Nonprofit makes a difference in lives of animals, humans.
CRESTVIEW — Their tagline is “Making Miracles Happen Every Day,” and Saving With Soul Pet Rescue founder Jennifer Hagedorn said that’s just what they do.
Locally based, the animal rescue group has placed hundreds of dogs and cats in “furever” homes since being founded in 2012. Hagedorn noted that number was expedited when they received nonprofit status earlier in 2017.
“Our overriding goal is to pull dogs out of shelters that people aren’t beating down the doors to get,” Hagedorn said. “The dogs that aren’t fluffy and don’t have blue eyes and aren’t 10 pounds, we find them a home.”
Saving With Soul Pet Rescue has no shelter of its own, but instead operates via a network of 40-plus volunteers who open up their homes to foster animals that are pulled from kill shelters. The animals are vetted, spayed or neutered and micro-chipped while in their foster homes. The group advertises the dogs available for adoption on social media.
They also have adoption events every weekend, something Hagedorn said makes them unique. She said the adoption events, which are held on Saturday, “unless it’s Christmas or there’s a hurricane,” are usually very successful.
The group has pulled 597 dogs from shelters so far in 2017. Their most recent save, a mange-ridden pit bull named “Miracle,” was on his last day at the shelter and scheduled to be euthanized. Hagedorn put out a plea for help on social media, and volunteers donated enough money so that Miracle could be saved and brought to her home.
“It’s a crazy group of people and we make miracles happen,” Hagedorn said. “It’s just so rewarding and exhilarating. There are bad days when we tell ourselves, ‘We can’t do this anymore,’ but that feeling when you pull a dog out of a shelter and they sleep next to your bed that night and wake up and you say, ‘Wow, this wasn’t a dream,’ that’s priceless.”
Hagedorn said saving a dog from a shelter saves two lives — the life of the dog saved, as well as the life of a dog who can take its place. She said she is always able to find a home for “nice” dogs, even if they’re “ugly and old and fat.”
“It’s an amazing feeling taking scared dogs out of the shelter that were biting and they just blossom when they get out,” she said. “Shelters are not bad places, they do their best, but it’s very hard … When we pull them out of there and see them thrive, it’s pretty cool.”