Meet Shaggy. This little guy is getting a second chance after New Leash on Life, in Lebanon, TN, rescued him from a high-kill shelter.
“He was so scared,” said Angela Chapman, the executive director of New Leash. “He used to slink along the wall and stay right behind me or hide under my desk.”
As the days go by, Shaggy is showing progress.
“He continues to have anxiety, but we’re working on it,” said Angela. “He spends most of his time in my office but he’s slowly going to other staff members, he’s more willing to trust.”
New Leash on Life has been helping animals like Shaggy for more than 35 years and they now assist about 1,000 dogs and cats each year.
New Leash offers 3 programs:
* No-kill animal shelter
* Low-cost spay/neuter clinic
* Pet food assistance
Angela had been working in the mental health field when she was asked to be a New Leash on Life Board Member. She was inspired by the real difference this organization was making.
“I believed their 3-prong approach was making a positive impact in the community,” said Angela. “The more I thought about how they were helping in the community as much as possible and wherever possible, the more I wanted to be involved and help the organization thrive in any way I could.”
Now, she’s not only the executive director but she’s also involved in marketing and organizes a Bark in the Park fundraiser every May along with other fundraisers.
She explained that the below picture – with a dog in each of her desk drawers – says a lot.
“The background is super messy but that is my world,” said Angela. “I often have multiple projects going and it’s not uncommon that I have a dog in my desk drawer or nearby in a dog bed.”
Keeping the animals close reminds her of why she’s here.
“They are the reason,” said Angela. “The dogs and cats that come to us, need us. They’ve come to us either as an owner surrender, from a rescue or from an animal control facility. We want to be the last placement before they find the perfect forever home.”
Not far away from where Angela is hard at work, you’ll find a fabulous cat room, designed to minimize the stress for these felines. It has shelves and cat trees and plenty of places to hide and play.
Angela is proud of what this facility has to offer homeless pets. And she’s inspired to keep doing this often thankless work because of the caring and dedicated volunteers.
“I spend most of my time behind a computer, on the phone or meeting with community leaders,” said Angela. “The staff and volunteers are the ones who take care of our animals, ensure they have what they need and help find the perfect forever homes.”
Shaggy’s day hasn’t come yet, but Angela and the volunteers have no doubt it will.
“We are hopeful that with time his anxiety will diminish and he will know the joy of being a dog,” said Angela.
Is that so much to ask?
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