Dog of the Week: Harrison

A Lhasopoo is a cross between a Lhasa Apso and a Poodle. And they are just as cute as can be! Let’s get to know a little more about Harrison …

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Meet Mr. Harrison, a Lhasopoo that is approximately eight years old. He is about 25 pounds and very cute! He does not shed and has a beautiful black and white soft coat. Harrison came in as a stray from a local shelter and is very protective of his owners. His ideal home would include adults who love to pet him and sit on the couch with him. He does best with children over 12 years old. He would prefer to be the only dog and have lots of attention showered on him.

HarrisonHarrison is housebroken and up-to-date on all his shots. He is also neutered and microchipped. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to have one of the sweetest and most loyal companions ever!

Please contact for more information on Harrison. You can also fill out an adoption application HERE.

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Tips for Training Your Dog

There are many responsibilities associated with having a pet and one of the most important ones is training. Training your dog is important because dogs, like children, need boundaries and to know what is considered good behavior. Dogs that don’t know the rules are often on edge trying to figure out what we want from them. It’s not fair to punish a dog when we haven’t spelled out the rules of behavior. Having a well-trained dog helps build your relationship with him and helps create a harmonious household which is better for everyone. Here are 12 tips to make your training sessions more successful.

#1: TIMING. The number one tip to successful training is timing. If you have great timing you will train faster, more efficiently, and more consistently.

#2: FOOD TRAINING. Use food-based training to establish positive, motivated patterns in your dog. Use their daily food ration to teach them to look to you for leadership, reward, and responsibility. Be careful not to overfeed your dog and don’t use treats that are high in calories or you might create a weight problem.

#3: MOTIVATION. Motivation is more than “good dog.” It is an attitude of motivated behavior. Dogs follow a leader who is fair, positive, and motivates them to perform. Motivation teaches them what is acceptable and what is not. You will achieve more through being motivated than you will through being forceful.

#4: CRATE TRAINING. Crate training is a must. It is not cruel to place a dog in a crate; it plays on denning behavior in animals. It gives your dog time to be calm and quiet and channels their energy when they are working.

#5: STRUCTURE. Structure your dog’s day. Don’t allow them to act inappropriately and then punish them for doing so. Establish patterns for going potty, working for food, walking on a leash, playing with other pets, etc. Think of it as sending your child to school – structure!

#6: REAL WORLD TRAINING. Practice with your dog in real world settings. This means setting a good foundation first and then moving out into the world. Practice at the front door, in the street, at the park, and wherever you like to spend time with your dog.

#7: FOUNDATION. Creating a solid foundation for your dog will teach them what is expected of them. Start with a basic set of rules and add to that.

#8: BABY STEPS. Train in baby steps. Take things slowly. You achieve better results through building on positive behaviors than you will by allowing things to crash and burn.

#9: SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. Rome wasn’t build in a day! It takes time to achieve great results and you need to be realistic in what you expect. Think of training your dog as teaching a small child. They are willing to learn if you are willing to teach.

#10: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. You cannot expect results without learning to carry out the patterns. You must practice at least a few minutes a day to ensure success. More so, you will find practice will become part of your daily routine. Bring your dog into your world gradually, step by step. Teach them what you like, and what you don’t want, so that they can understand. And practice what you learn.

#11: SEND YOUR DOG TO SCHOOL. The reality is that dog training is like going to school. Learning can be fun if applied in a positive and creative way.

#12: HAVE FUN! Be kind, respectful, and most of all have fun with your dog!

(This information was found HERE.)

Now get out there and start training!

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Dog of the Week: Chico

ChicoSome dogs have special needs but that doesn’t mean they can’t be great pets. Chico is a great example of that. Even though he’s blind he still deserves a forever home.

Hey guys! My name is Chico. I’m a beautiful chocolate-colored guy that’s just as sweet as real chocolate. I haven’t had the best start at life, but I’ve been given the chance to have a better life now. I’m about 70 pounds and I’m blind but the blindness doesn’t hold me back. If you just let me smell your hand and lead the way I’ll be ok. I walk well on a leash as long as you keep it close to you because I don’t like bumping into things too much.

I’ve been hanging out at Cedar Run Pet Boarding and Daycare for a while now and would really like to get into a home so I can just relax. The staff at Cedar Run constantly tell me how handsome I am and that I am such a good boy. I don’t really know how to play with other dogs or cats because I can’t see them so they kind of scare me. I would prefer to go to a home where I’m the only pet. I’m a very muscular guy that loves running around and stretching my legs. Because I can’t see, we would have to make sure your yard is fenced in or that you’ll be able to walk me a lot. I do well in a kennel/crate and I’m even doing well with potty training. I’ve been neutered and am up-to-date on my shots.

I keep busy these days by snuggling with the staff and chewing on rawhides and bones and toys. I love tennis balls and my favorites are rope toys. Those things are amazing! I also like Kongs with treats in them. When it’s time to eat you just have to put the food bowl by my nose and Chico 2slowly set it down as I follow your hand so I know where my food will be. I think once I get home and understand where everything is you won’t have to do that anymore. Wouldn’t that be great?! I love laying on comfy beds and would really like to snuggle with you in your big, comfy bed or on the couch while you watch movies. I’m just a happy guy and can’t wait for my furever people to come find me.

If you are interested in Chico, please contact Sonia at or complete an application HERE.

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Happy Tails: Tuffy

Ryan and Cayla adopted Tuffy in January and he is doing well. Here’s his story…

2013-12-27 18.48.42Tuffy has been doing great and we love having him around! He has really bonded with both Cayla and me and has shown that he is very comfortable in his surroundings. He is beginning to go into his kennel when asked and his car riding has improved immensely. He is also a regular on weekends at the local dog park and has done a great job socializing with both the students who he interacts with and the other dogs that our colleagues have adopted as well. We currently have four dogs living on campus, including Tuffy. I am also happy to say that all of them were adopted through Last Hope!

I also want to thank you all very much for the complimentary obedience training at Cedar Run. It was a great start for us to get Tuffy, Cayla, and me on the right track. We will be taking Tuffy to more training in Iowa City as the drive to Hiawatha made for an incredibly long day for all of us. Even though we won’t be frequenting Cedar Run as much as we used to, I cannot say enough about their staff and the trainers. They were wonderful to us and I know they loved Tuffy and took great care of him.

2013-12-05 21.01.53Tuffy has truly become a member of our family. Cayla was commenting the other day about how he has changed our lives for the better and how we cannot imagine our lives without him. He is an absolute godsend. Thank you again for your assistance and support. We have and will continue to support Last Hope in any way we can. You all do some amazing work.


Ryan and Cayla

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Dog of the Week: Gemma

Gemma’s life started out kind of rough, but she’s on the right track now to find her forever home.Let’s learn a little more about her to see if she might fit in at your house!

GemmaHi, my name is Gemma and I’m about two years old and full of love. I’ve had a pretty rough start at life but I’ve been blessed enough to be rescued and given a second chance. I’ve had some babies in the past but have given that up and decided to get spayed because I want to be the one being pampered. I also got up to date on all of my vaccines.

I’m a very sweet girl. I love giving kisses and love jumping up and wrapping my arms around you to hug you. I enjoy being hugged and kissed back by the way. I know basic commands like “sit” and “wait.” I am working on “lay down” and “shake” but I’ll get it in no time. I’m very smart and even wait patiently for my breakfast and dinner.

Right now I’m camping out at Cedar Run where the staff gives me lots of loving, treats, and kisses! I would really like to have a home to call my own, though. I’d love to be the only pet. I’m working on my potty training but with this Gemma2cold weather it’s kind of hard because I get cold really quickly. See, I’m a little girl weighing in at 40 pounds. I am working on my leash training as well. I do well but sometimes pull because I get excited to go for walks around the place. I’d really like a place with a fenced-in back yard because I love running around with my ears flopping in the air. I think I look cute when I do that.

I’m a pretty laid back gal that’s ready to sprawl out and finally relax. I love belly rubs and rawhides! I take treats gently. If you have kids, no biggie, I’ll take their kisses and even return the favor. I’m probably not good for tiny kids because my tail whips back and forth and I wouldn’t want to accidentally hit them with that thing!

If you are interested in meeting me, please contact Sonia at You can also fill out an application HERE.

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Who is this Julia?

Hello, my name is Julia and perhaps you’ve seen my signature on some blog posts. We thought it might be good if I told you a little bit about myself.

I write for the blog and also create the newsletter for foster families, Foster Focus. I started volunteering for Last Hope about a year ago and really enjoy helping with the communication in the organization. The work that all the volunteers do is so important that I’m honored to be a small part of it.

Daisy HeadAlthough I’m not currently working, in the past I’ve worked as a radio DJ, a college English teacher, in the annuities field, and I’ve also worked with developmentally disabled adults, among other things. I have a BA in English and a master’s degree in information technology. In my free time I enjoy creating greeting cards in my home studio.

My furbaby is a Shiba Inu named Daisy that I rescued from a bad home breeding situation. She’s spoiled rotten now and pretty much runs the household.

Thank you for taking a moment to learn a little bit about me!

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Animal of the Week: Derby the Bunny

We’re taking a little break from Dog of the Week to bring you Animal of the Week! This week we’re spotlighting Derby the bunny who would just love to find his forever home. Could that be yours?


Hi there! I’m Derby and I’m the happiest bunny you could ever hope to meet. I love my food and my space. An experienced bunny handler would be the best fit for me as I like to grunt and swat my front paws at you when you try to get me from my cage. I’m just being silly, I promise. I never, ever bite. I just like people to know my cage is my territory. I love to be held and snuggled, though, once you get me out of my cage. Are you looking for a bunny best friend?

I’ve been neutered and am up to date on my shots. If you would like more information about Derby, please contact or fill out an application HERE.

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Community Support

Last Hope would like to put out a big Thank You to a business, and their employees, who helped to bring over $10,000 to our organization last year. DSCN0299
Sam’s Club gives back to the community through their Event VAPs or Event Volunteer Associate Programs. When 50 associates at the club put in 250 hours of volunteer work with a non-profit, that organization gets $5,000. This program is supported by the Walmart Foundation. They also have Individual Volunteer Associate Programs where an associate can put in 25 hours of volunteer work and earn $250 for the organization. Each associate can give up to five of these a year.
Associates from the Cedar Rapids Sam’s Club did food drives, blanket drives, cookouts, associate meals to raise money. They helped clean our shelter, bought laundry soap and paper towels, and so on to get the hours in. They brought dogs to adoption events and walked in last year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Several have even fostered dogs for Last Hope.
Sam’s Club has an amazing program set up to give back to the community. Not only do they, as a corporation, give, but they encourage their employees to do the same. The associate’s at Sam’s Club have been great supporters of Last Hope and the animals we help.
156From me and everyone at Last Hope – thank you Sam’s Club and thank you to all the associates who stepped up in the past year and worked hard to help Last Hope and earn these amazing grants for us!

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The Animals Need Your Help!

Many of you have seen the dogs that come through our rescue from puppy mills. You’ve heard stories and helped us in our efforts to raise thousands of dollars to pay for the much needed veterinary care for these dogs. Mary LaHay, of Iowa voters for Companion Animals, has another way you can help. All it takes is a few moments of your time and a quick email. Below is information sent to the IA Voters for Companion Animals mailing list. Please, take the time to read Mary’s request and send off a quick email to the state Senators and the AKC board members. Let’s show them just how many Iowans support this bill and help them see past the misinformation they are being provided.

Hello Everyone,

I want to update you on what’s been going on at the Capitol. Many of you saw and responded to our previous email asking that you contact all the Iowa state senators asking them to support our bill, SF2254, the bill that will help tens of thousands of dogs in Iowa puppy mills.

THANK YOU to those who sent emails to the senators! They heard from several of you and they got the message…. many, many Iowans want better laws to protect these innocent animals in Iowa’s commercial dog-breeding industry.

Unfortunately there is a very heavy campaign being waged to prevent the passage of this commonsense legislation. And amazingly, the American Kennel Club (AKC) is waging the strongest opposition. They’re disseminating false and inflammatory information about the bill; claiming it will put an end to hobby breeding. We’re working to clear up this erroneous information but many of the AKC supporters are hard to convince.

It appears that AKC is working to oppose this legislation because they fear the potential financial ramifications. Many puppy mills register their puppies through AKC and the breeders pay a fee (a base fee plus a per-puppy fee) to do so. This is a huge source of AKC’s revenues. Here’s a quote from an article, “A Gathering Storm Bring New Measures” (From Breeding Better Dogs), penned by Dr. Carmen Battaglia, a board member of the AKC.

In 1981, AKC derived 96% of its income from dog registrations. By 2003, income from registrations had fallen to 61%. These declines represent a significant loss in revenues and future earnings. 

This certainly explains why this organization would work to stop any attempts to curtail the rampant and indiscriminate breeding of dogs in commercial kennels.

So here are 2 things you can do today to help with our efforts:

1. If you haven’t already written to our state senators, please do so now. Their email addresses are listed at the bottom of this email. Simply copy and paste all of them into the “To” window of an email, generate a respectful email asking that they support SF2254, and send your email on its way. Refer to our previous email for information. It is pasted below the senators’ email addresses. If you’ve already written to them, it wouldn’t hurt to send another message if you have the time. Tell them there is absolutely nothing in the bill that should threaten hobby breeders… unless they’re subjecting their dogs to the treatment we’re working to stop! Suggest that they ask those who oppose the bill to give specifics about what they object to. If it is simply that AKC has told them to, that isn’t sufficient because AKC has misinformed its members about the bill.

2. Send a short and respectful email to the board members of AKC. Here’s a list of their email addresses. Simply copy and paste each of the email addresses into the “To” window of an email, generate a message, and send your email on its way. Feel free to add any or all of the images at the end of this email to your message to them. Here are a couple of statements we’d recommend you include:

  • AKC ought to work harder to address the abusive situations endured by tens of thousands of dogs in kennels across the country.
  • If AKC is unwilling or unable to help provide those protections, they ought not work to counter state-level legislation that will.
  • If they are compelled to oppose state or local legislation, they ought to ensure that they are providing accurate information about that legislation to their members.

Their addresses:,,,,,,,,,,,,

J. Charles Garvin, M.D.,
Delegate, Marion Ohio Kennel Club

Dr. William R. Newman,
Delegate, Mastiff Club of America

Patricia Scully,
Delegate, Obedience Training Club of Hawaii, Inc.

Robert A. Amen,
Delegate, Port Chester Obedience Training Club, Inc.

Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia,
Delegate, German Shepherd Dog Club of America

Steven D. Gladstone, Esq.,
Delegate, Greater Naples Dog Club

Patricia M. Cruz,
Delegate, Heart of the Plains Kennel Club

William J. Feeney,
Delegate, Sir Francis Drake Kennel Club

Thomas Powers,
Delegate, Kennel Club of Beverly Hills

Lee Arnold,
Delegate, Southern Colorado Kennel Club

Carl C. Ashby, III,
Delegate, United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club

Alan Kalter,
Delegate, American Bullmastiff Association

Harvey Wooding,
Delegate, Westminster Kennel Club

Ex Officio: Dennis B. Sprung,


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Dog of the Week: Gracia

If you’re looking for a little lovebug, look no further than Gracia…

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Hello, my name is Gracia and I’m a Schnauzer/Fox Terrier mix and am about three years old. I am excited and happy for most of my day and I love to play! I would love to have a child to play with and care for me. I am also a lover. I love being held at night. I am potty trained on mats, I am spayed, and am up-to-date on my shots.

For more information about Gracia, please contact Carol Doser at You can also complete the adoption application HERE.

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