His tail wags furiously as the waves splash around his legs. Romping through the water with a new-found friend, you’d never guess that Beemer was near death only a few months ago.
It’s a sad phenomenon. A family brings a dog home to be a part of their lives, and somehow the dog ends up chained outside, living a life of loneliness and neglect. Many of these dogs endure this cruel isolation for years. Beemer was one of these tragedies. Left on a chain, his collar and harness became so deeply embedded into his neck that the wounds needed to be surgically repaired.
When a concerned neighbor brought him to PAWS, Beemer was also starving to death. The staff quickly put him on a feeding schedule of four small meals a day and began treating the wounds on his neck and back.
While in a PAWS foster home, Beemer began to gain weight, and just as importantly, he began to trust again. “It was clear from the start that Beemer had been a house dog,” recalls his foster care provider, Patty Dooley. “He was happy to curl up on the furniture and just watch you with those big brown eyes.”
Within a month, Beemer was healthy enough to be adopted, and PAWS found him a new home filled with love. But Beemer is one of the lucky ones. Thousands of dogs are still living a life of isolation, chained and forgotten. Many are starving. Some will die.
PAWS is working to end this practice by supporting a statewide ban on extended chaining or tethering of dogs. While House Bill 1755, entitled the Humane Treatment of Dogs, failed to make it through the state legislature this year, PAWS will continue to work with like-minded groups and individuals dedicated to ending the suffering of dogs all across the state. For more information on this bill, and other legislation designed to protect animals, visit paws.org/legislative-watch and sign up for the PAWS Action E-newsletter at paws.org/e-news-subscribe.
Regina Seeley’s daughter spotted him first. Wandering the kennels at PAWS, she saw a face that stood out among the rest. With a friendly grin and inquisitive eyes, 10-year-old Moose—a senior Pit Bull—was the dog for whom the Seeley family didn’t know they had been looking.
The Seeleys had recently lost their Beagle to old age, and they missed having the love and companionship of a canine friend. Their home felt empty, but they weren’t sure they were ready for another dog until their daughter showed them a picture of Moose. It was love at first sight. “We immediately felt a connection,” Seeley recalls. “His face had such personality!”
That personality, says PAWS Programs Manager Molly Reagan Axt, is precisely what made Moose such a special dog. After being transferred to PAWS from another local shelter, Moose quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite with his easygoing, gentle nature. Not to mention his very loud snore. “We knew he was OK so long as he was snoring because when he was asleep, it sounded like someone was sawing wood,” jokes Reagan Axt.
Today, the Seeleys can’t imagine their life without Moose (now called Winston). “He greets us daily with such excitement! He always makes sure we know he loves and misses us when we are gone,” she says.
In fact, they had such a good adoption experience with Moose that they returned four months later to adopt Tigger, a seven-year-old Maine Coon cat.
Today, Winston and Tigger are the best of friends and spend their days lounging in the sun together. Thanks to these two special animals, the Seeley family is once again complete.
Above: After a near-death experience, lucky dog Beemer gets a second chance at PAWS.
Above: Moose, a senior Pit Bull, was the perfect pet the Seeley family didn't know they were looking for.