Silverado and Sierra Together Forever

Silverado and Sierra together at York SPCA

Silverado and Sierra are brother and sister, living together since they were puppies.  Their owners had them for 6 years before surrendering them to the shelter because of a divorce.  Entering a shelter is always a stressful situation for any dog.  Most reputable shelters will attempt to place a ‘bonded’ pair like Silverado and Sierra together, so as not to disrupt their lives any further.

Placing two large dogs like Silverado and Sierra together can be difficult.  Usually adopters will be looking for just one dog, and many times have other animals, which means bringing in two dogs is not an option.   During the summer, the shelter was getting over crowded and they were not having much luck finding a home together, so York SPCA reached out to Sedona for help.

After meeting Silverado and Sierra, it was clear how attached they were to each other.  When we took Sierra for a separate walk, Silverado paced around the fenced in play area, waiting for her return.  During play time, they would chase after the same toy together, never fighting over it and they would come up together waiting for a treat or more attention.

Silverado and Sierra were with Sedona for a little over 3 months, which is about the average amount of time a dog stays in our program before finding a forever home.  Although initially, we had some inquiries into adopting them together, most people that contacted us were interested in one or the other but not both.  In rescue, patience can be a virtue and the wait for the right home that would keep them together paid off.  We received an inquiry from a family that had recently lost their 6 year old German Shepherd after a year of intensive care for many medical issues.  They had a hole in their lives and Silverado and Sierra were soon to fill it.

Despite living about 6 hours away from Silverado and Sierra, their new owners were committed and willing to make the trip to give Silverado and Sierra a forever home.  Their new home included another friendly dog, a fenced in yard, an active household and two loving owners.

So many toys to choose from

So many toys to choose from

When's NCIS coming back on?

When’s NCIS coming back on?

We love our new backyard

We love our new backyard

Bo Knows Rescue

Bo getting ready to enter Sedona Foster Program

Bo getting ready to enter Sedona Foster Program

One of the questions we often get from people interested in rescue in general is, “How do  you find dogs for your program”?  This is one such story with a happy ending for a boy named Bo.   A goal of ours is to try and service people looking for help with rescue in the Northeast areas that do not have a lot of rescue organization options easily available to them.  One such area is central and eastern Pennsylvania.  We had corresponded with a rescue friend, Diane Buhl, in New Ringgold, PA on a number of occasions and were going out to visit their kennel, Charwill Kennels.   Diane had received a call from an elderly couple in Pennsylvania, who were moving unexpectedly and had no luck finding a home for Bo, their 9 year old German Shepherd.   When we visited, she let us know that Bo’s owner had less than 10 days to find him a home.

Space was tight but we would work hard to get Bo a new home.  Within a few days, one of our volunteers met Bo and immediately brought Bo home to foster.  Our volunteer also had a German Shepherd at home, Sheba, who was not fond of any other dogs in the house.  However, Bo was out of options, so after a few days, Sheba and Bo came to a temporary truce.  It wasn’t long before we found Bo a nice foster home with no other dogs.  Bo’s final foster home was a short foster, because they instantly fell in love with Bo and within 3 days decided to adopt Bo.

It would be nice if all our stories and adoptions worked so quickly as it did for Bo, but the ‘average’ time a dog stays with us is about 3 months.   We were happy that all the pieces fell into place with Bo.  In rescue, one never knows where the dog will come from but where they are going is to a new happy home.

Bo in his new home

Bo in his new home

Bo enjoying the summertime

Bo enjoying the summertime

 

How Long Does A Dog Stay At Sedona

A common question we receive from an owner looking to surrender their dog, or an adopter just interested in meeting one of our dogs is “How long does Sedona have a dog before he or she gets adopted?”  Knowing the answer to that question is like knowing the velocity and location of an electron (if you waited long enough, we’d get the quantum physics and rescue correlation to pop up in one of our posts).  We could give probabilities and estimates, but let’s look at two recent success stories – Clyde and Chewbarka.

Clyde jumping for joy in preparation of being adopted.

Clyde jumping for joy in preparation of being adopted.

Clyde had a lot going for him when he entered our program.  He is not particularly old (about 5 to 7 years old), he is a friendly with people and he tends to ignore other dogs.  On the flip side, Clyde had some rough edges that needed to be addressed.  Clyde liked to chew (and destroy depending on his mood) towels and sheets, he did not like car rides and was not particularly house broken.  Weighing his pluses and minuses we would have expected that Clyde would find a home within 2 to 3 months.   Clyde’s posting on petfinder and adopt-a-pet was very popular, and of all our dogs, we consistently received the most inquiries every month from potential adopters asking about Clyde.   Despite his popularity, Clyde was with our program from inception (in fact we had him for a few months prior to being an official non-profit organization).   All told, it took almost 9 months to find Clyde a home, but it was worth the wait for Clyde.

Chewbarka came to us from a shelter in southern New Jersey, looking so sad and unhealthy that the shelter thought he was about 12 years old.  Chewbarka cleaned up nicely, and our vet estimated his age closer to 8, but still he was up on the senior scale.  He has dry-eye syndrome which requires giving him tear drops and cleaning his eyes two to three times a day.  Luckily for Chewbarka he was good with other animals.  However, when we first took him into our program we were mostly concerned about just getting him out of a shelter.  We did not foresee him getting adopted quickly.  Chewbarka never actually made it onto our website as an available dog.  We had an approved family meeting one of our other available dogs, and Chewbarka was being walked at the same time the family arrived.  That was truly love at first sight.  We barely had Chewbarka in our program for three weeks before he was in a very active and loving home.

While the age of a dog will play a role in the length of time they may stay at a rescue like ours, we have found that unfortunately the lowest probability dogs to get adopted are those that are not good with other dogs.  A dog like Avery, who has some special needs, would most likely have found a home by now if she was good with other dogs, or at least cats.  This is the conundrum that all rescues face, how to find foster homes and forever homes for dogs that will be the only dog in a household.  At Sedona, we are actively looking for people who want to get involved in rescue or just curious about rescue but do not currently have an animal in their home.  An animal-free home can save dogs like Avery or Vicki that are at the highest risk of being euthanized at a shelter.  We provide the medical care and any support needed to foster homes, especially first time foster homes.  If you know someone interested in finding out more about being involved in rescue, fostering an adult or senior dog is a good transition into the world of rescue.

Saving Avery

Why We Saved Avery – A Sedona Story

Something fun is going on, can I join?

Something fun is going on, can I join?

Sometime in late February, we were contacted by Hempstead Shelter about Avery, an 8 year-old female German Shepherd dog. Avery had been found as a stray by the local police department and turned into the shelter. No one had claimed Avery and the shelter was looking for a rescue organization to take Avery. Normally, Long Island is outside of our working area, but we were going to be in the area one Saturday and decided to take a ride out to meet Avery.

Avery at shelter with her tail bandaged.

Avery at shelter with her tail bandaged.

After spending some time with the spunky little shepherd, it was clear that Avery was up against some long odds of anyone from the general public coming in to the shelter and adopting her. Avery’s back end and hips were wobbling, she was listed as 8 years old, and she would need to be the only dog in the household. Those are tough odds for any dog in a shelter environment.

Avery - Patiently waiting

Avery – Patiently waiting

We kept in touch with one of the shelter managers and cross-posted Avery’s picture and story to help generate some interest in hopes that Avery might be adopted from the shelter. There were no takers for Avery and no other rescues available or that had the resources to take in Avery, a dog that with a low probability of being adopted, a dog that might possibly need surgery or some other type of rehabilitation program for her weak hips.

Avery is always ready to play ball

Avery is always ready to play ball

It didn’t take any strong engineering or financial skills to do a cost analysis or probability tree to realize that we would be taking a risk bringing her into our program. We knew that there was a high likelihood that she would be in our program permanently. The cold hard facts are that each rescue, big or small, has finite resources and sometimes has to say “no.” The shelter had gone above and beyond for Avery, especially given that she had no takers for a number of months.

Avery was out of options and soon to be out of time. Despite knowing the odds were stacked against her, to turn our back on Avery would be to turn our back on our mission. In rescue sometimes you just have to believe. Our mission at Sedona is to take that leap of faith on a dog like Avery. Since being in our care, Avery has responded well to her acupuncture treatments, though she still continues to wobble in her hips when she is active. She has a little motor in her that never stops and Avery just loves to chase her tennis ball, or soccer ball.

Miss Avery

Miss Avery

Like all dogs, Avery has her little quirks that only make her more adorable to us. In the first month in our program we had three potential adopters or foster homes, but each fell through for different reasons. We are still looking for her guardian angel to provide her with a home to play in, sleep in, enjoy her retirement years and provide her new family with companionship and joy. Please help us make Avery’s story complete and allow us to take leaps on faith with other dogs like Avery. You can help sponsor Avery through her Go Fund Me campaign.