Go East Young Dog
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. GANDHI
If Gandhi were correct, we in Carroll County can certainly claim the moral high-ground when it comes to the treatment of our animals.
Go East, Young Dog finds out-of-state adoptive homes online for rescued dogs. The non-profit took over the Berryville animal control facility a year ago and, so far, nearly 300 of its dogs have been placed in good homes in the northeast. The previous “high-kill” facility is now a “no-kill shelter” thanks to director Bill King, (full disclosure – my partner) who, with Mayor Tim McKinney, convinced city council that the take-over would be win-win-win.
Believe it or not, there’s a shortage of adoptable dogs up north (New England, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, etc.), due to enforced spay/neuter laws and public consciousness – progressive Blue State thinking of adopting dogs through rescue organizations rather than purchasing pet shop puppy mill dogs. Veterinarian costs are also significantly less in the south, so adopters up north don’t usually flinch at the cost of a ready-to-go, healthy dog, even when the transportation fee and other rescue costs are added in.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of abandoned, abused and unwanted dogs here in our own backyard. Finding great homes for these critters is Go East Young Dog’s objective.
The organization now uses a professional transport company, but in the beginning days, Bill was doing much of the transporting of dogs himself. Last summer I accompanied him on a dog run – loading our big-ass van with 18 dogs and puppies and driving 40 hours straight, taking breaks only to feed, water, walk dogs and gas up, and stopping at designated drop-off points where new owners anxiously awaited arrival of their new best friend.
It was an intense trip, one I don’t think I could do again, but one of the more rewarding experiences I’ve had. How moving to see the joy on the face of a little girl greeting her new puppy for the first time.
All this brings me to this Sunday’s “Grooming on a Sunday Afternoon” – Go East Young Dog’s first fundraiser at Keels Creek Winery from 2 til 7. Ten bucks gets you in with two glasses of wine. There will great food, music and a huge selection of art and services you can silently bid on. You and your dog can even get matching haircuts provided by one of our local, professional hairstylists and groomers, but you don’t have to bring your dog to join in the fun. I urge everyone to come out in support.
The Good Shepherd Humane Society, Diane Ferguson’s Unconditional Love Pet Rescue and Go East, Young Dog are three organizations dedicated to helping the voiceless. Because of them, Carroll County is now virtually a no-kill county.
I think Gandhi would be proud.