Cowboy the dog wants nothing more than to start a new life beyond the walls of the Southampton Animal Shelter—and his dream has finally come true.In just three days, the shelter raised $3,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to send the canine to a K9 police training program in San Antonio, Texas. Cowboy, a 5-year-old American Staffordshire terrier mix, has been living at the Hampton Bays facility for the last three years, and staff members decided he “needed a break.”
“Ever since he was a baby, he’s known shelter life,” said Kate McEntee, chairperson of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s junior committee and a member of its advisory board, who launched the campaign on Friday.
She explained that prior to coming to Hampton Bays, Cowboy lived at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in New York City.
“I’m so excited for this opportunity—this will change his life,” Ms. McEntee added.
Cowboy will attend a program through Universal K9, where he will be trained to detect and track narcotics, as well as learn how to become a confident member of the K9 police force. The program costs $6,000, but the shelter had found an unnamed sponsor for Cowboy—shelter policy is not to identify such donors—who agreed to match every donation received, up to $3,000.
Cowboy and another shelter resident, Buffy, will head to the Lone Star State today, Thursday, December 17, driven there by two shelter staff members. Buffy’s tuition was already covered in full by his own sponsor, Ms. McEntee said.
Once the campaign reached its goal Monday afternoon, Ms. McEntee said she was crying “happy tears.”
“The support from our community was outstanding,” she said. “We are lucky to have such great friends. Thank you to everyone who donated to Cowboy’s K9 police fund—you have helped change a shelter dog’s life.”
Jonathan McCann, president of the foundation’s board of directors, said he was “extremely grateful to the numerous supporters who chose to help a long-term shelter dog find a valuable path in life.”
He added: “Although SASF offers the best of care and companionship to the shelter animals, to give them an opportunity for a life outside of their present confines is the highest reward.”