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Stray dogs in county find new homes up north

By Michael Ganzman
Last Wednesday a group of 49 dogs was taken out of Johnson County to a rescue and adoption agency thousands of miles away in Port Washington, New York.
The Rescue DOG and End of Life Sanctuary helped organize the delivery of the nearly 40 puppies and a few older dogs. The Johnson County based organization helps vagrant dogs find new homes by seeking out potential families that take them in for adoption.
The non-profit organization has been hard at work for over 15 years, finding new homes for thousands of puppies and full-grown dogs of every breed.
The main organizer of Rescue DOG and End of Life Sanctuary is Melissa Gentry. A dog owner herself, Gentry states that Johnson County is a difficult area for dogs, as owners often abandon them soon after they are born.
“Dogs are set out here in boxes and garbage bags,” she said. “We took a Pitbull and three of her puppies about three weeks ago…their owner was going to throw them in a garbage bag and throw them in the lake.”
Although the animal sanctuary has a group of volunteers, it is primarily run by Gentry, who was its original founder and remains its key organizer.
“The staff boils down to just me and my mother,” she said. “It’s an everyday job, sometimes eight hours a day.”
Over the last two years, Gentry has been in contact with North Shore Animal League America, a rescue and adoption agency that operates out of Port Washington, New York. At the beginning of this year, Gentry partnered with the league by starting a shuttle that periodically comes to Johnson County to pick up large groups of dogs and sends them to the league’s facilities up north.
“We reach out to organizations all over the country,” said Cindy Szczudlo, Rescue Manager of North Shore Animal League America. “We have an opportunity to save thousands and thousands of lives a year.”
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.