SAVE THE DATE
Saturday Feb 14th 10am-2pm
Tractor Supply Company
1450 State ad 60 E
Lake Wales, FL 33853
Saturday Feb 14th 10am-2pm
Tractor Supply Company
1450 State ad 60 E
Lake Wales, FL 33853
Sebring Angels is a state not-for-profit, that has now applied for their federal 501c3 status. We are all volunteer and every cent we take in, goes to the care of the animals in rescue. We have many in foster homes, and several in boarding at different facilities. Each month, between medical and boarding, we pay out between $5000-$7000. This is a huge undertaking and commitment we take on for these amazing animals. We can't do this alone.... We need all of you!! We are not yet eligible to be a tax deductible entity, but will be soon.... And we are legally a Florida Charity.... Please consider helping in whatever amount that you can! Whether it's $2 or $50, it all adds up and is truly appreciated by the Sebring Angela babies that it helps.
Okay, I promised I would tell the story about Isabelle, previously known as Mama the Dog. Well it starts with memories of Shasta, Easter Sunday, and clicking "LIKE" on a link on Facebook. Holidays are always the toughest since losing Shasta over 2 years ago, and this Easter was no exception. When I returned home from work, I took the dogs out, changed out of my uniform and checked facebook. While logged in I saw a page listed on the side called Pet Pardons, I opened it, got the idea what it was about, and clicked "LIKE". I didn't open any of the links within. I walked away and started cooking dinner and fed the dogs.
As the night went on, something kept nagging me to go back to Pet Pardons page. I fought it for hours, literally. I didn't want to be even more sad, after spending Easter working. Finally I gave in and went back to the page.....I randomly clicked on a link, and gasped for air. It was like looking at Shasta on the page, but half her size. Now realistically she is not Shasta and never will be, but to open this one link and find a dog that does look so alike was more than a coincidence. I read her story, she was surrendered by her owners along with her 4 puppies to a small county shelter in rural South Carolina. The puppies were all adopted out, but not Mama.....and she was set to be put down in less than 48 hours. I panicked, started writing emails to rescue organizations in that and surrounding states, I posted her story and asked for help. When I finally tried to lay down and go to sleep it was close to one a.m., and sleep was avoiding me.
I laid in my bed and prayed, I told God if I was meant to save this dogs life he needed to show me how, he needed to take the wheel. I already have 2 small dogs, and work 2 jobs to make ends meet. What could I do to help, I didn't have money until payday, I needed to work on Monday and couldn't drive to South Carolina myself, I was actually kind of mad that God would put me in this position. I knew inside that if I didn't save this dog, it was gonna kill me inside. I don't know if I have ever prayed as hard for his help and his guidance. After tossing, turning, and dreaming all night, I got up before 7 a.m., and got back to work. Emailing and posting and fighting to save this dog that I strongly knew was meant to live. Strangers from across the country and even into Canada started writing to me, offering help in the way of donating to help pay fees and with transportation. WOW! This was incredible, God was working..... However I still had to find someone that could go save the dog! I was getting to the end of the phone numbers of rescue organizations that I could find, when at this one although they couldn't help, they gave me a number of someone they hoped could. He told me to contact Karen Wilkins at Maranatha Farms, a small rescue organization. So, I called Karen and her reaction to my request was to tell me to get in my car and drive up there to save the dog then. I burst into tears at that point, going on little sleep and feeling so strongly about this. I don't know what happened then to change Karen's mind, but suddenly she asked if I would be willing to adopt this dog if she goes and pulls her. Without even thinking I said "YES". She said she would drive to Varnville which is 45 minutes away from her, to this shelter where she had never been, and that she would send me adoption forms in the mail. Suddenly I could breathe freely again. I quickly reached out to the people that were offering help and told them the new. Before Karen even returned from pulling Mama, she had received the 1st donation.....by the end of the day she had 2 donations.
When Karen was driving back from the shelter she called me, and I happened to be driving to work at the same time. She told me that Mama looked healthy and would be getting spayed and vaccinated by the vet for the shelter before they would release her to her. Then she explained to me that while there she rescued another dog and 2 cats, one of the cats had a broken leg so bad that it was dangling. Paying the fees for their release had drained her funds, so it was great that donations were starting to go in at this same time.She also offered that when Mama the dog is ready to travel, she will drive as far as Jacksonville or the border of Florida. Which is perfect since another wonderful person from Orlando had offered to drive as far as GA to get her and bring her to our area.
When she arrived home, the shelter called her and begged her to take a 3rd cat, another broken leg. She agreed to to this. All of these animals would have died this past Tuesday if I hadn't fought to save this one dog, and if I hadn't found an angel named Karen Wilkins to help me.
As Karen and I have talked, I have learned more about her and her organization. She typically only rescues animals that are sick or injured, the ones that don't have a fighting chance for adoption, and my request had caught her off-guard. There are bigger organizations in her area that rescue healthy, easy to adopt animals, and they have big events to raise funds unlike her small organization. Karen is a vet-tech, and in order to get better rates for the animals she is helping, she spends weekends and holidays cleaning the cages and caring for the animals at various vet offices. Wow! How many people would do that? When her animals are ready to adopt out, she goes with them to a local Petco for adoption fairs. She also uses some foster homes for them. I am just amazed to have found someone so truly self-less in this world. It gives me hope.
Okay, so on Monday I spent the day with my mind racing. What was I doing, did I bite off more than I can chew? I am still making payments on Boo's many surgeries last year after he was attacked. How would I tell my Mother, will my landlords be okay with this. Doubts and fears were closing in on me. That night I went home and prayed again. I asked God once again to show me if this was what he really wanted. Did I do the right thing, was this his plan? When I awoke in the morning, I took a deep breath and waited for God's signs.
I was getting ready to leave for work when my landlord arrived to do some work on the house, again I took a deep breath. I went out and asked him if he would be okay with my having a 3rd dog, a female that is about 35 lbs that is spayed. He thought for less than 30 seconds, and said that he would have no problem with that. Phew, relief....okay God lets keep going....
Driving to work Tuesday I called Karen and asked if she had mailed me the adoption forms, she said no. Then proceeded to tell me that she wasn't going to require the forms from me, that Mama the dog was already mine. She said that by orchestrating what I had over the last 24 hours to save her, I had proven myself as a responsible pet owner....and besides she said that when she met Mama the dog, she had told her she was mine.
Okay, so God was holding up to his end, doing his part so far. I did still have a big hurdle to leap yet though, that was to tell my Mom. So again, Tuesday night when I went to sleep I prayed for God to let me know when it was time to tell her. I have never been good at lying, and I didn't want to keep this from my Mom.
Driving to work on Wednesday I was talking to Mom, we were talking about Ghiradelli, or Gerri as they call him. Ghiradelli is a dog that I found online for them when I was home for Christmas 2 and a half years ago. They had decided if they found a poodle or bischon they would adopt. I spent Christmas night up on the computer searching, I had gone into Canada even. I was about to give up, when I saw the name Ghiradelli and clicked on it. There he was, the dog for them. He was in Ogdensburg 45 miles away. I was concerned though, it was showing him being at the shelter for over 7 mths, past their time to put down. I was afraid the link was a mistake. I called in the morning and spoke with someone, and yes he was there. He should have been put down, but they had kept sneaking him through, he had a purpose and they knew it. His name had been Sweets, until a few days earlier. The girl I was speaking with said he never answered to it, and she thought he needed something catchier to find a new owner. She was going through the checkout and saw a bar of Ghiradelli white chocolate, and knew that was to be his name. Without that name, I wouldn't have clicked. See many of you know, but some may not, Shasta had gotten a hold of some Ghiradelli dark baking chocolate when she was about 8 yrs old. She survived it, but it was a scary day. So Shasta played a part in finding Ghiradelli for my Mom and stepdad.
So, the way our conversation was going, something told me it was time to tell her. I started by asking her to please listen and not to get mad, I wanted her to hear the story from beginning to end. She agreed, and I had to ask a couple of times if she was still there. Amazingly she was not mad, she was astounded how many people had reached out to save her. She did of course say, don't ask me for help with her. LOL! Which I already knew. The funniest part was that she said when I started to tell her the story, Gerri had come over leaned against her leg and looked up at her. He stayed there the entire time. She said it was like he knew what i was telling her.
God once again had been steering the wheel.
Since losing Shasta, I have often thought how I need to write a book about her, and her amazing life from being a 3 week old puppy that the vet told me I was wasting my time on. She helped rescue many other dogs and cats in her life, and more than once, she rescued me. I have shared stories about her this week to some of my new friends, and several have suggested that I write her story. I think in some strange way, God has orchestrated this to get me started. How many times do you hear about 5 animals being saved a day before death, by a fight to save one?
Welcome to the Sebring Angels Website Launch! Leave us any comments or feedback, it's greatly appreciated.