Blogs and Stories
newsletter thank you to our special supporters
sponsor1 sponsor2
February 12, 2021
Amy Wade Carotenuto

Why We Do What We Do

Sheila and Stevie spent at least six years on chains. The heavy chains dug into their necks. The roughly seven feet of chain often became tangled making it even shorter. The chains dragged through the dirt or mud that was riddled with feces, urine and even broken glass. When they were fed, the food was often poured right in the dirt. Their water buckets were their only toys, so the water was often spilled out so that the bucket could be dragged around. Stevie liked the loud noise of the bucket. Sheila and Stevie were chained a dozen feet apart so they saw each other, but they were unable to play. Their chains would have become tangled.

For years we worked to create local ordinances against the practice of keeping dogs continually chained. Even the well-known AKC (American Kennel Club) weighed in against our efforts to get dogs off of chains. Yes, that is AGAINST our efforts. People forget that AKC is NOT in the animal protection business.

Our officers worked for years to convince and assist the owner to provide a better life for Sheila and Stevie. After final warnings were ignored, one December morning after a night of a freeze where it was advised to cover your plants, we checked on Sheila and Stevie. No blankets, no hay, just a wooden dog house that Sheila could not even reach and a barrel in the mud that was Stevie’s supposed shelter. Sheila and Stevie were going to die on these chains. It was time to rescue Sheila and Stevie and petition with the court to obtain permanent custody.

Upon rescue both were very underweight, dirty and smelly. Even more noticeable than their physical condition was their mental state. Although they were both pleasant, neither one of them was interactive. They were not starved for attention because they really weren’t familiar with what attention was. Neither knew how to play fetch or tug of war. They were in a sense “lost souls”.

It took months for their case to go to court, so Sheila and Stevie became shelter staff favorites. They put on weight, their coats began to shine but most noticeable were their spirits. They began as dogs with vacant stares, dogs who didn’t appear to even know how to play. Over time they began to thrive on attention. They each walk great on a leash now, even looking up to their human for direction. They give kisses now and they even play. Stevie loves to fetch tennis balls. Sheila enjoys car rides.

Sheila and Stevie are prime examples of why we do what we do. They are the reason why we get up in the morning. They are the reason that we work for less money than our friends. They are the reason that we fight for stronger animal protection laws. Worrying about animals may keep us up at night, but celebrating when we are able to change their lives for the better fills our hearts with joy.

Over the years I have had so many people say,
I couldn’t work at the humane society... I love animals too much.

My response to that is,
I love them too much to work anywhere else.
chained dog1 chained dog2
Search our Website