It takes more than a single person to change the world for the large number of family pets that find themselves at the mercy of the shelter system. It takes groups of committed individuals, networking together on behalf of the forgotten, in order to salvage the beautiful lives that otherwise might be lost.
It was that type of commitment and cooperation that allowed Titus to go from being nearly out of options, to a dog that now has the promise of renewed life before him.
Titus had been a family dog for ten years. Despite being a beautiful, devoted and loyal English Labrador, he lost his place in the home when a member of the family developed allergies. So, he was relegated to living a lonely life in the family’s backyard.
Soon after, Titus wandered away from the yard, perhaps in search of some human affection and companionship, and was picked up as a stray by animal control officers of Muskegon County. His owners were contacted but, Titus’s life was further unraveling. The family unit that he’d known since he was a pup had begun to disintegrate and, rather than continue to shuffle him back and forth between family members, it was concluded that no one actually wanted him.
So, Titus stayed at Pound Buddies.
It wasn’t just that Titus was a senior dog in a place that rarely has any empty kennels, he also had a seven-pound tumor on his neck that had never been treated. In fact, Titus had been so ignored that his owners couldn’t really explain how or when the tumor first developed.
But, Connie Karry, Executive Director of Pound Buddies, and her staff saw the pure light of love that emanated from his beautiful soul and sent out a plea to area shelters and rescues for someone to provide safe refuge for this damaged boy, until a forever home could be found. Connie was desperate. She knew, with the constant stream of homeless dogs entering her shelter, she wouldn’t be able to provide space for him for very long. She even went so far as promising to cover the cost of his surgery if someone would only be his savior.
If someone didn’t step up, time would quickly run out for Titus.
But, someone did step up. Heidi Yates, Director of Muskegon Humane, didn’t hesitate. With the help and support of her talented and able team, Titus was quickly transferred from Pound Buddies to the Muskegon Humane shelter, where he was welcomed with open arms and open hearts. Here Titus would have room to stretch-out along with comfort and care from people who dedicate themselves to making their “residents” feel as much at home as possible.
According Cindy Gruppen, a staff member at Muskegon Humane, “He was so excited and happy upon his arrival that he immediately began to roll around. He rolled right onto his tumor and it began to hemorrhage. So, we rushed him to Harborfront Animal Hospital for evaluation.”
It was determined that surgery needed to be done without delay and, after several hours of surgical procedure, the tumor was finally removed and Titus was on his way to full recovery.
This story of Titus illustrates two important things about the state of animal rescue in Muskegon County.
First, there is the incredible depth of love and compassion from those who commit their time and energy towards those animals who had trusted and were then betrayed; especially those that are broken and most vulnerable.
Second, there is the critical importance of cooperation and collaboration between animal rescue organizations in the pursuit of saving as many lives as possible; working together towards common goals makes those goals much more achievable.
Titus may only be one dog and saving one dog won’t change the world but, the efforts of Pound Buddies and Muskegon Humane have changed the world for Titus.
He’s ten-years-old with aging hips but, he has a huge heart and a strong desire to be around people. He’s truly affectionate and playful, especially with tennis balls and stuffed toys, which means he’s still a kid at heart. Titus would be the perfect companion for a caring person with a quiet home.
If you are interested in fostering or adopting Titus, please contact Muskegon Humane (231-773-8689) or visit their website.
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