A message from the CalWEAR front office:
As I transported Rosco (the last intake of 2017) this afternoon, I had some “quiet time” to think about this past year.
The biggest lesson I learned is that folks who find themselves in dire straits never WANT to surrender their animals. We’re usually their very last resort after they’ve checked with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers for places their dogs can stay. So many times this year, and as recent as yesterday, twice, I was on the receiving end of an intake whose owner was reduced to tears after saying goodbye. Not just tears; it was the mascara-running, bleary-vision, tummy-wrenching type that one feels when their heart is being ripped out of their chest. Recently, a family had to downsize the amount of dogs they owned. They had lost their home and the apartment they finally found for their family had a limit of two dogs; they faced eviction if they were caught with all three. Mom tried to be brave and kept her cool with me while she was telling me about her boy’s likes and dislikes, and little quirks she wanted his new owner to know. After pulling out of the parking stall, I looked out my window and caught a glimpse of her buckled over in the front seat, sobbing over her steering wheel.
Tonight, I’m thankful that were in a position to help, and I’m honored to be part of a rescue that doesn’t judge. Good news, it appears the boy will soon have a new home of his own! And I sure hope that if I’m ever in a position where I need to give up my own dogs, there’s an organization out there that would take care of them for me and find them the very best of homes so they would be well taken care of for the rest of their days.
On a brighter note, we had a lot of good times! The t-shirt fundraiser the Hendricks family did for Libby was a smashing success. Beth fostered a Weim she fell in love with and vouched for him to make sure he had a chance. Deborah took in countless dogs off the streets. Shasta’s mom was overjoyed the moment she found out Shasta was hers. (Shasta also broke our record for “most inquiries” in one single dog; we received almost 50 applications for her specifically.) We placed dogs out of state in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona. Lost dogs were reunited with their families, others who were never claim were adopted. We even talked a few owners off the ledge of surrendering their dogs and offered training and advice so they could keep them. (Hi, Spirit!) Oh, and remember Scarlett from Summer 2015?! She was a parvo puppy who came into the East LA shelter from the streets, and ultimately taken in by CalWEAR. It took an extraordinary amount of fundraising to save her life, and we received a hefty loan from a private donor to pay her medical bills. Today, Scarlett is happy and healthy, and we FINALLY scrounged up enough dollars to re-pay that loan. Whew!
Unfortunately, sadness and heartache is a part of rescue. We said goodbye to Kopek this year; he was the very FIRST dog CalWEAR ever placed in 2014. We also bid farewell to Jazz, Winnie, and Sterling, who all knew love and family in their golden years. The most heart-wrenching loss of the year was Libby. She was a dog I had in my own home as a foster. I pulled her out of the Baldwin Park shelter myself and fell in love with her the moment I met her. Libby had previously lived in a garage and was covered from head to toe in oil and grease. Underneath it all, she was perhaps the sweetest dog that has come through CalWEAR. Unfortunately, she passed on the operating table a few days later while our vet was in the middle of removing her cantaloupe-sized tumor. I didn’t see that one coming, and I’m still heartbroken over her loss. We couldn’t save Diesel or Lilly, either. We gave them a chance hoping that their aggression towards people was circumstantial, but we were wrong and feel badly that we couldn’t help them.
Looking forward to 2018, we continue our mission to help those in need. As a foster based outfit, we can’t promise we’ll have room for everyone who needs us, but we’ll do our best. We resolve to get better about fundraising, and we have all sorts of plans to improve our education and outreach efforts.
To our friends and family of adopters, fosters, transporters, well-wishers, angels and donators, a BIG thank you from me on behalf of all of us. Best wishes to you and yours in the year ahead.
– With love and gratitude, Kim/CalWEAR President and Co-Founder
for taking her into your wonderful program so last minute and finding this wonderful home for her.