Animals Without Limits

American Swedish non profit organisation

Category Archives: terrible shelter

Giove, You Made It!


Giove (see the picture from earlier blogs) was trapped for many years in a horrible shelter were he had to drink his own urine many times, and often went without food for days at a time. The lack of food and water happened many times during his time there. He is some kind of terrier mix so many were afraid of him —still many don’t understand that it is often the human that creates the dog’s “aggressive” mentality through their interaction with the dog— and needed surgery for a hernia (surgery provided by AWL). Erika and Bobby sat reading my blog and saw this picture of him trying to reach out from the cage. There was something with this little boy that reached across the kilometers, indeed across Europe, and touched their heart.

They contacted AWL and told us they wanted to adopt him! So the journey began (please read earlier blog stories about him) —he stayed at another shelter, a little better since they got food every day. Once the adoption was for sure, I moved him to a sort of kennne, where all the shots and tests were done, as well as the operation for his hernia. He stayed there for several months, getting well. For four (4) months he had to stay there until I could bring him to our home for evaluation and socialization. One veterinarian told me to be careful because he would nip! They said “Absolutely no children and he wouldn’t get along well with our other dogs.”

A little nervously, I have to admit, with 13 dogs and 2 children in my house, I definitely didn’t want to jeopardize anyone’s safety. But then I have learned from my work (12 years) that people are different, environments are different and dogs minds are certainly different. That’s why we test them several times and in different situations. The result after three weeks here; Giove was best friends with everyone in my house, he listened and learned so quickly, it amazed me, and with my children he was polite and gentle (they were never alone with him and we didn’t have him on the bedroom floor, it’s closed to the dogs to come up). In a car, he was wonderful. Out at cafes; gentle, waiting patiently next to the chair. At a veterinarian waiting room with other dogs, no problems!

Eating, he is protective of his bowl, so we fed him in a separate room. When he’s done the bowl was removed. (Why protective? In the first shelter they got fed every 6 days… you’d be protective of your food too!). Once we learned these habits, we easily adjusted him and our envitornment to counter the undesired behavior.

Veterinarians; reacted to the stereotype of a Pitbull mix. They immediately wanted to muzzle him and treat him like an “aggressive” dog. In some slight ways, this was a self-fullfilling prophesy. His reaction to being restrained and presented with a needle was learned from his past. (Why? Dog catchers caught him with 2 ropes and pulled in two directions while one pulled him up by his tail to demobilize and lift him up. We have pictures of this… imagine it would leave a permanent memory with him, not a pleasant one! He had been really baddly treated by some veterinarians.)

We went to another veterinarian to give him a shot. Sadly this veterinarian was so scared of this small 10 kg Terrier and started to wrestled with Giove while yelling excitedly. I tried to explain why and how we wanted him to be handled, but this male veterinarian wrestled and yelled, “Do you know this is a dangerous dog?!”

Giove is now at his home in Sweden, getting aquainted with his new mates, a Mastif and Rhodesian Ridgeback. Why the couple drove 22 hours each way to pick him up rather than flying him? They wanted to have some time together with him, to get to know him before he would meet the other two kids.
This is a wonderful couple who have great experience with terriers and dog psychology/training. I would never allow a dangerous or unstable dog into somebodies home, not even my own home. We have had to put down very few dangerous dogs, sadly not their fault their behavior was created by humans. I work for what is best for the dog. Giove, he won a place in Paradise. Good Luck my friend, you did it my “mini-Mandela.”

Giove — Update


Finally, finally we are getting to give Giove a wonderful life, he so deserves it.
You remember Giove from the terrible shelter. Ylva took a picture that a wonderful couple in Sweden saw and fell in love with him. They fell so much on love that they adopted him and this was back in February! He was transported to another shelter, not as bad as the other one, but not very nice either. Paper work is a nightmare here and the change of microchip took a long time so we could start with all the blood tests. We transferred Giove to one veterinarian clinic in quarantine, tests and a hernia surgery, de-worming and de-worming and gosh everything.

We have paid, me and my husband, 700 euro for his treatment and lodging. And then the trip for him is not included. This is one reason why Sweden gets a lot of sickness and problem dogs since adopting a healthy dog is expensive and no organization can afford to spend up to 1000 euro per dog on many cases.

Today, me and my children picked him up and he was so sweet in the car, sitting looking out through the back windows. He was a good gentleman when walking into my yard and 6 dogs greeted him sniffing him very carefully and he stood absolutely still and wagged his tail.

Right now he is outside laying in his first grass ever, together with his former “terrible shelter” friends wondering…what is this green stuff?

AWL – Shelter Cleaning Mission


Animals Without Limits mobilized volunteers from the US Navy and NATO communities here to help clean another area shelter and take care of the dogs there. This shelter was in much better condition than the “terrible shelter” in January, but had taken in many of those “terrible shelter” dogs, filling the shelter beyond designed capacity.

Thank you all great volunteers for today’s mission. You did all a truly wonderful job.
Kristine, Rosa with boyfriend, Keegan, Jackie with neighbor. Siron and Brown, great job!

Dareen did an excellent grooming job, cutting the fur.

Vania and her husband with friends (3), you did a tough job very well.
Cleaning and brushing the dogs. Washing their cages and houses. Many were emotionally touched by the dogs and we hope we gave them a sunny day. They sure gave us a lot of Amore.
The dog “Fiora” was quickly everyone’s favorite. Abandoned with her brother by their English owner when they moved to Hawaii (actually left them in their vacant apartment!!). She is around two years-old and so affectionate and well behaved. This dog truly deserves an owner to love forever!

Sarah and Bruce making lunch for the dogs.

In total, the team finished cleaning and taking care of approximately 70 dogs, and cleaning their cages (around 20). We plan to go out again in 3 weeks to finish the job, and hopefully power-wash the pens as well.

AWL in the news


Yesterday’s activity to close the “terrible shelter” was reported on in the Stars & Stripes newspaper. Read it here.

The reporter told me that her editor cut about half the story she had written because of space limitations. I can only assume he cut the best parts that talked about our wonderful Veterinarian, Dr. Inga and great volunteer/friend Ylva. Our many, many thanks to them.

Also, so many thank-you’s to Ms Sandra Jonz, the Stars & Stripes reporter who spent the morning with us at the “terrible shelter” and not only wrote a great article, but will perhaps one day go on a mission with us as a volunteer herself.

People coming together to help those without a voice of their own. That’s amore.

AWL in the Newspaper


Our clean up days at the “terrible shelter” are getting acknowledged in Panorama. (page 6 and 11)
  • I will also thank Erika Sundman who was the one who made AWL aware of the “terrible shelter”.
  • Ylva Mercer who cleaned like a man, and made lunch like a woman.
  • Kath for 10 big Clorox cans.
  • Zina for your dog care package.
  • All the wonderfull workers who toiled over the 2 days of effort.
And to all you who donated so that we could buy all the medicine, a big amore THANK YOU!