Halo (Home at Last Organization) for Animals is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Sullivan, MO. Halo received nonprofit status in 2006.
Halo networks and promotes adoption of the dogs and cats in the city of Sullivan's animal control facility (pound).
Halo does not have a shelter. We do not accept pets and we are unable to help rehome a pet.
Our logo was designed by Scott Keene of Keene Eye Designs, Long Beach, CA.
The First Week in May - 3 Years and Counting.
So, it is once again the first week in May. For many it just means surprise that April has passed by already, happiness that summer vacation is around the corner, or time to plan Mother's Day and graduation parties.
For me, I usually am holding my breath the last few days of April wondering if we can make it.
Three years ago during the first week of May (pausing here to go get my Kleenex)...
I was just starting vacation that Monday when I got the call from our photographer, Barb. She was giving me a heads up before I came out to help her at the pound. There would be 4 dogs missing when I got there. We were full and space was made (please don't blame our animal control officer- it's not his fault people dump or surrender dogs to a city pound). She was right to warn me, I made it through being at the pound with her, but I was totally useless the rest of the day.
These 4 have become THE 4. Many of us Halo volunteers can rattle off the names of these dogs as if it was yesterday. We had known we needed to find homes quickly for all of the dogs, but we had been working so hard to find a place for Corky. He was a gorgeous black shepherd mix that everyone kept passing up. He had been there for a long 8 weeks. Lady was an older hound mix. And we all know how hard it is to find the right home or even a rescue for a senior dog. She was very sweet. Ajax was young and full of life. Someone had called and made an appointment to meet this handsome pit bull mix and the potential adopter never showed up for him. Choco was a chocolate-colored (of course) mix of something we couldn't figure out. Maybe a little shar-pei since he had a wrinkly forehead. Another sweet boy.
This was the first time that I experienced a loss of this many dogs of which I had become attached to at the pound. Honestly, the minute I walk into the pound I am attached to each and every dog and cat, but I had just spent 8 weeks with Corky. Halo volunteers had become his family and I had become used to seeing him there.
That day changed all of us that were new to this. We were still learning rescue. We didn't have the networking down yet, didn't know transports existed, and didn't even have a Facebook page yet.
I don't think any of us said anything about this at the time, but I believe THE 4 helped motivate us to do everything we could not to have to go through that again. A daunting challenge at a kill facility. We almost didn't make it to the first year- Teddy had been at the pound 8 weeks and it was taking a toll on the young pup. His angel, Chelsea, wanted to save a dog that desperately needed it. We could breathe a sigh of relief when her family adopted him in January of 2010. We kept telling ourselves and each other that we wouldn't make it another year, there are always too many dogs. We needed to resolve ourselves to the reality that we "can't save everyone." We sure were going to try, but we had to be ready for the hard part of rescue. There have been many dogs that we have held our breath over or had that pit in the stomach feeling when walking into a full pound. We have been full or nearly full way too many times to count.
Somehow we've made it to the 3 year mark this week! We have not lost any dogs due to lack of kennel space since the first week in May in 2009.
I still shed tears for THE 4 and I will never forget them. I want them to be remembered as we hit this milestone.
Without the support of Halo volunteers, our community of responsible pet owners ( I did witness the irresponsible this week with 2 dogs being dumped out of a van at the pound), our Facebook fans, rescues from all over the country, and many local businesses and media, we would not have been able to help so many get out of the pound in the good way!
I want to thank my friends and family for helping me with Halo events and for sharing the pets at the pound. And to our Halo volunteers, thank you! I couldn't be sharing the good news without the help of my vice-president, Amy and our secretary and photographer, Barb. Thanks mom and dad- I know you didn't sign up as Halo volunteers at first- you don't even live in Sullivan- but I love having your help.
It certainly has been a learning curve.
Here's to the next first week in May..
Six Years and Counting
April 30, 2015 at 10:50pm
THE FIRST WEEK IN MAY
This has become a very important date for Halo volunteers. Six years ago we lost 4 dogs in the pound because there were too many dogs in the pound and too many coming into the pound.
We now mark the first week in May with joy - another year without a dog being euthanized to make space! There have been times over the past year when space was tight and we held our breath until a couple got adopted, claimed or pulled into a rescue. With your support, we will be able to help the city pound add 4 more usable dog kennels which will help with breathing room when the main section of the pound is full. We still experience some loss with dogs that have been too seriously injured or ill, but with 6 years under our belt, we now expect to find a way to get a dog safely out of the pound.
We don't take that record for granted.
A special thanks to the City of Sullivan's animal control officer, Jim, for helping us continue to help as many as we can. Without the support of the City and police department, we would not be so successful.
To all of the pound adopters, THANK YOU for SAVING a life! We can't thank all of you enough for opening your home to a new family member that often we know very little about.
To our Facebook family and friends, we love how much you care about the pets in the pound. You share no matter how many times we post a dog (or cat)! You care about them as much as we do. All of you are making a difference in the lives of the dogs (and cats) that end up in the city pound.
Please read the note about the 4 that was written 3 years ago - we never want to forget any of the dogs and cats that were not able to get their second chance. These 4 hold an extra special place in our hearts.
It seems appropriate that the Give STL Day is on May 5th, during the first week in May. If you are able, a great way to honor the 4 would be a donation made on the www.givestlday.org website on May 5th to help pay for spays/neuters of the dogs and cats in the Sullivan pound. If you are not able to donate, please share the event and the pets in the pound. Here's to next May!
Nine Years and Counting - May 2018
9 years and counting - May 2018
I knew immediately that it would have a big impact on me. I definitely felt the emotion that first week in May in 2009. I’m just not sure I knew that 9 years later, just thinking about that week could still bring me to tears - and still really quickly, too.
I almost didn’t want to write this tonight, because I knew that I would feel the sadness and helplessness all over again despite the fact the each year added to the list is a good thing now. But I feel I should mark this anniversary. I’ve written Facebook notes the third and sixth year after that week in 2009. So, the ninth year seems appropriate. Besides, it is a happy occasion now. However, I can’t help but remember that first year though and THE 4.
So, this first week in May of 2018, I want to first remember these four dogs - Corky, Ajax, Lady and Choco. They were in the pound in 2009 and this is what happened (from the first note marking three years - you can see their photos in that note, too):
“ I was just starting vacation that Monday when I got the call from our photographer, Barb. She was giving me a heads up before I came out to help her at the pound. There would be 4 dogs missing when I got there. We were full and space was made (please don't blame our animal control officer- it's not his fault people dump or surrender dogs to a city pound). She was right to warn me, I made it through being at the pound with her, but I was totally useless the rest of the day.”
That day was really hard for all of us, especially those of us that were new to volunteering at a city pound. It’s still hard to understand why so many come through the pound doors every year, but Halo volunteers just keep plugging away. Someone has to network and promote the pound pets.
Right now, when the first week in May arrives, it brings joy that we’ve made it another year. The City of Sullivan’s animal control facility does not have to euthanize dogs for space now. And it’s been a long time for cats, too. It used to be that I held my breath as we got close to the anniversary; I didn’t even worry this time. My only big pound worry this week, and it’s a big one, is that Cara (the dog in the cover photo) will beat the hated parvo. But she is not in danger of losing her life because there isn’t enough room for her in the pound.
And while I am writing this, I just got a message from Jagger’s (now named Jax) new family. He was just adopted yesterday and this dog who was a little unsure of new people has figured out how great belly rubs are from his new best friend and is fitting in great. It’s just a perfect ending to this last day in April as we head into the first days of May.
THANK YOU to all of the pound adopters and Facebook friends and family - this really wouldn’t be possible without the support of this compassionate community of animal lovers.
And who put onions near my computer...
Lori Halo volunteer