This Sunday we will be heading off on another shelter tour – this time sticking close to home. We’ll be visiting six shelters in my home state of Virginia.
On our way out, we’ll have a quick, fun stop at Intermission Brewing Company to be a part of their Books & Brews program. We’ll be joining adoptable dogs from Operation Paws for Homes for an adoption event, where I’ll also be signing books and talking about One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, which recounts my experience fostering and consequently discovering the situation in our southern shelters. That story is where Who Will Let the Dogs Out began.
If you’re in the Richmond area, we’ll be there from 4-6pm on Sunday– come out and see us!
After that we’ll continue east to a part of Virginia that many people don’t know about—the Northern Neck is the area on the Chesapeake Bay between the Rappahannock River and the Potomac River. It’s a sparsely populated area, full of history, with a wide berth between the haves and the havenots. My husband and I have traveled there to visit wineries and eat oysters (the best I’ve ever had!), and enjoyed the quiet beauty.
Nancy and I will be visiting four small, under-resourced shelters that struggle to place dogs, and also meeting with a nonprofit organization that has plans to build a shelter of their own to pull vulnerable dogs from the four shelters. It will be exciting to hear of their plans and the impact they will have raising awareness and saving lives.
After that, we’ll head back west to Harrisonburg to visit the Rockingham SPCA and learn more about the great things happening there, before traveling down to Shenandoah Animal Services to meet their new director and find out how he is turning things around.
It should be an inspiring tour. I hope you’ll follow along as we share the stories and introduce you to the dogs and the heroes working to save them. We will post daily on Facebook and Instagram, plus come to you live as often as possible on both platforms to let you see inside the shelters we visit. I’ll tell you more about each shelter in upcoming blog posts.
We always take along supplies not always in the budget of a municipal shelter: dewormers, flea/tick preventatives, toys, treats, chews, enrichment items, and canned food. Plus, anything the shelter specifically requests. If you’d like to help fund that effort, you can donate to our shelter tour fund.
I’m especially excited about this tour because it’s a chance to help my ‘local’ shelters. Our next tour in December will take us further south to TN, MS, AL, and, for the first time – Louisiana. If you know of shelters in those states that would benefit from a visit from us, please let me know.
This week we also gave an Instagrant for new kennels to Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter in Mississippi to help them redesign one of their spaces to give dogs larger kennels instead of crates and kennel banks meant for smaller dogs.
The cramped spaces were leading to stress and health issues. The crates and puppy kennels were meant to be temporary when they were overfull, but have been consistently full as the shelter struggles with overwhelming numbers of animals (like so many shelters across the country right now). The new kennels should arrive by the end of the week! We’ll share pictures of them once they are installed. Your support of our online auction and a grant-to-regrant from the ASPCA made that gift possible – thank you!
Until each one has a home,
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Learn more about what is happening in our southern shelters and rescues in the book, One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues (Pegasus Books, 2020). It’s the story of a challenging foster dog who inspired me to travel south to find out where all the dogs were coming from. It tells the story of how Who Will Let the Dogs Out began. Find it anywhere books are sold. A portion of the proceeds of every book sold go to help unwanted animals in the south.
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