Rich Lenz, News 9
KELLYVILLE, Oklahoma - A Sand Springs woman finds an abandoned dog and then finds her a home with a purpose with a Kellyville family.
When Tammy Ervin first met Molly she was a mess.
"She was covered in ticks so I took her straight to the vet and we began picking the ticks off her ears," said Tammy Ervin.
Tammy found Molly living in some brush in Sand Springs with only a bucket of water and some wild nuts nearby.
Tammy Ervin runs STAR, Sandite Team Animal Rescue, a non-profit that finds foster homes for stray animals.
"We provide the medical care they need, get 'em healthy and then because of the fosters, they're socialized and they become more adoptable," said Tammy Ervin.
At first, the four-year-old lab/collie mix had other ideas. She was wary of other dogs and was having a hard time adjusting, but thanks to lots of TLC from her foster mom, Marion Smith, Molly is now a loving, happy dog.
"She looks like a totally different dog now, you know, she has put on weight, her coat looks good and she's just really come a long way," said Tammy Ervin.
But that's not the entire story.
"I got a call that they were life lighting him and I thought it was a joke. I really did and they were like no," said Marion Smith.
On July 4, 2013, Marion's 29-year old son, Travis collapsed unexpectedly. His diagnosis could not have been more grim, inoperable brain cancer.
"It gets really hard you know, being the parent of a sick child, for him I'm sure there is a lot of depression, he has some anger," said Marion Smith.
Travis, the Army veteran and father of two, forced to return home to live. Who or what could bring joy back into his life? The answer walked on four legs.
On his first night back home, Molly climbed into Travis' bed and slept with him.
"She went straight to his room and I was like, well and she's been there ever since," said Marion Smith.
"All he has to say is kiss and she's licking his face and he's laughing and smiling and so you can see that it's definitely helping him feel better and be happier," said Tammy Ervin.
"To see him smile is a lot. Molly brings a whole lot of happiness to him. You know I was scared. I don't want to cry, that when we did this someone would want to adopt her, so, I was real nervous that oh god, someone will want her and there we'll be, but I'm not gonna let that happen. I'm not gonna let her go cuz she brings so much happiness in his life and if he's happy, I'm happy, you know," said Marion Smith.
In the last year alone, Tammy Ervin's organization has found foster homes for eighty animals. You can learn more about STAR on their Facebook page.