Monday Wag

Help Bocci get home to Utah. This six-year-old chihuahua was so traumatized during her life at a Lancaster County puppy mill that Humane League of Lancaster felt the last and best chance for her to find peace was the legendary Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.

Last year Bocci was removed by humane agents from Ervin Zimmerman's kennel in Ephrata, suffering from severe wounds to her ears and back. (Zimmerman was convicted of animal cruelty and lost his kennel license last year.)

Here's how the shelter describes Bocci one year after being rescued:
Bocci's physical wounds have healed but the trauma that she suffered from years of neglect has left her a shadow of a normal dog. If you have ever tried approaching a feral cat then you would understand Bocci's behavior; she runs when people come towards her and will not let anyone touch her. She is not housebroken, does not walk on a leash, and will only eat her food in the middle of the night when her foster mom is asleep and she feels safe enough to venture out of the corner of the kitchen that she prefers to stay in.
Shelter operators contacted Best Friends after being unable to place Bocci with a local rescue because of the lasting effects of her severe trauma. Two shelter staff members will drive Bocci 2,288 miles to Utah and return home by plane. The Humane League is seeking monetary donations, gas cards or frequent flier miles.

Donations may be sent to the HLLC or made online by selecting "Help Bocci get to Utah" from the drop down designation menu. If you are interested in donating frequent flyer miles, gas cards, or covering the cost of a rental car please contact the shelter at (717) 393-6551 or e-mail

Chocolate and pets don't mix. But what else under your roof can harm your pet? You may want to find out during National Poison Prevention Week. Animal welfare groups are reminding pet owners to keep dangerous household items out of the reach of pets. This means not only keeping medicine and cleaning cabinets closed, but being aware of the dangers lurking in flower bed and the kitchen trash can. Among the other food products and flowers to avoid: onions, eggs, avocados, tulip bulbs, lilies and azaleas. Experts also caution that dog flea medicine can be fatal if used on cats. For a listing of more life threatening foods, medications and plants and what to do in a pet poison emergency, click here.

Factory farm abuse is the focus on HBO tonight. The cable channel's latest animal documentary, “Death on a Factory Farm” premiers tonight at 10 p.m.  The film looks at events that led to animal cruelty charges brought against an Ohio hog farmer. Animal welfare investigator "Pete" goes undercover at the farm to document conditions there. This same investigator has worked extensively in Pennsylvania exposing wretched conditions inside puppy mills. The film was produced by the folks who made "Dealing Dogs," the 2006 documentary about so-called "B" dealers who sell to research facilities.

March is "Give a Dog a Kong" month at the Pennsylvania SPCA. The shelter uses Kong food puzzle toys as a treat for their dogs and as a way to keep them stimulated while in the kennels. Kongs are (almost) indestructible, stress-reducers and, filled with treats, can keep dogs busy for hours. The PSPCA especially needs large and XL extreme Kongs—listed on our wish list or visit their Website at


Bric-a-brac in Bucks for beagles and other pups and kitties. A new thrift shop opened this weekend in Warrington that supports the rescue work of Animal Lifeline, a non profit, animal adoption organization operating in eastern and central Pennsylvania. Among its ongoing projects, the group works with frontline rescuers in poverty-stricken Clay County, Kentucky. See the video of their work here. The group is seeking gently-used clothing, CDs and DVDs, artwork and jewelry and housewares to stock its shelves. You can also check out their inventory of rescued cats and kittens while you're there. The shop is located at the Warrington Pavilion Shopping Center 1111 Easton Rd. in Warrington. For more information call 215-343-5050.