Maryland SPCA Volunteer Orientation

Last Sunday I attended the volunteer orientation at the Maryland SPCA on Fall’s Road. While I am fiercely loyal to devoting my spare time to the animals at BARCS, the MD SPCA has an opportunity for volunteers to help with spay/neuter surgeries, and that is something that I am very interested in. I’m pretty sure they do most of the surgeries for dogs from BARCS, too, so I will still be helping my buddies from BARCS.

There was an impressive turnout at the volunteer orientation (I’d say there were about 30 of us). I thought that the volunteer coordinator did a great job of keeping us engaged while going over all the information she needed to get through. She included lots of interesting stories about different animals and people that she has encountered, and was full of energy and enthusiasm for the entire four hours. One of the most memorable stories she told was about a puppy mill raid that they did up in Pennsylvania about a year ago. She warned us that she gets choked up every time she tells this story, and I did too. I thought I’d share it with you here:

One of the dogs that they rescued from the puppy mill was a young Beagle, who like many puppy mill breeders, was kept in a tiny rabbit hutch for her entire life. She was very scared and not used to human contact, which is very sad because Beagles crave human interaction. After she was brought back to the SPCA, she started to settle in and get used to her new surroundings, but while she was eating really well she wouldn’t drink from her water bowl. Nobody could figure it out, because usually when an animals is sick or stressed it will stop eating. For some reason she was eating fine,  just not drinking. The vets could not find anything physically wrong with her and were stumped. Eventually someone figure it out, and said,”try a rabbit feeder.” Sure enough, they offered her a rabbit feeder full of water and she guzzled it down. The poor girl had never seen water in a bowl, and didn’t know how to drink from it. Eventually she was placed in a foster home with a Beagle rescue, and the workers at the MD SPCA thought they’d never see her again. A few months went by, and she remained on everyone’s mind. But a few months later, they got a letter from the new owners with a photo of the dog splayed out on her back on a king size bed, surrounded by toys, happy as can be.

I think that story put a tear in all of our eyes and a smile on all our faces. It’s always good to hear a happy ending :-)

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