Edina Animal Rescue Groups: Looking After Man's Best Friend
With the city’s abundance of parks and trails, it’s no wonder that Edina’s pet lovers flood the outdoors in the summertime. No matter where you look, you’re bound to see a family playing with their pooch.
What might not be obvious, though, is that more often than not, the families are playing with adopted or fostered pets. More organizations for abused, neglected, abandoned and unwanted animals have begun to call Edina home in recent years. What’s more, Edina residents are stepping up to offer shelter, food and, most importantly, unconditional love to these pets. The safe havens created for new pets are not only life-changing for the animals, they are changing the lives of the foster and adoptive families every day.
A Chance Encounter
Linda Hage learned about Secondhand Hounds through a welcome coincidence while leading her daughter’s Girl Scouts troop. Hage heard about the collaboration between Secondhand Hounds and another troop last March, and quickly inquired about how she could get involved as well.
“The family was fostering a mother dog and puppy for their Bronze award, and they were telling me about how rewarding it is,” says Hage. “I decided I wanted to do something with them, but at first I had thought of something financial. Then I talked to Rachel Mairose, the director, and asked if she also needed a groomer. She said ‘yes,’ and within 24 hours she also asked if I could take in a mother dog and her puppies.”
Hage, her husband and their four children raised the puppies until they were placed in other homes and then adopted the mother. She says that dogs in their care are typically adopted within 10-14 days, except for puppies who must be kept for eight weeks.
Currently, Hage does intake work, transport pickups in Edina, bathing and grooming and connects the animals for foster families as quickly as possible. She says that working with Secondhand Hounds has been a rewarding experience for her and her family in many ways.
“It made us all grow as a family,” says Hage. “It can be emotional since we become attached to every single one of them, and we know that we can’t keep them all. But we are still in contact with most of the families that have adopted from us. We’ve developed relationships so my kids can go see the dogs a lot.”
Hage and her family have fostered 58 dogs and also found a deeper meaning within the mission of the organization. Hage’s father recently passed away and her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She sees this as an outlet that helped her heal.
“It filled that void. It really has filled my heart. It gives me a direction in my life that I am passionate about. It has absolutely saved me.”
Animal foster care has also helped her daughter Stephanie, 15, find a possible career path. Prior to the Hage family’s involvement with Secondhand Hounds, the organization did not extend a branch of its rescue to animals other than cats and dogs.
“No one had a place for guinea pigs, ferrets or hamsters,” explains Hage. “My daughter started that whole division with Rachel’s help. Her whole bedroom is filled with animals, and they go even quicker than the dogs!”
The most important part of the adoption process is to make sure the animal is the right fit for the new family. Hage says the wonderful thing about Secondhand Hounds is that she is able to offer input in the decisions. If she doesn’t feel like a home is the right match, then she, director Mairose and the potential foster family have an open discussion to plan the next steps for the animal.
With a border terrier mix and four puppies currently in her care, Hage plans to continue to do as much as she can to support pets in need. “There is nothing like having the unconditional love of a dog, and the support of other people who are passionate dogs to fall back on,” she says about Secondhand Hounds, and how it has helped her deal with the loss in her family.
The Secondhand Hounds Story
Rachel Mairose founded Secondhand Hounds in August 2009. The organization serves communities around the Twin Cities as well as Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud.
“Our mission is to help dogs that are suffering or neglected by rescuing them from unsuitable conditions, providing veterinary and foster care, and placing them in qualified, responsible, and caring adoptive homes,” says Mairose.
To see the mission through, Secondhand Hounds enlists the help of volunteers to foster, plan events and offer general support. “On my block alone we have three foster parents!” she explains.
Edina resident and author Jen Dewing continues to succeed with her children’s books. Her most recently released title,...
MINNEAPOLIS – (June 7, 2013) Herberger’s Southdale store in Edina is rolling out the green – as in putting green...
The Italian Cultural Center (ICC), in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago, held its fifth...