On July 11, a Manatee County Animal Services road officer picked up a nondescript little stray dog, what those in rescue commonly refer to as FBD -- Florida Brown Dog.
MCAS contacted the clinic named on her rabies tag and learned that her name was "Baby," she was 15 years old, but two telephone numbers they had on file were disconnected.
It was surprising that no one came looking for the dog since she was in very good condition and had obviously been well-loved.
We will never know how this little girl came to be wandering on her own, as we seldom know the history of a stray dog, but we do know how she came to be laying on my sofa as I write this; it took "a village" to get her here.
Contrary to the way some are determined to portray MCAS, there are compassionate and dedicated people working there doing jobs that others could never handle.
As part of that dedication, the search started to find a rescue organization that could take a 15-year-old dog, and the employee doing this even continued over the weekend, from her own home, on her own time.
Rescue groups posted and cross-posted on social media: Who has the space? Who has the medical budget for a senior's needs?
Then one group said they could pull her from MCAS and assume any medical care but did not have a foster home available. Further networking produced a temporary foster placement.
Continued efforts to locate the owners by putting up fliers and knocking on doors in the area where the dog was found were futile.
As karma would have it, Baby's fate would lay in the paws of a 15-year-old cat, himself a rescue from MCAS years ago. If we could pull off a meet-and-greet without any fur flying, then she would have a permanent home. And the rest, as they say, is history and I have a Baby on my sofa.
When there is no more room at the county animal facility and rescue groups can't take in any more, dogs have to be euthanized, not by a bunch of ghouls who can't wait to get their hands on the next one, but by people like you and me, except that they have the job and we don't. We should celebrate the huge save rate that our county is accomplishing and we should support those in a thankless job.
If egregious behavior occurs, it should be reported and dealt with, for sure, but petty sniping and rehashing of old grievances is counter-productive and mean-spirited. The "Village" of Manatee County is doing a pretty darn good job and we should all be proud -- just ask Baby.