Abandoned dogs are a common, saddening sight in most places, and Red Deer is no exception.
Hope Lives Here (HLH) is a non-profit organization that is committed to rescuing these abandoned, unwanted and stray dogs. It started with the idea of one person, and has evolved to include a diverse range of initiatives.
“We are a Red Deer group that has expanded to include foster homes and volunteers in both Edmonton and Barrhead,” said Patricia Mamak.
In their first year of operations, HLH rescued 60 dogs.
The organization rescues dogs from both abusive and neglectful situations. All rescues are performed in a cooperative manner with target community members.
“Our large mixed breed dogs are generally rescued from a rural community near Red Deer. Most of our smaller breed dogs come from Red Deer residents who are not providing adequate care,” said Mamak.
While it seems an impossible task, HLH is a shelterless organization that relies solely on foster homes being available to be able to rescue dogs.
“Unfortunately for every dog we save, there are at least nine more requiring immediate rescue. Without enough foster space, we simply cannot rescue them.”
In addition to rescuing dogs, HLH provides educational initiatives to teach the public about responsible pet ownership and the importance of spay and neuter.
They are currently working to launch a spay and neuter initiative to assist individuals in the target community.
“Tragically, we have seen the stray dog population steadily grow in our target community and owner surrenders have become far more common. We are desperately seeking more foster homes so that we can rescue more dogs.”
Hope Lives Here is also always on the lookout for potential donors, as they are a completely volunteer-driven organization with no source of steady funding.
“We currently have a beautiful puppy named Gage who is undergoing 24/7 veterinary care because his protein levels are dropping and he is diminishing. He was rescued a few weeks ago when he and his seven siblings were found tied in a garbage bag and thrown in a ditch.”
In order to raise funds, Hope Lives Here is hosting a Pawrific Party on Aug. 31. The event is not only aiming to raise funds, but also allow rescuers and foster homes to reunite with dogs that have been adopted out.
The event is taking place at Three Mile Bend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a huge silent auction including a $3,000 engagement ring. There will also be a bake sale and BBQ running, and adoptable dogs will be on site as well.
“Our biggest challenge always comes back to space and money. We need foster homes to rescue dogs and we need finances to be able to rescue more dogs. We can only rescue the number of dogs we can responsibly care for.”
For more information on Hope Lives Here visit www.hopeliveshererescue.com.