We met Sandy and Joanne when they came into the shelter seeking help for their dog Baby Girl who had just given birth to three puppies. They received Baby Girl from another person who didn’t want her any longer, probably due to the upcoming litter. Baby Girl was healthy and the puppies looked good as well, they just wanted to get her spayed and fully vaccinated. However Sandy and Joanne live at Peace Village, a homeless camp in Rochester, and they have no transportation. Rochester Animal Services Outreach includes any of the pets living at Peace Village in our Pets For Life Program, which provides underserved Rochester residents with veterinary care and other resources for their pets, including transportation and supplies.
Of course, having the momma dog and puppies living in a homeless camp was a concern. How would they stay warm? How would their owners contain and raise the puppies as they grew bigger? We visited the camp the next day, bringing a crate, blankets, food and donated hand warmers. To our surprise, Sandy and Joanne had quite a nice set up for Baby Girl and the puppies. They have a fully-insulated hut and it was a comfortable temperature in there.
Since our first trip over to the camp, we have made weekly trips to visit them to check on the puppies and bring whatever supplies are needed. All are fat and happy. We have supplied Sandy and Joanne with a few more crates and other donations from our volunteers such as clothes, batteries and hand warmers. They are always welcoming and happy to see us. Baby Girl will be spayed, vaccinated and microchipped after the first of the year. Sandy and Joanne have said that caring for the puppies and Baby Girl have given them incentive to strive harder to eventually be able to buy a home of their own. As you can see from the photo, they are very proud of their achievements and we are proud to have been able to help support the human-animal bond.
Amy Bianchi, Rochester Animal Services Outreach Coordinator