Ketchikan Dog Park
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|Posted on September 9, 2013 at 4:32 PM|
I’ve been working with the Humane Society for about a year and although I do provide valuable services on the tech and logistics side of things, I rarely get to meet our rescues. About a month ago I had my first opportunity to help rescue a dog. A small black dog had been spotted in the Jackson/Monroe area for several days. Local residents had called Animal Control and the Humane Society and there were posts on Facebook as well. He seemed friendly but extremely skittish and no one was able to get near him. It was clear this dog did not have a home.
A local teen who often volunteers with the Humane Society called us on a Friday morning to let us know that she had the dog in her sites. For once, I was able to leave my job and I joined Gretchen and Tori in the rescue. We parked next to the construction area, divided our treats and leashes and started wandering around the area. The little black dog soon made an appearance and showed great interest in us – but regardless of how much we ignored him or teased him with treats, he simply would not approach any closer than twenty feet and he often escaped on well established trails under homes and through thickets. After an hour we decided our approach wouldn’t work and we left to regroup. We got permission for a local resident to setup a humane trap and we contacted Animal Control for further assistance.
In the mean time, one of our other board members went to the area with one of her own dogs to see if she could lure the little dog to safety. And it worked! The little lost dog was so desperate for attention he risked everything to approach one of her sweet dogs. He surrendered happily as soon as the leash was around his neck. He was immediately relieved to be off the street.
I got the word that afternoon that he’d been successfully rescued and later I got a photo of him after a bath. He had been covered in fleas and his coat had been matted and tangled – but after the bath he no longer looked like a stray, he suddenly looked like someone’s pet! Because I had helped look for this dog I realized I felt a different sense of ownership and responsibility. When someone called me a few weeks later and asked to meet Waldo I was thrilled. (I got to call his foster home and ask, “Where’s Waldo?”) When he was placed successfully in a forever home just a few days later I was completely elated.
KHS has rescued and placed nearly 100 animals already this year. Why was Waldo different? You can understand anything logically but until you’ve been through it emotionally it’s impossible to truly appreciate it. My thought is this: This works. We truly are saving animals one at a time and there is no magic involved - it is boots to the ground, hard work, dedication and love - and it works! Nothing has warmed my heart so much as seeing that little dog in the arms of his new family.