When Macon Animal Control, an animal shelter in Georgia, held a “pardons week,” they hoped to get every single dog adopted or into a foster home. That way, none of them would have to be euthanized. After reading about this on Facebook, a veterinarian named Dr. Andy Mathis called and offered to adopt or foster a few of the dogs to help out the cause.
He was able to show that with just a little extra love and patience, so many incredible dogs can be spared from the devastating fate of being euthanized.
Dr. Mathis told the shelter that he could take up to four difficult-to-adopt dogs. He knew that he could keep one and help the other three. His plan was to spay or neuter them, rephotograph them, teach them the basics of walking on a leash, and then put them on Petfinder. Essentially, he had planned to get them off death row and give them more time to find the perfect forever homes.
One of these dogs was a Shepherd Mix named Jimmy. Jimmy was brought to the shelter after being caught in a trap. He was feral and extremely frightened of people. Jimmy hardly tolerated touch, let alone walking on a leash. He chewed through everything, and it was extremely obvious that he was desperate to get away.
Jimmy was the kind of canine who would have had an extremely hard time finding a forever family. Hopeful families looking to adopt tend to gravitate towards playful, happy pups, not the ones who avoid eye contact and dodge any attempts at affection. So it was extremely likely that without the pardon, Jimmy would have been euthanized. But once he was out of the stressful shelter environment, everything started to change.
“Sometimes dogs that seem not very adoptable will blossom with a little time and TLC,” said Dr. Mathis.
Slowly but surely, Jimmy started to take treats from Dr. Mathis’ hand and began to accept affection. With patience and love, he learned to walk on a leash and even how to interact with and befriend other dogs. Jimmy just needed a little extra time to learn that he could trust humans. And then he was able to blossom into an incredible canine companion.
YouTubeRight now, there are thousands of dogs just like Jimmy in animal shelters and foster homes who need our help finding their forever homes. How can we help? We can share their stories, volunteer, donate, foster, and adopt.
You can check out a video that showcases Jimmy’s incredible transformation below.