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Get to Know: K-9 Lifesavers

By Colleen Williams
September 24, 2018 • 3 min. read

In August 2018, the Healthy Paws Foundation announced the third run of our grant initiative, The Healthy Paws Rescue Race, funded through our “Every Quote Gives Hope” program. Six organizations were selected to participate, “race” for the biggest grant ($20,000), and the winner was then chosen based on the number of votes garnered through the Rescue Race page. The organizations work hard to share on social media and encourage followers, supporters, and friends to get them to the finish line! This past August, Healthy Paws gave a grand total of $70,000, divided among the six nonprofits, and every organization received at least $5,000. Here’s the story behind our big winner, K-9 Lifesavers!

K-9 Lifesavers is a volunteer-run, non-profit rescue, dedicated to saving the lives of homeless and abandoned dogs from high-kill shelters and high-risk situations in Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Kentucky. They pull dogs from low-income rural areas, where hundreds of highly-adoptable dogs are euthanized every week due to overpopulation, lack of spay/neuter education, and inadequate funding. They cite the help of their dedicated volunteers, transporters, shelter partners, fosters, and donors as the real reason they’re able to save lives “Four Paws at a Time”.

They pulled one such pup, named Lollie, who became the featured story along with their application for the Rescue Race. She came to K-9 Lifesavers with not only an injured front leg that was missing its paw, but another leg with ligament and tendon damage. She was diagnosed with heartworm disease and had five puppies in tow. After visiting the vet, they determined they had to amputate her right leg, begin hydrotherapy (that’s physical therapy in a small pool), get a brace for her left leg, and implement heartworm treatment.

While she was undergoing this massive treatment to save her life, she was placed with a loving foster family. They set out to help her transition into being a “tripod,” and get her ready to go to her next home – however, it didn’t take long before her fosters (and the four dogs they counted as their family) fell in love with Lollie and adopted her.

“She is still being treated for heartworm disease and has a little trouble walking, but Lollie is a true fighter,” says Shannon Buck, Fundraising Coordinator at K-9 Lifesavers. “Her family calls her their warrior princess and she’s won the hearts of her doggy brothers, who help her gain confidence every day. Her new pet parents have even gotten her a prosthesis to help relieve the weight she bears on her left side, and they (and we) think she’s a true inspiration.”

It’s Lollie’s story that makes K-9Lifesavers so exemplary. The medical care costs behind each rescued pup can be moderate, or it can be into the thousands, as it was with Lollie’s surgeries and ongoing physical therapy. Whether they’re filling their Instagram with adoptable pups or picking up dogs from rural shelters and getting them to homes, they work hard to save lives.

And speaking of transportation, “This win of $20,000 came just in time! We have only one van for transport and it was falling apart,” says Ms. Buck. “We use this van to pick up dogs from our partner shelters, take them to vet appointments as well as adoption events. We were able to use the award money from the Rescue Race to purchase a brand-new van! We will now be able to continue our mission to save these dogs and find them happy homes.”

To find out more about upcoming adoption events (and K-9 Lifesavers is working every weekend at those) or how you can donate or sponsor dogs, please visit their website to get involved.

Visit the Healthy Paws Rescue Race page to learn more about the other participating organizations that qualified for grants and check back here on the blog to read about each organization!


colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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