March 8th, 2011
|UAN volunteer Cass Gilbert of
Illinois visits a beautiful Akita
It was with mixed emotions that the UAN volunteers said goodbye to the 350+ four-legged furry friends we have been caring for in Hilliard, Ohio for the past week. We are thrilled that we played a part in liberating these dogs from the horrific conditions they lived in for years. We are proud that we were able to set up and operate a temporary shelter operation in less than ideal conditions. We are amazed at the resiliency these animals showed after all that was done to them by human beings.
|One of the more timid, frightened
of the rescued dogs
On the other hand, we are sad to be leaving our new charges. The dogs will stay at the temporary shelter until various rescue organizations and shelters arrive to move them on to more traditional accommodations while they wait for their forever homes. They will remain under the care of the Clark County Humane Society, led by shelter manager extraordinaire Chuck Jones, who has worked tirelessly for the past several weeks. Chuck was the first person at the shelter every day (seven days a week) and the last person to leave. He showed amazing patience with the many bumps experienced along the way and his compassion for the animals touched everyone. If we could clone him we would never see another homeless animal!
|A freshly groomed dog explores
The dogs are starting to trickle out. about 25 have left, including three who went to German shepherd rescue in Pennsylvania with UAN volunteers Dale and Diane Buhl. We are hopeful the rest of the dogs will be out of the barn by the end of the week.
|Found alone in a dark shed, this dog is
learning to accept human affection
As we were finishing up Sunday evening, the most amazing thing happened: An emergency vehicle with sirens blowing sped past and the entire shelter erupted in one simultaneous howl. It was at once the most beautiful and heart-rending sound I have ever heard, making all of us laugh but also filling our eyes with tears. It sounded as though they were all saying thank you and goodbye to us, while assuring us they were survivors and will be fine now that they had been liberated from years of neglect. The sound, and the dogs, lifted my heart and nourished my soul and made me grateful to be a part of such an amazing experience.