2011 Success Stories

Walter

Early one morning in March 2011, I was brought to the animal shelter and tied to their outdoor cat exercise area. The staff came to work in the morning and found me, scared and tied up. They slowly approached me, untied me and brought me inside. Confused and sad, they set me up in a warm kennel and gave me some food. They could tell I was very scared, so they gave me time to adjust. After a few weeks, I became very attached to one kennel attendant. She spent a lot of time with me. When the kennels were being painted, I went into a foster home and remained there for many months. They fell in love with me and didn’t want to see me go back to the shelter, so they kept me to work on some issues I had. Though they weren’t able to keep me, they wanted to help me.
When the time came where there was nothing else they could do for me, I came back to the shelter to find a permanent home. I wish I could tell you that I quickly found my forever home, but unfortunately I didn’t have that great of luck. The Animal Shelter had been given the opportunity to be in a magazine, and they had to take some animals to a local photography studio to have their pictures taken. I was one of the dogs chosen to get their picture taken, but when we arrived at the location, I was very nervous. When the volunteer went to remove me from my crate, I bolted in fear and took off running across the street and was lost track of very quickly. After hours of searching for me, contacting the police and local veterinary clinics, the staff and volunteers had to go back to the shelter. They put posts up on Facebook trying to find me. There was one sighting of me, but when the staff arrived to check it out, I was long gone. They didn’t hear anything for weeks. Luckily, one rainy day, the staff received a call; I was located a few miles away from where I went missing. A lady had seen me a few times in her yard, but I was so scared I didn’t approach her. She was determined to get me, she felt bad for me being out in the rain. She sat outside for over an hour and coaxed me towards her. She finally was able to get it and saw on my collar I had a tag on! She called the shelter right away and gave them the tag number I was wearing. The staff was very excited to hear that I was safe and had finally been found! The Humane Officer drove to their house and picked me up! When I arrived at the shelter everyone was so happy to see me back! I was only at the shelter for just about two months when a lady and her daughter came in and fell in love with me. They brought their dog in and met me, and I went home shortly after that!

Angel

Sometimes a rough start in life can still lead to a second chance for a deserving animal. Angel is just such an animal. Below is a bit about angel as written by her foster mom.
“Angel is a beautiful pastel tortoiseshell female kitten that was thrown out of a car window when she was 4 weeks old. A kind lady in the car behind stopped, picked her up and brought her to the shelter. She was not afraid of people when I received her as a foster kitten, she just hated them! Can you blame her? And who knows how she was treated before she was thrown out of the car window! She has been here with our family since June 28th and the progress she has made since then is remarkable." "She has grown into a wonderful 7 month old kitten that is so sweet and gentle and loving. She has had 4 other foster kitten sisters that have come and gone here and after a few days of adjustment, she has really enjoyed playing with all of them, so I think she would be fine with other cats if given a few days to get used to them. But she would also be fine alone as she really grows attached to her humans, too. She has very soft fur, she loves to be brushed, she loves to sleep and snuggle with people, she has never had any litter box issues while here, she is trained to stay off kitchen tables and kitchen counters, she comes when she is called, she knows what ‘no’ means and she has very good manners."
"When she is stressed out her eye becomes a little weepy, but it doesn’t bother her one bit and I just wipe it with a soft, warm, wet cloth and it’s fine. She has come such a long way since that fateful day when she was thrown out of the car window and she is really deserving of a home of her very own.” Angel has been adopted and as you can see she has happily settled into her new home and family. She even has the added bonus of... a kitty "sister"(Gretel) that was previously adopted from our Shelter. To make it even better Gretel was cared for in the same foster home as Angel....so the girls had already been friends and playmates when they were younger! What a happy ending! Special thanks to the adopters who were willing to give Angel a second chance and to the foster home that loved and cared for Angel for so many months!!! This is the work our foster families are doing every day!!! Saving lives!!

Wheelie "Mack"

Wheelie (now Mack) is one of hundreds of “bully” breed dogs that have been available for adoption at the Lakeland Animal Shelter over the last several years. Despite the negative reputation the breed has developed, the Lakeland Animal Shelter does not “judge a book by its cover” and takes the time to develop a relationship with each and every dog that comes to the shelter, regardless of their breed. One of the volunteers at the Lakeland Animal Shelter, Amy Amann, writes a letter to Wheelie, the first Pit Bull she was assigned to work with as her “project” dog. She worked with him for 5 months before he was adopted.   “Most people think that for the past 5 months I have been teaching you. The truth is I have learned so much from you. You have taught me so much about myself. You have shown me what a pit bull is made of...willingness to learn, desire to please, and mixed with a need for love, affection, & praise. You placed your trust in me and I placed mine with you. We were a team. So, thank you for the lessons. I will miss you greatly, but couldn't be any happier for you. Make me proud, be a good boy, and keep a place in your heart for me. A piece of my heart will forever belong to you. I won't say goodbye, just see ya later, Mack.” Mack has been in his forever home for over 14 months now after waiting 8 months for someone to fall in love with him. His adopter recently wrote to us and said, “When I first went looking to adopt a dog from the Lakeland Animal Shelter, I had a short list of dogs to walk around. However, the first time I saw Mack in the kennel, I knew he was the one. The staff let me take him out for a meet and greet and when I walked him over to the grass he laid down on his back saying “me, me, take me!” I had so much love to give and knew that he could fill a void in my heart. He was mine from that moment on. One problem - I was living at home and had some convincing to do with my parents. The reason, Mack is part Pit Bull, though nothing to really worry about as he is so lovable. He won them over right away. Some other members in my extended family had some reservations because of his breed, but as soon as they met him in person, they saw how wonderful he was and changed their minds at least for this dog. Mack is definitely an advocate for his breed because he is loving, gentle, and can make you smile no matter what mood you have.”