Reported by Jennifer Livingston | bio | email | facebook | twitter
WEST SALEM, Wis. - You wouldn't know it by looking at these dogs today but each and every one has a troubled past. Most were abused and neglected - so broken that the local animal shelters that rescued them just couldn't put them back together. "These are the dogs that shelters cannot help. There's too much cost, if there's aggression they can't adopt them. They would have been Euthanized," says volunteer Melissa Olver.
And that's where 'For Hope Inc.' out of West Salem steps in. This non profit organization accepts animals from all over the country that need extra time and extra love to pull them through. It started back in 2009 with this guy, a dog from Illinois fondly known as Mr. Hope. "He came in with a busted leg, his ear was cut off, they guy tried to drown him..."
He was nursed back to health and placed with a qualified foster family that showed him the love and affection he so desperately needed. And when he was ready, the search was on for his forever home. "I was in pet smart and I don't know if he just spotted me but he came hobbling over and gave me kisses," says now owner Sarah Cole. And as it turned out, Sarah needed him just as much as he needed her. "About a month before I met Mr. Hope, I miscarried and we had been trying really hard to have a baby and it was really tough and I was in a place where I didn't know if I would ever be happy again...and the moment I laid eyes on him, I just knew things would be okay."
They have dozens and dozens of happy endings just like Mr. Hope's. They also currently have 17 dogs with Foster Families still waiting for their permanent home. "We make sure that the dogs are one the road to recovery or fully recovered before we will adopt them out."
They've seen the worst of the worst and it's as if they know they're lucky to be alive. "Any dog can show love but these dogs having been through what they've been through, they just appreciate it 10 times more. There's something in their eyes that says 'thank you.' When they crawl into a warm bed they've never had, when you put food in front of them when they've gone days without eating...and the way they love you back...there's something more special. Like the know we were going to die and someone saved them."
"These animals need a chance, they need a home and he's changed my life forever."
All the cost involved in the rehabilitation and transfer of these animals is provided through fundraiser's and donations. In fact there is a bowl-a-thon at noon this Saturday, January 22nd at Features Sports Bar in West Salem and all the proceeds will go to 'For Hope Inc.'
If you are interested in learning more about this event, or would like to look at the animals available for adoption...you can find that information at www.forhopeinc.org.