While Little Shelter normally deals with local rescue based in our surrounding communities, we also have Nation Wide Rescue with our Passage To Freedom Program. On that Saturday our program went even further than we had previously imagined, as we were called on to save lives from the other side of the world.
Many countries have little to no animal rights or laws that are enforced to protect animals from abusive situations. Baku, is one such area. The streets are overwhelmed with stray cats and dogs, and the governments way of handling that problem has been to use methods of shooting, beating, poisoning and burning (sometimes still alive) animals that are found roaming around.
Out of compassion, a few groups have formed in Baku to try and rescue as many of these animals as possible. One such group is Baku Street Dog Rescue. However, rescue efforts are difficult due to lack of resources, the sheer number of animals in need and the difficulties faced with getting the animals into safety. How did this come to affect Little Shelter? Read on...
An urgent call was received late afternoon on Thursday, June 23rd. Baku Street Dog Rescue had 11 Dogs that they had pulled from the streets and were currently transporting to the USA. However, plans had changed last minute and the dogs suddenly had no where to go upon arrival. Little Shelter didn't hesitate to step in and take all 11 dogs. This included 3 mothers whose puppies were pulled by another rescue group but the moms themselves were left behind. Little Shelter will always take the mom when rescuing a litter of puppies! The transport with the dogs would be arriving early to mid day on Saturday which left the staff of Little Shelter less than 48hrs to make preparations for the dogs arrival.
Coming from overseas and being stressed, we wanted to make sure the Baku dogs had a quarantined area for the first two weeks they stay at the shelter. This is a protective measure for both shelter residents and the Baku dogs. A quarantined area also allows them to adjust to their new surroundings at their own pace, giving them peace of mind and space to relax.
The rest of Thursday and all of Friday were spent with staff moving dogs into different kennels, washing and sterilizing rooms and cages, printing photographs of the Baku dogs, tagging each cage with the individual dogs information and preparing our intake paperwork. This may not sound like a lot, but it essentially required the entire shelter grounds to be rearranged as we already were pretty full from a recent local rescue operation.
On Saturday, the transport from Baku arrived at noon with two of the rescuers coming as the dogs flight buddies. This was their first time seeing where the dogs went after leaving the airport. A full team of Little Shelter staff was waiting ready for them. Each dog was taken swiftly off the transport, photographed, tagged, paperwork processed and led to their new kennel. The goal was to make the transfer as quick and stress free as possible for the dogs. The members from Baku Street Dog Rescue were very grateful that these dogs whose future was undetermined now had somewhere safe to go. Some happy tears were shed at the moment of realization of what was happening hit.
The Baku dogs are all happy, healthy and safe at Little Shelter. This Saturday will mark their two weeks of quarantine. The dogs will be available for adoption this Saturday and given their sweet personalities and beautiful looks, we do not expect them to be here long. The dogs range in age from about 3 months old to 2 years old.
Little Shelter focuses on local rescue, but we were called to step in for these 11 precious lives. These 11 dogs represent that the overpopulation problem of animals does not belong to one area alone, nor is it up to just once rescue group to solve. By uniting together, educating and helping other groups when it is possible, we can overcome this issue together so fewer animals will never know what a "good boy/girl" is.
33 Warner Rd,
Huntington, NY 11743