Layla came to Oakland Animal Services in the way that staff and volunteers hate the most: wounded and left by the front gate. The sweet, young boxer mix had a badly infected broken leg and dog bite wounds on her chest and face. Someone had abandoned her when she most needed help.
Too many animals are left at Oakland Animal Services in similar ways. Even to seasoned shelter people, such scenarios can emanate hopelessness. At the same time, it’s in their hands—it’s their job—to figure out how to help each of these animals.
Fortunately, hope floats. It is the first thing that rises once the awfulness of a situation settles in. For the unfathomably good-natured brindle Layla that meant a trip to Pets Emergency Treatment and Specialty (PETS) Referral Center in Berkeley, where, through the efforts of the center’s medical staff and Friends of Oakland Animal Services, she was stabilized with fluids, antibiotics, and pain medication. Later she was transferred to Noble Vet in Hayward where another medical team decided that amputating her damaged leg was the best course of action. While at PETS Referral Center, she had earned the nickname “the love bug” because, despite her horrible past, she remained affectionate with and wholeheartedly trusting of every person with whom she came in contact. There, too, she won herself a foster family with one of the center’s veterinary technicians. Suddenly—nearly as suddenly as everything had spiraled downward—life was now looking more hopeful for this dog.
Layla’s story, which ends with her being adopted by a completely smitten family, is just one of the many hope-filled stories of the animals that OAS helps create, but it’s not the only story of help from unexpected places. Another story—one in which many other people can take part—is that of Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, sponsored by the Alameda-based animal foundation Maddie’s Fund and its creators Dave and Cheryl Duffield. This weekend-long adoption event makes pet adoptions (dog, cat, puppy, and kitten) free to qualified homes and, for each successful adoption, brings the shelter a generous donation from Maddie’s Fund of $500 to $2,000. The money earned during this event is essential to OAS’s operating budget, which needs to provide for over 6,000 animals every year.
Oakland Animal Services—and many other shelters and groups both here in the Bay Area and nationwide—will take part in the fourth annual Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit us at 1101 29th Avenue, Oakland, CA. It’s one way to give a little thanks—and maybe a little hope—to some deserving animals and the organizations that give them a boost when they most need it.
Come to OAS during the week of May 26–31 and get prescreened to adopt during Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days. Bring your picture ID and, for dog adoptions, proof of home ownership or a written lease agreement that allows dogs. We will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 27.