Thanks to Liesl Wilhardt and 55 acres of picturesque beauty in Eugene, Oregon, over 2000 dogs have been spared from the horrors of the death row that is often the reality of high-kill shelters and learned to get over their kennel stress before being adopted. That's because 17 years ago Wilhardt, the founder of Luvable Dog Rescue, dumped the better part of a $500,000 inheritance into the construction of a safe haven for these unwanted pets in order to give them both emotional and physical comfort until a forever home could be found for them.
Luvable Dog Rescue
The facility is often described by visitors as a "summer camp for dogs" due to the colorful cottages she had built to house her furry guests in a woodsy setting. The animals she rescues live in small groups according to size, and they enjoy such perks as sun decks and recliners when they're not playing or going on long walks with staff and volunteers. This is a place where the dogs can live without fear, unlike the high-stress environments of kennels and local pounds they had previously found themselves in.
Wilhardt, who is a self-described animal lover, was recently quoted in People as saying, "I know this sounds weird, but I swear when they arrive, they know this is a safe and loving place." That's actually not weird at all, because animals can sense the atmosphere of their situation pretty accurately, sizing up the situation almost instantly, for better or worse. The animal lover went on to say, "Our purpose is to give love to these dogs. That's the relationship we treasure here." If you visit Luvable Dog Rescue's About Us page, you get a real sense of the purpose and the generous heart she has.
One of the things you'll learn if you visit her Website is the facility's motto, which is Place, Pack and Purpose. The Place refers to the peaceful sanctuary these lucky dogs are whisked off to in the hopes they'll be transformed from neglected dogs to happy, healthy companions. The Pack is a reference to healing, teaching and socializing the dogs in their new, positive environment so that they can eventually succeed at the dog's Purpose, which is to be a loving companion and family member. The site also notes that not all of the dogs reside on the property. Some live with foster parents until a forever home can be found.
Pet Foster Parents
Luvable Dog Rescue, like so many dog rescues, relies heavily on volunteers, donations and generous-hearted pet foster parents. Not surprisingly, the small dogs that find their way to this canine oasis are adopted within four weeks, on average. Sadly, that isn't the case with larger dogs, older dogs and breeds that have gotten a bad rap over the years like pit bulls, who all need love, attention and forever homes as well. If you're interested in helping out in some measure, the sanctuary and many more places like it around the country could use your assistance in whatever form you can offer it. So, what are you waiting for?