HAPPY TALES AND FOREVER HOMES
It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of homeless animals and overflowing shelters. But there are thousands of success stores and happy endings out there. Here are just a few to inspire you the next time you think about rescuing and animal from life in a shelter.
The Little Black Dog : Jack’s story is a mystery. Abandoned at an OSPCA shelter, Jack was a six- year-old lab and collie mix, severely underweight and totally unsocialized. Overwhelmed by fear, Jack spent nine months cowering in the corner of a cement enclosure. It was clear that he had been neglected and subjected to terrible abuse. After three failed adoptions, he seemed doomed to a life of loneliness and misery. Believing that Jack had no chance at a life outside a cage, OSPCA staff made the decision to end his pain and put him to sleep. Sometimes, though, fate intervenes when it is most needed. An OSPCA volunteer was determined to save the little black dog who had experienced such a tragic life, so she reached out to friend of hers who was also a canine trainer looking for a second dog to add to her home. Reluctantly, her friend took the time to visit with Jack, bringing along her current canine companion. While Jack had no interest in the people around him, he immediately bonded with the trainer’s dog and a lifelong partnership was formed. Jack – fearful, abused and aggressive – went home that same day with his new canine guru and became a happy member of a loving family. Now 14 years old, Jack continues to live a joyful life filled with all of the kindness and companionship that every dog deserves.
Scooby was four, she was able to accompany her companion to work and even attended lectures at UofT. (It should be noted that, while Scooby contributed little to classroom debates, her presence was always welcome.) Throughout her life, Scooby had many animal companions and embraced the world around her.
After nearly 14 years of love and laughter, she went peacefully to sleep in her companion’s arms.
One Snowy Night : Snow and sleet were covering the Toronto streets on the night that Horton was found curled and shivering in the shelter of a doorway. A feral kitten only six weeks old, he was malnourished and in need of veterinary care when he was discovered by a young student. On impulse, she took him to her local vet and then into her home. Too young to be separated from his mother, Horton was hand fed a mixture of
cat milk and softened kitten food, bonding with his new companion in the process. With time, kindness and patience, he eventually flourished into an indomitable character; curious, fearless and confident. Today, Horton is the 18 year old patriarch of a house filled with other animals.
TAKING ACTION: WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Each of these stories is different, but they do have a single theme in common. One action makes a huge difference. One rescue changes a life. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of animals in need of rescue, but focusing on a single action that will change a single life makes the challenge manageable. One person cannot change the world, but one person can change the life of an animal in need. The stories of Jack and Horton, Patches and Scooby, all demonstrate that rescue happens in small steps…but those small steps make an incredible difference.
About the author : Isla Campbell is a freelance writer, editor and communications strategist specializing in non-profit advocacy and public relations. She happily shares her life with a number of animal companions and is an active advocate for animal welfare and wildlife protection. firstname.lastname@example.org