May 4 th


JERAS Newsletter May 5, 2012

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JERAS Newsletter May 5, 2012

We have had a busy and eventful month since the last JERAS newsletter. In early April, we agreed to take in a 9 year old beagle from the local shelter so she would not be put to sleep. She has a microchip which was never registered, but we were able to trace her back to the company which had implanted it. They are the world’s largest supplier of puppy mill puppies and ship puppies world-wide. “Rhonda” will be 10 in September. She arrived here with kennel cough and had to be isolated for a few weeks. She was also extremely hyper excitable and somewhat dog aggressive, so we sent serum to Hemopet for thyroid testing. She came back in the lower half of normal. Despite this, I decided to give her a trial of very low dose thyroxine and within a few doses, she was calmer & less aggressive. I asked Dr. Dodds (of Hemopet) what she thought and she said Rhonda was probably  “subclinical hypothyroid” and it was OK to keep her on the low dose if it improved her behavior. We are seeing more improvement even after 10 days, as it can take a few weeks to fully take effect, metabolically speaking. She is still kept away from the other dogs, but the house & yards are set up so I can “juggle” dogs to keep everyone safe. For now, she has part of the kitchen all day and an outside yard and can see everyone else, but can’t get herself into trouble. She also had a lot of tartar which she has managed to scrape off her teeth with chewing on bones. She is learning to accept tooth brushing, also. She also has some nighttime incontinence, but it is no bother to wash her bedding…I really hate seeing senior dogs ending up at shelters, it is not the fate they deserve after years of serving as someone’s pet.



We also accepted a 19 year old Arabian gelding whose owner could no longer keep him due to health problems. His name is Rusty, so now we have a “Big Rusty” and a “Little Rusty”. Big Rusty  arrived with rain rot (skin fungus) and thrush (infected hooves). Both are responding well to treatment. He also has some insecurity and a few behavioral issues, but we are working on them. He has 2 acres to himself as the mustangs were being too aggressive towards him. Once we have the additional acreage fenced and another shelter (thanks to the Pepsi grant, second half coming soon), we will try putting Rusty and Raven there, away from the mustangs. Right now, even Raven has rejected him. Raven would probably be fine with Rusty once they can be moved across the driveway to the new area.

Big Rusty

We just filed our midterm report with Global Giving/Pepsi Refresh and were approved for the second half of the grant. The next $5000 will fence more land and put up another shelter. We are so very grateful to our friends who voted for us, to Pepsi and Global Giving.

Three days ago, Shyla and Bear tangled with a rattlesnake. I treated them at home with conventional veterinary medicines, homeopathy and herbal remedies. Shyla was fully recovered after 2 days and Bear still has some swelling, but feels pretty well.

Shyla after rattlesnake bite

Bear after rattlesnake bite

The desert is a beautiful place to live. We have no mosquitoes, no fleas, no ticks, no gnats, very few flies… but we do have rattlesnakes.

Shyla 2 days post bite- back to normal


We have been having our spring hay funds drive. The funds from the October hay drive were used up by the beginning of March due to rising hay prices. I searched the internet and found grass hay from Idaho that sounded nice. The rancher’s wife sells some horse hay as a side line. She sent us some and it was clean & green. They also had their hay analyzed by a lab. We found a shipping company who can bring us 20 tons… total for the hay, shipping and unloading/stacking on this end will be about $4750.00. 20 tons of Az. hay from the feed store would have cost about $8000. We hope to have it by the middle of next week. It should last us through 2012.

So far, donations to the hay drive are at about $3800. This includes $800 of matching funds generously offered by one of our loyal supporters who has offered to match up to $1000. We hope to bring in another $1000 by the end of May to cover the 20 tons of hay we are getting, as we cannot deplete our general funds- we still have other animals to care for and feed, supplements, supplies and an occasional vet bill.

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far! We will be randomly choosing (names pulled from a hat) donors at the end of May to receive art and other thank you gifts, plus an Equi-Spirit ball (horse toy) generously donated by Lisa & Kenny Williams.

JERAS is now home to 10 dogs, a pig, a sheep, 9 horses and 5 burros. Esperanza is very big, but no baby yet! Nothing would be possible without your support and we greatly appreciate our friends & donors.




Categories : News


  1. Patty says:

    Love your newsletter, I love Dodds as you know. What bones do you use for getting the tarter off . I am fearful of all this china stuff and poisoning from bad china stuff.
    Thank you,
    Yep my kot boy on the thyroid I incontinent to, easy to wash blankie like you say.
    Wish I would have known all about thyroid years ago with my precious Doberman ,Dr dodds isI the queen
    I just talked with her yesterday for my diabetic lil blind boy
    Thanks for all you do
    Patty and pack
    And thanks for our newsletter

  2. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Hi, Patty! I just get bones from the grocery store and I boil them about 10 minutes because Carson can’t handle raw ones with his IBD. We use rawhide daily- we get rawhide chips from We ask for thin chips, too, as they like them better and there is less choking risk. It is American rawhide with no chemicals, they just use peroxide to cure them. Dr. Dodds is my hero, so intelligent and caring. I recommend her Canine Thyroid Epidemic book to everyone. Thank you!

  3. Laura Snyder Klutey says:

    I so enjoy your newsletter, and what is going on with you and your beloved “friends”. You are a great inspiration to me, in my quest do do rescue. I am so happy for you, that you are receiving this grant. I appreciate the information about the rawhides for the dogs from the previous reply from Patty, and I will go to that website and order some. I have been buying rawhides from Walgreen, the long twisted braids and that is what my 2 dogs like. They are made in South America, the only ones i can find not from China.
    Thanks for being my friend and for all you do for the animals.


  4. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you, Laura. I-Pets has different kinds of rawhide. The bulk chips are only $4.20 a pound, so they serve us well. Wishing you lots of success with your new farm & horse rescue!
    Love, Cathy

  5. Carla S says:

    Hi Cathy. I love this new way you are doing the newsletter. Great to read everything going on at your place. That Bear is sure CUTE! So sorry to hear about the snake bite and impressed at your level of knowledge. Way to go, woman. Have 2 new rescue parrots. Dang-great fun. Thinking of you and the gang with a smile in my heart. Love, Carla

  6. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Love parrots, but they sure a a lot of work! They are so smart! Bear is now fully recovered and the probable mate to that snake showed up in the same spot yesterday. Luckily, I was working in that area and got to it before the dogs did. Hope the kitchen is going well! Send me some pics of the parrots. Love, Cathy

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