WESTERN FREMONT COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY
WHAT WE DO
The Western Fremont County Humane Society is an independent, registered 501(c)3 charitable organization committed to the health and welfare of all animals. We seek to inform, inspire, and assist people to responsibly care for their pets and to treat them with kindness.
For over 25 years we have been serving the needs of animals and owners in the Dubois and Crowheart communities of the Upper Wind River Valley in Wyoming. Our volunteers provide foster homes for pets in need and keep shelves of cat and dog food available at the Community Food Bank (donations always welcome). We have built and maintain the new Gizmo’s Dog Park at 26 Gilliland Avenue, east of town, using part of a bequest left by Rick Schwinn, Gizmo’s owner. The facility includes a livestock shelter and corral as well as walking trails bordering the colorful Dubois Badlands.
Working with several Fremont County veterinarians we do all we can to save lives as well as spay and neuter those waiting to be adopted. Animal medical cost sharing with Western Fremont County residents is provided through applications available on this website or at Dubois Town Hall. The feral cat Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program is ongoing work – saving lives and avoiding unwanted kittens.
Regularly published ads in the local press and our Petfinder page help us find forever homes for all the animals in our care. In the warmer months we sponsor events such as the vaccination clinic with East Fork Veterinary Clinic, the dog washes, and the Strutt Your Mutt Fun Dog Match.
Video about WFCHS created by Kendra Leseburg.
Kim McKnight watches her dog Jackson get a bath at summer 2021 dog wash at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
"My family had such fun at Strutt your Mutt! Thanks for all your hard work throughout the year to benefit the pets of our area."
Marie Raney watches as Deborah Witonski bathes her dog, Zooey.
WFCHS board members and volunteers at one of the 2019 summer dog washes held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Making A Difference in the Lives of Animals
Bella's Forever Home
I'm not sure if you remember me as it's been 12 years since the only time that we met but it left an indelible impression upon the fabric of my family's life. It escapes me, how exactly our paths crossed but you had rescued a small Black Lab named Gypsy and were looking for someone to be her "forever" home. My wife and I were freshly married and expecting our first child. Our faces were much shinier back then and I'm sure that our smiles just barely masked the unyielding fear which defined all of the ways that we had no idea what we were doing. I think you sensed that fear as we met in the parking lot of Tony's Pizza in Lander. I remember the concern on your face as you explained to us that Gypsy was rescued from a neglectful home where her existence was basically a short chain in a dirt yard in Dubois. I could sense both the fear and the hope in your voice as you prepared to leave Gypsy in our care and I can tell you now that I appreciate the gravity with which you handled that situation. What was unspoken was a sort of promise that we would give Gypsy everything that she deserved and had been denied. Unqualified as we were, we took the charge and welcomed Gypsy into our home. We did however change her name to Bella.
Bella was an unnaturally polite dog. I think this was because of her time on the chain. She was timid above all else. She wanted to play but was unsure about what degree of enthusiasm would be appropriate. This would forever be her defining characteristic. The first night that we brought her home she was still recovering from being spayed. You told us that she should be OK to drink water and eat some food so we brought her into our house and she drank like she'd just discovered water for the first time. I sat on the kitchen floor, waiting for her to finish. She came to me when she was done, put her head in my lap and barfed all over me. I didn't mind but poor Bella was mortified. Three houses and 12 years later and she refused to ever set foot in another kitchen. The only time that Bella really let herself go wild was on car rides to go hiking. That first time was a real shock. She did a sort of barking, howling James Brown impersonation. Hikes were her favorite thing next to the car rides to go hiking; her joy was literally too big to contain. She did the first sniff of each of our three boys when we brought them home from the hospital. She sat up late with me on my darkest nights and took me on morning walks to help me find the courage to face the day. She loved ham and Pringles. As the years went on she never lost her enthusiasm for a car ride and a hike. She would follow her nose and get lost in a bramble until we found her. Then she'd howl the whole way home.
A couple of weeks ago, Bella began to have some breathing problems and we discovered that she had lung cancer. Her quality of life was still good but we knew that the time was coming for us to guide her peacefully into the unknown. The Vet gave us some steroids to slow the growth of the tumor which we gave to her wrapped in ham, followed by pringles. For a few weeks, her tail kept a wagging and she was thrilled with the uptick in treats. Then yesterday, she took a turn for the worse. We called the Vet, knowing it was time, to see when we could schedule Euthanasia. That was supposed to be 9:30 this morning. We took her on one last car ride and hike. She smiled during the ride and appreciated the windows being down but she wasn't up for much of a hike. Instead, we just sat down in the sun and enjoyed the fresh air. Last night my wife, my sons and I all gathered around her to give her as much love as we could while letting her relax. I went to bed dreading what I would have to do today. Then, I was awakened at sunrise by a muffled barking. I was sure it wasn't Bella because she hadn't been able to bark on account of her lungs but I followed it downstairs and sure enough it was her. She'd found the strength to stand and was calling me to come to her. The sun was just rising, still blue and pink but bathing the world in that briefest of magical moments. She looked at me with a sort of conviction. I petted her and opened the back door where she trotted out towards her final sunrise. She stood for a moment before laying down and letting go. Even in death, she was an unnaturally polite dog.
Over the years I have meant to reach out to you to express my gratitude for coming into our lives with Gypsy turned Bella some 12 years ago but I just never seemed to find the time. I want you to know that she did find her forever home with us and it is we who are forever grateful. Please keep saving four legged souls and know that you are saving some two legged ones as well.
A sheriff’s deputy called about two dogs who had shown up in the Bull Creek area and appeared lost. It was possible that they wandered over from the rest stop, which is a few miles down the road. A kind man fed and watered them and called around to find the owner. Since he could not keep them, WFCHS drove down and brought them to Dubois. We took photos and called around until we found the owner near Diversion Dam. The momma dog had six puppies and they are now happily reunited. This happened co-incidentally on National Dog Day. So it was a team effort and we are delighted this story had a happy ending!
She was so damaged when she was brought to us, it was like seeing a puzzle put back together. In our rescuer's words: “This poor sweet little gal was found last fall along the highway near Crowheart. She was a mangled little cat; broken tail, shattered pelvis among numerous other injuries. I took her to two vets and WFCHS spent copious funds to save her life. She is a little fighter and she made it through (only minus her tail) to find a wonderful loving home!” Our thanks always to Gail, and all those who have given our critters Forever Homes.
In Like Flynn
Before his adoption by Justin and Jamie Allison, Flynn had been fostered by WFCHS Board member, Beth Walsh. “When Flynn was first fostered he was a very scared and shy dog. He was fearful of everything and everybody. He was afraid of mirrors, thresholds, fast movement, almost everything. After several months of rebuilding his confidence and trust, Justin and Jamie came along ,and they are the perfect fit for this sweet boy. They had the patience it took to help him get over some of his fears and saw his potential of being a great dog.” We are so grateful to them for going the distance with Flynn.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”
PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TODAY
Checks should be payable to WFCHS
and mailed to:
PO Box 1198, Dubois, WY 82513.
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WFCHS is a registered 501C3 charitable organization. Your donation is tax-deductible.
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