Happy Gotcha Day, Lucky Trooper

Happy 7th Gotcha Day, Lucky Trooper

 

The night of July 19, 2014, I was one of the last few people left at my sister and her husband’s wedding reception that was held at a beautiful venue located off of a county road near many farms in south Alabama. We were finalizing things at the venue and packing up gifts and other items. I was going to leave the reception venue to go home and change out of my bridesmaids dress and into another outfit to then go and meet my sister, husband and friends at another location. I got into my car to leave, drove down the gravel road and then turned onto the county road back to my parents.  I had no idea I was about to meet a very special animal in need. This animal turned out to be a dog that was in the worst condition I’d ever seen. He was in such a sad state with no hair which showed his frail, hairless body with sagging infected skin. In that moment, I knew I had to stop my car and help this dog. His detailed story is below in this blog post.

There are so many dogs, cats and other pets that need to be rescued and adopted into a forever, loving family. I hope that this may reach someone who is looking for that special pet and will consider adopting from a shelter, humane society or rescue organization.

Xoxoxo

D

 

Trooper’s picture below was shot by Connie Collum Photography. Many other pictures included in this blog post were also taken by Connie Collum Photography taken for Hand in Paw’s 2019 Face of Picasso Pets photoshoot.

 

“You Can’t Buy Love, But You Can Rescue It”

 

At 9 PM, July 19, 2014, this creature came into my life and changed it forever. He was unrecognizable as a dog when I first saw him. I was so struck at the state he was in and knew there was not a chance I could keep driving past this frail, sick and neglected animal.

 

My sister’s wedding and reception was held outside of my hometown at a beautiful venue with a small lake off of a county road that is surrounded by farm land and homes with large acreage around them. I was one of the last people to leave the venue helping gather and finish up with things after the reception. My husband had a business trip he was leaving for the next day and had already left an hour prior to me leaving to drive back to Birmingham.

 

 

When I left the wedding venue, I turned off of the gravel road to the county road. As I turned on the road and started to drive, an animal was passing the middle of the road slowly. It took me a few seconds to realize it was a sick dog. The dog stopped in the road as I slowed down. When my headlight beams were on him, I could see how badly neglected he was and I stopped my car in disbelief. He was completely hairless, literally only skin and bones.

 

“Love at First Woof”

 

Since this was not a busy road, I parked my car right where I was and slowly got out. I began to kneel down on the road to talk to this dog. He began to walk closer to me but he was very cautious. I kept talking to him and letting him know I would help him if he would trust me.  I was able to get a closer look at his appearance; he was scratched all over, bleeding, eyes oozing, and discolored nails that were so long, he could barely walk.

 

He continued to walk in a large circle around me. I started to slowly stand back up from kneeling, but he started to walk off, so I stopped moving again. It took me a few minutes to stay still before he started to walk back around me and my car. Once I saw him going around the other side of my car, I quietly moved that way. He was right beside the back door of my car on the far side. I kept talking to him and telling him he was safe. I was also trying to feel out how scared or aggressive he might be.

 

I slowly made my way over closer to the other side of the car where he was looking.  I had to make a decision fast because I wasn’t sure if he would run away with any sudden movements. I decided at that point to take a chance! I slowly reached down and touched his head with my right hand, then put that hand on top of his head in case he tried to bite me and then quickly put my left arm under his skinny body, picked him up, opened up the back door fast, put him and shut the door.

 

 

I could not get over the condition this poor dog was in.  He stayed right where I put him in the back of the car and didn’t move. He just looked at me and I knew I was not going to let this dog go back to whatever life he had before. He needed immediate medical care, but the only place to take him on a Saturday late evening was an Emergency Veterinary Clinic. I didn’t know the doctors there or what their reaction would be. Since Trooper was a stray and not mine and I had no records of vaccinations for him, I was worried that an emergency clinic may not treat him at all or give this dog a fair chance to live.

 

I drove to my parents house and noticed he had a really strong odor due to his skin being so infected. When I arrived, my family and I tried to come up with a solution so I could stay longer but with so many of our family members staying at the house, we could not take a chance infecting anyone if he had a contagious skin infection.  I made a decision quickly to pack my things and drive back to Birmingham right then. I wanted to stay and celebrate with my sister and husband and friends but since this dog didn’t have a place to go, I needed to take responsibility for him and care for him until he was safe and cared for.

 

 

I made a quick stop at Target and bought a leash and collar on our way out of Dothan. I made another stop in Montgomery to see if he needed a bathroom break. I put the collar on his neck and attached the leash. He let me pick him up again and put him on the ground. It was apparent he did not know what a collar or leash was. He didn’t know how to walk on a leash or knew what the bathroom break was for. He cowered on the ground at this bathroom stop. So, I decided to keep going and get home quickly and picked him back up and put him back in the car. We continued on for the rest of the 3 1/2 hour trip back to Birmingham.

 

 

As we continued to drive, I made calls to a couple of people I know involved with animal rescue. I asked what the steps were to feed a starved dog and then what I should do the next day since it was a Sunday. Most veterinary offices are not open on Sunday, but found out about one that is open Sunday afternoon that was involved with a few local animal rescue groups. I got back to Birmingham after midnight. Bart was at home and had a few towels and blankets in the garage for us when we arrived.

 

 

This poor dog was starved, emaciated and also dehydrated. He would not drink water before we started our trip to Birmingham. When we arrived in Birmingham at our house, I put his collar and leash back on, picked him up and put him down on the driveway. The garage lights were on and beetles were flying around under the light and this poor dog immediately pulled and lunged over to eat the beetles that were on the ground. I knew then he was eating anything to survive.

 

 

We went into the garage and Bart brought out a bowl of chicken stock and half a cup of hard kibble dog food and a small amount of canned dog food. Bart could not pet or get near him to make sure he didn’t pass anything to our dogs inside.  Before I could even put the bowls down on the garage floor, he was devouring it in seconds.  Watching him eat his food so fast was tearful to watch. But he wagged his tail the whole time and looked at me wanting more. I wanted to feed him more, but for a starved dog, it was best to feed small amounts every 4-6 hours so his body could hold it down.

 

 

I slept in the garage with him that night because I couldn’t leave him alone knowing he would have no idea where he was.  I didn’t know if he had mange…and if he did, I didn’t know which type of mange he had.  There are two types of mange, Demodectic Mange and Sarcoptic Mange, and the latter is highly contagious to people and other dogs. Since I had already exposed my skin to his skin by picking him up and petting him, I did not want to go inside our home to see my two dogs or husband and expose my skin to them if I had contagious mites.

 

 

I made a pallet of an old yoga mat, blanket and towels for him to sleep and made a little area for me to rest. He curled up on the pallet I made for him and slept. I kept a towel covering him while he slept because I could tell he was chilly even though we were in a garage in July heat in Alabama! He would wake up and look at me multiple times and make sure I was still there and then go back to sleep. I slept next to him and tried to comfort him and pet his hairless body to let him know he would be ok. When he woke up the next morning and looked at me, I told him he was safe and he leaned over and gave me my first kiss. It was the sweetest gesture and knew he was thankful for his rescue and had a strong will to survive.  What a forgiving spirit to trust another human and want to move past what he had been through!

 

“True Love is Seen in the Eyes of a Rescued Dog”

 

 

  He did not use the bathroom all night and I was worried that he needed to and didn’t know it would be ok to go in the garage. I put his collar and leash on him again and tried to take him on a walk up the street. He stood there and did not know what to do and walked a little bit but then would crouch down and pull away. He didn’t understand what the leash was and the idea behind getting walked.  I didn’t want him to be stressed and try to pull away from me. So, we went back to the garage and after some time he walked to a corner and went to the bathroom. I had a doggy bag to clean it up and was sad to see what I found. His poo was very sandy and dry and had small gravel and rocks in it along with remnants of a rodent (nails / teeth) and a plastic package of what looked like a crackers snack pack. This again showed me that he was eating anything to survive. Bart brought out another bowl of chicken stock and half a cup of hard kibble dog food and a little bit of canned dog food. He ate it just as quickly as he did before and looked up at us for more. We had a few hours before the veterinary clinic opened in the afternoon, so we would be able to feed him another small meal before the vet visit.

 

 

I called the veterinary clinic, Riverview, that was open on Sunday to see if we would be able to get an appointment when they first opened at 1pm. I explained the situation and they were able to see us. When we arrived, I went into the clinic to see if we could walk right into the exam room and not wait in the waiting area. I didn’t know how he would be in the waiting room with other people or animals and also did not want others to be shocked by his appearance. When a room was ready, I went to get him out of the air-conditioned car and covered him in a towel and walked him straight into an exam room. He let me hold him in his towel and then I placed him on the exam table. He just sat there, but he trusted me and watched my every move.

 

 

The vet technician, Allie, came in and I remember her face and the tears that immediately followed when she first saw this pink, hairless dog. She began taking care of him and took his weight, which was 32.8 pounds.  Dr. Woods stepped into the exam room and was also shocked with this skinny, hairless dog.  He asked me what I wanted to do and I said everything we can! He said it would take a few hours to examine him, run tests and also get him cleaned up with medicated baths, cleaning his eyes and ears, work on trimming his nails and more.

 

 

 

We got a few immediate results and found out he was positive for Demodectic mange, the non-contagious mange. (to read more information, click on Sarcoptic vs. Demodectic Mange).  More tests revealed that he was positive for ear mites and skin infections, but he showed negative for heart worms (which was a miracle) and also intestinal parasites. However, two days later we found worms in his stool…so medications were started for intestinal parasites.  He was so malnourished and dehydrated the worms were not showing up in his stool the first day he was tested.

 

 

His eyes were draining but Dr. Wood said Trooper was so skinny his eyelids rolled into his eyes and did not moisturize like they should which caused them to drain. Over time, we hoped that if he gained weight, the eyelids would naturally roll back out and if they did not, a surgery would be needed to help the eyelids open up. He also said he was curious about the area around his right eye that was darker and if it would turn out to be a different colored “eye patch”!

 

 

Then they wanted to give him a medicated bath, clean his ears, trim his long nails, the works. I left and I hugged him and promised I would be back. I hated leaving him but I knew the vet had a lot left to finish.  I went home to shower and change and get the house ready for our new visitor!   When I picked him up and they brought him back into the room, he was so happy to see me, as I was to see him. Dr. Wood said “He is so ugly, he’s cute!”.  He was a skinny, wrinkly, hairless pink dog and, YES, I thought he was CUTE, too!  We all wondered what this cute boy would end up looking like and if he grew hair back what color it would be! Dr. Wood also thought that he possibly was around 8 months but definitely under a year by looking at his teeth.  They went through all of his medications and the instructions. I put him back in the car and began to drive to our house where he would meet Bart and also our two dogs.

 

“He’s so Ugly, He’s Cute!”

 

I hoped my dogs would accept him into “their” house and yard and then I hoped Trooper would not be aggressive. I had no idea what Trooper would do inside a home, in a crate, eating around my dogs or my husband and me, where he would sleep, etc.  I started to think I was in over my head because I had never cared for a dog in this condition and was worried about the transition of him becoming an “inside” dog and introducing him to my two dogs.

 

We came home and walked in the door together to meet my two other dogs and my husband. Sweet Pea and Willie smelled him immediately and knew something was different. This dog had a really intense smell about him because of his skin. I remember my two pups would walk a distance around him because they knew he was sick and would almost avoid him.

 

 

 

What Should Your Name Be??

 

It had been a couple of days and it was time to give this sweet boy a name! Everyone that was following Trooper’s progress on my personal facebook page wanted to know what to call him. I let some of the nicknames I had been calling him sink in. He was so tolerant of everything that was being done. I kept telling him every time I had to administer the multiple treatments and medications, ear washes, eye ointments, skin treatments and baths that he was such a good boy and such a Trooper to allow me to do all of this to him. Finally I said “You are a Trooper” and then I knew that was his name!  On Day 3, I decided to name him Lucky “Trooper” and began his social media for those that wanted to follow his progress.

 

Lucky “Trooper” from Alabama

 

  He had an odor for a long time. My husband had a few business trips right after we brought him into our home and when Bart first walked into the house, he would say, “I smell Trooper”. I had many other friends comment on his smell, too. His skin was in such a mess: infected, sun-burned and with demodectic mange on top of that! His skin was very dry and infected and he would leave dry skin everywhere he sat or slept. I washed his bedding and blankets everyday to help with the smell. I asked the vet if he could have been chemically burned because it looked scarred, but he said it was from the mange.

“I smell Trooper”

 

He winced when I tried to touch his head for a long time. His head was the most sensitive and had to be careful when I touched it. I would put aloe/neem gel, an enzyme cream, and coconut oil on his skin and then keep a cold cloth on his head at night. It must have felt really soothing to him because he would leave it there. I put shirts on him to help protect his skin from him scratching it and also help keep moisture on it and keep him warm.

 

Towards the end of the day, his skin would turn more pink and inflamed, sometimes almost a red color and he would scratch at his sides. I tried to keep shirts on him especially at night to put medications and aloe gel on his skin. I would change shirts multiple times a day because of how dirty and smelly they would get. The shirts really made a difference for him to help keep moisture on his skin and also protect his skin from him scratching himself. So many times I would catch him scratching his sides so raw until they bled.

 

Bath Time

Trooper went back to the veterinarian a couple more times for medicated baths and to continue to trim his long nails down. We also continued to go on almost monthly vet visits or more to monitor his progress, weight, re-check for skin mites, intestinal worms, start vaccinations once he was healthier and more.

 

 

Then, we began to give him medicated baths twice a week at our house. We tried to bathe him for the first time outside in our backyard and he made this high pitched squealing noise and cried, pulled and ran away from me. He was petrified of the water and the hose. We quickly realized someone mistreated him with a watering hose and spraying water at him.  We also learned quickly he was good at lunging at our outdoor trash cans to tip them over so we figured he probably traveled from home to home to tip trash cans and find scraps of food. Someone must have hosed him to prevent him from tipping over their trash cans or coming onto their property.  I don’t want to think that his previous owner hosed him purposely in the dog pen but that also could be part of it.

 

 

We would then use a large cup and fill it with water and bathe him slowly outdoors and then moved him indoors to try to bathe him in our shower but again he cried and cried. It was so sad to see him “scream” through the process.  We would console him and talk to him the whole time and even used treats because it was terrifying to him. Then, we thought to give Willie a bath in the shower first and let Trooper watch Willie as I bathed him. We slowly got Trooper in the bath next and he was actually much calmer. To this day, he still does not like the watering hose, but he tolerates a bath outside in the summer with us holding him. But he never cries anymore and knows we will not harm him and pressure him into it.

 

 

Feeding Time!

 

I fed Trooper every 4 hours in small amounts; even at midnight and in the middle of the night for those first couple of weeks until the feedings were spaced out more and food amounts were increased.  It was heartbreaking to watch him eat so fast and every last crumb. Not feeding him more was the hardest thing to do. I think he was eating over 4-5 cups of food a day during this time.  Feedings had to be separate from my other two dogs, Sweet Pea & Willie, because Trooper could not control his hunger. I would feed him outside on the back patio. I could not let him inside when I fed my other two because he would want to run to their bowls and we didn’t want food aggression to be an issue.  We needed to create a safe place for him to eat without distraction and also continue to maintain a safe and normal feeding pattern for our other two dogs.  Even when my husband and I would eat meals, we would have to crate him or put him on our back patio because he could not control his hunger.

 

Finding Lucky “Trooper” a Forever Home

 

My husband asked me when I first called him on the drive back from Dothan to Birmingham about finding Trooper a home.  I told him I needed to get him healthy before we could even do that and then work with local rescue groups and friends to find him the right forever home. But as you know, we fell deeply in love with Trooper and before that first week was up, we knew Trooper was ours!!

 

 

 

Beginning A New Life in His Forever Home

 

Every day was a learning curve and we had to adjust our life and also teach Trooper to adjust his life, too. Trooper was transitioning into our home and getting more and more used to us and his new life. He slept a good bit the first week as he was recuperating. I don’t know if he was able to sleep peacefully before since he was outside in the Alabama heat by himself with no shelter, probably protecting himself from other dogs and animals, lonely, thirsty, hungry, his skin in pain all over and parasites on his skin and in his stomach. I think Trooper was finally at ease and safe enough to rest and recuperate.

 

 

We could not keep Trooper alone in the house without us around. We learned that the hard way only after a few days of him with us.  We all went outside in the back yard one night to let them all play and go to the bathroom. We got caught speaking with our neighbor over by the fence and Trooper took this chance to go to the back door, push the cracked door back open and run inside to look around for food. He reached up on the kitchen counter and pulled down Willie’s pillbox of heart medications and other medications and eaten every last one of them. We came in and saw the pillbox and I scooped Trooper up and rushed him to the Emergency Vet Clinic to get him help right away. He threw up some of the medications and they also administered charcoal and subcutaneous fluids overnight. Thankfully, Trooper was completely fine the next day.

 

 

Then, we knew we had to be overly careful about food, medicine, cleaning products, I mean everything!! Trooper had survived by being savvy and he was still a hungry, hungry dog, so his goal was to eat whatever he could still.  Doors had to be closed to bathrooms, all trash cans were put behind closed doors, nothing could be on the counters and tables, etc. I had a crate that we used for Trooper to sleep in at night next to my side of the bed in case he woke up during the night and got into something. He did great in the crate at night as long as he could see me. (This picture below is me picking up a few bags of chips and popcorn that he had gotten into and eaten when my back was turned from our pantry.)

 

 

If we left the house, I had to crate him because it was not safe for him to be in the house alone or with with Sweet Pea and Willie. But he experienced separation anxiety and stress of being in a confined space without us around. He began to tear up what was in the crate and the wire crate itself and figured out how to break out of it. I bought two other new crates that for sure he wouldn’t be able to escape from and he tore through those as well.  We learned later why being left in a crate was so stressful because of where his previous owner kept him and other dogs confined.

 

 

This time was a major life transition for Trooper and for us and Sweet Pea and Willie. We took it day by day. Our dogs were accepting him slowly. They were curious about him but really did not interact much with him. They knew he was different and he also had a strong odor about him. Trooper also didn’t interact with them much but he liked to study and watch Sweet Pea & Willie.

 

 

He used the bathroom a few times in the house the first week, but quickly picked up that Sweet Pea and Willie went to the bathroom outside. We also were in a routine to go outside before meals, after meals and throughout the day and evening so he learned that outside is where he went to the bathroom.  He is a fast learner and smart boy! He had to be smart to survive like he did for so long!

 

 

 

Trooper didn’t bark yet and would watch Sweet Pea and Willie bark when the mailman drove by. He would watch them run the fence line in our back yard and bark when people walked by our house. He did not know what they were doing and just stood there. I don’t even think he knew how to run. He saw them play with toys inside and outside in the backyard and cowered at the sounds the toys made. But not too long into the second week with us, he learned that toys were fun and became an accomplished Toy Destroyer and has since loved and played with every single toy he gets!   He also finally barked when they were all outside one day.  Sweet Pea and Willie were barking at people walking by our fence and Trooper let out a high-pitched bark.  I think it scared him and all of us because his bark was much more high-pitched than we expected. We were happy he finally found his voice and felt comfortable enough to begin using it!

 

 

Trooper gained strength and energy in just a week and was ready to join the pack for a walk. It was a sight to see my two other dogs with this pink, hairless dog with a shirt on all walking together!  He was quick to learn when he saw how excited Sweet Pea and Willie were when the leashes appeared that walking must be fun. Soon, he couldn’t wait to go on our daily walks and pulled me down the street and still does!

 

 

Trooper’s DNA!

 

Since we knew very little about Trooper and didn’t even know what he would end up looking like, we decided to have his blood drawn and sent in to evaluate his DNA. This test was a Genetic Analysis and showed these canine breed results below!

 

Trooper’s Birthday

Since we didn’t know the date of his birthday, I wanted to give him a separate day apart from his rescue “gotcha” date to celebrate his birthday. Since he was found on my sister’s wedding day, I thought it would be fitting for him to share my sister’s birthday also. So, he celebrates his birthday on November 12th and here are a few pictures of birthdays celebrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I first found Trooper, I posted a picture of him on my personal Facebook page. I had someone reach out to me that lived down the road from where I found Trooper.  She knew this dog but had not seen him in awhile. She also mentioned there were a few other dogs like him, but, of them all, he was one that was in the worst shape. I immediately asked who did he and the other dogs belong to. He belonged to a person that lived in poor conditions, but also was arrested for having a meth lab along with many firearms and other drugs at their house and was previously arrested for murder and other arrests. The dogs were likely left to fend for themselves because it was obvious they were not cared for by anyone else.

 

 

I’ve been back to the house a few times since finding Trooper and searched the property and surrounding area looking for the other dogs and did not find them. I spoke to someone else in the area and they said they knew that one of the dogs was shot because he kept getting into trash and was thought to be aggressive.

 

 

 

There was a makeshift pen the dogs were kept in on the property made of scrap metal, old doors, wood and tarps. If Trooper and the other dogs were all in this small makeshift pen together, they were probably trying to survive with whatever food they were given.  And being in a small confined pen together, it is likely they fought for the food that was thrown into them. They must have at some point broken out of the pen and roamed the surrounding area to find food.

 

 

“Who Rescued Who”

 

We could have given up on him many times because this was not an easy transition on any of us, but we loved Trooper and he deserved a safe and loving home. We put in the extra effort and continued to love him, start training classes and adjusted our life to make this pink dog apart of our family.  He has food and resource guarding issues that we work through still to this day, but he is an extremely smart dog and learns fast. We know what triggers his behavior and can avoid any problems before they start.

 

 

He has made it through so much and come so far! He is a tough little boy and we are blessed to have him. He is a special dog and will forever be ours. He had to learn what is right and what is wrong. He has also taught me so much: trust, gratitude, love, forgiveness, dedication, patience, endurance, hope, passion, and so much more.

 

 

The day we were broken into and I encountered the robber, the guy reached out for me, but I was able to get away from him and I grabbed Trooper along the way to go out the back door with me.  I do know if the robber would have put his hands on me, Trooper would have done what was necessary to save me. I have absolutely no doubt about that.  But I’m not sure what would have happened to Trooper and that is why I grabbed his collar and pulled him back with me to run out the back door to get away. That same night of the break in I was so distraught and stressed of the whole event that day and then on top of that, having to sleep in the same room the guy broke in. Trooper was right next to me in the bed and I couldn’t help breathing deeply and getting upset.  He sensed all my emotions and the commotion of the day and threw up right there next to me. He felt and sensed all of the stress I was going through. I didn’t know how badly I was effecting his emotions, too.  Even now, almost a year later from the robbery, he watches my every move and senses my emotions. If I take a stressful deep breath, he immediately looks up to me to see if I am ok.

 

 

I thank God for Trooper because I know Trooper was meant to be on that road in front of my car just at that time for me to see him and rescue him. God wanted us to be together.  He will forever be my special four-legged fur baby.

 

Happy 7th Anniversary, my sweet boy!! I’ll love you forever!

 

Trooper has not left my side since his first night in the garage.  He sleeps by my side every night without fail. I have many pictures when I wake up with him snuggled next to me. Here are a few below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few days after I found Trooper, I began his social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) so that those interested could follow along with his progress. He continues every day to show how grateful he is to have a forever home.

 

Follow along with Lucky “Trooper” from Alabama! Social media accounts linked below:

 

 

 

There are many pets in need of a Forever Home.

Here are 5 Ways to Search for a Pet to Rescue

 

  • Visit your local Animal Shelter or Humane Society to see pets that are available
  • Look on local Animal Shelter or Humane Society websites and view pictures of pets that are available to adopt
  • Locate a Breed Specific Rescue Organization online, view the animals they have up for adoption and submit an application to adopt
  • Find Rescue groups on Social Media and follow them to see pets that are available to adopt
  • Click on Pet Finder to begin a search

 

 

Animals are not only a provide a connection (and unconditional love) between person to animal, they bring connection from person to person. A pet can help bring a strong connection in your home between your family members, your neighbors, your friends, your community. Pets are so impactful!

 

There is scientific evidence that pets are good for your health, both mentally and physically!

 

According to the CDC, Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure because they give us companionship. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.

 

Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.

 

4 Ways to Help Support Your Local Animal Shelter

 

Not everyone is able to have a pet. There are many reasons that someone may not be able to care for one: the financial expenses, the home or apartment may not allow a pet, or it maybe that there is not enough time to give to a pet due to a job or travel.  But, here are 4 other ways to help your local animal shelter, humane society or rescue organization:

 

  • DONATE TIME – Volunteering your time can help the dogs, cats and other animals and also the people that work at these organizations: walking the dogs, grooming the cats, helping to organize donations, cleaning, etc.
  • DONATE YOUR SKILLS – If you have certain skills that are needed at a shelter, this could be a way to help animals get adopted faster or help the facility with another skill that may be a financial burden for them. Ex – If you are a skilled photographer, taking professional photographs of adoptable animals could help them get adopted faster with higher quality photographs and help get their pictures onto their website or social media outlets faster.
  • DONATE TO THE SHELTER WISH LIST – Many animal shelters need cleaning products, paper products, towels, blankets, pet food, grooming supplies, shampoo, used dog toys, dog beds and so many other items. Looking on their website and finding their “wish list” could help them continue with their daily tasks to care for these animals.
  • DONATE A PLACE IN YOUR HOME – Fostering can be a very rewarding thing for both the pet and you. It can give this pet the feeling of safety and love, both of which they may not have felt before. This gives the pet a chance to relax in a home environment instead of being in a shelter environment that can be overwhelming and stressful until they’re adopted. Donating a place in your home and becoming a foster will help lift their spirits as well as your own.

 

 

“You Can’t Buy Love But You Can Rescue It”

 

 

 

 

Lucky Dog article in The Birmingham News by Joey Kennedy

 

 

Do Dah Parade float with Creative Dog Training

 

Fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue

 

Dog Costume Contest Winner for IHeartRadio

 

Trooper was Hand in Paw’s 2019 Face of Picasso Pets