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Dogs Forever

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals

Mission: To save the lives of dogs in Eastern Iowa that are at risk of being euthanized in shelters or are at risk in other ways, such as neglect or abuse or lack of medical care, at the hands of their owners.

Results: Much of our fundraising is to provide veterinary care to the dogs we take in. This is an ongoing endeavor, as we do not want to deny a dog the treatment he/she needs in order to be healthy and happy and therefore, adoptable.

Target demographics: homeless dogs

Geographic areas served: Eastern Iowa

Programs: Dogs Forever Safe Place is an adoption guarantee shelter; we care for each dog until he/she finds a forever home. We often take dogs that are at risk of euthanasia at shelters, including seniors and dogs with medical or behavior issues. We provide the attention, veterinary care and training needed to help each dog secure a loving, forever home. We are an all-volunteer organization so every dollar goes towards helping our homeless dogs. We also have state-licensed foster homes for dogs who need extra attention.

Community Stories

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is fantastic! We recently adopted a dog from this amazing organization. There is so much effort from everyone that works here to ensure that every dog goes to their forever home. They were very informative and worked with us to find the right dog for our large family. They were spot on! We now have a wonderful dog that is a great match for us. Choosing to adopt from Dogs Forever was one of the best decisions we could have made.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are all a family here at dogs forever. We work together saving homeless dogs and finding them a forever home. We are proud of what we do.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is an amazing organization. Every volunteer truly cares about their role in saving homeless dogs. In my 2 years with them, I have seen some incredible success stories where supposed "problem" dogs ended up in the perfect home with a family who loves them!

2 Kristine17

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love Dogs Forever. I recently adopted a dog from this wonderful organization. It is great to know that every dog that comes here is going to be cared for and loved until they go to their forever homes. My decision to adopt from Dogs Forever was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I now share my home with a beautiful and loving dog thanks to all of the wonderful and caring volunteers at Dogs Forever.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I haven't volunteered at many places so this is one of my first experiences. So far I love it and the people are great. Management is always on top of issues and we have great communication.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is a wonderful organization that is truly committed to the welfare of homeless dogs. Our volunteers go above and beyond in the love and care that they provide these animals. We treat all of our dogs like they were our own. And finding them the perfect home is our mission.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Dogs Forever. It is a no kill shelter. When they take a dog in, they are committed to that dog until it is adopted, no matter how long it takes. I also love their seniors for seniors program. If a senior citizen adopts a senior dog, they are not charged for the adoption. This is a great way to pair up a person and a dog that might need each more than they know. All of the volunteers really care and it shows in their commitment to the dogs. Whether they are walking, feeding, cleaning kennels, helping at open houses, doing a home visit, processing paperwork, washing and drying towels and blankets, picking up poop or just playing with the dogs, it is always done out of love. The team work is incredible too. If someone has to miss a shift for whatever reason, there is always someone else there to step in and help them out. Donations are always appreciated. It costs lots of money to keep a non profit shelter open. Rent, maintenance, utilities, dog food, vet bills, toys, treats, and office equipment all adds up. We thank you for any donation that anyone can make...and the dogs appreciate it also.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing shelter. All of the volunteers truly care about each and every pup at the shelter. And we all make sure the dogs know just how much they are loved. It brings me such joy to volunteer at such a wonderful shelter and be surrounded by these amazing furries!!!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This no kill shelter does a great job of fitting the perfect family with the perfect dog. I love volunteering in a place that has so many happily ever afters.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been volunteering at Dogs Forever for a year and a half . Everyone really cares for the dogs there and do a great job.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is a wonderful organization! They don't give up on dogs, they find them forever homes!!!! I am very fortunate to be a volunteer with such an awesome organization!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with Dogs Forever, caring for the dogs in 1 of 3 shifts per day. We walk and play with the dogs, and feed at mealtimes, make due they are staying healthy and well socialized while waiting for their perfect forever homes. The dogs' well-being always comes first with this shelter. They save lives!

3 Tanya28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Dogs Forever since June. Everyone there is so passionate about the love and care that all the wonderful dogs get daily. I consider myself lucky to have found such a wonderful place to give some of my time to!

2 Angie66

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Dogs Forever for over a year and have really enjoyed my experience. This is a top notch organization that supports the dogs, volunteers, and potential owners with great respect and caring. The dogs always come first, which is as it should be and this is reflected in the health and happiness of our "kids"

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted Suki, a shih tzu, in early October. She was found on a bike path in CR earlier this summer and Critter Crusaders first intervened. She then went into foster care through Dogs Forever. I was very impressed with how thorough the adoption process was-this organization truly wants to make sure that the placements are the right fit and they do want their animals to have a forever home. We love our little Suki very much and our family would like to thank all those who volunteer their time at Dogs Forever-you are truly life savers. Bravo!
The Davis Family

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted BENNY, a black lab mix:). He completes our family and we knew it was meant to be as soon as we saw him online at Dogs Forever. BENNY has a sensitive stomach. We met w Michele and BENNY and we fell in love w Benny. Michele made sure we would be a good family for him and we understood his sensitive stomach concerns that kept other families from adopting him. Michele fostered Benny while he was sick and before he found a forever home. I am so impressed by the volunteers, all they do for the animals- personal time, resources and making sure the animals are put into a loving home. Benny is thriving and it was meant to be. We are thankful for Benny and all of the volunteers at Dogs Forever:).

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I contacted this shelter in July, asking about a specific dog. Michele responded and gave me all of the information on that dog (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and then went above and beyond to tell me about a pup that she was fostering, who she thought may be a good fit for our family. Although I was looking for an adult dog I decided to come to CR and meet both dogs. It didn't take long to realize that 6-month-old Emmett was going to be the perfect addition to my family, and a great playmate for my 4 and 2 year old boys. I was very impressed with the adoption process, as it was very thorough; you could tell the staff really care about these dogs and wanted to ensure they went to the right home. I have recommended this shelter to others since, and will continue to do so. Thank you Michele and Dogs Forever for helping fill the hole that was left when our previous dogs passed; our family feels complete again! :-)

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful place that rescues without killing. They care about animals and helps them find forever homes.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Dogs Forever is one of the main reasons I've stuck around Cedar Rapids for as long as I have. This isn't just your average non profit, it's a family. The dogs we care for aren't just another shelter dog to us, their family, each and every one of them. This nonprofit truly is rooted in love, and care. The care that I see on the volunteer end of things for each pup that comes into our shelter is impeccable, it's an amount of care/love that truly testifies to Dogs Forever being a family. If you haven't come in to visit the shelter and check out our pups, I truly encourage you to do so during our open hours on Saturday. From the caring people, wonderful dogs, and amazing mission, this nonprofit is one I will always support and be proud to be a part of.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with Dogs Forever, I have seen first hand how much everyone associated with them truly cares about the dogs they save. Every dog they take in receives the best medical care possible, and is treated as much like a family member as we can in the shelter setting. So many great dogs are saved because of this organization!

2 Roger32

Client Served

Rating: 5

We first want to thank all the staff for helping us get the right fit Dog for our house. They were all very helpful and do a amazing job.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever volunteers and board member work tirelessly to provide the best care for the dogs that come through their shelter and foster homes. The director has a knack for understanding people’s skill sets and, as a volunteer, you won’t be thrown into a role that’s beyond your ability, making it easy for anyone to help. If you have a heart for man’s best friend and like the idea of working with a high-character organization - one that doesn’t cut corners - Dogs Forever would be an excellent volunteer opportunity.

3 Regina13

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is an amazing organization! My family was able to foster and then adopt our puppy Olive. Michelle was great at helping us through the process! I really appreciate that they thoroughly check into the homes that their dogs are being placed. Olive has found a loving home here! Thank you to all at Dogs Forever!!

5 Kathleen89

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's an honor and a privilege to volunteer for this great organization - and it's fun! Our greatest joy is when we send a dog off to a good home -- it never gets old! I am constantly amazed by the dedication of this group of dog-lovers :-)

3 reggie911

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted Reggie in September 2013. Dogs Forever staff were professional and the adoption went very smoothly. Nancy Crist was helpful after the adoption as well. Dogs Forever is a class act.

3 Hillary5

Donor

Rating: 5

Dogs forever is such an amazing place. You can tell they really care about animals.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted Isabelle in October 2013 from Dogs Forever. What a blessing she has been to our family (two other adopted boys, my wife and I) - and what a blessing Dogs Forever was for her ... and us ... and everyone they have ever helped. If it wasn't for Dogs Forever, there was a good chance Isabelle might have ended up in a shelter that eventually euthanizes. I cannot even begin to imagine that! She is a ball of fire and so much fun. She deserved every chance to find a home where she would be taken care of and loved. Dogs Forever made that happen! To think that, had she ended up someplace else, she might not have even made it to us makes me sick to my stomach. Thankfully, Dogs Forever was there for Isabelle and she was given another chance to be the amazing sweet girl she is. If you can help Dogs Forever in this quest to SAVE THE LIVES of other sweet pooches like Isabelle... PLEASE DO SO! Thank you for your time ...

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is wonderful. We have adopted all of our dogs from shelters or from rescues, so we have dealt with many different organizations. We needed to find a new companion for our dog, Bailey, after his brother, Hutch, died in May 2012. We wanted a local rescue organization that is able to foster their dogs, because they are able to provide the most information about their dogs to prospective adopters. We found Shelby online from Dogs Forever's website, and met her one warm Saturday afternoon at their wonderful facility. After driving around and talking, we realized that we wanted to welcome her to our family. Nancy had already told us that we were the first ones that day who had expressed interest in Shelby, so we went back to Dogs Forever and filled out the paperwork and Shelby was ours! We have been very impressed with Dogs Forever from day one. We have even donated some dog supplies to them, so that they could continue helping other dogs. Thank you, Dogs Forever!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is an amazing organization. I am currently a foster parent for them and find the devotion, hard work and personal passion from everyone involved here far exceeds what you would expect from people giving of their free time. The dogs rescued by Dogs Forever are immediately embraced into a wonderful community and the care and love they receive is so awesome to witness (and be a part of)!

2 Michelle271

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Dogs Forever off & on, doing things like walking dogs, cleaning kennels, and fostering. What a great group of people and a wonderful mission!!! I am also on the Board of another non-profit group that assists animals in our community with medical needs and facilitates rescue - we have sent countless dogs to Dogs Forever. They are always willing to step up & help us out, and they provide loving foster homes as well as take dogs into their small shelter. We can rest easy knowing that these dogs will be safe until they find forever homes.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We first checked out Dogs Forever late fall of 2013 after having scoped out a couple of other rescues looking for an adoptable dog. The staff and volunteers at Dogs Forever were kind, informative, and so obviously in love with each dog in their care. They have a giant bulletin board with pictures and stories of each dog, whether they were being housed on-site at the rescue facility or in foster homes. The kennels are kept very clean, and the dogs are provided toys, treats, walks and playtime, and they are all happy and healthy.
When it came to the adoption process, the staff looked out for the best interest of their dogs, waiting for the most suitable forever families to come along that would meet the physical, mental, and environmental needs of each dog, ensuring that they would be happy and well cared for and be able to transition into their new lives and families with as little stress as possible. We ended up adopting a sweet, senior lab mix named Maggie who was the perfect fit for us, with a perfectly wonderful disposition and plenty of love and fun to offer.
The thing about this organization that stands out the most for me, aside from my great experience with them, is that they never give up on their fur kids. They love and care for them no matter how long it takes to get them adopted, and the joy the staff expresses when they adopt these dogs out is a huge indicator of them loving what they do and of the passion they possess in this sometimes challenging and emotional line of work. I recommend Dogs Forever first any time someone asks where a good place to adopt is, and I am so thankful they do what they do! Thank you, Dogs Forever!

1 Jane79

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is a wonderful organization founded by two people who truly love animals which Is exhibited by their tireless efforts in rescuing dogs and finding the perfect new homes for them. Their no kill shelter is staffed by volunteers who share that love by giving their attention and time to each dog in the shelter's care. I have assisted with many of the fund raisers organized by the shelter which raise much needed funds for the maintenance and well being of the homeless dogs that reside there. It is truly an extremely gratifying experience to help such a deserving organization. If you live in the Cedar Rapids area and have extra time to devote to a wonderful cause, we are always in need of volunteers and foster homes to care for the animals in need of a temporary place to stay on their way to finding their forever family and home. Your heart will be happy for sharing your love with animals who will truly appreciate your time and attention.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had such a wonderful experience with Dogs Forever from the start! They were easy to get in touch with, and they took the time to chat with us and get to know us while we met Eddie, the dog who eventually became a member of our family. They are so sincere and concerned with finding the right match for each dog and for each potential owner. They continue to check in on Eddie and have offered advice and/or solutions when we have questions. Supporting Dogs Forever has been a rewarding experience, and we recommend them to anyone interested in adopting a dog!

1 Joyce46

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteer because my kids where grown and I needed something to do and I love dogs and we had rescued a dog from another shelter. I fell in love with all the dogs and the wonderful volunteers that give up so much time for these pups. I was surprised when I found out he lengths they go to make sure it's a good fit between dog and owner. I learned so much about the dogs and I learned that pitbull can be the sweetest dogs. We decided to foster and ended up adopting. She has some issues but because of my work at the shelter I know how to work with her. I got my daughter and my husband to also volunteer there. I am very proud to say I am a volunteer at Dogs Forever.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are thankful for finding Dogs Forever. They are an amazing and wonderful organization. They made each step of application, two home visits, provided resources on how to take care of our senior dog/first time dog owner and the final adoption an easy process for our family. We appreciate all of the extra care and love they gave to our dog CHEEKAH. We highly recommend this organization and are grateful they are in our community.

2 Patti G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our experience with Dogs Forever was sincerely heartwarming. They went out of their way to work with us as we were a 1 1/2 hour drive away. We visited and met our dog there and were highly impressed with the compassion and dedication these people had for all the little furry friends there. While we were there, one of the dogs was coming back from an outing with a volunteer. The fact that they try to get these dogs out for fresh air, walks, and play left a big impression on us. When we decided to adopt Annie, her foster mom drove her out to us and made sure she was all settled in. They take all necessary precautions to make sure these animals are going to a safe and good forever home, and that is highly important in today's world. I thank each and every person involved in this group for stepping up and making a difference for so many animals!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family's adoption experience with Dogs Forever far exceeded my expectations. After finding the two dogs we wanted to join our family, the organization not only did a background check, but also visited our home not once, but twice, to ensure the furry additions to our family were a good fit, being properly taken care of, and most importantly, happy. It is very refereshing to have an organization that genuinely cares about the animals they take in. I recommend Dogs Forever to anyone that is looking to add a young or old canine to their family and I look forward to continuing my family's relationship with them for years to come!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have helped Dogs Forever with donating my time at fundraisers as well as used items and baked goods for their many fundraisers. It is an awesome organization!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have helped Dogs Forever since its inception with fundraisers and donations. I have volunteered my time by posting flyers on community bulletin boards, baking goodies for fundraisers, and have helped at some of the fundraisers. I have also given monies to this caring organization. I will continue to do what I can for Dogs Forever. It's all about the dogs!

3 Eileen33

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so grateful for finding Dogs Forever. The people there are very loving towards all the dogs . They let you find out if the dog and you would be compatible .They take great care of all of them. I hope more people will check them out .Dogs forever are solely funded on private donations . They always find room in there hearts to take care more of these loving dogs that need a home. Also make sure they are in good health I recommend them highly

2 Odie_Greene

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our adoption experience with Dogs Forever really told us what a compassionate group they have. Each step from fostering, application and final adoption reinforced the dedication they have to these wonderful animals. They treat every dog with kindness and respect, and we were well taken care of as clients as well. When one of our foster dogs required special medical care, we had all the support we needed.

We also had an instance to find care for a stray dog. They knew just the right steps to handle both the legal and medical angles to follow. It resulted in the stray getting the care she needed and finally being reunited with her owner.

We have referred many more families to Dogs Forever since then. Fantastic organization, thanks for doing what you do!

2 Psnhomes S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever ROCK! While their finances are limited and based solely on private donations, they still make room to find one more dog, one more home. The fact that they made a decision to help senior dogs who have limited opportunities to survive at a kill shelter is an important factor for us. It's important to see someone love those old faces until the very end of their lives in their new, forever homes. All dogs in need are taken in but my heart is for those older guys who still have a lot of life left to offer a forever owner.

We donate as much as possible and would love to see DF get a bigger space to do bigger work. For now, we are grateful for their service to humanity and those beautiful souls that are saved.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever made a key decision to help senior dogs who have no opportunity to be adopted at a kill shelter because of all the cute puppies and young dogs. It is an important factor for me to see someone love those old faces until the very end of their lives in their new, forever homes we find for them. All dogs are taken but my heart is for those older guys who still have a lot of life left to offer.

1 Kim_42

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is an awesome organization propelled by great people doing truly worthwhile things that give me hope that there really is goodness in this world and that all pets can get the care and attention and affection they deserve so very much. Thank you forever, Dogs Forever!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Although we've done volunteer work for and contributed to Dogs Forever of Iowa, my wife and I are also the forever family of two wonderful mixed-breed rescue pooches. And it's in the warm glow of their unconditional love and joy that we appreciate the tireless efforts of Dogs Forever every single day.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever really cares about the homes they end up in and the people they end up with. Most shelters that I've ever interacted with seem to care to an extent about the homes their pets end up in, but Dogs Forever goes beyond that with in-home visits by a volunteer to make sure the home is suitable and safe for the dog, as well as having adopters sign an agreement with several statements, one being that if adopter wishes to give up the dog again, they shall be surrendered to Dogs Forever. This proves to me that they really do care about the dog's well-being and do not want them to end up in a kill shelter or irresponsible hands. My husband and I adopted a young male black lab mix to add to our family from Dogs Forever, and we're so glad we did! He brings a lot of entertainment and laughter into our lives and it feels good to have opened up space for another dog at risk of being euthanized. Thank you!

2 Melissa104

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is an amazing and wonderful organization that I am proud to say that I volunteer for!! I am more than happy to go to the shelter as often as I possibly can every week to take care of our dogs and to spend some time with our rescue dogs that I consider an extension of my own pack and I actually miss the dogs that we care for and feel bad if I can't get to see them at least 3 times a week. Dogs Forever is 100% volunteer run and donation based and the only way we can stay afloat is if we have plenty of both to keep rescuing those in need. I'm so excited to see Dogs Forever taking off and doing such an amazing job as the only No Kill Shelter in Cedar Rapids!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Coming from a background of 30+ years with a 'municipal' animal shelter, I can appreciate the principal of Dogs Forever more than most. The dogs in our care are the castaways; some with medical problems, some just overweight, some neglected, some are seniors. But all of them are unwanted by either the shelter or family that brought them to Dogs Forever. Volunteers care for these dogs 3 times a day. They are given daily walks, the best medical treatment, quality food, toys, treats and an abundance of TLC. Most of the volunteers have extensive backgrounds in animal rescue and animal health and all are on the same page when it comes to the care of the dogs. Some of the 'residents' experience kindness for the first time and to witness this and be a part of it is more rewarding than words can say. These are the lucky dogs of our community. They want for nothing other than to find that special person/family to call their own and there is no 'time limit.' To be part of their journey is humbling to say the least.

2 Anna25

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was on a search for a companion for my adopted cocker as he needed to learn to be a dog again. I found Dogs Forever quite by accident. My experience with them was very pleasant. They went outt of thier way to keep me posted when they brought in new dogs and helped me get the right fit for us. Would I and have I recommended them to others--yes. Absolutely. They are straight forward and caring--Thank you all at Dogs Forever

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Dogs Forever is a place that runs on both heart and business acumen. The director is tireless in her mission to save and find forever homes for these dogs and rescues ones that would otherwise be killed at a local shelter. The volunteers are amazing in how and what they do to take care of the dogs until they are adopted. I truly appreciate the special efforts to save and place senior dogs with mature citizens. As a donor and a past volunteer, I highly recommend this place of love, caring for dogs and people. Its run on a shoe-string with great results.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before this Dogs forever was formed I 've worked with her in my other organizations. Any organization was given the full attention with passion & great ideas . She listens gives back great ideas about how it would work. I always enjoy the time spent with her. Lesley Richardson

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My most recent involvement as a Dogs Forever volunteer has been with Max, a Malamute/Afghan mix. He is 2 years old and full of youthful energy. To keep him from going stir crazy while in a kennel at Safe Place (Dogs Forever's no-kill shelter) I volunteered to run with him daily. His long legs and torso make him an excellent runner. If only I was 30 years younger, I might have a chance of being able to run as long and as fast as he'd like to go! My hope is that there might be other dog-loving runners who would be willing to run with Max. He won't be 2 forever. His energy level will decrease as he ages. But for the time being, a daily jog/run/fast-paced walk is the ticket to Max's happiness and well-being. Finally, while this review is more about Max than Dogs Forever, he's just one of many deserving dogs in the organization's care. The DF motto says it best: "A better life for our best friends"

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love that Dogs Forever advocates our Senior Furry Friends, "old" dogs make wonderful companion, just as the young whipper snappers do! The also stick up for the misunderstood the pit bull, these dogs are very important to my heart and deserves a fighting chance, just like the rest of them. I chose to volunteer with this organization over the others because the efforts they're making with this breed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 3

It is all about the dogs. Through a variety of circumstances these dogs have ended up in the care of Dogs Forever as they do not have families or in some cases had families that couldn't continue their care. Every dog that comes here get as much love as we can give and the medical attention many desperately need. Knowing they get to stay until their forever home is found is beyond words, no reason to push for placement just to keep them "safe". - Until they all have a home.