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Get to Know: Woof Gang Rescue

By Colleen Williams
October 2, 2018 • 3 min. read
Screenshot 2018-10-02 10.45.48

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 and “race” to the finish line. The winner was chosen based on the number of votes they received, so organizations worked hard to share on social media and encourage followers, supporters, and friends to get them the cash! 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 $15,000 winner, Woof Gang Rescue.

 Woof Gang Rescue is a no-kill, volunteer-run rescue organization serving Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana. Their focus is predominantly on dogs at risk for euthanasia, owner surrenders, and those in danger of abuse or neglect. “We place dogs in loving, responsible, committed permanent homes, following a comprehensive adoption process which includes taking considerable care in finding good matches and educating prospective adopters about the responsibilities and costs of bringing a dog into their homes and lives,” says Jodie Hoffmann-Ruffalo, Executive Director of Woof Gang Rescue. “Animals in our care are spayed or neutered, receive all appropriate veterinary care and treatment, and placed in nurturing foster homes while they await placement in their permanent homes. We assist dogs in distress without regard to age, breed or ease of placement. To the extent our finances allow, dogs in the greatest need take priority. Finally, we strive to work with area shelters and other rescue and humane organizations to develop a network of supporters and volunteers in order to create a better world for homeless pets.”

One such rescue that was the result of their network was Buffalo, a stray dog who persevered through a tough winter and a very dire situation. It was in January of 2016 in Chicago, and Buffalo was a stray that rescuers found frozen to the ground. The poor pup was loosened from the ground by thawing the ice with hot water. He was then transported to Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC), where Woof Gang was alerted.

“Woof Gang was able to rescue Buffalo from the shelter so he could receive extensive and necessary medical care,” explains Hoffmann-Ruffalo. “Once he was at the vet, they determined that he was suffering from pneumonia and influenza.” Buffalo was very close to losing his battle, but he fought hard to live and pulled through. “He moved into a foster home where he continued to recuperate, growing stronger and healthier, and then he received training and socialization to help coexist with other dogs.”

Once he was ready to be adopted, Buffalo found his fur-ever home quickly, which included a family with two human siblings. Hoffmann-Ruffalo continues: “Additionally, in July 2017, he also gained a furry sister –– also from Woof Gang! From a lifeless body, frozen to the ground, to a warm home with a family of his very own, Buffalo has finally found the love he deserves!”

The $15,000 Healthy Paws grant will assist in vetting incoming dogs and help with urgent medical needs, but first, “we want to give back to our friends at the “Live Like Roo” (an organization connected to Woof Gang) for the help they have given us,” says Hoffmann-Ruffalo.  “The remainder of the grant will go into dog care as needed. We’ve been taking in many dogs with parvo from the shelters. It’s fatal without medical attention, so we want to be there for them!”

Please visit Woof Gang Rescue’s site to learn more about their life-saving work, and don’t forget to check out their facility!

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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