When we started SHUG in 2012, I thought we'd save maybe a dozen dogs a year. Our first year we saved 92. Reeling from that number a year ago, my hope for 2014 was to keep our momentum going--although I wouldn't have been disappointed if our numbers were a little lower. Of course, I knew halfway through the year that wasn't going to happen. So I'm not surprised (although I am a little scared) to announce that in 2014 SHUG was able to take in 143 dogs.
As the head pooperscooper around here, I can tell you that's really a LOT of dogs. Especially for an organization that doesn't have a kennel. We rely on our fosters--and they are truly awesome. Our foster moms and dads--and their resident dogs--open their homes and share their dog beds. They've lost remotes, expensive leather purses, sleep . . . and their hearts.
While foster homes get the glory--and the midnight wakeups and the peed-on rugs--we couldn't find homes for these dogs without our application processors. As hard as it is to care for 143 dogs, it would all be for nothing if we didn't have a team of volunteers making calls and conducting interviews and home visits to make sure these dogs have the lives we want for them.
And that's what it really comes down to--the lives we want for them. You may have noticed that SHUG doesn't post "horror stories" on our site or our Facebook page. The dogs that come to us are usually not in mortal danger. We don't pull dogs off the street or from the clutches of evil humans. Most of our dogs come from other rescues. In 2014 we received 97 dogs from other rescues or shelters. Technically these dogs had already been "saved" before they ever came to us.
The other 46 dogs that came to SHUG did so from their original owners--and none of them were evil people. There are many reasons that someone can no longer care for their dog. We thank their owners for trusting us enough to find them homes where they can lie on couches and wear silly sweaters.
We have been lucky to be in a position to help some dogs with serious injuries that their owners couldn't afford to treat and couldn't realistically care for during their rehabilitation. (Yes, Avery, Rosebud and Zero I'm thinking of you.)
Because that is what SHUG is about. The Happy Endings. Couches and silly sweaters and lazy Sundays snuggled in bed with a human that you know belongs to you. And we would like to thank our volunteers and supporters for making that possible for 143 dogs in 2014.
Ms. Michael Owens, Director
The Sighthound Underground
P.S. Here are some other ways that our 2014 numbers break down:
97 from other shelters and rescues
46 from individuals
76 from Spain
49 from the US
11 from the Middle East
7 from Korea
11 Italian Greyhounds
3 Afghan Hounds