Humane Lobby Day 2015

Attention Animal Advocates!
The Humane Lobby Day 2015 will be held on February 9th and is sponsored by Iowa Voters for Companion Animals.

We are THRILLED this year that, in addition to ourlobbing efforts, Dr. Frank McMillan from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary will present to our group over lunch, prior to heading over to the Capital.  Dr. McMillan, a board-certified specialist in veterinary internal medicine and leading expert on emotional pain in animals, will present his findings from his study of more than 1000 dogs used in large-scale breeding operations.  His study of this animal population confirms what many animal welfare advocates already knew: That dogs used in puppy mills are damaged by the experience.

This event is held in Des Moines on February 9th. We are still finalizing the details, but tentatively plan on leaving around 8:00 AM from southwest Cedar Rapids and we will make stops in Coralville and Williamsburg to pick up participants.  We are typically back in Cedar Rapids by 5:00 PM.  We are chartering a bus, so we need your help to fill it up! The event is so important… it’s our chance as advocates to show a collective voice on behalf of the animals suffering in puppy mills across the state of Iowa.

Yes, we are #2 in the nation for mills.
It is imperative that we unite to force laws that will protect these animals who are at the mercy of factory breeders. To bring legislation to the floor of the Iowa House, bills have to be allowed to pass through for debate on the floor.  No pressure from constituents — no debate and another year of suffering for these dogs. We have to act this year and it is going to take a lot of us.
Please help us make a lasting impression in Des Moines. The Humane Lobby Day is sponsored by Iowa Voters for Companion Animals. You can register at their website: to register is January 30, 2015. There will be important lobbying instructions provided at the luncheon, so please arrive by 11:00 AM to check in. You can also find more information on how to lobby and what to say once you there at this website:
Last year, we chartered a bus through Windstar lines and it can transport 47 people. We want this bus FILLED!  The cost should average $20 round trip and this allows us to have no parking issues. Easy, Fun and Important.
Please contact Carol Doser at if you have any questions.
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.

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Why Adopt a Mature Dog?

Many times people are under the mistaken notion that older dogs that end up in shelters and rescues are there because they are bad dogs. This simply isn’t true; most of these dogs are there through no fault of their own. Here are some reasons to adopt more mature dogs:

Old Dog1. What you see is what you get. An adult dog’s size and temperament are established and there are few surprises that you might get when you adopt a puppy. Especially if you adopt a mature dog from a rescue where they stay in foster homes, because the foster family can give you the scoop on what the dog is like.

2. There’s no puppy drama. Puppies are a serious time commitment and often mean interrupted sleep, accidents in the house, chewing mishaps, and more extensive training. Adult dogs still need plenty of attention, but they’ve received some training and are probably beyond the chewing stage.

3. The satisfaction of knowing you saved a life. It’s generally more difficult to find homes for more mature dogs so by opening your heart and home to an adult dog, you’re saving a life.

If you’re thinking of adopting a dog or cat, don’t automatically pass by mature pets. They still have a lot of love to give and are so thankful for having a forever home.

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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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Thank You!

Money Well Spent – Retire the Vet Debt 

Over the month of December, Last Hope Animal Rescue ran a very successful campaign to help with our accumulating veterinary bills called the Retire the Vet Debt Campaign. With great success and the many generous donations, we are able to continue helping so many animals. At the end of December we posted a story about Perdi and would like to update you on her status. With her vet bills topping $1,000 we could not have saved her life without generous donations like yours. A great big THANK YOU to all who helped with this cause!

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Here’s a letter from her foster:

Perdi came to us about a month ago as a breeder surrender. She’s six years old and has spent her entire life having babies, stuck in a cage. We got her and we didn’t think she could walk at all. She was urinating blood; we rushed her to the vet where it was found out that she had a very toxic case of urinary tract infection. She ended up having to stay at the vet’s office for seven days. If it weren’t for the doctors and staff at Animal Kingdom in North Liberty, Perdi might not have made it. Thankfully she did. Perdi also had a double ear infection, eye infection, and her hips were in pretty bad shape. In spite of all of her problems, Perdi couldn’t help but wag her tail. You could tell she was thankful.

Perdi was then sent to a foster home. For some reason she wasn’t eating; we tried feeding her high quality canned food and just dry food, she still wouldn’t eat. We then tried feeding her plain kibble like Dog Chow and she still wouldn’t eat. We tried hand feeding her and adding water/canned, etc., still no eating. Then one day she started eating food off the floor. It was then that we realized she wouldn’t eat unless the food was on the floor. After about a week, Perdi’s urinary tract infection cleared up and she was thriving in her foster home, even eating food from a paper plate and then eventually eating from a dog food bowl. A week later, Perdi ended up getting yet another urinary tract infection. Back on meds she went. She’s very stubborn when it’s pill time but she knows it’s only for the better. She doesn’t hold grudges.

Nowadays Perdi likes hanging out with the other pups, playing with kitties, or just laying by the heat vent. Perdi doesn’t really know how to lay on a dog bed quite yet; she’ll lay her head on the bed and the rest of her body will lay on the floor. When it’s time for bed, Perdi thinks it’s time to go to the living room and bark and wait for her foster mom or dad to go out to the living room and pick her up. She loves sunbathing on the couch during the day or likes to try to catch her little curly tail. She loves having her ears scratched and getting lots of hugs and kisses. Perdi is the reason why we work so hard for these dogs; even after all she’s been through she still wags her tail and smiles. She can relax now and live the rest of her life like the princess she is.

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Retire the Vet Debt Campaign

Last Hope Animal Rescue is launching the Retire the Vet Debt campaign this holiday season! We need your help to reach our goal and continue to care for the animals who need us!

“The average cost of an animal that comes to us is $200 and up.” Says Sonia, founder of Last Hope Animal Rescue. “Every animal receives routine medical care, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, micro-chipping, and heart worm testing. Critical care, tumor removal and surgery for broken bones is paid for as well. Our animals regularly go to foster homes. When an animal is ready for adoption, we provide our fosters the tools they need to find that animal a permanent home, no matter how long it takes. We are one of the only no kill rescue organizations in Iowa”

The Retire the Vet Debt campaign comes at a crucial time for us. Our goal is to reach $20,000 in donations by December 31st, 2013. This is approximately the debt that Last Hope has accrued with our veterinarians over the past few months.

“Last Hope has been growing exponentially over the last couple years. We have doubled our adoptions in just 2 years. One of my goals in founding Last Hope was to be there for the dogs that had no other options,” says Sonia. “Keeping with that goal as we grow has been important to me. With that in mind we have taken in many dogs that are/were in need of medical attention. From a pittie picked up as a stray with a heart condition, to a coonhound with a broken foot, to 30 dogs purchased at an auction from an Iowa puppy mill. The list goes on and on. Our vets have been amazing in working with us, but they need to pay their bills as well.”

Last Hope Animal Rescue is a private nonprofit 501c3 relying completely on donations from community members, local businesses, and fundraisers. These funds enable the organization to offer vital services, animal rescue, and critical care for abandoned, abused, sick, and neglected animals.

Keep watching here to see the stories of the dogs we’ve helped this year and where they are today! And check out to help us reach our goal!

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Our Adoption Process

We screen all of our applicants to ensure that our dogs are going into safe and loving homes. I’ve been told that our adoption process takes too long. I’ve had applicants tell me that our process is too much and they don’t want to go through all that. If that’s the case then I’d have to say that maybe your not the right home for our dog anyways. I’ve also had people tell me that they are glad we do it the way we do. That they like that we don’t just give dogs to anybody.

Here is how things work:

Photo by Visions Photography

Photo by Visions Photography

First you can either email us or fill out an application. If you have questions about the dogs personality or quirks we will be happy to answer those before you fill out an application. Once you decide you want to meet them we need to have an application. This doesn’t bind you to any one dog. Or even to adopting from us. It simply helps us to determine what you are looking for in a dog and if the dog you have picked out meets that criteria.

Once we receive your application someone will contact you to set up a meet & greet. If you have other dogs this is a great time to introduce them. We will meet you on neutral territory and give the dogs a chance to interact and get to know each other. If you don’t have other dogs it’s simply a chance for you to meet the dog and decide if the personality is what you expected. Sometimes it’s not, and that’s ok. We may have others that would be a better fit. We are always willing to work with you to find the right dog.

Once we do find that dog we will pass your application on to get processed. We call references. We’ll call your vet and your personal references. If they respond right away the process can go pretty quickly. But it also depends on how many applications we are processing at that time. This is where your patience comes in. I know it’s hard, I went through it once too. But when you get that phone call or email saying that you were approved, it makes it all worth it.

Why we do it this way: 

We do what we do to get the dogs we love into their forever homes. All we ask is for a little patience while we make sure that the dog you pick out will be a good fit for your home and that your home will be a safe place for our dog, which will hopefully be your dog soon. We want to make sure they really do find their forever homes. Because of the way we do this our return rate is less than 5%.  This makes for happy families and happy dogs. So, if you are looking for that perfect fit for your family, check out our adoptable dogs

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