Linden Spears: Savior To Countless Animals
Separated from the rest was an emaciated, abused five-month-old collie pup.
Linden explained that a woman skidded into her driveway that morning with the panicky pup sliding around in the back of her pickup truck. The woman told her she had gotten the pup at six weeks with the intention of breeding him to her shepherd to produce collie-sheperds.
Four months later, when the pup was so emaciated that he could hardly stand, she realized that she could not afford to feed him. So she had to get rid of him.
The pup was so scared and weak, Linden kept him away from the others and fed him intermittently while helping prospective adopters and looking after the other animals.
I helped her with the animals that afternoon (and ever since) and asked her about fostering the collie pup, never intending to keep him. However, that night, even though he was very weak, his intelligent eyes told me that he was special. If I had anything to do with it, this pup would never be mistreated again.
I went back the next day and told Linden that I wanted to adopt the pup. It took months to get him strong and healthy, but today he is a wonderful, beautiful collie that is admired wherever I take him.
Without Linden (and the many other caring, dedicated people who run North Carolina's no-kill animal shelters), thousands of other very special animals would be destroyed each year. Linden alone has saved more than 2,000 animals a year since she has taken on this overwhelming task.
Linden had no intention of running an animal shelter. She moved from Wisconsin and put her life savings into a beautiful horse farm where she planned to breed dressage and sport horses. She didn't ask for unwanted animals to be dropped at the farm. She kept the first 20 or so as farm dogs, never realizing the extent of the problem.
As they continued to come, she tried to find homes with people she knew, but they just kept coming. She then started advertising, but they came faster than she could find homes.
Finally, she started checking around and found the dismal figures of unwanted animals that are destroyed in this state annually. She felt that she (and her husband, Steve) had to do something to help alleviate the situation.
She began going to animal shelters in the nearby counties to rescue animals before they could be destroyed. The animals she rescues are released to her when their time is up. Essentially, they are dead dogs and cats. She gave her farm, her life's dream, to unwanted dogs and cats. She has put everything she owns, as well as her health, into saving these animals.
Every day animals are dropped at the gate in all states of health: puppies crammed into cartons or crates, pregnant females ready to whelp, wild puppies and kittens, and starved adult dogs left chained to the fence.
Linden, and those like her, would not have to be a savior to these unwanted animals if people cared for and took responsibility for their pets. Some people keep female dogs and cats until they become pregnant, and then dump the poor, unwanted animals at shelters or on the side of the road.
How do these people get away with the criminal act of abandoning and abusing these poor, helpless creatures? Shouldn't they be penalized for their atrocious crimes?
Linden now faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for not complying with state health regulations, regulations that change almost as soon as she complies with them.
For instance, the state came up with specifications for outdoor cat pens to be built on a concrete slab with four-by-fours, plywood and wire. Linden had about a dozen pens built to these specifications. The cats love them. They are cool in the summer and well protected in the winter.
Next, the state decided that the wood had to be sealed so germs could be washed off. Linden had them all painted and sealed. Now, wood of any sort is not permitted.
Pens costing $1,500 to $2,000 are not to be used. The state would rather have a cat locked in a small cage than in a comfortable porch-like setting, which was its design to begin with. That is only one example.
Have you ever tried cleaning dog poop off gravel, or know what happens to dogs' feet from standing on gravel all day? And so go the regulations our elected officials are continually placing on no-kills.
What will happen to these unwanted animals if The Haven and other no-kills are closed down?
Are our elected officials intentionally out to murder thousands of adoptable pets? If not, then why aren't they going after the people who are responsible for this unfortunate situation, the negligent owners? Why aren't they helping to provide free and inexpensive spays and neuters to help eliminate this overpopulation of unwanted pets?
I for one will not vote for those who are creating this horror show. Save the no-kill shelters! Help Linden Spears!
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