Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Searching for Forever Homes

Catherine Powers. Photo by Donna Hailson.
In Episode 16 of ON THE ROAD WITH MAC AND MOLLY, we visit with Catherine Powers, Animal Control Officer for Curry County on the southern coast of Oregon. From a heart filled with passion and compassion, Catherine shares how she was drawn into this work. As she offers a rundown of the responsibilities she shoulders, it quickly becomes clear that the job calls for a special breed of caregiver. Any given day will find Catherine responding to emergency calls; rescuing the endangered; attending to dog licensing; providing health-building food, clean shelter and loving care for abandoned animals; seeking safe and permanent homes for the same; overseeing volunteers and much more.

Photo by Donna Hailson.
There's no "typical day" as each hour is filled with a new challenge. Deep heartbreak and great joy come with the territory. On a recent visit, I was met by a charming and smart-as-a-whip young dog that was yielded by a serviceman as he was preparing to deploy. Close by were a half-dozen puppies (a Rottweiler/Labrador Retriever mix) also waiting for adoption. Playful Pit Bull Terrier Gunner danced a game of tug of war with Catherine and a timid Shepherd mix, named Irie, that had come in to the shelter with injuries, warily inched her way toward me.

In this episode, Catherine shares her vision for the ideal animal shelter and details a clever way she has found to help fund her animal rescue efforts: providing daycare and overnight boarding for dogs who already have pet parents.
Photo by Donna Hailson.