Re: The cat shelter story, “Leaps and bonds,” The Leader, Sept. 20.
My dog, Kona, is probably mostly Belgian Malenois. She was found running along the highway at Lytton.
She had been nursing puppies (probably her first litter, at about a year old), was thin, had a rope embedded in her neck hair and scars on her head and face.
She was sent to SARA (Save Animals through Rescue and Adoption) to keep her from being returned to backyard breeding.
I found her while browsing dogs in rescue groups on Petfinder.com.
After speaking to Donna Petryna at SARA, we met for a walk together, and as soon as we could arrange it, I adopted Kona at PetSmart.
My main search criterion was a cat-friendly dog. Kona knew and liked cats, and was immediately embraced (literally) by my Toby. It’s still love (mostly on Toby’s part) after three years.
From the point of view of an adopter (Kona is my third pet from a rescue group) I am so grateful that SARA is here, giving animals a chance at a new life through rehabilitation and adoption.
Anyone who’s opened their heart and home to a rescued animal will tell you that they seem to know how lucky they are.
They love you for the choice you made.
I know some people think that an animal in a shelter is a discard, that it must have some defect or problem or it wouldn’t be there in the first place.
But many animals are displaced through family misfortune.
There are border-crossing rescues from high-kill U.S. dog pounds, for instance.
When families lose their homes through financial crises or disasters like the California wildfires, they usually lose their pets at the same time. People are forced into emergency shelters or restricted housing, or moving to parts unknown – their distress heightened by knowing dogs may be euthanized after less than 48 hours custody.
Some people believe that rescued dogs are a risky choice because their history is unknown. That’s not always true – even our border-crossers may have documentation from the point of surrender, vet records, etc.
And most SARA dogs are fostered in family homes where their behaviour and temperaments become known and where they are socialized and accustomed to family life.
I’m glad that SARA is there for the unadoptables, too. Some of them came to SARA through other groups like the SPCA. They may be feral, have chronic health issues or behaviour problems, and so they live out their natural lives at SARA.
Secretary, board of directors