Cheyenneite Britney Wallesch saw a need in 2008 for a second chance for adoption of homeless pets statewide. Now eight years later, the Black Dog Animal Rescue program she founded has led to over 1500 successful pet adoptions. She told the Cheyenne Sunrise Rotary Club she saw a need across the state of Wyoming for a coordinating center for animal adoptions.
   Britney cited the example of the lack of a program in Wheatland, just 70 miles north of Cheyenne, which houses stray pets in a small, windowless concrete block building where they are fed once a day and are euthanized routinely when not adopted. CSR’s Jason Johnson recently adopted a dog who had been at the Wheatland “pound” for two months, and said he finds his new pet “the sweetest, most loving dog you could imagine.”
   Britney said other places in the state have draconian city ordinances, as in Rock Springs, where it is decreed that when police pick up a stray it must be killed within three days if the owner is not found. She said she’s worked with the legislature in the past to change such laws and will continue working. 
  “It is the culture of how some Wyomingites view homeless pets that we need to work on,” she said after the program. Wyoming’s ranching community is used to having dogs as working partners on the ranch but not as traditional pets. “But,” she said, “you will see the old rancher whose dog sleeps on the sofa in the ranch house every night.” 
   Her concept for the Black Dog Animal Rescue was and remains one in which people in Cheyenne and elsewhere in Wyoming foster the pets in their homes rather than in a traditional shelter like the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, with which BDAR works, she said.
  Former CSR member and fundraiser for the Cheyenne Animal Shelter Sue Castaneda says CAS and Black Dog have a close relationship and are doing fundraisers together.
   Current CSR member Jason Johnson adopted from Black Dog, and says, “my fiancé Candi and I were looking for a dog to give company to our Rottweiler-German Shepherd mix. We looked at Black Dog and found a couple of dogs we were interested in. We had to go through an application process. They called our references and our vet. Then after we passed everything, we were able to begin meeting dogs. We picked out two dogs that we wanted to meet, but we were in line. Black Dog asked what kind of dog we were looking for, and they said that they just took in a dog from Wheatland that is a Border Collie-Great Pyrenese mix. They said she is one of the most loving dogs. Candi took my mom and sister to visit Maizee; this was a Saturday. They loved her, so they said that we wanted her. We couldn’t have her right away because she had to be spayed.  She was scheduled to be spayed the following Monday and we could have her that evening. Maizee’s foster parent died, so Maizee didn’t get to her appointment. They ended up spaying her on that Thursday (they found out she was already spayed but also had a hernia so they took care of that). Black Dog told us to take her until Monday to see if it was a good fit. Everything was great so we adopted her, and that following Monday we signed adoption papers”