Written By: Kate, Events Coordinator
On the other side of the state, Group 2 headed east… to West Memphis! And yes, it is west of Memphis, on the western side of the Mississippi River. We met Cassie, an Arkansas foster who volunteers at the West Memphis shelter, before sunrise in Little Rock at 6 am! Cassie got involved at West Memphis because she had to stay overnight there for work from time to time and decided volunteering was better than sitting around her hotel room. From there the Group 2 vans followed Cassie two hours east to the shelter. When we arrived the day was already warming and the sun was filtered between clouds, and the shelter had a cherry red trim and welcoming sign.
There were puppies out front to greet us that were going to another rescue later in the afternoon! We all gathered for a morning talk with Kerry, the shelter director, then she had us take all of the dogs out in the big fenced in yard areas for walks and play time. The dogs were all beautiful and well behaved, and loved hanging out with us in the sun. There were a quite a few sobering moments, like how many dogs test positive for heartworm (all but three when we were there), and meeting an amazingly sweet older pit bull named Maude who we knew had had an incredibly hard life.
A few of us washed the fluffy puppies (and of course had to hold them while they dried), and then we had sandwiches for lunch and discussed the afternoon.The kennels outside needed to be painted so they would be brighter and more welcoming for people looking to adopt dogs, so we moved all of the dogs out of the kennels to the ones in the yard area, then split up into three painting teams to tackle the walls! We were able to completely finish four of the kennels, making sure to sing and dance to motivate ourselves. Meeting everyone from West Memphis animal control and seeing how much care they give the dogs, and being able to help them with anything they needed for the day, was truly rewarding.
At the end of the day, we were able to take Chico, a ten pound Yorkie mix who was surrendered that morning, with us to a foster home. He’ll hopefully be coming home with us to Massachusetts on Monday! On the way home a few of us took a detour through Memphis to gaze upon the mighty Mississippi before heading back to Little Rock for a dinner party thrown by Charlotte, one of our hosts!