Are you as afraid as I am to turn on the news? I feel obligated, but at the same time a heart can only take so much. This past weekend I finally heard some GREAT news. I was privileged to attend OPH’s seminar for volunteers. I learned even more about this fabulous organization I’m a part of and left feeling motivated to do more.
The highlight for me was a presentation from two women from one of the shelters that OPH partners with in south western Virginia. I went to school in southside Virginia a million years ago, so I remember that part of the country as rural, blue-collar (when there are jobs) with field after field of tobacco. I worked at a pub in Danville where I served mill workers who called me “Yankee Girl” and never missed an opportunity to remind me that Danville was the last confederate capital of the south!
Rachel and Ashley traveled north this past weekend to share with OPH the impact our organization has had on their shelter in Scott County, VA. I couldn’t hold back tears as I listened to the statistics they shared. I think it was the best news I’ve heard all summer, actually all year, and it renewed my desire to help more dogs and my admiration for the people who work so hard to save them.
OPH began partnering with the Scott County Human Society shelter in mid 2015. Take a look at the impact we are having on this one shelter-
Euthanasia Reports & SCHS Rescues Since 2013
2013 – 355 dogs euthanized (68%), 42 dogs rescued
2014 – 245 dogs euthanized (65%) 38 dogs rescued
2015 – 66 dogs euthanized (18%) 197 dogs rescued
2016 (6 months) – Euthanasia less than 3%, 95 dogs rescued
I had the privilege of fostering quite a few dogs from Scott County – my first litter (Chick Pea, Jillie Bean, Boz, Homeboy/girl, Lug Nut, Marzle – remember them?!), Texas & Tennessee, Okeriete, and Fannie.
Rescuing dogs is not for the faint of heart. I tend to drone on about how hard it is on my own heart, but as I listened to these remarkable young women speaking with tears in their own eyes, I realized that they are stronger than I’ll ever be and the little bit of bruising my heart takes when I say good-bye to my foster dogs is nothing like what they endure as they must witness who leaves through the front door of the shelter and who leaves through the back.
They are heroes to me, like all the people who work so hard to save so few dogs.
We had another guest speaker, Meredith, who spoke of the near-impossible task of rescuing dogs in India where there are over a quarter of a million homeless dogs in New Delhi alone.
I, like so many, wondered how can we possibly have an impact on that situation, and why would we when there are so many dogs being euthanized here in the US? But listening to this eloquent, impassioned woman speak of her efforts to sterilize street dogs, find homes for others, and even send a few dozen to the rescue organizations in the US, I learned that it’s not about how many dogs you save, it’s about the hope offered to the people who are digging at that mountain of a problem with only soup spoons for tools.
Like many of us, they need to know they are not alone in their efforts. Helping to bring a handful of dogs to the US from India sends a clear message to the people who see these dogs as no more than the trash they live in. It says that people, as far away as the United States, value these animal’s lives. And by our action, we change perceptions. And changing perceptions is the seed that can bring about changing the situation. So, sure, in terms of time, resources, and efforts – saving dogs from India makes no sense at all, but in terms of our larger mission – creating a world where there is no need for OPH or dog rescues of any kind – it makes all the sense in the world.
UPDATES from our foster casa:
Yes, the amazing Gingersnap is still here. She’s truly become part of the family and when she takes her leave it will not be without more than a few tears. Tell EVERYONE you know about this wonderful, crazy-loving, sweet, sweet, sweet girl who deserves a home of her very own.
For those of you who can’t get enough of Another Good Dog and wonder what happens to our pups after they leave our foster home, I’ve created a new facebook group called Another Good Dog. Feel free to join to us!
Click HERE to join Another Good Dog on Facebook!
I’m hoping that adopters will post news and pictures on this page so everyone can keep up with the dogs they’ve come to know and care about through the blog. It will also be a place to share dog news, dog funnies, and mostly a place where I can slap up all the gazillion pictures I take that don’t make it on the blog. The other thing it will do is spare all my non-dog friends the constant dog blather on my personal facebook page. It’s a public facebook page, but you do have to request to join (and of course I’ll let YOU in).
I saved the most exciting news for last! On Friday night, if all goes as planned (which is so rarely the case), I will pick up a pregnant mama dog! We are SUPER excited here on the hill. You know I’ll be posting like a crazy woman on the Another Good Dog facebook page! So join right now!