A few months ago, we visited Virginia Paws for Pits and had the pleasure of meeting Page Hearn, the founder and director, plus three lovely pups (all foster-fails). Page describes Paws for Pits as a low-volume, high-maintenance rescue.
Page runs Paws for Pits out of her gym, Queen City Strength, in Staunton, Virginia. PFP is so much more than a foster-based pit bull rescue. They are advocates for the breed, educating everyone in their path. They often take in desperate cases – dogs most people would give up on because of horrendous medical issues, often human inflicted.
Every time we go to the shelters, I learn something. This time was no different. We’ve been to over 80 shelters now, so you’d think they would all look alike. In a few ways (dogs in need, incredible people) they are, but in so many ways they are unique.
One of the projects we are working on is creating a Resource Guide for shelters and rescues (and volunteers and advocates). This guide, which is its own tab on our website, is where we collect ideas about grants, fundraising, shelter practices, volunteers, fosters, advocacy, enrichment, education, and pretty much any kind of resource that will help shelters and rescues save more animals.
The guide is changing almost daily as we add new ideas. After this tour, I’ve got a dozen new things to add to it at least. Ideas also come in via our shelter liaisons who monitor our shelter partners and share their ideas/projects/successes, so that others can learn from them. As a wise person once told me – “Copying is the sincerest form of flattery.”
Because often pictures speak louder than words, so we created a video on our YouTube channel that is a Shelter Tour Wrap-Up with information and pictures of the places we visited on this tour. We drove over 2,000 miles, and visited seven shelters in six states. There were lots of stories, and I will share those with you over the next few months, but for now, this video will give you a taste of what we saw and learned:
If you’d like to get involved, we have lots of volunteer opportunities. Fill out our volunteer form or send your questions/interests to email@example.com. We are already raising money for our next shelter tour, we’d love to have your support.
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The mission of Who Will Let the Dogs Out (we call it Waldo for short) is to raise awareness and resources for homeless dogs and the heroes who fight for them.
You can learn more about what is happening in our southern shelters and rescues in the book, One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues (Pegasus Books, 2020). It’s the story of a challenging foster dog who inspired me to travel south to find out where all the dogs were coming from. It tells the story of how Who Will Let the Dogs Out began. Find it anywhere books are sold. A portion of the proceeds of every book sold go to help unwanted animals in the south.
Amber’s Halfway Homeis our short documentary film produced in partnership with Farnival Films. It follows the work of a remarkable woman and one day of rescue in western Tennessee. Selected for sixteen film festivals (to date), it’s won eight awards (including Best Short Doc, Best Soundtrack, Best of Fest, and Audience Choice), and was nominated for an Emmy! It is a beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring story we hope will compel viewers to work for change. Please watch it and share it far and wide.