Laura Helper Ferris has been helping stray dogs find homes for several years now. After finding dogs who would make their way to forever homes via Streetdog, she finally became a foster fail and added sweet Lila to her pack last winter. She is also a Streetdog volunteer and a member of our Training and Integration team.
"It was a dark, rainy, fall evening when Laura Helper-Ferris was on her way to Memphis from Fayetteville, Arkansas for a business trip. She saw a dog dangerously close to the side of the road near the city dump and was compelled to stop. Percival came trotting right to her, hopped into her rental car, and she promised him that she would find a way to keep him safe despite her situation. At the time, Laura frequently traveled for work and lived in an apartment. When she called her fiancé to tell him about the dog, he simply said “I can’t wait to meet your refugee”.
It’s impossible to know what Percival had seen or experienced before he came to Laura and Patrick. All that mattered was that they had an instant connection and he immediately became part of their family. Two years later, it would be Percival who chose the next member of their family. On a walk around the neighborhood one afternoon, a dog approached them from across the street, and placed his paw on Percy. Hector chose them to be his family too.
Years later, another dog wandering the neighborhood would connect Laura to Streetdog Foundation. Some friends of Laura’s saw a dog at a busy intersection and agreed to keep the dog at their home while Streetdog found an adopter. It didn’t take long before their friends fell in love with Rudie and decided that he had already found his home. Soon, a starving dog (Walter) in a parking lot would bring Laura and Patrick back to Streetdog. A friend agreed to foster him, and Streetdog helped find the perfect home for him after a long recovery from heart worms and other illnesses.
In 2013, their beloved Percy passed away. Hector was lonely without a canine companion, so Laura brought home a dog from the streets she spotted on a Facebook ad. They were back to being a family of four! As is fitting with this story, another dog needing a family happened into their lives. This time, Laura and Patrick agreed to keep the pup while working with Streetdog to find a home. The moment Lila put her paw on Patrick, they all knew she was meant to be with them. And four became five.