Dog hopes to have a home for the holidays

Published 5:03 pm Friday, December 14, 2012

Cooper looking on as his transport arrives

Christmas came early for a shy canine who will make his great venture from Chilton County to Double Dog Rescue in Connecticut.

Cooper, a grey, black and brown shepherd mix, spent more than three months at the Chilton County Humane Society (CCHS) recovering from an abusive upbringing in hopes of adoption.

Volunteer rescue coordinator for the CCHS Tina Austin said not much was known about Cooper’s life before coming to CCHS but it was apparent he had been severely mistreated and abused and was turned into the shelter as a stray.

“Cooper was utterly terrified of human contact,” Austin said. “The first time I tried to take pictures of him he had to be physically carried into the room. Once he was placed on the floor, he cowered before me not daring to lift his head as if expecting a beating.”

Austin said although Cooper was hesitant of human contact, the time he spent at the shelter, along with time spent with a foster mother, allowed him to come out of his shell.

After being noticed on PetFinder, an online tool that highlights animals from different shelters for people throughout the country to see, Double Dog Rescue in Connecticut expressed an interest in rescuing Cooper.

“Double Dog Rescue regularly scours PetFinder for adoptable dogs and they saw Cooper and wanted to rescue him,” Austin said. “Connecticut, along with many other northern states, have different animal control laws on the books and don’t have the problems with pet overpopulation that we do.”

Austin said due to the difference in animal control laws, the northern states often help create a large demand for adoptable pets that come from the South.

“We have the pets and they need them,” Austin said. “It is a beautiful thing.”

Austin said CCHS works with many other rescue organizations along with low kill or no- kill humane societies such as a group in Florida that participates in the Pilots and Paws rescue program where dogs are flown by volunteer pilots and planes.

Austin said although some animal transports are done solely by individual volunteer transporters, or by air, an organization known as Peterson Express Transport Service (PETS) safely transports dogs from rescue groups to new homes.