Dog of the Week – Mindy

Happy Friday, and Welcome to the Dog of the Week!  This week we a featuring a super cute collie mix named Mindy.  Looking for a young dog that comes already house-trained? Read on to learn more about Mindy.

Hello, my name is Mindy, I am 1.5 years old and I hoping to find my forever home soon.  I am told that I am a Smooth Collie.  I am housebroken and I know basic commands such as sit and stay.  I’ve also been working on waiting to be released to eat and go outside.  I am kennel trained but I also love to cuddle with people.  I do great sleeping in my kennel at night, I’ve been told I snore from time to time, but I have yet to hear it. I like to have a routine so I know what to expect, it helps me learn.  I love to play with toys and with other dogs.  I like having a fenced in yard so that I can be free to run and play outside and be safe.  I would really love to meet you so we could become a family.

Seriously, I just cannot get over those ears! If you are  interested in adopting Mindy or any of our adoptable dogs, click here to fill out an application.

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Happy Tails – Buster

busterOh my gosh, how stinking cute is this little guy?  We recently received an email from Amber sharing their Happy Tail with us.  Thanks for sharing, we love to see these stories!
Hello, I wanted to let everyone know how much joy Buster has brought to my husband and I. We rescued Buster in January 2012 from Last Hope. We enjoyed working with Last Hope so much. It was reassuring they don’t just give pets to anyone. We liked that they did thorough background checks and a house visit. That really showed us they care and love these animals with all their hearts and souls.
Buster is our fur baby. When we first rescued him he was very skiddish, which is to be assumed when you get a rescue dog. We didn’t really know his background and upbringing. We just took it one day at a time. Today, Buster is the most loving and caring dog. It’s amazing how you can tell he is happy now and he knows he isn’t going anywhere and he has a forever home. Thank you again Last Hope for letting us rescue this amazing little guy!
If you have a Happy Tail that you would like to share, email us at

Who the heck writes this anyway?

Have you found yourself wondering who the heck the I’s and the Me’s are on this blog?  We are here today to solve the mystery!

Meet Crystal…

Hi, I’m Crystal and I started this blog a few months ago as a class project.  I figured that after graduation (in May!!) I would have plenty of time to fill this wonderful forum with lots of awesome information about a group that I love. Boy was I wrong. They definitely found other ways to keep me busy. 🙂 I started out walking dogs, moved up to fostering, and now I’m a foster lead. I set up new foster homes, serve as a point of contact, and help with adoptions. Sometimes I wonder how I make time for my full time job.
My husband and I adopted our dogs from Last Hope in 2011. We’ve been married for 2 and a half years and thanks to my big mouth and Sonia we ended up with 2 dogs when we bought our first house. I just graduated from Mt. Mercy University in May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. When I have free time, which doesn’t come around often, I love to read. My current book is A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron. But I enjoy everything from Jodi Picoult to Nicholas Sparks. I’m really not to picky as long as I can find it at the library or Half Price Books. My husband and I love to spend time on projects around the house and taking my husband’s 73 Duster to Cedar Falls to the drag strip in the summer.

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Meet Mickala…

Hi, I’m Mickala and Crystal asked me to help out with this blog a few weeks ago when I clued her into the fact that I am a “geek” and I have had a few of my own blogs in the past.  I recently got involved with Last Hope first by helping handle a dog at one of the PetSmart events and then by signing up to be a foster – weekend and emergency basis only!  That lasted for about two weeks and then Last Hope purchased all of the dogs from a puppy mill.  We got our first full-time foster from that and haven’t looked back!  We currently have two foster dogs – Hundely the Dachshund and Simon the Beagle.

On a more personal level, I have been married for almost 10 years and have two sons ages 7 and 3.  I work full time and also go to school – working on earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a minor in Management Information Systems (geeky tech stuff!).  I can’t wait to be done with school next May!  I’m an on again, off again runner (currently off again, but hoping to start up soon) and love to enter local 5k races when I am able to.

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From A Foster Lead

Last week we posted about what it takes to be a foster. If you missed it check it out here. Today, I’m going to tell you about the support you get and the team you have standing behind you.

Right now we have 7 awesome foster leads (of which I am one). Each foster home is assigned a lead. Your foster lead is your first point of contact for any questions you have. We are here to make your fostering experience a good one. If you can’t get a hold of your lead, any of the others are willing and able to step in and help.

My first contact with a new foster comes when we receive an application. We have divided up Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and surrounding areas into territories and each foster lead has their own territory. When one comes in that lands in my territory I reach out via email or phone to set up a home visit. During the home visit I’m looking for 2 things. One, that any animals currently in your home are well taken care of and happy. Two, things in the home are safe and secure for any animals we may place with you. I have done nearly 20 home visits (for foster homes) since I started doing this in March and I have yet to find a home that didn’t live up to those standards. The people who step up to help are usually pretty awesome!

The home visit is your chance to bombard me with questions. Anything and everything you want to know about fostering is fair game. I will also take the time to get to know you and your family. I want to know what kind of dog will fit into your lifestyle. They come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own personality. I want to make sure that both you and the dog I place with you are happy. (If that leads to a foster failure – you end up adpoting the dog and stop fostering – I’m ok with that. )

Once I know what you need I will find the right dog for your home. My first contact with the dogs usually comes via email from our Intake Coordinator. We get weekly lists, sometimes more, of dogs that we can take in. We also get owner surrenders from our website. We match up these dogs coming in with our open foster homes.

Once the dog is in the home your job is pretty simple. 🙂 Give them the love and care they deserve! If you have any concerns or questions just give me a call or send me an email! I’m here to help you. Anything from a training question to a vet appointment. We will also keep you informed of event schedules and do whatever is needed to help get your foster adopted.

Once we receive an application on your foster it will be forwarded on to you. You get to set up the first meeting with the potential adopters. If you feel like they will be a good fit you report back to me and we move forward in processing the application. We check references and if everything comes back good I will do a home visit, you are welcome to come along, and after that comes the paperwork. After all is signed and the pup moves on to their new home we start all over again.

I think the most rewarding thing about fostering (yes, I do it myself as well) is seeing all of the dogs you help go into their forever homes, knowing that you had a hand in that. No one knows where they would have ended up if we didn’t provide them with that bridge, from one life to the next.

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Dog of the Week- Duke

Normally Mickala brings you the dog of the week posts. But this week I have a special dog that’s close to my heart. I asked if I could take over for a week. Duke is my current foster. And I feel very lucky to have him stay with us. I’ll let him introduce himself .

Photo by Visions Photography

Photo by Visions Photography


Photo by Visions Photography

Hi! My name is Duke. I was brought back to Last Hope because the people that adopted me said I had to much energy. Well I’m only a year old! What did they expect?? My awesome foster parents have helped me to mellow out a little bit and I’m learning that sometimes jumping up and down doesn’t get me what I want. I’m looking for a new forever home where I can run and play and someone will take me for walks and cuddle on the couch with me. I really like playing with my foster brother and sister but wouldn’t mind a home to myself if that means I get more attention! I even love playing with kids! My foster parents say I go looking for trouble sometimes, but a quick “no” is all I need to stop me. Sometimes I just don’t know I’m doing anything wrong! I’m a quick learner and love to learn new tricks and I’m always eager to please. Whatever makes you happy!

Duke is a great dog and he will make a new family very happy someday. He is very quick to bond with strangers, or new friends, as he likes to think of them. Will you be his new best friend?
Duke is such a passionate, loyal dog. More so than any I’ve seen before. If you are looking for a dog to keep you company and have wonderful conversations with (that’s right, Duke will tell you how much he missed you with that beautiful hound howl) you may have just found the one.

If you would like to meet Duke you can  fill out an application here. I will get in touch and we can set up a meeting!

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Thank You to All Our Donors

I, and all the other volunteers and doggies, would like to put a big THANK YOU out to all of our donors! Whether it’s $2 in the jar at an event or a brand new air conditioner like we got this weekend, every bit goes a long way.

Cash donations are great to help pay for vet expenses and anything else that might pop up, such as purchasing 29 dogs at a Puppy Mill auction.

Food, cleaning supplies, blankets, and dog/cat toys always come in handy too. Some of those pups can really rip into their toys. 🙂

This weekend I had the pleasure of helping to bring in the largest donation I’ve seen in my time working with Last Hope. I put out a request on Facebook for an air conditioner for the shelter. I figured we would end up with a small used air conditioner. But I was surprised by Marilyn Valley with a brand new 25,000 BTU window air conditioner. I decided to keep the donation a secret until Marilyn and I could get the air conditioner and surprise Sonia with it.

Needless to say, Sonia was overwhelmed with the donation. With tears in her eyes she told Marilyn of the dogs currently at the shelter. How she was so worried about the girl with a hole in her pad and the possibility of infection with the condensation on the floor. Of the St. Bernard who was too hot and tired to spend any time outside. Sonia opens her shelter to those dogs who need a little TLC before moving into a foster home. Now these guys and gals can spend their days in the cool, air conditioned shelter instead of the Iowa humidity.

After the install Monday night this baby is ready to go!

THANK YOU! Again to all of our donors. While we can’t all go buy brand new air conditioners for the pups, every little bit helps. Every dollar we collect goes straight to the dogs. Every toy, or bag of food, allows for one more dog to be fed and entertained while they wait for their forever home.

If you can help click here to donate. Or drop off donations at Cedar Run Boarding in Hiawatha.

Thank you for supporting Last Hope Animal Rescue!

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Not Ready to Take the Plunge?

Always wanted a dog, but not sure you can handle the vet bills and added expense?

Hear about all those dogs in the shelter and wish you could help?

Recently lose a pet and feel like you home is missing something, but not ready for a dog of your own yet?

Have a dog and would love another one, but not sure about the cost of two dogs?

Do any of these sound similar to thoughts that might have run through your mind?  I know many of these thoughts have gone through my own mind in the past 5 months after we lost our beagle to cancer.  Our dog was not a social dog, so we could never had a second animal in our home, but since he has passed I have found a new passion in my life – volunteering with Last Hope Animal Rescue and fostering dogs.  It started out as short-term – and on an emergency basis only.  We just weren’t sure we were ready for a dog in the house again.  But after fostering two adorable little dogs, Missy and Tucker for the weekend, I was hooked!  I’m now fostering a puppy mill rescue, Hundley and have had him for about a month now, and we just got our second foster, a beagle named Simon!

Curious?  Here are some more details –

Weekend fosters are in high demand in the summer.  Some of Last Hope’s dogs are currently living at Cedar Run Boarding in Hiawatha, but in the summer, on weekends and around the holidays especially, Cedar Run fills up with boarding dogs and need to find other places for the Last Hope dogs to go.  This is where the weekend fosters come in.  Take the dog(s) for the weekend and then return them to Cedar Run on Monday.  The dogs love living the home life, even if it is just a weekend.

Then there is traditional fostering, where you keep the dog in your home until he or she is adopted.  You may be asked to help house train, crate train and work on other social skills with your dog.  When you apply to become a foster, you can indicate if you are able to assist with these types of things.

Other things you will be asked to do include taking the dogs to adoption events, taking them to the vet, administer any medications (heartworm and flea/tick meds mostly).  Since you will know the dog best, you will write-up your foster dog’s bio for and meet with any potential adopters to see if they are a good fit.  And most importantly, your number one job keep them safe and give them all of the love and affection they deserve until their forever family is found.


What you won’t be asked to do:  Pay for most of the dog’s expenses.  Last Hope will cover the expenses of the dog while you are fostering it.  This includes vet bills, medication, grooming and obedience classes if necessary.  If you are leaving town for the weekend, Last Hope will get you in touch with one of those weekend fosters so you don’t have to worry about boarding your furry friend either!

You will be assigned a foster lead as your first point of contact with any question you might have about your foster dog, their care, or any part of the fostering or adoption process.  They are always there for you to answer any questions you might have, and they work really well with you to make sure the foster dog you take in is a good fit for you household and your family.

Chance & Ruby Sue

If you have been thinking about getting a dog, but you aren’t ready to take the plunge into full ownership, fostering could be perfect for you!  If you have a dog and would like to get a second, but just aren’t quite sure  – fostering may be for you!  It has been such a rewarding experience for me.  I have wanted to volunteer for many years, but was never quite sure where to start.  Last Hope has been the perfect place for me and we always have room for more!

If you are interested in fostering for Last Hope, click here to complete the application.  This is the first step to endless doggy love in your home!