Instead of a traditional "About Us" page (usually filled with boring facts about when we originated and what our future goals may be), we have decided to provide you the thoughts of our volunteers and other friends of the Saving Grace family. We hope this will provide a better insight into what being a dog rescue is all about.
Because after... 5,000 trips to shelters, cleaning diarrhea, the best volunteers ever, amazing vets and friends, cleaning up lots of vomit, Babs - the Saving Grace Wonder Woman, bottle feeding puppies, many hikes with Karen and 20 dogs around Falls Lake for therapy and to restore sanity, mange, 2 trips to New Orleans, scrubbing diarrhea, the amazing SNAP team, fisrt time nail trims requiring safety goggles, generous donors, parasites, puppy breath, removing embedded collars, the adoption of a senior dog, Wake Forest Animal Hospital, "I have a tick where!?!," a clear and present purpose in life, hosing diarrhea, the determination of a child to improve her pets quality of life, driving a van with a couch in it, stuffing kong after kong with peanut butter, pig grunts, lots of fajitas and margaritas, learning that time is the best teacher, Jason and Lisa, being haunted by a shelter dog left behind, finding lots of limited resources, throwing the same tennis ball over and over, kennel cough, hosting fundraisers, more diarrhea, 334 pictures to get a good one, a burning and addictive passion for improving the reputation of shelter animals, dingleberries, meeting a child in awe of my job, poop on my shoes again, the dogs turned out to be my saving grace, witnessing the power of love and value of life each and every day, remarkable and kind parents who finally accepted this isn't a phase.. and welcoming a new dog into our program as they shake their past haunted by neglect and loneliness as they settle into a warm, dry bed and breath a sigh of peace on earth, I still love it!
It has been a true saving grace for the dogs here at the shelter to go to Molly at Saving Grace. So many dogs and puppies have been given a second chance at wonderful, loving forever homes through the rescue. Being a county shelter, I have very limited resources. Saving Grace makes it possible for me to helpo change and save lives. I believe that what Molly is doing makes a huge impact and difference. I wanted to be a part of that so I joined her team, and now I'm part of the great mission. it just doesn't get any better than this...
Recently the Oprah Winfrey show let viewers in on the horrors of the operations known as puppy mills, where dogs are forced to turn out litter after litter of puppies in filthy conditions. Images of dogs covered in their own waste, starving and ill, infested with parasites and without access to light or fresh air entered our living rooms. Many of us are shocked and saddened to learn that dogs are treated this way, but ultimately the story does not hit home close enough for us to help the dogs. Until now. Just months ago in Wake County, animal cruelty investigators seized over 100 dogs and other animals from a puppy mill. The News and Observer of Raleigh (11/22/07) said, ".investigators reported seeing dogs with feces caked into their fur, cockroaches roaming through the birds' food dishes, and one blind dog who was unable to stand up to relieve himself and whose jaw had disintegrated." The breeder, who operated out of her home, was charged with neglect and cruelty. But what became of the dogs?
Of the dogs taken from the puppy mill, 80 were toy poodles, and authorities with Wake County Animal Care, Control and Adoption asked Saving Grace to take in sixteen of them. Veterinarian Dr. Kelli Ferris worked on the investigation and said the dogs were in good hands at Saving Grace, "I always feel so good about any animal that goes into the Saving Grace program. I know absolutely that Molly [Goldston, Executive Director of Saving Grace] will do what's in the best interest of that animal."
Once Saving Grace took in those sixteen poodles, their lives changed forever. Just as it does with all of the hundreds of dogs it helps each year, Saving Grace worked with the generous veterinarians at Wake Forest Animal Hospital to treat the dogs' illnesses, dental problems, infections and parasites. Volunteer groomer Lisa McClure had her work cut out for her finding the poodles under the feces encrusted mats that covered them.
Then came the task of helping the dogs make the transition from mistreated pooch to family pet. This is where Saving Grace, as a small non-profit with expert volunteers, offers each dog a special opportunity to begin a new life. One volunteer in particular, Bubba Wilson, rolled up her sleeves and opened her home to ten of the dogs. They ranged in age from tiny puppies to geriatric dogs. Bubba vaccinated them, took them to their grooming appointments, and nursed them through diarrhea over the Christmas holiday. As if that wasn't enough, she housetrained them, taught them how to live inside a home with people, crate trained them, and then, one by one, found them all homes. "I had no problem whatsoever finding all of these poodles perfect homes. Even the momma dogs, who couldn't 100% shed their memories of that awful puppy mill," says Bubba, who was especially touched by adopters traveling from out of state, and by those who adopted older dogs like 13-year-old Cozi. "There's an angel out there for every dog."
It's funny that Bubba should think of the adopters as angels, since that is how they think of her. Nancy Provost and her family adopted a poodle and calls Bubba the "angel of all angels" for matching them with Sassie, named that way to help her emerge from her timid shell. ".she would let you hold her, but when you put her down, she would run away with her tail tucked under. It has taken a while for her to learn to be a dog, but she is so loving. She sleeps all snuggled up to me and sometimes snores when she sleeps on her back! We take her out with us quite often and she has learned to like to ride in the cart at Lowe's and Home Depot. She has also learned to walk on a leash with us. It seems strange that a dog would not know how to do that but who knows what they did to these animals in the mill." Thanks to the efforts of so many, and the tender loving care that Nancy's family has provided, Nancy now reports that ".Sassie also loves to run around the yard and most of the time now wags her tail and holds it up proudly. She is a changed dog! We love having her in our lives, she has filled such an empty spot in our hearts."
Alice Johnson's family was moved by the poodle's puppy mill trauma, and touched by the efforts of Saving Grace to help heal them and find them homes. She reports that their poodle Leeloo, who she says is gentle and sweet, has been doing great. "We wanted to give her the opportunity to have a good life after her years at the horrible place she came from. You wouldn't even recognize her as the same dog today. She runs and plays and sleeps in the big bed every night. She's a great dog and I'm glad I made the decision to adopt her from Saving Grace."
And then there is Miss Pearl, one of the poodles who was forced to deliver many litters of puppies under terrible conditions. Her new family says their beautiful, silver poodle has been a joy. Kaylan Travers says, "She has taken to my other dogs like she has known them all of her life. To have lived in such a horrific environment and to see her enjoy things for the first time, it's a miracle. She is definitely my girl, and has gone from Miss Pearl, to Momma Pearl and most recently I have started calling her Pearlie Pea. My life would not have been the same without the love and compassion of all at Saving Grace."
The same thing might be said by any of the dogs now in homes thanks to Saving Grace. The next time you hear about a puppy mill, or a shelter dog, or a stray dog in need, you needn't feel helpless or sad. Saving Grace is helping these dogs get the care they need and matching them with families every day; you can be part of this by helping Saving Grace pay for the dogs' medical needs, food, and daily needs while they prepare for their new lives. Even a small donation helps a dog begin the life they deserve.
K9 Solutions loves sending our clients to Saving Grace to find their new canine buddy. Saving Grace does a fantastic job at temperament testing shelter dogs and matching owners and canines properly to ensure their highest success. -K9 Solutions LLC
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