'Love them': Local group rescues dogs 'that didn't have a chance'

'Love them': Local group rescues dogs 'that didn't have a chance' »Play Video
A volunteer claims one of the rescued dogs.
KENT, Wash. - Volunteers from a local rescue group have saved dozens of dogs from being euthanized due to overcrowding and financial hardships - and many are now closer to finding new homes.

More than 50 dogs arrived in Kent on Saturday night all the way from Northern California. Some greeted the volunteers with excitement, while others were a little scared.

"They're traumatized. It's hard," says Susan Burk of People United for Pets, or PUP. "Some of them have never had a home. Some have disappeared from their homes - their owners never came and got them."

The dogs are all ages, sizes, and breeds - many with medical needs. All were saved from being euthanized.

"It's unfortunate, but it happens when there's a public that's not taking responsibility for making sure that pets are spayed and neutered, and when there are just more pets than the population can support. That's where groups like us get involved," says Burk.

The PUP dog rescue organization started a partnership three years ago with the Stockton Animal Shelter in Northern California. So far, volunteers have rescued 1,200 dogs from the shelter.

"They have an incredibly high euthanasia rate - unfortunately - at their shelter, and they do the best they can. We have a much better population that is very big on adoption and responsible pet care, so we're happy to get them up here," says Burk.

Every dog goes through a process so it's legal to transport them to Washington from another state. They come with documentation, photos - and they're given a foster family.

One female boxer, Banyan, was a stray. Her foster mom, Kelly Britnell, gave her the name before they even met.

"I cried when I saw the dogs come in," says Britnell. "They're at a high-kill shelter with no hope if somebody doesn't come and get them."

Each dog left on Saturday night with a temporary family - but the goal is to find each a forever home.

"It's so rewarding. You take these animals you know that didn't have much of a chance. You love them, and you make them ready to go to a home, and then they go," says Burk.

Volunteers with People United for Pets expect most of the dogs will be ready for adoption soon.

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For more information, visit the PUP website »