November 2011 


Got Stuffing?




The Broken Ones

Sammie was a pitiful little Rat Terrier, all alone in a Miami, Florida shelter. Sammie had been tied by a wire around his neck while acid was thrown on him. The wire cut cruelly into his neck as he struggled to escape from the acid that was burning his flesh. He was found, still tied up, and was taken to the shelter, where his injuries made adoption unlikely for him. A member of Ratbone Rescues received a picture of him in an email and went to work getting him released from the shelter, where he was just hours away from being euthanized. He was rescued and transported to his foster home in southeast Georgia. As it turns out, the picture did not accurately portray the true extent of little Sammie's injuries.

It had taken at least fifty stitches to repair Sammie's neck where the wire had cut into it. The pads on all four of his paws were badly burned from standing in the acid. He had large acid burns on his head, neck, face and sides. Sammie has come a long way in the month since he came to Ratbone Rescues, his horrible wounds are slowly healing. It hasn't been an easy road for him though, he was on antibiotics for weeks, to prevent infection but every few days he was running a fever. Finally, he became very ill with parvo-like symptoms and it was found that the antibiotics were destroying not only the bad but the good bacteria. He has been taken off the antibiotics and is feeling better already. Sammie will still need extensive hydrotherapy treatments and to fight off infection on his own but with lots of love and tender care he is starting to thrive again.

Despite the cruel torture bestowed on sweet little Sammie, he never lost his spirit or his trust in people. He still seeks out love and acceptance from people, he loves nothing more than being able to cuddle close to you. He has the sweetest disposition and is so loving. His healing process is slow, but his spirit remains strong and Sammie will eventually be a wonderful companion for someone. Dogs are truly resilient creatures. With love and kindness, most will overcome the abuse and neglect they suffered at the hands of man. In pursuing it's rescue mission, Ratbone Rescues often finds itself in charge of these little "broken" dogs. The "broken" ones, who are first on the list for euthanasia, who will cost much more in vet fees than their adoption fee will recoup, broken dogs who are often passed over by rescues because of the costs. While Ratbone does not seek out these broken pups, we will not turn them away just because of the injuries they have suffered. Sammie is not the only dog with major medical issues, currently in Ratbone's care.

There is Duchess, found by a good Samaritan who contacted Ratbone Rescues since no owner could be found. When she arrived at her foster home it was discovered that Duchess had an old injury to her front leg which has left the nerves permanently damaged. This injury makes it impossible for Duchess to use her leg in any way, and she drags it instead of walking on it. She also licks it compulsively, creating an open sore, a constant risk for infection. As you can see here, Duchess doesn't let her disability slow her down - she runs, plays, and jumps on the furniture. Although she sometimes steps on her front foot with her back foot, and takes a "nose dive", Duchess just gets back up and carries on with the program! After a month, waiting and hoping for some kind of improvement, it is obvious that we cannot avoid the surgery to remove Duchess' left front leg. While drastic, she will adjust to this loss and go on to be a happy, well functioning dog.

Mighty Max, a 3 month old puppy, was abandoned after his leg was broken. He was held in a shelter, with no treatment except pain relief, but his owner never showed up. He was turned over to Ratbone Rescues where he was promptly taken to a vet. It was found that his rear leg was broken above the knee, so surgery was required to repair the break. Fortunately, an excellent orthopedic vet in the area of his foster home, has worked on Ratbone dogs before and was able to fix Max's leg. Max will be on crate rest for a few days before he is well enough to come out and play with the rest of the pack at his foster home. He will spend 42 days in a cast, then he will be ready to move toward adoption.

These, and other "broken" pets, depend on the kindness and support of caring people to survive. They need caring homes to take them in, caregivers to get them medical care and tend to them as they recover and funds to pay vet costs to help them toward being whole again. This is why you are so important to Ratbone Rescues. By volunteering to foster a Rat Terrier, to help transport dogs from shelters to foster homes or to perform any number of tasks that help a rescue operate and flourish, you are helping save a life. Even if you can't volunteer, your donations help provide the care needed for our Ratties, the healthy and the "broken". For whatever you are able to do, we thank you.

***Please be sure to include an e-mail address, so that we can send you an acknowledgement***

Send check or money order to:
Ratbone Rescues
P.O. Box 3237
Seminole, FL 33775-3237





Ray Ray


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Tips on Introducing a New Dog to Your “Pack” (Part 2)

Managing the New Dog in Your Home

Pick up all pet toys, food bowls, beds and the like before you bring the new dog into the house to prevent any tiffs over prized possessions. You can return the resident dog’s toys in a few weeks, and introduce some new toys at this time. In the meantime, give the dogs toys only when they are in separate areas or their crates. When you bring the new dog home, put your current pets in a separate area of your home; then, walk the new dog around your home on a leash to show him where he will sleep and eat, where the other pets sleep and eat, etc.

Establish boundaries in your home by using baby gates and closing off rooms and areas while all the pets acclimate to the new situation. This way they can see and get used to one another. Allow the resident dog to roam the house, while confining the new dog behind a barrier at first.

Keep the resident dog’s areas for sleeping and eating separate so he doesn’t feel his territory is being threatened. Feed the dogs in separate areas, and pick up their food bowls after feeding time is done. Keep the dogs confined in separate areas of your home any time you are away or can’t watch them.

While your dogs may enjoy each other as playmates, supervise their play to prevent them from getting over excited, which can lead to injury of one or both dogs.

Interrupt their play if one dog begins to bully or growl at the other, and separate them for a few minutes. Praise them when they are playing well together.

Remember to devote plenty of time to each dog individually for both training and play. If one dog is much older or less energetic than the other, be sure you give him time and space to himself so he can rest and feel secure.

Puppies to Adult Dogs

Not all resident dogs will welcome a new puppy into the home. Puppies are notorious for looking for attention from adult dogs (and everyone else), and so must be supervised when they are with other animals. Very young pups may not pick up on an adult dog’s body language that says he’s had enough playing. A well-socialized adult dog may growl to tell the pup to back off, which is appropriate behavior that helps the puppy learn boundaries.

However, an adult dog with poor social skills may present a danger to the puppy, as he may only know to bite rather than growl. Thus, do not leave the dog and puppy alone together.

Respect the adult dog’s need for puppy-free quiet time, and be sure to spend one-on-one time with him as well.

Handle the puppy-to-dog introduction as you would between dogs. Keep both animals leashed, carefully watch their body language, allow brief sniffs, and offer praise when they behave well.

Know When to Get Help

People keep household pets because they enjoy their antics and companionship. However, if your dog doesn’t get along with other dogs, this only creates tension and disharmony in your home. If you’ve tried all these tips already, and are still having trouble, please seek help before the problems become permanent.

Submitted by Terry Nickerson, Canine Behavior Therapist and owner of Bark Busters of Brevard. You can reach Terry at 1-977-500-BARK or visit her company's website at

I’m writing Eddie’s column this month because I have claimed his newest toy – the Stinger Flinger “High Viz” toy made by Romp (formerly Stellar Pet). Did you know that dogs can only see two colors in the spectrum?

The people at Romp considered our ability to see only yellow and blue when designing this new line of toy. After much research and technology the company developed a line where canines can easily recognize their toys through the use of these two colors and contrasting patterns. While there’s a good assortment of shapes and sizes available in this line, we went with the medium sting ray shape to honor our local professional baseball team.

The Stinger Flinger has survived my attempts, so far, to destuff it. It is definitely tougher than it looks. It’s not too big so it’s not scary or hard to grab and run with it in mu mouth. It also has a great tail for playing tug and the weight distribution and size is perfect for humans to toss. I like to put the toy between my papa’s feet and then use the tail for pulling it back out.

My mama likes it because she says it is not too expensive and that it will also float in water (the entire line does). I believe that secretly she also likes the special glasses that come with the toy which allows the human eye to see the world the same way we do.

Ratbone Leaks

It's that time of year again - time to make the Holidays happy for our rescued Ratties, waiting for adoption in Ratbone foster homes!

Be a secret Santa! To sign up, just send a brief email to:, and the Head Elf will assign you a Rattie to shop for - or you can choose a dog from the Available Dogs on our website and let the Head Elf know. Ratties just love to get Presents!



REHOMED! The Ratbone Rescues 2011 Holiday Quilt has found it's new home. It will be residing in Portland, Oregon with Vanessa Petry and her family, including Rat Terriers Charlie and Kali. They say that Oregon isn't as cold as one might expect, something about ocean currents, but I bet Vanessa will get plenty of good use out of her new quilt. This is what Vanessa had to say about her prize.

"I just received the Rat Terrier Quilt today. I absolutely love it. Thank you so much, you all did amazing work. This will be a treasure in my family for years. I can't thank you enough. This is the most special thing I could ever hope to own :). I am one lucky dog! My 2 rat terriers look like several of the dogs on the quilt. Warmly, Vanessa Petry"

Thank you so much to all who made blocks for the quilt and to all who donated to Ratbone during the Holiday Quilt giveaway. The funds you donated will help us pay for needed veterinary services for more Rat Terriers. Congratulations to you, Vanessa!

November is Senior Pets Month and with Daisey and me being seniors, I thought I would write about the joys of living with a mature dog. Plus, Daisey has claimed our newest toy so I haven’t had an opportunity to play with it yet. Here’s a list we’ve put together touting the benefits of living with a senior dog:

  • We are housebroken, usually.
  • Our teeth are not new so we have no need to chew your shoes.
  • Some of us have diminished hearing so we no longer bark because we heard a gnat sneeze.
  • We appreciate routine and are on board with yours.
  • The thrill is gone when it comes to escaping the house and wondering the neighborhood – we have an appreciation for our bed and scheduled meal times.
  • While we still hate baths, we don’t have quite as much energy to fight you.
  • You will always have an on-demand nap buddy.
  • We’ve learned years ago what is off limits in the house and which behaviors are a no-no.
  • We choose our battles so carefully that we rarely even have them.
  • Stiff joints make it harder to counter surf or overturn a garbage can.
  • We age so much faster than you that soon you will feel like you are a young pup.
  • And finally, a younger dog could never look up at you with the years of devotion showing in his eyes like we can.
As you can see, there are many positives to owning a senior dog. If you are thinking about adding a new dog to your family, consider a mature dog, we have a lot to offer.

Til next time, Eddie


Bill, now known as Oliver, was pulled from a Miami shelter where he was waiting to be euthanized. He came to the shelter with a shattered pelvis and a badly broken back leg, most likely having been hit by a car. His time was running out and no other group had stepped up to save him. He went to a Georgia foster home where he proved to be a very sweet dog. Although he was in severe pain, he never tried to bite when being handled.

The broken pelvis required quiet time so he was confined to a small playpen for 8 weeks. When he got bored he would pick up his toys, flip them up in the air and catch them. He proved to be a smart boy who very quickly figured out the interactive dog puzzles with food hidden inside. He had such a sweet nature that the fosterhome cats would sit in the playpen with him and lay on him to keep him company.

When Bill was healed, he was adopted by the Massetti family and he has settled in well there. His new family had this to say about their "Oliver": Hi! Hope all is well with you. Wanted to give you an update on Oliver. Things are going well, he seems quite happy. He is a little demanding (he will not get out of our bed in the morning until after his daily belly rub). He is such a great addition to our family. He experienced his first snow already-not so sure he liked it, (we have had some crazy weather this year) and has a new love-the bully stick. When he is tired of us, he retires to his couch with his favorite blanket. We cannot imagine our lives without him!!! Jen, Jay and Oliver

Another Happy Tail, brought to you by Ratbone Rescues.


Ratbone Rescues is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Ratbone Rescues, Inc.
P.O. Box 3237
Seminole, FL 33775-3237
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