Oreo and Mama live in Durham, North Carolina, with an elderly woman named Belinda, whose landlord doesn’t allow pets inside the house.
Belinda lives alone, and without having very much for herself, she does the best she can for these two dogs — who came to live with her after their former owners abandoned them in Belinda’s neighborhood.
One day, Mama broke free from her tether. Animal control got the dog, but instead of taking her to the shelter, Mama was brought home to Belinda — who was also given contact information for Lori Hensley, operations director for a group called The Coalition to Unchain Dogs.
The Coalition to Unchain Dogs provides much-needed pet services, for free, to folks in North Carolina who might be having a hard time taking care of their animals.
The nonprofit — which relies on donations — does free spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations and medical care, as well as giving out pet food, leashes, and supplies.
As you can see in this video, The Coalition to Unchain Dogs also goes in and builds fences — about 120 fences per year, on top of the other services. All this so that families who don’t have a lot can still stay together.
“We built the fence for Belinda and her dogs and gave the dogs straw because Belinda lives alone and without a car in one of the poorest and most underserved neighborhoods of Durham. She has no easy access to a grocery store or pet care stores. Yet her dogs are well fed and well loved,” Hensley told BarkPost. “Belinda rescued Mama and Oreo and loves them very much. She just needed a little help in caring for them.”
The fence was built in late January. Oreo and Mama have also now been vaccinated. They’ve been spayed and neutered. They have safe enclosures where they can run around and play, and straw and good dog houses to keep them warm.
Belinda’s neighbor has also asked for help getting his dogs fixed and vaccinated, as well.
“People telling their friends and neighbors about their positive experience the best way for us to build trust in the neighborhood and reach people we likely would have not otherwise been able to reach,” said Hensley.
Last week there was a cold bout, so Hensley checked in on Belinda – who’s been having some health problems – and brought the dogs more straw.
The dogs zoomed around their yards, then gave Hensley kisses while she rubbed their bellies.
“When she was chained, Oreo was very scared of people and would hardly let me touch her,” said Hensley. “Mama and Oreo are both doing great.”