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Ella Enchanted (click here for more on Ella’s story) was neglected, emaciated and had heart and whip worms when we first learned about her. With a few donations to help with her medical treatment, including a large donation from John & Christine Tortorella, Ella was able to receive the treatment she needs in order to start her recovery and preparations for a new home — Thanks in large part to the Lake Charles Pitbull Rescue in Virginia (via Furbaby Rescue of NC).
Ella has made huge progress, but is still a little timid when she first meets someone.
“She is just the sweetest thing and gentle even when she plays,” said Destiny Shell of the Lake Charles Pitbull Rescue chapter in Virginia that currently has Ella. “She is good in her crate and hasnt had any potty accidents in the house. Once we get her more trust I with new people she will make an amazing family pet. And she’s just a little bitty thing.”
Still, Ella has large medical bills. The Tortorellas are excited about Ella’s progress and want to help more! The Tortorellas have offered to match funds toward Ella’s medical bill up to $500! That means any amount you give will be doubled by the Tortorellas. Please donate to help with Ella’s treatment by clicking the PayPal button below. Thank You!
You may remember Sherman for his starring role in a news story for NEWS 12 WESTCHESTER for the SPCA of Westchester back in October or this video on youtube. Or maybe from many of the Adopt Me? posts on The Tortorella Foundation’s Facebook site (click here to reach our Facebook site). Sherman is taking THE NEXT STEP toward his forever home.
It’s not a permanent home, but Sherman was moved to PETS ALIVE in Middletown (an animal sanctuary) where he has his own shelter and fenced “yard” to play in until he finds his forever home. The Tortorella Foundation designated funds to Pets Alive Middletown for one of two shelters, including the one where Sherman now resides until his family finds him.
“Anything that helps improve a dog’s chances of being adopted is near to my heart,” said Debbie Slottko Pesola, a volunteer for Pet’s Alive in Middletown about the donated shelters. “I had heard these ‘sheds’ were coming and I was excited. But when I saw them tonight … I realized that they were so much nicer than anything I could have imagined. They are amazing!!!”
Like many dogs who end up in shelters, Sherman has had trouble really letting his true colors show when people come to visit. He lived at the SPCA of Westchester for more than a year, where he made huge leaps in social interaction, and before that was at a different shelter.
SHERMAN is perfect for just this kind of attention and will hopefully find the right family for him when he is able to leave “shelter” life behind him and put his best paw forward.
For application to adopt Sherman, visit www.petsalive.org/adoptadog.html
The SPCA of Westchester’s The Way Home Program concentrates on enrichment and training for dogs that may have a harder time finding a forever home, with the ultimate goal of decreasing the average length of stay for long term dogs. Any dog that spends longer than 2 months in shelter care will be served by this program. Dogs labeled as pit bulls will be the bulk of the dogs served
because this breed type makes up about 60-70% of the population sheltered by the SPCA of Westchester. Pit bulls and other bully breed dogs tend to spend more time looking for a home due to the public’s perception of them.
It is their hope to help maintain their mental and physical health while in the shelter by providing more training and enrichment to this underserved population.
This program will help to maintain and increase adoptability to all dogs in the shelter concentrating upon those in with the greatest need. Through the Way Home Program, the SPCA has been able to add a part-time trainer position to its staff. This allows for more individual attention for the targeted dogs and supplements the SPCA’s full-time Behavior & Enrichment Coordinator’s efforts.
The hiring of this part time trainer has afforded the behavior department the ability to implement many additional programs for the dogs. The trainer oversees a kennel enrichment program that includes something for all the senses. Daily music, kong feeding, smells for the kennel and toy rotation are just some of the things that make up this program. Special adoptions for dogs with training needs above and beyond the routine are now completed with the oversight of the Coordinator. With the trainer’s help the Coordinator has been freed up to continue to build the canine companion volunteer program so that we can have more volunteers involved in implementing the extra work the department has received. Leading to each dog receiving an individualized training plan and enrichment schedule to fit the needs for each dog in shelter care for an extended period of time.
In addition, the part-time trainer, working in conjunction with the Behavior & Enrichment Coordinator, oversees play groups, socialization walks and other inter-canine interactions which we are now able to facilitate daily. Other activities include individual training sessions, quiet time with people, nosework, therapy dog training and massage. Although, some of these were in place prior to the hiring of the part time trainer, the frequency with which they are offered has greatly increased.
Future goals of the program involve locating foster homes for dogs who are deteriorating in the shelter environment and providing support to fosters as needed.
The SPCA will meet with potential adopters to review and implement training plans for dogs that have been in shelter care for more than 1 month and arrange for additional “out of the box” adoption options such as working with other rescues, sanctuaries and programs including Pets for Vets. The identification of willing and able foster home participants is critical to the success of transitioning The Way Home dogs out of the shelter and into a home-like environment.
For more information on this program, click here.
The Tortorella family regularly sponsors vetting and more for dogs and cats in need of medical care, safe crates, toys, blankets and more. The month of September was no different.
The Tortorellas, via the foundation, could not their backs on Dominique, an emaciated dog who was abused and was saved from a Harnett County Animal Shelter in North Carolina by Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue. Because of the abuse, the Tortorellas were asked to rename her so she does not associate her name with her past. The name they chose, picked by a 3-year-old great niece, was Ella Enchanted, after a character in a movie who was “cursed” with forced obedience. It seemed a fitting name.
Ella Enchanted (1-year-old female pit bull) had whip worms, hook worms, heart worm and was terrified of people. Just a few weeks later, her whip worms are gone, the hook worms are gone and she’s gaining weight nicely! She received her first set of vaccines and will hopefully start her slow-kill heart worm treatment very soon. Ella Enchanted’s road to recovery will not be easy. She will need time, time and more time for the heart worm treatment and lots of TLC from her foster. With the help of the Tortorella Foundation, Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue in Virginia can move forward to take care of Ella Enchanted and her foster brothers and sisters!
“Knowing Ella’s vetting would be taken care of was a huge relief,” said Destiny Shell, director of the Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue in Hampton, Virginia (the woman who rescued Ella). “My expenses had just been seriously reduced. It was completely overwhelming to me that someone was willing to be so generous and without a second thought about it. We were so moved by this gesture that we wanted to do something that really showed how grateful we were and how much their kindness was noticed… so Ella Enchanted came to be, as we needed another name for the scared little black dog that had been through so much she didn’t want human touch and cowered if you walked too close by her.”
The veterinarian who is handling Ella Enchanted’s care said she will actually look to get attention now when he and his staff walk in to the room.
“Seeing the pictures and getting the updates of Ella after just a few short weeks has just been awesome,” Shell said. “She loves attention is loose and wiggly and happy, is almost at a healthy weight after being treated for hookworms and whip worms and will be able to start her heartworm treatment very soon as well as be spayed. The Tortarella Foundation donation has been an amazing factor in her development and there is much comfort in knowing Ella’s extensive medical costs are completely taken care of.”
Ella Enchanted is not the first dog the Tortorella family has sponsored vetting for, and she certainly won’t be the last. Follow the Tortorella Foundation on facebook at www.facebook.com/tortorellafoundation to see her updates and for opportunities to help other dogs like Ella Enchanted. In the future, the foundation would like to help even more dogs.
The Tortorella Foundation continues to support Sali’s Farm by helping the organization pay for jackets and supplies to its campers and to help with the expenses associated with their first rescue horse, Badger, and their newest rescue horse, Chase!
The Tortorella family, since relocating to the West coast, has found a wonderful organization called SALI’s Farm (Semiahmoo Animal League Inc.) that they have chosen to support. The farm is located in Surrey, British Columbia.
SALI’s Farm has multiple programs, one that brings together rescued animals and at-risk children, and together they show each other how to heal. These young children who visit the farm have witnessed or experienced violence.
There is another program that has touched the Tortorellas. SALI has assisted homeless people who befriend needy animals. SALI offers food and medical care for these animals and their owners, much like Ken and Mack. Ken relies on donated dog food to feed Mack, his very loyal street companion. In the summer of 2013 Ken was trying to find low-income housing and SALI paid for the vet check for Mack and the vaccinations and grooming he needed to live in the housing development. Ken was denied residency there, but was offered other housing that would not allow Mack to join him. Ken decided to live on the street with Mack, rather than without him in a home.
SALI works with other area programs that help low-income families and individuals pay veterinary bills to get much-needed vet care, including care for a dog who needed to have his leg amputated so she would not be put down, providing care to two dogs who were left behind when a woman and her children were forced to leave a violent home and assisting with cost and care to spay and neuter cats in a area reserve.
For more information or to support this organization, visit SALI.ca. Click Here to make a donation to SALI: “Our mission is to honour, nurture and protect the human-animal bond. We help at-risk children, at-risk people and at-risk animals.”