Sweetpups was actually planted in my heart in October of 2008 when I went to the pound looking for a cat for my apartment-dwelling daughter. I didn't find a cat but found Jaxon, a fullblood rat terrier, instead. At that point, when I saw the kennel full of adoptable dogs that were inevitably going to be euthanized, I knew at some point I would become involved in a mission to save as many as possible. It really wasn't until May of 2009 that I felt the vision move closer to reality.
I was going down the main street and saw a little dog making her way through the traffic. I, at first, thought it was a pot bellied pig but as I got closer I realized it was a small, hairless, mother dog whose stomach was so swollen with puppies that it nearly drug the ground. She was searching for tidbits of food that might have been thrown away. I tried to catch her with no success and finally called the police, who notified animal control. It took 45 minutes to apprehend this little girl and when she was finally cornered, she just fell into Linda's arms. We named this hairless little girl Ms. Ann and Linda nursed her back to health at the pound when she could have put her down. I ended up helping her place the puppies when they were old enough and by July 2010, Sweetpups was born. We started as a "dog broker", moving dogs from the pound into homes. They we became concerned that the puppies who left for homes had no vaccinations and when one of them died of parvo, we began to have them vaccinated first. Then, because the dogs were going to new owners and were not spayed or neutered, we started to worry that there would be more puppies on the way. Eventually, we made a commitment to completely vet the dogs (including spay or neuter) and only then would we adopt them out. That is still our policy, even though we have now added "other medical needs" to the list of things for which we have them vetted. That could be something so simple as a tooth extraction or an umbilical hernia or something as extreme as a gunshot.
The more we do for the dogs, the more we find that needs to be done. The more we save, the more we see that need to be saved. It's a vicious cycle in which we find ourselves involved - trying to outrun the euthanasia needle, trying to find good forever homes, trying to save just one more dog.... and trying to get pet owners actively involved in the spay and neuter process. We will never be able to adopt our way out of this situation as there are not enough homes for all the dogs. The only answer is responsible pet ownership, which includes spay and neuter.
Realizing we needed to do more than just rescue the dogs, we started to reach out into the community in other ways, helping pet owners understand the need to get their pet spayed or neutered and offering as much support as possible toward that end. We also emphasize the importance of heartworm prevention (especially since we are in such a high mosquito region) and provide the adopter with as much information about the disease as we can. Each dog is heartworm tested and every dog is either treated or placed on heartworm prevention. All dogs in our care receive monthly HW prevention and we encourage all adopters to continue with the prevention.
Since only 1 out of every 10 puppies or kittens will find a forever home, you have to ask yourself, what happened to the other 9? If you can live with the answer,you will most likely make a comment that commends us for what we do, walk away and put it out of your mind. If you CAN'T live with knowing that dogs and cats are thrown by the side of the road, taped in boxes and left in the woods to die, and placed in pounds at the rate of 5-7 million per year, with 70% of those being euthanized, then you will be one of those who jump onboard and help us save yet another animal.
I am concerned only with conveying the vision that is within my heart. When others catch the vision, support with follow.
We are incorporated, have a board of directors AND are a 501 (c) (3) registered charity. Your donation is tax deductible! We currently have over three acres dedicated to dogs in need and work within our communities to help pets AND the people who own them!