Black Dog, Second Chance
We are a NO-KILL, 501 (c) 3 Rescue
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* It wouldn't be fair to the rest of the group if the story was told about how BDSC got started, without first talking about where we are at today. We are a caring and dedicated group of individuals that are all non-paid volunteers who work regular, full-time jobs with families, who sacrifice countless hours away from our families and our own pets, every week just to save homeless dogs and cats who would otherwise perish in shelters. Have you heard the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Well, it takes a rescue to save a dog. It is not just one person behind the name (though that is how it started) but rather MANY people. So, although the story began with just one dog, one photo and one person's dream... BDSC has developed into an entire village of people who have helped to make a dream become reality and continue to save a countless number of dogs and cats who would otherwise perish in shelters.
The First Starfish
This is Angel, the very first Black Dog that was tossed back into the sea.
It started with a photo.
I (the founder) was browsing the petforum one day on craig's and someone posted a frantic plea for a dog who was on death row. It was a Monday and she was going to be gassed on Friday. The rescue didn't have room and she was the only one they couldn't take. The only one! I clicked on her picture... she was a sweet black dog with adoring eyes. It was haunting to me. I knew that black dogs were always the ones left behind. The shelter that she was at was in West Virginia. The rescue was in M.D., and they could pull her and bring her to M.D., but didn't have the foster space. Her name was Angel.
I tried to get Angel out of my mind but the picture stuck with me. She was the only one left behind. I called the shelter she was at and asked them if they could "hold" her until Monday, while I could arrange some sort of volunteer transport to get her from the shelter in West Virginia, to me, in Buffalo. (I was familiar with rescue) The shelter staff I was on the phone with was very snippy and told me "we do not hold dogs, she'll be euthanized on Friday". I hung up the phone, put my head in my hands, and cried for Angel.
Then I thought, "What am I doing?! This isn't going to solve anything! If the only thing standing in the way of this dog living and dying is a 6 hour drive, then how selfish am I?". (I am a teacher and have summers off) I called my sister and we decided we'd make the drive together. So I emailed the lady (Katrina) from the rescue that posted the frantic plea for help on craig's, and told her I'd take Angel, I'd be driving all the way to MD to get her.
Katrina was taking a HUGE chance with a complete stranger. Her rescue she was with advised her not to do it. After all, she didn't know me, what if I said I was coming, then didn't show? She'd be stuck with a dog that she didn't have a foster home for.... After exchanging several emails, completing an adoption application, giving her references, Katrina decided it was a risk she was willing to take. She drove to West Virginia and saved Angel for me. Meanwhile, my sister and I were enroute to MD to meet the dog in the photograph.
Two days later we had two black dogs in a car and were driving back to NY. (one more adoption fell through, so what's another dog?)
So in a nutshell, all it took was a picture and someone to tell me "no" to push me to my start my dream. When we got Angel back home to us, we posted her on craigslist for adoption. With the help from another rescue, we got more applications for her than we had a dog! It didn't make sense to us.... all these dogs dying in shelters, and all these people in our area looking to adopt dogs? We have a wonderful shelter system here and a super spay/neuter program. Why not help MORE dogs?
I talked to my husband and told him I thought now was the time to start the rescue I've always wanted. "You can name it 'Black Dog, Second Chance'," he said. After all, we love black dogs, we know they are the last one's adopted, we can help them, in Angel's honor. What a brilliant man! I began working on the website.
Our second dog in our rescue was Jaegar, a black dog from Ohio. He was fostered with one of my students and her mom. The momentum built from there, more fosters, more dogs, 501 paperwork.
It all started with a photo and a black dog. A black dog, a second chance.
This is Angel in her foster home.