If anyone is looking into the addition of a pet to their home, rescue dogs may be a great option. There are thousands of dogs without homes and thousands of dogs who are euthanized before they even have the chance to find owners. These dogs don’t have to be without a home though. In this article, I interviewed Kathi Douglas on her experience with her rescue dogs.

Kathi Douglas is a proud owner of two rescue dogs. One of her dogs, Odie, a boxer-mastiff, was adopted from the organization AZ Rescue. The Rescue in Az stands for Reducing Euthanasia at Shelters through Commitment and Underlying Education. Az rescue is based in Tempe and is volunteer-run. They do not have a shelter but they have events and applications through their website.  Her other dog Brodie, an Australian cattle dog, is from New Hope cattle dog rescue which is based in Peoria.

Odie, Raven, Brodie

There are so many dogs and animals without homes. Dogs are usually taken to the county when they have nowhere to go as a last resort. This may be because they are surrendered by their owners or abandoned on the street. When dogs are picked up by the county they will contact the owners first. If there is no response after 72 hours then they are up for adoption. The animals are held by the county for up to 6 months, depending on the space available. If no one comes to adopt the animals, then the county will ask animal rescue groups to come in and take those animals. Otherwise, they will be euthanized. This is the reason why Douglas decided to adopt her rescue dogs.

“I knew that they pulled from the euthanasia list so that is where my heart led me.”

The process of adopting a dog is easy. Az Rescue requires an application and a phone interview. Some organizations like New Hope Cattle Dogs may require a house visit. They also want to make sure that the dog you are adopting is compatible with the other dogs living inside your home.

Douglas’s dog, Odie, adjusted easily to his new home with his outgoing and friendly personality. Brodie on the other hand, got along easily with Odie but had trouble when it came to humans. At first, he was fearful and even bit her husband.

“With a lot of patience and training, eventually he turned into a wonderful dog.”

Raven and Brodie

One of Douglas’s dogs, Raven, is a pet therapy dog. This is different from a service dog. Pet Therapy dogs work with others for healing and socialization. On the weekends, Douglas will take her dog to Banner Boswell Medical Center to comfort the older patients there. Douglas also has entered her rescue dogs into dog sports. They’ve done activities such as agility, frisbee, dock diving, and flyball. Raven has also won a pet championship before. Any dog can participate in sports, it just takes a lot of time, patience, and consistency. 

Kathi says that having a dog allows you to be active and be more involved with your neighborhood. Taking her dogs on walks allows her to know her neighbors and her neighbor’s dogs. 

She also states that her boxer mastiff dog makes her feel safe from potential thieves. While her dog wouldn’t attack anyone, his intimidation may ward off people.

Douglas also recommends having two dogs over having one. Two dogs maybe twice the work but they are twice the rewards. 

Having a dog is a big commitment, it is understandable that not everyone can adopt one. If you want to help these dogs out in a smaller way, you can volunteer. Volunteer tasks can be as easy as simply walking dogs. Although there may be some hiccups, Douglas recalls a story when she was volunteering. After taking the dog on a hike on a mountain, the dog jumped out the window. Douglas had to chase him down. Fortunately, everything worked out. Below is a link to Az rescue’s website as well as New Hope Cattle Rescue if you are interested.