Topeka Parole Office helps animal rescue project
When the owner of King, a Rottweiler, was faced with being sent to prison, the dog was shipped off to one caretaker after another. Finally, mistreated and malnourished, King could not stand or feed himself and was near death. But the full-grown Rottweiler was recently rescued by a foster family who nursed him back to health.
Ironically, King found a permanent home with an employee of the Topeka Parole Office. Touched by the coincidence that she had adopted the pet of an inmate, the employee took an interest in a local initiative called Saving Death Row Dogs.
Sadly, when animal shelters reach their capacity or can no longer care for certain animals, they have no choice but to put them to sleep. That’s where Saving Death Row Dogs steps in.
“We’re sort of a last chance for these animals,” said Jan Price, Co-Director of the program. “We don’t like to think of it as ‘death row’ for these dogs, but that’s essentially what it is.”
Price describes Saving Death Row Dogs as an independent organization that works in partnership with the Humane Society and other groups to find homes for dogs who might otherwise be put down. The organization also rescues dogs from mistreatment or abandonment, and provides food, vet assistance and other
services to animal shelters in the area.
The staff of the Topeka Parole Office (TPO) has traditionally taken on some charitable cause as part of their observance of the Christmas holiday. This year the office has decided to make Saving Death Row Dogs their adopted cause.
“Many of the staff in the office are animal lovers,” said Topeka Parole Office Parole Officer/Public Information Officer Carrie Howell. “We realized that all too often animals are over looked and viewed as disposable. Animals are very vulnerable and depend on their human to care for them. Due to circumstances beyond their control, their owners are either unable or unwilling to care for them, or are just plain cruel.
“Every year, we do some sort of community-service project for the holiday season. This year, the TPO staff agreed that we make Saving Death Row Dogs our adopted cause. So, we are collecting items from a wants and needs list provided by Jan Price. We wanted to do our part and give back to the community.”
Price said Saving Death Row Dogs is dependent upon monetary donations to rescue neglected
or unwanted pets: “We spent about $55,000 last year on vet bills alone. It’s always a struggle.”
They also welcome donations of items such as carrying crates, grooming kits, chew toys and treats. Price said the Topeka Parole Office is helping to meet many of their needs.
“Their office wanted to do something fun and different, and they’d never heard of an office adopting an animal rescue mission before,” said Price. “We rescue dogs, but we are ultimately a service to people. We are helping the people who can’t take care of the pets they love. And the over-population of animals becomes a
King will have a merry Christmas thanks to his new owner, Saving Death Row Dogs and all those who helped to bring him to a loving home. He was nursed to health at a foster home for several small dogs and cats. Price said there had been concern for how the Rottweiler would get along with the other animals. But she said King was very gentle with his tiny companions, perhaps thankful for having been rescued.
“And now he’s living the life of luxury in his new home,” said Price.