Here’s a story to restore your faith in the goodness of people.
The young man is Conner C., an employee at the shelter for the past three years. Conner actually started as a volunteer while he was going to Sonoma State and then became a part-time Animal Shelter Assistant. He was promoted to the Lead Shelter Assistant over a year ago and also took on the position of Volunteer and Adoption Outreach Coordinator. With his affable and unflappable personality, he was a favorite of the volunteers here and the animals appreciated all his care too. We were sad when he gave notice in January because he was accepted for an internship in the field he studied, all the way in Georgia – way too far to commute! We appreciated that he stayed until the end of February in order to help train the new volunteer coordinator and to assist with our big fundraiser, Bark After Dark. That’s the kind of conscientious person he is; he didn’t want to leave us without knowing “his” volunteers would be in good hands.
The dog is Daisy, a 9-year old lab-mix that came into the shelter as a stray the end of January. She was microchipped so we went to work trying to find her owner. The chip led to a man without an address and the phone number went to a business that never heard of him. We sent an email to the address on file, posted her photo on our Facebook page and Nextdoor.com in the hopes that someone would recognize her and connect her owner with us. We try everything we can to try and find the parents of our lost animals!
We were so happy when we finally were able to make contact with the owner but found out that he was not in a situation where he could take the dog back. He was talking to his family, a sister in Santa Rosa and a mother and sister in Kentucky, to see if they could help out. They also knew and loved Miss Daisy and the mother agreed to take her on. Unfortunately the mom had health issues that would prevent a 2-week road trip from Kentucky to come get the dog so she started looking into flying the dog there.
If you’ve ever flown an animal, you know how difficult it is and how restrictive the airlines have become. They thought they had it all figured out with a flight booked from San Francisco through Chicago to Kentucky, which would have meant the dog would be in the crate for almost 12 hours! But still it seemed do-able until they got to the crate requirements. The crate had to be under a certain height but also had to be big enough to stand up in comfortably. She was taller than the height limit! In the meantime we were helping by keeping Daisy safe and healthy here and working with the family on their plans; getting a health certificate together for them, etc.
The good deed: It was after they had exhausted their resources and had sadly signed Daisy over to us that staff was talking about the situation and Conner said, “You know, I am driving to Georgia in a couple weeks. Maybe I need a road trip partner.” We discussed the logistics and made sure Conner was really going to be able to do it before he called the mother and offered to bring Daisy to her. You can’t imagine the appreciation she felt to this stranger who was willing to drive at least ten hours out of his way to get a dog back home.
So, Conner adopted Daisy, and off they went on an adventure together! Check out our Facebook page for photos of them at various stops along the way and the reunion of Daisy with her Kentucky family. Do we do everything we can to help reunite lost pets? I’d say so!! We love happy endings.
Sonoma County Bunfest is coming! This family friendly event will be Sat., March 28, 11-3 p.m. at the RP Community Center. It’s free and features top-notch speakers, bunny products for purchase, rabbit rescues, arts and crafts and other kid activities, and adorable rabbits of course! Find out more at SonomaCountyBunfest.com.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.