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


Many of you who have been following along for a while may remember our trip to the puppy mill auction last year. We still have a few of those precious pups with us today. Dylan is one of those dogs. He’s had a few chances at adoption but health issues always seem to get in the way. His “foster” shared his story with me.

Dylan came to LHAR over a year and a half ago.  He was 7 years old and lived his entire life in a crate at a puppy mill. He started his vet visits with a neuter surgery and then a dental.  Due to the lack of care he had all of his teeth pulled.  They could not be saved.  When neighbor kids ask why his tongue hangs out, I explain that he doesn’t have any teeth to hold it in.  He also is missing part of his lower jaw. His next issue was pancratitus which many times is fatal.  He fought 2 rounds and won that battle.  Things were going well for him until another dog bit him on the mouth.  With his jaw already in poor condition, it was broken.  He was on pain killers for a week or so to help it mend on its own.  The broken piece was too small for surgical repair. Though his body has healed, he is having panic attacks from loud noises such as thunder or fireworks.  If I can’t be with him, I take special precautions if I know it’s coming. He is normally a happy little guy.  He has never really barked but has a quiet noise that I say sounds like a cute little alien.  I recorded it on my cell phone and whenever I need a pick me up, I listen to Dylan chattering away.  For all I know, he could be chewing me out.

Someday Dylan may find his forever home (maybe he already has?). But until then, Last Hope will take whatever measures necessary to ensure he is happy and loved and as healthy as can be. To help Last Hope continue to care for dogs like Dylan donate here today.

Crystal Black

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

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!

photo (4) photo

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.

julia sig

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!

Mickala sig