Camp Jean is more than a shelter—it’s exactly what it says it is – camp.
The dogs who are fortunate enough to be pulled from a typical Kentucky shelter situation and land with Deidrea at Camp Jean are some lucky dogs.
Deidrea specifically looks for dogs who are ultimately adoptable but may need some extra time and attention. She gives priority to dogs from the struggling county shelters and pounds where dogs truly suffer while waiting for adoption, rescue, or death. Places where the conditions are harsh, the vet care nonexistent, and any kind of enrichment impossible.
Those were the words of Remi, the founder of Paws 4 the Cause in Lexington, Kentucky. We’d just met up with him as a last minute addition to our shelter tour after that morning’s originally planned visit had canceled. It was sheer luck that we happened upon Paws 4 the Cause, or maybe my restlessness.
Twenty minutes before we were to leave for our scheduled stop that day, we got a message that the director we were to meet had a family emergency. Nancy settled in to edit pictures, and I surfed the internet. We had three hours to kill before we’d need to leave for our afternoon visit. On a whim, I pulled up google maps and searched for a nearby rescue. Maybe there was another place we were meant to be.
I have something BIG to tell you. It’s exciting, and also somewhat scary for me.
Three years ago, I visited a shelter in North Carolina. I wanted to see where my foster dogs were coming from. I’d foster over one hundred by then, and I was curious—why was there an endless stream of dogs in need?
I remember that moment so clearly. The smell, the sounds, the desperation, but also all those beautiful dogs.
The mission of Paws of SWVA is similar to so many rescue organizations in the south – keep animals out of the shelter.
Not only are shelters extremely stressful places for animals, too many shelters in our rural south still kill dogs (and cats) for space, so crowded shelters mean more animals die. Paws of SWVA keeps dogs (and cats) out of the shelter by providing foster homes, securing rescue placement, and getting animals adopted, many times out of state.
The other way that Paws keeps animals out of the shelter is by promoting and providing spay/neuter services. They run a van service twice a month to Bristol, Virginia to a veterinarian there because vet services are so few and far between (and expensive) in southwest Virginia.