lorelee, jack russell terrier, fire survivor, flashpoint kennel, georgia

Triumph Over Tragedy

What a whirlwind couple of weeks it has been! Since the Jan. 3 fire, which took the lives of 30+ precious dogs at Flashpoint Kennel in Rome, Ga., things have really snowballed at our rescue. It sounds strange and ironic to say, we know, but this horrible tragedy  is quickly becoming a story about triumph.

Thank You, Thank You

First and foremost, we cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of donations, networking and overall support in the efforts to find the surviving 23 Jacks new homes. The donations alone have blown our minds. We have plans to thank each of you individually (don’t worry, we’ll keep it meaningful but cheap, so every penny goes to the dogs as intended). We know most of you will say that’s not necessary because that’s just who you are, but we believe it is. Whether you have given $5 or $100 to our From the Fire ChipIn or to our own rescue fund, you have made a direct impact on the life of a dog in need. As such, we will make every effort here and on our social networks to show you that impact, so you can see the difference it made. We know economic times are difficult right now, and your generosity during them is appreciated beyond words.

For those who have ordered calendars, we are quickly printing up more and they should go out to you soon.

We would like to ask everyone for your patience as we are a very small “Mom-sans-Pop” rescue. The volunteers are helping out as much as possible, but if you know Mama Donna, you know she likes to thank everyone personally who helps with not only her dogs but dogs in general. She sees something special in every dog she meets (not just Jacks) and she literally works night and day to make sure they are happy and healthy between their home transitions. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to answer emails, field phone calls, mail thank you cards, etc.

Donna consoling Lorelee

Mama Donna assures Lorelee the worst is behind.

A Second Chance

Second, thank you for understanding this sensitive situation and not stirring the angry pot on our websites. We want to reiterate that the Department of Agriculture visited this kennel many times and never found any violations. We know it’s hard to be silent when breeding (responsible or otherwise) affects us all so greatly. Many of you help with rescue and you know firsthand the horrible impact that large-scale breeding has on dogs. It’s heartbreaking. Try as we might to save them all, it becomes insurmountable at times and it’s just one more challenge we face.

There are no “sides” in this situation. This is one of those circumstances in which a horrible tragedy did what it often does: It changed lives and opened eyes. The kennel owner, who lost her home in the fire as well, has publicly announced that she will never breed again. She says she is dedicated to not only making sure these little girls and guy find forever homes but to helping existing rescues as well. She is working tirelessly with us and three other rescue groups to spay/neuter all of her dogs and prep everyone for free adoptions.

We will never condemn anyone who wants to make things right for dogs and we want to keep this goal positive and in motion without ongoing judgment of how we got here. Let’s practice what our puppies teach us everyday and stay in the moment. The past is done; the present and future are here. We must make sure that none of those precious puppies died in vain, and that the survivors find the homes and lives they deserve.

In short, we need to focus all of our energy on a positive outcome instead of wasting it on anger, frustration and judgment.

Keep Moving Forward

As mentioned above, we are no longer alone in this effort. Almost Home Rescue in Florida (check out their cool movie trailer!), Misfit Animal Haven  in Rome and Last Chance Rescue in Waco have all stepped in to help. In addition, we have received enormous networking support from a plethora of Russell groups, including a story in the Savannah Examiner. Three dogs have officially been adopted, and arrangements are being made to transport more to other rescues.

As wonderful as all of this sounds, of course, the ultimate goal is get all of them out of there and into good homes as quickly but as cautiously as possible. The indoor kennel is completely burned; the survivors are currently in outdoor kennels, and winter is here (yes, Georgia has winters). We know that many of these dogs are older and/or have never been around other dogs, cats or kids. This makes it difficult to place them. We are realistic, but not detoured. We all love our senior babies and we believe there is someone out there for each and every one of these dogs. They just haven’t met one another yet. On that note …

Network, Network, Network

If you don’t have the financial funds or physical ability to volunteer but want to help with this effort and have a computer, you can make a potentially significant impact. Networking has been the biggest catalyst in this effort so far and it’s something we can never get enough of.

If you are on Twitter, Facebook or any other social network and know Jack lovers, prospective pet parents and/or other rescues who could possibly help, please visit our Adoptable Dogs page and click on any of the profiles that call to you. There are share buttons located at the bottom of each profile to make it easy. We are pushing adoptions for the Flashpoint dogs first, of course, but please donít hesitate to share and promote our dogs as well. If we are able to find some of our dogs homes, then we can resolve the “at-capacity” situation we have right now and take some of the dogs at Flashpoint. Win-win!

You can also visit our  Tumblr blog and share from there as well.

Again … Thank You

Sorry to be so long-winded. We just can’t express how much everything everyone has done so far means to us and to Donna. We still have a long way to go, but the wheels are definitely in motion. We’ll continue to keep you updated as things transpire.