Fosters, Adoptables, oh my!

Hey yooooo!

I’ve been sort of MIA lately from the blogosphere. Work has been soooo crazy busy, and by the time the work day is done, I have no urge to get back on the computer to blog. I’m even seriously lacking on reading all of my friends’ blogs, which I hate because I really do love reading all of your posts! Soon, some day, hopefully I will get back to reading on a regular basis. Until then fellow bloggers, know that I do follow you on FB (if I know where you are), and I think of you and your fab pups, often!

Anywho, lots of stuff has been going on here. First of all, Tooley has been adopted!! If you remember, last time I posted about her (here), she was being moved to a new foster home. She did great at his house, and was only there about a week when she went to her potential adopter. She hung out with them for a week so they could really get to know each other. All went well, everyone fell in love with each other, and the rest is history!

Happy Tails, Tooley!
Happy Tails, Tooley!

Lady Symone is still hanging out here in her temporary retirement home. She is honestly the easiest foster dog I’ve ever had. I’ve even been leaving her out of her crate when I leave and at night, and she’s perfectly well behaved! She’s had a few people interested, but they haven’t met our requirements. She did have a meet & greet this week. I was really excited about it because the lady had another senior bulldog, so she has bulldog experience and senior experience. Unfortunately though, she works 12 hour shifts a few times a week, and I just don’t think Symone would adjust to that. Her previous owner worked from home, and I work from home. So going from having a person around constantly, and getting to go out whenever she wants, to a setting where some days she would not go out for over 12 hours, would be a huge change. The lady and her dog were very lovely, but just not the right fit for this bulldog. So, Lady Symone is still in search of that perfect retirement home!

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There is also a new foster in the house! Meet Roxy! If you follow me on FB (www.Facebook.com/TailsofaFosterMom) then you already know about her. Roxy was in the Wakulla shelter, and as usual they were over crowded so her time was up. Last Hope Rescue was able to pull her, and I picked her up. She was instant friends with everyone in the house. Even Symone doesn’t mind her, although she doesn’t like when Roxy jumps on her back! Roxy is a large breed puppy, around 5-6 months old. I think she is maybe Rhodesian and Shepherd, maybe Whippet too?! I really have no clue. I DO know that she is FULL of energy, and she’s very sweet! She definitely needs to go to someone who is active, and who will be committed to spending time on obedience training. She’s a smart pup, but very…bouncy! She is great with the kid, but I think she’d be too much for small children, until she gets a little more mature and not so jumpy! Roxy is  a great pup though, and will be a fun addition to any family!

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Life with Roxy=constant movement!
Life with Roxy=constant movement!

Lastly, I got to do my favorite part of rescuing today…participate in a freedom ride! It is so rewarding to really feel like you are a part of a dog’s trip to freedom. This guy was coming from Chipley, a rural very high kill shelter, with little to no exposure to the public. His 7 days were up (yes…7 days, and then they’re shipped out to rescues or put down), and luckily we pulled him just in time. We had a new foster join our team, and this all ended up being perfect timing! Sammy was terrified when I pulled him out of the transport van, but he warmed up to us immediately. He crawled across the back seat, and right into Jayden’s lap, resting his head on his shoulder. It was seriously one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen! His little tail started wagging, he gave Jayden some kisses, and then he fell fast asleep! You could almost see the anxiety and tension being released from his tiny little body. He opened up even more as we were introducing him to his new foster family, and within a few minutes, he was sleeping in a shady spot on their deck. This sweet pup is only 10 weeks old, so he’s going to be a big boy for sure. He is in a great foster home, with a Lab to show him the rules of being a cherished pet! Seriously, do you not just LOVE this sweet little face??

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If you know of anyone looking for a pup who is filled with love and loyalty, large breed, and friggin adorable, send them our way!! LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com or www.Facebook.com/LastHopeRescueFL

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Well that’s about it for things going on around this crazy dog town! I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

xoxo

 

Animal Advocates

Animal advocates. What does it mean to be an animal advocate? To me, being an advocate means taking action to help/support/defend. I am a rescue advocate. I am a bully breed advocate. This means I attend rescue events; I promote the rescue whenever I can. I tell people about rescuing, adopting, and fostering. I am a bully breed advocate, mostly through Oscar. I am constantly and consistently working on basic training, to help him be the best dog possible. He is CGC certified, a great foster buddy, and he loves the humans. I want him to prove all the haters doubters wrong, by showing everyone what a good boy he is.

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Take the Blackfish Sea World situation. First, yes I saw Blackfish, and yes I think the things Sea World has done are disgusting. However, I think many of these people bashing Sea World are a bit ridiculous…ok, “ridiculous” isn’t the right word, but I can’t think of what is the right one. People jump on the bandwagon, “Take down Sea World! They’re evil! Roar!”…but what are those people actually doing about it? What is the actual point they are trying to make? That Sea World has mistreated these animals, right? So, boycotting Sea World is going to help those animals? No. Let’s assume that the whole country gets behind this idea, and Sea World ends up going bankrupt. What happens to the animals? Wild animals that have been in captivity for years. Some were even born in captivity. It is highly unlikely that they could be released into the wild successfully. So…euthanize them? Set them free and let the other wild animals kill them? What are the advocates doing for these animals? If my opinion mattered at all, if I could speak to the world and get everyone to listen, I think the best move would be to make Sea World into an animal sanctuary. Sea World HAS done some wonderful things, including rescuing wildlife, rehabilitating them, and releasing them. They could continue to do that, and in the case of an animal that can’t be released, then they keep them in the sanctuary. The animals shouldn’t be forced to learn tricks, and do shows, just for the entertainment of tourists. It could be used as a learning facility for future marine biologists, vets, etc. But…what is the likelihood that this will happen? Slim to none, I am sure. I wonder, did anyone ever consider that these same things, the situation people are all of a sudden outraged over, are also the same for animals that are in zoos, aquariums, and circuses? No one is causing an uproar over those poor animals though, because there hasn’t been a documentary released and blasted through news outlets. Humans put these animals in captivity. Advocates would have to not only demand change, but follow through as well, to make a difference for the animals.

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It’s the same with shelters and rescues. Over the last couple of years, I’ve heard “What you’re doing is wonderful”; “poor animals, humans suck”; “I wish there was something I could do”….but there is! Fostering is not for everyone. I wish it were, but I understand that it’s not. But there are plenty of other things you could do. You can volunteer at local adoption events. You can follow a local rescue or shelter on social media, and share an adoptable dog each day, to help network. You can make a monthly donation to a rescue or shelter, monetary or supplies. There are so many ways you can help; so many ways you can be an advocate. These animals, domestic and wild, need people to stand up for them. They need advocates.

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When I say the animals need advocates, I mean REAL advocates. Not celebrities who jump on the bandwagon just for a photo shoot. Real advocates, like Kaley Cuoco, who advocates for the bully breeds; Ellen Degeneres, who advocates for holistic treatments for pets; Ian Somerhalder, who advocates for rescues and no-kill shelters. These are people who are doing something for the animals. There are companies that claim to be advocates, but have still done some negative actions. Take PETA for example. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. But did you know that this group euthanizes over 90% of the animals in their shelters? Of course, they say this is done to alleviate suffering. You mean to tell me that 90% of the animals are suffering that greatly, that they can’t be rehabilitated and adopted out? Did you also know that PETA made a statement that pit bulls should be euthanized because a bad person might adopt them? (Since then, they have obviously back pedaled and reworded what they supposedly meant.) This is not to say that PETA does nothing good for animals. I am just trying to point out that there are good and bad sides to everything. Same with Sea World. Why are we (humans) killing the animals when they aren’t the ones doing wrong? Humans are the ones doing the bad things.

Why do the animals pay for it? Because they can’t speak up for themselves.

Research. Volunteer. Educate. Advocate. 

 

So, what does being an advocate mean to you? Do you consider yourself an advocate for someone/thing?

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Please remember, my opinions are my own. I don’t expect others to agree with everything I say. There are things I believe in whole-heartedly (pit bulls need love too), and other things that I disagree with (Sea World’s treatment of some of their animals). It is important to have a dialog, to be open to hearing what other’s have to say. Please, feel free to voice your polite, respectful opinions in the comment section below. I would love to hear what you have to say! 

Sweet Spanky!

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Meet our super special boy, Spanky! He is about 6-7 months old, and as you will see in the pictures, he is recovering from a severe case of demodex mange. This poor pup was chained up in someone’s backyard for his whole short life, almost dying from this sweltering heat. His skin was so bad that his face and feet were swollen to twice their size, and he could hardly even stand up. Thankfully he was confiscated, and the shelter began to nurse him back to health. Then, Last Hope Rescue was able to take him in, to continue getting him healthy, and to show him what life as a dog should really be! He is happy and thriving in his wonderful foster home now! Today, I had the joy of spending some time with him, and it was oh so much fun! 

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After spending just a few minutes with him, I realized just how precious and sweet he is!! I am pretty certain he is a Boxer mix. He is maybe 35-40lbs now, and I wouldn’t think he’ll get much bigger. He has a lot of boxer characteristics: loves people, plays with his paws, jumps, and has lots and lots of licks for humans! He is very eager to please, that is for sure! It is honestly so amazing to see his love for humans, after how he was treated. He loves to give kisses, just like my Lucy! He would definitely benefit from an obedience class once he’s adopted, and would do amazingly well, as he seems very smart.

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So, we went to a breakfast place, a plant nursery, Home Depot, Petsmart, and a local park. He was an angel! He never barked at strangers. He didn’t jump on a single person. He wasn’t afraid of the loud ambulance that went by. Multiple people commented on how sweet he was! One lady asked if her toddler could pet him, the kiddo was maybe 2, and Spanky very gently gave him a big slobbery kiss on the face! We also met a cat, and Spanky was more afraid of it than anything. Silly pup!

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He loves to explore & people watch!

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I think he will be the kind of dog who would like to go everywhere with his human, wherever dogs are welcome! I was really amazed at how he kept looking to me for direction, everywhere we went. The whole time, he wanted to be near us, seeing where we were going, and where we wanted him to go. He is really such a good boy! He definitely loves to be near his people. If you sit down, he comes right over to be close to you. He is perfect in the car too, very well behaved, and lays right down to go to sleep! He is a wonderful dog, and will make a great addition to a family!

 

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The rescue was so happy to be able to save this sweet boy, and to be the bridge for him from a sad tortured life, to a glorious one filled with love! Spanky is the type of dog who will show his family pure love and loyalty, in appreciation of being saved.

Please consider making a donation via the Last Hope Rescue PayPal link, in honor of sweet Spanky!

LHR Donations: http://www.lasthoperescue.org/donate/

ALSO, I entered Spanky in a contest! Let’s show the world how amazing rescue dogs can be, by sharing his story & votingfor him to win!! If he wins, the rescue will win donations up to $1500, which will help us continue saving dogs just like Spanky!

To vote: Click on this link. You will have to “like” the contest page, but it will NOT use any of your personal info. Please don’t let it stop you from voting! You can vote every 24 hours. PLEASE help us win, help save lives, and help show the world how special rescue dogs are!!!!

Voting Link: http://bit.ly/1u07Wmh

Saturday Blues

Hello Friends.

I went to the shelter today to spend a couple of hours with the pups in need. Unfortunately, due to the holiday weekend I assume, I was the only volunteer there (for the dog side). This means there were tons of dogs, loudly displaying their longing for attention, and just little ol’ me to give them the love that they so badly wanted. That, coupled with the fact that it was extremely hot out, I only ended up walking two dogs. Then I decided to just let them take turns in the big runs, so that I could let a couple dogs out at a time. I also had to help people that were there to browse the pups…and saw two pibble pups get adopted by a very sweet family! Nova

This awesome boy is Nova! As you can see…or NOT see…his ears were cropped in true “pit bull” fashion. On the outside, he is made of all muscle. He has a few scars on his face, too. If you just give him the chance though, you will quickly see that he is a total love bug. I sat down in the shade with him, and he sat down in front of me, staring at me, as if to say “Well?” I patted my lap, and he immediately sat on top of me! He was so happy to be loved on. He is strong, but pretty good on the leash, and he knows “sit.” It broke my heart to put him back in his kennel. Dogs like Nova make me think of my Oscar, and what he must have felt when he sat in the shelter for a month before he was lucky enough to be adopted. I hope Nova gets as lucky as Oscar did…

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This adorable bundle of joy is Pebbles! If you have a tennis ball, you will be her BFF! She LOVES to play! She is interested in the other dogs in a friendly way, so I bet she’d love to have a doggie friend in a forever home. Her playful manner makes her even cuter in person, too! Unfortunately, black dogs are often over looked in shelters, especially if they have the label of a “pit bull.” I hope someone will see the love that Pebbles has to give, and decides to adopt her soon. She deserves a wonderful home!

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This guy is Smokey, and he is in desperate need of a good grooming! He’s got a luscious black long coat, with a little bit of gray around his face. He is a 6 year old Cocker, and came in as a stray…strange huh? A 6 year old dog obviously had a home at some point…where are his owners? He is really sweet, and he had a blast running up and down the kennel runs next to one of the other dogs!

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Is this not one of the cutest, happiest faces you’ve ever seen? This handsome boy is Romeo! He is a big black Lab, although he’s a bit underweight. He is really good on leash, and he likes to be right next to you when walking. We sat down in the shade, and he plopped down as close to me as he could get. He’s got a very sweet nature, and I bed he’d be a great running buddy!

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The beauty of this dog is unexplainable, and pictures just do not do her justice! She has a really soft golden coloring, and she is SO adorable and playful. She was very happy to get out of her kennel, and had so much fun playing with the squeaky ball! I even filled up a bowl with water and poured it on her, since it was so hot, and she was such a good sport, just standing there while I soaked her down. As you can see, she also has a hilarious long tongue…all the better to cover you in kisses with, of course! Her name is Chanelle, and I am certain the lucky person who adopts her will have a lifetime of love and tail wags from her!

Usually when I leave the shelter, I feel like I’ve done my part for the day. I feel like I’ve done a good job, giving love and attention to these homeless dog, who just want a human of their own. Today though, I didn’t feel like that. Maybe it was because there was hardly anyone there, and I knew their barks and whines were going unnoticed. Maybe because I knew there would be very few adoptions this weekend, with so many people celebrating Memorial Day. If I didn’t have my own dogs to get home to, I think I would have ended up being there all day, trying to get to every dog. It’s not their fault that they’re stuck in that shelter. I hate that I can’t do more for them.

So, I came home and snuggled with my own rescue pups. Of course, Lucy is not a cuddler and doesn’t really like to be hugged on. Oscar though, my lil lovable pibble, was happy to take a nap with me. I’m happy he was saved. That he now will live in a cozy home, where he is cared for and loved until the end of time.

"Why she makez me doz these thingz?"
“Why she makez me doz these thingz?”

Don’t forget, my foster dog Tooley is still available for adoption too! She is very sweet, and LOVES dogs! She’s been going to Mojo’s doggie daycare twice a week, and she makes new friends every time she is there. She is getting better on a leash too!

"Help me out here, guyz. Adopt me already so she doesn't keep putting these scary thingz on my headz!"
“Help me out here, guyz. Adopt me already so she doesn’t keep putting these scary thingz on my headz!”

Please consider sharing this post. Networking saves lives, and there are a lot of dogs that need forever homes! Check out the Tallahassee Animal Service Center  and Last Hope Rescue for more adoptable pets!

PS-Vote for Oscar in his quest to become a magazine cover dog! It’s super easy to do. No “like” or personal info needed! Just click on the link, and then click “vote”! CLICK HERE TO VOTE! 

Good night, Friends! 

xoxo

Adopt, Adopt, Adopt!!

If you are in Tallahassee, you probably have heard about the big cat rescue that happened. Due to the shelter getting custody of over 80 cats, they are having an emergency cat adoption event this weekend. All cats are updated on vaccines, fixed, and micro-chipped…and FREE!

Here’s the news story if you’re interested: read here.

So I went in to the shelter, to help for a couple of hours. Of course, I love the dogs, and many of the volunteers were focused on the cats and customer service, so I spent most off time with the pups. Though, I did meet some of the kitties, and they are pretty precious too!

Here are the pups I met today. Remember they are all in need of homes, so please share!!

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Click HERE to check out all of the available animals at the shelter!

If you have any questions about the pups in this post, let me know. And PLEASE SHARE!!!!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Xoxo

Help.

I volunteered at the shelter today. They are at full capacity, and the stray hold area is full too. This is not good news for the pups, especially ones that have been there for a long time, or have any sort of issue. I do not envy the person that has to make that decision, that’s for sure.

If you know anyone that is even possibly considering getting a new furry friend, please advocate for the shelter. There are really great dogs there, and surprisingly only a few are pitties (who are also great!). Here are some of the loves I met today!

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Comment below if you have any questions about the beautiful pups you see here!

Check out the rest of the available dogs on the shelter’s website: https://www.talgov.com/animals/OnlineKennel.aspx

Fostering Emotions

I was recently talking to a few volunteers about fostering, and it got me thinking about how we all handle it differently. One foster parent said she cries every time one of her dogs gets adopted. She asked how it is that I don’t get emotionally attached.

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That is hard for me to answer, and it might seem mean…but basically, I find the reasons of why the dog doesn’t fit in to my family. That doesn’t mean we don’t love the dog, because we do. We certainly treat her like she belongs here. But, my dogs are so perfectly in tune and set to our routines. My dogs don’t whine, or go to the bathroom in the house. They play together, without squabbling over what toy belongs to who. Oscar and Lucy are the perfect match. This is why I WAS able to adopt Oscar, because he fit in right away, as if he had been here all along.

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The foster dog however, usually does not fit in. It is a transition, sometimes a big one, depending on their past. Many times they aren’t potty trained, or crate trained. Some times they have anxiety, or health concerns. I have had fosters of all ages, breeds, and sizes…and the ones that are the most work, are the puppies! Why people over look adult dogs for puppies, is beyond me! I guess because puppies are oh so cute…but I’ve seen tons of adult dogs that are just as adorable, and they at least are usually potty and crate trained! Sometimes they even know tricks too! (Hint hint, adult dogs is where it’s at, so go adopt one and feel awesome-rrr than you already are!)

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Foster dogs are a lot of work. Work that I am happy and willing to do, but still, work none the less! Once the dog settles in, I begin working on the basics. Potty training and crate training…two things that all adopters can appreciate! If those are already accomplished, then I work on basic obedience. Basically, when this dog meets a potential adopter, what will help them seem like a perfect addition to the person’s family? If the dog has some basic obedience skills, like “Sit”, “off”, “kennel”, this is usually a big draw for adopters. These are reasons for people to come to rescues for their new furry friend. The dog has been in a home setting, learning how to live and behave inside as a family pet. April 2014 003

As the foster parent, we should do whatever we can to help the pup be prepared for life as a forever family companion. And, if we do our job well, the adopter just might recommend a rescue dog to friends and family, which means another dog’s life will be saved!

Don’t get me wrong…it is never EASY to say goodbye to a foster dog. When a dog is adopted though, I feel accomplished. I know I’ve done my job for that dog, and now it is time to help another. I get to have a little bit of “normalcy” being back down to just my two dogs, and then we look forward to the next pup that we will take in. And when it comes right down to it, I can say goodbye because I helped save a life. I helped put love back in a dog’s heart. I know I did a good thing by helping an adopter find their new furry friend. All of this combined, is how I can handle saying goodbye!

Share with me if you are a fellow foster. How do you say goodbye? Do you celebrate; do you cry? I think it’s good for us to talk about it, and share with each other…so, tell me your stories!

*PS-Don’t forget, Tooley is adoptable through Last Hope Rescue! Please consider sharing this post via your social media sites, in order to help her find the forever home she deserves! 

Goodnight, friends! 

xoxo

Drama in Helping the Homeless

When I joined the rescue world, I started out as just a foster. I attended events and asked the boss ladies lots of questions, in order to learn about the rescue. I started to become more involved, by helping in any way I could. Eventually I was checking adoption applications, helping with home visits, and then I had the opportunity to run the social media for the rescue. Social media is a fascinating thing. It can be a wonderful tool. It’s a way to keep in touch with friends, see pictures of vacations, and kids. You can also follow people that have similar hobbies. I started following local shelters, rescues, any local businesses that had to do with dogs basically. I also quickly unfollowed those sites that like to count down the days until a dog is going to be put down. The ones that use big bold lettering, begging you to save this poor soul from death. I understand why they do it. I appreciate their urgency. But, for me, I just can’t take it. I have learned how bad it is out there. I know that I will never be able to help every dog in need. I will never  understand why people abuse helpless animals. I don’t need the sad, sweet faces of urgent dogs shoved down my social media throat. That is one great reason to follow rescues. In general, rescues don’t use those dramatic techniques to obtain adoptions. Usually, once a dog is in a rescue, they are safe, so while they might be in need of adoptions, the pups aren’t urgent like they are in shelters. (I’m not saying that you shouldn’t follow or network for shelters. There are just certain ones that are too hard for me, personally, to follow.)

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Sweet Stella

If you ever follow any of these pages, you might have seen the negative comments. And if you haven’t seen them, well you probably just aren’t looking hard enough. For example, there is a page called Taters Time to Shine.
It is run by a young girl, and her adventures as a pittie mama, an animal advocate, as well as a few other positive things. She often shares adorable pictures of her dog, Tater. He is her service dog, and he is a great example of what a pit bull-type dog can be. He is always smiling, running around playing, having a great time! Apparently she has recently experienced social media bullying. I don’t know the specifics, and I do not know this young lady, nor do I know the people involved. I am only stating things that I have read. The things that have been said to her are things like Tater looks vicious in his pictures because his teeth are showing, alluding to the fact that she isn’t a good pit bull advocate because of these pictures. Now, I don’t know about you, but have you ever seen a happy dog smiling withOUT showing their teeth?!? I sure haven’t! She has experienced such meanness lately that she was considering taking her page down.

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Bonded hubby & wife, Izzy and Trooper (seriously, they even had puppies together!)

There is a story going around right now about a rescue in California, who refuses to return a dog to it’s owner. Basically, the dog was lost for a short period of time, and while the owner was searching, the pup ended up in the hands of a rescue. The rescue then adopted the dog out. On the same day of the adoption, they were contacted by the original owner, wanting her dog back. The rescue took the stance that they had already completed the adoption, and they didn’t feel the owner tried hard enough, so they were not going to give the dog back. There is a lot of he said/she said involved, and several different opinions about who is right. As I was reading the story on another dog-related site, I started reading the comments. Complete strangers, who have no relation to the people involved, were being so incredibly nasty to each other. Fighting over the points they each were trying (and failing) to make. If someone said they thought the owner should be given the dog back, someone would follow it up by calling them an idiot (with a few other choice words mixed in). I can’t understand this.

(Here’s one of the many articles about this situation: click here.)

Lover boy Pace
Lover boy Pace

As I was scrolling through those comments, just about to move on to something else, I saw a comment that caught my eye. Someone was saying that this behavior was typical of rescues, that they have tried adopting through a rescue before but they asked too many personal questions, like their past pet history. A rescue…adopting out dogs that humans have already failed at least once…asking about the care you provided your previous pets…gasp! Craziness! 

Bootsie, LHR's first Jacksonville adoptable!
Bootsie, LHR’s first Jacksonville adoptable!

I don’t get people who are argumentative just to be mean. People who look for the bad, negative things in all situations. I am not saying don’t be opinionated. It’s ok to be passionate, to be an advocate for whatever you believe in. But why do we treat each other like this? Especially in the rescue business, shouldn’t we be working together? People are often bashing rescues for taking too long to get back to them, for adoption fees being too much, for asking too many questions on an application, or even for declining an adopter. These haters don’t consider the history of the dog, the things we’ve seen, the amount of care, vetting, and love we have put into the dog.

Rosette-This is Stella's mama, and she needs a home too!
Rosette-This is Stella’s mama, and she needs a home too!

Surprisingly, there is drama within the rescue business too, meaning between rescues and within rescues. This is not including Last Hope Rescue. I can honestly say that while of course there are difference of opinions, and people getting stressed out about things, etc. There is really never any drama between the LHR board members. We work well together, we help, we reach out to each other. We have the same passion, and we do what we need to do to continue our rescue efforts. Sadly, this is not the case between other rescues. That kind of drama, whether it is within the rescue or towards people reaching out to the rescue for adoption or assistance, is what spoils people’s opinion of rescuing. As members of the rescue community, we should be putting our judgmental opinions aside, and helping the animals. THAT is what we are supposed to be doing. Helping the animals who have already been failed by someone else. We are their bridge, from hell to happiness. That might mean dealing with a clueless owner, or rude adopters, but we should remain polite and professional. Because if we aren’t, we are ultimately hurting the animals.

We should be educators. We should be helpers. We should be rescuers.

ADD MADDDIEEEE

All of the dogs pictured in this post are in need of forever homes. Please contact LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com, if you are interested in adding one of these wonderful pups to your family! 

*Disclaimer: Other than the specific pages or rescues mentioned, I am not speaking of any particular page, rescue, or person. Everything I’ve said is my own opinion, stated in my personal blog. I always welcome comments and opinions, however any negative/rude comments will be immediately removed. 

Frustrations and Rewards

I apologize in advance…this post is sort of all over the place…but it’s just all important stuff that I feel like sharing! Read, try to make sense of it, and enjoy!

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Being in the rescue world is very rewarding, but it can also be so frustrating! There seems to be a never ending stream of non-committed dog owners. People who don’t see the point of spaying their dog, but want us to take the entire litter of puppies that they didn’t plan for and don’t care to keep. People who think it’s ok to dump their senior dog in a shelter, because they can’t handle the end of life. People who don’t give their dog monthly heartworm prevention, and then expect help paying for hundreds of dollars worth of heartworm treatment. I know we live in the age of technology, where most things are within our reach at just the touch of a button, or the swipe of a screen…but what happened to good old fashioned work?? And patience? And respect? We constantly get people calling and emailing and Fb’ing us multiple times, commenting “I emailed but haven’t heard anything back”, even though our auto response specifically requests that we be given 48-72 hours to reply. Our president makes it a point to reply to every single email and phone call, even if it is a request about the wrong rescue, or a situation that we can’t help with. Our vice-president is always willing to find a way to help, too. The Last Hope Rescue board members are all people who have volunteered TONS of time, fostered many dogs, and worked their tails off (haha get it?!) to help the rescue.

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There is so much that goes into running a rescue. Unfortunately it is not all freedom rides, adoptions, and happy tails. There are rules and by-laws to follow. There is constant marketing and branding needed. There are hundreds of calls and emails to tend to. There is social media to increase exposure. There are relationships to be kept, like with wonderful businesses and vendors that support the rescue. There are thank you notes needed, LOTS of them. There is community education needed, too. This is all stuff that the board members (and other amazing, dedicated volunteers) are working on, on a daily basis.

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My responsibility for the rescue is running the social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, as well as the two adoption sites, RescueMe and Petfinder. I got into that because the “position” opened up, and the rescue needed the help, so I offered. It’s a small way to help, but I genuinely put a TON of time into it. I get to learn a little about each dog, through the pictures and descriptions that I am given, and I try my best to edit pictures and describe the pups in the best way possible. I also get to help the courtesy posted dogs, who sometimes are at major risk of being taken to a shelter unless we can find them a home. The thing about a rescue that everyone should understand though, is the hard work that goes into it. It’s not all glory, rescuing, feel good moments. That is actually why I started volunteering at the shelter. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a part of the rescue, and feeling like I am doing my small part to help the founders with their mission to save dogs’ lives. However, I was missing being hands on. I wanted to really feel like I was helping a dog in need, even if only for a short four hour shift. That is what I love about volunteering at the shelter. You get to work with the dogs, walk them, bathe them, give them one on one attention that they are craving. Sometimes it is really hard to leave, knowing that the dog may not be there when you get back. But that is where the rescue balances it out, for me anyway. The shelter is where I get to give my love and attention to a handful of dogs in need. The rescue is where I get to help save lives.

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I feel like I have finally found my passion in life, and though there may sometimes be tears, frustrations, and heartbreak, the rewards of helping these amazing pups (and the grateful people and wonderful adopters that we meet) is all worth it to me! I am thankful every day for the Last Hope Rescue crew, both the two and the four-legged alike!

Well, that is all I am going to ramble on about tonight! 😉 All of the dogs in this post are available for adoption through Last Hope Rescue (except my nosey Oscar of course). Please contact the rescue at LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com, if you’d like to adopt one of these wonderful dogs!!

Rescuing is a Tricky Business

I have learned a LOT over the last year and a half, since becoming a volunteer with Last Hope Rescue. I have written a post before about what you should know about a rescue and how it runs, based on my own personal experiences. You can check that out here, if you missed it.  I think it is important to share knowledge…maybe I will help someone understand an important part of rescue, and inspire them to become more involved. Maybe someone will share their experiences, and I will learn something, too!

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Since taking on my first foster, I have had my first (and last) foster failure; checked, and approved or declined many adoption applications; done lots of meets & greets, and finalized a handful of adoptions. I have also become a board member, which means I get to be a part of helping making decisions for the rescue, what dogs we pull, the money that we spend, etc. Don’t get me wrong…this doesn’t mean that I am special, that I know everything, or anything like that. I am only explaining how I have come to learn the things I’ve learned about rescue. And now, I thought I would share some of that with you. 

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First and most importantly, do not EVER list your dog on Craigslist for free. Always request a rehoming fee, even if it is $25. Evil people looking for bait dogs, research dogs, and just dogs to harm in general, troll Craigslist looking for free pets. It does NOT matter the breed, the age, or the size. Many times, these people will send a female, sometimes even with children, to pose as a family looking for the pet. Please know, there are bad people out there, and they will take your dog and harm it. This is not always the case…but why risk it? Instead, reach out to local rescues and humane societies. If you have no luck that way, turn your dog into the shelter. At least then they will have a chance of getting adopted. And if the worst happens, at least the pet is put to sleep instead of abused, neglected, and murdered. Seriously, if you can’t keep your dog for whatever reason, the least you could do is help make sure he/she is placed in a safe, happy home. If you still insist on listing your dog on Craigslist, then charge a rehome fee, check a vet reference, and do a home visit. Usually if the person is looking for a pet for malicious reasons, they won’t go through those three steps.

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Another thing to remember is that most rescues are run by volunteers. Volunteers who work full time jobs, and have families of their own. Many rescues are based out of foster homes, which means there is no facility. Keep this in mind when you are sending emails, posting on their Facebook page, and calling their personal cell phone numbers, looking for a dog, asking for assistance, etc. Unfortunately our society has become accustomed to instant gratification. So many times, we get people who contact us multiple times before we can even reply once. Sometimes we even get attitude from people, accusing us of taking too long to get back to them. It is our policy that we will get back to you within 48-72 hours. We do our best to follow this policy, and we understand your urgency. But every now and then, it is a holiday and we are trying to enjoy time with our family. Or we are inundated with inquiries because we’ve just brought in a highly adoptable pup. Or we are doing something for our “real jobs” (meaning the ones that pay the bills). Please remember, patience is a virtue.

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One of the biggest things I have learned, is that there is a method to the rescue madness. We get so so so many emails and phone calls from people, asking us to help their dog. Whether it’s a volunteer that’s fallen in love, a Good Samaritan who saved a dog, a shelter that’s making a final plea, or a member of the community wanting to rehome their pet…there is only so much we can do, and it really sucks to tell people that we can’t help. We will courtesy post a dog, if it meets our requirements (up to date on vaccines & fixed), so that we can at least help get the dog exposure, and assist with the adoption screening process. As far as the dogs that the rescue does pull, there are many factors that go into this. First and foremost, we pull dogs according to the available foster homes. Puppies are easy to pull because they are generally always dog friendly. The majority of our fosters all have dogs, so this is a must. Sometimes shelters are able to get their dogs sponsored. This is a great benefit to a rescue, because it means a portion of the pup’s vetting is taken care of. Also, if the rescue has some long timers that aren’t going anywhere and don’t get any inquiries, this greatly affects the dogs that are brought in. There has to be funds coming in, and adoption fees are a small portion of those funds. The longer a dog is in the rescue, the more expensive they are. Remember, we take care of vetting, monthly flea and heartworm preventative, food, sometimes boarding, and anything else that comes up. So, sometimes the rescue has to assess if the dog is considered urgent as well as highly adoptable, and healthy. These are just SOME of the factors that go into how a rescue decides which dogs to save. There is a fine balance that has to be found, and maintained, for a rescue to be successful. It is important as volunteers, vendors, supporters, and adopters to remember this. There IS a method to our madness, even if you don’t understand it all the time.

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As someone that volunteers in the local shelter, and follows pages of surrounding shelters, I fall in love with dogs on a regular basis. It doesn’t take much for me to fall in love. Big ears, a goofy looking block head, sweet soulful “save me” eyes, or a gray haired senior muzzle. I have networked for many, many dogs, but I have only ever asked Last Hope to save two dogs. Two dogs whom I was willing to foster, and was committed to until they found their forever families, no matter what. Those pups were Lola and Apollo. Oddly enough, those two dogs are the only two that I would have considered adopting (aside from Oscar, who I was already adopting before he stepped foot in my house). I wonder if the reason I loved them so much was because I felt completely responsible for their lives. I absolutely love and adore ALL of my foster dogs, but Lola and Apollo were extra special to me. This is to say, that even us rescue folks fall in love, and want to help every dog in need. It hurts our hearts to know that a dog will be put down because we couldn’t help. But we just can’t help every one of them. So, we will keep trying, keep rescuing, and keep asking for support. Hopefully we will continue to save dogs, and bring happiness into people’s lives through our adoptables, for a very long time…

All of the dogs in this post are adoptable through Last Hope Rescue. They are all special and unique in their own way, but the one thing they have in common with each other…they are dreaming of finally being in a forever home, as part of a family. Please contact us at LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com, or comment below, if you would like to meet any of these wonderful pups!