Working in rescue is an amazing experience that can touch your life in positive, uplifting ways you never thought possible. However, there are two sides to rescue and at times so many animals and so many stories of incredible courage, strength and happiness are blurred and pushed to the side due to the overwhelming reasons rescue is necessary in the first place. Both sides of rescue are what drove me to be a part of it though, I’ve seen it all and still would go back for more because beyond the ugly there are beautiful examples of humanity and love. The happy endings, even though they may seem scarce, exist more than you can imagine.
It’s these happy endings that made me believe in the unbelievable, that made me push the horror to back of my head and remember the smiles burnt down to my soul. Rescue is difficult, yes, but it is worth it. It wasn’t until just recently that I wavered in my belief and this past weekend was the first time I began to slowly snap out of it. You see, being involved in rescue, of any type, can give you a superhuman complex and make you feel that you can save them all, that any behavior can be mended if only given the right attention and time, and that anything is possible. Don’t get me wrong, I truly do believe that still, but it was when my possible situation became impossible and I realized I couldn’t do the fixing, did my world come crashing down.
My very special fur-friend whom I loved and will always love dearly was among a very small percentage of cast-a-ways that could not be fixed. I never felt more like a failure than I did when that fact came to realization. How can I “rescue” when I can’t help my own dog. Not only did I question myself, I then began to question everything. Of course words of wisdom rained down on me from all corners…family, vets, behaviorists and my dear rescue friends ensuring me that we did everything we possibly could have done, but I couldn’t hear them. To me, I failed, I failed my family, I failed in rehabilitation and most of all I failed him. So why in the world would I continue to be involved with something where the endings aren’t always happy. Well…
By the Grac(ie) of God, my eyes were opened and I began to heal from a loss I never thought I would recover from. After visiting Gracie at Pawshere this past weekend, I realized I did not fail, I stumbled, and it scarred me, but there are many more who need a chance and it was wholly unfair for me to forget that. Unknowingly, Gracie Mae reignited that passion and my belief that anything IS possible. She reminded me that everything happens for a reason and our journey comes with mountains and valleys, and how we handle each of these obstacles is what matters most. It’s crazy how the eyes of one in need can change so much and the smiles that kept me involved are starting to flood back. In order to repay Ms. Gracie, I promised to find her a home.
Gracie came to Pawshere as an owner surrender through no fault of her own and only because of a family situation that could not be avoided. Gracie is a wonderful girl, sweeter than sweet, who loves people and would be an incredible addition to any family. The thing is, Gracie NEEDS YOUR HELP. She is used to a home environment and although we give her as much love as we can, the kennel is hard place for any dog and it’s starting to take its toll. I promise if you open your home and your heart, the love you receive will be endless! Gracie is a beautiful girl who is among hundreds and hundreds of dogs who don’t need to be fixed, they just need to be loved, and she deserves that chance. Help me write Gracie’s happy ending.
She is a gorgeous, loving girl whose name only gives you a glimpse of her personality, allow her to show you the rest…call us so we can introduce you to my saving Grac(ie).
Pawshere Foundation, Inc., 219-552-1111/www.freewebs.com/pawsherefoundation or find us on Facebook!
This is a subject extremely close to my heart and one that I believe is full of misconceptions. Statistically, most people when they come to a shelter to adopt are looking for puppies or "younger" dogs. I truly understand this and I would never begrudge anyone for adopting. However, what some may forget is that the older dogs can be the best dogs.
If you haven’t read the story about Lake County Animal Control and the questionable firing of their Community Liaison, Victoria Beasley, you may want to check out the original story a few posts down, titled Lake County Animal Control & Adoption.
If you do know the story, as an animal lover, you know it’s sad, yes, unfair, yes, tainted with ignorance, yes, and it makes your blood boil, absolutely; however, when one door closes…
If you are involved in rescue in our area even a little bit, then you know Victoria as the go-to girl who is determined to save the weak, the unwanted and the broken. She tirelessly fights to unite dog and family, and when these dogs wait to be chosen, she gives them hope that not all people are scary and next time they’ll be the one to go home. She has a huge heart and a relentless ambition to save every last lost soul. This is why I had no doubt that she would find a place in the rescue world after her release from Lake County. Not surprising, I was right, with a twist.
Victoria along with fellow animal lover and advocate, Tara Stanley, decided to take matters into their own hands. Having witnessed the unfair treatment of animals who may have been the wrong color, had a curable ailment that people didn’t understand, or were victims of a shoddy past that with a little bit of love and care had wonderful potential, Victoria and Tara set out to make a difference.
So as one door closes 2×2 Rescue Opens!
Just a few weeks after the disappointing decision of Lake County Animal Control, Victoria and Tara launched 2×2 Rescue in Northwest, Indiana. By definition, 2×2 is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to saving the often overlooked animals at high kill shelters. They are a “special needs” rescue with the special needs ranging from physical to mental, and the sizes and types of animals ranging from small to large and from bunny to canine.
Quickly gaining community support 2×2 Rescue is already on the map and continues to grow on a daily basis. They now can use all the help they can get. Interested in getting involved in an incredible cause, pick an avenue because there are many. For example, spread the word, tell everyone you know about 2×2 Rescue; Foster an animal big or small, this will help pave the way to save one more; Sponsor 2×2, which will allow them to medically treat and feed all who are in need; Donate, monetary or otherwise, it’s always welcome, and of course, there is Adoption.
You can make a difference by being a voice for those without. Help change the perception of the one’s who are different and support this incredible cause by getting involved.
(All the pictures in this post are animals being fostered through 2×2 and are available for adoption)
- Lake County Animal Control & Adoption (tailsfromthefur.wordpress.com)
- Lake County Animal Control II – Things That Make You Go Hmmm…. (tailsfromthefur.wordpress.com)
I was saddened even more today when I learned that by order of the Director of Lake County Animal Shelter anyone attending a peaceful gathering/protest on Saturday, June 16th in support of reinstating a valued employee will be BANNED from the shelter. This includes regular volunteers. Wow, how truly sad. My heart is breaking just thinking about the four-footed, innocent faces who are being punished. Aren’t they the meaning behind the shelter, aren’t they the one’s who matter. Why are they the being punished?
For two years I’ve spent my weekends walking dogs there. In that time, my kids played in the cat colony and learned what it meant to give back, my dogs came from there and I learned how much I loved rescue. That place ultimately changed my life. Now, because I don’t support a decision, I may not be allowed through the doors again. It’s like a punch in the stomach because every opinion and every action I take is for the one’s who don’t have a voice or a say. I expected consequence and repercussion, I’m guilty of supporting the opposite opinion of the one’s in charge, and I knew something like this would happen. I guess I was just hoping upon hope that they wouldn’t take this route because yes it hurts me, but not as much as it hurts the innocent.
That being said my frustration has turned to sadness as I remember all who touched my life and I’m reminded what this is all about. Thank you…
Although these are only a few of the faces, I remember each and every sweetheart I’ve had and hopefully will have the privilege to meet.
Being a right-brainer, business strategy is not exactly my forte, it requires a lot of planning and organization. Creative thinking and out of the box ideas, that’s my thing, however common sense even when it comes to business I can even claim to possess.
As stated in my previous posts the unfortunate position was taken by the Director and/or the Sheriff to remove a well respected employee from Lake County Animal Control and Adoption Center. Because of her popularity among the animal community, it is not surprising that the response against this decision has been hugely negative and I just have to wonder if they are regretting it. Disheartening as it is, probably not.
So can someone please tell me what exactly firing a well-respected employee has accomplished? I mean really, what was the point? I’m sure there are sides to each of their stories, but when it comes down to it, what does it matter, the firing just didn’t make any sense. Things were good. Donations, volunteers, support and funds were coming in more than ever before. Adoptions were on the rise and Lake County Adoption and Control was finally on the map. What exactly did removing the one person who made so much of that happen accomplish? It doesn’t make any sense business or otherwise. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.
This does however, begs to question who actually pays the price for this action taken. It’s not the Director, she followed orders, it’s not the Sheriff, his attorney advised him, it’s not the attorney, he probably didn’t even know all the details, and the cycle just goes on and on. The fact is, even Victoria will come out okay and possibly in a better position because of this, she is an incredible advocate and person with amazing abilities, I’m sure she will not have any problems finding a place where she can utilize her many talents.
All the negative that has come out of Victoria’s termination just doesn’t outweigh the positive. Oh wait, I still haven’t been advised of the positive, and being as involved as I am and many people are, it’s just so frustrating. Animal rescue is hard enough as it is, and not many people want this job let alone love this job, why are you going to remove someone who does both?
Any other explanation besides ego does not cut it. Read the ordinances, she followed them, ask about her history of discipline, other than the last few bogus months there was nothing, and ask for her side of the story, she’s not afraid to tell you, there is nothing to hide. My opinion is that she could have worn ugly shoes that day and she would have been let go. The fact is, someone wanted her out but the consequences of that action are now irreversible and who is ultimately paying the price? I’ll tell you who:
The employees who watched as their friend was punished for following protocol and then having to stand up for what was right. The ones who are now attempting to work in an environment that’s in upheaval, faced with the fact that they have to do everything they can to cover the giant hole left behind. Victoria may have carried only one title and held one position but she wore many hats and never stopped working. These are very large shoes that are difficult to cover let alone fill and these employees are just as innocent.
The public. Victoria was the go-to girl, people listened to her, rescues trusted her and until just recently her subordinates valued her, and all of this was earned over time. Yes, people are replaceable, but she built a huge network around her and that network is not happy with the decision to remove her. Business sense alone would tell you that letting her go would be detrimental.
The animals. The employees left behind to sort out this mess are doing all they can to maintain the level of care and comfort for the animals that they always have, but without the support of the public, the rescues and volunteers it’s almost impossible. There are many furfriends still there and they are still waiting for families and a home, they are still sleeping in a kennel, they are not politically connected, they do not know why they are there and they are sad. Sad, because not only is one of their best friends no longer there, the employees who are there and love them just as much have very limited to no time to spend with them. That’s just not fair.
It is so discouraging to continue to hear the stories of how the innocent, two-legged and four-legged, are always the ones to pay for the actions of the senseless. It is becoming extremely difficult to watch, read about and encounter dishonest, disrespectful and uncaring county employees as they do and say whatever they want without consequence (for example: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/gary/airport-official-arrested-after-allegedly-pointing-loaded-pistol-during-road/article_4d8905fc-ebc4-54fc-802c-2f518f4576de.html) and then be expected to sit back and do nothing or say nothing as someone who is the opposite of all those qualities, along with all the other innocent are punished (for example: http://www.nwitimes.com/article_261fdef2-61fd-5735-8c3a-c8195c1a0ddc.html). So those who ask why it’s a big deal, that’s why. These actions may be typical, but they’re not right and not to mention getting old.
We have stated the facts, we are voicing the need for change and we will continue to fight the good fight. Some are saying we should give it a rest, but again, that’s typical and then whatever the issue is, will be swept under the table, never to be heard of again. So sorry, we won’t give it a rest. Thank you and have a good day
I want to leave this life with my name known not because I was rich or famous, but because I stood for something good, fought for those who couldn’t and the sound of my voice continues to ring in the ears of all who listened.—Me, 2012
- Lake County Animal Control & Adoption (tailsfromthefur.wordpress.com)
As detailed in my last post, Lake County Animal Control relieved a valued and respected employee from her duties recently and many questions surrounding this termination remain. Protocol, precedent and power highlight the confusion and the facts just make you want to scratch your head.
The confusing and hard to swallow facts are that even though they say she violated the “rules” nobody, including Victoria, is quite sure which “rules” she didn’t follow. It’s very difficult to hear the reasons given by the county behind the firing saying she was a bad employee because she followed county ordinances as she did for the last four (4) years under three different directors and two different sheriffs, (never to be written up by the way, until recently). All along she believed she was doing her job as it has been written with the authority she is granted as an Animal Control Officer.
Specifically, she followed the black and white text of the Lake County, IN Code of Ordinances which can be found at http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Indiana/lakecounty_in/lakecountyindianacodeofordinances?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:lakecounty_in. However, to directly address the situation at hand I’ve highlighted a few Sections that apply which are taken from the Ordinances passed and approved 10/10/2006 in which Victoria relied:
§90.02 Animal Care Regulations.
(9) Impoundment. A violation by a person of this chapter may result in impoundment of the animal in accordance §90.05.
(19) Vaccination tags. Dogs and cats over the age of six months must be vaccinated annually by a licensed veterinarian for rabies. This was one of the violations in this case.
Animal control shall operate a program for impoundment of or the ordering of an impoundment by a third-party, including but not limited to a licensed veterinarian, the following types of domestic animals: (E) A cat or dog captured …. within Animal Control’s jurisdiction because the dog does not have a current rabies tag…
Although the above is enough to allow removal of the dogs the below is enough to fine the owners:
§90.38 Tethering of Animal.
(A) (1) An animal shall not be tethered:
(a) By use of chains…(dogs were chained)
(d) Whereby the animal is without access to shade when sunlight is likely to cause overheating … (it was 90 degrees)
(e) Whereby the animal’s food and water supply are not secured so that they cannot be tipped over by the tether; (there was no food/water)
Additionally, for the owner to reclaim their animals after impoundment the following has to happen and it didn’t:
§90.06 Disposition of Impounded Animal, Reclamation by Owner and Adoption or Destruction of Unclaimed Animals.
(2) An impounded domestic animal shall not be returned to the owner until each of the following is met:
(a) Proof of ownership;
(b) The owner making payment of all fees established under this chapter and imposed by Animal Control;
(d) The owner providing proof of rabies vaccination…
After reading the above, I am baffled as to why her actions were questioned? And then their explanation was that she needed a warrant as stated in this article: http://www.nwitimes.com/article_61a8b698-a9b4-57cb-be4a-6ac31b9647d3.html?fb_ref=.T9O0frJAz2I.like&fb_source=timeline, however,
§ 90.11 Inspection. Specifically states “Whenever it is necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of or perform any duty imposed by the section or when there is reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any building, upon any premises, or upon any land, whether it be fenced, open, public, or private, any violation of the provisions of this chapter or Indiana state law, the animal control officer or police officer is authorized at all reasonable times to inspect the same for compliance with the provisions of this chapter or state law; provided that:
(A) If the property is occupied, the officer shall first present proper credentials to the occupant and request entry explaining the reasons therefor; (proper credentials were given along with 36 hours for the owner to comply);
(D) If animal can be seen or heard from within a vehicle or trailer, and if it appears that the animal are being held under conditions posing a substantial and immediate threat to their health or lives, an animal control officer may enter the vehicle or trailer without a warrant and without the consent of any owner, whether the owner be present or absent known, or unknown;
(E) Upon such exigent circumstances described above in division (D) above, an animal control officer may enter a building or structure that is not abandoned, whether occupied or unoccupied, without a warrant and without consent of the owner, whether the owner be present or absent, known or unknown.
So, if I read the above ordinance correctly which is the law in place at this time, it specifically states she did not need a warrant. So she followed the Lake County, IN Code of Ordinances and she really didn’t need a warrant. Scratching your head yet? Yah me too. Oh and did I mention when she brought the ordinances to her superiors she was told that they probably need to be rewritten. Um – What?
- Lake County Animal Control & Adoption (tailsfromthefur.wordpress.com)
a/k/a Lake County
Animal Control & Adoption
Eh hem! Excuse me Lake County as I interrupt today’s politics…. Let me begin by saying how discouraged and sad I am for our county today.
Growing up I was always taught and I always strived to do the right thing. I will be the first to admit I didn’t always take the right path and I learned early on that doing the right thing was not always easy. Sometimes I had to choose between what was right with negative consequence or what was against my beliefs and be rewarded. You hear about people being punished for doing what we have always been taught to be right all the time. It’s heart wrenching and I ask myself why. Then I ask myself what our children are learning from us and our society, and that makes me sad and scared for what our children’s idea of right will be in the future.
Even though homeless dogs may not be important to you, they are important to many, and unfortunately the abused, homeless and silent lost their best friend today. If anyone has ever been to Lake County Animal Control in Crown Point you know Victoria as the one who knew every animal’s name and story and genuinely loved them all. There was no stronger voice for the furry innocent and sadly, Victoria has been removed from her position. Even though she followed protocol and saved a starving, neglected family of dogs from a deplorable situation, when politics got involved and ordered her to take them back where they came from, she refused and she was fired. She was fired for doing the right thing.
Maybe that’s not a big deal to you, but it should be. What is happening in Animal Control is only a very small example of how this county is run. I sat long and hard trying to determine how I would tactfully state the facts and express my feelings in this matter, so I thought I’d make fact and opinion very clear.
FACT: I met Victoria 2 years ago when I adopted 1 of the 3 dogs I have adopted from Lake County and she is the reason I began to volunteer and write about my experiences; however, Victoria was not the director of animal control.
FACT: Victoria was in Schneider and Gary for the hoarding raids, she was the one at the other end of the line when a lost or tossed animal was found, and she was the one who picked up the pieces when someone abused, neglected or abandoned an innocent pet.
OPINION: I have never met a more dedicated (on the job and off) advocate and voice for animals in need, and anyone who’s ever been to the shelter knows her and her dedication so much that they may have even thought she was in charge; however I’d love to hear if anyone does know who the director is….anyone?
FACT: Victoria removed a family of pitbulls with no food or water and tied to a tree after giving the owner adequate time to rectify the situation.
FACT: Victoria was fired after she refused to take the neglected dogs BACK to the place she took them from and was given no written reason why. In the long run, the Director took the dogs BACK to the disgusting situation and many questions remain as to why.
OPINION: Victoria saved those dogs and possibly on her own time, because Victoria worked (although she wouldn’t call it that) even when she was technically off the clock doing what she believed was right EVERY day.
FACT: Victoria ran the Lake County Animal Control’s Facebook page and has promoted and expanded their reach and ability to find new, good homes for hundreds of animals. With over 8,000 friends and connections the possibilities of finding families for the furfriends in need was enormous.
FACT: Any animal brought to Lake County from here on out will suffer because their best friend and the one who fought the endless fight for them is now senselessly removed from a position where she could make a difference.
OPINION: Heartbreaking and I have to wonder why?
FACT: I have only lived in this county for 24 years and really have only been old enough to understand county politics for roughly 10. Also FACT, in that time more than five of our county politicians or seat holders have either been investigated, indicted or found guilty of corruption, coercion or mishandling funds. In fact the FBI was in the building this week.
OPINION: That’s A LOT. Also FACT, those funds along with their salaries came from my paycheck and possibly yours.
FACT: A Sheriff Deputy accused of domestic violence was not removed from his position or suspended with pay for that matter; however, he was placed on desk duty, and from what I read at Animal Control.
OPINION: Very interesting.
FACT: The Jail Warden shows up to a hit and run accident involving one of his fellow corrections officer, intoxicated in a county vehicle and he is not arrested.
OPINION: Speechless…and Victoria is removed for not taking innocent animals back to a horrible situation?
FACT: We did have a good one, who was dedicated to her job every day for little pay and political bosses just trying to do the right thing and they fired her.
OPINION: Typical Lake County.
Lake County Animal Control has only recently been in the spotlight and recognized in the public eye. This tells me it probably wasn’t on the county’s five most important departments. If that’s the case, why are the politics of our government trickling down and enormously effecting all the good they have done and would still be doing. Why is it again that we are allowing people’s power and opinion to hurt so many innocent victims. My opinion? Victoria was extremely well known and respected in the animal world in this county and beyond and still is, the Director not so much. Maybe this became a problem and a family of pitbulls became the solution.
The community supports Victoria and is tired of politics playing any part in helping animals in need. There is no reason for it. Do you support doing the right thing, compassion, justice and fairness? If so join us at 9:00 a.m. this Saturday, June 9th, as advocates, rescuers and friends will be showing how much doing the right thing DOES MATTER by having a peaceful gathering at the 1st Annual Animal Adoption Center and Control 10K Bike Ride at Oak Ridge Prairie in Griffith, IN.
Let’s help give a voice to those who have never had one and to those who have been stripped of theirs.
- From Schneider to Home – Max’s Story (tailsfromthefur.wordpress.com)
Circus is her name and a circus is exactly where she was rescued from. Circus a/k/a Flora (which is enormously fitting) is one of 104 dogs taken from a home in Chesterton, Indiana. The story is rather unreal, just as Schneider; however, even though these dogs were in a terrible situation, they seem to be adapting to human contact quicker than the Schneider dogs. If you are unfamiliar with the Chesterton story, you can find it here.
Circus is staying with a wonderful foster family right now. They are helping her make incredible strides toward becoming a well-rounded new best friend. See, when Circus first arrived at the shelter, she was terrified of just about everything. She refused to come out of her kennel and when she finally did she had no idea what it meant to be on a leash. Her foster mom, Denise, took Circus home in an attempt to bring out her personality giving Circus a chance to become the dog Denise obviously saw she could be. (Just a side note, for anyone who fosters, I give you HUGE props, Thank You!)
The first day Circus was home with Denise she would not make eye contact and hid in the back of her crate. It took 3 people to get her out and when they did, Circus would bolt and for 45 lbs could hide in the smallest of places. However, day 2 she took treats from Denise’s hand and made eye contact, and day 3 Circus walked out of her crate on her own and wagged her tail for the first time. From day 3 on Circus has made great progress, and now, on day 8 she’s warmed up to the family, understands and responds to basic commands, loves to take walks, sleeps soundly with the other resident dogs and if you can believe it, DANCES. Yes, Circus can dance according to Denise its somewhere in the realm of “jello jiggling” :) If you ask me dancing is just another sign of happiness and apparently Ms. Circus is quite happy.
Ironically, Flora was another name given to Circus and as you can see in the last week, she is definitely blooming into a wonderful, sweet, loving little girl. Make Circus part of your family!! She is available for adoption through Lake County Animal Adoption and Control, their number is 219-769-0716.
CALL THEM AND BRING THE CIRCUS TO YOUR HOME!
P.S. If you were wondering where I got 104 dogs you can read the rest here (and also know only 80 plus a few were able to be saved).
Adopt, Adopt, Adopt, or if you can do it without have a house full, Foster, Foster, Foster!!!