AMARGOSA VALLEY, Nev. - Many of the dogs at the Adopt a Rescue Pet Sanctuary received a second chance at life and a second chance at a home.
"We receive dogs from people who've adopted dogs from Animal Foundation, and they don't work out in their homes. They don't want to return the dogs there," said Adopt a Rescue Pet founder Elizabeth Davis-Rubin. "We receive dogs from the public that don't want to turn their dogs into a municipal shelter, because of the possibility of the dog being euthanized."
Adopt a Rescue Pet has been taking in animals for more than a decade. At the group's Amargosa Valley sanctuary, almost 200 dogs are cared for and adopted out each weekend outside local Petcos and PetSmarts.
"There are plenty of dogs out there that need to be rescued and to have adopted homes to be placed in, and so this is a great chance to do that," said pet adopter Ken Barth. "There's such a pet overpopulation."
The lives of the animals at that sanctuary are in jeopardy. Weeks ago, the shelter's founders discovered they needed $70,000 to make the balloon payment on their land and shelter. With money short and the loan's looming deadline, volunteers took to Facebook. They raised $55,000 in 30 days. They've started a trend.
"There are other rescue organizations in other states that are actually using our social networking model as their model and have started doing the same thing," Davis-Rubin said.
Adopt a Rescue Pet's annual budget of $175,000 barely pays for its pet food and facilities. Meanwhile, the need for homes for these animals has never been greater.
"We had people walk up and drop off twelve puppies to us - three separate litters of puppies - and they just showed up with them in laundry baskets or boxes," Davis-Rubin said. "What are we supposed to do, turn them away? We can't do that."
The non-profit's founder says all money raised will help get these dogs out of cages and into homes.
They still need about $15,000 by this Sunday. That way, the money can be deposited Monday, and the shelter can get the land out of escrow and into their hands before the loan is up.
Once they have the deed, the founder says they will qualify for more development grants. They hope to eventually open the sanctuary to the public for adoptions during the week.