A little over 12 years ago, a family got a dog. They had a little boy, 2 at the time, and they got him a puppy, and named her Sugar. For 11 years, Sugar was a part of their family, and then she got lost.
That was 15 months ago.
For 15 months, Sugar has been cared for by volunteers at the Baldwin Animal Rescue Center. BARC doesn’t have a shelter; they find foster homes for animals from other shelters, and are a resource for others who do rescue work. They rescue, rehabiliate, and re-home hundreds of abused, abandoned and neglected pets each year.
Sugar was one of those pets who, for whatever reason, couldn’t be fostered. A handful of those animals have been at a kennel, paid for by volunteer support. As part of the deal, every other weekend volunteers go to clean the kennel and walk the dogs, providing them a little bit of human interaction. I’ve been a happy volunteer the past few months, including 2 weeks ago when Sugar and I had a really nice couple of laps around the pond.
A few days ago, a neighbor saw Sugar’s picture in the paper. It had been published every week for months, but this time someone saw it. They called Sugar’s family, and she’s back home.
I’m not trying to argue about whether all shelters should be no-kill, or what to do about the overpopulation and mistreatment of these animals we are responsible for. But for those volunteers who work so hard to care for these animals when no one else will, stories like this bring a really needed bit of hope.
I’ll be at PetSmart in Mobile, AL Saturday with BARC dogs, helping them find good homes. If you know anyone in South Alabama who would be a good adoptive family, send them over. We’ll have plenty of dogs and cats who need them.