Warren-based K9 rescue in Warren offers ‘second chance at life’

WARREN – The Dog House K9 Rescue, a 501(c)3 operated volunteer organization in Warren, strives to give its four-legged friends a second chance.

Sarah and Mark Holmes, founders of the Dog House, operate the rescue from their residence.

According to the couple, their mission is “to help one dog at a time find their forever home. We will do our best to teach our rescue dogs how to behave in the real world before sending them to their new home.

They continued: “Each applicant will be vetted and a foster period of at least two weeks will be put in place before an adoption can be finalized. We do this to make sure the dog is the right fit for your home.

Currently, the Holmes have four rescue dogs named Bear, Lemon, Brenda and Bella. Sarah explained that all four come from different backgrounds and have different needs.

For example, Lemon, a year-and-a-half-old Jack Terrier mix, came from a Massachusetts 501(c)3. He’s a wild dog, which means he “has never had human contact “, Mark said.

Bear, a 126-pound mastiff mix, came from the town of Warren. Sarah described Bear as a “hug”.

Brenda, a six-year-old Red Heeler mix, is a “working dog.” The Holmes explained that a working dog is full of energy and likes to be active.

Finally, Bella is a 13 month old puppy that Mark and Sarah continue to work with. They noted that she had made immense progress since arriving at their home.

Currently, Lemon, Bear and Brenda are the only three dogs available for adoption. They predicted that Bella would join them soon, after receiving her health certificate.

In addition to the four rescue dogs, the Holmes have four personal dogs: Shay, Bruiser, Chewie and Gunther. All were adopted by Big Hair Animal Rescue in Sturbridge.

Mark explained that The Dog House has a kennel license for up to 10 dogs at a time, which means they can take up to six rescue dogs. However, he said they preferred less, as they enjoyed the one-on-one time to train and work with each dog daily.

He continued, “We board and train [the dogs]before handing them over to another family.

Regarding foster care, Sarah said they were going through a specific process. This includes receiving applications, completing a reference and vet check, a meet and greet, and then a two-week placement period if all goes well.

“We want to make sure the dog gets into the house,” Mark said.

As trainers, Sarah said they hold themselves to a certain standard to ensure the dogs leave their care in the best condition possible. Mark added to this point and said if there are any issues they like to know. “We care about these dogs,” he said.

To help with their training, the Holmes use their personal dogs. Sarah noted that their pack is ‘very important’ in training rescue dogs, from teaching them to walk to even practicing the best listening skills.

Every day, the dogs go for a walk, either in groups or alone. Sometimes Mark said they would take the dogs on separate trips to places like Petco or Lowes. “They know their obedience and their social situations,” he added.

When the dogs are not on the move, they are kept in indestructible crates. Mark shared that these types of crates are secure enough that dogs cannot escape.

In this “deal”, Sarah said they just had to say yes. She went on to say that internship and training is a unique skill that not everyone is qualified for. After adopting Big Hair Animal Rescue, Sarah said they were able to learn a lot of skills from them. Additionally, the couple shared that they did a lot of their own education, including reading, learning a dog’s body language, and more.

While the Holmes operate their dog rescue on their own, Sarah said they’ve gotten more volunteers and foster families. She added that they prefer local foster homes because it is difficult to travel long distances, if necessary, due to full-time jobs in addition to managing their rescue. Nevertheless, they noted that they would like more host families.

When seeking to become a 501(c)3, Sarah told Reminder Publishing that the process was time-consuming because it was controlled by the state. “We filed [in] January 2022 for 501(c)3 and as a nonprofit corporation in Massachusetts,” she said. “We received the 501(c)3 at the end of February 2022.”

As a 501(c)3, Sarah shared that they cannot legally request money. Therefore, the nonprofit organization depends on donations. “The little things matter, like a bag of dog food,” she said. To donate, visit their website at https://www.thedoghousek9rescue.com/donate-1.

When a dog goes into foster care, Sarah says they bring toys, food and other essentials.

To learn more about dogs available for adoption, visit https://www.thedoghousek9rescue.com/available-dogs.

For more information about The Dog House K9 Rescue, visit their website at https://www.thedoghousek9rescue.com/ or their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/DHK9R.

Comments are closed.