Dog Town Canine Rescue is located near Carson City, Nevada. This haven for “recycled” dogs is out where there is an over abundance of sand and bitterbrush, where everything has thorns or stings, the wind blows nearly every day and the sun beats down without mercy. It’s not the kind of place most people would choose to call home, but for the 30 dogs that make it to this shelter in the middle of the desert it is truly an oasis.
When the property was purchased it was in horrible condition. The former owners used it as a garbage dump and there was a huge mess to contend with. A few exceptional and dedicated volunteers took on the enormous challenge of turning around what looked like a hopeless piece of property. After all the garbage was hauled away there were seemingly endless tasks to be completed such as fence building, burring dig wire, hanging gates and building shelter enclosures. In January 2008, the Dog Town shelter began taking in abused and neglected dogs.
The all volunteer organization tells people considering adopting one of their dogs that if they are looking for a canine companion who won't bark, jump, dig, chew, shed hair, has perfect manners and is 100% housebroken, they should visit the stuffed animal aisle at their local toy store. The dogs rescued by Dog Town are not perfect. But that’s understandable when you consider what they have been through. Many of the dogs rescued by Dog Town have been shot, hit by cars, injured or severely neglected by humans.
It can take a great deal of patience and compassion in order for these dogs to heal mentally and physically. The volunteers at Dog Town have what it takes to make miracles happen for dogs that most people would turn their back on. The organization’s successes are starting to add up and those who have adopted a dog from Dog Town are being rewarded with companionship that offers unconditional love and gratitude. Prior to having a shelter, Dog Town placed dogs in their network of foster homes. Over three years, they have found forever homes for about 600 dogs.
One of the dogs lucky enough to be cared for by Dog Town was found in a rural part of Churchill County. He was extremely weak, dehydrated and close to death when the volunteers rescued him. Around his neck was a heavy, metal spring trap large enough to capture a bear. It appeared the dog had been in this predicament for some time, causing a nasty abscess to develop. The volunteers tried to free the dog, but they could not pry the trap open by hand. They ended up having to use bolt cutters. You can see him in the picture above before the volunteers were able to free him from the metal trap.
Trap, as the dog has come to be known, has made progress since coming to Dog Town in March 2008. His physical injuries have healed and he looks like a new dog. He still has quite a few emotional issues though, despite the volunteer’s tireless efforts. Trap was a feral dog and more than likely never sought out the company of humans. However, he now accepts an occasional pat on the head and he seems to be getting more comfortable with people being nearby. Trap will still require many more months of rehabilitation before he’s ready to be adopted and he is welcome to stay at the Dog Town shelter or in one of their foster homes until that time comes.
If it were not for Dog Town, dogs like Trap would have nowhere to go. Most facilities would immediately euthanize a dog like Trap, supported by the argument that he may never be adopted. The volunteers at Dog Town are not willing to give up on the dogs who require extra care and time. That is what makes this organization one of the exceptional ones.
The attitude of the Dog Town volunteers is, “It's all about the dogs! We have fun with our dogs, we cry over them, we rejoice when they find a forever home and we're forever trying to come up with ways to make their world a better place.”