By Janice Eck
Photographs by Janice Eck
(Apple Valley)– On most Sundays, Petsmart in Apple Valley hosts pet adoptions by In the Company of Wolves. A non profit organization, In the Company of Wolves saves domestic dogs placed on shelters’ euthanasia lists in hopes of a second chance, of finding a fur-ever home for the once doomed pet.
With millions of dogs and cats being euthanized every year in shelters all over the country, every rescue organization plays a pivotal role in saving these pets. Margaret Woodard-Johnson, who founded In the Company of Wolves with her husband, took time out of pet adoptions to speak with High Desert Daily about their impact, “I like to feel like we definitely made a difference for a number of dogs. We know that we can’t change the world, but for the dogs we saved, the world changed for them. And we also hope that while we’re out here, even if people aren’t adopting, we can educate them and get the pets noticed, that it’s not necessary to breed more pets while thousands of them are dying.”
You can tell from the name that In the Company of Wolves was not always the saving grace for euthanasia-bound dogs. Woodard-Johnson explains, “We started off primarily as a wildlife rescue. We’re licensed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the USDA, and our local animal control. We would take animals that were injured and could no longer be released back into the wild or from people who had them illegally and were confiscated. We provided a place where they could stay for the rest of their life.”
Woodard-Johnson began fostering dogs and once she realized that the dogs had no place to go, In the Company of Wolves went into pet adoptions in full force, but pet adoptions isn’t all about taking the dogs out to find new pet parents. Between leaving the shelter and being adopted, the dogs are being fostered. They are being fed, bathed, and played with. They are being socialized and their temperaments are being checked. Fostering is a gateway to saving a pet. If you are interested in being a foster parent, Woodard-Johnson would love to hear from you.
There are other ways to help. In the Company of Wolves still has exotic animals to take care of in addition to the dogs that are being saved. Volunteering is not all about playtime and having fun. It is a lot of work as meals are prepared and cages are cleaned in order to maintain each of the animal’s health.
In the Company of Wolves also welcomes donations in various forms. Check out their wish list on their website to see if there’s anything that’s been sitting in your yard that you’ve been wanting to get rid of (all donations are tax-deductible). Volunteers who would like to donate time need to be 18 years or older, animal-oriented, trustworthy and responsible. You’ll be dealing with animals that you absolutely have to pay close attention to.
Pet adoptions are held almost every Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Petsmart in Apple Valley on Bear Valley Road. If you would like more information on In the Company of Wolves, visit www.inthecompanyofwolves.org .