Lessons brought to you from Hudson Valley residents Luke and Anna, a local couple trying to bring awareness and spread compassion and empathy for all the voiceless.
WE STARTED RESCUING DOGS TO make a difference and save lives, never realizing what a life-changing experience it would be for us. Seven years ago, we fell in love with a dog on petfinder.com. He was an American bulldog, and we ended up adopting him for $25 from a NJ kill shelter. He was known as #55; we named him Nayan. He became our teacher and opened our hearts and eyes to how loving, appreciative, and forgiving a rescue dog can be. He has inspired us to make this our passion and focus. In the past four years, we have fostered eleven dogs, transported them to their new homes, and played a part in saving over fifty lives. We did, however, end up with two foster failures … so now that makes us a home of three rescue dogs: Nayan, Luna, a full of love American Staffordshire terrier, and Tate, a curious, nurturing Catahoula mix.
The further we got involved, the more we were educated on the over-population of homeless pets. Sadly, three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized a year in the U.S alone. Five to seven million enter shelters. Not all shelters are a kill shelter, but many have to due to loss of space and lack of funds.
Did you know that 25% of shelter dogs are purebred? Common misconceptions people have are that shelter pets are there because of something they did or that they are damaged. The truth is most pets end up there due to the person or persons responsible for them because of things like a loss of home or job, divorce, new baby, a death in the family, or simply that they were not kept safe in a home. WHEN YOU ADOPT, NOT ONLY DO YOU SAVE THE LIFE OF THAT DOG/CAT, YOU MAKE ROOM FOR THE NEXT UNWANTED PET.
When adopting from a shelter or rescue group, these dogs also come fully vetted and altered. Spaying and neutering your dog roughly saves 72 fewer dogs from entering a shelter. Dogs that are not spayed or neutered are also more likely to stray. When looking to add a pet to your family, remember to look locally as there are many small town shelters. Petfinder.com is a wonderful way too! You can request the exact sex, size, breed, or mix, as well as the distance you are willing to travel.
When visiting a shelter for a new dog, do not be alarmed by the loud barking and jumping. Shelters are all different—some are unable to provide the proper exercise so dogs can be stressed, depressed, confused, bored, or anxious, and they are just plain thrilled to get out. We suggest you walk them away from the noise at the shelter and let them get more relaxed. It’s truly amazing to see their body language shift. Most are in need of love, attention, reassurance, structure, and respect. Once you build that bond between you and your possible new family member, it will not only make you feel wonderful, but this dog that has had his life turned upside down is now prancing with joy in its step again. All of these animals deserve a second chance at life and love.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
- Spay & neuter your own dog/ cat.
-Spread the word on how many homeless pets there are. This is why adoption is very important.
- Donate your time to your local shelter. We promise it fuels your soul!
- Donate bedding, food, treats, toys, leashes, collars, preventative medication, etc. Call your local shelter to see exactly what they need.
A recently adopted dog from Saugerties Animal Shelter named Diesel and his new owner Frankie. Here’s what Frankie had to say:
“I met Diesel at a shelter, and I knew instantly that he was going to be a very good and well-behaved dog. After we brought him home, he was very energetic and loving. He could run and run for hours. I have enjoyed having him as a pet and will continue to do so.”
— Frankie Parslow
Babette with Foxy Roxy, another past foster of ours. She was found hairless and skinny. Look at her now!
Dan and foster dog Gordy. Dan just recently saved another dog named Athena, who was just hours away from being euthanized.
HERE ARE A FEW LOCAL SHELTERS TO CHECK OUT:
Saugerties Animal Shelter
1765 Route 212, Saugerties
Town of Rochester Shelter
50 Scenic Road, Accord N.Y
Jill Shufeldt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plattekill Municipal Shelter
1915 Route 44-55,Modena
Andrew McKee at 845-443-3356
Town of Shandaken Shelter
Route 28, Shandaken
11:30-4; by appointment only
Nancy at 845-663-4047
Newburgh Animal Control & Shelter
645 Gidney Avenue, Newburgh
Anna is the co-owner of Sorella in Woodstock. Visit her there, and share your adoption stories.