Rachel Mairose, Executive Director of Secondhand Hounds, has something to be excited about. A brand new facility for their organization and with it, the opportunity to help even more animals. A 501c3 nonprofit animal rescue based in Eden Prairie, MN, that started in July of 2009. Since its beginning, this foster-based program has helped over 9,300 animals and counting. In fact, they place about 2,500 animals every year in forever homes.
Working via their network of foster coordinators, Secondhand Hounds has established strong relationships with area shelters who will let them know of any animals in need. Social media also provides an avenue and is checked daily for new information and updates. As their physical location handles animal intake, houses supplies, and is central to all administrative duties, the organization is dependent upon a strong foster program. All of their animals are kept in individual homes until they find their forever homes. Families are provided with food, crates, bowls, toys, and, as Rachel puts it, “anything they might need.”
Secondhand Hounds’ foster coordinators are the front line of support for these indispensable foster families. Families interested in becoming fosters have several important hoops through which to jump; home visit, reference checks, and on-line training. Foster coordinators then become the resource for the families should any questions or concerns arise. The requirements for either foster or adopt are fairly straightforward. First and foremost, a loving, safe environment and they require that any resident pets are fixed, up-to-date on vaccines, are friendly, and healthy. when asked what the most important thing someone should know about Secondhand Hounds might be, Rachel responded, “We treat every animal in our program like our own personal pets. They deserve the world, and we try our hardest to give it to them.”
Among their most memorable moments, Secondhand Hounds counts the over $9,000 raised for Franco, a pocket pit bull who suffered horrible abuse. With the aid of Sweet Retreat Cupcake Boutique bakery, the organization was not only able to cover Franco’s expenses, but had enough money remaining from the overwhelming support they were able to start the Franco Fund to help animals who have suffered through similar abusive situations. Coen, who was found by Secondhand Hounds’ volunteers in a Kansas City, MO, shelter was missing huge patches of fur all over his body that was covered with sores and burns. Although no one was entirely sure what happened to him, it was speculated the dog has been doused in gasoline or acid. Secondhand Hounds gave him a second chance through generous donations, including an individual donor that paid for his transport, and fund. Stories like these are both heartbreaking and celebratory, for without the good work of organizations like Secondhand Hounds, so many animals would never have the second chance.
Currently, they are looking for a home for Brie, one of their foster dogs who has been looking for a forever home for a very long time. Her foster had a lot of wonderful things to say about this adorable girl including,” Brie is a 6 year old boxer/pit bull mix. She is what I consider classic pitty personality – and NO, that doesn’t mean biting or fighting. It means a happy, vivacious dog full of snuggles, and cuddles, and love who wants to spend every minute she can pressed right up next to you – or if she’s lucky, ON you! Yes, your very own giant lap dog! Brie is fully potty trained, crate trained (although she is good without it, too), and not destructive in the house – YES, all of the hard work is done for you already!” If anyone is interested in this sweet girl filled with love, you can read more about on her page.
As with any animal rescue organization, donations are always needed to keep them being able to do their good work. Their Fighter Fund, which helps rescue dogs and cats like Coen, Franco, and Quasimodo, is driven by donations. And, of course, they are always looking for loving foster homes. Secondhand Hounds is an organization with a lot of depth and innovative programs to both heighten awareness to these special animals, but inspire people to become involved on some level. Whether taking animals to visit seniors in assisted living and other facilities via their Secondhand Hope program, Puppy Parties, or Adoption Events, their spirits and hearts are clearly with the happiness, health, and well-being of the animals.
Please consider supporting local rescue organizations with your time, donations, and the possibility of opening your home to a foster or adoption. The love you will receive in return will be priceless and could well be one of the best things you have ever done in your life.