Come visit us at Bergers Agway on December 5 to have your pets picture taken with Santa!
FILLING OUT AN APPLICATION IS THE FIRST STEP IN OUR ADOPTION PROCESS.
“My goal in life is to be the person my dogs think I am.” – Author Unknown
By Donna Mack
I have no idea where the thought came from but I told my husband that I wanted to adopt a dog. He was a little surprised since we already had 3 dogs. I contacted a friend, Wendy Silfies, who I knew had volunteered at dog rescues. She told me she was now volunteering with Safe Haven and that they were having an adoption event that Sunday. I told Wendy that I would stop up to see the dogs. She called me back and asked if I would like to help at the adoption event. I asked what I would have to do and she said hold a leash and talk to people. I jumped at the chance and have been volunteering with Safe Haven ever since.
I hold a leash (with a dog attached) at adoption events and answer questions anyone would have about the dogs. I also help with fund raisers to raise money to help us save the dogs. Now I am working on a cook book that will be available after the first of the year.
Wanting to help more, I found out about rescue transporting. Safe Haven gets most of their dogs from shelters down south. I will tell anyone who asks how the people in the south don’t treat their dogs like we do. They are not family members; they are property that is easily discarded. When a dog ends up in a shelter in the south there is a very good chance they will be killed. Angels as I like to refer to them go into the shelters and flood the internet and send emails out to rescue groups such as Safe Haven asking for help saving these dogs. That is where transporting comes in. The dogs are brought to Hagerstown, MD and from there they are transported up the east coast and picked up along the way by rescues and adopters. I traded in my sedan and got an SUV just so I can fit crates to transport dogs. I always try to pick up Safe Haven’s dogs from transport and also drive a “leg” whenever I can. The legs are usually about an hour and basically you pick up dog(s) drive an hour and hand them off to the next driver who gets them an hour closer to their new life. What a wonderful feeling to know these dogs were so close to death and now they are saved.
What’s next for me? I would love to be a foster mom. But with Karl and I both working full time and already having 4 dogs, (yes I adopted a wonderful fur-baby from Safe Haven, Annie), now is not the right time for me, but I will foster in the future. When I tell people I want to be a foster mom, the first reaction is always, I could never do that I would get attached. I say no, I will not get attached because remember when a rescue dog is adopted two dogs are saved. The dog that got adopted and the space in the foster home that is now open for another dog to be saved.
Want to know anything about rescuing dogs? Just ask me it’s my favorite subject! Please adopt, don’t shop.
When you adopt a rescue pet, you may love the animal but not its name. Often times the pets original name is unknown to the animal shelter, and they give it an arbitrary name just so they can identify it for their records, but the name may not be apropos for the pet.
The simple solution is to rename your pet. Dogs are certainly capable of learning a new name in 2 weeks or less with a little training. While renaming might confuse the pet at first, it may be beneficial if the animal was previously abused, and associates its old name with the abuse.
The first step of course would be to choose a new name. Think about this name carefully, and make sure it is appropriate. Make sure you would not mind opening the front door and yelling the new name across the neighborhood! Also short names are easier for the pet to learn. Beau is a much better name than Beauregard Bullwinkle for instance.
Once you have a new name chosen, start training you dog in short sessions through the day with plenty of rewards. Never call it by its old name to avoid confusing the pet.
In no time at all, your new pet will recognize its new name.
When I adopted my last dog, I found that I could get a lifetime license for him from my country treasurer. This represents quite a savings for a young dog. In my county (Monroe) and most counties, a lifetime license for a neutered male or female costs $31.45 compared to $6.45 for a one year license. For a senior citizen, the deal is even better, $21.45 for a lifetime license. So the breakeven point is about 5 years, plus you would eliminate the hassle of applying each year for a new license.
I believe most counties have similar deals, but check with your county to make sure.