Friday, December 21, 2012

Rescue Mission - fosters Lucey and Shilo

A couple weeks ago, a friend of ours who owns a local special needs animal rescue (Panda Paws), put out a plea for foster homes.  She was going to take part in an animal rescue mission from California. Trevor and I thought that we could help and be a foster home for her.  Then it occurred to us that I work at a shelter and maybe we could do more. I sent a text to my executive director who said that we had room at the shelter for either two dogs that could share a kennel or a bigger dog.  Trevor and I agreed that we could handle two foster dogs, so we threw our name in the hat and quickly realized we were in for a crazy ride!

There was a rescue in California who had 70 dogs that they needed to get off their property.  Otherwise, those dogs would go back to the shelters they were rescued from and most likely be euthanized.  There was a larger rescue operation going on at the same time.  A group called Wings of Rescue was planning to fly close to 350 dogs out of the high kill environment in Southern California.  This is a group of pilots who volunteer their time, small planes and fuel to fly animals.  They do this every year during the holidays and this year was going to be the biggest effort yet.

So started the weeks of emailing, texting and phone calls.  There were so many people, so many groups, so many logistical factors involved.  It was a quite an effort.  The flights were to take place on December 7th.   Trevor and I were prepared for our two fosters.  We would be meeting the plane to pick them up.  One of our shelter board members, Mark, was going to pick up the other two dogs who were going to the shelter.  Until the flight took off on Friday morning we didn't know for sure what dogs were coming.

Here is who ended up on those planes:

Lucey - a 10 year old Spaniel Mix.  She had been in the shelter and rescue for 2 years.  She was adopted with another dog and that dog died, she really wants a companion and her family didn't want another dog. 

Shilo - a 5 year old mix of something like Beagle/Cattledog/Pug.  He was found in the yard of an abandoned home with no food or water. He is nervous about everything and scared.

Two others come along for the ride and then went to our shelter for a few days until we found them a foster home.  Columbus and Pocohantas.  This son and mom have always been together.  Mom was pregnant, found in an alley where kids were throwing stones at her.  She was taken to a shelter where we delivered her pups the next day.  All were adopted except Columbus.  That was 4 years ago. They have been from shelter to rescue, never in a home.  They will need special attention and will need to stay together.

We were so excited to meet them!  Several other local rescues were at the airport to meet the planes and all the news media was there. I was interview on at least two TV stations.  Here is a picture of me and Lucey talking to Channel 2 news! 

We got the doggies home and started the work of making them feel safe and settled.  I took them both to the shelter with me when I could and within a week, Lucey was adopted by a nice older couple. It was the perfect match.

Shilo is still at home with us and is getting much better, he trusts us now but still bites at us when he feels afraid or unsure.  I think a man was very mean to him.  Its sad because he really loves Trevor and wants to lay on his lap and be by him, but he also gets angry if Trevor tries to move him or startles. him.  We've got some more work to do, but he'll get there.

Columbus and Pocohantas are in foster care together and are requiring some potty training and extra patience.  I just know we'll find the right place for all of them.

This was such a great thing to be a part of.  It was good exposure for our little shelter and it was nice to help out other in the animal community.  We are so fortunate to live in a place where animal shelters are so well supported and funded, animal welfare is highly regarded.  Its not as good as it could be, but its way better than most other places and for that, I am grateful.  

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