Dear Friend of SARL,
The animals that pass through our doors always arrive with their own unique stories. Some have been surrendered by an owner who simply could not take care of them any longer. Others have been found wandering on their own or are from other shelters that are overcrowded and do not have enough space. But the animals who leave the biggest paw prints on SARL’s history are the ones who come to us neglected or abused and have lost their trust in humans. With support from donors like you, we have a chance to change their lives.
In April of 2017, a dog named Abbey arrived at SARL. It was clear that the world had not been kind to her. As one of 66 dogs who had been rescued from organized dogfighting in multiple states, she had never experienced human decency, let alone kindness; every tiny aspect of this world was a cause of fear and anxiety for this beautiful animal. Abbey’s arrival at SARL made a particularly deep impression on one of SARL’s staff members, Felicia. Felicia recalls the day she met Abbey:
"Abbey came to SARL in April 2017 as an extremely anxious and incomplete animal. I was
Abbey’s welcoming party the day she arrived at SARL and cried at the sight of her. This
beautiful dog was broken and afraid of the world around her. It was beyond heartbreaking
to see her so afraid of not only me, but every little thing. Every noise and movement
sent her into a state of panic."
The following months brought small but victorious improvements for Abbey. She slowly learned how to do the things that come naturally to most dogs. Spending time with other confident dogs gave her the courage to try new things. Throughout all these small but important changes for Abbey, SARL’s staff and dedicated volunteers were there by her side, helping her learn how to be a dog. One of the most memorable moments for Felicia was when Abbey built up enough courage to play:
"For weeks I took her in the play yard and attempted to engage her in a game of fetch. At that point she did not know chasing after a toy was something fun to do. She never once moved fast enough to run… not until something clicked within her that she was strong enough to dash after a soaring ball! Again, I cried tears, but this time it was because of pure joy. I was so proud of Abbey that day; that was something I was not sure she would ever be able to do: play!"
Despite this turning point, Abbey still had a long way to go on her road to recovery. Two long-time members of the SARL family, Janice and Andrew, took Abbey into foster. Being in a real home for the first time in her life allowed Abbey to try her paw at things she had never had a chance to do before. She was able to enjoy the simple pleasure of being loved. During the months that Abbey was at SARL, Felicia began to consider adopting Abbey. She understood that Abbey’s uniquely challenging background meant that she might never overcome all the fear from her past, and that her traumatizing puppyhood could plague her for the rest of her life. Felicia was determined not to let Abbey’s past get in the way of her ability to have a happy future. Ten months after arriving at SARL, Abbey found her forever home.
"Abbey has never stopped amazing me with how resilient and strong she truly
is. She has overcome so much in her short life. She now knows what being a
part of a family feels like. She is house-trained, goes for walks daily, and is
very sweet and affectionate! After an adjustment period, Abbey has become a
wonderful canine sibling to my other dog, Cleo. Abbey enjoys greeting
friends and family with kisses and loves to sit for them if she knows she will
be rewarded with treats."
Because of Abbey’s time at SARL and the patience and dedication of staff and volunteers, a story that appeared so bleak and broken at the beginning blossomed into a love story. This holiday season, Abbey and her new family celebrate the anniversary of her adoption.
Every animal who comes to SARL with a difficult past deserves the chance that Abbey had. We rely on donors like you to make these chances possible. Without donations from our generous donors, SARL would not have been able to care for Abbey for so long and allow her to progress at her own pace. Please support us in our mission to provide a safe haven, compassionate care, and new permanent homes for the cats and dogs who truly need them by making your contribution today.
Events & Marketing Manager
"The dog Abbey once was is no longer who she is today. Thankfully she will never have to experience the horrors of her previous life again, and her future is full of compassion and love. I feel honored to adopt such a wonderful dog and know that I was the start and end of Abbey’s experience at SARL."
P.S. Show the cats and dogs at SARL that you want their futures to be full of love, no matter what their pasts contain. Click below to make your donation today! It could make all the difference for an animal like Abbey.