Welcome to the ultimate destination for celebrating the unsung heroes of the dog rescue world. At Rescue Spotlight, we're dedicated to highlighting the remarkable journeys of rescue organizations and the incredible individuals behind them.

Whether you seek heartwarming tales of second chances, inspiring stories of rescue missions, or practical insights into the world of dog adoption, you'll find it all here.

Today, we're privileged to interview Mandy Lewis, one of the devoted people behind Albert's Dog Lounge Rescue You can find a direct link to their Instagram here.

Here is their story:

What inspired you to start or become involved with this rescue organization?

Lewis: Our lives changed forever when a little senior dachshund named Albert arrived in Wisconsin in 2016 and found himself homeless. Inadvertently put on a transport with no secure foster destination, Albert had nowhere to go. It was quickly decided that this tiny guy, who was suffering from congestive heart failure and years of neglect, absolutely had to find a home and a loving family....and find one he did. Not only did he find himself a home, but by charming the pants off everyone he met and stealing hearts with his Facebook shenanigans, he inspired us to create a dog rescue and to help hundreds of other old dogs find homes as well.

Can you tell us about a particularly memorable rescue mission or adoption story that stands out to you?

Lewis: It's so incredibly hard for me to pick out just one moment. When you are rescuing so many dogs that most would consider unadoptable, almost every adoption is memorable. I think the most memorable adoptions to me are those adoptions for dogs who are hospice and have a short time left to live. It's amazing to me that a person would willingly pay $300 to adopt a dog that they know is at the end of its life and just needs loving care for whatever time it has left. People who do this sometimes do it over and over again. They really restore my faith in humanity. It always fills my heart and reminds me why we are here doing what we do every day.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a rescue organization, and how do you overcome them?

Lewis: The biggest challenge we face is monetary donations. We constantly have high medical costs. We spend approximately $1,000 per dog to get them healthy and adoptable, and our adoption fee always remains $300. We have to constantly fundraise and that often requires some innovation and extra work from our team to make it happen to keep supporting these very special dogs.

How do you select the dogs that your organization takes in, and what criteria do you use for adoption?

Lewis: We welcome any senior or special needs dog we can take, provided we have a willing and open foster home and the funds to care for that dog. Our only major criteria is that it be dog and people friendly. Our greatest obstacle is always foster homes and donations. For adoptions, we do require a good vet history and check, a home visit, and good references. Our goal is to match make and we are not first come first served. Our goal is to always have the dog's best interest at heart. So many of these dogs are with us because of horrible pasts and we want their final years to be their best years.

In what ways do you work to rehabilitate and socialize dogs before they are adopted?

Lewis: Most of our dogs are adoptable and social when we get them short of physical ailments. Since we specialize in old dogs, we are often doing things like blood work, echocardiograms, eye removals, mass removals, cancer treatments, etc. Once the dog is healthy or as healthy as a senior can get, the dog is listed for adoption with full transparency on any medical conditions it may have.

What role do volunteers play in your organization, and how can people get involved?

Lewis: We have all sorts of volunteers from foster, transport drivers, people who write bios, social media, public relations, events, etc. We are always looking for more help! Anyone interested could email us at albertsdoglounge@gmail.com

Can you share some success stories of dogs who were once in your care and have now found loving forever homes?

Lewis: One of my favorite success stories is a personal foster of mine. He was a doodle who was hit by a car and was rear paralyzed and lost a rear leg. It was a huge struggle at first, but over time we got the hang of things and he was starting to use his remaining rear leg just a little. He was adopted to a woman who worked at a dog day care where he got to go with her every day and enjoy all his dog friends. It was a great fit! A year later and he came to visit and he was RUNNING on his rear leg! It was such a great moment to see that and see how happy he was.

How does your organization collaborate with other rescues, shelters, or animal welfare organizations?

Lewis: We love to collaborate with other organizations! Most of our current partnerships are with other orgs who find they are not able to get a senior adopted timely or a senior is not doing well in a shelter environment and then our partner will contact us for help. We have many great partners locally and regionally.

What initiatives or programs does your rescue have in place to promote responsible pet ownership and prevent pet homelessness?

Lewis: We are currently working on a project called Clyde's Closet. We are blessed with so many donations that we couldn't possibly use them all, especially those with expiration dates. We also know our local food pantry can only distribute food. Clyde's Closet will be a "little library" of dog items such as leashes, collars, toys, canned food, coats, etc. We also have a program where we (as financially able) support one dog in the community that is in a medical emergency and the family is in a situation where euthanasia or surrender are on the table as a result. We help cover those expenses so that a family is able to keep their pet in their home and it's healthy.

Looking ahead, what are your organization's goals and aspirations for the future?

Lewis: Our ultimate dream is to someday have a low-cost clinic. That may be many years down the road. More immediately, we want to continue to refine our processes and make adopting a senior the cool thing to do!