If it were your last day on earth, you’d most likely feel hopeless. However, even in the most desperate situations, hope can win out. That’s what one Detroit-based animal rescue is doing, giving hope back to dogs that wouldn’t otherwise have any: Last Day Dog Rescue.

Recently, BestBullySticks.com was honored to award a 1st place award to LDDR worth $2,500.00. And naturally, we wanted to share their story with you. LDDR was started in 2005 because Pam Peterson, now LDDR’s president, saw a great need for dogs being overlooked by other rescues. These dogs, whether sick, a particular breed, or even a dark coated, were being passed up. Their mission is to save as many dogs being held in high-kill shelters or facing life in research laboratories. As a non-profit, LDDR’s all-volunteer staff gives these dogs a second chance at a wonderful life. We spoke with Amanda Krigner, LDDR’s Volunteer & Fundraising Coordinator, about her experiences with the rescue as well as some great success. 

When & Why did you start?
I started volunteering with Last Day Dog Rescue this past summer, but have been involved in rescuing for a few years. It is one of the most rewarding experiences you could ever imagine. When it comes down to it, rescuing isn’t about me or you or anyone else, it is about the innocent dogs that do not have a voice of their own. Humans put them through the cruelty they have endured and it’s up to humans to help them. Last Day Dog Rescue is such a pleasure to work with because no dog is discriminated against and we really do rescue a lot of dogs. In 2011, we rescued over 1,000 dogs. That is very impressive for a rescue that is purely foster-based.

I started getting really involved with rescue after I rescued my first dog; she was neglected and starving. Rescue dogs are fantastic dogs because they really do appreciate everything you do for them. They know how rough life can be and they are determined to make your life better because you gave them a second chance. My goal is to spread the word about rescue animals and to work together with local Michigan government to make as many shelters as possible no-kill, especially Oakland County (where I live).

What’s different about your rescue?
Last Day Dog Rescue doesn’t discriminate based on breed, age, or health. We pull dogs based on their temperament and personality. Many of the dogs we rescue are old, skinny, heartworm positive, and dogs that not many want in their current condition. We rescue all of our dogs on their last day. We truly are their last hope.

LDDR is foster-based, which means the majority of our dogs are in homes before they go to adoption. In these homes they learn some basic training and how to trust humans again.

What is the greatest success story or “win” that your rescue has had?
One of the best “wins” we had recently is when David Arquette and Christina McLarty adopted one of our dogs. On Thanksgiving morning, David adopted a Basset Hound named Dallas from Last Day Dog Rescue. He was on the hunt for a Basset Hound for his girlfriend, Christina McLarty, who grew up with Basset Hounds. The couple considered several options, but in the end decided rescuing a dog in need was the best option for them. Dallas was actually on his last day in a high-kill gassing facility before LDDR rescued him. David learned of LDDR and Detroit’s overpopulation of dogs while on the set of Orion.

Dallas is their perfect match. Christina is actually from Dallas, so it just seemed like fate. Dallas went from being left at a shelter and doomed to die alone, to living the good life in sunny California. David and Christina send us updates frequently and they all couldn’t be happier. In David’s last update he told us that “We are so in love with Dallas I can’t tell you! He’s incredible and has brought us great joy. Thank you for making the process so easy. He is having the time of his life, as are we.” These types of success stories are so much fun. We love seeing updates and watching these previously unwanted dogs become the center of peoples’ lives.

What’s the most rewarding thing about working at your rescue?
Working in rescue is probably one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. You watch dogs go from utterly hopeless to loved and cherished. Helping to give them a second chance at life is very inspiring and seeing all of the volunteers that it takes to make a difference is heartwarming. There are so many really different people that come together for one common cause. It really is a fantastic family we have cultivated. I think the best part of working with LDDR, specifically, is seeing the sheer amount of dogs that get saved. To have a rescue that takes the dogs all others were not able to take is very noble. It makes you work twice as hard too, because you know there isn’t someone in line behind you that can save the dogs if you don’t.

What can people do to help your rescue?
There are many ways people can help Last Day Dog Rescue. We are all volunteers and need many more volunteers to help us run more efficiently. If you don’t have time to volunteer, donate. We do not get government assistance and we are completely funded by donations and fundraisers that our volunteers organize and execute. We really do have the best volunteers out there. If you cannot donate or volunteer, you could also consider fostering. We pay for all of the expenses, including vet bills. All that we ask is that you give one of our dogs a loving home until their forever home can be found. The more fosters we have, the more dogs we can rescue. Every single person reading this can make a difference. If you would like to donate, please visit our chipin at http://lddrvolunteers.chipin.com/help-last-day-dog-rescue. If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer opportunities, please contact me directly at LDDRvolunteers@gmail.com. If you cannot donate and are too far away to volunteer for us, please find a local rescue you can volunteer with. All rescues need help!