June is dog-licensing month: ‘Beanie’ is Stafford’s ‘Top Dog’

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Fri., May. 13, 2011
Beanie, Stafford's 'Top Dog' for 2011, traveled a long way to find her new home. Photos by Lauri Voter.
Beanie, Stafford's 'Top Dog' for 2011, traveled a long way to find her new home. Photos by Lauri Voter.

June is dog-licensing month in the state of Connecticut. Each year, several towns offer contests to residential dog owners, whereby the contest winner receives dog tag No. 1 for that year.

Stafford has been offering a “Top Dog” contest for 11 years, according to Town Clerk Carol Davis.

This year, Davis and her associates reviewed information about Stafford’s canines, and agreed that “Beanie” should be Stafford’s 2011 Top Dog.

“I liked her story,” said Davis.

At first glance, Beanie could be just any dog you pass on the street. She’s cute and friendly, lovable and playful – an average mutt. That is, until you learn her story.

In Connecticut, Beanie made her way to owners Susan and Bob Kinnin of Stafford, by way of Our Companions Domestic Animal Sanctuary.

“I contacted Our Companions Domestic Animal Sanctuary,” said Susan Kinnin, who said that she was surprised when Our Companions called to say, “We have a dog we think you’d like to meet. She’s from Kabul.”

Kinnin chuckled, recalling that her husband asked, “is she going to understand English?”

Before she landed in Connecticut, Beanie was a street dog in Afghanistan. Beanie is approximately 2 or 3 years old, and was born in Kabul, where she wandered the streets. As a street dog, Beanie became a practice spay dog for veterinary students. After her surgery, Beanie was returned to the streets, and was subsequently found recovering in a market stall, resting on a dirty blanket.

As bad as it sounds, it turns out that Beanie happened onto some luck. As she was recovering on her dirty blanket, she was discovered by an American news reporter, who also turned out to be the founder of the Afghan Stray Animal League.

From Afghanistan, Beanie was shipped by truck to Pakistan, where she received her international vaccinations, and was issued her “International Certificate of Vaccination.” This cleared her for travel, and she was flown to Connecticut. She was placed in temporary care, until she was adopted by the Kinnins.

And now, this once wayward, refugee stray is Stafford’s Top Dog – technically for a year, but in her own way, always.

Stafford Animal Control and Love Veterinary Center will host a fee-based rabies clinic on June 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Stafford Highway Garage located at 210 East St. Dogs can be registered at this event. Stafford residents must register their dogs at the town clerk’s office in June to avoid penalty fees. For more information, contact the Stafford Town Clerk’s office at 860-684-1765 or visit www.staffordct.org.

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