A Dog for Adoption–or Foster? Help Russell Today–HOME!

Golden retriever Russell in his cage.
Russell in his cage.

UPDATE 2/24/15: RUSSELL’S NAME IS GUNNER, AND HE IS HOME WITH HIS FAMILY!!

From his family in the comment below: “Gunner, aka Russell, is back home with his family!! The reunion was good. He licked Joey and Reillys faces. He has been missing for 1Yr 8 mos. Signs were posted, lost dogs pittsburgh notified, shelters were called.Heard nothing untill last night! Thanks to everyone for trying to catch him and for feeding him. He gained a few pounds! He is home with his brother, Shooter. There is also a baby in the house who wasn’t introduced yet. We are praying that is not an issue with Gunner. Also thanks to everyone who wanted to foster him!”

Here is an update posted on the Animal Rescue League‘s Facebook page:

And the video from that post:

And here is a brief story and video on WPXI in Pittsburgh

UPDATE 2: Russell is in good hands and has a plan for when his 72-hour hold is over! We’ll have to wait for next week until it all comes together but I’ll post it as soon as I have details.

Please do not call the shelter to offer help or for an update. They were deluged with calls yesterday even though all of us looking for options for Russell asked them NOT to call the shelter but to contact us as rescues and rescuers. This was a big disturbance to a shelter on a very busy day that was not even productive for Russell because it is his rescuer who needs the information, as stated below, not the shelter.

UPDATE: Russell will be assessed on Tuesday next week and is doing well. Several people and rescues have stepped up to foster.

Please understand the Animal Rescue League is supposed to be holding Russell and assessing him–this is their important job as a shelter. He is in excellent and caring hands at ARL, and exactly where he should be to get the care he needs. Donna and I wanted to get a head start at looking for a possible foster or rescue for him to follow up after his 72-hour hold in case he would need to leave quickly.

I intentionally left their phone number and full shelter name out of my post and asked readers to contact me to discourage calls to them. You will see update posts here and when I have enough information I will write a new post. Thank you for your concern!

A friend helped to rescue a frightened golden retriever who had been wandering her neighborhood for nearly a year. Russell is currently held at the Animal Rescue League but after a day is unapproachable. He has a three day holding period mandated by state law which ends on Sunday, February 22, but if he does not change in that time the shelter has no facilities for working with him. Donna is looking for a rescue or an individual to take him from the shelter to either adopt or foster and socialize him, understanding his needs and history.

“I am involved in feral cat care and rescue and found that I had a long lost stray dog for the past year. He enjoyed the cat food on my front porch, completely rejecting the dog food! It was a great challenge to catch him, as he was so skittish and fearful, and had obviously been out there a long time. He ran as fast as a deer when approached,” Donna posted.

Donna cares for a colony of eight feral cats in her yard and knows most of the animals in her neighborhood. She saw Russell over a year ago and along with others was keeping an eye on him, and it didn’t appear he belonged to anyone. She began feeding him on her porch and trying to determine what to do with him along with bringing in a few of the friendlier ferals before winter.

In the arctic freeze earlier this week a trap appeared in an area where Russell was sometimes seen, which Donna discovered from her postal delivery person who also kept an eye on the dog. The trap had no identification but had a blanket over it and contained frozen food. Donna asked me who might be trapping and I mentioned Animal Care and Control along with the possibility of other rescue organizations or even a pest control company. She talked to the neighbors in whose yard the cage was placed and discovered the trap was from Animal Care and Control, and ironically that night Russell came to eat cat food on her porch once again.

The next day she called AC&C and found they had had officers checking the trap hourly, but offered to have them move the trap to her porch where Russell showed up each night about 9:00. They moved the trap and he showed up that night but ate the first can of cat food without tripping the plate. She put out another and a short while later she heard “woof! woof! woof!” from the front porch. Russell was in the trap!

golden retriver in his cage
Russell in his cage.

A police officer arrived within minutes of her call and AC&C arrived within the hour. He was taken to The Animal Rescue League, and the AC&C officer she had met called Donna later and said Russell was settled in and he was in good hands, he was a wonderful dog, and would eventually be up for adoption after he had been cared for and re-socialized.

Like most animals rescued after a period of time out on the streets, Russell is frightened and needs time and understanding to learn to trust humans again. Seeing the way he is acting the ARL does not have the capacity to help him but would let him go to a foster home. Donna would be happy to reclaim him, but has absolutely no place to even keep him overnight.

Russell is in the Pittsburgh area. If anyone can help Russell with a foster home, please contact me or if you call the Animal Rescue League directly let me know so that I can coordinate with Donna and any others who may be interested in helping. I don’t know anything yet about Russell’s age or physical condition, and because he is difficult to handle that information may not be known yet, but I will update here when I find out anything new.

golden retriver Russell in his cage.
Russell in his cage.

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From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

14 thoughts on “A Dog for Adoption–or Foster? Help Russell Today–HOME!

    • March 13, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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      Thanks, Luann. I’ve been collecting links–today Pittsburgh’s mayor awarded AC&C and invited everyone involved. Another happy afternoon!

      Reply
      • March 13, 2015 at 10:23 pm
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        Tomorrow’s post gazette. Supposed to be an article on the front page!! Reporters were at Joeys house today. Thank you for all you did!

        Reply
  • February 24, 2015 at 11:32 am
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    Gunner, aka Russell, is back home with his family!! The reunion was good. He licked Joey and Reillys faces. He has been missing for 1Yr 8 mos. Signs were posted, lost dogs pittsburgh notified, shelters were called.Heard nothing untill last night! Thanks to everyone for trying to catch him and for feeding him. He gained a few pounds! He is home with his brother, Shooter. There is also a baby in the house who wasn’t introduced yet. We are praying that is not an issue with Gunner. Also thanks to everyone who wanted to foster him!

    Reply
    • February 24, 2015 at 12:01 pm
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      OMG, I can’t believe it! It’s a happier ending than I could ever have imagined! Thank you for coming here to tell us about it! And congratulations at having your beloved Gunner back.

      Reply
      • February 24, 2015 at 2:49 pm
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        I just talked with Joey and he said everything with Gunner is going good. It’s almost like he never left. Thanks again.

        Reply
    • February 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm
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      Watch channel WTAE tonight for a followup. Joey met with reporter at Donna’s home. Gunner would not leave the car!!

      Reply
      • February 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm
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        Thanks! Maybe he only has bad memories of that neighborhood. I can’t wait to see it!

        Reply
  • February 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm
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    Poor boy..out in this terribly cold weather..I hope he can learn to trust again..and he finds some forever love..

    Reply
    • February 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm
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      Bluemoonalone, he will probably go to a training place for socialization, and hopefully we’ll find his original family and the story of how he came to be out there on his own like that.

      Reply
  • February 22, 2015 at 9:20 am
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    I’m happy to hear that he is off the street. I hope there are more good things that come his way.

    Reply
    • February 22, 2015 at 9:41 am
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      Jo, I am too, and I can’t wait to tell of his resocialization–but mostly I hope so much we find his family.

      Reply
  • February 21, 2015 at 12:08 pm
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    Such a sweet boy – hope someone will be able to help him.

    Reply
    • February 22, 2015 at 9:42 am
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      Chris, imagine him out there for a year, surviving, and never, ever hurting anyone. Amazing!

      Reply

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