Saturday, May 25, 2013

Shelter Dog Saturday - Meet Cooper

07/05/13 Update: I got word from the Humane Society of Western Montana that Cooper was adopted today! Congratulations to Cooper's new family! 

Today, I'm starting a new series of posts that will be dedicated to my local shelter dogs awaiting their forever homes.

Kootenai Pets for Life is a non-profit, community volunteer run, no-kill dog and cat shelter.

Not a single one of the wonderful people who care for these animals gets paid. They are all 100% volunteer run. They do an awesome job of caring for these animals, but things can get overwhelming at times, and during those times, they have a difficult time finding enough time in their days to work at getting dogs adopted. Most of the time they rely on people finding their dogs through their PetFinder page, or by simply walking through the door and meeting one of our wonderful dogs. The problem is we are a small community...our town has a population of less than 2,500 people, our county has only 3 towns, and the population of our very, very large county is around 18,000 people. We are rural and sparsely populated. And then add that many of our residents are low-income, we are at an all time high for joblessness AND our town has a Breed Specific Legislation...a ban on any and all breeds that are a bully-dog/mix.

With this ridiculous BSL in place, having 3 wonderful Bully mixes at our shelter is a challenge. These 3 poor girls...Spud, Gweeda and Maggie...have been living at our shelter from 1 to 1.5 YEARS! Isn't that crazy? They are great dogs...but because they look like "pit bulls", no one in our community is interested in them.

We even have one dog that has been living at the shelter for 7+ years now...a sweet hound named Scooby. After his owner died, none of his relatives wanted him, and one else did either. He's no longer up for adoption, but we don't even have foster home resources here so that this old man (around 15 yrs old I think) can live out his days in a loving home.

I'm on the computer all the time, so I offered the shelter my services to be their online media coordinator and contacting breed rescue groups and other shelters that might be able to help our dogs find homes.

The shelter has done a great job with the resources they've had, and I'm hoping to continue that by offering up fresh ideas for their website, PetFinder page, and Facebook page. I'll also be helping them implement some training for their dog volunteers so that they can help train the dogs on life skills that can reduce shelter stress and help get them adopted.

So... Please meet Cooper.
Oh, Hey! I'm Cooper :)

Cooper looks like a coonhound mix....and the current guess is that he's mixed with an Australian Shepard. Cooper is about 1.5 yrs old and his owners turned him into the shelter in January because they were moving.

He's a sweet boy, loves to be loved on, loves to be outside and explore all the smells of nature...and he is also blind. He's been blind since birth so being unable to see is no big deal to Cooper.

Being at our shelter was a challenge in navigation for Cooper, and tough on super sensitive ears. So we contacted the Humane Society of Western Montana in Missoula, MT for some help. They have an awesome training program already in place and a kennel situation that will be easier for Cooper to navigate.

Last Monday I drove Cooper the nearly 4-hour drive to Missoula, MT. He crated wonderfully, was very relaxed and slept the entire drive. In all, he was a superstar traveler.

You can find updates on Cooper at the Humane Society of Western Montana's Facebook page. He is doing great working through their Paws Ahead training program and is officially up for adoption.

If you have the room in your home and heart for a snuggle bug like Cooper, please contact the Humane Society of Western Montana for how you can give Cooper his new forever home.


Muttsandaklutz said...

Awww... I love what you're doing to help out. I've never been involved in rescue aside from adopting dogs from rescues/shelters but I understand it can be a really difficult thing to be involved with at times... Takes special people to do these things. Cooper is very lucky to have had his own special person to help give him a fresh start in life.

KB Bear said...

You're wonderful to help out. It breaks my heart to read about these dogs who need help and homes. I wish that I could adopt them all - but the next best thing is to help out like you're doing.

Kim said...

Thanks :) Rescue is hard and our shelter really is trying. But at some point you need fresh eyes, ears and ideas to keep moving forward. So I stepped up and offered help. We adopted out 3 dogs last week...that's HUGE for out shelter! So, maybe things are looking up for the pups in our community :)