Puppy Plight: Dogs misplaced by Texas’ hurricanes find their way to Jackson — and hopefully to new homes

By on October 18, 2017

Finally, some happy news. (Does that sound almost like an oxymoron these days?) Eight dogs from San Antonio, Texas have made their way to Jackson following the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The Animal Adoption Center welcomed the eight canine refugees October 6, thanks to a local nonprofit “Dog is my Copilot.”

And in even better news, half of the dogs found fur-ever homes less than a week after arriving in Jackson. One dog, Lulu, went home with her new mom right off the plane.    

“Lulu didn’t even spend a second in here,” said Virginia Faulkner-Monks, employee at the Animal Adoption Center, except to finalize her adoption.

Her human had seen a photo of her online and decided to foster her for the night. Turns out, the little cattle dog mix looked a lot like her future canine sister, and the two got along fine.

“It just took a night to know that it was right,” Falkner-Monks said.

Not all dogs have been as lucky. Rooster, a black mouth cur and shepherd mix (probably—no one knows exactly what breeds these pups are), came down with a case of pneumonia upon his arrival in town.

Travel is stressful for animals, Faulkner-Monks said, and it’s not unusual for it to make them sick. But his sickness keeps him quarantined in his kennel with a little IV in his paw. He can’t go home with anyone, or even risk pets from prospective new parents, until he’s in better health.

Resisting his Eeyore eyes is among the hardest things most humans ever will ever do. Through all his solemnity, though, he still manages a little tail wag and a greeting. Photos from his healthy days suggest a much happier dog.

But he’s on the mend, Faulkner-Monks said. She hopes Rooster will be ready to walk and play by next week.

Little Mary is in a similar position. The young terrier mix arrived with a broken back foot and a kennel cough, which is essentially a canine cold. The adoption center suspects her injury is old.

“It looks like it got crushed at some point,” Falkner-Monks said. “She was probably not in a great situation.”

But if the world was ever unkind to Mary, you wouldn’t know it. Despite her broken foot and poor health, she’s active and vocal as ever. Her pleas for pets are more aggressive and wiggly than Rooster’s—she puts her two front functional paws through the bars of her kennel, waiting for a reciprocal gesture. She sticks her snoot under the bar. Her barks are high pitched and urgent, as if her very life depended on attention.

“It’s pretty amazing, her attitude,” Falkner-Monks said.

Mary spent her first night in town with a young girl, and the two immediately connected.  “The little girl took her out of her kennel and was playing with her, running around with her. Mary was so excited,” Falkner-Monks said.

It was like she forgot she needed a back paw.

“She’s just so perky and happy.”

Two more dogs, Copper and Vinny, have found foster families to care for them until they find more permanent homes. The four that were already adopted have two weeks to settle in with their new families. If, for whatever reason, it’s not the right fit, the families can return them to the adoption center. But so far, they seem to be doing fine. Three of the four families have sent pictures back to the Adoption Center, and the dogs appear to fit right in.

This is the second round of hurricane rescues the Adoption Center has taken in this fall. Five dogs and 10 cats flew in from New Orleans, Louisiana last month. The animals were already residents of local shelters. Their relocation allows the shelters to make room for the countless animals displaced by hurricane damage.

Jasper, a little Chihuahua mix, is the only remaining pup from New Orleans, but seven of the 10 cats are still at the center.

Dog is my Copilot flew the dogs in to the aviation center in Driggs. Welcoming them into their new community, Faulkner-Monks said, was magical.

“The plane lands, dogs come out, there’s a sunset, the Tetons,” she said.

Amanda Penn is responsible for bringing furry residents in from out of town. The Adoption Center can house 13 dogs, at most— there are seven indoor kennels, but with enough foster families, they can rotate in and out.

The criteria for foreigners are pretty simple, she said: she looks for dogs that are human-friendly, dog friendly, and in relatively good health.

“They have to be able to mesh well with all of our fosters,” Penn said.

Of course, sometimes dogs get sick when they arrive, like Rooster and Mary. And a broken foot is a welcome ailment. Their ailments will heal, and they’ll be Jackson dogs soon enough.

And being a dog in Jackson, Falkner-Monks said, is “pretty much the highest form of reincarnation, I think.PJH

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