Friday, July 4, 2008

Working Dogs & the Helmsley Billions

With all this brouhaha about hotel magnate Leona Helmsley's desire to leave her estate to "be used for the care and welfare of dogs," I thought it might be appropriate to list all those working dogs that do something for humans, and might make it worth our while to take care of.

So here goes.
  1. Police K-9 dogs
  2. Military working dogs (check out the Military Working Dog Foundation)
  3. Bomb-sniffing dogs, narcotic- and evidence-sniffing dogs, and illegal contraband-sniffing dogs
  4. Mine-sniffing dogs (see the Thailand Mine Action Center)
  5. Search and rescue dogs (who was helping to find people during NYC's 9/11 emergencies?) Check out the Search Dog Foundation. (air scent, trailing, tracking, disaster, cadaver, water rescue, avalanche)
  6. Service dogs for the blind, deaf, and mobility-impaired persons (see the Texas Hearing and Service Dogs or Susquehanna Service Dogs site)
  7. Sled dogs (still used for transportation in some parts of the world. Balto delivered the diptheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska, in 1925; there's even a memorial statue of Balto in NYC's Central Park) (carting and drafting dogs)
  8. Therapy dogs (see the national registrar Therapy Dogs, Inc. and the international registrar Therapy Dogs International)
  9. Dogs used in children's literacy programs ("Reading Assistance Education Dogs")
There is an FBI site about working dogs!

a lot of these dogs need homes when their working days are over; they don't all just live out their lives with their handlers. There is a very real need for adoptive homes for these dogs.

Leona Helmsley wants to leave billions for the care and welfare of dogs? Fine by me. She wants to leave lemons? Make lemonade!

Make Helmsley's donation work for us, let's not work against it.

For detroit dog's editorial on this subject, as well as story links, read my July 1 post Leona Helmsley Leaves Billions to Dogs.


  1. There always seems to be a catch with some of these philanthropists. Sadly, their intentions are good, but their execution of them is not thought out. Good for you, DD for drawing our attention to this.

    (I didn't know Balto was a real dog. Is this the one the animated film was based on?)

    I always wanted to have a therapy dog - maybe one day yet!


    P.S. I've just worked out how to podcast my poems on Poetikat's if you're interested.

  2. Hi Kat,

    Yep, the Disney movie is based on the true story of Balto, who was the lead sled dog on the last leg of the relay delivering the meds.

  3. Thanks for mentioning Helmsley's donation. I had not heard of it.


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