Four Legs and Fur Animal Society
Making a Difference in the Lives of Companion Animals
Making a Difference in the Lives of Companion Animals
Four Legs and Fur Animal Society in Hermitage, Missouri is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping companion animals. We make a difference in the community, one animal at a time.
About 2 years ago, give or take...we got a call to help a poor dog who's family moved and left him to fend for himself. He was called "Old Man" by the neighborhood folks and he just wandered from house to house looking for a handout. He got a few morsels here and there but his nutrition was not the best and he began to go downhill.
Even though everybody seem to like the old fella, nobody really wanted him to take him into their home as a family member so they called Four Legs and Fur to see if we could help him out. Well, of course we did because we can't stand to see any animal suffer or be rejected.
When I picked up this wayward fella, he was quiet, very dirty and looking very dejected. It broke my heart. How do people do this to a family pet? He was even a purebred...a schnauzer at that. They just moved and left him...how?? Some things are beyond comprehension. I didn't like to call him Old Man, it just wasn’t dignified or personal, so he lovingly became Manny.
Some local folks heard about Manny and his situation and offered to keep him for a few weeks until we could find him a permanent home. So, Manny went to begin his new life. They took him in, gave him a bath, took him to the vet, fed him good food... they were wonderful to him. Manny was treated like one of their own, and he began to look and feel better.
Then we got a call from a woman who was looking to help a dog and also wanted a companion. She saw Manny's picture on our Facebook page and told me she would like to have him. I explained that he was an older dog rejected by his family and that it might take him a while to adjust and that we really didn't know anything about his past but she wasn't worried about that and wanted to give him a home.
So Manny moved into his new home with Jenni and his new life began. He not only had to adjust to a new house and a new neighborhood, but there was a big German Shepherd next door who really didn't like him and shortly after he moved in, his eyesight began to fail. His eyesight deteriorated quickly and we found out Manny had severe cataracts in both eyes and he started to walk into things, and off the porch edge and he would drop to the ground... so that was just another thing for Manny and his new owner to contend with.
What do you do? You take in a dog and suddenly he's blind? In a case like this, all you can do is love him and take care of him and do the best you can and that's exactly what Jenni did. Jenni didn’t want to give him back. She made a commitment and was sticking to it. Jenni also had a boyfriend who didn’t like dogs in the house. When I asked about that issue, Jenni smiled and said, "He'll get used to him!". Well, it didn’t take long for Manny to win Marty over and soon the love affair began. I saw pictures of Manny sleeping on top of Marty on the sofa during naps. (Marty denied it for a long time but pictures don’t lie!) Road trips to town usually netted Manny a burger at McDonald's and he lived the life of a king. He got belly rubs and whatever he wanted!! Manny was a very spoiled little boy.
We got word that Manny passed away on March 5th. That was a very sad day for his family and for me when Jenni told me. We never truly knew how old he really was, but he was old.
The important thing to always remember is, even if we have an animal for only a short while... how we treat them speaks volumes. Even though Jenni's time with Manny was limited, she showed him love, she showed him respect, she treated him like family, and he was involved in every part of her life. Isn't that what truly matters when we have animals? That we love them and are good to them and give them the best life that we can? That we never disrespect them or hurt them in any way?
When Jenni told me of Manny’s passing, I had to speak for him. I told Jenni... Manny would thank you if he could. Manny never had to wonder if he was loved. Never needed for anything and sure loved those burgers!!
Thank you Jenni! Thank you for reaching out for a dog who was rejected and thrown out like garbage by the family that was supposed to be his forever. Manny felt your love and never had to wonder. And don’t forget Marty! For a man who said dogs shouldn’t be in the house... he sure changed his tune quickly. Manny taught you a love you never knew. He was wise beyond his years. Manny couldn’t see but he knew what he was doing, that's for sure! Thanks for all the love you gave him! He felt every ounce of what you shared.
RIP Manny boy!! You touched the lives of many and you were important to us all! You were awesome!!
Why We Do It
Why We Do It
A lot of times when you work in the rescue field, it's very taxing on the heart, it wears you down and brings a lot of sadness. Some days you wonder why you do it, because it seems no matter what you do, you just can't make any headway. The sadness is overwhelming...and then there's compassion fatigue. There are the times you can't find a foster family and there is no one that will step up to help a homeless or injured animal, and there's just no more options…and you have to say no, you're not able to help this animal at this time. These are the hardest words to say and the worst scenario to accept. I know it's impossible, but we still want to help every animal that's in need and every person who calls us asking for help. We want to... but we can't, every time. Sometimes, even though we spay and neuter hundreds of animals a year, unwanted and unexpected litters continue and we can't keep up with the dumped animals and the no longer wanted pets who need new homes.
But then there are stories like these, that ground us and bring us back to the reason why we do what we do...
On January 31 a super-sweet pitbull came to us by way of Louisburg. Whether dumped or abandoned, no one claimed JD so we stepped up for him. We got him to the vet for an evaluation and vaccinations and set up his appointment to be neutered. We looked for a foster but none were available so we had to turn to boarding; neither ideal nor ever our first choice. JD spent quite some time at All Creatures in Bolivar and we knew he was in good hands but it was now going into March so we were thrilled when a rescue in Michigan, Paws to the North, stepped up to say they’d take him! Plans were made for transport and on March 23, JD left Missouri on his freedom ride! We later heard that JD spent less than two weeks at his Michigan foster before finding his forever family. Have a long and happy life JD!
Then there's Dinga, a heeler found at the hospital in Bolivar, looking into each car and person searching desperately for her family. She spent a week at the pound and wasn’t claimed so she was pulled and spent a few weeks with the most perfect foster in Bolivar before being picked up by her new family. She went to live in Warrenton Missouri on a 100 acre ranch with 6 other heelers where she will live her life worry free and spoiled rotten. Couldn't have happened any better!
Next is Snowball and Fluffy. We were asked to find new homes for these pups because life had changed at home. Fluffy, a four month old mastiff mix, didn't even get posted. He met with one of our board member families and was immediately adopted to be a buddy for their boy Diesel, another mastiff mix. A friendship that was meant to be! Good for both of them and they will grow up together and be friends forever. Snowball didn’t have to wait long for a new home either. She met her new forever mama and started her new life as 'Sophie' in Buffalo, Missouri. She has a big fenced yard and she will live like royalty for the rest of her life!
Then there's the biggest miracle of all. A dog found in the country visiting from home to home for over a week, was reunited with his family that he was separated from four years ago! He was 30 pounds thinner but he remembered his family and furry sister when he saw her and was ecstatic to get back home after so long. The reunion was very tearful and dramatic and lasted many days. Grown children come home to see him and get their hugs once again. All the hugs and kisses they missed for the last 4 years they are making up for! All the snacks and biscuits he didn't get, all the love he missed out on is being made up for now. An extremely touching reunion and one of the best I have been involved in...ever!
To see these five dogs get a new start fills our hearts with joy. We always see the posts of dogs dumped without finding their homes, and the sad stories of lost animals that aren’t found so with five furry kids getting a wonderful new start, it helps us remember why we keep doing what we do. Stories like these reenergize us and we are so thankful for happy endings!
Three Times A Charm
Three Times A Charm
We received a call in mid-March about a dog who needed help. Taz, a Jack Russell mix, was living in a house with four other small dogs. The man who had been keeping her said he rescued her from someone in Buffalo but he really didn’t want her anymore and she needed to be gone. Shy and timid, Taz shook all the while we transported her to her foster’s house but under Teresa’s care, Taz’s sweet personality broke through. I thought she’d be snapped up in a heartbeat: she rode well in a car, wasn’t a barker, walked nice on a leash, and took treats nicely. She just wanted someone to love her.
It looked like Taz had a forever home by mid-April when a young family with three children, a dog and a cat scooped her up. But sadly, it wasn’t to be. The kids were a bit too young and boisterous for Taz who likes a bit of peace and quiet so she came back to us and Teresa while we continued to search for the perfect home. We also modified her profile recommending she go where the children were older.
By the time May rolled around, we had another family step up for Taz. While the son was living at home, he was definitely old enough to not be pulling an ear or tail or chasing Taz around the house and yard. There was only one other dog. All went well at first but something changed in the dynamic and Taz came back to us again. In just the two months we had known Taz, she had now changed homes four times and it was a lot for her to deal with. Four times of learning new routines, new environments and the uncertainty of when things would change again. She was a sweet dog whose life was anything but stable. My heart was breaking for her. Taz needed a home where she could decompress, gain confidence and find her place. We modified her profile again: no young children and no other dogs. This was becoming more challenging and I didn’t want to fail her! I knew she would not do well in a shelter environment.
Then one day I received a call from a young family wanting to adopt a dog. They didn’t have any dogs and the kids wanted one. Did we have any needing a home? I asked about the ages of the children and while they were young they were also old enough to listen when mom or dad said “Leave the dog alone”. I took a chance and talked to them about Taz; everything she had been through and what she’d need going forward. They were not only receptive, they were excited about meeting her. On June 27, Taz went to her new, forever home. They love her and she’s thriving. Her new life had finally begun and to recognize the break between her old life and new, the family changed her
name to Nova.
“Hello Nova, it’s nice to meet you!”
From Pumpkin to Drago
From Pumpkin to Drago
Life can be very hard when you’re a dog on your own and when you’re running a highway on your way to wherever it can be even harder. On October 31, a gorgeous Alaskan Malamute was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was hit by a car on US Highway 65. The driver never stopped. We were called and went looking for him. Down in the ditch, only a small part of his body rose above the weeds and tall grass. Had we not been driving slow and searching, we’d have missed him. With his injuries and cold weather, he could have lingered a long time. He certainly would have suffered.
With some assistance, we got this big dog out of the ditch and loaded into my car. Obviously in pain, this beautiful dog never once showed teeth, growled, or made an attempt to put teeth on us as we moved and jostled him around. We dubbed him Pumpkin and brought him to the vet. X-rays told the story. He had taken the brunt of the impact on his chest and had one broken rib. It was also likely he had some spinal bruising since he wouldn’t stand and he’d voided his bladder while lying down. He’d definitely need supportive help when walking while he recovered. Within a day or so, Pumpkin was up and walking with assistance. He went right into boarding since no fosters were available.
Pumpkin spent quite a bit of time in boarding but the staff loved him! After he’d healed enough from the car injuries, we had him neutered and worked with the vet to find a good solution to a problem with his left hip that left him with a noticeable limp. Pumpkin stayed in boarding all through Christmas and New Year’s. On February 1, he went to his forever home. Deciding that Pumpkin didn’t truly suit his beautiful soul, the family renamed him Drago. He’s been living like a king ever since.