Legacy Dog Rescue of Ohio will hold the first of several fundraisers for 2017 when it hosts Mardi Paws Wine Tasting 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 25 at Lil Paws Winery, 17547 Mahoning Ave., Lake Milton.
The event admission is $10, and there will be prizes for best Mardi Gras costume as well as appetizers, desserts and a Mardi Gras fare and wine tasting.
All the proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Legacy Dog Rescue, a local 501c3 nonprofit group that saves and rehabilitates dogs that have been abandoned, abused, or neglected. The ultimate goal is to find the canines a loving home.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Heather Huff and Jennifer Overmier, members of Legacy Dog Rescue, spent some time in the sun last week with Buster, a 13-year-old Chihuahua pulled from a Kentucky dog pound.
"We started Legacy Dog Rescue about six years ago," co-founder Jenn Overmier said. "We pull dogs from the local pounds and work with them through foster homes."
Overmier said the organization presently has eight members and 12 foster homes. It does not have a physical shelter or building but instead relies on foster homes and caring families.
Some of the dogs are older, may have behavior problems, medical problems or find themselves without a home.
One recent rescue was a 13-year-old Chihuahua named Buster. Buster's master moved into a nursing facility that didn't allow dogs, so Buster was surrendered to a dog pound in Kentucky that was aware of Legacy Dog Rescue.
Buster was eventually brought back to Mahoning County and placed in foster care while awaiting a possible adoption. Buster came from a loving home and enjoys the company of people.
Another recent addition is Lucy, a one-year-old Doodle mix that was pulled from the Mahoning County Dog Pound. Lucy is gentle and loving but has a jumping problem. Whenever she sees someone new she wants to jump up and lick a person's face. During her time in foster care, Lucy will receive training to help control the jumping before she is offered for adoption.
Both of these dogs join a group of 38 dogs and 10 cats that are currently in foster homes through Legacy Dog Rescue. For dogs and cats that may not be adoptable, they will live out their life in the foster home. For those that are adoptable, they will be offered for adoption on the Legacy Dog Rescue website.
The organization said its primary focus is rescue, but it also serves the community with its spay / neuter program, which eliminates the number of animals sent to the pound.
Legacy Dog Rescue also financially assists dog owners and other rescues. It has a food assistance program to help dog owners that are struggling to feed their pets due to economic hardship.
While the animals are in foster care, all their needs are met by Legacy Dog Rescue. Overmier said the nonprofit pays for the animals' needs from bedding, toys, treats, food, leashes, collars, vet care, shots and any other requirements.
"The foster homes don't pay for anything," Overmier said. "All the foster family is asked to do is treat the dog or cat as if it were their own."
For the dog or cat, the foster home gives them the love and care that so many need. For the fostering family, there is a lot of satisfaction that comes from the program.
Heather Huff opened her home to fostering and she said seeing a change makes it worth while.
"Fostering is a lot of fun," she said. "You get to see the life come back into those who were scarred and didn't trust anymore."
When the organization adopts a dog or cat, it waits three to four weeks to make sure the new home is a good fit before opening the slot for another rescue. Overmier said it helps make sure the placement is going to work out. If not, Legacy will take the animal back.
Covering costs for the animals requires a lot of fundraisers, which the members are happy to stage. Huff is taking on a new fundraiser, a reverse raffle 5 p.m. April 1 at Avion on the Water, 2177 W. Western Reserve Road in Canfield. Tickets are $55 per couple, which provides for two dinners and one chance to win the $1,200 grand prize. There are only 100 tickets available.
For reservations, call Huff at 330-717-0635 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We are hoping to raise $5,000 to use for the dogs," Huff said. "We have sponsors that are helping us offset our costs for the reverse raffle so we can raise more and help more dogs in the future."
For more information on Legacy, visit the website www.ldrofohio.org or follow them on Facebook.