As the big white transport van pulled up in front of the shelter, a chorus of barks and whines filled the air. When the doors opened, they revealed crates stacked from the floor to the ceiling filled with dogs of all colors and sizes. There must have been at least 50 dogs in all, each one given another chance at a new life where there had previously been no opportunity for such.
One by one, the dogs coming to Little Traverse Bay Humane Society were unloaded from their crates and walked—it had been a long journey and they seemed grateful to finally be free.
Recently, 14 dogs arrived at Little Traverse Bay Humane Society all the way from The Lone Star State, each in search of a new life and forever home. These 14 were part of a larger group of dogs who had been pulled from at-risk shelters in Texas. They were all making their way across the country to other no-kill organizations where they would have a better chance of finding a forever home. Some of these dogs were even continuing their journey as far east as Connecticut.
We are so thankful that we’re able to help rescue these animals in need. We are also grateful to be able to have established positive partnerships with rescue groups across the country whose goal is to try to pull as many at-risk animals as possible and send them to safety.
Sometimes people ask us why we take in dogs from rescues so far away. We take in every adoptable animal from our local stray center, which honestly, isn’t many. One of the reasons behind this is that each animal that leaves LTBHS is spayed or neutered, which reduces the number of unwanted litters in our community. This combined with our invaluable low-cost spay/neuter programs has greatly reduced the local pet overpopulation problem. Since every dog or cat who is adopted through us is microchipped, pets can easily be reunited with their families, so this reduces the number of stray animals, as well.
While our focus as always been on Emmet County first and foremost, we have developed many positive relationships with other shelters and rescue groups over the years. We strive to work with a number of Michigan-based rescue groups so that we can bring in as many adoptable animals as possible which include Northern Michigan Animal Rescue Group and Humane Animal Treatment Society (HATS), among others. We also work with groups out of state, as well. Often times, these rescue missions do not come at any additional cost to us since the majority of these animals come already vetted and transport costs are covered. The benefit is mutual: we are able to ease the burden on other shelters where the unwanted pet population is high, and in turn, we have many adoptable dogs available at our shelter.
Our goal each year is to save as many animals as possible. In 2014, we broke all previous records by finding homes for over 700 animals. We are on track to break records once again this year, which is something we are incredibly proud of. The bottom line is that no matter where they come from, it is the animals who are benefitting by being given a second chance at life and the opportunity for a forever home. We are happy to play a part in that.