Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It all starts somewhere

As you probably know, we would not be able to do nearly as much on behalf of Chicagoland dogs were it not for the people who are willing to offer a temporary home to our dogs in need of fostering. These homes provide a stable, calm environment for the dogs in our program. They offer an opportunity for our pups to learn manners, tricks and the essential characteristics of being a good companion. Our foster parents make our work possible because in addition to helping the pup in their home, they also open a spot for a new dog to come into our program, get through its basic vetting, introduce himself to us and begin his own journey on the road to his forever family.

But before the pups make it to PRC, they have to make it into a rescue system. Many of our dogs come from right here in Chicago. In addition to our regular networking, we spend a lot of time at both Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) as well as Animal Welfare League (AWL). The dogs that are taken to both facilities come in all sorts of manner (family relinquish, strays picked up by city officials, strays picked up by a person kind enough to care, etc.), all sorts of conditions (loved and cared for; pregnant; injured or wounded; with and without fleas, heartworm or worse; etc.) and with as many unique personalities as there are dogs in the system (happy, frightened, angry, concerned, hopeful). The volunteers and staff at these organizations do the very best they can with not enough help, not enough money and not enough resources.

With this in mind, PRC decided to participate in AWL's volunteer day. A small group of PRC supporters met other volunteers from other rescue groups at 10 AM this past Sunday for a facility tour, an overview on safety and smarts—and then we went to work. Some of us lent a hand with general work (food sorting, folding towels and more). A few helped bathe and groom dogs to give them a little comfort and dignity in an otherwise rough situation. And many of us jumped at the chance to shower the pups with treats and TLC while we took them outside for fresh air and exercise. Most of the pups were ecstatic for the attention, rolling over for belly rubs, taking treats and generally wagging their tails in appreciation. A few dogs that day had a harder time of it, probably due to mistreatment in their past. We did what we could to show them that things could get better in the short time we had with them.

Of course, the best part is that we didn't leave empty-handed! We're very pleased to introduce you to three of PRC's future alumni who joined us that day:

This is Cooper. He's about 10 months old, a mix of hound and terrier (maybe). He's a heart-stealer!

Say hi to Harry. Harry is a four-year-old Jack Russel/Westie mix with a fantastic sense of humor!
Handsome Shadow is a one-year-old German Shepherd mix who is going to rock someone's world!

And we want to thank the volutneers who made such a difference on Sunday to so many pups: Samantha, Eric, Anne, Julie and Joe. We'll plan these volunteer days with AWL monthly—it's hard to resist events that make such a difference to the people and the pups involved—so keep be sure to Like us on Facebook so you get the information for the next volunteer day!