Today we’re talking with Account Director Sara Rhodes about her involvement in Kansas City non-profit animal shelter, Unleashed Pet Rescue. Sara has been involved with the shelter since 2018, opening her home and becoming a foster for homeless puppies. From time to time we get to meet these cuties on our morning video call and earlier this year, Sassafras donated a portable air conditional to the shelter to help keep the puppies cool this summer.
Sara explains a little more about the organization, why she decided to get involved, and what her goals are for this year.
Tell us a little bit about the organization and why you’re so passionate about supporting its cause.
Unleashed Pet Rescue is a licensed, non-profit animal shelter founded in 2011 that works to save the lives of homeless pets. They work daily with local high kill shelters throughout the area to pull “unwanted” pets to safety. As with most other shelters throughout the nation, there is never enough space to fill the need. Because of this, they partner with foster homes throughout Kansas City that help provide a safe, comfortable situation for pets until they can find their “furever” homes.
Early in 2018, my sons and I attended a foster training class at Unleashed. I was hesitant to jump in (puppies are a lot of work!) but in June of 2018, we opened our home to our first 2 foster puppies. Both puppies found adopters while they were in our care and went home after they finished their stay with us as opposed to going back to the shelter. Letting go of the puppies is not easy but we have grown from the experience and truly believe that fostering is the bridge that connects an animal’s previous life (which is often far from ideal) and it's happy ever after.
Why did you decide to start fostering?
It’s important to me to teach my sons the importance of kindness and giving back. Unleashed Pet Rescue’s Mission is to save all pets that come to them. It’s not easy. Little puppies make BIG messes. Some whine. And many of them require medication that we have to administer. But we’ve found it to be extremely rewarding. Without an organization like this, that leverages volunteers, puppies like those that have come through our home would be euthanized.
When we aren’t fostering, we find other ways to help. We often walk dogs residing at the shelter. In lieu of birthday gifts, my son Andrew collected supplies and funds to donate to Unleashed. We have also adopted 2 dogs from Unleashed. It is NOT my goal to become a crazy dog lady and we are at maximum capacity as a 2-dog family.
What is your goal as far as fostering is concerned?
To date, we have fostered 26 puppies. We keep names and photos of them all. My personal goal is to foster 40 puppies (and get them adopted) by the end of 2019. We space them out based on the length of time they need a foster, when my kids can help, etc. When they are in our care we create bios and post photos that can be used on the Unleashed website. I also post details on my Facebook page and have found adopters for several of our puppies this way.