“Fall in love with your new best friend! Adopt a dog and never walk alone.” These simple words have special meaning for homeless animals in South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia and other rural shelters, thanks to Operation Paws for Homes, Inc.
Their story began in 2010 when the founder, Jen Dodge, decided that she needed to do more for animals in shelters located in areas with a notorious lack of resources and services. OPH’s main purpose since has been to rescue dogs of all breeds and ages in the hope of reducing the numbers being euthanized daily. Once pulled from the shelters they then provide foster homes where the dogs can receive the love, care, medical treatment and socialization they need prior to being adopted into their forever homes.
In the last year this group has made impressive steps as an organization and in fulfilling their purpose. They are 100% donor funded, have a team of approximately fifty volunteers living as far away as Florida and fifty fosters ranging from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. They just recently helped their 700th dog, and the first family that adopted one of their dogs came back to adopt another!
Although they are based in Alexandria, Virginia, they are willing to help animals anywhere if possible. The focus for adoptions is concentrated around Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland and parts of Southern Pennsylvania. Adoption events take place in Virginia and Maryland and they rely on “meet and greets” to find potential adopters.
As a young rescue group, Jen and her dedicated volunteers already share a common sentiment with many others: “These dogs are living creatures. Dogs aren’t electronics. We can’t wait to save a great dog that is facing euthanasia. But, once saved, there is no layaway or repair shop to erase the past. We are committed to rehabilitating the dogs and paying for medical treatments necessary to ready them for a new home and that takes a lot of dedicated and flexible people to help. There are a lot of ups and downs and not everyone can handle it.”
Every rescue group is important to the cause, and each one offers something special. Operation Paws for Homes, Inc is no exception and will continue to do great things for dogs in high-kill shelters. As they wisely say: ” It takes a little bit more time to find the right family for each dog, but you get the satisfaction of saving a life instead of contributing to the problem.