Our area is overrun with unwanted, discarded, and abused animals. How many times have you scrolled through a social media thread regarding an abused or abandoned animal and seen several comments from concerned animal lovers yelling, “Someone, do something!” Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc. exists because we realized that WE are someone and WE needed to do something.
The HKRT motto is Doing what’s right, not what’s easy. We look for the ugly ones, the sick ones, and especially the ones with bad attitudes. We take in as many as we can with the hope of healing them and finding them loving forever homes. It takes a lot of help and resources to rehabilitate these pups, but they deserve a chance. When we take a dog into our program, it is generally one that has been overlooked or can no longer be managed at their current shelter or rescue. Occasionally, we will take a stray or owner surrender if space is available. Our dogs are fully vetted upon intake, on preventatives, as well as working on basic obedience skills and potty/crate training. We rely on monetary donations and volunteer support to keep our mission going.
Running a rescue is a 24/7, 365 days a year kind of gig. It is a lifestyle and a calling. It is not a vocation that will reap great financial gains. You must be willing to accept your car will never be clean again, dog hair is a food group, chew marks are decorative, and poop happens…a lot. Having a dark sense of humor is also quite helpful.
Most importantly, you must recognize that YOU are the someone who can DO something. You just need to try.
As of right now, there are 12 dogs living in my home; 4 belong to us and 8 are fosters. They are in every single room of the house and are managed in 8 different groups to minimize safety issues. Our bedrooms do not have any flooring other than the cement slab, because it’s easier to clean up than carpet. We wash more loads of dog towels and blankets in a week than we do laundry for the humans. Our fence constantly needs repairs and it is nearly impossible to keep the yard cleaned up. We play "Find the Stink" on a daily basis. Basically, we live in a doggie fraternity house.
All of that probably sounds awful to some of you, but I cannot imagine life any other way. I found my joy when we began fostering. Our first foster ended up staying as a permanent member of the family, as well as three others so far. My husband and I still have a fight every time a new foster comes in as we learn the newest routine, but we also still marvel together when a pup has a breakthrough. Hubby’s role is Chief Executive of Play and Handler of All Things Gross, because he’s a master at drawing the shy ones out with play and seems to have no sense of smell or gag reflex. He is saint material. We get all the satisfaction and validation we could ever hope for in caring for our home full of misfits. There is nothing more gratifying than when a traumatized pit bull decides you are pretty okay and proves it by sitting on your head.
But, even for us, 12 is too many. The dogs are doing fine but would benefit greatly from more one on one time and socialization opportunities. We don’t want our dogs to just be “fine”, we want them to thrive!
If you have ever considered fostering, now is a great time to get involved. HKRT has 6 dogs needing foster homes where they can polish their social skills and learn to be part of a family. Hard Knocks covers all expenses to include vetting, food, and supplies for all our dogs while in foster homes. We will work together to address any training or integration concerns to make the process as easy as possible. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We would love to have you join our crew! And, you never know. You may just find your joy, too.
Lisa Maasen, Jennifer Marbrey, and Nikki Hinsdale are Partners in Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc. They have years of experience within the rescue and training community, and a drive to see its teamwork bring positive changes to the dogs in most need.