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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Operation Paws for Homes

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal-Related, Animals, Dogs

Mission: Operation Paws for Homes, Inc. rescues dogs of all breeds and ages from high-kill shelters reducing the numbers being euthanized. Most of our dogs come from rural shelters in South and North Carolina. With limited resources, the shelters are forced to put down anywhere between 50% and 90% of the animals that come in the front door. We also partner with shelters located in Virginia and Maryland. Our organization provides pet adoption services to families located in Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania and neighboring states. OPH does not operate a shelter or have a physical location. We rely on foster families who open their homes to give love and attention to each dog before finding a forever home. Through the foster care program, we are able to learn about each dog and their needs and we provide their potential and future adopters with this information. We believe in responsible adoptions and strive to work with each adopter to find a good match for their home and lifestyle. Operation Paws for Homes, a volunteer powered 501(c)(3) organization, is 100% donor funded. We receive no funding from federal, state, or county governments. As a result, we rely on donations and our adoption fees in order to save the dogs in need that join our rescue organization. Our goal is to fulfill the dreams of dogs who find themselves abandoned in shelters. Sadly, without our help, all of these adoptable animals would face almost certain euthanasia - usually within days or hours of arriving at the shelter. Each year we take in hundreds of wonderful animals who were left at shelters by no fault of their own. We work hard to unite them with forever families who will give them the life and love they deserve. Without the dedication of our incredible adopters, fosters, donors, and volunteers, we would be unable to fulfill this dream.

Target demographics: abandoned and unwanted dogs who find themselves alone in shelters

Direct beneficiaries per year: approximately 1,000 dogs find forever homes!

Geographic areas served: animal rescue to assist shelters located in rural areas throughout South and North Carolina, southern Virginia, amazing Potcakes from T&C islands, and some wonderful Desi Dogs from India.

Programs: adoption, fostering and outreach. With limited resources, the shelters are forced to put down anywhere between 50% and 90% of the animals that come in the front door. We also partner with shelters located in Virginia and Maryland. Our organization provides pet adoption services to families located in Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania and neighboring states.

Community Stories

258 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Jason M.9

Client Served

Rating: 5

OPH was extremely helpful in bringing us together with this precious pup! They worked tirelessly to make sure that we were a good fit for each other. They took great care in their screening and were very accommodating to our needs and wants as it pertains to finding the right pup. Katie, Jackie, and Barbara all played an instrumental role in this process. You can tell how much all of these volunteers and staff members love the dogs they work for. They are so caring, passionate, and dedicated to the cause. We couldn't ask for a better experience! On behalf of our new furry family member, we say thank you OPH!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently worked with Operation Paws for Homes to find a new canine family member. After months of research we decided to send applications to a few different rescues to get approved for adoption so when a dog came along that we liked we could meet her and adopt her quickly. I am shocked at how bad the communication was with all other shelters BESIDES Operation Paws for Homes (OPH). The staff at OPH is very responsive, detailed, and thoughtful. They are meticulous in the adoption process which is great as they ensure prospective adopters are going to be a good fit for their pets. After filling out an application we were approved within days, we were then able to schedule a visit with the foster family and our pup Lizzie.

Upon adoption we were provided detailed paperwork with our new dog's (Lizzie) medical records, a bag of food, and were educated on her daily routine, likes and dislikes, and commands. Our dog was a stray so she is going to require some training but she's a sweet dog and you can tell that OPH and the foster family took great care of her. I thought she would be aggressive, isolate, and passive but she is playful, socialized, and energetic. I would highly recommend OPH to anyone considering adoptions, I've already passed their contact information to a few friends.

Side note: I literally still have pending applications out with other rescues which I sent well over a month ago (MAMAS Shelter / Safe Haven Puppy Rescue is the worst). Go with a rescue that cares about the dogs and is responsive in getting them to the right home at the right pace

Client Served

Rating: 5

OPH is a top notch organization with top notch volunteers. They do amazing work. I couldn't be happier to have adopted from them.

After losing my 10 year old Cocker Spaniel to renal failure in February, I initially wanted to adopt another Cocker. The thought of adopting any other type of dog didn't even cross my mind. After searching the various Cocker rescue groups in the area, I didn't find a dog that I thought would fit in with my two, young cats. It was at that point, I decided the best course of action was to adopt a puppy.

Two of my neighbors volunteer for OPH and suggested that I complete an application...just to get the ball rolling. After I completed the application, I searched their website and saw the sweetest little boy ever. As luck would have it, I am now the proud mom of Avi; whose heritage is unknown.

Throughout the adoption process, I was extremely impressed by the level of communication and education provided by OPH. Of course they did a thorough check of me as a potential adoptor as well. They truly care about the welfare of their dogs.

The couple who fostered the litter of pups that Avi was a part of sent daily updates on their progress and tons of wonderful photos and videos; making sure to highlight each and every pup. I fell in love with my guy before I even met him.

I've had Avi for two weeks now, and the rescue is still in touch with me; making sure our transition is going well, checking to see if I need anything. They also sent out a coupon for a free training session with one of their training partners. This was truly unexpected and greatly appreciated.

If you are looking to add a dog or cat to your family, I would highly recommend working with OPH.

Client Served

Rating: 5

During a visit to a Strawberry Festival in Virginia, we saw a group of dogs at a vendor booth.
We had never heard of OPH (Operation Paws for Homes) but did stop to pet the dogs. One in particular grabbed our hearts.
My husband and I lost our beagle in January of this year and had not decided about getting another dog.
The beagle we had was a lost dog that my son found on the side of a road in West Virginia while fishing.
He started Graduate school and just could not take care of a dog. We were "empty-nesters" and had a 14 year old Lab at home.
We certainly helped out our son and began our love affair with our little friend.
Our Lab also fell in love but only lived another 5 months.
Our beagle helped to fill that loss.
This was our fist rescue.
Now back to the Strawberry Festival, we decided to take the paperwork and the card.
We thought we would apply and see how the whole process would go.
We were in Virginia for the festival and live in Pennsylvania.
OPH turned out to be an amazing organization. They responded quickly and always had the information we needed.
It was a great experience. And when we were approved and met the foster family of our little beagle, it sold us on OPH. She was so kind with her information and desire to help this precious dog.
After taking him home, our beagle has been so great. Everyone with OPH has made sure we are doing well and that the dog is doing well.
I will always return to OPH and will recommend them to anyone looking for an animal.
Sydney, our beagle, has won our hearts and is part of our family.
We are grateful to OPH for saving the life of this amazing dog. We feel he was saved for us.
Sincerely,
Bill and Susan A.




Client Served

Rating: 5

I applied to adopt a puppy through a different rescue organization. I received an email message saying that my application had been received, but was never contacted again. When I found a puppy that interested me on the Operation Paws for Homes website, I filled out an application and was contacted less than two days later even though it was a holiday weekend. From that point on, the process went very quickly, with frequent communications from the Operation Paws for Homes staff and the puppy's foster mom.
We ended up adopting the puppy that I had originally chosen when he was old enough to leave his mother and we are so thrilled to have him. Prior to him coming to our home, he had already been seen by the vet at least twice for his initial examinations, shots, medications and microchipping. All through the process, we received resources and advice about preparing for, caring for and training our new puppy. The people who work at Operation Paws for Homes have a lot of dog experience. If I ever need advice about my pup, they will be a great source of information.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Two years after losing our dog to cancer, we felt that the time was right for another dog. Referred by our daughter, we contacted OPH and went through the adoption qualification process. After multiple conversations and a thorough vetting, we were approved for adoption. Our preference was a puppy's we were placed on the puppy adoption email list. When we saw a puppy that seemed to meet our most important criteria, we contacted the OPH puppy coordinator. That ultimately led to us selecting the puppy that we wanted, after the OPH coordinator agreed that he was the best fit based upon our conversations. We met him at his foster mom's place and decided that he was right for us. We brought him home, along with a very comprehensive and informative file that showed his shot record, and any other critical facts that were known about him. In addition, there were excellent reference materials. We love our puppy, he has responded with love to us, and our house is now complete in a way that only a dog can provide. Throughout this process, OPH was thorough, professional, and completely dedicated to providing what is best for the dog and the adopters. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love OPH rescue. We have rescued two dogs through OPH. An older 7 year old King Cavalier Spaniel and now a 15 week old puppy mix. We love the network of foster homes OPH works with and the fact that we are saving dogs from kill shelters. Our little puppy was found in a garbage dump and nursed back to health. All the volunteers are stellar!! We are so blessed to have these dogs as a part of our family and we will continue to rescue dogs as long as we have the resources to give them a good home. We highly recommend OPH to all dog lovers and people committed to rescue.

Ramzy H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been thinking about getting a dog for a few months, so we went to an adoption event featuring Operation Paws for Homes. It was absolutely love at first sight when we saw Ginger at the adoption event. You could tell she was nervous and uncomfortable but she was holding it together! We wanted nothing but to bring the sweet little girl home and to love her back to normal. We decided that if we didn't get her, we weren't adopting anytime soon. The adoption process was quick and easy and her foster mom, Mindy was extremely helpful from the moment we met her and Ginger to now, answering literally every question we had to help us transition Ginger from her home to ours. It's only been 2 days but Ginger is doing extremely well in our home and is getting love and attention every moment we're near her. She's the sweetest little pup and we can't thank OPH and Mindy enough for their love and hard work. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

For a few months I had been searching for a new dog after grieving the loss of my beloved dog of 16 years. I'd tried the local shelters, but in addition to there not being as much variety as I'd liked, it was tough not knowing the back story of many of those dogs. Through a simple online search I stumbled upon OPH, and was immediately impressed with them. Their website is so easy to use, and the stories accompanying each profile gives you incredible insight into the journeys these dogs have taken. Once I expressed my interest, their process was amazingly thorough and personalized. I was even given the option of trial adoption based on my dog's background, but we became convinced that our new addition is the perfect fit. Thank you OPH for handling my family, and our sweet boy Ronan, with such TLC. I am in awe of the selfless work that you and your volunteers do for the good of animals. Forever grateful! The Nyantehs

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have adopted two wonderful dogs from OPH. I am so happy to have two new members of the family! Both foster families I worked with were great. Obviously people with big hearts!

gmarietyler

Client Served

Rating: 5

We recently adopted a beagle mix via OPH and are thrilled with our new family member and the ease of the process to bring her home. From start to finish, the folks at OPH were professional, helpful and friendly. The application process was very straightforward and all our questions were answered in a timely fashion. Our dog, Penelope Jane, now renamed Laylee, was in foster care via OPH and the family who took care of her couldn't have been nicer! It was obvious when we went to pick up our new family member, that her foster family really cared about her and treated her like family, too. We are grateful to OPH for all their hard work and efforts on behalf of animals, ensuring they find safe, comfortable furever homes with hoomans that will continue to care for them like the folks at OPH.

The Tylers
Peanut, Smokey, Bentley and Laylee

1 Ashley M.6

Client Served

Rating: 5

We highly recommend OPH. They responded to our application very quickly and have been responsive all through the process. Everyone we have dealt with has been professional, kind, and a pleasure. They have been very thorough in providing us with resources and follow up to ensure our rescued dog adjusts well. Their concern and love for homeless dogs is very evident. Two thumbs up and a big thank to OPH!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

After my beloved dog died, I went on a search for another canine companion to share my home. I’m so glad I found OPH. From initial contact, the process was easy. My adoption coordinator found a dog who would be a great fit for our family and we had the support of two amazing fosters.

I would adopt from this group at any time. I’m so grateful for them and they opportunity they gave me and my new fur kid :)

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

OPH connected our family with our furbaby, Hopscotch (now named Bailey)! Everyone at OPH was wonderful to work with through the adoption process, and Cara, Bailey's foster mom was very helpful. On adoption day, she was thorough and detailed so that knew what to expect when we brought her home. I would definitely recommend adopting through OPH!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I searched, for a long time, and applied to several rescues and shelters. It wasn't until I discovered OPH that my dream was finally realized. OPH has numerous breeds, ages, and sizes to choose from when you are considering adoption. All the representatives I communicated with were very professional and timely in their responses. OPH's concern with animal welfare is noticeable in their contract expectations and screening process. It was a pleasure working with them as well as the foster provider for my family's new pup. Thank you OPH!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted an 8 week okd puppy and then 10 weeks later adopted a 16 week old puppy. Both adoption experiences were great, easy and thorough. Both fosters, Sheila Cole and Livia McCartney, are amazing women and gave Scout (aka Mustang Sally) and Willow (aka Parthenia) the best head start possible. This rescue agency is managed by my we'll and I have complete trust with them.
I am moving to West Virginia in the summer to a home with 20 acres of land. My dream is to offer a home to dogs in need. I'm excited about this and will work with OPH.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had been looking for a dog to adopt for several months. This was our final effort when we came upon OPH's post of a Black Lab/Feist mix. What drew us to her was her sweet face. We applied, and the staff and the foster care giver were very helpful and supportive. Fate apparently played a hand, because there was a couple interested before us. However, they changed their minds and on my birthday, we received the email that we could adopt in their place. Two days later we pick her up and using the name we had already picked, Addie, we brought her home. She immediately became a loving member of the family. She's smart, loving, cute, playful and just the best. Her becoming a member of our family is due to the excellent management and assistance of all those at OPH.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

OPH has been amazing in every single way. After processing my application quickly, we talked on the phone for an hour talking about my past experiences, my current living situation, aspirations as a dog owner, and which dogs would be a good fit. They steered me towards Bilbo, and he was the perfect fit. They treat dogs with medical issues which is rare among rescues, and they helped me understand how to take care of a dog after heartworm treatment. They worked incredibly hard to help me find my dream dog and I couldn't be happier!

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OPHRescue1 09/25/2018

We are beyond thrilled that Bilbo is the perfect addition to your family. We wish you nothing but years of happiness.

4 Amy N.5

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our furbaby, Selma Mae (formerly Nancy) from OPH four years ago and she has been the absolute best dog for us. She has the sweetest disposition and just naturally goes with the flow. We love her to pieces. From start to finish, the application and adoption process was easy and smooth with clear communication from OPH staff and her foster mom. When Selma tested positive for heartworms a year after adopting her, OPH was right there to aid in getting her treatment and taking care of the costs as we had her on preventatives the whole time. We now live in Kosovo and Selma is here with us too! When we rescued some abandoned puppies from our street, OPH stepped up and found fosters in the states for them. Now, these two Kosovo street pups have forever homes in the US with adoring owners thanks to OPH! I am inspired by the amazing work and dedication of the staff and volunteers at OPH and am considering fostering here in Kosovo to do my part to help the many, many homeless and needy dogs that deserve a chance for a better life. Thank you OPH for all you do!

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OPHRescue1 09/25/2018

Nothing better than a happy ending!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We had a great experience adopting with OPH. The volunteers were all friendly and helpful through the process. They share lot’s of information both before and after adoption to answer questions and remind you of the ups and downs with adopting a rescue pup. This is our fourth rescue and definitely the most thorough rescue organization we have worked with, both in the application and follow up. We highly recommend!

Comments ( 2 )

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Thank you for adding 4 rescue dogs to your family. We are honored to be part of their journey!

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OPHRescue1 09/25/2018

Thank you for the kind words. We are lucky to have so many wonderful volunteers.

3 Anne Hall G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am forever grateful to Debbie Ryder Tindal and OPH for bringing Kaylee in to my life.

Comments ( 1 )

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Yes, Debbie is an amazing adoption coordinator!

4 Grace A R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Because of this amazing organization we added two beautiful, loving, dogs and at least one would have never added to our family without the intervention of OPH getting her the lifesaving medicine for her heartworm.

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Heart worm positive dogs hold a special place with OPH as many rescues will not pull them from the shelters. OPH treats approximately 100 each year! Thank YOU for adding these two adorable dogs to your family!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted two wonderful dogs from OPH. The volunteer staff is very responsive and is dedicated to finding the right match for you. Not only do they rescue dogs, they support dog shelters with limited means by donating food and other supplies. I could not recommend OPH enough!

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Thank you! We are proud of our community that helps collect donations for our shelter partners. Donations are always welcome - from food to bedding, cleaning supplies, toys and treats.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family wanted a rescue dog and we found one we liked on the OPH website. We filled out an application. This nice respectful volunteer contacted me -- She listened to my background, my experience with dogs, asked me some key questions, and helped me to get approved to be a rescuer. I then contacted my dog's foster parent. She drove over an hour to meet me and show me the dog. I fell in love. After the adoption we had some issues introducing my new dog to our cat, and the foster parent was so patient while we worked through it. Finally, I joined the Facebook closed group. It is amazing how many great dog owners there from this organization. The volunteers are so dedicated and genuine. This organization goes to north carolina every 2 weeks and clears out the kill shelters. What a great organization.

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

We are happy that things are going well with your pup and cat. We now have a training initiative for all new adopters to support them during the transition time.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love OPH because they helped us find our sweet lab mix Eevee! Everything from the application, to meeting her with her foster family, and completing the adoption process was so easy and they communicated every step in a clear and timely manner. It took us a while to find Eevee, cause puppies get adopted quick, but here we are 4 years later and couldn't be happier. I have recommended OPH to my friends that have expressed interest in adopting in the northern VA area.

6 Randi M.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was very impressed with the comprehensive adoption process offered by Operation Paws for Homes when I applied to adopt my boy Trevor. The staff was thorough, compassionate, well-informed and extremely professional. The personal commitment these people have to pulling animals from high-intake shelters in order to foster them in their own homes to ensure they get the chance to have a fantastic life is unbelievable (and inspirational). I honestly can't say enough wonderful things about Operation Paws for Homes. Top Notch, these people have great hearts.

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Without loving homes like yours, we couldn't do our job! Thank YOU for adopting!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wanted to be involved in rescue and a friend was fostering for OPH and encouraged me to volunteer. In Oct 2014 I did my first transport to pick up a dog from transport to take a dog to a kennel until a foster home became available. I ended up fostering that dog and have been fostering and volunteering ever since. OPH is a wonderful organization and has some of the most dedicated volunteers.
Here's a Pic of our current OPH foster Monty.

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Fostering dogs is like eating potato chips - no one can ever stop at one! So glad that you're hooked!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned of OPH several years ago when I was looking for a rescue dog and applied to adopt once of theirs. During the adoption process, I was very impressed with everyone with whom I came into contact. Kind, communicative, organized, and obviously passionate about the mission of OPH. I started following the group on social media and donating to them multiple times. When my personal situation became such that I had additional free time, I decided I wanted to spend that time volunteering with a dog rescue group. OPH immediately came to mind, so I applied to be a volunteer. I spent a few months "getting my feet wet" with OPH by volunteering at events and writing dog bios. Again, I was impressed at the organization and communication among volunteers. Hearing the calls for additional fosters to save dogs that would otherwise be euthanized, I decided I was ready to become an OPH foster. I am currently fostering my first pup with OPH and it's been a fantastic experience. I am so glad to be part of this amazing organization and helping to save the lives of so many deserving dogs!

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

We have so many ways for the public to get involved. Where ever your talents lie, we can find a position for you. Thanks so much for being a part of our village!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We are a two time adopters with Operation Paws for Homes!!! I would do it again if the opportunity presented itself!! Love.my OPH furbabies!!! It's a great organization to work with!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rescuing dogs is a noble mission.....but doing it “right” is complicated and demanding, rewarding and sometimes sad, heartwarming and exhausting....and worth it every time, every pup. It takes incredible dedication from every person involved....when they can help, every time they help. It takes a broadly talented group who care about the lives they are impacting and saving. It takes so much more than I knew before joining Operation Paws for Homes. I’ve received a completely new type of education at this point in my life.....one that saves lives. But I go to bed at night knowing “I’ve helped save lives...me!.....along with the hundreds of members of our village”. Operation Paws for Homes is an incredible group devoted to rescuing dogs and supporting those who help achieve that mission......and we can have as much puppy love as we might want along the way!!

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

We love all of our volunteers and cherish each one of them!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I adopted a best friend from OPH. The entire organization is well organized and communicates well with adopters. The organization provides support and resources post adoption which makes the process less daunting.
I was so pleased with the way things were done I started volunteering after adopting my pet.

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Thank you for the kind words. We are so happy for all of you!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined OPH as a volunteer over 6 years ago. In that time, the rescue has grown by leaps and bounds. What I love best is our ability (and willingness) to adjust our processes in a way to best meet the needs of the dogs we rescue. We interact with a plethora of different personalities, both human and canine, on a daily basis and, based on what we learn, are able to adjust our thinking, processes and programs to best support our mission. From children's programs, senior dog sanctuaries and prison programs, our dogs are given every possible opportunity to find the safe harbor they deserve. We all have have jobs, families, dogs and responsibilities aside from the rescue -- but we give as much as we can whenever we can. If you ever wanted to do something "good" -- this is the place!

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Thank you for the many years of dedication and hard work you've given to OPH. It's truly appreciated!

2 Elizabeth Combs G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best support system for adopters and volunteers. It takes a village to rescue dogs, and OPH knows it! I have been fostering with them since November of 2016. The foster support system is wonderful. So many people willing to jump in and help others if they are having problems with their foster dogs. With the help of their in place system and encouragement, I have fostered 74 dogs. I love fostering because it gives these dogs a chance that they might not otherwise have. Plus it gives me my puppy fix. Seeing the joy on the adopters faces is an experience I cannot put into words.

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

You are a valuable member of our village - thank you!

4 Lauren H.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Adopting through Operation Paws for Homes was a great experience for us! Our adoption application was processed very quickly, and everyone that we dealt with along the way was very pleasant and helpful. We were able to visit our pup, Thor before adopting him and it was obvious that his foster family was very loving and took great care of him. They gave us a lot of helpful advice and information, and even sent us home with some food, a collar, and some of Thor's favorite toys! Since the adoption, we have kept in touch with some members of the OPH community who are always very eager to receive updates and photos of Thor enjoying his new home. It is very obvious that all of the volunteers are passionate about what they do, and that they will do everything they can to keep these pups healthy and place them in safe homes. I would highly recommend anyone looking for a new dog to adopt through Operation Paws for Homes.

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Not only do our volunteers and fosters love the updates, but so do our shelter partners. They are encouraged by your stories to keep getting the dogs out of the shelter.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We've had the most wonderful experience with Operation Paws for Homes! I would highly recommend OPH to anyone in the mid-atlantic region looking for a fur-baby. We found them through petfinder and haven't looked back. Once we were approved through OPH we easily chose a pet online from https://ophrescue.org/dogs (a detailed listing of each dog currently fostered or in the process of being rescued, updated daily+) that matched what we were hoping for. We met our pup, Cosmo, who was being fostered less than an hour away. He had gotten sick after being rescued and the foster parents took amazing care of him. We had to wait a week before we could take him home due to his illness, but that gave us plenty of time to prepare our home for our new addition. Cosmo is a wonderful 8 month old black lab (mix?). He must have been owned before he became a stray (he was brought to a shelter in South Carolina at around 7 months old) because he is the most well behaved and easily trained puppy! We are so thankful that OPH saved him from harm and brought him home to us (with a quick stop at a wonderful foster home!).

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OPHRescue1 08/08/2018

Our Medical Coordinator, Tracy, is amazing and so helpful and patient with our fosters. We're thrilled that Cosmo is doing well and in such a loving home!