Support Your Local Shelter Director

Last week I said that we would talk about becoming a foster in this week’s blog, but with recent events I think I need to postpone that and clarify some misinformation that is being spread about the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) Animal Services director. I want to let the staff, and in particular Dr. Jen, know that they have support of people who understand the difficult job they do so well.

On November 7th, Raleigh Animal Control received an anonymous tip that brought them to the residence of the CEO of Calvin’s Paws rescue. Animal control officers were not equipped to handle what they found there – 90 cats and 3 dogs. Those of us who work and volunteer with abandoned animals have some big hearts and yes, we would love to save them all, but we are only human and we have limits. No one person could properly care for that many animals.

Raleigh Animal Control returned the next morning and brought in the WCAC vet staff including director Dr. Jennifer Federico to evaluate the animals. Ms. Oiloque, CEO of Calvin’s Paws, later that afternoon reluctantly surrendered the animals to the WCAC. During this time the Rescue Coordinator, a new position created under Dr. Jen’s leadership and responsible for a 118% increase in the number of animals going to rescue from October 2012 to October 2013, was on the phone asking the WCAC rescue partners for their help. But in the sad reality of a world where we fail to spay and neuter our pets, the rescues were full – they reassessed and took as many as they could, but in the end they did what was needed and did not overstretch their resources.

And then, as they do every day of their work lives, the WCAC staff made the tough decision and cleaned up the mess we the general public created. To these people, the staff of WCAC, I say thank you – thank you for your strength, your caring, and your compassion.

As I said before, those of us involved with abandoned animals are a passionate lot. Some have decided to put together a petition to demand Dr. Federico’s resignation. It is filled with misinformation, untruths, and it blames Dr. Jen for things that happened long before she became director in July of 2012.

I have been a volunteer at the WCAC since 2010 and I believe that Dr. Jen is the best thing to happen to the leadership of the WCAC since I first got involved. The shelter has started on a path to better animal welfare under her direction. She is a strong proponent of education for her staff and herself. She has staffed the facility with people who deeply care about the animals and continue to go above and beyond minimum care. She added the Rescue Coordinator position, which also strengthened the work of the Foster Coordinator. And she brought in the Dogs Playing for Life program. Her departure now would throw the WCAC into a chaos I don’t wish to see again.

A counter petition has been started to make a public proclamation of support for Dr. Jen and the staff. Please sign it and let them know that there are more of us standing behind them and holding them up than those unfairly trying to crush them. Click here to sign the petition: Raleigh, NC; Support Dr. Jennifer Federico, WCAC Animal Services Director

Spotlight on Roofus

Roofus (WCAC ID: 901233)
Roofus (WCAC ID: 91233)

What a terrific goof ball! I photographed him when he first arrived at the WCAC, but yesterday I had the joy and privilege of handling him for Shannon Johnstone at Landfill Park – yes, THE Landfill Dogs Shannon Johnstone.

We picked Roofus up around 10 AM. He was so good during the car ride – no whining, no barking, no pacing and only minor attempts to get in the front seat with us. It was a ruse though, as this year old Lab mix is full of “life of the party” energy. Yes, I let him pull me up the hill – it’s a BIG hill and I’m not what you would call “in shape” – and oh the jumping when the flying disc came out – wow – I see why there is a note in his bio that he needs a yard with a HIGH FENCE. He had a blast running, jumping, and rolling around in the grass. His wonderful chocolaty brown color was beautiful in the winter grasses.

As I write this I can hardly wait to see the shots Shannon got – you lucky people don’t have to wait ‘cause here  they are  …

Roofus (WCAC ID: 91233)
Roofus (WCAC ID: 91233)

A few other insights staff and volunteers have discovered. He is heartworm positive – I know it sounds scary, but options are available and volunteers are running a fundraising campaign to help Roofus and other heartworm positive shelter dogs. Please read up on it or ask the WCAC staff questions before using this as a deciding factor on any dog you are thinking of adopting.

He’s done very well in our Dogs Playing for Life playgroups. His exuberance does require his human to make sure proper introductions are done. And he’s going to need some manners training. He’s learned SIT and OFF, but he needs the consistency in training that can come only from having his very own family.

Well, that’s a brief overview of a terrific dog who has spent way too long in the shelter – 125 days and counting. Stop by the WCAC any day of the week (except this Thursday and Friday – Thanksgiving and all) between noon and 6 PM to meet Roofus. He’s already neutered so he could go home with you immediately!

Roofus' Summer Fun
Roofus’ Summer Fun

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