Service Trip 2023: Day 4 Pine Bluff - Last Hope K9 Rescue
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Service Trip 2023: Day 4 Pine Bluff

Service Trip 2023: Day 4 Pine Bluff

Pine Bluff Animal Control

By: Jake Becker

I’m supposed to tell you about my 2023 service trip to Arkansas, specifically Pine Bluff. I could tell you about the projects I completed, how many dogs that were washed and loved, how many kennels were cleaned. I could tell you about Janie Smith and Cathy Turner’s 10 years of service. Instead, I’ll tell you this…

This is Honey. Honey is a bully breed and in Arkansas, that alone is as close to a death sentence as one can get. To make matters worse for Honey, Honey is located in the Pine Bluff Animal Shelter where pit bulls can only be saved by rescue. As if that weren’t enough, Last Hope and our southern partner Rescue Road are on heavy restrictions on who we can pull from shelters due to low numbers of adopters AND fosters who can let “pibbles” into their homes because of landlord and insurance restrictions. This is Honey. (Have you figured out yet that by reading this, you will not forget her name?)

Unfortunately, this is not at all surprising to me after multiple service trips and I have sadly accepted Honey’s fate. And yet, I cannot stop thinking about Honey. A scared, young, sweet girl who could have her whole life ahead of her. I’ll be honest, I have cried thinking about Honey and I’ll probably cry again. BUT it’s not about me, this is about Honey. I met Honey for all of 2 minutes and Honey left a lasting impression on me. In those 2 minutes, Honey (without truly knowing me or my character) gave me her shoulder for pets and kissed my hands, all while her terrified eyes scanned me and the rest of our group. If I didn’t know any better, Honey knew her fate too.

Honey’s and every other shelter pit bulls’ stories don’t have to be this way. Pine Bluff Animal Shelter, Last Hope K9 and Rescue Road are not the problem but they are only tiny, miniscule parts of the solution. Over-crowded shelters, backyard breeding, breed-specific laws and insurance restrictions are to blame. Fear of the breed (“pit bull” isn’t actually a breed anyways) is to blame. I don’t have the solutions, but I have the fight as do my fellow foster moms and dads. We need fosters now more than ever. Do you have a little fight in you? Her name is Honey.

You can learn more about Last Hope K9 Rescue’s annual service trip, here. Please consider donating to our service trip fundraiser.

  • Lori Privitt
    Posted at 16:07h, 02 May Reply

    This brings tears to my eyes, of course. So well said, Jake. So thoughtful and so thought provoking. We know sweet Honey is but one of hundreds – thousands with the same story. It is so important for more persons step up and save dogs’ lives by fostering. It’s not hard. Pretty simple, actually. It brings joy to our lives, meeting and caring for shelter dogs, most of which have had very little love in their lives. AND FOSTERING FOR A FEW WEEKS SAVES A DOG’S LIFE. PLEASE HELP! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!

  • Nancy Cherrington
    Posted at 17:25h, 09 June Reply

    Jake, Rescuers are a special type of human, the elevated type whose heart and mind are centered on defenseless animals who have no voice. The kind of person who travels to a location to wash dog kennels and pet the shoulder of a terrified pit-bull with the unlikely name Honey. I’m in Raleigh, North Carolina. My heart does not steer me in the direction of rescuing pit-bulls, rather, in the direction of Spain. They have dogs called Gallegos that look like American Greyhounds.. They are raised from puppies in cages, used for sport hunting, they are a commodity. When they are done with them (which means 9 our of 10 dogs), they hang them in trees, burn them, beat them, toss them onto city streets to die. Victims who have never been loved. There are US rescue leagues who bring them in from Spain.
    So, for some inexplicable reason, I landed on your website and read about Honey. You didn’t just write about the plight of a socially ill-favored breed of homeless dog. You wrote a stunning essay about her. An AWARD WINNING ESSAY.. A brilliant essay that gave her a voice. Do you realize you did that? A voice heard all the way over in Raleigh, North Carolina.
    You have a powerful talent, Jake, and as regards that, I have a suggestion. Get the names of the major newspapers in three surrounding states. Contact the person or department responsible for Opinions-Editorials/Human Interest stories. Get your essay and photo published. Get Honey’s story past your website. I heard a voice that came all the way from Spain. Let’s see how far your pen and Honey’s voice can travel.. Best regards to you, always.

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