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Reality TV... Here We Come

What makes a good Reality TV Show?  Drama, interesting characters and fun stories.  Well, here at the Lynchburg Humane Society we have it all! Any national TV stations out there that want to start a Reality TV Show we are here and available!  We don’t have a cute name to suggest yet but here are some of the fun things we could feature.  We are open to the public from 12-5:30 during the week and 12-5 on Saturday and Sunday.  We have a tiny counter where all things happen.  Animal’s being turned in by their owner, people making appointments for spay/neuter, taking lost or found animal reports, adoptions, stray animal intake, and all questions animal related.  We receive in about 50 calls a day about anything from: I have a dog that needs medical help and I can’t afford it to I am trapped in my home because the feral cats are trying to attack me and my family.  We get in dogs that are dangerous and need to be confined for months while they wait for their court cases and sometimes with that comes the emotional angry owners wanting to visit or who can’t afford the money it takes to care for their pets.  We had a call one day from a man who had called the police because his dog would not get off his sofa and he was upset because they wouldn’t help him. Last week we had a call from a woman wanting to surrender her cats because she has 25 and they keep breeding and she doesn’t want to end up a crazy cat lady with 100 cats in her trailer.  We often find ourselves in the middle of a lot of family and relationship disputes.  This week a gentleman called the animal wardens about a dog that a homeless person just left in his yard and later a woman called (the owner of the dog) to let us know that it was her father who had the warden pick up her dog because she was homeless and in the hospital.  Then there was the boyfriend wanting to turn in his girlfriend’s dog because she had moved out and he refused to call her. We called her and mediated a mutually agreed upon plan for the dog.   Or the puppy we received in that was thrown from a moving car because the couple was fighting and then they tried to get the puppy back.   They didn’t.
     One day a nice woman came to our door knocking on it around 10 am with two dogs, crying.  Her house had burnt down the week prior and she was staying at her parents and her parents said the dogs had to go or she would be kicked out.  She had been driving around for an hour crying in her car trying to find a solution with friends and other relatives but no one could help her.  It was a very sad situation.  One was a tiny older dog and an adorable puppy.  We took them in and held them for her for a few days in hopes she would figure out a solution.  She did! She got an apartment that would allow pets and the whole situation worked out.
     Everyone should come and witness what a Thursday at 12:00 noon looks like when we open our doors.  We have 15-20 people waiting to come in. Most picking up their pets that have come back from being spayed/neutered at our clinic but some trying to bring us owned or stray animals, dropping off donations, volunteers coming in to walk dogs/socalize cats or people wanting to adopt.  We have our lobby area stacked with animals in crates coming off our transport waiting to go home, the phones are ringing off the hook as we try and help everyone in a timely manner.  Because we open at 12 noon everyone calls then trying to reach someone but on a Thursday we have to let them go to voice mail and then the messages we get are often frustrated people who couldn’t get a hold of anyone.   Just this past Thursday we had a message that only said “tick tock tick tock your time is running out.”  WHAT?
     Then there are the cruelty or neglect cases where we end up taking in a large number of animals from a very bad situation in one pop.  Each year we get them.  One year we had 48 dogs come in, the next year it was 19 large, not so nice dogs and this year we had 4 mother dogs with 1-2 week old puppies and 8 additional adult dogs come in all at one time.  The owners are usually confused or embarrassed and always upset. More times than not we often get paid a visit or a phone call and you can imagine what that is like.
     Of course there are the fun stories!  Indiana was a large black lab mix who was adopted from us and unfortunately turned into a high kill shelter in MD. The shelter called us and thankfully a couple of very generous volunteers made the trek to meet a staff member half way to pick up Indiana and bring her back to us.  Then one day a nice foster volunteer was picking up a foster kitten (1 month old) and saw Indiana and fell in love.  After a three day foster trial period they decided to keep Indiana.  Why?  Because she had bonded with their foster kitten and would pick her up in her mouth and take the kitten to the food bowl.  That shows you what a community that cares about pets can do!  Then there was the family who just had a baby 6 months ago and bought their first house and they wanted to adopt a dog so their daughter had a pet growing up. To the strong man’s man who always had boxers but decided to adopt a cocker spaniel mix named Princess with pink bows in her hair because he wanted to help a pet in need and his wife had fallen in love with  her.  One of our favorites is the story of the three dogs left at Riverside Park that were so shy and afraid of people that took three days to capture them.  They lived in our staff bathroom for a week while we worked on making them more social.  After the third day we had them licking our hands and coming up for more attention.  They were beautiful white lab/spitz mix dogs that now have a real chance in a home that will care and love them.  We could go on and on, from the puppies found in a dumpster that needed to be bottle fed every 3-4 hours and the wonderful volunteer who stepped up, to the college student who just graduated and couldn’t wait to get her first cat.  To the children who instead of receiving birthday gifts asked for donations for the animals.  We live in an amazing community where everyone is somehow interconnected and always willing to help out and be a part of the solution and to assist others in need. We care about each other! We think that is the best reason we should get a reality TV show!  Wait we got a good name: Paw Stars!
Keep a look out for our next episode of our other Realty TV idea...These are the Spays of our lives: Stories from our Spay/neuter clinic.

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