Waggs and Wishes Helping Animals
I had the pleasure of meet Angie Potter of Waggs and Wishes a few weeks ago as they were just taking over the shelter that once housed Ferndale's Animal Control, before the service was eliminated by the city. Without a staff position to handle animal control, the City had no one to care for animals housed at the shelter. Waggs and Wishes stepped in to volunteer to help care for the animals and manage the shelter.
My family and I watched as Angie and her crew of helpers meticulously cleaned out each cage and every corner of the shelter room. I talked with Angie about what she does for the dogs and cats that are lucky enough to cross her path. Over the past few weeks, I have gotten to know Angie and the passion that fills her heart. Angie has been a long time rescuer of animals. Her first job was essentially money funding her efforts. She has been able to take what some might refer to as a hobby and, with her girlfriend Beth Hare, she has created a loving, stress free environment for dogs and cats waiting on their forever homes.
I met again with Angie to see the changes that they have been able to make in the shelter. Upon walking through the door, I was greeted by a pleasant scent not at all reminiscent of animals but of flowers and overall cleanliness. I saw shelves stocked with cleaning supplies, dog food, cat food, newspaper, and other pet essentials. There was a strong sense of organization in the room. Even though Angie had just met me there and had not been there in few hours, there was no animal waste at all in the pens. They were immaculate!
These were not the typical shelter dogs you might expect to encounter. I was immediately greeted by the sounds of happy barking dogs. Each dog I met was smiling and ready to play, even Zues, a large pit-bull with a great face. The dogs were all happy and waiting to be petted. I did not see one sign warning of biting dogs and telling me to keep my hands out of the pens. The dogs that have access to the outside runs have pools to romp in and definitely make use of it. You could see that the dogs were all familiar with Angie and well socialized. Angie takes great care to get to know each of the dog’s temperaments so that they can be placed with the right family. She can tell you the story of each dog and how she came to have them with her.
If you are thinking about helping but aren't sure what is needed, consider what your pet needs. Waggs and Wishes will take donations of collars and leashes of all sizes, dog and cat food, cat litter, crates, blankets/towels, food and water dishes, treats, grooming tools and beds for the animals. The most important donation you can make is of course money. The money will ensure that all pets are vet checked, given all necessary shots, and if over the age of 6 months, spayed or neutered. Making sure each pet is healthy and altered is the number one goal of Waggs and Wishes. Altering the future pets makes sure that there are no more unwanted litters.
Waggs and Wishes is currently waiting for 503c status to make them a recognized and tax exempt charity. They are also awaiting the results of a grant application that will give them much needed funds to help the animals.
You can meet Angie and her four legged kids at the upcoming Fido Does Ferndale on July 15 from 5 to 9pm. Every adoptable dog and cat will be at the event to meet their families. You will also have the opportunity to help Waggs and Wishes do everything they can for these great canines. T-Shirts will be for sale as well as donation jars to fill. There is also a 5k walk/run with your pet being planned. Be sure and check the website.
Can't wait til the 15th? You can find Angie and peek at some of the adoptable pets at www.waggsandwishes.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/waggsandwishes, through e-mail at email@example.com. For more info on Fido Does Ferndale, go to http://www.ferndale115.com/20100711fido.html.