I love dogs. It is this love that has lead me to rescue work. I have been working with the folks from Salty Dog Rescue for a couple years now and recently decided to take on more responsibility in the rescue. I am now the Vice President of Salty Dog Rescue. What that really means is I get to find more time in my already busy schedule to help more dogs have the lives they deserve.
We see some horrible things. People can be terrible. It is disgusting. But the work is also rewarding and satisfying - knowing you are making a difference even if small. One of the hardest things we do is to pull adoptable dogs that would otherwise be euthanized from the kill shelters.
Yesterday we made the trek to Yakima. Eastern Washington has a very high rate of euthanization. Most people do not spay and neuter in that area and there are quite a few puppy mills and back yard breeders. Dogs also seem more disposable there. Left in backyards to be bored and escape. Not microchipped and no one come looking at the shelter for them.
Before we go we have to find fosters. People that are willing to take a pup into their home for about a week, give them basic care and bring them to the adoption event. This time we had fosters for 11 dogs.
We arrive in Yakima 11:00am right when the shelter opens. Once we say our hellos to the staff we are given a list of dogs that are possible for us to take. They have to have been there for a week so that the owner could have a chance to find them. We also only take dogs that have had vaccinations. Shelters are breeding grounds for yucky pet diseases and don't want to infect any healthy dogs.
We then walk the cages to see the dogs that are options for us. This is the hard part. So many dogs lined up barking for your attention with thier little sad faces so scared. Once we have seen the dogs we decide who looks like a good fit. We then take them outside, away from the noise of the shelter and spend some time watching behavior, attitude and energy. We let them meet a dog we bring that is non reactive. We want to save dogs that will have great lives with their new people and enjoy other dogs.
Once we have spent time with each of them we make our final picks and pack them up in the van. Crate on top of crate. Sometimes squeezed in - but alive. The hardest part is walking out on all the others. I try not to cry - emotions already run really high during this trip. I save my tears for another day.
Long drive back - then 4 hours at the vet. Exams, heartworm tests, microchips, vaccines etc. Make sure everyone is healthy to go into their foster homes. Rally up at Immortal Dog and pass out the pups to thier fosters. It is now 10:30 and I have a little Yorkie to bathe and paperwork still in queue for when I get home. It is a long day but so worth it.
This time in Yakima we found amazing dogs. It is hard to understand how someone could throw away a pet - discard this life or treat it badly. We do hope that these dogs will now have the lives they deserve!
None of this could happen without our volunteers and foster homes. Thank you to everyone who makes time to help. We appreciate you!!
Here are a few of the pups we brought back with us that will be at our adoption event this Saturday.