Remember Skye? This gorgeous girl was adopted in early May. She now goes by Lila, and I'm thrilled to share an update from her new family today.
Lovely Lila is having a great time, enjoying walks in the park and being the center of attention. She's all settled in and is having a blast in her forever home. The family is so happy to have this sweet girl around and says they could not have asked for a better dog. I'm sure Lila would agree.
We love hearing from our alumni - keep sending in those updates!
Angela Oakley waited by her car in a College Park parking lot at 2 a.m. Right on time, a van full of dogs pulled up. Out came Shawna, a shepherd mix, and Hans, an active black dog, who would be Angela’s passengers that Friday morning. They’d been on a long road trip from North Carolina but were calm and good natured.
Angela, who hasn’t had a dog since she was ten years old, opened the back door of her car and said, “Ok guys, jump in!” Shawna and Hans wagged their tails but their expressions said, “We think we like you, but we have no idea what you want us to do.” Angela tried telling them to get in the backseat again without any luck. “So it was me and another volunteer lifting these 50-pound dogs into my car in the middle of the night in a parking lot,” Angela laughs.
Hans (left) and Shawna (right)
En route to the dogs’ foster home, Angela could occasionally hear a deep, satisfied sigh from her backseat. She doesn’t know if Shawna still makes that sound. Maybe it was just her way of expressing how she felt that particular night as the car headed away from the parking lot, toward foster homes and then, eventually, forever homes. Both Shawna and Hans have been happily adopted.
Pepper got a walk from Angela
Originally from North Carolina, Angela is a writer for a local television station and lives in Glover Park, in a building that doesn’t allow dogs. Working in television can mean irregular hours when there’s breaking news, a schedule that might not mesh with dog ownership. But volunteering for City Dogs Rescue means, “I get to pretend I have a dog” says Angela, who says it isn’t hard to find time to volunteer, even with her busy schedule. “It’s just an hour and a half on a Saturday morning,” she says, enough time to run an errand, walk a dog, and then meet friends for brunch. When the walk is over, she often finds herself thinking, “Aw, I have to take the dog back now.” Luckily her cat, Sassafras, doesn’t mind that her owner comes home smelling like a different adoptable dog after her Saturday walks.
Angela has been volunteering with City Dogs Rescue for about three months, mostly as a Saturday dog walker. She first found out about the organization through a friend’s Facebook post. Acknowledging the power of social media in helping to get the word out about adoptable dogs, Angela uses her iPhone to snap photos of each dog she walks, posting them to Facebook.
Though she usually meets a new dog each time she volunteers as a walker, she once got to walk Alex, a dog with an unusual color who had strikingly beautiful green eyes, two Saturdays in a row. “I couldn’t believe he hadn’t been adopted yet,” she said. When she checked Facebook the next Monday, she discovered that one of her friends had just become Alex’s proud owner.
Hershey models an "adopt me" vest
With a slight southern accent and a social personality, Angela has no problems advertising dogs’ availability for adoption, but says she barely has to do anything: the dogs’ “adopt me” vests and friendly personalities attract attention. “You don’t even have to start the conversation,” she says.
Interacting with the public is key, says Angela, “Even if the person isn’t in the market for a dog, they might get involved or donate when they’re able to. People just want to know what’s going on.” When people on the street commend her for volunteering to walk City Dogs Rescue dogs, Angela says, “I feel like a fraud. It’s not work! It’s so much fun!”
Angela can recall the names of almost all the dogs she has walked and uses City Dogs Rescue’s website and Facebook page to keep up with how “her” dogs are doing once they’re adopted. “They’re all such sweet characters,” she said. “Every time I walk a dog, I think, ‘this is my favorite dog,’ but they’re all my favorite.”
My Name is Clint Gentry and I am the office manager of City Dogs Daycare, and I am in the unique position to watch, participate in, and help in the growth and success of City Dogs Rescue. As the Rescue has recently stormed past the “50 dogs saved” mark, I am awed to be a part of such an effective organization. When Dave and Darren re-started the Rescue last September, he was new to the rescue operation business, but here we are, 9 months later, with an organization running at full capacity. City Dogs Rescue has the sponsors, donors, board of directors, and adopters as the ultimate factors which will define what City Dogs Rescue is capable of, but I would also like to talk about the people that do the groundwork that The Rescue is dependent on.
Volunteers - Without volunteers, there is no Rescue, plain and simple. There are dozens of generous people donating their time and energy just to make sure dogs that they may never meet, get a second chance at life. Driving for hours to pick up dogs from high kill shelters, often taking whole weekend days to do so. There are the walkers that make sure the dogs without foster homes are out and about, getting exercise, being seen by people on the street, and giving the contact information of the Rescue when people fall in love with one of our puppies. This is the best form of advertising for our dogs and I have received phone calls regarding our dogs while they were still out on their walk. These puppies sell themselves, but the volunteer walkers provide the audience. All of our social media/internet presence is done on a volunteer basis. Maintaining a website of an organization as busy as City Dogs Rescue is a lot of work. We bring in 3-4 new dogs every week and our website is kept up to date on the newest dogs, alumni, and all information pertaining to adoption, fostering, and volunteering. The volunteers are the true “gears” in the Rescue engine that make all things possible.
Fosters - Foster parents of our puppies are the quality control for the Rescue. They take in dogs that they know very little about and supply feedback about the health, demeanor and attributes of the dogs. Do they listen well? Do they get along with kids/cats? What sort of home would suit them? If a dog comes in sick, they get them back into good health. They walk them and advertise for the rescue. They are the first person(s) that provides guidance and companionship to a dog, (which is important for their overall mental/physical health). They let the dogs know that somebody out there loves them and this helps them socially adjust when it might not have the best relationship with humans. In my experience, many fosters will show so much love to a dog that they will simply adopt them! Fosters graciously welcome unknown dogs into their homes with no reservations or expectations...this takes compassion, trust, and a love for animals that we hope permeates the entire culture of City Dogs Rescue.
Miscellanea - There are others that support our Rescue that do not fall under the previous two categories, but are just as vital to its success. There are the various venues that provide City Dogs Rescue with room to conduct fundraisers. They allow dogs into their places of business, providing the forum for new people to see our great puppies. People that are not even expecting to adopt a dog can stumble upon one they simply cannot give up...and another dog finds a home! While I don’t want to go into the specific venues here, the next fundraiser will always be posted on the citydogsrescuedc.org website, come on down! I would also like to mention the employees of the City Dogs Daycare, as they are generally some of the first humans with prolonged contact with new pups. When new dogs come in, they are understandably scared, it is a new world for them, and they are in need of love and attention that can ease their anxieties, I feel the play room staff at City Dogs Daycare does an excellent job of this. Administering medicines, ensuring a proper eating schedule, and providing a loving and guiding atmosphere are all important for new dogs, and I feel the Daycare employees do just that. I would also like to thank City Paws Animal Hospital for providing low cost care for our rescues. With the myriad of health issues that can occur, it helps to partner with someone that not only makes sure that our pups are in a healthy condition, but do so in a way that keeps costs down, as this helps us get more dogs to rescue!
While the is certainly not an exhaustive list of all those that donate their time, I thought that it was at least a start. As we are now past 50 dogs saved, I am looking now at 100, and hope that with the example that has been set in the past nine months, the next 50 will be a breeze. Again, I thank all those that help in the City Dogs Rescue mission, and want you to know that, together, we are making the lives of humans, dogs, and Washington DC, better!
City Dogs Rescue pulled this handsome guy from the shelter about 3 weeks ago (he is Bear's brother). We weren't able to take him right away because the local rescue needed to work with him to be more socialized. However, they weren't having any luck. He continued to seem so withdrawn, wouldn't respond, etc. Well, he went to the vet this week to get neutered and we discovered that the poor baby has a broken leg! No wonder he was so despondent!
Well, rest assured, he is now on pain meds, but City Dogs Rescue is committed to making sure he gets the urgent care he needs, including the surgical procedures to reset his leg (will need to be pinned). The vet's office has already seen improvement his demeanor and said that he is a very sweet boy. He must be just so happy that this horror has ended. While we can't do anything about his pain in the past, we are determined to give him a wonderful live in DC just like his brother Bear will receive soon. Please help us achieve this. (We are estimating $1800 in surgical and care expenses for Bandit; if we are lucky and it turns out to be less than expected we will use any excess money for other rescues). Thank you.