Debbie & Annie's Dog House - Saving Shelter Dogs in SC
I have run a boarding facility near Darlington, SC for over fifteen years now. As a private facility, I have about 50 clients year round. Three years ago I had the opportunity to board some dogs for our local shelters, Darlington County Humane Society and Chesterfield County Shelter. The dogs had no where to go so boarding them kept them from being put to sleep. I took in several in the beginning and now at any given time I board anywhere from five to nime dogs and sometimes more when shelters are really overcrowded. Some of the dogs I have boarded have had fear issues, some are abuse cases, I have pretty much seen it all at this point. One dog that stands out in my mind is a dog named Martha. Martha came to us from the vet's office where she had been turned into the shelter by a concerned citizen who witnessed the owner beat her with a two inch metal pipe. The beating was so severe that she had to stay at the vet’s office for over a week. Poor Martha was in so much pain she could barely walk. During the vet’s initial checkup, they discovered she had been shot in the jaw. Her jaw was full of pellets! What this dog survived and went through is anyone's guess. And still her personality was amazing! One that only God could make. She, after all the abuse, was still willing to forgive what humans had done to her and love and accept love with all her heart! I could barely pet her without crying over what had been done to her. Happily, Martha was adopted by a loving family. She has healed physically and is leading the life that she was supposed to have lead all along.
What I learned right then and there when I met Martha was that my kennels, and my home, was meant for more. I could no longer not know what was happening around me to the animals at shelters, animals in the wrong hands, animals starving and freezing. My kennels have a dual purpose: they are for my precious clients who have kept my doors open all this time and they are also for those dogs who have nobody to love them. These animals need to be shown care, love, and all the things we can offer. If I could house more, I would. I think anyone who thinks they can't do it or don't have the money, space, time etc, needs to really take a hard look at it again. If everyone will just go to their local shelter and kneel down to these animals and look into their eyes, there should not be one dog in the shelters, these dogs should be in homes where they can receive the love they deserve! The shelters should now be only a place to house temporarily until the foster homes can get there to pick them up.
There is no way I would ever stop fostering. It has become so important to me and to my family, especially teaching my child to reach out to animals. It has really taught her how to treat animals and she knows what they have been through. I am also sharing pictures of some of our fosters. I do not have a picture of Martha right now but I have many more "Martha’s” waiting to be loved and held by people who care! I beg that each one of you who is reading this, go to your shelter and open your homes! You will be surprised at what you find and what each experience leaves with you!