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Success Stories


I have always loved Beagles. In 2000 I was surfing the web and came across the LU County dog site in WV. I had never seen a pound site that was so well organized and had updated photos of the animals. The site was very professional and I began to visit it. One day in 2005 I noticed a dog on the LU Site. I asked Jan about him, and she said his brother and sister had both been adopted, but he had remained unchosen. The poor little guy was 6 months old and had been in the pound 4 months! I looked at his sweet face and half mask and 1/2 Beagle face, and I told Jan I wanted to adopt him. Penny and Libby would have to adjust to a new buddy ;) Driving to WV from Oklahoma would have been hard, so we decided he must fly to us. By this time, other people had joined the ranks of the Lewis-Upshur dog helpers/rescuers. Sara Tappan from Maryland and her mom began driving long hours to transport adoptable dogs to various rescue organizations. Soon a network of drivers joined Sara to help. Sara and Jan made arrangements for my pup, named Mallawi, to fly to us here in Oklahoma. Sara got a crate and sent him our way in January, 2006. He flew first to Houston and then to Oklahoma City, and arrived safely. He was very skittish at first, but as he became more relaxed, he became great friends with Penny and Libby. He took obedience classes and came in 2nd place among all the dogs! We have been so blessed to have Mallawi. He is a welcome member to our family. Thank you to Jan, Sara, Waldo, Randy, Bill, and all those who help at Lewis Upshur Pound! There should be more people in the world who care as much as Jan does about finding homes for loving, often unwanted animals. Martha Lillard Shawnee OK


Corky came to us in January 2005 right after we lost our yellow lab rescue dog Angel. Corky is a sort of lab mix but with the personality of an Akita! After two training classes at PetSmart, he was ready for his new life of kayaking, running in the woods (on leash), and RVing in Mexico. He quickly took over our lives and trained us to his way of thinking. In 2008 he went to Alaska with us and our 3 cats. Soon after our return we adopted another rescue dog Barney who became Corky's little brother (see picture), following him everywhere and trying to be just like Corky. So now we take 2 dogs and 3 cats when we go RVing. Despite his aggressive personality, which we have learned to live with, Corky has become a wonderful addition to our family! Dotti and Thursa

Our Rescue Kae

We rescued our chocolate lab “Kae” from the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control facility in the spring of 2002. We were just getting started into the wonderful sport of duck and goose hunting and began the search for a Labrador Retriever puppy. A friend of ours had called and told us of a dog, not puppy, at the facility that was up for adoption and she appeared to be at least part Lab. Well of course you know the rest of the story. We took one look at those beautiful brown eyes and fell in love with her instantly, regardless of our first desire for a puppy. Like most grown dogs, she had a few bad habits we had to accept and overcome for hunting purposes but to be a happy, healthy retriever, there was no training required. Kae has become our best hunting dog and a huge part of our family. We often wonder where she came from and discuss how we are the lucky ones to have her in our life. Jan and her staff at the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility are topnotch professionals that work very hard to find homes and good matches for the dogs and cats at the facility. I would certainly recommend anyone interested in adopting a dog or cat to first look into the wonderful animals at the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility.


Emma’s and my story begins long before we met. Over Thanksgiving 2011, I lost my 12 ½ year old Border Collie/Australian Shepherd Jesse to lymphoma. She was a wonderful dog who took great care of me and her pal, a 4-year old Golden named Meg. A few weeks after Thanksgiving, someone found Emma under a parked car unable to move. The person who found her said she appeared to have been hit by a car, but after extricating her, found that she was so matted with burrs, she was unable to walk. Emma had no one to take care of her, nor did she have anyone to take care of. So, she was taken to the Lewis-Upshur Animal Shelter and tucked away for a week waiting for someone to come and give her a forever home. Since Thanksgiving, I had spent countless hours trolling through the Petfinders website looking for a new friend for Meg and me. Several dogs looked the part, but none seemed to have a spark that every dog owner looks for. Finally, after several emails with Jan at the shelter, on the Friday before Christmas, Meg, my mother and I headed over to the shelter to see whether Meg would get along with another dog (remember, Meg had just lost her friend, so things could have been difficult). First, we looked at a retriever, but the retriever wasn’t a good fit. At that point, exhausted after weeks of searching and about having given up, my mother asked if I were ready to go home. I said just one more . . . and asked Jan if a little blond dog, about 5 months old, named Emma were still available. The moment Emma came through the door, she won all our hearts. This bundle of eternal happiness and energy went for a mad dash (Emma never walks anywhere!) with us and when we opened the hatch of the car, didn’t hesitate to jump in, go to the front and seem to say, “Let’s go people! We have a life to get to!!” There were a few issues that had to be settled about Emma, and she wasn’t able to come home with us until the following Wednesday.

Emma's story continued

But, I cannot give enough credit to Jan and all her staff and volunteers for their patience, hard work and knowledge of their charges. Jan worked with us over Christmas calling us several times to update us on Emma. After Emma was able to come home with us, I wrote Jan to thank her for everything; her simple response was she was just doing her job. But don’t let that fool you; Jan and her support staff and volunteers do more than just a “job” . . . every dog I saw that day at the shelter was well taken care of, well fed and the kennels nearly spotless. They diagnose each dog’s personality and issues are taken care of with an incredible amount of efficiency and caring on everyone’s part. Today, a few weeks later, Emma is growing and learning things nearly as fast as I can teach them to her. She and Meg run the yard for hours playing and exploring every nook and cranny. She loves car rides, snuggling when she’s very tired, doesn’t bother with the cats much (remember, she’s still a puppy), and is an all around great fit for our family. This is the second dog I’ve gotten from the Lewis-Upshur Animal Shelter (the first one was 13 years ago; a little girl named Annie who we lost almost 3 years ago), and with both dogs, I know if it weren’t for Jan and her people, I would never had had the opportunity to have them in my life. So this is another success story for the people who are just “doing their jobs” finding forever homes for the dogs, and making contented people who are permitted to give the dogs their forever homes.

Zachariah Blue (Dillons Story)

In November of 2011 our Pit bull, Pagan, passed away at a unbelievable 17 years young. Talking my husband into getting another dog was not easy because the pain was so fresh. I knew though if we rescued and loved another dog that it would take his mind off our loss. In January 2012 I had finally convinced him to let me start looking for our baby to rescue and adopt. I wanted a Blue Pit and my husband wanted a white one. When I found Dillion's picture my heart just stopped. He was so amazingly beautiful and his add said, "Such a sweet boy, who loves cats". I figured any dog that loved cats was good in my book. I emailed the shelter late at night and did not expect to get a response however, Jan was right on top of things. She answered me that yes they still had "Dillion". My heart skipped a beat and I told my husband that we had to leave the next morning to get him and I had told Jan to expect to see us that morning. Neither of us slept through the night we were so excited to go get this new baby. The next morning we drove in silence the 45 minute trip to go get this baby. We pulled in and I frantically ran around the outside shelters to see if I could get a glimpse of this beautiful creature. He was no where to be found. We went around to the door and we were let in by a very nice gentleman and I don't remember saying much to him except hello and fleeing past to go find this baby that I was going to call mine. I looked left and in that kennel were a mother and her pups looked to be a mountain little fiest mix. I looked to my right and it was an empty kennel. I looked to my left again and it was a beautiful white and black female. I looked to my right and there he was. He was just sitting there in all his glory. He looked up at me and his eyes said, "There you are!! I've been waiting for you!". Tears began then to fall because I knew this baby was picked for us. The gentleman released him to us and he was so quiet and timid my husband was sit abac

Dolly our baby

I saw Dolly on the Petfinder web site and knew right away that I wanted to adopt her. Previously we had a Dachshund and she passed away and we wanted another one. I didn't want one that was the same color because it would bring back too many memories and Dolly looked different. I contacted Jan Cochran at the Upshur County shelter and told her what I wanted to do. There was a problem - I live in Kansas and Dolly was in West Virginia. How would I get her here? Jan had all the answers. She i

Lizzy Boo, Our New Baby Girl

Hello. I am Amy Thomsen. Yesterday we adopted the little cocker mix.. The bi-eye. I need to say that once we got her home and bathed she became a dog that seemed to belong in our home her entire life. I never thought I would be happy with another dog after we had to put our blue heeler down. He was with me for 12 of his 18 years right by my side no matter what the army threw at us and was constantly at my side no matter what. My husband suggested going to " just look" at the adoptable dogs at yo