Posts Tagged ‘animal transport’

An Evening Like No Other for a Shelter Like No Other

The West Virginia dogs arrive

Our 2011 Rescue Me Gala is dedicated to the League’s Disaster Rescue Fund.  With each passing year, we are called upon to take in more and more groups of animals who are escaping life-threatening situations.  Sometimes they’re displaced by natural disasters, like floods and fires. Other victims are escaping callous human neglect and abuse in the form of hoarding cases, dog fighting rings, puppy mills, and other horrors no animal should be subjected to. Either way, the animals come in tragically wounded, their bodies broken and their spirits crushed.

Last week, for instance, our colleagues from Potomac Highlands Animal Rescue in West Virginia intervened on behalf of 57 dogs and 8 cats living in a single urine-and feces-contaminated house. We took in 14 of the dogs and 6 of the cats. Earlier this year, we took in 30 dogs from another hoarding situation. This one was in Ohio and called itself a “rescue operation.”  But the dogs were barely surviving in filthy, rat-infested barns or in outdoor cages that were little more than wooden boxes.

When they arrive in D.C., severely mistreated animals like these need a lot of competent support. We give them second-to-none veterinary care at a state-of-the-art animal hospital with a staff specially trained in the best shelter medicine practices. Our behavior and training team is 100 percent professionally certified and highly skilled in reversing the effects of years of mistreatment. And our animal care staff seeks to know each animal as an individual, learn what each one’s needs are, and help them recover and thrive.

Within weeks, the animals who came in so deeply wounded in body and spirit are bounding up to greet visitors, tails wagging and eyes laughing. At the League, they find what they needed but lacked all along: loving hands, gentle voices, skillful care, and—most importantly—people who know that hidden behind the scars and the fear are wonderful pets.

I hope that those of you who share our love and compassion for animals who have fallen on hard times can join us at the Rescue Me Gala on Saturday, April 30. I can promise you a delightful evening made all the more special by the knowledge that you are supporting animals who desperately need your help as they make their way to a new and brighter future.

Please visit for more information and to get your tickets.

Best Gift of All: More animal rescues!

The past year has been a busy one for our League. Major rescues have included 70 severely neglected dogs from a hoarding situation in Mississippi, 30 dogs from Kuwait when an animal shelter burned down, 30 animals from a North Carolina medical research laboratory under investigation for abuse, and 10 pit bulls from a suspecting dog fighting operation in Ohio.

In the case of the Mississippi dogs, the League turned out to be the closest animal shelter that could accept such a large number of dogs and treat the variety of medical problems they had: mange, infections, parasite infestations, and even gunshot wounds.

Among animal shelters and animal protection groups, the Washington Animal Rescue League has quickly become well known for our ability to carry out large-scale rescues. When natural and man-made disasters displace large numbers of pets, leave many animals sick and injured, and overwhelm local shelters, the League is always ready to help.

But we’ve been responding with great trepidation in our broken down, decaying and dilapidated trucks with the logos wearing off, freezing to death while the a/c blasted to the back of the cargo space.  These trucks have put in seven years and hundreds of thousands of miles to get imperiled animals who may have never been shown any love or affection and bring them through our doors to new lives they could never have dreamed of.  The trucks and their precious cargo always made it, much to our relief.  But in every case, we could have done so much more and rescued so many more animals with better, more reliable, and larger rescue vehicles. 

I am happy to relate that, over the past few months thanks to the generosity of Dr. Shari Barton, the Phillip Graham Fund, and many other faithful donors, we’ve raised nearly $300,000 for the purchase of new vehicles. Now we can get a new rescue vehicle,—a 26-foot custom built animal transport vehicle— and procure another van to accompany it.  If you’ve ever been to a puppy mill rescue, or any rescue involving thousands of animals, you’d know that the more people helping, the better.  And the extra vehicle will allow four staff members, rather than just two, to go on our rescues.  And, knowing our staff, they will undoubtedly load up a few dozen more animals.  With these new vehicles, we’ll be able to make more rescues in 2011, more than we have ever done before.

The rescue vehicle didn’t fit under the tree but it was the best of holiday presents. It will give animals who have nowhere else to turn a real chance of finding the lives they have always deserved.  And what could be better than that?

Happy holidays to all of our family—adopters, donors, volunteers, friends, and staff.  Thank you from all of us, on behalf of those who can’t thank you themselves.  See you in 2011!