving death-row-dogs in Kern County’s high-kill animal shelters. As founder Zach Skow faced the repercussions of alcoholism in the form of life-threatening liver disease, Marley’s Mutts was the healing force that saved his life. It has since saved the lives of literally thousands of dogs that otherwise would’ve surely perished. Since its inception in 2009, Marley’s Mutts has earned a stellar reputation in Kern County and the State of California, and has even garnered worldwide attention for captivating stories of survival and redemption through individual dogs. Zach and Marley’s Mutts have been endorsed by such prestigious figures as Dr. Drew, Marie Osmond, Cesar Millan and Oprah Winfrey. 

 

What's different about your rescue?

Marley’s Mutts is far more than a dog rescue. We have become a force of motivation and inspiration by connecting emotionally with our nearly 1 million engaged users on Facebook. We have an exponentially growing “cult following” in the social media sphere. Bearing witness to the power of the human-canine bond in our own lives, we encourage our supporters to perceive dog rescue not as a tragic or futile pursuit, but rather an opportunity to become better human beings, and an empowering mission in which we can all share and change the world, one dog and one day at a time!

What is the greatest success story or "win" that your rescue has had? 

Marleys mutts hooch

Marley’s Mutts has had so many phenomenal, almost “otherworldly” success stories, it is virtually impossible to describe just one. But the dog whose story is probably most recognizable to the world is Hooch’s story:

Hooch is a French Mastiff with badly cropped ears, a broken tail, no tongue…and a spirit so bright as to outshine all the darkness that has befallen him.

 After Hooch had languished in the Bakersfield shelter for more than a month, our friends at Kern County Animal Control informed us that we were his last hope for rescue. A mysterious case, Hooch wouldn’t eat or drink, and would instead thrash his food and water bowls around like a maniac. By the time we pulled him to freedom, he was 35 pounds underweight – starving, dehydrated and severely malnourished.

 Never thinking to “check for” a missing tongue, those involved in Hooch’s case thought he might have a broken or dislocated jaw that was causing his strange behavior surrounding the ingestion of nutrients (or lack thereof.) When we took him to see our trusty cohorts at San Joaquin Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Willis sedated Hooch to ready him for x-rays, and made the gruesome discovery that Hooch’s tongue had been savagely removed at its base, likely in an attempt to prime him for the dog-fighting arena.

 Hooch had a feeding tube implanted immediately in hopes that he’d gain a substantial amount of weight quickly, after which we would remove the tube and try to teach him how to eat and drink. It seemed it would be a long and arduous road to recovery, but Hooch has blown our minds at every milestone along the way. The world watched as we fed an “upright” Hooch in a Bailey Chair, then began simply placing moistened kibble in his mouth and, with a little help from gravity, down the hatch it went! Hooch has taught himself to suck up water, using his snaggle-tooth-under-bite to supplement an impressive slurping mechanism.

 Even more impressive than Hooch’s physical recovery by extreme adaptability, is his complete lack of fear or resentment toward human beings. Hooch loves every person he meets. So much so, in fact, that he now works in a therapeutic capacity with special needs children. Because of his miraculous disposition and ability to inspire and delight, we have decided to keep Hooch as our own. As our signature “Miracle Mutt”, Hooch will be able to fulfill his destiny, as an ambassador for of all that is good and right in the world.

 While we could let vengeance darken our hearts on Hooch's behalf, we choose instead to honor the invaluable lessons he has taught us: To live in the moment and forgive the past, to face each day with the vulnerability born of trusting, and to enjoy the simplest of pleasures as the most profound. In spite of the evil that took his tongue, Hooch is a happy dog with nothing but love to give! He shows us by example that in spite of horrific circumstances, we can adapt, we can go on living, and we can do so with a lust for life that is unstoppable and contagious!

What's the most rewarding thing about working at your rescue?

Marley’s Mutts is an organization that offers all who get involved the opportunity to expand and evolve and, in turn, help the organization do the same. This organization is the perfect example of a whole being greater than than the sum of its parts. Every person who joins us and lends their time, energy and love is special and unique, and we each bring something important to the table. This group’s function -- and great success – very much depends on the supportive interdependence between its members. This includes volunteers, foster families, shelter workers, veterinary staff, board members, supporters and adopters. It is so rewarding to be a part of a huge, collective force for GOOD!

 What can people do to help your rescue?

For those who are local to Kern County, we encourage people to fill out volunteer applications on our website: http//www.marleysmutts.com.

We can always use people’s different talents and skills for various events or projects! For those who aren’t nearby, we always appreciate monetary donations, of course, specifically because we are raising money for a new facility!

To learn more about how to donate to our building fund, people can check out our campaign on fundrazr.comhttps://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0dQh3. Over all, we just love to keep people involved and up to date on all the cool stuff we having going on, which they can do by bookmarking our website and liking us on Facebook!

Best Bully Sticks dogBest Bully Sticks thanks Marley's Mutts Rescue for sharing their story and all the work they do for local rescue dogs.

Stay tuned for more Rescue Spotlights in the future!

BBS Rescue Spotlight: The Mia Foundation

The Mia FoundationDogs at Play Charity Contest

BestBullySticks.com recently awarded The Mia Foundation a charitable donation after winning our Dogs at Play Charity Photo Contest. This great organization helps pets with birth defects that no one else will take. Read on to learn about the inspiring Mia the Chihuahua and more amazing pet rescues. We spoke with Sue Rogers, founder of the organization.

When & Why did you start?
The Mia Foundation was established in April of 2012 after the death of our precious Chihuahua, Mia.  This is her story.

My precious Mia was born with a cleft palate. Mia had several surgeries, (all of which had failed.) Although she was taken to the top Universities and to the top Veterinarians, she was given little hope of survival. I was told that euthanasia was best. I refused to give up on her and vowed to fight for her as long as she continued to fight. She was given a chance at life and even though her life was short-lived, she lived it to the fullest. She had to face many medical obstacles on her journey here, but she never let it overpower her love for life. Mia has inspired over 11,000 people from all over the world and continues to create Miracles every day.

Sadly, Mia passed away from pneumonia on April 11th, 2012 two months shy of her 2nd birthday. Her legacy lives on through The Mia Foundation which was created in her honor.

Mia The ChihuahuaThe Mia Foundation was developed to give animals born with birth defects a fighting chance. Mia was given a chance and in return gave so much love, hope and inspiration to people all around the world. I have come to realize that Mia was sent here to help us all in whatever way possible. She was brought to this earth to show us courage and unconditional love, she was here to bring loving, caring people together from all over the world and to teach us all to never give up no matter what obstacles we may face. She taught us to be brave, to be strong, and to smile in the face of adversity. Most importantly, she taught us all how to love unconditionally!!

Since her death, Mia's story has inspired people to adopt animals with birth defects that may have otherwise been overlooked or not given a chance at life and love. Mia has educated thousands of people from all walks of life on how to care for a special needs animal. She has raised awareness as to, "If they are born, they deserve a chance to live!!" Because of her strength, determination, love and will to live, she has enriched the lives of countless individuals. She had a zest for life unlike any I have ever seen. Her tiny paw left a huge imprint on so very many hearts.

Mia has shown us all that miracles really do exist. She changed the world with just one smile!!

What's different about your rescue?
The Mia Foundation only helps animals born with birth defects. We concentrate on the special needs animals but also help and share ALL animals needing homes.

Marcy The Mia Foundation

What is the greatest success story or "win" that your rescue has had?
In July, 2012 I received several pleas about a newborn puppy in Florida that was on Craigslist for free. She had a cleft palate and the breeder wanted the puppy out of the house by 7 pm that night. I found a foster home in Florida willing to get the baby at only hours old, and tube-feed her. We had her evaluated by a specialist at a few weeks old and it was determined that Marcy only had a cleft lip and her palate was perfectly normal. Marcy started eating dog food at 4 weeks old and never needed surgery to survive. She only needed help getting to the point where she could eat on her own. She is a perfect example of why all animals should be given a chance. Most vets would have suggested putting her down at birth. Marcy was adopted by a loving family in October 2012 and is a perfect, normal, happy puppy!!

For more stories amazing rescue stories of the Mia Foundation visit their website.

What's the most rewarding thing about working at your rescue?
The most rewarding thing about The Mia Foundation is the little faces that enter my life with little or no chance. When you see an animal that may not have legs keep up with the rest or a cleft palate baby eat on their own, it puts a smile on your face and a warmth in your heart like nothing else could. It is such a beautiful feeling to be able to look into the eyes of these animals and give them hope, love and a chance at a wonderful life.

What can people do to help your rescue?
They can go to The Mia Foundation website http://www.themiafoundation.com where they can donate, They can also send supplies for the animals, such as food, piddle pads, toys, medical supplies, etc. They can sign up to be a Mia's Angel (Volunteer position for fostering/transporting/etc.) We also have people that do fundraisers and some that create jewelry, dog clothes, etc. to sell.

A big THANK YOU to all that the Mia Foundation does for their special needs dogs. Visit their website to find out more about this great rescue. 

 

BBS Rescue Spotlight: National Mill Dog Rescue

National Mill Dog Rescue recently received a donation from BestBullySticks.com. We always love learning more about the rescues we donate to and sharing their stories with our customers and fans. We are grateful for National Mill Dog Rescue’s experience and the care and love they pour out on dogs. Keep reading for more about National Mill Dog Rescue, their beginnings, their inspiration and their successes.

When & Why did you start?

NMDR

National Mill Dog Rescue was established in February 2007, in honor of a forgiving little Italian Greyhound named Lily. Theresa Strader, NMDR’s Founder and Executive Director, rescued Lily from a dog auction in Missouri. Prior to that day, Lily had spent the first seven years of her life as a commercial breeding dog, a puppy mill mom. Determined that her years of living in misery would not be in vain, Strader started NMDR, giving a voice to mill dogs across the country.

During her years as a breeding dog, Lily spent all of her days confined to a small, cold wire cage in a dark, foul-smelling barn. Never was she removed from her cage for exercise or socialization. In her dreary confines, Lily was forced to produce one litter after another with no respite. Like all commercial breeding dogs, she was a veritable breeding machine whose worth was measured in only one way - her ability to produce puppies.

By seven years of age, Lily was worn out. Commonplace in the industry, she had received little to no veterinary care throughout her life, the result of which, for her, was terribly disturbing. Due to years of no dental care, poor quality food, rabbit bottle watering and no appropriate chew toys, the roof of Lily’s mouth and lower jaw, had rotted away. Her chest was riddled with mammary tumors and she was absolutely terrified of people.

Strader brought Lily and twelve others home from the auction and declares that even for a highly seasoned rescuer, the following months were the education of a lifetime in rehabilitation. That she would take up the cause for the mill dogs was never in question and National Mill Dog Rescue was promptly underway. IIn six years, NMDR has rescued more than 8,700 puppy mill survivors.

Run almost solely by volunteers, NMDR has pledged to put an end to the cruelty of the puppy mill industry. Through widespread informative efforts, NMDR hopes to educate the public to acquire their companion animals through reputable breeders or better yet, from shelters and rescue groups across the country.

After her rescue, Lily spent the remainder of her life as a beloved member of the Strader family where she received medical care, warmth and companionship. In time, Lily found courage and her disfigured little body educated countless people about the horrors of the puppy mill industry. Lily died, at home, peacefully, in the arms of her loving dad with her family gathered around, in May 2008, fifteen months after she was rescued.

What's different about your rescue?

Our organization rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes discarded commercial breeding dogs as well as educate the public about the cruel realities of the commercial dog breeding industry.

National Mill Dog Rescue

What is the greatest success story or "win" that your rescue has had?

Lily was born, raised and perhaps had 13 litters of puppies at the Reedgate Kennels before we were able to buy her at auction. Her time there was spent in a wire cage with a board to sleep on and a rabbit water bottle to drink from. While in the mill she received little or no vet care and because of this she lost all her teeth and her lower jaw rotted off, which is not unusual for the smaller breeds in the puppy mills. Everything that was precious to her was taken away (her puppies). The human hand brought only misery.  She was loved until she passed away 15 months after being rescued.

What's the most rewarding thing about working at your rescue?

Seeing dogs who have known nothing but the 'cage' their entire lives, blossom & grow into a beloved pet.

 

What can people do to help your rescue?

Donate - as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we rely solely on the generosity of our supporters to continue our mission.  Veterinary care is an enormous expense when rescuing mill dogs. A typical retired "breeder dog" is 5-7 years old, has spent its entire life in a small filthy wire cage, has been bred literally almost to death, and in most cases has never received any veterinary care. Upon rescue, we see a wide variety of illnesses and injuries, some are life-threatening.  Each rescue trip typically costs $2,500.

BestBullySticks says Thank-You to National Mill Dog Rescue for your hard work and efforts in saving dogs. We sincerely admire and are proud to support National Mill Dog Rescue. For more information visit National Mill Dog Rescue website or follow National Mill Dog Rescue’s Facebook page.

To read more inspiring stories, browse all of BestBullySticks Rescue Spotlights.

Donate BBS products to your local animal organization

 

Weekly Drool Recipe: Carob Dipped Bully Sticks

If you have given your dog(s) a bully stick, you know that he or she is perfectly content to feast on that chew by itself!

But if you want to make Fido's favorite pasttime even more special, try this easy DIY dog treat recipe - Carob Dipped Bully Sticks - from our founder and CEO himself!

Ingredients

Optional Toppings

What you'll need

  • Double Boiler / Fondue Pot
  • Silicon Mat / Non-Stick Surface
  • Spatulas


Let the Cooking begin!

This VIDEO marks our 1st video cooking demonstration at Best Bully Sticks, so we hope that you enjoy!

For more fun videos on treats and chews found on BestBullySticks.com, see the Best Bully Sticks YouTube channel.

Weekly Drool Recipe: Banana Pupcakes via The Blond Cook

Banana Pupcakes

Today we are featuring a mouthwatering recipe from Amy aka The Blond Cook!

Her recipe for Banana Pupcakes won us over because dogs deserve their cake, too! This soft texture of this pupcake is great for older dogs, puppies, those with dental sensitivities and all in between! The banana and honey are naturally sweet to give your pup a tasty treat.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line muffin tins with muffin liners, or spray with cooking spray.
  3. In large bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and stir well with a large spoon until blended.
  4. Fill muffin tins about 1/2 full with batter.
  5. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle is removed clean.

Recipe courtesy of Three Dog Bakery

Bone appétit!

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