BestBullySticks recently had the good fortune to speak with a local Animal Rescue and their efforts right in our own backyard of Richmond, VA. Linda Tew started K9 Rescue of VA in 2010 and she walked us through the great journey this small rescue has made just in the past three years. Keep reading about the hardworking volunteers and rescuers of K9 Rescue of VA in the Rescue Spotlight below!
When & Why did you start?
In late June of 2010 I read that Chesterfield County was raising their dog limit from 2 to 3 and about that same time I started seeing rescue dogs on my Facebook page. One dog in particular melted both my and my husband’s hearts. He was a 5 month old white shepherd/lab mix. We fell in love and contacted folks to see what we needed to do to adopt him. (the woman who helped us with the process is now vice president of our rescue group) Two weeks later he was in our home. His name is Liberty. Going through his adoption process was an awakening for us to the plight of homeless and surrendered dogs, especially in the south. I started sharing pictures and networking (crossposting) and it just wasn’t enough. I felt I had to do more than just share their photos. I had to get into the trenches to make a real difference. So I started making contacts and getting dogs pulled from shelters and brought up to VA, moved into foster homes, vetted, and adopted into loving homes. My first rescue dogs were adopted to neighbors and I branched out from there. We rescue from GA, Tenn, SC, NC, WVA, and of course our own back yard in VA. We work with several local shelters and save as many dogs as we can wherever we can find a foster home.
We are a faith based rescue group. Not only does a lot of hard work, sweat, and sleepless nights go into our rescues but a lot of prayer goes into them as well. God brought this ministry to me and He has provided us with a lot of good Christian people to work with. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing but we always make things work and that is not by accident. My rescue partner commented one day that she sometimes worries we won’t find a home for every dog we rescue. I told her there is someone out there looking for every single dog we rescue and it is our job to put the dog together with the family. God guides us every step of the way and we have been very successful in our placements.
What is the greatest success story or “win” that your rescue has had?
The story that I will never forget is about a dog named Marcie. At the urging of a rescue friend in NC, I started going to a shelter there and taking pictures to share on Facebook. This shelter had little exposure so I drove 2 1/2 hours one Friday a month to take pictures and network for them. Marcie, a Dalmatian/Plott hound mix was facing the corner of her kennel. The shelter manager told me not to take photos of her. She was going to be put down because they deemed her worthless. Well, I took pictures of her anyway. I took one picture of her staring at the corner wall and then she looked back at me long enough for me to snap another picture. I captioned the picture “She looked back at me long enough to see if I was her family coming back for her and then turned away”. As soon as I posted the picture the post went crazy with comments. I started collecting donations and in less than 24 hours I had over $700.00 for Marcie’s expenses. I called a local kennel and arranged for her to be picked up before the shelter could put her down. Needless to say the shelter made it very hard for me going forward but we saved her life and that is what mattered. Once out of the shelter she became out of her shell immediately. Marcie, the worthless dog, found forever happiness and I consider that a win-win for everyone involved.
The knowledge that we saved a life and made a difference for that life and the family who adopted them. And the follow up pictures from the families after the dogs have been in their new homes. I thank God for every success we have.
What can people do to help your rescue?
Foster! Foster! Foster! And Donate! Donate! Donate! Sometimes we will get the question, “Why do you rescue out of state when there are so many in VA that need to be rescued?” We pull dogs from wherever we can find a foster home. If we had 50 foster homes we could save 50 dogs. It is that simple. We provide the crate, dog food, vetting, even the transportation to appointments. Fosters only have to provide the roof over their heads and the love and some basic training.
BestBullySticks says Thank-You to K9 Rescue of VA for your hard work and efforts in saving dogs. We sincerely admire and are proud to support K9 Rescue of VA. For more information visit K9 Rescue of VA’s website or their Facebook page.
To read more inspiring stories, browse all of BestBullySticks Rescue Spotlights.
Want to donate great BBS products to your local animal organization? Check out our charity packs of all natural bully sticks!