This weekend, National Adoption Weekend, is the perfect time to meet the 11 week old Flower Pups. If their story, and that of their mom Rose, had taken place just 3 years ago, it would have had a very different ending. Their happy and healthy journey was made possible by a small group of volunteers, working with LDCRF, who are actively making a difference in the problem of pet homelessness.
We don’t know how Rose ended up stray and pregnant in Buchanan County, a small rural area in southwestern Virginia, but we do know that she didn’t let her difficult circumstances stop her from being trusting and loving. Finding her way to the home of a kind owner who fed her, she stayed nearby and played with the children each day when they got off the school bus. When it became apparent that Rose was pregnant, the owner realized that she could not take in a litter of puppies, and had her picked up by Animal Control and taken to the Buchanan County Animal Shelter. Although Rose was frightened in the shelter, she was still seeking love and affection, and caught the eye of a Buchanan County Humane Society (BCHS) member. Little did Rose know that her situation was about to change for the better, as BCHS started to work on her behalf. Soon, an LDCRF transport volunteer would be heading her way.
The Buchanan County Shelter where Rose found herself is located off the beaten path in a coal mining town. Changes in the local economy affected not only the residents but the animals as well – the locally funded shelter currently has only two full-time Animal Control officers and a part-time employee, without an employed vet. For many years, the number of animals euthanized far exceeded the number adopted, and rescues were rare. Two years ago, 9 very active members of the BCHS began to utilize social media – mainly Facebook – to bring the shelter and its animals to the public. By working with LDCRF and other rescue groups, adoption and rescue numbers are finally much greater than the death rate. It has been challenging work, and BCHS members often pick up and foster animals on their own, sometimes bottle feeding young animals to insure their future. Many challenges still remain in the community, the biggest being the lack of affordable spay/neuter surgery and the unwillingness of pet owners to obtain the surgery. However, BCHS members are determined to continue making progress, by advocating for their animals and reaching out to rescues, just as they did for Rose in February.
The rest of Rose’s story is all about “Yes!” – yes from LDCRF when asked if they could take Rose and her soon to be born pups; yes from a very determined LDCRF transport volunteer; and yes from WOOFS! Dog Training Center in Arlington, VA, when asked to provide a foster home at the last minute. With a heavy snowstorm bearing down and Rose acting more and more uncomfortable every hour, transport volunteer Sarah Brown knew that she had little time to waste on her drive back to Northern VA. Making some last minute decisions about drop-off of the other dogs in her care, Sarah made it to WOOFS! with just 6 hours to spare before the Flower Pups were born.
Help us keep saying “Yes!” to ending the problem of pet homelessness by attending an LDCRF adoption event and taking advantage of our people-friendly adoption process. And don’t forget to pet the Flower Pups, who will be at the Saturday Seven Corners adoption event and the Reston Pet Fiesta – they’re very happy to celebrate National Adoption Weekend with you!