Most of us can’t imagine what it feels like to return from war with traumatic memories that make it difficult to live back at home. But Brett Simon does—and when his parents saw him struggling after serving two tours in Iraq, they knew they had to do something.

Simon worked as a bomb dog handler and was also a former K9 Police Officer, so his family started researching how a service dog might help. A service dog ended up being so helpful, the Duval family knew they had to share this help with others; it was here the non-profit K9s For Warriors was born.

black dogs project It’s time to adopt a new furry family member and you head to the shelter to meet the available dogs. Wide-eyed pups wag their tails furiously while they wait in their crates, hoping for a second look and a forever home. You decide on the perfect dog for your family but feel a little sad for the ones left behind. What if you knew some of those dogs are passed by more often than others, and they tend to be the ones with dark coats?

That’s the sad reality photographer Fred Levy learned about one day at his local Boston-area dog park while chatting up another park-goer. It’s a phenomenon that’s been dubbed Black Dog Syndrome (BDS); black dogs tend to sit in the shelter up to four times longer than their lighter-haired counterparts. It couldn’t be true, he thought.

More than 15,000 animals were adopted nationwide during this year’s Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, and roughly 5,000 of those pets were adopted right here in the Bay Area.

Now we’re bringing you some of the local adoption stories!

maddie's days success story 1Here is Papi with new mommy Lara on the beach! Papi was all smiles after finding his new forever home Saturday. Papi ended up back in the shelter after his first owner developed Alzheimer’s and had to move into a home. Lara says he’s already very well-trained, loves fetch, treats and meeting new people. Papi came from the NorCal Poodle Rescue, an East Bay organization that rescues more than 100 poodles each year.

By: Kyle McKay, Guest Writer

Everyone is unique. We each have our own likes, dislikes, personality and comfort zone.

Dogs also have these character traits but sometimes, it’s hard to remember that when meeting a dog for the first time.

dog showing fear
Sometimes dogs get spooked and need space from humans and/or other dogs. Usually a tail tuck or a dog hiding behind its owner are clues the dog needs space.

Some canine companions are incredibly friendly. They’ll run to you with a furiously wagging tail, practically begging you to pet them and play with them. This scenario is often a default expectation among most people when encountering an unfamiliar dog in public.

But it’s important to know this is not always the case. And even if your dog is friendly, that doesn’t mean every dog the two of your encounter will be, too.

Just like humans, some dogs need a little more space than what people expect. A dog may be a bit skittish and leery around new animals or people. But how do you know when this is the case?

We at Yellow Dog Blog are huge fans of legitimate, hard-working rescue groups. After all, a Bay Area rescue saved Yellow Dog and Sundown!

But it is heartbreaking to know not all dogs are so lucky. In fact, roughly 9,000 innocent animals are put to sleep every day across the U.S. simply because there aren’t enough people willing or able to adopt. So we’ve launched a new series on YDB highlighting rescue groups in California, the Rescue Me series.

We start with Pug Rescue of Sacramento, or PROS. PROS was founded in the early 1990s when Sacramento breeder Marianne Herzberg-Stanley found many pugs in need of homes. PROS was incorporated as a non-profit in 1996 and since then, they’ve rescued thousands of pugs, taking in more than 100 dogs a year.

Pug dogs jumping up
Two pugs greet a visitor at a PROS adoption event at Pet Food Express in Benicia.

PROS President Jan Grover has been working with the organization for 12 years, including three as president. She says the pug breed is special.

“Pugs are very oriented towards people,” Grover says. “They especially enjoy being around their own breed. At pug events, it’s like meeting a long-lost cousin.”

Dedicated volunteer and Dublin resident Elena Temples got involved with PROS more than ten years ago when she took her first pug puppy to Pug Sunday at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek.

rescued dog
This little pup was one of 14 dogs rescued by the Monterey County SPCA.

A woman accused of selling pets under the guise of a rescue organization pled no contest Friday to animal cruelty charges in Salinas. Crystal Kisicki was accused of trying to sell the 17 neglected animals in front of a PetSmart last June. She’ll now spend ten days in jail, three years on probation and pay restitution. She will also be required to follow strict guidelines to keep the three pets she personally owns. Her pets will be microchipped and will be checked by a vet every three months.