LONOKE COUNTY, Ark. – Walking outside Baeyens-Hauk Veterinarians clinic in North Little Rock, a gentle mutt named Chance finally has reason to wag his tail.
Two weeks ago, he was skin and bones, seized during an animal welfare call by the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said Chance was chained without food, water, or shelter. Now, he’s got a months-long road to recovery, and the Sheriff’s Office is the one place he could stay.
“That’s what it takes, especially when we don’t have an animal shelter,” Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley explained.
Staley is making sure Chance is fed, puts on weight, and is vetted. Because none of that is in his budget, the agency relies on non-profits like Dirt Road Mutts Rescue to help transition pets to a proper home.
Monica Spaulding, founder of the Dirt Road Mutts Rescue, stressed why it’s so important to help these stray animals.
“I’ve never seen a dog fail a human, but I’ve seen humans fail dogs on a daily basis,” Spaulding said.
“At the moment Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office is fostering this one because we have not had a foster home step up for him yet,” she explained.
Chance is not the first animal the Lonoke County Sheriff’s has brought in and cared for. Some have been adopted outside the department. Many are in the homes of deputies and their families. Two have a very special permanent home.
“Office Kitty” makes her home among the records and offices on the administrative side of the sheriff’s complex. Across the main hall on the jail side, a pit mix named Journey stays.
For the last five months since her rescue, Journey has bunked with members of the Peers Achieving Collaborative Treatment (PACT) Program.
“It’s helpful. Very much. They help us tremendously. Gives us a friend”, one inmate said.
“She gives happy spirits to us, and she won’t let us argue,” added another who shares his bed with Journey. “She’s definitely spoiled rotten,” he said.
Journey also assists in community policing, visiting schools, and attending parades. Her name is Journey because through the jail’s reentry program, each participant is going through a recovery journey. Chance was given his name because Sheriff Staley believes everyone deserves a second chance.
“Chance needs a chance”, Staley insists. “We’re going to do everything we can. As long as I’m sheriff to help those who can’t help themselves, even our animals.”
Lonoke Deputies could not remember the exact number of how many dogs they have helped rehome, but it has been close to a dozen in the past couple of years. These are before and after pictures of just a few Beau, Echo, and Nala.
Chance still has months of recovery left because of heartworm treatment. If you’d like to help pay for his medical expenses, you can donate to Dirt Road Mutts Rescue or you can contact Baeyens Hauk Veterinary Hospital at (501) 837-7106 and say you would like to donate towards Chance’s vet bills.