Monday, October 24, 2011

Pepper's Paws is born (sort of)

They say desperation is mother of invention (not sure who "they" are, or if that quote is quite right - but it fits me tonight!) I had planned to do a lot of homework on how to start my non-profit, completely think through everything and anything I need to know, etc. etc. etc. but then I saw a desperate post tonight from my favorite shelter and I decided I can't wait to try to start this. All 3 of our dogs came from Darlington Humane Society in Darlington, South Carolina. I have never been to the shelter, but I have been told they are way underfunded but the people who run the shelter - staff and volunteers, move heaven and earth to save every dog that comes in. And to their credit, the dogs that come from Darlington are the best - rarely a bad apple in the bunch. I know this first hand - we have adopted 3 Darlington dogs and have fostered about a dozen of their dogs in the past year with All 4 Paws Rescue.

Our dog Pepper was the first adoptee that came from Darlington. Pepper was brought in as a stray in September 2009. They spayed her, treated her for heart worm and hookworms, and kept her there as long as they possibly could. Right around Christmas they called a rescue and begged them to take her - she had made the dreaded put to sleep list - she had been there too long. Lucky for us, the rescue took her and she was fostered by a great foster family. We found her on petfinder after she had been in foster for 2 months.

Shadow was our 2nd dog from Darlington. He was dumped at the shelter by a woman who said he wasn't hers. The shelter knew she was lying. I saw Shadow's picture on the shelter web site and something about him just told me to adopt him. He was fostered by the same great family and has been a great dog for us ever since.

About a year later, I saw Bear on the shelter web site. He grabbed my heart and I enquired about him. And then I asked Di if I could have my 40th birthday present early, and being the loving person she is, she said yes. Bear had to be treated for heart worm and came to us shortly after treatment. He was skittish and hand shy, we're pretty sure he was abused by whoever had him. He was brought in to the shelter as a stray, and I think he ran away from whoever had him. He is now a more confident and loving dog - can't imagine our family without him.

Darlington has truly changed our family. Di and I felt we had a giant hole in our life after two of my parents and one of her parents died. We spent so much time taking care of our parents and their associated needs that when they were gone, we felt lost. So we adopted Pepper, and then Shadow, then we started fostering, and then we adopted Bear, and our lives are forever changed. Darlington was a huge part of that, and they will forever be special to us.

And right now Darlington is in crisis. At last post, they took in 64 animals in 4 days and the unwanted and stray animals are still coming. They need fosters, they need money for vetting, and they need rescues to take dogs and find them homes. If Darlington isn't able to get this help, dogs will die. There is no easy way to say this. Adoptable, loving, deserving dogs will die. I feel compelled to do whatever I can to help. The non-profit I am planning to start will help support shelters like Darlington, and I need help to do this. The one thing shelters always need is money and foster families. Since my non-profit is not set up yet, I am happy to receive checks made out to "DCHS" and I will send the checks to them as one package - or you can send them directly to Darlington (please put Pepper's Paws in the memo :). You can also go to and click on the RESCUE Information link - there is a paypal donation link on this page. If you are willing to foster Darlington dogs, click on the Safe link and click on the green text at the top of the page - it will take you to a list of rescue that pull Darlington dogs. You can also share this blog and share posts from DarlingtonCountyHSRescue on facebook. Any of these things can help this deserving shelter and wonderful dogs in need.

My goal is to raise $1,000 for Darlington in the next week - and to help find homes for as many dogs as possible. They need to move about 40 dogs out to get back to "full" (as opposed to bursting at the seams,  which is where they are now). Will you help?

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