May 13th, 2013 by Webmaster
Hope Animal Sanctuary (HAS) celebrates the life of Lily, our precious Lily.
Her life represented so very much to us. Our mission in Mississippi began with the investigation of USDA licensed Class B animal dealers who boldly acquired dogs and cats by posing as animal control, exploiting trade-and-sell day events and auctions, and by filling the pockets of vile bunchers who even posed as adoptive guardians to get their treacherous hands on the doomed animals they preyed upon.
Learning of our work, “Working Dogs Productions” joined me to document a typical day at the Ripley, Ms “Trade & Sell Day”, dubbed “1st Monday”, as it was held the weekend before the first Monday of each month. Animal dealer C.C. Baird didn’t disappoint us. Within minutes of his arrival I thwarted his purchase of a Germen Shepherd I’d established had wandered into the yard of the greedy person selling him. Later, the undercover investigation of a Last Chance for Animals (LCA) agent imbedded in Baird’s operation ended this horror purveyor’s monstrous legacy. Both our efforts were featured in the HBO production “Dealing Dogs”.
Dogs that had not yet been “sacrificed” in laboratories which were dealing with Baird were given a reprieve during the USDA, USPS, and the Arkansas State Attorney General’s investigation. Four of these dogs were housed at MSU. Two students learned of the plight of the dogs and asked us if we would accept them at HAS. The girls raised the $1,200 the University required to release the dogs (likely what they had paid for them) and volunteer Gay Evaldi and I celebrated my birthday transporting them home. Ironically, I’d planned a birthday get together with friends and Gay & I were the only ones who didn’t show (no cell phone back then). Saving these dogs was party enough for me.
One of the four pitifully nervous dogs we named Lily. She was beautiful – soft, fragile, traumatized, but gentle, with wise eyes. Lily was nervous around other dogs and horribly fearful of noises, visitors, any stimulus she perceived as threatening. When we experienced the horrors of Baird’s kennels, no violence spared, in the “Dealing Dogs” documentary, it was easy to understand her fears and lasting stress.
The Belamy family met Lily and was drawn to her timidity. Kyle, the youngest member of the family, was so gentle and understanding of Lily that she bonded with him immediately. Kyle began to volunteer with us at adoption days and our relationship became as family.
Kyle graduated from High School and headed for MSU to become a doctor for the human species. Dorm regulations prohibited him having a companion animal. The Belamy family loved Lily and felt Lily would be fine with them, but with Kyle gone Lily began to hide from Mr. Belamy. Despite his affection for Lily, she simply couldn’t function without her young protector. There was little doubt that Lily feared adult men so Lily came to stay with us until Kyle’s graduation.
Lily basked in the warmth of her HAS family for several years. Then, as she aged, she became leery of newly rescued animals. We know that dogs at Baird’s fought for food, for their very lives, and her Auntie Lisa and Uncle Mike, the Martins, our beloved volunteers who frequently foster for us and care for dogs, took her under their wings. They cared for Lily when I made trips and she had a favorite chair and spot on their bed. She was very happy in their home. On my visits to work with Lisa on paperwork, Lily would greet me so warmly and affectionately. However, when I headed for the door she’d glance at me with a fond farewell and glide into her haven chair.
Lily had the best of three loving families. We have no doubt that the terrors of her damnable captivity gave way to the warmth of love she delighted in. Lily’s aged and fragile organs began to fail her this past month and she was freed from what would have been a difficult death. Our Lily, our treasure, our mentor, will always rest in our hearts.
Officer for Winona, MS, called us late evening to ask for help for a dog he believed had just been struck by a vehicle. The darling little guy had a broken leg. Though he had a collar there was no attached ID. I had Arlin bring the little fella to the sanctuary.
The next day, radio station WONA, of Winona, announced the plight of the young dog and Doc began what would be months of care for his leg. There was no response to the station’s announcement, nor any inquiry with the City as to a missing dog meeting the little guy’s description. Day before yesterday McGee came home. His badly shattered leg resisted healing and as a last resort Doc, Dr. Abernethy of Veterinary Associates, had to amputate the limb. McGee is doing very well and is so absolutely loveable. We are grateful for the care that Doc and the kennel care crew gave this sweet boy.
Cieara came home the same day. Cieara is the precious little dog who was callously shot in Charleston, MS. Someone shot both Cieara and Sieara with a 22 caliber weapon. Sieara was grazed and her guardian took her home. Cieara’s right front carpal was literally blown wide open, and her leg could not be saved. Her guardian feared she wouldn’t be able to protect both dogs when she let them out to exercise and heed bodily functions, and entrusted Cieara to our care.
Cieara and McGee are shining examples of the resilience of happy, trusting, loving characters. It is our joy to know and care for them. They are both looking for guardians worthy of sharing in their lives.
Thank you for the support you have shown over the years. We could not have helped these and the many other animals in need without the help of many carong people like you.