You’ve heard it before: adopt don’t shop! Adopting a dog in need is a wonderful option for future pet owners who are looking for a unique friend they can give new life to. But if it weren’t for dedicated rescue organizations, those adoptable dogs wouldn’t even be around to tell their harrowing stories. Below are four of our favorite (and very creative!) rescue groups that are pulling out all the stops to save our dogs.
- K9s for Warriors
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in American veterans is a very real, very challenging disorder to cope with. K9s for Warriors provides service dogs to army veterans who are coping with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, or military sexual trauma. These dogs are able to assist the veterans in returning to regular civilian life by helping them build confidence and offering support.
As if that wasn’t fantastic enough, 95% of these dogs are rescued from shelters. Not only are veterans gaining a new life, but so are their canine companions. The organization is only 5 years old, but they are making huge accomplishments every day. Currently they hope to pair 12 warriors a month with a service dog!
In just 5 years time, K9s for Warriors is definitely making a difference. Just check out their testimonials page for a glimpse at how life changing this organization has been for veterans across America.
- Pilots N Paws
When considering the prospect of rescuing dogs, the biggest concern is often housing. But a lot of people forget about transportation! That’s where Pilots N Paws comes in. They’re a community of volunteer pilots who offer to fly dogs for the purposes of transporting them off of the streets, from kill shelters to rescue groups, and even from rescue groups to a new home. Transporting dogs can certainly be an expensive endeavor, so for volunteers to offer their time to fly these dogs is a huge asset to rescue groups.
On their website there is a place where a flight for a dog can be requested. The forum on their site serves as a place where pilots can swap stories, coordinate schedules, and recruit volunteers. And there are plenty of stories to be had! Like this one about a couple who transported 9 dogs and cats from Virginia to New York. Or this incredible rescue mission that involved ten pilots and 167 dogs and cats! These devoted pilots give up several days at a time to ensure the safe transport of dogs to better lives.
- Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary
The goal of Old Friends is to give new life to the dogs that often get overlooked: the seniors. According to their website, many senior dogs get passed over for adoption due to their shorter life expectancy and potential for high veterinary costs. Old Friends is a Tennessee-based rescue group that aims to change the misconception that senior dogs do not make ideal pets.
While the dogs wait patiently to find their forever homes, these pups are given the royal treatment at Old Friends. The dogs have plenty of space both outdoors and indoors to play, nap, relax, and just live out their days happily. This video showcases just how lucky these dogs are to be waiting for their forever homes at Old Friends.
One of the ways Old Friends encourages the adoption of their dogs is by showcasing their fabulous personalities. Their Facebook page features hundreds of photos of the dogs, giving daily life updates, and showcasing the dogs’ personality quirks. Recently, Old Friends even launched a presidential campaign! The campaign video features Mildred the pug strutting her stuff in a red, white, and blue bandana.
We love that Old Friends works hard to give these golden oldies the best retirement years a dog could possibly have.
- New Leash on Life
If you can rescue dogs, why not rescue people too? New Leash on Life takes unwanted dogs who are at risk of being euthanized and pairs them up with prison inmates, giving both the dogs and the inmates an opportunity for a fresh start.
The rescued dogs live with the incarcerated inmates for 12 weeks, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. New Leash on Life teaches the inmates how to train, socialize, and care for the dog they are assigned to. The dog becomes a highly desirable and adoptable pet, and the inmate gains skills that can be applied to a future job once they earn their parole. New Leash on Life even provides internship opportunities for inmates seeking work in the animal care field.
Dogs that go through the training program with inmates make wonderful pets and are successfully adopted to families. In fact, the program is so successful many of the dogs go on to work with owners who are coping with autism, a recent stroke, or depression. New Leash on Life has responded to this success by launching a new program in 2014 that specifically prepares dogs with the skills for helping people in need. Keep up the good work!
Is there a rescue group in your hometown doing great work for your community? Share it with us!