Posted by Courtney Vavra, Annual Fund & Digital Marketing Manager on September 12, 2016
A common refrain heard by all who work or volunteer here is, “Oh, I could never work at a shelter. It’s too sad. I’d want to take all the animals home!” Indeed, there are times when we see animals so neglected it makes our hearts twist with despair. Day after day, people surrender unwanted animals to us. It’s true, some couldn’t care less, but others are truly heartbroken by the circumstances that led them to us for help. It’s never-ending. And yes, it is sad. Many days pet homelessness feels overwhelming and insurmountable. So why do we keep at it day after day?
It is the adoptions. Time and time again, people make the decision to bypass a pet store or breeder, and visit their local shelter to adopt an animal that needs a home. It’s a joyous moment when we watch an animal that has been in our care for days, months, sometimes years, leave us for a new life in a loving home with people who sincerely care. To witness the happiness of these connections and the profound way it changes lives (both human and animal) gives us the motivation to keep going. Every adoption reminds us that this community has a big heart, and there are so many genuinely good people who live among us.
Each adoption is special. Every time a person chooses to change the life of a homeless animal is cause for celebration. But some adoptions are truly extraordinary. Especially when it’s an animal that is in some ways considered “less adoptable”. Take the case of Rocky and Chloe, two Olde English bulldogs that were brought to us within weeks of each other.
Chloe was used solely as a breeder. She was kept in an outdoor kennel where she birthed litter after litter of puppies. She didn’t know what it was like to live inside the warmth of a home and be treated like part of the family. When she could no longer produce litters, she was simply cast off. Rocky on the other hand, came to us when his owner fell on hard times and was living in his car. Desperate and unable to afford even the most basic of veterinary treatments, he surrendered him to our shelter in hopes that Rocky would find a new family that could provide him the care he needed.
Bulldogs are a breed prone to a variety of health issues.
Rocky and Chloe were no exception. They were both suffering from years of
neglect and needed immediate medical care. Lovingly nursed back to health by
our medical staff, they were soon feeling much better. As with all animals that
have special medical needs, we knew it might take longer to find a family
willing to embrace a lifetime of potential health challenges.
We were doubly thrilled when a wonderful couple stepped forward to adopt not just one—but both of them! As previous adopters of a bulldog with medical issues and a boxer rescued from an abusive owner, they understood all of the many health concerns that came with the breed and understood that these two would need lots of time and love.
Today, Rocky and Chloe are inseparable friends, who act as if they have lived together their entire lives. We recently received a follow-up from their new family:
“Rocky and Chloe have taken over one of the couches in our family room and I often walk in and the two of them are curled up together within inches of one another. Chloe loves to sleep and she gets very excited at the sound of dinner being prepared. Having been left outside, as she was prior to you guys rescuing her, she is still somewhat reluctant to go outside. But she’s a total love bug with a sweet disposition--incredible given what she had been through before the NHSPCA rescued her. As for Rocky, he is a very active and inquisitive guy. He is also very protective of us and he loves to be perched up on any piece of furniture in the house. Unlike Chloe, who is the exception to the rule, Rocky loves going for rides in the car. If he hears the car keys jingle he immediately shows up at your feet, looking at you to see if he's coming along for a ride. Thank you to all of the wonderful people at the NHSPCA for the work you do every day that provides lucky people like us the opportunity to adopt these two sweethearts!”
You can help make more happy endings for those like Chloe and Rocky. So many cats, dogs and other animals are in need, and the costs to care for them are great. For a limited time, your donation can be doubled to help twice as many animals. Our former board president and current trustee, Jo Lamprey, has once again offered to match dollar-for-dollar any gift you send by October 31, 2016, up to $25,000!. Please send your gift today or donate online at http://www.nhspca.org/matching-gift-challenge/