Earlier this summer, i Love Dogs donated $2 million worth of premium vitamins and supplements to local dog rescues and adoption organizations. At i Love Dogs, we know that rescues are often run entirely on donations, and are so impressed with their work with the abandoned and abused dogs right in our own backyard. The people behind these rescues are, very simply, angels within the dog lover community. Here is our second profile on one of the organizations we have had the good fortune of getting to know and help through our donation.
Since Cage Free K-9 Rescue started back in 2004, they have helped find homes for countless rescued pups. We were able to speak with Jill Winter, Cage Free K-9′s President and Founder, about her rescue’s mission to popularize the adoption method and find homes for all the sweet pups cooped up in overcrowded shelters.
Jill explained how Cage Free K-9 Rescue got started, “We wanted to save dogs who were being needlessly euthanized by the city animal shelter and, since we had our own daycare and boarding facility, we had a place to house them. So we started pulling dogs from the pound who were about to be put to sleep due to overcrowding and we kept them at our facility until we were able to find home for them.”
Jill emphasized that pit bulls are often put down in shelters, “partially because there are so many of them, and also because of the stigma associated with the breed.” Unfortunately some people still hold the breed responsible for aggressive behavior, rather than the owners who force their pets into aggressive or otherwise stressful situations, causing the dogs to rely on their fight or flight instincts. She also pointed out that other breeds and behavior types are affected as well: “Older dogs and aggressive dogs are also more like to be put to sleep, as are dogs who are sick or injured.”
Fortunately, Jill had lots of good news to share with us as well, explaining how far the dogs come in their rehabilitation at Cage Free K-9 Rescue. She explained how Cage Free K-9′s efforts include working to heal injured or sick dogs before placing them with new families.
“We deal with a lot of orthopedic injuries, dogs who have broken limbs or bones and who often require surgery. These dogs wouldn’t usually be adopted from the pound due to the immediate cost incurred after adoption.”
One success story from Cage Free K-9 involves a 3-month-old shepherd mix puppy, Dillon, who was dumped at the pound by his owner after being hit by a car. Dillon’s front leg was broken and one of his joints completely shattered. After undergoing multiple surgeries to repair his leg and joint, he was adopted by a caring family. Cage-Free K-9 made sure to pace Dillon with a family that would continue his physical therapy routine and work with him on his recovery process. He is now a member of a wonderful family. Finally Dillon is being looked after and included in his family’s life like he deserves to be.
Though Cage Free K-9 often encounters pit bulls, they are not a breed-specific rescue. They rescue all kinds of dogs, big and small, most of which are mixes like Dillon. Despite some people’s wishes to go to pet stores and breeders for purebred pups, Jill emphatically asserted that most adopted dogs, including mixes, ”respond very well to being rescued and are generally much happier once they are taken out of whatever stressful situation they are being rescued from.” We couldn’t agree more. There is something about the way rescued pups look at their parents, full of gratitude and the knowledge that their lives have permanently been changed for the better.
It is normal to expect some issues during the transition process of bringing home a rescue dog, but that is the case with all new family members. These dogs just need to be given the opportunity to become your friend for life. If you are looking for a canine companion, we strongly suggest you look no further than a qualified rescue like Cage Free K-9.
Cage Free K-9 Rescue‘s volunteers tout the benefits of adoption, sporting t-shirts that read “ADOPT” even in their off-hours. Their motto is “Saving one dog won’t change the world. But it will change the world for that one dog,” which we think sums up the issue perfectly.
If you would like to make a monetary tax-deductible donation to Cage Free K-9, visit their website. They also gladly accept donations like dog beds, food, treats, toys, towels, and any other dog supplies. To meet the dogs of Cage Free K-9, you can also volunteer a hand at their monthly adoption events held at the Whole Foods in West Los Angeles. If you would like an even more flexible volunteer opportunity, you can sign up to come by Cage Free K-9 and take a rescue dog on a walk or to the park for an outing.
Now that you have gotten to know a few of the local rescues closest to our hearts, we would love to hear about dog rescues in your area. Or if you would like to share your adoption experience with our readers, bark to us about it here.