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 Tracey Fenolio, one of the devoted people behind Northwest Rescue Network Team You can find a direct link to their website here.

Here is their story:

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

Fenolio: We started the networking team in April 2015 after being involved in doing the stray dog evaluations for a rescue for whom we volunteered. One rescue could not constantly support all the dogs that were coming in and we knew we needed to build a larger network of rescue partners to help find placement for all of the unclaimed stray dogs.

My husband John was the real catalyst for building our partner network and working with some of our rescue friends to form the evaluation team. He poured his heart and soul into saving the dogs. Sadly, we lost him to cancer in 2018 but he was doing rescue work until the very end.

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

Fenolio: We often have dogs that have medical needs or have an injury, but back in 2017 we had a female dog come in with pyometra and she needed immediate surgery to save her life. We named her Amari, which means strength or courage.

The stray dogs for our area are boarded at a private kennel and there is no formal funding to support the program. We are a volunteer group doing our best to build a bridge between the dogs and the rescue organizations. We had to look to the community to get her the care she desperately needed. Our followers rallied and we were able to quickly raise the $1,200 needed to save her. That support allowed her to survive and find rescue placement.

Our community continues to be generous when we have an emergency and in providing sponsorship pledges for our dogs waiting for rescue commitment.

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

Fenolio: The current rescue climate is creating major challenges for everyone involved in saving animals. Our partners are having a harder time finding foster homes and adoptions are down. Without an opening in their program, they cannot take another animal in need. As a result, unclaimed dogs are spending more time waiting to be rescued.

We have been collaborating with the boarding facility to be more innovative in what we can do to help our partners and provide more enrichment to the dogs while they are there.

Our social media content has also become more geared towards appealing to potential foster homes that we can then connect with our rescue partners. Our scope of influence has definitely had to expand.

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

Fenolio: We are an all volunteer organization. Our team is primarily made up of rescue friends who share the same passion to be a voice for the abandoned dogs in our community.

We can always use transport help and are looking to expand our dog testing team.

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

Fenolio: Being the conduit group, we are one step removed from the final placement, but we have placed over 2,100 dog to rescue in the last 9 years and we love to get updates from the rescue or the adopters.

Many of the stories that really touch our hearts are for the dogs that were terrified or shut down and needed something extra to find the right placement and the right home. 2 years ago, we had 5 dogs come from the same home after a carbon monoxide tragedy. Snow was the mamma dog and it took 11 days to even get near her. She went to an amazing foster home that was willing to let her decompress and built trust; she never left! She now has another companion dog in her life and is thriving.

Early on, our friend Peter, who runs a dog rescue, took a dog named Bubkins and he became Peter's personal dog so we have been able to follow his story fo many years and be reminded of the long term impact of our program.

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

Fenolio: As a networking/transfer group, we provide a link between stray dogs in need and licensed rescue organizations. We provide temperament evaluations, photos and videos to the rescues so that they don't need to assess the dogs on their own.

Our community of followers often pledges sponsorship to the rescues that can welcome one of our dogs in need into their program, so we are an informal fundraising source as well.

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

Fenolio: In our networking role, we have created content on our Facebook page related to lost and found pet best practices and the importance of proper identification, including microchipping your pets.

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

Fenolio: We feel that the current challenges in animal rescue will be with us for a while. Our focus will be on how we can help our rescue partners and on encouraging the community to explore fostering.