Hit by a car, suffering from a broken leg and abandoned by his owners, the outlook for 2-year-old pug Tristan was bleak. Just a few short weeks later, however, Tristan has been renamed Charlie and is in a loving household, free of any broken bones or feelings of helplessness.
The key to this success story? The combination of Melanie Thompson from Hodgenville and Kentuckiana Pug Rescue was able to save the dog from a much worse fate.
KPR, a nonprofit based in Louisville, has been putting countless pugs into foster and permanent homes since 2001. At any given point, there are about 80-to-100 pugs under KPR’s care. Since the nonprofit has no central building to house animals, all the pugs under KPR’s umbrella are located in foster homes as they receive necessary medical treatment and are spayed/neutered before adoption.
In Charlie’s case, he was brought under KPR’s care after a car hit him and he was abandoned by his owners at their veterinarian’s office. KPR stepped in, putting Charlie (named Tristan at the time) into a foster home as he received treatment for his leg and awaited the chance to find a permanent home.
Thompson, meanwhile, had applied in December 2011 to be an adoptive parent to a pug but had still not been matched with one. She saw Charlie’s picture on KPR’s Facebook page and knew that he was the dog for her family.
“It had never worked out before, but we saw Charlie and KPR finally gave us first dibs on him,” she said. “He’s such a gentle little boy.”
KPR, according to its website,takes pugs from Kentucky and Indiana “regardless of their age, temperament or medical condition.”
The organization rescues purebred pugs, but also takes pugs mixed with other breeds, such as “pughuahuas.”
While KPR’s main focus is to find homes for these rescued animals, the organization is selective with who gets to adopt the rescue pugs. Anyone interested in adoption has to fill out an application where they include information on their home, whether their yard is fenced, if any cats they own are declawed, their pet ownership history, training objectives for the pug and many more subjects.
After the application process, the prospective adoptive parent also has to provide references – one from their veterinarian and three personal references. KPR contacts these references, reviews the application and finally does a home check of the person wishing to adopt. That was the biggest roadblock to Thompson’s adoption of Charlie.
“The house check was a pretty serious problem because no one wanted to come all the way out here to the boonies to do our check,” she said. “Jill Gray ended up doing it, and now Charlie has been with us for about two weeks.”
All the precautions KPR takes before beginning an adoption process are to ensure the pugs are in permanent and safe households in the future. Many of the rescues without KPR would not have an opportunity.
“A lot of these dogs would be dead if it weren’t for KPR,” Thompson said.