by Karey Wedemeyer
Karey Wedemeyer is a volunteer with the Fresno Bully Rescue. FBR will be sharing their animal rescue adventures with us now every other month.There are always those volunteers who go that extra mile. These volunteers stand out as shining stars and can make a big difference in an organization with their hard work and dedication. They come in all shapes and sizes, young and old, and one of them happens to be an eight-year-old Pit Bull named “Zora.” Zora has fostered over 100 puppies for Fresno Bully Rescue!
Zora had a tough start to her life. Along with her brothers and sisters, she was confiscated and held as evidence in a drug bust in her original owner’s home. She was brought to a high-kill shelter in Sacramento after the raid, but fortunately the entire litter was rescued by Fresno Bully Rescue, where they all eventually found adoptive homes.
After three years, Zora was returned to the shelter due to medical issues her owners could not afford. The FBR medical coordinator, Cecilia Wright, was at the shelter when Zora was brought in. “Zora was terrified,” said Cecilia. “She had only known a home and her family. Her tail was tucked under her back legs and her eyes sad and confused. My intentions were to observe her medical condition but instead I put her in the car and brought her home. It took two days for Zora’s tail to become untucked. She needed a few days to observe her new surroundings and understand she was safe. I knew the moment she slowly made her way onto the couch to lay next to the boys and my other animals, that she accepted us as part of her family. And boy did she!” says Cecilia.
As single mom with two small children, Cecilia began to realize that Zora was not letting the boys out of her sight. If they went to the backyard, Zora would get up and go as well. Although she would not jump in the baby pool with them, she would sniff the water, plop down and just watch them. Zora would stay outside while the boys played, and returned inside only when they did. Zora was an encouraging nap partner for restless kids and a good listener during reading time.
Although Zora has never had an aggressive moment since Ceci has known her, she has a more alert bark when there is a stranger walking on the sidewalk in front of their house, versus her goofy bark when she hears Cecilia come home. “I feel safer having Zora watching over us, and trust her when she is trying to tell me something, whether it’s a stranger or the boys are getting into mischief.” Along with raising her “kids,” Zora plays an active role for Fresno Bully Rescue as a “foster mom.”
Because of Zora’s natural mothering ability, Cecilia and her boys have helped over 100 rescued puppies and kittens by fostering them until a permanent home is available. “Puppies need a mom to teach them the social dog world. Respecting other animals, eating among a pack, and learning to play nicely are the most valuable lessons Zora can give them,” says Cecilia. “This is not something I can teach them, and Zora excels at it. We could not foster these litters without her.” In addition, kittens have also found Zora to be a loving surrogate mother. She treats them as her own by licking their bellies to encourage them to urinate. This is something a mom cat would do until the kittens learn on their own. Zora’s nurturing also goes to older dogs. Her family recently rescued an older, partially blind pug named Fay, who Zora welcomed into their family with open paws.
Years ago the Pit Bull breed was known as the “nanny” dog. They were the all-American family dog often seen in old black and white photos surrounded by kids. Sadly, in more recent times, people have used the breed for fighting and as guard dogs, creating a bad reputation for the breed. Zora (like many others) have proven the “nanny” gene is still strongly present and that pit bulls are wonderful family dogs.
Cecilia says Zora is healthy after the ACL surgery her first owners could not afford. Zora is currently fostering one FBR adoptable puppy, Delilah, and is busy with three small kittens. When they find their permanent homes, she may take the summer off with her human boys and get rested up for her next FBR litter. By the way, the kittens are more work than puppies says Zora!
Interested in fostering yourself? Contact Info@fresnobullyrescue[dot]org!
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Fresno Bully Rescue.