Archive for January, 2012
“ Dear Karen -
Thank you so much for the care you gave my babies. I miss them so much. Angel is in a far better world now, and I dream about Feather going to some 8-10 year old girl who will comb her and put pig tails or pony tails in her hair. Again, thank you for your help.
Sincerely Ellen.. ”
Last month two small senior dogs were brought to the Allegan Shelter by a family member. Their owner, an elderly woman in rehab for a back injury and in declining health, felt she could no longer care for them properly.
Wishbone contacted NBS Rescue in Ferndale MI, a group specializing in re-homing small breed dogs. Sadly, Angel, a long haired Chihuahua mix was subsequently diagnosed with severe bladder stones that could not be removed due to her age, as her health declined, and with consent of her previous owner Ellen, she was put to sleep. However, her companion Feather, a miniature poodle mix is now on her way to a permanent home to live out the remainder of her life.
Unfortunately this is a story that is played out daily at animal shelters across the country. Thankfully rescue groups like NBS have the resources and determination to step in and provide help. Without the help of such groups, the Allegan Shelter would be the last stop for many more homeless pets.
Meet Beth Allspach and Nancy Manchip, two “old timers” who are regular figures at the Allegan County Animal Shelter. And by “old timers” I mean they predate almost every other shelter volunteer by at least six years.
Nancy is a special education teacher in Hopkins. When she’s not volunteering for Wishbone, she helps out Michigan Basset Rescue in Waterford, MI, and has two Bassets and a Bagel of her own. She and her husband Steve also foster cats for Harbor Humane Society and just recently placed two special needs cats she’d fostered for over two years. Beth is a Complex Services Manager for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Beth has a soft spot for small senior dogs in need. Over the years Beth has pulled several seniors from our shelter, including a senior dachshund that is determined to drive Beth’s husband Steve from their home.
Beth and Nancy met as volunteers at the Kent County Humane Society in the mid 1990s. Unhappy with the direction and management changes, in 2002 Nancy suggested they approach the old Allegan County Animal Shelter and offer to walk dogs on weekends. At that time dogs were only walked occasionally by trustees during morning cleaning. It took a bit of arm twisting and haggling but eventually Lt. Baker and Sr. Animal Control Officer Tim Halstead relented. And though the road remained bumpy for a number of years, Beth and Nancy have been walking dogs more or less continuously for the Allegan Shelter since 2002. These days they can be found rain, snow, or shine bright and early at the shelter several Saturdays each month.
“They are model volunteers, dependable, fun to work with, and knowledgeable. I look forward to Saturdays when they join us…” said Jeff Stiegman, one of the weekend volunteer coordinators.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Allegan Shelter contact us at volunteers@wishbonepetrescue.