It is a journey for them, but these girls are making steady progress. They are looking better each day. After several vet trips, Caroline is healing quickly and looking good. Camille’s progress is a little slower. Her skin seems to be more sensitive and is not responding to treatment as well as Caroline‘s. On a happy note, there is absolutely nothing wrong with their appetites and attitudes. They are quite spunky and have two inch tails that wag a mile a minute! They look forward to their daily walks. They are a very bonded pair. It seems as if they watch out for each other. They can be very entertaining. These girls can be real ‘talkers’ if they see a snack and think they may not be getting one. They also like to talk to the cats, it is possible that they are saying something not so nice to them though. We would like to thank all who have donated to their ongoing vet bill. We look forward to the day, hopefully in the near future, that they will be ready for a fresh start in a loving home.
RANT: I am just not sure how often and how many ways this can be said. This is eventually going to overwhelm us to the point of no return. I go to work way before daylight. While I am unlocking the door these two girls come up behind me. My heart dropped to the floor and I was ready to give up, once again. There is no room here so I thought I was going to have to take them to the ‘other shelter‘. I don’t want to do that, especially with these two girls because there is no way they would make it. So after waiting for daylight and an hour or so of complete frustration and anger, we figured something out, not yet knowing if it will work or not.
They are now at the vet getting what they have probably never had in their life. Love and attention and medical care.
If you dumped these girls, you need to come forward and talk to us. If you don’t and we find you, it may very well be a talk to the judge. The shape these two are in will easily fall under ‘abuse’, not to mention that what you did is illegal.
If anyone has any information about this, if you know these dogs or are aware of the particulars of this incident, message me please. I am telling anyone who cares to hear it, WE CANNOT KEEP DOING THIS.
We are committed to our current residents, and overloading will make it where we will not be able to give them what was promised.
There is no way at this point, to make one more spot for one more dog. The only thing that keeps us going is the fact that these creatures are not at fault, as usual it falls back on humans. I (Ruth) am absolutely sick of this.
Webmaster's Note: If you would like to donate to support our vet bills, please click the donate button. Your kindness is truly appreciated.
I posted her arrival at the shelter in the way that I did because I was personally offended. I have worked for the ODCHS almost nine years now and Sadie was not the first nor will she be the last to be abandoned there. I usually don’t say anything about it and handle it the best I know how. I may mention the really worst cases but the majority of the time I just introduce the new orphan to the community.
It was different for me this time because it was early in the morning, still dark--and I was there. The drop off was obviously well planned--the chain and note and no rabies tag. I didn’t hear or see anything because I was busy feeding everyone and they are usually pretty noisy during this time. I am sure though that if they had intended to get my attention they could have done so. I don’t like being got over on, that is my personal ego and pride problem. Not good, but I will own it.
I didn’t mean to offend anyone by removing the post because of too much drama. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and when a post is made, the comments follow. A lot of folks wanted an eye for an eye, I get it. Nonetheless, two wrongs don’t make a right. Yes it was sad because Sadie already seems to have trust issues and who knows how many times she has been shuffled from pillar to post. She is very hesitant when approached by a human, but has not shown any signs of aggression, only caution. She does look at every car going by on Bivins as if she thinks her folks are coming back for her. No, she does not seem to have been mistreated or starved. Her ears seem to be bothering her but that is something a lot of dogs go through.
It is true that the family may be going through some unfortunate circumstances, and yes, I hate that. Had they made contact with me I believe we could have worked something out. When I took her in I put her in the last space available, only because Charlie was adopted the day before. Since we always take our adoptees back should something not work out (even after years) we usually keep one quarantine kennel empty. Should Charlie have to come back (or any one else who came from here) we will be hard put to find a space. If the issue was financial, we would have helped with food. If it was veterinary costs, we might have been able to help and perhaps asked for some volunteer hours in return. We have done both. We always do courtesy posts when someone is trying to re-home their pet, not saying that is always a fruitful effort but always worth a shot. If none of that had been satisfying for their situation, chances are I would have taken her anyway.
In that case I could have gotten more information about Sadie. I would love to know whatever history her owners could share with me. Were there previous homes? Has she ever shown aggression? Does she get along with other dogs? How does she do with children? Has she been heartworm tested? Was she on prevention? These are all things that would help with finding her the right home and environment.
Had we not had that one spot what would have happened? Make no mistake, when we take a dog or cat, we commit to this animal until a home is found. We vet each and every one of them. The orphans in our shelter, the shelter itself and our volunteers come first. We can only save one dog or cat at a time. So someone has to decide what to do with involuntary overflow. Guess who that is. So when one is abandoned by someone trying to do the best thing for the dog and there is no room I have to take this dog to the City Shelter. Yes--me--the shelter manager for the Ozark-Dale County Humane Society. I have done that--not often and not lately. I hate it and make myself believe that someone will adopt it from there before the inevitable happens. I am doing what I don’t want to so no one else has to. I am obligated to do whatever it takes to keep our shelter dogs safe and well and keep our little operation going so we can continue to save them, but one at a time. All of you have seen what happens when shelters become overpopulated. The manpower burns out, the funds run out, the occupants health suffers and eventually it all comes crashing down.
I don’t know what the general public thinks happens at a shelter like ours. We start at six am, feed everyone and clean all the kennels and litter boxes. By eight am the phone calls start coming in. The majority of these calls begin with ‘can you take’. One day, two calls were about a total of 70 cats and one lady pulled up wanting us to take 13 (some of them pregnant). Count it, I turned down 83 cats in one morning. There was a call recently that went sort of like this ‘I have to get rid of my dog, he keeps getting my other dogs pregnant’--and on it goes all morning. How sad is that?
In the meantime, most of the time with the help of our faithful volunteers, all the dogs get out time or walks. We make vet trips and pick up donations. We clean all of the yards, make sure the cats get some loving, and handle the seldom adoption and intakes when we have room. We do our own vaccinations and whatever medical treatments and meds that are necessary. We do heartworm prevention for all of our dogs monthly. We show dogs and cats to any and all who are interested in them. After we close the shelter at noon I do the keeping of the records, do posts on Facebook, download pictures that were taken during the course of the day. We do this seven days a week and go back at night to make sure all is well and clean for the night for everyone.
So, if I got offended by the way Sadie was left with us, I can’t apologize. But I didn’t mean to offend anyone by deleting my impulsive post. We mostly take pride in keeping our page drama free and positive and I initiated a firestorm so I decided it was up to me to put it out.
I realize this is quite the ramble, but blogs are allowed to be that, right?
It started with a very small moment. As many of us do, I live alone. OK, not really. I have six kids who have 24 legs. I was eating supper and two of the doggie kids were asleep, but little Margie was sitting in front of me with a look of longing torturing my conscience. When I finished I gave her a bite. You would have thought a bomb went off in my house if you could have seen the other two jump up out of a dead sleep. (The other three are cats and couldn’t have cared less.) That little thing made me have a big ol’ smile on my face and set me off on a tangent of thought.
The love of these guys is perfect. I leave them home alone hours at a time and they try so hard to be good and are successful at it most of the time. They don’t ask me where I have been or why I don’t spend more time with them. They give kisses and do happy dances whenever I come home. It doesn’t matter if I have been gone hours or minutes. They are always happy to be fed and don’t complain about the food. They love getting treats and never whine when one gets a bigger one than the other.
They listen when I talk to them. They don’t give advice nor are they judgmental. They may not understand the words, but they comprehend the feeling and emotion behind them. They don’t tell the secrets you tell them. They don’t hold a grudge. I know they depend on me, I wish they knew also how much I depend on them. Perhaps they do.
I can’t imagine how anyone can live a fulfilled life without a four-legged life partner. I feel sorrow for those who are truly alone --- I wish they knew what they were missing. I don’t own any pets, they own me. Please don’t tell my dogs. My cats already know it --- the Poop
So, Abbie is a small six year-old Min-Pin who was adopted from here last December. Mom had to bring her back - no fault of hers. A lot of tears but there were some personal issues that could not have been predicted or helped. We noticed Abbie was not acting right on her second day back at the shelter. I blamed it on the fact that she was really upset and had been jumping about and barking all of the first day. But Sunday morning I knew if she didn’t get to the vet she might not make it through the day. I could not pinpoint what the problem was because I had never seen these symptoms.
I was alone at the shelter and not where I could just up and leave. After thinking about it I took the chance and called Dr. Windham at his emergency number. Mind you, it was before 7am. He answered and promptly came to us and picked up Abbie. I am amazed and impressed at his work and moral ethics. One can’t help but love this man. Mind you - he is just human. He will make mistakes as we all do, he is not perfect as are none of us. He is, however, a compassionate and good man who will do the best he can for every pet and their human.
He called me later in the morning to tell me that Abbie was actually bleeding to death since her blood had lost the ability to clot. The swelling and the bruising we had noticed were the results of this issue. He said only two things cause this - rat poison and snake bites. Abbie did not show any sign of a snake bite. We can only presume that she was exposed to the poison a few days before coming to the shelter. I am absolutely sure Mom didn’t know. I am sure we will never know what happened nor do I intend to pursue this.
Abbie came back to the shelter today. She looks and acts like a new little dog. She is a sweet dog and her life was saved by a wonderful doctor. I know I give him a hard time each time I go to his clinic, but that is just the nature of things. I may not ever sing his praises again, but this one is on me and well-deserved. I am sure we will have a hefty bill and I am just as sure that it will be a fair bill for a little life saved.
Thank you, Dr. Windham from Abbie and the ODCHS.
I think I am going to write about each individual wonderful dog we have at the shelter waiting on his/her own family. They are amazing creatures and it's beyond my understanding why they haven’t been adopted.
One day our volunteer dog walkers came back off the path we have going through the woods to tell me there was a dog sitting in the woods and they weren’t sure of his intentions. I went with them to see and just off the path in a little clearing was a pretty red/tan bulldog mix looking at me. She was just sitting there not moving. We quickly determined that she couldn’t move because something was wrong with her back end. She let me pick her up and carry her out of the woods back to the shelter, washing my face with her giant-sized tongue the whole way (brownie points were scored).
We made an immediate trip to the vet and I tried to prepare everyone that she may not come back. Dr. Windham told me that there were no apparent injuries and that she may have spinal trauma and that it may eventually get better. She was able to control her bladder and bowels and that was a positive sign.
When I brought her back to the shelter everyone was told that we were giving Dee Jay (named after the volunteers who found her--Debbie and Jane---) one week to show some sort of improvement. During the day she was allowed to stay in the office with who turned out to be a therapy cat--little Ollie. At night we would carry her to a blanket in a kennel. She could scoot about and stand up long enough to do her business if we helped her. Then about a week in, she got up to get to Ollie, the cat. From there it was one thing after another. We encouraged her to stop scooting and she began to try to walk. It was a pitiful sight because she was having difficulties placing her legs, but we saw improvement on a daily basis.
One day, while I was inside cleaning, I heard all this whooping and hollering and clapping out in the yard. I thought surely someone had won the lottery. It was better than that. Dee Jay had wagged her tail. It could have been the breeze blowing it, the movement was so miniscule---but they saw it.
From that day forth it was something new every day. Today Dee Jay runs and plays with the best of them. She has learned to put all of her weight on her hind legs so she can rear up on you looking for treats and she can get on the picnic table and play Queen of the Mountain with her best friend, Annie.
During all this she never lost her excitement at receiving love and never for a moment stopped wanting to wash your face every chance she got. Her hind end is getting a lot of the muscle tone back and she is one buff and beautiful dog.
She will occasionally still milk her past disabilities by sitting down during the middle of a walk as if to say, pshaw, --- I am crippled you have to carry me. A little coaxing usually convinces her it would be in her best interest to walk back to the shelter to get her ‘end of the walk treat’.
She is a glow in all of our hearts and an example of spirit, gumption and perseverance we cold all use a dose of. ----- It would break our hearts to see her leave but knowing she has a good life in a good home would glue it back together. That is our Dee Jay
I get a call. A dog was dumped, can we take it? I explain we don’t have room and that we can only take one if one gets adopted.
Most of the time I get understanding and polite callers. It often seems to me that the caller is really thinking that it is only one dog. I can feel that the unspoken thought is that we could surely make room for just one more.
The caller is right, it is only one dog, for them. For us it is the fifth call and the seventh ‘only one dog (or cat)’ of the morning. Chances are someone will drive up and ask us to take a couple of puppies the kids picked up or a cat with kittens.
I truly wish we could take them all---we could if we had a facility that could house hundreds and a staff of forty. We could if we had a bank account that involved six or even seven digits (dollars). As it is we can’t.
I also get calls that go like this: “I rescued a dog and now I don’t know what to do with it!” OK, I have to say this-----if you don’t know what to do with it, you didn’t rescue. In my opinion ‘rescue’ means you will take responsibility for this creature’s life and well-being. It doesn’t mean that you assume someone else will and can take the responsibility.
I think picking up an animal to save it’s life and ‘hoping’ someone can help you is something different entirely. We will always try to help, even if we don’t have room in the shelter. We can try to help with food and we can try to utilize our Facebook page to help place a foundling.
Sometimes we can help with spay or neuter expenses. We try, but I hope that folks understand our space and resources and manpower are limited. The decisions I make are not easy but I have to place the shelter and it’s continued existence and the orphans in it on the top of the list.
Just sayin’ ------------------The Poop
Recently I put a thingy on our Facebook page that said something to the effect that volunteers don’t get paid because they are priceless, not worthless. As I was going about my business at the shelter today I looked around and realized exactly what that meant.
It is spring break for our kids here and two of the boys who chose to donate their off time to us and spend it with our orphans were crushing cans so we can recycle and make some ‘critter money’. LD and Austin, you know I am talking about you. I know I come across as rude and crude sometimes but don’t think for one minute that I don’t respect and appreciate what you are doing. Our girl who chose to spend her time likewise, was in the cattery loving and brushing and talking to the kitties. Sharla, you are the cat’s meow. We had a school teacher sweeping floors after walking dogs and spending quality time with our newest and very scared kitty Jewel. Amy spends whatever time she can spare with us and we love her. I looked out into the yard are and there is the vet assistant, Amanda, scooping poop. Amanda works with us five days a week and is amazing with anything to do with animals. Jane is our power walker and you can see her zipping around our walking path giving the guys and girls a work-out. Ms. Debbie is there six days a week most weeks. She does some of everything and is indispensable. Thank you Debbie.
I know there are a dozen or more volunteer heroes (they are heroes to me and the orphans) that I haven’t mentioned. Debbie C. has a full-time job but comes Sunday early to help me clean before going to church. My night folks, Chris and Paula and sometimes Debbie---they take a load off when I don’t have to do bed check. The other girls who come on weekends when they can get here. Ashley, Jordan, Hannah, Hannah, oh shoot -- I know I can’t remember them all.
Not only do they donate their time, but more often than not they also donate supplies and treat etc. WOW is all I can say.
I just had to put my feelings about them out there. Our villagers are an amazing bunch of folks and I don’t know how to tell them how much we all, four and two-legged, appreciate them. I have to mention Jane W, who lives out of town now, but still spends one week a month with us. -----You are all what makes this place rock and I am humbled.
. . . from working with our critters at the shelter.
Patience - they are just as grateful for breakfast if you feed them first or last. Our Ms. Annie somehow always is at the end of the line, be it for food or to get out into the yard. She waits very patiently and quietly and when her turn comes, she is just as excited and happy as if she had been first.
Tolerance - I have watched some of our bigger and older dogs tolerate the most rambunctious puppies. To watch Bella get down on Calamity’s level and let her romp all over her is worth the watching. If she does get a little rough with the pup, one yelp and she stops. Calamity is a busy little girl and I don’t see how Bella keeps from being annoyed, but she tolerates.
Trust - I have learned to trust their instinct when it comes to people. (No, I have not learned to trust people.) These guys can quickly tell more about a person than I can. If our dogs indicate that they don’t like someone who may be looking to adopt, they won’t adopt. On occasion even the most even tempered of our kids have let me know in no uncertain terms their opinion of someone. I have learned to tell the difference between ‘my space-don’t invade’ or ‘you are a stranger and I don’t quite trust you’ and ‘oh hell no, I ain’t going home with you!!!’
I have learned that people who are compassionate toward animals are also compassionate toward other people --- and definitely that those who mistreat animals will mistreat another person in a heartbeat.
Perseverance - a dog or cat will keep on keeping on now matter the hand life deals. They will make the best of whatever circumstance without complaint for as long as they can. DeeJay (and Spirit) did the best they could with what there was. They didn’t give up, didn’t get mad, didn’t complain. I am learning.
We should strive to be like them. Accept things because ‘it is what it is.’ Skip the drama, be honest, be thankful, be loyal and live in the moment.
We proclaim ourselves to be a ‘No Kill’ shelter. There are those who will argue that there is no such thing. To some degree I would have to agree. They would question what happens to the animals we turn away because of lack of room.
I say that the animals in our care are safe. They will remain in our care until such time that they are adopted into their own family and home. I say that we make every effort to give the best care possible to each individual in our care. They are well fed, they are all spayed or neutered, they all receive personal attention daily from our amazing volunteers. We try to keep them socialized and adoptable.
If we overload we would not be able to take proper care of them. We have to consider not only space, but manpower and finances. Yes, we could possibly double up in some of our kennels and have done that on occasion, but that is not something we like to do. Not only does manpower come into play here, but these guys are on their own many hours a day. Should they have disagreements with no one there to intervene, the very least it would cost is a vet bill--at the most -- a life.
We have had volunteers who chose not to work with us because we don’t take each and every dog or cat in need. I hate to lose volunteers but reality is if we were to take 200, there would me 500 more out there in need. To use a well used cliche--we can’t change the world, but we can change the world for one dog or cat at a time. We trudge along trying to do just that.
Who makes the decision on when to take in a dog or cat? I do! No one else has to be responsible or feel guilt. How do I make the decisions? I follow my heart and my gut. I don’t keep a waiting list because too many unexpected situations occur. The pups who somehow wind up in the median on 231 are in much greater need and danger than the one John Doe is trying to re-home because he is moving in a few weeks.
We have been criticized for not pulling dogs from the pound. I say we take them before they go to the pound. We still occasionally take kids from there but usually don’t get the opportunity.
I feel comfortable about what we do and how we do it. I also feel comfortable with making the decisions. I am also ok with those who disagree with me, that’s what makes the world go around. The POOP