Have you ever wished you had gotten in on the ground floor of something? Maybe like Forrest Gump and his orchard investment? Well, the Allen County SPCA has been around for a very long time. They’ve been around for over 60 years and if you’re counting or being catty, that’s longer than I’ve been around. (smile)
The thing about this shelter, though, is that I do feel like I got in on the ground floor of something awesome and life-changing. One day I drove down there on my lunch hour but that isn’t even the beginning. I clicked on their website nearly every day for several months, just checking on their adoptable animals and then I finally wandered in. I remember grilling the kind woman at the front desk about their stance on Pit bulls and was this a kill-shelter, etc. Satisfied with the answers, I decided to fill out a volunteer application and after orientation began my journey of falling in love with the various temporary residents.
Orientation was actually on two different days, one for cats and one for dogs and on dog day, I actually met the new Director of the SPCA who was also just starting. Little did I know at the time that although the initial answers were what I wanted to hear, the practice was slighly different. Still a no-kill shelter but with a limited intake system, though Pit Bulls weren’t banned they didn’t appear very often on the kennel floor. There were several lab mixes and several boxer mixes, all with blocky heads, but not until King was there truly a Pit Bull.
Ground floor, people. The new Director not only has expanded the intake program to allow Pit Bulls, but now elder dogs are eligible to enter the SPCA’s program. Little blind Boo entered the program and was adopted. No longer was the application a tome that asked for the blood of your first-born, but a real application for real people. In 2012, 819 animals found their forever home with the help of the SPCA. This past year, 2013, the number shot up to 1274. The average stay for a healthy dog is about 7 days now which allows for so many more deserving animals to find their forever homes, but less time for us volunteers to fall in love.
King was at the shelter for over a month. During that time, not only did I fall in love with him but Kevin did as well and we were that close to committing to him, although at the time, Ray was kind of a wild card.
Seven days. In less than seven days, I met, fell in love with and bade farewell to Poppy and this post was meant to be about her, but there is always another waiting in the wings to fill that little space in my heart. It’s time to look forward and not backward so with that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to Herschel.
Every time I pass him by, I remind him that he has a funny face and in return he wags his tail at me. Herschel is 8 years young and ready to share his funny little face with you.