By Kristen Cockrell
I am excited to announce a new monthly column, #iDogBR (a play off of our Instagram/Twitter tag, #iDigBR), which will feature adoptable dogs from local animal shelters and rescues. Whether you’re looking for your new best friend or just need to see some adorable puppy pictures, I hope this column will put a smile on your face! I encourage each of you to consider adoption when looking for a new pet. There are many precious animals in rescues and shelters that have so much joy and affection to share. With so many adorable dogs looking for new homes, some even purebred, there’s no reason to add to the current overpopulation. You can make a difference!
Featured Shelter of the Month: Swampy Paws Canine Rescue
Vickie Parrish, founder of Swampy Paws, owns a small farm in rural Livingston Parish. She used to foster dogs—she would take dogs that weren’t doing well in local shelters to her home until they were adopted.
“Over time, strays or injured animals found their way to us through family and friends,” she said. “Eventually, we became a 501 3(c) non-profit organization.”
She explained that Livingston Parish has no animal control, so rescue groups in the area are swamped with pleas for help. Now, Swampy Paws is a foster-based rescue run by volunteers. They have one foster home for their 12 large dogs, and their small dogs are in foster homes throughout Livingston Parish.
Though Swampy Paws is located in Livingston, volunteers will deliver dogs within a 100-mile radius, which includes Baton Rouge and New Orleans, to ensure that each dog is going to the perfect home.
“When someone calls to inquire about adopting a pet, we interview them and suggest a couple of dogs that might be a good match,” Parrish said. “We take those dogs to the client’s home for a get-acquainted visit. It is less stressful on the dogs, and the client gets to see how the dog reacts to their home.”
While visiting the home, Parrish or other volunteers make sure that the new home has a secure fence and provides a safe environment for the new furry addition. A fenced yard is normally required for adoption; however, many small dogs are also available for apartment dwellers.
So how did Swampy Paws Canine Rescue get its unique name? According to Parrish, “the name came from my personal dog’s adventures in the swamp behind my house. Nikki was an escape artist when I adopted her from the Denham Springs Animal Shelter. She had been returned to the shelter twice because of her desire to roam. No one could contain her. She would jump the fence and return several hours later with black muck all over her feet, hence the name Swampy Paws.” Nikki is a 72-pound lab/husky mix who has finally decided to settle down on the farm.
Here’s a sneak peek of a few adoptable dogs from Swampy Paws:
Millie is a 1-2 year old spayed female Walker Hound. She was rescued from a Livingston Parish highway in very poor condition. She was extremely emaciated and fearful. Now Millie is doing great in foster care and is ready for her forever home. She is goofy and playful and doesn’t meet a stranger!
Gene Simmons is a small Lhasa Apso/terrier mix, at least that’s what Swampy Paws thinks. His tongue sticks out all the time, but not from broken or missing teeth¾he just has a really long tongue! This causes no health or physical problems; it just adds to his loving character. He is about 4 years old and doesn’t shed. He loves people, dogs, and just about anything else. Gene is heartworm negative and house trained.
Jack is an 8-10 year old Pomeranian mix who came from a hoarding situation. He is well socialized, housebroken and heartworm negative. He gets along great with other dogs and loves to follow his human around!
Bones is an approximately five-year-old Treeing Walker Hound. He was rescued on a rural road in very poor condition. He is a gentle, friendly and affectionate fellow who would love a home of his own. Bones is crate-trained and heartworm negative.
June is about 2 years old, and is a spayed female Lab mix. She was found as a stray puppy with a terrible case of mange. She is very sweet and loves to spend time with her foster family. She does great with other dogs. No one seems to know why this beautiful girl hasn’t been adopted yet!
Hippy is a 1-2 year female German Shepherd mix. She was found in poor condition, but is now doing quite well. This active girl loves to run and play. She is heartworm negative and desires a home without cats or young children.
Juno is a 6-8 month old spayed female Red Heeler mix puppy. An employee at a utility company found her and reported that she wasn’t being properly cared for. She is now safe, happy and ready for her very own human. Juno is shy at first, but warms up quickly. She gets along well with other dogs and cats.
Brownie is an approximately 13-year-old neutered male Poodle. Don’t let his age fool you; this little guy has lots of life and personality. He is very playful and affectionate and will bond closely with his human. He is heartworm negative and ready for a home.
Swampy Paws has a special heart for senior and special needs dogs, which they take in as “sanctuary dogs.” If you want to help an animal but can’t adopt, Swampy Paws recently began a “Sponsor Me” campaign to assist with expenses for these dogs. Through varying levels of sponsorships, either monthly or one time, sponsors can send money to meet a particular dog’s needs. Sponsors receive monthly updates on their dog as well as a home visit, if possible. Visit the Swampy Paws Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/SwampyPaws for more information or to keep up with this fabulous rescue.
Got a dog you want to feature in DIG? Use #iDogBR and share your photos with us on Instagram!