LOGAN — A new animal rescue is coming to service the furry friends of Hocking County.

Passionate Paws Dog Rescue is a new foster-based nonprofit in the works. The rescue isn’t taking dogs yet, but will soon once its nonprofit status is certified, Passionate Paws Board President Gina Smalley told The Logan Daily News.

“Our plan is we’ll be pulling dogs from shelters, taking surrenders from owners, stray dogs – that type of thing,” Smalley said. “We do not have a website yet but... that’ll happen very soon.”

Smalley was the former adoption and foster coordinator at Freedom Hills Animal Rescue, which announced a cease of operations on its Facebook page on April 15. In its roughly two years of operation, it cared for and re-homed over 200 dogs in Hocking County.

Smalley hopes Passionate Paws can keep up the good work, but ultimately it’s up to the community to drive the organization’s success.

“You can’t do anything without great fosters and the community,” Smalley said. “The community gave us supplies, donated money, came to fundraisers – it was excellent, and we’re hoping that continues.”

Passionate Paws, as a foster-based rescue, will not have a kennel nor centralized location but it will fully vet and spay/neuter each dog in its care. Freedom Hills usually cared for 12-15 dogs at a given time, Smalley said, though the number is always fluctuating.

Passionate Paws will also provide fosters with every need an animal may have – from dog food to dog toys, Smalley said.

“If you decide to foster you go to our website and fill out a foster application and submit it,” Smalley said. “Then the board reviews it, and I usually do a one-on-one phone call explaining what we would expect from a foster.”

Rescues are always looking for additional foster homes, Smalley added. Smalley recalls there being only around 15 fosters in Hocking County when Freedom Hills operated.

“A good foster is someone who is dog-experienced,” Smalley said. “They’re patient. They realize that a dog – especially a dog that may just be coming out of a shelter – is going to need time to orient to a home environment... They should (also) know what they can handle and what they can’t. A good foster is someone who works at it every day and has the patience to stick with it.”

Passionate Paws will also help people adopt dogs, Smalley explained.

“Once we have our dogs fully vetted, spayed or neutered and they’ve been in foster care long enough, we know their personalities,” Smalley said. “Then we put them out on the website and Facebook page with pictures and descriptions.”

Like fostering, an application and evaluation is performed for all potential Passionate Paws adoptions. The adoption process requires personal and/or veterinarian references, as well as an OK from landlords if the applicant lives in a rental property.

“Once (the adoption) application is approved, a meet and greet is set up,” Smalley said. “We see how things go and if everything seems good, we can move forward with the adoption.”

Passionate Paws will also help people surrender their pets, free of charge, Smalley added.

Passionate Paws will also work alongside county services such as the dog warden and Hocking County Humane Society, as Freedom Hills did, Smalley said.

“We help each other and I hope we can continue to help each other even more,” Smalley said.

Smalley said no fundraisers have set dates yet, as Passionate Paws is still organizing a website and Facebook page, but she hopes to possibly have raffles in May.

Smalley said working in rescue has two aspects: “It can be the most rewarding experience you’ve ever had in your life, and it can also be the most heartbreaking.” Nonetheless, Passionate Paws will help needy dogs find their forever homes in the Hocking Hills.

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