HILLIARD, Ohio (WCMH) – All-time high numbers and all-time low funding is a problem one Hilliard dog rescue center is facing, but the owner said it’s a problem rescues all over can relate to.
Founder of Freedom Tails Ohio, April Burnside said they typically see 50 to 60 rescues a month; currently, they’re on track to see more than 200 rescues this month.
She traces the cause for this influx back to the pandemic.
“For us, the problem is the commercial breeders are still breeding like they’re selling the dogs during COVID for the high dollar amounts in mass quantities,” Burnside said. “People are not buying them anymore, which is great, but that leaves a lot of puppies and adult dogs with nowhere to go.”
The influx in rescues isn’t the only problem facing rescues. Burnside said their funding and donations are ⅓ of what they usually are.
Donations and adoption fees is how the care for these dogs is funded while they wait to be adopted or fostered.
Burnside said besides basic needs like food, the funds help them get rescues their needed medical procedures.
“It’s thousands of dollars in care and we adopt dogs out for average between two and five hundred dollars,” Burnside said.
With two pregnant dogs currently and three with heart conditions, the total cost for these rescues can add up. Having nearly three times their average capacity with ⅓ of the funding has left their shelves bare.
Burnside said the current number of dogs and puppies they have and the low funding and donations puts their food supply in the negative.
Now she’s asking the community for help.
“I don’t know what the solution is,” Burnside said. “We need support from the community, we need support from pet stories, manufacturers, businesses, and we’re not alone. I’m begging for us but also all the other rescues out there.”
Burnside said some of their top needed items are puppy food, adult dog food, and leashes and harnesses.