There is a growing awareness for the need of foster families in society now days. This extends not only to children, but animals as well.
Every year thousands of animals are discarded for various reasons, some more justifiable than others. According to state law, when an animal is “owner relinquished” that animal can legally be euthanized that same day. Thankfully, not many animal control officers in this northern Utah exercise that right. Cheryl Harres of Hope’s Rescue says that most shelters opt to call a rescue instead.
Hope’s Rescue has been coming to the aid of unwanted, neglected or abused animals for quite some time, even though they have only operated under this name for a few years.
Harres, who has been involved from the start said she got involved after she sheltered her first rescue dog. The animal was a victim of abuse in Weber County. She was a Chihuahua who had a fractured skull, was missing teeth and had been thrown into a fire pit. Even after discovering who the abusers were, there was no justice for this dog. This lit a proverbial fire under Harres and she decided she would help as many animals as she could.
Harres is currently housing 12 dogs until foster parents can be found, but she has had up to 25 in the past. All her animals are under 25 lbs. but 12 is still a handful. Harres says, “I have them all in their own living areas. They are all on the same schedule, they eat at the same time, play and the same time and sleep at the same time. It is the only way we all stay sane.”
It may be a handful, but Harres loves every minute. She joked, “I am an empty nester now, so I have filled my nest with dogs.”
Right now, Hope’s Rescue fosters dogs taken mostly from local shelters, but they also search KSL ads for dogs who may be in need of foster care. The goal is to place non-aggressive dogs into temporary foster homes where they are socialized, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and treated for any medical or behavioral conditions limiting their adoptability.
Hope’s Rescue actively searches for permanent homes for its foster dogs by listing them on Petfinder.com and hosting adoptions at the PetSmart on 12th Street in Ogden. Adoptions are held three Saturdays a month from 1-4 p.m.
Foster families are asked to commit to caring for the animals until their adoption, but Hope’s Rescue will pay for food, supplies and even mileage for taking the animals to required adoption events. However, some families get so attached to their new additions, they adopt the animal themselves.
Hope’s Rescue provides services for mostly dogs, but cats as well. In fact, in the two years they have been in operation they have rescued almost 200 dogs and hundreds of cats.
Starting out with only four or five volunteers, the rescue has certainly grown in numbers. They have about 18 volunteers now. Enough that they may soon be able to start offering animal hospice services as well.
The rescue works closely with local animal control officers, so Harres begs owners to let them help if they feel that they can longer care for their furry family members. “They can call me, or call Morgan’s animal control officer. We both want what is best for the animals.” --
If you would like to offer assistance, make a donation or be a foster family, please call Harres at 801-710-5373.