(WYTV) – Over the last few weeks, there have been reports about animal shelters filling up. This week’s Hometown Heroes are doing what they can to help.
Co-founder of the All Paws Are Perfect Rescue Justine Huckle started the group with two other women in 2013 after the previous rescue she worked with stopped.
“We decided there was a need in the community and we could help fill that need,” Huckle said.
They serve the tri-county area, pulling dogs mostly from Mahoning County Dog Pound.
“We have a really close relationship with them and Friends of Fido. Most of them have behavioral needs or medical needs. The pound is unable to place them, so they reach out to us to help with that,” Huckle said.
They are a foster-only rescue, meaning all the dogs they take go into a home for pre-adoption care.
“We know if the dog is going to be OK with children, if it needs to be with older kids, if it gets along with cats and other animals. I think, as a foster-based rescue, I think we are more successful at placing dogs and have fewer returns because the fosters really know these dogs,” said Wanda Sabol, another co-founder.
The need for fosters is high right now. Shelters are filling up but they can only help so many.
“We have a really great group of fosters right now, but unfortunately, some of the fosters have dogs of their own, so they can only take in so many fosters and, as Justine said, we can only pull a dog if we have a foster because we don’t have a building,” Sabol said.
Fosters are asked to work on behavior, house and crate training — and provide lots of love.
“Just providing a home and love and care to the dog, and a lot of it is medical, so working with our vets to provide the right medical care,” Huckle said.
Right now, they adopt out about 50 to 80 dogs per year and hope to do more if they can find more fosters. Their adoption policies are focused heavily on finding a good match.
“You don’t want to put them back in a situation they might have already come from,” Sabol said.
“Right, and even our fosters, we get really attached to these dogs. They’re in our homes. We treat them like they’re our dogs, and so the last thing we want to do is put them in a situation where they’re not going to get the care that we have provided them,” Huckle said. “We want them to get equal or better than we can provide.”