Something to Be Thankful For!

Last Hope is especially thankful for a great gift in 2014! 
VanIndustrial Battery Service of Iowa has donated a full size van to Last Hope Animal Rescue! When retiring the van Jeff, founder and owner of IBS, started looking for a Beagle rescue in Iowa to donate it to. We were the closest he found (we had about 5 or 6 Beagles at the time) and man are we thankful!
The van has lots of space for crates in the back and will be used for both transports and events. Someday we would love to have it wrapped and put our logo on it so that everyone knows what precious cargo we’re carrying! For now, we’re ever so thankful for a vehicle to use to save that cargo!
Van 2
Julia Black

Flea and Tick Prevention

Flea and tick prevention keeps your pet healthy. Your pet won’t pick up tapeworms or have flea bites that cause itching misery and flea allergy dermatitis. In addition, you can help prevent diseases that fleas and ticks carry such as Lyme Disease, ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick paralysis. Don’t let your pet get bitten by fleas when modern medicine has provided wonderfully effective and safe flea products.

Flea and tick preventatives can help your pet avoid:

  • Flea allergies
  • Hot spots
  • Biting adult fleas
  • Skin infections
  • Tapeworms
  • Lyme Disease
  • Ehrlichia
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Fleas and ticks in your home


Fleas are insects that are ubiquitous in the environment – meaning they can be found almost everywhere. There are more than 2000 species of fleas, but the common cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) is the one that most commonly afflicts dogs and cats.

A disease of concern that can be caused by fleas is flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), which is a severe allergic reaction to flea bites. Some pets are so allergic that even a single bite can cause a reaction. FAD makes pets miserable. In severe cases, it can cause severe itching and inflammation that, if left untreated, can lead to excessive scratching and chewing that can damage the skin. Secondary bacterial or fungal infections can develop as a result.

Fleas can also play a role in transmitting parasites, such as tapeworms, and bacterial diseases, such as cat scratch fever (bartonellosis), to humans.

Finally, in very severe infestations, particularly in old, ill, or young animals, fleas can remove so much blood through feeding that they can weaken the animal.

Fleas are prevalent throughout the United States. They prefer warm, humid conditions, so infestations are typically worst during mid to late summer and early fall. In some parts of the country, they can be a significant problem year round. Even during the cooler months, fleas can survive very well indoors once an infestation has been established.


Ticks are not insects, but they are closely related to spiders, scorpions, and mites. There are approximately 80 tick species found in the United States, but only a handful of them are of real concern to pets and people. Some of these include the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis). The brown dog tick is the only species that can complete its entire lifecycle on a dog and can infest homes and kennels.

Tick bites can be painful and irritating, but the real concern with ticks is the number of serious diseases they can transmit, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These diseases can cause significant illness and even death in both pets and people.

Ticks are found in virtually every region of the United States. They are most prevalent in the early spring and late fall, although some species are well adapted to temperature extremes and can be found any time of year. In general, however, they prefer dark, moist, brushy places in which to lay their eggs.

Flea and tick prevention is very important for the health of your pet and your family. The best way to ensure the prevention of flea and ticks is to treat your pet year-round. It is relatively inexpensive, but the costs add up for Last Hope because we treat all of our dogs and cats. In order to help us continue to keep our animals pest-free, please donate HERE.

Julia Black

October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month

October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month and, unfortunately, there are always plenty of dogs available at local shelters and rescues to adopt. Not all of us are able to adopt a dog, but there are still plenty of things you can do to help them find forever homes:

  1. “Donate” your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your page: “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month! Save a life; adopt a dog from Last Hope Animal Rescue or contact them for volunteer opportunities or donation needs!”
  2. Tweet, retweet, and repeat the following:  “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month! Save a life; adopt a dog from Last Hope Animal Rescue or contact them for volunteer opportunities or donation needs! #savedogs”
  3. Shelter DonationContact your local shelter or rescue group and ask if they have a donation wish list or other flyer they’d like you to post around your office or neighborhood. They may be holding special events for Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month which you can help promote.
  4. Share an adoptable dog happy tail story on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter (#savedogs). You can find Last Hope’s happy tails right here on this blog!
  5. Sign up as a foster parent or rescue volunteer then tell your friends how great it is. Contact your local shelter or rescue group to find out how you can help.
  6. Add a Petfinder widget or banner to your website or blog.
  7. Write an op-ed about the importance of pet adoption for your local newspaper.
  8. Contact your local shelter or rescue group and offer to photograph their adoptable pets.
  9. Donate to your local shelter or rescue group.
  10. Pass on an understanding of the importance of pet adoption to the next generation. Talk to your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and other up-and-comers about shelters and rescue groups and why pet adoption is important.

There are many things you can do to help even if you’re not able to adopt a dog! The first step is to contact your local rescue group and ASK. They’ll be happy to talk to you about volunteering opportunities and other ways you can help.

julia sig

Daisy Mae’s Story


Daisy Mae, formerly known as Jessica, is a 16-year-old Chihuahua we got April 18th, 2013. Sonia was called that morning to rescue some dogs that were caught in a flood and off she went along with Ashley. The only thing Sonia was told was that there were dogs that needed to be rescued from rising water and if they weren’t rescued they would go to the pound. The location was near the Mississippi River and with the excessive rainfall, the river was flooding. There were many dogs that needed rescuing.

They saw Daisy Mae in a kennel outside (she lived outside 24/7) in a foot of water, her nose up in the air so she could breathe. Sonia knew she would be taking Daisy Mae and she also saw two Huskies that would be rescued as well.

IMG_36557755949839On the way back they went to Dr. Ahern’s Animal Kingdom to have the dogs checked out. Daisy Mae was diagnosed with a heart murmur and frostbite on both ears. She was underweight, blind, and full of worms. That night she went into foster care with Kristina and has been there ever since.

A few months went by and everything seemed good but then we got the news: Daisy Mae was in the beginning stages of congestive heart failure. She was coughing all the time and restless with heavy breathing so she was put on heart medications. We then found out that she had hypothyroidism (her thyroid levels were too low) and she got medication for that as well.

In late May, 2013 Kristina noticed a lump on the side of her stomach and she had gone into heat (we did not spay due to her age and poor health per the vet). The smell was awful so back to Animal Kingdom they went. Dr. Ahern checked her white blood cell count and it was extremely high which indicated an infection in her uterus. Because it was very serious, Dr. Ahern ordered surgery for the next morning.

Kristina dropped off Daisy Mae at 8:00 AM and planned to pick her up at 3:00 PM that day. Before she left to pick her up, Kristina received a call from the nurse informing her that Daisy Mae had been doing well until ten minutes prior when she became unresponsive. Dr. Ahern told her that Daisy Mae had likely had a stroke and went into shock. Kristina went to the vet’s office to sit with Daisy Mae.

At 6:00 it was determined that she should be taken to EIVSC for 24-hour care. As soon as they arrived they took Daisy Mae to the back and she went into shock again. It was a long night and was touch-and-go as far as whether she would survive. After four nights in the emergency clinic with 24-hour care by wonderful nurses and vets, and a pretty big bill, she made it and she went home with Kristina.

It took Daisy Mae about a week to recover from the traumatic experience but she returned to her normal self. About four weeks later she had an episode of not feeling well so back to Animal Kingdom she went. It was discovered that she had fluid building up on her lungs so she was given Lasix to battle the fluid. She seemed to be doing well for a couple weeks, then she fell ill again with heavy breathing and went back to the emergency clinic in the evening. They found that she had some abdominal pain which was likely causing the heavy breathing. She was released and went home that night.

IMG_36491118806554Since then she’s been doing okay; no heavy breathing, no wild episodes, and only occasional pain which Kristina treats with prescribed pain meds.

Daisy Mae is such a pretty girl. She loves to be held and told she’s pretty. She loves her bologna and hot dogs and loves Fettuccine Alfredo. Because of weird tummy aches that she gets, she prefers to eat Natural Balance canned food because it seems to be the only thing that doesn’t upset her stomach.

Daisy Mae lives with dogs and cats and her favorite thing to do is chase the cats under the bed and bark at them. For being mostly blind, she can get around well. She loves to sunbathe and enjoys the little things in life. She loves smelling and tasting the grass, rolling in bird poop, and getting snuggles.

Kristina knows that the time will come when she’ll have to say goodbye until they meet again, but for now they are taking it day by day and making each and every one of her remaining days/weeks/months/years amazing. They won’t waste a day; if Daisy Mae wants to sleep, they sleep. If she wants to venture out into the world, they will venture out. If she wants to sunbathe, they sunbathe. Because of Last Hope Animal Rescue and Kristina, the remainder of Daisy Mae’s life will be full of love, kisses, snuggles, full tummies, warmth, and soft blankets and beds.

If you’d like to make a donation to help with Daisy Mae’s medical expenses, please donate HERE. Thank you!

julia sig

Ellie and Savannah Rock!

Ellie Savannah and Sonia

Both Ellie and Savannah celebrated their 9th birthdays in July and instead of presents, they asked for donations to Last Hope! They raised monetary donations and lots of food, toys, and chew bones for the foster dogs and cats.  They got to present their “birthday presents” to Sonia…and even stayed to play with the animals!

We could all learn something from Ellie and Savannah about generosity and giving back. Happy belated birthday, girls. You guys ROCK!

julia sig

Donations Needed: Odds and Ends

We are looking for some items we don’t usually ask for to be donated this summer.

ShedWe are looking for a small storage shed to put up to store some of our event items and donations at Cedar Run. We’ve been taking over some of their storage space and with all our growth we need to move out! Donations are often held for a few days before we can distribute them to foster homes and we have tables and totes that need somewhere to be stored during the week. It doesn’t need to be new, but it needs to be in fairly good condition and close securely. We will also need shelving and a few storage totes to organize everything.

We are also in need of coolers to transport our awesome homemade dog treats to the farmers’ markets this summer. (If you want to bake some awesome dog treats email me at 🙂 ) Again, these don’t need to be new but it would be nice if they were still in good condition. We would also like a few small storage totes (even ice cream buckets would work!) to keep our treats organized in.

If you, or someone you know, have any of these items you’re no longer using or would like to purchase anything, please email me at We are also accepting money donations for these items HERE.

Thank you!

crystal sig