Some weeks ago a woman came in and became quite vocal that we don’t let people roam freely through the back of the shelter going from kennel to kennel to see all the dogs at once. We explained that we are not the type of shelter on television commercials with Melissa Etheridge music playing in the background.
When Jim decided to open a rescue shelter he had some very specific things he was trying to accomplish that went beyond saving lives. He wanted a nurturing environment for each dog until they went to their forever home. It’s not normal to have people traipsing through anyone’s home and NEW PAWSibilities is home to our dogs. Our dogs are broken into various rooms by size or temperament and allowed to play and sleep and go in and out to the bathroom and to be dogs. They only kennel when it’s time for bed or if they choose to on their own. People walking around the rooms is disruptive and while the woman thought it was because we have something to hide it really wasn’t.
But if you were to go on a tour of all the rooms and do a headcount you’d see more dogs than are listed on our site. No, we’re not holding some back for special people (yes, we’ve been accused of that.) At any given time we have dogs who are not ready for prime time yet.
We bring in pregnant dogs such as Monique who gave birth to those four adorable Collie, Border/Mountain Dogs who went home last week. When we bring in a pregnant dog we feed and nurture her, give her excellent care, watch over her and her pups until the puppies are ready for adoption, and only then does that dog go online. We have people who surrender dogs locally who are pregnant and we go through the same routine.
We bring in a lot of senior dogs and have had so many success stories. But there are many other dogs who have been plucked out of the high kill shelter because death was imminent.
One of the first cases I remember was a small Terrier named Mia. Besides being saddled with a girl’s name Mia had a major barrier to adoption. Prior to coming to us Mia was in a house fire and lost part of his beautiful fur. Mia was quite traumatized by the loss of his person and all the changes in his life. Jim knew he would likely be euthanized if he stayed in Kentucky and so he was added to the roster of dogs.
Thank you for continuing to believe in us and for understanding that we are a different kind of shelter. We don’t own our building or have a large endowment fund. We struggle and maybe if we showed pictures and told graphic stories we wouldn’t struggle as much financially. But we think the thousands of families and dogs who have come together as a result of our system would agree that it works. And so we’ll keep doing what we do for as long as we cand dogs and be traumatized, but below is his adoption photo. How cute is he?
We have had dogs come to us who have BBs in their body, who have been thrown off bridges and nearly drowned, who has been chained outside for so long that their collar fused with their skin. We have dogs with epilepsy or maybe they had cancer and lost a leg. Some dogs have been so abused or neglected that it takes a long time to get them ready for adoption.
We don’t allow people to go traipsing around the building because it’s home for those who are ready to go and they need to be busy at the business of play and being happy dogs. And for those who aren’t ready, it’s important for them to be in a healing environment. We don’t show pictures, we don’t beg for money to rescue these dogs. To us, a dog is a dog. Some get adopted in hours while others might be with us for many months or longer while they get ready to go.
Some rescues only tell you about the hard cases. Maybe they do that so that they can get people to dig deeper into their pockets. No one needs to hear sob stories. When a dog is ready we will include the backstory such as Mia’s housefire or the dog with the fused collar. Most of the time we don’t know a dog’s history but we do know that there’s nothing to be gained by walking people throughout their home and there’s everything to be gained by waiting until a dog is as ready as we can get them before we introduce them to people looking for their forever dog.
Thank you for continuing to believe in us and for understanding that we are a different kind of shelter. We don’t own our building or have a large endowment fund. We struggle and maybe if we showed pictures and told graphic stories we wouldn’t struggle as much financially. But we think the thousands of families and dogs who have come together as a result of our system would agree that it works. And so we’ll keep doing what we do for as long as we can.
We know we’re different but we like us just the way we are.