Gone are the days when we would happen upon a convulsing dog, transfer her emergently to Angels of Assisi, discover she had a 107+ fever, pack her in ice, and rush her to Virginia Tech for medical care. Back then she was not treated at RCACP because there was not "diagnostic equipment" - a thermometer- that the overseeing leadership was willing to utilize.
The difference now is that animals are transferred to us after receiving medical care, medicines, and often times even spayed or neutered. They are combo tested and rabies vaccinated- not mandated by any law, but as a much appreciated courtesy to partnering rescues. RCACP has the animals prepped and ready to go at a moments notice, and it's not unusual for the staff to deliver them right to our adoption center. The dogs and cats have had interaction with volunteers, pretty pictures taken, and are given the opportunity to go to events and day outings. What a change from the era of no volunteers, adoptions, or allowing animals out of building.
The similarities of days past is in the animals themselves, like number 2186 we pulled yesterday.
He arrived to RCACP via animal control, and his name was Stupid.
He's not the first elderly, neglected, filthy dog that has crossed the doorstep of RCACP, and then on to us. I've seen the hollowed, cloudy eyes many times before, some staring at the walls, and some making a connection into mine, and each is equally haunting. The long curled toenails clacking the floors are not a novel sound, but fortunately neither is the ever so cautious tail wag as they follow us blindly and trustingly to their new digs at Angels of Assisi, and then on to a new home.
The histories and conditions of the homeless animals in our community are so similar: mange, no basic house manners, little to no preventative care, poor skin, and matted and overgrown coats. However, the stats show these numbers are decreasing. We're working hard at Angels of Assisi to offer affordable preventative and sick pet care; one look into our lobby will show you that it's well received. As we work on these preventative measures, RCACP and the municipalities are working on taking care of the animals who fall through the cracks, and together we're working on getting them adopted.
RCACP gave our new guy a new name, because he's not Stupid. He now goes by Zeke, derived from the Hebrew yehezq'ēl, meaning God strengthens.
As our progress and resolve have strengthened, so will Zeke. He's heading to a foster home very soon, where he won't be dirty and neglected anymore, and where his tail can wag with confidence.
A special thank you goes out to all who worked so hard from- Angels of Assisi pull number 1 to Angels of Assisi pull number 2186. It's been a joy to see the changes, and we resolve continue and combine our efforts to make this community a safe place for our animals. Welcome to your family, Zeke.
Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.
- Henry Rollins