Click the button below to donate through PayPal -- no account is required!
It was one of our most compelling and heartwarming stories -- a dog missing from his owner for 5 years was returned thanks to an implanted microchip 10 days before Christmas. The video had over 90,000 views on YouTube and touched viewers around the planet!
So what happened after they left? We got a visit from Mike and Bandit at our adoption center and Mike updated us. He spent a lot of time getting mats groomed out of Bandit's underside when they got home and shortly after coming home, Bandit went to the vet where he got a thorough examination, catch-up on his vaccinations and his senior blood panel. The little guy has a clean bill of health!
Mike is recovery from back surgery for several ruptured discs and still undergoing physical therapy. Although he is restricted to lifting no more than 10 lbs., he assured us that he checked and Bandit weighs in at 9.5 lbs.! He admits that the injury and the time off have been a blessing in disguise as it has given him much more time to be with Bandit and try to make up for lost time!
He confided that he really didn't want all the attention and media interviews, being a pretty private guy. But he touched thousands with his story, never giving up holding out hope for Bandit's return. He also was the perfect example of the value of microchips for pet identification.
To this day, Mike is still moved when he recounts that evening when he received the call about Bandit and still gets teary-eyed. Bandit, on the other hand, is just happy as long as he's with his dad!
Do you have an unused, but still mostly functional Android phone laying around? reTails can use it! As long as the phone is Android and has Wifi capability (which virtually all do) and a built-in camera, we would like to take your old phone and give it new life as a network camera in our adoption center.
A smartphone, even an older model is actually a very powerful handheld computing device! This is still in the experimental phase, but if it works, we could be able to use these cameras to stream pictures or even video from inside our free-roaming cat enclosures. On a more practical level, they can also be used to help us secure our adoption center doing duty as security cameras. It doesn't matter what wireless carrier, or version of Android as long as it has Wifi and a camera. What if the screen is cracked? That's okay, as long as the screen can still be read mostly. Sorry, we can't use iPhones, Windows phones or any other phone that isn't based on the Android operating system.
Although we will wipe all phones clean of data (if possible), please make sure to erase all your personal information from the phone and remove any screen locks or PIN codes. Charge your battery if necessary, or at least hook the phone up to the charger, power up the phone, then follow the instructions here:
If possible, please include the charger. You can drop off your Android phone to our adoption center in Washington Square Mall when we're open: Friday 6-9pm, Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday noon-5pm. If you would prefer to mail them, make sure to wrap them in padding and send to:
P.O. Box 482
Greenfield, IN 46140
Any phones that prove unsuitable, or that we can't use for some reason will either be donated, or recycled. If possible, we'll try to wipe all data before sending the phones off, but cannot guarantee it, so please try to do it yourself.
Although we hope to get all animals placed into adoptive homes as quickly as possible, some animals --especially cats-- are often scared by their ordeal and are very shy or even seem upset while they are in an adoption enclosure. These animals often take some time before someone finally appreciates and adopts them. Emorie was such a cat. Although she's a gorgeous young cat, almost all black with a tiny blaze of white on her chest and sporting a cropped right ear as the mark of her early life on the street, she was very shy at first.
One of our amazing adoption center volunteers, Pam Couchell, has a special affinity for black cats and wasn't put off by Emorie's early hiding and even growling. She was also on hand this past weekend when Emorie was adopted! Here is what Pam wrote on Facebook:
I know in the world of rescue you really shouldn't have a 'favorite'. But every so often there is one that comes into your life that just changes you. In my life that was Emorie. Something about her changed me in the short 3 or 4 months that she was at ReTails. I watched her transform from the scaredest kitty to one with so much love and affection. I truly wanted her to find a new home where she could run, jump, and play, and not live in the cages for one more day...but I also knew when that day happened, I would cry. There would be tears of joy and tears of sorrow just because I knew I would miss her so much. Well, it finally happened this weekend...and I am so glad that I was there to meet them. So, as you go on to your new furever home with your new family, my sweet girl, the picture above is for you.
Although it passed without obvious hoopla, this past weekend marked a big milestone -- the 2,500th reTails pet adoption since the organization was founded in 2010. Since we have cats available daily at 3 Indianapolis-area Petco stores, in addition to our Washington Square Mall adoption center, it's hard to say exactly which animal was #2500. It could've been one of the adopted cats:
Phoebe, Huggy, Sammie, Callie, Blackie, Lil Bit, Jag, Sally, Rags, Sienna, Lil Girl
...or one of the dogs:
Moe, Ali, Penny, Adella, Maya, Rocky, Bertie
Although reTails originally began doing traveling adoption events with modest success in early 2010, it wasn't until we opened our adoption center in Washington Square Mall that we began to make a much bigger difference in the lives of more at-risk dogs and cats. This past fall, we finished a year-long renovation of a 5,000 square foot space, giving us more than 4 times as much space as our first location in the mall.
To fully appreciate the scope of this accomplishment, you must also know that the reTails adoption center in Washington Square Mall is staffed solely by volunteers! It has operated every weekend (Fri-Sun) since October, 2010. It takes an amazing level of dedication by many volunteers to make it all work, and we couldn't do it without the help of so many! If you'd like to find out how you too can help, consider volunteering!
Some of the pets are rescued from local shelters, but many others come through our Rehoming Assistance Program or "RAP". Under RAP, owners who need to find homes for their pets are scheduled to bring their pets to our adoption center and also have their pet showcased online through Petfinder. The pet continues to stay in the owner's home. This is much less stressful for the pet than having to go into a foster home and eliminates the uncertainty of what might happen to the pet if it was surrendered to a shelter. If you need assistance rehoming a pet, check out our Rehoming page to see more about the available options.
Make sure to check out some of our Adoptable Pets, but remember that we get new pets every week and coming to our Washington Square Mall adoption center on Friday at 6 p.m. is the best way to see pets before they are posted online!
In October, 2010, reTails became the first pet rescue organization in the state to operate a permanent pet adoption center in a mall (Washington Square Mall). That adoption center was only 1,100 square feet, and was often so crowded that it was impossible to walk from one end of the store to the other. Despite that, almost 2,000 adoptions were done in the 2 years of that adoption center operating every weekend.
Almost 2 years to the day, and after more than a year of hard work, reTails opened a new, 5,000 square foot adoption center in Washington Square Mall. The space had been vacant for more than 5 years and was seriously "messed up" during the remodeling that added the Target store and used as storage and work space for the mall.
After literally thousands of labor hours over the course of a year, the space was transformed into a completely unique experience. The dog kennels were designed in-house, and allow dogs --and people-- total visibility. This, combined with the larger size greatly increases the comfort of the dogs, as well as eliminating the possibility of anyone climbing out.
The center was fitted with 2 free-roaming cat enclosures, each capable of housing up to 7 cats. The largest enclosure encompasses the large, front display window looking out into the mall and is a favorite place for the cats and mall visitors. The enclosures as well as the dog kennels were designed and constructed from unique "found" pieces, or materials available from the local home improvement center. Virtually all furniture in the adoption center was donated as well.
On the second week open in the new adoption center, this video was shot to give you a look into the new space: