Friday, February 21, 2020
Pictured is one of the many dogs entered into the program at Hoping Fur a Home. This pup was dumped at a kill shelter in Texas in severe need of medical attention. Contributed photos. HFAH volunteers photographed dogs located along a feeding route. Dogs are collected as space opens, which is few and far between as there is little to no room in shelters.

Local volunteers rescue, rehabilitate and re-home thousands of pups in need

In June of 2015, Amanda Richmond, of Tomah along with her partner Sarah Dailey founded Hoping Fur a Home (HFAH) in hopes of making a difference, one dog at a time. Since then, Richmond and Dailey, along with countless volunteers, have successfully rescued and re-homed over 4,000 dogs in need. 

The organization is a non-profit dog rescue comprised of volunteers dedicated to providing a safe sanctuary and finding forever, loving homes for any breed of dog at any age. The program, which is foster based, works to reduce the number of dogs in kill shelters. 

Many of these dogs may have been abandoned, abused, neglected, surrendered or are in need of assistance for many reasons. 

Volunteers transport the dogs from kill shelters primarily in Texas. “When we were new, we started out helping wherever we could,” said Amanda Richmond, president of HFAH. “It eventually turned into us helping out this little shelter in Texas and now that’s where all of our dogs come from.” 

Before HFAH stepped in, the shelter was being forced to euthanize a large percentage of the dogs brought to them due to space issues. Now, they only have to for medical or behavioral purposes.

“On our last trip, we took nearly every dog they had and they still have pages upon pages of people waiting to drop their dogs off,” Richmond said. “There is always a need for these dogs.”  

Once the dogs are transported to Wisconsin, volunteers then provide necessary medical treatment and rehabilitation to the dogs along with proper training. The dogs are then placed in foster homes until they find forever homes. 

According to Richmond, the organization’s volunteer foster homes are all over the state of Wisconsin as well as Illinois and Minnesota. The dogs are kept in foster homes for at least seven days prior to the consideration of adoption.

“We really don’t have a lot of trouble with adoptions, they tend to go relatively quick,” Richmond said. “Adopters are required to come and meet the dog with the whole family, including their dogs. We also require adopters to come to the foster homes because it’s less stressful on the dogs.” 

In addition to rehabilitating dogs in need, HFAH also hopes to reduce the number of dogs in kill shelters by educating the public on issues such as the importance of spaying/neutering pets, proper training, the importance of vaccinations and flea/tick preventatives through public outreach and various training programs. 

In 2019, HFAH rescued over 500 dogs. 

“It’s become such a part of my life now that the number of dogs we’ve rescued doesn’t always sink it, but then I’ll get a message or a picture about how a dog changed someone’s life and the impact of it all will hit me.” Richmond said.  

So many volunteers give their time and love to the dogs rescued by HFAH. It helps show the dogs that they can trust humans; for some of these dogs, this is the first positive interaction that they have ever had. 

Not all volunteers foster. There are many other areas where help is needed such as organizing/running adoptions and fundraising events, writing/creating flyers and other various marketing tools. Richmond is currently looking for someone with grant writing experience to help the organization secure some funding.

HFAH relies on the generosity of community members and adoption fees to continue its work. Currently, the organization is working on expanding its warehouse space and its intakes as well. Volunteers have been running to Texas on a monthly basis to bring dogs in need back to Wisconsin. 

“It just feels like we’re barely making a dent sometimes,” Richmond said, adding each trip is extremely costly and there are always more dogs in need of help. 

HFAH is trying to upgrade its van to something bigger, which will help consolidate the number of trips and allow volunteers more room to transport more dogs back to Wisconsin. Richmond is hoping to raise $15,000 to put toward a bigger van for HFAH. 

To learn more about HFAH, visit www.hopingfurahome.com or contact Richmond by email at hopingfurahome@gmail.com. Donations can be made through PayPal or mailed to 5216 Shorecrest Dr. in Middleton, WI 53562.

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