When a shelter is full or when dogs are approaching their “due out” date a shelter contacts a rescue for help. Rescue Rovers has a strong working relationship with many shelters and we often pull up to 100 dogs in a month. The dogs are placed in crates and driven (sometimes flown) to safety. Those trips range from one hour to 15 hours or more, and sometimes the dogs arrive a mess. They are often stressed, exhausted, carsick and disoriented…but they are also aware that they are now SAFE. The dogs lean into their rescuers, gaze at them with those classic puppy-dog eyes, and trust them almost immediately.
Rescue Rovers is an all-volunteer foster-based rescue. Our fosters volunteer their homes, their time and their hearts to care for dogs of all breeds and ages. We pull dogs from high kill shelters in Utah and surrounding states. Occasionally we take dogs from further away. We’ve been lucky enough to rescue dogs from as far away as Kansas!
How do we get our dogs?
Each foster picks up the dog(s) that they have committed to and takes them home to bathe them, feed them, comfort them and begin rehabilitating them. We clean and sooth small sores, remove ticks, scratch behind ears. The first night in a foster home is the first sleep many of these dogs have had on a soft bed in a quiet home in weeks or months…or ever. Most of the dogs we pull were strays, picked up by animal control. Many of them were someone’s pet at some point, abandoned or run away. Some come from hoarding situations or were bait dogs. All of them need someone to love them, care for them, and work on behaviors that will make them a suitable family pet. Over the next few days we take care of them medically. Vaccinate, microchip, spay or neuter. We pull dogs that have mange and need medication, dogs that need eye surgery, amputations, tumors removed and biopsied. Some of our dogs require more medical work. Whatever their issues are, we make sure they are in good health before they are available for adoption.
Since our inception in February 2013, Rescue Rovers has saved over 8000 dogs.
Love and Rehabilitation
In the weeks following we work on behavior. Since our dogs live in foster homes we are able to potty train and crate train most dogs almost immediately. Then we begin working on behaviors such as jumping up or resource guarding. Dogs that have more difficult issues are placed with our more experienced fosters and work with trainers. Eventually they are ready for adoption. Some will always have quirks, but there’s a family out there for all of them. We advertise them online and take 3 applications for each dog, then we choose the family that’s the best fit. What’s really amazing is to pull a dog that was literally hours from death in a shelter and have 2 or 3 families vying to be the one that gets to take him home.
Mahatma Gandhi said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” We believe this and we work hard to do our part. Our faith in humanity is constantly tested, but also constantly restored by the people we meet who help us in our journey and who decide a rescue dog is right for them.