h/t Turley’s blog…
I want to live at Dogtown
There was a show on the National Geographic channel a few years ago set at an Animal Sanctuary in Utah called Best Friends. They have separate enclosures for birds and cats and rabbits and horses and pigs, and the section for dogs is called Dogtown.
The show focused on their work with last chance dogs, and how they try to give them better lives. Each dog has a team of veterinarians and groomers and trainers and volunteers looking out for them, and coming up with creative ideas for how to help them with problems other shelters couldnt solve. So a half-blind, ten year old dog, who couldnt walk on a leash, had people brainstorming ways to help him live his best possible life. And, if they couldnt find him a forever home, he would always have a home at the sanctuary.
Dogtown represents the kind of safety net I wish we all had, pets and humans alike, because the volunteers and groomers and vets and trainers at Dogtown seemed to be infused with a level of compassion and persistence you dont find in regular life. The problem is that most shelters are not Dogtown. Some have the compassion, but not the skill, or they have the volunteers, but not the money, or the space.
The shelter where we got Butterfly subsidizes her medical care, and sends buses to pick up dogs from puppy mills all the time, but they have no mandate to train the dogs, or help them overcome social deficits. Their goal is to send the dogs out to new homes as soon as possible.