There are so many amazing dogs and cats on the euthanasia list at TLAC every day, yet without a facility, we are limited in how many we can pull into our program. We have a rescue team who posts some of these pets on craigslist and we're currently getting about 40 per month adopted straight from TLAC that way. One of these pets is Gracie. Here is her story:
Hi, I’m Gracie. I came to live at CAPS on August 31, 2009 after a pretty rough summer. I’m about four years old and the two-legged dogs tell me I am a Golden Retriever/Chow mix, whatever that means. I just know I’m pretty cute. I don’t remember much about those first four years of my life, but that’s OK, because I’m in a safe place now surrounded by a lot of love and attention. I know it wasn’t always like that though. I was lost and alone just two months ago and a nice family took me into their home while they tried to find where I belonged. They had other dogs, cats, and kids and I was very well-behaved with them, but they were not able to keep me. So, they took me to the Town Lake Animal Center, where I was put in a small cage and surrounded by lots of other dogs. I really did not like it there and started to get very sad and depressed. Being cooped up like that was very stressful for me and I did not know what to do. Luckily, someone there saw my potential and worked very hard to find someone who would adopt me. I then went to live with another family out in the country. I loved the big and little two-legged dogs, in that home, but wasn’t so crazy about all the cats that lived there. Sadly, they could not keep me either. Then, I heard that the CAPS (Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service) unit at the Austin State Hospital was looking for a dog to come and be a part of their team. I tried to look as sweet as possible and show them my best behavior when I was interviewed. I guess I must have done something right because the next thing I knew, I was here. I am so thankful I found my forever home at CAPS.
Here's what the 2-legged dogs at CAPS have to say about me:
"We are very excited to announce that CAPS now has its own pet therapy program. After months of preparation for this, Gracie (who was named after a not-so-secret ballot vote by the kids themselves) is a rescue dog who arrived on our unit just this past Monday. She has the sweetest and gentlest temperament and the kids (and staff) have already fallen in love. She is adjusting well to her new home, and as long as she knows her people are around, she is content to just chill out nearby. There are so many therapeutic benefits of having a dog in this setting and we believe her presence on the unit will enrich the lives of our kids. Through their interactions with the dog, they can develop a sense of social responsibility, learn the give and take necessary for positive relationships, enhance self-worth, and improve communication skills. We think Gracie is just perfect for our program and are thrilled to have her here. Please feel free to stop over and meet her when you can."