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Seymour rescue helps surrendered, abandoned or neglected border collies

Kenny Shuck emphasized that border collies are not bad pets, but they need to be cared for according to their personality.

CARMEL, Ind. — The border collie is a very popular dog breed, but these dogs are not for every family. In fact, so many of them are surrendered, abandoned or neglected because owners find they just don't know how to handle them.

Kenny and Elaine Shuck started Clancy's Dream, a border collie rescue, after realizing how often the breed is given back, once adopted by a family.

"We started here back in 2016, and it's evolved from there. We started out fairly small, but we've grown into about 40 volunteers," Kenny said. "We actually do everything east of Rocky Mountains, and we cover the northeast coast of the U.S. We deal with pretty much any dog that needs help."

Kenny emphasized that border collies are not bad pets, but they need to be cared for according to their personality.

"They make great pets as long as you can give them the activity that they need. They're very loving. They're very devoted. They snuggle, they like to do that, but they do have an off-switch — but you've got to find that off switch," Kenny said. "When the border collie gets in a home and the home's not active or don't do what they need, the dog can get aggressive. They can get mean, they can be destructive because they're bored."

Kenny and Elaine named the border collie rescue after their own dog.

So far, Clancy's Dream has rescued and placed 500-600 border collies. Elaine said she loves them all — but she said it's not hard to find favorites among the group.

"Tinkerbell came to us from a bad situation. She lived in the backyard of the house. She had a doghouse, and she was attached to a chain for the first four years of her life — and she was never off that chain," Elaine said.

When the Shucks got Tinkerbell, she was walking with a slight limp. Elaine said they weren't sure if the limp was due to a birth deformity or an injury from being chained up.

"She's very special to me. I fell in love with her when she came to the house, and we fostered her," Elaine said. "I told Kenny one day [while] I was brushing her and crying, and I said, 'You just can't let her go away. She has to stay here.' So, he actually gave her to me for my birthday, so she's my little treasure."

According to Kenny, the organization stays busy through word-of-mouth, as well as social media and online.

"We have a very active Facebook page, and because of that, we get a lot of contacts from there. Sometimes we'll get up to 20 calls a day because people are looking, they're desperate," Kenny said. "Now, unfortunately, we can't help every dog. We can direct you to what needs to occur and try to help people out from being able to take care of the dog."

Credit: Clancy's Dream
The Shucks said 8-week-old Boomer was living in deplorable conditions when he was found wandering in southern Indiana. Now, he's ready for his forever home.

Eight-week-old Boomer was found wandering a few days ago and is Doug and LouAnne Denny's 13th foster since they started volunteering for Clancy's Dream.

"We mainly socialize with the dogs and get them ready to have a permanent family," Doug said. "Clancy's Dream takes care of the medical expenses and gets the dog up to speed on all the shots and all that, so it's a wonderful organization that provides that type of need for the dogs, but it's basically just getting them ready for a permanent home."

Doug also emphasized that border collies are not for everyone.

"I say they need to have a job, and they need to be active. If they don't get that, they can get destructive, and I think that's why Clancy's Dream is so needed," Doug said. "The breed has problems sometimes with people who get them because they see them on TV. They're intelligent. They're good-looking dogs and yet, if they don't have a job or a place for them to be out, they can get disruptive."

Doug said it's been a long time since his wife and he have fostered a puppy, so Boomer has been a big adjustment. 

"It wears you out a little but well worth it," Doug said.

The Shucks said Boomer was living in deplorable conditions in southern Indiana. When Boomer was rescued, he was scared of everyone and everything. After one week at Clancy's Dream, Boomer was hugging and kissing people — and is ready for his forever home.

According to Kenny, the volunteers and foster families are critical to their success.

"We could always use more help," Kenny said. "Not everybody can work every day, so we'll have to pick and choose because of vacation, school kids, things like that."

The Shucks said they'll continue working with border collies until they are no longer able.

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