Dogtime salutes Illinois’s Hope Rescues.
How did your organization get started?
Hope was founded in November of 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The rescue started with 17 dogs from that region who were scheduled to be “put down” via gas chamber because their owners could not take them back. Today we are a non-profit corporation whose mission is to save pets from death by gas chamber. In July of 2009, the state of Illinois passed a law banning such a barbaric way to euthanize homeless pets and we were proud to be a part of that bill: HB4844.
What is your mission?
Hope Rescues saves pets on their last day of life from animal control facilities. We are for many their last hope for a second chance. We rehabilitate, socialize, train, and re-home these rescued pets into our community.
How do most of your animals find their way to you?
Our pets come from Animal Control facilities all over the mid-west and southern states. We rescue from Georgia, Mississippi. Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois. Most of our rescue come from animal controls where gas chambers are still in use.
What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
All our pets are trained by a volunteer for household manners; once they gain confidence they are sent to doggie daycare at least once a week for social skills. Each pet is completely vetted, groomed, and loved until they find the right home to live out their sweet lives.
Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
In November of 2007 we got a call form the local Vet hospital in regards to a Boxer that was found starving to death in a home that was going up for sale. (That dog was Sugar Ray and if you look on our website under Sugar Ray’s recovery you can learn more about his story.) He was left for an estimated four weeks with no food or water. No one expected him to live once he was reintroduced to food they expected his organs to shut down. Sugar had a guardian angel looking over him; he survived and now lives in a secret location in case his previous owner ever tries to get him back. Yes in this state he could, even though he left the dog to die. Sugar is now fat and sassy and still thinks that every party, and all company, is there to see him only!