Helping dogs down on their luck

Network partner focuses on pets who need the most help.
By  Denise LeBeau

Rose the dogRose, a senior basset/beagle mix, was found abandoned in a field. Her rescuer thought she had a tumor on her back, but the reality was much more upsetting. The veterinarian who examined the dog found that the lump was actually Rose’s stomach, displaced from where it should be, possibly as a result of a hard kick to her body. She needed emergency surgery. Luckily for Rose, her rescuer was a volunteer foster parent for Agape Animal Rescue, and she was quickly admitted into their program to get on the road to recovery.

Luck was further on Rose’s side because Agape Animal Rescue is a No More Homeless Pets Network partner. The No More Homeless Pets Network is a coalition of no-kill organizations that receive support from Best Friends via adoption promotions, lifesaving grants, and other resource opportunities such as networking. Thanks in part to that relationship, Rose’s greatest prayers were answered, twice.

Specializing in tough cases

Agape Animal Rescue in Nashville, Tennessee, specializes in rescuing some of the hardest-luck pets from local situations. The all-volunteer, foster home–based organization pulls dogs from animal control and helps rescue pets from large-scale animal abuse busts. Agape doesn’t shy away from animals who require time-consuming and expensive rehabilitation; they have helped hundreds of forgotten dogs like Rose.

“Agape does amazing work, and, we wanted to explore ways we could help them reach their goals,” says Dori Jeurink, No More Homeless Pets Network specialist. Network specialists work with groups to find out where support is most needed. In addition to supplying Agape with $5,000 in grant funding from Best Friends to help offset pull fees for at-risk pets at Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control, Dori also helped facilitate admission to the Sanctuary for a few of Agape’s senior dogs, including Rose.

“When room opens up at the Sanctuary, we’re able to extend an invitation to our Network partners for some of the harder-to-place pets. It’s one of the perks of being a partner,” says Dori.

Home is closer than expected

Amber the dog“We were thrilled to learn some of our senior dogs were admitted to Best Friends,” says Tanya Willis, executive director of Agape Animal Rescue. Rose and two other dogs, Lola and Amber, had been green-lighted for admission. “Being a Network partner has enabled us to do more with what we have,” explains Tanya.

Lola was able to hitch a ride to Best Friends with another local Network partner, who had two dogs of their own accepted to the Sanctuary. “Sharing transportation costs frees up funds to help in other ways, like spays and neuters or medical emergencies,” says Tanya. But as it turned out, Lola ended up traveling to Best Friends as the solo Agape dog. Amber was adopted locally before the trip, and destiny had another surprise in store for Rose.

News of the impending transport for Rose got her foster family thinking. After they learned of it, they had the most delightful revelation: They couldn’t imagine life without her.

“Within 24 hours of finding out Rose was accepted into Best Friends, her foster family filled out the adoption papers to make her officially part of their family. Of course our goal is to get animals into forever homes first, but we are grateful to Best Friends for helping us in more ways than we could ever have imagined,” says Tanya.

Get involved

Find a No More Homeless Pets Network partner near you.

Photos by Harmony Designs Photography and Agape Animal Rescue