The Dog that saved the Big Cats

Every week I read on-line news from a dozen or so news site around the world. This week I read an article I think Divinity’s readers might enjoy.

Persian Leopard cubs were rejected by their mother, but they are were saved by new-mom Golden Retriever, Tessi.

Tessi the foster mother dog

Without the foster mother it is likely the cubs would have died. The mother at Sadgorod Zoo in Vladivostok rejected her two cubs possibly because she herself was born in a zoo.

Note: This story is from the Siberian Times.

Tessi the dog stepped in and she feeds them alongside her four puppies. Zoo co-owner Alyona Asnovina said: ‘We tried to feed them ourselves, but they sucked very badly and we had to urgently search for a feeding mom.

Tessi feeding her pups and the cubs

‘We found a great foster mom in Golden Retriever Tessi. ‘She gave birth recently to four nice puppies and has a lot of milk.

The feeding cubs

‘Many thanks to the owner, we would have had hard times without Tessi.’

Sadly one kitten is very weak with a congenital heart and lung defect according to X-ray and ultrasound. I do not know if she will survive or not. We hope for the best.’ Zoo vet Viktor Agafonov is more optimistic,

‘For three weeks the dog has been feeding this female kitten.

‘The dynamic is very positive – the baby is gaining weight, she is actively trying to play.

‘She bites her adoptive mother and feels very well.’

The dynamic is very positive - the baby is gaining weight, she is actively trying to play




Senior Sunday – Big Sky Ranch’s ‘Seniors For Seniors’

This weeks Senior Sunday post is a bit different, today we focus on the Big Sky Ranch’sSeniors For Seniors program in Folsom, LA which places cats with senior citizens. Cats are a wonderful alternative pet for the dog-loving elderly who have mobility issues

Big Sky Ranch & Retreat - Catnip Foundation


From their website

CATNIP Foundation, a 501c3 organization with a simple, yet ambitious Vision of a NO KILL community with NO MORE SHELTERS. Shelters and sanctuary sites are a necessity today, but they are a reactive solution to a problem of over-population, and CATNIP was founded to become a leader in our community and beyond in finding proactive solutions.

“Build, Learn, Teach” In everything we do, we strive to create a replicable model that can be used by other animal welfare groups in other communities. While we enjoy our role in caring for animals directly, we know that multiplying our efforts is paramount to having a real impact.

“Do more together” A collection of isolated, stove-piped animal welfare groups can never do more than each can contribute individually. But together, the whole becomes greater than the parts. So we focus on bringing in, connection, and supporting other organizations with similar animal welfare missions.

“Stop the problem before it occurs.” although we work with all animal welfare needs, we are particularly focused on cat over-population. Euthanasia and shelters are a reactive response to this problem. We are focused on finding proactive solutions that are affordable, sustainable, accepted by the community, and benefit the welfare.of the animals.

“Lead others to No Kill Communities.” When we formed our vision, ” NO More Shelters”, this represented a commitment to ending the need for both euthanasia and shelters by primarily controlling cat populations. But we do not hold this vision solely for our community, solely for the feline population, nor solely for our immediate geography. We see our long-term role as being a national resource to consult, teach, model and support communities in all geographic areas.

Note: In memory of my beloved Maine Coon cat, Little Minx, this week’s Senior Sunday post will include senior cats!

From Biz New Orleans

Peggy Eagan, 89, has quite a pedigree. Ms. Eagan said her Uptown New Orleans home once housed a menagerie of pets including dogs, cats and a canary. Now, a resident at the Christwood Retirement Community in Covington, Louisiana, Eagan said her independent living apartment is almost purrrfect.

Big Sky Ranch - Seniors for Seniors

“I’d love the chance to get a cat because it helps the loneliness when life has changed as much as mine has,” said Eagan. “If I had a cat, something would be waiting for me at my door when I come home.”

Big Sky Ranch - Seniors for Seniors

Eagan may soon become the caregiver to a senior Calico, Tabby or Tortie, thanks to the Big Sky Ranch CATNIP Foundation’s “Seniors For Seniors” cat adoption program.

The Northshore nonprofit just put its paws on a PetSmart Charities $10,750 grant that sweetened the kitty for the fledgling program designed to bring senior cats and senior citizens together forever.

Big Sky Ranch - Seniors for Seniors

Big Sky Ranch’s “Seniors For Seniors” pet companion and adoption program is a rare breed. It actively helps cats nearing the end of their nine lives land on their feet by pairing healthy, senior cats, six years and older with appropriate temperaments, with seniors at independent, assisted living and memory care centers. The PetSmart Charities grant will help facilitate the special adoptions with reduced adoption fees and an adoption starter kit, complete with basic supplies designed for senior cat owners with easy-to-use tools to feed and care for new pets.

All senior cats available for this program are fully vetted, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped prior to adoption, Dr. Wilbert said. Some are adopted by senior facilities to be shared among the populace as a working therapy cat.

Big Sky Ranch - Seniors for Seniors

The grant will also fund Big Sky Ranch’s new senior living center for its older cats, allowing the sanctuary to provide a home for these adoptable cats until they find a loving home of their own.

“The ultimate impact of this ‘Seniors For Seniors’ program will not only save the lives of senior animals, but will make a dramatic difference in the lives, health and overall happiness of seniors,” Dr. Wilbert said of her 501c3 pet project. “Our goal is to place at least 15 senior cats the first year and to document, through feedback of caregivers, the many health benefits that studies have shown to be correlated with cat ownership.”

Big Sky Ranch - Seniors for Seniors

Great-grandmother Eagan said she’s not too finicky about what she plans to name a new cat. She wants to get to know its personality first.

Big Sky Ranch - Seniors for Seniors


Big Sky Ranch: ‘Seniors For Seniors’ contact links

To learn about all the dogs, that the Big Sky Ranch: Catnip Foundation has available for adoption, click the following links:

Big Sky Ranch: Seniors For Seniors Website

Big Sky Ranch: Seniors For Seniors Facebook

Big Sky Ranch: Seniors For Seniors Catnip Rescue

Big Sky Ranch: Seniors For SeniorsAll Available Pets

Interactive Map of Senior Dog Rescues, Sanctuaries and Special Programs

Note: This map is presented with kind permission from Senior Pups

Click the “Brackets” on the right-side in the Map Header below to view the full-size map

Senior Sunday: Why you should consider adopting a senior

If you haven’t considered adopting an older dog, you might be missing the opportunity to have an incredibly rewarding experience. Ask anyone who has brought a senior dog into their lives – they’re wonderful, grateful companions! Theresa Strader gives her perspective in this short video.

H/T: National Mill Dog Rescue

Note: Please share this post on your social media so that others can learn about these wonderful senior dogs. It’s the only way to spread the word about these seniors who need homes.

Interactive Map of Senior Dog Rescues, Sanctuaries and Special Programs

Note: This map is presented with kind permission from Senior Pups

Click the “Brackets” on the right-side in the Map Header below to view the full-size map

An amusing hazard of working with geriatric dogs

This dastardly deed occurred at House with a Heart Senior Pet Sanctuary

Note: House with a Heart is not a foster home or rescue group. Once a dog becomes a resident, it has a loving home for life.

House with a Heart has previously been featured on Divinity’s blog:
* A Retirement Home For Unwanted Senior Pets

* Senior sanctuary dog finds a girlfriend

House with a Heart – contact links
  • House with a Heart Senior Pet SanctuaryWebsite
  • House With A Heart Senior Pet SanctuaryFacebook
  • House With A Heart Senior Pet SanctuaryTwitter

Pilots N Paws, giving man’s best friend a lift

Pilots N Paws is a 501c3 charitable organization who through the help of general aviation volunteer pilots, transport rescue animals by air.

From the “Pilots N Paws” website

The mission of Pilots N Paws is to provide a user-friendly website communication venue between those that rescue, shelter, and foster animals and pilots and plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of these animals. Founded in February of 2008, Pilots N Paws continues to make a difference in the lives of innocent animals.

We have flown thousands of rescue animals, military working dogs, service dogs, and dogs soldiers have adopted from war zones to safe havens provided by rescues and families. We encourage everyone to please alter your pets and become responsible pet owners.


Pilots N Paws pilots volunteer to fly animals from kill shelters to rescue groups nationally. By the end of 2014, Pilots N Paws 4,200 volunteer pilots from all over the United States had helped fly about 60,000 animals to new homes in just six years.

Freedom Flight ready for takeoff

Freedom Flight ready for takeoff


The best view for a PnP's rescued dog

The best view for a PnP’s rescued dog


A dog enjoying their Freedom Flight

A dog enjoying their Freedom Flight


This Doodle is the co-pilot

This Doodle is the co-pilot


Everyone is smiling on this flight

Everyone is smiling on this flight



This video from early 2016 documents a flight from Spokane, WA to Medford, OR to transport a rescue dog for Pilots N Paws.


This is a clip from a mission on December 15, 2015. Just in time for the holidays, Toby, a beautiful and sweet Golden Retriever traveled from Finding Great Homes in Greensboro, NC to his new forever home near Richmond, VA.

Memorial donation to the Appalachian Bear Rescue for Miss Divinity

A Memorial donation to the Appalachian Bear Rescue was made for what would have been Miss Divinity’s 17th birthday. Until now, I’ve only made memorial donations to senior dog rescues, but there was a rescue of a stranded little lady in Tennessee that caught my attention.

I’ve been following the Appalachian Bear Rescue since the summer of 2015 when I read the story of Noli Bear’s rescue by a raft guide on the Nolichucky River. The rescue of Noli Bear was published in newspapers and featured on TV broadcasts worldwide. Shortly after Noli was rescued, the Appalachian Bear Rescue began receiving emails from people living in Finland to New Zealand who had read, or heard about Noli Bear.

To read about Noli’s rescue, and watch a wonderful video about Noli, click the following link: A different kind of Rescue

Noli Bear during rescue

Appalachian Bear Rescue

  • Appalachian Bear Rescue – Website
  • Appalachian Bear Rescue – Twitter

Children read books to Shelter Dogs

A Happy post to end the year…

Therapy Dogs have a R.E.A.D. Program. Well now the Humane Society of Missouri has started a Shelter Buddies Reading Program where children visit the shelter and read to the shelter dogs.

Reading to Shelter Dogs

A Shelter Dog enjoying someone reading to him.


A handful of members of Club HOPE, the Humane Society of Missouri‘s after-school club for elementary school students, helped make a difference in the lives of shelter dogs on Dec. 12 by spending an afternoon reading them books — an activity which helps socialize the dogs and prepare them for adoption. Shelter Buddies is an initiative which gets children to read books to dogs.

The Humane Society explains: ‘through this program, we aim to make dogs happier and get them adopted faster. They will also get lots of walks, treats and love today!’

“Our shy dogs learn to relax around new people and our high energy dogs learn that calm behavior is desirable,” says Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri. “In addition, the program allows the kids to improve their reading skills by offering an easy and attentive, not to mention adorable, listening audience.”

H/T: Metro UK and PeoplePets