Animal rescuers to the rescue!
The Charlottesville Derby Dames were gracious hosts to us once again this past weekend amid the terrible events in their hometown. We also made some new friends in our travels to play our final away game of the season. The below stories are from our skaters about how they came to rescue not one but 5 animals in the past week!
From Buffy Shovers:
I started rescuing animals as a kid and have never stopped. I have countless stories of these adventures; from stopping traffic to help turtles cross the road to feeding stray cats. Too often I find animals choosing to adopt me, instead of the other way around. Just two months ago, my partner and I took in a dog that showed up in our neighborhood and went unclaimed after sitting in the shelter for a week.
Sadly, I can’t provide a home to every animal that comes my way. This past weekend while heading home from our away game with Charlottesville Derby Dames, my partner and I were stopped by a dog running in the road. We quickly pulled off and she came running up to the car. As soon as I opened the car door she hopped on in like she owned it. We tried to locate her owner but with no luck, we made the decision to bring her home and decide what to do from there.
When attempting to introduce her to our two dogs, she was frightened while our dogs were a bit too excited to see a new friend. (This isn’t to say she wouldn’t get along with other dogs, I think it was just a very stressful situation.) Already knowing that we didn’t have the capacity to adopt her, we contacted Durham County Animal Services to bring her to the Durham County Animal Shelter. She had no microchip and I imagine she will be available to adopt within a week or two. If you have room in your home and heart, please consider going to meet this sweet and beautiful girl. I was only able to spend a short time with her but was able to see that she would make a great companion. And remember to adopt, don’t shop! There are many cuties in your local shelters just waiting to love you.
From Ginger Clobbers:
While driving on a highway in rural Virginia, we came across a dog in the road. We could see he had a collar, and we stopped to see if we could help him get home. Unfortunately, his tag was missing. He was happy to see us but seemed confused. He sat down in the middle of the road as a semi came speeding towards us. I scooped him up and put him in our car before he could get hit.
The first thing I noticed about him was the sound he made – he was snorting like a pig! On closer inspection we realized he had a defect in his jaw, giving him a severe overbite. He seemed to be a corgi mix of some kind, and while vey friendly, he clearly was nervous about being in a car. He was very dirty, smelled terrible and was shedding tremendously. Oh, did I mention it was raining? So he was wet too.
We stopped at a nearby house and asked the owner if he recognized the dog. He did not. So what to do?! We had to be at the venue by 2:00; though we had left home early, we still had limited time to handle this situation.
Our cell service was sketchy, but we found the address for the local veterinary clinic. Unfortunately, they weren’t open that Saturday. We then spotted the mail person and followed her until she stopped. I explained the situation to her and asked if she could recommend where to take him or if she recognized him (she did not). She gave us the name of the Lunenburg animal shelter.
We found the address and headed there. Upon driving up to a stark concrete building with multiple kennels, the dogs being housed there perked up and wagged their tails. It was heartbreaking to see so many homeless dogs! With no sign of human life around, my teammate, Punch, got out of the car to look around while I called the number for the shelter. While on the phone, Punch noticed a white styrofoam box by the gate. There were two tiny kittens in there, soaking wet and crying loudly.
On the phone, I was told that the dog warden wasn’t working that day and he would only come for the dog if he was injured (which he wasn’t). I told them about the kittens and it wasn’t clear if they would be coming for them. Frustrated, I grabbed the box (which was filling with rainwater), and put the kittens in the car. We left that place and decided to continue on. We looked up all the rescues in the surrounding area, hoping to find someone who could take our increasing number of charges.
After stopping at a gas station to regroup and use the restroom, we finally got in touch with someone who could help us. Misty at the One Stop Pet Drop in Waynesboro would take the animals for the night! It was 2 hours away but very close to the venue. We could drop off the animals and still be (just) on time!
Misty was our savior, I can’t thank her and her staff enough for helping us out in a stressful situation. I don’t know what we would have done without her generosity.
She cared for the dog and kittens while we played a couple of games of roller derby. We picked them up in the morning before heading home with the plan to try to find the dog’s owner on the way home. No luck there, no one on the road where we found him claimed him or knew where he came from. Not knowing what else to do we just brought them all home with us. The kittens looked much better on Sunday. They had dried out, were moving around and were interested in food.
At home in Raleigh, I took everyone to the vet. Other than needing his anal glands emptied, the dog, whom we’ve been calling Doug, got a clean bill of health. He weighed in at 37 lbs. His blood work came back negative for heartworms, which is what I was most worried about. It was difficult to determine his age because the vet couldn’t get a good look at his teeth, but when he’s under sedation for his neutering they can do a proper inspection. The snorting sound is likely from the way air passes over his exposed soft palate due to his congenital deformity.
The kittens were also deemed to be healthy. They’re likely 3-4 weeks old. The black one, the male weighed in at 0.67 lbs and the female was 0.72. So tiny!
The kittens required a lot of attention – they needed a momma! Luckily they were eating the canned kitten food I gave them so I didn’t need
to bottle feed them. It was hard to keep them clean though because they would smash their faces in the food when eating. They wanted me to hold them all the time, so they slept curled up with me. Unfortunately I woke up soaked in pee that first morning. I made them a little litter box and they instinctively knew how to use it.
Doug took a few days to settle in at our home. I have 2 other dogs, a 100 lb lab/hound 10 year old female and a 65 lb pit/hound 4 year old make. Molly, my female, let Doug know that he should leave her alone, but Tigger, my male, wanted to be friends. Everyone seems to be settling into the new situation; hopefully once Doug gets fixed he’ll stop trying to hump Tigger.
I was able to find a good home for the kittens on the Tuesday after I found them. A young woman who rescues cats took them in and will give them the attention they need. She currently has a nursing mother who can hopefully care for the kittens better than us humans could.
Plot twist: Tuesday evening, after finding the kittens a home, my husband discovered a little grey kitten
crying at our back door. Apparently I’m a homeless animal magnet! This little girl is a bit older than the other kittens, I’d guess 6-8 weeks old. She had been on her own for a little bit because she’s very thin. Her back left leg seems to be injured. I’m taking her to the vet today (Thursday). She’s been eating well since we took her in and she seems otherwise healthy.
Although I haven’t been sleeping well, and adding extra animals to our brood has been stressful, my heart is very full knowing that we saved four lives. I’m happy to pay to help these animals be healthy, but I am accepting donations for their care. And if anyone is looking to give a sweet kitten a good home, this cute grey kitty is available!
If you have any interest in adopting these animals, please contact us and we will be happy to help in any way that we can!