Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dog Adoption: Honey’s Journey Home By Natalie Davis

Black Labrador Retriever
"Honey"
(C) Natalie Davis
It started on the streets of Corinth, Mississippi. Two dark fur balls just barely big enough to fit in the palm of your hand, shivering while trying to keep each other warm in the winter cold. Honey was just 4 weeks old when she was found in a ditch huddled next to her brother, Dijon, without any sign of their mother nearby. The puppies were so cold and malnourished, that a few more hours outside without their mother could have killed them.

In desperate need of help, the puppies were rushed to the only animal shelter in a six-county area of North Mississippi and West Tennessee, the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter. Thankfully, there was enough space to take in Honey and Dijon and bring them back to good health. But, as time went by and more dogs needed saving, there was no longer space for the puppies. If they did not find homes soon, the puppies were in danger of being euthanized and all the effort spent by Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter would be wasted as the newly healthy puppies faced death yet again.

In less populated areas that see more dogs going into shelters than coming out, the future was not bright. Even worse, this situation is not unique to the Mississippi shelter. Animal shelters across the country experience the same dilemma nearly every day. According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year, and of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 48% are adopted and 20% are euthanized. 

That’s where the Wolf Trap Animal Rescue comes in. Wolf Trap partners with Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter to help combat pet overpopulation in the South by operating rescue transports to the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. Kim Pettit, co-founder of WTAR said they’ll get a call from the rescues down in Mississippi that say, “we’ve got 30 to 40 dogs, we’re busting at the seams. Can you guys come help us?” They’ll immediately drive down to Mississippi and bring the rescues back up North. The DMV area has less strays and more families able to adopt, so by moving the animals to more populated areas, shelters like Corinth-Alcorn are relieved from overcrowding issues without having to euthanize any healthy animals.
Black Labrador Retriever
"Honey"
(C) Natalie Davis


So off went Honey along with 30 other puppies and a few kittens to continue the journey to their forever home in Northern Virginia. Since the Wolf Trap Animal Rescue operates by remote location there is not an actual facility to house the adoptable dogs, instead they reside in foster homes for a few weeks until the adoption event is held at PetSmart locations. For Honey and the other puppies and kittens that meant it was not necessarily the last stop on their journey, but they would be in capable, loving hands the rest of the way. Advisory Manager, Jesse Simmons was particularly admirable of the Wolf Trap staff, volunteers and fosters saying that seeing everyone work together to change so many puppies and families lives in the process is really amazing and makes all the hard work worth it.

One bus packed with fur babies and twelve hours later, Honey finally arrived in Northern Virginia a complete nervous wreck, unsure of where she was or what was going to happen to her. Little did Honey know, she was minutes away from finding her forever home. And little did her foster mom know, she was about to gain a forever fur baby.

Honey’s foster mom turned out to be a 20-year-old animal lover and college student who just barely convinced her parents to let her foster a puppy for two weeks. It was agreed she could not adopt the puppy but the second she picked up that trembling, terrified little black fur ball, she knew that she would never let go. And she never did. Comforted by the warm hands that cradled her, Honey nuzzled her cold little nose in-between her new mom’s neck and shoulder, and for the first time stopped shaking. In that moment, Honey and her mom both knew the journey was over. Honey was home.

About the Author: Natalie Davis is a full time animal lover and college student. She studies Public Relations at Virginia Commonwealth University and aspires to use her PR skills to bring awareness to animals in need.


Black Labrador Retriever
"Honey"
(C) Natalie Davis

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