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.



Three-legged charmer attends university

daap_2Madeleine Bransford, left, a student at UC’s prestigious College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), with her professor Margaret Voelker-Ferrier and dog Pun’Kin ponder the intricacies of pattern making. Toting her pint-sized pet to class in her purse, Madeleine’s dog became the darling of the program.

By Barbara L. Morgenstern, publisher

UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI — The irony of her rescued dog’s life sometimes saddens Madeleine Bransford, a recent graduate here.

For it was the ordeal of his leg amputation that won him his freedom from a miserable life in a puppy mill.

“He has such a good life now,” said Ms. Bransford, 23, whose four-pound, six-year-old pet became the darling of the Fashion Design Program at UC’s prestigious College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) here.

She said Pun’Kin , so named because he was adopted on Halloween. likely was used as a breeding dog until his leg became infected by an imbedded blanket string and his neglectful owner brought him to a veterinary. Ms. Bransford said the veterinarian also suspected that the dog’s bark had been silenced by a pipe jammed down his throat.

Pun’Kin was weak and there was doubt whether he would survive, so the breeders did not want to pay for the amputation and decided to put him down. “Someone that worked at the vets luckily took him in, “she said, eventually leading to his recovery and adoption.

Toting her pint-sized pet to class in her purse, Pun’Kin hung out with adoring DAAP students in fashion design classrooms filled with yards of chiffon, tailoring woolens, hand and machine-made knits, and skeins of cashmere and Alpaca.

“Everyone wants to see him,” she said. “It’s kind of like therapeutic.”

Although Pun’Kin’s tininess is part of his charm, she warns against becoming mesmerized by size when selecting a dog. “Basically, because he’s so small, everyone loves him,” she explained. Pun’Kin is short of 12 inches long, she said.

However, there are down sides. “Being bred so small has health issues, but puppy mills don’t care,” she said.

Ms. Bransford is among the university’s elite DAAP students whose course work includes mandatory cooperative education components where students work full time in the fashion industry on alternating semesters. She found her talent in accessories and surface design and has worked in coop jobs in Kenai, Alaska; Los Angeles; Columbus; and New York City.

Despite the glamour and pull of her career, Ms. Bransford’s aspirations also are influenced by the little dog who captured her heart. “I want to be happy and take care of me and my dog.”

Fashion Design Associate Professor Injoo Kim snuggling with Pun’Kin.

DAAP Fashion Design Professor Emerita Margaret Voelker-Ferrier bonding with Pun’Kin.

Obese rescue dog on his way to svelteness

Obese rescue dog on his way to svelteness
Move over, Oprah!


Adding green beans to his food, as per his vet’s recommendation, has helped Ryder lose weight.

By Barbara L. Morgenstern

MADERIA, Ohio—With the help of a green bean diet, exercise and “lots of love,” in just one month, Ryder the seriously overweight English Labrador has lost 10 of the 50 pounds he must shed.

And he has his own Instagram account where admirers can follow his progress: @ryderbear.

His rescuers, Ashley and Scott, adopted the three-year-old, 130-pound dog from the Cincinnati Lab Rescue in late January. Every two weeks, Ryder gets weighed, Ashley said.

Excess weight can reduce pet life expectancy and negatively impact quality of life, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP).

“Numerous studies have linked obesity with type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, many forms of cancer and decreased life expectancy,” according to the APOP.

Ashley said Ryder’s new vet, Dr. Julie Storm of Madeira Veterinary Hospital, has been “fantastic” in helping Ryder achieve his weight loss by adding low calorie green beans to his diet.

Scott said their new dog also has thrived with regular exercise and playing with other dogs and through “lots of love.”

Ryder seriously is charming other dog walkers at Rheinstrom Park, Indian Hill, with his big smile, playfulness and sweet demeanor.


Ryder in all his glory.


Ashley, left, and Scott with slimmed-down Ryder at a park.