Saturday, January 17, 2009

15 pugs and counting!

Many of you who know me or have been following my blog are aware of the long, and oftentimes infuriating, road I took trying to adopt a pug. I have been filling out applications for pets on for as long as I can remember and really kicked my application game into high gear around September and started volunteering for a pug rescue, PPRA (Precious Pugs Resucue and Adoption), and got my first real taste of pug life with my beautiful foster pug Bruno and the goal culminated with me purchasing my little crazy, sweetheart pug puppy Bruce Leroy --->

Despite the fact that I'd committed the cardinal sin of buying a puppy, I still was very committed to working with PPRA doing home visits or calling references when they needed me to. I wasn't going to be able to foster for a while until Leroy started to get the hang of house training and got all his shots, but I was happy to continue to help out. Soon after I got Leroy there was a coup of sorts in the organization and the woman that I had been working primarily with left to start her own Pug rescue with another former PPRA member. The new rescue org was called "Curly Tail Pug Rescue" and I was pretty happy to join them because I thought the org was going to be younger, fresher, more flexible, more creative, and probably just more fun to work with than the old organization.

I signed on to volunteer as the application coordinator which essentially meant that I answered all of the emails that came in about the pugs on our page. Look my name and Curly Tail Email are in the middle of the adoptions page!

Ok... so you can't see it from my crappy screen shot.... moving on.... I was really interested in that particular position because of my frustration with sending hundreds of emails to other rescues and never, or hardly ever, receiving a response. So I took on the job of being kind of the first point of contact when people were interested in one of our pugs.

So far it's been fun but it's also been a WHOLE LOT of work and I have been instrumental in the placement of about 15 pugs! Most of the pugs that come into rescue are adults or seniors. We sometimes get young pugs, and very rarely get puppies. Most of the dogs that we get are surrendered from owners who can no longer take care of them. Owners surrender dogs for a variety of reasons, some because their work or family situation has changed and they can't take care of the pug like they should. Sometimes a pug falls ill and the family can't afford it's medical care.

The most recent dogs that came into the rescue came from a puppy mill bust. Puppy mills are essentially massive commercial breeding facility where dogs are caged and bred constantly until they can't breed anymore. Most dogs that are in Pet Stores come from puppy mills. It's a pretty miserable existence, so when a large puppy mill in the midwest closed we, along with some other rescues, agreed to take the pugs. We got 8 pugs from the puppy mill rescue. The rescue effort is detailed on our webpage. "Working with" these pugs has been really extraordinary. These pugs came from a life where they had little to no human interaction and are just the sweetest little dogs. They fell into "normal" life quicker than I would have imagined and were even fairly easy to house train. We knew the pugs were coming so we tried to line up a bunch of potential homes for them prior to them getting here. I cut and pasted the below from the Curly Tail Pug Rescue Blog... but I wrote it so I don't think she'll mind ;-)

Angel was adopted on Sunday January 12th by a great couple and will live out the rest of her life with her new pug sister in an uber-fabulous house in Ogunquit, Maine.

Samson was adopted by a lovely couple in Massachusetts who were seeking a nice, cuddly yet quiet pug. Samson was a perfect fit and he will now be living out the rest of his years napping and eating in peace and comfort.

Teddy is another sweet and quiet pug who was adopted Sunday January 12th by a single woman living in New York City. Teddy and his new pug brother Mugsy hit it off immediately and Teddy will live out the rest of his days enjoying long walks in Central Park and longer naps snuggled with his new bro.

Sugar Pie was adopted this weekend by a great woman residing in Rhode Island. The applicant drove all the way to NYC to meet Sugar and was totally enamored by Sugar's sweet disposition and couldn't resist the little pink tongue that's always peeking out of the side of her mouth. Sugar is this applicant's first pug and she has been waiting to adopt a pug for years, so we are confident that sugar will be babied and spoiled silly in her new home.

It was really amazing to me how adaptable these little dogs were. They came from a totally horrible life and within days they were running around with each other, playing with toys, going to the bathroom outside or on pads... it's like the past never happened. I rarely get to meet the dogs because I don't foster, but we have 1 puppy mill dog that is left without any really solid leads. His name is Coy. He is totally my favorite and was my fav from the beginning. I have no idea why he hasn't been adopted. He's so freaking adorable. I think it's this picture that really gets me --------->

On an average day we usually have 2-3 dogs for adoption on our website and on Petfinder/adopt-a-pet. Those posting generate about 10-15 emails a day from people inquiring about the dogs. Most of the time there are 2-3 email conversations that occur before the person gets to the point of turning in an application. This amount pretty much triples when we have puppies. We had 3 puppies at one time in October.... it was a mess... So on a normal day between new inquiries and continuing conversations I probably have to deal with around 25-30 emails a day for Curly Tail. In addition to that I have to send the applications to everyone who turns in an application fee and receive and file the completed applications. 25-30 emails a day may not seem like a lot, but it takes SOOOOO much time. I usually check my Curly Tail email 1x per hour at work and organize the emails so I can reply to them when I get home. I generally spend about an hour to an hour and a half on Curly Tail emails each night. It's a lot of time, but it's nothing compared to what other volunteers put in. Our co-founders both usually have 2 or 3 foster pugs living with them in addition to their own 3+ pugsand they have to meet people for adoption appointments, update the website, work with the fund-raising team and legal team and all the other teams that go into making our organization fabulous. So I'm not complaning (anymore :-p). I feel really privledged to be a part of the organization.

So if anyone is interested in helping out a pug, or just looking at adorable pictures and reading great posts you should really visit our webpage ( or our blog

Oh yeah... And my work with Curly Tail has taken the place of my goal to walk the dogs at B.A.R.C. (Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition). I sho don't have time with that between walking my dog and answering all these daggone emails... :-p

No comments: