|A 'Puppy Lift' - from both sides|
|Wednesday, 07 September 2011 08:18|
I had followed the previous ones from afar: reading the updates, seeing the e-mails, donating, and praying that they’d be able to get many puppies safely to their new lives in the US. But to be there while the actual puppy lift was happening was, to me, an extra bonus.
Some new crates arrived from the states the same day that I did. The new crates have to be assembled and the used ones have to be checked for safety. Then there’s the task of labeling each one with the destination and names of the pups that will be inside.Back to the selection of dogs: when there are approximately 400 canines at HSGB, it is no easy task to pick out the prospective passengers. One limitation is that most shelters will only take puppies and young dogs, teenagers if you will; some places limit the size they will accept by weight. Nonetheless, there are still plenty to choose from. While I was not involved in the selection process, I saw how difficult it was for those in charge to “make the cuts”. The dogs have to be in good health and old enough to travel. A few lucky adults were able to go to breed specific rescues, such as Siberian Huskie or Doberman.
Once the dogs are chosen, the paperwork has to be done. There are kennel cards and health certificates required for each one. There are also requirements for paperwork for the flight. This all takes hours of time and effort, in particular by the director and medical staff. Everything must be in order when they depart.
A few days before they leave, all the dogs have to be bathed; the littlest pups must be bathed the morning of their departure (for obvious reasons!)
Early that day (which was Monday August 15th), staff started getting the dogs ready to go; each must be put in his or her assigned crate; sometimes there are two or three young dogs together and in some cases, for the small puppies, a much larger number travel together. The paperwork for each dog must be attached to the appropriate crate.
And as heart-warming as witnessing a puppy lift is, it is equally heartbreaking to realize that there are three times that number of dogs and pups still remaining at the shelter, their chances of getting adopted into a good home slim at best.
Some will spend their entire and often short lives living at the shelter. Yes, they are well cared for, get sufficient food and exercise and needed medical care. But for anyone who has ever connected with a dog, it is obvious that they deserve more.
Can’t you find it in your heart to do your part? Spay or neuter your pet; adopt from the shelter, don’t buy or breed; volunteer your time; make a donation. Everyone can do something!
Visit the Humane Society of Grand Bahama shelter on Coral Rd. (just before the airport) or call (242) 352-2477.
Photo 1: Author Stephanie Winus relaxes with a friend during her visit the to Humane Society of Grand Bahama in the midst of an 'Operation Puppy Lift'
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