Cincy dog survived Hurricane Katrina

Cincy dog survived Hurricane Katrina; massive flooding happening again, endangering animals

Rescuers Save Hundreds of Animals Following Louisiana Floods

KP and marley at the office
Cincinnatian Ken Paley and his dog Marley, a survivor of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.

By Barbara L. Morgenstern, Esq.
Publisher, Queen City Pets®

As flooding again bombards Louisiana in biblical proportions, Marley the Labrador Retriever enjoys the love and safety of her adoptive family here in Cincinnati.

Photo provided by OAR

A nightmare revisited from Hurricane Katrina, animals are rescued once again in massive Louisiana flooding. Click for full story.

She escaped death in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana.

Marley went from “doggy hell to doggy heaven,” said her owner Ken Paley of Cincinnati.

Now, more than a decade later, animals in Louisiana again are depending upon the kindness of strangers for their survival.

On August 12, Denham Springs Animal Shelter in New Orleans made a bold move to save its animals, according to the Huffington Post.

The shelter was engulfed in rising floodwaters. Staff and volunteers fought to save as many animals as possible but eventually unlatched the kennel’s doors so that the dogs could swim out and climb onto the facility’s roof to safety, according to the shelter’s GoFundMe page.

The Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association has asked for donations to go to LSART, the state’s animal disaster response and rescue organization. Contributions can be made through the association’s website.

Marley survived Hurricane Katrina’s epic destruction, then battled for her health once rescued. Twice she endured brutal heart worm therapy–“shots in the back and six weeks in a cage,”Mr. Paley said.

Life is a charm now for Marley, estimated to be 12-13 years old. Mr. Paley, 65, vice president of Marketing for Episcopal Retirement Services, takes Marley to work every day and the 52-pound female also visits a nursing home as a service dog.

“She was in very rough shape, afraid of everything,” Mr. Paley remembered. “She would cower if you raised your hand or your voice.” The dog was so traumatized, she would not bark for a full year, he said.

Marley’s journey from Louisiana to Cincinnati was circuitous.

The queen will see you nowBrimming with health now, Marley is an estimated age 13.

It began when Mr. Paley volunteered with 16 others from his church, Horizon Community Church in Newtown, to clear debris from home sites at a community outside of New Orleans, making room for FEMA trailers.

Shocked by the destruction, with chain saws, a Bobcat compact excavator and other equipment, the volunteers cleared things like cars from people’s living rooms and a boat from a porch. The victims were so grateful, sometimes they cried, he remembered.

When Mr. Paley returned to Cincinnati, there was more crying—his wife Pam was moved to tears when she saw a TV news story reporting that two planeloads of dogs and cats had been rescued from the Katrina disaster and had been airlifted to Cincinnati.

Lining up at the SPCA in Sharonville after background checks, potential adopters or foster care volunteers could only say “yes” or “no” when offered a dog, he explained. There was no shopping. Marley became family at that moment.

The Paley’s children, Jeff and Lauren, now in their 20s, named their new pet from Louisiana after the reggae singer Bob Marley, he said.

Marley ready to greet office guests
Gentle Marley gives back by serving as a service dog at a nursing home.

Free fixing available for all Hamilton county cats



Photos provided by OAR

By Barbara L. Morgenstern, Esq.

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — No matter if a cat is your pet, a stray, hangs out in a barn or is among those free spirits we call “feral,” the feline population here can get important medical services at no cost in 2016.

For a cat to be spayed or neutered and to receive the rabies vaccine, all free, sponsors advise:little-girl-with-kitten

    • Whoever brings in a cat must have a valid Hamilton County address.
    • Book an appointment by calling 513-871-0185.

The year-long, Hamilton County, Ohio, program is an effort to decrease cat euthanasia at the county’s animal shelter because of overpopulation.

The surgery and vaccine can be provided at two clinics, the Ohio Alleycat Resource (OAR) in Madisonville or the United Coalition for Animals (UCAN) in Camp Washington.

The Joanie Bernard Foundation, a trust that funds groups that work to help save cats in the Greater Cincinnati area, is funding the one-year program, in a joint venture with the SPCA Cincinnati and OAR.

The program is an effort “to decrease the intake and euthanasia rate at the SPCA,” according to OAR.

“OAR and the SPCA have been working, since 2013, to increase the number of cats finding ‘live outcomes’ (adoption, release) at the the SPCA.

This has included a project to fix and release feral cats brought to the SPCA, and to have more “no-ill” rescues pull cats from the SPCA for their own group to adopt out.

We hope, with this effort, to remove any hurdles families might face to fixing their cats, in an effort to control the cat population and end shelter euthanasia of healthy cats in our country.”

“Breathe deeply,” pet a cat


A delightful “Cats & Mats” yoga class took place recently at the Sharonville SPCA with cats joining participants for deep stretches. For a donation of $10, participants enjoyed yoga, light refreshments and “fantastic SPCA Cincinnati felines to interact with after the yoga class comes to an end,” according to organizers. “Cats are great yogis and they love to practice their moves alongside others.” Pictured on stage, from left, are Jane Minges of West Chester; yoga instructor Marta Streit of Florence, Ky.; and Jake Fisher and Taylor Bolser, both of Hamilton.



My Furry Valentine

Pet adoption event breaks attendance records, finds homes for hundreds of animals


Paige Moore, left, and Wesley Larson of Batavia, Ohio, adopted Vadar from Ohio Alleycat Resource (OAR).

CINCINNATI  – A record-breaking 13,500 people attended the 2016 My Furry Valentine pet adoption event here recently. About 630 pets found homes over two days, according organizers.

And there’s more good news. Hundreds of adoption applications still are pending and pet lovers adopted more than 50 animals before the event began, because of pre-event promotions, according to spokesperson Elysa Hamlin.

In its fifth year, the event held this year at the Sharonville Convention Center represents the Tri-State’s largest annual animal adoption event.

Despite snowy weather conditions, the event saw a 35% increase in attendance.

The event has found homes for more than 2,600 pets over the past five years.  My Furry Valentine brings together animal rescues and shelters from throughout the region to showcase adoptable pets to potential owners at one location on the Valentine’s Day weekend.

Isaac, left, and Wes of Harrison adopted Jamaica from Homeless Animal Rescue (HART).

The event also aims to encourage community members who are looking for a pet any time throughout the year to think adoption first.

“Many people would be surprised to learn just how many great family pets they see in their neighborhoods that are actually rescue animals, including purebreds,” said Carolyn Evans, founder of My Furry Valentine.

“Our goal is to dispel common myths about shelter animals and educate people about the many resources where they can adopt,” Ms. Evans explained.

“Saving an animal by choosing adoption is easy,” she said. “There are so many great local animal shelters and rescue groups that are open and hosting adoption events every weekend. There are always thousands of wonderful animals looking for a great homes.

Mariemont High School students Emma Worple, left, Riley Hayes and Amanda Lewis volunteered at the event.

My Furry Valentine Adoption Photo 2016
Mya, left, and McKenna Roeske of Wyoming, Ohio, adopted their puppy, Jenny, from Stray Animal Adoption Program (SAAP).

Shellie Webb of Chesapeake, Ohio, adopted Dory from Louie’s Legacy.

“Vadar” photo caption left to right: Paige Moore and Wesley Larson, residents of Batavia, OH adopted their new kitten, Vadar, from OAR at the fifth annual My Furry Valentine adoption event.
Audrey, left, and Sloane Green of Dayton adopted Cosmo from Barely Used Pets.

All Photos provided by My Furry Valentine.

From prison to pedagogy, puppy becomes Miami U. “student”


Winks learned to stay close to his puppy raiser, student Lauren DuVall, whose sister, Taylor DuVall, left, serves as a puppy sitter.

OXFORD, Ohio –Even with no dog treats in sight, Winks behaved beautifully while attending English class here at Miami University.

The seven-month-old, Golden-Labrador Retriever lay patiently at the foot of her puppy raiser, Lauren DuVall, of Eaton, Ohio, a middle childhood education major involved in the “4 Paws University” program.

Professor Mark Bernheim

Professor Mark Bernheim

“I love having her reclining in the class for 80 minutes looking up at me from the corner of her eyes,” said Professor Mark Bernheim, who welcomed Winks into his Children’s Literature class.  Bernheim recently retired after 45 years.

Thanks to a Xenia, Ohio-based organization,, trained dogs, such as Winks, are placed worldwide with children suffering disabilities that include seizures, diabetes and autism.  The program also serves certain veterans.

For example, to assist children with seizures, dogs are trained to notice the seizures before the outward signs are available, according to the website. Diabetic-alert dogs are trained to smell the chemical body changes that occur as insulin levels increase or drop.

A prison was Winks’ first training ground in the segment of the training program called “Mission Pawsible.” There specially qualified inmates at Ohio prisons in Warren, Lebanon, Pickaway and London give the puppies their first months of foundation training, according to the website.

After that, Winks arrived for her semester at tree-lined Miami, described by the poet Robert Frost as “the most beautiful campus that ever there was.”

Winks was DuVall’s constant companion, attending class, activities, meetings, shopping and events while DuVall integrated the training she received to help mold the puppy. DuVall’s roommate was co-puppy raiser.

DuVall, 22, who has graduated and plans to student teach in the fall, served as vice president of Miami’s 4 Paws University chapter and puppy raised two more dogs after Winks.

“I have high hopes of teaching sixth grade,” said DuVall.  “4 Paws was the other half of me in college, next to teaching.  It gave me an additional passion and allowed me to make the most of my college experience.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Separating from Winks and the other three dogs I helped raise was never easy.  It was heartbreaking.  But I know that no matter where I go, I will always carry a little piece of each one of them with me.”

Other universities participating in “4 Paws University” include Wittenberg; Kentucky; Wright State; Ohio State; Cedarville; the College of Wooster; Ohio Northern; and Manchester.