Our Mission

Our mission is to raise awareness and resources for homeless dogs and the heroes who fight for them.

READ THE LATEST BLOG POSTS HERE and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a post!

Our brand new YouTube channel shares the stories of the places we visit and the issues they raise.

Some lucky dogs are in progressive shelters with staff, resources, and community support that enable them to find homes for all of their adoptable dogs through local adoptions and outside rescues.

Some not-so-lucky dogs are in open intake, high-kill shelters that are routinely forced to ‘euthanize for space.’ Many of the people who work in these shelters work desperately to save every dog they can but are understaffed, underfunded, undersupported, and overwhelmed.

And then there are the dogs left behind at tiny municipal pounds in rural communities on back roads people rarely travel.

These dogs live in sparse conditions with few resources and no extras. They are held in chain-link kennels behind police stations, at the city dump, or in squat concrete buildings with no heat/AC until their owners come for them or they are destroyed to make room for new dogs that arrive. Their pictures are not on a shelter website or Petfinder. Rarely is there anyone working to address their physical, emotional or behavioral needs, let alone search for an adopter. Their only chance beyond being claimed by their owners is for a rescue worker to visit the pound and ‘pull’ them, transporting them to rescues sometimes several states away.

Who Will Let the Dogs Out (we affectionately call it Waldo) shares the faces and stories of the forgotten dogs and the heroes fighting for them through words, photographs, video, and most recently, film.

We travel to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds to raise awareness to inspire change. So far, we’ve been to 63 in nine states!

If you’d like to help our mission, please spread the word. You can subscribe to our blog and YouTube channel, plus find us on Facebook or Instagram. If you are moved to help individual shelters, you can find information about how to do that on the List of Shelters and Rescues. If you are a shelter or rescue, you can visit our shelter resource page which has an updated list of organizations, grant opportunities, and other resources specifically for shelters and rescues.

And please, help us spread the word. Together, we can let the dogs out.

If you’d like to join our Who Will Let the Dogs Out team, we’d love to have your help! Currently, we are looking for:

Social Media geniuses to help us build our social media platform.

Shelter/rescue liaisons to help us stay in touch with the organizations we support.

Musicians who would be willing to donate an original piece of instrumental music for use on our YouTube videos.

Smart people who can assist with bookkeeping/tax preparation.

And of course, we need DONORS so that we can expand our work! We are working on adding a donation button to the page, but for now, you can mail a check made out to ‘Who Will Let the Dogs Out’ and send it c/o Cara Achterberg, 128 W High St., Woodstock, VA 22664.

HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who helped FULLY FUND our film project! We are grateful and excited that this film has become a reality. In partnership with Farnival Films, Amber’s Halfway Home tells the story of one incredible woman and the rescue she started as she travels to the dog pounds of western Tennessee and saves the dogs many have forgotten. Our hope is that by telling her story, we can bring change that is so desperately needed.

Amber’s Halfway Home has already been selected for thirteen film festivals (and so far has won best short documentary twice, best audio, best soundtrack, and best of fest)! Learn more here. And stay tuned to our blog, Facebook, and Instagram to follow this journey. Our release date is fast approaching, so be sure you are subscribed to our YouTube channel so you can see it as soon as it becomes available! Also, watch for a special screening event on our Facebook page!