Cracar Finnish Lapphunds
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Finnish Lapphund
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself"
Breed Rescue
~~Josh Billings~~
Finnish Lapphund Breed Rescue


The "hoarding" rescue of

The California 61+
​and Torvi
Who would have ever thought that a "rare" breed would need "rescue".  Sadly, it happens to all breeds . . .
January 2015
Happy Birthday!

​​In January 2014, as then-President of the Finnish Lapphund Club of America, I was contacted by the Sonoma Humane Society (SHS) advising that they had a large number of Finnish Lapphunds that they had "rescued" from a hoarding situation and looking for help.  During our conversation it became clear that this was no ordinary rescue but a massive rescue of 61+ Lappies and the SHS needed our help.

Sadly, due to a "hoarding" situation involving one of the original breeders who imported the breed into the U.S., the SHS was made aware of the need to help and they removed all the dogs and at the same time were fortunate enough to obtain release papers from the owner.  T
he dogs ranged in age from newborns to an estimated age of 10+ and there were pregnant females as well.  All the dogs had a multitude of problems including fleas, lice, ear infections, nutrition issues, internal parasites, severe dental issues, vision issues, severely matted fur and some were diagnosed as heartworm positive.  They became known as the "California 61+".  The word went out to the Lappy community both here and worldwide and soon monetary contributions poured in to SHS.  

The SHS is a small shelter and while the dogs were safe there, some of us felt that perhaps we could do more than settle for them "being safe" at the shelter; these poor dogs had lived a life of misery and squalor and while they were now safe, the SHS only had so many volunteers to help and there was an enormous amount of work and time that lay ahead.  So, if at all possible we needed to remove as many as we could to not only ease the burden on the SHS, which was overwhelmed with such a massive intake, but to get some of these dogs in to foster homes to aid in their rehabilitation, especially with their mental/emotional needs.

Due to their immediate health and temperament issues the SHS would not release these dogs at this time to anyone other than a 501c non-profit orginazation and we were so lucky that Rebecca and Martha of TMR, Inc. Rescue stepped in and started things rolling.  Between communication with TMR and SHS it was decided to bring some of the dogs down to Southern California and TMR secured their transport down on private planes!  On January 31, 2014 fourteen of these poor, scared dogs arrived in Southern California to join foster familes; all had been shaved of their matted-to-the-skin, feces laden fur and all had received their vaccinations and begun their first treatments for internal and external parasites. Four of these frightened Lappies came here to Cracar to begin their rehab while waiting for long-term fosters and adoption.

While scary for the dogs it was a joy to watch them as they learned that they could freely move about whenever it struck their fancy, that they didn't have to lay in feces and urine, that they got a regular meal (and boy did they devour their food!) and treats, that they could sunbathe and some could actually "run".  It was clear that while their physical rehab would be relatively easy, their emotional rehab was going to take a long time.  Leash training began, with coats was winter and their coats had been shaved, as well as socialiazation (they had neither) and their medical treatments continued and after several weeks three left to either long-term fosters or adoptive homes.......... 



​​Except one who became known as Torvi...........placement for him was going to be more difficult.  At their intake at SHS it was estimated that Torvi was at least 11 years old, and aside from his other health issues i.e. lice, mites, dental, etc., he was totally blind. Once here with us, his dental resulted in him having only 4 lower incisor teeth left and, along with being blind, he was not an easy candidate for adoption.  The longer he stayed, the more he began to feel comfortable with the routine here and he really enjoyed the company of the Lappy pack here; they certainly know he is "special" and treat him as such.  In the end, we knew that Torvi needed to have his forever home here with us and we became his official family.  

Torvi is happy here in his adopted home and loves his treats and mealtime when he barks and wags for his food.  He enjoys sunbathing and walking the perimeter of the dog yard and in the heat of the day has a cool, comfortable place for his long afternoon nap and when it's cold, he has a nice warm bed to sleep in.  Best of all, he always has a buddy with him and can move about whenever he wants to and despite only having four teeth, he eagerly asks for his daily treats and meals.   He will never be what he could have been; after 4 years he still flinches at the touch of a hand and is OK being held but only when caught.  He does not "play" except an occasional rollover and mouthing with one of his Lappy buddies.   He is still wary of humans and is kept in a very short coat during summer since any type of bathing and grooming is not enjoyed by him and he is stressed.  He has arthritis and try as we might we cannot get him to stop eating dirt.  All of this is surely due to his previous life but, our hearts are warmed knowing that however long he is here with us, his life will be a good one.  Oh, and he is now totally deaf. 

We will continue to update our special guy's page, below are photos that were taken on the eve of his arrival, 8339 was his number assigned when he was seized by SHS.  His posture is probably due to living life in a dog crate with his own feces as his bedding............
The photos below are 6 months later.  What a change!  

Please check in from time to time to see how Torvi is, as well as some of the other dogs who are with their forever families and for any other rescue needs that may arise.  The Finnish Lapphund Rescue page can be found by clicking the Facebook icon: