The future didn’t look so bright for Ben the dog back in September. He was an older dog, abandoned by his family at a high kill animal control with the comment “no longer needed” on his card at the shelter. At 13-years-old, time was ticking for Ben as he waited for his luck to change at the Southern Illinois facility.
One day, Christy Anderson, founder of Wright-Way Rescue stopped by this particular animal control for the first time in over three years, screening animals for possible adoption. It was Wednesday and Thursday was euthanasia day. Anderson says it’s often overwhelming to walk down the aisle, knowing you are some animal’s only chance.
“The images of animals you have to leave behind due to lack of space, lack of homes, and lack of resources tend to haunt you,” says Anderson. “Even the “unadoptable” pets do not deserve to be there. They have done nothing to deserve this fate. After ten years of visiting animal control facilities I still leave with tears in my eyes, knowing what will happen to the ones not rescued.”
On that particular day in September, it was an old dog, one that few people jump to adopt, that caught her attention. He sat patiently in his kennel; tail wagging while she evaluated other dogs. Ben was old and in really rough shape according to Anderson.
“His coat had giant dreadlocks, he had thousands of fleas and ticks covering his skin, his teeth were mostly missing, he was not neutered and I was certain he had heartworm disease,” she said. “When Ben and I got outside I knelt down. He immediately kissed my face and wrapped his paws around my shoulders. I know he was saying “Please take me out of here.” So I did.”
Ben went to Wright-Way’s intake facility and quickly looked like a new dog. He started hanging out with the staff and was getting medication in advance of his heartworm treatment. He quickly became a favorite. That is when this story gets even better.
“A doctor in Southern IIlinois heard of Ben’s story and came to meet him. After visiting a couple times he decided to take Ben home on a foster-to-adopt basis,” says Anderson. “When Ben completes his heartworm treatment he will be able to formally be adopted. Ben, a 13-year-old, unadoptable dog by many standards, will have a home where he is loved and well cared for.”
Anderson says it’s incredibly hard to leave so many of the pets behind, but the good outweighs the bad. And, the special stories like Ben’s tend to stay with you for a long time. Learn more about Wright-Way Rescue online and follow them on Facebook.
November has been designated Adopt-A-Senior Pet month. Throughout the month, I have highlighted the benefits of adopting senior pets, special programs promoting senior pet adoption and products and services available to assist older pets and keep them with their families. If you have a story to tell – about senior or any other pets – contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story ideas. Hit the subscribe button on top of this story for story updates.