Sept. 14, 2016 (California, MD) - Ten-year-old Colonel, a Yellow Lab rescue who recently needed emergency medical care through St. Mary’s Animal Welfare League (SMAWL), has been given a clean bill of health and a second chance as a career dog.
In May, SMAWL launched a campaign to replenish a desperately-low Emergency Medical Care Fund that supports incoming rescues like Colonel. Thanks to quick response from the community, SMAWL was able to fund a $3,000 surgery that corrected a congenital hernia compromising Colonel’s quality of life.
On the mend and ready for adoption, Colonel didn’t have to look far for his forever home. Aimee Llewellyn, his foster mom, had fallen in love with Colonel and decided to apply for his adoption.
“As a regular volunteer, I have the joy of helping re-home dozens of homeless companion animals. While it is usually a happy moment to see a foster dog graduate to a forever home, Colonel and I had developed a bond through his rehabilitation,” she said. “This dog wasn’t just looking for a home to retire; he had a bigger purpose.”
That’s when Llewellyn approached SMAWL’s governing Board of Directors with her plan to help Colonel give back to those in the community. Colonel’s adoption was finalized, and he was hired as a Joy Ambassador with SMAWL. He will serve two primary roles: help other incoming rescue animals feel at ease by attending adoption and fundraising events, as well as bring healing joy to people in need through special visitation programs.
“Colonel will soon be making regular visits to local veteran and nursing homes, and we will be connecting with Pets on Wheels – a nonprofit whose mission is to connect therapy animals to local facilities – to help Colonel’s new career take off,” Llewellyn added.
“The transformation of Colonel’s life is a testament to how our impact extends beyond animals and into the lives of people in our community,” noted SMAWL President Katie Werner. “Here is a story of a neglected dog who came to us struggling to eat, walk and play. Now he is not only off the streets and out of the shelter, but he is thriving and helping others in their journeys as well.”
Organizations or businesses interested in arranging visits with Colonel can contact Llewellyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or on his new Facebook page, “Colonel in the Community.”
People can help – and also see Colonel – by attending the nonprofit’s third annual “Fun Run and Trail Walk,” to be held on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the grounds of Historic St. Mary’s City. All proceeds from this event will go towards supporting SMAWL’s mission.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online via www.active.com under the event name “SMAWL Rescue and Trail Walk.” Online registration closes Oct. 1 at a discounted rate of $25 for adults, $15 for children aged 7-12. Onsite tickets will be available for an additional $5 pricing. Children under the age of seven get in free.
On a regular basis, SMAWL holds adoption events for cats at the Petco in California on Saturdays from 10-2, as well as dog adoption events on the second Saturday of every month at Pepper’s Pet Pantry in Solomons from 11:30-2:30. SMAWL will also have dogs available for adoption during a special event at the new Wag N’ Wash Natural Food & Bakery in California on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 11-3.
The volunteer-run organization also operates the Cat Castle Rescue Center in Callaway Village Shopping Center, which shelters dozens of adoptable kittens and cats at any given time. This center is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11-4, and during the week by appointment only.
About St. Mary’s Animal Welfare League
Founded by four volunteers in 1990, SMAWL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue, care and placement of abused, neglected and homeless companion animals in the county and surrounding areas. Staying true to its founding roots, SMAWL continues to operate under the heartfelt dedication of volunteers and a governing Board of Directors.
In response to growing community need, SMAWL has expanded its mission beyond animal rescue to include animal welfare, community education and legislative advocacy as part of its services, giving the animals of St. Mary’s County the voice they so desperately need.
At any given time, there are about 100 adoptable animals awaiting their forever homes. While SMAWL runs the Cat Castle Rescue Center in Callaway Village Shopping Center, the organization relies upon volunteer foster families to shelter adoptable animals, with long-term plans of opening a permanent shelter and headquarters to better serve the community.
For more information and ways to help, please visit www.smawl.org. Also on Facebook as "St. Mary's Animal Welfare League."