Thanks to this update fromThe Northeast Georgian on the former Dewy Rose dogs!
Alto residents asking for help with rescued dogs
By Gabby Pitts
Steve and Betsy Shi of Alto have brought a little piece of a Dewy Rose dog sanctuary home with them – six dogs and one cat.
But, the Shis need help, especially with socialization and exercise of the animals, and eventually, the animals will need to be adopted.
“We’re in desperate need for people to come out and interact with these animals,” said Betsy Shi.
Since aiding the Kat 5 Animal Rescue in a rescue project in Dewy Rose involving a cruelty hoarding case against the owners of a dog sanctuary in the late months of 2006, the Shis were just not able to forget about the dogs left behind at the sanctuary. At one point, more than 100 dogs were at the sanctuary, but with the help of Kat 5, all but 13 of the dogs were relocated to shelters. About half of the relocated dogs have been adopted, Shi said.
“We keep getting updates [that the dogs are being adopted],” said Shi. “That’s encouraging to us.”
After Kat 5 left the premises in late November, all but eight of the dogs were without a home. One of the only options left was to temporarily place the dogs in the care of Kat 5 co-founder Larry Roberts. Roberts, himself, runs a horse rescue program in Georgia and the dogs would be located to that facility. However, the problem with that, Shi said, is that the dogs would be in 10-by-10 enclosures in the middle of a field, exposed to the weather.
“They’d have no heat and no socialization,” said Shi.
With that undesirable option weighing heavily on their minds, Shi and her husband came home one night after dinner and thought, “What can we do?”
The Shis came up with a plan to clean out their basement and add four kennels to it in order to house the remaining dogs.
Four dogs – Miles, Bronson, Whiskey and Tanner – since have found a temporary home in the Shis’ basement, along with animals the Shis already had brought home from the shelter, dogs Julie and Bear and cat Dewy, as well as the Shis’ four dogs.
Since coming to the Shis’ home, the dogs have been visited by an animal behaviorist, who concluded that the last of the dogs left at the Dewy Rose dog sanctuary are fearful of things being thrown at them and male interaction, among other things. However, the behaviorist also said the dogs are happy at the Shis’ place.
The Shis, with the help of Kat 5, are working to get power of attorney over the other four dogs, who are currently being held at a veterinary office. Betsy Shi hopes that when they’re released they also will come to her home.
But, most importantly, she hopes that members of the community will donate their time to socializing with the dogs and walking them.
“Dogs are not like people,” said Shi. “They need to walk every day, so they need to get as much walking in as possible.”
She said with all the dogs they’ve got to walk, she and her husband can’t walk the dogs more than once a day. They currently are taking the dogs on morning walks, so volunteers walking the dogs in the afternoon would help greatly. But, Shi said, she and her husband are also flexible, if someone would prefer to walk the dogs in the morning.
However, she does request one thing for volunteers to walk the dogs.
“They need to be sure to bring waterproof boots and dress appropriately for the weather,” said Shi.
Those who would like to simply sit with the dogs can have access to the Shis’ WiFi hookup. This, Shi hopes, will attract college students, who can get schoolwork done while sitting with the dogs.
Those who volunteer also can aid the Shis in tracking the progress of each dog on their database. Steve and Betsy Shi’s son, Wes, built the database just for that purpose.
Betsy Shi hopes that the information collected on the database will be useful to persons who adopt the dogs.
Shi recommends that each of the animals be adopted into a home with other animals, especially for the dogs, which have a pack mentality and learn from the behavior of other dogs. She also recommends that the dogs, which still are very fearful, be adopted into a home with patient people who understand dog behavior.
To find out how you can help, call Steve and Betsy Shi at (706) 677-3905.
To view photos of the dogs, follow this link.
To view full descriptions of Bronson, Miles, Whiskey and Tanner, follow this link.
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