Last Updated: October 01, 2002
Charity is a five-year-old female corgi mix whose owner couldn't afford her care and surrendered her to a North Carolina shelter. Her rescue is a wonderful example of how corgi rescuers network together to rescue a dog, sometimes over hundreds of miles. Here is Sweet Charity's story as told by Sue Reineck and Sue Peterson.
Sweet Charity's Story
The Petfinder Notes for the dog said, "Arrived 10/2/02 Scared." It didn't say whether the dog was a male or female. The listing included Size: Medium, Age: Adult, and described the dog as a corgi mix. The dog looked terrified.
Sue Reineck can't say exactly when this dog caught her attention: the CorgiRescue posts on October 4 (by Victoria Neff and Diane Cass) or her own perusing of the corgis listed on Petfinder, but the dog touched her heart. Perhaps what got to her was the fact that the Franklin County, NC, Animal Shelter takes in approximately 350 pets a month, only placing 5-10, and euthanizes the rest. Sue R is in St Paul, Minnesota, but she decided to make the effort to save this dog. She started sending e-mails Monday October 7, first to the shelter volunteers to find out more about the dog, and next to a number of area rescues and the local Welsh Corgi Club to find out if anyone could help the dog. She also posted a message to the Urgent Messages section of Petfinder. The initial volunteer replies said call or come to the shelter. The Welsh Corgi Club replied that they didn't know of any groups handling corgi mixes in the area, but would pass the information on if any were found. The Petfinder Message got replies from local people who could help the dog for a short time, but not permanently.
One of the respondents, Susan Mitchell of C.A.R.E. for Animals in Raleigh, NC, agreed to contact a rescuer in the area to find out about the dog. Susan asked Sue R. if she'd be willing to take the dog if transport could be arranged. Sue R. said she would either adopt the dog herself, or foster it until a home was found.
The following Monday, October 14, Susan reported that she wasn't able to get any information on the dog. She asked if Sue R. could find out more, and, if Sue R. still wanted the dog, to let Susan know, and she would arrange transport. The next morning Sue R. called the shelter, and spoke with the animal control officer. She described the dog, and he said it had been adopted the day before. Sue R. thought "Great!" Then she emailed a shelter volunteer, to make sure. Karen, the volunteer, said he might be confusing it with another dog that was taken from the shelter. Sure enough, Sue R. called back at noon, and the animal control officer said the dog was still there. He thought the dog was a "she," but wasn't sure.
Tuesday night, Sue R. posted to CorgiRescue asking how to go about getting a dog from NC to MN. There was a tremendous response with many people offering to help transport and others offering information on vet care before transport. Then the phone calls started between the parties involved. Susan Mitchell told Sue R. that her vet would kennel the dog if he could do the vet work while transport was arranged. Further, if the dog was listed with CARE for Animals it would qualify for a rescue discount. Sue R. talked with Viv Graves, another shelter volunteer, who said she'd pull the dog and take it to Susan's vet.
So, things were all set to happen Thursday (euthanasia day at the shelter). Sue R. called the vet in the morning with her credit card info, and then called Viv to let her know everything was set. While talking with Viv she learned that a local person, Linda Kerr, was interested in fostering and placing the dog. Sue R. thought this was great, because there would be less wear and tear on the dog, and less time and money for everyone involved in transport. She just wanted the dog "out" and safe. Then she received the news that the dog was heartworm positive. That evening, October 17th, the dog's status was posted to CorgiRescue.
Sue Peterson of Dayton, OH, a member of CorgiRescue and Corgi-L, at this point was becoming confused. Linda was making posts to Corgi-L, and others were making posts to CorgiRescue. Who was getting the dog, who was fostering and who was transporting? So Sue P. wrote to Linda asking if she was on the CorgiRescue list and whether or not she was working with the people on CorgiRescue. This is when Sue P. learned that Linda was going to foster but would have to leave the dog with someone while in Indianapolis. Linda felt she'd be able to place the dog in a couple of weeks. But a couple of hours later another e-mail from Linda told of the heartworm diagnosis. The logistics suddenly changed. Linda's schedule was going to be hectic over the next couple of months, and there would be times when she might have to kennel or relocate the dog.
Sue Peterson phoned Marilyn Thorson in Indiana to discuss the need for a stable environment during heartworm treatment. Sue P. indicated she would foster the dog if Marilyn would help with placement. Marilyn readily agreed and an offer to foster and place was sent to Linda. As Linda was scheduled to visit her sister in Indianapolis, it seemed fated that the dog should go to Sue P. Sue has a stable environment where the dog wouldn't be moved around during treatment, and she works out of her home. It was felt by all involved that this was a better situation than either Linda or Sue R. could offer. They also discussed a name for the dog. Linda wrote that her husband, Joe, had suggested the name Charity because of the number of people involved. Charity became Sweet Charity.
Susan Mitchell of CARE e-mailed Sue P. asking for references and a description of her home environment: a standard rescue process. Sue readily complied, providing the names of many people on the CorgiRescue list. Sue then called Susan to assure her that Charity would be in good hands, and, to satisfy Susan's major concern, that Charity would receive treatment whether or not CorgiAid approved a grant.
CorgiAid did approve the request, including heartworm treatment, vetting and boarding expenses in North Carolina, spaying if necessary and micro-chipping. When Viv Graves, the shelter volunteer who pulled Charity, learned of CorgiAid's approval she wrote to all involved:
WOW! What a Wonderful Organization!!! And to think this little gal almost ended up in the gas chamber!!!! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Makes my trips to the Franklin County "shelter" much easier and more bearable. Thank you especially SUE R. who got Sweet Charity started on her rescue. Tail wags, Viv.
So, on Monday, October 28, Linda transported Sweet Charity to Cincinnati where she was handed over to Sue. Sweet Charity has settled into Sue's home and Justice, her rescue that was saved from a shelter on his last day, has taken his new girlfriend under his paw, convincing her that as sweet as she is, she won't melt if she goes out in the rain.
So, through a lot of people's time and effort, this dog was pulled from the shelter, vetted and kenneled until transport could be arranged, and is on her way to being heartworm free and living happily ever after.
Special thanks goes to all members of the CorgiRescue list who offered advice on how to get this done. And a huge thank you to CorgiAid for approving the request for financial support of Sweet Charity!