The Turning Point

This morning I gave a presentation to the Clinton Sunrise Rotary about and our mission. While preparing and gathering pictures to tell the story, I realized that the actual “moment” of committing to do something different  – even though I wasn’t sure how – began when I sent this email. . .

From: Dee Doherty
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 2:56 PM
Subject: Story Of A Dog Transport

It started out as a “routine” transport from Braxton, WV. Lisa was “just going to get some puppies” because S&L’s adoptions had been so successful the past couple of weeks. She only had five dogs left – the hard to place adults – and needed to bring up just 10 or 12 ‘easy adopts’. S&L was out of pups and out of money.

I decided to go with her at the last minute. Lisa was going to do the drive to Sutton, WV by herself, leave at 5PM Sunday night and drive until midnight after an exhausting day of non-stop inquiries and adoptions at Cherrybrook Pet Supply in Broadway, NJ. “How bad could it be?”, I thought. After all, I just wanted to go along for the ride to keep her awake. It would give us some time to chat – and, I was hoping to get a few minutes to speak to the Shelter Manager in-between his paperwork processing. (He’s really one of the ‘good guys’ and is truly trying his best to cope with the overwhelming situation in his county.) He asked us if we’d like to go with him to “follow up an a call”. He’s also the ACO (Animal Control Officer) for Braxton County. “Sure!” we both said, “Let’s go.” I thought that maybe it would take an extra half hour or so. Worth it if we could get a few more pups out of it.

You see, for the past month or so I’ve been information gathering about the dog overpopulation problem in the South. I’d received an e-mail from another rescue that opened my eyes to the atrocious methods of euthanizing animals that are used in many of the high kill shelters. I won’t share that story here . . .it was heartwrenching and more graphic than most can handle. But it touched me like nothing else has done before – not even the plight of the orphans in Russia. And now I’m absolutely driven to find a way – or even the beginning of a way – to convince those southern folks to spay and/or neuter their animals. They must stop making all of the puppies.

I went on Monday because I thought perhaps I might learn a little more about West Virginia culture. I was not prepared for what I saw and experienced first hand . . . As the shelter manager put it, “Welcome to MY world . . .”

I’ve attached a *.pdf that captures our surreal experience on Monday morning, April 26, 2010. I’m not sure how I’m gonna do it, but I have GOT to find some way to put a dent in the pet overpopulation problem.

Thanks for taking the time to listen,

Click this link for the story and pictures:
April 26, 2010: A Transport Story

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