Nine Lives – Part I

July 8, 2013  

The story of a mama, her puppies, and the woman who rescued them

Most of us have seen the Facebook pleas: a photo of a pit bull at the shelter, a little scared but smiling hopefully up at the camera. Next to the photo the word “Urgent” and a time of death: “To be euthanized tomorrow morning.”

In June 2011, Lori Jolly saw just such a post – a mama dog and her eight tiny babies set to be euthanized at a Bakersfield, California, shelter.

Abandoned by their owner, the overwhelmed shelter didn’t have the space or resources to keep them.

A mother herself, Lori couldn’t stop thinking about that mom and her pups – a whole family about to be wiped out.

She saw the plea over and over again as the hour of their death drew closer. No one could take the pit bull family. A longtime rescue volunteer, Lori had been toying with the idea of starting her own rescue to help the abandoned pets that she saw slipping through the cracks. However, this mama dog and her eight babies were a big gamble. No one knew anything about the mama dog’s temperament, and they were located hours away. Could the dog have severe behavior issues? Could mom or babies have major health problems that would send the vet bills sky high?

Other people posted that while they couldn’t take the dogs, they would donate via ChipIn. With time almost up, Lori made the decision. Jericho’s Promise Animal Rescue, named after her beloved German Shepherd Jericho, was born.

Nine dead dogs became nine living dogs – a mom and puppies with a chance to grow up, a chance to play, a chance to have a family who loves them, a chance to live.

It can be overwhelming to see those desperate Facebook pleas every day and to think of all the dogs that no one rescued. But one person can make all the difference. Here, we bring you the story of just such a person and the nine dogs that were given a chance at life because of people like her. It’s a story of hope.

All over this country, there are people like Lori changing a death sentence to a chance at life for a dog in need – the people who rescue, the people who donate, the people who foster, the people who transport, the people who educate, the people who volunteer, the people who adopt, and the shelter workers who go the extra mile to save dogs. This series is a tribute to all such people. On behalf of abandoned pets everywhere, we thank you.

This article was originally published on June 21, 2011

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