This week, Pets Alive will be heading down to Arkansas to help out another rescue. The story is a sad one. This organization has been around for many years. They have done their best, with very little, in a rural area. In this area, for many people, animal lives are not highly valued and dogs are often dumped on the side of the road when they are not wanted. The kill rates in local shelters there top 95%.
So with very little, Jim and Peg tried to help. They ran into trouble a few years ago – the usual that we see so often. Too many animals, not enough resources. Another rescue stepped in then, taking 65 dogs from them with their promise to slow down or stop rescuing, as Peg had become sick with a cancer that would be terminal. Somehow the rescuing didn’t stop. Perhaps they tried, but Jim said every time he went to the mailbox there would be a box of puppies and he couldn’t just leave them there.
So here we are a year later, Peg has very little time left and Jim is desperate for help. It is a small community and the Southwind Animal Hospital (Justin and Dr. Corey Key) that have always cared the the animals there, were worried. They reached out to Pets Alive and asked us to help.
Could we take some animals?
We reviewed the situation and we realized how desperate it was. What would happen to the animals there when Peg passed on, and Jim was the only caretaker with no help and very little money.
It was also a very familiar scenario. Our own founder, Sara Whalen had also died of cancer, and also had no contingency plan for the animals. What would have become of them all if Best Friends had not come to help us and to save them? And when Best Friends forgave our debt to them, all the money they had spent here, their CEO at the time, Paul Berry said to us, when we wept in gratitude….”Don’t thank us. We did what we do. Instead take this, and pay it forward. Help someone else in the future. Save more lives”.
So….I immediately called Joy, the Executive Director from Pets Alive Westchester. Did they have room to house 100 dogs and Middletown would take them 10 and 20 at a time as room allowed, here? Joy didn’t even hesitate. Yes they had room and yes they would help.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with our facilities, our Middletown facility can house about 100 dogs, but our Westchester one can house 300. We try not to keep that many onsite for just this reason – the ability to step up and do a mass rescue as needed. It seems the time had come and we were needed. Everyone at both locations is stepping up, including our volunteers – who have already asked what is needed, what can be done, and where can they go to help.
We thank you all for your love, compassion, kindness and unwavering support. Thank you.
So watch this space, I will be posting updates as we make plans and move this rescue mission along.
The current plan is that on the 10th I will fly out to Arkansas along with John Sibley (a volunteer for Pets Alive) and Pat Whitacre, the canine behaviorist and trainer from Best Friends. Both John and Pat are coming as volunteers – Pat is on vacation, and John took some time off from work to help. We will fly there and see what the situation is, how many we can get back at once, and how many still need vaccinations, testing, spaying and neutering. The vets at the Southwind Animal Hospital are donating their services to get much of that done.
We immediately sent out 100 Pets Alive microchips so the dogs can all get chipped – once chipped, that is our commitment to them for the rest of their life.
The ASPCA has agreed to cover the cost of transporting them back to Pets Alive – a huge help because frankly I’m not sure how we could have gotten them back here, our little rescue, with our small annual budget definitely couldn’t have covered that cost.
Even so, before even getting there, Pets Alive has spent $3500, and when we get them back here everyone has to be checked, examined, dentals done if needed, any other veterinary care they may need, any grooming and other needs met. Plus the cost of housing them, caring for them and covering staff hours to work with them. The cost to us, to rescue this many dogs will be high.
We are appealing to you all to help us. Even $5 would help.
Please help us to tell these dogs that we “got their back”. That we won’t let anything else happen to them. That now that they are coming through our doors, and into our arms, and that for THEM, that the world has just become a better place. For now…and forever.
Thank you for your help, your support, your love. We could not do this if it wasn’t for you. Those lives couldn’t be saved if not for all of you that read this and help us.
I will keep you updated each day via this blog, twitter and Facebook.
…and to all those 100 little faces – we make a promise to you that we won’t let you down. You were discarded once, now you will find nothing but love.
Hey Paul….you out there somewhere?
We hope you’re proud.
– See more at: http://petsalive.com/blog/2011/12/08/pets-alive-pays-it-forward-again/#sthash.LLfZuvX7.dpuf