Ahead of our Rescue Pet Event on June 15 & 16, we spoke with PetConnect board member and local “foster parent”, Wendy Grubbs. She currently is parenting four lovable senior dogs in her home near Oxford, MD. She has been with PetConnect since 2016, and has been affectionately caring for animals since she was in kindergarten!
We asked Wendy a few questions to learn more about the organization, the national stray-animal and euthanization epidemic, the solutions, and what they’re focusing on currently in their day-to-day efforts.
What animals do you rescue and help people adopt?
Both animals we currently serve are dogs and cats. For this event, we’re focusing on adoptions for senior canines.
When did you begin and how many lives have been saved along the way?
Since 2012, PetConnet Rescue (PCR) has been fortunate enough to save between 700-800 dogs and cats annually. In 2017, we processed approximately 694 adoptions.
How and where do you find the animals you rescue?
Predominately in “kill shelters” located in the South. They have the highest rate of euthanization. It’s over 4,000 animals per day. It really breaks my heart.
Our main goal and priority at the moment is to “swoop-in” at hospice locations and rescue animals where their owners are deceased or no longer able to give care. We want to step-in and completely avoid these animals going to shelters.
What are some of the benefits of adopting an animal who is older?
Well, we personally try to encourage the adoption of seniors over puppies.
Seniors are easier, calmer and the older the person, the better it is for them to own a senior, typically. Also, for people who have kids, in this hectic world, seniors are easier to care for.
It’s a completely different commitment level, and experience. You’re caregiving. You can spoil them rotten. You’re having fun with them.
What do you say to people afraid to commit to an older pet?
People say “they’re not going to last long” and that’s probably true, but…you’re giving them a happy end of their life. It’s a wonderful “feel-good opportunity” to make sure that these dogs get what they deserve near the end of their lives…which is not dying in a shelter. It’s living with a family, in a loving environment.
Is it hard every time? Yes. Do you cry every time? Yes. But is it worth it? Absolutely.
When the first senior I adopted had to be put down, it was hard. But later that same day I found myself thinking, “if I get a call to adopt another, I’m going to stop whatever I’m doing and drive to rescue that animal!”…because it is just so worth it.
Dubya | Former Rescue | PetConnect
What are some of the ways people can support your organization, even if they already have pets?
Order food at Chewy.com (and they’ll donate $20 to PCR). Also, shop Amazon Smile (smile.amazon.com) and you can make purchases as you normally do, but a percentage of each purchase goes to the organization of your choice (please choose us!).
Do you offer any volunteer opportunities for those who are passionate about helping animals?
The absolute best way to help is by becoming a “foster”. You can fill out a foster form on our website (www.petconnectrescue.com). You’ll take one of the animals until a new home is found. We’re completely foster-based, so it’s great when one more person steps-up. Let us know and we’ll send a dog your way.
Hats off to the shelters because without them we’d be nowhere, but the foster-based system has tremendous benefits. It’s usually a brief commitment and you can volunteer one time and be done or continue as you like, it’s totally up to you. But this helps out so much you have no idea.
If potential adopters have specific questions about the adoption process, allowances, etc. where can they find more information?
They can visit www.petconnectrescue.org, where we have tons of information available, including frequenctly asked questions. And feel free to subscribe to our monthly newsletter which contains great rescue stories as well as pictures and names of animals currently looking for homes!
What also sets us apart is the specific information we can provide about each animal. Because our “fosters” spend time with every animal, they can give honest, first-person analysis about animal personality, behavior, etc. This allows us to find close to a perfect fit for potential adopters, because we can match an animal with that person’s lifestyle or preferences.
For the upcoming event with Dwelling & Design, is there a specific focus? Adoption opportunities?
Yes, for this event we are focusing on the adoption of seniors! Often, these animals are the hardest to find suitors for, but they have so much more life to live!
We’ll bring one or two adoptables on Friday; just so people are around and we can help spread the word. On Saturday I’ll bring my dog, Dubya, and he’ll be a great example to show everyone of the turnaround these animals can experience.
I’m delighted you’re doing this, I really am, and we look forward to seeing everyone this month!
For more information about the Rescue Pet Event hosted by Dwelling & Design, read the Event Announcement and Press Release. For more information about PetConnect, visit www.petconnectrescue.org.