by Lee Juslin
When Roberta retired from the Marines after twenty three years of service, she turned her energy and the organizational skills she had honed as a master sergeant to rescuing Boston Terriers.
Coastal Carolina Boston Terrier Rescue, a 501C3 organization, concentrates on rescuing Boston Terriers throughout the North Carolina east coast. However, they occasionally reach out to the western part of the state, South Carolina and Virginia. “But,” Roberta said, “we must always be aware of the prudent allocation of our limited resources. With only thirty-one volunteers, and only some of those who can foster, we have to keep a balance between older less adoptable dogs that may stay in our foster program and those younger, healthier dogs that have a better chance of being placed in a forever home. Our mission is to the breed and to individual Bostons that need our help, but we can not be driven solely by compassion. There are times when we have to say ‘No’ so that we do not get over-extended. This is difficult, but it marks the key difference between collectors, who are often well meaning, and a legitimate rescue organization like ours.”
CCBTR vets their foster volunteers in the same way they do their potential adopters and that includes a home visit. “This way we are better able to match an in-take with an available foster home. We identified sixty rescue groups, shelters, and animal welfare societies in the state and have reached out to all of them so that we all network. Now, the shelters know who we are and will call us when they get in a Boston Terrier either as an owner turn-in or a stray.” according to Roberta.
Recently, the Onslo county shelter in Jacksonville, NC called in CCBTR for a young Boston that had been found wandering the streets. Jackson, as he came to be named, was very ill with an upper respiratory infection that was causing him to sneeze blood. He was also heartworm positive and had a nasty eye infection, and, given those issues, the shelter deemed him not adoptable. But, at two years old despite his many health problems, he proved to be a very loving, eager-to-please boy. Bostons have a genetic disposition to eye problems and the group was very worried that Jackson would lose his eye. However, after receiving veterinary care from an eye specialty vet—one of many clinics CCBTR works closely with—Jackson’s eye was saved. Vets tended to his other issues as well so that he was eventually fit, healthy, and adoptable. After spending time in a foster home, Jackson was ready to find his forever home.
Each dog, when they are ready to be adopted, is given what Roberta calls a full court press. This means they are featured on the organization’s web site, the Petfinder site, and highlighted in local outlets, as well as through social media. CCBTR also participates in lots of community activities like parades, charity walks, and partnerships with local businesses. In Jackson’s case he represented CCBTR at a local Christmas parade where it was discovered how much he loved children. At one point, before Roberta realized what was happening, a crowd of children descended on Jackson, surrounding him and reaching for him. This could have been a troublesome situation especially with a breed that is active and often willful. But, Jackson turned to mush and loved every bit of the attention.
Jackson, like many young Boston Terriers, is high energy and was fostered by a Marine who was able to give Jackson all the exercise and activity he craved. Clearly this was what would be needed for a permanent home as well. Though Jackson had many good qualities and a great personality, he was not what Roberta termed one of the “Bright and the Beautiful,” the top ten per cent. She says “These are the dogs who, when we show their picture and bio, just jump out at people. These are the ones we receive multiple applications for, and they sometimes overshadow other wonderful dogs like Jackson.” So, for a while, it seemed that Jackson might not find his forever home. Then, a young couple came forward. They had a three-legged chocolate lab named Hank and lived an active lifestyle. So, when Jackson met his new family and bonded quickly with Hank, Roberta knew he’d found his forever home, “Our mission statement: ‘Guiding the Way to a Forever Home’ sums it up pretty nicely.”
If you would like to learn more about Coastal Carolina Boston Terrier Rescue, apply to adopt a Boston or would like to help out by volunteering, fostering, or contributing, visit their website.
Read more animal related articles by Lee here in KRL.