Article by Penny Edwards, Manager Animal Refuge Center, Inc.
Last year ARC made a decision to help as many animals from the Hardin County Animal Shelter as possible. Up to this point, we’ve taken in approximately 105 cats and approximately 20 dogs and more than 70 of those cats and dogs have come from HCAS alone.
Everyone asks if we are able to adopt out our cats and the answer is a resounding “Yes”. In fact, we have found homes for 80 of our cats and almost 20 dogs so far this year. Some of our furry friends are harder to place than others. Nonetheless, we are dedicated to finding every one of them a good, loving home.
Many of our cats and dogs come to us with broken souls, needing a lot of time and patience. Some of these animals take days, but most take weeks, months or even years to trust people again. To witness this transformation is truly incredible, and makes rescue work totally worthwhile.
When you bring your new four legged family member home, you never know exactly what you’re getting. A lot of people look at shelter animals and think they are “damaged goods”.
When an animal first arrives at ARC, no matter how thin or withdrawn they are, I try to see a “diamond in the rough”. In fact, some of our adopted ARC alumni are celebrities and heroes.
About five years ago, we took in a Border Collie named Dexter. He came from a sad situation where he was not socialized and lived alone in an outdoor kennel. When Dexter arrived, he cowered behind the dog house and would not let anyone touch him. It took weeks to gain his trust so that we could touch him. We put a photo of Dexter on Petfinder, and even though it wasn’t a very good picture of him, it attracted a very special young lady from Chattanooga, TN.
She traveled up here to meet Dexter, and they clicked immediately.
Dexter was renamed Drus after one of her favorite baseball players, and Drus was placed into Agility training where he quickly began to thrive.
Drus earned his Flyball Champion Title in the Southeast Tennessee region. Drus also has a dance routine with his mom. His mom, Christiane, adds: “He is not actually an agility champion, although he is really good at it. We just don’t get to enough shows to get his champion title in agility. He is really coming along in Canine Freestyle too.
“He is such an amazing partner. Willing but not so crazy he can’t think straight. Lots of border collies are so amped up that they can’t focus.”
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Lacey is a beautiful Calico that was dropped at ARC when she was not more than 10 weeks old. She was a scruffy little girl, but still very pretty. Kaleidoscope seemed like a great name for her. We took this cute kitten to the Kentuckiana Cat Show, and one of the ladies showing her own cats fell in love with this little cutie!
….Kaleidoscope was adopted and moved to Florida.
The next year we met up with Kaleidoscope (now named Lacey) and learned she was now a show cat! She was entered in the Household Pet category, and this past September won the 2017 Best in Household Pet at the American Cat Fancier Association. So she’s not only a looker, but a sweetie too!
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Just this past weekend, we learned that another of our famous feline alumni had saved his owner’s life. The big lovable hero, Sherman the cat, awakened his owner during a medical emergency. If Sherman hadn’t been there, the situation could have turned into a full-blown emergency or worse.
Whether your new adopted family member is a cat, a dog, a hero, celebrity or devoted family protector, it really doesn’t matter. When they steal our hearts so completely, awards are only superficial even to the pet parents of those little personalities. When you bring your new four legged family member home, you never know exactly what you’re getting. Whatever situations they may have come from, no matter what baggage they may have, even if they do look a little worse for wear, a little bit damaged, hug them and take a look closer.
You have in your hands a diamond in the rough.
Please do your part to help homeless pets, and don’t shop–Adopt.