Fi has an extensive network of Rescue organizations nationwide that we provide Fi collars to during a dog’s time in foster care, and eventually extend this safety net to their new forever families. This allows the organization to keep an eye on the location & activity of each dog within their care, ensuring that every pup is where it’s supposed to be and getting the appropriate amount of physical activity. If you know of a rescue who we should be working with, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the rescues in our network, Ollie’s Angels Animal Rescue on Long Island, NY, regularly goes above and beyond to save and protect dogs in need. When the coronavirus pandemic threatened the closure of one shelter in South Carolina, Ollie’s Angels did what they always do - came to the rescue.
Fi spoke with Erin and Jenn of Ollie’s Angels to tell their story, read below about their 1,600 mile sleepless journey to rescue 21 puppies from a South Carolina shelter!
How did you find out about the dogs in need?
We have a small network of foster parents in the South Carolina area, and one alerted us that a litter of newborn puppies had been found in an abandoned shopping cart. The local shelter where they were to be transported also had many other puppies that needed to be rescued.
What was the journey down to SC like?
We packed the car with crates, wee wee pads, bottles and formula, and went on our way. We were under the impression that we would pick up 8 puppies, and we were on the road as quickly as possible. It’s about a 9.5 hour drive, and we made great time getting down there - however we learned along the way that the number of puppies we’d be picking up far exceeded the original 8. Given the fact that we were in a small Subaru with just 3 crates, we were a little nervous how we would make it work, but we were determined.
Once you arrived in SC, how many puppies were waiting for you?
We prepared for 8, and left with 21! One of our partners in the area was fostering 5 puppies at the time, and we took those so she could make room for a mom dog who had just given birth, with eight 5 day old puppies … AND their dad. She took on even more pups than she started with! The shelter also had numerous puppies (beyond those found in the shopping cart!) that we brought along with us to find permanent homes for.
A Subaru packed with 2 rescuers and 21 puppies - how was the ride back?
It took 18 hours to get home with the amount of stops we had to make for these puppies. We’d drive for 2 hours, stop to bottle feed them all, drive another 20 minutes, stop to clean the cages and the pups after they went potty, it was a constant rotation and sometimes we had to stop on the side of the road to feed them. People driving by probably thought we were crazy. One time we stopped in a CVS parking lot to feed them, and people assumed we were selling them from the trunk of our car! We lost sanity, we lost sunglasses, but we listened to every playlist imaginable and eventually turned to Christmas music to keep us going on the long drive.
Once you arrived back on Long Island, did you have plans for the puppies in place?
Everyone in our network really stepped up, our volunteers did so much work to set up fosters for each puppy before we arrived, source wee wee pads, puppy formula (which is really tough to find in pet stores amidst the pandemic), everything the pups would need for the foreseeable future. Especially in the midst of the coronavirus, they went out of their way to find essentials for these puppies, while still having to find things for themselves and their families. The puppies all have temporary fosters as of today!
What is the process like for finding permanent homes for these pups?
Despite the urgent need to find homes for all of these puppies, we want to stick to our regular process when it comes to placing dogs in the right homes. We’ve shifted home visits to virtual home visits to do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus and keep everyone safe and healthy, but we still do our due-diligence to vet and interview all applicants that come through our system. Anyone who is interested in becoming a foster or an adopter will need to go through our online application process, provide references, and go through a FaceTime home tour in order to be considered. We’re selective with where these pups are heading, we really just want the best for them and the families interested in taking in a new dog.
Anything else you want the Fi family to know when it comes to fosters and adopters?
It’s important for people to understand that it really takes a village. We’re so happy to be a part of this team and feel so proud, especially in a time of crisis.
If you want to learn more about Ollie’s Angels Animal Rescue - visit their website to donate, view adoptable dogs, or apply to become a foster. http://www.olliesangelsanimalrescue.org/
Check out a few of our other Rescue partners below, who as a result of COVID-19, are in urgent need of donations, adopters, and fosters.
- No Dog Left Behind (MN) was forced to cancel their upcoming fundraiser, which they rely on heavily to continue their mission. They are seeking donations, dog sponsors, adopters, and fosters at this time.
- Rescue City (NY) is looking for donations, fosters, adopters, and volunteers. They have many dogs available and are hoping to make room for more pups in need!
- BC Rescue Rehab (TX) has many dogs available for adoption and are hoping while more folks are WFH, more people will take the step to adopt.
- Best Life Animal Rescue (OK) is in need of volunteers, fosters and adopters.
- Friends with 4 Paws (NY and OK) has a bunch of dogs that need adopting and/or fostering, they're most eager to drive adoptions at this time.
- Muddy Paws Rescue (NY) is seeking donations, as their originally scheduled fundraising events had to be postponed.
- One Tail at a Time (IL) was happy to receive a ton of foster applications after a call to action, but they're really looking to push adoption so dogs have permanent homes.