Sunday, December 25, 2011

Star has left the building

Below, Star nuzzles Elliot just moments before her new foster/adopt family pulled up to take her home. These two have shared the sweetest friendship since Star first came to the barn.

Sending this one home was a little bit nerve wracking. We all worry: "Will they like her? She's such a busy girl - Will she be good and not make a pest of herself? How long before she settles in?" I guess it's our job to worry. But Star and the Morrow family did their best to remind us that they were just fine - and four humans and one dog all drove off on Christmas Eve with some of the biggest smiles we've seen all year.

Below: A Christmas Eve sunset walk before loading her up into the car.

The little red head is the exact reason why we wanted to build the barn, so she'll be holding her place of honor on our blog banner. Below is a re-cap from a post in June, explaining where she came from and why we call her a trail blazer:

Star came to us after surviving a suspected dog fighting operation in Los Angeles County back in March. (News) According to Animal Services Director Marcia Mayeda, Star is the first adult dog the county has ever released to rescue from a dog fighting case. One puppy was spared and went to Karma Rescue. (Thank you, angels!) The first little history makers can thank Found Animals for championing their cause.

This news comes with heartache, unfortunately. Fourteen of the 17 dogs from this yard were destroyed at the shelters that held them, despite the fact that a large number passed behavior evals with high marks and were slated for rescue. Los Angeles County Animal Services accepted full responsibility for the deaths and blames an internal communication error for the tragedy. Director Mayeda expressed her dismay by phone and told us they're committed to making sure the same mistake isn't repeated. We're surmising that the newness of this type of rescue contributed to the error - It seems 'firsts' rarely come without some degree of confusion and struggle and strife. The Los Angeles case was a big reminder of our need to stay vigilant as the shelter world gets used to a new era with a better way of helping dogs - victims of cruelty especially.

So, Star is suddenly even more special in that she managed to escape two terrible fates. She's a darling and we're honored to be part of so many of her triumphant firsts. Welcome to real life, you little trail blazer.

During the six+ months that she was with us, Star welcomed every new barn dog with an enthusiastic tongue bath and she entertained even the most obnoxious puppies without complaint. She helped worriers like Jiggs get his bearings, gave dogs like Jondi, Spanky and Danny the best reason to do zoomies, showed our campers the fun of rile work, kept a baby squirrel safe from the other dogs, helped new volunteers learn the joy of nose work and only gave us one teeny heart attack when she snuck out of the gate to follow a small flock of turkeys down the road one summer morning. Her kennel will be filled with a new dog asap, but for now, the barn feels very, very empty without her.

Enjoy your new life, darling. You sure deserve the best.


  1. I'm so glad to have known Star through this blog...and so happy she has a home! Best wishes to the heart-stealing red-head--I'm gonna miss her!

  2. Brought me to tears reading that! She is a very special girl! But they all are and so grateful she landed in your arms, lap, barn and our hearts! Thank you and a very happy Congratulations to Star and her new family!

  3. I'm going to miss the Star updates so much, and as happy as I am for her, I'm tearing up thinking about just how far she's come. Good on ya, BAD RAP. Everyone who helped this little girl and so many like her find their Forever Homes deserves a huge thank you! Love you guys!

  4. This is such good news! Please keep us updated on Star's adoption progress!

  5. Go, Star, go! Wahoo!

  6. AMEN to that! I hope her new life is filled with happiness and that her "barn spot" is filled with a dog who can get some of "Star's MOJO" from their.
    Her new family is lucky to have her-I hope they realize what an important job they have now. Not only to show a dog who had a really bad start in life live out the rest of it in happiness and safety but to show what families across the country SHOULD be doing--giving a home to a dog (or two or three) that has none now. Stay away from the breeders and pet stores--be looking for a dog that needs a home.
    Good luck Star! I hope you new family blogs about your new life!

  7. Awwww... I'm so happy for Star I was tearing up from the beginning of this post. I'm so glad to hear that she has gotten her happy ending!

  8. Clover hopes Star will have her own blog so we can keep up with her progress. We know she's going to have a wonderful future~!

  9. Hi Star! This is so exciting! You have your home now! It's exciting, isn't it? Your new people are happy. You're happy too, right? I'm so happy for you, Star and for your new people! Having people and a home is good. Love, Your Friend Birdy

  10. I am so happy for Star but what a bittersweet story of the victims of dog fighting. It is so heartbreaking. Thankfully, slowly but surely things are starting to look up for some of these victims of dog fighting. Again, I am SO happy for Star but I know you and the dogs will miss her and never forget her but it is true, the ultimate goal is for these wonderful creatures to find a permanent loving home. That is what all your hard work is all about. Wishing you all the best Star. Hopefully you will come back to visit. You certainly will be missed.

  11. As someone who is fostering a previously fought dog from South Central Los Angeles, we take each day as it comes.

    Had we waited for LA animal services to intervene the dog would be dead today. They do not have the budget or staff to deal with the current problem or the ignorance that festers here. Even the dog fight report hotline has been disconnected due to funding issues. Most pitbulls dont live to their second birthday in this neighborhood- just long enough to have/make a litter or two to make a few bucks before they are dumped, starved or worse. The little doggies deserve better.

    That said, I think could do miracles if we can just get some more resources into the community in terms of training classes (for both owner and pitbull) and spay/neuter resources. As we found our foster sweltering in 90 degree sun on a three foot chain, no water or shade and a cut down to his shoulder bone untreated for over a month, we contacted every rescuegroup we could think of including Badrap but ultimately one must try to do what we can to help those who do not have the luxury of a voice.

    So, its up to each of us to do what we can. Whether its a donation or to put your hand out to a misinformed or uneducated owner, just try to do the best you can for the dog.

    Sometimes I think how hard it is to rehab this one dog and you Bad rap do it over and over again. God Bless you in the new year.

    1. I salute that you are rehabing a much needed rescue dog. I am involved in animal rescue as well so I can appreciate the hard work and love for animals that goes into it. I commend you for stepping in and saving this abused dog you mentioned. I agree, we have to intervene and do what is morally right for the animal.
      Lastly, I want to point out that the Dog fighting hotline is ACTIVE, maybe you dialed the wrong # or they changed the number. The ph# to report Dog-fighting is 1877-662-3483 or 1877-NO2-FITE.

  12. Roger Wilkins said of getting equal rights (for African Americans) -- at first I thought it was a sprint and you had to go as fast as possible. Then I thought it was a marathon and you had to go as long as possible. I now realize it is a relay race and you must pass the baton on to the next generation. Thank you Bad Rap and Star for passing the first baton!

  13. This is amazing - so wonderful that Star is getting a chance to truly shine with a potential family of her own (although, the pictures of Star and Elliot made me tear up a bit!). Thank you so much for the unbelievable work you do on behalf of these dogs - it's truly inspirational!!

  14. BAD RAP, you should be proud of a job well done.


Thanks for your comments, questions and feedback!