This is a update I can’t wait to give. Project Hope has really good news. You probably know we took 43 dogs and 2 cats to Colorado two weeks ago. Every Creature Counts has reported that nearly all of the animals we delivered have been adopted and they are sharing the cost of another transport soon. Whoohoo!!!
This is awesome news for us at a time when we’re committed to aiding a number of at risk dogs. There are scores of dogs in the clutch of several local collectors and we have committed to aiding with change at the Winona Pound. More frequent transports will free up the space for us to better provide shelter for these animals.
In recent days we received a call from our dear friends at the Two Sisters Restaurant in Winona, MS, a town eleven miles south of us. Charlie, the Animal Control Officer had asked the sisters to let us know there were pups at the Pound. I went straight over as soon as I heard. The pound is an outdoor kennel consisting of six partially covered runs. There’s a single dog house in each run made of a section of four foot culvert raised off the ground. Water faucets run 24-7 and rusted metal doors, waste deposits of rotting food surrounding the feeders, hair and feces trapped on fence bottoms and unsealed cement contribute to an environment ripe for disease.
There were four pups in one run and another one in with two medium adult dogs, one of which was limping, so I took them all. The four pups, Nancy, Jinnee, Kara, and Winfield are being treated for worms, but are otherwise healthy. The two adults are also in relatively good overall shape.
A couple of days later I went back to the Pound to take some donated dog food to with Charlie. He told me there was a small dog with something wrong, but he wasn’t sure exactly what. I found a small, pitiful Boston Terrier-mix clearly in distress. She was cool to the touch, her breathing was shallow, and her lower eye-lids drooped. She was suffering from a double cherry-eye, but this was the least of her troubles. Acacia, as we know her now, was suffering from parvo. She was immediately put on drip. How she survived this long with no veterinary care is amazing. She was within hours of death and has taken several weeks to recover. The celebration of her recovery was joyous. She’s had surgery for her eyes and will be spayed this Wednesday. She is such a little darling. She curls up next to me each night and doesn’t move. Someone (in addition to me!) is going to fall absolutely in love with this sweetheart.
Sunday afternoon Amy and I had lunch at 2 Sisters. Since Amy hadn’t seen the Winona Pound, I asked if she she'd like to run by to see where the dogs we were helping were coming from. On the way we picked up a mother and her pup standing in the street in front of the vacant house where I assume their family had moved from. I remembered the mother from the many times I slowed for her in the past. She was always in the street. A neighbor confirmed she’d been abandoned and had aided several other orphaned pups with homes. We asked if he was going to keep the mom and he said he couldn’t, so we thanked him the help he’d provided and headed for the place mom would’ve eventually wound up had we not gotten to her first- the Pound.
When arrived at the pound Amy was horrified to see what the city considered to be a shelter and that the site was also the city dump and maintenance center. She immediately got on the phone and with a friend asking her to start looking for foster homes. The new plan was for us to get as many of our dogs, who were leaving in a couple of weeks on a Homeward Bound transport, into foster homes as possible so we could bring in these at risk dogs in. (Six of these new dogs have already been added to the next Homeward Bound trip.)
I’ve met with Amanda Saxton, the Winona Times editor, who is also the President of the newly formed Winona Humane Society. Amanda has experience with a “real” shelter in northern Mississippi. We’re formulating plans to raise funds to see that the dogs are wormed and inoculated at the Pound and when we have space for spay/neuter, we’ll also help. Amanda is thinking of ways to share the cost of transports if we can include dogs held at the Winona Pound on our trips.
While I’m walking the grounds here at the sanctuary, spending time with the grazers or doing my daily chores, it’s always on my mind what a responsibility we have for the animals that would have no life without us.