Community, Latest News

Dogs rescued from December freeze finding new homes

Six dogs rescued by a Monongalia County dog warden during the below-freezing temperatures of late December have begun their journey to a new life after a seemingly rough start.

The story begins on Dec. 23, 2022, amidst one of the coldest weekends of the year, when Monongalia County Dog Warden Garrett Stansberry was called to assist a Monongalia County deputy with a call for endangered dogs in the Blacksville area. 

Monongalia County Canine Adoption Center Director Dana Johnson told The Dominion Post Stansberry went above and beyond to rescue the dogs after his vehicle got stuck, thanks to the freezing temperatures.

Despite needing to be rescued himself, he did not give up, and continued the search — eventually finding the dogs inside a camper in the Blacksville area. The camper had no electricity, no water, and offered no shelter as there was snow inside the camper as well.

By the end of the call, which took Stansberry from 9 p.m. until about 4 or 5 a.m. to clear, a half dozen dogs were seized from the frigid camper.

Johnson said many of the animals brought to MCCAC who become eligible for adoption are taken in by local animal rescues. In this case, Animal Friends of North Central West Virginia was able to take on the “camper crew.”

Animal Friends Shelter Coordinator Katie Short said the six dogs, who are all estimated to be between 1-3 years old, were a little timid at first, but have really perked up and have been doing really well.

Short said it is normal for dogs to be a shy initially, particularly when they have been held at the county shelter for pending court cases.  

“These guys are stored away at the dog pound for a little longer than normal, so sometimes that does not help their mental state,” she explained. “So when we get them they are still a little freaked out.”

Animal Friends has since been working with the dogs, who are now all spayed or neutered and fully vetted, on things like leash and kennel training while learning about their individual tendencies.

“We are learning all their little quirks and trying to see what makes them tick before placing them in homes,” Short said.  “A couple of them perked up more than others.

“A few of them really took to toys and treats and a couple just want to lay in your lap and cuddle,” she continued.  “It’s been fun to see them kind of come to life.”

Short said they have already had a lot of interest in the dogs — all of whom were posted for adoption on Feb. 2 — and have actually stopped taking applications for them due to the amount of interest.

Earlier this week, three of the dogs — Josie, a 2-3 year old dachshund mix; Odie, a 1-2 year old dachshund mix; and Tanner, a 2-3 year old dachshund/terrier mix — were adopted by their new forever families.

Animal Friends hopes to soon find homes for 1- to 2-year-old dachshund/terrier mix Watson, 1- to 2-year-old dachshund mix Ava; and Tucker, a 2- to 3-year-old terrier mix.

“They have been very good dogs and we have had very minimal issues,” Short said. “I think a lot of their behavioral concerns are based more on fear than anything — the uncertainty of what is going on, what’s happening now.”

While these six dogs are likely on their way to a better life, there are dozens of dogs and cats in our area who are also in need of forever families.

If there is room for a four-legged family member in your life, consider adoption from MCCAC or local rescues such as Animal Friends of NCWV, Mountaineers 4 Mutts, Appalachian Peace Paws Rescue, Homeward Bound, Animal House, Davis Crew Kittens, and others.

In addition to adoption services, many of the above rescues, as well as Mountaineer Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (M-Snap), offer vouchers for free or discounted spay or neuter surgeries for area pets.

TWEET @DominionPostWV