The North Central Shelter Intervention Team do our best to keep in touch with people who we've helped, just to be sure everything is OK. And when it's not, we follow through on our promises. Here are two stories.
We helped Jorge and Paco a few weeks ago. Initially, Jorge, who is terminally ill, came to the shelter to give Paco up, but a niece saw how devastated Jorge was without his beloved little pal, so she promised she'd take the puppy in temporarily. We paid to redeem Paco from the shelter. Soon after, Jorge took Paco back to his own home, unhappy without him. But Jorge is now near the end of his life and is entering hospice. His niece cannot keep the dog, and Jorge reached out to us again for help. We put a call in to Jessica Hughes to see if she could foster Paco, and she immediately said, "Yes!" Here below is a note from Jessica:
"I just watched a dying man say goodbye to his dog and place that dog in my arms. If I was a different kind of person, I would now wax poetic about...well, I don't know what because I'm not that kind of a person. So all I am going to say is be nice to people. Life is short."
We are so grateful to amazing people like Jessica Hughes who help make our program possible. Paco still needs a forever home or a great rescue behind him so he can go to adoption fairs. But he has landed with one of our favorite people and is in good hands while he waits. Jorge is a truly good man, and it broke his heart, and ours, that he had to say goodbye to Paco. Godspeed, Jorge.
On a brighter note, there's Reuben and his dogs Mona and Shadow, who kept getting out of his yard because of a gap in the fence. Eventually, they were brought by Animal Control to the North Central Shelter. A friend and neighbor of Reuben's reached out to us to see if we could help him pay the fee to get his dogs back. The dogs were already microchipped, spayed and neutered, and were clearly loved and well cared for, so we happily paid the redemption fee. But we went one step further. We offered to fix the fence, and called on an old friend to do the job.
One of the first people we helped at the intervention table was Jarvis who was living in his car with his dog Marley. Though he adored Marley, he knew he needed to find the dog a better home and try to get back on his feet again. We helped find Marley that new home, and we've stayed in touch with Jarvis, who helps us out when he can. So we bought hardware and supplies, Jarvis went to Reuben's house and fixed his fence.
Now the yard is secure and Shadow and Mona can't get out again. Reuben is happy, the dogs are happy, and Jarvis was happy to pay it forward.
This is why we never lose touch. Because we never know when someone might need us again or when we might need some help ourselves. Like Jessica so perfectly said, "Be nice to people. Life is short."