This is the story of our Angels. In the summer of 2014 (August 9th) we were blessed enough to receive 3 angels! That day has since changed our lives forever. We welcomed Handsome, Badger and Molly! As of August 9th, 2015 we have welcomed 35 Angels to Lil' Rascals. Dogs are incredibly resistant creatures. The lasting effects of what these dogs had[have] endured was[is] very obvious. From the moment our eyes meet these dogs, there is nothing but love. When the Angels first arrive here we assess them and go through the intake process. Going through the intake process is sometimes very stressful for the Angels. Most of these dogs have never felt a warm, loving human touch before. These dogs have lived their entire lives, as long as 11 years in a wire cage, that is all they know. When we assess the Angels we thoroughly check them over, charting any issues we see physically. Most of the Angels are older and they need extensive dental work, sometimes females need mammary tumors removed, they have cataracts, ear infections, growths, broken legs, heart conditions, kidney/bladder stones and other medical ailments. All need the basic things, to be spayed or neutered, all vaccinations, dewormed and microchipped, along with ear cleanings, nail trims and grooming. All the Angels have any needs they may taken care of, no matter how big or small. During the intake process the Angels will be vaccinated, administered dewormer, a microchip and Frontline. They will be also fitted with their very own collar, harness, leash and Lil' Rascals I.D tag. The Angels are seen by our vet as soon as possible, or if we know they are coming in advance we have an appointment already set up. After the intake process is done we then evaluate the Angels' needs so we can send them off to their foster homes. Each dog is different in their needs. Some cannot tolerate being in a kennel but some may feel it is a safe spot for them to hide. Others may not have many or any teeth so they need a special diet of canned food. When handling the Angels we are very diligent in making sure we are very careful with them, making sure we are very gentle and they feel as safe as possible. Everyone who is interested in fostering goes through a very thorough process, including filling out a foster application, doing a phone interview, where they are explained everything about the Angels, including what to expect and having a home visit completed. When it is time for the Angels to be placed into their foster home they are sent with all the supplies they will need and we take Angels who have new fosters to the foster home where we will then meet with the foster, introduce the dog and answer any questions the foster may have. Because these dogs have lived in a cage their entire lives they are very used to going to the bathroom right where they are standing. So while the Angels are in their foster homes, the Foster works with the Angels on socialization, being around people, being touched by people, being groomed, walking on a leash and housetraining just to name a few. The Angels are posted on our website as available for adoption and when they are fully vetted and the foster agrees they are ready to go to their forever homes, we match the dog with the best applicant and then the dog is able to go home. After the Angels are adopted we keep up with them. We check in often to see how things are going and to make sure the Angels are still doing well. The most joyful part for us is to be able to receive photos and updates of the Angels, living the good life in their new homes, seeing how far they have come. The Angels are the fun, but difficult dogs to work with. At times it can be frustrating, especially if you don't understand their behavior but yet you get to see all their firsts. Walking on the grass, feeling the sunshine, the rain, snow, breathing the fresh air, laying in a dog bed or even playing with a toy are all things the Angels have never been able to experience before. What are Angels?: The "Angels" are 'retired breeders', meaning these dogs were used to produce puppies at commercial breeding facilities. 99% of puppies sold in pet stores come from commercial breeding facilities. These mothers and fathers live their entire lives in small cages, barely bigger than themselves. They live their entire lives without basic veterinary care, quality food, socialization and human contact, ever seeing the sunshine, feeling the grass beneath their feet or breathing fresh air. The lucky ones are released to rescues so they can start a new life and receive the care they so desperately need. More info on Commercial Breeding Facilities: http://www.lilrascalsrefuge.org/blog/puppy-mills
Want to be a hero? Please consider making a contribution in the honor of the Angels so we can continue to welcome them in under our wings.