Retire the Vet Debt Update Special

So many of my loyal readers may be looking at all these stories about dogs that we’ve helped and wonder, “What about Scarlet and all the others featured through out the year? Where are they today?”. Well today I’m here to answer those questions. 



Scarlet’s surgery was not as successful as we had hoped. But if you met her today you would never know it! She is all puppy (and all trouble if you ask Sonia)! She is living with our director and tearing it up with the other dogs in the house. She gets the love and attention she deserves. Every time I stop by I see that sweet, happy face and wagging tail and remember all the hard work and long drives to Madison that Sonia put in with this girl. We continue to watch for other options and pray that Scarlet will have a long, happy life. Its hard not to fall for this sweetie! There’s been talk of moving her into another foster home or even putting her up for adoption, but with how much Sonia loves this girl, she may have already found her forever home.


Walker, now Dexter, came to us in need of surgery. Just this month he had his second surgery to help repair his improperly healed broken leg. Back in August Dexter went to Des Moines and had a plate and screws put in his leg to correct the break.  During his recovery Dexter’s foster home noticed he still seemed to be in pain. After a few more vet visits it was found that the screws in his leg were rubbing against his bone. His surgery this month was to remove all the hardware that was causing him pain. He is currently recovering in his foster home. We hope it goes better this time around!



Shortly after my original post on River we received an email inquiring about her availability. A couple drove up from Muscatine to meet her after hearing her story. While at the shelter they also met Aggie, or Agnus, a shepherd mix who had hit it off with River. They fell in love with both and in early October their adoption was finalized. Every once in a while I’ll get an update from their new family. As you can see, River seems to have regained some of her fur and put on a little weight. Her and Agnus are both very spoiled! Both love to play outside and River is in heaven with the snow! Her new family thinks that River has had training before, she is house trained and goes into her kennel on command. While we’ll never know where she came from or how she ended up on the river in such bad shape it’s great to see her where she is today!

Shine & Kimber

KimberShine Shine and Kimber were my first rescue. Both were suffering from horrible, untreated cases of mange. Today they are still at our shelter, and still on medication. But both girls have regained much of their fur and are ready for their foster or forever homes. They are close to the end of their treatment, after almost a year. Each time I stop by the shelter I make sure to stop in a give each one a special pet. It’s amazing to see the change that has taken place over the past year. They now feel like actual dogs, with fuller coats and healthy skin.

While some of these boys and girls still need a little more TLC before they find their forever homes we won’t be giving up on them. We will be going forward into 2014 with the same goals as this past year. To help as many homeless, abandoned, and needy dogs as we can. Help us start 2014 out of debt and ready to take on a new year by donating here today. 2013 was a record year in intakes and adoptions, with over 250 dogs finding their forever homes with our help. We hope to beat that number in 2014, but we can’t do that without your help! 

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Perdi came to us as a breeder surrender. She spent her first week in the vets office,struggling to eat, not walking. Many tests were run, many theories put out there. In the end it was determined that Perdi wasn’t eating simply because it hurt her to do so. Her teeth were in such bad condition, rotting out and never cared for. Her dental surgery was scheduled and she had many of here teeth removed. We also found that she had a urinary tract infection so bad that it hurt her to walk. She started treatment immediately. She was moved into a foster home and the next morning, much to her fosters delight, she took her first steps while in Last Hope’s care. We have found that she has some hip issues from being confined in a small space but she’s not letting that stop her now.

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For all that she’s been through in the short time Perdi has been with us she is one happy little girl. She loves to be held and her tail never stops wagging.

Yet another puppy mill victim, Perdi is slowly coming out of her shell thanks to to volunteers at Last Hope. She is excited to start the new year and find herself a new forever home.

To help support dogs like Perdi donate today at In 2014 Last Hope Animal Rescue hopes to raise awareness of Iowa Puppy Mills and end the horrible treatment dogs like Perdi receive in confinement. We can’t do that without your help!


Rosie is another sweet little girl who came to us to help her find her forever home. After both dental and hernia surgeries she has recovered well and is hoping to meet her new family soon!


Miss Rosie is a sweet little thing. She came to us from a puppy mill and it quite skittish. She has had some teeth removed and a hernia operation but is doing well! She does not bark much and prefers to spend most of her days lounging around quietly. She has come to adore squeaky toys and asks me to play with her often. She asks nicely by wagging her tail and looking at me, sometimes pushing a toy at my feet. I think in time she will be a great little lap dog, but needs someone who is patient and willing to let her come to you.

She gets along great with other dogs and cats, but will let them know with a little growl if they are being too pushy. She also has her independent side and doesn’t mind sitting alone for a spell. Doesn’t seem to mind car rides as long as she is crated in the front seat so she can see you. As you can see from her picture, she is such very adorable and longs for a forever home to settle down for life.

Donate today at to help support dogs like Rosie!

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Roxy came to us from a small shelter where her chances of being adopted were slim. We moved her to a foster home and with a little TLC and training she soon found her forever home!

00020Roxy was at a shelter for almost 6 months before I got her as a foster, then I had her for about 6 months.  She was picked up as a stray and had to be shaved on intake there because she was extremely matted and was loaded with fleas.  She is a Pomeranian mix and was estimated to be around 8 years old, deaf but very lovable little girl, hard to believe it took so long for her to get adopted.  She was very sweet and lovable, loved to curl up in your lap and follow you around the house.  Deaf dogs are just like any other dog, you just have to teach them hand signals instead of verbal commands.  She picked up on those really quick, very smart little girl.  She is now with a very loving family with two children that just adore her!  🙂



To help dogs like Roxy, who’s chances in local shelters may be slim, visit
and donate today!

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Napoleon is another sweet boy who came from the confinements of a puppy mill, with little to no veterinary care or nutritional considerations from his care takers. He, like all the others, had many of his teeth removed and desperately needed some love and care to help him come out of his shell.  

NapoleonNapoleon was my first foster dog. He had been purchased, along with 30 other dogs, from a puppy mill auction in Kalona. Like most of them, he had to have all of his teeth pulled due to poor nutrition and no dental care. But what a cutie pie! Another foster cared for him for the first month or two and had socialized him a little, but he was still struggling.  He didn’t really know how to be a “dog”.  He wanted for nothing. He didn’t know how to play with any toys and just wanted a soft spot to sleep at night. He circled my dining room table continuously during the day, not knowing what to do with his nervous energy. If you wanted to pick him up, you kind of had to corner him, where he would cower submissively. So, my work with him as a foster focused on building his self confidence. And he blossomed! He was such a brave little guy. I challenged him to keep his tail up (he would normally fold it under his belly) and taught him how to accept love and attention. He had never been on a leash before so we started from scratch. I literally moved every leg for him a few steps at a time as he stood, frozen, with anxiety. People would even stop their car and ask, “is everything ok”? We must’ve looked pretty pathetic! Eventually, with a lot of encouragement, Napoleon figured it out and starting enjoying walks. I was so proud of him! I’m happy to say he’s now with his forever family who loves him dearly. He gets showered with attention all day long and has even started playing with a few toys!  Watching Napoleon’s transformation into a happy, confident little guy (who wags his tail now!) was amazing to watch. I’m so honored to have been a part of it!

And an update from Napoleon’s new home! It’s always great to hear these stories!

My mother and I adopted Napoleon and he is doing so well. He is happy, content, loves to sit on our laps and go everywhere we go. He jumps all around and goes in circles when we come home he is so excited to see us. Right now he is resting on the couch in the sun where he love to sun him self when the sun comes in!!!! He is completely potty trained on puppy pads indoors, he never has any accidents, he never barks except to say hey don’t leave me here lol that isn’t very often.

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We seriously do not know what we would do without him. He loves us so, sleeps in our bed, eats all day long, and loves his new Tigger Sweater. Just the other day we found out he loves to play with washcloths so he now has one of those to chew on when he wants to play.
We do not know what it was like not having him with us. I wish we could have two because I’d adopt his little girlfriend Petunia too.
We did not rescue Napoleon (Popie) he rescued us!!!!!
 Check out to help us reach our goal and continue to help dogs like Napoleon find their happy endings. 
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Happy Holiday News!

This month we received some happy holiday news! In mid-November we submitted 5 heartwarming stories to the PetCo Foundation for their Holiday Wishes Grant. We received a phone call just last week letting us know that one of our stories was selected as a $5,000 winner! Below is the story that won the grant.

Bo was a true mutt. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. He had been kept outdoors his whole life; it took us hours to even get 00002him through the door. He desperately need groomed and wasn’t potty trained. He did ok with our dogs, although he wasn’t quite best buds with them. Bo’s owner had lost his home and couldn’t take Bo with him. My husband and I took Bo in temporarily and began looking for a “permanent” foster home for him. When one stepped up it turned out to be the perfect match.

I hadn’t heard anything on Bo in a couple weeks when I got an email from the foster home. This particular home fosters both dogs and children. I was sent a copy of a paper that one of their foster children, Hunter, had written for school, it was titled “Bo-Man, A Boys Best Friend”.  As I read the paper to my husband I began to tear up.

“I’ve always wanted to have a dog all to myself. I thought having a dog that would play with me and sleep with me would be fun. I was moved into foster care when I was fourteen. Some of the families I lived with had family dogs and some of my foster brothers and sisters even had their own cat or dog or hamster. I didn’t have anyone I could call my own. I was away from my biological family. I was moved to different homes and it was hard to make new friends all of the time. I felt alone a lot. There were days when it felt like it was me surrounded by people, but no one was there just for me. My dog would always play with me and always be my friend. 


  In August I moved in with a new family. They have a lot of dogs. Big dogs, yapping dogs, scrappy dogs that guard the food bowls. At night each of the kids would go off to bed and their dog would go with them. One of my chores was to help feed the foster dogs and the family dogs. This big crowded family not only had foster kids, but foster dogs as well. I didn’t mind helping because I love dogs, and some of these dogs were new just like me. 

     There was one dog, a dog that came to live at the house a few days after I arrived. He was big and black and very rambunctious. The others dogs ignored him or growled at him and I knew how he felt. The kids in the house either ignored me or were not always nice. My foster moms didn’t know much about Bo. His file said he was three and unwanted. My foster moms said black dogs are the first ones to be put to sleep in shelters and so he came to stay with us until a forever home could be found.


Bo is black with a few white patches on his body. Everyone in the house said he jumped around too much and ran through the house making the cats hide and the dogs nervous. I started taking Bo outside to go play fetch and run around the yard. The exercise felt good to me and it gave me an excuse to get out of the house when all six of the kids were home.  I was not used to so many people around. Bo and I clicked. I defended him when the kids said he was naughty or when the dogs chased him away from the food or water bowls. Last week when two dogs were growling at each other, he stepped between me and them and made sure I was safe. I finally had someone who was on my side. When he snuggles with me at night he feels warm. When I stand up to go to bed, he beats me to the bedroom door. I can’t help but smile when he greets me with a cheerful tail wag. His eyes are pretty far apart so it makes me feel like I am talking to a human. I know I can talk to him and my secrets are safe. He is a foster dog and, like me, he came here as a temporary house guest. I am part of the family and the people who count have made it clear I am staying. Bo is still called “foster”, but I have hopes that soon he will be mine.”

Sure enough, a couple weeks later Bo’s adoption was finalized. The foster family added one more to their permanent family. Bo and Hunter continue to be inseparable. Bo goes everywhere he can with Hunter and his tag has Hunter’s cell number. Seeing how just one dog can make such a difference in a child’s life makes everything we do worth it. The sad beginnings are greatly offset by the happy endings. 

While I love the fact that Last Hope won $5,000 and I know that can go a long way to helping other dogs, what still makes me tear up is just reading Hunter’s paper and knowing what a difference Bo made in this boys life. When my husband and I took Bo in it was supposed to be as a favor to an old high school buddy, temporary, until he could find someplace to live. But that just wasn’t meant to be. Bo found his place in the life of a young man who was struggling to find his own place. Stories like this help you realize that rescue isn’t just for the dogs. It’s about the families that we help complete, the children we provide the perfect playmate for, and young men like Hunter, just looking for a friend. 

To learn more about the PetCo Foundation check out their website here. Also- you can find out more about the Holiday Wishes Grant and see the other winners here

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I went with Sonia to pick Sadie up after her surgery. This happy girl just wanted to sit in our laps and be loved. Many shelters can’t afford to treat all the sick and injured animals that they bring in.  That’s where Hope stepped up for little Sadie and many others like her this year. 

sadie_5Sadie, a 9-month old miniature pinscher mix, was picked up as a stray by Animal Control. After discovering she had a broken leg, they called Last Hope since they would not be able to adopt her out. Instead of being euthanized, this sweet girl was given “hope” with the necessary surgery so she would no longer be in pain. She IMG_20131030_083907was also spayed and treated for a staph infection. She is now healed and in a foster home, ready for adoption! She’s truly a joy to have around the house and can’t wait to meet her forever family! Sadie loves to play with toys, snuggle, go on walks and play with other dogs.

Sadie is all fixed up and ready for a new loving home. How could you not fall in love with that face? To help us keep helping dogs like Sadie, who are deemed unadoptable by others donate today at sig