Ed Kostro

Ed Kostro is a wonderful man who sees the value of life in every living creature, be it the humble ant or the mightier and majestic moose! 

Ed Kostro Ever since he was a tiny child of about 3 years old, all creatures held a fascination for him. His wonderful book, ‘Curious Creatures - Wondrous Waifs, My Life with Animals’ tells the story of his life and meeting some wonderful two-legged, four-legged, and in some cases, no-legged – creatures – all of which had an impact on his life. 

 In this section you can read all Ed’s poems, stories and articles.

Ed Kostro is a freelance writer. His work has appeared in Catholic Digest, ByLine Magazine, The Almanac for Farmers & City Folk, Pets: part of the family, PetLife, Cats, and Baku's 'Zine.

Ed's non-fiction animal memoir, 'Curious Creatures - Wondrous Waifs, My Life with Animals', depicting his 50-year love affair with all animals, has recently been published by PublishAmerica.com.  Oliver's Journey is also an excerpt from this book.

Ed currently resides in Illinois with his wife Rebecca, and several rescued dogs and cats, including three 'left behind' hurricane pets he recently brought home from the Gulf Coast.

Ed's book 'Through Katrina's Eyes: Poems from an Animal Rescuer's Soul' was chosen as the selected 'Book of the Month' (for August) of the North Shore Animal League, one of the largest 'no-kill' shelters in the world.

For every book purchased from Amazon through their website, a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the League.

Be sure to check out Ed's websites.

http://edkostro.home.comcast.net/wsb/html/view.cgi-home.html-.html

www.authorsden.com/edkostro

 

 

Dumped

Definition of ‘Dumped’

“To Get Rid Of,

To Simply Discard”

 

Far too many people in this country
Still don’t believe, that we dump pets
A woman dumped four dogs yesterday
Three were rescued, one is out there yet

This woman cruelly dumped her dogs in the woods
Others dump them on interstates, or on busy roads
Most people assume that these poor canines are ‘lost’
So many people wear blinders, and don’t want to know

The vast majority of dogs that I help rescue today, were dumped
They were cruelly discarded by their owners, like a piece of trash
Ninety percent of these canines, have no microchips or I.D. collars
Since they cannot survive out on their own, most of them don’t last

And, it is not just families that are so cruelly dumping their dogs these days
Hunters will often dump dogs in the woods, when they will not hunt anymore
Dog Fighters dump dogs that won’t fight; Puppy Mills dump over-bred mothers
Pet Stores eventually dump all of the dogs that no one is purchasing in their stores

To me, the saddest cases of Dumping, which I now hear about just about every day
Are the faithful dogs and cats of people who just leave them behind when they move
I can’t even count the number of pets that have been left behind in foreclosed houses
Most people are oblivious to Dumping, but it makes someone like me, so damned blue

My rescued dog Shadow was dumped out of someone’s van when he was just a pup
My rescued canine Highway was very cruelly dumped out on a very busy Interstate
My rescued dog Carrie was dumped and left behind in a foreclosed home for months
And I can sadly cite hundreds of cases in which America’s pets suffered similar fates

The search goes on for the fourth canine in the woods that was dumped yesterday;
Our species is the cruelest one on this planet; the ‘sanctity of life’ means little today

 

©June 2014, Ed Kostro

And sadly, the UK are still dumping their pets too:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-23060401

http://www.care2.com/causes/jogger-rushes-to-save-drowning-cat-in-rock-filled-carrier.html

To read more of Ed's stories and poems, please click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENTLE CEMETERY DOG FINALLY SAFE
Volunteer Rescuer Ed Kostro Reports:

AliceThis starving canine orphan was homeless, living on the grounds of a huge cemetery. I joined two fellow pet rescuers out there way back in the sub-zero days of January.... But the staff at this cemetery were heartless. They eventually kicked us off of their property. After we left, so did this homeless street orphan. She ended up on icy Lake Michigan, at its mercy.

Chicago’s Fire Department managed to get her off the ice. Their heroic rescue was even depicted on the evening news, but she panicked and escaped along the lakeshore once more. The mounting number of people concerned for her, now grew.

For the next several months, we would get calls and texts about her. She would be spotted somewhere along Chicago’s massive shoreline, but by the time that we would race out to her latest reported location, she would already be gone, and this would sadly happen time after time.

We finally got the break that we had been hoping and praying for on Sunday. She was spotted lying under a bench, next to traffic-filled Lake Shore Drive. Several of us raced to this location, wondering if she had died of starvation. But we were soon filled with joy – this homeless street orphan was still alive.

One of my fellow pet rescuers sat in the grass, tossing her bits of delectable food. She staggered to her feet, began devouring them, and came closer and closer to her. When Katie finally managed to get a leash around her neck, we were now all ecstatic. This homeless orphan was safe at last, after over seven months of very frustrating work.

And as soon as this homeless, starving, terribly afraid, street orphan was finally captured, she transformed into one of the sweetest dogs, that we have ever had the pleasure to meet. She’s now being cared for at an animal hospital, getting the medical attention that she needs
And soon, she will have the loving home that she deserves, which brings enormous joy to me.

SHARE - SHARE- SHARE to help spread the word- Never Give Up!

To read more of Ed's lovely stories, click here:

 

 

While out searching for Madison – the rescued dog from Texas that fled Midway Airport last Friday, someone came upon this deceased dog on the railroad tracks. 

dead dogKatie and I picked him up and put him in her vehicle last night.  She took this poor lifeless dog to Animal Control to be scanned for a micro-chip, to determine if someone is looking for him, or if he is yet one more abandoned dog, like far too many out there today.  I’ve talked to several railroad workers who tell me that there are numerous lost and abandoned dogs on the railroad tracks all around Chicagoland – both alive and dead.

As Katie’s efforts continue to rescue a homeless dog living on the grounds of a cemetery, I’m heading back to Cook County today, still sadly attempting to rescue Little Cookie, who has been living out there for over a year now.  And last night, after retrieving this poor dead dog’s body from the tracks, I penned the following:

Frozen Tears

“In a perfect world, animals would be free to live their lives to the fullest:
Raising their young, enjoying their native environments,
And following their natural instincts.
However, domesticated dogs and cats cannot survive ‘free’ in our concrete jungles,
So it is our God-given responsibility, to take as good care of them as possible.”

Out walking the railroad tracks yet once again
In search of yet one more freezing, starving pet
When someone came upon this deceased canine
In our uncaring world, yet one more needless death

 I could not tell if this poor dog had died from starvation
Or, like so many others, had now perished from exposure
We picked him up and placed him in the back of the truck
Sadly resuming our search for the other poor waif out there

And now, my sad thoughts wandered back to New Orleans
Where I had found so many deceased ‘left behind’ dogs and cats
Our pets give us their all, and they depend on us for their survival
Yet today, so many of us abandon them, even discard them like trash

And as I walked on, on those railroad tracks, hoping that the next one was alive
I lamented the horrid fact, that our species has become, so self-centered and cruel
The emaciated frozen canine that we found today deserved far better from mankind
For him, and for all just like him, I shed another frozen tear, in my Below Zero Blues
 

©January 2014, Ed Kostro

 

 

I used to think that catching my little abandoned Rat Terrier Jack was hard – that took a month of following him around my neighborhood. 

Then I thought that no rescue would ever be as difficult as catching my once feral Shadow – that took a few months of following him around La Grange, Countryside, and Hodgkins.  Then I thought that no rescue could ever possibly be harder than catching sweet Etta, the Railroad Dog from Englewood – that took us almost a year.  Then along came Cookie from Cook County – we spent hour upon hour in the sub-zero temps attempting to catch this little street orphan.

AliceBut now I truly believe that it would be extremely difficult to top the difficulty of the rescue of Cemetery Dog – now known as sweet Alice.  I never believed that we could ever accomplish it, but Katie finally did accomplish it last Sunday – after seven grueling months of first feeding her at the cemetery, and then tracking her movements up and down the lakefront over the last several months after she wandered away from the cemetery.

I usually write and post our rescue stories on the wonderful website run by my friend and fellow pet rescuer Laura Simpson called ‘The Great Animal Rescue Chase.’  I think about 25 of my rescue stories are posted there now, and then Laura posts some of them on The CARE2 Animal Welfare Website.

But I really think that Alice’s story belongs to Katie, and that she should write it and post it on The Great Animal Rescue Chase, because it really was – A Long and Great and Nearly Impossible Animal Rescue Chase – and hopefully, Alice’s story might inspire someone else to ‘Never Give Up.’  We need far more Pet Rescuers like Katie out there today.  Here is the link to the website:

http://harmonyfund.org/the-great-animal-rescue

My contribution to Alice’s story, and my Kudos to Katie, have been sent to The City Newshound in the form of a poem that I wrote entitled ‘Safe At Last.’  It was the least that I could do considering that Katie owes me about $500 in downtown parking fees for every time that she called me and said “Cemetery Dog is now on Lakeshore Drive and…!” or, “Cemetery Dog was just seen with the homeless guy about two hours ago in front of Macy’s on State Street!” and of course, by the time that I would arrive at any of these places, Cemetery Dog would be long gone.

There are now an increasing number of folks, myself included, who believe that Katie should adopt Sweet Alice herself, as she did Sweet Etta, the once extremely elusive Railroad Dog.

Thanks to Katie, I ended up adopting three wonderful dogs - good old Trucker, Shadow, and Little Valentino.  And because of Katie, I took in two more cats (just what I needed) – Jailhouse Joe and Jasmine.

Because of Policewoman Barb, I took in both Carrie and Scruffy.

And because of Sue Malone, I am now blessed (or cursed) with both Little Renny and Devil Dog Roxie.

The rest of my Beasty Boys, Poopers, and Kitty Cats are my own damned fault.

So Come On, Katie – Etta and Alice would make wonderful Soul Sisters!!

Safe At Last

By Ed Kostro,
Author of Through Katrina’s Eyes
Poems From An Animal Rescuer’s Soul

This starving canine orphan was homeless
Living on the grounds of a huge cemetery
I joined two fellow pet rescuers out there
Way back in the sub-zero days of January

But the staff at this cemetery, were heartless
They eventually kicked us off of their property
After we left, so did this homeless street orphan
She ended up on icy Lake Michigan, at its mercy

 Chicago’s Fire Department managed to get her off the ice
Their heroic rescue was even depicted on the evening news
But she panicked and escaped along the lakeshore once more
The mounting number of people concerned for her, now grew

 For the next several months, we would get calls and texts about her
She would be spotted somewhere along Chicago’s massive shoreline
But by the time that we would race out to her latest reported location
She would already be gone, and this would sadly happen time after time

We finally got the break that we had been hoping and praying for on Sunday
She was spotted lying under a bench, next to traffic-filled Lake Shore Drive
Several of us raced to this location, wondering if she had died of starvation
But we were soon filled with joy – this homeless street orphan was still alive

 One of my fellow pet rescuers sat in the grass, tossing her bits of delectable food
She staggered to her feet, began devouring them, and came closer and closer to her
When Katie finally managed to get a leash around her neck, we were now all ecstatic
This homeless orphan was safe at last, after over seven months of very frustrating work

And as soon as this homeless, starving, terribly afraid, street orphan was finally captured
She transformed into one of the sweetest dogs, that we have ever had the pleasure to meet
She’s now being cared for at an animal hospital, getting the medical attention that she needs
And soon, she will have the loving home that she deserves, which brings enormous joy to me

 Please Help A Homeless Pet If You Can,
There Are Far Too Many Of Them
Out On The Streets Of Chicagoland Today.

by Ed Kostro

 

 

Little Mel, the frozen skittish little Poodle mix that I managed to corral on Melvina Avenue just before Christmas is now affectionately called ‘Buddy’ and his new family absolutely adores him. 

He and his new canine pal Benji get along marvelously, and they both now wear cold weather sweaters as they romp and play together out in the backyard of his new home.  His story is linked below:

http://www.care2.com/causes/dog-wandering-in-freezing-snow-for-days-finds-a-warm-truck-and-a-rescue.html

Cookie in her denHowever, poor Cookie, the tiny Chihuahua/Terrier mix that has been living on the grounds of Cook County Jail for over a year now is very sadly still out there today.  Katie and I have been attempting to trap her for several months now, with no success.  She is extremely skittish and afraid of people, and to make matters even worse, on New Year’s Eve three Animal Control employees came out and chased her all around the complex with a Catch Pole, traumatizing her even more.

I had begged the person who called them not to, but he did anyway.  Human beings will never out run any dog in any open area, and chasing after them only makes them more skittish and more traumatized – you would think that Animal Control personnel would know this by now.   

And then when the sub-zero temperatures arrived last week with the 40 Below Wind Chills, we really thought that we had lost her, and that we would find her frozen little body lying dead somewhere on the complex.  But I soon followed her tracks in the snow to a large clump of bushes on the grounds, and I eventually discovered that she had either dug her own burrow or she had used an old fox den to escape the brutal weather and to somehow survive.  As I was about to give up on her as dead, she poked her adorable little head out of her lair, grabbed the tidbits of food that I had placed in there for her, and then immediately retreated back underground.

She remained in her deep underground lair for four days and nights in the brutally cold weather, only emerging periodically to gobble up my food offerings at her lair entrance, and then quickly ducking back inside.  In her captive hunger, she crawled halfway into one of my traps on two separate occasions, only to be severely startled and scared off by someone walking or driving by her den.

And now that the weather has warmed again, this homeless little dog is out and about once again, forlornly wandering the enormous Cook County Complex, refusing to enter our carefully baited traps.  And despite all of our verbal pleas and posted signs not to feed her, the people working there refuse to listen to us, and I am sadly finding food everywhere around the complex again, since Cookie is once again being sighted all around the grounds.

Most dogs will only enter dog traps when they are extremely hungry, and unbelievably, I found an entire roasted chicken that someone had tossed into the bushes yesterday.  Besides refusing to stop feeding her so that we can finally catch her, the employees of Cook County are even feeding her chicken bones, which may eventually choke this poor street orphan to death.

An illustration of a deep underground fox den similar to the one that Cookie used to survive is attached.  This poor dog has a tremendous survival instinct, and she deserves a far better life than she currently has – as do all of the far too numerous abandoned street dogs out there today.

A happy post script to this story is that Ed emailed me today (19th February 2014) to let me know that one of his co-workers had managed to rescue Cookie. That put a huge smile on my face. Pauline

 

 

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A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.

Read more...

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