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Shiba Rescue

For my birthday, I got a business card holder with new business cards from my BFF. Why? She and her husband, Rob, have recently come to run the Tri-State Shiba Inu Rescue. Their friend, Pam founded the organization in 2009, Rob became an officer and Paula was a very active volunteer. Late last year, Pam decided she needed a break from the rescue and wanted to become involved in horse rescue. When my BFF and BFFH (Best Friend Forever Husband) told me they needed a third officer and asked if I would be interested.  What could I say? So, the business cards officially marked my new involvement as secretary for Tri- State.


What is Tri-State Shiba Inu Rescue? It’s a very small non profit 501.c organization located near Dayton, Ohio, dedicated to rescuing mainly shibas in the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.

They are a small organization and have no physical facilities. The dogs they rescue are fostered by volunteers. Tri State makes sure that the dogs have all their shots, are tested for heartworm and chipped. Any medical issues the dogs have are addressed by Tri-State. This is a HUGE job because most of the dogs come from kill shleters where dogs have been found abandoned. Many have been neglected or mistreated. Most come from puppy mills where the dogs have had no socialization with other dogs or people. Sometimes, the mills surrender breeders who are of no more use to them.
Before Rob and Paula got involved with rescue work I had no idea what a puppy mill was. I got dogs from neighbors who had pups.  I  never bought one from a pet store in my life.

So, what is a Puppy Mill?
This is a term for a breeder who raises dogs purely for profit. Certainly, all breeders want to cover their expenses in raising champion dogs but mills go to extreme measures. Females are kept in cages their whole lives. In some cases, the cages only allow enough space for the dog to lie down. The dogs are bred, the pups taken at 8 weeks and the females are bred again. They receive little or no medical attention. A female can produce up to 50 pups before she is discarded or killed. The pups are shipped to pet stores. Pups that are not sold are often shipped back and either kept as breeder bitches or killed outright. No one loves these dogs. No one pets these dogs. They never set feet in the grass, run after a ball, romp in the snow or get loving pats and baths. It’s a pitiful excuse for a life.
Photos here are from the LCA website, that is Last Chance for Animals.

These are not shibas but dogs from other breeds. LCA is another non profit,  but it is dedicated to education about puppy mills and investigating breeding practices as well as investigating other animal abuses.   The Humane Society also has information about puppy mills and tries to help animals in need.


Rescue dogs from the puppy mills are sad cases. It’s a loving mission to give dogs who have had miserable lives some good years.   And, let’s face it, most folks want a cute puppy, not an older dog.   Shibas are typically sturdy dogs and can live 14 to sixteen years, often 18. After years in a mill or in a home where they have been mistreated and abandoned, they certainly deserve a “furever home” where they are loved, the opportunity to play, to be outside and to love in return.
Shibas were originally bred in Japan as hunting dogs. they are a small breed, have short hair and come with cream, red, sesame or black and tan coats. They usually get along well with respectful children and are fiercely independent. They are a proud breed and their stance shows that.



About Paula and Rob (BFF &BFFH):   Rob has a career working on computer systems. Paula is a full time Fur-Mom. They raise Shiba show dogs of their own, some gorgeous dogs with terrific personalities. They are not a puppy mill by any stretch of the imagination. Their breeder bitches may have one or two litters before they retire and The pups are loved and cared for and get lots of attention. The moms remain part of the household and are cherished.
In addition, they open their home to fosters, which is how they got started with Tri-State. Their own dogs are not treated much differently from their foster babies except that they are trained for shows and participate in shows and fosters are not bred.



Paula has her hands full, taking time each day to exercise and play with every dog. There is no “dog” smell or institutional smell at their house. Every water bowl shines, every bit of bedding is clean. She keeps a watchful eye on any medical issues the fosters may have and she and Rob both interact with them, teaching them to play and helping them lose their fears to get them ready to go out in the world to their adoptive homes.
They both train their own dogs, preparing them for shows. Both are very involved in the Warren County Kennel Club and with classes at the Warren County Fairgrounds. And, if a dog goes missing near or far, they are both active in dog searches no matter what the weather.  No matter what the work load, an important part of every day is playtime.


How about a couple of stories about dogs from Tri State? If you want to see more stories and pics, visit Tri-State’s web page

This is Kobi.   He is such a sweetheart that his foster family fell in love with him and decided to adopt him.   He is one lucky guy.  He looks pretty comfy to me in his new home.


Here is Maude. She is a sweet senior gal who has a lot of medical issues that include seizures from neurological problems. She will never be adopted out and does not have much time left to enjoy her new life, but what little time she does has left will be spent with someone who loves and cares for her.    Tri-State will cover all her medical expenses and care for her until it is time she crosses the Rainbow Bridge.


Here is Wiley. A shelter in Kentucky contacted Tri-State and offered them the opportunity to take him.  His time was up at the shelter. He was supposed to be a quick turnaround dog, that is, ready for adoption when they took him but when he came to Tri-State he had kennel cough and giardia. Paula and Rob have addressed his medical issues and he should be ready for adoption soon.   Here is an interesting side note about Wiley.  Sometimes, when a rescue is medically cleared and just needs some socialization skills, Paula and Rob may take them to attend one of the classes.   Wiley, being cleared went to the final obedience class with them last week.   To their great surprise, he passed all but the last step that a dog needs for certification!   Someone, at some time must have taught him to sit, shake, stay and so on.   He will be a wonderful adoptee for some lucky family.   norrisdogwiley.jpg



Running a rescue takes a lot of time and love not to mention a LOT of cash. If you love dogs and want to help, even in a small way, what can you do? Would you want to be a volunteer or help transport dogs? Or you could donate. Tri-State’s web page has a donate button. They also have an address listed there. You could send a gas card. Those are used when volunteers transport dogs from one state to another.

Maybe you would like to foster a rescue.   You could ask about that.  You must, however, have time to give that would help an animal gain the social skills needed to go to a new home.

If you don’t have money to donate and you shop at amazon or Kroger, you can help in a small way just by signing up and doing your regular shopping. Go to Amazon Smiles or this link for Krogers grocery store rewards program  and choose Tri-State Shiba Inu. A few pennies from every dollar you spend will be donated to them. Trust me, those pennies add up. If you want to find out other ways you could help, shoot an email to Tri-State Shiba Inu Rescue.  

My BFF and BFFH spend a lot of their time, not only caring for the dogs but screening volunteers and adoption papers. They want the best possible homes for the dogs and have to ask a lot of questions to make sure the adoption is the right fit for both the adoptive parents and the dogs.
Rob might drive 3 hours to pick up a single rescue or several dogs. These trips are hard on dogs and drivers. Dogs must be crated for their safety and the driver cannot stop for breaks because a dog who has been caged is almost sure to run at the first opportunity and you would be miles from the resources to catch him.


Paula may spend many days a month at the vet and caring for a dog who has medical issues. Her days are filled with interactions with dogs who may be fearful of going through a door, being outside or dealing with their new found freedom. Everything is new to a puppy mill rescue. Remember, they have not been outside, seen snow, played with toys or socialized with other dogs.
I’m proud to be a even a tiny part of this group.  If you want to know more, visit their web page and for sure, if you are a dog lover “like” their Facebook page.

April 4, 2018 - Posted by | animals | , , , , , , , ,

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