June Volunteer of the Month

The person chosen as volunteer of the month for June is Sherrie Collins!

Dog5Sherrie has been volunteering for Last Hope since February of this year but she’s kept herself busy. She is a foster parent and she helped at Petco, Petsmart, Tour for Life, Pride Fest, and Pawsome Paws painting faces. Sherrie has also helped with the critter list by determining which dogs or cats need biographies and helped get them updated. She assisted with the follow-ups of the Tour for Life applications to ensure Last Hope had the time to place our dogs in the right homes. She has contacted numerous homes to help them find their new family member. She also attends as many trainings and meetings as possible because she knows these are things that will help her be the most useful and allow her to be the most helpful as both a volunteer and a foster.

Dog3She was recently asked to be a foster lead and has been easing into her new role by co-leading with Lynette (who she considers one of her mentors). Sherrie has been helping with contract completions and home visits. She says even a simple thing like sharing the Last Hope Facebook posts is an easy thing to do that will help us find forever homes for our animals.

Sherrie says she has always loved animals. As a child she would bring home animals that she had found injured and tried to nurse them back to health. She has always had some form of pet including rats, mice, hamsters, ferrets, and a chameleon. Even with her love of animals, she came to Last Hope with little experience with dogs and has learned a lot in a short period of time. She currently has two of her own cats, Luna and Maya, and they have adjusted well to her fosters.

Dog2Dog“I have volunteered at animal shelters before, but being a part of Last Hope has changed my life. I have become part of a group of people who have inspired me and  with whom I am in awe. The dogs I have fostered, picked up, bathed at intake, held at events, etc. have made me a better person and added so much more love to my life! If you, like me, are considering adoption but are not sure of the type of dog that would be the best fit … consider fostering! It is so rewarding to know that I have been part of a dog, that may not have had any love in his/her life, feeling comfort and warmth and finally knowing what it feels like to be loved.”
Sherrie has shared her love of Last Hope with her mother who now drives from Dubuque to help us. She has helped with the Pawsome Paws event as well as Pride Fest.

In such a short time, Sherrie has helped immensely and has become an indispensable part of our team.


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April Volunteer of the Month


Congratulations to our volunteer of the month, Lori Arbuckle! Lori started volunteering for Last Hope about 4.5 years ago when we got a dog from Picture2down south that was in bad shape. Sonia called Lori and asked her to foster the dog and that was the beginning. She fostered Lottie; who was blind, deaf, had kennel cough, and was 11 years old; for about 2.5 years when they adopted her and let her live out her life in their home until January. They adored her even with her obstacles.

Lori does a lot for Last Hope: fosters animals; helps with events; gets donations of blankets, toys, food, and treats. She also has helped us get several Volunteer Association grants and two event grants. She helps Sonia at the shelter, transports animals to the vet, makes blankets, picks up owner relinquishments, and she’s the critical or hospice foster for those animals that are not adoptable due to their health and reclining years.

When asked why she likes volunteering for Last Hope she said she likes the hands-on with the animals, caring for the sick, saving all the animals we can, and making a difference in animals’ lives.

Picture3She lives in Vinton with her husband, Ben, who she says loves animals, too. They have three rescue dogs of their own plus one cat. They currently are fostering two hospice, one blind, and one puppy mill dog. She enjoys crafts, cooking, reading a good book, and spending time with her husband and animals.

Lori says, “I have learned so much about animal rescue and the animal world from Sonia and she teaches me every day. We have a very similar love for those who have been given up on and those that have been forgotten, and those that have never had a chance from the beginning. I try every day to make a difference in an animal’s life, to give them love, hugs and kisses, hold them when they’re sick and scared, food to eat and water to drink, and a warm place to lay their head and a home to call their own. And when their time comes to cross the rainbow bridge, I will be with them when they take their last breath and they will know they were loved and somebody did care enough.”


Sounds like Lori was a great pick for volunteer of the month!

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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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Ready to Get Involved?

So we have posted a lot about fostering lately. But say you can’t foster, you have too many pets already, or you live in an apartment and can’t have any. Ever wonder if there are other ways to help our furry little buddies while they wait for their forever homes? 

Of course there are! We are always looking for help, whether it’s an hour once a week, or a daily thing. There are definitely ways to help out. Here are just a few.

Walking Dogs: While many of our dogs are in foster homes we do have a shelter, located near Shellsburg, Iowa, and we also have several dogs at Cedar Run Boarding in Hiawatha. These dogs still need love and attention and a chance to get out of their kennels. If you would like to help walk dogs at Cedar Run contact them and set up a time to come meet the guys and gals. If you would like to come out to the shelter to play with the pooches there email Sonia at sonia@lasthoperescueia.org.

Attending Events: Every month we have adoption events at PetSmart and PetCo on Saturdays from 11-2. (Check out our Calendar of Events to find out when the next one is!) Foster homes often bring their dogs, but yet again, the dogs from the shelter want to get out and meet their forever families too! If you are interested in taking a dog to an event please email Julie at julie@lasthoperescueia.org. There are many other events through out the year that we can take the dogs to as well so be sure to have Julie add you to our mailing list so you can stay on top of those.

Baking Dog Treats: During the summer months we have many events that require our famous home made dog treats. The pooches love them! If you are able to help bake please contact Lynette at lynette-eldred@uiowa.edu. (If you just want to purchase some of these delicious treats for your pup we will be selling them at the NewBo Market and the Cedar Rapids Farmers Market. Find out when on our Calendar of Events.)

Help at the Shelter: While what I’m about to say may not sound like a lot of fun… it still needs to be done. Our shelter is located outside of Shellsburg. Kind of in the middle of no where. When we can have volunteers come out to help clean up after the dogs it is greatly appreciated! Kennels and dog runs need cleaned, blankets and dishes need washed, and dogs need baths. Whether you get a group together and come out on a Saturday or want to stop by and help out on your own we need the help. If you are interested in coming to the shelter to help email Sonia at sonia@lasthoperescueia.org.

See? It doesn’t have to be a full time commitment to volunteer. From an hour in your own kitchen to a Saturday afternoon at the shelter or an event, it’s easy to get involved. And we would love to have you!

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Photographic Support

This week I want to give a shout out to Carl Bromberg, of Visions Photography. Carl takes time out of his day to help the animals in need. He is an amazing photographer and has a way of capturing an animal’s soul. He also fosters for Last Hope and helps out at many events (camera in tow). I’m going to keep it short today and leave you with some photo’s that Carl has taken of adoptable pets at Last Hope Animal Rescue.  If you are looking for a way to include your furry family members in your family photos give Carl a call! (If your looking for a new furry family member give us a call!)

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