Mariah is one of a large litter born in August of 2012. The mother, Camille, and her puppies just a few days old were found in the woods behind the home of someone who found them and took them to the shelter. Camille was not in good shape, very thin and bedraggled. She was a very good mom and all but two of the puppies survived. Mariah is the only one without a home. She is not only beautiful but very smart and loving. To date she simply has not had any real training or been in a home where she was given the proper attention. If someone could do this for her, she would reward you with years of joy, love and companionship.
Jacie was adopted!
Jacie is a 4-year-old border collie mix who went through the Puppies for Parole program at the Potosi Correctional Center. She has now graduated and is looking for a place where she can use her education (that translates to wanting a forever home). You see, a home is something Jacie has never had. She and several litter mates were brought to the shelter when they were 5-6 months old and totally unsocialized. She was so shy and scared that no one ever wanted to adopt her. Jacie now knows all of the basics of obedience training. She liked her handlers very much. Although improved, Jacie is still shy and needs a home where this is understood; she will learn to love and play in a new environment, but it will take a while. Having another dog in the home would help in her adjustment period. Jacie is smart and learns quickly. It is good that Jacie got this training provided buy this wonderful program. It is not good that she had to go back to the shelter, so please help get her out so she can be a family pet!
Jake is a young black Labrador retriever mix who was abandoned in Viburnum and was found foraging for himself. He was befriended by a man living in a motel unit where he could not have the dog, so he contacted us and we made arrangements to get Jake. Jake has now been at the shelter a year. We are seeking someone with experience training dogs who will, if they cannot adopt him, take him in and work with him for couple of months. It is clear there has been abuse in this guy’s past. Once relaxed, he is loving and cuddly with people, loves to car ride and go for walks, and for the most part is friendly with other dogs. Too often, however, he meets a person or a dog that reminds him of something bad in his past and he growls and this behavior makes it difficult for him to find a home. He is not a vicious dog, just a scared one, and needs help in meeting all people and dogs without this reaction. If you can take it on, we’d all be most grateful (especially Jake). Thank you.
March 7, 2013, I attended a graduation ceremony at the Potosi Correctional Facility. This was an unusual graduation in many ways, starting with the fact that the graduates were dogs. Four of them were DCAWS dogs: Butch, Farran, Dolly and Star. I guilted Melinda in attending with me even though it was clear she really didn’t want to go because of her ultra busy schedule, but we both decided this was an obligation. Ultimately, it was an event transcending expectations. Tears were in our eyes when our shyest dog pranced through the auditorium on a leash with the handlers, her head held high. We heard the stories of all of the dogs. None had been without problems. In most facilities, all would have been put to sleep rather than given a new lease on life. For three months, these dogs underwent an intensive training program. Two “offenders” were assigned to each dog. We heard talks from the program directors, the chaplain, the warden, two of the offenders and other supporters of EDNAS. We saw not only what the training program meant to the dogs but also to their handlers. The two who spoke effectively vocalized how they felt, that they had taken from society and given nothing back and now they had a chance to help in some way. We were allowed to mingle and talk with all present and to hug “our” dogs one last time. Homes are found for most of the dogs before the program is over, so they can go home after graduation. Butch is even training as an assist dog for his person. For three years he was homeless, wanted by no one … and now he serves and is loved. We who care for homeless dogs can identify with the handlers in that they have learned to love their dogs and then they have to let them go and, while we are sad at saying goodbye, know there are always more of God’s creatures to be helped so we start all over again. We already have three more DCAWS dogs ready for the next cycle. Somehow it was a day when we were all more alike than different, all there for the same reason. Instead of being afraid in this setting, we were uplifted in a way beyond description. The prison officials are very pleased with the program and have reason to believe it will spread to correctional facilities all over the United States. Our wonderful volunteer Allison is responsible for finding out about this program and getting us connected, and we can never thank her enough.