With time running out, a shelter dog is rescued
Update: Sarge was finally adopted on Feb. 16, a week after a Pike County, Ohio, shelter took him to My Furry Valentine in a last attempt to find him a home.
Approximately 4,000 people attended and a total of 227 animals were adopted at the My Furry Valentine main event at flexi USA in West Chester Saturday and Sunday.
The total number of adoptions are expected to grow this week after rescues, like Adore-a-Bull, perform home checks. The rescue, which saves local pit bulls and pit bull mixes, received 35 applications for adoptions during the two-day event.
It is also unknown how many pets were adopted at the other 50 satellite locations, which included shelters, rescues and pet stores throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
Last year, 100 animals were adopted at the main event location. The total of pets adopted last year, combined between the main event and satellite locations, was 266.
One dog, who was left behind at this year’s main event, was rescued.
Sarge, who couldn’t be adopted through a Pike County dog shelter (Ohio) since he was part pit bull, faced an uncertain future.
Stray Animal Adoption Program (SAAP), which is located in Newport, Ky., stepped up at what appeared to be the dog’s final hour and rescued him.
Meet Sarge, the shelter’s favorite dog
Pike Pet Pals, a non-profit organization that assists in transporting shelter dogs to approved rescues throughout Ohio, thought My Furry Valentine was the event that was going save the Pike County Dog Pound’s (in Waverly, Ohio) favorite dog.
When the dog was first brought into the pound by deputies from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, he didn’t have a name and was emaciated.
Volunteers at the shelter fell in love with the dog, who they named Sarge. In fact, Sarge was so adored by the staff that he spent most of his time in front of the office instead of back in the kennel.
They all wanted him to find a loving home, but since it was determined that he was mixed bred with traces of pit bull, it became very difficult.
After dealing with shelter visitors, who were adopting pit bulls for the wrong reasons, the dog pound implemented a policy that made it nearly impossible for a pit bull or a pit bull mixes to be adopted.
Once the group found out about My Furry Valentine, they saw a way out for Sarge.
The hope was – if one of the 2,500 people, who attended the first day of the main event of My Furry Valentine, fell for Sarge then they could get one of the rescues on hand to perform the standard home check, which by policy the shelter couldn’t do themselves.
“He has been there (in the dog pound) the longest and if we can’t find him a home soon he will have to be put down,” Julie Mercer of Pike Pet Pals said at the event on Saturday afternoon.
“He is a very good dog. He loves other dogs. He just wants attention and to sit in your lap…he is a very good tempered dog. We just love him.”
Sarge breaks hearts at My Furry Valentine
Carolyn Evans, who organized, My Furry Valentine’s main event in West Chester this past weekend described her experience with Sarge as an “emotional roller coaster.”
Just a half hour after the first day of My Furry Valentine ended on Saturday, only a few volunteers remained and Sarge was the only dog left in the building.
The dog, who won the hearts of the volunteers at the event, wasn’t adopted nor was he rescued. And since the group, Pike Pet Pals, who brought him to the event was located in Pike County and needed to get back to help other homeless dogs, Sarge’s chances for survival appeared to be slim.
As tears were shed, volunteers of My Furry Valentine pleaded for Sarge’s life.
“Lots of people were stopping by to meet Sarge and I think we just all thought he’d get adopted. We were in shock at the end of the day,” Evans said. “We were trying to get them to stay, working out (a deal) if Sarge could stay with us.”
After hearing about Sarge’s story, Evans thought if no one adopted him that Adore-A-Bull would rescue him.
Adore-A-Bull co-founder Danny Kaiser worried if he had rescued Sarge that he wouldn’t get adopted since people approach his organization looking for pit bulls, not Sarge, who doesn’t look anything like one.
“He is caught in limbo,” Evans said. “There are 20 types of dogs that are mislabeled pit bulls. I believe that is where he falls. It is just a tough position for this poor dog.”
Eventually, Sarge left – without a home.
When Sarge arrived back at the shelter late Saturday in Pike County, his spot was taken. A stray dog, who had been tied to a tree and left by the shelter, had taken Sarge’s kennel.
But, unbeknownst to the Pike Pet Pals, Evans had been working the phones – trying to find a rescue for Sarge.
Eventually, she was able to get ahold Caroline Rollins of the Stray Animal Adoption Program (SAAP). Rollins, who is a dog coordinator at the Newport, Ky., rescue, met Sarge at the event and said that she would like help him.
“We decided to take Sarge for a couple reasons,” Rollins said. “Sarge was in dire need to find a rescue or forever home. He appears to have a bit of pit bull in him, which makes adopting him out extremely difficult.
“Sarge has a wonderful personality … we were happy to help him.”
With Sarge saved, the only problem was that he was a long way from his rescue – about 2 and a half hours away to be exact.
Despite not being able to reach the Pike Pet Pals or the Pike County Dog Pound, My Furry Valentine volunteers Teresa Scherl and Michael Lehmann decided to make the drive to get Sarge back to the main event on Sunday.
The pair drove two hours, found Sarge, and drove two hours back.
When they arrived at My Furry Valentine that afternoon, Sarge’s arrival was announced over the loud speaker. The crowd cheered.
Sarge still needs a home
“He is currently in his foster home and doing great,” Rollins said. “He loves dogs, kids, all people, and even does well with cats and other small animals.”
If anyone is interested in adopting Sarge, visit www.adoptastray.com and fill out the dog adoption application.
Or meet Sarge in person, as he will be at an adoption event this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Petco in Fort Wright, Ky.
Sarge is neutered, microchipped, vet checked and up to date on his shots. His adoption fee is $100.
NOTE: Adore-A-Bull Rescue worked with My Furry Valentine volunteers to help find the best rescue for Sarge. It has been brought to the attention of WestChesterBuzz.com, that the organization which helps hundreds of pit bulls throughout Greater Cincinnati find homes, has been criticized on its Facebook page. Again, while the organization did not rescue Sarge, it helped with Sarge’s rescue process.
See video – filmed on Saturday – “Trouble finding a home for Sarge”