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Our story begins in the 1980s, when Bob and his wife, started rescuing dogs. Through the popularity of their two Goldens, Sadie and Hannah, they were constantly contacted to rescue Goldens from shelters or re-home those who were no longer wanted. They rescued, rehabilitated and found loving homes for 11 dogs that first year. Bob and Ona used their own home, resources and personal time to make sure each and every dog’s life had a happy ending.
Ironically, Dirk was not a Golden Retriever but a Great Pyrenees. When they saw Dirk, he was unable to use his back legs. Bob and Ona wanted to give Dirk a new lease on life so they paid for the double knee surgery and found him a new “forever” home. There was nothing more satisfying than seeing Dirk run for the first time.
As you might imagine, each year the numbers grew. So, too, grew the need for funds in order to pay for the expensive treatments and procedures necessary to help many dogs see their way to a better life. Through the generous donations of friends, strangers, and the veterinary community, proper care was attained and provided more affordably, and dogs were made whole again. Many of the dogs received by our rescue have been discarded by breeders because they have outlived their “usefulness.” Some of these dogs at three or four years old have never experienced what grass feels like under their paws or enjoyed the ability to move about in an area larger than 4’ x 4’. Something as simple as physical contact with humans stroking their coat or kissing their head is, for these dogs, unfamiliar and often frightening. Some, on the other hand, are simply puppies that just don’t “make the grade.” Many are heartworm positive or require surgery on a hip or leg. These procedures cost hundreds and thousands of dollars.
All of the dogs that enter our rescue are given a comprehensive physical examination and veterinary assessment and all the necessary shots. They are spayed/neutered, tested/treated for heartworms, microchipped and groomed. We conduct home visits of potential “forever” families to attempt to make the perfect match. We require that all of our “forever” families sign an adoption agreement. The agreement states that in the event their circumstances change and proper care for the dog is no longer possible, or the dog was not a proper fit for their family, they return the dog to us. We will work to find a new home for the dog and a new dog for their family, if need be, no questions asked.
Since Dirk’s Fund began over 30 years ago, we have rehabilitated and rescued thousands of dogs. There is no better rescue than Dirk’s Fund. No one does more with a buck than we do. We have NO PAID STAFF MEMBERS. A group of very committed volunteers makes it all happen every hour of every day, every day of every year.