Adopt-an-Angel is a local organization in Wilmington, NC that rescues dogs and cats in hopes to find better homes for them. During the week they are either boarded at a local kennel or they are fostered by generous families. On Saturdays it is time for the pets to put their best paw forward and be on display for adoption.

The local PETCO is very generous to let the crazy bunch use their store for the adoption. This weekend, they also has 3 ace volunteers: Vanessa, Deedee & Catherine (Dee’s 11 yr old).

We all arrived early and helped to set everything up. A section of large crates for the dogs and then an aisle of cat cages big and small. Then the insanity began – the animals arrived! In all there were about 20 cats and 14 dogs up for adoption this day. They all had different stories: found roaming the streets as a stray, rescued days before being euthanized by the animal shelter, or a family pet that the family just was under prepared for.

As volunteers our job was to talk to people as they came in, help the kids with the kittens (because what little kid does not want to hold a kitten), keep everyone solid on water, and take the dogs for walks so they can both “go” and stretch their legs out of the crates.

In taking the dogs for walks I realized how different they act while outside the crate. I’ve never seen that level of anxiety before but I can only image what they’ve been through to get here. As the day calmed down and the press of the first hour was over, I started taking them for walks, then sitting with them in the store and not putting them back in their crates. Inside their crates they would bark, pace, and just not put their best PAW forward. Outside of the crate they were sweet, timid and just wanted love. Jasper became my favorite and Beauty stole my heart as her anxiety was so bad. In the picture below it is Beauty with Vanessa and I. She loved being out of the crate and I kept her out as long as I could.

The day was a success! At least 5 cats and 3 dogs were adopted. Some money and food donations came in, which is so needed in an organization run only by volunteers and donations. It was a blast to be a part of it and I think I am going to try to continue and do it monthly if possible.

Vanessa not being local really wasn’t too worried about taking a dog home.. me on the other hand had to make Vanessa AND Catherine promise “We will not let  you take home a dog”. Well they both really failed at that. Meet Phate – Phate is a 3 month old lab mix puppy who was found tied to a phone pole in the rain at about a 2 months old. The woman who found her (Carol) nursed her back to health and formed a huge bond with her. Carol then realized, Phate is a lab mix – and a puppy – and both of those, need room to run and her apartment wasn’t enough room for Phate. Carol came into the event to give Phate up for adoption. She was so sad to part with her. She is moving out of her apartment in May (that’s not far, really) and buying a house. I volunteered – it was fully my idea – to foster Phate and take care of her, with her mom’s help, until May. Luckily Carol lives about a mile away and can come visit whenever, and when she did this weekend loves the neighborhood and might even be a neighbor soon. So I turned to Vanessa “Deedee, no”. I turned to Catherine “Mommy, PLEASE I promise I’ll do all the work”. Vanessa again “Oh, why not”. FAIL FAIL FAIL! I called Steve and he was no help! “I’ll be right up to get her”. LOL

So now, we have a long term philanthropy project in fostering her so her mommy who really loves her can have her life-long.

Vanessa wanted to add…
Having done pug rescue for over 10 years, imagine my surprise at the size of some of the dogs [hound dog, boxer, chocolate lab, pitt mix]! In addition, as I am 4.5 months pregnant, their jumping on me caught me off guard, but Deedee saved me many times! How wonderful to give back to the community with a good friend, co-worker, and dog-blocker! J
I am always moved by the animals’ stories and yet I know that finding the RIGHT adoptive parent is more important than finding ANY adoptive parent.  It is always a fine balance.  It helped me reflect on the dogs I have adopted over the years and how just a little bit of love and a lot of patience can erase years of abuse and loneliness.  To meet other people with Adopt-an-Angel who dedicate EVERY weekend to this endeavor was truly heartwarming. The owner of the non-profit personally thanked me for spending my Saturday to help her organization.  The volunteer coordinator who I spoke to on the phone when arranging the Philanthropy Day was “blown away” by a company that encourages its employees 4 x /year to donate a day to give back to their community.  I know how fortunate we are that PLG does and it makes me so proud to give to the charities I hold most dear, knowing PLG’s heart is behind me.