Dog News

September Rescue of the Month: Hope for Paws


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We saved the best for last this Friday. There has been some rough dog news around this week and it’s time to turn a corner for the holiday weekend. Let’s kick it off on an extremely high note. You might be familiar with Hope for Paws from an earlier video of theirs that we shared a few months ago. As good as it was, Eldad and Audrey Hagar have released a pair of new videos that should prove to be quite popular for the next month or two.  I took in both last evening and was literally worn out when I finished.

Do not be concerned, there are no gory or violent scenes, but the tension is palpable in places. Eldad will have you on the edge of your seat a couple of times in this series. And tell me if the kiss scene from part II floors you the way it did this viewer. It’s apparent that you are watching a true and devoted dog lover at work. The about section of their site only scratches the surface:

Audrey and Eldad Hagar have been fostering hundreds of animals in their home for the past eight years.  They created Hope for Paws to help animals in this country who suffer and die every year because of negligence and abuse.  They also created a huge network of rescuers from all over the world on their Facebook pages.

Our fostered animals are a part of our family and are treated as such.  Too often, people undervalue their furry family members and abandon them in their backyards, on the streets or at the shelters.  These animals die from starvation, abuse, and euthanization because of the overcrowding at the shelters.

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Pets are not items that can be thrown away or exchanged for younger models. Animals are sentient beings who feel pain, love, joy, mourning, and loss.  These valuable creatures help us whether it is assisting the blind or finding people under the rubble from an earthquake.  They help us in times of war and during human catastrophes.

We want to help both humans and animals alike live harmonious and fulfilling lives together.

I spoke with Eldad last evening after watching these videos and was pleased to find myself quickly engaged in passionate discussion about dog welfare. This is a humble man with a big heart. Watching him put himself in peril to save these lost souls makes me feel small as I type this post from my cushy office chair in the tranquil hills of Vermont. I had to ask if he expected to be bitten when he attempted to lunge for a stray in part II of this new video series. He laughed and answered in the affirmative, and reminded me that he does not recommend the practice.  “Hey, I can see some people saying that’s not a great idea, but at the end of the day another dog is home safe on my couch.”

No argument here. I explained that in eleven years of living here I’ve had to pick up half a dozen strays. Every one I have seen. We just don’t have a stray population to speak of. Eldad pointed out that at any given time, there are 27,000 strays on the streets of LA.

I’ll pause for a moment to let you digest that figure.


Ok, now let’s do something about it. I can’t drive to LA and start tackling strays any time soon, and most of you reading this are likely in the same position. But watching Eldad Hagar at work is inspiring, and I’d like to see a lot more of the same. I explained  in the course of our conversation that I really only had one question of importance for him. “If you had more money in the bank to fund Hope for Paws, would you be out on the street doing more of this tremendous rescue work?’ I could not have been more pleased with his reply. “Money is the only thing stopping me from doing this every day. There are that many dogs, and I just can’t afford to vet them as fast as I can capture them.”

This is a simple logistical issue. The tools to start helping make a true difference are before you, and you need only part with a little discretionary income to employ them. I strongly encourage you to donate to Hope for Paws, to share the videos you will see today and tomorrow, to find those dog lovers you know who want to do anything possible to save these broken, majestic, needy creatures. You and I may never find ourselves in a position to do the dirty, risky, rewarding rescue work that Eldad and Audrey Hagar do. Yet together, with a few clicks of a mouse, we can see to it that their story is shared far and wide; that their selfless work continues, and that another lonely, frightened dog makes its way from a dusty, foreboding parking lot in the hostile streets of LA to the snuggly safety of the Hagar’s sofa. By the time you finish watching today, you’ll wish there was room for you.

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*Note: part two of this rescue video series will follow in a post immediately following this one. Simply click the home page button in the upper left hand of your screen to find it.

Hope for Paws online:

Hope for Paws

Hope for Paws on Facebook

Eldad’s fan page on Facebook (Note that this is checked and replied to most often)

Hope for Paws Flickr Photostream