Stories from the Dog Rescue Railroad.

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Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
I am the author of Every Rescued Dog Has a Tale and a volunteer with many dog transport groups on the internet. ALL profits from the sale of the book have gone to dog rescue groups and rural animal shelters. Follow me on

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


This is Snoopy, not yet a year old and on death row in a Georgia dog pound.

He has done nothing wrong, and neither did his owners who had to surrender him. They had both lost their jobs and had no choice but to take him to a local shelter. Snoopy was loved and well taken care of. He was all up to date with his shots, neutered and well-behaved. Another victim of the poor economy, Snoopy was set to be put up for adoption. But shortly after being put in a cold dark kennel, his personality changed for the worse.

After being used to a family environment, he quickly became frightened and snapped at the shelter workers. So instead of being given 3 days to be adopted, they moved up his euthanasia date to the next day!

Then, dog rescuers from every part of the country saw his story on FACEBOOK, posted by Terrie Scott of M.A.R.S. Safe Haven Rescue in Ohio, and quickly went into action. Terrie was determined not to let this little life be snuffed out. Because she was an 8 hour drive away and could not get there in time to adopt him, she begged on the internet for others who were closer to PLEASE go to the shelter, or CALL the shelter and ask them to put a hold on Snoopy because someone was coming for him. The shelter said they could not hold him. Terrie was up all night with Snoopy's last hours drawing to a close. Everyone who got her urgent emails, including me, forwarding them to anyone we might know who could physically get to the shelter in time to save Snoopy. Just under the wire someone was found to claim him and get him out of there. RuffusRescue of Cobb County went to the shelter to get Snoopy. Terrie's husband, just returning from a business trip overseas, got in his car in Ohio and drove 8 hours each way to bring him to safety at Terrie's rescue. No longer scared, Snoopy was all wiggles and licks in the car with the 81 year old woman who dog sat for him until his ride to Ohio arrived. SNOOPY IS SAFE.

That is the good news.

30 other dogs died that morning in the Clayton County Georgia dog pound by heartstick. It is just what it sounds like. No last minute rescue came for them. They were just as scared at the end as Snoopy was in that cold dark place, but no one spoke for them.

We try. Every single person I know in dog rescue goes to bed close to tears every night thinking of the ones we could NOT save, their pictures haunt us, their sad eyes, and the thought of a life that will never be. Sometimes it is just too much and we do not look at our emails for a while. We think "what good are we doing?" There are always MORE that are being dumped everyday, maybe for financial reasons, maybe for stupid doesn't matter. Are we even making a difference?

The heroes of this story include Terrie Scott and her husband for above and beyond caring for this dog, Capt. Mark Thompson and Officer Terry Bartlett of the Clayton County Police Department for helping save Snoopy, as well as a HUGE thank you for RUFFUSRESCUE.ORG for going to the shelter for Snoopy. And the HUNDREDS of responses I saw on FACEBOOK desperately trying to find a solution. That is social networking at it's BEST!

The villains in this story are all those people who consider their pets as "disposable" or "just a dog", and all those pet owners who do not spay and neuter their pets. In the city of Atlanta, Georgia, more than 200 dogs are put to death EVERY SINGLE DAY. They are just as cute as Snoopy and their lives matter just as much as his does.

There are just not enough homes or last minutes rescues for them all.



  1. Debbie,

    What a tragedy about all those dogs. I'm glad Snoopy got out.

  2. I had a dog who looked just like snoopy and his name too was snoopy. He was suffering from distemper and was taken away by the neighbourhood guys to a shelter where he was put up on death row on a sunday afternoon. I went up and down between monday and tuesday morning got hold of all who could help me save my sweet little child. Tuesday I rescued the most loved being in my life and admitted him in a hospital where it was clean, happy environment. He passed away 25 days later on Mar 17, 2010. But I gave hime 25 happy days with our family who loved him dearly. I am dumbfound how similar your snoopy looks to mine. For a minute I thought this one is my snoopy and even their stories are almost same.