Rescued dogs arrive in Woolwich

Posted:  Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 4:45pm

A van load of dogs rescued from Louisiana and hurricane-stricken Texas encountered heavy traffic Saturday as motorists pulled away from hurricane-threatened Florida, Passion For Pets Rescue leaders said during the wait at the Woolwich fire station.

Then at 2:49 p.m., the white van pulled off Route 1 and into the station’s Nequasset Road lot nearby. Smiles, barks, laughter and dog baths, towel-offs and shake-offs followed. But first, one by one, the five rescues from Texas and four others from Louisiana were relayed from the van into the arms of the nonprofit’s executive director Janine Hague of Woolwich.

“This means everything to me. It’s a good feeling,” knowing they were all safe and were going to receive care, fostering and then adoption, Hague said. “It’s the best.”

Hague kissed the arrivals and cradled them while their pictures were taken, then each canine moved on to their post-trip care. Volunteer Ryan Suga of Damariscotta held a hose attachment for Wilson as the Texas shepherd-plott hound mix drank from it while getting a bath. The dogs also  got flea, tick and heartworm medication Hague said Androscoggin Animal Hospital donated.

The Topsham hospital also provides consultations and other help, including spaying and neutering the organization’s rescues at cost or below cost, owner-veterinarian Jon Spelke said Sunday. Veterinary work has sad parts to it, and working with the group and its animals is one of the happy parts, he said. He added, when animals are in crisis from events like Hurricane Harvey, people want to help and, for those at the hospital, “This is something concrete we can do.”

In the hours before the dogs arrived, other dogs up for adoption played with toys and met with attendees under a mostly sunny sky. Leann and Greg Ryan of Woolwich had their latest Passion For Pets Rescue foster dog with them. Houston is very sweet and will be up for adoption, Leann said. The best part of fostering is seeing the dogs with their adoptive families, the Ryans said. Leann said it’s not hard to part with the foster dogs because their adoption makes room for more dogs to be rescued.

Woolwich firefighters helped Saturday. They put the fire trucks outside and set up tables and the hose for the dog baths, Hague said. They were called away to an accident but were back in time for the van’s arrival.

Among Saturday’s attendees was Lewiston’s Heather Turner, about to be providing a foster home to Mollie. Hague said the Louisiana dog survived being struck by a vehicle and left in a ditch. The other Louisiana dogs had also been found abandoned, Hague said. The Texas ones were from shelters where they were facing euthanasia due to the influx of pets following Hurricane Harvey, she said. 

Turner has an adopted Mississippi boxer-mix, Maggie, from the organization. “We had such a great experience with Passion for Pets, we want to do anything we can to help,” she said.

For information on donating, volunteering, fostering, or adopting, visit Passion for Pets Rescue Organization on Facebook.