Black Dog Animal Rescue is a proud member of the Northern Colorado Regional Animal Welfare Coalition. Who is this group and why is it important?
That’s how many puppies Zoe had. She’s not even a year old and her immature body is hard at work trying to raise this huge family.
Zoe was left by her people at an overcrowded shelter in Wyoming just weeks before her delivery date. This happy, sweet dog waited at the front of her kennel, belly heavy with babies, hopefully wagging her tail at every passerby. Thankfully, a foster home was available for Zoe, one with the determination and compassion needed to help see her through the whelping and raising of her litter.
We have heard ‘em all folks…Reasons why people choose not to foster a dog or cat in need. And it isn’t like we aren’t listening, agreeing, or sympathizing. We really do. It isn’t an easy thing to do. It is a big, sometimes inconvenient, commitment. However, there are some things you may not have thought of when it comes to taking in your first foster animal.
A decade ago a new Wyoming pet rescue appeared on the scene. Based in Cheyenne, this group of volunteers saw a need to save dogs in our state from euthanasia. They began at a facility in the community where I live: Casper’s Metro Animal Control. Dogs there were being killed at an alarming rate. Seeing an opportunity to save dogs’ lives, Britney Wallesch and others stepped in, seeing the “black dogs,” the ones people overlooked, with Black Dog Animal Rescue (BDAR). Now, ten years later, Britney and her committed crew have ridden many waves to become a significantly strong voice for dogs and cats in Wyoming and the surrounding region.
Most of our adoptions work out well. In fact, over 80% of the animals adopted from BDAR remain in their homes. However, it is not uncommon for adoptions to not be a good fit, and for pets to be returned shortly after adoption, say within about 90 days. After that, we will still accept them back, but we consider those pets to be private surrenders. If the pet makes it three months in the home without problems and then get returned, we have to assume it is due to circumstances beyond our control at the time of adoption.
Recently, we have been flooded by these types of surrenders.
Daisy originally came to BDAR in December 2015 from Hobbs, NM where she was found as a stray. She was adopted almost a month later, kept for 11 more months, and then returned for not getting along with the children in her house. She does have a nervous demeanor when small kids are around, but nothing reactive so we happily put her back into the BDAR’s care. Now it’s December 2016 and Daisy is back with Ray and Wendy, her foster family. They kept her, enjoying her company and fun antics, for a month before she was adopted again.
Daisy was transferred to BDAR in 2015 from an overcrowded New Mexico shelter. The young female pit bull was lucky - very few identified as bully breeds in this shelter make it out, due to the overwhelming number of them. Daisy stayed in a very experienced foster home with other dogs and small children until she was adopted 30 days later.
In winter of 2010 I happened across an advertisement in the local paper featuring an opportunity to get my dog’s picture with Santa. My husband and I had adopted our crazy boxer, Lucy, from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter that spring and the idea of getting my fur-baby’s picture with the man in red was just too good to pass up. So, on a cold and windy Saturday I coerced my husband and dog to go check out this Merry Mutt Fair thing. We were warmly greeted by a table of volunteers from BDAR and then quickly learned that Lucy was not a fan of Mutt Fairs, crowded buildings, or Santa pictures. Thanks to a seasoned Santa we were able to get the picture, and still proudly display the image of our rather unhappy dog every Christmas season.
It all started with one phone call. We had just moved from Israel to Fort Collins, CO and in the flurry of trying to find our way, I decided another rescue dog was in our future. Rosie, our current rescue dog from Jerusalem, couldn’t have disagreed more. She was getting used to the quiet evenings, snowy winters and a new baby. Another pup was the last thing on her mind.
I remember meeting BDAR’s founder Britney Wallesch in the virtual world, long before I met her in person. At the time, we were both active in animal welfare in Wyoming. I was a lawyer living in Laramie and she was a young wife working at a hospital in Cheyenne. We were both volunteers for Best Friends Network. She was managing the local news feed for Best Friends’ Partners Network, and I was one of the writers. She assigned stories to me, and I wrote about animal issues in our geographic area that were posted on a larger website. We were part of a national network of animal advocates.
Guest Post by Gayle M. Irwin
When Black Dog Animal Rescue began nearly ten years ago, creating awareness and establishing partnerships were key ingredients for the organization’s success. Both took time, and though BDAR is now established and known in Cheyenne, the organization is still making in-roads into other communities.