Pets in Need – Why BAARCS is so necessary
Life can change in a moment and for many that means they can no longer care for themselves or their animals. COVID, financial hardship, sudden homelessness are all too common reasons these days that pets can suddenly become homeless.
The following stories are a small example of the reason there is a real need to open a sanctuary like BAARCS, where we can help by providing a safe harbor for these animals.
The following are stories about a few of the animals I’ve rescued over the last decade or so. Some of these animals still live with me, some of them have passed away, but all of them enjoyed a peaceful, happy existence after they were rescued.
Just think of how many more animals can be saved once we have a permanent location for our sanctuary!
This is Luther.
At least, that’s what I’ve called him since I rescued him four years ago. Luther’s pet daddy lived a couple doors down from me and was an older gentleman who lived alone. He loved all animals and spent much of his time after retirement going on long walks and feeding at the TNR colonies near our neighborhood.
He passed away very suddenly a few years ago, and when it turned out he had no relatives our HOA quickly moved in and remodeled his house and torn down his shed, which is where Luther lived (Luther’s always been an outdoor kitty). One of the neighbors said they’d take care of him and it seemed that Luther would have a new home and someone to care for him.
About a month after Luther’s daddy died, I found Luther in my backyard one morning, drooling uncontrollably with a swollen-looking face. Turned out he had an infected tooth. The neighbor who said he’d take care of Luther never bothered to do more than dump some food out every morning, which I personally do not consider “taking care of” Luther. In addition, some of the other neighbors who are not fond of animals in general had decided in their wisdom that because Luther was drooling he must have rabies and called Animal Control to have them come out and trap him, then euthanize him.
I coaxed him into my house so that Animal Control couldn’t find him, and then tried to get him to the vet’s office for an exam.
Luther strongly resisted (and I do mean “strongly”) being put into a transport cage for a visit to the vet, so after an in-home visit from a mobile vet, I began giving him antibiotics to clear up his infection. Now he’s the happy healthy boy seen here getting his chest scratched.
He won’t come in the house voluntarily, but knows which neighbor’s houses to go visit every day for food and chest scratches.
When BAARCS opens cats like Luther will have a permanent home and all the love and scratches they like 🙂
This is Dub.
Dub showed up at my house one morning in 2014 with awful, infected-looking eyes, a completely bald tail, and bleeding wounds on his back. Actually, he didn’t just show up – he was tossed over the fence.
He had mange and missing fur, and what looked like little round cigar-size burns on his skin. His ear was clipped so I knew he’d been through the TNR program, but it looked like he’d been severely abused before becoming homeless.
I started him on antibiotics, did a spot-application of mange medication, and cleaned him up as best as I could considering he was terrified of being touched.
Once I coaxed him into a carrier and got him to the vet I found out the bald tail was due to someone apparently trying to cut off his tail.
It also turned out that the areas I thought were cigar burns were burns – the vet had treated them but the skin never grew back, and because Dub lived outside they kept getting infected. Those have cleared up nicely after years of brushing and keeping him as clean as I can. His eyes have also improved:
He feels so much better these days, and is much more trusting with humans. Once he feels comfortable with someone he immediately rolls over and demands belly rubs – the ultimate in trusting behavior.
He will come in the house for five minutes at a time and then sits by the door and cries until I let him out – I think he equates being in the house with being abused. However he has his little sleeping pad right outside my kitchen door, and has lived very happily with me for the last six years.
Dub will be one of our pet ambassadors at the BAARCS sanctuary, ready to welcome all the others looking for a new home.
For as long as I can remember my family had pets.
Mostly dogs, but also several cats and a rabbit named “Bun Jour.”
My dad retired in 1986 and he and my mother moved to Indiana to be near their extended families. When my mother died in 1997 she and my father had six dogs, including a mother/son pair of chows (Bear and Beau), and several Shih Tzus. When my father passed away in 2000 he still had the chows and three of the Shih Tzus. My brother, sister and I flew in to take care of our dad’s funeral and clean out the house, etc. We realized that because we were flying we could bring the Shih Tzus home with us, but wouldn’t be able to bring the chows because of their size. None of the relatives on either side of the family wanted any of the dogs (and frankly I wouldn’t have trusted any of them to care for them anyway) and we were running out of options.
My sister and I have long been animal rescuers, and there was no way we were going to leave those dogs behind. We looked into renting a van and driving home but because it was December and snowing constantly there were road closures everywhere – it would have taken us two weeks to get home, and both of us were on bereavement leave and couldn’t be gone another two weeks.
We even looked into having them shipped home, but none of the freight services could guarantee that they wouldn’t freeze to death in the hold.
We were finally forced to place an ad in the local paper, the last thing we wanted to do. However we (and the doggies) were incredibly lucky. We got a call from a woman who previously owned a brother/sister pair of chows and wanted to take our two! We were very clear that we’d be checking in and wanted to see photos so we could monitor the dogs over the years and make sure they were well treated.
Those two dogs were so spoiled for the rest of their lives! They got to attend their owner’s wedding, were taken on the honeymoon (a hike on the Appalachian Trail) and got to go camping almost every month. We were incredibly lucky that such a wonderful person would take the dogs in and give them a forever home.
However again we were clearly very lucky to find such a wonderful home for them. It’s not usually the case and again is an example of the kind of situation where BAARCS can provide a forever home for pets like these.
These girls are Annie and Kimmie.
They are a bonded pair who were originally rescued by an older friend of mine.
A few years after she rescued the girls my friend was diagnosed with an incurable condition and passed away about a year after the diagnosis. She told me before she died that she had asked her sister to take care of the dogs when she passed.
I got a call from the sister the day after my friend passed away, telling me that she was at the house and wanted me to come get the dogs and find them a home. When I said that my friend had told me she’d be taking care of the dogs she said she’d never agreed to that, didn’t want them, and if I didn’t come get them she’d take them to the shelter and have them put to sleep.
I live in a HOA – community with a pet limit, and I was already over the limit. There was no way I could keep those two little girls,
I contacted private shelters for weeks, looking for someone who could take a bonded pair of dogs of an indeterminate age (because they were originally rescued we didn’t really know their ages), but everyone was full up and most of them only wanted “adoptable” dogs – cute little puppies or young dogs that they could adopt out immediately.
I finally got a lead from a friend about an animal fostering service in Monterey that allowed people to post ads for senior pets and situations where the owner was no longer available. I posted an ad and luckily a very nice couple responded. They specifically wanted to offer a home to a bonded pair of older pets, and now those little girls have been with the couple for several years, living a happy life!
The reason we need BAARCS? Because many people won’t spend weeks or months looking for a good home for a friend or relative’s pets. Once BAARCS opens people can make advance arrangements for their pets and have peace of mind, knowing their pets will be taken care of for the rest of their lives.