Animal Sanctuary No Kill Raccoon Valley

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    Dogs Found - Ayda & Hunter
    We've always been a "dog family," so when my son, Scott, went to college, one of the first things he did as soon as he had his own apartment was adopt a dog from the local animal shelter. The dog, named Forty, was a rat terrier who was believed to have been mistreated by a previous owner, and he was very skittish at first and seemed to dislike human contact.  But Scott saw something in him, and they began to bond.

    Scott worked diligently to acclimate Forty to friends and family, and before long, he was spending occasional weekends with us.

    Rat Terrier Forty
    He was a very active terrier, to be sure, but had also evolved into such a loving lapdog that he frequently tried to share my pillow at night!

    One night when Scott was back home visiting, Forty bolted after a squirrel or rabbit and didn't return.  Scott searched for hours to no avail, and we spent the next day calling shelters and law-enforcement agencies in an effort to find this much-loved little dog.  As the dog's "grandma," I shed many tears thinking of Forty, with his thin little coat, wandering through the cold wet rain, lost and alone. 

    Combing the Internet for ideas on the second day, I stumbled across Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary and Rescue from a link on another Web site.  I spoke with Linda at Raccoon Valley and was thrilled to hear how she could offer to help us in our search, so I gave her the information to create a "lost dog" flyer, and I prayed and waited.

    One of the first things Linda did was contact local law enforcement in our community.  We had done that as well, but it definitely helped to have Raccoon Valley advocate for us -- because a mere two hours later, the Johnston Public Works Department called.  They had found Forty wandering a couple of miles from where he had last been seen and matched him to the photo on the Raccoon Valley flyer.  Forty had crossed a wide creek and had apparently gotten in a fight with another animal, as he was covered with scratch marks.  And he was cold, tired and hungry, to be sure.  But he was home!  The reunion between my son and his dog was wonderful for both of them, and for us.

    Raccoon Valley was a much-needed resource for us during a highly stressful time.  I had no idea their services existed, but I've already sent out a link to their Web site and recommended them to everyone in my address book.

    Thanks Linda and Raccoon Valley for such a happy ending!

    Lisa Byrd Ryan
    Urbandale, Iowa

    We are proud to share this success story with our readers.

    Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary & Rescue created their Pet Alert! Program (modeled after the human Amber Alert Program) specifically to help pets return home to their owners. Many community shelters do not have a Lost and Found program, and pets and people are never reunited.

    We recommend you make up a "Lost Pet" kit that you can keep safely in your home. Keep a current photo of your pet, along with specific details including behavior, disposition, likes and dislikes. If possible, make a flyer prior and have it ready to distribute. The quicker the notice goes out, the better chance you and your pet can be reunited.

    For more information or for assistance contact Please place Pet Alert! in the subject line to expedite a response.



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Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary & Rescue
PO Box 312, Des Moines, Iowa 50302 • PO Box 38, Boone, Iowa 50036
Tele: 515.577.1745 • Fax: 1-515.432.1970

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