All dog lovers seem to have a certain breed they just can't say no to. For Ahwatukee Foothills residents Jennifer D'Oliveira and Malinda Malone their love for Pomeranians is the driving force behind their new Potato Chips Pomeranian Rescue.
"We talked about it for a long time and just never did it," D'Oliveira said. "One day there was a little boy at the Mesa shelter and we just decided to go get him. We couldn't leave him there."
The dog was brought in but didn't last long in their shelter. D'Oliveira adopted him herself. Since then the women have found many other Pomeranians that need their help, including some from Tucson and California.
They chose the name Potato Chips Pomeranian Rescue because they know from experience that once you have one you just want more.
"It's very rare to see a pom owner with only one," Malone said. "Usually they have two or three at least."
The dogs are all housed at Malone's Ahwatukee grooming business, Malinda's Pampered Pets, though the rescue is separate from her business. They'd love to put the dogs in foster homes eventually but say the dogs are not missing any love being housed at the business.
"It's a positive atmosphere for them here," Malone said. "My staff absolutely dotes on them. There's no loss of attention."
The women check petfinder.com for new Pomeranians that enter the pound. They also rely on other rescues and pet lovers to let them know when they spot a dog in need.
Once they get the dog to the rescue they get a good bath and then they're quarantined for a week just to make sure they are OK. The women make sure the dogs are spayed and neutered and have all their shots. Eventually, they're let out with the other dogs at the business to socialize.
"It only takes a couple days of major love and attention and stability to turn a dog around," Malone said. "Some of these dogs have been living on the street and so they have that mentality but in here they thrive."
When it's time for adoption the women go through a long process to ensure a happy ending. First, someone interested in adoption must fill out a form to say they are interested in a dog. Then comes the application. Then a home visit. If all goes well in the home visit, there is a contract written up and the dog can go to the home with a blanket, a toy and food.
The adoptions cost around $150, but may vary depending on how much extra care the dog has needed.
"We pretty much charge what we put in to the dog for adoption," Malone said. "We're not trying to make money off of this. We're trying to get these dogs better homes without abuse or neglect."
The rescue is a non-profit and, so far, the women have spent mostly their own money to get it started. Malone has set up a monthly "Yappy Hour" at her business. During Yappy Hour owners can bring their dogs into her business just to socialize as their owners socialize. It's a free event but donations will go towards the rescue. They also have a raffle at the event for more fundraising.
The next Yappy Hour will be Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. The women also have a PayPal account set up to receive donations online.
For more information on the rescue, visit their Facebook page by searching "Potato Chips Pomeranian Rescue" or send them an email at email@example.com.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or firstname.lastname@example.org