I had just signed up as a weekend foster and had fostered my first pair of dogs when Last Hope purchased 29 dogs in a puppy mill auction.  Crystal asked me if we would be interested in fostering one of them, so I loaded up the boys and we headed out to the shelter to meet them.  I let my boys pick the dog we would foster, and my oldest picked a little doxie that was running loose in the shelter.  My son said it was because he was the quietest.

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Come to find out, it was this cute little guy, whom you may have seen a picture of if you have been following Last Hope for a while.  So we loaded him up in a kennel and brought him home – with him barking and whining all the way!  So much for the quiet dog!

My boys decided to name him Hundley, after the dog on the Curious George cartoon, who is also a doxie.

When we got him home, the first thing we did was give him a bath.  His coat was pretty rough and he was a little stinky.  After a bath, his coat was beautiful, but he was still stinky.  But it wasn’t his coat that smelled, it was his breath.  His teeth were so rotten and awful from being in the puppy mill, it was making his breath awful!

After getting over the fact that I gave him a bath, he became my little buddy quickly!  He was such a snuggler and followed me around everywhere!  His only downfall is he was 9 years old and not house broken because he had spent his life in a puppy mill.

Shortly after we brought Hundley home, we took him to Animal Kingdom in North Liberty to be neutered and have surgery for his teeth.  In the end, he had all but 2 teeth removed and had an infection.  So we came home with painkillers, antibiotics, mouthwash and a dog that couldn’t have been happier.  He adjusted quickly to missing his teeth and I’m sure felt much better without them.

After two potential adoptions fell through, we (along with another of the puppy mill rescues, Rusty) met up with a wonderful family – a retired couple, their son and the two doxies they already had.  It was a match made in heaven and in the end, this family adopted both of them!  I couldn’t have asked for a better family, having someone home almost all of the time = little kennel time for them.  The family has reported to me that Hundley is following the son around everywhere and that Rusty will be spending the winter in Florida with the parents.  They get to go on family walks, have been house training and have buddies for life!

I still miss the little guy – sometimes I wish we would have kept him – but we work all day and I knew he was much better off where he could spend most of his life outside a kennel!

To help dogs like Hundley find their forever homes donate today at

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Dog of the Week: Frankie

While Crystal, Carl, Suri and Cici were off living the big life in New York, I was still here in Iowa – going to work, school and hanging with the family and dogs…but I must have been having a blast because Friday came and went without a Dog of the Week!  We really want all of you to meet our super cute dog of the week, so we bring you Dog of the Week…Saturday Edition.  In this special edition, I would like to introduce you to Frankie. 

Frankie is about a year and a half old boxer mix, with what we are unsure. Regardless, she is very cute, sweet, loves to run and play with her toys and enjoy lots of attention! She is currently living with a foster family that has two children, ages 11 and 1, and two dogs and she does excellent with all of them! However because she’s young and rambunctious she has a tendency to knock over small children, so a home with older children is probably best. She is fully house and crate trained, up to date on shots and micro-chipped. She knows “sit” and is learning “lay down” and “shake”. Her ideal family will be active and have the willingness to continue her obedience training (don’t forget – you get 6 free classes with adoption from Last Hope). Frankie is a young dog and has a lot to learn but is extremely sweet and wants nothing more than to snuggle with you and be loved! She usually attends all of the Last Hope adoption events so check the calendar and come meet her, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

If you are interested in adopting Frankie or any of our adoptable dogs, click here to fill out an application to start the process.

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Dog of the Week: Jack Benny

This week’s featured pup for dog of the week is Mr. Jack Benny.  Here he is to tell you a little about himself.

Hello I am Jack Benny, just Benny to my foster mom. I came to live with my buddy Sid Caesar and am doing well. I was rescued from a puppy mill and am grateful to be out of there and in a home setting, but I could sure use a forever home so I can learn to relax and just be loved!  I am a talker and follow Sid around wherever he goes. Sometimes Sid gets a little mad at me, but I think I will learn to be a little more independent in time. I am not too social with the cats and the cocker spaniel in the home, but I think it may be because all my focus is on Sid and my foster mom at this time. I don’t have any teeth, as I wasn’t being taken care of and they had to be pulled, but I have a good appetite, as long as you soften my food. I am not yet house broken, but we are working on that. I am very small at about 8 pounds. On my last check up, I was told that I am 8 years old too!  I still look and act like a puppy so don’t let that scare you off, my foster mom tells me that I am super cute!  Would you be willing to let me into your life? I would love you forever and ever.

How stinkin’ cute is this little guy??  My husband is lucky we already have two dogs in the house, or I might have adopted him myself. If you are interested in adopting Benny or any of our super cute adoptable dogs, click here to fill out an application to start the process.

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Dog of the Week: Leo

My time flies when you are having fun….or when you are crazy busy! This week has flown by so fast I almost missed the dog of the week!  But I remembered, so without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to our featured dog this week, Leo!

Leo is a very lovable 9-year-old black Lab with a shiny jet black coat. Leo loves to be hugged and petted and sometimes just wants to rub up against your leg for re-assurance. He does become scared during thunderstorms but seems to settle down if he can go to a small space.  Leo barks loudly whenever anyone comes close to the house however, generally warms up quickly to anyone willing to show him some love.  He does good with children and other dogs.  Leo loves to go on a long walks on a lead to get rid of some of his built up energy. He will play fetch for a short time but really enjoys sitting on the grass, soaking up the sun and watching the traffic go by on our street.  He follows the commands of “sit” and loves to give you a “shake.”

If you are interested in adopting Leo or any of our awesome adoptable pets, click here to fill out an application to start the process.

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Help Wanted: Volunteers, Donations and Shopping – Oh My!

Last Hope is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, which means it operates solely on the kindness of others in the form of volunteers, fund-raisers, and monetary and other donations.  This also means that all donations are tax-deductible!

Below are some of our current needs and volunteer opportunities.

Wish List

Dog Food (Dry & Canned)

Cat Food (Dry & Canned)


Dog and Cat beds

Blankets/towels (no comforters please)

Puppy Pads

Kitty Litter

Crates – any size



Pet Safe Toys

Gas Cards

Gift Cards (Pet stores, Sams)

Office Supplies

Color Printing

Cleaning Supplies:


55 Gallon Trash Bags

Paper Towels

Pet Safe Cleaners

Dawn Dish Soap

Frontline is also desperately needed – any size accepted. Wish list donations can be dropped off at Cedar Run Boarding in Hiawatha.


While you are dropping of donations at Cedar Run, stay a while help to take a rescue dog (or two) for a walk.  Cedar Run houses several of our rescue dogs and they always love visitors!  Even if you don’t have any donations to drop off, we would love for you to stop in and take a dog for a walk.  Stop in and ask any staff member about walking a Last Hope dog.

Other volunteer opportunities include making homemade dog treats and other homemade animal items for the Last Hope booth at the Farmers’ Markets and other events, bring an adoptable dog to an Adoption event (must be 18 or older to handle a dog), volunteer at any of our events (check out the calendar of events to see what is coming up), help with transport requests, help at the shelter in Shellsburg, and foster an animal (or two or three) in your home.  This can be a full-time foster or vacation/weekend foster.

If you are interested in becoming a foster, click here to fill out an application to start the process.  If you would like additional information for any of the other volunteer opportunities, email us at and we will get you in touch with the right person.

Monetary Donations

Monetary Donations can be made online by clicking here. Checks can be sent to PO Box 75, Shellsburg, IA 52332.  If you would like your donation to go specifically to Scarlet’s heart surgery or Walker’s leg surgery, you can indicate as such when you make the donation.  Again, all monetary donations are tax-deductible.


Have you heard of BOGO bowl?  when you buy one bag of dog food for your pet, you can choose to donate a second bag of food to Last Hope Animal Rescue.  there are seven varieties to choose from and your food will be delivered to your door!  Go to for more information.

Maybe you don’t need to go shopping, but need to do a little fall cleaning – need to clean out closets, basements, garages – or maybe you just need to update your furniture, but don’t know what to do with all that stuff you need to get rid of.  Take it to Stuff, Etc on Blairsferry Road in Cedar Rapids and donate it to Last Hope Animal Rescue.  Ask them to donate to Account #4261 and we will receive 50% of each sale.

Please consider helping Last Hope Animal Rescue in any way you can – every little bit helps!

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Dog of the Week: JJ

After a two week hiatus, we are back with a brand new dog of the week.  This week, we are featuring JJ, who is my current foster dog.  I’ll let JJ tell you a little about himself.

Hi there!  My name is JJ and I am a white and black terrier mix.  I have a lot of energy at times but can settle down quickly when my foster mom sits down.  I can get vocal when I play with my toys, which can be pretty entertaining.  My foster brother and I like to play, but my foster mom thinks we are too rough sometimes and breaks us up.  One of us usually goes back for more playtime until we are told to go lay down.  My foster mom loves to watch me bounce up and down, which I usually only do when I am excited to go out.  She also loves my ears, especially when one is up and one is down.

I am completely house trained and kennel trained.  I sleep in the kennel when my foster family goes to work and at started in my kennel at bedtime too when I first got to my foster home, but I have now graduated to the bedroom.  I love going for walks and do great on the no-pull harness my foster family has for me.

I’m a little iffy with children,  so I would be best in a home without children, although my current foster home has a 3 year old and an 8 year old in the home.

JJ is a great dog, but he can be a handful at times.  JJ would be best for experienced dog owners.  I think he would benefit from the free obedience training Last Hope offers with adoption, and it would be a great way for his new owners to bond and get to know him. 

If you are interested in meeting JJ or any of Last Hope’s adoptable dogs, click here to fill out an application to start the process.

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Puppy Mill Awareness

Have you heard of a puppy mill? The ASPCA defines a puppy mill as a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs—who are often severely neglected—and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices. This includes:

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  • Dogs being kept in wire cages that hurt the bottom of their feet
  • The cages allow for ventilation & excrement to fall away from their living surfaces
  • These cages can be stacked on top of each other – which means excrement from the dogs on top falls on tops of the dogs below
  • Dogs are not removed from the cages other than to breed or other basic necessities
  • Often being exposed to climate extremes
  • Female dogs are bred over and over again until their bodies wear out
  • Dogs are not provided adequate vet care or nutrition

You may have heard of Puppy Mill, but thought that such a thing wasn’t in Iowa. You thought wrong. Iowa is now #2 in the nation in terms of the number of Puppy Mills.  Nearly 23,000 dogs in Iowa are kept in breeding facilities creating hundreds of thousands of unhealthy dogs each year, while even more shelter dogs are getting euthanized.  The adult breeding dogs are not considered pets, nor are they treated as such. They are often crowded together in small wire cages and typically receive little social contact with people and little or no professional veterinary care, even when open sores or other wounds are evident.

Please help Last Hope and Iowa Friends of Companion Animals  raise awareness of Puppy Mills.  You can register for this Sunday’s Puppy Mill Awareness Walk at Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids.  You can also write a letter to your legislator.  Click this link to open a template letter provided by Iowa Friends of Companion Animals:  Letter to your Legislator (this will open a Microsoft Word document).

You may have seen our previous post about all of the puppy mill dogs Last Hope rescued earlier this year. My first foster dog Hundley was a puppy mill dog from this rescue, so I have seen first hand how dogs are treated in Puppy Mills. Last Hope is doing as much as they can to help these dogs, but we need your help.  Please take a little time out of your day to help us raise awareness of puppy mills and the terrible living conditions these dogs are forced to live in.

Hope to see you all at the Last Hope booth on Sunday!

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