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Our Holiday Store is Open!
All proceeds benefit animals of Frederick County, Maryland.
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UPDATE - August 1, 2020. Our adoption center remains closed.
We will continue with the food bank for registered customers the first and last Saturday of the month.
The new food bank hours will be 10am to 12noon.
Please look for adoption opportunities on our Facebook page.
Happy Tails for these Adopted Animals
I was left at Animal Control. My chances of someone adopting a pudgy 8 year old were slim. AWL rescued me in early December, 2011. Even though the people at the AWL center were wonderful, I was sad. They asked a nice couple of pet parents if they would foster me and get my weight down for adoption.
I turned on the charm when we met and they thought I was adorable, even though I was chunky! They gave me my own room until I was ready to mix in with their other rescued cats and dogs. My first day out with the others was Christmas Day, 2011! I could retreat to my own room whenever needed. I was so excited, I ran and jumped and played and haven't stopped! They renamed me Bonkers, but they call me Bonny for short. It means "pretty" and having slimmed down to 11 pounds, I am quite a looker!
They limit me to breakfast and dinner only, each day, wet food with some dry sprinkled in. I get fresh water and treats, but no grazing between meals. I complain about it, but I'm really happy. With sunny soft beds, toys, great food, and daily combing, I quickly decided to adopt my foster family!
Cooper and Ticker's Story
Our adoptive parents wanted to share how lucky we are to have found such a loving and warm home after having such a scary beginning to our lives. The Animal Welfare League rescued us from a shelter and saved us both from euthanasia. They gave us lots of TLC in a group home until we were adopted by them in September 2010.
Although we are not really related, we quickly became inseparable. We love watching the birds outside from the safety and comfort of our sunroom.
Please help by adopting one of our friends that we left behind at the Animal Welfare League. We promise you will be as happy with your decision to adopt as our folks!
This is Jasper's story, as told by his former foster mom, AWLFC volunteer Ann Virts.
It was early December and I had stopped by Frederick County Animal Control to see if there were adult cats in need of rescue. I found a handsome boy that had been abandoned in Jefferson. He looked like a purebred Maine Coon. A sweet boy, the minute I picked him up, he melted into my arms and made biscuits. You know the ones that steal your heart in an instant... well, this was one of those cats! I knew he was meant to be my foster. Little did I know that this was the start of a series of events that would reunite a young couple with their cat.
Jasper's story starts 6 months earlier when a young couple, Emily and Tom, were advised by their pediatrician to re-home their two 5-year old Maine Coon cats because the cats may pose harm to their premature baby, Zoe. After posting an ad at their veterinarian's office, they were contacted by a family and after multiple conversations and a home visit, they decided to re-home them. Now I know some people will say that they could have kept their cats. But imagine having a baby 2 months early and having the doctors tell you that the cats could pose a health risk to your infant. And, rather than dumping the cats at a shelter, this couple did all of the work to find what they thought was a good home.
Six weeks passed and Emily and Tom received a call from Animal Control - one of the two cats turned up at the shelter as a stray! Luckily for everyone, he was micro-chipped. But when the couple called the new owners, they were told that they were divorcing and moving and that they did not want the cat back but that they were keeping Jasper, the other cat! They refused to return calls and the situation became very bizarre.
From time to time, Emily and Tom, now with their healthy baby and the returned cat, would check petfinder.com looking for Jasper and then, one day, they saw the cat I had named Thor! They emailed me and told me his story. After several emails with pictures and phone calls, I knew this was their cat! When I saw the look on their faces when they saw Jasper, I knew I had made the right decision to return their cat.
While this story has a happy ending, far too many animals are taken to shelters or re-homed because of antiquated information given to new parents by doctors. As a humane education organization, we must continually educate people about how they can keep their animals as part of their family, even when circumstances change.
Trike and Teeter
Trike was brought into the local shelter after injuring his paw in wire. The leg had to be amputated and Trike faced certain euthanasia. AWLFC stepped in, paid for his surgery, and the current AWLFC treasurer later adopted him. A few years later, she also adopted another 3-legged kitty named Teeter (aka 'Mootsie'). Both cats manage to wreak havoc in their home, despite having only 6 legs between the two of them! They are dearly loved!
Pixie was adopted out by AWLFC but returned 2 years later when her owners had to enter an assisted living facility. Pixie was obese, topping the scales at 24 pounds! She was so large that she couldn't even groom herself. After 6 months in foster care, Pixie was adopted by the best-selling author, Eleanor Herman. Pixie is now a trim 15 pounds.
After I was abandoned in a parking lot, I wandered around sad and confused. I tried in vain to join an existing feral cat colony but I was an outcast. Early one chilly October morning, I saw two women and started walking toward them when I heard one of them say, "He isn't one of the regular ferals and he certainly isn't neutered." The next thing I knew, I was scooped up, put into a little box, and when I woke up, I knew something was different. I later learned that I was the recipient of the 21st neuter of the day at the AWLFC's inaugural spay/neuter clinic! After spending a few weeks with the nice AWLFC volunteers at their new office, I was adopted by two wonderful ladies. I love to cuddle and be held. My new moms say it's like having a human baby - they walk around and do their chores without putting me down because they know how much I love to be held. I am finally getting my chance to be a spoiled "baby".
I ended up at Frederick County Animal Control because my family didn't want a handicapped cat. I tried to tell them I could get around just fine with my deformed leg and that I would be the most loving pet, but they just didn't want me. The shelter was full and my future looked bleak... after all I was competing with so many "normal" cats. A staff person knew that the AWLFC would take special needs cats. When their foster coordinator saw my potential, she rescued me and put me into a foster home where I flourished. It didn't take long for me to be adopted by a wonderful woman. The AWLFC makes a commitment to every animal that enters the foster care program, even if there is a medical problem. Please think of me and support the AWLFC's cat foster care program.
Chester was rescued by AWL after being abandoned at an emergency vet. His owner had kicked him and broken his leg.
Chester was adopted 2 years ago by a lovely woman and her daughter.
She recently wrote to Chester's former foster mom that Chester is the love of their lives and has made them very happy. Their other two dogs also love Chester and almost immediately adopted him as their brother. They don't go anywhere without each other.
When Chester's mom had spine surgery, Chester stayed by her side during her 6-week recovery. "We can't imagine our life without him."
Julie was taken into foster care by AWL after being picked up by Animal Control. A 12-week old pup, Julie had been abandoned in a stranger's yard! Her skin was bloody and sore from mange and she had entropion, a painful condition in which her eyelids were folded inward, causing her eyelashes to constantly rub against her corneas. After surgery in both eyes, and months of skin treatments and good nutrition, Julie grew into a strong, strikingly beautiful dog.
During the time she was fostered, Julie dispelled many misconceptions about pit bull terriers; as this picture demonstrates, Julie clearly loves children. She also helped her foster mom foster many a kitten, bathing them, playing with them, etc.
Because pit bull terriers can be strong-willed and precocious, Julie's foster mom was very careful to ensure that Julie found the right home. In early January 2012, after 15 months in foster care, Julie found her forever home. She lives with 3 children, 3 cats, and 2 adults. Here she is waving at her foster mom. This is one very happy ending for a very special dog!
Sheba is yet another of the "West Virginia" dogs. Sheba exhibited extreme separation anxiety (destroyed her adopters sun room not once but twice) but her adopters are a terrific example of what time, patience and training will do for a dog. Today, Sheba is doing very well. She lives the high life with her kitty cat companion, goes for walks everyday after work, and continues to learn new things each day - like trusting new people and making new doggie friends!
Mia was one of 6 little hound-mix puppies that AWLFC placed. The pups turned out to be a little bit bigger then what we anticipated, but they're still adorable! Mia's adopters report, "She is very smart, playful, lovable and oh, so cute. We are trying to train her to walk properly but the hound in her just wants to zig zag and sniff sniff!!!"
Paisley was one of 10 dogs that AWLFC helped (and continues to help) place from an overwhelmed Good Samaritan in West Virginia. Paisley had some very severe separation anxiety issues when she was placed in a permanent home (as did most of the dogs who came from this situation). It was so bad that she crashed through a closed window in the house just to get outside and look for her new mom! Paisley's mom stuck it out and worked with her and reports, "Paisley LOVES her beds, and has one in every room. She is an amazing gal! She learned to play with toys now, and to fetch and retrieve I take her swimming in the bay and rivers nearby. She walks perfectly on a leash and we take her out to restaurants in St. Michaels (you can take your dogs to most of the bars and restaurants there) and she loves it and gets so much attention. I got a puppy lab 2 weeks ago and it's great; she lets the puppy lick her face and snuggle with her. I think this also helps when she is in the house, she is not alone." Here, Paisley (yellow lab) is pictured with her new puppy brother.
Since January 10th, 2009, the AWLFC has been helping to re-home twelve dogs from rural West Virginia. I had never lived in a warm home and I rarely had a full tummy. But my life changed forever when David adopted me. I am so excited to spend my very first Christmas in a warm home where my very own person loves me. If you are a dog lover, please think of me and help support the AWLFC's growing dog foster care and adoption program.
Dutch was another one of the West Virginia dogs who AWLFC placed. Dutch was VERY afraid of people, but found the perfect home with a woman who works as an animal behaviorist - mainly working with primates. Dutch was only in his new home for one week when he decided it would be a good idea to run out the front door and just keep on going. For 3 weeks, AWL volunteers and the adoptive mom tracked Dutch sightings all over Frederick County. We eventually caught up to him in Fairfield, PA where he "adopted" a location and we were able to safely return him to his adoptive home. That was over a year ago and these days, Dutch is doing wonderfully - he is a lot more social with people and he no longer has a desire to run for the border!
How far would you go to deliver a rescue dog to its new home, just in time for Christmas? AWLFC volunteers struggled through snow and equipment malfunctions to get a dog "home for the holidays," going so far as to flying their private plane (with a little white pup named Molly aboard) from Hagerstown, MD to Colonie, NY on Christmas Eve! Molly's journey began when she was found starving and wandering the streets in Parson, a rural West Virginia town. Molly was taken into rescue and was living in a shelter when her owner-to-be saw her on Petfinder.com. Unable to make the 9-hour drive from NY to WV, the new owner worked out several plans to meet and adopt Molly, but all of them were met with obstacles. Finally, Molly's new owner contacted the Animal Welfare League of Frederick County, who has volunteers who offered to make the trip to NY with Molly aboard their plane. They started out in Hagerstown, Maryland, and flew to Elkins, West Virginia on Dec. 23 at 1:00 pm. Bad weather delayed their return trip. Arriving back in Hagerstown at 2:50 pm, they decided to spend the night at their home with Molly as their guest. On Christmas Eve, they again prepared to take Molly the rest of the way to her new home. But again problems arose, this time with the landing gear. With some help from a friendly mechanic, they were able to repair the plane and make the trip. They finally took off at 11:00 a.m., arriving in NY at 12:30 pm.
Not many people would choose to spend Christmas Eve this way, but AWLFC volunteers know that there's something very special about being home for the holidays!