He’s handsome, calm, friendly, mannerly, housebroken and even knows how to ‘sit’, ‘give a paw’, give ‘other paw’, and ‘lay down’ if you ask. But what Shadow did not know was how to save himself from probable death when he landed at a high-kill shelter in Georgia.
A two year-old Doberman mix who was adopted as a puppy from Boca Raton’s Tri County Humane Society, Shadow is very blessed that as an adoptee from the no-kill shelter, he remains under their ‘Umbrella of Protection‘ for life, and he found out that Tri County takes their policy very seriously.
The couple who adopted Shadow moved to Georgia and got divorced and Shadow’s life was the collateral damage. Neither ‘parent’ wanted to keep him and he was surrendered to Sumter Humane Society in Americus, Georgia.
Tri County Humane Society has a policy to prevent their adoptees from going anywhere except back to Tri County if they are unwanted at any time, for any reason and Shadow’s adopters had signed a contract to return the animal to TC if need be. But they never contacted TCHS before his surrender to the high-kill Georgia shelter where euthanasia rates are 57% and dogs are given only 3 days to find a new family before being put down.
Luckily, as is the policy of most shelters, the Sumter staff scanned Shadow to see if he had an implanted microchip. And luckily, Tri County had implanted one in Shadow’s shoulder which is their policy with every dog. The chip identified Shadow as a Tri County adoptee and a phone call was made to the Boca Raton no-kill shelter.
Staff at both shelters immediately began to work out transport to return Shadow to Florida. With all shelters strapped for funds, they relied upon a network of caring volunteers to transport the dog. Word went out on the internet and soon Shadow was being offered rides for bits and pieces of the journey.
Seven different volunteers and seven car rides brought Shadow from Americus, GA to as far as St. Augustine, FL. Then his journey stalled until Elliot Mintzer, pilot and founder of HelpFourPaws stepped up. His rescue group of volunteers provide transport to animals in need of rescue, taking them from imminent euthanasia to arranged, loving homes or rescue groups and no-kill shelters.
Elliot himself flew Shadow in his Cessna 182 from St. Augustine to Boca Raton. He reported that Shadow had perfect manners on the flight, where he curled up on a back seat and slept. HelpFourPaws has saved 528 animals since being established just this year. Based in St. Augustine, the rescue operation runs solely on donations and is free of charge for the people on both ends of the rescue flight.
Shadow arrived back at Tri County Humane Society on Sunday, Oct. 17, much to the relief of staff there. “We protect our animals for life”, said Susan Richards, Administrative Assistant. “We don’t want our dogs euthanized”.
“Kill shelters” across the country are overloaded with pets that need homes and caring staff are not to blame for the high euthanasia rates that exist. There are just too many dogs and cats flowing into shelters. Last year, Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control took in over 18,000 animals and had to humanely euthanize over 11,000 of them.
The saddest part of all is that if everyone would adopt (not buy!), spay and neuter, and tag and microchip their pets, euthanasia numbers can easily be reduced tenfold.
As for Shadow, he took his long journey in stride and is enjoying the attention of staff and volunteers at Tri County where he waits patiently for his happy ending to become complete with a new, loving home. Stop in to meet him and the hundreds of other animals there who will capture your heart. Rescue one (or five!), or donate much needed funds to help the Boca Raton shelter save more lives!
View Tri County Humane Society’s website and just a few of the many pets available for adoption.
Donate to save more lives through Tri County Humane Society.
Learn more about HelpFourPaws and their wonderful work.
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