By Monica Brown, Director of Shelter Operations, Young-Williams Animal Center
Although Wiley can’t talk, the lively Border collie shows her gratitude in her own way. Her tail wags continuously and her brown eyes sparkle. If she could talk, Wiley would tell you that this Thanksgiving season she has much for which to be thankful.
Wiley first came to Young-Williams Animal Center as a stray in October of 2014. The 5-year-old collie was extremely malnourished and covered in ticks. She walked with a bad limp to protect her right front leg which was clearly causing her a great deal of pain. An X-ray showed the leg was broken but with medical care, rest, and rehabilitation, she would be fine.
Our adoption staff found the perfect foster family to take care of Wiley while her leg healed.
Young-Williams has about 100 volunteer foster families who take in shelter pets, like Wiley, who need special attention or other care before they can be placed on the adoption floor. We are able to provide the veterinarian care and food for animals in foster thanks to financial support and donations from the community.
Wiley was with her foster family for four months and then was cleared to go to a forever home. Wiley was on the adoption floor for only a brief time when a couple from Monroe County fell in love with her. In March 2015, Wiley was adopted and moved to a new home in Tellico Plains area. Life was good.
Unfortunately, Wiley’s new family began to experience a series of medical problems. When they realized they could not provide the care she needed, they returned Wiley to the shelter. Wiley had the same twinkle in her eyes but her leg was worse. She couldn’t put all of her weight on her leg and walked with an awkward limp. There was concern whether or not Wiley’s leg could be saved.
We are able to provide the veterinarian care and food for animals in foster thanks to financial support and donations from the community.
Wiley was seen by an orthopedic specialist who had good news again. Wiley’s leg was still healing and while she would always walk with a limp, the leg could be saved. Medical treatment of shelter pets is expensive. Young-Williams Animal Center is able to provide the care thanks to the Galbraith Compassion Fund, which provides medical resources to treat pets with serious medical or behavioral issues that would otherwise render them unadoptable.
After a few weeks of rest, Wiley was adopted by a new family and given another chance at life. Wiley is one of the many hundreds of shelter pets who pass through our shelter doors and who thankfully are given a second and often third or fourth chance at living happily in a forever home.
If these animals could talk, they would thank the shelter employees who give them loving attention, food, and care during their stay. They would praise our volunteers who walk the dogs, brush the cats, and brighten everyone’s day. They would extend deep gratitude to the kind and generous people in our community who support the shelter financially and many other important ways.
We are fortunate to live in a community that is committed to provide compassionate care of companion animals. On behalf of the board of directors, staff, and volunteers of Young-Williams Animal Center, thank you for helping us help them.
Jeff Ashin is the CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center, a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit animal welfare organization and the official shelter for Knoxville and Knox County. The center offers pet adoption at two locations and affordable spay/neuter solutions. For more information call 865-215-6599 or visit www.young-williams.org