My rescue experience began in 2011, when I attended a Valentine’s Day photo fundraiser in support of a local rescue with my pride and joy; Keely (age 11) and Tora (age 10). Keely is an Akita/Bullmastiff/Rottweiler/Shepherd mix and Tora is a pittie mix. I was lucky enough to be the fur mom to Charlie, my big Boxer boy for 4 amazing years. Sadly he left me in 2017.
I first began fostering and quickly realized I wanted to be involved in other areas of animal rescue as well.
I met Jessica Dial in 2011 through volunteering with a local animal rescue and we became fast friends. We both worked in the legal field and shared a huge love for animals.
In 2012, Jessica founded Hope Lives Here Animal Rescue. Together, we poured our hearts and souls into HLH. Jessica in Red Deer and myself heading up the Edmonton branch.
In 2016, Jessica, our founder, started a family and, with her blessing, I became the President of Hope Lives Here. Hope Lives Here will forever have a special place in her heart, and I was honoured to take over what she had created.
Since taking over, Hope Lives Here has secured a much larger presence in Edmonton and has continued to grow in Red Deer. We now have foster homes that span all the way south to Calgary and West to Spring Lake.
I’ve been an avid animal lover and rescuer ever since I can remember. At the age of four, I was bringing home pregnant cats and kittens. My mom always made sure they were spayed or neutered with vaccinations before we found homes for them. I learned the process at a very young age.
At the age of 20 I volunteered with a group that was pulling dogs from kill shelters out of the US. Although very rewarding, after two years the stress and personal financial burden became too much. I then started to research local rescues in Edmonton.
In 2013, I met Alayna from Hope Lives Here Animal Rescue and it was life changing. She took me to one of the targeted communities, where I met two dump dogs we named; Bart and Lilie. Alayna and I became fast friends. I enjoyed what she and the organization stood for. It’s been 9 years and I haven’t looked back.
Adoption and Foster Coordinator, Behavior & Training Coordinator
I was the girl walking home from school who found “stray cats” out in the rain and brought them home because I thought they were cold. My mom of course wouldn’t let me keep them, saying I I couldn’t keep someone else’s pet.
8 years ago when my first dog Barney passed away, I decided to look into fostering. I wanted to concentrate my efforts on supporting and helping Indigenous Communities and I wanted to make a difference in a dog’s life. Hope Lives Here Animal Rescue stood out above other rescues. For this, I applied.
Rescuing the unwanted & abandoned has set my soul on fire and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Throughout my time with Hope Lives Here Animal Rescue, I’ve worn many hats such as: dog foster, foster coordinator, adoption coordinator and I’ve been a whelping home to four momma’s with pups.
Rescue has fulfilled my life in many ways. I have fostered a dog with mega esophagus, a dog with neurological issues, a dog that had a 50/50 percent chance of ever walking again and now he’s running.
I am forever grateful for being able to be a part of such an amazing community of people who are out there trying to make a difference.
Foster, Event Coordinator, and PetSmart Liaison
I rescued my first dog over 20 years ago. She was a sled dog from Yellowknife, NT who was abandoned by her owner, adopted out and returned twice all before the age of one. Her name was Jade. Although she misbehaved and caused me so much havoc in the first year; I was determined to change her life around. Which I did. I was blessed with her love for the next 13 years.
Throughout the years, I rescued again, again and again. But it was never enough. The kennels and the streets were full back then and remain full today of unwanted dogs. The next step was a no brainer, I entered the wonderful world of fostering. This allowed me the opportunity to train, exercise and provide love and boundaries to unwanted dogs that desperately needed a second chance. These dogs are not all unruly, most of them have been abandoned or neglected.
I’m often asked, if I get attached to the dogs and how hard is it to pass them over. I’m one of the biggest animal lovers and rescue advocates out there. I get attached to the dogs instantly and have crying fits when I say goodbye. With Hope Lives Here Animal Rescue, our program allowed me to navigate where the foster dogs go. I saw where they would be sleeping and had an opportunity to meet and spend time with the adopters. This gave me great peace of mind.
These days, I don’t foster as much as I used to. I do have the pleasure of working with our fosters, educating them on our program and sharing my experiences. I am involved in many things within the organization and the best part of volunteering is working with such a dedicated and dynamic team.
Fundraising & Events Coordinator
I’ve been the Fundraising and Events Coordinator since September 2019. Being honored with this position came as quite a surprise to me. One second I’m adopting my big boy Blu; the next, I’m creating my own fundraisers and raising money for the cause because I was determined to make a difference.
My goal is to create as many different fundraisers/events trying to reach a different demographic each time. The more people/families Hope Lives Here can reach, the more exposure we can get to help the most vulnerable communities.
I’m forever grateful for our supporters, sponsors, donors and the businesses that partner up with us. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. I’m looking forward to my years ahead with Hope Lives Here.
I joined the rescue in March 2020, although my love and work with cats started when I was a young girl. At the age of 14, I volunteered at a vet clinic cleaning cages and helping with reception. It was not the most glamorous job, however it was to me, as I got to spend time with the animals.
On the weekends, I would bring cats home to my mother, who would immediately exclame that they couldn’t stay. However, before Monday came, we would have either found homes for them, or made room in our home. I was lucky to have such an understanding family.
Fast forward to now, not much has changed. I currently have 6 cats in my care; which includes one sick foster kitten. I love working with sick kittens and cats. I find it very rewarding to watch their progress as day by day they become stronger and healthier. However, my favorite aspect of this role; is adoption. Knowing our kittens and cats have found their furever home, where they can live full happy lives makes everything all worthwhile.