Tag Archives: animal shelter

Found a Stray

I’m sure you guys have all seen, at one point or another, a stray animal that makes your heart constrict. A cat whose fur is matted in dirt or a dog whose ribs you can see from across the street.

Well, I saw the latter today.

I was leaving work and had already started driving away when I saw this Beagle walking along the side walk. There were no people in sight who seemed to be with the dog, so I pulled over to check on her. Sure enough, she had on no collar. On top of that, she was skinny, dirty, and she was shaking – it wasn’t terribly cold, but chilly.

Thankfully, I thought I knew what I could do in such a situation. My shelter doesn’t take in strays because they get all their animals from the county animal services. So I called animal services while I sat on the sidewalk with the dog (petting her, because she started to walk away the second I stopped). But turns out animal services is closed on Mondays. Not great.

I work pretty far from school and my apartment, and I was going to be late for class if I didn’t leave right then. I was really hoping all I would have to do was call and someone would pick her up, but no such luck. But who, faced with the sight of of a bone thin stray dog, couldn’t help? So I wrapped her in a spare jacket I luckily kept in the car and drove her to the Humane Society.

Oops, they don’t take in strays either.

But they told me about a place called Affiliated Pet Emergency Services that treats strays, and that they opened at 6:00 and would take her in until Animal Services opened. So I now had two hours before I could bring her there. Clearly I was going to have to miss class, so i decided I’d just take her home with me and keep her in my bathroom until 6:00.

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she’s clearly had babies

I spread out towels and blankets and fed her – the poor thing was starving. She had been a little shy with me up until then, passively allowing me to carry her and pet her, but now she was finally getting friendly. I probably fed her a bit more than I should have, but she kept sniffing around and giving me these imploring looks, I felt like such a villain for not just giving her the entire bag of food. I tried to explain to her that too much would make her sick, but she was unconvinced.

Michga, by the way, was very unamused by this whole incident. The unthinkable horror of me bringing another dog into her room! She pouted for a while, but she’s forgiven me.

unamused

unamused

During the two hour wait, I also gave the stray (who I took to calling Angie) a bath because oh man, did she smell awful. She did not want to hold still though, so it was a short bath, but it definitely improved her smell. I stayed with her in the bathroom almost the whole time so I could make sure she didn’t get into anything – plus I would have felt bad leaving her in there by herself.

But finally, 6:00 came and I drove her to emergency services, where they seemed very nice and took her in right away for an exam. I had to sign a couple forms and then I was on my way. I hope she ends up going to my shelter so I can see her again, and maybe be lucky enough to see her find a home!

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The Alien Kitty

Most of the animals we get at the shelter are pretty normal. We have some that come in that are sick, of course, or maybe with an infection, covered in fleas or ticks, some relatively minor issues. But the majority do not have some obvious feature that makes them so different from other pets.

There are some exceptions, of course.

This is Cosmo.

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photo source: GPR

(Don’t tell Michga I’m writing about a cat.)

Cosmo has underdeveloped features that makes his face look pretty funny (alien-like even, hence the name “Cosmo”). His face is smushed, his eyes are big and bulgy but with pretty hefty sockets. His teeth aren’t fully grown in and never will be. Otherwise, though, he’s mostly a normal, friendly and cuddly kitten!

When I first met Cosmo, I figured he would get a home pretty quickly, which I suppose proves I am not very good at predicting these sorts of things. He’s been with the shelter for months, and now he’s almost seven months old.

Maybe other people don’t think like I do, but when I see an animal that’s so different from others, with a birth defect or sick or hurt in some way, my sympathy levels go through the roof and I just want to adopt them all. My mind immediately goes “MUST SAVE THIS ANIMAL!” Do you guys think the same way? I assumed most people would, but since Cosmo still hasn’t been adopted yet maybe I’m wrong.

Cosmo is the most “different-looking” animal with the shelter at the moment, but just yesterday I met this guy:

photo source GPR

photo source GPR

Hamilton has a cleft lip, but is otherwise normal and very affectionate.

And this little guy, Rudolph, has an infection at his surgery site he would not stop licking.

this was, sadly, the best picture I could get

this was, sadly, the best picture I could get

I think (hope) these sweethearts, along with all the others, will get homes soon. But it seems that different-looking animals may take longer to get adopted, especially as they get older, like Cosmo at almost seven months, and Rudolph at a year. Even if it’s not in time for the holidays, though, I’m confident they will find their forever homes someday!

P.S. Michga and I wish you all a Merry Christmas if we don’t post again before the holiday!

michga loves selfies

michga loves selfies, you can tell

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Home For The Holidays Update

Hey guys! It’s been a few days since I posted, final exams are destroying me. But on a very positive note, my shelter had that Home for the Holidays event I told you about in a previous post! Look how crowded it got:

photo source: GPR

photo source: GPR

And the best news of all? All of the dogs got adopted!! Every. Single. One. Including my favorite little hound dog, Snoopy.

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I was so afraid he wouldn’t find his home this weekend, because he was adopted early on in the event and then brought back AGAIN (if you read my post about it, you know he has been adopted and brought back before). But then later in the day, he was adopted again!

I’m so happy he’s found a home. The only sad part, for me, was that I didn’t get to meet his new family. I left before his second adoption.

Something else pretty cool happened at the event too – I learned how to be an adoption counselor! The event was so busy that they needed someone else to help with adoptions, so I got rush training.

I’m so pleased that all of our dogs got adopted, including some that have been with the shelter for over a year!

Look at all these names:

photo source: GPR

photo source: GPR

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Home For The Holidays

His name is Snoopy. He lays in his crate with his head down. He hears the door open, and he picks up his head to see a young couple enter the room. The other dogs start barking and jumping up and down, vying for their attention.

The couple approaches his crate, and they bend down in front of him. They smile, and say “Hi there, Snoopy!” He gives his tail a short little wag, perking up. Then the couple hears people cooing over the puppies a couple of crates over, and they get up to go see them instead.  

He puts his head back down.  

Snoopy has been with the shelter for about two months now, and he still hasn’t found a home. This isn’t atypical for adult dogs in shelters, but Snoopy is only five months old. He should have been snatched up within his first week.

picture source: GPR

picture source: GPR

He was adopted early on, actually. But he was brought back.  The adopters clearly did not understand puppies, as they returned him for chewing on shoes. I suppose they exhausted all possible methods of training in those two days they had him.

And then two weeks ago, he was almost adopted. It was a family – the mother brought her kids to meet him, and Snoopy got along great with them. She brought her other dog to meet him, and Snoopy got along great with him, too. She filled out all the paperwork, and told us she would be back to pick him up later.

Then decided he was too old.

Five months old. Apparently this is the new cutoff age. He is still a puppy, but Snoopy may already be bound to the fate of so many homeless adult dogs.Too frequently passed over in favor of their more infantile counterparts, this fate is so often life in a shelter… if they’re lucky. The euthanization rate in America is 31%*.

The pet rescue is working especially hard this season to find Snoopy and his shelter-mates the homes they deserve. Adopt a Senior Pet Month is transitioning easily into the Christmas season, and we want as many cats and dogs as possible to go home for the holidays. Next weekend, my shelter is participating in an adoption event with free or reduced fees for the older animals, so they can spend this Christmas with their forever family.

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We are participating in this event, along with two other local shelters, through Petsmart. So, if you’re in the Gainesville area, come check us out at the Petsmart on Archer Road. If you’re not, I bet a shelter in your area is doing something like this as well. We want all our dogs and cats to spend Christmas with a family. And we usually have a lot of success with these events!

So this does not have to be the end of Snoopy’s story. He doesn’t have to spend his life in a crate, watching younger dogs get adopted as he ages behind metal bars.

Five months is not too old. Five years is not too old. Someday, hopefully soon, Snoopy will be able to keep his head up and his tail wagging, and he’ll finally go home.

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*There’s no one definitive source for animal statistics, and estimates vary. I mostly use ASPCA and APPA (American Pet Products Association) numbers.

UPDATE: Snoopy has been adopted! 

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Gainesville Pet Rescue – A Shelter Saving Lives

Shelter; noun: a building serving as a temporary refuge or residence for homeless persons, abandoned animals, etc.

There are thousands of animal shelters across the United States (an exact number is difficult to say, but over 13,900), and three of them in my county alone.

The shelter I volunteer at is one example; it’s called the Gainesville Pet Rescue, and it is an organization full of animal-lovers dedicated to placing pets in their “furever” homes. Taking in, caring for, and finding homes for animals is a lot of work, and animal shelters around the country do whatever they can to get every dog and cat the loving home they deserve. I volunteer whenever I can and am proud to consider myself a part of this shelter.

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TAKING IN

At Gainesville Pet Rescue (or GPR), we get most of our cats and dogs from the county animal services. Animal services has far too many animals most of the time, and shelters in the area will come and get as many as they can. Unfortunately, animal services is not a no-kill shelter, so it’s important that places like GPR exist to keep as many animals alive as possible.

GPR operates on a fostering program, with the cats and dogs ideally being in foster homes for half of the week, and only in the shelter during adoption days (Thursday – Saturday).  This cuts down on the amount of time they have to spend in crates. There’s almost nothing sadder than a shelter dog whining to get out of their cage.

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this is Lindy!

CARING FOR

We strive to let the dogs play outside as often as possible (once every two hours at a minimum), or take them into the playroom to let off some energy whenever we have time – lots of animals usually equals lots of messes to clean and a truly unbelievable amount of laundry. I try to put a toy or two in with each dog when they have to be in their crates, even when it means I come back to find the toy in 20 pieces across the floor. Keeps them entertained, at least!

We also take in sick or injured animals and treat them, or try to, thanks to a donation fund specifically for that purpose. There was recently a dog in with a terrible skin condition that donations allowed GPR to treat.

picture courtesy of GPR

Many dogs and cats come in with less severe problems, like fleas and ticks, which still have to be treated before they can be in the main rooms with the other animals. The staff gets all these animals healthy as soon as they can, and then they are up for adoption!

FINDING HOMES

The happiest moments are always when an animal gets adopted, especially one that has been with us for a long time. Puppies come and go fast, as well as kittens. It’s the older ones that have some trouble, but we keep them as long as we need to until they find their perfect humans.

Gainesville Pet Rescue is a not-for-profit and relies on donations, or funds from monthly yard sales and other events. If anyone wants to help or find out more about this organization, you can visit the site here!

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