Sunday, February 21, 2010

Florida Basenjis


Another week has flown by. Here is a summary/review of what has happened and what we expect to happen in the near future:

Feb. 11 - Custody of the Wimauma basenjis was awarded to HCAS. The 30 day appeal period was waived by the judge. The scramble begins as we make arrangements to move dogs in a couple of weeks versus a bit more than a month. Terry and Jackie from out of town visited "the nursery" (our house, which is also a hospice...) to take pictures for posting.

Feb. 13 - Kenyatta, the heartworm positive, anemic, emaciated, hypoglycemic,very sweet and cooperative, pregnant female went into labor early in the morning. By noon, she had her last viable pup. She finally delivered the last one, a stillborn, around 8 PM, after multiple doses of Oxytocin. Surgical removal was not an option without serious risks because her condition is so poor. Her body score out of 9 is just 2 (determined prior to delivery - without pups, she, of course, appears to be even thinner, perhaps just a 1). Tube feeding of her pups every two hours begins (the only "milk" Kenyatta has is a tiny amount of mastitis - and her body condition certainly cannot support nursing). Reasonable efforts are ongoing to help Kenyatta make a recovery. She has been to our regular vet, the emergency/critical care vet (through delivery), and HCAS (they are able to provide transfusions and injections that would have continued to accrue significant expenses at the ER/critical care vet's). Kenyatta and I, along with Debbi or my folks, have spent a lot of time together in the vehicle, running from one place to the next.

Week of Feb. 15 - All basenjis currently located at HCAS are spayed/neutered/ vaccinated. They are ready to leave HCAS as soon as we have all arrangements in place. Five of the older pups who are still at HCAS that have been doing quite well with socialization activities will first go into short-term foster homes. Potential applicants are invited to submit applications through BRAT to adopt them. There are approximately 10 others that will move to Pam's Basenji Town for a chill-out/evaluation period prior to being moved to longer-term foster homes. The nine pups in our nursery visited HCAS for boosters, more deworming and weighing - they are getting chunky! It is determined that they are about 8 weeks old and big enough to be spayed and neutered. These procedures will be done soon. They will be ready to move on to their new adoptive homes before long.

Arrangements have been made with HCAS regarding vetting of the basenjis who are at Pam's nursery and no longer at the shelter. HCAS will spay/neuter/vaccinate all basenjis, including those still "in the oven" (one more mom-to-be has looked ready to pop any second for days...), so all pups will stay in the area until they are at least 8 weeks old.

This "in-house vetting" is a huge help to BRAT. Our expenses for vetting these b-kids is already high. The stress from shelter and/or bad body condition took a couple over the Rainbow Bridge. We were able to snatch the rest back from the brink. We haven't even begun to consider other vetting expenses the older basenjis will need. Amazingly, there is only one who tests heartworm positive at this time. I have begun to check what other needs they may have; for example, one of the older moms has broken/tartar-covered teeth that may need some attention. Because of the condition of the mom during pregnancy, the pups currently being tube/bottle-fed every two hours have a very uncertain future. They may need additional vetting. Donations for these basenjis is greatly appreciated. A special link will be added to our website soon.

Many people and groups have offered help throughout the past month. If you have not received a response, please accept our apologies. We have been a little busy... Given the abbreviated time that we have to get the basenjis out of HCAS, we are asking your help to reorganize more quickly. If you would like to help in some way, could you please send an email again, complying with the following:

Please label the subject line with one of the following:

c. ADOPT -
d. OTHER -

If you are able to help in multiple ways, please send multiple emails.

If you are able to help with fostering or transporting , we ask that you become a BRAT member. Please note on the "Join BRAT" form you are joining to help with the Wimauma basenjis. If you wish, you can ask to drop your membership later. There is no membership fee to join BRAT.

If you are interested in adopting one of the Wimauma basenjis, please submit an adoption application through BRAT's website. Please note on your adoption application you are interested in the Wimauma basenjis.

These basenjis are different from our "normal" rescue basenjis and are different from the puppy mill basenjis BRAT volunteers have met in the past. I have been saying this for a month to Debbi (though, to be completely honest, I've made my statements based on what I've heard about puppy mill basenjis - I've never had basenji that was an abused puppy mill breeder b). She has now had the opportunity to meet the basenjis down here - and agrees! (She confessed that she was dissin' my thoughts...). These basenjis generally need more exercise and are bigger, stronger, more energetic, more sensitive to body language, and more capable of "taking care of themselves" than most basenjis. It is neat to have the opportunity to see what their behavior is like having come from a natural, wild pack. One of the greatest benefits is that the adults seem to be almost house-broken from the first moment in a house, possibly because soiling the area near the den would attract predators. Though there may be exceptions, their desire to escape should be expected to be very high. They do like the creature comforts of a home, though, so they should accept being in a home if great care is taken to make sure that the introduction is nothing but pleasant.

We have had basenjis from this line in the past, some as pups, some as adults. We have a fair amount of experience regarding what works for these basenjis and what doesn't work for them. Adults that have come into rescue have often been relinquished from individual owners because of behavioral problems. We have been able to rehabilitate them and provide their adoptive families with handling techniques to prevent the behaviors from resurfacing. Please realize that it is necessary to follow the advice and procedures that are recommended regarding these basenjis. These are really basenjis of a different color.

Thank you again for your support!

Pam Hamilton
FL District Coordinator
Advisory Director
Basenji Rescue and Transport


Debbi Johnson
BRAT Treasurer & Director
Germantown, TN

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