Dignity and dogs?

Yesterday, my family brought home a little-bitty bundle of love. Wanna see?

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That’s 8 year old Carlos. We adopted him from the Tri-County Humane Society in St. Cloud. We’ve been looking for a dog for our family for about 3 months now. We’ve searched dog rescue sites online and have been to shelters many times because we knew we wanted to adopt a dog that was in need. We were so happy to find Carlos and see that he is such a beautiful fit for our family.

Great, Natalie, good for you. He’s a cutie. But, what does that have to do with #unitecloud?

Well, I’ll tell you! First of all, let me remind you what the goal of #unitecloud is:

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Today I’m focusing on 2 words of that mission: restore dignity.

Our local humane society is in the business of restoring dignity. Mostly to animals, yes. However, I witnessed something yesterday that made me realize that they were in the business of restoring dignity to people as well.

As we were signing paperwork for our little guy, there was a woman bringing in an animal that she found that she had fostered for a while, hoping to find its owner. When the owner didn’t step forward and she knew she couldn’t keep it, Tri-County Human Society was there for her, taking the animal in, assessing the medical needs of the animal, spaying/neutering the animal, and ultimately, hopefully finding a good home for this animal through hours of advertising work. Her story stuck out to me because that is Carlos’ story too. Our little guy was a stray. Someone took him in and, when they couldn’t find his owner, they brought him to the Humane Society where he was vaccinated, treated for Lyme’s disease, neutered, and given some pretty serious dental work.

I can imagine that for every animal that is surrendered to the Humane Society, there is quite a unique story to go with it. Some that I’ve read talk about a move that had to happen and the pet could not make the trip with them. Others talked about their owner being too sick to care for them. Through our adoption process, I realized that, although I’ve always been thankful for the work of places like the Humane Society, I didn’t realize until yesterday that they partner with people right here in the St. Cloud community that may not be having their best year ever.

As I type this article, little Carlos is sleeping next to me. On a big soft couch, snuggled in a big green blanket. Maybe for most of his 8 years, he didn’t know where his next meal was going to come from. Maybe he had no one to watch out for him. But now, he has us. His “fur-ever” family. And, like my husband found out online, he may live to be about 20 years old. Here’s to hoping for even more than 12 years with this precious guy!

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Inspired by this story? Want to follow up with an actionable step? Like Tri-County Humane Society on Facebook! You can pass on their stories of pets up for adoption by simply sharing them on Facebook. You never know which one of your Facebook friends may be inspired to adopt a pet. Looking to help out even more? Check out this request from the Humane Society Facebook page:

HELP! We currently have about 135 animals in foster care in addition to a full house at the shelter. You can imagine the amount of food and cat litter we are going through! Please consider making a donation to help us with the following needs:

***DRY CAT/KITTEN FOOD (1st ingredient a protein source please)
***CANNED DOG/CAT FOOD (any brand)
***KITTEN REPLACER MILK
***CAT LITTER (clay, non-clumping kind please)

THANK YOU! We appreciate your support!
www.tricountyhumanesociety.org

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About the Author

Natalie Ringsmuth

Facebook

Natalie grew up in Central Minnesota and received her Music Education degree from Concordia College in Moorhead. She taught middle school choir in Georgia and worked in the church sector for over a decade. She now works as Executive Director of #unitecloud, a non-profit working to reduce racial, religious, and cultural tensions in Central MN and is a trainer with the CARE (Community Anti-Racism Education) Team at SCSU (St Cloud State University). She is a member of multiple boards, including the St Cloud School District 742 board, the United Way Community Impact Team, and the United Way's education initiative, Partner for Student Success. In her spare time (haha) she loves to spend time with her husband and 3 children, making music and playing games.