Abby is a 9 year old female/spayed border collie who has been around the block and is looking for her forever home. She has been with her foster for a few weeks now and has been determined with the right combination she’d be more than content. As a little background Abby was originally a farm dog and relocated in her later years from a large property to suburban life.

There were many changes that occurred that ultimately her previous owners felt that selfishness set aside, the struggles she had to personally face, rehoming was safest for her. Abby is currently residing with 3 other female dogs and a male indoor/outdoor cat and they get along just fine. As an older girl, Abby is definitely set in her ways, but is willing to make adjustments if need be. Feeding time and food in general are no issues in her fosters home. She LOVES to play ball and interact with you as much as possible. She does not jump or sleep on furniture. She does not touch things that are not hers to play with (I.e. Shoes, clothing, trash, etc.).

She does have some medical concerns (possible seizures), but with her veterinary history it is uncertain at this time. She does not do storms well and prefers to be with you. She is completely house trained and crate trained. Abby, ultimately, if she had to be described in a few words: For an old lady, she is very spry. Abby is a determined (needs some minor reminder, yet understanding pup and she deserves a loving forever home.

Abby would do best in a home with older kids, neutral personality dogs (no young dogs or super playful dogs), cats are okay if they are known to like dogs. We would love someone who understands the determination of border collies  or other breeds of dogs with similar levels of determination.



Frappaccino Fridays, Donate $5.00 and save a Latte Dogs!

The Pippin Puppies ask YOU to Donate $5.00 on Frappe Friday!

Donate $5.00 on Frappe Friday~The Pippin Puppies

How Much Do You Spend on Coffee? Can You Skip One Coffee Today to help “a Latte Dogs“? Show us Your Pup with Your Cup and use the #FrappeFriday tag on your social media posts!

Instead of buying your Starbuck’s Frappaccino on Fridays, donate that cup to our Veterinary Care Fund!  Here are the current prices for a small, medium, and large mocha drink: 
Mocha Tall $3.75
Mocha Grande $4.45

Mocha Venti $4.95

We rounded it up to include tax, to be a whopping $5.00, and now, on Paypal, you can setup your $5.00 donation to be recurring!

What can $5.00 do?  A lot!  If ten people donate $5, we could pay for one dog’s vaccinations, two dogs to be microchipped, or one heartworm test!  If twenty people donate just $5.00 we could pay for one spay or neuter!  It all adds up and together we can make a difference!

Donate on Frappe Fridays!

Here are just some of our promotional photos you can use, please share Frappe Fridays with your friends and family!

Graham ~ Adopted!

15628960_10210397541670300_374076528_o12/18/16 Update: Graham has been very patient, and it paid off! Today he found his home with Bill and Pam Kiefer of Port Orange, Florida!

10/14/2016 Update:  Handsome Graham is back with us. Unfortunately, his owner is moving and is unable to take him along. Graham is a very sweet and happy guy who does well with people and other dogs. He does like to chase the little critters, though, so a home without cats that has a fenced yard would be best.



Graham's Boo Boo is all better!

Graham’s Boo Boo is all better!

Meet Golden Graham! He was named for his gorgeous coloring and the fact that he was our first rescue that was initiated on Instagram. I’ve been calling him Graham and it seems to suit him well.
Graham was rescued from Miami-Dade Animal Services where he was picked up as a stray.  A big thanks to Jeanette and Patty Duenas for helping us to rescue this doll. He is about 7 months old. Right now he weighs 35 pounds but we expect him to fill out and grow to probably around 50 pounds or so. He’s a little on the thin side right now but I’m working on fattening him up a bit!

He is super sweet and affectionate. Graham loves to be pet and will beg for more and is also very gentle when taking treats from my hand. He gets along great with my dog and hasn’t bothered with our cats too much. He let me know when he had to go potty last night and hasn’t had any accidents in the house since we’ve had him. He has typical puppy energy and really enjoys running around the yard and playing with our dog.

He was found with a flea color embedded in his skin. The shelter had it removed and he has a sore around his neck that is healing. It doesn’t bother him one bit though! It’s starting to scab up and he’s on antibiotics for a week.

Great in the car!

Great in the car!

Click the link to see more photos of Graham on Facebook.

July 29, 2014

Graham has been with us for a week now and is a real sweet boy.  He loves to run and play with our dog and then will sleep somewhere near wherever his human is.  He seems to be very happy and is always wagging his tail.  He loves playing with all of the dog toys and I’ve even caught him with two in his mouth at once so proud of himself.   He hasn’t had any accidents in the house.  I haven’t had him out for a walk yet so I’m not sure how he does on a leash.  I gave him a bath last week and he wasn’t too thrilled but could tell he felt much better afterwards.  His neck that was scabbed over from an imbedded flea collar is almost completely healed.  Graham will be a wonderful addition to his new family.

Collie, Graham, Gets Much needed spa day with James at Newman Vet Deltona

Collie, Graham, Gets Much needed spa day with James at Newman Vet Deltona

September 1, 2014

Graham was transported to me in Deltona so Michelle could attend a Disney event!  Woo Hoo!  He is amazing.  His boo boo on his neck is healing nicely.  I thought he would enjoy a spa day at Newman’s via James!  Graham is all puppy and loves to play.  He is incredibly affectionate and great with dogs, kids and cats!  What more could you for?

Graham the Collie moves to Barefoot Bay!

Graham the Collie moves to Barefoot Bay!

09/09/14 Update:  Scott  adopted Graham today! Scott lives in Barefoot Bay, FL and his collie mix died several months ago. Scott told me, “I’m ready!” Scott’s Mom came to meet Graham as well, and she gave him her stamp of approval – but not until the sand hill cranes in my front yard put on a show and danced for about 10 minutes! Can’t wait for Graham updates!





How to Adopt From Us

Logan the Puppy and the Twins

Logan the Puppy and the Twins

Much to the surprise of many people, we do not use an online adoption application.  Instead, we rely on getting to know you by asking you a few questions in an email, and telephone interview.

Because we are a small rescue and keep all of our dogs in foster homes, we shy away from forms that tend to emphasis why someone should not have a dog. The interview process allows us to learn more about our potential adopters and their individual situations, concerns, pros and cons.

By knowing more details, we are able to place dogs into homes that other rescues might turn down, because we already know our dogs. We’re small so we don’t need blanket policies that require fences or disallow families with small children or won’t allow senior citizens. We’re focused on bringing together caring people with the right dog.

Whether you are considering an adult dog or a puppy, the first thing you should do is read our article on Starting Your Dog Out Right. Here you will find not only some good tips but some thoughts to ponder before committing to the responsibilities of caring for a dog.

If you are interested in meeting one of our dogs or learning more about it, please e-mail us at and let’s get the process going! Share information including:

Your Name
Phone Number
Address including county and zip code
Whether this is a house, apartment, condo, etc
If you rent, do you have landlord approval?
Your household composition
Current and/or past pets
Your normal work schedule
How much time the dog will be alone?
What your yard is like, and do you have a fence and/or pool?
What are you looking for in a dog?
Do you have an exercise plan?
What is your contingency plan if you are no longer able to care for your dog?
Have you or anyone in your family ever been bitten/traumatized by a dog in the past?
Is there anyone in your family, circle of friends, or anyone who lives with you that can decide if you can have a dog in your home?
If you are approved to adopt during your meet, are you ready to bring your new dog home?

We will review your email and and then we’ll go from there! The more you share the better!

Also, for more information about adopting a rescued dog, Please visit Let It Go for details. See more of our available dogs on Petfinder and Nutella!Join us on Facebook to get the latest updates on our rescued dogs.

If you have any questions about our adoption fees, realize that our adoptions fees literally reimburse our Vet for their services, and the expenses were incur when we rescue these wonderful dogs!  For more details, visit our “Hate Mail” post written about comments we have received.

While You Wait
While we are getting to know more about you, take a moment and get to know more about us by reading our reviews by visiting our page on Great Nonprofits.  These reviews were written by our volunteers, supporters and adopters.

Where are you getting your next dog?
If you do not adopt from us, please note that regardless of whether you get your next dog from the side of the road, Craigslist, a breeder, shelter, pound or even another rescue, these are some of the expenses you should be prepared for:

First set of vaccines and basic deworming, including office visit fee   $125
Second set of vaccines and basic deworming,  including office visit fee $125
Third set of vaccines, rabies vaccine and microchip, including office visit fee $150
Spay (for 40 pound dog) including office visit fee Spay $250-$275
Neuter (for 40 pound dog) including office visit fee Neuter $200-$225

Lord NelsonNote:  This does not include any treatment of medications for Kennel Cough, Skin Infections, Parvo Treatment, Dentals or grooming.  This also does not cover any expenses regarding transportation, or boarding.

If you have any questions about our adoption fees, realize that our adoptions fees literally reimburse our Vet for their services, and the expenses were incur when we rescue these wonderful dogs!  For more details, visit our “Hate Mail” post written about comments we have received.

Here’s an email I received this morning about other rescues’ adoption applications:

Dear Gisele,

Thanks so much for the wonderful site and information you have. My wife and I have been looking for a dog for a few months now to join our family. To say the least it has been a discouraging process. The only places I have looked are and the local pound.

Well, at the local pound you just never know what kind of dog, temperament, and so on you will get. With the adoption groups on petfinder I’ve found that the process has been more of an interrogation than an application. I love what you wrote on your web site when you said: We’re focused on bringing together caring people with the right dog. Thanks for a breath of fresh air. You seem very reasonable and don’t have a laundry list of questions like, “who will brush the dog in the family and how ofter?” No kidding, that was one of the questions on an application I started to fill out as I shook my head in disbelief.  ~John


Emerging from the Pack

Written By Serena Drake

Once you make your mark in the TDL Pack, it’s your pack for life! My journey began late in 2012. I was the new Groomer at Val-u-vet (later named Newman’s) and quickly became acquainted with Gisele and her rescues. I became an essential part of the pack by ensuring the new arrivals were prepped in the hygiene area. It’s also a great way to determine their behavior for grooming in general since most collies breeds do need regular hair maintenance and care. It takes a gentle yet firm hand to groom shy/fearful dogs and it was immediately recognized that my hands, were just the right amount of gentle and the right amount of assertiveness to assist Gisele with her toughest of rescues.

Although my career at Newman’s came to a halt, my consistent contribution to help TDL did not. I continued to make regular visits to Gisele’s pack to meet her new members. Anytime there was a pup who needed extra attention, Gisele knew just who to call. My visits ranged from puppy play time, TDL events to extreme grooming needs. Needless to say I have been behind the scenes since my pack initiation.

Serena and Little Grace

Serena and Little Grace

My own passion for dogs started at a very young age. I can’t remember a time I didn’t have a dog in my life. When I was old enough to get my first paying job, I knew I wanted to work with animals. My first opportunity was working at a Pet Boarding Facility in Deland. Quickly I learned that dogs were the gift of life! Knowing how important my own dogs were to me and knowing how awful it must be to have to leave your pet behind at a boarding facility. I would make sure those special pets who weren’t dealing too well, got the extra attention they needed while the family was away. At the age of 14, I was building packs. I would pick and choose which pets got to go out together for play time. The owners were impressed by my ability to observe the animal behavior and know instinctively which dogs were best with other dogs and which pups were better left alone.

As life progressed, my experience with canines grew as well. By the age of 18 I was a bather for a local Groomer in Deland FL. I spent about 16 months doing the hard job of scrubbing the dirt off of our clients. From giant Schnauzers and giant Poodles all the way down to Maltese and Chihuahuas. I enjoyed doing my job and soon wanted to learn more. After I was done with my work, I insisted on watching my mentor groom. My employer soon realized I was interested and capable of studying the way of the clippers. With close instruction and hands on training by both of my mentors, I was able to learn all I needed through experience. I was given more tasks and soon was performing full grooms on several breeds and continued to groom for several years.

Throughout those years of grooming there were many opportunities for me to work a second job while working at a doggie day care as well. This environment really help me developed my canine behavior skills alongside the ability to increase my training skills. My dog, Bernie, and I attended several basic obedience classes as well as a couple agility and advanced agility classes. Working side by side, Bernie and I became a dynamic duo. On those days Bernie wasn’t able to tag along with me, he would hang out with his canine buddies in doggie day care. There were swimming pools as well as a gymnasium with lots of ramps, tunnels and toys! We had the best of summers splashing with the Party Pack.

After some time, and through rough experiences, I realized that grooming for a career was pretty stressful. Having to rush through dogs so that I could keep up with my quota was not what I wanted. Not only did it put stress on me but on my fur clients as well. I soon realized I couldn’t allow the quality of my personal relationships with my clients suffer. I wanted each dog I took care of to know I truly cared, not that they were some object on a production line with deadlines to make money. This environment took away the personal aspect of grooming and I was not okay with that. I made the tough decision to depart from grooming as a career and instead I offered it as a specialized service. Being able to build a trusting relationship with my clients immediately returned the JOY of grooming to me. Although I do have a full time job during the week, I once again have the time I need to give each dog the love and gentle touch they deserve while being pampered and massaged.

I’ve spent countless hours in the company of the TDL pack and in the home of Gisele. Every time I visit, I get a new experience and joy in engaging with the dogs. My favorite dogs to bond with are those that need it most. Those beaten souls who have suffered trauma and who appear to have a brokenness about them, are the ones I am drawn too. My gentle approach opens up their willingness to trust while my assertive commands and gestures let them know I am a leader and they are safe with me. I allow them to make the choice. I allow them to come to me, all at their own pace. I encourage them to push the limits of life and teach them to trust again. That is what is so rewarding, being able to play a role in healing a soul and watching the transformation.

bath time Cortez!

bath time Cortez!

There have been many dogs I have assisted Gisele in healing. My most memorable was Boo Boo. She was shut down emotionally, did not want to be on a leash and tended to freak out when touched by a human. After much dedication by Gisele and her team, Boo Boo was soon ready for her first trip to the vet, which included a visit to me for a bath. If I remember correctly, my kennel assistant James and I had to muzzle her and use a lot of patience to work around her moments of terror. Once we were able to get her settled in the tub, we started lathering the soup into her, she soon realized this was nothing to be terrified of. Even though she never completely relaxed, she did allow us to tend to her completely and even leaned into the towel for some more drying love. Days later Gisele asked me to come over and spend some extra time with Boo Boo before her potential adopter arrived. This day was Boo Boo’s break through. I spent time walking her on leash, putting the leash on and off, and encouraging her to make contact with me both physically and with her eyes. She did it all. She choose to let me pet her, she choose to lay her head on my leg to fall asleep and she choose Leslie as her new Mom later that day. It was an amazing turn around.

Claire and Serena

Serena and Claire Bear

Throughout my participation in the TDL, I have always longed to do even more, to really be fully involved. Life recently has been very eventful for Gisele and myself on a personal level. With Gisele’s on going health issues she has been needing more assistance in taking care of the rescue. Our team has really stepped up and helped delegate responsibilities to other officers in the committee. I have chosen a more personal approach in my decision to become more involved in TDL. With Gisele’s approval, I am now an official part of the packs home life. I get to spend every day with the dogs that I adore. The best part for me? My dog Bernie gets to be a part of this journey with me.

Together Bernie and I are able to make sure Gisele has all the paws she needs to keep things running smooth day to day. I couldn’t be more excited to be emerging from behind the scenes and becoming a full-fledged Pack Leader. Due to Bernie’s extreme exposure to the Pack Life environment he is very well socialized and can blend into any pack presented to him. Bernie is also already marking his flair for being a Pack Leader alongside Lady Di at the TDL household.

Bernie and I couldn’t be more excited to divulge into our new roles at TDL. We hope to add a lot of spunk to the pack! To make ourselves readily available to assist with any aspect that we can and to keep the TDL alive and thriving. Thank you to Gisele for taking us in, and allowing us to help the pack grow! I know this will be an adventure and an opportunity to make life long impressions on all those around us! May anyone who meets the amazing TDL team know they have a pack for LIFE!!!

You can visit Serena and TDL’s Snap Chat by downloading the App or contact

Loyalty Shopping!

Amazon Smile donates 2% of your purchases to our Veterinary Care Fund!

Amazon Smile

Help our Veterinary Care Fund when you shop using Amazon Smile!  Amazon Smile donates 2% of your purchases to our Veterinary Care Fund!



422496Amazon Wishlist

Our Amazon Wishlist contains items which we need and would be happy to have. It covers everything from basics like dewormer all the way to our dogs’ dream bed and ink for us to print out adoption applications.


Ebay DonatesEbay

We signed up with Ebay’s Giving works!  This week, we received a $200 donation from Ebay’s Giving Works. Selling on Ebay? Make our Rescue your Favorite Non-Profit and show your buyers that you will donate a portion of your selling price to The Dog Liberator!  Sign up today, and share this with your Ebay Friends!


Just Enter our Group ID, 990055884

Yankee Candles

Yankee Candles will donate 40% or your purchases to our Veterinary Care Fund!  Just Enter our Group ID 990055884.  It doesn’t get any easier than this!


Not Setup to Donate Online?

Don’t feel comfortable with online payments?
You can send your contribution directly to our Primary Vet:

Payable to:  Newman Veterinary Centers, Deltona
Attention:  The Dog Liberator #7656

1200 Deltona Blvd. Suite 10 Deltona, Florida 32725
Telephone: 386-860-5335 Fax: 386-860-5322

Email us with your ideas at and please Subscribe to our newsletter


Our Adoption Process

Logan and the Twins

Logan and the Twins

Much to the surprise of many people, we do not use an adoption application but rely instead upon an interview process. Because we are a small rescue and keep all of our dogs in foster homes, we shy away from forms that tend to emphasis why someone should not have a dog.

The interview process allows us to learn more about our potential adopters and their individual situations, concerns, pros and cons. By knowing more details, we are able to place dogs into homes that other rescues might turn down, because we already know our dogs. We’re small so we don’t need blanket policies that require fences or disallow families with small children or won’t allow senior citizens. We’re focused on bringing together caring people with the right dog.

Whether you are considering an adult dog or a puppy, the first thing you should do is read our article on Starting Your Dog Out Right.  Here you will find not only some good tips but some thoughts to ponder before committing to the responsibilities of caring for a dog.

If you are interested in meeting one of our dogs or learning more about it, please e-mail us at and let’s get the process going! Share such information

  • as where you live,
  • your household composition,
  • your yard/fence/exercise plan,
  • pets you have and/or had,
  • your normal work schedule,
  • how much time the dog will be alone,
  • do you own a pool,
  • what you are looking for in a dog,
  • what contingency plans do you have in place should you no longer be able to care for your dog,
  • if you rent, do you have landlord approval,
  • are you prepared to bring your new dog home if you are approved after you meet one of our dogs?

Email your answers to, and then we’ll go from there!  The more you share the better!

Visit us on Great Nonprofits and read our reviews!

Here’s an email I just received explaining other rescues’ adoption applications:

Dear Gisele,

Thanks so much for the wonderful site and information you have. My wife and I have been looking for a dog for a few months now to join our family. To say the least it has been a discouraging process. The only places I have looked are and the local pound.

Well, at the local pound you just never know what kind of dog, temperament, and so on you will get. With the adoption groups on petfinder I’ve found that the process has been more of an interrogation than an application. I love what you wrote on your web site when you said: We’re focused on bringing together caring people with the right dog. Thanks for a breath of fresh air. You seem very reasonable and don’t have a laundry list of questions like, “who will brush the dog in the family and how ofter?” No kidding, that was one of the questions on an application I started to fill out as I shook my head in disbelief.  ~John
If you have any questions about our adoption fees, please read more about our adoption fees.

Our Wish List

China shares the dog beds and toys you have donated! Thank you!

Check out our Wish List on Amazon!  We welcome gently used items as well.  Everything from simple de-wormer, and flea preventative to doggie beds, leashes, collars, and toys.  Every donation no matter how big or how small helps! Here’s a sample of what you’ll find on our Wish List!  Thank you!

From the bottom of our heart

We would like to take a moment to say thank you to all those who have been so faithful in supporting us these past few months. Without you we would not be here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you know, early in the fall Gisele had a heart attack. As a result, it was also discovered that she has a progressive arterial disorder and it is still being determined how disabled the heart attack and disorder has left her. Another surgery is still a possibility, but is being delayed as testing continues and as we wait on pending determinations.

Through all this difficulty and uncertainty, we have been overwhelmed by the support that the rescue, and Gisele have received. Several of our adopters and supporters have sent generous donations to help us continue to pay the rescue’s necessary bills.   We were also blown away this week when we received a call from our vet, letting us know that one of our adopters (who has supported us in many ways over the years including volunteering in many ways) had made a huge donation and paid off $500 dollars of our veterinary care bill. Others have supported Gisele and her family directly and one was recently kind enough to send her daughter a gift card for clothes.


Maura and Tuesday!

Your support has kept TDL going as we face difficult times. We send a special thank you to our foster Maura, who fostered several of our recent pups and who is now moving. Thank you for welcoming our babies into your home and taking such great care of them.

If you are interested in fostering for us, we are always looking for more fosters. Additionally, a special thank you to all of those who have opened their home to a TDL pup, whether for foster or as a forever home. Gisele has always fostered for us, but since her heart attack she is on light duty and can’t handle medium to larger dogs, which ties our hands a bit on who we can rescue. If you are interested in learning more about fostering, feel free to email us. we welcome your support.

We are currently floating through unknown waters. There are lots of questions and decisions pending, and to some extent it feels like our future is not in our own hands, but one thing remains firm: we want to rescue dogs, even if it is slowly, one by one.  Thank you to all who continue to make it possible. “Thank you” hardly seems enough to express the gratitude we feel.


5/19/15 Update: A special thank you goes out to Lynne Deal who just paid off our current vetting balance at Newman! Lynne has been a constant supporter and we are so thankful and blessed to have her as part of the TDL Family!


From Table to Tree: Toxic Tidbits to Avoid this Holiday Season


As you know, the seasons are changing and the holidays are approaching fast. During this time we clean and decorate the house, spend hours in the kitchen cooking special meals, and let’s not forget spending as much time with our loved ones including our pets!

But in a blink of an eye, accidents happen. Your pet can get a hold of food or plants that they shouldn’t and that can lead you down a road of a very pricey vet bill, or even worse, the loss of your best friend.

In order to avoid this from happening, you should take precautions this holiday season. Knowledge is power right?

Here is a list of poisonous household plants, yard plants, and common foods to avoid giving your pets and will help you have a safer and happier holiday! Remember this list contains many, but not all of the toxic plants/foods, so check the links at the bottom of the article for more information.


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Aloe Vera entire plant Shrub
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American Holly Whole plant Tree/shrub
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American Yew Whole plant Tree
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Apple Seeds cultivated tree
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Apricot pit Cultivated tree
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Avocado entire plant Fruit
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Azaleas entire plant cultivated & wild shrub
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Bird-of-Paradise Pods garden flower
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Buckeye sprouts, nuts, seeds Tree
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Buttercup entire plant esp. leaves wildflower, garden herb
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Castor bean entire plant esp. bean house plant
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Chocolate Whole plant (including the mulch derived from it) and chocolate food products Tree
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Coffee Beans, grounds and drinks made from them Garden Shrub
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Daffodil Bulbs garden flower
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Daphne bark, berries, leaves ornamental shrub
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Day lily entire plant is toxic to cats garden & wildflower
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Dough (raw/uncooked)
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Elderberry leaves, bark, roots, buds Tree
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Elephant’s ear entire plant house plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
English Ivy entire plant esp. leaves, berries ornamental vine
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Foxglove Leaves wild & garden flower
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Garlic entire plant garden plant
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Hops Entire plant Garden plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Jimsonweed entire plant esp. seeds field plant
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Macadamia Nuts Nut Tree
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Manchineel Tree sap, fruit Tree
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Milk vetch entire plant Wildflower
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Mistletoe Berries house plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Mushroom entire plant Fungi
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Mustards Seeds Wildflower
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Nicotiana (tobacco) Leaves garden flower
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Oleander Leaves ornamental shrub
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Onion Entire plant Garden plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Peach Pit Tree
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Persimmon Seeds Tree
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Plum Pit Tree
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Poinsettia leaves, stem, flowers house plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Poison hemlock leaves, stem, fruit field plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Potato shoots, sprouts garden plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Raisins (grapes) Currants (whole fruit) Fruit
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Rhubarb Leaves garden plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Sago palm entire plant esp seeds ornamental plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Skunk cabbage entire plant esp roots, leaves marsh plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Tea Leaves (possibly plant as well) and anything made from it (tea drink) Even Decaf tea can cause problems. Garden plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Tomatoes Plant and fruit (less toxic as it ripens) Garden plant
———————– ——————————————————————- ——————————-
Xylitol (Gum)  A sweetener used in may candies, pastries, toothpastes and mouthwashes. Check ingredients to ensure there is no Xylitol!
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Wild black cherry leaves, pits Tree
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Wild radish Seeds Wildflower
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Wisteria pods, seeds ornamental plant
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Yellow oleander entire plant esp. leaves garden plant
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Yellow pine flax entire plant esp. seedpods Wildflower
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Walnuts The hull of the nut
(technically the mold that grows on it)
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pizap.com14151465492451Often people will say “My dog ate ______ lots of times and didn’t die, so ______ doesn’t kill dogs.” But that logic is no better than “My dog runs in the street all the time and has never been hit by a car, so dogs never get hit by cars.

Just because they survived the last time they ate something does not mean it will be the same every time, so the best plan is to avoid letting your pet have these things in any form.

Also beware that less reputable treat companies still use garlic and onion in treats. While it normally takes a significant amount to harm your pet, it is best to avoid such “treats” and instead go for a safer option.

We hope your holidays will be safe and full of love & memories!
Special thanks to Sally Jefferson for this amazing article and resource!


If you would like read more about poisonous foods and plants to your pets here are some links that will give you further information!

ASPCA: A Large list of toxic plants (longer than this one)

The Humane Society: Foods that can be poisonous to pets

ASPCA: Foods that are Hazardous to Dogs

Pet Education: Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog

SPCAFC: Poisonous Plants

Earth Clinic: Poisonous Plants

Pet Poison Hotline: List of Poisons

Cesar’s Way: Garden dangers for dogs: Common plants that can kill


The TDL 10 Ways to Have a Safe and Happy Halloween


Poppy in her Seasonal Costume

As we prepare for all of the festivities of Halloween, there are a few things you can do to ensure that every member of the family is safe and happy, and has a great holiday. Here are our top tips for how to ensure your pet’s Halloween is a treat!

1. Identification

We can’t say “collar, tags and microchip” enough. If you have not gotten your pets chipped, please do so. A collar and tags are a great step to take, but collars can slip off and tags can snap off. I microchip, on the other hand, is just under the skin, and won’t be brushed off. The best option is to have the collar tags, and chip and to make sure all the information on them is up to date.

2. Keep Pets Inside

Not only are there lots of potentially frightening things out on Halloween, but unfortunately some people’s tricks get downright cruel. Pets are often let out, teased, stolen, or harmed on Halloween which is simply inexcusable. Keeping your pet inside is the safest thing for them (cats too!). Unfortunately cats seem to be in particular peril during this time of year (especially black cats) and we suggest keeping them inside several days before and after Halloween.

3. Candy is for Kids (and Adults) Only

Chocolate is highly toxic and many candies contain artificial sweeteners like Xylitol which is also toxic. For best results, keep the candy for the kids and instead offer you pet a nice, dog-safe treat like a slice of apple, a carrot, or a special dog cookie. Keep your candy far out of reach from your pets and if you have a pooch who is a counter cruiser, consider some sort of closed container. Also remember that kids drop candy, so on your walks, or when you let your dog out in the yard, check for any candy children may have dropped. Also, have the numbers of your vet, and a 24 hour emergency vet on your fridge just in case. If you know your pet has consumed chocolate or candies with xylitol, especially in large quantities, seek medical attention right away.


Torree: Winner of our 2013 Costume Contest

4. Protect the Pumpkin

We all love those glowing flickering lanterns, and sometimes our pets do too… a little too much. While some lanterns use fake candles, others still have real flames which can really burn. Make sure lanterns are out of the reach of pets (remember cats may walk right past one, even on the shelf). For best results, get a fake candle, but if you are going real flame, keep a close eye on it.

5. Glow Stick Woe

Most glow sticks are non-toxic but contain a bitter substance which can cause excessive drooling and fear based reactions like running around the house. Try to keep these glow-sticks out of the reach of pets as they can often look like a toy to your pup. If they do get ahold of one, a little milk or a teat can help cleanse the palate and stop the terrible taste. You can also dim the lights and check their mouth for glowing material and wipe it from their mouth.

6. Cable Keeper

With all of those awesome talking skeletons and fancy lights, there may be several new cords, cool twinkle lights, and electronics around. Remember that your new toy may become your pet’s new toy and chewing electronics can result in shocks and burns. Keep cables organized and out of reach if possible. If you can’t keep the cords and decorations away from the dog, keep the dog away from them. It may mean no romps in the front yard until the decorations are gone, but it is better than a shocking accident.

7. Fear Factor

Halloween is a holiday of tricks, treats, and frights. Unsurprisingly, all the costumes, masks, and unexpected visitors can scare you pup. Consider letting your pet stay home from trick-or-treating and if you are going to be handing out candy, consider crating your pup to reduce the chance of escape, or keeping them behind a baby gate or pen to prevent them from running to the door. Even the most well behaved dog can become frightened and possibly nip or run when scared. If you know your dog gets frightened on Halloween, come up with a keep-calm plan. Whether it is keeping them in a quiet room, in their crate, or maybe giving them a calming treat or sedative, it is good to have a plan of how you can soothe a frightened pet. Check out our article Helping Your Dog Relax.


Jake was a big fan of his costume, but if he didn’t like the hat that cute Bandana would be just fine!

8. Careful with Costumes

Not all pets love playing dress-up. Your pet may be much more comfortable in a seasonal collar or bandana. If you do go for a costume, make sure it is not restrictive, and won’t choke or strangle your pet. Make sure your dog’s senses are not impaired. As cute as a mask may seem, impaired vision and hearing can be frightening and dangerous to your pet. Additionally consider adding some reflective tape to your pet’s costume. As much as they may stand out in their costume, when it gets dark it can be hard to see them. For best results, let your pup wear their costume a few times before the big day so they can get use to them.

9. Choking Hazards

Beware of small parts. Just like little children, dogs often put things in their mouths and can choke on them or ingest them and then have a blockage. Whether it is the little ball on their antenna, or a cute little heart pendant on the front of their costume, pay close attention to them. Remove any small parts which are not well secured or which could be chewed off. Always monitor your dog when they are in costume.

10. Disrobe when Distressed

If you notice your dog panting, cowering, shaking, or just not looking like their normal happy self, take the costume off. Thick costumes can cause dogs to overheat. Make sure you carry water for your pet if you are going out and if you notice any sign that your pet isn’t feeling their best, remove the costume.


We hope you will have a safe and happy Halloween with your pups (and kitties!). If your dog is the costume-loving type, consider entering our Costume Contest for a chance to win a Mega Pack Pack!


The Weghorst’s Pack is ready for a safe and Happy Halloween!

The Perfect Storm – I’m having a Heart Attack?

August 9th, Sarah and I

August 9th, Sarah and I

On October 14, 2014, one week ago today, I found myself in the emergency room.  A friend, Alissa, insisted that I go with the assurance that she would take care of my kids, the house and the dogs!  She dropped my son and I off and then headed to my daughter’s school.  The emergency room was full of waiting patients when the man behind the counter asked me what was wrong-tightness in my chest and difficulty breathing.  I was whisked away into a room.  After an incredibly brief EKG was completed I was taken into another room where I faced a doctor.

He asked me how long I had been having these symptoms, I looked down at the ground and told him a couple of days.  The doctor looked at me in astonishment.  I was afraid that he didn’t believe me, and afraid that my son would rat me out.  I looked down at the ground again, and recanted my statement and told him it had been a couple of weeks off and on.  “It comes and goes,” I explained.  Another gentleman appeared around the corner and asked the doctor if he had time to do some intake paperwork and get my signatures.  The doctor replied sternly, “NO!”  I burst into tears knowing that I really was having a heart attack.

For months, all of my personality traits worked against me;  stubbornness, independence, responsibility, fear of leaving my children, fear of leaving my dogs.  But more than that was my lack of knowledge of what a heart attack should feel like.  That  combined with my incredible tolerance to pain, denial and fear, created a perfect storm.

While in the emergency room before transport to Florida Hospital Ormond, the doctor kept asking me to rate my pain.  Zero I said.  Seriously?  The nurses and staff all turned and looked at me as they watched my heart on the monitor.  Seriously?  So I gave them a 2 with the caveat that it was 20 an hour ago.  Yes, seriously –  I felt fine as part of my heart was dying.  Unbelievable!

It wasn’t until after it was all over, and I was resting in the hospital room, that I realized that the first time I had a symptom was on August 2nd.  I was sitting on the front porch with Lisa Rose when I mentioned that my left arm felt “lazy” and the tightness in my chest was making it difficult for me to breathe.  It went away.

These episodes continued to come and go, sometimes lingering, but they always went away.  Never did I feel pain, like you see in the movies.  My arm was never “numb” and I never felt the pins and needles.  The portrayal of a heart attack like in Hollywood movies is totally incorrect.  I thought of the Superman Movie where Clark Kent’s father checks his pulse and drops dead instantly.

October 12th, Ryan and I headed to Camden County, GA

October 12th, Ryan and I headed to Camden County, GA

During the months that followed August 2nd, I traveled to Georgia twice, and conducted business as usual while having the symptoms.  That Tuesday morning, I went to the Vet and adopted Shasta.  I warned the folks at Newman that I was going to the emergency room, in case they couldn’t reach me.  Never did I think I was having a heart attack.

Since then, I have learned a lot about how a heart attack presents himself.  You may feel pain in your jaw, your shoulder, or simply feel like you have the flu.

Did you know you can go to any fire department and ask them to check you out if you think you have having a heart attack?  So if you’re driving around with a friend who is as stubborn and pig headed as I am, just pull into the nearest fire department and rat them out!  

I am incredibly lucky to be alive, a hospital chaplain believes that God isn’t ready for me yet, and I have work to do here on earth!  I have many people to thank, my children, my friend Alissa and many TDL peeps for taking care of everything while I recovered.  I specifically would like to thank Sarah and Johanna for taking over my emails, which is no easy task and everyone who brought over healthy goodies for my family!

I’m not out of the woods yet.  Two surgeries are in my near future, and that will alter our rescue efforts.  Will this bump in the road change The Dog Liberator?  I’m sure it will.  Now more than ever we need volunteers to help us continue our mission.  Volunteers to help transport, foster, and virtual fosters.

We welcome your comments and insight regarding heart disease, you never know – someone might read this post and save a life!

Again, thank you for your support and prayers.  ~ Gisele


Update:  Here is more information provided by that I found very useful. I only wish I would’ve reviewed this site months ago!

Warning Signs

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Update:  I found a handy handy mobile app to help me find my meds super cheap, along with coupons and other offers, I couldn’t believe how affordable they were.  From your mobile phone, find GoodRX Mobile.  Type in your prescription and enter your zip code.  It’s easy and it saved me a ton!

You should also, visit if you need help with your medications.


Newman Vet of Deltona

Carrie giving Minnie Mouse a bath!

Carrie giving Minnie Mouse a bath!

I woke up this morning and noticed I received an email from my Vet, Newman of Deltona.  The message was sent at 1:50 AM.  Was I alarmed?  No!  It was Carrie telling me that Sven, one of our Frozen Puppies was developing Kennel Cough and Doctor Lim was putting him on Clavamox right away.  How many vets do that?  My vet does!

Yesterday was incredibly difficult, even though we were doing the right thing, saying goodbye to a little puppy is never easy.  Soon, we will be honoring the wonderful dogs we have lost this year, some were old, some were very young, but for now I’d like to share with you my experiences with our Vet, Newman Vet of Deltona.

Ray with William Wallace

Ray with Heartworm Positive William Wallace

If you’ve adopted from us lately, you’ve probably met us at the Vet.  Why?  I believe meeting at the vet makes the adoption easier!  If you want to purchase heartworm or flea preventative, you can!  If you want to purchase special dog food, Newman has their own line of pet food!

Two weeks ago, during Wendy’s adoption, her new owner felt a lump on her tail.  The lump had been examined by our vet during spay, but Wendy’s family wanted to talk face-to-face with a vet about it… so off they went into an examination room, and within just a few minutes, they felt comfortable to bring Wendy home with them!

The convenience, level of service and professionalism that Newman offers is unsurpassed.  But it’s more than just all of this.  Meeting your new dog at the vet is also psychologically a good transition space.  It’s neutral ground, not to mention Nacho is always there to cat-test dogs right in front of your eyes!

James with Bennetts Boots!

James with Bennetts Boots!

After being treated poorly, and spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars at local vets, Courtney, Ginger Doodle’s Mom (now Spec) refuses to go anywhere else.  Even though she drives about 60 miles out of her way, she trusts only Newman with her pup.  Courtney even tried a local groomer for Spec, and noticed that Spec had been injured… no more!  Spec trusts and loves James at Newman Deltona, and she will never go anywhere else!

Saying goodbye to your dog or cat is never an easy thing, regardless of the reason.  It’s rips your heart out.  Several months ago, one of the exam rooms at Newman’s was converted into a gorgeous and comfortable room designed specifically for saying goodbye to your best friend.  They call it the grieving room.  This is just more detail that the people of Newman take to help you, your family, your emotions, and more importantly, your pet.

Shannon recently adopted Minnie Mouse who is blind

Shannon recently adopted Minnie Mouse who is blind

I had to use that room yesterday for Anna.  Melissa showed me the x-rays.  She showed me a healthy pelvic bone, and then Anna’s.  It was horrific.  After the staff prepped Anna, I put her red bandanna on her, and presented her with her favorite bone.  The staff at Newman had already given her a toy duck that was twice her size!

Melissa asked me if I was staying for the procedure, or if I wanted to leave.  I was staying.  I always stay.  To me, it’s an honor and a privilege to be there when a dog passes over.  They come to us as unwanted and unloved strays, but once they enter into our rescue, they are no longer strays, they are special because they were chosen.

We gathered in the grieving room, and took turns holding her, and playing with her.  One by one, the employees came to give me a reassuring hug.  Many were teary-eyed.

Matt with Meredith, the Parvo Puppy

Matt with Meredith, the Parvo Puppy

I showered Anna with kisses, and I never left her side.  Dr. Ted Oliver never wants to euthanize an animal, he’ll do everything he can to avoid it.  But in Anna’s case, there was nothing anyone could do.  While I held her little head in my hands, Anna went peacefully to sleep while Doctor Oliver and I talked about her condition and the lack of options.

Once I opened the grieving room door, more employees greeted me with reassuring hugs, even the doctors!

So while yesterday was a really really bad day, I was surrounded by incredibly competent professionals, people who can practically finish my sentences, but more importantly, people who have an incredibly amount of compassion for the animals.

Melissa with Yodi

Melissa with Yodi

The protocols that The Dog Liberator follows for its foster dogs are the same protocols that we follow for our own dogs.  I guess what I’m trying to explain is even though she was only in our care for 2 days, the compassion and care that Newman Folks displayed was as if I had owned Anna for years.

I want to thank all of you for your warm thoughts and prayers yesterday.

I want to thank all of you for your warm thoughts and prayers yesterday.

So now it’s time for us to get back to work, and do what we’re supposed to do – find great homes for our rescued dogs.  Know that we don’t do this alone!  You absolutely can not rescue animals without having an awesome vet.

Angels Deliver TDL Transport Vehicle

A New TDL Rescue Transport Vehicle!

A New TDL Rescue Transport Vehicle!

Don’t tell me Angels don’t exist! Some TDL Angels made a substantial donation and then worked with Jack Lacey of Ron Norris Ford in Titusville.  We just were gifted a gorgeous Chevy Town & Country that is so huge, it can fit at least four large crates! WOO HOO! Ron Norris Ford made it easy, and Jack Lacey made it awesome! THANK YOU!!!!

Need great wheels and no hassles? Jack shared that he rescued a stunning Chihuahua that he found wandering and brought it home! Click Here to email Jack Lacey or Call him at 321-267-2112… And tell them TDL Sent you!

Great NonProfits 2014

TDL's 2013 Great NonProfit Award

TDL’s 2013 Great NonProfit Award

If you’re new to our rescue, you might not know that last year, we rated #9 on Great Nonprofits in the country.  We received the award because of reviews from people like you!  Last week, we weren’t even listed in the leader board, but because of your reviews, we are now in the 52nd place!  Only your reviews can help us move up!  Simply Click Here to share your comments about your experience.

If you have adopted from us recently, please take a moment and rate our rescue efforts, and describe  your experience adopting from us.  If you asked us for help surrendering and re-homing your dog through our Canine Connect Service, you too can leave us a review.  If we have helped you in any way, please take three minutes of your day, and help us by describing how our help impacted you.



Great NonProfits can be described as the Angie’s list of non-profit companies.  Last  year, only 500 non-profit companies received the top-rated award, and thanks to you, we were one of them!  Woo Hoo!

Knee Dislocation & Hip Dysplasia

Leia Loves SticksWhen we brought Leia home from the shelter there were a few things we didn’t know. We didn’t know she loves chasing a stick, we didn’t know she would gain 20 lbs in the first 2 months home, and we didn’t know she had patellar luxation. In fact, we didn’t find out for a while, until one day Leia went to stand up from a nap and whined. Then we started noticing it more: limping after hard play, being slow to get up and down, not wanting to walk as far as she use to… it broke our hearts. So we went to the vet for a check and to see what could be done. Leia was diagnosed with patellar luxation (dislocating knees) and had had this for a while. Both patellar luxation and hip dysplasia are somewhat common in large breed dogs. Symptoms can include limping, a skip in their step, bunny hopping with their back legs, swaying gait, refusal to stand on one leg, decreased activity, reduced interest in walking, trouble or reluctance to go up or down stairs, pain and tenderness, and slow or painful transitions form laying or sitting to standing (and vice versa).

There are generally 4 things you can do about these issues to help treat/manage it.

Knee and Hip Surgery

scalpelOne option is surgery. We learned that patellar luxation surgery can cost $1,500 to $3,000 dollars per knee, and our vet stated we would probably need to do one at a time with recovery time between (not all vets recommend separate surgeries). There is more than one type of surgery for hip dysplasia depending on the cause and severity of the issue, but in general the various surgeries can range from $1,500 to $3,000 and if you are considering replacing both hips it is from $7,000 to $12,000. Ouch!

Another route (and the one we chose) was managed care though supplements, pain management, and therapy.

DasuquinSupplements for Joint Health

Supplements can make a huge difference in how your dog feels on a daily basis. We put Leia on Dasuquin with MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) soft chews.  She loves the flavor and eats them like they are treats! We noticed the change after just a week of use. She moved easier, she moved faster, less whining when she got up and down. Dasuquin does not fix the problem, but it does make it much easier to live with. She is comfortable, happy, and demands her chew with breakfast.

Dasuquin contains Glucosamin and chondroitin  which helps with inflammation and joint health and may help reduce your pets need for pain medication. Also consider supplements with Omega3s such as Fish Oil soft gels. Our vet allowed us to give them twice daily in addition to the Dasuquin and Leia enjoys having them.

Pain Management

Our vet prescribed Previcox which is for pain and inflammation, is fast acting, and has worked well when Leia has occasional bad days (I think we have taken 3 in the past year). You do have options though! Some vets recommend Metacam  for pain and inflammation. It has the additional benefit of a good flavor, but it is not cheap. If you need a more cost effective option, talk to your vet about Meloxicam, it is affordable and with the help of some peanut butter, hotdog, or a pill pocket it can be easy to give.

PrevicoxAnother option is to get cortisone injections which can provide some pain relief, reduce inflammation, and generally lasts between 8 and 12 weeks. Cortisone is an injectable steroid medication and can lead to increased thirst, appetite, and can have additional negative side effects. Your vet should always be consulted before giving a cortisone injection.

Remember, some of these medications are used in humans as well, which can mean big savings for you! If your veterinarian is going to prescribe some medications for your pet, you might want to read this! Most medications are made for human consumption, some are not – so ASK! Find out exactly how many milligrams you are being prescribed and how many pills you are getting. Then, ask them how much the medications are going to cost.

Pull out your cell phone and check out the GoodRX  website or the GoodRX Mobile app. GoodRX allows you to enter your medication and zip code and compare prices nearby. Also consider getting a prescription and seeing if you can get it filled at Target, Publix, Walmart, or Sam’s Club. Most carry some medications that are prescribed for pets (and if you ever need antibiotics, they are free at Publix).  If you have a Walgreens or CVS card, you might find that these medications are cheaper at your local pharmacy. If it is not a medication you can get at a local pharmacy, check the price online at sites like 1800PetMeds. Many medications can be purchased for less online with a prescription. Also, ask your vet if they price-match, some vets have started doing this and it could save you a bit of money!

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy This option is often overlooked, and  I am really not sure why. There are several options when it comes to physical therapy and my very first suggestion is to talk to your vet before you implement any sort of in-home physical therapy. Some exercises include sit-stands (where you have your dog sit for a period of time, then stand, then sit again), short walks (if your dog appears sore or is limping at the end of the walk it is too much), hydrotherapy (including swimming and walking on a submerged aquatic treadmill), walking in figure 8’s and other exercises. It is important to use muscles or they will not improve, but not over use them to the point of damage. Here is a brief video about exercising dogs with hip dysplasia. Some exercises suggested for patellar luxation are contraindicated for hip dysplasia and vice versa, so it is very important to consult your vet &/or an orthopedic specialist.

A gentle massage and a warm (not hot) heating pad can provide additional relief.  Here is a brief video about  massage to address pain and there is are several videos about massage in general, as well as acupressure which can help with mobility, comfort and even anxiety and stress!   It is also important for your dog to maintain a healthy weight, as additional weight puts additional stress on joints. Talk to your vet about what your dog’s target weight should be to best protect joints and maintain overall health.

In Closing

Whether you choose surgery, supplements, pain management,  physical therapy, or a combination of any of the above, we hope you and your dog will benefit from the information presented.  Always consult with your veterinarian before taking a new course of action in order to ensure it is best for your pup, and consider consulting a canine orthopedic specialist, canine physical therapist, or canine massage therapist.  You are your dog’s advocate, if your veterinarian does not bring up these options, feel free to ask them how your dog might be able to benefit from them. Hopefully with some of these options your pup will find more pain-free days and reasons to keep that tail wagging!



Go Potty – Helping Your Abused Dog To Go Outside

Our Borgi Puppies, Adopted 2010

Our Borgi Puppies, Adopted 2010

There are tons of “how to housebreak your puppy” books and videos out there.  And I’m sure there are millions of products that claim will help, but these things are for the normal average dog.  Rescued dogs sometimes come with a little bit of baggage!  Usually, it’s the dog’s former owner who confused the dog, and now the dog is stuck.

This is the case with Buttons Sparkles, Boo BooShy Sharon, Baileys, and dozens of dogs I have rescued.

Many Dogs that Have Lived On Their Own Don’t Want to Go Outside

Recently, Marlo’s new Mom asked for advice – Marlo does not want to go outside.  I find this ironic, since Marlo has been “living off the land” for most of her life, and now she doesn’t want to go outside?  The same thing happened with Brittney’s Mystery.  Once Mystery felt the security of being indoors, she didn’t want to go out!

Dogs that Have Been Mistreated are Afraid to go Potty Outside

In most cases, dogs do not want to go outside because while they were being housebroken by the owners, they were simply abused.  Their owners caught them making a mess too late, they were scolded, grabbed, maybe  hit, and thrown outside.  Now, the dog is afraid of going through doorways, and I can’t blame them.

In the case of Shy Sharon, and Goldie Hawn, the crate sores on the top of their paws showed that they were pulled out of their crates, and because they put on the breaks, their feet got stuck.  Now you have a dog that’s terrified of leaving the crate because each time they did, they hurt themselves.  I put a Kuranda bed in their crates so the step down would ensure them it would never happen again.

Timing is Everything when Training Your Dog

There are many people who believe they should give their dog either a reward or a treat when the dog does its potty and comes back inside… but what that does is teaches the dog to hurry back in!  Those people will quickly learn that they dog will not do their business.  The run outside, and head right back for the door – they want their treat!

Boo Boo Afraid to Go Outside!

Boo Boo Afraid to Go Outside!

What I suggested for Marlo is that her new Mom rattles the treat bag, and let Marlo watch her put treats in her pocket.  Take Marlo to the door, and give her a treat (or praise), then open the door, and as soon as she goes through the doorway, give her another treat.  Enter the yard, and treat again.  Give Marlo constant praise as she spends time in the yard, but do NOT treat her for coming back into the house!  That will send the wrong message.  We want to praise Marlo for going outside, not coming inside!

Treat or No Treat, I’m not Going Outside!

I have rescued some dogs that will put on the breaks and act like they are walking to their death bed!  No treat in the world will convince them that it’s safe outside.  In those cases, I just tug at the leash, and go – ignoring their protest!  Each time it gets easier and easier.

More Tips for Getting Your Dog to Go Outside

If your dog loves toys, take some with you!

Crates Sores on her paws, she was forced out of her crate

Crates Sores on her paws, proves she was forced out of her crate

Always remain calm and relaxed.  If you are tense your dog will be tense.  Sing a song to yourself to get your mind off of it.

Each time you go outside with your dog, make the outing last a little bit longer.

Give a lot of verbal praise after you see your dog is finished doing its business!

If your dog loves the company of other dogs, borrow another dog!  Invite a family member, neighbor or co-worker’s dog for a few days to help ease your dog’s fears.

If your dog did its business outside, give your dog some cuddle time when you come back inside, if your dog didn’t do its business, try again in ten minutes!

Did you Just Adopt Your Dog?

If your yard is not fenced, and you just adopted a rescued dog, know that some dogs DO NOT like to “go” while on leash. This will take time.  Some dogs will not “go” while on a walk!  Be patient!

Make Your Home a Drama-Free Zone for Your Dog!

And Remember to Never EVER feel sorry for your dog!  Your dog wants to be a super star, not be part of a pity party.  Please read Let it Go.


Share your Tips with us!

If you’ve had an experience that worked, leave a comment  here and share it with our readers!

The Promise

A Promise to Love, Provide and Protect

We have created several flexible programs for you to choose from.  Just Click on the photo and donate!  All donations will be anonymous.


click on the photo to donate

Can’t Adopt but love the dogs?  Now, you can Foster a Dog Liberator Dog Virtually!  Simply donate the amount you are comfortable with! We need  a minimum of $100 in our Veterinary Care Fund to rescue one of our dogs.  This covers the basic set of shots (does not cover the set of three shots puppies need), and covers a spay or a neuter. We cover ears, ear medication (if needed),  teeth cleaning or extractions (if needed), a heartworm test, microchip, one time de-worming, one-time grooming, flea prevention, collars and leashes, room and board, and behavior modification (if needed). Our rescuers, follows, and your dog’s adopters will appreciate your generosity, but your sponsored dog will be the real winner!



click on the photo to donate


Cricket’s Puppy Pals Program Designed for kids to get involved. $5/month helps children understand the importance of charity work, animal welfare and spay/neuter.  Over the course of 12 months, your child will have sponsored and rescued a puppy in desperate need.




click on the photo to donate

Jaffe’s Seniors Program

Designed to support dogs that are older than 5 years of age. $10/month helps provide the special needs of a senior dog, including skin care, grooming, additional bloodwork, removing tumors, and dental care. Over the course of 12 months, you will have sponsored and rescued a senior dog that deserves to be rescued.




click on the photo to donate

China’s Best Friends Program

Designed to support dogs that are born or have become deaf and/or blind. $10/month helps provide the time and training to get a deaf and/or blind dog accustomed to living with a family.  Additional training tools, such as treats and toys are sometimes necessary to enhance training. Over the course of 12 months, you will have sponsored and rescued a deaf and/or blind dog that may have been euthanized.  




click on the photo to donate

Holly Collie’s Heartworm Initiative Program

Designed to support heartworm positive dogs. $15/month helps cover heartworm-related expenses and treatment plans. Over the course of 12 months, you will have sponsored and saved a dog with heartworm disease that has been adopted into a loving home, instead of being euthanized.





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Sharon’s Red Dog Program

Designed to support dogs that have been strays for quite some time, that have serious emotional and medical needs. $25/month helps cover unseen medical issues, like heartworm disease.  It also ensures the dog will be sponsored while the dog is being fostered and undergoing much needed social skills and behavior modification. Over the course of 12 months, you will have sponsored and rescued a dog that without rescue, had no chance of adoption.



click on the photo to donate

Bart’s Wellness Program

Designed to support medically fragile dogs that have life-threatening illness, like Parvo or Pneumonia. $50/month helps cover medical expenses, medications, treatments and ensures the dog will be sponsored while recovering. Over the course of 12 months, you will have sponsored and saved the life of a dog, that without rescue, would have died.





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Goldie’s Gift Program

Designed to remember dogs that have passed on, Like Goldie Hawn. A $100 donation in memory of a dog that knew and loved signifies how the gift of love is never forgotten.






Don’t feel comfortable with online payments?  You can send your contribution directly to our Primary Vet:

Payable to:

Newman Veterinary Center –  Attention:  The Dog Liberator #7656

200 Deltona Blvd. Suite 10 Deltona, Florida 32725

Telephone: 386-860-5335 Fax: 386-860-5322


Corporate Sponsors

For opportunities for your business to get involved and donate to The Dog Liberator, visit our Partners with TDL Program Page. For more creative ways to help, visit How You Can Help.  We need your help to maintain our efforts.  Your donations are greatly appreciated. For Paypal Users:

Click here To Sign up for our Newsletter! Amazon Wish List: The Dog Liberator is a non-profit, 501c(3) charitable organization.  They are foster-based.  All dogs are fostered in a home environment, which enables the dog to show its true color. Founded in 2009, The Dog Liberator has successfully rescued and adopted nearly 700 dogs. TDL dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. TDL does not receive government funding of any kind, and relies on individual donations and corporate sponsors.  By using Paypal, you can donate to The Dog Liberator’s Veterinary Care Fund. The Dog Liberator focuses on rehabilitation, taking in deaf and/or blind dogs, dogs that need social skills, fearful dogs, and dogs that suffer from depression. They also focus on educating the public regarding medical issues, like heartworm treatment, parvovirus, adopting senior dogs, Addison’s disease, pneumonia, and proper diet. The Dog Liberator has a less than 4 percent return rate, and they pride themselves at creating the perfect match for dog lovers. Their adoption updates are shared on both Facebook, and their website thus creating a professional and personal relationship with their adopters.

Close Your Eyes, Open Your Heart – How Do you Adopt Again After Your Dog Dies?

How Do you Adopt Again After Your Dog Dies?

This post will explain the grief and anguish people go through after they have lost their beloved dog and how hard they try to replace their dog that has passed away with an identical copy.  “How can I adopt after my dog dies?”

There is a puppy mill that advertises they will create a special order Border Collie just for you.  All you have to do is tell them what you want.  The manner in which they can produce an identical replica of your deceased dog is frightening.  For example, you can go so far as to request a red merle female with one brown eye and one marble eye – and they will produce it.  So what happens when you purchase a dog that looks identical to your dog that has passed way – will they be identical?  I say no – it’s impossible.

Finding the Perfect Dog After Your Dog Passed Away

At least 50% of the emails we receive to adopt are from people who have recently lost their dog.  The other 50% are from either people who want a second or third dog, or people who are ready to adopt their first dog.  Many times, people who are grieving the loss of their dog are looking to adopt one exactly like the dog they lost.  Maybe it’s a red merle Aussie female, or a classic black and white Border Collie.  Throughout our interview process, I gather information about their home environment, their experience, the dogs they have had in the past, and I focus on recommending a dog that has the right temperament for them.

Most of the time, adopters are wanting to adopt a dog they see in a photo.  The problem with that is that they are completely overlooking the dog’s temperament.  Many times, I am forced to recommend a dog that they did not notice, a dog that they did not look at, a dog that they are not interested in because… it doesn’t look like their dog that passed away.

I totally understand this, because I did it too!

How I found my first Border Collie

In 1981, while living in Houston, a friend of mine found an abandoned litter of puppies under a shed at the Herman Park Medical Center’s rose garden.  I took as many puppies as I could, found them good homes, and kept one, that I named Troubles.

Troubles 1983

Troubles 1983

I didn’t know what breed she was, until I asked a friend, who without hesitation, said, “border collie”.  I didn’t know what a Border Collie was at the time.  I had Troubles until 1994, and she was amazing dog.  Her focus was on me, and only me.  She never took her eyes off of me, and did everything I asked.  She was incredibly trained, yet she had no training.

When Troubles died, I was a complete mess.  Back then, there was no email, no internet, no cell phones.  I faxed flyers to local humane societies asking them to help me find a dog just like her.  My faxes went unanswered.

I visited a local Border Collie rescue, and met dozens of border collies, all of them unhealthy, and unbelievably hyper to the point that they were insane hyper.  I looked around at other border collies on the property that appeared to have great health and great temperaments, and asked if I could adopt one of them.  The answer was, “no, that one is mine.”  After pointing dogs that was I interested in, I learned that they were all owned by the rescue.  How many dogs can one person possibly own?  I left without a dog, and going home to an empty house was brutal.

After a few more days had passed, my grief did not subside one bit.  I even asked to take on projects at work that would cause me to work overtime.  I wanted to avoid going home.

After seeing my despair, my then husband took it up on himself to look in the local paper, and there it was!  An ad for Border Collie puppies.  He called them, and there was one female left.  She was expensive, $450.  We didn’t have that much money, but somehow we would manage our bills, and go without a few things for a while!

Can I Replace My Dog That Just Passed Away?

When I arrived I had the luxury of meeting the puppies parents, and the female mommy was a real love.  I went to their back porch and met the baby female.  There she was hiding under a chair.  She was gorgeous.  We brought her home and we named her Reckless.

Reckless quickly became my third heart dog.  First was my Collie, Nelson when I was just a kid, my Troubles, and now Reckless.

I want to Clone My Dog

Reckless, 2002

Reckless, 2002

Much to my surprise, Reckless was nothing like Troubles.  So even though my goal was to replace Troubles, and I did get another Border Collie – the two were as opposite as day and night.  Troubles was anti-social and a one-person dog, Reckless loved the world, and wanted to visit people!  Many times Reckless was sneak off and visit a neighbor and just hang out.  Neighbors would knock on my door and ask if they could take Reckless on their walk.  Reckless was a social butterfly.

Let me explain it this way.  You may have a family of four children, and they even look alike, but one is a Saint, one is a Trouble-Maker, one may be a Scholar, and one may be a Drop-Out!  Dogs may be similar, but even siblings are different.  We see it all the time when we rescue a litter!

Reckless died in 2009, and for the next few months I knew that I was incredibly lucky and grateful to  have had three heart dogs in my life.  I figured – this is it, I can’t possibly be blessed again.

Ozzie, Adopted 2009

Ozzie, Adopted 2009

Ozzie was owner-surrendered, and while he is a purebred Border Collie, and a very good boy, he’s not my heart dog.  Many other dogs found their way into my home, and The Dog Liberator was born.  Finding great homes for great dogs was easy for me, and even though many of them reminded me of Nelson, Troubles, and Reckless – I did not keep!  Why would I keep a dog for myself and rob a family of having the experience that I  had.  I came so close to keeping great dogs like Trixie Belle, Tim Tebow, and Jake.  The temptation was unbearable, especially when I had two young kids constantly asking me, “can we keep them?”  Oy vey!

Several months had passed, and I rescued Lady Di and Goldie Hawn.  I expected to keep Goldie, but she passed away.  I eventually kept Lady Di, and she is amazing.  I really thought that she would be as close as I could get to having a fourth heart dog, but I was wrong.

Princess Lady Di, Adopted 2009

Princess Lady Di, Adopted 2009

I didn’t keep Ozzie and Lady Di technically for myself or my family, I kept them because they created a fantastic pack environment.  Ozzie is the walmart greeter, and Lady Di is the sheriff!

China, Adopted 2010

China, Adopted 2010

Months later, we rescued China, and against my will, we kept her as well.  The bond between China and my daughter was too great to break.  China fit into the pack taking on the roll as the cautious player.  China had another purpose to serve.  Her job is to be the Deaf/Blind icon of our rescue.  She has served her role very well, because of her work at representing deaf and blind dogs, we have been able to rescue and adopt dozens of dogs like her.  She has been the reason for Deaf Dogs Hear with Their Hearts, and The Chosen Ones.

These three gorgeous dogs have been helping me rehabilitate and resocialize rescued dogs for almost five years now, and they do a fantastic job.  I couldn’t rescue without them, for it takes years for a human to teach a dog what another dog can teach them  in five minutes.

Your Dog Can’t Be Replaced

The TDL Pack

The TDL Pack

This past January, I received a phone call from Lily’s Dad, Dusty.   Dusty’s friend had to surrender her 2 year-old Chihuahua.  Seriously?  What am I going to do with a Chihuahua – one of the breeds I dislike the most.  Dusty begged, and I had no choice but to say yes.  When that little red cutie pie entered my home and sat in my lap I knew I was in trouble.  She won me over in less than five minutes, her name was Athena, but we named her Rosie.

Later, when I picked up my children from school, they both screamed, “can we keep her?” Thank God they felt the same way I did.  It has been four years since I have said yes to the word Keep!  Rosie doesn’t really have a job here with our rescue, other than to represent her breed, which unfortunately is probably one of the most homeless and desperate breeds there are right now in our country.

Finding Your Next Dog Might Be Easier Than You Think

No one can resist Rosie!

No one can resist Rosie!

In 2007 only 800 Chihuahuas were homeless on Petfinder.  Today there are over 18,000 homeless Chihuahuas.  If there ever was a breed that people should be trying to adopt, it’s the Chihuahua.  That’s not the only reason why I was so excited to keep her.  Ozzie is now 7 years-old, Lady Di is estimated to be about 6 years-old.  We believe China is approximately five years-old.  Their life-span is estimated to be approximately 13.  Combine that with I’m getting older too (yes, I sing Stevie Nick’s Landslide often).  My hopes are that as I am forced to say goodbye to each of these amazing dogs, I’ll have my Rosie to console me.

Rosie has been part of our pack now for 7 months now, and she is my new Heart Dog!  She barks when she hears even the slightest noise, she steals toys and bones from every dog every chance she gets.

Rosie, we can take her everywhere!

Rosie, we can take her everywhere!

She serves absolutely no purpose here except to make us laugh and give us unconditional love.  She will rub her little face on yours and make funny grunting noises expressing her deep love for us.  She’ll sleep with anyone, anywhere if you let her.  She is the most wonderful dog I have ever known… and she is a Chihuahua!

My decision to keep her did not go without ridicule and sarcasm.  People who know me took advantage of embarrassing me with comments like, “excuse me but that doesn’t look at all like a Border Collie.”  I took the sarcasm with grace, and watched how each and every one of my friends couldn’t help but hold her… knowing that they wanted one too!

Dianna's ChiChi, adopted 2014

Dianna’s ChiChi, adopted 2014

Recently, former adopter, Dianna Noreen found her own Rosie, and named him Chi Chi – now that’s one lucky dog, and one less Chihuahua on death row.

While I’ve had nothing but collies all of my life, Rosie taught me a valuable lesson.  Close your eyes, and open your heart.  You never know what dog will bring you the joy you’ve been missing.

Saying Goodbye To Your Dog is Never Easy

Update:  Just as I finish writing this, I received a text message from our Brittney, that Laddie passed away this morning.  For those of you who attended our reunion last year, you’ll remember laddie, a big gorgeous Collie that was surrendered to us.

Laddie, RIP

Laddie, RIP

It wasn’t until after Brittney decided to keep him, she learned from her vet that he had a stage 3 heart murmur.  Laddie died in his sleep.  He enjoyed the company of Brittney’s family, adored her young son, and enjoyed playing with this new pack.  He died knowing love, family, and companionship.  Ironically, the first thing Brittney’s sun asked her is, “can you find us another one?”  Unfortunately, the answer is no.  Every dog is unique, as unique as each of us are.



Help your Dog have a Safe Holiday!

As we come up on another holiday, we have a few tips to help you and your dog stay safe and happy.

Monitor the Grill – The food you are cooking is very attractive to your pup. They can burn themselves on the hot grill. Also be careful where you dispose of any coals you may have used. They smell like meat juice and can be a tempting snack.

No Cooked Bones – They are choking hazards and can result in dental and mouth injuries, and intestinal blockages and perforations. Ouch!

Watch the Trash – Whether it is the tinfoil you wrapped the steak in, a corn cob, a bamboo skewer, or plastic, your pup might make them a snack and that could land you at the vet.

A Warm Day Warning – Warm temperatures can cause your pet to overheat. Have water available to your pet, provide shaded areas if you are going to be outside, or let them stay inside instead.

Watch What They Eat – Table scraps may seem like a nice treat for your pet but be careful what you share. Fatty foods can upset their stomach and sometimes lead to pancreatitis. Additionally some BBQ foods are toxic to pets including onions, garlic, alcohol and the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Here is a link of Foods Hazardous to Dogs. Instead, consider a special dog treat, or sharing a more pet safe and healthy food, like a carrot!

Monitor Chemicals – Lighter fluid, bug spray, alcohol, sunscreen, you never know what a dog will eat, lick or chew on. Make sure you store them safely out of reach.

Additionally, holiday fun can also lead to lost dogs. Some locations celebrate with fireworks which can be frightening to many dogs.  For tips to help deal with thunder, fireworks, and other situations your pup might find scarey, check out the following articles: Helping Your Dog Relax, More Great Ideas for Calming Dogs, and consider using a product we love,  The Thundershirt. We strongly suggest making sure your dog’s tags and microchip information is correct, legible, and ready in case they happen to decide to go on an unplanned adventure.

Also remember that a backyard party may result in a gate being left open or a pup slipping out the door.  Make sure your guests know the dog is lose in the yard and/house. It is better to be prepared for the chance of your dog running away, and implement preventative measures where you can, so please check out the following articles: How to Prepare for the 4th of July, Lost and Found – The Stray Dog, and Dog Catching Tips. Additionally our 4th of July post may be helpful.

Have a safe and Happy Labor day!


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