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From Linda Yost-Stackpole

By Staff | May 26, 2010

I’ll never forget that day when a lonely little dog sat in a cage held within a crowded foul smelling garage.I was there on a mission to expose the deplorable conditions of a small-scale puppy mill in Cincinnati, Ohio. One among many she was matted, dirty, and appeared to have just whelped a litter of puppies.

As I leaned down to pet the numerous puppies that lined the cold concrete floor, my eyes kept going to that dark cage in the corner.She didn’t whine, she didn’t move, and yet her eyes followed me and her hungry gaze forever touched my heart.”I’ll take that one,” I said to the owner of this garage of misery. She explained why I wouldn’t want her; she wasn’t a puppy and of course everyone wants a puppy, she was scared of people, she might nip, she had just had a litter of puppies, and on and on, but I was insistent and paid my $100.As I reached down and scooped up this little bundle of matted fur from her prison cage I knew both of our lives would be forever changed.

That day was 12 years ago and now at nearly 15 our little CoCo has become a bundle of joy and happiness. She epitomizes the depths of despair that some pets survive and can overcome by a loving home and devoted family. Thankfully all the other dogs and puppiesleft behind that day were taken to the local animal shelter and found homes.The dedication, love, and numerous volunteer hours that animal shelters give toward finding homes for unwanted and neglected pets are hard to imagine.We need to all try harder and become involved at our local animal shelter to adopt, walk, give attention, or buy food. One person and one pet can make a difference in the lives of many.

Linda Yost-Stackpole

New Martinsville