Friday, December 31, 2010

Miles & Samson... Still Waiting...

Miles is the black and tan guy standing, and Samson is the German Shepherd laying down. I don't normally write about the same topic two days in a row, but we are having issues with Miles that are directly related to their sending parties just taking a hike on us!

I have written about them before, when they first came to the farm last Fall. A rescue woman in Kentucky contacted us about Samson. Samson was actually in Georgia, not Kentucky. Another rescue woman was helping Samson in Georgia. He was out of time and was going to be euthanized.

We outlined our Intake Policy and asked these ladies to help us with fundraising. The one in Kentucky made a point to tell us how good she was at raising money for dogs, and she assured us she would have no problem raising funding for Samson.
We did not ask for any money up front, but trusted that these two rescuers would keep their word. Our immediate concern was to save Samson!

It was only then that we learned, sort of back-handedly, that Samson came in to the shelter with a running buddy, Miles, and that Miles was in even greater danger of losing his life at the shelter.

We asked if they would be willing to save both dogs. We believe strongly that bonded dogs should never be separated. We felt that Samson and Miles should stay together, and these rescue women agreed.

Since Samson and Miles would live together, the cost for housing was the same as it would have been for Samson alone. The only additional cost was for operational expenses for a second dog. Suzanne Young in Alabama arranged the long transport from Georgia to Texas, and volunteers all along the route donated their time and gas to get Samson and Miles to safety.

Miles and Samson have been here at the farm since the beginning of November. We have nudged and reminded and begged and pleaded with these rescuers to remember their commitment to us and to Samson and Miles!

The one in Georgia signed up for $10/mo and says that is all she can do and she is much too busy to send around our email. The woman in Kentucky made a donation, says that she has sent out the Chip In, but has done nothing more to continue moving this forward.

The Chip In for Samson and Miles has been stuck $347 since November 15. We have only $10/mo in monthly donors for them. (We explain that since Paypal does not give you a place to put the dog's name, it is important for the fundraisers to email us when someone new signs on so that their dog will get credit.)

Since there was no activity on monthly donations except that $10, we calculated a year's monthly donations for each dog and added it to the Chip In. Sometimes it is easier to get a one-time donation than a regular monthly one. So when their Chip In fills, it will cover their expenses for a year, as well as build them a play yard and townhome.

In practical terms, it means that Samson and Miles have been waiting for a play yard and townhome for nearly two months, and are no where near having one!

Temporary housing for dogs who are waiting for a play yard and town home of their own consists of living in a "condo". The condos are each approximately 4'x4' and they are attached to one large yard that services several condos. Dogs spend part of their day in the yard, and then must return to their condo so that another dog can use the play yard.

It is not ideal, but it is all we have to house dogs who come without funding, until we can raise the money to build them their own townhome and play yard.

Miles is not adapting as well to condo-living as Samson. (Each has his own condo, since condos are too small to occupy together, unlike the townhomes which are more spacious, have an upstairs loft and unlimited access to the large play yard!)

Yesterday, Miles bit Manuel, one of our team members. Today, he bit Shawn, another of our team members. Condo dogs have to be handled more because they have to go in and out of their condos a couple times a day. Miles is not a bad dog. He just does not like going back to his condo, and the close proximity of other condo dogs puts him on edge.

This could have all been avoided if their funding had come in last November. They would already be living in their townhome and play yard, and not have to share a yard with other dogs.

It saddens us that people will tell us they will help with fundraising, but once the dog is here and is safe, they just melt away like the snow in the afternoon sun. And we are left holding the bag. It is sad that they just forget about the unfinished business of their last "rescue" as they move on to the next!

We don't regret that Samson and Miles came to Smiling Dog Farms. They would both be dead if they had not come here, and if all the volunteers who helped transport them had not made it possible!
But two of our team members have been bit in the past two days because Miles doesn't yet have a play yard and townhome of his own. And if the rescue ladies who sent Miles and Samson had kept their word to keep fundraising until we reached our goal, this would not have happened!

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