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Free Spirit Siberian Rescue

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: CARE & ADOPTION OF NEGLECTED HOMELESS HUSK

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Christopher H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love Free Spirit Siberian Rescue! Over the past 15 years we have given 4 FSSR pups their furever home. Karen is a wonderful caring owner and her volunteers have always been saints to this wonderful and beautiful breed.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently started volunteering at FSSR after losing both of my senior huskies this year. Karen and Bob genuinely care for these dogs very much, and the staff is more organized than many not-for-profits I've dealt with in the past. They do the best they can for these dogs despite being short-staffed. If you can't donate or adopt, please consider volunteering or fostering with them!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted two beautiful huskies from Free Spirit. The adoption process was very smooth. They are very knowledgeable caring volunteers, making sure the dogs are going to a loving Forever homes.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I could not imagine my life without my 2 (yes I adopted from FSSR 2 times) pups. They do a thorough screening and seem to really care about where their dogs goto. I did not mind and have often been in touch with questions or just to update. I don't feel as if I'm a burden. I would highly recommend for anyone to take the extra time it may require to adopt from them.

2

Client Served

Rating: 1

I would not recommend this rescue to anyone. Their owner is very difficult to work with and not respectful of people. When I visited the rescue to meet several dogs after having my application approved the first person I met was the owner, Karen. She was extremely rude to me. Thank goodness for their wonderful volunteers who came to my "rescue" and led me through the process that day. I was dismayed at how the dogs are kept at this "rescue" as I don't see them living much of a quality life there. While they might have been saved from being euthanized at animal control somewhere, they are not living much of a life in small cages everywhere on this property. The main building smells horrible! Dogs are doubled up in small cages throughout the facility indoors and outdoors. I came to the rescue interested in some of their older dogs and was dismayed at the fact that some of their dogs have been there for 5 plus years! What type of quality life is that for them? When I expressed interest in an older dog that had been with this rescue for almost 4 years and was 3 years old when they got it I was very excited about adopting it. I know that I would give this dog a great home and as an experienced husky owner had no concerns about this dogs behavior, etc. She was mellowing with age and a sweetheart. However, everything went bad from there......the requirements of this rescue in terms of unreasonable stipulations for expensive obedience training (What have they been doing to train this dog over the past 4 years that they have had it???) as well as their stipulation that the dog is "leased" to you versus you become the owner of the dog and that they retain all decision making over the dogs health care needs was not reasonable. They do not really address your past experience with this type of dog (even though they do extensive background check/reference checks on you) or the age of the dog, etc. They were not responsive to my concerns and alas, I have decided to not do business with this rescue and recommend that others do not do business with them either. I do not recommend this rescue and do not feel that they operate responsibly in terms of having policies that are flexible enough to address the needs/situation of each dog individually versus blanket policies that apply no matter what the circumstances are. In the end, the dogs are harmed by this and the leadership is not deserving of anyone's support.

Kate93

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found Free Spirit Siberian Rescue through a Google search. I filled out the online application and received a prompt call from a helpful volunteer about the process. So many cute dogs on their website! How could I pick just one? Not only did they do a phone interview with me, but they also conducted phone interviews with two of my friends to make sure I was a trusted and worthy adopter. My friend even joked that they asked her if I let me dogs sleep with me. TMI? We thought it was funny because my mom gave me a pillow case that says "sleeps with dogs." Anyways, I digress. My husband and I wanted to adopt a bigger dog even though we currently have a sheltie and a chihuahua. The volunteer from Free Spirit educated me on the activeness of the husky breed and the issues that some of the dogs have given that they are coming from high-kill shelters. The dogs at Free Spirit are rescued from death row and often have not be in kind homes. After speaking with the volunteer, my husband and I were fully ready to take on an energetic husky that needed some tender loving care with a huge dollop of patience.

After going out to the rescue with both of our dogs in tow, we met 4-5 dogs and could not make up our mind until my husband met Delilah (now Carmela). He immediately fell in love with her. I was a little sad because they told us she was heart-worm positive and was extremely nervous about adopting a dog with health issues. HOWEVER, after speaking with Karen (the head of the rescue), she made me feel at ease and assured me that all would be well with the right treatment. I called our vet, and she also assured that it would be fine.

Fast forward to more than a year later and I can't imagine my life without Carmela. We have had absolutely no (knock on wood) problems with her. Her heart-worm cleared up after the next round of shots. After a couple weeks on cage duty, she was given free roam of the house and we did not have one accident or issue. She loves our dogs and us. She was a little shy at first and she mostly naps on the couch but she does love a good walk. We were extremely lucky to find Carmela and are extremely grateful to Karen and her rescue for giving our dog a second chance at life. I feel blessed to have added such a great husky mix to our family and fully intend on adopting another husky from Free Spirit in a year or two. I have also decided to volunteer with the rescue because I am so grateful that they gave me Carmela.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our first dog from Free Spirit over 11 years ago and have since adopted another 5 dogs from them at various times. We trust them implicitly in their care and concern of their dogs and in finding them the very best of homes. They have very stringent requirements and do very thorough background checks on all of their adopters. They will even try to talk some adopters out of adopting a husky, in cases where the adopter does not understand all of the traits of the breed. Once you are approved (meaning your application has been reviewed and references checked), they will schedule an appointment with you to come to the rescue with the entire family and current dogs living in the house. This is critical as it is imperative that the new dog will be able to adjust to the family and that the family has what's needed to help the dog adjust (depending on the background of the each individual dog). They spend as much time as necessary to be sure that the dog you select is one that will be able to adjust to your individual pack, both dog and human!

It is clear they knew each of their dogs at the rescue very well in that they were able to predict behaviors and reactions in various situations based on the individual dogs' characteristics. It was also quite clear that they were very knowledgeable about the breed and wanted to be sure to impart some of that knowledge on us as well as new adopters and supporters of the breed.

Once our new pup was selected, we signed a contract agreement - also very thorough. Almost a little daunting, it is obvious that this rescue cares about the long term future of each of the dogs in their care! Once the contract was signed, we set a delivery date. Our new girl was beautifully groomed before being personally delivered to our home. Also during delivery, an actual 'home check' is done to insure that we were who we said we were. During this time, any problem areas in the home can be discussed fully before leaving the dog. We were given a folder with complete medical history on our girl (as far as they knew it) and a starter pack of food (the same that was fed at the rescue). As the owner of the rescue was leaving after the proper process of introduction of our new adoptee into our current pack, our Angel wanted very much to go back with her to the rescue! To us, there is no better indicator that the dogs at FSSR love and trust the people caring for them.

FSSR remained available to help us with any problems that arose, behaviorally and/or medically. In addition to advice over the phone, they were able to direct us to a trainer to help with some of the more stubborn adjustment issues. Since then we have returned and adopted 5 dogs in all from FSSR and we will continue to go only through them for our rescue pups.

Prior to finding Free Spirit, we adopted two dogs, one each from the Wisconsin Humane Society (very wealthy organization) and from Adopt-a-husky. Neither of those organizations can even come close to comparing to Free Spirit in the amount of time, love, care, concern and follow up, given to both their dogs and their new adopters. Free Spirit is a notch above any other rescue we have ever worked with. It is now the ONLY rescue we support through both time and money. They are a wonderful organization fully dedicated to saving animals from euthanasia in shelters across the country and then finding them loving and forever homes to live happy lives in. All of this is done through the relentless work the owners of the rescue put in as well as their many volunteers each and every day, surviving solely on donations. I continue to be very impressed with all they do to save lives and improve unwanted animals lives through loving adoptions.

3 Shayna M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My fiancé and I adopted both of our dogs from Free Spirit and we could not be happier with our furbabies or the people at the rescue! When we came to adopt our first one Sookie everyone was so amazing and helpful! When we came back to get our second one Mozzie, we were hesitant on our decison and they worked with us for 3 HOURS until we knew he was perfect for us!! Free spirit is filled with such caring and passionate people! We loved their cause and their passion so much that we started volunteering ourselves! We've became a part of the free spirit family the moment the adopted Sookie and I am so appreciative of them for saving our two puppies so they could become ours!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I had recently gotten married and I knew the time was right to find a husky. I had grown up with them and love the breed so I knew exactly where to find one. Karen has been a long time family friend of ours. Knowing she had started a rescue organization, I quickly found her site to start the process of finding our newest family member. Their website was awesome because it had all of the their available dogs with specific information about each one. We could easily navigate and find the perfect dog that fit our needs. After filling out the application, it took little to no time at all for our application to be approved and we were able to schedule an appointment to come and meet our potential newest family member. We were welcomed immediately when we arrived by very friendly volunteers. They were able to answer any questions we might of had about the dog we were visiting with. We found our perfect match with a young male named Peter....which we changed to Payton. My husband being the avid Bears fan, I let him name the dog after Walter. It didn't take long to have Payton home with us and the great thing was Karen delivered him herself! After having Payton home with us, we had some food and separation anxiety issues. Karen was just a phone call away and helped us a great deal by giving us lots of advice and suggestions of what to do. It's so reassuring knowing that their main concern is for the dogs and their well being. We really appreciated all the time everyone took to help us find our new best friend. In fact, a few years later we wanted to add another edition to our family! We found our next best friend, Ruby. I was a little nervous about bringing in another dog having never had more than one dog at a time. We brought Payton out to the rescue to meet her and it was wonderful that they had an area for them to meet and play to test their temperaments.

Overall, this rescue does a wonderful job of making sure dogs go to loving homes that will do anything to make sure these rescues have a wonderful second chance at the "good" life. Everyone affiliated with them is very knowledgeable about the breed and want to make the adoption process as thorough and easy as possible. They all care deeply about the dogs they have and will do anything to make sure they are in their new homes furever!

8 Joanna J.

Client Served

Rating: 1

After a long application and phone interview, we were approved to come out and meet the dogs. I brought my family of 7 plus our 2 dogs. We did not get to meet the dogs I asked about on the phone. The inside of the facility smelled horrible, there were dogs all over in small crates as well as outside in kennels. Outside while walking the dogs we stepped in poop everywhere, as if never cleaned. Three out of the 4 dogs we walked had diarrhea. We finally met a dog who we thought was a match, were told she was possible with cats, they test them with a cat they have there. Put down 200 in cash, told they'd bring the dog out to us in a week. Told the dog was about 2 years old was a stray. When she brought the dog to us, she was 3 hours late, it was after 8pm. Introduced the dogs again, signed the papers. Gave her the rest of my cash 125, for the dog. After that she pulled out a box of pills, I thought heartworm, but instead it was for whip worm, had they told me this before I would not have gotten the dog. She even said herself it is very contagious to my 2 other dogs, that I should just clean up right away. Also, after I signed papers, one paper she gave me said the dogs age was 3.5 and another said 4 years old. Again, if I had this info before I would not have got this dog. I figured it was to late to back out now, felt bad for the dog, would try and handle it. Less than 48 hours in my house, with the dog on a leash as I had been told, one of my cats got out, and the dog snatched her in her mouth right in front of me and my kids, thank god I had her on the leash and yanked her off. With blood all over me, I put the dog back in the crate and immediately contacted FreeSpirit owner. She yelled at me saying its basically my fault the cat got out , go find the cat and call her back. Imagine the hysterics of 5 kids seeing their cat almost eaten. My husband then called them several times saying we need to return the dog. We followed the contract that said for any reason we are not able to keep the dog, return to them. They gave us a hard time , sent me articles to read about how to get dogs and cats to get along. I have 2 other dogs that get along fine with our cats. I also had a husky who was fine with my cats, this one was not. After all that, my husband drove all the way out to Harvard, over an hour drive, and dropped her off. They kept my money. I have contacted them several times, the last time they sent me a donation receipt. I did not want to donate 325 to an organization that is not honest. I don't know why they think they can keep my money when I returned the dog to them with in 48 hours. Still have not heard back from them since my last attempt to claim my money.

Review from Guidestar