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Review for Carolina Poodle Rescue, Pacolet, SC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered with Carolina Poodle Rescue for over 4 years, fostered several over this period, and have spent many weekends, holidays, and vacation days working with dogs at the farm who need extra attention. I tried volunteering at many rescues before finding CPR, and I will never forget the first time I visited. I turned into the dirt driveway and immediately saw a dozen or more big dogs out in one of the big grass fields. Some were playing ball, others sunbathing/napping, and a few were self-designated "greeters" to everyone who drove in, and there was always one that notified everyone on site that a new arrival just pulled in. The sense of peace and tranquility were far beyond anything I had hoped to find, and I knew my search was over.

Much growth has happened in the last four years. Now in addition to the big building/kennel, there are half a dozen or so smaller cottages that each house a grouping of dogs, be it littles, seniors, special needs, and others. Every dog gets several hours outside and off leash to either wear themselves out playing, socializing with others, or just quietly enjoying the day. For those that get looked over each time an adopter comes, there is a whole staff of loving caregivers to remind them that are special and highly loved and valued. And the dogs know it, truly. We have a few that can't be adopted out due to issues that were established and reinforced long before they came to CPR. These few will live happily at the farm for the rest of their lives; safe, well-cared for, and so very loved. They do have their own family, and between the caregivers and the volunteers - the size of their family is just much larger than those who are adopted!

Many volunteers live too far away to volunteer at the farm, and because of them we are able to transport dogs that need us from many other states thanks to these dedicated people. Many donate monthly year after year to allow CPR to continue growing - saving and changing even more precious lives. Many sponsor those who remain at the farm to cover care and all medical needs, ensuring the quality of life of these sweet babies are always met.

The staff at CPR are remarkable with the love and affection they manage to give on top of the daily hard work required to maintain the environment for so many. Several days are dedicated each week to take those in need to the vet. Many unexpected, heart-wrenching trips also take place. Many pull through but not all, and the few not able to be saved are remembered with many tears and comforting words and stories about how they touched certain caregiver's life - even those who had only been at the farm a few days were grieved over and celebrated for having given something special and unique that only they could give.

The director and her husband have the hardest job of all, as they live onsite and never have a true day off (those who need special care and monitoring live with them and their own dogs. A "day off" just means taking care of 30 or so dogs with special needs be it insulin shots, seizure meds and monitoring, the list goes on and on. The board members and adoption counselors work tirelessly as well, either making sure the ongoing day to day expenses are met or to screen potential adopters and do their best to be sure they meet dogs that fit the family's environment and lifestyle. Several dogs get introduced when the family arrives, and more likely than not, the dog chooses the family and the family falls for the one who picked them :)

I just adopted my very first CPR dog recently as when I started volunteering, I was not in a place to be able to provide the lifetime of care that comes with adopting your own. When I was ready and able to do so, they started looking and not long after found me the sweetest goldendoodle ever, who truly makes my heart sing. (Even at 5:15 am with rain pouring down - we put on our raingear and take off for our morning exercise as she thinks I am the best every and could care less that I haven't showered or put on makeup or combed my hair!)

No matter what the condition, every dog is worth fighting for. Be it heartworms or blindness or three legs or malnourished and truly physically impaired (or all the above), room is somehow found, care and expenses are always asked for and met, and another life is changed forever. Watching the process is a gift I never get tired of and never stop appreciating, and constantly surprises me with new and different wonders I see take place. If you are looking for a place where love is never turned away and the rewards are always greater than the effort given, I suggest getting involved with this great rescue organization. I am a volunteer, a donor, and a client served, and I highly recommend CPR to all.

Happy New Year and thanks to all the great organizations that work so hard to change the lives of so many in need.

Role:  Volunteer