The Making of a Christmas Miracle

The Holidays tend to bring the best and the worst out of our fellow humans, sometimes all at the same time. This week I had a healthy dose of both. I have been hesitant to write this.. Perhaps because I am not confident I can relay it fairly to all involved.....however in a world of social media, a blown up inbox and contact with many I feel it timely.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, my guess is your calendar is full, to-do list long, time short and nerves frayed. Yet the last three weeks many of our volunteers, complete strangers, other rescue groups, and Dallas Animal Services spent countless hours of the day and night, in all kinds of nasty weather, hiking creeks and green belts, walking neighborhoods, driving circles aiding in the search of a beloved pet.

Vanna was accidentally let loose and the immediate search of the shy, skittish, Great Dane ensued.... In the three weeks of her "journey" social media and paper signs generated TONS of tips... But when pictures of Vanna first came in from a neighborhood almost 30 miles away it was hard to believe! The pictures were clearly Vanna! Cell phones and social media allowed us to be in the area within minutes.. but she remained elusive. People would see her but her shyness prevented anyone from getting close. I knew from the progression of pictures we did not have long and prayed that when she collapsed from exhaustion it was in front of a kind soul.

One morning several volunteers spotted an emaciated Vanna and followed her hoping to keep her in sight till she either trusted them or we could get a trusted human to her. That would be the last time we would see her.... After 12 hours of radio silence my heart was crushed..

As it turned out someone was able to catch Vanna.... Several anonymous tips got us only a phone number but it soon became clear to me and her family that Vanna was not going to be returned. How was it possible that all these volunteers , friends and COMPLETE strangers could spend hours, days, weeks and someone would NOT RETURN HER?!?!?! We were completely beyond bewildered. But after several attempts and many hours to give every opportunity to do the right thing, return Vanna to her caring home, or even to rescue......nothing and more nothing.. (even after being offered a reward). So in a season of kindness, love forgiveness and renewal I was way beyond bewildered.

So armed with her microchip information, pictures, and vet records it was time to call Dallas Animal Services who quickly sprang Into action with the aid of Dallas Police Department. Within 15 minutes of DAS and DPD arrival Vanna was safe and on her way to the veterinarian.

I like to think the person holding Vanna believed in their heart they were "saving" an emaciated neglected stray, believed they were doing a good thing but.....they decided Vanna's owners unworthy, neglectful and made several conscious specific decisions. DAS says it best in their FB post.

So the next time you see a sad skinny road worn stray dog, wonder if they don't have a devastated family working hard to bring them home and do the right thing... Check for tags (Vanna had her phone number on her collar the morning of her capture), have a veterinarian or shelter scan for a chip, looks for signage, check social media and contact your local shelter. A trained eye can spot the difference between a true stray and a cared for pet too long and ill equipt for the streets.

Follow the law and work to reunite these Danes who have lost their way with their loving and caring family...
Many shelters have lost and found records and at DAS there is a dedicated Lost and Found coordinator and an entire staff willing to move heaven and earth on a cold Sunday before Christmas to bring home a furry family member.

If you have a pet, know that microchiping not only helps return your pet when found by someone but it also provides proof of ownership forever linking you to your pet.

Giving Thanks
Obviously there is not enough Thanks for DAS Animal Control Officers and the officers of DPD... Thank you for getting Vanna back (and probably keeping me out of jail:)

Thank You to all the anonymous tips, searchers and spotters.. Without all your tips we would not have located Vanna nor had a record of her travels.

And last I say Thank You to the one person who was able to catch Vanna and kept her safe the time you had her... I just wish you made different choices and returned her when you found her.

Because of all of you Vanna is under a veterinarians care in her loving home with her family, just in time for Christmas. In time she will be back to 100%

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Rising Above Great Dane Funding


Our previous adopters are eligible to apply for financial support if their Great Dane needs vet care that cannot be afforded due to economic hardship and extenuating circumstances; even if the adopters are outside of Rising Above’s coverage area.Rising Above Great Dane Funding | Facebook