Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lucky Dog Rescue Blog: Storm Survivors

An amazing story of survival of "April's Fury" as it's become known across the scarred landscape of Alabama. Imagine no shelter, no escape, no place to hide - and all you hear is the bellow of a monster unknown, feel the lashing of rains and winds, and the world around you changing beyond your comprehension. If humans were left speechless, this probably doesn't even begin to capture express what Grand Ma, Mee Maw and Wink went through.

Read how Ashley of Lucky Dog Rescue in Mississippi has opened her heart and started the healing for 3 angels of the storm and how you can help the Tuscaloosa Animal Shelter.

Taken from the original posting:

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Storm Survivors

On April 27, 2011, a violent, mile-wide tornado ripped through the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The damage was detrimental to the city, its people, and its animals. That day, I watched the footage in horror… as the town I have loved all of my life... was wiped away.

Four of the best years of my life were spent in Tuscaloosa, at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!). I’ve been a lifelong Bama fan… because my parents raised me right. Growing up, we’d go to Tuscaloosa for every football game and event. When the time came to select a college, there was no question where I’d end up. A piece of my heart has always lived in Tuscaloosa.

Following the storm, the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter proved something that I’ve known all along… they are amazing. A couple of my dear friends work at Tuscaloosa Metro, and they’ve always been there to help me with anything I need. After the storm, the shelter took in well over 1,000 additional animals… more than 5 times their normal capacity. Many pets were found under rubble; many were still chained to trees; and many were severely injured… or dead.

Families were given time to reclaim their pets, and then the shelter began lining up rescues for the remaining animals. However, there are some dogs that the average rescue just won’t take. The senior dogs. The sick dogs. The heartworm positives. The special needs. The Pit Bulls.
The ones deemed “unadoptable.”

For these dogs, Lucky Dog Rescue is often their only hope.

So, I called my sweet friend, Kelley Hill Strickland, and said, “Give me the urgent dogs no other rescue will take.” As always, Kelley was so gracious and appreciative, and she already had 3 special dogs in mind for me. These 3 dogs had each suffered a direct hit from the tornado—while living outside on chains.  Kelley had been desperately trying to find placement for these dogs… but no one wanted them.

Well… almost no one.

I agreed to take these 3 babies as soon as possible, and offered to take any additional dogs she couldn’t place in the coming days. And today, 3 incredible storm survivors came to live with me: Grandma, Mee Maw, and Wink. I’d like you to meet my new foster babies…

Grandma is a 10-year-old, female, Pit Bull mix. Early in her life, Grandma endured a painful, homemade, ear crop procedure, leaving her with hardly any ears at all. Grandma is also a broken-down breeder dog, who’s been forced to deliver litter upon litter of puppies.  To top it off, she’s been restricted to a chain… all 10 years of her life.

Grandma was found in the hardest hit area, which was a bad part of town to begin with. She endured the wrath of the devastating tornado outside on a chain… the chain that she’s called “home” for the last 10 years.

When she was rescued, Grandma was severely emaciated and extremely frightened, but despite her circumstances, she lovingly thanked the volunteers with kisses. At the shelter, Grandma stole everyone’s hearts. It’s rare that a dog feels relieved to be in a shelter… it shows how awful her 10 years must have been.

 Then today, Grandma came to live with me. I was greeted with a joyful smile and a loving kiss, and my heart filled with an insane amount of joy. It was easy to see… that after a lifetime on a chain and surviving a devastating storm… Grandma knew she was finally safe.

Mee Maw
Mee Maw is another 10-year-old storm survivor. She’s a Senior Lab/Hound mix, who is blind in her left eye. The blindness was likely caused by an untreated injury or infection, due to an irresponsible owner. In addition, Mee Maw has been suffering with severe skin issues for quite some time, causing her a great deal of pain and discomfort. Of course, she is also heartworm positive.

Sadly, Mee Maw is yet another broken-down breeder dog, with an abusive past. She has also spent all of her years on a chain. Even more heartbreaking, Mee Maw was left on her chain to face the massive tornado that destroyed her entire neighborhood. The volunteers that found her couldn’t imagine how she even survived.

Mee Maw arrived here today, and I immediately learned about her love of belly rubs. When we met, Mee Maw smiled, rolled onto her back, and begged for the belly rub she’s wished for all her life. I was honored to make her wish come true.

Wink is a 3-year-old, male, Pit Bull Mix. Wink has an eye injury that causes him to “wink” at you. The eye issue is likely due to lack of treatment by an irresponsible owner. Wink is also heartworm positive.

Wink is yet another dog who was chained outside when the tornado struck. Considering the conditions of his surroundings, he shouldn’t be alive today. He was found in a heartbreaking state… afraid, emaciated, and desperate for help. I’m so thankful that Tuscaloosa Metro was there to save him.  

Wink is a special little boy with a tragic past. His eyes reveal the years of abuse and neglect he’s endured. When he arrived, Wink was extremely timid, afraid, and unsure of whether he could trust me.

But within the hour, he was smiling and clinging to my side. That’s the beauty of saving a life… they know what you did for them… and in turn, they share their years of disregarded love and affection… with you.

These are the 3 dogs that no one wanted. Well… almost no one. Before I ever met them, I wanted them. I loved them. And I needed them. Four lives changed today… most of all… mine.

*The state of Alabama and many parts of Mississippi were recently devastated by horrific storms and tornadoes. The city of Tuscaloosa endured unimaginable damage, and they still need your help!

The Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter needs rescue groups, fosters, and adopters for more than 50 dogs and 75 cats (to get their numbers back down to normal capacity). They can also use donations of canned dog and cat food, toys, treats, and blankets. Donations can be mailed to:

Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter
3140 35th Street
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401-5411
(205) 752-9101

**Grandma, Mee Maw, and Wink need loving homes! Click here to fill out the online Adoption Application!

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