The images of stranded, desperate animals left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina catalyzed my sister and me to become involved in animal rescue. When Katrina struck, we were at Cape Fear, North Carolina enjoying a wonderful beach combing vacation. Relaxation gave way to horror at the sight of the devastation to the Gulf Coast. Returning home, Debbie answered an email pleading for drivers to take veterinary supplies to the Gulf and to return with homeless pets. Standing in the parking lot of the Pearl River SPCA, Debbie walked up with a little bag of bones disguised as a puppy. A dull coat and pot belly couldn't hide the amazing optimism of the chocolate merle dog. So thin that his skin tented from his spine to his hip bones, he was one of the nine Catahoulah Leopard Dog mixes not chosen by other transporters. With supplies and man hours in short supply, the rule of triage dictated that the malnourished, ill litter would be euthanized. Determined shelter workers kept them alive and hoped for one last transport. We were it.
To this day, we treasure friendships forged in those days and we continue to work with homeless dogs. Unknown to us, that moment in the Pearl River parking lot launched our criteria for dogs coming into our care: homeless, unwanted by other rescues, and slated to die within hours. We became a Rescue of Last Resort.
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Dog of the month: Timmy
Like many rescue dogs, Timmy greets each day with enthusiasm and optimism. A longtime denizen of Houlagans', Timmy has overcome challenging skin and intestinal issues to reach good health and great energy. Timmy's foster family describes him as "...a delightful blend of goofy, playful, loving, eager, and 'I looove you human - you're the center of my universe!'" Timmy has good house manners and crates nicely. An energetic 65 pounds, Timmy interacts appropriately with other dogs (including his housemates), both on and off leash. When his focus strays from people, Timmy entertains himself with toys and puzzles.