Give a rescue a chance

Published 9:54 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

My dog, Lucy, has had a rough life. She even has served time in prison.

No, she has not been convicted of a crime … unless you count professional beggar and food thief as felonies. She was rescued from a shelter in North Carolina after being found wandering the streets.

Lucy, a beagle mix, was part of a program called New Leash on Life, in which prisoners trained rescue dogs to help make them more adoptable. Sounds a bit crazy, I know, but it helps the dogs and prisoners who have good behavior records.


Email newsletter signup

She was more than a year old when my husband adopted her, but Lucy still has some puppy in her. She gets random bursts of energy and tears around the house. She has a pretty good vertical leap and used to make a habit of using our kitchen table to perch on.

Through good — and bad — behavior, she is our dog. Lucy’s start in life may have been rough, but she has things pretty good now. She gets dog food twice a day, feasts on treats, has perfected the pitiful whine for people food and is petted to her heart’s content.

Lucy spends her days lounging in her favorite spots, inspecting the backyard and protecting us from those “evil” people walking by the house or daring to ring the doorbell.

The Suffolk Humane Society, among many groups in the greater Hampton Roads area, helps dogs like Lucy find permanent homes with humans like my husband and me.

Summer is an important time of year to give animals a good home. The heat and lack of water can be quite a dangerous combination for dogs — and cats too.

The July/August edition of Suffolk Living magazine gives tips on how to keep your pets cool during these hot summer months. The current edition also introduces the humane society’s director of community outreach, Kay Hurley.

For your feline friends, the Suffolk Humane Society will hold two “barn cat” spay/neuter special during the month of August. The organization will offer a $20 special to spay/neuter all “barn cats” (any cat can be disguised as a barn cat for this deal). The cat must be up-to-date on shots, and if not, shots will be available at a reduced cost.

The special will be available at the Virginia Beach SPCA’s Neuter Scooter, hosted by Suffolk Humane, on Aug. 15 at the Magnolia Ruritan Club building, 1047 Nansemond Parkway, and on Aug. 16 at the office of Suffolk Humane Society, 4300 Nansemond Parkway in the village of Driver.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 538-3030. Visit each week to get the latest information about the group’s activities and to view the up-to-date photos of the adoptable animals at Suffolk Animal Control, 124 Forest Glen Drive.

 BETH ROUGHTON is a page designer for the Suffolk News-Herald. She can be reached at 757.934.9612 or at