By Kay Whatley, Editor
Inspired by one found dog, the Maggie Society came into being, and now it helps rescue over 100 Eastern NC dogs per month. The Maggie Society operates in the Wilson-Johnston-Edgecombe area and surrounding counties. Their day-to-day work includes taking in stray and unwanted dogs, rescuing endangered dogs from shelters, finding foster homes and supplies, and transporting dogs to a sister organization.
Volunteers receive calls, emails, and social media requests continually. Each request for help, whether it is for a surrender — a family dog being given away — or a stray, is handled by volunteers as available. In between picking up dogs in response to community requests, volunteers pick up at area shelters — working with shelter personnel to get dogs out of the shelters before they would be euthanized.
Once dogs or pups are taken in, they need to have a place to go: a foster home. The Maggie Society has grown recently from 25 foster families to 50; allowing them to double the number of dogs they can rescue at any given time. At foster homes, dogs are fed and cared for, worked with, and provided with vet care — some by volunteer vets and some paid care made possible by donations.
Attempts are made to take in as many dogs as possible. All members of the Maggie Society are volunteers, and they rescue as many dogs as they can with the people available at the time.
“We need more bodies,” says Lorena Flint, a Wilson-based volunteer who herself spends many days driving to rescue dogs or puppies, and gathering supplies for the dogs in the society’s care.
Speaking with Lorena, the passion of Maggie Society volunteers comes through. Lorena not only assists with rescues, she also fosters Maggie Society dogs in her home as they await adoption.
Lorena interacts with many of the volunteers, as well as the foster care families — also volunteers — caring for Maggie Society animals. Foster care is crucial to the society’s ability to take in animals as calls come. More foster families are always needed, and an application form is available. Visit their Facebook page or email email@example.com.
To help move their dogs and puppies from foster homes into forever homes, volunteers here in NC work with a sister nonprofit called Wags Rescue and Referral in Pennsylvania. Wags is in an area where there are few dogs to rescue, so they take 50 to 100 of the society’s dogs each month. Maggie Society volunteers drive the dogs to Pennsylvania. The symbiotic relationship provides Wags with dogs in need of adoption, and frees up space in the Maggie Society foster homes in NC.
Founded by Laurie Brumfield and her husband, Jesse, the nonprofit is named for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever they adopted, who went from an old, unwanted dog to their beloved pet, Maggie. The namesake group has — in Maggie’s name — rescued thousands of dogs from living as strays, or dying unwanted in a shelter or a backyard.
At any given point, more volunteers, fosters, dog food, supplies, and transporters are needed. If you are inclined to help, contact them and prepare to pitch in and save dogs’ lives. If you don’t have time to give, they welcome donations and use them wisely to care for rescues. Donations may be mailed or dropped of at Maggie House, 802 Broad St, Wilson, NC 27893.
On the other hand, if you know of a stray, dumped, unwanted, or abused dog, or you come across a mama dog with a litter of puppies and no owner in sight, contact the society. Their volunteers will mobilize to help you turn the unwanted into the beloved.
Either way, get to know Maggie. Help, donate, or call when you need them. As long as they have a pair of hands available, they will come to the rescue.