For some dogs, shelters are a short-term solution while they wait for their new forever home. But those are the lucky ones. For the less fortunate, shelters are less of a short-term solution and more of a long-term sentence. Take Molly, a friendly little pooch with a big heart, a winning smile, and an 11-year term in a UK shelter. Molly was just 8 months old when she was found wandering the streets of Loughborough as a stray. After being taken to Dogs Trust (the largest dog welfare charity in the UK), the young pup quickly won over staff with her friendly charm. It would only be a matter of time, surely, before she did the same with a new family. But the time stretched on. And on. 11 years later, and she’s still there. Having earned the unwanted title of Dogs Trust’s longest serving member, Molly’s entered her golden years without ever having a family or home to call her own.
But if the staff at Dogs Trust have anything to do with it, it won’t be for much longer. Determined to give the little dog a 2nd chance at a life outside the shelter, the shelter’s manager, Celine Di Crocco, has launched a campaign to find Molly a home. “Molly is a very special girl with a big heart,” Di Crocco tells iheartdogs.com. “We would love her to finally find the home she deserves.” Unfortunately, it may be easier said than done. Not only do most new owners tend to prefer puppies to seniors, Molly has a few behavioral issues that mean not all adopters are suitable candidates. Despite being well behaved and super friendly, Molly is a little nervous around men, and would be happier in a home without other pets or children. “She finds it easier to bond with one person so this would make it easier for her to settle in a new home,” Di Crocco explains. “Molly can live with adults but no other pets.”
The Perfect House Guest
Despite never having had a home of her own, Molly has proved herself the perfect houseguest on the couple of occasions Di Crocco has invited her to spend the night at her own home. “Although she hasn’t spent much time in a home, Molly has stayed with me and she was the ideal house guest,” she’s said via funkipets.co.za. “She was perfectly comfortable with all the different sounds and smells, slept in the lounge and enjoyed cuddling on the sofa in the evening.”
The Campaign to Find Molly’s Forever Home
Molly may have lived at Dogs Trust for over a decade, but the shelter’s staff haven’t giving up her. Despite her tough start in life, Molly has all the qualities to make someone a great companion. The shelter hoped to have found her a new home by this September, with Di Crocco saying “Every dog deserves a loving family. We’re hoping that this Grandparent’s Day, Molly finally gets to meet hers.” Unfortunately, September came and went without Molly finding a new home, but everyone’s keeping their fingers and paws crossed for a happy ending very soon. Until that day comes, Molly is in safe hands at the trust. “We look after all of our dogs until the time is right for them to head home with their new family, however long it takes,” Di Crocco says. “Molly will be with us until that day comes, but we would like to think her wait will soon be over.” Let’s hope it is.
How You Can Help
Not everyone can adopt a dog like Molly. Shelter dogs have certain needs, and not everyone’s going to be equipped to meet them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help. If you want to help make the lives of dog’s like Molly better, you might want to consider…
Asking for Donations
Got a big birthday coming up? Instead of drawing up a wish list of pointless gadgets and other things you don’t need, why not take petakids.com advise and ask your friends and family to give donations to your local animal shelter instead?
Becoming a Driver
Volunteering at a shelter can take numerous forms. One of the best ways you can give up your time is as a driver. Shelters, particularly those in rural areas, are often on the lookout for volunteers willing to transport the dogs to their new forever homes. Contact your local shelter to add your name to the list.
Fostering a Dog
Some dogs (like Molly) take a little longer to find their new forever families than others. While you might not be in a position to adopt a dog, fostering one on a short term basis can be just as invaluable. By giving the dog the chance to spend some time in a real home, you’ll be helping them adjust to life outside the shelter, making their eventual move into a new, permanent home a much easier transition.
Volunteering Your Time
Many shelters run volunteer programs, and are always happy to add a new recruit to their ranks. Duties usually include cleaning the kennels, manning the phones, mailing application forms, and walking the dogs.
Sharing Adoption Profiles on Social Media
As treehugger.com notes, your Facebook timeline, Twitter stream, Pinterest board, Tumblr page and other social media accounts are all perfect opportunities to help out dogs in need. Sharing the profiles of dogs available for adoption with your friends and followers involves minimal time but could play a huge part in helping them find a new home.
Taking a Dog to an Obedience Class
A well-trained dog will usually have a much easier time finding a new home than one that doesn’t know the difference between ‘stay’ and ‘come’. If you have any training skills, why not volunteer them up to your local shelter? if you don’t, offer to take one of the dogs to an obedience class – you never know, you might learn as many new skills as them!
Shelters are often on the lookout for basic supplies like towels, chains. leashes, toys, brushes, beds, food & food bowls, cleaning supplies, and newspapers. Some shelters will only accept new items, while others are happy enough to receive gently used items. Contact your local shelter to see if there’s any items on their wish list that you can help with.