Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 04-25-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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28 SPRING IN THE VALLEY 2019 APRIL 24-MAY 1, 2019 | THE VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER 'Miracle' dog wants to spend life with new family Foster pet parents bridge the gap for rescue animals Warm days and lush grass have a way of inspiring people to fall in love with new pets, and as society continues to distance itself from "designer dogs"and pet stores, there's heightened interest in giving loveable rescue dogs adoptive homes. Tracy Lander has seen this firsthand as she volunteers at the New England Humane Society of Cumberland. The organization does not have a physical shelter, but relies on volunteers to foster homeless dogs until they can be placed with their forever home. According to Tracy, this system is best for the dogs because it gets them out of the shelter and into a loving home while also freeing up more room to rescue other dogs. "Each time we take an animal into our home we are pulling from a res- cue shelter down south, which opens up another slot to save another ani- mal from a high-kill shelter." On average, these dogs are in fos- ter homes for two weeks to a month before they find a permanent home. Lander is currently fostering a one- year-old old lab-mix named Keeva who she's had for about a month. "Keeva is a beautiful dog. She has a reverse brindle coat and the build of a lab with the facial features of a pit bull," says Lander. Keeva has not had an easy life. She was relinquished to a shelter in Arkansas when she was just a few weeks old because she was sick. As it turned out, Keeva had parvovirus and pneumonia which are very dif- ficult to treat and deadly for puppies. Fortunately, she had a very strong will to live and fought her way to good health, said Lander. Her foster parents back in Arkansas called her "Miracle." Because Keeva spent her first few months in a shelter, she has not had any real training, but she is very sweet, said Lander. "Whenever Keeva is with another human she wants nothing but love and will melt right into you," she said. As sweet as she is, Keeva has a bit of a wild side and is very playful with other dogs. She loves being around other dogs, but does not understand certain boundaries. She needs a home with no other pets or a home that has a dog with similar energy. "There's nothing I'd warn people about her," Lander says, "She's just hard to place because she's had no training being so young and growing up in a shelter." When spending time with Keeva, By JESS BLACKLEDGE Valley Breeze Writer one might experience a toothy kiss or a nip on the leg. This is because the dog hasn't had the opportunity to socialize with many humans and uses the natural instincts dogs have to get attention from each other. Even though Keeva is a work in progress, she is trainable and just needs someone willing to put in the time and effort. Lander has already taught her to sit for treats, knowing that food motivates her. Keeva is a diamond in the rough and will be a perfect companion for the right home one day, she said. All she needs is love, patience, and consis- tent training. It has always been a dream of Lander's to foster dogs and rescue homeless animals. She loves the success stories and how rewarding it is to help animals find the right people. "It's rewarding to know you're contributing not only to the hap- piness of the animal, but also the people too," she said. By adopting a rescue dog, others experience that same joy, she said. Foster dogs are not always the easy option, but adopting is very reward- ing. They will be loyal companions, coming from humble beginnings, and they will appreciate the love of a new family so much more. Anyone interested in adopting Keeva or another dog can visit the New England Humane Society web- site or petfinder.com to fill out an application. From there, you will be contacted with further information in order to set up a time to meet a potential new member of the family. 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