PET OF THE WEEK: Abbey

Abbey is a pretty 2 ½-year-old German Shepherd/Lab mix who was rescued from a city shelter and taken to Camp Wolfgang, a sanctuary for dogs. Unfortunately, Camp Wolfgang was closed down when the owner and founder died. All the remaining dogs had to be relocated. Abbey shared a run with another dog who has now been adopted, so we know that she gets along with other dogs. Abbey has had a hard life, and she is looking to meet a family to call her own.

Many other great dogs and cats are available for adoption from Operation Kindness, located at 3201 Earhart Drive, one street south of Keller Springs and 2 blocks west of Midway Road, in Carrollton. The no-kill shelter is open 6 days a week: Monday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Tuesday; Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The cost is $110 for cats, $135 for kittens, $150 dogs over 1 year, and $175 for puppies. The adoption cost includes the spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, vaccinations, heartworm test for dogs, leukemia and FIV test for cats, and more. Those who adopt two pets at the same time receive a $20 discount. For more information, call 972-418-PAWS, or visit www.operationkindness.org.

—  John Wright

Gay-owned Ranch Hand Rescue continues saving farm animals through brutally cold weather

Starlight

Ranch Hand Rescue is a sanctuary for abused and neglected farm animals. They have been removed from their current situation by a county humane officer, sheriff or law enforcement official.

In December, we wrote about a fundraiser for the organization to help owner Bob Williams feed and give the animals the medical care they need. Their goal was $10,000 and they raised more than $15,000.

“The place was packed,” Williams said.

This past week was a particularly difficult one for them because of the cold weather.

“Our animals still need their medications and feeding,” Williams said.

Frozen pipes and additional staff increased costs.

—  David Taffet

Pastor Linda Harris in critical condition

Pastor Linda Harris

Local artist Robb Conover contacted me this morning to let me know that Pastor Linda Harris, former pastor of Sanctuary of Love church, is in critical condition at a Fort Worth hospital, and is not expected to live much longer.

Conover said friends of Pastor Harris who would like a chance to see her again and say goodbye are urged to do so as soon as possible. He said she is being giving morphine to control her pain, but is awake and alert at times.

When Conover called this morning, he said Pastor Harris was in Room 321 at Fort Worth Medical Plaza where doctors were working to remove her pacemaker and defibrillator. Once that is accomplished, he said, Pastor Harris will be transferred to hospice care on the seventh floor of Baylor All Saints hospital in Fort Worth.

Conover said the family asked him to let Pastor Harris’ friends know of these latest developments, and said that anyone with questions can contact him at 214-623-7790.

—  admin

Fundraiser set to benefit sanctuary for abused horses, other animals

‘Honky Tonk for Horses’ will help pay for 35 animals now at Ranch Hand Rescue, another 22 horses now in rehab after being rescued

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

A NEW HOME | Bob Williams of Ranch Hand Rescue welcomes Midnight to his new home at the sanctuary for abused horses and other animals. Midnight is missing one hoof, and Williams said he is working on getting the animal a prosthetic leg.

Bob Williams is passionate about rescuing abused and neglected farm animals — so passionate that he and his partner, Marty Polasko, opened a sanctuary for them.

Next Thursday, Dec. 16, Williams hopes to raise $10,000 for his organization, Ranch Hand Rescue, at Honky Tonk for Horses, a silent auction being held at The Mule Barn, a sports bar in Justin, just north of Fort Worth.

Ranch Hand Rescue provides sanctuary and medical care for abused farm animals from around North Texas. Founded in April 2009, the rescue has already saved 85 farm animals — mostly horses but also donkeys, mules, llamas, pigs, a turtle and rabbits.

“We work with law enforcement on animal abuse,” Williams said. “When the owner’s arrested, we’re called in.”

Currently, Ranch Hand Rescue has 35 animals adopted into their sanctuary and 22 horses in rehab. They’re involved in four current investigations.
Williams has no sympathy for anyone abusing animals.

“When we’re involved in these cases, we work to see the owner is prosecuted,” he said.

He said he is working with legislators to fix current state animal abuse laws. Beating an animal to death is a felony in Texas, but starving an animal to death is just a misdemeanor. Williams wants that fixed.

Williams said that Ranch Hand Rescue has four components.

“Our baby is the sanctuary,” he said.

That’s where they care for animals that have lived through abuse and neglect.

Rescue is the second piece of their mission. They have put together a network of foster families throughout Texas who help them nurse animals back to health. Starvation is the biggest problem.

“We have to jump-start their digestive systems,” Williams said.  That involves giving the animals medication, special feed in small amounts and eight meals a day.

And a lot of love, Williams said.

Third, Ranch Hand Rescue is involved in working with legislators to change animal cruelty laws. But Williams stresses his organization gets no financial help from the state or local governments.

Finally, Williams said, “Because we have a sanctuary, we have groups come in — kids with AIDS, autistic children, disabled kids.”

On Saturday, Dec. 11, a group from Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home, an orphanage and transitional home for abused children in Denton, will spend the day at the sanctuary. Williams said that they’ll tell the children the story of the animals and let them interact. Then Santa will arrive on a fire truck with presents.

The money raised at Honky Tonk for Horses will go directly toward care of the animals. Williams described the extent of injuries he’s currently dealing with.

“Most horses come in with worms,” he said. “One was beaten so badly her withers are broken. We want her in a home where she’ll be loved and cared for.”

A horse named Midnight came in without a hoof. Williams is making a prosthetic leg and hoping some of the veterinary cost of replacing it will be donated.

The sanctuary can accommodate about 55 sick animals that are penned, but when they become healthy and need more space, some have to be moved out.

They already have some land in McKinney and are hoping to finalize a deal on more property in Gainesville this week, Williams said.

American Pet Spa & Resort in Argyle has been Ranch Hand Rescue’s major sponsor. Polasko owns the boarding and grooming company where pets take pampered vacations while their owners are away.

Williams said a large number of customers drive out from Oak Lawn because of the extraordinary care Polasko gives their pets.

But the cost of caring for the farm animals begins with about $500 to transport an animal and several hundred dollars in veterinary bills for each animal before treatment begins. Feed and on-going care runs about $125 per animal per month.

Much of the funding has comes from the LGBT community, but as the organization expands, the need for additional funds grows.

Honky Tonk for Horses is expected to be the largest fundraiser for the organization so far. The silent auction features DVD players, race packages including hotel stays and tickets, autographed sports and Hollywood memorabilia, Rangers tickets, restaurant gift certificates and more.

Entertainment will be provided by a number of local bands.

Everybody Love Raymond actress Doris Roberts is a supporter of Ranch Hand Rescue and plans to come to Fort Worth in the spring for a fundraising event. Billy Bob’s Texas has offered to participate.

In addition, Williams said that they’ve recently hired a fundraising director and a grant writer.

Although Pet Smart doesn’t do horses as part of their retail business, through their foundation, they’ve provided volunteers and other assistance.

How successful has Ranch Hand Rescue been in saving animals from neglect and abuse? Has an animal’s suffering ever been so great that they decided to put it down?

“As long as they don’t suffer, we’ll do whatever it takes,” Williams said. “We never lost one yet.”

Honky Tonk for Horses, The Mule Barn, 218 Highway 156, Justin. Dec. 16 from 5 p.m. to closing. No cover charge.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 10, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

A single man

Jason Dottley is still married to queer Texas scribe Del Shores, but he plans to dominate the dance charts one spin at a time

STEVEN LINDSEY  | Contributing Writer stevencraiglindsey@me.com

JASON DOTTLEY
The Rose Room,
3911 Cedar Springs Road.
Sept. 18. Gay Bingo at 6 p.m.;
concert after 10 p.m.
“Hit Play” and “Party Round the World” on iTunes.

…………………………

Getting a song on the Billboard Top 20 is probably the dream of every singer, but to have it happen on the first song you’ve ever released? That’s reason to party.

Such is the recent success of Jason Dottley. He’s familiar as the actor who played Ty on TV’s Sordid Lives, written and directed by his (legal!) husband Del Shores. But he expanded into recording artist faster that you can say Bruce Willis and The Return of Bruno. His first single, “Party Round the World” with Debby Holiday, spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs chart, peaking at No. 19. Dottley’s newest single, “Hit Play,” just dropped this summer.

Dottley will be in Dallas for Gay Pride weekend performing (not in drag, he promises) in the Rose Room Saturday, which coincides perfectly with the single’s official release for Billboard charting purposes.

But despite his successes in the studio, Dottley says has no plans of releasing a full album. “I think it’s a single’s world like it was back when Elvis ruled the radio,” he explains. “Hit record after hit record: That’s my plan.”

The new track, he says, is an ode to DJs.

“To the Dallas DJs Roger Huffman, Erik Thoresen, Ronnie Bruno, Ric Herrington and Renee Brown who supported my

‘Party Round the World’ so much,” Dottley says. “When I lost my dad at 18, I would go to clubs three nights a week. They were my church, my sanctuary. And as they say, God was the DJ, so I’m asking him to ‘Hit Play’ — to open the doors of the dancetuary, so to speak.”

Though breaking the Top 20 on a debut is impressive, Dottley has set the bar higher for “Hit Play.”

“I have a stellar line-up of remixes by the U.K.’s No. 1 hit-maker, Cutmore, the insanely rowdy Perry Twins, circuit-king Manny Lehman, late-night’s Twisted Dee, my gem of a discovery Chris Thomas and the straight world’s Frank Pellegrino. It’s a helluva remix package.”

Because Shores is from Texas, Dottley has been a frequent visitor to the city, so he’s glad that during his trip here, he’ll partake in a grand, gay tradition.

“I’ll also be doing Gay Bingo beforehand,” he says. “That’s a dream come true. I’ve been practicing, ‘O–69!’”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas