I used to be one of those people who would say why do we need to help dogs or animals not from our area? Can’t those people or those states help themselves?

Then came hurricanes in Texas — it changed everything. Animal Control Officers and rescue organizations were reaching out to northern states to assist them. They explained that in Houston alone there are a million stray dogs – yes read that again - 1,000,000 stray dogs in one city.

I was right - it’s not our problem. But once we started assisting these dogs, we changed our minds. Sponsors, donors and rescues stepped up to get health certificates, vaccines, alter the dogs and transport them here. I learned so much about us and about them.

You see, dogs are dogs whether they are abandoned in Connecticut or in Georgia or in Texas. They don’t understand why they were left, where their families went, where their best friend child went, why they no longer have their doggie bed to lay in or what they did wrong. You can look in their eyes and see the confusion, the fear and the uncertainness.

We learned southern dogs are actually much more socialized than northern dogs. It sounds funny, but it’s true. Southern dogs are roamers. They are running in packs of stray dogs, hanging around stray cats, live on farms with chickens, and they even play with neighborhood kids. Typically, these dogs have no enclosures, no fences, no electric barriers — they just run. Most of these dogs have never seen a leash, so there are some challenges to teach them about our northern ways and expectations.

When the calls for help come in — we hear the desperation and choking back tears. These are rescuers, animal control officers and regular people who could just turn their backs on these animals and say it’s not my problem either.

Instead, they spend hours after they finish their workdays trying to find placement and safe locations for these abandoned lives who have no idea that someone is working so hard and caring so much to save them.

If you want to help us continue to do this work you can participate by donating money to our Rescue Beyond Borders Account to Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter 749 East Main St. Branford, CT 06405. The money raised will help animals from not only around our state (beyond Branford and North Branford) but it will also help dogs from other areas that need medical care, transport and anything else they need.

So why am I writing about this? Because I used to be one of those people who said no to outside of our area animals. In any industry you work in you have to be open minded, to educate yourself, to put yourself in others shoes, to admit when you are wrong about a topic and then alert others about how they can help.

We have many rescue and animal control partners in other states because of our collaboration. Through our continued networking, we help educate the humans and save more animals lives.

Sponsors, donors and rescues helped to save these two dogs in these photos below. Both have mange, were malnourished, were purposely abandoned and were left in terrible weather conditions

Can you tell which one is from Connecticut and which one is from Texas? That’s exactly my point! Not only does it not matter to each of these dogs where they were abandoned, BUT what does matter is both were saved by the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter and both are doing amazing.

We learned not to harshly judge what you yourself have not experienced. What we do know for sure is rescued animals, no matter where they are from, express their gratefulness in kisses and tail wags.

We feel honored to be a small part of their rescuing.

You can donate to Rescue Beyond Borders Account to Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter 749 East Main St. Branford, CT 06405.

Connecticut Media Group