This blog post is dedicated to Amy Welker at the Piqua Health Department, Dr. Lisa Nadasi DVM, the Miami County Animal Shelter, ALL of the volunteers at the Piqua facility (there have been a bunch!), the Clark County Animal Shelter, The Clark County Health Department, the ASPCA, the Montgomery County Resource Center, the Franklin County Humane Society, and anyone else who has worked on this project. Without everyone of you, Jeff would still be abusing these poor animals. Please sleep well tonight knowing that YOU have made a difference in the lives of animals who had no voice. Because of you this animals will now be able to LIVE!
If you have watched Channel 7 news in the last several weeks, or even if you live under a rock somewhere in Miami County, you have heard about Jeff Burgess and his rescue "One More Chance Rescue". Jeff operated a "rescue" in Piqua. (He called it a rescue, the rest of us called it abuse, and the dogs that he owned called it the 7th Circle of Hell.) Thanks to the help of Amy Welker, the Piqua Health Department, and a whole bunch of volunteers these 108 dogs will make it so see a better way of life.
I have been volunteering on the weekends in Piqua: walking dogs, cleaning cages, and feeding dogs. It has been a very rewarding experience. One of the most amazing things is the way that everyone has pitched in to help this group of dogs, and every weekend I am reminded of the good in this world because it is reflected in the people that I volunteer with. What an experience!
The first time I went to the Piqua shelter, I was immediately drawn to a little Jack Russell Terrier. The thing that reached out to me was this dog's resilience. She didn't care that her fur was stained yellow from sitting in her urine and feces. She didn't care that she hadn't been fed or watered regularly. She didn't care that she wasn't loved or protected by her owner. She was not an abused dog. She was not a victim. She was a dog with something to offer. She was a dog that was going to offer her heart back to the thing that hurt her the most: humans. Why? Because she doesn't want to be known as an abused dog. She wants to move on. She wants to forget where she has been. Tonight, I brought home Marla. Marla will be at my house for a short while until a permanent home is found for her. While she is here, Marla will be living in the "now". She will learn how to be a dog. A dog that is loved. A dog that is fed. A dog that is a cherished member of a family. Marla will be all of this because of all of the people that have helped her thus far and who have given her a new start in life. Trust me when I say, Marla will not be quietly watching from the sidelines. Marla will be playing the game!
Sadly, Jeff didn't have just one group of dogs. He had another group of dogs in Springfield, and help came too late for 76 of them. The good news is, that today the Clark County Animal Shelter, the ASPCA, and Montgomery County Animal Resource Center helped move 376 dogs out of danger and into the Franklin County Humane Society.
When I was little I always loved this story about a boy and some starfish. It goes something like this....
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young boy, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young boy was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out, "Good Morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?!"
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean!"
"I must ask, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean? asked the somewhat startled man?
To this the boy replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile?! You can't possibly make a difference!"
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference to that one!"
I rescue a lot of dogs. I often have more dogs at my house then most people would consider "normal". It has always been who I am, and I can't imagine ever stopping. Many times people say to me: "You can't save them all!" I know I can't save them all, but I can make a difference to that one!