Several months ago an abandoned dog named June happened upon the home of Claudia and Carl Thomas in rural West Virginia. Claudia and Carl spent several weeks trying to find this beautiful dog's family. Without success, she reached out to Shannon Gandee who contacted CDR to see if we could help. Knowing the fate of shelter dogs, we agreed to post for a foster and help this dog find a forever home in Washington, DC.
When June went to the vet to be spayed we learned that she was just days away from giving birth, so we decided to keep the puppies. We are confident we made the right decision by allowing her to come to term. On Halloween of 2013, her litter of 14 coonhound puppies were born.
CDR supporters came together and sent supplies and food to help the puppies and their mother. Claudia took great care of these dogs and every single one survived. Shannon's expertise in whelping puppies was instrumental to their success.
While we hadn't heard of a litter of 14 puppies before, we knew we had a commitment and needed to find a foster home for them in Washington, DC. Our heroes Carlyn and Pat agreed to take on this mighty challenge. (Earlier in 2013, they adopted the infamous coonhound Maddie who has an adventurous tale of her own.)
Just after Christmas, Shannon and Claudia took the puppies from West Virginia to their new foster moms. One puppy stayed behind because he was adopted by Claudia's nephew, and Claudia and her husband Carl decided that June was staying with them forever too. We were so happy for June!
Everyone at CDR came together and pitched in to help these puppies find homes. We had multiple volunteer photographers (and amateurs on their smartphones "helping") visit the house and many of our supporters shared their pictures so we could find them homes.
Volunteers went to their home bringing supplies and enjoying some puppy time for themselves as well. Without a doubt, they were very well socialized! With 13 puppies to go, there were a lot of applications to be processed and Amy McLean handled them with ease and efficiency. Our foster and alumni volunteers helped by going to 13 homes to do home visits and they continued to spread the word.
Yesterday the last two puppies, Max and Reed went to their forever homes. By the end, even Maddie had really taken to them and enjoyed daily playtime showing them the ropes.
This has been an amazing journey and learning experience for all of us at CDR. We couldn't be more grateful for all the support and love that people have shown these beautiful dogs. We look forward to continuing to follow their stories and watch them grow. While we are sure it was very challenging at times, the Thomas family and Pat and Carlyn never gave up. There is no way we could have done it without these two amazing foster families.
Thank you to everyone who helped along the way and made this a real fairytale ending for all involved.
We leave you with a note from Claudia:
"Today, the last two pups were adopted. Max and Reed went to their forever homes. I want to thank City Dogs Rescue and all the many volunteers for helping me in finding homes for June Bug's 14 pups."
"Without CDR, I don't know what I would have done. As most of you know, June showed up at my house and I had no idea that in a months time I would have a house with 15 dogs, especially since I didn't even want a dog and was hoping that CDR would find June a wonderful home."
(Editor's note: It looks like June found her home all by herself..)
"I want to especially thank Shannon Gandee who spent countless hours getting me supplies and sharing her knowledge on raising 14 pups."
"Carlyn Kuder and Pat Rakers who took over the care of 13 of the 14 pups, Meredith and the many volunteers who helped by supplying supplies, training, finding homes, taking pictures, and the countless hours of playtime. If I didn't mention your name I apologize but know that I appreciate all you did."
"I want to especially thank all the wonderful families that have adopted June's puppies. I hope that like me ...I kept June. ...you find that coonhounds are so full of love and such cute dogs that your heart melts when you look at them. I look forward to seeing pictures of the pups as they grow and hearing how they enrich you and your families life. I look forward to a possible reunion and pray that you enjoy and grow old with your new best friend. Many Blessings To All!"
Thank you again to everyone who played a part in this great story. Follow their journey on our Facebook page. We have created a special album to post their new photos and updates here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.618479714856299.1073742404.252031584834449&type=3.