SOUND PET ANIMAL RESCUE AND REFERRAL
June 23, 2009
I have been volunteering with Sound Pet Animal Rescue (SPARR) for going on 3 years. I was volunteering with another rescue when I bumped into SPARR at a dog walk event and immediately knew that this "medical rescue" was something that I would love to be envolved with. I went from not being allowed to touch an animal with a medical issue at one place to being welcomed with open arms to do everything for an injured or sick animal at another rescue. When I joined SPARR they had their office in a back room at the vet's. I spent many hours walking dogs there that were being treated by him before going into foster. I had 4 dogs of my own and one was very sick. When she passed, I started fostering and have since fostered over 30 dogs. Some came from puppy mills, some from shelters and a couple that were dumped in the yard of one of our foster homes. I have had broken legs that had to be rebroken and reset, hip surgery, knee surgery, heartworm, kennel cough, one puppy that had been stabbed around his eye repeatedly, one little poodle that had NO skin on his back and behind because he was stray with a wire tied around him, a chihuahua with cancer, a blind dog, a three month old small puppy turned in for biting who was adopted by a teacher who has taken him into her classroom, a poodle with a thyroid problem and many other wonderful dogs that are now family pets and the bad things for them are distant memories.
Local shelters will call us when a medical case comes in that they feel is really a great dog. We don't always take them. We would but are limited by our foster homes and our ability to fundraise. Our vet is part of the rescue. He used to be on the board but is now just the medical advisor. In other words, we call him before pulling some and ask "what do you think?".
We are no longer located at the vet office as he needed the space as an exam room, but I find myself there on a daily basis. We usually always have at least one dog getting some sort of treatment or surgery and I like to meet the fosters there and make sure that they feel in touch with the board members. Oh, did I mention that I am now on the board and really try to make the new fosters as welcomed as I was.
Our little cancer chihuahua foster was adopted and a year later has come back to us. My husband and I have decided to keep her as her cancer is back (but the lady who had her didn't know it...she was moving into assisted living). Now I have 4 dogs of my own and a foster dog and have to fight the desire daily not to add a 6th. I did bring home a 3.5 lb chihuahua one night when the hubby was out of town, but just for the night.
I love the openess of this rescue. Fosters get first say on any dog that they foster and we always allow for a back up plan if the dog doesn't work in their home. Some fosters want small dogs, some big dogs. Some only want females or others males. We let them choose. They can visit the shelters and if they find one they want, one of the board members will jump in the car and meet them there.
I am the oldest member of the rescue. I feel that I have added a lot because at the time I joined, the young girls thought that 50/60 yrs old was ancient. Now, they can see age as stability, both financially and personally.
Also, I brought the understanding of divorce and lifestyle changes for jobs. That a large house with a fenced yard is not a guarantee for life.
That you have to look at the person more than the building they reside in. You have to be comfortable with the fact that this person/persons will take care of their pets wherever they live.
I have made good friends and we have had some good laughs and some good cries together. Even when it gets stressful and one of us swears we are going to quit the others will just laugh and say "no your not" and they are right.
We can't quit because its a beautiful thing that we do.
I'm off to the vet now. Got to take a picture of the little Wally the Walmart kitten that is living there so that we can get him adopted while he is still little and cute.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
many happy faces.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
that I have been able to speak to a group and share my experiences and photos and encourage others to foster,adopt, and financially support rescues; which I do all the time... at the dog park, the USO, with friends, family and strangers.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
save more dogs and cats without changing the way that we do it now.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Board Member & foster dogs, assist other fosters with their dogs, pull dogs from shelters.