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

Tour for Life

We had a great turn out this weekend at the North Shore Animal League America’s Tour for Life Mega Pet Adoption Event! I pulled up just after noon and was shocked by how many people were there already. We had foster homes there with 19 different dogs through out the day and received 17 applications while we were there. (And that’s only because we ran out of paper copies of the applications. 🙂 )

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We would like to say THANK YOU to Iowa Humane Alliance and NewBo for hosting this year and inviting us out!! We’re looking forward to another great event next year! And thank you to everyone who came out to support such a great event!

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IMG_4254We also had a special visitor this weekend. 🙂 My daughter Katelyn made her first appearance at a Last Hope Event. She was even sporting her Last Hope gear!

And don’t forget to come out this Saturday for the Pawsome Paws Walk and Last Hope’s 10 year anniversary! You can register here. Hope to see you there!

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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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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: 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 lasthoperescueblog@gmail.com 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 www.bogobowl.com 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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