It’s Party Time!

Have you heard yet? Last Hope has 2 awesome pups in Animal Planet’s 10th Annual Puppy Bowl! (You may remember our awesome trip to NYC back in October.) These little celebrities are ready to celebrate with you. Puppy Bowl X promises to be bigger and cuter and better then ever this year! 

Puppy BowlJoin Last Hope and meet Suri and Cici this Sunday at our Super Sundae Puppy Bowl Party! The party starts at 1 and from 1 to 2 you can get your picture taken with Suri and Cici. Enjoy free sundae bar and cake while watching the Puppy Bowl. Other food and beverages can be purchased. Bid on silent auction items, enter drawings for door prizes. (1 to 4pm) Bring your own dog and compete for best football dog costume. (4pm to 5pm)

Come check it out at Shueys Restaurant & Lounge at 1158 Club Rd , Shueyville, Ia.


Be sure to check out Suri’s interview with Shulte and Swan Friday morning on Z102.9 and don’t forget to order your T-Shirts here to help support the team. Check out these awesome Team Cici and Team Suri shirts!

And just for our readers, here’s a sneak peak of a few of our silent auction items:

  • Lady and the Tramp hand painted graphic signed by the people who voiced the movie.
  • Billy Joel signed record album.
  • Snoopy hand painted animation cell autographed by Charles Schultz.
  • Bambino hand painted graphic signed by the original animator.
  • Window Washing certificate.
  • Several wine baskets
  • Lunch for 2 at the Kava House in Swisher.
  • 25.00 certificate for Shooters in Swisher.
  • Kids play basket
  • Print from Visions Photography
  • Gift certificate from Visions Photography
  • 25.00 certificate from The Pet Studio
  • Handmade Scarves

Don’t forget to check out the MVP voting on the Animal Planet website. Even if you can’t make it to the party you can still go online and vote for our girls!

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Dog of the Week: Dottie

When I first saw a picture of Dottie, I immediately thought “My, what big ears you have!” She looks like she could take flight at any minute. What a cutie!

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This is Dottie who is an adult Terrier mix. She came to us because one of her owners passed away and the other owner could no longer care for her. She is a little shy at first but warms up quickly. She is currently following her foster people around the house and sleeping with them in bed. She is a sweet girl that needs a new forever home. She is good with other dogs and cats. She is completely housebroken, spayed, and up to date on her shots. She will go in a crate but it isn’t her favorite place to be. She is a small girl with some big ears that give her a unique look.

For more information on Dottie, please contact Carol Doser at You can complete the adoption application HERE.

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Happy Tails: Henry (Chico)


Kris Kiesey updates us on two Last Hope dogs …

The story of our Henry (formerly known as Chico), adopted October 27, 2012 with a bonus happy story about Buddy:

Summer 2012 – my kids and I visit the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter often; they like to visit the kitties and I love on the dogs, petting them, hoping for them. I am also cautiously looking to add a second dog to our family, but am wary because we adopted a small dog from the Cedar Valley Humane Society in October 2011 and had a bad experience (he bit many males in the four weeks we had him) and I had to take him back, heartbroken. I am also not sure about adopting an adult dog because we already own a dominant male Rat Terrier.

Every time I visit the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter in the summer of 2012, I see a black dog named Chico. He is a Boxer/Lab mix. His arrival date is May 1, 2012. He is always happy to see me, calmly letting me pet him and resting his chin in my hand. I keep hoping for him that he will be adopted and not be there the next time I visit.

Late July 2012 – Chico is still there. I can’t figure out why he hasn’t been adopted. I finally get him out of the kennel to get a closer look at him. Once he is out he is wild, so excited, and needs to work on his manners. His energy level is probably overwhelming people, but he is still so sweet. I decide to mention him to my husband and he agrees to visit. We bring our dog, Max, to check him out, too. Our neighbor, who is a K-9 police officer for Cedar Rapids, also comes because he knows Max and I trust his judgment. He thinks Chico is a very nice dog, but worries about how strong he is if Max tries to dominate him and sets him off. We don’t adopt him and I am sad. I stop visiting the animal shelter.

September 2012 – our family begins thinking about a puppy a little more, and my husband would like a Doberman. I am a little nervous about the training of such a large breed, so I call Cedar Run Boarding to ask about their puppy classes. Sonia answers the phone. We have a good conversation about Doberman puppies, then she says that if the puppy class times don’t work out, I could just bring the puppy to play with some of the dogs they have there. She has a dog that is great with other dogs, but terrible with people. I tell her that sounds like the dog I adopted from the Cedar Valley Humane Society the previous year. We determine that she rescued that same dog I returned, just in the nick of time. He is named Buddy now and still doesn’t like men. I spend the evening crying for joy that he is saved.

Two days later – two of my children and I visit Sonia and Buddy. I am happy for him that he is safe and happy, and grateful for Sonia, who saved his life. While I am at Cedar Run I visit her other dogs. Guess who I see? Chico – he spent too much time at the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter, so Last Hope stepped in and rescued him. I am happy for him, too, as Sonia tells me he had been adopted and will be picked up the next day. We continue to move toward adopting a Doberman puppy.

October 2012 – my husband, Tim, and I visit Cedar Run on a Sunday for a Last Hope volunteer event. We tour the facility and Chico is still there. His adoption fell through because his energy level is so high. I mention the weekend foster program to Tim, knowing that Chico has been in the shelter/rescue system for almost six months and could benefit from some time in a home. Tim spends a little time with Chico and agrees to the weekend foster.

On our way out of Cedar Run we chat with Sonia. Tim tells her that we will take Chico for a weekend foster, and that if it works, we will adopt him permanently. I am thankful that Tim was willing to forgo the Doberman puppy and rescue a dog in need. One week later, that’s what we did.

Chico is now named Henry; we have had him for more than one year. He still needs to work on his manners, but is the most loving, loyal dog in the world. I think he is so grateful to be in our home. His laid back personality complements our dog’s perfectly. I think we were meant to be Henry’s family, and I am so grateful that Last Hope stepped in and rescued him until we could realize he was supposed to be a part of our family.

Thanks for sharing your story, Kris. We’re so happy that Henry found a loving home and that he is getting along so well. It really seems like it was meant to be.

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Dog of the Week: Scooby

Where is Scooby? Probably hanging out with “those meddling kids” waiting for his forever home. He’s ready to join someone’s family and beg for Scooby snacks.

Scooby 2 Scooby

Come meet Scooby! A darling nine-month-old brindle Terrier mix. Scooby loves to snuggle and be around people . He does great around other dogs and is very playful. Scooby does well with strangers and does not bark much. He is very curious about the house cat. He will chase her until he is told no and then he will stop. He will make a great addition to some lucky family. Scooby is microchipped, neutured, and up to date on his vacinations.

For more information about Scooby, please contact The adoption application can be completed HERE.

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Buckle-Up Your Pup

seat belt

It’s been the law for quite a while that humans buckle their seat belts when riding in or driving a car. We do not, however, have the same laws for pets and so very few people restrain their pets while riding in a car.

With pet travel on the rise, more and more dogs and cats are suffering severe injuries from not being properly restrained. A pet that is not properly restrained in a vehicle is a danger to itself and other passengers in the vehicle. An unrestrained pet can potentially become a flying projectile in the event of an accident or sudden stop. Unfortunately, instances of pets being thrown through the windshield are all too common in severe accidents.

In addition to the danger to the pet and other passengers, even the most seasoned traveler can become overly excited or frightened in a vehicle and thus cause an accident by distracting the driver or in some way impeding her ability to drive. Even if your pet has never “acted up” in the car, it’s too big of a risk to take. A frightened or excited animal can jump onto the driver’s lap or crawl into the space at the driver’s feet and interfere with the operation of the pedals.

Another important consideration is what your pet will do in the wake of an accident. If your pet survives the accident, she may be able to escape from the car and run into traffic. If rescuers are needed, your pet may attack them while they are trying to extricate people from the vehicle.

There are several pet restraints available so you will be able to find the one that’s right for your pet. Check out pet safety belts, pet car seats with built-in seat belts, pet travel crates and kennels, and vehicle pet barriers. It’s important that your pet is comfortable with whatever option you choose. If you select a safety belt, let the pet wear the harness around the house until he becomes comfortable in it. An animal should be properly kennel or crate trained before using that method of restraint. When you first use the restraint, take your pet on shorter car rides and gradually increase the length until they become comfortable with it.

Many people believe that restraints are not necessary for short trips but that is when most accidents occur. Just as we should buckle up every time we’re in the car, we should also restrain our pets every time they’re coming along with us for the ride. Pets are members of the family and it’s our responsibility to make sure they’re safe.

(Summary of an article from

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Dog of the Week: Eddie

We hope you have had a wonderful holiday season and are settling in to the new year ok. Lots of people make new year’s resolutions – why not make one of your resolutions to help out Last Hope? We are always in need of foster homes and adopters, but if that’s not possible for you we are always in need of items for our foster pets and, of course, monetary donations are always welcome. You can visit our website HERE for ideas of things we are consistently in need of. But if you’re looking to add a new family member to your home, who could resist this face?!

I am Eddie, AKA Fast Eddie. I like to play ball, tug of war and really love to snuggle. I am great with people of all ages and kids especially love me. I know some tricks, I can sit, lay down and will jump up into your arms if you let me. My foster mom says I need to work on sharing my toys, I can be a little selfish. I love to chase squirrels and rabbits if you let me out in the yard, so a tall fence would be good. I can jump a 4 foot fence with no problem if you let me. At night I will snuggle in bed with you if you let me, but am just as comfortable in my kennel. I am house trained and a very sweet boy. If you will just give me a chance I will be the best friend you have ever had.

Eddie is neutered and up to date on his shots. If you would be interested in meeting our little Eddie, please fill out an application HERE.

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Winter Safety Tips for Your Pets

The weather in our neck of the woods has been ridiculously cold lately and wintertime brings different challenges for keeping our pets safe and happy. Here are a few things to think about in regard to your pets in the winter:

  • Make sure your dog is prepared for a winter walk; smaller dogs and dogs without much hair may need to wear a sweater or coat. If it’s especially cold, you might want to consider skipping the walk until the weather warms up a little bit. Pets can experience frostbite in their extremities (nose, ears, feet, tail) just like humans do so it’s important to make sure they’re warm enough. Also, you might want to consider getting booties for your dog if you walk her regularly in the winter. Salt and other ice-removal products can irritate their pads and paws; booties can protect them from those hazards as well as frostbite.
  • Be careful when your pets are outside, either by themselves or on a walk. Antifreeze puddles are dangerous to animals but it has a sweet taste so your pet may be drawn to drinking it.
  • Do not leave your pet outside for extended periods of time thinking they’re ok in the cold because they have fur. Yes, fur is one of their defenses against the cold but it’s not sufficient to protect most of them for long periods. In addition, as mentioned above, they can get frostbite on their extremities.
  • During the holiday season, make sure your animals cannot get to tinsel or ornaments on a tree and also make sure they don’t eat the needles from the tree (both real and artificial). Also, be aware of bows they might have access to under the tree; these are all items that are dangerous to animals if ingested.
  • Groom your dog regularly; they need a coat in good shape to protect them from the cold. Also make sure the hair on their paws is trimmed to aid with snow and ice removal.
  • If you have cats that go outside, make sure you get them in the house if the weather is going to be cold.

Be aware of all these things in the winter to keep your pets happy and healthy.

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Dog of the Week: Izzy

The dog of the week feature took a little break while we posted stories about our dogs, but it’s back and ready to share great dogs with you that need homes of their very own. This week the featured dog is Izzy.


Say hello to Izzy! Izzy is a Carolina Dog, also known as an American Dingo. She came into our care as a stray, so her history remains a mystery. She is estimated to be about three years old. She is very unique and requires a home that is knowledgeable about her breed. Izzy appears to be very interested in cats, so would not be a good match if cats are in the home.

When Izzy is on a leash she pulls some, but generally does very well. She would learn quickly and would thrive from lots of attention.

Izzy has been spayed and is current on her shots. If you can find a place in your home for Izzy please fill out an application HERE.

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Happy New Year!

Well, 2013 has officially come to an end. And we couldn’t have done all of the amazing things we’ve done this year without your help. Everyone from our board members and foster leads to foster homes and volunteers to all of our amazing donors. Each and everyone of you has helped to make this a record year. Here’s a few stats and highlights from the year to close things out.

  • We had a record adoption year this year with 256 adoptions!Puppy 4
  • This year we introduced the foster lead concept. This has helped us to grow our foster home base to nearly 70 homes with 30-40 active at any given time. (A big  thank you to our new volunteers who jumped on board when Little Paws shut down and helped us with this huge task.)
  • With many foster homes taking more than one animal at a time and shelter space in Shellsburg as well as at Cedar Run we currently have approximately 70 dogs and cats in our care right now.
  • YorkieCedar Run Boarding has opened up a training course for foster homes to help educate our fosters and work with the dogs in our care to help them to be ready for their new homes.
  • Last Hope volunteers attended an auction in the spring and rescued (purchased) 30 dogs from life in a puppy mill. Many of these 30 dogs have found their forever homes thanks to the care and training provided by the fosters who opened up their homes to these dogs.
  • We sent 2 puppies to New York City this year to take part in the filming of an Animal Planet classic. Keep watching for more information and get ready for a party!
  • We held our first ever Saving Lives and S’mores open house at the shelter. It was a great success with donations and Silent Auction proceeds helping to reduce veterinary debt accumulated over the summer.
  • Our Retire the Vet Debt campaign raised over $12,000 in just over a month.
  • The story of one of our own won a $5,000 Holiday Wish’s Grant from PetCo.

Again, I would like to say Thank You to every one who helped make this year possible! The over 300 animals we saved this year would also like to say Thank You! Purdi

We’re going to make 2014 an even better year! After all, this year will be our 10 year anniversary! If you want to get involved and help make things happen let us know! If you have ideas on how to save more lives, we want to hear them! Email Sonia at and tell her you want to help! I can tell you from personal experience, being involved in an organization like this is very rewarding!

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