Rescue Groups Help Dogs Find Happy Homes
As a crusader for the rejects of the canine world, Erica Brown has seen the inevitable horror stories.
Since the Gurnee, IL woman co-founded Secondhand Snoots Rescue in 2010, the organization has plucked 77 dogs from the abyss, including a 6-month-old puppy dumped at an animal control shelter with two broken back legs. Other rescued dogs required amputation or had renal failure.
One of her own two pooches adopted from Secondhand Snoots suffered from intestinal parasites and emaciation after the organization pulled the terrier, named Ellie Mae, from what was believed to be a backyard breeder in Northwest Indiana. “I don’t understand how anybody can mistreat a dog or any other animal,” said Brown, who serves as president of Secondhand Snoots. “They’re such loving and forgiving animals.”
And they don’t hold grudges, she said.
“It breaks your heart to see these dogs still love people after the way people treat them,” Brown said.
Less certain in her role of trying to save unwanted animals are the happy endings. Like other smaller, nonprofit rescue groups, Secondhand Snoots operates out of leaders’ homes and relies on donations and a network of foster homes until dogs and cats are adopted.
To boost fundraising, Secondhand Snoots partnered with Chicagoland Eskie Rescue for a “Who Saved Who” event August 25.
All proceeds will support veterinarian costs, organizers say. The rescue groups will bring almost a dozen adoptable dogs but will not be conducting on-site adoptions.
Secondhand Snoots, which focuses on special-need dogs, rescuing animals from high-kill shelters and funding the vet costs of all dogs in foster homes, will highlight adoptable pit bull mixes like Dillon and China, both 3-year-olds and both deaf. The event at Herrick will include a deaf dog demonstration to “show people why deaf dogs are just as adoptable and easily trainable as a hearing dog,” Brown said.
Chicagoland Eskie Rescue will promote adoptable dogs like Samson, who is expected to “attach like Velcro” to his chosen owner, according to his online profile. Hallmarks of the American Eskimo dogs are high-energy personalities and a coat that needs diligent brushing.
“They love their family,” said Sharon Pedersen, fundraising and volunteer coordinator for Chicagoland Eskie Rescue. “That’s what it comes down to. They love the people they’re with.”
Chicagoland Eskie Rescue also taps animal control shelters. The group sometimes receives dogs from volunteers not associated with the organization who pull canines from puppy mill auctions in southern states, Pedersen said.
“They (puppy mill dogs) are a commodity,” Pedersen said. “They’re in a little cage. They’re just property.”
The Villa Park, IL woman adopted her own dog from the rescue group after providing foster care for Chello, now 3 years old and relinquished by its former owner before moving overseas.
“The house was so quiet before we had Chello,” Pedersen said. “Now everything is lively and active.”
What about that puppy with the two broken legs? What about her happy ending?
“She is walking now,” Brown said.
While the dog will never have full use of one of the legs, her foster mom is adopting her, Brown said.
Courtesy of dailyherald.com
By Katlyn Smith