The Top 12 Dakin Moments of 2022
by Danielle Cookish
Every year, we look back at the moments of compassion, innovation, and care for animals and people made possible by you.
Mush the kitten was found in the middle of a street by a kind person who came to his aid. When he was brought to Dakin, he was covered in ringworm, a highly contagious fungal disease. His skin was swollen and covered in lesions. He was suffering from significant hair loss in the areas most affected by the ringworm.
After a record-breaking treatment length of 205 days, around 50 lime sulfur medicated baths, and what felt like a mountain of isolation gowns and gloves, Mush FINALLY tested negative for ringworm and found himself headed to a loving new home. We don’t know why it took so long for Mush to overcome his ringworm infection, but we are ALL celebrating his happier (and less itchy) next chapter!
As shelter workers, our hearts are filled with warmth and gratitude when we have the privilege of seeing a person reunited with their pet because of a microchip. This tiny device has brought countless families back together and this story is no different.
Cookie, an indoor cat, had slipped outside and gotten lost. After five months, her family had given up hope. Then, the phone rang.
In February, Dakin was asked to assist with a developing situation in Vermont. Several hounds were found living outdoors in frigid conditions. They were kept on short chains and had only frozen water, scarce food, and uninsulated plastic barrels. The dogs were dangerously thin.
The first several weeks of Beanie’s life were spent surviving outdoors under the (mostly) enclosed underside of an outdoor staircase. With a winter storm rolling in, members of Dakin’s Kitten Street Team worked tirelessly to get Beanie and her siblings out of the frigid weather.
Beanie had a special sparkle that was felt by everyone who interacted with her. She even made a name for herself as a focal point in Dakin's spring 5K, Will Run for Cookies. Beanie's rescue and adoption to a loving home is a story retold for many feral kittens who find themselves in the arms of the Kitten Street Team.
In May, Dakin took swift action to an unprecedented case that no one saw coming.
Shortly after the shelter’s doorbell sounded, staff members were hurriedly getting into protective gowns and gloves to assess the health of 28 guinea pigs who had been found in a box. A Good Samaritan discovered them next to a dumpster and kindly took the time to bring them to Dakin for care. That day was the start of a months-long journey to better health and adoption to loving homes. Every guinea pig spent those months in the comfort of a foster home instead of an isolation cage in the shelter. Our network of foster homes welcomed this challenge with open arms, making the process significantly more comfortable and less stressful for each and every guinea pig.
In 2022, Dakin's continued efforts to serve our community of pets and people were realized when the Pet Health Center at Dakin turned its lights on for the very first time. The department's opening was made possible by a generous lead gift of $250,000 from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation to cover a portion of the start-up costs.
The Pet Health Center is a non-emergency veterinary resource operated by Dakin Humane Society for pet cats and dogs. This program is an expansion of our existing veterinary services to better support the pets and people in our community and lessen the number of barriers to veterinary medical care.
The Pet Health Center's opening was immediately met with very high demand from pet parents in our community and has served more than 1,050 pets.
Over the summer, a local animal lover with kind intentions of helping vulnerable and stray cats soon became overwhelmed when the unaltered cats began having kittens. Over one year, the population of cats in the small Franklin County home ballooned from less than 10 to more than 70. Many of the kittens were in need of immediate medical attention. Thanks to your support, Dakin was there to help.
When The Humane Society of the United States notified Dakin of an unfolding rescue operation of 4,000 beagles from a breeding facility, even our most experienced staff members had never seen a number that high.
The generosity of our supporters allowed us to open our doors and transport 10 beagle puppies to our care. The best moment of all was adoption day. It brought us great comfort to know that these dogs, who faced a lifetime of testing and dark kennels, are instead feeling the sun on their faces, the soft grass under their paws, and the unconditional love of their new families.
At the very beginning of 2022, one Dakin volunteer got creative and provided an enriching day for her foster pets and her students. Not only was this thinking outside the box, but an opportunity to spark a lifelong love of animals and their wellbeing in preschool students.
Every year, Dakin sees unique cases of extraordinary need for a variety of animals, large and small.
In veterinary medicine, patients can’t tell us where or why they’re hurting. For Baby Billy, this brought a truly unique challenge to Dakin’s veterinary team.
From a bustling airport tarmac to the safety of a warm bed, the generosity of supporters like you allow Dakin to be there for animals and people when they need it most. As a partner with BISSELL Pet Foundation, we are honored to be a receiving shelter for animals in need.
A sudden outbreak of Parvovirus in the City of Springfield sparked a rapid mobilization of staff and volunteers from Dakin and other local animal welfare organizations. From outpatient treatment of sick dogs to free vaccine events, the community worked as one to keep more dogs from getting sick by serving over 400 dogs with vaccines or treatment.