“Why do you do this?” I asked Rose, the founder/director/doer-of-pretty-much-everything at Saving Webster Dogs. Rose shrugged, smiled, sighed, and said, “Somebody has to do it.” But, somebody doesn’t have to do it. In fact, nobody else in Webster County, West Virginia is willing to do what Rose does to save these dogs.
This is not a sustainable situation, but it is one that we encounter almost everywhere we go: Incredible heroes (mostly middle-aged and older women) sacrificing everything to save the animals, and counties who count on them with no plan for what happens when they can no longer continue to rescue (or the rescue connections dry up).
I asked Leonika how we solve this, and she shook her head. She said
Saving Webster Dogs is a unique rescue run by one of the hardest working, most dedicated woman I know (and I know a lot of women in rescue). Rose cares for between 75 and 115 dogs at a time on her hillside farm (often single-handedly). Volunteers are few and far between in the impoverished, rural…
A week from now we will be on shelter tour, hitting seven shelters in six states.
Imagine a shelter where, instead of cages, the dogs live in bedrooms with their buddies. Where they get to play in enormous play yards with pools and obstacles and Astro-turf (which is really good for itching your back).
In this tiny county, ALL of the dogs are being saved because of one VOLUNTEER rescue coordinator — is this a sustainable solution?
Even in a nice town, with a brand new facility and a dedicated rescue coordinator, it seems impossible to save all the dogs. #FloydCounty #RomeGeorgia
One little animal control shelter doing the best they can in a rural county in Georgia and proving that saving dogs, even with limited resources, is possible.
After nearly two weeks in Georgia and Florida (with one quick stop in NC), we are home and I’m sifting through all that we learned. The chorus of too many dogs and not enough adopters, resources, or rescues were variations on the same theme. Just like other trips, we met heroic rescue coordinators, shelter directors,…
The smell is familiar to me now, but that hot August day in 2018 it overwhelmed my senses. The mix of disinfectant, urine, feces, mildew, and desperation was powerful, made even more so by the heat. Shelters, even the good ones, I’ve come to understand, have the same smell. I recognized it that first time…