Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Have you read Greg Mortenson's book "Three Cups of Tea" ? Mortenson was frustrated by the inability to bring immediate change to the Korphe Village in the Karakoram Mountains of Pakistan. So much had to be done, including building a bridge. Mortenson's was extremely frustrated. The Village Chief assured Mortenson that they had lived 500 years without a school and that they would be alright as the project came to be. ( Well, I paraphrase poorly) But I can't help but relate the book to the Sawmill Strays.
It's been just since January 9th or so that I went live with this blog and since then people from all over St. Louis, Troy, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; Manassas, Virginia; and Raleigh, North Carolina have donated and we have raised $405, I don't know what I hoped would happen, but I am impressed by the love in the world. We're surrounding West Virginia with love. It's hard for me as one who "wants it now", and is an immediate gratification kinda girl to wait. Wait for weather, wait for snail mail, wait for God's time.
This is Princess. Her owners did not have her spayed. Since 2007 there have been 33 puppies born to Princess and/or her offspring. WE can't blame Princess for that. So how can we help.
The dogs you see in this blog are what I have come to call the "Sawmill Hollow Strays". They live up the road from my friend Beverly on Sawmill Hollow Road in McDowell County, West Virginia. Their owners abandoned them Labor Day 2008.The family moved out of their trailer, and left the animals. Since then, Bev has been going to the property everyday and feeding the animals, cleaning up their living space, hauling in straw to help keep them warm.
Bev has 10 dogs of her own that she adopted after a WV shelter closed. You can read more about Bev and how I came to know her here. Save The Sawmill Strays
There are not adequate facilities in McDowell county to help these pets in the way that "Big City, high-tech" folks (like myself) would like to see happen. In St. Louis I would contact the Humane Society of Missouri, Randy Grim's Stray Rescue or The Open Door Animal Sanctuary in Jefferson County.
The only resources available to Bev and the Sawmill Strays are a dog-catcher with the county commission, a gas chamber and a no-kill shelter filled to capacity. Many times the animals are shot and left to die in the woods. But, Bev, you have all of us.
If you have read some of our previous posts you found that Bev and I became friends while I was a mission trip with my church group. Since that time in July 2007 Bev and I have remained in contact via the internet. Bev emailed me about how she was thinking about using her savings to have the pets neutered. She was worried, since she is very spiritual/religious woman, that God might have a problem with her not giving to her usual "formal" religious organizations that she usually donates to. We discussed it and decided that God surely would smile on a woman who is helping his creatures that have no one else. I immediately wanted to drive to Welch WV, 562 miles and help her. Ok, let's be real. What could I really do when I got there. She has to prepare her home to bring in the puppies, prepare some dog runs to house the adult dogs. Not much lumber is going to fit in the back of the VW bug. So this is the way I thougth I could help. Bring her story to all of you and ask all of us to work together and help as we are able.
Bev reports that she and her dad have been trying to get some dog runs set up, she has taken more straw up to the abandoned lease, she is getting boxes ready to bring the puppies home. She needs to write letters to area vets asking for prices for neutering surgery. Calls to the vets in her area are long distance. Bev uses phones at her neighbors or at one of her part time jobs at an area church.
Since January 9 we have collected $405 and Bev has saved $170. That's $575! I'll be checking with Bev to see if she would like us to send her a phone card, and we will be reimbursing her for the surgeries and for supplies for the dog runs as she incurs them.
Bev is finishing up a roll of film on a disposable camera and will be sending it to me, so we can post more photos of the pets and her work. Right now she says it is very bitter cold ( and if you live in the middle latitudes of the plain states this week, you know that feeling) and it is difficult to work outside.
So please help as you are able, share this post with all you know. If you are a praying kind of person, please send one, priority, for Bev and the Sawmill Strays.