10 years ago there were 2 dogs running the streets of our town, starving to death. Being that our town didn’t have animal control, I decided I had to do something, so I caught them. One dog was pregnant and was to deliver pups soon; the other had gone so long without food that his system was shutting down. After many visits to the vet, I was told there was nothing else that could be done, he was dying and needed to be put to sleep.
I couldn’t believe this had happened, and I knew something had to be done to make sure it never happened again, so I went to talk with the mayor. I told him about the dogs and said, “You need to do something!” to which he replied, “Do you want to be animal control?” I thought, well no, but if I’m not part of the solution, then I have no ground to stand on. So, I decided to be a animal control officer.
I chose to quit a really good paying job to become an animal control officer. I was determined to make a difference. I told my boss that I wanted to make animal control a no kill facility. He thought this idea was crazy. I strongly believed I could make this work. He said “Elanna, in order for the animals to be controlled something has to be done with the unwanted animals, you can’t be no kill”.
For the past 9 years only one animal has been euthanized. This dog in particular had been hit by a car. The injuries were extensive including a broken back. There was nothing we could have done to allow him to have his quality of life back.
Due to an influx of rescues, I started sending my dogs to large, no kill, rescue facilities in the Chicago area. Pretty soon rescue groups were contacting me telling me how great dogs my dogs were and asking us to send them our dogs. This really reassured me that I was doing the right thing. Before long, I had more people wanting my dogs, than I had dogs, which is a really good problem to have!
With such success, rescuing strays, I decided to go to other high kill facilities and rescue dogs that were scheduled to be euthanized and send them to these no kill rescues. It was a shock to me when I was informed, these shelters could only give dogs to state licensed rescue groups. Therefore, I choose to become a state licensed, non-profit animal rescue. Which is how Puppy Rescue 911 Inc. was founded.
Puppy Rescue 911 is a very small group of 3 people. Last year we rescued 991 animals. I make it my mission to go once a week to high kill facilities, and save dogs on the euthanasia list. I do this by renting a large van, and take 20-40 animals to no kill facilities in the Chicago area. Sometimes within days of these animals being on death row, they are adopted out to caring and loving homes.
Every animal that you see on those commercials that make you cry, I have had one exactly like it pass through my hands. We take them in, we care for them, we show them love and compassion and give them time to heal mentally and physically, then we send them out and they find their forever homes.
We currently only have foster homes for our dogs, but we have purchased 5 acres of property and are now raising funds to start the construction of a shelter.