Here is Kenway’s story as quoted from the Kenway’s Cause website:
“In June of 2011, Animal Control Officer Sherry DeGenova received a call regarding a dog that was found along a set of railroad tracks. When she arrived at the scene she noticed a black plastic garbage bag saturated from the puddle that surrounded it. While approaching the garbage bag it suddenly moved and when she opened the bag she was instantly brought to her knees…a lifeless, abused, neglected, emaciated and innocent soul was found clinging to life. A gentle soul thrown out like garbage and left for dead.
Their eyes made a connection and he was pleading for her help. She immediately scooped Kenway up and drove to the vet as fast as humanly possible. Kenway was placed on IV fluids, body warmers and all of the necessary medical assistance to facilitate his recovery.
The sad reality is that Kenway didn’t make it.
Unfortunately this type of abuse is seen way too often and in many instances these poor innocent souls don’t stand a chance at survival.
The passing of Kenway has left a lasting impression on all of us but most of all Sherry.
In his honor she named him Kenway which means Brave Warrior. You see the reality is, Kenway fought very hard to live. The condition he was found in showed he fought every day - he had mange, was deprived of food, water, shelter, vetting and most of all love and affection. He was an adult dog that resembled the size of a puppy. His breed was almost unrecognizable but he was a pit bull mix. Kenway is the legacy we honor.”
The formation of Kenway’s Cause is over and above what is in Sherry’s job description. She and four other amazing women volunteer their time and work tirelessly to save the lives of the dogs that come into their care. With only ten days to find homes for these dogs, their success rate is nothing short of miraculous. Much of this is due to the donations received, which provide medical care, toys, beds and food as well as assistance to families that adopt dogs with preexisting medical conditions. Without Kenway’s Cause, the only other option for these sick and injured dogs would be euthanasia.
As you can imagine, being an Animal Control Officer in a major city can be a difficult and sometimes thankless job. It takes a physical and emotional toll, especially on a person as caring as Sherry. The burn-out rate is high for city Animal Control Officers – according to Sherry, usually five to seven years. She has been in Hartford for fifteen years.
She receives hate emails on a regular basis, from people who believe that pit bulls should not be allowed in society. She takes the time to answer each one and surprisingly, about 70% will email her back and thank her for teaching them something they did not know. Of course there are those who will never change their minds but she does everything possible to educate and change perceptions one person at a time.
Thank you to Renee, Laurel, Shannon, Jody and, of course, Sherry – the amazing women who give of themselves and their time every day to help the dogs of Hartford and make Kenway’s Cause such an incredible success.