Elektra Saluki Aid Fund

New: Slide Show of photos that have been released by the authorities
Above in the banner are photos of some of the 14 Elektra Salukis in STOLA's care.

(These were among the first photos, and least disturbing, released for posting.)

Official Reports from the Front Lines

8/11/05 Brunsick AC Report
We are limited as to what we can report.  The information below has been approved for dissemination.
The Salukis are in good hands.  AC is very responsive, friendly and attentive.  They understand to not move suddenly, approach the Salukis gingerly, speak softly and exhibit a willingness to learn about the breed.  The Salukis are cooperating to get out of the way when they need to clean the kennels so they haven’t had to frighten them by further handling.
AC is actually a very small building with well kept grounds and clean kennels.  They have six adjoining 4’8’ kennel stalls lined on each side of the building, for a total of 12.  The individual kennel has a pull up “doggie” door which leads to an outside kennel, also 4’8’.  Non Saluki dogs at the present time fill one side of their kennel space.  The Salukis share the other 6 kennels.  Local SPCA is picking up many non-Saluki dogs to make more room.
All the Salukis have common problems, filthy, teeth/mouth sensitivity/infections, massive fleas, ticks, worms, sores, hot spots, etc.  They are also extremely frightened.  Feral is probably the word.  However, only a few were identified as “bite” aggressive but seemed manageable when dealt with slowly.  Most were just scared, shaking, cowering, trying to disappear.  They still are not eating or drinking water as a majority.  A few are eating canned Pedigree.  AC said they document every feeding, looks like a medical chart.
Two people familiar with handling unsocialized/feral dogs worked for over 7 hours to start bathing.  Only 8 dogs were done.  They had to work very slowly because the dogs were severely traumatized.  Restraint was minimally used with an emphasis on “hands on” socialization.  Grooming was limited to mostly scissoring mats (no clippers), bathing lightly (no dryers), and some ear cleaning and nail clipping depending on the tolerance level of each dog.  I must say here, the filth was amazing.  One fawn dog, covered with flea dirt was actually cream.  The first rinse created floods of muddy red water.  Further rinsing turned the water brown.  The poor babies were so frightened I don’t think they ever had a bath.
SM is still detained at the mental institution.  She has not gone before the court for charging, rights and public attorney.
Unfortunately, by the direction of the Courts, AC must lock the Salukis in the building during non-business hours, and MUST close “doggy door” confining them to the inside kennel spaces of 4’8’.  This is to protect the Salukis from theft!  In the meanwhile, 4 Salukis to one kennel space is quite crammed.  They cannot provide relief for this situation until they get a security system so they know the Salukis are safe. The security system is their #1 priority at this time.
Washing/care/socialization of the Salukis is our concern at this time.  Would like to ask for references for any local person that knows how to softly handle feral dogs, particularly sighthounds, to volunteer to help.  They don’t need to be groomers, just know how to gently handle a feral dog.  We only got 8 of the 25 done today in over 7 hours of 2 people working non-stop, no break, no food.  Once flea medication takes affect, we probably have to do it again.  Because they are in limited space for long hours, we probably have to periodically clean them up. 

2nd Grooming Day at Brunswick 8/15/2005

Grooming Team Leader, 2 Volunteers


Today was something to behold.  AC has done a fantastic job working with the Salukis in just a short week.  Upon arrival, the Salukis were no longer running from approach, they actually stood or sat and watched all human movements, some quite regally.  AC still doesn't touch them, other than one Saluki who rolls onto her back for petting by a particular attendant, who by the way wants to adopt her.


Some grooming was accomplished but this day was mostly devoted to two other objectives.  First, labeling each dog so that AC can identify which dog needs attention or medication.  So, the team painted their toenails with nail polish, numbered their kennels and now AC can say the red or yellow one in kennel #3.  It sounds amusing but it works.


The second objective was to put hands on EVERY dog and assess the aggressiveness, fear, and biting.  No serious aggression was found. The Salukis still don't understand the human touch and shrink and tremble at any attempt.  They do not know how to act around humans other than SM.  The team spent time lightly touching and cooing each one of them.  Most trembled through the process but accepted the procedure in a submitting stance.


Reports from eyewitnesses that have dealt with SM in recent times expressed their concerns to AC.  Most of the Salukis never saw another human being other than SM.  They were allowed to roam freely from the yard to the inside of SM house and prop their bodies on stuffed furniture and sleep in her bed while Alex talked to them. The fear they show is for lack of the human touch, more than one person at a time and the unfamiliar.  It is not just that for years and years they only knew SM.  They never left her property, were never in a car, never walked with a lead, never saw traffic, city lights, and crowds, and heard the noises of life.  Everything is unfamiliar and frightening to them.  AC seems to understand and feels saddened.


So from this observer’s heart, I hope they all finally find a home that teaches them what real love is.  And to all the husbands who are cooking dinner and taking care of the home while their tireless wives do their jobs, my hearty thanks


Elektra Rescue Update 8/19/05

Please feel free to cross post.

We are so happy to report that the Elektra rescue Salukis are doing so much better. They are gaining weight and their medical conditions are gradually improving. Along with shampoos, volunteer groomers are showering them with the affection and caring they deserve, and the dogs are beginning to respond to the kindness.

We have received so many heartwarming messages of support pouring in from all over the world –offers of help, messages of concern, outpourings of emotion from people who care deeply about the plight of these dogs – that it has brought tears to our eyes many time and spurs us on to work even harder for these Salukis who need so much. We reach for a tissue and keep working, answering the hundreds of e-mails and messages we receive each day. To those who have sent us such beautiful notes by mail, we intend to reply to each and every one of you., so please understand that we are very grateful even though it may take us a little while to have a moment to reply.

We have received a very generous offer of food from Pedigree and we are currently arranging to have it transported to the shelter dogs. Georgia Saint Bernard Rescue is sending us a large donation of food. We are receiving support from dog clubs, individuals, and also from people in foreign countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. It is truly amazing what is being accomplished because the internet has made the world a small town, enabling us to request and get help from across the world in a matter of hours. There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child; it takes a united community pulling together to make a miracle - and that is what we are witnessing here. We will need to sustain our efforts over the coming weeks and months to ensure that the dogs will continue to receive the care they need until they are released from custody. We can never truly express the gratitude we feel for the generosity of all you wonderful, wonderful people who are offering support and love to these magical creatures we call Salukis.

We are in the process of compiling a complete list of corporate and dog club supporters for the web site, but at this time we would like to extend a special thank you to the following in the order received:

The Classic Saluki
American Saluki Association
Caddo Hound Club
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club
Borzoi Club of Delaware Valley
Garden State Saluki Club Challenge
San Angeles Saluki Club Challenge
Gray Stone Cavaliers
German Saluki Association
Borzoi Club of Northern California
Galveston Bay Saluki Club
Georgia Saint Bernard Rescue
Saluki Club of America
Saluki Welfare of the United Kingdom

Within a day or so we will have an update posted on the STOLA web site at http://www.stola.org including more photographs of Elektra rescues, and we will continue to post updates there, so please check back often. In the meantime, please remember to notify everyone you know of our rescue efforts for the Elektras by forwarding them the links for the Elektra Saluki Aid Fund http://www.stola.org/elektrarescue/index.html and the STOLA web site http://www.stola.org. In any messages you send please be sure to include that there can be no media coverage at this time because it could jeopardize the case.

With gratitude,
Janet, Fiona, Sharon, Cherie
STOLA Support Council

PS: Please watch the Thank You list on the front page for updates.

AC REPORT 8/22/2005

At a glance, most of the Salukis seem in much better condition. They have gained weight rapidly. They are now eating everything in sight. Some will eat in front of AC in shared bowls with other Salukis with no fights. Some will only eat when no humans are around and a few will only eat if they are left totally private. They also look better after so many have had their baths, dematted, etc. Most seem to react better to human interference, some actually stick their noses through the fences in search of a treat or human interaction. A few still stand guarded, bark non stop, etc.

Security: AC is addressing their security needs this week with vendors and have moved the security issue to the forefront as a priority. Among other issues, they will be installing a fence around the property that is wired by ADT and connected to go off at the Sheriff's Department for dispatch which is 5 minutes away from AC. In the meanwhile, the Sheriff's department regularly patrols the AC grounds, 24 hours a day. Since a fence for such a large area is a major expense, the CA is still worried about funding.

Supplies:. The County Administrator's office and AC have a daily routine to transfer the incoming donated supplies to AC. They are in receipt of Frontline, Heartworm, etc. and AC is trying to organize same at limited space in AC. The County Administrator is in "awe" of the support and generosity of people not only in our breed, but from all breeds and from all over the world. He is grateful for all the support the County is receiving, actually shaking his head in disbelief.

Food. The County Administrator received a form of authorization from Pedigree for their generous offer and has already signed and sent the form. AC has enough food from what has been delivered to last another week. Close tabs as to food availability are kept until they receive a bulk shipment of food.

Grooming/Socialization. The County has generously given the Saluki Community the responsibility for caring for the Salukis. As the Salukis receive medical attention, gain weight and are exposed to more human contact, handling them will become easier. We must sustain our level of support to these Salukis for an unknown period of time. We will need more volunteers as time progresses to meet this need. In the initial crisis, many volunteers expressed their concerns of inadequacy, but it time, we all should be able to reach them. Envision a day when one can casually walk into AC for nothing more than lead walks, exercise runs, petting and cooing.

Vet Needs: All the Salukis have received initial veterinarian care, blood and fecal tests, and treatments for worms and flees. At last, they are feeling the relief of these ailments. Some Salukis may require more intense veterinarian treatments; therefore, we would need to sustain a donation drive for funding vet requirements.

A huge thank you is extended to all the people who have made contributions of time, money and goods in such a huge undertaking to get help to our Salukis in this tiny town in Virginia. May we now band together to continue our support and meet the needs of the Salukis.

GROOMING REPORT - August 31, 2005

Here is what the groomers have to say!!! These people are right there and seeing what is happening!! The groomers have been absolutely wonderful and instrumental in reporting their findings to us so we can take appropriate measures for the welfare of the dogs.

This is what the groomers have to say about the crew at Animal Control:

•They were all very nice and extremely cooperative. What a fantastic crew of people.

•The shelter itself was spotless. Brunswick County is very lucky to have found these animal control officers.

•What thrilled me though was talking to the officers. They are so concerned and making every effort to help these dogs. They described how they caught them trying to use the least trauma possible when they were so scared. I was touched at their concern. We certainly don't want to alienate any of them, that's for sure.

•I was very impressed with the building. It was very clean and well cared for when we got there.

Here’s what the groomers have to say about the Salukis:

•All these dogs did exceptionally well. They allowed us to bathe without difficulty. We were greatly encouraged with their improvements and demeanor.

•All 6 of the dogs we worked with are shy but coming around. I'm sure they can all be re-homed

• It's important that two people work together on these Salukis; one person just could not hold and calm the dog, plus do any grooming. All the Salukis seem to be settling in quite well; they obviously are getting used to having people around. I really didn't see fear in any Salukis' eyes, which is a very positive thing.

•The dogs were nervous but tolerant of being handled and touched. Some seemed to zone out into another world.

•I know the dogs have to be locked up every night so the runs must be awful in the morning with so many in a tiny area but each run was spotless (except for an occasional poop that just happened) and the dogs relatively clean of urine (I expected more really). Once the fleas can be treated with Frontline, they will look so much better. We both hurt to see the water run red from the fleas. They basically just stood there and as long as we were gentle and didn't move too fast they were very good.

•As far as the individual dogs, none tried to bite this week and all let us pet them.

•All in all, it was not as bad as we feared.

•We had a very good experience and I believe the dogs did as well.

•They have more stainless feed bowls than they will ever need. I heard mention of some Flint River ranch and it was used up. Someone sent at least 4 or 5 boxes of Pedigree dry. There is a bag of latex toys that is waiting to be emptied (I hope) once the dogs no longer have to be locked in so long, there were several cases of Red Barn. There are all sorts of leashes and collars and beautiful martingale leashes

5 Sept Groomers Report

The groomers are sent out in teams to work on specifically assigned dogs.  They are given excerpts from Only Angels, available by Stola which gives tips for approaching and handling dogs.  Groomers that have seen the dogs more than once remark on their progress.  All observations from the Groomers are turned into the Team Leader who keeps a written history of each dog, his temperament, treatments, and progression.  The written report seems promising.  In order to stagger more people throughout the upcoming months, we need more volunteers.  If you have light skills, please volunteer as I am sure you can be teamed up with a more experienced person and assigned the easier to handle dogs.  There are about 6 that are very friendly and ready to go on someone's couch right away.  Please write Lin Hawkyard to volunteer for one of these teams.  If you have strong handling skills, we need you!  Below are excerpts from the groomer reports:

 •  "Today went really, really well."

 •  "Today at the Brunswick shelter turned out to be mainly a
 socialization one"

 •  "All the bitches in run 4 are getting friendlier"

 •  "They all looked good and no vermin could be seen on them."

 •  "In talking to the shelter personnel, they told us that none of  the Salukis would touch the dry food so they are feeding canned  Pedigree exclusively."

 •  "All the dogs weight looks really good. I think there were a couple of older ones and you could still slightly see ribs."

 •  "These Salukis have a very positive future. I think that the ones we worked with today are going to make good pets."

 •  "They are only going to get better as time goes on and they get more used to things."

 •  "The kennels were spotless and there was no odor."

 •  "My observations would be that most are now in good weight."

 •  "The dogs were nervous but tolerant of being handled and touched."

 •  "There were lots of supplies arriving. I would suggest someone post NO Cloth bedding or toys"

 •  "The shelter people and the policeman that dropped by were all very nice. I gave the guys a box of chocolate for doing such a good job and a thank you card."

 •  "As far as the individual dogs, none tried to bite this week and all let the three of us pet them."

 •  "Because I was alone all AM, all I did was socialize and check
 the dogs over. Only livestock I found were inchworms on floor, no ticks or live fleas."

 On other fronts, the County Administrator is searching for a
 warehouse to house the 10 pallets (20,000 lbs) of Pedigree food.   Animal Control is working on installing the security system that will give the Salukis more room to go in and out of their runs during nonoperational hours.  The County has received many of the generous donations and are extremely surprised and grateful.  SM is still being evaluated in the Mental Hospital but DA feels confident he will get a speedy trial once the Mental Hospital has finished testing.

Elektra Salukis Report

September 27 2005

The Salukis at the shelter are coming along very well indeed. We have seen great improvements in their overall condition and in most cases an increase in body weight. They are all eating well, and their personalities are now beginning to show through.

Some quotes from our groomers include –

  • Very lovey. Liked to be touched and stroked during bath. Very calm.

  • Like peas in a pod this one and the other one in the run. They sat and watched the goings on of the day, legs crossed and calm.

  • Very nice girl. A bit apprehensive but willing to cooperate. Quiet.

  • Loved being stroked and having her face held and petted. Looked every bit the show dog. Pretended this bathing was an everyday occurrence. Needs a home that will dote on her.

  • Very cooperative. No problem just hangs out and watches. Could be a very quick learner. He sees all.

  • Very easy going dog. Likes to just hang out with the guys. No arguments.

  • Sweet temperament and loving deserves every kindness he can get.

  • Came over several times to be stroked and patted un-encouraged. Loved going with me where ever I went.

Teams of groomers are still going down to the shelter every week to work with the Salukis and this will continue until their release. Each Saluki is handled as often as possible and bathed when necessary. We keep meticulous reports on the condition of each of the Salukis updating the charts with pertinent information. All of them have been identified, photographed and checked by the veterinarian.

STOLA is working hard on finding foster homes for the day they are released, and applications for foster and adoption are being processed so that as many of them as is possible can go straight from the shelter to a nice comfy sofa.

The AC shelter staff continues to amaze us with their dedication and obvious caring for these Salukis. The kennels are a treat to work in, kept spotless at all times. Our groomers enjoy the interaction with the shelter staff and take ‘treats’ for them too, home made cakes, cookies and other delicacies, which the shelter staff really enjoy. They are all staggered at how much help, both financial and in donated items the Saluki community continues to send down to make the day to day existence of the Salukis much better.

The Salukis are getting more time outdoors and with some rearranging of runs they now have more room inside too.

All in all, we are very pleased with progress and are especially pleased with the response of our team of groomers, without whom we would not have seen this incredible progress. Without a doubt these few dedicated people have made a world of difference to the lives of these Salukis.

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