2012 - The Year in Review
CPAA's Lesson for 2012:
Expect the Unexpected!
2012 was quite a year for CPAA. We faced many challenges, but thanks to the commitment and generosity of our volunteers and supporters, we were able to meet those challenges and give many animals a second chance at life. Read more about CPAA's work in 2012 and see the sweet faces of just a handful of the dogs we helped throughout the year.
It’s time again to reflect on the year we are leaving behind and to look forward to what lies ahead. A time to celebrate our accomplishments and learn from our failures. A time to prioritize our lives and recommit ourselves to achieving our goals.
And just when we think we have it all figured out, something will happen to change it all.
For the Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance in 2012, that game changer was a little dog named Dusty Rose.
Last year at this time, CPAA and our dedicated volunteers were very much focused on our core mission of saving the lives of dogs and cats through aggressive spay/neuter programs, adoptions, and public outreach and education. We were not really equipped to take in dogs or cats in need of new homes…we had no shelter and no real network of foster homes.
Yet, we were getting reports about dogs in need in the City of Harrisburg, and it seemed no one else was stepping up to help. Then we got the call that changed it all.
It was New Year’s Eve. Someone had found a dog in a dumpster enclosure at the corner of Cameron and Herr Streets in Harrisburg. The 5-year-old red nose pit bull was in extreme pain, suffering from a prolapsed uterus. The city wouldn’t help. Could we?
Yes. We weren’t sure how, but yes. We weren’t sure how we would pay for her surgery. We weren’t sure where she would go to recover. We weren’t sure where she would find her forever home. But we were sure of one thing…we would not and could not simply let this sweet dog suffer or die.
So we issued a plea for help, and the response was overwhelming. Before long, Dusty Rose was well on her way to recovery. She moved into a foster home and by mid-January had been adopted by her foster mom.
It was the perfect happy ending…for Dusty Rose. But for CPAA, it was really just the beginning.
With the attention given to Dusty Rose’s rescue, more and more people started calling CPAA about stray or abandoned dogs in the City of Harrisburg. A contract stalemate between the city and the Humane Society had left a gaping hole in what should have been the safety net for these dogs. CPAA ended up aiding in the rescue of more than a dozen dogs from the city during the early part of the year. (Some of those dogs found homes, but others are still with us…check them out in the “dogs for adoption” section of www.cpaa.info)
Finally, the contract dispute was settled, but it wasn’t long before CPAA was faced with its next challenge.
In March, the York County SPCA put out a plea for help for a sweet little pit bull mix who had been found behind a dumpster in York City. Clearly a victim of dog fighting, she was near death when she was found, and a dog nearby had already died. The SPCA vets tended to little Julep’s wounds and just when they thought she was ready for adoption discovered she had babesia, a tick-borne infection not uncommon to dogs involved in fighting. The infection is difficult and costly to treat. The SPCA – and Julep – needed help.
CPAA stepped in and found a foster home for Julep and then set out to find treatment for her. Today, Julep is free of infection and, after being adopted by her foster mom, is living the good life in her forever home.
Our concerns about the prevalence of dogfighting in the area were heightened after Julep’s case, and after several dogs found in the City of Harrisburg carried wounds and scars consistent with this despicable practice. And then came Honey. The 2- to 3-year-old female pit bull was brought in to the York County SPCA in July by animal control officers. She was suffering from multiple puncture wounds on her head, face and legs, but the most serious of her injuries was to her lower jaw: a 2-inch section of her jaw bone was exposed where the skin had been ripped away. The SPCA reached out to CPAA and before long, Honey was undergoing the first of several surgeries on her jaw.
Knowing the cost of Honey’s care would far exceed what we would be able to pay for, CPAA reached out to the community for help. Honey’s story was carried on local TV news stations, and thanks to blogs and Facebook, it reached beyond Pennsylvania to other states and even other countries. The outpouring of support for Honey was overwhelming and allowed us to not only fully cover the cost of her care but also to provide much-needed funding to CPAA’s Anti-Dogfighting Task Force which is working to raise awareness of this growing problem in central Pennsylvania cities including York, Harrisburg and Carlisle.
While we are sad to say we’ve made little progress on the dogfighting front, Honey’s story does have a happy ending. After several weeks of recovery in her foster home, she found her forever home and is now being spoiled by her new mom like every good dog should be!
We at CPAA could have never imagined taking on such challenges a year ago at this time. These three dogs alone represent thousands of dollars in vet bills, but thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, we were able to pay the bills, meet the challenge and find homes for these wonderful dogs.
Of course, dogs with dramatic stories like Dusty Rose, Julep and Honey almost always find homes quickly. People are moved by their suffering and want to make it up to them, to show them that human beings can be good and loving.
Over the last year, we are proud to have helped several other dogs whose stories are far less dramatic but whose need for tasty treats, a soft bed and a little tender loving care was just as great. Please take a look at the faces of these sweet souls that you helped to save.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts – and the dogs thank you from the bottoms of their paws – for making a difference in their lives.
Sadly, we are still caring for several dogs in need of forever homes. We hope you will help us create more happy endings in the new year. To learn more about our dogs up for adoption, click here.