Pound Dog Found Dog: An Interview with Peggy Kinahan
Are you looking for a small, furry companion? Have you always wanted to adopt a dog, but was nervous about making the commitment? If so, there’s a lovely rescue in Barnegat, New Jersey that may just be the perfect fit for you! Peggy Kinahan’s adoption philosophy is one that wants everyone involved to be happy: human and canine alike. Allow me to introduce you to Peggy Kinahan and her little rescue with a big heart: Pound Dog Found Dog.
I’d love to know how Pound Dog Found Dog was “found”ed. 🙂 What was its genesis?
After working within the rescue community for almost 20 years, I felt it was the right time to open my own rescue. This way I could rescue the dogs I feel need it the most – older dogs, special-needs dogs, and dogs I like to call my “skinny, scrawny” ones who would ordinarily be overlooked in shelters. I wanted to open my home to the “underdog.”
Why should people adopt and not shop?
Sometimes those of us in rescue assume that everyone knows to adopt, not shop when looking for a companion animal; but too many people are not aware of the statistics. Every year millions of dogs and cats find themselves in shelters, mainly because of overpopulation due to lack of spay and neuter practices. A percentage of those animals are adopted and a percentage are reunited with their owners. But the rest (about a million healthy, adoptable dogs) are euthanized simply due to lack of space. Many people believe they can’t find a great dog in a shelter, but nothing is farther from the truth. Not only are there hundreds of thousands adoptable dogs in shelters and rescue groups, but also one-third of those dogs are purebreds. And a reputable rescue or shelter will allow a potential adopter to do a trial period with a dog to make sure it’s a compatible match. Pet stores won’t do that. Shelters and rescues are held to a higher standard than pet stores and breeders. “Backyard breeders” who breed solely for profit are held to no standard of cleanliness or quality of care.
Tell me something that is particular to the small dogs you specialize in fostering.
I take small dogs by necessity. Bilateral knee replacement several years ago allows the larger dogs to drag me face down while on a walk! Our little ones each have a unique backstory. Sometimes we don’t know about a dog’s background, and sometimes we’re glad we don’t. Sometimes a dog’s past is easily reflected in their eyes. Either way, once in rescue it’s amazing to see the transformation of a “pound dog” to a “found dog,” thus our name. We currently have two special needs dogs in our care, one who has seizures and takes medication which keeps them from recurring, and one who has heartworm disease but once treated will be ready for adoption.
I love your policy of a one week grace period to make sure owner and pet are happy with their new situation. Can you talk about that?
Once we receive an application for a dog, we contact their vet references (if the applicant has a dog), and we also contact their personal references. We then contact the applicant to arrange for a “meet and greet” and home visit. If all goes well with the home visit and it looks like a compatible match, we allow a trial period with the potential adoptor and the dog. At the end of the trial either the adoption is finalized or the dog is returned back into the rescue. During the trial we remain in contact with the family to help work out any issues or answer any questions they may have. Nearly 100% percent of our dogs are adopted after the trial because we strive to find the best match possible for our dogs based on their needs and whether a potential adopter can provide for those requirements.
Besides adopting, what can people do to help Pound Dog Found Dog?
We never ask for monetary donations even though we exist solely on donations and adoption fees. But we are always in need of the supplies we send off with our adopted dogs – leashes, collars, beds and toys. But more than that, what we need most are temporary foster homes so we can save more lives. The more homes we have the more we can save. Are you on the fence about adopting a dog? Foster one and find out if you’re up to the commitment. Want to teach your kids to respect every living thing? Foster a dog and set an example. Want to learn more about our foster program? Visit our website at www.pounddogfounddog.org or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fostering is free, it’s easy, and you’ll be saving a life!
What piece of advice would you give to someone that’s never had a dog before?
Do your homework! Investigate which breed is best suited to your family’s lifestyle. And have patience with puppies! They are hard work.
Anything else on your heart you’d like to talk about I didn’t mention?
I understand that while rescue is my “thing”, it isn’t everyone’s “thing”. But I can assure you that fostering a dog and saving a life, is one of the most rewarding things you can do – for yourself, and for the one you save. Actually, when you foster, you save two dogs- the one who comes temporarily to your home, and the one who takes its place in a shelter. As the saying goes, fostering isn’t a lifetime commitment, it’s a commitment to save one life. Please consider opening your home, temporarily, to a dog in need.
If you’re interested in adopting, fostering, or donating supplies; email Peggy at email@example.com.